Ronald Reagan

Five Presidents Of Both Parties, 40 Years, And Unity, As Compared To Donald Trump’s Divisiveness

That was quite a scene on Saturday night in College Station, Texas, at the George H W Bush Presidential Library on the campus of Texas A & M University.

Five former Presidents–two Republicans (Bush and his son George H W Bush) and three Democrats (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama)—representing all of the Presidents since 1977 except for Ronald Reagan, were together raising relief funds for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria.

All five had been rivals–Carter vs the senior Bush’s boss, Reagan–Bush Sr vs Clinton—Bush Jr critical of Clinton when he ran against his Vice President, Al Gore in 2000—Obama critical of Bush Jr when he ran in 2008 to succeed him—Carter and Clinton both critics of Obama during his Presidential run and years in office—but they all came together and unified in a manner that Donald Trump is incapable of accomplishing.

All five former Presidents were far from perfect in office, but they all had high levels of popularity at some point, unlike Donald Trump.

Carter and the Senior Bush lost reelection, while the other three won and completed second terms, the first time we had three Presidents in a row finish eight years in office since Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe from 1801-1825.

We have had five former Presidents alive now for the fourth time in American history—1861-1862 for ten and a half months under Abraham Lincoln, until John Tyler died in January 1862, with one of the five former Presidents, Martin Van Buren, living to see eight future Presidents take the oath office—1993-1994 under Bill Clinton for 15 months until Richard Nixon died in April 1994—2001-2004 under George W. Bush for three years and four and a half months until June 2004 when Ronald Reagan died in June 2004.

With the miraculous accomplishment that George H W Bush has passed Ronald Reagan’s age, and will pass Gerald Ford’s age on November, and that Jimmy Carter, three and a half months younger than Bush, has also reached 93, and seems in better health than Bush, although has cancer in remissions, one wonders if it is possible that both Bush and Carter might last longer than June 2020, which would make the longest period of five living former Presidents, with Bush and Carter both being 96 in the year 2020.

That would be an amazing situation, and of course, were Donald Trump to leave office by impeachment, the 25th Amendment Section 4 utilization, or resignation, then we would have for the first time ever a total of SIX former Presidents of the United States alive and well at the same time frame!

The Urgency Of Gun Control Legislation To Stop “War Zone” Syndrome, And Save Multitude Of Lives, While Preserving Reasonable Gun Rights

The shock of the Las Vegas Massacre, following the Orlando Pulse Massacre, the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, and so many others, demands the attention of Congress, as the urgency of gun control legislation presents itself.

We must stop the “War Zone” Syndrome that has led to more deaths by domestic terrorists than on September 11, if one counts all the death since 2001.

No one is saying that the Second Amendment should be destroyed, although it is clear that the Founding Fathers did not intend for all citizens to have firearms, as the amendment discusses a “well regulated militia”, and not the concept of everyone carrying firearms, even those who are mentally ill or have had criminal convictions.

But to demand a return of the Brady Bill, named after Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary, James Brady, permanently disabled by the Assassination attempt against Reagan in 1981, but not renewed under George W. Bush in 2004, is not to ask too much.

To demand that background checks be done on gun purchasers; that loopholes that allow people to buy weapons online and at Walmarts and at gun shows without any search about their backgrounds be ended; that mentally disturbed people not be allowed to purchase weapons; and that the concept of allowing the expansion of gun silencers legislation, allowing gun owners to be able to fire at will without any sound being made for the potential victims to be aware of the sounds so they could duck or evade; or other reasonable measures, should be seen as sensible.

We have the highest gun violence rate of any Western civilized nation, comparing to Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and we must work to lower the death rate from suicide as well as violence against innocent civilians.

This should not be a partisan issue, as the Republicans, as well as the Democrats, need to see the issue of public safety as their major responsibility, and the National Rifle Association and its despicable leadership including Wayne La Pierre, who only are concerned with profits, must be defeated in their effect on our government policies.

All kinds of activities are licensed in our society, and guns need to be regulated in a responsible manner.

Presidential Retirements

Of our 44 Presidents of the United States, 16 of them have had retirements lasting 15 years or more.

This statistic comes to mind as we celebrate the 93rd Birthday of Jimmy Carter, and root for him and George H. W. Bush to beat the record of longevity of Gerald Ford (93 years, 165 days) and Ronald Reagan (93 years 120 days), which Bush will surpass on October 11 and November 25, and Carter will surpass on January 30, 2018 and March 16, 2018.

The President with the most retirement years is Carter, who will reach 37 years out of office on January 20, 2018.

