Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pat Summitt, Hillary Clinton and the future of Women in America Democracy: What 2016 American Voters must realize?

Keywords or Terms: Pat Summitt; University of Tennessee Women's Basketball program; Alzheimer; Excellence; American Democracy; Great Women; Trailblazer; Hillary Clinton; Indira Gandhi; Golda Meir; Sirimavo Bandaranaike; Margaret Thatcher; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; Angela Merkel, India, Israel, Sri Lanka, Liberia, Britain, Germany, US; Character; Leadership; International Terror; Turkey Airport Explosion

Pat Summitt, the winningest coach in Women University Basketball League, went home to be with the Lord this morning, after a long battle with early dementia and Alzheimer. She was 64 years-old. This made me realize the true end of a heroine, fieriest coach in American Sport history, a female trail blazer, just four years older than me; but so accomplished, so appreciated, a 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, one so unique in NCAA Division I basketball coaching that you wonder, why great ones like her hardly come around every so often. Human Legends that tread the earth, change the conception of so many, create an aura of excellence, inevitability and probably, invisibility in life; good for all times, records and national titles; yet, still succumb to human mortality, just too soon. To her son, Tyler, our heartfelt consolation; to the University of Tennessee basketball program, our sincere prayers, and to her family, our gratitude, prayers and appreciations. May the Good Lord, comfort and fill the void created amongst the family and give all of you, friends, families and associates, the fortitude to accept what you cannot change.

Out of fear of being labeled as insensitive, I beg for indulgence from those who feel it is unfair to use Patty’s home calling to spring up discussion of accomplishment of Women in American Democracy. There comes a time in life that confluence of events in living and dying, and urgency of the moment, maybe for the sake of love of country, teaches us how to live, how to appreciate, and how to give opportunity or fair shake to the often excluded, once unappreciated, those ever so begrudged and lambasted as unfit, too aggressive, too corrupt, or too untrustworthy, to rise to the throne of excellence or pinnacle of US politics and government. Before we lose another finest woman to glory and question ourselves, why we never gave her a chance or opportunity to exhibit her political prowess, let us admonish ourselves that, it is worth our forbearance or deference, to allow Hillary Clinton into the White House oval office. Let us begin to leave behind those ‘ism’ that have so much beclouded our judgements and denied us the foresights of a prism of hope in the times of uncertainties; never giving up to our fears, or misconstrued conceptions of those who do not look like us, smile like us or worship like us. Pat Summitt was a great woman, an epitome of toughness and courage, a fine basketball coach and admirable trailblazer; a huge tree in the forest of women's basketball; however, if no one gave her a chance, if no one looked over the horizon and saw her resilience, her prowess in basketball coaching, she would probably have been another footnote in the history of American Sports.

Though not in the league of finest basketball coaches, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is a great woman in her own right, a class act, a visionary, a wonderful attorney, admirable former first lady, close to perfect former US Secretary of State, proponent of emancipation of women suffrage and the right of women to be heard on issues affecting their body and ultimately, an embodiment of what are so glorious and exemplary in American Democracy. This is why her candidacy for 2016 White House oval office must be seen in the context of a trail blazer, one of its kind in a world of fierce competition from the opposite sex, and one that may now be construed in the context of inevitability; a once inconceivable candidate in the life of America’s Democracy.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, despite all her faults from fierce critics, represents the best in American women. She has the credentials of a heroine in American Politics similar to the impact of Pat Summitt in American University Women Basketball narrative. She is the first female flag bearer of a major American political party for the highest office in the land, an accomplishment in itself; an erudite Yale College alumni, who once attributed her contribution to the 1992 election of her husband to the White House, to all she learned from Yale law, including her commitment to problems of children and the poor; with a dashing sense of political activism for the betterment of America. That is the kind of person that would end up in the White House oval office in January, 2017, if Americans would just look beyond their very little differences in the conception of the female specie for position of leadership. For skeptics, Hillary Rodham Clinton is now here, can you please give her the same level of consideration you’ve given to all men that have occupied the White House oval office in the past two and half century of America’s democracy? Would the American woman voter see the historical making importance of having the first female in the helms of affair of the greatest Democracy on earth?

To those who say, why? Why should we consider her as equal if not superior to her current opponent in the Republican party and probably, many men that have occupied the White House oval office? My humble response is this: If Indira Gandhi led a nation of One and half billion people five decades ago (1966 – 1977 & 1980-1984); if Golda Meir led a conflictual democracy of about eight million people about the same five decades ago (1969-73); if Sirimavo Bandaranaike, led Sri Lanka for about twenty years, in a not-so consecutive years (1960–65, 1970–77 and 1994–2000); if Margret Thatcher, chemist and attorney, the seminal controversial conservative party leader, the iron lady, led Great Britain for three terms to the late eighties and early nineties; if Nobel-Peace Prize winning  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf can lead Liberia out of the worst hostilities in that nation’s history to somewhat of a stable democracy in one decade; and, Angela Merkel, research scientist, has been leading Germany since 2005, during what may be seen as turbulent times in European politics; why not Hillary Clinton, for America; even if only for importance of women suffrage, progress and symbolism.

Now, mind you, no one is arguing that symbolism is sufficient enough to vote for a candidacy; however, no one must overlook the past contributions of Ms. Clinton to this democracy; first as a former US Secretary of State, America’s first lady; and proponent of sensibility and even handedness in times of tumultuous political, social and economic challenges in America. Why gamble on a billionaire business magnate, whose main focus for running for US Presidency is probably to better his brand, or advance his business opportunities, at the expenses of the loyalty of many disenfranchised Americans, who currently see his perceived success, as imminent quality for someone ready to occupy the White House oval Office?

In Hillary, if Bill doesn’t screw up on the marriage front, all will be well and we will get two presidents in one, with the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton for 2016 White House. Leadership is very important in the life of a nation and Hillary Rodham Clinton has the chance of proving herself as a true leader; and, like other erudite female leaders mentioned above, she has the zeal of an unrelenting leader and a backbone of steel. She does not have a perfect and wonderful smile; however, she understands very well the purpose and goal of a US presidency. After having worked and or smooched with two US Presidents in the past two and a half decades, as a first lady of the United States and President Barack Obama’s US Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton is close enough to the office to become the next President of the United States. She has a strong sense of the duties and responsibility of the office, a close to thorough understanding of current challenges the nation is facing with the economy, healthcare, securing her borders, and fighting international terrorism. Her zeal and participation in recent presidential decisions on combating international terrorism or bringing to account one-time America’s greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden, secure her place in annals of American political leadership. Ms. Clinton exemplifies the exceptional qualities of a team player, who appreciates the type of leadership needed to thrive in managing a multicultural democracy. Even for far-right supporters of Donald Trump, who may be dumbfounded and outraged at the thoughts of having Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House oval office, the truth of the matter is, she is a better qualified American Politician and lawyer, who has worked, understudied and shared in the dreams and aspirations of being a US President.

Hillary Clinton stands a chance of being a dominant force in America politics; and if what associates around her know of her work ethics is true, she is neither disenchanted with the challenges and workload of a US President; nor is she disaffected with team work in running the affairs of the state. Hardly contemptuous of men in the corridors of power, she never the less embraces the notion that women can do rather just as well in politics; and the fact that she has close to eighty-five percent of operational leadership in her presidential campaign as women, is a testimony to her strong commitment and belief in women, and their lofty contributions to American politics. Can her opponent offer a compatible opportunity or consideration for huge ratio of females in his presidential campaign for 2016 White House? Probably not. Donald Trump is probably working hard to put women in their place, staying focused on marginalizing minorities and Muslims, and creating storms in a tempest, with his insistent use of social media to discuss what is essentially important communication regarding the race for the White House oval office; and, who are members of his leadership team, what caliber of men and women are hanging around him to help achieve a successful campaign, and or probably attain a successful presidency and leadership of the free world, in a time of uncertainties in terrorists’ attacks and broken promises in Turkey, Europe, and Middle East.

