Mass insanity

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I am one of those people that follows politics and the national news fairly closely and that's not been terribly good for my mental health the last several years. The American Nervous Breakdown, as Bob Cesca calls the phenomenon that has led to our current social reality, has many facets. It's not just the propaganda that feeds the bonkers cultists who go to Trump rallies and buy AR-15s, the bonkers voters who elect the worst people Congress has ever seen, the bonkers corruption happening out in the open on the Supreme Court, and the bonkers racists that feel like they now have permission to be openly hateful in all their daily interactions. It's also those of us seeing all this going on and justifiably freaking the fuck out about it.

We have to keep tabs on it, too. It does no one any good, not even ourselves, to ignore it and act like that dog in the fire meme saying "this is fine." Yet, a huge percentage of us here in ’Murca are doing just that, either not paying attention at all or somehow are of the mind that the literal fascist uprising that is the modern Republican party is hunky-dory with them, and the consequences for this ignorance could be catastrophic. Thus, the anxiety meter goes to 11.

Joe Biden has an approval rating of just 41%. That's crazy. When you consider the obstructionist Congress and the sheer scale of damage to governmental function he inherited, his accomplishments are amazing

The recent polling—yeah, I know, polls; not exactly the most reliable information of late, the methodology is still in need of some tweaking—is astonishing. A huge majority of Americans think the economy is merely "fair" or "poor"?! Inflation is way down. Unemployment is remarkably low. People are spending. Yes, some things are more expensive than they were a couple years ago, but some of that is normal and the things that are a real concern for folks—housing costs, insurance, medical care—have to be looked at in context.

There is a lag time to policy change. Much as we might like the effects of legislation or judicial appointments to be immediate, they're not. Just as the inflation we've been dealing with of late can be traced to consequences of the COVID pandemic and its horrendous mishandling by the previous administration (as well as the consequences of some positive things, like rising wages), the stabilizing effects of the Inflation Reduction Act and tax reforms take time to spread through society. Just as the horrors being visited on us by the Supreme Court and other jurisdictions since Joe Biden took office are the result of the previous guy's appointments and the Republican Senate's leader preventing President Obama from filling a staggering number of judgeships—a years-long buildup—reclaiming the judiciary for the rule of law and the Constitution is not a short-term project.

We've got a critical vote coming up in 11 months. People better start paying attention.

Upset that your health insurance costs more? I am. I had to change to a worse policy for next year and I'll still be paying about 25% more in premiums. Is that Joe Biden's fault? Hell no! In fact, he's managing to keep it from being worse! The alternative—those fascist Republicans—want to kick people off of health coverage altogether. They want insurance companies to rob the rest of us blind. Give Joe Biden a Democratic supermajority in Congress and we'll get an expanded Affordable Care Act and better coverage for less.

Pissed that your groceries cost more? Well, in point of fact, not all of them do, some things are less expensive now, but the alternative to President Biden and Democratic attention paid to the affordability and quality of those groceries is those fascist Republicans, who want to abolish regulations that seek to ensure the meat and produce you buy won't put you in the hospital, a hospital that you won't be able to afford because they will have also taken away your health insurance.

Squeezed by your rent every month? Well, that's really a function of locality and a lot of interrelated factors, so I'm not sure what will help there. But I can tell you that the Republican policy that favors corporations over human beings will allow more and more disparity and exacerbate the wealth disparities that make cities like mine so damned expensive to live in.

And then there's the "Biden's too old" thing. When people say they're concerned about Joe Biden's age, there needs to be a follow-up question: What factors related to his age worry you and have you seen any evidence that he's at all incapable? Do people think he's forgetful or can't stay focused? All evidence says he's not and he can. Do people think if he does become incapable that he'll deny that reality and his staff and cabinet will allow it? Do they even know who's in the cabinet? Do people think if he dies in office or had to resign for his health there'd be no capable and effective replacement—i.e., do they fear Kamala Harris? Why? How much of the "he's too old" thing is camouflaged racism/misogyny regarding the VP? And, once again, even if people insist their age-related concerns are legitimate, consider the alternative: a doddering, fascistic criminal in far worse health and cognitively challenged even at his peak, who is bent on petty revenge and completely lawless, greedy, and sociopathic.

I swear, every election cycle it appears that more Americans get dumber. Here's a poll I'd like to see conducted: Let's survey Americans about their knowledge of how their government works. Show them some "Schoolhouse Rock" and ask if they knew about the details presented therein before.

Comments

  • Posted by Bill on December 3, 2023 (6 months ago)

    All so true Tim. And the most frightening thing to me is how Trump II would make every effort to concentrate virtually all federal power in the White House.
    In the unlikely event Joe became incapable in a second term, Jill would level with him about that reality. And appropriate measures would be taken. I would find a President Harris inspiring.

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