The Process of Rebuilding America After Trump

Eventually, unless Trump declares himself President for life and Congress and the Supreme Court both refuse to act. There will be life after Trump, and the next President will have to pick up the pieces of what the Trump era has wrought.

Let’s use the State Department as an example. With the release of depositions taken by the combined House committees in the Impeachment inquiry. We find that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lied when he said his Senior Advisor Michael McKinley never informed him about concerns about attempts to oust the Ambassador to Ukraine; Marie Yovanovitch. McKinley resigned from the State Department, giving as his reason the Trump administration was using its Ambassadors to advance Trump’s political interests instead of stated American policy. America’s foreign policy in Ukraine was apparently being directed by Trump’s personal lawyer with no official role in government; Rudy Guiliani. That’s just one country without getting into US relations with Russia, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, China, and Turkey to name far more than a few where our foreign policy is either unclear or just not working.

The majority of the government is effectively rudderless as dozens of posts requiring Senate confirmation remain unfilled with “Acting” officials trying to lead Departments whose heads are not respected because they’re basically temp workers. Trump in many cases isn’t even trying to get people confirmed because he likes his people not only not to get too comfortable but to actually be fearful of Trump. He can get rid of them at a whim.

The one area Trump has been most effective throughout his tenure is deregulation. Today he weakened an Obama-era regulation that kept coal plants from dumping residue into our lakes, rivers, and streams. How is dumping coal ash into our drinking water a good thing? He’s made possible greater levels of air pollution, water pollution, and chemicals in our food.

The other area where he’s got his wishes although I wouldn’t describe it as being successful; is stacking the courts. In addition to his two Supreme Court picks, he’s done perhaps more damage (along with Mitch McConnell) in packing judges on the Federal bench. The Republican-controlled Senate has rubber-stamped the nominations of almost every nominee including some rated “Non-Qualified” by the American Bar Association. But the question being raised today is not just what has Trump done, it’s how do we fix it?”

The first step to rebuilding the government is staffing it. Unlike Trump’s transition team where Chris Christie the former Governor of New Jersey was unceremoniously dumped as its head. He was replaced by Mike Pence who seems to be denying any knowledge as to how selections were made. Particularly those like Michael Flynn who lasted all of 23 days, having to resign because of being an unofficial agent of Turkey and questionable ties to Russia.

The Trump administration has stopped communicating with America except via tweets or interviews on friendly networks like Fox News. The White House needs to resume daily news briefings and give honest responses to questions, even when it is bad news. After three years of Sean Spicer, the “Mooch”, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and a few others with no relationship to the truth. The next administration needs to be credible; not lying about things easily debunked like inauguration crowd size or whether or not any new wall is being built and who’s paying for it.

In the next Presidency; science should be viewed as if it were a real thing. Science-related departments like the Department of Agriculture have systematically replaced actual scientists with political cronies who owe their loyalty to the interest groups they used to work or lobby for. The official government position is to dispute climate change or accept it but it isn’t manmade, or acknowledge that but say there isn’t anything that can be done about it. The one thing they’re sure about is that corporations have no responsibility to stop ruining the environment and afterward have none to clean it up.

Besides these basic minimums; a wish list would include a functioning Congress that recognizes its role in providing a check and balance to the Executive Branch. One where the Senate actually votes on bills sent them from the House. One where “advise and consent” is taken seriously and we staff our government and the courts with the best of the best. Some non-partisanship from time to time would be a little nice where the interests of the nation take precedence over the Party line.

These few guidelines are just a starting point. Perhaps the whole notion of staffing much of the government with political appointees should be looked at? Eliminating nepotism would be helpful and be wary of anyone volunteering to work for the government without pay (Manafort, Jared, Ivanka). Nobody takes that kind of job without getting enriched somewhere.

Elijah Cummings: We Weren’t Better Than This, But He Believed We Could Be (January 18, 1951 —…

It couldn’t have been easy growing up in South Baltimore with the name Elijah. His was the name of one of the major prophets from the Bible. The biblical Elijah performed major miracles. He defended the worship of the Lord God against those who preferred the craven idol, Baal. He brought fire down from the sky. In hindsight, Elijah Cummings resembled the prophet in many ways. Biblical Elijah confronted the King over his idolatry. Modern-day Elijah confronted the would-be king over the same. And when he spoke, he often brought fire from the sky in pointing out the inhumanity and indecency of various situations. Cummings embraced diversity and wished that others did the same.

