Tag Archives: Republican Party

Six Quick Questions for President Clinton or President Trump

The name calling, theatrics, and worrying are almost over.  After nearly two years of scandal, controversy, and boisterous policies that often beneath their rumbustious surfaces lacked sensitivity and understanding of the fears and vulnerability of the American people, the race for the Presidency of the United States is thankfully coming to an end.  Political campaigns traditionally offer little substance, but the 2016 campaign will most likely go down in history as the loudest campaign with the least substance of all.  Fortunately, come Tuesday, voters will decide which of the two most despised presidential candidates in history will lead the nation for the next four years.  Some will rejoice for the victor, but most will sigh in relief that it is over regardless who wins.

Wednesday morning, November 9, will definitely bring a sense of relief and hopefully peace.  In America’s most contentious and bombastic election, the American people have been played and manipulated to the fullest.  They have been baptized in ignorance, misinformation, and deception to the point they are disgusted with the whole ugly process.  The credibility of both political parties has been greatly compromised and both will most likely be stained for years to come.  Most people will agree, it would have taken a complete “do over” to lend any credibility to the campaign, but that was impossible once the political machine was rolling.

Politics have always been about sleeping in the bed you make, and unfortunately, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the people were forced to sleep in the lumpiest, most bizarre, uncomfortable political bed of all time.  Millions tuned into the news and social media each evening hoping to gain insight into a campaign that often resembled caricatures of the blind leading the blind.  During a campaign conducted more for the benefit of the two parties than the American people, few of the voters’ questions were answered in a sincerely honest way on either side of the fence.  Their questions and concerns were lost under the smoking cover of deleted emails, lies, misinformation, barroom antics, and locker room talk.   As a result, America is likely to remain doomed to crawl under this rhetorical fog for at least the next four years and possibly much longer.  Therefore, in one last attempt to get some clarity, there are six questions, as legitimate as the 2016 campaign itself, that the winner needs to address before he or she takes a two month hiatus from the public to begin the transition to the White House.  The questions may be uncomfortable, but no more so than the discomfort experienced by most Americans during the travesty of the election campaign.

Questions for Mr. or Mrs. President

  1. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House: President Clinton, how do you plan to convince America you know the difference between the truth and buggering the truth?
  2. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, if you put a stop to immigration, what will become of IHOP?
  3. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House:  President Clinton, to qualify for the tax breaks you promised middle class families, how do I set myself up as a non-profit organization similar to the Clinton Foundation?”
  4. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, how do I set myself up as business corporation to avoid your middle class tax increase and take advantage of your proposed corporate tax cuts?
  5. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House:  President Clinton, this presidential campaign has shaken America to its core, and exposed American insecurities.  How will you help Americans, especially those on Facebook, feel good about themselves again?  You know the ones who post such messages as – “If you are truly my friend and care about me and my dog and also my cat, you will like and paste this post to your timeline and my timeline, so I can leave you a comment;”  and
  6. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, you have said climate change is not a real issue, so do you also see explorers who visit both the North Pole and South Pole as bi-polar?

To some, these questions may seem a bit shallow, but the odds of getting a legitimate deep response to any question after the election are even greater than the odds prior to the election.  Face it, the Democrat and the Republican Parties, have taken Americans for an old fashioned hayride soiled by bull poo.  Though it is highly unlikely the election process is rigged as claimed by some, it has been clear for quite some time the legitimacy of either candidate for the presidency is highly flawed at best.  The only consolation is that maybe when we tackle this process again in four years, we will pay closer attention and get it right the next time.  Until then, Americans will sleep in the bed they and their political parties, which lately only pay lip service to representing the people, have made for themselves.  The coming four years may be rocky, but we will make it through them.  How do I know?  It’s simple; there are too many deep rich pockets involved for the future of this country to go any other way.

JL

©Jack Linton, November 7, 2016

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Why We Shouldn’t Worry about Clinton or Trump

Why in the world would the Republican Party back Donald Trump, maybe, the most divisive presidential candidate in history? Why would anyone, especially Christians, support a candidate they would lynch if he said about them the things he has said about Hispanics and women? Supporters of Trump laugh and say it doesn’t matter that he is offensive and abrasive because he is not a politician. Holy Hogwash! The truth is he became a politician the moment he announced his intention to run for the Presidency, but politician or not, as the potential President of the United States, it matters what he says, how he says it, how he acts, and what he does! Politically, it matters because he is running for the supreme public office in the nation – an office that represents the integrity of the nation! There is no integrity in demeaning people, and I doubt seriously if the rest of the world will be as forgiving as his supporters of a President with a demeaning mouth and disposition.

