White Supremacist Mr. Richard Bertrand Spencer

I read an article in The Washington Post by John Woodrow Cox on white supremacist Richard Bertrand Spencer. The article was dated November 22, 2016 and after I read it I felt compelled to coin a new word for how I feel about Mr. Spencer because while I admire his moxie and determination, I deplore – not him, but his ideals. Accordingly, this new word is ‘addemiplore’ (pronounced; ad – de – my – plore) which is a combination of the words ‘admire’ and ‘deplore’.

I took the liberty to excerpt one of the statements that Mr. Cox made in his article entitled ’Let’s party like it’s 1933‘: Inside the alt-right world of Richard Spencer. Mr. Cox said “But to those who track hate groups, Spencer is dangerous because, when he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t look or sound or act dangerous.” For exactly this reason, Mr. Spencer is indeed an extremely dangerous man. In the event that this observation by Mr. Cox is not clear enough for you, we can explore the ‘why he is a dangerous man’ a bit more deeply by way of this short anecdote. If you are ever confronted by two dogs and feel equally threatened by both you should always remember, it’s not the dog that confronts you, growls and bears its fangs at you to show that it feels that you are a threat and will attack if you do not freeze or if you continue to move forward; instead, it is the dog that will tuck its tail, lower its head and appear to cowardly slink away. That is the dog that will quietly sneak up behind you and bury its fangs in you; that is the dog that you must watch very closely.

Because, once it buries its fangs in you and brings you down, gone will be the dog that appeared cowardly and slinked away. It – in the case of someone like Richard Spencer – will immediately morph into an apex predator, grab you by the throat and hold that grip until there is no life left in you. And once it is sure that you are dead, it will take its time and completely devour you while relishing the taste of your yet warm and once life-giving blood. If this sounds overly gruesome, then I have achieved my goal. Because no matter how gruesome it sounds, I can never make it sound gruesome enough to describe what Mr. Spencer and people like him who pursue such a course are doing to the American people and the democracy that we espouse, stand for and hold dear!

Based on their comments in Mr. Cox’s article, it is Obvious that Mr. Spencer’s parents do not to agree with his politics. But like most parents who love their children, they will stand by him to the greatest extent possible without completely jettisoning the principles by which they themselves live. In other words, even if they do not support him in what he is doing, they will not give him up as reprobate unless – based on principle – they have no other choice. This is completely understandable. These things notwithstanding, I want to get back to why I find it necessary to coin a new word for Mr. Spencer and why I find him to be addemiplore.

While Mr. Spencer is a charismatic young man who can charm his audiences – friend or foe, and put them at ease with these skills, Americans must remain vigilant and not be fooled by him less we become his unwitting prey. I admire Mr. Spencer as a person who seems to hold deeply felt ideas and ideals about how he views America and who is willing to be a leader and fight for those ideas and ideals; and I would strongly defend his right to do this. But I deplore him as a person who dares to hold ideas and ideals that proclaim that all men are not created equal and are not endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights … And despite that admiration of his moxie and my commitment to defend his right to express his feelings and seek implementation of those ideas and ideals, I will even more strongly oppose him in his efforts to implement them.

These strong thoughts and feelings that I have and the pride that I have in my country and in being an American cause me to once again reflect on the meaning of the word statesmanship; a word that must surely be inscribed upon the hearts of all politicians who are true patriots. Hence, the thought that so many Republicans that I assumed to be statesmen have acted so cowardly prior to and during this 2016 general election is mind-boggling. How, in the name of democracy, could they have allowed for so many Americans to be disenfranchised in the name of party unity? How could they, and how can they, continue to observe these efforts at disenfranchisement and also stand back and watch President-elect Donald J. Trump thumb his nose at the American political system (he is breaking every rule and all of the political norms) while making a mockery of America and making us the laughingstock of the world? I can’t believe that this is happening…but it is. Have we no decency, pride or dignity left?!

The Republican party has been hijacked by Mr. Trump with the aid of Steve Bannon – whom Mr. Trump has selected to be his chief strategist, Richard Bertrand Spencer, and other white supremacists like him. Mr. Trump’s silence with regard to these white supremacists groups, until his hand was forced due to heavy political pressure, was deafening and his refusal until very recently – due to that same political pressure, to overtly denounce and distance himself from these white supremacist ideas and ideals continues to be frightening to many of the American people.

