Running blog on politics 2016

Given the pace of political events, I’ve decided to stop flooding my Politics category with entries and to instead start a ramble with a political focus. Today is the first entry. I will post it to my blog and then add to it as we go along.
Polls now show HRC up by massive proportions with little sign that the trend will change, partly b/c the GOP brand has been – well, branded – and partly b/c Trump cannot, as I’ve pointed out before and many pundits and observers are now saying, change himself. The first teleprompter speech that makes sense will be immediately followed by a cluster of snarky comments about babies or minorities or fellow (?) Republicans, sparked by a mean tweet.
There seems no doubt now that HRC will win and, importantly, state races are beginning to shift into the arena that most panics Republicans: loss of the House and Senate. Even Arizona, my very red state, is shifting into purple at least if not outright blue. In the four years since Romney took the state, more Hispanics have registered and the underlying Democratic core of the state which incl. minorities and old-line Democrats who appreciated the New Deal and government programs for water control, land management, and other federal responsibilities are emerging. Even the venerable Sheriff Joe is down in the polls vis-à-vis his Democratic candidate.
The looming disaster for the GOP offers the Party an opportunity to recalibrate. Another Clinton presidency will also allow the anti-Hillary crowd to reassess her as a leader, either up or down. Which brings me to my point: analyses of Trump supporters, late in coming IMHO, indicate a simple fact long known to social scientists: many people are immune to facts.
I just walked downstairs to refill my coffee cup and heard a couple of reporters talking on the radio. It spurred me to remind everyone of who we are dealing with in Trump and in his supporters. Trump has a personality disorder and its magnitude is becoming more apparent every day as he does very strange things like campaign in states he either can’t win or can’t lose, Maine being the example yesterday. Why isn’t he in swing states? Simple: he needs the adoration. If you insist on treating Trump as a rational candidate, you will never grasp his motives.
Then there are his supporters. The NYT has a video log of Trump rallies up close with an emphasis on the brutal, ugly racism that pervades the rallies. While duly noting that most participants at the rallies do not engage is such patently racist actions and speech, they also note that no one condemns the vociferous expressions of hate and bigotry. Here’s the url:
In an earlier post (The Road to Trump, 3/16) I described the arc of the GOP’s embrace of the special politics of the South (by The South I include most parts of Appalachia which is not identical in culture to what I call the Deep South – see the book American Nations). Once the GOP had harvested the segregation votes, they discovered the evangelicals – White ones – who sometimes were the same people as the segs but sometimes not. Embracing the segs lost the Black evangelical vote and all Black votes and eventually the votes of every minority of color incl. Asians, who are naturals for the GOP in many ways, and now even the Mormons (for nominating Trump), women, and many religious minorities. IOW, anyone not in that old White guy camp, a camp that diminishes every year. What is the appeal to this ever smaller group of the GOP and, to the extent he reaches them, of Trump?
Simply put, it is the combination of ethnic identity – something lots of these people denied they had – and loss of dignity. Dignity? Yes, as promulgated by Fukuyama, who cited it as the spark that produced the rebellion in Libya that toppled Ghadaffi. In other entries, I have described the extent to which the White working class in this country has defined itself in terms of color, and that definition has included a sense of superiority – Whatever else I might be, at least I am White. As minorities of color, esp Blacks – b/c the Black/White split goes back to the earliest foundations of this country – gain in stature, the zero sum game of our society entails loss among Whites. No matter how kumbayaish the Liberals get in explaining to these people their common interests with all Americans and all that, all they perceive is a loss of their superiority and as a result, of their dignity. Fukuyama states that that loss of dignity can ignite passions and Karen Armstrong states that threats to ethnic identity can lead to great violence.
I need to sign off now but I’ll return to go more into what happens in these people’s heads, how they are not all the same, etc.
Aug. 10, 2016 My granddaughter says I can earn money by going on YouTube. My grandson says the discussions between my wife and me would be an attraction. Throughout our lives we’ve had people tell us they love talking to us. Via YouTube we could reach persons interested in exploring in depth the societal issues which exercise the two of us.
