The Failure of the Democrats
Another day, another run of political bullshit, all aimed at either how evil President-elect Trump is or how idiotic anyone opposing him is. It’s getting to the point that there IS nothing new – they’re repeated posts you’ve been seeing since June, with a few exceptions to more recent developments.
One article did catch my eye: a piece about how Bernie Sanders ruined the Democratic chances for this election and had no chance to beat Trump. (Source: Medium, Sasha Stone, https://medium.com/@sashastone/ten-reasons-bernie-sanders-would-not-and-could-not-have-beaten-trump-b596674c1c93#.orz3dmllj ) In it, she lays out a fair argument against the man I voted for in the primaries – things that show how evil he really was. While I agree with her that Bernie would have lost to Trump had he won, by laying the blame onto him she completely missed the real reason Trump did win.
Let’s rewind back to those Primaries, shall we? At one time there were 17 Republican and 6 Democratic nominees eyeing that presidential prize. Some of these people dropped out before there were debates – Democrat voters only had 3 to choose from, while there were 12 Republican Nominees that remained prior to the Iowa Caucuses. The one person EVERY candidate, Democrat or Republican, was gunning after: Hillary Clinton, who many believed would win her parties nomination.
Clinton, in all fairness, had a large enough target on her back thanks to her years of service: The Benghazi incident and email scandals while as Secretary of State under Obama, a rape case that won a rapist his freedom in 1973, Whitewater while her husband was President (and all of his nonsense that added baggage,) her support of the Iraq war as Senator and her first nomination loss to then-future-President Barack Obama in 2008. Painting her as evil, as a scourge of American politics – that was too easy, which was why it amazed many people that she did eventually win the nomination…
…up until the week before the Democratic National Convention, when a number of emails were leaked suggesting the rigging of the primary elections. This exposed a number of flaws that were only rumored: that the DNC was pushing for Hillary and going out of their way to make sure that Sanders wouldn’t win wasn’t as much of a revelation as it was a disappointment. The incident would lead to chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz’s ouster prior to the start of the convention.
What makes this incident key to this election also exposes the biggest key issue of this whole election: Trust. Everyone who gunned after Hillary in the debates and the campaign highlighted all of her flaws and painted her as untrustworthy prior to this, so to have it exposed that Schulz was doing what she can to make her the nominee left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. When the only thing that did happen as a result of the Email leaks was Wasserman Schulz getting the boot, that hardened the line in the sand drawn by many Bernie supporters, and divided the party. It also gave Trump even more ammunition – after all, how could she rig the general election?
Many of the people who voted Trump or voted Third Party could never trust her, and nothing – not the numerous Twitter wars, the Trump University Lawsuit, the often rude commentary or his sexual inappropriateness – could change the level of that trust with her, and by doing absolutely nothing to really attempt to rebuild that trust, she doomed her nomination before accepting it.
There were many, many, MANY other flaws this campaign, but this was the key that not only killed her chance to be the first female president, but many of the elections that Democrats lost this year. It gave such a strong argument that it painted the party itself as bad, and gave every Republican supporter ammunition – by tying the candidate to the evils of Hillary, that nominee energized their supporters to get out on Election Day.
Back in 2008, when McCain lost to Obama, Republicans also protested, whined and cried – but they also built a foundation underneath this, a unified wall that sought to rebuild the trust to their party while keeping them under the same umbrella, undermining much of what Obama had planned. 2012 might have worked for them had it not been for Romney’s similar mistake – the 47% – that energized Democratic Supporters, but they never splintered in the way the Democrats did this year.
This is why playing the Blame Game, protesting and rioting, and even vocalizing dissent is backfiring against the party – because they’re not addressing the single biggest problem that politics in America has. When you have a party THIS divided even after the main event, where they are blaming each other, blaming third parties, blaming the other party and linking their problem back to that – THAT’S the fundamental root problem, the elephant in the room, that needs to be addressed. Trust is probably the hardest thing to earn, the easiest thing to lose and – as we witnessed – can allow someone spouting division and hate, someone who would be revealed to be a monster – to win an election.
Lesser of two evils, indeed
Now is More Important than History
The other big political argument – if you will call it that – was the tweets made by an important cast member of the musical “Hamilton” – the same cast member to address Mike Pence onstage after the show on Friday. The article, published by one of the many conservative-based “news” sites, highlights “racist” and “sexist” tweets by the star in an attempt to label liberals as hypocrites and the star as similar to what Trump was labeled as. (Source: Conservative Firing Line, http://conservativefiringline.com/hamilton-actor-lectured-pence-fire-racist-sexist-tweets/ )
I didn’t respond to the friend who posted this mainly because I agree with his reasoning: You have to be prepared to have your secrets raided and exposed if you’re going to confront anyone on a public or political level. While I normally don’t trust sites like this (many of which twist current events or make stuff up that satisfies their readers,) the Twitter account seems to link to the actor – while it might be fake (“where’s the outrage from election night?,”) the article twists what was said to the context of its readers.
Two things worth noting about the article: First, the source of the article listed Breitbart – whose head now has a cabinet seat with Trump – as its source. Second, the Tweets shared were 3-4 years old.
