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Huffington Post Article Published 09-13-17: President Trump And Racial Politics

 

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Carl Jeffers, Contributor Television commentator, radio talk show host, lecturer, political analyst President Trump And Racial Politics: Embarrassing Administration 09/12/2017 06:37 pm ET Kevin Lamarque / Reuters First, in addition to sending all of my heartfelt best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to all those suffering  losses and hardships from the Hurricane storms in the Houston area and throughout Texas, I would also like to thank so many people out there who have emailed and reached out to me over the past two years asking where I was and why I hadn’t been writing or appearing on cable news shows providing political commentary, especially during such a momentous time that included a presidential election. I am so appreciative of that concern and it absolutely made things far easier for me to endure during these past two years. In fact, it was exactly two years ago this August that I was originally diagnosed with cancer, and by the grace of God, and with the love and support of my family, and with an inner strength and resolve that I believe all of us have, I persevered and fought back and overcame two separate cancers plus the effects of a complete stem cell transplant and a panic attack in between eight months of initial chemotherapy for the first cancer that I could have died from, and then fought through another additional five months of chemotherapy associated with the transplant, and after that enduring major surgery to fight the second cancer, and I not only survived but am making a slow but steady recovery that my doctors say is “one of too few true success stories” in the measure of individual battles to overcome cancer as I am likely to fully resume the life I had before my diagnosis. One of the effects of fighting cancer, and particularly during long periods of the intense protocol of chemotherapy, is that for much of the past two years I was forced to be in bed during both the night and the day except for hospital visits.What that meant was that I watched far more of last year’s presidential campaign on TV than I ever would have been able to watch otherwise, so I saw so much more coverage to evaluate directly firsthand rather than being out there as part of the analysis. And from that new and unexpected perspective, I was able to conclude that the media itself and all of their extensions were major “enablers” of the Donald Trump campaign for president. What became clear to me in a way that I might not have believed had it just been told to me was that the mainstream media and the liberal media were so determined to present an image of being “fair and balanced” to the public and to the rest of the media itself that they were, either unwittingly or deliberately, willing to bash Hillary Clinton absolutely on a non-stop continuous basis while more often than not giving Donald Trump a pass when they shouldn’t have. There are many examples that I could point out (don’t forget the Matt Lauer interview with Clinton one night followed by his interview with Trump the next night which even network executives criticized as unbalanced in Trump’s favor), and I made copious notes throughout the campaign to document the examples, but I will submit the following one as a key example of many. With Hillary Clinton, in virtually every single news and commentary segment that featured Clinton as a main topic, the Anchor or commentators would lash out at Hillary on the email controversy and then highlight the fact that “everyone” was calling for her to release the transcripts of her Wall Street speeches. Yet, with Donald Trump, those same anchors and commentators would mention maybe once or twice a week the calls for him to release his tax returns and mention that every president since Richard Nixon had done so. But the trick that allowed the media to get away with this was the fact that they could and did say that they were calling out Trump for not releasing his tax returns and then point to times on their show when they did just that ― and what everyone missed is that calling out Hillary every single news segment each and every day was NOT the same as calling out Trump on his taxes once or twice a week. And since many of these same anchors and commentators and network executives were supporting Hillary privately, it was more important to them to be able to say “see how fair we are as we are really going after Hillary” than for them to actually be fair in the coverage of the two candidates. That’s just one example and the “trick” part of that as I just explained is what most people missed and what I likely would have missed had I not been right there much of the day every day for so long watching it for myself. And this kind of coverage DID have an effect on the body politic and did, over time and multiplied by the number of shows and segments that were doing it, actually have an effect on the election and made it easier for Donald Trump to get away with things that no candidate for president of the United States should ever have been able to get away with before the election. There was another reason that contributed to the mainstream media giving Trump a pass on so much of what we heard from him and what he did during the campaign (leading chants of “lock her up” almost qualifies for detainment under the John Adams Alien and Sedition Act and was just embarrassing and shameful) ― but the other reason was that the Media, and in this point I would also include the conservative media and Fox as well ― the media simply did not take Donald Trump very seriously and never really expected that he would or could win. On the latter point, there really were no exceptions to the general attitude that Trump was not going to win, either from emotion, or wishful thinking, or from objective analysis of the actual polls. The four political analysts that I respect the most, David Gergen, Ron Brownstein, Jeffrey Toobin, and my mentor Howard Fineman, they all missed it ― as I did and everyone else ― and the four of them were objectively analyzing the actual polls. Everyone had Hillary winning, and I believe Trump himself did not really expect to win and that’s one reason why he didn’t want to release his potentially embarrassing tax returns ― he didn’t want to lose and have that info out in public. And either consciously or sub-consciously, that thinking caused much of the media to be more amused by Trump and his antics than anything else, and that made it easier to give him a pass since, in their minds, he wasn’t going to win anyway. Now by no means am I suggesting that the media’s approach here caused Hillary to lose (her stupidly taking two weeks off in September for fundraising instead of campaigning in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania didn’t help either). As you see, everyone was guilty of not taking Trump seriously enough to think he would win ― but the media should never have allowed itself to fall into that trap to the degree that they felt even more comfortable in bashing Hillary while giving Trump a pass ― because it mattered. Of course there were other major reasons that contributed to Hillary’s loss: 1.  Clinton was arrogant in the approach to the campaign and probably made many decisions based on the assumption that she would win, and with so many young and unseasoned  staffers heading up her campaign she was bound to pay a price for that arrogance (she needed a Bob Schrum or the sainted Bob Strauss or Ron Brown if the latter two were still with us or someone like that heading up her campaign) - John Podesta was just out of touch and thus unable to counter Bernie Sanders and his very effective bashing of Clinton                                       2.   Clinton’s message was too broad streamed and idealistic ― “we are stronger together” - no one remembers when we were not strong but many people remember when they thought America was great in contrast to what they might think now. Clinton needed a more specific message ― a “plan of action” with four or five bullet points that would be easy for people to remember. 3.  And yes, with the media’s constant bashing of Hillary over the emails and the speeches, it was difficult if not impossible for her to move past that, and the mistake in setting up the email server in her home did cost her ― I had less sympathy for her on this point when I learned that she was given specific advice from senior advisors not to set up the server at her home ― arrogance. 4.   Being on the sidelines the last two years also enabled me to get an appreciation that I did not have before of just how much Hillary Clinton was absolutely hated by so many Americans - they just hated her and really would have voted for anyone but Hillary.  That’s too bad - Hillary was a very flawed candidate, but I genuinely believe she would have made a great president! 5.  No one else has said this but someone needs to - another major factor in Hillary’s loss was the effect of the constant and ultimately vicious anti-Hillary campaigning of Bernie Sanders and the attacks on Hillary and her campaign by Sanders and particularly by his surrogates, many of whom came across as almost vicious in the intensity of their attacks on Hillary - It is very hard to win the White House when your campaign rivals in your own Party often are more intense in their attacks on you than candidates from the opposing Party, and in the last two months of the primary season, Sanders and his surrogates really reached that level. And we must remember that Sanders appealed to many young, idealistic and politically novice supporters who took his bitter attacks on Clinton to heart and for many, those attacks kept them from ever being able to switch their allegiance and then support Hillary in the fall election - and now they are really disillusioned and unhappy with American politics thanks to the actions and conduct of President Trump. Bernie Sanders used the Democratic Party to propel himself to national stature. After all, he was in Washington for almost 30 years and virtually no one outside of Washington had ever heard of him. And Sanders used the Party to raise millions and millions of dollars, much of which he never spent and still has.  And then when it was all over he didn’t have the decency to go back to the  Senate as a Democrat - instead he went back registered as an Independent again. And as late as two weeks before the election Sanders said “in all probability I will vote for Hillary Clinton.” Really - that’s a fine way to get your supporters to vote for your party’s main candidate. I for one attest here and now that if Sanders announces again for the 2020 campaign for president,  I might personally go out to head up a “Never Sanders” movement in the Democratic Party.    