trump

Being Right Doesn’t Matter in Right Now. Winning Does.

It seems like we are getting closer to a knock-out. Left jab lands. Right hooks connects. Trump is reeling and feeling woozy on the ropes. It’s only a matter of time until he collapses in the ring, and victory is proclaimed. Right? Not quite.

Politics isn’t boxing. Those of us outraged, saddened, disgusted, terrified, and embarrassed by the current administration need to land many more punches before this national nightmare is over.machiavelli

Everything hinges on Congress. Democrats are united in opposition, but Republicans control both chambers. In other words, Republican members of the House and Senate matter most. We have two options:

  • Option #1: We vote and give Democrats control of Congress.
  • Option #2: Enough Republicans stand up to Trump’s nonsense and, if appropriate, force him out of office.

ossofOf course, we cannot vote again until November of 2018. That is almost 20 months from now. Can we make it that long? For perspective, Trump has only been President for 4 months. Option #1 is slow.

Right now, we need to focus on Option #2. But what can any of us do to influence Republicans?  As much as we’d like to appeal to their reason, sense of principle, and putting country first—-that doesn’t do much. Members of Congress will respond to one thing: keeping their seat. They must believe that they have a better chance at keeping their seat if they stand up to Trump.

The traditional advocacy actions help on that front: Calling their office on controversial bills; Showing up at town halls; Participating in marches. But Republican members of Congress can discount those efforts. After all, there was a mountain of anger at Trump before November, and yet Republicans still won seats. Why is the anger different now? 

quistWe have to demonstrate that it’s different now. Literally show them that the anger translates into votes. Give them an example of a Democrat winning a seat that Republicans used to hold, and the game changes.

It can be done as early as next week.

Two special Congressional elections are on the way.  Absolutely nothing will be watched more closely by wavering Republicans than the outcome of those races. Much more attention needs to be focused on them.

May 25th – Montana Special Election –  You can donate to Rob Quist, the D candidate here

June 20th – Georgia Special Election – Donate to Jon Ossof, the D candidate here

Winning these elections, and/or making them as close as possible, is the single most important thing we can do right now to steer our national ship away from the iceberg. As you watch all the new developments related to Comey’s memos and Russia– keep your eye on these dates. Donate, call, and do everything you can–big or small–to influence these races.

Spread the word.

Get It Out of My Head. Please Make It Stop

I cannot write political blog posts anymore. The same internal dialogue makes me start–then stop–writing articles, Facebook updates, comments, and Tweets.

Am I alone in this? Please help.

Here’s a typical thought train:

I can’t even with this guy on Facebook. He has no idea how hypocritical he is. Every day he has pro-Trump posts. And now he shares something about bald eagles being killed by lead poisoning. What the hell?wth

Does he not realize that Trump’s pick for the EPA wants to dismantle as many environmental protections as possible?

Wait, let me google Scott Pruitt again…Ok, yea, he’s terrible on this. Certainly no champion of helping bald eagles dealing with lead.

Typical Trump voter, so hypocritical. Maybe I should write a blog post on all the hypocrisy we’ve seen so far.  Never mind. That is the least original idea ever. Like the world needs more writing on Trump being a liar and hypocrite. Real out-of-the-box thinking, Paul. Sheesh.

Anyway, I’m going to comment on this Facebook post. Someone should say something. It can’t go unchecked. If no one calls him on it, the guy will go through the whole day without realizing how terrible his opinions are. You can’t be a Trump voter AND get to pretend like you are the new Jack Hanna. Wait, maybe a good post would be discussing the tragic irony of how the symbols of our nation are literally dropping dead. Eh…forget it. No one wants to read that. This isn’t a freshman English assignment. Political blog posts about symbolism?  Get your head in the game.

But I am responding to this Facebook thing. Even if I don’t change this guy’s mind (I won’t), the quiet lurkers will notice. Maybe it will have an effect. Too many Trump voters have no idea what the President is actually doing. Policy-wise, I mean. 

That’s the root of the problem, isn’t it? That Trump supporters don’t really know the details of things. They assume he’ll support policies that will personally help them. They ignore the crazy and give him the benefit of the doubt on every-god-damn-thing.  Crap, that is exactly the critique used against people who “worshiped” Obama. Stop it Paul, that is a false equivalency.  

All this thinking is a little high and mighty of me, isn’t it…like I’m so smart and clearly wiser than these fools. Am I just as hypocritical?  I say I love animals, but I eat meat. Lots of it.thinking5

I know how this guy will respond on Facebook, though. He’ll say that just because he supports Trump doesn’t mean he supports everything the administration says or does. Great, tell that to the bald eagles.

Or he will try to find something bad about Hillary Clinton and then say, ‘so you must support that too, right?’ 

Or maybe he’ll play it really understated and use the ‘lets give him a chance’ line.

I’ll have to go into the specifics about exactly what Pruitt plans to do with the EPA. Honestly, I’ll need to research that. The only thing I can remember right now is that he is a climate change skeptic (or should I say ‘denier?’), and I think he sued the EPA while in Oklahoma. Something like that. 

