Tough Questions: The Other Side

img_0380

This week’s Discover Challenge is to consider tough questions that we’ve been asked. I can think of a tough question I was asked after the U.S. Presidential Election that is head and shoulders above other questions. I was in the local bookstore which is a gathering place for university folks. Knowing my background was in finance and economics, with a smattering of political science, some former students and a couple of university faculty cornered me. Here comes the tough question.

They asked me what I thought the appeal of President-Elect Trump is to the man on the street. Why is this a tough question? I happen to be a Democrat and I did not vote for Donald Trump. Their questions were a little more complex than that. Most of them were also Democrats and they wanted specifics. I was put in the position of having to look at the other side of the issues in order to explain the thinking of the people who elected him. Tough questions!

Expressing to them that what I was about to say was only my opinion and hoping (to myself) that I was going to convey correct information, we started to have a conversation. I was very tempted to grab my phone and call in reinforcements – my friends who had actually voted for Mr. Trump, but I didn’t.

I won’t go into all the specifics but I will give you the general conversation. I told them that all I could give them was my opinion. Yes, it was my opinion based on fact. My facts were based on those provided by both the media and what I had read and gleaned myself. Since I had not discovered every fact about why the country preferred to elect Donald Trump as President of the United States but had gotten some of the information from the media, I did not feel comfortable answering their questions. I further expressed that I felt my opinions and bias as a Democrat would color my explanation.

The group still wanted me to explain why I thought he was elected. I made a few comments. I was more comfortable answering their questions since I had already told them that I was only expressing my own opinion.

Separating opinion from fact is extremely important when answering tough questions. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #weeklydiscoverychallenge

Advertisements

Trump, Trade, Labor, and Banking

img_0367

I have news for President-elect Donald Trump. It’s too late. It’s too late to stop globalization. The internet, global communications and transportation, and corporate and banking connections and interdependencies reached the White House before he did. Donald Trump seems to think he can step into the White House and turn back the hands of time. But the globalization trend has already been there and it may be too late to become nationalists and isolationists now.

There is no doubt that Trump has a point. The middle class are suffering at the hands of globalization. Jobs in the hundreds of thousands have been shipped overseas. But there are several reasons for that. One reason is that labor is cheaper overseas. There is another reason. Many jobs in the U.S. are being performed automatically and do not require human assistance. In other words, robotics. Unions are absolutely not solely to blame. Cheap overseas labor is not solely to blame. We are innovating ourselves out of manufacturing jobs through the increasing use of robotics and technology.

I’m not particularly a fan of trade deals myself.  Mr. Trump is likely to slow down or halt negotiation of the TPP. However, the U.S. has become a service economy. What are we going to do for goods and products if we don’t negotiate trade deals? The plants that used to produce them are gone and if they still stand, they are woefully deficient in the technology required to produce those goods and products. It will take a generation to get those plants on-line again. I wonder if the people who voted for Mr. Trump realize how much those goods and products would cost after the cost of getting those plants back on-line and training the workers were factored in.

The stock market has been soaring since the election. Sure, this has to do with investors expecting, or perhaps just hoping for, economic growth under President-elect Trump. The stock market’s engine is investor expectations. What is likely to happen, in reality, is a drastic cut in the corporate tax rate in order to lure U.S. corporations with headquarters overseas back home and to keep corporations contemplating a move from making it.

Globalization started slowing down years ago. It is only growing at about 2 percent per year, a result of our low GDP. Since the financial crisis of 2007-08, cross-border lending between countries has slowed considerably because bank regulators took hard looks at the international lending practices of the big U.S. banks. Lending across borders is taking a huge risk with depositors’ money. We should be glad that regulators are trying to hold the line on that kind of foreign investment. Instead, Mr. Trump is likely to try to loosen up regulation on the banks to stimulate more foreign investment, taking increasing chances with our money.

In the meantime, we have a President-elect who is a businessman. Not necessarily a bad thing. But what about foreign policy? While he is negotiating deals, who will have their hand on the foreign policy button? #amwriting #amblogging #writing #banking #trade #labor

 

Politics: Trump, Banking, and the Economy

Before I begin this blog post, I want to put in a disclaimer. When I started this blog, I had no intention of talking much about either politics or business. Business is my professional field and I wanted to get away from it. Politics is too volatile. But, I’ve had a lot of questions about the effect of a Trump Presidency on certain segments of the economy and on our lives that I feel compelled to answer them to the best of my ability. I’m going to try to be non-partisan, but (full disclosure), I was not and am not a Trump supporter. I will still try to be non-partisan. If I sound like a teacher, let me apologize in advance. I am a teacher :)……it’s hard not to sound like one!

