Sense and Sensibility With Regards to the 3rd Party Option

Any topic that qualifies as a complicated conversation generally contains a lot of heated passion from every side, regardless of the topic being explored. I will of course be talking from my own point of view, so go with the assumption that it’s my opinion. When I give facts, I will also provide the appropriate links so that you know it’s NOT my opinion.
So before I wade into the fray, I remind my gentle readers that regardless of how much of a twist your knickers get into, this is still a POLITE conversation. Anything less than polite (flaming, obscenity directed at the author or the other comments, hate speech, derogatory remarks without real substance for an alternate view, or sheer stupidity) will be deleted and the user will be blocked.
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” (Shakespeare, “Henry V”)

Jim Wright (here) opens for me with this posting:

Folks, I’ve gone out of my way to be respectful of your views.

But if you are now sending me angry messages about Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, then I must speak bluntly to you.

Neither Johnson nor Stein are going to be president. Ever. Never ever. Get used to that idea.

Neither should be president.

Neither Stein nor Johnson is in any way qualified, both are less qualified than Trump, and their party platforms are goddamned ridiculous fantasies. Dangerous fantasies in some cases that are fantastically ignorant of how the world actually works.

Now look, I’m NOT saying that the idealism of the Libertarian or Green Party platforms is not in some cases admirable. Nor am I saying that those ideas aren’t something we should work towards, some of them anyway.

But we are now out of time.

Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, one of them, is going to be the next president. This is simple fact and if you can’t wrap your head around that, distasteful as that may be for you, then you’re in the wrong place.

We are out of time and you must now face it.

You want to call it voting for the lesser of evils? Fine. I think that colors your thinking, but if that’s what you want to call the situation then fine by me. Here’s the thing about evil: if you have the opportunity to make the world less evil and you don’t take it because you just can’t get your hands dirty, because for you it’s all or nothing, then you’re the problem. Society, humanity, civilization, doesn’t work that way and never has.

Now, if you write to tell me it doesn’t matter, that your state is all tied up one way or the other and so YOU can vote however you like and it doesn’t matter, but swing state voters of course must vote for Clinton so YOU don’t end up with Trump and you can’t see what a fucking selfish asshole you’re being, then I am very likely to speak rudely to you as I have now reached the limit of my patience with this nonsense.

Yes, I am very much aware that I will right now lose readers over this post. So be it. I’ve pulled my punches on this subject long enough and we are now out of time.

We are out of time.

Clinton or Trump. These are the choices.

Face it.

From De-fund the Komen Foundation:

I think our piece about third parties should have included the mention of a presumption of progressive desires. If you are a true progressive and you do anything that assists Donald Trump in going to the White House, you are really not a true progressive.

Yes, that means if you do not vote for Hillary Clinton.

Actually, it did say that. It mentioned the Supreme Court. And still there are those who will dig their heels in the sand and insist that they have the best interests of the country at heart, but are too stubborn to vote for one of the two people who have a mathematical chance of winning.

Neither Jill Stein nor Gary Johnson has a mathematical chance of winning.

So pardon us if we don’t believe that you are true progressives. Electing leaders can be a strategic practice at times. A Clinton administration will not kill the country. That’s four years. Eight if she does OK. The 49ers’ losing streak is longer than that.

A Trump administration could be the most devastating event the United States of America has ever faced. Well beyond its time, it could seat three or four hostile Supreme Court justices and lead to a slew of catastrophic rulings that set events in horrible motion for three decades.

Donald Trump is not your Joe Average Republican. He is not just objectionable with respect to policies. He is a monstrous human being with virtually no knowledge of how government systems work. He has zero boundaries. His potential for damaging international relationships is frightening. His idea of resolving personal issues is staying up all night and drunk-tweeting female reporters. He is wholly unfit.

This is not a difficult choice. And your “ethics” are a personal luxury for you that could be life-changing in a very negative way for others.

So again, please vote as you wish. But don’t expect anyone to believe that you are voting with a sound progressive conscience. Part of being an adult is understanding that your options may be unfavorable and distasteful to you, but because your actions have consequences for others, you choose the option with the lowest potential for disaster.

If you have followed our page for the nearly five years we’ve been operating, you will know that our main focus is women’s reproductive justice. Abortion rights are hanging by a thread in 2016. The thought of anyone who claims to share our values actually refusing to vote for the Democratic nominee is infuriating and unfathomable.

Ok, 3rd Party option voters, let me try to mansplain something to you. (“Mansplain” seems to hold more power than “explain” for some reason.) Let me try to explain just how your voting for the 3rd party candidate can cause the loss for Hillary and ENSURE that DTNS (Donald Trump, Narcissistic Sociopath) will be our next President.

I have attempted, in other forums, to make sense of our political circus and how the contest is between Donald Trump (hereafter referred to as “DTNS”, or (Donald Trump, Narcissistic Sociopath) and Hillary Clinton (HRC). I hear the reasons for wanting to vote for the 3rd (or 4th, or 5th) party. As they say, I *get* it.

(More on 3rd party candidates and the results)

And from Bill Moyers:
“Abraham Lincoln — who ran as a Republican during the era of Whigs and Democrats — was America’s last third-party candidate to successfully win the presidency. Although the two-party system leaves third-party candidates little hope of being elected into office, such candidates have continued to run — and by doing so, have sometimes influenced the outcome of elections and shifted the national conversation.” (And the party that Lincoln brought into being was the Republicans, which of course became one of our two main political parties.)

