Policing, A Clear Focus On The Problem

On December 19, 2015 I posted an article on Political Pawns And Puppets entitled ‘Fix The Problem With the American Police Force Now.’ This article was critical of police, police departments and politicians around the country for, in essence, giving police officers around America Card Blanche to use excessive and even lethal force on those whom they have sworn to serve and protect.

This criticism was based on the fact that very few police officers are charged with a crime for their conduct when they use excessive or lethal force and that those who are charged are very seldom convicted and are regularly allowed to keep their job. I implied, by virtue of the article, that this phenomenon makes me frustrated and angry with the system as well as with those responsible for it who are content to do absolutely nothing to correct the problem.

I said that those police officers who abuse their power in this way do it because they can and they know that they will not be held to account. I recently read a couple of articles in Vox.com; one by Dara Lind and the other by German Lopez, regarding this issue.  These reporters who have more resources available to them to research these kinds of problems than I do did not answer the hypothetical question that I said these unscrupulous police officers posed to America, which was, ‘so the best word for our actions is hubris, what are you going to do about it? But they did shed some light on why Grand Juries do not indict them and conventional juries tend to allow them to go free even when they are charged with a crime.  And since the purpose of all of my articles is not only to express my opinion about a situation but to provide information on it that will be beneficial in encouraging you to be informed and involved in improving and/or correcting it, I want to share those articles with you.

Although I remain frustrated and angry I realize and accept the fact that we are a country of laws and that I should not just discount those laws because I am frustrated and angry with the system and the complacent attitude of those responsible for overseeing and administering it. The aforementioned articles provided food for thought for me as to what my point of focus should be with respect to excessive use of force and the use of lethal force by police.  Perhaps they will do the same for you and help you to determine whether your point of focus on these subjects is an area that needs to be reevaluated.

It is in that context that I am providing you with the following link to my December 19th article and the articles in Vox.com in the event that you would like to read them:

  1. Fix The Problem With The American Police Force Now
  2. When is it legal for a cop to kill you?
  3. Grand jury says police shooting of Tamir Rice was legally justified. That’s the problem.

It does not mean that I have changed my mind and believe that police officers who commit despicable acts are justified in doing so because I accept the fact that there are laws in place that might play a part in why these jurors allow police officers who abuse their authority to go free. Instead, it means that perhaps my focus in my efforts to play a part in correcting this problem is in the wrong place and if I want to be successful in those efforts, I need to focus elsewhere.

If it is the laws that are preventing those who are responsible for overseeing and administering the system from holding police officers accountable for their actions; and if it is the laws that are forcing Grand Juries and conventional juries to allow unscrupulous cops to avoid consequences, then perhaps the focus should be on getting those laws changed. The laws should be changed because breaking police department rules, regulations and policies is not a crime.  Even with these things in place, if they were applied, they are virtually trumped by the existing laws and rendered all but meaningless.

If the current laws are instrumental in enabling police officers to abuse their power and avoid the consequences of their actions and if they serve to proliferate such injustice and a system that is obviously broken then these laws should be changed. America must not continue to operate under this system simply because it is challenging for our elected leaders to change it due to its political implications.  I want to make it clear that while we work to get these laws changed we must not stop doing the things that we are already doing to affect change and achieve a system that allows for equal justice under the law.

Allow me to leave you with these suggestions; continue to hold those accountable who are responsible for overseeing and administering this system, keep the pressure on them and demand that they do whatever it takes to correct the problems with it. Stay informed and be sure to vote in the upcoming elections.  If you just cannot get yourself motivated enough to vote in the primaries, at least, be sure to vote in the 2016 presidential election!  Finally, always remember that whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!

Eulus Dennis

Merry Christmas From Congress…And Me

Hello everyone. Merry Christmas from congress…and me!  It seems that congress’s Christmas gift to all of America is to show us that despite our deep-seated doubt, congress still can function as it was meant to function.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, being the cunning – but extremely sharp, politician that he is wants America to believe that this is because of the promise that he made to fix a broken congress and make it work again if America would simply put Republicans in charge.

