Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away on this date in 1945, being the last President to die of natural causes in office.
The debate about many actions and policies of FDR continue 76 years later, but there is no doubt that his impact on the nation was the greatest of any President other than Abraham Lincoln.
Right wing critics still condemn FDR in so many ways on domestic and foreign policy, even in 2021, but can one imagine what the nation and the world would have been like if FDR had never been President?
So much of America today is based on FDR and the New Deal, and even those elderly citizens who are right wing conservatives, are not about to repudiate Social Security, and they all benefited in so many ways from FDR policies in other ways that many may not be even aware of.
There are certainly plenty of issues and policies that even an FDR scholar, such as this author, can find fault with, particularly the Japanese American internment, and the issue of the Holocaust, but in FDR’s defense, he was faced with a myriad of issues and also health problems that it is hard to imagine any future President handling the circumstances at the time any differently.
Three months since the January Capitol Insurrection, and former President Donald Trump is still continuing the war on truth, and continues his mission to divide America.
Trump still contends he won the Presidential Election of 2020, despite all of the 61 lawsuits that were dismissed, and he still condemns Mike Pence for doing his constitutional duty, and has lashed out at many Republican officeholders, including Mitch McConnell.
Trump has expressed no sorrow over the loss of life and injuries caused by his minions attacking the US Capitol, and is showing total lack of morality, ethics, compassion, and empathy, all attributes he has NEVER had.
Trump is a nightmare for the Republican Party and the nation, and yet he still gets a majority of Republicans in public opinion polls to swear loyalty to him, as he continues to promote the BIG LIE technique used in the 20th century by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany!
The threat to the US Capitol remains, but the prosecution and imprisonment of all of the Capitol rioters must move forward, and Donald Trump and those who aided him in his criminal actions surrounding the events of January 6, must be held responsible, and Donald Trump must serve prison time as a disgraced President, before the nation can move on from the nightmare four years of this despicable excuse for a human being!
This author and blogger has never been a fan of former Speaker of the House John Boehner (2011-2015).
The Ohio Congressman made life difficult for President Barack Obama, but as disgraceful as he was, he looks better compared to the next Republican leaders in the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan (2015-2019), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who if the House goes Republican in the midterm elections of 2022 could be, god forbid, the next Speaker of the House after Nancy Pelosi.
Boehner comes across as a conservative Republican who had to deal with the extremist right wing Tea Party Movement, which he had issues with for their extreme stands, and ultimately, which forced him out of the Speakership late in 2015.
He has made clear in a new memoir his condemnation of Donald Trump, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan, and many other Republicans who he believes have undermined the Republican Party and its future.
It has been 156 years since the Civil War ended officially, with General Robert E. Lee surrendering at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to General Ulysses S. Grant.
It took until the early 20th century for a sense of nationalism to lead to the construction of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
But the South never truly changed, and still has not even now in 2021.
They still promote racism, white supremacy, antisemitism, anti labor rights, nativism, and evoke hypocritical belief in their own version of Christianity.
For a century, it was the Democratic Party spewing forth these ugly views in the South, and now it is the Republican Party, since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Of course, not all Southerners are oriented toward hate and narrow mindedness, and many Northerners have moved to the South and made the South become more cosmopolitan.
But rural Southerners still think they are in the Civil War Era, and are gaining the backing of the Republican Party in trying to limit the voting rights of people of color, and making even white workers to be subjected to limits on their ability to advance and move ahead!
History short term and long term are affected by events that no one can predict.
There are so many “What Ifs” just in the past generation since 2000!
For example, if Al Gore had won the 2000 Presidential Election, it is debatable whether the September 11 attacks would have succeeded, and whether America would have gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, both engagements not fully ended, and causing the loss together of more than 7,000 American soldiers.
If the Democrats had been able to keep control of both houses of Congress in the last six years of the Barack Obama Presidency, so much more could have been accomplished in legislation, instead of by executive orders by President Barack Obama, and Obama might have been able to be as significant as Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, who had massive margins in both houses of Congress throughout their time in office.
