BIDEN’S TEACHABLE MOMENT

BIDEN’S TEACHABLE MOMENT

       

    Joe Biden is in a bit of a pickle right now as Lucy Flores is accusing him of inappropriate touching. I wrote this on yesterday, Monday April 1, 2019, and that very day another woman came forward with an allegation that Biden rubbed noses with her that made her feel uncomfortable. I this this second allegation serves to prove the larger point I make below.

Americans have known that Biden is a “tactile” politician that hugs and rubs and kisses on people, male and female. It has always been his way of showing that he cares and can empathize with the issues and problems of the electorate. I don’t think this is so much a sexual harassment issue as an invasion of personal space. And as a man, I have encountered men who shake hands too long, or put their face too close to mine, or just engage inside my personal space. And yes, it has made me feel uncomfortable. But this is not a sexual thing, there are just people who engage others in this manner.

            For full disclosure, Joe Biden is my personal pick for the Democratic nomination and next president. With that said, the reason Biden is my choice is because of his life’s work and his life span. I think America is deeply in need of a grandfather. America under Trump has opened that trunk in the attic that contained all the racism and insecurity that white people have felt since the Civil Rights Movement. These feelings were forced into that box as new laws and court precedents made expression of racial insensitive feelings costly. Even the Ku Klux Klan, a bastion of racism and hate, was forced to go undercover after civil judgments bankrupted the organization.

            Grand Dragon, David Duke put away his robe and wore a suit and ran for elected office. Most Americans have yielded to the new reality of diversity regardless of their stance. And as time has passed, diversity has become an accepted reality for succeeding generations. It is this diversity that has allowed racial minorities and women to make tremendous strides in all aspects of life. Diversity spawned the #MeToo movement and brought light to the culture of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

            Then there was Brett Kavanaugh. Watching Brett, the Party Animal reminded me of the movie Animal House, in which a girl is upstairs passed out drunk on a bed when a drunken frat boy is tempted to take advantage. Kavanaugh’s experiences and denials seemed to me to be a sign of the times and the total lack of respect that most men had for females. This lack of respect was deeply embedded into the culture of, not just America, but of the entire male/female dynamic of the human race.

            Fast forward to Joe Biden and his “tactile” sensitivity. Many would compare this tactile emotion to be akin to Trump’s “grab em by the pussy”. But We know Joe Biden, we have watched Joe hug and show his affection to many people, men and women.  Enemies of Joe Biden love to use the video of Biden putting his hands on the shoulder of Stephanie Carter, the wife of former Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. This, those enemies claim, is a prime example of inappropriate touching. Yet, Stephanie Carter has said, Biden hugged her because he could sense that she was nervous and was comforted by the show of affection which she greatly appreciated.

           The #MeToo movement seems to have established a benchmark rule that there will be no touching. Now, people use retrospect the define creepy. We measure how we feel and what is appropriate based on the strict #MeToo benchmark of there isn’t “supposed” to be any touching or signs of affection: violation of this benchmark, is disqualifying.  But no one is saying Biden was being sexually inappropriate, merely invading space and being too personal. Yet, it has been that personalization that has endeared Biden to the American people.  He has always been that guy that will just give a hug because that’s what was needed. And more times than not, it was greatly appreciated. Just like your grandfather.

What has changed is the expectation that people should love one another and should display that affection. Biden is from that bygone era where he felt free to show affection and it didn’t mean he was trying to get with you. These complaints against Joe Biden are based on our collective loss of trust in each other. He touched her on the shoulder once, obviously he’s a creep. Yet, back in the day, such touching could be seen as a sign of encouragement.

Part of Stephanie Carter’s response of welcoming the comforting touch, is that she knows what kind of person Joe Biden is. Nevertheless, today’s #MeToo realities not only frown on Biden’s form of “tactile” emotions, but even the word affection is absolute taboo in a formal or workplace environment. So, Biden is struggling to fit his lifetime of affection, into the cold emotionless-equality requirement of the #MeToo Movement. But I say he shouldn’t try. He should instead accept and understand that just as it is now considered RUDE TO TYPE IN ALL-CAPS, displays of affection, even friendly-accepted ones, are not as inviting and permitted as they once were, but his past displays were all prior to the #MeToo epiphany.

