Fuck This Entire Election Cycle » VSB

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Fuck This Entire Election Cycle

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

 

When Donald Trump was scheduled March 11 to stump on the University of Illinois Chicago campus, I was driving to Detroit with the goal of getting out of town before the inevitable protests began. I openly questioned on Facebook the purpose of protesting Trump, as if making a scene in public wouldn’t just embolden his supporters, let alone change their vote.

During my drive, what I assumed would be a smaller protest wound up a national news-making calamity that motivated The Donald to cancel his speech. Of course, the Chicagoans on my Facebook News Feed were thrilled at the notion that their “tough,” stalwart city managed to keep him out.

Meh. I’m unimpressed that we “kept out” a man whose name still sits in massive letters on the third-largest building in the city. (I’d be more impressed if protestors burned that bitch down), and the incident certainly didn’t slow his flow. But it was the video footage of the physical altercations at the event – which I’m sure were skewed by the media – that permanently soured me to this entire election cycle.

I’m old enough to legitimately remember seven presidential campaigns (and actually vote in four elections to date), and I’ve never hated everything about any of them like I do this one. I’ve never been so embarrassed at the possibility that space aliens would come down right now to assess our fucked-up state of affairs.

My feelings stand in diametric opposition to those about the election eight years ago, when I was caught up in the excitement of Barack Obama hitting the Big Seat. Not only am I not excited about any current candidate as a future leader of our union, but there’s something special about the sheer unlikableness of damn near each and every candidate in either party.

Four years ago, the GOP – emboldened at the unmitigated gall of someone who (barely) fails the brown paper bag test to run the free world – rolled out a circus of idiots and “birthers” to attempt to unseat Obama. Goof-asses like resident moon cricket Herman “9-9-9” Cain (who won a little respect by making fun of himself after the fact) and Michele Bachmann, a.k.a. Sarah Palin minus the sexiness and including what has to be Tommy-tack-hammer-induced head trauma served as a precursor for what we’re seeing now.

But I didn’t hate them. They don’t evoke powerful feelings of disdain like the motley crew of GOP jagoffs who stepped into 2016 expecting the world to take them seriously. The cavalcade of fuckboys (and one fuckgirl) was such an unwieldy mess that they had to split up the early debates by tiers (I bet not one of you can name each of the 23,471 original GOP candidates. I sure can’t.)

I won’t dedicate many pixels on my opinion of Trump considering countless other think pieces have done it for me. But he’s absolutely right-wing America’s id writ large, his ascendancy an insidious confluence of one population itching to get a darkie out of the White House and another that gets off on grandiloquent demagoguery.

Close your eyes and process for a moment that we’re having an austere national conversation about the dude from “Celebrity Apprentice” who probably looked up a few months ago like, “Well, shit B…these people are taking this whole me-running-for-president thing seriously! What do I do??” Like me, you might just say “fuck all of this.”

Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if I was excited about the Democratic side of things. Outside of the fact that she’ll likely become the first woman president (which, admittedly, feels less groundbreaking following the first black president), Hillary Clinton is entirely uninspiring. Everything about her is off, from the baggage she comes with to her terrible attempts to cater to the black and woman communities to my general distaste at the presidency circulating within the same damn families in a country with hundreds of millions of natural-born citizens.

Disappointment with some of his policies notwithstanding, Obama’s accomplishments in the last seven years have been profound; Clinton’s stump rhetoric belies a general “business as usual” likelihood in her presidency. Having her in the White House would be the equivalent of making it on “The Price is Right” and going home with nothing but a Ninja blender – not the worst option, but you know you could’ve done so much better.

Which brings me to Bernie Sanders. His Democratic socialist ideas frighten a large swath of voters concerned that he’s the second coming of Josef Stalin come to tax us all to the poor house. That’s why the same bucketheads who liberally used “socialist” as a stand-in for “nigger” in relation to Obama are coming for Sanders by obfuscating his message for the lemmings who refuse to dig deeper.

He has a shitload of support in my circles, and I pulled the lever for him in the primary election. But let’s keep it one-hunnuh: homie looks like he’s one heart palpitation away from passing away face-down in a bowl of his 6 p.m. pre-bedtime Cream of Wheat. Any reservations I have about Sanders as a potential harbinger of positive change come solely from the knowledge that he would be an octogenarian in his second term, yelling “WHAAAAAAAAT?!?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” from across the War Room and throwing his cane at the head of the Secretary of Defense when he hears something he doesn’t like.

