Soviet Union

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey: Dramatic Rise Of Dwight D. Eisenhower And Ulysses S. Grant Since First Poll In 2000

The C Span 2017 Presidential Survey demonstrates the dramatic rise of two war heroes in our two major wars: Dwight D. Eisenhower in World War II, and Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War.

Both were Republican Presidents with low historical esteem as Presidents, particularly Grant, but both suffering from long term negative images in the White House.

But Ike, as Eisenhower was affectionately known, has soared from 9 in 2000 to 8 in 2009 to 5 in 2017, surpassing Harry Truman, who dropped slightly from 5 in 2000 and 2009 to 6 in 2017.

And Grant, who was 33 in 2000, soared amazingly to 23 in 2009 and now 22 in 2017.

Ike was well liked, but thought of as a weak, lackadaisical President when he left office in 1961, more remembered at the time for playing golf than anything else.

People thought of the fact that Ike “allowed” the Soviet Union to go into space first in 1957; and that the U-2 Spy Plane Incident in 1960 complicated relations with the Soviet Union, and ignored the many accomplishments of the 34th President.

Since then, his stock has risen with the understanding of his handling of the Little Rock Crisis in 1957; his ability to work with leaders of the opposition Democrats (Sam Rayburn and Lyndon B. Johnson) who controlled Congress for 6 of his 8 years; his acceptance of the New Deal programs of FDR; his creation of a federal commitment to health, education and welfare through the HEW Department in his first year; his promotion of the interstate highway system as a followup to Abraham Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad; his signing the first two Civil Rights laws since Reconstruction; the establishment of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Defense Education Act in reaction to Sputnik; his refusal to escalate to major involvement in Vietnam and warning his successors, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, to avoid the morass that occurred; and his path breaking Farewell Address, warning of a military industrial complex endangering American democracy and American foreign policy.

Grant was thought of historically as a great General in the Civil War, gaining the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia to end the Civil War, but as President best remembered for his liquor problems, making him a certifiable alcoholic; massive scandals around his Presidency, typified by the Credit Mobilier Scandals; two Vice Presidents (Schuyler Colfax and Henry Wilson) involved in corruption; and economic hard times leading to the worst economic downturn (the Panic of 1873) until that time, with a massive depression that undermined the majority party outside the South, the Republican Party, and led to the contested Election of 1876.

But in recent years, there has been recognition of Grant promoting racial equality through backing of Congressional Reconstruction in the South and the support of the 15th Amendment and laws against the Ku Klux Klan and additional Civil Rights legislation; promotion of an Indian peace policy very different from earlier and later times; his around the world tour after his Presidency adding to his stature; his amazing Memoirs, written as he was dying of cancer, and still considered a classic work, unsurpassed by any other President; and the deep mourning and honoring of Grant in death, including the commemoration of Grant’s Tomb in New York City in 1897. No one even in 2017 is rating him in the top 20 Presidents, but his rise from very low to middle status is quite an accomplishment, although it is hard to imagine him rising any further.

The question arises whether modern Presidents, including Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Nixon, who have fallen in recent times in the Presidential polls, will yet arise and pass Grant, and knock him down below them in the future. Historians are constantly changing their perceptions of our Chief Executives, and it will continue into the long term future.

Trump White House Aide Stephen Miller Declares President Has Ultimate Authority And Cannot Be Challenged! This Arrogance Must Be Repudiated!

Trump White House Aide Stephen Miller is an arrogant, dangerous 31 year old man who has the gall to declare that the nation will soon learn that the President has the ultimate authority in the nation, and cannot be challenged in his grab for total control by any federal court.

Miller is a Fascist demagogue, who would fit in perfectly in a totalitarian state, such as Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, or the Soviet Union.

The shock is that Miller is Jewish, and yet is close to Stephen Bannon, the former Breitbart News Alt Right extremist, who is White House Counselor and Senior Aide to the President. He is also associated with white supremacist leader Richard Spencer, who has promoted violence against immigrants and non whites.

Miller showed up on four Sunday news programs, and talked like an authoritarian with a cockiness and self assurance that requires a quick reprimand, and yet, instead, Trump went on Twitter to support and applaud his aide’s performance.

It is clear, day by day, that Trump is moving toward establishing an authoritarian government, but it must be stopped dead in its tracks, by the Republican Party, which must love the country more than power and expediency, or go into the dustbin of history.

The question is whether critics in the media, the Democratic Party, and among the general population, can unite to pressure the Republicans to recognize that Trump is dangerous, mentally unhinged, and has dangerous aides that must be removed by a future President Mike Pence.

Will Pence do what is best for the nation, as it is hard to believe that he is not disturbed by the actions of Miller, Bannon, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who is now in danger because he communicated with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office, about the sanctions put on Russia by Barack Obama in his last days in the Presidency.

The Russian connection of Trump and Vladimir Putin, the “bromance”, is a national security issue that must be fully investigated, and if shown to be undermining our nation, Trump must be forced out of office, but meanwhile, the nation is in danger from people like Miller, Bannon, and Flynn.

The Republican Party, Donald Trump, And Russia: Ronald Reagan Is Turning Over In His Grave!

The Republican Party is now faced with an incoming President who is cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and whose National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, are also too close to the Russian dictator.

To have much of the Republican Party willing to accept this without complaint is an outrage, and a danger to national security.

Thank goodness for such Republicans as John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio for making clear they plan to put the feet of Rex Tillerson to the fire, and somehow, Michael Flynn, who also believes in conspiracy theories, but does not require Senate confirmation, must be prevented from serving Donald Trump in the White House, where his deleterious impact could be of great harm, outweighing that of Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Ronald Reagan would be turning over in his grave, as Barack Obama said, if he knew what has happened, and so would Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and other dead Republicans, who made their careers on anti Soviet stands in the Cold War, including 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater.

Yes, the Cold War is supposedly over, and Communism is gone, but is this true? Putin, after all, was part of the Soviet KGB Secret Police, and has blood on his hands, and has gained possibly the largest personal fortune of any human being on earth

We must deal with Russia, but to be naive about it, and give in to flattery, as Donald Trump has done and is doing, is alarming and dangerous to the national security of this nation.

Imagine the infamous Joseph McCarthy, the Red Scare villain of the 1950s, and how he would react to the craziness and lunacy of American foreign policy under a reckless, dangerous, unhinged Donald Trump!

Giant Historical Figure Fidel Castro Dies, A Transformative Figure, With Great Negative Impact On The World!

Fidel Castro of Cuba, the most significant figure in Latin America in the 20th Century, and one of the most vicious dictators of modern times, passed away at age 90 on Friday.

He left behind a legacy of a brutal dictatorship, which while making some improvements in health care and education, took away any semblance of civil liberties and civil rights, and imprisoned, tortured, and murdered dissidents in great numbers over more than a half century of rule.

Castro was the longest lasting leader of modern times, with only Queen Elizabeth II of England having come to office about seven years before Castro took over the capital of Cuba, Havana, on New Years Day 1959.

Who would have thought that someone who came to power on the island of Cuba, which had been a playground for wealthy Americans, under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, at a time when this author was in high school, would last in power for a half century, and then be replaced by his younger brother, Raul Castro, a decade ago, and still rules?

Castro became the dire enemy of the Unites States, and Cuban exiles fleeing to Florida in 1959-1960 and again in 1980 (the Mariel Boat Lift) and constant escapes since then, have affected the history and politics of Florida and the Republican Party, with Cuban Americans flocking to support of the party after John F. Kennedy failed in his attempt to remove Castro from power in the Bay of Pigs Fiasco in April 1961. This made Cuban Americans the one Hispanic group that would refuse to support the Democratic Party, as many Cuban Americans saw JFK as a Communist for failing to succeed to remove Castro. This led to the most dangerous moment in the Cold War years, as Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union’s leader, formed an alliance with Castro, who had declared himself a Communist, and installed Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba, with the Cuban Missile Crisis bringing the world closer to the danger of a nuclear war than any other event in history before or since. Only with the cool headed leadership of JFK was nuclear war averted.

Castro was a maniacal figure, who also abused the rights of gays and lesbians in Cuba, and initiated aggression overseas by supporting national liberation movements in Latin America and Africa, and the people of Cuba suffered economically under his five decade rule. Few more influential and significant dictators have existed, and those he is often compared with–including Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini–only lasted 25, 12 and 21 years compared to his 47 plus years.

The question is how Cuba will evolve now, with brother Raul Castro, age 85, having said he will leave power in February 2018, only 14 months away, and also how Donald Trump will react to the death of Fidel Castro, after Barack Obama had begun new relations with Cuba in 2015.

What Would Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan Say About Donald Trump And Russia?

Joseph McCarthy, the infamous “witch hunter” of Communism and the Red Scare of the 1950s, saw Russia as the enemy and had no tolerance for anyone who showed anything other than antagonism toward the Soviet Union.

But Donald Trump acts as if Russia under Vladimir Putin, formerly in the Soviet Secret Police, the KGB, is somehow just a strong man who is “popular” in his country, and seems to admire him.

Even one who is a harsh critic of McCarthy and his demagoguery, including this blogger, somehow knows that the Wisconsin Senator would be leading the charge against Donald Trump if he were alive today.

But the same could be said of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both who dealt with the Soviet Union and Communism, but had no illusions about the Russian leadership.

It is astounding how many Republicans, of a party that made Communism and Russia the biggest villain for decades, now sit back and accept Donald Trump’s “bromance’ with Putin.

It is not that America should not deal with Putin, but rather that America’s leadership understand his tactics and purposes, and not be living in an illusion as to the history and culture surrounding Russia and its leader.

Such illusions could lead to total disaster in international affairs!

February 9, 1950 And Now: The Ugly “Red Scare” Revived!

On this day in 1950, Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph R. McCarthy came to notice when he accused the Truman Administration of being “soft on Communism”.    This  began a nearly five year rampage of accusations against government officials, college professors, journalists, actors, and many ordinary citizens, that they were either “pinkos” or were actually Communists who had undermined the nation in favor of the interests of the Soviet Union and Communism.

Many politicians and others joined the crowd of attacks, and many others in and out of government were terrified, and kept silent, as people’s lives were ruined.  This had begun even before McCarthy became infamous, and the film TRUMBO well portrays what happened to Hollywood writers in the later 1940s, and the role of actor John Wayne, actor Ronald Reagan, and Congressman Richard Nixon, among others, in that “witch hunt”.

This is a day to recall, because it is clear that we are witnessing the beginning of attacks on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a democratic Socialist, who just became a member of the Democratic Party this past year, and is now, contending for the Democratic Presidential nomination seriously. Bernie Sanders is no danger in any sense, but he is now facing vicious attacks beginning, and they will not stop as long as he has a serious chance to be the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016.

Donald Trump has called Sanders a “Communist”, and if Sanders becomes more of a serious contender beyond his expected win in New Hampshire, then we will see a slew of such attacks by Republicans and the right wing, making Sanders out to be Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, and Fidel Castro, all wrapped in a 74 years old Senator, who is the longest serving Independent in all of American history!

This is very disturbing, and all good people MUST, whether they support or oppose Bernie Sanders, fight against a new “McCarthyism”, as to have a new period of a Red Scare is simply intolerable, and it must be exposed for the evil that it is!

Silly Season: Comparing Donald Trump To Ronald Reagan Is Preposterous!

With Donald Trump  having led public opinion polls for the Republican Presidential nomination for six months now, “silly season” is beginning, as we are starting to have Trump compared to former Presidents, when he is not at all like any former President!

The most preposterous is the comparison of Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan.

One does not have to be a Reagan fan, which this blogger most certainly is not, to consider such a comparison totally crazy!

There is no comparison between the two men that makes sense other than that Reagan was considered a long shot for the nomination and the Presidency, as Trump is right now.

But otherwise, there are no similarities, except maybe the fact that both Reagan and Trump were formerly Democrats.

But what advantages did Reagan have?

Reagan had been Governor of California for eight years, while Trump has never been in public office.

Reagan had developed strong conservative convictions, while Trump has no strong beliefs other than his own ambitions.

Reagan was never a narcissist, while Trump is the personification of narcissism.

Reagan was always charming as a person, hard not to like, even if you did not agree with him, while Trump is obnoxious and disgusting as a person.

Reagan was widely read on political principles, while Trump never has any connection to the facts and truth and is a massive liar unseen in modern history.

Reagan set out to unite the nation around nationalism in a safe, civilized manner, while Trump loves to incite his audiences through disgusting examples of racism, nativism, and misogyny.

Reagan never trusted the Soviet Union and avoided praise of Russian leadership, while Trump has endorsed the leadership of Vladimir Putin, and doubts the violations of human rights that are clearly going on in present day Russia.

Reagan promoted immigration reform, while Trump exploits the anti immigrant extremism of much of the Republican Party in 2015.

Reagan was able to unite Republicans around his leadership, while Trump would be unable to unify the party and would be more polarizing in the White House than any President, bar none.

Reagan knew how to conduct diplomacy, and never set out to insult foreign leaders and governments, while Trump revels in insults and bad behavior toward the outside world.

Reagan may have had mental lapses starting to develop in his second term, but Trump is clearly mentally unbalanced now, and would be a danger as to his rhetoric and actions, were he to become President.

So any comparison of Trump and Reagan is purely ridiculous!

In Crisis Moments, Should An American President Resign, As Reckless Republicans Are Suggesting? Of Course Not!

Think of how many times a crisis has arisen in American history during an administration of innumerable Presidents!

Should James Madison have resigned as he fled the capital as the British invaded Washington, DC  in August 1814 during the War of 1812?

