Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hillary or The Donald: Getting Just What We Deserve

Have we ever had two worse candidates for the presidency running at the same time? Sometimes, I feel like this is some sort of nightmare or a cosmic joke and I'm going to wake up from it and see two half-way normal people running (ie, Jim Webb, Elizabeth Warren, Rand Paul, John Kasich, or hell....even Jeb Bush). The votes are almost in and for better and probably worse Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are going to be fighting it out for the title of "most powerful person on the planet". Yeah, exactly....let that shit sink in for a few minutes. 

The political climate is such that it has given rise to a quasi-fascist like Trump. I understand the allure and I outlined it in my last entry, entitled "The Trump Thing". We gave rise to this man. It's largely our fault. We have given over the reigns of our republic to the political and financial elite and they have shaped a country where the difference between the have and have nots is increasing by the year. The power has been taken from the people and given to the corporation, which our bought and sold Supreme Court backed up with their decision that says corporations are people and can make huge political donations to PAC's, basically buying power within our government. That power is used to  help elect politicians that will create favorable legislation to the wealthiest among us. Hillary is a glowing example of this sort of Main Street vs Wall Street disconnect rank and file voters display. We have allowed our country to be taken from us because we have been duped into becoming a narcissistic and distracted population. Social media, wedge issues, reality TV, opinion programming disguised as hard news, and the death of investigative journalism have crippled the average American and in concert, the United States as we formerly knew it. We fight for or over the wrong shit and we fight with each other as though we are enemies. We are manufactured enemies, but again, we did this. We kept voting for these two parties and fought tooth and nail to defend them against our own best interests and against the best interest of a nation we all say we love. We let it happen. We watched it happen with glee and pride! All of this distraction has finally led us to two candidates that should have most of us horrified, if not very concerned.

Donald Trump is a billionaire. He is also a political fraud and chameleon. He's already backing down from some of the blustering promises he has been making over the past year. He has suddenly "evolved" on issues like immigration just in the past few weeks. He has had many success' in business and he has had some failures. Anyone that puts themselves on the line in the business world is bound to slip now and again. Part of his rallying cry is how the mainstream, establishment politicians have sold out the American worker and you know, that's true. What he doesn't seem as anxious to scream from the roof tops is that he has taken advantage of the sell out. He has donated large sums of money to both parties over the years (including to the Clintons) because it was to his advantage. That's the way our system works. If you want something done, you go buy it. Our vote only allows us to choose which party or person we want to benefit the most from the purchasing power. Trump should be a lot of things that rank and file Republicans hate. They hated Bill Clinton for a myriad of reasons, including his womanizing. Remember, he cheated on his wife and therefore his character couldn't be trusted. Trump has done the same thing. Remember, Bill Clinton was involved in shady insider business deals that had huge financial windfalls for him personally and politically. Trump has taken advantage of his fathers fortune and political connections to get deals worked with huge tax breaks that not just anyone would be privy to. Remember when Donald Trump was a "left wing plant" that was running so the presidency would be given to Hillary? What happened to that bit of paranoid thinking? The same people that hated what Clinton was about are now willing to let those things go or even worse, make excuses for them in regards to Trump. They are slaves to the party. It's their identity. It's their team. Country be gotta win, right? Throw personal integrity and character out the door. Just win baby. 

