Political World

When I started this site, I resolved not to get political.  But since we live in a world that’s becoming more and more political by the day, and the stakes are getting higher even as the politics get stupider and more surreal, I can’t help but react.

And trust me, while I know that the Democrats have some serious issues, the bulk of the idiocy belongs with the Republicans.  The clown car wreck that is their field of candidates this year would be hysterically funny if not so scary.

For the life of me, I can’t understand what makes so many normal and good people support these clowns and believe in the same tired clichés.  Like:

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people:”

This one is getting into semantics, as most murders require a weapon. As weapons go, nothing is as cheap, efficient, or as effective as a gun.  Case in point:  I’m not aware of there ever having been a drive-by stabbing, or a mass strangulation.

On why we don’t need universal background checks: “We just need to enforce the laws that already exist.”

The problem is, if I am murdered by a deranged psychotic who would have been denied a gun purchase had background checks been conducted, good work in arresting and convicting the murderer. The only problem is this is all a bit too late for me, as I‘ll be dead and unable to join in the post-trial cake and ice cream celebration.

“There will always be bad people who do bad things, there’s nothing you can do:”

I heard this from a gun-rights enthusiast immediately after the slaughter of 26 innocent victims, twenty of them children of six or seven years of age, at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. This same guy is also a vocal anti-abortion, or “pro-life” advocate that is in favor of criminalizing women and health care workers who participate in abortions.  Apparently, they are pro-life until the child leaves the womb; once they are among us they are on their own.  I’m sorry, but any society that can’t take care of six or seven year old children is a complete and total failure.  Plain and simple. And when the anger and horror we feel when such an incident occurs is overridden by ideological or political talking points, then we are no longer human.

From the only consistency is in our inconsistency department – perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the modern Republican is how easily they give up on supposedly deeply held convictions.  Some examples:

The constitution is sacred and must be protected against knee-jerk activism.

The second amendment is feverishly defended against any proposed legislation that might in the broadest imaginable interpretation have the slightest impact on the public’s right to bear arms, yet calls by candidates to ban Muslims and to deny citizen ship to “anchor babies” that clearly violate first and fourteenth amendment rights, go unchallenged and have become key planks in the evolving 2016 Republican platform. Donald Trump has actually spoken out in favor of the state sponsored murder of innocent family members of suspected terrorists.

Big government is not to be trusted and has no business in the private lives of citizens.

A long held fundamental tenet of U.S. conservative political philosophy that is conveniently overlooked when it fits the narrative they want to tell.  Fears of terrorists that are spread and exaggerated are used as excuses for the government, who supposedly can’t be trusted with the simplest administrative duties, to collect private information (see the “Patriot Act”) of private citizens.

The real question should be which should we distrust more, big government or big business? With the legalized purchase of our government, the lines between the two have been blurred to the point that government of, by and for the people doesn’t exist any more.

Fear mongering

I swear, despite all of their tough talk, Republicans have to be the biggest wimps in the world.  I’ve never met a bunch that is so afraid of so many different things.  From having to take a gun with them everywhere they go for fear of an encounter with the menacing hoody wearing black man to violating basic constitutional rights at the sight of a man wearing a turban, there is nothing (except, strangely, guns) they aren’t frightened of.

Misplaced fear

Of course, not all fears are irrational.   For example, what should be feared more:  the gun violence that caused 406,496 American deaths between 2001 to 2013 or the acts of terrorism which caused 3,380 deaths (more than 2,900 of them on the same day, 9/11) over the same time frame? It seems obvious that the one that is more than 100 times larger, the one that killed more than 84 Americans per day in that time frame, should get the bulk of the attention.  Yet, for example, in the immediate aftermath of the San Bernardino tragedy, when the fourteen people killed were still thought to be victims of another random mass shooting, the silence of the Republican presidential candidates was deafening.  Once it was determined that the assassins had ties to ISIS, the reaction became loud and shrill.  Republican leaders only care about victims when they can be used to spread their false narrative,  that people of darker colors and different faiths are to be feared, when actually it’s their own divisive and careless policies that have left so many of us isolated and divided, and armed and dangerous, distrustful and afraid of one another.

There’s a reason they want us to be afraid of each other – it’s the divide and conquer strategy. If we fear and distrust our fellow citizens, it makes it easier for the rich and powerful they serve to grab an even bigger share of the pie.  We the people are right where they want us to be:  fighting each other for the crumbs that fall from their overstuffed mouths.

I’d argue that if we ever sat down and talked with each other, and listened, really listened, we’d realize we’re much more alike than different.  We’re all getting screwed, we’re all working harder and earning less, and we’re all paying more for basic services and falling deeper into debt.  It isn’t the hoody wearing black man or the Muslim or the Mexican we should be wary of, it’s the bankers and corporate officers who have put everything we own and value, our dreams and our future, our health and our families, up for grabs in one last fire sale. They are betting on their ability to keep us divided and hostile to one another until they can grab everything and leave us only the chewed and charred remains of heir gluttony.

We have two choices:  remain stupid and willing victims to their avarice and greed, or recognize what is being done to us and unite in opposition.

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