Archive for July, 2018

Tail of a Democrat

July 29, 2018

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By Dahni
©️ 2018, all rights reserved

Maybe I spelt “Tail” wrong? Maybe I meant “tale”? Then again, perhaps it’s both?

My first political debate was not as a candidate for office, but on behalf of one, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was not particularly eloquent. It was however, highly emotional and deeply passionate. I remember it like it was yesterday and verbatim – “Nixon is not very handsome, and Kennedy is!” I was only six years old. But we three kids were raised as Democrats. Mom and Dad were. Our grandparents on Mom’s side were Democrats. It seemed like everyone we knew were Democrats, except for our grandparents, our Father’s parents. They were Republicans.

Our Mom adored JFK! I believe for a while, she purposely had my hair cut and styled to look like his and thought I resembled him? I did have black hair. But I was, “no Jack Kennedy!”

In the 1988 VP Debate, Democrat Senator from Texas, Lloyd Bentsen, challenged his Republican opponent, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana. Quayle was asked about his qualifications for the office he was seeking and IF, he should become president. Quayle responded in part by saying, “I have as much experience in the Congress as Jack Kennedy did when he sought the presidency. I will be prepared to deal with the people in the Bush administration, if that unfortunate event would ever occur.”

Bentsen quickly shot back to Quayle, “Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

These remarks were shortened and became food and fodder for the media and the Democrats and the brunt of jokes by many comedians, “…you’re no Jack Kennedy.” This became like a lexicon or political dictionary, as a way to deflate politicians or other individuals perceived as thinking too highly of themselves.

But Bush and Quayle became the next president and vice president of the United States. When this occurred, maybe Quayle should have told Bentsen, “I may not be like Jack Kennedy, but Senator, you’re no vice president” (and would never be).

My first presidential election that I was of age to cast my vote was, in 1976. The election year was pretty raucous and bewildering and especially it being, the 200th anniversary of the signing of Our, Declaration of Independence in, 1776. Most of US were still reeling over Nixon’s Watergate Scandal and his subsequent resignation or the likelihood that he would have been impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted in the Senate and removed from office. I for one, did not approve of his VP, Gerald Ford, after assuming office of president, pardoning Nixon and appointing Nelson Rockefeller as the new vice president. To think of Rockefeller being a heartbeat away from the presidency, was unimaginable to me! True to my Democratic roots, i was going to vote for a Democrat anyway, but which one? I can’t remember the 16 or 17 running for the Democrat party. I thought that hot mess was just as stupid and diminishing, as the Republican Party’s group in 2016! Is there something stupid and diminishing about election years that end in the number ‘6’? Is ‘6’ unlucky, ominous or the best WE can do with what’s available?

“Who is Jimmy Carter and what is he running for?” This was a popular and often used quote in the media and by his many opponents, of ALL parties. A hick, one-time peanut farmer from Georgia? I was akin to the South, but still a Midwesterner and of the ‘Show Me State’, a Missourian to be exact. You know, the home state of the guy that Dewey supposedly beat. You know, “Give em’ Hell Harry,” Harry Truman. So, Carter, whoever he was running against (16 or so), for his party’s nominee for president and however he did it, he did it! I had nothing to do with that because, I did not vote in the primary where I was registered to vote, I couldn’t. Why not? Well, in all my years of being allowed to vote, to this day, I have never been invited to join any party! I suppose even then, I must have been undesirable or deplorable. But to this point, I just assumed I was a democrat. I totally missed that whole party sign-up and register to vote, whole primary thing.

But Jimmy Carter was a democrat and so was I. He was running against Ford, a republican and I was not about to waste my first vote on him and his party that gave us Nixon! I liked to call him just, “Jimmy”, i don’t know why, other than that’s what he said, “Hi, I’m Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president.” He had a nice smile and piercing blue eyes. I think he must have reminded me of Pinocchio’s, Jimmy Cricket. I know, it’s Jiminy, but it sounded like Jimmy” to me.

Jimmy served in the military, the Navy, just like our Dad, so that was a plus. And do you recall those jokes, put-downs to be exact, about someone not being too bright, not a “rocket scientist,” or a “nuclear physicist”? Well, “Jimmy”, was pretty close to being a “nuclear physicist.” He worked with nuclear submarines, before he had to leave and take over the family peanut business. His IQ is reported to be way above a genius. That’s all good I thought.

