Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Defining Election: Trump's Victory and Hillary's Defeat

There's an old expression about choosing between the devil you know and the devil you don't know, the deplorables went with the one they didn't know. On Tuesday, November 8th, the American People chose the devil they didn't know. They had seen what the Clintons were all about. They remembered all lies to Congress, the FBI, and the American People themselves. The remembered the breaches in national security, the unsecured cell phones, the "pay-to-play" Clinton Foundation and the tens of millions of dollars paid in by corporations and governments and tens of thousands of supporting emails leaked by WikiLeaks. They remembered the illegal gunrunning supplying the very same groups who've been murdering Christians, Kurds, and Yazidis and who have sponsoring the terrorist attacks in Europe and the US, otherwise known as treason.
They remembered Benghazi, Ambassador Stevens and the three brave SEALs. Most of all, I think the American People remembered being called a "basketful of deplorables". Hillary made it personal with that ill thought out remark. It reminds me of another off the cuff remark made by a rich arrogant aristocrat who once told a starving population to go "eat cake". Her name was Marie Antoinette. The French People repaid the slight by removing her head via "Monsieur Guillotine". Fortunately for Hillary, we just voted for her opponent.

Of course, President-elect Donald Trump isn't anything to write home about. He's a brash, abrupt bordering on rude New York real estate mogul. He's famous (or infamous if you prefer) for playing aggressive hardball. He has razor sharp negotiating skills just as one might expect from someone in his chosen profession. He's made some spectacular business deals and more than a few spectacular business blunders, but as he has often said, "no risk no reward" and "'the bigger the risk the bigger the reward" and no one can argue that Trump doesn't go big. "The Donald" has made some very insensitive remarks about women, but then they were nothing out of the ordinary; what's often referred to as "guy talk" (and ladies, don't pretend that you don't do it too). Trump also didn't act like he was going through the motions on his way to a coronation. Throughout the campaign, Trump was able to do what no other candidate on either side could do---he spoke to the American People as one of them. He was able to tap into the mindset of America and then give voice to it. Not even Cruz, the Bushes, Rubio, Paul, Clinton or Sanders could do that (although Sanders perhaps came the closest). Despite all of Trump's business acumen and ability to speak to the hearts of the American People, let's remember that he has no political experience. he is an outsider despised by the political elite. Hillary has over 30 years worth of political experience and was the ultimate insider, which in reality, may have contributed to her downfall given voter sentiment towards Washington and the "Beltway Mob". I guess those of us in "Flyover Country" as the elites call working class America see Donald Trump as our way of saying "up yours".

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Trump was the best choice. I'm not even saying Trump was a good choice. I am, however, saying that to the American People, he was the least worse choice. We need to remember that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are regarded as the two most disliked candidates in recent history. Some want to "blame" the Trump victory on a low turnout by gays, blacks, Hispanics, and Millennials. I don't think so. I think these groups did turn out, after all, they comprise the demographics of today's Democratic Party coalition, along with women of course (the Millennials, America's largest demographic, are actually not mostly Democrats. They are Independents. They tend to hold their noses and vote either Democrat or third party---Green or Libertarian---because the Republican Party doesn't offer them any real alternative). These groups did turn out, but it was the rural voters who surprised everyone and came out in droves. Rural voters tend to mostly working class, conservative but not extreme conservative or rightwing religious zealots.
As a rule, this demographic doesn't vote often since they believe the system is so corrupt their vote wouldn't matter (not altogether an inaccurate description). Oh, and by the way, they're mostly white, and speaking of race, Trump received a substantial number of black votes too. These were individuals who are socially and economically conservative; a large percentage are small business owners. Most are first or second generation middle class. They strongly oppose groups like "Black Lives Matter", which they see as socially destructive and more apt to throw gains by the black community out the window and foster more---not less--race hatred. As an aside, I think this election also showed bobble headed pundits that Obama wasn't as popular as they claimed he was. and exposed their inability to read the public.

