Sunday, November 6, 2016

Last Thoughts before Tuesday

We're hearing coyotes again, howling furiously before dawn and after sunset. Fewer hummingbirds are wintering over this year. The golden eagle visited with us for an hour Saturday. None care about the election; many humanoids don't either, for understandable reasons; but it will affect all of us.

Either you see the many serious ways that Donald Trump is an inappropriate and dangerous Presidential candidate or you don't. The lengthy New York Daily News editorial lists the grim facts better than I could.

Clinton is surely imperfect, but she's highly competent and experienced. And her girlish idealism still shines through sometimes.

Many decent people feel so aggrieved by their lives that they'll accept Trump's racism and sexism because he's a giant middle-finger they can give the system. If the system ain't working for you, why not toss in a huge monkey wrench? Mainstream Democrats and Republicans should learn from the huge support that folks gave a septuagenarian socialist from Vermont and a greedy, narcissistic TV clown from New York.

But Donald can only compound our problems.

A vote for Gary Johnson (a Koch Brothers' dream) or Jill Stein is a vote to risk a Trump Presidency that would set us back years. It's a vote for sexism and ethnic prejudice. It's a vote to keep ignoring climate change, and let corporations do as they like with our air, land, and water. (I wish hummingbirds and eagles could vote!)

James Comey's October surprises shouldn't influence you. There was no criminal prosecution over Hillary's emails because no one had intended to betray the U.S. or pass classified material to enemies. That won't change because the FBI reviews Anthony Weiner's copies of emails the FBI has probably seen already. 

Sure, Hillary violated a rule – as had previous secretaries of state; but Donald's whole life is a tapestry of greedy rule-bending, bankruptcies that hurt people, and prosecutions for racist actions. And he faces an imminent trial for defrauding students with the Trump University scam. 

I urge you to vote for Merrie Lee Soules. She'd be a breath of fresh air in Congress. 

Closer to home, Susana Martinez, Jay McCleskey, the oil and gas industry, and their allies are trying to give Martinez a pliable Legislature that will do her bidding without any critical thinking. Sadly, that's how the Republicans have behaved for six years. Unless you like her style – avoiding key issues and playing politics, without even trying to keep the State's credit rating from going down – you might wish to vote for the Democrats for the Legislature. 

There are strong reasons to defeat each of those Republican legislative candidates. Terry McMillan, reportedly a fine doctor, not only does the bidding of oil and gas but shortchanges us on a key part of the job, interim committees, because of the demands of his medical practice. Democrat Joanne Ferrary has a history of public service and is capable and experienced. McMillan's approval of the smear campaign against her is another point against him.

Democrat Nathan Small is a wonderful person capable of representing this area with particular integrity and ability, while his opponent, incumbent Andy Nuñez, faces a serious ethics investigation and seems to be compounding his problems with his frenetic efforts to deny everything and repeatedly amend his financial reports. 

Rudy Martinez was a strong representative in District 39. Current incumbent John Zimmerman follows the oil and gas playbook and gets terrible ratings on conservation. 

County offices? As I wrote weeks ago, I voted for Republican treasurer candidate Jill Johnson and Democrat Scott Krahling for clerk.

But whomever you like, do vote!

[The column above appeared in the Las Cruces Sun-News this morning, Sunday, 6 November 2016, and on the newspaper's website, as well as (presently) the the KRWG-TV website.]

[I won't add a bunch of further comments here.  I do urge folks to vote for Merrie Lee Soules for Congress, Mark D'Antonio for District Attorney, and John Vasquez for the County Commission.  Ms. Soules mixes a businesswoman's skills with a progressive's heart, while the less said about her opponent, Congressman Steve Pearce, the better.  I don't know John Vasquez well, but he seems a solid sort of fellow, progressive but independent.]
[I think Hillary will win, both here and nationally; but FBI Director Comey's October Surprise has helped make it close.  While I understand the impulse to vote for an outsider, any outsider, rather than conventional leaders from the two political parties, I do fear a Trump Presidency.  Add his incompetence to his temperament, narcissm, greed, and impulsiveness, and you have a pretty poor choice to deal with the many problems of the world.    Add to that the folks around him -- from the "Alt-Right" extremist wing of the Republican Party -- and you have a mix for disaster, particularly if we also have a Republican Congress.  Too, we would get a disastrously one-sided Supreme Court and lose valuable time to mount a last-minute challenge to the worst effects of global weirdness.   It would also (although many, many Trump supporters are non-violent and non-haters) give license to some of the worst and most xenophobic elements of our society.  Further, the Russia connection is not a joke.  Putin is not only the leader of a major country we need to keep in check, but he's a vicious and greedy dictator who's stifled dissent and robbed his own people blind.  That Trump admires him is a further clue to Trump's own character; and that Putin is actively supporting Trump is significant.  I don't think he and Trump have talked to each other or connived together or anything; but I can guarantee Putin ain't supporting Trump because he has our national interest or the world's welfare at heart.  (If you haven't followed this, here's a recent piece on called Why Putin Helps Trump and What It Means.  I have found thehill a useful source recently, because it has contributors from all over the political landscape, including some passionate supporters of Mr. Trump.  Some of its contributors infuriate me.  Some are highly credentialed.)  Whether Mr. Putin sees in Mr. Trump a kindred spirit who can be led if you play him the right way (which I see too) or simply fears Hillary I can't say; but Putin's clear interest in having us elect Trump is one more good reason not to!]

[And, again, the Democrats have a quite good set of folks running for the Statehouse.  The Republicans have folks who range from "mediocre but well-meaning" to outright bad; and what they have in common is a commitment to oil and gas (and similar) interests at the expense of the environment and the interests of average voters like you and me.]

[I just noticed that the Sun-News endorsed Pearce this morning.  (Note later in the day: my wife reminds me that this endorsement was made a few weeks ago, just reprinted today; I must have noticed it the first time -- although I've been awfully busy.  Senior moment, maybe?)  Much as I like and respect the Editorial Board (at least, two members I know and work with; I have no positive or negative opinion of the third, whom I haven't met), and grateful as I am to be a columnist, I obviously disagree, and inserted an on-line comment.  The Sun-News emphasizes that Pearce keeps getting elected and that he has more experience in Congress than Soules. 
Initially, the editorial is a little dishonest on one point.  The editorial purports to explain "why he keeps getting re-elected" but omits the key reason, which is the massive bankroll he gets from oil and gas and other such interests, from inside the district and elsewhere. 
As to experience, if I were trying to get to Santa Fe I'd prefer a relatively inexperienced driver over one who would capably drive me to Phoenix instead, and smoke in the car the whole way. Pearce's conduct regarding the budget (and being willing to stop the government, costing us a lot of money, to make a political statement he knows will be ineffective) shows the nation's interest and ours are not at the top of his priority list, and it ain't fiscal conservatism.  Further, Pearce is in effect a climate-change denier, following the old tobacco industry playbook by saying perpetually that "we need more study of the issue" then bringing in completely unqualified and discredited hacks to pretend they're scientists and spout the oil-and-gas script.   (Pearce also appears to be Trump supporter who's a little appalled by Trump but hasn't the political guts to say so.)
I don't know what the Sun-News folks were thinking of, but it's hard to believe good government was a major criteria.  But of course, I'd vote for my cat or a stray coyote against Pearce.]

No comments:

Post a Comment