I don’t “Feel the Bern” so much as I do a light itch in my draws that some bacitracin might fix. And it looks like a non-issue since the Millennials who’ll happily use their Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-stained digits to tweet support for Sanders won’t actually cowboy the fuck up and hit the polls.

As I write this, I’m enjoying the magnificent fourth season of Netflix’s “House of Cards.” There’s a late-season episode in which Claire Underwood is stumping and asks a couple outright, “Why me and not my opponents?” The wife said it was because they got a “feeling” when she saw her and husband Frank at the convention.

That’s what this whole fucking election cycle boils down to: a lot of feelings and very little investment in actual policies. Trump is an easy target because his bloviating is extremely offensive in a way that everyone can either love, hate or roll into a tidy meme (some of which I’m guilty of disseminating). The way we process information – in quick and easy clickbait headlines – is going to make getting substance through progressively harder. There’ll be good guys and bad guys, with little regard for nuance.

If there’s any good thing about this election cycle, it’s watching the Republican Party cannibalize itself in a fashion that will probably permanently change it – hopefully for the better. But, given that U.S. democracy is bleeding out like Jim Caviezel in Passion of the Christ this election cycle, I may as well have voted for the homie Willie Wilson and hoped for the best.

 

Dustin Seibert

Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavy weights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. He writes like the English language is going outta style because the steaks in his freezer are dependent on it.

  • Glo

    Yeah, everything about this election cycle is awful. THE ONLY GOOD THING about this is that Trump’s entire candidacy has held up a mirror to America and shown us (and the rest of the world) exactly how bigoted this country can be. A lot of people are pretending to be shocked by the fact that someone so blatantly racist/sexist/xenophobic/etc. has such a ridiculously large following and such a legitimate shot at the white house…but America has always been this way.

    Now that we’ve addressed the horrible elephant in the room (instead of pretending that the elephant hasn’t existed for the last several decades), maybe we can finally do something about it.

    • Question

      THE ONLY GOOD THING about this is that Trump’s entire candidacy has held up a mirror to America and shown us (and the rest of the world) exactly how bigoted this country can be. But I wonder if its really shining that big of a light. The people who are acting surprised are doing so out of political correctness – ain’t nobody really all that surprised, folks is just trying to publicly distance themselves from the unabashed supporters.

      And what’s going to to come of it? After this election cycle, we’re going to go back to the Bush-era business as usual where folks remind us that we “had a Black* President and therefore we’ve come a long way” blah blah blah blah.

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      *pssst…over here….pssst… They. already. knew.*

  • AquaTeamV3
    • Did you ever see the Bern Your Enthusiasm skit from SNL? That was hilarious!

      • miss t-lee

        Yup. It was so good.

    • Question

      This couldn’t be more perfect.

    • Kas

      Decision tree

      • black-a-rican

        HA! Too perfect.

    • Guest

      #feelthebern

  • ChokeOnThisTea

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again– This election cycle can best be summed up as, “Freedom of choice with nothing to choose from.”

  • Brandon Allen

    I know who has my vote.

    • TheCollinB

      These ni**as. Once this season wrapped I had no doubt who the illest ni**a in Nebraska was. They are bout it!

      • Ess Tee

        I finally finished up this season this weekend. That end! Woooo. I have thoughts.

        • TheCollinB

          Claire tho…her character had a breakout season. When ol girl asked her if she regretted not having kids and she asked did she regret having them as a rebuttal I was like “GATTTTTTTT!!!” I don’t see them able to take that show anywhere else after this past season. I pray they leave it there.

          • Brandon Allen

            Next year has to be the end.

          • Ess Tee

            Also.

            The fact that Claire broke the fourth wall in that final scene? Yikes. (I also muted that moment before and covered my eyes with a throw pillow. I’m too squeamish for what went on there.)

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    If my vote counted, I’d vote for Trump.

    He’s the president that the real America deserves.
    He is American truth, unvarnished and unfettered.
    That is who America truly is and it’s time that they took their country back, back to where it belongs, to where it truly is without all the cover-up.

