It’s time for Joe Biden to gracefully bow out of the 2020 presidential race. I was a supporter of Joe for President in 2008 until he dropped out. So I am clearly not anti-Biden. But things are different this time.
To Build a Better World – Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice
This book is essentially a review of European political history between 1988 and 1992. It deals with the collapse of the Soviet Union, establishment of the European Union, unification of Germany, and the associated political crisis management by the US and European governments.
Letters to my Palestinian Neighbor – Yossi Klein Halevi
As the title suggests the author has structured his book as a set of letters he would write to his Palestinian neighbor. The neighbor is not a specific person but an anonymous Palestinian individual with whom he would like to have a dialog.
Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics – Stephen Greenblatt
The author explores the social, psychological, and political aspects of tyranny as represented in Shakespeare’s artistic works. He dissects several of Shakespeare’s plays (Richard III, MacBeth, Lear, Coriolanus, and the societies they rule over) in an effort to illuminate the ways Shakespeare exposed the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.
Serious political divisions were brewing in our country long before Trump decided to run for president. That is being driven primarily by growing economic inequality, racial, ethnic, and religious bias, as well as immigration issues. However, today Trump and his Republican legislators are the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime.
I was a strong supporter of Ronald Reagan in the 1980 election. I promoted his supply side economic message (Reaganomics) especially aggressively. I made speeches to anyone who would listen about its absolute brilliance. I presented “proof” that demonstrated graphically how reducing taxes on the wealthy and corporations, combined with free international trade, would unleash previously unimaginable economic growth. That in turn would raise the living standards of the middle class and bring in substantially more federal revenue than the higher tax rates then in effect. I could not even imagine how anyone could not see the wisdom of what Reagan was proposing.
I recently received two Facebook posts blaming President Clinton for Trump’s hard line separation of immigrant families. I replied to both senders that the posts themselves were dishonest hate literature intentionally misrepresenting the truth. In response one of the senders accused me of being a socialist. Not sure exactly how he drew that correlation but it is a perfect example of trying to shift the debate from facts to political bias. Regardless, I decided to outline some of my real fears and frustration with Trump specifically and the Republican Party more generally in this and two companion blog posts.
20) The Fifth Domain – Richard Clarke and Robert Knake
The focus of this book is security in cyberspace. The title of the book itself is the term the Pentagon uses to describe war in cyberspace. Of course the other four domains are land, sea, air, and space.
19) Ill Winds – Larry Diamond
The author is a recognized scholar on what makes democracies thrive as well as what makes them die. The central theme of this book is that democracy is under threat around the world and that the defense and advancement of democratic governance worldwide relies heavily on global leadership by the United States.
We desperately need a moderate and rational leader to win the Presidency in 2020. The destruction, both economic and diplomatic, already done to America’s international leadership by President Trump will take a generation to repair. We have equally pressing problems to solve here at home while the president stokes racist, white supremacist, and anti-immigrant hate to keep us divided.