Labor Rights

The Urgent Democratic Platform For 2020: 30 Goals For The Next Decade

What MUST be part of the Democratic Party platform in 2020, no matter who is the Democratic Presidential nominee?

In no special order, it MUST include:

Medicare for all Americans of all ages
$15 minimum wage by 2022 everywhere in America and Paid Family Leave
Free public university and college tuition for the first two years or 60 credits of higher education
Wiping out of college debt which prevents many young people from marrying, having children, buying a home, having a future
Repeal of Citizens United, which has allowed corporations to be called people, and destroy political campaigns with large donations, and instead promote public financing of campaigns
Responsible Gun Control legislation
Protection of Women’s Rights, including abortion rights
Enforcement of gay and lesbian and transgender rights
A responsible immigration reform program, reversing the damage done by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and Thomas Homan
Revival of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that have been curbed by Donald Trump
Protection of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Labor Rights promoted, including prevention of “right to work” laws
Environmental regulations revived and strengthened
Consumer Rights revived and strengthened
Investment in infrastructure across America
Condemnation of violations of human rights in other nations, including Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines and elsewhere
Revival of NATO alliance and other alliances that have been weakened in the Trump Presidency
The end of protectionist tariffs, which undermine the American economy
Strengthening of relations with Cuba, and attempts to overcome strains and tensions with Iran, and revive the Iran Nuclear Deal
Promoting total separation of church and state, with religion not being promoted by government
Reenactment of responsible corporation and Wall Street reforms
Protection of Native American lands and properties
Criminal Justice Reforms for those not involved in violent Crimes
National restoration of Voting Rights to former convicts who have paid their debt to society
Decriminalizing Drug Use and Sales, so as to overcome the Opioid Crisis, and allow Medicinal Marijuana without penalty
Promoting funding for the Arts and Culture across America
Dealing with poverty and homelessness in America
Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico and move toward statehood as the 51st state
Tax Reform to require a fair and equitable tax system for all, not just the wealthy
Reviving respect for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press

Would all of these 30 “planks” be successfully accomplished in the term of the next Democratic President from 2021-2025? Most certainly, highly unlikely, but these must be the goals of the next Democratic administration, as we attempt to recover from the disaster and tragedy of the Donald Trump nightmare!

Trump Declares War On Federal Government, Wishes To Return to Pre Pendleton Act Spoils System

Donald Trump has set out to declare war on the federal government bureaucracy, wishing to return to the pre Pendleton Act Spoils System, that reigned from the time of Andrew Jackson in the 1830s to the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 under President Chester Alan Arthur.

Arthur, a Republican who succeeded the assassinated James A. Garfield, who had been murdered by a crazed office seeker, Charles J. Guiteau in 1881, made civil service reform his major accomplishment in his three and a half years in the Presidency.

The federal bureaucracy is certainly not perfect by any means, but at least it requires qualifications and the passage of examinations, rather than just political connections, to gain a federal government position.

Most federal bureaucrats are highly qualified and dedicated, but Donald Trump wants political hacks to operate federal government agencies, and to ruin union and labor rights of federal government workers, thereby returning America to the Gilded Age mentality that reigned 135 years ago.

Donald Trump will eventually leave office by hook or by crook, but the damage he is doing is detrimental to the long term stability and health of all federal government agencies, and will make many young people unwilling to consider federal government careers.

Every government agency from the State Department and diplomatic corps, through those agencies that deal with human needs, such as education, healthcare, housing, and also those which deal with the environment, the economy, defense and so many other crucial areas of government, will now become sewers run by incompetent, corrupt, and uncaring political crooks.

The state governments are already becoming worse operated than ever, and now the Republican Party is, in league with Donald Trump, conspiring against the American future in the name of the selfish interests of the wealthy and privileged.

