Saturday, January 14, 2017

The new un-civil war

WaPo 12/28/16

I will be the first one to admit it. I am having a tough time navigating all this new "post truth" stuff. You will have to give me a little time. I was talking to a conservative friend that I love dearly the other day, gnashing my teeth a little bit regarding the upcoming prospects for our Republic, when the conversation turned to the popular vote tally in the recent election.

"Well, you know Trump would have won the popular vote overwhelmingly if you took away those three million votes that the illegals cast."

I blanched and tried to explain that every independent fact finder in existence had debunked the notion of widespread illegal voting. Republican and Democratic experts alike have said that it simply doesn't exist. People like Politifact. They explain that the number seemed to spring out of the mind of a Republican political operative from Mississippi named Gregg Phillips.

Infowars ran with it and it took on the mantle of truth for many voters. But it was never substantiated or corroborated. There is some evidence that Trump electors may have voted illegally but we don't have to get into that and Snopes seems rather neutral on the subject.

Factcheck.org breaks down the fallacy of voter fraud pretty well here. Even Trump propaganda minister Kellyanne Conway denies it occurred. But the myth lives on, because it has done its job in manipulating certain voters. Dead people aren't voting, illegals aren't voting but people are twisting the truth in a conscious and cynical way and the deception has had its intended effect.

Over half of Trump supporters believe that Obama was born in Kenya and 46% believe Hillary Clinton was involved in a satanic child sex cult that operated out of a pizza parlor.

I explained this to my friend. "Find me some proof, any proof. It doesn't exist." He said that some very smart college kids explained the flood of illegal voting to him and that he trusted them. Said that it all came down to which news you trust.

And there it is.


I am not particularly mad at Donald Trump. It is not about personalities but issues and policies with me. I am mad at my fellow Americans. For being so ill informed and stupid. For surrendering our standards and principles so casually (e.g. fully vetting cabinet candidates, requiring tax returns and demanding ethical firewalls of our elected officials.)

Trump seems to have an interesting way of picking cabinet heads. Find the person who harbors the most hostility to any particular job and appoint him to lead the department. Like Pruitt at EPA. Appoint a guy like Tillerson at State who lies through his teeth about lobbying the Russians and doesn't miss a beat. The list goes on and on. Puzder at Labor, a fast food guy who doesn't believe in overtime pay. DeVos for education, a woman who wants to defund public education. A robber baron, Mnuchin, at Treasury who was involved in a string of questionable practices, redlining and foreclosures at One West and who was accused of failing to lend to minorities.

Watch him dismember the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that stood up for consumers and clawed back millions from banks like Wells Fargo who sought to shield their chicanery from the american public with their arbitration boilerplate.

It is going to be an interesting time, lots of damage will be done, maybe four years, maybe eight. We deserve whatever we have coming.

I thought it was interesting that Republicans, who are normally so concerned about state's rights, are grousing because Portland and the Northwest doesn't want to allow coal terminals in their harbors so that rich industrialists can ship their product to Asia.

Environmentalists say they represent a thin green line in the Pacific Northwest standing up to the coal industry.
If we allow these projects to go forward, not only will we have a local impact, they would release globally significant quantities in the air,” said Dan Serres of Columbia Riverkeeper. “So it threatens the health of the fishery here in the Columbia River, but it threatens the health of the climate in the long haul.”
With a Trump administration, though, some see a showdown brewing. The president-elect’s pick to run the Interior Department is a staunch supporter of the coal industry who hails from a coal-producing state. Republican Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke has criticized the port rejections by state and federal regulators.
Others see room for a legal challenge invoking the Commerce Clause.
These ports are for the Western United States, and the landlocked states who want to be able to export products overseas need access to those ports,” said Rob McKenna, a former Republican attorney general in Washington state. “I think it raises real constitutional issues when states systematically try to deny them access to those ports.
Good luck northwest. Those people could care less air water and your fisheries. All about money, subsidizing rich industrialists on the government dime, with the prospect of throwing a few jobs around. 

If I had to bet, I would say that we are going to get steamrolled on every issue I care about, from the environment, to reproductive rights, gay rights, integration, public education, civil liberties, foreign policy, all the way down the line. Unless we get involved in some unforeseen war, perhaps we will find new enemies in the Ukraine, or China god forbid, who knows, that might put things temporarily off track.

Due to an antiquated and unfair electoral college system, a minority of low information rural troglodytes gets to tyrannize the rest of us for the foreseeable future.

If you are a rational person, who pays attention to what is actually going on, you have to say that we are quite fucked.

1 comment:

Sanoguy said...

Well said!

Don't forget Rick Perry, the guy who finally remembered that he wanted to eliminate the Energy Dept... now he is going to run it! ( maybe in to the ground!)