Ronald Reagan

“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.

23 Years Since Richard Nixon’s Death, Final Total Repudiation Of His Positive Legacy In Domestic Affairs

Richard Nixon died on Earth Day 1994, at the age of 81.

He died, knowing that the Watergate and related scandals under his Presidency, would damage his reputation forever.

But Nixon also left a positive legacy, which now, a generation later, is, finally, totally repudiating his time in office.

Nixon, for all his faults, was the most “liberal” or “progressive” Republican President since Theodore Roosevelt, and no Republican President since has been anywhere near as much so.

Nixon could have prevented a lot of reforms, with his veto, but instead went along with a Democratic controlled Congress, and signed into law the following:

The Environmental Protection Agency

The Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Large increases in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as the Food Stamp Program.

Enactment of the Supplemental Security Income program, providing a guaranteed income for elderly and disabled citizens.

Signed into law various environmental laws, and expanded national park land protection under the Department of the Interior.

Signed into law Title IX, guaranteeing equal access and opportunity to women in all educational and recreational activities in colleges and universities and public schools.

Signed into law the addition of Affirmative Action to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for women, and ethnic minorities, in education and in employment–race, color, sex, religion, national origin.

Nixon also endorsed the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women, also backed by his successor, Gerald ford, but opposed by Ronald Reagan, and failing of being added to the Constitution during the Reagan Presidency.

Finally, one of Nixon’s four Supreme Court appointments, Justice Harry Blackmun, turned out to be a very progressive member of the Court, and was the author of the majority opinion in Roe V. Wade, the abortion case, which has continued to divide Americans 44 years later, and which the Republican Party is attempting to bring about its reversal, with one step being the addition of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

Now, in 2017, President Trump and the Republican controlled 115th Congress seem to be on the road to destruction of all of these major achievements under Richard Nixon, a true travesty of justice.

We are witnessing the most reactionary, right wing extremist Congress and Presidency in American history, and progressives must fight tooth and nail to prevent this destruction of the “good side” of Richard Nixon’s legacy.

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.

Neil Gorsuch On Supreme Court A Fateful Turn To The Right, Unless He Surprises, As Other Republican Appointments In Past Have Done

Seven Republican appointments to the Supreme Court since 1953 turned out to be less conservative than expected, so the question that arises, as Neil Gorsuch, appointed by Donald Trump, becomes the 113th Supreme Court Justice in American history is, will Gorsuch follow that lead?

At this point, it seems highly unlikely, but there is no way to know how a person on the Court, who potentially could be there for 35 years, until 2052, will react as cases come before him. If he has an open mind, he could surprise us, as history records for appointees of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush prove.

Chief Justice Earl Warren and Associate Justice William Brennan, appointments of Eisenhower, thought to be conservatives, turned out to be path breaking liberals on the Court.

Associate Justice Harry Blackmun, appointed by Nixon, proved to be the same, as did John Paul Stevens, appointed by Ford.

Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony Kennedy, chosen by Reagan, proved to be the swing vote,often siding with the liberal side of the Court, despite their generally conservative bent.

And David Souter, appointed by the first Bush, also proved to be a surprise on his vote much of the time.

So we will see over the next few years if Neil Gorsuch surprises.

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.

Obama Care Survives: Massive Defeat For Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, And Republican Party, And Public Opinion Is Turning Negative!

Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and the Republican Party have suffered a massive defeat, in their failure, after 60 votes over the past six years to destroy Obama Care, and now being unable to control their own caucus and accomplish its demise yesterday in the House of Representatives.

The Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, Can still undermine the enforcement of the law, and cause it to fail, but it will put the blame on Donald Trump for failure to enforce the law as it is, until and when it is repealed and replaced.

The irony of it all is that Obama Care is really the Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich Heritage Foundation program of 1993, offered as an alternative to Hillary Care, and is also based on Romney Care in Massachusetts, but once Obama was elected, the GOP decision was to refuse to accept any health care plan, and Mitt Romney ran against his own program in Massachusetts, when he opposed Obama in the 2012 Presidential election.

So both the Republican Party and Mitt Romney were engaged in total hypocrisy, when Obama settled for what has become law, due to the difficulties in gaining “a public option”, or promoting “Medicare For All”, a single payer system, when both would have taken control away from the health insurance companies.

The proposed bill that never came to a vote yesterday would have caused 24 million to lose all health care coverage, and would have given massive tax cuts to the wealthy yet a third time, after Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and George W. Bush in the 2000s, taking the needs of the wealthy who do not need a tax cut over the needs of millions of Americans.

Donald Trump has failed, and has discovered that his business methods do not work in politics, with him having believed like Ross Perot in the 1990s, that all you had to do was take the politicians into a room, and you could force them to do what you want, and both Perot in theory then, and now Trump in practice, is learning otherwise.

So we saw yesterday a rare moment of humility by Trump, who had claimed Obama Care would be gone on the first day of his Presidency.

We also saw yesterday the gleeful Paul Ryan, so anxious since college to destroy the social safety net while drinking kegs of beer and failing in love with lunatic Ayn Rand, finally getting his comeuppance.

The GOP is doomed as long as they allow the 30 or so members of the House Freedom Caucus to hold them hostage, a group which forced John Boehner out of the Speakership in 2015.

It is time for Ryan to start working for bipartisan government, and ask Democrats for help, as otherwise the GOP will fail to get anything done, since the anarchistic Freedom Caucus is out to destroy government itself, and must be repudiated totally, and told where they can go.

The Republican Party may be the majority right now, but public opinion has turned against them on health care, with only 17 percent supporting the failed Ryan health care plan.

So Ryan Care or Trump Care lies in ruins at this time, and it is well deserved.

The Wealthy And Corporations Love Trump, Most Pro Business Since Calvin Coolidge, But The Great Depression Came After Coolidge!

The stock market has surged since the election of Donald Trump, and has hit the 20,000 mark and now the 21,000 mark, a 15 percent increase.

And why not? This nation, and its clueless masses, worship wealth and opulence over principle and ethics, sorry to say!

The wealthy elite and the corporations love what Donald Trump represents—massive tax cuts for the top one percent promised, and the end of most regulations of corporations in all fields of the economy.

This is already the most conservative President, just in pledges and promises, that we have seen since Calvin Coolidge nearly a century ago.

Even Ronald Reagan was not able to do so much so quickly, or pledge to do, as Donald Trump has been pledging to the elite wealthy.

Meanwhile, for the average American, and the blue collar whites who voted for Trump, they are not yet aware of the scam being perpetrated, as they lose their health care, their protection from environmental calamity, and their social safety net that they receive in greater numbers than minorities often have.

No longer can they get a lower interest rate on mortgages, or a greater overtime pay at work, or protection from being victimized by those who advise them on retirement investments.

Public schools will be harmed; gays and transgender people will be discriminated against in an open fashion; civil rights violations will not be investigated; and civil liberties of all of us will be undermined by a lawless, corrupt administration which is taking advantage of gullible citizens who thought a narcissistic billionaire, who has always treated his workers, contractors, and tenants with disdain throughout his life, could be trusted.

While the wealthy and corporations celebrate Trump, expect that we will have the same result we had under Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover–the coming of the Great Depression; and the same results we had under George W. Bush, the Great Recession.

Remember also we had great economic recessions under Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s; under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s; and under Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush in the 1980s and 1990s.

The way we get out of economic depressions and recessions is to elect Democrats—Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy. Lyndon B. Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama, with FDR and Obama being the most crucial Presidents in taking us out of the two greatest economic downturns of the past hundred years–1929 and 2008!

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: The Golden Age Of The Presidency, 1933-1969 (FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ) With Five Of The Top Ten In History!

One final commentary on the C Span 2017 Presidential Survey is in order.

Based on the results of this survey, including 91 Presidential scholars, it is clear that there was a Golden Age of the Presidency from 1933-1969, a 36 year period in the 20th century when we had five Presidents–4 Democrats and 1 Republican—who had a transformational effect on American history.

All five of these Presidents—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson—had bright moments in their Presidencies, but also times when their actions caused problems down the road of history. But they had a massive impact on the office and the nation, and they were ranked as Numbers 3, 6, 5, 8 and 10 in the most recent C Span survey.

Three of them—Truman, Eisenhower, and Johnson—left the Presidency with very low public opinion ratings, but have recovered to rise dramatically in image and reputation over the decades.

The four who followed FDR institutionalized the New Deal and expanded it, and yet now in 2017, everything that was accomplished in both domestic and foreign policy is in danger from the anarchistic, chaotic forces of Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon et al, who are ready to use a sledge hammer to destroy all of the progress and growth of the federal government to protect the population, particularly the vulnerable groups—the poor, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, women, ethnic and racial minorities, labor, and those concerned about the environment.

