Friday, December 30, 2016

Where do we go from here?

America is currently in the worst political position we have ever found ourselves in. The current President-elect is not supported by the majority of Americans before he even sets foot in the White House, which hasn't happened for the past three Presidencies. This could help us succeed if he moves forward to destroy our civil rights policies and our economy, which is what he as talked about doing since he started his campaign.

My biggest concern for next month is that there are currently 107 vacancies in our Federal Court System.

  • 1 Supreme Court justice
  • 2 on the Court of International Trade
  • 3 on the DC circuit court (the most prestigious of all the Appellatte Courts, the source of more Supreme Court nominees than any other court)
  • 6 on the Court of Federal Claims
  • 95 from district courts across the country.
When Donald Trump appoints people to fill these vacancies, you can be sure they will not be moderate and be less willing to approve civil rights legislation. They are going to stay on these courts until they hit retirement age (with the exception of the Supreme Court), so you can expect that they will be younger judges in their 40s which will give him a guaranteed 20 years of influence when he enters the Presidency. No other President in history has walked into so many court appointments. This is due to Congress refusing to give Obama any appointees for over a year, and the American People did not punish them for violating the Constitution. In my own district court for the Western District of Washington, Obama was supposed to have three appointtees which were denied from him by Congress. We are going to have a 100% conservative court here in one of the most liberal parts of the country. This concerns me as much as the elimination of civil rights laws in this country, gerrymandering, and the terrible economic proposals by Trump, because these court appointments are going to make it much more difficult to get progressive policy passed after he leaves office.

The gerrymandering which currently exists is going to continue to be a massive barrier to getting progress done. Most of the gerrymandering has been done in states which do not have initiative laws. We can definitely make progress in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington, on eliminating gerrymandering and implementing ranked voting at the state level. In Illinois, we could implement ranked voting as a constitutional amendment via the initiative process. Implementing ranked voting in these states and putting in laws which eliminate gerrymandering, such as single-split line method, multiple members per district, eliminate voter discrimination, and of course Ranked Voting will make it much harder for Republicans to steal future elections. The states which are the mosdt important to get these passed in are Michigan, Ohio, and Florida given how their elections have been stolen through gerrymandering and voter discrimination will be a significant barrier against Trump getting a second term and eliminate a lot of his support in Congress. Making those legislatures competitive as well will be an important step forward in ensuring democracy lasts in our country. If we get just a few more states we will be on track to matching the progress we made with gay marriage a few years ago and protect our country from more foreign electoral attacks.

This is the first and easiest thing we can do in order to get back our freedoms and improve America for the future.

State governments are vital to getting influence on the national stage. The Democratic Party needs to work hard on locating and raising strong liberal leaders across the country who are ready to be strong leaders of our country at the state and local level. Huffington Post ran an article which listed every Governor from most to least liberal. We should work on replacing the most conservative governors in the country, in Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. These are not swing states, but if we put forward more centrist candidates from these states who will give them better government we could turn the country around quickly. Indiana and Wisconsin are swing states, so it could be possible to flip them. Kansas is bleeding economically and we could put a strong Democrat in office. If these are highly qualified governors who will focus on building strong economies and reducing corruption in these states the Republican Party could be weakened potentially. Social policies can be worked on at the federal level and work on more significant progress in states where citizens already support American values. We have easy gubernatorial pickups in Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Florida in the next cycle. We already picked up North Carolina and if everything goes as I expect, we could make North Carolina a solid blue state in 2020 which will be vital in defeating Trump.

2017 we will pick up New Jersey for a total of 17 governorships
2018 we will pick up 14 governorships in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin for a total or 31 governorships and a majority.
2019 we might be able to pick up Kentucky (economy willing) and will need to retain Louisiana for 32 governorships.

