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American-Flag1Try to imagine Yale and Harvard going at it on the gridiron the last Saturday before Thanksgiving at Ye Olde Harvard Stadium (erected 1907) for the Ivy League’s The Game.  Try to imagine something horrific like a gang of fifty boys or young men sneaking into the stadium to rape the Harvard Cheerleaders.  You would expect the players on both teams to put the football down on the ground and run to their rescue and prevent the unthinkable from happening.  Regardless which school you attend, attended in your youth, or are simply a fan of, most of us would be absolutely livid beyond disappointment if only the Harvard team went to the young girls’ rescue while the Yale team celebrated victory by forfeit and poured champagne over their heads in the visitor’s clubhouse.  So why is it that when we talk about the possible social medial breech and Russia possibly hacking our election; an action detrimental to our great republic withstanding, do the two parties wear their team uniforms and while one party condemns, the other condones; or at least argues to the American people there was no wrongdoing.

Possibly nothing did go wrong and the Russians never got involved in our electorate process; that is not the point.  Hypothetically speaking, it could have happened and just the fact that it is a real possibility, it is a time for both parties to put their differences aside and work together to make sure it never happens or at least never happens again.  Some of us are Republicans, some of us are Democrats, some independent or unaffiliated.  Some of us are liberal, come conservative, some moderate, and some liberal on some issues and conservative on others.  But we are all Americans first and in a case like this, it is only appropriate to put philosophical and ideological differences aside and do what is best of America—preserving the integrity of the electoral process.  It is not a day to put on the regular jerseys and battle it out on the gridiron for four grueling quarters or for a nine-inning or extra innings donnybrook on a green sword interrupted by a light brown diamond of dirt.  It is a day to postpone the competition and unite toward a greater cause.  This is why I believed and still believe my Republican party was in the wrong to sell out to Donald Trump.  Trump does not conform to what is expected of a good American; which is the prerequisite to running for office, especially on one of our major parties.

The twenty-first century American needs to be reacquainted with the vision of the American Character described by Norman Vincent Peale.  You may have a neighbor you have differences with and generally don’t speak or rival each other in some ways.  But if that neighbor falls off a ladder and you are close enough to the incident to respond, you still run to him and try to assist.  American values are based on something called vertical alignment which states four tiers of priority living: first God, then family, then country (i.e., the USA, the greatest country in the world), then everything else.  We are so worried about the American Dream gone forever.  And although I disagree and believe it can be resurrected, if the American Character is dead, [we] don’t deserve it anyway.  We have already lost most of the under-30 generation to smart phones, other portable devices, and social media; and I am not suggesting we attempt to put any genies back in the bottles. Technology can co-exist with American values; but we have to do more than just allow it—we have to insist on it and we have to be forever in maintenance to preserve, protect, and defend our Constitution, or freedom, or people, and our ethics.  We are one nation, under God, indivisible, and we must begin living our lives that way.  We must give to the American Dream before we have the right to take anything from it; and we must be one people, despite philosophical and ideological differences.  Amen!

American-Flag1In January of 1961, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address, the outgoing president and a former general, warned for America’s future of the formation of a military industrial complex.  By definition, an informal alliance between a nation’s military and its defense industry which supplies it; seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy.  By public policy, the need to create war for the purpose of manufacturing weaponry and artillery to stimulate the economy and give the military a usage in return.

Skeptics of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, while the nation was not fully recovered from the Great Depression in 1939 when the war in Europe began, believed the depression ended not because the New Deal finally kicked in and produced relief, recovery, and reform, but because American factory workers returned to work to build the weapons and ammunition of war.  Hence, a military industrial complex.  Noteworthy as we approach the Christmas season that A.C, Gilbert, toy manufacturer best known for the invention of the Erector Set, converted his factory to artillery shells in 1917 for World War I.

Now Trump’s latest pick for Secretary of Defense General Mad Dog Mattis, albeit he has not yet made bigoted statements, but another belligerent one—if you make general, they don’t call you Mad Dog for nothing.  Between Flynn, Pompeo, and now Mattis, it would appear as though Trump is creating a military industrial complex.  As he will be disassociated with his [billion] dollar businesses for a while, he is still a businessman at heart and while either his children or some blind trust watches over the Trump Financial Empire for the next four to eight years, Trump gets involved in this new business—the military industrial complex he is building in Washington.