    Ignorant, know nothing, racist, nativist, gun toting, war mongering, thugs who want to destroy the world. Basically peel off the mask, and reveal what America truly is and always has been.

    Obama was too good for America, he would have been better off in Canada. Ideally with Drake as his vice president.

    Apocalypse now

    • There’s the minor trifle of potential concentration camps for immigrants and who knows what else…

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        We call that the hood where I live.
        Constant patrols are cheaper than fences.

    • TheCollinB

      Clap for Donald one time cause his hustle is stretching beyond Russell Simmons in his prime. I wouldn’t let fam borrow a gatdamn pencil, but he’s always gonna win.

  • Val

    I’m continually amazed and confused by so many people spending so much time and thought coming up with reasons not to support Bernie Sanders. There’s definitely something happening on a deep level with regard to the Bernie non-support that I can’t quite decipher yet.

    • Voted for Bernie in the SC Dem primary but to be fair I don’t like he or Hillary. Also, if you don’t like a motherf**ker you just don’t like a motherf**ker. It just may not feel right. Honestly, Berns and Hillary’s black credentials puzzle me.

      • Val

        “Honestly, Berns and Hillary’s black credentials puzzle me.”

        In what way? I mean Hillary doesn’t really have any Black cred other than Black folks supporting her husband. Bernie was marching for civil rights way back in the day. That pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it?

        • I get both things you named but I never gave much credence to Bill’s pull with us.

          As for Bernie that doesn’t sum anything up. I’m glad he did what he did but do I know he’s the same guy? He went to the whitest place in the nation afterwards. I may have to look further into the both of them but right now I’m not feeling them.

          • Epsilonicus

            “He went to the whitest place in the nation afterwards.”

            Bruh, it was prolly the only place in the country where a democratic socialist could get elected.

            • That’s true.

            • Asiyah

              Yes! Considering its proximity to Canada which can be described as such. Vermont is not your average state in America.

            • Epsilonicus

              I find it disingenuous when I hear Black folks complain that Bernie did not move to our areas (Not you Wu specifically) but also won’t state that 99%, most communities Black or otherwise would not vote a Democratic Socialist into office. He made a smart moving going to a place he could actually get elected.

              • Val

                Plus Hillary lives in effing Chappaqua, NY, it doesn’t get much Whiter than that. Lol

                • Quirlygirly

                  Yup, and she had the opportunity to move in a more racially diverse area and chose Chappaqua.

                  • miss t-lee

                    But they made such a big deal about Bill having an office in Harlem.
                    *yawn*

                    • Quirlygirly

                      sure did and I cosign your yawn.

                    • miss t-lee

                      *daps*

                  • Cheech

                    And came from, you know, Arkansas, which has a few black folks living there.

                    I’m still pissed at her for all the stuff she and her husband said to throw Obama under the bus in 08. And at her core, she doesn’t believe anything except that she should be president.

                    Yet I’ll end up holding my nose and voting for her, because as much as I love the Bern, he’s shown he’s a one-note pony without the breadth of experience to actually do the job. And the alternatives are horrific–staying home is a vote for Trump.

                    • Quirlygirly

                      I am fine with her choice of living in Chappaqua but don’t act like you are for minorities because your husband’s office is in Harlem. Hyprocrisy is a double edged sword and can hurt the voters and the incumbent.

        • I just want another choice, Val.

          • Julian Green

            Well, too bad, because you don’t get one.
            Seriously, though, how much does “Black cred” actually matter to these people beyond the election cycle?

    • Brandon Allen

      My lone hangup is age to be honest. He still might get my vote but I think about it.

      • Val

        Bernie, Trump and Hillary are all in the same age group though.

        • Brandon Allen

          Bernie has five years on them both. That’s a whole presidential term.
          I’m not voting Trump but that’s significant to me when choosing between him and Hillary.

          • fxd8424

            I like Bernie, but he does have one foot in the grave.

    • overandout

      Bernie doesn’t know the first thing about economic or foreign policy and he doesn’t seem to have thought about what he would actually do if he was elected. That is my main complaint.

      • Val

        Lol @ half baked. Okay. Not trying to change any minds, just curious why so many people seem to put a lot of thought into not supporting him.

