89 to Go: Don’t Get Happy! Wait for the Votes and Count Them

I have been guilty of this, I admit, but we all have to stop ourselves. It’s a great temptation to look at the poll results and become giddy at the likelihood that Donny’s days are numbered. And the polls do … Continue reading

90 Days to Go: When Your Hero is a Liar…

I know there is a lot of political will to believe Donald Trump has been a great “president.” Many of those who voted for him are probably wishing beyond hop that they didn’t make as big a mistake as they … Continue reading

91 Days to Go: White People Need to Embrace Black Lives. It Matters.

It happened again this morning… A Facebook post that I figured was dead was revitalized by someone on the far right instructing me on why the people in the “Black Lives Matter” movement are racist. As usual, the assertions made … Continue reading

92 Days to Go: Might There Be a Positive Way to See Trump?

I know many people will hate the title of this column because they can’t think of anything positive about the fact that Donald Trump was elected President. I understand that, and ask you to bare with me as I explain why I think four years of Trump will ultimately be seen as a good thing. (No more than four, though! We can’t afford more!)

My last birthday, I turned 62, since I was born in 1958. My first electoral experience came with working on he campaign for a dinosaur-like politician; a liberal Republican. That was in 1972. Later that year, I also did some phone work for the McGovern campaign, which is still the worst political campaign I have ever worked on; it was as if the people running it didn’t care about winning; they seemed perfectly satisfied with a hardcore white liberal running for president at the head of a major party.

Little did I know, it would get worse. In 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter won the nomination and many of those white liberals who were in love with the right-thinking-but-terrible campaigner McGovern refused to ever accept Carter as p[resident, even though he was unapologetically liberal in his policy choices. In 1980, the same McGovern-loving white liberals withheld their support for a second Carter term. In the primary, they supported Ted Kennedy, even though Kennedy himself couldn’t explain why he was running, when asked. Carter won the nomination, but the unicorn progressives who supported Kennedy refused to support Carter in the General Election.

That stupid move, among others, ushered in the neocon era of American politics, which started when St. Ronald of Reagan was elected president. As I said, that was just the beginning, and the situation has gotten progressively (pun intended) worse since, primarily because white liberals kept chasing veritable windmills in every election and kept acting as if they knew/know more about politics than anyone else, even as they consistently worked against the American people, especially the Black and brown ones.

You see, Donald Trump is the culmination of a combination of two things; one is the Republican Party’s quest to win every election by appealing to everyone the Democratic Party left behind by embracing civil rights. In other words, where the KKK-style politicians and the Jhn Birch Society racists were once a Democratic Party staple, they were being welcomed into the GOP, as a way to prevent anther 1964-style electoral massacre.

The second thing was the white unicorn progressives abandoning all political power, in a mind-numbing declaration that only their version of liberal was the “right” one. Since 1980, liberals have largely been toothless, politically, culmination in electing unqualified morons like George W. Bush in 2000, for the sake of non-politician Ralph Nader, thus denying the perfectly capable Al Gore the White House, and ultimately, giving us the worst president we will hopefully ever elect; Donald J. Trump, over the highly qualified Hillary Clinton in 2016. Unicorn progressives earned a lion’s share of the responsibility for that electoral fuck-up, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, Trump has been so bad, even a lot of unicorn progressives have decided to put away their “know-it-all” bullshit and have finally embraced the reality that the Democratic Party is the only group of voters who can oust Donald Trump and spell the end of his excesses. And that is one of the positives that has come out of the otherwise dreadful Trump years.

I was with everyone else who felt like I had been kicked in the gut on November 8, 2016. In my 44 years in electoral politics, I had not been this depressed, even when the lure of Ralph Nader took a near-certain progressive victory to a defeat to a stiff like George W, Bush – twice. Donald J. Trump was and is so clearly unfit to lead America, it was difficult to imagine anything good coming of it.

Thankfully, however, I was partly wrong, and it started the day after Trump’s pathetic inaugural, which seemed to trigger something I hadn’t seen since I was a little kid. The turnout for the inauguration was so pathetic, Trump has continued to claim his crowd was huge, in part because it showed that American voters knew almost immediately that they’d allowed a huge mistake to be made. Then, the very next day, where was the Women’s March, which put Trump on notice that women were not going to stand fr his misogynistic bullshit.

