Friday, January 13, 2017

Trump intel files

To put it bluntly: What a mountain out of a molehill.

I am going to make this short and sweet. If I was in either President Obama’s shoes or President-Elect Trump’s, and the heads of the US intelligence agencies came to me and said that the Russians had a built a dossier on either leader, my reaction would be: What’s in it? And if you don’t know, you guys are not doing your jobs. Oh, and you do have similar dossiers on Putin, and all his key personnel, as well as the leaders of every other country in the world and their personnel? If you don’t, then you are fired and I need someone who can do your stupid jobs.

Then I would say to the FBI, I hope no foreign intelligence service surprises you with something out of their dossiers that you already haven’t already uncovered (and told the subject about) on any one who has undergone a full background investigation as part of their security clearances … and that means everybody. You will guard this information with your lives, but if you also will review the file with the subject should anything come up, derogatory or not. Do you understand? … if you have to react to this stuff, then you are not doing your flipping job. You are fired and I need to get someone who knows what your flipping counter-intelligence job is.

If it upsets you that Putin may have such a file, grow up and get over it.

There is an axiom in diplomacy and war that goes something like: Know your enemy. And if you are not keeping every tidbit about your opponents (and friends) in the Great Game, then you are going to get burned, and probably badly.

I know, it isn’t a very progressive attitude, but the object here is not to lose or get killed.

That is why the whole freaking thing being hyped by CNN and other news outlets really is making a silly mountain out of a freaking molehill.

Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How soon we forget

Okay, I will be bad with this one … I ain’t gonna provide you with the relevant links, because – Hades, I going to assume that you follow the news. If that distresses you or diminishes my remarks here, so be it.

 

BANNER HEADLINES

RUSSIANS HAVE THE GOODS ON TRUMP AND ARE BLACKMAILING HIM

What bullshit. First of all, they may have something on the new president, but I find that dubious.

Second, the stories – as so far as I can ascertain – are based on an anonymous memo or memos from an alleged agent for British intelligence that make a number of non-specific allegations against Trump and that the Russians have enough dirt on him to blackmail him that have been neither validated or substantiated by either US or British intelligence agencies.

In other words, we are talking about rumors that have had no substance to them.

When I was an editor, I would toss the offending reporter out of my office and tell him that A) we don’t do anonymous sources, B) especially without some documentation, especially not documentation attributed to someone no one can identify. C) Go back and come back with a story you can verify and is substantiated by some recognized official who is willing to go on the record and provide facts that can be independently validated. Until then, this story is spiked.

The irony in this, to me, is for the last 15 years these same people have been trashing George Bush for allegedly lying about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction, the capabilities to make more and the resources on hand to do it.

Unfortunately, even the New York Times has had to recant that canard. Still these people who bashed Bush, however, continue to perpetuate their mythology.

Now, it can be said that the intel people had a whole lot more physical and verifiable evidence that Saddam and his minions had WMDs than there seems to be the case with this story about Trump. Strange, we are supposed to think that the intel folks led us astray in Iraq, but are impeccably correct in this hogwash.

Now if it is a crime to seek ways not to get provoked into a war with Russia … or China … or any other country like North Korea, then lock me up for I am all for it. Not to say that if such a war needs to be fought, I wouldn’t volunteer for active service (but I am too old and wrecked for it), but it damn well had better be for a damn good reason. American lives are too valuable to me.

Yet is seems that Democrats (liberals and progressives) have been trying to provoke a war with the Russians. Please guys, unless you are willing to take up arms yourselves and fix your bayonets …. then take some advice from those who have and would do so again: Shut The Fuck Up. (apologies for my bad language here and there).

I doubt very seriously my progressive and left leaning brethren are or would be willing to put their lives on the line here.

Remember, there is no evidence of the Russians tampering with the election … only evidence (which is disputed) they wanted to influence American voters … Hell, I think ALL the heads of state in Europe were trying to do that as well as in Latin America, Africa, and all of Asia. Why single out the Russians? Missing the old Cold War tensions?

