Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Donald Trump’

The Squad_Picture

“The Squad” – Democratic Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – and Donald Trump. Getty Images.

“[The government of women] has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing.”

    – John Calvin, Commentary on 1 Timothy

“I distance myself from this decidedly and stand in solidarity with the women who were attacked,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The prime minister’s view is that the language used to refer to these women was completely unacceptable,” said a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May. From New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden we heard, “I completely and utterly disagree with him.” “Wrong and completely unacceptable,” said Justin Trudeau of Canada.

If you haven’t already guessed, all the above quotes were directed at Donald Trump and his well known Twitter storm from last weekend where he invited four first-term, Democratic Congresswomen to, “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Of all the controversial things Donald Trump has said and Tweeted, this one, perhaps, has maxed out the trigger meter the most.

But the rending of garments was not limited to foreign heads of state, as Trump’s tweets created a predictable stir domestically. “I know racism when I see it. I know racism when I feel it. And at the highest levels of government, there is no room for racism,” said Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.” On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution that, “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments.”

Racist, racist, racist. That’s the language the Democrats used when condemning Trump’s tweets. But here’s the thing, nowhere in his tweets did Donald Trump say anything about race. What he did was criticize, at least in general terms, the political stances of four freshman Democrats: Alexandria Ocasio-Corez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar. The last time I checked, criticizing the ideas of individuals is not racism, so the charge by the Democrats is a strange one.

But this post is not about defending Trump’s tweets or grappling with the reactions of critics foreign and domestic. In the opinion of this author, the President, his supporters and his critics have all overlooked a more fundamental issue, one which I intend to address.

You see, the fundamental problem with the four first-term Democrats is not that they are ethnic minorities. It is not their socialist politics. Nor is it their, at least in some cases, questioning of the almost blind support the US gives to Israel, a state of affairs that very much needs to be questioned.

No. The fundamental problem is that as women they do not belong in elected office.

Yes, you read that right. As women, these four individuals have no business being in elected office.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Abortion_AL

Pro-choice supporters protest in front of the Alabama State House in Montgomery on May 14, 2019.
REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry

“What angers me about the GOP’s attempts to turn the United States into a far-right Christian theocracy is how dishonest they are about it. At least be forthright about your desire to subvert and dismantle our democracy into a creepy theological order led by a mad king.”

    – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D) New York, Twitter, 5/17/19

It seems as if America is on course for an abortion show down. A sort of Roe v. Wade version of pistols at noon.

In January of this year, the first shot in the latest iteration of the ongoing abortion war fired by the New York State Legislature when it passed the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). If ever a bill was fast tracked, this one certainly was. According to Wikipedia, the bill was introduced into the New York State Legislature on January 9, 2019, passed by both houses on January 22, and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo that same evening.

The RHA, widely considered the nation’s most liberal abortion law, changed New York’s abortion laws in the following ways:

  • Removed abortion from the state’s criminal code
  • Allows medical professionals who are not doctors to perform abortions
  • To the states statue allowing abortion in the third trimester if the mother’s health is threatened, the bill adds language permitting abortion in the third trimester if the fetus in not viable

In Virginia, a bill was introduced earlier this year that would have greatly liberalized abortion in that state. When asked in a radio interview about the whether the bill would allow a fetus surviving abortion to be killed, Governor Ralph Northam created a major controversy with his answer that lent support to allowing such an infant to die.

In sharp contrast to New York and Governor Northam, just this week the Alabama State Legislature passed, and the governor signed, what is viewed as the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The Alabama law makes it a felony offense for doctors to perform or attempt to perform an abortion, allows no exceptions for rape of incest, but does permit abortions in the event the mother’s life is at risk.

But while Alabama’s law is the most restrictive state-level abortion statute, other states have recently enacted legislation that will have the effect of significantly reducing abortions. In 2019 five states – Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio – have passed heartbeat bills, legislation designed to prohibit abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Utah and Arkansas voted to limit abortions to the middle of the second trimester. Together with Alabama, this makes eight states in 2019 that have taken legislative action to restrict abortion.

Very clearly, when it comes to abortion America is a deeply divided nation.

With a majority conservative Supreme Court, it may well be, as several legal commentators have suggested, that state-level Republican legislators and governors have passed and signed into law these bills with an eye to challenging Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision legalizing abortion in all fifty states.

If these laws are challenged in court, as they surely will be, it is entirely possible that the challenges could begin working their way through the federal court system just as the 2020 presidential election is coming to a head. If that happens, abortion could become the lightening rod of the 2020 presidential election.

Below are a few of my observations on brewing conflict.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

MAGA

MAGA’s dead. Long live the empire.

