I would no sooner vote for Donald Trump to be President of the United States than I would the world’s best actor, Keanu Reeves. Sorry, Keanu, you’re just not Presidential material. But I did think you did a good job in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
However, tonight, I heard Ted Cruz , in his victory (in Texas) speech, make The Donald sound like a perfectly reasonable candidate. One who pledged to work across the aisle to lead through compromise (by engaging Democrats over appointing Supreme Court Justices), leave the door open to making allies out of long-time enemies (by maintaining the Nuclear Treaty with Iran), who would socialize healthcare in the United States (by making it a single payer system run by the government), and who was just kidding about deporting millions and millions of illegal immigrants (as divulged in a conference with editors of the New York Times).
I was wondering who Cruz was working for. His speech sounded more like an appeal to Democrats to consider voting Republican in order to secure a socially liberal president who was open to negotiation. As the fire began to rage in Teddy’s viscera, he portrayed himself as so far to the right that John Birch might wonder if this guy’s gone too far. He’s socially conservative, religiously conservative, and fiscally conservative. The only thing Ted Cruz doesn’t conserve is fabric in his signature, ‘I’m wearing daddy’s clothes’ fashion statement.
I have to admit that I was shocked when I heard him repeating his oath to put 82,000 government employees out of work ASAP. I’m sure it would save the government money to not have all those extra employees, which might be why he thinks his ‘flat tax’ solution wouldn’t bankrupt the country. Although, I have to wonder if he’s also considering the impact that 1.2 million out of work tax preparers who won’t be paying any personal income tax might have. (IBISWorld estimates a much smaller industry in its report saying that only 290,000 employees work in tax prep). On March 15 of 2015, Cruz suggested that we deport the 82,000 IRS employees to Mexico. Perhaps including the 1.2 million tax preparers might help offset the rise in unemployment and the $10,000,000,000 hole in the GDP.
I didn’t mean to rant about this, but the more I think about what ideas Cruz holds dear, the more I think that he’s an even greater threat to America than The Donald. At least Donald will be creating jobs when his bluster puts the US into open war.
Who am I kidding. The Donald would never take us to war. After all, he was just nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Maybe I can get a job as a riveter.
March 2, 2016 at 6:46 am
When I read your “A Nasty Spin on the Prisoner’s Dilemma” I found the Jeb Bush quote kind of odd. As an outsider it seems to me, and has since this whole circus began, that you’ve got an elegant sufficiency of chaos candidates at the moment. For me Ted Cruz with his evidence denying, ideology driven, authoritarian plan* to completely destroy the US economy while getting the Government out of (what is left of) the business of being a Government of the People, while working towards establishing a theocracy favouring his own narrow sectarian interests, tops that list.
It seems to me that Rubio shares all the same flaws, at least to some degree. He also comes across as more likely to change position if it looks to be electorally advantageous. In the current messed up political climate that may well be enough to undo him.
Trump, is Trump. It is hard to think of a more insulting thing to say about anyone than that. But I’d be voting for Brad Pitt for President before I’d vote for Trump, and Trump long before Rubio, Rubio before Cruz. And, while I am heartily sick of the sight and the sound and the stench of the Bush Dynasty, I would have chosen Jeb over any of the others in the Republican field.
On the Democratic side we have the evidence denying, ideology driven, Authoritarian Left Bernie Sanders. Bernie first came to my attention at the beginning of the nineties when one of my friends, an Iranian refugee, took me along to a meeting of some Nicaraguan refugees he knew. During the evening they played some old newsreels, including one of Sanders talking about his sister city deal with Puerto Cabezas in Nicaragua. He was passionate, and erudite, and moving, and kinder to Regan than I would have been. For someone who knew nothing about the Sandinistas it would probably have been quite convincing. But it is a mass of false equivalencies and double standards. At the time the Sandinistas had disappeared around 3000 people, and murdered an estimated 2000 more. Human Rights Watch claimed they were responsible for an additional 14000 illegal incarcerations, torture, rapes, and mutilations. They were also carrying out a genocide of the Miskito Indians. Thanks to the magic of the Internet**, I’ve found the speech from the newsreel. It is a masterful performance, and well worth watching.
Just recently, last July, I came across him again while researching F35s (my Government had decided to order a pile more of them as part of a scheme to create a budget crisis, so that they could justify their ideologically driven schemes to an electorate that remains hostile to them). Surprise, surprise! Bernie has a long record of voting pro military, and anti gun control, and also has a track record of dismissing concerns of members of his electorate who disagree with his positions. I found this article interesting: What I Learned About Bernie Sanders. Written by one of his interns for Socialistworker.org. I suppose in the interests of full disclosure I should point out that I am politically to the left of Bernie’s actual behaviour, if not his rhetoric. I am also as passionately anti authoritarian as he is authoritarian. I don’t like what I see as his double standards and his hypocrisy, nor his support of human rights abuses by governments who’s ideological positions he supports.
That kind of leaves Hillary as the best of a very bad lot. I very much don’t like her. But at least she is not totally crippled with the modern burnt earth political disease — that trying to include your opposition, trying to get the best working deal you can, is an unforgivable sin and treason. Lately she seems to be considering people who disagree with her, and thinking about why they disagree. Maybe the best thing about Sanders is that he has caused Hillary to move somewhat further left. I’m not holding my breath, but I think that there is a very long shot that she could become a sort of Robert Kennedy Extra Lite. If so, and if Democrat supporters actually got off their butts and voted for a reasonable Congress and Senate, there is a possibility that things could actually improve for the average American.
And just to add a little international flavour to this, we also have an election coming up this year. And our clown car is also full to overflowing. We have a Labour party (actually a centre right party) busy creating outgroups, and an associated plan to gut the Australian economy — because they think there will be votes in it. A Liberal party (actually a right wing conservative party, currently in power) driven by their far right, who always considered most Australians as part of an out group, and who have a different plan to destroy the Australian economy. We have a Green party, who cut off their face to spite their nose years ago, and haven’t improved since. And we have an ex-Prime Minister who no one can stand, sniping at his replacement, who most people like, but who is totally ineffectual because his policies are largely dictated by his parties right wing, who he mostly disagrees with. For the first time in my life I feel there is no one in national politics who is worthy, or safe, to vote for.
See, I can rant too. I know you’re surprised…
…and I’ve written an essay again. Are you still surprised?
*I use the term “plan” very loosely. He has shown more method or path to achieve his goals than Trump has shown. Just passionate assertions of what he intends. Which at least has the virtue of being simple and emotional enough that his perceived constituency can follow it. Maybe he learnt the technique from The Donald?
** I was actually looking for the name of Puerto Cabezas, Burlington’s sister city. I couldn’t remember what it was called.
March 2, 2016 at 8:38 pm
A great reply. My great hopes and desires for the country (USA) have slowly flaked away over the years along with my faith that people actually want to solve problems rather than just rig the system for themselves. At this point, I like to hear a politician with lofty goals and a solid plan, but I tend to vote for the candidate that I think is least likely to totally screw up and drive us into complete bankruptcy or war. This may be caused by the fact that I am a leftist socialist living in a staunchly conservative plain state (Kansas – the state who’s name is nearly synonymous with religious fundamentalist enemy of the evil that is evolution).
Well, thanks for the links! I am enjoy listening to and watching a much younger Bernie.
Good luck with your own electoral mess! and be secure in the knowledge that no one in America has any idea what’s going on down under. We would only be genuinely interested if you were a state and had more oil than the Arabian Peninsula.