Philippe Collard

5 years ago · 5 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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A message to millennials about the 2016 Presidential election

A message to millennials about the 2016 Presidential election

I am 62 years old. I am an immigrant. I have been a US citizen since 1993 (and proud of it). I have participated in the election process since the very first time I was eligible. And I have never witnessed anything like what we are witnessing this year (which could have consequences beyond any other election I have been involved in as a citizen).

I will also say that I am a progressive liberal (whatever that means for those who hate the word “progress” and the word “liberty” (the root of the word “liberal”)). It means that I respect every single individual as a person regardless of race, religion, origin or social status. I believe that education and health care are fundamental rights that the citizenry must organize to provide. I believe that the government has no business telling us who to love, when to have babies and what religion (if any) we should adhere to. I believe in free enterprise only to the extent that enterprises respect people, the environment, and the public good. I believe in free speech to the extent such speech is not purposely offensive to others. I believe that the tax system is not a way to “get your money from you” but a way to participate in the building of a better, more inclusive and fairer community. I believe that guns and more guns make communities more dangerous. I was a Bernie Sanders’ supporter during the primaries.

As one ages, elections tend to be less and less consequential (because we have less and less time for these elections to impact our lives). It is the nature of things. That being said, us, the “baby boomers” want to weigh in more and more into decisions that will affect younger generations, even generations that have yet to be born. This is the nature of our egotistical selves. [Notice that in the UK, an overwhelming number of younger people were told by an overwhelming number of older people that they could not be part of Europe…how dare we, the almost dead, make such decisions. I guess it is called democracy in all of its imperfections].

We, older folks, when we vote, we should think first and foremost about our children and children’ children. They want to build their own lives under their own terms. That is the way it should be. But every four years, we are all “equal” and make decisions, one age group at a time, with vastly different reasons and vastly different consequences on our own singular future. I do not know of a better way. However, this time is different!

You, the millennials (18 to 34…who came up with these numbers? Let’s say the younger active generations) will have a major influence, if not determining influence, on this election. It is a simple reflection of demographics. This year (like any other election cycle), you may look at the choice of candidates before us as a choice between individuals, political programs or ideologies. In politics, there really are no other alternatives.

The US political system is not a parliamentary or representative democracy. A two party system is clearly odd given the rainbow of opinions about a particular topic in any organized civilization. Even “independents” must find a “home”, so to speak, with this arbitrary partition of the state between Democrats and Republicans. Why would anybody be forced to make such a choice is a clear sign that the “most exceptional country in the world” is not that “exceptional” when it comes to the maturity (and representability) of its political process.

It is a system that has allowed one candidate (Al Gore) to win the popular vote in 2000 and lose the election. I have a more benign view of George W Bush than many. I think he is a decent man who surrounded himself with ideologues for political reasons. That being said, he “gave” us the Iraq war. And I dare say that if Al Gore had been President, it would not have happened. (You may, at this point, check the name Ralph Nader).

This year the two main parties have vastly different candidates. One is experienced (some say to a fault). The other is a bully who has never done anything in his life other than for himself. Some say that HRC cannot be trusted because of “all her scandals”. OK so name one for which you have specific data that show she is “crooked” (Mr. Trump favorite nick name), or incompetent. Did she make mistake? Sure…and you never did or never will? [Note: for instance people talk about Benghazi…forgetting that 3 GOP Presidents (Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2) got way more Americans killed because of their reckless actions than HRC might have by her lack of action…and by several order of magnitude). And with respect to the Clinton Foundation, name ONE reason you could call this a “scandal”…scandal because they are trying to provide help to 3rd world nations to deal with HIV…is that the scandal?]. Bottom line is this: If I ask the question: why don’t you trust HRC? All you will say is…well, what exactly will you say?

