Revolt Of Working Class Voters

In my local community, I’ve heard many explanations, often seasoned with a teaspoon of blame, on how and why Donald Trump prevailed in this week’s presidential election.

White people elected Trump!

Or, men elected Trump!

Or, small-town and rural America defeated the big cities.

Or even, less-educated voters — those without a college degree — elected Trump.

In my opinion, it is more accurate to say that the neglected, aggrieved working class revolted against the Democratic Party and against the perceived elites. The working class AND the middle class! The dividing line between working class and middle class these days is about as thin as a dollar bill.

The working-class vote that elected Trump is mostly white, it is true. But it is not exclusively male. Many working-class women, as well as working-class men, voted for Trump. And many college-educated men who do not hold prestigious, high-paying jobs, voted for Trump as well. Call them working class or middle class. What’s the difference?

Bernie Sanders had it right. The Democratic Party cannot turn its back on working class voters. They should be our voters! Shame on the Democratic Party if it allows Republican candidates to win the allegiance of the working class.

It was the revolt of the working class and the middle class, male and female, high school educated and college educated. And, when we drill down a little deeper into the election results, I suspect we will find that a significant number of working class black men voted the same way as working class white men.

The revolt of the working class, of whatever gender or race, added to traditional suburban Republican voters, made  Donald Trump president.

Also let the record show that the 2016 general election was a low-turnout election. When turnout is high, Democrats can win; when turnout is low, Republicans win. Nothing new or surprising about that!

Some working-class folks who never voted before turned out this year. A few women and men who might have voted for Hillary Clinton, or would have voted for some other Democratic candidate, simply stayed home. Similarly, minority voters didn’t turn out for Hillary in quite the numbers that voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. At least a few younger voters who were inspired by Bernie Sanders also stayed home, or perhaps voted for the Libertarian or Green party candidates.

Every vote counts. Every Democratic voter who decided to stay home enabled the revolt of the working class and the middle class to put Donald Trump over the top in the electoral vote.

The working class has made it clear that they are angry and worried. Donald Trump is the president-elect.

What will the Democratic Party do now?

— John Hayden

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Help From Friends — Stepping Into The Future

I recently joined a Facebook group for “elder orphans” – older people without spouses, partners or children. This is a closed group with moderated discussion, and it’s a cut above the usual social media experience. The group discussions are thoughtful and passionate and focus primarily on problems and issues that older singletons regularly face. Many […]

via Help From Friends — Stepping Into The Future

What a thoughtful idea for a Facebook group! I reposted this report about the Elder Orphans Facebook page from one of the many blogs I follow, “Stepping Into The Future.” I think many senior citizens will find both the blog post and the Facebook page to be of interest.

— John

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WE NEED CHANGE.

I think the number of children living in poverty in the U.S. is about the same as in Britain. In the richest countries of the world, including the U.S. and Britain, it is immoral to have so many children living below the poverty line. In fact, I believe the child poverty stats indicate that rich countries like us are morally bankrupt! As the artist who created a nifty and instructive poster said, Zero children should be living in poverty. “We need change.”

Indeed. We as a society (and as an electorate) have both the means and the power to reduce child poverty nearly to zero. But do 51 percent of us want to really do that? Do 51 percent of us even care?

I’m afraid to say the answer.

(You can see the poster by clicking on the Abba1blog post below.)

— John Hayden

abba1blog

This started of as a little sketch of a table and chairs in a coffee shop, which evolved in to a mini poverty poster!

I have been reading so much lately about the hidden and unspoken inequality and hardship that goes on in Britain that no one speaks about, and most probably don’t even know about, for example these insane poverty statistics.I think when your’e eating a cinnamon swirl with a soy latte you realise how lucky you actually are? and that a cinnamon swirl probably isn’t a life necessity (no its definitely not). So all of us in that coffee shop that day who were spending too much money on cake, are lucky people to even be able to have that as a opportunity to us, and i completely recognize that.

The fact that 1 in 4 kids live in poverty I think is really really sad, as like…

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Are we there yet?

