The Democratic National Convention is finally over and the election really begins. There are about 101 days until the election on November 8. Quite frankly, there is a huge difference between the two candidates. Both in the views they have of our country today, and how they plan to move it forward.
If anyone thinks this is going to be an easy election, you better think again. I am very willing to “discuss” differences with our opponents, but I don’t always release comments or bother with a reply if they are filled with vulgar threats and name calling. And, I get quite a few of them. Which tells me that this is going to be a very nasty election.
As I have said, I am a registered Independent. I have cast votes for moderate or left leaning candidates from both parties. I would even like to say there are a few Republicans that I could support this election, but they have all seemed to have left the building. In the case of the Republic National Convention, that was quite literal since many major players didn’t even show up.
I say all of this because today’s Republican Party has been hijacked by bigots, haters, and liars. They have nothing to offer our country. They offer no plans. They offer no vision. They offer only fear, hate, and divisiveness. Those are not the ideals that this country was founded on.
More than once I have asked “where have all the Republicans gone?” Last week, we discovered they all needed haircuts or went fly-fishing. We have always had opposing views. We have always had deep discussions about policies. But, we have never seen such hate in my lifetime since the 1960s and the Civil Rights movement.
And, if you remember those days as vividly as I do, you will also remember that it was mostly Democrats, namely the “Dixiecrats” on the side of hate. It was Republicans who were fighting for desegregation. Those roles have done a complete 180. And, with the advent of Donald Trump, the white supremacists feel safe enough again to crawl out from their sewers and become “mainstream” again.
Today, we constantly hear about Benghazi and “missing emails” from Republicans. If the Democrats had such hate in their hearts for their opponent in the 1980s, we would have heard about the “murderous” Ronald Reagan and chants of “lock him up” about him too.
Ronald Reagan was president when 250 Marines were killed with a truck bomb that exploded at their barracks in Beirut. The Democrats did not call for his head because he “allowed” those 250 Marines to die. Instead, there were discussions surrounding the incident and what happened and how to fix the problem.
It was also Ronald Reagan and his administration that violated the law and sold weapons to the one country that Republicans hate so much today. The Reagan administration violated the law against selling weapons to Iran. But they did anyway so they could fund their “war” in Nicaragua. Some members of his administration were convicted of this scandal and today the crazies in the Republican Party call them “heroes”. They aren’t “heroes” they are “criminals”!
Furthermore, when Ronald Reagan was President and a recession hit, we were told by his “economists” that a steady growth rate of about 2% was what we needed to sustain a continued growth. Over the last seven years that is about what we have seen as an average of growth in our economy since the Great Recession of 2008.
Only today, those same Republican “economists” say that is not enough. They say that we should be growing faster. They use those figures as “proof” that our economy is in a shambles. They use those numbers to “prove” we need more tax cuts for the wealthy. Reagan slashed taxes, then realized the arithmetic didn’t add up and he raised them to stop the bleeding he let loose.
I have not brought this up to defend anyone or to blame anyone. I am stating facts to illustrate the different ways Democrats and Republicans handle issues when the “other” side was in power when they occurred. The differences are stark.
At the RNC last week we heard a very dark and grim view of America today. This week at the DNC we heard a different version of America today. I believe that the reality is somewhere in between. Depending on where you sit today, you are either gaining benefits from the economy, or you are still suffering.
If you are one of those still suffering, you are angry because you believe you have been left behind. If you are benefitting, you may still be angry because you haven’t seen a decent pay raise for years. I share your anger. I understand your suffering.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the manufacturing hub of the city. Our little neighborhood was surrounded by steel mills, Pittsburgh Paint, Inland Coke company, and many more plants. As I grew up, I also witnessed the closing of these plants. I witnessed the devastation that their closings wreaked on the neighborhood and my neighbors.
And, we were not alone. These closings swept across the Midwest like a plague. Millions of hard-working people lost their good paying jobs. Local economies were shattered. Instead of spending capital to upgrade the existing plants, owners spent that capital to build new factories overseas where labor was cheaper. And, got tax breaks for it. Then they blamed the workers for their closings. Imagine that. Shows how much things have changed so little over the years.
So I do understand the anger. I do understand the feelings of frustration. I do understand the painful cries of “what about me?” I have seen it and witnessed it. My family was fortunate because my father did not work at a steel mill. He owned his own small auto repair shop.
But, that was no easy thing either. His business boomed between April and the first snow fall. After that first snow fall, business fell off. People only cared about their car starting on cold winter days and not anything else about them. My dad worked about 12 hour days during the busy times. As a result, we were not as affected as our neighbors.
This year we have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We have a choice between two platforms of both parties that are so different they can be called polar opposites. We must decide on which of these we want to run our country.
The Democrats this week laid out their plans for our future. They told the American people how they planned to put Americans back to work. They showed us what we can expect from them. Throughout the four days, we were given ideas and policies.
Last week the Republicans failed to tell us anything. They failed to let us know how they planned to put Americans back to work. They failed to show us what we can expect from them. They failed to tell us what they believed in.
Last week we heard a lot of talk about whom to blame. We heard a lot of talk about whom to fear. We heard a lot of talk about our lives being miserable from top to bottom. We heard a lot of talk about separatism. We heard a lot of talk about nativism. And, we heard a lot of “believe me”.
We have been told, especially by Republicans who are trying their best to distance themselves from Trump, this is a binary election and must choose between two evils in the candidates. I do not subscribe to that theory. This election is between two people and two parties who have very diametric views of who we are and where we should go in the future. The real binary choice is between the platforms and their ideas, or lack thereof.
