Jimmy Carter

Time For “A New Generation Of Leadership” For Democrats Running For The Presidency

The Democratic Party needs “new blood” running for President in 2020, just as it had in John F. Kennedy in 1960; Jimmy Carter in 1976; Bill Clinton in 1992; and Barack Obama in 2008.

This is not the time for “old” leadership, meaning another run for the White House by Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Anyone reading this blog knows of my great admiration for Biden, but at age 78 in 2020, it is too late, in the author’s opinion, for him to be a serious alternative. And as much as Hillary Clinton has an exceptional background, having run for President twice, and being still seen by many as a divisive figure, and being 73 in 2020, it is proper to say that her time has passed.

It is also NOT the time for Bernie Sanders, who despite his strong support, is not really a cooperative member of the Democratic Party, not having been a member until he decided to run for President, and now backing away again from membership in the party. His age in 2020, 79, also makes him far from a good choice for such a demanding job.

What about Elizabeth Warren? She will be 71 in 2020 and is an inspiring person, but the problem of misogyny that Hillary Clinton faced, which was a factor in her defeat, argues against Warren, as she has been cast in a negative light by many, for her vehement and outspoken manner. This blogger admires her, but finds it hard to believe she could win in the 2020 Presidential race.

So basically, what we need is someone not thought about before, and there are a multitude of candidates one can think of to consider for 2020.

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, (62 in 2020) )Hillary Clinton’s Vice Presidential running mate, is one, as is his fellow Virginian, Senator Mark Warner (65 in 2020). But both are seen by many as too moderate centrist, not appealing to the Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016.

There is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, (68 in 2020), who was thought of as an alternative running mate for Clinton, and who might have helped keep the white working class in Ohio and elsewhere for the Democrats in 2016.

There is also Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who would be 47 in 2020, and comes across as very appealing in appearance and views on the issues.

Then, there is Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would be 51 in 2020, but is seen as too centrist by many, and being African American, after the racism so evident during the term of Barack Obama, one wonders if that would be a problem.

And there are also Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota (60 in 2020)and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (54 in 2020), but being females might be a negative factor, sad to say.

Additionally, there is Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon (64 in 2020), the only Democrat to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016.

Less likely possibilities include Senator Chris Coons of Delaware (57 in 2020); Senator Al Franken of Minnesota (69 in 2020); Senator Kamala Harris of California (56 in 2020); and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (65 in 2020).

Other than the US Senate, the only possible gubernatorial Presidential possibilities that seem reasonable are New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (62 in 2020), and California Lieutenant Governor and likely next Governor Gavin Newsom (53 in 2020), former Mayor of San Francisco.

Trying to figure out this early who might indeed run is really difficult, but one can assume that a good number of these 14 possibilities will actually enter the Presidential race.

First thoughts on this would be that Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, and Gavin Newsom would have the best chance, with all likely to be candidates. All are young enough, and have a record of accomplishment worthy of consideration. But also, it is likely that Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren will also announce for President, and others might as well.

Of course, someone not yet thought of, who might be elected to the governorship or the Senate in 2018, might be added to the list.

And, one cannot eliminate someone from outside the political system, likely a businessman or media or entertainment star, could enter the race, and one cannot project against such a person having a real chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee.

One must recall that John F. Kennedy had the issue of Catholicism that was a problem; Jimmy Carter the Southern issue and basically unknown nationally; Bill Clinton having the ethics and morality issue; and Barack Obama having the racial problem.

No one would have predicted three years before their elections that any of them would have been the nominee of the party, let alone the next Presidency of the United States!

The 38th Earth Day: And Donald Trump Has Declared War On The Environment And Science!

Saturday, April 22, is Earth Day, first declared by Richard Nixon in 1970.

Richard Nixon turned out to be one of the great environmental Presidents, despite his Watergate Scandal.

So was Jimmy Carter, with the best one term record on the environment. Also outstanding on the environment was Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Barack Obama reached the few on the top of the list with his magnificent advancements, which sadly, is being destroyed to a great extent by Donald Trump.

Ronald Reagan was a horrible person on the environment, but Trump is rapidly moving him from the bottom of the modern Presidents on the environment.

Trump has hired Scott Pruitt head of the Environmental Protection Agency, the agency created by Nixon and the Democratic Congress, and Pruitt is like putting a fox in a chicken coop, and is out to destroy and defund the EPA entirely in the next couple of years.

