Saturday, May 7, 2016

What is Wrong with America that Trump Can Clinch the GOP Nomination?

With Ted Cruz dropping out, The Donald has essentially clinched the GOP nomination for the Presidency. Not bad for an on again and off again Republican. But what is wrong in America that some one like Trump can be a threat to taking the Presidency. Last year I wrote a piece that predicted Ted Cruz losing the GOP bid for the Presidency. As a total whack-job, theocrat, I knew Ted didn't stand a chance in a general election, and I sincerely thought he was encouraged to run to make ol' Jeb look more electable. But then the Donald happened. No one could have predicted Donald Trump.

I will not go into Trump's politics, nor his lack of public speaking skills (George Takei already pointed this out in the most perfect way). The reason I will refrain from this is because Trump's politics have nothing to do with his success. Yes. I just wrote that the politics of the GOP Presidential candidate's success is irrelevant. What has America come to? Well, it's a long story, one that began with the spouse of one other potential Presidential Candidate.

The Clinton Presidency was a soap opera. It was as entertaining since the first time Bill played his sax. Yes, there was scandal, but it was of a personal matter. It's not like he was selling illegal arms and getting away with it. However, the Clinton Presidency was the first neo-liberal Presidency whose economic guru was Alan Greenspan, who suckled at the tit of Ayn Rand and was a member of her cult, "the Collective." Thus began the purchase of America by corporate interests.  Furthermore, his policies opened the door for successor to rape the Middle Class in America, leading to the Great Recession.

When li'l Bush stole the Presidency in 2000 he began continuing Reagan-esque trickle down policies. He gave tax breaks for the rich, privatized (AKA segregated) schools along racial and class lines, and lied to the American people to start an illegal war. And that's not to mention the unethical, and un-American detention camp in Guantanamo Bay. The Bush Administration continued the purchase of the American government by the corporate elite as the GOP rose to even greater power. With the marriage of the religious right to the political right now old hat, the Bush presidency led the country into a scientific back-slide. At the national level, climate change was denied, stem cell research suppressed, and creationism, now renamed "intelligent design," was allowed to be taught in schools along side evolution. These things became business as usual. Fortunately, Presidents have term limits, unfortunately, the next one was another neo-lib.

In 2008, Obama upset the DNC by sweeping Hillary Clinton out of the race, thus ending her first bid for the Presidency. He promised hope and change, and while the country hoped, his changes weren't spectacular, when they did occur. His first major change was to implement mandatory health care that was similar to what Hillary Clinton advocated during her husband's Presidency. The ACA, or Obamacare, passed, but not before the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies gutted the bill to the point that it was a mockery of its former self. In fact, States that did not expand Medicaid like they were supposed to have seen rate hikes and poor coverage for the very people the ACA was designed to protect. Added to this debacle, Obama expanded US military interests in the middle east which further destabilized the region. Also under Obama's watch, a corporation's religious belief trumps family planning, and corporations are now people who are allowed to vote with their wallets. Neo-liberalism looks less like liberalism, and more like old-fashioned conservatism.

The funny (or sad, per your perspective) part, is that the Party of Lincoln was hijacked twice in our little story. The first time was when the Moral Majority took controlling influence back in the 80s. This married Gilded-Age economics with religion. From a political point of view, this is brilliant because socioeconomic status is often an indicator (and much more so in the 80s than today) of a person's education. Poorer people tend to be more religious. Less educated people are less likely to question authorities they respect. Like preachers, church elders, priests, what have you. How else do you get an entire demographic to consistently vote against their own interests?

The second time the GOP was hijacked came not from the 1%, but from the product of their political tampering. A grassroots movement sprang up in Red State areas calling for a return to more Constitutional times. The Tea Party: poor conservatives convinced that it was the liberals that were destroying the country. You remember them, they were the ones chanting "Keep the Government out of my Medicare!" The Tea Party exists not to keep the GOP conservative, but to oppose Obama specifically.  Once the Republicans took control of the House and Senate they have stonewalled any left-leaning legislation introduced. This includes shutting down the Federal Government for not getting the 1% friendly tax breaks into the budget. Their obstructionism is so rampant, that the GOP controlled Senate is refusing to hold hearings on a Supreme Court vacancy.  They want to fill the seat, they just don't want Obama to do it. Before the 2016 election, this had become the state of US politics, the party in the Majority, refusing to work at the job they were hired for out of simple hatred for the other aisle, and the brown man in the White House. The only person Tea Partyers hate more than Obama is Hillary Clinton.

Enter the 2016 Presidential Election. When candidates announced their running in 2015, there were two political dynasties in the running. On the right you had Jeb Bush, son of Big Bush, and older brother to li'l Bush. Not even the GOP was having him. A dim-witted theocrat, Ted Cruz polled better than Jebbie. That's saying something. On the Left, you has Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and Secretary of State. Billing herself as the first woman President she stole the hearts of DNC hardliners. Of course, it helped that the DNC chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was helping Clinton by making it hard for other candidates to be heard (I'm being nice, she flat out tried to rig the election). Add in that in many of the states Clinton won, there have been severe election issues that smell like purposeful election fraud (funny how it always benefits Hillary). Unfortunately, due to half the states barring independents from voting, hard-line neo-libs in the DNC are giving Clinton a lead over her competition in the polls. But it is her competition, and The Donald, that are defining the Presidential race.

Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are outsiders to the status quo. Clinton has many of the same employers donors as Republican candidates. Just like Bush, Kaish and Cruz, she is a whore to Wall Street too afraid to release her $200K-$400K speeches lest they be used against her during the campaign. The reason why those speeches are so important is because shucking Wall Street is so important. You see, the people are tired of business as usual. We know the game is rigged and we have two candidates that are not beholden to Wall Street. Sanders, like Clinton also works for his employers: the thousands of small donors, formally known as The People, who have financed over 99% of his campaign. Trump, on the other hand, is a Wall Street insider that may belong to the 1%, but he doesn't work for the 1%.  We have Sanders, who is grumpy, and Trump, who is crude. Trump the racist, and Sanders the activist. Two very different candidates, two very different people, two very different visions, but the most important thing is what they both share: Neither are under the thumb of the plutocracy. And THAT is why Trump is able to not only win the GOP nomination, but should Clinton win the DNC, have a good chance of becoming POTUS 45.

Either way, the next President will not be one of the usual crowd. It will be either a Social Democrat from the Bronx, or a sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat from Queens. But the Witch from Chicago is out. The people are tired of the moneyed ruling elite ruining what was the most prosperous country in the world. The lives of the people are being sold to fatten the fat cats, and we are not going to take it any more.  The election of 2016 is a quiet revolution as The People are trying to use the system to get out Republic back. This is a test to see whether the American Experiment can survive our brush with the nouveau-Aristocracy that has arisen in America today. If not then in a generation or two the revolution may not be so quiet.

I think a little ditty from the 80s can sum up the attitudes of the oft ignored independent voters this election cycle: