Thursday, April 09, 2020

Land of the Free

I've never seen our country quite in the condition it's in. How can it be, in the richest country in the world, that we have no masks for doctors and nurses? How can it be that hospitals are dressing employees in plastic bags because they haven't got protective gowns?

How can it be that we have a President hyping unproven treatments in which he owns stock? How, after all this time, can COVID testing be inaccessible to so many? With such scarce testing, how can we determine with any accuracy how deadly this pandemic is? I spoke to someone yesterday whose significant other had tested positive, yet she and her children were not sure they could get tested.

This is not the country I learned about when I was a kid. In fact, it seems more like a third world banana republic of sorts. I thought that when GW Bush became President based on Daddy's court and little brother's state. Lately, though, that seems like a quaint memory.

I didn't think we'd see a worse president than GW, but now we have one. He's managed to make our reptilian governor look like a hero. Andrew Cuomo may be cutting Medicaid in the midst of a pandemic, and he may refuse to make his well-heeled BFFs pay additional taxes, but he's a grownup who's not insane. You can't say that about the juvenile narcissist in the White House.

And take a look at what's going on elsewhere, In Wisconsin, they had a primary on Tuesday. One of the republican legislators who pushed this through got dressed up in a mask and gown, announcing it was perfectly safe for all the residents who lacked access to the protective gear. You wouldn't see this in a science fiction film because fiction needs to be believable. The hypocrisy was simply mind-blowing.

And the results on the ground were incredible. Milwaukee, which contains a large population of people of color, had five polling places for the entire city. Two years ago, there were 200. People waited up to five hours in the hail to vote. Only 3% of eligible voters showed up, a 90% drop. Why? Because the deciding vote on the Wisconsin Supreme Court was up, and the Republicans did not want a fair vote. Not only the state GOP, but also Trump's SCOTUS affirmed that this whole democracy thing was inconvenient. In fact, SCOTUS voted virtually to deny Wisconsin the right to do the same.

And before we shrug aside the lack of democracy in other states, and pat ourselves on the back for being so true blue, the fact is it appears there will be no primary in NY. Evidently the powers that be don't think it's worth our time, what with Bernie having suspended his campaign. So not only was our state ignored in the national election, but we also get no voice whatsoever in the Democratic nominee. Somehow, that's okay.

All over the web, I see the same people saying vote blue no matter who. It's time for you stubborn Bernie supporters to get behind a guy who talks about vetoing Medicare for All. If Biden loses, it will be the fault of Bernie supporters for refusing to embrace a candidate who lies about his record on social security, who lies about his record on the bankruptcy bill, who claimed Bernie was supported by nine super pacs, offered to name them, and when Bernie said go ahead replied, "Come on."

As if that's not enough, he's now accused of rape, and I've seen the same people who condemned Judge Biff saying you now must support Biden with all you've got. I know people actively grieving over Bernie having dropped out. I'm kind of over that phase, as I saw it coming last month. Though I was hoping for the best, the writing was on the wall.

Now I can't stand Trump. I'm also a unionist, and Janus was an abomination. I know the same people who pushed it have other ideas, and will push them. I now see this election as a referendum on who gets to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I can't allow that to be Donald Trump, and I'll vote for Joe Biden with no enthusiasm whatsoever.

However, just because I've been reluctantly pulled into the fold, my vote does not mean a whole hell of a lot. NY is reliably blue, as is CA. It's awful that so many of us have no voice in the process. At least CA had a primary. After this election we're gonna have to look closely at this undemocratic two-party system, the undemocratic primary system, and the undemocratic Electoral College. I fail to see why a vote in Montana should count more than one in NY.
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