Part 1 – How Did We Get Here — Hillary Was Just Not The Answer…

slice26This post will start a series called “How Did We Get Here”. Looking back reflectively is something I will likely be doing for some time yet. Mr Trump is getting into the Oval Office due to our failure to comprehend just how drastic some people were to see something, anything different.  The discussion on this topic will likely include politics, human behavior, as well as other life issues.  I will also try to occasionally look back at history for some parallel events.  We need to learn from our mistakes in order to plot a course forward. Let’s get started….

How did we almost completely miss the Trump protest vote? I suspect the answer to that question will take a while to comprehend. But I want to start it off here with thoughts about Hillary.

2016-11-13_09-15-43.pngI was never enthused about a Hillary Clinton presidency.  It seemed more like us becoming a monarchy to me. We just couldn’t keep doing a Bush or a Clinton in the White House. It was time for new leadership. The Democratic establishment determined early on that Hillary would be the nominee and they set about doing whatever it took to make that happen.  I don’t imagine there was much thought given to other possibilities.  But, then there was Bernie. He was the was one person who dared to say they might be wrong. He put up a noble fight but they weren’t ready to counter Trump’s populism stands with some of their own. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if they had.

Hillary, like her husband Bill was never really a Democrat’s Democrat. They both seem to sway with whatever direction the wind blows. I don’t doubt that Hillary was the driving force behind her husband’s political aspirations and when he reach the pinnacle she decided it was her time. Yes, she is a wonk like me but she is just too “establishment” for these unsettled times. We need change, real change, to shake up the gridlock inside the Washington beltway and she just wasn’t that.

For these reasons I was never that enthused about her candidacy. But when Trump managed to bully his way through 16 presidential GOP candidates I chose the lesser of two evils and voted for her. It looks like many others last Tuesday were not as patient to wait for a viable change candidate so they thought it is Trump or the status quo and chose Trump.

Given how polluted our current political environment is I find it hard to see anyone with any integrity being willing to put themselves up for a national office. Will there ever be  a true leader rise up to the challenge of battling the partisan hatred that embeds both political parties?  Hindsight now tells us that Hillary was simply the wrong candidate for these times. I saw that but the alternative was just to scary for me but obviously not for many others like me. God help us in the coming months and years…

About Those Polls

Polls used to be statistically scientific studies of trends and thoughts. Today not so much.  Due to technological changes and just plain laziness polls just don’t have the validity they once had.

2016-11-04_08-54-31.png1. Over time, the percentage of Americans who say they would participate in polls has declined significantly, from nearly one out of three in 1997 to one in 10 in 2016, according to Pew.

2. Half of American households don’t even have landlines. The younger you are, the less likely you are to have ever used a telephone with a cord attached to it.Again, pollsters try to correct for these skews by weighting and finding other ways to sample voters. But every interpolation creates additional room for error, quite apart from the survey’s statistical “margin of error.”

Source: Breaking news: The presidential race is stable

I recently discovered that many of the polls being viewed today come from internet sites which have  pointed political views. These type polls have little to do with a general population but are called “polls” so too many think they are true.

It will be interesting to see just how this election turns out on Tuesday.  Will any of the polls be accurate?  Will one side dominate or will it be a close race? I don’t put too much confidence in polls anymore but I do put confidence that most of us still cling to the idea of civility and decency so my poll says an extreme egomaniac narcissist will not be elected as leader of the free world three days from now.

It really is this simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States

I have some pretty strong feeling about the Trump candidacy but no where close to the author of the source below. But I do share is simple conclusion,

TRUMP SHOULD NOT BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!!

Did I shout that loudly enough for you?

Since he clinched the nomination, Trump has managed the seemingly impossible by becoming even more erratic and even less presidential th2016-06-10_09-01-56.pngan he was during the primaries. The insults, the transparent lies, the racist taunting and bullying, the demagoguery, the narcissistic self-obsession, the incapacity to take a position and stick to it, the failure to raise funds and manage a campaign — the man has no business running anything of public consequence, let alone the government of the most powerful nation on the planet.It really is that simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States. If there is even a small chance of successfully deposing him at the convention — an act that, if it worked, would deprive him of the means to compete in the general election — it should be undertaken. The alternative is complicity in a politically reckless and blatantly irresponsible endeavor: the attempted election of a candidate who deserves to lose.