Now Jimmy was wooing the Christians. I don’t think they were called ‘evangelicals’ at the time, just Christians. I was raised Presbyterian and it may have some Christian remnants, but to me in 1976, it was just another religion and I was a Christian. I thought Jimmy was too. He told everyone that he had a “born again” experience through his sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton, evangelist/tent revivalist/faith healer. At first I was thinking, “born again”, OK, works for me! Then he said, “I’ll never lie to you.” OK, I was in.

For a first time voter, at age twenty-three, 2 years short of having a fully developed and mature brain, I thought I made a pretty darn good decision [written while patting myself on the back]! As it turned out, my first-grade debate as a 6 year old kid, worked out better!

After my first-time vote, I found out some other stuff. Yep, Uh-Oh!

For one thing, I heard someplace that Ruth Carter Stapleton was considered the most powerful witch in the United States, in her time. True or not, it sure made me wonder, what kind of “born again” experience Jimmy had??? And Jimmy lied, often! Through Jimmy, I learned a new word “malaise” and our country seemed like it was in one. And for or a long time, one-term Jimmy had the un-distinction of being the worst president EVER (at least to that point).

Now a person doesn’t make a party, but does a party make a person? There’s lots’ of parties, but to be honest or practical, as it stands presently, there are only two that really matter. One person, either from one party or the other will be the next president. I almost voted for a third-party candidate one time, Ross Perot. My point is, I could relate to what Ronald Reagan once said, “I didn’t leave the Democrat Party, they left me.” I have voted several times since Jimmy and I always try to vote for the best, but I have never voted for another Democrat, at least not for president!

Oh, I was a liberal, loved everyone mostly. I was a pacifist, I wanted to “make love not war.” Yes, I was a hippie or a “freak”, or a “flower child”, for a while. I didn’t care what someone’s skin color was, their sex, economic background, level of education or intellect, or their religion, only their character!

My favorite TV shows were ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Leave it to Beaver’. My favorite political movie was, ‘Mr Smith goes to Washington’, starring another Jimmy, James Stewart. My other favorite (still is), ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, also with Jimmy (James). All these were the salt of the earth, the common folk, and simple things for simple people and idyllic like the little kid in me. Like the character George Bailey said in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, the common folk are the ones that do most of the paying, the living and the dying in this country!

Our first president, George Washington despised all political parties!! He saw them all as divisive, for their lust to get and keep power over our differences, instead of unifying by what we have in common. I don’t know who coined the following, but it fits here and I’m using it, “There’s not a dime’s difference”, among all the political parties!

Our Mother’s parents were of salt of the earth, among the common folk, from large farming families and neither went to college. They were Democrats. Our family of five were Democrats.

Our Father’s parents were both college grads. My grandmother came from wealth. My grandfather was involved with education most of his life, once as a superintendent of schools and he ended his career as a highly respected counselor at the college level. Both he and my grandmother were lifelong Republicans.

Now I can’t speak for our Mom and Dad or any of our grandparents, as they have all passed on. And I won’t speak, for my only brother or our only little sister, my wife or my/our friends. But I wonder if our grandparents with our last name, if alive today, would be voting Democrat? Would they be part of the elite class, the “for the people”, class, the con-job class that brought us everybody is a victim, social divide, and everyone that disagrees with them is a racist? Would they be among the party of political correctness and intolerance and only free if you think like me class? And just in case you think me biased, “Tricky Dick” (Richard), Nixon was a highly intelligent man like “Jimmy”! Is a high IQ a sign that one is corrupt and actually, a dumbass?

And as far as the rest of us, I wonder if we would all be voting Republican?

Everything sure seems different now? ‘The parties’, appear to have switched sides? Has everyone and everything changed?

For myself, this has been my TALE as a Democrat. I got tired of being involved with the TAIL, wagging the dog! Oh, and don’t think that the Republicans don’t want to “wag the dog” too! They just back down when accused of trying to! And this is the parties’ big con. They think “they”, the few, the elite, “the smart ones in charge”, are the tail that wags the dog.

I’m independent now (not the Independent Party or any other party)! Now, I can wag my own tail and Thimk’ for myself!

If you stop yelling at me, calling me names and quit trying to put me down, you will discover WE have a lot in common and WE could be best friends! I still have the heart of a liberal! But one has to have both an open mind and stand for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for everybody, to be a liberal! Does not the word “liberal” come from Liberty?!

