Sunday, June 30, 2019

Everybody's Talking At Me.... Can't Hear a Word They're Saying.

The politicians and the media are screaming at us that we should care about issues that largely don't affect us.  The issues we do care about, they are deaf to.

I read the news articles online and am mystified.  It is like reading about the news in some foreign country or maybe an alien civilization on another planet.  It is interesting stuff, but really doesn't affect me - or most of the people I know - directly.   What concerns me, doesn't seem to make it into the papers.

"It's the economy, stupid!" Bill Clinton once famously said.  Bread-and-butter issues are more important to the average American than trans-rights, gun control, abortion, free college, debt forgiveness, or whatever.   Well, I suppose debt forgiveness is a bread-and-butter issue if you ran up a lot of debts.  But it is also a bread-and-butter issue to the people who didn't or who paid back their debts, and are now being asked to pay for other people's malfeasance.

The burning issues, we are told, are giving felons the right to vote and castrating the police.   As a law-abiding citizen (most of the time) these issues don't resonate with me.  In fact, as a guy most likely to be on the wrong end of a gun during a robbery, the idea of giving criminals more rights and restraining the police seem somewhat alien to me.

Politicians live in this bizarre parallel universe where the police are expected to be perfect all the time, and any mistake they make is de facto racism.  Well, except when a black officer shoots a white woman, and in that case, it is just discrimination against Australians, I guess.   We are fed a similar line that the fact more blacks are in jail than whites (per capita) is de facto racism, and nothing to do with the rate (per capita) of criminality.   So let's just let everyone out of jail!  I saw a Netflix show once that said everyone is innocent!

What planet is that on?    Because I certainly don't want to live there.

While the Democrats are falling all over themselves to see who can be the most wacky-liberal, the Republicans are competing to see who can march in lock-step with the President the most.   Again, I am supposed to be alarmed about, well, pretty much the same irrelevant issues, but from a different perspective.  Wacky conservatism isn't the answer, either.

Meanwhile, what really concerns me, no one is talking about.   The 800-lb gorilla in the room - the deficit and the national debt, the slowdown in the economy, the coming recession, the stupid trade wars, and so on and so forth - economic bread-and-butter issues.   No one is talking about these - yet - only because Americans don't pay attention unless the shit has already hit the fan.  The fact they can see the shit heading toward the the fan, and the fan is on the "high" setting doesn't alarm them.

And perhaps this is because most Americans' personal finances fall along the same lines.  So long as there is money in their pocket today and food in their stomach today and gas in the gas tank today, well, everything must be OK, right?   Never mind that they have these things due to a payday loan, an over-extended credit card, or a home equity line of credit.

So political silly-season will continue, with issues like "LGBTQ rights" (we don't have enough already?  I feel quite empowered, thank you.) being the centerpiece of their platforms.   Meanwhile, on the real issues that affect the majority of Americans, they remain silent.

At least for the time being.....