The Subversive Brilliance of the House Managers.

The House Managers have effectively wrapped up two days of opening statements, and I’ve taken the night to reflect upon them as a whole.

Having done so, I have a few comments on the overall all strategy and my impressions both as they happened and in reflection.

First the critiques I felt as it was happening:

I felt it was a mistake not only to address the Biden conspiracy theories Trump used as a motivation basis for the actions for which he has being impeached. It opens the door for the defense team to really dig into that at great length.

I also felt that they went a bit over the top with the droning repetition of the same points as they continued to build upon the context framework.

Finally, I believed they used the term “Quid pro quo” far too often and should have instead said variants of “Coerce” and “Extort” to drive the point of illegality home more thoroughly.

But, let me address why reflection shows these were both actually subversively brilliant strategy.

The House Managers began their opening statements with the history of impeachment law and abuse of power, to refute the expected defense claim that a president cannot be impeached, and even if a president could that these offenses don’t rise to an impeachable level.

They then explained the irrefutable evidence of the timeline of the actions of the president and his agents.

Next they combined the timeline with the law to show exactly how and where the violations occurred.

The annoying repetition throughout ensured that those attempting to tune it out or stepping out of the room to avoid being exposed to hearing it or seeing the visual evidence presented would be unable to completely avoid it no matter how hard they tried.

The repeated use of “Quid pro quo” is also nothing but bait for a trap of the defense team which will feel compelled to outline and stipulate to the actions in their attempt to prove it doesn’t qualify, and in so doing they will have to admit what was actually done and why.

Their focus on once again debunking the Biden conspiracy theories seemed to unfortunately lend credence to the arguments as worthy of examination (if only to refute them again). However, there are many Trump loyalists in the Senate and his defense team is likely to be unable to pass the opportunity to seize on this as a massive part of their defense

They will see this as grounds to force their own witness and evidence subpoenas upon the Biden’s to both stall the proceedings and delay the final vote. Even Trump will be hard pressed not to try to force this to happen. But to do so, they will have to allow witness testimony and further evidentiary discovery, which is how the House Managers get the opportunity to force the Administration and government agencies to comply with discovery submission also.

Finally, just in case the ploy for additional witnesses and evidence fails, they presented extensive video and documentary evidence during their opening that fully proved their case for any viewer with any reasoning capability at all, and Schiff wrapped it all up with a powerful instruction for sentencing on the expectation that his these opening statements have a great possibility of also serving as their closing statements.

In my lifetime, whether in reality or fiction, I have never seen a more masterful display of courtroom strategy than that of the House Managers this week.

The House Impeachment Managers are not using Schiff’s final moments last night to close out entirely though, and will spend their remaining time Friday detailing the obstruction charges.

If you cannot be there for all of it, be there for the final 30 minutes to see Schiff finish up one last time.

I expect it will be his best yet.

Image source

Is There, Really, A Case For Impeachment?

The question keeps coming up about whether a president can be charged, or maybe even be investigated, while in office.

The Constitution has clear instructions on what to do if a president is removed based upon conviction of certain crimes, which could not happen without such an investigation being held and charges being filed.

Article II Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States reads:


Article 2 – The Executive Branch
Section 4 – Disqualification

The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


Bribery and other high Crimes and Misdemeanor charges are no doubt already forthcoming from the Mueller staff based upon everything we have already seen, especially the developments from this last week.

Mueller is now up to 192 indictment charges, nearly thirty people and three companies are among those charged already and the indictments clearly indicate charges against more as yet unnamed conspirators coming soon.

Roger Stone openly admitted that not only was he likely the unnamed “U.S. Person” serving as the conduit between a Russian operative and the President’s campaign but that the only person on that campaign he had contact with during that time was Donald Trump.   Thus, openly confessing live on CNN not only his own guilt but that of President Trump.


