Mudslinging, smear campaigns, and why I haven’t attacked Donald Trump
Photo: David K / CC BY-SA 2.0

I could have engaged in mudslinging and smear campaign tactics in attacking Donald Trump, but aside from the random snide remark, I haven’t really bothered with attacking Donald Trump at all.

I’ve written a piece discussing why I would never vote for Hillary Clinton for any office under any circumstances. I’ve written about how the mainstream media have ceased to be sources of news but rather have functioned as an extension of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I explained why John Boehner referring to Ted Cruz as Lucifer this spring was just dumb. I wrote about how our current electoral system, which pretends that people have to choose between only two candidates every four years, is an illusion created to keep power focused and prevent “outsiders” to the oligarchy from taking control. I wrote a satire news piece depicting terrorists torn between whether voting for Clinton or Donald Trump would be more helpful in their efforts at destroying America. And I’ve had to go after cartoonist Clay Jones twice (here and here) for spreading outright lies.

But I haven’t written a piece speaking out against Donald Trump.

Here’s why.

Donald Trump has already been sufficiently gangbanged by the media

It’s been “Donald Trump this,” “Donald Trump that” on every media outlet for almost a year. It’s old. What would I say? He’s incompetent? He’s immoral? He’s uneducated? He’s offensive? He’s disgraceful? He’s embarrassing? He’s a buffoon?

He’s all of these things and so much more, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a public figure so saturated by negative press in all my life. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. But as such, I really don’t know what I could possibly say against Donald Trump that hasn’t been said.

I believe that Hillary Clinton is more dangerous

I would feel safer with a fool than a villain in the White House. Hillary Clinton’s baggage and criminal record are mind-boggling. She is able to present herself well to her base, but she has largely evaded any questions of consequence throughout the debate cycle, and her ability to lie and cheat is legendary. The mainstream media could have given her past a thorough scouring and put it under the microscope, but instead they hid it in the closet.

Anyone unhappy with the state of the nation over the past few decades would be a fool to do anything to enable those in power to remain there. Continuing forward with the same policies of the Obama/Clinton/Bush regime by putting Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, by my estimation, is far more dangerous than putting an overblown doofus of a man there. Would he do damage? Hell yeah, he would; how could he not? But it comes down to a matter of what damage and how much, and while I know that many will disagree with me, I prefer the blunderings of a stupid bigot over the conniving machinations of an echidna.

If Donald Trump wins, there will be some benefits

While it’s sad to imagine Donald Trump as president, it’s sadder to look back upon the past century of American history. Gandhi once noted that for being named after Christ, Christians don’t much act like him, and that’s particularly true of our supposed Judeo-Christian nation. The disgrace of having such a man as president would be a well-earned crown of thorns for Uncle Sam. But coming from a nonpolitical background, Trump, like a bull in a china shop, would have no respect for the shadowy favors and deals made behind the backs of the public and, I speculate, would ruin many delicate relationships that our administration has made. And he’d probably be assassinated sooner than later. I mean you saw what they did to JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Edward Snowden, Seth Rich, Humpty Dumpty, etc.

Our country has made it its business to steal from the poor and give to the rich since day one. It would be to the betterment of humankind if the imperial agenda of this alleged “one nation under God” regarded by many as Great Satan were to be slowed down a bit. While I was born here and I love and want the best for this country as much as anyone, I’m a human being first and a citizen of any country second. No longer does America follow up on the values it is supposed to uphold, assuming it ever did. Electing Trump might just make America humble again.

Besides, who doesn’t want to see Hillary finally go to prison? She’s already used to wearing ill-fitting jumpsuits.

I do not believe in voting “against” a candidate

If you are voting against a candidate, you’re playing games with the voting process.

Obviously, the way pure democracy works is that each person votes for whom he or she thinks should be elected. Whoever gets the most votes wins. I will resist the urge to go off on a tangent about how our society should not be referred to as a democracy (nor is it a “pure” democracy by any stretch of the imagination). Heck, it’s barely even a republic anymore.

When people vote for someone not because they feel that he or she is the best candidate but because they are afraid that another candidate will win, they’re voting out of fear.

A person who is afraid cannot think clearly, and this fact of human behavior has been exploited by salesmen, proselytizers, and politicians for — well I don’t even know how to estimate how long it’s been going on.

