Confederate States Of America

Treason In US History: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, John Tyler, Jefferson Davis, And Now Donald Trump

Treason is a tough issue to approach.

Certainly, Benedict Arnold committed treason, and is condemned for it in history, when he attempted to hand over West Point, New York and its thousands of soldiers to the British in 1780, during the American Revolution.

Some observers think Aaron Burr may have committed treason after leaving the Vice Presidency in 1805, attempting to seize part of the Louisiana Territory or take away Spanish territories further west. He was arrested, brought to trial for treason, and Chief Justice John Marshall ruled he had not committed treason by the normal definition, and conspiracy without actions should not lead to conviction. Still, many people then and since, think Burr was guilty of treason.

President John Tyler gave up his citizenship, and supported the Confederate States of America, becoming part of the provisional Confederate Congress in 1861, before his death in 1862, therefore committing treason.

Jefferson Davis committed treason, as President of the Confederate States of America, as did Vice President Alexander Stephens and other public officals, and arguably, General Robert E. Lee, and other Confederate generals, as well.

And now, it is becoming more likely that the 45th President, Donald Trump, has committed treason by colluding with the Russians to fix the Presidential election of 2016. The President is indicting himself by his own Twitter comments, and contradictory statements being made on a regular basis, and he exudes guilt, and has for many months.

The Robert Mueller investigation is mounting evidence that is leading to that conclusion, and the Southern District of New York investigation, particularly in relation to Michael Cohen, is also moving in that direction.

A proposal that I would wish to make regarding this whole situation.

John Tyler, when he died, was not accorded the normal situation of a President who passes away—that is, flying the flag at half staff, and giving a President a state funeral.

The same, of course, was the case with Jefferson Davis.

So it seems appropriate to say that when Donald Trump passes away, no matter what happens in the interim regarding the present investigation of his behavior and actions, there should be no flying the flags at half staff, and no state funeral, as a traitor should not be accorded such an honor.

Of course, his death and burial would be reported, but it should not be given the dignity of what every other President, except John Tyler, was accorded!

Presidents Without Prior Elected Occupation

A total of 6 Presidents have been elected without any prior elected position in government.

Three of them had careers in the military:

Zachary Taylor who was a Major General in the US Army, and served in, and became famous in the Mexican War of 1846-1848, and was elected President in 1848.

Ulysses S. Grant, who was a General in the Civil War, gained the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee to end the war, and was elected President in 1868.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was General of the Army during World War II, and planned the D-Day invasion on France on June 6, 1944, and was elected President in 1952.

Two other Presidents had appointed experience in the US government as Cabinet Officers before they were elected President:

William Howard Taft, who served as Secretary of War under Theodore Roosevelt, and was elected President in 1908.

Herbert Hoover, who served as Secretary of Commerce under Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, and was elected President in 1928.

And then, finally, there is Donald Trump, in a category by himself, as Chairman of the Trump Organization, his whole career in real estate, and also a reality star on television, a public figure for decades, but never holding office in any form by election or appointment, or by military service, but elected President in 2016.

Traitors In American History Might Include Donald Trump If Mueller, Congressional Investigations And News Media Prove It To Be Reality!

The subject of traitors in American history is highly controversial, even incendiary. We are not referring to spies here, or those who gave information that might have undermined America, but only to people in government and in the military. Any list would be controversial, and being a traitor is not only based on actual judicial declaration, but on the deleterious effect that government and military people had on the security and stability of the American nation.

Certainly, Benedict Arnold would be at the top of the list, having plotted to hand over West Point and thousands of American military to the British in 1780, during the American Revolution.

Also, many would say, with some qualification, that former Vice President Aaron Burr, who plotted to steal the election for President in 1800 from his own running mate, Thomas Jefferson, and was brought to trial for plotting with others to create an independent nation in the middle of the North American continent. committed treason. He was arrested, charged with treason, and put on trial, although found not guilty by Chief Justice John Marshall in the trial that he faced. Of course, Burr also killed Alexander Hamilton in a legal gun duel over the issue of honor, caused by the bitter rivalry between the two men over Hamilton’s intervention in the Presidential election of 1800, when Hamilton helped to promote the election of Jefferson, his ideological rival, but one that he trusted, while he believed Burr was a scoundrel who could not be trusted with power.

