Today is primary election day in Wisconsin. As per custom, I write before the first vote has been officially counted; at about the time the polls open.
Some weeks ago I was on a busy street here in Woodbury, waiting to make a left turn enroute home.
Crossing at the light was a guy carrying a large hand-written cardboard sign reading, as I recall,
U.S. Presidential Election“
Certainly, the man knew what God’s platform was, otherwise, why would he be holding up his sign? When in doubt, perfection is the gold-standard, which God must certainly represent….
The problem, of course, in this society of individuals, which the U.S. is, there are many differing definitions of God, including positions on the issues of the day. There are numerous “Christian” denominations; and Jews and Moslems recognize presumably the exact same God as well. We are all of the same family of belief. But we fight wars in God’s name.
But mostly God is as we define the deity; God is our own individual construct.
Thus the man and his cardboard sign. (He had no illustration of what he thought God looked like…that, too, would have been interesting.)
I happen to spend a lot of time in my Church, which is recognized by most as a Christian denomination.
To my knowledge, God hasn’t laid out his platform at my Church, though I admit we were out of town on Easter, when the new Archbishop was celebrant/homilist. At any rate, my guess is that the new guy would be the last one to declare himself as God among us. He simply has a bit more public persona than the rest of us in the pews; the new chief spokesperson for the organization which is the Catholic Church in Minnesota.
So it goes as we enter the heavy-duty political season.
My preferred candidate for President is Hillary Clinton, (which draws literal or figurative gasps from Bernie and Donald and Ted (and John and Paul) fans alike). My position really hasn’t changed since I supported her in the 2008 Primary Season.
For the most difficult job in the world, she is by far the most eminently qualified, in my opinion.
Opinions differ. So be it.
Of course, we are all bombarded with claims, charges, counter-claims, and the heavy duty campaign season has not yet even begun.
But for starters I offer two items, one from an e-mail from a friend back in December; another from the Minneapolis Star Tribune in March, both from the respected Politifact.com, a group which tries to keep ahead of the assortment of pitches we political consumers are bombarded with.
I’ll let the illustrations speak for themselves.
(The first ranks the then-candidates in descending order, most False claims first; the second does the same, by True claims first. Note Hillary Clinton in both illustrations.
Certainly, you can say, “yah, but….” But remember we’re not in a carnival, we’re selecting our leaders at all levels for the exceedingly difficult job of finding some persons who must stand in for god, and make some pretty tough decisions.
(click to enlarge the illustrations)
POSTNOTE: There is, of course, a contemporary reality problem in our society, and I think it is far worse in our society than in most societies, including the so-called “developed” world: “Truth” has come to be whatever our “Belief” says it is. “Fact” is less relevant, if relevant at all. This problem cuts across all ideological lines. We choose who or what to believe.
Political strategists know this.
Sooner or later the truth outs, and it seems most always to come down to facts, which people knew at the start, but denied.
from Larry: Well stated observations, Dick. I’m with you re Hillary being the only one with the necessary experience…and all of those “investigations” are garbage..for decades there has been no proof, only smear. The only candidate worth even considering on the Republican side is John Kasich. However, the T party gang and the hard core GOP right claims he’s “too centrist…he gets along with both sides…etc.” That’s more of what we need in a President, of course, and Hillary has what Kasich has but in spades. Some Republicans say they “can’t trust” Hillary. Well, I certainly trust her with her emails far more than Donald Trump with the nuclear codes or Ted Cruz with my Medicare.
from Fred: Enjoyed your post but think you should rely upon comedian/commentator Stephen Colbert’s more accurate veracity scale. For assessing the political speech, he created the “truthiness factor” (essentially if it sounds right to me it’s the truth) a few campaigns ago. On Colbert’s generous scale, I believe both Trump and Cruz would jump several percentage points.
from another Larry: [I] worked in Ohio for three years while Kasich was Governor. In my role as Executive Director of a state teachers union, Ohio Education Association, I even met with him (along with the organization President) for over an hour. He has a knack for sounding reasonable but then acting out in a very, very extreme conservative way. Not as extreme as Cruz but that is NOT a good standard to use to make judgments.
Here is a report that details what Kasich has done as Governor in Ohio. As I am sure you know he is NOT a moderate by any standard EXCEPT when compared to the extremism of Cruz and the ignorance of Trump. Maybe your friends would find the report of interest.
[He] essentially came into office and cut income taxes dramatically and then balanced the state budget by cutting education funding at all levels and cutting aid to other local units of government forcing them to cut services and to raise local taxes. He is not a budget whiz-he is a classic ultra conservative who showers the rich (and corporations) with tax cuts and then sticks it to everybody else.
