Archive for the ‘Republican Party’ category

What Does 75 Million Votes Mean?

November 14, 2020

President elect Joe Biden is projected to be the 46th President with 306 electoral votes (assuming Georgia is called for Biden) which at the end of the day is all that is needed.  It is important, however, to remember the popular vote totals too.  President elect Biden received 80.6 million and President Trump received 75.2 million.

The Biden 80.6 million number represents over 5 million more votes than President Trump received.  Both numbers are huge reflecting the importance Voters placed on this contest.

Republicans are quick to discount this margin saying that California and New York, both heavily Democrat strongholds, provided the extra votes for Biden.  Hmmm.  As far as I know, voters in New York or California are US tax paying citizens who may live today in New York or California but could live tomorrow in Texas, Florida, or any other red State.  Compared to 2016, President elect Biden earned a larger popular margin than Hillary Clinton.

President Trump, so far, has not conceded or recognized Biden’s victory. Pundits are saying President Trump’s motivation in not conceding is playing for time. Furious requests for Trump supporters to contribute to a legal defense fund might be in reality a ploy to pay down political debts, and secondly, to help shape a post-presidency Trump television and radio network (like Trumps is a fighter). 

If you haven’t noticed both of these objectives are Trump first, Country second.

But what should we learn from the 75 million voters who chose Trump over Biden? 

Political experts will speak to this over the next few weeks and months as they digest the details of the election.  Never the less, IMO, is is obvious there must be millions who supported Trump because they were genuinely afraid of or find distasteful many of the Progressive initiatives.  Long standing progressive goals of more freedoms for females, LGBTQ equality, and national safety net programs raise fear in many people might be examples.

With trump voters, Pro-choice becomes a discussion of relatively rare late term abortions (without considering the circumstances or the woman’s right to decide), globalization becomes losing jobs without asking why the jobs are moving or what the benifits might be), Stimulus bills becomes the fast track to deficits (even though the deficit has grown more under President Trump than President Obama, Equal Rights is about LBGTQ members prancing around displaying behavior these Trump supporters do not understand (without asking whether LBGTQ members are contributing members to society), Black Lives Matters get narrowed to less police and more violence in communities (instead of addressing why a few Police officers used extremely poor and ineffective judgement responding to 911 calls.  (Shooting unarmed individuals or shooting any one 5 or more times should have no place in any police training)

Again, IMO the Biden Administration will need to accept this reality, and take the time to explain why the following are good for America and Americans

  • carbon neutrality,
  • the Iran Nuclear Deal,
  • the Paris Climate Accord ,
  • why religious freedom and religious intolerance are only a whisper separated,
  • globalization is good for most Americans (and for those who globalization hurts, a path forward)

Interestingly, during the Trump years, there has been a complete abdication of Christian values by mainline and evangelical Christian leaders who find justification for Trump aberrant behavior (like separating immigrant children for the mothers and fathers and not being able to reunite them, making fun of handicapped people, and brashly seeking a photo-op at Washington churches without permission). “The ends justify the means” should not be a christian principle. Maybe the time has come for religious leaders to reconsider the past four years.

We should expect from Congressional Republican hypocritical opposition similar to that which President Obama faced.  But that should not change President Biden approach.  Seeking to win voters by nominating the first “this or that” should be played down (nominate but don’t emphasize), going slowly but deliberately educating the broad population why legislation or executive orders necessary (and beneficial) will be a wiser course than unrestrained hubris. Do not expect the GOP Senate to support publicly any Biden proposals.

Slow explanations aimed at involving voters in the thoughts behind policy proposals and avoiding food fights with GOP attack dogs offers the wisest path forward. If Biden’s proposal are good ones, good things will happen, and the proof is always in the pudding.

Two disclaimers

  • Not all Trump supporter are open to further education or persuasion.  Some are zealots and others are convinced they are right in their views.
  • Not all Democrat voters understand the details of Biden policies and their implication on other Americans, and some even believe there are free lunches. 

“Trump Train Riders” – Waiting For Results

November 3, 2020

Today is election day.  I have cast my ballot (in person).  Now I must wait for the polls to close and the counting process to declare the winner.  Of course, as we all know, there are scenarios, where one or more battleground States will be still counting the mail-in or early voting ballots (which could take several more days).  One might say it has been a strange four years and getting this election’s results may turn out even stranger.