Should Abraham Lincoln have resigned when various times in the Civil War the Confederacy won major military battles from 1861-1863?

Should Franklin D. Roosevelt have resigned when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941?

Should John F. Kennedy have resigned when Russian missiles were discovered in Cuba in 1962?

Should Ronald Reagan have resigned after the loss of 252 Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983, due to Islamic terrorism?

Should George W. Bush have resigned after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by Al Qaeda?

In these and innumerable other situations, of course the answer is NO!

But now, suddenly, reckless Republicans want Barack Obama to resign due to the Paris terror attacks, which they blame Obama for, even though ISIL (ISIS) is the outgrowth of the disastrous and unnecessary Iraq War waged by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

This demand for resignation occurred after “Jihadi John”, who slaughtered foreign hostages by knife, including Americans; and a leading figure in ISIL (ISIS) in Libya, were killed by American air strikes, but before the tragic Paris terror attacks, as if the Republicans have s simple answer to the threat of Islamic terrorism!

So in a crisis moment, the nation should rally around the President, as is typical in most cases historically.  But even when not unifying around the President, no leader should bow to political attacks, and instead go to work and face the crises that arise, as so many Presidents have done throughout American history!

Paris Terror Attack Makes Clear Growing Threat To President And Presidential Candidates!

My new book on Presidential assassinations and threats has pointed out the constant and growing danger of assassination threats to our Presidents, including Barack Obama, and my recent op-ed in THE HILL on October 22 drew attention to the growing threat to Presidential candidates, with Donald Trump and Dr. Benjamin Carson now, after much delay, receiving Secret Service protection.  Hillary Clinton, as former First Lady, automatically receives such protection.

As I have pointed out, all Presidential candidates deserve at least some protection, with those doing better in attracting crowds and gaining in public opinion polls having more protection, which would now include Bernie Sanders, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Jeb Bush at the least.

The idea that the French President, Francois Hollande, was in danger at the soccer stadium at the time of the Paris terror attack last night, and had to be whisked out is alarming, and all Western European leaders, as well as those from Canada, Australia and the US are going to need  heightened protection in this age of terrorism gone overseas from the Middle East to the rest of the civilized world.

The western world is faced with a crisis that Pope Francis has called World War III, but without organized governments engaged in the terrorism, presenting a massive challenge as these terrorists are willing to commit suicide to achieve their goals, unlike the former Soviet Union, which was a constant threat during the Cold War, but also had leadership that wished to win, rather than sacrifice their lives.

So as a result, it was possible over time to overcome the Soviet threat, but in this age of terrorism, it is hard to see a resolution of this crisis no matter what the strategy is that is adopted.

We live in the most crucial time since World War II, and we need statesmanship and courage to meet the challenge!

Rand Paul Attacks On Bernie Sanders As Future Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, And Pol Pot Is Outrageous And Preposterous!

Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has not been doing well in polls, fund raising, or in the two Republican Presidential debates held so far.

As a result of his failures, and the complete disaster that his libertarianism represents to any intelligent person, Paul has gone on the attack against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is doing very well in public opinion polls, particularly among millennials, despite his “Democratic Socialist” advocacy.

Paul has said that Sanders would bring dictatorship and a mass genocide to the world, similar to Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Mao Tse Tung of China, and Pol Pot of Cambodia, a totally outrageous and preposterous assertion.

One would think that Bernie Sanders is somehow dangerous, when he is not one bit dangerous, while Rand Paul’s vacant libertarian Ayn Rand philosophy of selfishness, greed, and lack of concern for the poor and disabled is the true sickness and evil in political discourse!

Paul is doing what Donald Trump is doing, asserting that Socialism in the American variety is the same as Comunism, as the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Fidel Castro’s Cuba, demonstrating that neither Paul nor Trump have a clue as to the massive differences between American Socialism and Communism, as practiced in totalitarian dictatorships.

The fact that Sanders is advocating Scandinavian style Socialism (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), and that the New Deal of FDR, the Great Society of LBJ, and Barack Obama’s reforms represent similar ideals and goals is made out to be something to panic over, when we have been living with “Socialism” for a century, and not many Americans, even those who say they hate Socialism, are about to give up the benefits and successes of the New Deal and Great Society, including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, labor reforms, consumer reforms, and environmental reforms!

To label Sanders a dangerous Communist reminds us of the Joseph McCarthy era, already being started on right wing talk radio and Fox News Channel, and the American people should not allow themselves to be subjected to such hysteria and mass panic, when there is not an iota of truth to the allegations of the right wing, and the libertarians, led by a failing Presidential candidate, Rand Paul!