The American people must demand that this war on the environment be stopped, as for a government to be unconcerned about clean air, clean water, and safe environmental conditions at work is a crime against humanity, really equivalent of a war crime, as it indicates no concern about the health and well being of the American people.

Theodore Roosevelt, our greatest environmental President, would be furious if he knew what his Republican Party has done, declare war on nature for the selfish benefit of corrupt corporations only interested in making profits.

Donald Trump is criminal for declaring war on the environment and science, and must be held accountable for the damage he has wrought already.

It should be one of the impeachment charges brought against him in a future confrontation between the President and the Congress, hopefully brought about in 2018 by a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

Even if that fails to occur, progressives must hold Trump accountable in history for his crimes against the environment!

Donald Trump Declares War On Science, The Environment, And Climate Change That Endangers America And The World

Donald Trump has declared war on science, the environment, and climate change that endangers America and the world.

Coming upon the environmental legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Barack Obama, the six leading environmental Presidents–two Republicans and four Democrats—it insures that Donald Trump will go down as the worst environmental President, surpassing Ronald Reagan.

Trump has shown his total ignorance of science, and has shown a mean streak as he wishes to destroy everything his predecessor did in office, a situation that has never been quite like this before in our history.

Trump is stupid enough to believe there is “clean coal” when there is no such thing, and to believe coal mining has a long term future, when very few jobs will be created or kept, as robots are being used more than ever in coal mining that does exist, as it is just about the most dangerous and dirty job that any human being has ever faced.

Considering the large loss of life in coal mining over the decades and centuries, no one should wish that their children follow them into that field of work.

And putting more carbon into the air in the form of carbon dioxide through burning of coal pollutes our air, as well as our water supply and soil, and it is absolute poison short term and long term.

Making believe climate change is a hoax is a sell out to right wing groups who do not care about the long term future of this planet, as the almighty dollar, materialism and greed, reign in Trump’s America.

The good thing is that law suits will make it a long drawn out situation, and hopefully the damage being done by Trump’s executive order will not be as great as it seems at the moment.

But Donald Trump insures a low ranking in history by his greed, selfishness, egotism, and willingness to sell out his country and its citizens for cheap political gain based on fiction about the environment, not facts.

Donald Trump Refuses To Take Responsibility For Failed Yemen Raid, Death Of Ryan Owens: As Truman Said, “The Buck Stops Here!”

Donald Trump has demeaned the office of the Presidency by his refusal to take responsibility for the failed Yemen Raid that took place two days after his inauguration.

At dinner with son in law Jared Kushner and his White House Counselor Stephen Bannon, he decided to authorize a raid that the Obama Administration had been reluctant to do, because of lack of full intelligence information on the likelihood of its success.

Trump should have been in the Situation Room with top military and intelligence officials, but he decided to try to make himself a hero, and in so doing, caused the death of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens.

Instead of taking responsibility for this blunder and the death, Trump blamed the “Generals” for the failure, and lied that much intelligence information had been successfully gathered, which others, including Senator John McCain have challenged as untruthful.

And then, Trump paraded the sobbing widow of Navy SEAL Ryan Owens at the President’s Speech to Congress, and after a great salute to her by an applauding Congress, bragged that a record had been set for the longest applause ever at a Congressional session, an unseemly point to make at that point of time, and just to add to his narcissistic image. This is absolutely horrible behavior by a Commander in Chief.

Harry Truman had a sign on his desk, “The Buck Stops Here!”. Presidents do NOT blame others for their shortcomings and failures, and John F. Kennedy took the blame for the failed Bay Of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961, and Jimmy Carter took the blame for the failed attempt at a rescue of the Iranian Hostages in 1980.

It is time for Trump to stop passing the buck, and act like a President is supposed to act, stop blaming others for his failed actions!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: The Golden Age Of The Presidency, 1933-1969 (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ) With Five Of The Top Ten In History!

One final commentary on the C Span 2017 Presidential Survey is in order.

Based on the results of this survey, including 91 Presidential scholars, it is clear that there was a Golden Age of the Presidency from 1933-1969, a 36 year period in the 20th century when we had five Presidents–4 Democrats and 1 Republican—who had a transformational effect on American history.

All five of these Presidents—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson—had bright moments in their Presidencies, but also times when their actions caused problems down the road of history. But they had a massive impact on the office and the nation, and they were ranked as Numbers 3, 6, 5, 8 and 10 in the most recent C Span survey.

Three of them—Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson—left the Presidency with very low public opinion ratings, but have recovered to rise dramatically in image and reputation over the decades.