Finally, state legislatures are extremely important for being able to test out policy and train strong leaders for Congress. There is a lot of work to be done here, which is where fighting gerrymandering and making elections fair is going to make the biggest impact, even more than getting a Congress which represents all Americans. There are a lot of state legislatures Democrats should have control of. Democrats only control 12 state governorships right now. Here are the legislatures we can gain:

  1. Washington, a majority of both houses are held by Democrats, but a power sharing agreement prevents Democratic control.
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Michigan
  4. Ohio
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Virginia
  7. North Carolina
  8. Florida
  9. Colorado
  10. New Mexico
  11. Minnesota
  12. Iowa
  13. New York
  14. Maine
  15. New Hampshire
This will give Democrats 27 state legislatures for a majority. This can be done by 2018. If we succeed in making elections fair it will be easy to give Americans the government we want.


Sunday, December 18, 2016

The issue with joining Canada

Once again The Confederate States of America has elected a horrible human being to the presidency of my country. This time it could be worse than we have ever had before. We have survived Andrew Jackson, we have survived Richard Nixon, we have survived Ronald Reagan, and survived George W Bush. Now these backwards racists have elected a self obsessed mediocre reality TV star who talks about illegally deporting millions of people,  mocks people with disabilities, and brags about assaulting women. He lost by over 2 million votes and won three formerly solid democratic leaning states by a hair, winning the Electoral College. His economic policies are ludicrous and social policies are right out of the works of Nietzsche and Hitler. He is working hard to destroy our relationships with other countries, and had the support of Vladimir Putin. The cabinet he is assembling is the richest cabinet in American history, he promises to eliminate the EPA, cut back on social programs and give himself more tax breaks. We don't even know what his investments are, meaning we cannot know where his conflicts of interests lie. This is hell on earth and will take decades to recover from.

As a response, many liberals are talking about the west and northeast joining Canada. To be realistic, this would not happen because most Canadians will oppose it.

I am in Vancouver right now, routinely ranked as the most liveable city in North America, and I agree with Mercer's assessment. While Seattle, a city of 3.7 million people has only one light rail line which goes from the university which is close to downtown to the airport, Vancouver just finished the line to Coquitlam, which is over a half hour drive from downtown. The Seattle equivalent would be like building a line up to Lynnwood which will not happen for over 10 years. Portland, Oregon is in similar shape to Seattle with the MAX, lauded by Americans as the most European like city in the country, doesn't have the MAX running consistently from 6 am to midnight from the whole metro area, and in New York City crossing the Hudson from Manhatten to New Jersey is far from convenient. There is a reason the city is dominated by taxis. These are also some of the most progressive cities in America and their infrastructure is shit, have horrible vetting programs to keep white supremacists (read terrorists) out of their police force, the roads have literal potholes, and have traffic like no first world city. Quantitative quality of life surveys are dominated by German, Japanese, and Canadian cities at the top of the list. At the state level my home state of Washington has the most regressive tax code in the country, refuses to fund basic education, and can't pass a carbon tax because our media is so biased. We are next to Oregon the least corrupt state in the country as well. It would have cost less for me to go to UBC as a foreigner than my own university as an in state student.

The only people we have to blame are ourselves. The Democratic party's unwillingness to go to court over voting rights has hurt our country, and have not brought the Electoral College to National debates. The party is only as good or bad as its members. So why should Canadians want us to join their country? Even many liberal Americans tend to be uncommitted to no brainer policies like mass transit and carbon taxation. Our most progressive politicians frequently oppose such policies and our best and brightest refuse to run for president. Why should Canadians want us gumming up their election system?

On the other side Canadian politics is not as good as most Americans think. Stephen Harper successfully turned Canada into a petrostate and their currency is struggling as a result, increasing the prices of imports. It is going to take a long time to get out of this rut they are in. Justin Trudeau just approved multiple large pipelines as Obama vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline and Trudeau is making it unnecessarily harder for tourists from Europe to visit. Their election system is so bad that despite never winning a majority in an election Stephen Harper survived as PM for three. No party has won a majority of the vote up here in decades. Canada is wonderful, and I love it so much, but is not the utopia many Americans think it is. If they had an influx of more moderate Americans from California and New York electing members of parliament Canada would probably lose many of the programs like Medicare progressives in America yearn for. Never forget the Public Option was killed when Democrats had a filibuster proof majority and all but one Democrat in the Senate voted for the Patriot Act. Russ Feingold was defeated in his next election, when he should have been a presidential candidate in 2004. Why would Canadians want us to join?

