Friday, March 11, 2016

Voter Beware

If I can change, and you can change
Is that change we can believe in?
If you’re reading this, you probably know my stance on a lot of things.  Unless you’re just here for the girls and guns bit, which might have skewed your view of me.  Twenty-odd years ago, I was pretty centrist politically.  A few of my opinions, mostly fiscal, would have leaned to the right.  As a child of the Reagan Era, I was aware of vast government spending on the military, but not really understanding any of the impact.

All I knew is that Rocky went to Russia and kicked Soviet ass.

Get it?
A few of my more childish views have fallen by the wayside since then.  Some “common sense” elements have been shown to be neither common nor sensical.  Most people who meet me today would probably call me a “liberal”—and they’d probably mean it as an insult.  But by and large, my political views have actually remained unchanged.  What’s shifted is the political environment.  It’s skewed so heavily to the right that even my right-leaning side now appears to be a frothing-at-the-mouth leftist, pinko, commie, socialist with a bias for Satan.

So, now we’ve got that out of the way, I’m actually going to post up something political. I don’t do this often, because I’m sure it alienates some potential readers.  Sorry about that.  Perhaps with the information provided, you know (roughly) where I stand on things, and you can easily reject me out of hand for it.  Go ahead.  It will hardly be the first time, and while I may cry myself to sleep tonight, it will be on my THANKS KARL MARX pillow full of hope and spare change:

The problem here isn’t that Trump is lying—although it is a problem that he gets a pass for that.  The problem is that with Trump, it’s systemic.  Now, sure, you could say that Trump doesn’t believe what he’s selling.  He’s only doing it to secure the nomination.  He’s just a snake-oil mountebank who pitches what the people want to hear.  Ok, fine.  But even if he believes none of it—Trump steaks and branded water aside—he's still peddling hate and divisiveness to voters eager to lap it up.  He's pointing the finger, targeting racial and ethnic groups, pandering to hatred.  He tells people that not only are they right, anyone who stands against them—and by extension him—are wrong.  He’s telling people that not only are they justified in their fear and anger, but they are righteous for feeling it, and righteous for acting on it.

So righteous that he advocates violence.

Not only does he advocate violence, he actively supports violence.

Let’s be realistic about Trump.  Let’s drop the myth that he “speaks his mind” and he’s “a man of the people”.  He’s none of that.  He is bald-faced liar who can’t even own up to the truth of failed business ventures when it’s presented to him.  He’s a man, born of wealth and privilege whose only goal has ever been to advance himself over everyone else.  You can’t even make the argument that this is what all politicians in the presidential race are doing.  No matter where you fall on the political spectrum—Hilary or Sanders or Kasich or Cruz—they are at least an order of magnitude better than Trump.  They at least understand the amount of influence they have or want to have, and the potential for disaster they can create, while attempting (at least in their own minds) to make the world a better place.

There is nothing of that enlightened self-interest in Trump.  He’ll even tell you that himself.  He is, after all, like, a really smart person.


  1. Great blog Rob!
    The southern strategy has always been a very useful tactic of the "we want our country back" politicians. And, it's of no coincidence why people of color, specifically African-Americans, no longer vote republican. Nixon used this strategy to win. And while using it to win the south, republicans lost the votes of black Americans forever. Reagan of course used his "welfare queen" concept to win over the south. And of course Bush Sr. used his scary black man Willie Horton adds to scare southern white voters into submission. Romney tried with his 47% remark, but lost. And now Trump is relying on this tactic to win it all. And, it makes sense why he's doing this. We're only 2 generations removed from Jim Crow, civil and voting rights, etc. There is still lots of leftovers from a time we're trying to forget. 50-60 years just isn't long enough to see deep change on how we think and feel about each other. There is still lots of resent in the south about the changes they were forced to enforce. Even Michael Steele, the former chairman of the GOP, admitted that the GOP used the southern strategy until at least 2008. Subtle ideas like, "he's not American enough (or at all)," or, "he's not a Christian," or using derogatory language about Muslims and then attempting to link Obama as "one of those guys," shows the political correctness even the GOP has to now live by. Rational thinking people can easily see what is being implied.

    In 1981 Lee Atwater, the former strategist to the Republican Party, openly admitted how it all works:
    "You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”

    Before Atwater died he became afraid that his God would judge him as a not so very nice guy. Atwater tried to admit to, and apologize for, much of the hurt he caused. Especially to black Americans. But, it was too late. The GOP dismissed him as some silly dying guy and refused to acknowledge being wrong in any way at all.