Thursday, January 14, 2021

6 Days to Fresh Start: Pussy Defines Trump Era

What is the single, defining word that personifies the Trump era? 


Could it be “wall?” Donald Trump promised a wall across the southern border to keep out Mexicans and other Latinos. He promised Mexico would pay for it. Of course, Mexico didn’t. And Trump never managed to build more than a few hundred miles of wall.


Instead, we end his presidency with American tax dollars paying for his incomplete wall. More tragically, we are paying for the wall of steel barricades surrounding government buildings and monuments in Washington to keep Trump’s radicalized right wing supporters from vandalizing our national heritage on, before or after Joe Biden’s inauguration. 


How about “impeachment?” Only three of 45 presidents—Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Trump—have been impeached. Trump has achieved that notoriety not once, but twice. 


Like his predecessors in ignominy, Trump evaded conviction by the Senate for his first impeachment. He’s almost certain to escape conviction again. Conviction would require at least 17 Republican senators to vote “aye,” assuming all 50 Democratic senators support the charge. Reaching that level of bipartisan agreement is as realistic as Evangelical Southern Baptists and the Catholic Church suddenly announcing their merger and support for abortion on demand.


Trump may be found not guilty of inciting an insurrection that stormed the Capitol last Wednesday to void Congress’ constitutional act of confirming the votes of the Electoral College in favor of Biden, but he most assuredly is not innocent of the charge and for trying, desperately and continually trying, to overturn the will of the people in what his own administration labeled the most secure election in the nation’s history.


As long as a sizable majority of Republican voters believe Democrats stole the election from Trump; as long as some 150 Republican congresspeople live in districts carved out to assure their election by rabid right wing voters, thus negating any need for them to speak truth to their constituencies; as long as Republicans fear even an out-of-office Trump and express more fealty to him than they do to the Constitution, Trump will be around to torment the democratic process and values honed over 244 years. 


Maybe “fake news” is the defining word. (I know that’s two words, but Trump says it so often it sounds like one word.) Because of Trump and his enablers, we live in a world where far too many accept “alternative facts” as gospel. 


With Balkanized media, the public no longer has a common source of reality. Progressives have their media sites, conservatives theirs, anarchists, white supremacists, indeed, any faction, have theirs. 


Just as our television viewing options have geometrically multiplied from the days of the Big 3 networks—CBS, NBC, ABC—news options have expanded beyond the imaginable. All one needs is an Internet connection to begin skewing truth into fake news. 


An increasing number of Americans rely on social media for their news (https://www.journalism.org/2020/07/30/americans-who-mainly-get-their-news-on-social-media-are-less-engaged-less-knowledgeable/). 


Trump’s false claims of election fraud led to his current impeachment. His disregard for the dangers of COVID-19 and the steps necessary to contain its spread has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands and counting. 


Fake news is a Trump legacy that will not go away.


Pussy Galore:  To me, the word that bookends the Trump era is “pussy.” 


Pre-2016 election, Trump’s signature word was from comments with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005. Revealed weeks prior to the election, Trump was heard describing how he relates to women: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”


In the waning days of his presidency, Trump is said to have cautioned Vice President Mike Pence that he would “go down in history as a pussy” if he didn’t throw out the Electoral College votes Biden won in Georgia and install the votes of a rogue Trump slate.


Don’t get me wrong. Many presidents cursed. Many were womanizers. Many bullied. Yet, Trump’s vulgarity and the trauma he has put our nation and the world through is encapsulated in that one word spoken decades apart. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

8 Days to a Fresh Start: No Tears for Adelson

 I shed no tears at the passing of Sheldon Adelson, reputed to be among the richest people on earth. I don’t begrudge him that achievement, but use of his wealth to underwrite and perpetuate radical conservative politicians and ideas in the United States and Israel made him to me a persona non grata. His financial backings girded Donald Trump, Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu and right wing politicians as they undermined democratic values in their respective countries.


My antipathy toward Adelson harks back to 1986 when I first met him. At the time, he headed up The Interface Group, the producer of COMDEX, the computer industry’s biggest exposition. COMDEX  attracted some 100,000 conventioneers to Las Vegas. With rare exception, attendees had to book their plane and hotel reservations through COMDEX. The turnkey program was a big moneymaker.


