Let’s Figure Out US Politics: Part 5638 of one million

It’s late at night, I need to wake up in the morning to get some blood work done, so let’s SIT DOWN AND TALK ABOUT POLITICS. If you’re a political science scholar, feel free to tell me how everything I’ve written here is wrong. This whole thing is kind of a rambling stream-of-consciousness deal made up of just random thoughts I was having while taking a shower and wanted to write them down so it’s a mess don’t read it

The thing about politics is it’s definitely not a straight line. It’s not left and right. It’s at least left and right and up and down. Economic issues and social issues at the very least, everything can probably be put under one of those (although military issues kind of fall under both). So I’ve been trying to figure out where the US political parties are on this scale. Because labels are meaningless, let’s make some labels right now. These labels will only exist for this post and may or may not be basically how I usually use the terms. Let’s say free market capitalist ideas are Right, and socialist and maybe Keynesian hey-maybe-government-should-have-a-role-because-hey-we-are-kind-of-the-ones-being-talked-about-here ideas are Left. (Already you can tell I probably have a bias.) For social issues, let’s say restrictive rights–which I’m seeing here as basically “revert rights to how they were 200 years ago”, so let’s call them Conservative, and so more social freedoms are Liberal. You may disagree with these definitions, but if you do, that probably just means you consider the right to deny rights a right. Right?

Okay seriously the Democratic Party is Liberal and the Republican Party is Conservative, usually Dems will let you do more things and Reps will not. The issue I keep thinking of for this is like, marriage equality, I guess. I’d say abortion is probably more of a social issue. Oh, duh, voting rights. You know, one party would rather nobody vote…

What about economically? Well, Republicans are generally “give corporations big advantages regardless of the free market” and Democrats are usually “give corporations big advantages regardless of the public good”, SO… we need a new term for that. Let’s call it Center. Okay, so that’s not really fair to the actual midpoint between Left and Right. Let’s call it Radical Center.

Brief moment to touch on Trumpcare to say that’s both Radical Center and Radical Let’s Erase Everything the Black Man Did While in the Still White House. While I think Democrats are Radical Center, they do have some Left to them. The real problem is just the Democrats are also completely spineless. Republicans, being insane, probably took spines from corpses and created a man whose entire skeletal structure is just spine. Actually, some Republicans it’s hard to tell if they’re spineless or just horrible people. I don’t need to wonder which one Mitch McConnell is. As a turtle he is one of these Spine Men, all the spines are used to connect his shell to him.

So we have two parties that are mostly Radical Center. Where’s Left and Right? Left is Green, which is also Liberal. Right is Libertarian, which is also Liberal. What a concept!

So that’s our political parties. Our people, on the other hand, will usually focus more on economic or social issues. Maybe those who focus more on social issues don’t have to worry about economic issues as much. Some people focus on both, which is good! Some people focus on neither. These people either do not deal with politics or are probably on 4chan and just say dumb memes and then get chokeheld by Christian Conservatives. Good job, there, guy. You really picked a good side.

Basically what I started thinking about was “how to make people vote democrat, or why they wouldn’t”. I mean the real question is “how to make democrat vote people” but I’ll get to that in a moment. Unless I don’t. This is pretty stream of consciousness. Poor people aren’t going to be totally selfless. They’re selfish, just ask Fox News. Wait, never ask Fox News anything. They need to sit in the corner alone. But seriously, people in poverty or financially shaky probably don’t usually care if someone else can marry or adopt a house. Sad, but true. Some of them do, of course, and some may actually be hostile to the idea of gay trans muslim atheist black women. I imagine most often though they want to focus on surviving, and would vote in a way that would be advantageous to their economic survival.

Well, I just said both main parties are Radical Center, so what are they going to do? Vote third party?

I want to take this moment to point out I’m probably poor, but I’m an unknown author who is trying to spend as little time as possible with a job outside of writing, so my income is as low as it can be without me ending up in actual financial trouble. So I’m kind of on a border here, I guess. And there’s also the fact that a medical disaster or other such high cost event could cripple me, but maybe that’s why I’ve been storing pizza in my cheeks for the winter.

