Theodore Roosevelt

It Is Official: The Republican Party Has Become A Cult Around A Strong Arm Authoritarian Out To Destroy American Democracy!

The Republican National Convention began today during the daytime hours, and Donald Trump and Mike Pence were renominated for President and Vice President of the United States.

Donald Trump avoided tradition and spoke for an hour, ranting and raving against his “enemies”, reminding those who know history of Adolf Hitler at his Nuremberg rallies.

We are witnessing the Republican Party officeholders swearing their loyalty to a man who has lied 20,000 times in office; has promoted racism, nativism, misogyny, white supremacy; has become a friend of authoritarians and alienated democratic nations; has undermined the judiciary, intelligence agencies, the foreign policy apparatus, and attacked the news media as “the enemy of the people”; has bullied and attacked all of his critics incessantly; has undermined our environment and civil liberties; has refused to take strong action against the CoronaVirus Pandemic; has shown no sense of compassion, empathy, decency or dignity in any form; and a legion of others sins and shortcomings that has never been matched by any previous President in more than two centuries of American history!

The party of such Presidential luminaries as Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush has been shamed by Donald Trump!

The party of such Congressional luminaries as Charles Sumner, Robert LaFollette, Sr., George Norris, Arthur Vandenberg, and Everett Dirksen has been embarrassed by the weak kneed refusal of today’s Republican members of Congress to show some backbone to Donald Trump!

Face the facts: the Republican Party has become a cult, and is unlikely to come back into respectability, even after Donald Trump leaves the scene, as he has done so much damage and harm, that the Republican Party name may very well go into oblivion!

Presidential Debates Are Worthless, Unless Donald Trump Agrees To Two Conditions: Taxes Revealed, And Fact Checker For Trump Lies!

There is no point to Joe Biden agreeing to debate with Donald Trump, unless Trump agrees to reveal his tax records, as Joe Biden has done, AND it is also agreed that there will be a fact checking team approved by both candidates to be hired by the non partisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

That team would report with ten minutes left in the debate any misleading statements, phony numbers, or outright lies uttered by either candidate.

Trump lies as he breathes, as Thomas Friedman of the New York Times said last month, and Biden should not allow that to go unanswered by a fact checking team at the debate.

Since Biden is comfortably ahead in all polls, he gains nothing by debates, and by refusing to debate, will infuriate Trump, who will go even more looney.

Trump knows he is losing, and Joe Biden should just continue to make public statements before small audiences with proper distancing. Biden is being helped by various Republican groups who are dedicated to Trump’s defeat as the only way to revive the party of Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Joe Biden has been right since January on the CoronaVirus Pandemic, and should make the effort to win as many states as possible, but the debates make no sense at this point, unless Trump agrees to the two conditions mentioned above, which will not occur!

Vandalism Of Confederate Statues,Works Of Art, Is Outrageous, While Renaming Military Forts Can Be Done By US Government, And Schools And Streets If Supported By Popular Vote

A major controversy has developed about removing statues and renaming schools, military forts, and streets of those who were involved on the Confederate side of the Civil War.

There is no debate that the Confederate States of America was based on the preservation of slavery and white supremacy.

So it is perfectly appropriate to rename schools, military forts, and streets that honor such political and military figures of the Confederacy. The US government can simply decide to change the names of the forts, but to rename schools and streets should be up to popular vote of those in the communities.

At the same time, the Confederate Flag should not be permitted on public property.

However, should the destruction of statues be promoted?

My answer is absolutely not, as statues are works of art, and should be respected, and should not face damage, vandalism, and destruction.

There should be a vote of the appropriate population that decides if such Confederate statues should be peacefully removed, and put in museums.

And this move to destroy statues of non Confederate leaders, including Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, as well as other historical figures, must be resisted forcefully.

Yes, the early Presidents were slave owners, and yes, many Presidents had racist backgrounds, but it is all part of history, and we cannot allow so called “purification of history” to please radicals who wish to destroy the American past!

Rather, teach the truth, but honor the important contributions of Presidents and others who also did good deeds.

We are not going to allow destruction of Mount Rushmore, but also, we are not going to allow destruction of Stone Mountain, which honors Confederate leaders. This is part of our history which needs to be taught and exposed, but not allowing violent action to suppress!

We cannot deny our past, and we cannot destroy our past, clear and simple!

The Empathy Of Clinton, George W. Bush, Obama, And Also Lincoln, TR, LBJ, And Carter, As Compared To Trump

One of the most important traits that any President should have, but not all do, is to have empathy, an understanding of the struggles and difficulties of people’s lives, and the ability to relate to the tragedies of others.

Donald Trump has not an ounce of empathy for anyone, as he is a total narcissist, and clearly does not care about others, only his own advancement financially, and to control others to his own benefit.

