Maybe Trump should have been president during Vietnam…

October 20, 2019

President trump should be impeached but not necessaily removed from office, the people can take care of that in the election of 2020. Or not.

It is concerning that someone such as he who exibits some traits of a mad man or at least a spoiled child and a bully has the power of launching a nuclear attack unilatterally. But perhaps he is not so inclined to war, and that may be his one good trait.

It seemed odd that he just suddenly threw the Kurds, who have done the heavy lifting for the U.S., fighting the ISIS terrorist forces, to the wolves, or I should say their enemies the Turks, and is withdrawing from Syria…but adding troops to Saudi Arabia. But his view that we should extricate ourselves from the mid east wars seems, in general, good.

But I have to ask why is he just now doing this?

And I have to ask why is he betraying our Kurdish allies and our own soldiers and ceding all to the dictator in Turkey, the dictator in Syria, and the dictator in Russia? Oh, and the ayatollah in Iran.

The big one is Russia. It was our arch enemy the Soviet Union but now as Russia it seems just as big of an enemy, except Trump has a man crush on Putin of Russia.

I still wonder if Trump is the Manchurian candidate. Seriously.

But save for the danger that Trump will go completely off the rails and order a nuclear strike (and against who?), the most practical and legitimate way to remove Trump is by election.

The U.S. is in a difficult position in that we are a super power but not like the powers of old which sought to own and rule the world. But I guess power can atrophy if not used from time to time.

The devil is figuring out when and how.

Too bad, though, Trump was not president, say in 1968 or before. President Johnson knew Vietnam was hopeless but ironically pushed us deeper and deeper into the deadly morass. Nixon came along with the “secret plan” to end the war. There was no plan or it did not work, except to get him elected. Thousands more American lives were sacrificed in order that Nixon might save face. Eventually almost 60,000 American soldiers died in a war in which no one quite knew the point of.

After a decade of fighting pointless battles we just up and quit and pulled up stakes and left with desperate South Vietnamese hanging onto helipcopter skids lest the communist forces grab them. It was not the old-time kind of war that could be clearly won or lost, well except we lost by default. We quit.

Trump, who just does things on a whim and without conscience might have just abruptly ended U.S. involvement and saved lives.

I think that the notion that “we have to fight them over there before they come over here” is something between absurd and impractical.

We have to choose our battles and have a clear purpose. Fighting in Vietnam or fighting in Syria is not fighting for your country, directly anyway. It’s more like fighting for Dow Chemical and the whole military industrial complex that profits from endless war.

(While not honorable, Trump made a wise decision by evading the Vietnam draft.)

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Note: I’m down to using my phone for posting this, my laptop being at least tempoarily out of commision. And I am not a two-thumb texter. The advantage is that it makes me be a little less wordy and hopefully more concise.

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New foreign policy: U.S. only supports those who helped it in World War 2 …

October 10, 2019

On it’s face President Trump’s “bizarre” assertion, as it is being called, that the Kurds did not help us in World War II means that we can abandon them as an ally now even though they helped us fight ISIS is unfathomable. It’s like some weird non sequitur.

First of all, if that is the measure of who we keep faith with then I guess we better drop relations with Japan and Germany. They were definitely not on our side in World War II. Spain under the dictator Franco was officially neutral but partial to our enemy Germany, so drop that nation as an ally too. And so on. I mean World War II ended more than 70 years ago — a lot has changed since then.

Trump adds that “they (the Kurds) are fighting for their land”. Since when is that a bad thing? What has that got to do with the fact that the Kurds have backed up the U.S. in fighting ISIS is Syria? At a whim, Trump has decided to abandon the Kurds and leave them to their enemy the Turks.

Now the assertion by Trump that we (the U.S.) have been in the Middle East too long and we need to finally say enough is enough may indeed have some merit. So what has he been waiting for these past almost three years? One wonders if he did not make his rash move, that has even provoked objection from his reliable Republican sycophants, as a distraction from the impeachment mess he has gotten himself into.

While I am relatively sure Trump has no sense of history whatsoever, I have to admit I need to read up on the history of the Kurds (who do not have an actual nation state of their own) — but even if I become an expert (which I will not) it still has little to nothing to do with what our policy ought to be toward the Kurds who have shed blood for us in fighting Muslim extremists who have directly and indirectly threatened the United States.

