Monthly Archives: August 2020

Who should you vote for if you want your vote to count…depends…

So, there is a problem right now for those of us who used to think of ourselves as conservatives as to who to vote for. And I use the words “used to” because right now at best the term means absolutely nothing and at worst it means a Pharisee type of Christianity that bows downs to the altar of the orange Nazi god-king believing in nothing but white supremacy, tyranny, isolationism, and violence.

idiots

Ugh…are these really our choices?

But there was a time– not even a decade ago –when conservatism meant things like:

  • Limited Government
  • Adherence to the Constitution and Rule of Law
  • Free Markets, Free Trade, and leaning more on the side of Laissez
  • Faire without falling into anarchy
  • Globalization of the economy
  • Personal responsibility
  • Economic Progress that raises all boats
  • Equality before the law and shunning identity politics
  • Strengthening international relations and promoting liberty abroad and opposing tyranny.

These used to be the ideals of conservatism. And right now we have a Republican candidate who not only opposes but is completely antithetical to all of them and would do everything in his power to see tyranny and white supremacy be the only thing in the world, a Democrat candidate who only supports the international relations point, and a Libertarian who sort of supports the free market one (but to be honest is leaning just a little too much toward that anarchy extreme that conservatives don’t believe in). The only thing either has going for them is that they don’t have the blind cult-of-personality behind them that Trump does, which makes them infinitely less dangerous even on policies that are equally stupid as Trumps. Further, whereas Trump is unquestionably criminal and evil, the other choices are merely dumb.

So, our choices are voting for Mickey Mouse as a protest vote that will be ignored or maybe voting for one of the two barely tolerable candidates that might have a chance of sending some kind of message.

Obviously voting for Trump is out. The man is everything this country is supposed to oppose and there is no excuse, no justification, no reason to vote for a man who is a traitor, a fascist, a racist, a mentally deficient idiot, whose one and only virtue is that the morbidly-obese trailer-park slob is the living embodiment of sloth and we have only gotten a small taste of the evil he could have accomplished. But what we really want is that we never have to deal with this kind of vile ignorance again. And that’s going to be a problem because there is still a massive group of Americans who are vastly too stupid to be trusted to vote—God help us if the Bernie and Trump supporters ever realize they both support isolationist racists who want big government to have total fascist control of the economy. They’re probably not a majority but they’re a hideously frightening sizable plurality that has nothing but willful ignorance and hatred going for them. So we need to reduce the power of the populists and the progressives to continue their attempts to ruin America and the world (both extremes have fooled themselves into thinking that’s not what they’re doing, but it is).

So, we need two things for that. The first is we need new limits placed on the executive branch. The Senate needs the power to veto executive orders; Senate approval needs to be required to withdraw from a treaty; DOJ policy must be changed by law so that a president can be arrested for high crimes while in office; a Department of Internal Affairs (with two heads, one from each party) must be created to investigate all high ranking officials in the governments and, if necessary, charge and prosecute them; all of the Cold War-era emergency powers given to the president must be removed or, at least, subject to Congressional review from either house of such a declaration; Congressmen and Senators (or at the very least either of the Houses as a whole) must be given absolute standing to challenge Presidential action in court; a policy to allow for more challenges to the Executive Department’s extra-legal actions must be put in. There are of course further ways the President’s power must be pulled back, but that would be a start.
Will we get all of that under a Biden/Harris presidency. I doubt it, but if we start pushing Congressmen and Senators now we might get some of it. If you live in swing districts go to the town hall meetings and debates and ask what they plan to do to limit executive authority in the future…and no matter who wins hold their feet to fire through calls, emails, and, of course, traditional mail. This is going to be a long slog to get all of that power put in, but it is possible.

But more importantly, the power that Trump and his treasonous cronies need to be removed from the Republican party (or more likely the Republican party just needs to be killed for all time so that something new can grow in its place). So how do we do that?

