So Now What?   (2018Jan17)


Wednesday, January 17, 2018                                          2:05 PM

So Now What?   (2018Jan17)

Earlier today, the president’s chief of staff described Trump’s campaign promises about the Wall as “uninformed”. I don’t see why he felt the need to be specific—most would describe all of Trump’s promises as “uninformed”, excepting all those that remain “empty”.

I just saw Sen. Jeff Flake give a Senate-floor speech that was forthright in castigating the Republican Party—and even MSNBC went straight from that to discussing whether or not Flake’s words would matter (!?) One would hope they’d spare a second—or any of the ‘excitement mills’ would—to discuss what he said.

Trump tweeted that Flake was just ‘trying to get attention’—and he was right. Flake was trying to tell his fellow Republicans that they had strayed into a mirky wood full of dangers; to tell them they had to hack their way back into the light. It seems petty—to deflect such a grave message by suggesting that a man retiring from the Senate is no one to be taken seriously—and the president’s sentiments should give other Senators pause, I’d hope.

But mass media is so label-prone and outcry-hungry that they can become a mask for truth as well as a platform for truth—the job at CNN, MSNBC, etc. is to create dramatic tension out of thin air. This is often done by stating facts—but the mass media have become too commodified to wait around for facts. And by now they’ve become so used to ‘keeping the ball in the air’ that they have difficulty finding the time to insert facts, whenever they reappear. Straight truth screws with their bottom line.

Well, aside from the deferred job of undoing all the damage Trump will have done to the government (and the nation) by the time we see the ass-end of his shenanigans (or more optimistically (though less likely) a groundswell of outrage that sweeps away not only Trump, but his whole party) there’s little point in watching the ‘Trump show’.

The spokesman for unreasoning fear and anger led a large constituency to the 2016 Election polls—and the rest of us failed to see the danger of not voting. Electoral Colleagues scorned their duty, after the popular vote presented them with an unfit choice. The Republican Party has abandoned any claim on legitimacy by riding this horse through corruption, dishonesty, racism, sexism, plutocracy, xenophobia, fascism, and jihad-like attacks on our religious freedoms. Not to mention treason.

That Congress—they are something. A veritable army of people, hundreds of people—each elected by their local folks, each responsible to work together with hundreds of others. What a challenge they could face! What great things they could achieve! But such a great opportunity can also go greatly awry—it can devolve into a bunch of schoolchildren on a playground, but without a teacher. Modern politics obviously requires one very important skill in one’s toolbox: the inability to be embarrassed.

One very obviously lacking skill in modern politics: leadership—and that goes for both parties. If the Democrats didn’t have the sense to unite behind Obama, and the Republicans embraced the nonsense of uniting behind Trump—which party is the most pathetic? Has the politics overcome the democracy so completely that, like a seedy roadside bar, no one with any sense walks into it anymore?

Gosh—I’ve gotten this far and I haven’t even started on my theme: What do we do when (and if) this ship of state rights itself? We’d have to start (fittingly) by throwing all of Trump’s XOs back in his face (as he always does with accusations and failures). We’ll have double-duty, because we’ll have to clean-slate all of Trump’s garbage and, more importantly, reinstate most of Obama’s—but as legislation, not just an XO.

Then we have to ‘do the right thing’ by all Dreamers, TPS-es, and divided families—just to start. Then we have to take in 500,000 refugees from Syria and other hot-spots—in the inaugural year, not over ten or fifty years—right now. And be ready to do it again the next year.

Then we have to re-do the Tax Reform thing, and charge the corporations and the wealthy the ‘total maintenance fee’ on getting to be rich and powerful in the greatest country in the world—that stuff don’t come cheap, boss. We’ll need that money to pay for free healthcare and higher education—it’s about time we caught up with the developed world, in terms of maintaining the flock. (You can’t have nice, fat chickens if you don’t give them that quality feed.)

Infrastructure would be nice, too—mostly because it is stupid to let the work-backlog keep growing, decade by decade—what is this, dreamland, FFS? Do you expect to get credit for your ancestor’s efforts—without even the courtesy of a coat of paint? Not likely.

But, if we’re going to dream big, Federalist dreams… —Why not a guaranteed-minimum-income for all? That way, employers would have to offer a living wage to get anyone to work for them. There’s justice for ya, huh? I know, I know—you don’t like it—it sounds all wrong. Sure. And what we got going on right now is totally just and fair. Wouldn’t want to make the business-owners angry, calling it modern-day slavery, with TV. (Or is it cellphones now?)

Anyway, moving on: We shouldn’t be satisfied until our low-income population has the same quality-of-life as their Canadian counterparts—that’s simple humanitarian governance, plus it really lowers all the costs of maintaining an underserved community and its associated crime stats. Making peoples’ lives more fulfilling than doing drugs might even help with the whole opioid problem.

That’s just a rough outline off the top of my head—and I’m not an expert on this stuff in the first place. But, obviously, it will require a reversal of our present politics—we need a majority in both houses and a president with chops. And it wouldn’t hurt to have a constituency that has felt the cold chill of what democracy might become, if good people stay home. Nor would it hurt if those same voters had the courage of their convictions, remembering that freedom means not being afraid–or lazy.

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