According to the indictment: “The Conspirators, posting as Guccifer 2.0, also communicated with U.S. persons about the release of stolen documents. On or about August 15, 2016, the Conspirators, posing as Guccifer 2.0, wrote to a person who was in regular contact with senior members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, “thank u for writing back…”

“In initially denying that this passage referred to him, Stone stepped in it, bigly. He told CNN (emphasis mine) that he didn’t think he was the unnamed person in the indictment because, ‘My contact with the campaign in 2016 was Donald Trump. I was not in regular contact with campaign officials.'”

And then, “I think I probably am the person referred to,” he said on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time.


The Mueller investigation has already documented quite a few different ways the Russians were funneling money to the Trump campaign, including through the NRA, so bribery has easily been established.

Each of these by itself is grounds for impeachment and conviction, which would then invalidate the placement of the entire administration under the Constitutional article referenced above.

Now, after the Helsinki Summit, we’re hearing talk of Treason.

Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

However, the Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. Acts of dis-loyalty during peacetime are not considered treasonous under the Constitution. Nor do acts of Espionage committed on behalf of an ally constitute treason.

It is also important to note that under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment.

In 2012, the Pentagon concluded that computer sabotage by another country could constitute an act of war.


The officials emphasize, however, that not every attack would lead to retaliation. Such a cyber attack would have to be so serious it would threaten American lives, commerce, infrastructure or worse, and there would have to be indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved.


Saundra McDavid, Faculty Member of School of Business at American Military University, explains:

Actions that would qualify as acts of war are 1) the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems, and 2) computer-induced failures of power grids, transportation networks or financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations. These events would rise to the level of cyber attacks that could prompt a declaration of war.

We have linked the cyber attack to Russia, both through social engineering, through hacking efforts against the DNC and Clinton campaign, through manipulation of our voting machines, and our voter registration databases.

We have established links for the funding of it through the NRA.

We have linked both the Russian operatives and the the NRA operatives to the Trump campaign and directly to the President through Roger Stone, at the very least.

The result of these actions is the destruction of American environmental protections by Trump appointed EPA chief Scott Pruitt.

The near complete undoing of Civil Rights by Jeff Sessions and Betsy DeVos in the Justice and Education departments respectively.

The stoking of racial and religious hate crimes by the President himself.

The threat of abandoning our allies in the United Nations along with the agreement to pull back from North Korea leaving all the former territories of the U.S.S. R. unprotected and ripe for re absorption by Putin’s Russia.

Starting trade wars that are detrimental to American farmers and businesses, and our allies, but beneficial to Russia who will fill the gap in product loss on the international markets caused by the tariff wars.

Trump is dismantling our government from the top of every organization downward.   He is destroying long standing economic alliances.   He is putting American jobs at risk while claiming the corporate profits are rising.  He is putting American lives at risk by removing environmental protections of them and stoking violent hate crimes.  His administration is committing crimes against humanity at our southern border, by actively abducting and trafficking in immigrant children while extorting their families for political purposes.

No matter what issue is raised about this president, and his administration, it all boils down simply.


We need to remember that we are fighting against a small group of kleptocrats put in power by an adversarial government with the purposes of dismantling America’s democracy and its international influence, and they are using willful ignorance, racism, misogyny, religious bigotry, and divisive partisan politics to accomplish it.


When viewed in that light, every single thing he has done, and everything others are doing to defend him, makes perfect sense.

The president of the United States accepted bribes from a hostile foreign government and conspired to assume power and put that government’s interests in advance of Americans to the determent of American lives.

The attack on our elections was an act of war directly resulting in the disruption or destruction of a nation’s financial institutions and nuclear command and control systems and financial systems that might result in physical damage or economic disruption of Department of Defense (DoD) operations.

It has threatened American lives, commerce, infrastructure and worse, and there is indisputable evidence leading to the nation state involved

This is treason.

This is every single issue the founders said could individually result in not only the removal of the President, but also his Vice President and every civil service member of his administration.    This should invalidate any appointments or laws executive orders issued by such a president as well.

Any member of congress who, knowing all of these things, continues to obstruct Mueller’s investigation is just as guilty as those already convicted of these acts.

There will be pressure, very soon, from Republicans on Trump to resign, as Nixon did, to prevent impeachment.  If this happens, and the investigation stalls as a result, the rest of the Trump administration and cabinet will be allowed to remain in place.

