Tag Archives: presidency

Ex-POTUS builds legacy of turmoil

(AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The 45th president of the United States took office more than four years ago vowing to be an “unconventional” POTUS.

He didn’t deliver on many of his campaign promises, but he surely did on that one.

The man I refuse these days to ID by name on this blog has morphed into without question the most “unconventional” former president in U.S. history. He is building a legacy of mistrust, disbelief, deceit, self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement and, oh yes, all those lies — including the Big Lie about the outcome of the 2020 election.

Just as I refused to attach the term “President” directly to the former POTUS’s name while he occupied the nation’s highest office, I have taken to refusing even to type his name in any form. I cannot do it. The sight of his name — not to mention the sound of his voice — simply sickens me to the max.

I vowed not to dwell too much on POTUS 45 now that he has left office. I intend to look forward. I am doing so even as I bang out these few words about the former Insurrectionist in Chief.

This individual’s legacy is important to ponder as well. President Biden is seeking to craft a legacy of his own even this early in his term in office. He must do so against the backdrop of the legacy that his immediate predecessor left and which he is building now even as a private citizen.

I had harbored a hope that there might be a reckoning coming from POTUS 45, that he might decide to give up his idiotic pursuit of being “reinstated” as president. That he might call President Biden and say, “You know, Joe, I thought I had a shot at all this. It’s clear that I do not. Therefore, I am going to summon reporters tomorrow to my resort in Florida and tell them — and the world — that you are the legitimately elected president of the United States. I wish you success.” 

That won’t happen. His legacy will be built on the lies he’ll keep telling and on the idiocy that will continue to spew forth.

He still has a chance to turn the corner on an election he lost. Sadly, I fear he won’t take it.

Why support this POTUS?

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

No one has asked for my opinion on this matter, but I feel the need to offer it anyway.

Pollsters overlook our household when asking Americans this question: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of President Biden?

Here’s my answer in the event someone would ask: I have a highly favorable opinion of the leadership he is providing this country.

Do you want to know why? Here it is.

President Biden has restored dignity, decorum and a sense of normal behavior to the White House. He has signed a number of executive orders that have sought to reverse some bone-headed policies enacted by his predecessor. He has shown an ability to perform a sort of two-track function while working his Republican colleagues in Congress: He talks to ’em, listens to ’em and then if they don’t see things his way, he turns to his more dependable Democratic allies to move legislation forward.

Joe Biden was able to send us payments in a COVID relief package over the objections of his GOP friends in Congress. I appreciated the cash, just as I appreciated what came to us in the final year of POTUS 45’s tenure in office.

What I have learned to appreciate most of all, though, has been the restoration of the presidency as an office with dignity. President Biden vowed to restore our “national soul” when he ran for the office. I am not yet sure whether our soul has been brought back to life as we knew it just yet.

I do know, though, that the president no longer denigrates war heroes. Nor does he stiff our nation’s allies. The president no longer scolds public officials for certain policies while their cities and states are fighting nature’s wrath. The president now is able to step into his role as consoler in chief and he performs that role flawlessly.

Has the 46th president had a hiccup-free entry? Of course not. The crisis on our southern border needs to be called as such and it needs to come from President Biden.

I am willing to give this individual my support because — and this is critical — he is willing to conduct himself with the dignity that his high office demands from him.

That is why I believe we are heading in the right direction under President Biden’s leadership.

Can’t make the leap to attach title to Trump’s name

Well, here we are. We’re about 100 days away from the next presidential election.

My hope springs eternal that Americans will have learned from the big mistake they made when they elected Donald John Trump to the presidency and that we will elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to succeed him.

If that is the case, then I likely will be able to declare victory in one of my campaigns against Trump. It will be that I might have survived the current presidency without ever placing the word “President” in front of Trump’s name.

I cannot make that leap.

I won’t apologize for it. I have believed since long before Trump took the oath of office that he didn’t deserve to occupy it. He is unqualified. He is unfit at every level possible. I want him gone far away from the Oval Office inside “my White House.” Thus, it is time to evict this imposter and Election Day provides us with the best chance we will have.

I say all this with plenty of trepidation. I do not relish expressing this form of protest. Nor do I express it with an ounce of disrespect for the presidency. I revere the office. I merely detest the man who sits at the Resolute Desk. Thus, I take no pleasure in refusing to attach “President” in front of “Trump,” to publish those words consecutively, with nothing between them.

