African Americans

Hysteria And Panic Take Over Republicans: Their Loss Of Understanding The Symbolism Of The Statue Of Liberty!

The Republican Party is acting at its most mean spirited nature ever right now—wishing to bar all refugees from Syria, even 5 year old children and mothers, who are victims of one of the most horrible civil wars in modern history!

31 State Governors, almost all Republican, are trying to prevent any migration of refugees to their states, but that is illegal, as no one can prevent any migrant coming to the nation from settling wherever they choose, and to cut off all migration from Syria and the Middle East is outrageous bigotry, as many are saying only Christians and no Muslims should be allowed into the nation.

At the same time that we have thousands of gun deaths from domestic sources annually, now we are seeing hysteria and panic, and the belief that somehow, some terrorists will be admitted, when every day, we have domestic terrorists killing Americans, and nothing is done about that!

Of course, full vetting must be done of all migrants and refugees, but to shut the door completely is to deny the purposes of the Statue of Liberty and the so called “American Dream” that we keep on propagandizing.

Republicans and conservatives are forgetting that our land is founded on the basis of refugees and migrants escaping for a better life, and none of us who are not native American or African American would be here if not for an open mind over the generations toward people of all backgrounds escaping persecution and deprivation!

Barack Obama is right that we must not give up our principles, and must not repeat the horrible anti immigrant mentality that led to discrimination in past times against refugees and migrants of all racial and religious backgrounds, and caused the deaths of many, particularly in the time of pre World War II in Europe when Jews were denied admission and ended up dying in the Holocaust!

“We Must Take Our Government Back!”—To What, May We Ask?

Carly Fiorina said it last night in the GOP debate; Donald Trump has said it; so has a multitude of others in the Republican Party debates so far—“We must take our government back!”

Back to what, is the question!

Back to a time when women were “dutiful” housewives who stayed home, avoided education and employment, and were totally dependent upon their husbands?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were segregated by law and custom and “knew” their place not to complain?

Back to a time when “Negroes” were lynched at will and no one seemed to notice?

Back to a time when gays and lesbians were openly discriminated against in all areas of life without any protection or support of their rights?

Back to a time when child labor existed as young as six years old, and they and poor women who worked were paid far less than men?

Back to a time when there was no Social Security system for the elderly and disabled?

Back to a time when immigrants were barred from coming to America if they were Jewish or Catholic or Asian in origin?

Back to a time when labor unions did not exist, and work places were totally unsafe, and there was no workers compensation for injuries at work?

Back to a time when corporations “raped” and pillaged the environment for their own selfish purposes?

The list could go on and on, and who would “love” if all this was to return, from the 1950s, 1920s, and the “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century?

Conservatives who have fought against and resisted all of these changes and reforms brought about by progressives such as Theodore Roosevelt; Progressive Era reformers at all levels;  Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition; Harry Truman; John F, Kennedy; Lyndon B. Johnson; 1960s reformers at all levels; Jimmy Carter; Bill Clinton; Barack Obama; and the constant battle of modern progressives and liberals to protect and expand all of the great political, social and economic reforms of the 20th century, hard fought, and the battle goes on in 2015!


Gender, Racial And Ethnic Diversity Of Republican Presidential Candidates Will Not Affect Voting Patterns In 2016 Presidential Election!

The Republican Party, which has done very little to promote gender, racial or ethnic civil rights is now bragging that they are a “diverse’ party with Presidential candidates of gender, racial and ethnic identity.

It is true that Carly Fiorina is female; that Dr. Benjamin Carson is African American; and that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are Hispanics of Cuban ancestry.  It is also true that in the 2012 Presidential election cycle that Michele Bachmann was female and Herman Cain was African American.

Having said that, none of these candidates in 2012 or 2016 represent the interests of their “groups”!

The vast majority of women would not have backed Michele Bachmann and will not back Carly Fiorina, if somehow, she was to win the Republican Presidential nomination.  She is totally against the kind of issues and legislation that most women want and expect, and most women will back Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee.

The overwhelming number of African Americans will, most certainly, reject Dr. Benjamin Carson were he to become the GOP Presidential nominee, as he has no concern about the plight of lower middle class and poor people of his race, and has sold out to the “white Establishment.”  And the same applies to Herman Cain in 2012.

