2-20: Hoover-Haunted America

Hoover Hovers

Names on buildings matter. Ask Donald Trump. Which is why I resent—and remain totally befuddled by—the continuance of the FBI building in Washington, D.C. still bearing the name of the reprehensible J. Edgar Hoover. Unless FBI really stands for Federal Blackmail Institute.

Hoover reigned unchecked over his personal clandestine empire for half a century. While his tough talk about gangsters, communists, and Nazis garnered blissful praise among his countrymen, his well-known and well-documented hatred for Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, among many others, was overlooked, if not out-right forgiven. J. Edgar Hoover was a patriot, the lazy wanted to believe.

For anyone who holds dear the notions that America is a republic, a democracy, and a nation of law, the tyrannical power Hoover wielded must be abhorred. J. Edgar Hoover was a bum.

Rumors abound that Hoover remained in power untethered because he held “dirt” on politicians, up to and including presidents. He threatened them, one after the other. He degraded the mighty and manipulated the masses. We survived Hoover, but as a nation we did not come out unscathed. His life is an historical blot. Only Death was able to end his monomaniacal ruthlessness. Why is his name still on that building?

Today, a new crisis has arisen.

Lefty that I am, Trump is not my guy; but he is our president. I accept that. I don’t like his cabinet appointments, I believe he is eroding our standing in the world even worse than “W” did, and I fear that he will eviscerate the commonweal by sledgehammering the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, and other government programs that reflect our empathetic nature as a people. That said …

The Constitution does confer broad powers to the president. Scary, maybe, but there you have it. The assumption John Q. Citizen hopes to be true is that, when POTUS acts in our name, he does so having pondered deeply the exhaustive information provided to him by subject matter experts.

Therein lies the rub.

President Trump can’t be bothered reading. He has all but declared open warfare with “Intelligence.” Because he has said that he does not trust the many agencies that gather, report, and summarize sensitive information for him, their prime consumer, they have allegedly decided to withhold information from him. I agree 100% with the career professionals who believe that Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner do not belong anywhere near national security briefings. But, alas, I do not have a say in the matter.

I don’t trust Donald Trump to “do the right thing” ever. But my opinion really doesn’t matter. Nor do I trust our Big Brother organizations to decide independently which data bits they will provide to, or withhold from, the president. Is this a Constitutional crisis? I don’t know.

I do know that I do not want federal employees, avowed agents of the government, making unfettered, unilateral decisions about the manner in which they choose to perform their jobs. Hoover is dead. Long live democracy!

End

Release the tax returns!

[I write about politics in this blog because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

2-16: 306 Electoral College Votes

Nothing Else Matters.

I have been trying my darnedest to avoid writing about, much less attacking, the 45th President of the United States. I truly have. But to even mention that his narcissism dominates every news cycle is understatement. There is simply no escaping his ego.

Donald Trump demonstrates over and over again that he cannot focus on anything, or anyone, other than himself. He believes, I’m sure, the universe revolves around him. So tremendous. Unbelievable.

Toss away the Protocol.

I was driving along midday Wednesday. News report: President Trump is greeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. Nothing special in this innocuous gesture … except there was. The public—nay, the world—knew this meeting was scheduled. The President, uncharacteristically for a president, greeted the Prime Minister’s motorcade personally. Okay, a bit ostentatious, but okay.

The real curve ball came with what happened next. Trump and Netanyahu held a press conference before their meeting. Odd.

Remember, I’m driving, so the road has most of my attention. Each man praised the other almost dotingly, noting how they had known each other for many years.

Diplomacy by Association

Then things got weird. A reporter asked Trump if he would comment on incidents of anti-Semitism in America. He would. He prefaced his reply with a reminder of how proud and honored he was to have received 306 electoral votes. More to the point … Trump noted that his son-in-law is a Jew, his daughter is a Jew, and he has Jewish grandchildren. Anti-Semitism? Not in the Trump family, the center of …

It gets weirder. Another reporter asked about Trump’s views on the Israel-Palestine issue. Well, he said (paraphrasing here, no quotes), I used to be for a two-state solution, now I think one state is alright. Whatever they decide.

