2-13: Road to Political Perdition

Here is a story I missed last week. Saw it over the weekend at Huffington Post, reported by Sam Levine.

Michigan GOP Official Resigns after Calling for ‘Another Kent State’

Unbelievable! The article begins,

A Michigan Republican Party official has resigned his position less than a week after he called for “another Kent State” after protests at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dan Adamini’s comment was a reference to the 1970 incident in which members of the Ohio National Guard shot at student protesters [on the campus of Kent State University, Ohio], killing four and wounding nine.

He resigned as the secretary of the Marquette County Republican Party on Wednesday, after he faced widespread backlash over his comment.

Backlash? Is that all? Adamini was not exercising free speech, he was yelling “fire” in a crowded auditorium. He does not offer any explanation or express any remorse for making the comment. He does, however, rationalize the resignation of his secretariat.

“I have always been intent on being helpful to anyone I associate with, and at the moment, all the hatred and anger and threats are being directed not only to me, but to other members of the party … It’s made it impossible for me to be helpful. The desire to not be a distraction and a hindrance to the work of the party is what prompted me to do this.”

The work of the party!? Is this what we have become?

Violence is unacceptable.

The incident at Berkeley included what became a violent protest against the scheduled—then cancelled—appearance of Breitbart News’s Milo Yiannopoulos, a proudly self-proclaimed spokesperson for the political far-right. The eruption of violence was wrong and should be prosecuted as any illegal act.

Blood will have blood,” Macbeth bemoaned to his wife after he had slain King Duncan, thus foreshadowing his own ultimate demise.

Adamini and his ilk need to be reminded that the U.S. Constitution supersedes eye-for-an-eye vigilantism. This is the remark he tweeted: “Violent protesters who shut down free speech? Time for another Kent State perhaps. One bullet stops a lot of thuggery.”

Time to Worry

Thank goodness that at least this fool is not an elected official. But he is an apparatchik, and that scares me. Party fanaticism like Adamini’s has spawned personal animosities which has replaced genuine patriotism in America. Do we really want to continue along the road to political perdition? I don’t.

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.]

1-27: Another Despicable Cheney

[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.]

[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece from the Huffington Post.]

Shades of Cheney

I believe wholeheartedly that draft dodging, chicken hawk, former Secretary of Defense, former Vice President of the United States of America Dick Cheney is a war criminal. In addition to the countless corpses left in the wake of his neocon assaults on humanity I believe he benefitted financially through the award of no-bid war zone contracts to Haliburton, the company he led before he weaseled his way into the George W. Bush White House. And today Cheney’s shameless daughter, a Republican Representative from Wyoming, carries on the family business of evil.

With the exception of added subtitles (in bold) the article below is presented as in the original, in its entirety. These are scary people.

Liz Cheney Supports Waterboarding, Attacks CIA Torture Report

PHILADELPHIA ― Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) praised President Donald Trump’s reported decision to order a review of how the U.S. is handling the war on terror ― opening up the door to reinstating banned interrogation techniques previously used by the nation’s intelligence gatherers.

False Bravado

As Republicans in both chambers met outside of Washington to discuss their agenda for the year, Cheney told reporters she supports a review, and tore into the Senate’s CIA torture report. Cheney also asserted that waterboarding works, and that it helped in securing crucial information leading to the capture of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (a debunked theory).

“It’s been clear, certainly since we stopped the enhanced interrogation program, we’re not even in a position anymore, frankly, where we’re very often capturing people,” Cheney said. “We have nothing to do with people when we do capture them.”

Family Allegiance, Family Curse

Coming full circle in the debate over whether officials should use enhanced interrogation methods to extract information from prisoners, the freshman congresswoman echoed her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, on Wednesday, arguing that waterboarding is not torture.

Ignorance

“What we know is that the enhanced interrogation program provided some of the information, and some of the evidence, that eventually led us to be able to locate, capture and kill bin Laden,” Cheney said. “I do support enhanced interrogation, I think that it’s something that clearly has helped us in the past to save lives, and so I was glad to see President Trump take that step.”

Ineffective Brutality

Cheney said she expects the review, once finished, to reveal the “usefulness” of interrogation techniques like waterboarding ― a method used in the CIA’s detention and interrogation program for years. That CIA program was investigated by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and found to be more brutal than the CIA originally disclosed and ineffective in producing intelligence. Some details of the investigation were released in a 2014 report.