            As Americans, we were able to watch Barack Obama transform from opposing same-sex marriage to pushing to normalize it. And we all understood his reasoning and witness how attitudes can change. Biden has the unique prospective of having watched all three major civil rights movements: race, gender and sexual orientation, unfold in front of his eyes.

            This is his opportunity to discuss the mistakes made by people from a different time; mistakes not formed from hate or animus, but from lack of understanding and ignorance. Joe Biden is truly that grandfather from that age when men assumed a women’s place was in the home. Joe Biden is from that period when blacks were believed to be inferior. Even though Joe Biden never espoused any of these racist and/or sexist ideals, he has lived and watched people on the wrong side of these issues change and evolve, just as Obama evolved on gay marriage.

The age of the civil rights movement was a time of quick moving change, so much so that even black “leaders” and women rights “leaders” could not decide how much change they should push to achieve. In the 1990’s, gay rights “leaders” disagreed on the level of change which should be sought, and many believed seeking legalization of gay marriage in the courts was a mistake that could provoke a severe backlash.

            Biden was there for all this change. Biden, if you are listening, go on Oprah or Anderson Cooper and talk face to face to Ms. Lucy Lopez (your accuser) live and unrehearsed. This is a teachable moment, much like Obama’s beer summit, but without the beer or the levity. He should talk about how change sometimes gets ahead of people. I personally believe the Biden of 2014, did not see his act from the prospective of how Ms. Lopez could have felt, until very recently looking at it retrospectively, through that #MeToo lens. Biden should listen to her full story of what she says he did and she felt. He should accept that what was once an innocuous gesture of affection and sympathy, is now construed in an entirely different way. And most importantly, he must resist the urge to give her a comforting hug.

            Yet, with or without a face to face with the accuser, a discussion of this issue would also allow Biden to discuss the Anita Hill issue and how he didn’t go as far as he probably could have in allowing her voice, and her witnesses, to be heard at the Clarence Thomas Confirmation hearing, as well as the changes that Trump has made in America by encouraging the rise of hate and white supremacy and racial animus.  

            The problem about finding a good leader is that he will always be an imperfect human. The greatest thing about a good leader is that he always be an imperfect human. To err is human and to forgive is divine. Mr. Biden would find that people can forgive his anachronistic mistakes as long it is accompanied with a knowledge that he has changed with the times. I find Biden the most attractive candidate because I believe he is what white America needs to finally put those white supremacist demons away, after having dusted them off for Trump.

            I believe white America needs a white man whom they can relate with, to explain that its ok if America becomes a bit browner, that whites don’t have to run everything to prevent the collapse of Rhodesia from happening in America. I have told this reasoning to people who have all said we should not pick a president simply to make white people happy. But the rise of white supremacy and related terroristic activity is perhaps the greatest domestic problem of our time. Granted, most white nationalist are pretty set in their ways, but Joe Biden is uniquely equipped to talk to that segment of America that have mixed feelings on the issue. Biden can sit down with that coal miner and explain that they are equal to the people who made wagon wheels a hundred years ago; their industry is going the way of the doo-doo. But Biden can also ease those concerns by explaining that the government will push tax incentives for green energy hardware production to center in once coal country, to replace the industries they will lose. Simply put, I believe Biden is the right guy for the right time. But he must get past this problem without giving a weak inept excuse that kills his campaign before it starts.       

ARE YOU A CAPITALIST?

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           I am watching with chuckles as liberals stumble all over themselves trying to respond to this question, “Are you a Capitalist?”. Well, you must be a Socialist if advocate for a income equality, universal healthcare, free colleges and trade school, and a living wage. This is the lie that Republicans want to proliferate so that they can continue their conservative policies of corporate welfare and extravagant tax breaks for the ultra-rich and corporations.

            In truth, the United States has always been a mixed economic system nation since its inception. Written into our Constitution is that social experiment in which a union is created for the many to create “One Nation”.

