The Song Remains The Same (Not)

Continuing to watch the live-action train wreck that is the American Primary season, I have come to this inescapable conclusion:
The next person who tells me that “both parties are the same” is going to get punched.

Because that’s how you make America great again, by inciting violence in politics.

Donald Trump is the crop that the Republican party has been nurturing for the past 30+ years. Unfortunately for them they thought they planted carrots but what showed up – once unearthed – was a big potato. A really ugly potato. A lumpy, smelly, hard to swallow potato; discolored on the outside but oh-so-white on the inside.

When I used to post politics on Facebook, I tried not to argue with friends who, in their uninformed opinion, stated both parties were equally guilty. I tried to challenge them to find the truth on their own by suggesting they look up Congressional voting records. The voting record is fact, not opinion; when your duly elected politician repeatedly votes down bills that would ultimately help the American people but supports corporate welfare and big oil subsidies, then you are a huge part of the problem of why this country is off track. You are willfully ignorant and prefer snappy comebacks to real data.

And real data is another factor of why we have such diverse politics. Those who support Trump could care less about statistics, videos of violence at Trump rallies, the hateful speeches that he gives. They don’t care. Donald Trump is correct that he could shoot someone in broad daylight with thousands of witnesses and it would not hurt his popularity at all. In the eyes of his supporters, he can do no wrong. People see him as their leader and they will ignore anything that disproves them. You will never convince them how bad a choice this man is for President of the United States. And this is why I stopped posting politics on Facebook; you will never convince people who are passionate to change their minds. Logic and reason do not work.

I do give Trump credit for making some statements that are true. The American people are angry; they’ve lost their jobs, their homes, their retirement, things are not as good (financially) as they used to be, the world is changing. He correctly blames Wall Street and bloated corporations for creating income inequality. However, Trump also blames the poor, immigrants, Muslims, and basically anyone who isn’t white. He stokes up this anger to fuel hatred towards those who have had nothing to do with the fall of America. He soaks up the applause and praise from his followers as if it is ambrosia, and then he doubles-down on the hate rhetoric to continue the flow.

For as much as the media has been vilified by Trump, they continue to follow him and give him air time. Not so much for the other candidates. Equal Time, an archaic practice that early television gave to Presidential candidates, has disappeared from our “fair and balanced” news reporting. Even the head of CBS thinks Trump is great due to all the advertising dollars the company reaps whenever they report on the candidate. The other candidates are ghosts as far as the media is concerned; The Donald is opening the floodgates of money to those who should be watchdogs.

And we all know that guard dogs fail when someone gives them a steak as a distraction.

Now for the good part of all this.

This unprecedented hatred in American politics has energized those who are being marginalized. Those groups that Trump bashes are now joining forces and working peacefully to stop the message of hate. The shutdown of Trump’s Chicago rally showed that by working together, good can overcome evil. We are all getting a history lesson on how Nazi Germany came to be in the 1930s, and many are doing their utmost to make sure that it never happens again. Young people are energized, people who have chosen not to vote in past elections (and helped to bring about a candidate like Donald Trump because doing nothing helps evil flourish), and groups with different agendas have found a common enemy.

So as comedian Bill Engvall so eloquently put it, “here’s your sign” that both parties are nowhere near the same.

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