Monday, July 23, 2018

Trump's Supporters Dissected plus Three "Must Read" Columns



The Trump Voter


It should be clear to most informed Americans (except those who get their news exclusively from Fox News and right-wing internet sources such as Drudge, Newsmax or Breitbart) that the President is totally unqualified for and unprepared to carry out the duties of his office.  His equivocal and hyperbolic skills (a polite way of calling him a liar) may have been successful in the property development field, but they do not work in the White House.

Unfortunately, we are stuck with Donald Trump as our President until that time when he leaves office whether by resignation, impeachment, defeat at the polls, death or disability.  Similarly, unless the Democrats gain control of Congress in November, the Legislative Branch of our government will not seek to remedy this situation either.  It is pointless for me to continue to dwell upon Trump’s shortcomings as I have been doing, week after week.  Those who do not recognize them by now will never recognize them. 

Rather, our attention should be directed to the millions of American voters, at least 40% of the electorate, who voted for and support the President and put us in this situation. 

IT IS THEY, AND NOT DONALD TRUMP, WHO ARE THE PROBLEM.  


On occasion, I have called them gullible and stupid … which to an extent is true … but some of them do have their reasons, valid in their own minds, to vote for him and still support him.  These reasons make them highly vulnerable to his marketing skills.  Let’s look at these voters, broken down into groups, bearing in mind that the President’s supporters may simultaneously fall into several of these groups.  They are not mutually exclusive.   These are the people who put Donald Trump into the White House and gave the Republicans control of Congress and the Supreme Court.

TO DEFEAT THEM, ONE MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT MOTIVATES THEM.

Read on:

Tax-Driven Voters:  Republican tax programs, passed by the strengthened Republican Congress Trump brought into office with him, disproportionately reduce taxes on the wealthy.  If you are wealthy and your accountant says that under Republicans you will pay less money in taxes to the government, or if you own a business, or are a shareholder in one, and their taxes are being similarly reduced, you will vote for Republican candidates.  It is that simple.  


And Donald Trump was the Republican candidate in 2016.  This approach is also followed by those who are not exactly among the wealthy but believe voting Republican would save them a few thousand dollars (rather than the hundreds of thousands the very wealthy save) in taxes each year. Simply said, it’s better in their pocket than in the government’s and that’s all that concerns them.  End of story! Thus, tax-driven voters end up in Trump’s camp.  They may not belong there, but that’s what makes them comfortable.


Rand


Libertarians:  Historically, they believe in as little government as possible, allowing Americans to be free and have the “liberty” to do what they please to succeed, hopefully for the greater good of all.  

Their bible is Ayn Rand’s  “Atlas Shrugged.” Government regulations, regardless of their purpose, are their enemies. Trump’s elimination and reduction of regulations makes these people happy, and incidentally reduces their taxes.  They are the advocates of “cleaning the swamp” which is cluttered with government bureaucrats interfering with their personal and business goals.


Private Enterprise Voters:  They are against government doing anything which can be done by the private sector of our economy.  Greater public sector “efficiency” over the private sector, eliminating the profit incentive, they feel, is paid for by the tax payer and is unfair.  What regulations may be necessary, they feel, should only be at the state level.   This is manifested by their support of the privatization of schools, prisons and health care.  The President has appointed many officials who believe in this approach, worshipping at the shrine of capitalism as if it were a cult.



















Anti-Safety-Netters:  They are against all but barebones, minimal programs, preferably on the State level, to provide tax-supported benefits for those who lack sufficient skills, income or incentives to share in the fruits of our economy by their own efforts.  They oppose welfare programs, food stamp programs, aid to dependent children, day care programs, unemployment benefits and expansion of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to better provide for the disadvantaged. 
  


Federal dollars fund programs like this
Usually, they recommend private alternatives such as charitable and religious organizations to remove the burden of paying for these things from the taxpayer.  While some are sincere in this feeling, believing such benefits perpetuate a class of non-productive “takers,” most simply object to someone getting something free for which they must pay.  Trump’s position in this area, the Republican position, is closer to their beliefs than that of the more humane Democrats, so they are in the President’s camp.