For a Biden supporter, it is unimaginable that anyone could fall for Donald Trump’s reelection rhetroic.  How could anyone with a heart beat not recognize the danger President Trump represents.  But most simply stated, lot’s of people think Trump has done a good (some say great) job and deserves four more years.  Hmmm.

The United States stands at a cross road where keeping the course is destine to maintain the growing income inequality, the healthcare crisis, increasing debt for college education, and fragmentation of the safety net most Americans assume exists as they enter their senior years. President Trump’s most rabid supporters do not see these issues as a concern.  If the “Trump Trains” we see driving around in their pickups are any indication, these supporters believe they will live for ever and certainly do not need to save for a rainy day.  Hmmm.

My guess, however, is these “Trump Train Riders” have not thought long or hard about these issues, considered why foreign policy might be important, or thought that something must change if America is to balance its budget and tackle these issues. 

Instead, the “Trump Train Riders” have been mesmerized by the unconventional, shoot from the hip, talk tough style Donald Trump has put forward.  The “Trump Train Riders” have no idea that they are under a spell from a beyond good “con artist”.  The “Trump Train Riders” have no clue that the President is bankrupting the country while at the same time, stuffing his and his family’s pockets with funds courtesy of US tax payers.  Who would you rather be, the “Trump Train Riders” think, a swashbuckler like Trump or another politician like Biden?

In a few hours we may have a clue whether the “Trump Train Riders” outnumber those voting for Biden, or that our agony may go on for a few more days.  If the answer is Trump, the old adage “God Bless America” will never have been more apt. 

If the answer is Biden, there will be a gigantic sigh of relief from all those not on the “Trump Train”. 

Looking Back

November 1, 2020

On January 20, 2017, the day Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, an unimaginable future was foretold.  Still astonished that someone so unfit for the job had won the election, the post shown below was my reaction to Trump’s election.  In essence, the post points out that keeping extreme campaign promises have consequences.

President Trump has taken great pride in “keeping his promises” even in the light of having access to far more relevant information from far more reliable sources than his pre-presidential days when he made his “promises”.  Instead of a strength or mark of character, President Trump revealed weakness and has set roadmap for blatant dishonesty, erratic behavior, and a trail of destruction, not construction.

Despite President Trump’s continual attack upon America’s democratic traditions including the voting process, on Tuesday, November 3, Americans have an opportunity to put the country back on a path where Democracy reigns.  Let’s hope enough Americans ask for a return to Democracy.

With Democracy, You Often Get What You Asked For

January 20, 2017

Donald J Trump is the 45th President of the United States. The transfer of power from former President Obama to President Trump has gone smoothly as it has 44 times before. What lies ahead, however, has not been scripted.

Giddy Republicans on Capital Hill can’t wait to begin passing conservative legislation rolling back much of what President Obama prevented during the past 8 years. And, President Trump tells American to “fasten your seat belts” because he plans to make America great again… fast. Hmmm.

A question; was Trump’s election the voice of America’s democracy speaking? Hmmm.

Donald Trump was elected with less votes than Hillary Clinton received. His electoral college victory was the 48th largest, meaning almost all other winning Presidents received more electoral college votes. So any talk of a landslide victory or a national mandate is simply misinformation, and a dangerously wrong interpretation of the election results.

Congressional Republican leaders are fond of the term “Americans have spoken”. The implication, of course, is that the GOP is free to make huge changes in policy in response to an alleged ground swell of American opinion. It is true “some” Americans favor Republican policies. It is also true that almost half of voters have swallowed the red meat baited hooks cast out by GOP operatives. Repeal and replace, renegotiate NAFTA, renegotiate the Paris climate agreement, renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal, put tariffs on all imported cars, enact a huge tax cut, and eliminate the threat of ISIS to name a few.

American democracy does grant the right to the winning party to enact legislation of its choice. American Democracy grants broad latitude to the chief executive and executive orders can impact all Americans in both predictable and unpredictable ways. So, keeping the campaign pledges voters heard is possible if not likely.