So that means it has been 156 years since the 3rd party candidate has actually won the election. But plenty of them have influenced the outcome by drawing a sufficient amount of votes away from one candidate that the other wins. I am not at all willing to suggest that “this is the year” for the 3rd parties because there is too much at stake. Let’s be very clear on this: I personally HAVE voted for the 3rd party option, not once but twice in the past 20 years. I voted for Perot and we got Clinton. I voted for Nader and we got Bush43. I have seen the historical results played out.

The 3rd party option is a noble cause–however, it is a pipe dream that can end our government by splitting the vote and letting DTNS win. I understand the reasons why the 3rd party option people are so set on their candidate. Hell, I even agree with some of it. BUT we’re not talking about the situation wherein someone not in either major political party could end up leading the country. We’re talking about a group of people who do not seem to understand how our government processes actually work in real life.

I completely respect your right to vote for whomever you choose. However. It seems like a lot of you are living in some other country than I am, some place where the not known, not campaigned, not in the public eye person truly stands a chance to become President. I’ll be honest: I’m not sure I want the current choice of 3rd (through 14th, or however many “other” parties there are) candidate simply because I know NOTHING about them. I have no idea where they truly stand on the nitty gritty details of running a government. Wanting a cleaner, safer world? We all want that. Wanting a change in how our government works? We get that about every 4 years, maybe 8. Not all of your candidates have any political experience. Showing up at the polls every 4 years thinking you have a chance to be President is naive, at best.

If the 3rd party folks are so enthused about their candidate/s, why aren’t they out there, raising money, putting out information, having their guy/s on national news shows, giving interviews, and all the other circus acts that go into the elections, at least 2 YEARS before the election they want to run in? It’s a given that if you want to be elected to the highest office in our land, the people need to know your name and what you’re about. It feels to me like the 3rd party option is a secret club, where they know what will fix the country…but no one else knows about it. And then the candidate/s are popped out of a box just a couple of months before the polling date and we’re expected to consider them viable alternatives.

We are not at a time where voting “our conscience” for the 3rd party is going to do a damned thing–the 3rd party candidate/s will lose and the votes that could have gone to sanity and competence will be lost to the walking joke of the Republican candidate. Please don’t argue with me about the “will lose”–history has proven, time and again, that the 3rd party option is a fallacy. The 3rd party candidates may run, but the only result is changing the government without getting their candidate in office.

Part of the issue is not the count of the popular vote but with the way the electoral college works. DC and 48 states have a “winner take all” rule for their electoral college. In these states, whichever candidate receives a majority of the popular vote, or a plurality of the popular vote (less than 50% but more than any other candidate), takes all of the state’s Electoral votes. So the 3rd party option will remain a fallacy until the parties beyond Democrat and Republican actually get out there, get on the down ticket elections, gain some obvious political experience and then actively campaign AGAINST the Dems and Reps during the campaign season. They need to establish themselves as well-known as any other candidate, and do so long before voting day.

In the meantime, I personally cannot, WILL not, put my bets on the 3rd party this time around. This race is not about “not voting for (even) the lesser of the two evils” — as a nation, we have far too many variables that might suffer as a result of this election, depending on who wins. This election cycle is not just about printing up new White House stationery with the winner’s initials. It is about how our nation will exist under either of the candidates. And to be able to choose our President, we need to understand the possible outcomes. I tend to make my decisions based on consequences: if I do A, then B,C, and D will follow; if I do Z, then W, X, and Y will follow. Which set of consequences do I want?

Ergo, based on what we have seen from both candidates for the past 6 months and especially after the debates, we can make some intelligent hypotheses for what could occur for either of them if elected. It is important to note that nearly all of the scandals and bad press surrounding HRC is from a well-crafted cottage industry that has been trying for almost 30 years to find something, anything, that would stop her from continuing to “seek power” (a man in that position would be called “ambitious”). Here is what the Wikipedia says about HRC; it’s long, detailed and while I know that it is written by us (anyone can edit or add to an entry), I felt that it was reasonably fair and seems to be the facts. Feel free to search for scandals on her — she’s had the murmur of them, but after unbelievable amounts of hearings and inquiry, there is proven to be nothing more than normal human mistakes (like the classified emails she sent; she received them without the REQUIRED notification in the subject line that marked them as classified). She has made mistakes, but unless you have never made one, you cannot judge her for being human.

From an essay by Caroline McCain, John McCain’s granddaughter: “And I started to realize that for some, “voting your conscience” has become a euphemism for protecting your own self-interest. An exercise in privilege.

If I’ve heard anything from my friends who are gay, my friends who are black, my friends whose rights have been pushed against and infringed upon while mine have been neatly protected, it is this: there is a real fear that a “vote your conscience” movement could siphon #NeverTrump votes away from Hillary, and in a cruel turn of events, a nation’s conscience is sacrificed to elect a clown.”

