Diatribes of Jay

This is a blog of essays on public policy. It shuns ideology and applies facts, logic and math to economic, social and political problems. It has a subject-matter index, a list of recent posts, and permalinks at the ends of posts. Comments are moderated and may take time to appear. Note: Profile updated 4/7/12

01 August 2016

Six Reasons to Vote Dem for Every Office


Introduction
1. Broken infrastructure
2. Broken government
3. Extortion
4. Dismissal of Science
5. Broken democracy
6. Broken markets
Conclusion

Introduction

This election is not about Hillary. It’s not even about Trump, although he’s the least qualified person—by experience, character and basic decency—ever to run for our presidency. It’s about throwing off a bit of political/economic insanity that, for two generations, has made our nation much weaker and more backward than it should be.

For all that time, the GOP has demonized government. Whatever the question (besides war), it has told us that government is not the answer. So you don’t have to think, not even for a second. If it involves government or government expense, just vote “no.”

Does real life work like that? It is ever so devilishly simple? When a salesman tries to sell you a bottle of goo as a cure for all ills, don’t you slam the door in his face?

For a generation, the GOP has told us that we would all be better off we just drowned government in a bathtub and let the private sector take over. So we continue to have recessions and near-depressions that government could have prevented or could have resolved much more quickly and easily. That includes the Crash of 2008.

America’s dirty little secret is that a partnership between government and the private sector is the source of our success. Government stabilizes our economy when private markets fail. It keeps private actors from undermining the public good by harming people and families for profit. It stops orgies of greed and stupidity like the one that caused the Crash of 2008. It invests in things, like infrastructure, that the private sector won’t invest in because the time line is too long, the investment seems too risky, or powerful parts of the private sector want to kill the investment because it would compete with entrenched industries like tobacco or fossil fuels.

And when the private sector fails to provide jobs because private business people are too cautious, too risk averse, or too scared by “uncertainty,” government creates jobs for ordinary people. It hires and retains them as infrastructure builders, entrepreneurs whom the private sector won’t finance, teachers, fire-fighters, police and people who help the down and out.

In short, government works to keep our private sector healthy by making it work for the common good and by investing in innovation, jobs and construction when the private sector is dysfunctional and won’t or can’t.

One big part of the “drown government” insanity is a bogeyman, a scarecrow that the GOP has used to terrify unthinking Yanks. It’s the specter of “socialism.”

But like all bogeymen, this one is a phantom. The hard truth is that there is no serious socialist in power anywhere in America, let alone any Communist. Not Obama, not Bernie, and certainly not Hillary.

Why is that so? Because “socialism” has a very clear and simple definition. It’s an economic system in which the government owns and controls the means of production. It’s a system in which there is no private enterprise, and the government runs everything.

No one in America wants that. No one. Not the craziest “lefty” in the tiniest fringe party. For we all know how important the private sector is, in providing jobs in normal times, in promoting innovation, and in securing (in start-ups and small companies) the kind of industrial innovation that government is simply too slow and ponderous to create.

Free enterprise is as American as apple pie, the source of most (but not all!) of our wealth, and our Yankee credo. So anyone who claims that socialism is taking over and undermining our way of life is telling a lie.

Even in health care, no American has proposed that government take over hospitals, doctors’ offices or medical groups. All that Bernie has proposed, as a “Democratic socialist,” is that government provide an alternative health insurer—a single one among all the private insurers. He has done so because, for something as complex and special as health insurance, competition doesn’t work. What matters is how big the insurance pool is, and how low the costs of administering it. Even on his most lefty days, Bernie doesn’t want to kill free enterprise; he just wants to break the big banks up to make them compete better (or at all). That’s making free enterprise work better, not killing it.

And then there are all the things that government did or does that the private sector can’t or won’t. There’s a long list, quite apart from the obvious task of defending the homeland.

Here, for example, is a partial list of things that our own US government introduced, invented or subsidized when private industry wouldn’t: (1) synthetic rubber, called “neoprene” (to replace natural rubber after Japan took the Malaysian rubber fields in WWII); (2) atomic weapons and nuclear energy; (3) high-altitude flight and cabin pressurization; (4) air traffic control, without which the present rate of global air travel would be impossible; (5) space travel, including to the Moon; (6) vaccines against smallpox, which have nearly wiped it out; (7) vaccines against polio; (8) the Internet; (8) our CDC (which supports medical research and development that the private sector won’t, and which offers the world’s best health-care website to all humanity, for free); (9) vaccines against ebola; (10) monitoring of and science about the zika virus, including how it works, whom it infects, and with what effect; (11) cataloguing national and worldwide statistics on energy sources and production and useful minerals, and make them available worldwide, for free, through such agencies as our US Geological Survey and our Energy Information Administration; (12) researching and monitoring industrial accidents and health hazards to workers, with a view to mitigating them (OHSA, CDC); and (13) protecting our environment, especially the thin layer of atmosphere that supports all life on Earth (EPA, NOAA).

