HOW DID IT HAPPEN!
To paraphrase the opening to a Dicken's novel, "It was the best of times, and now it's the worst of times." The absurdity that defines the rise and continued existence of the current presidency is both embarrassing and incredibly dangerous. This period in our country's history will forever be remembered as a time of inexplicable, irrational support by a segment of the demographic that comprised the electorate that elevated the petulant man-baby to the office of the presidency. If ever there was a real-world example of the saying, "To cut off one's nose to spite the face," we all witnessed it on November 8th, 2016. The electorate responsible for the abomination was comprised of three major segments of the population:
- Firstly, and most obviously, there were those who were captured by the charlatan's bluster, lies and incredibly absurd claims of capabilities to accomplish the improbable, if not the impossible. These were the folk who luxuriate in their classification as the forgotten and downtrodden of American society. They were, and still are willing to believe anything the snake oil salesman throws at them. It's a situation that's so illogical as to be incomprehensible. Why would one view such an obvious liar who revels only in bullying, self-agrandisement and demeaning others rather than actually accomplishing something positive for the country be viewed as competent and an optimal choice to lead our nation on the world stage? Of course, it probably goes without saying, there are those in this categorization who find the divisiveness, bigotry and racism spouted by the current president to be in-line with their own personal philosophies. And, that is truly a national shame!
- Secondly, there was that misguided group of the voters who somehow determined that not voting in protest was the best course of action. Those people who supported Bernie Sanders in the primaries and refused to vote for the nominated Democratic candidate were in great part responsible for the rise of the totally unqualified Republican candidate to the office of the presidency. How could it be any more obvious that not voting is simply throwing away one's voice and essentially donating a vote to the Republican opponent?
- Finally, there is that group of voters who fall into the "all the rest" category. These are those who vote based on the clothes that a candidate wears, the accent of the candidate's wife, the color of the candidate's skin, or some similarly irrelevant criteria. These are people who do not take their civic responsibility seriously. If it were only themselves that suffered as a result of their laziness and self-imposed ignorance, that would be a small consolation, but it is all of the rest of us who suffer the consequences of their ill-informed actions.
To continue with the analysis, I would like to suggest you contemplate the following:
- How has the Trump-touted Republican replacement for the ACA worked out for you?
- When do you expect to see the Trump-promised allowed federal income tax deduction for health care premiums? Don't hold your breath.
- When was it that the Mexican check for wall construction arrived or when is it expected to be deposited in the U.S. Treasury?
- How did the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) improve your middle-class income situation? At a 10/2018 Montana rally Trump claimed, "Republicans passed the biggest tax cuts in American history, the biggest in American history. Everybody in this room is better for them. Everybody is better for them." In actuality everybody is not better off from the recent tax cuts, which have only served to increase the federal budget deficit—now $779 billion for FY 2018 according to new data released by the Treasury Department. To be sure, the middle class gets help temporarily, but over the longer run, the middle class will be worse off. THE MIDDLE CLASS IS SEEING SLOWER INCOME GROWTH THAN BOTH THE RICH AND THE POOR. 1
- How has the Trump stated goal (currently in progress) of eliminating "gun-free zones at schools" impacted the numbers of school shootings? As a hint, the numbers of school shootings have increased since Trump took office and began his effort to eliminate the gun-free zones around schools. Increases in school shooting incidents compared to 2016 for each year (2017 - 2019) are 10%, 53% and 54% (2019 estimated based on first 6 months). Similarly, the numbers of gun-related deaths and injuries in school zones have also risen by similar percentages. 2
At this point it seems appropriate to ask how anyone can rationalize the notion that, "More Guns Make Us Safer". A ridiculous concept so commonly spewed by NRA supporters? How about this, the next time you witness a fire, throw some gasoline on it in order to fight it! In case your first reaction is to spout the usual retort regarding "Your 2nd Amendment Rights", I have to ask if you've ever actually read the 2nd Amendment? If by chance you have, then you're one up on the vast majority of our uneducated populous. The next logical question is whether you're aware of the fact that the lobby of the NRA Headquarters in Washington D.C. has emblazoned on its wall a perverted version of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution? The text is incomplete. It reads:
".. the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
The first half—the part about the well regulated militia—has been edited out. How do you suppose that happened? Maybe the NRA made a clerical error? I think not.
The actual Second Amendment consists of just one sentence:
"A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."
It's clear that the Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun. Today, millions believe they did.
Here is an explaination of how it happened. It's a truly informative and educational article at https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/how-nra-rewrote-second-amendment entitled, "How the NRA Rewrote the Second Amendment". It's enlightening and if even one in ten current gun rights advocates were to take the time to read and understand it we'd be guaranteed to make substantial headway in the effort to reduce mindless gun violence in this great country of ours.
- Remember the "Easy to Win" trade war? Consumers are bearing the brunt of the tariffs to the tune of about $3 billion a month. The farmers of this country are seeing drastically depleted profits and manufacturing is laying off workers and moving production overseas because of the tariffs. On the other hand, Trump who is living in his alternative reality, still thinks, "Everything is going along GREAT." In fact, he is now promoting the notion that the tariffs should be permanent. OMG!
- How much comfort can one truly derive from Trump's statements regarding: receipt of "Love Letters" from Kim Jong Un; his feeling that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat; and that North Korea will denuclearize fairly quickly?
Obviously, there are countless other instances of lies, instability, corruption, childishness and narcicism, but the preceding should be sufficient to provide food for rational thought.
1) According to The Brookings Institution (a nonprofit public policy organization in D.C.).
2) Statistics compiled by "Everytown for Gun Safety" at https://everytownresearch.org.