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Op-Ed: Why I can’t support both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

After the recent revelations related to the Donald Trump recordings and the attempted rape of Jill Hearth as well as Trump raping a 13-year-old girl, Rachel Avraham feels that it is impossible to support Donald Trump. At the same time, after the Benghazi terror attack and the email scandal, she also believes that it is impossible to support Hillary Clinton. She believes that the pot head Libertarian candidate who can’t find Aleppo on the map is sadly the only half-way sane candidate left in the race.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

I am an independent conservative voter.  In Israel, I am a Likud Party member and in America, I am registered as an independent. I am passionately against Obama’s Iran deal, am highly critical of Obama pressuring Israel into making a bad peace deal with the Palestinians and find Obama’s actions in the Middle East to be encouraging the ascent of radical Islam, an ideology that I despise.  For this reason, I voted against Obama twice and supported either Kasich or Rubio being the Republican candidate as I am conservative on foreign policy and felt that both candidates represented my views well in this arena. 

Even though I am liberal on everything connected to women’s rights and gay rights, I was still willing to support the Republicans as I considered foreign policy to be the number one issue of our times as ISIS is presently waging a terror campaign across the globe and Iranian aggression is spreading its tentacles worldwide as well. At times such as this, I considered what happens domestically in America to be of secondary importance for during World War II and other times of crisis, it was always foreign policy that mattered most.  After all, how will equal pay for equal work, marriage equality and a woman’s right to choose an abortion really matter if ISIS’ reign of terror that includes having rats biting into women’s vaginas, the cutting off of women’s breasts for violating Islamic law, the selling of minority women as sexual slaves, the gang raping of little girls, and the throwing of homosexuals off the rooftops of buildings is not brought to a halt?  

In such a world, even from a gay rights and women’s rights perspective, it is better to vote for someone who will bring ISIS to a halt who is a bit old-fashioned and out of date on women’s rights and gay rights issues than it is to vote for a person who will continue to appease radical Islamists but is the most progressive person in the world on those issues domestically. With Clinton as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, we don’t even have the most progressive women’s rights activist running for President. After all, as I stated in an analysis, she started out her career by lying in order to help the rapist of a child get off the hook so that she could best advance her career as a lawyer.  According to the child rape victim, Clinton’s dishonest tactics to let her rapist get off the hook destroyed her life and given this, Clinton cannot be referred to as a champion of women’s rights.

So with a candidate such as this, I felt fine supporting Rubio based on his foreign policy positions even though I very much don’t like how he does not support a rape exception for abortions and supported the Scarlet Letter Law in 2001, which forced unmarried women who put their babies up for adoption to publish details about their recent sexual encounters in a local newspaper even if they were a rape victim.  As much as the Scarlet Letter Law and not supporting a rape exception for abortions disturbed me, I felt that even from a women’s rights perspective, they paled in comparison to how Clinton treated that child rape victim and encouraged the spread of radical Islam across the Middle East and North Africa, which represents the number one threat to women in the world from my viewpoint. And unlike Clinton, who held such positions for selfish reasons such as wanting to advance herself professionally in the case of the child rape victim or to leave behind a legacy of establishing democracies in authoritarian societies in the Middle East but went about it in the wrong way for the latter case, at least with Rubio, I can respect that these positions were rooted in his deep convictions for his Catholic faith rather than selfish aggrandizement! 

But then Donald Trump became the Republican candidate, which thus forced me to reconsider my support for the Republicans. In the end, I found that Trump’s positions on women, minorities and even global issues forced me to support the third party Libertarian candidate.  Although I understand that America is a two-party system and that the Libertarian candidate has almost no chance of winning, I cannot vote for Donald Trump in good conscious even though I am conservative on foreign policy. While Trump may have been against the Iran deal, he won’t eliminate it on his first day in office either. While he might let Israel build in Judea and Samaria without interference, he also goes back and forwards on whether the US should financially support Israel. Some days, he will give more than Clinton. Other days, he will make Israel repay all of the financial assistance that the Jewish state has received to date.

At the same time, he wants to abandon good US allies like South Korea and Japan and embraces Vladimir Putin, who is a strong ally of Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad and other unsavory leaders in the Middle East.  As a journalist, my Middle Eastern sources tell me that while the Clinton Foundation received funding from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, Trump’s campaign allegedly may have received funding from Jordan’s king who is also a gross human rights violator that has encouraged radical Islamism. Palestinian journalist Mudar Zahran stressed that most Arab dictators are rooting for Trump, believing that he will help them stay in power. Meanwhile, JerusalemOnline reported that Trump with his praise of Saddam Hussein managed to insult a number of Iraqi Kurds, who are US allies.  Given this, Trump is no Rubio. One day, he will leave the war against ISIS up to Russia and the next day, he will drop a nuclear bomb on them. Unlike Rubio, he has no consistent plan to defeat ISIS that would justify overlooking everything else.

And then, there is Donald Trump’s atrocious record when it comes to women. The recent recordings published by the Washington Post that quoted Trump as stating in 2005 that he kissed, groped and sexually went after women without their permission is just the tip of the iceberg.  The recordings reflect how Trump has treated women throughout his professional life.  Recently, JerusalemOnline reported that Jill Hearth sued Trump in 1997 for attempted rape. He went after her even though he knew she was with someone else.  According to the New York Times, Hearth also revealed that even though Trump was married, he always made a point to go after beautiful women but was not interested in African American girls, whom he made derogatory comments about. And as has been previously reported, Donald Trump raped his first wife and then his lawyer claimed afterwards that it was not rape for one could not rape ones wife even though marital rape has been considered a crime in New York since 1984. While Trump said his lawyer did not represent him at that moment, many were not appeased.

