Its not just Trump supporters who need a good talking to. Abe offers advice to Democrats too.
It only took four hours and some phone calls but my letter is on its way to the Sunday before the election Trib. Sadly I would have had to send it in yesterday to get in this Sunday’s Trib. I’m sure if the thirty day’s hadn’t interfered my letter would have counted as a free letter to the editor. Now it has cost me $62.50. No wonder political letters have all but dried up.
I also OK’ed an ad for myself on my Facebook Page. I’ll have spent about $20.00 each on four week-long ad runs. Unless I take up the offer Facebook sent me to get some of their professional advice on how to turn this post as an ad Were Republicans ever good?. I’m tempted.
BTW for your curiosity I have received not a single order for this book online…except for my brother…who graciously gave me a nice contribution as well. I have “sold” about 75 books by donation. I will not be printing out huge numbers of them but I will print out a couple extra when I put the printing order in. That won’t be any time soon. The last six weeks I haven’t had the long quiet stretches needed to compose a book…..just the short intense moments to crank out blog posts. I hope I’ll be able to clear my head after the election win, lose or draw. And in that time I will put together a quickie book (sort of a Harry’s Reader stopgap book as a freebie for those 75 unfulfilled orders. Then it will be on to my Idiot book about public education then if I can martial the concentration I hope to explain how the Republican Party turned out so cockeyed.
BTW – My “Idiot” Book comes from the famous quotation of Mark Twain: First God created the Idiot. That was for practice. Then he created the School Board.” I love that quote. I put it on my Education page in my first School Board related webpage.
Heck I just googled it and found three occasions when I broadcast that bit of spite:
www.snowbizz.com › WeltyforSchoolBoard
For God’s sake when I was in high school and a teacher’s orders were obeyed like … public that agreed with Mark Twain when he said, “First God created idiots.
www.snowbizz.com › ISD709
“First God created idiots. That was for practice. Then he created school boards.” Mark Twain. If you don’t read anything else on this page look at this. It is an …
The official source for all the blather of … – lincolndemocrat.com
lincolndemocrat.com › …
Jun 15, 2019 – The candidate I thought had it made in the shade, the ex-Chair of the ….. reference to finding stuff on my first website: www.snowbizz.com. … She embraced evangelical tenets, like trusting God, not one’s own feelings. …. He does his best to live up to Mark Twain’s assessment: “First God created the idiot.
Historians may conclude that Donald Trump’s four year reign of ego cost the Earth precious years to halt its pell mell race to destruction. Added to this I suspect most will conclude his presidency also will have set United States back precipitously. Among the things lost could be the confidence of the rest of the world that our founding fathers knew what they were doing in gambling on democracy.
Or, maybe America will realize its gamble on chaos demonstrated that we would be better off treating each other as the decent people most ardent Democrats and Republicans really are. If that happens… If the Rush Limbaughs and Fox talking heads are given the cold shoulder…. Just maybe America can come back stronger with Donald Trump and his clown car in our collective rear view mirrors. I just have one caveat. DONALD TRUMP, IF FOUND GUILTY, SHOULD BE LOCKED UP LIKE RUDOLF HESS IN HIS OWN PRIVATE PRISON.This would be both just and fair since he led the chants of locking up Hillary Clinton. Justice should be poetic.
I have always tread lightly on the subject of impeachment. Andrew Johnson a much more honest man was impeached. The Supreme Court and Historians generally concluded that his trial was bogus. I have come to think that just maybe his trial had merit but, nevertheless, I agree wiyh JFK’s assessment that the Republican Senators who voted not to remove him were brave and heroic.
Nixon would have been impeached but he left office to avoid it and the subsequent trial in the US Senate. Trump is said to be looking at stepping down too but, if so, it may be too late for that. Without the Presidency and the legal theory that argues that a President can’t be found guilty….at least by ordinary courts….private citizen Trump could be inundated with all manner of criminal trials. He would find it much harder to avoid losing post presidency notwithstanding his billions of dollars.
I was sorry that America held a grudge against President Ford for pardoning Nixon. I thought sending Nixon to prison would cause a terrible hatred to grow between Democrats and Republicans. I was wrong. Those divisions were sewn by the next generation of political mad men. Proof of that biliousness was just two decades off. It showed its ugly face when Republicans decided that lying to a jury about having sex with an intern was a “high crime and misdemeanor.” Compared to that travesty Donald Trump has wrapped himself in a web of deceit so tightly that he can no longer extricate himself.
