Dear Trumpers

From a Google Image Search – Washington Post – Trump rally in Cincinnati

Dear Trumpers,

I wish I could get through to you. I wish I could understand why you don’t see the “wrongness” of Donald Trump, why you can’t see that the way he behaves is selfish and un-American and that he should be removed from his place of honor as the 45 th President of the United States of America. I wish you didn’t fall for the hype that he is some sort of messiah, appointed by God to get rid of the notion of religious freedom that is a legacy of our founders, and to turn America into a Christian nation, a nation that will make sure that no other religion can survive in America. The biggest problem with this is that these particular Christians could dictate how we live and how we school our children; they could, given their belief in their own righteousness, begin an inquisition if they felt it was necessary. They have an authoritarian bent.

Whenever someone interviews a Trump follower out there in America somewhere they always say they like what Trump is doing. They always praise the healthy state of the economy. But is it really all that healthy? People have jobs but the jobs don’t pay well. These are not the old jobs that Trump promised to bring back to you. These are not the old salaries that Trump promised you, the old job securities.

Many people still have to work more than one job. If you are well paid you are most likely quite happy with Trump’s economy but there are signs that this may not be a solid, lasting economy. The deficit is sky high. Republicans, before Trump took office, complained mercilessly about the deficit. You folks agreed with them that we all needed to tighten our belts. Well everyone was asked to tighten their belts except the wealthy who got a whopping tax cut. If you are one of those people who benefited from the tax cut, I understand why you might feel elated. But I bet you did not get that enormous tax cut; you probably got the same measly one the rest of us got.

Trump is supposedly draining the swamp by closing agencies, reversing regulations, not replacing people who leave or who retire thus depopulating government agencies. But now our meat has pieces of metal in it and must be recalled. Or our frozen food has pieces of plastic and must be recalled, or glass. This may have happened occasionally in the past, but it is happening with greater frequency. Why? Could it be that rules no longer require inspections at food-producing factories? Could it be a lack of inspectors? Is our food produced in other nations and shipped here? Why are so many small planes falling out of the sky onto houses, and highways, and rivers? Is it because aviation regulations are no longer in place? I don’t know the answers, but each time I hear about these things on the news I wonder. Well at least you get to own as many guns and trucks as you could ever want.

Trumpers, I see you at rallies and you do not look like you are all wealthy, although you do look like your lives are in the comfortable range. Did you find that your wages rose appreciably after the tax cuts? Is your town full of factories that came back from their “world tour”? Do all your children have great jobs? Do they live nearby or far away? Are their lives better than yours were? Did some of your grown children have to move home? We do feel like we have climbed out of the Great Recession. But are we on a path that will offer your children a good life that is steady, that they can count on for life and in their old age. Will your children’s children be better off than they are? How will that happen?

Will we have enough to eat now that our farmers are being used as pawns in a trade war with China? Is China being hurt by the trade war? Did you know that in Brazil they are burning up the jungle so they can produce soy beans for China to replace the ones they no longer get from us? Did you know that without that canopy of carbon-dioxide-eating trees, trees that turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen, the climate change that is not happening is likely to get far worse, the oceans which are not dying are likely to heat up until nothing we would recognize as food can live there? What if our farmers can no longer afford to be farmers What will happen to our food supply? 

Trump tells you this is all lies and you believe him, but what if he really is the one lying? Are you absolutely certain that everything people besides Trump say is “fake news”? You certainly sound convinced but do you ever wonder? I, on the other hand, am not at all convinced by Trump’s anti-intellectual rantings. I think if it comes to food wars or trade wars that China can outlast us. They are an authoritarian nation. They do not value human lives the same way we used to. They can afford to lose millions of people, and grief will just not be allowed.

You resent immigrants, apparently legal or undocumented. You felt they were using up our benefits (which you were told were about to run out and which would barely cover “real” Americans). You believed they were taking your jobs, (jobs that were also running out). You did not blame the economy, the recession caused by bad business practices in the stock market and in mortgages, you blamed your neighbors who you perhaps did not even know were undocumented. You gave Trump permission to be as racist and inhumane as he liked and he proved well up to the task (separating children from their parents at the border – and no, Obama did not do that). Well perhaps you are enjoying the fact that fear is making things real quiet on the undocumented immigrant front, but you are also changing America beyond recognition. Institutionalizing meanness will not serve us well down the road. Do we really want our neighboring nations in South America to hate us? Could that not come back some day to bite us in our butts (what if we need help some day)?

Do you like the behavior of your paragon? You said that you like his irreverence, his bullish manners which make him sound like he is not afraid to bad-mouth anyone (except dictators). Well he certainly hates Democrats and he is not afraid to call them names and make everything they believe in sound either ridiculous or illegal. Can you even see that all the while it is Donald Trump who is trashing the Constitution? Don’t you hear the evidence that he wanted to cheat in the 2020 election so he bribed the leader of a foreign nation, a nation called Ukraine, a nation that is trying to become a democracy. I hear politicians say that they think you cannot understand what Trump did. I think you understand it very well but you refuse to care about it. 