For a wife, who once spared a cheating husband the indignity of broken marital promises, one who has remained calm in times of marital disappointment, close to time of a national tragedy, and chosen to sort her feelings out on her own timetable, it is safe to believe that such a person, will be a better presidential material, than one who attempts to stair up emotions, castigate his opponents, apply insulting indiscretions to minor shortcomings of opponents, and humiliate the less fortunate. Character matters in leadership, and a man or woman who is unbridled in the use of their tongue, would create more divisions than is necessary in a world of multiplicities and differences, and tripartite (executive, legislative and judicial) political powers; one demanding authentic compromise and teamwork to achieve successful leadership in the White House. A president cannot afford to be vulnerable to his or her political enemies; and this very crucial lesson, probably learned from close association with a president who went through an impeachment hearings and proceedings while still occupying the White House oval office, would serve her better in making and taking reflective decisions. Albeit, her experience as a humiliated spouse at the receiving end of an impeachment hearing, where her marital trust and commitment, were openly impeached, played out to the disgust of many in the media in an attempt to bring down a presidency, all these setbacks, will serve her better in the position of a US President.

As they say, what don’t kill you, only makes you tougher, stronger and or better. Visualize Hillary Clinton as a cadet that has been taken to the woodshed, hazed, chastised and humiliated; yet survived all the atrocities. Many legislators still sitting in US Congress, know Hillary in and out and will readily tell you, she is not a push over and neither is she a wishy washy leader that may be stirred down by any prime minister, president or monarch in the world. However, no one can truly say that of Donald Trump and no one can attest to his complete loyalty to what is good, fit and commendable in a US Presidency and American Democracy. Congressional Republicans who have led a campaign of political calumny against Hillary Clinton when she fought for affordable and quality healthcare under her husband’s administration, and foreign policy as a US Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, can easily attest to her resilience, character and preparedness for the highest office in the land.

What is her manifesto or offering as a candidate for the US Presidency? On Education, Hillary Rodham Clinton says: “As president, I'll work to ensure every child—from every ZIP code—has access to a world-class education, including access to high- she quality preschool. We need to strike the right balance on testing—with fewer, fairer and better tests for elementary and secondary school students. And we must support teachers with the training and resources they need.” On health care she says: “As President I will defend Affordable Healthcare Act, build on its successes, and go even further to reduce cost. My plan will crack down on drug companies charging excessive prices, slow the growth of out-of-pocket cost, and provide a new credit to those facing high health expenses.” On guns, she says: “I’ll take on the gun lobby and fight for commonsense reforms to keep guns away from terrorists, domestic abusers and other violent criminals – including comprehensive background checks and closing the loopholes that allow guns to fall into the wrong hands.” On immigration, she says: We need compressive immigration reform, with a path to full and equal citizenship. She wants to challenge systemic racism, invest in communities of colors, and pass comprehensive immigration reform law.” On taxes, she believes the wealthiest pay too little taxes as compared to the middle income households; she wants to close corporate loop holes and ensure the rich do not pay at a lower rate, when compared to middle income households; she will give tax relief to working classes, who are struggling in paying for healthcare and college education.” On foreign policy, Ms. Clinton says: “She will defend America’s values and keep America safe, while at the same time, maintain a cutting edge military, strengthening our alliances, cultivating new partners, standing up to aggressors, defeating ISIS and enforcing the Iran Nuclear agreement.” On Abortion, Ms. Clinton says: As President, I’ll stand up with Planned parenthood and support women access to critical health services, including safe and legal abortion.” On Economy and Jobs, Ms. Clinton: “wants to create good paying jobs and build an economy that works for all – not just the wealthy one percenter; She will cut taxes for the middle income earners, raise the federal minimum wage, invest in infrastructure and education; and help families balance work and family life.”  On Gays, Ms. Clinton wants to: fight to ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans have full equality under the law, and end discrimination in employment, housing, schools, and other aspects of our society, to these Americans.

All these agenda look rather herculean, magnanimous and probably insurmountable within a period of four years. However, if we don’t give her a chance, we may never know how far she may get, we may never know if her acquired experience with being close to the office could help America make appreciable progress in the areas of her promise. What is imperative to me, that she is given equal opportunity or shot at addressing some of these issues if not all. Incidentally, a couple of the promises have been overtaken by recent US Supreme Court decisions: 1) state regulated abortion dispensation; and 2) gun ownership by folks convicted of domestic violence. The remaining and others that may be added at the Democratic Party Convention in July, are additional hurdles that have to be climbed on the way to achieving the proverbial American dream, from having the right leadership in the White House oval office come January, 2017.

As a respite, Hillary Clinton appears to us as a responsive and reflective democratic leader. And as exemplified by trail blazers, she will probably bring along a toolbox of defiant resolutions that will help America progress on her way to the promised land. What is unique about trailblazers like her often, is the determination and zeal of thinking outside the box. Pat Summitt is known to stop her players and ask the question, "What have you done for your team today?" Maybe the question we all should ask ourselves is, what have we done for America today to ensure that a trailblazer takes the mantle of leadership in the White House? Have we reflected on the leadership qualities of the two candidates before us? If we have not, what is preventing us from asking ourselves the outside the box question: “Why not have a female, a trailblazer in the White House oval office, rather than someone who considers himself above everyone, superior to all other races, other religions, and well-endowed to lead just because he was born with the silver spoon in his mouth? The choice is ours, we may either follow a trailblazer or remain in the same illusion of the past two and half centuries.

Courtesy: Library of Congress

[Four African American women seated on steps of building at Atlanta University, Georgia]

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit, Political and Economic Nationalism: Implication for 2016 US Presidential Campaign

KEYWORDS OR TERMS: Brexit; Britain; European Union (EU); EU Parliament; Brussels; Japan (NIKKEI 225) and US (DOW JONES) Stock Exchanges; Prime Minister Cameron; Jeremy Corbyn; Hilary Benn International Economies; Political Nationalism; Economic Nationalism; NAFTA and TPP; Conference of US Mayors

On June 23, 2016, British Voters decided it was time to ditch European Union membership. For the first time since 1973 membership, and 1975 national reaffirmation referendum, United Kingdom's membership of the European Union was tested and the Brexit (Leave EU) campaign triumphed. Stock exchanges across the globe from Japan (NIKKEI 225) to US (DOW JONES) went into a tailspin, despite the fact that these two economic powers and nations are not part of the European Union. The success of ‘Brexit’ campaign in Britain led to another compelling domino effect, taking with it other nation’s economies and stock exchanges, (DAX 30; CAC 40: BOVESPA; FTSE MIB; SENSEX; SHCOMP; MICEX; S&P/ASX; KOSPI); a misnomer that was hardly expected or anticipated by nations outside the European Union. That is how interconnected international economies have become in the twenty-first century.