Donald Trump should be tried honestly and if found guilty locked up. His crimes are so numerous and so onerous that no future candidate for the US Presidency should have any doubts that the Presidency would protect them from Donald Trump’s level of misbehavior.
Until now I was afraid impeachment might backfire on the impeachers. Now I would consider the Congress derelict if it failed to prosecute Trump even though the discovery phase of his trial/trials is barely out of the starting gate.
… its worth paying attention to the man who put an end to the last one, General and President Ulysses S. Grant:
“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition and ignorance on the other.”
I have been mining my old Not Eudora columns for the book I’m writing. One pseudonymous writer has been honoring me by throwing questions at my columns. I just discovered one such question that I missed. I missed it because I can only find my critics if I go back a few days later to the website of the Duluth Reader where, after my posts are uploaded, people are given a chance to comment. If I don’t go back I miss the questions and don’t answer them and I never saw this one. Having just found this one I want to answer it because my return to “modern” Republicanism to burn it down will make a lot of people scratch their heads over my intention to turn it into a Phoenix. The Party was pretty awful before Donald Trump. Under Trumplicanism its hair is on fire and I didn’t start that.
Here is Juan Percent’s question:
Harry – there is a major philosophical difference that separates you from modern republicans. The government is not the answer to your problems. You have that responsibility. How can you even consider yourself to be conservative?
I did not answer this in December of 2018. I will answer it here later today:
HERE’S MY ANSWER:
I’m a Presbyterian by upbringing if not a current member (although I’ve sung in our church’s choir for a quarter century) A Presbyterian lives in a church with its own set of rules not unlike those of the American Constitution. In the same way Americans codify seperate but equal branches of government to preserve us from a tyrant the Presbyterians insure that they can preserve the Presbyterian church for Presbyterian ideals that can only be modified with the consent of the majority of church members. How can this play out?
A few years back in Grand Rapids Minnesota a swarm of evangelical folks were swept into a Presbyterian church and drove the old timers out. They then attempted to take over the church building. My wife was one of the larger community of Presbyterians that let them know that under our church’s polity the church building belonged to the greater church not the take-over artists.
No such guarantees preserve old timers in political parties other than preserving their majority. In the case of both parties events have swept new majorities in and changed the platforms over the last 200 years. One party, Lincoln’s Whigs, simply disappeared.
I am not a modern Republican. That would be a Trumplican. I was not really much of a Republican before Trump when bloodless Ayn Rand aficionados, like Paul Ryan, ruled supreme. You really have to go back to Dwight David Eisenhower or Nelson Rockefeller to find my kind of Republicans who were also my Dad’s kind of Republicans. Farther back in my Grandfather’s day Teddy Roosevelt held sway. Those were days when the party proudly traced its lineage to Abraham Lincoln. Today’s Republicans are very much “Lincoln who?” I was shocked and pleased in my brief foray into the Democratic Party to discover that they held Abe Lincoln in high esteem.
Hitler was once modern. So much for mere modernity. Although my Grandfather would have cast a disapproving eye at “socialism” in his day, he didn’t want to take advantage of Medicare until my Dad convinced him he had paid for it, he would have understood that America’s NATO allies were all far more heavily invested in socialism than the United States. Judging by how miserable so many Americans are I think its long overdue to follow our allies lead because they do not have such wells of poverty, despair and ignorance in their nations as we Americans do.
As for “conservativism” that generally means holding fast to what has worked and will continue to work. I see little in the modern Republican Party but despoliation of the planet. That doesn’t work for me.
From his Facebook:
Seeing visuals of how the Trump Administration is treating children being “ processed” at our southern border, takes me back to 1947 when my parents decided to return to Sweden. They decided to send me to live with my grandmother and uncle who lived on the island of Gotland located well out into the Baltic Sea. This would give my parents time to find jobs and housing.
They put me on a train from Goteborg to Kalmar on the opposite coast. They gave me some money and notes with the appropriate Swedish words. The plan was for me to get off the train in Kalmar and then follow the signs directing passengers to the ship to Gotland.