I am sorry, folks, but as my Pappy used to say the rumors about Trump really are a tempest in a teapot.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Philosophy 101

Three years ago I embarked on a series of essays. I completed 13 and posted them. I still have #14 in the works, but it struck me that it might be useful to some people if I posted the links to the first 13. I will warn  you that you might need to keep your Funk and Wagnall's handy or at least a passable Webster’s.

Hence, here they are:

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-1.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-2.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-3.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-4.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-5.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-6.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101essay-7.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101-essay-8.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/11/philosophy-101-essay-9.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/12/philosophy-101-essay-10.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/12/philosophy-101-essay-11.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/12/philosophy-101-essay-12.html

http://desertdragon90.blogspot.com/2013/12/philosophy-101-essay-13.html

 

May you find them enlightening, informative and thought-provoking. I make no claims of omniscience or any special wisdom. These truly are the thoughts of an old warrior-journalist monk. They merely are worth what you can take away from them in your own thoughts.

President Trump

Here we are almost at Christmas … and various and sundry people are still throwing hissy fits over the outcome of this year’s presidential election. Da-yam, I don’t remember the hissy fits being this bad when President Obama was elected in 2008 and 2012.

Of course, I was in the hospital for the 2008 election, so I probably missed a bunch of stuff.

Still, while I have no problem with progressives, liberals and Democrats doing whatever they can do to impede  the new president’s agenda in the halls of Congress, because that is fair game and to be expected. I do have problem with all sorts of political leaders and celebrities promising to incite civil disobedience between now and the inauguration and at the inauguration. Civil disobedience invites less than civil violence and that is not fair game, nor should it be expected.

Folks, by following the rules of the federal republic, Donald J. Trump won and Hillary Rodham didn’t. Accept that as a given and move on. We are a federal republic and we do have the Electoral College for a reason … and that reason was readily apparent in this election. The system is designed a) to protect the country from electing a purely regional candidate, b) to protect the rights of minorities (in this case all those people who live in flyover country) and c) to protect state rights by ensuring that voters from one state cannot dominate the electoral process.

Clinton’s victory in the plebiscite literally came in merely two states: New York and California, where her victory margin was something on the order of 7 million votes. In the remaining 51 states, districts and territories, she lost by 3 million votes. Giving her roughly a 4 million vote lead in the popular vote. The founders, in their brilliance, foresaw this happening and, hence, invented the electoral college.

It is not racist or denying anyone their vote. It was in recognition of the fact that this nation was set up a FEDERAL REPUBLIC.

If you don’t like that: GET OVER IT. Go back to school and study your basic American history and civics (if you can find such courses that aren’t trashing both).

Another thing, we can only have one president at a time, and right now that person is Barrack Hussein Obama. He WILL be president until noon on Jan. 20, 2017, and you need to get with that fact.

People need to stop freaking out over every tweet, announcement or appointment coming out of the incoming administration as it takes form. None of it is formal policy, and it can’t be: Remember, 1 president at a time.

And Congress has a huge say in what President Trump will be able to do … so let’s all calm down …. then take a huge chill pill as I am wont to say … and let this brilliantly designed system put together in the summer of 1787 work out the kinks.

However, I realize I am preaching to audiences who are blinded by their own perceptions and unwilling to open their minds.

OH WELL …. sigh, I can only try.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Debate reaction

The third and final presidential debate is over, and – frankly – I don’t have a clue who won.

But the media and social media exploded over Donald Trump’s statement that on whether he would accept the results of the election that he would leave people in suspense until Nov. 9.

How short are the memories of the American people? How many people expected Al Gore in 2000 not to accept the results of the election? He didn’t … and he and the Democratic party really did their best to overturn the results of the election in Florida by stopping the count and then demanding a selective recount.

Lawyers representing Al Gore totally ignored the legitimate and legal process in every state – including Florida – for contesting counts and demanding recounts. Unfortunately, to follow the law, it would have been after the initial counts would have reported that George W. Bush had won in Florida, and hence in the Electoral College. That would never stand, so the nation was treated to about six weeks of legal battles that a) should not have happened the way they did, and b) ultimately did not change the results of the election that would have been the results had the law been followed.

Now, if you don’t think that is what happened, you need to go back and look at the timeline of events and review what the Florida state rules say about vote counts, etc. You also need to go back and look up the stories buried in the fall of 2001 about a recount in Florida sponsored by a host of major news organizations (looking at a variety of permutations) that still came down with a Bush victory. Granted not a huge one, but it only takes one vote to tip the scale one way or another.