In addition to his reluctance to denounce and distance himself from these groups, he is continuing to surround himself with people who will only lead him further into the abyss; among these people are some whom many Americans associate with the white supremacist movement. Mr. Spencer is working very hard at trying to reinvent himself by referring to himself as ‘alt-right.’ But his efforts will never amount to anything more than putting lipstick on a pig; its still a pig.

And Mr. Spencer, no matter what he calls himself and how successful he might be at subtly coaxing others into calling him by that same title, he will still remain a white supremacist. And to avoid encouraging him and those like him and giving them impetus such as that which candidate Trump gave them throughout his campaign, that is what all Americans should call him. A pig with lipstick is still a pig and Mr. Spencer clothe in the title of ‘alt-right’ is still a white supremacist. He should not be so ashamed of that that he would seek to hide behind a word that he concocted, alt-right, (kind of like my made up word, addemiplore) if he harbors those beliefs.

Such a devastating defeat is hard to accept especially in light of the gigantic leap to the right which it appears that America might soon take. This defeat is even harder to swallow when Mr. Spencer and those like him who have been lurking in the shadows for so long have now decided to come out of those shadows to celebrate Mr. Trump’s victory and gloat. Although the Democrats received substantially more votes from the American people than did Mr. Trump and the Republicans, they seem content to remain silent while Mr. Trump, congressional Republicans, and the white supremacist hangers-on strive to grab the reigns of mainstream power. Right now, the Democratic Party still seems to be suffering from shell shock because of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s devastating loss to Mr. Trump and therefore are scared and unable to reason, walk or talk. Perhaps I am confusing that phenomenon with contentment. Regardless of why Democrats are not doing anything they are caught in a vacuum so where they go from here remains to be seen.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Senator Mitch, Mr. Whack-A-Mole, McConnell

Hello folks. These are obviously tough times for those of us who are Democrats but they are just as obviously ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ times for Republicans. Did you see the big cheshire cat smile on Senator Mitch (Mr. Whack-A-Mole) McConnell’s face as he stood just behind and slightly to the left of President-elect Donald J. Trump? Well, I sure did. I can’t remember for sure but I think that I was watching MSNBC when I saw it. It was history-making, breath-taking and epic in one amazing snapshot of Mr. Whack-A-Mole at his best; it revealed the ‘appearing’ portion of his whack-a-mole method of operation (MO). He appeared because the Republicans won the election and he wants to be sure to ingratiate himself to President-elect Trump by paying him the proper homage.

I have mentioned in other articles that I posted to this site how Senator McConnell knows exactly when to disappear and remain as quite as a church mouse and exactly when to reappear and take all of the hard-fought and hard-won credit that his fellow senators more rightfully deserve. After all, they were the ones, right or wrong, on the frontlines and in the trenches taking all of the incoming fully loaded projectiles of criticism for supporting, or denigrating, President-elect Trump. But let’s give credit where credit is due, there fearless majority leader was tucked away in a bunker as near to the front lines as it is safe for a whack-a-mole leader to be while strongly leading from behind. Leading from behind; isn’t this something that he and the rest of the Republicans have regularly accused President Obama of doing?

Now, just because I said that Senator McConnell knows exactly when to reappear does not mean that he does not peek out of his hiding place from time-to-time prior to his reappearance to see what is going on. These sneak peaks are where the ‘disappearing’ and whack-a-mole portion of his MO come into play. If we talked about it from a football perspective he would be like those slot guys – Edelman, Amendola and Wes Welker. Or if we talked about it from a running back perspective, he would be like a Barry Sanders; because he can stop on a dime, all but miraculously move backwards as fast as he moves forward, change directions laterally so quickly and quickly start and move forward again that when you think that you have him corralled so reach out to grab him, you find that he is gone and you are left grasping at air. This man, Senator Mitch (Whack-A-Mole) McConnell, is amazing. Maybe that’s why it is so hard to get a drink with him; he is totally elusive, kind of like the invisible man. And you have to give him credit, the man is quick!

