Winston Churchill

The Worrisome Issue Of Age In The Presidential Campaign Of 2020

The issue of age will rear its head in the 2020 Presidential campaign, whether one likes it or not.

We have five Presidential contenders who will be in their 70s or reach that decade while in office, and two who will reach their 80s early in the term.

The ages of these five contenders at the time of inauguration are as follows:

Bernie Sanders, 79 and four months; Joe Biden, 78 and two months; Elizabeth Warren, 71 years and seven months; Jay Inslee, 69 years and eleven months; John Hickenlooper, 68 years and eleven months.

Either Sanders or Biden would be older than Ronald Reagan was when he left office, and Sanders would be older than Donald Trump if Trump finished a second term, with Biden only three months younger than Trump would be at the end of a second term.

Warren, along with Sanders and Biden, would be the oldest first term inaugurated President, nearly a year older than Trump when he took the oath in 2017.

Inslee would be with just a few days younger than Ronald Reagan when he took the oath in 1981, with Hickenlooper just a year younger than Reagan was, so either still would be the third oldest President on Inauguration Day.

When one considers how Reagan seemed to be declining mentally in his second term, and that Trump seems to many to have mental issues with his behavior and actions, one has to wonder whether Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden reaching their 80s early in the term is not a danger in theory. Also, since Warren would be in her mid 70s at the end of the term, and Inslee the same age as Reagan when he ran in 1984, and Hickenlooper only one year younger than Reagan or Inslee, one has to be concerned about the potential for mental deterioration, let alone the danger of physical health crises.

Few world leaders historically have served into their late 70s or early 80s in a high stress position, as a chief executive. Two exceptions are Winston Churchill of Great Britain, who left power past age 81, and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was well past 87 when he left office. Only Adenauer would be older than Sanders or Biden at the end of a second term in the Oval Office.

Of course, there have been Kings and Emperors who were in office beyond the age of 80, as with Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and recently retired Japanese Emperor Akihito, but neither has had real constitutional authority over government policies.

So the issue of age cannot be ignored as a worrisome issue, sorry to say!

The Destruction Of The “Special” Friendship, Relationship, And Alliance Between The US And Great Britain For A Century

Ever since the beginning of the 20th century, the United States and Great Britain have had a “special” relationship and friendship, and became allies in 1917 when the US went into World War I.

Theodore Roosevelt was very close to Great Britain in the first decade of the 20th century, and Woodrow Wilson was a known “Anglophile” in his writings and scholarship during his years as a professor and university president before he ran for public office.

While the alliance during World War I did not survive in the 1920s and 1930s isolationist period, we were still friendly toward our former mother country.

Then in World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill became great allies and friends, as both nations fought against Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan.

After World War II, the United States became the leader of the free world democracies, and allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the British fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, and in the War on Terror after September 11 in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While the British did not send troops into the Vietnam War, they have always been perceived as our closest friends in the world, alongside Canada.

But now, Donald Trump has openly criticized the British government and its leader Theresa May, and Trump is the most unpopular American President ever in modern times by every measure.

This is a very sad situation, and it is clear that we have just witnessed the destruction of this special friendship, relationship, and alliance between the US and Great Britain.

Joe Biden Looks Ahead: His Diplomatic Experience, His Ability To Unite, His Authenticity May Be The Prescription Needed In 2020

Joe Biden has started to speak out openly about Donald Trump and the future of the nation and the Democratic Party.

Anyone who has followed this blog knows how much I admire Joe Biden.

I wanted him to be the 2016 nominee, but his son’s death prevented that race, but I do believe, had he been the nominee, he would have defeated Donald Trump among the white working class, the crucial vote in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

No politician is perfect, but Joe Biden still stirs the imagination of millions of Democrats and the American people.

His career of 36 years in the US Senate and eight years as Vice President is unmatched. His diplomatic experience, his ability to unite, and his authenticity may be the prescription needed in 2020.

His popularity and respect among Republicans and Democrats is unprecedented for a modern political leader.

The fact that he will be 78 years old days after the 2020 election causes him to be considered not a good choice for 2020.

But just as gender and race should not be barriers, even age should not be, as some older leaders have succeeded, such as Konrad Adenauer of West Germany and Winston Churchill of Great Britain.

This is not an endorsement of Biden for 2020, as ideally, a younger, fresher candidate is highly preferable.

But if Biden runs, and the people in primaries and caucuses want him, why not have him as the nominee in 2020, but with a much younger and well qualified Vice President just in case of tragedy.

Whether or not Joe Biden ever runs for President again, he is clearly a national treasure to be admired and respected!

Two Significant Series Debuting On History Channel And CNN This Week

Two significant documentary series are debuting this week on History Channel and on CNN.

Tonight, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the History Channel has a three part, six hour series on World War I and its effect on the coming of World War II, through a study of major world leaders, including Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Charles De Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur, and George Patton.

On Thursday at 9 PM for an hour for ten weeks, CNN will have a ten hour series on the 1960s, and the effect it had on America with actor-director Tom Hanks involved in the project.

For anyone interested in politics and its effect on history, make it your business to watch and record these two series!

Margaret Thatcher: Loved By Republicans And Conservatives In America, Reviled In Her Homeland!

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday at the age of 87, leaving behind her much discussion of her impact on her nation, on America, and on the world.