Trump exhibits fascist tendencies and at best he can be considered a quasi-fascist. He is now capitalizing politically on what he has been capitalizing on financially. Demonizing trade deals and companies that have shifted jobs out of country, even though, again, after taking advantage of them himself. He is openly isolationist and nationalistic which taps into the distrust/dislike of foreigners that so many on the right grumble about, but have now been given the green light to scream about out in the open. He doesn't do anything to temper the anger, resentment and hatred that is being poured out. American policy means more than human rights to Trump and his supporters. He has gone so far as to say he would order the military to break the law by using torture to procure information and to kill the families of known terrorists. Both are illegal, but he said the military will do it because he will order it. All you have to do is use Google and you can find much more on the views he holds that are consistent with authoritarianism and/or fascism. He has also been inconsistent on abortion, on conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as on other issues. He demonizes his perceived rivals and fellow Americans, based on appearance or stereotypes. This isn't an honorable man in any sense of the word. I get it, we all want a strong leader and we know we have problems with jobs, illegal immigration, terrorism, etc....but do we really want to overreact and go to the far right to fix those things? It's a road to less personal liberty, not more. It certainly isn't a road to greatness. I don't compare Trump to Hitler as a person or leader, but the nationalism and authoritarianism in a comparison of their rhetoric can't be ignored. "Make America Great Again" may be a slogan, but perhaps we can settle for "Make America Admirable Again"? 

That moves me on to Hillary Clinton. I believe this woman to be a fraud and a charlatan of the highest order that is basically using entitlement to bully her way to the nomination. She is purely a political animal and can probably be trusted less than Donald Trump when her words are taken into consideration. Trump doesn't hide what he is, Hillary has, does, and will. She wants the presidency and will say and do anything to get it. Her career is built off of her husbands rise to power in both Arkansas and in Washington DC. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with that, but looking the other way in the face of humiliation, excuse making, and outright deception when it comes to some of the more unseemly pieces of her husbands political and personal life makes her out to be merely and opportunist and an enabler. She likely didn't stick with Bill because of any obligation to the sanctity of marriage or for Chelsea, but to keep her own political career intact.

Hillary is weak on her position that she knows how to get Americans back to work. She supported NAFTA, which her husband signed into law (and was supported by people like Rush Limbaugh for crying out loud, so as you can see, the elites knew the advantage of this "deal"),  and she has rattled off rhetoric about putting people out of work who are employed by the fossil fuel industry and then took it back a week later when confronted by a voter. She obviously doesn't even understand the people that she believes to be her constituency. She and her husband have been huge proponents of Wall Street. She is status quo on banking and in fact her husband pushed the banking industry to be more resourceful in giving horrible loans to people so they could buy houses, which eventually caused the great mortgage collapse and sent our economy into a depression/recession that we will NEVER recover from. She benefits from current campaign finance laws more than any other candidate and may well receive more money from PAC's than any candidate ever. How can she protect us from the predators on Wall Street if she is taking money from them? They are not giving her money to reverse the current trends. She has stated that she has voted for "barriers" to keep illegals out, but now is using Trump's rhetoric on the subject against him. She has been against same sex marriage and now she's for it. She is as much of a neocon as Bill Kristol and Dick Cheney when it comes to our use of the military. The Huffington Post (a noted liberal website) has called her "the candidate of Wall Street. Even more dangerous though, is that she is the candidate of the military industrial complex" and went on to say that her foreign policy experience basically stems from supporting every war demanded by the CIA and military. 

I am obviously of the opinion that neither of these people are fit to be president. We are supposed to be a beacon of light to the rest of the world. We are becoming a laughing stock. This democratic republic was designed to be a great experiment and we, the people, should maintain control over its affairs and leadership. We have ceded that control to the political and financial elite. We have no one to blame but ourselves. During the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, the crowds were chanting "the whole world is watching" when the police and national guard were brutally dispersing protesters, basically interrupting the people's right to assemble and use free speech. My fear is that in August of 2016, the chants will be "the whole world is laughing". This is far from a laughing matter, but we have finally gotten what we deserve. Our leadership is finally reflecting who we are as a people and a culture. The will of the people is speaking and of course I accept it. Just don't expect me to get along and go along like a trained monkey. I will vote FOR a candidate that doesn't have a record of lying. That doesn't have a record of manipulating the system for personal gain. I will vote for a person of some character and integrity or I will not vote at all. If there is nothing else I have as an American, I have my vote. I won't bend over and give it up like a whore on spring break nickel night in Tijuana.