Domestic Reform

Donald Trump’s Full Scale Attack On The First Amendment, While Endorsing No Limit On The Second Amendment, A Danger To America

Donald Trump has mounted a full scale attack on the First Amendment freedom of speech and press, while endorsing no limit on the Second Amendment, despite the recent Las Vegas Massacre, and is therefore a danger to America.

If it were left up to Trump, many cable TV channels, such as CNN and MSNBC, would be denied licenses to operate, but thankfully, no such mechanism exists to suppress the First Amendment.

Also, Trump wishes to suppress freedom of speech for National Football League players to protest the treatment of African Americans and other minorities by police.

And he seems to think that everyone MUST stand for the flag and the National Anthem, while the Supreme Court has declared that the flag need not be obeyed, and in fact, can be burned in protest, something much more extreme than bending the knee for the flag.

The case on this is Texas V Johnson (1989), with Justice Antonin Scalia, certainly the most conservative Justice in a century, writing the majority opinion.

What Trump is doing was denounced by principled conservative Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been against Trump from before the election. He said yesterday that Trump is violating his oath of office by refusing to defend the Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, and that Trump had, therefore, committed an impeachable act.

Trump sounds more like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or other totalitarian dictators than the leader of a democracy, and he is a clear and present danger to all Americans, as a result.

The possibility of moving toward impeachment is starting to grow, as Sasse joins Senator Bob Corker in warning against the threat that Trump clearly presents the nation.

Trump seems to be unraveling, as reported by journalists who have contacts within the staff of Donald Trump, reminding us of the last days of Richard Nixon.

But if anything, Richard Nixon was far less dangerous than Donald Trump is, as Trump has been collaborating with Russia, while Nixon understood the threat presented by Russia.

Also, Nixon was not out to destroy all domestic reform of the previous hundred years, as Trump is in the process of doing, with ObamaCare, the environment, consumer legislation, and government regulation of business.

And Trump is also out to destroy the Iran Deal, go to war with North Korea, and destroy all areas of our foreign policy with other nations.

So the need for prompt action, before Trump must be wrestled for control of the nuclear codes, is real!

Barack Obama Now Insured Of Stature As Historic Domestic Reform Leader With Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, And Lyndon B. Johnson!

The victory yesterday of ObamaCare at the Supreme Court, by a margin of 6-3, insures that Barack Obama will be listed historically in the company of Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson in their massive accomplishments in domestic reforms!

Woodrow Wilson accomplished the passage of the Federal Reserve Act; the Federal Trade Commission Act; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; and the enactment of the first federal labor laws and assistance to farmers. His programs were both the “New Freedom” and elements of Theodore Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt accomplished the massive list of reforms known as the “New Deal”, in the areas of banking, the stock market, government intervention in business, labor, agriculture, housing, and most significantly, in Social Security and other aid to the poor, as well as major public works programs. He also took us out of the worst of the Great Depression.

Lyndon B. Johnson accomplished the passage of Medicare and Medicaid, along with immigration reform, civil rights legislation, greatly expanded aid to education, and the “war on poverty”, all part of the “Great Society.” Johnson also enacted consumer and environmental legislation and two new Cabinet agencies. He brought about the greatest amount of domestic reform since FDR, who he idolized.

Barack Obama has now accomplished health care reform to cover all Americans, a massive step first proposed by Theodore Roosevelt in his “New Nationalism” campaign as a third party campaign for President in 1912. Additionally, he has promoted environmental legislation by executive order; advancements in civil rights enforcement; a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Wall Street reform; immigration reform through executive order; and many lesser reforms that all add up to the best domestic record of achievement since the 1960s! He also took us out of the Great Recession, the greatest economic downturn since FDR and the Great Depression! He is the greatest reform President since Lyndon B. Johnson!

March 4th: A Day Which Will Live In Presidential History!

March 4th is an historic day, the day every fourth year was the Presidential inauguration date through the inauguration of 1933, and then superseded by the 20th Amendment, which changed the inauguration ceremonies every fourth year to January 20, beginning in 1937.

So March 4, 1789, was the inception of our Constitution, but George Washington was not present in New York City, and was not to arrive until April 30, 57 days late, therefore making his two terms in office short of eight years, being approximately two months less than that!

March 4, 1801, was the inauguration of our first opposition president, with Thomas Jefferson succeeding his election rival, John Adams, who he had served as Vice President, and the beginning of peaceful transition from an “in’ party to an “out” party.

March 4, 1829, was the inauguration of the “people’s President”, Andrew Jackson, who represented the voice of the “common man” of the times.

March 4, 1861, was the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln to his first term, in the midst of a crisis that soon led to the Civil War.

