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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 12, 2017

There is a growing belief among some Democrats, or at least those among the Left, that we should become more of a pure Democracy in America, or at least within the Democratic Party. That everyone should have a say about everything.

I disagree and I’ll tell you why.

I think the original framers of the Constitution were onto something. They recognized that too much power in anyone’s hands was dangerous and had been the cause of most of the world’s problems. That included the citizens of this fine country. No one should have too much power.

I’ve seen this first hand, where a lack of leadership ends in anarchy and disarray. Everyone believes they’re right. Nothing is accomplished.

Leadership of a group, or a country, or even a business, isn’t an inherently evil proposition. It has existed within tribal communities since the dawn of time, it exists within the animal kingdom, within corporations, and even within sports. Nowhere in human history has a society existed without a social order, which includes leadership.

We can certainly argue about the type of leadership we fancy. Our current state of affairs seems dismal at best. We can even debate how best to choose those who would lead us, and I’ll get to that.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I’m the guy no one sees. An invisible man in a city of millions. Oh, it’s not hard to be invisible in the city—not like back home in Calumet, Oklahoma where we had a whopping 553 people in the whole town—well, until I left, and then I guess it was 552. Haven’t been back in years, so who knows how many people live there now. Not enough I can tell you that. Or maybe far too many. It’s hard to know sometimes.

Often times I don’t even meet the owners. The maid lets me in, shows me where the piano is, and goes back to watching her soaps. I tune pianos with the soft sound of Spanish soap operas drifting in from the kitchen.

Some guys wouldn’t allow that but I don’t have a problem. I have a good ear, always did, and I can tune out the bullshit.

I learned to tune pianos from an old Jew named Elmer. I always thought that a funny name. I thought of Elmer Fudd, but his name was Rabinowitz. He told me the name meant “son of a rabbi” and sure as shit if he wasn’t the actual son of a goddamn rabbi. He came from a long line of rabbis, but he told me he didn’t want any part of that life. He said he didn’t believe in God, which was strange to me because I’d never met anyone who didn’t believe in God. What was there to believe? Where I grew up, everyone went to Church and everyone believed in God. I wouldn’t say they were all particularly godly men, but no one had the gall to say they didn’t believe in God. Only a communist would say such a thing.

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by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, November 30, 2017

Everyone knows about The Grinch’s past: the brooding, the theft, the wrath. But most people choose to remember the generosity. Since the 1957 documentary that featured his conversion from villain to philanthropist, everyone outside Whoville just assumed he’d lived happily ever after.

But within town, there were dark rumors and innuendo. Talk of secrets and goings on at the mall.

As part of an ongoing series, this outlet has uncovered records that show that Ms. Lou Who, now 62 and living in the neighboring town of Hawtch-Hawtch as a beekeeper, filed a complaint in 1969 that she’d been pursued romantically by The Grinch when she was just 14.

The police report, while odd with it’s rhyming couplets, is consistent with the local dialect of Whoville in the 1960’s.

It reads:

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by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, November 30, 2017

In a stunning new development, in what has been a month of developments, a third elf has come forward to accuse Santa Claus of sexual harassment and retaliatory behavior. The yet unidentified elf has come forward with claims that Mr. Claus made unwanted sexual advances while they were flying over the Horn of Africa sometime on Christmas Eve in 2011. It was not clear whether the elf involved was male or female, or really whether or not there is such a thing.

The elf went public this week, after complaining to HR, in what they were assured was a confidential meeting, only to be subsequently demoted to painting faces on Chucky dolls, a more or less discontinued item.

The elf’s lawyer, Yukon Cornelius, claims that his client was retaliated against after Mrs. Claus discovered the incident and wouldn’t allow the elf to continue working Christmas Eve duty.

Ignatius Thistlewhite, lawyer for the Clause Corporation vehemently denied the accusations calling them “baseless and without merit.” He countered, “This is merely the case of a disgruntled elf who is trying to attack a beloved childhood figure. The truth is, this was a substandard elf who was demoted for poor performance.”

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by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, November 16, 2017

My entire life, I’ve always fought bullies; be they a teacher, a boss, a classmate or a neighborhood thug. I was a smart, outspoken kid, who was more or less well liked by my peers and had the confidence to fight back. I often found myself in the position to take up for someone who was in a weaker position, or without the ability to fight back. I always fought for the underdog. The kid who was different, or weak, or new to the country, or didn’t speak the language well.

I fought teachers, principals, employers, and other kids. I would use my intelligence, wit, popularity, threat of shame and sometimes the threat of physical violence as tools in my fight.