Anyway, if someone of low income wants to improve their economic situation, they could vote Left or Right. Maybe they think free market capitalism would help them out. They’d vote Libertarian. Or maybe they think the government could help them like it kind of exists to. They’d vote Green. Or maybe the two main political parties have rigged the system and the media has made the idea of voting for a third party so futile-seeming that they will just vote for a main party. But which one?

Well, the Democratic party isn’t entirely Radical Center. Maybe them? But maybe this person, who focuses on issues to improve their economic situation, sees a party focusing on issues they don’t care about a snub to them, so they’ll vote Republican out of spite!

And I’m sorry, but if someone does that, they suck. Don’t vote out of spite. Granted the last presidential election was one big spitefest but until we unlock Anti-Votes so that we can just choose to lower a certain candidate’s vote total by one instead voting from spite won’t work.

Honestly I think all I’m trying to get at is why does it seem like such a bad thing to some people to have more Left in the Democratic Party? I mean sure they could just go Right and try to court Libertarians but that’s stupid, I’ve already admitted they’re more Left than Right.

Also nationalism confuses things a bit. People said both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were populist candidates. I don’t see how Trump is populist unless he’s just White Populism which actually he probably is. But nationalism is a social issue. Nationalism is Conservative, using the definition I laid out above.

Remember Compassionate Conservatism? Well, I don’t. That was before my time. But if Conservatism is about returning to the styles of the old days, I think Compassionate Conservatism should just be called Conservatism. I mean, slave owners back in the day believed (or at least said) they did black slaves a favor because they were savages who couldn’t live in civilization, right? It’s kind of a figged up point of view and was more than likely just rationalization but I’m pretty sure Conservatism is just rationalization. My point is that we had Conservatism, a return to the past, and now we have these crazy extremist nationalist parties springing up in Europe and Donald Trump’s hair, and using my definitions above, those parties are… Conservative! Fascism is Conservative! Neoconservative. Neocon.

So people have said Trump’s administration is Fascism. Are we sure the previous Republican president wasn’t also aspiring to Fascism? Some people have pointed out a significant amount of what Trump has done isn’t actually new.

Of course, the flip side of neoconservatism is neoliberalism. Uhh, shoot. I’ve been at this for like half an hour and I’m trying to remember what I was going to say about neoliberalism. I think it was basically that neoliberalism is a Right-wing ideology.

I think I’ve said everything I meant to. This post is kind of a ramble, ain’t it? Well, join us (me) tomorrow for something that’s not political, but is almost as ridiculous!

Seriously I’m going to post something special Wednesday. If you made it all the way to the end of this post, look forward to it. If you skipped everything in this post, that was probably a wise thing to do.

Bad Rep[resentative]

A little while ago our US Congress worked on a bill designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, although because it wasn’t Single-Payer, it was worthless. In fact, it was less than worthless: it was bad. They called the American Health America* Care American* Actamerica*, although the Rich Tax Cut No Health Care Not Act would be more accurate. People gave it other names like Trumpcare, Ryancare, Republicare, Republican’t. Well, Rebublicouldn’t, and the bill didn’t pass. Hooray!

Before it didn’t pass, though, I emailed my reps coming out against it. (Technically I emailed them through an activism website or whatever, but same thing.) And I got a response. Now, this is Indiana, aka Wannabe South, aka India, NA. Even our Democrats are… er… Well, anyway, I got a response from rep Trey Hollingsworth. I don’t know what hollings is but it sounds a bit like hollerings, so I don’t actually have a joke here.

Let’s move on.

Apparently there’s a presidential debate tonight, so let’s look at the candidates as VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS

On one side, we have Donald Trump. He’s a default character available from the beginning. He hits really hard, but he’s slow. He has a degree of unpredictability that, somehow, just makes him really predictable. A lot of rookies play as him because, against another rookie or easy CPUs he often is easy to win with.