When the train arrived in Kalmar, I got off and started looking for the signs with Gotland on them. But, I could not find them. Clearly, I was in trouble.
Within minutes, a young lady approached and asked me where I was going. Fortunately, she understood English and informed me that the ship to Gotland was not in service. The season for summer travel had just concluded.
The young lady identified herself as a member of the Police Department and that she would help me.
The only ships to Gotland were in service in Stockholm and that was some distance up the coast and the next ship left the following afternoon. The Police Community Officer put me up in a hotel room and brought in a huge smorgasbord. This was all paid for by the public.
I tried to be as helpful as I could in supplying the names of my relatives. However, I did not have their phone numbers nor even knew if they had phones. My mother’s maiden name was Magnuson and trying to track down my relatives with this popular name was a challenge. Before I went to sleep, that wonderful Officer said they had located my uncle and all was well.
The next morning, I was escorted to the train to Stockholm, greeted by the conductor and led to my seat. When we arrived in Stockholm, the conductor led me off the train and into the service of a Stockholm Police officer. He had a wonderful sense of humor which I so much appreciated as we went to the ship.
Once there, a ship’s officer greeted me and escorted me to my small cabin and helped me prepare for the overnight journey.
Early the next morning, the ship put into the port of Visby and there I could see my wonderful brother, Lars, waving and pointing to my relatives whom I had never met.
What an absolutely joyous occasion.
Here I am some 70 years later with such pleasant and warm memories all due to marvelous public servants who knew the power of love and kindness.
Why can we not treat the children on our southern border with more compassion After all, they only seek a better life.
Is that not what the American Dream is about?
I mentioned in the last post that generations of Southerners and Democrats libeled US Grant as a butcher. I found a 2013 post about how my Grandfather corrected my Fifth grade teacher who made that assertion to our class in the integrated Topeka, Kansas, elementary school I attended. That post also contains some more historical tidbits from the Civil War era. The post has the catchy Title GOP = GHASTLY ORGANIZED PUTRESCENCE PT 2
After my last Reader column “Juan Percent” challenged me on the Reader site asking:
JP Jun. 17, 2019
“Wasn’t Bush president in 2002? Harry, if you haven’t been a republican in 20 years, can you still call yourself a republican? BTW, the last time I checked, we weren’t in a depression… so maybe timing is important when you use tariffs? Harry, If now is NOT the time to play hardball with other countries who are cheating, when is?
You too may wonder how I could possible want to be part of a Ghastly Putrescent party. Here’s my Reply to JP Jun. 17, 2019 Continue reading
Here’s his obituary:
I think the first time I met Jerry was a little before I gave a horrific speech at the Radison Hotel in Duluth in 1972 or 73. A couple of friends and I stopped in the hotel’s bar and Jerry was there. One of my College Republican pals began jawing with Jerry who was a vocal Republican in DFL Duluth. After we left my friend told me how Jerry was brilliant in saving him over some legal scrape.
I wouldn’t meet Jerry again until 1976 when I ambitiously ran against Mike Jaros and got a meager 32% of the vote. The next election year, 1978, Jerry showed me how to silk screen lawnsigns and came over to my home in Western Duluth, off of Piedmont Avenue and we began printing them out. There were so many my yard wouldn’t hold them and I started laying them out in our neighbor’s adjoining yard. I did so without asking them and looked up in horror to see them scowling down at me. That’s when I noticed Jerry’s short fingers on one hand. I’ve never wanted to use a snow blower since that time.
Jerry ran for Congress against Jim Oberstar in 1974 hoping that a nasty split in the DFL could win him a miracle race. It wasn’t enough. Later he saddled up with Ronald Reagan and Senator Rudy Boschwitz. The later didn’t recommend him for a post he pined for but he stayed a loyal Republican ever so close to the inside.
He had wit and good humor but I’d have hated to face him in court. I didn’t know him so well that I can relate a million stories about him but if his kids are anything like their Dad I’m sure I’ll hear some good ones at his funeral on Wednesday.
Rest in Peace, Jerry.
. . . when my blog was new. That was from August through December. In the first ten days of June 2019 I’ve had 48,005 pageviews.
Actually, for my blog’s first five months, March 7th through July, no statistic engine was keeping track of my hits. That didn’t start until August of 2006.