The Republican platform wants to take us backwards in time to those “good ole days”. I am just not so sure how far back we need to go to reach their definition of the “good ole days”. I suspect they are talking about the turn of the century. And I am referring to the turn of the 20th century from the 19th century.
In those days, the rich kept getting richer and the poor kept getting poorer. Mining and other companies didn’t just own the mines and factories, they owned the town you lived in and the store you had to buy everything from. In essence the “owned your soul”.
Is that where the Republicans want to go? Their policies have just about made that happen already. The rich are still getting richer while everyone else is getting poorer. It was a time when wages were about 25 cents per hour. There was no middle-class.
Women were supposed to “stay home” and take care of the man’s house and have as many babies as they could. More babies meant more workers for the factories for the future and therefore pay wouldn’t have to go up.
Today’s Republican party’s platform of “social issues” handsomely disguised from the “conservative religious beliefs” they really are tell us that is how it should be now. Women should just shut up, stay home, have babies, and be subservient to their husbands.
This week the Democrats painted a different picture. They want to improve our infrastructure. They want to create non-outsourcable jobs in clean energy. They want to teach new skills and trades to those being hurt by the inevitable change from fossil fuel to clean renewable energy.
They want to reform our immigration policies so they are enforceable and inclusive. While the Republicans want to shut down our borders and build walls. They want to improve education so our children are better equipped to compete in a global market.
They want to reestablish trade schools so anyone who does not want to go to college can get training in a skill they can support their family on. They want to raise the minimum wage so people working full-time don’t still live in poverty or have to work two or three jobs to get ahead.
This is not a binary election between two candidates. It is a binary election between the two parties platforms and they are stark. It is really a choice of moving forward or moving backwards. It is a choice between being “one nation indivisible” or a nation of divisiveness and bigotry.
We have seen the Republican’s platform unchanged for at least the last 40 years. They are stuck in the mud. They have no vision of what the future of our country should be. They long for the days when there was social order. A time when we all “knew our place” and just went along with what they told us.
That lack of vision is stifling our economy. It is resulting in our infrastructure crumbling around our heads. It has resulted in the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs that our country desperately needs so our people can work and live in comfort. It has resulted in divisiveness in our social structure.
Rather than seeing the glorious nature of diversity, the wonderfulness of innovation and new technologies, and the energy and desire of our people to work hard and move forward, they prefer to take us back to a time that was even worse than anything today.
They then nominated a person in Donald Trump that exemplifies those very old and failed principles. A man who claims to be a “businessman” that made his wealth on the despair of those who “believed him” and then he betrayed by not paying his bills forcing them out of business and out of work. Even worse, he brags about doing just that!
As Michael Bloomberg said during his speech this week: “Donald Trump wants to run America like he runs his businesses? God help us!” He says he wants to “make America strong”. Yet he is willing to abandon our allies because he doesn’t believe they “pay enough” for our protection. That sounds more like a gang-related “protection racket” to neighborhood businesses than a foreign policy to me.
In the 1960s I was considered a Hippie Liberal. Today, my son tells me I am more of a left-leaning moderate. He may be right since times change. However, I am a left-leaning Independent. You may argue that my writings here indicate that I am a definite Democrat. But, that is only because today’s Republican Party has abandoned all of its policies. It has abandoned it principled ideals of being the “Party of Lincoln”. It has even abandoned its “conservative credentials” in favor of “strong-man” tactics.
You only need look at their nominee for the proof. I don’t just listen to words that are spoken, I look at body language as well. Body language tells you more about the person than the words coming out of the mouth.
Donald Trump exhibits the body language of all of the dictators he seems to love. He poses like Mussolini. He claps to himself like Stalin and the rest of the old Supreme Leaders of the old Soviet Union. He has praised people like Saddam Husain and Kim Jung Un. Then he tells us “only I can fix our problems” just like Hitler did in the 1920s in Germany.
In this election you will need to make up your own mind on who to support. I am a left-leaning old Hippie. I am a twenty-year veteran who served my country in the U.S. Coast Guard. I am a retired white “old fart” that spent my entire working life in careers dedicated to helping others.
When I sat in a small radio room in the middle of the night and the call came in for help, I never asked what race you were, I never asked what religion you were, I never asked what nationality you were. I simply responded and got the mechanism moving to rescue you.
As such, I cannot in any way, shape or form support a candidate like Donald Trump or a party that has the gall to put him up to be our President. I cannot remember ever voting a straight ticket. This year that will change.
Donald Trump and the platform of the Republican Party is so disgusting to me, I will vote and I will support Hillary Clinton and the Democrats up and down the ticket. I am actually hoping that this crop of Republicans get beat so badly this year, that the real Republicans will take back their party.
I believe in discussions. I believe in political differences. That is the only way to bring about change and necessary improvements. I believe in compromise where each side gets something out of the deal as long as Americans are the benefactor. Today’s crazies who control the Republican Party will never allow that to happen, and they must go.
Now, I don’t expect Hillary Clinton or the Democratic Party to be jumping up and down over my endorsement. I know I write for a small somewhat obscure little blog. But, I do believe that more of us “small” people must speak up, take a stand, and say enough is enough. And, more importantly, to vote the crazies out!
One last word to Donald Trump. If I were still in active uniform and you gave me an order to burn down the house of suspected terrorist, or to kill the family of a suspected terrorist, or torture a suspected terrorist, or any of the other idiotic things you claim will happen, I would refuse to obey. I would also order my people not to obey.
Our oath says we will “obey all lawful directives given to us by those appointed above us”. What you are saying is illegal, inhuman, and downright fascist. To put it in terms you may understand, I would simply look you in the eye and say “Fuck you!”