Voting Is Imperative, And Not Enough.

What I am having the hardest time grasping isn’t why the Republican leadership is supporting Kavanaugh.

That is, sadly, entirely within character for the party leadership and not at all surprising. They need this man on the bench, more than any other, because they know he’ll protect them at the highest levels of our court system from repercussions for their actions in support of this administration even if the balance of power in Congress shifts.

It isn’t why the die hard Trump supporters are either, they’ve already demonstrated that they’re willing to screw over themselves with their votes and campaign donations as long as they think they people they hate are getting screwed over more.

What I don’t get are all the parents out there of teen and pre-teen children. The ones with those kids just starting to become aware of political discourse as their school social studies classes turn to current events. The ones with kids in the early years of high school that will be voting in the fall of 2020.

I don’t get how they can watch these discussions of what it ultimately means to be male or female in our society with their kids, and remain idle, apathetic, or worse supportive of those that strive to keep it this way.

Discussions of why young men shouldn’t be held accountable for their actions, especially if those actions are a result of reckless underage drinking.

Discussions of why young women need to have a stricter dress code than men so they don’t tempt boys to treat them poorly. Why young women have to be more careful at parties and never leave their drinks unattended in case someone might drug them. Why women should always travel together, even to the bathroom in public spaces, so they have strength in numbers. Why young women shouldn’t make accusations of assault against their attackers because we don’t want to ruin a young man’s promising future. Why women shouldn’t make accusations against their assaulter because we don’t want to ruin a man’s career or reputation. Why women should expect if they come forward about an attack to have every aspect of their life — attire, attitude, past history, other sexual experiences, sexual identity, sexuality, friendships, social circles, drinking habits, recreational drug use/experimentation, and more — ripped to shreds in order to find an excuse for the way her assaulter treated her so we don’t have to actually blame him. Why women shouldn’t be allowed the choice to have an abortion even if their pregnancy is the result of a non-consensual sexual assault. Why women who have kids before they’re ready, even as a result of such attacks shouldn’t be provided aid and assistance as single parents.

Discussions of why no man should have to bear the hardship of being accused unless the woman can provide physical DNA evidence, at least 2 eye-witnesses, and preferably a video recording of the incident (which the court and jury will be shown to further traumatize her) and even with all of that, why she’ll still have to endure all of the crap mentioned above being done to her just to give her accuser a couple months jail time and possible registration on the sexual offenders list if he can’t plead his way out of it.

How do they look at their daughters, and say “This is what you’ll have to endure the rest of your life, and I’m not going to try to do anything to fix it.”

How do they look at their sons and say “No matter what we’ve tried to teach you about manners, etiquette, moral and ethical conduct, this is what society will accept and expect of you, and I’m not going to do anything to try to fix it.”

Yes, voting is essential.  It is a moral imperative.  Please vote.

But voting is not enough.

We must change our culture. We must break free of the #Culturalinertia that has us mired in the acceptance of this. In the use of the terminology and mindset that allows it to continue even as we talk about how unfair and not right it is.

These people that condone this and profit off it and remain in power through it need to be removed. Those people that stand idly by and allow it to continue need to be corrected and/or removed.

We need to get off our asses and force the change that needs to happen. Because it isn’t going to happen without us.

Ask yourself “Who has to be victimized before I have had enough?”

Then ask yourself, “Am I really willing to wait for that to happen?”

Because honestly, statistically the odds are, no matter who you named in that first question, it’s likely begun to happen already.

If not us, then who?

If not now, then when?

Does Your Chosen Party Leadership Represent You?

For just a minute, we’ll throw out concepts like “left, right, and center,” and “liberal or conservative.” For just a minute, lets forget the long history of what people think it means to be Republican or Democrat and evaluate what the leadership of the modern political parties really appear to stand for at this point.

 

Understand that for the purposes of this discussion I am speaking of the party leadership’s actions, voting records, introduced legislation, and not the simple rhetoric of their public platforms.

