Hillary-Bernie Infighting Got Us Trump. Why We Need to Decide on Our 2020 Leader Before the Midterms.

In 2016, the statesman lost to the salesman. And that salesman now has the full power of the US government behind him and is already campaigning for 2018 midterms!  

But who is the resistance’s man in this fight to save democracy? Who holds the reins for the opposition party? Who is its father figure?

The truth is, right now there is no one!

And that’s a huge problem for democracy’s survival …

because the midterms are going to be a referendum on whom should be president.

Like it or not, pro- or anti-Trump is the essence of the midterms. It should be pro-Trump vs pro-X-person, because when selling, anti-X is disadvantaged to pro-Y! That’s the ahha moment that people in selling – like Donald Trump – know cold. 

The opposition party needs a concrete platform and a presidential figurehead, not a dozen competing hopefuls. A dozen hopefuls cannot credibly have identical messages. So what does that say? It says: we really don’t know what we want yet.  It screams, “we are undecided”. And that will be a severely disadvantaged strategy in November, especially with a decent economy.

The leader of the resistance party can’t be Obama or Hillary.  Those days are over. Nor should it be Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Shumer. They just don’t track well with Trump’s base, and we are going to have to sway that base a bit. And myself, I think it shouldn’t be a female or person of color this cycle. I love Booker’s youth, message and attitude most of all, but not this cycle. Too much of Trump’s support is rooted in blacklash and misogyny. Let’s be realistic this cycle – not purely idealistic.

Whomever emerges as our figurehead, we do have the right messages for that leader to promote. We just don’t have that salesman,​ do we? And that’s also because the opposition party or the resistance does not yet have its leader. And with the midterms coming up, that’s going to work to Trump’s benefit.

As of now, logic dictates our ideal resistance leader can only be Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. They can both come off as street fighters. That’s important too. I favor Joe Biden because I am sure he can reach Trump’s base. But Joe Biden should immediately form an alignment with Bernie Sanders and vice-versa – and that union should be clear to us all. Biden should say that he and Sanders will be working together for our platform.

  • universal healthcare
  • infrastructure investment
  • environmental protections to keep us safe
  • affordable education for our kids
  • border security that makes sense
  • a tax plan that favor the working and middle classes, not the billionaires
  • a defense that includes protections from cyber threats
  •  protecting the vote from Gerrymandering and discrimination and a verifiable voting system ( blockchain secured voting software exists already – ask me)
  • Mueller protections and the rule of law to apply to all citizens and representatives

Is that enough? Add one more and make it a biblical ten focus points on a concrete campaign platform.  I like this one “Vote “L” for Level-headed Leadership.”

I believe that the resistance should swiftly come to an agreement as to who will be our presidential candidate in 2020 and announce it before the 100 days out mark. ( This week!)  Then every potentially competing candidate should announce they are going to support that candidate in 2020, and a concrete platform and that they will challenge that person in 2020. 

Of course, we can quietly know that our leader can change after the 2018 election. We just can’t lose these midterms. So we must prepare to the max. And its not a maximum without a leader, a dedicated team and a concrete platform.

For now at least, there should be no struggle within our party or movement as to whom our leader is.  We immediately need a competent, experienced iconic figurehead and more importantly a lead strategist for the election of 2018, probably the most important election in our 240 year history.  Trump is, at least, a strategist. We can’t afford any disadvantages. To be undecided about 2020 is advantage Trump for the midterms.

I need a much bigger megaphone. Please help me get this message to Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, all our congressmen and the hopeful Democratic and Independent 2020 presidential candidates. Trump was not so hard to beat in 2016. Even with help from Russia and a split in the democratic party, he still lost the popular vote. Hillary was a decent statesman, but a terribly tone-deaf salesperson. We can’t be tone deaf this cycle.

(Hillary did not listen to my advice either – and I did try. I told her to make Bernie vice-president and end the party infighting. Clinton/Sanders was an unbeatable ticket. That’s why Bernie needs to be assured of a place in the cabinet of whomever is our figurehead, if it’s not going to be Bernie. Biden/Sanders would be unbeatable in 2018 and 2020. )

But regardless, the Democratic party immediately needs its best hope candidate to emerge this week, announce candidacy for 2020 and enroll a full team of supporters, a good ad agency and head strategist. They all need to get into the midterm fight asap. Another way to say it: the resistance needs a leader asap – before the midterms and not after when it could be too late.

If you agree, use your connections and social media to get this started. Petition the Democratic hopefuls you know best. They should organize a war room and announce it, the way Trump does. if you disagree and like this current dozen hopefuls strategy, get me a direct line to you, dear staffer. I will try to convince you of its importance. 

We lost 2016 and our national direction to Hillary/Bernie infighting.

We can’t have infighting this cycle! 

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Democracy is being challenged. 11/6 is D-Day. Be there! VOTE THEM OUT. Who is “them”? Those who would see democracy fold to further their own interests: the self-dealing politicians of the US Congress.

And they all must go. And we can do this. Wow!

11/6 is D-Day. But this time the “D” stands for Democracy. 

Do you know what the D stood for in the original 6/6 D-Day?

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-why-its-called-d-day-story.html

 

 

 

Why Putin Hacked Our Elections and Why He Wanted Trump

The 2016 hack and publish act is the greatest theft ever committed against the United States. It will be remembered that way, – if we survive this.

