Elections 2016: Won’t get fooled again?

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” These lyrics by The Who, from the song æWon’t Get Fooled Again,” still ring true today and with the advent of social media, I am astounded by how many Americans are so easily fooled when it comes to presidential politics.

With next year’s presidential election still more than 15 months away, I can’t help be struck by how so many people view democrats, Hillary Clinton in particular, as the party that cares about the common voter.

Republicans are often portrayed as the party that cares only about the rich and guns and if elected into the White House, they will turn this country into what it was under George W. Bush (whatever that was as opposed to what is is).

It is important to examine some key points before jumping into a social media slugfest with someone on the other side of the country.

Democrats are every bit as much the party of the wealthy as republicans are. They just go about things differently.

Take Hillary Clinton, for instance. As their likely presidential candidate next year, she loves to portray herself as someone in touch with the needs of the poor and middle class. However, remember, she is a very wealthy person and made her wealth through her political connections to very wealthy and influential people and not from the common voter.

Both she and her husband are paid six figure sums for speeches to special interest groups that represent major corporations, think tanks, and foreign governments. This is not a crime by any means and I will admit I would not mind getting in on some of that action.

However, when you become a millionaire several times over as a result of your political connections, you cease being a candidate of and for the common voter.

Furthermore, when you admit you have not driven a car for more than 20 years and rely on a private driver, you do not display an understanding of what the average person experiences. Add to that, personal chefs, housekeepers, and private guards, and you soon realize this candidate has no clue what the rest of us experience.

Hillary Clinton during her official campaign announcement. (YouTube)
Hillary Clinton during her official campaign announcement. (YouTube)

This is not meant to pick on Clinton, who is very well qualified to serve in government when compared to others, but simply to point out how Democrats are placing their future, and the nation’s future as well, in the hands of a very wealthy person far removed from reality.

As a California citizen, I can point out the same about our two senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, our governor, Jerry Brown, and the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. All are Democrats and all are very wealthy when compared to the bank accounts of the common voter.

Okay, so all our politicians, Democrat and Republican, are very well off. It explains why they stick around for so long and why we hold them in such low regard.

Still, when you read what people post on social media, Democrats are far more likely to be portrayed as the party who cares about Americans and their needs while Republicans are more like the evil empire and only interested in waging wars and rewarding the rich.

Obamacare and unemployment figures are often cited by Democrats as reasons not to vote Republican. But if Republicans are really the evil empire and only care about the rich, how do Democrats explain Republicans taking both houses in last year’s mid term elections? The reality is, most Americans are not rich so it does not make sense the “party of the rich” controls both houses.

As for Obamacare, which has provided millions of previously uninsured Americans with health care, ask yourself, “Why is it health insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies continue raking in huge profits under the ACA?”

Democrats may have delivered “Universal” health care, but to claim it is affordable when millions of others have seen their rates increase or coverage decrease is not meeting the needs of the people.

“But thanks to Democrats, unemployment continues to drop,” you say. True. However, the jobs that were lost as a result of the 2008 recession were primarily middle class jobs and have been replaced with mostly low paying ones that do not support a family.

This is why so many Democrats argue for a huge increase to the minimum wage. They figure if you pay someone enough money to flip burgers, they will forget they have a college degree in engineering that goes unused. The fact doing so will drive middle class business owners out of business goes unmentioned by Democrats.

Computers have gutted middle management and robotics have eliminated assembly lines. Meanwhile, your local Dollar Tree and Subway need college grads to work their registers for ten bucks an hour until they can afford to replace them with a robot. Is this really the economy we want to see continue?

My point is not to convince readers to turn their backs on Democrats and embrace Republicans. Believe me, Republicans shoot themselves in the foot enough to warrant questioning their leadership ability. It’s just meant to remind you to not be fooled again by the simple portrayals we see done by traditional and social media.

There will be no great third and fourth party candidates to vote for next year so we are stuck with candidates from our two political parties who go to great lengths to maintain the status quo.

In another four years, there will be another presidential election headed our way. It is safe to bet the rich will still be rich, the poor will still be poor, and the middle class will still be slammed with taxes. It is likely to be that way in another 40 years.

So unless you are willing to work toward establishing more political parties, know your choices will always be limited to people tied to the super rich, none of whom can relate to your concerns, much less solve them without creating a bigger mess.

On the bright side, just be glad we are not Greece.