Tag Archives: democrat

Wow, what a mess! American Politics

Sometimes (no, most of the time), I scratch my head and try to figure out how we got here. How did we end up with Donald Trump in the White House, and with Republicans with majorities in both the House and the Senate? As with most things these days, I concede that the answer is complex. I think it is easy to blame Hillary Clinton for running one of the worst campaigns in history. We can also blame the media for giving Donald Trump nearly unlimited airtime for months on end. I guess we could blame the Democratic Party for not fostering a selection of good candidates who would be able to relate to America. We can go back and blame the media again for giving us a steady diet of complete drivel – reality TV.

First, I think we must examine our election process. Again, the media play a big role. 30 or 40 years ago, when a candidate was running for president, he would sit down with the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire. Those Americans were chosen to be the gatekeepers. They would weed out the knuckleheads from the serious candidates. If you were an average citizen, you had little or no knowledge of the inner workings behind the politics of Iowa and New Hampshire. It was rare that you ever heard a speech from Iowa. You were not privy to the town hall meetings; nor the county fairs. Now, with 24-hour television, radio and blogs, nothing goes uncovered. Every time a candidate blows their nose, it is reported on any number of networks. We know exactly what type of tissue was used. Overb the last twenty years, the whole political procesd has changed from discussing policies on how to make America better to something much more superficial. Our political process has become the ultimate reality TV show. It is about gaffes, zingers, one-liners, and who had their “oops” moment – like former Texas governor Rick Perry. Bernie Sanders is talking about serious policy issues. Boring! Look, Trump is throwing around a bottle of water pretending to be Rubio. Now, that’s funny. That’s entertaining.

For the most part, you or I could probably give an average political speech without breaking a sweat. You know the average Republican will talk about cutting taxes, restricting abortions, and flexing American military might around the world. The average Democratic speech will cover better job prospects for the average American; higher wages, fighting corporate corruption, clean air and clean water and – never forget, keeping America strong. While there is nothing wrong with any of these goals, Americans have heard it all before. Yet, the standard of living fot the average American has been stagnant, or has fallen, since the late 1970s. Americans are tired of hearing the same old drivel. Many politicians have become nothing more than noise boxes, sounding much like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

There are some politicians who have done some fabulous work. I’m not saying that they haven’t. What I am saying is, that for the average American who is 40 or 50 years old and makes $40,000 a year, not much has changed. He or she has seen Republicans and Democrats in the White House, and they are still working as hard as ever. They have little or no savings. In order to send a child to college, these Americans are going to have to take out gargantuan student loans, which they have no conceivable way of repaying. Here is the problem. This is the exact concern which Donald Trump tapped into. He spoke differently. He never specifically said he was going to do this or that. He spoke in broad terms – “I am going to make America great again.” He tapped into the frustration of middle-class America. He basically told us that he was going to give us the tools so that we could be prosperous again.

Although identifying the problem in our American society is relatively easy, figuring out how to fix the problem is far more challenging. What thoughts do you have?

News Roundup – Romney, Domestic Spying, Zimmerman, Ricin and more

Romney Discusses Jobs And The Economy At St. Louis Campaign Event

Oh, poor Mitt Romney. It seems that every three or four weeks we hear from a somber Mitt Romney. Damn, he was “this close” to winning the election. Remember the original reason that he lost wasn’t that he was a terrible candidate who made the Republican base nervous. No. Instead, it was that the president and Democrats gave Americans stuff. Now, Mitt Romney was on Fox News, telling their sad, tearful conservative viewers that, “I spoke with a leading Democrat, one of the top leaders of the Democratic party and he said, ‘I thought you had won, one week out…'” Romney told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Friday that “[t]his was a very close race. But events occurred. The employment rate dropped below 8% for the first time just weeks before the election. That changed the national mood, the media celebrated that. Had it stayed above 8%, that would have made a difference.” Let’s go over the facts again, just for fun. The presidential race between Romney and Obama wasn’t about voters in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah or Alabama, states in which Romney won handily. Romney had to win the battleground states. He needed to win Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Because of electoral math, Obama needed to win three or four out of these eight states, whereas Romney needed to win six or seven of these eight states. Romney had to win two out of three of the big states (Florida, Virginia and Ohio). Romney won one out of eight. He lost all three big states. The only battleground state that Mitt won was North Carolina. That’s it. Florida was close, but Ohio wasn’t. Now I’m not sure who this Democrat was who believed Romney had won. Clearly he wasn’t informed with the data. Maybe he was watching those same polls that Fox News was publishing. The bottom line is that Romney was a mediocre candidate at best. In order to beat a sitting President, the Republican candidate needed to have really excited the base and changed the conversation in these battleground states. Romney didn’t do either.

Domestic Spying – I’m pretty sure that most of the Patriot Act is bad for us, the American citizens. The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analyzing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications. The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

Over the last week or two we have started to hear more and more about George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. As you remember, Trayvon Martin was walking home from a corner store when he was confronted by Mr. Zimmerman, purportedly because Trayvon didn’t look right. Trayvon was shot. Zimmerman claims self-defense which rests on the Stand Your Ground law. Complex questions surround this case. I promise you that no matter how this trial unfolds and what the final verdict is thousands of Americans are going to be unhappy. This has turned into a classic Right versus Left brawl. Both sides have issues. Neither Zimmerman nor Martin were saints. Lies have been told on both sides. All I can tell you is that this is going to get a lot uglier.

I’m not how ricin has become a popular means of self-expression and protest. In Spokane, Washington, another letter is suspected to be tainted with ricin. Then out of Texas, a wife somehow tried to frame her husband by sending ricin letters to President Obama. The whole thing is very bizarre.