The Prime Minister of Britain since 2010, David Cameron, who actively campaigned for Britain to remain part of European Union, submitted his letter of resignation to the Queen of England, arguing he is not the best person to chart the nation through the new murky waters or challenging future that British voters had decided. There was suspected infighting among the opposition Labor Party leadership, with allegation of possible coup from Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn against Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of Labor Party, for his failure to persuade millions of rank and file Labour Party voters to back continued EU membership. Incidentally, Hilary Benn became another causality of Brexit campaign success from his ouster from his position, after the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. In all these developments or confusions, one thing was certain, a national vote had been taken, the British people simply decided they’ve had enough of the European Union bureaucracy; the nation had gotten to the brink of accommodating the European Union parliament in Brussels; it was time to give the British citizens their independence from being Armstrong with an annual obligation of sending hypothetically, a little over three hundred and fifty million pounds a week to the EU parliament and other associated obligations.

On the morning of Friday, June 24, 2016, change came to United Kingdom, with allegations that voters had been blindfolded or hoodwinked by the Brexit campaign group. To many international political observers, nationalistic, Eurosceptic and probably wrong-headed campaign had won the battle, but lost the war, to free the whole of the Kingdom from the shackles of affiliation with the European Union since 1973. The debate was no longer whether Number 10 Downing Street actually sent three and fifty million pounds a week to Brussels; or, that the independent fact-checking organization, Full fact’s disputed figure of size of money sent to EU Parliament actually mattered; rather, it was the veracity of the Brexit campaign and how it had taken the generality of the population by surprise, with its nationalistic campaign fervor that appears to have sent Britain to a rabbit hole.

The luxuries and benefits of international interconnectedness of commerce, somehow facilitated by participation of United Kingdom in the European Union; and by remote, part of a thriving international world’s commerce, is now being questioned aggressively. The exit of Britain from the EU is still in a limbo or somewhat of a chaos or tragedy, as a recall is being flagged with over three million signatories calling for a recall referendum; however, the die has been cast and Brussels has accepted that Britain is out of the European Union. Many countries across the globe in either a pact or reciprocal commercial arrangements on the way to economic globalization, are now considering the implication of Britain’s exit from the regional economic market or group. Incidentally, the gross inadequate assessment of what has taken place and the potential impact on international commerce are additional issues on the minds of many nations and regional markets. European Union’s commerce and British stock exchange had succeeded during the intervening years of British membership, and may still do likewise; however, for now, it appears the remarkable progress and achievement of interconnectedness of European Union, are being challenged by the realities of the success of the exit campaign from European Union, as revealed in the recent referendum in Britain.

A substantial number of British voters, 17,410,742 (51.9%), reached a consensus that Britain is better off out of EU than inside the twenty-eight-member nation organization. Further, another 16,141,241 (48.1%), believe no one can truly tell, if the success of the ‘Brexit’ campaign, is an aberration, a mistake of the first order, or a tentative setback for Britain or the whole regional market, as they do not share the conviction of the Brexit group and would prefer Britain remain in the EU. By far the most troublesome issue regarding success of ‘Brexit’ campaign from EU, is a new allegation that voters were defrauded, jilted or misled to vote for the exit with incomplete information sharing as to the impact of such a decision on urban residents’ economies in the city of London, Northern Ireland and Scotland provinces. The new reflection or second thought by initial supporters of Brexit has confounded party leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn, Labor Party Leader, who are asking, what’s next? Is Britain moving forward with the results of the referendum; or are cooler heads now prevailing? Until we receive new information on developments regarding the new international challenge across the Atlantic, it will be good to reflect on the reactions of the two leading candidates, Donald Trump(R) and Hillary Clinton (D) for the US Presidency in 2016.

Focusing on the reflections from US Presidential candidates on ‘Brexit’ comes out of voters’ experience with political and economic nationalism that appear to mirror the campaign of at least one of the major US Presidential campaigns for 2016 White House, Donald Trump’s, and that of ‘Brexit’ supporters. For the sanity of those of us who feel an inward looking America will do the nation no good, the way Britain will find out with her exit from EU, are half a dozen lessons of shared possibilities or experiences: 1) economic nationalism has the potential of undermining the freedoms of many minority groups living in America; 2) economic nationalism has the potential of limiting international trade and commerce between America and the remaining 95% of the world’s economy; 3) political nationalism may lead to another nightmare where a segment of the population, Muslim Americans, are ostracized to another second World War II-typed Japanese internment camp in the deserts of California; 4) political nationalism is the first step to nation-wide upheaval from possible antagonism of anti-discrimination affirmative action policies that have helped alleviate centuries of entrenched racial discrimination in America; 5) failure to respond to perceived shortcomings of trade pacts like NAFTA and TPP, appearing to have demarcated the nation into economic losers and winners, is a recipe for the ushering of a possible nationalistic government in the US, one many progressives hardly entertain or appreciate in the White House oval office; and, 6) trust gap between establishment Republicans or Democrats, and their respective rank and file party members, may actually expand to an extent that victory of an America First campaign effort like that of Donald Trump’s may spill into the legislative composition of the US Congress. With due respect, for those election watchers and political strategists who may hold some exceptions on these possibilities or observations in terms of US elections, my response will only be: “the same apprehension was held by the ‘No-Brexit’ group in the last one month, until they woke up to the Friday, June 24th referendum results.”

Reactions to the post-Brexit referendum results in Britain ranged from dismay, surprise and indignation. Many residents of the City of London and provinces of North Ireland and Scotland, who supported a campaign to remain part of EU, never felt it was possible to run a nationalistic campaign that could undermine a forty-three-year participation in a regional market that had afforded free movement and huge investments in Urban Britain. Other European countries that have neither considered the possibility of Britain exiting EU are now faced with the possibility of going through similar referendum in their own country. As highlighted or contemplated in British Telegraphy Newspaper of June 26, 2016: 1) In France, Marine Le Pen has called on the Socialist government to hold an EU referendum – and the country’s most respected philosopher fears his fellow countrymen would probably vote to leave too; 2) Italy’s anti-establishment 5 Star group, which is set to make a major gain in the country’s politics, has also demanded a referendum for possible exit as it believes, “EU just does not work”; 3) Although the Dutch, Holland, holds the presidency of EU, polls suggest they too are strongly in favor of leaving; 4) Swedes, who consider themselves as British kindred, were non-Eurozone member like the British, and may follow Britain out of EU; especially, with polls suggesting that 36% of the population in Sweden backs ‘Swexit’ as against 32% of the population, who would vote to stay within EU. Beyond assuring the possibility of the success of such a referendum in other European nations, nationalist groups in France, Italy, Holland, and Sweden are probably saying their effort is an issue of self-determination, a non-provocative effort to assert the independence of their country from the high-handedness of European Parliament.

Underlying these reactions in the context of American Presidential Campaigns, are found in the words of the Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, that Brexit represents people taking back their country as he expects in US 2016 presidential election; and that the exit of Britain from EU will allow more money to be made, as the fall in the value of the British Pounds, would afford for travels and gains for his golf course in Scotland. This type of perception, is a reminder of the claims by some critics of the 2016 Republican de facto nominee, that he is only out for himself and not the party. His assessment of this international or regional economic impacting referendum and voting outcome in the first place, appears to justify the fact that Mr. Trump is largely interested in his businesses, as he appears to be more interested in the Trump brand and what his campaign can do for the advancement of that brand in the world’s market place. The old alliance of British economy and that of America’s and the potential impact in America’s relationship with the European Union regional market in the absence of Britain from that block, are hardly on the mind of the Republican presumptive nominee. In effect, America’s place in international market place is not of paramount concern of the potential nominee or occupant of US White House, if Mr. Trump ends up winning the election? Mr. Trump’s anti-establishment campaign has disintegrated many Republican aspirants who could have shown more sensitivity or made a much constructive pronouncement of the exit of Britain from the EU and how that may affect international trade with America. Both Brexit and Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House, now appear to be two sides of the same coin: “the glorification and magnification of political and economic nationalism.”

