Friday, August 28, 2015

Honesty Or Brashness?

Truthful, sincere and frank, or hasty, rash, impudent and tactless  --  that is the question!  If Donald Trump's words are demonstrating a deep-seated integrity such as we have not seen from many politicians, we would be lucky to have him as president.  But if his words are the result of impulsivity and striking out at others, then electing him would be great folly.

A tornado enters a community, takes over everyone's attention briefly and leaves rubble and disaster in it's wake.  Recently, pictures circulating on Facebook have shown some mighty lovely scenes with a tornado as the focal point.  While eyeing the breathtaking beauty of the pictures, it is possible to forget momentarily the menace that the scene portrays.

Such are the words of Donald Trump.  They strike beauty at first glance.  They promise action.  They portray a man who will get things done.  They imply that a man who is a success in business is a success in all things.  Yet, he is not a success in some of the most important skills needed in a president.

Everybody who speaks of President Jimmy Carter in his time of illness, speaks of his grace in this as in all things.  Where is Donald Trump's grace?

Trump says if someone attacks him, then it gives his permission to attack back and makes it okay to call his victims fat, bimbo and possibly suffering from PMS (implied by his blood comments).  He says he whine's until he gets what he wants.  Already he is whining that reporters and anchors aren't being fair with their questions.  They want him to answer the what, when, where, why and how when all he speaks is the who.

First meeting with President Obama, Israel's Netanyahu insulted him.  How would the Donald have responded to this?  In his point of view that would give him leave to insult the Israeli leader.  Then what would happen? Well, we would probably lose one of our oldest and dearest allies.

After Iran signed the recent agreement, the Iranian leader made it clear that it didn't make us friends.  Would the Donald have responded with name calling or a schoolyard brawl?

Trump assures us he will build a wall that will keep illegals out and make Mexico pay for it.  That's almost laughable on the heels of the Mexican cartel tunneling under prison walls so their leader, Guzman, could escape.  And he'll make Mexico pay for it?  How?  We need specifics.  What leverage does he have?  Can he do it or is it just braggadocio?

When asked how he would lead the military concerning Afghanistan and Syria, he said the military had advisors to make suggestions to him.  Is he the leader or the follower?  As President Harry Truman used to say, "The buck stops here"  --  at the President's desk.

Some of us get the impression that Mr. Trump thinks that being brash is cute.  In our anger with congress, illegal immigration, low wages and a long-term sense of helplessness, we flirt with the relief of having someone finally saying he will get in the ring and fight our battles to the finish.  Yet, is the man speaking substance or just facade?

How much does he actually know about war?  Is he experienced in governing or making laws?  Does he have political experience with leaders of other countries?  We already know his response to verbal attacks could end up as vicious as those of a junkyard dog.

This country needs a leader who understands diplomacy and tact.  We need someone who thinks before he retaliates.  Fun and likeable though the man can be as a showman, I fear he is just not the leader we need.

All you other hopefuls out there, hear the message from the nerve he has struck.  Figure out exactly what this need he is promising to fill must be.  Then give us your best solutions to the problems; not just words but plans.  We really need you to hear what his popularity is telling us.  We just must have a saner and more self-controlled individual to provide it for us.  Or maybe the Donald can learn to chill and back up verbiage with substance.  The world might not survive a tornado of this size and speed.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Primer For Congress

Arbitrary--using or abusing power.

Discussion--considering by argument or debate
Debate--to deliberate, discuss or argue
Negotiate--to bring about by discussion and settlement of terms
Mediate--to act between parties as an intermediary
Compromise--a settlement of differences by mutual concessions

Represent--to stand or act in place of, as an agent or congressman does for people
Immoral--not conforming to standards of conduct usually seen as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics
Unethical--not in accordance with principles of morality; about right and wrong
Slacker--a person who evades his duty; shirker
Shirker--a person who evades work, duty, responsibility

Representative--a person who represents a constituency in a legislative body
Responsibility--a burden or obligation upon a person who is responsible
Official--a person charged with certain duties such as in government
Produce--to bring into existence
Producer--a person who produces
Productive--producing readily and abundantly

Selfish--concerned only with one's own interests
Self knowledge--understanding of one's own characteristics
Self-renunciation--renunciation of one's own will or interests

Hero--someone known for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities
Sacrifice--the surrender of something prized for something of a higher or more pressing claim
Generous--free from meanness or smallness of mind or character

Victor--a person who has overcome or defeated an adversary.
Victory--the decisive superiority in any battle or contest.
Nemesis--an opponent or rival whom a person cannot best

Conscience--the ethical and moral principles that inhibit our actions

Congress--a body of individuals who have been elected to represent all of us, but has lost the moral, ethical path.

Spirit guide--needed to keep said individuals on the straight and narrow
Constituent--a person who authorizes another to act for him as a voter.  Or, one who is easily duped.

