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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.

Presidential Sex. Makin’ Presidential Woopee

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The news is filled with stories about Donald Trump’s sexual escapades with Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal to name but two. He is being judged and berated for cheating on his wife. I am no fan of Donald Trump. I recognize there may be some issues as to breach of campaign finance laws in the payments to women. No president has ever suffered lasting political damage just for adultery. Cover-up is a different story.

When looking at the 20th-century, the list of adulterous presidents is not short. There was Bill Clinton. Gerry Ford favoured young women while skiing out west. Lyndon Johnson, was notorious for pride in his genitalia. He held meetings with senior officials while he was on the toilet or otherwise and often was exposed. Lyndon Johnson was sexually active outside of his marriage. There was John Kennedy. From all accounts he was an unapologetic sexual predator of olympic appetites. He was preceded by FDR, like the others on this list, he had several mistresses both before and during their time in the White House. Before him, Warren Harding was involved with mistresses in the White House closets. Other than Clinton, and now Trump, the rest carried on with little or no public scrutiny or outcry.

In the 19th century Thomas Jefferson was sexually active with his slaves. Forty Nine year-old President Grover Cleveland married his 21-year-old ward, daughter of his deceased partner, whose estate he administered.

None of this activity seems to have prevented most of these men from accomplishing great things and being good leaders. It may have even helped. Those who did not succeed were not hindered by their extramarital activity.

People want bold and dynamic leaders. In order to succeed in politics you generally need to be an A-type personality. They are more often than not, best suited to deal with domestic and foreign enemies in dangerous and high-stakes games. That type of personality often brings with it some less than appealing personality traits manifesting in thought and action.

Had the behaviour of those leaders been public and judged based on standards of today’s political correctness and in the light of the internet, these men would be seen as the social and sexual transgressors that they were. I personally do not judge them, but then I can understand how a vast majority want their leaders to be role models.

There were many great presidents who were married and stayed faithful to their wives. Likewise there were failures as presidents who were faithful to their marriages. It may make a difference to those whose expectations of their presidents include high moral standards. There is no evidence that commitment to their marriages affected their success or failure anymore than it did the sexually aggressive and predatory presidents.

The problem with Trump is the lies and cover-up. He also is seen by many as sleazy given the attitude he expressed on the Billy Bush tape. He is crass and creepy. Trump’s public bragging of his sexual exploits and prowess cannot be compared to any other president. There are very few ways, if any, by which Trump could be compared to any other president.

When it comes to Presidential sex, whether Democrats, Republicans, Federalist, or Whigs, there is no evidence that it affects one’s ability to do the job.

 

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 Trump Really Won

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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had less to do with the results of the election, than the voters of both parties anger at the governing class.

Voters were tired of the less than transparent conduct by the White House and Congress treating us like the audience of a reality TV show. Create a fantasy world, conflict, tension and keep the audience entertained.

America’s voters were fed up with a directionless government which took care of themselves before they took care of the American people. They were tired of the deadlock in Washington and nothing getting done.

Patients had run out for the governing class. Those who made their lives politics. Public service was seen by the people as a ticket to all the money made available by Citizens United.

The Democratic candidate was a member of the governing class. All of those Republicans who stood on the early stages of the campaign were members of the governing class. Trump was not. He capitalized on that anger and spoke out loud all of the fear and hate of the ugly underbelly of America.

That is what elected Donald Trump.

The Donald Trump Trample

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There’s a new dance sweeping the nation. It’s called the Donald Trump Trample. So far the White House staff, Departments of government, Congress, and Scotus are learning how it’s done.

First there’s the Trump Trample on racial and religious groups. From Mexicans to Muslims there’s enough disrespect and hate for all. His tacit support of the Nazis and white supremacists fit in with his concept of America.

Next he does the Trump Trample on individuals. Whether it’s Jeff Sessions, James Comey, the GOP leadership in Congress or the long list of departed staffers. No one but his family is spared. For now. Trump has no shame in publicly bullying and berating people.

Finally and more importantly he does the Trump Trample on the basic rights and freedoms that are the foundation of America. His war on the press has viciously attacked the First Amendment. The greatest and most pathological liar to ever sit in the Oval Office, wants to control the truth. He tacitly encourages violence and hate.

There’s no doubt that everybody’s afraid of the Trump Trample. He runs the country like a reality TV show. Create a fantasy world, crank up the drama and the tension and keep them entertained. He truly believes in his own superiority. Only he can decide what’s lawful or not. If you’re anywhere in government and you don’t fall in line you’re gone.

So far the Trump Trample has worked. He freely trashes institutions, individuals, and civil rights in the most base way built on pathological lies. He has succeeded in intimidating and frightening all around him. He will do the dance until he is recognized as the indispensable leader. His ego, personality disorders, and mental illness, will accept no less

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.