I had an interesting discussion in a thread today, and, one of the posts was involved enough that I decided to add it to my blog. It falls into the category of dealing with Cultists, and addressing their objections. It also touches on the rather sad reality that the emotion filled political situation today has caused schisms within families, as well as within society as a whole.
JQN: I see where you are but my son is different. He is thirty and this economic mess and worry for good jobs I think keeps him there. He is not a racist but feels that with the job market, economic situation, loss of companies and everything going overseas he did not get an answer from anyone. He is for immigration but done legally. Why bring in so many immigrants when a lot of people need jobs and why give them so much help when our own people cannot get any. He knows that Trump is mess up in many ways but I cannot get him to budge. He is very smart and says he looks at all news but I wonder sometimes. It has caused a lot of friction between us the last couple of years. He voted for Obama but saw him fall back on campaign promises that were important to him. The situation is actually quite a mess. It is like the economics and control our government has over us has made him more Trump than anyone else. I truthfully do not like that there is not one really stand out guy out there who is perfectly aligned to my ideas. Very difficult choices ahead. This country and actually the world is a mess
Dave Mundt: JQN: That is a terrible aspect of this danse macabre that is the political world. It has caused rifts in families, because of members taking intractable stances. I have some family members who will not deal with me, because they are strong supporters of El Cheeto, and do not like my questions and comments about him.
IF I were to engage your son in debate on the points you listed…It would likely go something like this (In no particular order):
1) Immigration. No one argues that there should be a workable method of allowing people into the country. However, right now, the process is so broken it is more likely that the average applicant will die of old age before they get a chance to come in. Unless, of course, they can be exploited by big industry, which will get them a H1B visa, and waltz them to the front of the line.
The “so many immigrants” referenced is ignorance speaking. The fact is that a vast percentage of the people entering the country right now are refugees…trying to find a place to live because if they stay at home, they are likely to be bombed into a red mist (Probably with weapons made in the USA), or watch their son or daughter’s head explode from a sniper shot as the kid goes out to try and get some water or food. Will they all stay? Probably not…most of them love the land they came from, and want to return to it when the wars and widespread death moves away from their homes.
To make things worse, In many cases, the conflicts in those lands are, to some extent, America’s responsibility. Our meddling in the affairs of other countries has never turned out well, either for us, or them.
2) Giving Aid to Refugees. Actually the fact is that Refugees can only get a small stipend for the first 8 months they are in the country. The amount? $420 or so a month. Citizens get far more direct cash aid, and, they can receive it for a period of 60 months. here, by the by, is an explanation of the sort of aid Refugees can get.
3) Businesses leaving the country. This is capitalism in action, and, is driven by the fact that these businesses can get decent product made by workers who are paid a few dollars a day, instead of $15.00/hour or more. Their desire to do this is generated by two factors.
a) The terrible short-sighted view of business that has pushed out all other options. For the past couple of decades, a company lives or dies by their quarterly profit/loss report. This is a fairly new thing, as much of the focus of the robber barons and management thereafter was on the long term…choosing a path that might produce losses every so often, but, would result in an increased customer base, and greater demand for their product.
b) The American attitude that cheapest is best…and the cheaper it is, the better it is. Most Americans would not recognize quality if it bit them on the ankle, and they think that it is foolish to spent a few extra dollars to get the best product. let me give you an example. Quite some years ago, I purchased an industrial strength table saw made by Rockwell-Delta. I paid almost $800 for a saw that was 30 years old. I had friends and relatives who thought I was nuts because I could have gone to Home Depot and picked up a Chinese made saw for $150. However, the machine I bought was so heavy and well built that I could slice a strip off a plank, and the cut surface would be as smooth as if I had sanded it for an hour or two.
4) Americans cannot get aid – Actually, anyone who meets the requirements for Federal or state aid can receive help. For example, Walmart pays such crappy amounts to many of its workers, that they are getting food stamps. The total amount the government is giving out? around $600,000 per store per month. That, by the by, is corporate welfare, because that amount, instead of coming from the company to the workers, goes directly into the Walton’s bank accounts.
