Theodore Roosevelt

Constitution Day: A Day To Commemorate, And A Warning Of Our Potential Future

Today, September 17, is Constitution Day, the day that the Constitution was signed by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

It has survived 230 years since it went into effect in 1789, and has weathered the crises of the Civil War, the Great Depression, the two World Wars, the Cold War, Watergate, and now the Donald Trump threat to the enforcement of the Constitution.

We are in a constitutional crisis, the greatest since Richard Nixon, but in many ways, far more massive, and all efforts must be taken to insure that Donald Trump does not destroy our Constitution, which he is so intimately involved in trying to do as we go about our business every day of supporting our families, and trying to insure a long term future for our children and their children.

The Constitution is not perfect, and needs reform over time, but the idea of calling for a new Constitutional Convention is horrifying, as it would open up the possibility of abolishing the Bill of Rights and transforming the nation into a full scale Fascist dictatorship, with right wing forces wishing to destroy all of the reforms that have made America a more equitable and decent society within the last century from Theodore Roosevelt onward through Barack Obama.

A New Gilded Age Is Upon Us With Donald Trump’s Policies Favoring The One Percent And Corporations

In the late 19th century, America went through the “Gilded Age”, a period where industrial capitalism emerged, and led to a small percentage of people who became super wealthy on the backs of workers, immigrants, racial minorities, women, and the poor.

A large percentage of Americans lived in deprivation, as greed and selfishness reigned, and the Republican Party gave up its basic principles and became the willing collaborator with wealthy industrialists and corporations.

But a reaction against the corruption and scandals in government at all levels, and the lack of ethics and morality and compassion by corporate leaders led to a reform movement, known as the Progressive Era.

The hope is that the present disgraceful and corrupt system of government and corporations who are tied to the worst President in American history, Donald Trump, will cause a similar reaction among voters and citizens, and usher in a new Progressive Era in 2020, with a young President, similar to Theodore Roosevelt, who inspired many to seek reform of the worst evils of society.

Donald Trump’s policies favor the one percent and the corporations, and it is time for a peaceful “revolution” to throw the “rascals” out and bring fundamental democratic reforms that restore faith in the American “dream”.

The odds are growing that Donald Trump will suffer a defeat on the scale of Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush, both Presidents who deserved better than they had occur to them, but richly deserved to happen to Donald Trump!

Are We Ready For Another “Revolutionary” Change, Beyond Barack Obama?

Democrats are faced with a challenge that will determine the Presidential Election of 2020.

Is the nation ready for another “revolutionary” change, beyond Barack Obama?

The nation elected a mixed race African American Senator to the White House eleven years ago, something much more “revolutionary” than electing the first Catholic President John F. Kennedy in 1960.

The question is whether the nation is ready to do any of the following:

Elect the first woman President (Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Tulsi Gabbard)

Elect the first mixed race woman President (Kamala Harris)

Elect the second African American male President (Cory Booker)

Elect the first Latino President (Julian Castro)

Elect the first gay President (Pete Buttigieg)

Elect our first Jewish President (Bernie Sanders, Michael Bennet)

Elect our first Hindu President (Tulsi Gabbard), who was born in the US territory of American Samoa.

Elect our oldest first term President at inauguration (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren)

Elect the first President who will reach 80 years of age in office (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden)

Elect our first sitting Mayor (Pete Buttigieg, Bill de Blasio)

Elect the first sitting Congressman since James A. Garfield in 1880 (Tulsi Gabbard, Seth Moulton, Tim Ryan, Eric Swalwell)

Elect a President younger than Theodore Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy (Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Eric Swalwell, Seth Moulton)

The Misunderstanding Of The Terms “Liberal” And “Progressive”

A new debate is emerging over the use of the terms “Liberal” and “Progressive”.

There are those who think there is a real difference between these two political terms, but this blogger and author wishes to make clear that he sees no difference in reality.

The term “Progressive” became popular with the rise of President Theodore Roosevelt, and Senators Robert La Follette Sr of Wisconsin and George Norris of Nebraska in the early 20th century. This term became notable due to these Republican officeholders and others.

But in the 1930s, Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal ushered in a different term, that the reforms of the 1930s were “Liberal”, and for the next half century, “Liberal” was the preferred term, promoted by President John F. Kennedy, and Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and others in the Democratic Party, and by Republicans including Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Senator Jacob Javits of New York and others.

With the rise of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency, with the attacks on “liberalism” by conservatives, the term “Progressive” returned to favor, and this author chose that term for the title of his blog, when he began it in 2008.

But I consider the terms “Liberal” and “Progressive” to be interchangeable, as both represent the promotion of the virtues of government; the need for economic regulation; the promotion of social reform; and concern for human rights and environmental protection. Additionally, the importance of international alliances and agreements is paramount, and the avoidance of unnecessary wars and military intervention except if truly a threat to national security, is essential.