Which leads me to our national nightmare. Well, Trump is actually welcome to me. While I don’t worry about HRC’s e-mails or her founding of ISIS (Trump’s latest), I do know lots of voters have little confidence in her. As I wrote earlier, a friend who is a Sanders supporter and “just doesn’t like HRC”, couldn’t come up with anything specific against her. I think that is true of a lot of people; they do not buy into the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy’s nonsense about her wearing a hijab in Benghazi and leading the attacks on our “consulate” herself, but they are uneasy about her. Well, no worry about them hearing much about the things that might bother them b/c Trump is sucking up everything. The man is a machine spewing out howlers. Steve Kornacki played some tapes from a 1990 campaign in which a professorial Democrat lost to a Republican, the current VP on the Libertarian ticket, for only one reason: temperament. His big mouth rubbed people the wrong way and even Brookline, Mass. voted for the Republican. That town rang a bell b/c it was the bête noire of one of my partners in polemics on flteach, citing it as a den of liberal vipers.
     All of that confirms my earlier claim that Trump is a personality disorder and therefore incapable of changing. I suggest the Secret Service and the FBI gear up for an onslaught of militia types trying to disrupt HRC’s inauguration. Isn’t it interesting that the militia types and really all conservatives and all Republicans were saying 8 years ago that Obama was going to confiscate our guns? How about Jade 15, the military manoeuvers in Texas that were supposed to be a cover for mass confiscation of guns. Any guns missing there? It doesn’t matter. They still believe. Because their lives are based on faith and that faith tells them a Black man should not be in the White House, nor should a woman. It’s in the Bible! Look it up!
Sept. 3, 2016
Here is a copy of a comment I mailed to the Washington Post re a column of LePage by Christine Emba and the accompanying comments:
“The responses on issues like this confirm my dour diagnosis: there is no bridge. Despite all the analyses to the contrary, the divide is not income or education, it is race and always has been since the first slave holder realized he was outnumbered by his slaves. Fear.”
I would love for someone to contradict me, to give me reason to think there is any path to reconciliation. As long as White people were in power everywhere, Black, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, immigrant, and even women’s claims to equality could reassuringly be validated because everyone knew nothing would happen to bring that state about. Now one of the scariest developments, women’s sexual freedom, has come about (Bob Putnam says the greatest issue for conservatives around sex is not abortion, pre-marital sex, homosexuality, etc. but PRE-marital sex. I read that as desire to control the reproductive options of women and failure to do so strikes at the heart of what we call patriarchy, male chauvinism, or whatever you call that massive complex of social controls).
Add to that another divide almost as deep as sex, race. From the beginning slave-holders realized they were at the mercy of their slaves either because the slaves lived with them cheek-by-jowl or because they were outnumbered (90% of the population in the South Carolina coastal plantation area was slave). In order to maintain order, they absolutely had to enlist the support of non-slave-holding Whites, who generally were not interested in the slave-holders’ welfare and were often hostile to them. In Sugar in the Blood and many  academic publications this process has been outlined – a full-on effort to recruit Whites into the effort to control and monitor slaves. This was done by scaring the bejeezus out of Whites and raising their status to that of – what else? – White people and thus having more in common with the slave-holders than the Black slaves and free Blacks poor Whites routinely rubbed shoulders with and with whom they had interests in common.
Look it up!
9/4/16 A taco truck on every corner! Yea! I thought I would put that up there with “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage” but Orlando Jones tweeted it first.
RE Trump’s use of “C” for “colored” on housing applications: I recall asking the credit lady at Sears in the early 60s what the “WC” letters on the app were for. White or Colored was the answer.
9/11/16 Observances of 9/11 do, I hope, note the demonic forces within our country set loose by the tragedy. When someone says he learned all he needs to know about Islam on 9/11, you know you are dealing with the great unwashed, like the social studies teachers I was subbing for who had me jump from the chapter on China to the one on Medieval Europe, skipping the chapter on Islam. Great. I only hope he skipped it b/c he intended to give it fuller treatment later (anyone with me on that one?).
Then we come to Hillary Clinton’s disparagement of “half” of Trump’s supporters. Clearly she should have chosen the measure better, something like “a good number” or “a despicable part”. My wife and I were asked to present at a school that was measured as “half way” between Phoenix and Tucson. Calculating the time, we went past it without finding the school. When we reached it, it was just outside Tucson, not “half way between”. What I realized was that the representative had conflated “half way” and “between”, but that was inaccurate, as was HRC’s statement.