He knows that congress’s sudden ability to pass legislation has nothing to do with his promise but he will use smoke and mirrors and all of his craftiness to produce the magic illusion that will cover up all of the obstruction to governance orchestrated by the Republican Party and its failures to place the American people ahead of his number one priority to make President Obama a one term president; which, by the way, failed. Although Senator McConnell has remained as quiet as a church mouse recently during these times of challenge and controversy for his Party, this situation appears to be one that is among those times of comfort and convenience when he wants to be prominent so he has elbowed his way to the front of the crowd.

From a politician’s perspective, he definitely knows when to talk and when to be quiet. This seems to be the polar opposite of the wisdom (political wisdom with an emphasis on ‘political’), embraced by the 2016 Republican presidential candidates.  They seem to be hell-bent on wreaking havoc on America and the world.

But enough of that already. This is Christmas, which is a time of hope and joy, peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.  So it is with that in mind that I sincerely say that I hope that, come 2016, congress will be able to accomplish great things.  I hope that Democrats and Republicans will be able to work together and move America forward in the tradition that all Americans have always been proud of, loved and respected.  America should move forward in that tradition while doing everything humanly possible to protect Americana and its citizens first.  We must be sure to continue to be who we are as Americans and operate based on well-thought-out decisions and not decisions based on fear, which results in knee-jerk reactions that only exacerbate the problems and create more fear.

My Christmas gift to congress and especially Senate Majority Leader McConnell is that I will work harder in 2016 to find some sort of rationale in why congress has been so dysfunctional over the past 5-8 years and accept the fact that Senator McConnell is who he is; a cunning – but extremely sharp politician, and that does not make him a bad person.

Congress might not consider this to be a very good Christmas gift but I think that it might make them happy to know that there will be one more American who will be pulling for them in the new year and not labeling them (hopefully – I’m keeping my fingers crossed) as a do-nothing congress. Not much, perhaps, but it is a step in the right direction.  But I have no doubt that Senator McConnell knowing that I will be working to see him in a better light in 2016 and going forward will be meaningful to him; at least meaningful enough to get a “bah, humbug” out of him; maybe even a drink with him…nah.

For everyone else I simply have a heartfelt Christmas wish; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Not a gift but depending on your perspective, it can be even better.

Eulus Dennis

Fix The Problem With The American Police Force Now

Lately, under pressure by the public, video after video that show police officers abusing their power by using excessive force or deadly force have been released by police departments. Most of the time these videos have reflected the opposite of what the police at the scene spelled out in their reports. Even after these videos have been released and police officers have been indicted and faced a jury, most of them have been freed and allowed to keep their job.  How does this make you feel?

Whether there release occurred because the laws in place dictated that they be released or whether it occurred for some other reason unknown to the public, the system has to be reevaluated and fixed. The best word for what the police officers in these videos have done is hubris.  The same word applies to all of the other cops who abuse their authority.  They do it because they can and they know that they will not be held to account.

It seems that when their actions are questioned the offending police officers’ unanimous response to this problem and citizens who disdain it is; so it’s hubris, what are you going to do about it? And that is the question before the American people: what are we going to do about it?  So far the answer is “nothing”… because we just can’t get our head around the problem.

Here is an idea for those politicians and heads of police departments around the country. Get serious about fixing the problem with policing now and stop hiding in dark corners and ignoring it or simply employing the old tired and worn out kick the can down the road approach to it.  Americans are tired of politicians and others who are in positions of authority using the timeless Potomac Two Step and Kick The Can Down The Road vaudeville-like routine to shirk their responsibility.

No one wants to step up to the problem because it is a political hot potato so they have convinced themselves that it is a massive problem that is all but impossible to solve. As a result, instead of working to solve it, they are spending a great amount of their time in the spin room trying to come up with talking points that will be acceptable to the public and the rest of their time doing actual trial runs on us until they can come up with the ones that we will find to be most palatable.