Trump really has made the same case … except for the hyperventilation of those who freak at his every statement.

If the Trump campaign follows the laws laid down in each state, in my humble opinion, he is welcome to challenge the outcome in any state and not concede the election based on initial returns and counts.

If you all have a problem with this; get over it.

It is how he won the nomination … by playing by the freaking rules. If he continues to play by the rules, then he is welcome to have at it.

As for the rest of the debate: it pretty much was what I expected, although I have to agree that Trump gave his best performance of the three debates.

I also thought the moderator did the best he could in trying circumstances.

But who won? Elifino. I guess we will get that answer when the vote counts are completed after Nov. 8. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trump reaction

Note: this section will not be G-Rated … Not even PG … it will be at least R …

WARNING: There will be obscenities and profane language past this point. I have been politic; you have been warned!

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON! America (especially in its national media) is going fucking bonkers because one of its political leadership candidates talks of bawdy things (in a younger iteration) and shows that he is a God-damn, arrogant, loud-mouthed, profane, self-centered, self-absorbed, ruthless, son-of-a-bitch … so what else is new. Get the fuck over it. It ain’t the first time it has happened.

People are going ape-shit crazy calling him to withdraw his candidacy because he told some broadcast flunky off mic that he likes to fondle pretty women … what a bunch of fucking hypocrites. Damn, if there is a male in the room over, let’s say, 45 who hasn’t engaged in bowdlerized, locker-room talk about women and braggadocio about what they would like to do … excepting possibly those men who are gayer that the three-dollar bill … I probably would call them a liar and be right. I can’t say much about people younger than that because I haven’t sat in on many of their conversations, but what I have heard makes me think they aren’t much different.

Folks, take a fucking chill pill. The God-damned politically correct shit has to stop.

The problem with Trump is that he actually talks like he is one of the plebeians … you know, us common folks who actually worked for a God-damn living and not made a living getting paid by the government/state for a career.

I find all this faux-horror at Trump’s tax returns, his sexually explicit talks with people (especially those with recording devices, which is stupid, but then, what the hell, we live in a gotcha by the balls society these days), so freakingly fucking hypocritical that it sort of makes me want to stage a French Revolution here in the US? Trot out the guillotine for the “aristocracy”!!!!

Where is the Red Queen when we need her? Off with their fucking heads! 

I guess I have fallen a long way from my perch among the elites of the world as a college graduate who was the editor of one of the 1600 daily newspapers (at the time) in the USofA, assistant editor at another, editor at a three-times a week paper, and editor of four different weekly newspapers, not including a weekly and an every-other-day newspaper I produced in a war zone.

I no longer have much patience with progressives and those who education or position places them above the fucking masses. I am reminded to tell them, despite your fucking smarts, or God-damn worthless pieces of paper, social, economic or political positions, you stupid over-educated dumbshit assholes, you still put your panties on one leg at a time just like the rest of us idiots.

You know the people you find deplorable may be crude and rude, but they are people. They might not have high-fluting degrees or education, or even money or wealth, but they still are functioning human beings, who can – when called upon – actually have a thought or two in their head … and those thoughts just might be worth listening to. A lot may be stupid or silly thoughts, but given the facts, their common sense will usually win out.

So, Trump is a ruthless, fucking billionaire (or just a multi-millionaire, what does it matter) corporate slob of a businessman, that has never stopped such people from running and serving in public office before. Cue the damn Virginia planter class or the fucking Ivy League country club shit heads

The question you really should be asking yourself, you fucking dumbbells, is has he broken the law? How did he make those billions? By himself or surrounding himself and delegating to a vast corps of really competent deplorables?   I really don’t think he did it selling favors, like a former Senator from New York and Secretary of State, along with her sexually obsessed husband who is an ex-president now, who actually did “it” with a God-damn intern in the Oval Office … or was it her oval orifice … shit, I don’t even know any more ... much less really give a shit.

