Leadership Matters

To truly make America great again, we will need to elect leaders who work for the people they represent. Leaders from across the spectrum that will not always share the lockstep conclusions of their political peers but will share in certain attributes.

Leaders who won’t take positions for convenience or to pander to their base, but because they are passionate about their beliefs and practice what they preach.

Leaders who emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. The ones who do not fear diversity, but embrace it.

Leaders who welcome opposition. The ones who hold town halls and do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions, but listen and learn from them.

Leaders who build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality, but rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

Leaders who own their actions. They do not finger point, blame predecessors or deny accountability for their decisions. They understand that once empowered the buck stops with them. Period.

Leaders who problem solve. The ones who do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim, but innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove walls and obstacles.

Leaders who prioritize knowing their people, who serve their constituents . They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

Leaders who extend kindness, who takes the high road when the other goes low. The ones who do not bully, but nurture.

Leaders who encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

Leaders who lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

Leaders who create opportunity for all. The ones who do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry, but rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

Leaders who safeguard open communications, and rights to privacy. They do not silence and threaten whistle blowers and leakers. They protect anonymity by offering hotlines and access to independent arbiters.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who gave voice to the extremes.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answer, I hope, is obvious.

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America, What a Country

Trump is an empty vessel. A freelance reality show host available for hire. Stick a storyline in front of him, tell him the type of character he is to play and he can obfuscate with the greats. If you don’t believe he can do it just check out his work on The Apprentice when for the first and only time in his life the man uttered the words “you’re fired” while looking the terminated employee in the eye. As an aside I hope when Pelosi decides its time to do her actual job she simply sends @realdonaldtrump a tweet, “You’re being impeached!”

The point is Trump’s only agenda is power and money, everything else he does are terms in the art of deal. His entire administration a giant quid pro quo to multiple masters, Russian oligarchs included.

There’s a reason each faction of the GOP stands behind Trump. Military hawk, Christian conservative, trickle down white establishment prick, or true deplorable it matters not, there’s room for all in Trump’s world. It’s all gobblygook to him anyway. What does he care if he has to portray himself as a pro-life, pro-Christ, confederate loving, gun-toting, America First, proud to be a redneck summabitch. So long as it keeps him out of jail, earns him millions and results in his becoming the most powerful man in the world he’s happy to play along.

The rest of the GOP. They know this. They know it’s all an act but they don’t care so long as each agenda continues to get pushed. They also know that by pretending to represent everyone Trump is the only man who can unify the GOP. That the modern GOP is truly just a collection of “other” that was ready to go extinct from the national stage following back to back losses to a Black man of all things. All that remained was a loose fabric of fiscal conservatism that held a potpourri of single issue voters together. The truth is the GOP is still nothing more than a regional political platform, the NHL of political world.

As for the GOP electorate it’s no wonder they coalesced around Trump and idolize him. He’s the only national candidate who actually legitimized all regional issues into a single national platform. That he abandoned fiscal conservative principles to do so was collateral damage. The so called moderate Republicans were really secret liberal elites anyway like Comey, Will, McCabe, Mueller, and Gates. The rest of the conservative population continue to idolize the only national voice, outside of right wing media, that actually speaks for them.

Truth is Trump is a puppet and his political handlers continue to ride out the storm counting their return on investment. Big grins on their faces as the rich get richer, the military grows, arms race revive, the preconditions for Armageddon get closer and the bigots are given equal standing to the peaceful protestors.

I won’t pretend to know the thoughts of Vladimir Putin as he observes the international chaos he has no doubt directed, but imagine they echo those of another famous Russian, Yakov Smirnof, in his assessment of our affairs, “America, what a country!”

It’s a Matter of Trust

The oncoming conflict was so obvious. Heck the most notorious American conman alive was the opposition. Did anyone with even half a brain really believe he was there to save America.

It’s truly laughable! We knew he was a pawn…the overwhelming majority of us. A man so repugnant that his own reflection screams back “ImPeach.” Some of us chose to turn a blind eyes for selfish reasons, others out of fear they’d be labeled an alarmist, but we knew he had the stench of caviar and old fashioned American whiskey all over him…a pawn for the rich and putinful.

Even Obama…chose to put his faith in our institutions…The dreams of his ancestors and the audacity of hope…til the end. We would have listened to him. The majority, the military, all of us had he taken a stand. Had he taken that microphone on January 20th, and passed on to the nation what the FBI had told him…how the Russians had interfered in our elections…attacked our most fundamental institution…an act of war.

We would have listened had he appointed an independent commission. Had he given them 90 days to confirm one question and one question only…had he conditioned the peaceful turnover of power on that one condition and that one condition only…

One question…ninety days.

Was Donald Trump fairly elected by and if he were to assume office would he be working for the American people.

In the interest of national security we would have listened. Ignored the rantings and protestations that would have followed. It would not have been easy, but we would have listened.

