Friday, November 18, 2016

What now?

It has been over a week since Trump's election to the presidency.  It has been difficult to accept that so many Americans believe this man will make their life better.  It has been difficult to accept that so many Americans are misogynist, racists, bigots, etc. just like Trump is. Violence against the vulnerable has ticked upward since his election.  It is difficult to accept that so many Americans' vision of our nation is the same as Trump's.

So, I must decide which side I am on.  I cannot remain neutral.

I am distressed and anxious for America and full of uncertainty as to how America will change - and not for the better, and for the direction America will take for the next four years.

The words President and Trump are an oxymoron.

I can hardly bring myself to put those two words together and not choke on them.  But, what Trump, the demagogue, has been spouting for the last year, is really just the Republican Platform of the RNC.

That scares me even more.  When reading the Republican Platform I was looking for a shimmer of light or a glimmer of hope for America, but finding none.

To read the Republican Platform, go to and be sure to click on and read the FULL Republican Platform for 2016 and not just the abridged edition.

For purposes of this blog, I shall highlight four sections of the platform:

The Preamble


Social Security


I chose the preamble for basic information and the last three because they are what are most important to me.

In the preamble the Republican Party states its general beliefs and creed in the United States of America is:

"We affirm - as did the Declaration of Independence that all are created equal, endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (p.1)

So far, so good.

As we know, their major platform is one of government reform.

"The more it (government) intrudes in every aspect of American life, the  more it alienates the citizens who work, pay taxes, and wonder what has happened to 'the country they love.' (p. 23)

And, here the hypocrisy begins.  Republicans don't want government intruding in American lives, but of course they want to intrude where they want to intrude:


Planned Parenthood

LGBT+ rights

They want to keep others, who have 'inalienable rights endowed by their Creator,' and interfere in their bedrooms and personal decisions in their lives.  This is "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?"  This is intrusion into American lives on the most personal and intimate level.  I don't want government there.  What happens in the bedroom is not the government's business.

So, of course, Trump's crude, vulgar language and misogynist comments about women are okay with Republicans  because who wants an 'uppity' woman for president?  She was defeated by a man and this is how life should be according to Republicans.  This is the last grasp of old white men to hang onto their power.

The Republicans want  to "modernize Medicare, empowering it on a secure financial footing." (p. 23)

Well, I want that too.

They plan to "impose no changes for persons 55 or older." (p.23)

Good to hear.

Others, those under age 55 will have the OPTION of traditional medicare or transition to a premium - a support model designed to strengthen patient choices, promote cost saving competition among providers and better guard against the fraud, and abuse that now diverts billions of dollars every year away from patient care." (p.24)

I can't stop laughing.  An OPTION?  What if everyone's OPTION is traditional medicare?
And cheaper premiums means less coverage because in this country you get what you pay for.  At a time when illnesses pick up, seniors need more coverage not less.

And, do you really believe there will be OPTIONS available?

Medicaid will be part of welfare reform. (p.24)  This is because it is too big and too flawed to be administered by the federal government so it will be administered from the states, according to the platform.

So, those receiving medicaid from wealthier states will have better health care, and those receiving medicaid from poorer states will have insufficient and incompetent health care.

This is "all are created equal?"  But, we will have unequal health care for our most vulnerable, especially our children.

According to the platform, states will have block granting to allow states to EXPERIMENT with different systems to address health, mental health and develop successful models to be replaced in states across the nation.  How long will this EXPERIMENT take?   We are going to EXPERIMENT with human lives?  We are going to EXPERIMENT with the most
vulnerable in our nation, the poor, the mentally ill and children?

And, of course with Republican Medicaid comes more government interference in women and their families' lives.

"We respect the states authority and flexibility to EXCLUDE abortion providers from federal programs such as  Medicaid and other health care and family planning programs so long as they continue to perform or refer to elective abortions or sell body parts of aborted children." (I assume this means stem cells)

Again, some states will adopt this and some won't insuring discrimination against some and not others.  So the women who can't afford to go to another state to receive all types of health care will be discriminated against.

When it comes to Social Security the Republican agenda is to preserve and modernize a secure retirement system.  Current retirees and those close to retirement can be assured of their benefits.  

Well, that's good.

All options should be considered to preserve Social Security. (p. 24 - 25).  Then, they turn around and say they oppose, "tax increases and believe in the power of markets to create wealth and to help secure the future of our Social Security system."

Again, I can't stop laughing  We are going to leave funding of Social Security to "the power of the markets to create wealth.?"  Just like how the economic and stock market crash in 2008 depleted everyone's 401K?  This is their answer to a secure Social Security system?

Immigration is the hot topic of this president-elect and the Republican party.  According to the Republican Platform, "Our party is the natural home for those who come in search of freedom and justice.  We welcome all to the Great Opportunity Party. (GOP) (p. 25)

Unless, of course, you are Muslim or Syrian refugees.  These people the party does not want. Setting up a religious list or a tracking system does not offer freedom and justice to immigrants. 