Herbert Hoover had 31 and a half years in retirement, followed by Gerald Ford with just a month short of 30 years.

John Adams had four months more than 25 years, and will be passed by George H. W. Bush in May 2018.

Martin Van Buren had about the same retirement time as Adams with 25 plus years, and Bush will soon pass him as well on the list.

Millard Fillmore, Harry Truman, and Richard Nixon each had close to 20 years in retirement.

James Madison and John Quincy Adams each had about 19 years in retirement

Thomas Jefferson, William Howard Taft, and John Tyler each had about 17 years in retirement.

Bill Clinton will soon finish 17 years in retirement, and will, therefore, pass Jefferson, Taft, and Tyler in 2018.

And Ronald Reagan had a few months more than 15 years in retirement, although much of his retirement was spent in a state of dementia and Alzheimers Disease.

Jimmy Carter Becomes Fourth President In A Row To Hit Age 93! And New Age Records For First Ladies Too!

President Jimmy Carter turns 93 today, and it is a moment to celebrate!

Carter and his Vice President, Walter Mondale, have survived as a combo longer than any Presidential-Vice Presidential team, an amazing 37 years come next January 20.

Mondale will be 90 in early January, so Carter and Mondale will be the second team where both have reached the age of 90, after Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.

Longevity has been an amazing situation in so many ways, as now we have four straight Presidents–Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush–who will have reached 93.

Only two other Presidents reached 90 and died at that age–John Adams and Herbert Hoover.

Additionally, however, two other Presidential-Vice Presidential nominee teams reached the age of 90 for both men—George McGovern and Sargent Shriver, who were the Democratic team in 1972; and Gerald Ford and Bob Dole, who were the Republican team in 1976, with Bob Dole still alive at age 94. And Bob Dole also was the Republican Presidential nominee in 1996.

And only in the Presidential Election of 1980 did we have all four on the ballot—President Jimmy Carter and Vice President Walter Mondale–and nominees Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush—live to the age of 90 and beyond and be in the Presidency and Vice Presidency, if Mondale survives until his 90th birthday on January 5, just three months away.

Amazingly, George H. W. Bush will pass Ronald Reagan in longevity of age on October 11, and Bush will be the longest lived President, beyond the age of Gerald Ford, who outlasted Reagan by 45 days, on November 25.

And Carter, who seems in better health than Bush, despite Carter’s having had brain cancer diagnosis more than two years ago, but being in remission, seems likely to outlive Bush, if he can survive Bush by less than four months, a total of 111 days!

Also, with Rosalyn Carter having reached the age of 90 in August, it is now reality that four straight Presidents who reached 93, also saw or are seeing their First Ladies having accomplished reaching the 90s—Rosalyn Carter now 90; Barbara Bush now 92; and Nancy Reagan who lived to 94, second longest lived First Lady, only behind Bess Truman, who was 97; and Betty Ford who reached 93, fourth longest, with Lady Bird Johnson being 94, but a few months less than Nancy Reagan, so third longest lived. So six First Ladies, all since World War II, have managed to reach the 90s, an amazing fact!

The Urgent, Required Need To Rebuild Puerto Rico And The US Virgin Islands As A “Marshall Plan”

America has a major challenge that it has no choice but to meet in a committed and responsible manner.

That is, we MUST spend whatever it takes in public funds to rebuild two of our territories–the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands– both decimated by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria within the last two weeks.

The population of these two island nation territories are US citizens, nearly 3.7 million and a bit over 100,000 respectively.

There has been total destruction, and what is now needed is a “Marshall Plan”, similar to what the Unites States invested in the rebuilding of Western Europe after World War II.

There is no way to evade this responsibility, but we also must realize that the likelihood of a mass migration to the US mainland is likely, as it will take years to rebuild.

And many who migrate will decide to remain permanently in North America, and that is their right as US Citizens, as they are NOT immigrants.

Expect Florida in particular to be dramatically affected by growth in Puerto Rican migration, which has been rapidly increasing in recent years, particularly in the Orlando area of Central Florida.

We must greet and welcome these citizens as they come to the mainland, and do whatever we can, as individuals, to smooth the transition of people, who in many cases, are shell shocked by the horrible experiences they have had in these past two weeks.

We cannot allow the Republican Congress to ignore this plight, and for Donald Trump to bully these newcomers as a group of mostly Hispanic immigrants, and more important than tax cuts for the wealthy, is to impose tax increases on those best able to afford it, and who have had such massive tax breaks by legislation passed under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

The Modern Presidency Began Today, September 14, In 1901, With The Coming To Power Of Theodore Roosevelt

As a lifetime student of the American Presidency, September 14, 1901 stands out as the beginning of the modern Presidency.

