On Election Day Make Your Vote Count! The future of the U.S. and the World is at Stake!
By Gail Fitzer
Like so many of my fellow Americans, I am truly devastated by this unprecedented U.S. presidential election, and so worried about the future of this great country and the divisions tearing us apart. I cannot believe how low we have sunk as a nation and how we as Americans can see things so incredibly differently, how nearly half this country can want to vote for a man like Donald Trump.
I try to be open-minded. I know I am open-minded, much more so than many other Democrats or Republicans. I can hear the opinions and positions on both sides of the aisle with an open mind. I was trained to do so as a journalist covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at a time when being objective, not voicing your opinion, was the gold standard of journalism.
I have brought that ability to remain objective into the realm of PR, on occasion representing nonprofits or companies that I don’t align with politically or ideologically, which is why a meeting I set up between Rudy Giuliani and wounded Israeli soldiers for the nonprofit Belev Echad appears on the home page of my company’s website, awakenpr.com, though after his off-the-wall comments during this campaign I am very inclined to take it down. It’s also how I recently represented a staunch Trump supporter who attended the Republican National Convention in his bid to publicize his Decision 2016 political trading cards despite my own misgivings about Trump. I interviewed Trump when I was a reporter at The Hollywood Reporter but like most of us, before this campaign I never realized who he was or the depths to which he would sink to win at all costs.
When I watched the Republican convention, there were moments I was impressed, especially when Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. spoke. And there have been rare moments when Donald Trump has actually spoken about the economy that I actually thought he made some sense. But those occasions when he is not insulting others, inciting fear, hatred and intolerance, spewing blatant lies, vitriol and vicious negativity, or trying to undermine our great democracy are so few and far between, I could never hear any real ideas coming from him for more than a few brief moments.
As a former journalist and PR professional who sees her role as HONEST and effective communication on behalf of the public or clients trying to effect positive change in the world, it is truly frightening to witness how Donald Trump can so easily and effectively lie, distort truths and manipulate millions of Americans to believe he is actually going to make America great again when I am so terrified he is going to destroy our great democracy and could easily lead the way to the next world war with irreversible consequences.
I simply don’t understand how nearly half this country doesn’t see what a dangerous man Donald Trump is. His scare tactics, his blatant lies and distortions, his questioning of the legitimacy of this election unless, of course he wins, his threatening to seek Hillary Clinton’s impeachment and to paralyze the government if she does win, his incitement of hatred against so many segments of the population, his blatant disregard for the constitution and the rule of law, his scapegoating tactics and refusal to ever accept responsibility for his own failures, his lack of conscience and truly dictatorial tendencies all remind me way too much of the tactics Adolf Hitler utilized to rise to power, start World War II and commit genocide against millions of innocent people. Do people not learn anything from history? Do Donald Trump supporters not fear history repeating itself?
How so many Orthodox Jews can support Trump because they think he’ll be better for Israel or because he has a Jewish son-in-law and a daughter who converted to Judaism, when his brand of hate-mongering is drawing the support of white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis like no presidential candidate in history and when many of his political tactics recall those of Adolf Hitler is simply beyond my comprehension.
I know Hillary Clinton is truly flawed. I know she is far from perfect. I know she and Bill Clinton have made countless mistakes and lied repeatedly when they have been caught in scandal. The scandals now plaguing Hillary Clinton are sadly too numerous to list or even attempt to defend. Politics is a very dirty business and power definitely corrupts. Hillary is far from innocent but she has spent the better part of her life in public service trying to improve the lives of those less fortunate than herself. She may have made many serious ethical blunders when it came to the Clinton Foundation, but at least the foundation has helped people around the globe with projects ranging from public health to elephant-poaching protection and small-business assistance to child development.
She may have made errors in judgment as first lady and secretary of state but she also has a tremendous record of fighting for the rights of women and children, minorities, the middle class, and the less fortunate from all walks of life in the United States and around the world. When Bill Clinton was president, the world was a much safer place and the economy was booming. There is a track record of public service to engender confidence despite their many failings and human flaws. Did you ever ask yourself honestly if you are certain you would do much better in her shoes to never make the wrong judgment call, to never take money from the wrong donors or cross an ethical line, to never say one thing to a Wall Street audience in order to earn income or raise money for your campaign and another when you’re campaigning for votes, or to lie if you were caught in a scandal? I think we’re all so quick to stand in judgment but I’m not certain we would do better faced with the same ethical dilemmas and enormous political and fundraising pressures.
I’m not saying her scandals are not a huge problem. They are! However, given the choice between Clinton and Trump, there is no alternative but to vote for Hillary Clinton, which is why so many leading Republicans have said they are voting for Clinton and have not supported Trump’s candidacy. If Clinton wound up impeached in the worst case scenario, the United States and the world would be far better off with Tim Kaine stepping in as president than we ever would be with Donald Trump at the helm.