We are talking about “An exercise in privilege” that many, many people do not have–and those people are the very ones who will be discriminated against, vilified, pushed into second class citizenship if DTNS wins the election. Please consider that voting “for her” is  not a “hold my nose” vote, but as an honest move to help protect those people YOU KNOW; your gay friends, your black friends, your immigrant friends, your disabled friends, your female friends: wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, aunt, niece, grandmother…

From Bruce Tenenbaum:
I keep hearing that this election is about choosing the lesser of two evils. Not to me it isn’t. To me this election is about this – there is only one candidate qualified to be the president of the United States, one candidate with the experience, skills and policies to lead this nation. The rest are freaking clowns.

Now, before we look at the clowns, let’s look at the one candidate who has actually made a positive difference in the lives of Americans. As First Lady, Hillary Clinton helped the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded health insurance in three decades, become law. As a Senator, she was a key architect of the $21 billion federal aid bill that helped rebuild New York after 9/11. And she is well remembered for the health bill that served first responders in the first 48 hours after the attack, fighting the EPA to admit the air wasn’t safe to breathe. She also helped put the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act into law and authored the Pediatric Research Equity Act.

As Secretary of State she negotiated ceasefires in Israel, set a record by traveling to 112 nations, advocating for human rights, development, and equality, helped bring down Osama Bin Laden, got the EU, Russia, China and other world powers to participate in the crippling sanctions on Iran that forced the country to negotiate its nuclear plan out of existence and became a symbol of women’s rights and women’s progress everywhere.

What’s her competition? Clown #1, Donald Trump, is a racist, sexist, xenophobic, know nothing, loudmouth with no experience, who lies 75% of the time, can’t talk in depth on any issue, says creepy sexual things about his own daughter and has never done anything to help anyone but himself. After 9/11 he bragged that his building was now the tallest in New York and he bragged about how the housing collapse in 2008, that destroyed American lives, was an opportunity for him to make money.

If you call yourself a liberal or a progressive and you think voting for clown #2, Gary Johnson, is a viable choice, you haven’t looked at the issues. Look at them, there they are below. Besides being wrong on almost everything, in recent interviews, Johnson had no idea where the center of the Syrian civil war was and could not name a single foreign leader. Previously, he justified not spending much money on fighting climate change because “in billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth…So global warming is in our future.”

Lastly, there’s Clown #3, Jill Stein, the perennial candidate who is always running but never getting elected to public office, would have no idea how to get anything done once in office and would have no help in Congress to get any of her policies made into law. She has no chance of doing anything but siphoning votes from the one liberal who CAN make a difference, Hillary Clinton. A vote for Jill Stein can only help Donald Trump get elected. Unless you’re a right wing racist, sexist, xenophobic, climate change denier who is opposed to lessening the burden on students, providing health care to all and raising minimum wage, a vote for Jill Stein is a vote against everything you believe in.

I am posting this on Throw Back Thursday because it is my firm conviction, that a vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton will throw back the clock more than three decades, to the Nixon-Reagan era when appointments by those men began to push the Supreme Court conservative, leaving the era of Miranda Rights, Voting Rights and Women’s Reproductive Rights and taking us into an era where the Court blocked gun control, stripped Civil Rights legislation and told us corporations have the right to influence our elections.

So, look at the positions of all the candidates below and make a sensible choice this November. Only one candidate can make a positive difference in our lives. Only one can push the Supreme Court in the right direction, reverse some of the terrible decisions of the last 30 years and protect the good decisions like Roe V. Wade from a conservative assault that would almost definitely happen under Donald Trump.

Thanks to Mike Ross for his help with the chart below.


(I apologize that it’s not clear; you can right click on the image and it will open large enough to read in another tab. It is also available here.)

This chart is the side-by-side view of the top three candidates, based on polling. (Jill Stein doesn’t have enough support to be a viable candidate.) And for those liberals who think that Gary Johnson is the best candidate, please read this very carefully. Once you get past “pot for everyone, let the gays marry and abortions are okay”, you’re looking at a platform that very closely mirrors David Koch’s 1980 platform when he ran for VP. What does he think of climate change? Find out here.

Be sure to note where Gary Johnson thinks that Citizens United should stay active–he is being funded by the Koch Brothers and their ilk. Remember, he was a Republican governor. I’m not saying that he’s some sort of election counter-agent. But it is just a little too much of a coincidence that the majority of his platform is the Republican line, opposing anything that helps the people and lowering tax rates for the rich, to include getting corporation taxes down to zero. Most of the corporations are already getting tax credits back. Imagine what would happen if they were having to pay no tax at all–that extra money would NOT be shared beyond the boardroom, trust me.

Let’s look at the Green Party platform: “Committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing, Greens are renewing democracy without the support of corporate donors.

You do realize, don’t you, that DTNS doesn’t believe in climate change (he thinks it’s something China is doing to us); he has not only proven he believes in the violent means of retaliation for just about anything, he has actively encouraged his followers to violence against those who speak out against him. He has ZERO concept of social justice (so fuck everyone who is not a corporate white male). He is a Narcissistic Sociopath, which means that he is the center of his Universe and no one, NO ONE, can criticize or challenge him without immediate and extreme, often verbally abusive, reaction. His response to the DNC? “I wanted to hit them”, repeated in several different ways. Violence is his answer to anything he doesn’t like. And if he doesn’t like it, it needs to go away. Like immigrants, foreign allies, Democrats, uppity women and anyone else who won’t bow down to him. Add to that his choice of VP, who, as DTNS says, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the Presidency as well as our foreign policy. Google Michael Pence and see what he has voted for, what he has voted against, and what kind of influence he has had over Indiana and their laws. Now imagine that on a national level. Makes me shudder.

