Front porch politics

by Jim Hightower

   If you despair that a mysterious plague of incurable political knuckleheadism has swept our country, turning previously progressive white working-class people into mindless Trump worshippers, check out this report: “The Promise of a Progressive Populist Movement.”
It’s from People’s Action, a grassroots coalition that sent out volunteers to knock on more than 5,000 doors, have nearly 2,500 phone conversations, and visit scores of local events and churches in “Trump Country” – dozens of rural counties in 10 swing states that went for Trump in 2016. The volunteers simply had open conversations, asking folks in economically distressed rural communities what mattered to them politically. The most common initial response was, “No one’s ever asked me before.”

   While Trump voters are predominantly white, the working-class families visited by People’s Action included Black, Latino, Native American, and other residents living in these rural areas. Practically none were worried about the inflammatory bugaboos that idolatrous Trumpsters cite: Hordes of invading aliens! Mooching poor people! Fake media! Rather, what most concerned them was being told by word and deed that they – America’s hard-hit and hard-working families – don’t matter. Far from converting to the Narcissistic Church of The Donald, these voters saw Trump as merely a handy, blunt-force club to whack a two-party system that no longer speaks to – much less for – them.
And rather than embracing Trump’s elitist ideology and corporate agenda, they told People’s Action that they want populist reforms like health care for all, fair wages, free access to education, clean water, and a government uncorrupted by big money. To learn more and read the report go to: PeoplesAction.org/the-promise-of-a-progressive-populist-movement.

 

How far-out is Trump’s war policy


   If you think our government’s war policy has become out-of-this world cuckoo – consider the spaciness being proposed by the cosmonauts on Spaceship Trump.
Spending nearly $700 billion a year on maintaining the five branches of the US war machine (not counting the costs of actually fighting all the wars they get into) is not enough they now tell us. So prepare to soar – militarily and budgetarily – into a boundless war theater where none have gone before: Yes, outer space!

   It seems that Captain Trump himself woke up one morning in June and abruptly announced that he was bored with the fusty old Army, Air Force, etc., so he wanted a shiny new sixth military branch to play with [space music sound effects] – a “Space Force” to carry America’s war-making power to a cosmic level. His loyal lieutenant, Mike “Yes-Man” Pence promptly saluted, calling Trump’s whim “an idea whose time has come.” America’s military leaders rolled their eyes at this folly, but they’ve since snapped to attention and are preparing to launch Cap’n Trump’s grandiose space dreams.

   In a melodramatic speech, Pence declared that the new Space Command will “seek peace, in space as on Earth.” Hmmm… that’s not very comforting. However, he says he’s thrilled that Trump’s Space Force will be led by a four-star general, have its own bureaucracy with a multibillion-dollar budget, have a separate division to funnel money to corporate war contractors, and have its own snappy uniforms. Won’t all that look great if Trump ever gets that big showy military parade he’s been demanding as a tribute to his leadership as a cocktail-room warrior.

   The Trumpeteers gush that this extraplanetary extravagance will attract “America’s best and bravest” to serve as “warfighters.” Of course, their privileged families won’t have to fight in any of the space wars they’re dreaming up for other families to fight.
Vice President Pushes Plan for Military Force in Space,” New York Times, August 8, 2018
Pence details plan for sixth branch of military: ‘Space Force’,” Washington Post, August 9, 2018,