      • Asiyah

        If Bernie didn’t know the first thing about economic or foreign policy, he wouldn’t have such a long career in politics. He may not play the game the way everybody else does but he knows what’s up. I don’t think he relies on a revolution. I think his followers are seeing him as revolutionary, not Sanders himself. This is reminiscent of 2008.

      • American’s don’t care about foreign policy.

      • Cheech

        I love Bernie, I supported him early, i’ve given him money, and I agree with almost everything he has to say, which needs saying. All of that said, I think overandout is spot on here. I came slowly and reluctantly to that conclusion. I’m glad he’s been the message candidate, but I think I must now hold my nose and vote for Hill, even though I can’t stand her.

        I think the Prez has said as much to the party donors, and will soon be saying it to Bernie and to us.

    • I will say Bernie Sanders has been incredibly tone deaf with minority outreach, particularly outside of well off White Collar people of color. I don’t think he’s a bigot by any stretch, but some of the decisions he’s made during his campaign have come off perplexing.

      • Epsilonicus

        I think his team believes he can’t win the minority vote no matter what.

      • Val

        I just think Black folks gave Hillary their support so early that it’s been an incredibly uphill battle for him. But, he does have a lot of support amongst younger Black voters.

        • Epsilonicus

          Young Black voters just need to come out in droves

          • TheCollinB

            Which could happen if Barry chooses to support a candidate. And while I can’t see him supporting Bernie, I wish to God he would.

            • Me

              He’s already supporting Hillary. I think it came out last week or the week before at some WH dinner he had.

            • Val

              The backdoor deals have already been done. Which means he’s going to support Hillary.

              • Mochasister

                Damn.

      • menajeanmaehightower

        He’s got young white liberals in his pocket who tend to be tone deaf and bigoted without knowing it.

        • Asiyah

          I’ve seen a lot of young white liberals stan for Hilary. It’s been gross.

          • Val

            And White Feminists. Talk about tone deaf.

      • Asiyah

        It’s so funny you say this because I know of a lot of minority groups leaning towards Sanders. He has huge support from Muslim communities in Detroit/Dearborn, SoCal, and NYC. I know a lot of Black people leaning towards him. Lots of young Latinos are thinking of voting for him. I’m not sure how he’s tone deaf.

        • My FB feed splits even between Clinton and Sanders. Some of the things I’ve seen him say just seem a beat off. I know he has a legit interest in the vote, but he seems lost on how to do it.

    • Damon Young

      honestly, I think (Black) people (generally) dont care either way. the support of clinton is due to her seeming to have a better chance of winning the general election. but choosing between bernie and hillary is like choosing between bounty paper towels and sparkle.

      • Val

        Really? I think Black folks care. I just think that for some reason older Black folks don’t trust Bernie. Which is confusing to me. I mean it’s the Clintons that have pulled the racial okidoke on us in the past. There are actual Clinton policies that are still doing harm to Black folks. Plus all those racial slights when Hillary was running against Barack.

        And mind you, I’m not trying to change any minds at this point. I’m just trying to figure out what’s really going on.

        • LMNOP

          Older voters of all races are much more likely to support Clinton. I don’t quite get what’s going on either though.

          • esa

            Clinton is the devil you know.

        • ak1991200

          Same. Black folks care. At least the younger ones do. And a lot of Prominent black politicians and scholars care. Cynthia McKinney and Michelle Alexander can’t stop talking about how destructive Hillary has been and is currently.

    • Jacob

      I think as people get older they(we) tend to make compromises in our ideology so we can just live and don’t have to be as angry/frustrated all the time. Do that for a bit and people become invested in the status quo. Clinton represents the status quo, Bernie (old and white as he is) represents the potential for a shakeup.

      • Val

        Good analysis. I think back to when Barack was running against Hillary and even then it took a while for Black folks to get behind him

    • esa

      for many people, the tenets of socialism are at odds with the spirit of the American Dream. exceptionalism is highly seductive to the ego, as well as the dog-eat-dog sadism that underlies so much capitalist enterprise.

      • Val

        True. And also they don’t really know what socialism is. If they did they would know that socialism was already a huge part of what America is, what every ‘free’ nation is.

  • Brass Tacks

    I’m not mad at Trump. He speaks what he feels and even if you disagree. You have to admire the cojones of a man that tells you exactly where they stand. In this era of smoke and mirror politics. I wish other politicians would give us the same respect. And not try to set us up for the okie doke with their best “first date impression”.