The exceedingly strange election season of 2016 has left me uncharacteristically speechless.  Not to worry, I haven’t disappeared. Simply keeping a low profile on the blogosphere until the unpleasantness is over.

Early voting starts today in Maryland, and I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton tomorrow.

Maybe 2016 will fade quickly like a bad dream.  Maybe the storm will pass and American politics will regain some sanity and civility.  We can only hope.

— John Hayden

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Transparency And Truth In Charlotte

Wednesday evening, and into the wee hours of Thursday morning, I watched the news from Charlotte, mostly on MSNBC, occasionally clicking over to CNN.

A couple of criticisms of the cable TV news coverage come to mind:

— First, throughout the night, MSNBC covered the news on the street as it happened, in real time. However, the network replayed video of the most dramatic parts of the evening’s civil unrest many times as the hours passed. Showing the worst, most dramatic parts of the protest over and over had the effect of making brief incidents appear to be continuing throughout the evening. The news is bad enough, no need to make it look even worse. I’m not sure to what extent CNN also replayed video.

— Second, a major issue addressed by commentators and interviewees was transparency and truthfulness on the part of the Police Department. Much of the tragic shooting of a black citizen by a black police officer earlier in the week was recorded by body cameras or dashboard cameras. Perhaps there is also cell phone video.

Over and over it was stated that the video in possession of police and prosecutors should be released to the family of the shooting victim, and to the public. The stated assumption is that the video of the shooting will reveal the TRUTH about what really happened. News reporters and anchors failed to challenge the assumption.

It’s unclear how many body cameras and dashboard cameras recorded video. I suspect that police and prosecutors have video from many cameras. Each video will provide visuals from a particular point of view. Probably none of the cameras captured the event in its entirety, from start to finish.

If all the video is released, the public will see many parts of the incident from many different points of view. The video evidence will not be crystal clear or of high quality. Different people will draw different conclusions from all or  parts of the material. What an opportunity for confusion and misinterpretation of evidence.

Most people support “transparency.” But I think we need to give more thought to the most effective way to find the truth. Remember that parts of the video may appear — rightly or wrongly — to incriminate police officers, victims, or even bystanders.

Throughout American history, the acceptable process  for deciding truth, innocence and guilt has been a fair trial by a judge and a jury of peers.

We have a dilemma. Many people in America have lost confidence in the judicial system.  But are we confident that video evidence will enable the public to fairly bypass the judicial process?

Despite the above reservations, releasing the video would relieve some of the rightful anger in Charlotte and throughout America. It’s probably the prudent thing to do.

–John Hayden

 

 

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Truth

The Fitbit has helped motivate me to walk. I don’t often reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day, but I’ve been making at least 5,000 or 6,000 this hot summer by walking very late at night, when it’s not so hot. Lucky for me, I live in a place where you can walk safely outside late at night, even after midnight. — John

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steps-exercise-chart


Source: Indexed by Jessica Hagy – Aim for 10,000 Small steps a day.

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Tim Kaine Today Validated Hillary Clinton’s Good Judgment And Assured A Clinton Victory In November

Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia has just removed all doubt about the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

I watched and listened to Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican convention Thursday night.  At the time, I thought Trump made a powerful case that America is in decline  and possibly on the verge of lawlessness.  Trump talked about everything that’s wrong with America. His speech resonated with the mob inside the Republican convention hall.

A few moments ago, I watched and listened to Tim Kaine’s  speech in Florida introducing himself as Hillary Clinton’s choice to be the Democratic nominee for vice president.

No contest. It’s all over.

Tim Kaine talked —  with moral conviction — about everything that’s right with America.  His speech will resonate with Americans from Atlantic to Pacific, from the Midwest to the Great Plains.

Tim Kaine just cemented Hillary Clinton’s victory over Donald Trump in the November presidential election.  Write it down, take it to the bank. The election is over for Trump.

Hillary Clinton, it now appears,  won the the electoral votes of the Commonwealth of Virginia on Friday evening when she selected Kaine to be her running mate.

And on Saturday,  Clinton and Kaine, appearing  together in Miami for the first time as the Democratic ticket, effectively won the  electoral votes of Florida. Kaine’s deft inclusion of a few sentences in Spanish were warmly received.