“WE THE PEOPLE, IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION, ESTABLISH JUSTICE, INSURE DOMESTIC TRANQUILITY, PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY FOR OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY…”

           This is a not a socialist manifesto, but it does create a collective society in which some things would be market driven and others would require government based, collective solutions for the greater good. Because that is the definition of a “Community”. Republicans represent the idea that any attempt by the government to promote the general welfare is anathema. This idea is simply not true,

            Yet, this is why Republicans are constantly wrong on issues such as government debt and healthcare. They only look for market solutions in areas specifically tailored for mixed market solutions. Republicans believe healthcare is a product that Americans can purchase. Yet, have no solution for those Americans that cannot afford to purchase ever rising health insurance and treatment costs. Republicans balk at government intervention into he marketplace to use the purchasing power of the collective to hold drug prices down. Republicans believe everything is worth whatever price it can be sold.

            No other major industrialized democratic nation on the planet believes this. Great Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Europe, Canada, all have guaranteed healthcare for all its citizens and the government intervenes to hold prices down while maintaining efficient and effective services. The United States is alone in the world in its belief that healthcare is a privilege that requires the ability to pay.

            Why are we alone in thing thinking? What do other industrialized nations have that the United States does not have, that they can afford to provide free healthcare, free college and not be communist or socialist countries? The answer is very simple. The United States of America is unique in that America has Republicans.

           Republicans are a different breed of politician than the world has ever seen. They give $1.5 Trillion dollars in tax cuts and benefits to wealthy individuals and corporations, they complain that spending is too high and the deficit is growing, so “entitlement benefits” such as social security, Medicaid and Medicare and food aid, must all be cut. Why do they believe that benefits to billionaires is ok, but helping people with nothing is somehow a bad thing.

           Republicans have worked to sell the American people on the “Trickle Down Theory” for decades and every time they cut taxes, rich people prove that they will not allow tax breaks to “Trickle Down’. Instead, the rich get richer through the hoarding of profits as they increase executive salaries but complain about paying a higher wage to the workers at the bottom would damage the profitability of their respective companies. Americans have been sold a one trick pony, and that one trick is to make the rich richer.

            Since the marginal tax rates have been virtually eliminated, income inequality has been on a steady increase. Today, there is a human with a net worth of $135 Billion dollars. One of his companies is reputed to have made $11 Billion in profits last year, yet paid $0 in corporate income taxes. This only allows for the hoarding of wealth. If there had been a marginal tax rate on top income, the incentive would have been to pass the extra income down to the working masses, rather than to pay it in taxes. Republicans are quick to point out that this rings of a socialist system.

Yet, this was the America of the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. And it was an effective system of insuring that income of the masses would grow as did the income of the top one percent. With the Reagan Revolution, marginal tax rates fell and in most cases eliminated, as Republicans convinced Americans that the rich should be entitled hoard the wealth of their businesses. Hoarding is allowed as the minimum wage has been held to below the inflation rate and the rich get richer while the poor get screwed.

I am not a socialist, but I agree with President Obama in saying that major corporations owe a great deal of their wealth to the people of the United States. Corporate America did not build the roads and air traffic control system that allows for their goods to the Great Market of America. The American taxpayer did. Furthermore, the United States government owes as much a duty to the have nots as it does to the haves of the world.

The liberal idea would be to give the massive tax breaks to the masses, rather than the wealthy and have the market pick the winners and losers. That is a capitalist approach to a market driven economy. But, Republicans have turned Capitalism on its head, and Corporate Welfare to billionaires has become a preferable form of capitalism, while promoting market solutions to the consumers equates to socialism. Are you a Capitalist, “Yes I am”, said the liberal. “I believe in market incentives to consumers to allow for a healthier and more educated, market and consumer.”

As liberals we should proudly say, “Sometimes yes. And Sometimes no.” But we are always promoting the general welfare for ourselves and our posterity.

Iranian Drone Forces US Jet to Take Evasive Action

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/08/politics/us-jet-iranian-drone-evasive-action/index.html

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Just yesterday, I blogged about how constant Russian body checks have come to dictate US policy. The Russians were able to nudge themselves into Syria by using less than safe flying tactics and semi-confrontational military movements. In each case the United States moved out of the way.

