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The Destruction of our Political System

Janet Kuypers
Editor in Chief
started 2/8/16, finished 2/9/16

    Over the years I have enjoyed making commentary on the political leadership here in the . In the first eight years of this century, it was easy to write about the problems with the “W” Bush presidency (and I think my readers appreciated stories about anything from health care to the liberal media to the infamous “wars,” I mean conflicts, in the Middle East). And it was a little disturbing when I wrote editorials when the Obama administration started. Readers would email complaints to me about my stories. I’d later discuss with them why I said what I said and they came to understand there are usually at least two sides to any issue. But it’s funny to see how the masses get upset with a story pointing out problems with their President, their “savior”.
    But —
    You see, I don’t even know where to start here. Because it appears that the morass of people running on both sides of the political spectrum are almost too shockingly frightening to make fun of.
    I am writing this now after the caucus (but before the caucus). And although I have never voted for a Republican for President, I do find the giant mass of people trying to win us commoners over insanely entertaining. But as these men started getting together, it was stunning who came to the foreground. (Oh, sorry, there is a woman in there, I shouldn’t be so sexist to exclude her.) Although Carly Fiorina was sent to the “kids table” for the first debate including the 13th through 16th Republican candidates... you know, the ones with maybe 1% of the polls (plus or minus 5%), she shone so strongly that she was invited to the main debate once or twice, before then being sent back to the “they don’t really count but we have to give them some space” debate.
    Because people like Carly Fiorina, people from the business world (and not the slowly churning giant political machine) were what people wanted to hear from. And when the first debates passed, people wanted to hear more from her, the one-time head of Hewlett Packard — and more from neurosurgeon and businessman Ben Carson, and more from the “well I tried this last time and it didn’t work, but I have enough money to try it again” Entertainer in Chief Donald Trump. And that was the really frightening thing, that a man so outside of the political system (and so wealthy he uses only his own money for all of his political campaigning) could, for a while, lead the other 14 candidates by often more than 20 percent.
    And that scared the Inside the Beltway Republican Elite — that outsiders had so much appeal to the masses and their heir to the throne — another Bush prodigy — had next to no appeal (even when he tried to be “fun” and “relatable” by calling himself Jeb exclamation point).
    And as the Iowa caucus approached, Donald Trump continued to spew out blatantly sexist and racist comments (like having a daughter that he thinks is so hot that if he wasn’t her father he’d have sex with her, or building a wall that Mexico will pay for, especially when all the Mexicans who come over illegally are rapists and murderers, or here’s the perfect one, banning all Muslims from entering the United States until we get a “handle” on how to fight radical Islamic terrorists).
    And the scary thing, is that there are people out there who supported these over-the-top remarks. (I think I even heard him in a speech once, where he said he told “x” group that “they could go F*©k themselves”, yes, there was a bleep there, but we all know what he said in a public speech.)
    Donald Trump has even been insultingly ripping on candidates like Rand Paul (people more libertarian, who is the only person on stage you could believe was always telling the truth). And even though this group of hens was trying to manage the pecking order in their favor, Trump felt so confident the he didn’t even bother to appear in the debate right before the caucus. I’m sure he had other plans for another speech where the place was packed beyond capacity (which is the way all of his appearances have turned out). But one candidate that Trump had jokingly complained about, Ted Cruz, merely said that he would just give Donald Trump a big bear hug, because tossing insults at each other is not how to keep the party together.
    Good point, and maybe that — coupled with Donald Trump not attending the debate right before the caucus and with the huge Evangelical vote that may be necessary for carrying more people and more delegates, maybe that would be why Cruz squeaked through to the win in . Which makes more sense, since Ted Cruz is the man who wears his fervor for religious devotion like the badge of honor that will protect him from all the heathens out there...
    And really, I think getting the religious vote may not work for Trump — I think the public has seen him hold a Bible once, and when he quoted the Bible once he even referred to the book and verse incorrectly.

    At this point I may as well just talk about the front-runners. Sorry that I’m not going to discuss all who withdrew before the primaries, like Lindsay Graham, oh joy, another overtly religious man, or Rick Perry, the man who failed so miserably last time he thought that maybe putting on the appropriately-framed eye glasses would make him look intelligent enough the 2nd time around. Sorry to those who withdrew during the primaries, like Mike Huckabee, a religious man running again with a disposition charming enough to pull off a job with FOX cable, or Rand Paul, the previously mentioned only honest-sounding Republican running for office, or Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum — It didn’t work before Rick, and I still want to defer to Dan Savage’s efforts to rename the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the product of anal sex “Santorum”, http://spreadingsantorum.com/. And sorry to those with maybe 1% of the vote, like Chris Christie, who reverts to talking about 9/11 (see how that worked for Mayor Giuliani last time?), and sorry, I couldn’t even tell you anything about Jim Gilmore or John Kasich... The average human can only retain memories of 3 to 4 things, so there are only so many names I can keep track of.

