Why Will Some People Vote for Donald Trump?

It is easy to write off Trump as a narcissist, as a bully or a fool, but it is harder to write off his poll numbers. A surprising number of Americans have resonated with his message, and no matter how many more balk at the idea of him taking office, they shouldn’t ignore the reasons why so many in the nation consider voting for him. Right now Trump is being talked about more than ever,  a positive for him. In Trump’s mind, there is no difference between fame and infamy. And why should there be to someone who can rewrite their own history, revising their faults and failures into successes?

There is a crux of the political whirlpool surrounding Trump. There is no real depth or sincerity to what he says, and yet many people support him regardless. Five times in his life he has changed political parties, and the fickleness he shows in regards to his politics is possibly overshadowed by the “tell it like it is” attitude. For instance, on June 16, speaking on the “The O’Reilly Factor,” he insisted that the only way to beat ISIS would be if the US had boots on the ground. Minutes later, he contradicted himself, suggesting there was another way.

So what do his supporters see in him? Part of his appeal is similar to Bernie Sanders’, in that potential voters view Trump as untainted by outside wealth. He has enough money to run his campaign without selling what’s left of his soul to corporate giants and they feel that makes him trustworthy.

Trump is also appealing because he is unfettered by the usual restraints on a politician. In mudslinging races, small gaffes can tarnish a candidate’s reputation if they’re too clean, but the sort of comments that could derail a campaign fall out of Trump’s mouth nearly every time he opens it. While this has alienated many voters, it has also solidified him as a politician who “isn’t afraid to tell the truth” or who “says what we’re all thinking.”

Finally, people like the fact that he is so crass and unpresidential—how could any candidate with that much obnoxious bravado possibly be scripted? In a lot of ways, Trump’s surprising popularity is a rebellion against the politically correct walk on verbal egg shells the race for office has become.

In the end, the people who will vote for Trump are the byproduct of a stark political landscape, one where people feel their voices cannot stand up to special interests’ money, and where every politician has to act like an inviolable saint when more than likely they are not.

For the record, I will NOT be voting for Donald Trump for the many of the reasons listed above.

The Intended Purpose of C-Span has Gone Awry- Transparency Lacking

The Intended Purpose of C-Span has Gone Awry- Transparency Lacking

 

The public had envisioned a system where its representatives could finally simultaneously speak to their colleagues and constituents. The representatives could look into the camera and say to their constituents and the American people what their position was and that they were willing to defend that position. Many thought the system overall would and should have benefited from this transparency, but they were wrong.

No one could have fathomed the unintended consequences that would follow C-SPAN’s entrance into politics. As soon as those cameras started rolling, many of our representatives saw it as an opportunity to further their political ambitions. If controversial bills came to the floor, rather than work out a compromise with the opposing side, they took the opportunity to preach from their bully pulpits. They could snarl, huff and puff at the camera, showing their audience how dogged they can be because their constituents and, more importantly, their donors like to support candidates that they deem unwavering. What these politicians forget is that for the flag of democracy to fly, both sides have to be willing to waver on their positions.

Unfortunately, C-SPAN and the like have given these political divas extra air time to express their grievances, and oh have they come up with grievances.  They have now found ways to play the role of the establishment’s anti-establishment — such as U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) with his hour-long trashing of the U.S. Senate. Cruz has successfully honed that charade into a formidable campaign for president with a clearly crafted public persona: Ted Cruz, the establishment’s anti-establishment.

This strategy has unfortunately worked in favor of unbending representatives as they have been re-elected multiple times based on quick clips shown to their constituents and donors. They can snip a clip of a staunch speech they gave to their colleagues back at the Capitol. The clip will, of course, show them speaking into the microphone passionately about why their position is blindingly the right one and the opposition is wrong.

 

C-SPAN was supposed to break the  wall of American politics and make our politicians more accessible to their constituents. Instead, what we have is a reality TV stunt with overpaid actors looking to land their next big gig. While playing the American audience for fools, they are gaming the system and benefiting from it. The only ones who benefit from access such as the ones C-SPAN and the like provide are the multi-billion-dollar funded Super PACs that have the resources to sift through those clips and find a scene damaging enough to end a politician’s career. These Super PACs do not represent you or me; they represent one percent of the one percent, and they are the ones benefiting from this so called transparency.

 

Liberals and Socialists

Liberals and Socialists

 

 

Philosophers of liberalism and socialism actually have very different visions for the world. They don’t disagree at all on the idea that spreading the wealth around is good for everybody. In fact, this idea finds one of its greatest expressions in the work of the philosopher of welfare liberalism, John Rawls. He proposed two principles of justice, one of which—the “Difference Principle”—claims that inequalities are permissible if and only if they benefit the worst-off person. Since many inequalities arising from the free market violate this principle, some wealth must be redistributed.