Ironically, it was Hillary Clinton at the Conference of US Mayors in Indianapolis, Indiana, who wittingly corrected the misconception and misapplication of Brexit by his opponent for the 2016 White House oval office with: “we will bounce back from U.K’s Brexit vote.” Adding the following comments to somehow soften the impact of the voting outcome on international psyche and relations: 1) "No one should be confused about America's commitment to Europe, not an autocrat in the Kremlin, not a presidential candidate on a Scottish golf course;" and 2) "who understand that bombastic comments in turbulent times can actually cause more turbulence and who put the interests of the American people ahead of their personal business interests;" as if in response to Donald Trump’s misguided comment in Scotland that, "[He] loves to see people take their country back." Though Atlantic Ocean separates America from Britain, the Democratic Party de facto nominee wants America and international community to know that U.S. stands with its allies. Maybe Hillary Clinton’s comments and assessments of Brexit will assure members of the European Union, including some Britons who have bemoaned the increasing political and economic nationalism influence that appear to be trending in Europe from the exit of Britain from the EU.

People across the globe look at America as the leader of the free world and international commerce. America’s economy continues to impact national and regional markets and there is hardly any regional market across the globe that does not perceive America’s economy as extraordinary, and a leader in many markets for sale and reception of goods and services. The Brexit referendum, like others that may germinate among other members of European Union in the coming months or years, may actually impact regional economic and political stability; that is why cautious and reflective pronouncements in an instance of Brexit voting outcome was essential. Not to seize the opportunity to be an international leader by the Republican de facto nominee for 2016 presidential election is hardly excusable. Those nations across the globe that hardly agree with regional markets and trading pacts that facilitate economic globalization, understand the impact of capacity building from regional markets expansion, they also understand the downside of some of these agreements and or negotiations. Proposal for America to abandon NAFTA and TPP for some of their downsides, probably got a boost from the Brexit vote outcome and probably places Hillary Clinton in the position of an American leader that understands international economics and politics better, and is more reliably and dependable in addressing some of the shortcomings that have somehow created winners and losers in America, Europe and other international or regional markets; appearing to further give voice to economic and political nationalism that is being exploited by Donald Trump for his campaign for the 2016 White House.

Although belated, even if Donald Trump releases one of his incoherent TWEETS or back tracking on an important outcome as Brexit, he is still going to be perceived as a vulnerable leader that is undependable in carrying other nations along on international negotiations and agreements. To back up allies and friends, it is essential to neutralize potential enemies’ contemplation in a situation of ambiguity, which the Brexit outcome has generated within Britain itself as well as in EU member nations. An American leader or potential leader must be able to show and demonstrate that he or she understand complexities that arise from uncertainties and ready to exploit the opportunity to correct, redirect or encourage participants to reevaluate circumstances and decisions leading to change. That is what leadership calls for and for this one, Hillary Clinton won one against Donald Trump. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Keywords or Terms: Economic Policy; National Security; Chapter 11; TWEETS and EMAILS; Clinton’s five-point economic plan; Income Inequality; US House of Representative Seat-ins; Economic Tailspin; Tax Returns; Associated Press; Hillary Clinton’ Donald Trump; Democratic White House; Republican White House; Michael Caputo; and, Cory Lewandoswki

Under the probable auspices that grandma knows better on household’s economy, and based on past credited statements to the former US Secretary of State in December, 2015, that America’s Economy has always done better under Democratic White House rather than Republican White House, Ms. Clinton went on the offensive against Donald Trump in a scheduled economic speech on Monday in Columbus, Ohio, citing probable ineptitude on economic policy advancements of Donald Trump, contrary to what circumstantially obtains in the public psyche, that Republicans are better stewards of America’s Economy than Democrats. Undermining the credibility of Donald Trump as a business man, Ms. Clinton acknowledges that the Republican presumptive nominee has written many business books, all of which ended in Chapter 11; unpretentiously ponying on the Business Mogul’s three to four business bankruptcy filings in the past.

Maybe this will work, maybe it will take Mr. Trump by surprise; however, Mr. Trump appears to be bugged down by his declining polls; rather than offer an immediate policy rebuttal of the possibility of the failures of his economic proposals or business ventures. Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, only offered excuses in TWEETS and Emails, that say nothing about the substance of his rival’s economic policy speech. Maybe the imbroglio in Mr. Trump’s campaign camp is weighing him down; but an opponent that goes at you, one by one on your economic policy advancements, is not one taking her aspiration for the White House oval office lightly; and is not one that should be taken for granted, if you are a candidate and presumptive party leader, aspiring to take control of America’s economy once elected into office as the President of the United States.

Delivering a blistering economic policy speech, after last week’s condemnation of Donald Trump’s reaction to the Orlando massacre, where he had advanced, had club goers armed themselves, the Orlando massacre could have been tempered or avoided. Maybe Mr. Trump’s temperament is not up to snuff; however, the presumptive Republican nominee cannot just rely on TWEETS to fight his way out of the current conundrum, malaises and or nemesis in polls. As if in a victory lap, considering the turmoil of Donald Trump’s campaign this week, Ms. Hillary Clinton described the republican presumptive nominee as dangerous – dangerous for national security; dangerous for America’s economy. Sadly, enough, as if caught with his pants down, with a second top official in his campaign outfit on the way out, the republican presumptive nominee is awaited to give a probable rebuttal from his campaign press releases on Wednesday, June, 22, 2016. The rivalry has begun and no one can certainly say, the presumptive republican nominee is absolutely prepared, considering the internal conflicts in his campaign.

Further again, as if repeating her claim in the October 13th  2015 Democratic Party debate with Bernie Sanders, where Hillary Clinton insinuated she has a five-point economic plan in response to income inequality in America, and considering the endemic nature of an oscillating economic cycle since 1920, Ms. Clinton advances once again that Democrats appear to outperform Republicans in prescribing workable and reflective economic policies that have lifted the nation out of hyper-unemployment and sluggish economic performance. Ms. Clinton is putting forth credence, or meat on the bone, that the nation is better off with a Democrat like her in the White House, come January 2017, than a Republican like Donald Trump. Insisting that, Trump’s advanced economic policy of paying off the national debt by printing more money and economic policy guru’s discredited tax plan, smacks of a candidate that understands how America’s economy works. 

Interestingly, Ms. Clinton is showing the spine of steel on the question of proposed economic policies, an area Mr. Trump is assumed to have some edge because he is a business person. How can the republican presumptive nominee explain to doubters saying, perspective business success does not amount to economic expertise? How can he get the monkey off his back, from critics who maintain his much touted wealth, is not as huge as he proclaims, since he has vehemently refused to release his tax return filings; one that may put to rest the argument of his low energy wealth status, borrowing from his past or former antics in the republican nomination exercise? How can he explain away to America, if his opponent is able to convince America that his proposed economic policies, are going to send America’s economy to a tail spin? As if mocking Trump’s proposed economic policy, the former US Secretary of State, is adding, “Our nation’s economy isn’t a game!” What do you have to say to that, republican flag bearer?

