Politics with Richard Bleil
And just like that, my conservative friends stop reading! That’s actually a joke. I do have conservative friends, but they’re open for honest discussion. Besides, I don’t THINK this post will be about liberal or conservative issues, but we’ll see.
Honestly, today I’ve been inundated with political news, and I felt the need to throw my two cents into the ring. For example, in Arizona, former sheriff (an elected position) Arpaio has caused the state to pay out over $100 million in lawsuits as of the writing of this blog. This is in addition to a separate lawsuit that cost over $130 million more. Arpaio was famous for his brutal and (according to the lawsuits against him that were successful) inhumane. This is a man who won the position largely because of his inhumane treatment of prisoners, because the voters “liked his style”.
This is not the first time a political position was won because of attitude rather than qualifications. I have a friend who said, quite literally, that he was voting for Trump BECAUSE of the way he treats people. My friend said that having him as president would be “funny”. As a result, we have the first president ever to be impeached not once but twice (and in the only term he served no less). His demeanor gave rise to such anger in the country that now Congress is investigating the role of this president and his administration in the first insurrection on US soil since, well, the civil war, I guess.
What will it take for people to wake up and take their civic responsibility to vote for people with appropriate qualifications, and not just the clown that seems like he would be fun? Those who voted for Trump as a lark are responsible for the damage to our way of life and the US constitution, and those who voted for Arpaio are paying now almost a quarter million dollars in damages since that money can only come out of the pockets of the taxpayers, and the voters.
In another news story today, a former prisoner has made a statement of the inhumane treatment he received while at Guantanamo Bay. Of course, this is at this time unsubstantiated, but neither is it a shock. For some reason, America as a nation seem to be very comfortable with treating prisoners cruelly and in a fashion that is illegal in the US provided that it’s off of US soil. During the Afghanistan war, it was revealed that the CIA had secret prisons in nations friendly with torture, and sometimes did so specifically so that nation could do the things they wanted to claim wasn’t them (although even in those prisons there are cases where it was CIA operatives that did it).
American history is rife with examples of acting outside of decency, beginning with the Revolutionary war. Then, the proper and civil manner of battle was to stand the troops in a straight line and shoot until everybody from one side was killed or otherwise out of the fight. It was the American fighters that had the audacity to hide behind rocks and trees to fight, considered to be improper in war at the time. Yes, it is likely the only reason we won the war (especially crossing the Delaware to ambush troops on Christmas during a truce), but does the end justify the means? Bombing from the air became a “thing” in World War I, but if you look at pictures of bombed cities at the time, you’ll see destruction always seemed to leave churches and other structures of cultural significance standing. This was the custom then, to simply avoid these structures. And yet, in World War II, the US instituted “carpet bombing”, a clear violation of that protocol.
One last item I would like to address today is that news of the spending bill the Democrats seem to feel they can get through Congress and to the president. This spending bill apparently covers many of the Democratic priorities, but the one thing that will not be in the bill is tax increases for industry. Corporate America has been getting higher and higher profits off of the backs of the American workers, often with pay rates so low that their employees still qualify for, and need, assistance with the price of food, health care, rent and more. This makes their employees a financial burden to the American taxpayers, as the corporations rake in higher and higher profits. What’s more, to increase their profit margin more, they cut employee benefits and pay enormous Christmas bonuses to their overpaid bosses.
Apparently, Congress has been swamped with lobbyists from industry ever since it became known that part of the funding for the bill would come from increases in corporate tax rates. The current tax rates are exceedingly low thanks to Republican presidents who seem to cut their taxes every time a new one is elected. That corporate America has horded enough money to buy the lobbyists and politicians to keep the tax rate low is another sign that America is no longer a democratic nation with a government of the people and for the people but has slid into the realm of an oligarchy and a government for the wealthy.
We’re coming up on the Congressional midterm elections, where we find out if Biden can hold onto his slim majority Democratic Congress, or if it will slide back into the hands of the obstructionist and fiscally irresponsible Republican party (I guess it is a liberal or conservative post after all). Please, take your voting responsibilities seriously. Are you happy with the death of the middle class and keeping the wealthy so rich they can build rocket ships for themselves to joy ride into space, or are you beginning to realize that it’s expensive to be poor and we need to level the playing field? Are you glad to have politicians costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars or is it time to elect actual responsible adults? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; the choice is ours, and ours alone.