Politics & Policy

Can We Please Focus on What Clinton or Trump Would DO as President?

(Reuters photos: Jonathan Ernst, Kevin Lamarque)
Voting against Trump to protest his raunchy mouth will not shield America against jihadists, defund sanctuary cities, or save the Hyde amendment.

How many of this presidential campaign’s closing days will Americans spend pondering things said and done ages ago? Before November 8, will we imagine the future or solely inspect the past?

Americans lately have been divided and tense over things that happened more than a decade in the rear-view mirror:

‐2005 (Donald J. Trump’s crude and degrading X-rated remarks from eleven years ago have dominated the news since Friday afternoon.)

‐1998 (The Monica Lewinsky affair, Bill Clinton’s subsequent impeachment, and Hillary Clinton’s efforts to denigrate Lewinsky as the fiasco unfolded.)

‐1996 (Trump’s comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and her fluctuating weight.)

‐1995 (Illegally leaked excerpts from Trump’s tax return.)

‐1978 (Bill Clinton’s alleged rape of Arkansas public servant Juanita Broaddrick and Hillary’s allegedly pressuring her into silence. “How many times must it be said? Actions speak louder than words,” Broaddrick responded to Trump’s lewd conversation with Billy Bush, then with Access Hollywood. She continued Friday night via Twitter: “DT said bad things! HRC threatened me after BC raped me.”)

‐1975 (Hillary Clinton defended Thomas Alfred Taylor against charges that he raped Kathy Shelton, age 12; he got off with time served; Shelton was raped so violently that she remained in a coma for five days and was rendered infertile. In a 1980s interview with Arkansas journalist Roy Reed, Hillary found her experience hilarious. As she explained at the time: “He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.” She then burst into laughter.)

These controversies, scandals, and accusations are legitimate issues and worthy of debate.

It is no surprise, of course, that Hillary and her media allies ironically have capsized the campaign theme song that helped the Clintons win the White House in 1992. Upending Fleetwood Mac, the Clintons now sing, “Don’t Start Thinking about Tomorrow.”

Hillary would pump Obama’s big-budget, high-tax, and red-tape toxins into an economy that “grows” this year at an imperceptible 0.95 percent, amid the slowest recovery since 1949. Clinton stands shoulder to shoulder with Black Lives Matter, promising four more years of decaying race relations. Clinton also would keep leading from behind, guaranteeing hotter flames around the world.

No wonder, then, that she and her cheerleaders in America’s newsrooms keep voters focused on yesterday.

For Trump’s part — despite eloquently delivering via teleprompter several intelligent, specific, policy-driven speeches — he also discusses Crooked Hillary’s character flaws, primarily her current E-mailgate, Clinton Foundation, and Benghazi scandals.

But he, too, has jackhammered into the Clintons’ malfeasance vaults and excavated ancient controversies and outrages.

Trump also has chomped like a rainbow trout into the baited hooks that Hillary has tossed into the waters where he swims. This has distracted him from his forward-looking game and made him turn backwards.

The media and the voters whom they serve really should spend at least a few of the next 29 days comparing what these two candidates would do as president.

Whether or not Trump is a vulgarian and whether or not Hillary Clinton is a lying, paranoid control freak, one or the other will reach the Oval Office next January 20.

#share#Just what would either do with the presidency?

Trump would cut taxes by $4.5 trillion.

Clinton would raise taxes by $1.55 trillion.

Trump calls radical Islam “an ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

Clinton rarely utters the phrase “radical Islam” and treats it like just another lifestyle choice.

Trump wants a major slowdown in immigration of Syrian refugees and “extreme vetting” of such candidates until America can expose ISIS members hiding among refugees — as they have forewarned us they plan to do.

Clinton wants to raise Obama’s 2016 goal of 10,000 Syrian-refugee arrivals to 65,000 next year. Vetting most likely would be un-extreme.

Trump would defund sanctuary cities.

Clinton would defend sanctuary cities.

Trump wants a wall to shore up America’s southern “frontier.”

Clinton, Wikileaks revealed Friday, told a closed-door Banco Itaú meeting in May 2013: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” Even we free traders should worry about Hillary Clinton welcoming the world to waltz into America.

Trump wants to preserve and protect the Second Amendment and enjoys the endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Clinton loathes the Second Amendment and never met a gun-control scheme she didn’t love.

Trump plans to expand school choice and calls it the “new civil-rights issue of our time.”

Clinton would work with the teachers’ unions to torpedo school choice.

Trump would unplug Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered, market-friendly reforms.

Clinton applauds Obamacare as a stepping stone en route to full-throated socialized medicine.

Trump advocates a moratorium on new regulations and a rollback of existing red tape.

Clinton wants even more regulation and would unleash an army of bureaucrats to boss Americans around.

Trump would scrap Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” which (through 2040) would sacrifice $960 billion in GDP on the altar of so-called global warming.

Clinton worships in the Church of Climate Change and would implement the “Clean Power Plan” with a vengeance — all to reduce expected temperatures by a whopping 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit. (This is like cranking a thermostat from 72 degrees all the way down to 71.98.)

Trump would kill the Death Tax and levy estates at 0 percent.

Clinton would hike the top Death Tax rate from 40 percent to 65 percent.

Trump would make the Hyde amendment a proper statute and stop federal funding of abortions.

Clinton would terminate the Hyde Amendment and force taxpayers to finance even more abortions.

Clinton would terminate the Hyde amendment and force taxpayers to finance even more abortions.

Trump promises Supreme Court nominees who are “as close to Justice Scalia as we can get.” Presumably his lower-court picks also would be similarly limited-government constitutionalists.

Clinton would select pro-big-government judges to SCOTUS and subsidiary courts who believe that a “living Constitution” should change like a mood ring to match the styles of the day.

Etc.

Voting against Donald Trump to protest his raunchy mouth will not kill jihadists bent on bombing Grand Central Terminal.

Voting for Hillary Clinton because she is a grandma with a seemingly clean mouth will not cut anyone’s taxes. (And never mind credible reports that she once greeted a friendly Secret Service agent by snapping, “F*** off!”)

#related#Americans need not love or even like either of these nominees. However, activists, journalists, and citizens should remember that one of these two soon will decide what the federal government does for us and often to us.

Once again, Americans desperately need to concentrate on what Hillary Clinton or Donald J. Trump would do as president — which seems like the last thing on everyone’s mind.

That’s too bad, because it’s important.

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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