It’s been a busy couple of weeks, between work and taking a family trip to Las Vegas, including a long delayed side trip to visit Death Valley National Park.
In the meantime, I have been invited to two candidate fora. (Yes, I know most people prefer “forums” for the plural of “forum,” but I’m not normal.)
- The United Community Action Alliance is having a Meet The Candidates event at Kingdom Hall (740 E M L King Blvd, Chattanooga) on June 23 at 6 p.m. The UCAA is a community organization involved in trying to get their community more involved in politics. My limited research indicates that the leadership leans left, which I hope I will find refreshing after mostly speaking with conservatives.
- The Roane County Tea Party is having a Congressional candidate forum at the Kingston Community Center Banquet Hall (201 Patton Ferry Rd, Kingston) on July 21 at 7 p.m. This should prove interesting, because my last Tea Party meeting was. Geoffery Smith will have the home field advantage here, but I won’t go into this not knowing what to expect.
Now that the primaries have determined that the major party candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I feel that this South Park episode is even more relevant today than it was twelve years ago. I can understand why many Sanders supporters have posted this meme:
Unfortunately, because of the Electoral College, I am reasonably confident that my vote won’t matter, as Trump has a significant lead over Clinton in Tennessee. Votes in most states are insignificant because the states are so far to the right or left. Only thirteen states are truly toss-up states that will determine the election.
In specific election news:
- Chuck Fleischmann’s campaign signs started popping up Memorial Day weekend. Other than that, he hasn’t done much. Color me surprised.
- Allan Levene’s website is up. His listed address is a UPS Store in Signal Mountain, as he doesn’t actually live here. He’s originally from England, having moved here when he turned 21. He is a Trump supporter. He recently sent letters with pacifiers to every member of Congress, in an attempt to get them to stop acting like babies. The link to what he will do about China overtaking the U.S. is a broken link–possibly problematic for a guy in the IT business.
- Geoff Smith’s signs have also started popping up around Chattanooga.
- Michael Friedman announced part of his economic plan to expand high-speed internet and transportation infrastructure to rural areas. This directly addressed concerns brought up in the candidate meeting in Polk County. He does portray this as a Republican vs. Democrat issue, but there are Republicans on both sides of the issue, at least where the EPB broadband expansion was concerned.
- George Ryan Love posted a link to the Sanders campaign on his Facebook page. I wonder if/when he will start supporting the Clinton campaign….
- Melody Shekari has done a major update on her website. We finally can see where she stands on the issues–barely. Her issues page is still pretty threadbare and vague. Besides knowing that she wants to raise the minimum wage and maintain Obamacare, there’s not much substance. My gut feeling is that she’s the candidate of the party machine here, so her platform is fundamentally “I’m a Democrat: Vote for me!” I did see her in the stands at a recent Chattanooga FC match, but it seemed like she was far more interested in socializing and her phone than in the match itself.
- I did locate independent Cassandra Mitchell’s Facebook page. She likes Jill Stein and Isa Infante, meaning that she’s probably more Green Party than independent. I do like that she’s a fellow gamer, listing Dungeons & Dragons as one of her favorite activities. Most of the stuff on her page is from her 2014 run, which puts her firmly left-of-center politically.
- Rick Tyler has gone all-in with his white supremacy. He stood behind me at the Polk County gathering, but I’m pretty sure he said the Pledge of Allegiance. I’ll have to ask him about that whole “indivisible” part next time I see him.
- Meg Whitman, current HP CEO, former eBay CEO, former Republican gubernatorial candidate, and bully, compared Trump to Mussolini and Hitler and is likely voting for Clinton. From personal experience, her time at eBay was one of tremendous growth despite regularly finding new and creative ways to abuse small business sellers. Her endorsing Clinton almost makes me question my disgust with Trump. Almost.
- I’ve seen variations on a meme saying Trump wasn’t called racist until he entered politics. Two minutes of research proved that incorrect, with examples going back to anti-Japanese rants in the 1980s. He continues to demonstrate a severe disrespect for anyone not purely European, as shown by his comments regarding the judge in the Trump University case and calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas.”
- Early iterations of Trump’s website use the slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again,” which was originally used by Ronald Reagan for the 1980 election. I’m guessing he dropped the “Let’s” so he could trademark it and make money.
- The Stanford rapist, his family, and the judge in the case are loathsome. If someone is incapacitated, regardless of whether or not it is self-inflicted, you help them. If someone didn’t show any interest in you before they got drunk, don’t take advantage of them when they are. No means no, and nothing at all doesn’t mean maybe.
- I would prefer that all bathroom stalls be designed for maximum privacy, but the bottom line is you shouldn’t peek at anyone else’s parts in a public restroom. Go into the stall, do your business, wash your hands, and leave. Touching anyone against their wishes is a crime, whether or not they are the same gender or you and regardless of where it happens.
- As an independent, I find the heavy-handed pressure exerted by both parties to get their members to endorse their nominees disgusting. I saw an interview of John Kasich on Fox News this week where he pointed out that he disagreed with Trump on almost everything, so he didn’t have any reason to support him. Likewise, Sanders is undergoing a tremendous amount of pressure to drop out and support Clinton, when he’s clearly said for quite some time that his objective is to help mold the party platform. Once he concedes he becomes far less relevant. If you want people to support you, give them a reason.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. As always, if you want to ask me about anything, drop me a line.