“Many Americans yearn for the day when we stop fighting each other & realize that diversity is our promise — not our problem.”

Elijah Cummings had multiple causes. When it came down to it, they were all related to fighting for the equality of all people. He believed in the things he felt America stood for; voting rights, education as a means of liberation, streets safe from gun violence. He was far more an advocate of things positive but he could denounce injustice with the best of them.

“We must also stop the hateful incendiary comments, we got to do it. Those in the highest levels of the government must stop invoking fear, using racist language and encouraging reprehensible behavior. It only creates more division among us and severely limits our ability to work together for the common good. As a country, we finally must say enough is enough. That we are done with the hateful rhetoric. That we are done with the mass shootings. That we are done with white supremacists, domestic terrorists, who terrorizing in our country and fighting against everything America stands for.”

Elijah Cummings was a man worthy of emulation. Although he rose in power, he maintained the values that got him there. When he left the corridors of the Capitol or the White House in Washington DC. He returned home each night to his Baltimore home and his wife Maya Rocleymore Cummings. Though a powerful man; Chairman of the Oversight Committee, he was also a humble man who looked for the common ground even with political foes.

In a recent hearing, he disclosed that one of his closest friends in Congress was Republican Mark Meadows with whom it would seem he had little in common. Cummings was one of the first to reach across the aisle even as he rose in leadership among Democrats in Congress. He never forgot why he was there, however. To represent his District and his people, always the civil rights champion he was in his youth.

“Americans of our own time — minority and majority Americans alike — need the continued guidance that the Voting Rights Act provides. We have come a long way, but more needs to be done.”

Elijah Cummings believed in America. A country still struggling to reach its full potential. Elijah saw what America could be, fighting to rid it of its flaws. He was a man of action, not content with hopes and prayers as the best we can offer. When he had the gavel in his hand when chairing his committee in Congress. He recognized the rights of the minority party, even when at times they had no purpose but to hinder the oversight they were supposed to be about. Cummings had the unique ability to cut through all the political charades and put the focus where it belonged. We as a country didn’t always live up to what Elijah believed we could and should be. There’s no question we can do better than this, much better.

“We are better than this. We really are,” he said. “As a country, we are so much better than this.”

Elijah Eugene Cummings (January 18, 1951 — October 17, 2019)

America’s Litmus Test For Racism; When The President Calls Someone A “N*gger.”

Over the years, the definition of racism and who is racist has changed. The Right Wing has normalized quite a bit of behavior that people once readily recognized as racist and denies the existence of what can’t be explained. We have Federal Judges saying that racist gerrymandering isn’t racist, no matter the effect, if racist intent cannot be proven. They’ve introduced a new term, “racial,” when a thing has something to do with race without actually being racist in their opinion. When racist policies like voter suppression are brought up, they will shout you down with denials of its existence, unwilling to have a meaningful discussion. The one standard that remained unequivocally racist was when a white person called a black person a nigger. America is about to be tested to see if the last remaining test has been thrown out and it proclaims there no longer is such a thing as racism, it exists no more because nothing qualifies.

It’s only a matter of time before a tape is released where we hear the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, describing someone as a nigger. You’ll note I haven’t used, “the N word” which is part of the normalization of racism by substituting something nicer for the word actually used.

For years, rumors have abounded about Trump using vile language including the word “nigger” during outtakes of “The Apprentice.” Mark Burnett, Chairman of MGM Worldwide Television Group, owns those outtake tapes and has constantly refused to release them. Those tapes have received incredible focus since Omarosa has said that she’s heard them, and Penn Jillette of “Penn & Teller” says, “I was in the room.”

President Trump has tweeted about those tapes, “@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting word as attributed by Wacky and Deranged Omarosa. I don’t have that word in my vocabulary, and never have. She made it up. Look at her MANY recent quotes saying such wonderful and powerful things about me — a true Champion of Civil Rights — until she got fired. Omarosa had Zero credibility with the Media (they didn’t want interviews) when she worked in the White House. Now that she says bad about me, they will talk to her. Fake News!”

