Message to Trump Supporters

I know it is early but here are some questions Trump supporters should ask regularly. “How will this improve my life?” He cannot get rid of corrupt politicians because you have re-elected them. His bans on immigrants do not keep you safer because few immigrants commit crimes against Americans. Immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. Immigrants didn’t take your job automation did and will continue to do so. The few jobs he prevented going abroad (and there is great controversy over how many that is and whether he had anything to do with it) do not mean

Where do we go from here?

The marches and demonstrations against Trump have been successful and they should continue, but what else should we do. If the outpouring of concern stops with the marches we will not have effectively resisted Trump. Remember the Occupy movement. We must take continued action to either rebuild the Democratic Party to get back to its FDR concerns for the common man, or we need to build a new party that will. As our guiding vision I think we need to go back to Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. preached concern for others and standing up for what you

Could MLK’s Methods Work in the Time of Trump

Martin Luther King would have been 88 years old this year. Next year will mark 50 years since he left us. We should ask are his methods and strategies still the right ones? King was a man of great optimism and faith in human beings. His strategy reveals that. King’s method had two components. The first was an appeal to white moderates. His tactic was to bring the violence inherent in systems of oppression down upon himself and fellow demonstrators, to make it visible. Such examples of undeserved suffering and dramatization of the problem, would convince people to make a change. Those

MLK Day 2017

To be honest I have always been ambivalent about Martin Luther King Day. It’s not because I didn’t think he was a great man. If anyone in my lifetime deserves an American holiday it is surely this man. There are two things though that bother me about the holiday. First, it reduces the civil rights movement to the actions of one man when it really wasn’t. This is of course in line with the American myth that it is only great people who move American history. The civil rights struggle, as probably every other event in American history, was very

A Few Things I Have Learned the Hard Way

I am neither a fountain of wisdom nor a paragon of virtue. I am just an old man who has tried to pay attention as he went along. In no particular order these are some things I have learned.

Never start a do it yourself project when the nearest hardware stores are closed.
Always buy the best tools you can afford. They make the job so much easier.
Always live up to your principles but don’t expect others to live up to them too.
Being right doesn’t win arguments.
Never underestimate your opponent.
If someone disagrees with you they are probably basing their opinion on different

Trumps New World will be the Old World redux

Okay folks we need to have our period of mourning, but then we need to get back up and figure out what our next moves are. The first thing to figure out is why Trump’s message was so appealing and Hillary’s wasn’t appealing to enough people. Trump’s support was wider ranging than most of the pundits predicted and are now acknowledging. Yes there were the racists, white supremacists, and nativists to whom Trump appealed with both actual appeals and dog whistle politics. The upsurge in racial, anti Muslim and anti-immigrant incidents following his election are signs of that. His supporters

Racism without Racists?

Maine’s governor Paul LePage recently said that 90% of Maine’s drug dealers were black or Hispanic. When a state legislator said that such statements contributed to racism LePage responded by leaving an expletive filled voicemail message that he was not a racist and had instead devoted his whole life to helping black people. First things first.  I don’t know the actual statistics or indeed if anyone is keeping them. LePage says that he has been keeping a scrapbook of pictures of drug dealer arrests mentioned in the media and they are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic. I guess the idea that

Trump’s Trap

Karl Rove, Lee Atwater,  and other Republican strategists’ main contribution to our electoral system is that facts don’t matter if you can just make voters “feel” the way you want them to. John Kerry, a decorated veteran was “Swiftboated” with a false story to take away an advantage he had over George W. Bush who spent his military service safe at home. Similarly they have attacked President Obama so much in spite of a list of real achievements that the difference in the way the world outside the United sees him has become so striking. The Canadian parliament’s “four more

Bernie’s “Revolution” Will Be Televised

As the left tears itself apart deciding whether to vote for Hillary or not, the real results of Bernie’s “revolution” are being lost. Bernie’s “revolution” is technically not a revolution at all. A revolution is a change in the form of government and no one, least of all Bernie, is suggesting that we ditch the presidency, the Congress or indeed the American system of government. He is instead talking about reforming it. In a sense Bernie’s “revolution” has already been a success so far because it has achieved three of its goals. First of all he has shown that political

Brexit, Trump and the Failure of the Liberal Elite

A line I read several weeks ago still haunts my thoughts. It said, “When the people are foolish, it means their leaders have failed them.” Demagogues like Trump and Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson in Britain have been successful because they advocate fake answers to the very real problems which the elites, both liberal and conservative, have ignored. As the 1% has improved its position at the expense of the 99%, the elites have done nothing but facilitate this. They are complicit in this “rape of the middle class” as Trump calls it and do not offer anything to combat it. Trump, Farage