The Turkish government has a beef with the Kurds because of their quest for an autonomous state that would encroach upon Turkey. And now that Trump has pulled U.S. troops out of Syria Turkish forces are attacking the Kurds. Trump has said that they should not do that but of course he had to know that they would, and I would imagine he can’t do a thing about it.

Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds puts the whole world on notice that the word of the U.S. means nothing. That’s going to be a problem when we need backup. And we will.

I’ll be interested to see how this plays out and, yes, do some research on the Kurds.

On the other hand, scaling back our far-flung wars that seem to go on and on — George W. Bush I think said something to the effect that the war on terror, as he called it, would be endless — sounds better than endless war.

But there has to be order and sound policy and we should not ruin our honor and good name in the world, that is what’s left after almost three years of Trump.

It may be that as a certified rich boy draft dodger for Viet Nam (fake medical diagnosis) he is ashamed to face parents of those killed in our foreign wars now. He said in a speech he saw the pain in their eyes.

So calling off our wars might be the one good thing he could do.

Meanwhile, though, he is leaving our foreign policy in a shambles. And with all that is going on in the current impeachment process, that he has for the most part created himself by his flagrant disregard for norms of behavior and laws, we are in a constitutional crisis.`Well as far as foreign policy goes, there seems to be none, except what the grand master tweets each day or night or spouts off the cuff. The impeachment thing is basically political because impeachment is a political tool essentially that the framers inserted into the constitution to balance power between the legislative and executive, as well as judicial branch of government. It is also a protection against a president who simply runs amok.

But it will only be successful if the majority of the American people seem to support it, as it should be. Polls now seem to indicate they do. And of course impeachment is a confusing word because it conjures up removal, but that can only happen if the congress votes to impeach and then the president (or whoever is being impeached) is found guilty in a trial by the senate, which up until now has seemed unlikely what with Republican control and Republicans here to now being afraid to speak out against the president (they are not brave people most of them it seems).

I continue to like the sound of pulling back our forces. On the other hand what is the purpose of our forces if they cannot be used? We are supposed to be a world power. We will cease to be if we are seen as unwilling to use force to back up our policies.

It is always a dilemma. It calls for brave and wise leadership. We have not had that in some time, even though Trump proclaims himself to be that.

p.s.

Hillary Clinton and/or her supporters and even her opponents seem to be dropping hints or suggesting outright that she might run again. I’m not sure that is such a good idea.


The intractable debate on gun control or bans…

August 14, 2019

Mass shootings in the United States, sad to say, seem to be like air crashes, freeway fatalities, fires, and floods — we see the horror and we think: goodness, that could have been me or one or more of my family. But it wasn’t. And life goes on — well, except for the victims.

I have to think at this moment that will be the case for the recent triple, close-together occurrence of mass shootings in Gilroy, Ca.; El Paso, Tx. and Dayton, Ohio. Maybe I am wrong and it will result in some serious movement toward gun control or an outright ban on military-style assault weapons which most people, including hunters, believe that there is no need for among the populace. But when nothing was done after the Sandy Hook mass killing — of little children in school — I cannot see why anything would change now.

And then there is this:

I read a story that said a Walmart clerk in El Paso, after the mass shooting there, pondered getting herself a gun for protection. And really, if we are to cling to the notion that citizens have the right to own and carry guns and that such a right is as sacrosanct as anything in the Holy Bible then the only true defense we have is to shoot back to protect ourselves.

But the problem with that is manyfold. Even the best soldier cannot be on guard all the time — and what kind of weapon would one choose? Are you going to sling an AR-15 rifle over your shoulder or better yet, carry it in the ready to aim and fire position 24-7? Or are you going to pack a more practical handgun of some type? And if you do will you be able to get to it before the bad guy? Or will you mistakenly feel that you are facing a deadly threat and end up killing an unarmed person who meant no harm after all, or may have not been capable of doing you harm? Well, that is what some cops do (and I have some empathy for them. I mean they would rather live to see another day than die while trying to instantly judge whether their life is in imminent danger — best to cooperate with cops; they get nervous).