    Neither party has earned my vote and i’m definitely sitting out this election cycle.

    • brothaskeeper

      Don’t sit out, write someone in. Both parties are counting on the disenfranchisement of one another’s constituencies. Remember, when America has a cold, Black people have the flu.

      • Brass Tacks

        Gotcha BK. I read all of you guys comments on elections, votes, caucuses, etc…its all very well stated. And most importantly, knowledgeable!. But, I have to be real about where i’m at. I’ve voted in every micro and macro level election since 08.

        Ain’t no change coming round these parts.

      • Val

        “when America has a cold, Black people have the flu”

        If America has a cold we have pneumonia.

        • brothaskeeper

          Even better (the phrase, not the condition).

    • I would check what is on your local ballot before choosing to sit this election out. For example, in my state we are electing a State Supreme Court Judge.

      I haven’t a clue who I want to elect for the Presidential Primary but I can’t afford to not vote at all.

      • Epsilonicus

        I was gonna say the same thing. There are too many local issues up for vote for me to sit out.

        • Brass Tacks

          I here ya. But i’m in an area where my vote amounts to a grain of sand.

        • Word. Ask the good people of Ferguson, Missouri, how not voting locally helped them.

          • Epsilonicus

            They voted that prosecutor out so its gonna be interesting around there

      • Brass Tacks

        IsitFriday. If we were to put my vote v. the populace on a scale. lets just say the weight would be heavily in favor of the opposition.

        *sidenote*

        Your avatar gives me so many feels.

    • -h.h.h.-

      Neither party has earned my vote and i’m definitely sitting out this election cycle.

      not sure what state you’re in, but i don’t have a problem if you pass on the presidents, but understand your House Rep is up for election, and probably one of your two senators…if anything, getting involved in the party to make sure Congress (the house and/or senate) represents your wishes is just as important, and with the House, you probably can do more work to get your person elected.

      defintely check out the local scene, like others are saying.

      • Brass Tacks

        Im in a primarily Red area. Aint no change coming round these parts.

        • Julian Green

          You could always just do what I did in the last election. I wasn’t really invested in anybody’s campaign, but I didn’t want to have to listen to people b I t c h to me about not voting; so I ended up supporting Gary Johnson.
          Voting for a 3rd party candidate is essentially the same thing as not voting, plus you get the added benefit of not having to deal with any of your self-righteous friends/family/coworkers admonishing you for not voting.

          • fxd8424

            “You could always just do what I did in the last election. I wasn’t really invested in anybody’s campaign, but I didn’t want to have to listen to people b I t c h to me about not voting; so I ended up supporting Gary Johnson.”
            You just don’t tell them you didn’t vote. You lie and say you did.

          • Brass Tacks

            Nah, I don’t care about people b i t ching at me. They not helping pay this rent, so they can hop off long ways.

            Im not about to choose the lesser of two evils. and say this is the Devil I can live with. Let em talk, hate, cry, whatever…

            Cause life goes on regardless who gets into the office.

            • Julian Green

              I would be like that, but I’m not bold enough to tell mama or Auntie Karen to shut up and quit bothering me about voting. I neither want nor need those problems.

              • Brass Tacks

                If its Ma Dukes, I’ll just mutter under my breath until she leaves.

                My aunts don’t get an opinion.

                • Mochasister

                  I’ll get my ma’s dukes if I don’t vote!

          • Mochasister

            Every time I talk about not voting my mother mentions Dr. King and how many people marched, had fire hoses turned on them and dogs sicced on them for my “ungrateful butt to not vote.”

            • Julian Green

              Beyond the whole shaming people into doing something aspect, you know what really annoys me about that argument? It’s the idea that I should do something just because I can.
              What’s the point in voting just to vote? If I’m not invested in the candidates; if I don’t believe anyone is going to do what they say they’re going to do; if I think the candidates aren’t dissimilar and are presenting the same platform in different packaging, is there any reason for me to vote?

    • That’s fine if he was managing a Starbucks, not running the country.

      • Brass Tacks

        *squints*

        I don’t see it, breh.

        • fxd8424

          Trump would have folks lobbing bombs at us from everywhere.

          • Speaking of which How is he getting away with basically calling the military “losers” every chance he gets?

