Vietnam War

Joe Biden Becomes A Wartime President

Joe Biden has become a wartime President, alongside James Madison, James K. Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

At this point, he looks more like Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Truman, and George H. W. Bush than the rest of the group.

If fortune goes against him, he might look more like Madison, who saw the nation divide during the War Of 1812 and the White House being burned; like Polk, who caused a split over slavery expansion during the Mexican War that helped to lead to the Civil War a decade later; like LBJ, who divided the nation over Vietnam just as he promoted the Great Society; like Nixon, who continued an unpopular war in Vietnam that ended up in a tragic loss; and like George W. Bush, who started two wars based on poor tactics and planning, and dominated by lies and deception in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Historic Moment For Vice President To Turn Against President: Extremely Rare!

Former Vice President Mike Pence has FINALLY stopped being a sycophant to Donald Trump, after being obsequious to the former President since his selection to be Vice President in the Summer of 2016.

Pence has been weak all along, but finally said he did his constitutional duty by counting the Electoral College votes in the Presidential Election of 2020, a ceremonial duty, with no power to challenge the official vote count.

This IS an historic moment, for a Vice President to turn against the President, extremely rare!

The only public times were Aaron Burr against Thomas Jefferson in 1801, after Burr created a constitutional crisis over whether he or Jefferson was to be President, due to a so called “tie’ in electoral votes; and John C. Calhoun against both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, the two Presidents he served as Vice President, over the issue of the protective tariff and states rights, secession, and nullification.

Also, but more veiled, not obvious publicly, Charles G. Dawes had disagreements with Calvin Coolidge: John Nance Garner broke with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940 as he sought to succeed him; Al Gore separated himself from Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky Scandal as Gore ran for President in 2000; and Dick Cheney had growing disagreements and a growing breach with George W. Bush in Bush’s second term after 2005.

Also, more veiled was Thomas Marshall not being informed about Woodrow Wilson’s health after his stroke; Lyndon B. Johnson being mistreated by Robert F. Kennedy under John F. Kennedy’s Presidency; and Hubert Humphrey forced to support the Vietnam War under Johnson after 1965, later stated as a very difficult time for Humphrey.

Effect Of John F. Kennedy Assassination Still Reverberates On America 58 Years Later!

This author and blogger was a sophomore in 1963, when John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

It was the most stunning event of my life until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The Kennedy assassination transformed American politics dramatically, both in good ways and bad ways.

It brought about the possibility of the greatest period of reform since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, with Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society.

But it also brought on a devastating long term war in Vietnam, and the beginning of disillusionment with government at all levels.

Had Robert F. Kennedy survived and won the Presidential Election of 1968, instead of being assassinated after winning the California primary in June 1968, the potential for more great reform and change, and to avoid the Presidency of Richard Nixon, would have existed.

WIth RFK’s death, after the earlier tragedy of JFK, America was put into a permanent decline in hope and optimism for the next forty years, as even the election of Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 did not revive the hopes of the Kennedy legacy.

Instead, we had Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush cause great regression in so many ways, as Richard Nixon had done earlier.

Barack Obama was a bright light, but faced great opposition, and the horrors of Donald Trump as his succession!

Joe Biden, who has a bust of RFK behind him on the left in all photos when he is sitting at his desk, is trying to revive the Kennedy legacy of hope and promise, and has made a good start.

But it is clear the two Kennedy assassinations in the early and late 1960s have left a permanent scar on the nation!

Remembering Ted Kennedy, John McCain, Lyndon B. Johnson, WEB DuBois,19th Amendment Anniversaries In Time Of Turmoil

Late August is a time to remember the contributions of three political leaders who were true statesmen, one civil rights leader and educator, as well as the celebration of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts died on August 25, 2009; Senator John McCain of Arizona died on August 25, 2018; President Lyndon B. Johnson was born on August 27, 1908; WEB DuBois died on August 27, 1963; and the 19th Amendment (Women Suffrage) was ratified and declared in effect on August 26, 1920.

These four individuals had a dramatic effect on American history, and the woman suffrage amendment has transformed American history as well.

Ted Kennedy is one of the greatest US Senators of all time, with his 47 plus years of service on all kinds of crucial issues.

John McCain is one of the heroic Senators, who also sacrificed years of torture and imprisonment in Vietnam, and was the true conscience of the Republican Party.

Lyndon B. Johnson promoted the greatest series of domestic reforms (“The Great Society”) since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, and those reforms still impact America today.

WEB Dubois was the most significant early leader of the Civil Rights Movement before Martin Luther King Jr. and impacted the concept of Black History, and holding America to a higher standard of racial advancement.

The 19th Amendment overcame the long discrimination against women participating in public life, and has had an immeasurable effect on the American promotion of democracy.

The “Ups And Downs” Of Ranking Presidents Over Time

Historically, many Presidents have gone through periods of low esteem, and then, suddenly, high esteem in the minds of public opinion and also, Presidential scholars.

Abraham Lincoln had a very divided nation in response after his assassination, and only in the early 20th century, did the nation decide to honor Lincoln with the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, dedicated in 1922. He has been rated Number One by just about every Presidential scholar and poll, except those right wing Confederate sympathizers and white supremacists

Harry Truman left office in 1953 with a very low public opinion rating, and was regarded poorly in assessments of Presidents, until after he passed away in 1972. In the next five years, as TIME Magazine termed it in the late 1970s, we had “Truman Mania”, as massive research and writing on Truman caused his rise in stature to as high as Number 5 in scholarly polls on Presidents.