Then, as if the hole needed to be deeper, he ribbed “Bibi” just as little. You’re going to stop building over there for a little while, right? I didn’t hear a response from Netanyahu. So rude.

Press conference over. Can’t wait to hear how the meeting went.

Buckle your seat belts. Tighten your crash helmets. We’re in for a bumpy ride.

End

[I write about politics in this blog because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

1-12: Presidential Farewells

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

For all the vitriolic speech that accompanies our election cycles, the presidency itself seems to mellow the officeholder. Although I am not a big Ronald Reagan fan, there is no denying that he was “The Great Communicator.” And so, having just heard Barack Obama’s official farewell to the nation–a wonderful speech, in my view–I thought it interesting to revisit Reagan’s goodbye.

My fellow Americans:

This is the 34th time I’ll speak to you from the Oval Office and the last. We’ve been together 8 years now, and soon it’ll be time for me to go. But before I do, I wanted to share some thoughts, some of which I’ve been saving for a long time….

People ask how I feel about leaving. And the fact is, “parting is such sweet sorrow.” The sweet part is California and the ranch and freedom. The sorrow—the goodbyes, of course, and leaving this beautiful place.

You know, down the hall and up the stairs from this office is the part of the White House where the President and his family live.… The view is over the grounds here to the Washington Monument, and then the Mall and the Jefferson Memorial. But on mornings when the humidity is low, you can see past the Jefferson to the river, the Potomac, and the Virginia shore. Someone said that’s the view Lincoln had when he saw the smoke rising from the Battle of Bull Run….

Welcome, refugees.

I’ve been thinking a bit at that [view]. I’ve been reflecting on what the past 8 years have meant and mean. And the image that comes to mind like a refrain is a nautical one—a small story about a big ship, and a refugee, and a sailor. It was back in the early eighties, at the height of the boat people. And the sailor was hard at work on the carrier Midway, which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. And crammed inside were refugees from Indochina hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship and safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck, and stood up, and called out to him. He yelled, “Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.”…

It’s been quite a journey this decade, and we held together through some stormy seas. And at the end, together, we are reaching our destination.

Prelude to Obama’s Tenure

The fact is, from Grenada to the Washington and Moscow summits, from the recession of ’81 to ’82, to the expansion that began in late ’82 and continues to this day, we’ve made a difference. The way I see it, there were two great triumphs, two things that I’m proudest of. One is the economic recovery, in which the people of America created—and filled—19 million new jobs. The other is the recovery of our morale. America is respected again in the world and looked to for leadership….

[B]ack in 1980, when I was running for President, it was all so different. Some pundits said our programs would result in catastrophe. Our views on foreign affairs would cause war. Our plans for the economy would cause inflation to soar and bring about economic collapse. I even remember one highly respected economist saying, back in 1982, that “The engines of economic growth have shut down here, and they’re likely to stay that way for years to come.” Well, he and the other opinion leaders were wrong. The fact is, what they called “radical” was really “right.” What they called “dangerous” was just “desperately needed.”…
Countries across the globe are turning to free markets and free speech and turning away from the ideologies of the past. For them, the great rediscovery of the 1980’s has been that, lo and behold, the moral way of government is the practical way of government: Democracy, the profoundly good, is also the profoundly productive….

Populism

Ours was the first revolution in the history of mankind that truly reversed the course of government, and with three little words: “We the People.” “We the People” tell the government what to do; it doesn’t tell us. “We the People” are the driver; the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the People” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the People” are free. This belief has been the underlying basis for everything I’ve tried to do these past 8 years….

I’ve been asked if I have any regrets. Well, I do. The deficit is one. I’ve been talking a great deal about that lately, but tonight isn’t for arguments, and I’m going to hold my tongue. But an observation: I’ve had my share of victories in the Congress, but what few people noticed is that I never won anything you didn’t win for me. They never saw my troops, they never saw Reagan’s regiments, the American people. You won every battle with every call you made and letter you wrote demanding action. Well, action is still needed. If we’re to finish the job, Reagan’s regiments will have to become the Bush brigades….