Members of my family will acknowledge that I have spoken those words in that order. I just cannot write them down, to put it on the record in this blog.

What will I do if Trump somehow wins a second term? The same thing. I just will need to suck it up for another four years. I might not have the stamina right now. If it comes to pass and we are stuck with this disgrace, I’ll find what it takes to continue my protest to the bitter end.

In love with the high office

High Plains Blogger critics ask me on occasion: Why do you disrespect the presidency with your constant criticism of our president?

The question comes in many forms, but that’s the crux of it. Those critics think I hate the office as much as I hate the man who sits in that big chair in the Oval Office.

I will set the record straight, clear the air and set the table for future discussion.

I do not hate Donald John Trump. I despise, detest and loathe the background he brought to the only public office he ever sought, let alone held. He is a huckster, a con man, a fraud, philanderer, sexual assailant, a phony and a pathological liar.

He just happens to occupy the most exalted office in the land. It is arguably the most important office on Earth.

I happen to revere the presidency. I adore the pomp and pageantry associated with the office. I love inaugural celebrations and the trappings of those events that surround them.

Accordingly, I want the individual who sits in that exalted office to treat it with the dignity it deserves and which it has earned over the 240 years of the world’s greatest republic. I subscribe to the notion put forth by the late Robert F. Kennedy, who said that politics “should be a noble profession.” Donald Trump does not treat the presidency or politics with the nobility that RFK said they deserve.

My criticism of Trump isn’t based on intense animosity for the man. I based instead on the intense love I have for the office he occupies. I want it restored. I want the individual who sits in that big chair behind the Resolute Desk to behave in a manner befitting the high office. Donald Trump is failing in that part of his job performance … not to mention damn near everything else he is doing.

I want Donald Trump removed from an office I believe he is unfit to hold. The office of the presidency is far bigger and more important than any individual who goes to work in the Oval Office. I simply want that individual to measure up to the majesty of that high office.

Just resign, Mr. POTUS … and go far away!

(Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald J. Trump is incorrigible. He is a political reprobate.

If the hideous event occurs in November and he is somehow re-elected president of the United States, I want him to do the only thing he should do. I want Trump to resign from office. I want him to vanish from the public stage. I want him out of my sight. I no longer want to hear his voice.

This isn’t an original thought. I merely have reached my limit with this individual.

It wouldn’t hurt my feelings one tiny bit were he to quit prior to the election, even though handing the presidency to Mike Pence well might ensure Pence’s election were he to seek a full term.

Donald Trump cannot lead the nation. He doesn’t know how to govern. Trump cannot work with the entire Congress. He has alienated the legislative branch from the executive branch. Trump already has been impeached by the House of Representatives; he survived conviction in the Senate by coercing his GOP allies to hang with him, depriving the nation the opportunity to restore its faith in government.

The coronavirus response has been the deal breaker. Donald Trump’s early refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of the pandemic has brought us to the brink of collapse. When given the opportunity to lead the nation, to pull us together, to speak from the heart even to those of us who voted against him in 2016, Trump has failed miserably.

He has squandered the last bit of faith any of us might have held that he could pull it together, that he could find a way to exhibit the kind of leadership he bragged had been the hallmark of his building a business empire.

My ever-lovin’ God in heaven! He has continued to fail every single step along the way. His presence in office puts more Americans in jeopardy.

Were he win re-election against Joe Biden — and the thought sends chills up my back — he would become unleashed, unhinged, unencumbered. He doesn’t know a single thing about the limits of his office. He will seek to extend his political reach far beyond his grasp.

I know that Trump won’t quit. He will defame Biden all the way to the end of the campaign … and likely beyond. Trump won’t seek to unify the nation as he seeks to win re-election. He will drive wedge after wedge between voters of disparate ideologies.

Donald Trump had no business being elected in 2016. His response to the deadly worldwide pandemic ratifies what I have thought all along … that this individual is unfit for public office.

He needs to quit.

Hoping to be able to look with respect again at president

We are enmeshed in a global health crisis the likes of which very few of us ever have witnessed.

The last global pandemic to sweep the planet occurred while the nation was fighting World War I and, yes, there are a small number of centenarians who have a fleeting memory of the measles pandemic that killed millions of Americans.

Still, we also are facing a presidential election near the end of this year. I am trying the best I can to look ahead without taking my eye off the current crisis that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.

