Can We Talk?   1 comment

So Trump has supposedly regained his lead in the polls and Hillary is trailing … again. Trump, supposedly a racist, spoke at a black church about unity and there were protesters who wanted to silence him, which just made him look better than them. Meanwhile, Hillary’s email scandal is the news cycle that just keeps giving.

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I’m not voting for either one of them, but I keep watching. It’s sort of like one of those really bad dead teenager movies where you know how it’s going to end. You really wish you had the energy to get up off the couch and go do anything more productive than watching this, but you can’t stop. You just keep peeking through your fingers, wincing at every stupid scene, because you can’t help yourself.

Sadly, elections — especially the every-four-year rumble for the White House — have consequences that affect all of our lives. I’d love to be able to just ignore it, but who wins is of major importance. It’s too bad we can’t actually influence the outcome with our votes.

This year’s circus is more entertaining than most, mainly because Trump’s candidacy represents.a shakeup of the standard playbill.  Whatever else comes of this electoral competition, I’d welcome almost any nonviolent break in the American status quo.

I have to make this clear – I do not want a violent revolution. I don’t believe we need to start shooting at one another to change things for the better. In fact, I’m pretty sure that shooting at one another will not have a desired affect.

I also understand the appeal of regularity. When I was young, I didn’t really understand this allure, but as I’ve gotten older, I recognize that regularity wraps us in comfort and stability. I feel for people who feel threatened by the idea of change. Change is terrifying, especially if you don’t know who is in charge of the transformation. Do they mean well? If they mean well, will their goals come with negative unintended consequences? I understand completely. But this country has been slowly sliding downhill for a long, long time and now we are sitting on the edge of a precipice from which there may well be no escape. Refusal to change means we accept going over that cliff, maybe sooner, maybe later, but certainly, we are going over.

Times of social transitions bring uncertainty into our lives, but they also allow ordinary people to think and act for themselves — and that’s a good thing. We should strive for much more thinking and acting for ourselves.

 

 

So freed from the choice of picking a side, I’m wondering what happens afterward.

Donald Trump knows how to work a crowd and he knew what the crowd has been waiting to see. When Hillary came out with her ridiculous slogan “I’m with her”, he blew her out of the water by saying “No, I’m with you,” meaning the American people. He really knows how to stroke our instincts. Furthermore, he never admits an error. He doesn’t apologize. I suspect we’re all exhausted with our politicians trying to twist themselves into pretzels to be the “perfect” candidate. Trump isn’t perfect. He doesn’t pretend to be and the crowds truly admire him for it.

Trump may be all about self-promotion. That is certainly what turns me off about him. Still, I think the populist candidate truly means to keep his promises. At least he’ll try. He may have to make some truly questionable compromises with the Democrats to make good on his promises, but the Great Dealmaker will do what he has to do to make it happen.

What terrifies me is what he will give away to seal the deal. To bring jobs back to the United States is entirely possible in a perfect world. In a world where Donald Trump has to negotiate with Democrats to make it happen, what does he have to parlay with? What’s worth dealing away to achieve goals he considers important?

I’ll leave you with that thought experiment for a while.

 

I think Trump will enjoy the political arena where deals are a part of the game. It’s when he encounters the unelected elites who are really in charge that he’ll wish he never ran for the highest office in the land. The deep-state elites have had their way, more or less unchallenged, for a century. Yeah, they’ll do “let’s make a deal” some too, but sooner or later, conflict will arise and it’s entirely possible that Trump will end up buried next to JFK.