It’s important to note that it’s Donald Trump saying Mark Burnett called him while there has been no comment from Mark Burnett himself. Burnett produces television shows which are in production around the world and shown on multiple networks. Eventually, the focus will turn towards Burnett, the networks that air his shows and the advertisers that support them. Burnett is covering for Donald Trump’s racism which cannot stand. Although he’s a powerful Hollywood figure, so was Harvey Weinstein until he met #MeToo. Burnett won’t be willing to sacrifice his finances to protect Donald Trump. He only has to consider what Trump would do if the shoe were on the other foot.

So what will America do? Specifically that portion of America that has turned the other way when the President spoke of “grabbing women by the pussy,” mocked a disabled reporter, attacked the widow of a dead solder and a Gold-Star family. He most recently called Omarosa “a dog” and a “lowlife.” You’ve always known who Trump is. When the tapes come out, and you can no longer pretend Trump isn’t a racist. What will you do?

Some of you won’t care, Trump is exactly who you thought he was and doing things you want done. He gave you Jeff Sessions who was too racist to be a Federal Judge but fine to be Trump’s Attorney General. He has been successful to some degree in banning Muslims entering the Country and has separated Hispanic families at the border. Others will rationalize, “everyone has used the N word at one time or another, I’m sure he really meant…” Others will be “shocked’ to learn Trump uses such language. They somehow missed Trump’s entire career where his company while he was President, was sued twice by the Federal government for housing discrimination, marking rental applications with the letter “C” for colored in order to deny them. They forgot his full page ad in the New York Times advocating the death penalty for the Central Park Five who he continued to attack after they were proven innocent. They don’t remember the “Birther-In-Chief” and the lies he told to attack the first African-American President.

Then there are the rest, who overlooked all that Trump has done and clung to something they liked about him, allowing themselves to dismiss everything in his past as unproven allegations. “We like his picks for judges” or “He’s the only one that speaks for us.” If he is speaking for you, you might want to look inward? What do you do when the President does the one thing that everyone at least used to acknowledge was crossing the line? What happens when you hear the President calling someone a nigger?

When the tapes come out, and one day they will. America will be unable to hide this time and pretend they didn’t know. Every television network(sans Fox News) will play it every hour and discuss the implications. The President that only catered to a certain base will be seen in a new light, though the information was always there. Fox will offer hope that maybe the tape was altered or fake and you shouldn’t take it at face value. Surrogates will spin his words, turning into reality the process that Katrina Pierson, Omarosa Manigault Newman and Lynne Patton began.

America will no longer be able to ignore Trump’s racism or go to the “What about?” argument, substituting Hillary or Obama or anyone else to keep from talking about Trump. What about Donald Trump? Commander-in-Chief, President… racist. It will no longer be a question that can be ignored America, what are you going to do?

Introduction to Enigma in Black

They tell me that biographies shouldn’t be written in the first person but Enigma in Black will be all about breaking rules. I’m a political junkie and will therefore always have something to say about politics. I’ll write long essays including publishing two chapters a week of “The History of American (White) Exceptionalism which will be completed just before the November Presidential elections. Consider it the first draft of what will ultimately be a book and my goal is that people be unable to hear the words American Exceptionalism without understanding who it applies to and which peoples it is intended to minimize.

My youngest daughter won’t read some of the things I write because they’re “too long” so for those with short attention spans I’ll offer snippets of my thoughts on all manner of things. I welcome discussions on any of my thoughts including and especially from trolls as long as you are willing to actually engage in a conversation and be civil. I am able to change my mind about things but don’t be surprised if I change yours.

As a change of pace, there will be poetry and possibly a new genre of poetry I’m inventing called Tragically Insincere Poetry making light of all poetry conventions but hopefully still evoking thought. If any of you would like to contribute some Tragically Insincere Poetry you will be most welcome. I will also offer up entries from “The Vault” of my previous writings for your consideration including what I said about Donald Trump four years ago which is screaming for an update.

I haven’t said much about myself yet (rather strange for a biography) so I’ll say a few things now but promise to open up more along the way. I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Went to Fisk University which I credit for much of what I am where I played basketball and graduated with a B.A. in Economics. I have worked in corporate America with Fortune 100 firms and spent over 20 years in business for myself before finally succumbing to my destiny and writing. I’ve completed and am now shopping a novel which I will be proud to update you on when there is news. I have two short stories currently entered into a competition which after July I will be able to determine where/how to publish but I will let you know. There will be much more about me eventually but not so much for now as I am, after all, an enigma.

Hope you enjoy, feel free to share differing opinions which I will respect unless of course I mock them.



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