The Director of the FBI (Comey) has said it is not possible to fully vet all potential refugees coming to this country,   And, why not?  That is his job.   His job is to make that possible.  If he can't, will someone please fire this guy?

I agree, that all immigrants should enter our country legally and follow our immigration laws.The immigration  laws that are already on the books should be enforced.  We should not have fluid borders where everyone and anyone can enter our country,

But, if you look back to the start of the Mexican and Central American illegal immigration problem, it began under President Ronald Reagan.  Those living in DC and the environs wanted cheap labor;  cheap nannies, housekeepers, and landscapers.  So, our government looked the other way and allowed an underclass of illegal workers to develop so that they would not have to pay them over the table and also pay employment taxes.  We created our own illegal immigration problem.

That is why President Reagan gave amnesty to about one million illegal immigrants during his presidency.  Most of the jobs held by illegal immigrants are those Americans don't want to do.  So, why not give them a path to citizenship and allow them to stay and keep those jobs Americans don't want and won't take?

"Out highest priority must be to secure our borders...That is why we support building a wall along our southern border...the border wall must cover the entirety of the southern border and must be sufficient to stop both vehicular and pedestrian traffic." (p.25)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The wall has been part of the Republican Platform all along, and this is not just "The Donald's" idea.  

The Republican Platform is what is scary and Trump is just its mouthpiece.  All those Republicans that would not endorse Trump or would not condone what he says, are now jumping on the bandwagon and pushing for jobs in his presidential administration.  It is sickening to see them act as lap dogs ready to jump at Trump's snap of the fingers.

So which side am I on?  I am on the side of truth and decency. I am on the side that is inclusive and not exclusive.  I am on the side of a diverse nation because my grandfather and great grandparents were immigrants from Italy and they gave much to this country to make it a stronger and a better nation. My German ancestors came as immigrants and fought in the American Revolution and took part in the building a nation.  I am on the side that breaks down walls, not puts walls up.  I am on the side that does not see the federal government as interfering in our lives but in making our lives more just and free for all.

Monday, May 9, 2016

A President Trump?

The voters have spoken.

Now, we have Donald J. Trump as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.  

How does this happen when some months ago we all said it couldn't?  He is a joke. He is a clown.  He is a flash in the pan. No one will actually vote for him.  He panders to the worst in the country and won't last a month.  

Here we are some months later and the unthinkable is happening.  How can this be?   

As he  campaigns for the highest and most prestigious job in the land - President of the United States - and the leader of the free world, we have learned he is a narcissist,  a racist, a demagogue, xenophobic, nationalistic, authoritative and a bully who uses intimidation to get his way.

He continues to contradict himself during his speeches.  No one can pin him down on how he plans to achieve his promise of "Making America Great Again!" And this all appeals to his Republican voters.

How does this happen?  It happens because Trump taps into the frustration, anger, loneliness, and the disconnect of Republican voters, because the majority of  Republican voters are not the wealthy and well-heeled, but the downtrodden middle class. 

Republican representatives in Washington capsule themselves in the Washington Beltway bubble, and appeal only to the intellectuals and wealthy in this country, not to the middle class. They have forgotten the common man.  They repeatedly promise to help the middle class and then betray them by pandering to the rich. 

And, because of this, those with the least education, but, even some that are well-educated, are flocking to his side and voting for him.  No matter how many editorials are written or how many broadcasters speak against the growing phenomenon of Trump, he still wins.


Because, many Republican voters perceive Trump to be authentic.  They like him because Trump is Trump. He puts his largess personality out there.  He is who he is and that is what is appealing to voters.  He speaks with frankness.   He is a racist and doesn't apologize for it.  He is a misogynist and doesn't apologize for it.  In fact, when confronted with that and his infidelity and three marriages, he embraces it and boasts of his sexual prowling and owns it. That is what the voters love about Donald Trump.

He doesn't profess conservative Christian values and then secretly philander.  He is a philanderer out there in the open for all to see.

Trump doesn't apologize for whom or what he is.  He is a billionaire (so he says though we have no proof) and he flaunts it.  As the saying goes, "if you got it, flaunt it."  And he does.

The voters perceive this as authentic.  It doesn't matter what outrageous thing he says, or that he contradicts himself the next day, he is just being Donald Trump and the voters have embraced him.  And Trump embraces them right back.  It's called the "art of the deal," that he has made with his constituents. 

When he intimidates other candidates and calls them names like "little Marco," "Lyin' Ted" and "Crooked Hillary," they love it because he is the playground bully and, something that deep inside, they want to be as well.  They love him because he doesn't stand for any political correctness.  They love it because he sticks it to the Republican establishment, something many Republican voters have wanted to do for years.

Trump  also gives his voters a platform to vent their anger.  He hints at and encourages physical protest at his opponents' speeches. He has predicted riots if he is not the Republican nominee come July in Cleveland.  

