conservatives

Republican Implosion: 1912, 1964, 2016—Each 52 Years Apart After Lincoln And First Republican Victory In 1860!

The Republican Party was born in 1854 in opposition to the expansion of slavery, and also included abolitionists, those who wanted the end of slavery, in its membership.

Six years later, the Republicans won the majority of the Congress,and in a four way Presidential face, Abraham Lincoln won the Presidency with less than 40 percent of the total national vote.

Within  six weeks of the Presidential inauguration, the Civil War had begun.

For the next half century, the Republicans dominated national politics, winning control of the Presidency for 44 of 52 years (with only Democrat Grover Cleveland winning two nonconsecutive terms in 1884 and 1892), and usually held the Congressional majority with a few exceptions.

But then in 1912, 52 years after the Republicans became the national majority, the party had a “civil war” between President William Howard Taft and his predecessor in the White House, Theodore Roosevelt, leading to the formation of the Progressive (Bull Moose) Party, and TR ending up second and Taft third in popular and electoral votes.  Democrat Woodrow Wilson became President, and promoted a great era of reform, known as the New Freedom, and also adopted TR’s reform platform, known as the New Nationalism.

Despite many shortcomings of Wilson, the domestic reform programs was the greatest in substance in American history.

The Republicans returned to national power in the Presidential Election of 1920 and kept it until Herbert Hoover and the coming of the Great Depression, and Franklin D. Roosevelt then brought Democratic dominance in 1932 and after, with his New Deal, a much greater reform period than that under Wilson.

The Republican Party was only able to win back Congressional majorities in the midterm election of 1946 and again in the Presidential Election of 1952, when Dwight D. Eisenhower won the Presidency, but two years later, the Democrats regained the majority in both houses for the next quarter century.

The more conservative wing of the GOP lost their chance to gain a Presidential nomination when Wendell Willkie, Thomas E. Dewey, Eisenhower, and Richard Nixon won the nominations for President from 1940-1960, but the conservatives overcame the Eastern Establishment, as it was known, and soared to the Presidential nomination with right wing Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964, 52 years after 1912.

But now we had “civil war” again, as Eastern Establishment Republicans who had competed against Goldwater, including most notably Nelson Rockfeeller, refused to support Goldwater in 1964, and some just sat on their hands, while others backed Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.  This led to a massive defeat for the GOP in 1964, and LBJ went on to a landslide victory and the promotion of the Democratic Party’s Great Society.

The battle for the future began when Ronald Reagan sought the Presidency against incumbent President Gerald Ford in 1976, but going on to triumph in 1980, creating what conservatives considered a “Golden Age”.  However, after Reagan, the Establishment returned with President George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, President George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney from 1988 to 2012.

As the GOP became ever more conservative and right wing extremist, and was hijacked by the Tea Party Movement after 2009, the party has reached a point where the Establishment, including some of the 2016 Presidential candidates, but also much of Republicans Congressional leadership, was seen as unacceptable, and we have now witnessed a rebellion against “office holders”, and the rise of Donald Trump, Dr. Benjamin Cason, and Carly Fiorina.

It seems as if the GOP is on the way to another “civil war” 52 years after 1964, wh8ich could be the final implosion of the Republican Party as we know it, and lead to a massive Democratic victory, including the possibility yet again of a third age of reform, spurred on in the past by Wilson and LBJ, and maybe now, either Hillary Clinton, or who can say, maybe even Bernie Sanders!

Anti Immigrant Hysteria: 1840s-1850s; 1870s-1880s; 1920s-1940s And Now! Do We Ever Learn?

Part of the ugly side of the history of America is its record of nativism and anti immigrant hysteria.

In the 1840s and 1850s, it was anti Catholic hysteria against the Irish and the German immigrants fleeing from poverty and political turmoil.  The “American” or Know Nothing Party was formed, had some members in Congress, and had former President Millard Fillmore (Whig) win the state of Maryland (heavily Catholic) in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1856.

In the 1870s and 1880s, it was anti Asian hysteria, mostly Chinese at the time, and often led by Irish who had forgotten the prejudice and discrimination they had faced in an earlier generation,and it led to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, courageously vetoed by President Chester Alan Arthur but passed over his veto by a two thirds majority in the House of Representatives and Senate.