With a convention system structured around Las Vegas in place, Interface cast about for another conference theme. The National Housewares Manufacturers Association had recently scrapped its second annual show in July in Chicago. It opted to hold one show a year in January in Chicago. Interface, meaning Adelson, decided to pounce on the opportunity to outmuscle the housewares association. It proposed a show in Las Vegas in August.


To jumpstart his idea, Adelson came a-courting to Lebhar-Friedman’s corporate offices in New York. Together with Chain Store Age General Merchandise Trends, of which I was editor and publisher, our three other retail publications in the discount store, drug store and home center fields were important media for anyone who wanted to reach housewares industry influentials, both at the retailer and vendor levels.


During a meeting with publishers and editors, Adelson could hardly have been less congenial. He wasn’t used to anyone questioning his proposals. Instead of listening to our ideas, he forcefully told us how he would upend the industry, how buyers and sellers would flock to Las Vegas regardless of how hot the town could be in August. By the end of the meeting, our two camps were as divided as the North and South after Lincoln’s election.


The show was a disaster. Though scheduled to run three days, exhibitors started tearing down booths in the middle of the second day, a violation of protocol of any trade show. They could hardly be blamed, for there was virtually no retailer traffic. No one wanted to come to Las Vegas in 110 degree heat.


I didn’t really care as Gilda had joined me for her first trip to Las Vegas. It meant more time we could spend together. When the vendors started folding up their tents, they also started selling floor samples. We bought a 12-inch heavy metal skillet we still use, a constant reminder of Adelson’s flaming out in the sun.


Adelson took it all in stride, never held another housewares show, subsequently sold COMDEX and parlayed the proceeds into casino holdings in Vegas and around the globe. While I regret his political donations, he also used his vast resources to underwrite medical research.


Adelson’s passing marks the crumbling of another foundational pillar that contributed to the building of the Trump empire, economically and politically. 


It has been a traumatic week for Trump. Pillar by pillar Trump is being abandoned. After four years of sycophancy, Vice President Mike Pence last Wednesday chose to honor the Constitution rather than Trump’s unfounded and illegal attempt to undermine the validity of the November presidential election.


Twitter, Instagram and Facebook jettisoned his accounts on their social media platforms because of his insistence the election was rigged and his fanning the flames of insurrection that led to the storming of the Capitol. Other tech companies have suspended his ability to use alternate social media sites.


Trump’s longtime financial lifeline, Deutsche Bank, has decided to end its decades-long relationship. No more new business, but Trump still owes it some $300 million due in the next few years. Trump also lost Signature Bank as a financial partner.


Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and New York Post said he should resign.


PGA America rescinded holding the PGA Championship golf tournament at Trump’s Bedminster, NJ, golf club in May 2022. 


Bill Belichick, coach ot the New England Patriots, declined to receive from him a Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Under penalty of dismissal, Cumulus Media, the second largest radio network with 416 stations, ordered its on-air talent, including right-wing talk radio hosts Mark Levin and Ben Shapiro, to stop spreading misinformation about election fraud and any suggestion that “infers violent public disobedience is warranted, ever.” 


The cascade of defections from Trump and his Republican enablers shows no signs of abating. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

10 Days to Fresh Start: Wild Wednesday Wisdom

Not everybody gets the same Facebook and Twitter feeds. In case you didn’t see them, here are some favorite tweets and postings that came across my feeds since “Wild Wednesday” at the Capitol: 


Katrina VandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation tweeted: “Historian Eric Foner’s wise suggestion—instead of impeachment, 4 which there is no time, they should invoke section 3 of 14th Amendment, barring from office anyone who took an oath to constitution & subsequently engaged in or encouraged insurrection or rebellion. Majority vote.”


Ari Berman @AriBerman tweeted, “Republicans confirmed Amy Coney Barrett 8 days before election but say you can’t impeach Trump 12 days before inauguration.”


Robert Reich @RBReich tweeted, “Call me an originalist, but I think the Framers of the Constitution intended the impeachment process to be used to remove a president who incited a takeover of the Capitol.”


Young Daddy @ Toure tweeted, “I don’t ever recall Republicans saying we shouldn’t investigate Hillary again because we need healing. It’s only when Republicans screw up do they suddenly say we can’t have consequences, we need healing.”


