John F. Kennedy

Tragic First Year Foreign Policy Nothing New In American Presidency!

The tragic events in Afghanistan continue a tradition that in most Presidencies, first year, there are events which affect the historic role of Presidents in American history.

We have the Bay of Pigs Fiasco (Cuba) in 1961 under President John F. Kennedy.

We have the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam, and the sudden tragic exit from the embassy in Saigon in 1975 under President Gerald Ford.

We have the attack on the World Trade Center, and the tragic exit from terrorism in Somalia in 1993 under President Bill Clinton.

We have the September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon under President George W. Bush.

And now we have the horrifying situation in Kabul, Afghanistan going on under President Joe Biden, similar in many ways to the exit from Vietnam in 1975.

Barack Obama Turns 60, And Is Rated In Top Ten Of Presidents By C SPAN Historians’ Survey!

Today is the 60th birthday of President Barack Obama, and this highly honored and successful President in many ways is able to celebrate his historical reputation.

Obama is the 5th youngest President at inauguration at age 47, with only Theodore Roosevelt (42), John F. Kennedy (43), Bill Clinton (46), and Ulysses S. Grant (46) younger than Obama was at the time of inauguration.

The C Span Historians’ Survey of 2021 rates Obama overall as Number 10, after having been Number 12 in the C Span Historians’ Survey of 2017!

The “Ups And Downs” Of Ranking Presidents Over Time

Historically, many Presidents have gone through periods of low esteem, and then, suddenly, high esteem in the minds of public opinion and also, Presidential scholars.

Abraham Lincoln had a very divided nation in response after his assassination, and only in the early 20th century, did the nation decide to honor Lincoln with the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922. He has been rated Number One by just about every Presidential scholar and poll, except those right wing Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists

Harry Truman left office in 1953 with a very low public opinion rating, and was regarded poorly in assessments of Presidents, until after he passed away in 1972. In the next five years, as TIME Magazine termed it in the late 1970s, we had “Truman Mania”, as massive research and writing on Truman caused his rise in stature to as high as Number 5 in scholarly polls on Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower left office with an image of a passive, lazy President, and the vitality and youth of his successor, John F. Kennedy, did not improve his image, and he was seen as not an outstanding President. But his historical reputation has risen dramatically to the point that in many scholarly assessments, he is now seen as number 5 or 6 among all Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson suffered mightily in assessments due to the Vietnam War, despite his amazing domestic accomplishments of the “Great Society”, and was poorly rated for 20 years. But now, he is somewhere between number 9 and 11 in rankings of Presidents.

Jimmy Carter has never risen from the mid to low 20s in rankings and popularity, but it seems possible to imagine that when the longest lived President eventually passes away, that his rating may go up much more than many might now imagine.

Birthday Commemorations Of John F. Kennedy And Hubert Humphrey Remind Us Of True Leadership!

Today, May 29, is the 104th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy in 1917.

Also, two days ago, May 27, was the 110th anniversary of the birth of Senator, Vice President, and Democratic Presidential nominee (1968) Hubert Humphrey.

These two men were great leaders and spokesmen for the best ideals of American liberalism, and contributed so much to their nation in public service.

They remind us of what political leadership is all about, to make America a better nation for all.

This is very different than the way many American politicians have become in the 21st century, where too many are in politics only to gain wealth and power, and benefit the elite rich and entitled.

Thankfully, there are some political leaders in the present, including Joe Biden, who was massively influenced by the historic leadership of John F. Kennedy, and the comradeship in the Senate of Hubert Humphrey in Biden’s first term in office as a young man in his early 30s.

Both men inspired Joe Biden, and he has a prominent bust of President Kennedy’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy, with whom Biden shares a birthday 17 years apart, right behind him in the Oval Office. RFK represented the hope for change and inspiration for reform, which was sadly ended by his own assassination, less than five years after his brother.

The commitment to serve of JFK, HHH, and RFK are needed to motivate future generations to dedicate themselves to the advancement of America in the future!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!

No Donald Trump Highway, Library, Holiday, Or Any Other Honor!

The Crazy season has begun, now that Authoritarian Fascist Donald Trump, who provoked the US Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021, is thankfully out of office, and not the constant news item he was five plus years after he announced his Presidential campaign in June 2015.

So now in Florida there is a proposal to name the US 27 Highway, Donald Trump Highway, and to have a Donald Trump Presidential Library in Palm Beach County, where Mar A Lago, his resort, is located.

Also, in Ohio, there is a proposal to make Trump’s Birthday, June 14, which is already Flag Day, a state holiday in his honor.

All of these preposterous ideas should be vetoed, and a Presidential Library and Museum for a criminal, responsible for promoting so much harm and damage, is an outrage!

Any documented material of the Donald Trump Presidency should be owned by the US Government, and none of it should be made available in any way, particularly national security matters, to the former President or his family members!

We need the truth, the unvarnished truth about this monster, to come out, not a landmark established to “worship” him as if he was a God!

One must understand, it is one thing to name places, buildings, holidays, after our greatest public leaders, so to have honors for George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, and others is fine.

But do we name places, buildings, holidays after Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Warren G. Harding, Herbert Hoover, or Richard Nixon?

The answer is obvious!

