Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Swing Voters Hold Key To United States Future

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 3, 2021

GOP Voters Did NOT Want A Second Helping Of Trump

And, in their estimation, Trump v2.0, i.e., Trump 2024, is 100% OUT OF THE QUESTION.

Comments from the focus group referenced in the article linked below illustrate the GREAT NEED for our nation to be focused upon PROGRESS & CHANGE.

Regardless of anyone’s opinion, or any nation’s actions, catastrophic, or otherwise, tomorrow will happen.

It’s inevitable.

PROGRESS WILL OCCUR.

BUT, we could all do something to PREVENT bad things from happening, and should. We should improve conditions for our residents and humanity, rather than to allow them to suffer by negligence and neglect.

And yet, whether we do, or don’t, the sun will still rise.

Time marches on.

Recall the adage,

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

That quote is by Dr. Jessie Potter, PhD (1922-1994), Founder/Director, National Institute for Human Relationships, Oak Lawn, Illinois; faculty member University of Illinois Medical School, Northwestern University Medical School, who was featured speaker at the Friday opening of the seventh annual Woman to Woman Conference, in an article entitled “Search For Quality Called Key To Life” by Tom Ahern, published in “The Milwaukee Sentinel” of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 24 October 1981; the quote appearing on Page 5, Column 5.

In my estimation, and in the estimation of that focus group’s members, America and American policy – domestic, and international – has REGRESSED, rather than progressed.

Progress supposes improvement. It’s like progressing from 3rd Grade to 4th Grade, or beyond. Progress implies a journey, and ALWAYS supposes improvement — getting from “Point A” to “Point B,” and beyond.

Like the primarily-Republican voters in this focus group, I too, have voted FOR candidates who were neither my first, nor best, choice. Sometimes, you vote for “the devil you know,” rather than “the devil you don’t know.”

I voted for Hillary, though I utterly loathed her for various reasons; besides being a proverbial “lightning rod” for controversy and division, rather than unity, another one being that she demonstrably screwed Bernie, and though what she did was not illegal, it was exceedingly unethical, and that she did it in secret, was very telling about her character. Had she not done that, Bernie would have most likely been the Democratic party‘s nominee – NO ONE ELSE had crowds the size of his – NO ONE.

But, because she had governmental experience, and was the nominee, I held my nose and voted FOR her. Similarly, I voted FOR Biden, though again, I much rather preferred Bernie, because I thought and hoped that Biden would essentially be a “yes man” to the party’s Progressive ideas. And quite frankly, I don’t think he’s ever demonstrated effective LEADERSHIP with ideas.

BIDEN is a conciliator, and after the previous administration, our nation was very ready for significant “conciliation.”

“Boring government” can be a good thing, per se — at least insofar as what it’s compared to in the immediately preceding administration.

Bold new ideas are not Biden’s forte. That’s Bernie’s bailiwick. And, as we all know, sometimes, “you gotta’ go along, to get along.”

We’re not even a year — 8 months 13 days, or; 36 weeks 3 days, or; 255 calendar days – into this administration, and yet, the prognosticators, pundits, and political soothsayers are busy at work. In my way of thinking, that demonstrates a deep longing for CHANGE. Not change from the GOP, but fundamental, wholesale CHANGE in governmental operations, i.e., PROGRESS.

Do we need change in our nation?

You bet your sweet bippy we do!

The colloquialism “politicians are like diapers on babies; both need changing regularly” is not mere hyperbole, it is true.

Consider our income tax system.

No one genuinely “likes” paying taxes – has anyone, ever? Even though it’s a patriotic duty, I don’t think so. But in your and my lifetime, the graduated income tax system in our nation has been highly compressed (there are now fewer brackets than ever), and the top rate for the highest income earners (multi-millionaires & multi-billionaires) has been so significantly reduced, that the net effect is a so-called “flat tax,” in which everyone – the wealthy and the impoverished – pays the same percentage rate, regardless. That’s an inherently unjust system, simply because the wealthy and the impoverished pay the same price for a gallon of milk, or loaf of bread. It just takes a BIGGER BITE out of the poor man’s paycheck, than it does the wealthy… who probably owns the farm –and– the bakery –and– the store that sells it.