On that day, 116 years ago, Theodore Roosevelt succeeded from the Vice Presidency, which he had held for about six months, and became the 26th President of the United States, upon the death of President William McKinley from the assassination bullets fired by anarchist Leon Czolgosz eight days earlier, on September 6, in Buffalo, New York.

TR brought a new vision of the Presidency to the White House, an activist, aggressive, broad interpretation of executive powers, and transformed the office for the long term future.

Our youngest President, still 42, TR brought life, excitement, charisma to the Presidency, and made America a respected nation in foreign policy.

He also initiated the idea of Progressive reform, that the national government had a role in moving the nation forward by regulation and legislation, away from the concept of states rights.

There was never a dull moment in TR’s life, either in the Presidency or after, and he became a model for future Presidents of both parties, particularly Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.

With TR’s accession to the Presidency, the history of the Secret Service protecting the Chief Executive began, and remains a major burden of security to keep the President safe and unharmed.

A reminder that the McKinley Assassination is covered in Chapter 4 of my book, ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers), now out since March in paperback from the publisher or Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Also, there is Chapter 5 in the book, which covers the attempted assassination of TR when running as an ex-President on the Progressive (Bull Moose Party) line in 1912, being shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 14, 1912 by John Flammang Schrank, but surviving his wounds.

Time For Direct And Massive Federal Action After Hurricane Harvey

The horrible disaster of Hurricane Harvey demands direct and massive federal action, including tens of billions of dollars to rebuild ravaged Houston, the fourth largest city in America, as well as nearby areas that have been devastated.

The idea that charity and local efforts will be enough is preposterous, and Congress must do whatever needs to be done.

It is time for wealthier Americans to do their part, after having gained massive tax cuts under Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Instead of tax cuts once again, which Donald Trump wants for the wealthy, they must have their taxes increased dramatically, as they were in World War II, and also the higher rates under Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s and Richard Nixon in the 1970s, both Republican Presidents.

They can complain all they wish, as that is the American tradition, but they have been very fortunate, and already own the vast majority of the nation’s assets, and it is now their responsibility to do their part, and to thank the nation for their good fortune, also accentuated by the tax cuts in the 1980s and 2000s that greatly distorted the class system in America, and made this nation more stratified than Great Britain.

And corporations must pay the taxes they are responsible for, instead of lobbying constantly for special treatment.

Unfortunately, with a GOP Congress, they may not come through for Houston and Southeast Texas, and if they do not, that is the campaign issue for the Democrats in the midterm Congressional elections of 2018 and the Presidential and Congressional elections of 2020, including on the state level.

Donald Trump Has Serious Mental Illness: No Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy, Sincerity, Decency, Only Self Serving Glorification!

Donald Trump is a horrible human being, and the crisis of Hurricane Harvey proves that he has no ability to demonstrate compassion, empathy, sympathy, sincerity, or decency, but rather only self serving glorification.

He visited Corpus Christi and raves about the size of the crowd, not seemingly realizing they are not there to see him, but are simply victims of a horrible natural disaster which has torn from them all their earthly belongings, and in some cases, the lives of their loved ones.

He does not talk about the victims, including the police officer who was swept away, and the family of six with a similar fate.

He does not embrace anyone and spend time commiserating with them, something Barack Obama did after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Charleston Church Massacre in 2015, the Sandy Hook Massacre in 2012, and so many other tragedies.

He does not put his arms around people and give a passionate speech as Bill Clinton did after the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

He does not unite us as Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger Astronaut disaster in 1986.

The man is seriously mentally ill, and his inability to be the Uniter In Chief after a great tragedy disqualifies him to be President of “all of the people”.

Trump may be the President of the “deplorables” who only care about themselves, about money, and about hating everyone not like them.

But this man is a disgrace to the human race, and his wife wearing inappropriate footwear to a flood zone and the best clothing possible so she would look good for her husband, is a reminder of the King of France, Louis XVI, before the French Revolution, and the reported utterance about the masses: “Let them eat cake!”

There are no redeeming qualities about Donald Trump, and he will go down for sure as the most despicable and disgraceful President ever, a national nightmare foisted on us by the outdated Electoral College, and the selfishness and narrow mindedness of 78,000 people in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Sadly, it will take a long time to undo the damage Donald Trump has wrought in just over seven months, but the push to remove Trump by impeachment, or use of the 25th Amendment, Section 4, or resignation must move forward full scale, as every day he is in the Oval Office, he undermines the nation and the international community!