Barbara Malmet @B52Malmet tweeted, “One more person died in Trump’s mob rampage on the Capitol than perished in Benghazi. Where’s the Republican outrage? O wait, none of their offices were trashed, were they?”


The Other 98% posted, “Imagine thinking humans have a right to Twitter and not Healthcare.”


Occupy Democrats posted, “To anyone complaining about a private social media company like Twitter kicking Trump off their platform … Think of Twitter as a Christian bakery and Trump as a gay wedding cake.”


Tea Pain @TeaPainUSA posted, “Who overthrew the Capitol? Muslims? No. Mexicans? No. LBGT militants? No. Black Lives Matter? No. Socialists? No. Communists? No. 

White. Trump. Supporters.”


Fred Maroun @blogs.TimesofIsrael.com posted, “We condemn Palestinian chairman Mahmood Abbas when he lies and incites violence against Israel, predicting, quite correctly, that his words would likely inspire violence, but then we seem to totally forget that correlation when it is Trump, not Abbas, who does the lying and incitement? We have no excuse. None.”


Middle Age Riot @middleageriot posted, “During a tantrum over his election loss, Donald Trump held his breath until Georgia turned blue.”


Hamilton Nolan @hamiltonnolan posted, “Seeing the police response to the BLM protesters all year vs the police response to right wingers storming the Capitol is a fantastic validation of everything BLM has been saying.”


Ben Costiloe @BenCostiloe posted, “For those wondering if it’s worth impeaching him this time, it means he: 1) loses his 200k+ pension for the rest of his life; 2) loses his 1 million dollar/year travel allowance; 3) loses lifetime full Secret Service detail; 4) loses his ability to run in 2024.” 


Of course, those consequences take effect only if the Senate convicts.

Friday, January 8, 2021

12 Days to a Fresh Start: Capitol Memories

Did your middle school or high school class visit Washington, DC, as my senior class did 55 years ago? From across our great land thousands of students annually embark on a trip that often is more memory inducing than civics inspiring.


Back in 1966 an FBI agent walked us through FBI headquarters, filling us with stories of how the bureau captured gangsters and saved us from the evils of communism and its secret agents. We saw money being printed at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. We climbed to the top of the Wasington Monument, arduous but not beyond our capacity as 17- and 18-year-olds. We dawdled at key monuments, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. We didn’t get to go inside the White House but we spent time at several Smithsonian buildings.


We examined the Capitol, inside and out. We viewed the magnificent rotunda with its huge pictures depicting historical events including Columbus landing in the New World, British troops surrendering after the Battles of Saratoga and Yorktown, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We gazed to the top of the cupola to ever so difficultly see the fresco and frieze with even more detail of our national history. 


We stood in the original location of the House of Representatives and the original Senate chamber. We took turns sitting in the balcony of the House. 


Over the next four decades I visited Washington at least once a year, mostly to visit my brother and his family, but also to join anti-Vietnam war demonstrations, to march to express solidarity with Soviet Jewry seeking freedom, to view a new Smithsonian exhibit and the opening of the National Holocaust Memorial Museum. 


I never again stepped foot inside the Capitol until May 2010 when, as a member of Shalom Yisrael of Westchester, I led a group of eight Israeli women during a visit to Washington. Each subsequent year with a new group of women, all first responders to terror and national disasters in their country, I rekindled my relationship with the Capitol until this year’s excursion was suspended because of COVID-19. 


The Shalom Yisrael trips to Washington followed a pattern. Over a two day period we’d visit the National Mall, stopping at the statue of Albert Einstein for a group picture, walk across Constitution Avenue to the Vietnam War Memorial, and then climb the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Gazing east we would see the Washington Monument and the Capitol lined up in a straight line. We would walk through the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. Depending on their interests our Israeli guests spent time at different building of the Smithsonian Institute. 


If Congress was in session, recently retired Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) would spend an hour or more with us over lunch in the congressional dining room. One of her staff walked us through the Capitol’s nooks and crannies, the original rooms for the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, Statuary Hall in the crypt of the building, and the rotunda. 