These politicians and other authorities are trying to convince the majority of Americans that they will continue to chip away at the problem in order to make things better but that this is a problem that is simply too big to solve; kind of like the banks that are “too big to fail”, that’s just the way that it is. They want to project to us an image of the old cliché of an elephant in a dark room that everyone is allowed to touch where everyone comes up with a different description of what is there because they all touched a different part of this huge animal.  Without knowing that this is an elephant there is no way that they can decide what they can do with or about this thing that is in the room.  Voila!  The situation involving policing in America will be resolved if only they can reach this point with their spin then effectively sell it to the public.

My analogy may sound harsh but I do not think that it is harsh because this avoidance by those responsible to address this problem has more to do with the impact that addressing it will have on their personal careers than it does with the supposed fact that it is impossible to solve. It is understandable that no one from the fair-minded street cop to the fair-minded top cop to the fair-minded ambitious politicians wants to attack this problem but someone has to step up to it.

Here is something that might help them to man up, woman up – or whatever it takes, to get them to step up to the problem: a template, so to speak, on how to determine that it is an elephant that is in the room so that they can determine what they should do next. First, turn on the light!  That should make things a lot easier.  If you continue to keep your heads in the sand or hide in any dark corner that you can find to avoid tackling the problem then it will never get fixed!

Now bear with me while I present the template that I have to offer. The bad cops on the street have a roof over their heads, which consists of – from the top down – ; the chief, deputy chiefs, division chiefs (senior command), commander, captains, lieutenants (command) then the sergeants, corporals, private first class cops and finally the buck private cops all of whom I will refer to as the street cops.  This roof prevents the rain (accountability, fairness and justice) from falling on them.  They know this is the case so they feel free, and perhaps even motivated, to conduct themselves in any way that they please without fear of any consequences.

If any of the cops in this chain of command are unscrupulous or dirty cops then this forms a portion of the roof over the heads of any other unscrupulous or dirty cops. If the top of the chain of command is unscrupulous or dirty then it is likely that many if not all of the others in that chain of command are that way because they were selected by the corrupt chain of command or their selection was influenced by them.  If this is the case then the roof is complete and these dirty cops are completely protected from the rain.  If there are cops in this chain of command who do not fit this unscrupulous, dirty cop mold they are usually intimidated and too afraid to challenge the status quo.

The police force senior command and command are usually heavily influenced by the Manager of Safety and the Mayor. Even if the Manager of Safety and the Mayor are individuals who are honest and above board and believe in fairness and holding members of the entire police force to account, there are political implications that, as a politician, the Mayor is extremely likely to consider that would impact on how he decides to deal with any problem with policing.  If there is a problem for the Mayor then this is likely a direct problem for the Manager of Safety and indirect problems for all other politicians that could become entangled in the effort to fix the problem.  This is why we are witnessing what we are experiencing now in America when it comes to addressing the problem of bad policing and what to do about correcting this problem.

So how can using the aforementioned template help in getting those responsible for fixing this problem to step up to it and fix it? Here’s how.  First, the Mayor must appoint a Manager of Safety and Chief of Police that is clean and did not come up through the ranks.  This is where we as voters and the public come in because we too have a responsibility to fill.  We must apply pressure to the Mayor to select such a chief and let him know in no uncertain terms that if he refuses then we will make him pay via recall, at the next election if applicable or in his efforts to further his political career if he is term-limited and cannot run again.

Once the new Manager of Safety and police chief are in place they can begin to replace those corrupt cops in the senior command and command ranks. This will remove the intimidation felt by those in the ranks of the scrupulous street cops and motivate them to begin to help clean up the problem before the ax even reaches their level because they now know that the rain can and will fall on these unscrupulous cops.

Knowing that the roof has been removed and that the rain will fall on them will be just as effective on the good cops as it will on the bad ones. Good cops will become more comfortable with challenging their fellow officers whenever they begin to abuse their power.  And if that is not enough then they will likely feel more comfortable with reporting these officers to their superiors.  However, the fact that unscrupulous and dirty cops might also begin to clean up their act before the ax reaches them must not mean that they get a get out of jail free card and should not be replaced and still held accountable for what they have done.