Additionally, Civil War Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and Confederate States of American President Jefferson Davis, have become the center of accusations that they were traitors, as they worked to separate the South from the nation in the Civil War. This has led to the movement to take down many Confederate statues and monuments of these and other Confederate leaders.

Once we get past these cases already mentioned, the issue of treason and traitors is more murky, but one could say that for someone to engage in league with a foreign nation’s plot to intervene in elections that would bring a person to power, could be considered treasonous. So if the accusations of Russian collusion are proved true, as is now being investigated by the Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and several Congressional committees, and supplemented by excellent investigatory research by major news media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN and others, then we may be able to declare that Donald Trump and his campaign and many of his advisers and cabinet members have engaged in a conspiracy that could be seen as treason.

Republican Party History And Reputation Under Attack In Present Constitutional Crisis

The Republican Party was founded in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and included many abolitionists within its midst.

The Republican Party became the Party of the Union, and under Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican President, the Civil War was fought, and the Confederate States of America was defeated, and slavery was abolished.

The Republican Party then promoted citizenship and the right to vote for African Americans.

Then, the party lost its way and became the party of Big Business in the Gilded Age, and was engaged in widespread corruption.

But in the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, under President Theodore Roosevelt, and Congressional leaders such as Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska and many others, the party became one of reform oriented ideas.

Then, in the 1920s and through the years of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, the party became one of opposition to progressive ideas, with a few exceptions of leaders in Congress and in the states.

With the coming of Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the rise of the liberal wing of the modern GOP, under Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, and George Romney. and many US Senators, the battle was fought against a takeover of the party by the extreme right, headed by Senator Barry Goldwater, but despite his defeat for the Presidency in 1964, the coming of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan ushered in conservative ideas, and the GOP became captive to the myth of Reagan.

The party became captive to a foreign policy of intervention in the Middle East, and promotion of massive tax cuts to the wealthy, and destruction of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson and the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt, but were stopped in their quest by Democratic Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Now, however, the Republican Party has become more extremist under the most corrupt President in American history, much more than Richard Nixon.

Donald Trump is for the wealthy elite, and that is why the Republicans in Congress are overlooking the disaster occurring before our eyes daily.

The Republican Party history and reputation are under attack in the present constitutional crisis, while at the time of the Nixon constitutional crisis, many Republicans spoke up and led the struggle against the illegalities of the Watergate Scandal.

The future of the Republican Party is at stake, and this could be the time that we will look back on and realize that it led to the demise of the Republican Party as we know it!

Donald Trump Has Divided America More Than Any Other President Since The Civil War, Including Richard Nixon!

America has had 44 men who have served as President.

We have had a person who had no issue with slaughter of Native Americans—Andrew Jackson.

We have had a person who chose to give his loyalty to the Confederate States of America in the Civil War—John Tyler.

We have had a person who warred with our southern neighbor, Mexico, on the basis of promoting slavery expansion and American imperialism—James K. Polk.

We have had a person who was openly racist after the Civil War, and was impeached, more because of his disagreeable personality and stubbornness—Andrew Johnson

We have had a person who presided over the worst, most scandalous Presidency of the 19th century—Ulysses S. Grant.

We have had a person who presided over the worst scandals since Grant, and was seen as very lacking in any intellect—Warren G. Harding.

We have had a person who was the most crooked President in American UNTIL NOW, and caused the greatest division since the Civil War a century earlier, and resigned from office under certainty of impeachment and conviction—Richard Nixon.

All of these seven Presidents had major issues and characteristics that undermine their historical reputation, but NONE, I repeat NONE, have divided America so much as Donald Trump. not even Richard Nixon, who actually had major domestic and foreign accomplishments, despite his many shortcomings.

But Donald Trump will go down as the absolute worst President in all of American history, and my prediction in February on History News Network, which went viral, still stands as of today—that Donald Trump will leave the Presidency by one method or another no later than the range of time between August 7, 2017–199 days of James A. Garfield and May 27, 2018–one year from today–or 492 days of Zachary Taylor!

As We Have Oldest Combination Of Presidential Candidates In History, A Look Back At Three Candidates Younger Than TR And JFK!

At a time when we have the oldest combination of Presidential candidates in history, with Donald Trump being past 70, and Hillary Clinton to be 69 in October, let’s take a look back at three Presidential candidates who lost, but were all younger than Theodore Roosevelt, our youngest President at 42 years and almost eleven months when he succeeded the assassinated President William McKinley in 1901; and these three Presidential candidates also, therefore, younger than John F. Kennedy, our youngest elected President, who took the oath at 43 years and almost eight months.