But it won’t matter - if Sanders was the Democratic nominee in 2020 not only would Donald Trump win the Electoral College but Trump would also win the popular vote in possibly a landslide - I hope Democrats out there are listening - and Trump won’t be easy to beat - watch his poll numbers go up after Houston’s storms. 6. But I reserve my most damning criticism and chagrin with respect to the 2016 Presidential election for African- Americans, and I can speak on this topic in a way that many other commentators and analysts either can’t or haven’t. Interesting to segue from Bernie Sanders to this next theme regarding the African-American vote, as Sanders attracted many Black spokespersons who were often on Cable News attacking Hillary as if her 40 years of public service advancing every civil rights, education and social justice cause you could identify in America didn’t exist. And those attacks did have an effect in putting a damper on enthusiasm among African-Americans, especially young ones, to support the Clinton campaign. But here are the facts.  In 2016, two million fewer African-Americans voted in the Presidential election than voted in 2008 and 2012 for Barack Obama - TWO MILLION fewer Black votes. Yet, the TOTAL number of votes combined that Donald Trump won the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania by was less than 77, 000 votes combined. So not considering any other factor in the victory by Donald Trump, and there were many others, the fact is that the votes needed to have defeated Donald Trump were right there in the African-American community - and among African-American voters who had voted before for President, not new or first time voters. To me, that is the real tragedy of the 2016 election, and I also genuinely believe that what we have seen in just this first year of the Trump Presidency convinces me even more firmly that this is a tragedy as the Trump Presidency is really an “embarrassment”,  and we could have done better. But for African-Americans, the lesson here is more painful than one can hardly bear.  And to those African-American spokesmen who supported Sanders - that’s not the problem as I respect that - but who in supporting Sanders felt it necessary to denigrate the record of Hillary Clinton and of Bill Clinton in what they stood for and fought for on behalf of African-Americans and all minorities in this country for over 40 years, I just hope everybody’s happy now - but look what you have wrought. But first, let’s be clear, the only reason I don’t castigate Black Republicans is that as Republicans, they were not going to vote for Hillary in the first place, and second, they don’t really matter as I have always asserted that Black Republicans and Black conservatives are the most irrelevant political group in America today - that statement still stands and speaks for itself.   But for African-Americans who voted for Barack Obama but for whom two million did not feel a need to vote for Hillary or vote at all when 77,000 votes gave Trump three States and put him in the White House, and to Black Democrats who wound up attacking Hillary on behalf of Sanders more than promoting the real interests of the African-American community, I ask them to consider the following “highlights” of these first eight months of the Trump administration.  During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said Blacks should vote for him, after all, “what do they have to lose” ― turns out, EVERYTHING! And the losses keep piling up. Soon after taking office, Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, hand picked by Trump possibly as a reward for being the first sitting US Senator to endorse Trump in the campaign, issued a memo to all Justice Dept prosecutors to seek the “harshest sentences possible”  for non-violent drug offenders, a category already disproportionately populated by young African-American and Hispanic males, at a time when every professional involved with this area and many others has asserted that our nation’s criminal justice system needs a complete overhauling to address inequities in how minorities are treated. And the president, fulfilling a campaign pledge, makes an appointment to the Supreme Court that guarantees that the high Court will rule against Affirmative Action and other programs designed to address inequalities in the country, not perpetuate them. Then the administration, through the Attorney General that Trump selected, went after voting rights in the South by seeking to gut the monitoring and compliance requirements that the previous Justice Department and the Courts had decreed needed to remain in place to address issues lingering still after almost fifty years of continued violations and embarrassing vestiges remaining in the South after the Civil Rights movement. And of course, in an effort to get back in the good graces of the president who had been relentlessly attacking him, the Attorney General who the president personally selected, announced that the Justice Department was now going to attack college and university affirmative action programs on the grounds of reverse discrimination, an argument debunked by serious educators all over the country as entirely without merit. And I would personally add that education, of all the areas where aggressive remedies for prejudice and discrimination need to be applied, is the one area that can provide a long term permanent solution to the social and urban ills that most Whites seem to focus on at the expense of addressing the underlying problems that cause those very ills to begin with.  So why would we want to do anything that would restrict or limit the ability to utilize the education tool as the most effective method to erase the social and cultural inequities that exist in our nation and are the root cause of so many of the crime and drug issues that the mainstream society seems far more interested in focusing on.    And speaking of the much needed criminal justice reform and the absolute need for reform in law enforcement practices that see unarmed young African-American males often shot 10 or 12 times only to hear later that the officer involved “feared for his life” against this unarmed young Black male who somehow needed to have 10 or 12 shots fired into his body in order to convince the officer that  his was not the life to fear for. Nevertheless, in this volatile environment, President Trump goes before an assemblage of law enforcement officers and tells them that they are “being much too nice” in how they make arrests and that they should abandon some of the standard practices designed to provide even a modicum of safety protection to citizens being arrested by police.    And finally in this area, Attorney General  Sessions, handpicked for his job by the president, announced recently that the Justice Department would switch course in a reversal of “embarrassing” insensitivity and now support Republican efforts in the state of Ohio to purge voters from the voter roll lists if they haven’t actually voted in recent elections, a policy that clearly disproportionately affects blacks. May I remind everyone that in this country we encourage people to vote, but we don’t punish them for not voting - other than making them live with the results as we are all doing right now. Let me also remind everyone that during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, Jeff Sessions was nominated to the Federal Bench, and his nomination was rejected by the U.S. Senate primarily because of evidence of racial bias in his background. So a Republican administration in the 1980s rejected Sessions for a judicial appointment to one seat on the bench,  but 30 years later he’s the best man for the job as the nation’s single top law enforcement officer sworn to protect the constitutional rights of voting and civil rights of ALL the citizens, not just those in the Republican base, and not just those of a single person, even if that person is President and you need to somehow endear yourself to that President before he fires you.  And that’s supposed to be “draining the swamp ?”  Meanwhile, President Trump has loaded up his Cabinet with members who have a combined net worth of over 4.5 BILLION dollars with mostly all having extensive Wall Street backgrounds.  No, that’s not “draining the swamp”, that’s re-filling it right to the top! And before one thinks that I want to lay all of this at the feet of the Attorney General, let me also state as assertively as I can that if there were one thing and one thing alone that I felt would have disqualified Donald Trump from ever being the nominee of either Party to the office of President of the United States, it was the fact that in the 1970′s Trump was sued by the Federal Government for discrimination in his use of “red-lining” to deny Blacks from being able to apply and rent apartments in any of his buildings in any of the boroughs of New York City - not Selma, Alabama or Jackson, Mississippi, but New York City. That is an embarrassment to every American and a stain on our country that either Party of this great nation would nominate a candidate to the highest office in the land even with just the accusation of these charges.  And in Trump’s case he actually settled the case with a huge monetary fine - and what did he say during the 2016 campaign - “I never settle cases because it encourages others” - so he must have really been guilty to settle this one - by his own standards. You see - this is all so embarrassing for our country, as is Attorney General Sessions not remembering his meetings with the Russians to the point of either lying about it or simply not remembering it BOTH in oral testimony and in writing. But if this weren’t enough,  President Trump’s decision to grant a Pardon to Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona after Arpaio was ruled guilty in Court of violating a judicial edict that banned him from engaging in racial profiling in ordering law enforcement  officers in Arizona to seek out and arrest Hispanics and those who even looked like they were Hispanic or foreign or met what he considered to be characteristics of criminals.  And once apprehended, Arpaio’s officers were ordered to seek to deport all of them. This was racial profiling in its worse form, and it was and remains an embarrassment to all Americans that this type of activity can be tolerated in 2017, let alone officially forgiven by the President in the form of a Pardon. In a conversation with a Canadian businessman a couple of months ago discussing the Trump presidency, the Canadian said ”Carl, if I were an American I would be embarrassed by what’s going on with Donald Trump″ - and that was the inspiration for my thinking about much of what has been happening with the entire Donald Trump saga as an “embarrassment.” And of course there is the famous “Wall” the president proposes to build along the border costing  up to 10 Billion dollars. During the campaign, Trump called for building the wall and forcefully asserted that “Mexico will pay for it.” Now, he seems to be getting away with not being able to get Mexico to pay for it, and Mexico made that clear both before the election and after the election - why is the president being allowed to get away with just discarding that part of the “wall” promise and focus only on building it with money to be provided by U.S. taxpayers - Why? And that’s money we now need to spend in Texas rather than along its border  to help victims of the floods in Houston and throughout the state. Building a wall and instituting a “Muslim ban” brings out the worst instincts in the heart and soul of the essence of the American Dream and of the concept of the greatness of America.   