So what? So what if anything is the solution? Why not educate Our-selves and Our children on what WE all are, a Republic, not a democracy of the smartest, richest, elitist, most votes and loudest voices that seek to end any debate?

An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people!”

Unknown spurious quote, falsely attributed to Thomas Jefferson, but it IS in line with his views on education

Here’s a quote I sort of made up—

Give me, the history of Our Republic and Liberty not the parties or wag the dog and it will die!

What’s your tale or tail?

Dahni
1 of WE

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My Washington

July 20, 2018

Short url to this post: https://wp.me/pGfx1-E9

By Dahni
© 2018, all rights reserved

Not palatial towers
Etchings or engravings
Bronze or marble statues, marble or granite monuments
Gold and gilded
Not tapestries or fine oil paintings
Not the US Capitol
Not the White House
Not the US Supreme Court
Not the Ladies, Columbia, Liberty or Justice
Not ancient histories
Not current and 200 and more years of history
Not the thinker, Benjamin Franklin
Not the eloquent writer, Thomas Jefferson
Not the Statesman, John Adams
Not Thomas Payne
Not Patrick Henry
Not Betsy Ross or all the GREAT women that
made it possible
Not Paul Revere or John Hancock
Not the father of the Constitution,
James Madison
Not the National Archives which hold the
original works of an iron pen:

The Declaration of Independence
The Articles of Confederation
The United States Constitution

Not the Republic on which it still stands
Not the Flag or National Anthem
Not the highly educated or the elite
Not those particularly eloquent
Not the greatest general or tactician

But unlike all the rest and those above and even though many pledged their lives, their fortunes and sacred honor, most went home to their families and lives. My Washington did not!

He reluctantly accepted his call to command the Continental Army, with the caveat that he was most probably, not the best person for the task.

He thought often, that he would die in battle, be captured and executed for treason against the king of England. He also thought he would likely lose his beloved estate at Mt. Vernon, confiscated by England. His greatest fear was to fail! Yet despite all these realistic, plausible and possible consequences, he wrote often in his journal and capitalized the word, the Cause, was worth all!

He did not lose his life, but was constantly aware that at any moment, a single bullet could end his life just as easily as those he saw die, right next to him. In one single battle, he had two horses shot out from under him and at the end of the same battle, he had four holes in his coat, where bullets had passed through and yet he was unharmed. He used the word “providence” and believed in it. Today, many use this word and think its meaning is, is being. fortunate or having good luck. But in his day, My Washington understood it to mean, “in the presence of God”! His often escaping unharmed, strengthened his belief that his life was being spared, for some greater purpose.

He did not lose his beloved Mt. Vernon, but it would be almost 16 years before he could spend much time there.

He was not a brilliant tactician nor infallible. He failed often. His troops were composed of ignorant, unlearned, inexperienced, ill-equipped, and undisciplined non-soldiers. Many poor, drunks, and slaves, mostly the “deplorables” of Virginia and others, from the other 12, rag-tag colonies, were his troops. These were the core, of the Cause!

He was defeated in New York, and lost the city of New York. He lost Philadelphia. Of all those killed under his command, many more would defect. Defeated and outnumbered, the British army only had to follow their blood trail, left in the snow by bloody footprints of feet without shoes or boots, but wrapped in rags, to have ended the revolutionary war completely! But in their arrogance, the British did not follow.

His remaining troops wintered in Valley Forge, PA, for My Washington believed it important, to keep a watchful eye on the city, where the Cause began, in the writing of, The Declaration of Independence. More would defect for fear, from a defeated and hopeless attitude and for it being long since they were paid, the promises made to them. Of those that remained, half would die to dysentery, starvation, frostbite, and small pox. Most lived in makeshift cold and drafty huts with little heat and nare’ a man could even stand up inside.

My Washington separated the cooking areas from the waste areas and moved them to the opposite ends of the camp, in hopes of improving sanitation and lesson the death toll. On advice of a slave, for the first time in recorded history, he purposely infected the remainder of his troops with “live pox” from those already infected with and dying from small pox. He himself had contracted small pox in his youth and unlike most infected, had survived, but the consequences plagued him, for the rest of his life. The mass inoculation saved the lives of his last living troops. These were the core of the core of the Cause!