I hate to say this, but, some of us are going to have to vote for the Libertarian candidate. I know, I know. As any longtime reader of this blog, while I have many leanings toward libertarian economic and social policies, the Libertarian Party is a joke. I will at least give them that they didn’t put Gary Johnson on the ticket again…I think they finally figured out that when one of the chief insults claims against the Libertarian party is that they’re just a bunch of stoners who want legal drugs it might not be a good idea to put up Johnson who looks like he’s stoned 24/7 on the ticket. Who would have thought? But that doesn’t mean that Jo Jorgensen is all that great. Like all Libertarians, she has a truly infantile understanding of foreign policy and would like to turn this country into an isolationist nation (the wet-dream of every dictator) because Libertarians for all their noble words of caring about natural rights would be perfectly happy to see the rest of the world subjugated to tyranny so long as they weren’t being bothered (they seem to have learned nothing from history that this is a policy that only leads to strong dictators eventually attacking the US…but Republicans never learned that making deals with populists and racists is evil…and Democrats have never learned the first thing about economics…so every party is terrible in its own way). So, I’m not saying some should vote Libertarian because they’re doing such a bang-up job. Some should do it because it will show that there is a percentage of the Republican electorate that is willing to turn their back on the party, that unless the GOP expels the populists, racists, tyrants, and Trumpists from their ranks wholesale, we will not support them. Just think if the Libertarians could get 10% nationally that would terrify the GOP that they might not ever win again and rather than having a party platform of “we will mindlessly bow down to our orange God-King and do whatever illegal thing he wants” (they use different words but that is the actual Republican platform for 2020, servile obedience to Trump). To anyone who has listened to politics over the last four years, you have heard again and again that most Republicans hate Trump but they’re afraid of his base voting against him. Well, they need to be afraid of those who want small government and capitalism and adults in charge. And the only way to do that is not by not voting, but by showing we are willing to vote for someone else. They know the crazy Trump loons who listen to QAnon and are not so secret about their want for an all-white America, are willing to drop out and not vote for them we need to show them that actual conservatives in the mold of Goldwater-Reagan-Romney are not just as willing to abandon them, but more willing to do so. They need to have abject fear put to them, and as a pair of pliers and a blowtorch are out of the question, this is the only way. They don’t care if you don’t vote, they only care if you vote for someone other than them. (It will be interesting to see which Libertarians attack me for more A. That I insulted them by pointing out how dumb they always are or B. That I’ve made a better case for voting Libertarian than they ever have.)

If your choices are wasting your vote on not voting, and wasting it on a candidate who can’t win, but with the possibility of sending a message—the option that has a glimmer of hope for change in the right direction has to be the better bet. Doesn’t it?

Now, I’m not saying donate to the kooky Libertarians. No. And you don’t exactly have to campaign for them, maybe people who are thinking of voting for Trump or not voting. But if you really want a change this is the only way I can see forward—it’s only a first step, but it is THE first step.
Now, who should vote for whom? Obviously, if you can’t ever bring yourself to vote for Biden (and I get that) vote for the Libertarian. But if you could go either way if you’re in a swing state (Colorado, Main, New Mexico, Virginia, Connecticut, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Iowa, Missouri, Arizona, Nevada, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina) you should probably vote for Biden—I know, it’s not great, but, again, the lack of a cult-of-personality and the lack of being pure evil does actually make him marginally better, his policies are just as bad, but as we’ve seen so many things come down to character, not policy. Character matters, and Joe is dumb, not evil, Trump is dumb AND evil. If you live in any other state and you were thinking of just sitting out because you can’t bring yourself to vote for Trump, vote for the Libertarian.  And try and convince every other Republican you know to also vote Libertarian as

And send messages to every other elected official around that you didn’t vote Libertarian because they’re just a mature party worthy of respect, but because you expect that the government needs to limit its power and this was the only way you could convey that message. And try and if you can see if you can get any Trump voters to vote for the Libertarian as well. Tell them “Look, it’s pretty much a given that Biden is going to win” (I mean Trump could win if he started acting like an adult, but Trump is completely incapable of doing that, so Biden is going to win) “and if you want your vote to actually count make it clear that you support small government, not Trump, not the Republican Party, actual principles and this is your way to show it.

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Is it fair to blame Trump for deaths from COVID?

Trump is getting blamed for the deaths caused by COVID. Is this fair? It is after all a natural disaster not an act of human agency. Should he get the blame for all of the death and economic suffering from a natural cause that didn’t even start in this nation?

To answer this let’s try a thought experiment and imagine how this plays out in two parallel universes. One where America was actually intelligent and Mitt Romney is winding down the last year of his second term, and one where America is at least less stupid and Hillary Clinton is finishing her first and probably the only term. 

Alternate Universe 1:

If Mitt Romney had been put in in 2012 then on a global stage you would have seen Russia being treated as the greatest threat to our security that it is. And rather than cozy promises from Barry followed by Trump doing whatever tricks his master wanted just for a scratch behind the year, economically and politically they would have been constrained (and any Russian soldiers dumb enough to venture into the Ukraine would now be working as fertilizer for Ukrainian soil). Why is this important? Because it would mean that Russian actions over the last 8 years to destabilize the world order would have been challenged if not halted. This would mean a stronger NATO, a stronger WTO, that TTP along with numerous other trade agreements would be implemented, that Brexit and its Russian support would never have gotten off the ground. The world order would be more efficient. And because of that, and especially because of TTP, there would be less business centralization and more business in other nations. Now it’s hard to say if this would lead to less business in China or simply more business for everyone else with China holding about the same amount of growth, but what would be clear is that China would in a position where they would have to be more transparent. As they would be more transparent they would be revealing the severity of the first COVID outbreak weeks if not a month earlier. With that additional information work on a vaccine could have started weeks earlier (doesn’t seem like much—but with hundreds of thousands of infections a week, a two-week head start could mean a lot).

But let’s say that the disease still spreads out of China in this universe at the same rate, the fact is that a stronger international order could have worked to a faster consistent, and organized plan on how to deal with this. A united international order would likely have resulted in a must faster closing of flights, screening, and quarantine of passengers and perhaps better sharing of resources. No country wanted to be the first to close down its borders and flights because that was an obvious economic disaster, but international cooperation would have come with a perceived sharing of burdens and the spread could have been dealt with much faster. One of the key flaws of this entire process has been the lack of international cooperation anywhere. That breakdown can be placed squarely at the feet of Obama and Trump (not saying that Bush didn’t also have a hand in that, but 12 years of competence could have undone all the strain Bush put on the system). 