The Trump transition team has made it known that they intend to repeal or, at least significantly change, a piece of legislation called the Dodd-Frank bill. They also intend to repeal the Volcker Rule. Let me explain what that means to me, you, and the man on the street.

The Dodd-Frank bill is a very complex (and long) piece of legislation that was enacted after the economic and banking collapse that happened at the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 and the recession that resulted. Large banks were the primary cause of this collapse. The general consensus is that the large banks invested in too many subprime (risky) mortgages in order to beef up their income by charging high interest rates. They also invested in speculative securities for the same reason. In other words, these banks took advantage of their customers and took risks with their customers’ money. Banks in the U.S. have never before been allowed to do that. The banks essentially got caught and the economy almost failed because of it.

The Dodd-Frank bill was enacted to protect customers of large banks in the future. Some say that it goes too far and restricts the ability of both individuals and corporations from borrowing money. I have not read the bill so I cannot address that. What I do know is that banks do, indeed, need some checks and balances so what happened in 2007 and 2008 will not happen again. Apparently, Mr. Trump intends to repeal this legislation.

We used to have legislation called the Glass-Steagall Act which prevented banks from engaging in investing. That legislation was unfortunately repealed in the late 1990s. Glass-Steagall would have prevented banks from making these speculative investments and loans.

The Trump transition team has said they also intend to repeal what is called the Volcker rule. Mr. Volcker was once Chair of the Federal Reserve.  A regulation was passed in his name preventing banks from making investments that could endanger their customer accounts by exposing them to too much risk.

The positive side of repealing Dodd-Frank and Volcker is that it would be easier for consumers to obtain mortgages. It would also be easier for businesses and large corporations to borrow money and make investments, including risky investments. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #DoddFrank #VolckerRule

 

Election Day in the U.S.

Never before in my life have I felt a need to make much of a comment on a Presidential Election Day in the U.S. This Presidential Election Day seems different. I don’t know if it is because it has been such a hard fought and acrimonious campaign. Could be it is because we have two rather untraditional candidates – the first woman candidate in the history of the U.S. and a rather bombastic private businessman? Maybe it’s because the rhetoric has been ramped up to a level I’ve never heard before? Perhaps it’s because every one I talk to is very apprehensive about what will happen after this election, even though the U.S. has always had a peaceful transfer of power.

Perhaps it is because the Democratic candidate for President has been under some sort of investigation for 25 years, since her husband, Bill Clinton, was President of the United States. The Republican candidate for President has not been in the political limelight for very long but since he has been, he, too, has been under investigation.

I hear Americans constantly ask why we could not have done better in picking our political candidates. I have a question to pose to you. Would any candidate who we picked have been subject to some sort of investigation because we, as Americans, can’t seem to get our fill of dragging skeletons out of our candidates’ closets? I’ve noticed a real lack of viable political candidates at the next age group point, 10-20 years younger than Trump and Clinton. That is true, I think, particularly on the Democratic side of the aisle. Why is that? Are the good people who would normally run for political office simply tired of facing the possibility of their families being subject to the unbelievable amount of scrutiny we subject our candidates to? It seems at least to be a possibility.

Who exactly is responsible for all this skeleton dragging? Is it truly the news media? Or is it principles of the opposing party in trying to win the election? Or a combination of both? Every single person who might run for political office has done something wrong at some point in their lives and careers. It is simply not possible to live a squeaky clean life just in case you might go into public service. We are going to cause ourselves to literally have no candidates by our behavior regarding their behavior if we don’t allow them to have a life, business and professional and governmental, if they are already in government service. Can we really feel good about what we have allowed the news media and the political parties to do to these people’s families? Don’t say it isn’t our fault because it is. We watch the cable news shows or they would not be on the air. We buy into every word the talking heads say. It is, indeed, our fault.

Our propensity for finding each and every little fault in our candidates may be our downfall this time around. We have two candidates that no one seems to much like, putting many of us in the position of voting for who we consider to be the lesser of two evils. That is not America! That is not the way America handles its business. We find two excellent candidates and choose between them in a democratic process. Not so much this time.

Now we have a situation where, if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, rumors are swirling around that state militias will get involved and that she will not be supported. On the other hand, if Donald Trump wins, rumors are that he will not win wide support of the American people for a variety of reasons. In a day, we are going to vote for these two people under these circumstances?

