My own opinion 2 – Trump, Lies & Video Tapes

Mockingrump

Despite the title, I don’t actually have any videos to post, and I wouldn’t be able to even if I did. The free version of WordPress doesn’t support that, and I can’t afford to upgrade it at this time. Besides, most everyone is aware of @realDonaldTrump‘s most embarrassing moments. Theyre easily found with minimal effort. Most of them are still making the rounds on Twitter and Facebook.

I need to make something clear that may or may not have been so in my first opinion piece (My own opinion 1 – Change).

I do not like the far left any more than I like the far (alt) right, and I absolutely detest the hate-fueled, fear-mongering far right. Both get far too carried away with their political views and agendas. Also, violence advocated—much less perpetrated—by a few right and left wing nut jobs against any and all people regardless of political opinions, race, creed, gender, color, etcetera should:

1. Always be condemned by anyone and everyone with morals and/or a conscience.

and

2. Never be associated with or used to denigrate everyone associated with those movements. Their views may be extreme, but the majority of them (not counting the actual hate groups) aren’t violently so.

That being said . . . onward.

Much of the following comes from a rant I posted on twitter May 26th, though this is much longer and far more detailed because I’m not character limited here. Also, a lot has happened between then and now. Other bits are from older opinion pieces that I took down a while ago but am reusing now as they’re still relevant. So here goes.

First off, I am not in any way a leading business owner/employer, civic leader or any other type of community leader/activist. I’m not a well-known commentator or experienced political analyst. I don’t have any degrees in political science or journalism. In fact, besides the knowledge living gives everyone, (and bearing in mind that knowledge does not always equal wisdom), I don’t have any relevant experience at all, except maybe the kind those who’ve served a few years (or ten) in the military get, but Donald J. Trump wouldn’t know anything about that.

I’m just an ordinary average person like the majority of Americans out there. I do not identify as either democrat or republican. I will admit that the majority (but not all) of my core beliefs do tend to lean to the left, some further than others depending on the issue. I also do not identify with any specific religion, I’m more spiritually than religiously inclined. I dislike all organized religions equally, though I’m fully for and will defend others’ rights to believe and worship as they wish, when they wish and where they wish—with a few exceptions (public schools, for one, unless it’s privately).

About a month ago, our ‘so-called’ president claimed that appointing a special counsel for the Russia investigation would divide the country.

Divided-1

Well, @realDonaldTrump, here’s the thing. You are the one who has been dividing this country, starting with your bullshit ‘birtherism’ shtick, and continuing on in an uninterrupted flow up to and including today. Despite your painful, pitiful, sorry calls for unity, none has come nor is it going to. No one bought those lame, emotionless, half-hearted pleas then, and no one is buying them now. Your mostly hate-fueled rhetoric and false claims of persecution have done nothing positive for our country.

From the moment you first rode down that escalator in your gold-encrusted tower, you stepped up your divisive agenda, referring to all Mexicans as criminals, rapists and drug dealers and calling for their deportation.

You called for a complete and total Muslim Ban with a very broad and open-ended “until we can figure out what the hell is going on” tag line, which effectively let your most corrosive followers interpret as “forever.”

You still pursue extreme versions of both of these policies today, even though there were already adequate measures in place that only needed a little fine tuning (removing corrupt/incompetent managers, supervisors and senior personnel, and other possible improvements).

You’ve alienated and denigrated the the MSM, the Justice Department, the Judiciary itself, and all of our intelligence agencies with your constant accusations and #FakeNews bullshit. The Mainstream Media is not the enemy of the people, sir. You are.

You openly mocked a disabled reporter—and please stop telling us you didn’t … it’s on video—and you’ve done nothing at all designed to unite anyone except your cult core. None of us have the time, energy, inclination or experience to deprogram them, although we will welcome any of those who finally become disillusioned with your bullshit and see the light on their own.

