Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Recommendations for Election 2018

It is time to hold the president accountable for illegal actions.  If Congress will not do this,  they are complicit in the illegalities.  Which means they,  too,  are unfit to hold their offices. 

Border Troubles

The only real chaos on our southern border is that created by the Trump administration.  Claims otherwise trace to conspiracy theories and outright lies coming from far-right websites and outlets.  Anyone with internet access can verify this for themselves.

Refugees have the right under federal law to apply for asylum.  The president wants to deny them that right,  which is therefore an illegal act under federal law.  He does this for purposes that can only be described as racist,  and which are therefore are both illegal,  and abusive,  under the Constitution which he swore to uphold.  Failure to uphold the Constitution is an impeachable offense.   

Due process for illegal aliens is a gray area under federal law,  something Congress has failed to rectify.  But summary deportations and arbitrarily-presumed guilt justifying family separations is definitely a denial of any concept of due process.  Such procedures therefore violate the Constitution,  which the president swore to uphold.  Failure to uphold the Constitution is an impeachable offense.

The president wants to nullify part of the 14th amendment to the Constitution,  by presidential executive order!  Specifically,  he wants to end citizenship-by-birth for the babies of immigrants.  This issue has not before been a problem,  not since the adoption of the amendment right after the Civil War.

Amendments to the Constitution may only be modified or nullified by the Constitution’s amendment process itself:  proposed by 2/3 supermajorities in Congress or by 2/3 of the states,  and ratified by ¾ supermajorities in Congress or by ¾ of the states.  This is subversion of the Constitution by the president,  a very serious impeachable offense indeed!

Incitement to Violence

Despite what the president claims,  the newsreel footage available on-line clearly shows the president using very inflammatory rhetoric at his political rallies,  and in multiple cases encouraging his followers to beat up hecklers and news reporters.  This is clearly incitement to violence,  which is certainly not at all civil behavior,  even if legal.    

“Incitement to riot” laws exist in all the states,  which may make this presidential exhortation to violence an illegal act.  Even if not,  such probably qualifies as a “misdemeanor” under the constitution’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” definition for impeachable offenses,  particularly since the recent mail bomber and the recent synagogue shooter seem to have been far-right wing extremists.  Such are commonly Trump supporters. *** Update 11-1-18:  The mail bomber is known to be both an extremist and a Trump supporter.  The synagogue shooter is most definitely an extremist,  but reportedly not much of a Trump supporter. 

This is all the more serious,  since people died at the synagogue shooting.  The president didn’t do this,  nor did he specifically order this.  But he certainly inspired these criminals to commit their acts.  Inspiring others to commit crimes might well be an impeachable offense.  It is certainly worth considering.

Possible Treason

For two years,  the president has been damaging our alliances by insulting our allies and starting trade wars with them.  These alliances have kept the peace and forestalled our enemies for 7 decades.  While doing this,  our president has treated most of our worst enemies (Russia,  North Korea) better than our allies. 

This very probably qualifies under the “aid and comfort to the enemy” definition of treason in the Constitution,  and it was witnessed by millions,  if not billions,  on television right up to the Helsinki meeting.  The Constitution requires only two witnesses.

Whether actually treasonous or not,  this is serious enough to qualify under the Constitution’s “treason or other high crimes and misdemeanors” definition of grounds for impeachment.  One public figure did call this “treasonous”,  and suffered retaliation at the hands of president for it.  That act alone bespeaks of a very real disregard for the Constitution and federal law. 

Where Is Congress On This?

The Republicans have control of the House,  the Senate,  the White House,  and now, the Supreme Court.  However,  Republicans as we have always known them have mostly left the party,  or been thrown out of it,  by right-wing extremists and Trump supporters.  The party,  as we knew it,  is no more.

Thus there is no chance of a House impeachment or Senate trial under these circumstances,  since this new version of the Republican party has repeatedly demonstrated itself to prioritize party advantage over the good of the country.  

In a very real sense,  the Trumpist Republicans as they now exist in Congress are complicit in Trump’s offenses,  since they do absolutely nothing to restrain him. 

What to Do About It

The only way around this dilemma is to vote them out as quickly as you can,  starting November 6. 

It really doesn’t matter so much who the opposition actually is,  or what they claim to want to do.  I literally don’t see how any such change at all,  could be any worse than the status quo.

So that’s my recommendation:  vote ‘em out!  Elect anybody but Trumpist Republicans!

Then insist the new ones stop Trump from doing any more damage to this country.  Contact them and tell them so,  in no uncertain terms.

Final Remarks

I do not make these recommendations lightly.  I am a long-time fierce independent voter,  who over the decades voted for more Republicans than Democrats,  all of it split-ticket.  Misbehaviors like these have reversed that trend in recent years. 

Update 10-31-18 for Texas races:

Our governor and lieutenant governor have led the charge to destroy the Texas public schools by underfunding them and promoting tax-funded vouchers at private schools.  This underfunding forces local tax entities to raise their revenues to compensate.  The governor and lieutenant governor then point at "out-of-control local tax offices" for political gain.  

This perfidy outweighs any good either man has done.  So I recommend you vote for the "other guys",  it really doesn't matter who they are or what they advocate.  How could we possibly do worse?  Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected them,  not by large majorities.  

Our state attorney general is a 3-time-indicted felon for bribery and corruption,  just not yet tried in a court of law.  This way far outweighs any possible good he could have done.  Vote for the other guy.  Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected this one,  for which I am ashamed of my state.

Our commissioner of agriculture has made trips at taxpayer expense to compete in the rodeo in Arkansas,  then Oklahoma to get a pain shot for injuries suffered in that rodeo.  He said he would do state business while on those trips,  justifying traveling at taxpayer expense.  

But the records indicate he did no state business on those trips,  and did not reimburse the state for the expense.  That's actually a crime.  Vote for the other guy. Update 11-7-18:  statewide,  we re-elected this one,  for which I am ashamed of my state.

The rest are not quite so egregious.  You must decide whether they prioritize party advantage over good of the people.  (The correct priority is the other way around.)  If you think they do value party advantage over good of the people,  then I recommend voting for the other guy.  I did,  because that's the conclusion I reached,  for my senator,  my rep,  and a bunch of others.  

Update 11-1-18:  I voted early,  because next week (election day is next week),  my dementia-afflicted mother is being moved to a nursing home,  and I am undergoing (hopefully-minor) cancer surgery (Update 11-7-18:  they got it).  I wanted my vote to count,  no matter what!!!  Split ticket as usual,  biased in favor of the opposition,  in large part. 

Please,  get out and vote yourself !!!  Make your voice heard !!!   If your opinion about any given race is not too strong already,  I recommend you try to determine which candidate might prioritize the good of his constituents above the advantage of his party.  Way too few do. Update 11-7-18:  clearly too few did.

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