Thursday, September 29, 2016

Politics in Amerika in 2016

Debates be damned.  Election be damned.  This is already Donald Trump’s country, in far too many ways.

The police just killed another unarmed black man, this one in El Cajon, CA.  Just as they have done with equal impunity inNew York, Florida, Missouri, Maryland, Ohio.  Cops in this state of chaos have killed more than 700 persons this year, most of them black, most of them innocent.  That’s fine with Trump who says we need to kill more people of color to solve a “crime problem” that does not exist.

A professional football player began dignified, silent, peaceful protest of such killings.  He has been vilified, lost income and received death threats.  Other athletes — even 11 and 12-year-olds on a team in Texas — have received death threats for acting in support of him.

Hatred and threats of violence ooze from the idolators who attend Trump rallies. They are mirror images of Trump himself.  He once telephoned a Philadelphia journalist after midnight to call her a c**t (rhymes with “runt.”) The New York Times and others have documented similar pus oozing from crowds at his campaign rallies. 

Kaepernick kneels and gets death threats.  Trumpistas vomit hate and advocate violence and their man rises in the presidential polls.

Go figure.

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The lesser of two evils crowd holds that Hillary Clinton has to win this election.  She has accepted fees of a quarter-million dollars to give a single speech to Wall Street bankers. Do you suppose those greedy bastards bestow such sums on her because they fancy her hairdo?  Admire her diction?  Find her agreeably humorous?

Not bloody likely.  They expect tits for their tats and when she’s int he Oval Office she will repay them with interest.

A thoughtful friend who writes history for a living tells me he hopes that Clinton will win the election, serve one term and then decide that age and health warrant her stepping aside.  My friend hopes that by then the Democratic party will be ready to nominate a “real Democrat” for the presidency.

It is tempting to want to believe in such a narrative.  Doing so requires the parallel belief that the nation can avoid war with Russia, China, North Korea et al for the duration of her term.  Nothing in her record as senator or secretary of state suggests that this is likely or even possible. All of our likely enemies in Hillary’s war possess nuclear arms.  Reassuring thought, isn’t it?

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A moderate Republican friend — yes, a few such animals remain in this sorry land  — says he intends to assuage his conscience by voting for the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, onetime governor of New Mexico (a job he performed somewhat satisfactorily, especially when compared with the current occupant of the office).

Johnson is a classic libertarian: he has staked out many admirable positions on important issues, including a proposal to end this country’s obscene overspending on war and the military, but his arrows go badly astray when they are aimed at, say, the  need for social democracy in government.

And then there is Aleppo, the Syrian city where all the worst horrors of war have come together with thick layers of guilt for every side in a multi-faceted crime against humanity.  “What is Aleppo?” Johnson asked an interviewer seeking his views on the Syrian conflict.  A few days later he compounded the error.  Asked to name one foreign leader of whom he had a favorable opinion, Johnson stood silent a while before saying, “I’m afraid I’m having an Aleppo moment.”  Granted, in this bloody world it’s hard to name a single leader worthy of unmitigated admiration, but still . . .  this man is asking voters to place him in the highest office we have.

Is it fair to wonder what he’s been smoking?  He does, after all, advocate legalization of marijuana.

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The Green Party candidate for president, Jill Stein, has offered detailed, realistic proposed solutions to this country’s problems of injustice, economic inequality, endless war and chronic unemployment.  She has been bullied by police, and even arrested, for airing these views in public.

Is this a great country or what?

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