And seriously, having guns around the house and elsewhere is dangerous. So often little kids get ahold of them with fatal results. Also, an intruder is likely to use your own gun against you. Not saying guns for self protection is not a good idea, but they bring with them a heavy burden of responsibility.

There is some indication that the once mighty NRA lobby is weakening due to internal squables. Also, perhaps, some of its members, hunters and other gun enthusiasts, may be realizing that it is a lobby just as much or more in the interests of gun manufacturers and the gun trade in general as the rights of individual citizens. One of my late uncles was a hunter and World War II veteran but he had no use for the NRA.

From what I read, polling indicates that a wide majority of Americans favor gun control and see no need for private citizens to be militarily armed — that is with weapons whose only purpose is mass killing of humans. But for some reason most legislators are reluctant to pass gun control or weapons ban legislation. That NRA lobby money and support or threat of unseating an incumbent (with money-fueled bad publicity) is a power that even the citizenry can’t seem to conquer.

And let’s talk about the Second Amendment. You can read it. It is only one sentence. And Supreme Court interpretations aside, it is, to say the least, ambiguous because it somehow ties gun rights to military use (further complicating interpretation is that there are I think at least two versions of that sentence with differing punctuation). It uses the word “militia”. But certainly the framers were not talking about those would-be vigilantes these days who go out into the woods wearing camouflage. And as I have written before, I am no more afraid of terrorists than I am of vigilantes. Both pose a threat to my own life and liberty. I prefer a recognized form of authority over which I have some bit of control by the ability to share my vote with other like-minded citizens — we call it democracy, not rule of the jungle.

There was the thought back in the time of our framers that the citizenry had the right to protect themselves rather than depend upon a standing army controled by a central government — kind of like the armies of the Kings of old. In fact, the framers I believe abhorred the thought of a standing army. Apparently, though, we got over that.

Sometimes you will read that the militia referred to in the Second Amendment has been subsumed into the National Guard units of each state. I’m not even sure that such makes sense. I mean these days the National Guard is all but a branch of the U.S. Army Reserve, in that in the past decades now guard units have been sent overseas to fight our far-flung conflicts. That is not to say that the guard does not also provide valuable service in protection to the populace in natural disasters — in fact that is the problem. Way back during the Katrina hurricane it was reported that the guard was short of resources to help the beleaguered people of New Orleans due to its commitments in the Middle East.

And some people put forth the idea that the citizenry should be armed to protect itself against the tyranny of a central government. I don’t know about that one. If you engage in armed rebellion against the central government that central government is not going to cave because you say you have a constitutional right.

I have more than once written that I cling to the belief — to some degree — in the Second Amdendment, despite its ambiguity. And I still do. I mean I think we can deal with our current threat from mass shootings without touching the second item in our Bill of Rights. It is after all uniquely American.

First, a ban on the trade of military assault weapons would seem like a good idea. Not as easy as it sounds in that one has to wrestle with the interpretation of what constitues a military assault weapon — and more conventional rifles and handguns can be modified to make them essentially operate like bona fide assault weapons.

A widescale confiscation of weapons, of any kind, would not be a good idea. There would be widespread resistance to the government coming to get your stuff — as there should be.

We hear a lot about background checks. There are already background check laws on the books — on a state and federal level I think. But they are not coordinated and have loopholes. And many of the mass shooters seem to have obtained their weapons legally (in some cases passing background checks or maybe they fit into a loophole). But even a lot of gun advocates seem to essentially support background checks.

And I am not going much farther with all of this. It just seems like what we have to do as a first step is to reduce or all but eliminate the easy access to military assault weapons.

You can argue it is about angry and lonely white guys, white nationalism, lack of mental health care and so on. But controlling human behavior is impossible and in many instances would seem counter to individual freedom. Put another way, let crazy guys be crazy, just make it unlikely that the individual will have access to weapons.

I personally am not a hunter and I do not go out to the gun range but I would like to maintain the right to do so. I do not, however, necesarilly worry about depriving people of the right to shoot military assault weapons at a gun range — but perhaps we can maintain that right while having a general ban of military assualt weapons.

(As an aside, I should mention that I have handled and fired weapons of various types in civilian and army life, from hunting rifles to hand guns to machine guns to the main gun on an army tank, so I am not clueless about weapons.)

