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Monday, August 8, 2016

And Perhaps What I Should Have Said Was Nothing.....



Recently a woman on Facebook asked a very provocative question. Her views are left leaning and she wondered how anyone could support Trump. The posts her question created reflected incredulity from all her readers. After scanning the page I discovered she is a very talented writer, professor and journalist, so I trusted her question was sincere and decided to honor the request as to why anyone would vote for Trump. Be clear I am not a Trump supporter, I do not have a candidate, perhaps I will but for now, I am one of millions of Americans classified as "undecided".

After writing an emotional response I expected to be skewered. The hate on social media is intense and because I am adhering to an almost zen like approach to life these days I avoid exposing my opinions for anyone to read. I adore my friends, and find it head scratching to sacrifice friendships on the alter of politics. Has anyone had their opinion turned around because of something they read on facebook?

Well, no.

The response on her facebook page was phenomenal. She expressed empathy to a plight she didn't realize was occurring. She was kind, and expressed true concern for our situation. Then she did something akin to asking my husband for a recipe......she asked me to write about it.

I can do that.

What follows are my observations from personal experiences. There isn't any he said, she said...no hyperbole...just my agenda to survive. I am not running for office, nor am I advocating a candidate. When I stated indecision about the presidency I meant it. For the record I am middle right. Which means I am liberal about some things, conservative about other things but mostly stick to a live and let live attitude. I understand how hard it is to make a living so I don't picket or boycott since you rarely land a glove on the folks you want to hurt anyway. I have friends from all walks of life and lifestyles, all races, creeds and tongues...so I get you and being a good Christian woman I am thrilled to never judge, just love. You can believe my honesty on this front or not.

Over the last 60 years we have been steadily sliding into warm water not noticing it has begun to boil. Our politicians say a great deal for our votes and then do very little once they are in office. The apex of this crisis came to my family 8 years ago when the recession began. Right now Nevada has the second worst unemployment rate in the country and during the worst parts of the recession we were number one with number one in foreclosures. None of our politicians came to help. They could have just said things are bad but they will improve, but nothing. Not republicans, not democrats....no one. I asked Rep Joe Heck our republican congressman what he was doing to help with our crisis. He said to my face..."I am introducing legislation" So basically nothing.....Construction everywhere stopped, sometimes in the middle of a project, and overnight businesses closed. It happened everywhere, on the strip, in our neighborhoods...everywhere. And then the ripple began...jobs lost, homes lost and great people had to leave Nevada because no jobs were here. The recession went across the country and our president in an attempt to encourage people to tighten their belts made a careless remark about not going to Las Vegas. The next day companies cancelled conventions and folks cancelled vacations. We were left with ever worsening problems. The mayor was apoplectic and I think in a rare move even Harry Reid objected because President Obama corrected his statement in a letter. Very few people heard the letter and the damage was done.  It hurt financially and further damaged suffering morale. Years later he told a group there is "nothing like a quick trip to Vegas in the middle of the week". We live and learn.

When our health insurance bill became more than our mortgage we considered giving it up, instead we signed up for Obamacare because our income was so low. I misunderstood the instructions - which in my defense are as complicated as a nuclear arms treaty - and didn't know we had to state our income on a guess going forward instead of what we made the previous year. When our business began to make more money, (and that is what we want to happen, right?) we were fined $4,000 for incorrect information. It was a huge mistake that I am still bitter about because everything we make goes back into the business or just survival, it was a huge hit. This year when Mrs. Clinton made mistakes with emails that could have - might have - impacted national security, national security, and received no consequences it caught my attention. Why isn't there an insurance mulligan with Obamacare mistakes? National security gets a mulligan? But not the regular guy. I am happy to report we have coverage through a private healthshare program that qualifies under Obamacare. For the record some of the changes Obamacare have made are long overdue. Children staying on their parents policies until 26 (although if there were more jobs this wouldn't be necessary) and preexisting illnesses no longer preclude you from coverage. Changes did need to be made to health insurance and republicans were not going to do it, so the discussion starts with Obamacare. Repealing it without an alternate plan will not work, but the way it is now isn't effective either. Too many people are facing higher deductibles and premiums with considerably less coverage and there will eventually be a rebellion. Small businesses cannot afford the guidelines and they will continue to hire more and more part time workers. Which makes the whole system worse.

