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Whats On My Mind?
To Beat A Criminal...
Okay. I admit it. I backed a bad horse in a race. More women have come forward to say they were treated inappropriately by Minnesota Senator Al Franken and I cannot defend his behavior any more here.
Am I asking him to step down? No. Not yet anyway. And I think I have good reasons why.
We are faced with a truly unfortunate state here in US politics. Especially here on the Progressive side of things. We seem to be looking for an absolute angel to represent us to combat the large list of demons who are finding power through the Republican Party. And the truth of the matter is we are never going to find perfect candidates anymore. Not in this day and age of social media recording and reporting every stupid thing we all do.
I am not advocating that we Progressives sink as low as the Republicans seem to have sunk. Heck, they have an amazingly long list of current and potential criminals with seemingly no moral compass at all. Absolutely the worst possible examples of not just questionable behavior, but down right criminal behavior. All excused away as long as the Republican party can keep power. What a despicable state of things for the Republicans and for the entire country. I would like to think true Republicans are ashamed at this but I barely hear anyone from that party standing up against the rising tide of human sewage representing them.
There is no doubt about it. Democrats and Progressives must do better. We need to encourage a whole new generation of public servants who are willing to defend the noble role of representing us all in our Democratic form of government without embarrassing us.
Unfortunately this does mean that we will have to lower our standards just a bit. Oh, no where near as low as the Conservatives have. But we do have to excuse normal human behavior and the idea that people do stupid things when they are younger. Not criminal things. But stupid things. We have to be able to forgive occasional dumb human behavior.
I am certainly not saying if Senator Franken did the things he allegedly did that we should forgive the actions. But we should weigh them against if Franken matured in his career and what he has done for women in the course of his role as a US Senator. His record has been stellar. One does not forgive the other. But one should certainly be considered against the other.
Hey, near perfect candidates like Barack Obama and Joe Biden are rarities. People with a lifetime of public or community service are not so eager to put themselves through the political dog and pony show these days. I mean I have personally led a very tame life. But I often think I could not survive the demands of political scrutiny. Someone could probably find a cartoon that was a little too edgy or a blog that was too provocative. They might find someone who spotted me in a strip club once celebrating a friends birthday years back. My ex-wife might have a thing or two to say about the kind of husband I was during our short marriage. I am sure there is even more dirt than that on me out there somewhere. And that’s my point. To my friends, its the kind of stuff you struggle with in the course of a normal life or its the dumb things you do while celebrating with friends. Its nothing illegal. Nothing criminal. But its the kind to stuff that gets twisted and over exposed and eventually keeps worthy candidates from even throwing their hat in the ring.
If we are going to take back the moral high ground from people who have no morals, we do need to start with people who represent us all in the majority middle. Flaws and all. We need to excuse stupid college pranks, divorces, social missteps and simple stupidity and weigh those flaws against the potential good someone might bring by being real fighters for the welfare of middle Americans.
Method to the Madness
This weekend President Trump claimed he has done more in his first year in office than any other President ever. Of course this is nonsense. The list of true accomplishments by this administration can be counted on one hand of someone who has survived a farming accident.
That being said, underneath the constant twitter nonsense, the Russian campaign tampering investigation and all the divisive distractions he has put us through, Trump’s handlers have managed to do some real damage to this nation. If he qualifies these things as “accomplishments” then he might have accomplished a few more things than we might want to admit.
While we were all debating whether is was a good or bad thing to kneel during the national anthem, Trumps people dismantled programs designed to protect women’s rights in the work place and college students from financial disasters. Social Security is on the shakiest ground it has ever been on.
And right now while we all worry about his saber rattling with North Korea and other whether the commander and chief should be supporting an accused predator of under-aged girls when he himself has a bit of explaining to do about how he has treated women throughout his own life, we have all allowed Trump’s people to dismantle Net Neutrality and take a step closer to passing tax laws that are so flagrantly aimed at benefiting his own bottom line there are actually clauses (not kidding here) that allow big tax breaks to private plane and golf course owners.
Trump has been touting huge tax breaks for middle America but in fact to pay for these big breaks, he is removing state and local deductions which, in the end, will mean most of us actually pay higher taxes. Basically Trump is lying to us all and he clearly has no qualms about doing so. Trump wants to build his stupid wall clear across our southern borders and throw hundreds of billions of dollars at our military which is six times more funded than the next six strongest nations in the world combined already. Just how do we do this while supposedly lowering taxes without bankrupting the nation?
His people have killed funding for science education and important research that could help turn the tide of global climate change precisely when we need to understand our changing environment the most.
Net Neutrality is about to be broken up. What this means for most of us will be paying more for less. Net access providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast will be able to provide faster data for their services and programs. Leaving Mom and Pop internet entrepreneurs buried somewhere in slow, unwatchable data streams never being able to get their content out to the world in an effective way.
Trump claims to be for small business owners but this move alone might do more damage to the future of start up businesses than any other move he could make.
At the moment, the internet is basically a level playing field. Sure it has flaws and there is good and bad that comes with offering equal access for everyone. But at its best, this means that “Molly’s Pretty Good Pottery” has a chance of showing and delivering her goods to the entire world rather than just being a corner store in a small town somewhere with no chance of growth. The speedy smooth running web pages will be used up by big companies making access to the good internet unaffordable for most small business owners.
Bogworld might well be effected to. I am lucky in that my content is fairly simple and doesn’t use up a lot of bandwidth coming or going to the internet. But the loss of Net Neutrality means it will be harder for new readers to find my web offerings. What if the costs of being on the web suddenly sky rocket and us lowly cartoonists can no longer afford to put our wares out to the world?
I say this is the fault of Trump’s people. I see nothing to indicate Trump is smart enough to know the damage being done by any of the negative things his administration is doing. I do think Trump is mean spirited and petty enough to do things to hurt people. I do not think he has any kind of empathy for non millionaires. Everything his administration has accomplished has made it easier for current billionaires to hold their wealth and harder for common folk to succeed. Everything.
If there is a good side to all of this, its that I am confident America is better than this. Though I might not be hearing their outrage, and that is disappointing. I have to believe true Republicans know the difference between true Conservative morals and the mess that is currently occupying the White House. I am hopeful with every new embarrassment that comes from Trump, true Republicans are considering not voting for Trump and his sympathizers any more.
As more and more connections and evidence is unveiled tying Trump to Russian election collusion, how long will Conservatives continue to support someone who might have well be connected to an act of treason?
As long as those of us in the Majority Middle get out and vote in the coming election, we can start the long road to making America great again without Trump.
- Joseph Pillsbury- Bogsworld.com