Racial Integration

Huey Long, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, Donald Trump—The Art Of Demagoguery!

It is now clear that we have in our midst a true demagogue—a person who appeals to the insecurity and disillusionment of many Americans about the direction of their nation in domestic and foreign policy.

We have had this before, and it always ends in disaster and loss of reputation, without accomplishing anything beneficial in the short run or the long run.

We had Senator Huey Long of Louisiana in the early 1930s, who gained a following of millions, talked about “Every Man A King” in the midst of the Great Depression. He ended up being assassinated in 1935 while seeking the Presidency. This is covered in Chapter 7 of my forthcoming book, “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”, from Rowman Littlefield, to be published and available on August 15.

We had Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the early 1950s, when there was the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union, exploited as an issue, causing the destruction of the lives and reputations of millions of Americans without any justification. It ended up with the collapse and repudiation of the Red Scare, and the early death of McCarthy from alcoholism.

We had Governor George Wallace of Alabama, who divided the nation over racial integration and civil rights, and won five states in the Electoral College in the Presidential Election of 1968, and then was shot and paralyzed for life during the Presidential Election campaign of 1972. This tragedy, ironically, led to a reformed Wallace who changed his view on civil rights as a result of his own handicapped condition as a result of the assassination attempt. I cover this in Chapter 11 of my forthcoming book on August 15, which I have listed the title and publisher two paragraphs above this one.

Now we have Donald Trump, who is promoting racism and nativism, and since he is super wealthy, his ability to influence the public view is, in many ways, more dangerous than any of the above demagogues.

Just as with the others, Trump will fail in the long run, but will be very dangerous in the short run. Let us hope that his demise will not be brought about in the fashion that occurred for Huey Long and George Wallace! We wish him good health and long life, but want him out of the political fray, because he has nothing positive to offer America, just negativism and division!

Mike Huckabee, The Supreme Court, And The “Supreme Being”!

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, a candidate for the Presidency, and a former preacher as well, is going off the deep end in his vehement opposition to gay marriage.

Apparently, Mike Huckabee believes that the American people do not need to obey judges and the federal courts, and the Supreme Court, if they do not like or agree with their decisions.

If Barack Obama were to say this, he would be pushed toward impeachment, but Mike Huckabee is promoting disobedience of the judiciary, and shows total ignorance of our legal history!

What he is advocating, taken to its extreme, would mean that the Citizens United case would be ignored, and that billionaires would not be able to distort our election process, something any sensible person would advocate, but the only way to overcome this is by constitutional amendment!

So if gay marriage is made legal in all of America at the end of June, the only way to overcome it is to bring about a similar constitutional amendment.

The same goes for those who are upset about interracial marriage, civil rights laws, the lax enforcement of the Voting Rights Act, racial integration, and a whole host of other “objectionable” decisions made by the courts and the Supreme Court over 226 years of our history!

Mike Huckabee demonstrates his ignorance of our history, and of the significance of Chief Justice John Marshall, and of “judicial review” and the famous Supreme Court case, Marbury V. Madison in 1803.

Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and really ALL Presidents; and many other government figures over the years; and citizens of America throughout its history, have denounced Supreme Court decisions!

BUT the only alternative is a constitutional amendment, ladies and gentlemen, and for any Presidential candidate or President to call for defiance of the Supreme Court is grounds for impeachment and removal from office.

In America, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter, good or bad, and really, it is both, depending on the issue and how people perceive it!

We are NOT a theocracy, and the “Supreme Being”, that Mike Huckabee advocates, is NOT the final arbiter of constitutional cases, and never has been! Thank goodness for that, as it would take away the democracy that America has evolved into over more than two centuries of American history!

70 Year Anniversary Of End Of World War II, And Honoring Harry Truman On 131st Birthday!

Today marks 70 years since the end of World War II, which ushered in the modern world that the vast majority of Americans live in!

It also marks the 131st Birthday of President Harry Truman, who had come into office less than a month earlier, and became our most courageous and decisive President of modern times, both in domestic and foreign policy over the next eight years, but was unappreciated in his time.

Only once Truman died in 1972, did we realize his greatness, and how he had proved an ordinary man, following a giant figure, Franklin D. Roosevelt, could indeed fill his shoes very well, and do what was right most of the time, and ignored attacks and had confidence that he had gone the right direction. He also knew how to go on the attack against the regressive nature of the opposition Republicans.

America was extremely fortunate to have Harry Truman as our Commander in Chief after FDR, and visiting the Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri, is a trip into the greatness of this man! He dealt with the Cold War, the Korean War, the recognition of Israel, the integration of the military and Washington DC public places, and insuring the continuation and expansion of the New Deal under his domestic programs known as the Fair Deal. He prevented a reversion back to the failed policies of the Republicans under Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Herbert Hoover.

While he could not accomplish much of what he wanted to do in domestic policy, he set the standard for Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Happy 131st birthday, Mr. President!

The Tea Party Out To Destroy All Progress Since 1900! Progressives MUST Fight To Retain Social Justice And Economic Advancements!