These days, I think differently. Yes, he and his cronies are the worst thing to happen to our government in our 244-year history, but they seem top have awakened something we’ve been missing in our politics for some time. This is because Trump and his childish political myopia represents everything that has been wrong with this country for a very long time; at least 400 years, which is how long ago we started buying and selling humans in slavery. Think about it for a second; up until Trump, we always expected “someone else” to mend the social contract we supposedly agreed to in 1776, when we sent the Declaration of Independence to King George and made a statement that “all (people) are created equal.” Even by 1787, when we ratified a Constitution, we had pretty much forgotten that, endorsing an electoral college that reflected the wishes of the slave-driven Southern states and a lack of trust of democracy of every form.

Trump wants to perpetuate that broken social contract because he thinks that will help him win. Fortunately for the Americans who want the country to be what it has always purported to be, Trump seems to have become both a mirror image of the worst we can be and also a catalyst for the change we need. Compare the reaction to Trump’s declaration that the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville were “good people” with the reaction to his failure to acknowledge the murder of George Floyd, except in the context of “thugs” and “criminals.” As little as a year ago, Trump’s crass dismissals of athletes who kneel during the National Anthem was largely met with agreement, not the “Black Lives Matter” movement is now moving forward at lightning speed. Instead of sports teams complaining about athletes who kneel, athletes are now encouraged to kneel. And we all have the silliness of Donald J. Trump to thank for it.

Face it; our politics has been ambling along without motivation for a generation, and Donald J. Trump has been so bad, he seems to have been the spark our democracy needed to wake up and get shit done. Face it; the Trump Cult is like the coronavirus and it is the spread of COVID-19 that is leading to a swift vaccine. Perhaps this time, we can go all the way with the American people and create a government that is actually “of the people, by the people, and for the people” for the first time, as we have always envisioned. That means all people, not just those with white privilege.

A lot will have to be done, of course. We are still living the Civil War, almost 160 years later, as we melt down the thousands of reminders we built for ourselves as a way to “stick it to the Black and Brown people” and show them that we white people are still in charge. However, we should be able to use the absolute awfulness of the Trump Regime to scare a lot more Americans into the ideals we always used to claim to hold dear.

Under GOP rule since 1980, we have become a whiter, more stratified country than ever before, and that’s no small feat. Instead of welcoming immigrants to our shores and showing them how to have a better life, our reaction to Trump may mean we’ll be able to treat everyone as equals. No promises, of course, but the opportunity is there, as a reaction to Trump. For the first time ever, “Black Lives Matter” is now mainstream. Women in power is quickly becoming mainstream, and there are signs that their handle on power may be permanent this time. For the first time in my memory, anti-choice seems to be on the ropes, and gay people are being accepted like never before. A lot of this happened before Donald Trump was permitted to impose on our government, but the Trump Impact seems top be speeding up the process somewhat.

Over the past generation, the Republican Party has essentially given up even trying to govern; they, like Trump, are only interested in power. They seem to have more regard for Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un than for the presidency of Barack Obama, and they seem intent on turning the federal presidency into something of a dictatorship. Like I said, we have a lot to overcome. But Trump may be providing the spark we need to get a lot oof it done.

That doesn’t mean we need anther four years of his sorry ass occupying the White House. In fact, the one thing un-electing Trump should do is to make sure a brain fart like happened in 2016 never happen again. However, we should still try to find the bright side of every such political brain fart.

93 Days to Go: We Can Win Red States; Here’s How

One of the reasons white progressives have been relegated to also-ran status in the body politic of the United States over the past 30-40 years is based on assumptions we tend to make about the electorate. One of those key assumptions is that we are being stopped from success by the fact that most people who live in “red states” will never vote for a Democrat. This, despite the fact that all “red states” were once blue states and had majority Democratic legislatures, Democratic governors, Democratic Senators and sent Democrats to the House.

This is just faulty thinking, and it has infected our thinking for so long, we can’t even consider winning in many states and districts. And it’s a key reason we lose most of the time in so many regions of the country. For instance, it’s one main reason Bernie Sanders loses so badly in the Democratic primary. On Super Tuesday 2016, Hillary Clinton absolutely cleaned Bernie’s clock, winning some primaries with upwards of 80 percent of the vote, but the “Bernie or bust” people dismissed those states, calling them “the old Confederacy” and dismissing those primary wins because Democrats had “no chance” of winning them in the General Election.

It’s this attitude that marks our doom. The loudest and most vocal white liberals thin they’re smarter about politics than everyone else, which means they think they can predict everything. The problem is, they seem to have no concept of how voters think. Their predictions are based solely on assumptions; assumptions that no one likes us, so there is nothing we can do electorally in more than half the states in the union.

