Sunday, January 31, 2016


        Of all the presidential candidates, Republican and Democratic, Secretary Hillary Clinton is in my opinion by far the most qualified, the best prepared, the most articulate about the major issues confronting our nation, the most detailed in her proposals, the most widely known and respected internationally, and the most presidential in her bearing.
        She has been fighting for worthy causes and championing human rights her entire professional life. She has demonstrated her outstanding leadership capabilities time and again, and she has proven her ability to get things done. Having served eight years as a former First Lady, she is well acquainted with the role and the routine of  the White House;  as a former United States Senator she knows the workings of Congress; and as a former Secretary of State she has exceptional diplomatic and leadership skills. She knows State government as well, having spent nearly twelve years as First Lady in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.
        Everyone knows how important is the role of the President’s spouse. What an asset Bill Clinton will be to Hillary and to the nation in that role. Hillary has already shown, however,  that she is her own person. She is not intimidated by anybody, including Bill, but she will value his experience and advice. What a team they will make!
        It is so exciting to think of having our first female President. And what a worthy representative of that gender she will be. One of the things I admire the most about Hillary is that she has withstood the insidious attacks of her opponents and the unwarranted and unfair insinuations about her “trustworthiness” and “likability.” The way her motives have been impugned, no matter what she says, is despicable, and a glaring example of the sexist attitudes she wants to eliminate..
        The best testimony to her character is the strong loyalty and enthusiastic devotion of her friends and colleagues and the esteem in which she is held by those who know her best. Before she announced her intention to run for President, she spent many weeks traveling the country and listening to people. She wanted to know their concerns as well as their hopes and dreams. People who are aware of her record know, and people who meet her and who hear her speak soon learn, that she has their best interests at heart.
         Hillary’s chief Democratic rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, as well as the current front runner in the Republic campaign, Donald Trump, are both talking about a “movement” (Bernie sometimes uses the word “revolution”). They are both right.  America is indeed ready for a movement, but one led by a different kind of leader, one who can and will really make a difference, a person who will champion women’s rights, and children’s rights, and gay rights, one who know that Black lives matter, one who knows the urgent need for criminal justice reform and tax reform and immigration reform and campaign finance reform, one who will preserve and improve, not repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, who is skilled in dealing with the intricacies of foreign policy, who is familiar with and prepared for the usual as well as the unpredictable responsibilities of the Oval Office, one who already knows and is known and respected  by the leaders of other nations, one who has the gravitas, the personality, the communication skills, the judgment, and the bearing to assume on day one the presidency of the most powerful nation on earth.
        Yes, we do need a movement ---a Hillary Clinton movement! It's the right time (and it's about time!) for a woman President! It's time for someone who can and will build on the accomplishments of President Obama, one with proven ability to get things done and to bring people together across ideological lines to work toward mutually beneficial objectives, one who balances idealistic goals with realistic pragmatism, one who wants to move America forward by building on the good things from the past. It's time for a genuine public servant and a proven leader.
        It's time for Hillary Clinton. She is the right person to be the next President of the United States.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Sen.Bernie Sanders and former Sec. of State  Hillary Clinton
        Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have criticized each other for changing their positions on certain issues. So have the Republican contenders in their debates.
        Voters need to distinguish between flip-flopping, which is bad, and evolving, which can be good or bad, depending upon how a candidate has evolved and what the candidate’s position is now. It is perfectly appropriate for a candidate to change his or her position as circumstances change. What reasonable person has not been willing to change his or her mind on the basis of new information?
        The question is not where a candidate stood on a given issue “back then,” but where he or she stands now, and why. The question is not when a candidate made up her or his mind on a given issue, but how and why one has come to believe what one believes now. What were the circumstances that influenced his or her decision?
        The candidates have a right to ask each other why they changed their minds, when that is the case, but they should stop criticizing each other for doing so, unless they disagree with where their opponent stands now.
        Neither Senator Sanders nor Secretary Clinton is a flip-flopper, but the positions of each of them on certain issues have evolved. Good for them. They now agree idealistically on many if not most issues. Again, good for them! They disagree less about what is idealistically desirable than they do about what is pragmatically possible. So now we need to hear a really substantive debate on how they expect to achieve and pay for their respective goals.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


        In the idealistic world of Horatio Alger one can strive and succeed. That’s the theoretical advantage of our capitalistic free enterprise system.
        Because competition is an essential part of the system, there will inevitably be losers as well as winners. When the winners become so successful and powerful that they can stifle competition, restrain trade, and control the system to the detriment of consumers, then the Federal government steps in and passes regulatory legislation like the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, the Federal Trade Commission act of 1914, and the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
        Under the communistic system free enterprise is abolished and the government controls and runs everything. In between these two diametrically opposed economic systems there is socialism, which is characterized by "the collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods" (Merriam-Webster). Those who are alarmed by the exigencies of the capitalistic system might find some aspects of socialism attractive.
        Bernie Sanders has called himself a Socialist, more recently a Democratic Socialist. He has struck a nerve with younger voters in his narrowly focused campaign diatribe against “Wall Street” and the wealthiest 1% of Americans. In every speech he hammers on the same theme, and in every debate he manages somehow to work that theme into his response, no matter what the question. There is no doubt his message has caught hold, because his campaign is surging, according to the latest polls. Americans should indeed be concerned about the disappearance of the middle class and the growing gap between the ultra wealthy and the swelling millions who fall below the poverty line. 
        Senator Sanders has yet to spell out the concrete details of how he expects to achieve his idealistic goals, however, other than his general promise to make the wealthy and major corporations pay their fair share of taxes. Tax reform is desperately needed, but shouting for it and actually achieving it are not at all the same. Supporters of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, are quick to point to her ability to get things done. So it comes down to a choice between an angry idealist and a determined pragmatist, a dreamer and a doer.
        As the debate continues, here is a question Senator Sanders should be asked: “Do you, as a socialist, believe in the free enterprise system?” Voters should be interested in his reply! A negative response would spark a firestorm among those who view free enterprise as a sacred part of the American heritage. On the other hand, even a qualified affirmative reply would force him to deal with the paradoxical nature of success (its limitations and its excesses) in a competitive economic world.
        Capitalism has its flaws, but is Sen. Sanders ready to replace it with his own socialistic economic system?  And do his idealistic but perhaps naive adherents realize what they are really supporting? They had better take a closer look at the emperor’s new clothes!