I enjoy sitting at bars and eating alone and hopefully striking up a conversation with people. So yesterday I met Mary and Greg rode their bikes to Stuart, FL to watch the Air Show from outside the gate. Mary works in administration at an elementary school, and Greg works for AT&T. They have been dating for three years, she told me Greg wasn’t willing to move to the next step of living together or marriage, when he was visiting the men’s room.
Mary voted from Donald Trump. Why would a middle age, divorced white woman with kids vote for Trump? She told me it was because he was an outsider and would fix Washington. So his campaign message “only he could do it alone” worked. I find it very sad that the American electorate is so clueless about how Washington worked and why it isn’t working today. An individual alone can’t fix it. We live in a Democracy, which requires compromise and working together to find solutions.
Congress worked when Members of Congress had relationships with each other, knew each other’s wives and kids. Had time to go to dinner or play golf together.
But money and gerrymandering of districts has made Congress unworkable. The money requires Representatives and Senators to spend the majority of their time ‘dialing for dollars’. Gerrymandering has made the vast majority of Congressional Districts uncompetitive. Those districts only require being elected from the base of support, thus they don’t have to be responsive to their minority electorate. Compromise is a dirty word.
But it is compromise in relationships and politics that make things work. The paralyses in Washington will continue until we start listening to each other and not screaming at each other. I sat in so many Congressional hearings and listened to the Democrats and Republicans talk over each other, reading their talking points and not listening or learning. I am biased – a Democrat, so I found it particularly annoying when the Republicans blamed everything on government regulations and destroying small business. Regardless of the topic or the Committee, the Republicans blamed everything, “government regulation”.
The best retort I ever heard was, ” I can explain it to you, but I can’t help you understand it”, a Democrat in the financial Services Committee said to a Republican. I often hoped to hear, “please don’t confuse me with facts”.
So I wonder, if you hate government regulations so much, why are you elected to write laws that become government regulations. I don’t remember any Congressional hearing held on the subject of repealing government laws and regulations. I wasn’t in Washington, D.C. when Congress led by Bill Clinton repealed Glass-Steagall, and boy was that a bad idea. Had the Glass-Steagall regulations been in place we might have avoided the economic meltdown of 2008. Sure I spent the 17 years lobbying to block bad ideas from becoming laws, and had I been there when Congress voted to repeal, I would have been working on the losing side fighting against repeal. Always on the losing side, fighting for us the little gal, the people. Especially the people who vote against their owneconomic self-interest. Like Mary, a public employee paid by tax dollars. Taxes Trump avoids.
The most ironic inconsistency about Donald Trump becoming the GOP nominee, in my opinion, is Trump’s love affair with law suits. The GOP is the party of tort reform, blocking access to the courts by average people. But Trump sues anyone and everyone who disagrees with him or has the misfortune of doing business with him. So how does the GOP nominate a guy who uses litigation as a business practice?
I hope Mary is wrong, I pray Donald Trump does not become our 45th President. I suppose if he is elected it, he won’t fix Washington by himself. Government doesn’t work like business.
It might come as a surprise to Trump, the businessman plaintiff.