My mind is blown more and more every day by what’s happening to these here United States. It’s now official: Manafort is going to JAIL! He was Trump’s campaign manager, but it seems like he was not even managing his own life properly. The state of New York has now SUED the president’s charitable organization! There is serious, I mean serious evidence of criminal wrongdoing there! “But what about the Clinton Foundation?” spouts the Facebook. Whataboutism is the hottest defense right now… false equivalencies the flavor of the day….. To me it seems more and more like the only possible outcome of these dug-in positions can only be complete chaos.
Let’s get a couple of things clear: I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a Republican; I’m not an American Citizen, although I love this country as much as the one I was born and raised in. I’m all for power to the people, believe in community and caring for and looking out for each other; that means ALL others, not just the ones you agree with. I do acknowledge the power of the free market, commerce and business, and the progress those have brought us, probably pulling more out of poverty than anything else humans have come up with. It’s clear to me that having too many people dependent on free handouts from a government is not desirable; and that trying to organize safety nets on a local scale is far superior, starting with families looking after each other. At the same time, it’s clear that most of those I hear rallying against “socialism” have NO IDEA what their country would look like without all of it that’s already implemented in the USA! Finally, the argument that nothing ‘government’ ever does is efficient and effective is completely ignorant (in the literal sense) nonsense. Can we agree that the US military is a shining example of effectiveness? LADWP is owned by the city of LA, and is cheaper and better than SoCal Edison, a private company! There are plenty of examples, and look no further than the Dutch government for one that shows that it CAN be done, as long as the population pays attention and punishes those politicians who deserve to be punished. Of all the post WWII cabinets in Holland, 50% have not finished their 4 year terms…..
So what do we do? We have to stay reasonable. I know Hillary is the typical politician, bending the truth on occasion, certainly talking differently to the Wall Street Bankers than to Main Street citizens. At the same time, the Clinton Foundation was extensively examined and not found criminally at fault! It has done a LOT of good, is rated very highly by charity watchdogs, found to be spending 88% of the money it takes in on actual action. We’ll have to find out how Trump’s organization checks out, but it’s not looking good. If he was stupid enough to make hand-written receipts that prove criminal actions, there needs to be punishment. If Bill Clinton got impeached over lying about a blow job, Trump needs to face the same if he lied under oath. We need to STOP talking about Hillary when discussing Trump: HE’s the president now and needs to be held accountable. We need to stop pretending this is a ‘two-party’ system; it’s NOT, it’s a two party population that can only think in black or white, good or evil.
We need to stop acting as if difficult problems have ‘a’ solution: most can not be fully solved and have multiple answers which might improve the situation. Guns are a perfect example. It’s clear that there are countries where there are almost as many per capita as here in the US and shootings are rare, just as there are places where there are strict regulations and people shoot each other all the time, and those for more control must acknowledge that fact. At the same time, the argument that criminals don’t follow the law anyway so more gun laws are useless is BS; and the fact that allowing just about everyone to have a weapon is going to lead to more accidents and for instance kids shooting up schools should not be discounted. There is a reason bazookas are illegal and those advocating for no regulations at all have NO IDEA what would happen if that were to happen.
To get back to where this post started, as someone without skin in the game if you will, the current administration is a disaster. Especially for all the bragging about “the best people” the amount of ignorance, incompetence and inappropriate behavior is extraordinary. It’s damaging the United States’ reputation worldwide, not to speak of the country itself. The focus on our current economy (mostly the result of the careful rebuilding in the Obama years setting up a slow but steady recovery; boring but solid) while ignoring the long-term ramifications is another typical example of the limited vision of those who support The Donald I’m sorry to say. The assault on the media is the most dangerous I’d say. You can feel what you want about the NY Times, but its track record is pretty damn good and its value to society enormous; certainly far more than ANY one president. For such a lying politician to call it “fake news” should be enough to depose of him, I don’t care WHICH party he supposedly belongs to.
Going forward, I do have an idea to try to get this discussion out of the stalemate it’s in. Whenever I participate in or overhear a political discussion these days, it’s virtually always two sides only advocating the advantages of their point of view. Any reasonable person knows that every idea, solution or action has pluses and minuses. I think it’s time we force ourselves to acknowledge, discuss and weigh the negatives of our proposed solutions and answers!
At the same time, we MUST acknowledge the positives of the other’s! Liberals must agree that we have a problem with too many people living on welfare with very little motivation to get off of it; Republicans must agree that we have too many people in jail and that making more things illegal is most likely going to move that number in the wrong direction!
It’s imperative to find common ground to build on, because this “making America great again” will not work unless we do it together. And one more time, that means including those who you don’t agree with!