All police departments hierarchy are not set up the same way in every city as the one mentioned in my example; but correcting the problem should function the same way by working from the top to the bottom. This suggestion is not something that is meant to be a panacea but, instead, is meant to be at least a starting point for those who have procrastinated for so long and are continuing to resist fixing this problem.  It is not something that is expected to work overnight or without a lot of hard work and planning.  Even if people continue to gripe and complain, which we probably will, until the problem is fixed at least those responsible to fix it will have gotten off the dime and began making a reasonable effort to do so.

Eulus Dennis

President Obama Defined

Who is this Barack Obama? In the eyes of the Republicans he is fickle, weak, does not understand the Middle East, a timid decision maker, not so bright, a liar, a person who does not love America, an illegitimate president, a president who leads from behind, a president of America that any of the 2016 Republican presidential candidates would be better than and many other negative things that would comprise a list that is longer than I would care to mention.  Further – in their eyes, he does not pound his chest nearly enough to emphasize America’s strength or bully the rest of the world and threaten to annihilate them if they do not see things the same way that we do and agree to do them exactly our way.

Now I will tell you who my president is in my eyes. He is a strong and principled president who always leads from the front despite the tremendous demands of his office and the additional unwarranted and unnecessary weight placed on him by his fellow politicians whose number one goal was to make him a one-term president and now is to deny him any victories in order to ruin his legacy even if those victories are in the best interest of America.

He is a president who is consistent, strong, completely understands the volatile and sensitive Middle East situation, a strong decision maker, extremely bright, a truth teller who constantly monitors the emotional atmosphere of our country and world situations then skillfully incorporates the results – in consideration of the American people and the volatility of those situations – into his determination and the delivery of his message as to how America will handle these problems. He is a president who loves America and all of her citizens, without doubt a legitimate president, a president that has accomplished great things for our country, a president who is definitely not irreplaceable (no one is) but one who will leave big shoes to fill.  And finally, he is not the blowhard which it seems that Republican leaders around the country and Republican politicians in Washington want.

Obviously, my view of President Obama is the flip side of the coin that depicts how his Republican adversaries and others who see him as an illegitimate president view him. I believe that my perspective coincides with that of most other reasonable people whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents.  They might not like him or agree with the decisions that he makes but they do not condone denigrating him and sabotaging his leadership before American citizens and the world based on those things.

The best way to replace President Obama and prevent people like him who support his perspectives and way of governance from leading the country is to exercise your right to vote! I would quickly add that in doing this, the process should not in any way be sabotaged to prevent anyone who has a right to vote from exercising that right.

We are a democracy and have to work harder to act like one no matter how angry and frustrated we might be or might become with one another. We must realize and accept that this type of governance can be and usually is messy but also realize that it is what has helped to make America the great country that it is.

In realizing and accepting this we can continue to fuss, fight and complain but we must not let anything or anybody separate us based on race, religion, gender or any such thing; weaken us and then exploit that weakness for their personal gain or the gain of any cause that they might champion. To do so is playing right into the hands of ISIS and other terrorist organizations like it.  This is exactly what they want America to do!

I have disagreed with decisions that President Obama has made, felt the frustration of not receiving equal treatment as an American by those in power as well as from everyday white American citizens based simply on the color of my skin, been disappointed because my white brothers and sisters either cannot or do not seem to want to understand that disappointment and marveled at those white people who do not believe that there is any such a thing as white privilege. I get upset with them – many of whom I consider to be my friends, and gripe and complain (sometimes to them) about their lack of perception and inability to see something that is (to me) so blatantly obvious.  I can only imagine the reciprocal because I have not lived it but many of them are likely just as frustrated with me and my seemingly inability to see things from their perspective.

But I firmly believe that the great majority of white people want things to be fair and want everyone who is willing to work for it to have the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. There are too many white people who have, from since almost the time that the first load of slaves were delivered to the shores of America, privately – and later openly helped people of color to advance for me to be wrong.  And during the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, white people have openly stood arm-in-arm with their black counterparts in an effort to achieve equality for all people.  And they have done this while all the time being ridiculed by other white people and at the risk of their own personal safety.  This is something that should not be taken lightly or for granted.

