Book Trailer For Madam President

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Why People Should Keep Talking About Politics

The law was laid down at talking politics. No one wanted a confrontation and it was better to let dead dogs lie. My father took a different view than mine and we didn't talk for three days after the election. No that anyone was mad it's just neither of us wanted to get into  it. Since the election there has been an unofficial gag order in place and people have been whispering and saying that its best not to talk about it anymore. The election is over and what is it going to change anyway. This is exactly the wrong position to take.

We should talk even more. Especially in families and with friends. Look if you live in a democracy then you have to talk politics. There is simply no other way to have it. Donald Trump was elected. Fine. Lets talk about it. Why was the popular vote so off. Why did the electoral college hand it over when clearly a majority wanted it the other way. How is this going to all play out? What do you think of General Matthis. Whatever. People have to get over their squeamishness and get it out in the open. Otherwise we risk a damaged political process.

And there will be rancor. There will be disagreements. But adults should be able to handle it . You could make a case that the election ended up the way it did because people didn't talk enough. Especially Democrats and Republicans. For time I talk to my father...I am going to go right to the heart of the matter. So tell me...why did you vote for your candidate?

Let the games begin.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Friday, December 2, 2016

Is There Historical Precedent For Donald Trump? Yes...Huey Long

There is nothing new under the sun. History proves it. The Great Kingfisher preceded Donald Trump by eighty plus years. He would have given Donald a run for his money. A Louisiana Governor who started a Share the Wealth program that millions signed up for during the Great Depression, Long was a populist who ran Louisiana as its own country. Long had a constituency of poor people hard hit by the Great Depression and he promised to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. He was big on infrastructure programs and swore he would give people back their jobs. Franklin Roosevelt called him the most dangerous man in America when he decided to run for President

Long didn't believe in the Federal Reserve and wanted to abolish it. He wanted to build roads bridges and schools. He wanted to tax corporations to keep people in their homes. Now here is where it gets interesting. Long marketed his Share the Wealth programs though a new medium that few understood the power of. He bypassed regular media and went right to the people. A powerful speaker who worked himself into a frenzy he used radio like no one had ever imagined. From 1932 to 1935 he created a national following by telling people that Washington was taking their money from them and that they had to get rid of the fat cats. And he was the outsider who could do it...he would drain the swamp.

Long joined forces with another man who had discovered radio as a powerful medium to build his following, a catholic priest and commentator named Charles Coughlin. Coughlin and Long understood the new medium of radio and like Trump and his twitter account neatly sidestepped mainstream media with their own appeal to the masses. An assassin ended Huey Longs dreams in 1935 but many believed he would have beaten Roosevelt in 1936.

Here the comparison Donald Trump made the final leap into the White House. History will be written from here on.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Has There Ever Been an Election Like This Before? Yes 1876 and it was even worse.

 Recounts and all. Ruther B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden in 1876. Hayes the Republican lost to Tilden in the popular vote by an even wider margin than Trump to Clinton. And the election was rancorous and racist. Here is the kicker. Tilden won the electoral as well. So Hayes lost the popular and the electoral college. One would think he was done. Not so in 1876. Hayes called the election rigged. Sound familiar? And demanded that there be a massive recount. There was and in the end Hayes turned four states republican under the cloud of voter fraud in the recount! Still, it didn't matter, Ruther B. Hayes snatched the election from Tilden and became President.

So what does this mean to us. We have Jill Stein who probably lost the election for Clinton with her Green party. A fact she ignores by saying both candidates were equally bad and she was the logical alternative. And so the recount begins with Trump saying he could have won the popular except there was voter fraud. The Clinton's are standing on the sidelines technically but watching every carefully.  No one thinks Steins recount will prove anything but if we look back to 1876 we see there are no certainties. It gets even worse. A back room deal decided the election in 1876  when 20 disputed electoral votes came into play with the Democratic bosses agreeing to throw the election to the republicans if they wouold withdraw Federal Troosp from the South. In essence Tilden won but became a victim to a back room deal called the compromise of f 1877.

So what does this mean? Hayes had both the electoral and the popular vote against him and he turned it around to win. A recount is a public assessment of the election and in a democracy this is important. It gives both sides a chance to make sure nothing was missed. And upsets do happens. Back room deals happen. Think if Hayes had walked away and not challenged the results in the four states that turned the tide. Hillary too lost in four crucial states and she has one up on Hayes, she won the popular. Rutherford would have killed for that advantage.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

At Least We Don't Have To Watch The News Anymore

I was addicted. The talking heads. The panels. Anderson Cooper turning one way and then the other and legitimizing the absurd. Now we don't have to watch these  people anymore. Forget about the fact they were all wrong about the election. Forget that they switched positions like the wind. The real reason we don't have to watch the same people pontificate night after night is because it doesn't really matter. The election proved we were just watching entertainment dressed up as news. In the end style over substance took the day.

