This is a PSA from Team Demo’s, Mister Wise. We make no copyright claims to any of the images in this video.
Generally speaking, the American two party system has boiled down to this:
One party (the Democrats) tries to do things. The other party (the Republicans) tries to undo things (I’m not advocating any one policy position here. This is just an observation.)
Other than building a border wall, and cutting taxes for the rich, the entire Republican agenda is about undoing things…
– Undo the Affordable Care Act
– Undo Wall Street regulations
– Undo Planned Parenthood
– Undo ethics oversight
– Undo climate and environmental regulations
– Undo the Consumer Protection Agency
– Undo social security
– Undo Medicare and Medicaid
– Undo marriage equality
– Undo the minimum wage
– Undo energy reforms
– Undo gun control
– Undo Roe vs Wade
Let’s take the ACA as an example. It has been around for six years. That should be long enough for the GOP to have a put together a well constructed plan for what they would do to replace it. Instead, all they know for sure is that they want to repeal (undo) it. They have some abstract ideas of what to put in its place, but one would think that after six years, they would have a refined and comprehensive plan. It is clear that while they’ve become quite proficient at stopping legislation, they are quite rusty at creating it.
The Republicans made it their mantra to obstruct and block President Obama’s agenda (even when compromise and agreement were attainable) for the entire tenure of his presidency. Democrats plan to use the same playbook against Donald Trump, but while the strategies may be similar, there is a profound difference in terms of their respective goals. When the GOP obstructs the Democrats, they do so to keep them from doing things. When the Democrats obstruct the Republicans, they do so to keep them from undoing things the Democrats have already done. One is done to prevent, the other is done to protect.
Returning things to the way they once were – seems to be a quite common and unsatisfactory Republican answer. The world is a dynamic place. What may have been a sensible policy 40 years ago, may not be now. This concept seems difficult for the Republicans to grasp. Over the past several decades, the GOP has lost their share of intellectual capital to the left – perhaps because people with ideas are more likely to commiserate with people who are open to the prospect of ACTUALLY implementing them.
As we begin 2017, the Republican Party has the eraser end of the pencil with big plans to wear it down to a nub. For the sake of the country, let’s hope they sharpen the other end and remember how to use it.
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Also, Word of the Day! with Ceedro, Situations with Sosa, Moments with Montaego
Donald Trump’s lack of eloquence and thin vocabulary have been well documented. His off the cuff speaking style combined with his minimal command of the English language, often create a word salad that is a nightmare for a journalist to quote; and it leaves those consuming it with the difficult task of attempting to find the ACTUAL meaning behind his utterances. In my many conversations with his supporters, I have often quoted some of the outrageous things he has said, only to receive a response of, or similar to, “well, that’s not what he meant,” or “it was a poor choice of words.” I have tried to find out exactly how these individuals discovered Trump’s “true meanings” behind his statements, but no one has revealed this magic to me, and it is clear that Trump’s inability to properly articulate his thoughts and positions has less to do with a poor choice of words and much more with just not having that many choices.
Trump seems to only have access to a handful of adjectives. He has one small pile of words for good things, and one pile for the bad. His go-to bad words are often “terrible” or “awful.” Sometimes, he keeps it REALLY simple and just uses words like, “bad” or “sad.” His good words are loaded with hyperbolic exaggeration – words such as “huge” and “amazing” are often thrown around for anything but. On Sunday, he stated that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” to the government. It reads like it was uttered by a person still grappling with English as a second language.
The definition of incredible is: impossible or extremely difficult to believe. Is it possible that Donald Trump is in disbelief with how well his meetings went? Did he have difficulty believing that people like Mitt Romney and Rick Perry actually exist? Is there no one on Trump’s transition team who can slip him a few more positive adjectives that he could use to impart a little nuance and recognition of the seriousness of the task he is presently undertaking? Is there no one on Trump’s transition team who can whisper in Trump’s ear that the word “incredible” is less suited for describing a routine meeting and more for a one-handed catch while falling out of bounds in a football game or better yet, a firefighter racing into a burning building to save the life of an infant child?
