Tag Archives: America
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…
I’m back with my latest musing, on why I was wrong about a prior criticism of former president Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package. As a Republican and Conservative libertarian, I have to work harder at objectivity when assessing his successes and failures. My missive here is to share one of his successes, which I erroneously deemed a failure:
After researching certain aspects of Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package, I now see the labeling of him as the “food stamp president” quite differently. I haven’t written about it in a while, but I think a prior criticism I hurled his way was wrong. I didn’t agree with people calling him the “FSP” – I stand by that, but I understood why many called him that. Some attributed it to racism, and I’m sure that’s true for some percentage of his opponents, but certainly not all. I refuse to entertain the notion that all, or most Republicans are racists. It’s a stereotype, and I don’t play those games. In his economic stimulus, he expunged the work requirements, making the SNAP/FS program more accessible to Americans in need. We were in a recession, people were out of work and losing their homes. Many who had never received any government aid, found themselves swallowing their pride to feed their children. Most had at least one job, but simply didn’t make enough to make ends meet. It’s still true today that most SNAP recipients are working.
Barack Obama helped millions defray their cost of living by putting food on their tables. In other words, the criticism was that under his presidency, the highest number of people were food stamp recipients, due to the economic crisis. While there’s some truth to that, it’s a bit misleading for me and others (like Newt Gingrich), to assert, that he was responsible for the economic crisis, therefore forcing people on the SNAP program. That’s a faulty cause and effect. No, he recognized the crisis we were in, cause notwithstanding, and deliberately (key word) expanded the program, so millions could eat. The trade off was that the number of recipients under his watch soared. He deliberately took that hit on his economic report card. You don’t have to be a member of MENSA to understand, that loosening rigid requirements means more qualified applicants. You may not agree with his solution, and that’s your prerogative, but it was his solution, in his best judgment. The ends justified the means to him. That’s the job America hired him to do. If you want me to believe, that a Harvard educated attorney and former Senator couldn’t foresee, that the number of recipients would increase after removing work requirements, you may as well be asking me to believe in five-legged unicorns. Believing that is also an attack on his intelligence, and mine. You’d also have to ignore the trillions in debt, created by Bush before him.
Some will argue that his motive was to increase government dependency – one rung on the ladder of socialism. The problem lies in the fact that it never happened. We aren’t a socialist nation. If I’m wrong and that was his goal, he failed utterly, so it doesn’t matter anyway. There will be criticisms of him that I’ll stand by, but this isn’t one of them. I’m humble enough to retract this view. Of course, there’s a valid counter argument to this reassessment that isn’t lost on me. Once the economy improved and the recession ended (2012), the number of SNAP recipients should have done down. That didn’t happen. The question is why, but that’s a lateral issue, one that’s unrelated to the “food stamp president” label. That’s also another musing. I’m reassessing my view of his presidency, before writing a critical essay on his legacy. In order to fairly assess his presidency, you have to look beyond the numbers. There’s a lot of gray area. You have to dig deeper. Fair is fair, and this is one view that I’m totally comfortable with amending.
Until next musing,
Talitha K. 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
As promised post before last, here are my latest musings from social media, using the new format of sharing a few quick postings rather than one longer piece so that I can spend more time writing fiction. Enjoy!
Talitha, why don’t you discuss economic matters more?
Sometimes people ask me why I don’t speak out more on matters of the economy. I do, but those aren’t the social media posts that are popular. Most, if not all of our social woes in America, are inextricably bound to the fiscal ones anyway. I talk about fiscal matters to select audiences of people armed with the economic acumen to engage me. All else is a waste of my time. I can’t discuss the post-jobs economy, the ponzi scheme we affectionately call Social “Security”, quanitative easing, nor the mounting federal debt with people who retort with anecdotes, about their buying power, when the lack of wealth of certain groups in America is discussed. This usually comes from those whose cultural egos bruise easily, especially when our lack of wealth is pointed out by the likes of Donald Trump if I’m polite, any white person if I’m not. Many prefer that our fiscal, community, dirty laundry not be aired, and for some it’s a futile attempt to prove that race related poverty is mostly a myth. “I can keep up with the Jones’,” many insist. The keyword is “I”, which is irrelevant to the topic of what “we” can do, or have. Fortunately for me, I’m under no such delusion. An economic discussion is a moot one, when had with those who believe wealth can be measured by consumerism. This is America, where living beyond one’s means is the norm, and where many poor citizens spend frivolously, while many among the wealthy are frugal. We’ve got it all backwards folks, so one’s ability to consume has no place in an analysis of collective wealth. Some are asking me to discuss the blue sky, even though they’re stubbornly convinced that it’s green. Nope, I’m not doing that anymore, because it’s impossible to wake up people who are pretending to be asleep. Don’t fret though, such persons will never be alone. There’s always plenty of blissful room in Club Ignorance.