Now I love Bernie. I lived in Vermont for many years so I know him well. He is something else. And he did something else altogether. As a progressive liberal, he “hits” all my buttons. That being said, he decided to enter the Democrats contest. It was HIS choice. He could have run as an independent ("3rd party"). He did not. Was the process “rigged”? Show me a political process that is not! Sure thing is that lots of big wigs wanted HRC to win, even before she even got in the race. But in the end, Bernie got less votes.

Let me ask you this question though: do you think that letting Donald Trump be elected POTUS is going to fix the process you are upset about?

Now some of you want to stay home on Election Day or vote for a “3rd party” candidate. So let me tell you one thing: unfortunately, when it comes to the Presidential election in the US, there are no such thing as a “3rd party” candidate because none of them has any chance to win! A protest vote you want to cast. Really? Again: on November 7th, the day after the election either Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump will be POTUS. That is it. And you have to ask yourself which one of the two you are ready to live with or support for 4 years, if not 8.

But here are some question I REALLY want you to ask yourselves before you stay home or cast a “protest vote” (which is the equivalent of a 7 years old pouting because she/he did not get her/his favorite desert). If Donald Trump is elected because you stayed home or supported a “3rd party” candidate, I want you to close your eyes and answer all the following questions:

What will YOU say to all of those who will lose their health care insurance when Obamacare is repealed and not replaced?

What will YOU say to all the black men who will now be stopped and frisked?

What will YOU say to minorities, like LGBT, when their rights to live like everybody else is taken away?

What will YOU say to minorities when everything is done to take their right to vote away from them?

What will YOU say to all the women who will not be able to have a legal abortion because Trump has nominated one or several judges on the Supreme Court who want to take the country back to the middle age?

What will YOU say to Muslims when they are profiled or their family prevented to come visit them from abroad?

What will YOU say to the millions of hard working immigrants who are here and will be thrown back over the border?

What will YOU tell their children whose only home is the USA?

What will YOU say to your grandparents when Social Security is wrecked and they do not get the benefits they worked all their life to get?

What will YOU say to victims of frauds by big banks (such as Wells Fargo) left unprotected because the Consumer Protection Service Bureau (whose mission is to uncover and fight fraud) has been dismantled?

What will YOU say to the families of all the people who will die of gun violence because nothing will be done to curbs the reckless ownership of guns in America?

What will YOU do when the environment, the air you breathe, the rivers, the soil, is polluted by rampant filth? What will YOU do to for all the people who live on lands that will be destroyed by oil companies?

During an election campaign, a lot of things are promised by all the candidates. Very few of them ever happen. More jobs? Less taxes? More of this, more of that. A country is too complex for one person to fulfil the exuberant claims that candidates peddle on the campaign trail

However, in this election, one candidate has made clear that there is a number of things he will do. The frightening thing is that he will have the power to do them. Or to roll back decades of progress, affecting the lives of millions of people. And he is supported by ideologues who cannot wait for him to be in office to actually do all these things!

Casting a vote for a third party candidate is simply voting for Donald Trump. You cannot hide from that fact. YOU CANNOT HIDE FROM THAT FACT! And before you do elect Donald Trump, yes YOU who is full of idealistic ideas about how the world should be, I want you to close your eyes, imagine the day after the election, Donald Trump is President and now you need to find an answer to all the questions I asked for all the people I have named who will suffer the consequences of your egotistical, immature decision. See, we old people, are not the only one whose choice can have disastrous outcome on other people’s lives!

Close your eyes and imagine how you will answer those questions! Because you may have to.

