Harry Truman

Presidential Retirements

Of our 44 Presidents of the United States, 16 of them have had retirements lasting 15 years or more.

This statistic comes to mind as we celebrate the 93rd Birthday of Jimmy Carter, and root for him and George H. W. Bush to beat the record of longevity of Gerald Ford (93 years, 165 days) and Ronald Reagan (93 years 120 days), which Bush will surpass on October 11 and November 25, and Carter will surpass on January 30, 2018 and March 16, 2018.

The President with the most retirement years is Carter, who will reach 37 years out of office on January 20, 2018.

Herbert Hoover had 31 and a half years in retirement, followed by Gerald Ford with just a month short of 30 years.

John Adams had four months more than 25 years, and will be passed by George H. W. Bush in May 2018.

Martin Van Buren had about the same retirement time as Adams with 25 plus years, and Bush will soon pass him as well on the list.

Millard Fillmore, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon each had close to 20 years in retirement.

James Madison and John Quincy Adams each had about 19 years in retirement

Thomas Jefferson, William Howard Taft, and John Tyler each had about 17 years in retirement.

Bill Clinton will soon finish 17 years in retirement, and will, therefore, pass Jefferson, Taft, and Tyler in 2018.

And Ronald Reagan had a few months more than 15 years in retirement, although much of his retirement was spent in a state of dementia and Alzheimers Disease.

56 Percent In Quinnipiac Poll Say Trump Not Fit To Be President, But Republicans In Poll Are Totally Delusional And Clueless

Donald Trump is coming apart at the seams, and America sees it.

In a new Quinnipiac poll, 56 percent say Trump is unfit to be President, including 57 percent of Independents and 94 percent of Democrats. At the same time, 84 percent of Republicans say he is fit, which makes one wonder what is wrong psychologically with Republicans, who would never have tolerated such incompetence in Barack Obama or Bill Clinton.

63 percent of women said Trump was unfit, while men were evenly divided at 49-49 because of the strong support for Trump among Republican men.

On race relations, Trump had 94 percent of African Americans, 66 percent of Hispanics, and 55 percent among whites against his policies.

Trump remains disapproved in the 60s over all, while low 30s to low 40s is his positive limit.

No President has ever since World War II had such negative numbers at any time, let alone in his first year in office.

With Trump’s disgraceful handling of Puerto Rico relief, it is time for pressure to be brought that he should resign the Presidency in disgrace.

But it seems at this point unlikely that he will follow Harry Truman’s advice: “The buck stops here!”, and take responsibility for the disaster of his brief Presidency.

Ken Burns’s 18 Hour “Vietnam War” PBS Documentary Coming Sunday, September 17: A Worthy Successor To “Civil War” Documentary Of 1990.

Ken Burns, who gave us his legendary documentaries over the past 30 years on such topics as “The Civil War”, “Baseball”, “National Parks”, “The Roosevelts”, “Prohobition”, “The Dust Bowl”, “Jazz”, “Jackie Robinson”, “The West”, ‘The War” * (about World War II), and other documentary jewels, is about to give us a 10 part, 18 hour documentary on “The Vietnam War” on PBS, starting Sunday, September 17.

This documentary is much needed, as a way to heal and unite the nation about its most divisive war since the Civil War.

The Vietnam War came about because of the Cold War propaganda, and it caused troubles for five Presidents of both parties from Harry Truman to Richard Nixon.

It caused the deaths of more Americans, except for the Civil War, World War II, and World War I.

It divided families and it caused mass loss of life, close to three million in the thirty years since 1945 until 1975.

Now, however, despite its Communist government, Vietnam has been friendly toward the United States, and veterans and others have visited where their compatriots died.

The Vietnam veterans who have survived often have mental and physical issues nearly a half century after the war ended, and all Vietnam veterans are now senior citizens.

This is well worth the investment to watch on PBS, and to purchase the book and the DVD.

The Modern Presidency Began Today, September 14, In 1901, With The Coming To Power Of Theodore Roosevelt

As a lifetime student of the American Presidency, September 14, 1901 stands out as the beginning of the modern Presidency.

On that day, 116 years ago, Theodore Roosevelt succeeded from the Vice Presidency, which he had held for about six months, and became the 26th President of the United States, upon the death of President William McKinley from the assassination bullets fired by anarchist Leon Czolgosz eight days earlier, on September 6, in Buffalo, New York.

TR brought a new vision of the Presidency to the White House, an activist, aggressive, broad interpretation of executive powers, and transformed the office for the long term future.