Here is the deal. We, the people, caused this ourselves. We have encouraged the talking heads on cable news to do anything and say anything for ratings. We have expected candidates to be perfect people. Instead we got the least perfect of candidates. We have allowed senators and representatives to stay in Congress for 30 plus years and build up power bases so that their only concerns were money and power and not the good of our country or our democracy. Term limits anyone? Even the Supreme Court allowed for huge Super Pac’s to fund candidates’ political campaigns. We can’t say one candidate or another is corrupt. What is corrupt is the entire system and do you know where it starts? With US, the American voters. We have allowed these things to happen.

This is OUR government. OUR democracy. Have we forgotten that? We can get rid of the entire Congress if we want and we SHOULD want. We can push the reset button. Almost all the Congress is up for re-election on Tuesday. DO NOT RE-ELECT THEM. Elect a new Congress. One that is responsive to the people and to the President. One that will work with all parties involved.

Stop listening to the talking heads on any channel on cable news television. Buy a newspaper again. Read the newspaper. Form your own opinions. Don’t let some person on television whose credentials you don’t know form an opinion for you. Read, study, think. Decide what YOU think. Don’t take what they think at face value. That is one of the reasons we are in this mess. Knowledge is power.

It’s too late for us for this election cycle. I hope we can make it intact as a government for the next four years. I hope we can have a peaceful transfer of power. Let’s make it different in 2020. #2016PresidentialElection #realDonaldTrump #HillaryClinton #politics #amwriting #amblogging

The Snollygoster Politician

img_0258

“Oh, he is a snollygoster, all right. That Donald, he is a right snollygoster,” the old man said as he stood on the street corner talking to a group of folks that had gathered round him.

“What’s a snollygoster, mister?” Asked a young fellow who was part of the group.

The old man replied, “We don’t want to vote for a snollygoster, young man. A snollygoster is a right unprincipled fellow. He can be anyone, but is usually one of those unscrupulous politicians. Ha! In the old times, they smoked big cigars, carried carpetbags, wore flowered waistcoats, and were very shrewd and loud and proud in getting their point across to the public.”

The old man continued, “I think they are a bit more in disguise now. They are still loud and proud, but if they are politicians, they wear expensive suits, give speeches that promise the world, but they are really out for themselves and not for the people they are trying to represent. They are shrewd, however. You have to be more shrewd to spot one. You can usually spot their egos before you can see them.”

The young man nodded his head and started talking softly to the other people standing around the old man who was obviously holding court on that street corner. There were rumblings in that crowd. It was hard to tell if they were with the old man or against him. The crowd was growing.

The place was a street corner in New York City in the U.S. The time was October, 2016, only a month before the U.S. Presidential election. The candidates for President of the United States were probably two of the most disliked candidates ever running for President and it was clear that the old man was talking about one of them, Donald Trump, the businessman turned politician. There were rumors about both candidates, but new information had just popped up about Mr. Trump. Disturbing information. This information had apparently sparked the discussion on the street corner that day.

A middle-aged woman in the crowd spoke out. “Donald Trump is a snollygoster. We should all be able to see it. He says he is supportive of women’s issues, but look at the new information we just learned. Trump has even admitted that it’s true.”

Someone else in the crowd asked, “What information? Tell us.”

The middle-aged woman said, “Donald Trump made extremely lewd and sexually aggressive comments about women, citing that he could do anything he wanted to women because of his “star” status before a television show in 2005. His words were captured on tape because he said them on a hot mic pinned to his lapel. He had been married to his current wife, Melania Trump, only a few months at the time. Mr. Trump admitted the remarks were made but was not apologetic.”

There was a louder rumbling in the crowd after that explanation.

The middle-aged woman continued, “How can we, as a society who professes to give equal opportunity to everyone, vote for a candidate for President who has such disregard for such a large segment of our population?”

A cheer went up from the crowd surrounding the old man. Obviously, the crowd was an anti-Trump crowd or at least a crowd eager to hear the information the wise old man was imparting to them.

The old man said, “There have been many other revelations about this Donald that make us wonder how he can deal with foreign leaders who are women, governors and senators and representatives who are women, staff who are women, and women’s issues that come across his desk. He obviously has a blatant disregard for women and only values them in the bedroom.”

A loud male voice said, “But what can we do? He is very close to the other candidate in the polls. He may win!”

“We have to stop this carpetbagger, this snollygoster,” the old man said. “Do what Americans do best. Revolt! Go to his rallies and demonstrate against him. Make him drop that snollygoster cigar out of his mouth and lose his cool. Don’t vote for him and tell everyone you know!”