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Philippe Collard

5 years ago #23

Philip Hubbell, indeed that document was written by relatively modest people who live when the US had 3 millions people. Which, in my view, doest make the case that said document should be applied "stricto sensu" to a world where the US as over 300 millions citizens in a world that is vastly different than what it was then. Now iPhone in 17 in 1788. Yet, most people in the US insist that said document should be the guiding principle of whatever happens in the US? really? In spite of the fact that a - slavery was not addressed b - women rights and women vote what not addressed and a bunch of other issues that are today common sense. In other words, this document cannot be claim to be the "bible" it is claimed to be...and has been amended multiple times snce then. Another interesting fact is that we now have 9 un-elected individuals whose job it is to "interpret" the Constitution, with some claiming to interpret it has the "Founders" would have seen it...well, good luck with that one..let us go back and dig the Founders from their graves and ask them about LGBT rights and see what they say. It simply is idiotic. Except that ideologs like you want to look back rather than forward. Modern states do no let themselves be anchored into the past...look at South Africa as a model. In summary, reading the Constitution is one thing. Understanding it in an historical context is another...and most people in the US see the Constitution has defining a "perfect state, a perfect Union". We know it was not and we know it is not. Progess is the only way that will refine this ancient framework to adapt it to today's reality. And folks like resist progress with all their bones...

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #22

Albert Gibel, as part of the alt right deplorables, whatever you say is speaking with rage rather than facts...the rage that old white males like you have because they lost the "good old days"....they are gone, Albert. Fovever!

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #21

Philip Hubbel. the first problem with your comment "try not to assume that you are more informed than someone you don't know on anything. " is that it is not even proper English. May be I should have written my post in French, or Greek or Latin. And, believe me, I can :-)

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #20

Phillip Hubbell, I will quote a sentence that is now famous "Have you even read the Constitution"...and do you understand its history and evolution. You, mere native, does not, and I repeat NOT have any kind of claim on a - what being an American means or is (as a matter of fact, I would say that being an 1st gen. immigrant is much closer to being an American than having just "shown up" nine months into your mother's pregnancy which does not require any kind of will) b - knowledge and understand of the institutions of the USA c - freedom, liberty, and other values. So do not lecture me or other immigrants on "free speech" (by the way, you have not experienced any other form than the one you know) or "free enterprise" (again, is it OK for a company to make money but kill people in the process...have not heard your answer yet...I understand an incovenient question to which folks like you never give an answer other than "too much regulations...shame"...have you read the stroy about Theranos...If not educate yourself for a change! As for the "balanced" budget...give me a big break will took 24 months for W to transform it into a deficit...

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #19

Jared Wiese what is absolutely extraordinary is to see Donald Trump talk about the national debt as a total disaster while, he, has used debt for decades to fund his businesses. Come on, am I the only one who noticed? "I am the kind of debt"...and he wanted to default on the US debt as he did on his businesses...well, not so the way, as I explained, the real issue is not the amount of debt in and ot itself, its the ratio between debt and assets (wealth)...

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #18

Philip Hubbell if you understood the Constitution and its evolution you would understand that "free speech" is not a blank check to say whatever you want in whatever know, it takes someone who had to STUDY the constitution to become of US citizen to actually know that! And it is also oh so easy to frame what I said in your right wing let me ask you a question: do you approve of companies who polute the environment to the extent people's health is put at risk? (if you no example comes to your mind, I will provide a few later...but just think about companies that polute rivers, the soil, the air or all of the above...believe there are some who do): SO are you OK with these companies making money while, at the same time, making people sick?

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #17

Phil Friedman the amount of debt in an of itself means nothing. What is really important: how much debt with respect to the national wealth (and not the GDP). GDP is what you earn let's say. You debt is what you owe. But what about what you owe versus what you owned? Well, the net US national wealth is around $ it is in effect 6.5 times the national debt. But the right winger will never talk about that. Say you go to a bank and ask for a loan. They will ask you how much you make of course (GDP)...but what matter much more to them is what assets you own to secure your loan (your wealth) yes the national debt is high...but the national wealth is much much higher. In other words, suppose you have borrowed 100$K for a would mean you have assets equivallent to $650K to secure that debt. Any banker will loan you money on the face of that. And right now, borrowing money is extremely cheap...because of ultra low if for the sake of argument assume that inflation is going to double from 1% to 2% in the next few simply means that the actual value of the money you have borrowed and the interest that you must pay will decreases in present $$ is a no brainer...there is a reason why BANKS AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS WANT PEOPLE TO BUY HOME NOW! MONEY IS CHEAP. So yes, let's talk about the national debt...and see who are the idiots who don't really undestand basic finances!

