Matthew Scully. A writer’s responsibility.

Many people are thinking about Donald Trump today. I gave plenty of thought to Trump this morning (see my Facebook post below). But I’m done with Trump for the day.

Now I am thinking of Matthew Scully.

Scully is the speechwriter who prepared Trump’s speech last night, with the intention of making Trump seem as presidential as humanly possible, and of terrifying his fellow citizens into voting for Trump.

I once respected Mr. Scully. He wrote a truly extraordinary and courageous book claiming that conservatives and religious people should be passionate protectors of animal rights.

Now he has put his considerable talents at the service of Mr. Trump. Is he truly confident that Mr. Trump is fit to be President? Honorable? Compassionate?

Is he really sure he’s right, and the many  eloquent  fellow conservatives  who  view Trump as both utterly unfit and terrifyingly dangerous are wrong?

How has he come to view Mr. Trump’s values as in any way consistent with those he once claimed in his own writing as a Christian? A man who has told us, explicitly, in so many words, that he intends to torture innocent people and commit war crimes?

I write for a living. Sometimes I write for corporations. They are not perfect. But I would like to think I would never write to support evil. Others will have to judge.

As for Mr. Scully, he had better be damned sure that his judgment is correct, and his colleagues are wrong. History will judge him. I just hope it has mercy on the rest of us.


My Facebook post

Donald Trump is not my voice. If he were, I would be ashamed to look my family in the eye.

And, no, Hillary is not “just as bad.” She’s a flawed human being and politician who actually listens to people, sometimes even learns from her experience and her mistakes, and often winds up making the right choice from a set of difficult options.

I’ll take that over a man who says “I alone can save you,” believes that he doesn’t need to learn anything about any issue because his instincts are already perfect, and attracts the passionate support of neo-Nazis all over this country.

I’ll take that over a man who says that his supporters would stick with him even if he shot someone in public on Fifth Avenue. If a politician I supported ever said that, I’d bail in a second. It would prove that he holds me in utter contempt.

And, no, Hillary is not *just as dishonest* as Trump. Politifact has been tracking their statements for years. Most politicians, including Hillary, average about 20-25% statements that are mostly or fully false. With Trump it’s 75%. No politician they’ve tracked has EVER lied that often.

Don’t just call Politifact “mainstream media” and close your eyes and ears. They provide all the details you need to evaluate their work for yourself. That’s what a citizen in a democracy does.

And it makes a difference. Let’s say you’re talking about tax policy. Trump has gone all over this country saying our taxes are the highest in the world. If that were true, it would be hard to argue against a tax cut. But it isn’t true: our tax rates are somewhere smack dab in the middle. He rigs the argument by lying.

Worse: Trump stands up before a mob and claims that people were out there asking for a moment of silence for the murderer of those cops in Dallas. It never happened. Even his campaign official, Sam Clovis, says they have no idea where he got that.

Who makes up a claim that incendiary? It’s the kind of thing you’d say if you were trying to start a race war. But he doesn’t care about that, does he?

He doesn’t care about that, or you, or anything but himself.

And, no, Hillary is not “just as bad.”


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