5) The shaky economy (which is likely to crash into recession next year, I fear) is a direct result of the policies of the current administration. President Obama, in case he has forgotten, took the worst economy since 1929 in hand, and over 8 years reduced deficit spending by 3/4, and save the Auto industry with his subsidies. By the by…all the money those companies got was repaid by the end of the Obama administration…with Interest. The current administration has nearly destroyed the America farmers with his insane tariffs which has caused them to lose their markets completely. Those markets, by the by, will likely NEVER come back. This has added billions to the cost of welfare as all those farmers get handouts from the Government. Oddly enough, in spite of the fact that so many of them voted for him, not ONE of them has turned down this welfare!
Add to that the huge tax windfall that he gave to his rich buddies. This year, it is forcing the government to borrow $750 billion to cover the losses. in coming years, that amount is going to rise to a trillion dollars a year! yes, he did give a token tax cut to the middle class…but it runs out in two years. The tax windfall for the rich (and larger corporations) is permanent. The result of this will be even more pressure on the economy, and, it will become harder and harder for the Feds to borrow the cash to cover the expenses. it was because of the “off the books” multi-trillion dollar wars in the Middle East, started by the Bush Administration that America’s credit rating was downgraded for the FIRST time in its history. This was in August 2011, when the economy was reeling from the nearly world-wide crash cased by the housing bubble bursting.
6) Obama failing to implement campaign promises. I was disappointed by this failure too. There were a number of promises he made, and was unable to follow through on, that I cared about too. But, look at the reality of the time. The DAY that president Obama was elected, Moscow Mitch had a meeting with a large number of Republicans. At that meeting he swore that his goal was to make President Obama a one-term president, by blocking every law he tried to support. He pressured and cajoled the other Republicans to stand with him on this…and being good, little, foot soldiers, the did. They were successful to a certain extent, in that they did halt some things, and made every success a hard-fought battle.
A factor that slowed the progress of the administration was that president Obama, who is a very good and honorable man with a strong academic background, came into office believing that the Republicans could be dealt with as rational adults, and so, would be willing to compromise after negotiations, to ensure that they got most of what they wanted as would the Democrats. It took a while to realize that they were more like 5 year old children, throwing a temper tantrum, and refusing to play at all. Their attitude for all eight years was “my way or the highway”.
In spite of this, President Obama managed to get some very basic and radical programs passed. I was disappointed that he was unable to shut down Git-mo, and process the hundreds of prisoners there (many of whom were innocents, and not terrorists) However, he did manage to cut the population by at least 75%. The ACA is truly an amazing accomplishment, even in the chopped up and seriously damaged state it finally got implemented as. It put millions of people on health insurance that never had it before. It blocked the insurance companies from the abusive actions they routinely took against citizens (dropping them, refusing to cover them, selling them policies that covered nothing, but guaranteed a healthy premium for the insurance company every month, for example). IF it had been fleshed out and the problems ironed out, America might be on the path to having a health care system nearly as good as the one in place in EVERY other industrialized nation in the world.
overall, there are over 700 laws and changes that President Obama managed to push through, though that made a HUGE difference in the lives of a vast majority of Americans…and, unlike the current administration…did not benefit only the 1% at the top of the economic scale. I have appended a partial list of President Obama’s accomplishments at the end of this article.
I know that many folks who voted for President Obama did vote for el cheeto, and, I still find it a puzzling thing. Their excuse for not voting for the most qualified candidate, Secretary Clinton, always seems to boil down to ” I believed all the lies I saw on social media, and pushed by the Republicans, and in any case, she is a woman, and NO one wants a woman president” So instead of choosing a candidate who had years of experience in the complicated maze of politics; who was known, during her time in the Senate, to show up to meetings being the most prepared person there – the person who knew the issue at hand inside and out, and could argue her point clearly; who had decades of working to better life for most Americans; chose to vote for a man who had cheated on EVERY woman he married, with his next wife; who was such an incompetent businessman that he bankrupted a casino! A man who NO American bank would loan a penny to – so he was forced to go to Russian banks or Russian funded banks with sketchy histories for cash. A man who had a 30 year history of stiffing vendors, and engaging in blatantly racist behavior. A man who had documented ties to organized crime.
