I have remained silent on politics for the entire, tedious nomination process. But now that we have our presumptive candidates, I want to weigh in on politics for just a bit: long enough to make my endorsement. After this, I will attempt to remain silent on the election. If you can’t indulge me my whim, you can just skip this post.
In the “world according to Tim,” politics should remain the product of a compromise between right and left without the demonization of either. Politics should take care to protect people and business interests. Everybody deserves something important to them. But this once prevailing view died in this country years ago.
The extreme right has pushed the nation so far to the right, moderate and generally conservative positions are considered leftist by today’s extreme conservatives. Much of what the right’s idol, Ronald Reagan, actually did in office would be considered liberal today. Government is bought and paid for by wealthy billionaires who use divisive, less important social issues as a smoke screen to keep the nation from seeing, let a lone dealing with, the greatest issue of my lifetime. The greatest issue of my lifetime is so great, with such far-reaching impact, it is without doubt in my mind, a moral issue.
That so few, a handful really1, Americans can have so much (unprecedented levels of wealth in the history of humanity) while others suffer, truly suffer, is immoral. Those few “job creators” continue to send the nation’s jobs oversees to increase their own personal wealth, making the suffering at home even greater. Those few off-shore their wealth and avoid paying taxes, making the suffering even greater. Those few claim their tax “burden,” which is actually far less than a teacher’s tax burden, is too heavy and spin a whole mythology around how bad it is for them2. They masterfully use the media, especially FOX News, to spin their tale into the American consciousness3.
That they sponsor and force policy that destroys (defunds) our public schools and blames our teachers for the failures of politicians, is immoral4. That they literally own politicians on both sides of the aisle who do their bidding at the expense of what is in the nation’s best interest is immoral. That they force policy that defunds the public good, trying to destroy Social Security, for example, is immoral. This list could continue but is much, much too long for a blog post.
I think Bernie Sanders has done the nation a huge service. He shone a bright light on income inequality, even though the corporate media, owned by the billionaires, kept the media all but silent about his astonishing level of support and his message. He bypassed the media and went straight to the young people via technology.
Did you know that today’s young people are a larger generation than the baby boomers? I didn’t. But, apparently, Bernie did.
This is the largest generation in the history of the nation. And Bernie Sanders reached them. He identified with their plight. He understands issues that will cripple their attempts to be successful as an entire generation. And they adore him. Those who measure such things say that this new generation is, in large measure because of Bernie Sanders, the most liberal generation the country has ever known: by far. They don’t just support marriage equality and income equality, a significant percentage of them are anti-capitalists: socialist. They see unfettered capitalism as an evil, the true evil of their time. I had no idea.
Yet few people are talking about any of this. I find it all very fascinating, extremely fascinating. An entire movement has come to be, and few people even know about it. I’m confident the wealthy “powers that be” will do everything in their power to shut it down, just as they did the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Bernie’s message of income inequality, of the middle class being denied fair incomes by the insanely wealthy, is a message about morality. He literally spoke in those terms: a moral issue. Those were his words when he spoke at Falwell’s Liberty University.
Before the economic crash of 2008, Donald Trump publicly stated that he wanted the economy to crash because it would make him even more wealthy than he already claimed to be. He would get rich off of people losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing the American Dream and their sense of place in our country. To Donald Trump, this was a good thing. What kind of human being would think like that?! Does this not offend absolutely everyone’s moral sensibilities?
The billionaires, perhaps not all of them, are immoral5. They have no cares beyond their own wealth and power. That. Is. Wrong! Yes, Bernie effectively cast this most important issue of our time in the light of a moral issue, because to perpetuate this level of income inequality is not just unpatriotic, it is immoral.
The Republican party (and some democrats as well) has sided unequivocally with the 1%. Understandably. They have to in order to stay in office.
They also partnered with the extremists of the religious right until very recently6, which is also fascinating. The religious right miscalculated with all of their bathroom bills. Business is now hurting because of the religious right, and this country worships maximizing profit, not some god. Many believe that the alliance between business and the religious right has come to a fascinating and abrupt end with the far right calling corporate America “bullies” and actively fighting and boycotting them7. What interesting times in which we live!
But while Bernie Sanders’ message of the immorality of such drastic income inequality really, really resonates with me, I’m not sure he could get elected even if he had gotten the nomination. As much as he appeals to this enormous generation of liberal young people, there simply aren’t enough of them to get him elected.
I have been a huge fan of Elizabeth Warren from the first time she became a blip on my radar years ago now. She is brilliant. She is passionate in her beliefs. She is articulate. She is laser focused. She is ambitious. She is a powerful advocate for the American Dream. She believes in middle America. And, best of all, Donald Trump hates her, reserving some of his most racist, misogynistic vitriol for her as a person and as a woman8.
To me, Elizabeth Warren represents the very best ideas of Bernie Sanders, and she does so in language that more Americans can understand, identify with, and embrace. She has more pragmatic thinking for what can be done and how it can be financed. But she didn’t run for president.
I worry that Hillary Clinton is too much aligned with the status quo. I worry that she is too closely associated with the wealthy elite who I believe to be the ones that have caused the mess this nation now faces. For years Hillary fiercely advocated for universal health care (a moral issue), which I admire. She has recently found her wings supporting equality for the gay community (a moral issue), which I admire. She is by far the most well-versed in foreign affairs, which I admire. And, she has more experience in the filthy mess that is the politics of getting things done, which I begrudgingly think is sadly essential for the POTUS. If anyone is qualified to be president, it is Hillary Clinton.
So, all of this to say, I’m supporting Hillary Clinton.
Apparently, she and Elizabeth Warren have been talking over the past month, but Elizabeth says that these conversations have not been about her being the VP running mate. Perhaps Elizabeth is too fierce an opponent of corporate greed for Hillary to embrace, though I believe she effectively bridges the gap to the Sanders supporters, which is essential to a White House win.
If, however, Hillary Clinton does choose Elizabeth Warren as her VP, I will actually get out their and actively, personally, campaign for them. I believe they would be a fierce force for change. I believe that they could make a significant difference. I believe that they would pave the path for the Democrats to dominate the White House for decades. Their impact on policy and on the SCOTUS will help right this horrific immoral injustice that has cost millions of people the American Dream.
Clinton and Warren is the future! I hope to see the bumper stickers soon!!
The Republican party has hurt this nation for decades now. Again, in keeping with my statement in the opening paragraph about a balanced compromise between right and left, I fully support the Republican party staying out of the White House and losing the legislative branches of government until they get their party in order and build a broad base of support that represents “We the People” instead of “We the 1%.”
Below is a clip of Elizabeth Warren being the articulate, knowledgable, humane woman she is. She speaks with such fervor and enlightenment about the most important issues of our time. She speaks with clarity and insight.
Now to try to crawl back into my self-imposed silence on issues related to this election cycle…
the 1%, as they are called—or actually .5 of the 1% ↩
Incidentally, a huge, respected research study just clearly indicated that even though those who are wealthy say they will leave a state if taxes are raised, only the tiniest number actually do. ↩
We can actually thank George W. Bush for this, but that’s a whole different topic. ↩
The failure of America’s public schools is laid solely at the feet of politicians who are not doing their jobs of making the American Dream available to every child sitting in a public school. The politicians are the ones leaving children behind, not the teachers. ↩
Studies have shown that people with wealth quickly come to believe the wealth is their divine destiny. Fascinating stuff our human psyche: believing that we are actually better than and more deserving than everyone else is such entitled hubris. ↩
who are all very wealthy men, incidentally ↩
Hello! I’ve always said these folks are nuts! ↩
This makes me love what she represents even more! ↩