Nationalism

Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I’m proudest of in the past 8 years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.

An informed patriotism is what we want….

And let me offer [a] lesson … about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do….

Romanticism

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still….

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

*****

The illustration at the blog’s top is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.

11-11: Veterans Day

[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. I have chosen for Veterans Day to cite myself–to share an excerpt from my book, After the Storm.]

Putting Lipstick on a Pig

I do not believe the artificial rhetoric I have heard since the election about how the President-Elect will govern so much differently than he campaigned. I do not sincerely believe he can be magnanimous or gracious. And does he still believe that the election system is rigged? I believe we are in for a bumpy, humiliating, disastrous ride.

Yes, I am cynical. What came to my mind in thinking about an appropriate Veterans Day blog was our nation’s naiveté. I get that many, many voters simply dislike Hillary Clinton; I don’t understand it so much, but I get it. What I don’t get is the acceptance of Donald Trump as the alternative. I am honestly afraid of what his presidency will bring, the damage it will inflict on our culture, and the humiliation—at the least—we will suffer around the globe.

“Before” the Storm

As a way of introducing and summarizing Chapter 14 of After the Storm, “Pulling the Pin,” I cite a line from William Butler Yeats’ poem, “The Second Coming”:

The ceremony of innocence is drowned.

That’s how I feel about America today. In my view the electorate has “pulled the pin” and thus triggered a tumultuous, vindictive, dangerous bomb called Trump. It is impossible for me to imagine that our next commander-in-chief can in any way relate to the 20-year-old infantryman described hereunder.

“Pulling the Pin”

Not long after our first encounter with death …the platoon went out on patrol in a free fire zone … we found the terrain relatively easy to navigate …

We saw a small clearing ahead … Plunging straight ahead could be suicide for (my) squad … The plan came down that the squads on either flank would skirt the edges of the wood line, thereby establishing some lateral security, and (my) squad would advance cautiously across the open stretch: run a few steps one fire team at a time, hit the dirt, run a few steps, hit the dirt until we reached the other side.

As we dropped to the ground maybe twenty yards or so into the clearing, I saw a flash of movement behind a pile of dirt at the far left corner, that is, at the beginning of the woods we were headed toward. The mound itself looked suspicious because it appeared from the color of the dirt to be freshly dug. A bunker, perhaps; a foxhole; a grave?

Without much thought, I signaled to the rest of the squad and both flanks to stay down. Then I detached a hand grenade from my harness and low crawled directly toward the target. When I got close enough to feel comfortable that I could lob the grenade just over the berm thereby causing maximum destruction to whomever or whatever lay behind it, I pulled the pin, tossed the grenade, and still on my belly tried to squeeze my entire body inside my steel pot for protection, in case the shrapnel blew through or over the mound. Bulls eye…. I now had to inspect the result of my first deliberate belligerent act.

I’m not sure what I expected….

Over the years, I have remembered and thought sometimes very deeply about this incident…. I know that part of me died that day. For I knew from that instant what I am capable of. Without emotion, without hesitation, with no sense of guilt at the moment, I could kill. I could kill someone I never met and didn’t hate. My innocence lay shattered that day….

A paradox of war is that, within the context of this basest of human activities, individuals often discover in themselves and others the highest of human qualities: patriotism, honor, loyalty, courage, comradeship, dignity, love of life. The moment I pulled that pin, however, I discovered the nadir of my humanness….

In my very humble opinion, I do not believe we have yet witnessed the worst of Trump.

*****

The illustration at the blog’s top is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.e is an author and past Chaplain

 

 

11-9: Show Me

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

Show me,

Mr. President-Elect Trump, the American greatness you never identified or defined during your campaign. We are the same age, but somehow I missed “again’s” antecedent. Maybe it happened while you were getting your military training at boarding school and I was getting mine in the mud … while you got your three square meals a day in a dining hall and I was lucky to open a WWII-Era C-Ration can with a rusty P-38.