If DTNS wins, everything you stand for will be shat upon and trampled by his “Brown Shirts”, aka his campaign team and Brute Squad–and his followers. Is THIS worth risking to “vote your conscience”? Can you afford to risk splitting the vote sufficiently to lead directly to his Presidency? Are you prepared for a country that will become everything we have tried to eradicate? I’m not fear-mongering, I’m telling you this based on everything we’ve heard out of DTNS’ pie hole.

This election has reached the point where instead of just blindly screaming your candidate’s name, you need to look at the CONSEQUENCES of their election and look at it closely. Who truly has the best possible outcome for all of our citizens if elected?

It’s time to set aside “conscience”, or as the more accurate term, “privilege”. If your life isn’t going to change regardless of which candidate becomes president, good for you. But there are millions of Americans, predominately those who do not have a fleet of lawyers or a gold toilet, who will suffer greatly–and not just in a sad moaning that their guy didn’t win. We’re talking those who are the least able to take care of themselves, who need the help from social services, from fair labor policies, not “Right to Work”. These are people who count on public education, having a good infrastructure–roads, mass transit, etc. These are people who need to have healthcare that will not pauperize them.

And as I’ve said elsewhere: on November 9, start the campaigning and organizing your 3rd (4th, 5th, whatever; there are 43 registered political parties in the US) party option, from the town dogcatcher all the way up to the White House. Get your candidates political experience; release ads explaining who they are and what they stand for; campaign as assiduously as the Democrats and Republicans. Find yourself a reliable source of donations. I understand not accepting any corporate money, but you’ve got to get a lot of money from somewhere to mount a viable campaign with a candidate who truly stands as good a chance to win as either the Democratic or the Republican candidates.

For those of you who think that DTNS and HRC are two of a kind, please read this:

From Mark Amore:

Listen, I’m not going to change your mind and you’re not going to change mine.

If Hillary’s emails bother you but the 22 million deleted emails during the Bush/Cheney administration – also on a private server – don’t, I can’t argue with that.…/w…/web-video/missing-white-house-emails

If Benghazi bothers you, and the 13 embassy attacks during Bush (where 60 people were killed) doesn’t bother you, I have no argument for that.…/prior-benghazi-were-there-13-a…/

If you think the Clinton’s running their charity (a charity with an “A” rating with, that has 88% of its contributions going out to charity and not overhead and has a higher rating than the Red Cross and United Way) is a conflict of interest, while having no desire to know where Trump’s money comes from – which is now from all foreign sources, because no US bank will loan him money anymore – AND if you had no problem with the conflict of interest with Dick Cheney running Halliburton and making BILLIONS during the war in Iraq, then I have no argument for that.…/where-does-clinton-foundation-m…/…/bill-hillary-chelsea-cli…/478

If you have women and girls in your life who you want treated with respect and don’t have a problem with Trump’s rampant misogyny, I have no argument for that.…/18-real-things-donald-trump…

If you don’t find Trump’s praising of Putin and Kim Jong-un alarming, I have no argument for that.…/controversial-dictators-lead…/story…

If you’re OK with voting for someone who is against LGBT rights and has stated that his supreme court pick(s) could overturn marriage equality, I have no argument for that.…/donald-trump-opposes-nationwide-marria…

If you have no problem with someone who has gone on and on and on about Bill Clinton’s infidelity while he has cheated on his first wife with his second and his second wife with his third, then I have no argument for that. ALSO, BILL CLINTON ISN’T RUNNING FOR OFFICE, HIS WIFE IS.…/8e31fe68-834a-11e6-a3ef-f3…

If the list of proposed Supreme Court nominees that Trump put forth doesn’t scare you enough to crap your pants, I have no argument for that.…/new-trump-supreme-court-l_b…

If Trumps history of racial inequality doesn’t bother you. I have no argument for that.

If you have no problem when you hear Trump go on about how companies are shipping their jobs overseas and how he will stop this, while his suits are made in Mexico and his ties in China, I have no argument for that.…/how-many-trump-products-w…/

If Trump’s use of his charity’s funds to pay personal debts and buy paintings of himself don’t give you pause, then I have no argument for that.…/adc88f9c-7d11-11e6-ac8e-cf…

I you think that Trump’s a good businessman and will be good for our county’s economics, when knowing about how many of his companies failed, I have no argument for that.…/donald-trumps-13-biggest-busi…

If the charges of fraud on Trump University and the scandal of his “donation” of $25,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, after which she stopped her investigation into Trump University don’t bother you, then I have no argument for that.…/trump-university-its-worse-than-……/trump-pays-irs-a-penalty-…/

If you buy into the smear campaign against Hillary and don’t get that so many on the right have – and have HAD – a hardon to get Clinton for what… 30 years now? And have spent MILLIONS of tax dollars to get her on something and have gotten NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH, ZERO. 30 years of half-truths, lies and some bat shit crazy lies (my favorite being the one where she has killed so many people that it would make Hannibal Lector seem lazy!) repeated incessantly until the gullible and uneducated take it as truth, then I have no argument for that.…/6/…/1541728/-The-Thirty-Year-Smear

And if you think Trump is the better candidate, I have no argument for that either.

