So, let’s channel the cranky ghost of George Wallace as he justified his 1968 run for the presidency when he noted, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrat and Republican parties.” What do we know about that in our day, in this election season?
At the presidential level, we might conclude that:
• Clinton will be vastly better on basic civil liberties for all Americans than will Trump.
• Trump just might launch a nuclear war. His ignorance coupled with his impulse-control issues bode more ill than anyone since General Curtis LeMay wanted to go nuclear at the drop of a hat.
• Trump will wipe the ISIS caliphate off the map, whereas Clinton will likely continue the Barack Obama approach to gradually reducing the ISIS geographical control.
• Trump will alienate virtually every Muslim on Earth. Clinton will only alienate most of them.
• Clinton will support reasonable gun control. Trump would expand gun rights, if that is even possible.
• Trump will appoint a few pro-corporate, anti-human rights Supreme Court Justices. Clinton will appoint moderates to the Supremes.
• Clinton will maintain decent relationships with black communities and we will hopefully see a decrease in police brutality and corresponding attacks on police. Trump will put many more brutal cops on the streets, which will result in more cops shooting more unarmed African Americans. Trump’s returning combat troops who happen to be African American will be susceptible to carrying out guerrilla attacks on police in our cities.
• Clinton will moderate our descent into climate chaos by supporting alternative energy generation and reasonable safety regulations on polluters. Trump will accelerate global chaos by deregulating polluters and energy corporations, promoting pipelines and polluting power plants, and tearing up our lands and oceans with drilling disasters.
• Clinton will continue to attempt to achieve immigration reform. Trump will create a few million other new enemies by his wall and deportations.
• Clinton’s economic measures will achieve more equity in our economy. Trump’s will benefit the investor class and impoverish the US government.
In sum, a Clinton presidency will likely feature Obama (and Bill Clinton)-style employment growth, wage increases, and deficit reduction, a slower degradation of our environment, and stronger guarantees of human and civil rights.
A Trump presidency will feature both an expansion of US military actions into a bloody surge to crush ISIS but a possible contraction of the US military overall if his statements about NATO and other mentions of what is US concerns are accurate augury.
A Trump economy will radically benefit the elite and devastate the working Americans. It will feature acceleration of climate catastrophes and climate refugees, and a dirtier atmosphere, contaminated soil, and polluted surface and ground waters.
There are a few dimes worth of difference in this race. Indeed, a paradigm difference.
We’ve got trouble. Are we ready?
Tom H. Hastings is Founding Director of PeaceVoice.