What American Democracy can’t change or escape is that actions have consequences.

What may seem a marvelous gift to some may be to others a hurtful event. What may benefit certain parts of the economy may be an unwanted or damaging force for other parts. Changes in America’s foreign policies or trade practices may appear to benefit some parts of the American economy but can produce pain in other parts. And, who can be against economic growth? Consider what may happen if the growth is unevenly distributed (rich get richer) or the cost of living sky rockets and the social safety net has already been removed (as promised)?

There are no crystal balls to my knowledge that can tell us how the next four years will play out. There seem to be a large number of highly predictable consequences to proposed Republican and Trump policies. On top of that, what consequences may emerge changing so many policies at the same time are unknown.

What is not a mystery is that comedians, song writers, and journalist should have a field day with the hypocrisy, threats, and outright mistakes the GOP and the Trump Administration may bring upon itself.

Amy’s Message

October 15, 2020

Hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett began this week three weeks before Americans elect their next President.  For the Republican Party and its current leaders, this shameful hypocritical use of power politics will become a dark stain in history books. 

In the Senate process, however, a distinguished, non-Harvard or Yale lawyer will be tested and almost assuredly confirmed to a life time appointment as a Supreme Court Justice.  One can only hope that there will be bigger and more important decisions where Judge Barrett can leave her mark and distinguish herself than the Second Amendment, Abortion, Healthcare, and Gay rights.

  • Second Amendment. Sensible limits on gun ownership and use will undoubtably come before the court frequently in the years ahead.  Gun laws applying to densely populated areas or in similarly high density buildings are obviously grounded on different considerations than those of rural, hunting outdoors, or farm environments.  Localities will seek to limit the senseless accumulation of firearms by citizens, especially armed militias.  What will the Court do?

Barrett is a “constructionist” and a “contextualist” by her admission.  She says she will decide the way those who wrote the laws or the Constitution were thinking.  I wonder whether she will recall that muskets and single fire arms were what the founding fathers knew?  I wonder whether she will consider that Revolutionary “militias” existed in a time without local police or a large standing army?

  • Abortion.  Of course abortion is the litmus test which Barrett must have passed before President Trump would have selected her.  In truth President Trump could care less about abortion.  As an  unethical and amoral person, Trump cares only about the positive impact Barrett’s selection would have on his base.

But abortion tells a lot about issues where church dogma spills over the line from personal beliefs into the public square.  No one should be forced to have an abortion and similarly, no one has moral or ethical right to impose their person religious based beliefs on anyone else. I wonder whether the Judge will in practice be able to separate her deeply held views from the harmful impact upon others.

  • Healthcare.  Pending before the Supreme Court is a challenge “California v Texas” which contends the individual mandate, now that there is no longer an actual tax should someone not have health insurance, is therefore unconstitutional and as a consequence, the entire Affordable Care Act should be declared unconstitutional.  Which way will a Justice Barrett decide?

Forgetting for a moment that Republicans had two years to put forth a “replacement” plan and did not propose any plan and did not get enough votes to repeal ACA, tell me again what this issue is doing before the court? 

There is no question that there could be much better plans than the ACA, for example, most of the modern civilized world offer healthcare at 1/2 the cost that the US spends while delivering healthcare for all citizens with health outcomes equal to or superior to what the average American experiences.  But how can the court simply throw 20+ million Americans off ACA?

  • Gay Rights.  Judge Barrett’s Catholic faith makes it worrisome that the Church whose clerics are estimated to be 1/3rd to 2/3rds homosexual put forth dogma which condemns gays at every opportunity.  I wonder whether Judge Barrett accepts that LGBTQ members are a product of nature and not nurture?  I wonder why this needs to be an issue at all if we accept the 14th Amendment which calls for “equal protection of the law”.  Why should anyone be discriminated for or against?  

Each of these highlighted subjects share in common the notion that an individual can believe what they want, but that should not be license to inflict those views on others.  In the case of gun controls, the issue is not taking guns away from others but rather regulating their use in a way that protects everyone else’s rights.  

