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Donald J Trump’s Big Gamble

 

Will his actions speak louder than his words?

 

by Lawrence J Fedewa, April 15, 2018

In language, style and actions, Donald J. Trump is commonly described as “a different kind of President”.  His advocates tend to believe that he is “still learning how to be a politician”. He detractors believe that he is now and ever will be an incompetent President. As the great ethicist, H. Richard Niebuhr, used to say, “People are generally correct in what they affirm, and wrong in what they deny.” In the case of Mr. Trump, it is true that he is learning, but not how to be a politician. It is true that he is not going to change, but wrong that he is incompetent.

The basic truth about Mr. Trump is that he is deal-maker. What he is learning is not how to become a politician, but how to make deals with politicians. He has publicly scorned the deal-making capabilities of politicians, but he is now in their world, so he has to learn how to make deals with them. A more conventional description of this process is “building a coalition “around each major initiative.

He has learned that the sweet spot of most politicians is their electability at the time of an election. He has already indicated that he intends to have a very active campaign schedule for the 2018 mid-term elections. To the extent that his campaigning is successful, of course, he will build political capital. The opposite is also true. Unlike most of the politicians he interacts with, his core competence is making deals rather than attracting voters. The fact that he has done as well as he has with attracting votes is a tribute to his natural charisma and his experience as a media personality rather than his political know-how.

So, what is different about a deal-maker? The script for Mr. Trump’s approach to dialog is contained in his book, The Art of the Deal.

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The controversies around school shootings

A UK interviewer asks for insight into American approaches to the tragic shooting in a Florida school.http://bit.ly/2HLBVs3    (22 minutes)

What about DACA?

 

 Lawrence J. Fedewa (January 29, 2018)
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) originally referred to a program invented by President Barrack Obama in 2014. It granted a temporary authorization to stay in the U.S. to children whose parents came to the United States illegally and who are thus officially classified as “illegal aliens”. Since this was an Executive order, not a law, its existence is dependent on the continued authorization of the new administration. For DACA to become the permanent law of the land, both Houses of Congress and the president must sign off on it.
Republicans have opposed this Executive Order because they believe that the illegal actions of the parents should not be rewarded with citizenship, but rather punished for breaking American law and therefore deported to their country of origin – presumably along with their children (although this position has been softening recently). They call the Obama position “amnesty” and fear that ratification of that policy will create an incentive for more illegal immigration, in defiance of American law.
There are an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 children of illegal immigrants living in America today, although no truly reliable estimate exists. There may be more, perhaps as many as a few hundred thousand more. What should we to do with them?