Instead of crying about leaving the United States let's clean our own house first. Call our politicians to build infrastructure and fund education. Fix our election systems and cut carbon pollution. Make a more progressive tax code and call for an open border with Canada. Make it easier for European and Japanese tourists to visit the United States. When our politicians break their promises, kick the bastards out. Turn off cable news and read newspapers written by scientists, not public relations/journalism majors. Call for people to speak reality and end this culture where everyone is entitled to their own facts. When our districts are gerrymandered, use the Voting Rights Act and the courts to make our elections fair. Make us a country which would not pull Canada backwards but push them forward.

Once we do this joining Canada would be possible. Once we do this, we won't have to.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Washington State Taxes

Governor Inslee anounced on Tuesday a plan to finally fully fund our K-12 schools here in Washington State. This is years overdue, and it has been unacceptable for our government to not do their job for so long. Washington currently has the most regressive tax structure in the United States, since we rely so heavily on our sales tax. The B&O is barely any better in its progressivity. We also leave capital gains untouched.

Inslee's plan as the Seattle Times announced will do the following:

  1. Increase the B&O Tax on select professions, accountants, attorneys, real estate agents,and others from 1.5% to 2.5%. This will raise $2.3 billion.
  2. A Carbon Tax of $25 per metric ton raising $2 billion.
  3. A 7.9% tax on capital gains above $25,000 for single filers and $50,000 for joint filers. Retirement plans, homes, farms, and forestry are exempt. It will only raise $821 million.
  4. Several other tax exemptions will be repealed, on water bottles and oil manufacturers.
I personally think the Carbon Tax and repealing exemptions for environmentally destructive activities makes a lot of sense and I wouldn't change them from Inslee's proposal.

The B&O tax is regressive towards small businesses and we are one of only 3 states in the country to tax gross receipts. This is a very regressive tax, and will hurt people starting out in these fields significantly. These are already professions which are heavily regulated and have to pay thousands of dollars to get licensed in order to practice in Washington State which can be prohibitive, as I have learned from experience.

A capital gains tax is a good idea, but this proposal like most capital gains taxes is a flat tax. It also ignores retirement plans which leaves a huge source of income untapped. It would be done better by treating all income equally and then taxing each individual's sum at a progressive rate.

Washington State's Tax Code is so backwards we need to redo a lot of it. I would propose the following:
  1. Income Taxes are done at a progressive rate with a range determined by a formula which I originally saw on Daily Kos and then modified. Taxes go as low as -4% (where you get 4% of your income back at the end of the year) and then go as high as 12% progressively. All income is treated the same under this income tax plan. The point where you switch from receiving money to paying money is at $100,000 per year. This will raise $15 billion per year.
  2. A Carbon Tax as proposed by Carbon Washington and Jay Inslee of $30/metric ton which will increase by $1/metric ton every year until it hits $50/metric ton. This will be scaled to inflation. Increasing the Carbon Tax will keep it from reducing revenue and help end carbon emissions sooner.
  3. Current property taxes raise $10 billion per year.
  4. Fund the Working Families Tax Credit.
  5. An Estate Tax of 10% on all inheritances above $1,000,000 per year per recipient.
  6. Other existing state taxes, (smoking, alcohol, etc.) currently raise $15 billion per year.
The B&O and general sales taxes are repealed in full.

This will balance the budget immediately. Eliminating the sales tax and B&O taxes will be a progressive shift in our tax structure which we desperately need and funding our schools is essential for our economic survival and human rights.