So for instance, World War II, the Korean War, and the Persian Gulf War were justifiable, while the wars in Vietnam and Iraq were not justifiable, and support of military dictatorships around the world suppressing freedom has always been unethical and immoral.

So as I stated on my Personal Profile page since August 2008, I am proud to call myself a “Liberal” AND a “Progressive”!

Is America Ready To Elect A Gay Man As President? The Rise Of Mayor Pete Buttigieg

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has been the big surprise of the political season, coming across as very intelligent, very competent, very charming, and very inspiring as a potential Democratic Presidential nominee.

If elected, he would be only 39 years and one day old on Inauguration Day 2021, making him by far the youngest President, nearly four years younger than Theodore Roosevelt and more than four and a half years younger than John F. Kennedy.

The fact that Mayor Pete is gay and has a husband, Chasten, who would be First Gentleman, has not harmed him, except among older generation religious hypocrites, including the evangelical Right, who would not vote Democratic in any case.

But if we could elect a Catholic in John F. Kennedy and mixed race African American in Barack Obama, both at young ages (43 and 47 respectively), why could we not elect a younger gay man who has more knowledge, education, compassion, and common decency than Donald Trump?

And were Mayor Pete to be the Vice Presidential running mate instead, imagine the debate between him and Vice President Mike Pence from the same state, Indiana—a gay man against the most hateful anti gay basher in American politics?

Mayor Pete would “slaughter” either Donald Trump or Mike Pence in a nationally televised debate!

Clinton Case And Trump Case For Impeachment Totally Different, Including Clinton Popularity Remained High, And Trump Has Never Had A Majority Popularity Rating!

As the debate begins over whether Donald Trump should face impeachment by the House of Representatives, even if the US Senate will not convict, it is instructive to examine the Bill Clinton Impeachment and compare it to the proposed Donald Trump Impeachment.

Bill Clinton remained popular through the whole impeachment crisis and after, and yet the majority of the American people did not support his impeachment, based on the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky scandals. But the Republican Party played politics, and insisted on impeaching him and bringing him to trial in the Senate, knowing full well that Clinton would NOT be removed from office, and knowing that if he was removed, Al Gore would have become President and had an edge as a sitting President for the 2000 Presidential election.

Donald Trump, on the other hand has never been popular with more than 42-43 percent of the American people, and the support for his impeachment has grown as time has passed, although a majority in polls do not yet support action to be taken, despite the clear cut abuses of power and obstruction of justice being utilized by Trump, including refusal to hand over documents and have people testify before Congressional committees. And the fact that he has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from his properties, violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, is yet another reason for his impeachment, no matter what happens in the Senate.

Democrats know that if Donald Trump were to be removed, Mike Pence would replace him, a horrifying thought, but for the record of history, it is clear that Donald Trump is more abusive of power, and violating the separation of powers and checks and balances, endangering the nation in international affairs, and in retaining the great reforms of Democratic and Republican Presidents since Theodore Roosevelt and through Barack Obama.

There is no acceptable excuse for moving ahead on impeachment, and it is time for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to stop worrying about the impact of impeachment, and do the right thing, make Donald Trump accountable under the Constitution for his violation of his Presidential oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States!

New York City Mayors, Other Mayors And The Presidency

New York City has had Mayors who have sought the Presidency, but never has a NYC Mayor reached the White House.

With the announcement by present NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio of him becoming number 23 to run for the White House, this is a good time to look back at failed runs for the White House by NYC Mayors, and the history of other Mayors who have run for President.

DeWitt Clinton was the Federalist nominee for President in 1812 against President James Madison, but lost.

John Lindsay switched from the Republican to Democratic Party in 1972, but lost early in the process and withdrew his candidacy by April.

Rudy Giuliani was leading in polls in 2007 as a potential Republican nominee, but flopped badly and withdrew in January 2008.

Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, then an Independent, then a Democrat, considered announcing in 2016 and 2020, but decided not to at the present time, due to Joe Biden entering the race with similar views.

Additionally, a future President ran for Mayor of NYC in 1886 as a Republican, and ended up third, and yet went on to the White House, and that was Theodore Roosevelt.

Additionally, we have former Buffalo, New York Mayor and New York Governor Grover Cleveland who went on to the Presidency in 1884.

Other Mayors who ran for the Presidency include:

Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who went on to the Senate and Vice Presidency, but lost the Presidential election of 1968 to Richard Nixon.

Sam Yorty of Los Angeles, who ran for the Democratic nomination unsuccessfully in 1972.

Dennis Kucinich of Cleveland, Ohio, who also served in Congress, and was a Democratic candidate unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2008.