But do we really have to wonder about the accuracy of the statement other than that? The point is she described sympathetically the many dupes who are desperate for change who have been swept up in this horrible campaign “full of” deplorables: anti-Muslims, anti-immigrants, racists, homophobes, misogynists, and so on and on, IOW, deplorable people any candidate should reject. But Trump eggs them on.
I guess what we should really be upset about is that HRC said “half” instead of “a lot of” rather than the fact that David Duke will have free access to the White House. Maybe Trump’s intervention in the Standing Rock protests will go something like: “those Indians – and I mean Indians, we’re not being politically correct around here, they’re lucky I didn’t say Injuns – need to start paying for those reservations. Enough of the free ride. Let the pipe line go through. What has ever gone wrong with a pipe line?”
Trump knows everything, according to him, yet he never realized that his interview with Larry King (????) was on Russian state-controlled television. Apparently his buddy Putin did an end-run around him by setting up a deal with John Kerry for a cease fire in Syria and combat against ISIS.
Sept. 16, 2016
So Trump finally admits Obama was born in the U.S. Are we supposed to be grateful? Are we supposed to pay attention to Trump? Who does? I’ll tell you who does, as Elizabeth Warren would say, it is the less educated, those who harbor beliefs about people that do not compute for most of us: that Mexican immigrants are ruining the country; that Obama………. OK, let’s just stop there. Here is the crux of it all: these are people raised in a society that said Blacks are not real Americans, hell, they are not even real people. They are, in fact, a joke. So how could one be President? That is what is at the heart of this sense of total loss Trump has tapped into.
My mood now is dark. I do recall that the Romney-Obama match-up was similar at this point and I lost some sleep over it. OTOH, I feel very angry about people who disparage Clinton. They may tip some over into not voting, with their charges of “lack of transparency” and ” deviousness” and ” secrecy” and, most of all, her money-making skills. If Trump wins, that is not altogether bad; as America pulls itself out of the ashes of a Trump presidency and Trump surrogates and supporters are hanging from lamp posts, some people may come to their senses and realize that indulging their fears and ignorance and resentment does not lead to felicitous outcomes.
Michelle Obama gave her speech today at James Mason University and it hit at Trump without mentioning him. As she and Bernie and Elizabeth and Joe and Tim and Barack himself hit the campaign trail, the balance will shift back to HRC. But I do wonder about the polls. I mean, how about surveying the same people to see if someone is unbalanced enough to switch back and forth between HRC and Trump. Oooo! That was a neat tweet Trump sent, I think I’ll vote for him. No, Hillary was wearing a really cool pants suit so I’ll vote for her.
Sept. 20, 2016 When I was a little boy we were having a party. A man took me out into the back yard, which backed onto Lake Eire, and we shot a .22 rifle. We had tin cans set up as targets. At one point, I walked over to the targets to set them up again and a bullet whizzed past my head. The man had shot past me because, unknown to me, he was drunk. As an immature child, I thought I had been lucky. Maybe it was luck, but now I know I should have asked where the supervision was, how does someone remain so immature as an adult that they get drunk and then engage in hazardous activities like shooting or driving, and what should have been done when I reported it.
This is what we will be asking ourselves, if we are smart, after Nov. 8, not congratulating ourselves on dodging the bullet of a Trump presidency but how the hell did we ever get here? Is it democracy itself, giving the vote to uneducated people? As a teacher, I easily recall the kids who are no doubt now supporting Trump; they were the ones sitting in the back of the room in my Civics class paying no attention except during discussions when they would try to intimidate other students. Their response to every issue was That’s stupid! They never, ever, ever, understood the Constitution. I heard a true scholar of the Constitution try to make a case that Obama has violated the Constitution and I heard nothing of the sort. He has no case.