But once it got to US shores would Romney have done any better. The answer is obviously yes. As the spouse of someone with a severe immune disorder, he would already have been more open to the science side of this issue, would have not gutted the CDC pandemic response programs, and possibly there would have been more money to the CDC as he would have worked over the previous 8 years with Democrats across the aisle even if he had majorities in both houses because that’s the kind of guy he is, and the CDC would have been an easy thing that both sides could agree to give more money to—not saying a lot, but certainly not the dismissive nature that Trump has treated it with. He was also a cautious man so he probably would have been issuing guidelines for masks much earlier as it would come under the “it can’t hurt and it can only help” mentality, thus it would have reduced the spread, especially early on.

Further, his business background would have made sure those national stockpiles that both Obama and Trump ignored on medical supplies would be, if not fully stocked, at least in a better position.

Finally, there would no political fighting about masks. The government would be on a united front on this and thus the spread of the disease would be much slower.

In this situation, COVID-19 would probably still be in every state, but the curve would likely be far flatter. Further, as there would be more coordination the impact on business would be less (there would still be some but it would be less). We would be in roughly the same position as most European nations, still not fully open, still not firing on all cylinders, but in a stable place without mass unemployment and infection and death numbers greatly reduced. 

Alternate Universe 2

 Hillary Clinton is winding down her first, and likely final term as president.  

Not the great negotiator that her husband was or Romney could have been her relationships with the rest of the world would, like her predecessor be strained but not irreparable. She would, however, have likely signed TPP and thus China would have been boxed in again and some divestment of industry would have occurred from China meaning that there would have been less economic contact between China and the rest of the world, thus slowing down the spread, at least partially, but not as much as in Alternate Universe 1.

However, while some appointments may have been just as corrupt as Trump’s appointments, they would likely not be at the Cabinet-level and thus there would still have been competence running through the departments that oversaw issues of travel, trade, health, and other such issues.  

Given that Republicans would likely have held onto the House under a Clinton presidency, she would have taken a page from the previous Clinton administration and worked with conservatives, specifically Speaker Paul Ryan who would have never felt the need to resign in a universe where the Trump brand of idiocy and evil prevailed, thus the economy would be in a better place and the social safety net would be in a far better position and able to handle a new shock to the system (given Ryan’s fiscal genius and the Clinton propensity for making deals across the aisle there would likely be a yearly surplus in the budget and principal on the debt would have gone down instead of up as it has with Trump.)

Now the issue of calling for masks. The animosity and hatred of Clinton would probably have powered the alt-right still, however, the defeat of Trump would not have turned them into the powerhouse that they currently and they would be exiled to the fringes of internet trolling (where they belong) rather than in seats of power. Thus, while it is likely all government officials would provide a united front, there would still be a portion on the alt-right who would want rally all the same Karens to make the same ignorant “freedom” arguments against masks—but it would be a smaller segment and the spread would still be much slower.

There are of course thousands of other smaller issues and opportunities that the official government plans for these scenarios that would likely have been followed by literally ANY other president because following the official plan is what bureaucracies staffed with even barely competent people do. But Trump has gotten rid of most of the barely competent people because any level of intelligence has an aversion to working for him and so he only hires knuckle-dragging buffoons who praise him as the god-king he thinks he is. The fact is that more people died because of what Trump has done then would have happened under any other president, and thus he is responsible for those deaths. Can I give you an exact number?  No, but given that part of the problem is that his destruction of worldwide cooperation has helped this thing spread, he is morally (and in an ideal world legally) responsible for deaths the world over. But it’s not just him as I pointed out above the destruction of this worldwide cooperation began under Obama…because extremes of populism and progressivism are equally destructive and antithetical to the rational balance between moderate liberal and conservative thinking.   

So yeah it is fair to blame Trump for deaths, not all of them, but certainly a huge amount of them because the rapid spread is primarily responsible dd

And this is the real problem. It’s idiots who do things for stupid reasons. Idiots who gave us Trump, and Clinton, and Bernie, and Biden, and Cruz, and AOC, and Rand Paul, and every other buffoon currently in politics. These idiot elect morons who do stupid things, attack free markets and international agreements that would have lessened these disasters on numerous levels and thousands, perhaps millions by the time this is over, would not be dead from this disease and the economic hardships that come from handling it so ineptly.  

So, in the end, the most guilt goes not to Trump, or even Obama who helped destroy the international order that Trump only finished working to destroy, it goes to the morons out there who voted for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016 (doubly so if you did both acts of evil—seriously if you got it wrong both times ethically you’re guilty of crimes against humanity). And understand this is not a glowing endorsement for Biden and the Democrats, it’s not. We, the people of the United States are going to have to hold all of their feet to the fire of whoever is in power and demand we not give into isolationism just as much as we demand that we return to a policy of free trade and free markets with the world.  

 

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