If you’re curious here is my very first post on March 7th where I declare my departure from the Grand Old Party. Donald Trump has brought me back with a vengeance.
At noon I put up our US flag for Memorial Day. I’m not a fanatic about following the rules or it would have gone up at daybreak. I hope my Grandfather would forgive me. I don’t know if he put up a flag every patriotic occasion or not but there is no doubt he was a patriot. I lived in his shadow as a child. I haven’t read through these five posts to confirm it but it appears I might have told this story on the blog five previous times. When I was little and scraped a knee and came looking for my Mother’s solace she would tell me “Don’t cry Harry. Your Grandfather was shot in war and he didn’t cry.”
BTW – That’s such a tough love piece of advice that as an adult I took great delight in quoting it back to my Mother to embarrass her. And she was embarrassed. I’m chuckling at the remembrance now.
But I’ve only come to more deeply respect my grandfather, George Seanor Robb, as the years have passed. This blog has ample evidence of that and this post is just the latest. I’ve been thinking all through the Trump years that writing a book about him would be a good antidote to the Trump contagion. Damn me for my tardiness. I hope to start writing it after the Fall School Board election. Before that I’m hoping to publish another book.
George Robb used his prestige as a Medal of Honor Winner for good. As a big shot Kansas State Auditor he was asked by his Alma Mater for their advice on whether to admit a Japanese student during the Second World War when all Japanese-Americans in the continental United States were being put in internment camps. Here’s the post about the letter he wrote Park College.
In recent years little Park College has honored my Grandfather by setting up the George S. Robb Center for the Study of the Great War. If you follow that link you will see pictured African American men who served with my Grandfather in the trenches of World War I. Following that war my Grandfather was generous in his praise of his fellow comrades at arms. After the war racist Americans bent over backward to besmirch their reputations as fighting men.
Today the GSR Center is spearheading a long overdue evaluation of warriors who were denied the nation’s thanks for their valor and service.
This image, which I understand, was one person’s response to the following Facebook post about a planned vote for Bill Weld in the GOP Presidential primary:
I like all but one of the Democratic presidential contenders.* My favorite is Klobuchar. But since I think she has little shot at winning the nomination, I have just about made up my mind to vote in the Republican primary instead of the Democratic primary next year, and vote for Bill Weld. (*Gabbard is Trump-lite)
I know Weld is extremely unlikely to beat Trump for the Republican nomination (though can you imagine if he did?!) But I think Trump will be wounded in the general election if he comes out of the primary with only, say 75% of the Republican vote. Anything less than that and he would look like a sinking ship, from which rats would begin to flee.
Bill Weld was the Libertarian Party’s Vice Presidential nominee in 2016, and was formerly the Republican governor of Massachusetts — a blue state. Weld believes in low taxes and deregulation more than do, but he is also a believer in women’s rights and LGBT rights. He understands the threat of climate change.
And this is the way he talks about Trump…
I of course sympathized with both posts but I stuck up for the tactic laid out with this comment:
Re: the ethics of voting in “the other party’s” primary.
The GOP has gerrymandered, vote suppressed, put Kavamaugh not Merrit Garland on the Supreme Court and elevated an amoral, lying, narcissist to the Presidency. The GOP worked hard to make all this possible through the rule (or misrule) of law. Compared to all this, the legal right to vote in the primary of your choice in order to disrupt the other party in its depredations only makes sense.
That’s what I’ll be doing only in my case I will be honoring the memory of Republicans like my father and grandfather…long dead.
I am in awe of what sculptors can do with sand. I was asked to give it a try in Two Harbors thirty years ago at their Kayak festival and that was enough for me.
I also know that I’m not that dedicated a snow sculptor especially in terms of technique. Weather plays a role as well. I’ve done a number of presidents over the years. I’ve done Lincoln twice. The second time I did I too used the famous sculpture of him seated in the Lincoln memorial. It was a warm day and my sculpture wasn’t huge and sun defying. One fellow at church afterward told me he just didn’t think my sculpture was as good as others I’d made and that it didn’t look like Lincoln. Well the head was only a foot wide not six feet wide and he saw it the next day which was in the mid thirties and sunny.
