I recently returned from the Midwest, where I talked to a lot of people about politics. It seemed to be on their minds.
What I heard terrified me almost to the point of tears.
A lady from Indiana told me everyone she knows loves the current president. A few days later a woman from Nebraska said something similar noting that Nebraska appears to support the current regime. I wasn’t surprised. But I was disappointed. I had hoped that the day to day chaos, non-truths, harmful actions, would make it seem inevitable that this man was a one and done president. But I’m not so sure now. We on the coasts do not seem to understand the real America, the America in all those “fly-over states.”
When I asked why there was this support, the Indiana woman pointed to the economy. She said the economy is booming. I did not wish to engage her in this conversation but I kept thinking, for whom is it booming? No one I know seems to be making more money this year than last but everyone I know has had his or her expenses increase. Maybe the economy is booming for those at the top but for the rest of us I am not so sure.
If the economy is booming I can understand why. If you remove all the consumer safeguards, if environmental regulations are lax, if agencies that enforce anti-corruption in all areas of our life are being reduced, then I can see why businesses can boom. When the expenses of doing the job right, safe, environmentally correct and paying a living wage are not necessary then of course business will boom. It is way cheaper to dump business waste in the river than to pay to have it processed.
I then asked what they thought of Bernie Sanders. Ouch, the reactions were so negative. “He’s a socialist,” they almost yelled back. “He’s too old.” They wrinkled up their faces.
One person said he thought Biden could beat Trump. They were talking about Joe Biden, the same Joe Biden who humiliated Anita Hill, (the “Me-too” generation won’t get behind that man); the same Joe Biden that voted for the Iraq War, the War on Drugs, supported warrentless wiretaps, voted for the Patriot Act. The same Joe Biden that the day after he announced his candidacy got large contributions from the health industry and several large GOP donors.
Joe Biden will be another unappealing old, white man, that would find little support from the young, the progressives, women, or people of color; yes, maybe Joe Biden can defeat Trump but how would that help America? When I asked that question, one lady said, “It will at least stop the craziness.” Maybe, except some of us see the craziness as corporate control of America, companies having more rights than people; health care, the prison industry, education being for-profit businesses. How would Joe Biden deal with that craziness when he was part of the system that created it?
It appears that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has already installed Biden as its choice (like they did with Hillary last election). It definitely looks like the main stream media (which is all corporate owned) is on board with Biden too. I’ve seen more coverage of Biden since his announcement than all the other candidates combined. The fix may be in but look how it ended last time the DNC fixed the results.
I love Sonoma County but life keeps making me travel into those “fly-over states” and all I get from the trips is depressed. I need to stay home.
Gabriel A. Fraire has been a writer more than 45 years. He can be reached at gabrielfraire.com.