Source: It really is this simple: Donald Trump should not be president of the United States

I don’t think Mr Trump is an idiot but his actions certainly indicate that.  I have an idea that he really doesn’t want to be president so he is saying the most outrageous things to finally turn people away.  The problem with that is that the more outrageous he rants the more his “base” cheers!! I just can’t fathom what the thoughts are behind that group.

Are his supporters so pissed off about almost everything that they want to take down the U.S into flaming oblivion? They didn’t get their share so they are hoping that the next time around they will be luckier.  Or do they actually believe that he can “fix” anything? Either way that group scares me to tarnation.  We have had a good 240 year existence, is that about to end?  I don’t know but I kind of hope we can hold it together at least as long as I am walking this earth :).   I don’t expect I have more than a decade or so left, can we at least hold it together that long? I certainly would appreciate it…

Great Britain’s reign lasted about that length of time and so did the Roman empire.  Have we run our course? Is it time for another country/belief system to take over. I can see China is chomping at the bits to have their time at the throttle.  Would communism prove to be more long lasting than capitalism? Maybe we will soon have a chance to test that out.

Is Trump the beginning of the end for the USA and its form of democracy? Is this where the wings fall off our soaring aspirations of diversity? I don’t think I will be around when it happens but they say that everything on the Internet will always be around so maybe these words to serve as an “I told you so” after I am dead and buried.

I didn’t count them but this post probably has the most question marks of any I have written.  🙂

It’s Got To Change…

2016-06-07_08-02-26.pngI am definitely hoping, praying even, that the GOP is decisively rejected in the coming election. With Trump at the top of the ticket, and my faith in the sanity of most of us in the U.S. , I can see that very possibly happen.  If it happens it will finally turn the Supreme Court away from it radically conservative base and allow for fundamental change to happen.  The first thing that needs to change is not about gun control but instead about our elections process.

In 2012, Democratic candidates for Congress received more votes than Republican candidates. For the first time in 40 years, the party that received the most votes failed to take control of the House. The people did vote for candidates who believed in gun-control reforms. Obama had it backward: it’s the Republican mapmakers who gerrymandered our democracy so effectively after the GOP’s historic 2010 victory who have made it hard for the voters to affect elections. The strategy was dubbed REDMAP, for Redistricting Majority Project, and it was brilliant in its execution. With $30 million or less than the cost of some losing Senate races — smartly spent in the right districts in the right states — Republican strategists turned the House of Representatives red for a decade, and maybe longer.

SOURCE: The GOP screwed themselves: The brilliant gerrymander that gave Republicans the Congress — and created Donald Trump – Salon.com

Computers are great things that have advanced our society in numerous ways but that power is also used by the dark side.  It is used for elected officials to chose their voters and that is definitely not what the framers of our country intended. In previous posts on this topic I have showed you the utter stupidity of how congressional maps are drawn. With enough computing power now available making sure that your guy gets elected is almost a sure thing.  Majority rule is no longer valid when it comes to electing  so many of our federal office holders.

It seems the only way that will happen is to take gerrymandering to the Supreme Court and declare it unconstitutional, which it surely is. We need to either take the ability to set up congressional districts away from State governments or strictly regulate how they are determined at least for federal elections.  If we put some sense back into this process the will of the people will once again be accomplished.

Yes, there are simply too many guns in the hands of too many unstable people in this country and that must  change but the more damaging practice of rigging elections strikes at the bedrock of our democracy. It has got to end and end soon…

 

Its Time For The People, Not State Governments, To Elect The President..