And the reason I have no argument with that? Because as I wrote earlier… I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine. 


We’ll have to agree to disagree.

The 3rd party option crowd needs to stop and really, really think about what voting for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson means. I hate to burst your bubble, but a snowball stands a better chance in Hell than either of those candidates stand to win. Why? Nobody’s heard of Stein–she has no political experience; there is no media coverage nor a long-term campaign process for the Green Party–except showing up to vote every 4 years. As I mentioned before, Johnson may say he’s a liberal, but he sure has a Republican platform. We’re not going to keep talking about “two evils”, “there are actually 3 or 4 parties” or any other pat and rote Green Party platitude.

Let me tell you again, flat out:

IF you vote for Donald Trump, he will become President and that will be the end of the world. Really. In his first national security briefing, DTNS asked THREE times why he couldn’t use the nukes. He is already recognized as world class for being a racist, misogynist, liar, arrogant, out of control so bad his own party is trying to figure out how to get him out of the race. He is facing rape charges from a woman who has a witness(!) to the rape. He SAYS that he’s a billionaire. I say that’s a lie, considering that he has thousands of lawsuits pending against him as well as being $630 million in debt. To the Russians. (There’s no conflict of interest there. <sarcasm font>)

With the appearance of the 2005 video that demonstrates DTNS’ contempt for and objectification of women, including the now-popular phrase, “grab them in the pussy”, it is very apparent that women will suffer disproportionately if he is elected. Any man who treats *all* women like they are his belongings (regardless of their marital status); who uses his position as the host to ogle the contestants of a beauty contest as they change; who has consistently insulted a broad variety of women; who is a serial adulterer; this man is the very definition of a misogynist. And if this man has no particular connection to the women that are in the same room, how do you think he act towards all the women he’ll never see? We cannot afford a President who does not represent all of us, who treats 51% of the population as nothing more than Barbie dolls, to play with and discard. You should also remember that he is against any abortion.

A man who can be that callous towards women is also going to be callous towards any group of citizens that are not “like him”. LGBTQ, color folk, the disabled, and the elderly will all be similarly disenfranchised, ignored and belittled. The only group that will not be affected will be the white males. White males represent only 31% of the population. However. They hold 65% of the government jobs, local and national. That means approximately 70% of the population is not proportionately represented in our government, at all levels. But that also means that the rest of us outnumber “them”. Something to keep in mind if you think that voting for HRC is unbearable.

BUT. IF you vote for Hillary Clinton, she will become Madame President and that will mean the world will keep on spinning. I understand that she has a bad reputation–most of it manufactured by that multi-million dollar industry whose product is making her look bad. She has served our government faithfully and to her best ability for 25 years. She has consistently worked for the rights of women and children. Does she have her faults? Don’t you? Most importantly, she doesn’t consider the nuclear option to be the starting point of foreign relations.

IF you vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, you WILL split the votes and Donald Trump will win. If that concept doesn’t bother you, enjoy your privileged status. Then watch as women, the elderly, people of color, the poor, and the disabled lose all of the rights and laws  that we have achieved in the past 60+ years, specifically meant to protect the vulnerable. Enjoy living in a country where the worst of mankind is the highest level of achievement. Enjoy living in a country where there are currently 47% of all our families living on the brink of poverty–that number will only increase. Not slightly in debt, but in POVERTY: no home, no surety for food or safety. (25% of our children do not have food safety.) Once you don’t have an address, it gets hard to get a job that actually pays a LIVING wage. Oh, and that LIVING wage will never be made as the MINIMUM wage will be gone and you’ll be glad to have a job making $3 an hour. If they aren’t all outsourced…or have foreign workers brought into the country, which is the same thing. Wave good-bye to the EPA, FDA, OSHA and all other protective governmental departments. Good bye to National Parks. Wave good-bye to a safe and assured infrastructure. Good-bye to minimum wage and no benefits.  Although you can say hello to “right to work”, which only serves the employer, never the employee.  Good bye to the ACA, the best healthcare provision the Congress would allow and could be (have been) the first step towards truly universal healthcare, where each citizen would receive the medical treatment(s) they need to be healthy without fear of the cost.

You’d better be a part of the 1% to avoid all of that–or you’re going to be part of the rest of us and have to reap what you are trying to sow. Everything that you believe in, that is a part of your own party’s platform will be gone, shattered into dust, never to return, if DTNS wins the highest office in this land. There may not be any more elections after him…he’s just that crazy.

So, absolutely vote your conscience. Vote for the candidate you truly believe will bring about the consequences you are seeking. But be prepared to answer for your choice if this country ends up in the (tiny) hands of DTNS, liar, braggart, homophobic, racist, misogynist, failed businessman, serial philanderer, sexual assaulter and narcissist, looking out only for himself. Where is your conscience then? How will you explain your vote to the millions of people who will be adversely affected by a Trump presidency? How will you explain to your children why you didn’t vote for the greater good, but by “your conscience”, without considering the consequences of ignoring the obvious?

Be sure, be very sure, that your vote does represent you and your contribution to this nation, that its casting acknowledges the realities of this presidential cycle, that you are doing your part to keep this country democratic — with Liberty and Justice for all of her citizens instead of only for the very rich.