But I digress due to my awe of Edelman, Amendola, Wes Welker and the amazing Barry Sanders. Please indulge me though and allow me to further explain why I say that he is quick! Digression notwithstanding, I am almost as much in awe of the slot man/running back-like abilities that Senator McConnell has perfected and continues to possess in the world of politics; and at his age! Anyway, when Senator McConnell pops up out of one of his holes to see what is going on and the press spots him; before they can whack him and pull him out of his hole so that they can restrain him and ask him questions, he has ducked back into his hole and they are left whacking at air.

Then, because he did not procure all of the information that he needed when he popped up the first time, he pops up in a different place and the same thing happens all over again. He manages to successfully do this until he determines that it is safe for him to come out of his hiding place so that he can claim his prize. And when it is safe, he comes out and claims it. But this does not bother the rest of those elected officials in the Washington Republican Party pride because they know their place in the food chain and their pecking order in the pride so they patiently wait and then squabble over the remains.

As long as things are going well, Senator Mitch Whack-A-Mole McConnell will remain above ground and be available to the press. But as soon as things begin to go bad for Republicans, you will see him line up in the backfield or slot position, the count will be called – ready, s e t…, hut. Immediately the Republican offensive line will surge forward, as will the media’s defensive line and you will hear the grunts and groans from both the offensive and defensive linemen as they struggle to gain the advantage.

The supporting linebackers and other defensive backs will defend against the pass or run to the best of their ability. Whatever position that Senator Mitch Whack-A-Mole McConnell is playing, he will receive the ball. The defensive linemen, linebackers, and other defensive backs will think that they have him corralled; but when they reach out to grab him…poof, he will be gone. And they will be left grasping at air until the next time that he decides to appear. Like I said before, the man is quick!

By the way, did you see the expression on Senator Mitch McConnell’s face when a reporter asked him if he is comfortable having Steve Bannon as President-elect Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist? In the event that you did not, it looked like… Well, there is no picture – other than the original one captured, or any words that I can come up with that can properly convey that expression. But I can tell you what his response was; it was, “It’s nice seeing you guys.” Upon those words, the press personnel were chased (well, not literally…I hope) from the room. I wonder…were those code words for rescue me and get them the hell out of here? I wonder…

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Democracy, Is This Really It?

I recently read an article in the New York Times by Michael Wines that talked about the long lines that voters waited in while trying to vote in the presidential election this year. That same article also talked about voter ID requirements that have been put into place since the Voting Rights Act was gutted by the John Roberts led Supreme Court and how although many of those ID requirements were struck down by various courts around the country, some states disregarded the rulings and applied them anyway. It went on to say that even in those states that in good faith tried to abide by the courts’ rulings, they experienced so much confusion during the election that many of the officials at polling places applied these outlawed standards anyway.

It further said that there were long lines due to the purposely limited number of polling places and problems with voting machines. The frustration that resulted from these new voter ID requirements caused many people to just stay at home and not vote and for those who did venture out to vote, all of the previously mentioned problems combined caused many people who were in line to give up without casting their ballot. The article also said that many ballots that were mailed in were not counted and tossed out due to signatures that did not appear to match those that were on file. Republican officials at all levels of government were aware of these problems but were content to wink at them because it served their partisan purposes.

Finally, the article stated that likely little can be done about what occurred during the 2016 election and although the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been fighting these voter ID requirements in the courts and will likely continue to fight them all the way up to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, with the election of President-elect Donald Trump and those that he would nominate to the Supreme Court, victory for the ACLU would be unlikely.

Is this really happening in the year 2016? Is this really democracy and what democracy is all about or have those that we have elected to represent us just completely lost their minds?! The right to vote and voting are core principles and major building blocks that help to form the very foundation of our democracy. Have our elected officials become so aloof that they presume to take away the right to vote of those who elected them to office simply because it suits their partisan purposes and boosts their political clout? Have they become so arrogant that they openly do this and do not even fear any backlash let alone consequences? In light of what is happening, I believe that they have!