Ronald Reagan was known as “the great communicator.” Donald Trump is a verbal weakling who is about to take a job where every single one of his poorly chosen and limited words will be parsed and interpreted by people, governments and markets all over the world. Perhaps the most important hires Donald Trump will make during this transition, will be his speech writers. They will have the monstrous task of polishing this turd every single day, all the while knowing that they could prepare the perfect script, but the ego of the performer could rip it to pieces in front of the entire world. I can foresee many scenarios where Donald Trump’s lack of eloquence will be front and center. Some are amusing. Some are embarrassing. Some are downright terrifying.
While I’m certain Trump’s meetings this past weekend were far from, “incredible,” I have no issue using that word to describe his rise to power and the level of stupidity, hubris and insecurity we saw from him in the first week of his transition. It is common for the White House to employ foreign language interpreters. Perhaps for this president, they should consider one for English.
Check out the latest episode of the Nerds In Luxury Podcast hosted by my beautiful wife Veronica along with Montaego, Sosa, Ceedro and yours truly. You can listen to us at NerdsinLuxury.com or subscribe to the podcast for free using iTunes, Stitcher or Google Play. Click the link at the bottom of this post to be directed to the podcast.
Turn off the 24 hour news networks for a few minutes and listen to “The Asylum,” by Mister Wise
Team Demo founder and super-producer/ engineer, Mister Wise returns with witty commentary on the state of journalism and mass media over a swinging jazzy groove.
I am white. My wife is black. I have black in-laws, black nephews, black nieces and black cousins. I quietly fear for them every day. I’ve seen FIRST HAND how drastically different an encounter with police can be when I am in the company of black people, versus by myself or with other white people. I’ve been pulled out of a car with my black friends and asked if I was there, “against my will.” I’ve had officers look me in the face and say, “so you think you’re black huh?” As a teenager, I was pulled over while with my black friends and photographed and strip searched next to our car because they said we “looked like gang members.” I’ve had an officer go through my bag, find my lyric book and then demand that I rap for him – “you’re a rapper so rap for me!” I’ve felt the fear, anger and humiliation. For all I know, me being white and being present in those situations may have been the only reason things didn’t turn out much worse for my companions.
Later in life, I moved to a jurisdiction with a well-respected, well-funded, well-trained and professional police department; and for the most part, my encounters with those officers have been very positive (although they did have my studio under surveillance for quite some time until one day they entered my premises without a warrant and discovered it was operated by a white guy with a business license and a firm understanding of the law. No problems since.)
I say all of that to say this…
If you are white, try to imagine being rightfully told all your life by the people you love, that the people supposedly there to protect you, could very well be a threat to you. Imagine hearing the stories of police brutality from friends, family, parents and grandparents. Imagine being told that it doesn’t matter if you did anything wrong. Imagine being expected, without training or experience in such matters, to behave and manage an encounter BETTER than those confronting you who have been trained to do so. Imagine “the talk” – not the one you got about the birds and bees, but the one about what you should do when you run into a prejudiced hothead wearing a badge and gun with an axe to grind. Try to imagine this in your culture. Try to imagine seeing the police as an occupying force in your community as opposed to “heroes” and “first responders.” This is the reality in places all across the United States.
I am a rational, reasonable man with an above average IQ. When I try to imagine getting THAT phone call from one of my family members… When I try to imagine the total grief and unabashed anger I would have towards the police officers who decided it was better to shoot and kill my loved one rather than respect his or her life and liberty as they do their own, I literally shudder. It would take every fiber within my rational mind to restrain myself from picking up my pistol and heading out to find the sons of bitches who murdered my family member. I’m not sure I would be capable of restraining myself.
So as we all watch the footage of yet another unarmed father, gun downed for apparently no other reason than looking “scary,” resist the urge to defend the police from your place of privilege. Resist the urge to tell us that “all lives matter” in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Just shut the fuck up, close your eyes, and try to imagine. Try to imagine you got that phone call. Try to imagine you just watched someone you love get shot to death on Facebook. Try to imagine the people who did it are now being paid to sit at home for a while. Then try to imagine countless people who know NOTHING of the experiences I outlined above, playing Monday morning quarterback with the murder of your family member. Still want to weigh in? I hope not. #blacklivesmatter