As reported by the Associated Press, the presumptive Democratic nominee is scheduled to give another economic policy speech in North Carolina, after her speech yesterday, June 21, 2016, where she issued lengthy remarks, including slamming Mr. Trump as lacking substantive job creation strategy; and, better lampooned with his reality television one liner singer: “You are Fired” in his case, and quest for the highest office in the land. If the presumptive Republican nominee is going to have a rebuttal soon, it had better be in a much perspective and progressive economic policy speech that calls to question the veracity of his rival’s claim regarding his economic policy lightweight. The odds that he is going to provide economic policy TWEETS to respond to Ms. Clinton’s articulation of his proposals, may not help him rapidly dismantle public perception of current criticisms. Further, telling CBS This Morning program that "Nobody knows debt better than me. I've made a fortune by using debt", is not a national economic policy, neither is a proposal to borrow more for America, an option; the nation is already deep in debt, thanks to ridiculous tax cuts for the wealthy and manufactured foreign wars’ engagement by Republican White House Administrations of the past three decades. Neither is calling Ms. Clinton a world class liar or suggestion that Ms. Clinton was responsible for making Iran the "dominant power in the Middle East and on the road to nuclear weapons", an answer to Ms. Clinton’s criticism on the economic and national security fronts. Ms. Clinton’s economic policy proposals appear to be worth second consideration until Mr. Trump gives the voter a chance at comparison. Is America going to get one?

Maybe Ms. Clinton economic policy siege is coming at a wrong time for Mr. Trump, who is going through some form of turmoil in his presidential campaign team, with the recent firing of his campaign manager and now, the exit of Michael Caputo, the veteran New York republican operative and campaign adviser, found mocking the firing of Cory Lewandoswki, former Trump’s campaign manager. Maybe Mr. Trump is waiting for an opportune time after the lackadaisical campaign fund raising this month; however, it is wise, if not completely essential for the Republican nominee to have a comeback considering the confidence which the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman has in him, with his, “Donald Trump is a successful businessman who has spent his career creating thousands of jobs. The Closest Hillary Clinton has come to business was putting her office at the State Department up for sale to foreign donors and special interests.” Today’s assailant of Ms. Clinton’s time in US State Department or her husband’s foundation fund raising, are not national economic issues, they appear more of a personal problem. What does Clinton Foundation’s fund raising have to do for millions of Americans out of work; or, businesses waiting to turn the corner in a better performing economy?

Trump needs to man up, stop making innuendos and start making more presidential statements, better than a TWEET from his account yesterday, June 21, 2016, that says: “...Hillary is totally unfit to be president – really bad judgement and a temperament”; or the insinuations in his Wednesday, June 22nd 2016 speech that former US Secretary of State’s decisions, spread death, destruction and terrorism. The debate is about the national economy and security; it is about where America goes from now, to address the issues of cyclical and or endemic unemployment, weak economic growth, stagnant wages, and associated ills that appear to be scattering and dislocating American families. Additionally, it is finding answers to national security and reckless gun use in our neighborhoods that is killing and damaging hopes of Americans. Don’t allow naysayers, who insist you inherited fortunes and no one can adequately talk about your business prowess, since you could have amassed similar wealth by just lodging the inherited fortune in an index fund, triumph; a la quips from 2008 Economic Noble laureate, Paul Krugman of New York Times.

Many American voters are uninterested in one liners that hardly say much about where the Republican party presumptive nominee is ready to take America on the economic and national security spheres. It may be temporarily face-saving by alluding to all already discredited narrative in a book that portrays your opponent as erratic, uncontrollable and volatile; however, what does a campaign gain by defaulting on self-moralizing narratives, when the task at hand, is to chart new reasoning on correcting economic inequalities and better management of national security. Mr. Trump’s failure to drive the national security debate after the Orlando terrorist attacks is rather unpardonable, as the fight for the White House oval office demands perspective proposals, well thought out and effectively delivered in ways voters consider as forthright and reflective.

With Hillary Clinton insisting that Mr. Trump must be held accountable for what he has said he’ll do when President of the United States, and Cook Political Report, an independent non-partisan publishing outlet admonishing that fellow Republicans are hearing a loud sucking sound of hundreds of elected officials sinking into the quicksand of Donald Trump, it is about time that Mr. Trump show some leadership in his statement and caution, so he does not continue to be seen as a leader that cares very little about his own party. The head to head contest for the White House is already here; no one is waiting for a glorified nomination at a convention for the competition to begin; things are very buggy now and the big girl is out to fight for the best chance an American female has ever had, in winning the White House. Listen to Lizzy Warren, an ardent supporter of the former US Secretary of State in a pledged TWEET in support of the big girl representing the feminist camp: “I haven’t been in the Senate for long, but I’ve learned: if you don’t fight, you can't win. And I’ll be honest, when things get tough, too often, our side just folds up and give up. But not Hillary Clinton. For 25 years, she’s been on the receiving end of attack and attack. She didn’t whimper. She didn’t whine. She’s always fought back with grace and determination. – and no matter how many punches she took, each time she came up fighting stronger.” That exactly the mindset of a winner; that is Mr. Donald Trump’s opponent for the White House oval office; not her faith; neither is the use of religious innuendos to define her candidacy in a video to evangelists’ groups or religious far-right, going to undo her credibility as a Methodist; she has made that clear in past communications and books; move away from those belated styles that worked during the Republican Party primary, move into a higher drive competition mode. 

None of those small pitches and punches any longer, your opponent is a fighter that will never give up! Read that and respond well in your come backs on economic policies and national security question, beginning with the gun control issue that is taking a new life in United States House of Representative, with legislator sit-ins, that is now on the mind of Americans wondering if US Congress is going to do anything about the ready availability of assault weapons on our streets that appear to be wreaking havoc and inflicting pains on America's families and neighborhoods. Donald, it is Prime Time and only the tough and hardy, survive out here; real politics is brutal and only the best and thick-skinned survive. Don’t allow Americans to say you’re are deft in economics, deft on addressing gun control issues because you are beholden to the National Rifle Association (NRA), and deft as a formidable candidate for the White House oval office in 2016. Donald, get-off your rocking chair, Ms. Clinton’s faith is not an open question!

                                        Library of Congress by Cindy Archball

Monday, June 20, 2016

Donald Trump’s Presidency: Are the stakes low enough that a gamble makes sense?

Keywords or Terms: US Presidency; Executive; Judiciary; Legislative Powers; Republican schism; American Democracy; Russian Roulette; Nationalistic or Fascist Government; US press; Elitist Groups; Donald Trump’s Candidacy; Hillary Clinton’s Candidacy; Campaign Manager Cory Lewandoswki; and Washington Post/ABC News polls

With Donald Trump parting ways with his long time campaign manager, one year probably, and barely one month to the republican convention, should America be asking herself a variation of the topic of the day question: Are the odds too long and stakes too great to afford a Donald Trump’s Presidency? A few of us, outsiders to Donald Trump’s campaign effort for US Presidency, find it quite unrealistic to continue to support a candidacy that puts the welfare and unity of the nation in jeopardy; and believe, his Presidency, an exorbitant cost that most Americans, Democrats and Republicans alike, cannot afford. Though roughly fourteen million supporters of Donald Trump’s campaign probably believe the stakes are too low to be bothered; that even if Donald Trump screws up as US President once elected, the cost is probably bearable for an enduring democracy as ours, or a nation as huge as ours; as there are existing precautions or checks and balances that will uproot or out stage any of his excesses in managing the affairs of the state. Unless the checks and balances in place in a tri-camera democracy- executive, judiciary and legislative -collude or are mesmerized by the skill-craft of a possible authoritarian or despotic governance, could his government amount to damaging the existing system. From the point of view of seasoned political observers, a solution to Donald Trump’s candidacy has become more urgent, not less, urgent, with the exit of his campaign manager, as it appears there is a schism in Trump’s campaign outfit, close to Republican convention time.