It seems that politicians no longer go to Washington to represent those who elected them; they go there to build their political capital so that they can either run for higher office, line their own pockets or do both of these things. There is a reason why President-elect Trump won the election and our politicians had better realize this and do something about it before it is too late. They had better stop listening to all of these highly-paid lobbyist, return to how things were when statesmanship held meaning and was not just a 13-letter (bad luck for America?) word, and start listening to the people who put them into office if they want to see America prosper and grow.

Voters are aware that if our elected officials are to be able to govern effectively that there will have to be compromise. We know that we will very seldom, if ever, get everything that we want. Most of us are simply middle class hard-working people who want a few simple things out of life. Things like being able to earn an income that will enable us to own a nice home in a nice neighborhood, own a nice car (and maybe a recreational vehicle), have some reasonable semblance of a savings account, send our children to college – should they choose to go, and be able to live comfortably when we retire.

Most of us don’t envy the rich folks. Sure, there are those among us who would not mind being one of them, although there are likely many more of us who eschew this desire because we would not want to bear the stress that they endure to protect their money at all costs and their burden of the struggle to choose between shunning their personal greed – which, by the way, would not in any way diminish their lifestyle – or altruism. We do not want to take their lifestyle away from them so that we can have the previously mentioned things. But we do want them to do their part and pay their fair share to assure that America remains strong and financially viable. We want them to realize that, among them, they need not be the recipients of an astronomical percentage of all generated revenue in perpetuity out of the fear that if they are not, then they will cease to exist.

So our politicians should commit right now to return to the days when, although they were never looked upon without some degree of suspicion by their partisan counterparts, when push came to shove they were statesmen who always put country first and did the right thing regardless of their party affiliation. Whether or not politicians choose to do this is their decision. But this hell-inspired determination by the Republican Party to take away the right of legitimate voters to vote in the name of Party unity and to assure that their Party’s visions and policies will prevail is not their decision. No matter how virtuous that they perceive those visions and policies to be, the decision to vote or not to vote lies with each legitimate American voter who holds that right. And for the Republican party to take it upon themselves to deny any legitimate voter the right to vote is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Partially as a result of this obstruction along with all of those previously mentioned things, America has taken an unexpected giant step to the right and elected Donald J. Trump to lead the way forward. This is a democracy, the people have spoken and although many Americans are in a state of shock because we did not believe that anything like this could ever happen here; it has indeed happened. And all of us who are traumatized by it must resolve ourselves to the fact that President-elect Trump will become the President of the United States of America. We must accept this but as Democrats we must also continue to stand on our principles and fight hard to always make America a better place that is fair to all of its citizens. As President Obama said, perfect is unattainable but better is good.

At this point, it appears that President-elect Trump is stoked by a Steve Bannon mentality that is relentlessly motivating him to relegate many Americans to a second-class citizen status in the name of making America great again; this “better” is not among the ingredients in his “make America great again” plan. What he must realize is that he is no longer Donald J. Trump the candidate but he is now Donald J. Trump President-elect of the United States of America and that it is incumbent upon him to be the president of all of the American people.

He has likely by now been made aware of deep, dark secrets of America that Americans, other than its presidents, will never know. If he is a true patriot, he will embrace and accept these secrets on behalf of all American people and hold them forever in confidence. And despite the promises, and there are obviously many, that he made to his supporters before becoming privy to these secrets, he must make country his first priority and truly be the president of all of the American people.

Whether or not he will chose to be the president of all of the people remains to be seen. As things stand right now, however, based on those that he has thus far chosen to surround himself with since becoming President-elect, he has decided to thumb his nose at America and instead follow a path of divisiveness, racial and religious animus, and hate. He deviated from all of the norms during the primaries and general election and, against all odds, was successful. Hopefully this will not provide impetus for him to continue in that vein once he becomes president.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Trump And Trump-Supporting Republicans Prevail

President-elect Donald Trump, congressional Republicans and elected Republicans throughout America prevailed on November 8th. Let there be no doubt about the fact that President-elect Trump won with the assistance of all of these Republicans even though they said that he is a con man who is unqualified and unfit to hold the esteemed office of President of the United States of America. They were a dominate tag team that gave us Democrats a whipping that we should never forget; and they did not even respect us enough to spare us the shame and humiliation of this whipping by taking us behind the woodshed to do it, they did it in public for all the world to see.