We would sit in the balcony of the House, one time observing as a congressman advocated for more foreign aid for Israel. The Israelis were familiar with the venue, having watched it many times during presidential addresses and when their prime minister addressed a joint session of Congress. 


Another time, before he was selected as a vice presidential candidate in 2012, I pointed out to them Congressman Paul Ryan. In 2019, while waiting for an elevator, I thanked Rep. Jerrold Nadler for his tireless efforts to rein in Trump’s excesses. 


The point here is not to showcase my encounters with elected officials, but rather to reinforce the access everyday citizens had to members of our legislature and to the very halls of our government. 


I could not help but think of those moments during the madness that unfolded before our eyes on Wednesday. Multiple times I have walked through the very halls and corridors these insurgents terrorized and vandalized. When the Shalom Yisrael program resumes, hopefully in Fall 2021 or spring 2022, I wonder how I will explain what happened. 


Was it the coordinated action of an outlier segment of our populace, egged on by a despondent, despotic-minded president, or the spontaneous revolt of a handful of dissidents who, encountering little resistance from unprepared and undermanned security personnel, overwhelmed guards and in a frenzy defiled the “people’s house” and shamed our national heritage? 


Either explanation will not shield me from embarrassment. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

15 Days to Fresh Start: My Father's Time in Danzig

Almost every morning my breakfast includes a large volume of whipped cream smothering a bowl of fruit and nuts, or topping some dark chocolate mint cookies. Sometimes both. Today, January 5, is an appropriate day to reveal my gastronomic proclivity considering that it is National Whipped Cream Day. 


It also is the day my father, Kopel Fuersetzer, was born in 1911 or 1912 (for an explanation of that uncertainty, link to this blog posting: https://nosocksneededanymore.blogspot.com/2017/01/celebrating-fathers-birthday-with.html). 


I find unity in those two commemorations. Many evenings while I was growing up my father enjoyed Reddi Whip spritzed on top of chocolate pudding my mother made. I did, too. But after leaving my parents’ Brooklyn home for life with Gilda in 1973, I rarely consumed whipped cream. 


Until we embarked on a 10-year Atkins diet regimen in 1995. Atkins permitted whipped cream. I got hooked again and maintained that pleasure post-Atkins. Trips to Costco often revolve around my need to restock a three-pack of Land O Lakes whipped cream. 


My father came to America in January 1939, eventually changing the family name to Forseter. 


He left Poland from Danzig, the German name for the Baltic Sea port now called Gdańsk under Polish sovereignty. He had lived in Danzig since leaving his shtetl hometown of Ottynia when he was 16. Even at such a young age he was driven to be a successful businessman not confined by the constraints of simple, peasant-like life in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains of Galicia. 


Known as the Free City of Danzig because of its status as a protected area under the League of Nations, Danzig was cosmopolitan, with a sizable Jewish population. And very German. In the late 1920s and the 1930s that combination of ethnicities collided, to the detriment of Jews.


Reading up on Danzig in Wikipedia, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Gdańsk) here are relevant passages on the time Kopel spent there.


“In the 1920s and early 1930s anti-Semitism grew and the local Nazi party took power in the Volkstag (parliament) elections of 1933 and 1935. The Nazis took over the government in 1933 and as a result Jews were dismissed from public service and discriminated against in public life… 


“On 23 October 1937 60 shops and several private residences were damaged in a Pogrom which followed a speech of the Nazi Party’s Gauleiter of the city, Albert Forster. This caused the flight of about the half of the Jewish community within a year. In 1938 Forster initiated an official policy of repression against Jews; Jewish businesses were seized and handed over to Gentile Danzigers, Jews were forbidden to attend theaters, cinemas, public baths and swimming pools, or stay in hotels within the city, and, with the approval of the city’s senate, barred from the medical, legal and notary professions… 


“The Kristallnacht riots in Germany were followed by similar riots between 12 and 14 November 1938. The Synagogues in Langfuhr, Mattenbuden, and Zoppot were destroyed and the Great Synagogue was only saved because Jewish war veterans guarded the building.


