To chase away the naggingly dispiriting thought that one is nothing more than a pawn, a mere slave to the financial-governmental managerial class, it is comforting every once in a while to at least pretend your vote has an effect.
I’ve been voting since 1980 and only twice did the results fall in my favor.
The first time was in 1988 when I was foolish enough to live in California. I voted in favor of Proposition 103, which, as explained to us, would roll back car-insurance rates by 20 percent. The bill passed, and suddenly I naively felt like a part of the political process. My vote mattered! Democracy works! Power to the people!
At the time the bill passed, I had a clean driving record and was paying $575 a year for insurance. But within months, California’s outgoing insurance commissioner was able to find a loophole in the law. My insurance shot up to $1050 a year.
So instead of my rates declining by 20%, they shot up by 82%.
Apparently I hadn’t learned my lesson, because I kept voting.
It wasn’t until 28 years later that I voted for another winner in the form of Donald Trump. And once again, I was naïve enough to believe that I had positively influenced the electoral process.
I don’t blame Trump one itty-bitty bit for the migraine-inducing chaos that has surrounded him ever since he declared his candidacy. It’s obvious to me that the hysteria originates not from him—in fact, even the Clintons mirrored his views on immigration only 20 years ago, and he doesn’t hold one belief that wasn’t considered mainstream and eminently sensible as recently as the 1980s—no, the endless tantrums and obfuscation has been manufactured by elite forces who are deeply threatened by Trump’s policies.
What I blame Trump for is that not only hasn’t he delivered on any of the promises that led me to vote for him in the first place; it’s that he’s actually broken some of those promises.
For years Trump had emphatically declared that our Middle Eastern policies were disastrously expensive, especially since they left so many domestic problems unaddressed. He pounded again and again on the theme that any US military involvement in Syria would be eminently stupid and wasteful.
And then last year he decided it would be a good idea to bomb Syria.
And then last week he decided it would be a good idea to put America last again and bomb Syria…again.
Well, at least John Bolton is happy about it, and we hate to see him unhappy. If you make him unhappy, he’ll bomb the shit out of you. But even Bolton was against US intervention in Syria five years ago. But now his views have “evolved.”
The pretext for the attack was that Syria’s regime unleashed a chemical-weapons attack on the rebel stronghold of Douma. The evidence that Syria perpetrated such an attack was so sketchy that as late as last week, Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis wouldn’t state that it was conclusive.
And yet they dropped bombs anyway.
Russia warned that there would be “consequences” for America’s missile strike while denying that the alleged chemical-weapons attack on Douma ever took place. A top Russian defense official compared Trump to Hitler. The Russian Embassy in America delivered what the kids might call a “sick burn”:
The U.S. — the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons — has no moral right to blame other countries.
During the whole WMD fiasco that was used as an excuse to invade and destroy Iraq, a question kept occurring to me that I’d never heard a mainstream reporter bother to ask: Was the USA accusing Iraq of possessing any weapons that the USA didn’t already have? Same goes for Israeli paranoia about Iran developing nuclear-weapons capacities: Are they accusing Iran of developing any sort of nukes that Israel doesn’t already have? And if not, isn’t this the rankest sort of hypocrisy?
The Chinese government insinuated that the Douma attack was a false-flag operation and that Trump’s military strike was an excuse to start a war with Russia:
The US has a record of launching wars on deceptive grounds. The Bush government asserted the Saddam regime held chemical weapons before the US-British coalition troops invaded Iraq in 2003.…Both Washington and London admitted later that their intelligence was false.
So because Assad—likely the sole protector of Christian minorities from total elimination in the Middle East—may or may not have gassed a few dozen civilians in a remote town, this justifies starting World War III and possibly leading to the death of millions and a global Dark Age.
How again is this supposed to make America great? Why are we involved in Syria again? Don’t we have our own problems? And why the fuck are we in the Middle East at all? If there’s any situation that resembles a classic pretext for a war scenario, it’s the unchecked northward invasion of our southern border. Syria is not a national security threat, while Mexico clearly is. But apparently our betters feel that there are more urgent problems 5,000 miles away.
I voted for Trump because he promised to build a wall. Fifteen months into his presidency, the wall has not been built.
He promised to repeal Obamacare. It has not been repealed.