I did not caucus for Trump, but he took Nevada by a huge margin. Why? Because of jobs...or rather lack of jobs. And that is the way it is all across the country. Good, hardworking people are looking around at no retirement, no savings, no IRA's and a government hell bent on taking more of what we don't have. I have watched my college educated husband start over at the age of 60...why? Because he had to. The choice was giving up or going forward. Some folks did give up, they walked away from their homes and every obligation they had. In the last 10 years 16 million (excellent article) people have left the labor force making it 92 million people total. It is easy to quote a very low unemployment rate when you take so many out of the equation. I realize that number includes retired people, but it also includes people without any hope of work or find themselves unqualified to work. With our savings, investments and IRA's gone, the Tagliaferri retirement plan changed to "no retirement plan"or "work until you drop". But work at what? We were too old to get jobs that would come close to our obligations, so we started a business. Nothing has been harder for me yet we refuse to give up.  Learning social media, quickbooks, advertising, buying, and a never ending conga line of regulations has not been easy. And we are competing with companies that are long established with much bigger budgets to hire people to advertise, do books and keep up with regulations. I didn't even know where to start. So after a nervous breakdown (real) I just starting working. I am not alone in this, as my dear friend and accountant said to me during a raging meltdown, "Donna do you know how many of my clients are in the exact same place you are?" My head cleared up a bit and realized I thought it was just me when the whole country has been placed on the 50% off shelf.

Enter Trump. The anti-candidate, the guy with all the answers but mostly sounds like he has none of the answers. He wants to be our proxy against the established team of politicians on either side. He throws mud at ideas and concepts that haven't panned out. But he has tapped into a group of Americans that are afraid these failed ideas and concepts will finally finish us off. Any candidate up to now that stood up and said things need to change and mean it, were unelectable. But the Donald came at just the right time for a whole group of people politicians have ignored. People tired of losing things they had worked their whole lives for and having no one in government really care. I am a county planning commissioner, I know the language of distress, distrust and disgust from constituents. When no one takes the time to hear them they rebel and that is what is happening in America, people are rebelling and their pitchforks and torches come in the form of Donald Trump. When I talk to people about who they are voting for gender doesn't come up. People don't care if Hillary is a woman or not, the media does and they do all they can to keep us hating each other.

From my standpoint neither candidate has any idea what today's economy is really like. Both are privileged beyond measure. All attended Ivy league schools, their children attended Ivy league schools (I consider Stanford a Ivy league school - at least by cost) none of them have student loans or a dismal path to employment, they will never worry about health care or retirement. They don't even have to be concerned about ISIS since they are surrounded by secret service  or private security 24 hours a day. To insure I will never understand their lifestyles Mrs Clinton gave a speech at UNLV in 2014. (I have provided a link stating her demands for giving the speech from the Review Journal article) While people are struggling to pay mortgages, while they lay awake at night wondering what will their future be, Mrs. Clinton is demanding a Gulfstream and a presidential suite.

It doesn't help that the entire DNC was devoted to how good things are and the RNC was devoted to how bad things are leaving me to wonder....

"Where do I go now?"

Enter Trump

He isn't a politician, he isn't nice, he isn't smooth...he has no filter. So why did he get the nomination? Because he isn't a politician and politics haven't worked for the hoi polloi in a long time. His rhetoric is grating and nonsensical. He is PT Barnum......When I ask people why they are voting for him two things are mentioned...He understands we need to work, and he says the snarky things we want to but can't. In an interview Nancy Pelosi changed her rhetoric from "Blue collar worker" to "uneducated white man". Instead of trying to find out why Americans are feeling disenfranchised they dismiss them by diminishing them.  Instead of trying to find a reasonable solution for immigration Trump says he will build a wall...seriously? He talks about torture and nuclear bombs as though they are pieces to a game. He doesn't have a plan to fix anything any more than Mrs. Clinton does, for the record her plan is more of the same.  Since neither side has a path to recovery for the economy just admit it and just get out of the way. Let us do what Americans do because we are the reason America is great, not our politicians. We work, we invent, we dream, we are the ones who take risks. Not our government, government was never supposed to make jobs, it's purpose is for the "common good". What is shared or beneficial for the common community.

Working through my dotage is our retirement plan, I get that, so get out of the way and let me do it.

And someone find a leader I can follow.....


23 comments:

  1. Excellent comments. I've tried to refrain from posting political comments on social media because the environment is so nasty and negative. But, I agree with your assessments of politicians. Their main goal is to get reelected. Where else could they work part-time for full-time benefits, retire with guaranteed income and health benefits, and receive insider information on stock trades? They are exempt from Obamacare because they get a far better plan. And, no, I couldn't keep my own doctor. I agree with you that an outsider is rattling the status quo and I'm all for it. I'm not endorsing Trump but I'm not voting for HRC. I hope I don't get shot.

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    1. I agree with you Elaine. I'm still not certain what to do. I'm not voting for HRC either, but just wish there was a leader that we all could follow.

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  2. I believe Trump supporters are hesitant to share their views. He's a flawed candidate but absent him, what do we have? Our family suffered a job loss two years ago and we've not recovered. Unemployment at 50 presents a difficult burden to overcome.

