The Democrats, So Far

I haven’t written for a while.  I wanted to write something in response to the shootings in early August: not so much the shootings themselves, but the media response to them. I was afraid that someone might come to the wrong conclusion about me.  But the world is changing, and not in a good way, and if I just shut up, I’ll still get trampled.  Maybe not right now, but sometime close enough to worry about.

Since then, I’ve been watching the Democratic Presidential debates.  It’s still too early to critically assess the candidates against each other, so it’s more a game of perceptions.  Some are wokescolds, some come across as genuinely Presidential, some are just annoying, and one seems like a crazy cat lady.

But I couldn’t vote for any of them.  Stripped of the rhetoric and the variations of individual candidates, they all have the same formula:

The American people are suffering and fearful.  Under my leadership, the Federal government will relieve your suffering and assuage your fears.  Under my leadership, the Federal government will bring help.

And if you don’t need or want help, too bad: you’ll get it anyway.

To be fair, it isn’t that Trump doesn’t pitch to fear and suffering: it’s what politicians do.  But Trump proposes to address the woes of his constituents by doing that which the government should have been doing in the first place, and not trying to fix things by regulation.

As I write these words, my mother’s pithy summary of the Republican philosophy rings in my head:

“I’ve got mine, so bugger you.”  (And yes, she actually said “bugger.”)

And if all the Democrats wanted were higher taxes, I might concede her point.

But I believe my mother would be horrified by what we’ve become.  No: she already knew: she said it herself, 15 or so years ago:

“We’re a spent people.”

A spent people, in need of help from the government, don’t care about liberty.

But liberty is what the Democrats propose to sacrifice in the name of helping the people, although for the most part they won’t say that out loud.  They do talk about gun control, but that would only be the beginning.

3 thoughts on “The Democrats, So Far”

  1. I’m no fan of the Democrats but the Republicans are far worse. The Democrats want to increase taxes to pay for many things, such as free college, but the Republicans want to cut taxes for the rich. The Democrats want to increase gun laws but the Republicans want to outlaw abortion. Let’s not forget the GOP faction who are overtly racist and misogynist. I don’t want to pay more in taxes when so many programs are already bloated but on the other hand I don’t want the rich to pay less in taxes and restrictions on me as a woman (the GOP has voted against various pay equality acts). The simple answer is give more power to a third party but not realistic. Rather the simpler answer is to moderate both parties. I’ve never liked Trump and hate him more and more because he’s a con artist. He’s always been on ways to enrich himself at the disadvantage of others. My hatred wasn’t political just that he’s a bad guy who hates others.

  2. You’ve given me a lot to unpack, and some of these are issues that I want to address in the future. But some quick thoughts:

    – What underlies the government’s capacity to provide a benefit is the productive capacity of the economy to pay taxes to support it. That capacity has been neglected for decades.

    – When I was a kid, looking over my father’s shoulder on April 14th, I remember the maximum Federal income tax rate at 70%. And that was OK, because we were the one and only United States: if you were really rich, there was no other place to be. Today, there are alternatives. To my view, there’s room to increase income tax rates, but not enough to change the overall picture. And a wealth tax would probably require a Constitutional amendment, and still wouldn’t raise enough to support the Democrats’ plans.

    – The multinational corporations will do whatever they please, free to arrange their finances around the world as they see fit. But underneath them, there are many small, regional, and even large (but not multinational) businesses for which a cut in corporate tax rates is a game-changer. If the government (counting state and local taxes) takes half your profits, what’s the point of being profitable?

    – Yes, there are Ku Klux Klanspersons, neo-Nazis, and other sorts of white supremacists. And if we invited all of them in the US to a Mets game, and they all showed up, the stadium would still be half-empty. Trump won’t speak of them specifically because his experience is that any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right, and silence is the ultimate denunciation.

    – Equal pay for equal work has been the law for over 50 years. In the aggregate, a woman earns 75-80 cents for every dollar earned by a man, but by and large, men and women do different things. If you compare men and women with the same experience doing the same job, the difference gets very small, and given current trends, will probably be negative in the near future.

    – I have never seen anyone as relentlessly slimed in the media as President Trump. They will report accusations, but not when they turn out to be false. They amplify things that are of no practical consequence. They’re presenting a narrative, emphasizing the facts that support it, and disregarding those that don’t. This has been going on before Trump was elected, but he is and will be their target as long as he’s President. And that will be the topic of my next post.

  3. First, he’s not “slimed” anymore than Obama was. In fact, he gets off lightly with the comments he makes.He goes on Twitter tirades that are embarrassing and idiotic, something Obama never did. The media didn’t really discuss his history of discrimination before the election. Let’s not forget that Trump wasn’t a good student and his bimbo wife never graduated college (and made porn). Nothing against people who don’t go to college or make porn but not becoming when you consider Michelle Obama is a law school graduate. Second, yes equal pay is the law but employers get around it in different ways. I had a job where I was doing the EXACT THING as my male coworkers yet was paid much less. Actually, I was doing more, and had more education and experience. This is how employers do it. I found out I was paid less, complained and was eventually fired. Look up the Ledbetter Act and see how pay equality is still a problem. Also, many employers assume all women are the same and this is wrong. I dislike babies so never having any. As for the racists, there are many more than that, many are hidden so to speak. I live among many who would never join an official group yet post racist hatred on Facebook. The modern day GOP is nothing like the old GOP who didn’t care what people did, they just wanted to not pay for it. Now they want to know what people (women let’s be honest) are doing so they can penalize.

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