Another question we need to ask ourselves is who are these people who know better, like this scholar, but continue to peddle lies to the American people. Right now, I finally see the shape of the fissure in the GOP post election: Priebus has laid down the gantlet in front of some of the most powerful figures in the Party and people who have cred among non-Republicans, people like John Kasich, all the Bushes, and many more who hold strong positions in the Party and will not support Trump. And Priebus is up for reelection as RNC head, a perfect time to stage a coup cum purge, ripping the GOP to shreds.
But Howard Dean pointed out what I’ve been saying for not just the course of Trump’s campaign but ever since the GOP recruited what they now call their base: what are we going to do for the sincere and decent people who have been hoodwinked by Trump and his siren song of violence, viciousness, and vitriol?
Who are these people? I have a pretty good idea, but talking about them is going to require my dear reader to suspend the usual non-starters in such discussions, e.g. you can’t generalize ( yes, you can), you are distorting (watch news footage of Trump supporters), you must respect all people (you must respect all people’s lives and all people’s Constitutional rights, and all people’s human rights; you do not have to respect backward, ignorant, mean, vicious, bigoted no-nothings), you have to back up what you say with proof (watch news footage of Trump supporters), you are being condescending (yes, I am) and so on. Just pay attention and follow along and you will see how the Trump supporter – fan is a better word – interprets events entirely differently from the way a normal person interprets them. Let’s start.
The Khan family – TATS (=To A Trump Supporter), the Khans are Muslim and do not love Jesus, so no American need respect them or their sacrifice. Being a Muslim or just a non-Christian cancels out all the normal decency normal people show toward a Gold Star family.
The disabled reporter – TATS, he is first and foremost part of the “lame stream media” and therefore a legitimate target. As a target, you go after his weakest spot. TATS, having any sort of disability is a sign of weakness, so you go after that. TATS, the reporter is just the sort of target they went after on the school grounds – anyone different, anyone not part of the herd.
To be continued………
 <div>Sept. 21, 2016 TATS, violence is just deserts for not being “one of us”, however they may define “us”. It is just a natural human trait to bully and expel non-conformists. The more threatened people feel, the more they see violence against the Other as justified. At least four hundred million studies have been done showing how this works and it is by no means limited to low-education Republican voters. Well over half of Republicans ( I think that was a group polled) feel threatened by terrorism, <em>on a personal level,</em> that last being important, <em>on a personal level.</em> So when a protestor at a Trump rally gets punched, TATS that guy represents a threat: minorities are taking the tax money of hard-working people in the form of food stamps, etc; the police are restricted from protecting people against violent criminals; protestors are un-American; and other sources of threat. Their problem is, that TATS, the danger has grown sharply in the last few decades as the proportion of citizens of European descent has declined. The impact of one particular ethnic group, Mexican, has made itself felt across the country in a way that earlier immigrations did not, e.g. Scandinavians in the upper Midwest, Asians on the West Coast and Southern and Eastern European ethnics in big cities on the East Coast and in the Midwest. Taco trucks* are seen everywhere</div> TATS, this is seen as a personal affront, an assault on “his neighborhood”, the sort of thing kid gangs get in fights over,  “turf”. TATS, that is what this is about, the kid sticking his toe onto your “property” when you were five years old or the kids riding their bikes through your neighborhood. Add a different language and in some cases a different appearance and you activate their alarm system. Violence becomes mere self-protection.
The start of this is name-calling, a verbal way of pounding your chest, a warning. When the name-calling doesn’t drive off the offending group, the alarm heightens b/c that means they are trying to “take over”, that they are ready to fight to take over. In such a situation, violence seems appropriate. Another group, although only 1% of the population, is, TATS, in just such a situation: Muslims. The slogan, “I learned all I need to know about Islam on 9/11”, fits perfectly the profile of the threatened and frightened Trump supporter (and many others as mentioned above) b/c it relies on two pillars: ignorance in general and fear. TATS, Islam is something the World History teacher prattled on and on about one Friday when The Big Game was to be played that night. A few comments about “camel jockeys” betrayed that a couple of students knew at least that Islam had something to do with Arabs and deserts. People who would soon die in Iraq could not locate it on a map.
