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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017
A Hard Look At Some Hard #Truths
The other day, I was speaking with someone who voted for Trump and I couldn't help but ask them why. Their answer both surprised me and it didn't. You see, they freely admitted that they didn't like his hateful rhetoric about Mexicans, Muslims, and other racial, religious, and ethnic minorities. That's actually the first thing they said when I asked them why they voted for Trump. But, they told me, they tend to vote on one issue and one issue only, healthcare. They want universal healthcare and Trump said he would find a way to do that.
In light of the recent Trumpcare fiasco and how it was obvious that he didn't care a thing about making sure every American has health insurance, I asked them why they believed him when he said that he was in favor of universal healthcare. Because he did say that on more than one occasion, but I found it hard to believe that anyone actually thought he was telling the truth. You know what that person told me? They said they didn't really believe that he meant it, but they hoped he did, and they did believe Hillary Clinton when she said she wasn't in favor of universal healthcare.
You see, that right there is the problem. The American people want certain things, universal healthcare is one of them, but neither party is offering the things that the American public wants. Why? Because neither party actually represents the voters. The only ones they represent are their rich donors and corporations, and the interests of the elite are in direct opposition to the interests of average, everyday Americans. And that's something that's not going to change unless we force it to change.
I've had several people ask me why I constantly harp on problems with the Democrats when there are so many things that Trump and the Republicans do that are horrible. They're right. Trump and the Republicans in power are absolutely deplorable on every level. Frankly, I just don't think there's anything there to work with. They are my enemy and they are perfectly honest and up-front about that fact. They want the opposite of what I want, so why should I try to find common ground with them? It's a waste of time.
The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans in some ways. In other ways, such as on social issues, they are better. But, even more important, they claim to be on my side. In practice, they aren't, which is why I criticize them so much. But they pay lip-service to the same values and principles I hold dear. It's a place to start, which is more than what I have with the Republicans, so that's what I'll work with.
Would I prefer to just chuck the whole system out the window and start over with a new party? Sure. But the political system as it currently exists in the US makes that almost impossible. Perhaps, maybe, with a lot of hard work from a lot of people over the next couple of decades, we could build enough momentum behind a third party that it would be able to overtake and replace one of the major parties. But are you willing to cede control of the country to the lunatics in power now for the next twenty years? I'm not. Which is why I think the only reasonable solution is to force the Democrats to actually become what they claim to be, the Party of the People.
What does that mean? It means taking a hard, critical look at the Democrats in office and calling them out when they fail to live up to the principles they claim to stand by. If they respond, great! We've won. If they don't, then we need to get them out of office and replace them with people who will listen to the voters and not the donors. Practically speaking, that means getting big money out of politics, which is a goal that several organizations, such as Move To Amend and Wolf-Pac, are working towards. Other groups, like Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, are taking a more direct approach by using grass-roots movements to fund and support primary challenges to incumbent candidates who refuse to listen to what their voters want.
Personally, I think both of these approaches are needed. They complement each other and the success of one greatly enhances the chances for success of the other. That's why I support groups in both camps. Unlike establishment-run political action committees (PACs), groups like these rely on donations and activism from nobodys like me. Which is why they represent the interests of nobodys like me. Tell me something, "Are you nobody too? Then there's a pair of us!" ;-) Seriously, though, there are an awful lot of us nobodys out there. And if we work together, we can force those in power to do what we want them to do.
But that's the crux of the matter, working together. Neither of these approaches, nor any others, will succeed unless the rest of us start pushing the establishment in Washington. Because there's an awful lot of inertia in DC and, as anyone who is even passingly familiar with Newtonian physics knows, an object at rest tends to stay at rest...unless acted upon by an outside force. We're that outside force, my friends, and I'd say it's well passed time for us to start acting.