It simply boggles my mind to know that Jeff Bezos, by FAR the world’s wealthiest man -and- his corporation Amazon, PAID NO INCOME TAX LAST YEAR… or, the year before, or the year before that. And he wasn’t the only one, not by a long shot. Elon Musk and Warren Buffett are also on that list of shame. Men whose names are practically household words, like Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg all come to mind. They too, paid little, if any, personal income tax compared to the Average American. To my way of thinking, that’s just plain wrong. Maybe you think differently.

What angers me particularly, is that, while the IRS expressed their faux “outrage” that those men’s individual filings became public, apparently, Congress is doing what they usually specialize in doing… nothing.

And why is that?

The corrupting influence of Corporate money; that’s why.

Those “do-nothings” are bought and sold by BIG BUSINESS CORPORATE interests whose lobbyists donate to the political and campaign treasuries of those whose votes they can influence FOR their mega-corporation clients.

If you think that’s exaggeration, or mere hyperbole, think again.

A recent collaborative investigation and report by Issue One and the Campaign Legal Center found that in the 116th Congress (January 3, 2019 – January 3, 2021), 92% of ALL lawmakers [House & Senate] had Leadership PACs [See: Open Secrets; ProPublica; Federal Election Commission], and that 120 of those leadership PACs spent less than 50% of their mostly-corporate-donated money on politics, while the rest went to “living large” by paying for things like meals at expensive restaurants and stays at ritzy resorts.

By law, Leadership PAC money is separate from campaign accounts and not subject to the same restrictions as election PACs on how donors’ money can be spent.

“Slush Funds” are alive and well – even thriving – in 2021.

Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to democracy, not parties, while Issue One is similarly nonpartisan, and dedicated to the work of increasing political openness, strengthening ethics and accountability, reducing the corrupting influence of big money in politics, and strengthening U.S. elections.

There are some in Congress who would effect change, but then, there are those who are simply satisfied with the status quo, and will fight tooth and nail any effort to improve anything… if the improvement doesn’t include tearing down, or destroying the institution, which is what they’d much rather do. Just privatize everything. Turn it all over to BIG BUSINESS; THAT will fix it all. Problem is, so doing would make our army mercenary, and turn EVERY agency against each other fighting for customers, and China could pay for our army to do their bidding. A very bad scenario, altogether.

Am I disappointed?

Sure, I am!

For example, I’m GREATLY DISAPPOINTED that NO ONE has even begun to talk about high-speed CHANGE from old-timey choo-choo trains like Amtrak, to MODERN coast-to-coast, high-speed, monorail, mag-lev trains. And POTUS BIDEN is ostensibly a “friend” of, and believer in, trains. Such PROGRESS and innovation would similarly be a “green,” or environmentally-friendly measure which could fundamentally REVOLUTIONIZE American mass transit. Imagine riding coast-to-coast at 500, or 600 mph — jet airliner speed — on a cushion of air.

Japan, and China, both have high-speed maglev trains. And in Europe, there’s an international network of high-speed trains in several European nations (Spain, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Turkey, South Korea, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Uzbekistan, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, etc., including extensive new tunneling under the Alps), but NOT America.

Why not?

Japan’s Super Conductor Magnetic Levitation train is THE World’s Fastest fastest train, capable of sustained speeds well over 350mph -and- runs ON TIME TO THE SECOND.

Are these things just gonna’ drop out of the sky?

And then of course, since 1994, the “Chunnel,” an undersea (English Channel) train tunnel has linked England and France.

Why can’t we have nice things like that in America?

Yes… operational since 1994!

In America in 1994, Newt Gingrich and the Republicans took over both houses of Congress and promised a so-called “Contract with America” (which some monikered the “Contract on America”), which included Term Limits for Congress (a good idea)… all which they promptly voided.

And Ross Perot’s Reform Party platform, which included:

1.) Strict ethics rules for Congress and government officials;

2.) Campaign finance and lobbying reforms, especially for former officeholders;

3.) Reductions on executive and congressional staff;

4.) Term limits for politicians, and;

5.) Opposition to NAFTA,

was similarly hijacked and killed off by the GOP. Even the now-long-defunct “Christian Coalition” founded by Pat Robertson, had their objectives squashed by the GOP, even though they joined alongside in support of the Republican Party’s candidates. Of course, almost all of Gingrich’s “Contract with America” ideas came from The Heritage Foundation… which also came up with the idea for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka, “ObamaCare,” which they later disavowed, and the GOP demonized.

