A Rebuke Of Alex Schiller’s List

It has been a while since I’ve written. Simply put, I needed a break. So I took a break. I was planning to return after this election, but something irked me so badly yesterday, that I decided to return earlier than planned. So, on November 7th, 2016, the day prior to Election Day, I give you “A Rebuke of Alex Schiller’s List”.

Who is Alex Schiller you ask? Good question. I’m not sure anyone knows. Why does someone that apparently no one can identify need a rebuke? Well, because of something going viral on the Internet. I came across it posted on the walls of several Facebook friends, and it can also be found on The Daily KOS. Here it is:

Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him. Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem. Immigrants don’t pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn’t pay taxes. He’s a business genius. Hillary’s foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She’s a crook. Trumps foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State). So savvy… Put him in the white house. Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same “small loans” he received would be worth $12 billion today… without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He’s a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She’s a criminal. Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible. Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he’s just telling it like it is.

Your arguments are thin. Your ignorance of reality is shocking. Your double-standards are offensive, and your willingness to blindly support him and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. Your opinion is not fact. Your memes are not news articles. And your hypocrisy is not a platform.

Alex Schiller

This is a classic example of an “Internet/Facebook Political Argument” in which a person simply agrees with the sentiment expressed, so he/she makes zero effort to substantiate the claims made, then goes on to post it, spreading it to other like minded individuals. Said like minded individuals usually repeat the process until it goes viral. Mind you, a good argument will list sources, but typically, the “Internet/Facebook Political Argument” lists no sources or links to substantiate any claims it makes. In the spirit of fairness, I think that most people, at some point or another, have done this. Sadly, however, it is becoming more and more common place. It is also important to note that it is most certainly not unique any one political side. I’ve seen such statements made by liberals and conservatives alike.

The “argument” put forth in this statement is incredibly weak and borders on being utterly ridiculous. So much in fact, I literally felt compelled to respond. With minimal time spent researching, and combined with a dash of simple common sense, I believe that most rational people can reach the same conclusion that I have: the comparisons made are simply absurd. Here is my breakdown point by point.

“Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him.”

Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice not because he “cheated on his wife”. Trump was caught on tape bragging about his sexual conquests to another man. He was never indicted for sexual assault, let alone convicted of sexual assault. This is an absurd comparison.

“Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem.”

Hillary Clinton received multiple requests for more security in Benghazi.  Security requests that she says never reached her desk. She lied to the American public, telling them the attack was in response to “inflammatory material posted on the Internet”, while telling her daughter the truth: “two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al-Queda like group”. She also made a phone call to Mohammed Magariaf, at the time the president of Libya, acknowledging the truth, as well as the Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil  admitting her lie to him, saying “we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack, not a protest”. The outrage over Clinton and Benghazi was because:

  1. She was negligent in her duty by ignoring repeated requests for additional security
  2. She lied about what happened to the American public, while telling family members and foreign leaders the truth

Which two Republicans were in office? Why weren’t they mentioned? The “2 Republicans” were Ronald Reagan and GW Bush. When did either Reagan or Bush:

  1. Due to negligence, ignore requests for additional security which resulted in the deaths of Americans
  2. Lie about any attacks on Americans, intentionally giving false reasons for said attacks

The answer is never. This is an absurd comparison.

“Immigrants don’t pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn’t pay taxes. He’s a business genius.”

First of all, who wants to round up and kick out immigrants? Perhaps the author means illegal immigrants? If so, why isn’t the fact that said immigrants are in the country illegally acknowledge? There is a stark difference between an immigrant who legally moves to a country and an immigrant who illegally sneaks into a country.  Secondly, why isn’t the author precise?  Who is running for President that wants to round up immigrants who don’t pay taxes and kick them out of our country? Until such clarification is made, the first two sentences are nothing more than gibberish.

In regard to the accusation of Mr. Trump “not paying taxes”, please allow me to explain a simple oversight on the author’s part. Not filing a tax return and not playing any taxes is illegal and is absolutely NOT the same as filing a tax return and using the tax code to reduce the tax you pay (perhaps even reducing it to zero). One is ILLEGAL (you know that word, left out when describing the immigrants being refered too) and one is NOT ILLEGAL. This is an absurd comparison.

