Beyond the Cusp

June 28, 2017

What Political Message Have Elections Taught?

 

What we need do is to seek out what politics or which politicians invigorated their electorate and the means and methods they used which proved more effective than the others did. To do this we need to look at elections of the Twenty-First Century starting with George W. Bush and ignoring third party candidates, as that has been the way of things. In the 2000 election, we saw George W. Bush running against Albert Gore. Both of these candidates are so exciting that we can refer to one as watching grass grow and the other as watching paint dry. When it all was over it came down to divining the desire of voters and hanging chads and a Supreme Court decision calling the circus to a close with the winner according to the final count before the bell rang being grass growing, George W. Bush. So, this was politics as it had been in the Twentieth Century, a form of politics which died in this century as it no longer plays in the climate of reality TV such as naked survival, alone in the worst climates on earth and we are waiting for the how long can you stay in a viper pit without being bit, losers are buried. How far is television from the Roman Colosseum?

 

The next election in 2004 we saw George W. Bush running for reelection against John F. Kerry. The most interesting item in this election also kind of explains who won and why. John Kerry’s middle name does not really start with an F, or it starts with an F, ends with an F, and is one letter long which is an F. John Kerry was running for the Senate in Massachusetts and decided that having the initials JFK would really help him sound more like John Fitzgerald Kennedy and gain some of the shine and famous recognition using the same initials as the most popular figure in Massachusetts politics. So, in his normal fashion of faking it, he faked three serious injuries for which he required Band-Aids to get three Purple Hearts within four months which he wrote up the recommendations himself and that got him sent home early, so adding the F to the middle of his name was child’s play for this faker. So, this was an election between grass growing and a liar and a fake who nobody believed or really trusted so grass growing won again, only bigger. Again, this election was old school and boring and nothing to see there either.

 

On we go to the 2008 elections and finally the start with the new age of American politics. Here we have a contest between Barack Hussein Obama and John Sidney McCain. John McCain was extremely competent in carrying on the Republican Party technique of being grass growing, and he did it extremely well, much to his detriment. The Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, was fireworks and all about the politics of you. This is where you are defined by policies which excite the younger voters as if they are excited with your policy positions, they will volunteer and climb the Himalayas if that is required to win. And unlike former generations where the young were not interested in politics, the latest couple of generations are all about policy and politics. They are idea driven and can be caught up in a good campaign if it makes them believe. Barack Obama had the idea of the first Black President which got the left wing all a titter and ready to make history, and for the older voters, it was the making history and proving they were not racist. But the youth, though exited by the mantra of first Black President, required much more. The youth needed to know what it was that Barack Obama was going to stand for and what drove him and were to be his policies. This was where he hit it out of the park. For the most part candidate Obama was whatever you wanted to believe, that was his love too. President Obama was the master manipulator of the thoughts of others. His eloquent and smooth delivery and the wording left everyone painting their own picture onto a blank canvas. Barack Obama masterfully would talk both sides of every issue he talked about leaving the listener to decide what they believed and then it appeared that so did Barack Obama. He was noncommittal talking in double circular ovals and squiggly lines leaving everyone assured that yes was maybe while no was why not and all of it was but wisps of smoke which when one finally emerged dizzied and befuddled they would soon decide that what they heard had to be what they wanted to hear and thus Barack Obama was all things to all people. There were those who realized that he was not standing for anything and they tried to call attention to the con-game being played by Barack Obama and you will never guess what they were called by the mainstream media. You might think they were called, “Racist,” but that would be exactly correct. Any discontent or criticism of Barack Obama was labeled as racist and bigoted thus being able to simply deflect any criticism and parry truthful accusations not allowing anything negative to be applied thus we witnessed the initial settling of the whole of the media with the smallest of exceptions aligned as the supportive propaganda arm for the Democrat Party. So, in the end we had a contrast between watching grass grow against a three-ring circus advertised as the greatest show on Earth. Guess which won. Nope, no watching grass grow, this time that lost and lost big. But do not let that shake the Republican Party because in 2012, they gave us watching grass grow once again in the form of Mitt Romney and got a repeat performance of 2008, they lost. So we had Barack Obama two in a row using excitement and selling political positions or the appearance thereof.