The difference between liberals and socialists, rather, is founded on their different answers to this question: Can the principles by which I vote differ from the principles by which I live?

Liberals say yes, they can. Rawls, for example, said that you must be guided by  principles of distributive justice, such as the Difference Principle, only when you think about the basic structure of society. Roughly, those times are when you self-consciously think of yourself as a citizen: when you vote, when you debate political ideals, when you think about those ideals in your time alone. Otherwise, you don’t need to heed principles of distributive justice.

So a liberal allows you to accept a salary that is four, ten, 100 times greater than that of the least well-off person in your society, so long as, when you step into the voting booth, you don a new hat and act so that all inequalities are arranged to benefit the least well-off.

 

 

Clearly America is not a socialist nation. That possibility is a long way away; and, the liberal might argue, there it will always remain. Inescapable human frailties make it impossible. Concern for others will not motivate enough people to work all the arduous though necessary jobs. Nor might the socialist ideal be desirable: the price of communal ties is individual liberty, and it might be better for each of us that we not have a close, and therefore demanding, relationship with each person who is to provide us with some good.

But the socialist can point to other nations, such as Sweden or Denmark, in which, supposedly, a true egalitarian ethos has taken hold, nations which have not only generous social welfare provisions, but also citizens who are shocked by accepting privileges for themselves which others do not have. And to address the desirability of such polities, we can point experience of the people who live in them. They tend to be happier.

 

Do Political Candidates Just Flat-Out Lie?

Do Political Candidates Just Flat-Out Lie?

 

 

Truth. Some people think that the truth can be hidden with a little cover-up and decoration. But as time goes by, what is true is revealed, and what is fake fades away.

When an election is here, the truth becomes elusive.

There are some places you can look at that checks the facts but more on that later. When a political campaign is in full swing, candidates begin stretching their thoughts which in turn stretches the facts and distorts things. Numbers seem to grow or shrink depending on if it makes the person look good.

Don’t you just love political mailers? We, the voters, get way too many things in the mail about their views or even a chance to write negative things about their opponents. It is a fact that you can believe what you want in the political year as psychologists have research that shows people tend to have a strong connection to accepting anything near what they believe without question. In other words, if it is close to their views, they accept it as fact and the line is not blurred. It confirms their position.

 

Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong. ~Richard Armour

 

Where can you find unbiased political information? Here are some sites that check the facts. They vet the information.

 

  • FactCheck.org – This is from the University of Pennsylvania and they use former journalists to research and offer analysis on the things being said and written by candidates. Recent articles included a look at Republican claims that the new healthcare law is a job-killer, as well as an analysis of President Obama’s accuracy in the State of the Union address. The site addresses individual claims, searching for original source material and relying on statistics from reputable entities, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • PolitiFacts.org – they have a truth-o-meter and rate claims made and track whether campaign promises are fulfilled. This site has 35 editors and reporters devoting time to the cause. It was founded by the Tampa Bay Times.
  • The Fact Checker – this offers analysis of political claims and is the brainchild of The Washington Post and Glenn Kessler.
  • VoteSmart.org – This site offers checking in six area which include financing, voting records and position on issues among other things. They don’t look into promises or statements.

 

Some things you can do to understand the process is to ask questions. When you go to a website look at it and read who is actually producing it. This will help you decide if they lean in one direction or the other. Sometimes claims of nonpartisan-ism is not valid. Another thing is to follow the money involved and evaluate who is funding this endeavor. Then analyze the site. Is it leaning too far one way or another and what sort of balance to they bring to the political process.

 

Doing your own due diligence will help you make a more informed decision when you step into a polling place.

 

This is Why President’s Make News Announcements During the Holidays

This is Why President’s Make News Announcements During the Holidays

 

Have you looked at the news today for any reaction to the resignation of the Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagle? There is not much there and that was by design.

No press releases, no statements on Facebook or twitter from anyone in Iowa’s current Congressional delegation or newly-elected delegation.

Does that strike anyone else as odd? I would have thought the defense secretary resigning after less than two years on the job, probably under pressure from the president, possibly over disagreement with the administration’s approach to Iraq and Syria, would be big news. Just look around Hagle’s home state of Iowa and there is virtually nothing in the news. Representative Dave Loebsack sits on the House Armed Services Committee. Senator-elect Joni Ernst has claimed to have a strong interest in our country’s Middle East policy, since her “boots were on that ground” now controlled by ISIS. Senator Chuck Grassley served with Hagel for years and will have a vote on confirming his successor at the Pentagon. Newly-elected Republicans Rod Blum (IA-01) and David Young (IA-03) both criticized the Obama administration’s policy in Iraq during this year’s campaign.

This is why presidents bury big news during holiday weeks, when elected representatives and their staffers are out of the office.

« Previous Entries Next Entries »