We need to abandon both objectives, regardless of where the funding is coming from. And finally to Charlottesville, an episode that reaches new depths of embarrassment and moral depravity for our country that we likely could never have predicted we would ever see again in this great land of ours. First, let me say after listening to all the responses to Charlottesville from conservatives and Republicans during the last two weeks ,  I don’t want to hear one more person tell us that “after all, the Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln” as a response to why Republicans under the leadership of Donald Trump should not shoulder much of the blame for inciting and permitting racial and religious prejudices to have an environment to flourish starting not just with Charlottesville but going all the way back to describing Mexico’s immigrants to the US as “murderers, criminals and rapists” and criticizing judges as being incapable of fairness because of their racial or ethnic heritage. Party of Lincoln?  The Republican Party hasn’t been the Party of Lincoln since at least 1968 when Richard Nixon’s “southern strategy” was implemented with “wink-winks” and “code words” like law & order that were designed to reassure southern Whites that all these uprisings from Blacks demanding social justice will soon come to an end if Nixon was elected,  and not just law and order but also the traditional social order of the South in terms of race would be restored and preserved as well - and it worked,  and the Democrats haven’t been able to carry the South since (although fellow southerner Jimmy Carter did make some inroads in a few southern States primarily because of how badly Nixon messed things up while he was in the White House).  No, today’s Republican Party is closer to being the Party of Lincoln Savings than it is to being the Party of Lincoln. As to Charlottesville itself, a million words have been written or more about this incident both here and around the world, and many of those words are far more eloquent than what I could say. But I do have one overriding observation and conclusion to share regarding this event , and this may be the most embarrassing observation of all as to where we are in America today.  For almost 70 years, no matter how much a politician or public servant disagreed with their opponent, and no matter how riled up each side’s supporters were, if you publicly labeled your opponent as a Nazi or compared that opponent to Hitler or praised the Klu Klux Klan you were immediately condemned by ALL sides in the debate. And what’s more, you were then forced to retract the statement and apologize usually by the very next day - and it could cost you the election. What President Trump has done in his remarks and actions after Charlottesville was to “normalize” the inclusion of Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists as part of our normal conversation about race and cultural heritage and politics in this country. And you can just see where this might be headed perhaps in another year or so as an after growth of this new mood the president has created. Imagine the following scenario perhaps a year or so from now. An anchor or prime time show host welcomes the guest panelists and commentators, and after introducing the esteemed professionals joining the show, the Anchor says the following: “And we also want to welcome to the show Joe Smith. As you know, Joe started out as a far right conservative and then switched to the Neo-Nazi Party.  He has rapidly climbed the ranks within the party, and many see him ascending further in the near future as a rising star on the national stage - Welcome Joe.”  THAT’S what President Trump has started, and when the president of the United States receives public thank you notes for his comments from the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, not only is this conduct embarrassing, it is simply unforgivable! The president was given another opportunity to salvage both his image and his credibility with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and I do give the president credit for how he has handled the storm crisis and how he has directed the relief efforts from the federal government as well as showing some empathy with the victims directly when he made his trips to Houston and the affected areas, notwithstanding the “what a great turnout” remarks seemingly more directed to a campaign rally rather than such somber circumstances as the Houston disaster. But more importantly, I would point out that in California, when a natural disaster hits, landlords are forbidden under law from evicting tenants and then repairing the damage to apartments and raising the rent to then rent to new applicants.  Furthermore, California landlords must under law offer the repaired apartment back to the original tenant under the same rent terms as before prior to offering the apartment to a new tenant.  In Texas, landlords are NOT prohibited from engaging in this really reprehensible behavior,  and there have already been numerous reports of landlords in the Houston area having commenced eviction procedures already with the intent of raising the rent for new tenants and thus leaving the storm victims who occupied those apartments in an even worse condition. President Trump likes to issue executive orders. The president should issue a new executive order prohibiting landlords in Texas and maybe go further to cover the entire nation - but prohibit them from engaging in the activity described above that California has so commendably already taken steps to prevent . And while the president was on the ground showing empathy for the victims of the storms in Houston, his administration at the same time was cutting the budget for “Navigators” from 100 million dollars down to 10 million dollars. And what do “Navigators” do?  Navigators help people enroll in the federal health care coverage programs. When will conservatives and Republicans learn that when middle class and poor people don’t have health insurance, they forgo preventive care and wind up having to go to the emergency room for treatment which, in the end, costs all Americans even more money than if those citizens were covered - Mr. President, restore that budget for the Navigators, a move that will really help so many of the victims of the Houston floods that you expressed such a commitment to help. Incidentally,  the one bright spot I personally see in the President’s Cabinet is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who I think has conducted himself with dignity and integrity since he was first appointed and, I believe,  has represented the US admirably on his foreign trips and has succeeded in providing some gravitas and an image of being one who can provide proper “adult supervision” to an otherwise cluster of individuals playing musical chairs at the White House every week and governing in an environment of continuous chaos. And I must absolutely commend Secretary Tillerson for his speech  to the State Department after Charlottesville on the disgusting nature of racism and Anti-Semitism  in any form and for his assertion that the State Department will be at the forefront of advancing diversity and equal opportunity under his tenure. Finally Mr. President, your first year in office has seen your poll approval numbers plummet and confidence in both your credibility and temperment to be President  fall even lower.  Yet, I believe there is hope for you (along with the benefit of time), and I also believe you will get a real bounce upwards in the polls from your handling of the Texas floods, and I also believe that ultimately whatever action you take in response to North Korea will likely also give you higher national approval ratings as Americans always rally behind their president in a national emergency or national security or defense crisis. But for your permanent legacy, whether you serve one term or two,  I have a policy issue that could give you a permanent legacy similar to John F. Kennedy’s race to put a “man on the moon within a decade” or his Peace Corp or Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of a “War on Poverty” which still remains a positive component of his legacy even though the Vietnam War and the budget demands it created as well as the dissension in the country that it created stifled the ultimate success of the poverty programs.   And I would also submit that Ronald Reagan’s detente with the Soviet Union serves as a lasting positive legacy for his Administration along with President Obama’s effort to provide all Americans with some basic health care coverage even with its ensuing and continuing controversy, as well as President Clinton’s efforts to protect Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity for minorities and women.  All of these policy projects  have served to solidify some permanent components of the permanent legacies of these former presidents. President Trump, forget about the 5 or 10 billion dollars for a wall that divides us and discredits the true spirit and meaning of the essence of what America stands for, and also renew the DACA program out of a basic sense of decency. Instead I ask you, President Trump, to make a prime time address to the nation and declare that you will seek to find a cure for cancer during your term in office and ask Congress for 5 or 10 billion dollars for that cause instead of that Wall ― and don’t worry about appeasing your base. That 30 to 35 percent base will be there for you whenever you need them ― but with this cancer program you can also get some of that additional 25 to 30 percent of Independents that you won last year and have already lost in this year. Cancer robs our society of its most precious commodity, human beings, and we need every human being and every American to live out their full potential and be able to contribute to our society in a meaningful way. As a very recent cancer survivor who still has to fight to prevent its’ return, I will join you in that fight, and when we win, your legacy will be secured for all eternity,  and most importantly, instead of being embarrassed,  we all will have made America great not just again, but we will have made America great for the future and for all time! Carl Jeffers is a Los Angeles based columnist, TV political analyst, radio commentator, and a national lecturer and business consultant.   Jeffers is President of Intelli Marketing Associates.