Amy Coney Barrett will be confirmed by the Senate and join the Supreme Court.  IMO, she and recent appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh represent is a bet placed by a faction of Americans who do not want the rules they understand and rely upon to change when the inevitable demographic tilt towards caucasians becoming a minority compared to the sum of all other groups happens. President Trump is just a convenient tool who is more concerned with gaming any system than for any ideological purity. 

I suspect, however, it is too late and that a majority of Americans have moved beyond women subservient to men, healthcare is a basic right, and LGBTQs are just other Americans.      

Is Covid-19 Republican or Democrat?

March 6, 2020

The coronavirus, now named Covid-19, is threatening to upend the global economy and take the lives of many people.  The virus which started in China is now populating most countries around the world as it spread initially from travelers returning home from China, and now from locally infected persons to others.  This health emergency is just another reminder that the world has become a tightly knit place and acting otherwise is a fool’s mission.

Think about the prospect of taking a cruise vacation and then learn while at sea, that ports are closed to  your ship because there is an infected person onboard.  In the past month, one cruise ship was denied docking in many Asian ports.  Finally Cambodia welcomed the ship with open arms.  Passengers raced off the ship and instead of site seeing, caught air transportation to other parts of the world.  And yes, many of the passengers unknowingly transported the virus with them.

In another situation, Japan allowed a cruise ship to dock but not discharge any passengers.  Before the 14 day quasi-quarantine was over, Japan allowed the US to send transportation to evacuate American citizens.  Even though the evacuees were again quarantined an additional 14 days, infections spread outside the containment area.

One can say “America First”.  One can believe that America’s destiny is a matter of self determination and that life is a zero sum game.  One can believe that science and the scientific method are suspect and government expenditures towards science research is not a proper government responsibility.  All these beliefs are possible but their veracities are not probable.

These beliefs may have been rational in 1820, but not in 2020.   Similar to believing the earth is flat, denying today that our lives are part of global events is as ridiculous.  But does that make Covid-19 a product of Republican or Democrat thinking?

Of course the answer is neither.  Covid-19 is a mutated virus and certainly not the last pathogen that will spread around the world.  In 2020, the global economy is complicated and intertwined.  Simply arguing a return to life as in 1820s is foolish because it means asking Americans to adopt a dramatically lower standard of living while still being at risk of infection.

Covid-19 and other future pathogens happen with or without US involvement.  Going alone is like an ostrich putting its head in the sand.  For another example, the harmful aspects of global warming (for example, rising sea levels, more frequent violent storms, droughts) also do not require the US participation to occur.  

So an interesting question might be, which political party, republican or democrat might prefer to ignore global events?

Impeachment Blues

January 20, 2020

Tomorrow the Senate impeachment trial of Donald J Trump begins.  Las Vegas odds must be in the President’s favor given what Senate Republicans have said so far.  President Trump’s supporters, however, are all over the place on why the President should not be convicted.  (Remember the Impeachment boat has already sailed, President Trump is now the third President in US history to have been impeached.  All that is left is whether 2/3rds of the Senate will vote to remove the President from office.  Hmmm.)

The impeachment and the trial never needed to happen.  Had the President expressed regret over his extortion attempts towards the Ukrainian President (like, I was only interested in stemming corruption in the Ukraine and in my excitement I mentioned the Bidens.  I should not have said that.)  With a mea culpa, Democrats would have lost the indignation which the President’s “perfect phone call” claim elicited.  But mea culpa was never the path the President would pursue.

So, there will be a trial and Republicans will defend and Democrats will prosecute.  Listening to sound bites, Republican attempts to exonerate the President seem far fetched.  What planet are they living on?

Abuse of Power” is not a crime, Republicans say.  In other words, there is no statute that defines what is an abuse of power, so the President violated no law.  Hmmm.  Further, Republicans add, “the military aide was delivered, no harm, no foul”.  

Obstruction of Congress” is also not a crime.  President Trump considered the House investigation as a political act and he directed his executive branch to ignore the House and get on with business.  Hmmm.

Democrats see the impeachment quite differently.  In Democrat’s view, the President stepped far over the line by concocting a scheme where the Ukrainian Government would be extorted by holding up Congressionally approve aide and to add insult to injury, President and other Administration top players would snub the Ukrainian leaders… unless the Ukrainian Government announced publicly an investigation into Hunter and Joe Biden.  Seeking a foreign government to, in essence, provide Trump aide in the 2020 election is clearly out of bounds (I think).