The old man said, “Remember the stories of the Old West where a covered wagon would pull up into towns and everyone would gather round because they knew there was a salesman on it selling products that might help their ailments? A salesman would appear in a flamboyant costume and have all kinds of products — elixirs to help their rheumatism, potions to cure whatever ailed them? Those elixirs and potions all turned out to be nothing more than snake oil. Nothing at all that would help and the people paid good money for them because they were desperate.”

“Yes,” the crowd, that had tripled in size, cried.

“That Donald is offering us snake oil if he becomes President. What he offers sounds good to some of us who are desperate but it will turn out to be nothing that will help us and will probably hurt us instead. He is the snollygoster in the flamboyant costume and the loud voice,” said the old man.

At that point, the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. Someone had gone into a local store and had gotten material to make signs and posters. Everyone was down on the ground making anti-Donald posters to carry. The crowd numbered at least 500 people.

The old man slipped quietly away. He had done his work on that particular street corner. He was off to another street corner in another part of New York City. You see, the old man was not as old as he seemed. He was a Viet Nam veteran who loved his country. He was also ill and did not have long to live. But, he and some of us buddies from that war were not about to see their beloved country taken over by a carpetbagger. They were spread out all over the U.S., doing exactly what the old man was doing. They were on street corners all over America, holding court, telling the truth about the snollygoster determined to highjack their beloved country. They were not going to let that happen.

The old man trudged on.

#blogpropellant #amwriting #amblogging #writing #realDonaldTrump #politics

TBP’s On-Line Writer’s Guild #33

Random Number 3

 

 

2016 US Presidential Election: Pneumonia or the Economy and Foreign Policy?

 

imageI am discouraged by American journalism. I am also discouraged that the American people don’t demand more from their journalists and their Presidential candidates. I will certainly be interested to watch the upcoming Presidential debates although we cannot forget that early voting will have already started in some states. It seems this Presidential race is a slog,  toward, at best, mediocrity.

Let’s look at what’s important. Hillary Clinton’s very temporary, very common bout with pneumonia is not important regarding this election. This is an illness any one of us could contract and recover from very quickly. THe press and her opponent have made a much bigger deal out of it than it is, probably to deflect attention from the other issues that they should be discussing. However, since these two candidates are the oldest ever running for the White House, it is appropriate that they release their health records.

Our biggest economic problem is jobs. We hear wholesale promises of jobs from Mr. Trump but he has no plan to magically manufacture them except he talks about bringing industry home. Home to what? Dilapidated plants that are light years behind technologically? In some cases, no plants or factories are left at all. Clinton has a jobs creation plan that will add about 10 million jobs during her first term. However, she also talks about the revitalization of the manufacturing sector and this writer thinks that is dreaming. She does plan to put people to work on the infrastructure which is desperately needed – if she can get funds from Congress.

It is a little more difficult to figure out Donald Trumps’s plan for jobs. He says he wants to bring back jobs from China, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries but he is not clear what he wants to bring them back to. WIthout a manufacturing and technology sector, Trump’s plan to bring back jobs seems to fall flat. He is also not in favor of raising the minimum wage.

WIth regard to foreign policy, Mr. Trump has very little experience. He is a nationalist. He is not in favor of many trade agreements with other countries or is for very strict terms. He wants to appease and support Russia while doing the opposite with China, seeing China as our enemy.  He does not support the Iran deal and does support strong men ruling the Middle East.

Mts. Clinton has been a diplomat for many years. Her foreign policy is based on diplomacy. She is very well-schooled on the issues facing the US from other countries in the world and would be one of the most knowledgeable leaders in modern times in foreign policy due to her background and her experience gained as Secretary of State.

One of the problems with this election is that the candidates nor the media are focusing on these or any other issues. Instead they are talking about Clinton’s illness or Trump’s medical history or tax returns. The American people should want to know these candidates’ stands on issues, not their personal extraneous issues. OTherwise, we cannot make informed voting positions.

If you understand the issues, get out and vote but educate yourself first so you can make an informed voting decision. #dailyprompt #2016presidentialelection #realDonaldTrump #HillaryClinton #amwriting #amblogging #writing #economy #foreignpolicy

 

Do U.S. Politicians Think “Let Them Eat Cake?”