Originally written April 2017, the logic of this post is now undeniable. Hurry up Mueller! The whole truth must come out before election day so Americans can make well-informed voting decisions on November 6th. 

Dear Trump Supporter:

Spy Logistics

Imagine you were a Russian tasked with the goal to hack into the 2016 elections to get dirt on Hillary Clinton and help Trump win.  Where would you start? You certainly would not start at the top with Trump, unless you already knew him and his answer. Assuming you did not know if Trump would be okay with foreign hacking help in an election, yospiesu would first have to find that much out.  Why would you expose yourself as a criminal hacker, if the person you are trying to help might not be interested and even possibly turn you in?  To get that permission, you’d have to find a way explain the risks and rewards to Donald Trump.

Those actual inquiring communications from the Russians and the consequent permissions to proceed are the two main elements in the conspiracy to hack the 2016 United States electoral system.  The principles of the theft are clearly Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, as they are the two prime beneficiaries of the theft. They are for whom the stealing was done. 

And what allies did the Russian hackers find here in America?  Steve Bannon, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Jared Kushner top the list but there are many others. This is exactly what and whom ex-marine Bob Mueller is investigating. He is doing it to save America from being taken over by Russia – not with bullets ( they know they can’t do that) but with words. 

Trump knows zero about hacking, but said ( April 30, 2017) “It’s very hard to know who did a hack, once it’s done.” Who told him that?  He certainly did not read it somewhere. Someone told  him this as part of the attempt to get his permission. But, it backfired. Mueller’s team did indeed figure out who the hackers were. Maybe that’s what Trump will say to Putin privately in Helsinki “Hey Vlad, you said it could never be traced. Now what do I do?”  

It’s well-known that Donald Trump does not handle details. He never could. In college, he paid for his homework. ( I was in a class with him at Wharton and know this first-hand. ) Trump doesn’t “study”. He views preparation as beneath him. ( He has said that too, in his roundabout ways.) Trump pays people to do everything for him – even his reading and thinking. So it took detail-oriented Americans like Bannon, Stone, Flynn and Kushner to set this complex entanglement in motion. But even if Trump did not want to know the details of the 2016 hack and publish cyber-operation, the physical actors needed the permission of Donald Trump (or a nod from Donald Jr.) to actually go through with it all. This compares to a Mafia don ordering a hit. The don does not do the crime so he can claim “it wasn’t me”, but he still must approve it. 

Re: Ads in Facebook, Twitter and Google. Russians could not possibly know enough about the nuances of our complex country to time ads and precisely target the right audiences – like they did in places as remote as Ferguson, Mo. They needed American help. And that is espionage. The 2016 hack and publish act is the greatest theft ever committed against the United States. It will be remembered that way, – if we survive this.

Why the Russians Wanted Donald Trump

Trump has had Russian holdings and business arrangements for a long time. These arrangement started in the 80’s, when he started washing his casino cash in foreign banks, like so many corporate crooks and money launderers do. That’s when he first crossed paths with Russian Mafia plaers. These international players don’t want to pay less tax, they want to pay no tax! Why support American infrastructure if you don’t have to is Trump’s MO. Guilt? Not Trump! “I really don’t care”. That, I think, is why Melania selected that infamous jacket. It’s something she probably hears at home a lot.  

Putin knows Trump has had undeclared cash bank accounts overseas. Thats’ the main reason he was an ideal candidate for a rogue nation to support: Trump can easily be blackmailed for his past financial crimes. That’s also why he does not show his taxes. And rest assured Putin does not care about Americans. The democracy that America represents works against dictators who want to steal. And Trump won’t do anything to stop Putin because he is compromised or suborned, as the Russians call it. Trump also kind of likes what he is doing. It’s an ego trip that’s making him richer – so far at least. 

We all know there are many sold-out politicians who just don’t care about average Americans.  It’s a shame, but true. But only a self-centered egomaniac like Donald Trump would stoop to espionage and selling out his country to Russia for a buck. We have not had a traitor like Donald Trump since Benedict Arnold. 

Vladimir Putin is the biggest thief in the history of the world. He has stolen about 200 billion dollars from the existing businesses in Russia in the last 10 years. To carry his plan further and not get caught for what has been stolen, Putin needs the powerful democratic countries of the world to wither away. Weakened, they won’t have the means or resolve to stop his aggressive stealing and land grabs. ( i.e., Ukraine.)

Putin and Trump both supported Le Pen in France and the Russians tried to hack that election too. The French resisted successfully. And Boris Johnson, the Brexit candidate in the UK, was touted by Trump as being a fine candidate for prime minister. The truth is, democracy is just not good for dictators. It gets in the way of their stealing. What thief wants justice? Dictator’s United is the new Citizens United – and its game on, if we don’t stop it. 

Destroying the NATO alliance and democracies like the USA are major goals for dictators like Vladimir Putin. Because Trump is not happy with the few billion he has stolen so far, Trump is a complicit ally in Putin’s global domination projects. Like so many with greed disease, he wants more. Those who do not oppose Trump will eventually realize they have been duped in an effort to make fascism the dominant political force on the planet. Dictator’s United now has its sites on the USA – not just 3rd world countries. What they can’t conquer by force, they will attempt to temp conquer via puppet regimes. That’s pretty much what they have here with Trump. So far, the GOP senators are silent, so Russia is winning. But we can all do something about this soon. 

November 6th 2018 is the new American Independence Day. Be there. Raise your voice.