I am longing for a return to a time when I can look with respect at the president of the United States. The current president never has won my trust, so it is difficult to say he “lost” my trust during this crisis, given that there was no trust for Donald Trump to lose in the first place.

I want to be crystal clear. When I refer to “respect for the president,” I refer only to the individual who holds the office. I continue to revere the presidency. The office commands all our respect. However, when I look at the individual sitting in the office — now that he has demonstrated beyond all manner of doubt his unfitness for that office — I am filled with horror and dread.

The juxtaposition of the coronavirus pandemic and the upcoming election only pulls the two events into sharp relief.

Trump had the opportunity to rise to the level of a leader. He could have executed his duties as comforter, consoler, unifier. He has failed miserably on all three and then some! He casts the health crisis almost solely in economic terms, hoping for all he’s worth that the economy will rebound in time for Trump to reap some political reward.

This con man/carnival barker/charlatan/fraud offers next to zero words of comfort to those who suffer. Listen to his comments about how “no one is more concerned about the death” than he is; listen to him follow that with the very next sentence that says “by the same token, we have to worry” about the economy.

This guy sickens me.

I want the next election to give us a leader who can behave with dignity and grace. It looks as though Joe Biden will be Trump’s foe this fall. Fine. I’m all in … now! I wasn’t in the beginning of this campaign, but given what we are witnessing from the Liar in Chief, I most certainly have become what you might call a Bidenista.

Those critics of this blog will laugh with scorn at what I will say next, but … whatever. I am truly weary of speaking so ill of the president. I want to be able to speak with high praise of the individual who serves as our head of state.

The current individual just can’t cut it. Nor will he ever cut it.

Called out on a call for a return to ‘normalcy’

I have been called out by someone I do not know, but who has read a blog I posted recently.

In the blog item, I called for a return of a more “normal” presidency and I posited that Joe Biden is the man to bring it.

This individual challenged my thesis. He said: Is there something other than normalcy you would fight for? Is this the natural ending for most people politically at a certain age?

“Fight for?” I’ll just provide this addendum regarding what I published on High Plains Blogger.

  • I support the former vice president’s view that we need only to improve the Affordable Care Act, that we don’t need to toss it aside and create a totally government-run health care plan. Biden isn’t willing to provide a Medicare for All health plan being pitched by Bernie Sanders and others on the far left wing of the Democratic Party. I have said all along that the ACA isn’t perfect and that Barack Obama — the ACA’s daddy — has declared that he would be open to improving it where needed.

That’s one issue.

  • I also want the president to be a reliable ally around the world. I want him to cease scolding our friends and allies in public, demanding out loud that they pay more for the defense we provide. I am convinced that Joe Biden will exercise discretion when talking to — and about — our allies abroad.

That’s another point.

  • I want a president who will take on the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights fanatics. I have believed for years there are ways to legislate reasonable control on firearms without abridging our Second Amendment rights that guarantee we can “keep and bear arms.” I also believe — if he stays true to his pledge to “take on the NRA” — that Joe Biden can work with Congress to search for legislative remedies to the spasm of gun violence that has become one of our nation’s most hideous scourges.

That’s No. 3.

  • Finally, I want a president who buys into the science that tells us that our climate is changing and that it is threatening our planet, the creatures that inhabit it — including we human beings — and that we have a responsibility to deal with this existential threat to Earth’s survival. No more “hoax” pronouncements. Joe Biden has made a vow to attack climate change head on.

There. That’s just a start. Thanks to the reader who called me out.

Biden fits the bill for this old man

Joseph R. Biden Jr. got my vote today for president of the United States.

It is no surprise to readers of this blog. I waffled, wavered and wiggled a bit during the run-up to today’s Super Tuesday vote. In the end, though, I happen to fit into the demographic that is drawn to this fellow’s candidacy.

I once thought he was nearly finished as a candidate:

Painful to acknowledge … but ex-VP Biden likely is finished

I am an older voter. I am a white guy. I consider myself to be a patriot. I am a veteran who once went to war for my country. I am retired. I live a quiet life in North Texas with my bride of more than 48 years. I am a one-time firebrand who once wanted to change the world with my single vote; that was a long time ago and I have grown out of that desire.

My keen interest today is in restoring the presidency to what I have grown up understanding it to represent. I believe Joseph Biden would do that for me.