There is enough evidence already to impeach and remove them all.

Barring that, absolutely no further appointments should be confirmed until the investigation has completed, especially not life long judicial appointments.

2020 Reelection Campaign Already?!

In July of 2016, the Urban Dictionary added the definition of “Trumpence” as:



Roughly one month after making a mockery of the Oath of Office — by violating the constitutional emoluments clause while saying the words — Donald J. Trump filed the official papers to open his 2020 reelection campaign.

Today, , writing for Vox, informs us that the Republican president’s first reelection fundraiser is a $35,000-a-ticket soiree at his own hotel.”

You might ask “Why?”

Why would a president less than a year into office already be campaigning for reelection instead of focusing on implementing the policy he pushed during his first campaign?

There are many answers to that question, and all of them are correct.   All of them should prove to you that you should not support this reelection campaign.

First, as the Vox article points out:


In hosting the dinner at his hotel, Trump manages to raise money not only for his 2020 campaign but for himself too. After all, any business the hotel does is personal profit for the president, who still owns the Trump Organization. It’s unclear if the hotel will make money from the dinner, but even if the hotel gave the food for free, any money attendees spend on hotel rooms, at the bar, or at shops in the hotel goes straight to the Trump Organization.


Hosting the event as his own hotel is a revenue windfall for the hotel even if it doesn’t charge the President’s campaign itself a dime; but they’ll charge in order to funnel the money from the campaign back into the family business coffers.

But there are other several other, and probably far more important reasons that Trump is doing this, and they need to be exposed as well.   Which brings us to the second reason.

By establishing the campaign fund, and officially holding rallies, large donors who want Presidential favor can funnel money into his campaign efforts through various SuperPac funds over the entire first four years of the Presidential term in return for pay-to-play favoritism.

But, wait, don’t order yet, there’s more!

The big trick is declaring all of his public appearances as official campaign rallies or fund raisers.   By doing so, he can block access to whomever he wants without violating constitutional rights of anyone that doesn’t agree with him.   He can have protestors, hecklers, and anyone who speaks out forcibly removed as an “unapproved guest” instead of being forced to hear what those citizens have to say in opposition to him.

It allows him to continue the “Lock her up!” and “Repeal and Replace!” chants while deflecting from his own inability to do either and from the investigations into his own unethical and possibly criminal infractions.

Next, there is the fact that political campaign speech is protected in a way that the official words of a civil servant are not, so it is much harder — legally — to hold him accountable for the “dog whistle” and overt racist rhetoric he uses at these campaigns to rile up the”Alt-Right,” Neo-Nazi, and  White Nationalist voter base that refuses to abandon him as long as he keeps speaking their language.

Let us not forget the fact that the continuation of the campaign allows him to keep the merchandise sales flowing as well.

Finally, there is the fact that he can set up reservations and accommodations in his own properties for foreign government agents to accidentally — on purpose — bump into him for a brief unscheduled meeting that is off the White House records, while claiming those agents were just there at the same time as his rally/fund-raiser purely by coincidence.

Please, I implore you, do not allow yourself to be one of the willfully ignorant targets of this trumpence campaign that gets whipped into enough uninformed outrage to vote for this administration a second time.

Leadership 101

To be a great leader, you do not need to be able to do everything or even know everything. But you do need to know enough about yourself to recognize your strengths, admit your weaknesses, and both understand and acknowledge what you do not know.

If you are capable of that you can assemble a team that compensates for your weaknesses and compliments your strengths.

Unfortunately if you are not capable of that, such a team won’t put up with your inability to lead competently; good people will quit, while the best will never accept the job with you. Then the only people you’ll be left with, that are willing to work for you, are a team of people who either can’t get other work elsewhere or are willing to be sycophants feeding your ego enough to convince you that you’re a good leader while everything around you falls to pieces.

The Republican president is not a good leader, because he thinks he knows more than everyone else, he thinks he can do every job better than every one else. And as this synopsis of a single day of his presidency shows, he is completely and utterly wrong about both of those things. He is also incapable of admitting a mistake, and more importantly incapable of learning from it.