How many laws, lies, and other shit does Trump’s leading opponent have to break, say and do before you get the message that she really is a bunch of crappola. Do you really want that crappola? Do you really want the fucking status quo candidate to keep things running down the same God-damn track we have been going for the last 10 or so years … so be it … vote for the piece of shit.

Another question: Why is the “establishment” fucking going freaking ape-shit over the possibility of Trump being president? What is it they really are so fucking scared-shitless about? Do they know something about the checks and balances built into our system of governance that we don’t know that makes them think we can’t survive a loose-cannon? What is it that we have had for the last 25 fucking years? Cannons lashed down so tight their pussies squeak? I think they are just afraid he will upset the status quo and maybe, just maybe, fucking change the way things have been run in our fucking capital for that last shitting century or so. Maybe that is the change we need, fucking stupid America.

Now I am not saying anybody should vote for the jerk Trump, or anyone else, but I am saying look at what they say they want to do … ask yourself if those things are what you really want done or if they really are sustainable or just pipe dreams … or just products of your own envy of those who have shit you don’t. … then reach down and vote for the candidate who can win AND do the least amount damage to what freedoms you, as an individual, still have in this country.

One last point, a historical one: The last time the elite was in this much of an uproar, I think, was 1828. You know when that rude, crude and obscene Tennessean Andrew Jackson was elected and the Virginia planter class and the New England lawyers had a hissy fit over this frontier braggart capturing the White House. He was a populist too, if I remember my history correctly and really changed the course of politics and the shape of the American democratic republic. Is that what they are so afraid of?

Anyway, I apologize for my fucking profanity, but I am becoming more and more like the old fucking grunt soldier I was part time, rather than the urbane, cosmopolitan, liberal arts college-educated elite journalist I once was.

Still, I raise my rye on the rocks to all of you who are a) Americans and b) deign to read this rant. (tonight is was Canadian rye, tomorrow night it will be my Gordon’s vodka … I alternate nights on which poison I drink on the rocks).

May you all find your path blessed by the Divine, and you have the strength and courage to endure whatever travails may lie ahead of you personally and (if it so applies) as an American.

 

Footnote: This is a succinct summation why I don't give a fucking rat's ass about Trump's "hot-mic moment". OK, I am done

Monday, August 15, 2016

Words to live by

 

This came in an e-mail from a friend of my … I find it rather enlightening and entertaining.

 

Golden Sayings of Chanakya


 

Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.

A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.

Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.

Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.

Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.

The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.

God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.

A man is great by deeds, not by birth.

Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.

Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.

Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.

__._,_.___

.


__,_._,___

    Saturday, April 30, 2016

    Random thoughts for the end of April 2016

    Reminder: Some of the comments below are links to stories being commented upon. I urge you to read the links for background to my commentary.

    Once more I venture into the wilderness of my thoughts, which I share with you who dare read my wanderings. However, I know, that on some fronts I am not alone in the wilderness; that there are others who share my questions and views of the world and in that I take heart.

    You may or may not be among them, but I welcome you and challenge you to consider the things herein. If you disagree, give me your intellectual arguments, your non-visceral reasons, why you stake the ground you stand on. You see, I find far too many people aren’t really thinking about their positions, say, in the presidential campaign but are merely reacting emotionally to the various candidates. Far too many people seem to hate the candidates who oppose their favorites rather than merely disagree with their proposed policies and solutions to the various problems facing the nation.

    For example, this commentary does a far better job of explaining what is, and what is not, "democratic" in our political process than my earlier feeble efforts.

    You see, I see the process working as it is supposed to, as it was designed to. Nothing more and nothing less. To quote Yogi Berra: “It ain’t over until it’s over.” Despite the whining and statements to the contrary, until you win, the game ain’t over and the “losing” side should – no make that needs to - play on until the last second of the game and until the last out is played. It is the old saying that “Quitters never win. Winners never quit.”

    I respect Bernie Sanders announcement that he is not going to just drop out of the Democratic race, even though it is pretty apparent that Hillary Clinton will most likely be crowned on the first ballot. It is as it should be.

    I respect Ted Cruz for his efforts to plug on until the convention, even though everybody is telling him that it is a losing effort (even if he could win on the second or third ballot should Donald Trump come up short of a first round coronation). This is as it should be.