But just like they gave us a good whipping whether we admit it or not, all of them are responsible for assisting President-elect Trump to win this election whether they admit it or not. And they should be held accountable for this come the 2018 and 2020 elections no matter how hard they try to squirm their way out of it. They were a dominate, devastating and effective tag team because while congressional Republicans were obstructing all of President Obama’s policy efforts and blocking his nominees to fill open positions – the latest of which was Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, elected Republicans around the country were working hard to put laws into place to prevent legitimate voters who normally vote for Democrats from voting.

That plus WikiLeaks, the Russians, and their secret weapon in the form of FBI Director James Comey won the day for them. This is not the kind of Republic that the great majority of Americans envision and espouse. The election of Donald J. Trump the nominee was a poignant, sobering and disheartening day in history for far too many Americans. Ethnic minorities and targeted religious groups took the brunt of President-elect Trump’s hateful fury and this has emboldened hate groups and encouraged their reemergence to prominence.

I don’t know what kind of a president that Donald Trump will prove to be but I do know what kind of a candidate that he was. He was a candidate that appealed to the darkest fears of Americans and during his entire campaign he spouted a message of divisiveness and hatred. He now says that he wants to be the president of all of the people. He says that he wants to pull the country together and be my president despite the fact that the KKK and all stripes of white supremacists are coming out of their dark corners, celebrating his victory and proclaiming him as the hero whom they have long awaited. President-elect Trump cannot prevent them form doing this but he can disavow these groups, denounce their ideals and publicly state that this in no way represents what America stands for. He can avoid placing people on his staff who agree with the ideals of these groups and have regularly encouraged and promulgated their message of hate and divisiveness. But he has not done this.

President-elect Trump will be the president of the United States and I will respect his title and the esteemed office that he will hold. However, I do not respect the man. I do not accept the things that he, based on the rhetoric of his campaign, espouses and I do not accept a “Trump’s America.” I cannot and will not accept an America that reduces people of color to second class citizens, disparages women, ostracizes people because of their religion, works to obstruct or prevent legitimate voters from voting and purposely pits Americans against one another in the name of a so called effort to “make America great again.” I will peacefully fight against the implementation of a “Trump’s America every step of the way. America has always been great, is great now, and will remain great unless we succumb to this so called effort to “make America great ‘again‘.”

We must keep a close eye on President-elect Trump after he becomes president and monitor his every action closely. If he makes any effort to implement any of the hateful and divisive things that he talked about during his campaign then Americans, elected officials or not, must fight him every step of the way to prevent them from being implemented. President-elect Trump is not irredeemable but he has proven that he can and will lie effortlessly. And he has proven that his word carries little, if any, weight and that he will say whatever is expedient in the moment to please the audience that he is addressing if it will garner him the complements and adoration that he so much desires and seems unable to exist without.

I was traumatized by the election of President-elect Trump and can be counted among the many Americans who are anxious about him and his policies and concerned about how he will lead America forward. Already by talking about dismantling the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), scrapping Roe v Wade, defunding Planned Parenthood and dissolving treaties and other agreements that we have with allies, it appears that his leading America forward involves a large dose of first leading her backwards.

Only time will reveal President-elect Trump’s and his tag team Republicans’ true intentions. During the interim we can only watch and wait…and plan for 2018 and 2020. However, while we are watching and waiting we must remain vigilant; otherwise, we run the risk of being taken by surprise and losing yet again. But like Secretary Clinton’s running mate Senator Tim Kaine said while quoting William Faulkner after their loss; “they kilt us but they ain’t whupped us yit.” Stay vigilant!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

The Donald Trump

Despite the overwhelming odds against him achieving his lofty goal to become the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world Donald J. Trump is now the President Elect and poised to be the 45th president of the United States of America. This occurred despite the fact that he insulted veterans, women, people with disabilities, religious groups, almost every ethnic group in America and belittled leaders in our government while praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders in China. It occurred despite the fact that he refused to accept the determination by 17 intelligence agencies that it was the Russians who hacked the DNC’s and Hillary Clinton emails. It occurred despite the fact that he made matters worse by defending Russia throughout the entire course of his campaign and even encouraged them to continue to hack Secretary Clinton’s email.