Show me the first brick with which you intend to build the wall. I will show you the names of nearly 60,000 bricks on “The Wall” in Washington, D.C. You remember them, don’t you? They were the losers who died fighting a war you avoided. I wonder, Mr. Trump, whom you dislike more: soldiers who die or the ones who merely got captured.

Show me how it is that “no one respects women” as much as you do.

Show me how you intend to deport millions of souls without papers.

Show me how you are going to lower my taxes in the same proportion you lower your own.

Show me how you are going to deal with nuclear proliferation. Oh, no, I forgot; you believe there should be more countries wielding nuclear capability.

Show me how a weaker NATO makes for a stronger USA and a more stable world.

Show me the jail cell which will house Hillary Clinton after, of course, you show me the court in which she will be tried.

I shall respect the office of the President of the United States. Show me you deserve to be there.

 

*****

The illustration at the blog’s top is the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. The blogger is a Vietnam Veteran, 1966-67. He is an author and past state chaplain for a major veterans organization. He welcomes comments on posts and encourages readers to subscribe to PTSDOutreach.com; two points: 1) it is free, and 2) posts appear directly in your e-mail in-box.e is an author and past Chaplain

 

7-28: Big Dawg

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

Clinton Does What Clinton Does

He didn’t change any minds in his convention speech about how people feel about him personally. With former President Bill Clinton there is no middle ground: people love him or they hate him. But he did manage to weave a convincing tale of spouse Hillary’s personal/professional life of helping others, whether in or out of office.

His delivery was pure Bill Clinton: finger wagging, pregnant pauses, and a bit of lip biting. Clinton haters tuned him out if they ever tuned him in at all. But for those who listened to him–I among them–his (a bit rambling) mingling of their love affair and her public works dove-tailed into a (again, for me) convincing argument as to why this woman, Hillary, his wife, former senator, former secretary of state should become the next president of the United States.

Clinton never mentioned Donald Trump.

Speaking of Whom …

Republican opponent, Donald Trump, said at a press conference that “if” Russian Intelligence hacked into the DNC’s servers to release the internal e-mails that brought down DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, he hopes that they go further. He would like RI–or whatever group hacked the DNC–to dig deeper to see if they can find any dirt on Hillary Clinton while she served as Secretary of State. This is serious stuff, folks. Think about it.

Meanwhile, Trump refuses to release his tax returns, as 100% of candidates for the presidency have done in the past. This only leads to speculation … which I will leave to the speculators … except for his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Wednesday morning Trump vehemently denied several times that he ever met the man. However, I remember him saying not so long ago that he and Putin shared a “green room” while waiting to appear on television. I can only paraphrase, but I remember him saying that at the very least this was a man he could “deal with.”

“Before the cock crows twice you shall deny me thrice,”

Jesus said to Peter, his rock. It’s a hyperbolic metaphor, I know. For me, however, it demonstrates the frailty of all humankind, the primal instinct of survival. Peter remembered his leader’s words, then wept in sorrow. I honestly do not believe that Trump and Putin are plotting against America as we know it. Putin aside, however, I do believe that Trump will say, and has said, outrageous things in the past for reasons known only to him. I doubt he cries.

Trump was one of the original “birthers,” many of whom continue to believe that President Barack Obama somehow came to this hallowed ground not as an American, born in Hawaii, but as a Muslim, born in Kenya. He even claimed that he sent a team to Hawaii to set the matter straight. To this day, his team, whose names have never been revealed, has not issued a declaration, an indictment, or statement of any kind regarding Obama’s citizenship. Yet the myth lives on.

Things to Come

As I compose this blog on Wed. afternoon, I look forward to seeing tonight’s heavy hitters, Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama. Gifted speakers both, I expect more unabashed optimism at this convention. In addition to touching all Americans, in general, I sincerely hope that entrenched Bernie Sanders supporters will embrace Hillary as the party’s nominee and turn their disappointment into affirmative action and work for Clinton’s election.

