Election Aftermath – 2

poster227x227-2Note. … After purposely consuming a bit more than my usual amount of media coverage over the past 36 hours or so since the election outcome was known, I decided to take a different approach in this seven-day “Election Aftermath” series than I outlined in yesterday’s first post of the series. Although I will probably incorporate into remaining posts some results of the “number-crunching” I mentioned in that first post, the overall purpose of this series will now be to assess and comment on the unfolding post-election climate.

In a way, I guess it’s encouraging to me that the only negative I got from the victory and concession speeches of 11/9/16 was the “glass ceiling” reference Hillary Clinton made in her concession speech. I call that a negative because the outcome of this election had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the defeated candidate was a woman, but everything to do with the fact that she is a “standard politician”. Running against a person like Trump, she [or he] would have been defeated whether she/he was a woman, an African American, a Latina/Latino, an Asian American, or whatever. By the same token, had the Republican candidate been a “standard politician”, too [which would have been the case if one of at least 14 of the other 16 initial contestants had won the nomination], a Clinton win might have been more likely. Although ideological drivers were clearly at work, too, this election was mostly about fixing Washington. People are simply fed up with the current dysfunctional government in this country. They want something that will work, and things like which major party our leaders are in, or what their race or their sex is, simply don’t matter any more.

So what else about the post-election climate stands out so far? Without hesitation, I can say it’s all the demonstrations going on. Democrats [and of course, the media] were the ones that pounced on Trump’s hesitation to say up front that he would accept the election outcome. In that debate, Clinton quickly gave the “standard politician” response: “Yes”. For the rest of the campaign, she touted that “peaceful transition of power” was a “hallmark of our democracy”, and that Trump’s refusal to say he would accept the outcome “no matter what” was deplorable.

Fast forward to now. Demonstrations that cause traffic blockages, “keying” cars, breaking store windows, starting fires … the very people whose leaders [yes, both Obama and Clinton!] have graciously expressed their own support for an orderly transition are doing exactly what those same leaders have denounced and called deplorable. In fact, what they are doing is much worse — damaging property, and putting lives in danger. The vitriol and the hateful remarks are at least as bad if not worse than anything Trump has said, even including his disgusting remarks in the now-infamous 2005 video released by NBC. It appears to me that if these people are a valid sample of Clinton’s supporters, she was referring to the wrong people when she called Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables”.

In order to make one last important point in this post, let me mention one other remark Trump made that many people considered inappropriate and was picked up and amplified in the media and in the campaign … Lately, he has referred to the election process as being “rigged”. I believe his opponent, and the media, failed to grasp the scope of what he meant. Everybody denouncing that remark referred to dead people voting, multiple votes being cast by the same person, etc. — i.e., actual fraudulent activity — and gave the “standard politician” response that there is no hard evidence that any of this is actually going on.

Back to the “issue” of Trump’s refusal to say up front that he would accept the outcome of the election, and relating it to his “the system is rigged” remarks, what everybody who pounced on him about both of these “issues” failed to take into account was that Trump might have had a broader-scope view of them than any of them had. I believe the scope of his “rigged” remark extended to how the Electoral College system works [not whether or not it’s a valid system — just how both parties have learned to manipulate it], the presence of Super Delegates in the Democrat Party nomination process [and outwardly different but conceptually similar components of the Republican Party nomination process], and how liberally biased the media is [which results in grossly disproportionate “free air time” that supports the liberal candidate].

In the same way, his refusal to just answer up front with a simple “Yes” to the question “Will you say now that you will accept the outcome of the election?” was less about selfishness and narcissism than it was about a shrewd businessmen simply giving an answer that harmed nobody and wouldn’t affect his electability — and doing so after calculating very quickly in his mind potential conditions under which that could come back to haunt him [like the 2000 “hanging chad” issue, particularly if there was solid evidence of fraudulent activity].

The truth is that what won Donald Trump the presidency was not just his own brilliance, but his ability to surround himself with people who could find out what it would take in this election to win, put together a plan [i.e., a campaign strategy] that would capitalize on that knowledge, and effectively and efficiently implement that plan — and his part was to continuously assess how it was going and make personnel or other adjustments as necessary to drive the process to a successful outcome. As just one example of why that outcome was successful, the “Blue Wall” was toppled by Trump’s wins in midwestern and other states the Clinton campaign literally quit campaigning in because they viewed them as being behind the “Blue Wall”.

