Decency is what made and makes America great. Our decency is a foil to autocrats around the world. Putting human rights before money has been our hallmark until now as a homegrown plutocrat has usurped our democracy.
What is a plutocrat? A plutocrat is a person whose power derives from their wealth and NOT from their talent, ability, intelligence, insight, character, morality, service, leadership or decency.
The lack of these noble characteristics were apparent during the campaign and into the presidency. Adam Schiff listed some of the unacceptable behaviors including trying to establish a back channel between the campaign and Russia, not reporting Russia’s attempts to contact members of the campaign team to the FBI, meeting with the Russian’s in the Trump Tower and lying about the purpose of the meeting, trying to procure a business deal in Moscow for another Trump Tower and lying about it to the American public, and hiring criminals to run and work in the campaign (e.g. Manafort, Gates, Cohen, Flynn…). And, not addressing Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. Schiff said IT’S NOT OKAY! IT IS UNPATRIOTIC AND CORRUPT!
We are in desperate need of a truly intelligent leader of great moral character. We need a return to decency. Your vote is essential to the survival of our democracy!
It’s NOT immigrants, socialists, inner-city poverty, rural poverty, gangs, drugs, hostile foreign powers, war, Russian spies, ISIS, foreign influence or anything else you can think of.
IT IS INCOME INEQUALITY!!!
An insatiable upper class puts wealth before humanity and the common good and is stealing the wealth that was generated by us all. Honest toil has been devalued even though it is essential for the wealth and the well-being of our democracy.
We don’t need fancy philanthropy, we need livable wages and benefits. We need to honor hard work and stop idolizing ego feeding wasteful wealth. Democracy is good for everyone and must come first! We need legislation that benefits all Americans, not just the powerful and wealthy. According to a John Stossel special I saw years ago, money does not buy happiness beyond basic needs. He stated that happiness does not increase with money once a modest lifestyle is achieved.
We need to remember that the greatness of our country, since post World War II, was founded on a majority middle class that was mostly public educated. People who were willing to work a 40 hour work week regardless of their level of education could easily enter the middle class. I realize that many ordinary jobs today require more training, but shop classes in high schools and certificate programs in community colleges could readily remedy this problem creating success for many and the well-trained workers that employers seek.
We need to support and honor the dignity of work with livable wages and benefits in order to save our democracy!
How are we supposed to react to childish bullying and name-calling from an adult? Sixteen candidates in the 2016 Republican primary were unsuccessful in their response to adolescent taunting as they tumbled one by one. Not even one ridiculous, outrageous or derogatory claim phased the perpetrator and all reasonable responses were ineffective. I’m still befuddled how such unacceptable, juvenile behavior became an effective political tool in the American race for president. Fortunately, I have witnessed what may be the perfect response.
This week Beto O’Rourke announced his run for the 2020 presidency. When Trump was asked what he thought about this, he went on a lengthy critique describing Beto’s hand movements when he talks while Trump contributed nothing of relevant substance. When Beto was asked what he thought about Trump’s characterization of his hand gestures, he simple and smartly said… “I have nothing to say about that…” Not giving Trump’s middle school comments attention or credence is the best response. This is a lesson that Elizabeth Warren could have benefited from when confronted with the “Pocahontus” taunts as her DNA testing backfired in denouncing Trump.
So the answer is to ignore the immature remarks and to continually address in great detail the issues that are important to Americans. Argue the issues not the school yard goading. You will find that your opponent does not have the tools to compete with you. He only has one tool in his box. Shut it down by ignoring it!!!
As a product of the dignity of work, I can only guess what it is like to be in the realm of wealth. People who engage in the dignity of work perform essential tasks for our society and have specialized skills. They dutifully and reliably go to work for 30 or 40 years in order to have a few carefree years to spend time with family and maybe travel or take up a hobby in the last years of their lives.
Over the course of my life, I have seen the dignity of work greatly devalued by our society. I have witnessed legislators favoring the wealthy and depleting worker protections. I have seen CEO pay increase to 500 times the pay of the workers. It seems that those in the realm of wealth have lost touch with the reality of most Americans. Most Americans today are living paycheck to paycheck as wages have not kept up with the cost of living. Many work more than one job and many others work full-time jobs yet live in poverty.
I know that Paul Manafort does not represent all wealthy people, but he seems to represent an attitude of money first, money before ethics, morality and empathy. According to reports I’ve heard on television, Manafort worked for a very wealthy, unsavory, pro-Putin oligarch in the Ukraine who acquired his wealth through illegal means. As awful as all of this is, I am really troubled by Manafort’s insatiable appetite for money and things. He apparently blew through $80,000,000 and then borrowed another $20,000,000. In my estimation, this represents the life’s savings of 200 middle class workers who collectively toiled for 8000 years to truly earn that much money.
The dignity and value of work must be supported and protected. Those in the realm of wealth need to be aware of the human infrastructure that is the bulwark of our country. It is the foundation on which their ability to acquire wealth rests. This foundation only requires a livable wage for an honest day’s work. 80% of Americans make up this foundation and need to vote for economic justice.
According to Beta Candy (The Cult of Masculinity 11/4/08), the cult of masculinity is where a man finds his identity and value. Some find this identity in toughness and strength, in smartness (not in IQ or college degrees, but in the skill of outsmarting the other guy), and in autonomy that includes resentment of authority and rules (source: Into the Abyss: A Personal Journey into the World of Street Gangs by Mike Carlie Ph.D 2012).
These gang values, outlined by Carlie, seem to describe the behavior of President Trump. Disturbingly, some are attaching their identity and values to these behaviors. This attachment allure is exponentially increased by the power Trump has been given by the Presidency. Those who have internalized the identity and value put forth by this President may be engaging in blind loyalty. They are no longer able to see things as they really are. They have abandoned their true values and shut down their critical thinking. They have lost touch with what is really important. They need to know that wealth and power are temporary and temporal, and that human relationships and love are paramount and everlasting.
Can their blindness be healed?