March 4, 1865, was the second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, about a month before the Civil War ended, and this was the greatest inauguration speech yet devised. And today marks exactly 150 years since that fantastic speech of reconciliation.

March 4, 1905, was the inauguration to an elected term of Theodore Roosevelt, who had succeeded the assassinated William McKinley, and was the first Vice President succeeding to the Presidency who was elected to his own term, and had the greatest popular vote percentage in election history up to that date.

March 4, 1913, was the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson, who would accomplish more domestic reform in his first term than any President before him, and only surpassed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson after him.

March 4, 1933, saw the last inauguration on that date, and it was the coming to power of Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the worst days of the Great Depression, and his inauguration speech was the greatest since Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address in 1865.

50 Years Ago Today, “Great Society” Speech Of Lyndon B. Johnson!

A half century ago, on this date, President Lyndon B. Johnson gave a commencement address at the University of Michigan, on the six month anniversary of his becoming President, due to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Instead of just stating that he would finish the work of John F. Kennedy that had been left undone, LBJ enunciated the greatest series of domestic reform goals ever formulated, more than the New Deal programs of Franklin D. Roosevelt thirty years earlier, particularly in the “Second New Deal” legislation of 1935-1936.

What followed in 1965-1966 was the most productive Congress in American history, the 89th Congress, with the FDR 74th Congress the second most productive ever in American history.

We saw the Voting Rights Act, Medicare, the War on Poverty, education legislation, consumer legislation, environmental legislation, immigration reform, and so much else that advanced the American domestic agenda!

While we celebrate that 50th anniversary, one must realize that we have taken many steps backward, and no worse than the present 113th Congress, the absolute worst ever in American history in taking care of the nation’s domestic agenda.

And this comes just four years after the end of the 111th Congress under Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, the most productive since the 89th Congress, during the first two years in office of Barack Obama.

The nation has been poorly served, and we have backtracked on so much that had been done under FDR and LBJ!

This is a tragedy, the extent of which we will not fully realize for many years, and it is a moment to commiserate and to mourn what mean spirit and lack of compassion can do to undermine the “American Dream.” Government activism has been rejected for a harsh, individualistic, libertarian mentality that favors leaving those less fortunate to the “wolves”.

The Republican Party Battle Has Gone On For A Century!

When the Republican Party was founded in 1854, it was an activist liberal oriented party, against the expansion of slavery as an official doctrine, and with many of its founders and followers also being against slavery itself, wishing to abolish it.

Under Abraham Lincoln and Radical Republicans, the Republican Party advocated freedom, citizenship and voting for African Americans, while at the same time promoting the growth of industrial capitalism.

But in the Gilded Age of the late 19th century, the party lost its bearings, becoming a corrupt party, beholden to the top one percent of the nation. There was a need to reform the party, and Theodore Roosevelt came along at the turn of the century, and revolutionized the Presidency and promoted progressivism, and activist government, including labor rights, consumer rights, environmentalism, and the promotion of political reforms to bring direct democracy.

But after he left office, the party lost its bearings again and went into the darkness of the conservative 1920s, as Woodrow Wilson took on much of the progressive reform program, and set the Democratic Party on the road to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, and a whole slew of domestic progressive and liberal reforms.

The Republican Party, by following the Gilded Age mentality again in the 1920s, helped to cause the greatest economic downturn in American history, and the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover put them in the wilderness, although revived by the moderate progressivism of war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s.

But then, they were again in the minority, and although Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford promoted some substantial reforms in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in the midst of the New Frontier-Great Society mentality. scandal emerged under Nixon, and the Vietnam War sapped the party, and they turned once again to conservatism and Ronald Reagan, who had a better persona than conservative Barry Goldwater, who had been soundly defeated by LBJ in 1964. Reagan appealed to the top one percent, and promoted fear of the white working class toward minorities, and the GOP dominated the next generation and more, with the Jimmy Carter respite very brief, and Bill Clinton being mildly progressive, not really the tradition of FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ. But that meant that the Republican Party was backing away from the traditions of Lincoln, TR, and even Ike! The middle class and the working were victims, without realizing it until very recently.

Here they are today in the era of the most progressive Democratic President since LBJ, and the Republican Party is what it was in the Gilded Age and 1920s and since the 1980s, a party that backs away from domestic reform, from compassion, from concern about the environment, from concern about working people, from concern about women and ethnic minorities and the vast majority of Americans. Instead, they are the party of the one percent, as they were in the Gilded Age and 1920s, and the attempt to move the party to the center, and return to the Lincoln–TR–Ike tradition is engaged in what seems clearly a losing battle!

That means that the Republican Party, 160 years old this year, is likely in its death throes, a party which has gone awry, a really tragic set of circumstances!

Lyndon Johnson’s Withdrawal From Presidential Race 45 Years Ago Today Led To Five More Years Of Vietnam War, Tragically!

On this day, 45 years ago, the nation was stunned by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s announcement that he was withdrawing from the Presidential race of 1968 to devote attention to an attempt to end US involvement in the Vietnam War.

Sadly, the action led to no such thing, as Richard Nixon was elected, and continued the war until 1973, gaining nothing permanently, as Vietnam would be unified under Communist North Vietnam in 1975.

Meanwhile, the number of American troops killed more than doubled to 58,000, with many more wounded, some permanently, and massive damage done by US bombing of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and we are still paying for the cost of that war with aging veterans of the war who need medical and psychological care that is never ending.

It seems clear that had Vice President Hubert Humphrey been elected to succeed Johnson, US involvement in the war would have ended sooner than the beginning of the second term of Nixon.

And the Great Society of LBJ would have been continued and expanded on a massive scale with Humphrey, the premier liberal of his time, in the Presidency.

And had Robert Kennedy not been assassinated, and somehow became the Democratic nominee, instead of Humphrey, there would also have been a quicker end of the war, and an expansion of the Great Society.

America went from a nation at its peak in the 1960s, to a deterioration of the middle class after 1973, due to the investment in war spending that continued, leading to three major wars in the 1990s and 2000s, and eating up funding that could have been used for more social and economic change and reform.

The conservative counter revolution did great damage, and we are paying heavily now in our national debt which multiplied under Republicans Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, mostly in foreign policy and defense spending, while the top two percent became ever more massively wealthy due to major tax cuts on them, which did not promote stimulation of the economy!

Barack Obama is trying to reverse the course that has been endemic since 1968, but is being challenged and obstructed at every turn, but even with that, already he has become the major Presidential reformer in domestic affairs since the retirement of Lyndon B. Johnson!

The Bridge From Franklin D. Roosevelt To Lyndon B. Johnson To Barack Obama

Robert Caro, the most prolific Lyndon B. Johnson biographer, has published his fourth volume on Johnson, covering his rise to power from 1958-1964, including his Vice Presidency and early period of his Presidency.

Caro, often a critic of LBJ, has written another jewel of a book, and he makes clear that LBJ promoting civil rights and the War On Poverty was the follow through on what the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt was unable to accomplish in the 1930s.

But also, Caro makes the point that it was what LBJ accomplished in the 1960s which allowed us to elect an African American, Barack Obama, to the Presidency in 2008!

So there is indeed a direct line between FDR, LBJ, and Obama, and if Obama has a second term, he will stand out with FDR and LBJ as one of the three most accomplished Democratic Presidents in domestic affairs, for certain!

The What Ifs Of September 11: If It Never Happened, How Would America Be Different?

As we commemorate the 10th Anniversary of September 11, one can wonder how America would be different if September 11 had never occurred.

Among the thoughts and possibilities are:

1. There would be no Homeland Security Department in the federal government, and no special precautions at airports.
2. There would not be level of secret government activities, including intrusion on American citizens and interferences with civil liberties, that we have now.
3. There would not have been prolonged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for ten years.
4. We would not have the level of national debt that we have now because of reactions to September 11.
5. Very likely, George W. Bush might not have won reelection because of the domestic economy problems, and a “new” type of Democrat, such as Howard Dean, might have won the Presidency.
6. A President Dean, in peacetime, and with reforms, might have won reelection in 2008, and there would have been no President Barack Obama.
7. Problems with Iran might have been more focused on, and there might have been military reactions against Iran as a result, and instead Iran is a major threat to the world in 2011.
8. Problems with China in 2001 might have led to more confrontation with that nation, instead of depending on China for much of our national budget through their buying of US debt caused by the wars we have waged after September 11.
9. We would not have the level of distrust and suspicion of the Islamic faith that we have today.
10. Politics might not be as polarized and confrontational as it has become in the past decade.
11. We might be having a spirited contest in 2012 with different faces in the mix for the Presidency, with President Howard Dean finishing his second term of domestic reform and no major foreign policy crisis, unless Iran or China had become so problematical that there was military conflict with either nation.
12. The Middle East would still have Saddam Hussein, but he would remain contained, but by now, with the Arab Spring, he might be facing turmoil and rebellion, as in the rest of the region.
13. Domestic reforms greater than Barack Obama has achieved would have likely occurred under President Howard Dean, including national health care, as there would not have been the kind of defense and war spending that occurred in the past decade.

Of course, all of the above are suppositions, theories, projections–all of which might NOT have happened, but it is fascinating to try to imagine Others will see things differently, and it is the stuff of historical fiction to conceive a novel with the imaginary past!