Why It’s OK to Show Your Anger

Go to the profile of Mark Suster
Mark SusterBlockedUnblockFollowFollowing
2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs — I’m on Twitter at @msuster
Sep 177 min read

Why It’s OK to Show Your Anger

There’s an old saying in polite circles in the United States that there are two things one should never talk about a social gatherings: Politics & Religion.

I think this is so engrained in the psyche of many Americans that in times of great need many still won’t speak out publicly about what they say privately. With just over 50 days until we elect a new president of the US it’s critical for the interests of yourself and your fellow citizens that more of you speak up.

Collectively we have a voice. If we stand together and make it heard it can have an impact. Any one individual — myself included — will not move the needle. But if more of us in the tech sector speak up and in unison and constantly for the next 50 days it can change minds, encourage others and hopefully get amplified by the press to reach others.

Statistically many of us in the tech & VC industries live in California, New York, Massachusetts or Washington where our presidential votes are likely to have no impact due to the electoral college system. We must vote anyways.

But it’s our voices that need to be heard and now — not as a sign of depression on why you can’t believe others voted in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. Your moment is now, not after the equivalent of a BREXIT protest vote. Use your blogs, use social media, use the TV media.


Donald Trump is a proven race-baiter and demagogue. He tells lies so bald-faced that they simply can’t be equivocated with the normal political candidates statements.

I know what you all say privately — I’ve heard it. But unless we all speak out publicly it will have no impact and this election is beyond the normal left/right policy differences any of us have.

Policy and party identity aside, can you really stomach watching our country elect a bigot?

His outrageous statements are so numerous and he adds so many new ones each week that the media simply focuses on the latest controversy rather than holding him accountable for the entirety of his past.

Why does it matter?

He is Racist.

There are no other words for it.

  • For years he fomented the birther movement questioning whether Barack Obama was born in America including as recently as last year. This was patently racist and an outrageous lie. I shouldn’t have to list any other points — this should be disqualifying of a US president. He then outrageously tried to blame Hillary Clinton for starting the birther movement and claiming that he ended it. The evidence of how preposterous this is is irrefutable. Can you accept a person for president that you simply would never hire at your company for being such an obvious liar?
  • He kicked off this campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and murderers. He then said, “some, I assume, are good people.” This is racist — there are no other words for it.
  • He called for an outright ban on all muslims entering the United States and suggested we keep a database to track those who are here. Our country was founded on religious freedom. Full stop. Every religion deserves to be treated equally.
  • In attacking a Muslim Gold Star family whose son had been killed in Iraq and honored for his service, Trump insinuated that only the husband spoke because he wasn’t letting his wife speak.
  • He suggested that a judge who was presiding over a legal case against Donald Trump had a conflict because he was of Mexican heritage even though he was born in the US.
  • He refused to talk badly about David Duke, a known white supremacist who has endorsed Trump, because he wants the votes of these people. “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.” “I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke” which is a lie. Duke’s response to this? He touted Trump’s strength on immigration, breaking up “Jewish dominated lobbies and super PACS that are corrupting and controlling American politics.” Nice, huh?

He’s a Misogynist

We don’t even talk about it any more because his controversies are so numerous. He mocks women’s appearances as a reason they should be unelectable but the dog whistle of “would you elect a woman?” is so transparent.

  • He said of candidate Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face, would anybody vote for that?”
  • He attacked Megyn Kelley for “having blood coming out of her wherever,” which is an insinuation that she was attacking him not for misogynistic comments about women but because she was having her period. He proved her point for her. He also called her a bimbo publicly.
  • He constantly says that Hillary Clinton lacks stamina and “doesn’t look presidential.” This ad hominem attack is clearly directed at the fact that Clinton is a woman.
  • He said that women who seek abortions should be subjected to some form of punishment.
  • He has said openly that men and women shouldn’t serve together in the military. So he’d like to take a step backward for gender equality. And implies that “sexual assults” [sic] would naturally happen with men and women together.