Barack Obama is a brilliant man, but he has been one of the worst if not the worst President in my lifetime. Donald Trump is a brilliant man. Whether he will be an even worse President, a good President, or a great President remains to be seen. On this, I can truly say “I’m with her” [to use a phrase from the Clinton campaign, coined by Elizabeth Warren, I think]: We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. And we don’t just respect that, we cherish it”.

Stay tuned. We’re in uncharted territory, and until some trends and patterns begin to take shape between now and 1/20/17 [inauguration of Donald Trump as POTUS], there is literally no reliable basis on which to predict what each post-election day/week/month will look like.


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Charles M. Jones


Election Aftermath – 1

image0108One of the original pages I wrote for this web site is entitled A Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway. It is under the Main Menu heading The Situation Today.  Based on the results of yesterday’s election, I don’t think anybody could deny that the existence of a paradigm shift has been confirmed, and that many of the details will begin to fill in as we move forward from this point. The key takeaway is that the Current Paradigm is rapidly drifting into the past, and either already is or very soon will be the Old Paradigm — and what the New Paradigm will ultimately look like is rapidly coming into view.

To quickly summarize the definitional part of the A Major Paradigm Shift Well Underway page, “paradigm” is simply a term to describe how things work, the “rules of the game”. In the context of the American governmental system, it’s our “three separate but equal branches” system established under the Constitution.  In the context of the political “system”, it is the two-dominant-party system, the rules the Senate and House have each developed over many years, the committee structure within each of these components of the legislative branch, the process used to appoint the Chairs of those committees, etc.

At least in theory, our governmental system seems to still be okay. It’s the political “system” that has produced the current polarized, dysfunctional environment — and that is why this paradigm shift is underway. That “system” simply is not working any more — within it, we aren’t able to solve problems, and we aren’t able to drive toward new initiatives.

I intend to do some “number-crunching” when all the results are finally in, and I will develop some future blog posts from my findings.  My goal is to publish one post per day for the next week, kind of an “Aftermath 1, Aftermath 2, …” series in upward-counting sequence similar to my downward-counting sequence “Down The Stretch 7, Down The Stretch 6, …” leading up to Election Day.  However, since there’s a lot of data I’ll need to parse to do what I have in mind, I’ll have to get a feel for the level of effort before I’ll know if I can keep that schedule.  If I can’t, I’ll publish whatever content I come up with on whatever frequency I can.  After that series is done, I’ll make some assessments as to what future direction I will take with this site and the blog associated with i

For now, I think the main challenge before our new President is not getting his agenda underway as soon as possible. It is finding a way to at least begin the process of bringing some degree of healing to the bitter divide in this nation that has been building for at least a decade, exacerbated in a big way by the campaign that has just ended.  It’s absolutely critical now that we avoid reverting to “digging in” to our respective bunkers and designing ways to “block the other party no matter what”, and build on this conciliatory atmosphere and MOVE ON. In my opinion, Mrs. Clinton’s concession call in the wee hours of this morning, Mr. Trump’s victory speech around 2:00am CT, Mrs. Clinton’s concession speech around 10:00am CT, and Mr. Obama’s address around 11:00am CT were all excellent, rise-above-the-details speeches, and collectively a good start toward healing the wounds from this campaign.

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Charles M. Jones

Down The Stretch – 0

obviously-webI thought it was one of Yogi Berra’s famous quotes, but after research I realized it was apparently somebody else [and I got tired of trying to trace it down], but this comes to mind as I write this Election Day post: “When you get to where you’re going, well there you are”. Here we are, Election Day 2016. So where have we been going to this point, and where are we today? More importantly, where are we going from here?

One of Hillary Clinton’s major snafus during her Benghazi testimony was the oft-played video clip in which she said “What difference, at this point, does it make”?  Relating that to the current situation: “at this point”, the only question that matters is “Where are we going from here?”. 

When the results of this election are known, I will decide what, if any, direction I will take with this web site and my blog posts associated with it.

