Constitutional Convention

On Constitution Day, Reflection On Danger To Our Constitutional Order From Nearly Two Years Of Donald Trump

Today, September 17, is the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention.

Every public school and public university is required, and rightfully, by federal law, to commemorate this path breaking event, and educate the future generation, and indirectly, all of the American people on the significance of what was done by the Founding Father generation.

This year, more than ever, being educated and aware of the the details and meaning of the Constitution is urgent, as America faces a lawless, corrupt President, with the most corrupt group of Cabinet officers we have ever seen in American history.

We are witnessing a wrecking crew, out to destroy the stability of American foreign policy, and to damage the great domestic reforms in so many areas, brought us by many Presidents and Congresses. This is particularly so with those accomplishments internally of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama, the four Presidents who had the most impact of all of our Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt onward, but with other Presidents also being important in their contributions.

The crisis now faced is greater than any since the Civil War, and more of a threat than even Richard Nixon was four and a half decades ago.

It will be through the utilization of the principles of the Constitution that Donald Trump will be removed from office.

Constitution Day: 230 Years And In Danger From Donald Trump In 2017, But The Constitution Will Survive!

Tomorrow, September 17, is the 230th Anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

The so called “Founding Fathers” brought about a document that was not perfect, but has survived through the crises of the Civil War; the Great Depression; the two World Wars; the Watergate Crisis; and now faces the challenge of the most dangerous Chief Executive in American history bar none!

By comparison to Donald Trump, Richard Nixon was a choirboy, dangerous in many ways, but also accomplished in many ways.

Nixon contributed some real positive developments in his five and a half years as President from January 20, 1969 to August 9, 1974, while Donald Trump has accomplished essentially nothing, other than the adding of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Trump has threatened constitutional norms, with his attacks on civil rights, civil liberties, the news media, the judiciary, the intelligence community, and the basic institutions of government, including the government agencies themselves, which he is trying to decimate in their effectiveness and even in their numbers, when more is needed in a growing nation with 325 million people.

Trump has threatened the security and safety of millions of Americans of minority religious and racial groups, and he has had the support of white supremacists, Neo Nazis, Neo Confederates, and the Ku Klux Klan, which he tries to equate with those opposed to these groups.

Trump has undermined our relations with our allies in Europe and Asia, and the tensions with North Korea have been increased by his reckless tweets and rhetoric, and the same goes for Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, adding to the potential for military intervention everywhere.

Our relations with our direct neighbors, Mexico and Canada, are at the worst in many decades, and our closest ally, the United Kingdom (Great Britain), is becoming more exasperated by Trump’s utterances. The same situation exists with Germany, France, South Korea, and Japan, and our major rivals, China and Russia are perplexed with Trump as well.France

There is great concern that Trump might use nuclear weapons, which no official other than the Secretary of State can even discuss with him directly under present policy, and Trump has the final say on that.

There is also concern that Trump could attempt to declare martial law if there was another September 11 type of attack by terrorists, suspending the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And to top it off, Trump seems to many to have a form of dementia, maybe Alzheimers, or just mental instability that is often a problem with aging seniors, but having him in a position which could provoke world wide war and disaster is an alarming circumstance of massive proportions.

Trump is a danger, but we must have confidence that the Constitution will survive his threat, but we must all be vigilant, and be ready to react if any threat seems evident as imminent.

The worst thing we could all do is trust Donald Trump, and sit back and just accept whatever he does, so thank goodness for the free, independent news media!

Tumult And Turmoil Follow Trump Gaining Of Majority Of Electoral Vote

We are now into the second day of tumult and turmoil nationally since Donald Trump was declared the winner of the Electoral College at 3 pm on Wednesday.

Anti Trump demonstrations have erupted all over the nation, and nothing like this has ever happened before.

Disillusioned and disgusted millions of people are having great trouble dealing with what seems to them to be the greatest tragedy to hit the nation since September 11, 2001 and November 22, 1963.

Some think that possibly the Electoral College members can be convinced to ignore the electoral vote and choose Hillary Clinton, since she won the national popular vote by about 250,000 votes and still counting, since individual electors can cast their vote in mid December in secret in each state capital.

But to change the entire result of the Electoral College by use of “faithless electors” would be unprecedented, although if it happened, there would be no way to change the secret vote, which would be announced in a joint session of Congress, presided over by Vice President Joe Biden in the early days of January.

One could say that this is already a constitutional crisis, as possibly there will be no peace and stability as the people of America rise up and demand that the popular vote alone should elect our President, despite the Electoral College being set up by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention.

CNN Reminds Us Of “The Endless Election” Tonight At 9 PM

CNN tonight will have an hour presentation, reminding us of the Presidential Election of 2000, entitled “The Endless Election”.

Many Americans, younger than college age students, have no real memory or knowledge of this transformative election, in which, for the fourth time in American history, the loser of the national popular vote won the Electoral College and the Presidency.

