Hey Speaker Ryan, Hey Majority Leader McConnell; How About Them Republicans?

Hey Speaker Paul Ryan, hey Majority Leader Mitch McConnell; how about them Republicans?  I’ll bet it isn’t hard for anyone to remember how Speaker Ryan, Majority Leader McConnell and the rest of the congressional Republicans railed on what a lawless president President Barack Obama was while he was in office.  Every time that he signed an Executive Order and many other times whenever they could find an excuse they would scream from the rooftops about how ‘lawless this president is’ and how he ‘has no respect for the rule of law.’  Now that Mr. Trump is in office, has signed numerous Executive Orders and blatantly ignored many of the principles and norms of the office – the latest being the pardon of sheriff Joe Arpaio, all but a few Republicans have remained eerily quiet.  And even those few who have finally spoken up waited as long as they possibly could before doing so.

Americans can only pray that Republicans will find a way to grow a backbone and contain Mr. Trump before he can do further damage to America.  Well, I guess that we American voters could decide to step up to our responsibility (and in the case of far too many of us, grow a backbone ourselves) and make sure that we always vote.  So I suppose that I shouldn’t say that we can only pray; but even if we step up we should still pray because we are going to need all the help that we can get if we are to survive Mr. Trump’s presidency.  You should know exactly what I mean if you have been following how Mr. Trump has been conducting himself since he took office; and that’s not to mention the fact that he appears to embrace the support that he is receiving from ‘Mike The Black Man’.  But ‘Mike The Black Man’ is a different story for a different post.

But I will say to my fellow African Americans that if you are embarrassed by ‘Mike The Black Man’ and feel that you can only duck your head and stare at the ground when someone who is not a person of color – okay, a white person – asks you about him, a part of that is okay.  In other words, it’s okay to be embarrassed; but you do not need to duck your head and stare at the ground because ‘Mike The Black Man’ does not represent us.  And that is what your response should be.  It should be that “‘Mike The Black Man’ does not represent me or the preponderance of African Americans.  He has a right to his opinion but he does not represent me and statistics support the fact that he does not represent the preponderance of African Americans.”

Anyway, the refusal of congressional Republicans to step up and put a stop to what Mr. Trump and his administration are doing is shameful.  It is not only those congressional Republicans who are refusing to put a stop to what Mr. Trump is doing who should be ashamed of themselves but it is also those in his administration who are willing to go along with him and enable him by either spinning the truth or telling lies themselves in the name of doing their job; especially when they know that what he is doing is destroying the very fabric of this nation.

Just like I did not believe that I would live long enough to see a Black man become President of the United States of America, I did not think that I would live long enough to see statesmen, Democrats or Republicans, who would put their ambition ahead of any situation which would threaten the very existence of our democracy.  But I saw a Black man become President of the United States of America and now…

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun.  We have always survived and we can survive a Donald Trump presidency.  But in order to effectively do that, congressional Republicans in Washington must step up and do their job and we as voters must accept our responsibility and step up and do our job.  I believe that too often too many of us take our freedom for granted and we shirk our civic responsibilities, among which is voting.  We have our differences now, and likely always will, but I believe that the great majority of Americans want to be fair and want all people to be treated equally in all matters in this country and that includes being treated equally under the law.  There is no doubt that we will continue to moan and groan and yes, even at times, literally fight among ourselves.  But if democracy is to survive as we know it, congressional Republicans and American voters must step up and be counted.

With America being the melting pot that it is the world does not, or at least it should not, find it odd that we oftentimes find it hard to get along and so as a result we squabble with one another.  Americans should not be surprised about this either.  What we should be surprised about and many of us are surprised about now is how our leader, the leader of the free world, is handling this not-at-all-new situation, his seemingly total lack of ability to handle it and those who have total power in Washington right now – the Republicans – lack of commitment in reigning him in and taking control.  We expect them to do this in order to preserve, and hopefully strengthen our democracy in our quest to form a more perfect union.