He has already assembled his team of incompetent sycophants, and we’re all watching everything around him fall to pieces. The only one that doesn’t see it — including his supporters — is he, himself. His narcissistic delusions of grandeur shield him from any version of truth and reality.

March To The Ballot — 2016

The 14th Amendment, which gave citizenship and voting rights to former slaves and their descendants, was passed in 1868.

The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote was ratified in 1920.

Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Equal Rights Act in 1964 and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was created.   Now the EEOC enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age in hiring, promoting, firing, setting wages, testing, training, apprenticeship, and all other terms and conditions of employment. Race, color, sex, creed, and age are now protected classes.

In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated five weeks prior to my birth.

Today, these laws are being reversed with the creation of religious right to discriminate laws

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLCreports that “With only weeks left before Election Day, and Donald Trump refusing to say if he will accept the legitimacy of the vote, the radical right is warning of civil war and violence if Hillary Clinton wins. “

“Racists have fretted that the deck is stacked against Trump, and ultimately them. And after last night’s debate, the festering worry boiled over into forecasts of violence.

“’Either way the wind blows this election something’s gonna break,’ a user called ‘StanLeMan’ wrote in August. Another Daily Stormer user identified as ‘AryanUprising,’ offered a less-nuanced message: ‘They want violence? Just let the [sic] try declaring Hillary winner.'”

For most in my generation or younger, this Presidential election presents the first opportunity for us in our adult lifetimes to take a united stand against racial and gender based oppression — to send the message to everyone in this country and abroad, that the majority of our people are still striving to maintain the ideals laid out at the founding of our country for us to eventually attain — that all are created equal and all have the unalienable Rights, to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and all the other rights granted by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

We can say, in no uncertain terms, that we support the women and men of our nation, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, or skin color simply by showing up en masse to vote against Donald Trump and every politician at every level of government that has not openly and aggressively denounced him and his rhetoric of misogyny, racial and religious discord and calls for sedition.

We must not only make sure that he does not win this election, but that he loses by such a staggering margin that the signal is sent to all those like him that it is time for our country to take our next great step forward on the path to becoming the nation we were created to be.

One where we do not define or attain our own success by the failure and defeat of others, but instead by our combined achievements together to lift our nation and all its people higher and carry us forward into the future.

So if you know someone that is a disenfranchised voter, please share this closing thought with them:

You may not like the choices we have.   I have never wanted to vote less, nor needed to more.  But for the sake of everyone you care about now and in the future, it is imperative that we vote.   And that we vote at every level of the ballot, from National through State and County down to City elections.

If we don’t, the next oligarch dynasty to rule over the United States won’t be the Bush and Clinton families of the last 35 years, but the Trumps of the next 16 to 24.   Consider that both Donald Jr and Eric will be eligible to run by 2020, and if this election, this year, is anything but a stunning and crushing defeat, one of them will.

For our modern civil rights movement we don’t need to congregate in one state or one place to march together.   We just need to all march to our nearest polling station.   Be brave.  Be undeterred.   Send the message.   Together.

And Now We Vote.

In the final Presidential debate the candidates finally spent a significant amount of time talking about real policy issues.

The already committed supporters of each candidate will tell you that their candidate won.

This was the most animated and confident Clinton has appeared throughout the entire campaign cycle, and through the first half it was the most subdued we have seen Trump to date.

At about the half way point it appeared that whatever they’d medicated him with to keep him calm reached its limits though, and the bombastic antagonism spewed forth

I would expect to show over the next few days that as a result Trumps numbers haven’t significantly moved either way, many of undecided voters are moving to Clinton.

I doubt there were many, if any, undecided voters won over by Trump’s display of uninformed outrage grounded in his own willful ignorance last evening.

He’d have done better if his advisors had just sat him down for a few minutes before hand to watch Schoolhouse Rock’s old “I’m Just A Bill” video, so he would have had at least a fundamental understanding of what it takes to pass a bill through our Congress.

But ultimately Trump’s performance had two defining and damaging moments.