The needs of the vast percentage of Americans who are not wealthy and privileged will be made much more difficult, and with the growing percentage of Americans who are not white, being governed by a white supremacy mentality of the federal government and the Republican Party, the seeds for future civil war and violence is growing. This endangers the civil order and undermines the great progress made over the past century plus by Presidents and Congresses of both political parties.

So the deleterious effects of Donald Trump are multiplying like cancer, and there is no sign of being able to stop this growing damage to the American Republic.

Women, President Trump, And The Republican Party

President Trump and the Republican Party have stirred women of all ages and backgrounds to “Fire and Fury”, the title of the Michael Wolff book on the first year of the Trump Presidency.

By declaring war on abortion, and by his sexual behavior revealed in the Access Hollywood tape of 2006, and the Stormy Daniels revelations on Trump having an affair with her right after his wife Melania gave birth to Barron 11 years ago, Trump has gained the scorn of intelligent, educated women.

By working to undermine labor rights; ignoring sexual harassment and assault as an issue; and his war against immigration and civil rights, Trump and much of his party have undermined the future of the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Eisenhower, and Reagan.

Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and other leaders in the Republican Party have totally turned off women, who see the GOP as the “good old boys” network, and it is women who will lead the charge in the upcoming midterm Congressional elections.

Women who have any brains in their heads are fearful of Trump’s mental instability; of his control over nuclear weapons; and of the damage he and his party are planning against the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; as well as the actions taken against the environment, consumers, health care, and education.

The second Women’s March in Washington DC and across the nation is galvanizing women to work to put the Democratic party in control in both houses of Congress and in the state legislatures, and more women are running for public office across the nation than at any time in American history.

The wrath and scorn of women will, hopefully, have a dramatic effect on American politics. 57 percent of women are supportive of Democrats, to 31 percent for Republicans, in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. And a Wall Street Journal Poll showed a majority of 20 percent of women favored Democrats, and 32 points among college educated women.

The Republican Party Agenda In 2017: Destroy Obama Legacy And New Deal And Great Society, And Ignore Trump Abuse Of Power

The Republican Party of 2017 is hellbent on destroying entirely the Barack Obama legacy, and all political, social, and economic reforms of the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, along with other reforms even by Republican Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, and Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

They are willing to cope with the insanity of Donald Trump, willing to ignore the abuse of power by the 45th President, and in the process, undermine civil liberties, civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights, consumer rights, protection of the environment, and the rights and protection of the disabled, elderly, and poor among our population.

In the past, the Republican Party was the conservative mainstream in American politics, but now the most mean spirited, nasty, uncaring elements have held sway over the party apparatus, and no longer care what public opinion polls indicate, that there is strong, vehement opposition to going back to the America of the Gilded Age and the 1920s, and in so doing, destroy all progress, and put America further behind more advanced nations in Europe, as well as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand worldwide.

Donald Trump’s First Hundred Days: An F Grade Is Appropriate! Neil Gorsuch Is The Only “Accomplishment”!

This is the season for judgment on Donald Trump’s First Hundred Days, and being a professor of history and political science, as well as a lecturer, blogger, and published author of two books and many articles, the conclusion is clear.

Donald Trump gets a F for his performance, easily the least accomplished President in the first Hundred Days, with only one major accomplishment, the approval by the US Senate of his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

But even that only came about because of the Republican decision to abandon the filibuster rule, therefore allowing Gorsuch to be confirmed without a 60 vote margin usually required before a final vote. And it seems likely that Gorsuch will, sadly, take America backwards, maybe more so than his predecessor, Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch will affect constitutional law in a detrimental way, based on his earlier record as a circuit court judge.

Otherwise, Trump has been all bluster and bullyism, who has made many promises, and none of them nearing fulfillment. Trump’s public opinion ratings are by far the lowest of any President since polling began, particularly at this early a stage of his time in office. He has never had the majority of the nation behind him, either in the election, during the transition, or now after a hundred days in office.