Our youngest Presidential nominee of a major party in history is William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a former Congressman, who ran as the Democratic nominee for President in 1896 and 1900, when he was younger than TR or JFK. Bryan was 36 and 40 when he ran his first two of three Presidential races, and had he won, he would have been inaugurated 15 days short of his 37th and 41st birthdays.

Our second youngest Presidential nominee was John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky, who was Vice President at age 36 under President James Buchanan from 1857-1861 but was actually 35 at the time of his election. He was the Southern Democratic nominee in 1860 at age 39 although he would have been 40 at the time of the inauguration, running against Republican Abraham Lincoln, Democrat Stephen Douglas, and Constitutional Union nominee John Bell. Breckinridge served in the US House before being Vice President, and later was part of the Confederate government and army during the Civil War, and later served in the US Senate from Kentucky.

Thomas E. Dewey of New York sought the Presidency for the first time in 1940, when he was 38, and serving as Manhattan County District Attorney, but was thought to be too young to be taken seriously. But in 1944, in his first of two Presidential campaigns, when New York Governor, he ran on the Republican Party line against Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for his fourth term as World War II was nearing its last months. Dewey would have been inaugurated about two months short of his 43rd birthday, had he won in 1944, making him about a month younger than TR when he became President.

Dewey was favored in his second round of Presidential candidacy in 1948, when he lost in an upset to Harry Truman, after all public opinion polls projected an easy win but at that point he would have been two months short of 47, at the time of inauguration.

Front Runners In Delegates At National Conventions Who Failed To Become The Nominee Of Their Party: William Henry Seward, Champ Clark, And Martin Van Buren!

Senator William Henry Seward of New York was the front runner in delegates at the Republican National Convention in 1860, but Abraham Lincoln won the nomination on the 3rd ballot, and went on to become the greatest President in American history!

Speaker of the House Champ Clark of Missouri was the front runner in delegates at the Democratic National Convention in 1912, but Woodrow Wilson won the nomination on the 46th ballot, and went on to become one of the most significant President in American history, and took us through World War I.

Former President Martin Van Buren of New York was the front runner in delegates at the Democratic National Convention in 1844, but James K. Polk won the nomination on the 9th ballot, and went on to gain more territory, by peace treaty with Great Britain and war with Mexico, than any President except Thomas Jefferson!

Seward went on to become Lincoln’s and Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State, and helped to prevent Great Britain or France from recognizing the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, and was able to arrange the purchase of Alaska from Czarist Russia in 1867.

Champ Clark remained Speaker of the House, and served eight years, from 1911-1919, one of the longer lasting Speakers in American history, with only five Speakers serving longer than him.

Martin Van Buren could have been the first Grover Cleveland, to have served two non-consecutive terms in the White House, but instead ran for President once again in 1848 as the candidate of the Free Soil Party, and in so doing, undermined the Democratic Party nominee, and helped indirectly to elect Whig nominee Zachary Taylor.  Van Buren became the first former President to run on a third party line, and the Free Soil Party was the first significant third party, winning 10 percent of the national popular vote, and being a forerunner of the modern Republican Party, which formed six years later, in 1854.

A total of  nine times in American history, we have seen the front runner in delegates fail to win the party’s nomination–three times for the Democrats, five times for the Republicans, and once for the Whigs, so if Donald Trump were to be denied the Republican nomination  in 2016, it would be far from unique or unusual!

Wipe Out Memory and Statues Of Thomas Jefferson, John C. Calhoun, Jefferson Davis, Woodrow Wilson? NO WAY!

A major campaign has been mounted to “cleanse” America’s history of political leaders who were racists, people who advocated and owned slaves, and those who promoted segregation and “Jim Crow” after slavery ended 150 years ago.

So the move is on to wipe the name of various major figures off of buildings, and the removal of statues and monuments erected in their honor.

The biggest “villains” in this quest to “correct” the past are President Thomas Jefferson, Vice President and Senator John C. Calhoun, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and President Woodrow Wilson.

There is no question that all four, and others, can be condemned for their beliefs and behaviors.

But if we are to “discipline” them, then should we NOT add eight of the other nine pre Civil War Presidents who owned slaves; and the multitude of political leaders since the end of the Civil War who promoted segregation and racist views in the century and a half since 1865?