          • Brass Tacks

            I feel that’s a reach. The same way people just knew that Obama was going to turn white folks into slaves.

            Checks and Balances exist for a reason.

            • fxd8424

              I could see it. But I knew Obama wasn’t turning white folks into slaves either. That’s definitely folk lore.

              • Brass Tacks

                I had a debate with some people in August of 08. Besides him allegedly being a Muslim, the main fear was that he was going to somehow finagle the system to make whites slaves.

                I didn’t even believe the concept existed in peoples minds until that very moment.

          • PDL – Cape Girl

            Yeah cause talking smack and having redneck support is nothing compared to provoking nations that just need a reason.

    • miss t-lee

      “You have to admire the cojones of a man that tells you exactly where they stand.”

      No I don’t.
      This man would be a liability as the leader of any country.

      • Brass Tacks

        How so? Throwing stones while hiding hands hasn’t helped make America great. Appeasement isn’t making America great. We are as divided as ever, so someone actually being truthful with themselves, is a change I can believe in.

        • miss t-lee

          Meh.
          If you think they way he does things is going to work on a world stage, I have beachfront property to sell you in my backyard.

          America is America. Ain’t sh*t he doing now making it better, so there’s only one way to go, which is down.

    • Asiyah

      “He speaks what he feels and even if you disagree.”

      I don’t know. What if he doesn’t mean anything he says and he’s just saying anything to win? I think that’s a huge problem. Aside from the blatant manipulation and propaganda, we don’t know this man. People talk about Sanders being unknown because he wasn’t a household name but at least he has a record in public office that can speak for him. Hilary also has one (which I LOVE because it shows how similar she is to Trump and maybe even worse). Donald only has soundbites. All he has is controversy.

      • Brass Tacks

        “I don’t know. What if he doesn’t mean anything he says and he’s just saying anything to win?”

        Er… Politics.

        None of it will drastically change our lives. Depending on who gets elected we will all come to accept it and deal. Cause it is what it is.

        • Asiyah

          This goes beyond politics. Politics would be making false campaign promises (such as a wall on the border). What he is doing is straight up manipulation.

          None of it will drastically change our lives? So if Trump actually puts his xenophobic and racist rants into action, our lives won’t be affected?

          • Brass Tacks

            It won’t happen. Too many People of color are in office for him to completely take shi left. Lets be real. We live in a world controlled by people like Trump and it aint stop the hustle.

            What makes anyone think that one man can/will be the one to completely burn down democracy in 4 to 8 years?

            This rhetoric sounds vaguely like the same ish certain folks were trying to use in their defense against Obamas election.

        • Hugh Akston

          “None of it will drastically change our lives. Depending on who gets elected we will all come to accept it and deal. Cause it is what it is.”

          I don’t this statement is accurate…Maybe things may not change drastically on a macro level, but it sure will on a micro..

          At my current job we have to upgrade our systems because of laws that were passed during the past couple of years…

          Most people don’t think about those changes…they go on their daily activities…but imagine if you work in the healthcare industry…how much changes are occurring due to the ACA?

          • Kas

            Financial industry as well

    • Cheech

      That may be true, but I would respectfully urge you to reconsider. A Trump or Cruz presidency is too big a disaster to flirt with in any way.

  • menajeanmaehightower

    I can’t understand why anyone making over 30k a year would vote for Bernie Sanders. His tax policy is horrendous and I don’t trust the government we have to institute any new programs. We aren’t doing well with the ones we have now.

    • Me

      This mentality is what I feel ruins our economy. The notion that the more money you make, the less tax burden you should feel is an illusion. Just like when Obama’s ACA rolled out, people in higher tax brackets faced higher penalties and higher insurance rates because that’s what’s necessary to be able to help the people in the lower brackets. There is no country that operates on something for nothing. If you’re fortunate enough to make more money than the average person, you should also be willing to help more than the average person because it affects you less than the average person. Otherwise, we’re just a nation of people who want to milk our economy dry with no plans to replenish and leave some for someone else to drink out of.

