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

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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?”

 

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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

 

 

2016 Presidential Election

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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