Joe Biden Becomes Third President (After Ulysses S. Grant And Lyndon B. Johnson) To Emphasize Racial Equity In First Months Of His Presidency

President Joe Biden has made racial equity a landmark moment of his Presidency from the beginning, and already is perceived as being the third President to make civil rights a major goal immediately upon taking the oath.

The first President to do this was Ulysses S. Grant in 1869, promoting the concept of the 15th Amendment, granting the right to vote to African American men, and being added to the Constitution in 1870.

Also, Grant promoted better treatment of Native Americans in his Inaugural week, and is seen as the most tolerant and open minded on that issue of any President in the post Civil War years.

The second President to make civil rights a key issue immediately was Lyndon B. Johnson upon becoming President after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. Johnson made the push for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had been floundering in Congress after it was introduced by Kennedy in the summer of 1963. And Johnson went on to promote also the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as the 15th Amendment had been denied for many decades in the Southern states, as Jim Crow segregation reigned.

And now, Joe Biden is pushing and promoting action, as a result of the well known discrimination in criminal justice; and in dealing with the endemic poverty in minority communities; the lack of adequate health care including in the COVID 19 Pandemic; problems of education and work opportunities and housing that persist; the need to clean the environment where often there is massive pollution in areas ignored before now; and also the difficulties faced by women, transgender citizens, the gay community, and the disabled. The purpose is to get rid of systemic discrimination against all the above groups.

One can hope that major progress on these areas of policy can be accomplished!

What A Wonderful Inauguration Tomorrow Of Joe Biden And Kamala Harris!

What a wonderful inauguration takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, January 20, 2021!

A President and Vice President who have empathy, compassion, common decency, and exceptional character to lead us out of the nightmare of Donald Trump and his racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, nativist, and misogynist followers, offer recovery and advancement in the next four years!

If Donald Trump had won, our nation would be in the throes of a full scale Fascist dictatorship, and the attempted coup on January 6, thankfully, was overcome, but showed just how dangerous a situation we would be in if Trump had won, or stolen the election, as he clearly did with Russian collusion in 2016!

To deny the truth and reality is no longer going to be acceptable, and this author and blogger will not associate with anyone who tries to deny truth and reality about Donald Trump!

So tomorrow, we will have our second Catholic President of Irish ethnicity (after John F. Kennedy); our first woman and African and Asian heritage as our Vice President; and with our first Latina (Puerto Rican) Supreme Court Justice (Sonia Sotomayor) giving the oath to Kamala Harris; and with the first Second Gentleman, Douglas Emhoff, who is Jewish, bringing the highest level person of Jewish ethnicity into the top levels of government! We also will be bringing a true educator, Dr. Jill Biden, in as First Lady!

And also, we have our first Jewish Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer; and our first Jewish Senator from Georgia, Jon Ossoff; and the first African American Senator from Georgia, the Reverend Raphael Warnock (who was pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, earlier having Martin Luther King, Jr as its pastor; and the first Latino Senator from California, Alex Padilla, with all three Senators being sworn in tomorrow when the Democrats take control of the US Senate!

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have major challenges not matched since Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and let all of us wish them the best, and knowing they have our backs!

Joe Biden Needs To Use Executive Orders Vigorously To Overcome Stalemate In Congress

Executive Orders have been part of American government, and often are controversial.

It is clear that President Elect Joe Biden will use this authority extensively to backtrack and reverse many of the Executive Orders put forth by outgoing President Donald Trump.

This use of executive orders has been escalating in recent years as Congress has become more difficult and intransigent, forcing Presidents to take action, which sometimes is challenged in the Courts, but often is not successful in negating what Presidents have initiated.

It seems clear that Biden is likely to use executive orders on such matters as

Climate Change
Covid 19 Pandemic
Racial Injustice
Economic Depression
Health Care Reform
Immigration Reform

There will be opposition, but Joe Biden has done better in popular vote support than when Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush were elected, and these are crisis times, which calls for strong leadership by the 46th President!

Cuban Americans Are Distinctly Republican, But Competition For The Vote Of Other Latinos Is Strongly Democratic

It is well known that the majority of Cuban Americans have been conservative and supporters of the Republican Party, since the first migration of Cubans to South Florida in 1959, and particularly after the failed Bay of Pigs fiasco under President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

And yet, younger Cubans are much more Democratic, as this scholar and professor discovered in his classes over the years.

Still, the effect of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul Castro permeate the strong anti Communism of Cuban Americans in Florida, New Jersey, New York and California, major centers of Cuban Americans. But Cubans are only about 4 percent of all Latino Americans.

Other Latino Americans still tend to be strongly Democratic, so it is expected Joe Biden will win the vast majority of Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other Latino groups from Latin America, with the one exception of Venezuelans.

Florida will be more complex because of the strength of the Cuban vote in South Florida, but the growing Puerto Rican presence, especially in central Florida in the last few years, makes it a real competition for both Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Elsewhere, the Mexican American vote, and population (which is two thirds of all Latinos in America), makes it likely that Arizona may turn “Blue” and that Texas will be much more competitive than ever in the past thirty years. And Georgia and North Carolina also will be tight races due to Latinos.

Already, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado are strongly Democratic.

So the battle for the Latino vote is very much to be noticed in this upcoming Presidential election, and in Senate and House races.