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The Woman in the Arena: another reason to reject Trump

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Teddy Roosevelt

The actual title of the speech was “Citizenship In A Republic” when it was delivered by Teddy Roosevelt in Paris in 1910. It has become known by the phrase that appears in one paragraph of that lengthy speech. It is no surprise that both US Representative Joe Crowley and President Barack Obama referred to it when they spoke at the Democratic Convention last summer in Philadelphia. They were both contrasting the experience of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and their fitness to be elected as our next president.

I have been blogging as many reasons as I can why Donald Trump is unfit for the office of President. Crowley and Obama make good cases for Clinton, and the links to the texts are below if you want to read their speeches.

Trump has consistently lied about or distorted his record. Let’s start with his position on the Iraq War in 2003. He now says he always opposed the war before it started, and he has better judgment than Clinton because she voted to authorize President Bush’s use of military force. There is no evidence that he opposed the war before the invasion, and there is a recording of an interview with Howard Stern in which he expressed support for going to war. I have viewed lists of celebrities who publicly stated their opposition in 2002. Donald Trump’s name is on none of those lists. Martin Sheen spoke at rallies organized against the war. In that case, Sheen has better judgment than Trump and, by playing the role of President on TV, has more experience.

I remember marching in those demonstrations in San Francisco, in February, and then March, before the invasion began. I went to an all-faiths religious service in the Mission District. I was praying for President Bush, as he had asked us to do. (At the rally, Sheen told KPFA, “I pray because I don’t know what else to do. Praying is all I can do.”) As I prayed, I considered the question that I always find myself asking as a challenge my own positions; could I be wrong?

Was Saddam Hussein the next Hitler, as Bush wanted us to believe? What if Bush is right and I am wrong? Was war the only way to save the world from a madman?

When the war started, I knew that there was nothing else to do than pray that it would be short and that Iraq would be become stable and democratic. Unfortunately, that would not come to be. As a result, I am more committed to non-violence and against war than I ever have been. Iraq shows that war is never the answer for achieving peace.

I remember the political climate after 9/11. I understand the pressure put on Democrats in Congress to back President Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To oppose Bush was considered to be unpatriotic. Whether you are willing to give Clinton and the Democrats a pass on their vote or not, the truth is that they were in the arena where the political battle was being waged. It is easy for Donald Trump to stand on the outside of the ring and criticize the decision. He was never in a position to be accountable by casting a vote. (To be fair, neither was Obama who did not enter the Senate until 2005. He did speak against the war while in the Illinois Senate.) In fact, Trump has never been held accountable for a vote because he has never held a public office.

Trump has never been a senator, a member of congress, or a governor. He has not even been a city council member or county supervisor. He has been a lobbyist, so he knows how that part of government works. He has given campaign contributions in exchange for political favors, showing he is not the solution but a big part of the problem.

If he has served on any civic commissions or provided policy advice to government agencies, I have yet to find it. He is mostly known for giving money to charity, and that amount has been called into question. Otherwise, he has been mostly concerned with advancing his own business interests.

Trump does have one loose connection to Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy used to say, “Bully!” Trump, on the other hand, is a bully. He is unfit to be president.

https://www.demconvention.com/blog/new-york-representative-joe-crowley/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/27/president-obamas-speech-at-the-democratic-convention/

http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

November 4, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment