by Jim Lantern
Lantern Timeglass Journal
Wednesday 10 August 2016
Walmart Moms and Countdown to Election 2016
Read the EXCELLENT article at ABC News by Ryan Struyk posted Tuesday 9 August 2016…
Why Walmart Moms Are ‘Disgusted’ and ‘Frustrated’ With the 2016 Election
That article got my attention because of how it ties in with a perspective I’ve tried to convey in some past editorial articles.
From my perspective, it’s not just “Walmart moms” as covered by that article. I believe it’s most average Americans feel the same way. Most are not news junkies like I am and don’t have time for it.
When I’ve gone into Walmart to do my own shopping, on weekends I’ve especially noticed the variety of people – what I’d consider to be average Americans – shopping there. I’ve wondered: Which issues do they really care about and why? What are their concerns? What’s on their minds? Are they even thinking about Election 2016, candidates, and issues?
I’ve not just noticed them but also what they were purchasing. I concluded they are mainly concerned about day-to-day living, day-to-day survival, day-to-day needs and perhaps a few wants. I separate purchases into NEEDS – what I have to buy to stay alive, and WANTS – what I could live without but buy to make life a little better and more enjoyable. Sometimes the budget appears to only allow for basic NEEDS – food, general supplies, medicine. Even so, I allow for at least one WANT from my Wants List each month – such as buying stereo speakers + subwoofer sound system for my HP Notebook – for better sound when watching music videos on it.
In addition to basic survival (including health concerns), I get the impression the average Walmart shopper is mainly thinking about family and home, and some might be thinking about work or school. A few might be thinking about entertainment, hobbies, and other wants. Most shoppers are probably not giving much time to the issue of Trump’s wall, but it could be on the mind of some Walmart employees. I mention that because I believe the presidential candidates, and especially the mainstream news media (CNN, FNC, MSNBC) 24/7 news channels, are somewhat out of touch with the reality of the day-to-day concerns of the average American. Further, too much focus on insults and petty disputes than on the issues that really matter to most Americans. This election appears to be targeting the emotions of voters rather then the minds of voters.
Like my shopping priorities, and perhaps like most average Americans, the election issues can be divided into Needs and Wants. Tie emotions to Wants and minds to Needs. Candidates – politicians – tend to go for emotional Wants to distract minds from Needs. Most average Americans care most about the issues that have direct impact on their lives – their families, their homes, their jobs, day-to-day living. It is of course different for each individual. For me, for example, I could not care less about two gays getting married because that issue has no direct impact on my life as a single straight male. For comparison, contrast, the issues relating to health care can have direct impact on my life every day. Two gays getting married isn’t going to cost me my life. Not getting effective health care could cost me my life. Each person must become aware of what really matters in their lives and set priorities accordingly. Should I be concerned about so-called global warming? Is it causing storms to be more severe? Might it cause a tornado to take my home and make me homeless? So, there’s an issue that can have direct impact on my life, but what can I do about it? Some issues I care about but they are beyond my control. With limited resources, I need to focus on those issues for which I might be able to make a difference.
I believe Election 2016 will result in major differences in the lives of average Americans no matter who the next President is. However, who the next President is will determine what those differences are and to what extent they impact the lives of most Americans.
As I write this, there’s about 90 days left until Election Day Tuesday 8 November 2016.
CNN is hosting a Town Hall (1 hour live special) for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein at 8:00pm CT 9:00pm ET on Wednesday 17 August 2016. Should be interesting. I’ve seen her interviewed before. She makes good impression. She is intelligent. I don’t have to agree with her on all issues to respect her. I believe she could do the job of President better than Hillary Clinton and work well with Congress to get needs and wants accomplished.
Too much controversy attached to Clinton. Trump has turned out to be a huge disappointment. So I still favor Gary Johnson – but like many others I wish the ticket were reversed with William Weld for President instead of Vice President, and Gary Johnson as his VP. IF it were so, most Republicans now opposed to Trump would support Weld for certain, but not yet convinced about Johnson. Weld is more presidential with stronger presence when being interviewed. If an actor were to play William Weld in a movie or TV show, then I believe it would have to be James Cromwell or perhaps Harrison Ford. Johnson and Weld are former Republicans twice elected governors in blue Democrat states, so either of them are qualified to do the job of President of the United States and would work well with Congress to get things done. Jill Stein might give support to Libertarians Johnson-Weld if they get into the debates. They must have 15% approval in polls by Labor Day to get into debates with Clinton and Trump. The new CIA candidate Evan McMullin as an Independent Republican option will not gain any ground, unless Trump suddenly drops out.
All that stated, I still predict Clinton will win the popular vote by 50% to 60% unless something happens in the meantime to derail her. Most former supporters of Bernie Sanders still oppose her. As they support Trump or Johnson, Republicans dumping Trump for Clinton or Johnson make it all a big trade-off. She’s making better speeches on issues that matter than Trump is. If the first debate can stay on issues and avoid personal insults, then Clinton will mop the floor with Trump and win the debate. The first Presidential Debate is Monday September 26th. Hopefully, Gary Johnson will be included. If so, then considering the fact that the majority of Americans (according to most polls) dislike Clinton and Trump, seeing and hearing Johnson in a 3-way debate for comparison, the resulting polls could suddenly shift to a majority supporting Gary Johnson by as much as 60% – Clinton down to 25% and Trump down to only 15%.