There aren’t many times in our history when the world changes in one day. Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of one such day. A bunch of terrorists killed more people than the Japanese navy did at Pearl Harbor. Each year the memory of it seems to fade a little further. The vast majority of today’s college students have no direct memory at all.
The phrase “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” goes back to something an Irish politician said in 1790. We face dangers that nobody could have conceived back then. We still have to be concerned with terrorism. North Korea continues to work on building atomic weapons and rockets than can reach us. Russia will likely continue to tamper with elections. China will do what it can to steal intellectual property. This is by no means a complete list.
We must meet all of these challenges. However, we must do it in a way that doesn’t harm our democracy or the constitutional freedoms so many have died to secure.
I can never recall a president publicly attacking a member of his cabinet. President Trump has been going after Attorney General Jeff Sessions for over a year.
Attorney general is unlike any other cabinet post. While there are some areas in which politics may play a part, it has no place at all in the administration of justice. Unfortunately for Sessions, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to care about justice. He clearly wants a political fixer that will give Republicans a pass and go after Democrats. Trump made this very clear in a recent tweet claiming Sessions is hurting the GOP’s chances in the midterm election.
A person would sure understand if Sessions decided to leave. A number of people, including some Republican senators, are urging him to stay.
One of the key points in Trump’s presidential campaign was Jeff Sessions’ endorsement. He was the first senator to do so. With friends like Trump he sure doesn’t need any enemies.
We heard a lot of talk about the blue wave earlier this year. Much of it was based on polls asking people which party they prefer. Democrats had a big lead and then it got closer. Now it is moving back in their direction.
Today I would like to take a look at factors that favor the Democrats and those that are against them. Later this month I will update my predictions for both the House and the Senate.
There are several reasons for Democrats to be hopeful:
1. Midterm elections almost always favor the party out of power.
2. They have been able to generate more enthusiasm than the Republicans.
3. Most of the seats in the House that are up for grabs are currently being held by Republicans. Of course, they hold most of the vulnerable seats in the Senate.
Here are some reasons for them to be concerned:
1. A stronger economy and the tax cuts favor the GOP.
2. Too many Democrats are pushing the theme that Republicans are evil. It didn’t work in 2016 and it won’t work now.
3. The party is moving dramatically to the left. Right now, Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting more publicity than anyone else. Getting rid of capitalism is definitely not a mainstream issue.
4. They are losing touch with the ordinary person. Bill Clinton talked about feeling their pain. Hillary Clinton says they vote Republican because they are racist and women are afraid to stand up to the men in their lives.
5. People pay less attention to ideology when voting for members of Congress. They often vote for the person, not the party.
The election is still over two months away. A lot can happen between now and then.
The word “hero” is thrown around much too easily. In John McCain’s case, it is richly deserved. He is a true American hero who devoted his life to serving his country. It certainly ran in the family. Both his father and grandfather were admirals. His father was in command of all forces in the Pacific theater, including Vietnam.
He graduated from Annapolis and became a naval aviator. He was flying missions in North Vietnam from an aircraft carrier. His plane was shot down and he was seriously injured. When his captors learned who his father was, they offered to release him. He refused. After over five years of brutal treatment, he was finally released. He remained in the Navy until 1981.
Serving as a liaison to the Senate gave him an interest in politics. He was elected to the House in 1986. He continued to rise in stature yet gained a reputation as a maverick. He was willing to work with both sides of the aisle. He tried for the presidential nomination in 2000 and, of course, won it in 2008.
We live in an era where political expediency often supersedes personal conviction. He was willing to risk the wrath of others to do what he thought was right.
He will be missed.
I couldn’t imagine anything more ridiculous than firing a man because of a word he used thirty-five years ago. Now it has happened.
Lilly Diabetes announced that it has pulled its sponsorship of Derek Daly’s son Conor’s NSCAR racer. I can’t possibly see why the son should be held responsible for something his father said. Conor wasn’t even born yet.
To make matters worse, Conor suffers from Type 1 diabetes. They care more about some silly controversy that will soon be forgotten than being part of his inspirational story.
The company said “We remain committed to our mission of supporting people with diabetes”. It looks to me that they are committed to positive PR and a fat profit. Their action is a slap in the face to all diabetics.
Hatred of anyone because they are in a particular subset of the population is definitely contrary to our 21st century values. Certainly, no organization would want someone like that representing them to the public. However, we have seen political correctness run amok.
Derek Daly is a retired car racer. After achieving success in Europe, he came to America to race Indy cars. He had been employed by an Indianapolis television station but was recently fired. The station justified this because he used the N word thirty-five years ago. He had been in the US for just a short time and may not have understood how offensive the word was to many.
This sets a dangerous precedent. Anybody can now destroy someone’s career. All they have to do is find some a person from their past to claim they once used a bad word.
As a people, we believe in fairness. Firing someone for something they said decades ago is definitely not fair.
Immigration is a very hot political topic these days. As on many issues, I believe both sides are wrong. This is especially true as both parties move further away from the center. Today I would like to outline what I believe to be some basic truths about illegal immigration.
We need to control our borders – It is not economically feasible to allow millions of people to enter the country and be provided with social welfare benefits. Some of the people coming across the border are dangerous. We need to do what we can to keep terrorists, gang members and drug rings out of the country.
That doesn’t mean we need a wall – I am not an expert on border security. Neither is Donald Trump. His push to build a wall is purely political. We should listen to the experts. Perhaps a wall is necessary in some locations.
Felons who are here illegally should be deported after serving their sentence – I cannot understand why some politicians want to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that criminals should be kept here regardless of the law. They are putting their interests ahead of the safety of American citizens.
The vast majority of immigrants are good, decent people. It was despicable that Donald Trump called them rapists and drug dealers. If someone here illegally commits a heinous crime, it will be used to denigrate all illegal aliens. I am a serious birdwatcher and know of two birdwatchers that have killed people. That says nothing about the rest of us. The effort to increase hatred should end.
We need to keep ICE – They have many functions including going after terrorists, drug dealers, smugglers and others.
The current system is not working – It is based on strict quotas. There should be a way for more people able to legally obtain work permits.
There should not be an automatic path to citizenship – Some Democrats want millions of people to quickly become citizens and vote their way. It would cost untold billions in government benefits to do so.
We don’t need to treat them like criminals – Not having the right paperwork does not compare to robbery, assault, rape and murder. I support the Dream Act but it should be legislation, not an executive order. If someone is working hard and not causing trouble, there should be a way for them to get work permits.
I wish Congress and the President would work together to arrive at a practical solution. Unfortunately, both sides are more interested in throwing raw meat to their base and fighting the opposition than actually accomplishing something.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made headlines when he said America “was never that great”. He has been trying to take it back ever since.
It is certainly not that uncommon for a politician to misspeak. Just look at President Trump and Joe Biden. However, I find it hard to believe this was an accident. The line fit perfectly with what he said afterwards.
This is part of a pattern some Democrats have been using. It started with the Obamas. They spent twenty years listening to a minister preaching hate. She said his election would finally give her a reason to be proud of America.
Some have set upon to strategy to appeal only to leftists, women and minority groups. Bashing America has been part of that strategy. It has brought the party to its lowest ebb in decades.
America’s greatness does not depend on who occupies the White House. Democrats are just as patriotic as Republicans. It was despicable that some tried to paint George W. Bush as more patriotic serving in the National Guard than John Kerry was serving in Vietnam.
The First Amendment gives us freedom of speech. People have the right to say whatever they want about the country. However, it is an idiotic political strategy.
The midterm election is less than three months away. House races are particularly crucial since Democrats have little chance to take the Senate.
Right now I wonder if either side wants to win. The races that will make a difference are not being held in Midtown Manhattan or rural Nebraska. The party that wins is the one that can expand beyond their base.
The best issue the Republicans have is a strong economy. They were basking in the glow of a strong second quarter. President Trump changed the subject by threatening to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t appropriate money to build his wall. Immigration is a very sensitive topic for Republicans. They can discuss border security. The wall is Trump’s pet project and is not based on experts’ consensus on the best way to secure the border. It is a symbol of intolerance to many. He is throwing a temper tantrum and says his wall is more important than Republicans controlling Congress.
Meanwhile, the extreme left is getting lots of attention. There is a lot of talk about Socialism. A young woman is running around the country saying one stupid thing after another. We aren’t hearing Democrats standing up and defending their more traditional views.
This election may turn on how badly Trump hurts Republicans or socialists hurt the Democrats.
I believe we can categorize all political discourse into one of four levels:
1. “I disagree but we are still friends”
2. “You’re a bad person”
3. “You’re evil”
4. “I want you dead”
We don’t see a lot of level one in Washington anymore. Ted Kennedy had friends on both sides of the aisle. President Reagan and Tip O’Neill would get together for a drink. If someone did that today, they would be attacked as a sellout.
Levels two and three are popular these days. That was almost the entire focus of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, we need to judge people on the content of their character not the color of their politics. The vast majority of people in public life are good people doing what they believe is in the best interests of the country.
We are now starting to see the fourth level. Last year Steve Scalice was shot and other Republicans had their lives threatened in a politically motivated shooting. I can’t recall such a shooting since attempts were made to assassinate President Ford.
Talking about killing President Trump is considered good clean fun whether it’s Madonna speaking about blowing up the White House or Kathy Griffin’s bloody mask. Death threats on members of Congress have risen sharply. They are predominately from the left.
Political violence is on the rise. Maxine Waters told people to harass members of the Trump administration. She knew, or should have known, that such confrontations could easily turn violent.
We need to get things under control. Every public official should denounce violence, no matter the source. Anyone engaging in violence or making a death treat should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.