Rural Areas

Trump Administration Refusal To Make Opioid Crisis A National Emergency An Unconscionable Declaration Of Democide, A Crime Against Humanity!

The Trump Administration has refused to declare the Opioid Crisis a National Emergency, saying it is not necessary.

This is one of the most criminal acts of the Trump Presidency, as about 1,000 people per week are dying from abuse of pain medication, which means we have a September 11 equivalent every three weeks, which also means over 50,000-60,000 people will die in the next year, more than in auto accidents, because of refusal to mobilize resources to fight this epidemic of overdoses and addiction, which is affecting all of the nation, and particularly high rates in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Maine, Maryland, and Palm Beach County, Florida, where this blogger lives. High levels of addiction are found in rural areas, and among white working class people, many of whom voted for Donald Trump, but Trump just says one must teach one’s children not to abuse drugs as if a lecture will resolve it, and as more teenagers become victims every week.

Everyone is susceptible to this situation, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has, commendably, brought attention to this crisis, from the time of his Presidential campaign when he spoke about a good friend who died from opioid addiction. It was the most human moment of his failed campaign, but he is still very much involved in trying to promote action on this crisis, which has become one of ethics, and morality.

For Trump to refuse, through his despicable Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a doctor, to address this issue as a national emergency is an unconscionable declaration of democide, a crime against humanity, that should lead to prosecution and imprisonment for Trump, Price, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who instead wants to promote more convictions and imprisonment as punishment for those who are unfortunately addicted to pain medication.

The problem is that opioids are available from overseas nations, including China, via the internet, so it is not just an issue of drugs being brought across the border from Mexico, as is often the assertion we hear from the Trump Administration.

One can wonder if the thought in the Trump Administration is that a good way to get rid of people considered “unproductive” and a burden on society is to let them die, offer no help or assets to deal with the crisis, other than punishment through imprisonment. This may sound crazy to many, but it is clear that Trump has no regard for poor people, elderly people, disabled people, and “unproductive” people, and it would save a large portion of the funding for the “social safety net”.

Senate Republican Health Care Bill Will NOT Reach 50 Votes, As Now Stands!

The newly veiled Senate Republican Health Care legislation, created behind closed doors in great secrecy, is finally unveiled, and it is a total disaster for the poor, disabled, and elderly, and promotes the end of Medicaid, which 20 percent of the nation relies on, including 60 percent in nursing homes, and the millions of disabled people.

It undermines health care for the opioid crisis raging across America, and anyone with pre-existing conditions will no longer be protected.

It is a certainty that tens of thousands of Americans are being given a death warrant by the Republican Party, and its hard hearted, nasty, mean spirited membership, which is more concerned about giving massive tax cuts to the top one percent who do not need it, and have not asked for it, but will, of course, accept what is offered, as after all, does one reject candy offered?

But it is also important to note that this legislation will fall, as there is no way imaginable that 50 Senators out of 52 will support it.

Dean Heller of Nevada is the most endangered Republican Senator in 2018, and has said he cannot support it, and Nevada is one of the states that has more on Medicaid than many other states.

Susan Collins of Maine is, arguably, the most moderate Republican, and has made clear she cannot vote for legislation that decimates Medicaid.

The same can be said for Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, both states having loads of poor, struggling whites and others, who depend on Medicaid.

Both Collins and Murkowksi also defend Planned Parenthood, which is due to be cut from any government aid under the legislation.

Rob Portman of Ohio is also concerned about the opioid crisis hitting his state.

Jeff Flake of Arizona is the second most endangered Republican Senator coming up for re-election in 2018, so doubtful about his support for the legislation, as well.

Then, there are others who will not support the bill, as it is not harsh enough, imagine that–including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.

And one wonders whether John McCain of Arizona, who has long had a “moderate” image, can actually vote for this legislation.

Also, all major medical associations have condemned the legislation as unacceptable, having a disastrous effect on rural areas, and on the idea that health care should be available for all Americans.

So, as of now, it is highly unlikely that the Senate Health Care bill will reach 50 votes!

Rural, Blue Collar, Poorly Educated Vs Urban, Suburban, White Collar, Well Educated: The 19th Century Vs. The 21st Century

After the British vote to leave the European Union, and the support that Donald Trump has gained in the United States, one thing is very clear!

We are in the midst of a revolt of the rural, blue collar, poorly educated against the urban, suburban, white collar, well educated who promote modernization and tolerance on the issue of immigration and race.

It was urban Londoners against the rural parts of England who voted to exit Europe, as it is the major urban centers and surrounding suburbs of America against the hinterland of Appalachia, the rural South, the Great Plains and the Mountain West, who love Donald Trump.

It is really nostalgia for the 19th century against the modernization of the 21st century, and a desire to isolate oneself from outside influences and nations.

The effort must be made to prevent the narrow mindedness of what happened in the United Kingdom from spreading, like a disease, to the United States in this year’s election.

All progressives must unite around Hillary Clinton and help to shape her progressive agenda, assuredly more than under her husband, Bill Clinton, in the 1990s!