I wish you could accept that your hero is tarnished by his inability to understand the Constitution, or his refusal to abide by it. Why does he want absolute power? What will he do with it? How will that make American great for your children? Please listen and think before you let America become a nation none of us will recognize. There may not be much time. 

Why do I feel like I just entered a paint ball tournament? This is a view from the cheap seats.

When Winning Means Losing Blame Republicans

From a Google image Search – National Review

The Republican Party sold itself lock, stock, and barrel to the corporations and to the Americans who used the corporate system to become the small class of billionaires who now hoard the largest share of American wealth. Perhaps the GOP got nervous when they saw the factories leaving and sheltering profits elsewhere. It was certainly enough to make us all nervous. They decided to go all-in on deregulation and to reverse environmental rules, things they felt would tempt businesses to return. They focused on robbing unions of their power, and of making people who need government help to live a decent life fearful that the government would no longer be able to pay for a safety net. 

Conservatives and Evangelicals worked together, a bizarre wedding of convenience, once considered unthinkable until Evangelicals rewrote the Bible. The new Evangelical Bible pronounces that the wealthy are rich because they are chosen, because God loves them better than he loves the middle class or the poor. God wants them to live in mansions and own jets and yachts, all the better to convince people who worship other gods that ours is the most powerful. Based on what we all learned in Sunday school this is the exact opposite of what Jesus would do?

Once the people at the base of the party, hoi polloi for sure, but in a democracy numbers are important, formed the Tea Party to parrot the sentiments of the Republican talking points the battle became far more lop-sided. The Republicans, through the careful planning with their wealthy allies now had the tools in place to unseat the Democratic Party, or at least make them powerless. In order to do the biding of their corporate overlords and their newly zombie-ized base they had a list of priorities to take care of. They had to rig the vote so Republicans could hold on to a power they were in danger of losing. They had to deregulate. They had to deny climate change so they could reverse climate laws. They had to constantly remind their base that minorities were about to dominate America and that immigrants were cashing in at the expense of taxpayers. They had to pass that obscene tax cut which made America more top-heavy then ever. They had to demonize the other party. They had to isolate America from our allies and trash the media, make it impossible to tell who was right and who was wrong. They had to pillage the countryside (privatize public lands) and rape the women (get them under their thumbs). 

It has been a masterful plan and with the Democrats subpoenaing documents and witnesses every day and being flatly denied rights that our Constitution clearly assigns to them as the majority in the House of Representatives, with one fell swoop an opposing Party seems to be side-lined and even a little ridiculous, and the American Constitution is violated and rendered obsolete. Even today as Corey Lewandowski finally appears before the House committee, he is under orders from the president to not testify to anything substantive. But Corey Lewandowski never worked in the Trump administration, only the Trump campaign, so the only power Trump has over Lewandowski is that of a mafia godfather. Even with a thug running America the Republicans stick to their master plan and smile the annoying smile of men who consider themselves powerful.

But the Republican Party is living in a fantasy world of their own making. Those factories are perfectly happy where they are. They have no intention of repatriating their dollars unless someone finds a way to make America once again the center of prosperity. You cannot isolate a nation our size in a world full of ships and jets. When the Ebola virus looked like it would cause a pandemic we should have learned this lesson. You can end immigration, you can end tourism, you can end trade (no you can’t, these guys are capitalists) but you cannot guarantee that nothing bad (like 9/11) will ever again happen in America. Even something as tiny as a mosquito could undermine your plan. You can have your righteous snit and pledge that the world will not turn us into a poor nation because we will stop helping poorer nations around the world. If they don’t like us we will take our toys and go home. We will no longer invest dollars in foreign aid to people who apparently hate us. But isolationism and white supremacy and pretending to turn America into a Capitalist Fantasy Park will not work. 

What will work is to invest in America and the American people, to offer training and opportunity, to open the doors once again to immigrants whose striving could energize us all. If we subsidized the American people for a while, if we spend money to make money, we can be an engine of innovation and usher in a new age of prosperity. I think this new prosperity comes through both innovation to save the planet and innovation to leave the planet. If the Republicans succeed, if they “win”, America will lose.

Republicans Need a Timeout – Economics

Dem Rep Bear big mcdanielregister.com

“Republicans are the root of all evil.” – me

We have a Republican president right now and the economy looks pretty healthy but I think this will end up being like those people who look out and see a nice day and decide that there is no such thing as climate change. A good economic moment does not always prove to be a long-lasting trend. Even if this economic growth moment does continue, which is “devoutly to be wished,” I am not sure that it proves Republicans are good for our economy. This growth began under President Obama and it is a global, not a national tendency.