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Carl   Jeffers,   Contributor   Television   commentator,   radio talk   show   host,   lecturer,   political   analyst   President   Trump And Racial Politics: Embarrassing Administration 09/12/2017 06:37 pm ET Kevin Lamarque / Reuters First,   in   addition   to   sending   all   of   my   heartfelt   best wishes   for   a   speedy   and   full   recovery   to   all   those suffering      losses   and   hardships   from   the   Hurricane storms   in   the   Houston   area   and   throughout   Texas,   I would   also   like   to   thank   so   many   people   out   there who   have   emailed   and   reached   out   to   me   over   the past   two   years   asking   where   I   was   and   why   I   hadn’t been    writing    or    appearing    on    cable    news    shows providing   political   commentary,   especially   during   such a    momentous    time    that    included    a    presidential election. I   am   so   appreciative   of   that   concern   and   it   absolutely made   things   far   easier   for   me   to   endure   during   these past   two   years.   In   fact,   it   was   exactly   two   years   ago this    August    that    I    was    originally    diagnosed    with cancer,   and   by   the   grace   of   God,   and   with   the   love and   support   of   my   family,   and   with   an   inner   strength and   resolve   that   I   believe   all   of   us   have,   I   persevered and   fought   back   and   overcame   two   separate   cancers plus   the   effects   of   a   complete   stem   cell   transplant and   a   panic   attack   in   between   eight   months   of   initial chemotherapy   for   the   first   cancer   that   I   could   have died     from,     and     then     fought     through     another additional    five    months    of    chemotherapy    associated with   the   transplant,   and   after   that   enduring   major surgery   to   fight   the   second   cancer,   and   I   not   only survived   but   am   making   a   slow   but   steady   recovery that   my   doctors   say   is   “one   of   too   few   true   success stories”    in    the    measure    of    individual    battles    to overcome   cancer   as   I   am   likely   to   fully   resume   the life I had before my diagnosis. One   of   the   effects   of   fighting   cancer,   and   particularly during    long    periods    of    the    intense    protocol    of chemotherapy,   is   that   for   much   of   the   past   two   years I   was   forced   to   be   in   bed   during   both   the   night   and the   day   except   for   hospital   visits.What   that   meant was   that   I   watched   far   more   of   last   year’s   presidential campaign   on   TV   than   I   ever   would   have   been   able   to watch   otherwise,   so   I   saw   so   much   more   coverage   to evaluate    directly    firsthand    rather    than    being    out there as part of the analysis. And   from   that   new   and   unexpected   perspective,   I   was able   to   conclude   that   the   media   itself   and   all   of   their extensions    were    major    “enablers”    of    the    Donald Trump   campaign   for   president.   What   became   clear   to me   in   a   way   that   I   might   not   have   believed   had   it   just been   told   to   me   was   that   the   mainstream   media   and the   liberal   media   were   so   determined   to   present   an image   of   being   “fair   and   balanced”   to   the   public   and to   the   rest   of   the   media   itself   that   they   were,   either unwittingly    or    deliberately,    willing    to    bash    Hillary Clinton    absolutely    on    a    non-stop    continuous    basis while   more   often   than   not   giving   Donald   Trump   a   pass when they shouldn’t have. There    are    many    examples    that    I    could    point    out (don’t   forget   the   Matt   Lauer   interview   with   Clinton one   night   followed   by   his   interview   with   Trump   the next   night   which   even   network   executives   criticized as   unbalanced   in   Trump’s   favor),   and   I   made   copious notes    throughout    the    campaign    to    document    the examples,   but   I   will   submit   the   following   one   as   a   key example   of   many.   With   Hillary   Clinton,   in   virtually every    single    news    and    commentary    segment    that featured    Clinton    as    a    main    topic,    the    Anchor    or commentators   would   lash   out   at   Hillary   on   the   email controversy     and     then     highlight     the     fact     that “everyone”    was    calling    for    her    to    release    the transcripts    of    her    Wall    Street    speeches.    Yet,    with Donald   Trump,   those   same   anchors   and   commentators would   mention   maybe   once   or   twice   a   week   the   calls for   him   to   release   his   tax   returns   and   mention   that every president since Richard Nixon had done so. But   the   trick   that   allowed   the   media   to   get   away   with this   was   the   fact   that   they   could   and   did   say   that they   were   calling   out   Trump   for   not   releasing   his   tax returns   and   then   point   to   times   on   their   show   when they   did   just   that   ―   and   what   everyone   missed   is   that calling   out   Hillary   every   single   news   segment   each and   every   day   was   NOT   the   same   as   calling   out   Trump on   his   taxes   once   or   twice   a   week. And   since   many   of these   same   anchors   and   commentators   and   network executives   were   supporting   Hillary   privately,   it   was more   important   to   them   to   be   able   to   say   “see   how fair   we   are   as   we   are   really   going   after   Hillary”   than for   them   to   actually   be   fair   in   the   coverage   of   the two    candidates.    That’s    just    one    example    and    the “trick”   part   of   that   as   I   just   explained   is   what   most people   missed   and   what   I   likely   would   have   missed had   I   not   been   right   there   much   of   the   day   every   day for   so   long   watching   it   for   myself.   And   this   kind   of coverage   DID   have   an   effect   on   the   body   politic   and did,   over   time   and   multiplied   by   the   number   of   shows and   segments   that   were   doing   it,   actually   have   an effect   on   the   election   and   made   it   easier   for   Donald Trump   to   get   away   with   things   that   no   candidate   for president   of   the   United   States   should   ever   have   been able to get away with before the election. There   was   another   reason   that   contributed   to   the mainstream   media   giving   Trump   a   pass   on   so   much   of what   we   heard   from   him   and   what   he   did   during   the campaign    (leading    chants    of    “lock    her    up”    almost qualifies   for   detainment   under   the   John   Adams   Alien and    Sedition    Act    and    was    just    embarrassing    and shameful)   ―   but   the   other   reason   was   that   the   Media, and   in   this   point   I   would   also   include   the   conservative media   and   Fox   as   well   ―   the   media   simply   did   not take   Donald   Trump   very   seriously   and   never   really expected   that   he   would   or   could   win.   On   the   latter point,   there   really   were   no   exceptions   to   the   general attitude   that   Trump   was   not   going   to   win,   either   from emotion,    or    wishful    thinking,    or    from    objective analysis of the actual polls. The   four   political   analysts   that   I   respect   the   most, David   Gergen,   Ron   Brownstein,   Jeffrey   Toobin,   and my   mentor   Howard   Fineman,   they   all   missed   it   ―   as   I did   and   everyone   else   ―   and   the   four   of   them   were objectively   analyzing   the   actual   polls.   Everyone   had Hillary   winning,   and   I   believe   Trump   himself   did   not really   expect   to   win   and   that’s   one   reason   why   he didn’t   want   to   release   his   potentially   embarrassing tax   returns   ―   he   didn’t   want   to   lose   and   have   that info    out    in    public.   