Archive for May, 2016
It was the summer of 1968. I was between my 7th and 8th grade years. I was being encouraged to learn more about our government and the politics around us. The nation was broiling from the summer heat and the riots and protests of the younger generation, opposed to the Vietnam conflict.
It was a sad year. I was in Miami in February and encountered this weird thing called a “teachers’ strike.” In April, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was gunned down in cold blood, as was NY Senator Bobby Kennedy as he was about to clinch the nomination of the Democratic Party as the candidate for president.
Senator Kennedy had challenged the sitting president, Lyndon B. Johnson, with regard to the escalation of the Vietnam conflict. There are those who, even today, believe the supposed “attack” in the Gulf of Tonkin was a fake. For that, we lost a large number of our young people. Senator Kennedy was successful in challenging LBJ and was about to win the nomination, perhaps even the presidency. What a shame.
The untimely death of Senator Kennedy threw the 1968 DNC convention into an uproar that spilled into the streets of Chicago, as college students protested and were subsequently beaten up with police brutality.
About the same time, a rock group with an awesome wind section was rising to notoriety. The group consisted of professionally trained musicians – playing rock music. It was called Chicago Transit Authority, but ultimately shortened its name to Chicago. From it’s first album comes a CTA musical statement about the negative and fear politics of 1968, which has, once again, reared it’s ugly head – in 2016 (“Prologue / Someday August 29, 1968“). In 1968, following two assassinations in this nation, rioting erupted in the street. So, if people are disappointed because no one is paying attention to the attention to the Democratic Party issue of the “Super Delegates.” This problem still exists today and is, once again, dividing the Democratic Party along the lines of young and old. It should not be this way. In fact, if America would gain some intelligence and LEARN from history, it would not be this way. But America ignores historians like me. They don’t want to hear it because it “hurts.” Wait until they see what REALLY hurts because we don’t learn from history.
One more tune from the CTA album is an instrumental called “Liberation.” It took up an entire side of one vinyl LP.
Unless a more moderate Republican, perhaps former Governor Pataki of New York, were to be a choice for president, I will vote for the Democratic Party candidate, no matter who it is. I would prefer to see Bernie Sanders as the candidate for president. But I would support Hillary Clinton.
In his most recent column (http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/05/pragmatism_dont_know_bernie_sa.html), Leonard Pitts chastised Bernie Sanders for Sanders’s and his supporters’ tough guy response in Nevada. Pitts compared this to the way Trump bullies people. Not once did Pitts mention the issue of the Super Delegates and the stupidity of winner takes all. I don’t know the details of this issue, but have heard people mention it long enough to have a sense of it. I have also heard people from my era (Vietnam War era) mention the 1968 Democratic Party convention. Is it true that the Super delegate issue was the root of the rioting in Chicago at the Democratic Party National Convention of 1968?
I was just a kid in 1968. I was in 7th grade in 1968 and I remember a number of events. The Miami-Dade teacher strikes of Feb. 1968. My family was visiting a relative in Coral Gables. I recall reading about the strike in the Miami Herald, Leonard Pitts’s base newspaper. In the summer of 1968, Miami Beach hosted the Republican Party National Convention.
Two assassinations in 1968: In April, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and in June, while celebrating a victory in the California Democratic Party primary, Senator Bobby Kennedy of my home state of New York was gunned down in cold blood.
From what I am understanding – but you see the media conveniently ignores this issue so I need to spend my time digging up the research – the Democrats were thrown into a tailspin in the summer of 1968. The Kennedy assassination was the cause. From my understanding – and I stand somewhat ignorant of this topic because I was in the 7th grade at the time and did not pay attention to the details of politics – Senator Kennedy’s Super Delegates were up for grabs. There was a Senator named Eugene McCarthy, also vehemently against the Vietnam conflict as Kennedy – who attempted to grab those delegates. Instead, the delegates, as I understand this, went to the “establishment” candidate, LBJ’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey. That Democratic Party administration was under attack by college students in this nation for its escalation of the conflict in Vietnam. When it looked likely that those super delegates were going to Humphrey, rather than the anti-war candidate, McCarthy, the convention erupted in rioting, which spilled out to the streets of Chicago. It was an awful thing to watch on television, especially for a middle school student, as young people were billy clubbed by the police in Chicago (deja vu?).
Today, an establishment person has already sown up the “Super Delegates,” while the anti-war, anti-establishment person, favored by college students today, is being walloped by the “establishment.”
I object to Pitts’s portrayal of Hillary as “… a plate of Lincoln with a side of FDR.” Like Lincoln, Hillary has strong ties to the establishment business people in New York City. But where does she TRULY stand on the issue of civil rights? Why was Lincoln so hesitant in freeing the slaves in a more anti-war manner? Because of the New York City business people. So, yes, Hillary is like Lincoln – of Illinois. But she is NOT like former GOVERNOR of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt REBUKED the business establishment, as did their cousin, Teddy Roosevelt. FDR REBUKED – BIG TIME – the role of the KKK – then a powerful source in the Republican Party, as today. FDR paved the way for the first Roman Catholic governor in the USA – paved the way for people like Bobby Kennedy and JFK and former NY Governor Mario Cuomo and current NY Governor Andrew Cuomo; paved the way for these Roman Catholics (and others) to serve our nation in leadership roles, despite their religion and the opposition to these candidates from strong moneyed interests of the KKK. Do not be deceived. The KKK and white racism is rearing it’s ugly head again today, but Pitts and others won’t discuss that, will they? Wonder why?