At outset, I want to make it clear that as a liberal democrat and by now, a complete convert to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy; not because she is a perfect fit, but because I believe the stakes of affording Donald Trump’s candidacy for the highest office in the land, is too high; I cannot bring myself to understand how Donald Trump’s supporters can still continue to make a case for his viability. For me, how we treat less fortunate people, how we treat members of our communities and how we treat citizens of our nation, including people different from us, and the world around, are rather important to our type of Democracy. If Donald Trump continues to suggest that he is going to build barrier walls, he is going to shut Muslims out of our country and women will continue to be objectivized as only tools to be used for men’s convenience, there are no way for me as an American to afford his brand of Presidency or advocacy for America. In the absence of an alternative to Donald Trump’s campaign effort, I might have walked away completely from the exercise, not participate in voting or just plain uninterested in whoever ends up occupying the White House oval office come January, 2017. However, since the Democrats have given me an alternative, a very viable candidate, even with her known faults, she appears to be the best choice to consider for the office against Mr. Trump.

In my humble opinion, the problem confronting America in selecting a new President has nothing to do with how abrasive Mr. Trump’s campaign or the Republican selection process for the 2016 flag bearer has been; rather, it can be attributed, among other things, to the pitching of one community against another; our new desires for immediate gratification as a society; and, candor for a more entertaining campaign effort from aspirants, rather than the long standing inclusive platform that has formed the cornerstone of our Democracy for centuries. If a clown-show coming through town has been able to bamboozle over fourteen million likely American voters in general elections; then America has a problem greater than Donald Trump, or any other town-clown that may come after him, seeking the office of the Presidency. In an age of information revolution, where knowledge is close to ubiquitous for anyone with an internet connection, we have a Presidential candidate for the highest office in the land calling our North American neighbors to the south, Rapists; Muslims, Terrorist; our sitting President, coddler of terrorists; and women, good only for mere conveniences; and yet that candidate is able to win the acknowledgement and support of more than fourteen million members of a major American Political Party?

Is the fault not with preponderance of those who chose to support the racist rhetoric of misogynist statements from the candidate? Is the fault not with our inability as citizens to take our civic duties rather seriously, to at least verify authenticity and genuineness of all of our presidential candidates? If we continue to avoid shedding light on the vile and racist comments coming from one of the candidates for the highest political office in the land, do these comments remain our reality or, our acceptable norm? If republican party leaders are wishy-washy about their support for Mr. Trump’s campaign, are they not opening door for a mixed feeling among the rank and file regarding where the establishment stands on what is true and just for the nation as a whole? If US Speaker Paul Ryan advocates that Republican delegates vote their conscience while at the same time, insisting that he has no other option but to support the party’s choice of a flag bearer, does that not really say clearly what type of leader the US House of Representative Speaker is? If republican leaders are not engaging the huge elephant in the room, by choosing not to talk about their presumptive party nominee, today or this week, to the US Press, does that make the problem go away?

My Republican friends and neighbors seem to be more concerned about the type of non-recognition or discountenance they have been receiving from establishment republicans; and for the choice and expediency to teach the “elitist group” a lesson, they are going to succumb to a racist buffoon, an unrepentant misogynist and an extreme nationalist, to occupy their party’s leadership and hopelessly, the President of the United States? If Republicans are not contemplative of the possible repercussion of a Donald Trump’s presidency on our democracy, if they are unable to capture in real time, the possible harm that a distinctive brand of a nationalistic government can usher in at a global level, how can they objectively weigh another effort into a foreign incursion that will cost the nation another two or three trillion dollars? Would our perceived insecurity or indiscretion lead us to the slaughter house of homophobic, masochist and racist slabs just for the sake of making a point to Republican elites?

The might of the office of the US Presidency is very huge and can be exercised with a force or manner that can liberate or conscript us and our freedom. If uncannily used by the occupier of the office, the might can force the whole collective, the nation, to a spot, where we ask ourselves, how did we arrive here? Corollary, the use of a gun, like the force of the power of the US Presidency, can leave an indelible experience or mark on us, just the way we found out a week ago, when a mad man entered a public space and destroyed lives and families. The manner in which the occupier of the office of US Presidency uses the might of the office, determines whether the office is used as a force for good or hate for the overall purpose of our democracy. The reckless use of the power of the office of the presidency, just like the use of a weapon, can effectively deal or leave an indelible mark on the psyche of the people and democracy. Further, the manner in which the power of the presidency is used, or the office of the presidency is managed, determines whether the choice of the voters in a person for that office has been used for the good of the nation, or detriments of its people, both nationally and internationally. In addition, where the voters discountenance the possibility of the occupier of the office doing any serious damage to the office because of the existing checks and balances in the system, there are still the possibility that a ball can be dropped in the complicated puzzle of governance, an opportunity afforded a budding authoritarian, despotic and or fascist leader, who unscrupulously uses the power of the office to the detriment of the people and the democracy; thus, making us accomplices to an unforgivable crime as the holocaust.

I gather one of the reasons Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Carey Lewandowski, is stepping aside today, after setting a historic record for Republicans primary this cycle, has to do with the need to pivot the campaign towards a general election, and not an unrealistic misogynist, bar-nothing, say-what-you-like, racist and homophobic impressionistic campaign effort from Mr. Trump for US Presidency in 2016. If the challenges of having to confront some disaffected voters for his brand of campaign in general election is truly a concern of the campaign and not the candidate’s inability to separate the truth from fiction in campaigning for the oval office, maybe there is an opportunity for his campaign. However, if the goal is to create a facade for a shift in campaign messaging, there is no way the floor will not shift under the feet of an unpredictable campaigner or speaker, without a teleprompter. Till date, just like his tax papers, Mr. Trump has not shown a road plan to accommodate the minorities in America; he has not shown courtesy to women in his use of campaign messaging; neither has he released credible policy statements that address the concerns of the general public; rather, he has been deluged or overwhelmed by effort to win credibility for his candidacy even within his own party. If Mr. Trump’s campaign make any progress in the next three months among the general American Voters, it would have very little to do with the parting of ways with Mr. Carey Lewandoswki, his campaign manager; rather, a conscious and consistent effort from the candidate to remain a credible force to reckon with, in a three sixty degree turn from past hateful and derogatory speeches, including that of: We are going to build a Wall!

As a 2016 US Presidential candidate, Mr. Trump continues to draw an analogy between his experience as a businessman in real estate and casino gaming with an inevitability of winning the general election without the support of his party’s leadership. His recent statement to republican party’s leadership to step aside and let him win the campaign for the oval office by himself, is an eye opener. Winning a general election without your party’s leadership’s support and donations from party’s big Whigs, who often have a huge stake in who represents the party in a general election, and who occupies the office of the Presidency, just do not wash. Mr. Trump’s implication that he could do it by himself, lacks the credibility of a uniting force within the republican party. If he continues his, my way or the high way ideology in his campaign efforts, not only will he successfully achieve some schisms within the republican party, he may engender a much more forceful and credible anti-Trump candidacy within his own party that ends up in his downfall. And even where and when he is able to win the White House, he may end up not having the essential ingredients and power to move legislation in US Congress; a recipe for a failed presidency.

In addressing the parting of ways with his campaign manager, Mr. Trump’s spokesperson, Hope Hicks, says the campaign is grateful to Cory Lewandoswki for his hard work and dedication and wished him the best in the future; she probably forgot to relay that the republican convention in Cleveland, July 18-21, is about a month away; and, the challenge for the campaign, may really have to do with the tone of Mr. Trump’s campaign and his failure to pivot his campaign to a general election on time, after knowing he was going to be the presumptive nominee about a month ago. With the exit of his campaign manager, Mr. Trump is now dealing with replacing a campaign manager and campaigning against a more formidable candidate, Hillary Clinton, who is much beloved by her party’s establishment, who embodies a candidacy of a long awaited dream of parents with a female child, for the highest political office, the US Presidency. This later group will not only shy away from the brand of Donald Trump’s campaign, they would repudiate it, vote against it, and broadcast how hateful, discriminatory and unacceptable such campaign is in current day America.

