Category Archives: Politics
Interesting exchange today, on the Facebook page of my friend Yvette Carnell's. One of her passions as a writer/commentator (she's basically a left-wing version of me, for the sake of brevity), is black America's economic problems (the lack of collective wealth due to historical disparities for far too many generations). In short, our past has had a lasting economic impact on today. I think we still have time to save the future, though none of us alive will see it, unless a fountain of youth is found. That's cuz' of what my big brother & writer Steven Barnes said – "There's no such thing as a wound, that takes less time to heal than it took to conflict." That's a minimum of 400 years. If you can't grasp that, accusations of black people being shiftless, lazy & too slow to "get over it" are profoundly inappropriate, if I'm polite. Racist if I'm not.
"Our economic woes as a community, are our fault alone," some insist. But we're all humans, right? Isn't that the battle cry for the #ALM crew? The physical differences are just our inheritance from our ancestors, whose survival in their environment meant having dark skin. The same is true for whites whose ancestors had to survive the cold. The stuff inside is the same. What Ben Carson said. But I'm derailing my own post a bit.
Let me harmonize these statements. With the unique, historical cards we were dealt, I don't see how anyone can argue, that discussions of slavery are irrelevant to economic ones. Yet I've heard them too many times. Slavery discussions are fundamentally economic. This is exacerbated by centuries of head starts others had. I'm tired of these faulty, racial comparisons, and anecdotes, use by some to thinly veil their contempt. The discussion on Yvette's page started off, with an erudite article about the definition of socialism. Discussions of capitalism inevitably are brought up whenever socialism is. It's a philosophical piggyback ride in fact. Capitalism is evil, capitalism liberates. My approach opposes both schools of thought on some level, because neither has ever been fully successful. I'm all about precedents, and trailblazing approaches. What is America to do then?
But back to that post in question, a commenter, after the evils of capitalism were presented said, "Capitalism worked for Black Wall Street," – I agreed. He's right, but the elephant in the room is that this is anecdotal. Hmm. There's nearly 43 million of us now folks. When at least over half of that number benefits generationally from capitalism, I'll bite. Until then, leave flippant remarks like "catch up with the rest of us," and anecdotes at the door. Yvette is justified in focusing on economic growth (or the lack of it). You're not an ally of either one of us.
Til' next musing,
I wanted to share my thoughts today on what being a constitutionalist means to me, and why that means more to me than party affiliation, or any other political boxes I can check:
Folks, I am a constitutionalist before I am anything else. This allows me, to have political allies from all walks of life, as long as we can agree that the law of the land must be adhered to, as well as the legal blueprint for amending it. This doesn't mean the law is without imperfections, nor are those who created it. The same is true for those whose job it is to defend it. We're all inherently, flawed human beings. We make mistakes, and we must correct them legally as a society at times. History is replete with major and minor instances of this. This is why I consider Americans, who readily accept political legerdemain, used to circumvent legal procedures when it suits their interests, the most unpatriotic citizens there are.
As for me, I've accepted the inevitable reality, that putting my own personal agendas and biases aside, and honoring the constitution, means there will be things I am opposed to, but must allow to legally stand. That is, if my arguments to the contrary are not legally strong enough, to influence a different outcome. I really wish more Americans would follow suit. It's such a relaxing political place to be…
Until next musing,
So recently, I retracted a prior criticism of former POTUS Barack Obama – the whole “food stamp president” nonsense. While this post isn’t a retraction, I want to share my thoughts on another erroneous label affixed to him – the infamous “Obamaphone”. The ironic thing about this, is that it’s origins are rooted back to 1984 when some Americans were still in “Will we ever see a black president?” mode. A “Barack Obama” if you will, was still a dream. 1984? Yep. When Ronald Reagan was president. Some even argue that it goes back as far as Roosevelt, but I digress. That year, the FCC created the Lifeline Assistance program. That’s the actual name of the “Obamaphone” program, technically.