America has changed so much in the past 114 years, from the time of the Progressive Era, through the New Deal, the Great Society, and the time of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama!

America at the end of the Gilded Age was a selfish, greedy nation of the few elite wealthy victimizing the rest of American society.

But then came Theodore Roosevelt cracking down on big business; showing concern for labor; promoting the Food and Drug Administration; and vastly extending the concept of protection of the environment and conservation.

Then came Woodrow Wilson, who gave us the Federal Reserve Banking System; the Clayton Anti Trust Act; the Federal Trade Commission; and the first national labor laws.

Then came Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, changing our lives long term with Social Security; public works programs; bank deposit insurance; stock market regulations; the Tennessee Valley Authority; Federal Unemployment Compensation; and labor laws which gave workers and labor unions the right to collective bargaining.

Then came Harry Truman, who promoted integration of the armed forces and Washington, DC; advocated for national health care; and emphasized the need for national commitment to education.

Then came Dwight D. Eisenhower, who enforced civil rights enforcement; promoted federal aid to education; the development of an interstate highway system; and the development of a national space commitment.

Then came John F. Kennedy, who advanced civil rights; promoted the space program; started the Peace Corps; cracked down on the steel industry;  and advocated national health care for the elderly.

Then came Lyndon B. Johnson, who promoted massive civil rights laws; successfully passed Medicare and Medicaid; pursued a War on Poverty; massive increases in federal aid to education; began a national commitment to environmental and consumer legislation; and appointed the first African American to the cabinet and to the Supreme Court.

Then came Richard Nixon, who signed into law the Environmental Protection Agency; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; the Consumer Product Safety Commission; and attempted wage and price controls to keep down the inflation level.

Then came Jimmy Carter, who further promoted civil rights; saw the need for an Energy Department; and became the third best environmental President after Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon.

Then came George H. W. Bush, who signed into law civil rights legislation to promote disabled people.

Then came Bill Clinton, who promoted civil rights advancements; a greater commitment to education; and attempted a national health care program.

Finally came Barack Obama, who brought about ObamaCare; promoted great environmental expansion; advocated for equality of gays and lesbians including gay marriage; and started to take moves toward immigration reforms.

So much has been done by these twelve Presidents to advance social justice, and economic reform—eight Democrats and four Republicans.

But now, the 2014 Republican Party has been hijacked by the Tea Party extremists and the right wing radio talk shows and Fox News Channel and the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson, and they have declared war on all humane, decent actions that have taken place in the past 114 years, including advocacy of destroying Social Security and Medicare and getting rid of national parks and all labor reforms and the rights of women and the poor!

This is all very shocking and unbelievable, but the battle for progressivism and the retention of the great work done from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama must be forthright and the battle for the future has just begun.  The Republican Party needs to be smashed and reconstituted, if the nation is to grow in the 21st century, rather than move backwards to the 19th century!

60 Years Since Brown V. Board Of Education: Segregation Still Reality In Many Areas!

Sixty years ago, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, unanimously ruled segregation in public schools unconstitutional.

The reaction was massive resistance, both in the South and also in many Northern communities.

Later Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s gave the government the ability to enforce the end of segregation in all areas of public life, but in schools, the movement toward integration succeeded in some ways, but failed in the sense of promoting equal educational opportunity.

Many state governments continued to promote unequal spending and facilities provided to urban schools, as compared to suburban schools, and this continues today.

Young people have learned to accept each other, despite racial differences, and society has become much more integrated, but still a tone of racism, and a desire to revive the old segregation through new, devious methods still prevails.

And of course, despite having an African American President in Barack Obama, there is still great division and controversy over everything racial. We are not in a post racial America!

So while some progress has been made, there is still a great sense of disappointment in the reality of much segregation that still exists today, and is still encouraged in many political circles!

130th Birthday Of Harry Truman: A Man Of Courage And Decisiveness!

Today is the 130th Anniversary of President Harry Truman’s birth, a man of true courage and decisiveness!

Suddenly thrust into the Presidency on April 12, 1945, he made tough decisions to use the atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II; waged the Cold War with the Soviet Union; recognized the new nation of Israel; integrated the armed forces by executive order, leading the fight for civil rights; and took us into the Korean War, preventing the loss of South Korea to Communism, with South Korea today one of the leading economies in the world, and a democratic nation!

On his 61st birthday, one month after taking over the Presidency, we saw the end of the war in Europe, and the celebration of V-E Day, and although there was still a few more months of war, the “Greatest Generation” had succeeded in fighting Fascism and Nazism, and saved democracy in the world!

So this is a day to salute not only President Truman, but the millions of soldiers who fought in World War II, many of them sacrificing their lives, and the number of living veterans dwindling rapidly every day, 69 years after the war ended!

Federal District Court Judges And Same Sex Marriage Bans Collapsing!

The move toward same sex marriage churns on, with federal judges having utilized the 14th Amendment in four “Red” states in the past two months now to end the discrimination against gays marrying.