So government does an enormous amount of stuff, without which our modern life would be vastly different, far more primitive and far more painful. So how does the GOP get off telling us that we’d all be better off if we drowned it in a bathtub?

It has gotten off, for two generations, by playing on our selfishness. “It’s your money!” Ronald Reagan told us. So did Dubya. What they and the GOP declined to tell us was how much we get for our taxes, and how much sicker, more injured, poorer, less advanced and less well informed we would be without what our taxes pay for.

The GOP has played on this simplistic mantra for a long time. But now the mantra is played out. How can you tell? Because Trump has stolen the lie.

He stole it fair and square, and now he’s shifted it just enough to maintain credibility. He’s recognized that the trade treaties we’ve made over the last generation—which allow the private sector worldwide to dominate and subvert government—have not made us all better off. Instead, they are killing the middle class, not just here in America, but in Britain and the EU, too.

And they are fostering global concentrations of economic power in private hands of which the world has not seen the like for over a century. That’s where the danger is today, not in government, at least not in the West. The danger is of private power stronger and freer than nations’. Our Constitution with its checks and balances protects us only against government, not against the plutocrats; Thomas Jefferson wanted to include a prohibition against monopolies in our Bill of Rights, but he failed to garner enough support.

It would be one thing if the GOP had just tried to sell us a bogus theory, a fraudulent world view. But that’s not all it did. It has tried to promote its nonsense by neglecting our infrastructure and starving our economy, by extortion, by government shutdowns, and by suppressing votes. Let’s take a look.

1. Broken infrastructure.

What is “infrastructure”? It’s the stuff we Yanks all take for granted, or at least we used to. It’s things like roads, bridges, highways, sewers, sewage-disposal systems, water supplies, electricity supplies, the Internet (which we invented and gave to the world), ports and ships, our airports, and our air traffic control system.

The members of our American Society of Civil Engineers design, build and maintain “infrastructure.” About nine years ago, they began to warn us that ours is falling apart. Today, it’s falling apart enough to require $3.6 trillion dollars of investment by 2020 just to keep it operating and maintain it. Improving it would cost much more. And so we have things like bridges falling down in Minneapolis and Oregon, natural gas explosions in New York City, lead in Flint’s water, polluted water in West Virginia, airplanes disappearing without a trace, and the Airline Pilots Association telling us our air traffic control system is obsolete and beginning to look dangerous.

Investing in infrastructure is a “no-brainer.” It provides jobs, immediately. It has immediate beneficial effects on business and everyday life. And those beneficial effects can last for decades or centuries, as long as the roads, bridges, etc. last.

So why haven’t we even done the stuff that our civil engineers tell us we need to do just to make our infrastructure whole and safe? Because the GOP would like to privatize it but doesn’t know how.

There’s a reason why Republicans don’t know how. As any economist will tell you, infrastructure is part of the “commons.” It benefits all of us, and we all need it; but no private party likes to pay for something that benefits someone else. Also, our infrastructure is incredibly complicated: roads and railways interact; sewage plants need electric power; we all need clean water to live; and so does industry. So infrastructure has to be a product of government because we all use it, we all need it, no one wants to provide public benefits for free, and its proper design requires incredibly complicated planning and execution that only government has the size, expertise and lack of ulterior motives to perform.

So “privatizing” infrastructure is neither practical nor beneficial, except perhaps in specific, limited cases, such as toll bridges. What the GOP has done for nearly a generation is to place its unproven and largely fraudulent theory ahead of the public welfare and government systems that we know work because we’ve used them for two centuries.

So if there are too many potholes in your road, if your bridges fall down, if you can’t trust the purity of your drinking water, or if you smell sewage where you shouldn’t, you know whom to blame. The party that has put its untested and improbable theory, and private greed, ahead of the public’s and the nation’s needs is at fault.

