Thursday, July 28, 2016


Political Mayhem Thursday: What Issues Will Matter?

When I hear people talk about politics, so much of it seems to be about personality or personal characteristics: They like a candidate because they are strong, or compassionate, or experienced or not. It is much rarer to hear from people who care about an issue or set of issues. (The Green Momster, with her focus on environmental issues, is an exception).

I really find myself caring deeply only about two issues, clemency (good) and war (bad). I'm not excited about either candidate in relation to those issues, either. Sigh.

So what are the important issues? Which ones do you care about in this election cycle, and how do the candidates speak to them?

Issue 1: Trump is a serial liar, fraud, and cheat. He has cheated thousands of investors, contractors, workers, etc., out of their investments, payments due under contracts, and wages. He has set up businesses that are clearly fraudulent. And he has lied repeatedly in his public statements.

Issue 2: Trump is divisive and has no plans to unify anyone other than disgruntled white males.

Issue 3: Trump has his products manufactured in the countries with which we have trad deals that he allegedly wants the U.S. to break.

Issue 4: Trump is less of a model of moral leadership than Bill Clinton was.

Issue 5: Hillary Clinton is not the untrustworthy lying person that the GOP has spent millions to make her out to be. Trump is. One of them has a life-time of self promotion; the other a life-time of working to get equal treatment for the disabled, children and families, etc., even before getting into public life, starting in her teens.

1-WF - I agree that the biggest issue of this election is a very real threat to America's character.
2 The 2nd greatest issue is our acceptance of false equivalence.
3 The US Supreme court
The following will not be possible if 1 to 3 aren't addressed.
3 Money in politics
4 Global warming
5 Social and criminal justice
6 Inequality
7 Racism
8 Education
9 Immigration
10 Terrorism.

WF-- None of those are issues. They are characterizations of one candidate or another. That's exactly what people seem obsessed about. I'm not saying they don't matter; I am saying that they shouldn't be the only thing that matters!

Dad-- I think 3b-10 on your list (you have two number 3's) are actual issues. And very important ones!
Fed courts (inc SCOTUS
Executive actions inc regs and non regs that are binding
Fiscal sustainability
Tax Reform
New List of Issues
1 America's lack of vision and character
2 Broken Judicial system
3 Money in politics
4 Global warming
5 Social and criminal justice
6 Inequality
7 Racism
8 Education
9 Immigration
10 Terrorism
11 Complacency
12 Economy
13 Infrastructure
14 Health costs
15 Universal Health care
16 Separation of Church and State

Okay so I think the choice is between a narcisist/bully and a pathological liar. Neither are pure as the driven snow.

Here are the issues as I see it:
1.) Global capitalism is not benefiting anyone except the upper strata of society. It has and will continue to devastate both working class white communities and communities of colour.
2.)Racism (which is intricately tied to number one, not just here in USA, but throughout the world. Think about it.
3.) The misuse/abuse of power at the local, state, and federal levels. (I am a big supporter of local control with the caveat that all citizens' civil rights must be protected). People often think, "If I or like minded folks where in charge" we could solve this or that or change things. I am deeply skeptical of that line of thinking,and classic progressivism in general, as I believe it entails a proufoundly flawed and naive view of human nature.
4.) Police, particularly the murders of young black men in MN and in LA, among many others. Again, an issue of racism and lack of accountability from government sans local control.
5.) Immigration
6.)Lack of Compassion/Empathy/Solidarity,you get the idea...

Scott Davis
In no particular order
1. Support of Public Education - the base for building an informed rational citizenry regardless of political persuasion that is competent to manage all the other issues.
2. The Really Important Issue That No one Knows About Today. What emergency will our next president have to deal with in a just, intlleigent, efficient manor?
3. Establishing some sort of relationship with congress that ends a demoralizing lack of productivity.
4. Infrastructure. Roads bridges, power grid, networks. The Skelton of our economic body is maintained by our government. It cannot be neglected. It will cost a lot. Let's pay up.
5 Environment / Energy I think this country could do some pretty cool things to reduce our energy consumption while creating new industry, new jobs, and cleaner air. Want a president that will prioritize this. Linked to number 4.
6. SCOTUS appointment.
7. Foreign Relations in general.
8. Healthcare.
.... Lunch break over- gotta wrap it up.

1. A sane and equitable way to provide adequate health care coverage for every American, cradle to grave.
2. Make college affordable for every American who wants it.
3. SCOTUS appointment.

More Issues:

National identity, pride, and ethos
Global competitiveness
Citizen engagement on more levels of government
Sustainable and reasonable and effective criminal justice framework

Sustainable foreign policy

Just watched the video. Brilliant! Yes. Insightful. Speaks to a couple of my hobby horses above. Still formulating a plan of action on how we get America back to a Jefferson-Hamilton, Clay-Jackson place where we were more intelligently divided in a death struggle over policy and principles.
My issues:

1. Fixing the problems that have emerged with the Affordable Care Act, so that there are more and better plans on the exchanges in all states (or coming up with some other way to get health care to people who are uninsured or under-insured, or going into debt from insurance costs). This is a my litmus test, and many others are important, including:
2. Gun control; common-sense gun laws; whatever you want to call it: lessening gun violence of all sorts
3. Criminal justice reform of the type Mark has been working on;
4. Helping cities and towns end problems of homelessness and drug abuse, including prescription drug abuse
5. Public works: fixing infrastructure (which intersects with clean energy jobs and creating jobs in general)
6. Maybe it's not an issue, but it could be a solution for many problems, including general tolerance-building and lessening of conflict: Instituting a year of national service for everyone.

Amy, I like that list! Though I probably would add environmental controls.
Ok -here is my list.

Fix the ACA. If toy have to purchase health care this way you find it is anything but Affordable, and there is absolutely no choice or competiton, just collusion when it comes to premiums.

Guns, especially getting these military type weapons (not guns) out of the hands of civilians. Y'all can keep your hand guns and shotguns. Would also see people licensed to use said guns, just like a vehicle - my dream.
Infrastructure legislation. How about we pass a bi-partisan bill without unrelated riders.
Resolution of the appointment of Supreme court and any other federally appointed judge or magistrate and I will add Ambassadors. To this list. A while lot of partisan non-sense.
Climate change

I could go on, but I won't.
Absolutely yes, to environmental controls. Thanks!
The most important thing about a president is not their platform and plans to implement it, though that is important -- mostly because it tells us something about the person and their party. Rather the most important thing is the character and motivations of the candidate and how that will be expressed while in office. The country needs someone t unify us not divide us, and that is a distinction between the candidates. The country needs someone who is basically honest and tries to help those who need help, rather than one who exploits any weakness to enrich themself. The long-term behavioral patterns of the candidate are important, as those will be the basis for approach to future issues. One of our candidates has always been involved in helping to find ways to aid the weak and powerless, those with unmet needs; the other has been a ravenous wolf taking every advantage to line his own pocket while breaking contracts, cheating workers, contractors and stockholders, disregarding laws and rules, etc. Those long-term behavioral patterns are unlikely to be changed by being elected to the most powerful position in our government.
WF-- that might be true... but it doesn't transform character into issue positions. And issues do matter.
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