It is better we found out now

A friend told me that regardless of the seditious actions and Big Lie of the former president, that even his better educated relatives and friends who voted for Donald J. Trump will do so again. As unbelievable as this sounds, too many think this way. Here was a note I forwarded to him that he could feel free to share.

As an independent and former Republican and Democrat, I understood why some voted for Trump in 2016, as his opponent, although very experienced and skilled, rubbed too many the wrong way. She was one of the most capable candidates that has ever run, yet Trump’s success was getting people not to vote at all or for one of the other three candidates due to her past.

After watching him for four years, I cannot believe people voted for him again as what I saw was overt deceitful and bullying actions and as a conservative pundit David Brooks said a White House that was “equal parts chaos and incompetence.” His bungling of the pandemic response lingered after he left office and endangered too many. Yet, his fans just ignored all the bad press as biased and voted for him again. Yet, seeing the Big Lie and instigation of the insurrection on a branch of government is seditious action and he and his allies should be held to account. It is traitorous behavior. Full stop.

The question is not could Donald Trump win again – he could as we are not a very informed nation on the whole. The question is he should not be allowed to run again because he betrayed his country, as president. We are more divided as a nation because a person with a shallow ego is not man (or adult) enough to admit he lost the election. He can spin this all he wants, but he has lost all but one out of 65 or so court cases and every recount, audit and review. He cannot lose any more than he has. His niece said he will burn it all down to avoid losing the election – it is our democracy he is burning down.

Presidential historians have ranked him the 5th worst president in the US primarily due to his botching the pandemic and the insurrection and Big Lie. Yet, what little success he had is overstated as he inherited an economy that was in its 91st consecutive month of economic growth, with a more than doubled stock market and six straight years of  2+ million per annum job growth. Saying Trump did great with the economy is also saying Barack Obama did as well, which Republicans are loathe to do. Yet, Trump left us with a recession and Obama inherited a recession from his predecessor.

Sorry for the soapbox. Please feel free to route this as you see fit.

A more national conservative beacon owned by Murdoch calls Trump on the carpet

In an opinion piece called “Rupert Murdoch’s team has heard the Jan. 6 committee’s message” by Dennis Aftergut in The Hill, the recent editorial by The Wall Street Journal is highlighted. Note, the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, whose New York Post also condemned the former president for his lies and seditious actions.

Here are the first few paragraphs from The Hill piece, with a link to the entire article below:

“How do you know when a core communication that crosses the partisan divide has gotten through?

Answer: When media from both sides of the divide receive the message.

That’s what happened on Saturday, June 11 — even before yesterday’s second hearing of the bipartisan House Select Committee investigating the events that led up to Jan. 6, 2021, and the violent siege of the Capitol that day. A powerful national voice of conservatism, The Wall Street Journal, let us know that it heard what the committee was telling us at its June 9 hearing.

In the Journal’s Saturday editorial entitled, ‘The Evidence of the Jan. 6 Committee,’ its editors offered a powerful summation: ‘Mr. Trump betrayed his supporters by conning them on Jan. 6, and he is still doing it.’ This from the newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also controls Fox News, the cable channel that refused to show the June 9 prime-time hearings.

Even so, his preeminent newspaper’s editorial is noteworthy because journalists on the left heard and amplified the virtually identical message. The eminent James Fallows articulated it: ‘Donald Trump lost the election, and everyone [in his circle] including him knew it.’ Fallows wrote that the mistake the Jan. 6 mob members made ‘was believing the lies they were continually fed by Trump himself.

There is not much more to be said other than the following. The former president betrayed more than his followers. He betrayed the United States of America and we are still paying the price with greater division and discord. All because his shallow ego cannot tolerate losing the election.

Just remember a couple of keys

Tonight, the US House commission that has been investigating the January 6 insurrection against Congress will be presenting its findings. This should be taken quite seriously as these folks went through a mountain of data and testimony. Before Republicans discount the findings to try and save face, please remember two Republicans (Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger) are on the Committee and there would have been more except Kevin McCarthy appointed a couple of folks whose names came up in the investigation. That is a conflict of interest.

