I consider myself to be a fairly well educated and experienced man. I am not ancient, but I grew up in the eighties, so I’ve seen my share of good and bad things in the world. I spent 9 years in the Service of the country, where I traveled and met a lot of different people, learned that race and politics don’t really matter when your life depends on the guy next to you. I have a Bachelor’s Degree (plus two Associate’s Degrees) where I had to study a lot of different topics. I worked in a fairly hi-tech field, requiring nearly 2 years of school before they even let you near what you’ll be doing.
I say all that not to impress anyone, nor to toot my own horn. Rather, I just wanted to get across that I’ve seen, done, learned, and experienced a lot in my time on Earth. Even with all that, there’s still a lot I do not understand. Life is about seeking some wisdom to, at the minimum, make your life easier, and hopefully to pass to the next generation, so they improve upon society.
The realm of Politics is no different. My eyes have seen a lot of things through the years. In fact, there was a time I considered myself a Republican. In hindsight, I think that was more to piss my Dad off, than on purpose, but life and time changed my view.
I am constantly on a journey seeking wisdom. I just thought I’d share a few of the things that I’m currently trying to wrap my head around.
- Why aren’t Democrats more angry?
Let’s face it, being angry at something makes us finally do something about it, true? If not angry, then uncomfortable enough. Larry Winget, a motivational speaker, once addressed this premise in a video I saw. The premise was basically that you are sitting in a chair comfortably. You are going to remain that way until it becomes uncomfortable. At which point, you do something about it by shifting in your seat. A bit oversimplified, you might think, but it explains the premise.
Now, I’m not talking about riot in the streets, anarchy type angry. I’m talking more along the lines of the Civil Rights era protesters angry. They got tired of segregation, so they took to the streets to make their voices heard and presence felt.
Are there not important enough issues in modern times to warrant that kind of action? What about the wholesale disenfranchisement of minorities and poor people? What about women’s rights and reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights?
You might say, Annoyed, people already protest about these things. My answer would be: “Yes, but is it enough? Why are there no changes? ” Every gay person in the country could take to the streets tomorrow, but until a good portion of straight people take up their cause, in my opinion, there won’t be enough voices to cause action.
- What about other issues that could affect the entire Liberal agenda?
What do I mean there? Why aren’t we, as Liberals, taking to the streets about issues that, albeit not very “sexy”, would still help every other issue we care about.
An issue like; Getting the money out of Politics! There is no doubt in my mind that the Tea Party, Neo-cons, and the extreme Right would not wield near as much influence or power as they do today, had they not had the millions of dollars added to their coffers by millionaires and billionaires! If there were publicly funded elections, everyone would be on a level playing field. There wouldn’t be all this “dark money” floating around influencing our elections. There would not have been any “Swift Boater’s” in 2004. When are we going to come together as Liberals and demand an Amendment that gets rid of Citizen’s United?
And I’m not just talking about campaigns. I’m talking too, about the lobbyists and their seemingly endless supply of cash, donations, and gifts that affect our everyday politics and issues. Would we have any kind of sensible gun control today, saving countless lives, if the N.R.A. was not allowed to spend millions a year buying off politicians?
- Why is congress a career for some?
I’m talking about two things here.
First,why are there term limits on the Presidency, but not on the House and Senate? I know the technical answer, Roosevelt’s 4 terms, but it seems like a double standard to me to push a 2 term limit on a President, when there are Congressmen and Senators who have been there over 30 years. How are we going to bring fresh ideas into our Democracy if someone first elected in the Eighties can still be re-elected to Congress?
The second issue is, why aren’t we, “more experienced” Liberals trying to encourage younger Liberals to participate in the system, to change it from the inside. Historically, people in their twenties and early thirties vote in abysmal numbers. They hardly ever run for any kind of local office. By time they come around and start, they have become part of the “establishment” that most young people rebel against. Why do we not try and get them involved earlier, so our posterity has time to benefit from our “experience.”
- When did the war start between “Progressives” and “Liberals?”
I have devoted posts and articles to this before, but today I want to ponder a different point. Several years ago, we watched the Republican Party bisect itself into two groups. The older “establishment” Republicans and the “Tea Party,” the more ideologically “pure” Republicans. We saw the results of that. The Republican Party, as it once was, was almost drummed out of existence. The ideologues took control, got elected based upon fear and tough talk, and proceeded to try and steer the country backwards. Today we see that as HB-2 in North Carolina, Voter ID laws, anti-gay marriage laws, etc. “Conservatives” of today are more radically right than they have ever been.
So I ask, is not something similar happening on the left? Especially after this year, and the Bernie Sanders “Revolution.” There is an entire subset of the left who refer to themselves as more “Progressive” than your run of the mill Liberal. They too, like the Tea Party, are more ideologically pure, and become angered at people who, although they may generally agree with them, are just not as radically as they. Meanwhile “mainstream” Democrats are not only trying to hold the line and advance against the right, but have to hold off attacks from the far left as well. We know these groups today by names like “Bernie or Bust, Never Hillary, Greens” and others.
On a personal note, it is difficult to focus on the way Republicans Annoy Me, when there’s people to the left of me that Annoy Me as well!
For example, and I’m sure many of you have had a similar experience. I have some friends who forward articles for me. One of them shared a Facebook post of an article about Party Unity into a “Progressive” Group. He was almost immediately swarmed with a wave of rebukes and negative attacks such as “Get this shit out of here” and “I’d never vote for that crook Hillary” and “I don’t claim to be in the corporate Democratic Party,” and the like. He told me that, for a second, he thought he might have accidentally shared it to a conservative website. The vitriol and venom which comes from these groups is nearly indistinguishable from the same coming from Trump supporters. I wish they would realize this.
Are we ready as a Liberal movement to let what happened to Republicans happen to us. What about when the Republicans finally fade away, are we, the “establishment” Liberals and Democrats prepared to actually become the Right Wing in the countries two party system?
- And finally, How is Donald Trump a thing?
Trump’s candidacy serves to prove the old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” We all remember the times before, when he would run long enough to say a few crazy things, get some free publicity, and then drop out. Oh, those were the days.
The amazing part is, it seems right now, that this race might wind up closer than it should. Personally, I think he’s going to get buried (knock wood), but pollsters (they’re always right, right) and Michael Moore put it close, or even him eeking out a win. To quote Bloomberg, “God help us!”
If you take a step back and analyze, or just ask someone outside the country, it’s hard to see how he got this far. Trump came along and ran when the stars aligned, and the mood of Republicans was ripe with anger and distrust. He has said not only one thing, but an entire string of things, that would stop a normal candidacy in its tracks. Hell, Howard Dean let out a scream of excitement on stage once, and wound up dropping out a few weeks later!
I can’t put it any simpler. To an objective observer, Trump is not qualified, prepared, nor possess the temperament to be the President of a local H.O.A., much less the entire country. But yet, here we are. Trump is the nominee of the Republican Party. Members of his own party denounce him, and even endorse the Democrat! But an equal amount of prominent Republicans detest him and denounce his actions/statements with one breath, then say they’re still voting for him in the next!
I don’t understand how we got here! Hopefully, historians and those involved will paint a clearer picture. Until then, I am going to keep staring in disbelief while the “Crazy” train keeps going down the track. Right until election day, when I vote for the Democrat!
Thank you for all the “Likes” and Follows! I hope you share these posts with your friends. Until next time, stay safe, and I hope your week is going well!