Our youngest President, still 42, TR brought life, excitement, charisma to the Presidency, and made America a respected nation in foreign policy.

He also initiated the idea of Progressive reform, that the national government had a role in moving the nation forward by regulation and legislation, away from the concept of states rights.

There was never a dull moment in TR’s life, either in the Presidency or after, and he became a model for future Presidents of both parties, particularly Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

With TR’s accession to the Presidency, the history of the Secret Service protecting the Chief Executive began, and remains a major burden of security to keep the President safe and unharmed.

A reminder that the McKinley Assassination is covered in Chapter 4 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers), now out since March in paperback from the publisher or Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Also, there is Chapter 5 in the book, which covers the attempted assassination of TR when running as an ex-President on the Progressive (Bull Moose Party) line in 1912, being shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912 by John Flammang Schrank, but surviving his wounds.

Gerald Ford, The Right Person To Succeed Richard Nixon, But Is Mike Pence The Right Person To Succeed Donald Trump? NO!

On this day in 1974, the nation was fortunate that Richard Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President of the United States.

We needed someone like Gerald Ford to heal the nation after the Watergate Scandal, and Ford fit the situation very well.

A respectable member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, House Minority Leader for the last nine of those years, and Vice President by appointment for eight months under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, we were fortunate that he was next in line for the Presidency, instead of corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, who would have been a disaster in the Presidency, dividing the nation even more than Richard Nixon.

Ford was controversial for pardoning Nixon one month into his Presidency, and it helped to cause his defeat, along with the strong right wing conservative challenge of former California Governor Ronald Reagan, but he had the right personality and instincts, and as a moderate conservative, was able to work with both parties, considering that the opposition Democrats controlled both houses.

Ford was an honest, decent man, and his wife Betty was arguably the most accessible and decent modern Republican First Lady, sharing her private turmoil with alcohol and breast cancer with the nation.

Gerald Ford lost a very close race to Jimmy Carter in 1976, so was the fifth Vice President not to be elected President, the first since Chester Alan Arthur in 1884, but he came to be admired and loved as he aged, and he ended up as the longest living President, when he died at age 93 years and 165 days on December 26, 2006, the same day of the year as Harry Truman died in 1972.

The longevity of Ford will be surpassed by George H. W. Bush if he lives to November 25, just three and a half months from now, and Jimmy Carter will pass Ford’s age on March 15, 2018, although if Bush continues to be alive, it will not break the record of longevity.

Now, however, Mike Pence would be the successor if Donald Trump is impeached and removed, or resigns from office, but Mike Pence is no Gerald Ford. Pence is much more extreme right wing conservative, unlike Ford, and is a religious extremist, promoting church and state combination in government, which is against the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The policies and programs under Pence, while certainly likely to be somewhat different than Trump, would be dramatically different from those of Gerald Ford.

So one could wish that Gerald Ford could come back from the dead to be available to succeed Donald Trump, but sadly we are going to have to live with a President Pence at some point in the near future.

We can wish him luck, but be prepared to oppose him vigorously in the promotion of his right wing agenda, with less chaos, anarchy, and craziness, but still out of the mainstream of the American people and what they want the policies of our government to be in the future.

Militarization Of Civilian Government Under Donald Trump: A Double Edged Sword

The fact that Donald Trump has three top military figures as key figures in his administration is troubling in a way, but also good in a way.

We have never had military figures in top government positions as a group. and so soon after retiring from the military.

Yes, we had Alexander Haig in the government under Richard Nixon, and George C. Marshall in the government under Harry Truman.

But now we have John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff, H. R. McMaster as National Security Adviser, and James Mattis as Secretary of Defense.

This is troubling, as our civilian government is not supposed to have such close association with the military in making policy, and the civilians are in charge at all times.

These men are patriots and good people, but still, it creates unease among many observers.

On the other hand, it seems to be reality that IF it is proved that Donald Trump has committed treason, that they will refuse to cooperate in a coverup, and would be likely to work to force Trump to resign for the good of the nation.

So this might be the way to hasten the demise of the Trump Presidency!

The Attack On Transgenders In The Military A Major Step Backward On Human Rights, And Must Be Resisted In Any Way Possible!

The decision of Donald Trump to declare that transgender individuals are not to be allowed to serve in the military is a major step backwards on human rights.

Transgender men and women have served in the military heroically in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they serve in the military in Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other advanced democracies with no troubles or complications.