For the records, Mr. Trump’s campaign has shown all the pretense of entertainment while he exuded the art of inevitability; neither has the campaign changed after attaining the required number of delegates for party nomination; rather, it has been a very hostile anti-minorities bullet train; and cautious efforts by Republican stalwarts in and out of US Congress to encourage Mr. Trump to tone down his rhetoric, have not worked or met a blow back resistance. Incautiously or cautiously, the campaign has failed to understand that thumbing nose or destabilizing party’s establishment, fanning hatred or entrenched discrimination, vocal stubbornness and exaggeration of support of party fellowship do not readily translate to national fellowship or victories in general elections. Amusing and sometimes delightful derogative comments made for audience’s enjoyment are not necessarily acceptable or supported by apprehensive, cautious, sensitive and reflective general voters, who are more moderate than those who had formed the base of Mr. Trump’s support in the party’s nomination process. The general election is the super bowl of political campaigns, and many political strategists and election watchers are wondering if Mr. Trump is still considering his victory at the party level as a referendum of the efficacy of his candidacy for the general election. In the opinion of some of the campaign strategists, if Mr. Trump still feel that his campaign is much stronger than it was about a month ago when he appeared as the presumptive republican party nominee, he is about to meet a rude awakening come November 8, 2016.

Comparing Donald Trump’s candidacy against Hillary Clinton’ among racial and ethnic groups, one can only imagine the impossibility of him ending up being the next US President. While Hillary Clinton’s popularity among White males has declined precipitously, however, not at the pace of Trump’s dislikes among Hispanics and Blacks. While a combined Washington Post/ABC News polls between May 16-19 and June 8-12, 2016 have shown, over a 70% American voters as against 55% for Hillary Clinton, find either candidates unfavorable for the Office of the Presidency, there are the possibility that Ms. Clinton can make the difference up with committed feminist groups who are expected to vote in throngs this time around. The twist in this survey is that, up to 10% of the un-favorability percentage points for Mr. Trump are adduced to his responses and reactions to events needing leadership qualities, in the past month; an aberration of a higher and stronger negativity for a candidate at this time of the campaign, in the two and half decades of Washington Post-ABC News polling. In contrasting this polls, republican party establishment must now incline to look elsewhere for expected victory for their party’s choice of flag bearer, as it appears that if the elections are held today, the former US Secretary of State and de facto Democratic Party nominee will trounce Mr. Trump.

Finally, it appears that in the past month, Mr. Trump’s suggestion that President Obama sympathizes with Islamic terrorists, a further call to ban Muslim immigrants entering America, and caricature of a federal judge with Mexican heritage, as incapable of administering fair justice in the case of Trump’s University fraudulent practices in offering real estate training, are hardly gaining traction with the American voters. Further, it appears Americans are not ready to play Russian roulette with American Democracy, with the numerous non-conservative and insulting propositions from the darling of the republican rank and file. In fact, Mr. Trump’s recent suggestions on the campaign trail, or campaign wreck, appear to have muddled up the water for his already controversial campaign for the White House; and, his inability to coalesce all republicans behind his campaign, especially establishment Republicans, is more likely to unravel his dream for the highest office in the land.

                                                        Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-0789 (17). © Art Wood
                                                       Art Wood. First Woman Astronaut, 1974.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Politics of Extremism and Orlando Florida Nightclub Mishap: Contentious Campaign for 2016 White House

KEYWORDS OR TERMS: Orlando, Florida; LGBT; Transgender; Lone Shooter; Hate Crime; Terrorism; Mental and Lunatic mind; Radical Islam; Political Distractions; Gays and Transgender groups; Republican Party; Omar Mateen; FBI; ISIS; Home grown terrorism; President Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; and, Donald Trump

It is depressing to hear the deaths of innocent Americans in an Orlando, Florida night club through an act of violence from a lone shooter, who probably does not share our dream as a United America. An American, born in the City of New York, a first generation American with Afghanistan roots, who swore allegiance to ISIS and other terrorist groups across the globe, took an assault weapon and mow down innocent souls like grass in the early hours of June 12, 2016. An American, whom a distraught family member of the Orlando massacre says, did not kill two birds with one stone, hate of gay and transgender groups, but killed forty-nine innocent souls with one stone.

It is rather hard to comprehend an unfortunate event as this, let alone explaining circumstances surrounding the nightmare to younger children, who are wondering, what in the world is going on? Yes, there is hate all over this; yes, there is terror as well; however, more importantly, there are issues with the mental stability of any person or persons, who choose to use assault weapons to destroy lives and families in a twinkle of an eye, under the pretext of avenging personal grievances. The challenge for a grieving nation is to find answers to the questions: how long would we allow this type of mass killings to continue? How long will we continue to play catch up with our laws regarding the ease of obtaining assault weapons; and, how long will we allow hate for minorities among us to continue to fester, until frustration or whatever creeps into a lunatic mind that make him choose to use assault weapons to deal grief, pain and horror to our collective psyche?

Donald Trump, de-facto nominee of the Republican Party for 2016 general election, unconvincingly attempts to attribute this mayhem to President Barack Obama’s refusal to identify this misfortune as a problem with Radical Islam. As any astute and reflective political leader will tell you, any attempt to demonize the Muslims and Islamic religion as the culprit for any lone behavior of a mentally disturbed person who engages in horrendous crime as this, is like claiming that all miseries in life can be associated with the practice of a particular religion. Our forefathers understood and appreciated this; and, ingrained in our constitution, the separation of state from religion. Any politician or presidential aspirant that passes the recent mayhem in the Orlando, Florida Club as a fault of one religion therefore, is playing mischief and can hardly claim a higher moral ground in discussing solutions to mass killings, mental instability, domestic and international terrorism. How could anyone claim an identity with a religion as the cause of a mayhem, when many of us can hardly definitely tell you, why people harbor grudges or discriminate against others; or people who are different from them in any way, shape or form?

With over six people still under critical condition in Orlando, Florida hospitals, after the demise of 49 innocent Americans at a night club, excluding the assailant himself, we are already having a debate over what we are dealing with in this instance, terrorism or hate against a minority group in America? As usual, everyone has an opinion and some opinions and reasons for this mayhem are close to ludicrous as you might expect; however, the American Constitution guarantees everyone’s right of speech.

Donald Trump, the de-facto Republican Party nominee for 2016 White House, adduce this mayhem to our inability to see its association with Radical Islam. Mr. Trump’s incoherent and somewhat disjointed position on this, has been seen as a political stunt in the campaign for the White House. Reflective political observers wonder, if the attention seeking presidential aspirant, is not just dying to draw attention to his campaign with this assertion. How can anyone in his right mind explain to grieving family members of the 49 who died in that night club, that the reason for the demise of their loved ones, is because our president has not used the term, Radical Islam. Americans and relatives of the deceased grief in unbearable pain; and the consolation that they get, is a de-facto nominee of a major American Political Party, claiming the cause of their grief is Radical Islam. Does this not smack of absence of leadership qualities expected in one seeking the office of commander-in- chief; and or chief national counselor in times of national calamities or misfortune?