So while we are at it, why  not wipe out all American history, instead of recognizing the sins and shortcomings  that exist, as any good history professor will do in class, including this blogger, and also point out the major contributions that these leaders had on the totality of American history?

We cannot wipe out the past, and the move to sanitize it is a massive mistake!  We need to TEACH and LEARN about it, and draw attention to it for present day political leaders, not try to make believe it never occurred in the first place!  The goal should be to demand that today’s leaders stop promoting racism, nativism, and misogyny by exposing their transgressions!

So NO, to the attempt to reconstruct history, and wipe out the past, too common, ironically, to what happens in left wing and right wing dictatorships!

Political Correctness Gone Mad: The Attack On Historical Figures’ Monuments And Statues Because Of Their Racism And Bigotry!

Face the facts, racism and bigotry is part of human history, whether we like it or not!

Many great leaders in government were racists, bigots, and should be denounced for that part of their historical record!

But to say that Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and innumerable others who have been important figures in American history should, therefore, be wiped out of history–have all statues removed, all monuments destroyed, all buildings renamed, all streets and schools no longer reflect their historical significance, much of it good,— is CRAZY and distorting history!

We can condemn the fact that many Presidents were slave owners; that Lincoln had a mixed record on racial matters; that Confederate leaders were out to defend slavery; that many 20th century Presidents had a prejudice toward various religious, racial and ethnic groups in American society; and recognize there is much to do to overcome racism and bigotry.

But all of the people mentioned are an important part of history in ways and on issues other than negative ones!  They had positive contributions that affected the long run of history!

So should the effect of Woodrow Wilson on Princeton University be wiped out; and should the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials and Washington Monument; and should Stone Mountain in Georgia and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota; and endless other monuments and sites named after imperfect people— be destroyed because some people are affronted about our past?

The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT, and instead use the truth of the past as a teaching moment, and strive to make America a better place now and in the future!

21 Significant Speakers Of The House In American History

With the election of Paul Ryan as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives this week, it makes one focus on  the 54 House Speakers in American history, and recognition of the fact that twenty one of them were quite significant figures in the American past.

Probably the most prominent of all was one of the earliest Speakers, Henry Clay of Kentucky, who became Speaker as a freshman in 1811, and served three different times as House Speaker, from 1811-1814, 1815-1820, and 1823-1825. a total of more than six and a half years, as Congress did not meet back then for many months in any years, but sixth longest serving.  Clay is considered the most famous Congressional figure in American history in both houses of Congress, and was an unsuccessful Presidential nominee three times, in 1824, 1832, and 1844.  He was a giant figure in American political history and American politics.

John Bell was Speaker in 1834-1835, and was also a Presidential candidate of the Constitutional Union party in the Presidential Election of 1860, trying to prevent the Civil War by running as an alternative to the three other candidates that year—Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Douglas, and John C. Breckinridge.  He won three states and 39 electoral votes, carrying Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee in the Electoral College.

James K. Polk became the only Speaker so far to become President of the United States, in the Presidential Election of 1844, after having served as House Speaker from 1835-1839.  He is considered the most successful one term President, deciding due to ill health to refuse to run f0r reelection in 1848, but gaining the whole American Southwest in war with Mexico, and arranging the peaceful acquisition of the Pacific Northwest by treaty with Great Britain.  His retirement from the Presidency was the shortest in American history, only 105 days.

Robert M. T. Hunter was the youngest Speaker of the House at the age of 30, serving from 1839-1841, and later as Confederate Secretary of State in 1861-1862 during the Civil War.

Howell Cobb served as Speaker from 1849-1851, being 34 when elected, and served as one of the founders of the Confederate States of America in 1861.

Schuyler Colfax served as Speaker from 1863-1869, and as Vice President in the first term of President Ulysses S. Grant from 1869-1873, being the first of two Speakers to serve in the Vice Presidency, the other being John Nance Garner under Franklin D. Roosevelt.

James G. Blaine served as Speaker from 1869-1875, 10th longest serving with a little over five years, and later was the Republican nominee for President in the Presidential Election of 1884.  He also served as Secretary of State under James A. Garfield, Chester Alan Arthur, and Benjamin Harrison, and was present at the site of the Garfield assassination in 1881.

Thomas B. Reed served as Speaker from 1889-1891 and 1895-1899, and was nicknamed “Czar Reed”, because he wielded great power in the Speakership, which added to the stature and influence of the Speakers after him.