The Impeachment Blues will begin as Republicans attempt to deny there are grounds for impeachment, and therefore there is no onus to convict.  Think about that.  Republicans are saying that “anything goes with future Presidents seeking help from foreign countries like China, Russia, or whomever.”

Republicans have already sullied their brand with a defective tax cut, immoral border and immigration policies, and deficits topping $1 trillion which our grandchildren will inherit.  One might argue that not convicting the President is par for the course.

Voters must listen carefully to the Senate proceedings.  President Trump has a much different view of the Presidency than past Presidents had.  Looking around the world, it does not take much effort to see so many countries tilting towards authoritarian leaders since open and free societies can be “so messy” to govern. 

Trump’s impeachment will stand as a clear line in the sand that repeat behavior will earn the next President another impeachment too.  

In Comparison…

July 6, 2019

The “neo-conservative” foreign policies of the Trump Administration should remind Americans of George W Bush Administration’s hubris days, and where hubris can lead.  The Trump Administration has put forth some amazing policy initiatives and to date, none have yielded anything close to what the President advertised.

As a reminder,

  • “W” didn’t need regulations and deemphasized picking sound Department leaders.  Along comes Hurricane Katrina (not Bush’s fault) and the world got to see third world relief when FEMA couldn’t get out of its own way.  
  • 9/11 was arguably also not Bush’s fault but his administration had been dismissive of al Qaeda before the airplanes crashed. 
  • The invasion of Afghanistan was a positive Bush move but the morphing of the Afghan campaign into “nation building” was a decision made by amateurs. 
  • Not content with one miscalculation, the Bush team (read Vice President Dick Cheney), concocted a story about Iraq, its connection to 9/11 (there was none) and that Iraq was building nuclear weapons (it was not), and the Iraq invasion and Occupation proceeded. 
  • But not done with mega mess ups, Bush and company looked the other way on regulatory controls over the banking system.  Soon bank liquidity dried up and the world stood at the brink of a Depression Era contraction.  Hmmm.

The Trump white House, not to be outdone,

  • opened with a series of unforced errors as Trump seemingly attempted to undo anything and everything President Obama had overseen.  Americans got used to hearing “worst ever”, “ a complete disaster”, and “unfair”. 
  • Latin Americans, especially the “dreamers”, an educated Latin American group who were brought to the US as children were targeted for deportation.  Why? 
  • Muslims were next with visa severe restrictions. Why?
  • The Trans Pacific Partnership, a multi-lateral trade group, which would have given the US leverage in any subsequent trade or foreign policy dispute with China was rejected.  Why? 
  • The Paris Climate Agreement, the only tool the US possessed to help curb global green house increases, was scuttled.  Why?
  • Next came the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action where Iran’s nuclear development programs was halted, was not good enough for the Trump Administration.  Result: US unilateral withdrawal.  Why? 
  • And then came the tariffs.  Steel and Aluminum tariffs were introduced under national defense claims which were clearly unjustified and will in the future provided an bad example to any other country.  Why?
  • And more tariffs.  Canada and Mexico!  South Korea, Japan and India.  Europe and China followed, and then trouble arose. Both Europe and China are capable of tit for tat reciprocity which translates into higher prices for US consumers and reduced exports for American businesses. Why?

What is the common thread between Bush and Trump.  There are several:

  • Bush was never involved enough.
  • Trump is involved too much.
  • Both surrounded themselves with conservative/republican advisors who hosted extreme views about America’s “exceptionalism”.

IMO, President Trump naively assumed his real estate bully tactics would apply to foreign and domestic affairs.  Trump’s goals was primarily reelection while his family businesses prospered in the background.  The President has enlisted extreme advisors (Stephen Miller, Peter Navaro, Robert Litehaiser, John Bolton, and Larry Kudlow) who perform the detail work on unworkable ideas.  So what lies ahead?

Hmmm.

