Tag Archives: Trump

Would He Belong?

Would Dwight D. Eisenhower be welcomed in today’s Republican party?… Today’s GOP- dominated by fiscal Conservatives like the so-called “freedom caucus;”  scrawny descendants of  Do-Nothings of the 80th Congress   who obstruct, protest, and bloviate over the slightest Federal spending.  The insistence on labeling government programs as “entitlements” will give these rank amateurs undue influence in policy making.  Programs like Social Security, GI Bill, unemployment insurance, the interstate system, Civil Rights and the National Parks are all seen as drains on our government and in need of outsourcing.

Let’s build interstates

Eisenhower oversaw the expansion of all these “drains” and expanded so-called entitlements ….  and had a very different view of governing:

In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”

 

Ike’s domestic policy was bold and equitable in the face of … the traditions of his party.  Sadly, such a leader would be expelled by today’s Republicans–  no longer the party of Lincoln. 

 

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Weekly History News Roundup

Framers intended President to take a salary… Trump’s promise is not historically sound

 

Trump visits the Hermitage… Comparisons to Jackson are still being made

 

Park Service cuts affecting Philadelphia… Franklin Print shop and Declaration House to close this year

 

Yale’s removal of Calhoun name sparks interest... Minnesota considers changing lake name

 

Historians struggle to shape Obama’s legacy... partisanship stands in the way of scholarship

 

Old Hickory rolling over

 

 

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On Experimentation

Friends and rivals

Friends and rivals

The American experience has always been built on experimentation… Our very existence doubted by most of the world, the optimism of Thomas Jefferson became essential to the survival of our republican experiment.

 

As the election of 1796 loomed… the friendship between Jefferson and John Adams waned.  Jefferson reminded his friend of their experiment:

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“I am aware of the objection to this, that the office becoming more important may bring on serious discord in elections. In our country I think it will be long first; not within our day; and we may safely trust to the wisdom of our successors the remedies of the evil to arise in theirs. Both experiments however are now fairly committed, and the result will be seen. Never was a finer canvas presented to work on than our countrymen…. This I hope will be the age of experiments in government, and that their basis will be founded on principles of honesty, not of mere force….If ever the morals of a people could be made the basis of their own government, it is our case.”   Jefferson to Adams, February 28 1796

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Weekly History News Roundup

DNA suggests salmonella may have killed off Aztecsrare strain of bacteria discovered in corpses

 

Volunteers struggling to save historic Jewish sites in Middle East… ISIS targets Jewish heritage sites across region

 

National Museum of African-American history tops 1 million visitorslatest Smithsonian open just four months

 

Grad student discovers “lost” Whitman novel… mystery tale was published anonymously before the Civil War

 

Jackson-Trump comparisons do not stand up to historyThe 45th President wishes he were more like the 7th

 

Tennessee is first state to guarantee annual funding for Civil War preservationfund provides matching grants for private donations

A must visit

A must visit

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Beyond Comprehension

To his supporters, Trump is the second-coming of Reagan… but every day, each passing Tweet, Donald Trump embarrasses himself and our republic.  The most egregious behavior involves the apparent collaboration with Putin’s Russia.  Trump and his acolytes have done little to assuage the concerns of the media or critics; often, going as far as to defend Putin and his authoritarian methods.

Bromance

Bromance

Before one of the largest Television audiences in the worldTrump did the unthinkable- he equated the actions of the United States with those of Putin-  all comparisons to Reagan must end immediately.  The President of the United States implied to the world a moral equivalence exists between our republic and the ruthless autocrat in Russia.  Putin’s murders are documented and clearly show the brutal nature of his regime.  Trump’s smarmy innuendo is an indication of both ignorance and  complicity.  Far from making us safer, this man is emerging as a serious threat to our national security.

No comparisons here.

No comparisons here.

Reagan’s call for an end to totalitarianism…  shows just how different the two men really are:

“No, democracy is not a fragile flower. Still it needs cultivating. If the rest of this century is to witness the gradual growth of freedom and democratic ideals, we must take actions to assist the campaign for democracy.”….What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term — the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.”

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Exit Interview Pt. 1

The historic Presidency of Barack Obama is over… many scholars have already formed their opinions on our 44th President– Practically Historical advises more careful scholarship be undertaken.  Obama’s historic election should be remembered, but his time in office needs proper scrutiny for the sake of future generations.

44

44

The Good–

Economic recovery-  Critics will charge that the natural business cycle helped us out of the Great Recession, but Obama’s administration played a key role.  Job growth, GDP, and stock prices all rose under his leadership, while unemployment fell.  Obama’s efforts with the stimulus package and the bailout of the auto industry are both noteworthy.  By the end of his second term, economists were only debating the rates of growth, not whether there had been any.

 

Civil Rights-  Though he opposed gay marriage for much of his political life, Obama changed his mind and used the Justice Department to fight for this most basic right for same-sex couples.  His efforts united people from across the political spectrum– the key court case was argued by former US Solicitor (Republican) General Ted Olson.  Anthony Kennedy sealed the Constitutionality of the issue in Obergefell v. Hodges.

gay

Killing Osama Bin Laden-  George W. Bush had given up the manhunt, but Obama made it a priority.  Violating the sovereign borders of an alleged ally and carrying out a dangerous clandestine raid there was a bold stroke.  Obama showed commendable fraternity by first contacting his predecessor with the news.

 

Tomorrow–  the bad. 

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On Religion

Jefferson believed religious conflicts were the fault of theological teachings… not the people practicing faith.

As the crisis over Muslim immigration to America intensifies, both sides look to Jefferson to defend their positions.  Former President Obama’s claim that Jefferson helped enshrine Islam into our national fabric is blatant exaggeration.  President Trump’s allies are equally mistaken portraying Jefferson as an anti-Islamic warrior. 

Author of Religious Freedom

Author of Religious Freedom

Jefferson’s problems with Islam were philosophical… for he believed the faith to be anti-science and irrationally intolerant to open inquiry.

“I never told my own religion, nor scrutinized that of another. I never attempted to make a convert, nor wished to change another’s creed. I have ever judged of the religion of others by their lives…For it is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me.”

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The belief in religious freedom does not excuse its transgressions… Jefferson explained to friend and ally, James Madison.

 

“The declaration that religious faith shall be unpunished does not give immunity to criminal acts dictated by religious error.”

 

 

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