Infrastructure is not rocket science. Except for the big-picture planning (which requires all the disinterested resources of government), it’s plodding stuff. But it has to be done, made and maintained. For half a generation it hasn’t, and the primary culprits are in the GOP.

So if you want good infrastructure and the jobs it brings, vote Dem, from Hillary all the way down to dog-catcher.

2. Broken government.

Everyone knows that the United States’ government is broken. It can’t seem to pass any significant piece of legislation, let alone improve our infrastructure or get the national economy going again.

Why is that so? This time, the answer is quite simple. We Yanks no longer have a democracy, at least if “democracy” means majority rule.

We have minority rule in both Houses of Congress. In the Senate, we have anarchy, in which a single Senator can “hold” any piece of legislation and any judicial or Executive appointment without even letting the public know who he or she is and what he or she is doing.

Who’s responsible? Well, both parties are to some extent. But the GOP is the party that raised filibusters in the Senate from rare occurrences to routine legislative ploys. More important, the GOP invented minority rule in the House and now uses it routinely. (It’s the so-called “Hastert Rule,” named for the former GOP Speaker recently accused of molesting young boys. It requires a majority of the (now GOP) House majority to bring any bill to the floor for a vote. Roughly, that means that 26% of the House’s members, if Republicans, can “veto” any legislation.)

So the GOP is largely responsible for today’s gridlock. It’s also responsible for the way the gridlock has been used—to advance the particular policies and interests of the South, the Tea Party’s origin and main constituency. Our South constitutes about one-third of us, whether by population or GDP. So the GOP has put the interests of a particular region—which just happens to include our least industrialized, most backward, and least educated states—above the interests of the nation as a whole.

We also know who’s responsible for gridlock because the GOP told us so. Under current circumstances and future demographics, it’s unlikely ever to win a presidential election again. But it keeps telling us to vote GOP for Congress so as to provide a “check” on Democratic excesses.

In normal times, a “check” would be fine. But these are not normal times. In practice and in planning, the GOP’s “check” is not a check at all. It’s not a means for forcing compromise, for example, on budgets, taxes or government programs, for the GOP has lost all taste for compromise. Instead, it has become a means of forcing increasingly radical changes in our nation by threatening to shut it down. And so we come to our next topic: extortion.

3. Extortion.

Every voter should take time to review the history of recent GOP-controlled Congresses. Since the GOP House takeover in 2010, we’ve had actual shutdowns of the federal government. We’ve come as close to a real default on our nation’s debt—the economic equivalent of nuclear Armageddon—as we’ve ever come.

What was the cause of these self-induced catastrophes? Was it a national or global crisis? Was it an invasion from outer space?

Not hardly. The GOP simply didn’t get it’s way on an increasingly radical program of drowning the federal government in a bathtub. So it acted like any good Mafia don and threatened to break our national kneecaps.

The President didn’t fold in this high-stakes game of chicken. He called the GOP’s bluff. And with his strategic political brilliance, he put the blame where it belonged: on the GOP. So John Boehner quit as Speaker in disgust, and the GOP as a whole slipped further into the clutches of the good ol’ Southern bubbas from the Tea Party.

But if you think extortion isn’t continuing, you haven’t been paying attention. Before Congress’ summer recess, there was an attempt to pass a comprehensive bill to fund the battle against the zika virus and the mosquitos that carry it.

That attempt failed. Why? Because the GOP inserted provisions in the bill to keep any money from it out of the hands of Planned Parenthood, the national women’s-health organization. That organization just happens to be the one that best serves the pregnant women and their babies who are the primary victims of zika. It’s especially dominant in Puerto Rico, where zika is now endemic, approaching pandemic.

Why did the GOP want to cut Planned Parenthood out? Not for any reason to do with zika or public health. It wanted to pander to its “base.” For years, the GOP has demonized Planned Parenthood because a small part of its work involves providing and supporting abortion clinics.

Now let’s be clear. The Koch Brothers and other major GOP backers, by and large, don’t give a damn about abortion clinics or Planned Parenthood. All they want is their taxes lowered and regulations killed, so that they and the huge businesses they control can do what they please, and do it yet more profitably.

But if they let the public know what they really intend, they might lose elections. So, instead, they demagogue the issue of abortion. They hope to attract the votes of people who have no hope of understanding the economy but don’t like the idea of “killing babies.” And, in the past at least, they have often succeeded.

