More Political Ranting, Sorry

It’s really hard to know what’s going to happen in the upcoming election. That’s always true, but this year has a sinister edge that I never imagined seeing in American politics.

My friend Perla came to the US from Argentina. She escaped the maelstrom of a dictator and found freedom in the United States in the 1980s. We talked about this at the little Valentine’s oriented pop-up shop at which I had the incomprehensible set-to with the child. Perla was expressing her fears for the future in the United States. Part of this was a description of the moment in which the Argentines lost their Constitutional rights.

“I was just driving home from school or work or something but I never forget the moment. The radio, it came on the radio, first a march,” Perla vocalized a march, “then this. ‘The constitution has been suspended. As of today, you no longer have the right to vote.'” And that, she said, was it. She, her husband and her little girl were able to get out of Argentina. “Coming to America? These beautiful double doors opened for me and we were safe. Double doors, Martha.”

We talked a while about this — about other people I’d known who’d had to leave their homes forever because of their nation’s politics or because of war.

So now we have a maelstrom of Democrats storming the country looking for the nomination. I avoided watching any debates until they started to count. I have no memories of the Iowa debate, only the debacle resulting from the caucus votes. New Hampshire was more memorable because Amy Klobuchar made her way out of the background as witnessed by the fact that she picked up delegates. She’s my favorite, but I’m not “Amy or no one” by any means. IF we get to vote in November and IF the election isn’t totally fucked, I’ll vote for any Democrat.

I NEVER imagined writing that. OH well…

People already have their “favs.” There’s the whole “Bernie or no one” camp that elected Donald Trump last time, leading some to believe Sanders is a Russian asset. There’s the “Warren or No One” camp. There’s the “Only Biden can fix this” and I actually think he’s the best bet, but he’s not going to win. Trump’s nastiness in Ukraine took the shine off Biden’s name, guilty or not. Strange how the media is the actual decider of what people do. Bloomberg got slammed yesterday on Twitter by Offal’s egregious son who found video of Bloomberg talking about his anti-crime policies in New York. Of all absurdities in this maelstrom, Offal, Jr. and then Offal himself called Bloomberg a racist.

The liberal reaction I saw was all against Bloomberg. The reality that the crime being fought happened in neighborhoods where most of the people were minority people. I lived in a neighborhood like that in San Diego. It wasn’t racism that led the police to arrest mostly Mexican and Black young men. It was the fact that these were the people who were committing the crimes — most gang, drug and gun related. All of us in the hood were grateful that a cop shop was dropped into our neighborhood and grateful when we no longer lived in the highest crime neighborhood in San Diego. The cops practiced stop and frisk. It wasn’t “racial targeting” at all. Even my boyfriend at the time (white guy) got stopped and frisked and so, for that matter, did I. The cops were looking for a red Escort wagon. There I was. One of the cops (dyslexic, apparently) punched the license plate number incorrectly and I was pulled over by TWO cop cars, told to get outside my car and put my hands on the roof. It was 2001 so I was a 49 year old English teacher — definitely a suspicious character — but I was innocent. That’s the point.

The media directs our attention to the shiny surface. We have our knee-jerk reaction, indulge in some name-calling and move on to the next thing. This is how they will get us. “Squirrel!”

Perla also asked me how I deal with this and I told her that I know all I can do is vote in November, if that’s still an option. Meanwhile, I’ll walk the dogs, paint, hang out with friends when I can, and vacuum up the dirt the dogs drag in from the yard.

31 thoughts on “More Political Ranting, Sorry

  1. I am following the developments of the voting in the States, but only from a distance. I hear from this Buttigieg guy for the first time. He seems to be something completely different.