So I encourage all of us as Americans to consider these things in our decision making and to always incorporate them into our thinking before we act. I understand the fear that all of the recent senseless killing has engendered because I too am afraid.  But we cannot let fear rule us, instead, we must manage it.  We have all been afraid before at one time or another and have come through it safely.  I would wager that if we reflect on those times that we were afraid most of us would arrive at the conclusion that we were better off because we managed that fear than we would have been had we not managed it.

And again I say – if we must, let us fuss, fight, complain and disagree – in a civilized way – about the issues and how our country’s leader handles them but as Americans, let us always remain civil. In addition, politicians whom we have elected to lead and guide us must determine to avoid the temptation to sabotage our president’s leadership and programs and embarrass America in the eyes of the world in pursuit of political gain.  There are much better ways for them to achieve their goals and do it honorably.

Eulus Dennis

Donald Trump Ruins America Then Rules It?

Donald Trump is not only making a mockery of America in the eyes of the world but he is potentially ruining her along with all of the dreams that many Americans have but have not yet been able to fulfill. He does not seem to care that this is happening as a result of how he is conducting his campaign for President because he is a narcissist and Donald Trump is the center of his universe.  Everything else revolves around that so everything is about him; as long as he is okay, the world is okay.

There was a time when the race to become president of the United States evoked a since of national pride and although you wanted your candidate/party to win, even though in private you, as a voter, might denounce your opponent and their ‘stupid’ ideas about how the country should be run, a sense of respect for the office and the candidates permeated party lines and those personal feelings were not voiced publicly; especially by the candidates. Candidates would argue policy, as they should, but they did not attack each other personally with a vitriol with which they would not even attack the head of state of America’s worst enemy.

That is no longer the case in American politics. Mr. Trump might be leading the charge now but this kind of politics as of late did not originate with him alone.  Since President Barack Obama entered office the disrespect for the Office of President by Republican elected politicians has skyrocketed.  And because Republican leaders, whether or not they agreed with what was happening, were reluctant to address the problem and fix it, it continued to grow and is now spiraling out of control.  So much so that now Republican Party leaders are conspiring with one another in dark corners in dimly lit rooms to keep one of their own from becoming the 2016 nominee even though Republican primary voters are saying that Donald Trump is their preference to run against the Democratic nominee.

There is nothing wrong or bad about Mr. Trump’s desire to protect the American people first and foremost if he becomes America’s commander-in-chief but is it necessary for him to first become the ruiner-in-chief in order to do so? I watched the Republicans debate in Las Vegas this evening on CNN.  It was really long but I watched the whole thing and I must admit that it was well run this time and all of the candidates discussed the issues rather than spend most of their time attacking each other.

They did, however, relentlessly attack President Obama and his administration and each time that they did this they also mentioned Hillary Clinton as if she and the president were craniopagus twins. They did this because they are convinced that she will be the Democratic nominee.  And since so far connecting any Democrat running for office to President Obama has worked so well in bringing about that politicians demise, why not toss Secretary Clinton into the mix?  To serve them up as conjoined twins is just icing on the cake.

It really hurts me to see what is happening in our country during this 2016 race to become president and I am still struggling to accept the fact that this is what things have come to in our political process. About the only upside to it, and this is a stretch, is that the billionaires and millionaires have less overall influence than they had in the last presidential election.  They too, although to a lesser degree than the average voter, are on the outside looking in when it comes to determining who the party nominee will be…yay!

Right now almost everyone in the Republican Party seems to be at a loss as to how to come up with the best nominee for their party and hopefully – from their perspective, the best person to become president and lead America forward. If they are unable to come up with a nominee other than Donald Trump, then Mr. Trump will have a fifty-fifty chance to ruin America and then rule it… in his Donald J. Trump kind of way, of course.  Is that a scary proposition or what?!

Eulus Dennis

The Republicans Are Building An Even Smaller Tent?

I turned on the MSNBC Live With Kate Snow show on 12/8/15 and Kasie Hunt was talking about the latest Donald Trump headlines-grabbing comments. When she was asked about Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s statement that the kind of hatred that Donald Trump is currently voicing has long been a part of Republican politics she said that his statement was hyperbole.