So here’s what we had this summer. The CDC, which has all the doctors and scientists, wanted money to fight zika in the most effective way that science suggests. There was bipartisan consensus that the CDC ought to get that money.

But along came the Tea Party and GOP political “operatives,” saying, in effect, “we can use this urgent need to extort a concession injuring Planned Parenthood, and we can use that concession to demagogue our base.” They didn’t much care that Planned Parenthood is likely to be one of the most effective organizations in fighting the disease and communicating its risks to women, the disease’s primary victims. They also didn’t seem to care that Planned Parenthood is in fact one of the GOP’s own holy of holies: a private organization, separate from government.

So what do we have now? The CDC estimates that 40% of Puerto Ricans eventually will be exposed to zika, i.e., have zika-ridden mosquitos bite them. We just had the first scientific evidence of mosquito transmission of zika in Florida. And the CDC has no special money to fight the disease because the GOP wanted to use that money as an opportunity to extort a political concession to pander to its base.

If you want this kind of nonsense to stop, you should vote Dem, all up and down your ballot.

4. Dismissal of Science.

The zika story brings us to the next reason to vote Dem. Our nation’s greatness is built on science and technology. We Yanks aren’t so great in literature, mathematics, classical music or fundamental science. When the GOP killed our nascent Superconducting Super-Collider (even in Texas!), high-energy physics migrated back to Europe, with its Large Hadron Collider, where it had been born before World War II. (We got Europe’s best physicists when they fled the Nazi empire for a safe and peaceful place to live and think.)

But our quick adoption and practical use of science have made us Yanks supreme in war, commerce and peace since World War II. Science and technology gave us, among many other things, atomic weapons, nuclear energy, space travel, the Internet, and modern medicine, including organ transplants, MRIs, CAT scans, PET scans, and other modern medical “miracles.”

But just like the Soviets in their day, the GOP disses science when its conclusions don’t fit its preconceived ideology or the special interests of its backers. For example, like Soviet commissars insisting that scientists tow the party line, Dubya’s political minions required the Surgeon General of the United States to mention Dubya three times per page in each of his public speeches.

For about a decade now, Fox and the other GOP propaganda machines have disputed and confused the entire field of climate science in order to protect the interests of their fossil-fuel backers. They do this while, as this blog has calculated (see 1, 2 and 3), solar arrays, which produce no pollution or carbon, are the cheapest means of generating electricity known to humankind.

The scientists at CDC and elsewhere have told us how much money they need to put up a credible and effective fight against zika in our own country. The GOP “operatives” who killed the funding bill may or may not have believed in the science of zika. But one thing is clear: whether or not they believed in science, they believed more in finding a way to pander to their base and to continue using abortion as a wedge issue. The fight against zika was “collateral damage,” along with all the babies whose lives will be destroyed before we take zika seriously.

In other words, the GOP put politics over science, as usual. The irony is that the GOP’s most extremist Tea-Party elements come precisely from the hot, coastal Southern states that are most at risk from zika. This fact is all of a piece with the GOP states that voted against Obamacare and tried so hard to repeal it: many were precisely the ones with the largest percentage of population having no or inadequate health insurance.

If you want this nonsense to stop, too, and if you want to return to an America that believes in science and acts on it, vote Dem from top to bottom.

5. Broken democracy.

From ancient Greece and Rome to the present day, democracy has been pretty simple. The people or their elected representatives get together. They debate and discuss. Then they vote, and the majority rules.

Not so in the United States today. Minorities rule both Houses of Congress, and individual senators can stop government in its tracks, at their whim, anonymously in secret. If you didn’t know this was America, you might be excused for thinking it a system designed by Stalin.

Who’s responsible? Both parties have indulged at times, but the statistics and recent history all point their fingers at the GOP.

What’s more, there’s solid recent evidence that the GOP is trying to subvert democracy in order to retain power as a minority party. The evidence involves vote suppression.

What are the ploys? Well, the most effective so far is so-called “voter ID” laws. GOP “operatives” swear, with a straight face, that these laws are all about so-called “voter fraud.”

Yet there is no evidence of so-called voter fraud, other than in a handful of cases. Why? Think about it. Suppose you go to the polls, pretending to be someone else. What happens if the real person whom you impersonated shows up? What happens if he already has? A dispute will ensue; your vote will not be counted; and you might go to jail. So there’s no simply no percentage in so-called “voter fraud.”

