This is facile, and speaks again to the important issue that (I think) motivated the person who started this thread: The notion that Trump and Clinton are equally noxious, or that Clinton is worse, is insupportable and dangerous.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people who have tried to make that case. I’ll set aside the likes of Breitbart and Daily Kos and the other demagogues of right and left, and even the mainstream media and its center-left “balance” when it comes to arguing for and against this notion.
Instead, here’s Reason, the libertarian magazine, identifying two “respected” pundits who come down either for Trump or that the two were “equally bad”, but quoting five who couldn’t and wouldn’t make that case, much as they wanted to … and humorist Dave Barry (with whom I have a passing acquaintance!), who dodged it.
Staying with non-Democrats and non-liberals, the best argument against this notion of equivalent noxiousness is Charles Murray of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, writing in the conservative National Review:
Do read the whole thing, but here’s the gist (emphasis mine):
I am part of the tiny fraction of the population that deals professionally in public policy from the right. In influence, we are all over the map, from talk-show hosts with audiences of millions (Limbaugh, Hannity) to politicians who directly shape policy (Ryan, McConnell) to academics who write technical papers read exclusively by their peers. We have been dubbed the “Republican Establishment” during this campaign season — bemusing to those like me who have trivial influence and are not even Republicans — but I’ll use Establishmentarians as a convenient label for who we are. This note is addressed to my fellow Establishmentarians, from the Hannities and Ryans to my fellow ink-stained wretches.
Barring a startling turn of events, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. There are good reasons to question his fitness to occupy the presidency, because of both his policy positions and for reasons of character. The standard response among the Establishmentarians who have announced they will vote for Trump is that “Hillary is even worse.” That’s acceptable for people whose only obligation is to cast a vote. Having to choose the lesser of two evils is common in American voting booths. But that shouldn’t be good enough for Establishmentarians. …
I am told that it is unfair to speak in such harsh terms of a person I don’t know personally: Look how nice his kids seem to be. Look at all his friends who say that he’s really a pleasant fellow in private. Sorry. I don’t need any secondary sources. Donald Trump makes the case for David Brooks’s assessment [quoted in the full text] in every public appearance. When a man deliberately inflames the antagonism of one American ethnic group toward another, takes pleasure in labeling people “losers,” and openly promises to use the powers of the presidency to punish people who get in his way, there is nothing that person can do or say in private that should alter my opinion of whether he is fit to be the president of the United States.
I know that I am unlikely to persuade any of my fellow Establishmentarians to change their minds. But I cannot end without urging you to resist that sin to which people with high IQs (which most of you have) are unusually prone: Using your intellectual powers to convince yourself of something despite the evidence plainly before you. Just watch and listen to the man. Don’t concoct elaborate rationalizations. Just watch and listen.
We live in a world that can be destroyed at the touch of a button. We expect our vaunted “institutions” to allow us to throw a giant stink bomb into the epicenter of the free world because we ignore the fact that “institutions” are in fact only human beings. We take for granted that things will stay largely the way they are now - which is not too freaking shoddy, by the way - because our experience has been that that’s what always happens.
But our experience is with conventional actors in the political sphere. Even Richard Nixon respected, in the end, the institutions that he had spent a career trying to subvert.
I’ve “forgiven” those among my friends and lifetime acquaintances who supported Trump and whom I’ve never found to be very bright. I seem to have abandoned one longtime friend whom I regard as intelligent for his support. It pains me, and I am certain it will have no impact on him or his future decisions – aside from perhaps reinforcing his commitment to them, because that’s what we humans do in the face of criticism.
But this is not some ordinary “throw the bums out” move, and convincing yourself that it is has endangered the entire earth. Russia, having accomplished its goal of destabilizing the US government by helping to elect Trump, is already moving cruise missiles around in violation of the 1987 I.N.F. treaty, the absolute hallmark of the Reagan presidency.
Trump is clearly bad on a level that many of us seem unable to grasp, or believe. The Idiocracy has been enabled by us.