Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Letter to Trump Supporters

I’m a liberal. You are my people.

How can that possibly be?

Well, you’re mostly (but not all) Republicans and you’ve elected the most divisive president the nation has ever known. I didn’t vote for him, but I understand why you did and if he survives to be the nominee you will quite likely put him back in the White House.

Can we have a conversation about that? I hope so.

I’ve got a few years on me and I’ve seen eighteen presidential elections pass by the boards, eleven of them won by Republicans and seven by Democrats.

Beginning with Ronald Reagan in 1981, they seem to me to have been pretty much co-conspirators, Democrat or Republican, in the slow-drip destruction of the middle-class. And that’s you. Actually, it’s me as well and perhaps that’s why I know where you’re coming from.

The nation’s in a hell of a mess and each party would like to point their finger at the other, but you and I know better. They’re equally to blame and you saw that. All that highfalutin promise of change and no changes at the end of the deal.

(Spoiler alert) I was a Bernie supporter but I voted for Hillary while holding my nose, because I couldn’t stand that lying son-of-a-bitch and when you voted him in I knew exactly why. While all the liberals cried in their well-upholstered sofas, I said to myself well, it finally happened—and way past time. I’d seen it coming for forty years, as jobs dried up, families went to working three jobs and whole sections of the country were flushed down the toilet.

First, Reagan broke the unions and then he sold everything that wasn’t nailed down to private ‘investors.’ Those are steely-eyed folks who ‘commit capital in order to gain financial return.’ Not a thing in that definition about profit-sharing, job security, pension plans or benefits—they’re in the game for profits and the bigger they are, the better they like it.

Every time the economy went to hell—as it must in an asset-stripping game—investors got bailed out and the rest of us lost the once-firm hold we had on a better life.

Getting back to me again, because you deserve a handle on the dude who’s writing this, I was in business in those heady old days of the fifties through the seventies. The tax-rate topped out at 92%, anyone could start up a small business and we had plenty of millionaires. We didn’t even know how many zeroes it took to be a billionaire, but the rich thought millions were enough and we fed off of them.

Banks lent money to those who they thought could pay it back. They weren’t allowed (by law) to invent various vehicles to package crap-mortgages and pass them along for profit. You know what a vehicle is, it’s the getaway-car a bank robber drives off in.

Then we kicked in to takeovers, where guys like Mitt Romney (and a hell of a lot of Democrats as well) sucked up fragile companies, getting rid of all that nonsense like research and development, pensions and profit-sharing. Stripped of all that made them great places to work, they were massively profitable. Bingo, they sold the profitable carcass and moved on.

I wrote a book called Chop-Shop, the Deconstruction of America. You can probably find it on Amazon, the online bookstore that destroyed American booksellers. Jeff Bezos went on the wreck what Wal-Mart hadn’t yet consumed and came to be worth 140 billion dollars. Never mind. You might have had a job at one of those companies, but there may be a job left at a Wal-Mart or Amazon warehouse, if you can live on minimum wage.

So I know you Trump supporters and I’m on your side. You took him on because both parties left you in the street and you wanted someone to hear that, to shake up the fat-cats who supposedly represent you and have wouldn’t step down so far as to have dinner at your house.

Dinner be damned, they don’t even know where you live.

Now comes the part where you know I’m going to beg you to come over to the Democrats and trust us again. Be careful about that, because we’ve not got a good reputation in that area. Even so, Trump keeps on making noise, but hasn’t delivered all that much.

I would like you to hear a more liberal side to the issues, because you’ve made a racket in American politics and I cheer you for that. Frankly, both parties are scared shitless, but they don’t know what to do because they so desperately want to hold on to their precious little seats of power. Without those, they might actually have to go out and get a real job somewhere and they haven’t a clue outside DC.

There are some new voices in Washington and they’re worth listening to and maybe even supporting.

This last mid-term election we sent 100 women to Congress, as well as a lot of young men. Trust me, because I’m old and know that the grip of old, white men in our Congress is not going to get you where you way to go. One of those young women was 28 year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and she’s worth watching. Maybe you’ve heard of her.

Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time before she submitted a Green New Deal for comment. It almost got laughed off the Hill before the nation began to look more closely and now it’s becoming (almost) main-stream conversation.

Listen up, the economy doesn’t work anymore and every year the country gets burned down, flooded over or ripped up by tornadoes, hurricanes and mudslides. Everyone’s carrying a gun. This Green New Deal needs a look. The last New Deal saved the nation.

Ocasio-Cortez wants solar, wind and thermal power. There’s fifteen million jobs in that, maybe more. Clean air and cheap electric. She wants high-speed rail, so you can get from Chicago to New York in three hours, downtown to downtown and have dinner on the way. Another fifteen million jobs, good jobs at union wages.

She wants the infrastructure fixed. Chicago alone hasn’t looked below the streets since the 1800s and suffers 500 major water leaks every day. 5,000 bridges are in danger of collapse because fixing bridges doesn’t get politicians re-elected. Count the jobs, millions more.

China is doing it. China built the world’s largest high-speed rail network in the world in three years. They will launch a space-based solar network. It’s already underway. We’re still talking about it. Eisenhower built the interstate network in ten years. We can do this, if we get out of wars we can’t win and put some fire to the political feet.

There’s a move on by women and the young in politics, so sit back and listen. You are the people who began that conversation. You scared the bejeezus out of both parties and now, slowly but surely, the country is moving.

We’re running out of time, folks. Don’t trust politics, trust the young. They’re our best hope for getting to where we need to go.

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