US Politics

November 6, 2020 1 of 8 (maybe?)

I’m not sure where to start. Well, that’s kind of why I’ve been doing this — to make myself just jump in and start writing.

First of all, while it looks like Biden is going to win the Presidency, it also looks like the Republicans are going to keep control of the Senate (by one vote). This is bad from my perspective because, well, even if Biden gets a chance to rebalance the Supreme Court into a direction that won’t take away gains made in women’s health care (Roe v. Wade), and in marriage equality (Obergefell v. Hodges), it would be difficult because the Senate has to approve the appointment and if he can’t convince at least two Republican senators to approve (that’s assuming all of the Democratic senators would vote for his appointment, which is far from guaranteed, trying to get the Democrats onto the same page is like herding cats, as it were), he might as well not even bother.

One of the observations someone in my social circle, years ago. I thought it might have been at the time of the 2016 elections, but I guess that just shows how long these last four years have been. We’ve been bandying it about for so long that I don’t even know where it started, it’s just one of those things that we now take as true. That is that Tip O’Neill’s assertion that “all politics is local” doesn’t just mean that keeping a national seat requires local pork projects (more on this maybe in another post) and backroom deals, but if people who share your ideas of how the world should be don’t get elected down the ballot, you’ll probably never see the world be how you think it should be.

Like, I want politicians who propose, advance, and pass laws that make our whole nation “sheep” in Jesus’s parable of the Sheep and the Goats. We should all be feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, housing the homeless, providing healthcare to the sick (and preventive healthcare to the well, for that matter) and so on.

The way the Republicans claim that this is a “Christian nation” and then fail to achieve the things that Jesus said were the way into Paradise (Matthew 25:34) just boggles my mind.

Crap. New thread. In the same social circle, one of my friends quoted someone who said that the Pledge of Allegiance’s statement of “liberty and justice for all” or the Declaration of Independence’s statement that We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, or the Bill of Rights can be either definitional (we’re the United States so we have these things) or aspirational (we’re the United States so we can achieve these things). I’m in the second group.

Anyway, it seems to me that a lot of the people who believe that these are definitional think that our society cannot be biased against any group. People of Color make less money and have worse outcomes? They must be doing something wrong because we’re the land of the free and the home of the brave. I’ve lived a virtuous live and have these things (actually many don’t — a lot of them are very hard-up for money and have chronic health conditions). So your vices must be keeping you from them.

But so many of our ultra-wealthy are mired in vices. And I’m not just talking about entertainment figures; I mean our captains of industry. They steal. They steal pay from their employees, and I’m not talking about underpaying their employees, though they do that. I’m talking about not giving their employees what little money they’re owed.

It’s called wage theft. Companies underpay their employees, or refuse to let them have meal or rest breaks, refusing overtime pay to people who earn it, or just not making clerical errors right once they’re discovered (something that happened to me in 2015). Corporations make millions of dollars a year from wage theft.

People who run companies that engage in wage theft, whether it’s an honest mistake that can’t be fixed or a standing policy, are by definition not virtuous. They’ve saved themselves money by stealing it from their employees. After all, a penny saves is a penny earned. So by saving themselves money, they’re making a profit illegally. So, if the virtuous are rewarded with financial success and the wicked are punished by financial failure, why are these employers not being punished with financial failure?

Because that’s not how the world works. The world is not automatically fair, we do not automatically have equality, liberty, justice, the pursuit of happiness, or any of the rest of it just because we’re the United States. And we cannot trust the system as it stands now to give people these things. We need to change the system and time has shown us that appealing to the better natures of those who steal, or who cheat, or who lie, doesn’t work. We need laws that force these better behaviors for generations until the way things are now seem barbaric (which they are) to our descendants and they won’t want to go back to how things are now.

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