There are forces at work in current Republican policy that could, in fact, be disastrous to our economy. Here are some reasons why Republicans need an economic timeout. First of all, in America we have the passage of that ridiculous tax “reform” bill. It is not like the wealth inequality in America is hidden. We all know it exists. There are books, and charts, and news articles showing us, quite graphically, about the 1% and the 99%. The 1% hold an inordinate proportion of America’s economic wealth, leaving the 99% to struggle to hold on to middle class status. So what do we do? We pass a bill that sends even more of America’s wealth to that 1%. We make that gift permanent. We send a pittance to the middle class, so they will not make an outcry, but we allow the Republican Congress to make that token contribution temporary. (As they face the 2018 election Republicans are having second thoughts and are seeking to make middle class tax cuts permanent.)

wealth inequality sm wikipedia

from Wikipedia

We let Congress try their “trickle-down” nonsense economics one more time because we really have no choice. The Republicans love trickle-down and they are in charge of our government and its purse strings. We watch Congress give corporations huge tax cuts and perks. We hear them assure us that these companies will share their newly purchased wealth with us. (They bought this wealth with giant-sized contributions to Republican campaigns.) But because corporations must share their wealth with their stockholders and use it to fund business expansion and to line the pockets of their owners and CEOs, there is little left to actually trickle-down to workers. (Sadly the whole idea of trickle-down economics now has echoes of those “golden showers” that Republicans have introduced into our daily conversation through their president, Trump. It’s an accidental analogy but strangely parallel in moral tone.)

Trump has boasted about the number of executive actions he has taken to overturn regulations on business, on banks, and regulations on pollutants which contribute to climate change. He calls this “winning”. The House of Representatives has worked diligently to deregulate business and banks and to change laws about drilling for fossil fuels. Republicans insist that if we regulate business, business will flee to a nation without regulations. Many of our businesses have migrated to other nations without regulations so this looks like an accurate analysis of the situation. But eventually these nations will begin to pass regulations. Workers, as their economic position improves, will require it. World opprobrium to a lack of safety and rights for workers will require it. Capitalism is a useful economic construct, but only if it is harnessed for the public good. Capitalists are human beings and human beings have a dual nature. Every enterprise that can contribute to the public good can also be bent by our more nefarious human motives to contribute to the selfish desires of individuals with power. Without regulation Capitalism has no conscience; its only goal is profit. In the short term we may be “winning”, but in the long term we may be “screwed”.

Money is useful but no human society should be only about economics, about stockpiling money, about being the richest society. Rich societies call forth the anger of poorer societies and this envy leads to revolutions and war. Societies are about governing people, keeping cultural forces in balance so that the society can survive and remain stable. Societies have to take human rights and needs into consideration. If rights are not shared by those who are governed by a society then that society will eventually die out or be overthrown. The Republican Party seems to be in favor of wealth inequality as an oddly-rationalized principle. They seem to have decided that people have money because they are, in truth, superior to most citizens and even, they contend, favored by God. (Yikes! Shades of the Divine Right of Kings.) Because these people are “elites” (creators) in every way they should be treated with deference, they should be offered privileges as tokens to keep them happy and perhaps to keep them from going elsewhere.

Every time we have removed regulations that rein in Capitalism some brilliant but twisted money savant has come up with a way to step beyond the lines of investment common sense and invent some money-spewing scheme that eventually explodes in our faces and delivers us into economic recession or depression. Herbert Hoover, Republican, bears the blame for the Great Depression. If we look to the administrations before his because the roots of an economic downturn are often found in the previous administration we find Warren Harding, Republican, in office from 1921-23 and Calvin Coolidge, a Republican in office from 1923-1929. Before our most recent Great Recession we find the Republicans once again in office in the person of George W Bush. The housing boom had been much discussed in the media but because of Republican laissez faire business attitudes no one stepped in to investigate or regulate. This one, when it exploded, even involved the banking business, traditionally opposed to risky ventures, but so in need of economic drama that good sense left the building. And now the Republicans are also removing restraints Obama put on banks that crossed over into what was basically thievery. We are told in the media that some of the same risky practices that burst the last economic bubble are lining pockets once again and we can again look to the mortgage market.

Republicans tout their own prowess as economists. So while they always push policies of Conservative economic practices, while they rattle on about debt and deficits, and balanced budgets and tightening our belts, they always contend that the belts that need to be tightened are the belts of the neediest members of our society. They always advocate cutting the safety nets for groups that not financially able to take economic risks such as the poor and seniors, the disabled and the sick. Those programs are actually all that stands against a total abdication of the American soul. Without them, if we do not protect our weakest members, we are not a society, we are just an economy and a war machine. And not even a good economy, since inequality will get even more pronounced if we refuse to exercise human empathy. And then we will join the roster of failed societies and realize the Republican dream will not take us anywhere good.

Force Republicans to take a timeout. They are not helping America. They are racist and they subscribe to bad economic policies. Elect Democrats in 2018 and keep on electing them until Republicans get a grip on reality.