Friday, October 07, 2016

My presidential endorsement with reference to 3 fictional characters Review

So, over the last 10 days I’ve laid out 3 reasons why #I’mWithHer. I did so using the “3 Fictional Characters Meme.”
I’m voting for Hillary Clinton because:

Walter White—If Trump is elected, 57,199,999 of my closest friends and I will lose a key tool to fight against giant insurance companies who have a history of discriminating against us. My personal healthcare costs will grow by 250% and when my heart valve goes I will have no way to pay for its repair. Under Hillary Clinton we will continue to have the tools we need to fight discrimination and I’ll be able to keep my head above water.

Pedro—She has policies that comport with the world in which we live. Donald Trump does not. All he has is an empty slogan, and a bunch of promises that are unworkable and sometimes unhinged. He’ll promise you anything, as long as you don’t read the fine print.

Cartman—She will be president within the framework of American Democracy, she’ll be a mainstream American president. Donald Trump will not. He consistently praises authoritarian rulers abroad, on many occasions he’s said he’ll govern in ways that are unconstitutional and outside the American tradition, and when violent racists lined up behind him he let them know he is on their side.

For these three reasons, please give Hillary Clinton a second look.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

My presidential endorsement with reference to 3 fictional characters (Part 3 of 3)

Eric Cartman for Hillary
         I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton because of Eric Cartman. 

         Specifically, I’m endorsing Hillary because I believe Donald Trump has “Authoritah-ian” tendencies.

Trump likes Foreign Dictators
         I first noticed this tendency back in March when Trump started talking about how the Tiananmen Square Massacre was a show of Chinese strength and good government. That didn’t compute to me and at the time I wrapped it, like an albatross, around the neck of the Republican Party. I genuinely assumed the Grand Old Party would snap out of it, after all traditionally they are associated with individual freedom and standing up against totalitarianism… but judging by their nominee the GOP has given up on all that.
         In addition to looking to Chinese repression as a model for governing, Trump has also looked to Russia. Despite what Mike Pence has said, Trump has praised Putin, which should cost him the election, because it endangers western democracy.

Trump Says He’ll Ignore the Rule of Law and Rule as a Warlord
         Trump has also called for the suppression of the 1st amendment, jailing his opponents, practicing torture, killing relatives of terrorists, and  forcing the army to commit war crimes even if they object. These are not American values or actions, these are the dreams of a third world warlord.
Some of Trump’s Followers are Really Scary
         On one hand, you have a group calling itself The Lion Guard who are “Willing to forcefully protect” Donald Trump. Note that their tag line is “Better to be a lion for a day than a lamb for eternity” a mangled Benito Mussolini quote… one of Trump’s favorites.
         On the other hand, David Duke and the Klan support him. And, it would appear, by Trump and his son following and re-tweeting Neo-Nazis, Trump supports these racists right back. In fact, Jews my age and younger are feeling anti-Semitism in a big way as of late, because they are alive in the age of Trump.

This is a Bad Combo
         Take one part Putinism and praise of Chinese Communist Repression; mix it with tossing out American values both at home and abroad; add in Americans praising fascism, Klansmen and Neo-Nazis coming out of the closet, and Trump egging them all on. Then squish it all together in a man who believes he alone can fix what ails America and that he’ll bring Law and Order to America. Let it bake for a few months, and yikes, we have baked our own version of American authoritarianism, or “Authoritah-ianism” as I like to call it.

Finding out what Authoritah-ianism will look like is Rather Risky
         What might this look like? 
A revved up nation wide version of political payback, maybe? 
Or maybe, Huey Long 2.0
Or maybe, the next four years will just be a very bad episode of South Park.

         Because giving Authoritah-ianism a try seems like a dangerous proposition, please give Hillary Clinton a second look.