    Or have we raised a nation of quitters? Or complainers because we have to meet certain standards because those are the rules? Nobody has changed the rules. They are the same as when the game started. You may not have not understood the rules because you didn’t know them, but whose fault is that?

    Here is a commentary by the redoubtable Thomas Sowell on winners and whiners. Which are we people? 

    Now, it should come as no surprise that I am not a big supporter of Donald Trump. That does not mean that I might not vote for him if the choice comes down to him, Hillary Clinton or some third party candidate who doesn’t stand a lick of a chance of throwing the vote to House. I would, because, at the moment, the choice is quite stark … the manipulative, criminal, anti-individualist whore vs. the manipulative sideshow barker. I’ll swallow my principles and vote for the barker as hopefully the lesser of the evils.

    I have more to say … but I find I don’t have the emotional energy to put it down.

    Pray tell, I urge you to disagree with me and tell me where I have erred.

    Sunday, April 17, 2016

    Random thoughts on things political

    Reminder: Some of the comments below are links to stories being commented upon. I urge you to read the links for background to my commentary.

    This is sort of a follow-up to the my previous post … a continuation of my thoughts there.

    I spent much of the day reading news reports of what passes for political reportage today on the various comments of spokesmen for the sundry political campaign, as well as participating in a feedback discussion over my previous post.

    The thrust of most of it is that a) the political process is broken and b) nobody’s vote or voice counts. My response to that is barley corn! Of if you prefer, bovine scatology. What people are angry about is that their view is not prevailing and they think it should. Understandable, but the wrong attitude.

    Donald Trump’s campaign manager says that since his candidate has the most votes so far, that he is the nominee presumptive … nominee presumptive, what in the blue blazes it that? You mean just because he has a PLURALITY over the popular vote cast in GOP primaries (a whopping 37 percent) then all the other candidates should give up and go home? What about that democratic principle that it takes a majority vote at the very end to be declared the victor? I guess that doesn’t apply to Mr. Trump, because he is such a wonderful businessman, celebrity and candidate. The guy really must be channeling Joseph Goebbels.

    Damn, man it don’t work that way. And when the convention rolls around, and if Trump does have 50 percent plus 1 of the popular vote, then he might have a case, but not now, so stop whining. (But if he achieves that he might have a shot at the delegates)

    In this interview, the chairman of the Republic National Committee points out that the party, per se, is not taking sides but does take umbrage at candidates, or their minions, threatening delegates. To me, the threats mean the candidate and/or his staff and supporters realize they have lost the fight and are planning to call in the storm troops.

    Secondly, in both the Republican and Democratic parties, the conventions always have been about delegates, not the number of ballots in local primaries. The process of delegate selection always has favored those who get their grassroots supporters to the district, county and state conventions, which is something the Trump campaign has done an absolutely awful job at doing and Cruz’s campaign has been performing miracles. You may not like it. You may think it is unfair. BUT that is where the battle is fought … not in some helicopter battlefield where you drop in for one day and then helicopter out again. (The US did that in Vietnam and it didn’t work out very well) Cruz and his supporters figured this out and have planned their battle accordingly.

    It actually says a lot about primary ballots. They really are just straw polls and beauty contests that allow people to salve their consciences by saying “I voted” and think that that was all the process our participatory form of a democratic republic asks of us. Granted, most of the primaries require that the delegates vote a certain way on round one at the convention, and that is an obligation that no one disputes. The problem comes if that round one is not decisive, what are these delegates to do on round two? If none of them can change their vote, then the balloting will just go on and on.

    No, the delegates are free to vote their own wills, and that is what has the outsiders upset. Because, if the county, district and state meetings don’t elect delegates that are dye-in-the-wool supporters of the candidate they are pledged to vote for in the first round, then … oopsie … they might vote for another candidate. This is where Cruz is winning the battle, and Trump and his supporters are coming unglued. Trumpians think that they have got the first round ballot of the delegates sewn up because of their plurality lead in the popular vote and that is all it takes. Wrong answer.

    If Trump doesn’t win a majority (remember, in a democracy it is majority rules) on the first ballot then his failure to follow up and ensure that those who vote for him are voting for him out of conviction and not just obligation will reach up and bite him big time. Nobody will be cheating. The system will be working as it is designed to work.