More to the point, if you want to defraud an election, you don’t do it retail, with a handful of individual frauds (the most ever proven in any state). You do it wholesale, up the line, where the votes are counted and tallied. There, you can fake vote changes in the thousands or tens of thousands, which is what you need in modern elections, without knowing the closeness of the count in advance. Even if you were a diabolical anti-democratic plotter seeking to win elections by fraud, you wouldn’t do it voter by voter.

So in fact, there is no such thing as “voter fraud,” at least at a level any citizen or public official ought to worry about. But there is plenty of evidence that voter-ID laws disenfranchise tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of otherwise eligible voters.

Those denied the right to vote are mostly poor people, old people and minorities. These groups of voters tend to vote Democratic. So the reason for the voter ID laws is now self-evident: to give the GOP a partisan advantage by keeping lots of otherwise eligible Democratic voters from voting. That’s precisely what a North Carolina judge held last week in striking down most of a voter-ID law as racially discriminatory not just in effect, but in intent.

The Dems don’t do this. They want everyone to vote, and they want to make voting easier. So if you want to cut this anti-democratic nonsense, vote Dem from president to city council.

6. Broken markets.

A few years ago, then Fed chief Alan Greenspan let our nation slide into the Crash of 2008 because he believed broken markets would fix themselves. He was wrong, and he so admitted. His belief that everything would right itself was not so far from the “best of all possible worlds” French optimism that Voltaire had ridiculed thirty years before the French Revolution.

Like everything else that we humans do or make, markets fail. When they do, people lose jobs and income. In extreme cases, people can starve. Our “safety nets” left over from the Great Depression have mostly kept that from happening. But the suicide rate among the middle class is soaring and its life span is decreasing, for the first time since we had reliable statistics.

When that happens, should we just let people suffer, saying it’s all “the will of God” or succumbing meekly to our fate?

That’s not the American way. In the past, whenever that’s happened government has come to the rescue. You know, government, that awful thing that the GOP wants to drown in a bathtub. In fact, that’s the best part of the government-private sector partnership that, until recently, has made our nation’s the world’s biggest and strongest economy and kept it there despite challenges from the likes of Japan, China and Germany.

Here’s how government once worked to fix broken markets. In the Great Depression, unemployment soared to about 25%. Bankers and investors were jumping out of windows in skyscrapers, and ordinary people were starving or in bread lines.

Enter FDR. With an alphabet soup of new federal agencies, he created jobs for ordinary people. They did honest, hard work, cleaning up our cities, maintaining and expanding our infrastructure, developing our national parks, and even creating federally-subsidized art.

Was this work artificial? Maybe. Might it have been better done in the private sector? Maybe. But the private sector was paralyzed by fear and uncertainty and wasn’t creating any jobs. So the government did, using our tax money.

What were the results? Well, millions of people who might otherwise have starved or committed suicide could work and support themselves and their families. They had money to spend on the products and services of private business, and they did. Slowly, steadily, the nation picked itself up from its prone position and began to emerge from the Great Depression.

And if you think it all was “make work,” go to any of our many national parks. There, more likely than not, you will find a plaque attached to a monument, lodge, museum or series of trails, saying that men from FDR’s “Works Progress Administration” built them.

This is how “Keynesian economics” works. And it does work. When broken private markets can’t provide jobs and support the economy, government can and does.

Sure, its doing so drives up the deficit. But eventually the money in circulation cures the recession or depression, tax revenues rise, and the deficit recedes. Without the government’s help, there would have been a good chance of a downward spiral continuing toward economic collapse.

The real proof of the pudding is something that most people don’t think of as an economic phenomenon at all: World War II. Humanity’s most terrible war provoked the most explosive expansion of government in our history. Five million people joined our armed forces and were paid directly by the federal government. Our entire industry shifted from civilian cars and trucks to tanks and troop transports. Government contracts and government supervision took the place of private management; the industrial titans worked hand in hand with our civilian and military leaders from government to win the war.

And then there was the Manhattan Project—a government and military project from top to bottom. It developed atomic weapons and some nuclear power principles from a standing start in four years, in secret, in the midst of war. At one point, it commandeered ten percent of the nation’s electrical power just to spin the centrifuges that enriched the uranium that made the Bomb possible.

Government intrusion into the private sector was universal then. When our military needed more aluminum for airplanes, it didn’t wait for Alcoa (the then monopolist) to build them. It bought land and built aluminum plants run by the military. (After the war, it sold them off to the private sector, and they became Reynolds and Kaiser Aluminum.)

