Civil Rights

Five Months Of President Joe Biden: A World Of Difference!

President Joe Biden has now been in the Oval Office for five months, and what a world of difference!

The right wing media and the Republican Party, of course, are constantly on the attack on every issue imaginable.

But Joe Biden has been successful in so many ways:

The COVID 19 Pandemic response, a great success with 300 million vaccinations after five months (150 days)
The Economic Revival through the American Rescue Plan legislation, greater success than thought possible in five months
Moving toward action on Infrastructure, Voting Rights, Gun Regulations, Health Care And Education Reform
Reversing many actions of Donald Trump on the Environment by Executive Order
Reversing actions of Trump on Immigration, Climate Change, Civil Rights, and so many other domestic issues
Choosing Federal Judges to balance out the right wing tilt of the Trump Judicial appointments
Restoring good relations with NATO, the European Union, and the G-7 Nations
Succeeding in making Vladimir Putin know he has met his match, with Putin saying Biden was professional, constructive, and experienced
Making clear to the world community that America has returned to world leadership and a sense of ethics and morals
Restoring Dignity, Compassion, Empathy, Decency, Humanity to the Oval Office

Social Justice 53 Years After Martin Luther King Jr’s Assassination

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!

The Senate Filibuster Designed For Obstruction, And Historic Denial Of Basic Civil Rights

The US Senate is the greatest deliberative legislative body in the world, but also condemned in history for promoting denial of civil rights for people of color, particularly, but not only for African Americans.

The filibuster was used to prevent federal anti lynching laws in the years after Reconstruction and through to the 1950s by Southern Democrats, and then it was used to prevent basic civil rights laws, until Lyndon B. Johnson showed great courage, and used various tactics to overcome the denial of civil rights, and accomplish the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Now, the Republicans have used it in the past decade to stop progress under President Barack Obama, and now are threatening the same under Joe Biden, and specifically in areas including voting rights, and inhumane treatment of various minorities, including people of color, women, gays and lesbians, disabled people, and immigrants from Latin America, Asia and Africa.

They claim the mantle of “minority rights”, but only for their narrowminded effort to promote white supremacy, and refuse to accept the reality of a multi ethnic and multi racial and diverse future America in the next 25 years.

The Senate has been an obstructionist legislative body, where Senators who represent far less than a majority of the population are able to prevent what a clear majority of the population wishes to see in the promotion of human rights and work against racism, nativism, misogyny, homophobia, antisemitism, and Islamophobia!

So a change, requiring a “spoken” filibuster, which used to be the norm, needs to be revived, and that will bring about the ability to overcome the filibuster in a short period, and allow for progress on so many important issues the Senate needs to address to advance American democracy!

One Month Anniversary Of The Biden Presidency: Tremendous Initiatives And Goals And Early Success!

It is today one month since Joe Biden became the 46th President of the United States, and there is a sense of great optimism.

The basic decency, compassion, empathy of Joe Biden is very evident, and he has staked out goals in foreign policy and domestic policy, canceling out most of the damage done by Donald Trump in his horrendous four years in office.

Biden has embraced NATO and our democratic allies in Asia;

has made clear that America will hold authoritarian governments around the world accountable for their outrageous violations of basic freedoms;

has selected an exceptional group of Cabinet and other advisors to deal with the myriad of issues he faces, greater than anyone since Franklin D. Roosevelt nine decades ago;

has committed himself to the fight against climate change;

has dedicated himself to the need for immigration reform, and to protect DACA recipients who have been living in uncertainty for the past five years;

has worked to promote the environment and conservation after the worst environmental record of any American President;

has been moving forward on a major economic relief bill;

has surpassed his goal of daily vaccinations against COVID 19 and made it a national commitment, not just left up to states alone;

has made the fight for civil liberties, civil rights, and the struggle against racism, nativism, misogyny a major commitment;

has endorsed full protection for the gay and lesbian community;

and above all, has restored the dignity and prestige of the American Presidency which was in rapid decline.

