Tuesday, August 2, 2016



It seems like this is an election campaign unlike others.  Many of the issues are the same, but in some ways they seem to have switched political parties. Both claim the high ground of truth, social responsibility, fiscal responsibility, and other good qualities with the hope you will think the other party lacks such good judgement.  The problems we face do not seem to be things that will yield to quick fixes.

Rev. William Barber

He made a point in the Democratic convention and the following evening on CNN that LOVE is the solution to many problems.  He was inspirational is stating that health care, education, and many such issues are moral issues and both political parties should support them whether liberals or conservatives.

I found his message to be in the mold of Martin Luther King’s, although MLK had a much softer delivery.  Today, I hope, few would disagree with his message of the dignity and rights of all people regardless of labels given them.  Jobs and health care can do a lot for the eventual cure of the problems generated by past inequities.  I hope he can get his message to everyone.


The party and campaign computer systems that were hacked, presumably by Russian hackers, were given a sinister interpretation by some commentators.  I think is more likely that they wanted a better understanding of whomever they would be dealing with post-election.  It does, however, demonstrate the capability to be destructive if they so choose.  I presume the potential for hacking is more widely distributed than just to Russia or the United States.


Banning guns is not likely, but keeping assault rifles legal to appease the NRA is poor policy.


The plight of the family in Texas, on one of the convention programs or subsequent news coverages, illustrates the importance of bringing long-term established families into citizenship acquisition programs, an important step.  She was Hispanic by virtue of the Mexican border being moved south years ago and making the region part of Texas (an over-simplification, but we need a more humane approach to the problems).  

Economic Issues

Trickle-down economics has not work as envisioned.  Low tax rates for the super-wealthy do not help the economy.  The wealthy would benefit more from full-employment and reasonable profits.  Unions need enough strength to help workers compete with the legislative care provided select businesses and wealthy segments of society.  The runaway costs of medical care might be held in check if drug costs and health care administration costs were not so inflated.  The ineptitude of congress for approving budgets to prevent Medicare fraud is part of the runaway cost cause.

Abortion and drugs

The moral aspect of capital punishment, abortion, and drugs are divisive when the solutions infringe on the religious views of some.  It is unfortunate when extreme positions are advocated by either of the parties.  Some are then conscience bound to become one-issue voters and then may consequently support otherwise objectionable policies.


I experienced great discomfort in my youth when a heard some political candidates demeaning their opponents party.  So it is nothing new and we survive the extreme accusations and distortions that rouse the crowds.  Who started it?  Does it matter if both participate?

[some material deleted 11/13/16]

Joe Engemann      Kalamazoo, Michigan      August 2, 2016

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