Donald Trump has done more to divide America in his first Hundred Days than any previous President, and he relishes conflict, rather than compromise and unity. He has pitted his white working class supporters against minorities, and yet he is showing lack of any concern about those who supported him. There are signs already of disillusionment and “buyer’s remorse” by many who voted for Trump.

He has promised a Mexico Wall which will not work, if it is ever built, and it will add many tens of billions to the national debt, and Mexico is not going to pay for the Wall, and one hopes Trump is not ready to start a war with our neighbor, as he has more than enough foreign policy problems as it is.

He saw his National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, forced to resign in less than a month, and there has been total chaos, anarchy, and disarray with the White House staff, with the only good thing being the lessening of the influence of right wing radical Stephen Bannon, and the rise of the influence of Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner. It is hoped that the couple will have a humanizing influence on Trump, which would be a good thing.

Meanwhile, the Russian connection to Trump is still being investigated, and could force him out of office at some point. But meanwhile, Trump has been saber rattling with North Korea and Iran, and has bombed Syria and Afghanistan, and continues to promise the total destruction of ISIL (ISIS). Relations with Russia, at least publicly, are deteriorating as well.

Trump has managed to create hostility and antagonism with such allies as Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and Australia, while seemingly cozying up to China over the Korean issue, and therefore changing his hostile tone in the campaign toward China.

Trump has shown his total ignorance of history and of science, and has declared war on the environment, on consumer rights, on labor rights, on women’s rights, on the Hispanic community, on African Americans, and on the health care system itself. He seems unconcerned about the loss of health care for 24 million Americans, and is just out to trash his predecessor, Barack Obama.

His appointments to his cabinet are atrocious, and we have the most terrifying Attorney General in all of American history in Jeff Sessions.

Trump has failed to gain any legislative accomplishments, and has, instead, used twice as many executive orders than his last two predecessors, but many are mean spirited and negative, undermining our values and the historical accomplishments of government in the past hundred years since Franklin D. Roosevelt, and including Republican Presidents, as well as Democrats.

Trump makes Richard Nixon look much better, and even the weaknesses and shortcomings of George W. Bush pale by comparison, as at least Bush was a decent human being, while wrong headed.

His anti immigrant, nativist stand is a stain on history, and the tragedy of deportation of children protected under executive order of Barack Obama adds to the horrors of families being torn apart.

His condemnation of the judiciary is detrimental to respect for the law, and his Muslim bans have been held up by courageous federal court judges.

Trump, in many ways, is the third President without a party, as there is a major split in the Republican Party, and there are many officeholders and conservative journalists and intellectuals who have major problems with him. John Tyler and Andrew Johnson are the earlier Presidents who had no party backing, but Trump was elected, while they were not, but Trump’s constant switches of position, and his lying, and insulting, undermine his Presidency dramatically.

Donald Trump comes across, ultimately, as the least likable President, if one judges by his character, his behavior, and his basic values.

Trump has no background, experience, knowledge, or ethical standard to be our President, and one must recall that 54 percent of those who voted, were against him, and he is the 7th lowest popular vote percentage winner of all Presidents, with the others–John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon, and James Buchanan–all having two or three opponents who won electoral votes, while Trump only had Hillary Clinton as an electoral vote competitor. And Hillary won the biggest margin of popular votes of any losing candidate–2.85 million popular votes.

The nightmare of Donald Trump has just begun, and America is a loser for having, somehow, elected this egomaniac and narcissist, who is only out for his own glorification!

Trump Cabinet Appointments And Other Top Advisers Mostly A “Basket Of Deplorables”! An Outrage To Presidential Cabinet History!

Donald Trump is nearing the end of his search for Cabinet appointments and other top advisers, and sadly, the group is mostly a “Basket of Deplorables”, an outrage to Presidential Cabinet history!

The problem is that some skeptical Republicans and the entire Democratic Party in the US Senate have limited ability to prevent or hold up more than a few of this disgraceful group.