You had a chance to begin uniting the country during your transition period, but you didn’t. Instead, you spent it undermining US policy, alienating our allies, toadying up to every dictator you could find, and apparently avoiding the chance to fill most of your cabinet positions. You could at least have used that time to denounce the overtly racist, minority portion of your fan base, but you didn’t. And, by the way, when your friends, closest advisors, appointees and policy makers (Bannon, Miller, Sessions, Spencer, Jones et al) are known racist assholes, you don’t get to claim you aren’t.

Your inauguration speech could have been a message of hope and unity; it could have been a chance to bring the country together and move forward, but it wasn’t and you didn’t. Instead it was a dark, uninspired message from an uninspiring man—a message of despair and division, appropriately delivered in the rain.

No, the sun did not shine upon you that day, but it did the next, when millions of women and their friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, husbands, wives, daughters, sons, pets and all, did, in fact, deliver a positive message. A message of hope and unity that should have come from you, but didn’t.

You also could have delivered a positive and inspiring message to congress during your speech to them—but again, you did not, even if a few pundits were temporarily fooled into thinking you’d become ‘Presidential’. By the weekend, you, Donald J. Trumpcorrected that mistaken impression by accusing your predecessor of ‘wiretapping’ you in your own Golden Tower.

You could have publicly, repeatedly and believably denounced the rampant antisemitism that has markedly increased since your election/inauguration, but you didn’t. Not convincingly, anyway.

You spent your first days (month) appointing people who immediately began dismantling their respective departments (specifically: the aforementioned Justice Department, Education, The EPA, the State Department to name just a few). You’ve spent the majority of your time creating scandal after scandal and praising every petty dictator, tyrant and demagog that had nice things to say to/about you while spurning decades (centuries in some cases) old friends and allies. Well done, by the way. WELL DONE!

This continued even as you made your first overseas visits, embarrassing both yourself and, more importantly, us . . . the US . . . Americans . . . with your incredibly accurate portrayal of the stereotypical ‘ugly American’. The boorish, arrogant, petty, childish lout who needs to be the center of attention despite having accomplished little to nothing of real or lasting consequence.

Sad.

Your Travel Ban has been rejected multiple times; the Health Care proposals (Trump/Ryan/McConnellCare) being secretly concocted and put forward by both houses are a joke; you have no actual tax plan to speak of (that useless, one-page piece of shit doesn’t count); and most of your EOs are being legally opposed or only partially implemented.

And now . . . NOW, sir, you’ve got left wing nut jobs shooting elected officials and right wing nut jobs killing whoever they don’t like (POC and Muslims or suspected Muslims mostly, but others as well). Despite calls for unity from both sides after the shooting, that situation is already degenerating to the point where your @GOP supporters are using that incident to make and air extreme ads that are not only nauseating, but just plain old, outright lies.

All of this and I haven’t even gotten to the #RussiaCollusionInvestigations or the obstruction of justice #ComeyFiring yet, and I’m not going to bother going there. I’ve already more than made my case for you being a complete and utter failure as a president. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try or how many of your predecessor’s accomplishments you attempt to eliminate, your greatest achievement will never match the least of Obama’s accomplishments.

You will never be as loved or as respected or as popular. You will never be seen as anything other than a failure as a president, and most likely a criminal politically, as well as a mediocre criminal/businessman.

I realize that I am also of little consequence by myself, but I am not alone. While I’m sure your cult core and most of the complicit @GOP will always be with you (the complicit ones don’t really have a choice, anymore), they are not the majority. We are.

#TheResistance may be fragmented in some ways, but we’re united in far more. You are not now, and never will be, our President. We will not allow you, your racist/nationalist advisors/appointees, or the @GOP to dismantle our democracy. Despite this banner:

Not-Leaving

we aren’t going away. We aren’t giving up. The continuing obstruction of the @GOP will not stop us. We’re coming for you. Slowly but surely—WE. ARE. COMING.

Believe me.

RSL

#Resist

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My own opinion 1 – Political Change

A-Little-Rebellion

I feel fairly confident in stating that pretty much everyone wanted to see some sort of change in our representation during our last election cycle. Sadly, at least in my mind, the same people who wanted—demanded, really—that change, voted for and returned all of the same old clowns back to the house and the senate with relatively few and mostly insignificant changes. Except for one.