He vents their anger as he threatens party leaders with steamrolling over them if they don't do his bidding. He has given the same statements to foreign leaders.  Mexico will pay for that border wall. . . or else.    And his voters love it. They eat it up.

It is apparent that our country has lost its way.  When the majority of Republican voters see Trump as their 'savior" for all that is wrong with our country, we are in a world of hurt. 

They love his authority because that is what they want for themselves.  They are living through Trump vicariously and he speaks to them in a language they understand.

But, what ultimately happens to the playground bully?  He continues to bully, but one day someone stands up to him.  Someone finally says, "no more."  Who will that someone be? A party leader?   A national leader?  A foreign leader?  A foreign enemy?  And what, then, will we have left?  Nothing but a sniveling coward.

What does all this tell the Republican establishment?  They need to come down off their high horses and reconnect with their voters.  They need to appeal to the middle-class and, for example, cut taxes for them, not just the wealthy.  Trickle-down economics does not work and hasn't for the last thirty-some years.  

The Republican party and its leaders need to lead.  They need to give Republican voters what they are asking for and help all Americans, just not their selective few.  They need to provide us with an alternative to Trump, someone who professes our country's values and wants to really help the common man and not themselves.  They need to stop holding our democratic process hostage as they are doing with the current Supreme Court vacancy. 

We really are teetering on the cusp of anarchy if Trump wins the presidency.  Our party system and our ability to govern is breaking down and what will replace it?  Who will decide the direction our country will take in this world?

Instead of reporting on who will or will not support Trump in the presidential election, we need to ask far more relevant and important questions about the role our parties will take in the political process when the November election falls out.  What will be left of our "democracy" and our "democratic process" if Trump wins?  What will the Republican party become and for what will it stand?

When is the Republican establishment going to wake up?  They are still in deep denial.  Trump has been their intervention, but they are still wallowing in their same self-delusion.

Copyright  Suzannah Wolf Walker  2016  all rights reserved.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Scalia's death leaves a huge vacancy on the Supreme Court

Antonin Scalia, 79, the first Italian-American appointed to the Supreme Court, has passed away yesterday while on a hunting trip in Texas.  It is believed he died in his sleep of natural causes. 

Scalia was a giant on this Supreme Court, appointed in 1986 by President Reagan, and was the longest sitting justice on today's court. He was an intellectual conservative and a strict originalist in his interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.  That means he believed in the words our Founding Fathers wrote as the meaning of the constitution and they always should be interpreted as so. 

He did not believe in social activism in interpreting the constitution as he did not see our constitution as a 'living document.'  What our Founding Fathers meant in the 1780's is what our constitution means today in the 21st century, according the Scalia.

He was actually opposed to the majority opinion of Brown vs. Board of Education in ending public school segregation and said many times that the constitution did not guarantee non-segregated schools; therefore, he believed segregated schools were not a violation of our constitution and could be allowed.

He was a strict proponent of the 2nd Amendment of the right to bear arms, although he did believe automatic weapons could be banned under our constitution.

He was nearly apoplectic over abortion and gay rights.  He was against abortion (he was Catholic) in all instances and against gay rights and vehemently against same sex marriages.

And it was Scalia who lead the Supreme Court to choose George W. Bush as president by stopping the Florida vote count and denying Al Gore full due process.

His majority written opinions were many times vitriolic, caustic, and acerbic.  His minority opinions were scathing and he took no prisoners.  

Needless to say, he was my least favorite of the Supreme Court justices.  As the old adage goes, "if you can't say something nice about someone, it is better to say nothing at all." Enough said.

Today, President Obama is in the important position of being able to nominate a person to fill Scalia's vacancy on the Supreme Court, and he should do so.  It is his responsibility to do so as president and as leader of the Executive Branch of the government.

Republicans who have called for him, as a lame duck president, not to nominate someone and leave it to the next president, because the 'people' should do the choosing by who they elect in 2016, are disingenuous at best.

The people have chosen by electing Obama as president.  So the people do want President Obama to nominate our next Supreme Court justice.  It is ridiculous for any president, Democrat or Republican, not to nominate a qualified person to a vacant seat on the Supreme Court, lame duck or not. This is a decision that is part of our democracy as a nation and not a decision that is partisan. 

If the tables were turned and George W. Bush was the lame duck president, Republicans would be shouting that Bush should be nominating someone to fill the vacancy.

Now, we are in for more gridlock and dysfunction in Washington as the Republicans once more hold our government hostage by refusing to allow Senate hearings for Scalia's successor.  There is no precedent for what they are doing.

The checks and balances of our constitution with its three branches of government, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial, should be and would be upheld by Scalia.  It is what the Founding Fathers wrote and what they wanted.  The Republicans are hypocritical at best in this situation.

Copyright  2016  Suzannah Wolf  Walker  all rights reserved.