7-7: Patriot Parade

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

The week of July 4therism continues. This time it is a man and his golf cart “parading” in Sheridan, Indiana. Perhaps you’ve seen it.

Racist float in a 4th of July parade

This photo and story come with much balderdash about liberty and freedom of expression. Oh, and did you notice that the Obama effigy is half in/out of a toilet, decorated with the slogan “Flush Lying African”?

Yes, Golf Cart Driver has the right blah, blah, blah. But I don’t get the connection to democracy and freedom and pride in America. All I see is hate. Am I wrong? I see a racist rubbing his “freedom of expression” in every one else’s face. What do you see? And even though there is a huge “Trump” sign on top of the cart, I can’t blame Loud Mouth for this. I was taught that with freedom comes responsibility. I believe that.

I am missing something, I’m sure. Please enlighten me.

 

6-27: Nixon Wasn’t All Bad

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

Title IX

In June, 1972 President Richard Nixon signed into law the Higher Education Act, which included the incredibly game changing section known as Title IX. In brief, Title IX achieved equality for women [and girls] in all fields of scholastic and intercollegiate sport. If, for example, a high school had a varsity football program, the school had to offer a comparable program for females. In most schools, as a result, field hockey jumped from an intramural sport to a fully funded and recognized varsity sport. Boys track–girls track; boys baseball–girls softball; boys and girls gymnastics, swimming, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer.

All girls sports were sanctioned at the varsity level under Title IX and thus they competed, just like the boys, in conferences and state-determined sections. This was a huge deal and Nixon deserves much credit for signing this legislation.

Watergate

And then came the Watergate scandal. The Higher Education Act was a noble move on Nixon’s part. Watergate brought him nothing but disgrace.

Ironically, in 1973 on the anniversary of signing the Higher Education Act,

,,, Nixon’s advisor, H.R. Haldeman, tells the president to put pressure on the head of the FBI to “stay the hell out of this [Watergate burglary investigation] business.” In essence, Haldeman was telling Nixon to obstruct justice, which is one of the articles Congress threatened to impeach Nixon for in 1974. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/haldeman-encourages-nixon-to-ward-off-fbi?)

Of course the Vietnam War continued through Nixon’s presidency and, while he was reducing the number of ground troops, he was also authorizing overt air strikes over Cambodia thereby expanding the war he promised to end. What a complicated man.

The entire country was shocked, if not rocked, by the Watergate scandal. For most Americans, I think, that is his legacy, the action that comes immediately to mind when Nixon’s name enters a conversation. Title IX? That is something we all just take for granted today, forgetting its author.

Partial Pardon

For your work in support of women’s activities, Mr. Nixon, I salute you.

6-24: GI Bill Welcomes Soldiers Home

[I write about politics because of the direct link I see between the words and actions of politicians and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. America’s political class manipulates our military as though they were pawns in a global game of chess. To them, PTSD is merely an unfortunate cost of war.]

Here is one paragraph from an article on FDR’s signing of the G.I. Bill, formally known as the  Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. The full article appeared in This Day in History [http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-signs-g-i-bill?].

The G.I. Bill became one of the major forces that drove an economic expansion in America that lasted 30 years after World War II. Only 20 percent of the money set aside for unemployment compensation under the bill was given out, as most veterans found jobs or pursued higher education. Low interest home loans enabled millions of American families to move out of urban centers and buy or build homes outside the city, changing the face of the suburbs. Over 50 years, the impact of the G.I. Bill was enormous, with 20 million veterans and dependents using the education benefits and 14 million home loans guaranteed, for a total federal investment of $67 billion. Among the millions of Americans who have taken advantage of the bill are former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, former Vice President Al Gore and entertainers Johnny Cash, Ed McMahon, Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood.