  • Trump’s Mexican (Latin American) policies are inadequate, immoral, and are not working.  The US needs workers and there is no process to ensure a steady flow.
  • Trade based upon punching the other country first, then negotiating back from this position does not work.  Trust disappears and global realities overwhelm unilateralism.
  • Both China and Russia represent global threats for which the strongest and most cost effective deterrent comes from a coalition of allies.  Trump has alienated most of our traditional allies.
  • Climate change represents the most serious global unknown and the US has abdicated any leadership role.  Consequences could lead to wars and civil rebellions.  Global trade could evaporate.

In short, President Trump, in just 2 1/2 years has set the table for potentially an even worse Presidency than George W Bush delivered.  In comparison, Bush was a decent (if dull light bulb) person, while Trump is a narcissistic, highly overrated bully.  But it is the factions within the conservative and republican ranks which have crafted the specifics of each President’s policies which are to be singled out. 

Defeating Donald Trump in 2020 is a must and returning all of Congress to a Democrat majority will be necessary to clean up the mess Trump has created. 

Smoke Screen

May 31, 2019

For many who have lived in New York City, knowing what Donald Trump meant, was a no brainer.  His shenanigans were well know from tabloids and call in talk radio. 

If one paid attention to the 2016 Republican Presidential primaries, there was adequate information to gain understanding that a rudderless narcissist was about to bloom. 

And the 2016 Presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton should have answered any questions about how shallow, hateful, and self centered, candidate Trump was.

Seventeen months have now past in Trump’s Presidency, and no reasonable person should remain deluded that Trump will grow into the stature demanded by the “office”.   With Democrats in control of the House, the country is safe from any draconian legislation, and that is good.  Americans (or at least 65% of them) can sleep at night with the belief that 2020 will bring the end to Trump’s American nightmare.

But Americans must also come to realize that Donald J Trump has served as a “smoke screen” for Team Red’s special interest.  Trump the circus master has kept the focus on himself and thereby kept the American collective mind off the recognition that Republicans, funded by special interests have supported the President and enabled his most destructive behaviors. 

Now the President has made a move to bite the second hand that feeds these backers.  First the trade war with China makes no practical sense but now threatening tariffs on Mexican trade boggles the mind.  The ramifications will recoil across the country including most “red” States and therefore GOP legislators.  Not only are tariffs the wrong tool to “fix” the influx of Latin American refugees, Trump’s actions are a clear indicator to all other nations just what being a “friend” means to Trump… and his Administration.

The threat of tariffs as high as 25% on all Mexican exports to the US is so egregious that GOP legislators have no excuse to not act to stop the President. 

  • First, the tariff will be a tax on all Americans as prices of Mexican imported goods rise. 
  • Second, should Americans substitute automobiles or watermelon or avocados from Mexico with the same products from a different country, the economic impact upon Mexico could be devastating.  Does Trump and the GOP want a failed State of 80 million citizens on the southern border?

Trump’s motivation behind the tariff threat is unclear at this time.  If Americans are talking about the border and tariffs, however, they are not talking about the Mueller Report.  Hmmm.

Writing Posts Is Not Easy

May 13, 2019

Well into the third year of President Trump, it is not easy to publish new and original posts.  In the opening months of the Trump Administration, each day brought one more audacious event after another.  Posting something that reflected a Trump policy which was demonstrably ill advised was a “holy cow” event.  Now the crude, rude, and of course, incorrect Presidential statements do not surprise and have become predictable. 

Regaining the Center, dating from the George W Bush years, aims to expose and comment upon hypocrisies which others may have not yet called out.  Punditry along with newsworthy press coverage, however, are all over President Trump and never let one of his distasteful utterances go unnoticed.  What is left for Regaining the Center?

IMO, America made a serious mistake in electing Donald Trump.  To be sure Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate too, but Clinton’s flaws were well within the bounds of sound governance.  President Trump has had virtually no foreign or domestic policy action which can be yet traced to positive outcomes.  From his “big beautiful wall” to “I love tariffs” with stops in between supporting this dictator or that one or stiffing one long time ally or another, President Trump has thrown more muck at the proverbial wall and none have achieved his promised outcomes.

(Some may cite Trump’s tax cuts as a smashing success.  Closer inspection, however, shows no connection between promised outcomes and what has actually taken place with those who received the lion share of the tax benefit.  The cost of the tax cut is being sent to our children and theirs since the tax cut is unfunded.)