NO ONE has has even begun to talk about a national hydrological disaster/flooding prevention & management system like the Netherlands’ Delta Works (called one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers), to protect our Atlantic & Gulf coastal regions from the annual destruction of hurricanes. And that’s not even including inland flood prevention, or land reclamation measures.

Why not?

NO ONE argues about the cause of rain while the roof is leaking.

You fix it when it’s not raining.

We’ve neglected America for FAR TOO LONG.

Like our government, the SCOTUS is MUCH TOO SMALL to be either effective, or efficient. Even Chief Justice John Roberts has publicly stated that, given the very-increased life span we all now enjoy, in comparison to when the Constitution was written, Term Limits for Justices would be a very good thing.

Further, 5 people should NOT determine the fate of our 320 Million-people-strong nation; 13, even 15, or more, justices would be far better. And instead of nominating a Chief Justice, why don’t we allow the Justices to choose among themselves a Chief Justice?

Congress sets SCOTUS size, and in the first 80 years of the court’s existence, its size fluctuated between 5 and 10, and in 1869, finally settled upon 9, where it has remained for the past 152 years.

And here’s insult to injury:

Even though requests to be heard by the SCOTUS have INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY (and now averages 8000 annually), their case load has DECLINED. In the 2020-2021 term the SCOTUS heard only 62 cases, and issued 67 opinions.

• In 1980, the Supreme Court heard about 150 cases annually.

U.S. population was 226,545,805

 

• In 1940, the Supreme Court heard 151 cases.

U.S. population was 132,164,569.

 

Since 1940, our nation has nearly TRIPLED in size (population), the SCOTUS’ case hearing requests are increased, and yet, they hear FAR FEWER cases now, than either in 1980, or in 1940.

Some have complained about a “Do Nothing Congress,” but what’s worse, is that We The People are also plagued with a “Do Nothing Supreme Court.”

There are 13 United States Courts of Appeal in 11 multi-state Districts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the D.C. Circuit. And each Justice “manages” cases from their “respective districts of oversight.” The 9th Federal Circuit (on the west coast which includes AZ, NV, CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, AK, HI, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) is the largest by area & by population, and should be split… several times. In the SCOTUS 2020-2021 term, there were 14 cases from the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Districts should be apportioned according to population+historical case load. Presently, they are not. That should change.

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021
Seated from LEFT to RIGHT: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor
Standing from LEFT to RIGHT: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

DC – Chief Justice

01 – Breyer

02 – Sotomayor

03 – Alito

04 – Chief Justice

05 – Alito

06 – Kavanaugh

07 – Barrett

08 – Kavanaugh

09 – Kagan

10 – Gorsuch

11 – Thomas

Federal Circuit – Chief Justice

Number And Composition Of Circuits Set Forth By Congress In 28 U.S.C. §41

Congress – the House, and perhaps the Senate also (why not have 3 Senators from each state?), but especially the House – is MUCH TOO SMALL to be either effective, or efficient.

The last time the House was reapportioned (adjusting representative government according to size), was in 1911 when Congress aborted American growth and fixed (without rhyme or reason) House size at 435 where it has remained since. I prefer to characterize it as an “Abortion,” or “sterilization” of representative government.

Even the U.S. House of Representatives website acknowledges as much.

Congress has capped the number of Representatives at 435 since the Apportionment Act of 1911 except for a temporary increase to 437 during the admission of Hawaii and Alaska as states in 1959. As a result, over the last century, congressional districts have more than tripled in size—from an average of roughly 212,000 inhabitants after the 1910 Census to about 710,000 inhabitants following the 2010 Census. Each state’s congressional delegation changes as a result of population shifts, with states either gaining or losing seats based on population. While the number of House Members for each state is determined according to a statistical formula in federal law, each state is then responsible for designing the shape of its districts so long as it accords with various provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which seeks to protect racial minorities’ voting and representation rights.

At the time (in 1911), U.S. population was 92,228,496.

The ratio of House Members to Residents was 212,020 to 1.

 

Now, U.S. population is 331,449,281… and growing.

The ratio of House Members to Residents is 761,952 to 1.

So, if you feel like you’re not being represented guess what?

You’re not.

If we used the 1911 ratio of 212,020 to 1, the House size would be 1563.

