The 2016 Election

Understand this…. The upcoming election is NOT Let’s Make A Deal. There is no door number 3 in this election. There are only two sides to that coin. For better or for worse, whether it is fair or unfair, the fact of the matter at this point in time is that this country has a 2-Party election system, and one of the candidates from those two main Parties (in this case, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton) will become President of the United States. You may not like that, and you can try and change that, but if you do not believe that, then you are living in denial and you should probably not read the remainder of this post. Third Party candidates, such as the Green Party and Libertarian candidates may occasionally win at lower levels of government, such as state and local government, but they rarely if ever win at the federal level. There are Independents in Congress, but even Bernie Sanders ran in the Democratic primary instead of running for President as an Independent. He knew he would have no chance as an Independent.

Third Party candidates in the Presidential race do nothing more than suck away votes from the major Party candidate whose supporters are similar to theirs. A Green candidate takes votes from the Democratic nominee, and a Libertarian candidate takes votes from the Republican nominee. This can actually play a major role in the loss of the election by the major Party candidate as it did for Al Gore in the 2000 election. Voters who vote third Party often say they are “voting their conscience” or “making a statement.” This would be a valid argument except for two facts. First, this country is pretty evenly divided making almost every election a very close one, and second the differences between the two major Parties are vast. The result is that, as a practical matter, a Green Party voter making a statement is really only moving the country AWAY from what they believe in, and the same would be true for a Libertarian voter.

So, the two-Party system is one aspect of the reality we are living in today. Another aspect is that who becomes President is decided by who gets the most votes. This, of course, does not happen directly, but indirectly through the Electoral College, and as we saw in the 2000 election, an extremely close election can be decided (stolen) by the court system, but in general, the voters decide.

The Constitution guarantees every American the right to vote. There are some exceptions to that, but they are not based on race, religion, level of affluence, or level of education. The right to vote is not the same as a requirement to vote – you also have the right to not vote. However, there is some logic behind the idea that voting is a duty and a responsibility. It is true however, that with the ownership and control over one vote in a Presidential election comes some responsibility for the outcome. Even if you refuse to vote or vote third-Party, you have a share in the responsibility for the outcome and some ownership in the America we have to live in because of that outcome. If you voted for Hillary or Trump and your candidate loss, then at least you tried by voting for someone who could have actually won.

The outcome of this election will determine what America we will all have to live in. A Trump America? A Hillary America? A Republican or Democrat America? If you think there is not much difference between the two major Parties, then you must have been living on Pluto all your life. There is a world of difference, and unless you are very wealthy or a big business executive, the GOP is your enemy. If you are concerned about anything other than making the wealthy richer while taking everything away from the Middle Class and the poor, then you should be voting Democrat. The Democrats are truly the Party of the people. They may not be extremely good at it, but at least they are not working against the people like the Republicans are. And Donald Trump is the worst candidate in history. He lies more, flips-flops more, and makes racist, bigoted, women-hating comments more than anyone. Trump, at one time or another, has said he wants to build a wall along our Southern border, deport all illegal immigrants, block all Muslims from entering the country, that Barack Obama is not really a US citizen, that he would like to punch someone right in the face, and that strong-arm dictatorial leaders like Putin are good leaders because they are “strong.” Trump is constantly making remarks and insinuations that are sexist, bigoted, racist, rude, condescending, and insulting. Trump has filed for bankruptcy several times, and scammed employees and customers on multiple occasions. He is an egomaniac and a self-centered chauvinist liar.

Is this who you want to be President? Do you want to live in a Trump America? Is the answer Hell No?? Then I urge you to try and understand that every vote not cast for Trump keeps him further from getting into the White House, BUT also every vote that is not cast for Hillary Clinton moves Trump closer to the White House. Your Constitutionally-given right to vote comes with the responsibility to take ownership of the impact of what you do with your vote. If you vote Green Party, or don’t vote at all, then if Trump wins, part of that is on you and part of what happens in a Trump America is on you! It may be a very small part (1 part out of millions?), but it does belong to you, and if there are enough of you out there doing this, it can actually become the deciding part.

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September Letter To The Editor

Donald Trump lives in a triangular universe.  At one corner of the triangle is what he actually thinks and believes.  At the 2nd corner is what he says in public, and at the third corner is truth and reality.  These three corners are completely unconnected and have nothing in common.

