Lyndon B. Johnson

John F. Kennedy A Century Later, And 54 Years After His Tragic Death: His Legacy And What Might Have Been

Tomorrow, Memorial Day 2017, is the Centennial of the birth of John F. Kennedy.

It is nearly 54 years since his tragic death by assassination in Dallas, Texas.

The potential of what JFK could have accomplished is all speculation, impossible to know.

We know for sure that he was a dynamic leader with great goals for a nation, but under bitter attack from Southern Democrats and conservatives for his initiatives on civil rights, education, health care, the environment, and his unannounced plans for a War on Poverty.

We know that he was a fantastic orator, who appealed to our better nature, and our optimism.

We know that he was glamorous in his appearance, his wife, and his young children.

We know that he is looked back upon as an ideal time when America seemed to be moving forward, but was also entering a very difficult decade of turmoil and tumult, as his two successors, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon, escalated a war in Vietnam that divided the nation in a way not seen since the Civil War.

But we also do not know that he would not have done the same thing, escalate the war in Vietnam.

And we also do not know that he would have won reelection, with the likely loss of Southern states that were crucial to a reelection victory.

If he had been running in 1964, would Senator Barry Goldwater, the right wing Republican who likely would have still been the nominee of his party, been able to win, when he lost in a massive landslide to Lyndon B. Johnson?

Or what if JFK was running, if somehow, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller had somehow overcome opposition within the Republican Party for being a “New York Liberal”, and been the GOP Presidential nominee, could Rockefeller have defeated JFK?

Would a living JFK been able to wage a War on Poverty; passage of Medicare; enactment of expanded federal aid to education: promoted environmental and consumer laws; and been able to gain two major Civil Rights laws, all accomplished by LBJ?

The tragedy is that we will never know what the future would have been with a President JFK beyond November 22, 1963!

No American President Has Had So Much Known Corruption So Early In His Administration As Donald Trump!

Here we are, just 125 days into the Trump Presidency, and already, we have so much known corruption in his administration, much more than has ever happened in any other Presidency.

Yes, the Ulysses S. Grant Presidency was notable for corruption, but it took a few years to be aware of it.

Yes, the Warren G. Harding Presidency was notable for corruption, but not much was known until late in the second and third year of his short Presidency.

And yes, the Richard Nixon Presidency, the most corrupt Presidency until now, but apparently soon to be surpassed, did not have any hint of so much corruption so early as four months, and really, starting immediately after the inauguration in the case of Donald Trump.

And except for Nixon, no President has ever been so personally engaged in corruption, and no attempt really to try to avoid it, as Trump is totally arrogant, and blames the news media for reporting the facts of the abuse of power.

Trump not only is more corrupt in a personal sense than even Richard Nixon, but is set on destroying the domestic legacy, not only of Barack Obama, but also of Richard Nixon and Lyndon B. Johnson, going back 50 and more years.

And while Trump has pledged not to touch Medicare and Social Security, one can be sure that over time, if allowed to, he and his party will work to destroy the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt as well!

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 Competes With Warren G. Harding And George W. Bush As Least Intelligent President Of The United States!

The more one observes President Donald Trump, the more one realizes that he is one of the most ignorant, ill informed, and least intelligent Presidents of the United States.

Many of our Presidents have been intellectual heavyweights (16), including:

John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Abraham Lincoln
James A. Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

Others, while not intellectually outstanding, were capable of good leadership (13) including:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush

Then, there are others who are mediocre by comparison, but had at least some redeeming qualities (12), including:

Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
Chester Alan Arthur
Benjamin Harrison
Calvin Coolidge

And then there are the three Presidents at the absolute bottom intellectually, and all three disasters in office, including

Warren G. Harding
George W. Bush
Donald Trump

At least Harding and Bush were decent human beings, who bumbled their way through the Presidency, but Donald Trump is, in many ways, more ignorant and dense than either Harding or the second Bush.

Harding was a lightweight intellectually, but at least he published a newspaper in Marion, Ohio, before his political career, and he had some outstanding cabinet officers including Charles Evans Hughes and Herbert Hoover.

George W. Bush, we know, read a great deal in the White House, while Trump is not a reader, and hardly gets past a page or two, even of important documents, as we learn that he counts on his top staff people to keep him up to date, and prefers Twitter and watching cable news as his main sources of information. His lack of intellectual curiosity, and willingness to believe conspiracy theories as fact is extremely alarming.

Trump has shown total ignorance of history and science, and is proving to be a true total disaster after only a little more than 100 days in office. He is much more destructive of the image of the Presidency than Harding or Bush could ever be!

“Change” Elections: 1800, 1828, 1860, 1896, 1912, 1932, 1960, 1968, 1980, 2000, 2008, And Now 2016?

America has now had 58 Presidential elections, and it can now be said that 12 of them, about 20 percent, have been transformational elections.

In 1800, for the first time. the “opposition” won the Presidency, when Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams.

In 1828, the “common man”, Andrew Jackson, was elected over John Quincy Adams, and all white males over 21, whether or not property owners, were able to vote, and Jackson was perceived as representing the western frontiersman and the urban worker.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln’s victory ushered in a new political party, the Republican Party, as dominant for the next half century, and the Civil War developed out of the split over slavery and its expansion between the Union and the Confederacy. But the sectionalism of that period still exists in many ways in 2017.

In 1896, William McKinley’s victory over William Jennings Bryan promoted the growth of industry and urbanizastion over the previously predominant agricultural and rural nature of America, but in reality, that conflict still exists in 2017.

