I will be announcing the winners of our 10 year anniversary contest in the next week or two, but today I wanted to say something in response to the recent election.
Let’s look at the cold hard numbers.
2008 Obama 69,498,516
2012 Obama 65,915,795
2016 Clinton 59,938,290
Trump 59,704,886 (at the time of this writing – Clinton will end up close to a million ahead when all votes are counted)
As you can see for the last 3 elections the republican gets 60 million votes. More voted for Romney than Trump. There was no movement – no uprising. Sure, some of the old white voters who died since 2008 were replaced with disaffected blue collar workers. But the end result was still 60 million. The problem is that we are missing between 5 and 10 million votes. They simply did not come out. Those extra 5 to 10 million would have produced the same maps as Obama enjoyed. Why didn’t they come out? I really don’t care. The damage is done.
20 million will lose health insurance
Medicaid is gone
Medicare is gone – to be replaced by a woefully insufficient private voucher system.
Social Security is gone. Now I will say there is a glimmer of hope for Social Security. They obviously can’t take it from existing seniors or they would be swept out of office in 2018. I think what they will do is say that those 55 and older will still get Social Security. This will appease enough people that it won’t cause harm to re-elections. My only hope is that they allow 45-55 year olds to opt in as I just hit 45. Otherwise I will die in the street as a senior when I can no longer work. I’m not sure many people realize how few people can survive long in their old age without Social Security and Medicare (or a pension – which almost no one gets anymore). I would say less than 1% of the population. You’d need a good million dollars in the bank to generate sufficient income to pay for top health insurance and living expenses with the severely depressed interest rates we have. A million dollars would give you about 50,000 a year after taxes if invested conservatively. How many people have a million dollars cash? Yeah way less than 1%.
Marriage Equality is gone if Ginsburg dies.
A woman’s right to choose is gone. The rich will simply fly to Canada for their abortions. The poor will bleed and die in back alleys and then face prosecution and jail if they survive and are caught.
But in a way, worse than all this, is that there will now be unchecked violence, discrimination and harassment rampant in huge areas of the country, where it is no longer safe to be. Basically if the local town or county has not enacted local or state laws to protect you, you will not be safe there if you are a minority or gay. You will be bullied, ridiculed, harassed, and sometimes physically attacked or murdered. This has begun even during the campaign and it will increase a thousandfold. I lived in Alabama for many years and know what exists there. We are back to the days of saying “she’s my sister” to explain why you are living with another woman.
Worst of all, you will have a far right supreme court for the rest of your life if you are over 40. Let that sink in for a minute.
People point to hope for midterm elections in 2 years. Get real. The 2018 elections will make things worse. There may be hope for 2020, but that depends on how bad things have gotten by that point. I would not place too much faith in 2020 right now.
And lets get real about something else. Due to only republicans coming out during midterm elections they control the vast majority of state legislatures and have rigged the system with their gerrymandering. It takes a 10% democratic win to flip the house of representatives. This is what we saw with Obama in 2008 with his 10 million vote victory. His 5 million in 2012 was not good enough. LET THAT SINK IN. Having to get a 10% win or more to win is not democracy. We no longer live in a democracy. And I’m not talking about being a republic and the electoral college and all that. I’m talking about a plutocracy of the right.
Worse than this. Worse than this by far is that only half of all eligible voters voted. Bart Simpson or ‘this school sucks’ would have beaten either candidate. We are being ruled by 25% of the people.
I’ve mentioned hope several times, however I don’t really see any. I think the best we can hope for now is that Trump the president is more like the 1990’s party boy Trump. I think we saw a glimpse of that man in his initial reaction to the North Carolina bathroom law. Basically – why are they wasting their time with that nonsense. But then someone whispered the correct party answer in his ear and he later said that this law was good and necessary. I think losing the popular vote will eat at Trump. He should be reminded of it weekly. I think this will make him want to win the ratings/approval of the majority. He wants to be loved and adored. This means that he wants to be popular. Sure, he will crush some enemies, but to feel the love of his subjects he may seek to be benevolent. And in 4 or 8 years (if the job takes it’s toll on him as it has everyone else) he may be happy to continue to allow free elections and retire.
Do you see where we are? The best we can hope for is a benevolent dictator.
Protest is futile and will be crushed mercilessly. Even Occupy, under a liberal president and in liberal cities, was put down eventually when the authorities tired of their presence. Come next year that will occur on the first day and with live ammunition. Satire and parody and little skits and witty remarks on TV shows are futile. Articles like this are futile.
What to do? The only thing that matters is getting 65-70 million people to vote. And I think the only way to do that anymore is with a beloved celebrity like Tom Hanks. Obama had that celebrity magic in 2008. But just look how only 4 years later he lost 5 million votes. Already people were no longer excited enough to waste their so valuable time to come out for him. That is what our culture now values – trending celebrity. That is what has to be used to win in 2020, otherwise it will be a crushing defeat. In the meantime I would suggest lying low, staying in cities with local hate crime and anti-discrimination laws, or leaving the country if you can. Unfortunately most can not. It is not that easy to do for an american.
The damage has been done. No factory jobs will be returning. They want us to drop dead working our minimum wage job at 70 with no healthcare, pension, or security. And that is set to occur. I do not see any hope to stop it. And I wish I was 65 now instead of 45. I would gladly give up those 20 years of my life. That is where we are.