If Joe Biden had not lost his son, Beau Biden, in 2015, it is thought possible that he might have defeated Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, and might have defeated Donald Trump, saving America from the literal nightmare of the Trump Presidency in so many ways.
Finally, despite all of the horrors of the Trump Presidency, if it had not been for the COVID 19 Pandemic and the incompetent and uncaring handling of that crisis, it is possible to believe that Trump might have won reelection, and that would make the one term nightmare so many times worse!
Rural America is in rapid decline, but has the ability to prevent change, due to gerrymandering, and the fact that the declining white population can cause grief in Congress and in many state legislatures.
60 million people live in rural areas, which contain 97 percent of the land area of the nation.
So 23 percent of the population have an impact, and are against progressive reform, and the advancement of the interests of urban America, and of people of color, and people of superior educational accomplishments.
Rural America is a drag on the progress of the nation in the 21st century, but they are able to wield great power politically, and they present a threat to the future stability of America, as many people in rural America seem willing to consider the concept of secession.
So one has to wonder if a future breakup of the nation is conceivable!
The US Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that “Reconciliation”, the idea that the Senate can pass legislation by a 51 vote margin, is allowable, already for the COVID 19 legislation that was passed in March, but also now other Joe Biden initiatives, including the infrastructure legislation, and hopefully, other important Biden administration initiatives.
This is a true blessing, and might mean that the idea of ending the filibuster might not need to occur on much important legislation.
This makes it possible for Joe Biden to be more “liberal” and “progressive” a President than any Democrat since Lyndon B. Johnson six decades ago.
For all the good that Democratic Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama did while in office, Joe Biden MIGHT indeed surpass them in accomplishments!
The future looks very exciting, but there is a long way to go, but the hope is there!
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party in Congress and the states loves getting financial support from corporations, and loves that the Supreme Court in 2013 said corporations are people in Shelby County V Holder, which did great harm to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
But now, when corporations, including Major League Baseball and Delta Airlines and Coca Cola take a stand against Georgia putting barriers in the way of the right to vote, because the Republicans lost Georgia in the Presidential Election of 2020 and both Georgia Senate Seats, Republicans no longer believe in freedom of speech for corporations, and want to punish corporations that support voting rights.
So the Republican Party has a double standard on freedom of speech, and exude hypocrisy, so what else is new in Republican Party politics?
On this 53rd anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, it is sad that we see systemic racism still alive and popular among too many Americans.
The George Floyd murder trial; the Georgia legislation that puts voting rights under attack; the anti Asian attacks that have become so prevalent in the past year; the increased threat of domestic terrorism; and the continued attack on immigrants of all backgrounds are signs of the failure of social justice to make progress after King gave up his life in the quest for equity and fairness in society.
The Presidency of Donald Trump allowed people who promote racism, nativism, white supremacy, misogyny, antisemitism, Islamophobia to flourish, as Trump was George Wallace on steroids.
When Wallace ran for President in 1968 and won five states, 46 electoral votes, and 13 percent of the popular vote, it was shocking, but at least there was no way that Wallace could win the Presidency.
But a half century later, Donald Trump was able to gather the forces of hatred and win the Presidency, despite losing the popular vote by 2.85 million votes, and would go on to marshal his forces to promote undermining of American democracy, and continues to do so by promoting the lie that he won the Presidential Election of 2020, and inciting the US Capitol Insurrection of January 6, 2021!
So the commitment of Martin Luther King Jr. to human rights and social justice must continue with a new generation of committed leaders!
America became part of the world this week in 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson went to Congress on April 2, 1917, and asked for a Congressional Declaration of War against Imperial Germany, the Austro Hungarian Empire, and the Turkish Empire, putting us into “the Great War”, later called the World War, and after entrance into World War II, termed World War I.
Although America went back into isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, the nation learned that it was a false decision, and since World War II, we have recognized that we are part of the world, and cannot ignore what is going on outside America, as it can and has threatened American national security.
President Joe Biden faces many foreign policy challenges, most significantly with China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, but with many other authoritarian nations that also undermine America’s basic values.
While Biden wishes to deal with the many domestic challenges, he will not be able to ignore the many problems other nations pose for the United States!