The list of people Trump is offering us includes people too close to Russia; people who are billionaires and deeply engaged in the corporate culture; people who are totally inexperienced and unqualified to hold the positions they are being offered; people who are retired generals who have not been retired long enough from the military, so must have legislation passed to allow them to serve, undermining the idea of civilian control; and people who are simply outrageous in their views on the environment, education, health care, labor rights, and foreign policy.

It is hard to find anyone who one can be content with as a choice, and it seems as if Donald Trump is determined to select the kind of people which seem assured to wish to destroy not only the Barack Obama legacy, the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, but also to promote the interests of major corporations such as in the oil industry and Wall Street at the expense of workers, consumers, and the middle class and the poor, while also stirring up animosity toward China, Iran, and North Atlantic Treaty allies, while strangely becoming cozy with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

We are on the road to a massive constitutional crisis that may surpass Richard Nixon and Watergate, and Donald Trump seems very willing and able to create one crisis after another, as he lurches toward Fascist type government, and declares war on the news media and civil liberties and civil rights. He is already alarming many members of the Republican Party, which he feels no loyalty to, and to think that we are seeing John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, Ben Sasse, and Floyd Flake as already alarmed about his controversial statements and actions, and he is not yet inaugurated as President, but already is stirring a tempest, is a sign of the crisis that is coming after January 20, 2017!

I just published an article on the Trump Cabinet choices on History News Network, and it is posted on the blog on the right side for everyone to read and consider.

Why Hillary Clinton Will Win On Election Day: Ten Key Factors

The ten factors that will insure that Hillary Clinton will win the Presidency on Tuesday are as follows:

The strong support of the Latino community across America, including all groups, even Cuban Americans in large numbers, who will react to the racism and nativism of Donald Trump.

The strong support of women across America, who refuse to accept the misogyny and sexual aggressiveness of Donald Trump.

The strong support of African Americans, who can see Donald Trump’s racism for what it is, disgraceful.

The strong support of college educated people, who do not wish to put an ignoramus in office, who appeals to bigotry and prejudice.

The strong support of Independents who are horrified by the authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump.

The strong support of Asian Americans, a growing group, who are alarmed by white supremacists who back Donald Trump, and fully remember what happened to Japanese Americans in World War II.

The strong support of those who believe in labor rights, the environment, civil liberties, and preserving the virtues of the New Deal and Great Society.

The strong support of those who wish to preserve the great gains of the Obama Presidency, and promote his legacy.

The strong support of Millennials, who are oriented in great percentages toward progressive goals.

The strong support of principled conservatives and Republicans who are terrified at the thought of a demagogue named Donald Trump doing great harm to American democracy.

Donald Trump is, without question, the most dangerous major party Presidential nominee in American history–ill informed, terrible judgment, bad temperament, a believer in conspiracy theories, crooked and corrupt, immoral and unethical, reckless and authoritarian, who represents the worst elements in American society!

Donald Trump And Mike Pence Are, Fundamentally, Extremely Different: An Ineffective Team Which Will Not Win White House!

Mike Pence is a good speaker and we can give him credit for that.

But he has had vastly different beliefs on so many issues with Donald Trump:

Trade Agreements
The Mexico Wall
Muslim Immigration
The Iraq War
Gay Rights
Abortion Rights

Pence is anti environment; anti women’s rights; anti labor rights; totally pro gun rights; more concerned about religious rights of Christians than basic civil rights for all Americans; and is much more socially conservative in general than Donald Trump ever was before he announced for President a year ago.

Mike Pence is NOT in the mainstream of the nation, and was an early Tea Party supporter.

Mike Pence would not be utilized as an active Vice President by Donald Trump, but it does not really matter in the end.

Mike Pence is NOT going to be the next Vice President of the United States!

Donald Trump: A Mix Of Wendell Willkie, George Wallace, And Ross Perot

Donald Trump’s Presidential candidacy has brought back memories of three other Presidential candidates.