And here is where we cross the line from those Trump supporters described above who have some sort of legitimate (at least in their minds) reason for continuing to back him, voters who probably would vote for Republican candidates regardless of whomever they might be.  We are now entering the dark world of other, more sinister, groups, probably a majority of Trump's support base, where gullibility and stupidity govern their behavior.

Democrat Haters: There are those voters who associate the Democratic Party with socialism or even communism.  They see its liberal and progressive approach to issues as the first steps toward such “Marxist” left-wing economic systems. (See Frederick Hayek's attack on Keynsian economic theory as "The Road to Serfdom.") They cursed FDR’s government sponsored programs to battle the Great Depression of the 1930’s for this reason and basically despise programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and even the Affordable Care Act, all introduced by Democrats, as “socialist.”  They also question the Democratic Party's concern with disadvantaged minority groups as pandering to them, willing to put their needs above those of other Americans in order to get their votes.  These misguided people will stick with Trump until the end.


This is the way they see Democrats



Isolationists:  When the President preaches “America First,” and weakens our ties with our traditional international friends in NATO and the European Union, opposes balanced international trade treaties and won’t participate in worldwide efforts to protect the planet’s environment, he pleases those who think the United States should selfishly ignore everything that goes on beyond the traditional barriers provided by the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.  




These voters believe America is rich and strong, and therefore should “go it alone,” considering the rest of the world as taking advantage of us.  This group also is against sharing our wealth with immigrants and opposes immigration. These economically-naive people will stick with Trump until the end.


Phony Patriots:  Wrapping themselves in the flag, glorifying in the cosmetic pageantry of the military, these folks truly love America, but know little about what it stands for historically, as is the case with the President.  



They like to place little American flags on almost everything from garbage trucks to football helmets. His chastising those NFL players who prefer to kneel during the National Anthem endears him to them. They are happy that he doesn’t object to their carrying guns either, protected by the gross misinterpretation of the Second Amendment the politicized Supreme Court has allowed.  They consider this a patriotic prerogative, somehow in defense of the country.  They will stick with Trump until the end.


Bigots:  Beside opposing immigration, many Americans who are ignorant of our nation’s history dislike anyone who falls outside of the White, Anglo-Saxon, Christian profile of the early settlers of the country.  In most areas, they do accept Catholics but would really prefer if we didn’t have a Jewish population, particularly one so active in the media, entertainment and finance.  They feel the same about other non-Christians.  Many have never gotten over the Civil War and still refuse to accept Blacks as full citizens.  This applies to Northerners as well as Southerners.  They have no love for Latinos either and resent the success many of Asian heritage have accomplished.  

They seem elated when the President gives the appearance of tolerating their violent side and is not repelled by the KKK as was the case in Charlottesville.  Many in this group, and this even includes descendants of immigrants, are there because they have lost their position in the economic hierarchy to technology and less expensive overseas labor.  They are bitter and want to blame someone and Trump, an expert on shifting blame to others, helps them to do so. He doesn’t come out in so many words and say so, but his actions often give aid and comfort to bigots.  They feel that he is with them.  They will stick with Trump until the end.


Charlotteville marchers included some "good people" according to Trump


But as I said earlier, 


DONALD TRUMP IS NOT THE PROBLEM.  HIS SUPPORTERS ARE!

Knowing what motivates them is important if honest, loyal Americans are to be able to work to develop strategies to return our country to the ideals of Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.  That's what this posting is about.   Readers, your task is before you.  Election Day is November 6.
Jack Lippman                                                


Three Columns To Read Before You Leave This Site

Republican Parker and Democrat Friedman
Of course, no one in any of the groups discussed above would bother to read Tom Friedman’s New York Times column from last Monday or Kathleen Parker’s Washington Post column of that date.  BUT YOU MUST!

 If you missed them in those newspapers, or in any of the other papers that carry them, here they are from the Santa Cruz (CA) Sentinel. (easier to link to than the Post or the Times) They say a lot, but unfortunately, those in Congress who can do something about it lack the courage to do so because they are too afraid of losing the votes from the groups discussed above.  No guts.  No courage. 