I later used its picture as one of my 50 “trading card” pack for my 2017 school board campaign. You will note the sculpture was built near Lincoln’s birthday in 2006. That was the same time as the birth of this blog when I ran for Congress as the sole member of the “Unity” party.
Five years ago I began but quickly shelved an argument with the attorney I was working with who helped Let Duluth Vote challenge the Red Plan in Duluth. I told him that the law was tempered with politics. He strongly denied this, so much so I thought it useless to argue. But its true. Judges bring their political thinking and loyalties into their job just like they bring their other experiences and family connections. Many of them have to run for their offices. As is said of politicians: those who do not get elected cannot legislate, so to with judges; those who can not get elected cannot judge.
It is wishful thinking to expect all or even most judges to be blindly blind to the world around them and simply rule on the basis of sometimes out-dated or ill-worded laws when the public can throw bombs at them for doing so. Judges in India and Pakistan probably get year round police protection when they make unpopular rulings like the recent Indian Court that opened an Indian Temple recently to women of an age to menstruate.
With this prologue let me introduce the first four paragraphs of an Atlantic article on our Supreme Court’s Chief Justice John Roberts. They contain almost exactly my thinking about him. I’ve read no further than this for now but here’s the article in full and here below are those first four paragraphs: (This article appears in the March 2019 issue.)
Two years ago, Chief Justice John Roberts gave the commencement address at the Cardigan Mountain School, in New Hampshire. The ninth-grade graduates of the all-boys school included his son, Jack. Parting with custom, Roberts declined to wish the boys luck. Instead he said that, from time to time, “I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice.” He went on, “I hope you’ll be ignored, so you know the importance of listening to others.” He urged the boys to “understand that your success is not completely deserved, and that the failure of others is not completely deserved, either.” And in the speech’s most topical passage, he reminded them that, while they were good boys, “you are also privileged young men. And if you weren’t privileged when you came here, you’re privileged now because you have been here. My advice is: Don’t act like it.”
As Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s maudlin screams fade with the other dramas of 2018, Roberts’s message reveals a contrast between the two jurists. Whatever their conservative affinities and matching pedigrees, they diverge in temperament. The lingering images from Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing are of an entitled frat boy howling as his inheritance seemed to slip away. By contrast, Roberts takes care to talk the talk of humility, admonishing the next generation of private-school lordlings not to smirk.
The chief justice also carries himself in a manner that reflects his advice. He chooses his words carefully. He speaks in a measured cadence that matches his neatly parted hair and handsome smile. He is deliberate and calm, not just in his public remarks but in his work as a judge—and as a partisan. Roberts declines to raise his voice or lose focus, because he understands politics as a complex game of strategy measured in generations rather than years. He also recognizes, but will never admit, that although politics is not the same thing as law, the two blend together like water and sand. More than 13 years into his tenure as chief justice, Roberts remains a serious man and a person of brilliance who struggles, under increasing criticism from all sides, to balance his loyalty to an institution with his commitment to an ideology.
The first biography of Roberts has arrived, Joan Biskupic’s The Chief. It will not be the last. A well-reported book, it sheds new light but is premature by decades. (Biskupic is a legal analyst for CNN.) As our attention spans dwindle to each frantic day’s headlines, we can forget that the position of chief justice is one of long-term consequence. Only 17 men have filled that role, and they have presided over moments of national crisis, shaping our government’s founding structure (John Marshall), hastening its civil war (Roger Taney), responding to the Great Depression (Charles Evans Hughes), and enabling the civil-rights revolution (Earl Warren).
Roberts seems ever likelier to face an equally daunting test: confronting a president over the value of the law itself. A staunch conservative, he has broken ranks with the right in a major way just once as chief justice, by casting the deciding vote to save the Affordable Care Act in 2012. What will Roberts do if the clerk calls some form of the case Mueller v. Trump, raising a grave matter of first principles, such as presidential indictment and self-pardon? He portrays himself as an institutionalist, but we do not yet know to what extent this is true. He must necessarily prove himself on a case-by-case basis, which injects a note of drama into his movements. Roberts is the most interesting judicial conservative in living memory because he is both ideologically outspoken and willing to break with ideology in a moment of great political consequence. His response to the constitutional crisis that awaits will define not just his legacy, but the Supreme Court’s as well.