    We were out once talking about the fiasco of the plethora of Republican candidates and I blurted out that of the pair of contenders (Donald Trump and Ted Cruz), I thought I would prefer the Entertainer in Chief Donald Trump to win the nomination, because I believe anyone who uses their religion as part of the basis for their decision making is incapable of keeping the interests of the United States as their first priority.
    But the country was founded by people with religious beliefs, they just didn’t want a government forcing one religion down their throats, they wanted to believe however they wanted to believe. Our Pledge of Allegiance had “Under God” added to it (1954) and “In God We Trust” was added to our currency (1957) — these things were added not as symbols of devotion to a God, but in opposition to Communism.
    Think about it — if people can create a religion based on the fictions of L. Ron Hubbard, one that people are to pay to be a part of, well, maybe we are demented enough in the United States to give such a crap about something of which there is no proof. But I’m sorry, I just don’t want our political leaders making crucial decisions and using their religion as their justification, rationale or explanation. (As I said, I’m sorry, but I prefer logic and proof and using reason to make decisions in my life. I can’t help it.)

    And that is when I hear the counterpoint to actually preferring Trump to Cruz: look, Trump is not a politician. In the debates, in his public appearances, his responses to his opponents and journalists is better fitted to a middle-school boys locker room than the leader of a nation. And how do you know he’ll not make rash decisions that is ultimately bad for our country?
    Well, it’s reasonable to think that if he’s so rash he may make rash decisions, but I can’t help but think that the President also has staff to assist on pretty much every subject that comes across that Oval Office desk, and I would hope the President might listen to the staff at times to gain more knowledge before making decisions.
    I might be crazy for thinking that, but it’s not like the President sits alone in Washington D.C. and researches everything on every subject entirely alone. For some reason, I get the feeling that’s not the way it goes in government.
    But then I hear that a C.E.O. of million dollar companies is a man who has never learned to work from any position other than one of too much power, since Trump was born into a lot of money (granted, he made that large sum larger, but he didn’t start with nothing, he didn’t work with people to work his way up). And for someone who only works from this angle, they may make those “rash” decisions by not working with staffers but through one executive order after another.
    When I heard this I thought, using excessive executive orders, like Obama?
    Then again, I was told Obama doesn’t read his daily security briefings.
    That makes me think of when Obama was a first term Illinois Senator and he would take his BlackBerry onto the L train to answer emails and texts, because this way he wouldn’t be in the office to field questions face to face from actual people.
    And the thing is, Obama got a lot of votes from young, uneducated voters to get him into office by calling on young people who do not know how the market works, which caused drastic changes to the political system. We’ve seen happen it in this century already — and I’m afraid we’re about to see it again, because right now, Donald Trump currently gets a very large portion of his support from young people who are not even high school graduates.

    And the exact same thing can be said for Bernie Sanders.

    Speaking of, you may wonder why I’ve talked so much about Republican debates and not the Democrat debates. Part of the reason might be that it seems the DNC has chosen to schedule their debates at times like, say, 8:00 PM on a Saturday nights, or right after an important football game. (And when I would try to find these debates to re-watch, even the cable companies wouldn’t show the debates as an option.)
    I’ve heard Republican talking heads on cable “news” shows saying the DNC is not hyping the debates because they want their chosen one, Hillary Clinton, to be a shoe-in. But Hillary may have forgotten that even if hubby Bill Clinton got on the stump to support his wife for Presidency, older people will remember Monica Lewinsky, and younger people will not remember (or understand) the appeal of Bill in the first place.
    Hillary Clinton tried to run for President once before, but like history, a black man got there before a woman. But at this point in the game she started making the rounds for her inevitable nomination for the Democratic candidate — what she didn’t expect was that the oldest man ever running for President could give her a run for her money.
    And to make things worse, Bernie Sanders is so liberal that although he is a Democrat Senator, he is very clearly a socialist.
    And yeah, Socialism may be the more frightening thing that an Entertainer in Chief running the country.
    When I was asked why I think the founding fathers decided that the only people who had the right to vote were white land owning men, I thought for a second and answered that it was probably because those people would be intelligent, rational and reasonable enough to know what is necessary to run a country (because an uneducated woman couldn’t be smart enough to own land, and you wouldn’t let the slaves vote). And it may sound irrational to not allow everyone to vote (especially when the phrase “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote” came up from World War II and Viet Nam), but the argument that could be made is that if you are still in school (as most going through college have not truly spent years in the work force before age 21), you do not know how the government runs, and you may not understand the economic consequences of blanket statements about “changing the system.”
    Remember how I said that a lot of the people supporting Sanders are people without high school educations? In the past day news reporters have commented that it seems like more than only Millennials stand around Bernie Sanders when he speaks... But the more Bernie Sanders makes (completely economically impossible) assertions that college and healthcare can be completely free for everyone by “making Wall Street speculators pay higher taxes for their practices” he wins over the hearts of young people who have not been in the system long enough to know that these claims are completely false and will never happen.
    (Note my preemptive caveat: if I can say Jeb exclamation point Bush, or Entertainer in Chief Donald Trump, I can use our President’s full name. I’m just warning you in advance; if you find it offensive, then you’re the one with the issue. I mean, it is his name.)
    So when potential leaders make claims without substance to back them up, people fall in line with the idea and want to tag along without understanding the details. In the past 8 years, people had this same love-affair with Barrack Hussein Obama, he was given a Nobel Peace Prize before attempting to do anything, then proceeded to use drones to drop bombs on people (but that’s another conversation for another time). And in an effort to achieve the “noble” cause of providing health care for everyone, he found that people would rather pay the fines than join his system, and if more people have healthcare now than they did before, they’re paying more for it now than they were.
    When I hear people talk about how nice it is to have free healthcare in countries like Sweden, or they might have free college, it flashes in my head for less than a second that these people are all paying over half of their income in taxes, and wait a minute, why is it when I hear a leader from a Socialist or Communist country getting ill and needing surgery they come to the United States to do it? But I mean, it’s free where they lead, why do they come to the States?
    Probably because when you make everyone get the same thing, the quality is reduced to the lowest common denominator — and that’s not worth paying for.