Many people think they are voting “against” Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton because they are afraid of what will happen if he or she wins. And of course, the media have made it their business to spread that fear as far and wide as they can.

I’m not going to capitalize on that. Both major candidates suck. By highlighting Hillary Clinton’s villainous misdeeds, I never intended to scare anyone into voting for Donald Trump. We should all be voting for the person whom we think should be elected, or we should not be voting at all lest we allow our own electoral process — the integrity of which is far more important than the outcome of any election — to be subverted.

Many attacks on Donald Trump are dubious at best

Look, Donald Trump is a real piece of shit. Is anyone really going to debate that? But he has enough tangible flaws that disqualify him for the presidency that there’s no reason to resort to mudslinging and smear campaign tactics. But an American presidential election without mudslinging and smear campaign tactics would be like celebrating Thanksgiving without salivating over the hot, mangled remains of a tortured-to-death bird. (Dear Lord, we thank you for this corpse … )

I wrote a piece a week ago that you will never read called “Evidence suggests that Trump sexual assault claims are fake.” It was an extensive, thoroughly researched, and well-documented piece scrutinizing the allegations against Trump of sexual abuse made by Rachel Crook, Jessica Leeds, and Mindy McGillivray. While I maintained that female victims of sexual abuse are often silenced within our rape culture, I examined several suspicious elements of their testimonies that threw these women’s claims into question.

The piece was vetoed by our managing editor. I’m sure his heart was in the right place, and he was just doing his job as an editor as he saw it, which involves making judgment calls, but it only proved my point further: The media — even those who claim to be unbiased, open-minded, a clearinghouse of ideas, “fair and balanced,” “A voice for Utah,” or whatever — cannot be trusted to deliver “news.” Rather, each media outlet is a character in a play, each with his or her own agenda. The only way to get any sense of what the truth might actually be is not to trust what any of the characters say but rather to step back and patiently watch the play unfold. They’re called news “stories” for a reason.

I don’t want to live in a country where Donald Trump is president, but were I to attack him, I would likely do what others do, which is to take state propaganda and character assassinations and just repeat them. And I would only be another voice screaming gibberish amidst the white noise of anti-Trump rhetoric.

My primary purpose has been to attempt to expose information that most people probably aren’t getting so that they can make more informed choices. Whether or not I agree with their individual decisions is beside the point. A lot of Utahns, following the state’s tradition of doing bizarre things in the middle of nowhere that the rest of America neither knows nor cares about, are voting for a guy that the rest of America isn’t even aware exists. And good for them for voting with their consciences.

Many of us have already voted, and many more are going to the polls soon. The outcome won’t really matter as we get raped either way — we’re just picking the orifice through which we want to be violated.

What does matter is that many people died under the false impression that it was so that we would have the right to elect our leaders, and our elected leaders have responded by using their power to mangle and manipulate the electoral machinery. And here we are.

I could have written a fluff piece about Halloween full of nauseating puns and pointless feel-gooderies. But if you want something scary, think about the fact that the fabulously rich and powerful are vying to steal an election through whatever means necessary in an attempt to seize control of our country at a moment in history when international military tension has done nothing but escalate.

That is scary. Donald Trump? Meh.

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Jason Gottfried is a freelance editor, writer, and multi-instrumental musician and composer transplanted to Utah from Nashville by way of Gainesville, Florida. He was formerly opinion editor of The Independent and wrote album reviews, opinion pieces, and satire news. Before that, he was editor of SOKY Happenings magazine and wrote a column, The Vociferous Vegan. He was also general manager of Nashville’s fabled The Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant and briefly co-owner of Gainesville's longtime staple vegetarian restaurant, Book Lover's Cafe. When he is away from the computer, he plays between Colorado and California as a live and session musician. Locally, he can be seen performing with David Jorgensen as a drummer and guitarist. He has an amazing fiancee, Jamie Ritter; a wonderful daughter, Sky; and a bad cat, Squeakyboots. His albums with Sean McDonald as ambient electroacoustic duo Vesica Piscis are streaming online for free: indolerecords.bandcamp.com/album/twin-yang mmmsound.bandcamp.com/album/optical-mystic