Saturday, November 19, 2016

I get Election 2016 now...

Dear Republican Party,

I understand. You hate Bill and Hillary. You H-A-T-E them! You tried to bust Bill Clinton on just about any allegation you could think of, and he kept getting away. On the day of his impeachment, his approval rating was in the 60's. So you hate them. You can argue all you want about ethics, morality, blah blah blah... but they just plain beat you at your own game. So you hate them. I didn't trust Hillary either, but not for the same reasons you don't.

And there are A LOT of people out there who didn't enjoy the income benefits of a growing and widening economy. Whole new business sectors were added in the last 25 years, and many didn't see income gains from it. I've studied economic inequality for the last 15 years, and as a result I firmly believe that the Middle Class began shrinking back in the 70's. Remember "stagflation?" That was when prices were going up yet the economy was stagnant. That's when it really began. And it only got worse, especially during the Reagan and both Bush administrations, but also during the Clinton tenure.

That is because the economy evolved, businesses tightened their belts, and many jobs were lost. BUT, many new jobs were created in the last 30 years, jobs that required skills and training beyond high school. Today, many economists argue there is a "skills gap" in our economy, with many people creating an available workforce, but many open jobs require skills that available workforce doesn't have.

So people are angry that others are getting rich when they are not; that the Great Recession happened it impacted their lives even further. Fair enough. But people weren't adapting to the changing economy, and I think you're blaming the wrong people.

I understand, too, that Christians fear an Obama/Clinton tightening of what they perceive to be an infringement of their religious freedom, because they won't allow Christians to discriminate against other religions, or because they won't allow Christians to discriminate against people who live lives Christians believe to be abhorrent to their beliefs.

Well, wasn't the Moral Majority formed specifically to mold public policy to be more inline with Christian beliefs? Basically, Christians have been trying to amend our legal system to force everyone to live by their religious beliefs, regardless of what anyone else believes. Isn't that the case? Christians may try to call that "religious freedom," meaning I'm totally free to live by your religious beliefs. I call that hypocrisy.

So, in your detestation of Hillary Clinton, you voted for someone who throughout his life has demonstrated no religious conviction whatsoever... none. I must've missed that line from the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus said, "Blessed are the greedy and self-promoters, for they will inherit the favor of all who reject science, data, education, information, and knowledge."

You have the right to believe whatever religion you want to, but historically the Supreme Court's interpretation of the 1st Amendment is that you don't have the right to infringe on my right to believe what I want to.

And before I forget, Democrats, you aren't entirely blameless here. You nominated the most divisive and polarizing Democrat since Andrew Jackson... nice going there.

This is the final point I want to make. Okay, Trump followers, you got what you wanted. I could list the volumes of times in the last 16 months Trump has proven himself to be a liar, bigot, sexist, racist, narcissist, and fascist, but I'll spare myself the torture. So here's the thing:

- If we lose our freedom of speech, it's on YOU.
- If we lose our civil rights, it's on YOU.
- If we lose our voting rights, it's on YOU.
- If we lose actual freedom of religion, it's on YOU.
- If we lose any freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, it's on YOU.
- If we end up in a new World War, it's on YOU.
- If we end up in a global economic collapse, it's on YOU.
- If we end up in a total fascist state, it's on YOU.
- If Klan rallies spread and lynching happens again, it's on YOU.
- If innocent Muslims in this country are harassed, injured, and/or killed, it's on YOU.
- If innocent immigrants are harassed, injured, and/or killed, it's on YOU.
- If in 4 years you're not better off than now, it's totally on YOU.

If any or all of these things happen, its on YOU. It is on you. If things don't go as planned, look in the mirror. You voted for someone who throughout his life has only cared about himself, and never, ever demonstrated any concern about the Middle Class, Working Class, or even the rest of the 1%. He's only ever done what suited him at the time. That includes skirting laws, unethical business practices, and suing whomever he wanted to because they said something negative about him, true or not.

Blame President Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or whoever you want, but History will blame you. And as a lifelong student of history, political science, and economics, I will blame you, too. I don't know what your vision of a "great" America is, but I honestly think MY country is already great.

"Give me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning to breathe free, your wretched refuse from your teeming shore..." THAT is the America I was taught to believe in, the America I believed was emerging from its past, the America that elected its first African-American president, but its apparent you don't agree. For the moment, we still have the right to believe what we think is right and just.

You won this election. I know you're happy. Now you have four years (if that?) to show what you meant. But remember, it's on YOU.

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