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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Before I share my thoughts let me say that I voted and dropped my permanent early ballot off on Thursday at the drop box located in the sub-basement of Glendale’s City Hall.  I waited until Saturday and went online to ballotstatus.maricopa.vote to check my ballot status. I filled in a few questions for identity verification and clicked submit. It immediately verified that my ballot had been received and my vote counted. It couldn’t have been simpler. I urge you, if you have a Permanent Early Ballot that you take a moment to fill it out and drop it off at a secure drop box location.

My remarks are directed at those who have not yet voted or will do so in person on Election Day. Let me preface my comments with this. I first registered to vote during my college years at the time of the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. I, like so many, admired this President and so, I registered as a Democrat and remained so for almost 50 years and actually voted for Obama and his first term. Obama’s performance was so disappointing that it was at that time that I began voting Republican and eventually changed my registration from Democrat to Republican. I proudly voted for Donald J. Trump.

In 9 days this nation will make a decision on who will be our President. It’s been said often and although it seems trite this election will most certainly determine if this nation remains a Republic, “if we can keep it.”

We should not be judging these candidates based on personality but that is not reality and so, we do. It is not personality but policy that drives my decision. Trump is a salesman and has always been so – he’s not a career politician in the true sense of the word. He blusters and he exaggerates but those actions should not be confused as lying. He’s not the perfect person but then again, neither is Biden.

Biden is cognitively declining. I’ve seen it occur before in my parents. He exhibits ‘tells’ that I saw in my parents. I believe he is no more than a Trojan Horse filled with Progressives that will be released moving this country into Socialism should Biden win.

Enough with personalities. Policy issues are far more important. Let’s begin with economic policies. It cannot be denied that prior to COVID this economy was roaring. Trump often points to the stock market’s performance. My 401K rose dramatically under Trump’s administration. Before you discount the stock market’s importance, think about this. Are you a teacher? police officer? fire fighter? Where do you think your pension funds are parked? In the stock market. When the stock market does well that bodes well for the futures of many ordinary Americans.

Trump’s policies of tax cuts and reduction regulation led to the prosperity of many while pulling Afro-Americans, Hispanics, women, etc. off the unemployment rolls in historic, record busting numbers. We saw a real wage growth of 6% for blue collar workers. Countless new, small businesses were created and manufacturing came back to America. In nationwide polling more Americans (56%) still believe that Trump will do a better economic recovery job than Biden.

Biden has said repeatedly that he will only raise taxes on those making more than $400,000 annually but he has also said that on his first day he will eliminate Trump’s tax cuts. Independent, neutral tax policy groups have confirmed that Biden’s elimination of those tax cuts will cost 82% of all American families about $6,500 each. Biden would also reinstate the death tax and raise the capital gains tax.  The passing down of small, family farms would once again be in jeopardy and that 401K when you take money out of it will be taxed far more.

Energy policy is another issue with stark differences. Under the Trump administration America is finally energy independent. The consequence of energy independence drives foreign policy and creates a rationale to keep America out of foreign wars, especially in the Middle East.  Trump supports the use of fossil fuels and fracking and the millions of jobs these policies sustain.

Biden has flip flopped all over. He’s for fracking and then he’s against fracking. Remember that the occupants of the Biden Trojan Horse (Progressives) are adamantly opposed to fossil fuels and support the New Green Deal. Biden, in the final Presidential debate, admitted that he would eliminate all federal subsidies for oil production and fracking. In essence, he is willing to sacrifice our energy independence for a model similar to that of California’s. How’s that working out? Today, one million Californians will once again have their power turned off due to wildfire prevention. The problem with that is wind and solar are incapable of making up the difference in electrical power generation. Hence the blackout.

COVID is another issue that provides differences between the candidates. It’s a choice between optimism and pessimism. Biden said in the final debate that America faces its darkest days ahead. Trump believes that the cure should not be worse than the disease. Truthfully whether Biden or Trump had been in the White House today’s current condition would have been the same. Our fatal mistake, now that America is experiencing a 3rd wave of the virus, is that we should have been protecting the old and the vulnerable and kept the country running. This 3rd wave is due to the fact that the country never built up ‘herd immunity’ and now that so many people are sick of wearing masks (BTW I still wear one) and social distancing not enough of the population has immunity to fight the disease. I suspect this 3rd wave will finally result in the population immunity needed.

There are certainly more stark differences between the policies of the two Presidential candidates but I want to focus on one that especially bothers me as a local, elected official and that is the Affirmatively Affordable Fair Housing Act (AAFHA). President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing this act in 2013 and Trump, via Executive Order in 2018, rescinded it. Thankfully, during its 5 years of existence it was a policy that was never aggressively pushed. In essence, it federally mandated local jurisdictions to implement a plan to create more affordable housing within their communities. If they did not do so their Community Development Bloc Grants (CDBG) and Surface Transportation Bloc Grants (STBG) would be denied. Biden has stated that he would reinstate this policy. This policy would eliminate local control over zoning. A vacant parcel near your home zoned for residential development could end up being developed with a low income affordable housing project on it instead. This act, if implemented, would do more to destroy the fabric of many communities than anything in recent memory.

I know that half of my audience is Democrat and obviously, the other half is Republican but there are still many undecided voters, anywhere from 2% to 6% of the electorate. You, the undecided voter, may very well determine who our President will be. I urge you to put aside your like or dislike based on personality. You must decide based upon policy and what kind of future you would like for you, your family and the country. Even more importantly you have the obligation and the right to vote…something citizens in many countries cannot do freely.  It’s up to you. We still have a Republic but can we keep it?