TATS, all of this talk about allies betokens weakness. A strong nation doesn’t need allies. How many Americans learned that the U.S. won WW II single-handed? The idea that it might not be a good idea to alienate Muslims when Americans are fighting beside Muslim soldiers in the Middle East strikes them as mere weakness; American soldiers are like Arnold Schwarzenegger: they can do it all by themselves. They resent the implication of girly-men applied to American soldiers needing allies, least of all Muslim allies. After all, Muslims are the enemy – back to “All I need to know….”
The name-calling, the threats of violence, the alarmist attitude toward anything foreign, all fit with the authoritarian personality, another “thing” that has been researched pretty well. As with all personality types. everyone partakes of some of the traits of such a personality, although authoritarianism can be attenuated via institutions, e.g. Congressmen who are subject to recall, military and police officers who are subject to review, and overarching professional credentialing providing standards to judge officials by. You see the authoritarian streak in Trump when, TATS, the President can do anything. When Obama is said to be acting unconstitutionally, that makes sense to them b/c they do not understand what it means to act within the Constitution (remember the history classroom?)
This is why, TATS, the government of the U.S., is considered a foreign entity: the decisions coming down from the Supreme Court, the regulations governing the receipt of Federal monies, the role of federal attorneys, and so on, all are opaque TATS. There is a long history of alienation from the federal government, the Civil War being one such, and it is no wonder the center post of anti-government sentiment sits in the South. I note today in reading Our Kids that Robert Putnam has to interpolate the exception of the slave-owning aristocracy of the South when he states that the U.S. was able to start afresh without a feudal structure to overcome. We must ask ourselves how much of that Old South feudal structure remains; do we see it in the anti-unionism, the strict racial hierarchies, the class distinctions, the religious conformity, the reliance of authority on force, including the use of the death penalty?
Notice the second paragraph of this blog entry, saying there were few signs HRC’s dominance in the polls would change. Well, here we are.
This anti-government attitude arose most prominently in recent times in this way (from an earlier blog entry as part of my Magnum Opus):
From Dog Whistle Politics: ‘How did this hostility to government come about? When Whites faced integrating neighborhoods they either fled or………… “Poorer whites who lacked the financial resources to resist the pressures of integration slowly lost exclusive control of their neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces….. homes that held most of their wealth; neighborhoods that supplied a sense of community; jobs that delivered decent pay and maybe someday had a place for one’s child; schools that seemed like escalators to take the next generation higher. This was about more than status. This was about access to union jobs, government mortgages, decent schools, effective public services, and government-funded amenities like nice public parks and swimming pools – all of which had been reserved for whites, often formally and in any event by social sanction.”
While individual commentators, bloggers, columnists, and even political figures like Paul Ryan, have denounced in just so many words Trump’s racist appeals, why has the press been engaged in what some, e.g. MSNBC, called the normalization of Trump? We can argue that journalists like Joy Reid have done that on her show, but overall, there seems to be a sense that if Trump doesn’t drool and drop trou on stage, he has made a respectable public appearance. What is going on there? When will the press corps start calling him on his lies and bigoted statements? Perhaps that moment came the other day, Friday, I think it was, when the press covered his “big announcement” which turned out to be a 7 second admission that Obama was born in the U.S. and then realized they had been giving free time to him showing off his new hotel in D.C. As they mounted chairs to scream questions at the disappearing Trump, the humiliation at being played may have reached critical mass and turned the corner. No more Mr. Nice Guy. We’ll see.
   And to make the cheese more binding, we have more police shootings of Black men, in one case, an unarmed Black man. I read the WaPo article on the Tulsa case and wondered why they several times identified the officers involved as White. I believe color is very important in this country, and the color line has always been with us and still is. However, IDing the officers by color, by their “race”, misses the point: Black police officers kill people unjustly. Once the fact that the shootings were unwarranted, THEN we can look at the characteristics of offending officers to see what is going on with them. Does their ethnicity enter into the equation Armed officer + unarmed suspect = shot suspect, as in Armed White officer + unarmed Black suspect = a problem? This kind of reporting frequently screws up perceptions of what is going on and just as the police need better screening at recruitment and training once accepted, so do journalists. And then there’s the public, that might try to inform itself.