In 1912, the high point of progressive reform, and the evolution of government playing a major role in the economy from that point on, became a long term reality, with three Presidents–the past President Theodore Roosevelt; the incumbent President William Howard Taft; and the future President Woodrow Wilson—all competing in promoting what one could call the most reform oriented election, with all three Presidents being “progressive” to different degrees.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s victory over Herbert Hoover, was the time of the beginning of Democratic Party dominance, and ever bigger national government, even beyond the Progressive Era of the early 20th century.

In 1960, the election of John F. Kennedy was the triumph of overcoming the “religion issue”, as our first non Protestant President, a Roman Catholic from Massachusetts, was accomplished.

In 1968, the election of Richard Nixon marked the beginning of a turn to the Right, although Nixon actually continued and expanded elements of the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson in domestic affairs.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan’s victory marked the sharpest turn to the Right since Calvin Coolidge in the 1920s, and began an era of conservative government, that in many respects, continued under his successors, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

In 2000, the Supreme Court intervention in the Florida vote count, and the awarding of Florida to George W. Bush by 537 votes, giving him the Presidency, was a revolutionary change that changed the course of history, when Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half million, and with the economy having improved during the Clinton years, should have led to Gore in the White House.

In 2008, Barack Obama’s victory over John McCain was a sharp turn to the left after what were arguably 40 years of conservative government to different degrees, including under Democrats Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and Obama overcame the race issue, in becoming the first African American President.

And now, in 2016, Donald Trump’s victory MIGHT be a sign of another “change” election, with the white working class voting for Trump, giving him the victory in the Electoral College, even though rival Hillary Clinton won the biggest popular vote margin of a losing candidate (2.85 million), greater than many Presidents won on their road to the White House,

But it may eventually be seen as a “fluke” election, and may not be long lasting, and only time and events will tell us what the reality is.

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!

Presidential Family Members And The American Presidency

The growing influence of Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, is a significant factor in Donald Trump’s approach to the Presidency.

His reliance on and loyalty to his daughter and son in law demonstrates the power of family.

Other Presidents have also utilized family members as follows:

John Adams relied on John Quincy Adams as Ambassador to Prussia.

Woodrow Wilson had his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt Wilson, conduct cabinet meetings after he had a stroke in October 1919.

Franklin D. Roosevelt relied on his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, for advice on so many domestic and foreign policy issues, and in his last two years, his daughter, Anna, also was available to assist him.

Dwight D. Eisenhower used his son John Eisenhower as a staff aide in the White House.

John F. Kennedy had the most prominent relative in his brother, Robert F. Kennedy, serving as Attorney General of the United States for the entire time of the Kennedy Presidency.

Lyndon B. Johnson leaned on his wife, Lady Bird Johnson, for much advice.

Ronald Reagan followed the advice of his wife, Nancy Reagan, on a host of issues, including developing a relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Bill Clinton utilized his wife, Hillary Clinton, on a proposed national health care program, as well as a host of other issues.

Barack Obama capitalized on the advice of wife Michelle Obama, as they were a very close couple.

But notice how mostly it was First Ladies who were engaged in helping their husband, with only John Quincy Adams, Anna Roosevelt, John Eisenhower (children) and RFK (brother) as important aides to the President, and Ivanka and Jared are in many ways unique in their growing role, with only RFK being of an equal or greater significance.

Donald Trump Dangerous To The Mental And Physical Health Of Tens Of Millions Of Americans

It is now clear, 85 days into his Presidency, that Donald Trump is dangerous to the mental and physical health of tens of millions of Americans.

Trump’s erratic, immature, reckless, and constantly changing behavior is a danger to America and the world community, as he is totally unpredictable, and he clearly has no principles or beliefs other than his own glorification and self aggrandizement.

We have had strong egotists before in the Presidency, including Andrew Jackson, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon, but nothing on the scale of Donald Trump.

Trump has caused serious mental depression and heart problems in tens of millions of Americans, who wake up daily worrying how their lives will be affected, and the fear of more foreign wars caused by his Twitter feed and loose mouth, by a President who has the sick need to express every waking thought so that we all know it and pay attention to him.

Imagine what it is like to be a senior citizen, a disabled person, a person of color or of Muslim faith, an immigrant, a woman, a gay or lesbian or transgender person, with all of these groups being targeted to be harmed by radical changes in government policies and programs, administered by the most mean spirited, narrow minded, intolerant, uncaring cabinet officers in all of American history!

Imagine how hate groups and leaders, such as David Duke and Richard Spencer, are being emboldened by the race baiting, nativist, antisemitic rhetoric emerging from the Trump Administration.

Donald Trump is a true nightmare, who is not only working to deny 24 million Americans from having health care altogether, but also undermining the health of at least as many Americans who will see their lives shortened, by the high level of stress, and the resultant danger of overdosing with medication, and causing planned or unplanned suicide of people in danger, but knowing their government does not give a damn about them, only wealthy people of white Christian heritage.

Nepotism Outlawed in 1960s After RFK, But Back In Full Swing With Ivanka And Jared Kushner

Robert F. Kennedy, the brother of President John F. Kennedy, was Attorney General to his brother, and briefly to Lyndon B. Johnson, from January 1961 to June 1964, and while he is perceived overall as a great cabinet member, the Congress passed legislation after this situation had ended, to prevent nepotism from being used in the future.

But now Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, and her husband, Jared Kushner, are working for the President, although they are unpaid.

That does not really matter, as it is simply against the spirit and substance of the nepotism law that they are influencing government policy.

It is just another of numerous examples of Donald Trump violating the law, and getting away with it.

There is a need to reassert that such family influence is not permitted, and this needs to be pursued expeditiously, as it cannot have a positive ending.

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.