“At this point”, if I have made a positive difference for even a handful of people who may have been struggling with what to do in the ballot booth this year [or with whether to go there at all], and helped them fully understand that their vote counts, and is needed, the time and energy I have put into this site and my blog posts to it will have been time and energy well spent [or I believe, invested — in America’s future]. Let me say “at this point”, thanks to more than 2,000 people who have generated “unique visits” [non-redundant “hits” to at least one site page or one blog post] to this site. I never thought I’d have opportunity to express my thoughts to more than a few hundred people. Please either check the “follow” button or check back in the next week or so to see where, if anywhere, I intend to go with this site and blog posts to it.

Any “expert” in the media who says he/she can accurately project this morning what the situation will be by the time the last polling place in the last precinct in America closes tonight is either lying or trying to lure voters toward one candidate or the other.  The truth is that this election is truly unique, historical analysis is meaningless, and nobody can accurately predict the outcome of this election.

By the end of today, this country will have made what I believe is the most critical decision in my lifetime: whether we, as a nation, as a people, believe that the path on which we’ve set ourselves in the last eight years is the right path, or that it is not the right path, and that a move in an entirely different direction is needed “at this point”. I hope and pray that our decision will be made after careful consideration of facts and objective assessments of party platforms, and will not be influenced by media hype or what makes us, as individuals, “feel good” about our vote — because this is not about each of us as individuals; it’s about the future of our country.


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Charles M. Jones

Down The Stretch – 1

In deciding on content for this last daily Down The Stretch post before Election Day, my thoughts go to “bottom line” thinking. The byline on the Home Page of this web site is “Currently dedicated to identifying and understanding the current paradigm, and the new paradigm that is rapidly developing, in the USA [and as applicable, in the World]. Future plans: monitor development of the new paradigm and identify signs of future paradigm shifts“.  I am convinced that a major paradigm shift is underway in this country, and I honestly believe this election is, at a minimum, a major “cog” in the “wheel” of that shift.  On the pages of the site, and in the blog posts I’ve made to it over the past couple of months, I have attempted to express an “orbiting the planet” perspective on this highly unusual campaign — a bigger-picture view than the “can’t see the forest for the trees” perspective so prevalent in the media. [Christian readers, please see an important note below* about perspective.]

Practically all we’ve heard in three debates between two very poor choices before us, in billions of dollars in media ads produced by their campaigns and “Super PACs”, and in non-stop media coverage focused almost entirely on these things, is “he said, she said” arguments about scandal, derogatory remarks, etc., always capped off with “this man/woman is unfit to be President” [this “capping off” phrase probably being the only truth in all of that].  Almost everybody I know just wants this entire disaster to be over.

So when I get to “bottom line” thinking, my mind migrates toward the things that actually seem to matter from an “orbiting the planet” perspective. The very first thing that came to mind this morning was prompted by an interview-style article on “Politics and Christianity” in my local newspaper in which a panelist said “We are not responsible for the candidates that have been given to us“. Wrong! On the Our Founders page in the America’s Heritage section of this site appear some very wise words from President Andrew Garfield: “The people are responsible for the character of their [leaders]. If [they] be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption.  If [they] be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities [in their leaders]”.  So in the words of Pogo [Walt Kelly], “We have met the enemy, and he is us”. The candidates have not “been given to us” as the above-mentioned panelist claims. From a long-term perspective, we produced this dilemma and have nobody to blame for it but ourselves.

The next “bottom-line” thought I would offer is that the current system is what it is, and regardless of what we may think we may be doing through a “making a statement” vote for anybody other than the narcissistic bully or the poster child of corrupt politics — or by not voting — all we’d be doing is shooting ourselves in the foot.  There are clearly some flaws in our current system that need to be fixed, and some “statements” definitely need to be made about them — and how we vote is one of the ways we can “make a statement”.  My “bottom line” thought, however, is that this is not the time to do that.  To use military terminology, “hills to die on” must be picked wisely, and with what is at stake in this election, voting in a way that makes us “feel good” could very likely result in our “dying” on a hill where our “death” isn’t significant from the perspective of the overall “war”.

The third and final “bottom line” thought I’d offer going into Election Day is something that has been an underlying theme in many of my posts to this blog — it’s not about the candidates and their equally disgusting profiles;  it’s about the platforms of the parties they represent.  The choice we have before us is between two diametrically opposed ideologies, and those ideologies are clearly evident in the Republican and Democrat party platforms [Republican Party PlatformDemocrat Party Platform]. In one of my blogs I provided this comparison of the two party platforms on ten key issues: Party Philosophy Comparison.  Another comparison I offered in one of my posts was this comparison of “baggage” each candidate carries, weeding out media hype and just boiling it down to known facts [this clearly shows that both of these candidates are more or less “tied” when considering their indiscretions and flaws]: Clinton-Trump Comparison.