Then we have Hillary Clinton. She’s another default character available from the start, and she has a lot of skills and strength that makes her a strong character, but all her moves are difficult to pull off and require a lot of practice. Like, a really lot of practice. You doing anything else with your life? You won’t be able to use her very well. You need a lot of money time to get good with her, and those who do are usually able to beat everyone else easily. A novice can hardly beat anyone.

We also have Jill Stein! She’s a hidden, unlockable, hidden character who is really difficult to unlock. However, she’s easy to use and strong, so a novice is able to use her well, as is someone who has practiced with her a lot. She’s high in the tier list. Not top tier, though. That’s Diddy Kong, who was removed from the race for throwing mud. Or maybe it was poop. Either way, she does have some weaknesses, such as an inability to use items well.

Gary Johnson is also a hidden, unlockable character, but he’s the joke character. He’s not very good. At all. Though he’s also difficult to unlock.

Also, Bernie Sanders has been found in the game’s coding. He was cut from the final version, but he’s still in the game’s files in incomplete form. There’s some really specific and complex glitches that can let you play as him, and for the most part he works without much trouble. For the most part it’s just that a match with him and Clinton leads to some game crashes. He generally plays like a stronger Jill Stein but has his own set of weaknesses.

I hope you enjoyed this complete turnaround of my previous statement about being unable to social media anymore because I started my dayjob today.

A brief…ish metaphor for the USA times

Say you enter a cafe for lunch. Not a café, of course, because it’s hard to add those little symbols to letters while typing and the French suck–this is America, gaddfern it–in fact, we just start pronouncing cafe “cayff”. So anyway, you enter a cayff and want something to food.

How about a salad? Well, you’ve heard some weird stuff about it, some people say the lettuce wasn’t protected against disease and the tomatoes are mushy, but you checked and the lettuce was protected against disease although questions were brought up over the–I’m gonna say some kind of spray that protected it against disease? I don’t know can you imagine injecting lettuce with a needle? I looked it up and apparently a needle was found in some Romanian lettuce but I mean ha ha where even is Romania? Is it in Rome? I also found this which is adorable.

bunny

Also you checked and the tomatoes are mushy but, still, overall very healthy, very nice. I actually don’t like salads but I assume most people find them edible!

It turns out this cayff only serves one thing at a time, and it only changes every four years (usually). What it serves is decided upon by all the customers who happen to be there at the time. Whichever side is loudest most populous is what is served for those four years. Everyone seems to be focusing on two dishes though, neither of which is the salad. You ask a waiter about it, and they shrug. You ask a few more waiters, and then finally you ask someone who has eaten at the cayff before and they explain that the salad is available down in the basement past a rickety set of stairs, through a flooded passageway, over a wobbly wooden rope bridge over a chasm, and through a Roman gladiator coliseum. They put it there, and nobody ever took the salad, and so they left it there.

You manage to see it using some binoculars or something, and yep, it would be really hard to notice unless you go around asking and looking. No wonder no one goes for it.

You also notice a plate of butter-fried butter covered in nickels with a side of no health care.

Okay, you go back upstairs. What’s the two dishes everyone else is looking at? Well, one of them is an orange Skittle. A giant orange Skittle. That’s poisoned.

why are we eating here again

Okay, okay, okay, what about the other one? Hey, it’s a steak! That’s pretty good, right? It has a side of white bread sogged up with grease and a big hole cut in the center so it’s mostly just the crust, but maybe you won’t have to eat that. Maybe you can just eat the steak.

Although… now that you are remembering, your friend ate here a little while ago for breakfast. They had two steaks available, but one included a fruit salad, though there were some hard bits in the steak. The other steak–the one that is now available for lunch–was actually made of rat meat. Or pigeon meat, or whatever you want to say. Now, they’re saying this lunch steak is not made of that stuff. It is 100% grade-A beef, and it even offers some of the fruit from the fruit salad.

