Election 2016

Industrial Structure and Party Competition in an Age of Hunger Games: Donald Trump and the 2016 Presidential Election (1/2018)


There’s No Such Thing as a Good Trump Voter (11/15/2016)

Most people didn't like either of the two Presidential candidates. Picking the least worst assured that things will get worse.
Comparing agendas though, it should be clear that Republicans are a disaster. 

Failure to produce good candidates demonstrates that elections are rigged: the two party duopoly, gerrymandering, voter suppression, massive cash flow, flawed election mechanics, Electoral College, etc all assure that there will be no disturbance of actual policy. Election reform is not on the horizon, but should include universal voter registration for adults over 18, range voting so that third parties are not spoilers, roll back of Citizens United, restoration of the Voting Rights Act, and a national holiday for elections. The billionaires who won the election will fight any reform.

Studies show that Congress responds to the funders not the people. The federal budget is just about the opposite of what people, when polled, want. Either party will take us in the wrong direction because policy is driven by money, not by the people, and certainly not by science

Republicans have, at least since Reagan, made dog-whistle appeals to racists, but they showed their true colors nominating Trump: He rails against Mexicans, Muslims, appeals to white supremacists and has propelled a resurgence of racism and alt-right. Remember Bernie's warning about billionaires.

Income inequality naturally tends to increase over time, slowly destroying democracy. It is at the root of many of our problems: Campaign finance, lobbying, corruption, political gridlock, media distortion, corporate predators, runaway costs in healthcare, pharma, insurance, social pathology, and polarization. It has produced an irresponsible elite.

Nordic countries have kept it under some control. Universal voting rights. strong unions, worker representation in management, progressive taxation, inheritance taxes, Social Security, universal healthcare, public education, child care, paid leave, elder support are are all helpful. Republicans oppose them all.

As working people lose wages and benefits including pensions, health care, Republicans continue to bust unions, downsize welfare, cut Social Security or privatize it, and don't believe that health care should be a right for everyone. Republican States that would not accept Medicaid funding will have an estimated 17,000 preventable deaths. We should have a new social contract, like FDR's Second Bill of Rights, his answer to the threat of domestic fascism.

If Trump succeeds in repealing the estate tax (aka the 'death tax'), he and other billionaires will reap huge windfalls. The Walton family (Walmart owners) alone stands to gain estimated $32 billions. How much will Trump family gain ? The estate tax falls on few families. Republican tax cuts or their flat-tax are consistently regressive, but there is no evidence that prosperity follows.

Continuing the Bush-Cheney path, Trump, declared his intention to be a war criminal, promising more extreme torture. Rebecca Gordon in her book “Mainstreaming Torture” recounts, torture in reality has generated desired falsehoods to support wars, created lots of enemies rather than eliminating them, encouraged and directly trained more torturers, promoted cowardice rather than courage, degraded our ability to think of others as fully human,  perverted our ideas of justice, and trained us all to pretend not to know something is going on while silently supporting its continued practice.  None of that can help us much in any other ethical pursuit. (from David Swanson's review)

Republicans refuse to close the shameful prison at Guantanamo.

Trump and the Republicans push to spend more on armaments and the military because in many Congressional districts it is a jobs program. Our economy depends on the ability to kill, maintain the world's largest military for empire, and fight the forever war. It is not about the security of the people. Neither party is for peace.

Trump asked “If we have nuclear weapons, why don't we use them ?” At the insistence of Republicans, we are embarked on a trillion dollar project to renew and deliver a new generation of nuclear weapons. General Lee Butler, the last commander of the Strategic Air Command, which was armed with nuclear weapons remarked we have so far survived the nuclear age “by some combination of skill, luck, and divine intervention, and I suspect the latter in greatest proportion.” Further, he said: "It is my profound conviction that nuclear weapons did not, and will not, of themselves prevent major war. To the contrary, I am persuaded that the presence of these hideous devices unnecessarily prolonged and intensified the Cold War. In today's security environment, threats of their employment have been fully exposed as neither credible nor of any military utility."

Trump, like Republican leadership, is in denial of the science of climate change. If we somehow manage to avoid a nuclear fire storm, the planet will fry slowly. CO2 already exceeds safe levels at 400 ppm (and increasing) and persists for centuries. Even now, glaciers and ice caps are melting, forest fires expanding. Droughts, storms, floods, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, fisheries collapse, forest clearing, species extinction, all contribute to the destruction of nature. Republicans deny the problem. Trump says it is a hoax. There may not be time left to even slow it down.

NASA climate scientist James Hansen forecast a possible 10-foot rise in sea levels before the end of the century. One-third of Florida's population lives below this level, as do more that 700,000 residents of New York City. Expect mass migrations from major coastal cities, flooded coasts, storm devastation, deserts or uninhabitable areas. Danger of nuclear war as rivers dry up, particularly between India and Pakistan, will grow. Grandchildren will find the climate increasingly hostile. The end times will not be pretty. Republicans will bring it on much faster.

See the forecast.


>The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage,Jared Yates Sexton August 15, 2017