Talking Politics   (2016Jan26)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016                                                4:54 PM

It’s Tuesday so let’s talk politics. I’m painfully saddened by the ongoing lead poisoning in the Flint, Michigan drinking water—this is what happens to the disenfranchised—they get chiseled to death by the wealthy. Flint is just an exaggeration of that principle—you can find it everywhere in America now. The powerful have become so entrenched, so abetted by the political machinery, that, far from realizing some American dream, lower income families are lucky to escape death by neglect. America has grown top-heavy, but as the top clings to and accumulates more and more power, it stands on the weaker and weaker legs of the population as a whole.

I’m overjoyed that Planned Parenthood has been cleared of all the trumped-up charges recently leveled against it—and that the trumper-uppers are now facing prosecution themselves—justice prevails! A rare victory for an embattled principle—women’s health care is attacked most effectively through local legislation that drives away health care institutions like Planned Parenthood—leaving whole swathes of the nation with no women’s health care for hundreds of miles in every direction. That the blatant lies so recently leveled against it have been proven false is but small comfort—to the far right, women are still the enemy.

That fundamentalists can still attack gays, which are but ten percent of our country, is bad enough—but that they can still find support for their attacks on women, who comprise fifty percent of the people, beggars belief. Add in their attempts to roll back voting rights and immigration reform and you can see that the right really is just the bastion of white Christian males—plus those they despise who are somehow confused enough to support them in spite of themselves. The GOP contains women like Carly Fiorina and minorities like Ben Carson—but not many, just the twisted, self-hating dregs of the groups their party works so hard to keep under the jackboot.

A recent Facebook meme quotes Donald Trump from 1998, “If I were to run, I’d run as a Republican. They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up. I bet my numbers would be terrific.” Right-wingers were quick to fact-check this—and claim that he never said it—that, in fact, there was no Trump interview in People magazine that year. Still, it sounds like something he would say—and I’m only too glad to spread the quote, even if it’s not true. He definitely did say, just recently, that he could shoot someone in the street without losing any supporters—and while that may speak well of his political ability, it certainly doesn’t say much different about his supporters than the debunked quote does. To my mind, it’s even more insulting.

Everyone seems to be talking about the caucuses now—as if the arcane nomination process will protect the establishment candidates, protecting the Republicans from a popular candidate that doesn’t represent them—and protecting the Democrats from getting stuck with Bernie, whose popularity within the party may not translate to popularity in a national race. It’s been said that the lines at the registration desks—where first-timers sign in—will tell the story long before the nominations are tallied—this phenomenon was observed during Obama’s first campaign caucuses and it’s considered a sure sign of ‘outsider’ strength.

Well, that’s as far as I’m willing to go with discussing politics—any further and I risk upsetting myself to the point of illness. Basically nothing has changed—our fates hang by a thread, good may triumph but its odds are long, and no news is good news—unless, like Flint, you’re already in the news.

Today is our daughter Jessy’s birthday, so we miss her back east here while she celebrates in sunny CA.

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