A very large percentage of our population somehow came to believe that a lying, buffoonish, narcissistic, immature, reality show clown who is almost certainly corrupt and quite possibly deranged would be a good president. While some of them may be starting to become disillusioned with this man, a fairly large percentage of his core supporters still believe in his constant cries of #FakeNews and complete bullshit that have come streaming out of his mouth (and his Twitter fingers) every day since he first rode down that escalator.

He promised change and he definitely brought some. Not all change is good, however, and change simply for its own sake is almost always bad. In this case, it has been very bad. I have no desire to get into all the things that have gone wrong (the #RussianHack of our election or the constant bombardment of our media by foreign sites before and after it) and are still going wrong. This isn’t about that—it can’t be, anymore.

This is about how actual change in the current system can be accomplished.

I’m guessing that there are more than a few people who are dissatisfied with our current two-party system. It was, in my own opinion (Moo), the second biggest mistake the founding fathers made. Personally, I’d like to see a zero party system or a thousand (infinite) party one. Either would accomplish the same thing—a lot of *Independent candidates. (*More on this below.)

It doesn’t require that any laws or amendments be proposed/submitted or approved/ratified/passed. No action of any kind is required by either house of congress, or any branch of the government for that matter. The only things really needed are: for the next generation of politicians/leaders to follow their hearts and offer real, rational, well thought out plans for the future – and an informed electorate (the rest of us) to keep a close eye on their careers, and the plans and policies they propose. (There’s an element of the media that needs to change/be involved also, but there’s nothing voters can do about that except not follow them.)

It won’t be easy and it certainly won’t be fast. There are a number of things that have to happen before these changes can occur. While most of the specific information and links that follow pertain to national elections for the Senate, the House of Representatives and the President, the basic premises can and should be applied to all elections from the local level on up. I believe that the local/state levels are where the real changes need to start, and are also where they have the best chances of succeeding.

First and foremost are our future representatives. Pretty much everyone knows that the office of the President of the United States comes up for election or re-election every four years and he/she is limited to two terms. I assume I don’t need to provide a link to prove that.

U.S. Senate terms run for six years, with one third of the Senate seats up for election/re-election on even numbered years. – http://www.senate.gov/reference/reference_index_subjects/Elections_Campaigns_vrd.htm

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is a different story. All of its members come up for election/re-election every two years. – http://classroom.synonym.com/elections-house-representatives-held-two-years-12375.html

I recommend that everyone reading this click on those links and thoroughly read the contents (and follow at least some of the sub links). This is part of what I mean by an informed electorate.

That being said, the next things are some basic ideas/suggestions for how real change can be accomplished. This is not an all-inclusive list. Wiser souls than I should consider revising and/or adding to these suggestions. In fact, I recommend it.

Future Political Leaders (all levels):

One: Beliefs, Goals & Policies – It’s not possible to be everything to everyone, so be very clear and precise about your platform and do not vacillate once you’ve made it known. It will be restricted if you join a party, any party, so consider running as an *Independent very seriously before making a choice.

#Side note: There’s no such thing as an Independent Party. That’s an oxymoron. By definition, one cannot be part of a large group of people with common beliefs, goals and ambitions and still be independent.

Two: Campaign Financing & Promotion – Accept only individual donations. No donations of any kind from any business, PAC, SuperPAC, organization/group (AARP, NRA, NAACP, ACLU, Church etc.), or other private/public/religious enterprise. Make sure all donation records are kept open and public at all times. There are already laws concerning this,

http://www.cfinst.org/law.aspx

but some forms of donations can be kept private (certain types of PACs etc.). Don’t.

#Side note 2: I would have posted the links to fec.gov, but considering how much info has been changed/removed from all .gov sites by the current administration, I do not trust those at all.

