When I was a young boy, my father taught me that to be a good Catholic, I
had to confess at church if I ever had impure thoughts about a girl. That
very evening I had to rush to confess my sin. And the next night, and the
next. After a week, I decided religion wasn't for me.
-- Fidel Castro
Something else of the day:
I was sure Hillary would win. Now I realize there is a fact
I had not taken seriously: Most Trump voters were enthusiastic,
excited, angry, desperate, or righteous. Most Clinton voters were not
enthusiastic about her. Some were excited about having a woman for president
but even most of those knew she was not a person who would fulfill their
expectations of a woman as president.
Now as I look at how we got ourselves in this situation, there is only one
answer: We citizens do not participate. If a few of us, maybe one in a
hundred, were seriously politically active, we would dwarf the power of
corporations. Of course the right wing knows reducing our participation
can be done by reducing our level of education, information, and income.
It's hard to call your senator when you don't know what a senator is or
what is happening and you can't pay your rent.
There are many other significant things, but what is on my mind now is the
desperation that made people willing to vote for "anything different". As
crazy as Trump is, you have to admit that things have been getting worse
for the entire lives of most voters and that a vote for Hillary is a vote
for "more of the same". I'll explain.
Gore Vidal said:
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party...and
it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit
stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism
than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt until
recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small
adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of
hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
The democrats have repeatedly promised to work for the people, been given a
chance to do so, and failed.
Remember Bill Clinton who was to be our saviour after 12 years of
George Bush running the country? He put Hillary in charge of health care
reform and they both abandoned it quietly when it was not easy. (Do you
think I'm being unfair about that? Consider, he was President for 8 years
and they could have worked at it all that time.) He promised "Gays in the
military" and gave us "Don't ask ...". He continued bombing Iraq for 8
years, passed NAFTA, cut welfare, cut bank regulation, passed "prison
reform", and left us with the "Defense of Marriage Act".
Then we got Republican GWB and Democrats telling us we should put them in
congress at GWB's midterm so they could stop the wars. We voted them in
and they passed every war bill that came to them. They passed cuts to
medical and food programs for children, cuts to Section 8 housing, and
lot's more I can't remember now. Do we wonder why they lost in 2004, or
was it that the Republicans were able to steal 2004 because the Democrats
had not bothered to fix our broken voting system?
So finally we got Obama who appointed a cabinet that even Trump would
approve, made no attempt to use the power of the great number of people
who worked to get him elected, and did next to nothing for two years while
he had a Democratic congress. Well, yes, he secretly negotiated the
Affordable Care Act with industry lobbyists, and on the day of the House
vote, when it was determined that he actually had enough votes to pass
it, he removed the "Public Option". Then when he lost the congress (no
wonder why), he barely pretended to fight against the budget cutting, tax
burden shifting, and social program cutting of Paul Ryan and friends. He
broke records: deportations, assassinations, continuous war, whistle
blower prosecutions, government surveillance. There is five times this
much that I can't think of now.
Most Americans don't know most of those details but the flavor of it
reaches them through little things they see and remember and kind of feel.
Probably most distressing for most of the people is the gradual but
continuous loss of jobs, income, and buying power since 1960 or so - all
their working lives in most cases.
Most people could see that Hillary, more or less, would be a continuation.
So the racist, misogynist, bigoted crazies voted for Trump. But most of
his votes came from good people who were simply, undereducated,
uninformed, poor, and desperate.
You can't blame the bad guys for being bad. When the bad guys win, it is
always the fault of the good guys. And just because the Republicans are
worse, does not mean the Democrats are good. The absence of a force for
good is what brought us here.
"What's been found over the years and what is indeed shown in careful
studies is that the most important mode of organization is face to face
contact. ... So that's what has to be done, and it's really a job for
everyone, wherever you happen to be, whatever opportunities you have."
-- Noam Chomsky
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