OK, so far I’ve talked about Trump supporters under the acronym TATS (to a Trump supporter).  Another area is the media. TATS, the media should support the pov of the supporter and his social circle, and most do. Small town rags, as they are called, seldom call out local malefactors in public office or business, reserving their alarm for local small-time criminals. There have been some wonderful exceptions and journalistic lore is full of such stories. But TATS, those are unimpressive b/c he believes newspapers and local TV/radio news should reinforce the standard narrative or The Standard Narrative. This is why news knowledge is not very common among the poor and the working class – news is aimed at the ownership class, the business and home owners, the managerial class, etc. The book I ‘m reading on my home town talks about the way the jobs went away over the time since I left (1956); it would be instructive to see how the local paper handled the process; did it issue a call to reinvigorate the public school, good ol’ PCHS, so as to get young people ready for the new economy? Did it urge local leaders to engage state leaders in attracting businesses to the area? They may have and I may learn that as I finish the book. But TATS, the media does not fulfill its role when it fails to pump up their candidate and attack the other guy.
Sept. 23, 2016 Monday is the first debate. As I thought, the polls are settling, a bit sooner than I thought, and Clinton has a clear lead. Here’s my prediction: she will win large and go on to have a successful administration so that a lot of the vitriol will die down, so that the true interest will fall on the GOP and its fight to reconstitute itself.
The new spate of police shootings lend emphasis to the BLM movement and the visuals from Tulsa and Charlotte indicate widespread disgust among citizens, not just Blacks. My guess, reading Our Kids, is that the division is along class lines, not racial lines.
 Oct. 5. 2016
It’s been a while and I know how the reporters feel: who can keep up with Trump?
Last night I was puzzled by the across the board finding for Pence by the MSNBC commentariat. As usual with them, it was a mixed group politically. Only Joy demurred a bit but she still made favorable comments about Pence’s performance. Crazy. Kain mopped up the floor with Pence. Of all people to complain about Kain interrupting Pence…. Chris Matthews, interrupter in chief for MSNBC!!
Eventually, they brought in Chuck Todd who began to sound a saner note. By the end of a long evening of commentary, the strong performance Kain turned in and Pence’s sad pivot away from Trump were being acknowledged. This morning, Andrea Mitchell sounded a more balanced note and one person even said that each man played to his base, a fairly accurate assessment. It didn’t move the needle. A local, Virginia reporter said this was an unusual performance for Kain, who usually tries to “reach across the aisle”, and that he was perhaps channeling Donald Trump!
For this household, after watching 8 years of Obama getting kicked in the teeth by triumphal, howling Republicans, it was great to see a Democrat giving as good as he’s been getting from Republicans. When did Republicans ever concede that there was a problem with poverty, with the minimum wage, with denying entry to refugees, with using punitive tactics against families with a member illegally in the country, with the police shooting unarmed Black men, with women denied access to health care, with maintaining an ineffective embargo against a nation 90 miles off our coast, with racial profiling, with labeling random people terrorists, with declining mortality among poor Whites, with insanely draconian drug laws and clearly racist outcomes in the judicial system, with destroying the public education system, with tax laws that funnel money to the top 1%, with disappearing low-tech jobs, with impossibly expensive daycare, with churches routinely violating the separation of church and state, with deregulation resulting in near-criminal actions in the market place, with a complete failure of accountability for malefactors in finance, with higher education costs putting college out of reach of the average person, with lack of effective health care, with the neglect of children, with the inadequate pay for teachers….. need I go on?
The only time Republicans mention these problems is to blame either Democrats or Liberals for the problems or to put a moralistic spin on the issue.
So Trump has brought all this out into the open. Everyone’s head is spinning b/c he wants to solve the jobs problem by bringing back the jobs of the 50s, bullying trade partners, and driving debt up and accountability down. Any panel discussion about Trump, be it on education, taxation, military action, foreign affairs, crime, anything, elicits shock at his ignorance and at his willingness to say anything regardless of the repercussions, even on his own campaign.
When I recover from my fatigue, I’ll go into what seems to be in the mind of the average Trump supporter.