Is that hypocritical of me, that I don’t really know the details off the top of my head and am kind of assuming?  At least I’m willing to look it up, and I know the gist–Pruitt is terrible for the environment, right?

I’m sure Trump voters do that same thing though–a quick google search, find an article, and then spit it back out. Ugh. Am I falling into the same trap?  No no. Don’t be silly. Don’t forget the one thousand other awful things Trump has said and done. Keep perspective. But that is probably what Trump voters told themselves during the election- ‘That may be true, but don’t forget all the other terrible things about Hillary.’ 

thinking6You know what, never mind. It’s not worth it. I only see this guy a couple of times a year. I don’t have time for back-and-forth comments all day. He shares a lot of baseball posts too. Move on. Remember, life isn’t politics…

Wait. What are you talking about? Paul, don’t be a moron. Now is not the time for silence.  Silence only normalizes this horror show of a presidency. Speak boldly and confidently, rise up and……  

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

20 minute internal dialogue. Nothing accomplished. Repeat 5x a day.

Is this how Trump wins?

Clinton or Johnson? Listen to Other Republicans.

Typically, I reserve the first day of Fall for brainstorming my Halloween costume. Not today. This year is different. Decades from now, I won’t remember how clever my costume was…but I will remember what I did (or didn’t do) to participate in the most important el10ection of our lifetime.

For both Trump and Clinton supporters, this election feels different. A struggle over the American identity. We can’t lose this one.

Confession: I  believe Donald Trump is the most dangerous, ill-equipped Presidential nominee in generations (ever?). His win would shake my confidence in our democratic experiment.

A majority of the country agrees with me. But Trump still may win. How is that possible? Because even 10% of those who agree are thinking of voting for a 3rd party or not voting at all. The main reason: Maybe Clinton is just as bad as Trump?

Is that true? If you are genuinely undecided, where can you turn for honest information? The media is biased. Facebook feeds are pure nonsense. What information should persuade you either way?

A suggestion: Examine the criticism of both major candidates made by those who have the most to lose by criticizing them. In other words, what are their own party members saying about them? Don’t listen to their enemies, listen to those who presumably would be their friends.

Under this framework, the true difference between Trump and Clinton is clear. A staggering number of respected Republicans are risking their reputations and reversing years of tradition to publicly reject Donald Trump. The same is not true for Clinton. A sampling:georgehw

  • Republican President George H.W. Bush – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — This is unprecedented. A former President voting for the opposing party’s candidate.
  • Republican US Representative Chris Shays – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I think many Republicans know Donald Trump could cause great damage to our country and the world at large, and still plan to vote for him. But not me.”
  • Republican Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I’ll be voting for Hillary Clinton, with the hope that she can bring Americans together to do the things necessary to strengthen our economy, our environment and our place in the world. To my Republican friends: I know I’m not alone.”
  • Republican National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “The Presidency requires the judgment and knowledge to make tough calls under pressure…Hillary Clinton has wisdom and experience to lead our country at this critical time.”
  • Republican World Bank chief Paul Wolfowitz – will be voting for Hillary Clinton – “The only way you can be comfortable about Trump’s foreign policy is to think he doesn’t really mean anything he says.
  • Republican Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez – will be voting for Hillary Clinton — “I would have preferred Jeb Bush, but I think Hillary is a great choice. I am afraid of what Donald Trump would do to this country.”
  • Republican historian and writer Robert Kagan – will be voting for Hillary Clinton – “For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be.”
  • Republican writer George Will – “Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states—condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life.”
  • Republican Senator Lindsay Graham – “ There’ll come a time when the love of country will trump hatred of Hillary.”
  • Republican Gov. Mitt Romney – “I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”

Those are not random names. They represent some of the most respected Republicans of the last generation (and they are just a sample). Let’s be clear: N27680461903_c84b9c09d8ever has a Presidential nominee faced anything remotely like this type of rejection from high corners of his own party.

This is a stark difference between the two candidates.  For undecided voters it should be a big, red blinking light…Warning. Warning. This candidate it not normal.

  1. Based on today’s polling Donald Trump has a very real shot of becoming President of the United States.
  2. Trump continues to over-perform in polls where a 3rd party is present. His chance of winning increases with more 3rd party votes.
  3. Trump is relying on disgruntled voters to chose Johnson over Clinton.
  4. A Johnson vote is not wasted. It has real world consequences.
  5. A Trump win would only drag the Republican party further into the abyss. Returning to the party of competence, pragmatism, and classic conservatism requires a Trump loss and a party reset.
  6. The prudent choice in this one year, in this one line on the ballot, if you are in any sort of swing state, is a vote for Clinton.

Vote for Republicans or Libertarians in every other race this year. Vote for Republicans or Libertarians for President in future years. But this year…this office…this candidate is different. Use your vote to prevent President Trump.