Let me start by saying that I totally disagree with Ms. Hunt’s assessment. Senate Minority Leader Reid was right when he said that “…Trump is just saying out loud what other Republicans merely suggest.”  The fact of the matter is that most of them are very skilled politicians who know better than to say the kind of things that Donald Trump is saying so instead they use dog whistle politics to get their point across.

While some Republican politicians and their political leaders have condemned Mr. Trump’s latest statement that all Muslims should be banned from entering the United States, they only did so under much public pressure and even then, most of them soft peddled those condemnation statements. Among those who made statements condemning Mr. Trump’s rhetoric were – finally – RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan, almost all of the 2016 presidential candidates and even conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Rush Limbaugh has long been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump so he has likely heard the majority, if not all, of the comments Mr. Trump has made while tiptoeing up to this latest one about Muslims. Therefore, if he is speaking out against him now it probably means that he feels it will have a negative impact on his show if he does not.

Many world leaders and others in the world who regularly use social media are chiming in on Donald Trump’s latest comments about Muslims. Many, including me, feel that the rhetoric that Mr. Trump has been using to court and hang on to the primary voters that he has and desperately wants to keep is divisive and plays right into the hands of ISIS and others who want to harm Americans and others that live here who are loyal to America.

Instead of working to fix this glaring problem, Republican politicians are attacking anything and everything that seeks to level the playing field between the haves – unscrupulous big money constituents, businesses and individuals – and the have nots – middleclass Americans and poor Americans. They have talked for a long time about building a bigger tent that will accommodate minorities of all colors; but are they instead building an even smaller tent than they already have?  It certainly looks that way because now they are even alienating Americans from their party, who might otherwise be interested in it, simply based on their religion!

The question is, why aren’t Republican politicians and Republican leaders expressing total outrage over this latest development surrounding Mr. Trump and doing all that they can to assure Americans and the world that this is an anomaly and is not who we are as Americans? Could it be that it is because this kind of politics has been and still is a part of Republican politics and Republican politicians and their political leaders are afraid that they will alienate their base if they conduct themselves like the statesmen that they claim to be and should be?!  Is it politics above duty again; politics above honorable service to America and the will of the majority of their constituents?!  Is it a fear of losing their job if they do their job so they choose to place their desire to be reelected above all else?!

In this particular case, I want to be wrong and hope that I am wrong in my thinking. If I am not wrong then our politicians have failed us and, as voters, we have failed and are continuing to fail ourselves and them.  When I look at what recently happened to the Voting Rights Act and see the mess that we are in since it was gutted; the very states that this act was meant to hold in check to assure that they would be fair to all of their constituents – and other states where the governance process is dominated by Republicans – are now obstructing or in some cases blocking people from voting, it is hard for me to believe that I am wrong.

Even now, because Republican politicians and leaders are scanning the political landscape and finding that they will need the votes of minorities and women if they are to ever be successful in claiming the office of US President again and that to accomplish this task will be difficult and time consuming, it appears that they have decided to abandon it. Instead, they have opted to go with obstructing or blocking the ability of those who normally vote for Democrats from voting.

The gutting of the Voting Rights Act is only one of the steps that Republican politicians have taken toward achieving their goal of claiming the Oval Office without building a bigger and more inclusive tent. Others include the ‘One Person, One Vote’ clarification question raised in the Evenwel v. Abbott case that was heard by the US Supreme Court on Tuesday December 8, 2015, the continued push for ‘States Rights’, which allows the states power and control of certain legislative decisions that are currently made at the federal level, and the gerrymandering of districts that Republicans initiated when they were swept into power in 2010.

Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent and whether you agree or disagree with the opinion that I have expressed in this article, it is important that you get to the polls and vote during elections. I believe that Americans believe that The American Dream should be available to all of those who are willing to work to achieve it and that there should be a level playing field available to them on which they can  strive to accomplish their goal.  For this same reason I believe that a great majority of Americans, regardless of their party preference, will vote for the kind of fairness and opportunity just mentioned.  So, whatever your party affiliation, always remember that your vote is the most important one of all… unless you don’t use it!  Be sure to always vote!

Eulus Dennis

Senator Ted Cruz Loves Being Loathed?

