The Battle For America: The Past Vs. The Future, Old Vs. Young

It is becoming very clear that the crisis in America regarding its future is centered around age, the past vs. the future, the Old Vs. Young.

The past is an America of the 1950s, when most women, except for the poor, stayed at home; when African Americans were segregated and treated in a very discriminatory manner; when Jews and Catholics and Puerto Ricans were considered the only minorities other than African Americans in a nation dominated by white Anglo Saxon Protestants; when very few Americans had attended and graduated a college or university; when the military draft existed; when Americans believed that nuclear war was an imminent possibility; when young people had not yet rebelled against a society in which suburbia was developing, as whites escaped cities for the “better life”; when the total number of sports teams in the four major sports numbered only 42; when Americans knew little about the dangers of tobacco, liquor, and illegal drugs on their health; and where very few families took vacations, because the concept of vacation for most Americans was going to the beach or a local park.

The future was one of almost all women working, and many making greater incomes than their husbands or male family members if they remain single; an African American populations no longer willing to face police abuse and mistreatment or other denials of equal treatment under the law; where Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Middle East immigrants have created a very mixed population, both racial and religious; where a majority of Americans have attended college and a third have graduated college; where there is no military draft but constantly growing threats to national security from international and domestic terrorism; where young people accept diversity of all kinds willingly and openly, including that of gays and lesbians being part of society and having the opportunity to marry; where more people are abandoning the suburbs and moving back to the cities; where the number of sports teams in the four major sports numbers more than 120 in number; where health knowledge is greater than every before, but marijuana is becoming legal in different areas across the country; and where many Americans do extensive travel and tourism as routine parts of their lives; but where poverty, homelessness and deprivation still exist, and the aim seems to be to punish those who are poor!

When one examines the changes, one realizes that, to a great extent, this is a battle of the past vs. the future, the Old Vs. the Young, and the way society is advancing is the elimination of the old ideas by the reality of the aging process, and the demise of the elderly generations over time and their 1950s image, which is so out of date, and counterproductive in the second, and soon to be third, decade of the 21st century! So the opposition to change is rapidly being eliminated by the passage of time.

It is therefore ironic that it is two old billionaires in their 70s (Charles and David Koch), and an old billionaire in his 80s (Sheldon Adelson)–all three of whom will be dead likely in the next decade to 15 years—who are distorting and corrupting our government and politics and being pursued by Republican Presidential wannabes, when they are so old fashioned and out of tune with changing times, which will erase their influence by 2030!

And it seems clear that it is the Democratic Party which is looking into the future with a progressive vision, which insures their ultimate triumph long term over the Republican Party, which so represents the ideals of the 1950s, which are rapidly in decline, taking with them the “Old” America and being replaced by the “New” America!

Pew Research Poll Shows Built-In Advantage Long Term For Democrats Over Republicans

It has been a tough time for Democrats in recent years with the loss of the House of Representatives in the 2010 Midterm Election and the loss of the US Senate in the 2014 Midterm Elections, plus the loss of so many state governorships in the last three two year cycles, along with many state legislatures.

A lot of the problem is due to the failure of the demographic groups that favor Democrats to come out to vote, particularly in the midterm elections.

But the long term advantage, at least on paper, is with the Democrats, according to a new Pew Research Poll of groups and which party they favor.

Blacks (69), Asians (42), religiously unaffiliated (36); postgraduate women (35), Jewish (30), Hispanics (30), and Millennials (16) all favor Democrats.

Mormons (48), Evangelical Christians (46), White Southerners (21), White Men with some or no college education (21), White Voters (9), and Voters 69-86 (4) all favor Republicans.

Overall, 48 percent of partisans favor Democrats, and 39 percent favor Republicans.

So the key issue is getting people out to vote and fighting Republican attempts in the states to make it more difficult for those who favor Democrats from registering to vote, a tactic that has been used particularly since the Supreme Court negated portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013!

The Democrats Need A Competitive Presidential Race: Don’t Put All Eggs In One Basket!

Hillary Clinton may end up as the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, and has the theoretical edge to defeat any Republican opponent!