Potential Of 2017 Being Third Time In American History Of Three Presidents, After 1841 And 1881!

There is continued turmoil surrounding the Trump Presidency, with the latest developments, including the growing number of Republicans denouncing Trump for his reaction to Charlottesville; the resignation of businessmen from his various councils; the decision of many corporations and groups to refuse to use Trump properties for their gatherings; the condemnation of military leaders, intelligence professionals, diplomats and arts committee members; and legions of conservatives alienated from the 45th President.

So the possibility exists that Donald Trump, under fire, might resign from the Presidency, before the Robert Mueller investigation can bring charges of Russian collusion against him.

It used to seem impossible to imagine a resignation, but the idea looks more possible by the day.

Were that to happen, and if it happened before the end of 2017, it would mark the third time in American history, that the nation has had THREE Presidents in the same calendar year.

In 1841, losing Presidential candidate Martin Van Buren served until March 4, and then was succeeded by his successful opponent, William Henry Harrison. A month later, on April 4, Harrison died of pneumonia, having been sick beginning on the evening of the inauguration, and having been the oldest President at inauguration until then, and until later when we had Ronald Reagan in 1981 and Donald Trump in 2017. Vice President John Tyler succeeded to the Presidency on April 4, marking three Presidents in little more than three months of the year.

In 1881, outgoing President Rutherford B. Hayes finished his term on March 4, and was succeeded by Presidential winner James A. Garfield, who four months later, on July 2, was shot and seriously wounded by assassin Charles J. Guiteau. With medical malpractice, Garfield suffered greatly over the next two and a half months, and died on September 19, having been in a coma much of the time. Vice President Chester Alan Arthur succeeded Garfield, so in eight and a half months, we had seen three Presidents.

Now in 2017, we had Barack Obama as President until January 20, when Donald Trump succeeded him, and the odds are growing that he could resign before the year’s end, making Vice President Mike Pence the 46th President of the United States before the beginning of 2018.

Gerald Ford, The Right Person To Succeed Richard Nixon, But Is Mike Pence The Right Person To Succeed Donald Trump? NO!

On this day in 1974, the nation was fortunate that Richard Nixon resigned, and Gerald Ford became President of the United States.

We needed someone like Gerald Ford to heal the nation after the Watergate Scandal, and Ford fit the situation very well.

A respectable member of the House of Representatives for 25 years, House Minority Leader for the last nine of those years, and Vice President by appointment for eight months under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, we were fortunate that he was next in line for the Presidency, instead of corrupt Vice President Spiro Agnew, who would have been a disaster in the Presidency, dividing the nation even more than Richard Nixon.

Ford was controversial for pardoning Nixon one month into his Presidency, and it helped to cause his defeat, along with the strong right wing conservative challenge of former California Governor Ronald Reagan, but he had the right personality and instincts, and as a moderate conservative, was able to work with both parties, considering that the opposition Democrats controlled both houses.

Ford was an honest, decent man, and his wife Betty was arguably the most accessible and decent modern Republican First Lady, sharing her private turmoil with alcohol and breast cancer with the nation.

Gerald Ford lost a very close race to Jimmy Carter in 1976, so was the fifth Vice President not to be elected President, the first since Chester Alan Arthur in 1884, but he came to be admired and loved as he aged, and he ended up as the longest living President, when he died at age 93 years and 165 days on December 26, 2006, the same day of the year as Harry Truman died in 1972.

The longevity of Ford will be surpassed by George H. W. Bush if he lives to November 25, just three and a half months from now, and Jimmy Carter will pass Ford’s age on March 15, 2018, although if Bush continues to be alive, it will not break the record of longevity.

Now, however, Mike Pence would be the successor if Donald Trump is impeached and removed, or resigns from office, but Mike Pence is no Gerald Ford. Pence is much more extreme right wing conservative, unlike Ford, and is a religious extremist, promoting church and state combination in government, which is against the spirit of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The policies and programs under Pence, while certainly likely to be somewhat different than Trump, would be dramatically different from those of Gerald Ford.

So one could wish that Gerald Ford could come back from the dead to be available to succeed Donald Trump, but sadly we are going to have to live with a President Pence at some point in the near future.

We can wish him luck, but be prepared to oppose him vigorously in the promotion of his right wing agenda, with less chaos, anarchy, and craziness, but still out of the mainstream of the American people and what they want the policies of our government to be in the future.