Voters Have A Responsibility To Help Educate Themselves On Political Issues

Allow me to begin by stating that I have read the entire Mueller Report.  It is important that I begin with that statement because there has been a lot of talk on cable news shows lately about how congress needs to educate the public on the information contained in the Mueller Report.  Many of the cable news contributors on these shows say that this is necessary if congress has any real expectations of getting the public to support them in impeaching the Mr. Donald J. Trump of the United States of America, Mr. Donald J. Trump.  Really?!  I am not against cable news or any other media doing its part to help educate the public but, come on; we must take part in our own political education just like we did when we were in K-12 school or college.  If we don’t, even if “education by congress” does work, it will definitely encourage voters to feel privileged, expect to always be pampered and continue to expect to be spoon-fed.  We will continue to be lazy when it comes to politics, performing our civic duty and protecting our precious democracy.

What the cable news stations really need to do is to find a way to virtually grab all of us who consume cable news and the rest of America by the collar and shake us until we come back to our senses!  They need to shake us back into reality!  This is our democracy that we are talking about and whether or not it will continue to exist as we know it, if it continues to exist at all!  It is not the responsibility of cable news or anyone else to spoon-feed us when it comes to political issues and politics; especially when these issues could have an existential impact on our democracy itself!  We should not need to be spoon-fed when it comes to this!  What am I missing here?!  Are we so busy enjoying life that we don’t even have time to do our patriotic duty to help save our country from disaster?!  Are we so consumed with self that posterity does not matter?!  What about our children and our children’s children?!  Do they not matter?!

Of course, not all Americans are political geeks who obsessively follow politics; as a matter of fact, many Americans hate politics and do not want anything to do with it.  But this does not mean that they should not take the time to educate themselves on political issues and always remain educated on current political issues so that they can intelligently vote for or against candidates who are in office or for or against those who are running for office.  Voting is our civic duty!  And if we vote without having any knowledge of the issues and just on election cycle sound bites, we are derelict of duty and might as well not vote at all.  Let me be clear, I am not encouraging Americans to not vote at all but rather to get informed, stay informed and always vote.  No one expects voters to research all candidates in office or who are running for office to the “Nth” degree but it is certainly reasonable to expect them to get informed on the issues and not simply vote based on sound bites and/or the aesthetic appeal of a candidate.

The Mr. Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and his attorney general, Mr. William Barr have lied to the American people about the Mueller Report and are leading them down a rabbit hole that is taking America back to the Jim Crow days and pre Roe v. Wade days.  Mr. Trump has openly sided with President Vladimir Putin against his own American intelligence community – which Attorney General Barr is now investing to determine whether or not their investigation of Mr. Trump as it relates to Russia and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election began as the result of corruption in the American Intelligence Community – and he has sided with a dictator while on foreign soil to disparage former Vice President Joe Biden.  These are only among the most recent disgusting things that Mr. Trump has done to debase the office of the presidency and embarrass America in the eyes of the American people, America’s allies and the world.  And yet, almost all of the U.S. senators – under the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and congressional Representatives continue to support, protect and enable him.

It is extremely important that all Americans, regardless of our party affiliation, take a step back and look closely at what is happening in our country right now.  We must stop assuming that our democracy is so strong that it does not demand our attention as voters because nothing can possibly hurt, let alone, destroy it!  All of us need to focus in on what Special Counsel Mueller said when he said today that “all Americans” should be concerned about what Russia did in our 2016 election, that they are likely to try to interfere in our 2020 election and that they will likely continue to interfere in American politics into the future.  It is incumbent upon all American voters to educate ourselves on the issues and remain educated on ongoing issues.  It is and has always been important that we vote.  But in these perilous times in which our democracy and its founding principles are being tried and tested to the limit, it is of the utmost importance that all Americans fulfill their civic duty and vote.

So I want to take this opportunity to encourage all voting-age Americans to always vote.  And if somewhere along the way for any reason you find yourself making an excuse as to why you don’t need to cast your ballot always remember, 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

Pro-choice Vs. Anti-choice Not Pro-choice Vs. Pro-life

The Donald J Trump of the United States of America continuously sucks all of the oxygen out of the room with his never-ending outrageous antics leaving very little if any for the discussion of other important issues.  One of those issues that are not being discussed is abortion and its nexus to Roe vs. Wade.  Roe vs. Wade has recently come under attack by the Republican Party and is in serious jeopardy of being overturned or at the very least, diluted to the point of being virtually meaningless.

This sudden flurry of laws banning abortion – in many cases without any exceptions for rape or incest, being past in states controlled by Republicans should have a chilling effect on all women who desire to control their own body and an awakening effect on all families.  Whether these distracting events orchestrated by Mr. Trump are by accident or on purpose, all Americans need to take some time and exert whatever amount of effort is required to refocus on how our country is being governed.  I want to take this opportunity to do what I can to assist all voting-age Americans, who might have become sidetracked, and lost their ability to remain focused to refocus.  Hopefully I can do that by way of this article.

For as long as I can remember, Democrats have too often been extremely passive when it comes to how a political issue will be branded and how the narrative of that issue will be set and controlled.  Democrats regularly sit on the sidelines, play by Republicans’ rules (although Republicans constantly break their own rules when it suits their purposes) and allow Republicans to brand political issues, controversial or otherwise, and set the narrative as they deem appropriate.  Why is that?!  For some reason – since Republicans have reverted to giving it their all to overturn Roe vs. Wade by introducing myriads of ridiculous abortion ban bills, their “pro-life” mantra has stuck in my craw.  To be clear, I get sick-and-tired of hearing them ramble on about how they are pro-life and not like those pro-choice Democrats who believe in killing innocent babies.

