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Crying in the Wilderness

2017-05-14

As an officially retired person, on Social Security and Medicare because of arthritis, I believe it is my duty to get up every morning at dawn and go for a walk.  I also believe it is my duty to express my opinion, because I haven’t survived 63 years as of April 26 without gaining some experience.  Whether I have learned anything useful in that time is an open question.  I will leave it to you, the lonely reader, to decide.

First, I feel obliged to enter an opinion on the subject that is on everyone’s lips and trending on Twitter, namely, Don the Con.  Need I say more?

Second, I will say that I get it– the majority of the people in the rural, white, uneducated portion of this country are all for Don.  Why?  Because of propaganda, partly Russian propaganda, and nothing else.

Third, I will say that although I fortunately live in a blue state (in a depressed red county), I understand that the voters in this state are not much more educated than those in the red states.  They just didn’t get as much propaganda because the Republicans didn’t bother to waste their money on a solidly blue state that happens to be minority white.  They didn’t even bother to saturate my county, a red county, with propaganda because they knew it wouldn’t matter in a blue state.

As a long-term issue, however, I believe that Democrats need a strategy.  They must first adopt the exact same methods (those used by Cambridge Analytica) and tailor their campaigns to get the most effective microtargeting of propaganda.  And they must have good propaganda, 30-second spots that are punchy, truthful, and put the Democrats in a good light with the Republicans as the (not so terrible) villains.

The most long-term strategy, however, is a what-if: what if the Republicans manage to call a Constitutional Convention?   They are only a couple of states short of having the votes already.  If so, the Democrats must be prepared with a plan to demand new elections prior to the convention, based on new rules that emphasize one-man, one-vote, no gerrymandering, and universal participation.  It is essential that we have 100% of the people voting in the convention– the 50% participation rate in presidential elections is unacceptable for purely democratic reasons.  The Convention must be fully televised with multiple live streams.

Democrats should stand for a platform that includes the retention of virtually all of the original Constitution and allows for a few additions and revisions but essentially no deletions.  None of the freedoms in the Bill of Rights can be touched (Sorry, folks, that includes the Second Amendment; the advocates of this one are in the minority, but they are armed, and I don’t think you want to argue with them.)  The powers of Congress should be redefined to include matters that involve more than one state (as well as interstate commerce).  An Inspector General and inspector’s office should be included in every department.  Whistleblowers should be constitutionally protected.  Adequate but not excessive regulation, checks and balances, should be understood to be the price for allowing capitalism as a monetary system (remember that our original constitution makes no mention of capitalism.)  A progressive income tax should be enshrined in the Constitution, to pay for all those things that everyone depends on, and to substitute for regressive sales taxes and property taxes at the state level.  Research and science have to have preservation by Constitutional wording (remember that God is not mentioned in the Constitution and we should resist all attempts to add His name as a sop to religious conservatives who will use it to drive a wedge through our society.)

These are things that an old man thinks about for the future.  Oh yeah, and unions need support too, because they vote.  Democrats must always support the majority of the people while preserving the civil rights of the minority.  Republicans can say that they hold better opinions than Democrats, but if they’re truthfully in the minority (the way Don the Con is, by 3 million legitimate votes), they’re going to have to compromise on Democratic terms.

By the way, Don the Con has fulfilled one of his promises.  He has set up a committee to investigate voter fraud, led by an advocate of strict Voter ID’s.  Let’s see if they really investigate, and if they do, what they will turn up.  Attorney General Sessions has tried this before, on a state level as a prosecutor, and he turned up a few prosecutions –all of black people– that were all shot down by juries.  Doesn’t reality suck, Mr. Sessions?

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