Read Friedman’s column BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE and read Parker’s column BY CLICKING HERE


Will
Finally, here is the much-talked-about Washington Post column by George Will, dean of conservative journalism, which he wraps up by referring to the President as a "sad, embarrassing wreck of a man."  Check it out BY CLICKING HERE.







(A few years ago, a respected journalist who follows this blog suggested that I provide links to full columns I wanted to pass on to followers rather than fully reproducing them.  Actually doing that would be a violation of copyright laws.  So wherever I suggest CLICKING, please do!)
JL

Clay
Note:  Last week's blog posting included a piece about Henry Clay.  Go back and read it.  (It may be right below what you are looking at now, depending on your device or server.) I have since passed it on directly to several Senators in the hope that they will latch on to it for use in putting our "runaway" President in his proper place.




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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Impeach, Convict and Exile!


**The Prezident

In recent postings, I have referred to the Prezident as a P.O.S. which I defined at one point as meaning “a piece of s _ _ t.”   I now realize that this was far too charitable an insult.  Nevertheless, it is time to deal with him on a more realistic basis.  His shortcomings are so evident that criticism of him need not be embellished by such emotional language, although I suspect that “profound ignorance” may still be right on the mark.

His behavior with Vladimir Putin, despite briefing materials provided to him by his staff, was a cowardly disgrace to our country, bordering on treason, disregarding and demeaning the work of our FBI, our Department of Justice and our CIA.   There was no strategic advantage for our country to be gained by his behavior.  Eighty years ago, Neville Chamberlain’s similar behavior toward Adolf Hitler was at least justified in the eyes of some as preserving “peace in our time” in Europe.  No such “value” was received by our Prezident in exchange for his sitting down with the Russian President.  By criticizing our intelligence agencies, he gave away even more than he did in his meeting with Kim Jong Un, from which he also returned empty-handed.

The only remaining explanation is that something exists which results in such acquiescence to the Russians and Vladimir Putin in particular.  It might be the unconfirmed salacious material in the oft-mentioned “dossier” or it might be some unresolved financial matters in the Prezident’s background.  His performance in Helsinki was vaguely reminiscent of that of American prisoners of war, cajoled by unknown threats or rewards, making anti-American statements at the behest of their captors during recent wars.  He acts like a man with a gun in his back, or someone, either figuratively or literally, caught with his pants down.

It is clear to most thinking people, even Republicans, that the Prezident deserves to be impeached by both Houses of Congress, and once out of office, possibly charged and tried for whatever laws he has broken.  If found guilty, rather than imprisonment, exile would be his logical punishment.  

Unfortunately, the Republican Party has tied its fate to the votes of the many Americans, some say as much as 40% of our electorate, who remain bedazzled by his showmanship, believe his numerous lies and sadly, sympathize with his not so subtle hints of bigotry as being acceptable.



All Republican candidates should be asked if they support the Prezident or are opposed to what he has done to government in the United States, with no room for fence-sitting nor equivocation in their response.  An honest answer will cost them the votes of that unshakable 40% who support the Prezident, and probably mean defeat for them at the polls.  A dishonest answer will make them complicit in his crimes, the least of which is his behavior in Helsinki, which by itself was a violation of his oath of office.  It is not a good time to be a Republican.

                                                       Has our Prezident lived up to this oath?
 
Yes, as his supporters say, “Make America Great Again,” but we must do so by getting rid of the Prezident!  Impeachment, conviction and exile are the solutions.

Well, that’s all there is to it, now, yesterday, last week and tomorrow.  All decent Americans should bend every effort to make sure the Prezident’s tenure in the White House is made as short as possible.  That means working hard to elect Democratic candidates, and Republican candidates as well who have come out strongly against his remaining in office.  

I will be working to re-elect a Democratic Senator in Florida and put a Democrat in the Florida State House.  Every thinking American should be doing the same kind of thing where they vote, and that means making phone calls, registering voters and knocking on doors.  Sure, there remains concern over gun violence, immigration, the environment, the economy, etc. but all of this must temporarily take a back seat to our efforts to send the Prezident back to his sleazy world of real estate peddling, if not exile.  Americans!  Roll up your sleeves and get to work now!