General Douglas MacArthur, who made a pitch at the 1952 open delegation GOP National Convention, cited the Democrat party as the war party.  Wilson, a Democrat, was president in World War I.  FDR, a Democrat, was president in World War II.  Truman, a Democrat and our current president, president during World War II and the Korean Conflict not yet resolved.  Therefore, the Democratic party is the war party!  And it was the Republican and former general Dwight D. Eisenhower who warned the nation of the military industrial complex.  A warning Donald Trump either wishes to pay no heed or is intentionally looking for a money-making proposition of which he can be involved while serving as President of the United States.

If Eisenhower were alive today and could comment on the election of Donald Trump to the presidency and following the people being selected for the President Trump team, Ike would tell the nation that the nation, the Republican party, and those involved gave a book of matches to a child.  The unstable Trump has remarked in passing that we have nukes, why don’t we use them…  The last person in Washington who should ever be at the helm of a military industrial complex is Donald J. Trump.  I don’t know what direction this nation is going, but if this is making America great again, I just assume live out my life in a nation in decline.

American-Flag1As more information becomes available and our post-mortem talk about the 2016 Election and preparing for a certain Donald J. Trump to take the oath of office, we begin to realize how an odious multi-millionaire/pseudo-billionaire managed who never held public office managed to win what of the electorate he needed to become our forty-fifth president.

Ironically, one man instrumental in the election of Donald Trump made his contribution by dying.  Justice Antonin Scalia, the intellectual conservative justice on the US Supreme Court who passed away suddenly in Shafter, TX.  This leaves eight justice on SCOTUS right now with four liberals and four conservatives and the replacement will tilt the court one way or another.  Granted, most of the GOP class of seventeen were still actively vying for the nomination in February and all Republican hopefuls were on board with blocking President Obama from selecting the replacement—moderate Merrick Garland may have been reconsidered in the lame duck session if Hillary Clinton got elected.  Yes, Hillary did win the popular vote skewing the analysis as to whether the nation wants to move left or right on policies of the future; but with the exception of the off the bell curve liberals like Bernie Sanders, most garden-variety left of center liberals (right of the Sanders juxtaposition) do not want a liberal supreme court.  Not because they are not all in on forwarding a liberal agenda, but they want it accomplished through the other two branches of government.  It is not the function of the judicial branch to make or oversee the passage of new laws; but to enforce and interpret existing laws whether or not they agree.  The most effective justices are the status-quo minded conservatives to the slight right of the center.  To be status quo on everything is to accept the world the way it is and change nothing no matter what—the only people that fit that description are people who live under a rock and poorly educated people who lack the smarts to argue for something different.

Another mitigating factor is the now awakened hate element in our society.  After 9-11, people in America started to come together, united for the cause against terrorism.  This did not cure anyone’s personal prejudices, but they suddenly became unimportant.  But there were quite brouhahas going on south of the Mason-Dixon since the election of the first African American president which did not sit well with bigots, racists, and white supremacists, who are not yet extinct.  The aforementioned hate-mongers lacked one very important element until now, a wear less leader who can instill fear in people both inside and outside the circle.  They found that in Donald Trump. From his failure to promptly disavow KKK leader David Duke to his appointees to key cabinet and other posts, Trump has demonstrated that he sides with those who hate.

FBI director James Comey may have been the final nail in the coffin for the Hillary-Faithful, although not as big a factor when you factor in early voting.  Some states began voting almost two months before Election Day.  Of the thirty-seven states that foster some degree of early voting, only four give the voter the option to return to the polls, void their ballot, and cast another one for different candidate(s) between the opening of early voting and Election Day.  For the most part, the country was divided evenly between the two until the sexual harassment allegations broke out from an appearance Trump made in a soap opera on NBC ten years ago.  This incident got people in early voting states to go out and vote for Clinton.  Then Comey’s investigation of Hillary’s email and ethics got the balance of them to go out and vote for Trump.  The Comey investigation, the last event before the first Tuesday after November 1st that denotes the General Election got enough voters in rust-belt and the enough small states in the Mid-West to drown-out the massive California electorate which did go blue.  Alas, Hillary Clinton had Boardwalk and Park Place, but Trump had Marvin Gardens and all the yellows, St. James Place and all the oranges—the ones worth a little less but get landed on more often.

The question is: What now?  Duly noted, Donald Trump is a dangerous man to have as our president with his affiliations with hate groups and his tough talk of others around the world.  We are not any better by protesting in a violent fashion—violence only begets violence and we will live in an unsafe world for sure.  The President cannot be impeached for something he (or she) did before being inaugurated unless a jail-able offense was committed.  We all have to accept the fact that beginning 01.20.2017 at 12:00:01 Eastern Standard Time, Donald J. Trump will be President of the United States.  We don’t have to like it, but we cannot live in an alternate reality or advocate for belligerent courses of action.  We have to keep in in-check with vocal and organized opposition to any policies he supports that beget bigotry and hatred both within our borders and abroad.

