Previous election cycles have generated excitement for some Americans, for others elections are nothing special, just another cycle of political ads and lying pandering politicians making the rounds.
In this cycle, however, there is palpable fear and a sense of dread, even foreboding.
Never before in modern history has so much ridden on a single election.
On Immigration. Women’s Rights. Civil Rights. Voting Rights. Decency. The rule of law. How we treat the poorest and most vulnerable. And even whether we will have a democracy after November 6th, 2018.
This cycle the unfortunate reality is that many people who are able to vote will sit at home and not vote.
What this means is that they will effectively surrender their decision making to others. Those [others] usually do not share their interest or values.
Not voting means that one has surrendered his or her right to self-determination. Nevertheless, they are among the first to complain when the interest of those who voted take precedence over theirs.
Others would like to vote but cannot, and for those two groups, the results of the coming elections will be the most consequential.
The Election of Donald J Trump to the presidency of the United States may have come as a shock to many, for others who were able to read the tea-leaves, not so much.
The media’s fascination with a two-bit con artiste and it’s incessant flirtations with him gave him the foundation and to a certain degree, the legitimacy he needed to enter politics.
The political class too was caught by surprise. One by one he decimated them in 2016 until only he was left standing.
Even then, the complicit media continued to give him wall-to-wall coverage which enabled him to run his un-presidential campaign on a shoestring budget and pull of the greatest political upset in our lifetime.
Whether he did it all through is own devices or the Russians helped is almost immaterial at this point.
He has the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and that’s what counts.
Trump never hid the fact that he hated Muslims. He talked about instituting a Muslim ban if he was elected.
He never hid his hatred for Immigrants, he railed incessantly about what he called chain migration and the visa lottery. Strawmen he created without a single iota knowledge how those programs work.
Like the absolute dunce he is, he spoke about the [visa lottery] and explains how the names of bad actors from other countries are placed in a bowl and winners drawn.
In his infantile mind, that is the only way he reconciles the idea of a [lottery], not the complex process in which people apply to the American Government and pay astronomical fees, whether they are successful or not and the American Government decides who comes in and who doesn’t.
He never hid his disdain for Mexicans. On the day he launched his campaign he glided down that tacky gilded elevator berating Mexicans as rapists, murderers
He never hid his utter disrespect for women, when confronted by the FOX propaganda operative Megan Kelly about his disrespect for women he flippantly said he was disrespectful only to Rosie Odonell.
The next day he went on to talk about how Megan Kelly had blood coming from parts of her body in the most disgusting manner.
He would later be exposed in his own words, at his most disgustingly misogynistic self, on the Hollywood access bus, telling Billy Bush how he delights in grabbing women by the pussy.[sic]Trump never hid his disdain for African Americans he asked Black Americans what did they have to lose, he told them how their lives were miserable as they were getting murdered daily, and their schools and their neighborhoods were shitty.
He never bothered to avail himself to the reality that not all black people lived in depressed communities, are poor, or uneducated.
He did not hide his desire to enact tax cuts for the rich, he said he wanted to pass tax cuts and he wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Even as he disrespects Native Americans by deriding them and placing their interest and existence in peril, he has in the oval office, a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the president who may have single-handedly done the most harm to native Americans.
Trump is motivated by hatred of Obama and his policies but probably, even more so, Donald Trump is motivated by greed and the desire to acquire wealth.
His shallow worldview has been shaped by privilege and entitlement, his policies, where they may exist, are narrow fly by night ideas he culls from others. Simply put, Trump lacks the intellect or the capacity to think through or articulate a point of view outside his narrow, rapacious self-interest.
The cost of Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency of the United States has been vastly consequential in ways that I cannot begin to articulate here, the damage will
The American Presidency always had some negative consequences for the rest of the world, even when a sitting president means well. It is the nature of the beast, big powerful countries look after their interest and sometimes those interest does not exactly line up with the interest of smaller less powerful ones.
Donald Trump’s presidency will leave deep cavernous fissures which will challenge our planet’s resilience, literally and figuratively, far into the future.
As horrific as Donald Trump is the Republican party is equally despicable. The acts of violence and voter suppression are only a small part of the rot which has started to take root across the country.
In New York City, members of a right-wing white Supremacist bunch of thugs converged around and beat up a group of 3 men who were protesting their presence.
New York City Police stood around and did nothing. Yes, New Yor City.
In Texas, a field operative to a Democratic candidate who went to a county office to deliver a letter on behalf of the candidate was questioned about his party affiliation and promptly arrested once he revealed he was delivering the letter on behalf of his boss a Democrat who was on the phone with him and heard the entire chilling encounter.
In Georgia, the Republican secretary of state Brian Kemp who is running against Stacy Abrams an African American woman has literally removed hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls for infrequent voting and has held countless other registrations on the flimsy excuse that names may miss a hyphen or a name may have been incorrectly spelled.
Needless to say, the vast majority of the names were removed from Gwinnett County, a predominantly African-American county.
In this case, the Republican Kemp is allowed to play referee in a game in which he is engaged. As such he gets to remove from the voter rolls, the people he knows would be voting for his opponent.
And just in case you forgot we are talking about America a place where some public officials and many citizens do not mind throwing around the term banana-republic as a pejorative in describing other countries.
Republicans have tried to steal elections and stop people from voting from as a far back as the 1960’s when the Party was taken over by white men who ran from the Democratic party after Lyndon Johnson signed the civil rights and voting rights acts.
The voting rights act served in some way to quell the onslaught of attacks against African American’s right to vote until the Republican Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 decision in Shelby VS Holder, that the law worked too well, as a result, it was no longer necessary.
In a crushing dissent Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote:
1. “The sad irony of today’s decision lies in its utter failure to grasp why the [Voting Rights Act] has proven effective … Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”
2. “When confronting the most constitutionally invidious form of discrimination, and the most fundamental right in our democratic system, Congress’ power to act is at its height.”
3. “Congress approached the 2006 reauthorization of the VRA with great care and seriousness. The same cannot be said of the Court’s opinion today. The Court makes no genuine attempt to engage with the massive legislative record that Congress assembled. Instead, it relies on increases in voter registration and turnout as if that were the whole story. See supra, at 18–19. Without even identifying a standard of review, the Court dismissively brushes off arguments based on “data from the record,” and declines to enter the “debat[e about] what [the] record shows”…One would expect more from an opinion striking at the heart of the Nation’s signal piece of civil-rights legislation.”
4. “Just as buildings in California have a greater need to be earthquake proofed, places where there is a greater racial polarization in voting have a greater need for prophylactic measures to prevent purposeful race discrimination.
The events I outlined here does not begin to scratch the surface, no article, or book can fully begin to explain the level of criminality and dysfunction which has come to the fore since Donald Trump moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
There is no telling where this will end, nevertheless, those who can vote better get up and go vote come November 6th.
The right to vote may very well be on the ballot this cycle and I do not mean just for black people.
Even a massive turnout will not guarantee a Democratic victory, thanks to gerrymandered districts which all but guarantees Republican wins.
This was made possible because Democratic voters seem to believe all they have to do is vote in presidential elections.
Older Republican white people vote, so even in Blue Democratic states, it is not out of the ordinary to see state and county legislatures dominated by Republicans.
That is the way house districts get sliced and diced by Republicans to ensure they stay in office and enact their revolutionary racist ideas.
The choice is clear vote and change some of the toxicity.
Do not complain.