**Translation of title of this posting  is an Anglicized version of the Russian word “Президе́нт,” quite appropriate at this time  for our head of state!.

 

Jack Lippman
 





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Jack Lippman 



Sunday, July 8, 2018

"Illegal" Immigrants and the "Child-Snatchers," a Fourth of July Story, a Maureen Dowd Column, the Democratic Future, Henry Clay Speaks Out (against Trump?) in 1837, Advice for Republicans and a Wiley Comic Strip

Readers:  If are NOT among those who got to this page because you received an email alert announcing the posting, you can be added to the list of those that do get such alerts by simply sending me your email address for that purpose (and none other). JUST CLICK HERE TO DO SO . (If that doesn't work, just send the email to Riart1@aol.com.) Additional blog contact information may be found at the bottom of the posting.
JL


A follower of the blog recently commented that it is getting repetitive.  I suppose he is correct, but the overarching political issues of the day cannot be ignored.  As always, the blog will include your comments (send them to me at Riart1@aol.com) particularly if they disagree with what I write.  And “non-political” articles are always welcome.  If you have something “different” to say, please do!   So, let’s skip politics for a few minutes and start off with what has become the blog’s annual Fourth of July short story from  my "archives."
Jack Lippman



Agricultural Usage

“In the good old summertime,” cousin Mike, “we have lots of fun down here in Florida ... barbecues, beer drinking, swimming at the beach, and fireworks right in the backyard too, ‘specially for the Fourth of July. Betcha don’t have all that kind of good stuff up north in New York, right?”

“I guess not,” Mike replied.  “In fact, fireworks are illegal in New York, except for the big displays like Macy’s and what some towns do in the parks.  You know, handling fireworks is dangerous.  You can blow a finger off.  I read about some kid doing that in the papers every year.”

“I know, I know.  They’re illegal the same way here in Florida too!  But anyone can get them from places like the Fireworks Queen over on 441.  All ya gotta do is sign a form saying they’re for agricultural use.  You know, stuff like for scaring the birds away from crops.”

“Is that how you got the stuff you told me you shot off for the Fourth of July?”

“Yesiree!  I just signed the form and came home with a carload of rockets, pinwheels, shootin’ stars and whatever.  You should have been here to see it.  It was great!”

A ringing of the doorbell interrupted the conversation. Miltie got up to answer it and came back into the living room a minute or so later with a piece of paper in his hand and a confused look on his face.

“Mike, there was a guy at the door says he’s a volunteer from the County Fireworks Watch Bureau.  He had that damn piece of paper that I signed over at the Fireworks Queen when I bought the stuff I just told you about.  Wanted to know where my farm was.  I gotta fill out this form telling him where or I’m subject to a $2000 fine or thirty days in jail.  Told me to mail it back to him by next Thursday or he’ll be back with a Sheriff’s Deputy to take me in.  Do you know any farmers around here?

“Miltie, we don’t have this kind of crap up in New York and I don’t know any farmers in New York, let alone down here in Florida, but I have an idea.  Let me get on your computer and maybe I can come up with something.”

Twenty minutes later, after doing some Google searching, Mike smiled.

“Miltie, look what I just came up with on the internet.”  Both of them leaned over looking at the laptop’s screen, where they read the following: 

“Fertile Swamp Farm – 300 acres of farmland growing vegetables all year round.  You can experience the pleasures of being a ‘gentleman farmer’ by renting a few acres of our land for a month or by the year.  Call us at 1-800-555-7226 for info.”

“I get the idea, Mike.  We can rent a little bit of this guy’s farm, and maybe he’ll backdate the papers, and we can say that’s where we used the fireworks.   You are a genius!  I’m going to call him right now.”

The next day Mike and Miltie drove out State Road 80, way past Belle Glade and Clewiston at the bottom of Lake Okeechobee into the heart of Hendry County.  Finally they saw a sign reading “Fertile Swamp Farm – Next Left – 500 Yards.” 