This Harry’s Diary post didn’t start out with a title drawing attention to my dawdling over posts. But its a good reminder to my eight loyal readers that I don’t always consider my posts finished even at first posting……and here’s a pic of the cookies we decorated for shut ins at Glen Avon Presbyterian last night.
I watched the funeral for President George H W Bush this afternoon. Last night I watched, for the first time, the two-hour American Experience program about George Bush. It is at least ten years old. I learned some new things most of which softened me up toward the man I wouldn’t vote for in 1992.
Although I voted for George and Ron in 1984 George lost my support initially when he joined the Reagan campaign as the VP candidate. In 1980 I couldn’t bring myself to vote for a Democrat so I voted for Independent candidate John Anderson.
My principle grievance is simple. As Reagan’s successors turned their back on Reagan’s “big tent,” George Bush could only succeed by being complicit in the new GOP regime’s marginalization of moderates like me and like George Bush had once been. Where has the party of Lincoln gone?
I was reminded of this during my ongoing process of reorganizing my office files today. In a folder labeled “Crazy Republicans” was this newspaper clipping: Reuter’s story. 30 percent of Republicans considered Obama a worse threat than Russia. Holy S’moley!!!!!!!
It has been reported that the Clintons and Trump did not shake hands when Donald made his sulky appearance at George Bush’s funeral. I don’t blame them. He led cheers of “Lock her up.” at his rallies. That’s close to the equivalent of saying “F*** America” considering that over half of the votes went for Hilary Clinton in 2016. Think of that – Trump’s “Republicans” wanted to jail the American that half of America voted for for President. Is it any wonder that Hillary’s supporters are licking their lips at the prospect that the President who led that cheer might himself face a life behind bars? Would Pence pardon him? I wonder. It cost Jerry Ford the Presidency in 1976.
Although winnowing my voluminous files has been my primary activity for the past few weeks I managed to crank out a new column for tomorrow’s Reader. Its called 100 pints of blood. I also applied to renew my substitute teaching license. Returning to the classroom, even as a sub, has intrigued me for the past twenty years. I chatted with 709’s Human Resource Director for a summary of how to go about doing it. It turned out to be pretty simple.
Among the items I reorganized yesterday were the documents from my legal challenge to the District in 2009 “Welty et al” vs. the Duluth School District and Johnson Controls. I rediscovered one of our attorney’s discoveries which greatly amused me.
The current School Board’s attorney, Kevin Rupp, had a hand in that case defending the Board against me and four other plaintiffs. In the Trib he claimed that a school district could not be sued for violating its own policies. Here’s what the plaintiffs attorney, Craig Hunter, discovered:
This only amplifies my frustration at not having been successful in severing our School board’s ties with Rupp’s firm when I served on the School Board. NOTE: Readers of this blog will find ample examples of my jaundiced view of Mr. Rupp’s legacy in this blog.
And while our lawsuit fell apart for reasons pinned to Mr. Hunter he had the District scared witless while single-handedly fighting off dozens of attorneys for three top legal firms. I found Craig a sensible and honorable man. I’d hire him in a flash if I needed legal help again.
I have never shaken the hand of a President of the United States. I did shake the hand of one Vice President. But the less said about that the better. I have, however, shaken the hand of one man who later became President – George Herbert Walker Bush.
Today the late President will get his due in stories all across the world. One reporter who covered him described him as a very nice man. Before he ran for the Presidency, in a bid that pitted him against the more telegenic Ronald Reagan, he had been described as the the best prepared person ever to run for President. Among them were his appointment to head the Republican National Committee during the Nixon Administration and ambassador to China. The latter position was during Nixon’s Trump-like struggle, to achieve something spectacular to help him escape a crisis enveloping his presidency.
George Bush got an early start on a political career by being THE youngest combat pilot of World War II. It actually began even earlier than that. His father, Prescott Bush, was a US Senator representing Connecticut. As such he was part of an all but extinct founding branch of the Republican Party – Northeasterners. In their heyday they championed Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller and a socially liberal point of view.
I trace the current crumbling of the GOP to George Bush and others who rather than stick up for their ideals put tape on their mouths as Ronald Reagan invited white southern politicians in to the Party of Lincoln after the Democratic Party’s championing of Civil Rights made them feel unwelcome in that party.