We have been “treated” to more than three years of chaos, confusion, controversy … and contempt for the norms associated with the exalted office. I am tired of it and I want the presidency returned to the dignity the office demands.

I won’t belabor the point I have made already about Donald Trump’s unfitness for the office. I want to make another point, though: It is that Joe Biden, despite his verbal clumsiness and occasionally weird rhetoric, is profoundly fit to deliver the presidency from where Trump has dragged it.

As I ponder now where this primary race heads after today, it is my hope that Biden can collect more support along the way and that he can parlay that support into a presidential nomination … and then election.

My sentiment … exactly

Truth be told, I couldn’t really say this any better. But I am going to weigh in nonetheless.

I get occasional comments from critics of this blog who suggest that I should respect the presidency more, that I should cease with my criticism of Donald Trump because, after all, he is the president of the United States.

I also want to disagree a bit with what this Twitter dude says. I do “refer” to Trump as “president.” What I cannot do it attach the words “President” and “Trump” together. Still, I don’t have a sufficient issue with referring to him as president.

He won the 2016 election the way you’re supposed to win it: He collected more Electoral College votes than his opponent and he won enough of them to be elected.

My problems with Trump — and they are many — deal with the way he has behaved while campaigning for president and while he has served as president.

The recent Twitter image that he sent out with his noggin photoshopped on Sylvester Stallone’s chiseled “Rocky III” body is just the latest case in point. I watch those campaign rallies where the president riffs incessantly about Hillary, the so-called “witch hunt,” Democrats in general, the so-called “fake news,” the media in general and, oh yes, impeachment. This kind of rhetoric is so very un-presidential.

That just peels the first layer of skin off the presidential onion.

The manner he uses to treat his Cabinet members, the insults he hurls at war heroes, a disabled reporter, the intelligence agencies, a Gold Star family. How does one respect the individual who behaves in such a manner?

That behavior, as I see it, doesn’t reflect negatively on the office of president. It does, however, reflect totally and exclusively on the individual who lacks any understanding of the decorum and dignity that the office requires of the individual who occupies it.

If I get pounded yet again for my statements about the president, well, bring it! “My deep respect for the nation’s highest office,” as the Twitter messenger known as @USMCLiberal notes, “is precisely the reason I show zero respect to #Trump.”

Yep, it’s personal through and through

I want to acknowledge what I am sure is patently obvious to readers of this blog.

It is that my intense opposition to the presidency of Donald John Trump is visceral. It is rooted deep within my gut. It roils constantly as I watch the president go through each sickening day of his time in office.

I wish I could identify a specific policy or set of policies that have angered me so intensely. I cannot. The man doesn’t govern on a metric defined by policy standards, principles, a core set of values.

I am not entirely sure why I am sharing these thoughts today. Perhaps I just feel the need to get a few things off my chest.

Donald Trump’s inability to acknowledge mistakes is one thing that troubles me deeply. He told us once he never has sought forgiveness, which according to the way many of us were brought up is a fundamental tenet of Christianity; yet the evangelical movement follows this guy through the wall, over the cliff, out the window … you name it.

Trump vowed to act “presidential” once he took office. He does not do anything of the sort.

He doesn’t exhibit a scintilla of compassion, empathy, human kindness, authentic sorrow even in the face of horrific tragedy. Wildfires destroy a California town and he blames it all on Democratic politicians and their “failed” forest management policies. Mass shootings destroy the lives of innocent victims and the president doesn’t say a word about how to curb the scourge of gun violence. The Earth rumbled under the feet just recently of residents of southern California and I have yet to hear a word from the president about helping them recover from the physical damage and the emotional trauma they are suffering.

Donald Trump cannot tell the truth. His lying is incessant, relentless and pathological. He lies when he need not do so.

He uses language to define his domestic political opponents one doesn’t normally hear from presidents of the United States. He recently referred to the San Juan, Puerto Rico as a “despicable” human being. OK, so he calls a fellow American citizen despicable but still kowtows to the come-on offered by a truly despicable tyrant, Kim Jong Un. I do not get that.

Donald Trump’s presidency has been a disaster at almost every level I can conjure up. I want it to end no later than Jan. 20, 2021. I want him out of “my” house. I want him to disappear from the public stage, although I am acutely aware that is far from likely to occur no matter when he walks out of the Oval Office for the final time.

Yes, it is personal.