So the real “bottom line” is this: every voter needs to 1) vote [i.e., not refrain from voting at all], 2) understand that under the current system, a vote for anyone other than Trump or Clinton is essentially a vote for one of them anyway, and 3) understand that a vote for what they consider to be the “lesser of two evils” if that vote is for the party least aligned with their own worldview and value system, may actually be a vote for the candidate of the other party anyway [because in this election, historical trends like which major-party candidate generally benefits from “alternative candidates” who draw votes away from those two is impossible to predict — not even the “best of the experts” can accurately project those dynamics in this election].

PLEASE vote!

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Charles M. Jones

* Christian readers …

I realize that an even higher-level perspective than the “orbiting the planet” view I try to present is the Biblical worldview perspective [with which I personally identify], in which all things here are transitory, and the ultimate end is known as revealed by God in His Word. From that perspective, movement along God’s path to ultimate fulfillment of His plan will be neither accelerated nor retarded by this election.  My goal at this point is to present concepts in terms that people of any religion or no religion can relate to, so I try to refrain from routine use of terminology that may turn some readers away because it sounds “churchy”.

Down The Stretch – 2

thoroughbred-race-horses-heading-down-the-backstretch-during-a-race-b15ee6This edition of my Down The Stretch series of posts will be very brief. The thought occurred to me that a simple table might be the best way to communicate something that has been an underlying theme at this web site and in the posts to this blog … On November 8, everybody who is registered to vote [including those who do not vote] will be voting for either the Republican Platform or the Democrat Platform [see previous posts for links to these platform documents, and to a table comparing them], whether consciously making that decision based on their worldview and value system or unwittingly because they don’t understand how the current system for electing a President works. For details as to why that is the case, I would simply recommend reading all my previous blogs, but particularly It’s not about the candidates — it’s about the parties (Parts 1 and 2). I won’t go into the details again here, but I’ll offer this simple table for figuring out [to the extent possible — see the footnote in the table] which of these two candidates you may have unwittingly voted for: Voting For “Alternatives”.

One other point worth re-emphasizing [again — sorry to be repetitive, but this is important]: it’s the current system that will play out in this election. This campaign has amplified some flaws in that system that need to be examined, but that will not happen in this election. A “protest vote” for an “alternative” candidate, or a decision not to vote will, in this election, be counted as I’ve represented in the above-referenced table.

Charles M. Jones


Down The Stretch – 4

thoroughbred-race-horses-heading-down-the-backstretch-during-a-race-b15ee6In Part 1 of my two posts entitled It’s Not About the Candidates, It’s About The Parties, I outlined the only three possible situations that could even theoretically exist on 11/9/16: 1) Hillary Clinton won 270 or more electoral votes and is President Elect, 2) Donald Trump won 270 or more electoral votes and is President Elect, or 3) neither Clinton nor Trump won 270 or more electoral votes, which according to the Twelfth Amendment, has moved responsibility for selecting our next President and Vice President to the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively.  I also pointed out why regardless of which of these is the outcome, the ultimate result will be the same — i.e., we will have made a choice between two ideological extremes, the tenets of which are expressed in the platforms of the Democrat and Republican parties [I have explained in depth in previous posts to this blog why none of the “alternative candidates” will become President, and why people who vote for anyone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton — or who don’t vote — will have unwittingly voted for one of these two candidates].

In Part 2 of those two posts, I included a simple table that boils the “planks” from the platforms of the two parties down to their ideological/philosophical positions on ten issues that I think most people would agree highlight the extremes of their two ideologies. Click on this link to display that table:  Party Philosophy Comparison.  To access the full party platforms themselves [which I suggest in the table that you also read], follow these links: Democrat Party Platform; Republican Party Platform.

I have repeated here these brief excerpts from those posts simply to emphasize yet again how important it is for voters to 1) understand what a clear ideological / philosophical choice we have at this time, 2) decide for themselves which of these choices most closely aligns with their own worldview and value system, 3) let that guide their voting decision [not the personalities and shortcomings of the candidates], and 4) VOTE.

