Lost on the Low Road

Throughout my early years, into my twenties and thirties, I was a conservative Republican. This was mostly due to the fact that my parents and grandparents were conservatives. In my late 30’s I started searching my soul, and found that I actually had many liberal traits and beliefs. I began leaning left, so that by the time Obama ran for his first term, I decided to support him.

Family members thought Obama was inexperienced, and somewhat full of himself. We had many conversations, my family and I, throughout Obama’s presidency. Sometimes I agreed with my family members’ points, but most times I didn’t.

What I respect about my family is that they still respected the fact that Obama was our president. As much as they complained to me about some of their biggest issues against him, they also begrudgingly agreed with me on some of my points for him.

While I happily supported Obama’s presidency and voted for his second term, most of my family supported their GOP senators and reps, and voted Romney in 2012. My family also voted midterms in an effort to gain House and Senate seats. Me, on the other hand…I sat the midterms out. Smug as a bug in a rug.

My family never protested when Obama won two elections, and they gracefully acknowledged his presidency, all the while never caring for him. They never spoke ill of him in my presence, but kept the discussions to policy and issues. When they felt he did something well, they said so. We kept our conversations civil even when they felt he did something wrong.

I dreaded holiday gatherings for nothing.

In his second term, I defended Obama as much as I could, but now and then I’d find myself agreeing with my family more and more, due to the lack of a solid argument.

Several things that occurred during Obama’s second term turned me off. But rather than fall back on my conservative leanings, I found myself agreeing with the populist movements that were cropping up, like Occupy Wall Street.

By the time 2016 came along, I was ready to go with Bernie Sanders. I donated to his campaign, I supported him very vocally, and looked forward to the day when he and Trump would go to the debates. I felt their shared populist message would make things very interesting. I rather hoped that democratic socialism might catch on, once voters realized that Trump and Sanders were actually saying some of the same things, only from different “sides” of the political spectrum.

But then Clinton won the Democratic nomination and, for reasons I won’t go into here (as, anyone who knows me knows how much I dislike the Clintons), I decided to look into the remaining alternatives. I did not care for Stein, nor Johnson.

I ended up voting for Trump, needless to say.

So did my immediate family. So did almost my entire county. So did almost my entire country.

Like most of the world, I went into election night thinking Clinton would win. I can tell you the exact moment I knew Trump had pulled off a miracle, and it was long before PA votes were tallied.  But, that’s another blog post.

I have not regretted my decision to vote for Trump once.

What I regret is that I’ve lost so many friends.

Granted, I had already lost a huge number of left-leaning friends over the primaries, where I backed Sanders and they backed Clinton. But to lose even more friendships over Trump’s win, I just didn’t expect that.

Color me racist, xenophobic, backwards…or just blind.

I never expected the violent protests, the boycotting of Ivanka Trump’s clothing line, the vitriol, the nonsensical hatred and fear. The obstructionism in congress is hard enough to take without seeing the entire left wing turn so awkwardly left so quickly that even Berkley went berserk.

Streep. Super Bowl ads. SNL. CNN. Washington Post and the New York Times. Not everyone agrees with you folks, outside of LA and New York City.

What about the rest of us? “Within the 50 states, of which you lost 30, there are 3,113 counties — 2,626 that went Republican and 487 that were won by [Clinton].”*

I never expected the Democratic party to become the “Party of No.” Liberals always say they want to put people first. But all I see is them putting party – and careers – first. Take this piece in New York Times.

“All of that’s true. But none of it gets at larger challenges that were much less frequently mentioned, if at all: the necessity of grooming and rallying behind candidates who can forge an emotional connection with voters and are in sync with the moment; the imperative of studying the map, identifying every Senate and House seat that could possibly swing to Democrats in 2018 and playing a ruthlessly pragmatic game of chess; the articulation of a down-to-earth, visceral message that resonates with as many voters as possible. “I’m with her” didn’t cut it.

Another of the D.N.C. candidates, Raymond Buckley, the chairman of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire, acknowledged to me, “Sometimes we try to impress ourselves too much by talking about issues that are overly complex when the populace really wants you to boil it down to a much more simplistic message.””

The simplistic message was already given to America: “Make America Great Again.”

