Before we dive in to the specific platforms and policies that we heard proposed in the first Democratic Debates over the last two nights, let us address a few things that may have been left out or only alluded to in the last piece I wrote about the candidates yesterday [Read that here if you missed it].
I’ve given this some thought over the years…. So from the start I’d like to attempt to share it with you. It’s no secret that I have often been accused of being “wishy washy”, i.e. refusing to take a position on a variety of subjects, not decidedly having an opinion, as most people seem to. On a whole host of matters. This is something I share with a very good friend you’ve heard me reference here in the Diaries many times, Matthew Sabatella (occasionally referred to as Toad in earlier years when these Diaries were more a workshop for the novel The Adventures of Fishy. And with Madeline O’Ryan. We spent our youth teens and twenties often ruminating and philosophizing on a whole host of subjects, finding it very difficult to understand the consciousness of those who could readily just make up their mind on something and give it no more thought. We found, and still do I believe, that important matters often have multiple facets that affect many people.
Despite what you may think you believe, research it a bit more or give it some more thought and you’ll find that it’s deeper and trickier than you first were led to believe. As a Philosophy major and a recording artist this way of being served me well, certainly didn’t hurt me, and in fact led to the whole “Ambassador” ideology that helped shape who I am today. I truly subscribe to the Will Rogers “I never met a person I didn’t like” mentality. Of course this infuriates both my liberal and my conservative friends. But it’s just how I was genetically spun. It’s how I came out. It serves The Ambassador very well. Ed Hale, maybe not so much sometimes. But I just happen to love people, and can usually find it pretty easy to see their side of things… and I just happen to be able to see all sides to almost any issue. They’re all just beliefs after all. Beliefs that we make up in each present moment. Whether we know it or not. (That’s really the secret. But that’s not what this post is about.)
Some people decide to be leaders. They want to be leaders. Some of them choose politics as their way of leading. In the old days, throughout our short history here on earth, these political leaders usually started out as corrupt thieves, conquerors, murderers and warriors. That’s human history in a nutshell. Study it. Royalty is a fancy way of attempting to legitimize being a heartless and corrupt thief and murderer. So too are most major religions. And most of human history’s most famous political leaders. Whether you start at the very very beginning with humanity’s first known “king” Sargon the Great, or the Egyptian Pharoes, through to the Akkadian, Babylonian and Persian kings or Alexander the not so Great, Attilla the Hun, Gengis Khan, Julius Caesar, all the Popes, the Sultans, the Ottomons, the English kings and Queens, etc etc on down the line what you find is a very bloody list of horrible human beings.
Of course that supposedly changed with the advent of American democracy, but as many of us know, it hasn’t been as clean and complete a transformation from the old ways as we’d like. Read or see Fog of War, watch Eisenhower’s farewell speech, study the suspiscious assasinations of the 1960s in America or study the United States’ forieng policy and handling of other countries around the world — as well as it’s treatment of the native americans and Africans shipped here — over the last two hundred and fifty years. America has been a horror movie and a shit show for most people except for wealthy white straight and connected men of means. Sadly. But that’s changing. I truly believe that.
So that’s one aspect of leadership. Another aspect of leadership is that in order to be a leader you have to decide WHO you want to lead. Because with leadership one has two choices: in a true democracy, one can only lead a small group of a country’s citizenry, 30 to 50% at best. The others just simply are not going to agree with your platform. OR…you can choose to lead in a more dictatorial way ala Lenin or Stalin or Hitler or Chairman Mao or Xi Jin Ping or Putin or Kim Jung Un or the Ayatollah Khomeini etc and you can tell yourself that you’re “leading all of the people”, but what you’re really doing is following the old line and forcing your leadership upon them. You’re being a conquerer-leader. Not an elected leader. Not a real leader.
In order to lead in a democracy you are forced to decide on a platform in order to “choose” the kind of people you want to lead. Usually people make this decision based on the values they feel they share most with certain groups of people AND with who they deem to believe hold the majority of the votes to get them elected. See, that’s politics, and we’ve already crossed the boundaries of what I’d ever be willing to do to be a leader. That’s just not my scene. Not even a little bit.
