The past couple of weeks seem to have awakened white Americans to the reality of systemic racism in our law enforcement community. Nationwide protests have erupted after four police officers literally murdered a handcuffed black man while bystanders were pleading for officers to stop their assault on him. With clear video of the murder, there is new hope and growing consensus that this time may be different. I desperately hope that is true. But there is a substantial difference between hope and expectation.
I am sure some Americans, especially younger ones, are wondering how to interpret what is happening in our country with all the rioting, looting, and burning of our cities. We have been here before in the 1960s and sporadically on smaller scales since. So as a person who lived through the worst of those earlier times I offer my perspective, especially for my younger readers.
Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn – Chris Hughes
Chris Hughes is one of the founders of Facebook. Through his own experience he came to conclude that hard work mixed with a very large measure of pure luck can produce a few ultra-wealthy individuals nearly overnight. He believes that the same forces that made Facebook possible, however, make it harder for everyone else in America to make ends meet. I read this book when it was first published a couple of years ago; I decided to re-visit and reconsider his perspective in light of the our current economic reality.
What Would the Founders Do? – Richard Brookhiser
The author poses a series of contemporary political questions and then attempts to discern how the founding fathers might have responded.
Immigration is likely to be one of the major issues of the 2020 presidential election. Therefore, I am offering my view of a framework for rational discussion/debate on a workable national immigration policy. This is not intended to be a final plan but only a strategic concept which needs to be more fully developed and promoted.
R.I.P. G.O.P. – Stanley Greenberg
The author is an internationally known poling advisor as well as Democratic Party political strategist. As the title of his book suggests he predicts that the Republican Party will implode in the 2020 election. He has endless statistical data to backup his views. While it is hard to argue with his data he is certainly not an objective observer. And his wife is Connecticut Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro.
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.
On Friday of this week Christine Flowers, an opinion writer, wrote an editorial critical of the City of Philadelphia for severing the contractual relationship it had with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services.