Thursday, March 2, 2017

Trump Speech Thoughts II

Okay, I think I am still alive, three cheers for Aleve, caffeine and power naps. Slight problem, I can't sleep, too wired. I wonder if I could crank this up to a million, if this is how people who have ADHD feel 90% of the time. So, lets get back to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Trump addition.

So, we left off a few pages into his scripted speech, and we are at the point where he brings up Harley Davidson. Now, I personally don't have a problem with Harley-Davidson, I think they make nice looking bikes, and they have a good sound to them. Outside of that, I know exactly two things about them, they have been around for over 100 years, and they make motorcycles. I don't know where they are made, don't know where their parts come from, and I don't know if they export, so I am going to have to trust but verify this portion of the speech later. I do know that some time back they got themselves in a pinch, this was a long while ago, they managed to get themselves into a bit of trouble by wanting a fair sized tariff on imported bikes. Anyway, Trump goes on to say that he strongly believes in free trade, but this free trade has to be fair trade. Well, okay. So, who is going to leave this party with permanent marker mustaches and goofy symbols on their face. Because these new free fair trade agreements are either going to bring the participants up, or drag American workers down.

Well, he went and referenced Lincoln, and well... I don't know if I should be happy that someone in DC managed to find a fitting quote to stir the masses, or depressed by the butchering of American history. Look, Lincoln was a protectionist, our founding fathers were as well, but remember, that was a time when the majority of money our government had to spend came from tariffs. I seriously doubt they'd work so well today. He talks about companies and workers getting taken advantage of, but the truth of it is, the workers are constantly getting the bad end of that stick. If the companies profits aren't all that good, employees get canned, have their benefits reduced, get an ax taken to their hours, and this is going to be a long list, so I will skip all the ways employees tend to get the short end of the stick. Companies on the other hand, they get tax cuts, bailouts, and all kinds of lovely things called corporate welfare.

We go back into immigration again. Immigration blah blah blah, immigration, meh, low skilled, uneducated people coming up in here taking away jobs from people who are probably lazy anyway, blah blah blah. He then invokes the image of Ike, I like Ike. Sure he was a Republican, but he was a sane Republican, he pushed for our highways, he pushed to build. Build baby build. We have the technology, we can rebuild this place, make it stronger, faster, more efficient, more... Green. And we can pass the green on from the government to the companies to the people, to the stores, back to the people. It'll be marvelous...

Seriously, I have long pined for the day that we start rebuilding our infrastructure from the ground up, coast to coast, border to border. Every road, every dam, every levee, the entire electrical grid, high speed internet, cell towers, bridges, you name it, it gets rebuilt. We now have concrete that can sequester CO2, we have solar panels that can act as sidewalks and roadways. And everything can be put under the roads themselves, no need for overhead wires. Seriously, we can do a lot of things, and I am sure it'll take more than the six trillion dollars Trump gave as a figure, but imagine if you will, being able to start a career as a welder, and retiring thirty or forty years later, having raised a family, and never having to leave your community, because it is in a state of constant construction, constant building and rebuilding, constantly improving itself and growing. Lets be honest, it would take thirty years of constant work to put every piece of infrastructure back in perfect condition, and by the time that was finished, we could start all over again. Now, Trump is saying a trillion dollar investment, both private and public investments, and he wants to do this the buy American, hire American way. I'm game, really I am. Its a good start in my mind. But we don't have the man power for such. WE're going to need a lot of people who are willing and able to work, and even if every able-bodied person were to sign up tomorrow, we still wouldn't have enough. But hey, thats not a bad thing. It frees up jobs, if you don't see yourself as a dam builder, you can get a job elsewhere, doing something else. But, as I said, its a drop in the bucket. You are going to need a lot of people, and a lot more money than a trillion. If memory serves me correctly, we are going to need something like four trillion dollars by 2020 just to bring our infrastructure to good condition. That is not excellent condition, that is merely good. Seriously, Trump has some kind of weird DID going on with his political ideology.