So on Valentine’s Day, it now looks more evident than ever that a national Supreme Court decision is in the offing, with Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority decision in Lawrence V. Texas in 2003 igniting the gay civil rights movement, likely to be the fifth and decisive vote in any case that goes to the high Court!

Who would ever have thought that Utah, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and now, newly turned “Blue” Virginia (the state of the Loving V. Virginia interracial marriage case in 1967), would see such rapid action to defy the bigots and the haters?

The federal courts have been the herald of the future in so much of modern history, as with Brown V. Board of Education on racial integration, and Roe V. Wade on abortion rights, and Lawrence V. Texas on gay rights, and the courage of federal district judges across the nation to push the Supreme Court toward a final determination of same sex marriage is an indication that often we have to leave it to appointed judges to lead us to our better side of human nature, the ending of discrimination and injustice!

Sadly, we see right wing evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons fighting a rear guard action, which only makes one realize the evils of these organized groups that have in the past been on the wrong side of many moral and ethical issues, overlooking slavery, segregation, women’s rights, and now gay rights. This is a losing battle long term, and these groups fighting against progress and human rights will pay the price in loss of membership by their willingness to fight a battle that is already lost!

The Disgrace Of The University Of Mississippi Revisited—1962 And 2012

Fifty years ago, the University of Mississippi became the center of racial confrontation, when the National Guard had to be federalized by President John F. Kennedy to have safe integration of the university, and allow the first African American, James Meredith, to attend and stay safe, as he pursued an education.

There were commemorations of this event at the end of September this year, praising how far things had improved, including the first African American Homecoming Queen. It made many people proud of how far the university had evolved.

But then, sadly, the old redneck mentality returned on Wednesday morning, as 400 students rioted after the reelection of President Barack Obama, protesting his victory in a very racist fashion.

So, while certainly it was only a few hundred hoodlums who participated in the violence, it besmirches the name of the university, and reminds us of how little change has really occurred in 50 years, as the racism of the state, which helps to keep it poor and seen as a backwater, and has led to a loss of a Congressional seat due to lack of population growth, undermines the economic growth of the state, often seen as at the bottom statistically in most categories of judgment!

Social Advancements: Gay Marriage And Recreational Use Of Marijuana!

Amazing social advancements occurred in yesterday’s election, and it will never be reversed, and will, instead spread rapidly nationwide!

Gay Marriage was approved by VOTERS in Maine and Maryland, and probably in Washington State, and Minnesota, while not allowing it , defeated a state constitutional amendment to ban it forever.

Also, Washington State and Colorado approved recreational use of marijuana in small amounts, if used at home, not in public places.

These are trends of the future, whether one likes it or not, as the point is that many people feel it is NONE of the government’s business to interfere with private life decisions!

One does not have to like the concept of gay marriage, but then many whites, particularly older ones, have a problem with racial intermarriage and integration, but the answer is “TOUGH”, as your dislike of change should not govern the lives of others! If you do not like interracial marriage or gay marriage, fine, don’t engage in it, but DO NOT use the argument of religion to interfere with others’ lives! This is a personal decision, not subject to religious viewpoints, and certainly, if churches or synagogues do not wish to engage in gay marriage ceremonies, that is their right!

As far as marijuana use for recreational purposes is concerned, this author has never smoked marijuana, but also has never smoked cigarettes nor has he ever been drunk from alcohol.

That is my personal choice, but since cigarettes and alcohol have been proved dangerous to one’s health a lot more than marijuana but are legal, there is no reason to arrest and imprison people for use of marijuana!

What liberals and progressives want is ECONOMIC regulation, not SOCIAL regulation, so kudos on the issues of gay marriage and recreational use of marijuana, and may it spread far and wide, and make the American people what they wish to be–free and in control of their own happiness!

History Of Major Social And Economic Change And Presidential Reelections

When one examines American history, in times of major social and economic change, often very controversial, the American people have chosen every time to endorse those changes, no matter how divisive, by reelecting the President who brought about the reforms.

Witness Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation, followed by a reelection victory in the midst of the Civil War in 1864.

Witness Woodrow Wilson, and the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, Clayton Anti Trust Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, and several labor reforms, and being reelected in 1916.

Witness Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal, and the passage of the National Labor Relations Act and Social Security Act, leading to reelection in 1936.

Witness Harry Truman vetoing the Taft Hartley Labor Act and promoting integration of the the military and Washington, DC, and then winning election in 1948.

Witness Lyndon B. Johnson promoting the Civil Rights Act in 1964, and then winning election to a full term the same year.

Witness Republican Richard Nixon, going along with Democrats, and signing into law the Environmental Protection Agency, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Occupational Safety And Health Administration, and Affirmative Action, and being reelected in 1972.

Now Barack Obama has accomplished major reform on health care, ObamaCare, something millions of Americans already benefit from, so to imagine the American people rejecting it this November, would defy American history, that when major change comes about, it becomes permanent!