I’ve been vocal about this a number of times – the past is not as important as the present. Much like my distrust of Hillary had nothing to do with anything before she became a senator, my dislike of Trump had nothing to do with his sexual comments on tape, his “Trump U,” or his previous bankruptcies. At one time, in fact – thanks to “The Apprentice” – I thought he’d be a GREAT Presidential choice, a unifier among many people. (Little did I know…)
People make mistakes. They same stupid, hurtful and regretful things. They do stuff they’re embarrassed of later. That plays a small factor into who they are now – but unless they do something truly horrific, unless what they did was permanent and can’t be repaired, can’t be learned from – it’s not as important as who they are now.
My dislike for Trump started the moment he announced building a wall to keep Mexican illegals out and labelling them as, among other things, “rapists.” My distrust of Hillary came in that week prior to the DNC, when she took no actions to suggest anything to fix the trust broken by those emails. While their pasts did eventually become factors in various forms, my opinion of them wasn’t formed by the past mistakes – it was formed by the actions and words they said, did or used during their campaign in the present.
The actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, may or may not have said these things – the twitter account suggest that he did, but how do I know it’s not a fake Twitter account, ESPECIALLY when major media didn’t jump on this right away? How do I know what he’s like off stage? What I have is the one video of him talking on stage to Mike Pence…
People make mistakes. They also do plenty of good. History is a good way to prevent the mistakes of the past from happening in the present – when we choose to listen – but it’s not the only thing that makes a person who they are. If you want to judge someone, base it on the here and now.
What I’m NOT Thankful For This Thanksgiving…
Thanksgiving is one of those holidays we should remember the meaning of daily: to be thankful and grateful of what you do have. As the beginning of the end-of-year winter holiday season, however, it’s the first of many reminders of the negatives many people in their lives – the first pounding of a barrage of drums that eventually lead to some people’s depression (and sickness because of), heartache, and in some cases, suicide. This is why there’s a number of ads on TV and Radio, and online for suicide prevention around this time of year.
A lot of people online like to do a daily “What I’m Thankful for” on their favorite social media accounts. I’m not a fan of the daily thing – as many of these posters know, November is often a difficult month to work time-wise, so it’s easy to forget a day or two, or the rest of the month after a few days. You also have to find a lot of things you’re appreciative of – some of which aren’t much more than immediate gratification. I’m not knocking the idea – I’m just saying it’s not necessarily for me.
What might be for me, however, is a smaller version of that – done on Thanksgiving for appropriateness – and an opposite version of that. Highlighting the negatives, rather than ignoring them as many people want to do, gives an idea as to what we might consider for New Years Resolutions and highlights what we might want to change in the near future. I believe in change, in finding what makes you unhappy and excising it, so exposing these things might help in correcting them.
Worst case scenario: I won’t be any worse off than I was before.
- The Negativity from Social Media: This year was worse than any other in terms of connections, many of which were tested and strained by the events of the election and the world. Social Media, especially Facebook, has become so ingrained into all of our lives that too much of my mood can be affected by it. I get sick of arguing, of counter-posting, of trying to be positive online and of trying to think of comebacks and counterarguments – much of the last of which I bring on myself. I simply can’t just hop off FB because of how many sites and games I connect with that account.
- The lack of a job: This is a root problem that affects many of the other things I’ll be listing, and the one that frustrates me the most. It’s easy for people to tell me to go look for work around this time or before, as it’s the holiday season – however, most of those people don’t realize how difficult it is just to get the interview or some of the ridiculous reasons why I’m ignored. While there are things I’m learning to improve this, the fact that, 4 years after swearing to return to school to rid myself of this problem, the best I can hope to find is seasonal and minimum wage fast food work – if that…
- The Lack of Money: A big part of why I hate Black Friday is that I can never participate in the fun. I’ve only had the luck to work a few years all year round, and because most of those years I wasn’t driving, it’s never been enjoyable to even attempt to shop. (It also makes me regret those few squandered years, and hate receiving gifts, even more.) That lack of money keeps me from participating in other key things, as well – Christmas events that don’t involve standing in the snow usually require money to attend or ga/vehicles to get to.
- The Deluge of Christmas Advertising: One of the two uncontrollables on here, another part of the hate for Black Friday and Christmas Shopping is the barrage of ads and store postings wanting you to buy this or that. Even when you can ignore them – commercials are a great time to go to the bathroom, clean or get a snack – you eventually have to get necessities, which means you need to face the crowds and deal with the extra help. You deal with these reminders of your other negatives while drowning in a sea of decoration that has been creeping in since before school starts – and yet we do nothing to change this. So long as the stores make money, why should they care about my well-being?
- The Usual Weather: The other uncontrollable is also the unescapable: the cold weather that makes me sick, brings the snow, and turns people into irritable idiots. It’s bad enough trying to go to said stores without the snow, as some people are grumpy because of the cold – but throw in the snow that usually comes, and it turns many people into “Insta-Idiots” on the road.
Fortunately, there’s a couple of solutions to rid myself of two of these problems without robbing a bank or winning the lottery. Social Media is the simplest: Disconnect. Don’t worry about the games, the lack of connections, or the drama online – take a break from it, and worry about something else.
As for the rest, finding a decent-paying, stable year-round job – the kind I had hoped for years would come through my longest-running seasonal job – will solve that problem. As I figured out when I returned to school, the easiest way to rid yourself of negativity is to have an activity to take your mind away from it, and while you might not be dealing with the other problems in your life as rapidly, it’s easier to set up a solid foundation to work from when the main missing tool is flowing in.
- For those feeling deeply depressed or suicidal, here’s two websites that might help: