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Electoral Lunacy

November 15, 2016

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Electoral Lunacy

The latest wisdom being put forth to treat our depression in the face of the election of the most divisive candidate in American history is to take it “day-by-day” and realize that we have a system of checks and balances, as if to say “Just relax. You’ll get over it.  It’s not as bad as you think.  The system works”  No!  This is misdirection. Currently the system is not working. We are being misdirected to complacency and resignation as a substitute for activism in all that we know to be true and right and good.  It may be a treatment for our collective PTSD but it is not a solution to finding the path that can resolve the many intricate problems we face and those to come in the best manner possible.

We are transitioning to a nation led by a man with no moral compass, a reality TV star with no ideology, and has, and will continue, to surround himself with the counsel of thugs and hypocrites. Let’s recognize them for what they are.  Paul Manafort is a thug.  Rudi Guliani is a thug.  Steve Bannon is a thug. Corey Lewandowski is a thug.  Chris Christy is a thug. Trump attorney Michael Cohen is a thug. Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio and most republicans are hypocrites. Ben Carson is a politically feckless idiot by comparison. Ted Cruz may be an honorable man, clever and quite logical, but also a rabid obstructionist who laid the groundwork for our current dilemma. Jeffrey Lord is an opportunist leech, a parasite on the back of the political beast. Kellyanne Conway, Scottie Nell Hughes, Kayleigh McEnany and Katrina Pierson are witless political groupies who have more in common with the Manson Clan than with the American system of government.

I never thought I’d say this, but I have more respect for Anna Navarro and Jeb Bush for their positions than I do for the Democratic leaders (excluding Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren of course.) They showed themselves to be people of integrity and principle, a rare commodity these days. And surprise…  Megan Kelly showed herself to be more than a fox propagandist lapdog, but a thoughtful and intelligent anchor who I have come to respect, however wrong her politics.

Does anyone really think that Donald Trump can “clear the swamp.”  Who will he work with.  His GOP congress is the swamp and his loyal supporters, his inner circle, are far darker than any of the living swamp creatures we have known to date, with the exception of Dick Cheney.

Perhaps he will look to the example of a leader he admires, Kim Jong Un, of North Korea who knows how to effectively clear a swamp and relent that our laws prevent him from expediting the matter in that manner for the moment.

And what about the loyal opposition?  The failure of the Democrats was thinking that the path to an election win was centrist, moderate, middle-of-the-road.  They did not have the conviction of their beliefs to act as needed and resigned themselves to the delusion that progressive, democratic-socialist ideas were too radical for the American people to accept.  That the ideas and policies of Bernie Sanders were impossible to implement.  They ceased to be dreamers.  They chose to live in the past and that is what they will get with Trump. Not a socialist future but a fascist past. Ignorance and arrogance have partnered and we are their clients.

A minority of American voters just elected a man with no clear or firm policies, whose main arguments for supporting his candidacy  consisted of bar room and locker room bluster, unsupported bragging and childish name-calling, false promises and yes, the very thing the Democrats felt they could never sell, ideas with no possible solution.

And we are to believe that our system has the checks and balances that can remediate the problem? Everyone admits the system needs an overhaul, but no one is able to take the bull by the horns and castrate it without fear of being crushed.

What are the problems and what do we need to do? Really, do I have to ask?  We all know what they are.

Lobbyists

Lobbyists are the voice of those who can afford them.  They represent and support the singular goal of one client to the detriment of the American people as a whole. We need laws that define the role of lobbyists in such a way that makes it illegal for a lobbyist and lobbying organizations to be paid for their services.  We need to stop lobbying as a business and restore it as an altruistic means of communicating with our legislators.

Corporate Money and SuperPacs

We need to end the influence of big money in our elections.  There should be limits on campaign donations regardless of the source, be they corporate, private, or the candidates themselves. SuperPacs were a work-around invention designed to render useless the campaign finance laws. SuperPacs cannot operate without money and should be governed by the same finance rules as the candidates if we are truly equal as citizens in a democracy—small donors only.