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You know who THEM is.

You Supported Trump. But Does Trump Support You?

The GOP Congress is not going to stop eroding the American standard of living to benefit the rich. They are not listening to you. It’s been going on for 40 years. Make sure they know that you will not support them in November unless you start hearing different messages from them and seeing things change now. Make sure they know you will not wait until after November to see if things get better.

Dear 2016 Trump supporter:

The election of 2016 was a real mess. There is no doubt that there was a huge percentage of hard-working middle-class Americans that have long felt ignored by both aisles of the political establishment. Bernie Sanders was unethically upended by the Clinton machine and there was a sense that you would get nothing really new from her. I get it. 

Still, it’s nearly two years into the Trump administration and what have you really got from him and the GOP machine? I think you would agree  – not much. And by now, you must have a sneaking suspicion that his real motive has been self-dealing and self-preservation – and that Trump does not care about you personally. 

Today we found out that Trump exempted the goods of Ivanka Trump from the Chinese tariffs he is personally promoting. Really? Tariffs are a tax on all os us. It’s OK for Trump to hurt American workers and farmers by taxing steel, cars, electronics, livestock, textiles, but Ivanka’s lines are exempt? That’s the essence of self-dealing. That’s not caring about Americans. To me, that should be the straw that breaks the Trump supporters’ backs, because there is no possible reason for the Ivanka exemption except self-dealing. 

And it’s not only Americans that Trump is ignoring. He is ignoring our long-standing allies in Europe. Don’t you have a relative that fought in WW11? My father did. He upended and risked his young life to go and fight a dictator that threatened the world. Vladimir Putin is a dictator and a known killer. And yet, Trump has nicer words for Putin than the leaders of our allies and even well-regarded Americans citizens who happen to not be his political allies. He has kinder words for Vladimir Putin than John McCain. How does that sit with you? He likes Putin more than you, rest assured. And why is that?

Is it at least possible in your mind that Trump indeed did collaborate with Putin to sway American minds and fix the election of 2016? Maybe he thought “nothing matters if you don’t win”. ( That’s a Trump quote – and one of his most basic MO’s. ) But if you thought Hillary was wrong for fixing things against Bernie, can you see that it is even more wrong, more un-American to employ foreign enemy states to fix elections? Is this what our relatives fought and died for in WW11? No. Not at all. 

Don’t forget that so far there have been more than 100 criminal indictments issued in the Russian election probe, 5 have pled guilty and the guilty already list includes Trump’s campaign and national security advisors, 16 actual Russians and 7 Americans close to Trump. He could show his taxes and speed the path to truth, but he won’t even do that. 

And now Trump is at NATO trying to undo 70 years of peace that NATO was created in 1949 to defend. There are only two logical reasons for this.

  • Putin has stated he does not like NATO. Russia is not part of NATO. Putin has Trump compromised for collusion*. So Trump is taking orders.  Trump must attempt to destroy NATO or the truth about the collusion will be released.
  • Trump really does not care. (Melania’s jacket said that. Maybe she did hear it first from Donald.)

Your Personal GOP Problem

What is Trump’s GOP party doing for you anyway? So far they have made their intentions very clear.

  • American females should not have the final say about their own bodies. We see that in countries like Iran and don’t like it. 
  • Poorer Americans do not deserve health-care. If they can’t pay, it’s their fault and loss. The poor are dispensable.
  • However, the rich deserve bigger tax breaks than the poor – percentage-wise!
  • Our environment should not be protected from pollution, if there is money to be made in exploiting it. 
  • The books to educate our kids should largely be paid for by teachers and citizens even though they already pay taxes designated for public education. ( They like their supporters to be uneducated.  Trump even said this on the campaign trail. “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”)

Trump supporter. This agenda is exactly what you wanted to go away when you voted for Trump. You wanted your everyday problems to not be ignored. But under Trump, it is all trending even worse for you and your kids. And that’s because the GOP and Trump do not care about you. And by now, 18 months in, it should all be very clear to you. 

So, dear Trump supporter, what can you do about it? Actually, there is a lot Trump supporters can do. They can do much more than the resistance crowd. You can raise your voices and tell Trump through his Twitter and through your representatives that this is not what you bargained for when you supported Trump and that you will not be voting for them again if you don’t start hearing and seeing a turn-around in American policies.

Things to Tell Trump and Your GOP Representatives.   

  • You want healthcare as a right for you and your family. 
  • You want our environmental protection agency to continue to do what it was created for: protect our air and water supplies
  • You want to roll back the tax breaks for the rich until the middle-class and poor have comfortably attained the basics of life.
  • You want to see Trump’s taxes before November or you will not support him or the GOP in November. It’s the least he can do to help us be sure he is not in bed with Russia. Americans need to know what happened in 2016 before we vote in 2018, not after. Showing his taxes would cut down on the expense of this investigation. The GOP can force Trump to show his taxes. Make them do it. In fact, the GOP can force Trump to do anything you want, if you raise your voices in unison. 
  • You want to stop the tariffs immediately. They are not helping your situation and you don’t want to wait and see how they work. History teaches us, tariffs do not help economies. Countries tariff back and then both sides lose. Trump knows this. But he does not care. There’s a way to make a buck with tariffs for high-ranking government officials who have undeclared foreign bank accounts. 
  • You want to be assured that Rowe v. Wade will not be overturned by his SCOTUS pick. You will not vote for the GOP at any level if this is not made 100% clear. 
  • You want Gerrymandering to end immediately. That should just feel un-American to you, I hope. 
  • Right now, you don’t really care about Hillary Clinton’s emails. HRC is just a retired grandmother in upstate NY these days. Make it clear to your reps that you care about your own family and how their policies affect them. Make it clear, you will not vote GOP this cycle if these things don’t change immediately. 