We’ll have to agree to disagree, but in the meantime, I won’t stop trying to inform and open conversations that might cause some reconsideration on both of our parts. I have shared my part of this conversation. I look forward to hearing from you.


We Are (Becoming) An Oligarchy

Any topic that qualifies as a complicated conversation generally contains a lot of heated passion from every side, regardless of the topic being explored. I will of course be talking from my own point of view, so go with the assumption that it is my opinion. When I give facts, I will also provide the appropriate links so that you know it’s NOT my opinion.
So before I wade into the fray, I remind my gentle readers that regardless of how much of a twist your knickers get into, this is still a POLITE conversation. Anything less than polite (flaming, obscenity directed at the author or the other commentors, hate speech, derogatory remarks without real substance for an alternate view, or sheer stupidity) will be deleted and the user will be blocked.
“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…” (Shakespeare, “Henry V”)

Read this first: New York Times article: “Dark Money Helped Win the Senate”

Senator Elizabeth Warren shared this on her Facebook page on November 9, 2014. There was a lively comment thread, and one in particular stuck out for me. The commenter said:  “We are becoming an oligarchy.”
This is my immediate response:

I hate to correct you, but we ARE an oligarchy already. Which, in its own way can be fought…oligarchies are based on money and the proponents worship the god Greed; this generally means a few (like 1%?) have the money to influence politics. Once the “rest of us” (the 99%) gathers enough momentum to fight back, the oligarchs are gone. (See Argentina and Juan Peron, although that was trading one evil for another…) The allegory of peasants with torches and pitchforks is well understood because it happened enough to be a part of our lexicon. (See France, Louis Seize and Marie Antoinette.)

HOWEVER…our situation may not be as simple because for one thing, we are a much larger nation than either of those two examples and to gain enough popular support for an overthrow is much harder. The main thing that concerns me is the theocracy that has arisen simultaneously–those in power who insist on ramming one particular religion’s beliefs down the throats of everyone else. Their beliefs make them arrogant, “knowing” that they are right and that it is their duty to “correct” the unbelievers.When you “know” something, when you “know” you are right…there is no compromise, there is no change possible.

When an oligarchy (whose god is Greed) combines with a theocracy (whose god tells them that they are right), we have an exponentially worse situation.

And we’re looking at it now, in our elected government–and I am not excusing the Democrats; they employ some of the same tactics but apparently not as well as the Republicans. And let’s admit it, the Dems are more willing to compromise, to work *together* for the progression of legislation. They still have an agenda of maintaining their positions; they are not exempt from the lure of Greed. (see: WV state legislator, who had been Dem, decided to switch parties and now is part of the lock the Republicans have gained in this election cycle.)

HOWEVER…as this article states, the Republicans are masters of “dark money” and hidden contributions, the happy recipients of money that guarantees their political careers. (I consider “political career” to be an oxymoron, since no one should make politics their career. They need to hold a “real” job for much more of their life than their time in the political arena. As opposed to Paul Ryan, for example, who lived off the “governmental teat” to go to college and specifically set out to be a politician. He’s never been anything else. Frankly, that’s lower than a used car salesmen for me in the areas of being trustworthy and having knowledge of my needs.)

Way too many of our politicians would fail the “Are you a psychopath” test. They absolutely exhibit psychopathic behavior, and on a fairly grand scale. Let’s take a step out of politics and into mental health for a moment. (from

The following characteristics of a psychopath, defined by Hervery M. Cleckley in 1941 in the book “Mask of Sanity” include:

  • Superficial charm and average intelligence.
  • Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
  • Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
  • Unreliability.
  • Untruthfulness and insincerity.
  • Lack of remorse or shame.
  • Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
  • Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience.
  • Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
  • General poverty in major affective reactions.
  • Specific loss of insight.
  • Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
  • Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
  • Suicide threats rarely carried out.
  • Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
  • Failure to follow any life plan.

How many politicians do you know that consistently display at least 5 of those traits? I knew about most of them, but it was amusing to read “Sex life impersonal, trivial and poorly integrated”, based on all of the sex scandals we’ve seen go by of various politicians–state or Federal level.

So here we are, with our so-called democracy being run by people who have NO connection to other people, who are unreliable and insincere, who exhibit antisocial behavior without any remorse; they obviously show poor judgement (see over 500 bills that never made it anywhere because the House Republicans were determined to show the President that he couldn’t get things done; never mind how many of the country’s citizens were hurt by this failure). Now take that psychopathic personality and combine it with the worship of Greed and the theocratic stance of “I’m right, God tells me that every day, and I have to make sure that you’re following God’s laws whether you believe them or not…because I’m right”. Voila, you have the GOP, hands down winners for looking out for numero uno–and that’s not for the good of the country or the will of their constituents.

Leading the list of psychopathic demagogues would be the Koch brothers, David and Charles. Currently worth 42 BILLION dollars each, they could each spend a million dollars a day from now until the year 2129. And that’s only if they don’t get any more money during that time. That’s $41,666 per hour, or $694.44 per minute. How about $11.57 per second? Can you hold that number in your head? Imagine being able to buy 2 McDonalds’ 20 piece chicken nuggets meals (with large fries and large drink) and a parfait EVERY SINGLE SECOND of your life, for 115 YEARS. That’s 120 nugget meals and 60 parfaits every MINUTE. Which makes 7299 meals and 3600 parfaits in ONE HOUR.
And you can do this every hour, every day for ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN YEARS!!! (And your brother can do it as well. If he doesn’t, but lets you spend his money too, we’re talking 330 years.)