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 18 years and 53 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Otherwise occupied, I paid very little attention to the NHL hockey game until I checked Twitter later in the day and saw a friend’s tweet that said “Year of the outsiders #JohnScottMVP.” I was struck by that, called the friend and she shared her thought that John Scott was the sports equivalent of the current political scene of the outsiders.

It is undeniably the year of the “outsiders.” Let’s look at two: this one in the world of sports and one in the world of politics.

For many of you not familiar with the world of National League Hockey you will not have heard about the NHL’s most recent All Star game and the extraordinary events that occurred.

John Scott is an enforcer and was a player for the Arizona Coyotes hockey team. He’s the six foot eight inch designated guy to fight other players on behalf of his teammates. He’s never been a star and bounced around among four teams before landing with the Arizona Coyotes. I don’t know if he ever scored any goals in his entire professional career. He is not a star but a steady, constant player, devoted to the game and thankful that he is considered good enough to play in the NHL. He is like our mail men and women, invisible, delivering our mail daily without us giving a thought to their service.

The NHL All-star players are selected by the fans through voting. It began as a joke. He was nominated for the All Star game but a funny thing happened. Fans and his peers voted for him in overwhelming numbers. As we now know he was asked by the NHL to decline and he reluctantly did so telling the fans he wasn’t a star and they should select another. No one listened. The next thing he knew he was voted Team Captain and he would be playing for the Pacific Division in the All Star game. He was excited and proud. The NHL was not.

Then a not-so-funny thing happened. The NHL establishment didn’t want John Scott to play. After all, they had to preserve their image. It was not one of a 4th liner playing in the nationally televised All-star game. Once again John Scott was asked to state he was not playing but this time according to his very endearing written article ( Here is the link: http://www.theplayerstribune.com/a-guy-like-me/), he was asked if his children would be proud of him. Like other institutions the NHL showed the same tone deaf attitude having no clue what children mean to parents so from that moment on John Scott was determined to play.

The NHL establishment concocted a scheme apparently pressuring the Coyotes owners. After all, it was because of Bettman and a very large NHL loan they were able to buy the team. Don Maloney, Coyotes’ General Manager, became the establishment’s enforcer telling Scott that he had been suddenly and inexplicitly traded to the Montreal Canadians who immediately sent him down to minor league team in Newfoundland. There isn’t any NHL rule that says once a man has been demoted he can’t play in an All Star game but they figured they had sent the message to Scott…don’t play, don’t even think about it.

But Scott did think about it. Players from around the league told him, “You have to play.” So John Scott played.

It was both a time of magic for John Scott and a repudiation of the NHL by most fans and many players. He enjoyed a stellar day with his wife and two tutu/Coyotes sweater clad

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 20: John Scott #20 of the San Jose Sharks participates in the family skate during the practice day for the 2015 Coors Light Stadium Series game between Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks at Levi's Stadium on February 20, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

tiny daughters in attendance and scored two All Star goals that evening…Two. At the end of the game three names were tweeted by the NHL for the game MVP. None of the three names were John Scott. Online Twitter erupted with John Scott MPV hashtags and fans in the Arena began chanting Scott’s name for MVP. In five minutes the NHL establishment capitulated and John Scott was named the MVP of the2016 All Star game.

John Scott represents “everyman.” He represents the men and women on the assembly line, the invisible and silent workers that keep our country running. In this one extraordinary moment of time John Scott and “everyman” prevailed over the establishment. The “outsiders”…the John Scott caliber of player who ignored the establishment’s threats and intimidation and the fans who have silently in anger and frustration  watched game play diminish as it became buried in an avalanche of rules, regulations and insensitivity…made their voices heard. In sports John Scott epitomizes the common man’s disgust of the establishment’s unethical behavior.

Trump is the creation by an establishment that embodies a corrupt political system, a biased media and a Washington, D.C. awash in self-absorption and self-aggrandizement. Oddly, he too, speaks for “everyman.” He speaks for a shrinking middle-class that no matter how hard it works, no longer ever gets ahead and who fears its children and grandchildren will be left worse off. He speaks for the millions who are demoralized by a great county that is no longer respected by the world. He speaks for those who fear the possibility of catastrophic terrorist acts on our soil. He speaks for a county that is economically anemic and needs a transfusion not a “transformation”. His political incorrectness speaks against those in power who think they know better but have made things worse.

He says what he really thinks without the traditional political filter. Or any filter actually. Whether you think he is right or wrong it is refreshing. He offers hope to the silent majority that there is a chance to reclaim America, a great and prosperous and yes, entitled county; the county for which so many have sacrificed to get to its shores.

Deep down in the nation’s gut it is implicit that establishment politicians lie. They spoon feed their base what they believe they must say to remain popular and electable. However the national psyche is flexing its forgotten muscles. They are no longer silent while establishment politicians fail to serve the people but rather calculatingly work to retain their power and privilege. Trump has stripped away their politically correct veil. Every time he says something the establishment considers totally outrageous, sure to alienate all he defies their conventional wisdom and his poll numbers rise.

Trump has tapped a nerve, a sentiment, a longing. He has given voice to concerns too long unspoken. He is most certainly a political “outsider,” hated, admired or feared dependent upon one’s political persuasion. Can he win a presidential race or really change the country for the

Photo courtesy of sourcefed.com

Photo courtesy of sourcefed.com

better? Who knows? But to put it bluntly in the primary he is boxing the GOP establishment’s ears. Average folks are cheering him on with pleasure.

I chose these two men as the epitome of the “outsider.” In sports John Scott is symbolic of a true underdog who prevailed over an old, tradition riddled elitist establishment.

In politics Donald Trump is symbolic of a reactionary who has the potential to prevail over an elitist political establishment that will do whatever is necessary to preserve its power.

Let’s hear it for outsiders…#2016

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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