Inslee is on the right step here and this discussion needs to continue to happen. I hope he will succeed at funding our schools and taxing carbon emissions. I hope we will then continue the civic debate to look at our tax code and make it so that poor families stop shouldering the burden of funding our state's programs. Our current system is bad economics which must be fixed. This here is one full plan to do just that.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1O8QIfnPMb53pfyvwOc7cusIAuK_aeXgGaPe4sM3VOyU/edit?usp=sharing is the spreadsheet including data for my proposals including the federal plan.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Moderation and justice

While sitting in church today, my minister talked about social justice which has been a theme at both UU churches I visit (the one closest to me and the closest one with a functioning young adult group which I need). He talked about calling for justice and moderation (in a nutshell) and how the two are intertwined.

My personal opinion/experience is that these two are irreconcilable. There has never been a social justice movement in history which has been both successful and has not made enemies. Systems of oppression exist because some people benefit in the short run from keeping other people down. This is usually from discrimination and societal illness which poisons the mind of people. This makes them think that helping another group is hurting the dominant group, so-called "reverse racism" which is impossible. Moderation would encompass actions like the three fifths compromise, the Missouri Compromise, and the section of the 13th amendment allowing prison slavery. While in the short run they keep the peace, they merely pass the ball of progress down to future generations who have to deal with the problems of yesterday instead of moving forward.

Science and reason are the only methods I have ever observed which have actually worked to open people's minds in ways which benefit humanity. Calling for moderation and detachment which is popular in many religions I believe leads people to not work on self-improvement, or working on themselves without the tools to use their deeper understanding they get from introspection. When people follow philosophies of self-impoverishment this usually ends up with the king/priest/God Emperor of the country being the only one with any real power. It is a massive conflict of interest when the religious organization which calls for the letting go of physical goods is also the political organization which locks up people who speak out against the state. One must ask questions about why ideologies ask their followers to give up their tools of resistance. Places where these values are followed most frequently end up undergoing massive campaigns of religious persecution against anybody who preaches differently from that of the God Emperor. The list of people victimized by such is almost endless, Jesus, Al Wei Wei, Michael Severtus, the Burning of Books and burying of scholars, among so many other losses for humanity. Wikipedia has many lists of martyrs, EnglishUnitarian, and other groups.

Science and reason do not have moderation under a clear understanding of the word. Seeking common ground from where you start is not the same thing as seeking out reality. Societies based on science and reason are the only ones I have observed which consistently avoid episodes of mass martyrdom when science and reason are dominant. Sometimes a group is simply in the wrong. With a debate between the Nazis and SPD in the 1920s in Germany, the Republic of China and PRC over the last 80 years, and now between Trumpists and the rest of America the differences are so vast and detachment from reality so clear, trying to find middle ground with such ideologies is ultimately destructive. You are led to a situation where you have to choose between defending human rights and trying to negotiate with dictators who do not care about human life. By trying to negotiate with dictators by giving them leeway and try to give ground to people following purely evil ideologies which destroy the lives of millions of people you give them more power and by doing so further damage the lives of the people they oppress. The actions of Neville Chamberlain only deepened the horrors of the Third Reich and made the inevitable World War II longer than necessary. The sending of Jews from New York Harbor back to the meat grinder of the Third Reich was a great loss to the world. The same goes for other dictators in history. I cannot see any middle ground. History is very clear on this topic.

Science and reason demand an introspective life. Constantly questioning our current beliefs and actions. They demand us to not take anything for granted, understand why we have the beliefs we hold, understand their roots and consequences, and change our opinions when we are proven wrong. This is not a moderate viewpoint, this is a quest for understanding the world around us. When people try to hold on to old ideas which have no grounding they are committing an act of self-deception which then eliminates their ability to make the world a better place. If you deny global warming is real (IT IS REAL) then you are not going to be able to tackle the problem. If you do not go study how something works or at least seek out the scientists who have dedicated their lives you will not be able to understand the underlying roots to a problem.

