Monday, November 7, 2016

The Last Chance for Sanity to Prevail

By now we're all sick of this election.  It's been going on for about 18 months now.  The good news is that it will probably soon be over.  The bad news is so many Americans seem determined to steer us over a cliff by letting racism, misogyny, and fear-mongering take over.

On Facebook I described the election to me this way:  I hate mashed potatoes but if if you offer me the choice between a pile of mashed potatoes and a plate of shit, I'm going to eat the potatoes.  Why?  Because the other is shit.

Donald Trump is shit.  Wake up and realize that, people.  He's just a shitty, shitty person.  Groping, Twitter flame wars, making fun of a disabled reporter, cheating on his wives, stiffing contractors, a "charity" that buys things for him, a "university" that was a scam, and on and on it goes.  He's not even a very good businessman.  He went bankrupt 4 times.  His casinos went under and gambling is pretty much a license to print money.  The only tax return released--not by him of course--showed he lost nearly a billion dollars!  He attributed it to depreciation, which is a crock.  The accountant in charge of that review essentially said he's a moron.  The ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal said what a fraud he is.  The only publications that will endorse him are one owned by a big Republican donor and the KKK newspaper.  His own party hates him to the point they won't hold joint events with him.  The only ones who'll campaign for him are his kids.

It's ludicrous this guy could represent a major political party in this country.  Far more ludicrous that he is a hair's breadth from being elected to be Leader of the Free World.  This guy who has a worse temperament than Nixon and lacks the intelligence of even George W Bush.  And no matter how terrible he is, somehow he just doesn't go away.  It's like we're living in Bizarro World where bad means good.

It's extremely frustrating to me.  From my example above, I don't think much of Hillary either.  She can try to spout Bernie-isms all she wants but she's obviously in bed with Big Banking.  That free college plan will never happen.  At one time she might have been a progressive, but after the Democrats got their asses handed to them in 1994, she and her husband have basically been Republicans in Democrat clothing.  I don't think she's honest or trustworthy.

And yet, how many people has she been accused of sexually assaulting?  How many Twitter flame wars has she engaged in?  How many times has she gone bankrupt?  How many people with disabilities has she mocked?  Has the Ku Klux Klan endorsed her?

NO! No to all that.  Her "scandals" are all pretty lame.  The Republican Congress spent millions of dollars and months investigating Benghazi, including grilling her for nearly half a day.  They came away with nothing.  The emails, even this latest round, have found no smoking gun.  The Clinton Foundation may have some shady practices but did they buy a giant portrait of Hillary to put in a place she owns?

Yet so many people think these people are equally bad.  It's called "false equivalency."  It happens on both ends of spectrum:  those who lean right and those who lean left.  And it's such bullshit!  I went to a Biggby Coffee a couple weeks ago and a couple of women were talking.  One's like, "He [Trump] is mean, but..."

No buts!  That's where you end that sentence.  He's mean.  He's disgusting.  Unfortunately people keep trying to convince themselves that there is a but to that sentence.  It's just so tiring because nothing Clinton has done equates to the amount of sleaze that is Donald J Trump.

I hate to play the woman card, but obviously that has a lot to do with it.  If Hillary were a straight, white, Christian male (basically her husband) do you think she'd be tied or barely ahead in the polls?  Shit, she'd be up 20 points right now.  We've seen this stuff with Obama too.  While there are plenty who wear their racism like a badge, there's that more subtle form that's just looking for any excuse not to vote for the black guy.  Remember all that "elitist" talk from 2008?  Remember Trump and his fellow Birthers?  Like the emails and Benghazi that never amounted to anything, but that didn't keep the right from dragging it on to this very day, when for instance Sean Hannity suggested the Obamas should go back to Kenya.

It's the same thing here.  A lot of people don't want to say it, but they don't want a woman president.  This despite other major powers like the UK, Germany, Israel, and India have had female leaders and none of them turned into smoking craters and World War III didn't erupt right away.  Let's face it, this is still a country where women make 25% less than men for the same jobs.  It's a country where a guy can serve a measly six months in jail for raping a woman.  It's a country where women are still largely represented by Barbie and Kim Kardashian.  Like the all-female Ghostbusters, many people reject Hillary out of hand simply because she is a she.  The saddest part is plenty of those people are women.  Like those women at the Biggby Coffee, trying to find some justification so they don't have to vote for a woman president.