False Expediency

“The use of enhanced interrogation has been ― when it was in use ― very limited,” Cheney said, “limited to only three people who were waterboarded and used in a situation where we had to get information to save American lives.”

Orwellian Mumbo-Jumbo

“It’s the responsibility of any chief executive, any commander in chief to make sure we use every tool at our disposal,” she continued, “understanding that it’s not torture. We don’t torture, we haven’t tortured. What we’re talking about is the ability to get information from people who don’t want to provide information and who have information that could well save American lives and prevent attacks.”

False Narrative

Reminded that the Senate torture report refuted those claims, and pressed for evidence that such techniques were, in fact, useful in finding the courier that led intel officials to bin Laden, Cheney lambasted the document. (The full report remains classified.)

“That report was actually put together without interviewing a single person who was involved in the program, and you have people on both sides of the political aisle,” Cheney said.

End of Article

*****

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.

10-6: No Offense Intended

[I consult and consider many sources in search of appropriate subject matter for this blog. Often I find material that is best left (mostly) untouched by me, e.g., today’s piece from lefty blogger SemDem.]

Should we agree to disagree, or should we keep heaping trash on each other’s head? I have many friends and relatives with whom I disagree on political matters. They continue to be my friends and will always be my relatives. Having admitted and accepted all that, I offer the re-blog below, including the writer’s title, as a counterbalance to all that I have heard and read about Clinton/liberal/democratic issues from the other side. I read this piece as an indictment on Trump, himself, and a warning of sorts to voters who have chosen to ignore his failing(s).

I concede that Mike Pence did much better debating Tim Kaine than the top of his ticket did against Hillary Clinton. But he rated Zero at defending Trump’s foibles and character flaws because he simply did not answer direct questions but, rather, changed the subject.

If you tell me you are supporting Trump, I already know seven things about you.

Tell me you are a strong Trump supporter, then you are telling me (SemDem):

1.  You want to be ruled, not governed.

The single trait that predicts the Trump supporter has nothing to do with race, income, or education. A researcher at the University of Massachusetts found that the top predictor of whether a voter supports Trump is his or her proclivity towards authoritarianism.

Authoritarians obey. They rally to and follow strong leaders [This is a canard when applied to Trump. –pd]. And they respond aggressively to outsiders, especially when they feel threatened. From pledging to “make America great again” by building a wall on the border to promising to close mosques and ban Muslims from visiting the United States, Trump is playing directly to authoritarian inclinations [None of this makes him “strong.” –pd].

So spare me your lectures about market freedoms or any constitutional rights you claim to hold dear. You want a dictator …

2.  You have no class.

Seriously. You don’t. I’m sorry. I tried to revisit this one several times but I don’t know how to sugar-coat it.

It is NOT OKAY that Trump mocked a disabled person. If Hillary did that, it would be a deal-breaker for me. I’d go third-party, or write in my own name. I have standards. You apparently don’t….

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And please. Don’t tell me that you didn’t know about any of this. You know. You just don’t care. Hence, my statement that you don’t have class.

3. You are definitely not someone to do business with.

Yes, all politicians lie, but Trump is obscene with his falsehoods….

I only have one word to characterize Trump on this issue: taxes.

4.  You are either a racist, or at best, have no problem with racism.

I truly do not want to believe this one.

Trump threw out all the dog whistles and fully embraced the alt-right movement. He led the campaign to de-legitimize Obama’s presidency. He constantly complains that black Americans are violent and stated that Mexican immigrants bring “crime” and are “rapists.” He demanded that any judge who tries him be white! …

5.  You have an issue with women.

I don’t (want to) believe this one either.

Trump has brought a level of vulgarity that we have never before seen in national politics. From his attack on Megyn Kelly, to insulting Rosie O’Donnell … to his suggestion that Hillary and Carly Fiorina are too ugly to be president. Anyone who supports a man who doesn’t think twice about calling women “pigs” or “dogs” is not someone I want to deal with.

Thankfully, I have never heard a friend or relative talk this way.

6.  You aren’t really Christian.

I shall judge not. And I have plenty of non-Christian friends. I believe SemDem is attacking Trump’s hypocrisy.

