Monday night’s presidential debates highlighted the many faults and failures that are Donald Trump. During the 90 minutes of debate, he blatantly and obstinately lied about his historical, public support for the Iraq War and boldly supported New York’s racist (and unconstitutional) stop and frisk policy. It all came wrapped up in Trump’s now quite familiar self-serving, self-aggrandizing package.
One of the moments of the debate that best highlighted just how disconnected the Republican party presidential candidate is from everyday Americans occurred when he retorted to Hillary Clinton that not paying his federal taxes, “makes me smart.”
After the debates, he clarified, “No I didn’t say that at all. If they say I didn’t it doesn’t matter,” when asked by a CNN reporter if he intended to imply he doesn’t pay taxes and that that makes him smart.
Despite forty years of presidential candidate’s releasing their tax returns, Trump continues to refuse to do so. Speculation will continue as to why, and it certainly doesn’t bode well that he makes more than a few appearance in the now infamous Panama Papers, the leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca, a firm dedicated to helping the world’s elite hide their money and evade taxes and other laws.
As Clinton pointed out during the debates, if Trump is not paying taxes that means he’s not paying his fair share for important national infrastructure like education, healthcare, or transportation.
“So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health,” Clinton said.
Even Americans in the bottom quintile — in other words the folks who are living in poverty — pay something in taxes. If Trump doesn’t pays federal taxes, it isn’t “smart,” it means Trump doesn’t care about investing in our country. It’s representative of Trump’s complete disregard and disrespect for the everyday Americans who actually pay the taxes necessary to keep this country functioning (you know, and who actually earn a living because they work, rather than passively raking in income from shoddy, exploitative investment schemes and real estate deals).
Despite Trump’s continued demonstration of his disrespectful, utterly incoherent, self-serving policies and values, Georgia’s conservative leadership continues to back their party’s presidential candidate.
Yes, Donald Trump is the presidential candidate of choice for Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, Governor Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagle, and Speaker of the House David Ralston. None of our state’s conservative leaders will disavow his politics, and some, like Perdue, doubled down on their Trump support after the debates on social media.
If the GOP wasn’t willing to dump Trump, it’ll be up to American voters to keep his ugly, anti-American politics out of the White House and back on reality tv…the only place his narcissism belongs.