Monday, January 16, 2017

How Trump Can Piss on America and Get Re-Elected

Democrats are still in denial about Trump and have no idea what is about to hit them.

I mentioned before how Donald Trump and the GOP can afford to piss all over people on Obamacare and get away with it, because only about 10% of Americans are actually on the plan.   Of these, the vast majority are like me - getting a near 100% subsidy for the plan, and thus free medical care courtesy of your tax dollars.

Gee, freeI think I'll go get a CPAP machine and a prescription to Oxycontin and sell the pills for $20 apiece behind the 7-11.   Just kidding.  I'm kidding, anyway.  Others are not.  Obamacare is expensive because it is a huge giveaway.  End of story.

People like us - what Mitt Romney referred to as the 47%'ers are not likely to vote Republican anyway.  They can cancel Obamacare and leave us with nothing and it really doesn't matter in terms of getting re-elected at the Federal or State levels.   We are a minority and it is easy to take a piss on minorities.

Sure, maybe some folks in New York or California will get up in arms about this.  But as the last election illustrated, the electoral college acts as a snubbing damper on that sort of thing.   They will still win elections - and Trump may very well win re-election no matter how many blistering editorials the New York Times writes, how upset Democrats get about Trump insulting Civil Rights leaders or how many protests people on the far-left lead.  It is sound and fury signifying nothing.  In fact, these sorts of actions may make it easier for him to get elected - as they paint the Democrats as out-of-touch liberals.  Until people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin start to defect, nothing will change.

If Trump is successful in "bringing back jobs" to America - or at least appears to be doing so - those voters in Midwest manufacturing States will vote for him.  American productivity and manufacturing was on the rise before the election - by 2020 it was projected that we would surpass China as the world's leading manufacturer - again.  It was going to happen anyway, but now Trump gets to claim credit.  He also will claim credit for a growing economy, rising wages, and decreased unemployment - all things that were happening before inauguration day.  Four years from now, the GOP will ask, "are you better off now than you were four years ago?" and the answer may be a resounding "YES!" even if the Republicans did nothing to cause this.

Those folks with cushy factory jobs have paid-for healthcare.   They are not on Obamacare, so the GOP can repeal it and not lose that vote.  Again, they can piss all over the rest of us - it doesn't matter strategically.

Yes, there are a few people on Obamacare who do not get a subsidy and by cancelling Obamacare, they actually will gain votes.  Prior to Obamacare, I was spending about $400 a month on health insurance which I paid for.  Today, it is $1400 a month - but thanks to the subsidy and your tax dollars, it is zero.  However, if my income rose to $63,000 a year, I would have to pay the full amount.   Folks with good jobs but no health care (self-employed) got a real screw-job from Obamacare, and their perception was (and is) that Obama and Democrats didn't give a rat's ass they they were spending more on health insurance than their mortgage payment.

So, they actually gain votes by cancelling Obamacare.   They can piss all over the rest of us.

But what about other issues I said before, and everyone is in denial about it - legalized marijuana is going to go away and go away big time.  When Jeff Sessions from the banana republic of Alabama is made Attorney General, he will let loose the dogs of war - in the form of the DEA - to shut down marijuana dispensaries in Colorado, Washington, and other States where it is "Legal" on the State level but still illegal on the Federal level.   Even low-level employees of these operations face decades in prison and forfeiture of all their assets.

Just a suggestion, but if you run a marijuana dispensary, I would move my funds offshore and buy a house in Ecuador, which might shield you from extradition to the US.  As an added bonus, their currency there is the US Dollar.  Find someplace, because ultra-right-wing anti-drug Jeff Sessions is about to become Attorney General and no reporter has even bothered to ask Trump about how this will play out.   They are all obsessed with the pee-pee tapes.   Ah, the media!  Always missing the bigger picture.

Well, surely, you say (stop calling me Shirley!) that the public outrage from this would cause the GOP to lose the mid-terms and for Trump to be out on his ass.   Think again.   While legalization of marijuana has widespread support, it is thin support - winning legalization only by voter referendum in many States, and even then by fairly thin margins.   Plus, the States where it was legalized are firmly blue States.   The GOP isn't going to lose sleep about losing elections in California or New York, or losing those electoral votes.  Since liberals are concentrated in a few coastal States, the GOP can still win elections without the votes of the the blue States.

So, again, the Republicans can piss all over marijuana users and get away with it.  And they will, too.   Why not?  There is no political blow-back from it.   Oh, right, you believe that Trump and his cabinet won't do this because it isn't the right thing to do or because they believe in "States Rights."  Keep toking on that bong - pretty soon you will be in that alternate reality where this is true - but not for long.