These Unicorn Progressives think the only way we can win the democracy is to write off half the voters and tell everyone else how smart we are; that we can fix every problem by sheer willpower. We don’t try to understand them because our loudest contingent doesn’t think we can do so. The reason the Bernie faithful will always lose is because they’re in a distinct minority and because they write off everyone who isn’t a true believer. When they wrote off “the old Confederacy” in 2016, after Hillary Clinton received far more votes than Bernie is because they’re politically inane. Hillary Clinton won by a large vote margin because she appealed to Black voters, many of whom live in and love their states, regardless of the majority.

You see, this is why Black voters don’t really like most white liberals/progressives; white libs are too quick to relegate Black voters to the fringes, and to feel sorry for them for having to live in Red States. It doesn’t even occur to many white liberals that the reason so many Black voters are “forced” to live in, say, Alabama, is because so many white liberals abandon them because the Democrats choose candidates who are “not progressive enough,” so they cast their vote for a “third party” or “independent” with no chance to win. This, to the modern unicorn progressive, is their version of “sending a message” and it’s both wrong-headed and downright creepy. Since when does voting for someone without a chance of winning constitute “sending a message” to anyone? The only candidate who gets to make policy is the one who wins, so what message is being sent by the candidate who comes in a distant fourth? And meanwhile, the poor people and minorities we supposedly care most about get screwed by the Republican Right Wing candidate who wins and gets to impose his will on the electorate.

We can win in red states and districts every time. The idea that we can’t win and have to write them off is ridiculous and offensive. We have to do two things, and we can turn most of the country deep blue.

First of all, we have to highlight the actual record of the Republican Party. That should be easy, even on economic grounds. Red states tend to be very poor and pay far less to workers. They tend to ignore regulations designed to keep workers and people safe and secure. When it comes to running the entire country, look at their results. In the last 80 years, you won’t find a recession that was not caused by Republicans, and every single recovery was led by a Democrat. The last two recessions – the Bush recession and the current Trump recession – were caused by a combination of incompetence and Republican policies that put the needs f the extremely rich ahead of the needs of everyone else. They also place tax cuts ahead of every other policy, although their tax cuts always benefit the extremely rich, to the detriment of the average American taxpayer. That’s why Republicans always leave behind huge deficits for our grandchildren to clean up later. And their hatred of regulation and government responsibility is why they have completely punted the coronavirus pandemic response, and left the economy in shambles.

The other thing we have to do is to understand that having more than two viable political parties is impossible. Two viable parties is the best we can hope for in a winner-take-all system, which is what we have. Voting for an “independent” or a “third party” candidate is a waste of your vote in the vast majority of elections because there are only two viable political parties. Voting for someone who can’t win is a function of ego and nothing more. We may be able to make a current third party into a second viable party, but it will take many election cycles

We can win all 50 states, as long as we have a sense of political reality. Even the reddest state has a lot of liberals and minorities who are naturally inclined to agree with us.

The Trump Administration is making a huge mistake by treating California as an enemy wasteland because they feel as if Trump will never win it, because California also has more Republicans than any other state in the union. Let’s not make the same mistake, by writing off all “red states” because we think we can’t win. We can, and it’s not even that difficult.

94 Days to Go: Despite the Press, Look at Trump’s Real Record and Oust Him

Over the past week, most of the talk in the media was about a Trump Tweet, in which he suggested the election be delayed, in case he doesn’t get his binky. In other words, he was asking someone else (unnamed, … Continue reading

Fighting the Ignorant White Menace, One Trope at a Time

We have to overcome our racist past, but we’ll never do so was long as something this profoundly stupid and racist is allowed to exist, unchallenged. And really, it is profoundly stupid and ignorant, as well as being racist. What … Continue reading

95 Days to Go: The Audacity of Going BIG

I’m certain you’ve heard; “this election is the most important in our lifetime.” Not only do we have to rid our White House of the entire Trump family, but it’s our best chance in a generation to get rid of … Continue reading

96 To Go: We Have to Work to Protect and Encourage the Vote

There is a built-in problem with democracy, and it has to do with who gets to vote. Ot, at least, who should get to vote, which is everyone. Under the best of circumstances, a lot of truly idiotic people get … Continue reading

97 to Go: Why are WE “Condescending” When We Point Out BS?

right wing snowflakes are easily triggered

This is something I have always wondered… For some reason, when someone, especially someone on the far right, says something profoundly stupid – which they do a lot – if we bother to correct the record and call out the … Continue reading