Three years ago, during the last presidential election cycle, many Americans found in Donald Trump a candidate whose ideas resonated with them. Trump was an outsider, we were told. He cared about forgotten Americans. The sort of people who lived in unfashionable places and had unfashionable jobs. Who drove unfashionable cars, wore unfashionable clothes and held unfashionable opinions. He was, we were told, the antidote to the sort of scripted, empire building, establishment politician – the Jeb Bush’s of the world, for example – that many of us had come to loath.

My own take on Trump was that I didn’t know if he was for real of not. Hoping that a politician will keep his word is always a gamble, and generally a losing one. As the Bible warns us, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” As Christians, we know where our help comes from. Our help comes from the Lord, maker of heaven and earth. And it is him that we trust.

And yet knowing that, we also know that God not only determine the ends, but he also ordains the means by which he will accomplish those ends. And one of the institutions he has ordained for executing justice in this world and allowing his people to live peaceful lives is civil government. Paul calls the civil magistrate “God’s minister” and tells us he is put in his position to punish evil doers and praise the good. I mention this as a way of saying that, even though Christians look to God as our ultimate defender, there is nothing wrong with their supporting candidates for public office. In fact, one could argue that Christians have a duty before God to be involved in politics to help ensure that justice is done and evil avoided.

It had been my hope that Donald Trump would at least make some headway in restoring sanity to our republic. I didn’t expect him to be perfect. There is only one perfect man, and he wasn’t on the ballot in 2016. But it’s not unreasonable to hold a man accountable for his words. Donald Trump promised, among other things, to end the senseless foreign wars, to restore vitality to a hollowed out middle class and, most famously, to build that wall and to stop the flood of illegal immigrants, migrants and bogus refugees.

And if it’s fair to hold a man accountable for his words, we need to ask, So how is Donald Trump doing on his promises?

I’m afraid the answer is not very well.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

 

FP-Monroe Doctrine

1896 political cartoon depicting the Monroe Doctrine.

“In this administration, we’re not afraid to use the phrase ‘Monroe Doctrine.’ This [Venezuela] is a country in our hemisphere; it’s been the objective of presidents going back to Ronald Reagan to have a completely democratic hemisphere.”

    – White House national security adviser John Bolton

In at appearance earlier this month on CNN, national security adviser John Bolton expressed to host Jake Tapper the policy justification behind the Trump administration’s open attempt to overthrow Nicholas Maduro, the elected president of Venezuela, whom Bolton had earlier referred to in a Tweet as a “dictator.” Bolton based the argument for his and the administration’s stance on Maduro on the Monroe Doctrine, a historic foreign policy tenet of the United States dating back to the 1820’s.

Many Americans have a vague sense of the Monroe Doctrine, that it has something to do with the US keeping overseas powers out of the Western Hemisphere. There’s truth to this, of course. But is that all the Monroe Doctrine is about? Many think so. Interestingly, Bolton did not assert this aspect of the Monroe Doctrine, instead arguing that the Monroe Doctrine was about US presidents, going back to Ronald Reagan, ensuring that all nations in the Western Hemisphere have democratic governments.

On Friday, Bolton issued a statement concerning Russian military personnel in Venezuela that sounded more like a traditional understanding of the Monroe Doctrine. As Reuters reports, Bolton warned Russia about its military presence in Venezuela, saying the US would consider as a “direct threat” any attempt by Russia to establish or expand its military activities in that country.

No doubt, Russia’s military presence in Venezuela ups the ante in an already tense situation. Further, a European power’s entry into oil-rich, and therefore strategic, Venezuela certainly seems to be a challenge to Washington’s ability to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.

With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Monroe Doctrine to see if its current use by the Administration is in keeping with its actual terms.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Russiagate

Okay, okay, okay. I confess. In the two full years of the Mueller investigation, I’ve written scarcely a single word in this space on the subject.

That’s not an accident. It’s entirely by design. Not anything nefarious, mind you. The truth is, I’m bored by political scandals.

Maybe some of that goes back to my early imprint of Watergate. I remember as a kid constantly hearing about it for, what then, seemed like my whole life. Of course, since I was all of seven or eight years old at the time, the couple of years it was front and center in the news pretty much was my whole life. My understanding of it was roughly that the President had done something bad, and some old guy Senator asked some question about what the President knew and when he knew it. The next thing I knew, we had a new President, oddly, a man named after a car company, whose main attribute seemed to be a penchant for falling down staircases.

Now my boredom with Watergate obviously had a lot to do with my young age. But fast forward forty-five years, and, remarkably, my attitude toward political scandals is not all that much different. For my part, I’d much rather write about ideas than about the Mueller investigation.

That said, with the close of the investigation into President Trump’s alleged Russian collusion, I think a few words on the topic are in order.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

RLL Picture

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: