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Ricardo Nicol, San Clemente

I will find myself in a conundrum at election time, not being able to vote for either of the two main candidates, one of whom will become President of the United States.

Donald Trump is not qualified to be president for many reasons, some of which he proudly acknowledges, like his buying of politicians, his contempt for marriage vows, his using loopholes in the law (no law is perfect) to avoid paying workers on his building projects, or to not pay his fair share of taxes to support defense, education, health, infrastructure, etc. All the public services that we all support with our taxes for our national wellbeing. Plus, his sexual harassment of women, and more.

Also, he is being sued for fraudulent business practices like his one real estate investment course, outrageously named Trump University, which went out of business in a few months but not before getting thousands of dollars in fees from students who got little or nothing in return; or his selling the Trump brand to developers to build, under the Trump name, ocean front condominiums in Mexico, which were bought by many middle class Americans hoping to retire on the beach, but the projects were never built and the buyers’ down payments went up in the air like the foam of the ocean waves on the beach. And there is more.

Disqualifying as all the above is, the most egregious is Mr. Trump’s lack of understanding of our democracy when he claims that he alone can fix all our national problems, which he can’t even if he could. The founding fathers, in their wisdom, provided a government with three branches: executive, legislative and judicial, so that power would be divided and there would be checks and balances. For example, the president can’t make laws but he can veto congress’ laws, and congress can override the veto, and the U.S. Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional. Demagogues, would-be-autocrats or dictators don’t thrive in such a system.

Hillary Clinton seems to also carry a lot of baggage but, to me, she disqualified herself by one act that amounted to criminal negligence. In 2003, as a senator, she abdicated her responsibility to represent the American people and ceded her power (betraying the division of power intended by the founding fathers mentioned above) to president George W. Bush to invade Iraq on his claim of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction ready to launch against us. Prior to her vote and to the invasion, there was much credible and verifiable intelligence that there were no such weapons in Iraq, which was later confirmed. Putting on the brakes on the rush to war and exercising due diligence on her part and Congress’s majority, not to mention on the president’s part, would have prevented the killing of, and devastating injuries to tens of thousands of American and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi civilians, the destruction of a country, the waste of trillions of dollars of our taxpayers’ money, and, arguably, prevented the final destabilization and present day chaos, death and destruction in that region of the Middle East, including the birth of ISIS.

What to do on Nov. 8?



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