Ohio suddenly seems almost irrelevant.

However, if Clinton and Kaine can win Virginia and Florida, their  positive and optimistic vision for America’s future might just as easily sweep Ohio and all the Midwest states, including Indiana.

People think the vice presidential candidates don’t make a difference? This year looks like an exception.

We might be looking at an electoral vote landslide for Clinton and Kaine in November.

—  Bernard John Hayden

 

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Bernie Sanders Wants To Change The Democratic Party

Give Justice A Chance

Bernie Sanders made it clear last night in California that he’s no longer running against Hillary Clinton. He’s running against Trump.

But more importantly, Bernie continues to run because he hopes to imprint his values and issues indelibly on American politics.

Bernie wants to establish a left-of-center political movement that will live on long after the 2016 primary season is over.

As Bernie said last night, he wants to see a political party embrace the values of economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and he added environmental justice.  He wants the Democratic Party to open its arms and clearly, wholeheartedly, embrace those values. Is that too much to ask?

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.

It appears that Bernie’s justice values, which have their roots in Dr. Martin Luther King’s  civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, are the values of the American political future in the 21st-century.  That’s the conclusion I draw from the apparent fact that the younger generation of voters has enthusiastically embraced Bernie’s program.  Those voters are the future of democracy in America.

All Bernie is asking, is that the Democratic Party open its doors wide and welcome the young voters and the working-class voters who have supported him so enthusiastically.

He’s asking that the Democratic Party make clear that it is the party of social and economic justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.  He’s asking that the Democratic Party make it clear that it is the party of the working class, not the party of the privileged elite. It would be a tragic failure if the Democratic party concedes the working class vote to the Republicans, he said.

All he is saying is, “Give justice a chance.”

To an old baby boomer, that seems to echo the memorable chant:

“All we are saying, is give peace a chance.”

— John Hayden

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How Far The Republican Party Has Fallen

Let’s try to apply a little historical perspective to the 2016 election.

When Nelson Rockefeller, governor of New York, ran for the Republican nomination in 1964, his divorce and remarriage were considered to be disqualifying, in the eyes of many voters, especially Republican women.

Today, the presumptive Republican nominee for the highest office in the land is . . . Donald Trump? How many times has he been divorced? I forget. It doesn’t matter.

How America has changed in half a century! We were an intolerant society with overly rigid standards. We’ve become a society with no standards at all. We tolerate anything.

For Donald Trump, the charismatic chameleon, no standards apply. Nothing is too crude or too reckless. There are no limits to what the crowds will cheer for.

I wonder, what would President Eisenhower think of Donald Trump as commander-in-chief?

— John Hayden

 

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The Establishment, Including Cable TV, Wants To Prevent Bernie Sanders From Winning

Bernie Sanders said at the outset of the campaign that the Big-Money Establishment (my words) would resist his “political revolution” with all its power.

And now that Bernie has gained “the big M” — Momentum — with primary and caucus wins in Western states to match Hillary Clinton’s wins in the South, the pitched battle may be at hand.

I think the Establishment had assumed, until Bernie’s sweep of three western states last Saturday, that Hillary had a lock on the Democratic nomination.

This week, I believe, The Establishment is taking Bernie Sanders seriously. No one expected that voters would embrace Sanders with such enthusiasm and in such numbers.

The Big-Money Establishment certainly did not expect the little-money people to send in enough $27 donations to enable the Sanders “revolution” to outspend the Establishment-financed candidate at this point in the election.

Pundits on MSNBC “the place for politics” began to complain last night that Bernie Sanders might be able to “BUY” a big victory in Wisconsin. Imagine the nerve of the little people!

I do believe The Big-Money Establishment is beginning to panic. Just my opinion.

Buckle up and hang on tight. It might be a long, harrowing ride through Wisconsin and then the Eastern states.

Hillary won the South, Bernie won the West, the nominee is yet to be decided. If Bernie wins Wisconsin, by even one percentage point, the nomination will be decided in the East.

And in California.

— John Hayden

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