I honestly believe Obama considered it. It was his constitutional duty to protect our security interests until his very last day in office. McConnell and the GOP efforts to strip him of that power a year early notwithstanding. The fact is Obama allowed a known and imminent threat to slither into the most powerful office in the world.

Perhaps it was our fault, the majority of like minded Americans who hold the ideals of this nation so sacred. Perhaps it was our responsibility to push this great experiment in individual freedoms forward. Perhaps Obama would have fought harder had it not all been so difficult for him. From his first day on the job McConnell made clear that his number one priority was to obstruct the agenda of the most progressive candidate in our nation’s history. Think about the insanity of that!

Worse “we, the people” stood by in near silence as the GOP did just that. In February 2016 McConnell took it one step further and unilaterally declared a “3/4 Compromise” whereby duly elected African American Presidents will only get to fulfill the constitutionally enumerated duties of the Executive office for 3/4 of the term to which they were freely elected!

For some reason, still unexplained to me so I’ll just assume cowardice and corruption, this sounded like a good idea to the other Democrats in the Senate. No mass protests followed when the Senate announced they refused to even consider Garland’s nomination to the Court. What little outrage there was was quickly muffled by the outrageous headlines, tweets and sound bites being generated by the emerging candidacy of Mr. Birther himself. Impeccable timing maestro.

Who could blame Obama really if he grew disheartened, if he had enough. His loyal constituents and party backers abandoned him to stare at a clown show at the time he needed them most. So he chose to go high, as everyone else around him looked low, distracted by the shiny object, the hairy arm. Perhaps that explains why rather than put his trust in his constituents and political allies, the most respected man in the world put his faith in hope.

There’s still a chance he is right. That we avoid the worst of this.

It’s not the institutions that will save us though. As nice as it is to see the lowest branch of Congress flex it’s oversight muscle the truth is they hold absolutely no ability to hold this caravan of the corrupt to account. Try as they may I’ve seen this story enough times to realize that the legislative branch is no longer a separate and equal branch.

The same is now true of what once was our independent judiciary. As of today, our Senate has confirmed 146 Article III judges nominated by a man who remains an active target of a counterintelligence investigation, this includes 44 judges to the US Court of Appeals, 99 judges to the District Courts, and 2 Associate Justices to the Supreme Court. Nearly a quarter of the jurors who will ultimately determine the limits of Executive Privilege were hand selected by the Defendant himself. It still boggles my mind that our defenders of the constitution allowed such a blatant coup to take place.

Our system of checks and balances has failed. The constitutional crisis is here.

We all know of the historic turnover and corruption that has taken place at the highest levels of this administration. We know of at least 30 examples of high level advisors receiving security clearances despite the recommendations of our intelligence agencies. We know of the advisory ethic opinions that have been ignored and disregarded. Forget extreme vetting, there isn’t even routine vetting of these protectors of our freedom.

Our Comrade in Chief finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes. He uses it to his advantage to distract from the caste system being legislated in the wake of his tweetstorm. Security will not be found in a far off election. We must act now and stop turning a blind eye to the damage being done today. Take to the streets in a sustained peaceful protest and make clear that we are the majority.

To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. Take comfort in the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account. The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success.

Remember, it’s as Billy Joel sings “The good old days weren’t always good. Tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems.” Resist the urge to look back, trust in progress, for it is never ending and infinite #HistoryHasItsEyesOnYou #RiseUp #Resist #NeverForget

The Rainbow Wave

I’m as excited as anyone at the prospect of a Blue Wave. I hope with all my being that the American people are given a free and fair chance to right this ship; an opportunity to bring some adults back into the room. Yet if there is one lesson learned over these past 2 years it’s that character matters. It is not, and should not be strictly about party or, even winning. The substance of the candidate matters as well.

If our Republic was functioning as intended it would be more than a wave of Democrats voted into office this election year. It would be our best leaders from across the spectrum. True representatives that would not divide this nation into false “us” verse “them” narratives. A representative body not just diverse in sex, race and color, but in thought as well.

America was a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world. Exceptional in hee diversity, she was the land of hope and opportunity. A fierce defender of individual freedom, she pledged liberty and justice for all. To get that back will require real leadership.

To truly make America great again, we will need to elect leaders who work for the people they represent. The ones that walk the walk. The greatest leaders do share certain attributes that contribute to their success, but not lockstep political beliefs.

They don’t take positions for convenience or to pander to their base, but because they are passionate about their beliefs and practice what they preach.

Those who emphasize collaboration and inclusiveness. The ones who do not fear diversity, but embrace it.

Those who welcome opposition. The ones who hold town halls and do not suppress feedback or dissenting opinions, but listen and learn from them.

Those who build a shared vision of the future. They do not think perception is reality, but rely on facts, science and logic to shape perception to match reality.