As a closing note, one of Trump’s most vociferous opponents, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney is being considered for a cabinet post, possibly Secretary of State.  Should he get the nod and should he nod back affirmative, he could represent a form of loyal opposition to prevent Trump from operating like a fascist dictator and implementing foreign policy fatal to American and possibly the world.  Duly noted, it was Mitt Romney who failed to defeat an incumbent failed leader—Barrack Obama a nice guy but unable to lead; which raises question marks about Romney’s own leadership skills, which could make him or break him should he undertake such endeavor.  Metaphorically speaking, at some point in our lives we all will hear the minister say, he who is not with God is with Satan by default…  If [Secretary] Romney cannot stand up to Donald Trump, he would be selling out to him by default; the onis is on him whether he sold out with willful intention to do so or even by default.  My advice to Governor Romney is to proceed, but proceed with caution; know what you are getting into in a Trump administration.

Republican ElephantIf you look at the history of the GOP, the popular 3-letter sobriquet for our beloved Republican Party established in Rippon, Wisconsin in 1854, [you] would know that the Trump’s vision of the party and of the nation is in no way what the party’s founders had in mind.

There were several reasons why I came to the conclusion that it would be better for the nation and the Republican party to bite the bullet, let Hillary have her four years in the sun, and give the establishment and grass-roots conservatives, which would include the Tea party slightly subdued and reclaim the values of Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan in 2020 and make a better nation going forward.  This party never stood for bigotry and hatred.  The only reason our party is infiltrated with such people today is due to the disbanding of the Dixie-Crat faction of the Democratic party in the mid 1990s, which was far more right-ist than Reagan Republicans, and such people needed a new home.  And even after such transition, a majority of Americans affiliated with the Republicans are not bigots and do not condone bigotry and hatred in any way.  My fear was Trump would redirect the party and subsequently the nation in a way most Americans find intolerable and deplorable.  Reins Prebus notwithstanding, Donald Trump has now selected bigots to fill four posts and all four have gracefully accepted.

The Republican party was established six years before seven years before the Civil War and the very first agenda it was confronted with was keeping the union together and the abolition of slavery; picking up where our Founding Fathers fell short of their goal of a truly free country.  Though there is a thesis that supports the argument that Lincoln was not against slavery, he did eventually conclude I would not be one therefore I would not own one.  He worked hard in his first term to keep slavery out of non-slave states but if he was too actively involved in the slave states in their time, he would have lost the Union for sure.  In Lincoln’s day and until the Industrial Revolution went full tilt in 1890s and early twentieth century, the Republican party was the party of the North and the Democrats the party of the South.  The industrial revolution and the rise of American capitalism led to the elite choosing the Republicans and the working class the Democrats.  And when the Ku Klux Klan was established in Dixie, it was made up primarily of Dixi-Crat Democrats.

Long before Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, Theodore Roosevelt has the Square Deal which was an early reform program that resolved the plight of the working class by passing federal statues, not by creating extraneous regulatory committees and increasing the federal payroll.  Republican Theodore Roosevelt was also one of the biggest environmentalists and conservationalists of any president in the history of this country.  Today’s Democrats claim Republicans to be insensitive to the environment and that is not true of all Republicans.  It is a question of what is realistic.  Teddy also the least bigoted president prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Ronald Reagan was possibly the greatest president in my lifetime, starting in the second-half of the twentieth century.  Reagan was the antidote to tax and spend economics that was running the deficit into oblivion.  Reagan believed in trickle-down economics as a gateway to job creation.  The failure of Reaganomics was not Reaganomics itself, but the fact that Reagan never had a majority in both houses of Congress and a bastardized version went through instead.  If the landscape of Congress were different in the 1980s, America would have experienced prosperity like it never saw before for decades to come once coupled with the break-up of the Soviet Empire, the decline of Communism, and the expansion of free trade throughout the world.  We would have had a global economy led by the United States of America,; not Japan and the EU (pre-Brexit).