Vote--a congressman's only spirit guide.  Let's start thinking and use this wisely

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Second Child Syndrome

When I'm in a joking mood, I sometimes refer to the Midas Touch as a part of second child syndrome.  Do I have any serious research information to support my observation?  Of course not.  It just seems that in my sheltered little world, the people with the proverbial Midas Touch are second children.  And even there they are rare.  I wonder, does the need to compete for attention with a first-born child create the necessary competitiveness for winning at piling up dollars?  Or are the first-born children so busy with their caretaking and assistant parent roles that they learn to serve  --  not to win?

So why is this an article in "Trickle Down Politics"?  I'll tell you why.  Because we need to understand that an ability to earn money is just that.  It does not make one a gifted orator . . . a keen political mind . . . a leader of others . . . a tactful negotiator . . . a people person (though many Midas people have excellent skills at interacting with people) . . . a person knowledgeable about the Constitution or history . . . or someone who has any basic skills for being President of the United States.

Donald Trump, with his gruff and explosive speech patterns, his impulsivity, his women's issues (which he has displayed for decades by running pageants that focus on superficial beauty) and his obvious biases against much of America, knows how to do one thing extremely well.  He knows how to earn stacks and stacks of dollars. He knows how to lose them extremely well, also, but that's a story for another day.  He might use those skills to help the country file for Chapter whatever it would be.

What all his foot in mouth disease is accomplishing is hogging the spotlight and taking away sound bites from better qualified, if less colorful, candidates for the Republican nomination for President.  And he says if his party won't nominate him, he'll run for another party.  The Democratic Party can only hope and pray that he does get the nomination, or even better, runs as an Independent and splits the party vote.

I'd like to side with the pundits who keep saying that in the end the American people will do the right thing and elect a qualified President.  Yet, We The People, have let us down a number of times in recent years.

What Trump's current popularity shows would be areas that possible candidates from all parties need to address and tell us what they would propose and support if elected.  How would you slow immigration, as well as overcrowding, especially the influx of illegals to our country?  Plan it and tell it.  It is a topic close to the hearts of many Americans.  Some Republicans have good ideas and are already stating them.  And, no it's not all right to say, "let's help them come for a better life".  We will all lose the better life if saner heads do not prevail.  Some of us already have lost the good life over such poor political decisions.

The Russian immigrants have blessed us with the Russian Mafia  --  which is affecting New Yorkers more than the heartland.  The Mexican influx has brought the cartel and ever more drugs.  The Guatemalans I've met have coughs reminiscent of days of tuberculosis.  And who was there to test them when they came sneaking across illegally?  Canadians have, for decades, entered legally (or illegally) and usurped the most plum of our media jobs.  So have the Brits.  Now, folks that is a threat to all of you up there, not to the little people whose roofing and foundation repair jobs that Hispanic "companies" are taking here.  Most of my people wouldn't consider leaving the heartland to take your jobs.  People from other countries think nothing of doing it.

The Women's Issues never end.  We think we have everything fixed but paychecks and glass ceilings and then the Republican Conservative front keeps attacking the conservative Supreme Court for "writing legislation" instead of interpreting the Constitutionality of our laws.  Well, it surely gets the unthinking masses stirred up.  These are the same people who are all too willing to believe Super Pac lies about our candidates.  Republicans count on our supposed ignorance.  Let's show them we are smarter than they think.  And let's hear rational thinking from our candidates.

We need to readdress the issues pertaining to federal, state and personal rights.  The Republican party, the very party that says they are against big and federal government interfering into state's rights, are the exact same party that thinks it is okay to make our personal choices for us.  It is not okay to tell us what size light bulb we can use, when a person with cataracts needs as much light as possible to see.  It is not all right to decide what birth control methods we should use or not use at all.  It is not okay to control our choices for marriage.  That is simply an overreach of control freaks.

And where do the candidates stand on the Right to Vote Act at it's fiftieth anniversary?  I think we have had recent evidence that Republicans even want to overturn or control that.  I stood in line behind a young, black male, obviously born in our country, who was being harassed about presenting a birth certificate.  No question he was legal.  He was just black and poor.  Probably he was too poor to afford the expense and trouble of getting said birth certificate.  And the same man that figured in this voting fraud debacle in my state farmed his unethical, sorry self out to other states, as well.  Tell us exactly where you stand on Voting Rights.  We need to know this when we cast our votes.  Remind all voters that the "no fraud voting fraud" excuse is a way to fix the vote more toward Republicans.  Democrats certainly aren't going to make it harder for blacks and Latinos to vote for them.