First is Wendell Willkie, a corporate leader and Wall Street industrialist from Indiana who had never run for public office, who wowed the Republican convention in 1940 with his charisma, rhetoric, and attack on “career politicians”.  He was able to win the Republican Presidential nomination in 1940, and run a good but losing race against the master politician, Franklin D. Roosevelt, running for an unprecedented third term.

Next is George C. Wallace, Governor of Alabama, who formed the American Independent Party in 1968, rallying those opposed to the Civil Rights laws passed under Lyndon B. Johnson.  He attracted angry working class whites, and won 13.5 % of the popular vote, the fourth best percentage for a third party in American history.  He also won five Southern states and 46 electoral votes, making him the second best in total states and electoral votes in American history, only behind former President Theodore Roosevelt, who won six states and 88 electoral votes as the nominee of the third party known as the Progressive (Bull Moose) party, in 1912.  TR also is the only third party nominee to end up second, rather than third in the election results.  His campaign in 1912 decimated the Republican Party under President William Howard Taft, and helped to elect Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

And then we have Ross Perot, a billionaire businessman who had never run for public office, who ran an independent race twice, winning nearly 19 percent of the vote in 1992, and 8 percent of the vote in 1996, while winning no states in the Electoral College.  He appealed to those who were disgusted with the federal government, and worried about the growing national debt.  His candidacy undermined the Republican Party nominees, President George H. W. Bush in 1992 and Senator Bob Dole in 1996, and elected Democrat Bill Clinton twice.

Now we have Donald Trump, a billionaire, who has developed an appeal to those who are disillusioned with politics and the federal government, making him similar to Perot.  But Trump also appeals to the baser instincts in many people, those who dislike African Americans, Latinos, immigrants in general, in these ways having similar views  to Wallace.  These Trump supporters  also think women should not be treated equally, preferring the old image of women who should cook, clean, and be available for the sexual satisfaction of their men, but with no rights over their bodies and reproduction,  similar to the Tea Party Movement.  Also, there is a distaste for labor rights, and for the environment, and an orientation toward absolute belief in religion as the gospel, and a repudiation of science.

Can Trump “storm” the Republican Party, as Wendell Willkie did in 1940; or will he run on a third party, like Ross Perot, and make it impossible for the GOP to win the White House?  And will Trump continue to appeal to the George Wallace type voters, and promote a right wing populism as Wallace did?

This is what is yet to be evolving, but in many ways, Trump is a combination, right now, of Willkie, Wallace, and Perot!

95 Years Of Women Suffrage Has Changed The Nation Dramatically!

On this day in 1920, women finally gained the right to vote on a national level, after a struggle begun as early as 1848 at the Equal Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.

The heroines of the women suffrage movement included Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Jeanne Rankin, among others, and also included many men.

72 years had passed, and many women had been arrested for marching for the right to vote, including under President Woodrow Wilson, who, ironically, opposed the 19th Amendment, but under whom the amendment was added to the Constitution.

The effect of the right to vote for women took time to sink in, but in the past 25 years, women have become an important factor in the success of the Democratic Party on the Presidential level, with the Democrats winning the national popular vote five of the last six elections, including the two elections of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and Al Gore, who was denied the Presidency by the machinations of the Republicans in the close election in Florida in 2000.

Most of the women who have been political leaders in the last century have been Democrats, but there have been a smattering of Republican women Governors, Senators, and House of Representatives members, as well as Mayors of cities.

The vast majority of women have voted Democratic regularly, due to the fact that the Democrats have dealt with real issues affecting women.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have done everything possible to alienate the majority of women—on issues of reproductive rights, labor rights, the issue of rape, the problems of minority women and single mothers, and so many other issues that affect women.

Additionally, Ann Coulter and others have called for the removal of the 19th Amendment, because of the reality that a majority of women vote for the Democrats, an idea which will never occur in the real world.

This is a massive mistake by the Republicans, as without support of a large percentage of women—including minority, single, young, and educated women—the GOP is destined to continue to lose elections for President over the long haul!