And neither Ted Cruz nor Marco Rubio would do well among Latinos, as only three and a half percent of people of Spanish ancestry in America are of Cuban origin, while about 65 percent are Mexican Americans and 18 percent are Puerto Rican Americans. Neither group nor other Hispanics of other national origins would support these two Senators with their harsh, hard line attitudes on immigration reform.

So the GOP can “brag” all they want about their “diverse” pool of candidates, but it is all a facade and an insult, really, to women, African Americans, and people of Hispanic ancestry in America!

Anti Immigrant (Nativist) Sentiments And The Republican Party, 1920s And 2010s: Will History Repeat Itself?

In the 1920s, the Republican Party was dominant and worked to undermine immigration to the United States, which had reached record levels from 1880-1920, bringing into America millions of immigrants of Catholic and Jewish origin, as well as smaller numbers from Asia, particularly Japan.

In the early 1920s, under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, stringent immigration laws were put into place, cutting down the so called “new” immigration of these groups, who mostly had settled in the major urban centers, and become Democratic strongholds.

The growth of these Democratic strongholds in the cities helped to bring about a Democratic majority during the Great Depression, and led to the rise of the Democratic Party as the majority party, with the Republicans seen as the party of white Anglo Saxon Protestants.

While in future generations, the Republicans would gain a percentage of about one third to 40 percent of the Jewish and Catholic vote, they never were able to appeal to these groups and gain a majority, due to their clear cut nativism.  This was a major blunder on their part, which undermined their ability to become the majority party that they had once been from the Civil War to the Great Depression.

Now in recent years, the new nativism has occurred, as the Republicans promote and advocate anti Hispanic and anti Asian propaganda, and therefore, those groups overwhelmingly support the Democrats, along with African Americans, who realize that while some Republicans supported the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960s, no longer do Republicans concern themselves with the plight of African Americans.

So the new nativism is in play, and the Republicans cannot win the White House, and will have trouble retaining control of the US Senate, as long as they spew forth nativist propaganda.

The Republican Party knows they are in a bind, but with Donald Trump using anti Hispanic propaganda, and other candidates showing insensitivity toward legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants, they are definitely doomed to fail, and lose the White House for the long term, with the growing number of people of Hispanic and Asian ancestry, who are not about to vote for the party that trashes them.

Once Texas turns “Blue”, and Georgia and North Carolina eventually, and with Virginia and Florida becoming more reliably “Blue” in Presidential elections, the Electoral College will favor the Democrats.  The Republican Party, if it survives in is present form, will be doomed for many decades to be unable to win the Presidency!

Joe Biden Is Most Popular Of All Presidential Candidates In Public Opinion Polls, So Advice To Joe Biden: “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained”!

Vice President Joe Biden is still wrestling with the issue of whether he should enter the Democratic Presidential nomination battle for 2016.

While he is still mourning his son, Beau Biden’s, death, and mulling whether he should try for the Presidency for a third time, public opinion polls show that he is the most popular and trusted of all Presidential possibilities, and would defeat Republicans Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio in a one on one race.

Joe Biden is admired and loved by millions, and if he entered the race, while his record is not as liberal as Bernie Sanders, Biden would actually threaten Hillary Clinton’s support among minorities, particularly African Americans, in the crucial primary state of South Carolina and elsewhere.

Joe Biden is very personable, very charming very authentic, and is seen by many as the true heir of Barack Obama, and while the President is not likely to take sides publicly between Joe and Hillary, it seems clear that he prefers Joe as his successor.

The question remains if Joe will run, but with his son’s last words asking him to run; plus the public opinion polls being so positive; and with the old saying that applies: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” being appropriately applied, it makes sense that Biden try for the White House, his last chance.

Sure, he could lose, but if he does not run, he will, probably, regret it forever afterwards, that he had a chance, and let it escape.  Life does not guarantee success, but even if he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, he would know that he had engaged in the “good fight”, and that would be better than to give up the chance to be our 45th President, with a record of more experience than ANY President in history–44 years of service to his nation in government!

JFK In 1960; Carter In 1976; Clinton In 1992; Obama In 2008; Vs Martin O’Malley In 2016: Why The Difference In Fortunes?

In 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy overcame Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, Senator Hubert Humphrey, and Senator Stuart Symington to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, despite being Roman Catholic in religion, and offered “a new generation” of leadership, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter overcame Senator Frank Church, Senator Birch Bayh, Governor Jerry Brown, and Congressman Morris Udall to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, despite being the first Southerner since 1848, and offered “a new generation” of leadership, after President Gerald Ford.

