Monday, January 02, 2017

US Presidential Election--Coincidence or Coup?

What do you call it when voting rights are under assault, and those affected are largely those who'd be pivotal in a national election? Does anyone really believe that we're having a crisis because people don't show photo ID when we vote? I know a guy who watches Fox News who told me that. Now me, I believe that it's blatant manipulation to favor the Republican Party, which is squarely the worse of two less than perfect choices in the United States. Clearly this is manipulation, and clearly it may have turned the tide in this presidential election.

Then, of course, you read all this stuff about Russia and Putin. You see candidate Donald Trump ask the Russians to leak crap about Hillary to Wikileaks, or wherever. Some are now saying this is a big smokescreen and the Dems are just using all this Russia talk to deflect blame for their miserable failure to defeat one of the least popular presidential candidates in history. So perhaps it's not true, and the FBI and CIA are incorrect that Russia had something to do with this election. I don't really know. But the whole thing stinks regardless.

And hey, let's talk about those wacky funsters at the FBI. What is the deal with James Comey coming out with Hillary email stories during the election? Have you ever heard of federal agencies talking investigation of candidates for presidential office during the campaign? First they decide there's nothing to it, and then they come out again and find some stuff on Anthony Weiner's computer or something, issuing grave warnings in the campaign's final days and then drawing them back. With the whisper-thin victories in swing states, it's hard to imagine that this had no effect. It's also hard to imagine that Comey had no idea how important his statements might be. In this case, it's absolutely conceivable that he turned the election. 

Then there's the media, with its odd coverage. Ronald Reagan killed the Fairness Doctrine, enabling crap like Fox News and consistently biased coverage. Bernie Sanders was a loser and not worth covering. Then Bernie started to win and he was still a loser and not worth covering. At no point, evidently, did he have any chance of catching up with Hillary. And that, perhaps, was a self-fulfilling prophecy. To see this man, this man who said all Americans should have health care, who said all Americans should have a living wage, who said all Americans should have access to college education, portrayed as a wild-eyed lunatic was truly outrageous.

And then there's the press now, with its odd coverage of Donald J. Trump. The Wall St. Journal is evidently refraining from calling Trump lies "lies." That's beyond the pale, evidently. We need to respect things like Trump University, because that, for all I know, is where Wall St. Journal editors studied journalism. Of course they didn't cover the voting rights rollback, nor did many media outlets. For that, you'd have to go to The Nation or some equally weirdo site. And who knows who reads stuff like that? Probably loonies like Bernie Sanders and me, with crackpot ideas about taking care of Americans even after they are born. Trump lies outright, and maybe WSJ will get access for not reporting it. Media outlets are nonetheless nervous, with some seeing this man as more or less pathological, and expect a rocky road ahead. They need to get real and tell us the truth, or they're useless.

Then of course, it bears mention that we don't even have a democracy. With 42% of the vote, GOP controls the Senate. And then there's this insane and ludicrous system called the Electoral College that exists for no defensible reason. Donald Trump actually lost by almost 3 million votes and yet he's headed for the White House. But you add all this stuff up and it really looks like a coup. Let's try to be fair. We didn't see anyone storm any palaces. There haven't been any beheadings. But there was a long-term goal, a bunch of people worked toward it, and we now have a juvenile lunatic set to become President of the United States, perhaps something even those who manipulated the system so cynically did not anticipate.

Can it be called a coup if no shots were fired, and rules were bent and manipulated and perhaps not outright broken? I don't know. Sixteen years ago we had an equally odd situation, with Bush losing the popular vote, wacky antics in little brother's state (which is still disenfranchising enough people to turn a Presidential election), and Daddy's Supreme Court making the final decision. So maybe there's precedent. But here's what I know for sure--it stinks to high heaven. This isn't the United States they taught me about back in grade school. It more closely resembles the banana republic from Woody Allen's Bananas, which may one day prove as prescient as Orwell's 1984.

But it's very much beginning to resemble that too. 
blog comments powered by Disqus