And finally. We are a violent society. I am not at all sure why. I once took a class in college where the instructor said that during the westward movement of North America, Canada established law in far-flung outposts first — you know, the Mounties — whereas in the United States it was a free for all initially — like no law west of the Pecos.

We have that uniquely American independent spirit. You gotta be rough and able to protect yourself and not give up your individual rights to anyone.

It’s our choice. How much safety for ourselves and our children are we wiling to sacrifice in the name of the Second Amendment? The Second Amendment itself is not really a block to some kind fo sensible gun control. I mean the Supreme Court in its limited dealings with it has proven that it can be read just about any way you want it to.


Joe Biden holds his own among withering fire…

August 1, 2019

Health care was the lead topic and took up the most time I believe in Wednesday evening’s (7-31-19) Democratic Party presidential candidate debate in Detroit. It was apparent that the candidates felt that is a number one issue among the voters, although it was the CNN moderator who posed the questions.

But I want to right up front mention too that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said she was against the Trans Pacific trade deal because it takes away U.S. sovereignty and American jobs. But she would not keep the Trump tariffs because there is no coherent plan and they have done harm.

Biden is for international trade deals with some changes, he says.

I am making this kind of a sub-lead simply because I have always been wary of international trade deals and whose interest they are in.

And as I am writing this as the Democratic debate, part two, continues.

So far the real lead I suppose should be that Joe Biden seems to be holding his own while being constantly attacked by the others. He’s standing up to withering fire as it were.

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California is strident. In fact her and Biden took over the debate for almost all of the first half hour as if no one else (the eight others) was there.

It finally opened up and almost everyone has had their shot and surprisingly it seems all have done well. The weakest maybe is Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator, New York. Not her fault, just the way things fall. So with my record in political prognostication, she’ll wind up president.

Overall, so far — I wished it was over — Biden seems to be holding his own and stands out as the experienced leader or old hand on the national stage– he was after all vice president, although like one old boy said a long time ago — that job is not worth a warm bucket of spit.

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington State bragged on his state’s progress in health care and climate change and paying teachers and so on. He sort of looks like a cross between the late Barry Goldwater and Drew Carey.

Gabbard was the first to call for ending the war in Afghanistan. And she served in the armed forces there. She has good ideas and makes sense but a little thin on a campaign or recognition.

Inslee said he was a young congressman when he realized that George W. Bush was fanning the flames of war in Iraq and that he voted against it.

Most of the candidates supported some form of government-sponsored health care, the argument being whether it would result or should result in the demise of private or employer-sponsored health insurance. Biden in particular wanted to protect employer-health care wile offering a public option in the so-called Obamacare, as had been an original idea.

Well my feed on the debate went off. Just as well. You can only listen to so much.

We’ll see tomorrow or right after the debate who the pundits think won or who scored best.

My money (well not really money) is on Biden, Harris is a close second. Inslee makes a lot of sense but he is a little behind in name recognition.

Not sure how Harris plays to middle America. And she seemed a bit nervous at times, but she did not let up.

Biden the old man in the game showed plenty of vigor.

At this point, and of course it is way early, I see the major contenders (from both of the split debates, ten candidates each), as Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Harris, not necessarily in that order, except Biden first — and I am not necessarily partial to him. Just seems like he would sell better across the board — maybe not. The country is changing in demographics. And it always depends upon who votes and who passes up their opportunity to do so, especially in the general election.

With President Trump’s continuing outrages, including open racism, I am beginning to believe he is quite beatable, unless the Democratic Party lurches too far to the left. Biden leans a little left, while trying hard to maintain the centrist approach, and Harris is left leaning but careful — she can be a bit of a chameleon at times, apparently her strategy for political survival. I could see a Biden/Harris ticket — not the other way around. Biden already did that job. And maybe Harris would not want it. She is too ambitious and young enough to wait for the next time making her bones as senator in the meantime.

 

 


If there was winner it was Warren this time, but moderates try to pull progressives back…

July 31, 2019

Note: my immediate reactions to the Democratic debate of the evening of July 30, 2019.


I began watching tonight’s Democratic debate, televised from Detroit, thinking there was far too many people in it, ten this evening and that was just half, the other half tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31).