Obviously, cellular phones weren’t ubiquitous as they are now, in 1984, which is why the program provided free landline phone service, mainly to senior citizens. Interestingly enough, after eight years of the Obamaphone misnomer, so many remain ignorant of its history. Am I the only one who’s never heard of an “Reaganphone”? What about a “Bushphone”? “Clintonphone” perhaps? What about a “Trumpphone”? (that sounds like the world’s worst megaphone ever). You haven’t because they were never labeled as such, even though the program existed in every presidency since Reagan. In fact, Safelink Wireless offered the first such cellular (keyword alert!) phone service in Tennessee in 2008, near the end of Bush’s second term. Barack Obama wasn’t elected until November of 2008. The program started three months earlier.
There are some very, obvious motives and suspicious undertones, if I’m polite, associated with slapping this erroneous, derogatory misnomer onto the first black president, and literally none of his predecessors, but for now I’m not gonna go there (Hmm, no pun intended, but, did I just do that?). Now to be fair, the number of participants in the program, did increase significantly under the Obama administration, but that’s to be expected, with the expansion of any government program to assist the destitute in a recession. It’s a domino effect. If you had no problem with the program under Reagan, both Bush’s or Clinton, it’s simply hypocritical to have whined about it for the last eight years under Obama. I’ll be discussing three more things, I, and/or my political “macro tribe” got wrong, or, that were generally misunderstood or wrong when it comes to Obama. Then I’ll balance it by discussing the same number of things I stand by firmly, as far as my criticism of his presidency goes. Stay with me folks, this is about to get really interesting…
Each week I’ll be listing one success and one failure of former president Barack Obama. It’s part of a series of blogs in which I’ll examine his legacy, so here goes:
Success: He repealed DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), which was signed into law by former president Bill Clinton (D) with nearly unanimous, bipartisan support. It defined marriage as being between one man and one woman – the basis for the nuclear family. He was absolutely justified in doing so, because DOMA was inherently unconstitutional. It’s the one time he put on his constitutionalist hat, no matter his motive. This one’s not debatable folks, so I’ll stop there.
Failure: He made history, when in 2012, the SCOTUS upheld the ACA as a tax instead of the mandate it really is. However, it was a slick way of evading the defined role of the federal government in the constitution, which doesn’t include the authority to meddle in healthcare. It doesn’t matter how you align politically, or how you feel about the ACA, we have a civil duty to raise Hell over this. We have a responsibility to engage in constitutional apologetics. We can amend it legally, the framers spelled out this process for us, but we can’t trample over it. He took ten steps forward in dismantling DOMA, then ironically, took 20 steps back by throwing the very same constitution under the bus with Obamacare. Epic failure.
Until next musing,
Talitha “TK” McEachin
The Trump hate continues. I don’t even like the guy, but some folks are so irrational in the aftermath of the election, that they’ve forgotten all of the hate speech & such after Barack Obama was elected – its called selective amnesia. And outrage. Sure, Trump says incendiary, insensitive things but he’s still not responsible for any violence done in his name. Folks, people were commiting hate crimes long before Obama and Trump. Don’t allow professional, propaganda puppets (aka corporate media outlets), convince you that this is something uniquely negative. They’re lying, which is ironic considering they’re the ones pouring gas onto this fire of an alleged surge in racially motivated crimes. “It’s all Trump’s fault,” some insist. Don’t confuse the media’s focus on reporting these racial incidents, in their attempts to smear Trump, with their alleged, frequent occurence. In order to hold him responsible alone, one must first put him on a pedestal. He ain’t that important. Exaggerations are the trademark of what passes for today’s journalism. Racial violence is big business, especially when minorities are the victims. The media will do anything, including outright lying & exaggerating for the sake of ratings. Your uprisings and outrage benefit them. Some of you are like outrage prostitutes, turning tricks with each keystroke – the media is your pimp.
