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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/11/16

One Way Out

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Grand Canyon, south rim
Grand Canyon, south rim
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Everyone on this planet with access to any news source has known for decades that Mr. Trump is a deeply misogynistic lothario. Why has an eleven year old tape confirming that swamped the airwaves and pages of public discourse regarding the election? That's simple enough. The press has been doing its best to keep all eyes and ears riveted on the misadventures of Mr. Trump for well over a year. No one in the Fourth Estate wants him to succeed or even come out of the election with a respectable loss. Yet it is the hyper-sensationalism of media since at least 1980 coupled with the maturation of Ronald Reagan's deliberately ignorant, government-hating, racist base for the GOP that got Mr. Trump the nomination.

Rather than stampeding (and thus crushing and killing) news that is truly new, the media need to provide voters in the USA help to understand the issues and dynamics at play in our political system. Why does it matter that Donald Trump said those things? It is evidence of the objectification of women, the rape culture, and fearlessness of consequences that comes with celebrity. Great. Where were all of these news outlets and pundits, not to mention the bloggers and commenters when women have been kept prisoner for years by men, when gay men have been tortured and left to die by straight men, or when black men have been dragged behind pick-up trucks by white men. Oh, the outrage! And then what? Nothing. We do not treat each other as human beings, we moan about it, and we do nothing. So, yes it matters, but no we do not need to be discussing this right now.

Donald Trump's comments are evidence of one part of the vile, detestable culture that has developed in the USA. Yet, evidence also can be brought from things that Bill Clinton has said and done, evidence that his wife certainly is aware of and has never denounced. Senator Gillibrand alluded in her book to similar comments made by her colleagues and refused to identify who they were. If the public is going to cry out in disgust, then it should do so with regard to all of the transgressions that have been piling up for almost four decades and include the people who have remained as silent as Catholic bishops in identifying the perpetrators. It is this political culture that has moved so far away from working to solve issues to just agonizing over them that we need to address.

Secretary Clinton has benefited from this culture because it takes us away from substantive concerns. For example, no one has made much of Hillary Clinton's admission in a town hall with Anderson Cooper in February that she traded her vote on the Iraq War for money for lower Manhattan after 9/11. She wasn't persuaded by the WMDs like most of her colleagues in Congress then. She specifically told George W. Bush that she would vote in the Senate for authorization of war against Iraq, war that was likely to and did result in the deaths of tens of thousands of people, in exchange for the President's support for money to rebuild Wall Street, money that the US government should have offered and that then-Senator Clinton should have demanded without any trade-off. She sold her vote, a vote that would kill people, for money.

Now we also know that Clinton told bankers that she is completely in favor of open borders and open trade. She prefers that Wall Street police itself despite the carnage caused by lack of external oversight in 2008-09. On top of that, no one has addressed the question of why the Democratic National Committee under Deborah Wasserman-Schultz was deliberately undermining Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign or how much Clinton or her campaign staff knew of these dirty tricks. The sick fact is that people are more outraged about information that confirms what they already knew about Donald Trump than they are about completely new information that shows Hillary Clinton to be just as deceitful and cold-blooded about politics and policy matters as Richard Nixon.

The people of the USA have sat on their hands and allowed revolting ideas and bigoted views to edge out almost all of the decency and community that once flourished with the middle class. The press has made matters worse by dramatizing incidents when people come forward to complain about how they are treated and then denouncing accusers like Anita Hill. The worst thing that can happen to a democracy has happened. Vast numbers of citizens either have their minds completely set on what they think or have absolutely no desire whatsoever to participate in the governance of this country because any political discussion involves talking to those people whose opinions are immovable objects.

This country is in the midst of a constitutional crisis that has been long brewing. The major parties have brought us to endgame by nominating people who are unfit for the White House. The only thing that is going to put us on track to fix what is wrong is for the people on the sidelines to come forward and reject both Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton. When the sign at the amusement park says that no one shorter than 48 inches may ride, it does not matter if a kid is 47 inches tall or 39 inches tall; they are both ineligible to go on the ride. The same holds true here. It does not matter who anyone votes for, just not for either of the major party candidates.

The voice of the American people can be heard on Election Day if people choose to participate by not choosing either Clinton or Trump. Our government no longer works for us. Voting for anyone other than the Democrat or GOP candidates will demonstrate that a citizen cares and wants change but will not give the White House to someone who is not competent to hold high office. That would force Congress to intervene. Despite the egregious shortcomings of many Senators and Representatives and persistent squishiness of the leadership in both parties in both chambers, we can hope that the respected and thoughtful members of Congress will be able to negotiate a conclusion consistent with the Constitution and the people's interests that sees the House of Representatives elect someone worthy of being President of the United States of America.
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Bear Kosik is a political scientist by training. His Remaking Democracy in America was published in the fall of 2018 by Stairway Press. Well-received science fiction novels (two under Hugh Dudley) are available on Amazon. Several screenplays (more...)

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