And    either    consciously    or    sub- consciously,   that   thinking   caused   much   of   the   media to   be   more   amused   by   Trump   and   his   antics   than anything   else,   and   that   made   it   easier   to   give   him   a pass   since,   in   their   minds,   he   wasn’t   going   to   win anyway. Now   by   no   means   am   I   suggesting   that   the   media’s approach   here   caused   Hillary   to   lose   (her   stupidly taking   two   weeks   off   in   September   for   fundraising instead    of    campaigning    in    Wisconsin,    Michigan    and Pennsylvania   didn’t   help   either). As   you   see,   everyone was   guilty   of   not   taking   Trump   seriously   enough   to think   he   would   win   ―   but   the   media   should   never have   allowed   itself   to   fall   into   that   trap   to   the   degree that    they    felt    even    more    comfortable    in    bashing Hillary    while    giving    Trump    a    pass    ―    because    it mattered. Of    course    there    were    other    major    reasons    that contributed to Hillary’s loss: 1.      Clinton   was   arrogant   in   the   approach   to   the campaign    and    probably    made    many    decisions based   on   the   assumption   that   she   would   win, and     with     so     many     young     and     unseasoned       staffers   heading   up   her   campaign   she   was   bound to   pay   a   price   for   that   arrogance   (she   needed   a Bob   Schrum   or   the   sainted   Bob   Strauss   or   Ron Brown   if   the   latter   two   were   still   with   us   or someone   like   that   heading   up   her   campaign)   - John   Podesta   was   just   out   of   touch   and   thus unable   to   counter   Bernie   Sanders   and   his   very effective bashing of Clinton                                       2.         Clinton’s   message   was   too   broad   streamed and   idealistic   ―   “we   are   stronger   together”   -   no one   remembers   when   we   were   not   strong   but many    people    remember    when    they    thought America    was    great    in    contrast    to    what    they might   think   now.   Clinton   needed   a   more   specific message   ―   a   “plan   of   action”   with   four   or   five bullet   points   that   would   be   easy   for   people   to remember. 3.     And   yes,   with   the   media’s   constant   bashing   of Hillary   over   the   emails   and   the   speeches,   it   was difficult   if   not   impossible   for   her   to   move   past that,   and   the   mistake   in   setting   up   the   email server   in   her   home   did   cost   her   ―   I   had   less sympathy   for   her   on   this   point   when   I   learned that   she   was   given   specific   advice   from   senior advisors   not   to   set   up   the   server   at   her   home   arrogance. 4.         Being   on   the   sidelines   the   last   two   years   also enabled   me   to   get   an   appreciation   that   I   did   not have   before   of   just   how   much   Hillary   Clinton was   absolutely   hated   by   so   many   Americans   - they   just   hated   her   and   really   would   have   voted for   anyone   but   Hillary.      That’s   too   bad   -   Hillary was   a   very   flawed   candidate,   but   I   genuinely believe she would have made a great president! 5.      No   one   else   has   said   this   but   someone   needs to   -   another   major   factor   in   Hillary’s   loss   was the   effect   of   the   constant   and   ultimately   vicious anti-Hillary   campaigning   of   Bernie   Sanders   and the    attacks    on    Hillary    and    her    campaign    by Sanders   and   particularly   by   his   surrogates,   many of   whom   came   across   as   almost   vicious   in   the intensity   of   their   attacks   on   Hillary   -   It   is   very hard     to     win     the     White     House     when     your campaign    rivals    in    your    own    Party    often    are more    intense    in    their    attacks    on    you    than candidates   from   the   opposing   Party,   and   in   the last   two   months   of   the   primary   season,   Sanders and   his   surrogates   really   reached   that   level. And we    must    remember    that    Sanders    appealed    to many    young,    idealistic    and    politically    novice supporters   who   took   his   bitter   attacks   on   Clinton to   heart   and   for   many,   those   attacks   kept   them from   ever   being   able   to   switch   their   allegiance and   then   support   Hillary   in   the   fall   election   - and     now     they     are     really     disillusioned     and unhappy   with   American   politics   thanks   to   the actions and conduct of President Trump. Bernie    Sanders    used    the    Democratic    Party    to propel   himself   to   national   stature.   After   all,   he was    in    Washington    for    almost    30    years    and virtually   no   one   outside   of   Washington   had   ever heard   of   him.   And   Sanders   used   the   Party   to raise   millions   and   millions   of   dollars,   much   of which   he   never   spent   and   still   has.      And   then when   it   was   all   over   he   didn’t   have   the   decency to    go    back    to    the        Senate    as    a    Democrat    - instead     he     went     back     registered     as     an Independent   again.   And   as   late   as   two   weeks before     the     election     Sanders     said     “in     all probability   I   will   vote   for   Hillary   Clinton.”   Really -   that’s   a   fine   way   to   get   your   supporters   to   vote for your party’s main candidate. I   for   one   attest   here   and   now   that   if   Sanders announces    again    for    the    2020    campaign    for president,      I   might   personally   go   out   to   head   up a   “Never   Sanders”   movement   in   the   Democratic Party.            But   it   won’t   matter   -   if   Sanders   was   the Democratic    nominee    in    2020    not    only    would Donald    Trump    win    the    Electoral    College    but Trump    would    also    win    the    popular    vote    in possibly   a   landslide   -   I   hope   Democrats   out   there are   listening   -   and Trump   won’t   be   easy   to   beat   - watch   his   poll   numbers   go   up   after   Houston’s storms. 6.   But   I   reserve   my   most   damning   criticism   and chagrin    with    respect    to    the    2016    Presidential election   for   African-Americans,   and   I   can   speak on     this     topic     in     a     way     that     many     other commentators    and    analysts    either    can’t    or haven’t.     Interesting     to     segue     from     Bernie Sanders     to     this     next     theme     regarding     the African-American    vote,    as    Sanders    attracted many   Black   spokespersons   who   were   often   on Cable   News   attacking   Hillary   as   if   her   40   years   of public     service     advancing     every     civil     rights, education    and    social    justice    cause    you    could identify    in    America    didn’t    exist.    And    those attacks   did   have   an   effect   in   putting   a   damper on       enthusiasm       among      African-Americans, especially    young    ones,    to    support    the    Clinton campaign. But   here   are   the   facts.      In   2016,   two   million fewer       African-Americans       voted       in       the Presidential    election    than    voted    in    2008    and 2012   for   Barack   Obama   -   TWO   MILLION   fewer Black    votes.   Yet,    the   TOTAL    number    of    votes combined   that   Donald   Trump   won   the   states   of Wisconsin,    Michigan,    and    Pennsylvania    by    was less than 77, 000 votes combined. So   not   considering   any   other   factor   in   the   victory by   Donald   Trump,   and   there   were   many   others, the    fact    is    that    the    votes    needed    to    have defeated   Donald   Trump   were   right   there   in   the African-American     community     -     and     among African-American   voters   who   had   voted   before for   President,   not   new   or   first   time   voters.   To me,    that    is    the    real    tragedy    of    the    2016 election,   and   I   also   genuinely   believe   that   what we   have   seen   in   just   this   first   year   of   the   Trump Presidency   convinces   me   even   more   firmly   that this    is    a    tragedy    as    the    Trump    Presidency    is really   an   “embarrassment”,      and   we   could   have done better. But    for   African-Americans,    the    lesson    here    is more   painful   than   one   can   hardly   bear.      