  2. Exactly the same here in the UK. The mainstream media has infiltrated peoples minds, exposed them to a banality that removes any thought process behind the right and wrong of voting for A or B, and then sends subliminal messages to their readers to vote “the right way’. Many people see only the external sheen, the facade, that the media allow them to see and then seek to make their judgement upon the basis of said knowledge. Big business runs politics, despite the rhetoric and soundbite that spew forth from the various politicians who are put in front of the camera or microphone when something disastrous happens or is likely to happen. Give the public as little information as possible, make it sound like it isn’t our fault and that we are “on your side”. Disagreeing with the majority mainstream media through twitter, facebook etc opens up the trolls and zealots who will hunt and haunt you until your dying day.

    I look at this Deomcratic “race” from afar and forgive me if I do not fully understand it all. However the fact that there are 5 or 6 candidates still trying to get to the front, and the election is in November, doesnt actually leave much time to formulate a coherent and reasoned plan of action in the Democratic effort to unseat the incumbent person. Surely, the Dems could have had their discussions, election or caucuses last year, for instance, and now be in a far more cohesive position to make their points to the voters. Maybe I am seeing it from an incorrect angle, I dont know.

    • All this leads up to the Democratic convention where the candidate is officially determined. I think this is how they get exposure around the country. This is an UNUSUAL number of hopefuls — the Republicans had the same last time. They are dropping out and we’ll be left with those who have earned the most delegates. I’m sure there is a lot of internal “politicking” in between.

      But we’ve never been in a situation like this before where it is so important to unseat the incumbent. The two front-runners are, IMO, impossible. Also, in my opinion, the Democrats, overall, candidates and voters don’t get it. OH WELL.

  3. Your story about Perla is most frightening — I fear that such a story could happen in this country,, if not this cycle, maybe the next time around if Trump wins. What an odd selection we have — I, too, think Amy is probably the best choice at the moment, though I think Trump probably expects to walk all over her. It will be interesting to see how it goes through Super Tuesday.

  4. I am not at all surprised by Biden’s results thus far. Was it the MSM who tried to build him up? From the get-go I thought he was not the right person. What is it you see that I don’t?

    For me, I need Biden to drop out, like right now, so we can see what happens in the next two primaries. Warren is next on the list of who needs to bow out. Overall, though, I’m fine with most of the candidates who made it to the debate stage. No one’s perfect.

    Oh, there is one mystery though, which is Bloomberg. Why is he running? I’m having a hard time getting a read on his run. I feel suspicious about his motivations.

    • What I see in Biden is experience on the International stage. Dems tend to focus on domestic issues, but Trump has fucked us internationally. I think Bide has the experience and international respect to fix that quickly. I was hoping it would be him and a female, liberal running mate with a solid domestic agenda. Trump has put us in such a situation that we need to fix it fast, and that was, to me, what Biden has going for him. Mayor Pete has no experience and while I like what he says, he’s not presidential material yet.

      Bloomberg has a LOT going for him but DNC rules kept him out of the debates so far. I am reserving judgement on him until I hear him debate. I did a bunch of research and he’s a middle class guy, lost his job, started a business, did extremely well, puts most of his money into issues that are definitely important to me.

      A lot of people I respect and know personally support him, so I’m not closing that door. I liked Yang, but… I liked Harris, but…

      I want Elizabeth Warren to go away. She’s too old, too strident, and most useful in the senate. I like Amy, but she might be most useful in the Senate, too. I also want Bernie to go away because he’s too old, too progressive for this go around and unlikely to beat Trump.

      I don’t really see any real “winner” up there at all… 😦

      • I actually think the international community knows we made a mess over here and are riding it out. This is especially so because we’ve got this strange system in which the candidate with the most votes does not win necessarily.

        Bloomberg has a couple of skeletons in the closet. Excluding people under 30, I think most NYers know this. But apparently he feels confident enough to go forward anyway. I watched 1 or 2 videos of Mike recently and he didn’t seem like the mayor I saw years ago. Possibly it’s because he’s older now. … I just sense there’s something else going on. All the money he’s spent on TV ads could have gone to worthier causes.

      • The international community might be “riding it out” but I don’t think they’ll do that forever. I’m not convinced about Bloomberg. Something smells weird. And us “big empty” people are suspicious of New Yorkers 😉 which is weird considering that the “big empty” people thought Trump was the shit (or they just blindly vote republican, which one of my friends thinks…). I just don’t get it.