    I’m sorry, I’ve been ranting about Socialism (which is perilously close to Communism, and from what I remember the Cold War almost obliterated the earth until the United States and Capitalism prevailed). I haven’t had a chance to rant like this in a while, and with these Presidential elections coming up, my strong desire to rant has really come to a head.
    But this does relate to the Democrats running for the Democratic Presidential nomination. Bernie Sanders has made these points after a nation of educated youth is bogged down in 6 figures of college debt and they can’t get a job. If someone comes along and tells them what they want to hear, and they don’t have the experience to know these gestures aren’t feasible to a nation still economically in recovery, then they’ll blindly support the one who tells them what they want to hear. (This happened with Hitler too, by the way. He too was a Socialist founding member of the NSDAP which we know of as the NAZI party).
    So okay, okay, you might like Bernie Sanders (and since Rand Paul is out, Sanders might be other only other reasonably honest person out there, because a part of Bernie probably believes this can happen somehow), but the scary thing that happened when he starting showing his political might is that Hillary Clinton started trying to “out-Socialist” Bernie Sanders.
    And that might not surprise some of you, but if she is the woman she claims herself to be (reaching across the aisle to get things accomplished for the country, and yes, Bernie Sanders says the same thing) you would hope she wouldn’t desperately so flip-flop to “out-progressive” Bernie Sanders into trying to get a hold of this nomination again.
    That, and after her 4 year run under Obama as Secretary of State, she was questioned about what she knew when after the Benghazi attack, and now, because she had a private email account with a private email server (one with her husband, a past President, so I can’t help but think it was private and secure) conservatives with the FOX cable networks have been pushing for justice because in her role as Madame Secretary this is illegal. If she leaked classified information in public emails, these would be even more violations of the law.
    I think seeing fewer and fewer groups behind Hillary Clinton also has something to do with it — because she may have had the women’s vote 8 years ago when she first ran for the Presidential nomination, but it seems that the growing age gap between her and young women is going to hurt her chances in this election season.
    My point? Well, back when Obama was first running, a conservative-voting Africa-American friend of ours said he planned to vote for Obama — even if he didn’t agree with his stance on issues. That sway for Hillary Clinton may not exist on the same levels it did before.
    Which might be why a very old socialist is winning over the hearts of young voters more than potentially the first woman as President of the United States.

    I started writing this Monday 20150207, and now it is Fat Tuesday — but it’s not just Fat Tuesday, it’s also the day of the New Hampshire Primary (and a Google search for results for some reason still shows all 15 Republican candidates, even though 6 of them are no longer running and there’s only nine of them to choose from). But on the Democrat side, everyone assumed Bernie Sanders would do swimmingly well because he was a Senator from a neighboring state, Vermont.
    I don’t know, maybe because they’re such tiny states over in New England, versus my Midwestern home state of Illinois (or even now Texas), maybe they watch neighboring states that much more closely. (When I said that to someone, that I didn’t really care when living in Illinois about who was a Senator or Governor of Indiana or Wisconsin, that’s when I was told, ‘maybe you should be, since all of the jobs are leaving your state because of Illinois taxes.’ Good point, I got regular phone calls about moving my Scars Publications business (which isn’t a business) to a nearby state with lower taxes.)
    But with this upcoming primary in New Hampshire, I have heard that Hillary Clinton was still going to try to work to get people interested in her (because she won this state over Obama in 2008). Either I’ll be celebrating Mardi Gras (not by driving 6 hours to New Orleans, I’ll save that for another year) or I’ll by studying the poll results and wondering if it makes any difference. Because I don’t know if I have the stomach for whoever either party chooses for their Presidential nominee, because the only time I voted for I major party for President was when I just started voting, and I didn’t have the knowledge to know that either party may invariably do more harm than good.
    Do more harm to whom?, you ask. With every President elected, the harm could most definitely be to everyone. Either way, we just keep voting for either a Democrat or a Republican, and when something goes wrong they can blame it in the policies of the opposing previous President.
    Because, per usual, it seems we voting Americans, however percentage-wise few there are of us, we don’t think about what will happen because of our vote until after the chips fall.
    And even when they do, we don’t know who to blame.

Chicago poet Janet Kuypers
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