    This is an interesting commentary that discusses whether it is all rigged or not. It is not, but then if you lose, then it makes a good excuse for saying you lost.

    You see, the biggest problem we Americans have is that we are an impatient and lazy lot. Now, that is not really all that bad. It has made us the most productive country in the world because we always are looking for faster and easier ways to do things so we can kick back and enjoy ourselves. But it does ignore that if you really want to do something, it usually takes a lot of effort and investment in money and hard work. That sure doesn’t sound like fun, does it? We have better things to do.

    But I would have to say to those who say the two big parties have rigged the system to favor incumbents and the party establishment: You are right … and if you were an incumbent or a party leader you probably would do exactly the same thing because it makes it easier for you to keep your perks. Not saying I like it, but that is how life is … as unfair as it seems.

    Now, that means you have a number of choices: 1) you can accept the status quo, 2) quit and join another party (that probably will be just as rigged), or 3) work your butt off in the business of retail politics. That means investing a lot of time, usually a bundle of money and a whole lot of effort going door-to-door selling your platform, getting people excited enough about it to get off their duffs and help spread the word.  Dang, that last option doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. I will let you in a little secret – it ain’t. It is hard work that takes a whole lot of dedication and a willingness to lose a few battles, but the courage to get back up and get back in the fight.

    Now, you can start a whole new party (and even greater challenge) or you try to go ahead and battle the establishment, which will be a challenge, but it can be done. You just have to be willing to take your knocks and lumps and keep on hitting the line until you have convinced enough of your fellow followers that you are right and the old guard is wrong. Then have them put you in the old guard’s place. Is it easy? Is simple? Can it be done overnight or even just a few years? Nope … but then how committed are you?

    Being involved in your own governance is not some thing you do when the mood strikes you … not in a democratic republic. It takes constant attention and I know with all the distractions we have today, that really is a big bother.

    The old cliche that Liberty and Freedom require eternal vigilance has never been more true.

    Now, for conservatives, here is a excellent commentary about how we (yes, I consider myself a conservative) should reassess about how we complain and maybe the problem is more with ourselves and our view than the system.

    Remember folks, it all starts with us as individuals … and yes, your vote counts … when it has to count and that is when we are electing people to office … all that happens before that means little, especially if you haven’t jumped in with both feet.

    Now, if you agree with what I have said, I encourage you … ok …. beg, plead, cajole, inveigle and any other word you can think of … to share these thoughts with as many people as you can. No, you don’t have to use my words, but some similar would be great.

    Saturday, April 16, 2016

    Random thoughts and reflections for April, 2016

    Reminder: Some of the comments below are links to stories being commented upon. I urge you to read the links for background to my commentary.

    Interesting article on the downfall of the Westphalian view of the nation state in the 21st century. It is well worth the read. (Found way back on March 1, but I have been about moribund in my efforts here since then, for which I apologize to the few, if any, who bother to read my random efforts.)

     

    What I am about to say will be unsourced. Why, because a) I am assuming that you have been following the news of the day and b) it is purely my opinion, although much will be predicated on facts and easily researched truth and a lot will be based in the history of the United States. I encourage people to study it and a basic civics primer from 50 years ago, because it seems that the American people are tragically ignorant  of their own history – and those from other countries probably learned the Cliff Notes version. Having said that, let me begin.

    FIRST, FOREMOST AND ALWAYS: The United States is NOT a pure democracy. Got that? It is not a democracy. Never has been, never will be, as long as it is governed by its current constitution. Don’t like that fact? Get over it.

    The United States is a democratic federal republic, with all the nuances and vagaries that entails. Now, I hope you understand that. Despite what politicians say, your friends say, and maybe even your teachers may have said, the United States is a representative republic, not a democracy, where you and your neighbors are charged with the responsibility to select representatives to meet in councils to decide public policy, from the local town hall and school or water district all the way up to the president of the United States. Those representative are charged with their own responsibility to vote their best judgement and conscience when making their decisions on how to cast their vote at whatever level they are at, and not to have call back to their constituents on every vote for their advice and consent. Note: they are to use their own best judgement.