Very few if any of us believe that we will ever stop squabbling let alone stop squabbling soon.  But that’s okay.  What we must continue to fight to make sure of is that we preserve the right to express our right to voice our differences and that the leader of the free world will support us in our right to do that.  And in order to do this, no matter our differences, we must fight together to assure that our president will always support our democracy and we must fight to assure that he/she will express the wishes of the majority of the people in this great country and not his/her personal feelings or opinion and that he/she will not conspire with enemies, foreign or domestic – for any reason, to undermine our great democracy.  The best way to do this is through our vote.  We must assure to the greatest extent possible that all of our elected officials are dedicated to placing country above personal ambition and party.  So always remember, 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 – author, Operation Rubik’s Cube and Living Between The Line

The Real Donald J. Trump And All Of Those Congressional Republican Pseudo Statesmen Who Continue To Enable Him

This past week Mr. Trump has shown that he is no longer able to contain himself and continue to present this fake public image of who he is.  Instead, he has displayed his true colors by publicly defending the white supremacist movement and all of those groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, that are a part of it.  The elected leader of the United States of America who is supposed to be representing all of the people of the United States has made the decision to publicly champion the cause of white supremacists above that of the will of the majority of the American people.  He has chosen to expend his political capital in leading America back to the days when discrimination was rampant and African Americans were treated like farm animals and, in many cases, less humanely than those animals.

It has been no secret to most people, at least to most people of color, that Mr. Trump has always felt this way.  We were very well aware that his personal traits reflected signs of misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-LGBTQ, anti-middle class/non-rich and anti-people of color feelings.  But in an effort to give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him the opportunity to recognize the gravitas associated with the person in the high office that he was elected to – the highest office in the land, and rise above his personal feelings and represent all Americans; the majority of Americans were willing to swallow hard and give him a chance to lead America despite our doubts about his ability to do so.  This was due in no small part to most Republican elected officials, especially U.S. congressional Republicans, urging us to support him and allow him the opportunity to grow in his job.

Unfortunately, after Mr. Trump took office, he remained the same.  He showed no signs of a willingness to learn how the government operates from those seasoned politicians in office, no desire to gain any knowledge of American and world affairs, no interests in learning and understanding the art and intricacies of diplomacy and no desire to learn how to effectively work with the legislative branch of government.  He has shown no signs whatsoever that indicate that he has the capacity to grow into his job as the leader of the free world.  Instead, he has continuously publicly expressed his expectations that his cabinet and congress do his bidding and that that is their purpose for being there.  And up to this point, despite the fact that many of these congressional Republicans had said during his campaign that he was unfit to hold the office of president and that since he has been in office he has done myriads of things to demean it and thumbed his nose at congress and the American people while doing those things, Republicans have continued to support him.

But it is possible that Mr. Trump’s actions during the weekend and the early part of this week, to use a well-worn phrase, could prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Many of those pseudo statesmen who have been hiding in any dark corner that they could find for the past almost seven months are beginning to come into the light and quote the boilerplate talking points that they have all likely been given.  They are starting to say that members of their own party should not only publicly and plainly say that Mr. Trump is wrong in supporting the white supremacist movement but that they should call him out on this.  I hope that they will do this now because it is something that they should have done a long time ago.  Weighing their political survival against the survival of our democracy and/or irreparable damage to America’s solid reputation in the eyes of the world, whether those of our allies or enemies, and choosing the former over the latter is beyond shameful.

Those elected officials who have chosen to enable Mr. Trump over the past almost seven months without challenging his actions and his leadership should definitely step up now and be counted.  Although their effort to hem him in and contain him and the damage that he is doing to America may be late, it is better that they step up late than never step up.  Mr. Trump has already done severe damage to America and the American people and it is incumbent upon our elected officials to address this problem immediately.  I have said before that Mr. Trump has hijacked the Republican Party and is bullying real Republicans of all stripes into doing his bidding, which includes taking America backwards at a breakneck speed.  I have also said that there are too many real conservative Republicans with far too many good ideas about how America should be governed to allow so-called Republicans whose sole purpose is to wreak havoc and bring down our government to oust true conservative Republicans and achieve their goal.