The rape of Ivana Trump was a brutal event. According to a book that was published by Newsweek reporter Harry Hurt III that was quoted in the Daily Beast, after Donald Trump was dissatisfied with a scalp reduction surgery performed by a doctor that his then wife Ivana recommended, he told his wife Ivana: “Your doctor ruined me!” After that, he held back Ivana’s arms and began to pull hair out of her scalp. He then tore off her clothes and raped her after they did not have sexual relations for sixteen months. The Daily Beast reported that after she looked in horror with her hair scattered all over the bed, Trump asked Ivana: “Does it hurt?”  According to Ivana’s closest confidents, it was rape, although under pressure from Trump, she stated afterwards that although she felt violated and described it as rape in the divorce proceedings, she did not want her words to be “interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.” There is a gag order in place where Ivana cannot talk about her marriage to Donald without Trump’s permission. It should be noted that the journalist who broke the story faced threats from Trump’s lawyer.

And earlier this year, a federal lawsuit filed by Jane Doe alleges that Trump raped her when she was but 13-years-old in 1994. According to the case file, Trump knew that she was just 13-years-old and yet he still proceeded to tie her to a bed, expose himself to her and then to rape her. During the rape, Doe pleaded with Trump to stop but he refused to do so, screaming to her that he will do whatever he wanted and he violently hit Doe in the face with his hand. With this case, it is revealed that Trump not only is a predator of adult women regardless whether they are available or not but if this story is verified to be true, he also goes after little girls.

And this does not even include how the rise of Donald Trump has encouraged all sorts of racist bigotry across the United States. One should not forget that he started off his campaign by blaming Mexican immigrants and African Americans for all violent crimes in the United States as well as calling to ban Muslims from entering America. Assaulting women and minorities has become a frequent occurrence at his rallies. And as JerusalemOnline has previously reported, this also adversely affects the American Jewish community, who until Donald Trump viewed right wing anti-Semitism mainly as a thing of the past.  With the rise of the KKK that has accompanied the ascent of Donald Trump, right wing anti-Semitism is back in full force and Trump’s campaign is encouraging it. To vote for a sexist misogynist bigot is to go against everything that I stand for while at the same time I cannot bring myself to vote for Clinton after her mistakes, incompetency and bad ideas have led to the deaths of countless innocent people.    

While I don’t agree with the Libertarian isolationist foreign policy, at the very least we don’t see Johnson retweeting quotes from Mussolini, encouraging right wing anti-Semitism across the US, promoting racial discrimination against African Americans and Hispanics, making sexist remarks, groping women, or raping anyone.   At least Johnson did not blame the Benghazi terror attacks on a movie rather than radical Islam, won’t force Israel into making a bad deal with the Palestinians and does not have unsavory connections such as Sidney Blumenthal, Huma Abedin, and Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries that funded the Clinton Foundation while she served as Secretary of State or allegedly Arab dictatorships like Jordan’s king in Trump’s case.   

At least Johnson is not responsible for an Iranian nuclear scientist that was cooperating with the US getting killed due to the use of government emails on a private server or 4 Americans in Benghazi not being provided with adequate security, which led to their deaths in a brutal Islamist terror attack.  Although it is disparaging that Johnson is a pot head, can’t find Aleppo on the map, and has crazy ideas like not giving foreign assistance and letting Russia fix the mess in Syria, at least he is not an anti-Semite, sexist, violent, corrupt or responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people due to their incompetent and bad ideas, such as withdrawing prematurely from Iraq, encouraging the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria, and getting involved unnecessarily in Libya

It is a tragic state of affairs when someone with a master’s degree finds the pot head to be the most enlightened candidate out of the lot! If the Republicans want to have any chance of winning following these recent revelations, they need to force Trump to resign and find another candidate ASAP for there are so many conservative independent voters just like me who are either not voting, voting Libertarian or who are even supporting Clinton because they cannot in good conscious support Trump especially after the recent recordings of Trump were published by the Washington Post!   After Benghazi and the email scandal, this election could have been an easy Republican victory had the Republicans chosen any qualified senator or governor who wasn’t a rapist or misogynist bigot to be their candidate. But given that they already made that mistake, at the very least, they can do damage control and find a new candidate. Believe me, as much as being months behind in promoting a candidate is a major disadvantage, keeping Trump as the Republican candidate for another moment is equivalent to giving Hillary Clinton the presidency without putting up a fight.

For many Americans, even though Clinton has made horrendous mistakes as a US Secretary of State, at least unlike Trump, she has experience, talks presidential, does not behave like a child who just walked into a bar for the first time, is not racist or bigoted, and even though she has baggage too, criminal incompetence, lying and bad foreign policy ideas are more socially acceptable than racism and a rapists’ dishonest lawyer is still preferable to a rapist. And unfortunately, too many Americans are too tied up in the two-party system to even consider the pot head alternative except for Americans like me who just cannot find a place in their heart to forgive Clinton’s criminal incompetence, lies and bad ideas in the hopes that she will learn from her past mistakes and implement something else besides her poor conduct as Obama’s Secretary of State or to overlook Trump’s racism, sexism and past history due to a conservative ideological conviction in the great hopes that he will follow those ideas even though he changes his position constantly.  


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JOL Blogger | Rachel Avraham

Rachel holds a masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben-Gurion University and a BA in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland. She is the author of Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media.

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