Friday, July 17, 2015

Summer Politics - 2015

We've had a number of politically significant events this summer from Supreme Court decisions to exponential growth of GOP presidential contenders to confusion about ISIS/ISIL.  As I read the news, nobody hears as I shout my opinions.  (Of course, I usually just shout internally, giving myself a headache.)  Here's a brain dump on a few issues.

First, the issue of the Confederate Battle Flag in South Carolina.  My mind cannot comprehend the hatred that would lead someone to commit such an evil act that led the nation to a discussion of the Confederate Battle Flag. My heart cannot plumb the depths of the sorrow and heartache experienced by the family and loved ones of those killed.  The fact that the Battle Flag flew on the grounds of South Carolina's capitol building had little to no affect on those shootings.  Yet, the flag is a reminder of an unsavory past.  While for some its symbolism may capture the sacrifices of southerners committed in an attempt to maintain a way of life and state sovereignty, to many it is a reminder of slavery, rebellion, and Jim Crow laws.  When you add the fact that the Battle Flag was added to the grounds of the state capitol as a protest against civil rights, sort of a flag raising for those in support of segregation and racism, it becomes more understandable of why people would question its location.

The debate regarding the state flying the flag was timely and appropriate.  The decision in South Carolina to remove the flag from the capitol grounds was, in my opinion, the right one.  The Confederate Battle Flag was not outlawed.  Individual citizens may continue to fly and display it.  Other groups and organizations may continue to display it.  The state government simply elected not to display it, in essence removing government support for a complex symbol that brings pain to many.

(On the issue of state sovereignty and state rights, I'm of the opinion that the southern states have done more to strengthen the Federal government than anything any liberal state has done.  How?  First, by committing rebellion and giving cause for the Federal government to enforce its will and existence by force.  Second, by the introduction, promulgation, and defense of despicable Jim Crow laws.  We would have been better off if the South had figured out how to get rid of slavery on its own and how to introduce and practice fair treatment under the law.  Their unwillingness and inability to do so resulted in the Federal government doing it for them.  This has had a negative impact on the federal-state relationship for other states on many different issues.)

Second, what a big summer for the Supreme Court!  Without getting into depth on my opinions, I just want to mention one name--Chief Justice John Roberts.  Reading his opinions on the same-sex marriage case and on the Obamacare case, I really have a hard time believing that the same person wrote the same things.  Is multiple personality disorder sufficient cause for impeachment from the Supreme Court?  It seems the man will say whatever to justify what he wants to do with no thought for the Constitution, the meaning of words, or the proper role of the Supreme Court.  I bet his wife hates making his dinner--one day he loves potatoes au gratin and the next day he doesn't.

Third, I'm throwing my hat in the ring for the GOP presidential nomination.  I think we all should since it seems everyone is.  We're looking at a potential His Excellency, President Bush the Third or the Return of the High President Clinton.  I think there a couple of potentially good choices on the GOP side and some terrible ones (Trump, Christie, Cruz, and Paul).  And just to understand how far left the Democrat Party has now shifted, the best alternative they have to Hillary Clinton so far is a Socialist.

Fourth, it now appears that President Obama's primary national security advisors believe that our greatest threats are Russia (chuckle at Mitt Romney) and ISIS/ISIL (good thing they're just the JV).  But, we have managed to give Iran a pathway to nuclear armament. 

I'm sure there's more, but for now I'm out of wit.

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