Sure, tell me you are. But if you read Scripture, it’s pretty clear on this…. Trump, a man who refuses the fundamental tenet of asking God’s forgiveness, is the antithesis for everything Christianity is….

7.  You don’t believe in the Constitution.

For eight years I have listened to your rabid rantings on how Obama doesn’t follow the Constitution. Yet you support a man who said the US government should shut down mosques, curb our First Amendment rights, and forego due process on people he doesn’t like.  These protections are enshrined in our Bill of Rights, and you want to give them up. Trump also said he wants to end birthright citizenship, which is also in the Constitution….

That’s the thing that really bothers me, though. I respect people who hold convictions, even if they are different than mine, but Trump supporters … are authoritarian-prone sheep who will justify anything Trump says or does.

I guess I have to refer to SemDem’s piece as a vicious attack on Trump supporters. But I offer it, rather, as a scathing rebuke to Trump’s actions and meanness–the pundits now call this “temperament.”

9-14: Deplorable

[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.]

Many of my friends and relatives are conservatives/republicans. So blogging about the current state of political affairs in America gets a bit dicey for me, a stalwart left-winger.

Words, by definition, mean something. Turns out Hillary used two over the weekend that brewed up a storm: “half” and “deplorable.” She backed off the “half” part of her comment about the number of Trump supporters, but retained the “deplorable” as in deplorable persons … such as former Head Mucky-muck of the KKK David Duke, who along with other white supremacists whole heartedly supports the Trump-Pence ticket.

Meanwhile, in a single interview with CNBC Trump managed to hurl the following invectives:

8-8: Earth to Ben Carson …

[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.]

Bravo, Rio

The Olympics have begun. What a great break from the mundane, and by all standards I am aware of Rio is doing a great job as host country. But try as I may to ignore typical news fare Donald Trump is unavoidable.

This from blogger Hunter.

Trump doesn’t want to be self-praising.

“I’m (Dr. Ben Carson)–then hopeful that he will begin to put–to put out many of the stories that I am very familiar with, of things that he has done to help people who have been in very, very difficult situations.  You know, he–he feels that, you know, that’s self-praising, he doesn’t want to do it.”

That’s right. The reason Donald Trump has not been sharing stories of things he has done to help people is because Donald Trump feels uncomfortable with self-praise.

Oh, he could tell you stories of the kind and generous things he’s done—but that would be bragging, and Donald Trump is uncomfortable with bragging.

What is scary is that Carson himself was a candidate for the Republican nomination for POTUS. Do they all think that the rest of us are idiots? I guess they do.

Finding Respite

I am going to try to enjoy the vitality and comradery of the Olympic Games. I am going to try to ignore the on-coming Trump train wreck. I am going to try … but I bet I’ll be tempted to take a peak every now and then.

Connection to PTSD

The Games honestly uplift me. I honor the winner(s) no matter their country, and I cheer the non-medalists just for being there. I feel comfort in seeing athletes from more than 200 countries assembling in peace. What a concept!

8-4: Threatening Consequences of a Trump Loss

[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.]

Karoli Kuns writes under this headline in Crooks and Liars:

Roger Stone Foments Violence, Says ‘Bloodbath’ Will Ensue If Trump Loses

Kuns says:

Just when I thought I had gotten to the end of the most bizarre news day I’d seen in politics ever on Tuesday, it got weirder.

As news rolled out that Trump’s campaign is having a major morale failure, Breitbart published an interview the horrible alt-right racist Milo Yiannoupolos did with Roger Stone, who is Trump’s de facto campaign manager at this point.

Breitbart is noted for being far right and vitriolic in its faux news reporting.

A Trump loss would of course have to have been rigged, since, by his own acclamation, he is a hard working, job creating, sacrificing winner in all that he does.

Stone continued with his claim the election would be “rigged,” and then it got much, much worse. Inciting violence now for November.

“I think we have widespread voter fraud, but the first thing that Trump needs to do is begin talking about it constantly,” Stone said. “He needs to say for example, today would be a perfect example: ‘I am leading in Florida. The polls all show it. If I lose Florida, we will know that there’s voter fraud. If there’s voter fraud, this election will be illegitimate, the election of the winner will be illegitimate, we will have a constitutional crisis, widespread civil disobedience, and the government will no longer be the government.’”