I have said before that Mr. Trump wants to put America in reverse, by destroying Roe v. Wade, defunding Planned Parenthood, working to repeal the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), dismantle treaties and other agreements with our allies, and the list goes on. He wants to do all of this to, from his perspective, “make America great again.” Many of the people that he selected to run his campaign espouse ideals that would make people of color second class citizens. When he says that he wants to “make America great ‘again’”, does that mean that he wants to push people who look like me back to the ‘good ole days’ of Jim Crow?

I hope that this is not the case but with the people that he selected to lead his campaign it is hard to believe otherwise. America has been a divided nation for a while now, but it was divided as a rainbow coalition. However, at first blush, it appears that those who swept Mr. Trump into office are a solid block of suburban and rural white voters and not a mixture of races. This does not make those supporters bad people; it simply indicates, at least initially, that our country is strongly divided based on race. And from my perspective, that is definitely a step backwards; a step in the wrong direction, which seems to be the direction that Mr. Trump wants to take America. It is frightening! As Eugene Robinson said on MSNBC yesterday, it seems that it is an America of the future versus an America of yesterday and the America of yesterday is winning.

The late author and poet, Maya Angelou said that “if someone shows you who they are, believe them…” Donald Trump has showed America who he is and I believe him. But I do not believe that by electing Mr. Trump that, as Americans, we have showed the world who we are. I refuse to believe that Mr. Trump represents who we are as Americans because I do not believe that he represents how the great majority of Americans feel. I believe that America is much bigger and much better than the one envisioned by Mr. Trump in the rhetoric of hatred and divisiveness that he spouted during his whole campaign.

Although Donald J. Trump personifies the substance of America’s timeless nightmare of every sort of prejudice and hate that exists in America and is the evidence of how far we have not come, he is also the unwitting catalyst of the perpetuation of the knowledge and hope that all Americans have and must stubbornly cling to. That knowledge is that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And that hope is that America will always continue to welcome those “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” and remain the premier example of democracy while we always strive to “form a more perfect union.”

Because America is by choice a melting pot of peoples, to sustain this knowledge and hope will likely mean that at times we will struggle to do so. But that is okay; we must embrace our diversity, realize that as Americans we are one, and always know that we are stronger together. The America that Mr. Trump envisions and is advocating through his message of divisiveness and hate is not the kind of America that the great majority of Americans want. To divide us and pit us against one another portends a dark future for America that can only culminate in chaos and destruction.

Election Day has come and gone and Americans have made what was, from the beginning of this election, a stark and serious choice as to who they want to lead America forward beginning in 2017. They have now answered the question as to who they want that person to be. It is Donald J. Trump. It is now too late for all of those who could have voted but stayed home, for whatever reason, to have any impact on the race. By electing not to do their civic duty they allowed others to make their choice for them. If they find that they do not like the direction in which Mr. Trump decides to take our country – out of embarrassment, they should not gripe and complain. They should remain mum and reflect on what might have been had they simply remembered the slogan “your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it!” and voted.

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Should Secretary Hillary Clinton Nominate Her Own Pick To Be U.S. Supreme Court Justice And Also Replace FBI Director James Comey?

Considering everything surrounding the FBI that has happened during the final 11 days prior to this year’s presidential election, should Secretary Hillary Clinton nominate someone other than Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court? I think that she should. And I am fairly certain that Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders would prefer that she select someone else as well. I won’t go further and presume to state how these senators might feel about whether or not she should replace FBI Director James B. Comey because I have no real feel as to their feelings about him to even begin to speculate; but from my perspective, I believe that she should also replace him.

My position concerning these individuals neither means that I believe that Judge Garland and Director Comey are not qualified to hold these positions nor is it meant to unfairly sully their character in any way. Permit me to explain my rationale for my position on this issue: I will start with Director Comey. With the stakes being so high with regard to the path that America needs to take as we move forward; in light of the fact that Director Comey is a Republican – or at least was one recently – and in light of the decision that he made 11 days prior to this election to release information on the Democratic candidate, which implied that he might reopen the investigation into her so called email scandal while refusing to release any information at all on the Republican candidate, I contend that there is just cause to closely scrutinize his motive for taking this action and seriously consider replacing him.

