Factual Resistance is Futile
Winston Churchill said "The best argument against democracy is a 5 minute conversation with the average voter." This has never been more evident than in the 2016 Presidential Primaries. We have witnessed, against any semblance of common sense, the ascendancy of a bigoted, misogynistic, and isolationist demagogue who has somehow passed himself off as a man of the people.
While Mr. Trump campaigns, on any given day, he will change his position on a variety of issues. One example is his guarantee that he would ban Muslims from entering the US, which later turned into "just a suggestion". He engages in Twitter wars like a an angst ridden high school kid. He has promised that he has taken no contributions from Super PACs, yet that position, too, has flipped. The actual guarantee he is always pledging should be that there is no guarantee of anything where he is concerned.
Mr. Trump has expressed his pleasure over the housing market collapse, as an opportunity to profit. He has bragged about paying very little in taxes. It's harder to prove this, as he refuses to publicly release his returns. He has somehow convinced working class people that he is their champion when republicans, in general, are anti labor, union busting, taskmasters.
Taking all of these things into account, the truth is Donald Trump is not the problem. In a rational society, he would be as he has been, a celebrity, billionaire, reality TV star. The electorate in this country would never seriously consider such a person for any seat anywhere in American politics. Turn to 2016.
The middle class is shrinking to the point of extinction. Productivity over the last 40 years has skyrocketed while wages have remained stagnant. The banking community has siphoned billions from us and from our government and corporations have seen profits unimaginable, even in the greatest economic periods in our history. Executive compensation has ballooned into the realm of the ridiculous.
Meanwhile, average people are working several minimum wage jobs and cannot live any kind of meaningful existence. Simple products are so expensive, that even the smallest comforts can seem out of reach. At minimum wage, one would have to work almost 2 hours to afford a pound of coffee and a gallon of milk. Those at the top just say "Let them drink water. Problem solved". Then again, depending on where you live, water may kill you.
As is expected and understandable, people are angry and frustrated. They feel helpless and confused about how to change their lives for the better. We are guaranteed the pursuit of happiness. Happiness, itself, is not a guarantee. How can you pursue something that you don't recognize? So few of us know what it is like to live without the stress of having to pay bills and properly feeding our families. The onslaught is constant and unrelenting. We have lived this way for so long that some believe it is normal. It's just the way it is. It should not be.
Now, enter stage right, the demagogue. He puts down the government, and people cheer. He rails against political correctness and he sounds like us. People cheer. He makes promises, that anyone who stops to think for 10 seconds would know not to believe, yet people still cheer. The cheering masses eagerly dismiss the bigotry, misogyny and outright lies. He sounds like us. He must be on our side.
Now, this under qualified self serving buffoon is the republican nominee for president, and we are to blame. The suspension of critical thinking and resistance to fact is suicidal.
On the other side, coming in from the left are a pair of candidates. The first is an accomplished politician, former First Lady, and Secretary of State. She has a great deal of support, especially from those who wish to finally see a president that understands their needs. Someone they can identify with. The first woman to be president. It's a completely valid position, and it is long overdue. The problem is, she's the wrong woman. She's a former corporate officer of one of the worst corporations to which this country is home. Wal-Mart. Employees need to supplement their income with public assistance. They are the working poor. This corporation takes out life insurance policies on their elderly employees, so they get paid when they die. She was apparently ok with this.
I also need to point out that she is the banking industry's best friend. Between corporate interests and the banking community, millions of dollars have poured into her campaign. Again, the faithful eagerly dismiss the reality of what she represents. They want what they want and nobody is going to disturb their willful ignorance with silly facts. "Those are your facts, not ours." they say. Mostly because they don't understand what a fact is. It's exactly the same in both camps of these frontrunners.