The GOP Congress is not going to stop eroding the American standard of living to benefit the rich. They are not listening to you. It’s been going on for 40 years. Make sure they know that you will not support them in November unless you start hearing different messages from them and seeing things change now. Make sure they know you will not wait until after November to see if things get better. After November is going to be way too late this cycle.

Right now, unified Trump supporters could have the most important voice in the entire political universe. And that means you! The GOP really has no choice to listen to you, if you raise collectively your voices. And believe it or not, we are all on the same team anyway. We are all suffering under this president and Congress. And we are all Americans. And we all want the same thing: a better life for us and our families. 

trump-supportersSo Trump supporters. You wanted to not be ignored. You wanted to change that affects your own lives. And so you came out to the polls and got about 48% of the total votes in the USA. it was impressive. But nothing much changed for the better for you. And by now you know it was never the GOP plan to benefit working Americans.

What George Bush said seems very on target right now. 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? You already fooled me once, you ain’t gonna fool me again. 

Don’t be fooled again. Let your voice be heard right away. That’s what I am doing. You do the same. Write something down on paper. Send it to a local paper. Call representatives. Assemble. Talk at lunch. Talk at dinner. Talk with friends. It’s like a snowball. It will gather momentum if you start now. 

Joseph Aronesty 7/11/18 josepharonesty@gmail.com any time

Dear Trump Supporter: Please share this post, or your thoughts on this post, in your social media and try to reach across the aisle. This is what it’s going to take to to save America.

About Joseph Aronesty.

He is a father of five, an e-commerce pioneer, author, linguist and songwriter. He is dedicated to his family and loves the ideals upon which America was founded. 

I knew Trump a bit growing up. I was in a class at Penn with him in 1967. He paid a classmate for his work to get done. He was a rich, spoiled playboy then, with no regard for anyone else but himself. And I knew him from AC, where I worked close to him and witnessed him stiffing the contractors that built his casinos.

And 50 years later, Trump does not seem to have evolved at all. I don’t care if he has more money than me. He has no empathy for others. Trump’s Golden Rule is He who has the most gold, rules, not what Jesus said: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

 

 

What We Can Learn from FDR and the Four Horsemen of the Supreme Court

FDR was a warrior, willing to do think outside-the-box to fight for democracy. FDR’s creative court-packing strategy made the Four Horsemen’s union seem doomed, and they buckled to public pressure. That lesson must be re-learned right now.

4-horesemenThe “Four Horsemen” was the nickname given to four conservative members of the US Supreme Court during the 1932–1937 terms. They consistently opposed the New Deal agendas of President Franklin Roosevelt. They were opposed by the more liberal “Three Musketeers”.  Chief Justices Charles Hughes and Justice Owen Roberts controlled the balance, making the nine.

In the 1935 term, the Four Horsemen, together with Roberts and Hughes, voided the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 along with the Federal Farm Bankruptcy Act, the Railroad Act, and the Coal Mining Act. Americans were suffering from the Depression and needed the help FDR wanted to create.

The result of this dynamic was a steady drift towards crisis with the Court. The 1935 SCOTUS was labeled by Justice Stone as “one of the most disastrous courts in US history”. New Dealers decried the Court’s actions promoted an “economic dictatorship”.

It was the Horsemen striking down FDR’s New Deal legislation that led FDR to announce a unique court-packing scheme, a proposal made in February 1937 to just appoint more Justices in order to change the composition of the Court. There was (and still is) nothing in the Constitution that says it has to be nine justices. Soon after FDR’s strategy was announced, it was rendered unnecessary when Justice Roberts, who had supported the Four Horsemen on several decisions during the 1935-36 term, sided with the Three Musketeers in a landmark minimum wage case in March 1937. The court balance literally changed in under 30 days – and America was saved.

FDR was a warrior, willing to do think outside-the-box to fight for democracy. FDR’s creative strategy made the Four Horsemen’s union seem doomed, and they buckled to public pressure. That lesson must be re-learned right now.

We have to begin to tell the GOP and ourselves that American Democracy will prevail regardless of how the SCOTUS appointment goes – or does not go. If we take back both houses, we can make it ten or even eleven justices. Nine is not in the Constitution. It’s totally up to Congress! Welcome back Merritt Garland! And if it takes FDR’s court-packing idea to reset democracy, we should start talking about that ASAP for good reasons.

First, FDR’s court-packing idea provides hope for people on the right side of history and will help bring them to the polls. Nothing is worse than despair to make voting seem like a waste of time. But it also promotes a sense of impending doom for those on the wrong side of history. If regardless of what the GOP does now to break the USA, (Gerrymandering, tax breaks for the rich, tariffs, breaking health-care, stoking racism, polarizing us, working with our enemies, etc.) it can be undone in a Democratic Congress, the GOP will get the message that maybe they should not make themselves look so bad for trying. We may even influence people to break ranks with Trump if they know their actions are ultimately doomed.

