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Why I would never vote for Donald J. Trump

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Were Donald Trump a liberal Democrat, he wouldn’t have my vote.

Were he a moderate independent, he wouldn’t have my vote.

Were he pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-universal health coverage, pro-investing millions upon millions into climate change research, he wouldn’t have my vote.

To be clear, Donald Trump would never, ever, ever, ever have my vote.

Why? Really, for one reason. In 2011, the then-reality TV host was a leader of the movement that insisted our sitting president was not, in fact, born in the United States. He said so repeatedly, joining such non-men as Sean Hannity and Newt Gingrich in the “Obama doesn’t love his country” conga line of shame. Trump went so far as to announce that he had sent a team of investigators to Hawaii (Obama’s home state) and that, “they cannot believe what they’re finding.” Whoa! Holy shit! So what, in fact, were “they” finding? Well … um … eh … um … we don’t know. Because suddenly, a man blessed with the power of nuclear bluster, had nothing to offer. In other words, “What they’re finding” was never released. When asked, weeks later by CNN, whether he believed Obama was born in the U.S., Trump meekly said, “I don’t know. I really don’t know.”

And that was that. Only, for me, that wasn’t that. When I look back at Trump’s “they cannot believe what they’re finding” lie, I can’t help but recall the conservative uproar when, in 2003, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks told a crowd, “just so you know, we’re ashamed the president is from Texas.” What followed was a banishment from country radio, myriad CD demolitions, death threats, physical threats, plummeting ticket sales. Why? Because the musical trio dared rip a sitting president during a time of war.

Now, 13 years later, here those same conservatives sit, lining up behind a man who not only insisted the sitting president was not American, but lied about investigators landing the goods. Whether citizens like a commander in chief or loathe a commander in chief, he/she is—factually—our leader, as well as a symbol of our nation. Criticism is fair, of course, and I’m not even saying conservatives were wrong to be upset over the Dixie Chicks’ words.

But standards are standards, and if we’re going to be mad over some meaningless musicians lambasting a president, shouldn’t we be 1,000,000 times more mad for a presidential contender doing so—and making the whole thing up?

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