My Blog Week: February 9 to February 15
A Word on the Week
A curious thing about the Democratic primary/caucuses.
Bernie Sanders has been winning the popular vote. (He’ll probably lose to Biden in South Carolina, but looks strong in Nevada.) Lately the Clinton wing of the party has been out launching direct attacks on Sanders. Hillary Clinton’s now-famous comment, “nobody likes him“, made headlines in January. More recently James Carville (who came up on Google when I’d forgotten his name and searched under “obnoxious Clinton adviser”) has returned just in time to remind everyone why they disliked the Clintons. Carville is, for one, speaking out against Sanders’s signature tuition forgiveness, on the grounds that hardworking people who paid off their loans will vote against Sanders, because what they can’t forgive, is the world turning.
There may be good reason why this “heartland voter” doesn’t seem to exist. He/she is the salt of the earth, the embodiment of family values, terrified of the hex-word “socialism”…but a great proponent of government protections for segments of the economy: the auto industry, the farms, insurance, pharmaceuticals…
She’s a hard worker, but a gambler—with the most material things. She would rather take a toss on health care and pension funding and see what she gets, than have them guaranteed. She’d rather keep a hundred dollars from today’s paycheck, than support M4A…and when she has to mortgage the house to pay her medical bills, she really prefers this to stability and safety at the cost of a little less disposable income.
However at the same time, the disposable income is not an investment for the kids (and she can hardly be a heartland voter if she happens to be single), because she hates nothing more than the idea they might have it easy where she had it hard. Her dedication to billionaires means that when predatory investors strip her company’s assets and gut her pension fund, she still finds it preferable to the loss of cash-in-the-wallet, a little less money for pizza and movies (or hobby guns). A little more, for the sake of a livable income in her old age, is a sacrifice she can’t bear to make. But damn, those kids think they can just get everything they want without putting in any effort.
And these pesky heartland voters control everything, and no one can take back the Presidency without catering to their perversity…
I live in Appalachia. Where I’ve seen stupid people, stubborn people, nasty people; also smart, funny…even angelic people. And almost everyone is willing to work, with some guidance and encouragement. Lots of people fear arm-twisting and retribution, and will line up behind promisers of largess. That’s the long-term consequence of power/wealth inequality, entrenched. New things don’t come into poor parts of the nation, so those who have the old things hang on, sometimes corruptly. No one needs to be catered to by being told, “Everything grudging and resentful about you is what’s great about America! Don’t change!”
So, the curious thing. The centrist pushback from the Democratic party takes a tone, towards these human beings who voted, under the power of their autonomy, for the candidate they liked. The tone is: “We know better than you do. You think you know what you want, but you’re mistaken. We will continue to speak of you as though you don’t really exist.” What if Sanders gets elected and tries to implement his programs, and just like every president ever, has to modify and compromise? The country progresses a little left of center…which these days is center.
And a brief word on Bloomberg. His punching back at Trump: A-plus. Absolutely all candidates should talk, with bravado and persistence, about the faux-wealth, the failing resorts shored up with tax dollars, not popular enough to support themselves. The Jeffrey Epstein spheres of influence, and all the bad company Trump has kept. The degradation of American culture due to the practices of same. Any politician who’s Epstein-clean (and we don’t know that Bloomberg is), go for it.
The Trump Policy Death Toll. Put up a chart. The spray tan and the Miss Clairol. And be a bulldog on the mental decline. Make him explain things, cite things correctly, bring out for public scrutiny the crying man, the world leaders who admire him so.
But as to the stop-and-frisk, think of this: Probabilities are not causes. Nothing is more bigoted than profiling on this basis, because to make probability a cause is to have the “fault” inherent in the person. Probabilities are the result of conditions…a step in Bloomberg’s conciliatory speeches he seems to be taking, conceding opportunity and a greater portion of public wealth will bring down the number of minorities charged with crimes.
One reason abuses are rife in jails/prisons? Because people running them feel that prisoners get “free” healthcare, education, meals, etc…and they’re mad, and they want to punish the inmates. The staff have to pay for those things themselves with their own money. They didn’t commit any crime… (Up to the point of participating in abuses.)
So what do you have? You have the same argument that’s being attributed to the tuition-resenters. Can anyone claim prison reformers are wronging the proprietors by failing to respect their “special feelings”?
On Monday, Cartoon Stories. A cowboy, billionaires, and a medieval cop. Tuesday, a new episode of Yoharie, “What It Takes to Fly” with Savannah finding work. Wednesday, a new Battle Stations, “A Body Surfaces”. Adamson, Lem’s foul-tempered uncle, meets with a consequence of instilling dread in others. On Thursday, Frédéric Boutet’s “The Amateur” concludes, with the intimidated Marcel striking back. Friday, the third part of “The Recalcitrant One”, the Totem-Maker taking a lesson. Saturday, a poetry reissue from The Nutshell Hatches, “Canned Peas”.
Images on my posts often have a link to related information (click first image), sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical, sometimes in answer to a direct reference. Since people can be leery about links, I include them here: what they are, what sites they point to.
My Blog Week: February 9 to February 15