Almost all of these states give their electoral votes based on a winner-take-all system. A candidate receiving 50.1% of the vote in New York, for instance, will garner the state’s 29 votes. Collect 270 total votes, and the presidency is assured. As the National Review’s Jim Geraghty explains, however, there is no constitutional requirement that states allot their electoral votes this way, however. They could do it based on a simple vote in the statehouse. They could even, legally, decide to apportion them based on a coin flip, or whichever candidate is taller. Both Maine and Nebraska, for instance, divvy their votes based on the winner of individual congressional districts. SOURCE: BBC News – A rule change that could lock Republican 2016 victory.

I love the look from a different angle that my British friends give me over at “The Week” website. Given the extremes that the GOP seems will do to maintain control of U.S. politics I can clearly see more red States going the way of Maine and Nebraska in making their own rules in how to cast votes in presidential elections. That seems to be the logical next shoe to drop. But I have a radical view that would thwart that plan.

Lets allow the people to elect a president. Let every vote count! I know that is a radical idea but I think its time has come. 🙂  The electoral college served a purpose during early U.S. history when information took days or even weeks to pass through the country. It made sense for each State to send people to report their State’s votes.  Flip forward to today and this concept has no validity whatsoever!

Let the people’s voice elect the president as it does for all other Federal and State offices. Quit this electoral college stupidity. I hear there are laws still on the books in various State that deal with the times that a horse driven vehicle approaches a motor driven one. I know the one in Indiana that was finally nullified a few years ago said that the motorized vehicle had to leave the road until the horse passed. Its time to get rid of this archaic election rules and let the people elect the president.

I have lived in Indiana most of my life and have voted in each presidential election since 1968. But my vote has only counted during two of them. My first vote was for Richard Nixon. I was a naive Republican in those days, The second time was  in 2008 when most people in Indiana were, like me almost overwhelmed by the rhetoric of Barak Obama. All the other times my vote was thrown out. It is time to allow people, not State governments, to decide who will be their president.

We Cuss The Lawmakers….

2014-08-03_08-55-51“Well, we cuss the lawmakers . . . but I notice we’re always perfectly willin’ to share in any of the sums of money that they might distribute.” – Will Rogers, 7 April 1935

Being that we are coming up on an important election day in America I thought I would ramp up some of my feelings about politics here. I know for most, including me, this is a gutter issue in our country. We simply disdain those who we have currently chosen to represent us at the national level.

But as Will says in this quote. We seem to have disdain for all those other politicians but ours are OK as long as they get us more than our rightful share of the money they might distribute. By almost every poll taken in the last ten years we simply can’t stomach the goings-on in Washington but we seem to have no idea how to change that condition.

The first step in that  process is to accept that we are in denial when it comes to those we personally choose. In order to break the gridlock and dysfunction within the DC beltway means that we have to send a clear message to those folks. Attacking this problem around the edges has simply not had much of an effect. We send our local representative back to do the same thing over and over again and somehow expect a different result. How utterly stupid is that?

The only way things will change is to vote those currently in office out until they finally get the message. Yeah I know that might mean voting for someone who you don’t agree with on some or even many issues but you must hold your nose and do it anyway. I don’t think it would take more than a couple of total replacement for the candidates to get the message.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel in some of our current elections. It seems that an independent is leading the Kansas race. Kansas has never had a senator from a different part for over sixty years I think but that just might change this time around. If our friends in Kansas can do it surely the rest of us can also??

 

Something About Running the Country…

 

There is people so excited over this election that they think the President has something to do with running this country. – 30 October 1932   Will Rogers

I am going to leave the quote above to pretty much stand on it own.  Many want to blame the president on everything that happens in the country. “It rained so much today, it must be the president’s fault”.  I am more of a realist maybe.  I don’t think any of those yahoos in Washington have much to do with what happens in the country. And thanks heavens for that!

Power to the People…..

source:  Nonwhite voters and changing values make 2012 election pivotal – Los Angeles Times.

The 2012 election marked the point at which a new American electoral coalition solidified its hold on politics, one built on the country’s growing nonwhite population and on cultural changes that have given younger voters of all races a far different outlook on political issues from that of their elders.