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #16

We should not be talking about the "National Debt Clock". Or maybe we should. The fact is that the Dems under the leadership of Bill Clinton not only balanced the budget, but created budget surpluses that were making whacking big reductions to the national debt. The along cam George W. and Republican de-regulation and "trickle-down-economics", which ended in a disaster which 98% of us will be paying out to 2050 at least. But at least I have come to understand "tricke-down-economics" -- taxes and investments are structured to flow 99% of the nation's wealth to 1% of the population, which takes that wealth and... pisses on the rest of us. Then to add insult to injury, Donald Trump, who believes a major qualification for the office of president is his ability to rapidly tweet out nsults about Bill Clinton's sexual escapades, and to repeat over and over again, "I can win, she can't" ad nauseum. If it weren't all so pathetically dangerous to the nation's future, it could easily be a script for a SNL skit.

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #15

Albert Gibel, may be you do not know how to read. If that is the case, I am sorry for you. I am a US citizen. So quit the "canadian" stuff, tough you should learn a thing or two about is a wonderful country with wonderful people...

don kerr

5 years ago #14

unfortunately Francisco Lopez he is as real as something unpleasant on the bottom of your shoe.

Francisco Lopez

5 years ago #13

Probably he is a troll team, using a fake profile.

Francisco Lopez

5 years ago #12

Nice clock, just have to keep it in perspective. I am an economist and understand well these things. As happen with Trump trolls, you are badly misinformed, and I am generous.

don kerr

5 years ago #11

Apparently Mr. Gibel is as thin-skinned and intolerant and ignorant and brutish as his idol. It was he who advised me to commit a physically impossible act upon myself on LinkedIn when I deigned to comment on his idol. He is unworthy of comment and/or an iota of respect.

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #10

By the way, Trump has been caught lying every 3 minutes or so over a period of 5 hours of public appearances (Politico). Every 3 minutes...but some like A Gibel, could not care less...essentially because it fits their own other words, Trump lying does not bother them because that's what they do...

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #9

Albet Gibel, if AT LEAST YOU WOULD DO ME THE FAVOR TO READ THE SECOND SENTENCE OF MY POST: I AM A US CITIZEN! As a matter of fact, America asked me to come because of the unique skills I had at the time. And when I read a lot of "Americans" talking about THEIR country when their only claim to be American is that their father+ mother copulated at some point in time and nine months later they showed up. Big deal! You are one of the deplorables. Just a right wing nut with relatively no taste for facts. You hate the word "progress", actually you are afraid of it. And you would rather have a megalomaniac in the White House because it will protect older white males like you. It is pointless to discuss with people like you because you live in your own reality where truth is inconvenient. Do you understand for instance, that the National Debt is OWNED at 75% by the Social Security fund, the Feds and US citizens...and that your "hero" once said he wanted to "re-negotiated" that debt (in other words, pay back Treasury bills cents on the $ which would immediately bankrupt the S.S. fund, and the savings of millions of Americans). Do you understand what it means? DO you think Trump knows anything about international finance, except when it comes to protecting his own self interest? Do you have any idea what it would do the international market if the US defaulted on its debt? And, for a check on your "knowledge", do you understand the impact of debt on the US economy? How are they inter locked? How one affects the other. Today, interest rates are NEGATIVE, in other words, there has never been a better time to contract debt but people like you have so little knowledge and so much ideology....DEPLORABLE, that's what you are: neo fascists, against everything that changes their own little view of the "white world", racists, mysognist, I bet you are homophobic as well..."gays should be sent to hell" right. Can't wait for Latinos and others to be the majority!

don kerr

5 years ago #8

One of the most cogent and reasonably passionate pieces I have read. Well done.

Jim Murray

5 years ago #7

I read a very interesting article the other day. It had to do with how the media is working their corrupt asses off to keep the campaign balanced by making Hillary Clinton look as corrupt as Trump. The trouble is that there is such a huge difference, because Trump is almost totally corrupt and Hillary is not even in the same ballpark, So they have to keep harping on the email issues, which were settled weeks ago now, and most recently the Clinton foundation which does nothing but good work and Hillary's heath, which is also a non-issue.. So what you end up with is a situation where Hillary is made to look as corrupt as Trump, when in actually, he is in a class of his own and should have been disqualified long ago. But the obstructionist republican congress would never do that their their golden boy, mainly because all they have to replace him with are idiots or John Kasek. But the biggest problem of all is that you have an abnormally large percentage of the voting public who believe everything the media tells them. You guys have created quite a world down there, with all you partisan politics getting in the way of what's good for your country. Great piece Philippe Collard

Francisco Lopez

5 years ago #6

The USA is not broke, even the Republican efforts to do so. Everything that benefits the people of this country, is anathema for the Grand Oligarchs Party, now hijacked by Trump, from the Koch bros and their dogs, the Tea Party, which these used to maintain in line their lackeys in Congress. Anyone with a mortgage, knows that his debt is several times his annual income, in most cases. Our GDP is about par with our national debt, and our coverage ratio is about 30 times our debt. We are not broke, we were almost insolvent wehn the Republican part =y was in power. as always these bullshitters say they are for business, they are for a few cronies. When the GOP is in power, the S&P 500 yields a median 1.4% ROI per annum, when the democrats are in power, the metric is 12.7%. Why? The democrats are more friendlier to the poor, who consume, the GOP is friendlier to the very wealthy, who invest in paper or open businesses in other countries trying to exploit cheap labor. An IMF study in 150 countries showed that money given to the wealthy depress GDP, the same money given to the poor, increased significantly GDP. There is a lot of ignorance among he right wing nut ranks.

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #5

Thank you, Philippe Collard for speaking out. What was amply demonstrated by the debate is that this is not about HC's qualifications, which are ample despite whether one likes her personally, but about DT's obvious and complete deficiencies: completely egocentric view of what this is all about, inability to understand this is no longer a primary contest, complete lack of social conscience, total lack of substantive ideas or plans, and a demonstrated propensity to lie in the face of irrefutable fact, indicating a complete contempt for the electorate. This is no longer about whom to elect, but about keeping Trump from being elected at grave risk to the nation. We have not faced that in my lifetime.

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #4

Pure right wing propaganda. Without a single shred of evidence. In other post, we'll talk about Mr. Trump's record :-) and that is going to be a lot of fun, so to speak, if this megalomaniac was not running for the way, I live in Canada for healthcare just as good as what you can receive in the US and it costs just a fraction of what it costs in the US...citizens up here would not have it otherwise. Drug costs are only a fraction of drug costs in the US, etc etc etc......when you try to make a profit on everything, including prisons, your society just becomes a giant business...societies are not businesses...and should never be.

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #3

Dear Albert Gibel, you could try by googling "List of Hilary Clinton accomplishments" and you will find ample answers to your question. As for me, I wish I had as many as she did. Just her carreer as Senator of the New York State is impressive. But if you let your opinion be clouded by the smear campaign that has been mounted for the past two years by the Republican machine, then it is my turn to ask you a question: what have been D. Trump accomplishments over the same period of time and what makes him qualified to be POTUS...not paying taxes, filing bankfruptcy 4 times, being ovebearing to women, not paying his suppliers, indulging in the conspiracy that Obama was not born here...what exactly?

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #2

Jared Wiese You are welcom. Spread the word :-)

Philippe Collard

5 years ago #1

April Lynn Thank you for your kind words. I am on twitter @phcollard is my twitter id

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