 

image

I don’t talk much about politics on this blog because it is such a travesty here before the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. When I saw the word cake this morning, I was both amused and horrified. Marie Antoinette, Queen of France before the French Revolution, and wife of King Louis XVI, supposedly said “let them eat cake” when told that the French peasants had no bread to eat. Clearly, that was a slam against her own people because if they could not afford bread, how could they afford cake?

I think of both our Presidential candidates when I hear the “let them eat cake” quote. Donald Trump rails against the fact that the manufacturing sector has failed in America and jobs have been sent overseas. All the while, most of the products made by the companies he owns are made somewhere else……China, Vietnam, Bangledesh, and more. HIllary Clinton rails against the same thing but until recently, she has been for every trade agreement that came along, including the TPP and NAFTA. Both philosophies kill our own manufacturing sector, slide the U.S. Economy into a service economy status, and take away jobs from skilled workers.

Let them eat cake?

These skilled workers who used to work in steel, coal mining, engineering, technology, even teaching, are now restaurant workers, retail employees, who work without many benefits, have to work odd shift work, and have no retirement plan and often no health insurance.

Let them eat cake?

Neither Trump nor Clinton can relate in any way to middle class America. Trump is a rich man, though not as rich as he would like us to believe. He has been only a moderately successful real estate developer. He really is not a good business man and has lost so many of his ventures in casinos, restaurants, and other venues such as Trump University, and many more. Clinton is probably more down to earth than Trump but she is going to owe debts to so many lobbyists by the time she is elected, if she is, these lobbyists are going to want to be paid in some way. She is going to be held accountable to her campaign donors far more than to the American people.

Let them eat cake?

Trump nor Clinton really have no understanding the problems of the middle class. They just let us work at a menial job, or read, or play on Facebook, hoping it will dull our enthusiasm for the political process and we will vote for whoever has brainwashed us most effectively. Of course, they don’t want us to really understand the issues.

Let them eat cake?

Who are YOU going to vote for? #amwriting #writing #blogging #realDonaldTrump #HillaryClinton #2016PresidentiaCampaign

 

 

On Being Decisive And Donald Trump’s Use of “Maybe”

image

Are you a decisive person? Do you make up your mind about something and stick to it? Or is your favorite word “maybe?” I can tell you that this blogger has a definite dislike, perhaps hatred, for the word “maybe.”

Based on the 2016 Random House Dictionary, the word maybe means possibility or perhaps if used as an adverb; a possibility or uncertainty if used as a noun. Nothing decisive about any of that, is there?

How do you like it, dear readers, if you ask someone a question and their response is “maybe,” or “possibly,: or “it’s a possibiity.” Do you know any more than you did when you asked the question in the first place? No, you don’t. This blogger considers herself a fairly decisive person. I think I usually can evaluate a situation and make a decision fairly quickly. It’s not always the right decision, but it’s a decision nevertheless. I don’t think I leave people hanging with a “maybe” very often. Sometimes, I have to look at my calendar and I have to put someone off and give them a decision after I look at my calendar, but I try to carry my calendar with me so that won’t happen.

Donald Trump’s speeches are an example of the power of the negative power of the word “maybe.” Slate.com runs a column called Lexicon Valley on the power of language. The author, Andrew Kahn, analyzes Trump’s speeches and his powerful use of the word “maybe.” He categories Trump’s use of the word “maybe” by Levels. For example Trump’s Level I “maybe” happened when he was discussing President Obama’s birth certificate and he says something “Maybe It Says He’s a Muslim.” Of course, Trump doesn’t know that, but the word “maybe” plants just enough doubt in the minds of his supporters.

Kahn’s Level 2 “maybe,” is not premeditated like a Level 1. In referencing the Orlando shootings, Trump suggested that maybe President Obama was soft on terrorism. There are other examples. The Level 2 maybe shows uncertainly about what this candidate thinks and believes but fires up his supporters. That is his point.

Then there is the Level 3 maybe which Trump uses when he wants to portray modesty and humility. He says that his campaign and support is a phenomenon that has “maybe” never happened in history.

The word “maybe” can be powerful in a negative way as candidate Trump proves. He has used it masterfully. #realDonaldTrump #amwriting #writing #blogging #dailyprompt

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/lexicon_valley/2016/06/22/donald_trump_uses_the_word_maybe_as_a_crutch_and_a_bludgeon.html

 

2016 Presidential Election

image

I hate the U.S. news media. I’m not sure it would be better in any other nation, but in the U.S., you only hear what the powers that be at the major news organizations want you to hear. I did not intend to watch the Democrat and Republican party’s conventions last week and this, but, like so many others, I got sucked in. I’ve been horrified at the Republican nominee for President of the U.S.  I thought Donald Trump gave one of the worst acceptance speeches I’ve ever heard. I can remember back to the acceptance speech given by John F. Kennedy, though it’s vague as I was a tiny girl.

