Tom Brokaw

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 Need For Strong Backing Of Journalism To Hold Trump’s “Feet To The Fire”!

It is urgent that all Americans realize the overwhelming importance of strong backing of major newspapers and magazines, as well as PBS, NPR, CNN and MSNBC to hold government leaders’ “feet to the fire”, to hold them accountable on government policy.

Donald Trump’s attack on the news media is an alarm bell in the night.

Without a free press, specifically print media and electronic media, our democracy can be taken away from us, and no journalist or media source can allow themselves to be intimidated, and must pursue the truth about government leaders and policies without fear of retribution.

If we lose freedom of the press, then our basic civil liberties are threatened, and that is why such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center and others like them, must be fully supported in fighting in court to prevent the loss of freedom in any form.

There are cynics about the news media, but such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and major journals of opinion, both in print and online, must be vigilant and not allow themselves to be threatened, as they are the first line of defense for all Americans.

At the same time, CNN and MSNBC must work at being more accurate and less motivated for profit, as many Americans who do not read news online regularly, rely on them to do the job that we used to expect automatically from such media luminaries in the past, such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, and others, including Diane Rehm on NPR, who just retired, and will be greatly missed!

Donald Trump: Total Phony, Liar, And “Spoiled Child”! An Authoritarian Demagogue In The Making!

Donald Trump has revealed himself as being a total phony and liar, which makes him no different than some of the politicians he deplores.

Trump tells us how terrible Hillary and Bill Clinton are, what failures they were and are in one moment, but eight years ago he raved about Hillary and Bill Clinton as very smart, very accomplished, very nice people.

Trump tells us that Bill Clinton is a sexist, while demonstrating just how much of a sexist he is himself!  Trump talks about the scandals around Bill Clinton, while having been divorced two times and married three times, something we have never seen in the White House before, with the one exception of Ronald Reagan, who was divorced once and married twice, but had no tone of scandal around it.  Even Adlai Stevenson, Bob Dole, John Kerry, and John McCain were only divorced once, and except for Stevenson who never remarried, married only twice!

Trump tells us how wages are too high, and then tells us that, like Bernie Sanders (who is seen as attracting some voters in New Hampshire by his condemnation of low wages and the power of the top one percent), that wages are too low!

Trump trashes the leading newspapers in Iowa (Des Moines Register) and New Hampshire (New Hampshire Union Leader) because they denounce his lies and phoniness, and endorse someone else, acting like a spoiled child, which he is and was, unable to take any criticism.  It makes one wonder how he would deal with the news media, since he attacks them in a manner unprecedented by any President or Presidential candidate in American history!

Trump is a danger to American democracy, a true Fascist authoritarian figure, who draws support from blue collar working class white men, who want to blame the problems in their lives on Mexicans, Muslims, women, immigrants, and people of other minority backgrounds.  These disillusioned citizens are being misled by demagoguery of the most dangerous kind imaginable!

Tom Brokaw, the former anchor of NBC News, has called Trump Hitler like in his appeal to voters, a very dangerous man, and for Brokaw to do that is a sign of how stable, intelligent people are truly worried about a possible Trump candidacy!

 

70th Anniversary Of Japanese Attack On Pearl Harbor!

On this day in 1941, the world changed forever for the United States, when Japan attacked our naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, killing about 2,400 military personnel and sinking eight battleships, and committing other major damage.

The attack took America out of its isolationist slumber, and brought us full scale into World War II. Looking at it then, it seemed close to impossible that the United States could defeat the forces of Fascism and Nazism represented by Imperial Japan, Fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany.

America had to adjust its economy, build up a war footing very quickly, and adjust to the reality that the war would take young and middle aged American men to overseas battle, with about a quarter of a million killed in the conflict that roared on for the next, nearly four years.

The war was a challenge to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he faced tremendous pressure only matched, possibly, by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War.

Today, the veterans of Pearl Harbor, and of the war itself, are diminishing rapidly, with the average living veteran being in his 90s, and the youngest probably 86 or 87, for those underage who looked mature and lied their way into the military services.

This was the GREATEST GENERATION as journalist Tom Brokaw has termed them, and we owe our freedom and liberty to their courage, their sacrifice, and their commitment to their country!

We can honor them by visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, and other memorials all over the nation, including the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Hawaii.

The war showed what could be done if only the nation was united, as it most certainly was, after Japan attacked.

Only the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, can be regarded as an equal moment of shock, and as a turning point in our history, in the sense of changing our view of the world forever.

So on this day, we should all express thanks for what was done by the generation of our grandparents and great grandparents, allowing us to have the blessings of liberty and freedom in 2011!