 

Modern Progressives are fighting for equality of opportunity, equality of law enforcement and application of penalties by the Judicial system, affordable access to quality health care and quality education by all. And they recognize that taxation, primarily on businesses and the wealthiest are required to pay for it. They just can’t seem to break free of their dependence upon or association with the Democratic party in order to create their own viable party and campaigns.

 

Modern Republicans claim they are fighting for America, but they are only fighting for a selective group of Americans and then only to control that group’s behavior along with everyone else through a theocracy enforcing Christian Fundamentalism and more recently open support of legislating White Nationalist oppression and persecution of people of color. But the reality is that they are paying lip service to those Christians as well as they destroy all federal government services and organizations and eliminate the revenue to provide them by eliminating taxes on the rich and increasing taxes and expenses on the poor.

 

Modern Democrats straddle the middle paying lip-service to the Progressives while not doing anything to actually further the progressive agenda, and claiming to fight the Republicans on social issues that government has little control over but constantly giving in — one little piece at a time — to the Republican’s demands to strip the rights of people in favor of the rights of corporations, and the rights of the masses in favor of the rights of the wealthy.

 

Modern Libertarians want a nation of “every man for himself,” where the rich have power and access to fundamental necessities regardless of price and everyone else deserves what ever befalls them.

 

The modern Green Party wants to save the planet’s ecology and also pays lip-service to the Progressives, but they have no coherent social reform plans and a demonstrated lack of foreign policy knowledge or initiatives at the leadership level.

 

The newly formed UCOBA — United Citizens Of Black America — working to end racial injustice and create social reform is another Progressive group working towards solving similar issues of systemic oppression and societally enforced inequality from a focus on issues directly affecting People of Color.   And the correct belief that any issue that affects any American is a problem for all Americans to solve.   We can not claim to be a free nation until none of us are oppressed.

 

There are other parties such as the Constitution Party that have not gained enough national recognition or viability to earn a place in the discussion yet.

Meanwhile, Independent voters have no national representation because they don’t have an actual viable Independent party with consolidated resources for campaign funding or strategy. So they have to decide which of the above choices most closely aligns with them on the issues of import every time they step up to the ballot box.

 

Note: I have not included the Tea Party as a separate party or even an identifiable faction of the Republican party because as of 2016, the Tea Party gained enough control in the Republican party that as far as leadership is concerned they are one and the same now.

2020 Reelection Campaign Already?!

In July of 2016, the Urban Dictionary added the definition of “Trumpence” as:

trumpence

 

Roughly one month after making a mockery of the Oath of Office — by violating the constitutional emoluments clause while saying the words — Donald J. Trump filed the official papers to open his 2020 reelection campaign.

Today, , writing for Vox, informs us that the Republican president’s first reelection fundraiser is a $35,000-a-ticket soiree at his own hotel.”

You might ask “Why?”

Why would a president less than a year into office already be campaigning for reelection instead of focusing on implementing the policy he pushed during his first campaign?

There are many answers to that question, and all of them are correct.   All of them should prove to you that you should not support this reelection campaign.

First, as the Vox article points out:

 

In hosting the dinner at his hotel, Trump manages to raise money not only for his 2020 campaign but for himself too. After all, any business the hotel does is personal profit for the president, who still owns the Trump Organization. It’s unclear if the hotel will make money from the dinner, but even if the hotel gave the food for free, any money attendees spend on hotel rooms, at the bar, or at shops in the hotel goes straight to the Trump Organization.

 

Hosting the event as his own hotel is a revenue windfall for the hotel even if it doesn’t charge the President’s campaign itself a dime; but they’ll charge in order to funnel the money from the campaign back into the family business coffers.

But there are other several other, and probably far more important reasons that Trump is doing this, and they need to be exposed as well.   Which brings us to the second reason.

By establishing the campaign fund, and officially holding rallies, large donors who want Presidential favor can funnel money into his campaign efforts through various SuperPac funds over the entire first four years of the Presidential term in return for pay-to-play favoritism.

But, wait, don’t order yet, there’s more!

