2016 Presidential Election: The Silly Season Is Upon Us!

Before I go back to talking about my past some more, I want to start talking about a subject that is quite important to me and should be important to all of you(especially those of you in the U.S here with me!): the upcoming American Presidential election. But we should be just as concerned about the congressional elections as well, even the local elections. As the last eight years have shown us, just because we have a liberal president does not mean that the liberal policies he wanted and many of us wanted, or they would not have been elected, do not get passed because the Congress is controlled by the conservatives. Bernie Sanders is right: we do need a revolution of sorts in American politics. What we need is a radical shift to the left, not only in the office of the president but also in Congress.

My initial inclination that I talked about in an earlier post was that I wanted Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president. Sanders is an avowed socialist. So am my. There are certain things that every citizen in this country should get because they are a citizen: healthcare probably the most important one and education the second most important one. The fact that doctors, hospitals, universities, especially med schools, all make money hand over fist is disgusting and, honestly, un-American. I can remember a time when doctors actually cared about their patients, made home visits, especially for sick children, and were not always that concerned about having the latest medical thingamajig in their clinics. Doctors were not on the payroll of the pharmaceutical companies. We did not have the problem with the abuse of prescription drugs that we have now. Granted, a lot of the street drugs, like heroin, morphine, cocaine, etc. can kill you if overused and they should definitely be illegal. The problem is that if you pay attention to the side effects mentioned in the pharmaceutical commercials, those things will kill you, too! Quite often, the side effects are worse than the disease they are supposed to treat.

That brings up another issue with healthcare in this country. The original intention of healthcare and the medical profession was to heal. Google the original Hippocratic oath. It uses the word heal. The new one, that I call the Hippocratic oath, does not. Doctors do not heal any more, with a few exceptions. Most doctors treat symptoms to alleviate the discomfort caused by the symptom but doing very little to treat the underlying come condition. I feel it is time that doctors stop worrying about how much money they were making and started worrying about healing patients, not just treating symptoms. Whether government controlled healthcare is the answer, I don’t know. All I can say is that the present system is not working and people are suffering badly for it. Time to try something different. The problem is the conservatives, many of whom are in the pocket of the pharmaceutical companies, don’t want socialized medicine. And I am sure that many doctors don’t want socialized medicine because it would hurt their pockets as well. Time we elected some candidates who actually support the idea of socialized medicine or, as some of the more moderate liberals refer to it, single-payer system.

The other issue that I feel very strongly about in the new election is the educational improvements that people like Bernie Sanders and, apparently to some degree, Hillary Clinton want. When this country first developed the public education system, it was with the intention that the education provided in the public schools would be a quality education and the same quality for all. Unfortunately, that same quality for all does not exist. Urban schools tend to provide a lower quality education. Rural schools tend to provide a lower quality of education, especially in the South. The suburban schools generally provide a pretty good education, mainly because they have the financial resources that the rural and the urban schools do not have. Part of the reason for that is that the tax money used to fund the schools is controlled by the state and local governments. The conservatives who are strong advocates of lower taxation at the expense of vital services like education and roads and bridges and levees, do not think about the consequences of those lower taxes. Why people even support such things is beyond me, however I do have some ideas I want to discuss in a later post.

Getting to the election itself, it appears that the race is between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Neither of those is an ideal choice. However, I certainly support Clinton over Tromp any day of the week. The last thing this country needs is some damn crazy businessman running things. God help us all if he wins. Clinton has her faults, the main one being she is somewhat untrustworthy. But she is the lesser of two evils. For me, and for many others I believe, Hillary could improve our opinion of her and our support of her by naming Elizabeth Warren, my original choice for president, as her running mate in 2016. That would really galvanize the left in ways they have not been galvanized since 1968 and 72, when we supported Eugene McCarthy and George McGovern respectively for president.

I am very glad that so many young people got on the Sanders bandwagon. Like I said above, it reminded me so much of what we were like when we were that age. I picketed the White House in 1968. I picketed Democratic national headquarters in 1968. I marched in the streets of Washington in 1968. In 1972 in Chicago I worked for the McGovern campaign relentlessly hoping against hope that he would get the nomination and then get elected. Thanks to dirty tricks by tricky Dick, a man who should have gone to prison for what he did but instead is revered by Republicans as a foreign-policy genius. Bullshit on that one the man was a crock with a capital C! What I would like to see is not only the young people supporting the hopefully Clinton/Warren ticket but also I would like to see my generation, those of us who marched and picketed in campaign in the sick late 60s and early 70s, get involved in large numbers in this campaign. To revive a slogan we used back in those days, and which some conservative candidates have co-opted(so what else is new?): This is our country. Let’s take it back!


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