Racial Issues

Time For A New Generation Of Leadership: My Endorsement Of Pete Buttigieg For President!

With the Iowa Caucuses taking place on Monday evening, followed by the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada Caucuses, and the South Carolina Primary later in February, and then Super Tuesday on March 3 (14 states voting), it is time to consider who would be the best choice for President of the United States.

Anyone who has read my blog for the past eleven and a half years knows of my genuine affection for former Vice President Joe Biden.

I wish he had been the nominee in 2016, and believe he would have defeated Donald Trump.

But at age 77 now, and concerned about the idea of an octogenarian Presidency if Joe, or Bernie Sanders, or Mike Bloomberg wins the election, I do not think any of these three would be the best choice for the future of the party and nation.

I wish to make it clear that I will support whoever the Democratic Presidential nominee is in 2020, but prefer a younger candidate who represents the future.

So therefore, I am endorsing former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for President!

I believe that Pete, while seen as a “dark horse”, represents the future of the party, and would move the nation forward in a rational, reasonable way.

He would be the John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama of his time, as the thought of a Catholic, a Southerner, a Governor of a small state, and a mixed race African American President was unlikely, but occurred in 1960, 1976, 1992, and 2008.

Pete was the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a small city, but there is no description of who a President should be, and what matters more is the inspiration that a candidate brings to the race.

And Pete represents a new generation; a man who would be the youngest President in history; a man who served in the military in Afghanistan; a Harvard and Oxford graduate; a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship; and a scholarly man who can speak seven languages.

Pete is a moderate progressive, which is the mainstream of the Democratic Party, and this blogger and scholar does not believe that Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren can win the election. And were either to win, the strong odds are against their agenda as more ambitious than the next Congress would be.

To accomplish their goals would require a Congress similar to that under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the mid 1930s, or Lyndon B. Johnson in the mid 1960s, but that occurring is close to zero, in reality!

The fact that Pete Buttigieg is gay and has a husband would not, in my estimation, be a major factor in the election, except for extremist religious Christians and Jews, but realistically, they would be unlikely to vote Democratic anyway.

And as far as African American voters, while they might favor Joe Biden now, and there are some issues with Pete’s handling of racial issues in South Bend, can one really imagine African Americans backing Donald Trump for a second term?

The prospect of a woman nominee, either Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren, would be appealing, particularly after the disappointment in 2016, and the fact that the centennial of the Woman Suffrage 19th Amendment, is in 2020. But I think the odds of midwestern white men supporting a woman over a gay male is highly questionable.

A great idea, however, would be to select a qualified woman for Vice President, with Amy Klobuchar the front runner in that regard, older by a generation than Pete, but Obama had Joe Biden who was a generation older as well.

Having a Midwestern ticket of Pete and Amy would insure, in my estimation, a Democratic victory in November, with two firsts–a gay male President and a woman Vice President–two advancements brought to us by the Democratic Party, the party of reasonable revolutionary change as in the case of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, half a century apart, and now looking into the future of the nation.

So again, I am in for whoever the Democrats nominate for President as the best choice for the nation, but enthusiastically endorse Pete Buttigieg for President, and welcome all commentary by any reader!

The Loss Of A Classic Great Governor: Reubin Askew Of Florida (1971-1979)

When one examines the history of state Governors throughout American history, one discovers that a very large percentage of them have performed horribly, with many mediocre at best, and very few standing out as exceptional in their performance in office.

We often say that the best place to look for Presidential candidates is to go to the states, and find effective Governors, who have proven their ability to govern.

But when we look, even at the present group of 50 Governors in the United States, it is hard to find many who give one a sense of optimism, as to their honesty, concern for the average citizen, and commitment to good government.

So when we do find such a Governor, he is to be treasured, although often not recognized adequately in his own lifetime.

Such a case is former Florida Governor Reubin Askew, easily rated the greatest Governor in Florida history.

But Askew is much more than that, as he is rated by scholars in one study as one of the top ten all time Governors in the history of all states since 1789!

Askew came out of obscurity in the Florida State legislature to serve two achievement filled terms as Governor of a state with a long list of mostly mediocre Governors. He was the first Florida Governor able to have two terms in office, due to a change in the state Constitution in 1967.

