TOP OF THE TOWN ‑ Why do we vote against our best interest? That question has been swirling around for a long time now and there doesn’t seem to be an answer that answers it. The closest I can come is a three-part answer. The main one is I know a large percentage of the population can be easily influenced by somebody or some large marketing firm by a false claim or con. My experience tells me 20 percent of the people won’t budge from their perceived opinions no matter what and 20 percent just don’t pay attention to any scam or con. That leaves 60 percent in the middle (the often quoted in political campaigns as the independents) that can be persuaded by the last person they listen to or see. These are the people campaigns go after because they quite often made the difference in winning or losing. The second point is that a certain percentage (the bottom 20 percent of the population, or low income bracket want to follow whoever tells them they have their backs and will make their life better (even though that’s a lie). A third point is the percent of the population that falls for the con that their white privilege or white superiority will be protected against encroachment by blacks and browns (a racist message that incites the racists among us) and will vote against their own self-interest if there is a belief their current life is threatened. It’s sad, really, that our society has come to this, that we are divided in our beliefs and standing in society to the point former friends turn into enemies. It is a dangerous situation we find ourselves because strongmen use the divide-and-conquer military strategy to win control. It’s the old united we stand and divided we fall that is being used by Trump. It’s a political method used by dictators in the past and in the present. Putin uses it in Russia and I believe he has mentored Trump how to use it here to gain control. If you are paying attention, the Biden and Trump campaigns are offering very distinctly different approaches. The Democratic Convention is a love fest that is telling us we are all in this together and will unite for the common good to produce a country where all kinds will be treated as equals and be rewarded with positive results that guarantees better life. Then next week you will be treated to the dark side as Trump takes center stage in the Republican Convention. He will attack his perceived enemies and promise with a con that blacks and browns will be rewarded for supporting him. He will treat the Democrats as socialists or communists that will destroy the Constitution and plunge the United States into a recession unlike any we have every experienced if they support Biden, who he will declare is a criminal as is Obama. Don’t be fooled, he will say, they are coming for your guns and first Amendment. Trump will promise good healthcare and good jobs. Don’t listen to him. He is busy right now suing in court to do away with healthcare and has promised to cut or do away with Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, destroy further our environment and align himself  closer to his mentor, Putin. I suspect even all of this will not deter some to vote for Trump because of what I said above, that they will vote against their best interests. But we are in the last phase of an effort to save our country from becoming a dictatorship. Trump is going to cheat anyway he can to win this election. Dismantling the United States Postal Service is just the start of his evil design. I don’t know how we can stop him. You can’t abide by conventional rules and regulations to hamper him. He’s immune to laws and norms. They are just snacks to him. Republicans are not enabling him. They are his partners in the destruction of democracy with the hope to abolishing the Democratic Party and make this country a one-party state with Trump as its strongman. That is the end goal, and it will happen if they get away with rigging this election. I’m afraid, though, that we who believe in democracy and equal justice for all are going to lose unless we come together as one and commit to loving each other. Love conquers hate and that is what is needed most now to rid ourselves of the darkness Trump brings. Ok, that is enough.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.