      • menajeanmaehightower

        Instead of coming after citizen’s money, start with the corporations first. No one is saying that the more you make the more you shouldn’t have to pay. I actually believe this. But it shouldn’t be so much that my entire lifestyle needs to change in order to fund programs that the I truly feel the government isn’t capable of running.

        http://www.ibtimes.com/paycheck-calculator-how-will-presidential-candidates-change-your-tax-bill-2332826

        http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/3/25/11293258/tax-plan-calculator-2016

        • Me

          It should apply to both corporations and individuals. Taxation is how the government runs. Arguing for lower taxes (whether it’s Republicans arguing for lower corporate taxes, or Democrats arguing for lower individual taxes) is nihilistic.

        • Epsilonicus

          Under Sanders plan though, tax rates would not change if you make under 6 figures. And literally 80% of Americans fit that definition

          • menajeanmaehightower

            But go to the calculators (posted above) and look and see how much even those individuals will have coming out of their paychecks.

            • Epsilonicus

              One calculator said no tax raises under Sanders for me and another said I would see an increase.

              It also depends on what I am getting out of the deal. I am willing to pay more taxes if for example, I am not having to buy health insurance. I would be winning if that was the case.

          • Kas

            The last thing that I saw on vox. com was that someone making $38,000 would pay approximately $4,300 more in Federal taxes.
            http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/3/25/11298868/simple-charts-tax-plans

          • Epsilonicus

            I wonder what they are calling food assistance. Normally SNAP, TANF, etc falls under discretionary spending.

            • I think discretionary just means that it requires congressional approval.

      • There’s one thing you’re missing out on: Cost of living.

        Cost of living determines how generous people want to be. If a person is making 200K living in Houston, vs. making the same 200K in San Francisco or NYC, they’re probably not going to be as generous, and not only that, they’re probably going to be more desperate to use whatever tools available to them to avoid paying taxes.

        • menajeanmaehightower

          Bingo. 100k in NYC is not the same as 100K in Houston, TX.

          • This isn’t saying that 100k is poverty wages in NYC. It’s just that you can be just getting by if you’re making that and have kids. You definitely aren’t going to have huge savings. In Houston is another story.

        • Me

          I’m not ignoring cost of living. The more money you make, the more you can afford the taxes levied against you. It’s that very reason that people who live in higher cost of living states earn higher incomes.

        • miss t-lee

          Well there is no state income tax here in the great state of Texas. So there’s that on the taxes discussion.

          • That’s a big deal. Off the top, your take home pay is different before you start talking cost of living.

            • miss t-lee

              Exactly.

        • Kas

          SoCal here raising my hand. Spent time in Houston & NYC basically making the same amount. Ball’n out in Houston, making hard choices in NYC, and living a comfortable middle class existence in Cali.

      • Asiyah

        “Otherwise, we’re just a nation of people who want to milk our economy
        dry with no plans to replenish and leave some for someone else to drink
        out of.”

        That’s exactly what this country is, though. This is the very foundation of this nation.

        • Epsilonicus

          Slavery

        • Me

          You’re right, but that’s exactly the problem.

    • Val

      Hiya, Mena!

      *waves*

      • menajeanmaehightower

        HEY!!!! How’s Cali?

        • Val

          Everything is okay here. We have finally got some rain.

    • Honestly, I do make over 30k. While Im taxed pretty heavily as is, I WOULD pay more if it honestly benefited the nation as a whole. I DO believe schooling and healthcare should be a given in developed nations. I ALSO believe that in the long run, when these things aren’t made available, although tax payers see a profit upfront, they DO pay overtime. We pay for under and uninsured individuals, just like we end up paying for people who can’t afford education…and possibly end up unemployed, or under-employed.

      • menajeanmaehightower

        He will be ineffectual in congress since his plans would never pass. Democrats would even balk at his ideas. He wouldn’t make it past 1 term.

        • Epsilonicus

          He would make it past 1 term. It is incredibly difficult to unseat a Presidential incumbent.

          • menajeanmaehightower

            Not if the party wasn’t even behind him in congress nor the US. The people voting for Bernie are extremely white in homogeneous states. I also don’t believe he’d beat Trump in the general. I want to WIN. He’s the wrong choice. Not that the other one is much better but she will win against Trump by a lot.

            • Epsilonicus

              “Not if the party wasn’t even behind him in congress nor the US.”