Speaking of "Black Lives Matter" and being socially destructive, I presume you've noticed all the protests and riots, looting, and burning by anti-Trump/Pro-Hillary supporters. There's been protests in Los Angeles, Oakland, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City just to mention a few. It has been decades since there's been anything like this (the election of Lincoln comes to mind). The only reasons I can think of is that they are mad because they lost. If it had been the other way around, they would be telling the Trump supporters to get over it; I doubt that it would have even registered on the corporate media's radar. Secondly, all the "free stuff" they thought they were going to get from a Hillary Presidency just went out the window. They are going to be expected to work or be in school to get government (taxpayer) money, and there is a good chance they are going to have to undertake periodic drug screenings. Bummer huh?
Illegal immigration will be cracked down on and ICE and Border agents will finally get to do their jobs (I would suggest "chipping" those deported so that if they're caught again, they get an all expense paid stay at a taxpayer supported institution we call to call "prison"). No more taxpayer support for illegal immigrants either. If they want to be here---great. Get in line and do it the right way like everyone else. Thugs who run around looting and burning may end up regretting their poor choices under a Trump Administration too, and if "The Donald" keeps his word, no more worries about unvetted Muslims coming to America. Hopefully too we will get the hell out of the Middle East and let the residents of that political cesspool sort things out. America needs to focus on taking care of Americans first and foremost.

By the way, I've been reading that since the election, college students---note that carefully---college students have been holding "cry-ins" where they sit and cry, and consol each other over Hillary's loss. Some have been retreating to so-called "safe places". In a few cases, classes have been cancelled and the school (or professor) has ordered pizza so they can sit and talk out their frustrations. Yeah, I'm serious here. I heard one such crybaby say that she voted and lost so she has no other choice but to protest the results. What kind of wussyfied individuals (I'm hesitant to use the term "adults") are we producing in this country? Are they issuing adult size diapers at orientation? The more I see and read the more I am beginning to agree that these sissies be required to spend a couple of years in the military just to grow up. At least they could combine their "safe space" and "cry-in" into the same spot. It's called a "foxhole".

As for the Republican Party, don't be so smug (I'm talking to you Mitch and Paul Ryan). Trump's win wasn't your win. This was not a vindication for Republican values. the American People are not Leftwing or Rightwing extremists. They are not "Communist" wannbes (or to use the misapplied term, "socialist"), nor are they ultra-conservative religious zealots. The majority of Americans are centrists; a little Left on some, mostly social, issues and a little Right, mostly on economic, issues. They believe in fairness and a level playing field for everyone. The only ones who are truly "racists" are the ones running around and calling others "racist". Religion, like sexual orientation, is a personal and private matter, not something to be rubbed in everyone's face. They still admire good pay for good day's work, a good education, and in being patriotic. They dislike having someone else's values or religion being imposed on them and they expect people to speak the common language of this country---English. As for the GOP ruling elite, they did everything they could---and I mean everything---to defeat or discredit Trump from the pre-primary all the way through the closing days of the race.
The Establishment Republicans like Rubio, the Bushes, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell went after Trump every way they could, up to and including disavowing Trump even after he won the nomination and feeding the corporate media misinformation which they were only too glad to use. There were even calls for him to step aside and let a "real" Republican step in (two time loser Mitt Romney kept trying to float his own name).Trump's victory is, if anything, a repudiation of nearly everything the Republican Party elites have been peddling. In fact, it gives Republican-burned people like me a little hope for real change which will revive the GOP of old and keep it relevant. The Democrats have the same opportunity to remake the Democratic Party now that the Clintons have been consigned to the rubbage heap of history to quote Trotsky.