Joe Biden may not be able to accomplish everything he wishes, due to political realities, but his heart is in the right place, and he clearly is out to promote progressive goals and work against domestic terrorist groups which endanger American democracy.

Joe Biden Becomes Third President (After Ulysses S. Grant And Lyndon B. Johnson) To Emphasize Racial Equity In First Months Of His Presidency

President Joe Biden has made racial equity a landmark moment of his Presidency from the beginning, and already is perceived as being the third President to make civil rights a major goal immediately upon taking the oath.

The first President to do this was Ulysses S. Grant in 1869, promoting the concept of the 15th Amendment, granting the right to vote to African American men, and being added to the Constitution in 1870.

Also, Grant promoted better treatment of Native Americans in his Inaugural week, and is seen as the most tolerant and open minded on that issue of any President in the post Civil War years.

The second President to make civil rights a key issue immediately was Lyndon B. Johnson upon becoming President after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Johnson made the push for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had been floundering in Congress after it was introduced by Kennedy in the summer of 1963. And Johnson went on to promote also the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as the 15th Amendment had been denied for many decades in the Southern states, as Jim Crow segregation reigned.

And now, Joe Biden is pushing and promoting action, as a result of the well known discrimination in criminal justice; and in dealing with the endemic poverty in minority communities; the lack of adequate health care including in the COVID 19 Pandemic; problems of education and work opportunities and housing that persist; the need to clean the environment where often there is massive pollution in areas ignored before now; and also the difficulties faced by women, transgender citizens, the gay community, and the disabled. The purpose is to get rid of systemic discrimination against all the above groups.

One can hope that major progress on these areas of policy can be accomplished!

Crazy Trumpites Call For Martial Law, And “Proud Boys” Terrorists/Hoodlums (Brown Shirt Storm Troopers), Promote Violence!

With 46 days until the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we are witnessing, including this author personally with some people he knows, the rise of crazy Trumpites who are calling for Martial Law, suspension of the Constitution and Rule of Law, and refusing to accept Joe Biden’s clear cut victory!

These people are totally nuts, off the wall, and being manipulated by religious extremists of the Jewish and Christian faiths, and are endorsing lawlessness, and violation of civil liberties and civil rights!

And the “Proud Boys”, a terrorist/hoodlum group, brown shirt stormtroopers, is growing that is promoting violence and inciting crazy people on the sidelines to support Donald Trump, as they are acting like the bullies and terrorists of Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Soviet Russia in the past history of the 20th century!

It seems likely that Trump will try to stage an alternative event on Inauguration Day in Washington, DC, and not attend the inauguration of his successor, which is the norm.

This could lead to violence and bloodshed, endangering the Inauguration crowd, and making the safety of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris more difficult, and threatening their lives!

Donald Trump needs to be made to understand that any inciting of bloodshed and violence, once out of office, could lead to arrest, incarceration with no bail, and conviction on terrorism charges!

And any alternative inauguration event should not be televised live during the Presidential Inauguration, no split screen, or any attention given by news media to distract from the historic event!

The American Character And Reputation Is At Stake On Tuesday: Can We Come Out Of The Darkness?

With 48 hours to the election, the American character and reputation is at stake on Tuesday, Election Day.

Can America come out of the darkness of the last four years, and restore respect for the Constitution and rule of law, and gain the respect again of the international community?

Will morality and ethics and common decency return, or will America go into the darkness of Fascism, as occurred in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany?

Will civil rights, civil liberties, women’s rights, gay rights, immigrant rights, labor rights, consumer rights, environmental protections, and restoration of international respect for America be resumed?

Or will we go further into the darkness where Donald Trump will be uncontrollable, and the possibility of mass murder of opponents occur, with the backing of the extreme right wing groups, including the evangelicals and various militia groups, who will want war on open mindedness and tolerance and common decency?

As stated at earlier times, this is the most important election in our lifetimes, or at least since 1940, and could be as significant as 1860 and the Civil War!

Confirmation Of Justice Amy Coney Barrett Creates The Most Extreme Supreme Court Since 1930s!