Although I am among those Democrats who would likely disagree with many of those conservative Republicans and those ideas, because they have something to offer besides chaos and gridlock there can be reasonable discourse, problems can be solved and agreements can be reached.  It is likely that neither side will be completely happy with the final outcome but this is how democracy can and should work.  We will all still gripe, complain and lay blame but we will make progress and we will improve as a nation.  Wouldn’t that be much better than the mess that we find ourselves in now?

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

Things That Make You Smile…And Laugh

I had a long talk with a dear and good old friend over lunch yesterday and I thoroughly enjoyed him and our conversation.  When I say old I mean old as in long time and not age.  Although he might be a little old as in age too, that is not the point of this article and if ever talked about at all, it will be better if saved for another time and some other article.  If you know him, don’t tell him that I mentioned that he might be old because he might take offense.  It’s not likely that he would because he is a pretty easygoing guy; But he might.

Oh, that’s right.  You couldn’t tell him what I said even if you wanted to because I haven’t told you his name.  Well, his name is Burton NMN NLN.  NMN meaning no middle name and NLN meaning no last name; at least, neither of which that I am willing to share with you in this article.  But still, just in case that you might know him, don’t tell him that I said that he might be a little old.

Anyway, it had been a really long time since I had seen Burt until I attended a couple of the reunions that are held every two years for our particular close-knit group.  I saw him at the first reunion that I attended and I also saw him at this most recent one.  He was back in Denver again about a week after the second reunion and that is when, by pure coincidence, I saw him again.  That is when we had lunch together.  I told him that we could eat anywhere that he would like to eat and that it would be my treat.  I had forgotten that he was a vegetarian.  He took me to this vegetarian restaurant in South Denver and he had what amounted to a vegetarian club sandwich combo and lavender lemonade.

Since he is a vegetarian and I am not and he had obviously had this sandwich and the lavender lemonade before and I had no idea what it would taste like, let alone what anything else on the menu would taste like, guess what I ordered?  I ordered a vegetarian club sandwich combo and lavender lemonade.  Did you guess right?  I told him that I didn’t really like that vegetarian stuff that we had but the way that he was looking at my plate and how well I had cleaned it (it was much cleaner than his), I finally had to break down and tell him the truth; it was really pretty good.

I don’t know if it was our friendship and the warm and casual conversation that we had as we were catching up on things and the people that we mutually know that made the food so good but it was good.  My friend’s wife, who is a wonderful woman and his college sweetheart, whom he has been married to for xx years is a perfect match for him.  She is definitely his soul mate.  I have no doubt that she has a lot to do with him being the man that he is now; for most of us and most of the time our wife or significant other does. But before I move on, perhaps I should be clear about the ‘xx’ years I mentioned.  Although I don’t think that many people would assume that I mean 20 years, I want to categorically state that that is not what I mean.  ‘XX’ simply means that I am not going to reveal the exact number of years that they have been married.  Again, he is an easygoing guy and likely wouldn’t mind but…

We did not talk much about politics but we did talk about it.  So here we are again where readers of this post might ask, well if you didn’t talk about politics and this blog is supposed to be a political blog, why is this article in here?  Well, with the things that are going on in government right now, especially at the federal level, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, you are likely completely exhausted and need a breather.  Besides, if you read this blog regularly, you know that I have strayed from ‘strictly politics’ before and written about things like sports and country music.  So, this article is a little bit about politics and a lot about things that make you smile…and laugh.  My good friend Burt made me smile and laugh…a lot.  And that was refreshing, healthy, and good for the soul.  So in light of the chaotic political situation in Washington right now, especially in the White House, we all could use a little bit of that right about now, don’t you think?

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