The evolution of the Party in my lifetime has led to the release of a new toxicity represented by the email I received which I put in my previous post with its casual use of the most forbidden word of my childhood, the “N” word.
George Bush was not temperamentally part of that transformation other than his deplorable Willie Horton ad. In fact, by temperament Bush was almost the antithesis of an egotistical politician. His mother taught him not to talk about himself. Christopher Buckley, the son of the conservative icon William Buckley, a speechwriter for Bush and clever novelist tells the charming story of being invited to Bush’s home while the President’s mother was present. When her son began telling some very interesting stories of his many remarkable experiences the mother interrupted him to scold that he was talking too much about himself.
Considering the occupant of today’s White House that anecdote, all by itself, suffices to show how far today’s America has driven off the rails.
But in 1980 I wanted a champion for common sense and moderate Republican values. At first I was a big supporter of George HW Bush. My first visit to the Kitchi Gammi Club was to meet with a group of Bush supporters for his Presidential campaign. That gathering place more than anything demonstrates just how out of touch my kind of Republicans of that era were.
When Reagan blew past Bush I set my sights on the Independent candidacy of the Illinois Republican Congressman John Anderson. But before Bush signed on to be Ronald Reagan’s Vice President and I wrote him off I drove to Minneapolis to get a look at Bush up close. I am no longer sure where I saw him but I think it was the U of M’s Northrup Hall. Claudia and I went over and I shook his hand.
This five minute interview on NPR with one of the original Watergate lawyers is instructive. For years after Watergate Republican Senators were given credit for telling President Richard Nixon that he needed to leave office.
The last such Republican worthy of the title Republican died with Senator John McCain.
Getting ready for Winter. Studying French. Contemplating a new school board race. A War in Opera. Bringing Lincoln back to the Republican Party. Science.
Its a little hard to take time to write my own book with so many fires burning inside my head. Yesterday I texted back and forth with a former fan who has been turning out to be one of Trump’s fans. Its hard not to be snarky in such texts and I’ve thought of copying and reproducing them in the blog but there is only so much time for me the blogger and my eight loyal readers. This fellow’s thoughts remind me of the new neighbor kid I met in 1963 when I moved to the all white North Mankato. He was fascinated to learn that I had gone to school with Negroes. He tried out a great new joke on me:
“Did you hear about the little Negro kid who was excited for Halloween? He was going to strip naked with a stick up his butt and go as a fudgescicle.”
It sounds like a Donald Trump joke.
And as of this writing I’m still not sure that the 2018 election joke won’t be on us “Never-Trumpers.” If it is then my work will be set for the remainder of my life. On the eve of becoming 68 that should give me 20 years to help turn America back around towards civic decency.
In looking forward I will continue to look to the past:
When I was about 15 my Mother was going back to college. She was busy earning the college Degree her father despaired of her ever finishing when she married two years into her first college experience and plunged into the baby boom years. This is a pen and ink she did of my gangling body at rest in my Grandfather’s “Lincoln Rocker.”
So, from the earliest age I was taught to revere the best President in our Nation’s history and then live to experience what I hope will come to seen as our nation’s closest brush with despotism.
We haven’t yet lived to see this become history but we will just as a once living secular saint was martyred to become a great historical argument.
I’ve pulled it out of my Lincoln bookshelf along with my other favorites for this picture:
lunch….will finish later.
HOW ABOUT THAT!!!! Former Senator David Durenberger is on MPR talking about his book about Minnesota’s history of Progressive Republicanism. Here’s the link to the interview. His book is one my companion at my recent three and a half hour lunch sent me an email about. A jackass Republican leader called Durenberger a “quisling” a few years ago for putting his own values (and mine) over those of the new Jesse Helm’s inspired Republican Party that Donald Trump has taken hold of and further corrupted.
Ah, but back to my stream of thought. Here’s my Lincoln Library.
I began this post with a list of things going on in my head. I ain’t going to get there now. Evangelical Christians are championing the Anti-Christ and I’ve got twenty years to point that out.
Anyone wishing to restore the Lincoln legacy is encouraged to read a couple books about Lincoln whose quotes are legend including this favorite:
“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side,” said the President, “my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”
and presumably God is not a Republican!