Vice, that paragon of all things moronically millennial, recently published a piece arguing that since older people will have to live less than younger people with the consequences of their voting decisions, their votes should count for less. This is not only anti-democratic, but it is ageist, arrogant, and privileges the youth over the youth-less.
First off, it’s true that the elderly constitute a special interest group with their own concerns (healthcare, etc.) and tend to vote in a certain way to benefit themselves. But this is nothing unique: younger people also vote their interests (education costs etc.). Self-interest is normal in a democracy and is not the basis for disqualification. Further, let us not be hasty and assume that every vote is driven by self-interest in a purely monetary fashion. There are some things more important than cash, and the Brexit vote is a good example of that. The UK will take some sort of a hit financially in the short run, but apparently the majority of voters thought this a reasonable price to pay for wrenching their national sovereignty out of the hands of Brussels and improving their border security. Continue reading
The two most similar candidates running for president currently are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Despite their aesthetic differences and opposing vanity attributes, they are both uniquely different than the candidates they face in their respective races. Yes, they both capitalize on anger and yes they are both insurgents who break the mold, but the real similarity lies in their conflicts with their respective party tickets and their approaches to the issues about which they are most vocal.
Both Sanders and Trump are relatively unconcerned when it comes to foreign policy. Yes, they will answer questions when forced to, but unlike the late Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton, they do not build their soapboxes atop grand models of global interventionism. The Donald complained loudly a few debates back about the amount of expenditure lavished upon regime change pet projects overseas which garner intangible and incomprehensible benefits for the American people while our roads and bridges crumble back home: “We have spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that, frankly, … if we could have spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges and all of the other problems, our airports and all of the other problems we have, we would have been a lot better off — I can tell you that right now.” Back in February of last year Bernie Sanders argued for his proposed infrastructure bill by arguing that it would be far cheaper than the Iraq war and actually provide a tangible benefit for the American people. They make essentially the same argument on this point, much to the chagrin of the DC war party which is supported by both Democrats and republicans.
A Photograph of H. A. Goodman latched comfortably to Bernie Sanders
Sometimes one comes across people who are in the wrong business. Occasionally it is so obvious that one is not entirely sure how they do not see this themselves. Luckily for many of these sorts of people, delusion is often at hand to stroke their egos and strike them blind when confronted with their proverbial ‘swing-and-a-miss’ predictions and proclamations. One of these people whom I have taken notice of lately is H.A. Goodman. Goodman is a Bernie-bot who is so slovenly devoted that he has transformed into one of those feeder fish who suctions onto the underbelly of a shark for shelter and sustenance. The problem with being one of these underbelly feeders is that your success depends almost entirely on the success of the host. Thus, the parasitic fish in question, while writing on the bastions of journalistic excellence known asThe Huffington Post and Salon, paints a picture in which his shark is the baddest and most unstoppable creature in the sea. It would almost be sad if it wasn’t so damn entertaining. Continue reading
I’ll protect you from the corporations.
Hillary recently published a piece on CNN decrying campaign finance laws (see Citizens United) and state’s “restricting voting rights.” I’m not convinced that Citizens United is the great evil it’s cracked up to be. Jeb(!) with his grand war-chest is on life support. Trump is playing the game with pocket change. So much for buying elections. Nor do I think that efforts to improve the integrity of the voting process necessarily imprudent (we don’t want dead people voting, do we?). But I’m not interested in either of these issues at the moment. What interests me is Hillary’s belief that democracy, and more of it, is a good in-of-itself. As she puts it: “Let’s restore people’s voices and people’s votes to their rightful place — at the center of our democracy.” Clear away the barriers thrown up by corporate money and voter restrictions, let the unadulterated voice of the people ring forth, bring freedom to the oppressed, and the nation will rise to a glorious future. In this assumption, Hillary is joined by her competitor, Bernie. Of course, it’s Hillary, and she’s received gobs of money from corporations and so I suspect Hillary’s appeal is fundamentally disingenuous, and yet the belief in the will of the people is deeply ingrained in the progressive left. Continue reading
A bit of fiction from an election in which the truth is often stranger . . .
I had blinked and rubbed my eyes a number of times as though the repeated acts would offer some new shot of clarity. They did not, and I muddled on in confusion and in the sweat and noise of the bodies all clustered around me humming with excitement audible and otherwise, an electrical charge which seemed poised to arc between to conductive points. The man crouched over the podium raised his hands again and charged into a new tirade. I squinted as the light caught the morphing of his facial muscles. The jury was still out as they say, but my suspicions had gone into overdrive as had the crowd. Why had I been drawn out of California and halfway across the nation to, of all things, a political rally? Had it all started as a simple act of kindness and morphed into something else? Was it obsession?
About a year back, my friend Trey had asked me to look in on his uncle, an older man who lived by himself with the daily invasion of a well-meaning but beleaguered healthcare worker. Business took Trey all around the country, and his uncle was the only family he had. He had explained that he felt guilty and could pay me a little for the service, since I was between jobs. The old man didn’t live too far from my apartment, so I assented and gave Trey that superior satisfaction garnered from killing two birds with one stone. I guess he figured that he was doing his uncle and I both favors, and he was not wrong. Continue reading
A little while ago Argos, our European-African traveler, visited Stockholm Sweden for four days.
(See here his reports from Belgium and Jordan).
Argos, mind you, is of conservative persuasions, and the Scandinavian fling with socialism does not suit him. And yet he found it hard to deny that Stockholm had it going on: “It was maybe the most beautiful city I’ve been to.” Despite the absence of mountains (something Argos has always loved), the water was gloriously clear, the buildings magnificent, the streets clean, and the people gorgeous, which probably had something to do with the fact that, wherever he looked, he saw Swedes running, biking, and walking. Continue reading
Whenever I see Bernie Sanders speaking I simply picture him wearing a wizard costume with loose and floppy sleeves flapping around his wrists as he waves his arms overhand at the audience in an attempt to invoke some magical spell on them. So far, the old alchemist seems to be convincing people he can accomplish his craft. Bernie has made many people confident that he can turn dirt into gold and then throw it out on the waiting masses by the overflowing handful. It’s an effective method of electioneering. Many leaders throughout history have used the bread and circuses method, and, sadly, it appears that most of our juveniles never read Juvenal. Traditionally it has never been very difficult to get a following of people when you’re offering free stuff. Despite young people’s skepticism concerning religion, they do seem ready to believe a fiery preacher offering miracles. I don’t doubt Bernie’s good intentions, but his socialistic goals are not very feasible economically speaking.
There are two fatal issues with Sanders’ promises to Americans. The first is his offering of free education, despite the already plummeting quality and rising costs of college in the US. The second flaw is his hard-nosed approach to banks and corporate America. Bernie is very good at pointing out the problems, but his solutions only travel further down the road of impracticality, revealing a complete lack of reasonable implementation of his views. I’ll dig into both issues and try to explain what I mean. Continue reading