The older I get, the more politics makes my stomach hurt. I don’t know if it’s the fact that my tolerance for bull shit is diminishing, or if today’s political coverage is just done in such a way as to make any thinking person clutch their tummy and head off to lie down.
While generally a Democrat with a socialistic lean leftward, parts of me conflict and have a slight tilt rightward, especially when it comes to money. It’s hard to reconcile the two.
This cycle, the media seems to think that Hilary Clinton is the odds-on shoo-in and apparently the DNC should just get things out of the way and proclaim her the candidate.
For months it was said that Jeb Bush held the opposing role for the Republican party, and the other dozen to two dozen candidates might as well go back to whatever it was they were doing. Amazingly, Donald Trump seems to be giving Bush a run for his money at this early point. (I have to reach for another heartburn pill every time I read that statistic.)
Yet, as liberal as I am, I am very uncomfortable with Hilary this time around. Aside from the fact that she’s a woman, her politics don’t seem to be any different than any other mega-wealthy, obligated to big-business candidate. Under the hood, there really isn’t much difference between her and Bush – and in fact, according to an article I just read in The Guardian, just like Jeb Bush, most of her money seems to have come from big company lobbyists.
This would mean that if elected to office, Hilary is much more likely to be in favor of policy and legislation that would end up benefiting the companies that these lobbyists represent – companies like Chevron, Facebook and the most evil of them all Goldman Sachs.
Despite the hype, Hilary has never been about the little person. She is way to deep into the camp of big money.
The list of announced candidates for the Democratic nomination is far shorter than the Republican side, and is strangely full of people I’ve either never heard of, or who I might be familiar with only because I recognize I’ve heard their name somewhere fairly recently.
I know nothing of Lincoln Chaffee, however I do remember his father John Chaffee. I lived in Rhode Island for a few years in the later 1980s, and John Chaffee is/was a big deal there. John Chaffee was also Secretary of the Navy my last year of high school – and I joined the Navy Reserve in January of 1973 while still a high school senior.
But his son Lincoln? Nothing. I draw a blank. So, I turn to the web and try to see what his platform might be, and it appears his biggest news draw is his desire to take the U.S. to the metric system. Didn’t we try that earlier only to have it flop miserably? And if that is his lead item, I’m not even going to bother to read up on the rest, he’s obviously a lightweight if he thinks that one of our biggest problems right now is that we still use inches and feet instead of whatever the hell the metric system uses. Cross him off my list.
Next on the list is Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland. Never heard of him. But, looking at him on the issues, he doesn’t appear to be too bad with the exception again that he appears to be soft on corporate taxes. His view on legalizing low-level drugs is also old-fashioned and out of touch with reality. I don’t care for his stand on education either – charter schools have been the cause of our public school system coming apart at the seams. On The Issues has him as a moderate liberal, but I guess I’d want to know where he gets his money and whether or not he’s a trust fund kiddie himself.
On The Issues has Jim Webb, the most recently announced democratic candidate also as a moderate liberal. Isn’t that the definition of a Democrat? I think he’s a bit more of a military hawk than I’d like, but he is also a U.S. Senator and I’d like to know how friendly he is with the above said lobbyists before I would give him much more thought.
Interestingly, when it comes to Bernie Sanders, On The Issues does have him pegged to the far left corner of their chart – and calls him a “Hard Liberal”. He’s a self pro-claimed socialist, so it’s not a secret, but it’s really not that much further to the left than any other Democrat – at least if you look at the position of the red dot on their little diagram.
It’s hard for me to find something not to like in the man. He’s opposed to embryonic stem cell research. I think that’s bad – as long as the cells are going in the garbage anyway, why not let someone research on them? We may be stomping on our own nuts by not doing so.
I mean, were it not for the fact that for some reason “socialist” seems to have the same ugly connotation as “communist”, if you look at what the man stands for, it’s nothing that a reasonable middle class person trying to raise a family wouldn’t want. It’s all reasonable stuff. Of course, if you are part of the 1%, controlling 90% of the wealth in this country, I can understand why you might be looking around and hoping for an assassination attempt. That’s ugly – but from what I can see, Bernie Sanders would like to turn this country upside down and make it a decent place for the average person to work and live without worrying where the next mortgage payment is coming from, or rather or not the corporation down the street is pouring chemicals in the drains or stacking the deck on a chance to just live in peace with enough money to make it to the end.
Surely Bernie Sanders is a much better choice than Donald Trump?
So, I’m torn. While I agree in large part with Bernie Sander’s ideals and policies, I’m not sure that a lot of this country can get past his “socialist” label. But, maybe it’s what we need.
It’s time for us to stop being the worlds cops. It’s time for us to stop being the first in the world to rush in an army wherever we think it might be needed. It has us hated by a good half the world, and I’d rather have a new bridge or a decent highway to drive on than pay through the nose for peace in Iraq or Syria.
I’d like jobs to come back to this country instead of being farmed out to whatever the next cheap labor place in the world is going to be. I’d like corporations who move their operations offshore to avoid taxes to be penalized – or even sanctioned and sold off.
The difference between “rich” and “not rich” has never been greater in our country. It makes the tycoons of the early 1900’s look like middle class. And the political power welded by the wealthiest companies and individuals in the country should not be allowed. Simply should not be tolerated.
I keep promising myself to just ignore politics. I’m retired now, and as long as I can keep on enjoying my life, does it matter who has the power in Washington. Yes, it does matter, I do care, and if we don’t make big changes soon, the United States of America as we’ve known it since the days of FDR are gone and what will take its place may not be a very nice place to live.