And of course, in a Democratic Congress Trump will become as malleable as Silly Putty. It’s clear his only MO is self-preservation, and we will hold all the prosecutorial cards when we control both houses. So I can see him flipping on the GOP to save his hide if we take back Congress. Everything really depends on that.

Spread this memo around in your own way, please. It’s a bit of a history lesson, but it teaches us what has been necessary to defend democracy and that what we are experiencing today is not really new.

Also, note. Though the Four Horsemen ultimately broke ranks, they did so only after FDR made it clear he would pack the court to defend democracy. That’s when they realized they were wasting their time. And that’s when they quit. The same can happen now. The GOP must be made to know this – they cannot overrule the will of the American majority.

So let’s start talking about ten and even eleven justices if the GOP is bent on ramming its unpopular agendas down our throats. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 is America’s new Independence Day. Be there!

 Joseph Aronesty

7/2/18

The Emperor’s New Clothes – The Classic Tale of a King’sVanity Exposed by a Child

As we witness a vain president attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, seeming to want nothing but praise from his subjects, the tale seems strangley apropos today. 

It’s June 2, 2018, my 70th birthday. I’ve written this as if I were speaking with David Hogg, Emma Gonzales and all the kids at Stoneman-Douglas:

I am sure you are aware of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. But did you know that the tale had its roots in oligarchical medieval days and may trace back as far as to Aesop?

As we witness a vain president attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, seeming to want nothing but praise from his subjects, this tale seems strangely apropos today.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

kingA vain emperor, who cares about nothing except being seen as handsome and beautiful, hires weavers who promise they will make him a magical suit of clothes. The weavers are con-men,  and they convince the stupid emperor they are using a fine fabric that is invisible to anyone who is stupid. The weavers only pretend to manufacture the clothes; they mime the actions, but there is no cloth at all being weaved. Thus, no one, not even the emperor nor his ministers can actually see the alleged “clothes”. But when the emperors declares that his new clothes are invisible to anyone that is stupid they all pretend they see the clothes for fear of appearing stupid.  The emperor also does the same of course, and it’s quite comical.

Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they pretend to dress him in the suit, and the emperor marches in a royal before his subjects. The townsfolk go along with the pretense.  Not wanting to appear stupid, they marvel at how beautiful the king’s clothes are.  Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the emperor naked! Only then is the cry is taken up by the adults. The emperor realizes the crowd’s assertion is true, but he continues with the procession in total embarrassment as the crowd mocks him and the weavers escape with their payment.

Andersen’s tale is based on a 1335 story from the Libro de los ejemplos, a medieval Spanish collection of fifty-one cautionary tales with various sources such as Aesop and other classical writers and Persian folktales, by Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282–1348).

This is a tale that had its origins when there were actual kings and subjects – oligarchical times for sure. And so in these neo-oligarchical times there is something to learn from this old tale. Notice that it’s a child that exposes the king. There is a reason for that.

As a child of the hippie generation, I can tell you we had big dreams and saw the hypocrisy in parts ( not all ) of our parent’s generation. That’s what 1968 was all about. Protests against Johnson and the Vietnam War was just part of our quasi-revolutionary mind set.  But after graduating college, and particularly after becoming parents, many of us got sucked up into the same system hooked our parents. There was so much opportunity back then compared to now, it was easy to get sucked into the same system that we were protesting against just a few years earlier. Weird, huh? But true.

This medieval tale informs us that this all has been going on for a very long time. And so children, whilst you are young and before you form the bonds marriages and have kids, you are in life’s special time-zone when you can see the hypocrisy in the systems in our society and are not yet afraid to expose it. And that reminds me that there is at least one big difference between 2018 and 1968.

In 1968, we protested against the hypocrisy of people, but ended up embracing the systems the systems they deployed. Today the young are protesting against the systems and laws as well as the people that hold on to what seems more and more to be a dysfunctional government and culture. I don’t differentiate much between culture and government. To me they are both just aggregates of people with the large power of a mob and a general credo.

Students of Stoneman-Douglas: This summer of 2018 compares to the summer of 1968. It’s super important that you not only continue attacking our broken systems ( which so many of us admire in you all ) but also call BS on the people who profit from and embrace these broken systems. That outcry must include the president, who is the standard-bearer for all these broken systems, including gun laws. We must insist that no man is above the law. We can’t devolve into a society that allows our rulers and their friends to buy their way out of criminal behavior. That’s not what America is all about. I am sure you now that.

Of course, our American vain emperor would love to experience nothing but praise from his subjects. From that protected authoritarian dais, he and his financial allies can continue to work behind the scenes, back-channel and profit from these broken systems at the expense of the general public.

And this is not only about smart gun laws any more. Stupid gun laws are a symptom the larger dysfunction. The refusal of the majority in congress, the GOP, to create laws that our citizens actually want and need will only wane when Trump and the GOP lose big time at the ballot box this November 2018. I want this to be a November to remember for the rest of your lives.

Stay vocal. The powers in control are going to try and fix the election again. This election is even more important to them that the last one. Why? Because if Trump had lost, they had Hillary who more or less embraced that same broken system the way Obama did. But if they lose this time, they could lose it all. Power could return to the people here in the USA. Unions will negotiate better wages and cut down the owner/worker pay ratio.  Real-healthcare, access to education and infrastructure improvement become doable options. What a mess for the industrialists in control of this broken machine, right?