And   to those       African-American       spokesmen       who supported   Sanders   -   that’s   not   the   problem   as   I respect   that   -   but   who   in   supporting   Sanders   felt it   necessary   to   denigrate   the   record   of   Hillary Clinton   and   of   Bill   Clinton   in   what   they   stood   for and   fought   for   on   behalf   of   African-Americans and   all   minorities   in   this   country   for   over   40 years,   I   just   hope   everybody’s   happy   now   -   but look what you have wrought. But   first,   let’s   be   clear,   the   only   reason   I   don’t castigate      Black      Republicans      is      that      as Republicans,   they   were   not   going   to   vote   for Hillary   in   the   first   place,   and   second,   they   don’t really    matter    as    I    have    always    asserted    that Black   Republicans   and   Black   conservatives   are the   most   irrelevant   political   group   in   America today   -   that   statement   still   stands   and   speaks for itself.   But   for   African-Americans   who   voted   for   Barack Obama   but   for   whom   two   million   did   not   feel   a need    to    vote    for    Hillary    or    vote    at    all    when 77,000   votes   gave   Trump   three   States   and   put him   in   the   White   House,   and   to   Black   Democrats who    wound    up    attacking    Hillary    on    behalf    of Sanders   more   than   promoting   the   real   interests of   the   African-American   community,   I   ask   them to   consider   the   following   “highlights”   of   these first eight months of the Trump administration.  During   the   presidential   campaign,   Donald   Trump said   Blacks   should   vote   for   him,   after   all,   “what do   they   have   to   lose”   ―   turns   out,   EVERYTHING! And the losses keep piling up. Soon   after   taking   office,   Jeff   Sessions,   the Attorney    General,    hand    picked    by   Trump possibly    as    a    reward    for    being    the    first sitting   US   Senator   to   endorse   Trump   in   the campaign,    issued    a    memo    to    all    Justice Dept    prosecutors    to    seek    the    “harshest sentences   possible”      for   non-violent   drug offenders,          a          category          already disproportionately     populated     by     young African-American   and   Hispanic   males,   at   a time   when   every   professional   involved   with this   area   and   many   others   has   asserted   that our   nation’s   criminal   justice   system   needs   a complete   overhauling   to   address   inequities in how minorities are treated. And    the    president,    fulfilling    a    campaign pledge,    makes    an    appointment    to    the Supreme    Court    that    guarantees    that    the high    Court    will    rule    against    Affirmative Action    and    other    programs    designed    to address    inequalities    in    the    country,    not perpetuate them. Then     the     administration,     through     the Attorney    General    that    Trump    selected, went   after   voting   rights   in   the   South   by seeking      to      gut      the      monitoring      and compliance   requirements   that   the   previous Justice    Department    and    the    Courts    had decreed    needed    to    remain    in    place    to address   issues   lingering   still   after   almost fifty    years    of    continued    violations    and embarrassing    vestiges    remaining    in    the South after the Civil Rights movement. And   of   course,   in   an   effort   to   get   back   in the   good   graces   of   the   president   who   had been     relentlessly     attacking     him,     the Attorney     General     who     the     president personally    selected,    announced    that    the Justice    Department    was    now    going    to attack    college    and    university    affirmative action   programs   on   the   grounds   of   reverse discrimination,   an   argument   debunked   by serious   educators   all   over   the   country   as entirely without merit. And   I   would   personally   add   that   education, of   all   the   areas   where   aggressive   remedies for   prejudice   and   discrimination   need   to   be applied,   is   the   one   area   that   can   provide   a long   term   permanent   solution   to   the   social and   urban   ills   that   most   Whites   seem   to focus   on   at   the   expense   of   addressing   the underlying   problems   that   cause   those   very ills   to   begin   with.      So   why   would   we   want to   do   anything   that   would   restrict   or   limit the   ability   to   utilize   the   education   tool   as the    most    effective    method    to    erase    the social   and   cultural   inequities   that   exist   in our   nation   and   are   the   root   cause   of   so many   of   the   crime   and   drug   issues   that   the mainstream      society      seems      far      more interested in focusing on.    And   speaking   of   the   much   needed   criminal justice   reform   and   the   absolute   need   for reform   in   law   enforcement   practices   that see   unarmed   young African-American   males often   shot   10   or   12   times   only   to   hear   later that    the    officer    involved    “feared    for    his life”    against    this    unarmed    young    Black male   who   somehow   needed   to   have   10   or 12    shots    fired    into    his    body    in    order    to convince   the   officer   that      his   was   not   the life    to    fear    for.    Nevertheless,    in    this volatile   environment,   President   Trump   goes before   an   assemblage   of   law   enforcement officers   and   tells   them   that   they   are   “being much   too   nice”   in   how   they   make   arrests and   that   they   should   abandon   some   of   the standard    practices    designed    to    provide even    a    modicum    of    safety    protection    to citizens being arrested by police.    And   finally   in   this   area,   Attorney   General     Sessions,    handpicked    for    his    job    by    the president,    announced    recently    that    the Justice   Department   would   switch   course   in a    reversal    of    “embarrassing”    insensitivity and   now   support   Republican   efforts   in   the state    of    Ohio    to    purge    voters    from    the voter    roll    lists    if    they    haven’t    actually voted    in    recent    elections,    a    policy    that clearly    disproportionately    affects    blacks. May   I   remind   everyone   that   in   this   country we   encourage   people   to   vote,   but   we   don’t punish   them   for   not   voting   -   other   than making   them   live   with   the   results   as   we   are all    doing    right    now.    Let    me    also    remind everyone   that   during   the   administration   of President   Ronald   Reagan,   Jeff   Sessions   was nominated   to   the   Federal   Bench,   and   his nomination     was     rejected     by     the     U.S. Senate    primarily    because    of    evidence    of racial     bias     in     his     background.     So     a Republican    administration    in    the    1980s rejected       Sessions       for       a       judicial appointment   to   one   seat   on   the   bench,      but 30   years   later   he’s   the   best   man   for   the   job as   the   nation’s   single   top   law   enforcement officer   sworn   to   protect   the   constitutional rights   of   voting   and   civil   rights   of   ALL   the citizens,   not   just   those   in   the   Republican base,   and   not   just   those   of   a   single   person, even   if   that   person   is   President   and   you need   to   somehow   endear   yourself   to   that President before he fires you.  And    that’s    supposed    to    be    “draining    the swamp   ?”      Meanwhile,   President   Trump   has loaded   up   his   Cabinet   with   members   who have    a    combined    net    worth    of    over    4.5 BILLION    dollars    with    mostly    all    having extensive    Wall    Street    backgrounds.        No, that’s   not   “draining   the   swamp”,   that’s   re- filling it right to the top! And   before   one   thinks   that   I   want   to   lay   all of   this   at   the   feet   of   the Attorney   General, let   me   also   state   as   assertively   as   I   can   that if   there   were   one   thing   and   one   thing   alone that   I   felt   would   have   disqualified   Donald Trump    from    ever    being    the    nominee    of either   Party   to   the   office   of   President   of the   United   States,   it   was   the   fact   that   in the   1970′s   Trump   was   sued   by   the   Federal Government   for   discrimination   in   his   use   of “red-lining”   to   deny   Blacks   from   being   able to   apply   and   rent   apartments   in   any   of   his buildings   in   any   of   the   boroughs   of   New York   City   -   not   Selma,   Alabama   or   Jackson, Mississippi,   but   New   York   City.   