I think back once again to Dalton Trumbo’s thoughts on his many fights.

I’ve always thought of my life as a sequence of conflicts, each a separate battle, segregated in my mind under the heading, “My fight with these guys” or “My fight with those guys.” In thinking back now I realize I have regarded each fight as distinct and unrelated to the other, and have sometimes marveled how one man could have so many of them. I now realize it was all one fight; that the relation of each to the other was very close; and I am really no more combative than any other man. It just happened in my case that the original fight once undertaken, expanded marvelously into what seemed like many many fights and the most recent in a sequence of fights is actually no more than the current phase of he primary engagement. Since all men have at least one fight in their lives, and are not considered professional troublemakers because of it, the longer view reveals in me a citizen no less peaceful than his neighbors.

It’s possible, that this applies equally to me. That my original fight—that of standing up to bullies—once undertaken, expanded marvelously. It’s not the answer to all my troubles, but it could certainly be viewed as a defining motive. I’m also just a cranky misanthrope, who while despising the herd, is often quite fond of the individual.

I think people who only know me on social media, are quite surprised to meet me in person. I place a high value on personal etiquette and manners, at least my version of what constitutes good manners: empathy, compassion, civility, decency, and kindness. I might not like you, but there is no reason to be rude.

I don’t generally walk around angry. But when I’m thinking critically about a subject, my ire often comes to the surface. I’m bothered by many things in life, and when I’m writing, or arguing with a friend I trust about a topic I’m passionate about, I can get quite animated.

Which brings me to politics.

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by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, November 9, 2017

There is a current feeling among many progressive Democrats that religion is the enemy of liberty and in all fairness, it’s not without cause. Conservative religious groups have often been on the front lines of so-called culture wars that have done so much harm to vulnerable groups outside of traditional norms. For many, particularly among white, college-educated professionals, the church has become the enemy of progressive politics.

But that’s a mistake.

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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The enemy is a rich guy.

No, not the orange reality star. He’s just one, horrible example of a larger trend of the ongoing redistribution of wealth from the middle and working class to the top 10% of the population. The President likes to brag about the stock market’s gains and record profits for corporations, but what he doesn’t tell you is that unless you’re really wealthy, you’re unlikely to see any of that.

It’s not just the working poor who have struggled with low wages. Middle class wages have been largely stagnant. Between 1935-1980, 70% of all income growth for Americans belonged to 90% of Americans. The top 1% only accounted for 7% of all income growth during that time. Conversely, since 1997, the top 1% account for 72% of all income growth. From 7% in the pre-Reagan years to over 70% today. Income went from workers to investors. After 1997, all income growth went to the top 10% of Americans, with the vast majority of it going to the top 1%.

That’s what happened to the American Dream. It was stolen by a rich guy.

What can Democrats do about it? A lot in fact.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Frank LoBiondo announced he is retiring and won’t be running for re-election in 2018 for the US House of Representatives’ 2nd District in New Jersey. There have been rumors for years that State Senator Jeff Van Drew has his eye on the seat, and this might be his shot at it.

Van Drew is a Blue Dog Democrat who is very popular in the largely conservative district of Cape May County. He has strong name recognition and has done a good job of straddling the line between being a Democrat in a blue state while representing a Red district. He might be hard to oppose.

That certainly won’t stop Republicans from running a strong challenger, and it might be not be a lock that he would run unopposed in a primary situation. He also just ran for re-election for State Senator in 2017 but as the polls haven’t even closed yet, we don’t even know that outcome.

It could make for a very interesting race in the 2018 midterms, especially assuming Phil Murphy wins the Gubernatorial race in New Jersey. If Van Drew decides to run for the empty House seat, it could also leave open a strongly contested state senate seat he would be leaving behind.

There are a lot of moving parts. It will be interesting to see where things go.

Time to get to work.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Election day is finally here and for better or worse, what’s done is done. The die has been cast. We win. We lose. We move on.

But even before we know the results, I want to begin to think about the future; the next election, and even the future of the party.

In many ways, we’re still recovering from the 2016 election, the divisions in the party and the continued infighting between more moderate democrats and the progressives to their left. We need to find a way to come together and build a stronger party that has a relevant message to today’s voters.

The way I see it, is that Democrats, and liberals in general, got smug over what they saw as a populist movement led by a buffoon and a cadre of conservative fear mongers and bigots. Democrats came off as condescending and elitist; not in touch with the fears and realities of too much of the country.

Many of us are still in disbelief that such a large percentage of the population would vote for a party that, while claiming to represent average Americans, was proposing policies that would do great harm to those same communities.

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