by Dr. Ed Berry
Republican Bob Brown, of Whitefish, is a former Montana secretary of state and state senate president. Today, in media across Montana, Bob Brown announced he will vote for Hillary Clinton rather than for Donald Trump.
Below, I republish Brown’s public letter along with my comments on his statements. My comments are in (blue).
[Begin Brown’s letter]
I am saddened to write this opinion piece, but after much thought, I must. In my long life I have never voted for a Democrat for president. That will change this year.
(After all this time, Bob Brown admits he is really a Democrat.)
The country can survive Hillary’s chronic deceptiveness. It might not survive Trump’s erratic, ego-driven recklessness.
Trump is an egomaniac conman who poses the greatest threat to our country of any presidential candidate in history.
(Anyone can call a candidate names but this means nothing in a debate over a candidate’s policy. The fact is the majority of conservative voters prefer Trump over Hillary. Only some radical establishment Republicans, who conservatives don’t trust anyway, support Hillary over Trump. Brown is one of them.)
His instability is demonstrated by the fact that he has changed his party registration at least five times. He was a registered Democrat as recently as 2009.
(Reagan was also once a Democrat. Those who switch to Republican can be better Republicans than the regulars. By his plan to vote for Alinsky-trained Hillary, Brown has proved he is far more unstable than Trump ever was.)
By his rhetoric Trump is not a conservative. By the gullibility of the modern Republican Party, he is their candidate for president. His only true loyalty is to himself.
(This is simply an ad hominem attack and has no credibility in a rational argument. These statements are factually untrue.)
He boasts that he would strengthen the U.S. military, and then signaled that he might not keep our commitments to NATO, which is practically an invitation to Putin to pounce. Trump says he looks forward to an improved relationship with the Russian dictator. Small wonder.
(No, Trump does not “boast.” He simply says he would strengthen the US military. Does Brown have a problem with that?)
(And, no, Trump did not “signal” he might not keep our commitments to NATO. Trump said he would make the other NATO countries pay their share of NATO’s costs. Trump has in no way signaled he would be easy on Putin. In fact, Trump would represent America more firmly against Russia than any president since Reagan.)
(Brown’s comments suggest has not listened to or read Trump’s actual policy speeches, and rather got his invalid opinions from writers who attack Trump.)
He brags that he knows more about ISIS than our generals, but is ignorant of fundamental facts about the Middle East.
(No, Trump does not “brag.” He simply says he gets better information from the generals on his foreign policy committee than he can get from Obama’s chosen generals. What fundamental facts is Trump missing? Brown does not say.)
He ridicules the military service of U.S. Sen. John McCain, but obtained five military deferments while McCain was being tortured as a prisoner of war.
(John McCain deserves ridicule. He has consistently supported the liberal policies. His torture as a prisoner does not protect him from critique when he becomes a politician.)
Trump brags his success in business qualifies him to be a successful president.
(No, Trump does not “brag.” The fact is his success in business is very relevant to being president.)
(Brown does not understand that a good president must first be a good CEO. A good CEO knows how to surround himself with the best people to advise him. No president can know everything about everything. Apple’s CEO likely knows nothing about Apple software. The job of a president is to manage America like a good CEO would manage a company.)
Since he won’t release his tax returns we don’t know how successful he has been either in making money or avoiding paying taxes.
(Some anti-Trump folks claimed Trump should release his tax returns before he was nominated. That suggestion was not in the best interests of Trump or the Republican Party. Trump announced this week that he will release his tax returns.)
(Brown does not consider that Trump got his money from his business and Hillary got her money from selling American assets in return for payments to the Clinton Foundation.)
We do know that his companies have declared bankruptcy at least four times.
(Out of over 500 companies, Trump had to put 4 in Chapter 11, not Chapter 13. These 4 recovered and repaid the investors. That is an excellent record for any businessman. Brown should criticize Hillary for having no business experience or ability.)
Trump brags that he doesn’t need to read, that he follows his own intuition, and makes decisions according to his consistently good judgment. Is government by Trump’s gut something we’re willing to risk?
(Actually, yes. Trump has excellent executive intuition by virtue of his vast business experience. Trump beat 16 other candidates for the nomination while spending a fraction of the amount of money of other candidates. Brown should compare Hillary’s decisions, especially her decisions that get Americans killed.)
Trump loyalists argue that conservatives must support Trump to keep Clinton from making liberal appointments to the Supreme Court.
(Yes, that is a very good reason to support Trump over Hillary.)
The truth is that presidential nominations to the Supreme Court are subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, and must receive the support of a super-majority of 60 senators before even reaching a final vote.
(History proves Brown wrong. Democrat presidents appoint liberal judges and Republican presidents appoint conservative judges.)
Unless Republicans suffer a huge loss of Senate seats, they can, as they are doing now, prevent confirmation of a nominee they consider too liberal.
(Won’t happen. Already, Senate Republicans are having second thoughts about rejecting Obama’s replacement for Scalia. Clearly, we need a Republican president if we hope to get conservative judges.)
No similar checks exist on the president in terms of foreign policy and the critical questions of war and peace. China has expansionistic designs in the South China Sea and Russia in Europe. Who knows about North Korea?
(Brown makes no analysis or comparison of how Trump or Hillary would manage America in the face of our enemies. But Hillary would follow the methods of Obama which have been disastrous.)
When recently asked for his reaction to a possible Trump presidency, President Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz responded, “God help us.”
(Invalid argument. One can always find another irrational opinion to support one’s irrational position.)
He (or She) might have to. In his 1935 novel “It Can’t Happen Here,” Sinclair Lewis shows how a dictatorial demagogue running as a Democrat could seize control of the country. Radical takeover of the staid and grounded old Republican Party seemed unbelievable, even for a novel, back in 1935. Eighty years later, in a very different Republican Party, we saw it happen.
“The Donald,” a real life equivalent of Lewis’s fictional character “Buzz Windrip,” has hijacked the Republican Party. In elections during unsettled times, people generally favor change.
(Trump neither “seized control” nor did a “radical takeover” nor “hijacked” the Republican Party. Brown’s arguments are based on fantasy like the fictional novels he references. Conservative voters nominated Donald Trump. That is not hijacking.)
(The fact is the core establishment Republicans who are upset with Trump’s win long ago departed from the core Republican Party. Trump has brought the Republican Party back to its roots.)
Foul-mouthed and big-talking Trump certainly is a change from all previous presidential candidates, and he has a real chance to win.
(Ignore the invalid ad hominem attack. Indeed, Trump has a chance to win and all true conservatives will help Trump win. No other Republican primary candidate would have a chance against Hillary. Like Trump or not, Trump is doing more for Republicans than any candidate since Reagan. Help him, don’t trash him.)
For me the choice is painful, but not difficult. Out of respect for my party’s heritage, and concern for my country’s future, I’ll be voting for the only candidate with a realistic chance of stopping Trump. I’ll be voting for Hillary.
(Brown bases his decision to support Hillary Clinton on false information and false logic. All his stated reasons fail to support his decision. Brown made a fundamental logical mistake. He has not made a fair comparison of what Hillary versus Trump will do to America.)
(Unfortunately, Bob Brown, like Romney and the Bush clan, has lost touch with the true Republican Party.)
— Bob Brown, of Whitefish, is a former Montana secretary of state and state senate president.
[End Brown’s letter]