Why is it that Conservatives are supporting a candidate who utterly fails every test that Conservatives have been touting for years as absolutely essential for a President?  Family values??  Anyone out there giving him better than an ‘F’ grade on that?  Foreign policy experience??  Zippo on that!  Integrity??  Fiscal responsibility??  Give him an ‘F’ on those as well.

So why is Trump the GOP nominee?  Perhaps it is because he gets an ‘A’ in all the things that are the secret requirements for the GOP to support someone for President.  He is wealthy, he is an angry white man, he excels in deception and manipulation, he hates everyone who is not white and Christian, he treats women like property, he is a racist, a bigot, and a chauvinist, and most of all, he is willing to do and say anything to get what he wants.  Sounds like a perfect fit for the GOP!

The rise of Donald Trump has finally exposed what the GOP and the radical right are all about.  So Conservatives, are you going to follow the other lemmings off the cliff, or are you going to think for yourself for a change?

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Cut Through The Crap!

OK, let’s cut through the crap. There is so much bullshit flying around these days that it’s hard to see the tip of your own nose. I’ve only been paying attention to politics since the 2000 election, but it didn’t take me long to realize that Conservatives are idiots, hard-wired to self-destruct. But when I hear Progressives and Liberals wringing their hands and wailing about how terrible the Democratic Party is, and talking about flocking to a completely non-viable alternative like the Green Party because the Dems are as bad as the Repugnants, it makes me sick. All because their favorite candidate did not win the primary, or because the Dems didn’t go far enough on their pet issues, or because the Dems caved in and compromised too much, or because who knows what. Evidently the disease called Conservatism is catching, and the first sign that you are getting it is the loss of long-term memory.

So, forget all the rhetoric, and only consider the actions of politicians in all levels of government, from the small town councilman to the President of the United States. When you consider what actually goes on in Government, who votes how, what legislation is introduced by whom and blocked by whom, what policies are supported by whom and fought against by whom, and just about everything that goes on, then it should be crystal clear that the very WORST thing you can say about Democrats is that they can be disappointing and weak, while the very BEST thing you can say about Republicans is that their evil can sometimes be stopped or at least slowed down.

So, ask yourself, just which side of the isle in Government is fighting for equality – economic equality, social equality, woman’s equality, LBGT equality, equality for minorities, equality in education, equality in opportunity – and which side of the isle fights against it? Which side supports immigration reform and which side blocks it. Which side poisoned the water in Flint, disbanded local elected governments and installed emergency managers in Michigan, and is suppressing the vote of minorities and the poor? Which side tries to regulate Wall Street and greedy corporations and which side tries to deregulate them even more? Which side causes recessions and which side gets us out of them? Which side is trying to abolish abortion rights? Which side justifies and uses torture, committing war crimes?Which side lied to Congress about WMDs in Iraq in order to start a war? Which side is ALWAYS trying to cut taxes for the wealthy and which side fights for middle class tax cuts? Which side blocks any and all attempts at campaign finance reform? Which side has committed unprecedented obstructionism, unprecedented use of the filibuster, and unprecedented disrespect for the President of the United States? Which side promises to put a gun in the hands of every mentally disturbed loner and no-fly list member, and which side fights for sensible gun laws? Which side wants to alter the Constitution to better reflect Christianity and tried to alter it to define marriage as only between a man and a woman? Which side would throw out separation of church and state if they could? Which side wants to REDUCE the federal minimum wage and which side wants to raise it? Which side thinks that corporations are people and should have all the rights of an individual citizen? Which side would kill Social Security and Medicare, and which side wants to expand them? Which side wants to make health care harder to get and more expensive while enriching insurance companies? Which side wants to defund Planned Parenthood, close abortion clinics, get rid of food stamps, discriminate against Muslims, deport millions of illegal immigrants, build a wall on the border, and kill the labor unions? Which side started spying on American citizens?