In 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton overcame former Senator Paul Tsongas, Senator Tom Harkin, Senator Bob Kerrey, and former Governor Jerry Brown to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, despite revelation of a sex scandal, and offered “a new generation” of leadership, after President George H. W. Bush.

In 2008, Senator Barack Obama overcame Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Joe Biden,  Senator Chris Dodd and Governor Bill Richardson to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, despite being African American, and offered “a new generation” of leadership, after President George W. Bush.

In 2016, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, despite his outstanding record as Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor, has gained no traction against Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and even Socialist Bernie Sanders, all much older than him, and despite O’Malley offering “a new generation of leadership”, instead of going “backward” a generation in age from President Barack Obama.

The question is why O’Malley has gained no substantial support, despite his charisma and good looks, often seen as equivalent to how JFK, Carter, Clinton and Obama came across as being, before being elected President of the United States.

The concern is that the Republicans may nominate a candidate who is much younger than the Democratic nominee, someone such as Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Rand Paul.  History tell us that most often,  the younger nominee wins over the older nominee opponent, as with Kennedy and Richard Nixon, Carter and Gerald Ford, Clinton and George H. W. Bush, and Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats, in theory, have a “bench” of potential younger candidates in the future, including New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Minnesota Amy Klobuchar, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, along with the potential of new senators and governors who might be elected in 2016 and beyond.  But for right now, O’Malley is the Democratic “bench”, and he has failed to stir any support, very frustrating to him and anyone who is worried about the “old timers” who are the top three Democratic nominees for the Presidency this time around.

Bernie Sanders Leads Hillary Clinton In Iowa And New Hampshire: Time To Take Vermont Senator Seriously!

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is no joke anymore, as he now leads Hillary Clinton by 22 points in New Hampshire and by 10 points in Iowa in the latest polls.

Sanders is seeing his support mounting, while Clinton seems to be quickly falling apart.

Of course, two states do not make a nomination, and Hillary is ahead of Sanders by a wide margin in South Carolina.

But it is clear that it is not only the Republicans who are rejecting the so called “Establishment”, but also the Democrats, who seem to want a genuine, authentic, consistent principle driven candidate, and Bernie Sanders is therefore, the “man”!

Whether Sanders can sustain his surge and go beyond Iowa and New Hampshire is the question, but right now, his performance is making Vice President Joe Biden, another person who is genuine, authentic, and and consistent principle driven, reconsider whether he has the “fire in the belly” to challenge Hillary Clinton.

Certainly, the Democratic nomination, once thought to be guaranteed to Hillary Clinton, as in 2008, is again up for grabs.

Last time, it was a first term African American Senator with an odd name of Barack Obama; this time, it is the longest serving Independent member in the history of Congress in both houses, a Socialist, a person of Jewish heritage with a “Brooklyn” accent, and would be the oldest President upon inauguration of any of the potential Presidential candidates,  Bernie Sanders, who is the surprise of this campaign season!

The Likely “Best” Choice For The Republican Ticket In 2016: John Kasich And Marco Rubio

The first Republican debate is long over, and Donald Trump is monopolizing all of the oxygen in the room, but he is a calamity waiting to happen to the Republican Party.

It is clear already that the best ticket the GOP could offer the American people, in November 2016, would be to nominate Ohio Governor John Kasich for President and Florida Senator Marco Rubio for Vice President.

This would offer the American people a 64 year old Congressional veteran, with 18 years in the House of Representatives and 6 years as Ohio Governor—a man who is a clear cut conservative but centrist in nature, accepting Medicaid; accepting gay marriage as established and tolerant of gays and lesbians; having an element of compassion toward the poor working class, drug offenders, and mentally ill people; great experience in balancing budgets as head of the House Budget Committee; great communications ability, including six years as a talk show host on Fox News Channel; a very popular Governor of the crucial state for any Republican to win the White House; who has accepted that climate change exists; has supported gun regulation in the past; has supported criminal justice reform; is open minded on illegal immigration and eventual citizenship; and has an enlightened view of Christianity and its doctrines, so that recently he has been called a Pope Francis type personality.

