The congressional midterm elections are over a year away but people are already beginning to campaign. Right now President Trump and many Democrats seem more interested in blowing off steam than developing a successful campaign strategy. Does anyone want to win?
Instead of attacking Democrats, Trump is going after fellow Republicans. Senator Corker of Tennessee is his latest victim. Not only is he increasing the intra-party rift, his efforts could cost the Republicans seats. Senator Flake of Arizona is vulnerable. Trump is not only attacking him but is openly supporting his primary opponent, Kelli Ward. When John McCain announced his brain tumor, she not only urged him to resign but offered herself up as a replacement. She is advocating the conspiracy theory that there is a deliberate effort to poison us through chemicals in jet contrails. Sounds like the lady who wasn’t a witch and the guy who said a woman’s body “shuts down” during a rape.
Democrats could take the House but are in a world of hurt in the Senate. They hold twenty-five of the thirty-three seats in contention including ten seats in states in which Trump won. There is little evidence that they have done much to improve things since the debacle last November. Their platform is that Trump is evil and Republicans are racists. They have done little to mend fences with blue collar voters. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is about to return to the spotlight with a book that rehashes the election.
Trump and the Democrats do have one thing in common. They are both more interested in venting their feelings than winning elections.
The legislation a president is able to get through plays a big role in how history judges them. It only makes sense that they build a solid relationship with Congress. President Trump seems to disagree. Apparently he views them the same way he did employees at his business.
It was shocking when he went after Mitch McConnell. That was nothing compared to his antics last night. During an appearance in Arizona he attacked the state’s senators, members of his own party.
What was he thinking? He can’t possibly believe that will increase the likelihood he will get their votes. There must be an explanation. Some Democrats and their allies in the media think he is mentally unbalanced. They hate him so much they can’t think rationally about him. He does seem to lack a filter between idiotic thoughts and his mouth. However, his remarks seemed to be deliberate since he attacked Senator Flack in a later tweet. I can thick of only one logical explanation. The attention he gets and cheers from adoring crowds mean more to him than the success of his agenda.
The relationship between Trump and the Republicans is somewhat like a shotgun marriage. If there is a divorce, Trump will be the big loser.
Following the violence in Charlottesville there has been a renewed push to take down statues of Confederate leaders. Most comments have been from the Left or the Right. As a centrist, I have a different perspective.
Governments have long memorialized those it deemed worthy. Naming something after them is by far the most common way. Erecting statues used to be quite popular. Future generations may see things differently and may want to take a different course. If so, it should be done thoughtfully and with a good understanding of history. What we are seeing now is a knee jerk reaction by those with little knowledge of the person’s life. We are also seeing some silliness on the Right. Some have talked about history being erased. A person doesn’t learn history by looking at a carved piece of stone.
Robert E. Lee was a great man that deserves to be memorialized. He lived in an era when many identified themselves as residents of a state first and Americans second. He was strongly opposed to secession. He was offered the position of major general in the Union army. His reply was “I look upon secession as anarchy. If I owned the four millions of slaves in the South I would sacrifice them all to the Union; but how can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?”. Anyone who believes he went to war solely to preserve slavery is obviously ignorant of the facts.
I am especially concerned with the idea that anyone who lived in the 18th or 19th century and didn’t have 21st century values should be condemned. If we are to obliterate the memory of anyone who owned a slave, does that include Washington and Jefferson? Should we blow up their monuments, blast their faces off Mount Rushmore, rename our capital and everything else bearing their name? Should someone who opposed women’s suffrage meet the same fate? If we discover something bad about Italian explorer and mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci, do we rename our country and two continents? I realize I am being ridiculous but we don’t know how far these people will go. Many are calling for the destruction of the incredible Stone Mountain sculpture. It reminds me of the Taliban blowing up a similar sculpture they didn’t like.
Obviously we don’t want to restore the old values that are now abhorrent. However, we shouldn’t condemn great people that happened to live back then.
Another senior White House staffer is gone. This time it is Steve Bannon.
I believe this will prove to be beneficial to the Trump administration. He was a lightning rod for criticism. President Trump needs help implementing his message and there was little Bannon could do. If there was a rulebook for presidential aides, Bannon would have broken most of them. He continually fought with others, was not always loyal to Trump, made it about him not Trump and let his ego get out of control. Giving an interview that disagreed with the administration’s policies was the last straw.
The searched is on for a replacement. President Trump would be much better served by an experienced political operator than an inexperienced provocateur.
The Left has long been putting Donald Trump and many of his supporters in the same category as those who demonstrated in Charlottesville. I am sure that some who were there are just plain racists. Although they may agree on some issues, their views on race are incompatible with right wing conservatives. The ones that caused the violence are the closest Christian equivalent we have to Al Qaeda.
President Trump had a wonderful opportunity to distance himself from these people. He should have strongly denounced racist views and called the Nazis and KKK the terrorists that they are. He not only missed that chance but continues to put leftist troublemakers on the same moral plane as those that committed the violence. Anyone who breaks the law during a demonstration should be prosecuted but there is a world of difference between hitting people and mowing them down with a car.
He is being criticized by members of both parties. This is another in a long line of distractions away from his agenda. Outside of a few loyalists, nobody is coming to his defense.
Trump’s gigantic ego won’t allow him to accept criticism. We have had presidents who have grown in the office. Needless to say, he isn’t among them. I believe he thinks there is no need to change since his approach worked. If the Democrats had a better candidate and strategy, there is no way he would have won.
