- Politics and Social Issues
Election 2016--the next phase
The next phase
By Roger Lippman
Never before have I faced coming upon a general election for the most powerful leader of our country and the decision I face is whom do I dislike less?
I am joined by about 65% of my countrymen who seem to have similar feelings. How is this possible? Who is to blame? Probably all of us.
First of course we have to realize that everything said by anyone is available somewhere out there to be repeated by the press, TV and gossip monger. I recall the debate between Nixon and Kennedy on TV. If you heard it on radio, you felt Richard Nixon won the debate. If you watched TV however you saw a man with a dark facial shadow, looking glum, sweating from the Keig lights, facing a handsome man, tanned, wearing stage makeup and looking relaxed. End of story: Kennedy won the debate as seen by millions and went on to win the general election. From there on, what was said and what you looked like,, how it was portrayed and all the rest became crucial.
Next, we have the do-nothing congress. While Ted Cruz could say his shinning moment was shutting down Congress, many more people were furious that a small minority of elected members of Congress could decide the fate of everything. Make no mistake, this is not a small issue. We face it in Illinois where our State has been hijacked by the Speaker of the House who has been in office for over 30 years and is content to see Illinois become the dead beat state. Of course in his private practice of law, his firm continues to rake in huge profits representing everyone who needs a good politician representing them. The way we elect our Representatives with gerrymandering is the big factor.
Also make no mistake, the reporters and networks controlled how it was portrayed. So the influence of the media is a key factor influencing the public.
Illinois has had no budget all year. The Democrats insist on a bill which was already vetoed by the Governor that increases spending while the State is in financial hock. The Governor says we must cut costs. So after months on end of not coming together, what did the Speaker of the House do? He pushed through the same bill once again to do the same thing. In fact, he repeated the vote two times to prove the Democratic House is with him—t the dismay of the Democratic Senate who would like to compromise. Compromise by the House leader? Of course not. The governor will once again veto it if the senate does pass it and leave the State in the same mess. This is just like Washington D.C. but in reverse.
We are so divided today that the word “compromise” is seen to be ugly. No one can govern without it. There is not a majority wanting any one thing today except for their dislike of the status quo and who is running for office. Do we want more government or less; more taxes or less; more controls or less; more benefits or less; raises or no raises; higher drug charges or lower ones; better VA or left as is; more trade deals, or less trade deals. Gun control or no gun control? The list is endless. No middle ground!
The Zika virus is spreading all over the world with no known cure. The CDC in the U.S. has warned about it repeatedly. President Obama asked for $1.9 Billion to help with it in the U.S. What has the Republicans in control done in 3 months? Nothing. Only when it hits a national catastrophe will they awaken. I think it makes people mad.
I think America today has become more assertive, assertive in protesting, in not caring about others and more important, doing a rotten job electing officials besides tending to elect rotten officials. We have not yet reached the climax of who will square off in November but the huge odds favor Clinton vs. Trump. Bernie Sanders will be a definite factor on the Democratic sidelines. It will move farther left. I scratch my head wondering how people do not think it out before saying he would make a great president. Probably the nicest of all who was running but face it, the country would face utter ruin under him. The economy would tank and millions would lose jobs.
He has not denied being a socialist. That is close to communist and we have some examples of both: we can start with Russia, all of Eastern Europe before being free and even Cuba. Take Cuba and ask, are the people happy? For the first time Raul Castro, who has taken over from his brother Fidel, is going to allow individuals to set up small private companies. Everything but barbers, small eateries and a couple other businesses is government run—with usual catastrophic results. Think: how many years has government controlled everything? Cuba has been an economic disaster, first supported by Russia since it could not make it on its own and now trying to relax some restrictions. People with higher education degrees were employed as taxi drivers for tourists and other menial jobs. When I visited there about 15 years ago with a tour group, I saw people with doctorates who were doing blue collar work—if they could find it. There are no good opportunities there. Private enterprise is stifled and there is no incentive to excel. Take away the incentive under Bernie and the Economy would tank.
Venezuela moved left and was singled out as a great example of socialism but look at it today in a horrible economic mess as the government stifled private enterprise.
So Bernie would raise taxes up to 90% and get huge support from everyone who is not making any money or wants handouts and they would flow. Just a few problems: we already have massive debt and it is more than the U.S. can afford. The majority of money coming in from taxes is going to pay interest on debt and the entitlement programs. Bernie wants the big corporations to pay more as well as wealthy people. Anyone can guess what this means: more corporations move out of the U.S., less expansion, more layoffs, no incentive to produce. How does loss of revenue pay for what he wants to spend? It does not.
Hillary is moving in that direction and more so if she wants to court his supporters. Donald would go in the opposite direction but one is not sure what Donald says is what he plans to do as he seems to be a fountain of sound bites and nothing on substance. I was impressed in his last interview with Megyn Kelly when he sounded downright calm and gentlemanly. It was like a love fest but nothing of substance was discussed. So what does that indicate? Who knows. They just wanted to make peace after he attacked her on TV.