Oh Hell! I’m getting too old and no longer have enough energy to finish this list. Suffice to say that anyone who tries to equate the two major political parties in the United States is clinically insane. It’s not like comparing apples to oranges, it’s like comparing matter to anti-matter or America to Nazi Germany or God to the Devil! You pick your own analogy! A house divided cannot stand, and a Perty divided cannot win – #VoteGreenGetRed

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June Letter To The Editor

Senate Republicans have just blocked legislation that would help keep weapons out of the hands of those on the no-fly list.  People on that list are deemed to be threats to national security.  Evidently it keeps us safe to prevent them from flying, but not from having guns??  This legislation has the overwhelming support of Americans.  It is supported by a large majority of Republicans, of gun owners, and even a majority of NRA members.  Call me crazy, but shouldn’t Republican voters be asking themselves exactly who the politicians they support are really working for?

When it comes to defending the lies, scandals and crimes of Republican legislators, I always hear the same tired arguments like “all politicians lie,” “the Democrats have scandals too,” and “they all take money from wealthy donors.”  So the two political parties are just about the same, right?  Then why not give the Democrats a try?  When it comes to Republicans voting, evidently the worst Republican is still far better than the best Democrat.  Just what is it that is so horrible and devastating about electing Democrats that would make you support someone like Donald Trump?  The economy?  History shows much better economic times under Democrats than Republicans.  National security?  Really?

Perhaps you were raised Republican and have always voted Republican, but today’s Republican Party has devolved into something that should make even the most loyal Republican take a new look at the Democrats.  The lessor of two evils?  Maybe, but the difference is huge.

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March Letter To The Editor

Donald Trump??  Really?  That’s who the Republican’s think should be President of the United States?  A modern-day snake-oil salesman, a flimflam man??  Mr. Trump is a master manipulator, and he’s trying to manipulate himself right into the White House.  I’ve heard poor misguided supporters say that “he speaks his mind,” or “he tells it like it is.”  Again, really??  Donald Trump speaks for effect, and what he says has nothing to do with what he really thinks.  His speeches are about as genuine as his hair line.

Mr. Trump speaks with little regard for the truth, makes promises with little regard for the impossibility of keeping them, and attacks others on a personal level with little regard for decorum or integrity.  I’ve heard Republicans and Conservatives lament about the “integrity of the office,” but they still support Trump?

Trump supporters, like Tea Party Activists, are comprised primarily of “the angry white man” and those who make a profit from manipulating them.  The anger comes from the pain of hard times, a longing for “the good old days,” and an inability to accept inevitable change.  Where that anger is directed comes from racism, bigotry, and a lifetime of brainwashing by those who tell them that the immigrants, the minorities, the liberals, the gays, and the Muslims are the real cause of all their problems.

But who knew that there was enough of this anger and these misguided folks to get someone like Trump so far along the path to the GOP nomination?

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February Letter To The Editor

Capitalism is good and socialism is bad, right?  Not so fast.  Whether you think of these terms as philosophies or economic policies, they do not operate like the traditional light switch – on or off – all or nothing.  They are more like dimmer switches with an infinite number of levels, and yes, they can even coexist.  In fact, extreme capitalism, especially unregulated capitalism, is at least as bad as extreme socialism.  Unregulated capitalism would be like a large brawl, where a very few, come out ahead, and everyone else is dead in the water.

Money is power, and as we can see from today’s inequality gap, that power can be, and is, used to “game the system” and make it impossible for anyone else to climb out of their economic situation.  For a strong, affluent society, human accomplishment must be maximized, and the potential for accomplishment is not limited to any demographic, not even affluence.  And yes, the motivation provided by some level of capitalism is important, but so is the opportunity and lack of hardship provided by some level of socialism.

But years of propaganda and indoctrination, orchestrated by the 1%, has stigmatized the term “socialism,” and turned “capitalism” into some sort of God to be worshiped.  The question is, can you readers and the rest of the voters in this country, set aside your hate, fear, and anger long enough to actually use your brain and not cower in abject fear when you hear the term “socialism?”

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December Letter To The Editor

Here is my most recent letter to the editor:

It seems that the latest snipe hunt the Republicans want to take us all on is to scapegoat the Syrian refugees.  They would have us turn away an entire population of victims because there MAY be SOME evidence that ONE of the Paris terrorists entered France disguised as a Syrian refugee.  But wait!  Weren’t most of those terrorists French and Belgium nationals?  Should we close our borders to all citizens of those two countries? And what about domestic terrorism?  Mass shootings are committed by people who own guns, should we intern all US gun owners to keep safe?