I can honestly say, however that the 2 people are very different. If Sec. Clinton is elected president, it is likely that nothing much will change. We will still suffer the same indignities that we do today, for at least 4 more years. If Mr. Trump is elected, I cannot begin to theorize as to the horror show our lives will become. The minimum wage may actually decrease. More jobs will be outsourced. Unions will disappear, and then the middle class will be a memory. I know. He guarantees that that won't happen. He's the best at making deals. We are all likely to be dealt away.
Do I need to mention who the other guy is? The senator from Vermont. The man who claims out loud to be a democratic socialist, in a country where citizens shiver in their shoes at that word. "Socialist, my god." We have been bombarded for decades with propaganda promising us that such a thing is anti-American. Where do you suppose that propaganda came from? Corporations. Yup. In 1961Ronald Reagan made an album warning us of the dangers of socializing medicine. This was also in league with the AMA, who launched Operation Coffee Cup, encouraging housewives to hold neighborhood meetings to listen to the album, and to write congress opposing Medicare. Medicare is socialism. What a terrible thing. Our country is in ruins because of it. No, wait. It's because of these same corporations, including Big Pharma, and banks. Hmmm. 1+1=2. Amazing. This information is readily available and is a fact.
Anyway, this Sen. Sanders is one crazy guy. He wants to socialize medicine, he wants free college. He wants a thriving middle class. All of this, however is his secret, subversive, and insidious agenda to make the lives of Americans more about living than making a living. Bastard. "And who is going to pay for all this free stuff? Nothing is free." Absolutely. That's a true statement. Tax loopholes will be closed, as will ways to hide money in offshore accounts. Jobs won't be the only thing that won't be vacationing in other countries anymore. Corporations will finally start paying what they owe. Yes "owe". Instead of getting refunds after profiting billions.
People say "This country was founded on a tax revolt. We formed this nation to avoid taxes." Sorry. Wrong again. Taxes alone were not the issue. Remember that "without representation" part? Yes. It was about paying taxes while having no representatives of the colonies in Parliament. We have that now. Only it is our own government, which, by the way, is for "the people." Not "the people by way of corporations, banks, and their lobbyists."
Taxes are our responsibility. We live in the wealthiest country on Earth, and this country is free. Freedom comes at a cost, and it isn't only the cost in blood of our service men and women. Every one of us has a responsibility to sacrifice, and in a small way, to live in such a country. When did people get the idea that they shouldn't have to pay taxes? The only thing Sen. Sanders wants to do is make sure those taxes go toward the right things. Instead of corporate welfare, and bank bail outs, it will come back to us in the way of needed medical care and education. Of course there are some that say it cannot be done. "He's dreaming." Even one of our candidates says it can never happen. That's because she's realistic. She knows that it "will never, ever happen" within a system that she is quite content to work with, rather than to change the corrupt system. Why should she? She helped to corrupt it. If you still believe it cannot work, read Robert Reich, economist, and former Secretary of Labor under Clinton, William Jefferson.
How many of the primaries were closed to independent voters? And what did the numbers look like in states with open primaries? It was all planned and worked out ahead of time. The deck was stacked and the presidency is all but bought and sold.
The good senator from the state of Vermont is still fighting, and he will until a democratic nominee is finally chosen. If he should not be the nominee, I still must vote. Not only is it my duty, but if I do not, I have no right to comment on this country's leadership. Neither does anyone else that refuses to cast a ballot. If you are unwilling to take part in the process, then you shouldn't be complaining. Decisions are made by those who show up.
I will vote for Sec. Clinton if she is the nominee. I'm not excited by the prospect. I do believe that it will be much easier to continue building upon Sen. Sanders ideals and find a candidate with his convictions to run in the future. I know I will provoke the ire of the Bernie or Bust crowd, but what are the alternatives for a logical voter? All passion aside, I too dream of a Sanders administration. I wholeheartedly believe he is this nation's brightest hope. That being said, I have to prepare for the possibility that he may get railroaded. The powers working against him are vast.
I have no faith that the same freedom will be possible under a Trump administration, but whomever occupies the office in 2020, we may be able to say "You're fired", and finally get the leader we deserve. That all Americans deserve.