Since 1969, the Presidency has been going through crisis, first through the shortcomings and paranoia of Richard Nixon, through further decline under Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter (despite their well meant intentions), and then through the Presidency of Ronald Reagan which revived the image of the office, but started the long term decline of the middle class by its actions, continued under George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton despite some reforms, and then reaching a low under George W. Bush, leaving Barack Obama with a challenge unseen since FDR.

Obama’s response in the midst of constant obstructionism was miraculous, and his number 12 rating upon leaving the Presidency insures his eventual rise to the top ten of the list, likely through a decline of Woodrow Wilson and Ronald Reagan by a few notches.

Donald Trump will cause the rise of all of the Presidents who have not done well in the rankings—Nixon, Ford, Carter, and the second Bush—but that reality is a sign that the American Presidency has been under attack as an institution since 1969, with the only bright moment being the rise of Barack Obama. So we are unlikely to see a new Golden Age, and the five Presidents from 1933-1969 are likely to be well entrenched in the Top Ten for the long haul of American history.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey Results On George W. Bush And Bill Clinton: Little Hope Of Further Rise, And Never Above Barack Obama

The C Span 2017 Presidential survey gives evidence that the two Presidents before Barack Obama–George W. Bush and Bill Clinton—are unlikely to rise very much from their positions in the recent polling.

George W. Bush was a very low 36 in 2009 and now has risen a few notches to 33, while Bill Clinton, who had been 21 in 2000, and rose to 15 in 2009, remained at 15 in 2017.

Bush’s slight rise is due to recognition that he did have some virtues, as with his promotion of immigration reform although it failed to be achieved, his education reforms (No Child Left Behind), his promotion of tolerance toward Muslims after September 11, his prescription drug program for seniors, and his aid to Africa on AIDS.

But there is little room to move up, as to believe that Bush’s failures will ever be overlooked enough that he will rise above Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford, seems delusional.

So at the most, Bush might move above Rutherford B. Hayes, who has had a dramatic drop from 26 in 2000 to 33 in 2009 and slightly up to 32 in 2017; Zachary Taylor (who died after the third shortest term); Benjamin Harrison (who was sandwiched in between Grover Cleveland’s two terms); and James A. Garfield (who died after the second shortest term due to assassination). It is not really an accomplishment to pass two short term Presidents, and two one term Presidents of the Gilded Age. No one higher from Number 28 Richard Nixon upward is a likely candidate to fall below Bush ever in the future. So Bush will not be like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Lyndon B. Johnson, who started off low and then rose to the top ten over time.

As far as Bill Clinton is concerned, his original low standing was due to the fact that he had the most corrupt Democratic Party administration, although it was on a lesser level than Republicans Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant, and Ronald Reagan. His personal sex scandals brought him down as he was leaving office, but his rise in 2009 seemed reasonable, but really what will allow him to rise further, as he did not do in 2017?

The more one looks at Clinton, the more one realizes that his time in office is best remembered for a good economy which just happened to be lucky to coincide, but which included the moat conservative Democratic administration of the 20th century, with him cooperating with the Republicans on ending the Interstate Commerce Commission; ending the federal guarantee of welfare; passing very strict crime bills that backfired over time; and allowing corporate mergers that no other Democratic President would have allowed. And his shortcomings became more evident as his wife, Hillary Clinton, pursued the Presidency, and ultimately lost, even though she won the popular vote by three million.

The only practical way for Bill Clinton to rise is to overcome James K. Polk, who was extremely successful in his one term; or James Monroe, who in his two terms, accomplished enough that his significance has been recognized. So do not expect any rise from number 15 for Bill Clinton, despite his great charisma and personality.

When Bush and Clinton pass away in the future, it might cause some rise in their ratings, but unlikely long term, and it is a reality that Barack Obama, already ahead of both and likely to rise, will always be ahead of the two Presidents before him, as well as certainly so above the President who has succeeded him, Donald Trump, who has in one month set his legacy, that he will be at the bottom or close to the bottom of ratings in future surveys after he leaves office, hopefully sooner than one term.

Donald Trump keeps on saying he inherited a “mess”, a total lie, which will not stand now or in the long run of historical analysis!