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Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Off-Topic: Update on Litmus Test Moments

by Calculated Risk on 8/03/2016 03:53:00 PM

Back in May I outlined a few "litmus test" moments in life - moments that define us - and I concluded that we are seeing a political litmus test moment right now (see: Off-Topic: A Comment on Litmus Test Moments)

Since then Mr. Trump has made many more disqualifying statements (too numerous to list).

For example, I wrote that post before Mr. Trump criticized U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel calling him a "Mexican" (although he is an American citizen born in Indiana), and suggesting Curiel was biased because Trump was going to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. Trump went on to repeat the same accusations several times, even as many Americans criticized his comments. As Rep Paul Ryan noted, claiming that a person's heritage makes them biased, is "the textbook definition of a racist comment."

I've spoken to several lawyers in San Diego, and Judge Curiel is considered one the best. He was first appointed as a Judge by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who wrote after Trump's attack: "Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels. I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov."

Mr Trump never apologized or backed down.

And the most recent attack on the Khan family is even worse. The VFW statement says what all Americans feel:

Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has a history of lashing out after being attacked, but to ridicule a Gold Star Mother is out-of-bounds, said the new national commander of the near 1.7 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its Auxiliary.

“Election year or not, the VFW will not tolerate anyone berating a Gold Star family member for exercising his or her right of speech or expression,” said Brian Duffy, of Louisville, Ky., who was elected July 27 to lead the nation’s oldest and largest major war veterans organization.

“There are certain sacrosanct subjects that no amount of wordsmithing can repair once crossed,” he said. “Giving one’s life to nation is the greatest sacrifice, followed closely by all Gold Star families, who have a right to make their voices heard.”
Once again Trump is unwilling to apologize.

My advice for politicians and American citizens who supported Trump: If you haven't abandoned Trump yet, do it now. If your family, friends and co-workers know you supported Trump - tell them you've had enough. They will respect you for changing your mind (if not now, in the near future). If you have a Trump sign in your yard, take it down. If you have a Trump bumper sticker on your car, take it off.

I'm voting for Hillary Clinton, but if you can't stomach voting for her - still vote! - but vote for a 3rd party candidate or write-in another candidate. If you can't stand Hillary (I think she will be fine), maybe you can console yourself that she won without 50% of the vote.

But it is important for our future that Trump loses and loses badly. This vote will be a message to the future that people like Trump are not acceptable. And I guarantee you that you will feel better about yourself in a few years when you can honestly say you didn't vote for Trump.