Needless to say this has been the strangest Presidential Election in my lifetime. It is just weird. The vitriol is unbelievable to most people, but I believe that is because they haven’t really been watching the last few decades.
Since the beginning of the “Southern Strategy” initiated by Richard Nixon, the seeds of divisiveness have taken root. Over the years, we have seen that divisiveness has gotten worse and worse.
In ramped up even more with the start of Conservatives courting the “religious” vote. That was the start of the “Conservative Christian” movement under Ronald Reagan. When President Obama was elected, the divisiveness hit its pinnacle.
But, both parties have been guilty of helping the divisiveness really take hold. Both parties have more or less ignored the middle class of our country. Both parties have courted the so-called “elite” in order to get enough money to run for office.
That, money, is at the heart of a lot of our problems, but not all of them. All you need do is go to your Facebook page and see all of the “remember this” postings and you will have a better understanding of the failure of our parties.
Trump has said over and over that he will “bring back” American jobs. He acts like we will see the old-time manufacturing jobs return. But, that is never going to happen. Automation has made it impossible for factories to create as many jobs as in the past.
There are factories all around the world, including right here in America, where the workforce is less than half of what it used to be. That is because robots do most of the work today.
As a result, because of automation, people are following Trump because they believe they will go back on the assembly line. They are being lied to about that. It won’t happen.
Clinton is trying to convince people that retraining is the answer. That modern factories is the answer. With retraining, more people would be qualified to work at these automated factories. Problem is that she is terrible at getting her message out.
The other problem is that the middle class has been ignored for so long that they don’t want to listen to anyone anymore. They want to hear that it isn’t their fault. That something or someone else is to blame for their plight.
The Republican Party has been selling this concept for over 40 years. Now Donald Trump has taken that meme and started shouting it from the rooftops. Unfortunately, a lot of people are listening.
The elites on both side have divided this country along two lines. They think you are either a conservative or a liberal. They are wrong. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle of the road.
The vast majority of people in this country believe that hard work is the key to success. They believe that if you go to work faithfully and do your job, you will be rewarded with a livable wage to support their family and send their children to college.
The vast majority of people in this country are not prejudiced or bigoted. Yes, we all have a certain amount of bigotry inside all of us, yet most Americans believe in equality regardless of any of the factors like color, sex, religion, or sexual orientation.
The vast majority of people want to simply be left alone. They want to worship as they believe. They want to work and get paid fairly. They want to have fun with their families. They are willing to pay their fair share of taxes and consider that patriotic. They simply want to enjoy the benefits of their labor.
But that isn’t what has been going on. We find that politicians want to interfere with their lives. We find politicians that want the middle class to shoulder the tax burden so the rich can pay less taxes. We find politicians that want to interfere with a lot of things in their lives.
No one is listening to these people. No one is talking to these people. No one seems to car about these people. No one wants to even acknowledge they exist until election time.
Public education is under constant attack. Property taxes are the main source of funding for our schools. However, states also add money to education. Problem is that money from the states is drying up. Instead of using money to fix our schools, Republicans want to have “choice” meaning that public money would be used to send children to private schools.
That is an absurd idea. Public tax money is to be used for Public Education not subsidize private or “religious” schools. The result of this absurd idea is that Public Education is being bankrupt in favor of these private schools. Meaning poor children are being left behind.
What makes this even worse is that even Republicans say that education is the stepping-stone to a better life. Then they demolish our Public Education system in the name of “privatization”. Taking away that “stepping-stone” from way too many children.
Because of this divisiveness the feelings of going back to the “good ole days” has become so prominent. But, those feelings are not accurate either. But, that is the problem when you are ignored for so long.
Our political discourse has become so nasty that it is almost unintelligible. Instead of arguing the facts and issues, we hear about innuendos, lies, and accusations. There is no such thing as a civil election anymore.
Many people talk about a getting a third-party going. That is a good idea. However, that third-party cannot be a fringe party like the Libertarian or Green Party. It needs to be made up of the “middle-of-road” people who are willing to listen to everyone and not just the “elites”.
