It was 17 years ago that while dating my wife, I started paying more attention to the political world.
Kathy is a staunch Democrat with a really big D.
My political leanings were Republican but not as strong as her leanings.
My parents voted mostly for Republicans as far as I know but not entirely.
They were used to thinking for themselves.
My Dad died in 1998 and didn’t have ready access to the internet. Neither parents had cable TV.
They read the paper, watched the evening network news and talked with friends and neighbors face to face. When I would drive into town, I knew that my Dad would be hanging out with his buddies at the donut shop on North Anthony around 11 in the morning.
That was before most of the coffee shops that we have now. The donut shop is now a diner serving breakfast and lunch and across the street are two coffee shops including one that has been nicknamed my north office.
20 years ago, people talked to each other face to face or on the phone. They took time to write letters that required postage and would take a day or two to arrive, not seconds like email.
I sometimes wonder what my folks would do in this world today if they were both alive and healthy.
The ability to watch a multitude of news programs, the advent of social media, these are items that have impacted our political world beyond most peoples imagination.
We are not going back to the days of a couple decades ago.
We live in the instant world.
For all the ability that the World Wide Web gives us to have access to truth and history and knowledge, few of us know stuff we should know.
An understanding of the powers of the three branches of our Federal government as laid out in the Constitution for example. Instead I learned this month how to properly insert the SIM card in my phone.
History is one of my favorite subjects yet, I spend little time these days reading, watching or listening to the subjects I can find online, so I’m guilty too.
Broken but fixable was the title I wrote before I started this article and my original thought for that title has to do with both the government and the way we as citizens act. It also applies to the news media world.
Let’s dig in:
The reason Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election is due to the broken political system, the biased media world and the lack of understanding by our citizens of how things are supposed to work.
No, it wasn’t the Russians that rigged the system to a degree of suppressing votes, changing ballots or any of those kind of hi-jinks.
Both major political parties have been losing support for years. Proof of this is the number of participants in the primaries that are held by each party to select a candidate. Less than half of the voting population takes part. Often it’s as few as 10 to 15% of registered voters in an area. That shows apathy or disgust or simply lack of understanding.
Last year a dead man won a local election. That was because he died after the ballots were prepared and despite his death being in the local news, voters voted for him out of ignorance.
The national news media talks about the Trump Agenda as if he is a king and it’s his job to change to laws of the land. And people are buying this kind of stuff.
That’s not the way it works. Congress writes the bills that become laws and the process is very clear if we as citizens would pay attention or read up on how the process should work.
The President’s job is only to sign off or veto.
We have also given too much power to the Executive Branch’s cabinet. These bureaucrats don’t answer to anyone since they are not elected, but they write the rules that impact our daily lives.
So an understanding of the roles of who does what will help fix this system of ours if we hold the right people accountable.
There’s a whole lot that I could go into about campaign reform and term limits of our legislators but not today.
The main stream media has been hooked on Trump-mania for months and months and they simply need to be more responsible.
When Donald Trump announced he was going to seek the Presidential nomination, all eyes and ears started focusing on Trump. Live coverage of his campaign rallies were regular programming for CNN & MSNBC. No other candidate from any party ever received the free coverage that Trump got.
I know why, they were looking for him to implode. What ever the Donald would say today was more outrageous than anyone else and while they thought they would capture his blunders and bury him, it did the opposite.
Meanwhile the Democratic Party with their super delegate system gave the party insiders the power to make Hillary the winner over Bernie despite the overwhelming popularity of Senator Sanders over Mrs. Clinton on the campaign trail.
(Bernie would have beat Donald according to various polls and my own observational opinion.)
So I blame the left, be it the media for the way they covered the campaign, or the Democrats for putting a such a flawed candidate on the ticket, for the election of Donald Trump as our current POTUS.
How do we fix what’s broken?
Stop your fanatical coverage of Trump. Ignore his tweets. Wait for his actions. Don’t jump on them and react.
The Trump agenda is not his to fulfill. It belongs to the Legislative branch. Senators and Congressmen. They need to be adults and do what those who elected them want them to do.
Educate yourself. Listen to both sides of the arguments so you understand the why’s behind the passions.
And speak out against any media that attempts to twist facts to promote a biased agenda.
Don’t call names.
Pretend the old rules my parent followed 20 years ago before social media was around and email was mainstream.
Be a thinking and educated person.
Encourage others to do the same.
Yes it’s broken, but it’s fixable.