We need to know where you stand on the separation of church and state in this country.  We have an overwhelming number of Catholics and even Baptists who serve in Congress at both the Federal and State levels.  Both of these huge groups have the ulterior motive of forcing Christian beliefs down the throats of everyone but Jews.  Oh, they love and protect the Jews.  They would ignore the separations of the Constitution and force everyone to post the Ten Commandments at every building . . . to fly the Christian flag at every function . . . to have Christian prayer in every school, but not allow Buddhist or Muslim prayer.  So, are we a Christian nation, or a country that welcomes all the troubled masses from every race and creed?  If we are Christian to exclusion of other religions, we need to close our borders completely to those of other religions.  Why would we welcome others with political asylum if we don't plan to permit them to pray to the God's they bring with them?  And who are these people of other religions to bitch and gripe all the time because we, originally a Christian nation, openly practice our beliefs?  Are we encouraging others to commit terrorist attacks here where we have embraced them, simply because we let them in here? 

We need our political leaders to use the brains God gave them to clarify their own minds, to get their brains and hearts in harmony, and to be honest with us about where they stand.  We should have a right to cast our votes based on truth and honesty, which seems ever illusive in our political world.

America needs candidates who say this is who I am.  This is what I stand for on the knowledge I have at this time.  They should say they plan to protect our rights as a citizen to make our own decisions.  Or they should say they consider themselves, their religion, their party infinitely superior to us and ours, and that they plan to pass or veto legislation based on their beliefs, not ours.  And, they should say here are my honest, truthful beliefs as I perceive them today.  Canned sound bites and platitudes may get you elected, but ultimately they may cost you your souls.  And while you are laughing your asses off at my remarks, remember that you are the ones who say you have the moral high ground and imply that the rest of us are on the yellow brick road to hell.

We have to have your well thought out plans, policies, beliefs, and positions up front, so we can vote our own consciences and so we can determine majority preference based on truth, not political lies.

Having a Midas Touch is definitely an admiral trait.  The majority of Americans could prosper better if more people had it.  It just isn't enough on it's own to bring success to the presidency.  Neither is shouting about the expense and discomfort caused by illegal immigration, abhorrent as that may be.

We need educated, articulate, leaders for the Presidential election, not rabble rousers or hind sight complainers.  Some of you running out there have the right qualifications.  State your resume, your beliefs, your plans and leave the lies and platitudes at home.  And quit the attacks on other individuals.  If you are really qualified to do the job, your resume and presentation should do the trick. 

And you media experts, I know some of you are trying to give equal time to all.  I know it's hard to succeed, with the showman stealing all the scenes.  But, keep trying until you make it.  The showman speaks a lot of truth, it's just not all the truth we need.  Let the candidates tell us who they are by speaking their most well-rounded thoughts.  Second child syndrome will not be enough in the end.  Neither will bragging to us that you have brass ones like the men.

And, Mr. Trump, if you believe you are as well qualified in foreign policy, supervising the military, changing your disrespectful treatment of women, interacting with the head honchos of other countries, friend or foe, as you are at making money and whooping up the malcontents, bring it on as soon as possible.  Lay out your plans like I'm asking of everyone else.  I love to be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Republican Forum of August 3, 2015

What an impressive group of individuals we heard tonight.  We can only hope and pray that each individual is as well prepared for answering all the questions as they were in covering the ones they caught tonight.

Here are other strengths of the crowd in addition to their general knowledge of the issues covered and their level of preparation to answer them.

They are aware of their strengths and lead with them.

The ones who presented their views and their plans, instead of attacking the current administration and other candidates, made the best impression on me.  I want to know what they will do, not what they think someone else did wrong.  Everyone "has 20-20 vision with hindsight," even the people who made whatever errors were made.  And, I'm sure the country runs close to 50-50 about what were errors.

Those who saw war and boots on the ground as a last resort showed more maturity, in my estimation, than those who want to go in with preconceived numbers in mind.  The winds may be blowing differently by the time the election is over.

Some have really good ideas for handling the ever burgeoning immigration problem.  I'd like to see Republicans get sincere about really doing something about it.

A couple of the young ones seemed more mature than a couple of the older ones.  Wasn't I the one who said some were too young?

The flat tax idea has been suggested in the past by several, including Jerry Brown and Steve Forbes.  Not a bad idea if everyone above the abject poverty level pays the exact same tax rate and if there are absolutely no loopholes or exemptions  --  including first and second mortgages on homes!

Anything else would leave us with the status quo.  One might want to consider a slightly inflated tax rate until we reach a balanced budget and then a lower rate.  And how, exactly, did the Clinton Administration achieve this balance?  A limited term five cent per gallon gasoline tax?  With our record level debt, perhaps ten cents would help.

Senator Graham wants the well off to give up their Social Security for a chance to save the fund.  A laudable idea, but will the Social Security of the one per cent make a dent in the problem?  Now if we added that to a gas tax and if the Congress would give up their special retirement and go on Social Security, etc., then we might get somewhere.

And one final overall strength of the group was their apparent ability to learn from each other.

All of you Democrats need to get your platform planned.  You need to have thought through all the issues and know what you intend to do.  Quit letting the Republicans get under your skin and, if you want to be President, give us good answers to our questions.  The "pat" answers of the past aren't going to cut it now.  These people are prepared.