I think of gardening for a day to day experience of this solution. When you pull most plants you can't just break the plant from the ground. You have to take out the roots otherwise the plant will grow back with bigger roots than before. I have yet to find a problem this analogy does not work for. Fighting global warming has to be done by transitioning off of fossil fuels, the root of the problem. Fighting for racial justice to a point where everybody has equality of opportunity demands us to understand 1. What race is from a sociological/political/economic point of view, 2. why some countries have race while others don't, 3. intensely study diverse nations which have different nations living together in peace, and then once you understand those three things 4. how do you move from a society with incredible racial inequality to a place of coexistence. This cannot be done overnight, this takes years of studying and learning to understand, but it does not require a college degree either.

This is not a moderate path. This is not a 3/5 compromise. This is not a path of self-sacrifice. This is an intensive, challenging journey of studying the world and building a picture of what is happening which changes with new information and allows you to then manipulate with predictions of what your actions will actually do. It is a path of personal intellectual/spiritual growth which when practiced and channeled properly has the ability to change the world.

This also does not mean that you will get everything you want in one go. That has never happened before in history. You push for the best thing you can do and always do the right thing to the best of your knowledge. You focus your energies into the highest impact activity you can do in order to maximize your impact. This strategy has worked in the past with the Underground Railroad, Suffragist movement, Civil Rights Movement, and I believe it accurately describes the push from Black Lives Matter for police accountability among other demands. The modern push for civil rights by great people in history has a long history stretching back to the resurrection of Western Philosophy by Cosimo de Medici stretching to the present day and I hope it will last for the rest of humanity.

So, push for the best methods you can, use your time and money efficiently. Do not waste and be impactful in the world around you for a better future. If someone says you are wrong, inquire why you are wrong to gain insight they may be able to give you, and change your mind if they give you a more accurate picture of the world with better evidence than you have. When a good plan is on the ballot, if it will create more good than harm, vote for it.

The main goal I believe that we must work on is to work for justice around the world so that people are free. Stand up to dictators and always seek and tell the truth to the best of your ability. Engage in discussion for people to understand what is around the world. Build your complete viewpoint with the pieces to be accurate. A house built of paint would not work, but it is generally all you can see with your eyes. Behind the paint are wires, pipes, trusses, and details which hold the house together, even though all you can really see is the paint on the edge. An architect must start with the structure and understand how it all fits together to be resistant to weather, and general wear and tear, even though almost all the work will be hidden behind the paint. Accurate models of the world are similar in that even if you see the surface level equations there is always a deeper level of understanding to the world and what drives the moving parts which are necessary to fully understand what is happening.

The final question which must be answered is what justice is. Justice has many ways of being defined in history, Hammurabi, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, and Adolf Hitler all had very different ideas of what justice is. Everybody in the world has an interpretation of the concept of justice, even if they do not call it justice themselves. I personally believe as a strong liberal that 1. each and every person is important, no exceptions, 2. people have the rights to freedom of thought, speech, and life, 3. Nations and class do not need to divide us and everybody deserves these rights no matter where they live, 4. People have the right to opportunity and respect from others. 5. Building up a system which is sustainble for the future. These are my core values on how we need to treat one another. They are not uniquely Western, there are records of people who believed these ideas around the world for thousands of years. I do not always succeed in these high ideals but I always do my best in the situation to the best of my knowledge and as soon as I realize I failed I try to fix the  given situation. A just system would then maximize human welfare and give everyone the opportunity to be their best and fullest on a material and spiritual level. This goal is probably unreachable in full, but we can and should get as close as we can to making a good world. It is not a quest for moderation but is a quest for universal human dignity.