Part of why Trump has won the nomination and is this close to the presidency is I'm sure because he's famous.  There have been plenty of celebrities who has been elected to office:  Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, and Al Franken for starters.  Schwarzenegger and Ventura were meh at best.  Franken has been OK.  Republicans worship at the altar of Reagan despite that the foundation for a lot of Trump supporters's angst now pretty much started with him:  breaking up unions, moving factories, foreign ownership of companies, rampant mergers, and loose financial regulations all got us to where we are today.  People who talk about Hillary's emails, remember Iran-Contra?  Remember Oliver North's secretary shredding thousands of documents to hide the truth?  If you don't, an episode of American Dad has a catchy song about it.

Locally the city of Detroit had a problem with celebrity candidates when the city council used to be just the top nine or so people who got votes instead of now when it's split into districts.  The problem then is someone who has popular name recognition gets more votes.  So you had some Motown singer elected to the council and longtime TV reporter Charles Pugh elected to council president.  What's Pugh doing now?  Serving time for sexting young boys.  Which demonstrates the point that because someone is famous doesn't mean they should be elected to political office.

Another sad thing is I should be in the bag for Trump.  I'm white, I'm rural, I'm pretty much middle-aged, and the "economic recovery" has left me behind.  Here's the thing:  if Trump weren't Trump, I'd actually consider voting for him.  Not for the wall (which won't happen) or some vague promise of "making deals" to bring back jobs and certainly not for cutting Obamacare (which actually benefits me now that I'm poor) but cutting the small business tax from 35% to 15% would be great.  If Hillary would promise to do that then I'd be thrilled because the IRS counts my book sales as "small business" and taxes the shit out of them.  It's so stupid in this country that we tax small businesses so much higher than big businesses because the big businesses can afford to use all the loopholes.  Big businesses still create jobs but small businesses are important too and that tax rate is pretty punitive.  Self-interest would guide me towards voting for Trump--except he's such human garbage.  I'd rather vote for his daughter than him; she seems to be the Lisa Simpson of that family.

More than that is the whole Republican platform is based on repression unless you're a white, straight, Christian male.  I'm most of those things, but that doesn't mean I'm so selfish that I think America is only for me and my kind.  It probably goes back to childhood.  The one thing in common for the Rebel Alliance, United Federation of Planets, Optimus Prime, Captain America, Superfriends, GI JOE?  Fighting for freedom.  Freedom is the right of all sentient beings.  Not just those who look like me or have the same genitalia as me or worship the same god I do.  I can't say that's not the America the Founding Fathers envisioned because the Founding Fathers only allowed voting for white, male landowners and counted black people as 3/5 a person.

I know I said this before on probably the Grumpy Bulldog blog, but when voting it's not all about ME.  We need to take a break from narcissism and think about other people.  The Republican platform is great for Trump.  It's great for the Koch Brothers.  It's not great for my family.  It's not great for a lot of people in Detroit.  It's not great for most of America in general.

It's time for people to come to their senses.  Trump is shit.  His promises are shit.  He's not going to build the stupid fucking wall.  He's not going to deport millions of people.  Maybe he can keep Muslims out but that's not going to stop terrorism, especially the domestic kind.  His sort of hateful fear-mongering is only going to inspire more violence.  There's no need to carpet bomb Syria or torture the families of ISIS terrorists; ISIS is already on the decline, being pushed out of Mosul.  Unemployment is at 5%, the economy grew at 2.9%, so it's not like we're in the Great Depression.  As I've said previously, he can't bring jobs back here.  Between global competition and technology a lot of those good jobs are lost forever.  He's garbage, his party platform is garbage, and his promises are garbage.

Sure Hillary isn't a great person.  She's done some shady things.  But then who of us is perfect?  And yeah she has a vagina.  Deal with it.  I mean come on, she's 68 so you don't have to worry about PMS or her getting knocked up, so what's the problem?  If Obama has shown anything it's that a non-traditional president can do just fine.  I mean sure I don't like everything Obama's done but this time in his presidency, W had the economy collapsing around him and two seemingly endless wars raging.  Bill Clinton was impeached for getting BJs in the Oval Office.  So unless the economy tanks and some intern admits to giving him BJs, he's doing better than his predecessors.  They myth that the president has to be an old white guy (a myth Hollywood strangely keeps perpetuating even through the Obama administration) is a myth.

So let's stop being stupid like those women in the Biggby Coffee or like Tony Laplume on his blog trying to convince ourselves that there's an actual choice here.  Are you voting for shit or are you voting for a food you don't like but can probably force yourself to stomach?  It's really not as difficult as you're making it seem America.

BTW, comments should be turned off.  See you on the other side.  I might be planning a move to Canada.


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