His refusal to acknowledge the outcome of the Presidential election if he does not win, despite the fact that just hours earlier his own Vice Presidential candidate had said he would is the most glaring.   If these two can’t get on the same page for the campaign, how are they ever going to work together in the White House?   This issue seems to be getting the most coverage in the follow up by the major media outlets.

But Social Media has latched onto a different issue and is running with it.   While Clinton was attempting to discuss the issues of Social Security funding, Donald Trump spoke over her, saying “Such a nasty woman.”   Immediately a firestorm erupted on twitter under the hashtags #Nastywoman and #Nastywomen.      #BadHombre also got a good bit of play in response to his use of the term for deportation.

Dylan Matthews wrote that there were three clear winners and two clear losers from last night’s debate.   The winners were: Hillary Clinton, The Reproductive Rights Movement, and Vladimir Putin.    The losers were Donald Trump and the Democratic Process.

I’d contend that if in any United States presidential debate we can surmise that one of the clear winners is the leader of Russia, that we can also include the American people in the column of losers from the event.

As a final note, of all the debates we have seen over this Primary and General campaign cycle, I have to say that the two performances by Chris Wallace as moderator have been the bets run.   He managed to keep them mostly on target, he asked the important followup questions that needed to be asked of each, and generally kept control of the event.  I think it would be safe to add his name to the list of winners for the evening.

Is Trump The Republican Candidate Or Merely A Necessary Step in the Ascension Of Their Real Choice?

Consider the possibility for just a few moments that installing Donald Trump as President of the United States is not the specific endgame the Republican National Committee is striving to obtain.


The Republican leadership has committed themselves to the long game before, they’ve been focusing on the State and local governments for decades in order to rewrite legislation to undermine civil and Constitutional rights for protected classes of citizens and manipulate voting districts.


They’ve committed themselves to complete and total obstruction of a sitting president for two full terms, even to the determent of getting some of the concessions they have been fighting for all along by working with him as well as to the determent of the health, safety, and welfare of their own constituents.


What if they’ve decided that the best way to get the moderate Republicans to help them put a hard right evangelical conservative extremist in the office of Presidency is to reluctantly put Trump in the front runner position to appeal to use his fame and fortune to appeal to a populist base of voters easy to whip into a frenzy through manipulation of their willful ignorance to create uninformed outrage that will drive them in great numbers to the ballot boxes.   They do all this while claiming not to like his policies but supporting him because their constituents (whom they’ve already proven they about not at all) support him.


In exchange for party support during the election they put the candidate they ultimately want in the position in place as the campaign’s choice for Vice President on the ticket.   Then throughout the election cycle, that VP choice campaigns as if his running mate doesn’t exist and as if he doesn’t support the policies and positions of his own running mate himself.   Party leaders begin to slowly and reluctantly endorse their candidate while simultaneously distancing themselves from his rhetoric and condemning his behavior.


Finally, shortly after Trump is elected president, the RNC leadership that put him there unveils their plan to lead the way to impeach their own Presidential candidate, putting on a show of putting the safety and wellbeing of our nation’s above their own party line politics.


This would bring back the moderates that were driven away by Trump himself, secure their power position in the oval office with one of the most extreme right candidates to land on the ballot in decades,


In such a scenario, the end result wouldn’t be a President Trump in 2017, but a President Pence by 2018.


And in the long run, Pence would be far worse, because he is not a vacuous shell, but rather a conniving politician with a frightening social and economic agenda.

Do We Deserve Better?

I’ve chosen to launch this site with an honest essay that is going to anger many, regardless of political alignment, as they read it.  If you are one of them, hopefully you’ll stay with it to the end, and join us in an honest discussion of how we address the issues presented that have angered you.

I’ve recently said “We deserve better,” but do we?   Really?

I am going to use our two primary current Presidential candidates’ campaigns to evaluate a problem within our political discourse, society, media reporting, news presentation, and governmental process that we ourselves have allowed to be created.

We may not deserve better, we may be reaping what we’ve sowed, and it may be exactly what we deserve.

But our future generations deserve better, and we owe it to them to correct our mistakes before they inherit an even bigger mess as a result.