Trump does not lose sleep over the devastation wrought by the CoronaVirus Pandemic that could have been dealt with two months earlier, and made the tragedy far less deadly.

The three Presidents before him had empathy as, for example:

Bill Clinton at the time of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995.

George W. Bush after the attack on New York City on September 11, 2001.

Barack Obama and the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut.

Many other earlier Presidents also displayed empathy, with a few examples being

Abraham Lincoln mourning the loss of life at the time of the Battle of Gettysburg and the later Gettysburg Address in 1863.

Theodore Roosevelt demanding action on protection for workers and consumers with the protection of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, after Publication of Upton Sinclair’s realistic novel, “The Jungle”, that same year.

Lyndon B. Johnson making a commitment to civil rights legislation and the War On Poverty despite his Southern heritage.

Jimmy Carter’s entire life of empathy, including his post Presidential activities even now at age 95.

Donald Trump Botched His Last Attempt To Show Concern For The American People, In His Atrocious Reaction To Covid-19 Pandemic!

Donald Trump, the extreme narcissist, and mentally very unstable, and more dangerous every day for the nation, botched his last attempt to show concern and empathy for the American people, by his atrocious reaction to the CoronaVirus Pandemic!

Any chance he had to redeem himself to the American people and his historic reputation is lost, as he has refused to promote contact tracing or testing, and is very willing to accept mass loss of life without any guilt or conscience!

All that matters to Donald Trump is to be reelected, with the thought that if somehow, through foreign collusion, voter suppression, or gerrymandering combination, he is reelected, the nightmare we are living through will become much worse!

This is not just about massive loss of life, but also the abuse of power by a reenergized President who will go further in destroying the Constitution and Bill of Rights, setting up a Fascist dictatorship that his Republican Party will abide by. This will be instead of promoting the principles enunciated by Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and other historic Republicans of principle and common decency over the 166 years of the party’s history!

Once we lose our basic civil liberties and civil rights, how can we ever regain them? How can we protect the vulnerable among us, including the disabled, the elderly, the young, and racial and ethnic minorities, which will suffer more than the general population?

That is why, as stated in my History News Network article of April 29, the Election of 2020 is the most significant one since 1940, in that our whole way of life is in danger, as it was in the four previous elections discussed in the article—1860, 1864, 1932, and 1940!

Crucial Vice Presidential Choices In American History, Good And Bad

As Joe Biden decides soon who will be his Vice Presidential running mate, this is a good time to look at crucial Vice Presidential choices in American history, both good and bad.

There is a myth that the Vice Presidential choice does not matter, but it most certainly does.

Abraham Lincoln, in order to help his reelection chances in 1864, dropped Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson. Johnson would go on to be the worst blunder of Lincoln, as he succeeded Lincoln after only six weeks in office, divided the country, and was impeached.

William McKinley lost his Vice President, Garret Hobart, in 1899, due to heart disease. If Hobart had not died, he would have become President in 1901, but instead, it was Theodore Roosevelt, who transformed the office of the Presidency.

Franklin D. Roosevelt dropped third term Vice President Henry A. Wallace in 1944 in favor of Harry Truman, who succeeded him after 82 days as Vice President, and most scholars believe Wallace would have been a terrible choice to be President.

John F. Kennedy could not have won in 1960 without Lyndon B. Johnson, who would carry along to success the domestic goals of JFK, and expand beyond it in the “Great Society” programs in the mid 1960s.

Jimmy Carter had a perfect match for Vice President in Walter Mondale, who became the most active and engaged Vice President, practically a co-President.

Ronald Reagan had no foreign policy experience, and George H. W. Bush was a great asset to him in the 1980s.

Bush made a terrible choice in Dan Quayle as his Vice President, and made everyone pray for his health when he had an “atrial fibrillation” in office.

Bill Clinton was fortunate to have Al Gore as his VP, as Gore helped to direct Clinton on the environment, an issue Clinton had performed poorly as Arkansas Governor.

George W. Bush had a smart, intelligent, capable Vice President in Dick Cheney, except for the reality that he “ran the show” in the first term, and pushed us into unwise wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and managed to make millions of personal wealth from Halliburton.

He is often called the most powerful Vice President in American history, in the sense of his impact and powerful influence in policy under Bush, although somewhat less so in the second term, as Bush separated himself to some extent from Cheney.

The Barack Obama-Joe Biden “Bromance” was extremely close and influential, only matched by the Carter-Mondale partnership.

The relationship between Donald Trump and Mike Pence has been one of total sycophancy by Pence, as he hopes to become President at some point in the future. The evangelical Christian Right has been a major factor in the total degradation, and lack of ethics and morals of the Trump Presidency.

So for good or for bad, the Vice Presidency has made a difference!

“Red” States Are Suicidal In Thinking They Are “Safe” Due To State Lines, As If CoronaVirus Pandemic Does Not Cross Borders!

