NOTE TO MY READERS: We’ve had some issues with the new design of PR Nation so it looks a different, but we’re now well on our way to a final design. Thanks for your patience.
This is my 11th presidential election and I and every other American have never seen anything like it. There’s not a single example in our presidential election history where the campaigning was nastier than this. So please forgive me for being quite partial in this post.
In public relations, words matter. Yet from the day he announced his GOP candidacy, Donald Trump has, by The New York Times’ count, insulted 282 “people, places and things” on Twitter, referring to people as pigs, dopes, dumb, slobs, zeroes, and morons, to name a few. More recently he’s called his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton “crooked,” “pathetic,” “weak,” and worse. From accusing Mexican immigrants of rape to bragging about sexually assaulting women, Trump has gotten away with using words that would have certainly doomed any other candidate. His supporters, surrogates and sometimes even reporters have looked the other way regarding his charges of racial discrimination, lawsuits aimed at the failed Trump University, multiple business bankruptcies, his personal use of charitable donations, and the admission that he’s avoided paying federal taxes for two decades. None of this seems to matter to his supporters, according to polls.
Hillary Clinton has her own problems as a presidential candidate. Clearly, the use of a private server for classified emails was at best poor judgement and at worst a national security risk. The FBI cleared her of criminal wrongdoing but controversy remains around the Clinton Foundation. Most people don’t trust her and many just don’t like her, say the pollsters.
However, to claim it’s tough to choose because “they’re both awful” assumes a false equivalency, as Bill Maher calls it. I don’t agree that poor judgement is equal to sexism, racism, misogyny, and narcissism. While Clinton’s problematic, Trump shows little intellectual curiosity and a minimal understanding of policy–or the Constitution.
I’m open-minded, but this election I’ve struggled unsuccessfully to be neutral in this blog. I believe this election is about a flawed but experienced, exceptional leader versus a horribly flawed, insensitive, nasty showman. On Tuesday, vote for the kind of leader YOU want. Your thoughts?