Also among the millions who have taken advantage of the bill is me. I finished college thanks to the bill and I also took out a home loan on my first house. It was the first single-family home I ever lived in. FDR had the foresight and the guts to invest in the American people. Today many of his programs would be called socialist. They are. They worked. Through Roosevelt’s initiatives America did not fall back into a recession, or worse, after WWII. His treatment of soldiers coming home from the war, in my opinion, was the cherry on the top of his presidency.

Although the war was not fought in America, thousands upon thousands of Americans fought in the war. They interrupted their lives–and some gave their lives–in a cause that did not specifically affect them or their country. The G.I. Bill told them what they needed so badly to hear: Welcome home!

It is incomprehensible to me why our current legislators can’t do anything to help struggling Americans. If democrats propose free community college tuition for all, which they have, republicans call it socialism which we all know is akin to communism which we also know still threatens Western values and would bring about the downfall of civilization as we know it.

There is common ground, and it must be tilled. Washington and Lincoln found it, so did FDR. It may just be coincidental, but these were war presidents. Maybe the ravages of war led them to visions of better times, better times that were achievable. A key difference between the three presidents mentioned above and modern presidents is that the former were trying to end wars, while today’s leaders seem content trying out all the new toys corporations have made for them. Body count be damned.

The purpose and subsequent unprecedented success of the G.I. Bill should inspire today’s leaders. The economy does well when people have jobs, live in decent conditions, pay taxes, purchase goods and services. The time has come to put an end to endless war and say to our troops: Welcome home!

6-21: News Dump

Yesterday was a big day in politics. The Huffington Post led with this headline and story:

Senate Fails: Gun Control Bills Go Down

In the wake of the latest and most profligate shooting in American history, this deserves top billing. We I get upset every time bills related to gun control are proposed in Congress, because every time the result disgusts me. Gutless politicians apparently believe that a moment of silence in prayer is enough to assuage the nation. Legislation to these legislators is out of the question.

What irks me more about yesterday’s news is the next five headlines/stories, presumably set forth in order of importance. Orlando, we’ve had enough of you. Now we will tell you the really important events of the day–more important than digging deeper into the 49 lives lost in a nightclub. Here are the next four headlines.

Trump Campaign in Chaos: Donald Dumps Lewandowski

Another Advisor Quits after Tweeting ‘Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead!’

Report: Trump Children Led Ouster

Anti-Trump Delegates Prep for Convention Revolt

More follow below the fold, so to speak. This is what passes as news: everything Trump. I hope that the back room cigar smokers in the Republican Party come up empty when trying to devise a “Dump Trump” scheme. Despite all the Bill Kristol ball gazing, the harrumphing from the “establishment,” and the trivialization of his campaign by the media, Trump has wiped the floor with his staggering number of competitors and won the GOP delegate derby fair and square. He has earned the title “Presumptive Nominee” of his party on his journey toward coronation inauguration as President of the United States of America. The rules were set, he played by them, he won. The fact that candidate Donald Trump embarrasses so many in his party is, well, is too bad.

I believe a Trump candidacy is important for the nation–and a Clinton candidacy as well. The country needs to know just how “popular” the candidates’ views are. Trump’s wall is not a metaphor, it is real; is this what the majority of Americans want eating up their tax dollars. Oops, forgot, Mexico is going to pay for it. Does business success predict good governance? “W” had an MBA and led us into the greatest recession in 80 years.

These are important issues and should be taken as such by the electorate. But we are presented with hyperbolic candidates. Voters either love Clinton or they hate her, no in between,  love or hate. Democrats believe Trump is a joke and Republicans think he is a bad joke. I fall into the love Clinton camp for reasons not the least of which is the circus coming to town atmosphere I sense in Trump’s run. He has not yet convinced me that he respects the office he is trying to occupy. Ironically, perhaps, that is why I want to see him run. I want to see the actual percentage of Americans who would vote for him. My prediction, written here before, is no more than 20%.

If I am right, we could see the end of off-kilter candidates. If I am wrong, let the games begin.