That   is   an embarrassment    to    every   American    and    a stain   on   our   country   that   either   Party   of this     great     nation     would     nominate     a candidate   to   the   highest   office   in   the   land even    with    just    the    accusation    of    these charges.      And   in   Trump’s   case   he   actually settled   the   case   with   a   huge   monetary   fine -    and    what    did    he    say    during    the    2016 campaign   -   “I   never   settle   cases   because   it encourages   others”   -   so   he   must   have   really been   guilty   to   settle   this   one   -   by   his   own standards.     You     see     -     this     is     all     so embarrassing   for   our   country,   as   is Attorney General     Sessions     not     remembering     his meetings   with   the   Russians   to   the   point   of either     lying     about     it     or     simply     not remembering   it   BOTH   in   oral   testimony   and in writing. But    if    this    weren’t    enough,        President    Trump’s decision   to   grant   a   Pardon   to   Sheriff   Joe   Arpaio   in Arizona    after    Arpaio    was    ruled    guilty    in    Court    of violating    a    judicial    edict    that    banned    him    from engaging      in      racial      profiling      in      ordering      law enforcement        officers    in   Arizona    to    seek    out    and arrest   Hispanics   and   those   who   even   looked   like   they were   Hispanic   or   foreign   or   met   what   he   considered to     be     characteristics     of     criminals.          And     once apprehended,   Arpaio’s   officers   were   ordered   to   seek to   deport   all   of   them.   This   was   racial   profiling   in   its worse      form,      and      it      was      and      remains      an embarrassment    to    all   Americans    that    this    type    of activity   can   be   tolerated   in   2017,   let   alone   officially forgiven by the President in the form of a Pardon. In    a    conversation    with    a    Canadian    businessman    a couple     of     months     ago     discussing     the     Trump presidency,    the    Canadian    said    ”Carl,    if    I    were    an American   I   would   be   embarrassed   by   what’s   going   on with   Donald   Trump″   -   and   that   was   the   inspiration   for my   thinking   about   much   of   what   has   been   happening with      the      entire      Donald     Trump      saga      as      an “embarrassment.” And    of    course    there    is    the    famous    “Wall”    the president   proposes   to   build   along   the   border   costing     up   to   10   Billion   dollars.   During   the   campaign,   Trump called   for   building   the   wall   and   forcefully   asserted that   “Mexico   will   pay   for   it.”   Now,   he   seems   to   be getting   away   with   not   being   able   to   get   Mexico   to   pay for   it,   and   Mexico   made   that   clear   both   before   the election   and   after   the   election   -   why   is   the   president being   allowed   to   get   away   with   just   discarding   that part   of   the   “wall”   promise   and   focus   only   on   building it   with   money   to   be   provided   by   U.S.   taxpayers   -   Why? And   that’s   money   we   now   need   to   spend   in   Texas rather   than   along   its   border      to   help   victims   of   the floods   in   Houston   and   throughout   the   state.   Building   a wall   and   instituting   a   “Muslim   ban”   brings   out   the worst   instincts   in   the   heart   and   soul   of   the   essence   of the    American    Dream    and    of    the    concept    of    the greatness   of   America.         We   need   to   abandon   both objectives,   regardless   of   where   the   funding   is   coming from. And   finally   to   Charlottesville,   an   episode   that   reaches new   depths   of   embarrassment   and   moral   depravity for    our    country    that    we    likely    could    never    have predicted   we   would   ever   see   again   in   this   great   land of   ours.   First,   let   me   say   after   listening   to   all   the responses   to   Charlottesville   from   conservatives   and Republicans   during   the   last   two   weeks   ,      I   don’t   want to   hear   one   more   person   tell   us   that   “after   all,   the Republican   Party   is   the   Party   of   Lincoln”   as   a   response to   why   Republicans   under   the   leadership   of   Donald Trump   should   not   shoulder   much   of   the   blame   for inciting   and   permitting   racial   and   religious   prejudices to   have   an   environment   to   flourish   starting   not   just with   Charlottesville   but   going   all   the   way   back   to describing     Mexico’s     immigrants     to     the     US     as “murderers,    criminals    and    rapists”    and    criticizing judges   as   being   incapable   of   fairness   because   of   their racial or ethnic heritage. Party   of   Lincoln?      The   Republican   Party   hasn’t   been the   Party   of   Lincoln   since   at   least   1968   when   Richard Nixon’s    “southern    strategy”    was    implemented    with “wink-winks”   and   “code   words”   like   law   &   order   that were   designed   to   reassure   southern   Whites   that   all these   uprisings   from   Blacks   demanding   social   justice will   soon   come   to   an   end   if   Nixon   was   elected,      and not   just   law   and   order   but   also   the   traditional   social order   of   the   South   in   terms   of   race   would   be   restored and    preserved    as    well    -    and    it    worked,        and    the Democrats   haven’t   been   able   to   carry   the   South   since (although   fellow   southerner   Jimmy   Carter   did   make some    inroads    in    a    few    southern    States    primarily because   of   how   badly   Nixon   messed   things   up   while he   was   in   the   White   House).      No,   today’s   Republican Party   is   closer   to   being   the   Party   of   Lincoln   Savings than it is to being the Party of Lincoln. As   to   Charlottesville   itself,   a   million   words   have   been written   or   more   about   this   incident   both   here   and around   the   world,   and   many   of   those   words   are   far more   eloquent   than   what   I   could   say.   But   I   do   have one   overriding   observation   and   conclusion   to   share regarding    this    event    ,    and    this    may    be    the    most embarrassing   observation   of   all   as   to   where   we   are   in America   today.      For   almost   70   years,   no   matter   how much   a   politician   or   public   servant   disagreed   with their   opponent,   and   no   matter   how   riled   up   each side’s   supporters   were,   if   you   publicly   labeled   your opponent   as   a   Nazi   or   compared   that   opponent   to Hitler    or    praised    the    Klu    Klux    Klan    you    were immediately   condemned   by   ALL   sides   in   the   debate. And   what’s   more,   you   were   then   forced   to   retract   the statement   and   apologize   usually   by   the   very   next   day - and it could cost you the election. What   President   Trump   has   done   in   his   remarks   and actions   after   Charlottesville   was   to   “normalize”   the inclusion   of   Neo-Nazis   and   White   Supremacists   as   part of   our   normal   conversation   about   race   and   cultural heritage   and   politics   in   this   country.   And   you   can   just see   where   this   might   be   headed   perhaps   in   another year   or   so   as   an   after   growth   of   this   new   mood   the president   has   created.   Imagine   the   following   scenario perhaps   a   year   or   so   from   now.   An   anchor   or   prime time    show    host    welcomes    the    guest    panelists    and commentators,   and   after   introducing   the   esteemed professionals   joining   the   show,   the   Anchor   says   the following:   “And   we   also   want   to   welcome   to   the   show Joe   Smith. As   you   know,   Joe   started   out   as   a   far   right conservative   and   then   switched   to   the   Neo-Nazi   Party.     He   has   rapidly   climbed   the   ranks   within   the   party,   and many   see   him   ascending   further   in   the   near   future   as a   rising   star   on   the   national   stage   -   Welcome   Joe.”     