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Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Man Hears What He Wants to Hear

This song lyric has never been truer than it is today.

"A man hears what he wants to hear, and disregards the rest." ~ Paul Simon, The Boxer

There is indeed a segment of the electorate who voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential election because his rhetoric matched their own wants and desires, hope and fears. He said he'd Make America Great Again and the people wanted to be on the great side. He altered the phrase to be "Safe Again" and they wanted to be safe. The only thing is America has never been any more or less great than it is today nor is it any less safe than it has ever been. Trump's rhetoric implies that foreign nationals are a significant threat to American's safety even though zero refugees have committed a serious crime against any Americans. Comment below if you have facts to challenge that assertion.

The anti-gun safety lobby and their NRA followers love to point out that automobile drivers kill more Americans than anyone with a gun. No argument there. They love to point out that Cheeseburgers are far more deadly than a gun with the annual death toll counted in the hundreds of thousands. Again no argument. Even hospital stays kill more than 400,000 people every year due to sepsis. This post is not a gun legislation debate but one to point out that Legislators and Chief Executives typically focus on the wrong aspects of an issue. They do it because the misdirection gives them a better position.

Voters heard the cry of the desire to bring back jobs to Americans. While that is an admirable goal, the part that was not heard was those jobs would be paying less than the living wages needed to live in the United States. GOP-controlled Legislatures are adamantly against the minimum wage or increasing it from $7.35 per hour. They are strongly against organized labor which could help workers get better pay, health insurance and necessary time off. They want to make it legal for a business to discriminate against employing certain people due to an alleged religious basis. All those jobs will be no better and sometimes worse than being on the welfare rolls.

They heard the hue and cry that "government regulations were crippling small business". The Trump Administration remedy is to repeal two regulations for every one new one. What they fail to see is that those government regulations were actually protecting them in their home and on their properties. Consider the chicken farmer who finds that treating the chicken manure is too costly. Without regulations he merely flushes the chicken crap into the local stream and leave it up to the downstream neighbors to deal with it.

Cutting environmental regulations is paramount to the GOP Legislatures across the nation. But each of those regulations has previously brought us back from a cataclysmic degradation of the air, land and water. Every one of the existing regulations lowers the cost of cleanup that must be borne by the taxpayers as the result of allowing a profit making business to neglect his wastes and dump it in his neighbors' yards.

In short, every call to limit a "bloated big government" is dog whistle for making it easier to foist the cost of doing a profitable business onto everyone else in the name of a "thriving economy." Everyone can drive twice as far on a tank of gas if they are not planning to return home. 

Cutting immigrants from SNAP (aka Food Stamps) sounds like a great cost savings until you consider that one, immigrants don't get Food Stamp, and two the food Stamp program is less that 1.55 of the national budget. Drug testing recipients of welfare funds get the knees jerking but previous implementation proves the cost of testing exceeds the savings.

Securing the vote is what Republican voters heard to keep non-citizens from voting but the practices put in place actually stopped upwards of 7 million qualified voters from casting their ballots legitimately.

None of the misleading rhetoric was a mistake. It was all part of the PLAN, the Plan to get more GOP led states contrary to the diminished population of voters and constituents who need government assistance to challenge the hurdles put before them by business interests who want the money for themselves. 

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