This post is not about Donald Trump. It is about the failure of the U.S. news media to inform the American public. The Democratic National Convention is coming to a close with Hillary Clinton the nominee for President. As I have watched the convention, I have become aware that the news media has been virtually unstoppable at                eviscerating Clinton, focusing on her mistakes and none of her considerable accomplishments.

I have not been a Clinton fan. I have been a real detractor of Donald Trump. For the first time ever, I’ve considered not voting in this very important election. Listening to the convention speakers last night, without the filter of the news media, I did not exactly become a Clinton fan but I became convinced she is, far and away, the best candidate of the two running for President.

Has the news media ever shared Clinton’s accomplishments with us? They are too busy repeating the mistakes she has made – over and over. By listening to the speakers last night and ignoring the talking heads of the media, I got to hear of Clinton’s accomplishments and they are legion. As first lady of both Arkansas and the United States, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State, she has touched our policies in many ways, most of them quite positive. She has touched the hearts and minds of children all over the world, her mission as First Lady. She tends to have a personal touch with people. The type of thing not newsworthy enough for the news media to bother with it. The average American who has contact with Clinton on the street loves her and sings her praises. Her Democratic colleagues, at least, sing her praises.

Hillary Clinton is not good at singing her own praises or advancing her own causes. She is not a braggart like our friend, the Republican nominee. I was impressed with what I heard from those who know her best, personally and professionally.

Most of all, her colleagues discussed her vast knowledge of the U.S. Government and its innermost workings. Does Donald Trump have this knowledge? No. I’ve decided that I’m with Hillary, warts and all. Of course, it helps that she has shattered that largest of glass ceilings, but that isn’t the reason. She knows more than he knows. Down deep, where it counts, she is a better person than he is. That has won me over in the end. #amwriting #blogging #writing #PresidentialUSA #dailyprompt

 

A Darkness Over Our Country

A darkness has descended over our country. No, I’m not talking about ISIS. I’m not even talking about terrorism in general. I’m talking about how the political environment in the United States is affecting our society and the relationships between people in our country.

There was a time, a long period of time, in the U.S. that politics and religion were two topics that were not discussed between friends in what was then called “polite society.” I’m not suggesting that we go back to that time. I am suggesting that we take some lessons from that time.

The political environment in U.S. has gotten so toxic that people of different political persuasions literally cannot have a discussion about the issues affecting the U.S. today without becoming angry and spewing vitriol to their acquaintances and even to their family and friends. I have never been in such an environment in the U.S. in my lifetime. For most of the years of my life, I have not known the political affiliations of my friends and acquaintances. Politics was something we did not discuss. Because of my profession, we always discussed issues that affected our country and other countries. We had spirited discussions. But, they never devolved to the point where people became angry and friendships were affected. We always laughed, shook hands at the end of our discussions, and agreed to disagree. That doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

When friends and family discuss the issues affecting the U.S. now, during the 2016 Presidential campaign, someone, or several someone’s, are going to walk away angry. I don’t understand this. We all have opinions. Some of us think that we need a fence between our country and Mexico. Some of us think there are other solutions. Some of us think we need a “change” from the policies of the current political administration. Some of us think the current administration has done a good job. I recall that, in 2008, some thought we needed a change then as well. Some of us have strong opinions that a change is needed in our foreign policy in a number of areas. Some of us think a change is needed in other areas. Some of us strongly believe in the Medicare and Social Security systems as they are. Some of us don’t.

What I am doing is illustrating that there is a plethora of issues facing our country. It isn’t possible, or even desirable, for all of us to have the same opinion. Differing opinions is what our two-party system is based on. If everyone had the same opinion, there would be no need for a two-party system. That is when the country starts to lean toward Fascism.

I avoid political discussions now. I am one of those people who has lost a friend, partly because we engaged in political discussions. I am sure some of you reading this blog post may be able to say the same. Somehow, our society in the U.S. has to get past thinking that politics is more important than relationships. No matter who is in the White House, no matter who is in the Congress, we need our friends and family. It is unfathomable to me that we have allowed this type of darkness to descend over our society. It is a sign of radicalism taking hold of us and leading us down a path where we should not want to go. #amwriting #writing #blogging #politics