Photo: AP/Carlos Osorio

I get the appeal of a candidate who talks about the need for radical change in Washington D.C.

Our government is broken. But disease the is on Capitol Hill, not at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And the guy peddling change in his ego-driven quest for the Oval Office brings nothing to the table but the promise of destruction.

It’s a national embarrassment that Donald Trump can even be the Republican party candidate for president. He bragged, boasted, bullied and trash-talked his way into the nomination — calling people names and making fun of people like a bully on a middle school playground.

He has brought out the worst in people. I am beside myself when I hear people say he has the courage to say things everyone else has been thinking all along and praise him for not being “politically correct.” Advocating torture, mass incarceration and deportation, banning people from the country based on their religious beliefs, urging people at his rallies to attack protestors, suggesting “the Second Amendment people” will know what to do if things don’t go Trump’s way.

Then there are Trump’s “policies.” Obamacare? Dump it. Tax code? Trash it. Twelve million immigrants suspected of being here illegally? Round ‘em up. Lock ‘em up. Then throw ‘em out and build a big wall to keep ‘em out. ISIS? Bomb the sh*t out of them. Reporters who publish unflattering stories about him? Open up those libel laws, they deserve to be punished. People who oppose him? Lock them up.

How will Trump accomplish his stated goals? Will he send the army into our homes to ferret out illegal immigrants? Will he suspend habeas corpus? We don’t know because Trump offers no details, no plans. He’ll get it done. Just trust him. He makes great deals. Believe him. Though his record shows otherwise, believe him.

We’re going to make America great again, he tells us. That’s all you need to know.

He’s going to get our country back. He’s going to save it, because we’re about to lose it.

He uses language like that to bring out the very worst in people, the worst in our body politic. His thinly veiled bigotry has attracted the admiration and support of white supremacists and nationalists.

And, oh yeah, he’s a sexist pig. He spent his life as a promiscuous playboy who treats women as objects, there for the groping.

One thing I’ll say, he’s a clever, though unscrupulous, salesman, this charlatan of a candidate. That’s how he got to where he is today, both in the campaign and in life. But a genius businessman? Hardly. He’s left a trail of casualties and destruction in his wake over the course of the last four decades. A statesman? Preposterous. He’s already damaged our reputation on the international stage, with enemies and allies alike.

It’s laughable how he has sold himself to American voters as an outsider who’s going to “drain the swamp.” Trump is as much an insider as any other politician in Washington. He’s manipulated the system for his personal gain and benefitted from the system as much or more than anyone else in Washington politics.

Trump is a creature of the swamp.

With the help of social media and cable “news” he has transformed the American electoral process into a reality TV show.

And now, thanks to a tremendous and far-reaching propaganda machine whose wheels and cogs are social media fake news, Fox News and websites like Breitbart — Trump is working hard to discredit the entire electoral system, the latest target of Trump trash talk and name-calling. Trump and the propagandists, with no evidence, charge that the system is “rigged,” that voter fraud is rampant, and that the only way he will lose this election is if it’s stolen from him.

Trump the snake-oil salesman has sold tens of millions of Americans a bottle of magic potion. His scorched-earth campaign has, I fear, transformed the American political landscape in this nation forever. A Trump presidency, aided by partisan zealots in a Congress that seems to have completely taken leave of its senses, would tear asunder the very foundations of American democracy.

Hillary Clinton is not a perfect candidate and not my first choice in this election — but not because of innuendo and outright lies that have come in like the tide from the misogynist right in a hate campaign spanning decades. There’s a legion of perfectly legitimate reasons to support her candidacy and I am proud to do so.

If you are among those who say you can’t vote for Clinton because she is “crooked” and a “liar,” that Trump is “the lesser of two evils,” I challenge you to look the evil you’re embracing in the eye. Here’s a chronicle of Trump’s lies, vetted and fact-checked, compiled over the last year by a very thorough reporter at Newsweek. 

So set aside your Trump-induced gut-reaction to call Eichenwald names and blow him off because he is a vile reporter — “the lowest form of human life” in the words of the Republican nominee — so he must be biased against Trump. Make no mistake, it is the work of reporters like Eichenwald that has kept our country true to its principles and ideals over the past 240 years.

Trump has no respect for our Constitution, for our laws, our courts, or our people. He doesn’t care a lick about you or your family. As amply demonstrated by his business record, his only concern is himself.

Donald Trump lacks the character, the integrity and the temperament to be president of the United States. I shudder when I think about the havoc and destruction this man would bring upon our great country.

We cannot, we must not let that happen.


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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.