Benjamin Franklin was in Europe trying to persuade the French to help and provide the Cause with a navy, which the Cause did not have. They were reluctant to come to their aid unless, there was some demonstrative evidence of potential victory. Still, Franklin tried to assist My Washington from afar and kept sending him anyone, the most unlikely persons, from the most unlikely places. One was a foreign general that came to Valley Forge and trained My Washington’s troops, to shoot, to march and become disciplined, all winter long. Many of the British army thought it incredulous and incredible that at the end, these were the same men they had easily defeated and demoralized in New York and Philadelphia.

My Washington knew his troops, inferior in number and experience stood no chance whatsoever, standing face to face with the greatest military force on earth. Instead, he relied on cunning, providence (in the presence of God), and nature (cover of cloud, darkness, fog, rain and snow), to go where and when, none would dare to go or be so foolish to go. He relied on his understanding of the land, gained from his experience as a surveyor. He knew the land and he knew the British did not. Instead of facing the redcoats in direct battle, his troops would fire on the British from afar and even their officers or capture their commanders. This was uncivil to the British in their rules of engagement. And then these uncivil cowards would retreat to the cover of the woods and the land, the Cause knew full well. But they would live to fight another day!

He relied on innovation, long rifles that could fire further and with greater accuracy than their foe.

He relied upon invisible ink and a network of spies and informants and signals from men and women and children, often with such codes employed as which side of the clothesline, the women would hang their laundry from.

He relied on barmaids and seductnrices to glean important information from their unsuspecting enemies.

He relied on a system of communication that Benjamin Franklin had set up, which would become, the U.S. Mail. He relied on a system of riders that rode long distances, changing horses frequently. This system of quick communication would become, the Pony Express.

He relied on guerrilla warfare, much learned from the American general and politician, Christopher Gadsden, the father of the U.S. Marines. Gadsden designed a flag with a yellow field depicting a rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Each coil represented each of the 13 colonies representing the Cause. Positioned below the rattlesnake are the words, “DONT TREAD ON ME.”

Yes, My Washington relied on guerrilla warfare, learned from Francis Marion, the ‘Swamp Fox’ of South Carolina.

He relied on ‘shock and awe’, deception and purposefully leaked false information to confuse and deceive their opponents, who often thought they were surrounded by far superior numbers, when only a handful of men shot from the woods, lit torches and shouted wildly, loudly, hysterically, insanely, ominously, ferociously and furiously! These measures often caused chaos, fear and trembling to the greatest and most disciplined army on earth so much so, they would throw down their arms and run away.

My Washington and his troops survived on little pay, food, and equipment often from few sources such as, every penny earned from his world popular and successfully frequently reprinted work, ‘Common Sense’, by Thomas Payne.

My Washington relied upon such works and heart pounding calls for the Cause as, Patrick Henry’s speech and concluding words, “Give me Liberty or give me death!” My Washington relied upon as did the Cause, on memory. Henry’s speech was delivered unwritten and without notes. The only reason that the Cause could hold them and WE it’s recipients of today can read them or hear them, know them and honor and follow them is because, Patrick Henry was asked for the words and he, having a photographic memory, delivered them verbatim and they were written down for posterity and our progeny, the future core of the core of, the Cause!

He relied upon motivation. He spoke with his men frequently. He walked among them. He lived among them. He fought with them not from the rear, but led them from the front and fought side by side with them. Only his personal slave and friend believed he was too important to the Cause to be killed and to his often displeasure, his friend and slave through the entire war, would place himself in front of My Washington, in harm’s way. Neither man would lose their lives, during the full course of the Cause! He had many works read to his troops, the entirety of the Declaration of Independence, from a copy, right after its publication. He had read to his men, other speeches, plays and other works to inspire his army that there was no greater cause to live for, lose all for, to hope for and even die for than, the Cause!

His new successes compelled the French to aid the Cause and to send troops and a navy armada. The French troops helped to secure victory at Yorktown, and if not for the French and their Navy, the Cause could never have been and would not have been realized!

All of these things heretofore could speak of blind or just dumb luck. Those then and now which do not believe in providence (standing in the presence of God), have no other choice than to accept luck as the reason, for the success of the Cause, but luck was not ever then; not now nor ever, a logical explanation, for the impossible to have been not only possible, but a reality of the miraculous!

My Washington relied on appearance, not to deceive or for appearance sake. As a child, he memorized hundreds of rules for civility. He knew how to dress, how to walk and how to speak; how to enter a room and how to leave it. He knew as a tall man (at least 6’ tall), he stood head and shoulders above most. He used his stature to command the appearance of strength, but also, for modesty, reverence, respect and humility.

