America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

America Has Lost Its Mind … How Can We Get It Back?

Our country is on fire. We have become a viciously crippled, polarized society.  These days, an increasing majority of Americans passionately ally themselves with one or the other of two competing ideological extremes, then accuse the other side of every imaginable economic, intellectual, social, spiritual, and moral flaw. Now the people who disagree with us aren’t just “wrong,” they’re grossly stupid and evilly sinful. I’m old enough to remember when  people of good will who disagreed with each other on matters of policy and action could respect their differences but still work through them to reach consensus on what all parties could commit to support. These were consensual agreements based on fact — what’s actually happening — and anchored in a common ground of shared beliefs.  We have lost that good will. In fairness, the differences that now tragically and ominously divide us have always existed in the deep fabric of our nation  since the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789: finding the delicate balance between the liberty granted individuals in a republic and the responsibilities of all people in a democratic society; between the powers relegated to the states (large and small) and to the federal government;  between the proper authority exercised by the three separate branches of government; between the enabling strengths and crippling limitations of both capitalism and socialism; between the promise of unlimited entrepreneurial possibilities and the harsh reality of working for a wage — or in the case of African slaves, no wage at all;  between our prosperity as a nation and our membership in a global economy;   and between the ideal of...
GOP Wake-up Call #1

GOP Wake-up Call #1

To my many dear Republican friends. You’re great people, and I treasure our friendship.  You know that’s true because you know me. I’m not a: a) Democrat b) Liberal c) Socialist d) Communist e) Leftist f) Any other kind of “…ist.” (I do root for the New York Giants and Yankees…sorry about that.) But come on folks!  For a moment set aside the horror – and impending tragedy — of his foreign policy, environmental policy, healthcare policy, and budget for a moment. Overlook the fact that he’s an obsessive sexual predator whom no conscientious person would want to allow in the same room with a female family member  — unless she were your dead great-grandmother. Trump is nut case delusional and so desperate for approval, that  if he had a pussy he’d grope himself. Trump: “Never has there been a president….with few exceptions…who’s passed more legislation, who’s done more things than I have.” Then after making that astoundingly Alice in Wonderland claim in his recent televised cabinet meeting, Trump required each of his cabinet members to say “We love you, Donald. You’re the best.” For a sample: White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said about Trump: “We thank you for the opportunity and blessing to serve your agenda.” How do you keep from...
Time to Fix a Broken Congress

Time to Fix a Broken Congress

Regardless of which party you support (in my case, it’s neither), it should be transparently clear that Congress as a governing body is hopelessly, incurably broken. What we have, instead, with too few exceptions, are self-serving ideologues fighting for political control while working a three-day week and selling out to lobbyists to keep themselves in power.  It’s time to throw the bums out.  But only the American electorate can do that – if we Americans wake up to our responsibility. The architect of our current government dysfunction is Newt Gingrich. (What else would you expect from someone named after a lizard?)  The Tea Party Republicans (aka the radical Freedom Caucus) just caused the cancer of big-money-supported partisan wars to metastasize.  But assigning blame for the mess we’re in to Republicans is beside the point – most congressional Democrats are just as culpable and dysfunctional now as Republicans.  http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/05/is_there_any_future_in_being_a_moderate_republican.html The Democrats suffered through eight years of nasty hypocritical attacks and legislative inertia by the Republicans against President Obama. Now that Republicans are in power, most Democrats are similarly obsessed by attacking President Trump instead of putting better solutions in front of the public. To be sure, Trump’s policies should be attacked. For starters, he has abandoned his campaign commitments to the working class Americans who provided him his victory. Forget the “Buy America, Hire America” rhetoric.  With the active support of congressional Republicans, he’s reneging on his promises to foster job growth, bring manufacturing back to the United States from abroad, increase wages, protect retirees against predatory investment schemes, protect workers from greed-driven occupational harm, and ensure that all Americans,...
4 Ways to Handle “Trump Stress”

4 Ways to Handle “Trump Stress”

The 65,844,954 Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (48.2% of the popular vote against Trump’s 46.1%) are suffering from dangerous levels of stress. I’m a registered Republican who, for decades, has actually been an Independent. I’ve voted for candidates at the local, state, and national level based on their qualities as human beings and potential leaders. So count me in among the large number of people who are still asking themselves in shock and disbelief, “How could the America I love actually have DONE this?” Unmanaged stress is unhealthy. Fortunately, we don’t need to just sit back and bewail the train wreck that’s happened to our country. We can do what Americans have always done in times of peril: stand up and fight for what we believe. Of course, the roughly 110 million voting age Americans who didn’t vote should be feeling stress now.( I except the millions who were prevented or discouraged from voting − see https://mic.com/articles/162275/voting-millennials-minorities-key-states-faced-election-day-2016-barriers-new-study#.iYfzChS9N).  Tragically,  a lot of Americans sat this one out. We’re all paying for that lack of responsibility and trust in American democracy.  But you can make up for your indifference – see below. I get the fact that Trump was running against a terribly flawed candidate – Hillary was part of the problem, not its solution. If you’re still questioning this, read Bernie Sanders’ s Our Revolution (available from Amazon for under $10.00). I don’t agree with all Bernie’s solutions, but he hits the problems dead on. Bernie’s just as right about the GOP’s contributions to the problems and the non-solutions they now trumpet. And Hillary was supported by...
Canada to Close Its Borders on January 21 to American Political Refugees

Canada to Close Its Borders on January 21 to American Political Refugees

Alert to readers:  Please see note at end.   As a summertime Canadian resident at our vacation home in Nova Scotia, I check out the Globe and Mail after I return to New Jersey, and this story by Globe and Mail reporter Isaac Bickerstaff caught my attention. He cites reputable sources who report on private conversations being held among Canadian Parliamentary leaders. “We Canadians have always looked up to America,” Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau is reported to have said. “Actually,  it’s probably been a lot more like envy.  But as we see Mr. Trump  in action as the president elect, it’s turning to genuine alarm. For people less polite than we Canadians, the proper response might even be disgust.” “Mr. Trump has already established a bizarre approach to dealing with leaders of foreign governments.  He treats us as if we were  potential contestants for “the Apprentice.” I got a call from him at supper time a few days ago. Strange as it was, I took the call. I decided to end it when Mr. Trump suggested that America should just buy Canada in order to get our oil.  The next day, he tweeted this response. “Of course, Mr. Trump is buddy buddy with some foreign leaders, such as Vladimir Putin.  Actually he, and his Secretary of State choice, Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson, will make a bundle from cozying up to Russia. Mr. Trump’s answer, ‘I like people who made a fortune.’  “When one looks at how you Americans elect presidents, perhaps it explains the strange people you wind up with: you spend several years and...