I truly wish Hillary Clinton would have actually made a brief comment about being cleared by FBI Director James Comey in her latest infamous email scandal. I think it would have gone a long way in engendering confidence and helping her overcome her reputation for secrecy. It’s like the elephant in the room and just ignoring it without saying, “Yes, I’ve been vindicated AGAIN as I knew I would be. Now let’s move on to bringing the country together and addressing the issues,” was not the smartest move in my opinion.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton, Trump’s lies and scandals, which are also numerous and damning, center around his greed, his sexual assaults on women, his failure to release his taxes, his belittling of nearly every segment of the population other than white males, and his desire to win at all costs no matter who gets trampled on in the process. And while he berates Hillary Clinton relentlessly and incites his supporters to scream “lock her up” for the email server scandal that has plagued her throughout this campaign, he simply ignored the allegations of connections between Russia, which has been publicly accused by the U.S. government of being behind the hacks on Clinton campaign and DNC emails, and his campaign advisers or backers. And fails to condemn Russia for interfering in a U.S. election.
And while they are both embroiled in scandal, it has been proven that while Hillary lies when she is caught in scandal, Trump lies all the time, often for no reason at all, and the only possible explanation seems to be that he is a pathological liar who doesn’t even care or comprehend that he is lying.
According to Daniel Dale, Washington correspondent for the Toronto Star, who makes a list of every Trump falsehood every day, “We have a candidate who lies strategically and pointlessly about most things big and small but most of all lies frequently.” He told CNN Trump states more than 20 falsehoods a day, up to 37 on some days. In the three presidential debates, Clinton stated four, five and four false things respectively by Dale’s count. Donald Trump in comparison uttered 33, 34 and 37 falsehoods. “So there is a massive imbalance in the frequency of dishonesty.”
Worse than even the lying, Trump has proven he has no regard for U.S. democracy, the rule of law or our constitution. He has incited unfounded fears of rigged elections to such an extent that I wonder if this is what it feels like to live in a third world dictatorship where power is stolen in elections vs. our amazing democracy that has been a true beacon to the rest of the world since our country’s founding. By blaming the media for rigging the election at every turn, and irresponsibly calling out journalists by name, he could easily be inciting violent crimes by his supporters, many of whom have proven they are willing to turn to violence.
The system is rigged only when it works against him. The FBI is part of that rigged system only when it decides not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. The elections are rigged only when he loses.
Donald Trump is not a leader. He is a dangerous, power-hungry pathological liar who has already led this country into the gutter, if not the cesspool, and given the chance could lead us into world war and decimate the U.S. economy and our democracy.
In contrast, when Hillary Clinton lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential primary, she was graceful in defeat; she didn’t suggest the elections were rigged or insanely say she would only accept the outcome of the elections if she won. And when she ran against Bernie Sanders in the primary, she ran a campaign based on issues not mud-slinging, and rose to the ethical issues-based campaign standards set by Bernie Sanders. In contrast, Donald Trump ran the same kind of mud-slinging, vicious, do-anything-it-takes and destroy all who get in your way or dare insult you campaign in the Republican primary. It was Donald Trump who forced her hand; who forced her and this entire presidential campaign to sink to such depths, making all of us sick to our stomachs.
I am terrified at what Donald Trump and his supporters could do when he loses. He is clearly an incredibly sore loser. It is up to the Republican Party and its leaders to step up to safeguard our democracy and safety and concede defeat as soon as the media declares a winner! And not allow Trump to question the legitimacy of the elections for even a moment.
Politicians and their communications teams are complete masters at PR spin. Fortunately, Trump refused to listen to the advice of his communications team and showed his true colors throughout this campaign. But there is no spinning who Donald Trump is, his lack of conscience, his pathological lying, his Hitler-like tactics, his megalomania, his belief that he must win no matter what it takes, even if it means challeging American democracy or inciting violence. He poses a threat like no other presidential candidate in history. Do not be fooled America. Do not take this threat to U.S. democracy and the future of the world lightly. With ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia’s Vladimir Putin posing enormous threats to the United States and the world, and a completely unhinged and impulsive Donald Trump potentially having access to our nuclear codes, the world has never been more dangerous.
Today on election day, when the future of our great country stands in the balance, the choice between Trump and Clinton couldn’t be more clear.
I implore you to vote for Hillary Clinton and world stability. Donald Trump claims he is about change, but the risk that his type of change could threaten our democracy and the world is way too real to ignore. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for the most unstable world in our lifetimes and even our parents’ and grandparents’ lifetimes. I implore you to vote for Hillary Clinton and a sane, albeit very imperfect world!
Gail Fitzer is founder and CEO of AWAKEN PR and a former reporter for Reuters, AP and The Hollywood Reporter.