All Presidents experience domestic or foreign policy failures.  Despite the best of intentions, world events do not always go as predicted.  Most Presidents, however, surround themselves with competent mainstream advisors and pursue incremental change, largely because the world is a very complicated place.  Not Donald Trump.

  • The Mexican border wall is dealing with the wrong end of the immigration problem.  Why are central Americans seeking refugee status and how can those causes be mitigated?
  • Securing new manufacturing jobs would be wonderful if that were economically possible.  Repatriating manufacturing jobs which have gone to China (or other lower wage countries) is a non-starter because the US cost to manufacture (largely wage driven) is too high.
  • Denying climate change is both dangerous for future generations but in denying, the President is refuting science.  Denial teaches science our youth that education is not important.  This dangerous example is the hallmark of second rate countries.
  • Bi-lateral trade agreements run counter to reality.  The world is complicated and trade arrangements must be flexible enough to anticipate apparent irrationalities from trading partners.  For example, religious or ideological interferences come and go, and consequently two specific trading partners might go to war and ask for the US to side with one of them.  Trade agreements where the US gets most of what it seeks and so do the other trading partners better insulates against unforeseen global changes.

Today North Korea, Iran, and Venezuela are hot spots getting hotter.  Under Trump, other countries that could be useful in resolving tensions have been alienated and are content to stand on the sidelines.

And geopolitically, China and southeast Asia represents the largest area potential trouble and future conflict.  Where is the US?  Does day dreaming sound right?  The US has allowed a trade policy disputes to erode into a trade war with consequences on Wall Street and Americans pocketbook.

Regaining the Center offers a safe port in this Trump-made storm.  The next two years culminating in the November 2020 elections provide the opportunity to reset America’s political compass.  Voters need to recognize the folly the Trump Administration and its GOP enablers have put forth.  Choosing candidates who will promise a “center” road platform and who will endeavor to work on real problems not phony political claims should be the goal.

Since no candidate is likely to speak entirely candidly (most seek to be all things to all people), the candidate pointing towards the center is probably the safest bet.   

Running To The Left

March 3, 2019

Political pundits are aghast that Democrat 2020 Presidential hopefuls are trying out “leftist” each other.  “The Green Deal”, “Medicare For All”, and “Free College Education” are slogans which can trigger the label “socialist”.  Republicans and President Trump smile and see a pathway to victory.  Why?

I think the reasoning goes as follows, 35% who identify as the President’s “base” would not vote for someone else regardless of what Donald Trump has done or will do.  So the task becomes attracting 15% more from the population in general.  The GOP’s reasoning is to play the “communism/socialism” card and create enough fear that otherwise sensible citizens will vote Republican.  Hmmm.

It is difficult to imagine any other strategy available to Republicans.  Could they run on “more walls”, “more green house gas emissions”, or “more tariffs paid for by US tax payers”?  For sure “abortion” and “another Supreme Court Justice” are Republican crowd pleasers but those promises are already foreseen in the 35%.  So, let’s try the socialist path.

Democrats need to take a deep breath and appreciate that “The Green Deal” is about protecting the environment for future generations not providing jobs, “Medicare For All” is about truly affordable healthcare for all Americans, not free healthcare, and “Free College Educations” is about producing a population that can think critically and possess the necessary skills to provide a living for themselves and their family.  In short, Democrats should be about helping the average person thrive and have a chance to see their children do even better.

Practically speaking, without a sweep of the Senate and House along with winning the Presidency there is no chance that the “Green Deal” or “Medicare For All” or “Free College Education” could be enacted into law.  So why promise something that arguably can’t be delivered? 

Aspirational objectives with promises of manageable incremental steps is more believable and less likely to scare voters.  Add to that commonsense trade objectives, a return to our time honored respect for immigrants, and a promise to return fiscal sanity to our nation’s finances should complete the list for Democrats.

Unfortunately this perspective does not include what candidates think is necessary to win the nomination (how each candidate can make themselves distinctive).  The notion of running far left in the primaries and then tacking towards the middle is an oft practiced tactic.  With social media as it is, this “extreme to middle” approach is open to unkind surprises.

Hmmm.