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Charles M. Jones


Down The Stretch – 5

For anybody who is disgusted with the options they have for voting on November 8, I’d offer this cartoon from today’s Tennessean:


Pick who in this line you can identify with, but PLEASE vote!

[This post is an excerpt from an earlier blog post I entitled Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall, Who’s The Most Despicable Of Them All.]

Let me re-emphasize at this point how important it is that voters in this country focus on what is at stake in this election — at this critical juncture in our history, we have an opportunity before us to choose between two diametrically opposed ideologies, the tenets of which are expressed in the platforms of the Democrat and Republican parties [Democrat Party PlatformRepublican Party Platform]. We cannot afford to let ourselves get focused on the shortcomings of either candidate, because both of them are equally undesirable. It’s not about how we as individuals “feel”, regardless of how validly-based we believe our disdain for either or both candidates may be; it’s about the future we will be building for our children and grandchildren.

In previous posts to this blog [which can be read by simply scrolling down from here — they are in reverse chronological order (most recent to oldest)], I have spelled out in considerable detail the rationale for the fact that all possible scenarios that could exist on November 9 [the day after Election Day] will ultimately result in the ideological choice I’ve described here — and people who vote for anyone other than Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton [or who don’t vote] will have unwittingly voted for one of these two candidates — and it’s impossible for them to predict in advance which of the two they will have unwittingly voted for!

⇒ Think about that.  People who, in protest because of their disgust for the candidate on the ticket of the party with which they are most closely aligned ideologically, vote for anyone other than Clinton or Trump — or don’t vote at all — may be unwittingly actually voting FOR the candidate that is the source of their disgust!

So let’s step away from all the media hype and just look at what we actually know about each candidate’s shortcomings [i.e., not at how these shortcomings are characterized in the media — as Sgt. Friday of the 1950s Dragnet TV series would say, “Just the facts, Ma’am”].  I decided to list out in tabular form several issues [lying, corruption, derogatory remarks about entire segments of the U. S. population, etc.], and just put “yes” or “no” in each candidate’s column as to whether that issue or accusation applies to him or her [based on verifiable facts, not media characterizations].  You can look at the table at this link: Clinton-Trump Comparison Note: this table was developed weeks before the FBI announced that it is investigating new evidence about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Clinton Foundation “pay for play”, etc.].  What does this tell us? Nothing we couldn’t have figured out for ourselves by just ignoring media characterizations and filtering out “just the facts”: a) both of these candidates have serious personal character flaws; b) there is suspicion about the business dealings of both of them; and c) neither is the profile of person most of us would like to see occupying the Oval Office. That is exactly why we must put our personal likes and dislikes of the candidates [the people at the top of the two tickets] aside and vote for the party whose platform most closely meshes with our own worldview.

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Charles M. Jones

Down The Stretch – 6

It’s six days to Election Day.  That means that seven days from today, the results of this presidential race, absent a 2000-like situation or the extremely unikely chance that neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton won 270 Electoral College votes on November 8, will be known, and we will know who will take office on January 20.

For reasons I have described in detail in previous posts to this blog, the person heading for the White House will be one of the following:

… and will  NOT be any of these [the one on the right represents ALL write-ins]:

All registered voters need to know now that if they don’t want the above outcome on November 9, and if their vote has been, or will be on November 8, cast for any of the above “alternative choices”, or if they don’t vote, they will actually have voted unwittingly for either Trump or Clinton.  I beg anybody who is considering one of these “alternatives” [including the alternative of not voting], to reconsider now.  A week from today, it will be too late.


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Charles M. Jones




Back To The Future

In over a decade running my own businesses, and in over two decades as a senior executive in larger corporations, I developed and learned to use a technique for making decisions [particularly when they involved choosing from among several options] that I knew would have a significant impact on the company’s overall performance. That technique served me very well during the course of my career, not only in my business and employment situations, but in other areas of my life.  Using available supporting facts and incorporating whatever assumptions I had to make to fill in the gaps [which there always are], I would do the best I could to come up with the decision I thought was probably best. All decision-makers do that part, whether they describe it the same way I just did or with different words. The technique I would then apply would be to project, under the assumption that my chosen option had been the decision, what things would probably be like in six months, in a year, in three years, and in five years. In business, the accuracy of such projections reduces exponentially beyond three years, making projections beyond five years a somewhat useless endeavor.