Then there’s Hillary Clinton. What can we say about Hillary? Her moral compass spins aimlessly. We all know this. Her judgment is lacking on so many issues. But there are still a lot of people who want her as president because …. I’m admittedly perplexed why anyone would vote for Hillary. Okay, she’s a woman and I’m a woman, so I should want her to be president, right? Well, I’m a woman and I at least have a working moral compass, so why don’t you elect me instead? Not really. I can’t think of anything I would want less in life than to be president of the United States, but my point is that we shouldn’t just be electing a woman as president because we had a black guy last time. That didn’t really work out all that well. Remember the doubling of the national debt? Just electing a black man or a woman or a Hispanic or an American Indian because it’s their turn this time is just plain stupid. There’s approximately 126 million women we could elect to the White House. How is that the one with the broken moral compass is the only one qualified? We could wait until the next time around and maybe elect a woman who is actually qualified to be President? Why do you have to have a woman so badly this time around that you will vote Hillary into office? Or is it that you can’t allow Donald to win? Okay. I can buy that … except that would mean voting for Hillary and I am never voting for Hillary.

But let’s say you do that. Once in the Oval Office, Hillary will be … Hillary. Just as when she was Secretary of State, she will (most likely) drag the country into more wars than Trump will. She’s not a negotiator like he is. He actually enjoys it. She believes people ought to do it her way. That sort of attitude leads to wars. She claims he’s the one who won’t negotiate, but his whole career has been about negotiation while hers … not so much. The deep-state elites in the State Department will tell her what they want to do, which is to enforce their “stability” on the entire planet. How do we know this? Because that is what she did when she was Secretary of State. Her cozy relationship with these career elites with their commitment to global “stability” means we can’t win any wars we get into, but we can’t lose them either, so we’ll just sort of pretend to fight them, consuming young American lives and destroying foreign countries, digging the country deeper into debt, putting more and more pressure on the economy and making things less safe at home, which will require more militarization of the police, less liberty for citizens and God help us when all those chickens come home to roost.

 

So, no matter which way this insanity turns out, I think we’re going to see some cracks in the American facade.

If Hillary gets to live in the White House, the bell may finally ring for the millions of Americans who want to believe in a God-blessed government. They’ve maintained that illusion for nearly 20 years, but under a Hillary Clinton administration, they should probably wake up and smell the blood-soaked coffee. Hillary won’t be substantially different from Barack Obama. Her domestic and foreign policies aren’t all that different from his. But his turned out not to be a whole lot different from George Bush’s. Start wars we have no idea how to end and placate the voters with domestic programs that we have no idea how to pay for … oh, wait, is someone besides the President in actual control of the country, someone who stays on from administration to administration?

Pay no attention to the men behind the curtains!

Do you prefer the status quo of continuing the same failed policies of the last two administrations that will eventually drag us over an economic and social cliff or the tumult of a president who might actually change a few things … though at the risk of irreparable damage to the country and possibly an assassination?

 

Hmmm? That’s a hard one. Which is why I can’t vote for either one of them.

I’m old enough (barely) to remember the Kennedy assassination. That one event was like the starting shot in a time of social transition. It wasn’t the fall of Rome, but it definitely cracked open the settled comfort of the previous era. For a decade (approximately 1965 through 1975) every ridiculous and sometimes damaging idea was allowed to be yammered about in the public square where people were encouraged to think about them. Yeah, a lot of it was crack-pot crap that wasn’t worth the time to record, but at least we were thinking. The communists, the objectivists, the hippies and the Jesus freaks all mixed together in a confusing mess where everybody had a voice and were hoping to make the world a better place with it.

 

Nowadays we’re not allowed to talk about alternative ideas for fear of being called racist, sexist, nationalist or anarchist. How dare we upset the placid waters filled with the rotting debris of civilization. We have to keep a lid on things. We can’t have people thinking or doing things that the elites haven’t vetted. We might hurt ourselves or hurt someone’s feelings or look ridiculous.

 

And that’s what I find so entertaining about this particular political circus. Donald Trump provides a clear alternative to Hillary Clinton’s “same ole, same ole”.

I’m not voting for either one of them, but I want to thank the Donald for his willingness to say things that aren’t supposed to be said and let the chips fall where they may. I’m in favor of anythng that makes us stop and think, even if I disagree with it, even if the man espousing those ideas is someone I cannot embrace.

So, finally, can we talk? We might want to get started on that before talking about anything important is banned.

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