The big trick is declaring all of his public appearances as official campaign rallies or fund raisers.   By doing so, he can block access to whomever he wants without violating constitutional rights of anyone that doesn’t agree with him.   He can have protestors, hecklers, and anyone who speaks out forcibly removed as an “unapproved guest” instead of being forced to hear what those citizens have to say in opposition to him.

It allows him to continue the “Lock her up!” and “Repeal and Replace!” chants while deflecting from his own inability to do either and from the investigations into his own unethical and possibly criminal infractions.

Next, there is the fact that political campaign speech is protected in a way that the official words of a civil servant are not, so it is much harder — legally — to hold him accountable for the “dog whistle” and overt racist rhetoric he uses at these campaigns to rile up the”Alt-Right,” Neo-Nazi, and  White Nationalist voter base that refuses to abandon him as long as he keeps speaking their language.

Let us not forget the fact that the continuation of the campaign allows him to keep the merchandise sales flowing as well.

Finally, there is the fact that he can set up reservations and accommodations in his own properties for foreign government agents to accidentally — on purpose — bump into him for a brief unscheduled meeting that is off the White House records, while claiming those agents were just there at the same time as his rally/fund-raiser purely by coincidence.

Please, I implore you, do not allow yourself to be one of the willfully ignorant targets of this trumpence campaign that gets whipped into enough uninformed outrage to vote for this administration a second time.

Don’t Be Fooled By Appearances

By most indications, today it would appear that Donald Trump has decided to challenge the Republican party leadership that has condemned him for his sexual assault confessions in the Billy Bush video.

It seems he is now running his campaign as a hostile takeover instead of the Republican front runner.

That appearance is patently false though until that same Republican leadership actually pulls their support, funding, and endorsements of him as their candidate.

Until they have taken those steps to cut him off, he is still their candidate of choice despite any of their pandering rhetoric to save their own campaigns and political clout in the process.

Is Trump The Republican Candidate Or Merely A Necessary Step in the Ascension Of Their Real Choice?

Consider the possibility for just a few moments that installing Donald Trump as President of the United States is not the specific endgame the Republican National Committee is striving to obtain.

 

The Republican leadership has committed themselves to the long game before, they’ve been focusing on the State and local governments for decades in order to rewrite legislation to undermine civil and Constitutional rights for protected classes of citizens and manipulate voting districts.

 

They’ve committed themselves to complete and total obstruction of a sitting president for two full terms, even to the determent of getting some of the concessions they have been fighting for all along by working with him as well as to the determent of the health, safety, and welfare of their own constituents.

 

What if they’ve decided that the best way to get the moderate Republicans to help them put a hard right evangelical conservative extremist in the office of Presidency is to reluctantly put Trump in the front runner position to appeal to use his fame and fortune to appeal to a populist base of voters easy to whip into a frenzy through manipulation of their willful ignorance to create uninformed outrage that will drive them in great numbers to the ballot boxes.   They do all this while claiming not to like his policies but supporting him because their constituents (whom they’ve already proven they about not at all) support him.

 

In exchange for party support during the election they put the candidate they ultimately want in the position in place as the campaign’s choice for Vice President on the ticket.   Then throughout the election cycle, that VP choice campaigns as if his running mate doesn’t exist and as if he doesn’t support the policies and positions of his own running mate himself.   Party leaders begin to slowly and reluctantly endorse their candidate while simultaneously distancing themselves from his rhetoric and condemning his behavior.

 

Finally, shortly after Trump is elected president, the RNC leadership that put him there unveils their plan to lead the way to impeach their own Presidential candidate, putting on a show of putting the safety and wellbeing of our nation’s above their own party line politics.

 

This would bring back the moderates that were driven away by Trump himself, secure their power position in the oval office with one of the most extreme right candidates to land on the ballot in decades,

 

In such a scenario, the end result wouldn’t be a President Trump in 2017, but a President Pence by 2018.

 

And in the long run, Pence would be far worse, because he is not a vacuous shell, but rather a conniving politician with a frightening social and economic agenda.