Based on the above misstep alone – especially since he took it in spite of Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s recommendation against doing so, I believe that he should be replaced. But there is more. Even after this mistake during the final 11 days of the election, the FBI released more potentially damaging information related to the Democratic nominee’s campaign with even fewer days remaining before the election. Further, information that could have a negative impact on the Hillary Clinton campaign continues even now to dribble from the FBI. Under the circumstances, whether the promulgation of this information is condoned by Director Comey or stems from leaks, his credibility as the head of the FBI is ruined.

Perhaps, you might say, one can argue that Director Comey should be replaced but what does all of this have to do with Judge Garland? Here is what it has to do with him. Judge Garland is also a Republican and he was, in part, nominated by President Obama as a compromise candidate because he was thought to be a non-controversial choice that the Republican Senate would move quickly to confirm. This conjecture by the Obama administration has proven to be wrong because President Obama nominated Judge Garland on March 16, 2016 and as of November 3, 2016 Republicans still have not confirmed him.

Instead, they initially talked about confirming him in a lame duck session if the Republican nominee is not elected to be president. Now, they are talking about leaving the number of Supreme Court Justices at eight until a Republican president is finally elected. The bottom line is that, whether Director Comey’s actions were the result of an accident, incompetence, or his loyalty to the Republican Party they likely impact – as they should – on the thinking of many Democrats as to how Judge Garland might function given a similar situation in the Supreme Court.

This does not make Judge Garland a bad person but neither does it make Democrats bad people who, regardless of how well respected that he is on both sides of the isle, speculate about what he would do if confronted with this kind of situation in the Supreme Court. Instead, it is my contention that it makes all parties concerned human.

And, again, with the stakes being so high with regard to how America will move forward, I am among those Democrats who believe that Secretary Clinton should nominate a more liberal candidate. Someone whom she feels comfortable with, can at least trust to avoid conducting themselves as FBI Director Comey has conducted himself, and who will to the best of their ability make decisions based on their interpretation of the law and conduct themselves in accordance with respect for the highly esteemed office that they have been entrusted to hold.

Even if Secretary Clinton is elected, if the election does not also result in the election of a senate controlled by Democrats, she would likely not be able to get her candidates confirmed. As regards Judge Garland, even if Republicans decide to select the option to confirm him in a lame duck session, if it is possible to withdraw his name, Secretary Clinton should do that. The Republicans should not be allowed to have their cake and eat it too – as they have become so accustom to doing, by being pliable only if the situation is handled based on their rules and only if they are obliged to do so.

For far too long Republicans have spoken with pride about refusing to accept anything that even looks like compromise and if not given their way 100% opted for Washington gridlock instead. And for far too long Democrats have chosen to be the good guys (some might refer to this ‘good guys’ label as the adults in the room while others might refer to it as spineless) and accept these Republicans’ antics with only passive gripes and complaints. But regardless of your title preference for these well-intentioned Democrats, they must stop being passive and stand up to these Republicans or they will continue to bully them.

Common sense would dictate that bullying Republicans would come to their senses and agree to work to find common ground and compromise. However, the scary thing is that it is plausible that playing politics for so long where compromise is concerned, with little to no resistance from Democrats, has deprived them of common sense. Common sense has long since left and so now trying to force Republicans to accept compromise is like playing a game of chicken with a kamikaze pilot; their whole mission is focused on winning whether or not they survive the crash.

For those Republicans who at any cost want less government, smaller government, virtually no government at all or in whatever terms you want to put it, this game of chicken could be a long sought after and welcomed challenge. What if Democrats do not swerve in time to avoid the crash threatened by these self-made kamikazes? What would happen then? Would America just ultimately self-destruct? It is no wonder that they are afraid. Maybe I should be afraid too; and possibly would be if I were in their shoes and had their grave responsibility in this matter.

