The following is an email exchange between two Discord contributors, Pokey McDooris and yours truly, Mick Zano. I admit I added the conclusion after the email exchange, because I’m a terrible person. Life isn’t fair,
Pokey: I’ve been thinking about it, Zano. What’s the difference between Barack Obama and Bernie Sanders?
Pokey: No, the answer is honesty.
Zano: Honesty? So it’s true what Billy Joel said, it is a lonely word?
Pokey: Yes, but both Obama and Sanders are Democratic Socialists, only Obama lies about his true views in order to gain power. I have great respect for the Bernie Sanders of the world for they strengthen our republic by offering honest debate so that an informed citizenship can decide on the course of our nation. Meanwhile, the Obamas of the world have benefited by keeping the general population ignorant so they can organize buses of the uninformed to voting booths.
Zano: Don’t you, don’t you F with Bernie Sanders! I love that man, love that man! Love Bernie! Loooove! You take it back, you take it back!
Pokey: I didn’t say anything bad about him.
Zano: Oh good…but busing people to voting booths beats widespread voter suppression. In fact, one is encouraging the poor to vote and the other goes against everything our founding documents stand for…you know, the usual. And, if “honesty” is the word of the day than you must denounce your party and anyone affiliated with it—not now, as that would be ridiculously late. You need to go back in time and denounce your party around 2004. You’ll learn to love Hillary.
Pokey: Hillary Clinton is no different than Obama, except she’s probably unelectable, so the Democrats will actually give an open Socialist a shot at the title. Let’s have an honest debate. It’s the only hope our nation has.
Zano: Honesty has little to do with politics, but nothing to do with The GOP. Every candidate on the republican side is a snake oil salesman. They’re not candidates, they escaped from a circus somewhere. We need to send someone with a net. I have never been a big Hillary fan, but she will win. Why? …because republicans like you think she’s unelectable. I don’t think we need to have an honest debate with republicans; we need to have an honest debate with everyone else. If they can’t add anything meaningful to the 21st century discourse, then good riddance. I’m not saying you don’t, I’m saying no one you would elect would.
Pokey: What I’m saying is, let’s have an open and honest debate to the issues that confront our nation. For the most part, Cruz and Paul speak with integrity. What they say they believe in, they actually believe in. And I have every reason to believe that if given the opportunity, they will implement the policies they tout.
Zano: Maybe. I have diagnosed the Republican Party with a delusional disorder, here, and delusional people believe their delusions. The problem remains, your “candidates” are dupes placed there by the Kochs and the Adelsons of the world. Essentially, they’re like Smithers to the real boss, Mr. Burns.
Smithers! Release the clowns!
Pokey: If you don’t agree with republican polices then don’t vote for republicans. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have not given any indication that they speak with integrity. The words they speak are merely political. These are the worst kind of leaders. I disagree with Bernie Sanders views and political philosophy because I think that they would ultimately weaken our nation. I would respect him as a potential leader, because he at least speaks with integrity.
Zano: Let’s look at the real scorecard, Pokey. “Too big to fail” is another thing you can add to my top ten things to worry about that right exacerbates. Fact: Banks are 30% bigger than before the crisis. Right now, Bernie Sanders (socialist) is proposing a way to end too big to fail, here. Obama (liberal) tried to overhaul the process but was blocked, primarily by republicans, here.
Why are banks 30% bigger post the collapse? That seems insane?! Oh, yeah, it’s because of your guys (Republicans), here. This formula works on almost every issue of the 21st century. Dems try but fail, while republicans either cause, block or exacerbate. Sorry if I want to stick with people with some sense of reality. I’m funny that way.
Pokey: As for ‘too big to fail;’ let me remind you that President Obama had two year of Democrats controlling both branches of Congress and the banks got bigger. Both the mainstream Democrats and the mainstream Republicans are owned by ‘too big banks.’
Zano: I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. Do you have any idea the mess Obama stepped into his first two years? I don’t think we need a review. The fact remains when Obama did attempt to address “too big to fail”, almost every republican blocked him. In the last three years republicans have not only continued to chip away at Dodd-Frank, they’ve made it more likely that banks will receive government bailouts in the future, here. So by your logic, we should blame the guy who tried and didn’t get the votes, not the people trying actively dismantle bank reform? You sure you’re not a republican? You’ve got all the prerequisites down. Yes, I’m pointing to my head and making a circular motion.
Pokey: Obama’s plan would not have addressed the real issue. We can agree that fractional reserve lending has to go, but that’s not enough, because it’s not the source of the problem. New regulations by which the Federal Reserve can distribute money is not enough. The problem is the regulation of the Federal Reserve. Who regulates the Federal Reserve? The Federal Reserve is the mechanism by which the world’s elite manipulate the economy for their benefit. Take power back from the Federal Reserve by reestablishing the gold standard; take power back from the IRS by instituting a flat tax or a fair tax. Both the Federal Reserve and the IRS got bigger and more powerful over the last eight years—just like they did under Bush and Clinton.
Zano: No… Congress cut the IRS 20%. That’s a big cut. We need the IRS! As John Oliver asserts, “It’s the anus of the country’s body!” Sure we need an improved IRS but we need them if we want to function. The Gold Standard would be nice, but I have no idea how to get there from here and neither do you. Come up with something that doesn’t topple the dollar and the global economy in five minutes and I’m listening. Oh, and I initially agreed that a flat tax sounded reasonable, that is, until I researched the matter. My retraction, here.
Look, I talked with a couple of republican folks this morning. The conversation started at the end of John Oliver’s interview with Eric Snowden, shifted to a discussion about Flagstaff’s currently massive inequality, which prompted our camera man Greg to talk about the unfortunate need for both parents to work to make ends meet. We ended up on CNN, where Fareed Zakaria covered a piece on campaign finance reform and then a bit about ISIS. Within that 90-minute roving debate, the end of each discussion—well, were I allowed to actually speak—should have been:
…uh, actually what Snowden uncovered were all the NSA practices made legal under The Patriot Act, aka, Bush.
…uh, actually republicans are the ones blocking any incremental raise in the minimum wage.
….uh, actually the person who first factored in two working parents wages when calculating mortgage rates worked for the Nixon Administration
…uh, actually Citizens United blew away campaign finance laws, which is again a GOP thing.
….uh, ISIS was never in Iraq until after we invaded.
For the record, our cameraman Greg was not one of the republicans in the room. Do I think republicans are 100% to blame for all of our woes? Hell no. I am not an all-or-none thinker, but the problems of our time can, for the most part, be linked back to a republican policy, in one form or another. That is why they are such a menace to the free world. If you want to truly be an independent, Pokey, then step one means distancing yourself from the terminally-wrong-brigade (TWB). Before I end, I do have to give you some credit when credit is due, Pokey. The Democrats should have never ended the Gold Standard:
…uh, actually the Gold Standard was abandoned by Richard Milhous Nixon.
See how it works? …every time? Even in those rare instances when you think you have a point, you don’t. Republicanism must end before any honest debates can even begin. They are a distraction designed to intentional muddle each and every issue of our time.