This is simply an appeal to the bigoted Religious Right of Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and other preachers who claim wrongly to speak for Jesus Christ, who would reject their prejudice and hypocrisy.

It is also an attempt to take attention off the failed Health Care attempts to destroy ObamaCare, and also to take people’s minds off the investigation of the Russian collusion of the Trump campaign and Presidency.

It undermines the great progress made on gay rights and gay marriage, and now, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions is arguing that gays and lesbians and transgenders should not be considered as covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a total outrage!

Leave it to the right wing whackos, and we might see a future situation where women’s rights to an abortion, and even interracial marriages, might be reversed by a right wing Supreme Court majority.

It is good to see that the military is not, at least at this point, obeying a tweet of our unstable President, and hopefully, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will fight against it, and convince Trump that this will undermine military discipline and morale, and endanger the declared Transgenders already out in the military.

One can sadly expect more prejudice and discrimination against transgenders now in society, and some will die as a result.

Ironically, this bigoted, ignorant, and prejudiced statement by Trump occurred on the 69th anniversary of Harry Truman integrating the military in 1948, and one can be certain that if Truman were alive, he would have appropriate salty language visited upon Trump, and would probably wish to give Trump a swift kick in his rear end and in his private area as well, something million of Americans would cheer!

Hardworking Presidents Vs. Lazy Presidents, And Then There Is Donald Trump!

The Presidency is an all encompassing job, one that the occupant of the Oval Office, particularly in modern times, cannot escape, even when on so called “vacation”.

Some Presidents stand out as constantly on the job, very active, very committed and hard working.

These would include in modern times, since 1900, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Note only three of these Presidents–TR, Nixon and the first Bush–are Republicans.

Indications are that James K. Polk and Abraham Lincoln, Democrat and Republican respectively, were also hard workers, dedicated, and committed, among pre1900 Presidents.

On the other hand, the following Presidents come across as far less committed, and in many cases, too laid back, and in some cases, purely lazy:

William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, all Republicans. All of these Presidents took many vacations, and had short work days much of the time, and it undermined America in domestic and foreign policy on a regular basis.

Pre1900 examples would include Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Ulysses S. Grant, the first two being Democrats and Grant being a Republican.

And then there is Donald Trump, whose work habits make clear that he is the LAZIEST President of the United States in all of American history, certainly since 1900 at the least!

He loves to sign executive orders, many which are symbolic, and to take a long time in signing in a flourishing manner at Presidential signing ceremonies, and then showing it to the gathered audience over and over, like a little child proud of his signature, absolutely unbelievable immaturity on the part of a President, who lowers the image of the Presidency every day.

He has taken no part in promoting Health Care legislation, and is simply ready to sign any bill that comes to his desk, as he told evangelist Pat Robertson in an interview before leaving for his trip to Paris, France for Bastille Day.

Trump knows no details on anything, and is not willing to do much reading or learning, and it is truly pitiful how he has degraded the Presidency daily!

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!

Two Years Of Donald Trump, 148 Days Of Presidency: 60 Percent Disapproval, Higher Than Any President In Public Opinion Poll History This Early!

It has been two years since Donald Trump announced he was running for President. and it has been 148 days since he was sworn in as President.

And Donald Trump reached the age of 71 on June 14, two days before the two year anniversary of his campaign beginning.

And what does he have to show for it?

He has divided America like no one else, and has only gained a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch, after the Republicans in the US Senate changed the filibuster rules to allow a nominee to be confirmed with only 51 votes.

Everything else is hot air, lies, and coverup of Russian collusion, and trying to get the intelligence agencies, Congress, and the news media to stop investigating the corruption of his Presidency and the campaign before the election. And Trump has helped to indict himself with his Twitter activity, and his teenage emotional IQ.

So therefore, it is not surprising that the latest polls show 60 percent of the American people disapprove of his record and performance, the earliest in a Presidency that such a high disapproval rating has occurred since polls began to be taken in the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The following nine Presidents never reached a 60 percent disapproval rating–Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama.

Four Presidents did reach 60 percent disapproval, but at very late dates in their Presidencies.

Truman reached 60 percent after 2129 days; Nixon after 1736 days; H W Bush after 1290 days; and W Bush after 1758 days.

So Trump is a total failure, and even 25 percent of Republicans are totally disillusioned, while his approval rating is as low as 35-36 percent.

This insures that Trump will end up at the bottom of the heap in ranking of Presidents, except by totally delusional and ignorant people, who have no clue as to what good Presidential leadership is all about.