Instead of trying to see where they went wrong, Democrats are more concerned with their message and how to make it appeal to the entire country. Even while trying to appeal to the entire country, they worry about having to dumb down their message (as if they are the party of Smart?). And then while trying to appeal to the entire country, they encourage protests and obstruction.

Sorry, but Democrats are now the party of NO.

NO from the party that claims to want to save everything…the planet, the bees, the polar bears, the refugees, the poor, the hungry.

NO from the party that tells the rest of America that America is backwards, in condescending tones.

NO from the party that claims to be open-minded and more enlightened.

What happened to the ‘high road?’

What happened to common decency and respect?

If the strategy of the Democrats is to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and win again, the high road will be hard for them to find if they keep losing themselves in obstructionism, anger and vitriol.

They’ve already lost the rest of America. I don’t think they can afford to lose much more.

Note:  In the New York Times article I reference here, I found these comments that really spoke to me. I quoted from one of them above.  These particular ones, below…I hope Democrats will read them…with their open, enlightened minds…:

Aaron

Democrats are pretty much finished. The Republicans have been cleaning up on local elections the last five years and have a huge bench to pull from for state and national seats. Democrats have been debating the wording for gender neutral farm to table menus in soup kitchens. They have pulled so far left the party centrists have become outcasts and marginalized. Boutique social issues are the flavor of the day and one either agrees or runs the risk of being called a racist, xenophobe, homophobe or anti-semite. All the poetry slams and drum circles in the world can’t help them now. Good Riddance to a failed party- they flew too close to the sun and got burned.

BoJonJovi

Let’s don’t lose sight of the fact, democrats ran a candidate that was under an FBI investigation. In a word, duh.
I really do not know what the democrats stand for. Let’s not forget the majority of America is rural. What do democrats have to offer rural Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, the eastern plains and western slope of Colorado? The democrats seem a little mushy on the things they supposedly stand for.
How about,
Free education for life. technology changes quickly. Education is just as important to an 18-year-old as a 50-year-old displaced worker.
When the ACA became law, democrats distanced themselves from Obama and the ACA. Now we see that it is pretty popular.
Democrats rarely talk about the debt. It is important.
Clinton tanked Glass-Steagall and brought us NAFTA. Education and retraining were promised and never delivered.
Regarding health care, why is there no transparency in pricing? It seems the democrats have sold out to healthcare campaign contributions as there is little meaningful reform.
Supporting illegal immigration is kind of a non-starter. It might feel good for politicians but not so good for a blue collar worker that realizes his wages are stagnant or his job is gone because of cheap labor.
I think of myself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Democrats would be wise to adopt that posture and really work for blue collar workers in rural Kansas and taxi drivers in New York City.

Michael S

There is a fundamental disconnect between the urban elites who now form the bulk of the Democratic Party and the working people who used to form the base of the Democratic Party. Until those elites get off their Trump hysteria, recognize what their party has become as the party of the Clintons and understand how Hillary created a Trump win there is no hope for their party unless Trump stumbles badly and loses the support of his base.

Bernie Won Brooklyn

Bernie won the debate tonight, and I don’t care what the mainstream media has to say.

Hillary Clinton is supposed to have experience and judgment, yes?

Then why is she battling one mistake after another, and trying to deflect answers?

Three times, THREE TIMES, Dana Bash asked why she won’t release her speech transcripts. No one asked about her server, or the fact that the Clinton Foundation accepted money from various groups overseas only to have those same groups overseas gain contracts later through the State Dept. That never came up.

But she still lost, even without those things that hound her on a daily basis. Why? Because she will never win the trust, nor the votes, of those voters that she needs. The youth, the independents, the disaffected Republicans, the women under 65, the people of color from all over the States who have seen their loved ones incarcerated for life for three strikes, you’re out, when all you had was a dime bag in your possession. All Hillary Clinton has behind her is the Dem vote over 65.

