When I began to look at gas prices in New England compared to California which were much cheaper in the early ‘70s I asked my father about this. My father explained gas prices were higher for us because the closest refinery was in New Jersey (we lived in central Connecticut). That was before the Oil Embargo of 1973. After the embargo ended 6 months later in March 1974 the price of crude went up.
Now gasoline prices are rising for a variety of reasons, price of crude oil, summer time blend, in California several refineries have been taken off-line. If President Trump goes forward with economic sanctions against Iran selling oil to China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey who have waivers to buy oil – gas prices will rise in here in the USA.
Even though gas prices are subsidized in the United States and ten other nations, five of whom are Middle Eastern, prices will rise if Trump puts sanctions on China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey for buying oil from Iran. The waivers expire in May 2, 2019.
As gas prices rises the cost of many other items rise because we as a nation are mainlining oil. Ecological concerns aside this effects the pocketbooks of all Americans (to a lesser degree hybrid and EV car owners). The impacts are felt to a greater degree by the 99%.
Money, the cost of living is the bottom line for everyone in our culture.
He [Trump] creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes
I bring this up because everyday concerns of Americans are concerned about money and costs:
- Climate Change
- Justice for All
- Consumer Protection
This list is not in any order, though each issue reflects economic issues basic to all Americans and is about cost and /or survival.
The Trump Strategy
One of the primary aims of the Trump strategy is to have the spotlight on him at all times whether it is positive or negative. He does not tolerate being ignored and will go to great lengths to remain the center of attention.
He is expert at making himself the victim.
He cannot bear criticism and has a shifting base of lies and an alternative reality in which he resides to combat criticism. He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany. He uses these lies to fix himself as a victim and as the center of attention while acting as an example for others to act ragefully and vent rage onto scapegoats. He is expert at making himself the victim.
He ignores protocols, laws and the Constitution to bend any and all in his way to his will. He manipulates and cons others to seeing it his way. He has most Republican Congressional Representatives and Senators; the Supreme Court and the Attorney General in his pocket. He continually demands that everything goes his way and does not act in a presidential manner but as a dictator.
He creates crises so he can manipulate outcomes.
A prime example is the crisis at the southern border that he has created by drawing attention to it with lies and manipulations. He draws attention to the caravans as evil so he can build “the wall”. Oppressed peoples in Central America countries who live under terror and are afraid for their lives see “the wall” and the crisis at the border as becoming worse so they must flea and get into the US before they can’t do that anymore. In short Trump has fomented the crisis to bigger proportions. His administration has cancelled aid that was attempting to make conditions better in Central American nations south of Mexico because they hate Obama – who began the programs, deemed it as a total failure and cut it because it cost too much. Thus, Trump is helping to create a problem that he is trying to solve. Then he can distribute migrants and refugees to sanctuary cities to overload those cities and then later blame them for the problems.
Circumventing the Trump Strategy and winning in 2020
While impeachment is a good idea the timing of it is wrong. As it stands right now impeachment hearings are unwarranted because not enough evidence has been gathered to enter into the process.
Trump is using every means at his disposal to prevent his taxes from being revealed to members of the House. He is using and abusing laws – no doubt to stop and/or delay this act as long as possible. He could delay all the way up to the time of the election.
He lies and whips his base into the frenzy of rage and hatred against “enemies” and /or scapegoats much like the rallies of Nazi Germany
The Democratic Candidates running for the Presidency who are beginning to focus on impeachment are grandstanding, taking focus away from their agendas and setting up more opportunities to lose the election if they are nominated and further damage the party.
Focus on impeachment sets up skirmishes with Trump that he can use to bleed energy out of their campaigns through criticism, character defamation and making himself look like a victim that needs rescuing by his base and “true Americans” etc. He will call in the “Deep State” conspiracy too.
Impeachment is a distraction from the issues that affect the 99% of the US population. It will build distrust in those swing voters [and amongst the biggest demographic – the non-voters who have given up on government] that feel they are being left out of the attention they deserve for justice that may never come (at least between now and the 2020 elections).
When Clinton was being impeached for a mistake it hurt the Republican Party in the next midterm election when the Democrats picked up seats.
A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election.
Those candidates that are currently pressing for impeachment could slowly back-off while proclaiming that more evidence be gathered while they focus on the basic needs of the American people.
States that have passed laws that demand that candidates reveal their taxes in order to be on the ballots are fine in principle but will not hold up in court. There has been no criticism from Trump about these laws because they will work to his benefit on many levels at election time. If the election is going badly for Trump he can delay voting by taking these states to court individually and maybe all the way to the Supreme Court to delay election results. This will give him more time to be the victim and /or invalidate the election process if it looks like he’s losing.
One solution to these laws – that when they are challenged by Trump a plan can be made by each state Attorney General to suspend the law in favor or a speedy election and review the law later. In this way it could work to the advantage of each candidate especially those that have revealed their tax returns under this law.
Where the focus of each candidate running for president needs to be on what is to be done to help the 99% in the issues that most affect us:
- Climate Change
- Justice for All
- Consumer Protection
If corporations and governments worldwide took responsibility for the toxins / poisons they are allowing into environment and current healthcare system’s bottom line was not profit then universal healthcare would not be necessary. That’s why Universal Healthcare is a right. But it is also a band aid to the larger issue of personal and planetary health.
There are immediate and longer-term solutions that must be engaged now if the human species is to survive the adversity to come. The Green New Deal is a start.
Justice for All:
This includes various movements that are unfortunately necessary in this climate of hatred. Black Lives Matter comes to mind. Training by police, greater interaction between police and communities. Civilian oversight of police. Tolerance and Compassion trainings in communities and schools. Justice for women, minorities, people of color, LGBQT peoples, people of color, indigenous peoples and more… Justice extended to the environment, water, trees, – perhaps a bill of rights for the natural world. Remake the Prison system.
Encouraging Labor Unions
Wall Street investments are very different from the health of the economy. The rich need to be taxed as well as corporations. The buying power of the middle class needs to be stabilized. Income inequality balanced.
Restoring and augmenting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Shifting away from fossil fuels. Protecting wild spaces, trees and national forests and parks.
Equitable taxes that benefit the 99%
Bring consumer protection back.
Raising teachers’ salaries so the young people yearn to be teachers. Bringing tolerance training to all public schools. Bringing free higher education to public universities allowing tuition to be paid only be individuals with incomes above 200,000 dollars a year. Make public education a crowning jewel in the US.
Demilitarize immigration to start. Stop the use of concentration camps.
A focus on the issues is a focus on the people. This wins the election. Everything else is unnecessary.
Should Trump win in 2020. Let impeachment begin. And investigate McConnell for impeachable offenses.