    Now, having said all that, political parties are not part of the government. Regardless what may appear to be the case, political parties are not covered in the U.S. Constitution and are not arms of the various governmental bodies. I hope you understand that.

    First, political parties were not envisioned playing any role in the political process by the brilliant gentlemen who drafted the grand compromise we call our Constitution. They anticipated various factions and interests competing for influence, but the idea of political parties was pretty much an anathema to them. In fact, the Republic had been in business for about a dozen years before the first semblances of what now are political parties began to shake out.

    So, what are political parties? They are clubs. They are associations. They are groups of people coalescing under a common ideological banner. As such, they are not required be “democratic.” PLEASE, Trump and Sanders supporters, get that through your thick heads. Over the last 200 years, each party has developed its own system for selecting the candidates for public office. There is no requirement that they “elect” these people, or ask the advice of people who are not declared members of the party, regardless of what the pundits, talking heads, on-air personalities, columnists and reporters of various print and web news outlets may lead you to believe.

    If the members of the party want to go ennie-menie-miney-mo to pick who runs for office under their banner, that is what they can do. They don’t have to hold caucuses or primaries or conventions. They can just do it.

    Or they can ask for v0lunteers and go you … you … and you.

    Funny thing, somewhere along the line the American people have been told that they get to pick the candidates, regardless of their party affiliation …  well, at least if they are to be the candidate from the Democratic or Republican Party. Wrong answer. They don’t necessarily get that privilege if the candidate is a Green Party member, Reform Party member, or Libertarian Party member, or a Communist Party member, or one of the any other parties that tend to appear on the presidential ballot in November. Why should they get it from the Republican or Democrat parties?

    People, WAKE UP! It is not a democracy. That is not how things work. The parties make their OWN rules on how the process works for picking their candidate and that IS how things work. It behooves candidates to learn those rules backwards, forwards and sideways, and then play better than anyone else according to the rules.

    You want to play a key role in how your “party” selects its candidates, then get involved in the process. Go to party meetings, volunteer to be delegates to district, county, state and national conventions, or at least get involved at each one of those meetings to help decide who will be the delegates. Just helicopter voting in a primary doesn’t cut it. It is convenient and it may salve your conscience, but the system and the process demands more of you.

    AND if your candidate doesn’t want to play by those rules, and die by those rules if that is the judgement of party leadership, then they had best go form their own party rather than to try to piggyback their candidacy off the back of a party that maybe they don’t agree with all their precepts and complain when the party regulars rally (although they maybe have been divided among other candidates earlier) against him or her and say they aren’t being fair. It is not a matter of fairness, but it is a indication that the candidate doesn’t want to play by the rules, unless the rules benefit them.

    TRIGGER WARNING: A candidate who is unwilling to play by the rules, however arcane and weird, is NOT a candidate who demonstrates to me the requisite qualities to hold any office that they are running for in my book and will not (except in cases of dire extremity) get my vote for office.

    You see, when you get into public office, whether elected dog catcher or president, you are bound to follow the rule of law. Unfortunately, we have seen far to much of NOT following the rule of law in this county in recent years, much to our detriment.

    Unless and until Mr. Trump gets the majority of delegates at the Republican Party’s national convention the nomination is not NOT “His” to be stolen from him. I don’t care how many primary votes he gets or doesn’t get. They don’t matter. Delegates do, according to the rules.

    Now, when Mr. Trump and his supporters whine about the GOP not being “fair” to him, or trying to “steal” the nomination from him, I want to take a long 2x4 and start whacking people upside the head to get their attention and give the aforesaid lecture.

    Same thing holds for Bernie Sanders supporters who live and breathe the “Bern”

    Now, children, for if you do not understand this, then you indeed have some growing up to do. Call me arrogant. Call me what ever you want. But whether it is sports, politics or governance, in a civilized society we play by the rules whether we like them or not. That is what grownups do.

    Of course, if your candidate doesn’t win, then you can always go home and sulk, or you could, mind you, look at the alternatives – the other candidates in play and decide which is the lesser of all those evils – or at least the least bad. Because if you don’t, then be willing to accept that some people actually think what you consider is the most evil alternative really is a hot idea … even if the c0nsequences will be horrible … or haven’t we learned that lesson over the past eight years.