Freedom, you shouldn’t read more into “Politics 101″ than is there. Yes, I think that’s the way the overwhelming majority of politicians, — left, right, and center — do what they do. By and large they get started as idealists, then soon discover that for a variety of reasons, the changes they hoped to accomplish — good, bad, or indifferent — couldn’t be pushed through all the entrenched opposition. Some drop out at that point. A few stay and serve their communities in functional jobs that few want (or could do well) and often for little or no $$. But most, having stood in the limelight and heard the cheering of the crowd, want more. Since the base pay and bennies for most offices ain’t too bad, and “other compensation” often beckons, they hang in, learn “Politics 101″ on the job, and rise to their level of incompetence, or corruption, or both. The late Lee Rodgers often said the the only way to look at (such) a politician, is down.
As for whether our vote counts, it depends on which election you mean. In local elections, the tallied votes usually carry the day, though the honesty of the vote counters is a legitimate question in some jurisdictions. But since the founding of the Republic, the people have not directly elected the president. History is full of tales of vote-switching convention delegates picking almost unknown nominees, and electors settling for candidates who received few or no popular votes.
Trump, despite his TV popularity, is a political unknown. Yeah, he’s had to grease palms to get his hotels and casinos permitted, and he’s often supported “liberal” politicians or causes. I think he has been so focused on his business deals (and bankruptcies) that his awareness of what modern politics has done to the nation is relatively new — undeveloped — like what most less driven people acquire at a much younger age. But it seems to me that he finally took a good look, and said, “Dude, where’s my country?” So now, he’d like to fix it (to the extent that he understands how it came to be that way) and (true to form) he expects to be a hero for doing so.
The powers that run both parties are those donors who furnish (or withhold) not only the nece$$ary “mother’$ milk,” but also control the media, therefore, the kind of publicity a candidate receives. Such people are getting what they want from the system as it is, and naturally resist any efforts to reform it. Because he is a celebrity aside from politics, Trump’s candidacy is noteworthy, therefore covered, even by people and networks who disparage him. His intentions may be good, but his political understanding is just beginning. He’s smart enough, but he strikes me as so much a political newbie, that he often fails to perceive a “trap” question, until he has fallen into it. He may be a leader in building and running hotels and casinos, but national politics is a new gig for him. I fear he’d end up being “run” by the inevitable insider cabinet “experts” he’d have to appoint.
As for what We, the People can do, how many of your neighbors, your co-workers, understand how we got to where we are — politically, economically, socially — to be able to pick this pile of gigantic political jackstraws apart without collapsing it into nationwide riot? Meanwhile, the pile grows taller, more vulnerable, every day, often through the efforts of people who (at least say) they are trying to take it down. So We, the People of SHTFSchool are doing what we can do to be out from under the pile when it inevitably collapses.