The confirmation last evening of new Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett creates the most extreme Supreme Court since the time of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s Great Depression, just as we are entering into the Second Great Depression.

The right wing narrow minded view of Justice Barrett is perceived as more so than even her mentor, former Justice Antonin Scalia.

The fifth woman to serve on the Court, she is the anti Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a great woman who we could only wish had been able to live two to three more weeks, preventing an appointment before the election.

And had she lived until December, even a lame duck President could not have replaced her before January and a new President.

This only accelerates the dire need for everyone to vote, and for the Republicans to be resoundingly defeated next week for the White House and the US Senate, and add seats in the House of Representatives.

With a 6-3 extremist Court, the following areas of law are greatly endangered:

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in general
Women’s Rights
Abortion Rights
Gay Rights and Gay Marriage
Labor Rights
Voting Rights
Environmental Reforms
Consumer Reforms
Business Regulations
Separation of Church and State
Firearms Regulation

The answer must be to expand the Supreme Court to 11 members, adding two progressives or liberal voices to the Court, making for a slight 6-5 conservative majority, but promoting the concept that Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch will, at times, side with the liberals.

It does not guarantee progressive and liberal ideas, but that has been that way for a generation, but once either Clarence Thomas (age 72) or Samuel Alito (age 70) leaves the Court, likely in the next four years, a moderate Court will be achieved. And if Stephen Breyer or Sonia Sotomayor were to leave, it would insure a Democratic President choosing their successors.

Voting for Joe Biden and a Democratic Senate insures that the right wing tilt of the Court will be short lived!

Advice To Joe Biden: Allow Donald Trump To Hang Himself While You Act With Statesmanship And Dignity In The Remaining Weeks Of The Campaign

With exactly 15 weeks, 105 days until the Presidential Election of 2020, the best advice to Joe Biden is to allow Donald Trump to “hang himself” with his hysterical ranting and constant lying, and ignore his taunts and crazy conspiracy theories.

Joe Biden should continue to act with statesmanship and dignity in the remaining weeks of the campaign, which he has done so far.

The result has been that Biden is far ahead in all public opinion polls, much larger leads than Hillary Clinton had at the same time in 2016.

Biden is making substantial speeches on various matters, and showing he is fully capable of planning for changes starting six months from today, the day after his inauguration.

He is a calming influence, and gives confidence and hope to millions who are suffering from multiple crises—the CoronaVirus Pandemic, the economic depression, and the civil rights and racial crisis.

The President is planning to engage again in press conferences on the Pandemic, but if he continues to conduct himself as he did in March and April, his ratings will go down ever more.

So the only time for Joe Biden to directly engage with Donald Trump is when the Presidential debates take place on Tuesday, September 29 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana; Thursday, October 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts in Miami, Florida; and Thursday October 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and the woman chosen for the Vice Presidency by Joe Biden will take place on Wednesday October 7 at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

The Empathy Of Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, And Also Lincoln, TR, LBJ, And Carter, As Compared To Trump

One of the most important traits that any President should have, but not all do, is to have empathy, an understanding of the struggles and difficulties of people’s lives, and the ability to relate to the tragedies of others.

Donald Trump has not an ounce of empathy for anyone, as he is a total narcissist, and clearly does not care about others, only his own advancement financially, and to control others to his own benefit.

Trump does not lose sleep over the devastation wrought by the CoronaVirus Pandemic that could have been dealt with two months earlier, and made the tragedy far less deadly.

The three Presidents before him had empathy as, for example:

Bill Clinton at the time of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

George W. Bush after the attack on New York City on September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.

Many other earlier Presidents also displayed empathy, with a few examples being

Abraham Lincoln mourning the loss of life at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg and the later Gettysburg Address in 1863.

Theodore Roosevelt demanding action on protection for workers and consumers with the protection of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, after Publication of Upton Sinclair’s realistic novel, “The Jungle”, that same year.

Lyndon B. Johnson making a commitment to civil rights legislation and the War On Poverty despite his Southern heritage.

Jimmy Carter’s entire life of empathy, including his post Presidential activities even now at age 95.