On the other side of the fence sits the first serious woman candidate for the Presidency, Hillary Clinton. However, why in the world would the Democrat Party hitch their wagon behind maybe the most untrustworthy presidential candidate in history? From her numerous shifts on political positions and subsequent patented denials to her blatant lies regarding her misuse and destruction of classified emails, she has proven over and over again she cannot be trusted. Supporters can argue she has apologized all they want, but how far will apologies take a President with poor judgement? It matters that a President is trustworthy – at least above the table.

The dilemma we find ourselves in did not happen overnight. It is the result of years of voter apathy that has allowed the politicians, Democrats and Republicans, to do as they please without accountability. The only accountability is the vote, but due to lack of long term memory, by the next election, voters have forgotten the issues and 90% of what was said the first go around. Voters rarely hold politicians accountable for their promises, so why shouldn’t politicians promise the world when all they need deliver is peanuts such as Clinton and Trump? Why shouldn’t they lie as long as they keep straight who they lie to and keep a smile on their faces (i.e. Clinton and Trump)? Bottom line, the people – the voters – are as much responsible for the mess we are in as the politicians and the political parties we blindly follow.

So, how do we get out of this? We don’t, and there is little need to waste time worrying about it. Prayer may help, but I am afraid the good Lord is going to let us wallow in the bed we have made for ourselves for a while. The conservatives can blame the liberals and the liberals can blame the conservatives, but name calling and bellyaching will do nothing but hurt our ears. Regardless of how much we moan and groan, one of the two misfits will be elected in November. The only bright spot is that America has made it through tough times before, and we will most likely make it through this as well. After four years, we will be invited to the dance once again, and hopefully, the next dance card will be a little more balanced in favor of sanity.

Until we dance that dance, “We are stuck with the ugly duckling,” as Trump might say. The Presidency will not change Clinton or Trump for the better; they are who they are, and those two old dogs are not about to change for anybody or anything. So, we might as well suck it up and have a hardy laugh. The rest of the world is certainly laughing, so why not join in and save our concerns and worries for a later day when it might matter. Unfortunately for America, the train has left the station, and all tickets have been punched for the next four years.

JL

©Jack Linton, October 8, 2016

Mississippi’s Once Grand Old Party has become the Sad Old Party

First the Republicans write legislation singling out one specific group, educators, to silence. Now they have changed the rules to limit debate and questions in the House! Why are the Republicans so afraid?  Are their actions so questionable that they feel compelled to silence all potential opposition?  But, maybe it is not opposition they fear, but reason!

What is going on with the Mississippi Republican Party? Why are they so set on shaping Mississippi in their image? Why does a Republican leader pen legislation that goes against the very Constitution the Republicans say they support? Why are they so insistent that only the Republican voice be heard? A state with only one voice is dangerous and borders on tyranny. Perhaps, the people of Mississippi should ask the Republicans if their intent is to serve the people or rule the people. They might be surprised by the answer, but in light of the actions of some Mississippi Republicans, their intent seems to be very clear.

State Republicans claim their goal is to save Mississippi, but who will save Mississippi from them? No one can talk to them, and you sure as heck better not talk about them! Republicans know everything, and if anyone dares believe they don’t, they will be silenced. They hate public schools, and do their best to legislate them out of existence. They are not above being deceptive to get what they want even it means duping the state’s citizens. What was once called the GOP, Grand Old Party, is now the SOP, Sad Old Party.

Lately, the Republican Party, especially in Mississippi comes across as having tunnel vision and being out of control. Some people may say I am off base, but if I am, please somebody explain to me why . . . .

  1. Republicans think they have all the answers and are reluctant to listen to anyone who actually might;
  2. Republicans want to silence those who challenge them or speak out against them;
  3. Republicans hate public schools;
  4. Republicans have little respect for educators;
  5. Republicans take from the needy (public schools) and do their best to give to the well to do (private and charter schools);
  6. Republicans use smokescreens as a tactical tool with citizens;
  7. Republicans claim absolute allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, yet they orchestrate bills to take away the First Amendment rights of state citizens; and
  8. Republicans always have enough money to do the things they want to do.

I am not against the Mississippi Republican Party, but the way they have been handling themselves lately, I find it hard to see how anyone who believes in personal liberties and what is right can stand by them. However, maybe, the Republicans are not guilty of any of the above, and they are simply being vilified by a few out of control bullies. Either way, a once Grand Old Party is not what it once was.

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD     February 27, 2016

Future School – Darcy’s Ashes

“Imagine with me a Mississippi where schools compete for students.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, 2016

“Bull S#$@!” Selena Smith, parent, 2036.

6:30 a.m. Thursday, May 22, 2036

A small unfinished oak box held Darcy’s ashes. Mica wiped a tear and placed her hand on the box. “Today is for you,” she said.

“Mica!” a voice called from the bedroom. “Get in here, now! You know we can’t be late.”

“Yes, Mama,” Mica answered. She kissed her fingers and touched them to the box, and ran to the bedroom.

Selena carefully brushed Mica’s hair. She dare not miss a single smoothing stroke. Her daughter’s future depended on perfection – not only her preparation for the interview, but her hair, and clothes as well. The Primary Interview Committee would be extremely meticulous; they would choose only the best of the best. “Are you nervous?” she asked.

“No,” Mica said. “Miss Brighterstar says I am ready.”

“Your teacher should know,” Selena agreed. Mica’s year one Observatory teacher raved about her academics and felt her chances for selection were better than good. It was the other factors beyond her daughter’s academics that bothered her. Factors such as raised by a single parent with a GED education and their family’s lack of standing in the community would weigh heavily in the Committee’s decision. It wasn’t right, but that was the way it was – right or wrong. She stopped combing and fought back tears. Why didn’t somebody stop them before it came to this? Near sighted politicians, old white men, grandstanding to ignorance had done this to her child. Lies too beautiful not to trust that spoke eloquently about choice and turning education over to the private sector had led America down a path of insanity and betrayal. Where was her choice as a parent now? What had involving the private sector in public education done for her child other than convert her humanity to a commodity?

Mica admired her dress in the mirror. It had been Darcy’s interview dress, which made it extra special even though the dress hem and sleeves were a little worn at the edges. The committee would never see the worn edges though; her mama hand sewed pink ribbons with neatly tied bows along the sleeves and dress hemline. She looked at the picture on the night stand next to the bed of Darcy wearing the dress minus the pick ribbons. Mama said she and Darcy could have been twins; she liked that, but she did not like the worry in her mama’s eyes.

Mama worried about the interview. Mica was not worried at all. She had been reading since age four, and although she struggled with the math introduced in year one Observatory School, she was confident she would be selected. In a class of forty students, she was the best reader and the sorting wall ranked her number two overall academically, fifth artistically, and twelfth athletically. Her best friend, Mijou, ranked number one in athletics, told her she ran like a girl. Mica was rather proud of that. She worried a little that they would most likely be sent to separate schools for their second learning cycle, but at least, they lived close enough to see each other on weekends and during holidays.

“Quit fidgeting,” her mama scolded.

Mica stood straight, and did her best to control her excitement. She could not wait to stand before the Committee. Today, she would make Mama and Darcy proud.

Selena looked at her daughter in the mirror – so brave and innocent. Darcy had also been full of bouncing confidence and innocence for her first interview. Like Mica, she was a strong student confident the Primary Interview Committee would select her. They did not. Quieter and withdrawn afterwards, she continued for six more learning cycles to prepare herself for the next interview, but she never regained the same energy and excitement she had shown for the first one. Selena did not realize the depth of her depression until a month before the Interview of Intermediates when she found her lifeless on the floor next to her bed, clutching the crumbled and worn non-selection letter from The Primary Interview Committee.

Selena blamed herself. A few months before Darcy’s interview, she learned many parents provided a dowry on behalf of their child to the committee. The dowry was not mandatory, but it was highly suggested. Her family and friends begged her to find a way to provide a dowry on Darcy’s behalf to the committee. They argued such a gift, certainly a sizable one, could make a difference who the committee selected or did not select, especially if the competition was close. Darcy’s teacher also recommended a dowry. However, at the time her meager salary barely payed the rent and utilities and put food on the table. Besides, based on her daughter’s grades and sorting rankings, she believed she was a shoo-in for selection. She would not repeat the same mistake. For the past two years, she had worked double shifts, borrowed from friends and family, and did whatever she needed to do to raise the money she prayed would make a difference for Mica. After losing Darcy, she would sell her soul to get Mica into one of the public subsidized charter schools.