Setting the details aside, please remember a couple of keys:

  • this happened at the instigation of the former president based on his fabrication of election fraud he planned to do well before the election and he has miserably been unable to prove.
  • this happened because a former president invited and incited people to do his bidding to remain in office.
  • people who are trying to play this down must be reminded that several hundreds of people that participated in the insurrection have been charged, many have pleaded guilty, some have been found guilty and many have served time.
  • people who try to equate this to an Antifa riot should be reminded that this was on the Capitol building and our elected leaders were in danger to serve the interests of the former president.
  • this unrest and heightened incivility is largely due to a former president whose fragile ego cannot tolerate losing an election. His niece said her uncle will “burn it all down to avoid losing an election.”
  • finally, we cannot have this happen again, full stop. We have mechanisms for civil redress and discourse. Instigating an insurrection is not something that should ever happen again.

The findings will likely link the former president, his staff, and several Congressman to the insurrection. From what I have read, I am expecting to hear some names of elected officials who aided and abetted this crime against our country. We shall see what happens.

It is an uphill climb

The following summary comes from a man in his seventies who has leaned Democrat most of his life. He is a retired, successful businessman who lives in a metropolitan region of North Carolina called the Piedmont Triad. He is lamenting the kinds of conversations he has with old friends who lean to the conservative side.

“Unfortunately, I banter almost daily with three guys (separately ) who are very conservative, watch Fox News primarily ( including Tucker ) , read EPOCH Times , NY Post , you get the idea . Their ages are 65-88 and two are UNC grads while the other was UGA . All voted for Trump twice and would again because they agree with his principles ( ??? ) though might not like his ‘style’. I’m trying my damndest to understand them and budge them from some of their positions.

I believe each of these gentlemen, successful in business and with strong church and family ties, believes America’s Left’s infatuation with Socialism, PC , CRT , diversity , reverse discrimination, softness on crime, disregard for the Second Amendment, gay marriages , secularism, trans-genders, open boarders ( that’s usually how they spell it ) and voting rights for illegals is all undermining the basis of our Republic. They believe all that from the vote of their being . And they send ‘intellectual ‘ videos from Hillsdale and Prager and elsewhere to defend their position . While excusing Jan. 6’s actions ( what insurrection ? ) and Trump’s role and glee while his minions scared the crap out of Congress people , Left AND Right .

In addition, they believe 2020 was RIGGED, swear by 2000 Mules , put up with Gaetz and Greene by declaring the greater threat to our democracy is from the Left . They say the Rightist militias like Proud Boys are a non-factor .

One of these guys, a long-time acquaintance, owner of 65 McDonald’s at one time, is fond of telling me that we are ‘wired differently,’ that all liberals are wired differently meaning wired wrong . No doubt on his mind ‘we are losing our country’ and it’s due to the Socialist liberals. They all three love to point to Cuba and Venezuela as examples of failed Socialistic governmental policies. As if such comparisons make any sense .

These folks are committed and are seemingly in a strong position to make big gains mid-terms. Plus they have a stable of ‘good’ candidates for President if Trump will allow it.”

I sent the following return email (the quoted piece below) and told him he could forward it on if he liked. As an independent and former member of both parties, mostly Republican, I thought it might carry more weight. Probably not, but it is worth a try.

“A place to start is posing a few questions:

– do they know our economy is a blend of fettered capitalism (bankruptcy protection, insider trading laws, interlocking boards, etc.) and socialism (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Medicaid, Workers Comp)? The key is what is the right balance?

– do they know that the economy, stock market, GDP growth and job increases have done much better under Democrat White House’s?

– do they know Trump was handed the reins on an economy that was in its 91st consecutive month of growth, a more than doubled stock market and six straight years of 2 million plus job increases?

– do they know Trump planned to contest the election by hiring 1,000 attorneys up to two months before the election and still lost all but one of about 65 court cases and every recount, review and audit?

