Presidential Timber and a Few Words on Elephants and Donald Trump

I have the good luck of being able to sit with some remarkable men every morning, or most mornings in the week.  They communicate easily, see things not my way, but in a way that they are comfortable with; and they are largely Republican.  Two were Colonels in the Armed Forces, a rank that is not easily acheived.  One was a fighter pilot around the time that Hollywood made being a fighter pilot sound like the best position in the world.  Another was a JAG in the Armed Forces.  The others, except for me, all served their country.  One even did so during the Cuban Missle Crisis.  I enjoy their take on what is going on in  the world,  but usually I disagree with their conclusions.  They do not threaten to string me up, but sometimes they get impatient with my Democratic philosophy.  I get equally impatient with their Republican ones.  Usually, they support Donald Trump, which to me is a anathema.  How can learned men support a man who allegedly had  a series of relationships with women of questionable character while he was pursuing the Presidency of the United States.  They stick up for him citing Kennedy’s reputation.  I point out that Kennedy never got caught.  He may or may not have cheated on his wife, but if he did, he did it quietly.

I do not get their points usually.  They are intelligent men who supported my brother-in-law, the late U.S. Senator Paul E. Tsongas in his quest to become the 1992 Democratic Presidential nominee.  As such, I assume that they agreed with Paul on special issues like conservation.  I read this morning that Donald Trump eviscerated two National Parks in order to allow oil drilling in parts of National Parks that were coveted and protected by President Teddy Roosevelt, whose statue is on Mount Rushmore.  Take that, Paul Tsongas.  Paul was the person who worked both sides of the aisle to get the Alaskan Lands Bill passed.  That protected Alaskan land which was the size of the State of Indiana,  from drilling and oil exploration.  It is, of course, one of the first National Parks targeted by Donald Trump and now there is exploration and drilling up there.

Paul Tsongas was one of those people who recognized that politics was a means to an end, not the end itself.  He got the support of Republicans in his legislation and it is hard to find one of his Republican Senate friends speaking ill of his efforts.  Paul Tsongas was the Democrat who came out and told people that the United States needed to work determinably together to realize the special significance of this effort at democracy.  He understood that democracy was only instilled in Athens, Greece for a mere one hundred years.  The Greeks could not understand to the fullest extent what they had.  They reverted to a monarchy one hundred years after the inception of democracy.  As Adolph Hitler said repeatedly, democracy was too encumbered to be able to fight in the modern world.  He advocated a dictatorship, and proved its inability to function well during World War II.

These men I mentioned earlier, were, I am fairly certain, supporters of Paul Tsongas’ effort to run for the presidency.  I have some literature from that period and it reads like who’s who in liberal thought.  Paul was far, even though he was able to reach across the aisle, from being a conservative.  But, I believe that most of these breakfast buddies of mine, supported him in his efforts.  One piece of old Tsongas literature comes from the New Hampshire presidential campaign.  The Boston “Globe” headline says that “N.H. Environmentalists  Back Tsongas.”   If I am correct in my surmising that most of these men supported Paul’s effort for the presidency, then they have changed to supporting a super-conservative approach to conservation.  Some of them have even traveled to the West to catch salmon.  They enjoyed all that conservation could bring to them.  The Salem, OR “Statesman” said in 1992, before we had any trillion dollar debts that “We have had plenty of experience with handsome public officials, we’re ready for someone who puts   brains, wisdom, integrity, and action first.” (1992)  The Cleveland “Plain Dealer” said Paul had “…The backbone to say how he plans to raise money for his programs.” (1992)

There are two concepts in those two sentences that explain why Paul Tsongas continues to be thought of in a good way twenty years after his untimely death.  Here he was, coming out with a free book to explain how he was going to finance his programs, and use his wits to finance the United States government.  The only dirty word I ever heard him say, at least in his delivery, was TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS.  He did not want to float a loan for one trillion dollars, let alone one and one half trillion dollars as a supposed tax break.  Wait until we have to pay that one off.

So I am confused.   Keynesian Economics states that a nation in a time of great financial hardship can borrow against anticipated revenues in the future.  But, I have read Keynes’ book, I have a copy of it, and nowhere does it say that you can have a flexible debt ceiling and float trillions of dollars in debt.  Instead, what it does say is that you can pay back your debt when the original problem is corrected.  I have a great many disagreements with this President.  How can he, two days ago, reintroduce and re-entertain the idea that you can hunt elephants and bring Dumbo back with you with your other prizes?  Who thinks like that?  I would venture a guess that my intelligent Republican friends do not agree with that one.  Maybe I am wrong, but I do not think so.

This country is in a deep flux.  We have to start listing our own lists of items that we want to have cared about, and work to acheiving them.  It was a great thing that so many people came out to vote in the Texas primaries.  Only by getting involved can we maintain our independence.  It is essential that we maintain our independence.  Conservatism is part of our culture, as is Liberalism.  Conservation is the same as Democratic ideals on the environment.  It is just from a different angle.  Neither is inherently right or wrong.

In the newspaper, “Nature’s Voice,” the writers and editors point out that Trump is pushing a “climate destruction plan.”  is a directive that the U.S. E.Protection Agency dismantle President Obama’s historic Clean Power Plan.  One of my Republican friends asked me to critique an article by Eugene Robinson which stated that Trump’s damage will last decades.  I cannot critique it because I believe it.  Mr. Robinson is right on, in my opinion.  He states rightly that in South America most transparency efforts are a “joke.”   I believe that.  So here I have a number of good friends who  believe in the Republican idea that Trump is a Republican.  He isn’t.  He is either a Populist, if I was trying to be nice; or he is a Liberterian.  Be like the first Republicans who pushed Abraham Lincoln to run for his second election outside the hallowed halls of Republicanism.  That’s right, Mr. Lincoln was not a member of that group in 1864.  Calling Trump something other than a Republican is just the truth.  That is why so  many special Republican families did not support Trump.  The Bush’s, who are both past Presidents, do not support Trump.  Maybe they know something we don’t know.


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One thought on “Presidential Timber and a Few Words on Elephants and Donald Trump

  1. C R Krieger

    Ah, yes, Eugene Robinson. It was a mote issue, I think. He was banging on about President Trump going after his political opponents, the ones who financed the Steele Dossier.
    And Ms Clinton, disparaging Caucasian Women in the US as willing victims of their husbands, bosses and sons. How embarrassing. How typical. No wonder I voted for Mr Trump.
    Agree about the elephant tusks.
    I disagree about it being liberals vs conservatives. It misses the arc of Progressivism, which bends toward socialism. As some wag said “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” (Adam Smith). But, for example, Venezuela shows you can burn through a lot of wealth and ruin even an oil rich nation.
    Regards — Cliff


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