THAT’S   what   President   Trump   has   started,   and   when the   president   of   the   United   States   receives   public thank   you   notes   for   his   comments   from   the   former Grand   Wizard   of   the   Klu   Klux   Klan,   not   only   is   this conduct embarrassing, it is simply unforgivable! The    president    was    given    another    opportunity    to salvage    both    his    image    and    his    credibility    with Hurricane   Harvey   in Texas,   and   I   do   give   the   president credit   for   how   he   has   handled   the   storm   crisis   and how    he    has    directed    the    relief    efforts    from    the federal   government   as   well   as   showing   some   empathy with   the   victims   directly   when   he   made   his   trips   to Houston   and   the   affected   areas,   notwithstanding   the “what    a    great    turnout”    remarks    seemingly    more directed   to   a   campaign   rally   rather   than   such   somber circumstances as the Houston disaster. But    more    importantly,    I    would    point    out    that    in California,   when   a   natural   disaster   hits,   landlords   are forbidden   under   law   from   evicting   tenants   and   then repairing   the   damage   to   apartments   and   raising   the rent   to   then   rent   to   new   applicants.      Furthermore, California   landlords   must   under   law   offer   the   repaired apartment   back   to   the   original   tenant   under   the   same rent   terms   as   before   prior   to   offering   the   apartment to    a    new    tenant.        In    Texas,    landlords    are    NOT prohibited   from   engaging   in   this   really   reprehensible behavior,        and    there    have    already    been    numerous reports    of    landlords    in    the    Houston    area    having commenced    eviction    procedures    already    with    the intent   of   raising   the   rent   for   new   tenants   and   thus leaving     the     storm     victims     who     occupied     those apartments in an even worse condition. President   Trump   likes   to   issue   executive   orders.   The president     should     issue     a     new     executive     order prohibiting   landlords   in Texas   and   maybe   go   further   to cover    the    entire    nation    -    but    prohibit    them    from engaging     in     the     activity     described     above     that California   has   so   commendably   already   taken   steps   to prevent . And   while   the   president   was   on   the   ground   showing empathy   for   the   victims   of   the   storms   in   Houston,   his administration    at    the    same    time    was    cutting    the budget   for   “Navigators”   from   100   million   dollars   down to   10   million   dollars.   And   what   do   “Navigators”   do?     Navigators   help   people   enroll   in   the   federal   health care   coverage   programs.   When   will   conservatives   and Republicans   learn   that   when   middle   class   and   poor people    don’t    have    health    insurance,    they    forgo preventive    care    and    wind    up    having    to    go    to    the emergency   room   for   treatment   which,   in   the   end, costs   all   Americans   even   more   money   than   if   those citizens   were   covered   -   Mr.   President,   restore   that budget   for   the   Navigators,   a   move   that   will   really help   so   many   of   the   victims   of   the   Houston   floods   that you expressed such a commitment to help. Incidentally,      the   one   bright   spot   I   personally   see   in the    President’s    Cabinet    is    Secretary    of    State    Rex Tillerson,    who    I    think    has    conducted    himself    with dignity   and   integrity   since   he   was   first   appointed   and, I   believe,      has   represented   the   US   admirably   on   his foreign   trips   and   has   succeeded   in   providing   some gravitas   and   an   image   of   being   one   who   can   provide proper   “adult   supervision”   to   an   otherwise   cluster   of individuals   playing   musical   chairs   at   the   White   House every    week    and    governing    in    an    environment    of continuous    chaos.   And    I    must    absolutely    commend Secretary    Tillerson    for    his    speech        to    the    State Department    after    Charlottesville    on    the    disgusting nature   of   racism   and   Anti-Semitism      in   any   form   and for   his   assertion   that   the   State   Department   will   be   at the     forefront     of     advancing     diversity     and     equal opportunity under his tenure. Finally   Mr.   President,   your   first   year   in   office   has   seen your   poll   approval   numbers   plummet   and   confidence in    both    your    credibility    and    temperment    to    be President      fall   even   lower.     Yet,   I   believe   there   is   hope for   you   (along   with   the   benefit   of   time),   and   I   also believe   you   will   get   a   real   bounce   upwards   in   the polls   from   your   handling   of   the   Texas   floods,   and   I also   believe   that   ultimately   whatever   action   you   take in   response   to   North   Korea   will   likely   also   give   you higher   national   approval   ratings   as   Americans   always rally   behind   their   president   in   a   national   emergency or national security or defense crisis. But   for   your   permanent   legacy,   whether   you   serve   one term   or   two,      I   have   a   policy   issue   that   could   give   you a   permanent   legacy   similar   to   John   F.   Kennedy’s   race to   put   a   “man   on   the   moon   within   a   decade”   or   his Peace   Corp   or   Lyndon   Johnson’s   declaration   of   a   “War on   Poverty”   which   still   remains   a   positive   component of   his   legacy   even   though   the   Vietnam   War   and   the budget   demands   it   created   as   well   as   the   dissension in   the   country   that   it   created   stifled   the   ultimate success   of   the   poverty   programs.         And   I   would   also submit   that   Ronald   Reagan’s   detente   with   the   Soviet Union    serves    as    a    lasting    positive    legacy    for    his Administration   along   with   President   Obama’s   effort   to provide   all   Americans   with   some   basic   health   care coverage     even     with     its     ensuing     and     continuing controversy,   as   well   as   President   Clinton’s   efforts   to protect     Civil     Rights     and     Equal     Opportunity     for minorities   and   women.      All   of   these   policy   projects     have   served   to   solidify   some   permanent   components of the permanent legacies of these former presidents. President    Trump,    forget    about    the    5    or    10    billion dollars   for   a   wall   that   divides   us   and   discredits   the true    spirit    and    meaning    of    the    essence    of    what America   stands   for,   and   also   renew   the   DACA   program out   of   a   basic   sense   of   decency.   Instead   I   ask   you, President Trump,   to   make   a   prime   time   address   to   the nation   and   declare   that   you   will   seek   to   find   a   cure for   cancer   during   your   term   in   office   and   ask   Congress for   5   or   10   billion   dollars   for   that   cause   instead   of that   Wall   ―   and   don’t   worry   about   appeasing   your base. That   30   to   35   percent   base   will   be   there   for   you whenever    you    need    them    ―    but    with    this    cancer program   you   can   also   get   some   of   that   additional   25 to   30   percent   of   Independents   that   you   won   last   year and have already lost in this year. Cancer     robs     our     society     of     its     most     precious commodity,   human   beings,   and   we   need   every   human being    and    every    American    to    live    out    their    full potential   and   be   able   to   contribute   to   our   society   in   a meaningful   way. As   a   very   recent   cancer   survivor   who still   has   to   fight   to   prevent   its’   return,   I   will   join   you in   that   fight,   and   when   we   win,   your   legacy   will   be secured    for    all    eternity,        and    most    importantly, instead   of   being   embarrassed,      we   all   will   have   made America   great   not   just   again,   but   we   will   have   made America great for the future and for all time! Carl   Jeffers   is   a   Los Angeles   based   columnist,   TV   political analyst,   radio   commentator,   and   a   national   lecturer   and business    consultant.            Jeffers    is    President    of    Intelli Marketing Associates.
Intelli Marketing Associates, Inc. 3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604 General  Office: (206) 781-1047

Huffington Post Article Published 09-13-17:

President Trump And Racial Politics