In current politics these ideals lead me to the following actions: As in my last post, write an accurate obituary of the tyranny Fidel Castro created in Cuba. Oppose Donald Trump's plan for my country to the best of my ability. Fight climate change to the point where I will quit my job if an opportunity arises. Lobby my state legislature for legislation which supports education, builds infrastructure, increases economic opportunity, and fights climate change using the best science we have today. Most importantly, make people think about their current stances to the point where new information can broaden their understanding of the consequences of their actions. Seek out new allies on all of these causes and talk with people on how to achieve our goals in the least amount of time for the smallest amount of money.

This is how I interpret the principles of a free and responsible search for truth and meaning combined with the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. To not stand up to oppression and give into the temptation to make everybody equally unhappy is to drop that honorable goal of world community, and to not test your beliefs is to drop the responsible part of the free and responsible search, after which you will be victim to fraud, deceit, and lies. Combining the two principles fully however gives anyone the ability to change the world.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro

With the passage of yet another undemocratic communist dictator, do not make him out to be better than he was. Castro was a monster who restricted freedom of the press and religion in his totalitarian state which until 2013 was the only country in the Americas which limited the ability of its citizens to leave. He also persecuted gays and admitted it willingly. When it comes to his policies, he was far more like Kim Jong Un than Willi Brandt which a lot of right wingers are going to make him out to be today (if they only knew who Willi was). Merely having public health care does not make a country free. Praising Castro is pissing on the people of Cuba. I hope the monster had a painful death for his crimes against humanity. 

Burn in hell you monster.

If you consider yourself left-wing than you have to consider yourself a liberal (communist thought and practice has not respect for human rights, and the largest body count of any ideology in history), then remember him for who he was and his multiple atrocities against the people of Cuba. Cuba has the worst Freedom of the Press in the Americas, bans gay marriage, their government regularly tortures prisoners, and has no freedom of assembly. Granted, the United States is not perfect either, and also has large problems with prisons and the current attacks on Standing Rock are a massive violation of the rights of the Sioux, both under treaty and the Bill of Rights. This is why we, like every other country in the world, do not have a perfect score on any broad freedom metric. But when political scientists analyze both Cuba and the United States there is no doubt that Cuba is far less democratic and free than the United States. This is a system which Fidel Castro built, and it is a monstrosity against the people.

If you want a hero to idolize, than there are good people who are worth remembering and living up to. German Chancellors Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Schmidt, and Willi Brandt built the system of Germany based on liberal thought and Germany is now beats the United States on every freedom metric except gay rights where the USA beats Germany. Willi dissented from the Nazis during the Third Reich at great personal risk before being our greatest Chancellor. Pierre Trudeau built Canada's respect for Quebecois culture and Medicare and was a great man. Clement Attlee built the British Welfare State and was the greatest Prime Minister they ever had, reversing Labour's indefensible policy of appeasement and led decolonization. Lyndon Baines Johnson signed most of our civil rights laws and worked hard to try to get us out of Vietnam while leading a booming economy. Bob Hawke led Australia's economy through the turbulent 80s with skill which no other leader in the world had at the time, introduced medicare, and made their social policy more liberal. Nelson Mandela led South Africa to freedom.

There are great people in history who stood against dictatorship and built freedom and prosperity. Remember them for who they are and remember that Fidel Castro was a man who all of them actively opposed for that reason.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Open letter to President Obama about Standing Rock

The current attacks on Standing Rock Protests are being shot at by the Army Corps of Engineers right now. This is a violation of the rights of the Standing Rock Sioux and allies. The construction of the pipeline across native land which was illegally stolen from the Standing Rock is a violation of their treaty rights and our constitution. Treaties signed under the United States are laws under our constitution Article 1, and the Army Corps of Engineers is being improper in their current action. Our constitution and the courts exist for a reason, to prevent massacres which are happening right now. Please use your action to block the Dakota Access pipeline to the best of your ability right now and save the lands of these people. I know that you were raised UU like me and I frequently see you refer to the values your mother raised you with. What would she and your grandmother say today if they saw you stand idle as the rights of Native People are being infringed by the Army Corps of Engineers. I know that our church has come out in opposition to the current actions against Standing Rock protesters and that you know better. You have the power to stop them. Do it.