Did all this government meddling and intervention kill our economy? Hell, no. It juiced it as it’s never been juiced before or since.

Our national economy, which had been slowly and laboriously struggling out of the depths of the Great Depression, took off like a jackrabbit. And it never looked back. The post-war period, when we converted our swords to plowshares, was the most productive in our entire history. And of course the private sector played a big role in that conversion, as is true of any partnership.

So if any GOP know-nothing tells you that Keynesian economics doesn’t work, you don’t have to resort to Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist, who has reminded us interminably how well Keynes’ theories have worked in the past. You don’t have to consult Joe Stiglitz, another Nobel economist who accepts facts like a real scientist. You just have to review the economic history of World War II.

The reason we are still dragging ourselves out of the Great Recession that started in 2008 is not that real scientists among our economists don’t understand Keynesian economics. Nor is it that Keynesian economics doesn’t work. It simply that we didn’t do enough Keynesian stimulus. The GOP didn’t want Obama and the Dems to get full credit for a rapid and complete recovery, so it kept the Keynesian stimulus as small as its economic advisers said would barely avert an economic collapse.

So it you want to see what Keynes’ well-proven theory can do, if you want to see how converting our energy infrastructure to a sustainable form can duplicate the economic effects of World War II without all the death and destruction, vote Dem this fall from top to bottom.

Conclusion

Some time between Ronald Reagan’s presidency and today, the GOP stopped working for the American people and started working for itself. Slowly but surely, its principal goal became keeping itself in power. That, in turn, required keeping a steady steam of money flowing from the plutocrats.

So the GOP made the 0.1% its constituency. The rest of us became ciphers, to be manipulated into buying nonsensical ideologies by propaganda organs like Fox.

The GOP stopped thinking about the common good. It stopped thinking longer term than the next election. In fact, it stopped thinking about anything but how to win the next election.

Winning, not governing (let alone governing well) became its goal. It started playing the people’s selfishness with phrases like “It’s your money!” And it started making local “social” issues like abortion and homosexual marriage centerpieces of its ideology and campaign strategy.

It dropped all credence for science except the “sciences” of demographics and demagoguery that would keep it winning. It lost respect for democracy and pushed for minority rule and vote suppression. It ignored proven principles of economics so it could keep the economy in the doldrums and blame it on the other guys.

So Trump’s triumphs may be a surprise. But Trump is no exception. He’s the logical conclusion of the GOP’s course of action over the last half-generation. He’s the leader of the party out for only itself. Not surprisingly, he’s out for himself alone.

Unfortunately, Trump is not alone in confusing his personal welfare and primacy with the public’s. If you doubt this, just think of Chris Christie. One minute he was describing Trump, quite accurately, as a “carnival barker” unqualified to be president. The next minute he was begging for a chance to become Trump’s Vice President. What greater proof could you possibly imagine of people being out for themselves and nothing else? Trump didn’t just do a hostile takeover of the Republican Party; he stole what was left of its “soul” and became its embodiment.

Sure, we Yanks need two parties. That’s the way our system works. But both have to take improving our nation and its people’s lives as their principal goal. When one party tries to govern and the other tries only to perpetuate its power, we don’t have a two-party system anymore.

Today’s GOP is a zombie, a living-dead thing, with a mocking “Party of Lincoln” label and the face of a Frankenstein monster. Like all zombies, it must die to have any peace.

Some day, a credible second party will arise from the ashes of the GOP. It might happen quickly, but it probably will take one or two presidential election cycles.

That party will differ from today’s GOP as day the night. It will respect science. It will have replaced its Karl Roves (college dropouts) and Frank Luntzes with real experts: economists, political scientists, industrialists, maybe even a Nobel Prize winner or two. It will focus on real issues—the middle class’ survival and enhancement, sustainable energy, global warming, international trade, national security, the defeat of terrorism, and global peace, security and prosperity. It will leave “social” issues to preachers and psychologists.

But today’s GOP is not that GOP. It’s a zombie whose only goal now is its own survival. It’s “leader” is a man who embodies the selfishness that has brought our nation low and has made our own better leaders and even our allies begin to question us.

So it’s not just the sacred duty of every voter to vote for Hillary as the self-evidently better candidate. It’s the sacred duty of every voter to put this zombie to rest, so that something better and brighter may some day emerge from its remains. The best way to do that is to vote for Dems for every office, from top to bottom, including the uncontested ones.



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