Old Urban-Rural Battle Among States Now Battles Between Cities And Rural Areas Within The States!

The story of much of American history is the struggle and battles between the growing urbanization in America, and the desire of small town, rural America to keep “traditional values”.

So the South, heavily rural historically, has always held back against reform and change, and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in the half century since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson.

But now, in 2016, we are seeing a revolt, an uprising of growing urban areas and university towns in the South against “traditional values”!

So we see urban areas in many Southern states promoting becoming “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants; supporting gay and transgender rights; calling for minimum wage laws to be reinforced and to promote raises; and working to undermine the Confederate flag as an appropriate symbol in 21st century America!

These growing urban areas include such locations as Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; Atlanta, Athens and Savannah, Georgia; Gainesville and Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, Mississippi; Birmingham, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Little Rock and Fayetteville, Arkansas; Nashville and Knoxville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The Democratic Party is growing in these areas, and African Americans and Latinos are a good percentage of that growth, and university towns are also part of the massive changes that are occurring toward progressive change.

But the rural dominated Republican legislatures are passing state pre-emption laws that deny these localities the ability to set up their own regulations and laws. Ironically, it means these Republican states are fighting to take away local controls, while fighting on the national level against centralized authority of the federal government!

Donald Trump Is The New “Southern” Demagogue: Combination Of Huey P. Long, Strom Thurmond, George C. Wallace!

Anyone watching Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign will notice, if they are using their brain matter, that his greatest appeal is among Southerners who want the “glorious past” returned to them, a time of racial discrimination and prejudice against any minority group which is not white Christian!  Thousands flock to see Trump in Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and other Southern states.

The Trump supporters are poorly educated, including many high school dropouts and barely graduates of high school; lower income whites living in rural areas of the South, Appalachia, and the Midwest non urban areas bordering on the South; heavily racist and nativist and blaming minorities for their own shortcomings and inability to earn a decent living; and those who admire narcissism, bullyism, and braggadocio, due to their own mentally unstable and insecure personalities.

The Trump supporter base want a strong man, who promotes obedience to authority and to those, whether religious or political demagogues, who have an appeal that simplifies all of the problems that most people without education and knowledge find appealing.  They want women to go back to the “good old days” when they focused on the bedroom and the kitchen, rather than compete with men.

The Trump supporters also support action to put African Americans, Latinos, and Muslims under control, working against their basic human rights and civil liberties, so they want a return to the days when white male Christians (fundamentalist and evangelical) were in charge, not having to deal with the rise of Catholics and Jews who started to become influential in the time of the New Deal of FDR and since.

So Trump supporters want a return to pre 1930s government intervention, so would support erasing much of the New Deal, Great Society, and Obama reforms,, even though they would be far worse off without Social Security, Medicare, and a multitude of programs that help the white poor and working class!

They want a new “Southern” demagogue, a combination of Huey P. Long, Strom Thurmond, and George C. Wallace, even if its leader is a multi billionaire New Yorker, who only vacations in Florida, and really has no respect or regard for the typical Trump supporter, who he looks upon privately with disdain!

The Growing Democratic Party Suburbs: The Death Knell Of The Republican Party!

Traditional views of American politics tell us that the cities, the urban areas, are overwhelmingly Democratic in loyalty; that the suburbs, which blossomed after World War II, are Republican, as people escape the city and urban problems, and are heavily white; and that the exurbs, those areas much further away from the cities, are Republican, along with the widespread land we consider rural areas.

So as long as the Republican Party wins the suburbs, the exurbs, and the rural areas,a they can be competitive and win national elections.

But it is now apparent by statistics that the suburbs are rapidly turning Democratic, as they have become no longer white “flight” havens, but instead have become a mix of Americans of all races and religions and cultures, and sadly, poverty has come to the suburbs, in some ways almost as badly as in the cities, due to the Great Recession.

The Republican refusal to accept that poverty is not the fault of citizens, but of circumstance, and rejection of the concept that everyone should be entitled to health care, is having a long range effect on Americans living in the suburbs.

It is not just economic factors, but also social factors, such as the issues of gay marriage, abortion rights, labor rights, concern about the environment, education, and the recognition of the need to adjust to a changing American society, which is also helping the Democrats, as the Republicans come across as mean spirited, biased, prejudiced, uncaring about anyone except the wealthy, and refusing to recognize the demographic changes that have developed in suburbs, as well as the cities.

So a political party that thinks it can survive and prosper on the basis of winning the exurbs and the rural areas is a party in total denial, as while there are massive land areas where these people live, the percentages of population living in those areas is miniscule, compared to the larger population numbers in the suburbs, as well as the cities.

While many Congressional districts can be gerrymandered and give the Republicans greater influence than they should rightfully have in the House of Representatives, their agenda and public persona of their leadership insures that the cities and the suburbs will be majority Democratic for a long time, giving the Presidency and the Senate to the Democrats. In the long run, this guarantees that the future Supreme Court , and even the lower courts, will be heavily influenced by Democratic Presidential appointments, which are considered and approved by the Senate, where Democrats need to fight to keep control so that they can promote the agenda of Democratic Presidents, and resist a Republican House majority based on artificial conditions, that can eventually be turned over to a Democratic Party majority over time.