Complaint Upon Complaining

Everyone complains. I’m sitting here at my PC doing it right now. But, do I get up from my PC and go to Town Hall Meetings? Do I learn about my local politics, or my state politics? Am I registered to vote? Do I agree with my registered party’s direction? Do I pay attention to the people running for government? Do I learn about other parties? Do I read history’s accounting of previous elections and politicians? Am I involved in Church, instead? Do I get all of my information from my church, local paper, friends? Do I care about global warming and have I taken a science class that I can remember? Am I informed when I complain? Is anyone informed? Why is everyone complaining? Shouldn’t they either be in church, or voting??

Cold War – Hot Profits

“I’ve found the job where I fit best!” – Artist: George Ropper

Anyone who was here state side during WWII can tell you of the rationing that went on. Everything was rationed. From bread to tires. They can also tell you that no matter what industry you were in, you were doing defense work. WWII took this country from nearly 30% unemployment to 0 unemployment over night. New businesses formed overnight to meet the demands. Struggling businesses like Willys Motors became major contractors.

There were factories and corporations making each other’s products to meet the demand of the military. RCA, Stromberg Carlson, and Bendix all making the same radios. Willys and Ford made the Jeeps. Whole towns grew up from nothing to support new ship and arms factories. One could say that nearly every corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of USA Inc. The technology of the time expanded at a breakneck pace and the war paid for nearly all of it.

When WWII came to an end in 1945 the so called Cold War against what was called Communism began as well as a new war to fight it. Korea and the cold war kept many of these plants humming right along. And new defense systems needed new advances which meant lots of dollars for research and development and nearly all of it paid for by Uncle Sam. Working for a defense contractor – and at that time nearly all the major corporations were defense contractors – meant you could get whatever new and necessary equipment you needed to advance your project. And a lot of this made its way to the products that were sold to the general public as well.

Pretty sweet deal wouldn’t you say? Putting a good part of your research staff’s overhead on the government’s bill. And if the US military stopped being interested, you could also sell it to France or Egypt or Iran or Iraq or Israel or some South American country. And nearly every technical advance we saw had its origin or was advanced in some way through military material need – and I include NASA here . From television – improved for WWII, to computers – ENIAC for WWII became IBM. Continue reading “Cold War – Hot Profits”

The American Fantasy Land

Crossroads Fantasyland – dualdflipflop Flickr

One of the comments to a post by David Seaton was this quote by Bertrand Russell.

“In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards”.

We do not see ourselves in a realistic light but in the way we wish we were or hope to become. This is true of racial relations, finances, politics…you name it. The so called American Exceptionalism. This is evident int the tax proposal of the president to except the first $250,000.00 of income from the tax hike. To same the Middle Class. But as Ted Rall points out in this column, this is hardly middle class. More like the top 2% of earners. Especially since the median income is $49,000.00. Bit of a difference, wouldn’t you say. Continue reading “The American Fantasy Land”

The GOP and the right wing (nutz) hate urban America.

Red Hook Gated Community - Flicker
Red Hook Gated Community - Flicker

Thank gaud someone else sees what I have been saying for quite some time. Daniel Denvir in Salon point out why the GOP continuously votes down anything for urban programs.

There are some oblique references, like Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that child labor laws be modified so that poor children can work as school janitors. “Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods,” mused Gingrich, “have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works … They have no habit of ‘I do this and you give me cash,’ unless it’s illegal.”

Gingrich’s comment is an example of surviving remnant of dog-whistle politics that demonize urban residents; recent examples include new state laws to drug-test those on public assistance and the ongoing effort to cut food stamps (and Gingrich did call Obama the “food stamp president”). The specter of the black ghetto still scripts urban dwellers as villains (often as thieves robbing the citizen either directly, or as in this Rick Santorum comment, indirectly: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money”). But unlike the era of Ronald Reagan’s welfare queen, today cities are more ignored than attacked. And this goes well beyond Iowa.

“The core of the Republican constituency in metropolitan America are the growing, racially and economically exclusive ‘outer suburbs’ whose privileged status Republicans seek to protect at all costs,” says former mayor of Albuquerque David Rusk, now a consultant. He cited New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as an exemplar of the trend.

And not just the GOP but also a good number of Democrats as well. It’s White Flight taken to the Southern Segregationists extremes. Keep the good paying jobs and positions to ones self and price the poor and minorities out of any chance to moving next store.

And historically it was these liberal people in the 1950s and 1960s that made the trends of Nixon and Reagan possible. Urban renewal they called it. Bulldozing and trashing old (often black) neighborhoods to “save them”.

