Thomas Wictor

Identity politics will completely destroy us

Identity politics will completely destroy us

Americans have no idea how bad things can get, but they’re determined to find out. I was born in Venezuela, and I lived in the Netherlands, Norway, Britain, and Japan. We’re adopting everything dysfunctional from those cultures. The worst is identity politics.

I’m neither conservative nor liberal. In this election cycle I support Donald Trump, but if he doesn’t make it, I’ll live. Earlier today someone on Twitter told me that Trump is “the most liberal Republican who ever ran for president.”

That’s certainly not true. Maybe it’s a function of age, but I remember Rockefeller Republicans.

They espoused government and private investments in environmentalism, healthcare, and higher education as necessities for a better society and economic growth, in the tradition of Rockefeller. In general, Rockefeller Republicans opposed socialism and government ownership. They supported some regulation of business and many New Deal–style social programs. A critical element was their support for labor unions.

In 2012 the Republicans nominated the father of ObamaCare.

Mitt_Romney

On Twitter I said that the leadership of both the Republicans and Democrats has become enamored of the status quo. They’re in the game entirely for themselves. I didn’t name anyone, but this other Twitter user said that I was insulting Marco Rubio, and therefore I was insulting her.

identity_politics

Identity politics, taken down to the level found in a banana republic. The politician becomes something more than even a cult leader. First he’s a surrogate for you, and then he is you.

In Venezuela, supporting or opposing someone gets you killed. Here’s what Venezuelans have to endure on election day.

Venezuelan_National_Guard_1963

That photo was taken in 1963. Venezuela is even worse now.

We’re headed there.

Your leaders are your identity?

Say whatever you want about Donald Trump. I don’t know the man. The fact that you don’t support him has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t call into question my choices, judgment, or honesty. You and I are different people. There’s no template for voting; we aren’t mass produced.

Also, I get to criticize politicians. Watch me criticize every single one of them.

The US Senate writes laws on everything except for taking money from us. Bills that raise revenue originate in the US House of Representatives. Both the Senate and the House create laws that exempt them from the laws that govern the rest of us. For example, members of Congress are allowed to engage in insider trading.

On April 4, 2012, President Obama signed the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which outlawed congressional insider trading.

On April 15, 2013, President Obama signed Bill Number S.716, which completely gutted the STOCK Act. Now Republicans and Democrats are free to engage in insider trading again. And they all do it. They all leave office as millionaires, but they’re not required to declare their entire assets. Therefore every member of Congress is much richer than he or she appears. They conceal their wealth because it’s ill-gotten gains.

Eric Cantor (R) and Harry Reid (D) cooperated in getting S.716 signed into law without debate.

Money

It took 30 seconds.

My identity is unique

There isn’t a politician on earth who represents me. I don’t support people who legalize corruption and force me to live under restrictions that they avoid. Congress exempted itself from ObamaCare. Because of the Patient Affordable Care Act, my doctor had to retire, I lost coverage for some of my medication, and my health-insurance premiums quadrupled.

Congress is enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. I pay for 72 percent of each congressional health-care policy. Half of all Americans don’t.

I’m an investor. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act puts massive obstacles in front of me when I try to access my own funds. I have to spend hours explaining and justifying. Was I responsible for the crash of 2008? No. Guess who was?

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

Dodd_Frank

Beginning in the 1990s, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) got it in their heads that everyone should have a house, even if they couldn’t afford to buy one. The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) are two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs). They began loaning money to people who had no hope of ever repaying it (subprime lending).

At the same time, banks were under pressure by the government to engage in their own subprime lending. To offset the losses, banks created unbelievably complex policies such as bundling subprime mortgages into mortgage-backed securities and offering collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. Nobody understands how these things work. All we can say is that they depend on value.

Well, the housing bubble burst, housing prices tumbled, and both the government and banks lost trillions of dollars. The money simply ceased to exist.

money_burning

So along came Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. They wrote a bill that President Obama signed on July 21, 2010. And it’s failing because the people who wrote it had no clue what they were doing.

Overall, the researchers say the Dodd-Frank Act appears to have affected financial institutions and their employees, shareholders or consumers through higher prices or less access to credit.

“Reduced credit availability doesn’t just affect those consumers who are unable to gain access to credit. Rather, it affects the economic well-being of the country as a whole,” according to their report. “A 14.5-percent drop in revolving credit wasn’t likely an intended consequence of the law, but tightened capital standards and billions of dollars in new regulatory costs must appear somewhere in the economy. Based on this research, it appears consumers are carrying a heavy load from Dodd-Frank regulation.”

Since Dodd-Frank was signed, the number of banks with less than $1 billion in assets has declined by 20 percent. Increased regulations and compliance costs have made it impossible for many small banks to stay in business.

Think of banks as people. Which do you think would offer humankind a better chance of survival?

This?

crowd

Or this?

Andre_the_Giant

The only law you can depend on is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Retrograde identity

Little by little, we’re going back in time. From 1972 to 1975 I lived in Tyler, Texas. A kid named Thurman Biscoe saved my life by beating the hell out of subhuman, swamp-dwelling, snaggle-toothed predators who nearly drove me to suicide. This was Thurman.

Bubba 2

In 1972 he was just Thurman. In 2016 he would be African-American Thurman. All the kids he smashed into the ground were black. Was Thurman a traitor? A “Magical Negro”? Today he’d be considered one. I remember a time in which race—even in east Texas—didn’t matter. Now everybody won’t shut up about it. They vote based on race and ethnicity.

Here’s what I propose: Let’s make 2016 The Year of the First. Since we’re all about symbolism, let’s elect The First of every possible group there is. We have the president, the vice president, 435 representatives, 34 senators, 12 governors, two territorial governors, and 483 mayors to choose. By the end of this year, I want to see The First Brahui _______.

“Morality” as identity

It’s an axiom: Anyone who publicly touts his or her morality is deeply immoral. They’ve got skeletons as tall as the Empire State Building in their closets. These squalid towers of bone will someday topple into view with earsplitting crashes, as is always the case. If you want to fool yourself into believing that any member of Congress is a moral paragon, be my guest.

But I’m allowed to point out their hypocrisies, their lies, their clay feet, their warts, and their crimes. This isn’t North Korea.

Yet.


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