Donald John Trump, Sr, showed us how much of a loudmouth, controversial, unscrupulous jerk he was before the election. He still won. This should indicate how weary Americans are of the establishment types. If Trump is the racist many assess him to be, America would rather have him than a member of the establishment. Do I actually need to spell this out for anyone? The stars are aligned. The universe has spoken. Its just the year of the outsider. Some of you are inconsistent, not him. Moreover, since when did he not have first amendment rights like the rest of us? It’s incredible, how quickly some are willing to ditch the first amendment now that their feelings are hurt, because their side lost. Some have even retorted with sources which claim hundreds of racial complaints in the last week. Not to get too caught up in semantics, but last I checked, complaints aren’t convictions. Neither are arrests. You can’t quantify an increase nor decrease in racially motivated crimes without a long enough time period to measure. That’s just basic statistics & arithmetic. “Police officer, I think my neighbor threw a rock over my fence to hit my Trump sign,” – There. I just made a complaint too. That doesn’t mean however, that my neighbor is guilty. Take a deep breath folks, enough with the doomsday talk already. Its gonna be OK.
Until next musing,
Talitha “TK” McEachin
Next time, I’ll be analyzing the Cabinet picks of President-Elect Donald Trump, starting with the RNC Chair Reince Preibus himself, the newly appointed White House Chief of Staff. Stay tuned! Keep the faith.
This is my first musing in the aftermath of one of the most contentious presidential elections we’ve had in quite some time. Interestingly enough, I accurately predicted this somewhat, unprecedeted Trump win as early as March of this year. Donald John Trump, Sr is our victorious President-Elect, whether we love it or not. Obviously most voters do, to the tune of 290 electoral votes over 228 for Hillary Clinton. It was a landslide. Excuse the obvious pun, but populism trumps party allegiance every time:
I’m going to say this very carefully, but I already know it will be over the heads of the knee-jerkers, political party (or lack thereof) not withstanding. I don’t know with certainty, that President-Elect Trump is a racist. I do know that he has said some very insensitive, outlandish, alpha male, ego-strokin’ stuff, which I’ve found repugnant. Some of it has been racial in nature, most of it has not. Let me interject a reminder that I’ve never supported Trump, because the knee-jerkers heads are about to explode right about now. I’ve favored Libertarian Gary Johnson throughout this entire election cycle. Truth be told, I could care less about Trump’s, or any other politician’s racism, as long as it doesn’t influence their decisions while on the job. You just can’t police thoughts & feelings. Racism is rooted in fear – its emotional. People have the right to be who they are, even if that means being a racist. As long as they stay in their lane, I don’t give two clicks of witch’s heel about their delusions of racial grandeur.
There’s nothing in the constitution barring racists, xenophobes, mysogynists, homophobes, or arachnophobes, from running for president. So all of this whining about who Trump is, or perceived as, is a waste of too many salty tears. Call me when this stuff translates into legislation, and I’ll stand with you against him. Until then, all of this noise, because that’s what it is, is much ado about absolutely nothing, though I support your freedom to make it. Just do me a favor & turn it in the opposite direction of me. It’s so very telling, that this election came down to a choice between two, lily white opponents, yet some are still making this all about race. I’ve concluded that, that’s what matters to far too many, so we have a long way to go in America as far as racial tension is concerned. Some are just stuck on stupid island. But hey, as long as they don’t try to knock the freedom of speech hat from my head, I won’t bother the dunce one on theirs. Carry on…
Some folks are making themselves feel better by calling Melania Trump a stripper, whore, skank, trashy slut – too many demeaning labels to share, but I’m sure you get the point.Melania Trump used to be a stripper & model – both legal occupations, and I’m not judging her. She nor her husband have ever hidden this from anyone. She danced, she modeled, but I, nor anyone of those speaking negatively about her know anything about her sex life. The so-called “whore” hasn’t been a stripper or a model in a long time, she snagged a billionaire, has a 10 year old son, and now she’s the FLOTUS. Somehow, I think she’s going to be just fine, and is doing much better than most. These same folks are pointing out the hypocrisy in the way some on the right have denigrated Michelle Obama over the years. They’d be right, but this isn’t new. Some have been denigrating our First Lady for the last eight years, since she set foot into the White House. Trump’s elevation to our First Lady did not prompt the backlash Obama has faced at any time. Some care more about what she does with her va-jay-jay than they do our national debt. How in the heck are some more upset about derogatory comments about Michelle Obama than she is? She couldn’t care less.