The voter fraud red herring Republicans like to dangle every election cycle has been debunked time after time. It is simply a non-issue. It, Stone’s statement, gets worse.

“If you can’t have an honest election, nothing else counts,” he (Stone) continued. “I think he’s gotta put them on notice that their inauguration will be rhetorical, and when I mean civil disobedience, not violence, but it will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this and swear Hillary in. No, we will not stand for it. We will not stand for it.”

… This kind of talk from Roger Stone may be predictable, but it’s irresponsible, it’s evil, and it’s dangerous. Trump may well lose, but he will lose in a way that will leave no doubt that rigging was never, ever an issue.

Trump is drowning in his own hyperbole.

And, after all, that is the point. In my view, Trump has known for a long time that he is in this political foray far over his head. His ascension to GOP nominee for POTUS is an aberration he could only have dreamed of. Day by day he demonstrates his non-competence for this position, and he realizes that, in a non-partisan way, the populace is coming to that same realization.

In typical Trump fashion, he will never admit his failings, and he will never admit that his on-coming, legitimate landslide loss in November is as predictable as it is inevitable.

Connection to PTSD

George W. Bush was a rhinestone cowboy. He listened to–or more likely was pushed by–the devil, Dick Cheney, in international matters which, for his administration, meant going to war for fallacious reasons. I didn’t think it was possible, but a Trump presidency would be even worse. This wall builder-in-chief doesn’t have any advisers of note (although that’s arguably better than having Cheney at one’s ear) and he is prone to saying stupid, stupid things about matters both foreign and domestic. Since he is incapable of admitting mistakes, his hair-triggered tongue could lead to dire consequences.

Trump has pointed to these dictators as examles of effective leadership: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Moamar Ghadaffi, and Saddam Hussein. He has threatened to use tortuous techniques on unindicted prisoners that are “much, much worse than water boarding.” Eventually, these unfettered, untethered inanities place American troops in danger. Is that what we want from our commander-in-chief?

8-2: Speeches

[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.]

Polls on Convention Speeches

Polls are polls and can certainly be refuted. Statistics can be twisted into any desired configuration desired. Most important for me is my own instinct; I do not want to place my vote for president based solely on a candidate’s speaking ability, and definitely not on one speech. But speeches often do matter.

What struck me about the respective convention speeches over the past two weeks was that they seemed to summarize their respective quadrennial gatherings. For me, the GOP rhetoric in Cleveland was simply negative about everything. The very motto “Make America Great Again” implies that we live in a morass. “Stronger Together,” the Dem’s choice of rallying cry, works a whole lot better for me. It acknowledges that we are not perfect, while urging us to do better, to build “a more perfect union,” if you will.

Trump According to Gallup

… Trump’s speech got the least positive reviews of any speech we (Gallup) have tested after the fact: 35% of Americans interviewed … said it was excellent or good. Of the nine previous speeches we have rated, the top one was Barack Obama’s in August 2008, which 58% of Americans rated as excellent or good.

Clinton According to CNN

Here is the result of CNN’s instant poll on Hillary’s speech:

Assessment of the speech:

71% VERY positive

15% somewhat positive

12% Negative

I would like to see an analysis of how many times each candidate used the words “I” and “we.”

8-1: Republican for Hillary

[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.]

In case you missed this incredible speech at the Democratic Convention last week, it is a “must read.” Doug Elmets, the renegade, is as solid a Republican as one can be, having worked as a speech writer in the Ronald Reagan White House. His total defiance and rejection of Donald Trump is music to my ears. It also reminds me that not all members of either party are willing to compromise their core values to win an election at the sake of compromising the country.

Reality Check … and Guts

The speech in toto:

It is an honor to be here. Candidly, It’s also a shock.  Not because of the momentous nature of this event or the size of the crowd, it is a shock because unlike many of you, I’m a Republican.

Forty years ago, I  cast my first vote for a president, voting that day like I would do, time and again. I have not just voted Republican, I worked in President Reagan’s White House. I recently led an effort to place a statue of Ronald Reagan in California’s capital. I’m here tonight to say, I knew Ronald Reagan, I worked for Ronald Reagan. Donald Trump, you are no Ronald Reagan.