Monday, October 03, 2016

My Presidential endorsement with reference to 3 fictional characters (Part 2 of 3)

         I just want to clarify something. I am doing this 3-piece endorsement as a private citizen, not as Pastor of St. Stephen, or as a representative of the ELCA.
         You might remember back in 2014 an organization attempted to bribe me to endorse candidates from the pulpit. And again, this year, representatives from one of the two main political parties in Middlesex (it’s local folk so I don’t really want to get anyone in trouble) have encouraged me to cede my pulpit to local candidates, which I have not done… for all the same reasons I didn’t endorse people from the pulpit in 2014.
         So again, this endorsement is not my church’s position, it is mine alone. So, onward and upward.

Pedro for Hillary

         I am endorsing Hillary Clinton because of Pedro. Not because Pedro, and Latinos everywhere are less likely to be demonized under a Clinton administration than under a Trump administration, though that is potentially a thing.
         No, I’m endorsing Hillary because Donald is promising to “make our wildest dreams come true,” but won’t deliver. He’ll promise anything to anyone.

Trump promised me healthcare, but not really
         For example, I had such a hard time figuring out what Trump will do with healthcare, because he’d promised the socialists a socialist policy, the libertarians the complete erasure of government involvement in healthcare, and then he had his actual policy.
         On healthcare he promised to make all of our wildest dreams come true.

Trump is offering Memberberrys
         I mean, think about his campaign slogan itself “Make American Great Again.” A great dream, especially if you don’t think America is currently great, but you remember the good old days when everything was coming up roses. But the question is, how do you even do that? Short of inventing a time machine you can never go back, “You never step into the same river twice.” It’s like the “memberberrys” that become sour grape in South Park. You can’t go back and trying will be pretty horrible.
         But let’s look at a few more of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” promises.

He makes all kinds of promises, most pretty out there and unworkable
         His biggest campaign promise, the Wall, will not actual be a wall, despite him describing it growing in size and so on. And if he builds the wall he’ll have to capitulate to Democrats on all kinds of issues (hey, maybe that’s how I’ll keep my health coverage).
         He also promises that he has a secret plan to defeat ISIS, America is going to take away ISIS’s oil, General Patton is going to lead the Army again, we’re going to use nuclear weapons again, China will invade North Korea for us so they’ll give up their nuclear weapons, and our alliances across the globe are going to be changed into a protection racket.
         On top of that, we’re going to ban all Muslims, build the Wall, renegotiate ALL our trade deals, force American companies to work only in America, and everyone is going to say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays!

It is a compelling vision and story
         I really do see some of the appeal of this dream. ISIS gets a good kick in the teeth, no more stalemate wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, money flows back to the US of A to fix our potholes and pay for our debt, gas is back down to under a dollar a gallon because we're taking it from Terrorists, people will receive good money for good work again. (Clearly I also recognize a land war in Asia, kneecapping NATO, nukes going off, citizens being denied entry into the country based on their religion, etc, would be nightmarish).
         I get why people are buying into this dream, they distrust elites.
         “Look,” they say, “during World War 2 a bunch of non-elite farm boys got together and defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, then came home and created the best job market ever known, so,” they could rightly ask, “why can’t these elite folk do a few simple tasks like defeat a pocket of religious radicals and revive the manufacturing sector?” Then they’d go on, “Well, if they aren’t doing these things, it must be that they’re corrupt, that they are benefiting from our suffering!”
         And along comes Trump, “You’re right, Crooked Hillary and Elitist Obama are getting rich at your expense! I myself have soaked in this corruption, but now I’ll do the relatively simple task of fixing everything. It’s actually really easy, I’ll have it done by next week.”
         I want to believe it myself. I want all my dreams to come true!

But having concrete policies made for the real world is important
         But I also recognize we live in the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. I believe Hillary Clinton’s plans for America will make America safer, more prosperous, more united, and more dominant on the world stage than would the empty slogan, “Make America Great Again.”
         So, because Hillary has policies and Trump has a slogan please give Hillary Clinton a second look.

Up next Cartman.

Sermons from the last two weeks

What if Roles were Reversed?

Sermon at St. Stephen's Pet Blessing