Tag Archives: Election of 2016

Owning your Words

Trump’s public admonishment of pilots held as prisoners of war… in North Vietnam is described by his campaign as “misunderstood” or “taken out of context.”   The blowhard with no military experience said this- “He’s a war hero because he was captured, I like people who weren’t captured.”  Far from an endorsement, this was a sneer at a political opponent with far more credibility on defense and foreign policy issues.  

Trump3

John McCain and his comrades were heroes for their sacrifice… enduring torture at the hands of their captors- never betraying their duty to country under the most arduous circumstances.  Trump has no concept of this kind of heroism, the selfless kind.  In Trump’s world, heroes play sports or close deals for personal gain.  He sees the medals and ribbons awarded in the military, but the motives of the recipients utterly eludes him. 

Denton

Trump would consider Jeremiah Denton a coward too… Denton was put on display in a North Vietnamese propaganda film produced for the International Red Cross.  Forced to recite a script, Denton was able to blink the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E  in Morse code to get the true message to the world.  Captain Denton had been in prison so long, his own son had grown up, served in Vietnam, and come home.  Denton was the first POW off the plane in 1973, and his words ring true to this day:

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”

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Politics of Division

Trump’s wall is inexorably linked to anti-immigrant sentiment… especially immigration from Mexico.  People are shocked that a neo-Populist like Trump would resort to divisive language in our current age– but the politics of division are nothing new in American political discourse… especially in overtly Populist rhetoric. 

jews

America’s most noted Populist candidate was William Jennings Bryan…. The rhetoric he utilized in the 1896 Presidential campaign was inflammatory and tinged with subtle antisemitism.  The well-read “Cross of Gold” speech from the Democratic National Convention is often taken at face value- Bryan’s well known evangelical roots boiling over.  But when considering the audience, and the appeals to Protestant fundamentalists in the South and Midwest, Bryan’s graphic religious metaphor of American bankers pressing a crown of thorns upon the head of the working class is far more insidious.  Bryan and his fellow Populists warned of a Jewish  “Gold Ring”  dominating American finance and controlling most of the wealth.  The campaign of 1896 linked corporate excess of the Gilded Age to the stereotypes of Jewish Financiers and money-lenders.

Coming next January 20th ?

Coming next January 20th ?

The more things change, the more they stay the same… especially in American politics.  Trump’s wall and fear mongering about “Mexican Rapists” is no different from the misguided Populism of William Jennings Bryan in the election of 1896.

 

 

 

 

 

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Debating No More

Presidential debates are just around the corner… and this round is receiving more scrutiny than ever.  Trump/Clinton features two candidates who are widely distrusted by an electorate that is more than anxious to watch them square off on stage.  Debates since 1960 have not been debates at all- but, rather mutual hour long press conferences with little, if any discourse.

clinton

The idealized debate of 1960 changed the format forever… Too much attention is given the first TV broadcast, while we ignore what Kennedy and Nixon actually changed.  Both men requested that media “moderators” pose questions- and that responses be limited by the restraints of television broadcasting.  Neither candidate was expected to defend their positions or “think on their feet.”   Responses were prepared, practiced, and sanitized-  the modern debate was born, at the same time the traditional format was cast aside.

Not really a debate

Not really a debate

The only interaction between candidates now are… memorable quips- sound bytes that make us chuckle around the water cooler, but fail to make us think.  So little is actually debated, it is obvious that voters have already made their decisions- we are just enjoying the show.

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Owning your Words

Trump’s public admonishment of pilots held as prisoners of war… in North Vietnam is described by his campaign as “misunderstood” or “taken out of context.”   The blowhard with no military experience said this- “He’s a war hero because he was captured, I like people who weren’t captured.”  Far from an endorsement, this was a sneer at a political opponent with far more credibility on defense and foreign policy issues.  

Trump3

John McCain and his comrades were heroes for their sacrifice… enduring torture at the hands of their captors- never betraying their duty to country under the most arduous circumstances.  Trump has no concept of this kind of heroism, the selfless kind.  In Trump’s world, heroes play sports or close deals for personal gain.  He sees the medals and ribbons awarded in the military, but the motives of the recipients utterly eludes him. 

Denton

Trump would consider Jeremiah Denton a coward too… Denton was put on display in a North Vietnamese propaganda film produced for the International Red Cross.  Forced to recite a script, Denton was able to blink the word T-O-R-T-U-R-E  in Morse code to get the true message to the world.  Captain Denton had been in prison so long, his own son had grown up, served in Vietnam, and come home.  Denton was the first POW off the plane in 1973, and his words ring true to this day:

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America.”

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Unintended Consequences pt. 2

The real possibility of Donald Trump winning the nomination… of a major political party has shaken American politics to its core.  Many in the media are quick to accuse the Right Wing for propagating the current political climate allowing Trump to thrive.  However, an honest historical assessment, reveals an opportunistic candidate taking advantage of a nomination process championed by Progressives.  Instituting primaries- citizen selection of party nominees- was an essential piece of Progressive political reform in the early 20th century.  Allowing the people to choose their nominees, what could go wrong?

Will of the People?

Will of the People?

Primary voters barely constitute 12% of the electorate… and inevitably represent the most radical elements of each party.  Candidates are forced to pander to a tiny minority of people to win this unnecessary popularity contest.  Radical positions which were requisites during the primary are quickly cast aside in the General election.  Are the nominees really representative of the American electorate?

Business leader, political novice

Business leader, political novice

Trump’s critics call him a radical and a demagogue…  but the primary election process is making his nomination likely.  The American left resents his rise, but their forefathers made it possible.

 

 

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Ramblings of an Antiquated Mind

If you are reading this, you are asking me….

  • Is Donald Trump the next Wendel Willkie ?
  • Trump’s style candidacy is nothing new in American politics-his delivery is unique
  • There is no FDR to stand in Trump’s way if nominated
  • How are Hillary Clinton’s transgressions with classified material less relevant than those of David Patraeus?
  • Academics make the worst leaders- even worse Presidents
  • The current Eisenhower renaissance is long overdue
  • Eisenhower would not be welcome in today’s Republican party
  • John Kennedy would be kicked out of the modern Democratic party
  • Jim Webb is a good man, but running for President requires more energy
  • Sorry Dr. Carson- President of the United States should not be your first elected office
  • Teachers are lousy students
  • The answer to our failing education system is not more money for the status quo
  • School choice breeds innovation and is the only answer
  • Charter schools work- but for-profit education is a wolf in sheep’s clothing
  • Jefferson still matters- in Virginia, and Missouri
  • History is the teacher of life….
Trump 2016

Trump 2016

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