Just when did America become a nation of over-reacting cowards?  When did keeping Americans safe become more important than keeping Americans free?  In the name of “keeping America safe” we have spied on American citizens with domestic surveillance, redefined torture as an “interrogation technique,” thrown out due process and jailed suspects indefinitely, falsified intelligence to excuse invading other sovereign nations, condemned and persecuted an entire religion, and otherwise gutted and turned aside much of what Americans believed in and what America stood for.  You simply cannot protect your ideals and way of life by compromising them.

But the fact of the matter is that the GOP does not really care about protecting Americans.  The GOP does care about keeping Americans angry, afraid, and behaving irrationally – like voting for even more Republicans. Without fear-mongering, scapegoating, and stoking up the fires of anger and hatred, the GOP would not win many elections.

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October Letter To The Editor

So, just how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent this election cycle? Where is all this money coming from?  If you were watching MSNBC last week, you learned that half of the money being spent is coming from just 158 families, and the individuals are overwhelmingly older, wealthy, white men.

According to the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision, this is nothing more than the exercise of free speech.  But free speech was never intended to be pro-rated by the size of your bank account.  Freedom of speech, or any other right for that matter, does not extend to the point of harming others, or suppressing the rights of others.

And that is not the worst of it.  When it comes to politics, there is no such thing as truth in advertising, libel, slander, or defamation of character.  For some reason, political advertisements and speeches are exempt from all of that.  So, not only can these 158 families control half of the information disseminated during the election, but there is no requirement for truth or facts in that information.

It would be extremely naive to think that the outcome of elections are not strongly impacted by political ads and speeches.  So this political “free speech” is really “freedom of deception,” half of which is exercised by just 158 wealthy families, and which harms and suppresses the rights of every voter.  How so?  Is not a voter deceived the same thing as a right to vote denied?

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September Letter To The Editor

One of the more disgusting and self-serving Right-Wing lies propagated by the GOP and Conservative pundits is that the wealthy have “earned it” and somehow the less affluent just haven’t tried hard enough, or worse yet, are too lazy or not motivated enough to make it big in this country.

Why non-wealthy Conservatives believe this load of horse dung is hard to understand.  Maybe they are just hard-wired to always react to fear and anger instead of logic and reason.

For this obscene idea to have any merit whatsoever, one would have to believe that the “playing field” we are all born onto is even.  In fact, the ONLY way we “are all created equal” is the fact that every human being is born with some level of potential for some manner of accomplishment.  Beyond that, nothing is even close to equal.

How many of today’s wealthy were simply born into wealth and never had to earn anything?  To use a football “playing field” analogy, those born into wealth are born already in the end zone doing their touchdown dance.  Most of those born into the middle class are born on a decent field, but at their own 20 yard line with 80 yards to go.  Those born into poverty?  They also have 80 yards to go, but the football field they are born onto is made of quicksand!  And sadly it is almost impossible for the poor to fulfill their potential, and that is bad for ALL of us!

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Letter To The Editor, August 2015

Here is my latest letter to the editor:

An indication of the depth of the disarray the Republican Party is in can be seen in the fact that Donald Trump, of all people, is leading in the polls in the GOP Primary.  Donald Trump, who supposedly speaks his mind and says what he thinks.  Trump is a showman and is more likely orchestrating what he says to fit his current audience, and it has nothing to do with what he actually thinks.  In fact, he has raised flip-flopping to an art form, and has seriously shortened the time between flip and flop.

The more serious problem is what Trump is actually saying, and claiming to believe.  It is not only just plain wrong, but extreme, dangerous, and hurtful.  Forget about being politically correct, how about simply being correct for a change Donald?  If Trump really believes what he is saying, he is seriously delusional, but then so is most of the core of the Conservative base.

Conservatives will vote Republican by rote and without question, and that’s the problem.  Even a clown like Trump could indeed win the GOP nomination.  Conservatives should question their life-long beliefs, even if that sounds like a Liberal thing to do.  More importantly, question your faith in the GOP, which today has but a single agenda – taking as much money as possible out of your  pockets and mine, and then giving it to the already extremely wealthy top 1%.  And NO, that does NOTHING good for jobs or the economy.

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