Wednesday, November 09, 2016

I was a hopeful man. I was a patriotic man. I loved my country. This election has broken the very heart of that. The actions, words, and ideologies it vindicates. The people that it emboldens. What a mistake, and with Congress and probably two Supreme Court Justices, a very costly mistake. I am dismayed. I am disheartened. I am ashamed of my country, more than I was from 2000-08. I am scared for the future, though I know that’s only an educated guess at this point. I want to disconnect, burrow in and just stay there. I’m sure I will be back, but right now I need to think about the best way for me to “be the change I want to be” and how to best to affect that change in others. If that is something I even want to still worry about. I know I don’t want to argue about blame right now. The blame lies at the feet of the Americans who voted for him. I don’t want talk about what ifs. This is what is. How to best deal with it?

Friday, November 04, 2016

On November 8th, I am voting for First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Surprise!)

On November 8th, I will be voting for the Democratic Party candidate for President of the United States of America. I will be voting for the Democratic Party candidate for President for their 30 years experience Working for the public sector, helping millions of Americans along the way. I will be voting for them because "women's rights are human rights". I will be voting for them because they have a plan to invest in green manufacturing and infrastructure to get us off of polluting and finite fossil fuels while creating new jobs. They have a plan to have families with income up to $125,000 pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities. I will not be voting for their opponent, the reality tv, trustafarian, real estate mogul who claims a judge can't be impartial if they are Mexican-American, because he is "building a wall".  I will not be voting for the republican party nominee that lumps all African Americans into a hellscape block of an inner city. Not for the Presidential candidate that physically mocked the disabled from the stage, insulted the families of veterans and insulted veterans themselves. The candidate from the party of "family values", "the religious right", and "christian conservatives" caught on tape saying "when you're a star you can do anything you want to them. you can grab them by the pussy". I repeat "when you're a star you can do anything you want to them. you can grab them by the pussy". I realize that was a whole month ago, on a tape from a decade ago, but think about the arrogance and mysogeny of that statement.  Now think about the bad mic work that took out Howard Dean,or the 47% line that so damaged willard in '12.  "Grab them by the pussy". And he said it while in an access hollywood bus to an interview in front of their tv cameras, which after all, is him "at work". When was the last time he was even in a "locker room"? Several more of his "alleged" victims have come forward with more stories of disrespect and sexual assault. So many that, it lead serial "I Do"er newt gingrich to freak out on fox news of all places. Of course, he was freaking out at a woman.  

It's a shame and an embarrassment that we can't seem to get to issues like climate change, that we can't go deeper into the candidate's plans for the tax code or what we are going to do in Syria, Yemen, and with Russia or North Korea. We can't get to a rational adult conversation about comprehensive solutions to the complex issues with immigration.  This is because, with little rebuttal from the republican party, the bar has been so lowered in our political discourse, by their nominee, that nasty tweets and off the wall conspiracy theories are now acceptable from a Presidential candidate. A lot of the conspiracy theories aren't even current. A quick check into the republican nominee's advisers will show you where he gets it from and has gotten it from since the 1980s. They are still fighting President Bill Clinton.  During the part of the first debate where the "fair and balanced" media said he was good, the republican nominee spent far more time on nafta than he did on the tpp. For the second debate he brought three women who had made accusations of President Bill Clinton in the '80s or earlier, along with one tied to a debunked, trumped up meme that Hillary Clinton had laughed at a rape victim's misfortune. 

I do not think the Bill Clinton Presidency was all bad, and apparently neither did the republican nominee.  I don't think we see through the same eyes (see social filters) that we did from 1992-2000. There were no major wars. There was an economic surplus. I don't think it was all good either, in retrospect, nor did I like everything at the time. But William Jefferson Clinton is not on the ballot and I do not think the Hillary Clinton Presidency will be the same as President Bill Clinton's. 

 I voted for Ralph Nader in 1996 instead of the Second term of President William Jefferson Clinton.  I was disappointed that during his first term there was little, if any, progress made on environmental issues, and this with the author of one of my favorite environmental books in college as his Vice President. The climate has changed on issues like Sustainable, renewable energy, "green" manufacturing and infrastructure, and even humans' affect rising global temperatures. President Barack Obama has invested more into the green energy industry (solar, wind, advanced batteries) than any President in history, though I think President Jimmy Carter's solar panels on the White House set a fine example. The Paris Accord is another big step forward. Hillary Clinton's plan will take it even further.  Her detailed proposals include "two bold national goals". "1.The United States will have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of Hillary Clinton's first term.  And 2. The United States will generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within ten years of Hillary Clinton taking office." That's a long way from Bill Clinton's Presidency right there. Just putting the words "Cut the billions of wasteful tax subsidies oil and gas companies have enjoyed for too long and invest in clean energy." into a Presidential, and the Democratic Party, platform illustrates that the Democratic Party is moving the direction of its policy away from fossil fuels. Yes, Hillary Clinton's plan also includes natural gas as a "bridge" from coal and oil. Her and her campaign continue to propose stricter regulation on the practice of fracking used to drill for the "shale gas". It may not be perfect, but I trust her a lot more on climate and Environmental policy than someone who thinks, or thought, climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China. A quick google search of her opponent reveals the removal of environmental regulations and the Environmental Protection Agency all together, not to mention opening more public lands, both onshore and off, to drilling, mining, and yes fracking.
Hillary Clinton's sometimes hawkish and overtly tough talk on foreign policy makes me a bit nervous, but 1. There is no VIABLE candidate who is a pacifist, and I will probably never see one. And 2. Her depth of knowledge on foreign policy and foreign leaders when compared to her opponent's is... well, there is no comparison.  

Which brings me to what has bothered me the most over the past year.  There just is no comparison. This is not the lesser of two evils.  Hillary Clinton and the republican nominee for president are not two of anything.  Hillary Clinton came from a working class family, went to Law school after graduating college, which is where and when she Started working for children.  Hillary Clinton has worked in the public sector for 30 years, with work experience in both foreign and domestic matters. Yes, she has gotten paid for it, but don't you think if she was about the money from the start she would have gone into the private sector? Her opponent, was born a millionaire, spent 2 years at one college before transferring to another for his business degree, where he obtained four student deferments from the Vietnam draft. He went into daddy's business, using daddy's money and did a little better than he would have had he put his "loans" and inheritance in mutual funds and the like. While Hillary Clinton was working in the White House, the United States Senate and the State Department, he was hosting a sometimes celebrity game show.  He was putting his name on buildings, a "university", steaks, and vodka before bankrupting the businesses, screwing workers, contractors and investors.  Always and only watching out for himself.  

People say Hillary Clinton is "the Washington establishment", a "career politician".  I agree, though I would add public servant.  I also think that if I needed open heart surgery I would go to a career surgeon, not some one with a slogan that the surgery needs to be done better. The republican choice is, in my opinion, everything that is wrong about this country. He is a arrogant, greedy, vain, thin skinned, 1%, US vs. "them", fear monger who cares only about money, more specifically his own. He is without empathy. He is vindictive. He denies science.  His running mate denies evolution and thinks people can and should be "cured" of being gay. The republican nominee takes no responsibility for himself or his own, often recorded, words. He thinks his opinions are facts and has had more scandals than anyone could keep track of. No. On November 8th, I will vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party slate.  #imwithher #fucktrump #fortheC