Recently on my social media discussion page (Tim’s Timely Topics), I pointed out that a recent statement by one of the candidates was an indication of poor campaigning because regardless of the underlying intent of the commentary, the wording offered a self-destructive sound bite opportunity for the opposition to run with in attack advertisements.   And both these candidates are building their campaigns on attacking each other at lower and lower levels with their own words instead of campaigning upon their own merits.   They are both running fear mongering campaigns in which, despite their own failings, they are our only hope of defeating the evil other.

By pointing out this flaw in campaign strategy, I was condemned in the commentary for propagating support for the evil other.  So before we go further, let me be clear.

Despite my desire for third party candidates to be seriously involved in the selection process for the voters, it isn’t going to happen during this election cycle.  Barring some catastrophic mythical “October Surprise” that is so devastating it puts one or both of them in jail (not on trial, but actually convicted) prior to Tuesday, November 8, one of these two people will be our next President – for better or worse.

While many consider Donald Trump to be an anomaly in modern politics — is he? Really?

In his recent essay for Truthdig, former Clinton cabinet member and longtime family friend and supporter, Robert Reich explained:

“The reality is that Trump’s proposals aren’t far removed from what the Republican Party has been trying to achieve for years – cutting taxes on the rich and on corporations; gutting health, safety, and environmental regulations; repealing Obamacare; spending more on defense; blocking immigration and sending more undocumented workers packing; imposing “law and order” in black communities; and preventing an increase in the minimum wage.

Focusing on Trump’s character flaws instead of the flawed Republican agenda is appropriate – up to a point. Donald Trump is dangerous. And, yes, the first priority must be to stop him.”

While both candidates are focusing so much on smear campaigns of the other to distract from the need to honestly address their own flaws and actual platform policy initiatives and plans, they are doing considerable damage to their down ballot candidates in the struggle for both State and Federal legislature.

So what did we do?  How did we get here?

We have created, enabled, and supported a society in which negative attack advertisements instead of focus on individual personal merit have become the norm.

We have created, enabled, and supported an always-on opinion presentation infotainment industry disguised as “News reporting and analysis” which is so driven by ratings and internet link click counts that the headline has become more important than the information, and being first with the story has become more important than being first with the facts.   In reality, facts have become mostly irrelevant in our political process.    Scientific data and research is ignored, and in some cases even prevented from being collected and compiled.    As a result, we have a system where even obviously disproven theories can be repeatedly presented as worthy counterpoint in an attempt to appear “fair and balanced.”

We have created, enabled, and supported a two party political structure, and we have given it so much power it has created laws, rules, and regulations that very effectively prevent any third party from challenging their stranglehold on our government.   And then we let them make it worse.

Over the last few generations we have let these two parties, present us with consistently worse and worse options from both sides, with the argument that it is imperative that we must stop one of these two from obtaining power at all cost.   The cost, invariably is further erosion of personal Constitutional and Human rights in favor of greater rights of “personhood” for large corporations and an ever widening income opportunity gap.   With each election we stop the immediate threat and drift one step closer to the re-establishment of a modern Robber Baron society, or worse, the eventual serf/Lord society of old.

Which brings us to where we are right now, a point where the optics of the campaign are more important than the content of the campaign message.   With two candidates who have spent the last 30 years developing both their message and their optics, one in the political arena and one in the entertainment arena.   Both should be masters of the craft now, which makes the obvious gaffes even that much more inexcusable.

Let us look at couple very good examples from the last few days.

A recording from a February fund raiser has been leaked which opponents of Hillary Clinton are attempting to spin in a manner that claims Clinton has called all of the Millennial generation Sanders supporters losers who live in their parent’s basements and who are too naïve and ignorant to understand how politics work.

The Clinton campaign is claiming that in full context the message is really “Educated millennial voters have been disenfranchised by our governmental representation to the extent that in our current economy even the hope of the ‘American Dream’ is being denied them, and that we must understand that in order to win over their support.”   Taken in full context, the latter is absolutely how the message should be interpreted.