But, in the heat of my emotions and concern that Democrats should not tolerate being bullied by Republicans, I digress. This article is meant to drive home the point as to why Secretary Clinton, if she is so fortunate to win this election, should replace FBI Director Comey and why she should also withdraw Judge Merrick Garland’s name from consideration for Supreme Court Justice and replace him with her own nominee.

So I will get back to the point; based on all of the previously mentioned reasons, Secretary Clinton should submit the name of someone of her choice to replace Director Comey and submit her own pick to be Supreme Court Justice even if Republicans obstruct the confirmation of her choices to replace these individuals. Because just like their standard bearer, Donald Trump, has so skillfully done over the years in many of his battles with the courts via blocking parrying and delaying until things were resolved in his favor Washington Republicans have obstructed President Obama’s agenda masterfully for eight years. So a Clinton decision to replace Director Comey and submit her own pick for Supreme Court Justice can’t make matters any worse…or can it?

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

Donald Trump Questions If Colorado Is Truthful In Its Vote Counting

Can Republican standard bearer Donald J. Trump go anywhere and be around anybody or anything for any reasonable length of time without insulting them or it? I am beginning to believe that the answer to this question is a resounding no. The Donald recently campaigned in my great state of colorful Colorado and based on Trump standards, was on his best behavior. He has been here a few times before and during his speeches he stuck to slamming the people and things that he regularly slams like Hillary Clinton, Paul Ryan, the Republican Party, the American election system in general, and anyone else who doesn’t support him. However, this time when he was here he veered off course.

From out of the clear blue, he implied that Colorado might be cheating in counting our votes. Then he pointed to the audience and told the audience to watch us; then he looked into the camera and said, we’re watching you. It is Autumn, the leaves are changing colors and it is beautiful! Now I did not hear him say – or imply – that our trees weren’t green enough; or that the change of colors of the trees wasn’t all that great, or that our state isn’t all that colorful. But who knows what might come out of Donald Trump’s mouth next, right?

So if he comes back to Colorado a few more times before Election Day there is no telling what he might say. Well, just in case he is even thinking about slamming Colorado in that way – you know, talking down the trees, their coloration and things like that; in paraphrasing Representative Louie Gohmert I issue this warning. Republican standard bearer or not, I will not tolerate the Republican (gulp) gentleman casting aspersions on Colorado’s asparagus! If you don’t know anything about Texas Representative Louis Buller “Louie” Gomert, Jr. then you probably won’t get the joke…

Anyway, Mr. Trump just seems to find it impossible to not insult people who do not agree with him or things that do not meet his standards. I must admit that he is a formidable adversary who seems to love the very idea of it being him against the world. And he has worn me down more than anyone in any election before has worn me down. It is not the kind of wearing down that normal politicians dish out to their opponents and those in the public who may or may not regularly follow presidential elections and become weary of the obfuscation and hyperbole, it is more like the wearing down that one might experience from being placed in solitary confinement for a long, long, long, long time. It tends to boggle the mind. You want to escape it but the odds of success are miniscule. So like that prisoner that is placed in solitary confinement, in order to survive, you endure it.

To survive Donald Trump’s antics during this election and continue to move forward, I find a bit of levity to be helpful and, without doubt, necessary. Paragraphs two and three of this article was my attempt at that. If you didn’t find it to be funny, don’t worry, it’s okay. It would have been good if you were able to get a good laugh out of it but I will admit that I am in survival mode here and I was being selfish; it energized me and made me feel better.

I imagine that with the way this election has been conducted there are a whole lot of people who are weary and will be glad when it is over. Even if you are one of those who have never before thought about America putting a shorter election cycle into place this election has probably made you at least think about it. As for me, I think that a shorter election cycle is worth considering right along with getting all of the big money and dark money out of it as well. Wishful thinking, huh?

For anyone to experience this election and maintain their sanity might prove to be a struggle but to experience it without it having an impact on how they view our political system and its process is all but impossible. At the very least all of this is frustrating and has the potential to discourage people so that they stay at home and do not vote. I am asking that you not allow that to be the case with you. It is imperative that you do not let your frustration with the system prevent you from voting because your vote is the most important one of all…unless you don’t use it! Think about it; your vote just might be that key vote that determines who will occupy the Oval Office beginning in January 2017!

Eulus Dennis – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line