Hillary Clinton represents (or represented if you prefer) the past. To my embarrassment and chagrin, Bill and Hillary Clinton are Babyboomers like myself (though in my defense, they belong to the "First Wave" Babyboomers and not my "Second Wave" cohort). They are the products of the early to mid 1960's. Their idealism, however noble it was originally was in the beginning, has become tainted and corrupted to the point where their self-interest, under the lie of a creating more inclusive society, became an end unto itself. To put it another way, the flower child became crabgrass. But, that doesn't mean that all of the original ideals of my generation (both cohorts) are all bad. There were some wonderful and revolutionary goals achieved like Civil Rights and major improvement in race relations, Women's Rights, LGBT Rights, better working conditions, greater protection for the environment, not to mention better housing and care for the poor and elderly. We also showed that together, we could change foreign policy and end our involvement in baseless wars (and music. We gave you some damn great music thank you very much but we aren't taking the blame for double knit polyester leisure suits). I think the enduring support of Bernie Sanders shows that the potential for change is there, which the Democratic Party needs if it is to survive.

However, we need to remind ourselves that the political system itself is broken; broken beyond repair regardless of who is president (Hillary's participation in rigging the primary results and at the DNC convention against Bernie along with the media's under reporting is a prime example to avoid damaging Hillary of just how broken it is). We have lost our democratic or Constitutional Republic. It's controlled by the Oligarchs; the top one or even two percent of the wealthiest individuals and their corporations. They determine this nation's political agenda, not us. They decide economic policy and what wars or conflicts we will be involved in. Government's job is to sell it to us, which they do through the use of their propaganda wing, the corporate media, which is owned by the Oligarchs. The Oligarchs couldn't begin to care which political party wins or loses. Elections are just diversions and entertainment for them, and why shouldn't it be when they control the ultimate outcome while we're left the satisfaction that we magically accomplished something by ousting one political prostitute for another. Reformers, should they actually get elected, are given busy work to tax their attention and energy to the point where it's simply humanly impossible to push through any real change. Besides, the system itself, with its subcommittees and committees, and so forth; each with its own doorkeeper, limits whatever sees the light of day. Hillary certainly knows this better than anyone. That's why she knew that she could make all the grandiose promises she wanted without any fear of being called on any of them. She knew she could always blame it on the system. Trump's naiveté' may help in that regard. He's a businessman. He's used to wheeling and dealing and breaking rules. He doesn't know how the system functions or that reformers are "suppose" to fail, but if they can succeed, he's got the right job to make it happen.

For those who are interested in changing not just the rules of the game, but the game itself, this election may just be your last opportunity since the Oligarchs will ensure that an unvetted outsider like Donald Trump will never get this opportunity again just like they did when Ross Perot ran an third party candidate when they changed the rules to make it virtually impossible for an Independent or third party candidate to participate in the Presidential debates or get any corporate media coverage. For those optimists who still think they can work within the system, now would be a good time to start in earnest to restore both political parties to what they once were and away from their extremist agendas. For everyone else, now is the time to start thinking about reforming existing election laws to make participatory politics a real possibility, like imposing term limits, serious campaign finance reform and ending Citizens United which created corporate "Frankensteins" with unlimited donation capabilities or at least opening it up to where flesh and blood people have the same option. Removing nearly unachievable signature requirements on Indies or third party candidates who want to run for office (for instance, a Democrat or Republican candidate may need only three signatures to get on the ballot while an Independent or third party will need 500 signatures), allowing voter referendums and initiatives.

Finally, end gerrymandering which allows legislatures to draw their own legislative districts, thus nearly guaranteeing their reelection. As for those wanting to loot, resort to violence, burn and destroy property, it's time to disassociate ourselves from those individuals and groups. Change for the betterment of society is not what they want. Theirs is extortion, thuggery and theft by other means. That's all. It promotes only hatred and its final outcome won't be good for those doing it. It's time to leave that blunder headed behavior and thinking behind. So, are you all up to the task? The time is now.

Oh, and by the way for all those blowhard "celebrities" who were making promises they didn't think they'd have to follow through on, yes, we were listening. So, if you want to keep whatever shred of credibility you've managed to build up over the years, I suggest you start calling around for moving vans now to get the best prices before the holidays.

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