🗳 Some Thoughts after the Second Democratic Debate

Some post debate thoughts. The bottom and more important factor in all of this is that any of the Democratic candidates is a better choice than Trump. So given that, it boils down to the question of who can bring the fight to him, and who is closest to my positions. The former is much more important than the latter.

Favorites

Booker. I really liked how he presented himself, and how he built his arguments and his energy. In general, I liked his positions. I think he could be a great contrast to Trump, and could energize the minority voters and the youth.

Harris. She was a bit slower to get started, but she brought good energy and could really take apart Trump in a debate. Plus her very nature will infuriate him — which is a good thing, because he makes mistakes when infuriated. She has some troubling criminal justice positions which could hurt her in some sectors, but is it enough to make those people stay at home or vote Trump. She needs to make the case that whatever her flaws, she’s better than Trump.

Warren. If you like Bernie, go for Warren. She brings a strong case and energy to battle Trump, and knows her stuff. She also gets under her skin, and the ONLY thing he has against her is the whole Native American kerfluffle — which is really minor in the scheme of things, and he’s misrepresented himself much worse. My only concern with her is her age.

Others of Interest

Buttigieg … Mayor Pete. I like his ideas and his energy, but he may come across as too young. He could make a great VP candidate.

Klobuchar … Amy. I like her ideas and midwestern values, which could speak to a lot of voters. But she often too a moment to get started, and she’s getting a bit one note on the claim of having never lost anything.

O’Rourke. He came off better in the second debate, but I don’t think he would be able to out maneuver Trump, even with his ideas.

Castro. Has some good ideas, but he hasn’t struck me yet has having the fire to beat Trump.

Has Beens

Biden. Joe, joe, joe. Much as he has the momentum, I think he’s too old. He’s befuddled in his answers, and that’s bad. More important, he has a long long history that can and will be used against him, and he simply refuses to accept it. What he needs to do is admit his past errors, indicate that he’s learned more and wised up, and has changed his mind. But he simply does not have the ability to do this, and tries to dance around the issue — and that dancing will do him in. Trump would love to have Biden, because then he can run against Obama.

Bernie. Bernie worries me in so many ways. He comes across as very one-note. He does not make clear that he will back and strongly work for the eventual nominee. His people give the indication that it is Bernie or bust, and that will lose us the election. He also has problematic past position. Trump would love it to be Bernie because that will energize his base and his turnout. That’s a bad thing.

Also Rans

Jay Inslee. Make him Secretary of Energy.

Gabbard. Somethings up with her. I’m reading things about connections to the Saudis and the Russians, and I’m getting the gut feeling that her campaign is being used to sabotage campaigns of candidates that that Russians are really scared of. It makes me want to support Harris even more, if the Russians are scared of her.

Gillibrand. She kept coming across as a deer in the headlights, waiting for the speech to load from the external drive.

Delany. Every time I see him, I think of John Fiedler, the bald guy on the Bob Newhart show.

Yang. Very one note with his guaranteed income.

None of the rest strike me as having the necessary fire to beat Trump — they are much more of the same we have every year.

 

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🗯️ Blowing Things Up 💣

Oh, how I long for the days when the only thing we exploded on the 4th of July were fireworks in a celebration everyone could enjoy.

However, whenever I read the news today, I see this administration blowing up and destroying more than fireworks: they are destroying the norms, values, and protections that have made our country a leader in the world, and that “shining beacon on the hill”. They have allowed and encouraged foreign governments to interfere — directly or indirectly — in our elections. They have allowed administration officials to conduct partisan politics while on the Federal clock, violating the Hatch Act and not caring. They have eviscerated the power of science and facts in government policies. They have manipulated tax laws for their personal gain, and the gain of their cronies. They have ballooned the Federal deficit, again often for personal gain. They have placed industry lobbyists and executives in charge of the industries they are supposed to regulate. They have used bipartisan events for partisan purposes (such as rewarding GOP donors at the supposedly non-partisan 4th celebration). They have befriended dictators and despots, and taken their word over the word of the honest hardworking members of our intelligence communities. They have made consumer protection toothless, and are decimating organizations that protect Americans such as the USDA. They have ignored Congress and Congress’ constitutional role of oversight. They have made explicit efforts to pack the courts with partisan judges. They have attacked social security, medicare, and veterans benefits. They have repeatedly attempted to legislate religious policy as national policy. I could go on and on and on.

I ask myself often: why are they doing this? Yes, it plays to their base that hates government with such a seething anger that it blinds them to the good that government does for them. An angry base does keep people in power — often through violence, threats, and bullying — and these folks like their power.  It also benefits them financially in the short run. But I think, more importantly, it serves the interests of the puppet masters — those foreign powers that influence the election to elect these people. This is because the net, long term, result will be a diminished America. An America that is no longer the primary power on the world stage. An America that no longer has moral authority. An America that no longer has financial strength. An America that is in decline.

Yes, making America great was a smokescreen for something much more sinister.

Even more troubling are the people that are falling for this.  I’ve known many Conservatives over the years; and although we disagreed, I knew that at their hearts they were good people. But today, often their blind support for the administration, and the over-amped hatred of “The Liberal” from the administration and its anger-feeding minions have closed their mind and turned them away from what they once believed. These were people that believed in the rule of law, and that government must follow the laws and be ethical. These were people that believed that government must live within its means and not waste money. These were the people that believed in investigating government wrongdoing, and misbehavior by government officials down to the smallest indiscretion. These were the people that believed that foreign governments must not interfere in the operation of the American government.  These were the people in a party that held for liberty and justice FOR ALL.  But where are those beliefs now? Dead on the field, replaced by hatred and the desire to blow things up.

I find it hard to celebrate Independence Day this year, because I fear that thanks to these folks, the battle could be for nought. I fear that the damage that has been brought on in under three years will take us generations to reverse. I fear that these folks are moving the country in a very dangerous direction, a direction that keep feeding ultra-nationalism and hatred over actual care. I fear that folks who profess to be Christian have forgotten the key fundamentals of the Bible: Love and treat your neighbor as you would want to be treated, take care of the stranger in your land because you were once strangers yourself. Our compassion has been replaced by the quest for wealth and fear of the stranger, and that’s wrong.

I’ve taken a few minutes to write this up over lunch because it has been increasingly bothering me. It is why I have made contributions to those candidates I feel can best bring us out of this mess. It is why I’m encouraging everyone to learn what the candidates have to say, think about the America you truly want — an America that is that example for the world … and who can best bring us there. I’m encouraging everyone to get active and involved, even if you’ve sat out elections before, even if you’ve never voted. We have to combat the might and power of the foreign governments, the oligarchs (both foreign and domestic), and the top 1% who want to preserve their privilege. You need to be out there: whether it is speaking on social media, combating misinformation, getting out the vote, and donating even small amounts to the candidates you like. It all adds up, and we must bring back the days when the only fireworks we have to deal with are on the 4th.

And you better do it before they all take off for the Fourth of July weekend….

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