Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Why Did This Happen And What Do We Do About It?

Okay, this post will probably piss off about 75% of the people who read it. So, if you don't want to risk being offended, my advice to you is to stop reading now. Because Trump hasn't yet managed to repeal the First Amendment, and I'm about to exercise my right to speak freely. If you do read it and feel compelled to respond in the comments, go ahead. If your response is to challenge my assertions, assumptions, or analysis of the issues, I'll happily take up the gauntlet. If you follow my blog at all, you know that I'm not the least bit shy about engaging in political debate. If your response is to name-call and hurl insults, I'll ignore you. Fair warning.

For the last couple of days, I've been seeing a lot of posts and articles about how Trump's victory is due to White Supremacy making its last gasp. That it is only due to rampant racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry that Trump has won. Well, that's not entirely true. Oh, Trump, himself, is certainly a bigot. Either that, or he's a supremely talented method actor who plays one on TV. And, uh, yeah, that last was sarcasm. Trump is a bigot, no argument. And there are certainly plenty of people who are also bigots who voted for him because of his bigotry. Hell, he was endorsed by the largest, most successful, racially motivated, domestic terrorist group in United States history, the KKK. To say that some people supported him because of his and their shared bigotry is just stating the obvious.  But there are also plenty of people who aren't bigots who voted for him. And that fact seems to be largely ignored by some people.

Now, are the people who voted for him who aren't bigots more comfortable with and tolerant of bigotry in others than is healthy for an inclusive society? Yeah, a lot of them probably are, but that's a separate problem and a different discussion for another day. The point of this post is, there's another issue here, and ignoring it won't make it go away.

The other issue is Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism and the havoc they have wreaked on this country for the last 35 years. No one who has taken even a cursory look at the data can argue that a massive shift in wealth has taken place since the early 1980s, and that all that money has been going to those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder. Why? Because Neoliberal and Neoconservative economic policies -- which are astonishingly similar, by the way -- don't work for creating a healthy economy or a strong middle class. The only thing they work for is to concentrate all the money in the hands of the already rich.

After 35 years of these policies, the middle class in this country is hurting. And when people are in pain, they tend to get angry at anyone they think is causing that pain. Now, begin the primaries for the 2016 Presidential Election, and you've got anti-establishment wild cards on both sides of the aisle. On the left, you've got Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed social democrat who has been fighting the establishment and corruption since he was arrested with Civil Rights protestors in the '60s. And, on the right, you've got Donald Trump, a draft-dodging multimillionaire who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but who talks a good game.

Both of these candidates took on the might of the establishment and faced other candidates who were beloved by that establishment. Both had more success in their bid for the nomination than anyone, even themselves, could have possibly predicted. But, ultimately, the Democratic Party establishment proved to be better cheaters than the Republican establishment, and it was only Donald Trump who secured his party's nomination. Much to the chagrin of the party's leadership.

Now, enter Hillary Clinton, the ultimate establishment insider, who embodies everything that many people in this country hate about our political system. To be fair, she's not solely responsible for the state of affairs in this country, there are many, many others who share the blame, but she certainly became a symbol of all that is wrong in this country.

And, after the wide-spread cheating and election fraud committed by the DNC on her behalf, what did Hillary Clinton do? With her entire progressive base and all the other Independents who had flocked to Sanders, because of his refreshing brand of populism and honesty, up in arms over the fact that Bernie Sanders, their special darling, had not been given a fair shot at the nomination, Hillary turned her back on them and told them to eat shit, smile, kiss her ass, and say, "Thank you, m'lady, for your generosity." Surprise, surprise, they didn't like that too much.

So, what did all these angry, hurting people do? They told her, "You first!" and went to find their own solutions. Some of them went to Jill Stein, some of them went to Gary Johnson, some of them went to Trump, and a large majority of them said, "Fuck this shit, I'm not going to waste my time voting." And why did all these people think that voting didn't matter? Could it possibly be because the DNC proved to them during the primary that their votes didn't matter because the system was rigged against them?

Now, all the people who aren't bigots who voted for Trump, they were just practicing the Golden Rule of capitalism, "Look to thine own ass, first." To them, Trump represented a way to buck the establishment, which they hate, and he said he'd put a stop to the trade deals and outsourcing that have landed them in poverty.

Because, as much as the Democrats love to point at how many jobs have been created under Obama, they always seem to conveniently forget the fact that those jobs are not an equal trade for the jobs that have been lost under the Neoliberals and Neoconservatives. And Obama is a Neoliberal, which is why he's been pushing the TPP so hard.

