I am compelled to do a bit of writing on the topic of “The US of A political sit-rep”, and the political fallout experienced therein…
Because I chose not to vote many view me as either an uneducated red-neck, or an ignorant white male who has no soul or mind… Because I did not vote I have lost some good peoples respect. I have been cast into that basket of deplorables. My words, which for years were accepted and even respected, now are being tossed back at me. I am both evil and fascist and an aged hippy, and a know-nothing expat, and a closet republican, and a lying conservative, and a slum-lord industrialist… all at the same time.
Some folks are actually quite abusive in their verbiage… It has become quite personal, too personal for some folks.
Me? I carry no one’s baggage. Say what you want but be respectful. When you start ranting and become incoherent or abusive I go into Mantra-Mode.
Some think I must vote, and more to the point, I must vote a liberal ticket; and more to the point I must vote for Hillary Clinton. And because I a) did not vote, and b) did not vote a liberal/ Clinton ticket, well, hell, I am just an ass hole, a red neck, another uneducated ignorant white male.
I have written about my position per voting before… So shall not reiterate my stance… https://nativeiowan.wordpress.com/2016/07/23/2016-v7-1/
I want to share here two publicly published works discussing this topic of voting, the outcome we now must live with, and individual perceptions of what the outcome means…
This piece is written by Knute Burger… I have just done a bit of research on Knute and find him tone a very thoughtful and eloquent Liberal sorta guy.
I need to think about this but in my checking up I find he has written about getting private industry to fund “Shanty Towns” for the homeless – as a solution to the homeless… http://crosscut.com/2016/10/bring-hooverville-back-a-solution-for-seattles-homeless/
I am going to have to think that over before comment but, hmmm, I kinda think that institutionalizing homelessness may not be an answer … I’ll ruminate and get back on that one… but…
In Knute’s piece he talks a lot about history, and draws direct correlations between then, and now. I fear/ feel that he is equating nationalism/ patriotism with fascism. I can see his links but the threads are thin.
I hear a recurring theme of a hopeful self fulling prophesy in Knute’s and other pieces I read. If Knute – and others – say the same thing often enough it has to be true, it has to come true.
So, I need to think this over… Is there a nationalistic/ patriotic surge in the USofA? And if there is, is it bad, even fascist?
I grew up in Iowa. Shows of nationalism/ patriotism are common… bumper stickers, flags on the front porch, hats and lapel pins proudly worn…
I visit the US frequently. I drive the highways and byways. Since I retired I have logged over 80,000 miles on 2 and 4 wheels. I stop in small towns, eat at mom-n-pop type places (when I can). I do not think I have seen more, obvious Nationalist or Patriotism now, than, say 10 years ago.
What is my measuring stick? It is basically the number of Stars-n-Stripes I see flying as I travel. I see the stars n stripes flying proudly everywhere I go. Not just in Iowa. Everywhere.
Now, I question if a protectionist attitude in business/ trade equals Nationalism/ Patriotism?
In may ways yes, in many ways no… The Shanty Towns Knute has written about, both historically and contemporary, are the direct result of an ailing economy. Knute points out that the Shanty Town dwellers are generally the uneducated, the unskilled. They have lost their jobs (or never had jobs) due to the decrease or shutdown of labour intensive industries such as logging, mining, etc.
Perhaps protectionism does, in many ways = nationalism/ patriotism. But I fail to be able to bring Fascism into this. Is it fascist to want your people, your citizens to be employed, self empowered and productive?
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.“this is yet another example of health fascism in action”
I am struggling here.
I think I see more of the wishful thinking, the hopeful self fulling prophesy syndrome here. Perhaps the newly elected administration will indeed be, or act in a fascist attitude, but thus far we have only words, rhetoric and bullshit.
Is it fascist to ask for an ID/ proof of citizenship when casting a democratic ballot?
I would only think it would be wise to ask for proof of eligibility and identity when entering a ballot booth.
Is it fascist to sentence a young man to 10 years in prison for a couple marijuana cigarettes? http://reasonabledoubt.org/criminallawblog/entry/december-13-1971-john-sinclair-freed-from-10-year-sentence-for-possessing-two-joints-today-in-crime-history
I do think so. I know this is an old example but it is, I think, a clear example of fascism in action.
OK… I am trying to come up with a modern/ current example of active fascism in the USA… I can see examples of intolerance. I personally know some rather hard-core, exmilitary, biker types that would stomp on you if you burnt a flag in their presence. I saw the news reels of the dude being beat up in Chicago for being a Trump supporter. I know the narratives of Black Lives Matter, Hands up don’t shoot, and the neonazi types saluting and hailing Trump, and to me all are examples of intolerance not fascism.
