During the past nine months, the American public has been subjected to a political campaign for President of the United States that has sunk to new lows of despicable behavior. Due to our two party system, it has resulted in Republican and Democratic nominees who would very likely be rejected if citizens could vote “neither of the above,” and require a new election with different candidates if it received the largest number of votes..
None the less, the system is what it is. As Bishop Butler wrote centuries ago, “Things and actions are as they are and the consequences will be what they will be; why then should we desire to be deceived.” We are left with no alternative but to try to determine whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton has the greater virtue, if any, or the lesser vice. Or, if one prefers more ambiguous language, which candidate has the more admirable, constructive, safest propensities and which has the more offensive, destructive and dangerous propensities to lead the nation.
The basic tenet of Hippocratic medicine is, “First of all, do no harm.” It is an excellent test of how best to make a decision. The following list of adjectives is one way to grade the two leading candidates to determine which is likely to do the least harm.
Which of the two is the most;
Arrogant-- A sense of superiority which manifests itself in in exorbitant claims which exalt the worth or importance of one’s self.
Autocratic-- Domineering, authoritarian, repressive. Intolerant of opposition.
Avaricious — Excessive or inordinate desire of gain. Greediness after wealth. Immoderately desirous of accumulating property or wealth, material or figurative.
Blatant – Offensively conspicuous, noisy, unashamed, flagrant.
Brazen -- Of or showing unabashed assurance or offensive boldness inspeech or behavior. Impudent. Shameless.
Contentious -- Creating and relishing disagreement, argumentative, quarrelsome, antagonistic.
Cunning -- Skillful at deceiving others, wily, sly, devious.
Demagogic--- Rabble-rousing. A political agitator appealing to the basest instincts of a crowd.
Hyperbolic – Addicted to exaggerated overstatement, embellishment, magnification.
Narcissistic – Inordinate love or opinion of self.
Sociopathic -- Mental disorder short of insanity characterized by defect of character or personality, eccentricity, emotional instability, inadequacy or perversity of conduct, undue conceit and suspiciousness, lack of empathy, of common sense, of social feeling, of self control, of truthfulness. Different sociopaths show different combinations of these traits.
Where, on a scale of one to ten, would you rank Hillary Clinton and where Donald Trump with respect to each of the above.
Of course, one can endlessly make lists of the propensities one prefers in the person who is to lead this nation for the next eight years, just as one can decide for themselves what is virtue and what vice.
Since “neither of the above” is not allowed, and a vote for either the Green Party, or Libertarian candidate is tantamount to not voting, one is reduced to choosing whether Clinton or Trump is most likely to make tyrannical mistakes that are detrimental to the people of the nation.
From my perspective, based on what is known of how the two have spent their respective lives, and what can be observed of their individual propensities during the campaign, the choice is not difficult to make.
How will you decide?