I just purchased RussianTrollSites.com. Let’s crowd source a site that runs a script that finds political troll sites and ads, publishes them, and forwards the list to Facebook, Google and the media. Contact me.

The crowd in the Emperor’s New Clothes only changes its position when a child exposes the obvious truth. That is the teachable part of this old tale. Your parents want to believe in you. This is not new. They will even take this battle cry up with you if you stay loud and determined. And this summer of 2018 we must.

We have a president and a congress that is trying to put themselves above the law, keep their ill-gotten gains, and expand upon the broken system licenses cars but not guns. The system is not broken for them. It’s broken for us! And we all will continue to pay if they stay in power.

Trump, as the system’s figurehead,  will try and sell you that the economy is doing better. I say what?! Are the people doing better? Not really. We have fallen behind all the first world countries is vital stats like life-expectancy and education.  Select economical stats are not the be-all-end-all of a society. The German economy got better under Hitler too – for a while.

I still believe your sheriff’s VOTE THEM OUT is the best battle cry for this summer. It resounds on both sides of the aisle and seems to unconsciously say “vote the swamp out” without partisanship. It’s a message that we all can identify with these days, and that’s really all we need.

Stay vocal this summer!

sent with love,

Joseph Aronesty

@EnglishCodeWord

josepharonesty@gmail.com

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Midterm Elections: What Progressive Candidates Should Run On

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

candidate.jpgThere’s been a lot of talk about what progressive candidates should and should not run on for the midterm elections. This big question seems to be: regardless of the positive issues we may wish to run on “do we also run on impeachment?”. 

I frankly believe that Trump being in office can end up being the Democrats best friend in November, if they play their cards right! And let’s face it, in 2016 they could hardly have played their cards worse. There is gamesmanship to an election – and it has to be done right. 

One of my strongest suggestions is never to run Dem vs. Dem.  No infighting! The Hillary vs. Bernie division was really what sank the Dems in 2016. We can’t have that happening in the midterms this cycle. Instead, I would rather see run offs decided by two candidates joining at the hip, like a double entry in a horse race. First, it saves election costs. And if their is a complaint about salary, (and this is way more important than any politician’s salary) the saved election funds could be shared along with the allotted salary. That way two close competitors can share one position. Granted they get one vote in Congress. But imagine if Hillary had run with Bernie as a ticket rather than against him. It would have been a landslide. In 2020, if Biden runs, maybe he could run with Bernie as a ticket. Biden/Bernie will play well only if young blood does not take over the scene by then – and it might. We will see. But no infighting. Infighting means we don’t have a clear agenda. And that means, we don’t know what we are doing. And that means, people may decide to stay with what they know and have.  And we can’t have that.

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

#1 Medicare For All. There is nothing that unifies Americans more than our need for affordable healthcare. It will be easy to expose the hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue. It should be front and center of any progressive campaign.  But work out the math ahead of the campaign promises. Make it look achievable or you will be tagged as impractical dreamers. Show us where the money will come from. And yes, don’t be afraid to say we should tax billionaires the same or higher than workers are taxed. Remind us that this country worked best in the 50’s when the rich were taxed higher than the poor, which created a more level playing field for all Americans. 

#2 Reversing Trump’s GOP Tax Laws. This is tricky because Trump can say his new laws are the reason for the seeming economic boom. Is it really a boom? Maybe that has to be discussed. Because if we have set our expectations lower, a small increase in take home pay can seem like an improvement. But there are other ways to measure success rather than just pocket money. Trump and the GOP will rely on this argument that things are better. Dems will have to show Americans in black and white, how the increase in health-care costs, the lack of access to great education, and the failure to spend on infrastructure are other ways to measure the standard of living of a nation. Show us how everyday citizens are fare better and even live longer in countries like Germany, Sweden and Japan. And the states that tax heavily and invest in their own infrastructures, like Cali, Mass and NY, – they do not like the new limit on deducting state taxes and interest payments. So expose that strongly as well. 

#3 College and K-12 Investments. There is nothing that quashes the dreams of our children more than the ridiculous economic barriers to quality education. It starts at K. Our grade schools and high schools are short on books. How sad is that? I’m sorry but what differentiates a great country from a failed one is actually the education level of its citizens. It is way more important than levels of pocket money.  A society that is rich monetarily but stupid is ripe for takeover. Think Rome. Brains is what separates us from animals. And honestly, “stupid and spoiled” is sort of what Russians and even Islamic terrorists think of Americans. And frankly, they are not far off. No way we are the brightest minds on the planet any longer. We used to be – in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Somewhere around Regan, we began to slip. That’s also when big money took over the soul of our government. Today, teachers are clearly paid far less than other professionals with the same qualifications as teachers. And yet, teaching is the one profession that makes all other professions possible. So drive all of this home. It will resound in New York as well as Texas and West Virginia. 

#4 The EPA. Golly, I hope Scott Pruitt is still the head of the EPA in November. If he is, he won’t hold that post in December. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and our climates are valid ways to measure the success of a nation. So again, it’s not just pocket change. After all, its not what money you have, but what it can buy. And if your money can’t buy clean air and water, because companies are allowed to pollute, then you are poorer than you think. Expose as much of the EPA’s reversals to common sense legislation as you can this cycle. Remember, the GOP will paint Pruitt as a help to the economy. We need to answer back strongly. “We don’t want an economy that is driven by allowing corporations to pollute our greatest common asset, our environment. Lack of respect for mother earth by this administration should be fully exposed. Again, it will resound with Americans of all stripes, and in all 50 states. Americans want to be proud of America again. That’s really what Trump has done to us. So seize on that. Make America Proud Again? Well, not. We don’t want to sound like we ripped off anything from this charlatan. But the idea of restoring American pride is sound. 