People are already getting tired of all these antics. There are still forty-one months left in his administration. If he keeps this up, his chances of reelection don’t look good. It’s possible he might not even get the nomination.
Hating anyone because of a group they belong to is fundamentally wrong and inconsistent with our American values. We saw it on display yesterday in Charlottesville. Unfortunately, many on the Left believe that hate is perfectly acceptable as long as it’s not based on ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Many hate conservatives, Christians, people living in rural areas or those without college degrees. Hillary Clinton said a quarter of the electorate was deplorable and irredeemable. Hating ANY group is wrong.
We must remember that no matter how much we detest someone’s views, they still have First Amendment rights. They have the right to gather and express those views as do those who oppose them.
However, nobody has the right to engage in violence. Those that do should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We all should denounce anyone participating in such acts whether or not we agree with them politically.
It shouldn’t be necessary to speak out against hate and violence and for our First Amendment freedoms. Sadly, too many Americans believe otherwise.
College campuses have long pushed a political agenda and tried to silence those who dare stray from the official dogma. Now some businesses are getting into the act. Any deviation from the party line can be grounds for dismissal. This is nothing new. Paula Deen lost her television show, publishing contracts and endorsements for admitting she had used the “N word” in the past. Any white southerner born in the 1940s would have heard that word every day.
Right now Google is the spotlight. Last month, a Google engineer named James Damore wrote a document criticizing the company’s political bias and diversity efforts. He claimed that biological issues, not gender discrimination, are the primary reason fewer women work in Silicon Valley. I have not been able to find the text but apparently he stated his support for diversity. Once they learned his identity, he was fired for promoting gender stereotypes.
Obviously a company has a right to fire someone who spreads hate or demeans fellow employees. However, that’s not what Damore did. He merely offered his opinion on the reasons for the job disparity. Clearly the difference between men and women is more than just physical. Of course those differences in no way disqualify anyone from a job for which they are qualified.
The Bill of Rights was proposed 228 years ago. It starts with some of our basic freedoms, including freedom. Let’s not throw it out in a misguided effort to increase tolerance.
John F. Kennedy delivered one of the greatest inaugural addresses in our history. His election represented a transfer of power to a generation (often called the greatest generation) that survived the Great Depression and won World War Two. It was a call to achieve greatness. He said “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to ensure the survival and success of liberty”. He called on Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country”. It typified the American spirit that took the nation from thirteen states hugging the Atlantic to the greatest superpower the world has ever known.
Over the years I have heard many people express doubt about our future. I have always felt that the indomitable America spirit that Kennedy called upon would see us through. Now I am not so sure. I see that spirit, which goes all the way back from the Mayflower, being eroded.
Many children are being raised in a protective cocoon rather than gaining the strength to face challenges. Political correctness is based on the assumption that people are powerless. Education and hard work used to be the formula for success. For many, sitting back and waiting for the government to take care of them is the preferred approach.
We do have one thing going for us. Each year we get legal aliens from all over the world. They are like a shot of adrenaline. They still believe in the American Dream. They start and run countless businesses, including some of our largest and most successful. Unfortunately, nativist Republicans are trying to keep them out. They have proposed a system that is so strict that it is possible for a Nobel Prize winner to be denied entry.
Life can be hard. We need to be able to face challenges as individuals and as a nation. If not, our best days will truly be behind us.
I can clearly remember Alabama Governor George Wallace standing at the door to block two black people from enrolling at the University of Alabama. Thankfully, things have changed a lot since then.
The incoming freshman class at Harvard will have more minorities than whites. Harvard make a concerted effort to recruit them. Presumably their applications are in rough proportion to the population so a majority would come from whites. Either Harvard believes whites are inferior or they are actively discriminating against them. Presumably they would view the Obama daughters are disadvantage while poor whites have white privilege.
Nobody should be discriminated against based on skin tone. It doesn’t matter whether it is black, white, brown, yellow or red. When Harvard talks about diversity, apparently they are referring only to race, gender and sexual orientation. They certainly don’t encourage a diversity of opinion.
In his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King expressed the hope that his children “will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”. Neither racists like George Wallace nor PC liberals like those at Harvard seem to believe in that standard. What a pity!
Years ago I worked in the health insurance industry. We used the term ‘death spiral” when talking about individual health insurance. In the days before Obamacare, people were excluded if they had preexisting conditions. Everyone started out healthy but eventually some began to have health problems. That would cause premiums to rise. The healthy ones could get insurance elsewhere so rates would rise even more. That’s the death spiral.
The term took on a different meaning once Obamacare went into effect. There was no limitation on preexisting conditions. This opened the floodgates for those with health problems. That made it necessary to attract millions upon millions of healthy people. It was the reason for the mandate. Unfortunately, far too few healthy people bought coverage. That caused the rates to rise. Health insurers are losing vast amounts of money and some are exiting the market. Meanwhile premiums are skyrocketing. Now we are in another death spiral.
President Trump and the Republicans are talking about fixing the problem. Insurers are required by law to pay out at least 85% of the premiums in claims. The only ways to lower premiums are to cut health care costs or convince more healthy people to sign up. Proposed legislation does nothing to cut costs. Eliminating the mandate will cause millions to drop coverage. That will lead to a death spiral on steroids.
Those that enacted Obamacare and those seeking to repeal it want to totally change the individual health insurance market without having the foggiest idea how it works. Acting in ignorance only makes things worse.