Without doubt, Thatcher was the most significant Prime Minister of Great Britain since Winston Churchill, and was the most significant woman leader of the 20th century anywhere in the world.

Without doubt, she transformed the world by her alliance with President Ronald Reagan, and convincing him that working with Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev, the Cold War could come to an end and lead to the downfall of the Soviet system in eastern Europe.

Without doubt, Thatcher had a dramatic effect on domestic politics in her country, with her strong anti labor, anti immigrant policies, gaining a reputation as the Iron Lady who never compromised on her beliefs and created great social and political turmoil that still reverberates in a nation in the midst today of a failing austerity program, that should demonstrate what America should not be doing with its own economy!

But instead of Republicans and conservatives idolizing her for her hard line economic and social policies, they should learn from her ascendancy what happened to the opposition Labour Party, which had gone too far to the left, and was brought by default to the middle of the political spectrum, ultimately leading to the triumph of Prime Minister Tony Blair and a moderated party.

And this is what the extremist right wing Republican Party of 2013 so far has failed to accept—that their party has gone off the deep end in the era of Barack Obama, the first African American President, and that they will NOT come back to power on the national level as long as they veer ever further to the far Right, allowing right wing Christianity, right wing talk show hosts, and extremists on social and economic issues to continue to wield power over their future in the form of the Tea Party Movement!

Just as Margaret Thatcher led to Tony Blair over time, Barack Obama will lead, it is hoped, to a Republican Party more in the mold of the GOP of the 1960s and 1970s—the party of moderate conservative leaders who could appeal to a wide swath of Americans, rather than a narrow ideological group which causes a bad name and reputation for the party of Lincoln, TR, Ike, and the Reagan who was much more moderate in many ways than conservatives paint him to have been!

The Special American-British Relationship Prevails: Obama And David Cameron

The long term American-British friendship and relationship prevails, even now with a “progressive” President and a “conservative” Prime Minister.

Just the opposite of the relationship between a “conservative” President George W. Bush and a “progressive” Prime Minister Tony Blair, still the common ties connect the two nations, which have been closely allied since Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt linked in the Second World War era.

Britain has been America’s greatest ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they are committed to work together against the growing threat presented by the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its move toward a nuclear program that is seen as likely to cause danger not only to Israel and its Arab neighbors, but to Europe and the United States as well.

While Great Britain is promoting austerity to deal with its economic problems, a policy that does not seem to be working very well, the Conservative Party of that nation is nowhere near as right wing as the Republican Party and the conservative movement in America has become.

David Cameron has decided to be part of the cheering section for Barack Obama, something certainly not appreciated by Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul. It is clear that the British government does not have high regard for any of them, while recognizing the need, if any of them are elected, to deal with them.

Reflections On The Pearl Harbor Anniversary

The History Channel tonight presented an exceptional two hour program on the 24 hours after Pearl Harbor, and how Franklin D. Roosevelt learned about and handled the matter up to the declaration of war on Japan precisely a day after the attack.

It made this author wonder about how much is taught about Pearl Harbor in the schools of America. This is such a path breaking event, a turning point in our history, unmatched since the attack on Fort Sumter which stared the Civil War, and only matched since by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

How many students would know what Pearl Harbor represents, and would know that Japan was the nation which attacked us? How many would realize the importance of World War II, and know all the “players” in that war, including FDR, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito?

It is horrifying to think of the historical ignorance of America, not only of this event, but of all of the events and facts of American history and government which are needed for citizens to be knowledgeable enough to be good citizens and intelligent voters!

Education MUST be the prime way for this country to prosper and advance into the future, but instead, we are seeing educational cutbacks all over the nation!

This is, therefore, a time to mourn, not just for the victims of Pearl Harbor, but for ourselves as a nation which is poorly informed, which affects our politics and our hopes for a better America in the future!

Does Osama Bin Laden Success Guarantee Second Presidential Term For Barack Obama?

As a result of the successful raid into the Osama Bin Laden compound in Pakistan, the first thought would be that it gives President Obama a tremendous edge in the contest for re-election as President in 2012.

But before we conclude that, we need to look at history, whether military success insures a political victory.

In at least three cases, two American and one British, exactly the opposite occurred.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was the great hero of World War II and the struggle against Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany. And yet, when the British people voted months after the end of the European war, they chose to vote out the Conservative Party of Churchill and put in as Prime Minister the Labour Party leader, Clement Attlee, who served from 1945-1951.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford mounted a successful rescue mission of 39 US Navy personnel from the ship Mayaguez, which had been seized by the radical Khmer Rouge government of Cambodia. While 41 military personnel died in the successful rescue mission, two more than the number saved, it was still seen as a victory to be able to release the hostages unharmed. But in 1976, President Ford lost to Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia for a full term in the White House!

And in 1991, President George H W Bush was able to mount a UN offensive which defeated Saddam Hussein in six weeks, the very brief Gulf War! Bush’s ratings hit an all time high for any President, 91 percent, but a year and a half later, only 37 percent voted for Bush against Bill Clinton, the second worst defeated President in American history, despite the great and quick victory over Iraq!

So while it would seem likely that Obama gains a great edge for next year’s election by the death of Osama Bin Laden, there is no certainty in any sense of what the future holds!