President Reagan famously said tear down this wall. Trump says, build a wall, because that will make America great again? Reagan saw nuance and Trump sees the world as us versus them, where somebody with brown skin or a foreign sounding name is likely to blame for our troubles.

Reagan knew that a leader needs diplomacy to steer us safe . Donald Trump is a petulant, dangerously unbalanced reality star. He will coddle tyrants and alienate allies.

I shudder to think where he will lead our great nation. Fortunately, I don’t believe he will get that chance.

While Hillary holds many policy positions different from my own, her qualifications are indisputable. Hillary knows that our strength as a nation lies in uniting, not dividing. This year’s Republican platform is the most alarming I’ve ever seen. It is laced with anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-women positions that do not represent the views of most Americans.

That is why this year, I will vote for a Democrat for the first time.

To my fellow Republicans, if you believe like I do, if you believe that loyalty to our country is more important than loyalty to a party, if you want a president with good judgment, a steady hand and a temperament to represent our nation to the world, and our children, I ask that you join me in voting for Hillary Clinton as president of the United States.

Thank you.

No, Mr. Elmets. Thank you.

7-29: The Russians Are Coming

[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.]

DNC’s Finale

Tonight (Thursday) we will hear from Hillary Clinton. Although not known as a particularly great speaker, she has to be better than her GOP opponent Donald Trump, he who speaks in superlatives and no facts. More than oratorical skills, however, is the substance of what speakers at both conventions have to say.

I came away from the Republican convention feeling dirty somehow. There was nothing uplifting about it. The world as we know it is coming to an end, only Donald Trump can right the universe, all Democrats are liars, end of story.

This week the DNC has played a more soothing tune. There were many more “we”s in the speeches that “I”s. For me, that works much better.

Russian Influence on the GOP

Trump is such a bombastic, hypocritical, self-serving liar that it’s difficult to pin anything on him. Having said that, consider these excerpts from Thursday’s Daily Kos, written by SouthSideDem.

The big news today is that Trump explicitly urged Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mail — i.e., to commit an act of espionage and cyberwar against the former Secretary of State and the current nominee for one of America’s major political parties.  It goes without saying that this is shocking, unprecedented, and beyond the pale.

But it’s not inexplicable.  Trump’s coziness with Russia in general and Putin in particular has become a feature of this campaign.  We know that his campaign manager, Manafort, has disturbingly close ties to Russian interests.  We know that Trump never fails to praise Putin, an autocrat, at every given turn.  And we know that Russia reciprocates the love.  There is a growing consensus in the intelligence community that Russia was behind the DNC hack, which shows that Russia and Putin believe that a Trump victory is in their best interests.

All of the above has been discussed at length in the media in recent days.  One question that has gotten less attention is why.  Why does Putin want Trump to win so badly?  What is it about Trump that is so appealing to the Kremlin?

Trump answered that today.  This aspect of his disastrous press conference has gotten less attention than his call for a foreign power to spy on his political adversaries, but it explains why he has Putin’s support:

Donald Trump said Wednesday that, if he is elected president, he would consider recognizing Crimea as Russian territory and lifting the sanctions against Russia.

At a wide-ranging news conference, Trump said he “would be looking into that” when asked about his stance on Crimea and Russia. The Crimean Peninsula has been part of Ukraine for decades, but Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the territory in March 2014 after a popular revolt toppled Kiev’s pro-Russian government.

I don’t believe Trump could point out Ukraine on a map. And his “looking into that” has been his catchphrase response to questions he has no clue how to answer.

http://www.politico.com responded to the allegation.
This is jaw dropping.  The annexation of Crimea violated international law and sparked a prolonged and bloody conflict in the Ukraine.  It was an unacceptable act of aggression that has no place in a post-WWII world.  But here Trump is, ready to “look into” giving it his official stamp of approval.
We knew Putin wanted Trump to win.  Now we know why.  Trump will not only turn a blind eye towards Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.  He will excuse, allow, and enable it.
Believe it or not.
The stakes of this election are unfathomable.  Trump must be stopped at all costs.
Update:   Timaeus makes a great point.  Trump has been bleating for months that he’s interested in reducing American support to NATO.  What he said today is simply a more explicit version of what he’s been saying along.  Trump is just fine letting our European allies fend for themselves.
Update II: Thanks so much for the rec list!

 

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.