Askew was one of the NEW SOUTH Democratic Governors who came out of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter, and Arkansas Governors Dale Bumpers and Bill Clinton. Sadly, the Republican Party did NOT produce forward minded Governors then or since, and we see the product of it in such Governors as Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and other disastrous Southern Governors given their states by the GOP!

Askew was a liberal on racial issues, in a state not known for open mindedness and tolerance, in the years before 1970. He was able to overhaul the tax laws of the state, and to promote open government through “sunshine” laws, and also advocate environmental protection. Additionally, he promoted streamlining of the state government and courts, and also pushed ethics laws.

Askew had tremendous accomplishments, but was always very humble and decent as a human being, not letting his power to go to his head, a rare thing among state governors, past and present.

Askew was so highly regarded that he was offered the chance to be the Vice Presidential nominee with George McGovern in 1972, but turned it down. He also had a brief run for the Presidency in 1984 and for the Senate in 1988, but disliked having to work to raise campaign funds.

He was born to a poor family, worked his way through school, and never forgot the common touch, which in itself, made him a great man!

Florida and the nation have lost a true giant, a model for others, but not many are following in his footsteps, either in Florida or in other states around the nation, something to be mourned, as we mourn his death!

The Blue Collar White Vote Up For Grabs!

The blue collar white vote is up for grabs in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida, among other states.

The argument is that blue collar whites are turned off to Barack Obama, with part of the reason being racial, the feeling that nonwhites have been, somehow, gaining unfair advantage in job opportunities, and too many favors and benefits from the government.

That may be the perception that some blue collar whites have, and if so, that makes them resistant to voting for Obama. Of course, Vice President Joe Biden helps greatly to overcome this perception, because of his own roots, and the fact that he is the rarity in politics, not even a millionaire, as most politicians are!

But even if there is a racial component that enters the scene, there is another perception that might make many blue collar whites think twice before voting for Mitt Romney.

Mitt Romney represents to many blue collar whites the image of the uncaring “boss”, ready and willing to fire them and undermine their security and safety, whether young, middle age, or elderly. Romney represents the plutocracy, only interested in making money, and having no concern for human beings and the effect on their lives of what the wealthy corporations and banks have done to millions of Americans!

So to say that blue collar whites will vote overwhelmingly for Romney over Obama is likely to turn out to be totally untrue!

Michele Bachmann: Mentally Unfit And Mentally Unstable To Be President!

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann may be surging in the polls, as compared to all other GOP Presidential candidates, but she has proved herself mentally unfit, as well as mentally unstable, to be President of the United States!

With her reckless use of myths and falsehoods and invocation of God telling her what to do in her life and career, she has demonstrated that she is loony and nutty enough to be a danger in the Oval Office, with the power and authority to unleash nuclear weapons!

With her insensitivity and narrow mindedness toward those she portrays as having the wrong views about social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, racial relations, and immigration reform, she has disqualified herself from being able to unite the country around a common unity!

A President Bachmann would cause even further division and turmoil than we have right now, and would lead us to a right wing fascist mentality toward those who don’t agree with the narrow view of evangelical Christianity that separates “them” from “us”!

Also, the pushing of ABC News correspondent Brian Ross by aides of Bachmann, when Ross tried to purse an answer to a question, is totally unacceptable behavior, and reminds one of Huey Long “goons” during the early to mid 1930s in Louisiana! The nation will not tolerate a President who permits such mishandling of media as Bachmann seems to have no problem accepting!

Finally, the issue that Brian Ross was trying to bring up is crucial as well: the confirmed report that Bachmann has suffered for 15 years from migraine headaches that are extremely intense and required medical treatment many times, with indications, denied by Bachmann, but confirmed, that these migraines incapacitated her for periods of time and required lots and all kinds of pills! To top it off, Bachmann claims the migraines are caused by high heels, even though there is no correlation ever noted by any medical doctor between high heels and migraines!

Sounds as if Bachmann is at it again, with loony and nutty explanations, that just add to the image that she is, more than ever, mentally unfit and mentally unstable to be Commander in Chief!