We also need to look at the Electoral College as well. With the Electoral College set up as it is, it is almost impossible for a viable third-party to take root. They vote for President once. If they don’t have a majority, it goes to the House of Representatives.
We would need to look at how that system works in a world of three major political parties if at all. Many think that we should go with the popular vote to select our President. Maybe and maybe not. We need to be sure that all votes really count regardless of where you live.
We need serious financial reform in our process. We now live in a world where oligarchs can “buy” an election and leave the middle-class further behind. Just about everyone knows that “money is the root of all evil” and we need to eliminate it from our election process. Citizen’s United was probably the worst decision that came out of the Supreme Court concerning elections.
We need young people to get involved in the process. I am not just talking about voting either. They need to be involved in actually running for office. Maybe a third-party would make that more possible.
We have fallen into a malaise in our country. If you are Republican you are considered conservative. if you are Democrat you are considered liberal. The fact is the majority of both parties are neither.
However, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have allowed these politicians to make us so divided. We have allowed these politicians to use 20 second sound bites to convince us how to vote. We have become politically lazy.
Benjamin Franklin said that “democracy is a very poor form of government, but no one has come up with something better”. That is still true today.
But, it takes education to make democracy work. It takes work to make democracy function. It takes us to realize that we need to keep up with what is going on to make proper decisions as to whom will run our country.
It is too late to do anything about this election. We have our choices and not many people are overly thrilled with them. But, beginning on November 9, we will have a chance to really make changes. We will have an opportunity to tell our politicians enough is enough.
If there is to be a viable major third-party, it needs to start forming on November 9. It needs to start building from the ground up in local, county and state elections coming up.
We will have our opportunity. On November 9 the civil war in the Republican Party will begin in earnest. The divisiveness, if Clinton wins, will stay in place if not get worse. We as the “bosses” of these politicians need to stop them in their tracks.
We need to tell them that we will no longer tolerate do-nothing Congresses. We need serious people working for us and not special interest groups.
But, if you remain quiet, you will be guilty of abetting the malaise that has seeped into our politics. You will be guilty of abetting the divisiveness that has sucked us dry.
As a nation, we cannot continue to “look back” to “those good ole days”. We need to force our politicians to look forward and help us gain the tools to compete in a globalized economy.
If you look at history especially at dictatorships, you will realize that silence is acceptance. It has been silence that has allowed demagogues like Trump, Cruz, Huckabee, and a host of others to poison our politics.
Our people cannot afford to remain silent anymore. We need to be vocal. We need to vote especially in off-year elections. We need to “fire” those politicians who want to use their office for personal gain or personal power instead of doing what we the people want.
We don’t need “term limits” to clear house. We need an active electorate who will do the work necessary to make our democracy functional. If the electorate does its job, the bad cases will be voted out of office even without term limits. Term limits is nothing more than another lazy way to attempt to fix something.
As a veteran I am constantly told “thank you for your service”. I have started to tell those who say that if you want to thank me, get involved more in politics and make our country work the way it was intended. That is truly “thanking a vet”.
I know that I write for a small insignificant blog, but I vow to continue to call out what I believe is wrong. I will continue to fight for what I believe is right. All I ask is that you be willing to join the fight with your participation in our electoral process.
With all of our faults, I believe America is the greatest country on earth. We are more giving, loving, and inclusive than any other country. If we want to stay that way, we need to participate.
So, vote this year. Then, keep politicians feet to the fire once the New Congress and Administration takes office. Stop being lazy. Stop listening to 20 second sound-bites. Start being involved. It is your future and your children’s and grandchildren’s future at stake.
Being involved in the one way every American can really be Patriotic. If you cannot be involved every day every year, you cannot be a patriot. Patriotism is “giving back” to our country. Participating in our electoral process is “giving back” to our country.
We cannot continue with our politics of hate and divisiveness. But, only we the people can stop it. Politicians will never stop it. They need it to stay in power.
There are 12 days left to vote. So what are you waiting for? Make sure you vote!