Friday, August 28, 2020

The Trump Riots

Let's face facts: Americans are protesting because, in part, the Trump administration and the president himself refuse to acknowledge the racial problems that are wracking the country. Even worse, the president continues to make baldly racial appeals to suburban voters by opposing and demonizing affordable housing plans. This is in addition to his dismissive attitude towards Blacks, and the Black Lives Matter movement, who have been killed or wounded by police officers and calls for racial justice from all corners of American society.

The resulting responses are what we have now: The Trump Riots. He owns them. He owns the response. He owns the neglect. He owns the feeble response. He owns the divisiveness.

Of course, the president is not one to see the reality of what's going on, so he's trying to say that terrible things will happen if Joe Biden is elected president. The problem is that terrible things are happening because Donald Trump is president and because of Donald Trump's racist domestic policies. Worse, the disorder and divisiveness will continue as long as Donald Trump is in the White House. The president is uninterested in actually solving the racial problems, which means that things might get worse before they get better.

The best action this country can make is to elect Joe Biden as president, because he will actually do something to address the concerns of those who are protesting, making it less likely that we will have more violence. Make sure you register and vote.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Real Voter Fraud

We have come to the point in the conservative movement that began in 1980, where all of the mainstream ideas have been exhausted. Only the fringe ideas are left. That's why we're seeing slavish adulation of tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy and the administration slashing government regulations simply because they are government regulations. This is why it's now easier for companies to pollute, require anyone with a dispute to endure arbitration, which is administered by the companies themselves, instead of being able to go to court, and for huge corporations to essentially pay zero income tax.

And now come the conspiracy theories, the biggest one being the amount of voter fraud that takes place during elections. The real fact is that there is no voter fraud problem, only a problem of those who are afraid of losing power to non-whites or who see that a majority of Americans do not support the Republican agenda, so they need to protect their tiny Electoral College advantage in presidential elections.

Add in a president who only understands issues that relate directly to him and who is still freakishly focused on the idea that he did not win the popular vote because of illegal voting, and whose policies, or lack thereof, are responsible for the country's chaotic and deadly approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what you get is a big smelly mess.

It would be really nice if the president would work toward a solution to the challenges of voting by mail. Making sure that all voters have access to their ballot, perhaps asking states to allow voting to begin two weeks prior to election day, funding the post office and stations where people can drop off their ballots rather than mailing them would be a wonderful start. But the president is actively working against those improvements even as he and his family continue to vote by mail. The upside down world must be a beautiful place, because so many people are willing to live there.

In the end, it's up to people to require changes in their local communities and states, because that's who has jurisdiction over elections. Organize with other voters and make sure that your town or county has a plan that will enable people to vote in a manner that safeguards their health and safety. The federal government can't tell states how to run elections or that they can't send out mail-in ballots to all voters.

But above all, make sure that you are registered to vote and that you do so. That's the only way we can safeguard our democracy.