Following the directions, they turned into a one-way dirt road with two well-worn tire ruts leading to a ramshackle farmhouse next to which there was a gravel parking area in which about a dozen cars and pick-ups were parked.  A teen age boy waved them into a spot and pointed to the farmhouse door.  Once inside, they found themselves among a bunch of people who from their attire, obviously didn’t have anything to do with farming.  A bald middle-aged man, seated at a table, greeted them and checked off Miltie’s name from a list before him.

“Glad you could make it.  Let me explain the deal to you,” he said.

“Hold on a minute, we really don’t want to become ‘gentlemen farmers.’ We just schlepped out here because we figured we could rent some farmland from you for a while.  All we want to do is make our use of fireworks for agricultural purposes legal.”

“I know, I know,” said the man.  “Look around you.  Why do you think all these other guys are here?  Can’t grow anything but weeds in this frigging swamp anyway.  It’s all polluted mud.   But I manage to squeeze out a living off of guys like you.  The going rate is $100 an acre a month, minimum two acres for three months, discounted to $500 if you pay in cash, which is the only way I do business anyway.  Okay?  Make up your mind.  There’s a line behind you.  And before you ask, sure, I’ll backdate the deal. It’s quarter the price of the fine they’ll hit you with.  Sign right here.”

Miltie signed and forked over $500 to the farmer.  They got into their car and quickly fell in behind the line of vehicles crawling back down the rutted road leading to State Road 80.  Once the cars cleared the dirt road and were back on the highway, three or four cars which had been impatiently waiting there made the turn onto the dirt road leading up to the farmhouse. Business was good at Fertile Swamp Farm that day!

Meanwhile, the bald-headed farmer was talking on the phone to his brother.

“Bennie, I know the fireworks stores are slowing down now that the Fourth is over, but you gotta keep pushing them.  Tell them we’ll up it to $25 for each one of those Agricultural Usage forms they copy and give to you.  And wait until you see the neat uniform shirt I got for you to use.  It comes with a “smokie” hat so you’ll almost look like a state trooper when you knock on their doors.”
Jack Lippman


Immigration - Zero Tolerance - Profound Ignorance

It is not illegal for citizens of other countries, either at our border or already in our country, to seek asylum for a variety of reasons.  People doing so are not criminals and are entitled to the "due process" our legal system provides.  Those treating them as criminals are acting in defiance of our legal system and are themselves breaking the law.  This includes the profoundly ignorant person sitting in the White House, thanks to the gullibility of many American voters, many of whom are equally profoundly ignorant.  That is a problem.

When, however, the lines for normal entry to our country to claim asylum are prohibitively long, committing the crime of crossing the border illegally with the intention of claiming asylum immediately when stopped there is perfectly understandable and should not be treated with “zero tolerance.”  Were more facilities available to legally enter the country for the purpose of claiming asylum, many of such illegal entries would not occur.  “Zero Tolerance” is not the American way!

The separation of children from such parents who enter the country illegally in order to seek asylum as well as children of legal asylum seekers who are being held while their requests for asylum are being processed is an act which will blacken American history permanently.  


                                                "Making America Great Again"

And if any of those children fail to be re-united with their parents, regardless of whether or not asylum is granted, those Americans who permitted it to happen, including the President, should be treated as the criminal child-snatchers they are.  The profound ignorance of the *P.O.S. occupying the White House, along with his arrogance, permits this to happen as some in government proceed to follow his direction in defiance of our legal system.   Ignorance, even as profound as that of the President, is not a legal defense.

It is understandable that someone whose career had been in a field where getting away with everything that wasn’t illegal was the usual way of doing business, and where one of the purposes of hiring lawyers was to find a way to legitimize illegal actions, would act this way.  The *P.O.S. doesn’t know any better.

This profound ignorance, sadly and unfortunately for the nation, has spread to the way he handles foreign relations, trade with other nations and most aspects of domestic policy.   Those of you who read last week's posting ("Playing Ping-Pong with Tariffs") read of the danger to our economy posed by the ignorance-based tariffs the President is imposing.  Well, it's happening right now Meanwhile I am sure the *P.O.S. is groping around to find someone to blame for the impending economic disaster he is causing.

But getting back to where this posting started, please remember that it is not illegal for citizens of other countries, either at our border or already in our country, to seek asylum for a variety of reasons.  Never vote for anyone who believes otherwise.