Economic Reality Grim For Most Americans, Whether Based On Race Or Education Level!

Growing evidence shows that the effects of the Great Recession, and really the policies of Republican Presidents and Congresses since 1980, have created a grim reality for a vast majority of Americans—likelihood of poverty, deprivation, and lack of opportunity, even for college graduates in large numbers for a long period of years! And where one lives does, and will have a dramatic effect on the long term futures of millions of citizens!

A study shows that four out of five adults in America will struggle with joblessness, near poverty, or reliance on welfare for part of their lives! 76 percent of whites will experience such a situation by the age of 60!

15 percent of the American people, nearly 47 million of the population, are in poverty, with higher percentages of African Americans and Hispanic-Latinos, but in absolute numbers, whites are 41 percent or 19 million of the poor, double what African Americans are in numbers. Most of these poor whites live in Appalachia, the industrial Midwest, and the heartland of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Great Plains, areas of rural communities , and even in many suburbs, in areas where 60 percent of the poor are whites.

So working class whites, those without college degrees, are in a terrible state, unable to look forward to the accomplishment of the “American Dream”!

But the problem is that even those who have a college education are facing a horrible job market. Many are unemployed, while even more who are working, are underemployed, working part time, and also, many are working in jobs that do not require a college degree, so are wasting years trying to break in to the job market they planned for, but are unable to engage in, due to the Great Recession and its aftermath!

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that where one lives has a dramatic effect on climbing up the income ladder! Social mobility up the income ladder is MUCH harder in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, including such cities as Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis,. Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Columbus!

At the same time, social mobility and rising up the income ladder is best in the Northeast and the West, including New York, Boston, large areas of California and Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Salt Lake City.

It is extremely disturbing that earlier studies of social mobility demonstrate that a smaller percentage of people escape childhood poverty in America than in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan.

Affluent children tend to remain so, achieving a lot of success by as young as age 30, while children from poverty rarely see much improvement, and that is not just a race issue, as whites have the same results, based on how they were born, rich or poor!

The need to deal with social mobility and opportunity, for working class whites and minorities, are the agenda that Barack Obama is pursuing as he travels the nation, calling for an economic plan for the future, including improvements in education, infrastructure, new technologies, and environmental challenges to overcome climate change!

There is no more important agenda for the nation than the providing of economic opportunity, in a nation where the middle class has been decimated, from its high point, 40 years ago, in 1973!

The Poor Often Forgotten: The White Underclass

Whenever there is discussion of the problem of poverty, the tendency of most people is to assume that poverty is found only in the city ghettos across the country, and that poverty is found only among African American and Hispanic and Latino communities.

The thought that there might be millions of white poor people in rural areas and in the suburbs, particularly since the Great Recession hit in 2008, which has caused the loss of more jobs and foreclosure of homes on a massive basis than ever in the past 80 years, has not been generally recognized.

Many of the white poor are single mothers with children, but also includes families where both mother and father have lost their jobs, and also people in their 50s and 60s who are unlikely ever to get a full time job ever again, sadly, and also senior citizens and the disabled who are in a terrible state of affairs when it comes to medical care and having adequate money for food and other necessities.

Of course, there are minorities in the same boat, but in actuality, there are many more forgotten whites than minorities. And instead of the Republican Party being willing to recognize this reality, instead they love to use the race card to imply that the vast majority of poor are nonwhite, when just the opposite is the case.

The growing income inequality and education gaps are the true crisis for America’s future, and we do not see the Republican Party willing to address this truth, but instead utilize fear and hysteria to keep many whites from voting for the party who really cares about their future, the Democrats under Barack Obama!

IntraState Discontent: Suggestions To Break Up States Growing, But Unlikely To Occur!

A movement to break up states, and therefore create more Senate seats and overcome the influence of urban areas on rural and suburban populations, is starting to grow.

The suggestion has been made to create a new state of Southern California, consisting of 13 million people and 13 counties, but not including Los Angeles.

California is not the only state which has experienced this kind of movement. It is actually very common, at least in people’s imaginations.

Florida has seen the debate over creating a separate Southern Florida state. Upstate New York and downstate Illinois have long wished for separation from New York City and Chicago.

Northern Virginia has thought of itself as separate from the rest of Virginia, with the influence of Washington, DC over the area. And western Pennsylvania has wished to be separate from Philadelphia influences over state affairs.

Northern Ohio with Cleveland has long seen itself as different from Southern Ohio and Cincinnati, and Michigan is often seen as Detroit and a separate western Michigan.

And of course, the giant state of Texas has often been seen as multiple states, with the rivalry of Houston vs. Dallas-Forth Worth; the influence of Austin and San Antonio as the most liberal part of the state; and the Panhandle of Lubbock and other communities as totally different from the others.

So in theory, if all the wishes expressed for separation were to occur, we would not have 50 states, but more likely, at least SIXTY-ONE states!

But is this going to happen at any point in the future? Don’t put betting money on it!