Those who own their actions. They do not finger point, blame predecessors or deny accountability for their decisions. They understand that once empowered the buck stops with them. Period.

Those who problem solve. The ones who do not act a prisoner of circumstance or play the victim, but innovate and experiment with new paradigms to limit or remove walls and obstacles.

Those who prioritize knowing their people, who serve their constituents . They do not view empathy as a weakness. They know it to be a virtue.

Those who extend kindness, who takes the high road when the other goes low. The ones who do not bully, but nurture.

Those who encourage teamwork. They do not ostracize, belittle, or build walls. They promote commonalities, break barriers and build bridges.

Those who lead with hope. They do not rule by negativity and fear. They grow consensus through transparency and communication.

Those who create opportunity for all. The ones who do not close doors or instill artificial barriers to entry, but rely on objective measures to reward and promote all those who merit consideration.

Those who safeguard open communications, and rights to privacy. They do not silence and threaten whistle blowers and leakers. They protect anonymity by offering hotlines and access to independent arbiters.

In the course of history there have been countless examples of leaders who chose to rule otherwise. Who ruled through fear mongering, authoritarian accountability and slogans. Who preyed on the weakness of the disenfranchised to promote their own agenda. Who gave voice to the extremes.

But riddle me this? Has such a leader ever been on the right side of history? Have they ever progressed our collective interests? Brought us closer to that more perfect union our founders dreamed of?

The answers, I hope, are obvious. At least this year they are. It is your civic responsibility to vote, informed consent of the public a constitutional requirement. Well until such time the GOP prove even qualified to perform the job, to act as an independent check and balance on the Executive, they are unelectable. Basic job understanding being a prerequisite for consideration. That leaves most Americans with only one choice. That is unfortunate but the reality we are in.

So this year let’s hope and pray for a #BlueWave. Please go out and vote like your freedom depends on it. In numbers that cannot be denied.

But starting next year let’s hope for the start of a #RainbowWave. The election of the greatest leaders from across the country. The ones whose uniqueness and diversity is instantly recognized across the globe as the example of man’s progress

Yes we can

The oncoming conflict was so obvious. Heck the most notorious American conman alive was the opposition. Did anyone with even half a brain really believe he was there to save American.

It’s truly laughable! We knew he was a pawn…the overwhelming majority of us. A man so repugnant that his own reflection screams back “ImPeach.” Some of us chose to turn a blind eyes for selfish reasons, others out of fear they’d be labeled an alarmist, but we knew he had the stench of caviar and old fashioned American whiskey all over him…a pawn for the rich and putinful.

Even Obama…chose to put his faith in our institutions…The dreams of his ancestors and the audacity of hope…til the end. We would have listened to him. The majority, the military, all of us had he taken a stand. Had he taken that microphone on January 20th and said what the FBI had told him…how the Russians had interfered in our elections…attacked our most fundamental institution…an act of war.

We would have listened had he appointed an independent commission. Had he given them 90 days to confirm one question and one question only…had he conditioned the peaceful turnover of power on that one condition and that one condition only…

One question…ninety days.

Was Donald Trump fairly elected by and if he were to assume office would he be working for the American people?

In the interest of national security we would have listened. Ignored the rantings and protestations that would have followed. It wouldn’t have been easy but we would have listened.

I honestly believe Obama considered it. It was his duty to protect our security interests until his very last day in office. McConnell and the GOP efforts to strip him of his power a year early notwithstanding. A known and imminent threat slithered into the most powerful office in the world, it was not off caravaning many thousand miles away.

Perhaps it was our fault, the majority of like minded Americans who hold the ideals of this nation so sacred. Perhaps it was our responsibility to push this great experiment in individual freedoms forward. Perhaps Obama would have fought harder had it not all been so difficult. Had we fought more for Garland he may have believed he had a play. Instead he put his faith in hope.

There’s still a chance he is right. That we avoid the worst of this.

It’s not the institutions that will save us though. We are past that point where we can rely on the vote as a legitimate check and balance. Go vote Tuesday but more importantly we must act.

Time is not on our side. The caravan is still a month out but the constitutional crisis is here today. I fear that by the time the next Congress is sworn in it will be too late. Our Comrade in Chief has already ordered our military to shoot at the unarmed civilians who may reach our borders. He finds safety and job security in the chaos he stokes.

It’s time we stop turning a blind eye. Take to the streets in peaceful protest and make clear who we are. We are the majority. We can still stop this thing, make our will heard and bring the fight to them.

To move forward the dreams of our ancestors we must demand answers. Take comfort in the audacity of hope and hold those who wish to trample on our ideals to account. The spirit of the American people has been a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world for over two centuries. Our diversity our greatest strength, the backbone of our success.

Progress knows but one direction and never wishes for a return to the past. It’s time we move forward.

Yes we can, yes we can, #YESWECAN