Today the Iranians employed the same aggressive and unsafe practices to force a US F/A-18 Hornet that was on final approach to the USS Nimitz, to move out of the Iranian’s way. This has to stop! That drone should been shot out of the sky. Until a message is sent to our adversaries that our snapping point has changed, we will continued to have our military challenged by that school yard bully with his finger in our face saying, “I’m not touching you”. Continue reading “Iranian Drone Forces US Jet to Take Evasive Action”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER

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            Black Lives Matter (BLM) started out with a great intensity that pushed people to finally realize that police brutality was real. This movement showed that police overreach could be very subtle and not necessarily a brutalizing thing. Police, as a matter of routine, violate individual civil rights on a daily basis. As a black man, I now find the fizzle of the Black Lives Matter Movement to be very disconcerting. Progress from the movement is under fire from those law and order types that believe that a criminal should not complain if he gets the beat down, he should not be a criminal. Thus, one must have clean hands before he can claim the constitutional protections designed for people accused or suspected of committing a crime. Continue reading “WHAT’S NEXT FOR BLACK LIVES MATTER”

PREPARE FOR THE ULTIMATE IN TRUMP DISTRACTION

On October 23, 1983, a building housing U.S. Marines in Beirut, Lebanon was bombed by terrorists, killing 241 Marines and 58 French soldiers.  The images of dead Marines being pulled out of the rubble were horrifying. They had been stationed in Lebanon in a “show the flag” mission. These Marines had no offensive mission, they weren’t there to fight, As well, they had no real defensive mission, they only needed to protect themselves. The aftermath of the bombing brought questions as to why the Marines were there, if there was no military mission. Continue reading “PREPARE FOR THE ULTIMATE IN TRUMP DISTRACTION”

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STARVING THE BEAST

STARVING THE BEAST

            The new tax cuts enacted by Trump and the Republicans in Congress are the latest salvo in the long term Republican policy to “Starve the Beast”. The policy goal is to cut taxes to a critical point, then use the high budget shortfall as a rationale to cut or rather, to gut government spending. This follows the basic belief of Republicans that government should not pick winners and losers in society, unless the winners are the super rich. Continue reading “STARVING THE BEAST”

LIBERALS ARE SO STUPID!!!

LIBERALS ARE SO STUPID!!!

            Liberals are so stupid. That is a difficult thing for me to say because I are won. But, when life gives you chocolate, eat it. We liberals have a difficult time eating our chocolate. Observing how the various Democratic Party candidates succumb to the same Republican criticism over and over again just leaves me in a quandary.  We were once a party of logic speaking, election season trench fighters. Republicans chased us away from the word title, LIBERAL by say being a liberal was a bad thing and then we all lost our way. Continue reading “LIBERALS ARE SO STUPID!!!”

PRESIDENTIAL CHARACTER REVEALED

On this day set aside to honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., I’m at home watching Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson in the movie, All the Way. The idea that a Southern Democrat could become president during that crucial period of the Civil Rights Era, made the likes of George Wallace and Sen.Richard Russell (D) Georgia, feel as though one of their own was at the controls. Continue reading “PRESIDENTIAL CHARACTER REVEALED”

CAN A SHITHOLE COMMENT END PAX AMERICANA

CAN A SHITHOLE COMMENT END PAX AMERICANA

Our president, duly elected by the people of America, has decided that we should be encouraging more immigration from Norway, rather than from “ShitHoles” like Latin America and Africa. In furtherance of this policy goal, Congressional Republicans have begun to push for a) the end of “Chain Migration”; b) an end to the diversity visa lottery system; and c) build a physical wall on the Mexican Border.

Yesterday, Trump demonstrated for all to see, that this policy is deeply rooted in racism. I dare anyone to do a Google search of “The Browning of America” and you will understand where this Republican policy originates. I wrote on this exact issue on January 9, 2018, and two days later, President Trump let the cat out of the bag. Not only do Republicans want to end illegal immigration, they also want to end LEGAL immigration. Continue reading “CAN A SHITHOLE COMMENT END PAX AMERICANA”