The other day I saw a posting from a casual friend on Facebook, (thanks Mark). It said, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith
It got me to thinking about the social media dialogues I am routinely exposed to. Generally, it begins with the posting of someone else’s meme and my questioning it. I accept that memes are intended solely as propaganda for one side or another, but there are times the lies and half-truths contained in them are so outrageous I feel compelled to comment. This rarely has any affect on the poster of the meme. In fact, the internet has developed new words for people who challenge or comment on the legitimacy of a position. So most of the time I either ignore the stupidity of the post or hide it so I don’t have to be bombarded with the absurdity others feel compelled to push in front of me.
So now we come full swing into this election season, and those memes will only increase. After a full year of the media hyping or slamming every candidate, and the political junkies besmirching or glorifying their particular targets, I have to believe almost everyone has made up their mind about who they love or despise. There are those who either love or despise the current administration so much they are willing to cast their lot with an old, rich, white candidate of questionable integrity and judgement (as far as I know each party has a least one of these). Then there are those who wish to move further to whatever side they currently are on and buy into the promises of those who would pander to them. Finally, there are those who question the process by which we choose our candidates and would long for a return to a time where we were no obligated to demonize those we disagree with politically, and were able to find candidates who would be truthful and be able to explain the role of the President without promising beyond their ability to deliver. Unfortunately, being truthful does not get a candidate many votes, because we are all greedy and want to increase our share of the pie and the only way to achieve that this through the election.
So here are a few thoughts for those who love the promises of Mr. Sanders. If everyone has a college degree, then what will separate those in well paying positions and those who work at Freddie’s Fish Fillet Funhouse? Will it be the prestige of the University like it is today? Next, if we allow unlimited emigration to the US, and all the jobs that must be done, like garbage collection, home construction, road work and landscaping go to these individuals where will the typical citizen with a degree from Harvey’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Philosophy work? Or will they be supported by the state as civil servants and allowed to think great thoughts for a living? Finally, how much will this all cost the middle class, who regardless of the promises to tax the rich, will bear the bunt of the economic burden just through the shear number of people in that group?
On the other side of the coin, for those who love the promises of Mr. Trump just one simple question. What in his history, statements, and demeanor suggests he would be able to accomplish anything he says when he blusters his way through the roll of President? Although we have moved significantly towards making the Office of President one where he or she can be an autocrat; the power of the purse still rests with Congress. Finally, do you really think his interest is in the welfare of the middle class? If he saw a deal that would increase his fortune would he really put the interest of the nation before self-interest?
There are certain fundamental issues Mr. Trump has touched on that the left seems reluctant to address and unfortunately their supporters seem to care little about. One of those issues is with foreign trade agreements. We seem to love entering into these things, but what has it gotten us so far? Did NAFTA create new work for our middle class or did it allow American companies to move jobs out of the country? In the end you have to ask yourself, who did NAFTA benefit, the ordinary citizen or the rich who fund both parties?
Well that is enough rambling for today. Time to get busy with real work.