However, much longer-range [decades into the future] impacts of this election can be projected with considerable accuracy because of the huge differences between Democrat and Republican philosophies in at least three areas: 1) long-range financial stability [how to overcome our debt situation and move in that direction]; 2) the ideological balance of the Supreme Court [what it should be]; and 3) world reputation and influence [again, what it should be].  We can predict now  before we vote — the very long-range impact of decisions the next President [and the Legislature and Supreme Court he/she will be working with] will make in these three areas — and frankly, if we don’t make the right decisions in these three areas, the accuracy of our decisions in other areas probably won’t matter much.

So let’s do some “back to the future” thinking here, using the title and logic of the famous 1985 movie in which the characters went back to the past, found a situation that clearly caused a problem that existed in their time, changed the circumstances [and therefore the outcome] at that point in the past, and then went “back to the future” to find the better result. Of course, we know that we can’t actually do that, so I will use my technique as described above in an attempt to depict the same overall scenario — i.e., we look forward a few decades into the future under the assumption that Clinton [any Democrat] won the 11/8/16 election, and then do the same thing under the assumption that Trump [any Republican] won.

Note: If you think there is some chance that a person who is not either a Democrat or a Republican can win, please see my previous blogs — even under the scenario in which neither Clinton nor Trump gets the required 270 Electoral votes on November 8, the end result will still be that the new president will be a Democrat or a Republican.  Nothing is ever absolutely certain, but for all practical purposes, the probability that any of the other candidates [or anyone else who is not a Democrat or a Republican] will ultimately be inaugurated as president on January 20 is zero.

Assumption A: A Democrat Became President on January 20, 2017

Long-Range Financial Stability

Probably at some point during the President’s first term, and most definitely within his/her second term if applicable, a true crisis will cause very drastic cost-cutting measures to necessarily be taken.  The window of opportunity for “kicking the can down the road” has almost closed already, but by then it will have long since passed.  The exact nature and form of the crisis is difficult to predict, but at least two of the outcomes are not — there will definitely be cuts to the Social Security benefits of current retirees, and for current Medicare beneficiaries, diminished benefit levels more than likely in addition to higher premiums.

Supreme Court

It is quite possible that Justice Ginsberg [who is 80] would retire in this situation, which along with the already-vacant seat of Justice Scalia, will create an immediate situation in which two liberal justices will be replacing one liberal [Ginsberg] and one conservative [Scalia].

If Justice Ginsberg doesn’t retire, the odds are substantial that she will die during the President’s first term, and they are even higher that she will die during his/her second term, if applicable.  In either event, the court will have shifted to the left even with one appointment by this President [Scalia’s replacement], and even farther left with two.

Justice Kennedy [generally left of center, but not always siding with liberals] is 80, and Justice Breyer [liberal] is 78. A Breyer replacement under this President would not affect the left-right mix [i.e., he would be replaced by another liberal], but a Kennedy replacement would shift the court clearly at least liberal-leaning, and it would remain that way for a generation.

Another key factor to consider regarding the Supreme Court is how President Obama has used Executive Orders to drive his policy positions. Although the number of his Executive Orders isn’t alarming vis-a-vis that of his predecessors, the scope of them is alarming.  If another Democrat is in the White House and Republicans are able to hang on to their majorities in both the House and the Senate, or if they retain House control but lose their Senate majority, the new president will face the same challenges as the current one.  Since Senate Republicans even in a minority could exercise the same “blocking by the minority” ability the Democrats have now, the Supreme Court could become the way the President could drive a liberal agenda.

World Reputation And Influence

Our reputation and stature on the world stage will continue to decline.  We will have clearly ceased to be considered a major power, maybe even a major influence.  This will be brought about both by continuation of the Obama foreign policies and by the huge financial problems that will literally be consuming our attention. It is almost a certainty that North Korea will be a nuclear power, and it is highly likely that Iran will be.

Assumption B: A Republican Became President on January 20, 2017

Long-Range Financial Stability

Although some painful financial decisions will have to be made during the President’s first term, they will be made [i.e., the “can” won’t continue to be “kicked down the road”].  If these decisions are made wisely, cuts to the Social Security benefits of current retirees will probably not be required, but cuts to benefits of future retirees will probably still be required [we’ve been “kicking this can down the road” for too many years already].  For current Medicare beneficiaries, diminished benefit levels may not be required, but it is likely that higher premiums, and probably a means-adjusted premium scale, will be necessary.