One of the biggest points that made Secretary Clinton a better candidate was that she scared the living daylights out of Putin. el cheeto sucks up to him, and is looked upon as a weak, easily manipulated fool by Putin. Remember when el cheeto was bragging about how Putin had said he was the brightest person he had ever met? What Putin ACTUALLY said was that el cheeto was the flashiest person he had ever met. Putin saw that he was nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and so was a perfect stooge. Look at the world today…specifically The situation in Syria with the Kurds. Not only have we destroyed any chance of local fighters supporting American efforts, but, Putin has already moved into the area and is consolidating power in the region. He has wanted to do this for years, but, was held in check by America. No longer.
I agree with you that it is not possible to find a current candidate in the dozen or so Democrats still running that matches up to your standards and agenda. However, we both know that, unless YOU run, there will never be a “perfect candidate”. So…when I look at options, I look at their platform and where their focus is at. The Democrats have a long history of making laws that benefit the majority of Americans. The Republicans are almost exclusively focused on big business, and the ultra-rich. Between the two, I know which one is more likely to make MY life better. I hope, that over the next year, your son will take a hard, mindful look at his decisions, and what he supports. perhaps he will realize that the Democrats have better plans than the Republicans – especially these days. As Rachael Maddow says “Pay attention to what they DO, not what they SAY”. This is a paraphrase of the Bible, also…where it says “By their fruits, ye shall know them”.
I do wonder if el cheeto being impeached and (quite possibly) removed from office in the next few months will shake him up enough to remind him that voting for the wrong candidate does not mean that one is a bad person. So, there is no need to put one’s ego on the line and refuse to admit that one made a mistake. We all make bad decisions in our life. The important thing to do, by my rules of life, is to admit and own the mistake, learn from it, and work to never make that mistake again.
God Help us All.
Bee Man Dave
Partial List of President Obama’s accomplishments
The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.
General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.
While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.
Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
He drew down the number of troops from 180,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan to just 15,000, and increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
He launched a program called Opening Doors which, since 2010, has led to a 47 percent decline in the number of homeless veterans.
He set a record 73 straight months of private-sector job growth.
Due to Obama’s regulatory policies, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 12%, production of renewable energy more than doubled, and our dependence on foreign oil was cut in half.
He signed The Lilly Ledbetter Act, making it easier for women to sue employers for unequal pay.
His Omnibus Public Lands Management Act designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, creating thousands of miles of trails and protecting over 1,000 miles of rivers.
He reduced the federal deficit from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 3.2 percent in 2016.
For all the inadequacies of the Affordable Care Act, we seem to have forgotten that, before the ACA, you could be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition and kids could not stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26.
Obama approved a $14.5 billion system to rebuild the levees in New Orleans.
All this, even as our own Mitch McConnell famously asserted that his singular mission would be to block anything President Obama tried to do.
While Obama failed on his campaign pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, that prison’s population decreased from 242 to around 50.
He expanded funding for embryonic stem cell research, supporting groundbreaking advancement in areas like spinal injury treatment and cancer.
Credit card companies can no longer charge hidden fees or raise interest rates without advance notice.
Most years, Obama threw a 4th of July party for military families. He held babies, played games with children, served barbecue.
Welfare spending is down: for every 100 poor families, just 24 receive cash assistance, compared with 64 in 1996.
Obama comforted families and communities following more than a dozen mass shootings. After Sandy Hook, he said, “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.”
Yet, he never took away anyone’s guns.
He was the first president since Eisenhower to serve two terms without personal or political scandal.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.