Avoid negative campaigning & advertising. Stick to your own beliefs and policies and promote them positively. The other candidate(s) believe just as strongly in their message(s) as you do in yours, so try to avoid negative confrontations with them and do not marginalize your opponents or their supporters. No one wins when that happens, and it only turns the public off in most cases. (Debates are an entirely different story, but you should try to keep those as positive as you can as well.)

Also, denounce/refute any independent ads that concern or are about you or your opponents immediately, regardless of their content. Don’t let others make your case, they’ll want some sort of tit-for-tat.

Three: Media Coverage/Endorsements – This should probably follow along the same rules as corporate/organizational donations. Avoid allowing any media endorsements (newspapers, media groups, etc.) to have any influence in policy stances in exchange for their public support. Any endorsements from that area should come with no strings attached or not at all.

The Electorate/Voting Public (Us)

One: Above all else, keep informed and make every effort to get legitimate information from multiple sources (The candidates’ own official platforms first). Bear in mind that pretty much all other sources are going to be biased in one way or another to one extent or another, so keep an open mind when reading/listening to their opinions. Be especially leery of unsourced stories, or ones that claim to have witnesses/sources with only a first name such as Moe or Chaz or Kwasi or something.

At the risk of marginalizing some folks, I implore those who tend to read and believe only fringe news sites to please consider other, more mainstream sources and try to combine the information available from both areas. Much as I’d like to go on, it would only become a confusing and biased ramble so I’m going to stop here on this subject.

Two: Pay attention to all of the words and deeds of the person or persons you intend to support. Under the conditions proposed here there are going to be a lot of different positions taken by various candidates, and likely a fairly large pool of candidates if few to none of them follow/join a specific party.

This approach will eventually work itself out, but in the beginning it’s unlikely any one candidate will have a perfect platform. We will have to prioritize our stances in this regard and choose to support whoever we’re in agreement with on the most issues that are of the most importance to us as individuals at that time. Much of this will depend on the various candidates and on how they get their message(s) out.

The Media

This is where we, the voters, have the least amount of control except as far as viewership/readership is concerned, so I cannot give any specific steps for them to take. By design, the media outlets are free to cover any thing in any manner they choose. A free and independent media is both necessary and desirable in a free state, especially if it wants to remain free. Sadly, recent media coverage has not been fair and balanced (despite a certain organization’s claim), especially in this last cycle. As stated above, a lot of the unfairness was due to the huge amount of actual #FakeNews that was forced into our feeds (twitter, Facebook, etc.) and the ease and degree with which it was spread by those all too willing to believe it.

I especially recommend that all of the 24-hour news channels be viewed skeptically at best. Despite their claim, FoxNEWS is very obviously a conservative republican propaganda machine. msnbc is just as obviously a liberal democratic propaganda machine, though, in my opinion only (Moo), they do make some small attempt to present more sides of certain issues. I have no idea what CNN is trying to do, they seem to be all over the place. HLN does not qualify as a news organization at all (sorry HLN fans, but it’s true).

Generally, I tend to flip back and forth between CBS and ABC for evening and early morning news, and otherwise I follow the news feeds from my homepage and tend to pick and choose which stories to read depending on its source. Sadly, every damn one of them is ad-driven, which tells me one of the biggest problems going forward will be trying to reduce the amount of influence big bucks (the previously mentioned Corps. Pacs etc.) have on American politics. (Again, Moo)

Some final thoughts:

I realize that the list is incomplete and the above suggestions are simplistic and probably infeasible/unworkable as presented. Many issues have not been addressed (getting registered nationally if you have presidential designs is a major one, for example). They’ll need a lot of tweaking and reworking to be become even remotely possible. Considering the immense obstacles, they are likely completely impossible, but that doesn’t mean I can’t propose them, or that some future, modified, more workable version can’t be tried at some point.

Even if anyone starts following this plan, it will take several election cycles for any results to start becoming noticeable. At this point in time, I support anyone and everyone who is dedicated to removing Donald J. Trump and the majority of the gutless @GOP asses who are selling our country out and allowing *45 to destroy our democracy. #Resist #NeverTrump #IllegitimatePrez

RSL

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