Supreme Court

Justice Scalia’s replacement will probably be considerably more conservative than any Democrat-appointed Justice would have been — at a minimum, he/she would be a strict constitutionalist.  Justice Ginsberg [who is 80] would not likely retire in this situation. If she doesn’t retire, the odds are substantial that she will die during the President’s first term, and they are even higher that she will die during his/her second term, if applicable, which along with the already-vacant seat of Justice Scalia, will create an immediate situation in which two conservative justices will be replacing one liberal [Ginsberg] and one conservative [Scalia].

In either event, the court will have shifted very slightly to the right even with one appointment by this President [Scalia’s replacement], and even farther right with two.

Justice Kennedy [general left of center, but not always siding with liberals] is 80, and Justice Breyer [liberal] is 78. A Breyer replacement under this President would not affect the left-right mix [i.e., he would be replaced by another liberal], but a Kennedy replacement would shift the court clearly conservative, and it would remain that way for a generation.

Many, probably most, of the Executive Orders Barack Obama used to drive his policy positions will be cancelled. The Supreme Court will then have to become the adjudicating mechanism in any reversals of direction those cancelations will require. It is unlikely that a Republican president will subsequently engage in as many congressional by-pass maneuvers as did Obama.

World Reputation And Influence

Our reputation and stature on the world stage will improve, but by how much remains to be seen.  We will definitely get back to being considered a major power, maybe even more of a major influence.  This will be brought about by a clear reversal of the Obama foreign policies and a more decisive leader in the White House, but what will remain unclear [until it becomes more evident] is the degree to which domestic financial problems can be averted fairly quickly [i.e., by getting us onto a more sustainable fiscal path], thereby giving us more capacity to deal with our international status.  Whether renewed American strength and more decisive leadership internationally can prevent or at least substantially delay North Korea and Iran becoming nuclear powers is not certain, but our level of influence in both of these situations will certainly be higher.

And In Either Case ..,

The two-dominant-party system, if not completely dead with their control over the election process totally gone, at a minimum will have lost even more of its influence. The far left wing of the Democrat Party [Sanders, Warren et al] will be even stronger if still within the party at all.  The far right wing of the Republican Party [Cruz et al] will be even stronger if still within the party at all.  The moderate / centrist segments of both parties will be much weaker if they are still in their current parties.  Even if they have merged to form another party, their influence will be lower than it is now if they are essentially all “Old Guard” politicians [McConnell, Pelosi et al] — perhaps not as much lower if their ranks include a significant element of younger, more visionary members.

To try and predict more specifically how all of this will infold would be pure conjecture at this point.  One thing is certain, though: what I have labeled in previous posts as the Trump/Sanders Phenomenon is not going away.  It is here to stay, and it will “evolve” and mature into whatever it is going to become — but in any event, it will have a dramatic impact on American Politics.

So we’re back to an underlying theme in all of my previous posts, and in the pages at this web site — it’s not about the people who are the candidates; it’s about the platforms [ideologies] of the parties of which they are a part.

Depending on how this week’s news unfolds, I may offer in my next post [which will be this week] a perspective on the 10/27 decision by FBI Director Comey to revisit the Clinton email scandal.

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Charles M. Jones

A Closer Look At Who’s Dis’ing Trump [And Who’s Not]

Paul RyanMItch McConnell

In my last post, I said that in this one I’d explore what I think is an interesting — perhaps unique since I haven’t observed any expression of it in the media — perspective on all the hype about how “devastating” recent revelations about Trump have been to his presidential campaign.

I don’t hear anybody saying Trump’s remarks about women in the 2005 tape NBC exposed are OK [and that’s the way it should be — they were terrible].  Interestingly, though, when I look at who seemed to be the quickest to openly denounce Trump [the candidate, not just the remarks themselves, which everybody is denouncing (and rightfully so)], it’s politicians who are pulling away from Trump — interestingly, not the most prominent among religious leaders who have been either openly backing him or at least referring to him as a better option than Clinton.