Here is Hillary’s record on war. Voted in favor of a costly and deadly war in Iraq, rather than pursuing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. We are still paying the price of that war, after the vacuum in leadership when Hussein was pulled off his ostracized throne.
Here is Bernie Sanders’s record on war. Voted against the Iraq war, as with many reasonable Americans who did not stand to gain financially – like Dick Cheney – for a prolonged and costly war which has demolished our Federal budget to the point that the hawks – as in 1968 – would rather give up social programs in this nation and pay for killing machines around the world. The Hawks in this nation prefer NOT to take care of our own people by using the Army (Corps of Engineers) and other WPA type groups to re-build our infrastructure and thereby TRULY build a better DEFENSE of this nation. If you cannot figure that out from what I just said, than you are an ignoramus.
Hillary on health care. Capitulated to big business and big insurance lobbyists in the government. Where does Bernie stand? How about his advocacy of a single-payer health plan, rather than the asinine system we have now. Private enterprise with lines to see the doctors and dermatologists and others more concerned about patients with money to pay for tummy tucks, than those who wish to avoid skin cancer – just as one example. SO much for the idiotic remarks about Canadian healthcare and the “lines” for doctors. It’s here in private enterprise – far worse. We COULD fix it.
Mr. Pitts is wrong. Bernie Sanders is the true FDR candidate. Hillary emulates Mr. Lincoln in his ties with big business which ran more rampant than his efforts to truly free the slaves. What is Hillary’s record on civil rights? Is it just as bad as Donald Trump’s record? Do we know?
I will vote for the Democrat because there is NO Republican who can come close. I supported and advocated for JFK and Bobby Kennedy, not because they were Roman Catholic, but because they made sense. I DID vote for Mario Cuomo in New York, not because he was Roman Catholic, but because he made more sense than Lew Lehrman did. I voted for Obama, not because he was an African-American, but because he made sense. I voted for Obama, too, because of the idiot female, Sarah Palin, on the other ticket. I voted for Al Gore, but not because his running mate was a Jew, but because they made sense on the issues meaningful to the Middle Class and for humanity, culture, and civilization. Let’s face it, George W. Bush was like me: WASP. But I DID NOT vote for him because he was a WASP.
I would vote for Hillary, not because she is a woman, but because she is intelligent and has more experience than any other candidate. This, in spite of what I know about her past history on issues which are important to me. But I KNOW Donald Trump will NEVER advocate for issues important to me. In fact, his pooh poohing being compared to Hitler is an insult to me and all freedom-loving Americans. But there is a younger generation which is not committed to a party. These people will be alienated and a large portion of the Democratic Party vote lost, not because they will vote for Trump. but because they, too, see some of the same things I see and they reject Hillary hands down.
I will go out on a limb and say that, as Gore lost (did he REALLY LOSE?) in 2000 by picking Al Lieberman rather than former Governor and Senator Bob Graham, Hillary will lose if she does not put Bernie on the ticket. At the same time, should Bernie rebuke Hillary and refuse to serve on the ticket, he is showing that he is not a team player with the Democrats. And if Teddy Roosevelt, once a popular president, could not win the election as a third party candidate in 1912, what the hell do people who are NOT as popular as TR think they can win on a 3rd party. In fact, Nader also spoiled that election in 2000, as a third party candidate. If America truly wishes to topple the two-party system in America, it needs to eliminate the electoral college and THEN run the top two vote-winners in November in a runoff in December. Otherwise, unless there is a super man or woman, third party candidates will never win at such high levels of office.
Stop hiding the “Super Delegate” issue. Sweeping the issue under the rug is more disastrous than just DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If the Democratic Party is STILL faced with this issue in 2016, then what has it learned, since 1968? NOTHING. That is called stubborn ignorance.
And in 1968, who won the election? Tricky Dicky. In my life as a 7th grader into transition to 8th grade, I was bullied by a fifth-rate teacher who loved money more than the education of children. He was boarding in my home. He was a Republican. He bullied me about Nixon. When I discovered he was wrong and I needed to change my thinking, that was called earning WISDOM. Where are those in America who are accepting the fact they are ignorant to the facts and remain resolute in their positions. I already conceded I am ignorant about the “Super Delegate” issue. But what is frustrating to me is that no one is investigating this issue and reporting back to the people – in the Media. Instead, we read offensive drivel from a Miami Herald columnist trying to defend Clinton and comparing her to a Lincoln-FDR combo. I AM very knowledgeable about FDR. I have made a study of the man.
I invite ANYONE to contribute to the factual and objective discussion of the “Super Delegates.” The discussion must occur without bias, too. OBJECTIVENESS. In fact, my support of Bernie Sanders makes my discussion less objective. But we need the truth. And I don’t hear that happening – so we can learn from history and move forward to progressively solve our problems (idea of Soren Kierkegaard).