The four who followed FDR institutionalized the New Deal and expanded it, and yet now in 2017, everything that was accomplished in both domestic and foreign policy is in danger from the anarchistic, chaotic forces of Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon et al, who are ready to use a sledge hammer to destroy all of the progress and growth of the federal government to protect the population, particularly the vulnerable groups—the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, women, ethnic and racial minorities, labor, and those concerned about the environment.

Since 1969, the Presidency has been going through crisis, first through the shortcomings and paranoia of Richard Nixon, through further decline under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter (despite their well meant intentions), and then through the Presidency of Ronald Reagan which revived the image of the office, but started the long term decline of the middle class by its actions, continued under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton despite some reforms, and then reaching a low under George W. Bush, leaving Barack Obama with a challenge unseen since FDR.

Obama’s response in the midst of constant obstructionism was miraculous, and his number 12 rating upon leaving the Presidency insures his eventual rise to the top ten of the list, likely through a decline of Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan by a few notches.

Donald Trump will cause the rise of all of the Presidents who have not done well in the rankings—Nixon, Ford, Carter, and the second Bush—but that reality is a sign that the American Presidency has been under attack as an institution since 1969, with the only bright moment being the rise of Barack Obama. So we are unlikely to see a new Golden Age, and the five Presidents from 1933-1969 are likely to be well entrenched in the Top Ten for the long haul of American history.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey Results On George W. Bush And Bill Clinton: Little Hope Of Further Rise, And Never Above Barack Obama

The C Span 2017 Presidential survey gives evidence that the two Presidents before Barack Obama–George W. Bush and Bill Clinton—are unlikely to rise very much from their positions in the recent polling.

George W. Bush was a very low 36 in 2009 and now has risen a few notches to 33, while Bill Clinton, who had been 21 in 2000, and rose to 15 in 2009, remained at 15 in 2017.

Bush’s slight rise is due to recognition that he did have some virtues, as with his promotion of immigration reform although it failed to be achieved, his education reforms (No Child Left Behind), his promotion of tolerance toward Muslims after September 11, his prescription drug program for seniors, and his aid to Africa on AIDS.

But there is little room to move up, as to believe that Bush’s failures will ever be overlooked enough that he will rise above Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford, seems delusional.

So at the most, Bush might move above Rutherford B. Hayes, who has had a dramatic drop from 26 in 2000 to 33 in 2009 and slightly up to 32 in 2017; Zachary Taylor (who died after the third shortest term); Benjamin Harrison (who was sandwiched in between Grover Cleveland’s two terms); and James A. Garfield (who died after the second shortest term due to assassination). It is not really an accomplishment to pass two short term Presidents, and two one term Presidents of the Gilded Age. No one higher from Number 28 Richard Nixon upward is a likely candidate to fall below Bush ever in the future. So Bush will not be like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Lyndon B. Johnson, who started off low and then rose to the top ten over time.

As far as Bill Clinton is concerned, his original low standing was due to the fact that he had the most corrupt Democratic Party administration, although it was on a lesser level than Republicans Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant, and Ronald Reagan. His personal sex scandals brought him down as he was leaving office, but his rise in 2009 seemed reasonable, but really what will allow him to rise further, as he did not do in 2017?

The more one looks at Clinton, the more one realizes that his time in office is best remembered for a good economy which just happened to be lucky to coincide, but which included the moat conservative Democratic administration of the 20th century, with him cooperating with the Republicans on ending the Interstate Commerce Commission; ending the federal guarantee of welfare; passing very strict crime bills that backfired over time; and allowing corporate mergers that no other Democratic President would have allowed. And his shortcomings became more evident as his wife, Hillary Clinton, pursued the Presidency, and ultimately lost, even though she won the popular vote by three million.

The only practical way for Bill Clinton to rise is to overcome James K. Polk, who was extremely successful in his one term; or James Monroe, who in his two terms, accomplished enough that his significance has been recognized. So do not expect any rise from number 15 for Bill Clinton, despite his great charisma and personality.

When Bush and Clinton pass away in the future, it might cause some rise in their ratings, but unlikely long term, and it is a reality that Barack Obama, already ahead of both and likely to rise, will always be ahead of the two Presidents before him, as well as certainly so above the President who has succeeded him, Donald Trump, who has in one month set his legacy, that he will be at the bottom or close to the bottom of ratings in future surveys after he leaves office, hopefully sooner than one term.