Dwight D. Eisenhower left office with an image of a passive, lazy President, and the vitality and youth of his successor, John F. Kennedy, did not improve his image, and he was seen as not an outstanding President. But his historical reputation has risen dramatically to the point that in many scholarly assessments, he is now seen as number 5 or 6 among all Presidents.

Lyndon B. Johnson suffered mightily in assessments due to the Vietnam War, despite his amazing domestic accomplishments of the “Great Society”, and was poorly rated for 20 years. But now, he is somewhere between number 9 and 11 in rankings of Presidents.

Jimmy Carter has never risen from the mid to low 20s in rankings and popularity, but it seems possible to imagine that when the longest lived President eventually passes away, that his rating may go up much more than many might now imagine.

Pentagon Papers 50th Anniversary: Turning Point On Executive Authority In Presidency

It has been a half century since the exposure by the New York Times of the Pentagon Papers, that revealed the secrets of how America became engaged in the never ending Vietnam War.

It infuriated President Richard Nixon, and led to circumstances that brought about the Watergate Scandal, and the move to impeach Nixon, leading to his resignation on August 9, 1974.

But now, revelations show Donald Trump had engaged in even worse violations of the law than Nixon did, and this makes it clear how alarming it is that Trump is still trying to promote a coup, as on January 6 at the US Capitol, so that he can return to power.

And it is ever more alarming that most Republicans are willing to bend to Trump’s will, and that the Republican Party of 2021 is far more corrupt and dangerous than it was in 1971!

The Assassination Of Robert F. Kennedy 53 Years Ago Transformed The Future Of America!

The world changed on June 5, 1968, 53 years ago, when Democratic Presidential contender, Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York, was assassinated in Los Angeles.

This author has written about that tragic event in his 2015 book, 2017 in paperback—ASSASSINATIONS, THREATS, AND THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY: FROM ANDREW JACKSON TO BARACK OBAMA (Rowman Littlefield Publishers).

While there was no certainty that RFK would have been the Democratic Party nominee in 1968, or that he would have been able to defeat Richard Nixon, many observers believe his death was a turning point that transformed the future of America!

RFK had been able to put together a coalition of working class whites, as well as African Americans and Hispanic Americans, and he was inspiring many young people to engage in the campaign, including those opposed to the war in Vietnam under Lyndon B. Johnson.

While no winner of the Presidency could, in reality, be expected to accomplish all the goals that had been set, there was great optimism and hope that RFK would have been a transformative President.

Instead, the right wing of the Republican Party won out under Richard Nixon, who appealed also to many George Wallace supporters, and Hubert Humphrey, despite his wonderful record of commitment, was lost in the anti war movement opposition to LBJ.

The next fifty years would be dominated by conservatives who wanted to push the nation backward, and the battle for Democrats has been to overcome their impact, and the battle is presently engaged under Joe Biden, at a very difficult time with Donald Trump promoting the “Big Lie”, that he won the election.

So America is in crisis, and Biden, having the same birthday as RFK, but 17 years later birth, is trying to bring about what RFK was promoting a half century ago!

On Memorial Day Weekend, Republicans Show Contempt For Preservation Of Democracy!

Memorial Day weekend is a time for remembrance of the contributions of generations of Americans who sacrificed their lives to protect and preserve American democracy.

It is a time to give thanks to those who gave their lives for their country in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and other lesser conflicts in American history.

But now, the Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan, has shown contempt for the concept of preservation of democracy, by refusing to back a bipartisan January 6 Commission to fully investigate the US Capitol Insurrection, which caused the death and injuries of scores of US Capitol Police.

The Republican Party has allowed itself to become part of the cancer of Donald Trump, which is destroying the party’s history and reputation.

No matter what, however, there will be full investigation and accountability for the horrid events of that day, including the threatened hanging of Vice President Mike Pence, and the murder of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the dire threats to other Senators and Congressmen, who if not for the Capitol Police commitment, might have become victims as well!

Foreign Policy Rears Its Ugly Head For Joe Biden

Every President enters office wishing to deal with domestic policy and change.

But invariably, foreign policy rears its ugly head much too often!

Woodrow Wilson came to office in 1913, not expecting the First World War I to break out in 1914, and bring us into that war in 1917.

Franklin D. Roosevelt came to office in 1933, wishing to deal with the Great Depression, but also had to deal with the growing Fascist threat of Japan, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and eventually, entrance into World War II!

Harry Truman came to office in 1945 to end World War II, but had to deal with the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and send troops to Korea.

John F. Kennedy came to office in 1961, and had to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Lyndon B. Johnson came to office in 1963, wanting to promote the Great Society, but also had to deal with the Vietnam War.

Every other President in modern times has had to face similar issues, and now, Joe Biden must deal with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran as major headaches, as he tries to resolve the COVID 19 Pandemic Crisis!

500,000 Souls Lost To COVID 19 Pandemic In One Year: A Great Human Tragedy!

In 51 weeks, one week short of a year, we went from zero deaths to 500,000 deaths from COVID 19–February 29, 2020 to February 22, 2021!

The population of Atlanta—the number of dead in Arlington National Cemetery—the total of deaths in World War I, World War II, and Vietnam combined, which took two years in World War I, four years in World War II, and 12 years in Vietnam—this is the loss of a half million souls!

A President (Donald Trump) who presided over the greatest loss of life in one year, and showed no concern, no compassion, no decency, no empathy, as compared to a President (Joe Biden) who commemorated the loss tonight at the White House, and exudes concern, compassion, decency, empathy, not only on the loss of life in COVID 19, but on all issues that affect the American people!

We are finally on the road to recovery, although it will still be a long, hard fought battle, but thank goodness we have a decent President to take us through the darkness!