So, he moves onto the PPACA, of which I am no fan. Certainly it has its merits, coverage for per-existing conditions, no caps on coverage, but the raising rates are crippling people. Something like 20% of people cannot even afford $100 a month for insurance. Honestly, I am waiting for a Single-payer option, or an outright Medicare for all solution. But lets be frank here, that isn't going to happen much before 2018, and that is if we are extremely lucky. What we are going to get are insurance savings accounts, and the ability to get ripped off by an insurance company in another state. Of course, he brought up making sure that Governors have the flexibility to expand Medicaid for their residents, something that was available when the PPACA rolled out, and many declined. Of course, all this aside, he is right, something has to be done to bring costs down. I'm sorry, several hundred dollars for a bag of IV Saline Solution, something that costs less than twenty dollars to actually make.

He is right when he said that everything in our country can be fixed, every problem can be solved, that families can be healed, and hope can be found. But right now, nearly halfway through his speech, I am not seeing it, not from him, not from the GOP, and certainly not from the Democratic Party. I agree that we the people deserve to have these issues resolved in a timely fashion, and we deserve better than what we have gotten in the last thirty-six years. I give him credit for calling out the crap and dysfunction in DC. I just don't see him being the one to actually do anything about it. He is far too, bi-polar for the job. He wants to protect coal mining jobs, but he also says he wants to promote the good of the people, clean air and water. You can't have it both ways.

He wants to rebuild the military, and okay, make it leaner and meaner, but his notion is to throw more money at it. Certainly throwing money at a problem can help, depending on the problem. If I threw money at my problems, they would disappear, but throwing money at other problems doesn't work. Why you ask, my problems stem from a lack of money, that is not the military's problem, their problem is it has too much money. I know its strange to think this way, but seriously. The military has so much money that they don't use any common sense, they don't have to, they know that they will have a fresh cash supply every week, month or year. So, if that new plane they want is a bust, who cares, they can move onto the next project. They need new Hummers, or whatever they are using these days, they just go get some. Money rich, sense poor.

He talks about the FDA's archaic and slow process for approving drugs. There is a reason why we take things slowly when it comes to medications and drugs. Its because we need to know what these things are going to do to us. Hey, if I am going to use a new smoking cessation drug, I want to know if its going to cause me to flake out and start eating my neighbors face off. I might decide that smoking is far less harmful to my health and his health, than going all zombie on him. Deregulation of drugs is bad, most deregulation is bad in fact. Sometimes they hit on something, a removal of some bad regulations, but more often than not, its a bad idea. I won't go so far as to say that we need to have a nation of miracles, that implies some higher authority stepping in. No sir, we need a nation of bright minds, highly educated hard working people. We need a nation of people who think and do, while we give them the tools to do so. We need a nation with people of imagination, we need more Einsteins and Hawkins, we need more Carl Sagans and Neil Tysons. And we certainly need more Gene Roddenburys, more people to influence the imaginations of our youth. We need people to be the guy who writes about a communicator, that inspires some kid to create a flip phone. Seriously, go back and watch the original Star Trek shows, that little flip communicator they had, its a flip open cell phone, circa 2000 to present (a dumb phone).

I agree that our children should be able to grow up in a safe community, attend a great school, and have access to a good paying job. Everyone should have the chance to own their own place, if they want, they should be able to do all the things they want to do. Working with law enforcement is not required, as long as law enforcement is under educated, or our officers are bullies with a badge and a gun. Certainly, there are good officers who are trustworthy, who are mindful of the community. They signed up for a crappy job knowing that the pay sucked, the hours were long, and they would be subjected to the lowest of the low. They go in everyday with the mindset that they are going to make a positive difference in a persons life, they are going to help people. Those are the men and women who deserve respect.

Ah, now we are back to the big bad illegal immigrant drug dealing thugs who will kill you for a Klondike Bar. I'm sorry, I have to say this now, because its been pissing me off for the better part of several months. I know a lot of immigrants, I don't know how they came to be here in the US, I honestly don't want to know, its not my place to ask them. I know they are here. They get up every morning, they do the same things I do when I wake up. They work odd jobs, they refurbish video game consoles to sell at flea markets, they farm, make trinkets and blankets to sell. Some of the best people I have ever encountered in my life have been immigrants. Some of them are from Latino countries, some from the Middle East, others yet from Asia, and others from Europe or Russia, and the truth of it is, they are mostly good people. My step-sister is from Russia, and for all her faults and issues, she isn't a bad person, she just makes really stupid choices which always land her in hot water. Of all the immigrants I have encountered there was only one, a single man I would classify as being a bad hombre. But I will chalk that up to a massive cultural misunderstanding about what is appropriate and what is not. That said, yes, I am sure there are some bad people who decide to move here, but let us not assume that they are all that way. I would contend that the actual number of bad people that immigrate here is low. Most are just trying to get a fresh start in the land they believe to have roads paved with gold.

