conservative

Trump and Nixon

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Given the current occupant of the Oval Office, and the investigations as being carried on by special counsel and others, Richard Nixon’s name is resurrected in the call for impeachment. This is unfair to Richard Nixon who is one of the most over-maligned and underrated presidents.

Both men apparently obstructed justice by interfering in investigations about their unlawful or improper conduct. Nixon fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor, and caused a political firestorm. It eventually ended in his resignation before he could be impeached. Trump is mounting a PR campaign to discredit special prosecutor Muller. There has been talk of firing Muller, but as of yet, his investigation continues.

That is where the similarity and comparison between these two men ends abruptly.

Nixon’s cover-up was to protect others initially.

Donald Trump is all about Trump. His constant lies, always and about everything, are to protect him. The Special Counsel’s investigation and what appears to be a number of other investigations into all aspects of he and his families lives and business cover almost all aspects of his life. As you know

Richard Nixon spent the bulk of his adult life serving the United States of America. First in the military and then in politics. He was not rich, although he could have been. Except when in private practice briefly, he made and lived on his government salary. Richard Nixon was a smart politician and statesman. He understood government process, having served in , the House, the Senate, the Vice Presidency, and the Presidency. Without for a moment passing judgement on his conduct that led to him being driven from office, he was a patriotic man dedicated to public service. He was the last of only three Republican progressive presidents. The others being Lincoln and TR. He created the EPA. The very Environmental Protection Agency that Trump wants to destroy and dismantle along with most of the other departments of government.

There are numerous examples of him choosing country over self. He was a flawed character, not a personality particularly suited to politics. I won’t list Nixon’s accomplishments here, but suffice it to say there are many. He was an international statesman and a visionary. He made the world a safer place to live. Domestically, he was actively interested promoting civil rights and healthcare .

Trump, regardless of what he may accomplish is not now and never will be half the man and half the president that was Richard Nixon. He is a pathological liar, corrupt, self-absorbed and self-interested, egocentric, incompetent, unqualified in every aspect, misogynist sexual predator.

Other than being involved in attempting to interfere with an investigation which involved him personally,  Trump’s personality disorders make Richard Nixon look like Mother Teresa. It is a grave insult to Richard Nixon to mention his name in the same breath as Donald Trump.

Pelosi and Schumer Must Step Aside.

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Pelosi and Schumer, and yes both of the Clintons have served the American people for several decades. America needs a change.

On November 9, 2016, the American people experienced one of the greatest failures in the history of  democracy. GOP and Democratic voters alike turned their backs on the elite political ruling class of both parties. This was born of the frustration of watching their political system descend into a paralyzed and uncivil sideshow. It was that anger and that rejection that brought Donald Trump to power.

The danger in Donald Trump, is that he cares only about Donald Trump. The Russians were ahead long before they appeared to have a President of the United States that they could blackmail. With the fall of the Soviet Union, the West threw up their hands in victory and fell asleep. Putin divided Russia up amongst his friends. He then used Russian money to buy his way in to the upper echelons of the political and economic elite around the world. The Citizens United decision by the Republican Supreme Court, was the first nail in the coffin of American democracy. It has provided an unlimited source of untraceable money to buy American politicians.

Trump was just a continuation of the deterioration of America is a world leader. One of the worst things he has done is to appoint Cabinet Secretaries who all hold views in direct contradiction to the purpose and missions of their departments. They’re spending their time dismantling the strength and functionality of these departments. They are attacking and destroying the social and political gains that made America a beacon of freedom and liberty and hope and the leader of the free world.

The last chance for American democracy is for the Democrats to retake both houses of Congress. That will not happen with the already rejected, Pelosi and Schumer. They must step aside for the good of the party and the good of America. There are plenty of fresh young voices and leadership in the Democratic Party. They must come up with bold, practical and meaningful proposals and turn them into action.

If Pelosi and Schumer lead the Democrats into the midterms I fear they will again be rejected for the same reasons they failed before. This time the stakes are high. The survival of American democracy.