As many of us probably know, the deadly intent of a mass shooter is not easily deciphered. A homegrown terrorist, who actively uses gay dating apps, who cruises multiple gay clubs and bars every now and then, and who chooses to launch a murderous vendetta of his compatriots in the night club, is not only crazy, he is an epitome of lunacy in actual sense. If you are a regular patron of a gay bar, no matter what your sexual orientation is and personal grievance towards people you meet at the club, you do not have the right to engage in a killing spree of the patrons; a place you held over twenty innocent souls’ hostage in a cross fire fight with the police, sharp shooters and security personnel, just before you met your demise. A rational mind would have discussed his or her personal grievances with the group or abstain from going around them, if in actual fact, he or she finds the group disgusting or unacceptable, per his or her preference or choice of opinion. Further, if you find anyone, claiming your act is solely because you identify or practice a religion, maybe that individual could look at himself in the mirror and ask, is my opinion not contributing more to the problem of hate; one that “probably” led this crazy to engage in felonious murderous spree? In addition, the act of killing others for our personal values or choice of opinion hardly asserts or give credence to our opinion about the people we are so aggrieved with, as to launch into killing them; neither, does an exposure to online propaganda video or anarchist rhetoric about America, a justifiable ground for reproach and destruction of lives and property in a twinkle of an eye in a night club.

Mr. Omar Mateen was a lunatic domestic terrorist, an anarchist and a sad case for a father, who hardly understood his role and responsibility to his family and three-year old child, who innocently still was asking his grandfather, where is his father? His wife or partner may know more than she is saying; but none of us know; however, if she knows anything regarding her late husband’s action(s), she is to be made accountable for her inaction or action in this case that led to the deaths of many innocent Americans. If she had a prior knowledge of the action(s) of her husband, she ought to answer to the three-year felonious offense trial of having a privy knowledge of a crime and failing to report it to authorities, including the police and or Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). For everyone reading this, this very singular event has not only challenged many of us to the depth of our beings, it has called us to stop masking the ferocious behavior of a madman as grounds for stigmatizing our fellow Americans, as terrorists, because they practice the same religion as Mr. Omar Mateen.

Unfortunately, the 2016 presumptive Republican Party nominee’s opinion regarding the Orlando night club massacre is taking a new life of its own. An impassioned President Barack Obama yesterday labelled Donald Trump’s proposal to disallow Muslims from entering the United States, as not only unworkable; but also not a reflection of what America and Americans are all about, or our most cherished values, as conceived by the forefathers. In the words of the President of the United States: “Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith? We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this?” Emphasizing that American Intelligence communities, law enforcement officials and active emergency response teams in dismantling terrorist groups across the globe behalf of America, know who the enemy is; and, we therefore cannot just paint all Muslims with one brush, if we are to claim a higher moral ground in the fight against terrorism, domestic or international.

In retrospect, the use of the phrase, Radical Islam, by anyone or our President, couldn’t have changed much or prevented sick and radical people from degenerating to murderous zealot souls. As further articulated in President Obama’s speech in response to Donald Trump’s position on the cause of the Orlando Florida killings, or the fight against domestic or international terrorism: “What exactly would be using this label [Radical Islam] accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.” Calling out Mr. President for not using the label Radical Islam may look very appealing to those who support the divide and conquer approach that the Republican presumptive nominee articulates for America; however, the reality is, there is not much to gain from name or words arrangement in a grieving time of a national mourning for the innocent souls lost to terrorism in Orlando, Florida.

Interestingly, Democratic Party presumptive nominee for 2016 general elections, Hillary Clinton, has no problem using the label of radical Islam; but accept as well that this phrase, would hardly prevent another terrorist’s attack. Characterization of home-grown terrorists and pseudo connectivity with other extreme terrorist groups across the globe by a lone gunman, which underlies the current mayhem, fails to articulate, the true reasons for dastardly acts that lead to unfortunate deaths of innocent souls: insecurity, fears and isolation. Donald Trump has chosen to exploit fear and anxiety in the populace, to create further mistrust among Americans, for pure political gain. The terrible repercussions of the Orlando Florida nightclub disaster and current lambasting of President Obama by Donald Trump, have the potential of exacerbating divisions and disagreements among Americans; and no one can better articulate this rather more than the men and women in the military, especially those who have vested their time in fighting wars against terrorism, including unfortunately, those following the Islamic Religion, who may be wondering by now, if their dedicated efforts and attempts, are subject to suspect, just because of a deranged action of a wacko, who mowed down an already disadvantaged and frightened group of Americans, the gay community?

Without any direct correlation or proof, the presumptive nominee for Republican party, Donald Trump, cannot conclude that President Barack Obama is in anyway sympathetic to the cause of terrorist groups. Knowing what President Obama’s Administration has been doing in fighting terrorists and international terrorism, including the escalation of the use of drones in fighting terrorists and removal of many of their generals from the battle field in the past seven and a half years, it is rather difficult to argue or convince any independent observer that President Barack Obama has been soft in fighting terrorists, or has sympathy for terrorists. Albeit, his administration’s continuous efforts to go into accords and work with any international partnering country to bring to justice anyone or group, known to be associated or sympathetic to any group bent on killing Americans. One thing he has not done and which he continues to defend without apologies, is the unwholesome use of derogatory language against the religion of terrorists. For the President, it is not only challenging, but unfair to lump the guilty with the innocent in the long fight against terrorism. President Barack Obama has been fighting the war against global terrorism with the urgency it deserves and demands, without lumping the innocent with the guilty; and, those who still believe in the grand illusion of using derogatory language in defining the religion of the enemy, hardly understand the hard long road to fighting and overcoming domestic and global terrorism; and the need to acculturate even people in the Islamic Religion, in fighting global terrorism.

One of the basic flaws in Mr. Trump’s reasoning and allegation against the President of the United States, that he hardly cares about fighting terrorism or paying attention to issues of fear and anxieties in a unique American minority group, the gay community, is that members of his party have been the major antagonist of recognition of equal rights for the same group. Republicans have on many occasions voted against the interest of the gay community and in many instances have been a road block to the progress of equality between mainstream and minority population in America. Yet, Mr. Trump continues to use intense and aggressive rhetoric, or demeaning TWEETS, that disadvantage and dispossess the LGBT  groups, including on issues of gay wedding and tax relief for those in civil unions or partnerships. Whether Mr. Trump knows it or not, the LGBT community is already suspicious of the condescending comments coming from him, regarding what just happened in their community in Florida.

Many Americans understand the hard-liner position towards LGBT groups from the Republican Party. Further, members of the Republican Party have never been accommodating of the choices of the LGBT groups; neither have they been ready to engage these groups to address their concerns over discrimination at the local and national levels. The unfortunate event in Orlando Florida, only exacerbate an already tense atmosphere of distrust between the gay community and the rest of the nation; that even in a place these groups consider a safe aboard, where they can mix freely without being judged, out of the glare of the many who do not love them, they can still be hunted down and killed. Wow, how cold can the world be?

Outdistancing all these tit-for-tat responses from the Republican nominee toward the mayhem in the Orlando, Florida, nightclub is probably the reality of what hate can decimate or degenerate into; and, what discrimination against a particular minority group in America can engender and culminate in. The competition for who to replace President Barack Obama in the White House, is not going to be defined solely by this misfortune; but will most likely bring to the forefront, some of the issues that have been left unattended regarding this particular minority group(s). Further, the competition will also bring along for deliberation, issues of domestic and international terrorism, who is better prepared to address and fight these problems for America, between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? The presumptive Republican Nominee, Mr. Donald Trump, has been making attempt to undercut the campaign of Ms. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Nominee; and the attempt by Donald Trump to cast President Barack Obama’s fight against terrorism in a bad light, is actually an attempt to pass or cast an administration which Ms. Hillary Clinton was part of, as very weak in the fight against domestic and global terrorism.

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