Throughout the months of the 2016 presidential campaign, much of the public and many in the media framed this odious man as a normal politician. His outrageous utterances and behavior were simply “rough politics”. His supporters were simply exercising their rights to free expression.
He is not normal. His statements and actions were and are crass and malevolent. His supporters are terrifyingly likewise.
I am disappointed, saddened and frankly, frightened by the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
A large swath of American voters chose an intellectually lazy, loudmouth bully to be their president. Rather than choosing an accomplished, gifted politician and public servant who had real plans to help us move forward, 50 million Americans have dragged us so far backwards that I doubt we will see progress in the USA for decades.
Apparently, the average American citizen does not take the time to actually learn how the government works at local, regional, national levels. What we got this time for an electorate was an emotionally charge, grossly uninformed mob banging around a few convention centers with signs and tacky t-shirts and hats. Bullying and marginalizing minorities, sexism, sexual assault, racism and anti-semitism are all just fine and acceptable with those 50 million American voters.
There is nothing in this president-elect’s entire 70 year existence to indicate that he will do anything but self-serve. Once his supporters realize this, through their thick fog of fear, hate and fuzzy nostalgia, they will be beyond angry. He will enrich the elites, anger allies, slow any climate change solutions to a stop and do nothing for the average man.
The social fabric of America will dissemble. I see separatists movements, home grown terrorists, martial law, foreign investment waning, outside forces rushing in to take resources.
It is ugly, very ugly. But 50 million Americans want this. Or, they think they do.
I am fascinated by the current U.S. presidential primaries. I can’t stop reading articles by political analysts, scouring Facebook posts and video clips, following tweets, subreddits and headlines. This political battle has some great characters — tenacious female warrior, crotchety spoiler with revolutionary fantasies, billionaire bully with bad hair. It’s truly history in the making.
What really gets me, what astounds me, is how disconnected from reality so many people are in relation to the events. Why can’t people, especially those on the left, be critical observers of the political landscape and their own political views? Why can’t they see when they are being played, misinformed or manipulated?
My mother was a petty con (which is a story for another time). I grew up watching her use charm, good looks, guilt, misrepresentations of the facts and even her own daughters to “work” people. We were poor, so I understand on one level that she was surviving by one of the ways she knew how. I share this because the experience taught me how to spot manipulators at work and what makes a good “mark”. I have a refined “con-o-meter” and a serious drive for getting at the truth. I do not like getting played.
Several weeks ago, my con-o-meter detected a distinct disingenuousness in Bernie Sanders. (I was not alone.) His campaign and his supporters kept insisting that he had a chance to win the nomination even though he was behind in popular votes and pledged delegates. That was an outright flight of fancy. He would have to win the upcoming primaries by many more points than he had ever won in the previous primaries. It was not going to happen. So, there it was. He was playing his supporters to keep contributions coming in, plain and simple. It was a con. When he declared he could win the nomination by tweaking super delegates to his benefit, his con was in full stride. Even today, despite the count, the Democratic National Committee rules and Hillary’s substantial lead, Sanders continues to bamboozle his supporters. And they, filled with burning rage and self-righteousness, continue to troll and bully any statements that contradict what they want to see happen.
Wow. What a dazzling display of deceit, misinformation and irrationality. And it’s inexcusable.
Almost every syllable uttered, every rally, TV appearance and interview by every candidate of this primary season is documented. There are gigabytes of voter analysis and delegate tracking online. It takes seconds to Google any aspect of the campaign. Seconds. Anyone with a smart phone has more than 4.25 billion pages of information at their fingertips. The Library of Congress is a corner bookstore in comparison. There’s the official political party sites, government data, charts, historical comparisons, polls, projections — anything a political junkie could want. Heck, anyone can browse the internet to get their facts straight while sitting on the john in the morning.
Yet, people continue to sprinkle bulldust everywhere about Bernie’s chances of winning the nomination with nary a nod to actual verifiable sources. They’re guarding that sacred cow, utterly impervious to objective facts. That is not “dreaming big”, that is delusional.
I understand wanting one’s candidate to win. I understand a candidate’s desire to campaign until the last primary is held.
I do not respect a politician milking his followers for support and cash by promising them what he cannot deliver. That is a con.
For those who can’t seem to sort this out for themselves, I offer these caveats.
If you have a simplistic view of how things work you’re going to get played.
If you have big fears about anything, you’re an easy mark.
If you don’t regularly examine the stories you tell yourself to explain this crazy life, then you remain vulnerable to authorities or shysters who will tell you their story, usually for a price.
Never suspend your critical thinking, especially if you think there is a politician, pastor, guru, motivational speaker, or self-proclaimed expert who is going to save you, from anything.
There is a word that describes those who let blind bias blur their vision of reality to the point that they’re left wide open to manipulation.
With only three women running for president, and just 104 women holding congressional seats, the U.S. is doing worse than Afghanistan… — Lisa de Bode, America Al Jazeera
When it comes to women rising to the top of their profession an ugly dynamic rears its head.
“A recent Pew Research Center report on women and leadership found that 38% of Americans believe one major reason there aren’t more women in top elective office in the U.S. is that they are held to higher standards than men.”
— Lauren Ken, Pew Research
This U.S. election season is especially distressing. Bernie calls Hillary “unqualified” to cheering crowds with nary a whiff of irony. Crass, loudmouth “Bernie Bros” troll and intimidate, oblivious to or disdainful of the fact that the target of their contempt has more popular votes. Trump, the quintessential bully, beauty pageant owner and braggart tosses out vulgarity towards his female opponent to the delight of his fans.
Women who put themselves forward in the same assertive, confident style as men are routinely found pushy, “bitchy,” or unlikable, and professionally penalized for that, too. — Sady Doyle, Quartz
I am happy and lucky to be in a western country where we can discuss gender bias and the need for more parity. My heart goes out to all the females in countries where misogyny is enshrined in religion and enforced by theocracies. But, enough with any kind of “sliding scale” of acceptable unfairness. All denigration and mistreatment of females simply because they are females is unfair. Everywhere. Why am I even writing such an obvious statement in the 21st century?
The idea of parity has been researched and is considered a very good thing for society. Now, we need it to happen.
So, I and my vagina will vote for the woman. Not for the blustery, finger pointing, self-righteous man who has some pretty nasty sexist supporters, nor for the puffed up chauvinist who can’t control himself in public.
Before everyone starts throwing around accusations that the 2016 U.S. presidential primary is rigged or that their candidate of choice is being cheated in the process, take the time to look at the facts. It is straight ahead math based on political party rules.
Again, with a quick consult with the Google one can access clear explanations of how the U.S. primaries work.
It takes but a few minutes with the Google to check out a politician’s stances on the issues. On the Issues, a web sight that compiles all of the elected officials voting records is illustrative. Vagina H is essentially as liberal as Vagina E. Imagine that! Penis B is to the left of both but not by much at all. All three are rated as “hard core liberal”. Hard Core Liberal!