Re: Everything counts, in large amounts
While I would have wanted (especially if I had been American) a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, my point here is that Trump's campaign / administration team employed and now employ lying, misinformation and distraction, along with crude but effective sales tactics, as a constant and fundamental part of their methodology and potentiated by their canny, skilled use of both the established news media and their own communication channels.
Commentators have, quite rightly, pointed out that many Americans were/are extremely disillusioned with the status quo and responded favourably to TrumpCo's trenchant criticisms. But there never was any commitment to policies (addressing those concerns) that would truly benefit these 'forgotten' voters, but only to gaining power to further the interests of Trump and a small group of very wealthy people. The tag-end of the crowd-pleasing policies being put into practice, are mostly scapegoating distractions. This is why I despaired when comparisons were made with Bernie Sander's campaign. Whatever you think of his politics, he conducted himself with dignity, integrity and honesty. By and large he presented properly-developed policies with some basis in evidence.
When you disparage Clinton with accusations of being more of a liar than Trump (and in each case we must also consider the team working with them), I concede that she is a battle-hardened politician that has survived and succeeded for decades, working in the higher echelons of an inherently corrupt political / electoral system. You can't do that without compromising your integrity. But the issues you flag up are ones that the Republicans and TrumpCo have exaggerated, lied about and misrepresented (some, for decades). I would respectfully ask you to dig in and read some more background on each of these, if you really want to get a proper sense of context. What you find will not exonerate her in all respects, but I hope you will then come to the conclusion that there was no reasonable comparison between TrumpCo and Clinton, Inc. when it came to using credible evidence, proposing substantial policies or simply telling the truth.
I would guess that Clinton knew more about foreign policy issues when she started at high school, than Trump does even now. In almost every respect the man is unsuited to high office, and in terms of knowledge, skills, capability, decency, compassion, toughness of mind and decision-making – Clinton betters him. I say this in full knowledge of the mistakes she has made in office, associations with powerful lobby groups and yes, undoubted dishonesty on some occasions. Let me repeat that I think the U.S. electorate deserved a better candidate than Hillary – not to mention a better electoral system. But of the two, there was no meaningful comparison whatever. Balance, Phil? There is no balance here, the way these scales are weighted.
But the bottom line of this botched, chaotic and disastrous election, and the toxic administration that it brought into being, is lies. Is TrumpCo’s intent to bewilder people, so that they simply don’t trust anyone, anymore? Or is it to keep stoking a self-fulfilling set of myths, for a core base of supporters? Or is Trump just the deluded fantasist at the centre of people who feed his endless need for (hollow) praise, to gain their own place at the high table? In the end, no matter; we just need to stop paying attention to this bullshit.
If I can influence you to reconsider your viewpoint, it is to this end. Proper governance, the democratic process and effective decision-making can only thrive when enough of the electorate, and of both central and local government, value the truth and its foundation for sincere debate. As Mephistro said in this thread: “Critical thinking is the main foundation for a working democracy.”
Somehow, welding together idealism and realism, we need to rediscover our engagement with politics, as if we believed it can make a difference. Telling the truth, and owning up to it when our political opponents tell it, is essential to our recovery from this toxic state of mistrust, disbelief, polarisation and confusion. We can’t expect behaviours to change without sanctions; holding people and organisations to account, somehow, is essential. Nevertheless, rewarding the good guys for doing the right thing is also needed, to rebuild trust in political discourse. There is no simple fix, but fix this we must, or be damned.