Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Confession of a Liberal

TRIGGER WARNING: Long read, Trump

I am a woman and I am an immigrant to this country. I am Jewish by birth and atheist by faith. I am fairly well educated, borderline socialist and straight Democratic ticket voter. I have no use for guns, I despise hunting, and I believe the death penalty is state sponsored murder. I think abortions are perfectly fine and I think everybody should be free to choose how they use their own body for their own happiness and joy. I have no respect for authority, strength, power or large wads of cash. Come to think of it, I have no respect for anything or anyone in particular.
On November eighth, barring any natural disasters, I will be voting for Donald Trump and according to my liberal bible, I will be doing so for all the wrong reasons.

Reason #1: Feeling the Bust

There was a brief moment there when I thought Bernie Sanders may just pull it off. He didn’t, and I should have known he wouldn’t. The first time I heard Bernie speak, it felt like he was reading my mind. The billionaire class, big corporations, a rigged economy, tax funded college and health care, and the list goes on and on. It was too good to be true. Bernie did not speak about foreign policy that day, and when he finally did, I found some things I could disagree with. I have a feeling Bernie himself may disagree with some of his own foreign policy positions.

I was fairly sure that a President Sanders would have been able to cross off very few, if any, items on his to-do list, but that was not the point. A political revolution (unlike the real one coming down the pike) takes time, and I was willing to be patient, because I thought I would sleep better at night knowing that the person in the White House is on my side, and sleep is very important. In addition to nuclear codes and veto power, the President of the United States has that nifty tool invented by Theodore Roosevelt and named after his own self: the bully pulpit. Can you imagine a President Sanders State of the Union address, blasting the billionaire class and the greed of Wall Street? No? Try it. It’s very therapeutic. Well, that’s all over now, so what’s next?

Reason #2: I’m not with HER

This may be one of those divisive cultural issues, but in the place where I come from, an American woman became Commander in Chief almost half a century ago, and all across the globe many other women have served or are currently serving in similar positions. I must beg forgiveness for my lack of appreciation for this historic moment when America came one step closer to catching up with Bangladesh. If you believed in Bernie Sanders’ words long before you heard Bernie speak, and I mean really and truly believed, with both your heart and your brain, there is absolutely no way you can wake up one morning and be with HER, because she is the embodiment of everything you want to blow to smithereens.

Yes, President Obama endorsed HER because he doesn’t “think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office”, and yes, I wholeheartedly agree, because the last few decades have transformed the United States Presidency into “this office”, which fits HER like a glove. Obviously, HER unique, and truly historic, qualification is that, according to President Obama’s own spokesman, she is currently under “criminal investigation” by the FBI. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump has anything remotely as qualifying as that little jewel. Unfortunately, I am not looking for someone to “hold this office”, but for someone to refurbish and restore “this office” to its Teddy Roosevelt condition.

Reason #3: I’m a Racist

I didn’t think I was a racist, but it seems that I am. If I say that black lives matter, I’m a racist because how about white lives and Asian lives and Native American lives? Don’t they matter? Of course they do. All lives matter. Oops. Now I’m a racist because all lives matter is code words for black lives don’t matter. If I say “radical Islam” instead of “radical Islamism”, I’m a racist, because without the “ism” I’m offending our friends and allies in the fight against terror (i.e. the largest clients of our military industrial complex). If I support school vouchers, I’m a racist, because I propose to defund inner city schools where children are mostly black. If I oppose school vouchers, I am also a racist because I am trying to deny black children the same opportunities that privileged white children have. So I must be a racist. I don’t think I know what racist means anymore, but I hear that Bernie Sanders is a racist and Mr. Trump is also a racist, so as a racist, I should probably stick with my own kind.

Reason #4: The Copperheads

Let me tell you a little story, folks. Back when Abe Lincoln was leading the nation through its most painful fight for survival as a truly free nation, a group of conservative Democrats, called the Copperheads, came within inches of destroying everything Lincoln and his Republican party ultimately achieved. The Copperheads were strict constitutional constructionists espousing a philosophy practically identical to that of sanctimonious conservative ideologues who are viciously fighting the Trump candidacy today.  The party of Lincoln, and the party of Teddy, has been slowly and stealthily hijacked by the Copperheads.  To my immense delight, Donald Trump, who during a recent rally blurted out that “this is called the Republican Party, it's not called the Conservative Party”, is prying the party of Lincoln out of the cold grip of the Copperheads, and they loathe him for it.