It is still not clear just who made up the majority that swept President Obama into a second term and seemingly muted the Tea Party’s power in today’s politics. But it is obvious that the $1 billion spent by the 1% had little effect on who won elections. It is obvious that the common people, many of color, gained power from this election cycle.

The old rural white, mostly southern, men are running scared. They now make up the majority of a shrinking GOP so it is panic situation for them. They are signing petitions to secede their States from the Union.  They are running about as scared as the McCarthy Republicans after they fell from grace in the 1950s.  If they can’t accept that our nation actually celebrates diversity then good riddance to them. Let them hunker down in their bunkers.

The vast majority of the current national office holders in the GOP are also old white men. It is exciting to see so many women even if they are all of the other party going to the Senate next year. I hope they bring a new perspective to that end of Capital Hill. Women are now the majority in this country and in my mind the sooner they also become the majority in congress the better. Many of the grumpy old white men who now occupy those offices need to retire.

One group of voters that have dramatically increased in the last two elections are the young people. That is the most exciting news to me. Those under twenty-nine make up the largest increase in those who voted in the last two presidential elections and that is a good thing. Now if they also can just take over more of the seats in our congress maybe gridlock can become a thing of the past. It seems young people just don’t have the political baggage that us older folks have.

Of course people of color also came out in groves in this and the past election. I celebrate that also.  Many of them steadfastly stood in hours long lines in Florida and Ohio to vote.

The Grand Old Party (GOP) is indeed living up to its middle initial and becoming old.  While I myself am an old man I celebrate all these new voters. Diversity is what makes our country different from most others in the world. We should all be celebrating that fact. When the GOP sets out to stifle, instead of encourage, the vote in order to win elections they are putting a stamp of doom on their party and for the most part they don’t even seem to realize that fact.  I hope they wake up soon.

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know….

Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’

Source: Karl Rove on why Romney lost: Obama was ‘suppressing the vote’ – CSMonitor.com.

“He succeeded by suppressing the vote, by saying to people, ‘you may not like who I am, and I know you can’t bring yourself to vote for me, but I’m going to paint this other guy as simply a rich guy who only cares about himself,’ ” Rove said.

By his definition of suppression, it sounds just like traditional “opposition research” and negative advertising. Does Rove (himself a purveyor of negative ads in his work for George W. Bush and now at the Crossroads GPS group) have some different point to make, or is this just sour grapes over the election outcome?

Karl Rove has a lot of explaining to do. He took over a $1 billions from some very rich folks and delivered virtually nothing for them.  Not only did their candidate Mr. Romney lose the election but many of the tea party also came up short. Mr. Rove has a lot of explaining to do but even I did not imagine he would blame it on President Obama suppressing the vote?

Before the elections we heard news that Republican governors in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were doing things to make it harder for people to vote. They were instituting last minute voter ID laws and such; thank heavens our judicial system cancelled most of them before they were implemented.   They were shutting down early voting because it looks like minorities were the predominate participator in that process.  They made some, mostly in Democratic districts, stand in line for over seven hours when they tried to vote early.

So, to hear Mr. Rove explain why he wasted so much of his donor’s money is a total surprise to me.  He wants to blame it on the very thing that he so successfully instituted for George W. Bush.   He practically invented the modern day version of mud slinging.  I just couldn’t help but laugh out loud (that’s “LOL” to you young folks) when I saw the above title.  I laughed even louder than when I heard of his childish rants about not conceding on election night.

Mr . Rove has done a great disservice to the GOP with much of his meanness  over the years.  He is sixty-two this year so maybe it is time for him to retire. I’m sure he siphoned all a pretty big chunk of that $1 billion in personal fees so he shouldn’t have to worry about money.  But of course for people like him it is all about power so I doubt that he will leave the playing field voluntarily.

I wonder if any of the GOP hopefuls coming up will go to him for any advice? We would all probably be better off if they didn’t. Maybe the next generation of GOP leaders will be more tolerant of differing views.

But I am just a simple guy so what do I know….