Unlike public schools, the corporate charters and specialized academy charters had the best of everything – the best technology, the best facilities, the best resources, the best teachers, and the best students. These schools were the culminating victory of the Republican leadership who had pushed to privatize public school education for years. Privatization became complete in 2022 when private schools merged with charter schools to form Corporate Charters, Sports Academy Charters, and Art Academy Charters. These charters operated under private management and with private dollars subsidized by corporations and organizations such as Apple, HP, Chevron, Walmart, Disney, CNN, Fox News, NFL, NBL, MLB, Creative Artists, Paradigm Talent, and many others. With the newly merged charters on firm financial ground, the states rushed to slash public education spending. States also moved quickly to institutionalize charters as part of their publicly funded K–12 state systems. Next, they passed new laws to create equity funding formulas weighed in favor of the charters. In addition, the charters also continued to benefit from an open voucher system that originally allowed parents to redirect public school funds to the charter of their choice and then later to the charter that selected their child. Charters had every financial advantage, and they were free to develop and follow their own standards and guidelines as well, including overseeing their own accountability. All but bankrupt, public schools remained shackled by state and federal accountability as well as the double standards handed down by charter friendly state legislatures.

While the charters prospered, the public schools descended into chaos as their funding was cut by as much as half, their best teachers were recruited away, and the best students were swept up by the charters in state mandated year one and year seven selection interviews. Under a system originally established as parental choice and hailed as a potential free-market competition for students among schools, competition had ceased. In its place, a systematic means of suppression and entrapment of the poor, minorities, special needs children, and the unlucky had materialized. The American idea that “all men are created equal” lay buried under the exclusiveness of the publicly funded charter system.

Selena understood very little of this, but she understood the system had turned its back on her and her children. Education choice and selection had led to a system that catered to the white middle and upper class; a system that created a new segregated nation. The result was her children, whose only fault lay not in the color of their skin but being born poor, were relegated to second class citizens. The states may as well have posted the “Colored” signs from the mid twentieth century above public school doors. The only difference was this time such signs would read “Not Good Enough,” “Inferior,” or “Rejects.” Through the sorting process, the new American Reich culled the poor, blemished, flawed, and damaged children. The new segregation in America embraced and tolerated only perfection.

Public schools were left with the children the charter schools did not want. As a result, dropout rates soared, teachers taught from behind wire cages, and pre-teen and teen suicide increased dramatically in public schools. Instead of living the American dream of prosperity, public school children were doomed to a life of the “have nots.” For the sake of choice for a few and segregation for all, the only choice and hope for a better future for many was trampled and buried forever. The legacy of a free public education for all children, a legacy that was once the foundation of America’s greatest, lay smoldering. The ashes of children like Darcy spread across America like a cancerous sore. The epitome of political and social malpractice, K-12 public education lay in ruins.

8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 22, 2036

Mica stood before the Committee. She stood with her shoulders back and looked directly into the eyes of each committee member as her mama had schooled her. This was her day! She could feel it.

The chair of the committee smiled and said, “There’s no need to be nervous.”

“I’m not,” Mica said almost too bluntly. Catching herself, she added, “I am proud and excited to be here.” Mama would be pleased; all the committee members smiled and nodded. She grew more confident this was her day.

Selena nervously paced the corridor outside the interview hall. Every few minutes she sat in one of the folding chairs set up outside the door for anxious parents. Each time she sat, she dropped her face in her hands and cried and prayed, and then composing herself, she rose and paced some more. Exactly thirty minutes from the time she entered the interview hall, Mica stepped back into the corridor. Selena had never seen such light in her eyes.

“Mama!” she cried happily. “Mama, Mama, Mama! I did it! I know I made it!”

Selena wiped back tears and embraced her. “I am sure you did,” she said.

Mica was so excited she could hardly say everything she wanted to say quickly enough. “The people on the committee were so nice. They laughed and joked with me just like you do sometimes. One of them even said she liked my dress. They were so nice, and even funny. I had such a nice time.”

“I am so pleased,” Selena said hugging her close. “How did you do on the interview questions?”

“They didn’t ask any of the questions you and Miss Brighterstar rehearsed with me.”

Selena’s heart sank. “You were not asked any questions?”

“No,” Mica smiled. “They said they just wanted to visit.”

Selena squeezed her tighter. Tears flowed.

Mica felt her tenseness, and gently pushed back and looked at her. “Mama, what’s wrong?”

“I’m just happy,” Selena said wiping a tear from her cheek. “I love you so much, and I am so proud of you.”

