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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 67,659

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4 years ago, I said that Mitt Romney was the worst presidential candidate I've ever seen in my life

That probably had to do with his incompetent campaign, his utter tone deafness, his cartoonish shtick as the Whitest Man In America and that stick that he had so far up his ass that you could check the oil in his brain with it.

But looking at the the way that the GOP was trending towards a collapse of it's own credibility, I knew that without a shadow of a doubt, that the party would outdo itself by exponential proportions in the following election year. Early in the GOP primary process, I looked for RWNJ pandering, incompetence and shamelessness... Also, I factored in the urge in wingers to respond with their own candidate who would have been seen as an "Anti-Obama."

My first inclination was to see Ben Carson as that person, a black guy that even white right wingers could love. He had it all, including his willingness to incoherently crazy talk every other motherfucker in the room. But alas, his inability to connect to his audiences in a meaningful way had doomed his chances. Not to mention my suspicions that he really wasn't serious about running for office at all. I still think that he only ran to monetize his name brand with a certain segment of the GOP electorate that's willing to finance his extravagant, self-indulgent life-style. Carson, a man with no political experience, no knowledge about how the world, much less the US Government, is supposed to function and who seemed utterly incompetent outside of his medical expertise, seemed like the logical transition in right wing Republican devolution, and the next biggest step to the collapse of a major political party.

Needless to say, it was a lot worse than I thought.

Not only will Donald Trump be the worst presidential candidate that any of us have ever seen in our lifetimes, he's pretty much the worst human being that we've witnessed as well. Rather than simply taking this cretin as he is, we have to consider what he represents. Quite a few times, I've referred to Trump as the "Monster From The Republican Id." Prior to actually running for office, he may have been an small-handed, egotistical, narcissistic, thin-skinned, serial marrying carnival barker with delusions of grandeur, but at least he was operating on his own reprehensible terms.

Clearly, this is no longer the case. Trump owes his success to his ability to mold his own self-image to the worst and most virulent aspects of a political party that's in utter chaos and decline. He is a reflection of his narrow-minded, racist, paranoid and hateful electorate. He's now the purest product of decades of right wing political distillation. A mirror on the most despicable aspects of what it means to be a conservative Republican today... So bad in fact, that many conservative Republicans themselves are unable to even look in that mirror. He is everything that they've ever asked for, but were far too obtuse to even know what they were getting.

They only have themselves to blame.

The question, however, is how successful he's going to be at getting elected. And in this, I have to say, we have some good news based on two continuing trends.

First, despite Trump's ability to bring more Republican voters to the primary polls than every before, if we're to believe the numbers, he's not actually expanding the party. The GOP electorate has been in steady decline for years and that trend is not letting up. Republicans knew that this was happening and their response was to destroy both the voting rights of millions of Americans and the ability for organized labor to raise funds, marginalize voting blocks through gerrymandering, plus make it easier for the American oligarchy to buy elections. The competing of demographics has been mixed, to say the least.

But, in spite of these efforts on the right appearing to be successful in the short run, it's not a long term recipe for success. The Republican voter base is steadily dying off, not to mention the fact that its collapse is turning off a sizable segment of traditional voters who are disillusioned with the way that Republicans have failed them.

The key thing to remember is that Republicans voters themselves are not most of the electorate. Most people would not vote for them more than they would not vote for Democrats. In terms of the popular vote, there have been more of us than there are more of them for quite some time. Unfortunately, we have an utterly undemocratic system of government which values money more than it values people.

Lastly, let's not devalue the impact of the GOP running the most reprehensible cretin ever to be nominated by a major political party. This is a big deal for us, no matter what some of us would feel about our own candidate. Trump out-negatives Clinton by a country mile. You don't see Democratic congress-critters running away from her public statements the way you see Republicans running away from Trump's, do you? In spite of our own messy nomination process, I have no doubt that we're going to back our own nominee, barring any unforeseen circumstances... (Winger concerns about Clinton being indicted over some scandal that they've contrived is inconsequential, in my observation. They're always coming up with baseless nonsense to fling at the Clintons).

All in all, we have this in the bag in November and all we have to do is urge the other side to self-destruct. It's going to happen anyway. After it does, my only concern what's going to happen to our politics once the center-right party no longer becomes viable. That, right there, is something that we all should be concerned about.

