Get real

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get realAfter this extended series of politically influenced posts, my blog has become increasingly depressing and downbeat (at least in my mind), two words I never want to characterize my writing.

So, it is with great relief that I post this final politically oriented topic. Hopefully, I can resist my frustration at the election campaigns enough to refrain from posting more gas-bagging.

From the mouths of the two main party leaders, so disparate in their beliefs and dispositions, comes the same basic premise: they are looking out for us, the middle class. To this, I respond: Get real.

First, let me say I dislike immensely the term “middle class”. It’s a nod to the apparent impossibility to refer to groups of people without labeling them. I don’t like labels. Of any type.

“Middle class” is a particularly onerous label. There are plenty of “upper class” people who have no class at all and plenty of “lower class” people who are of admirable character. Worse, the label is incorrect, since it refers to income levels, not character. But, I digress.

 

Hillary Clinton was born in a comfortable home and has mostly been in politics since her college days. Her merits and accomplishments are impressive. Nothing in the background of her private college and Yale law degree suggests she identifies with the group labeled “middle class”.

That’s not to say that people of one class don’t want to or can’t help another class, but the understanding and empathy is only learned, not earned.

Along the way in her career, she’s made a few missteps, some of which haunt her and some of which are confusing.

The trust issue, with a variety of unglamorous incidents such as the email server or short-sighted activities in the Middle East, continually dogs her.

Her policy positions have been shifted uncomfortably left due to voter discontent and a fiery competitor. This makes it difficult to figure out what she truly believes in versus what she is willing to do for political expediency.

Democrats, traditionally the backbone of workers, have a delicate path to walk between a socialist movement (have government pay for everything) and the continuation of a moderately successful but inexplicably unpopular current administration.

What happened to the bold, aggressive stance toward the pharmaceutical industry, something that would have a far greater impact on health care than tweaks to the Affordable Care Act. Can someone who was so supportive of Free Trade suddenly now be counted on to fight against it (and should she)?

I don’t know who Hillary Clinton is and how can I vote for someone I don’t know?

On the other hand, I know exactly who Donald Trump is…he’s not an American.

Hear me out before grabbing those pitchforks (or clicking the “x” on the page tab).

From the beginning of his amazing campaign (and give him all props, he has defied historical political beliefs and in the process made history), he has used two most powerful emotions to galvanize his followers: fear and hate.

Here’s the problem: America was formed as a refuge from those two most terrible of human traits.

To suggest spurning people based on religion, to suggest torture of captured enemies and the bombing and killing of their families…how does that sound any different from the language and tactics of the terrorists we have come to despise?

If, in the process of “defending” America, we have to change to something other than America, haven’t the terrorists already won? Is that what you really think will make America great?

And to his claims he is for the worker and against losing jobs to foreign countries, why does he produce most (some would say all) of his consumer products in the very countries he decries? Why not put your manufacturing where your mouth is.

His answer: “It’s very hard to have apparel made in this country.” No, it’s not. You just have to be willing to make a little less profit. Shouldn’t be a problem for a billionaire who “believes in the American worker”.

Like Clinton, nothing in Trump’s upbringing or background suggests identifying with the “middle class worker”. The claims he created thousands of jobs may be true, but for anyone giving it a minute of thought, do you think those jobs were created with the “middle class worker” in mind?

Untrustworthy elite versus un-American phony. One of these two is going to be your president next year.

And that may be the only real fact you hear between now and November.

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