However, if we take that correct context and apply it to everything the campaign has said and done in reference to that understanding and millennial reach out since the statement, it is clear that she hasn’t taken her own advice.   The campaign and its surrogates have been nothing but condescending and derisive towards those millennial voters since.  Even those asking remarkably good, important, and valid questions that disprove the theory that they are naïve and inexperienced.

We have to keep in mind, all of us, that for those voters under the age of 35, we have been at war in the Middle Eastern region of the world for roughly half of their life, and all but the last four years of their lives have been lived with either a member of the Bush or Clinton family in the office of the President, Vice President, or Secretary of State.      These people represent to those voters the very heart of the established and deeply entrenched problems that we face today and hold specific responsibility for getting us to the point we are at now.

No attempt to reach out to them and secure their support will be a success without considering those things.

At roughly the same time as the Clinton recording being released, Trump made a statement at a presentation to veterans that is being spun by his opponents as “Trump claims veterans in need of mental or emotional support and assistance as a result of their service are weak or ‘not strong.’”

The campaign is claiming that the intent of the message, delivered as part of a call for improved veteran support was that the trials and tribulations of war can create mental and emotional stress and problems that even the strongest of our veterans can have a hard time handling it.

However, if we put it in context with all the things he has said during this campaign cycle about preferring soldiers who weren’t captured, mocking the physically disabled, and the repeated issues with his promises of charitable donations and funds from fundraisers for veterans’ organizations not being delivered, it is clear that he not only does view it as weakness, but a weakness to be exploited and used to his personal advantage.

With the advent of personal recording devices available to everyone, every politician should assume they are being recorded every time they are speaking.  At this point, in today’s political environment they should assume even their chosen aides and supporters are recording for the opportunity to further their own personal political agendas.   For people who have made careers out of controlling the optics of their images and personas, these gaffes are troublesome, as they appear to be a slip in the mask more than a true accident of phrasing.

All of this brings us back to the fear mongering approach of both campaigns as they attempt to convince us how bad a vote for the other would be, instead of campaigning on how good they would be.

If we set aside the divisive social commentary, there is little difference between the candidates and their “disconnect” from the average voter.

Trump has bankrupted many companies while profiting from the failure.  Clinton claimed in her own biography that she and her husband were absolutely broke when they left the White House despite being much more well off than most of the upper middle class of our nation and in possession of multiple homes.

So instead let us look at those other issues of substantive policy.

Clinton has done considerable work for both women and children throughout her life.   She also has a history of making mistakes she would later regret and have to spend a great deal of time apologizing for having made.   She is deeply entrenched with both the Wall Street elite and the industrial war machine economy.   She was aggressively responsible for pushing the expansion of Fracking on a global scale as Secretary of State.   There are some serious issues with the economic status she is personally directly responsible for helping create in Puerto Rico.  She advocates for a higher minimum wage, but has frequently advocating against the establishment of a living wage minimum.    She claims to advocate pragmatism, while appearing to give up negotiating ground before even agreeing to sit down to discuss terms.

Trump has proven to be successful in terms of maintaining and possibly even increasing his own personal fortune, and building a bit of an entertainment empire, but has a record of doing so by destroying businesses (and the lives of the employees of those businesses) through poor management and then using the available laws to shelter his personal fortune from the aftermath.   He has a proven track record of refusing to pay money he owes other companies, until they either give up completely or settle for a smaller payment and loss to themselves just to receive something at all.   He has been proven to use his own charity to funnel money to himself and launder it from one business to another to avoid taxation.   The actual charitable work meant so little to him that he’s just been ordered to cease and desist fund raising because he never properly established the charity, something completely inexcusable for a man who employs a battery of lawyers to maintain his businesses and their legitimacy.  If the 1995, tax returns were accurate, he lost roughly a billion dollars in a single year, and has been recouping that money over two decades by claiming the loss as a tax deduction.    This means that the government has been paying back his laws from the tax dollars of those of us that do pay during that time, instead of using those funds for support of things like education and veterans’ care.