The neglect of the cities can be traced back a half-century to the apogee of mid-20th-century American liberalism. In the 1950s and 1960s, the captains of municipal state, flush with federal funds and armed with great confidence in modern planning and architecture, bulldozed miles of “blighted” neighborhoods (often non-white) and rammed highways through the centers of many American cities. The feverish remaking of the cities was a desperate attempt to compete against the suburbs and woo back the middle class, which had departed thanks to the federal dollars propping up millions of (whites only) mortgages and miles of highways. Tragically, it was the liberal federal government’s funding of suburban homes and highways, and bulldozer-heavy urban renewal programs, that paved the way for Nixon and Reagan’s abandonment. Black people and the left were suspicious, the rising conservative tide was contemptuous, and politicians changed the subject. So, then, went the neighborhood. Continue reading “The GOP and the right wing (nutz) hate urban America.”

Democrat Like Me

For years the idea haunted me, if a Republican became a Democrat in the deep North what adjustments would she have to make?

And that is how it began, that fateful day in 1984 was the day I decided to infiltrate the Democratic party and turn them all into Liberal Republicans! I knew I could do it if I could just find a way to fit in first, to blend in, so I went to the doctor’s office for some help.

“Hey Doc”, I said to him after he forced me on that scale again, why do they always want to know how much I weigh? “Hey T”, he replied, we were old friends since the heady days of Watergate. “Doc, I want to attempt to infiltrate the Democratic Party and turn them into a corporatist Republican lite party. I think I can do it, if I try very, very hard. How can I do this?”

He laughed and then smirked at me, he said, “Well first of all you need to quit shopping at Brooks Brothers, cause that totally doesn’t fit for a Democrat, I think you need to shop at vintage stores from now on, and find some bell bottom jeans with embroidery on them, preferably flowers and sunshine and stuff, it will make you seem whimsical and egalitarian.”

I was kind of happy that I had to shop for my newest endeavor, although I wasn’t totally into this Vintage Store BS but if I had to buy some crappy hippy clothes then I would, it is easier to punch them if you look like them.

So I thought I should find out about the party I was infiltrating so I decided I would study hard at the virtual knee of one James “Corporal Cueball” Carville. I saw him one night on CNN, and thought he would be the perfect teacher for me.   So I studied Carville, and knew I was about to become a superstar in the Democratic Party, superstardom leads to apparatchikdom too and that was my ultimate goal, become an apparatchik, it would make me feel like I had more control over all things Democratic and I could lead them myself to Republicanism, which ultimately was my goal, to make sure Democrats were just Republicans without the backbone.

My first effort was to make them, the Democrats, think that I took my new party seriously, when really I was just a shill for my corporate, tribal overlords. This fact was discovered by the arch nemesis to all corporate shills like myself, one Glenn Greenwald. He is a superstar this Greenwald guy, he has absolutely no connection to corporate overlords. His CATO membership is just a ruse, and his white papers for them, just a job, but he isn’t affected at all by these things, as he isn’t a sell out in anyway shape or form, and he never ever lets the corporate will beat him down, he fights it all the time.  He has no professional connection to corporate overlords and he is merely out for America the Beautiful. Greenwald is awesome in his ability ferret out those of us who have sold out America to the highest bidder. Working with the Koch is like waving an American flag, working with the Democrats is like working for Satan.

So my plan has worked, the health care bill we have currently, was my plan from the beginning, to sell out America by forcing them to have access to health insurance.  It will evolve into nothing that can benefit anyone really. States will not take the matter into their own hands to search for the best answer for their citizens either.  Certainly places like Minnesota (status of the Act), California, ( LWV, support of California OneCare), Illinois, Pennsylvania, Montana, (more Montana analysis) Massachusetts and Vermont have not taken the new law and tried to make it beneficial for their own citizens. They have succumbed to the dead-end health reform, the one that only supports insurance companies and is terrible for the people!

My mission is complete and soon I am sure I will be promoted head apparatchik, instead of just being referred to as the Greatest Living Democrat.

Hey Democrats consider yourselves Pwned.

Crossposted at TheAngriestLiberal