We have now seen about 44,000 people die from the CoronaVirus Pandemic, increasing more than 2,000 per day.

Twenty thousand of these deaths are in the Tri State Area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

But there are even more deaths in the other 47 states, and not just the coastlines, meaning not only the Pacific Coast and Atlantic Coast.

The virus has hit everywhere, although not equally, but there is no certainty or security that numbers will not grow dramatically, in the so called “Flyover States”.

And yet, the “Red States”, the Republican states of the “hinterland” are living in a delusion that they can conveniently “open up” in the next few days or week, particularly in the Southern states of Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, and Florida planning to join this “suicide mission” in effect soon, as well!

These states, which tend to be highly religious, as compared to most of the nation, and are so oriented toward Pro Life on the issue of abortion, seem ready to sacrifice loss of life because the capitalist system demands opening up, even if workers are endangering their own lives, and that of their families!

And we have people who cannot tolerate delaying haircuts, having their nails done, going bowling, and a myriad of other activities, and are not concerned that they are endangering their own family members and friends, and strangers too, along with themselves, because they are so spoiled and only think of “Me, Myself, and I”!

We are losing an American life every 32 seconds right now, and have lost more than the top five European nations combined, but profit and greed still rule in Republican states, as if the virus does not cross state lines!

Within the next two weeks if not sooner, we will have lost more Americans in two months than all of the years of the Vietnam War–58,000–which took 12 years, not 60 days!

When will Republicans and Southerners value life over profits? This is what Donald Trump has done to the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, Reagan and H. W. Bush, a total disgrace!

The So Called “Liberal News Media” Are True Heroes, Constantly Explain Facts And Truth!

Donald Trump, as usual, condemns the “liberal news media” as a “hoax”, as “fake news”, as journalists who are out to get him, as if it is the job of news media to be “nice” to Presidents and other political leaders.

If one went back to the past, ask Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and other Presidents how they reacted to constant harsh criticism from the media of their time periods.

Of course, they did not like it, but NONE of them acted the way Donald Trump has, which is a threat to democracy and freedom of the press!

The news media, often called “liberal”, is only called that because they refuse to support corruption, racism, nativism, misogyny, homophobia, corporate wrong doings, religious hypocrisy, and lack of ethics and morality among public figures.

They are out to report the truth, the facts, and take a lot of flack from those who choose to ignore the fact of their accuracy and honesty, with an occasional, human trait, error, but not intended, not endemic, and not evil spirited!

It was the news media that saved us during Watergate, and it is the news media that is doing heroic service in working to prevent a Trump dictatorship, which he would love to impose on the American people.

Journalists worldwide and in this nation have often sacrificed their safety and even lives, in their mission to inform, and nothing will stop them from their commitment and willingness to sacrifice for the common good!

Trump And Right Wing Media Put Economy Above Lives

It is clear that Donald Trump and the right wing media (Conservative Talk Radio and Fox News Channel) are ready to put the economy above lives of elderly people and even those of all ages.

Ignoring science and the reality of the CoronaVirus pandemic raging worldwide, the mood is to “get back to business” and have people interact rather than isolate themselves at home.

Certainly, the collapse of the stock market, almost 40 percent in a month, and millions of people going jobless, is a very disturbing development.

But to stand by and encourage social interaction that will likely kill millions of Americans is simply suicidal behavior!

For the conservative movement and the Republican Party to back Donald Trump in worrying more about the economy than life itself is beyond reasoning, particularly for an ideological movement and a party so hellbent on ending abortion.

The Republican Party and conservatism may be remembered in the long run for their lack of concern for people’s health, and willingness to sacrifice the elderly.

That is a horrific condemnation of the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt!

Eleven Presidents With Compassion And Empathy, And Eleven Presidents Who Had Neither

Since today is Presidents Day, this author and blogger is posting two entries after the one yesterday, to commemorate the holiday.

So here is the second entry today, and the third and last entry to celebrate Presidents Day!

The most important traits that any President should have, but many do not, is compassion and empathy.

There are Presidents who have compassion and empathy as very clear parts of their personalities, and there are those who have absolutely no such compassion or empathy, making them uncaring and harsh in personality.

A list of eleven Presidents WITH compassion and empathy would include the following in chronological order:

John Quincy Adams

Abraham Lincoln

James A. Garfield

Theodore Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Harry Truman

John F. Kennedy

Lyndon B. Johnson

Jimmy Carter

Bill Clinton

Barack Obama

Those eleven Presidents who most lacked compassion and empathy chronologically would include:

John Adams

Thomas Jefferson

Andrew Jackson

John Tyler

Andrew Johnson

Woodrow Wilson

Herbert Hoover

Richard Nixon

Ronald Reagan

George W. Bush

Donald Trump

Debate and discussion on this and the earlier two entries is welcome!