Yes, we need BIGGER government.

Why?

You don’t wear the same size clothes you did when you were 16 – or, at least most folk don’t – so why should America?

Even Great Britain/England — with a significantly SMALLER national population, has a MUCH LARGER Parliament. That should shame America into ACTION.

If the ratio was 500,000 to 1 with a 7.5% +/- fluctuation (462,500–537,500), that’d be MUCH MORE proportional –AND– representative, which is what the Constitution requires. Even the two least populous states Wyoming & Vermont with only 563,851 & 643,077, respectively, would get 2 Representatives each.

As things stand now, we’re metaphorically merely shifting around the deck chairs on the Titanic. If we used 500,000 to 1, the House size would be 663. Our Constitution calls for REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT which should GROW along with our nation, but WE’RE NOT GETTING EITHER.

Similarly, Term Limits for Legislators would be a OUTSTANDING improvement; 20 years TOTAL as an elected Federal servant is long enough for anyone – House or Senate: One 2yr term in House (2) + Three 6yr terms in Senate (18), or any variation thereof totaling 20, is enough for anyone.

D.C. needs statehood. Their residents are so angry about NOT being represented in Congress for so long, that their automobile license plates have “Taxation Without Representation” printed in BOLD LETTERS across ALL of them… that means Federal vehicles also, including “The Beast,” nickname of the Presidential limousine.

Yes, America needs CHANGE and PROGRESS.

—//—

These two focus groups consisted of all Biden voters, but overwhelmingly they still consider themselves Republicans. They haven’t yet left the party, even though they’re disillusioned by Trump’s ongoing presence and the control he still holds.

In contrast to the majority of Republicans responding to polls, none of these voters falsely believes the 2020 election was stolen.

None said they regret their 2020 vote.

And while they may be disappointed in Biden, they absolutely rule out voting for Trump if he runs for president again.

Take Christine from the Philadelphia suburbs. Like others in her focus group, she said she first voted for Trump because he was a businessman** and not a politician.

**[That is a common, but erroneously misguided, refrain heard from many, though mostly “conservative,” or Republican type voters, who mistakenly think that business acumen, or experience, is parallel, or equivalent, to governmental operations, or that it’s a good “training ground” for governmental operations. It is NOT. Governmental operations are akin to, and much more like, a not-for-profit organization model, rather than a for-profit business model. In a not-for-profit model — according to the IRS 501(c)(3) law — ALL “profit” earned by the organization MUST be distributed to ALL the organization’s employees, or invested in the organization. In a for-profit business model, the profit goes to the company owners, exclusively.]**

But she got far more than she bargained for. She used blunt language to describe the former president:

“I felt like we had this monster in office that was bipolar, up and down, irrational, crazy thinking.” She called Trump “childish,” said that “crazy things came out of his mouth,” and that he was “not good for the United States.”

And after all of that, Christine confessed: “I didn’t want to vote for Biden. And I’m going to be honest with you, I would have voted for anybody but Trump.

Others in the group blamed Trump for inciting racial tensions, citing how he described participants in a White Supremacist march in Charlottesville, VA, as “very fine people.”

As for Trump’s oft-stated claim that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., focus group member Mike, who lives in Georgia, had this retort: “I think he made the swamp bigger.”

These swing voters readily say that their frustrations with both a Republican Party in Trump’s grasp and with Biden leave them feeling a bit lost politically.

Georgia resident Xaveria asked a simple question: “It’s like, where do we go?”

These voter discussions were part of a series of focus groups organized by longtime political strategist Sarah Longwell, who herself is a Republican who has worked to defeat Trump.

She hears voters like Xaveria and Christine and says they reject Trump and GOP candidates trying to be “Trumpy” themselves. She says such [swing] voters are open to voting for Democrats, but the [Republican] party also needs to nominate more moderate candidates to make those voters feel welcome there.

These moderate-to-conservative voters “are very clear that they feel politically unmoored, politically homeless,” Longwell said in an interview.

“I really view these voters as up for grabs in 2022 and 2024,” she said. But Longwell says it matters who the candidates are and how the parties see themselves.

And Longwell says it makes such voters worth watching. It also makes them potentially pivotal. “Right now, people who are willing to change their vote from one party to another really hold the keys to political power,” she said.

—MORE—

What Trump-To-Biden Voters Say About The President Now

 

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