You see, nonsense like "States Rights" are just a smokescreen the GOP uses when it is convenient to do so.   Want to outlaw abortion, but can't get the Supreme Court to go along?  Argue it is a "State" issue that should be decided by the States.  Ditto for gay marriage or whatever else the S.C. has said is a "right" and likely won't change their mind.  However, once you pack the court with your justices, then it is the other way around.   These constitutional issues should be decided by the high court - in your favor of course - and the States should have no say.   It is just political boondogglery on both sides of the aisle.

The other aspect of the equation is that while a majority of people are in favor of legalization, a majority don't smoke pot.   Sure, I favor legalization.   I don't see the point in spending money throwing some po-thead in jail.   But on the other hand, I don't think marijuana is "harmless" as some say it is, and I don't smoke it.   So if you make it illegal, it doesn't affect me directly, so my outrage would be muted.   And that goes for a vast majority of Americans.  Support for legalization is wide but not deep.

Or take abortion.   A burning issue?  Yes, but again, many of us are not in the situation where it is a personal issue.    So while we might be in favor of legalized abortion, well, we don't get all that upset when the GOP chisels away at the edges of it.

And will the majority of Americans be outraged if gay marriage is overturned by the Supreme Court?  Screwing up the taxes of less than 10% of Americans isn't even a blip on the radar for the rest of America.   Support is wide, but not very deep.   They simply won't care and that's all there is to it.

You see how this works, and it has been done before.  During World War II, minister Martin Niemöller wrote this chilling passage:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Divide and conquer, the oldest play in the book.   30% of Hispanics voted for Trump - a statistic that is not mentioned too much in the left-wing press.   By moving too far to the Left, the Democrats lost a lot of their working-class vote - a working class that tends to be Catholic or fundamentalist Christian.  While Trump's comments about Mexicans as rapists may not have resonated with the Hispanic and Latino communities, Obama's policies on abortion, gay rights, and transgender restrooms certainly offended the religion components of these communities.  (And let's face it, that quote about rapists was taken out of context - he clearly was not saying all Mexicans are rapists or drug dealers, and when the press tried to slant it that way, it sort of was an insult to our intelligence).

The same is true for the Black community.  Not many voted for Trump, but a lot just stayed home instead.  Many Blacks are Baptists - conservative Baptists (if that is not redundent) and are not receptive to a lot of the left-wing policies spouted by the Democratic Party.

Again, while it is nice we have gay marriage, I would gladly give it up to see Donald Trump back in the reality TeeVee business instead of a reality on TeeVee.    What is nice and do-able is fine and all, even if it is "justice" or "the right thing to do".   Winning elections is also "the right thing to do" and the Democrats appeared to be tone-deaf in an era where the entire world is lurching to the Right.

There are five stages of grief in the Kübler-Ross model: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Democrats are still stuck in denial mode, calling the Trump victory "illegitimate" and crying about the popular vote - and claiming that Russia somehow "hacked" the election, when all they did was a very obvious Social Engineering job on John Podesta, to get him to stupidly cough up his e-mail password.   Don't blame Putin, blame Podesta - he's a blithering idiot.   He probably answers Nigerian scam e-mails, too!   Maybe the Democrats need smarter people?  Just a thought!

But even if we assume that all of those complaints about the election are true, it doesn't really change things.  The electoral college is what it is.  Votes were not improperly counted - and Jill Stein is even a bigger blithering idiot than John Podesta.   Well, the people who sent her money for a "recount" are even bigger idiots.   And the "hacking" even if improper, merely made public a few e-mails that said nothing of consequence, other than what we already knew - that Democrats were not keen on a non-Democrat (Comrade Sanders) winning the nomination.   And no, Bernie would not have beat Putin Trump in the general election.

We have to move beyond the cry-baby stage.  The idiotic protests.  The name calling.  And yes, golden globes speeches.   Meryl, we love you dearly, but did you really think that Trump would resign or something in response to a very well-delivered speech?   If so, you are right up there with the Times editorial staff in your naivete.   Withering editorials or speeches given to a liberal audience aren't going to change anyone's mind one iota.   The guy whose mind you have to change is the black barber in Milwaukee who didn't bother to vote, or the laid-off assembly line worker in Michigan who thinks that voting Democratic might somehow make him gay.

Just a thought, but maybe the Democrats need to sponsor a few monster-truck rallies or "mixed martial arts" contests.   Yes, some folks like this kind of entertainment, and Ms. Streep's comments to the contrary aren't helping.   You don't win the working-class vote in North Carolina by attacking NASCAR.   How do you think Bill Clinton won twice anyway?   He was in touch with the common man - a Rhodes scholar who liked corn dogs, lite beer, and busty women.   People will vote for that.

So long as the Democratic Party looks down on the average Joe - and tells them what is best for them (or at least gives that impression, or worse yet, allows the opposition to characterize them as such) they will continue to lose elections.

And so long as that happens, the GOP will piss all over us, and we can do nothing about it.

 Just singing.... and dancing..... in the rain!