Think about that … Many people, including many Christians, might argue that religious leaders, particularly those who most Christians probably consider the best known and most influential ones, should all pull away from Trump because he is so “immoral” and isn’t a good role model for Americans and their children. So why would almost all of these key religious leaders maintain their previously-held positions on Trump [e.g., James Dobson, Franklin Graham, Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell, Jr., Ralph Reed, Robert Jeffress, …]?  And what additional light might be shed on this by looking at which politicians are “running” from Trump and which aren’t?

unknown-5As I’ve reunknown-6ad and heard statements by two Tennessee Republican U. S. Representatives [Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black, both of whom are women, I should emphasize, and one of whom was a victim of physical assault by men as a young adult], neither of them is dis’ing herself totally from Trump. Both of these women seem to me to be principled people with sound value systems.  In what they’ve said and written, they’ve stated that they are standing with their party because their country is more important than “how they feel personally”.

It would be great if we had a personal profile and belief system description for each of the politicians who came out formally against Trump, withdrawing their endorsements, etc. — i.e., it would be interesting to see if most of them are principled people like Representatives Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black, or simply “say/do whatever is needed to get elected/re-elected” politicians.

As for the best-known, most influential religious leaders, we do have belief system descriptions for them — it’s the Bible.  Their statements after the Trump video exposure indicate their continued belief that the Republican platform and ideology are much more closely aligned with Christian values than is the Democrat platform and ideology, and that Christians need to view this election from that perspective regardless of their feelings about the candidates at the top of the tickets of the parties.

I believe the basic reason for this dichotomy between how Christians might expect these key religious leaders to react to Trump’s overall profile and how they actually do react to it is explainable in one word: perspective.  They realize what is at stake in this election, and as leaders they feel a responsibility to lead. In their view, leading in this context means communicating to people who have a level of respect for them and listen to what they have to say that Christians have the capacity numerically to be the deciding factor in the outcome of this election, and that this is a time when all Christians need to rise above their personal feelings and vote for the party most likely to at least begin to “right the American ship”.

It is important to note that these religious leaders are not saying that the solutions to America’s problems will stem from this election. Trying very hard to avoid any terminology that could be construed as formal endorsements, they are simply saying that the country’s moral decline will most certainly continue and even accelerate if we align ourselves with the Democratic platform [by voting in a way that essentially is a vote for the Democrats, or even by not voting — see previous posts to this blog as to why a vote for anybody other than Trump, or not voting, may actually be an unwitting vote for Clinton], and that the decline will at least have a chance of decelerating — and maybe even beginning to stop — if we align ourselves with the Republican platform.

A recent FaceBook post that got to my Newsfeed through indirect Friend connections expressed this very well. The person said “I am not defending Trump, I’m voting for him. I’m defending America against Hillary Clinton, who will fundamentally do much more damage to our beloved country than Trump will” [emphasis mine].

If Democrats win this election, it will be because of five factors: 1) they came together and supported their candidate whether they “liked” her or not, and in spite of her many shortcomings [while the Republicans scattered themselves in all directions and openly denounced their candidate rather than finding tactful ways to coalesce around him]; 2) they used their vastly superior [to the Republicans’] campaign and election process management “machine” to figure out precisely where to spend their campaign energy to maximize their probability of getting 270 or more Electoral College votes; 3) the heavily liberally-biased media was essentially another forceful arm of their campaign; 4) the same percentage of Christians who voted Democrat in 2008 and 2012 [something that is very difficult for me to understand in view of the Democrat platform] did so again this year; and 5) other Christians [Republicans, Independents, Democrats, or whatever] who align more closely with the Republican platform and ideology than they do with the Democrat platform and ideology either stayed home or voted for anyone other than Trump.

So we’re back to an underlying theme in all of my previous posts, and in the pages at this web site — it’s not about the people who are the candidates; it’s about the platforms [ideologies] of the parties of which they are a part.

The bottom line of all this is that the “he said / she said, he did / she did” battle is a toss-up from this perspective [see my last post, Mirror, Mirror On The Wall] — all the more reason to make November 8 ballot decisions based on party platforms [and maybe even factoring in the profiles of the vice presidential candidates], not the attributes of, or the personal issues associated with, the presidential candidates.

I’ve entitled my next post Back To The Future.  In it, I’ll describe a decision-making technique I found very useful during my career, and apply it to the decision before us at this time.


Charles M. Jones

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