The fact that so many people have been allowed to protest, fill and block the roadways, burn flags, defy police who were protecting personal property, Well hell! The lack of strong-armed tactics tells me there is not much blatant fascism at all.
Speaking of Protectionism… 7 years ago I was the Chairman of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce. At that time the Aussie led free trade deal known as “PACER Plus” was being marketed. I was expected to tow a party line and support the motion.
I was a small time business man, from a back water country, who ended up in a position of minor prominence not because it was agood idea, but rather because no one else wanted it.
So I was called in by the Aussies to give the key-note speech at a business-promotion type conference/ fair. All was sponsored by the Aussies. We had a couple of members to the Aus and SI parliament in attendance. The heads from the Central banks. The SI High Commissioner, and a full plane load of political functionaries and lackeys.
I dressed the part in those days. Grey pinstriped suit, black shirt with my fancy bola tie. My ink was minimal and easy to hide in those days. My long hair always got hidden behind my bald dome. I looked like a “member of the team”.
But my message was not what they expected. After doing a mountain of research, talking with people from many “arenas”, I came to the conclusion that Free Trade only assists those nations/ industries (global entities) who do not need to protect their positions, rather, they need easy markets for the excess production, and to tap into pools of cheap labour.
Also, I found that as industrial boarders were brought down, an elitist attitude creeps in where a “clean hands” business model is seen as efficient. By clean hands I mean that industry sees shipping the dirty jobs, the lower paying labour intensive grunt jobs offshore as a positive. But, sadly, the main result is just what Knute is writing about… the Shanty Towns, the aimless labour force that is not required, but won’t just go away.
This piece is written by Willis Eschenbach. I have known Willis for over 30 years. I have always found him to be a thoughtful, respectful man.
In this he articulates why he chose to vote for Trump. He does a great job of giving a basic how n why he came to his decision.
Now some of my faithful readers know Willis for his years of Climate Change commentary… https://wattsupwiththat.com/author/weschenbach/
It is easy to see that Willis is not “main stream”. But also, once you start reading what he publishes, you find that he brings a clear minded and even scientific approach to his topical, common sense conversations.
Now I do not, cannot agree with everything Willis says. We have shared many long hours filled with passionate discussion. But his approach is inclusive, rather than exclusive.
An excerpt from his referenced post…
“...But we are giving away one of the three pillars of any nations wealth. Those three ways to create wealth are agriculture, extraction, and manufacturing, and we’re giving away one of the three, our manufacturing base!
Industrial-level stupidity …
Now, of the three candidates in this election, two of them wanted to repeal or renegotiate NAFTA and to reject the proposed free-trade Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The other candidate wanted to continue NAFTA, sign the TPP, and continue the disastrous free-trade policy. It was one of the few issues where Trump and Sanders agreed. …”
It may well be good, even great for Alcoa Steel, or Dupont Chemical, or Coca Cola, or Carrier air conditioning to close its US based manufacturing, build factories in countries where minimum wage is US 50 cents per hour, and rules and regulations are much less costly…
It is a good idea… Providing they are not taxed when importing their products into the USA. That, in a nut shell, is what Free Trade is about…. breaking down boarders , NOT to make peoples lives better. NOT to make a single nation better… but, for the sole reason of raising the profitability of a THE Global Players.
I recently was granted a Retirement Visa that allows me to live in Australia. I can work up to 20 hours a week. I receive NO social benefits. I MUST have approved (and expensive) health insurance at all times.
I have been working on this for 6 years. It has cost me in excess of USD$ 25,000.00 to get everything and all sorted, done and dusted.
And I am very pleased. Australia is a good place to be. It is safe, clean, comfortable, the climate is good, and it is very close to “home”, the Solomons.
Perhaps I should be indignant that it took so much time, so much effort, and so much money. Perhaps. But this is a great palace to be. I chose to do this. And I am happy it is done, and very much agree it should have not been easy.
Australia should, by all means, protect what they have. They SHOULD NOT make immigrating to this land easy. They should be selective.
Now, importantly, I am an active proponent of immigration. I am of immigrant stock, and now have personally immigrated twice in my life. Each process was not easy nor inexpensive. But in both scenarios, the process was well laid out, fair in its decision making and unrepentant in its intentional control.
So… if protecting your boarders, your industries, your wok force IS INDEED FASCIST, well, hell! This ol Hippy must be fascist in tie-died clothing.
I shall end with a mantra…
More tolerance, more tolerance…
say after me… More tolerance, more tolerance…