“Following these riots the Nazi senate (government) introduced the racialist Nuremberg laws in November 1938 and the Jewish community decided to organize its emigration. All property, including the Synagogues and cemeteries, was sold to finance the emigration of the Danzig Jewry. The The Great Synagogue on Reitbahn street was taken over by the municipal administration and torn down in May 1939. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee paid up to $50,000 for the ceremonial objects, books, scrolls, tapestries, textiles and all kind of memorabilia, which arrived at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on 26 July 1939. The extensive collection of Lesser Giełdziński was also shipped to New York City, where it was placed at the Jewish Museum.”


Kopel Fuersetzer left Danzig barely two months after Kristallnacht overwhelmed Danzig in mid November 1938. After marrying my mother in 1942 the family name was changed, after several iterations, to “Forseter.” 


If you carefully read the Wikipedia text you might be as chilled as I was to discover my family surname is one “e” shy of that of the Nazi tyrant who ruled Danzig and implemented the repression that drove my father to flee his homeland. I can’t tell you how often people I newly encounter mistakenly pronounce my name as “Forster.”  


I never knew of this darkly eerie coincidence during my father’s lifetime. He rarely talked about life in Danzig. 


 

Friday, January 1, 2021

19 Days to Fresh Start: Biden's #1 Task—Combating Selfishness, Greed and Indifference

 No one in their right mind purposely acts in a way to increase their chances of contracting the coronavirus.


No one thinks that by dancing in a conga line at a mostly unmasked party COVID will pierce their immune systems.


No one attending a religious service believes God would be so indiscriminate as to allow the virus to defile their worship.


No one thinks that attending an indoor party or family gathering would negate months of social distancing by permitting tiny droplets of infection to enter their body.


So why do they do it? Why do seemingly sane people take actions that are not in their best interests? Why do they ignore warnings from healthcare professionals? Why do they disregard news reports? Why do they resist taking simple precautions like wearing a mask in public, social distancing at least six feet, and washing their hands?


Why? Why? Why?


It’s because we have a population that is selfish if not greedy. No longer a generation imbued with collective purpose as during World War II, we have a large cohort bent on fulfilling individual desires fused with an indifference to accountability and compassion for human suffering.


Now, clearly more than half the country possesses the virtuous gene of responsibility. They did, after all, choose Joe Biden over Donald Trump. But when 74 million can vote for a man who has based his whole life on selfishness and greed, who sets an example of grifting, bullying and denigration, who abdicates responsibility, who demands personal fealty over loyalty to the nation, we are a country infected by a condition much more deadly than a pathogen.


COVID-19 and any mutations will be conquered. We are not living through Stephen King’s “The Stand.” Science will triumph. But selfishness, greed and indifference are attacking our soul. There is no inoculation for that condition.


Capitalism requires some degree of selfishness and greed. The remedy is not the destruction of capitalism. The challenge we all face is melding capitalism with collective responsibility.


In the richest country the world has ever known there is no reason why millions of children go to bed hungry each night. No reason faucets gush contaminated water. No reason workers toil 40 hours a week yet still cannot bring home a living wage for their families. No reason we allow pockets of poverty to be Internet dead zones. No reason health care is a right too often unavailable to the poor. No reason the cost of treating catastrophic illness can bankrupt families. No reason higher education is beyond the financial reach of millions. No reason we have permitted the deterioration of mass transit systems along with infrastructure of roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, air traffic control and electricity grids while we feed an insatiable military industrial complex even as, inexplicably, many of our siloed missiles have degraded. 

 

Mitch McConnell derides as socialism government aid to needy families. Yet he and fellow Republicans waste no time extending tax relief to the wealthy, or providing subsidies to farmers and energy companies. Callously, he expresses indifference to the real economic needs of millions unsure of where they will find funds to buy food and pay for shelter. 


McConnell is safely ensconced in a new six year Senate term. His indifference to tragedy unfolding before his eyes is beyond callousness. It is cruelty. Evil cruelty. The flip side of the same coin of evil, selfish cruelty Trump displayed by submarining quick passage of the COVID relief bill his own lieutenants negotiated, thereby subjecting countless families to unnecessary, avoidable anxieties during the Christmas-New Years period that should have been reserved for good tidings free of worry. 


The tasks facing Joe Biden as president in three weeks are no less comparable than the labors of Hercules. Perhaps the most difficult will be instilling in everyone a sense of collective obligation, of compassion and empathy. 