George W. Bush joined John Quincy Adams in the Presidential Election of 1824; Rutherford B. Hayes in the Presidential Election of 1876; and Benjamin Harrison in the Presidential Election of 1888, in that unique circumstance and quirk of the Electoral College system set up by the Founding Fathers at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

Bush turned out be a major disaster in many ways, including the September 11, 2001 attacks; the decision to overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003; Hurricane Katrina in 2005; and the Great  Recession of 2008-2009.

No one is saying all of these tragedies would have been avoided with a President Al Gore, but most observers agree that Bush will rank in the bottom ten of all Presidents for the long run.

The idea that “hanging chads” in Florida would cause a 36 day election crisis, until the Supreme Court controversially intervened on a straight party line vote to grant Bush the win in Florida by 537 popular votes, still is upsetting to many, and one has to wonder how the Al Gore contribution to the Presidency would have changed history, and affected America long term!

Constitution Day Reminds Us Of When We Had Statesmen!

Today is Constitution Day, the celebration of the signing of the US Constitution on September 17, 1787, after four long, arduous months of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

It also reminds us of the great statesmen we had two centuries ago, who overcame disputes and conflicts to do what needed to be done for the nation and its future.

When one looks at the sad reality of two Republican Presidential debates so far, and the lack of statesmanship demonstrated, it is very depressing, as we do not have any sign that the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower is capable of dealing with the domestic and foreign policy issues facing the nation in 2015.

Sure, some of the contenders in the CNN and the earlier Fox News debate come across as “better” than the others, but except for John Kasich, and possibly Jeb Bush, none of them possess real Presidential credibility, while at the least, Hillary Clinton and, if he runs, Joe Biden,  on the Democratic side, display such credibility.

We have a long way to go in the 2016 Presidential campaign, but we are not likely to find another James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman or William Paterson arising to give us hope that statesmanship is widely available!

Final Decision On Democratic National Convention Due: New York, Philadelphia, Or Columbus, Ohio?

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, will be announcing sometime this month where the 2016 Democratic National Convention will be held in the summer of 2016.

The finalists are New York City, Philadelphia, and Columbus, Ohio.

Many might say having the convention in the number one city in America (New York City), or in the city representing the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia), would be the best choice.

However, realize that both New York State and Pennsylvania are strongly “blue” states in Presidential elections, and therefore, nothing electorally is gained by choosing either city.

On the other hand, selecting Columbus, Ohio, the capital city of the Buckeye State, is a strategically very smart move, particularly with the fact that the Republican National Convention is to be held in Cleveland.

Ohio is the ultimate swing state, having been with the winner every election since 1964, and it is, certainly, one of only five truly “swing states” up for contention.

The Democrats could win the Presidency without Ohio, but with the GOP in Ohio, and the strong possibility that either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman could be the Vice Presidential running mate for Jeb Bush or others, and that Kasich himself could run for President, it would be extremely smart and sensible to compete for Ohio in the convention situation, along with the Republicans in Cleveland.

So the Democrats should seriously make the decision to go for Columbus, and make Ohio a true rivalry for party support, and if Ohio went to the Democrats, it would clinch for sure the winning of the Presidency by any Presidential nominee, no matter who it was!

So my prediction is that the Democrats will see the reasoning suggested in this blog entry, and will choose Columbus, Ohio, over New York City and Philadelphia. We shall see how my prediction works out in the next month!

I remind my readers that I correctly predicted Tampa, Florida, as the convention site of the Republicans in 2012!

Great Idea To Mandate Passage Of Civics Exam To Graduate High School: The Promotion Of Good Citizenship!

Arizona has become the first state on the road to a great goal–mandating passage of a civics examination as part of high school graduation requirements.

When one realizes that the majority of Americans do not know the names of the three branches of government; who the Vice President of the United States is; the dates of the American Revolution and Civil War; how a bill becomes law; the significance of the Supreme Court; the major laws passed in American history; knowledge of the most important Presidents of the United States; the main points and ideas of the Constitution of the United States; what our basic civil liberties are in the Bill of Rights; and the American involvement in wars throughout our history, it is clear that we must mandate civics education as part of a basic knowledge base is essential,

There is a movement on to have all states adopt the standards set by Arizona, and accomplish this by 2017, the 230th anniversary of the Constitutional Convention. And it is not as if the standard is too difficult, as, at least in Arizona, only 60 percent of 100 questions are needed to pass and graduate.

The test is based on the citizenship exam given annually to immigrants, and it is not too much to expect those born in this nation to be required to prove they have the knowledge level of those immigrants who have worked so hard to become citizens!

Conservative Right Wing Attack On The Constitution: The Threat Of Another Constitutional Convention Wiping Out Constitutional Amendments!

The Founding Fathers gave us a Constitution, admitting in the process that there would always be room for improvements, so made clear that amendments were appropriate over time.

So we have had 27 Amendments, including the first ten that make up the Bill of Rights.

When one looks at the amendments, particularly those that came after the Bill of Rights, one realizes that the vast majority of them were “progressive” in tone, designed to expand democracy in America, or else, amendments dealing with the office of the Presidency.

So the “progressive” amendments included the 13th (ending slavery and involuntary servitude); the 14th (promoting due process and equal protection and making African Americans citizens); the 15th (guaranteeing the right to vote for African Americans and others which had been denied that right); the 16th (providing for a federal income tax to raise revenue to deal with mounting social and economic issues); the 17th (granting the people the right to elect their two United States Senators by popular vote); the 19th (guaranteeing women the right to vote); the 23rd (guaranteeing residents of Washington, DC the right to vote); the 24th (preventing a poll tax for voting); and the 26th (guaranteeing young people 18-21 the right to vote).

So nine of the seventeen amendments after the first ten of the Bill of Rights promote progressive change, while the 12th, 20th, 22nd and 25th deal with the office of the Presidency.

The only amendment that was ever passed to limit the freedom of Americans was the 18th (prohibition of liquor), but later repealed by the 21st Amendment.

Now we have the real threat by right wing conservatives, including the Tea Party Movement, who want a new Constitutional Convention to wipe out these “progressive” amendments!

They do not like voting rights for African Americans, other minorities, women, residents of Washington DC (mostly African Americans) and young people; and they are unhappy that African Americans are considered equal under the law, and if they had the ability to do so, they would love to re-enslave poor people, which by corporate power is occurring in an informal way for many minorities, as well as white lower class people struggling every day to survive!

And they wish they could restore the US Senate elections to the corrupt state legislatures, taking away the popular vote. Finally, they hate the federal income tax, even though many of them avoid substantial taxation by having investments, rather than working for a living like most of us do. So they would prefer a sales tax, which is regressive, and would hurt the middle class and the poor much more than the wealthy elite!

But that is exactly the extremist right wing intention—to restore the “good old days” when they were in charge, and everyone had to kowtow to them!

We must not allow such a threat to develop, so the battle for progressivism is never ending, as a result!

September 17, and Mid September: A Momentous Time Historically In America

Today, 225 years ago, 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the Constitution, hoping it would keep America united as a nation.

150 years ago today, the fears they had of an America dividing reached its peak of death and destruction, with the Battle of Antietam, which killed and wounded more soldiers on one day than any other battle of the Civil War, and indeed, more than on D Day on June 6, 1944.

And four years ago, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15, the stock market was reeling from its greatest collapse since the Great Depression of 1929, putting us into the Great Recession, which although technically over, still has an impact on America and its Presidential election in 2012!

Mid September has been a bad time for America historically, with the death of President William McKinley by assassination on September 14, 1901, and the death of President James Garfield by assassination on September 19, 1881, as additional moments of trial and tribulation!

Trying To Fathom The Supreme Court On Health Care: The Court Under The Microscope

Yesterday’s oral arguments before the Supreme Court led many observers to think that the Court is about to declare the Obama Health Care law unconstitutional this coming June.

Not so fast, ladies and gentlemen! This is hysteria and panic before the fact, with plenty of opportunity after the Court decision, if it is, indeed, negative!

Emphasis was put on Justice Antonin Scalia’s sarcastic comments about mandating broccoli, a totally ridiculous statement! But one must remember that Scalia is a showboat, a maniacal egotist who loves to hear the sound of his own voice, and get everyone’s attention, and one must remember that the Court was issuing an audio of the oral arguments immediately after the event, a very rare circumstance, and that had to be on Scalia’s mind!

Scalia was thought to be a possible vote, but if it is not, so what, as Scalia is, arguably, a hypocrite who is constantly contradictory, utilizing a broad interpretation of the Constitution, when he wishes to, and other times, pontificating on “originalism”, the idea that we must literally follow the Founding Fathers as they saw things in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention.

More importantly, the view of Justice Anthony Kennedy and Chief Justice John Roberts will be the crucial votes, and although Kennedy and Roberts both expressed some reservations about the Obama Health Care bill and the mandate contained within it, there were also key comments by both that indicated a mind open to consideration of the constitutionality of the law.

Kennedy is usually the swing vote, and seemed conflicted, which can be seen as a good sign, and Roberts seemed very evenhanded, and is known to want to be in the majority, and probably write this most important decision of the past decade, and aware that the Supreme Court does not look very good in the eyes of many people based on recent cases, particularly the Citizens United Case of 2010, on top of the Bush V. Gore case of 2000.

The argument is that if Kennedy goes to the majority, then Roberts will join, and the vote would be 6-3.

And one must point out that the four defenders of the legislation were excellent in their arguments supporting the legislation, with Justice Stephen Breyer, a true intellectual, particularly outstanding in his arguments, but joined by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

So, with one more day of oral arguments, it is not time to give up on support of the legislation, and also realize that one cannot always judge how members of the Court will vote, based on oral argument alone, as often, what is being done is to test both sides in the case, and sometimes, purposely mislead on intentions, in the process of asking the lawyers in the case to defend their side.

This decision is far from certain, but progressives should feel optimistic about it at this point, and simply wait patiently to see the result, knowing that the cause is just and compassionate, and that those of us who support it are on the right side of history with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society!