Donald Trump keeps on saying he inherited a “mess”, a total lie, which will not stand now or in the long run of historical analysis!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Presidents Who Dropped In Stature Include Five Democrats, One Republican, One Democrat Who Became A Whig

The CSpan 2017 Presidential Survey saw several Presidents who dropped dramatically in stature and reputation over the history of the three polls in 2000, 2009, and 2017. This is defined as four or more slots in decline.

Woodrow Wilson (D) dropped from 6 to 9 to 11.

Andrew Jackson (D) dropped from 13 in 2000 and 2009 to 18 in 2017.

Grover Cleveland (D) dropped from 17 to 21 to 23.

Jimmy Carter (D) dropped from 22 to 25 to 26.

Rutherford B. Hayes (R) dropped from 26 to 33 and then up slightly to 32.

Martin Van Buren (D) dropped from 30 to 31 to 34.

John Tyler (D to W) was 36, went up to 35 and then dropped to 39.

At the same time that five Democrats dropped in the polls, 8 of the top 15 in the poll were Democrats (FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, Wilson, Obama, Polk, Clinton), to 4 Republicans (Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan), 2 Democratic Republicans (Jefferson, Monroe), and 1 Federalist (Washington).

With only four Republicans in the top 15 (all in the top 10), the only other Republicans in the top 20 are McKinley (16) and Bush Senior (20), with the other three in the top 20 being Democratic Republican Madison (17), Democrat Andrew Jackson (18), and Federalist John Adams (19).

Donald Trump Dealt Defeat On Muslim Immigration Ban: Victory For The Constitution And American Democracy!

Donald Trump has been dealt a stinging defeat by a three member 9th Circuit Appeals Court, with one judge appointed by George W. Bush, one by Jimmy Carter, and one by Barack Obama, and this after a district judge, appointed by George W. Bush, had put a hold on Trump’s Executive Order establishing a travel ban, which is really a Muslim ban from seven nations, none of which have sent terrorists to America, while Saudi Arabia, as an example, has sent the 9 11 terrorists, but was not on the list.

It is clear that any nation that is Muslim but which Trump has business dealings with will never be on the list. This has caused tremendous consternation, inconvenience, and personal torment for many decent people who have been blocked from entering the United States for no good reason, but Trump has no empathy or compassion, and is clearly making a grab for dictatorial power.

This is a dangerous attempt to acquire absolute power, and it must be stopped cold by the Supreme Court, which it seems, assuredly, will happen.

This judicial intervention is a victory for the Constitution and American democracy!

Trump is a Fascist, a danger to our Constitution and our civil rights and civil liberties, and massive marches are continuing, and Republicans are getting the Town Hall treatment that Tea Party people gave Democrats right after Barack Obama was inaugurated.

It now seems possible that the Republicans, who cannot come up with a solution to ObamaCare, and are endangering so many of our accomplishments in the years from FDR through LBJ and beyond, could lose seats, and maybe control, if this discontent with them and Trump continues to evolve.

The country needs to stop this far right extremism desperately!

Presidents Judged On Compassion And Empathy: Few And Far Between

The traits of compassion and empathy are not automatic parts of any person’s makeup and character, but rather needs to be cultivated from childhood on by a family environment that emphasizes commitment to others, rather than exploitation of others for one’s own gain.

Difficult childhood experiences can, of course, affect personality, and often cripple any sense of compassion and empathy for others.

So one could argue that any President who had owned slaves, as ten Presidents did, are lacking in compassion and empathy, as they were able to separate their willingness to exploit others for personal gain.

One could also say that anyone who grew up in an environment that overlooked the human rights of native Americans, or displayed racism and nativism toward people of other races, nationalities, and religions, also would be seen as lacking in compassion and empathy.

So by this standard, the number of Presidents with elements of compassion and empathy are few and far between. However, there are some who have background that would seem to eliminate them from this category, but who, in reality, demonstrated growth and recognition of shortcomings and overcame them in the Presidency. In other words, they changed over time.

So who would fit on the list of compassion and empathy in office?

In the 19th century, we would place John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, and James A. Garfield in his few short months in office before the tragedy of assassination shortened his life.

In the 20th century and since, we would include Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama.

This does not mean that one cannot find criticism of these ten Presidents’ policies, for surely one can.

But even with elements that can be seen as shortcomings, these ten Presidents in general can be seen as the most compassionate, empathetic Presidents we have had.

Which Presidents would be seen as having the least compassion and empathy in American history?

This author would say Andrew Jackson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, with Trump at the head of the list.