#5 Re-establishing Diplomacy. One of the reasons I am certain that the Russians have Trump suborned is the way our diplomatic core has been stripped under Trump’s Secretaries of State. Bring math to this argument. Show what has happened in stark black and white. Frankly, it borders on treason. And this is exactly what Russia wants. They are increasing their position on the world stage – as we are decreasing ours! If it feels coordinated, it probably is. 

#6 Border Security Done Right. Why is this so hard for us? Border security has nothing to do with hatred of others. We can have secure borders and love our neighbors. There should be check-points and it should be hard to illegally penetrate. I’m not sure we need “Trump’s Wall”. But we should agree to have secure borders, and to police those borders. But also, most Americans agree that the DACA kids are citizens. So we can run on Dreamers and border security simultaneously. Please do that this cycle. And if GOP candidates drift into that general area, welcome them. We need more welcoming of the other here in the USA, and that starts with “across the aisle”, when it is justified. There is a place where can agree with GOP voters on border security. Just strip away the hate of others and be kind to our Dreamer’s. I would fund any border upgrades from infrastructure spending. That is what it actually is. 

#7 The VA. Our veterans deserve the best care possible. Trump had a guy who was trying to do a decent job and he was fired. Rub this in his face forever. Veterans exist in all states. And its damn well embarrassing that he is trying to make veterans care a for profit industry and take his cut. 

#8 Infrastructure. There is no doubt that America has fallen far behind other first rate countries in infrastructure. Our roads, bridges and trains are sorely in need of serious investment. Something like what FDR did seems appropriate. But, we are not as collectively rich as we used to be in the 1950’s. Why is that? It’s because we have allowed our money to collect at the greedy top where it stagnates and gets funneled out of the country into off-shore bank accounts. There is no way to fund the projects we need without recapturing those lost funds. It’s not a pretty statement. I think of things like a billionaire’s tax. So here too, math has to be done to sell infrastructure investment. This is not a cycle where we can make promises that we cannot keep. It will be too easy for the GOP can say we can’t afford this now – that our national debt is already ballooning. But infrastructure is an investment that pays back! So focus on that when you get GOP push-back. Do your math. Cite history. People in all states want better infrastructure.

#9 Voter’s rights and an end to Gerrymandering. The GOP realizes full well that they advance the agendas of the super-rich – not the average American. They know they have no way to win an honest election. That is why Trump and the GOP welcomed Russian help in the election of 2016. They can’t possible win a fair fight with their agenda that favors the billionaire class. Assume the GOP will do anything to win. They will try to block the minority vote. They will play with election software. They will use social media campaigns to rile up hatred again. And Gerrymandering, though slowly being outlawed, still exists. All of this must be exposed. In red states, make it clear the GOP does this because they don’t want your vote to count. 

#10. Vetting our candidates better. This is the hardest to promote because so many sitting Congresspeople are not clean – and won’t support anything which makes vetting candidates a more thorough process. But let’s be real here this cycle. We got a criminal president because we allowed him to be a candidate without even showing his taxes. We vet Uber drivers better than we vet our president, so what should we expect? If there is a path to insane profits in government service, we will continue to get criminals seeking to “serve” in Congress and in other high end government positions. They see dollar signs and are drawn in. Jared Kushner could not even get security clearance, but neither could Trump if he had to.

If there is a full vetting of all candidate’s past financial history, we can at least be sure they are not criminals or money launderers before they take office. No one should be ever be allowed again to hold high office with undeclared foreign bank accounts. In with this line of thinking is “getting money out of politics” , “term limits”, and ending “Citizen’s United”, which really is “Billionaires United” and “no man is above the law”, which must be true in a real democracy. This won’t be popular with sitting representatives. But it has to be addressed or even a new administration won’t have the support in Congress to make the sweeping changes to policies and laws that will be needed to keep the United States strong, free and democratic.  

You will notice I have not mentioned gun laws. I want to, of course. It is a huge national stigma that we do nothing to protect our children as they are mowed down month after month. But common sense gun law changes will not come from this GOP.  They are a sold-out party. The right idea is to vote out the sold-out GOP that have us under their thumbs. We can do so on the ten issues I have outlined above.  Banning semi-automatic weapons is probably fine to discuss, but it seems smarter to just not enroll Americans who will vote GOP for one single issue.

Finally, absolutely do not announce any presidential candidates until after November.  Any Democrat who does that should be shunned by the Democratic Party. Politicians and citizens can and should get out there and talk about what is good for the country. Biden should get off his horse immediately if he intends to run, or he runs the risk of seeming old, slow, out of touch. Same with Bernie. Trump will be running every week from here on in.  But no one should announce they are running in 2020. It exposes an “it’s all about me” philosophy, and in 2018 we need a fully coordinated team effort. Leave “it’s all about me” to Trump. He is so good at that anyway. 

If we succeed in this cycle, 2020 will take care of itself. If we don’t, I will be seriously eyeing getting out of here for my kids sake. I actually don’t want to be a citizen in Trump’s America. 