Hope this is useful.
from Norm: For what it is worth, and in spite of so many folks saying that they “would be okay with Kasich”, I have heard many with the same concerns about him as those expressed by the second Larry.
Just another good example of perception being reality to many folks not unlike those who used to think that old [U.S. Sen.] Dave Durenberger was a good old liberal Republican as compared to Plywood Minnesota Rudy who was seen as so much more conservative.
As I recall, their voting records were darn near identical and both very conservative!
Image marketing and all of that!
Rep. Paulsen is very good at that as well image marketing himself as a savior of Minnesota jobs by hammering away on trying to eliminate the tax on durable medical supplies (DME as they are referred to). Unfortunately, Paulsen has been successful in getting Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken to buy into his silliness about “protecting” Minnesota jobs thereby assuring the DME providers of very large profits…and thereby throwing out some of the funding mechanism for Obamacare.
Again, just good image marketing and all of that!
It has been extremely disappointing to me that Klobuchar and Franken have so readily and so easily bought into Paulsen’s crap regarding the tax on DME’s[?]!
Response from Norm re query about DME: DME stands for durable medical equipment which was taxed under the ACA as one of the sources for funding that law.
It is an area that is generally quite lucrative for its providers and, in my view at least, should be taxed to support the ACA that they will benefit from as well.
My on-going irritation is with folks like Paulsen or Kline is that they are able to successfully grab on to good non-partisan sounding positions of issues that seemingly affect lots of their constituents even when upon closer review, many of those positions are not at all favorable to most of the folks in their districts.
from Gaucho: This fall I am running for another term as Supervisor on the board of [a water] Conservation District. In that role I have spent a little time lobbying at the Capitol and now need to do some at the county level. I believe water will be perhaps one of the largest issues the country will face in the next 50 years. I have enjoyed my first term.
Thoughts on the “God for President” sign from an atheist. I think overall religion in kindly moderation can be a good thing for a country and world. The problem always arises by its evangelist members or other members use its name as a motivation or justification to cause others to suffer.
IMHO I sit back, laugh, and shake my head watching what is occurring in the US society. Actual Christianity is being destroyed from within. Preachers flying around in their own private jets, Christian professing elected officials not wanting to assist the poor, helpless, suffering, sick, hungry and the children. The so called professed “Christian” masses cheering them on. These people are coming from the mega churches, the small congregations that have split off, as well as the established churches.
This segment of the population will send their children on a “feel good” mission as a merit badge of accomplishment. They just don’t get it! They are concerned and frightened of Sharia law yet want to establish its Christian counterpart here in the US. They want to send “boots on the ground” many places yet are not willing to provide for the soldiers when they return.
From an outsider looking at this mess it is both humorous and frightening. The US Christian churches and congregations have always been quite distinct from those of Europe. The Europeans are laughing at the US, the country where about half the population does not believe in evolution!
I wonder if US Christianity is going to be destroyed and really split into two separate belief systems. The fearful, uneducated, noncritical thinkers along with some leaders who will continue to engage the “new Christian” belief system will be one system. The other system will be that of the older more stable churches and congregations who will actually believe in following the beliefs of their believed founder Jesus. Overall, I think US Christianity will lose quite a few of its followers,
This whole situation can be traced back to the loss of the middle and lower middle classes in the US. Between big business has become more and more powerful, unions becoming more and more powerful into the 1960’s winning contracts that on the short term worked but on the long term made manufacturing too costly in the US to compete in the world market,various restrictions being lifted, and trade pacts millions of middle class paying jobs were lost. Unskilled production workers were well established in the middle class. As these jobs vanished, as well as even the modest paying production jobs in other parts of the country there were no jobs to replace them even at a lower rate. The cotton industry completely left the US. A few years ago there was no cotton manufactured here.
Compound that with the mortgage fiasco which broke the spirit of many and further destroyed lives, the masses were ripe for the political clowns of Trump, Cruz, et al. The masses are united by fear. They are following leaders who espouse historical misinformation concerning the Constitution and an unChristianity interpretation of the religion. Some of the masses should know better and do know better but with this underlying fear they are suffering from severe cognitive dissonance.
People including veterans who are dependent on Social Security, Medicare, Food stamps and other government assistance are supporting politicians who are telling people they are going to demolish these same programs.
As a social, political, economic as well as military leader of the world perhaps the US has reached its salient point. The masses also do not know how to handle this situation. Even though survey upon survey have shown that about the only things we lead the world in are military spending and percentage of our citizens incarcerated. With all these fears the masses just can’t handle it all. They are grasping at straws.
It will be interesting to see how this all works out. I won’t be alive long enough to see how the historians, political scientists, and economists will view the current situation. All I can do is vote and hold on for the ride. With the cognitive dissonance of the masses rationale discussion goes nowhere.