The X-Men RemiX

When my show is on...

"...And this is where your father's mother was spawned in the belly of the beast."

Cats are dicks...

An old fave, one more time...

Mark Your Calendar

I've got a couple of white guys on the Disc. trying to tell me what it's like to be black in America

Whitesplaining, baby. How ridiculous can it get?

Hate Kills...

I voted for Bernie in the Michigan primary...

I know that this fact may come to a surprise for some folks around here, but it's absolutely true... I cast my one vote in the Michigan primary for this state's winner, Bernie Sanders.

The reason I did that was quite simple, I pretty much ignored all the reasons his other supporters repeatedly gave to me to vote for him and I voted for him only on my own terms. I figured that's what any conscientious voter should do, cast a vote on their own terms and not anyone else's. Win, lose or draw, the only thing that you need to do is stay true to your own principles.

So be it.

The reasons why I chose Bernie were quite simple... I did the research and calculated that his positions closely mirrored my own. In the same research, I determined that Hillary Clinton came to a close second behind Bernie. To me basically, their positions were more alike than not. Also, Hillary was projected to win the state of Michigan, so rather than feeling as if I needed to triangulate my vote for the winner, since Hillary was projected to win, I cast my vote for the person who shares a closer approximation to my own beliefs.

Again, I didn't have to listen to any of Bernie's fervent supporters to realize this. I already knew it for myself. When you add the fact that I don't like being told what to do, I felt that it wasn't anyone else's business to know who I voted for in the primary. I hate conflict and thus, I never felt it necessary to insert myself into the endless amount of pointless arguments, characterizations and castigations of any particular candidate. Most of that was just plain insufferable behavior to me.

I didn't need it.

When it came to the issues and their suitability for office, I had both pros and cons for both Hillary and Bernie. The cons, none of which were deal breakers. Unlike Republicans, which are nothing but deal breakers. Besides, since I'm putting the premium on keeping a Republican out of the Oval Office come January, I have no qualms voting for our eventual nominee, no matter who it may be. I'm a Democratic partisan, so sue me and I saw no value in saying anything against any of our candidates that I may have to eventually take back in order to still get a Democrat elected.

Now, when it came to choosing Bernie for my primary vote, I did so with the understanding that, if he were elected president, he would come face to face with quandaries where the only options he's left with are either bad or worse. That's just the nature of being the Chief Executive of an imperialist, globe spanning military and social-economic behemoth like The United States of America, a country which has always operated in the world with our own self-interests first and foremost. The nature of the beast also dictates that presidents cannot operate by fiat, they have to juggle and balance and even betray their own constituents from time to time. I know that it wouldn't be long before a President Bernie would have made some dodgy decisions that would have caused all kinds of ruckus with his most die hard believers.

Well, tough shit.

Based on the overall outcome, we call something like that "leadership." And I firmly believe that he'd be rational enough, as President, to set aside whatever principles of his own as necessary to cause the least amount of harm. It's not a pretty story about what Presidents have to do from time to time, but there it is. I'm not egotistical enough to think that I have all the answers, or that I could navigate some policy minefield without blowing everything up. Yes, I know that things are screwed up, but the last thing that I think we should do is screw everything up trying to fix it. Things are the that they are for a reason, Presidents (the good ones) are tasked to find a better way within the limitations that they have, in order to achieve the best possible results.

The great ones transcend boundaries, they create inspirational collective sea change and they shift the overall direction of the country to new horizons. The great ones never do this alone. They need both our help and guidance. Would Bernie have been one of the good ones or the great ones? I have no idea. But unfortunately, if he were given the opportunity either way, much of that would required conflict, cooperation and, sometimes, compromise on his part. Just try not to think of them as dirty words. If we are immersed in and bound by an economic system based on political, social and financial leverage, what else do you expect would happen?

Now, I guess you're wondering if I felt that my support for Bernie was done in the framework of me seeing him as some kind of cause célèbre or prime mover. The answer is no. Bernie, for me, basically was a candidate who shared my own beliefs about how government and society should function, in spite of how it actually functions. Regardless, despite any best efforts that he would put forward while in office, I never felt that he could make any changes all on his own because of the limitations therein. As I said before, my first priority was keeping the GOP from retaking the White House. All other considerations came secondary.