 

So, here we come to 2016 and all kinds of insanity. The Republicans came out with seventeen candidates. One was Jeb Bush who had more campaign funds than all the rest of the candidates combined. He was such a great example of watching grass grow that he never got past the first couple of primaries. The remaining candidates were various types of grass growing, some latex paint drying along with enamel paint and some good old oil paint drying, one serious former CEO, one world famous neurosurgeon and a circus barker. The nice thing was all of these candidates talked their best on policies and were pretty much all the same; well, except the circus barker who had policies mixed with ridiculous statements and tone of controversies. Guess who won? You got it, the circus barker won.

 

Meanwhile, over at the Democrat Party there were only two candidates, one was a traditional candidate and the other a wild eyed, far left, older politician who often screamed out policy positions and really wound up the young supporters and he was excited right along with his youthful supporters. This was an interesting primary where the wild, screaming policy-wonk started off really slow but caught fire about one-third the way into the primaries and with plenty of time to close. The standard and favored candidate started fine but bogged down in malaise and lack of feelings and absolutely little to no policy positions. Actually, this candidate spent much of the time fighting accusations of mishandling e-mails or misconduct of different varieties which questioned their character and trustworthiness. The wild leftist was closing and the supporters were getting wildly excited thinking they just might have a chance to win it all when the word came down, there were even more super delegates which consists of Senators and Representatives from Congress, members of the Democratic National Committee and notable Democrats, including such as former presidents and vice presidents and Democrats of note. This came to contain sufficient, apparently, numbers to assure that the conventional candidate wins because the Democrats already had their rallying cry, elect the first woman President.

 

The Democrats had zeroed in on one of the things which had won for President Obama, the theme of being the first Black President, thus Hillary would win as the first Woman President. They ignored the excitement the youth had for what they believed was a candidate who understood their concerns and knew the policies they desired. The Republican candidate who was cast as a clown and a carnival barker by the media, virtually all media uniformly could but laugh at candidate Donald Trump. So the scene is set, the stage lights on and the show begins. The campaign was one which was more incongruous, bizarre and incoherent as any we have ever witnessed, including the one in which we were participants as third party candidate for the District Eight in Maryland’s Seat in the United States Congress.

 

In this one, we had Hillary doing her best possible job of character assassination against Trump while he left the candidate assassination to the media and the realities of her history. Trump also relied on the media to carry his talking points as he mixed them with outrageous statements. The barker did do one thing different, and that was he talked purely message and positions on the economy, immigrations, terrorism and rebuilding the country to lead the free world again and he stuck with that message at every campaign rally which he did almost constantly. The other spent their time accusing the other of being unserious as a candidate who did not deserve to be President while she was due the office as the first Woman President plus she had done all the right things to be owed the Presidency. There was one report which nailed the reality and why Donald Trump won and this theory was, those who supported him ignored his Tweets and listened to his positions while the media ignored his positions and believed his Tweets.

 

Conclusion time for what does it take to be successful as a Presidential candidate in the Twenty First Century. The simple way to put it, you need to concentrate on message, message, message. The youth vote is the secret as they are also the volunteers which can carry a campaign. The youth in this generation realize that leadership of the nations, and possibly the world, is important and that it is your beliefs and positions on critical themes such as the economy, foreign policies and interactions which includes immigration, foreign interventions and the wisdom and what reasons it would take to cause the United States to send troops, what one would do in any situation which required an American response such as if a foreign nations crossed a “red line” or threatened an ally. These are questions they want to hear about but they also have some dangerous ideas themselves. Many youth still are in the grips of the socialist, anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist, rejectionist theories they were pumped with by their professors in university.

 

Many have not experienced sufficient situations in life to understand the long-term effects of some of their favorite pet policies. The most dangerous of these is fighting income inequity which they were told is a great evil. There is an easy way to point out the destructive effect of this idea, and that is to compare a ditch digger (which will soon be a robotic position along with almost all minimum wage positions) with a surgeon, we like to use brain surgeon. These positions would never be considered to be worthy of receiving equal pay thus are two positions which contain a huge income inequality. Much of income inequality is driven by knowledge, experience and responsibilities. These students have been told of CEO’s who make millions of dollars a year for making obvious decisions, or at least that is the way it is presented and their professors love to point out how the students themselves could make these same decisions given the opportunity. That is a lie as these professors have little if any idea what decisions managers make and there is a simple and necessary policy about managers. Managers need to earn close to or preferably more than those they manage and a CEO manages people who make six and seven figure incomes, make decisions which concern billions of dollars, make decisions which effect thousands of employees and with one swipe of the pen can cause ten thousand people to be fired or two thousand to be hired, all this also decides the health of their company. Often you will hear of a CEO who comes to a company, fires one third of the employees, closes three of the seven manufacturing plants, ends all but four of the company’s products and loses one-billion dollars the first year and only makes three-hundred million the next year and was lauded as a genius. This CEO was brought back to his company and where we may have a few points slightly wrong, the losses and gains in profits are accurate and the man saved the company, his name was Steve Jobs and the company was Apple.