Trump Wants Out, or Should

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Something tells me Donald Trump has buyer’s remorse. He certainly doesn’t look like he’s having fun at this job. It is to borrow a phrase “a shit hole of a job” compared to his old one. He did what he wanted, everybody listened to him and sucked up to him. There was no investigation into his complicated ties with Russian money and other possible sources of blackmail. There may have been talk of him as a sexual predator, but it wasn’t widely known outside of the Howard Stern constituency. There was not the scrutiny of his personal and financial life that he could not control.

I do not get the sense he enjoys dealing with the issues of government. He certainly doesn’t understand how government works and expresses his continual frustration about the people around him and the functioning of the government.

There must be days when he thinks to himself:   What do I need this for? I’m over 70 years old. Whether it’s true or not, I believe I’m a rich man with a nice life. People did what I told them to do. I did what I wanted to do. And nobody bothered me. I had my own airplane, furnished more luxuriously than the one I now use. An apartment and other homes that cause me to refer to the White House as a dump

As the threat of the exposure of his financial, personal, and political entanglements of he and his family with Russia becomes more certain, he will look for next strategy. I predict a health crisis which forces him to resign and get back to his old life.

He is one of the few men who has held the White House who really seems to get little or no enjoyment out of the job. All that’s important to Trump is Trump. And Donald Trump appears to be a joyless man in a joyless job. On his exit he will be happier; America will be happier; and the world will be happier.

Maybe America Should Have Stayed with Britain

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Those colonists loyal to King George III, left America to form my home, Canada.

I have always  admired much about the United States. Although democracy is never perfect, America flourished in their newly created country founded on freedom and liberty. I respected and appreciated America’s commitment to defend democracy and liberty around the world. They are the richest country on the planet.

Even before Trump polarized and focused America and the world’s attention on the strength or weakness of America’s democracy and social values, Trump has attacked the institutions and values that make America great. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are the cornerstones of American democracy and liberty.

Trump aside, some have begun to question America’s place as a leader and beacon for truth, fairness, justice, freedom and liberty. I look to Canada, and most of the civilized world to find universal healthcare. The world’s richest country, U.S.A, is without universal healthcare, or even meaningful healthcare while arguing about less.

Here we have political discourse which is generally civil and productive. I haven’t seen that in the United States since before Gingrich became speaker. What has followed is a continual obstructionism by both parties.

In Canada, again like most of the civilized world, we have sane and effective gun laws. Americans have to recognize that the Second Amendment was drafted in the 18th century in a different reality. Countries with more restrictive gun laws have far fewer gun deaths.

I still love America and believe the spirit of the best of the U.S.A, is the envy of the world. I, however, have realized that Americans may have been better off had they remained part of Great Britain as a colony, Dominion, member of the Commonwealth and an independent country. Chances are good that our neighbors to the south would have universal healthcare, sane gun laws, and a degree of civil, respectful and productive political discourse, with a democracy that never sunk this low.

Don’t Forget Who He Is.

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Trump was sent to Washington to shake things up. A reaction to the voters anger from both parties at the governing class.

Today he spoke at the United Nations. He did what no other president has done. He attacked America’s enemies. He said the things that many Americans felt needed to be said.

He has shaken up government. He has attacked the leadership of both parties and has admonished them quite accurately for their failures and lack of accomplishment. When the GOP wouldn’t cooperate and come through, he turned to the Democrats. He doesn’t have an ideology.

These are admirable accomplishments. One must however, remember that this is a lying, pathological, misogynist degenerate.

It is unfortunate that the electorate had no other choice but the governing class they rejected or a corrupt con man.

Why are The One %

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There appears to be a consensus that 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth. That is the problem at the root of conflict in the world.

Out of all the problems humankind faces, this is the most inane situation certainly on this planet and probably the rest of the universe.

How can people suffer every day from the fear that financial survival in this world demands? While the resources exist to alleviate 99% of it.

It’s not just the poor and disadvantaged, whose mere existence is an insult and stain on humanity. Most people, even the moderate to reasonably well-to-do, have to struggle with financial survival every day.

We live in a world that appears to be deteriorating around us, as infrastructure is a politicians low priority until it breaks. Federal and local governments around the world have lacked the resources to maintain or replace them. We lack the resources to provide the basic services that we need in this modern society. Governments, like most people, must deal with the pain of choosing priorities in accordance with their financial abilities.

