This post was inspired by a good friend Pete (who happens to be an avid Christian) who tagged me on a Facebook post of an article that talked about how Hillary Clinton was getting paid thousands of dollars to talk on Wall Street while Bernie Sanders was talking to the Pope.
Pete was not necessarily asking about my opinion concerning the difference in how these candidates were spending their time, but just in general what I thought about the candidate who I support talking to the pope when I'm so clearly and openly anti theistic.
In the interest of intellectual honesty, I have to admit that when he asked my opinion of this, I assumed he was looking to catch me in the hypocrisy of supporting Bernie Sanders talking to the leader a religion that I so strongly condemn. I got a little defensive and accused him of confusing the idea of religion, with people who follow religion, as so many believers do.
After conceding that I had been defensive and not really answered Pete's question of what I had thought about this, I had this to say
This however, sparked something in my mind about how the candidates are portrayed in the media. By now, you might be well aware of my disdain for corporate news media, but it's not always an easy task to demonstrate HOW exactly they skew reality to make you think exactly what they want you to think
One of the greatest appeals of GOP front-runner Donald Drumpf, is his business acumen. He is self-proclaimed "The Great Negotiator." He goes on and on about how he is so good at making deals, and that this alone qualifies him to run this country. Yet when it comes to foreign policy, negotiation seems to be very low on Trump's list of tactics and tools.
He likes to brandish his strength and power, and for example wants to completely ban Muslims from entering the country because of the (very real) threat of Islamic terrorism.
You're definitely not going to get an argument from Awe, Really that terrorism is a product of religion, and the current political climate we find ourselves in pertaining to the Middle East is heavily influenced by Islam. Other factors are of course involved but religiosity is number one in my eyes
But where is this business acumen? Where is this negotiation power? I thought that people love Drumpf because he's such a great businessman and can make such great deals...so make a fucking deal or two!
We always talk about whether or not we would trust Donald with his finger on the nuclear trigger. I'm a pretty rational person and if you listened to #ARP04 "TRUMP'd Up" featuring Andrew Born, you know that I don't think that his outlandish rhetoric is an accurate representation of what his behavior would be if he did actually win the presidency. But his analysis of the problems of our nation and what he determines to be appropriate solutions to what he believes these problems to be, are FAR from that of negotiation.
I Make The Best Deals
America is a nation, not a corporation. America is made up not of shares but if shareholders; of human being with their own lives and goals and families and values. Celebrity Apprentice winner and close friend of Drumpf, Piers Morgan, recently said on Fox News that Trump views every aspect of life through the scope of a business deal, but this is a deal in which his idea of success is winning the election, not necessarily a comprehensive plan for how to improve the lives of Americans over the next 4 years. Sure he has some fancy sounding things to say, but time and time again he has demonstrated that he is out of touch with the core problems that our nation faces.
Yes illegal immigration is a problem, there's no argument there but spending all of our time and resources building a wall on the border of one single country that has netted zero, if not negative immigration over recent years, is merely a fundamental lack of understanding of the problem of illegal immigration. Yet because it sounds like a powerful move and a powerful negotiation to make Mexico pay for this wall, Trump is showered with praise from many people who think this is a good idea and a good use of time, energy, money, and manpower. I will concede fully that trump is a better negotiator and businessman than I am, but this doesn't seem like master negotiation to me.
Bernie is 'Weak'
Let's go back to Media portrayal of our candidates. There's a million things the media has said about Bernie, most of it inaccurate some of it actually on point. But one thing they consistently brush off the table and determine is a direct sign of weakness, is his position on foreign policy. When people ask him how he plans to defeat ISIS, or how he plans to fight the problems we have abroad in general, his answer is unfortunately not very sexy.
It's not a word with much pizzazz, but it does have a lot of meaning. Working with others. Making deals. Being a negotiator. This is Bernie's foreign policy position.