The Media

We need solid laws that govern news media.  If America needs to be made “great again” it is because the media has mutated into a shadow of its former self. This is where we must begin, as it is currently a fountain of knowledge polluted with disinformation.  We all recognize that the news media has become a form of entertainment in search of income-producing ratings. It is the foundation of screenwriting that to write an entertaining story, the story must be based on conflict.  The more conflict, the better the story.  Conflict produces suspense and the many ups and downs, turn-arounds and plot twists that engage an audience.  Do we honestly think that the people in charge of our news programming are unaware of this key principle. They not only foster but create conflict and like any good serialized program, leave its audience hanging to wait for the next conflict event.  The many panels of pundits and surrogates do not serve to present a fair and balance reportage, but rather to drive ratings through conflict. Surrogates are lapdogs to their masters who benefit from the free propaganda.  Pundits speculate on the unknown based on the non-answers of the surrogates who always predictably deflect to their opponents shortcomings rather than answer a question directly.  Do I get any news benefit from that?

It should be illegal for surrogates to be paid by news organizations. Surrogates who “spin,” refusing to answer a question directly and whose answers fall into that category of deflection known as “but what about them?” should not be asked back in any news program by that network.  They are not news at that point.

Pundits should be paid by their own respective firms, not by the media hosting their panels. Pundits offer opinions not news.  Let’s stop taking funds needed for news and applying them to pay pundits. Let them support their own opinions.

We need to diminish and limit news by surrogates and pundits to a percentage of the total news output or to certain times of day or the week and to pundit specific shows like “meet the press.”

Let’s bring back editorializing and not disguise it or be ashamed of it. Newspapers editorialize.  Why can’t the television media?  Even in the best days of CBS, Eric Severied had an editorial segment. CNN is afraid of editorializing because it would lose half it’s audience.  As it is, it has lost it’s moral responsibility to report the truth by taking a position, instead replicating its own variant of media-stalemating, hosting “The War of the surrogates,” promoting elections like fight nights on HBO.  They are no better than Congress in that regard.  FOX is only slightly better in a perverse way.  They are unapologetic in their dishonesty and while they have a transparent ideology, they masquerade as news when in fact they are for the most part just old-fashioned liars.

The Pivot

Good God!!  Who in this fucking insane asylum invented the pivot? The media have made it a legitimate tool of the politician, reinforcing it daily.  Are we to believe that candidates can say anything to get elected and then do the opposite once in office?  Why not?  They pivot back and forth effortlessly while stumping, moving with the polls and the perceived emotional temperature of the electorate.

Gerry mandering

Gerry-mandering (redistricting) should be abolished and voting tallies should be made according to county boundaries.

The Electoral College

The Electoral College is an antiquated system and should be abolished.  Elections should be determined by the popular vote totals.

The Economy and Transparency

Let’s start by revealing who the 300 stockholders in the Fed are.  Perhaps then we will know who really runs the country.

Obama

President Obama continually brings joy to my heart.  He is the best example of a gentleman in my lifetime.  He conducted honorable and respectful campaigns.  He is logical, thoughtful and moral. He is kind, generous and smart, oh so very smart.  We will be lucky to ever see his equal in our lifetime, although there may be hope for a Michelle candidacy and I’m not forgetting Bernie’s or Elizabeth’s unrealized potential.

Hillary.

Hillary was brilliant in defeat.  She said what was needed and yet did not abandon her principles.  I have grown to respect her and I feel deep sorrow for her loss.  Nevertheless, she chose wrong.  She listened to her advisors and timidly shied away from “what she was told was impossible.  She was killed by her own pragmatism and an opponent who doesn’t know the word.

So now I’m back to the original idea that started this rant, that no one man can do so much damage in our system of checks and balances. Bullshit.  Just look at Nixon and his staff of Watergate criminals; the many war crimes committed in Viet Nam under LBJ and later Nixon; Reagan and Bush senior’s impact on banking, and the Darth Vader of our time, W’s puppetmaster of American government, Dick Cheney and you may get some idea of the limitless possibilities of this faulty thinking.

I will not unite behind a leader who is a racist.

I will not unite behind a man who is a sexual predator.

I will not unite behind a billionaire who does not pay his fair share of taxes.

I will not unite behind a businessman who is a cheat.

I will not unite behind a man who is a serial liar.

I will not unite behind a candidate whose platform was hatred based

I will not unite behind a man who is a rapist.

I will not unite behind a man who supports torture

I will not unite behind a narcissist.

I will not unite behind a bully.

I will not unite behind an undignified trash-mouth.

I will not unite behind a fraud.

There is however a solution, however unlikely.

The delegates chosen for the electoral college are only bound in 29 of the 50 states to vote for the candidate selected by the voters of that state.  If even the delegates to the college of one swing state could be influenced to vote their conscience, then perhaps the people of this country could win by popular vote rather than through the distortions of the electoral college. But who is bold enough to save us from ourselves?

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