But there is a need for a competitive race, as it would make Hillary a stronger candidate and nominee, to have to defend and enunciate her views on her record and on the future!

And since Hillary had a health issue, there is always a chance that a health crisis could arise, and if there is no opponent in the Democratic Party, that could lead to the Democrats throwing way the Presidency if something went wrong, which is unpredictable, so there is a need for a backup plan and for opponents in the Presidential race.

The new revelations about the Clinton Foundation, and questions about Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, also make Clinton a more controversial candidate, who needs a closer look before the Democrats give their soul to her!

It does now seem that former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley; former Rhode Island Governor and Senator Lincoln Chafee; former Virginia Senator Jim Webb; and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will soon make it a multi candidate race, and even Vice President Joe Biden may yet decide to enter the race.

All of this is all to the long term good of the Democratic Party and the nation, no matter what the eventual results might be!

Fifty Years Of Environmentalism—Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama— All To Be Applauded!

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon and his Interior Secretary Walter Hickel in 1970, but the environmental movement was begun, actually, by Lyndon B. Johnson and Interior Secretary Stewart Udall in 1965 with the promotion of the first water and air pollution laws as part of the Great Society.

Jimmy Carter proceeded to promote the most advanced environmental record of any one term President, and with the great assistance of Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus.

Then, Bill Clinton, under the prodding of Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and Vice President Al Gore, contributed greatly to advancement of the environment.

And Barack Obama, under the support of Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell has also contributed greatly on the issue of the environment.

Additionally, Franklin D. Roosevelt, with Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, and John F. Kennedy, with Interior Secretary Udall (who served for eight years under both JFK and LBJ), also did a great deal on the environment.

Sadly, with Theodore Roosevelt being the true promoter of the environment in the early part of the 20th century, and assisted by Interior Secretary James R. Garfield and close TR friend Gifford Pinchot, one would have thought that the Republican Party would have continued to be the leader on the issue, but except for Richard Nixon, that has not been the case, and now Republicans are doing everything possible to help advance industry over the environment!

This includes attempting to prevent any future national parks; allowing industrial exploitation of the Grand Canyon and other parks for mining; and wishing to undermine or destroy the Environmental Protection Agency begun during the Nixon Presidency!

So the battle to promote conservation of natural resources and add to public lands is a never ending battle between the political parties, when it should be part of the national agenda that all political leaders believe in and advocate!

Third Term Presidents: The Truth And The Historical “Might Have Beens”!

Anyone who studies American history knows that the 22nd Amendment, added to the Constitution in 1951, prevents any future President from serving more than two complete terms by election or a total of ten years by succession in the last two years of the Presidential term.

Only Franklin D. Roosevelt served more than eight years in the Presidency, a total of 12 years and 39 days, having been elected four times (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944), and this fact causing the opposition Republicans, when they controlled the 80th Congress in 1947-48, to pass the 22nd Amendment in 1947, and send it on to the state legislatures for ratification.

However, Ulysses S. Grant in 1876; Theodore Roosevelt in reality in 1912 as a third party (Progressive Bull Moose) candidate; Woodrow Wilson in 1920; and Harry Truman in 1952 considered a third term.

Additionally, it is clear that Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1960, Ronald Reagan in 1988 and Bill Clinton in 2000 would have won a third term if it had been allowed and they had agreed to seek it , with George H. W. Bush being the beneficiary of Reagan in 1988, and Al Gore being the beneficiary of Clinton in 2000, winning a larger margin of popular vote victory than any of the four cases of popular vote victory but Electoral College loss!

Also, if one considers popular vote victories of Andrew Jackson in 1824 and Grover Cleveland in 1888, but in each case losing the Electoral College, that could have meant three terms for Jackson (1824, 1828, 1832) and for Cleveland (1884, 1888, 1892)!

So if things had been different, instead of only FDR having a third and fourth term, we could have had Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton having third terms in the Presidency!

The Ideal 12 Characteristics For A President: Who Fits The Mold?

With a new Presidential campaign now beginning, we hear, constantly, the debate over what characteristics we feel a President should have.