Having completed his task, the Cause having succeeded, he was in route to the Continental Congress that was then residing in Maryland. Scores of people, men, women and children came out to meet and greet him, enthusiastically shouting, calling out his name and with hopes of shaking his hand or just touching him. He could have easily become king. The position was suggested to him numerous times and he always adamantly refused! He did not believe replacing one ruthless tyrant king with another benevolent one, was worthy of, the Cause!

But he gave an emotional speech, surrendered his commission as Commander and Chief, bowed to the Congress, turned and walked out of the room.

This was his intentional purpose to not only give up his commission, but to retire from public life and be content with living under the laws of the Congress, as a private citizen, for the remainder of his life. This final act was announced ahead of time. Even the king of England after having signed the Peace Treaty, knew of this. What person of power gives up power? The king said, “If he (Washington), “does this, he is the greatest man in the world!” My Washington did and he perhaps was, among the greatest persons in the entire history of the world?! His admiration and popularity would not and could not keep him private for long.

He said the Articles of Confederation (1777), was “nugatory”, of little or no consequence; trifling, inconsequential, too nugatory to merit attention! He was obviously correct. In 1787, he reluctantly agreed to preside over the Constitutional Congress which resulted in, The Constitution of the United States of America, In 1789.

He was called and once again, reluctantly agreed to be OUR first president. Relying upon appearance, he guided the establishment of the three branches of government and how they were to operate as co-equals, but servants to the People. He abhorred, despised, and had contempt for all political parties, whose lust for power were divisive over differences, rather than unifying over all we hold in common and were essential in the success of the Cause and its continuance, in OUR future as a republic.

He served only two terms, when he could have had a lifetime appointment. His views as limiting government was wholly against lifetime appointments, including, the interpreted clause in the Constitution, for the Supreme Court judges.

After eight years as years in war, as commander and chief and eight years as president, he finally went home to his beloved Mt. Vernon, as a private citizen. He oversaw every detail of his estate and often rode all over it on horseback. His inheritance from his father had made him comfortable, but he built his estate by his own means. Except for the current occupier of the White House, no other president has been as wealthy during war, after war and especially during their presidencies or after their terms. But the Cause was worth more to him than his own life, honor, wealth or success.

One morning, he went out for a ride and it was raining. When he returned home his clothes were soaked. Mt. Vernon had guests and not wanting them to wait for his presence any further, he did not change his clothes. After all the guests had been sufficiently greeted, ‘wined and dined’, entertained and given fond farewell by he and his beloved wife Martha, he retired to bed, complaining of a chill. He later developed a fever. There was nothing anyone could do. He was dying and he knew it. Likely having a will prepared long before or at least when he commanded the Continental Army, he called for it and a second will to be brought to him on his death-bed. Who knows when his second Last Will and Testament had been prepared? He ordered the first to be burnt in the fire in his room before him. No one will ever know the contents of that will. His second will would be executed and among all of its contents and provisions, every slave on the estate of Mt. Vernon was FREED! This last act was in compliance with his belief in, the Cause.

He died.

His beloved wife Martha, burned all their many letters and correspondence between them over their many years as a devoted and passionate couple that were friends and confidants. They kept their private lives separate from their public duties.

My Washington passed away on December 14, 1799. It would be 63 years before the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, during the Civil War (so-called), when slavery was predominate in the South, when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. It would take 65 years until the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, was abolished and was adopted, December 18, 1865. It would take a 165 years and several wars before The Civil Rights Act, enforcing the Constitutional right to vote, equal opportunity and other non-discriminatory purposes, was signed into law by then president, Lyndon Johnson, on July 2nd, 1964. My Washington on his death-bed, freed his slaves and in retrospect, his act was prophetic of things to come, though long in their coming.

My Washington is no city that bears his name where much of his legacy could be considered corrupt, a ‘swamp’, “the deep state”, a shadow government; a cesspool and all in his name and image.

My Washington is not the legacy of all the work he tried and accomplished and left to US, the Republic of, the Cause.

My Washington is the First American of the United States, the Father of Our Republic, OUR First president, and WE the People are his legacy. WE are his children; his progeny, the children of, the Cause.

But more than all of this, My Washington is my example that to this Republic, there is no greater cause than, the Cause. That to keep and protect and defend Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness, is always worth any pledge of life, fortune and sacred honor.

My Washington – February 11, 1731 – December 14, 1799

1 of WE,

Dahni