Sunday, June 1, 2036

Mica did not eat for two days after the letter arrived in the mail. She stayed in her room, refusing to go out or talk to friends. When she spoke, it was only to say, “I’m sorry.” She did not cry, but blankly stared at the stack of books on the floor next to her bed. Books she had read preparing for her interview. She opened the letter and read it for at least the hundredth time.

Selena stayed vigilant refusing to leave her daughter alone for more than a few minutes at a time. She could still see her girls tearing madly into their letters when they arrived in the mail. “Thank you for such a wonderful interview,” the letters began. Selena saw the light flash in Darcy and Mica’s eyes. “We are excited to invite you . . . .” the letters continued. Tears flowed uncontrollably, as she saw her girls jumping and dancing around the room. “. . . to the Interview of Intermediates at the conclusion of your seventh learning cycle” the letters concluded.  Selena had watched helplessly as first Darcy and now Mica’s hopes and dreams collapsed and burned to ashes.

 

Give me one more chance before we crash and burn, give me one more chance before we reach the point of no return. Unknown

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD January 31, 2016

Under the Dome: CBS’s Thinly Disguised Look at the Republican Party

I intended to watch the recent Republican debate, but instead I watched Under the Dome, a science fiction television show about a town trapped under a mysterious dome. From what I have read and heard about the debate though, I didn’t miss much since it served little purpose other than to confirm what most people knew or at least suspected about the Republican Party – the GOP is a fragmented mess. Of course, the Democratic Party with controversy constantly swirling around Hillary Clinton and the Party not knowing how to take Bernie Sanders at this point is not much better off. Things may change for both parties over the next few months, but for now I would give the edge to the Democrats in the next presidential election. Unless the Republican Party gets firmly behind a candidate soon, come convention time it may be too late. As of now, the chances of a Republican being sworn into office in 2017 are about as good as the chances for the science fiction television show, Under the Dome, becoming reality – slim and none.

Speaking of Under the Dome, if you watch the show, you have no doubt noticed the show’s parallels to the current state of affairs in our country, especially in regards to the Republican Party. It is really uncanny! In the television show, a giant bubble or dome has dropped out of the sky over the town of Chester’s Mill, thereby isolating the town from the rest of the world. In the real world, apparently a giant dome also dropped over the Republican Party a few years back, which effectively isolated it from the rest of the world, especially the people the Party claims to serve. Like the people of Chester’s Mill, the Republican Party is suffocating in a world of floating ideologies and in-fighting. Of course, as is the case in Chester’s Mill, the level of incompetence in leadership is at the heart of the pugilism.

There is no clear leadership in Chester’s Mill or the Republican Party although Chester’s Mill and the GOP are both swamped with “wanna be’s.” Due to inability to make decisions, weak leadership skills, or character flaws that often border on the absurd, front runners for leadership positions in both Chester’s Mill and the Republican Party can never quite get it together and take control due to their often acidic, corrosive leadership styles. This does not mean the Democrats don’t suffer from some of the same issues, but at least with them it seems to be confined to two or three knuckleheads and not necessarily the whole Party. However, the most striking parallel between Under the Dome and the Republican Party is that the people in Chester’s Mill and the Republican Party have been duped into believing their leaders care more about them than they actually do. In TV land’s Chester’s Mill and the Republican Party, the people are simply pawns to be manipulated at the will of an alien presence.

The idea of an alien presence within the Republican Party is where some might argue the parallels end, but this point may actually be the strongest of the parallels. In Chester’s Mill there is the ever present alien nemesis lurking in the background thwarting whoever attempts to step forward as a true leader and savior of the town. The Republicans, on the other hand, also have an evil alien nemesis making life difficult for them – themselves. The present day Republican Party may be one of the most self-destructive parties in history. They work with no one; apparently not even within their own ranks! They do not understand that compromise for the sake of the people is not all bad, but on that point there is room under the dome for Democrats as well. “My way or the highway” attitudes are stifling both political parties and suffocating the country. In American politics today, “people over party” is an alien concept.

Of course, there are those who will take exception to want I am saying, but when was the last time you actually heard a politician, Democrat or Republican, lay out a plan of action to move our nation forward rather than point fingers of blame. Okay, I get it! The socialist ideas of the Democrats are driving our country into the ground, and the rhetoric of Republican anarchists is tearing our country apart! Points to both sides! Now, which Party is going to take the lead and provide a legitimate platform to show the people what they plan to do about America’s problems? Or, will both parties continue to throw insults and blame at each other and try to win the presidency with a salty tongue? My best bet is that both Democrats and Republicans will continue to operate from under their respective domes.

JL

©Jack Linton, August 11, 2015