Then shortly after that interview, he is speaking in typical Donald style talking about the death of Vince Foster (friend of the Clinton’s) who killed himself while working in the white house. Many investigations came up with nothing to show it was other than a suicide. There is plenty enough to throw at Hilary without bringing up Foster with no credible thing to add. Yet, he said on TV that he was not saying the Clinton’s had a hand in his death ………”but” there were those who were thinking that. He has used this tactic several times to say some thing like I am not saying Ted Cruz or Barack Obama, etc., are not American’s but ……
Now if his source for all this is the National Enquirer magazine which tells us who in Hollywood is having an affair with someone else, having an illegitimate child or that there are Martians walking among us, identify the source and stand behind it.
It seems we are all soured on the election. Most elections have been dirty in the past but this takes the cake and we are not even past nominations. If Trump does not win the nomination, the Republican party is finished. He has too many supporters who will not vote. Third party candidate, hogwash. It does not have the public behind it. All it will do is throw the election to Hillary.
The Republicans in Congress have enough problems trying to come up with people who will work with the other side to reach agreements. Mitch Mc Connell and others do not see (or perhaps do not care) that the general public is disgusted by them. As for Ted and his Tea party, they just do not care as it is a philosophical matter to them—much to our detriment.
The Republicans need to reform under a more inclusive base and get rid of those who are not interested in governing but want to muck up government. Will it happen? No, they do not read the polls or understand the amount of malcontent caused by all of them.
Hillary however has her own problem as the issue will be how many Bernie supporters will sit it out and not vote? A new report by the Inspector General has come out finding fault in about Hillary’s private E mail server at her home. The Inspector General concluded that Clinton's use of a personal email for government business did in fact present a security risk. The report also said that Clinton "failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server" and she would not have been permitted to do so had she asked the Department. Further, she should have handed over records of her emails to the government at the time that she was working for the Department, or at the very least before she left her position as secretary of state.
There is no question what she did was wrong while she has repeatedly tried to make light of it. Was it her belief that she was above the law in doing it or just that she would not be caught? Who knows.
I have been looking for who is acting more like a person we want in the White House, Donald is still being, well Donald, and infuriating everyone but his core while other Republicans are grudgingly falling into line. The fatal flaw is that he does not seem to care that 65% of us do not like what is going on and want a real leader, not someone who is a publicity hound and likes to scream “ fire” in a crowded theater. Frankly Donald frightens me—and a good many others.
Yet as I have already said in other Hubs, I will have to vote for him as Hillary is far too left for me now and would not be good for international problems we face. If I am vacillating on all this, it is because the choices are both bad. Trump has said so many things about how he would deal with issues that concern me and many others that you wonder is it a policy statement, wish list, or just trying to rouse up supporters? Remember this guy has gotten where he has by monopolizing the news from day one. Every pundit was wrong when he ran off the mouth on issues that would crush anyone else and it bounced off him. He is now a product of his own sensationalism.
We can hope he will get good people to run things and great advisors but his ego is bigger than Mount Everest and I am not sure he will listen to anyone as he can argue that he got this far by doing it “my way”. He has yet to turn presidential and disown all that crap. One can only wonder if he will.
Protests increase against him and most recently some of the good people of California chose to show their feelings in some public protest outside one of his events. Now we have a constitutional right to voice our opinion and orderly protest is one thing but most times, crazies are in the group which leads to violence. The more we see it on TV, the more it is a norm. With protests in places like Ferguson that decimated the community being treated as positive by many activists, these types of conduct have found their way into the political arena. Vocal protest turns into shoving, which turns into loud outbursts and fist fighting and then throwing objects and breaking things. This is wrong. They shout “we do not want you here” but in the end should we really say to THEM: “ we do not want YOU here”.
Meanwhile our problems get bigger. Obama has not united us as he promised. He has made the races move farther apart. His tract record which Hillary supports, has left our law enforcement agencies weaker which emboldens our enemies, both foreign and domestic.
Gun violence goes up in America as more cops are faulted and yet more people cause crime, or violence. Riots were unnecessary but happened in large degree because of media coverage and even our president making improper remarks so it encourages people to riot and then it brings out the agitators and thieves who seek to destabilize government.
Our CIA went through a long period of re-assessment when it failed to spot the 9-11 terrorists and we learned that he failure was caused by lack of coordination with the FBI, failure of intelligence and even the delays by the white house. Neither party has a good record in that department as Clinton failed to act when the CIA could have eliminated Bin Laden. Today it is a running battle of whether we can even stop terrorists all the time and whether the ultimate of Cyber warfare will be unleashed to destroy our electrical grid, internet, banking, water, fuel and everything else. An irrelevant concern? Not really. Eastern European hackers have broken into many of these already and nothing is safe.
Where are the big international problems today: Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Al Qaeda, ISIS, to name a few. So who is best prepared to understand what is ahead and lead us into the second decade? It remains to be seen as the choices are not good.