Under The Big Top

Chris Christie has endorsed Donald Trump.

I’ve been looking for a point of entry into the campaign thus far and this seems as good a one as any.  Like many, I’ve been watching in amazement as Donald Trump drags open the closet door on the GOP and shows everyone what’s in it.  Thus far in his campaign I haven’t heard anything he has said that, if couched in less caustic, bombastic, or otherwise reworked by spin artists to be more palatable, is not what all the rest have said or hoped for or believed for two decades.  Or more.  In other words, Trump has stripped the politically polished veneer off the GOP platform and shown us the ugly workings inside.

Added to that, on stage, during the debates,he has been shoveling at the other candidates pretty much the same kind of stuff the entire GOP machine has been flinging at Obama or any other Democrat in their sites for the last seven years. Whether it be the hyperbole of floor speeches in the House and Senate or the little email blasts full of non-facts and smears, this is what the Republican Party has dished out consistently at their perceived enemies—all in the name of “taking back the country” or “making America great again.”

The lesson for everyone is that, rather than accrue negative approval ratings, Trump is leading the pack.  The people who believe Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Communist are lapping this noise up as if it’s the Second Coming of Reagan and loving it, entirely sans the sense of irony that Ronald Reagan would be both appalled and unable to win a single caucus on his own in this climate of uber Right Wing—what was it Lindsey Graham said the other day? oh yeah—batshit crazy.

I imagine folks who love Trump now think Graham is a Lefty.  And not a bit of irony to be found among them.

Whether Trump is serious about his stated positions or is playing some very broad game of “let’s implode the Republican Party”, the take-away from this is just how desperately insane a significant segment of our population has become.  That the equivalent of a substanceless spiel worthy of an Adolf Hitler could be seen as a solution to problems which I suspect most of these folks don’t even understand points up the ruin the last three decades of Republican pillage has left of this country.

Education has been mangled in the name of programs that do the opposite of what their labels claim.

Promised jobs bills have either not appeared or have been used to bust unions or position key industries to be sold overseas, with a concomitant loss of the jobs that once anchored our middle class.

Decent politicians have been hounded out of office by demonizing them for actually doing their jobs, to be replaced by people who wouldn’t know how to manage a paper route and whose only claim to electability is how well they can make their constituency believe that someone else is at fault for their decaying situation.

The national debt has become a tool for sucking the latent wealth out of the country and into a pool of capital that “floats” globally and has no national home, a process that is not illegal because the people who might have brought it to our attention and caused legislation to be passed to prevent it have been fired, moved to other positions, or simply had their wings clipped in the name of profits.

Our standing in the world has been damaged because of a policy attitude that is based on some version of the Old West and the town marshal, with the United States willing at the drop of an insult to invade, bomb, destabilize regimes, or sell guns and bullets to terrorists as long as they claim to love capitalism.  Other nations don’t trust us because we gave up solving problems in lieu of international pillage.  (I cite KBR as a prime example of what I’m talking about.)

The middle class economy, which at one time was protected and managed in such a way that once a savings account paid interest upward of 3 to 5 %, a time now mythic in these days of a gutless Fed that won’t raised rates so the multinationals might be forced to pay some of their pilfered pelf back into the hands of those from whom they’ve stolen it.

And what is funnier is that the very people who might be able to repair all this are now fighting an uphill battle against charges that have zero substance—that they’re socialists or communists or that they simple want to raise everybody’s taxes or that they’re somehow racists.

Whatever else one might think of them, the only two presidents since 1980 who have overseen a reduction in the deficit and even a partial reduction in the debt are Clinton and Obama.

Every Republican president has presided over massive increases in both the deficit and the debt.

Large deficits and high debt are very good to a certain class of people.  It’s that simple.  Where, exactly, do you think those interest payments—your taxes—go to service that debt?

The newspeak of the current climate is perverse and, I think, brittle.  Observe the shattering going on even within the GOP by Trump, who in almost any other time would be seen as the clown he is acting.  The fabric of deceit and lies and misconceptions and misdirections which have formed the core of the GOP for the last two decades cannot hold against the weight of reality.

The danger, though, is that even more rational people have been infected by the politics of image and the legerdemain of mistrust.  The campaigns of he-said she-said built on accusations over character and presumed crimes have had their effect even on those who seem to know how they work, so that we see Hillary and Bernie being faced off in battles of gotcha that have no substantive bearing on their positions or their policies. We see people declaring that they will sit the election out if the “wrong” candidate wins the Party nomination.

Are people really that unobservant and narcissistic?  All 435 House seats up for reelection this year.    Thirty-four Senate seats are in play.  Twelve governorships.

The presidency isn’t the only thing at stake.  Staying home would be such an abandonment of duty as to amount to moral bankruptcy.

Government, it is said, no longer works.  That’s not true, obviously it does, we are not living in an anarchy.  But within the less absurd scope of what is meant by that statement, government can only work when people are chosen who know how to do it.  We have seen wave after wave of political intransigents and functional idiots sent to Washington time after time.  It should surprise no one that things are not working well.  When a conservative like Lindsey Graham stands up and declares that his party has gone batshit crazy, it would seem time to take back the controls and go to the polls in November.  Staying home would be almost criminal.

This has been a public service screed.  Thank you.