He’s a Foreign Policy Idiot

  • He has said that he thinks non-nuclear countries should have their own nuclear weapons and specifically said he has no problem if South Korea, Japan and Saudi Arabia go nuclear. He has questioned why the US would develop weapons unless we were prepared to use them preemptively. He has said he wouldn’t take using nuclear weapons in Europe off the table and that his goal on nuclear weapons was to be “unpredictable.”
  • He has constantly kowtowed to Vladamir Putin praising his strong leadership and even encouraged him to hack Hillary’s emails. He didn’t even know or acknowledge that Putin has incursions into the Ukraine and had annexed Crimea.
  • His policy statements on ISIS is the bomb the hell out of them (even though through urban warfare they live and fight amongst civilians). He’d “bomb the shit out of them” and “blow up their oil fields.”
  • He has claimed that our generals are weak and failures and that he, Donald Trump, knows more than the generals

He Regularly Encourages Violence

  • He openly contemplated violence against Hillary Clinton, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks, although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know.” In case you don’t understand this dog whistle — he’s implying that proud gun owners might decide to kill Hillary. He’s savvy enough to imply that versus say it but no reasonable person could be confused. He also said that her guards should stop carrying guns and “let’s see what happens!” (Clinton, of course, has never called for a gun ban — just common sense controls)
  • He has regularly encouraged violence on the campaign trail saying, “Guys like that would be carried out on a stretcher” and “I’d like to punch him in the face.”
  • After speakers at the Democratic National Convention spoke he said, I can’t make this up “hit a number of those speakers so hard, their heads would spin.” “I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy” (referring of course to Michael Bloomberg, who is 5' 8"). He then tries to play off that he means “hit” as in politically, not physically, but how can anybody draw a distinction when he also wants to “punch a guy in the face” for speaking out at his rally?

Summary — What You Need to Do

I don’t need to go on. You’ve read it all and watched it all and you know how he’s manipulating the media and now trying to appear normal.

You cannot create any false equivalency about Hillary Clinton. People are angry because, what, she didn’t tell us that a doctor diagnosed her as having pneumonia? Whether or not she should have — there is no equivalency to Donald Trump. Mistake in judgment? Probably. But it’s dangerous to compare this even 2% to what Trump is doing.

I am in favor of Hillary Clinton for president and I have many policy reasons for wanting to support her and I have some disagreements with her policies, too. I’m not focused on that here because that’s normal political debate not worthy of a call-to-action on my blog. I have written about some of my political views before — I am a centrist in a world driven to both edges on policy.

Yes, I know Democrats are frustrated by Hillary’s email fiasco and rightly so. Yes, I know Republicans generally dislike and distrust her.

But no serious person who cares about the stability and stature of the United States and nobody who cares about equality of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or physical disabilities can seriously endorse Donald Trump.

This is not cocktail party banter. This is not left vs. right. This isn’t a reality show where the result has no consequence on life.

Donald Trump is a bigot and a race-baiter who encourages violence. He has no sophistication on understanding world order or international relations and doesn’t even care to spend time trying to learn it. He has not released his tax returns or a summary of them so we can’t know the full extent to which he has abused tax laws or whether he has lied about donations to charities. He could release a summary but hasn’t.

He cannot be president. We cannot be silent. Please speak up publicly. Please acknowledge that his presidency would be bad for our country, bad for business, bad for entrepreneurship, bad for international relations.

I feel confident Hillary will win and am not panicked. But we shouldn’t take it for granted. We must all do our parts.

Please vote. And please don’t waste your vote on a protest candidate this year. It’s too important. Express dissatisfaction in other ways.

If you need convincing that Johnson or Stein is a wasted vote please read this great post by Clay Shirky.

Photo via Visual hunt

  • BlockedUnblockFollowFollowing
    Go to the profile of Mark Suster

    Mark Suster

    2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to salesforce.com). Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs — I’m on Twitter at @msuster

  • Follow
    Both Sides of the Table

    Both Sides of the Table

    Perspectives of a 2x entrepreneur turned VC at @UpfrontVC, the largest and most active early-stage fund in Southern California. Snapchat: msuster

    Previous Post
    Next Post