Make no mistake, he will not hesitate to use the brute force of our military if the situation calls for it. But unlike every other candidate, including Hillary Clinton who voted for the Iraq War, which we ALL now know is probably the biggest mistake of the US government in recent history, he is not subject to playing the game of taking the role of the world's big bad bully. We find ourselves in a political culture where it is seen as powerful when a Commander in Chief approaches every foreign issue with zero sum military attacks and occupations that have not even been thought out well enough to have a comprehensive end game, which leads to civil unrest in war-torn countries and thousands upon thousands of disenfranchized and oppressed people who have all the motivation they need to join ISIS.
And this is before they see the video clip of the most popular candidate in this election race saying we should ban all Muslims. That has to be good for at least one more otherwise intelligent, rational, peaceful Muslim convinced that the West is, in fact at war with their religion. Drumpf always talks about how we're "losing" to this nation and that nation for in this area or that. Maybe that's why - these nations see how we act and want nothing to do with us. It is obviously WAY more complicated than that oversimplification, but my point is, If you're looking for a "Great negotiator," look no further than Bernie Sanders' past
I strongly urge you to look into the work that Bernie Sanders has done that falls under "negotiation" over the past 40 years. Unlike Drumpf, he was not doing this to line his own pockets or to stroke his own ego. He was fighting for the people. He was fighting for the American Dream. He was fighting for equality in society and in economics. He was fighting for people like you and me. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a matter of closely documented truth. From the pictures of him on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, or video of his no bullshit approach to creating a better America dating back to the mid 1980s up until the present day.
This is not a game to Bernie Sanders, and that's not to say that it's a game to Drumpf, but Bernie has the pristine record of genuine fight for the American people with integrity. Drumpf is merely in the midst of the biggest negotiation of his career. I think he truly wants to be president, but I believe he sees the situation exactly as Morgan puts it-that this election is a task to achieve for his own satisfaction. Whether or not he would do a terrible job is a conversation in and of itself (conveniently we had that conversation in #ARP04 "TRUMP'd Up" so go listen!) but the fact remains that Bernie Sanders is just infinitely more qualified for the position.
Aside from my one little dig at Hillary, I purposely did not mention the other candidates. There are so many reasons to vote for Bernie, but the biggest most fundamental reason is what has made this election race such a reality TV soap opera phenomenon more than ever, (and that's taking into consideration that we had the hanging chad election AND the first black president election in my life time and this is still a record breaking spectacle unlike anything we've seen before,) and that's dissatisfaction with the Establishment
There are arguments that could be made for any one of the five candidates left in this race, but if you're not part of either the Bernie movement or the Trump movement that has made this race what it is, then you're voting for very different reasons than a LARGE portion of the population.
You aren't the one I'm trying to persuade here if you're voting for Cruz, Kasich, or Clinton. For whatever reason you're voting for whomever it is of those three that you've decided on, it is very likely that you've made this decision based on what you believe is pragmatism in one form or the other. You probably believe that the outsider of your party is crazy or electing him would probably cause more problems than it would solve, so you've resolved to supporting who you think can most realistically win the election, and keep the world for imploding.
I haven't met very many people who particularly enthusiastic about this election if they support one of those three. Drumpf and Bernie supporters, on the other hand, are often downright emphatic about supporting their candidate.
And to those people, a group of which Awe, Really is a part, if you are so passionate about fighting the system and bringing change and fixing the country and defeating the threat posed to us (that is gravely sensationalized, although far from nonthreatening) by religious extremism, and preventing our taxes from leaving the country, and about creating a better life for yourself and your community and this entire country, then the evidence shows that Bernie Sanders can do that to a significantly greater degree than can Donald Trump.
Even if you don't agree with his philosophy, you have to understand how it is going to affect his potential presidency. We are most likely not going to get a lot of the things he is fighting for even if he is elected, but that's not the point. He is going to change the game and create a playing field where we are all more closely represented. If you have a different philosophy than Bernie, but you support Drumpf because you want the change the status quo, you're being counterproductive. At the end of the day Bernie is a politician and comes with his own rhetoric. But what he's really fighting for is a government that represents its people regardless of their philosophy.
If you've been convinced that a vote for Cruz, Clinton, or Kasich is worthwhile, you probably live a very different life than the average American and the system is working for you. But for the rest of us, no matter your philosophy....