Why? Why? Why?

The resources exist to deal with these issues in a way that eases life and makes it more fair for everyone.

The weight of history, has over the centuries distributed some of the great wealth held by the few amongst the rest of the population. The 1% has counted on control of the military and political scenery to maintain this balance. In this modern world it is unlikely that this is the case. Instant mass communication depending on how it is used may be the saviour or the downfall of humankind.

But the scale is starting to tip the other way. The pressure on society to find another way to keep score and fairly manage resources will meet head-on with a deteriorating society. It is hard to imagine that the flow of history will be stopped.

But for the moment we live in a bizarre world. All but the privileged few, under financial pressure from governments to the people. Meanwhile 1% of the population controls 99% of the wealth.

Why?

 

Pence was a Smart Choice?

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If Spiro Agnew had remained as vice president, Richard Nixon would never have faced impeachment. No Democrat would trade Richard Nixon for the far right intellectual neanderthal Agnew. Agnew was forced to resign and Jerry Ford replaced him. That sealed Nixon’s fate.

The Democrats face a similar dilemma with Donald Trump’s VP, Mike Pence. For all his problems, Trump seems to be  ineffective. He makes a lot of noise. But nothing seems to get done. As an example Secretary as is Mattis put off Donald’s ban of transgender’s in the military.

Pence on the other hand, is a dyed in the wool, Bible thumping, blind and dumb conservative. He would be far more effective in working with the GOP leadership and more dangerous to the Democrats. They would have to get rid of Trump and Pence which can most likely only happen if Dems take the Congress in the midterms.

The GOP leadership would love Pence, but they worry about the backlash from the Trump supporters. Those people who prove Lincoln’s: “you can fool some of the people all of the time”.

It remains to be seen. I think there is no one more dangerous to Trump than Trump. He can’t protect himself from himself. His financial and political worlds will unravel with the Russian revelations and Trump’s inability to get out of his own way. Too many people want him gone in America and around the world. He’s damaging the United States. But worse for him he’s forever damaging his brand as the world gets to see more and more of the real Donald Trump.

Impeachment ?

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Impeachment has been on many lips since election night. The specter of impeachment has only been raised and proceeded on three occasions. Congress is 0 and  2 with one default removing presidents in its entire history. No president has been successfully removed. Why? It is not a legal process, it is a political process.

The House impeaches and the Senate tries and acquits or removes the President.

What makes anybody think it’ll be so easy this time. There is no specific definition of the presidency or the scope of it. It’s changed throughout history

What is an impeachable offence? Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution says, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Although many have weighed in with their opinions, there is no definition of impeachable offence better than,” it is whatever Congress says it is”.

Likewise there is no definition of presidential. Any president’s behavior is by default, presidential. What is acceptable presidential behavior is again up to Congress and certainly influenced by public opinion.

It is questionable whether the transgressions of Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, constituted treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. Johnson was impeached by the House for firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and his policies towards reconstruction of the South. Nixon for obstruction of justice, of an irrelevant break in. While contrary to law, it may not have measured up to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors. Bill Clinton was impeached by the House for lying under oath about sexual conduct. Nixon resigned while Johnson and Clinton were impeached by the House and each acquited by one vote in the Senate.

It would seem to me that treason, bribery and high crimes and misdemeanors should relate to the ability to govern and national security. Previous impeachment’s have only served to distract from the business of the American people. A waste of time over conduct which, save and except for the media’s focus, did not impair the president from carrying out his duties, but did impair Congress from doing theirs.

Trumps personal habits and behavior do not fall under my expectations of acceptable presidential behavior. Nonetheless it is so generally harmless, mostly entertaining in a perverse way, and not the main focus of concern. That’s not to say they are not of some concerns. He embarrasses America both at home and in the eyes of the world.

What really concerns me. What is more frightening and dangerous is that right before our very eyes he seems to be bent on unwinding and unraveling or at least viciously attacking, and reversing the social progress we have watched, felt, paid for, and deeply believe in. The GOP has the presidency, Congress, Supreme Court, and a majority of state governors and legislatures. The GOP Congress, for the moment, have restrained him with respect to foreign-policy decisions and costly domestic mistakes. Sometimes deliberately and sometimes by his and their own incompetence.