Oct. 6, 2016
My job was done for me in the comments section of a newspaper (WaPo) column:
The following paragraphs down to the xs are comments by one person re a column on how Americans like what Obama has done, generally. Following the xs is a comment deriding this old geezer’s comments. I’m an old guy and this old guy is full of crap. Carter years worse than the Recession? A compassionate country that put mobs in the streets to keep Black children out of school? No terrorist acts except those by the Klan but those don’t count because they were committed against Blacks and that just doesn’t count. The police are still honored but this guy thinks questioning the shooting of unarmed Black men is anti-cop rhetoric. Islamic terrorists are everywhere? Under his bed, no doubt, just like the Commies were in the 50s, an excuse to crush dissent and protest. Obama has increased border security and deportations more than any other president; I’ll bet this guy forgot Reagan’s amnesty. This is the result of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh and I hope they are held to account.
I just don’t give a darn who wins in Nov. anymore. I am just sick of what the American people have done to this nation in electing the people who have been in office these past few years. And it will only get worse. God, thank you for allowing me to live in the decades where America was a great country, a compassionate one, one that had no or very very few terrorist acts, where the police were honored for their valor and helping others. Thank you for the short time I have left on this earth though I would have rather not seen what is America today.
Do you remember (or have you conveniently forgot) the Carter years re economies? I remember! Far worse than anything since
Americans thinks everything is going pretty well? Propaganda from the liberal news media has brained washed these citizens. Russia is threatening action against the United States, Islamic terrorist are EVERYWHERE, our national debt has sky rocketed under Obama, the relations between blacks and whites is horrible thanks to Obama dividing this nation, our police are being attacked, our borders are very very unprotected and anyone can get inside this nation. If these people who believe everything is going great and like Obama so much, this country is ******, big time

That time you lived had 70-90% taxes on the rich, import tariffs, high union membership, heavy business regulations including stiff anti-trust limits on mergers and market shares, execs couldn’t be paid in stocks, far tighter restrictions on banking and investment, much more taxpayer funding of higher education, a 40% higher minimum wage.

Your generation has spent your entire life voting for repeals of all the policies that created our first-ever large middle class. No such thing ever existed before the 40’s and 50’s when the Democrats pushed it through with limits on business and the rich, old age security, cheap education, high blue collar wages.

It all happened by law, and it was all taken apart by law and repeal of those laws by the conservative revolution. Enjoy the rest of your life –you won.

I was listening to a Jill Stein supporter on the radio today and I want to ask these people if they understand that lots and lots of Americans JUST DON”T AGREE WITH THEM AND HAVE A SAY IN ALL THIS. Their righteous indignation reaches such heights it almost reaches to the level of their moral superiority over everyone else. But what is frightening is their refusal to recognize that most people in the country don’t agree with them and we vote. We are not brainwashed, as the old geezer thinks, we just disagree. The geezer is brainwashed b/c he does not use facts to bring us his interpretation of events, he just invents facts to justify his rage and resentment. The Stein supporter invents masses of Americans who are dying for the Green Party. We aren’t, even those of us who sympathize with many of the planks in their platform.
October 7, 2016 close to midnight.
Watching the Trump campaign come unraveled with the video from Access Hollywood. Look, I talk about women with my buddies but this is not the same; it’s filled with power references and the women are truly seen as objects to be used for this adolescent’s masturbatory fantasies.
What really got to me though is as my wife and I did our Liberals’ happy dance, she suddenly started crying. What’s going on? I asked her. Through her tears, she said, “No matter what he said about Blacks and Hispanics, he just kept going. The thing that stopped him was when he began talking that way about White women.”
November 1, 20016
Events have been coming so fast I haven’t updated anything here, waiting for the next shoe to drop. I was thinking Comey caved in to his Republicans who want to save down-ballot races by depressing the vote for HRC. Now I wonder. Donna Brazile’s cheating on top of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’ cheating against Sanders could really have turned off a lot of voters, causing them to sit the election out altogether. But the focus on this e-mail nonsense distracted from those issues, allowing us to let Trump supporters rant Lock Her Up while sober Republicans bemoan the violation of the Hatch Act by Comey.
My official fed up point has been reached with trying to understand the agony and the pathos of the Trump voter. More and more writers have laid out the basis for support of Trump: these people don’t care much about health care for their elderly or education for their children, what they care about is their dignity and their dignity is being eroded by creeping dependency on the federal government, the government that bails out the red states consistently while the blue states pay the taxes that support the red states. And we liberals are saddled with a party that is too pusillanimous to point out the lies and hypocrisies of the Republicans. Exactly who are they afraid of offending?
