Monday, August 8, 2016
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?
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?"
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.....