You don’t see the fruit salad, though (they say it’s coming), and you can’t be sure they’re telling the truth about the content of the steak. Sure, your friend could have been lying, but why would they lie, and also, I only said it was a friend because I thought this story might be inconsistent if you’d eaten here before. The breakfast metaphor doesn’t even work all that well. Also, some of the steak’s friends showed up and are dropping hints that the steak would go ahead with the TPP anydangway.

Let’s take a brief moment to reiterate the orange Skittle was poison. Also I can’t actually tell if Skittle is the singular form or if it really is just Skittles overall. Also Skittles is starting to look really weird. Oh yeah and by the way orange is my least favorite Skittle flavor. Actually I don’t like orange-flavored most things. Yet they always seem so common.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, the steak.

So maybe the steak is cool now? Maybe it won’t be rotten and stuffed with money? Maybe it won’t be soaked in oil and cooked in coal?

To push this metaphor unnecessarily further, everyone is divided into tables and each table’s vote is homogeneous, the plurality vote of the table is considered the general vote. You get dumped at a table full of people who don’t think that Skittle is poisonous. You might as well drum up awareness of the salad. The more people who know, the closer we can get to having more choices.

The steak may turn out fine. It may turn out figgin excellent. And the salad could even turn out mediocre. But the range of possibilities seems more positive for the salad.

THIS METAPHOR STOPPED BEING BRIEF HALF AN HOUR AGO I APOLOGIZE

Wherein I discuss Donald Trump for a moment

What if it turns out that Donald Trump has actually had a little radio transmitter in his ear all along and someone was telling him what to say, but a while ago someone put up an antenna on a nearby Drive-Thru Whale and it’s spouting gibberish for him to say?

We’ll know if this is true if his next speech is something to the effect of, “It’s the greatest day. It’s the greatest day! Seriously, it is the. Greatest. Day. The greatest day, and it’s in America. The greatest day is in America. Let’s make America great again, let’s make this day great again. We are going to make America the greatest day again. The greatest day is going to be America again. Sever your leg. No, I will not say ‘please’.”

Political “I told you so”

The US presidential race this year features number of key players: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein, Donald Trump, and some guy, Larry Jonathan I think? Clinton got the Democrat’s nominee. Sanders supports were sad. Stein supporters expected it.  Trump supporters… I don’t even know.

Let’s say Trump wins this November and becomes president. Clinton supporters will look at the Sanders supporters who didn’t then bend over for Hillary and say “I told you so.” Sanders supporters will look at the Clinton supporters and say, citing the idea that Sanders was a stronger opponent against Trump, “I told you so.” Who will be right?

Um, well, Donald Trump will be right, because he’s on the Republican side. But who will be left? Well, not the people who will go live in some other country. But who will be wrong? EVERYBODY.

Though I’ve read that more Sanders supporters have gone to Clinton than Clinton supporters did for Obama in 2008 anyway, which is kind of hilarious? I didn’t follow the 2008 election too closely because I was still young, what were their main policy differences? Although I’m not even sure that mattered.

Political Oligopoly yaaay

So there’s this: Wall Street donors seek to block Warren VP pick (via Politico). Basically Wall Street people saying they’ll stop donating to Hillary Clinton if she chooses Senator Elizabeth Warren as her vice president running mate.

I’m not entirely keen on the idea of Warren as a VP actually (she can probably do more good in the Senate), but based on this having her as Clinton’s VP might actually get me to vote for Clinton! Hey, if money is speech, so is no money.

After I thought of this I imagined a theoretical conversation where someone asks if that means I might not vote for Clinton to stop Trump. My answer was yes, because voting for the sake of not-the-other removes all possible leverage from my vote. It means money is more of speech than voting is.

Then I realized that the two-party system is an oligopoly. Obviously not a monopoly because there are two parties, but it’s one party away from a monopoly, and if you don’t like one of the two, you’re out of luck. A quote from the Politico article:

But more moderate Democrats in the financial services industry argue that Sanders voters will come on board anyway

Oligopolyyyyyyyy