    I'm tired of being told that being against illegal immigration equates with being against legal immigration. I'm tired of hearing that divergent views are fueled by racism when sometimes they are simply fueled by divergent views. I'm angry that a slogan of "all lives matter" or "blue lives matter" is labeled as exclusionary but "black lives matter" is heralded as forward thinking. And just for the record, albeit on a shallower note, I'm frustrated that the entire color spectrum has been taken over as a sign of the LGBTQ movement. I don't care what people do in their own lives. I don't care who they love or who they partner with but dang it - I love rainbows and now I can't even use a rainbow umbrella without the world thinking I'm making some major political statement. Sometimes the only statement people want to make is "look at my cute rainbow umbrella".

    I'm just done. Done with it all and I'm willing to take the risk. If he wins, I'll feel terrified but if he loses, I'll feel hopeless.

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    1. Thank you Catherine for your beautiful post. No one is talking about how they really feel because they fear repercussions. You always speak eloquently and fairly. It has been so interesting to find out what people are thinking. We will make it through this.

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    2. Maybe the rest of the country really did feel an upswing in the economy after it bottomed out, but whenever I heard how much the economy is improving, I had to ask myself if the people saying that had been here in Las Vegas recently. Or was it just me? But from what you have said, Donna, it wasn't just me. We just have to keep trying to move forward, hoping that all the federal meddling in businesses here won't cause more of our businesses to go under. Like you said, maybe for those who have some sort of job security, things seem to be going well. But for those of us trying to keep a small business going, we're about out of options for helping pay for those who don't pay their own way (whether it be through health insurance, small business tax, penalties for not understanding the new federal laws, etc).

      I kept thinking something positive will happen that will cause all to turn out well. Somehow a leader will emerge that will provide a better alternative to 2 fairly horrible options. But it hasn't happened. I feel very frustrated that there is so much corruption in all of national politics (both parties) & federal agencies. I'm trying to focus on the smaller scope of what can I do to help in our community because nothing I can do will change the picture of the nation. So how I can I make my little part of the world a better place? Sometimes even that is difficult to focus on with all the hype in the news about the presidential election....

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  3. I have posted and shared my absolute incredulity and disgust that Trump is a candidate. He is unfit, and unprepared, and listening to him and his racist rhetoric is more than I can bear. 50 republican national security advisors and officers have written a letter to the American electorate to share their experienced view that he is dangerously ignorant and temperamentally unstable to get anywhere near the White House. I have tremendous respect for the republicans who are putting country first and voting for Hillary, who is experienced. Defeating Trump is, in my opinion, more important than any one issue, except the Supreme Court. Unless we want to go back to the 50s, we need a liberal court. I am happily voting for Hillary, to preserve the gains minorities and women have made over the last 60 years.

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, it has been eye opening to find out what people are really thinking and feeling. I support anything you want to do and certainly didn't endorse Trump. Our experiences are real and we are also terrified. Although I have not in any way voted for Trump or support him I was very curious as to why people are supporting him. They aren't racists or stupid.....I just needed to know why.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you, Lois. He scares the hell out of me.

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    2. Lois thank you for reading. This was written in an attempt to answer a question. I am not a Trump supporter, can't listen to him at all. So I wondered who was voting for him, and since I speak Republican it was easy....I also have had a very difficult time that I am trying to sort through. I wish I had a candidate to cheer for like you do. Our lives are completely different, I only have one item on my agenda, keeping my house. That will only happen if my business continues to grow. And that is what so many others are trying to do. There are so many of us out here just trying to survive. I know we are on different sides of this, but I appreciate so much that you read it, and that you commented. I am happy that things are good for you. I really am.

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    3. I think if you really do the research, you will find you have a much better chance of keeping your house -- not to mention your rights -- with Hillary in the White House. Trump is only interested in himself. He has basically said that over and over again. And, above all, he is racist, sexist, has mocked the disabled and -- under the guise of "telling it like it is" -- has unleashed a level of hatred and incivility that threatens to destroy this country. He is very dangerous and ignorant and the rest of the world has already lost so much respect for us because we have allowed him to be taken seriously as a candidate for the most powerful position in the world.

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    4. This blog was not written to endorse Trump...I am not doing that.I am trying to give voice to people who are not being heard. They don't feel anyone cares about how hard life has become, and so I believe they are doing this radical thing voting for Trump because no one is listening. And they are tired of being considered stupid by politicians. I listed politicians from both parties as letting us down. I don't even think I said one nice thing about Trump. I am just giving voice to so many people who are completely disenfranchised in America today. These are their concerns. I have heard from so very many people in the last few hours...none of them voting for Trump, but expressing sadness at how things are going....for them. I don't even listen to Trump, but I do listen to the women I volunteer with every Tuesday, and my friend at Walmart, my husbands hairdresser, the man who sprays my house for bugs...I listen to attorneys, and doctors and plain ol business men. My circle of friends is enormous. I do know some who are thrilled Hillary is running and they are happy with with the way life is going. But they are mostly friends who have no chance of losing their jobs. A tenured professor, my county planning friends who work for the government. Everything you said about trump is true, I don't disagree, Enforsing him was not my intention and from what I have heard from folks they don't think that either. They are looking for a leader, someone they can trust to guide us out of this malaise. They know the economy is terrible, but they are continually told it is great, getting better, unemployment is so low......I am not in any way taunting you or your party. I am hearing from people from both parties who are done. They are tired of the bickering, fed up with the promises and saddened that their chidlren may not have the kind of lives they have had. I dont' have the retirement my parents did, so the trend is there.