  5. Your Squirrel statement says it all and I have to agree with you – people don’t go into any depth (nor does the media) so that we can actually know more about a candidate than the latest scandal. My twenty something sons think that we need to do away with the two party system (couldn’t agree more) and then people just run on their VALUES, RECORD and PLANS for the country. They represent the issue. Not special interests or lobbyists or a party. Just the issues. Wouldn’t that be amazing? I love that the younger generation is at least thinking of better solutions than we currently have. Keep ranting, you are full of good thoughts. 🙂

    • Thank you. Your sons are right. The problem with the young (and me when I was young) is that they do not know and cannot know how entrenched things become in society and all the factors attached to the entrenchment. I hated learning that lesson. I really believed when I was 20 something that by the time I was 40 I’d have it all fixed. BUT without that kind of blind vision from the young, humanity wouldn’t get anywhere. ❤


  6. And it is particularly scary how fast a government can change, through a coup, a dictator, etc. I am horrified by how different all of North America looks now, compared to three to six years ago

  7. It gets scarier every day, Martha. And now Trump requests a ‘favor’ for his friend, Roger Stone? And Barr–that jerk–jumps right to it? WTH???!

    • I’m so scared we’re fucked. I don’t think the Dems understand that this is beyond a “next election.” I don’t think the Republicans get it, either. They think they’re just keeping the power. I really get pissed when someone says, “Trump is stupid” or “Trump is demented.” or “Trump is unprepared.” I think he’s smart, sharp and totally prepared to do what he has done. I think he systematically created a schtick people would underestimate.

  8. So we were just having this conversation here in Connecticut. I am hoping we’ll have a better idea of reality after Super Tuesday. Right now, I am just glad we aren’t any more prominent than we are or I think we might be afraid for our own safety. Sitting with two guys with nearly 100 years I the News Biz, neither of them has ever dealt with any of the stuff going on now. I don’t even have an opinion anymore. I’m just hoping we get it together, get SOMEONE nominated and VOTE. Otherwise, I’m going to hunker down and try to dodge the bullets.

  9. I won’t profess to understand the depths of US politics, but from what we’re seeing, the US is so divided into two separate factions with two completely different agendas, it may well be impossible for any human being to stretch across that gap.

    It seems President Trump understood that better than anyone. He is a very smart man; cunning is a fitting word. A US Pres needs to be. It appears he had the option of pleasing the globalist-minded leftist intelligentsia that Obama appealed to, or try to restore America to what she once was and satisfy the right-wingers, which includes the average American working stiff. Knowing he couldn’t do both, he’s picked his side. From there he can — and apparently does — thumb his nose at the ones on the other side. From what we hear, he’s getting the results those on his side were hoping for.

    I’m not sure who the Democrats are going to offer as a candidate or what his/her platform will be, but he/she will have the same choice to make that Trump did. If this contender leans Left, half the US populace will be unhappy. If the contender lean Right, the other half will be unhappy. Perhaps any populace allowed to vote will deal with the same scene.

    • Don’t be fooled. Trump is as crooked as they come. His promise to “Make America Great Again” appeals to nostalgia. THAT America never existed and the time in which it was alleged to have existed was a very forward moving, forward thinking era in America. I was there. Obama’s appeal was equally illusory in a way — “Hope and Change” is as meaningless a slogan as “Make America Great Again” but he was better at organizing the government to meet the exigencies of the time which were urgent. In real life, Obama created jobs, saved people’s homes, provided something as close to universal health care as the US has ever had. He did more for the average “working stiff” than Trump. He also salvaged the economy from a looming depression. Most of what Trump claims are his successes were gained on the momentum he inherited from Obama — who had no support in the Senate his second term. Obama was not “god’s gift” but he knew how to run the government and he was very effective internationally.

      He would never have been elected, IMO, had not John McCain been saddled with Sarah Palin as a running mate. She was the front runner of the populist movement’s rise to the mainstream.