I am not sure who decided that Democrats should be labeled pro-choice and Republicans labeled pro-life.  Regardless of who chose the labels, to me, to be pro-choice does not automatically preclude one from being pro-life!  Whose life are Republicans talking about anyway?  It is reasonable to assume that they are referring only to the life of the fetus.  But what about the life of the woman who may be the victim of rape or incest; what about the lives of her immediate and extended family, do they matter at all in what impact such a decision will have on their lives?

How many lawmakers would feel the same way if their daughter or loved one was the victim of incest or rape?  Would they feel the same way about abortion; especially in these racially divisive times, would a white lawmaker feel the same way about this law if their daughter was raped by an African American?  Would an African American who favors overturning Roe vs. Wade feel the same way under these same circumstances?  This is an issue that should be argued by reasonable lawmakers under circumstances that are void of the volatile and tribal atmosphere that currently exists in our American politics.

Although this article is primarily meant to draw voters’ attention to the eminent jeopardy that Roe vs. Wade is in due to the nexus between it and a woman’s right to control her own body (in this particular case to choose whether or not to have an abortion), there are two points that I want to leave you with.  Since this article began by addressing the words “pro-choice” and “pro-life” – while at the same time addressing my loathing of the word “pro-life” being in essence identified as the antonym of “pro-choice, I will address that issue first.  My first point is that regardless of who chose the words “pro-choice” and pro-life”, it is time for all Democrats to step up now and stop using the word “pro-life” and begin using the word “anti-choice” instead.

During any discourse about abortion, whether or not Republicans use the word “pro-life”, Democrats should use the word “anti-choice.”  Pro-choice is not synonymous with anti-life.  We must stop allowing our opponents to brand the issue and frame the narrative so that it suites them and then spin or change those things when they no longer suit them.  My second point is closely related to the suggestion to stop using the word “pro-life” as it relates to any discussion regarding abortion: and that has to do with Democrats regularly acquiescing to Republicans on issues that Democrats oppose them on, complacently accepting Republicans’ branding of these issues and allowing them to control the narrative.  Democrats should stop automatically giving Republicans the gift of acquiescence now and seriously weigh in on the branding and framing of the narrative on these issues.

This issue regarding abortion and Roe vs. Wade is not just a women’s issue, it is a family issue and it is an issue that impacts on all Americans.  Accordingly, all Americans should come together and demand that our elected officials resolve this issue in a reasonable way.  In order for them to resolve it in a reasonable way the discourse associated with it must be conducted in an atmosphere free of tribalism and partisanship.  All voting-age Americans have a part to play in this; first, we must forsake divisiveness, resist our impulse to resort to tribalism and return to being reasonable with one another.  Then, we must work together to put reasonable politicians – whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents – into office.  This way we can agree to disagree while remaining civil: politicians will be able to do the job that they were elected to do and America will be better for it.

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

To All Americans Who Have Not Read The Mueller Report

I implore all Americans, especially those who are old enough to vote, to read the Mueller Report.  And if you do not have the time or the patience to read the entire report (it consists of two volumes and is 448 pages long), PLEASE at least read the “Introduction To Volume I”, “Introduction To Volume II”, and the Executive Summaries of volumes I and II.  If you read those, you will understand why the summary that Attorney General William Barr wrote and publicized and the press conferences that he held before he released the redacted version of the Mueller Report were, respectively, a farce and – at best, a publicity stunt by a Donald J. Trump toady! If you read these Introductions and Executive Summaries, I am confident that it will whet your appetite so that you will be more likely to read the entire report.

The Attorney General, whether he/she is a Republican, Democrat or Independent is supposed to be the Attorney General of the American people.  Unfortunately, Attorney General Barr is conducting himself more like the personal attorney of Mr. Donald J. Trump.  And because he refused to turn over an unredacted copy of the Mueller Report to congress, which congress has a right to see, the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold him in contempt of congress.  Further, the Donald J. Trump of America has said that the White House will ignore all congressional subpoenas.  Finally, almost all of the Republicans in the Senate and House have supported Mr. Trump for more than two years and are now supporting him in the position that he has taken regarding this matter.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has even echoed Mr. Trump in saying “case closed” as far as the Mueller Report and its findings are concerned.

Senator Richard Burr – Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was mentioned in the Mueller Report for leaking information to the White House about the Russia investigation.  One of Senator Charles E. Grassley’s aides was mentioned in the report for the effort that she made to find then candidate for president Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.  And as previously mentioned, almost all of the Senate and House Republicans supported Mr. Trump either openly or tacitly in making it difficult for the Mueller team to get to the bottom of those issues that brought about the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election in the first place.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell even refused to bring a bipartisan bill to the floor of the senate for a vote to protect Special Counsel Mueller from being fired.  The Mueller Report determined that Mr. Trump tried to fire Mr. Muller on more than one occasion.

The rule of law and the very democracy of the United States of America are being challenged and far too many Republican lawmakers (one would be too many) are choosing Party and reelection over Constitution and country.  Our country needs all Americans to step up and demand that all politicians who swore to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States abide by their oath and do their job!  We need to remind them that their duty is to country first, not Party and personal ambition!

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