The reason I threw all those numbers at you is because I’m trying to give you some small way to understand that the Koch brothers are beyond rich, beyond stupid rich, right up into OBSCENELY rich. They have more money than they can ever spend–and they get more and more each year. Of course there are other people (Super PACs special interests, corporations, unions and other associations, or other individuals) who spend lots of money in politics, but we will limit ourselves to the Koch brothers for the purpose of this discussion.

The main reason I single them out is because David Koch actually ran for Vice President in 1980. (Note two separate links there; his name leads to the Wikipedia; the other is an article from the New York Times.) His Libertarian platform for that race is the basis for his (and his brother’s) current political activity. David describes his reason for leaving the Libertarian party: “The Libertarian Party is a great concept. I love the ideals, but it got too far off the deep end, and so I dropped out.”–and he became a Republican. “In 1985, the Kochs and a new adviser, Richard Fink, formed Citizens for a Sound Economy, a free enterprise-oriented group that evolved into Americans for Prosperity, the organization today led by David Koch that is the centerpiece of the brothers’ political activity. This year, it will spend a reported $125 million on the midterm elections, most of it aimed at defeating Democrats.” (from the New York Times article)

These two men have enough money to BUY our democratic procedure–and they obviously have–and then turn it into their own personal Kochlandia, the United States Of Koch Industries. Where they cannot donate openly as themselves, they give through a variety of groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, or any of the Super PACs that give money to those candidates who have essentially proved themselves…bribe-able. You think that the money is not reaching our elected representatives?  Take a look at this, a list of the top 50 richest members of Congree — which only measures the increase in wealth in the past year. I’m sure that a fair amount of the increases occurred through totally legal means, like investments. So maybe instead of looking just at relative wealth, we need to find out which members of Congress go to the Koch Brothers’ annual “picnic”. To quote that article, “The highly secretive mega-donor conference, called “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,” featured a who’s who of Republican political elites. According to conference documents obtained through a source who was in attendance, Representatives Tom Cotton (AR), Cory Gardner (CO) and Jim Jordan (OH) were present, as were Senators Mitch McConnell (KY) and Marco Rubio (FL).”

What do these two men, who together are worth more than 80 BILLION dollars (some sources say 100 billion), want from the nation’s government? How about tax laws that continue to favor the very rich with taxes that are very low, and sometimes even nil–or worse, with tax credits for various business, they can actually receive a (sizable) tax return. How about the dismantling and discarding of almost every Federal regulatory law? EPA, campaign donation limits, a corporation’s rights to be comparable to a human being (and citizen)? How about gutting almost every single social service (food stamps and welfare), as well as getting rid of Social Security? The list goes on and on–and every item is something that will benefit David and Charles, fuck the rest of the country.

It’s apparently irrelevant that they are old and will eventually (sooner rather than later) die–and then their greedy and selfish political policies (which would now be OUR LAWS) would continue to persist beyond their lifetime. They don’t care about what happens after they die–not even to their own children, who will inherit their wealth and will never have to worry about finding food, shelter or healthcare. The primary inconsistency with their agenda versus the reality of the USofA is that the Koch brothers have never had to worry about the basic needs for life. They don’t have a clue what it feels like to have to choose between paying rent and getting the car fixed, or needing medical care but unable to afford it–and any of the other myriad problems faced every single day by our citizens, in numbers that are too large to be ignored. David and Charles are the Supreme Oligarchs. They exhibit pretty much every trait of a psychopath, being out to get theirs and without a thought for anyone else. They will, and do, use their enormous wealth to ensure a country in which they can do whatever they want, without limits or censure.

All right, let’s take a look from the other side, using Senator Mitch McConnell as an example. From the Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact section: (in regards to lobbyists’ donations) “With $281,301 in contributions from lobbyists, McConnell topped the list, followed closely by House Speaker John Boehner at $278,380. McConnell has also received another $50,000 from family members of lobbyists.” And from Open Secrets, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog website run by the Center for Responsive Politics, Mitch McConnell’s *personal* page on their site shows $21 million in campaign monies and lists all the non-constituent sources for those donations. There’s another website whose opening words are this: “After 30 years in the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell only serves the interests of his big money donors and not Kentucky. Send him packing!”. (from Big Money Mitch) There is also plenty of sources that attest to the fact that much of his campaign money came from donors outside of his home state of Kentucky.

There’s even a whole page devoted to McConnell’s campaign finances, readable here. The Senator doesn’t even know his state university’s basketball team and used the wrong team in his big political, “I’m all about YOU, Kentucky” ad. All of this sort of suggests that Mitch is not only for sale, he is already bought and paid for. He has continually denied legislation that would harm his owners but benefit the rest of us, from even being brought to the floor for debate…or he filibusters those laws out of existence. (See an article here that talks about how incredibly UNproductive the 113th Congress was this year.)

I mentioned the theocracy that is also creeping up into the political scene. The people elected into any position that will give them the opportunity to make decisions that affect other’s rights are NOT elected to use that position to express their religious beliefs nor are they to make that decision based on their religious. Note the wording: “EXPRESS their religious beliefs, BASED ON their religious beliefs”.