In the 1920s through the Second World War in the 1940s, it was anti “new” immigration, to stop the massive wave of Catholics and Eastern European Jews from coming to America, as well as anti Japanese prejudice, replacing the Chinese who had already been banned from migration to America since 1882.

This led to the horrors of Italians, Jews, and other southern and eastern Europeans denied admission to America during the time of the rise and triumph of Fascism in Italy under Benito Mussolini and Nazism under Adolf Hitler in Germany.

The result was the Holocaust, which America could have worked against by admission of refugees, but just like now, it was Republicans, some Democrats, and conservatives who lobbied against children and women and old people being admitted, due to racism and nativism.

It also led to the forced movement of Japanese Americans into internment camps during the Second World War, as an hysterical reaction to Pearl Harbor being attacked by Japan.

In more recent decades, we have seen growing anti Hispanic and anti Latino discrimination, and now against Muslim and Arab refugees, as if we have learned nothing from our past.

America has been a beacon of hope in a difficult world, and we must not lose our image that the Statue of Liberty represents, so we must salute and applaud President Barack Obama for coming out forcefully against Republican Governors and members of Congress, who are demonstrating the ugliest side of the American experience once again!

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!

 

Have Democratic Presidents Been Treated “Better” Than Republican Presidents By News Media Since FDR Onward? NO!

If you listened to Republican and conservative propagandists, it would seem that the Republican Party  is at a disadvantage when it comes to the “liberal”, “mainstream” news media, in coverage of Presidents and Presidential candidates.

Nothing could be further from the truth, as anyone who studies American history KNOWS that Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have all been subjected to an inordinate amount of attacks and criticism on every issue and personal quirk imaginable, and many have been purely fiction and mythology!

The job of ALL news media is to challenge, expose, and reveal weaknesses and inconsistencies in Presidential candidates, and Hillary Clinton, in particular, has had much more attacks, criticism  and fictional and mythological stories than ANY GOP Presidential candidate.

But the fact that Marco Rubio has issues with handling his finances; that Donald Trump has had three marriages and multiple bankruptcies; that Dr. Benjamin Carson has sponsored phony nutrition supplements that supposedly cure cancer; that Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and Bobby Jindal support an anti gay church leader who advocates gays be murdered; that Chris Christie has left his state in financial tatters and is still being part of the investigation of the “Bridgegate” Scandal in New Jersey; that Carly Fiorina lies constantly about just everything she talks about; and numerous other issues and controversies that  are real and true, not fabricated, is something that the news media and hosts of political debates should be expected to address, and to confront the candidates on these issues.

Instead, the Republican candidates as a group are “crybabies”, and Ted Cruz has suggested that a political debate be conducted by right wing conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin, none of them legitimate journalists, but instead pure hate propagandists who exploit the gullible nature of too many listeners on talk radio and viewers of Fox News Channel.

And yet, one Republican Presidential candidate, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, says the party and candidates need to stop complaining and “sniping”, grow up, and expect the news media to be on the offensive, and to be mature enough to deal with it, and really answer the questions posed to them, just as Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley have to deal with regularly!  And that makes John Kasich a legitimate and serious Presidential candidate, separating the adults from the chidren!

Hispanic Influence Predates That Of Other European Cultures on America, Something Forgotten By Many Conservatives!

Listening to Donald Trump, and also to many conservatives and Republicans in general, one would think that Hispanic and Latino influence in America is somehow dangerous and “foreign”, and something new.

In reality, Hispanics and Latinos are the largest “minority” in America, and only German immigration outnumbers Mexican immigration in numbers to have come to our nation.

Also, one can forget or be ignorant of the fact that it was Spain which made the first settlements in what became the United States, 450 years since the establishment of St. Augustine, Florida as a Spanish colony in 1565.

It was Spain which settled the entire Southeast and the Southwest of the United States.

It was Spain which established settlements in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California.

It was Mexico that once controlled the entire Southwest, and lost it to the United States between 1836, 1848 and 1853 by rebellion, war and treaty.