Martin O’Malley of Baltimore, Maryland, who also served as Maryland Governor, and ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Additionally, two Presidents who succeeded after the death of the incumbent President, had served as Mayors of small cities–Andrew Johnson as Greeneville, Tennessee Mayor; and Calvin Coolidge as Northampton, Massachusetts Mayor, and was successful in winning his own term as President in 1924.

And now, of course, we have four former Mayors running in the Democratic Presidential competition:

Cory Booker of Newark, New Jersey

Julian Castro of San Antonio, Texas

John Hickenlooper of Denver, Colorado

Bernie Sanders of Burlington, Vermont

We also have three sitting Mayors now running for the Democratic nomination:

Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana

Bill de Blasio of New York City

Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida

Today, May 8, Is The 135th Anniversary Of Harry Truman’s Birth, And The 74th Anniversary Of The End Of World War II In Europe

Today, May 8, is a momentous day, as it is the 135th Anniversary of the birth of President Harry Truman, and also the 74th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

There are very few veterans left from World War II, as the only survivors would be at least 92 if they had just entered war service in the last months of the war in 1945.

The “Greatest Generation”, as Tom Brokaw called the veterans of World War II, made great sacrifices and we honor them every Memorial Day in May and Veterans Day in November.

And we honor President Truman, who despite much controversy over his actions in office, is ranked in polls of scholars and experts as either number 5 or number 6 among all our Presidents, something no one in his time in office ever imagined he would reach.

Truman proved that an “ordinary man”, the only modern President not to have attended or graduated college, could be an effective President, and a voracious reader, proving that not all education and drive comes from a college degree, but from ambition and motivation to overcome one’s shortcomings.

This author and blogger would rank Truman Number 4, ahead of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, now rated in the C Span 2017 Poll of Historians above him, as he faced crises greater than all Presidents except George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. We were blessed to have two exceptional Presidents in a row in FDR and Truman.

The Case For The Impeachment Of Donald Trump For The Historical Record, Even With Understanding That Republican Controlled Senate Will Not Remove Trump From Office

The time has come for the House of Representatives, under Democratic control, to begin the ground work needed for the impeachment of Donald Trump, for having committed “high crimes and misdemeanors” in office.

The historical record needs this impeachment action, even with the understanding that the Republican controlled Senate will not remove Trump from office.

If the Republicans went ahead in 1998-1999 to impeach and attempt to convict and remove Bill Clinton from the Presidency, on a case far less abusive and dangerous than Donald Trump, knowing it would not succeed, then there is no excuse for the Democrats to avoid doing the same.

The Republicans will be condemned for allowing the abuse of power that Donald Trump has been waging since Day One of his Presidency, and while it will distract somewhat from the basic agenda of ideas that Democratic Presidential candidates are pursuing, it is part and parcel of the essential responsibility that the Democrats have, to hold Donald Trump accountable.

If they fail to do that, they will be pilloried in history for having overlooked and ignored the movement toward authoritarianism, and it would encourage future Presidents to abuse power in the same manner.

So this is a character lesson for the future of the American Presidency and American democracy, and there is no room for weak leadership, whether from House leadership or Senate leadership of the Democratic Party. Courage and principle are required, and Donald Trump needs to be held accountable, so that in future generations, young people will learn about the evil and the wrongs visited upon the American people by a very evil man, far more evil than even Richard Nixon.

Our future national security and ability to have foreign alliances with democratic nations is also at stake, as well as the perpetuation of the wonderful domestic programs promoted by Presidents of both parties from Theodore Roosevelt through Barack Obama.

When one looks back at impeachments in the past, not only that of Bill Clinton pales by comparison, but also that of Andrew Johnson. And as dangerous as Richard Nixon was, he looks like a choir boy by comparison to Donald Trump.

25 Years Since Richard Nixon Death On Earth Day

It is now a quarter century since President Richard Nixon died, ironically on Earth Day, April 22, 1994.

Nixon has been rightly criticized and attacked for the Watergate Scandal and related illegal actions, which led to his impeachment by the House Judiciary Committee, before his resignation when the Supreme Court ordered he hand over the Watergate tapes to the Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski.

But historians regard Nixon as the second best Environmental President of modern times, just behind Theodore Roosevelt, and ahead of Jimmy Carter, as he went along with the Democratic Congress in promoting the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, and could have prevented it by a presidential veto.

Many might say that other Presidents belong that high up in the rankings, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy, and Obama’s involvement is still being evaluated as to where he should rank in the listings.

One thing for sure, other than TR and Nixon, no Republican President ranks high, except in the damage done, as for instance, particularly with Ronald Reagan, Warren G. Harding, and more than either of them, Donald Trump.