But as it progressed I felt that at least some of the lesser knowns spoke up and tried to pull some of the assertions or proposals from the progressive front runners back to more pragmatic approaches, such as not throwing the baby out with the bathwater by taking away or doing away with private or employer-provided health insurance by providing for Medicare for all. There are different proposals but in one way or another most seem to point toward the demise of non-public insurance, at least eventually, save for maybe supplemental policies, if that.

And free college for all was criticized because it would allow wealthy people to take advantage of such a system, not to mention the cost.

I marvel at the notion that there is really such a thing as free health care or free college. As for health care I do support a public role of at least protecting those who cannot afford coverage. As for free college. First of all we have too many people in college who do not belong there. Higher education is not for everyone. We probably do need to look at restructuring the whole system because the old model is out of date. But at any rate, it is never free. Someone has to pay, college and health care.

Personally, I thought Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who for some reason I don’t usually take to, at least had maybe the best line of the night when she retorted to one candidate who claimed progressive ideas were impractical and could not be done. Her retort was to former congressman and now presidential candidate John Delaney, but probably applied to some of the other moderates.

“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for.” That got her good applause.

Applause to a political candidate is like a laugh to a comedian. But earlier in the debate when some in the audience started to laugh at something Warren was saying, she shut them down by saying: “this is not funny”. And seemed to get away with it. The lady does put energy into what she does.

I think Bernie Sanders is just a little too socialist for me, and he is an avowed socialist. Like I say all the time: I’m for social programs, not socialism.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, whom I do like somewhat, I think did well, but she is rather low key and while that may work in her native Minnesota, I’m not sure how that works in nationwide politics and against the monster that is Trump. She would I am sure make a good president — well I think so. How can I know?

We need someone competent and someone who can bring our nation back to normalcy and decency. But to win the election a candidate probably has to have some pizzazz. Some energy.

I should mention South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg. He is well spoken and he is an Afghanistan war veteran, and one who apparently at least served out in combat areas (don’t know the details). He took a swipe at Trump, accusing him of escaping military service by claiming a phony injury or disability (that seems to be a fairly well supported assertion). Not sure how comfortable some voters would be about electing Buttigieg an admitted homosexual for president. Not politically correct to say that (and probably not nice either), but I’m not writing this to be politically correct (or nice), just to be honest. And he is so young, 37. He took a swipe at the religious right Republicans by saying something about when you hurt the poor you mock the maker (a biblical reference apparently). I liked that. That’s because I think there is so much ugly hypocrisy from those who claim to be holier than thou but support such an immoral president.

Overall, I thought Elizabeth Warren probably came out ahead, but there seemed no clear standout in this.

I should mention that the disappointing phenom Beto O’Rourke, who got famous for losing a senatorial race to Ted Cruz of Texas (but it was close), kind of came back from the dead with what I sort of thought was a Kennedyesque style (JFK). But I think he is probably old news or all hat and no cattle as they say down his way. And he, like JFK, does not wear a hat.

These were just some immediate reactions and this is not meant to be a complete summary. You either saw it or can replay it or can skip the whole thing of course, the latter probably being the best option.

Superstars Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are on tap tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 31) along with all the others who were not on this evening. As I write this and before I watch, if I can, tomorrow night, I’m thinking when the dust has settled on all this primary stuff, it will be either Biden or Harris vs. Trump. Either one ought to be able to beat Trump, that is unless they get too confident — like the last one who tried. And how you can spend so many millions of dollars on a campaign and fail to grasp the power and danger of the Electoral College, stuns me. And then there is bad luck.

 

 

 

 

 


Forget the Mueller book and TV show, save a smoking gun, the ballot box is the key…

July 25, 2019

As almost everyone else, I have not read the 448-page Mueller Report. But I’ve seen the TV show and it is boring (Wednesday’s, 7-24-19, televised hearings). Questions from Democrats and Republicans that often were more political statements than questions, and a muddled response from Special Council Robert Mueller, who seemed addled at times, is what the public was presented.

A lot has come out of his inquiry in the Russian investigation and people have gone to jail. We cannot forget that. And Trump skates even though evidence indicates he was right in there with them. Being the president does seem to insolate one.