For me personally, I’d prefer to be a thinker. Thinkers maintain the ability to NOT choose based on politics or demographics or their desire to win or just for the sake of leadership. They can lead… but without pomp and title. They can change their mind based on new data or deeper reflection. They also have the noble ability to inherently represent more people because they are not forced to choose a platform, nor choose a certain group of people they’d like to lead over another group. This is an inherently exclusionary practice that I have never liked about democracy. Perhaps one day we will find a way to improve upon it. I hope so. In the meantime, thinkers don’t suffer the burden of having to participate in it.
This helps explain why I have continued to hammer home the idea that there is simply no way one can talk me into choosing to be either a democrat or a republican or any other club label. I am adamant about staying Independent. There are simply too many contradictions and limitations in the platforms of both parties, based on politics and demographics and a very greedy desire to “win”, to make the proposition appealing to me.
So with this now said… regarding the various policies we heard proposed over the last two nights, I find myself oftentimes on either side indiscriminately, both liberal and conservative, depending on the issue, based on thought and reflection, not on party politics. “Consciousness Aware of Itself” first. “Human” a very close second. Everything else — like political party, country, race, religion, etc. — further down the priority list. THIS would be my only platform, if I were forced to say I had one.
As a caveat let me say that due to the perilous harm and danger that the current president has already inflicted on our great republic and the potential for even more to come if he should stay in office, I do believe that a democrat needs to win. If the republicans would run another candidate, that might change things up a bit…. but that’s not going to happen. So it’s a non-issue. As of now, for the sake of all of us, for the sake of the entire globe, the democrats need to win the next U.S. presidential election.
This is not to say that president Trump is not without his shining achievements. He hasn’t been an unsuccessful president. Just a very chaotic dishonest divisive and unpopular one.
First and foremost, the election of Donald Trump was a huge blow to the whole “New World Order”/global elite constituency that many feared had gained too much control of world affairs — a group that Hilary Clinton seemed far too embedded in to make her a comfortable choice for red, blue or purple voters. Donald Trump and how he simply walked in and completely dominated the Republican party and then the election was nothing short of a people’s revolution — whether you align with those people or not; it was a true democratic people’s movement that the democrats just couldn’t compete with. They didn’t have the goods. What they were selling… was old tired suspect and honestly a little disturbing. Not even being able to claim that they were presenting our very first female presidential candidate was enough to win the election. That really says something.
People can smell “suspicious”. The difference? Hilary incessantly tried to mask that smell. Tried to pretend it didn’t exist. She perfumed the hell out of herself. Stayed married to Bill, even though we all know they haven’t been together in decades. That alone just didn’t sit well with those of us that knew. But Trump…. See…. Trump embraced that funky smell. He said bring it on. He fucking bragged about it. “Smell that? Yep, that’s me. You have no idea what I’m capable of, I’ll tell ya. I can be an animal if I have to.” Hell, we hadn’t seen that kind of confident machismo since Teddy Roosevelt. The other GOP candidates were so thrown they looked like little baby clowns and made the whole republican party look like a circus, and well he was their P.T. Barnum and their King Henry the VIII all at the same time. The media couldn’t get enough of the shenanigans.
Trump was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Hilary tried to act like all the years and years of suspicious activities and rumors of corruption surrounding her and her husband were just because she was a woman or because she was successful and people were jealous… It just didn’t sit well. They just had two very different approaches to very similar problems. And frankly Americans are still pretty much cowboys at heart. We’d rather invite a no-frills, straight talking gunslinger into the barn for some franks and beans than a beady-eyed, big-word-talking do-gooder.
And that’s what many feared about this New World Order of Global Elites conspiracy that had been floating around for so long… whether you believe in it or not doesn’t really matter. The truth of the matter is that Hilary Clinton could pick up the phone, call the president of France and Germany and convince them that “we should invade Libya and take out Gadhafi” and lo and behold three months later it would be happening. There was a lot of that during Hilary’s reign in Washington. In spite of Obama and Biden. She had a very special kind of power… One I hope we don’t see for many years to come. Trump vocally and specifically campaigned against that kind of elitist power. Despite his money, Trump still seemed like one of the people. Hilary seemed to be or believe that she was above everyone. Why I don’t know. Maybe because she’s so smart and well-informed… (She is….In fact she may be one of the smartest presidential candidates we’ve ever had.). But that’s not what mattered to people. It just didn’t sit well with them. People don’t want to be looked down on. They want to be charmed. And Hilary can be called just about everything but charming.