Reason #5: FDR said so

The other President Roosevelt asked the country to judge him, not by his deeds, but by the enemies he has made, and that was good advice. Donald Trump has accumulated the most excellent team of enemies I have ever seen in modern politics (by my liberal standards, of course). Here is just the latest statement from Mr. Trump, after being snubbed by the Grand Copperhead and his brother: “I think the American public will be happy to know that the Koch brothers will not have influence over a Trump administration or the lives of the American people”, and this is just the cherry on top.

From the corporate raider who used 47 percent of our nation as his personal spittoon, to the avid Ayn Rand disciple who proposed to give old people two dollars for health care and let them go figure it out, to the Silicon Valley artificially intelligent extraction machine, and all the way through the calcified remains of the Copperheads themselves, the righteous indignation coalition for the preservation of global capital rights is raining fire and brimstone on Donald Trump and anyone who won’t publicly disavow him. Without knowing anything else about Mr. Trump, this would be sufficient information for me, but there is more. When the stars of corruption align so perfectly, there is always more.

Reason #6: The Media

Throughout history, the press was never impartial. It was never just about reporting the news. In fact the First Amendment reference to the press is precisely about protecting the freedom of journalists to attack politicians as they see fit. From the dawn of the Republic, there has never been a President or a candidate for political office that has not been chewed up, or promoted and endorsed, by this or that media outlet. This was all fine and dandy when each newspaper was a small business, and when public TV stations maintained a modicum of decorum in return for being granted free use of public airwaves. But the framers of the constitution did not and could not foresee a day when all media is owned by a handful of global corporations, and that’s where we are today.

The problem is not that the media is too liberal. Just ask Bernie Sanders how well the liberal media served his liberal campaign. The media looks and sounds liberal because it is targeting liberals. People who consider themselves conservative are already indoctrinated into corporate servitude. Liberals need to be cajoled by other liberals pointing to imaginary streams of racism, bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia, punctuated by indignant exhortations of “this is not who we are”, until they internalize the egalitarian benefits of free trade and open borders (i.e. an endless just-in-time supply of cheap slave labor for global corporations). I don’t know about other liberals, but I oppose slave labor, which leaves me very little wiggle room here.

Reason #7: I Love our Conmen

Thomas Jefferson was elected President based on his very public opposition to strong Federal government. Then he went and bought half a continent without asking anybody’s permission. I guess he was a conman. Teddy Roosevelt was put in the White House by his wealthy buddies, and then he turned around and chose to throw them under the bus in favor of the “working man”. He must have been a conman too. Abraham Lincoln was most certainly not elected President based on his promise to launch a civil war that will kill half a million Americans, but he did that anyway. He was the ultimate conman. I voted for Bill and I got NAFTA and “the era of big government is over”. I voted for Barack Obama twice, and I got no hope and barely any change. I think I have a peculiar predilection for conmen, and my liberal friends say that Mr. Trump is a conman.

I’m a little worried about this conman thing though. I made it my business to watch dozens of Trump rallies, interviews and press conferences. Daniel Webster would be rolling on the floor laughing at Mr. Trump’s oratory skills, because he has this plebeian way of talking to his audience, instead of directing soaring sophistry down at them. His body language is concerning too, because he seems way too relaxed and comfortable chatting away (gaffes and foot-in-mouth and all that) in front of thousands of regular people, but tenses up like crazy during media interviews or when they bring out those godawful teleprompters for more upscale audiences. I fear that he may not be a genuine conman after all, but at this point I’m running out of options.

Reason #8: Teddy made me do it

So come November I will be voting for a xenophobe who is married to an immigrant, a racist bigot whose grandchildren are little Jews, an old fashioned misogynist who calls strange women “darling” and puts his daughter in charge of his own company, a dangerous man who wants to build schools and hospitals and bridges instead of financing foreign wars, a rabid Republican who wants to preserve and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, an authoritarian who wants to negotiate good deals, a sleek conman who couldn’t finesse his message if his life depended on it. And I will be voting for a bully, because whereas being a bully in third grade is a bad thing, bullying from the pulpit is in the President of the United States job description. Teddy put it there, and I adore Teddy. I want a Bull Moose for President this year.