And what is this silly argument over whether his report exonerated or did not exonerate the president? That question seems subjective. I mean that was not his job. He was supposed to come up with the facts. Now it would seem that had he really thought there was enough evidence to convict he would have suggested prosecution. He claims to be working under a rule (not a law) that says no sitting president can be indicted. Well fine, wait till he is out of office I guess (although that would set a scary precedent and make us look like a banana republic). Also the congress still has the power to impeach. Right now it is divided, with the Democrats holding the U.S. House of Representatives and the Republicans the U.S. Senate. The house could impeach Trump (which does not mean removal) but the senate is afraid of Trump and will not convict him (which would mean removal). And maybe that is the way it should be. If it were too easy for a congress to remove a president then each party would remove each other’s successful nominees. Richard Nixon was so badly embarrassing that his own party would not save him.

We know who Trump is. We know he has dealings with our enemies. We know he has terrible manners. We know he is doing terrible things to the reputation of our country. And we all know that he is destroying environmental and work safety measures and wants to do away with the health care law (with no alternative).

We even know he tried to obstruct justice, or at least that is what most would call his actions.

But without a smoking gun — such as the Nixon tapes — he’s not going anywhere.

The only foreseeable way at this juncture to defeat Trump is at the ballot box.

And the only way I see that the Democratic Party will beat him there is to put up a candidate who catches the imagination and enthusiasm of the voters.

Hillary Clinton got way more votes but she lost in the Electoral College. And some expert observers are seeing that scenario likely again.

She also lost because she could not get some usually loyal Democrats out to vote for her in key states.

Remember poor Al Gore? He got more votes too but he could not get his own state in the Electoral College. Some say he ran a lackluster campaign. You really do have to give it your all.

Lesson for Democratic presidential hopefuls: your own party has to really be enthusiastic about you and you need to be able to capture swing voters or even dissatisfied Republican voters and new voters.

The idea that the Democrats could put up a ham sandwich and defeat Trump I think is not likely correct unless between now and election he does something so gawd awful that his supporters turn their backs on him. And what the heck would that be?

Americans historically don’t go for extremes on the right or left. Trump is an extreme but not on the right or left really. Besides being a pathological liar, he’s an outlier. He is in a category all of his own as to ideology — well maybe close to a fascist in the Benito Mussolini style, with traces of Hitler, which to me is really a lack of ideology and just a thirst for power. The uber nationalists and racists and bigots in a society feed off that thirst and hapless others are caught up in the wave.

Hillary’s husband Bill of course was elected president, two times. He and Hillary are neither extreme left or right — middle of the road. Remember? He was going to be the leader of a new Democratic Party. And Hillary was going to carry on the tradition. But she was not Bill — she lacked that certain something — personality, that is to say something that seemed a genuine personality. Bill at least knew how to fake it. I was always astounded at how so many Republicans seemed to respect him, even if they opposed him politically.

The smoking gun could conceivably emerge in the Trump affair, but it seems doubtful. And one wonders if even it would change things.

Yeah, I think for their sake, the country’s sake?the Democrats need to not let Trump run their agenda. They need to talk about themselves and what they can do for us.

Even though Trump seems invincible at times, I have to think that there are a whole lot of Republicans and others out there who just want an excuse to vote for the Democratic nominee. But they need that excuse.

p.s.

As to the Russians meddling in our elections through manipulation of public information on the internet, that is of course serious. However, I am not sure how you keep people from only seeing and hearing what they want to believe and to be more discriminating in their searches of what passes for news. But my major concern is that our actual voting mechanisms are secure and I fear that they are not. All the Trump scandal and confusion is taking our eyes off the ball.


UPDATE:

The Senate Intelligence Committee reports that the Russians have targeted our elections apparatis in all 50 states. No reports of actual votes being changed. This according to the NY Times.

 

 

 

 

 


Do some Republicans not so secretly wish for Democrat Joe Biden?

July 14, 2019

It seems that many in the self-described rightwing media are obsessed that the Democratic Party is committing suicide in the race for the presidency by going too far to the left and by nearly all of the 20 or more candidates promising free health care for illegal aliens (while the rest of us pay for it one way or the other), that there will be essentially no restrictions on abortion, and that the government will eventually take over all health care with private insurance falling by the wayside (some see the private sector hanging on I guess to offer supplemental coverage).