Slavery in America & Black Wealth:
Some Americans grossly underestimate the impact of centuries of chattel slavery in this country on black folks, in terms of the lack of wealth as a whole. And before someone says “Africans sold other Africans into slavery,” or, “There were black/Native-American slave owners too,” “White people were chattel slaves too,” (utter nonsense, btw), or, “Look at immigrant group X and emulate them,”- note that these are all irrelevant, red herrings. Let your fingertips take you away from this discussion – this one’s for conscious grown-ups, not childish, talking point spouting, keyboard commandos. Everyone else, as my friend & mentor Steven Barnes (NY Times bestselling author of LION’S BLOOD & ZULU HEART) said to me a few years ago – “There’s no such thing as a wound that takes less time to heal than it took to inflict,”. Using those excuses, is like breaking the legs of one man in a race, then shooting the gun in the air for everyone to begin running. After the race & his obvious loss, the winners ask him, “Now why is it taking you so long to start running?”.
If you think that other groups, under identical conditions, would have fared better, you’re a part of the problem. If we believe that there’s no such thing as race, and it’s just a social construct, any other conclusions drawn point to a belief in the inferiority of black Americans, or Native Americans, who aren’t doing so well either. There’s no escaping that. For those who often ask me, “What can we do to help?”, you can start by acknowledging our humanity. When some did have wealth long ago – land (40 acres & a mule), economic prosperity (Black Wallstreet) or, were entrepreneurs (black owned businesses in the Jim Crow south) this was forcibly & violently taken from far too many. That’s not our fault, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m weary of the whole “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” rhetoric hurled at black Americans. We did that, and were re-victimized many times over LEGALLY. It’s still happening on some level today via the judicial system. Do some of us gain economic prosperity despite this? Absolutely! but that’s not the point. Individual triumphs are anecdotal, nothing more or less. Collective ones, however, are an indication of economic stability, which is needed to have & maintain generational wealth. That should be the goal. That is our inherited disadvantage.
Manufacturing Fear: Hillary Clinton as POTUS & ISIS
I’m going to preface this by saying that this is more or less food for thought that requires some level of objectivity. In a recent discussion, a friend brought up his committment to vote for Donald Trump, because he thinks having a female president will open the door for more terrorist attacks from radical, Islamic jihadists. His logic and that of others, is that a woman as POTUS will give the appearance of weakness exceedingly more, from members of a culture & religion, in which women are totally subjugated & have very little freedom.This is within the context of an extremist, radical, Islamic microcosm, to be differentiated from the greater, non-radicalized Islamic culture. Obviously, all Muslims are not radicalized, and I don’t mind going further to say that most aren’t. My intuition initially says yes, they could view America as vulnerable with a woman at the helm, but that’s not reason enough for us to not elect a woman in any election. In fact, that line of reasoning is preposterous. Moreover, America may be embarking on its first female president, but we aren’t the first such country – that logic is lacking in precedents to buttress it. Having a female president may be perceived as a weakness by ISIS, and perhaps even domestic terrorists, but this can be advantageous in our battle against terrorism. Perception often doesn’t match reality. Doesn’t it benefit us to be falsely perceived as weaker? I’m not a fan of Clinton for a myriad of reasons, but this isn’t one of them. It can’t be. It’s a provocative assertion, and not altogether flawed, but it seems to me its more of a fear tactic than a cohesive, valid argument. Maybe I’m just not paranoid.Your thoughts?
Have a safe & productive weekend! Until next musing,