Republicans — Riding a Wave of Authoritarianism, Libertarianism

Donald Trump couldn’t be clearer on what he wants to sell the American public—the message that he alone will make things happen.  He isn’t going to promise to sit around a fire in a circle with other human beings and help reach a consensus on this or that.  He is the Deal Maker and will fix everything.

What floats Donald Trump is authoritarianism, the yearning for a strong man.  It’s everywhere in the Republican Party. While it is true that Republicans describe themselves as fighting for freedom and liberty, they are also explicitly fighting for anything they define as strong as opposed to anything they see as weak. Compromise is weak. They are against
it. They create something or someone as the enemy and support only getting rid of that enemy.

Paul Ryan is the new Speaker of the House.  He ascended to the speakership in a glow of “nice guy” testimonials. However, Ryan, once a professed “libertarian,” will add to this Republican authoritarian ethos. Over his congressional career, he has voted to repeal Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid,food stamp and housing programs, and cut taxes on
the rich and increase them on the middle class. Continue reading “Republicans — Riding a Wave of Authoritarianism, Libertarianism”

The Job Qualifications Trump brings to the Presidency

Where was the investigative journalism when it mattered? The press and media played Trump’s entertainment game, and now that it doesn’t matter as he seems to have shot himself to the nomination the press can turn all serious about Trump and  not look like it was taking sides in its reporting – a good investigative piece on his business practices could have hardly looked anything but self evidently anti Trump. Even the opinion pages seemed to have been holding back until what they said was too late.  But maybe Roger Cohen in the Washington Post on Super Tuesday thought his column comparing Trump to Mussolini, “What would el Duce Do?” would hit the voters in time to stop  them in voting for Trump. Or  Peter Wehner the evangelical in the column “What wouldn’t Jesus do”  telling the faithful that Trumpism is foreign to biblical Christianity. Or Ed Rogers  – still on the same Washington Post oped page – saying that racism appeared to be overwhelming “good evangelical beliefs”. I hope they thought they could be influential on Super Tuesday. But probably not. Where was that investigative reporting when we needed it, or calling him out for , or even just getting hard over on his releasing his tax returns. Any serious reporting on Trump would have to look “biased” against Trump because the facts would speak for themselves, It is odd that even the opinionators seemed to have waited until the horse is out of the stable. Continue reading “The Job Qualifications Trump brings to the Presidency”

ISIS

ISIS has now added a second murderous attack on Paris in 2015, this time hitting 6 targets.

Europe has come together to commit to collective defense responses to ISIS. Russia took an important symbolic step by announcing that it was in fact a terrorist bomb had downed its plane over the Sinai peninsula. A detailed common strategy has not been shaped. Republicans disagree, but Obama is correct to say that ground troops should come mainly from the military forces of countries in the region. That judgment is not made from weakness, as Republicans would have it, but because under Obama America is going to pursue whatever is the most effective strategy to eliminate ISIS. The meetings in Turkey and Vienna, with all the key international players present, demonstrated that a crucial component of a strong strategy is diplomacy. The US, Great Britain, France Germany, Russia, Iran and Turkey, the Gulf states haven’t yet agreed on every thing, very importantly including the place of  President Assad in a Syrian peace agreement. They have agreed on destroying ISIS, with other objectives, explicitly or implicitly, ranked lower in importance. Continue reading “ISIS”