“Talitha, why are you defending Melania Trump?” some have asked. Its because I have class, something such persons are asserting she lacks. While some are focused on Melania Trump’s past, people have lost their lives in the aftermath of an earthquake in New Zealand, Iraqi forces have re-captured ancient lands, and the moon’s cycloptic eye is gazing much closer upon us, probably frowning. Stooping to the level of those who spoke negatively about Michelle Obama, by doing the same to Melania Trump, is equally childish. Grow up. Priorities. Priorities. People.
Comey vs Clinton
I’ve not been at all timid, regarding my disapproval of FBI Director James Comey’s recent, controversial decision to send a letter to Congress detailing questionable communications of Hillary Clinton. I don’t care for Hillary Clinton – politically. That’s not a secret, but I still think Comey should be fired. The end of Election 2016 doesn’t change this view of mine. He made this decision on his own, which is unprecedented given FBI & DOJ protocol. How can he announce that he was not going to prosecute her earlier this year, then send the letter to Congress, making it public, eight days before the election? If you think this had no impact on any voters, you’re incredibly naive. It’s not fair folks. He should have waited until after the election. Am I to believe, that he didn’t think about sending the letter at all after March, until days before the election? If I am to believe that, then I may as well throw in a belief in unicorns & tiny men in green suits, with their pots of gold at the end of rainbows. Santa Claus really delivers gifts on Christmas Eve, and dragons really are our ancient, misunderstood, fiery friends. I’d say the same thing if he had done this to Donald Trump. People who think the electoral playing field was level after that, are more concerned about winning than fairness, which speaks volumes. I could never look myself in the mirror, if I ignored this very obvious, biased, political legerdemain, from someone whose function in our government, is not supposed to be partisan.
Hillary Clinton & her campaign crew are blaming her loss on this very thing. I can only agree that it was poorly timed & inappropriate, but the harsh reality is that Trump ran a better campaign. Approximately five million Democrats chose to stay home. Too many Democrats assessed erroneously, that Trump was the easiest pick of the right-wing litter for Clinton to beat. This led them to vote in the GOP primary for Trump. It backfired, and though Clinton humbly conceded the race to Trump expeditiously, she & her crew should stop shifting the entire blame on Comey, and focus on the real culprit in the mirror.
Electoral College Blues
Over the years I’ve been consistent with my disdain for the electoral college, although even I have had to admit that the alternative – the popular vote is inherently unfair. If we decided national elections by the popular vote, the winners would be decided by a handful of states like California, New York and Florida, who have the largest populations. The irony is that most people who have an issue with the electoral college, only find it problematic when their candidate loses. As someone said today on one of my social media threads, “Leave the foundation of our democratic process alone and just select better candidates,” Folks, that’s the bottom line. Quite frankly, I think Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump, and Hillary Clinton could have beaten any of the other Republican candidates. It’s just the year of the Republican outsider & not the Democrat establishment.
Then there’s the notion that the electoral college has it’s roots in racism, allegedly because it was enacted to benefit slave-holding states. That means its racist, to those so inclined to view most things through the prism of race. It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard in a long time. Even if it were true, slavery was abolished in 1865, and chattel slaves were property, not people. It’s incredibly bizarre that anyone would attempt to link a time in our history, where only white, male landowners could vote, to today’s elections. That’s like saying prohibition is responsible for today’s drunk drivers. Assuming that all Americans want their vote to actually count, the electoral college is the best means for guaranteeing this.
Until next musing,
Talitha “TK” McEachin