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 Recap and 2020 cycle

That was a terrible election. This is the second time in my life where the electoral college has not selected the winner of the popular vote, and this time the consequences could be dire. I have already talked about the Orange Bag and how he is a despicable human being, and I fear for my country's future. His economic policies are going to ruin us if they are implemented and his social policies will destroy our soul.

Locally, Washington State was a mixed bag. Washington wasn't very good defeating the carbon tax (which I poured my heart, mind, and soul into) and the state finance initiative, but we did get paid sick leave, and most importantly the Governorship and both houses of the Legislature will be held by Democrats. Kim Wyman won reelection after rigging the election against the carbon tax however, she has disgraced the office of the Secretary of State with the inaccurate information she has published in the voter's pamphlet. The rest of State executive positions (except treasurer which had a massive spoiler effect in the primary) have gone to the Democrats. We hopefully will be able to keep many of the protections the Orange Bag is about to eliminate here in Washington, but there are some things, like marijuana, which are going to become illegal again very soon.

When we look at the Rust Belt however, we see a fascinating trend in the exit polls. Comparing the results in 2016 and 2012 in Michigan we see a 6% boost for the Orange Bag from white men, and interestingly a 4% boost for the Orange Bag among black men. This boost was enough to give him the Presidency, and the only theory I have on how the Orange Bag had been able to get more votes from African American men than Mitt Romney did in 2012 is through deliberate voter discrimination. Providing more places to vote per capita in white conservative areas as opposed to minority liberal areas is vote rigging. There is no other word for it. Among white voters, their voting for third parties was enough to tip Michigan over the edge. The majority of white voters (regardless of gender, as always) voted for the Republican both times.

In Pennsylvania we see a decreases in the diversity of voters this year. White voters jumped 3%, which was enough to swing the election. We also saw the same number of Orange Bag voters but a reduction of 2% of white voters due to third parties. People with only a high school education switched from 60% in favor to Obama to only 43% in favor of Clinton. Whites with no degree were the only demographic the Orange Bag won when you consider both education and race together. This election was swung a great deal due to a decrease in diversity of voters.

In Wisconsin the number of white vs. non-white voters stayed the same as it was in 2012 with 86% of the electorate being white. White support for the Orange Bag was 2% higher than it was for Mitt Romney and Clinton was 6% lower than Obama (4% increase for third parties) which is way more than enough to swing the election. Minorities voted about the same as they did in 2012. We see the swing in support from education where people with only high school degrees shifted their support from Obama (with 55% of the demographic) to Orange Bag who won 54% of the demographic.

If just half of Jill Stein voters had voted for Hillary Clinton in swing states Tuesday would have been a very different day. Their ideological purity has hurt our country far more than a vote for Clinton. This is the the simplest way to explain the gap between the number of votes Clinton won as opposed to Obama. The reach by third parties also significantly hurt Clinton this year, while the Orange Bag is winning about the same number of voters Romney won in 2012, but Clinton saw a significant decrease. The latest count on Google with 99% of precincts reporting is that 126,061,003 people voted in this Presidential election versus 129,085,410 people voting in 2012. this predicts about a 2% decrease in the number of people of voting, way more than the margin between the two candidates. A 6 million person decrease in the vote for Clinton vs. Obama, in a country which has grown by 4 million people is a gigantic amount in such a close election. Also, Michigan and Pennsylvania haven't voted Republican since 1988, and Wisconsin has been a reliable Democratic state since 1984. With such a record it can be understood why Clinton did not spend so much time there, preferring Ohio and Florida to these other states. This demonstrates that every vote counts. Other states which have voted for the Democrat since 1988 and voted for Bush in that year include Vermont, New Jersey, Maine, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, and even California. The only states which could have been considered safer than Wisconsin are DC (which has always voted Democrat) and Minnesota (which is extremely similar to Wisconsin in demographics). These were about as safe states as you can get! The Orange Bag campaigned heavily in these states which was extremely intelligent of him and by doing so won the Electoral College. These three states also had enough third party votes to spoil the election for Clinton which is a two pronged attack on Hillary Clinton which has doomed us.

Another way the election could have been different was for Democrats to reach out to White people with less than a college degree who overwhelmingly supported the Orange Bag this year. That is where this election swung. In 2018 and 2020 we are going to have to see Democrats supporting policies which maintains their hold on highly educated individuals (like myself) and also appeal to people without a lot of education. Hard decisions are going to have to be made. Another path to victory which will be more difficult is to have more access to voting which would  boost turnout of minorities, who are only going to grow in importance over the next few years. If Democrats have policies which appeal to Hispanics more than the lead can grow from 66% to 70% which is enough to win nationwide in these key states. The appeal to younger voters is going to help Democrats naturally over the next few years as our demographic ages. The key is for people in their 20s to not despair given how hard the next 4 years are going to be and vote in 2018 and 2020 so that we can rebuild what is about to be destroyed once we regain the Presidency in 2021.

The other big issues is Millenials didn't turn out to vote. I am ashamed of my generation and our apathy has hurt us more than any other generation. We need to start investing over the next 4 years and if our economy does as well as is likely to do under the Orange Bag as with other Republicans over the last 50 years then we just royally screwed ourselves and will suffer the effects for the rest of our lives. Clinton had all the policies that we wanted, maybe not exactly as Bernie Sanders proposed, but the same outcomes as his policies would do. People in my generation not voting was immature, stupid, mean, and shameful. We will need to turnout in the midterms up and down the ballot and in 2020 to kick out this racist shit bag.

So, the plan for the next four years is to run candidates in every congressional and legislative district in 2018 to try to take back as many legislatures and seats in the House as we can. If the Orange Bag does what he says he is going to do and our economy tanks as a result it will be easier to do so despite the gerrymandering. Democrats need to do some soul searching and admit that moving to the center has not worked as they planned. By becoming more solidly socially liberal and expanding the coalition to include as many Hispanic voters as possible the party will be unstoppable. The issue that will work best is having a strong education plan, working to expand access to jobs, and access to health care will help Hispanic voters significantly and attract them to the party. These are the issues they care about. It will also make Millenial voters even more solidly Democratic. Working to expand access to retirement options and cracking down on abuse as opposed to making it hard for people to enter to the financial advising industry will help attract working class people. The current approach to punishing newcomers to finance has not worked well and people still are locked into plans which give terrible returns. These can be stopped by making it illegal to be locked into a retirement plan and giving people the option to switch plans when their portfolio is not working for them. This type of a platform with these four major planks will attract people back to the Democratic Party. We will need a candidate who has a record of fighting for these issues.

Bernie Sanders is currently the most popular politician in America and he would be an excellent choice for getting the Presidency back. He has already promised to not sacrifice American values to the Orange Bag which will be extremely popular with a majority of Americans and get people out to vote. Elizabeth Warren is another candidate who I have written about for years who would be a fantastic president. Electing a moderate did not work, though electing a progressive in 2008 did. It is clear to me the Democratic Party needs to move to the left in order to embolden my generation and have a future. These are the candidates currently with the most potential and national stage presence. Jay Inslee of my home state (Washington) is currently the most liberal governor in the country, is strong on race relations, education, and women's rights, and would make a fine President. Governor Kate Brown of Oregon is another fantastic choice for President.

Over the next 4 years more governors will appear, and hopefully a gubernatorial landslide in 2018 (when most governors will elected) will give us a large batch of excellent candidates to choose from. If the Orange Bag does particularly badly this will be easy to do. Recruiting local leaders to run for public office at the city, county, and state level needs to be the top priority of the Democratic Party and it needs to embrace its progressive wing as soon as it can in order to survive.