              – Party would never abandon a President unless Bernie did something illegal. Secondly, do you see Black people and Hispanic people leaving the Dem party in droves? Especially if the Republicans put up another Trump-like candidate? Nope. And finally, 2nd term elections tend to have lower turn out and that almost ALWAYS benefit the incumbent

              – All polls have Bernie beating Trump by larger margins than Clinton. That could change as the race moves forward but the polling around that question has been consistent over time.

              • menajeanmaehightower

                Blacks and Hispanics may not leave but they also may not show up to vote either. I don’t see it for him nor see how any of his fiscal policies could get through congress.

                • Epsilonicus

                  No one, even Republicans can get their policies through Congress. Shucks, House Repubs can’t even get a budget passed and they have the majority. Hilary can’t get it done. Donald definitely won’t have any luck. No one likes Cruz in the House (except Freedom Caucus) and even in the Senate he has no friends. This gridlock in Congress will continue no matter the election.

                  • Quirlygirly

                    Wait- did you just say Shucks? That made me laugh a little but I agree with your comment. Carry on

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      Teachers and cops. Those are the typical government employees that we all deal with.

      That’s how effective our government is.

      If you throw endless gobs of money at a branch of the government, you get the military. How effective they are depends on whether you’re attending a wedding in Indiana or Iraq.

      All of these systems, as far as I’m concerned, are doing exactly what they’re supposed to.

      It’s just that I don’t agree with what the purpose is

  • First off, about the news media and the presidential campaign:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSwlqSwwqvQ

    Second, as much as people deny it, radicals are more important than elected officials when it comes to politics. The last 50 years of American politics has been defined by the radicals of the new right (post-ww2) and new left ( post-1960’s) , because they set the future ambitions of the political parties. This is why whether Sanders or Trump win or lose, they’ve set the direction and precedent for the future of the political parties. On the right, you’re going to have increasing calls for machismo and nationalism and on the left you are going to have nordic model supporter and “safe spacers.”

    How anyone expects the most reasonable of politicians to work and compromise, when these are the kind of people they have to work with in the future has to be insane. Smarter and more capable people aren’t going to be applying to be president, because anyone who can see the trends, can see, that we are increasingly becoming ungovernable.

    • There’s this odd small-a authoritarian vibe in both the left and right wings of the political sphere. That makes me nervous long term, and we might wistfully look back at the 90s as a time of freedom.

      • Epsilonicus

        Explain the authoritarian on the left. I aint seeing it.

        • There’s two parts of that. One is that the fight for rights for various groups has petered out due to various successes. That doesn’t mean all is well. It just means new approaches are needed. The other is that the safe space crowd seems more comfortable with formal top down arrangements as opposed to more informal community based arrangements. This has a tendency of passing more power higher on the food chain. Remember, I said small-a authoritarian. I’m not saying that they want a new Soviet Union it’s just more a trust in central power than has been common in the US on either the left or right.

      • The future is feudalism or Julius Caesar…it’s not fascism.

        The difference is that the root of fascism is calls for nationalism; feudalism is rooted in a restructuring of society, that reduces social mobility which then increases stability by providing a stable and guaranteed system for the elite not to have to worry about competition which then incentives them to be more generous and benevolent to the lower classes. This is what “Nobles” are all about afterall.

        But if you’ve been following my comments here and elsewhere, I’ve been saying that before Trump even began to run. People need to stop focusing on the leaders and just talk to people, it’s easy to tell what a lot of people are increasingly pushing for.

        • I want to disagree, but the old progressive notion of noblesse oblige is making a comeback in a variety of forms. Part of me despises that level of stability, but part of that would prefer it to race war. Hmmm…

    • LaMissLy

      “we are increasingly becoming ungovernable”… Fascinating statement. Is it going to take political genius to bridge the gap between the two extremes, or a complete overhaul of political rules?

      • Uh, probably war. If 9/11 couldn’t do it, then yeah, it’s going to be extreme.

        People don’t like to hear it, because they get caught up in the word “democracy” as being representative of the people. But no, sorry, just like George Carlin said “The real America is what you see on Jerry Springer”, what the people want in political leaders, is exactly what they’re getting.

        • LaMissLy

          Fair point; I can see how things might escalate.

  • Julian Green

    I have to admit, there’s something arresting about seeing Ben Carson in that photo. Like watching a single fly drowning in a cup of buttermilk.

    • brothaskeeper

      A single, slow-blinking, sleep-inducing, Popeye’s organization-patronizing fly.

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