He has opened a Pandora’s box of the ugly underbelly, lowest common denominator of America. He has created uncertainty and fear in America and throughout the world.

He has disgraced America in the eyes of the world. The view of the international community is that American no longer leads the free world and has as its president an incompetent, embarrassing, disturbed, man-child.

Congress is going to have to face the issue at one time or another. Whether it’s the results of the Russia investigation, the damage he is doing to the reputation of America at home and abroad, or his mental state.

Congress is in their own disarray. In this they can be moved by popular opinion. Once they feel comfortable enough that they have the support of the American people who are fed up with Donald Trump then they will act.

The question is when? If they do it now, they’re afraid of the possible backlash the extent of which is hard to measure. If they don’t do it before the midterms and lose control of Congress, the Democrats will impeach both Trump and Pence, and put the new Democratic Speaker of the House in the White House.

The GOP have to grow a large pair of political balls and remove him from office before he does some damage they can’t mop up.

Government is Not a Business

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Donald Trump came to power promising to apply his business experience to running the government. Forget for a moment the realities of his business experience which lack ethics. Consider his modus operandi of using debt and bankruptcy to profit at the expense of the hard-working small businessmen who worked for him. Government is not a business.

The principles of running a business do not apply and do not work in running a government.

In business Trump was the boss. He could do whatever he wanted to do. His only considerations were making money and building his brand. There was little or no room for dissenting opinions. If he didn’t like the job you were doing, you were fired. His only constituency was himself, his family and his businesses.

Government doesn’t have a bottom-line. Healthcare and Education are investments whose success are not measured in dollars and cents. It is measured in the lives that are saved and enhanced. Government is always an exercise in pay it forward. It is measured in the social and scientific advancements which save lives and make lives in the world better.

Government in the free world democracies is a process of balance and compromise. This is not a characteristic often found in running businesses. Government is the process of debating the social and political issues to try and come to a consensus that improves the life of the nation and its citizens.

Government is there to give voice to the disenfranchised. One of the best examples is Lyndon Johnson. His success with Medicaid, his war on poverty, civil rights and voting rights, are proof that government can make a significant difference in people’s lives. if not for Lyndon Johnson it is doubtful that Barack Obama would have become president. Without Lyndon Johnson he may not be able to vote.

Government exists for entirely different reasons than a business. It has different goals, responsibilities, and methods. It success is measured in markedly different ways and with significantly different criteria than a business.

Trump and his administration are clear proof that businessmen are not suited to govern using business principles and methods. It has been a disaster for Trump, America, and the world.

The drama and infighting between Trump and the members of his administration are further proof that you cannot operate as president in the same way you run your own business. The public nature of government is a far cry from the behind closed doors autocratic style which works in business.

Trump clearly does not understand this. American democracy is paying the price. Never in the history of the United States of America has the nation been held in such low esteem by the rest of the world. Not since the Revolutionary war has America faced such a threat to their democracy, as they do today.

Americans have to restore the kind of government that puts the people first. The GOP needs to grow a pair of patriotic balls and take back American democracy.

 

 

 

The Birth of Tyranny

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I was born in the early 50s. World War II seemed like distant history. In studying the 1930s and 40s I wondered how a Hitler or Mussolini could take over a civilized democracy. Now I know.

Putin certainly helped. Donald Trump found fertile ground in the ugly underbelly of America’s lowest common denominator. Those who stayed home in 2016 allowed Trump and Putin to hijack American democracy.

Trump is behaving like a dictator following the Tyrant’s Handbook for Dummies to the letter. He along with the GOP Congress and Scotus seem bent on reversing and destroying the social and political gains of the last 200 years.

In six months, Trump and the GOP have managed to bring America to its lowest point in  history in the eyes of the world ever. America has given up its leadership of the free world. No longer a beacon for democracy and freedom, America has become a bad and scary joke to the rest of the free world.

The GOP must grow a set of patriotic balls and take back America before it is too late.