But there was always a Spanish influence in America even after this, and people of Spanish heritage have played a major role in America throughout the nearly two centuries now since the original Texas “rebellion” against Mexico.

So to attack Spanish or Latin American influence in America is to show prejudice, ignorance and lack of recognition of Hispanic significance on America and its history!

Pope Francis: A Gift To The World And Supporter Of Progressive Causes Shared With Barack Obama!

Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, and will be here for six days, traveling to Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

It is clear that Pope Francis is a gift to the world and a supporter of progressive causes that he often shares with President Barack Obama!

This Pope is, clearly, the best Pope in the sense of promoting reform, since the time of Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and the Second Vatican Council.

Pope Francis has made enemies among conservative Catholics and evangelical right wing Christians, who do not pursue the true message of Jesus Christ, the promotion of the poor and the disabled and the sick.

Pope Francis has condemned predatory capitalism which has no concern as to its effect on the poor.

Pope Francis has spoken up on climate change and global warming, infuriating those in the conservative movement and the Republican Party who only think about profits, and reject science.

Pope Francis has attacked the growing income inequality in the world, a dangerous disease that threatens global stability.

Pope Francis has worked to resolve problems in the Catholic Church, and to have a more open mind on divorce, abortion, gay rights, and other controversial social issues, while not wholly backing all of these cultural changes.  But he has demonstrated greater tolerance of differences and opened up a sense of change, which is desperately needed in the Catholic Church, if it is to grow and prosper in the long term.

Pope Francis has engaged in bringing about the restoration of a relationship between the United States and Cuba, something long overdue.

Pope Francis has worked to help Syrian refugees, and generally to encourage immigration reform around the world, as to reject immigrants is against the American historical tradition, and worldwide would be the growth of another Holocaust, as Jews and other refugees suffered in the Second World War.

Pope Francis is a transformational Pope who, hopefully, will have a long range effect on the Catholic Church and the world.

Pope Francis has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is hoped that he will win it, as he richly deserves it!

Multiple Predictions Of Disaster By The Republicans During The Obama Presidency, But None Occurred!

The Republican Party and the conservative movement has made multiple predictions of disaster during the Obama Presidency, with none of them actually occurring.

They have acted like “Chicken Little”, and have been shown for their deceit.

In the midst of all these attacks, personally and policy wise, Barack Obama has acted with dignity and class, despite the outrageous statement of Florida Senator Marco Rubio that Obama has shown no class. Instead, Republican leadership, including Rubio, needs to look in the mirror at themselves!

A catalog of some of the many predictions of disaster follows:

The economic stimulus would cause a further downturn of the economy.

The auto bailout would fail miserably.

ObamaCare would fail, and would destroy the health care system.

Bank regulations to prevent another bank collapse would fail miserably.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was a dangerous government intervention that would never succeed.

Unemployment numbers would continue to rise, making the economy worse.

Illegal immigration numbers would continue to rise, and crimes caused by illegal immigrants would become predominant.

Gays in the military would cause the downfall of the greatest military in the world.

The Ebola epidemic in Africa would overtake America, and lead to widespread disease epidemic in America.

The government would try to take away private ownership of guns.

Requirement of vaccinations was a plot against families and children.

Higher pay for lower paid workers would destroy jobs and business.

Obama’s executive orders were a move toward dictatorship.

Obama’s moves on the environment are destroying the energy industries.

Obama’s Presidency is the most corrupt in American history.

Obama sides with Islamic terrorism, and will not use drones and other tactics against them.

Obama was plotting with Muslims to destroy Christianity.

Gay Marriage would destroy the American family as we know it.

Obama is conspiring with Iran to destroy Israel.

Obama opening up to Cuba is unprecedented, to deal with a totalitarian government and give diplomatic recognition.

Obama is not respected by other nations across the globe.

The list could go on and on and on, but these 21 examples are just the tip of the iceberg of the Republicans and conservatives predicting gloom and doom during an Obama Presidency!

Jimmy Carter: The Most Underrated, Unappreciated President Since World War II!

Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary today, a year and a half shorter in duration then George H.W. and Barbara Bush’s marriage, the two longest in Presidential history!

