The Different Drummer
Politics, Family, Music and other Musings.
By Carl J. Petersen
“Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman, and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program.”
- Bernie Sanders
I listened to the small talk as people slowly filled in around the conference table and wondered to myself how many other people actually realized what was going on. If the seemingly random makeup of the people in this surprise meeting was not enough of a clue, the stack of large envelopes, the presence of the newly appointed head of the company from our new parent company and the stranger that accompanied him should have been. My streak of 31 years of employment, 14 years with this company, was about to come to an end.Read more
- Elizabeth Warren
The will of the people is clear: Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the past seven presidential elections. Yet, in the country that holds itself up as a shining example of democracy, the voter’s wishes were ignored. In two of those elections, including the last one, Republicans won the Electoral College with a minority of the vote and were given control of the Oval Office.
- Donald TrumpRead more
- Donald Trump
In a 2017 poll, 57% of the respondents who said that they voted for Donald Trump “said it was ‘definitely true’ or ‘probably true’ that [President Obama] came from Kenya.” While the rest of the world debates how to deal with climate change, only “70 percent of Americans believe ‘global warming is happening’”. A survey in 2016 suggested, “that one in three supporters of Donald Trump believe vaccines do indeed cause autism.”
While much has been made of the fact that Trump has been no more faithful to the truth than he has been to his wives, this ignores the greater threat facing our country. A president’s term in office is limited and Trump will eventually leave the Oval Office. However, the minority of Americans who placed him in that office will remain, ready to close their eyes to reality and support the next charismatic leader who comes along.Read more
- Donald Trump
On August 11, 2017, white-supremacists marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Sieg heil” and “Jews will not replace us.” The next day James Alex Fields Jr., “who a former teacher said was fascinated by Nazism and Hitler”, purposefully drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters to the “Unite the Right” rally, killing Heather Heyer in cold blood. Donald Trump responded by saying that there were “fine” people on both sides. There are no “fine” people in a crowd of people chanting Nazi slogans.Read more
“Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the President’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead. And he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength. And that’s why you have this horrible situation going on in Washington. It’s a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”
- Donald Trump
As inconvenient as it is for Donald Trump’s fans to admit, their candidate lost the Popular Vote in the 2016, election. In fact, Hillary Clinton’s 2,864,974 vote win was “the largest popular vote margin of any losing presidential candidate in U.S. history”. Unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud and the disadvantageous statehoods of New York and California do not change the fact that Trump became President even though the majority of Americans voted against him.Read more
- George Bush to Bill Clinton
January 20, 1993
My birth as an activist occurred during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. As the GOP gained traction in their attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I spent many Saturday mornings protecting access to women’s health care clinics as mobs of anti-abortion protesters tried to shut them down using physical force. Often standing by my side were members of the activist LGBTQ+ community who exposed me to the personal side of their fight, which at that time included an AIDs epidemic that was unchecked.Read more
- Sesame Place
As parents of two daughters on the autism spectrum, my wife and I have made it a priority to make sure that they are not hidden away from the world. Jeopardizing our own sanity at times, we have worked through their challenges to include them on family adventures. When successful, we have been rewarded with the joy of watching our daughter dancing and singing along at her first Queen concert. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve also sat outside an auditorium trying to calm down her overly stimulated sister.Read more
“Remember the attack on Merry Christmas? They’re not attacking it anymore. Everyone’s happy to say ‘Merry Christmas,’ right? Merry Christmas! That was under siege. You’d have these big department stores that say ‘happy holidays.’ They say where’s the ‘Merry Christmas?’ Now they’re all putting up ‘Merry Christmas’ again. And that’s because only because of our campaign.”
- Donald Trump, July 2018
It may have only been July, but the President had Christmas on his mind. Moving on from his war against contracting STDs, Donald Trump declared that he had personally saved Christmas. The holiday was no longer “under siege.” Now pass the suntan lotion.
- LA City Councilman Mitch Englander
Ignoring the responsibilities that he accepted by running for re-election, Mitch Englander announced last month that he would be “vacating [his] Council seat as of December 31, 2018.” While promising that he would stay “laser-focused“ on the needs of his constituents during his remaining time in office, it seems that he has neglected to perform one very important task since drafting his announcement to the community; it seems that a formal letter of resignation has not been submitted to the Los Angeles City Council. Therefore, they have been unable to schedule a special election for the community to select his replacement.
- Richard Ojeda
While the victory in the midterm elections was not as definitive as some had expected, the Democrats did secure a majority in the House of Representatives and with it a much-needed firewall to Trump’s policies. Assuming the Democratic caucus stands firm, additional deficit-exploding tax cuts for the 1% are off the table. Legislative paths towards criminalizing abortion, legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans and repealing Obamacare have also been blocked.
For the many who have been endangered by Trump’s bigoted policies, the ability to finally play defense should provide some sense of relief, but it is not enough. Since they did not gain a majority in the Senate, Democrats have no way to block Trump’s judicial appointments. This will certainly result in the judiciary being stocked with judges whose sole qualification is a willingness to engage in judicial activism to push a conservative agenda. We cannot rely on the courts to protect the historic progress that our country has made in the last half-century of civil rights battles or to provide the check on the Executive Branch that our Constitution mandates. Have no doubt, the condition of our country will worsen in the years ahead.Read more