Does this mean that they cannot hold religious beliefs? Oh Dreaded Cthulhu, of course NOT. They can have any religious belief they want, because freedom of religion is one of our Constitutional rights. They can go to their church/synagogue/temple/forest glade every day, bow to Mecca/Jerusalem/Los Angeles 5 times a day, wear nothing but handspun virgin silk underwear, blessed by their Grand Poobah; they can wear crosses or Stars of David or pentacles or dollar sign pendants. They can shave their head/never cut their hair/have a Little Dutch Boy bob. They can be elders/deacons/priests/pastors/missionaries/Sunday School teachers/Shamans/monks/nuns/Grand Poobahs. BUT (let me say that again: BUT) they CANNOT, absolutely and irrevocably, CANNOT use their religious beliefs (and practices) as way to limit anyone else’s Constitutional AND HUMAN rights.

Their very right to have those religious beliefs is founded from the exact same source as other people’s rights to have their own religious beliefs and ideas: the US Constitution. It’s all about the same political issues: human rights, whether it be a woman’s right to select her own choices for reproductive healthcare, or social services, or any of the other topics that come into the national spotlight and require some type of governmental action, such as creating legislation to enforce laws that address these human rights and provide for the common good. Anytime you have laws that make second class citizens out of any particular demographic, it’s wrong. Plain and simple wrong. To hide behind your religion and make those laws (see any law regarding the limiting of reproductive choices for women) is wrong and hypocritical.

Speaking of hypocrites, too many of our elected representatives “talk the talk” of being religious, will state that their religious views (and what God is telling them when he calls every night) is what guides them in their decision-making process when creating our laws. Let me repeat: your religion has NOTHING to do with OUR legislative process. It cannot influence your vote–or you MUST abstain, voting neither aye or nay on the bill at hand. But there’s no need to fear–these modern Pharisees, who boast loudly about how much money they give to their church, how often they teach Sunday School or how long they were gone on missionary work overseas, these false Christians don’t really believe all the religious stuff.

Remember, their first and best loved god is GREED. Combine that with the obvious psychopathic mind they all seem to carry and you’ve got someone who will use anything, any means, where nothing is sacred or out of bounds to be fodder in their attempts to control the American public, as decreed by their Corporate Overlords. This is what I mean when I said that we have an oligarchy with theocratic overtones. It’s not a truly religious attempt to remove the current government–but it’s a great smokescreen to confuse the non-believers and a great leash to maintain control over those who sincerely believe that God wants these people in Congress. And it’s that part of our population that stands to be the most astonished and infuriated when they finally wake up to the fact that they (and their God) were played as patsies in some wanna-be big shot’s run for public office.

Do you really need any more proof that the corporations and Big Money have corrupted our Congress and the legislative process? Do you need any more proof that we are, indeed and in every sense, an oligarchy? The democratic system is a false front to the hidden machinations and subterfuge that is overwhelming our legislative process–and is doing its damnedest to control the SCOTUS as well, so that any lawsuits brought against legislation will lost out at the highest level court of the USA. The “War on Women”, the disenfranchising tens of thousands of voters, the repeated denial of sufficient funds for programs that support social services, veterans, the elderly and so on (which are then pointed to as “failures” because they are not able to meet their assigned need with the shrinking amounts of money they are given–and “should just be gotten rid of”), are all a part of this psychopathic indifference to the greater good, the good of most, if not all, of the people. Who has time to care about hungry children and single mothers not having healthcare when you’ve got to be at the Koch’s big summer bash?

To all of those people who could have voted, but didn’t–I say “SHAME ON YOU”. YOU are the reason we’re looking at the GOP winning so many seats, so many positions within our government. To those of you in our country who get all of your news information from FOXNews, I say, “DOUBLE SHAME ON YOU”. Out of the thousands of words these talking heads (or the blond bimbos with CFM shoes and skirts that look more like a wide belt…) say, only 18%– EIGHTEEN per cent of it is true. That means that 82% of it is lies, damned lies and statistics. (Credit for that saying goes to Mark Twain.) By all the gods and sweet, dread Cthulhu, learn to think for yourself. Don’t believe what you are told by someone you don’t know (TV news “entertainment” shows); don’t believe what you are told by your pastor, minister, or reverend that involves politics because that is NOT their area of expertise.

And I would ask, although I’m pretty sure it’s a failing proposition, that all Christians who think God is telling them what to do when it comes time to vote, remember that this is a God who usually solved things through violence and murder–including the murder of his own son. Not exactly well informed on the current political scene and certainly not unbiased. Those who are seeking political office because “God told me that I would be in Congress, come out and vote to do His will” are whack jobs and need better medication. So who do you listen to? How about foreign news sources? Even if they don’t like us, they aren’t usually involved in the ongoing obfuscation and misdirection of the two parties and those who are running for office. How about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert–because we’ve reached the point where comedians provide more honest reporting than any of the so-called “news stations”?

Does your vote actually count any more? Yes it does–but we need a lot more of YOUSE VOTERS to get out and vote–for the candidate that is listening to your needs, the ideas you have about where our country should go and how to get us all there. We are an oligarchy and we need to work together, us peasants, and send them scattering through the night like the Kochroaches they are. As with many of my political essays, I end this one as usual, with this:
The Revolution is coming.
“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”