……. Joseph Aronesty

Joseph is an e-commerce pioneer, songwriter and etymologist. He was in a class with Donny Trump in 1967 at Wharton School and worked close to him in AC in the 1980’s. 

Joseph can be reached at josepharonesty@gmail.com

Joseph’s SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/raiseourvoices

Joseph’s intuitive etymology page: https://englishcode.wordpress.com/clc-etymology/

 

 

Foreigners and the Danger of Regarding “Others” as Enemies

The word foreigner is in the news these days more than it should be. Our fallen soldiers fought for freedom and the rule of law. They would be turning over in their graves if they knew what Donald Trump was doing.

The word foreigner is in the news these days more than it should be. When Donald Trump called president Obama a foreigner, it aroused a sense of fear inside a decent percentage of Americans, a feeling that maybe foreigners were taking over our government. Trump’s fear-mongering expanded to include Mexicans and people of Islamic faith. But where is the fear of others in Trump supporters when it comes to Russia? 

Most US citizens consider Russia as a hostile foreign power, and its very suspicious that Russians are not touted as foreigners by Donald Trump. It seems, if Trump can make a buck with a foreigner he thinks they should be OK with all of us. I don’t get that. Most don’t get it. But so far, Trump supporters, including his GOP stooges, seem mostly okay if Russia influences our elections, policies and decisions here. And frankly, our fallen soldiers fought for freedom and the rule of law. They would be turning over in their graves if they knew what Donald Trump was doing – and so would our founding fathers. foreign

I like to use word history (etymology) to see if it can inform us in our daily lives. So today I ask, what was the first meaning of the word foreign?  

The way I figure foreign out is by dissecting foreign into its two basic parts. (fo+reign) The word reign should jump out of you. Reign is a regal/ruler kind of word.  That leaves fo- as a prefix syllable, which refers to foe.  Enemy of the king is clearly what a foreigner first described. Foreign was not a geographical word but a political word! Interesting right there. 

Notice how foreigner does not describe a foe of the people, but an enemy of the king or ruler, the one who reigns. And this is what is so dangerous about this word foreigner. There are now over 200 countries on planet earth. If rulers continue to sell the idea that folks from other countries are enemies, we could have 200 countries with 7 billion people who consider the vast majority of the people on earth outside of their own nation, to be their enemies. Couple that with the kind of weapons we have today, and you have a recipe for the end of civilization as we know it.

This is particularly sad because before 911, the world was trending towards a spirit of tolerance and understanding of others. The global celebration at Y2K certainly allowed a sense of global citizenry to peek its way onto the stage of the foreseeable future. But it was a false Messiah. The unity never really happened and then the banking crisis of 2008 exaggerated the general income gap between rich and poor. And that felt nothing like a brotherhood of man. Corporate greed was and is still in control on planet earth. 

Comparing the distrust level between nations in the WW2 era to 2001, there is no doubt that we had been trending towards more trust between peoples of “foreign” nations. That became more apparent during the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements. And yes, Obama shut that down. 

But Donald Trump has already set much of the progress towards brotherhood back in time, and he aims to continue that reversal because if he loses in 2018, he knows he may end up behind bars. He knows can only unify a base with hate. He started with hate, he cannot switch trains. But nationalism, coupled with an impulsive ruler who is also a life-long criminal looking for a way to skirt justice for his crimes, is a downright irresponsible recipe for disaster, a speedy train on a path towards Armageddon.

Shame on his supporters. Granted, many of them just don’t know better. Like Trump said,“We love the poorly educated”. But much more shame on the GOP establishment. They are not poorly educated. They are in it for themselves – for personal greed.

We may all be foreigners to those who were born in other nations. But we are born naked and innocent. We must learn or be taught to be enemies to others. The smarter path is one towards brotherhood, not otherhood.  We certainly don’t need rulers here or anywhere else that actively promote lack of respect and empathy for others. No country can claim the sole right to nationalism – so this can spread, as it did during the 30’s and 40’s. 

The Danger of the Foreigner Meme

I am no longer religious, but one story from the Bible which I find very informative is the Tower of Babel tale. The lesson of Babel is that if we can’t communicate openly with each other, if we consider others to be our enemies, then we can not build our proverbial towers, which is a metaphor for progress. And there is so much progress we will need to make if we are to survive. Is that not challenge enough people? Do you really have anything better to do? A sense that other people are enemies was bad before we had nuclear and biological weapons; but it’s much more dangerous now.

People who live in different countries are not our born enemies. They are trained to be our enemies of course. And Trump is doing his best to just do that. The word foreigner was created by the ruling class, for the ruling class and its enforcement arm the militia to lure citizens into battle. Hitler said it about Jews. Foreigner. It decodes as “enemy of the king”. – And it is the kings, prime ministers, presidents, and dictators of the world that still promote that hateful concept.  It’s time for the global citizens of the world to rise up and lose the meme that others are enemies. It only serves the weapon makers, industrialists and undertakers. 

I prefer to latch onto the more salient of the biblical teachings. You know, the ones that are about the brotherhood of man. 

JA

Note: Post-writing, I found The OED finds that FOREIGN may have been related to old words for door, the OR referring to light, because there is light outdoors. It also says : 

English spelling altered 17c., perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Sense of “alien to one’s nature, not connected with, extraneous” attested late 14c. Meaning “pertaining to another country” (as in foreign policy) is from 1610s.

I’m sticking with that 17th century meaning, but accenting the foe part of the word.

JA