Friday, January 20, 2017

And So It Begins...

At this point, I'm just numb to it all. The broken, poisonous nature of our political discourse is rapidly becoming such that if a Democrat is in office, the Republicans lose their minds, splutter in rage and apoplexy and foam ferociously at their collective mouths, if the reverse is true, the parties switch positions and the endless turning of our political wheel of chaos continues. I see no way forward to break the logjam. I assume and expect that the news will be unbearable. There will be rending of garments, sack cloth, ashes and the like. Lamentations of the left will ring from coast and to every corner of the land.

None of it will matter. Democrats will foam and rage. Republicans will smugly remind them of their behavior was on the other foot and at noon today, Donald John Trump will become the 45th President of the United States of America.

I am but a spoke in a very large wheel, but as a citizen of this republic, I grade my Presidents harshly, because I assume, as President of the United States of America they should know what the fuck they are doing. In general, I take a utilitarian view of things when it comes to policy: what does the most practical good for the most people the fastest. For matters abroad, keeping the nation out of a war would be nice, however, if military force should have to be deployed, let it be done so judiciously and effectively- and we can't be afraid to use it if we say we will. No more red lines that end up meaning nothing and sewing more chaos than protection of our national interests.

What would I like to see from this incoming administration?

Big, bold radical change: this, I think we'll get. Whether or not it will be to our liking or the liking of many people is another question entirely, but we have problems that require solutions that cannot be bound into the old ways of thinking. No more business as usual.

Healthcare: Do something useful. Allowing Medicare to negotiate directly for the lowest possible drug prices. Buying insurance across state lines. Not screwing over everybody relying on the ACA. Health care portability? I don't know. But don't make a big mess worse, all right?

Student Loans: Don't screw me over- if you want to forgive a chunk of my loans, that'd be cool too. Just keep the Public Service Loan Forgiveness the way it is until I'm done doing my time to cash that in.

Marijuana: Decriminalize it on the Federal level and let the states sort it out.

Private Prisons: Invert the model and give companies incentives to keep people out of prison instead of putting them in there and we can talk, but... I'm still not crazy about the concept.

Education: We need radical solutions. I have my problems with Betsy DeVos but the fact is that we keep spending more and more money on public education and test scores keep trending downward and kids keep getting left behind. I'm not convinced the Right has the answer, but the Left's scream of 'MORE MONEY' doesn't seem to be working either.

I listened to an episode of the Tim Ferris show a few weeks back and one of his guests- who as a pretty successful dude said that he always looked for things that didn't make any sense and bet big- and used the success of our incoming President as a prime example. I don't think Trump is going to be star-spangled awesome. In fact, he could be absolutely dreadful. But the reality is that expectations are going to be tempered on the hard anvil of reality- at least somewhat. The Left might find itself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with the new President. The Right might find itself hating the new President.

The election of President Trump took the political apple cart and turned it into apple sauce. Friday at noon, it's not so much the beginning of the end, but, to paraphrase Churchill, it's the end of the beginning.

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