*Recheck out earlier blog postings for definition of P.O.S.
JL

Surprise Upset in NYC Primary and What it Means

Read Maureen Dowd’s recent column about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ victory in a New York Democratic Congressional primary.   CHECK IT OUT RIGHT NOW BY CLICKING HERE(For more than brief excerpts, the blog usually provides "links" to copyrighted articles rather than reproducing them.)

Could this leftward, socialist, Democratic direction be the real answer to the problem Democrats face?  

Ocasio-Cortez is unlike the “Republican-lite” Democratic candidates running outside of historic Democratic urban bastions.  She doesn't need an "independent middle" from which to seek votes.  Most Democratic activists probably quietly agree with her politically but feel that committing the party to the kind of programs she endorses will not be a winning strategy nationally this year nor in 2020.  But, on the other hand, remaining to her right may have the same disastrous results for the Democratic Party as it did in 2016.  That is the Democratic dilemma.

So, should Democrats be honest with themselves and swing leftward?  (More about this, and the damage a third party candidate would have in this age of polarization will appear in the next few postings. These will be the the determining issues in the 2018 and 2020 elections.)
 JL

 
Historical Note – Henry Clay on a Presidency Run Wild 

Henry Clay was never elected to the Presidency although he ran for the office threel times.  He was known to many as the “Great Compromiser” during the turbulent years from 1820 until 1850 when the issue of the expansion of slavery into the Nation’s new, western areas was growing into the crisis which would culminate in the Civil War.  Clay’s compromises postponed that war for several decades.

Never a believer in strong Presidential leadership,  Clay represented the supremacy of Congress over the Executive Branch and of course, was a foe of Andrew Jackson who was our first really powerful President.  Early in 1837, the Senate voted to expunge its earlier censure of President Jackson for his removal of Federal deposits from the private Bank of the United States.  In opposition, Clay spoke these words in the Senate, making it clear that he strongly felt the Senators did not fulfill their duties when they cleared President Jackson. 

Whether Jackson’s censure and its eventual "expunging" were justified is not the point at issue today.  The point being made is that here we have a Senator addressing his colleagues about a President breaking the law and the Senate letting him get away with it, doing nothing about it.  Does this sound familiar in 2018?  Read Henry Clay’s 1837 words. Were such courage present in the halls of Congress today!

“Tell them (the people) … that henceforward, no matter what daring or outrageous act any President may perform, you have forever hermetically sealed the mouth of the Senate.  Tell them that he may fearlessly assume what powers he pleases, snatch from its lawful custody the public purse, command a military detachment to enter the halls of the Capitol, overawe Congress, trample down the Constitution, raze every bulwark of freedom; but that the Senate must stand mute, in silent submission, and not dare to raise its opposing voice … And, if the people do not pour out their indignation and imprecations, I have yet to learn the character of American freemen.”
JL


Advice for Republicans

If Republicans don’t want to be identified …
1.    as members of the party of “child snatchers,”
2.    as members of the party that attacks our world-wide partners in trade and security whose friendship has enabled us to prosper for almost three-quarters of a century,
3.     as members of the party which ignores constitutionally guaranteed rights and
4. as members of the party that fights to reduce health care for millions of Americans,

all that they have to do is recognize that the President must be impeached, convicted and exiled.  It’s that simple.  Then they would have their party back.



                                                       
And wrapping it up for the day, here's a unbelievably creative Wiley cartoon strip from today's papers.   CLICK RIGHT HERE  to learn what to believe and what not to believe.  

JL




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To view older postings on this blog, just click on the appropriate date in the “Blog Archive” midway down the column off to the right or scroll down until you see the “Older Posts” notation at the very bottom of this posting.  The “Search Box” in the right side of the posting also may be helpful in locating a posting topic for which you are looking.

HOW TO FORWARD POSTINGS.
To send this posting to a friend, or enemy for that matter, whom you think might be interested in it, just click on the envelope with the arrow on the "Comments" line directly below, enabling you to send them an Email providing a link directly to this posting.  You might also want to let me know their Email address so that they may be alerted to future postings.


Jack Lippman