So while the polls do not show significant shifts in light of the e-mails non-issue, I am still going out tonight into Spanish-speaking areas of Maricopa County in good old red state Arizona where everyone will be holding their [his – for the mavens] breath on election night. It’s so razor thin here – with the possibility of unseating Joe Arpaio, America’s Sheriff – that every person I speak to could be The One. I’ll let you know how it goes.
OK. Late night update. In Florida, a state Trump cannot lose, Republican early voters, with almost 4 million votes in, are voting 28% for Clinton. Trump is done.
Nov. 5 Interesting encounter this morning. My grandson picked up a temp worker for landscaping, a guy most likely undocumented, no English. We got to talking Trump or Hillary. He was for Trump b/c Trump would create an international police force and enforce orden mundial – world order. So fascists come in all classes and nationalities.
NOVEMBER 8, 2016 – the day is here.
Last night President Obama displayed his fine touch, pulling out the footstool at the podium for HRC to stand on. How symbolic.
HRC had Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga (from an Italian immigrant family like me), JZ, and so on, and Trump had Ted Nugent. How symbolic.
It is said that we may know as early as 6:00 p.m. AZ time if it’s over. It depends on Florida not being close or being close. If it’s close, we will go on into the night. Whatever, this was way too close. We came close to electing another – and I do NOT say this lightly – Mussolini. Someone perhaps not as deeply evil (and I do not use that word lightly due to its religious connotations) as Hitler but a very bad dictator nonetheless. Trump would not have had the power a real dictator has – for many reasons – but others would have grabbed at the chance to destroy the work of the New Deal, a goal of Republicans since the Depression.
It’s 9:30 here and the race is excruciatingly close. Trump may actually win. My wife says it’s all that talk about the Black and Hispanic vote that stampeded Whites into voting for Trump in huge numbers. We are already talking about selling our house and moving out of the country.
Nov. 9 – The Day After. Remember that movie? Total devastation. I shut down the exchange I call the grouplet since talking politics is pointless now. I thought I’d end this log by sharing a few things friends and I talked about today. We lay in bed sleepless going over countries we could move to. I discussed with friends how the administration will face hundreds of thousands of highly professional bureaucrats who will clog up any attempt to act unconstitutionally, the military most prominently – they will not allow the administration to endanger national security and can disobey unlawful orders.
In addition to government offices we have many institutions like the Bar Association, the Chambers of Commerce, unions, universities, the AMA, and so on which will act as a counter force. It reminds me of intense arguments with teachers that they owed their professional standards before they owed anything to the board that pays them; doctors don’t do surgery b/c a hospital admin says so (usually…. I hope). So that is a kind of firewall (better than Pennsylvania, I hope).
Then we have regional issues. I have no idea how this might work, but I know California could combine with Oregon and Washington to form an economic block which could be transformed into a semi-political block. The key would be to refuse federal funds. Without funding, the administration would not have nearly the clout over the state governments. Should other economic regions like the East Coast, New England down through North Carolina, and the upper Midwest do the same, the federal government might be stiffed as much as possible so money would remain in the region. The administration would then need to fund all those red states that depend on federal money and they would become an albatross around the neck of the administration. The administration would neglect them, leading to unrest.
How a regional breakup would be accomplished I cannot say, nor can I say what the consequences would be, but it would be less drastic than secession and would simply recognize an already existing situation. As those regions thrived, people would want to move there but perhaps some means could be found to institute some sort of vagrancy law which would require people to take jobs the state would allocate. The point would be to keep people from flowing into prosperous regions from the red states unless they offered something the way the people flowing over the border from Mexico did.
If the Trump administration survived long enough to cut funding for research, education, and development, countries like India would be huge magnets for American talent. English is usually the lingua franca and American colonies of tech workers and workers in other cognitive fields would flow in just as many Europeans are now taking jobs in India. Such a brain drain would force a recalibration of thinking on the part of those who favor a Trump approach to economic development and foreign policy.
OK. That’s the end for me. Politics over.

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