      The main objection people had to Obama is that he was Black, and that is the base Trump is pandering to, an anti-intellectual group with chips on their shoulders, the ultra-right, who mistrust anyone with an education or a different color of skin. They confuse paranoia for thought. For the most part, they don’t think about the internal contradiction of their opinions ( One small example, Trump yammers against the so-called “Hollywood Elite” but he gets a pension from the Screen Actors Guild). They BELIEVE Trump for no better reason than they saw him on TV.

      He would NOT have won in a normal election, but the person he was running against was 1) a woman, 2) very unpopular woman (I hated her but voted for her), 3) one of her opponents (Bernie Sanders) was very popular, 4) the polls predicted that she would win by 85% which stimulated people who didn’t like her to vote a “protest” for Trump whom no one believed would win.

      It was a perfect storm of bullshit and bad luck. Where I live — a very conservative part of the US — I never saw a Trump sign in anyone’s yard or a local car with a Trump sticker on the bumper. People didn’t want to broadcast their vote. I know a lot of thoughtful Republicans voted for him because he was the party nominee.

      I am pretty conservative myself, but usually try to evaluate what’s going on in reality before voting. I had problems voting for Obama BECAUSE he was Black, not because I care, but because I didn’t think this country was ready, and I was right. 😦

      As for the results Trump is getting? They are not what he claims them to be. He lies constantly. It’s exhausting keeping track and trying to find accurate information.

      He is a very very very very bad and dangerous man, not only for the US but I believe for the world. He’s awakened the Far Right which is essentially a bunch of Nazis.

      And you’re right; the problem I see now is that the Progressive (left) part of the Democrats are strident and insistent and don’t get it. This is not their moment. The only Democrat who can win is a centrist. I’m sad and scared. 😦

      • This is where I was coming from. People from one side or the other can examine the same stats and scene, and come to totally opposite conclusions and interpretations. It looks like each side is its own maelstrom where clouds whirl in opposite directions.

        I’m really sorry you didn’t get your health care system. Ours is laboriously slow, but we can actually afford operations. Friends in the States without a lot of cash rely on hopes for a miracle, and mutual aid.

        As to the far Right…not sure if they are Nazis or simply “rednecks.” Sadly, there are always people who despise others for racial or other reasons. There are far Left folks equally dangerous, equally insistent that theirs is the only way to think. From what I pick up, if H.C. hadn’t been so insistent on social changes that would deny religious people their freedom, and pushed for “re-education of children,” she might not have driven so many professing Christian folks into the other camp.

        Right or Left, strong feelings always awaken an opposite reaction and always polarize. And journalists love that. You’ll have no peace if the Press has anything to say about it. 🙂

        A centrist? One foot on each side — is it possible? Or would everybody reject him? Time will tell, I guess. It may be a bit self-serving, but we do pray that the US will have a stable country and govt.

  10. I totally agree with you. I just voted in the NH Primary yesterday. It has been a long, long year of candidates trooping through the state. I went to see 4 different candidates. I wrote a couple of posts about the whole process. It was quite intense around here. But it really is different seeing them in person – which makes sense, but I am continually amazed at the huge difference it really does make. And to realize how the media can spin someone’s message or demeanor or whatever. I just hope the Democratic field narrows down to someone who can win. And survive the nastiness. People need to get out and vote. And not take that right for granted.

  11. I am with you. Although I still retain hope, I also have a valid passport. I hear Canada is a lovely country… I am from Mayor Pete’s area and he is very smart and well spoken but I agree he doesn’t have the experience. My ideal would be someone with his brains, Bernie’s ethics, and Biden’s experience. Of course I’d love for the US to have a female President but what I want most is a candidate who can beat Trump. *sigh* Time will tell. Until then I will keep an eye on the primaries in all the coming months and vote in my primary in May…

    • Mine is March 3. I don’t have a ballot yet. I just sent a message to my county clerk, but I’ll be in the county seat Friday. I can go pick it up. The advantage of living in small town America. ❤

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