Those who join the military, they do so for a chance to escape poverty, to get an education, to learn and grow. Often these men and women join because they believe in our nation, they believe in its causes. They do deserve to be treated well when they have served. It does anger me when they get preferential treatment in the job market, but only when they do not have the adequate skills for the job. These men and women should be given proper medical treatment for their conditions, they should have the right to a home. But to properly show them the respect they earn through their service, is to not send them off to die in pointless wars, in which we merely create more enemies to fight, in an endless waltz of death, destruction, and mayhem. We owe these men and women enough to not send them off to their deaths in pointless battle.

Insert gratuitous showing off a dead mans wife. Yeah, I don't blame Trump for that, every president that has had a full blown war on his hands has done that. Doesn't mean I like it, or I agree with it. The fact is a man was killed, his family is now left to pick up the pieces. And lets not even talk about the little girl that got killed in the same raid.

At this point, I don't know where Trump is going. I am just reading and responding to what he said. In this speech, despite the things I disagree with him on, he seems to be even tempered. He is being direct, and while not outlining everything point by point, with his thoughts and ideas about how to solve these problems, he is bringing them out.

He goes full reflective mode now, saying that we must learn from past mistakes, and while he is stumping for more military spending, making our military meaner and bigger, he laments the destruction war has brought about. Calling war a humanitarian disaster, saying that we need to create conditions where displaced persons can return home to rebuild. That we want harmony and stability. Yeah, I honestly believe that the majority of people want those two things. We want to live in a peaceful stable world, one in which death, while inevitable, is not lurking beside every road in the form of an IED. A place where we can grow up, learn and grow, find some measure of happiness, grow old with those we love and care about standing next to us, and peacefully depart from this world, without the fear of being dead broke, homeless, or sick.

AT this point, Trump has done something drastic, and I find this next portion of his speech sad, inspiring, and frightening because I have only seen a handful of politicians go here. He talks about the Centennial celebration of our nation, about all the marvels that were brought to Philadelphia. I wonder what those visitors thought as they saw many of these creations for the first time. I wonder what it was like to see the first Remington typewriter. I can imagine the astonished faces as the first electrical lights powered up for the first time. I also wonder with some hope about what we will see in nine years. Is it going to be like Back to the Future II, where we got a glimpse of 2015? Or is it going to be like we actually had in 2015? He talks about the marvels we can achieve if we simply allow people to dream, curing illnesses, stepping foot onto other worlds, lifting people from poverty, a safe world to reside in, where people can learn and grow, and then earn a living. These are all noble aspirations, and it is inspiring to hear a politician talk like this, regardless of how insane he actually is.

Oh there is that insanity again, I doubt we will do all those things in the next 9 years. Sadly I doubt we will do a quarter of those things in the next decade. It'll probably take us that long just to get back to the moon. Overall, I will say this was a decent speech. If Trump had spoke this way while campaigning, the election would have ended as it did, but it would have had an entirely different look. Like it or not, Trump is making some big promises, even after he got elected. Now, I trust him as much as I trust an angry rattlesnake to not pump my leg full of venom. In simple terms, I don't trust him. Now, he has put himself on a nice little limb, lets see if he gets knocked off of it. He in some way damaged the conservative brand, talking about wanting to ensure good health care for women, thats going to mean dealing with Planned Parenthood. He talked about dropping a cool trillion on infrastructure, something that the GOP has traditionally fought against. He really did go into liberal territory on some issues, and the GOP had to applaud him for it. Ultimately his actions will decide things. Many more stump speeches like this, a few more scandals, and I don't see Trump making it to the end of his first term. Before that happens, the GOP will likely try to impeach him, and I am sure the Democrats will oblige that. I'm not for giving him a chance, or letting him run wild. I am all for keeping the pressure up, and keeping the man honest, if that is even possible anymore. Hope for the best, they say, prepare for the worst, I say.