Is there something wrong with Senator Ted Cruz or does he just love being loathed?  He seems to try so hard to get people to dislike him.  Is there a point to this effort?  Is it a hook that he feels will grab primary voters so that he can reel them in then have them catapult him into the position of Republican nominee?

For the sake of argument, let’s say that it is a hook to garner primary voters and it works.  Once he wins the nomination and has to become a viable general election candidate, will he be able to do it?  Even if he could temper his taste for being as close to the extreme right as humanly possible without actually being there and manage to scratch-and-claw his way back toward the center, does he love being despised so much that he simply could not bear to make himself likeable enough to win a general election?

Senator Ted Cruz is like Donald Trump’s fraternal twin brother; he does not look exactly like him or act exactly like him but he has many similar traits so, therefore, in essence is the virtual Donald Trump.  He is The Donald in disguise, so to speak.  He doesn’t look like The Donald but politically he walks like The Donald and talks – in a much more refined way – like The Donald so he must be…  Well, you get the picture, don’t you?

Senator Cruz has said and done a lot of dumb stuff but recently it just seems that he has lost it.  He has wrapped himself cozily in the endorsement of Troy Newman, the President of Operation Rescue and made some outlandish statements when he was asked during an interview on a radio show with Hugh Hewitt, what he thought about the shootings that occurred at the Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Here is how he responded to that question along with a few other, if not dumb but certainly unnecessary, comments that he recently made.

According to the ABC report, Hugh Hewitt asked Senator Cruz “about claims made by some that anti-Planned Parenthood rhetoric by conservatives could have inspired the shooting that left three people dead.”  Senator Cruz responded “You want to talk about inflamed rhetoric, Black Lives Matter has been caught, their protesters on film, chanting ‘pigs in a blanket,’ ‘fry `em like bacon.’  Now that is hateful rhetoric, and I don’t see any reporters asking Hillary Clinton when she meets with Black Lives Matter whether she agrees with those sentiments that we should be murdering police officers, Cruz said Monday”.

During that same interview Senator Cruz said “[Democrats] go in and fight to give the right to vote to convicted felons.  Why? Because the Democrats know convicted felons tend to vote Democrat.”  He also said that people view Democrats as being soft on crime because they appoint judges to the bench who release violent criminals.  In addition, based on an article in The Hill by Mark Hensch dated November 30th, Senator Cruz said ” Every time you have some sort of violent crime or mass killing you can almost see the media salivating, hoping, hoping desperately that the murderer happens to be a Republican so that they can use it to try and paint their political enemies, he said.”

Normally, I would not use so many direct quotes from articles published by someone else but I thought that this time it was important for me to do so in order for you to get the full impact of Senator Cruz’s statements in the event that you did not read those articles.  It is important that you get the full impact of his words because a person who is running to hold the office of the most powerful person in the world should avoid using this kind of rhetoric even under tremendous pressure and stress let alone use it when it is totally unprovoked and uttered on impulse.

No matter how angry and discontent that they might be, I cannot believe that the majority of the Republican electorate would want a Donald Trump or anyone like him, no matter how smooth and articulate that they might be – most times, as their nominee and certainly not as president of all of the people.  If they do, there must be something wrong with the Republican electorate; they have too many other highly qualified candidates to choose from.

Of course, being a solid Democrat I submit that all of them pale when compared to Hillary Clinton who has more experience and is the best qualified among the entire field of candidates to fill the job.  However, in the event that she should win the primary election but come up short in the general election – which is not impossible, it is paramount that neither Donald Trump nor anyone like him becomes president.

Howard Dean was on the All In With Chris Hayes show on, I think it was, December 1st and during his segment he commented on how Republican politicians were manipulating voting before he added, “But the voters will ultimately win.”  Although the adverb ‘ultimately’ – though warranted, just before win is somewhat discouraging, he is right; voters will win.  And so it is that the voters will determine who is like Donald Trump.  For the record, in my opinion that person is anyone who spews the same kind of rhetoric that Mr. Trump does and embraces his perspective on the issues domestic and/or foreign.

In a little bit less than a year we will know who the successful 2016 presidential candidate is.  Here’s to hoping that it will not be The Donald or anyone like him!

Eulus Dennis