All this rubbish about Trump this and Hillary that. This will surely be one of the most divisive presidential races of my lifetime. I will vote for neither candidate. Long ago I abandoned the lesser of two evils approach to voting. Long ago I abandoned all hope that our two party system had anything other than the illusion of choice. For as long as I can remember we have been given the choice between two shades of grey. Look no further than the dichotomy between Bush and Obama. There really is no dichotomy, is there? Under both regimes we had perpetual wars, stagnated wages for what’s left of the middle class, increased wealth among the 1%, a wholesale sell out of what’s left of our manufacturing base, a steady increase in the poverty rate and race relations that continue to sink to all time lows. I could go on exhaustively, but you get the picture.
Noam Chomsky refers to our two party system as two branches of the business party. The rhetoric may be different but the policies always remain the same. The candidates we choose are almost irrelevant. It’s a bold statement, but it’s not off the mark. OK, so maybe Obama’s “radical” achievement was the Affordable Care Act. That's a bit of a misnomer if I’ve ever heard one. Ask the guy driving a tow truck for $18 an hour how affordable his mandatory insurance is? The only real benefactors of Obamacare are the insurance companies and you can be sure that was no coincidence.
Every 4 years we go through this arcane process of the party primaries. What we usually get are 2 preordained and carefully chosen candidates from the ranks of the elites. They all went to the right Ivy League schools, have accepted all the hush money, most are lawyers and all of them have a proven track record of carrying the water for the oligarchs. This year is a bit different with Trump in the race. Instead of a water carrier for the oligarchy, we get an actual oligarch. His rhetoric indicates that he is not interested in playing ball with Washington and Wall Street elites. This is what has so many up in arms, including his own party.
Trump is a master of the deal, a master of media and self promotion. Personally I find him repugnant, but he is no idiot. The man knows exactly what he is doing. He’s a deal maker, maybe the quintessential deal maker. This election is nothing more that brokering a deal with Trump. Get the deal signed by all means necessary and worry about the pesky details later. Nothing about the man’s past indicates that he has ever had the slightest interest in the welfare of anyone but himself. He is no champion of the middle class, that’s for sure.
Trump is an opportunist. He’s is simply tapping into a mounting frustration in this country with business as usual politics. He’s not cooperating with media elites or the political establishment. He won’t play by their terms and he doesn’t speak their language. He gives simple answers to complex issues, but at least you know where he stands verbally. For the life of me, I could not tell what Hillary stands for, other than herself.
Trump is the anti-Obama, just as Obama was the anti-Bush and Bush was the anti-Clinton. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss… Am I dating myself self with The Who references? Oh well… All his blustering aside, I am highly doubtful that Trump will delivery on any of these bold promises. I think many people find his candidness refreshing, even though it borders on obnoxious. Its’ important not to poo-poo off the enthusiasm he is creating. The frustration of those that rally around Trump is real. Sadly, no president will be able to do anything about any of these issues he touches on, at least not in our current system of pay for play politics.
Let’s just get his most ridiculous proposal out the way first. He proposes building a 2,000 miles long wall along our border with Mexico. The height seems to change depending on the man’s temperament at the time. He also plans on deporting roughly 11 million “illegals” living in this country. I hate the term, “illegals”. It’s a dehumanizing term. The mealy mouthed liberal term of, “undocumented” just seems like pandering. I really don’t know what the proper term should be, but I call many of them friends.
Coming from an immigrant family myself, maybe I have a soft spot on this issue. Having been a working “illegal” in both Japan and Korea myself, maybe gives a different perspective. In my own instance I had a skill that both national economies needed and couldn’t fill. Their immigration policies were not in step with the demand. I was almost deported, spent a few night in jail for my status and went through all the denigration that comes with deportation hearings and whatnot. All I wanted to do was work. I paid their taxes. I contributed to their society and economy. I was hired by their companies, with them knowing full well my status. But at that time I was nothing. I remember the immigration official telling me, “In Japan, you have no rights.” It was dehumanizing experience, to say the least. I had never felt so powerless in my life. So, yes, you could say that I have different perspective from you’re average Trump supporter.
The problem is not the people working here “illegally”. The problem is our immigration policy. I hear a lot about walls and deportation but I hear nothing about policy. You can build the biggest wall the world has ever seen but it won’t stop the flow of people coming here to work on a tourist visa. In case Mr. Trump hasn’t figured it out, most people from foreign lands don’t walk across the Rio Grande to get here. They come through the airport. How about devoting those wall and deportation resources for our own infrastructure, that is falling apart? They can’t even get clean water in Flint, Michigan for shit sake.
Personally, I don’t know a single person with illegal status that isn’t working. Most of them work 6 days a week. They pay taxes. They contribute to the economy. They are not on welfare or committing crimes. They provide a service that is needed. Our policy is not in step with our need for these workers. Trump’s wall idea and deportation scheme is not workable, it’s deplorable and it will do nothing to address this issue that has been festering since Reagan was in office. And we can thank that drunk, bloated, murderer Ted Kennedy for this. It was his legislation in the mid 60s that changed a policy that had worked for 100 years. Those immigrants you see in housing projects, all donned out in third world garb, are the legal immigrants. Thanks to Teddy boy we take in immigrants regardless of the skills they bring to the table. Many have no intentions of working, assimilating or making any effort to become Americans. They were simply the lucky ones who hit the lottery, and to them, living on the dole is the American dream. These aren’t the so called illegals.
Trump is gonna end the trade deficit with China and bring manufacturing back home. I’d like to see that, but how is that possible? It’s taken decades to put us into this mess. How is he going to get this done in 4 to 8 years? This is not an episode of the apprentice.
Here are some of his other promises, all equally improbable and of course, light on the specifics:
- · Get rid of Obamacare and replace it with something "terrific"
- · Temporarily ban most foreign Muslims from entering the United States
- · Heavily surveil mosques in the United States.
- · Prosecute Hillary Clinton
- · Stop spending money on space exploration
- · Bomb the s--- out of ISIS.
- · Negotiate the release of all U.S. prisoners held in Iran before taking office.
- · Force Nabisco to once again make Oreos in the United States.
- · Cut the budget by 20 percent by simply renegotiating.
- · Get rid of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
- · Allow concealed-carry permits to be recognized in all 50 states.
- · Triple the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.