Tag Archives: tyranny

What would Dad think of this charlatan?

My father wasn’t a particularly political person. He didn’t talk much in detail about public policy or those who shape it. He did have opinions about some politicians and when he expressed them to me, they usually were negative.

He was a proud World War II veteran who fought Germans and Italians in the Mediterranean theater of operations. He hated the tyrants he took an oath to defeat when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy right after Pearl Harbor.

I cannot help but wonder what Dad would think of the individual who was elected in 2016 as president of the United States.

Although Dad wasn’t a keen political observer, I believe he was intuitive enough to know a huckster when he saw or heard one. Dad was among the best sellers of products who ever lived. Thus, I have to believe that Dad would know a huckster, a flim-flam artist, a carnival barker when he saw one.

That is what we have in Donald Trump.

I cannot ask Dad what he would think of this guy. Dad died more than 39 years ago. He was 59 years of age. He would have turned 98 this past May, so it’s entirely possible that Dad would be unable to process much of what the nation has seen unfold since Trump took office.

I wonder how he would react to the way Trump has behaved since becoming our head of state. I ponder how Dad would perceive the pronouncements that come from Trump.

Mostly, I wonder how Dad would react to Trump’s kowtowing to dictators, strong men, murderers, Marxists and assorted tinhorn leaders around the world.

Dad’s service in our nation’s time of terrible peril helped define him. He hated tyrants and the tyranny they sought to advance. How in the world would this proud patriot think of a president who sought to avoid/evade service in the Vietnam War? Hmm.

I have to believe Dad would be aghast, appalled and astonished that Donald Trump even got elected to the nation’s highest and most exalted office.

If only I could ask him.

My new favorite holiday? Umm, maybe

The older I get the sappier I become.

My wife and I spent a glorious evening with Emma, our 6-year-old granddaughter. We ventured to the other side of Princeton, Texas — which isn’t all that far, to tell you the truth — to enjoy some Independence Day festivities.

The city put on its Fourth of July Spectacular at Caldwell Park, which happens to include a one-time World War II prisoner of war encampment where Nazi soldiers were kept near the end of the war.

Emma enjoyed some rides, sipped and nibbled on a snow cone, then sat with us as we listened to music superstar Lee Ann Womack belt out some country/western tunes before a large crowd gathered in front of the stage.

Then the fun really got started. The fireworks display — which I sought to capture with the photo that accompanies this blog post — was nothing short of spectacular.

I love the pageantry associated with the Fourth of July. The older I become the more I enjoy listening to the patriotic music while the rockets’ red glare lights up the night sky.

Truth be told, I’ve always been a bit of a sap about this particular holiday. My parents imbued it in me as a youngster. Perhaps it has something to do with Dad’s role in ridding the world of tyranny during World War II. He was proud of his Navy service, although he didn’t brag about. The Greatest Generation is not full of braggarts; it is full of heroes who did their job, answered their country’s call to duty, then returned home to start or restart their lives. That was Dad in a nutshell.

Mom, too, told me of how the Port of Portland, Ore., turned into a “liberty ship” assembly line, cranking out cargo vessels at a clip of one per month. You remember these tales of greatness in the face of international crisis.

So we watched the fireworks tonight. We listened to music. It was our way of saluting this great nation of ours.

What’s more, we did it with our precious little girl.

How in the name of all that is good can it possibly get any better than that?

Tough to watch Sen. Dole

The scene was almost too much to bear.

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, a World War II hero of the first order, needed help to stand while he saluted the casket carrying his one time political rival, former President (and fellow World War II hero) George H.W. Bush.

Dole is a very old man now. His body is betraying him. He was pushed in a wheelchair toward the 41st president’s casket. To watch this great man struggle to stand — at attention! — while he paid tribute to the president tore hard at my heart.

Oh, I remember the day when Sen. Dole was known as a political pit bull. He ran as vice presidential running mate to President Ford on the 1976 Republican ticket. Do you remember when he referred –during a vice-presidential debate with Sen. Walter Mondale — to World War II, Korea and Vietnam as “Democrat wars”?

Then in 1988, he competed for the GOP presidential nomination against Vice President Bush, the same man he saluted today under the Capitol Dome. On a split TV screen, he said through a scowl that the VP should “stop lying about my record.”

In 1996, Dole became the Republican presidential nominee but lost in a landslide to President Clinton, who won re-election that year.

But before all that, Sen. Dole was a young soldier fighting for his country against the Nazis. In 1945, near the end of World War II, the young soldier was wounded grievously while trying to rescue another Army infantryman. He would lose the use of his right arm as a result of his wound. It didn’t stop him from pursuing a long and distinguished career in politics.

To watch him, then, struggle today and then lift his left hand to salute his former rival, well . . . it broke my heart.

Sen. Dole, too, is part of the Greatest Generation. He is a man to whom we all owe a debt of eternal gratitude for helping turn back the tyrants and for his decades of continued public service for the nation he cherishes.

It’s far more than just a flag

Gov. Nikki Haley, a South Carolina Republican, has joined the call she should have led immediately after a suspect was caught and charged with murdering nine African-American church members in Charleston.

She’s urged the South Carolina legislature to take down the Confederate flag that flies at full staff on the statehouse grounds in Columbia.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/06/22/gov_haley_candidates_call_for_confederate_flags_removal.html

She waited five days after the tragedy. The suspect, a young man named Dylann Roof, is an avowed racist. He wrote in his diaries he intended to start a “race war” by killing African-Americans.

Haley’s call came amid a bipartisan show of solidarity today. Republican presidential candidates, GOP lawmakers, Democratic lawmakers, the head of the Republican National Committee … they all were there to join Gov. Haley’s call.

Look, it’s not just about a flag. It’s about what that flag has come to represent.

To many millions of Americans it represents hatred and evil, racism and murder. It represents the hideous views of hate groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, that wave the flag with pride at their hate-filled rallies.

And what about that “Southern heritage” crap we hear from those who still resist the notion that the flag symbolizes tyranny against Americans? Their pleadings are sounding more hollow every passing hour.

I’m glad Gov. Haley has joined the chorus of indignation that’s sweeping the nation.

South Carolina law says the legislature has the sole power to remove the flag. Thankfully, lawmakers are coming back into session to look at several issues.

Let me think. Do you suppose the flag will be one of them?

Take down the flag.