I am going to do a political blog here. If you are close-minded, or already have your mind made up to vote a specific person or party - you may want to move on. I had thought about sitting out this election season as for comments, but I have been moved to do this due to the unprecedented candidates and events surrounding this cycle. (there are many other posts about elections and candidates throughout this blog - just go to election years)
I am older than many and have been voting in national elections since I was 18. Now, if you are younger than me that may not seem like much of a declaration. But, if you are my age you were of the first group of 18 year old citizens that were given the vote. Yes, the voting age was 21 prior to 1971. So, the national elections of 1972 was the first time that 18 year old voters were authorized in the U.S. I voted in that election and every Presidential election since. Why do I tell you this? Not to tout my age - heaven forbid! Just to show that I have participated in the political system and voting for a while now. To give you my political leanings, I am a Constitutional Libertarian. I think the Federal government has greatly overstepped it's reach and grown way to large and pervasive in our daily lives.
I am a student of sociology and psychology, both academic and observational. Societal manifestations of the mindset or geist, as it were, of the population fascinate me. This election cycle is a wonderland for me! The backlash against the status quo and elected elites is mind-boggling in its vehemence; both from the Republicans with Donald Trump and the Democrats with Bernie Sanders. To give you a time stamp, I am writing this the morning after Trump and Sanders took their party's respective primary in the large state of Michigan.
Although the Democrats have rules in place for their primaries that largely negate the masses ability to truly elect a candidate; the leadership/elites of both of the parties are almost blind with fury over the success of Sanders and Trump. As I just noted, the Democrats and Sanders is a bit different story from Trump and the Republicans. The angst there is rooted in the fact that Hillary and her campaign is having to spend lots more money and time on beating back Sanders instead of her nomination being a "done deal" so she can move on and battle the Republicans. There is almost no chance of Sanders winning the nomination (I was going to say NO chance, but mathematically it is barely possible) due to the super-delegate situation and the proportional distribution (vs winner take all) of the delegates from here on out. So, the Sanders issue is just one of focus and expense for the Dem elite.
The Republicans on the other hand have a very different problem. There are no super-delegates (although it would not surprise me to see them establish something after this cycle - stay tuned) and most of the contests from here on out are winner take all. Trump is almost as much of a lock at this point as Clinton. The March 15th primaries will be the key. I await them with great anticipation.
That is enough background and explanation. The reason for this post is to comment on the windstorm that is the Trump campaign (and media response to same). I mentioned I have been following and voting in Presidential elections since 1972. I have NEVER seen a bashing of a major party candidate leading at this point in the cycle from all quarters like what is happening to Trump. If you read this blog, two posts back I did one on cognitive bias. The "powers that be" that put together the news we see and hear know all about cognitive bias. I mentioned in that post about the photos of Bill Cosby all making him look like a maniac. Trump is facing the same thing. Every photo shown by a major media outlet (and minor online ones too) shows him grimacing, menacing, and downright maniacal looking. Now, he does look like that on occasion - we all do. However, when the photos are chosen that accompany a story they can chose one showing a calm Trump hugging his daughter or one where his mouth is open and he is wild-eyed. I did an internet search of photos of Trump in the news over the past four months - almost none looked like the photos from a year or more ago - amazing. Trump is being blasted by media (both conservative leaning and liberal leaning), the Democratic party and it's leaders, and the Republican party and it's leaders (truly amazing if you look at the support he has garnered from people normally outside of the Republican camp - a goal of the party - at least on paper!).
Now, is Trump controversial, bombastic, egotistical, and somewhat of a bully? Hell yes. But, that is some of his appeal! A lot of people are fed up with political correctness, politicians that only speak in sound bites with specially selected key words that come from focus groups to not offend anyone. Is Trump misogynistic, or racist - the two major factors opponents are screaming about? I would say - no. He employs females at top levels in his companies at a rate that almost no other corporations can even get close to. Women that have worked for him say he is not anti-female at all. (have their been complaints from lower-level women, yes. I am not dismissing them, but that can be said for almost all powerful males - Bill Clinton anyone?) As for racism, his actions with friends and business partners speak louder than the claims from his detractors. There are several friends that have publicly denounced these claims but they do not get reported widely. (remember cognitive bias and the media's knowledge of the same) Does Trump say stupid things that can be offensive in today's milquetoast world? Yes. However. if you take time to research it, a lot of the complaints against what he has said are about things he did not even say! Or, they are sentences taken entirely out of context. Seriously, do some research. Almost all of his speeches are online somewhere. Listen to them and then decide.
I am now officially declaring myself a Trump-et (my name - TM me! If you see this anywhere, I came up with it) Washington is broken. Democrats and Republicans alike are not happy with the status quo (for different reasons, but still...) Electing an insider and a crony is not going to change anything. That is why Trump scares everyone on the Hill. All politicians talk about how they are going to change things (for the better of course), most never really do. The same issues that were being talked about in the first election cycle that I paid attention to in 1972 are STILL being addressed today. I cannot believe that if the political and bureaucratic machine really wanted to solve at least one of these issues that it would not have happened. The only answer is to shake things up. True change is needed. Washington takes too much of our money and puts it in pockets of the same people over and over and over. They throw enough out to the masses to get votes to keep the status quo, but no more!
Trump-ets - UNITE! (again, if you take nothing else away from this - remember the Trump-et name - MINE!)