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  5. My business crashed in 2008 along with everyone else's, but I didn't have time to blame and point fingers. As George Custer once said: "My business crashed in '08 with everyone else's, but I didn't have time to blame and point fingers. George Custer once said "It's not how many times you get knocked down that count, it's how many times you get back up." That's what I did, and continue to do.

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    1. Although I am sorry your business crashed I am proud of you for getting back up. This has been the challenge of our lives but we are doing it, We put an entire business together and we work it every day. I wish one of us could have had a day job to help supplement the time we had no business at all, but somehow we are still standing. I admit after we first lost everything I was angry, I did blame.....but I had to keep going, I worked through the inadequacies this challenge uncovered and I am a far better person for having gone through it. I do wish I was a bit younger......

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  6. Nicely said, Lois. And to others, tough times were caused by a recession so deep and pervasive there is still suffering today. This was caused by the policies of George W Bush. Obama has done a great job despite the idiots in congress who have been determined to block him in every way. I hope they are voted out. I wonder why they hate Obama? Hmm what could it be?! Oh, and America is already great...we don't need walls and prejudiced immigration policy. Trump is appealing to fear, and he is causing fear and hatred.

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  7. Donna, you can't see me but I'm giving you a standing ovation. You have put into words the true difficulties so many are living with. Our retirement isn't anything like we expected either. My husband worked his entire career for kmart and they screwed every veteran manager they had. We've survived and moved on but, I would have enjoyed a little more cushion and less worry. I get it. Hillary may not be perfect, no politician is, but she is the only sane choice. We need to start a coalition to let her know, in no uncertain terms, what so many in this country have and are going through and what needs to be done to fix it. I know there aren't any easy fixes for all that ails us, but I think the Dems are better equipped and more willing to bend so we can continue to turn things around. Obama has made a lot of positive inroads and Hillary will continue in the right direction. And, voting down the ticket is crucial. The republicans stone walled for 8 years and yet there has been progress. I understand your situation. So many have been forced into the same one. But, republicans will never get us out of this.
    I'm so proud of you for writing this! I'm going to share this all over the place. xoxob

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  8. Thank you for writing this, Donna. I'm not a Trump supporter but thank you for pointing out that instead of dismissing those voices, we need to ask why and look more closely. Invalidating realities never solved anything in history. Again, thank you for your voice!

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  9. Boy, do I ever agree...we need a leader we can ALL follow. Sure wish that could have been Romney, four years ago.

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  10. I hear you and can appreciate your position and that's all I'll say. Because I know you to be an honest woman, a caring woman and one with an open mind. So you've heard it all and of course, you know me so you probably know what I'd say. xoxo

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    1. You know I'm not supporting Trump right? This is just what the regular people are thinking.

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  11. nice essay and well constructed ideas, and thanks for exposing so well what it's like to be a little fish in a big economy and the treacherous cross currents you and ray have to swim in to get anywhere. not to mention all the people trying to get their hooks into you. so lame. also like the last sentence, and i also share the same frustration because in this cycle we have dumb and dumber as choices.

    it's tragic how we got here, how this system can't produce better candidates then a would be queen and biff tannen from back to the future.

    for the record i've been a registered independent since i was 18, became a republican last election so i could caucus for ron paul and switched back independent right after. i've never voted for a republican for president, have only voted for a democrat once, and went independent or other all the remainder. i'm a centrist / left / libertarian if there is such a thing, and at this point i'm happy with gary johnson as my choice this round, he seems to be the only adult in the room, but it's possible i'll change my mind at the last min and hold my nose and vote for HRC.

    my thinking is that HRC is greedy, power hungry and ruthless in a nixon sort of way, while trump on the other hand is evil. actual pure evil. seriously. he scares the living s#!+ out of me. my best hope would be the trump campaign implodes, HRC becomes a one term pres, and we the people firgure out whatever the hell is broken with our two party system and get some damn adults into this hot mess next time. where the flip is colin powell hiding out these days? earth to mitt romney, do you read? come in mitt romney. and john mccain, you could even take another crack at this thing, but for god's sake - don't pick the alaskan sharon angle to run with you again.


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