Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Are You Still Paying Attention?

Sorry, guys and gals, today's topic is politics.

I know, I know. "The election is over, a bunch of stupid people voted for the least competent man ever to be President of the United States. What's done is done. Can't we just leave it be? Wake me up when it's 2020." 

I understand the weariness and the resignation but as I noted in Friday's post, we can't let our political interest vanish just because the election has come and gone. Are you still paying attention? Because there is much to still pay attention to. 


One big concern going into this election was Donald Trump's temperament. Donald has displayed an extremely thin skin and an inability to let any real or perceived slight go by without comment. Unfortunately the predilections of Candidate Trump did not disappear with Nominee Trump and so far, they are still very apparent for President-Elect Trump. A prime example was on display with Trump's reaction to the requested recount in Wisconsin.


Green Party candidate Jill Stein raised enough money to request a recount of votes in that state and has indicated she may pursue recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan as well. What Stein hopes to gain from all this is unknown; her vote count in these respective states was like in the 1% range. But these are states where Hillary Clinton was expected to win per most of the pre-election polling and would likely benefit if there was any significant widespread discovery of any improprieties. 


The Clinton campaign has agreed to participate in the recount even though spokespersons for the campaign have made it clear that they are aware of no voter fraud and do not expect any change in the outcome. But while this is a recount that the Clinton team did not ask for, they kind of don't have much of a choice but to be a part of it, just in case.


It must be particularly hard for Clinton and her supporters as the gap between her and Trump widens in the popular vote count. So far, Clinton has 2.2 million voters over Trump in the popular vote and that number keeps rising. But it's the Electoral College that selects the President and that's where Trump is the winner, like it or not.


For its part, the Obama administration has issued several statements indicating support for the election results and the integrity of the electoral process. I'm sure that deep down in their hearts, Obama's team really wishes really hard that a miracle could happen and America could be delivered from the unfolding horror of a Trump administration. But for at least another couple of months, Obama is still the President and he has to put the best face forward and stand up for how our democracy works.


It is a lesson that his successor has not learned yet.


In response to the recount, Donald Trump has Tweeted that the recount is a scam, the election is done, Trump won and Clinton conceded so it's over, OK? He describes his Electoral College win as a "landslide" and is now claiming victory in the popular vote as well. How the hell can he do that? By dismissing over 2.5 million votes as being cast illegally, specifically votes cast in California, Virginia and New Hampshire. And what is the basis for this accusation? As with most things that comes forth from Trump, nothing based in fact. Fuel for the fire of this particular conspiracy comes from notorious nut case provocateur of the alt-right movement, Alex Jones. Yep, our future President is still getting his "news" from right wing conspiracy websites and talk radio.


He's not getting his news from intelligence briefings. Incoming Presidents have access to daily reports on what's going on in the world but Trump has only availed himself of this information twice. The Candidate begat the Nominee who begat the President-Elect and nothing has changed: Donald Trump still has an aversion to facts.


And while Trump is undermining the very electoral process that he won and avoiding intelligence briefings on what is really going on in the world, Trump continues to build his government with cronies adhering to hard right conservative ideologies. His nomination for Secretary of Education has never attended public school nor have her kids. His choice for Secretary of Energy is a major player in the oil industry. His choice for the Secretary of Defense is vehemently anti-Muslim with a "shoot first, don't even bother with questions later" mind set.


Yes, the election is over but the work to resist the efforts of those who would undermine our country and its government is far from done.


Are you still paying attention? You should be.
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That's all for today's post. I'll be back tomorrow with a post about comic books, specifically what's up with Batman.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.



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