However, others have said that Kasich has a “prickly” personality; that he has a “hair trigger” temper; that he is condescending, arrogant, and manipulative, which is, of course, quite disturbing. It also has been pointed out that he has weakened labor unions in Ohio, and has undermined public education in Ohio, in favor of charter schools. So, as with any candidate, he has definite shortcomings, but there is also the reality that, in comparison to his rivals, he stands out as having more potential as a candidate, and to have some, if not all, of the proper character traits, with no one having all, unfortunately.

So it is clear that Kasich is not preferable to a Democratic nominee, any of them in reality, but he comes across as the best person in the race on the Republican side at this writing.

At the same time, Marco Rubio, at age 45 in 2016, might be the best choice for Vice President. He has charisma; good looks; is Hispanic (Cuban American); represents another swing state like Ohio is, but Florida is the largest state to be a swing state; and while he is much more conservative than Kasich, he has potential for growth and maturity in his views over time. Rubio would not be thrilled to be Vice President, but it is a stepping stone to the Presidency when he is older and more seasoned. Besides, he has given up his chance to hold his Senate seat, so it would be more enticing for him to accept the Vice Presidency if he fails to win the Presidential nomination of his party.

This would be a team that would easily give the Republican Party their best shot at winning, but if they do not appeal to women, African Americans, Hispanics, the young, and to working class Americans, they have no chance of winning, so they need to moderate their image.

This team of Kasich and Rubio could accomplish what no other combination would be able to do–win the White House for the Republicans!  Having said that, the odds for the Democrats to keep the White House are excellent, and if Trump runs as an independent or third party candidate, it is guaranteed that the Democrats will win, and likely be certain to regain the Senate, and possibly,. even the House of Representative!

August 28—Emmett Till Murder, 1955; March On Washington, 1963!

60 years ago today, one of the most outrageous racial crimes  in American history occurred in Mississippi, when 14 year old African American Emmett Till of Chicago, visiting relatives, flirted with a white woman, and was murdered by a mob of whites, infuriated at his behavior.  They tortured him, beat him to a pulp, and shot him, and dragged his body, one of the worst examples of lynching that went on for many decades in the South, without any accountability.

Eight years later, we had the March on Washington, by a quarter of a million people of all races, and the momentous and historic “I Have A Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, calling for civil rights laws, which would come to pass in 1964 and 1965, but with King being assassinated in 1968.

These two anniversaries should sober us on the unfinished work on race relations, which is so evident in 2015, with the racial divide still massive despite progress from the time of Emmett Till!

Happy 107th Birthday, President Lyndon B. Johnson!

107 years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson was born, destined to have a career that would change the lives of more Americans than any other President, including Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Many will remind us of the disastrous Vietnam War, which LBJ waged, and which forced him out of office, giving up a chance to be only the second President to serve more than eight years, the only one doing so being FDR!

Many will point out that LBJ is accused of being involved in the assassination plot against John F. Kennedy, well spread by several authors, but still seen as highly speculative.

Many will tell us of the statements that LBJ was possibly the most corrupt President in American history, and the one who enriched his own fortune more than any other, without any positive proof of their allegations.

Many will look to find other chinks in the armor of the 36th President, and certainly, LBJ would be the first to declare his own imperfections, including his tendency to use racist Southern terms for African Americans, common in Dixie in his lifetime.

But even with whatever shortcomings there were, and whatever mostly unprovable accusations that are lodged against him, there is certainly another LBJ–the man who used the powers of his office to better the lives of more Americans—-the elderly, the sick, the poor, the uneducated, the ethnic minorities, deprived whites, women—-than any President before him, and unmatched by any President since his time.

The Great Society did so much good, much of it still with us 50 years later, a goal that LBJ had, to match and surpass his “idol”, FDR, and his New Deal programs of 30 years earlier.

Poverty was cut dramatically in the time of LBJ; more people had a chance to get an education than ever before; Medicare and Medicaid came into being, providing a “safety net” added to the Social Security programs of FDR; Civil Rights laws finally fulfilled the purpose of what Abraham Lincoln had promoted a century earlier; the environment, consumer protection, transportation and urban affairs improvement became the priority of the federal government; public radio and television offered enlightenment and still do; and we saw the beginnings of opportunity for top positions in the federal government for ethnic minorities who had never played a role in government affairs before.

So despite obvious faults and shortcomings, Happy 107th Birthday, Mr. President!