 

What sounds like a failure may be an intelligent realignment as the slimming of a company to make it more competitive. Another person may have added employees and appeared to grow a company by making twice as many numbers of the same products but as sales collapsed that year he was a disaster. Another myth is that companies are in business to employ people. Wrong, the company is in business to make profits for their stockholders and that might require automation and reduction in workforce as McDonalds is in the process of trying to do. This idea of a $15.00/hr. minimum wage sounds wonderful unless you are seeking a starting position job because compared to current jobs, almost half of minimum wage jobs might disappear should the minimum wage be jumped by so much. Raising the minimum wage simply prices any number of jobs right out of the job market. How does that happen, don’t the companies have to keep somebody doing that job. Well, yes, and let me give you a great example. We will assume we own a shoe store which has a decent business and we have four full time sales people and five part time sales people and a stock person who also sweeps the stock room, vacuums after the store closes and keeps the stock room straight. Now some goody-goody decides to up the minimum wage by fifty percent. Well, now one of the full time sales people, the one closing the store which will often be the owner who will run the vacuum and clean the bathroom and runs the stock and there is no longer a stock person. We would also let at least one part time sales person go, the one with the lowest sales average and possibly one full time sales person and the owner would work opening to closing and might have their wife or one of their children work some hours when business peaked around Christmas. Now how did the raising of the minimum wage help the stock person? Are they making more money or are they making less.

 

What will almost doubling minimum wage do? Things have consequences and many of these consequences are not taught in university, they are learned in life and life is a very demanding instructor. Those of us who are fortunate never have life teaching them many lessons; those are truly blessed people who need to be thankful for their life. Automation and robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems are going to alter the job market drastically and the higher the minimum wage is placed the faster many jobs will disappear. For a good example one need look no further than auto manufacturing. There used to be near to if not over one hundred people on an assembly line which made maybe twenty cars a day way back when. Now there are less than twenty people on an entire assembly line including sub-assemblies which we did not count in the above description and these lines can put out twenty cars an hour and within the next twenty years the number will drop to under ten and even five while even more cars will be produced. This is reality and as we know the ATM machines led to less tellers at the bank and the ones there are usually bored stiff and many banks have management level people who are also assigned to do teller position work when volume required such. Also, ditch diggers have been replaced by a backhoe, twenty diggers, gone. This will become true for every job even to lawyers and auditors as AI takes ever-greater powers.

 

ATM vs. Bank Teller

ATM vs. Bank Teller

 

Some jobs have been altered drastically by modern technology. Auto mechanics now must be trained on diagnostic equipment and specialized tools and how to handle electronic ignitions and make adjustments through programming the modules in the engine and elsewhere. Wrenches, well they are still required as are screw drivers but hammers are a thing of the past, well, not completely, just do not get caught adjusting anything with a hammer if you like your job. Trains no longer need anyone to drive them as they are becoming automated, even the subways as they modernize. There will soon be automated trucks driving the roads and there will be automated cab drivers and in our lifetimes, we should live the necessary twenty to thirty years, all cars will be automated and selecting human driver will have your car emit a signal and do not be surprised if you get additional scrutiny by police just waiting for you to make a human mistake. Eventually driving a car will be illegal which will make life interesting. Your windows will be computer screens which can show you anything except where your car is going, as they do not wish to scare you to death. Fully automated roads will have no traffic signals and the cars will speak to one another and miss each other by millimeters and it will presumably be safer than it is now. Things are going to start becoming unrecognizable and for many our age it already has. When the AI gets to the point that it can design the next generation AI and can design the manufacture of the next generation AI we had best practice our best puppy dog begging eyes and being really cute as our place will be as the robot’s pet. Hopefully somewhere they will place in the robotic basic program along with the twenty (the original were three) Isaac Asimov Laws (but I-robot showed the problem with his laws so we are guessing it will take a few more) includes one which requires every robot to have at least one human pet it cares for and that the number of human pets is a status symbol. The changes are coming and humans are soon to be as obsolete as dogs presumably are to the running of any city, we may require a few but those will be replaced with robot dogs real soon.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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