Whether it is Biden’s “Build Back Better” or Trump’s “Make America Great Again” the sloganeering goal will remain elusive if each and every American does not rededicate themselves to the common good.


On this New Year’s Day, when so many make resolutions for self-improvement, let’s hope they choose to throw off the restraining triple yoke of selfishness, greed and indifference to human suffering. And, unlike most New Year’s resolutions, let’s hope they see this commitment through to completion. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

22 Days to Fresh Start: Privatizing USPS, Moving on from Trump, A New Political Party

 Perry Como, the smooth baritone crooner of 1950s-early 1960s television, often had a segment on his NBC show introduced by the jingle, 


“Letters, we get letters, 

We get stacks and stacks of letters, 

Dear Perry, would you be so kind, 

To fill a request and sing the song I like best.” 


Don’t be alarmed. There’s no link to my singing anything for you. But I have received some “fan” mail recently which I’ve chosen to respond to in this post, along with some comments on what others have written.


1st Up: After my recent lament about the inefficiency of the U.S. Postal Service to deliver a package of books to Omaha mailed December 1, and yet to arrive, Jim opined, “We really need to privatize the Post Office. There is no need to have a government entity handling the mail. It has had major issues when overseen by Democrats, and major issues when overseen by Republicans. A number of European countries have figured this out. As those on the left are always wanting to emulate Europe, I am not sure why they don’t want to in this case.”


The political swipe at the end, notwithstanding, Jim, a public post office is necessary to deliver mail, including medicines, to everyone regardless of how remote their address. Price is the same for everyone. 


In the pursuit of efficiencies and profits a private mail service could reduce or eliminate deliveries or charge exorbitant fees for remote deliveries. Our current system is not perfect but it is a universal investment much like our interstate highway system, our national defense and our national park service. 


You may counter that these areas also should be privatized but I would disagree. Can you imagine what tolls would be on the East Coast and West Coast interstates? Or how we would fare if Blackwater (or whatever it is called now) replaced the military? Or how commercial our national parks would become? 


No, Jim, the post office should be as Ben Franklin imagined it—a national service.



2nd Up: As I continue to write after the election about the way Donald Trump is dismantling norms and our government institutions, Ruth took umbrage, suggesting I “Move on. Biden is your president. Now let us see how he does. You are beginning to sound like a fanatic. Give it a rest and let’s hope this is a better change.”


Ruth was not alone in her thoughts. A few days earlier Steve wondered if after Biden’s inauguration I “will stop talking about Trump? Or will you refer back to Trump for the next four years. Or maybe your hatred has no bounds and we can look forward to your blaming Trump for everything that goes wrong in the entire world for the remainder of your life?” 


I would love to move on, Ruth and Steve, but our fearful leader (for the next 22 days) has shown no inclination to do so. I would hope to never have to mention Trump after Jan. 20. 


But the reality is Biden’s presidency will be engaged in cleaning up the mess Trump left our country: more than 330,000 pandemic deaths from more than 17 million cases, many because Trump failed to warn people about the virus and to take necessary precautions like wearing a mask and not attending mass gatherings; 


Biden will have to repair international relations and America’s reputation that Trump damaged; Biden will have to work double time to repair environmental damage wrought by Trump so we all can live more healthy in the next 30 years; 


Hardly any action Biden takes in the next four years will not be to balance the divisiveness Trump sowed in this country. So yes, Trump will be mentioned by me and any other honest commentator on the state of America.



3rd Up: New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently hoped “principled conservatives” will bolt the Republican Party and start their own political organization (https://nyti.ms/34CKeTO). 


I disagree.


If anyone should start a new political party it should be the Trumpians. Principled Republicans should not move away from the heritage of the Grand Old Party that gave us presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan as well as numerous senators of national esteem. 


In a more practical sense, the Republican and the Democratic Parties enjoy the two top lines on election ballots. It would be political suicide for principled Republicans to cede their ballot spot to a party led by Trump. 



4th Up: What do the following two stories say about our country? Nothing good, in my opinion.


“Minnesota town approves a whites-only Nordic heritage church”


https://mol.im/a/9083397



“University of Michigan claims ‘picnic’ and ‘blacklist’ are offensive”


https://mol.im/a/9085007