Among them are:

High Level of Intelligence
Deep Level of Experience
Vast Knowledge of many issues
An open mind and willingness to change when convinced of the need to change
Compassion and Empathy for the problems of the average American
Able to communicate well with the public and seen as a dynamic speaker
Able to get along with the news media, not seeing them as the “enemy”
Avoiding an image or reality of being overly materialistic or having lack of integrity
Understanding other cultures and nations
Realizing that negotiation and compromise are unavoidable to bring progress and avoid stalemate and gridlock.
Demonstration of proven ability to “cross the aisle” in a time of so much partisanship
Coming across as “one of us”, naturally gregarious and warm personality

The question is whether any person can fit this challenging list of characteristics, and it is clear such persons are few and far between. To expect anyone to fulfill all of the above 12 characteristics may be expecting too much, but it is worth it to examine potential and real candidates for President in 2016 to see who among them comes the closest to this list of ideal characteristics.

So having done so, the result is the following:

Republicans—former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Ohio Governor John Kasich, Florida Senator Marco Rubio; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in that order.

Democrats—Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in that order.

Easily, Huntsman and Biden lead their parties in fulfilling this list of characteristics, and Joe Biden, is without question, the most ideal of all potential Presidential candidates.

Periods Of Lack Of Diplomatic Relations In American History: Never Productive!

One tactic that has been used in modern American history to “punish” nations who are seen as a threat, as a danger, as an “outlaw” nation, is to suspend diplomatic relations with that nation, thinking that taking that action forces that country to change its policies, but it has never worked, and is a lost cause. It is more done to soothe the sensitivities of certain groups, and is a purely political act, with no real purpose and accomplishing nothing, except to isolate the people of those nations, who if anything, are harmed by American action, while the “outlaw” government goes on violating the human rights of their citizens.

Famous examples of nations we have refused to have relations with over a long period of years include:

Soviet Union, 1917-1933—16 years, ended by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

People’s Republic of China, 1949-1979—30 years, ended by Jimmy Carter, but beginning of ties and interaction under Richard Nixon in 1972 (23 years).

Cuba, 1961-Present—54 years, in the process of being ended by Barack Obama.

Iran, 1980-Present–35 years, possibly ending now under Barack Obama, with the potential nuclear agreement.

Diplomatic relations should NOT be about morals and ethics, as that does not work in international relations, but rather on practical reality, as nations we oppose are not going to collapse and disappear because we condemn their behavior. It is better to have some input into what goes on in those nations, unless, of course, the other nation involved chooses on its own to break off diplomatic relations.

The Problem And Burden Of Family Members For Presidential Candidates

Many Presidential candidates have had the problem and burden of family members who make their candidacy and, if they win, their Presidency, more difficult, because of their behavior or utterances.

So we have, for instance, the problem of Lyndon Johnson’s brother, Richard Nixon’s brothers, Jimmy Carter’s brother, George H.W. Bush’s sons, Bill Clinton’s step brother, and George W. Bush’s daughter causing grief.

And now, we have candidates for the Presidency who face the same problem, specifically:

Jeb Bush–his brother, former President George W. Bush
Hillary Clinton—her husband, former President Bill Clinton
Rand Paul—his father, Ron Paul
Ted Cruz–his father, Rafael Cruz

Any and all of these four candidates could be harmed greatly by the controversies over their brother, husband, and fathers, and yet none of them can or would repudiate their family connections, but they could all discover the negative impact of family on their Presidential campaigns!

Is It Unusual For Three Or More Consecutive Terms For A Political Party In The White House? NO!

The myth has been promoted that it is “unusual” for a political party to keep control of the White House for more than two terms, eight years, but nothing could be further from the truth!

In the first political party system, the Federalists held power for 12 years (1789-1801) under George Washington and John Adams, although the name “Federalist” did not exist formally until 1794, after the battle between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson created the first party system.

The Democratic Republicans then held power for 24 years (1801-1825) under Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe.

The newly constituted Democratic Party held power for 12 years (1829-1841) under Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.

The newly constituted Republican Party held power for 24 years (1861-1885) under Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, and Chester Alan Arthur, although Andrew Johnson was never a Republican, but rather a Democrat put on the national ticket for election reasons by Lincoln in 1864, and Johnson having a disastrous relationship with the Republican Congress, and facing impeachment proceedings.

The Republican Party then held power for 16 years (1897-1913) under William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft.

The Republican Party then held power for 12 years (1921-1933) under Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.

The Democratic Party then held power for 20 years (1933-1953) under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

The Republican Party then held power for 12 years (1981-1993) under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

So political parties have held control of the White House for more than two terms a total of EIGHT TIMES, ranging from 24 years twice, 20 years once, 16 years once, and 12 years four times!

Also realize that Grover Cleveland and Al Gore won the national popular vote in 1888 and 2000, but lost the electoral college. Had they become President, then there would have been 12 straight years of Democrats from 1885-1897, assuming Cleveland might have gone for a third term in 1892, instead of trying to return to the White House; and if Al Gore had won in 2000, it would have been at least 12 straight years of Democrats from 1993-2005, and potentially a second Gore term in 2004!

An Analysis Of Vice Presidential Selection 1960-2012 Strongly Favors The Democrats Over The Republicans

One can gain a lot of understanding about the two major political parties when one examines the history of Vice Presidential selection by the major party Presidential candidates between 1960 and 2012, a total of 14 national elections.

If one looks at the Democratic Party, it is fact that ALL but one time, the Democratic Presidential nominee chose a sitting United States Senator to be his running mate as follows:

1960–Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas
1964–Hubert H. Humphrey of Minnesota
1968–Edmund Muskie of Maine
1972–Tom Eagleton of Missouri
1976–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1980–Walter Mondale of Minnesota
1988–Lloyd Bentsen of Texas
1992–Al Gore of Tennessee
1996–Al Gore of Tennessee
2000-Joe Lieberman of Connecticut
2004–John Edwards of North Carolina
2008–Joe Biden of Delaware
2012–Joe Biden of Delaware

The only exception was 1984, when Walter Mondale selected Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro of New York as his Vice Presidential running mate.

Also, after Tom Eagleton dropped out as the Vice Presidential running mate of George McGovern in 1972, due to having been revealed as having had psychiatric treatment, Sergeant Shriver, the former Peace Corps Director, head of the War On Poverty, Ambassador to France, and Kennedy in law, replaced him on the ticket.

All of the ten US Senators who ran for Vice President came to the national ticket as outstanding legislators with solid records of accomplishments, while Ferraro might be considered the weak link, the only real such case, for the Democratic national tickets. The only Senator who, in retrospect, might be considered not an ideal choice would be Edwards, for the personal life scandals that were revealed in later years.

Also, all of these Vice Presidential selections sought the Presidency after being chosen as a VP running mate, and Mondale, Gore, and Biden served notably as Vice President, all adding to the prestige of the office.

On the other hand, the Republicans had a very different scenario, as only four times out of fourteen did they select a United States Senator as their Vice Presidential choice for a national campaign, as follows:

1960—Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts (former Senator 1936-1952)
1976— Bob Dole of Kansas
1988—Dan Quayle of Indiana
1992—Dan Quayle of Indiana

Three times, the Republicans selected state governors as their Vice Presidential nominees, as follows:

1968—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
1972—Spiro Agnew of Maryland
2008—Sarah Palin of Alaska

But most commonly, the Republicans for a total of seven times selected a member or former member of the House of Representatives, as follows:

1964—William E. Miller of New York
1980—George H.W. Bush of Texas
1984—George H. W. Bush of Texas
1996—Jack Kemp of New York
2000—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2004—Dick Cheney of Wyoming
2012—Paul Ryan of Wisconsin

Out of these 14 cases, it is clear that Quayle, Agnew and Palin, in particular, stand out as horrible choices, and with the nation being burdened with nearly five years of Agnew and four years of Quayle in the Vice Presidency.

At the same time, Miller seems a nonentity who was chosen, and Cheney and Ryan, while competent, both stood out as particularly controversial selections, based on their public record in the past and the future as well.

Only Dole, Bush, and Kemp stand out as noncontroversial choices.

So it is clear that the Democrats have been much wiser in their Vice Presidential choices than the Republicans in the past half century!