I turned on the television  last night just to take a peek. There was Anderson doing his thing with Elizabeth Warren. He listened with a new face. Sort of hard bitten. The dispassionate better get ready for the new order expression. But the United States was all red how do you respond to that? Yes the coasts are blue and the interior is red that would account for the vast stretches of the West. But again Anderson is in shock and awe mode. David Gergen the veteran was the man who got me to turn off the box when he compared Donald Trump to FDR after he saved some jobs in Indiana.

In a way it doesn't matter what they say. The fact is talk is just talk. Spin. And we were the people they were spinning to and in the end none of it mattered a bit. In the end spin is spin and we wasted hours watching the center ring not aware that the circus had already left town. Better to cue up reruns of Downton Abbey. At least there is veracity.

Madam President The Secret Presdency of Edith Wilson

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

If Women Ruled The World Would Be Better Off

Lets face it, women are better people than men. I know I am a man. If you are married then you know what I am saying. Women are taught and have empathy at a very early age. It is in the genes. But more than that boys are told to act in self interest. Getting ahead and achieving is preeminent. And the guidelines are unclear. If you happen to make the football team by flattening the other kid so much the better. Or if you best the school bully with a punch in the nose even better. Or if you ride down the street with no hands and plow into a car then you are commended for being a daredevil.

Girls are told on the other hand to think of others. To put others before yourself. Ever watch women get together and compliment each other. I like  your dress. That is cute on you. Ever see men do that. Men  stare at each other and rarely give out compliments...they are too busy bragging. Men brag while women give compliments. The world is full of braggarts. In face we are up to the brim with braggarts and now we have a braggart in chief.

So how does this all relate to the world? Well. Wars. The ultimate hubris. Helping the less fortunate. The environment. Human rights. Civil discourse. We just saw a slash and burn campaign of men hacking each other up. Hillary never seemed to have a knack for it. But no. I believe after the Donald tour the world would be better off with those girls who were told to think of others before themselves. Man... do we need that now.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edth Wilson

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Starbucks Nation

 Maybe Donald Trump was elected because people have nowhere to go anymore. If you work at home then eventually you will end up at Starbucks. Get out of the house and find somewhere you can hunker down. There are people working there but there are a lot of other people there too. The chronically unemployed. Some homeless people. Disaffected teens. Old men brought by daughters and sons who have moved back home. Old women brought by the same. And you have to ask the question where do people have to go?

F. Scott Fitzgerald said there is nothing greater than the difference between the sick and the well. Or the unemployed and the employed. The old and the young. The lonely and the married. There is a great marginalized swath of people in the United States. They cant participate in our LCD culture anymore. They don't resemble people on television in any shape or form. Not that anyone does. The talking heads that did such a bad job on the election are all very wealthy people having a fantastic time preening on television in clothes middle class people cannot afford.

We are a jeans and tennis shoes people. This is the new peasant ware. And now that Donald Trump has been elected we are all peasants and serfs. The Uber rich will parade past us like a reality show of the rich and famous except this show will run for possibly eight years. And so the left behinds will grow and Starbucks will fill with people in walkers and on canes in their faded jeans and tennis shoes. People who have nowhere to go.

Madam President The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Womens March on Washington

OFFICIAL STATEMENT, National Organizers 

On January 21, 2017 we will unite in Washington, DC for the Women’s March on Washington. We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. 

The rhetoric of the past election cycle has insulted, demonized, and threatened many of us--women, immigrants of all statuses, those with diverse religious faiths particularly Muslim, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native and Indigenous people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, the economically impoverished and survivors of sexual assault. We are confronted with the question of how to move forward in the face of national and international concern and fear.

In the spirit of democracy and honoring the champions of human rights, dignity, and justice who have come before us, we join in diversity to show our presence in numbers too great to ignore. The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new administration on their first day in office, and to the world that women's rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.

We support the advocacy and resistance movements that reflect our multiple and intersecting identities. We call on all defenders of human rights to join us. This march is the first step towards unifying our communities, grounded in new relationships, to create change from the grassroots level up. We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society. We work peacefully while recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all. HEAR OUR VOICE

Womens March

Madam President The Secret Presideny of Edith Wilson

Books by William Hazelgrove