Joseph Cannon served as House Speaker from 1903-1911, added the most power to the Speakership, more than Reed, but then saw a “revolution” of progressive Republicans led by George Norris of Nebraska, which stripped him and future Speakers of the absolute power that Reed and Cannon had waged, and was pushed out of the Speakership when the opposition Democrats won control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections of 1910.  He was eighth longest serving Speaker, nearly six years, and had a House office building named after him despite his fall from power in 1910.

His successor, Champ Clark, served as House Speaker from 1911-1919, fifth longest serving at seven  years, and nearly won the 1912 Democratic Presidential nomination, but lost to Woodrow Wilson.

Nicholas Longworth served as Speaker from 1925-1931, punished progressive Republicans and restored much of the power of the Speaker under Joseph Cannon, and was married to Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice.  Later, a House office building would be named after him.

John Nance Garner served 15 months as House Speaker from 1931-1933, and then became Vice President under Franklin D. Roosevelt, and served two terms in that office. He became famous for his statement that the Vice Presidency was not worth  “a bucket of warm piss!”  He opposed much of the New Deal, and tried to win the nomination against his boss when FDR sought a third term in 1940.  On his 95th birthday, President John F. Kennedy wished him “Happy Birthday” just hours before his assassination on November 22, 1963. Garner died at age 98 in 1967, the longest lived Vice President or President, and just 15 days before his 99th birthday!

Sam Rayburn was the most prominent, and longest serving Speaker of the House in American history, serving a total of 17 years in three rounds as Speaker, from 1941=1947, 1949-1953, and from 1955 to near the end of 1961, when he died in office.  A House Office Building is named after him, and only he and Henry Clay served three separate terms as Speaker.  He was one of the most prominent members in the entire history of the House of Representatives, engendering great respect and admiration, and served under Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and John F. Kennedy.

John W. McCormack was the third longest serving House Speaker, a total of nine years from 1962-1971, and served as House Majority Leader all of the years that Sam Rayburn was Speaker.  He presided over the New Frontier and Great Society legislative package under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Carl Albert served as Speaker from 1971-1977, seventh longest serving in the office, and a heartbeat away when Spiro Agnew resigned as Vice President in 1973, until Gerald Ford was confirmed as Vice President under the 25th Amendment in 1973, and again when Ford became President in 1974 until Nelson Rockefeller was confirmed as Vice President at the end of that year.

Thomas “Tip” O’Neill was the second longest serving House Speaker, a total of ten years from 1977-1987, serving under Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.  He served the longest consecutive years as Speaker, and was an unabashed liberal, but negotiated a Social Security compromise agreement with Ronald Reagan in 1983, which became the mark of bipartisanship.

Thomas Foley served six years as Speaker from 1989-1995, and became the first Speaker since 1862 to be defeated for his House seat in 1994, retiring him from the House of Representatives, but he served as Ambassador to Japan for President Bill Clinton from 1997-2001.  He was ninth longest serving Speaker.

Newt Gingrich served as Speaker for four years from 1995-1999, having been the leader of the “Republican Revolution”, where the GOP took back control of the House of Representatives after 40 years in “the wilderness”.  Highly controversial and combative, Gingrich led the fight against President Bill Clinton, and moved for his impeachment in 1998, but then was forced out by an internal rebellion in his own party at the end of 1998.  He sought the Presidency in 2012, but fell short of the nomination, and remains an outspoken active commentator on politics.

Dennis Hastert became the longest serving Republican Speaker in American history, serving eight years from 1999-2007, fourth longest serving, seen as non controversial after Gingrich, and being Speaker under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.  He became involved in a sex and financial scandal dating back to before he was in Congress, and faces prison time as this article is being written, having pleaded guilty.

Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker, serving four years from 2007-2011, and remains Minority Leader today, and her two Congresses under George W. Bush and Barack Obama accomplished more legislation, particularly under Obama, than any Congress since the 1960s.

John Boehner served almost five years as Speaker from 2011 until this past week, facing highly contentious opponents in his own party, the Tea Party Movement, now known as the Freedom or Liberty Caucus, a group of about 40 Republicans, who made his life miserable, and finally, he resigned, and has handed over authority to Paul Ryan, who was Vice Presidential running mate of Mitt Romney in the Presidential Election of 2012, and had been Chair of the House Budget Committee and House Ways and Means Committee, before becoming Speaker this week.