I warned fellow Republicans and fellow Americans that Trump was a hateful, bigoted man and not the proper example to lead the GOP or this great nation, whether it is in decline or not.  By picking Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Stephen Flynn, and Mike Pompeo, four people with histories of bigotry, racism, and sexism, one who believes Islam should be obliterated from the face of the Earth, Donald Trump has more than shown his true colors and there is little we can do at this point since he is now President-Elect and will be sworn in on 01.20.2017 like it or not.  It proves my theory that the American people can no longer distinguish compassionate conservatives, reactionaries, and the radical right without score cards America is now going in a direction I never saw coming.  I knew we would inevitably have recessions.  I knew we had (and have) to make spending cuts and Big Bird notwithstanding, there is little that can be cut without some people getting hurt and yet, we would have to make the cuts, grin and bear it, and move forward for the Greatest Country in the World; whose greatness is a journey, not a destination.  If this is the direction Trump has chosen, you might as well repeal Civil Rights; apparently Mr. Trump does not believe all [people] are created equal.  Both the Republican party and the United States of America made a mistake putting their trust in Donald Trump.

the_forgotten_manThe Forgotten Man is a painting by Jon McNaughton with the Capitol building in the far backdrop and all forty-three men who served as president (forty-three, not forty-four because Grover Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms) dressed in the manner they did in their respective eras and in the foreground on the left is a man dozing off on a park bench surrounded by litter and dollar bills on the ground.  McNaughton tried to capture the symbolism that shaped the 2016 election.  The forgotten man can be any middle-class American disillusioned by the broken American dream, a dream he once believed in.

McNaughton painted the picture before the election and the president standing closest to him with his arms folded on the right is Barrack Obama.  Yes, Barrack Obama did not live up to expectations for many reasons, some his own and some out of his control—the result of the actions of his adversaries.  It is one of the most poignant works of art in our time and may have influenced people in our just past election; either way, but definitely moved people to go out and vote for somebody.  But to consider Donald Trump the antidote?  Donald Trump the messiah to carry the forgotten man to the promise land?  Think again.  Don’t put it past Jon McNaughton to paint a sequel with Trump lifting the bench with the man seated and tossing it into the Potomac.  The only American Dream Donald J. Trump ever took an interest in was his own.  He hasn’t paid taxes in twenty years and his vision for America is does not include very many non-Caucasian races, creeds, and religions.

American needs a conservative, not a megalomaniac who will enter the Oval Office clueless as Paris Hilton at Harvard and as out of touch and out of place as an abacus in a Best Buy store.  The forgotten man is now the forgotten and frightened man.  Forty-three presidents may have forgotten the forgotten man, but Trump is out to destroy him.

Not to mention the forgotten woman.  Trump made it clear he believes there are two genders for a reason; one for intercourse and one for everything else.  Our God-fearing devout Christian Founding Fathers are turning in their graves at the speed of light at the very thought of a man who treats the fair sex like property; in some cases communal property.  The biggest mystery to me is how women could vote for Donald Trump; especially when they had an opportunity to elect the first woman president in the history of this country.

My thoughts and prayers are with the forgotten man, and all the forgotten men and women who make up the forgotten middle class.  God bless and save this great nation.

Sorry for not blogging for so long, but I just had nothing more I could say about the 2016 election and the rise of Trump.  I was turning to Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Alec Baldwin who portrayed Trump on Saturday Night Live for some comic relief to cheer me up in what I deem to be the worst election of which I participated in my lifetime.  And it didn’t end well.  I was sure we would just bite the bullet and deal with four years of more the same with Hillary Clinton and have our beloved Republican Party re-establish its conservative base and possibly re-invent itself as a conservative outlet for all conservatives regardless of income bracket.  I really thought on November 8, 2016 at 11 PM Eastern when the last polling places would close, that I had seen and heard the last of Donald J. Trump.  Now I have to get used to saying the newest oxymoron in the American language today: President Trump.

While the election coverage pre-empted Stephen Colbert on CBS’s The Late Show, he did an election night special on the Showtime network.  Not in the best of taste with some isolated nudity such as a male stripper covering his genitalia with a sign reading Marco Rubio re-elected in Florida, for what it is worth, Colbert made his best possible effort to be funny in a manner acceptable to a younger (ages 20-35) audience…we all have to earn a living somehow.  Without the luxury of commercial breaks on Showtime, a promo for Showtime’s The Circus gave Colbert the break he needed to restructure.  Coincidently, his guests were Mark Halpern and John Heilemann who in the show’s final season.  They sat down on two chairs to the left of Colbert’s desk and proceeded to tell Colbert that Trump took the lead and is on his way to the presidency.  Colbert’s face fell to the bottom of the desk.  The grin was off his face and if he had freckles, they would have fallen onto the desk creating a polka-dot blotter and the man’s drollness turned to dourness as he sunk into the murky cellars of reality.  The presidential candidate who has been the bud of every credible comedian’s jokes for a year and a half will now take the oath of office on 01.20.2017 at high noon Washington DC time and it is no longer a laughing matter.

