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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?

By |2017-03-08T02:45:01-04:00February 22nd, 2017|Party Politics|2 Comments

News Roundup – Ferguson, Rick Perry, Michael Brown (Update)

Capt. Ron Johnson spoke at a church service for Michael Brown and for the Brown family. There is something about a man who can stand tall and speak his mind. There is something about a man who can win over a hostile crowd by speaking the right words at the right time. Ron Johnson did that. This video is really, really worth a look.

Rick Perry has been indicted for abuse of power. I think this is very interesting. I’m not sure that it will go anywhere but it is very interesting.

It has now been over a week since Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Let’s forget the protests. Let’s forget the violence that has broken out. Let’s concentrate on the shooting of Michael Brown. I don’t want to try the police officer before there is a trial. I would like to keep an open mind, but the Ferguson police department has not disputed accounts that Michael Brown was unarmed when he was shot. It appears that Michael Brown was walking down the street and the police wanted him to walk on the sidewalk. There was a verbal exchange between the police officer in the car and Michael Brown on the street. There was some sort of scuffle. Michael Brown turned and ran. He was shot. He threw up his hands and then was shot multiple times. This is the account that I have pieced together. I’m hoping that this is 100% wrong but I don’t think that it is. The basic question is how do you shoot an unarmed man? Michael Brown was walking in the street one minute and then dead the next. How does that happen in the US?

Update: It appears that what I had pieced together was wrong. Michael Brown was not shot in the back. He was shot six times. None of the gunshot wounds were at close range. All of the shots hit him in the front of his body. 2 shots were in the head. He had four gunshot wounds in his right arm. This is all from the preliminary autopsy, performed by Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by the family. There are two other autopsies that will be done including one by the Justice Department.

The National Guard has been called in to help restore order.

By |2014-08-18T22:14:54-04:00August 17th, 2014|Civil Rights, Party Politics|Comments Off on News Roundup – Ferguson, Rick Perry, Michael Brown (Update)

News Roundup – Texas Rangers, Ariel Castro, Ted Cruz

Rangers win

Texas Rangers beat the Oakland A’s for sole possession of first place in the American League West. 🙂

I’m sorry, but I just don’t understand how Ariel Castro was not on suicide watch. It simply doesn’t make sense. He was just sentenced to something like 1000 years in jail. Anyway, like the coward that he really was, he committed suicide last night. I simply feel sorry for his victims.

From Steve:

And when Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) makes an ad about health care, you can guess what happens next: he makes claims that aren’t even remotely true. (more…)

By |2013-09-07T14:52:50-04:00September 4th, 2013|Pakistan, Party Politics, Sports|Comments Off on News Roundup – Texas Rangers, Ariel Castro, Ted Cruz
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