What I imagined at the close of the Democratic convention to be a joyous campaign for women, whole heartedly supporting and closing ranks around our first woman presidential candidate has turned into a bitter and contentious race with surprisingly many undecided women voters. Even in liberal New York City I encounter few vocal Hillary supporters. The supporters I do meet are quiet, almost apologetic about their choice. In some cases she is even painted as the lesser of two evils. So for those of you undecided I’ve outlined three significant differences between the two candidates that may help you decide. These are issues that are important to me as a woman, a mother and a person who cares about the dignity of all people.
One of the first orders of business for the next president would be to nominate a judge to fill the vacancy created by the death of justice Scalia in the Supreme Court. Hillary will replace Scalia with a liberal judge tipping the balance of the court. You can be sure Trump would nominate an ultra conservative judge considering his choice for vice president. In the event another judge retired during a Trump presidency, a feasible scenario considering the age of Judge Ginsburg (83) and Justice Breyer (78) or any other unforeseen vacancy, the court would be conservative and a women’s right to choose would be at risk to name just one vulnerable issue.
Another pronounced difference between Trump and Hillary are their positions on the environment. Hillary promotes investment in clean energy and environmental justice. Trump who dismisses the science of climate change has also stated that he would like to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA is the government agency that, among other things, implements the laws passed by congress to protect the environment such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. It is uncertain this could happen, given the legal ramifications of abolishing a department responsible for upholding laws already passed by congress. At the very least Trump would loosen regulations and create a favorable environment for polluters giving big business the green light to degrade the environment. Even a four year Trump presidency would be a giant step backwards for protecting the environment and the damage done irrevocable.
Lastly if you are at all concerned with wealth inequality in America please consider this; America’s top 1% holds nearly half the national wealth. So imagine a big pie large enough for 100 people to share except 1 person gets half and the remaining 99 must share the other half. The latest 2015 stats from inequality.org states “The billionaires who make up the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans now have as much wealth as all African American households, plus one third of America’s Latino population combined. In other words just 400 extremely wealthy individuals have as much wealth as 16 million African American households and 5 million Latino households.” Trump is #342 on this list with a net worth estimated at 4.5 billion. Granted, this is not Trumps doing alone but in Monday night’s debate he boasted that his income on his last, as yet undisclosed, tax return was 650 million dollars. When Hillary accused him of not disclosing his tax returns because it would prove he did not pay any taxes he didn’t deny it and all but admitted it saying “that would make me smart”. What? So for anyone still undecided, if you think Trump will work to make the economy fair for all please know that he is the personification of the problem, a super wealthy person who does not believe he should pay his fair share and he exhibits no compassion for those less fortunate as demonstrated by routinely stiffing working people he has employed and his lack of charitable donations given his wealth.
With less than seven weeks until the election I urge everyone to study the positions of both candidates and cast an informed vote. Comments are welcome and if you find this post helpful please pass it on…