Saturday, November 12, 2016

What Have We Done?

So, a crazy thing happened the other day, something that appeared to only happen in dystopian fiction, or in other countries far far away. This guy, this dumpster fire of a caricature of a human being, yelled and bullied and smeared his way into the presidential election and won.

The Donald, or as Jon Stewart once called him, Lord Fuckface Von Clownstick, is now the president-elect of the United States of America.

There has been a lot of articles, blogposts, statuses, memes, etc about Trump, Trumpettes (I refuse to call them anything else), and the horrorshow that may become the new reality in America. I think, for anyone either in the Trumpette basket, or willing to try get along peacefully, there are a few things to remember.
What I think of when I say Trumpette
Thing One: Trump is still the Right's fault.

I have seen a few articles trying to pin this election outcome on Liberal Elites who weren't paying attention. This may be true, if rich white people cared about poor stupid white people, the Democrat agenda may have been changed to reach this terribly misinformed and angry base. But then again, rich white Republicans have been jerking the poor stupid white people around since Nixon for the expressed purpose of misleading them to vote against their self interests. So... this probably wouldn't have made a difference.

There is evidence that a large slice of the voting public relishes in their ignorance. The Uneducated White Man has become a focus after this election. Anti- Intellectualism should not be a thing to be proud of. We ought to continue to invest in education and foster the scouting mind, and other good learning habits. This is difficult when we continue to slash education budgets, affecting teacher salaries, but still expect schools to perform well and retain quality teachers.

See this for more on celebrating the uneducated.

It is much more important to look at how certain groups vote solely based on one issue. For example: Evangelicals supporting Trump because they believe Democrats like Hillary want to kill babies instead of banning abortion. Or any redneck militiaman who is convinced Democrats want to take their guns away, even though there are no Democrats on record ever saying that, nor did it happen under 8 years of Obama, or 8 years of Bill Clinton.

See here for more thoughts on Religious zealotry.

Thing Two: Trump doesn't get a free pass now that he's been elected.

How about apologists who claim that the media has misconstrued Trump's stand on racial equality, and women's rights? The hypocrisy of this astounds me. Democrats come right out and speak of equality for all and they're called "libtards", like its retarded to want everyone to have an equal chance at a good life. But when Trump mocks the physically disabled, questions the patriotism of a Gold Star family, values women based on their looks alone, and pledges to ban immigrants based on religion, he's just joking and talking in hyperbole. Words have meaning.

A common mantra for Trumpettes is "he says what I think". Ok, but presidents don't say those things, even if they believe them. Woodrow Wilson was a huge racist. But he managed to keep any crazy racist things he may have been thinking from slipping out during public speeches. Kanye West once said Bush hates black people. But there was no evidence other than how long it took for FEMA to handle the Katrina disaster. Bush wasn't habitually tweeting with Klan members.

My point is, if you truly want to "make America great again", and you want to compare contemporary America with any other era in American history, Trump is unacceptable as a president in comparison to any other of the 44 you have to choose from. Except maybe Andrew Jackson and Herbert Hoover. Jackson helped murder millions of Indians and gave Nazis the blueprint for their final solution. Hoover loved the free market so much he led the economy right into the Great Depression. Not very good role models.

It may be true that white people in this country have felt pushed back to the margins and made to feel ashamed. No one should feel ashamed of being themselves... Unless being yourself means you habitually make other people feel afraid and keep them from being themselves. Hatred never gets a pass. There is a group of Liberals that have worked very hard to expose white male privilege. It has been aggressive and oppressive, and it has helped breed a contempt for feminists and humanists seeking equality for everyone. No one likes being called the bad guy repeatedly. This doesn't really matter. Bottom line, no one argues: Stop being shitty elitists! White men aren't superior. Rich suburban college grads aren't superior. Right Wing Free Marketers aren't superior. Stop it. Period.

Societies and economies are much better off and stronger when diversity is protected. We can all win. stop being shitty.

More on how things have meanings.

Thing Three: Taxes are important and necessary.

Get Government out of my life!

No one likes being told what to do, right? I mean, just about everyone between the ages of 12 to 18 cant wait to get out of their parents' house so they don't have to follow ridiculous rules. The problem is, adults should be way past acting like adolescents when it comes to politics. Once again, I blame the Right for fostering this idea that taxes are theft, and government is corrupt and wasteful.

Corruption definitely happens. There are no term limits for Congress, and these politicians all had lives before in communities throughout the country. There are plenty of opportunities to make deals in Washington that favor the politician. There are plenty of opportunities for corporations to grease palms and make deals that favor both the politician and the corporation and screw the US citizens.

Lobbying is a problem. Gerrymandering is a problem. Pork barrel spending is a problem. Obstructionist legislative tactics are a problem. Citizens United is a problem. Taxes are not a problem.

In fact, recently the great state of Kansas had a chance to slash business tax rates, with the hope of stimulating growth. Local businesses save money on taxes, invest in themselves, grow their businesses, create jobs and therefore grow state taxes and build the economy. Trickle down economics finally realized.... Except the exact opposite happened. Business owners saved money on taxes, for sure, but they had no obligation to reinvest that money, they just kept it as profit. Businesses did not grow or create jobs. Kansas did not slash budgets enough to handle the revenue shortfall, they relied on economic growth that never happened. Predictably Kansas couldn't balance the budget. In short, taxes matter.

Societies and economies are better off and stronger when everyone pays their fair share. A government that doesn't work because it is underfunded is no help to anyone.

See this for more about taxes.

Conclusion:

There is, and has been a Republican agenda that has plans to shrink government beyond usefulness. I believe the Koch brothers put it this way: make it small enough to drown like a baby in the bathtub. Now that Trump is president, and the GOP has control of both chambers of Congress, with the ability to nominate and approve Supreme Court justices that lean conservative, the Republican agenda has a real good chance of becoming a reality. This means rolling back the Affordable Care Act, defunding Planned Parenthood, rolling back civil rights afforded to homosexuals, defunding the EPA and deregulating environmental protections.

This last is probably the most devastating. Under the guise of stimulating economic growth, ecological protections will be scuttled. Plenty of GOP legislators don't believe climate change is real. We sure don't like spending tax money, but if the climate continues to warm, there will be considerably more natural disasters. More disasters means more to clean up. Disaster relief costs money. Tax money. Repealing regulations that protect water and timber and fish resources will lead to increased climate damage.

Societies and economies are better off and stronger when integrated with a strong and healthy ecosystem.

Bottom Line: I sincerely hope this next four years turns out better than expected. But, I fear the next election will have the same slogan. Make America Great Again may actually be a real goal.

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