Presidential Peril: Why I Fear That The 2016 Election Will Be Apocalyptic

You have been warned.

Wow, it’s been far too long since I’ve talked politics here. But in my defense, it’s not the most fun topic to write for. Still, things need to need to be said.

At the moment, it seems that the two big names in this coming race for the presidency are Bernie Sanders and (god have mercy on us all) Donald Trump. This is, to me at least, highly problematic.

There is the obvious problem that exists with the possibility that Trump will be commander-in-chief. As a world-renowned corporate sleazeball, he will undoubtedly push for laws that give larger corporate entities like himself an unfair economic advantage – pushing the rest of us even deeper into crippling poverty.

But, as much as I like Sanders’ politics, I predict problems with him in power as well.

I’ve mentioned in the past my policy on not voting due to the obvious flaws in the system that make it practically worthless. But there’s another reason why I don’t vote: our votes don’t count.

A recent study by Princeton University showed that the only votes that matter belong to the upper 10 percent of the people; i.e., the people who can afford to buy political power and swing the laws in their favor at the expense of the other 90 percent. And bare in mind that this isn’t a recent development. This study goes back through 40 years of data and the corruption likely stems even further back than that.

To put it in simple terms, I dread the next election because I fear it will expose this corruption to everyone once and for all. Either Trump will allow a flood of stupid laws that will kill our country or Sanders will be overridden with every positive move he makes (he may not be for sale, but the people in the senate and house that can cancel a veto with a two-thirds vote are).

This is going to make me sound like a paranoid doomsayer, but the best case scenario I can see from this is civil unrest finally growing out of control. The worst, on the other hand, is our learned helplessness allowing us to be consumed by an unfeeling government that just doesn’t care about us.

I’m scared, frustrated, and angry, field operatives… and you should be, too.

How A Government Shutdown Will Affect Us All (Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bureaucracy)

With the clock ticking down to the much fretted after government shutdown, it falls to responsible journalists to help the people understand the situation, prepare for it, and alleviate their fears. Unfortunately, it seems that most news channels are doing more to add to the panic then anything else. As such, let’s take sometime out to discuss what a government shutdown is and how it will change life for us.

What Is A Government Shutdown?

A federal government shutdown is a situation where a government halts many services that aren’t deemed “essential.” During this time, certain federal employees must take a temporary unpaid leave called a furlough.

There are several reasons why a government may shutdown – most of them coming as a result of a disagreement regarding how our federal budget should be handled. In this case, the Republican members of Congress are opposing President Barrack Obama’s healthcare budget resulting in a deadlock.

It should be noted at this point that this is nothing new. We have had a long list of federal and local government shutdowns going back to 1976.

What Services Will Be Stopped?

The first services to be affected will likely be national parks and museums. During the last government shutdown, which lasted the longest in national history at 28 days, all 59 national parks were closed.

Military families may encounter struggle as well. During a shutdown, there is a chance (repeat, a chance, not a guarantee) that active-duty troops will still have to report for assignments without pay. However, as soon as the government goes back to work, they would be paid back for every dollar missed.

Other programs that would be halted include several smaller food assistance programs, WIC, and an estimated 20 of the 1,600 different Head Start programs.

What Services Will Continue?

Most other federal services would proceed as planned with little-to-no hindrance. For example, despite the tourism troubles connected to closing our parks and museums, travel will still be possible. It may be hindered slightly as airport controllers are forced to make cuts, but you can still get to where your going as long as you’re expecting a few more delays then normal.

Social Security and Medicare would also be slowed but still function as normal. The same goes for those receiving Unemployment benefits.

Federal courts will still hear cases, the mail will still come in, the FDA will still inspect meat and handle recalls, prisons will still be holding and processing criminals, homeland security will still serve and protect us, and we (sadly) will still have to pay our taxes.

Should I Be Worried?

As stated, this is not the first time we’ve experienced a government shutdown. A shutdown typically only lasts 1-3 days before it is resolved and we’ve seen them with some frequency – sometimes multiple times in a single year. It’s actually quite unusual that we haven’t seen one in so long.

In the meantime, just relax. If you’re a federal employee that would be affected by a shutdown, you should have already been told to start looking for alternative temporary work by now just to be safe. We’ve done this song-and-dance 17 times now (possibly 18 or 19 if you were affected on a local government level) and we’ll come out of this just fine. The boys and girls in The White House aren’t getting any benefit to making life harder like this and legitimately want to fix the problem. Just keep telling yourself, “This to shall pass.”