And while, Clinton has claimed that she made the wrong choice when making some of the ‘tough choices,’ at least she has had the capability to learn from many of them and adjust.   Trump isn’t just incapable of learning from his mistakes, he appears to be incapable of admitting or acknowledging them.   That inability to recognize and learn from mistakes is a remarkably dangerous quality in a world leader.

Now, if we add back in the social reform issues, Trump is campaigning on a return to “law and order” by allowing police to violate our constitutional rights on a selective and arbitrary basis.   Clinton is on record for having been in great support of establishment of the laws by the former President Clinton which have helped lay the foundation of our school to prison pipelines and the over-incarceration of our citizens for non-violent offenses, and the privatized corporate prisons that profit by it.

Over all, Clinton has done better work.   She is beyond a doubt the less bad option of the two to lead our country for the next four years.

All hyperbole aside is absolutely imperative that we not allow Donald Trump to become the President of the United States.   His inability to learn from mistakes, or admit that others may be more knowledgeable on any subject, will lead to an international incident that could easily spark another world war.  His embrace of White Nationalism (whether he believes it or not) and willingness to propagate it could easily lead us into another civil war.   His economic policies could very easily result in a full scale economic class revolt.  In all aspects, domestic and foreign, a Trump presidency would be disastrous.

Many of the blindly devoted Clinton supporters have made the claim that if you don’t vote for her, you must be anti-woman.

Not voting for Clinton doesn’t make you anti-woman.

Advocating support for someone who is as clearly anti-woman as Trump certainly might. By supporting him, even if you are not anti-woman you are condoning and enabling a person who is and attempting to place them in a position of power.

You can substitute many things for “woman” in that statement and it will still hold true.

Mentally ill
Physically Disabled
Constitutional Rights

Trump is against them all, and if you support him, you are pushing those agendas as legitimate and enabling their continuation.

He must not only be defeated, but he must be defeated in a devastating fashion.   We must send the message that his misogynistic, racist, xenophobic hate and fear filled rhetoric has no credibility and no further place in our political discourse.   If he is not crushed, the next candidate put forth may very well be worse, because Trump’s efforts, and the media’s morbid ratings-driven embrace of it, will have given it credence and legitimacy.    We cannot, must not, allow that.

In order to create that defeat, with the necessary margins, we’ll have to vote for Hillary Clinton.

We must also make it clear, that that margin of victory is not a mandated endorsement of her own political agenda so much as a condemnation of her opponents.

We must make it clear that it is not a vote of blind acceptance. She will be held accountable for the people to continue forward progress on health care reform, social reform, economic reform, educational reform, student loan restructuring, bringing our military personal and their support staff home and taking care of them after they return, rebuilding our infrastructure and then making the commitment to maintain it, addressing climate change issues (man-made or not, we must begin making plans for the national and international issues it is going to create, we are too far behind already).   We must make it clear that if instead of addressing these things, she continues to drive to the Democratic party further to the political right and erode our individual rights in favor of corporate rights she will not be returning for a second term.

As long as we continue to embrace the “lesser evil” without holding it accountable, our efforts to prevent the immediate disaster are doing nothing more than delaying the inevitable.

We can’t consider it a win to take a few small steps in the wrong direction over and over again to prevent bigger steps in the wrong direction.

A death by a thousand cuts, is still a painful, unpleasant death.

In addition to all of that, neither candidate will be able to accomplish anything beyond what is available to our President through the use of Executive Orders and Executive Actions with a divided, partisan, obstructionist congress.

So vote for Clinton, but don’t stop protesting, don’t stop campaigning, don’t stop researching and discussing the important issues.

Vote the down ballot races accordingly, to provide the candidate who must win the congressional support necessary to accomplish what we need them to accomplish.

We must vote on the ballot initiatives for establishing or repealing laws especially state constitutional amendments.   We must vote for the local candidates in our city, county and state government races, as the people in these offices that are successful will be the ones to rise to higher positions in a few years.

We must stop supporting news agencies that propagate lies and false information as factual data, and hold them accountable for the truth.

We must drive reform that breaks the two party control of our government apart and allows for the rise of other options.

We must break the cycle.

If not us?  Who?

If not now?  When?