“Hillary’s foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She’s a crook. Trump’s foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State. So savvy… Put him in the white house.”

Regarding the Clinton Foundation, I’ll quote the BBC’s comment about it:

“An organisation that brings in billions of dollars in donations from around the world and is operated by an ex-president and a possible future president who served at a high level in another presidency creates all sorts of possible conflicts of interest.”

You may read the entire article here if you so desire. The Trump foundation is completely different. But please, don’t take my word for it, let the NY Times explain the difference to you. So, because the two charities are completely different, because the author doesn’t even mention that they are completely different, nor does the author compare the differences, I will say yet again, this is an absurd comparison. Is anyone starting to see a pattern here?

“Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same “small loans” he received would be worth $12 billion today…. Without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He’s a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She’s a criminal.”

I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to find where this information came from, to no avail. So I will simply say the following about the two candidates. Donald J. Trump has successfully run businesses for decades and has a net worth of  3.7 billion dollars. He is currently the subject of a federal class action lawsuit by former Trump University students. Hillary Clinton is a lawyer and career politician who was been investigated for wrong doings so many times (Whitewater, Travelgate, Cash for Cattle), I won’t bore you with all the details. If you like, you can entertain yourself with seventeen of the top “scandals” she was involved in, but I am going to just go with this fact: she was under investigation by the FBI while running for office. The investigation did not clear her of any wrong doing, it simply recommended not to indict for what she did. I’ll simply say again, this is an absurd comparison.

“Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible.”

Trump not releasing his tax returns is not illegal. Trump taking a billion dollar loss (which may not even be an accurate statement) is also not illegal. Trump has not been under FBI investigation. In regard to the statement “Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes”, please excuse me for a moment, as I need to take a minute to stop laughing. Alright, I’ve composed myself, and I’m back.

Hillary did not take responsibility for her private email servers, telling Chris Cuomo “No, I”m not willing to say it was an error in judgment because nothing that I did was wrong. It was not in any way prohibited”. She only “took responsibility” once, well, the truth came out, saying “What I had done was allowed, it was above board. But in retrospect, as I look back at it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts. One for personal, one for work-related emails. That was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility“.

That was the extent of her “taking responsibility” because even after FBI Director Comey stated “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”, he went on to say “we are expressing to Justice our view that no charges are appropriate in this case.” Why Comey made this recommendation will likely go down as one of the greatest political mysteries in history, but none the less, the Justice Department under Loretta Lynch followed his recommendation. No surprise there. Needless to say that most reasonable people would  hardly conclude that Hillary Clinton “took responsibility” for actions. Another absurd comparison.

Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he’s just telling it like it is.

Your final comment about Mr. Trump isn’t a comparison, it’s simply a statement, and I find that amusing. It’s very telling that you made no comparison between Trump and Clinton in this regard. Perhaps you are smart enough to know that Hillary Clinton has told so many lies, it wasn’t prudent to even mention her. Well, since you brought up Trump in a broad accusation without listing any specific examples for repudiation, which in and of itself makes your statement absurd, I’ll give you a link to seven (just seven) of Hillary Clinton’s more famous lies.

So, to use Alex Schiller’s own words regarding this statement, YOUR arguments are thin. YOUR ignorance of reality is shocking. YOUR double-standards are offensive, and YOUR willingness to blindly support HER and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. YOUR opinion is not fact. YOUR memes are not news articles. And YOUR hypocrisy is not a platform.

This rant lists no sources to verify the claims it makes, yet people have caused it to go viral. Why? Most likely for no other reason than people like what they are reading. Rather than spending the time to research what is said and verify it’s accuracy, people simply copy it, paste it, and purport it to be the GOSPEL TRUTH! That’s sad, because had people actually spent just a little time, they may have realized how weak the statement actually is. The author likely knows this, which is why no references were given. I’m sure the author is also aware of this simple truth, which the Internet proves time and time again:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” – Joseph Goebbels

Those of us who follow politics closely, who are open and forthcoming about our opinions and positions, realize almost immediately the following truth when we read something like this:

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

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