I’m not sure why they are obsessed. They may be trying to rally the troops behind the right-wing cause (whatever that really is) or perhaps they are truly worried that the Democrats will fail to offer a credible candidate to go up against Trump.

Now for the Trump-is-our-man-because-he-says-and-does (rude and thoughtless, vulgar and selfish and racist and bigoted ) things-we-cannot crowd, the Dems committing suicide would see happy news.

But there are some on the right or some in the Republican Party (which has become synonymous with the term right wing in politics) who just might wish the Dems could come up with decent competition.

Just read that stalwart Trump supporter (sycophant) Sen. Lindsey Graham differs with Trump on climate change. He believes that instead of denying it, the Republicans need to acknowledge it and then get out in front of what to do about it so that whatever that is it will work to their advantage, rather than facing draconian restrictions that might severely affect business, industry. As the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board indicates — doing something about climate change may be important but we just can’t afford it at this time — maybe down the road.

(The ever so special Lindsey is an interesting case. Not so long ago he was describing Trump as nutty, well I guess that was before the election. Since then Lindsey is mostly on his side. He knows where the power is. But deep inside he also knows the truth as we all do. The emperor has no clothes. But the Republicans in government are obliged to follow in order to hold onto their own power — they were responsible for putting Trump in the White House after all).

As I have noted in this space many times now, it is hard to argue with a healthy national economy. While I hear daily reports about ups and downs and trends and predictions, it seems overall the economy is going along like gangbusters — but as we all know that can change rapidly and quite unexpectedly.

However, I must confess that within the last four years I have sure seen more help wanted signs in windows or on the sides of buildings than I have ever seen in my whole 69 years. When I was a teenager and in my 20s you were more likely to see “No help wanted” or “No applications accepted”. Of course people who really want to work and are not terribly picky usually get past all that.

But also like I have said I think it would be possible to have just as robust an economy with jobs all around without the terror and shame that is Trump. I realize anyone reading this who kind of likes Trump will not understand what I mean. So I am not writing for you. I am writing for those with some amount of decency and character and who have some interest beyond their own selves. A little grasp of culture and history would not hurt either.

The economy was already recovering from the Great Recession that occurred during the George W. Bush terms (not necessarily his fault) during the Obama years. Bush, our first MBA degreed president, did the only thing he could think of, he bailed out the big banks and investment outfits who basically got us there in the first place by throwing caution to the wind because Greed is Good. They were aided and abetted, though, by a populace drunk on the draw of making money out of nothing — buying and selling houses without money but somehow making money in the process, and putting everything on credit — with a credit card or better yet, several credit cards, you too can live like the rich and famous, without being rich or famous.

But I think Trump did do something to spur the economy. He created the promise that onerous environmental and safety restrictions would be lifted off of industry — and he and his administration are doing what they can to fulfill that promise. He also promised that he would bring back the jobs to our shores. He has not been as successful at that. Business is business, not a charity. It usually seeks cheaper labor. In fact, his trade war with China has simply shifted some production to Vietnam (you remember, where 60,000 of our soldiers died, with thousands more terribly wounded). I think Trump has found that he can’t turn back the reality of the global market. He can mess it up. Even so, Trump has created a climate in which businesses may feel more comfortable to expand within the borders of the U.S. And a government should do that.

About the help-wanted signs too. There are things going on in society. Have I read this or is it mostly my own observation? I mean we have the baby boomers retiring (me, except I still work, that is my retirement for now) and at the same time we seem to have this phenomenon that not all young people hit the job market after high school. They don’t even all go to college. Some just hang out. That may account for some of the labor shortages in some sectors. And we can’t forget the opioid epidemic that seems to have eroded the work force. No wonder people cross the border for jobs. If you don’t want them, they do.

All or most of that is just speculation on my part admittedly.

I really have no all-around conclusion to all this. I would like to see the Democratic Party put up a credible middle-of-the-road candidate. Yes, Joe Biden is supposed to be that candidate. I am not so sure but what that his time has passed. He has gone to the well more than once. But for some reason I get the idea that a lot of Republicans wished he would make it — like, “please Joe, save us from the Frankenstein we created”.