The Republican Party will continue and I am not prepared to disavow myself of it while there are still good grass root conservatives who share my views.  But the initials GOP which stand for Grand Old Party no longer apply.  The elephant gets a makeover, excuse me, comb over, and the party is now at the crossroads and has to decide if it will be defined going forward by the Trump faction or the traditional faction established in 1854 in Rippon, Wisconsin.  Three great presidents have defined the party and enticed me to join them when I became enfranchised into the system when I became of age to vote.  Abraham Lincoln.  Though the complete abolition of slavery cannot be fully ascribed to him, all but the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment happened on his watch so we should be the party of freedom and racial harmony (or at least tolerance), not with Trump, who cannot as much as disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan.  Teddy Roosevelt, the big-stick man who laid out the groundwork for an industrial nation where free enterprise and reasonable regulation could co-exist.  Trump wants the American businessman to get away with everything he got away with to become supposedly a billionaire.  And Ronald Reagan who had the insight to grow the economy by lifting the bad regulation, keeping the good regulation, allowing trickle-down economics without disregard for the middle class, who after the recession in the Carter years needed massive job creation; and sowed the seeds for freedom and democracy behind what we referred to as the Iron Curtin in the days of the Cold War.  We cannot even be sure of NATO with Trump.  Yes, George Washington warned us of permanent alliances, but as America was forced into the world economy some (especially NATO) became necessary evils and still are.

Alas, neither Lincoln, nor Teddy Roosevelt, nor Reagan would have cast a ballot for Donald Trump.  My grandfather, Stanley H. Stroffolino (1902 – 1974) a well respective pharmacist in South Norwalk, Connecticut who served as State Senator in the 1940s, ran for mayor of Norwalk in 1951, cross-endorsed by the local Democrat party but lost to the independent candidacy of Socialist incumbent Irving C. Freese, and active in politics right to the end, like myself, would not have been quick to sever his ties to the elephant, but never would have rode Trump’s coattails, on even on streets paved with gold.

The 2016 election is behind us now and like most Americans, I now have to stand behind the president-elect, even if it is Donald J. Trump.  Stand behind him but stay close to the back of the line, as it were.  I will stand behind him for now, but I will not ride shotgun; if he represents the collision point of the vehicle moving the country, I do not want to be the first to crash.  At a safe distance, I will need the help of God, fellow Republicans, some Democrats and independents who share my position, and anyone else up for the task to educate the masses that the Trump way is not the American way.  While some conservative ideals are imbedded in his plan for his first 100 days, most of them are dangerous policies traveling incognito.  I would rather do this than join a street protest, where violence can occur and every violent action is a political victory for The Donald..oh alright, President-elect Donald Trump.  Be wary and hang in there.

American-Flag1Donald Trump has repeatedly crossed lines I have never seen crossed by candidates running for office in the fifty-three years I have been on this hunk of mud.  I do support 2nd Amendment rights just like I support the rest of the Bills of Rights and the rest of the Constitution—what makes freedom and democracy work in this country and why even if it loses some of its greatness, it will always be the greatest with respect to the rest of the world, is that the Constitution is the only thing in this great nation that is omnipotent.  The Merriam Webster and Oxford English Dictionaries define omnipotent as absolute rule albeit the roots of omni and potent suggest it mean a strong force for change.  Anyone in all three branches of government must be in absolute submission to the Constitution.

Today, Donald Trump suggested Hillary Clinton wants to do away with the 2nd Amendment.  First of all, no American President, past, present, or future, has the authority to amend or repeal amendments on his or her own; the process is an uneasy process even with a large majority of one party or another in Washington; and for a very good reason.  Then he said if she gets elected and gets her judges [SCOTUS], there is nothing you can do…well maybe 2nd Amendment people can do something…leaving a gray area s to whether he is asking or hoping of a 2nd Amendment advocate to attempt to assassinate Hillary Clinton.  Though that is extreme, even for Trump, the way the media is today, anyone standing at the podium with an open microphone must leave no stones unturned when deciding what to say and how to say it.

As a lifelong conservative and registered with the Republican Party, I am not thrilled to death with a Hillary Clinton presidency or a Supreme Court that swings to the left.  Forty-four years after Watergate, we have proven we can survive crooks, if you buy into Crooked Hillary.  We have survived the Earl Warren Supreme Court.  I do believe the more liberal the court, the harder it is for them to do their job since the judicial branch has no authority to make laws, only to enforce and interpret existing ones and determine constitutionality or unconstitutionality if necessary.  Alas, Hillary is no prize.  But a Hillary Clinton presidency may have to be looked upon as an act of clemency—the greater good over Donald Trump.  We can survive all those things Hillary is or is allegedly, but I am not sure American Democracy can survive Donald Trump, who constantly demonstrates he is a fascist dictator at heart.