These are questions posed by an independent and former Republican and Democrat voter. They may want to answer why Michael Gerson, one of my favorite conservative pundits has said the “Republican party is in decay.” We need a viable GOP, but vilifying the truth tellers and glorifying the liars is not the path forward.

These are just a few thoughts. By the way, most Democrats are not socialists. They just want people to have a fair deal.” 

It is an uphill climb. But, if we don’t get people to listen and discuss their points of view, then convincing them their positions are not well-founded will be difficult. It should be noted, neither party has all of the good ideas and both parties have some bad ones. The key problem is I get argue policies with more progressive people than me, while I must argue the truth with the current version of Republicans. We need a viable conservative voice in this country, but the current GOP is not it. That speaks volumes.

Republican Congressman under fire for voting to impeach Trump says it plainly

In an article this weekend in The Charleston Post and Courier by Andy Shain called “Tom Rice says if he loses Congress seat over Trump impeachment vote ‘It’ll be worth it’” the Congressman responds to criticism for his vote as he trails in his primary.

Here are a few key paragraphs from the piece:

“Rice said he remains livid that Trump did little despite seeing rioters injure police officers and hearing some protesters threaten Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the certification.

Voting to impeach the president was the right thing to do for Republicans, said Rice, a Myrtle Beach accountant. Only nine other GOP House members joined Rice in voting to impeach before the Senate voted to acquit the president.

‘Defending the Constitution is a bedrock of the Republican platform … and that’s what I did,’ he said. ‘That was the conservative vote.’”

Rice had been in lockstep with the former president on many votes in the House, but he broke with ranks to vote his conscience on the impeachment. That should speak volumes, but in the current vintage of a party that used to back law and order, people who speak the truth must be vilified and defeated. These inconvenient truths must be silenced.

As an independent and former Republican (and Democrat), I believe charges of sedition should be made against the former president and he should stand trial. There are too many folks that have pled guilty or have been convicted who followed the instigation of the insurrection by the former president. And, there appears to be evidence of awareness and planning of the effort to folks linked to the former president.

More will come out this week and, it will of course, be rationalized away by the sycophants of the former president. But, what is interesting is some of those sycophants in Congress are likely guilty as well. I was alive when Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached and convicted by Congress. Yet, his crimes were not as bad as the alleged crimes of the latest former president.

Sadly, these crimes and the big lie are all due to a former president whose ego could not tolerate losing. As his niece said correctly, “My uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing the election.” Ain’t that the truth.

https://www.postandcourier.com/myrtle-beach/politics/tom-rice-says-if-he-loses-congress-seat-over-trump-impeachment-vote-itll-be-worth/article_eee71980-e4d5-11ec-a3f9-5f65bfc0fcba.html

Wednesday wanderings in mid-May

We should have another warm day here, so walking may make us “glisten,” a word my wife uses for perspiration. So, as we glisten on our walk about, let me share a few of my wandering thoughts.

The votes from yesterday’s mid-term primaries are being tallied, so I will save commentary for another day, with two exceptions. With almost 100% of the votes counted, it looks like Rep. Madison Cawthorn will be unseated in his first election as an incumbent. His failure to: realize on three occasions a driver needs a driver license, understand he cannot carry a weapon onto a plane on two occasions, appreciate claiming your Republican colleagues are having orgies and coke parties is not the way to make friends, and recognize that not doing much of anything other than abet the former president’s Big Lie and insurrection of Congress is not conducive to good governance. It should be noted Cawthorn lost in the middle of a heavy Republican district, which speaks volumes.

The other exception is Rep. Ted Budd, a non-apologetic Trump sycophant, won the Republican primary to fill the US Senate seat of retiring Richard Burr. That is unfortunate, as we may end up with another strident Senate member who is replacing a more moderate Republican in Burr. He will be running against a very good Democrat candidate in Judge Cheri Beasley’s whose commercials and record are exemplar. I am sure she will be attacked, but she is a far more credible candidate than Budd. I just hope the voters in North Carolina listen to her and what she is saying. And, that there are no termites in the woodwork like with the candidate who was about to beat the junior Senator in 2020 before he did something stupid.

I am certain there will be a mixed bag of results in the Republican primaries due to the support of the former president. When I see or hear the endorser on a TV ad, it truly makes me ill. A person who has divided our country further with his Big Lie because he is not man enough to accept defeat and who instigated an insurrection on a branch of government to stay in power is not someone whose opinion lends itself to credibility. But, with too few Republicans actually pushing back on the bullying and untruthful acting former president, coupled with troubling policies on climate change, gun governance, civil rights, health care access and making rich people richer, it makes it easier to not vote for any Republicans in the general election. The climate change and environmental issues alone are a reason to avoid putting more Republicans in place.

I know I will offend Republicans and conservatives, who will offer “what about” comments. As an Independent and former Republican of twenty plus years and Democrat of five plus years, I disagree on policies with both parties. Yet, I find myself arguing policy issues with Democrats and the truth with Republicans. With too many Republicans listening to sources who parrot disinformation and conspiracy stories makes it difficult to counter arguments that will be heard. And, Republicans are much better than Democrats at PR on focusing attention on issues that are not really as big a deal as portrayed. It is akin to creating an issue that can be carried around like a handbag and hit someone over the head with it.

People laugh when I say this, but in 2010-12 elections, the GOP candidates all spoke of the “failed stimulus” plan, with a mandate that both words be used together. Even Democrats believed it. The problem is the stimulus did not fail and was measured as accretive to GDP growth by six econometric firms. And, it should be noted both a Republican and Democrat president were involved in separate stimulus plans. Yet, the PR campaign was successful.

All I ask is to look at people’s stances on real issues, not contrived ones. What do you plan to do about climate change? What do you plan to do about gun governance? What do you plan to do about the growing white supremacy movement? What will you do to assure health care is available to people? What will you do to preserve the rights of women as the exist today? What do you plan to do about our US debt and deficit? What do you plan to do about inflation, other than just complain about it? And, so on.

That RINO label

I forwarded the following letter to the editor of my newspaper. I think they will likely pass as they published another one in the last thirty days. But, I wanted my fellow bloggers to see it.

As a former Republican and Democrat, I have long observed politicians and pseudo-news personalities who use labels and name calling don’t usually have much of an argument. They use labels like RINO as a short cut to denigrate an opposing argument to sway those who do not care to know the truth. So, when I hear RINO, it actually makes me look further at the target’s argument.

We need a viable Republican Party, but it bothers me greatly the truth tellers in the party are vilified, receive death threats and are called RINOs, while the recurring liars (Trump, Cawthorn, Greene, DeSantis, Gosar, Jordan, e.g.) are exalted. Our country is at odds with itself, because a person with a shallow ego cannot be man enough to accept defeat and too many feel they must facilitate his subterfuge to garner support.

It is up to us

Since our elected officials seem to be too concerned with zero-sum games where one must win and the other lose in this childish age of tribal politics, it is truly up to us to demand better from them. We need leaders to be among our better angels, not our worse demons. If they cannot tell us the truth, then they need to step aside.

All politicians will lie to embellish their roles in anything good, and blame the other side for anything bad, but they give themselves too much credit for influence. Yet, we have one party, in particular, whom a conservative pundit named Michael Gerson said is in “decay” because it is untethered to the truth and lawfulness. Republicans cannot vilify their truth tellers and exalt their liars and be taken seriously. Democrats are not perfect, but at least they are trying to address real issues and not contrived ones to garner votes.

I am an independent voter who has been a member of both parties. I am long past weary of this BS. Regardless of party, we cannot have a former president perpetuate a lie he has failed miserably at proving and then incite an insurrection on another branch of government. America was already at odds with itself, but the chasm is greater because a person with a fragile ego is not man enough to admit he lost an election. As his niece said, “my uncle will burn it all down to avoid losing the election.” And, people admire the former president? Really?

It used to be believed that a lead buck would lead the pack of deer to where they needed to go. Studies have shown that the pack of deer will actually make decisions to move based on perceived threats or opportunities. The buck will just follow along. We are the deer and politicians are the bucks. We must lead them out of harm’s way, which is a way of saying we need to save them from themselves.

Letter to hometown Florida newspaper

Having grown up in Florida, I still try to keep tabs of the news there. My hometown newspaper was kind enough to print my recent letter to the editor. I was unaware they did so until a friend reached out in agreement. That was nice to hear.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

“I am an xxxx High graduate, class of 1976, now living in North Carolina and a digital Times-Union subscriber. My home state of Florida deserves better leadership than it is getting. To this independent and former Republican, it is embarrassing to see a governor who is more concerned with appealing to the more strident base of voters than actually governing to solve problems.  

Too many issues seem contrived to garner votes and too many fights are picked that are unnecessary. Yet, this is not inconsistent with his behavior before his current position. 

Per my favorite conservative pundit Michael Gerson, my former party is in “decay,” untethered to the truth and needs leaders to help them get on a better path forward. I do not see the Florida governor as one of those people. We need our leaders to be among our better angels, not our worst demons.”

I am positive my letter will be dismissed by some as I no longer live there. And, I am sure my letter will be dismissed by others as I am no longer in the Republican party. Yet, I did not make up what Michael Gerson called my former party, nor will I apologize for saying the GOP needs to get on a better path forward. We need a viable conservative voice in our country, but we currently do not have one. That is unfortunate.

Retiring Republican Congressman shares concerns

In an article in Politico by Nick Niedzwiadek called “Fred Upton: Slim House majority could spell trouble for post-midterms GOP,” the Congressman makes a few key points.

“Outgoing Rep. Fred Upton on Sunday said fellow Republicans may find it difficult to unite the various wings of the party if they prevail in taking back the House in the November midterms….

Upton said that if Republicans only obtain a slim majority, that would give additional leverage to firebrand members like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) who could complicate leadership’s ability to corral votes on key issues such as raising the debt ceiling.”

It should be noted that Upton is one of the more rational Republican legislators having called the former president and his sycophants on the carpet for their lies and misdeeds. I remember calling his office three or four times to compliment his political courage. In this respect it is sad to see him go.

Yet, as a former Republican and Democrat and now Independent voter, I must encourage voters who believe in addressing the real issues of the day, rather than the ones fabricated and created by the Republican party to garner votes, to not vote for any Republican. Per conservative pundit, Michael Gerson, the GOP is in “decay.” In my view, they are adrift untethered to the truth and lawfulness. The real RINOs are those beating on their chest in support of the deceitful, bullying and seditious acting former president. A party cannot denigrate its truth tellers, like Upton, and exalt its liars and those who won’t call out the liars.

Climate change is a huge issue that 70% of Americans believe must be addressed, which would be higher if not for the misinformation and disinformation pushed by the fossil fuel industry through their funded legislators. Better gun governance must be addressed. The attack on civil and voting rights must be addressed. The debt and deficit must be addressed. Health care access is critical to many. Democrats are far from perfect, but at least they are trying to address issues.

All I see from folks like the Texas and Florida governors and others is an invention of social issues that they contend are demonizing the country. Sadly, these fear tactics work. Rewriting history works, as well. The former president lost a fair election, but his ego is too fragile to be man enough to accept it. The former president inherited an economy that was the third longest growth period in our history at 91 consecutive months, with 2 million plus jobs for six straight years and a more than doubled stock market under his predecessor. He did not create that, nor does any president for that matter, but it did continue for thirty more months until the pandemic hit.

Please focus on the issues. There are good Republicans to consider, but they seem to be outgunned or are too silent. I disagree with Rep. Liz Cheney and Senator Mitt Romney on a number of issues, but they at least telling the truth about the decay of the party and the seditious actions of the former president.

I have shared with numerous Senators and Congressional representatives that we need a viable Republican party who can put forth conservative ideas. Right now, we don’t have one, as it has been pirated away by the likes of the former president, those two governors, and a host of strident demonizers, the real RINOs. Unfortunately, fear sells. The fact is too few consider the lack of veritas of the fear peddler. And, too many are willing to go along for the ride as it takes too much political courage not to.