Trump Out of Country, But Not Out of Mind
With too many people on the stage, the overloaded Democratic debate lineup clawed its way to providing attention rather than meaningful substance. With so many candidates, one debate had to be split over two nights, with some candidates having less than 1% in the polling feeling a need to ungraciously interrupt others just to get a shot at face time.
One of the hallmarks of our society today is instantaneous analysis by talking heads and pundits, which provides nothing other than regurgitation of each TV network’s programming position. President Trump has said “No Collusion” thousands of times, but our President colludes with Fox News. Some say that the Donald talks to Sean Hannity nightly. I guess they need to get their stories straight.
People from other countries, especially the UK, think our long and extended campaigns are wretched excess, and they are right. Anyone with common sense knows that the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizen’s United created a money pool so great we should all be ashamed. The money spent on candidate advertising could put thousands of kids through college. But with this new concept of so many people running for office, we have moved away from the political machine picking the candidates. One must admit that the political assumption of Hillary Clinton being singularly the best candidate in 2016 proved to be more disastrous than opening the stage to many distinct opinions.
Having many people running for the presidency offers a refreshingly vast diversity of ideas and solutions for America. I would like to get all the candidates in a huddle and say, “Hey, why don’t you all become the next president?” Their collection of progressive ideas could make America better. NBC News did a great feature called My Big Idea, where each candidate presented their one big idea and amplified the essence of its importance. Here is a list of some of the issues rising to the surface:
Andrew Yang: A $1,000 monthly check sent to every American over 18, so they can pay their bills when robots take over.
John Delaney: Wants to build a public and private international coalition against China’s intellectual property with a TPP-style trade deal. (like the one we walked away from)
Julian Castro: He is a strong advocate of free trade to strengthen protections for workers and the environment.
Kalama Harris: The LIFT Act, a working and middle-class tax cut akin to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
Marianna Williamson: Wants to pay $10 billion in slavery reparations every year for 10 years to the African American community.
Corey Booker: Would like to introduce a “baby bond” program to give every child a US Treasury bond at birth, with a larger amount for poorer kids. He also proposes a $15 minimum wage.
Tulsi Gabbard: Cut taxes on small businesses and farmers, lower military spending by ending regime-changing wars and reducing the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Elizabeth Warren: Would like to see a “wealth tax” of 2% on net worth over $50 million and 3% over $1 billion designed to raise $2.75 trillion over a decade.
Amy Klobuchar: Would like to introduce new measures to make it easier for small and mid-sized US businesses to export goods worldwide.
Bernie Sanders: Make public colleges tuition-free, increase Social Security benefits, make corporate America more union-friendly and “Medicare for all.”
Jay Inslee: He positions himself as the only candidate totally focused on stopping climate change via 100% clean energy and net-zero greenhouse gas pollution.
John Hickenlooper: Cutting red tape to reduce the cost of doing business and increase compliance with regulations.
Beto O’Rourke: He is focused on reducing inequality, though stronger anti-trust regulations to break up monopolies and encouraging companies to invest profits in their employees and communities.
Kirsten Gillibrand: Require companies to adopt a universal paid parental leave policy.
Tim Ryan: Promotes electric vehicle manufacturing and other green industries, while being pro-business and pro-fracking (not a Democratic position), and cautions against Democrats moving too far to the left.
Eric Swalwell: Expanding access to college by providing interest-free federal loans, allowing employers to make tax-free contributions to pay off their employees’ student debt.
Pete Buttigieg: Increase public protections of jobs and benefits to help make the employment market more dynamic without the fear of personal debt tied to college loans and medical bills.
Seth Moulton: Backs the Green New Deal as a genesis of new “green jobs” in America.
Joe Biden: His Biden Institute is pushing tech education and increased bargaining power for American workers as a solution to the left-behind working and middle class.
Michael Bennet: Pushes Medicare X, which he calls a “true public option” for healthcare, that bridges the gap between Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan and private healthcare.
Steve Bullock: Reform campaign finance laws so that representatives don’t answer to donors, they answer to voters.
Bill de Blasio: Focuses on progressive ideas to close he wealth gap nationwide, including nationalizing his universal successful pre-Kindergarten program and increasing affordable housing.
Other topics Democrats have been presenting on the campaign trail are abolishing the electoral college, reparations, family care, wealth gap, criminal justice reform, free college, regulating big tech, gun control, reproductive rights, legalizing marijuana, and securing voting rights. If you are wondering where all the discussion about foreign policy and international challenges are, well, right now they aren’t part of the culling process. In the beginning of this, long and arduous process, we want to know how a candidate will handle America first.
Donald Trump doesn’t realize that his egomaniacal tweets aren’t going to cut through the freshness and excitement of progressive ideas presented during these debates. He shouldn’t be worried about 24 Democrats running for President. He should be worried about Robert Mueller testifying in public. The clock is ticking.
BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA
Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.