The main reason why I didn't think that Bernie was the force behind a movement was because I didn't see a movement that was independent of Bernie. Movements, at least worthwhile ones, are never about personalities at the top, they're about all the people at the bottom. I could not, in good conscience envision Bernie from his supporters. The thing is, that if his supporters are going to build a viable movement and inflict it on the status quo, it's going to have to be done without the guidance of it's sole leader. Otherwise, that leader is nothing but a figurehead and the movement is nothing more than a sham. I'm not saying that the support for Bernie was a sham, it was quite real. I'm saying that once Bernie were to become President, the people who put him into the White House would have an entirely new set of priorities to maintain and promote, some of which may come in direct opposition of the one person who would then represent just about everything they're fighting against.

The thing is that masses of people, as a group, are not emotionally mature and intellectually savvy enough to handle that kind of conflict of interests. Individuals, perhaps, but not a political mob. Me, I'm only impressed by results. I've lived in this country long enough to know that Americans rarely commit to some kind of general self-improvement as a first resort. We think that we’re too good to better ourselves, we’re the best and number one, and we’re especially too wonderful to adopt best practices from socialist hellholes.

Change is for losers and much to scary to try without a net.

But then, it’s always some last resort that we force upon ourselves, because it's in our nature to balance all of our myriads of self-interest against the common good only until we exhaust the last possible opportunity and then some. It's like disaster is always around the corner, along with the wolves in our fold who prey on us. We're too motivated by fears and prejudices and profit motives at this stage in the game. And I fear that before it gets exponentially better, there's always some gaggle of assholes who are willing to take us to the precipice and delight themselves in kicking someone over the edge, even if they have to handcuff themselves to their own victims.

Does that make me cynical? I don't think so, I think that it makes me a pragmatist. And yes, I know that dreamers hate pragmatists. It looks like we're always doing our best to harsh the mellows of some dreamers. Oh, well.

The secondary issue for which I had qualms about a Bernie presidency is this, and again, it's not about Bernie, it's about the system. OK, if we put him in the White House, but we fail to give him the Congress that he needs to fully implement any of his policies, what then? Also, he has to contend with the massively lopsided upward distribution of wealth holders, the vast majority who see him as some kind of crazed loon, a right-ward leaning judiciary and decades of semi-fascist precedent, a corporate owned agit-prop apparatus that we call "the media," a disaffected and repressed voter base, and a country where half the population is either stone cold ignorant, batshit crazy or both.

What's your movement going to do about that... Build trebuchets and guillotines and roam the streets with torches and pitchforks, looking for the ruling class to demolish? Of course, not. I don't want to hear about destroying the system, only to rebuild it, because then again, you're going to run headlong into a problem of not causing the least about of harm. Unless we're all willing to topple this house of capitalist and imperialist cards that each and everyone of us are invested in, in one way or the other, it's not going to happen that way. The only people who talk that nonsense are the same people who are protected from feeling the pain of ordinary people.

It's ridiculous.

Now that everything points to Hillary Clinton becoming our next President, we have to consider what we have to do next. Well, unless that answer is keeping a certain bigoted, small handed, serial marrying, truth deficient, megalomaniacal oompa-loompa out of the White House, I don't want to hear it. I really don't. It's not about your movement for now. The movement is going to have to operate independently of the general election cycle and it shouldn't be based on a single candidate, any candidate. How this happens, it's not my concern right now.

I will say, however, that I would love for the people who want to build a new American Renaissance to surprise me. Just do it in a way to keep GOPers from fucking it all up. Pretty please.

Lastly, and most importantly for me, my chief concern right now and for the coming future is the total dismantling of the systematic American white supremacist infrastructure. I made of point of not connecting anything I've written in this piece about the candidates to that issue, because it has always operated independently of the politics. Whether or not Bernie or Hillary addressed white supremacy while on the stump, again it's not like I'm naive enough to think that either one of them would have the power to abolish systematic white supremacy even if they wanted to. It's not about them, it's about us.

So, the party's kinda over, everyone. It's time to otherwise get the work... We have some primaries and a convention to seal the final deal and we have an election to win in November.

The nation is depending on all of us to drag the rest of their sorry, ungrateful asses along, kicking and screaming every god damned inch of the way.
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