When Hilary campaigned in the South, you’d notice she’d suddenly adopt a southern “aw shucks” twang in her accent when she spoke. Real politicking. Trump just spoke like Trump. (This is what makes Bernie special too btw. No southern twang for him. He’s all New York and you better believe he means BIZness baby!)
Regarding Trump as president, if one were being fair and unbiased, one could also point to his skillful though occasionally clumsy negotiating tactics on behalf of fighting for what he believes is best for the country. That’s his job, to fight for and defend the United states of America. And one can observe that he takes the job very seriously. He loves his country (or better put, his idea of what the country is…) and he’s often willing to take the hard road to fight for it. If you think his China Tariffs have been an easy road for him, you need to study up on just what he’s trying to accomplish. It’s BIG. And it’s admirable. He’s right: if he pulls it off, it’ll be the biggest deal in human history. I admire the man for that kind of ambition and big thinking. No one else before him had the courage or strength to even attempt it.
The same could be said for his actions with North Korea. Obama warned him that that was our greatest existential threat on Day One, and it looks as though we are making progress in that arena. We should all wish him luck and success in this, not chastise him for “making friends with a crazy dictator”. What he’s trying to do there is nothing short of nearly impossible and yet extremely important. And by the way, if he’s successful in making any further progress with North Korea, especially some kind of a real peace accord or trade deal or nuclear freeze, this just might be the second biggest and most important deal made, right up there with the China deal he’s working on.
[This is what drives me crazy about some people. When it comes to psychology and human behavior, most people will choose to think and act on their emotions even if it’s against their own best interests, rather than with their mind, with logic and with rational thought. People feel so much hatred for Trump that they actually wish him to do badly, even when it’s in their own best interests. it’s a strange anomaly. Something we need to address and change. The Avatar Course tools are good for this. Sometimes we need to separate from our personal feelings and look at the bigger picture and what our bigger goals are.]
Trump’s measured and thoughtful approach to extricating the United States from foreign wars and removing our soldiers from foreign soil is another admirable accomplishment. Like him or not. Hawks be damned.
His cautious approach to the most recent skirmishes with the country of Iran in order to avoid something even bigger was impressive. Trump seems more interested in creating and proving American Exceptionalism through peace prosperity and deal making than the old-guard approach of American imperialism. This is refreshing.
Trump has also done an incredible job with the economy. Unless one wants to assert that he just happened to “fall into it”. That view wouldn’t necessarily be 100% counter-factual. But his election did rev up business in a way we hadn’t seen since the Reagan years. We don’t need to get deep into the specifics, because the numbers, science, facts, figures and stats behind understanding it all takes hours to review and years to learn. But it’s easy to quantify once you understand it. Compared to the rest of the world — every country is still reeling and challenged from the Financial Crisis ten years ago, the united states has the most envied and thriving economy on planet earth at the moment. We enjoy a thriving and enviable business sector that offers more employment opportunities than any other country on earth.
Is it perfect yet? No. It’s lopsided as all hell, with 1% of the population making (at least) one-hundred times more than the bottom 99%, and many Americans still unable to even meet their basic monthly bills, let alone have any measurable “expendable income”. Income inequality is a real problem all over the world, and America is no different. And it’s being created by very specific policies that need to change for real, not just be talked about. We’ll get into that in more detail below. But today we do enjoy one of the best economies we’ve had in decades from a statistical point of view. Did the Obama administration start the recovery and contribute to what we are experiencing now? Yes. That’s a given. Only Trump refuses to acknowledge that. Because he’s childish and immature. That’s too bad. Something that really works against his best interests. Half the time I feel bad for the guy. He truly is his own worst enemy.
I actually believe that were it not for his own personal demons and personality challenges getting in his way so much that Donald Trump may have had a shot of being viewed as one of the most successful U.S. presidents of all time based solely on his big goals and his willingness to work hard to achieve them. He just gets in his own way so often that it’s damn hard to support him or acknowledge his wins.
There are more… Despite what the haters say, Trump works hard, and seems eternally focused on accomplishing his goals and fulfilling his campaign promises. Of course the problem is that not everyone necessarily agrees with what he’s trying to do. They don’t like his policies. They don’t like his agenda. They don’t like his platform. And that makes an excellent segue into the main subject of this post, which we will address in Part 2 which directly follows this post.