Both George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter have reached the magic age of 90, with Bush 91 on June 8, and Carter to be 91 on October 1.

It is a blessing that both are still with us, but it would seem as if Jimmy Carter is likely to outlive Bush, based on health conditions right now.

Bush is being, properly, appreciated in his 90s, but Carter remains the most underrated, unappreciated President since World War II.

The critics, mostly Republicans, conservatives, and right wing supporters of Israel’s often extremist government, are always on the attack, and this blogger has heard from audience members when he gives lectures, that Jimmy Carter is an anti Semite, which is farthest from the truth!

Jimmy Carter could be said to be anti Israel’s government, when it has been right wing extremist, as for instance, it is now under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. But people forget how he managed to bring about the only enduring moment in the Middle East since World War II–the Camp David Accords—which brought together former warriors and enemies, Anwar Sadat of Eyypt and Menachim Begin of Israel, despite their being far apart on the issues of Middle East peace.

This is the most impressive and enduring moment of the Carter Presidency, and is not fully appreciated for what it was and is, even today! And Carter is most certainly NOT an anti Semite, and there are many Jews in America who are not pro Israel automatically when the government there is right wing extremist as it is now!

Carter also brought about the Panama Canal Treaty, an historic event; promoted Human Rights, a fundamental principle of this man of high morality, who would eventually win the Nobel Peace Prize; and worked to free the hostages in Iran peacefully, as frustrating as that was, rather than bomb Iran and see all 52 Americans killed in response, the likely result had he gone “hawkish”.

If the attempted rescue in April 1980 had worked out, it is likely that Jimmy Carter would have had a second term, and Ronald Reagan would be a footnote in history!

Carter also became the third best environmental President in American history, after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon; promoted free elections, human rights, democracy all over the world through the Carter Center; condemned violence against women and mistreatment of the poor around the world; emphasized the spreading of health care and education to the deprived parts of the world; and even condemned the most extreme right elements of his own Baptist faith.

He became the most activist former President in American history, and has survived longer after his time in office than any President, now going on 34.5 years on July 20. And his Vice President, Walter Mondale, survives at 87.5 years of age, making them the longest lasting Presidential-Vice Presidential team ever in American history!

Jimmy Carter is not perfect, in or out of office, but he is a very decent man, well meaning, brilliant in intellect, and the author of 27 books, including his new book, released today, entitled: “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety”, a worthwhile read!

It is clear that only when he passes from the scene, like Harry Truman, will he come to be appreciated for the great man and human being he is, always trying to do his best, but humble enough to be willing to concede his shortcomings, much of which he expresses in this new book!

Anthony Kennedy, The Third Choice Of Ronald Reagan For The Supreme Court In 1988!

President Ronald Reagan had the misfortune of having two Supreme Court nominees rejected near the end of his term, and forced to choose someone else for the Court.

His nomination of Robert Bork, and then, Douglas Ginsburg, and his selection of Anthony Kennedy in their place in 1988, was a moment of tremendous historical importance.

With either Bork or Ginsburg, it is almost certain, if not so, that gay rights and gay marriage would not have accomplishes the majority votes in 2003, 2013, and now 2015, granting gays and lesbians complete equality, including the right to marry!

The importance of one man and one vote is clear cut, as under our system, the Supreme Court, much more than we realize, has a majority of one vote on significant cases, and that one vote majority transforms America for good or for evil.

One vote on the Court decided Bush V Gore in 2000; one vote on the Court decided the Citizens United Case in 2010; one vote on the Supreme Court decided the dramatic weakening of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

And the historic importance of Anthony Kennedy cannot be underestimated, as he has been the swing vote on the Court since Sandra Day O’Connor left the court ten years ago. Often, he has sided with the conservatives, but about one third of the time with progressives, as in these various gay rights cases.

Kennedy has had great courage, and he will suffer mightily with denunciations, death threats, and need for Secret Service protection, from right wing crazies who will wish him dead for his role in changing American society permanently.

Anthony Kennedy is truly a profile in courage and principle, and will play a positive role in the history of human rights, when this era we are living in, is written about in future generations!