The jobs Obama has "created" are mainly low-paying, service jobs, many of them part-time and/or temporary. People need three of these jobs just to keep a roof over their heads, and a lot of them still have to decide between putting food on the table or buying the medicine their kid needs. The jobs Trump promised to bring back are well-paying, manufacturing jobs that people can depend on and support a family with. So, like the good little capitalists they're supposed to be, a lot of people said, "Fuck it. I know he's a douche who will hurt others, but I'm not on his list and he'll help me get mine back." Which brings me to the part that's going to piss off the other segment of the people who are reading this.

If you voted for Trump and you're a bigot, then, yep, he's your candidate. Congratulations on being a despicable human being, you and Trump deserve each other. If you voted for Trump and you're not a bigot, well, m'dears, you've done been took! How could you, even for one moment, imagine that a man who calls a million dollars a "small loan," who outsources the labor to manufacture his own products, and whose tax plan is the same tired, trickle-down Reaganomics bullshit that helped create the problem in the first place could possibly have any intention of helping you out? How much do you want to bet Trump will rename the TPP and pass it at the first opportunity? Yeah, you've all been snookered by a talented con artist. I guess P.T. Barnum was right when he said there was a sucker born every minute, because you've all just proved that point.

Oh, I don't expect any of you to agree with me, yet. Trump hasn't had time to do his damage, and no one likes to admit they were wrong.  Especially, when they are as wrong as you guys are. But, in a year or so, when Trump has broken all his promises, remember, I told you so. Is that rude and condescending? Yep! Pissed off? Aww, I thought y'all liked honesty and blunt speech. Guess not when it applies to you, huh?

The reason I've gone on this long-winded tirade is because we've got a serious problem in this country, and you can't fix a problem until you've properly diagnosed it. If you try to fix a problem before you know what it actually is, you do things like elect Trump as President.

All you Hillary supporters need to stop pretending that she was a good candidate. Because she wasn't. She was awful. You need to stop defending the Democrats because that's "your party," because the Democratic establishment won't get out of the way for the changes that need to take place unless you make them.

A few days ago, I posted a, relatively, optimistic prediction of what will happen over the next few years on my Facebook wall that a lot of people said made them feel better.  I said that the next two years are going to massively suck, and there's not much we can do about that.  Trump and his cronies will destroy the economy, we'll have another recession, if not an outright depression, and he'll get us into more stupid wars. But, in two years -- when the economy has imploded, there's even more unemployment, and the people realize what a mistake Trump is -- the House and Senate will both flip to overwhelming Democratic majorities, and then Trump will be stalemated. He won't be able to get anything done, and Congress won't get much done either. Oh, they might use their super-majority to get a few things through by overriding the Presidential veto. But, by and large, nothing will get done for two years.  Then, four years from now, Elizabeth Warren, or someone like her, will win the Presidential election by a landslide, the Democrats will keep the House and Senate, and together they'll be able to undo some of the damage that will be done over the next two years.  At that point, we might be able to move this country forward into the 21st century and join the rest of the modern world in terms of quality of life and social equality.

But that, admittedly mixed, prediction is entirely predicated on the notion that the Democratic Party will use that time to revamp itself into the progressive, populist party that people want. If they fail to do that, then all that happens is Trump gets validated and reelected.  Because change is always scary, and the worse things are, the scarier any change seems. When things are really bad, and they will be two years from now, if people aren't convinced a change will be for the better, they'll almost certainly pick no change over change.  And if this election has highlighted anything, it's that the people of this country do not consider Neoliberalism a hope for positive change.

And all you people who voted for Trump but aren't bigots, you need to realize that unless you throw your lot in with the rest of the people in this country who are hurting financially because of the robber barons, you not only won't get any of your own back, you'll lose even more of what you have. Because the Trumps of the world don't give a good god damn about you or anyone other than themselves.

We need to work together, people, to get big money out of politics, so our voices can be heard again. We need to work together to break up the Good Ol' Boys club in DC and replace them all with candidates who actually represent us and what we want. And we need to do it soon. Because, if we don't, there won't be anything left to fight over.

So, what am I going to do? I'm going to volunteer with organizations that are working to make that happen. I'm going to make phone calls, write letters, blog, tweet, knock on doors, and generally be a big ol' pain in the establishment's ass in any way I can think of. How about you?

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