Saturday, June 20, 2020

Race for the White House # 77

At this moment, thousands of members of the MAGA Nation are making the trek into a Tulsa, Oklahoma arena for the first Presidential campaign rally in months and certainly the largest indoor gathering of humans since the Covid 19 pandemic was apparent. These people are most likely unconcerned, but many are seemingly willing to lose their life to prove fealty to their leader Donald J. Trump. It has been a horrible week for the incumbent President, on a host of fronts, and this kind of rally is believed to be exactly what might be needed to boost his spirits. If there are to be deaths because of it, no problem, as long as Mr. Trump feels better about himself after hearing the cheers and the chants. It is always about him and always will be. Those who applaud such or choose to look the other way basically deserve whatever they have coming to them. Nonetheless, I wish for good health and long lives for basically everyone. It might also be said that Oklahoma is said to be a pretty safe Trump state, and not typically a place to hold a massive general election rally. I guess that might mean the decision has been made that they can afford to killer off some Sooner State supporters and still win. We have learned already today that six Trump staffers, who are in Tulsa, have tested positive for the virus.

In advance of this gathering, Trump has threatened "protestors, anarchists, agitators, looters, and lowlifes" who may come to Tulsa to oppose him. Of course, it has be recognized that Trump links protestors with the rest, right in front, as among the "lowlifes." Protestors are as American as Apple Pie, (even as all should be conscious of the risks of crowds these days) but the current President is basically a wannabe dictator. We hear about this in the book of John Bolton, who of course should have said all this publicly months ago when he was not in the position of immediate financial benefit, that Trump likes certain dictators around the world and tried to intervene to help them. The book claims that he asked the leader of Communist China to help him win reelection, and in fact all foreign policy actions, as described by Bolton, were solely with reelection and politics in mind. This book also claims that Trump praised the placement of Uighur Muslims in Chinese concentration camps. How disgraceful can it be?

Seven months from today, a President will take the oath of office. It should not matter if the crowds are large or small, but that should probably be scaled back. I have a myriad of issues with Joe Biden that will prevent me from actually voting for him, and I despise so much of the ideological and divisive rhetoric that comes out of the American Left these days. There are policies and programs that Democrats will support that must be fought and defeated. Nonetheless, with each passing day, I want Trump to lose more and more and for his era over both the Republican Party and the United States to be relegated to the ash-bin of history.

Biden leads in the polls for now. Some Democrats are overconfident. Some remember 2016 and are spooked. The die-hard Trumpists largely dismiss the polls either because they also remember 2016 or because they are fully drawn into the cult of denial. It will be hard though for an incumbent to survive this politically. Americans are as unhappy and worried as they seemingly have been in generations. People who took a chance and voted for Trump four years ago are just sick of him. Biden might be able to win this by staying sort of quiet. That might be tough for him to do though. For now, his main decision is picking a running-mate. This will be more than a ticket-partner for a campaign or someone to sit next to him in Cabinet meetings. Considering that Biden would be the oldest President ever elected, this person needs to be seen as a potential Commander in Chief. Political realities though now make it all but certain that the next Veep will be an African-American female. Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, Amy Klobuchar took her name out of consideration this week and urged Biden to pick a minority woman. That was also pretty much a figurative finger in the eye of Elizabeth Warren, who hopes to be picked.

So, it looks like it might now be down to a race between California Senator Kamala Harris and Florida Congresswoman Val Demings. Both have pros and cons. Demings is far less known and is 63 years old herself, but perhaps picking the former cop and police chief, would indicate that Biden is not going to give any consideration to the radical demands of the left to "defund the police" or abolish law enforcement. Of course, he will still apologize for his role in the 1994 Crime Bill. The only thing he should apologize for on that was that it was not tough enough.

Besides for continued bad poll numbers and the revelations from the Bolton book, Trump and his backers were disappointed with Supreme Court rulings this past week, especially as it related to the High Court siding against the White House on cancelling the DACA program. We already know how much the right has come to despise the George W. Bush nominated Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the Court's liberals on this 5-4 decision. There was also an historic decision this week in which it was made illegal for gays, lesbians, and transgendered people to be fired for those reasons. On that vote, the Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch also joined Roberts and the liberals in a 6-3 decision. The White House was more circumspect in avoiding comment on that ruling, but after the DACA opinion came down, Trump tweeted that he believed the "Supreme Court doesn't like me." Again, it's always about him.

Trump also ran afoul this week of private companies Facebook and Twitter which took issue with his using a deceptive video with a fake CNN chryon about a "Terrified Todler Chased by Racist Baby." How childish can one man be? I could go on forever.

Beyond the White House, there was good and bad in America this week. There was of course a situation in Atlanta when a black man was killed by a police officer after stealing their taser and trying to avoid arrest after failing a DUI check. This was said in many ways as was the burning of the Wendy's where it happened outside. One police officer has been charged with murder and another was charged with other crimes. I hope justice will be done, as the law states. I wonder how much of a purely political decision it was to charge these white cops so quickly.

The good is that more and more Americans now know about Juneteenth and there is a push to make it a federal holiday. I think a celebration of the ending of slavery in America, along with the recognition of the evil it caused for so many is welcomed. On the other hand, the excesses of "wokeness" continue unabated. I have long been in favor of eliminating the Confederate flag from American life and have no problem at all with taking down statues of people whose main claim to fame was fighting for the Confederacy. We have long since reconciled as a Union, but those people were traitors and that needs to be remembered historically. We can find far better examples to erect statues of or name military bases after.

However. it is going too far to try to take down statues of George Washington, the Father of our Country. Of course, nobody was perfect, not even by historical standards, but his situation is far different than Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis. The same can be said of Thomas Jefferson and going even further back to Christopher Columbus.  Now, former President Andrew Jackson was truly a bad person. Trump likes him of course. It is time to get him off the Twenty dollar bill and put Harriet Tubman (or Ronald Reagan) on it.

Even more disturbing was the images from last night of a crowd of mostly white liberals in San Francisco topping a statue of Ulysses S. Grant, the Union General who did so much to win the Civil War. Others want to go after Abraham Lincoln monuments as well. Of course, nobody would have been sufficiently "woke" enough back in the 19th Century, but they ought to remember which side Grant fought for and helped won. After the War, as a Republican President, he was also easily the most progressive on Civil Rights of any Chief Executive up to that time, and for that matter,  many years after too. Some on the fringes of the left just seem to hate America. I believe we need more statues of people like Lincoln and Grant, both great historic examples of Illinois Republicans.

The term "silent majority" gets thrown around a lot and will continue to be so throughout this campaign season. Others these days are not so silent. Let us always remember that the most powerful voice we all have is our vote. Everyone should vote their conscience and there will be patriotic people who vote in many different ways this November. Still, my view, irregardless of who might replace him, is that the best possible thing for America is to render Donald J. Trump unfit for the Presidency or any office.


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