“When knights surrender their swords, beasts shall devour maidens” – Paul Bois

By Lawrence J. Fedewa, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
This is the title of a piece by Paul Bois in the Daily Wire (October 17, 2017), the controversial Ben Shapiro’s conservative blog. This striking title raises yet another aspect of this month’s emotional outcry concerning the sexual ab of women. That is the question, “Where are the men who know about these abuses and do nothing?” Bois follows a different track, but my interest is – why don’t the men who know about this behavior defend these women? I attribute their silence simply to cowardice, whatever the source.
However, the issue is so much more complex. The basic reason a man doesn’t challenge a sexual predator who is in a position of power – perhaps his boss – is the same reason the women submit, namely self-preservation. If she refuses to submit, or files a complaint afterwards, she risks retribution from the abuser, non-support from whatever authorities she might inform, a possibly permanent reputation as a “trouble-maker” or worse, and the consequent ruin of her career. The same risks face a man who tries to stop the predator. That knight frequently surrenders his sword when he accepts a dependent position on the predator. Not always. Some guys remain stubbornly independent no matter their position. But they, like the women they are supporting, also frequently pay the price.
The underlying issue here is the belief prevalent in certain sectors of our society that aggressive behavior toward women is a sign of masculinity, often accompanied by the idea that women secretly love this treatment and that their protests are simply required by social norms.  Complicating the matter is the fact that some women really do want to be treated this way.
This brings up the issue female behavior. The modern American woman may be sexually aggressive herself, under the belief that any dependency on men is a limitation on her self-reliance. It seems a safe bet that there will soon be cases making news of men being sexually harassed by powerful women. We may soon see gender equality in this area as well as others.
Another aspect of this situation is the fashions in women’s dress. I don’t believe I have ever heard a woman admit that women dress for men. Always they steadfastly maintain that women dress for women. It is hard to believe that women long to see each other in near-naked swim suits, skin tight pants, low cut shirts, and other styles which leave little to the imagination. No matter the real answer to that question, however, men are all around these scantily clad women. So, whatever the women’s motivation, these styles give men the impression that women who dress in this way do so to attract attention to their bodies, and the people most interested in their bodies are men. This “sex appeal” really does stimulate appeal to the opposite sex. In certain industries, such as, entertainment and sports, men are expected to live in an atmosphere of constant stimulation while pretending not to notice.
Then there is the issue of conviction by the press. It appears that, if a woman has any reason to make trouble for any man, all she has to do is come up with a convincing story, hire Gloria Allred who will arrange a TV interview, and within days the accused male will be called upon to resign post haste. No presumption of innocence, no depositions, no trial, no defense, no judge, no jury.  Just go! The job of discovering evidence, assessing credibility, placing blame – all now goes to the press.
Clearly, this way of handling these accusations is neither fair nor ethical. But what is the proper way these accusations should be handled? While individual cases may differ, there are some basic guidelines any policy decisions should follow:
  1. Any institutional policy (including government) should be fair to both parties. The days of assuming that any female complainant is at fault have to be over. Women (and men, for that matter) should be reassured that their complaint will be accepted with respect and given a fair hearing. The complainant is the victim not the perpetrator.
  2.  The punishment for such behavior should fit the offense. The press is equating misdemeanors the same as felonies.  Not all unacceptable actions are equal. The woman who recently filed a complaint against a man who told her she was beautiful is not talking about rape.
  3. Victims should be encouraged to speak to their friends about the event, and to report to authorities as soon as feasible. The informed friend(s) should be encouraged to accompany the victim.
  4. There must be procedures in every venue to deal properly with all such occurrences. Many are not criminal offences, and these should not be made public until some official action by the company, office, church, club, or whatever group is responsible for the principals has been taken to determine the facts. The press should be responsible only for reporting the news, not for adjudicating the news.
  5. Finally, laws and procedures must be devised to deal quickly with these complaints. Time is not the friend of the victim or the accused.
These considerations are, in my opinion, applicable to the Franken and Conyers cases as much as to anyone else. The fact that they both resigned without seeking due process can only be interpreted as admission of guilt. The same reasoning applies to the other cases which seem to be appearing on a daily basis. Trial by the press is never an acceptable procedure.
 Although sexual abuse has been happening forever, now is our time to face up to it and, as a society, come up with appropriate solutions. Sexual abuse of women joins a growing list of painful sins which have haunted our generation, including the Catholic priest scandal, the military treatment of females, the human trafficking crimes, and the abortion tragedies. These and other gender-related practices have surfaced in this new world of ours and it is up to us to create the social norms and procedures to pass on a more moral society than we inherited.
© Richfield Press, 2017

 

Will there ever again be peace in this valley?

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – Wednesday, June 26, 2017

This country is in the most disruptive turmoil since the end of the Vietnam War. The most visible antagonists seem to be the President on one side and the media on the other. By “media”, I mean everyone from news organizations to comedians, to movies, to the theater. Everyone who has access to any form of media seems to have a grudge against the President. On the other hand, his so-called “counter-punching” especially through his tweets, adds fuel to the fire with nearly every tweet. (Fighting for the national soul by “tweeting” should at the least tweak our sense of humor.)

So, why not? At least more than the usual suspects are passionately involved in political dialog. A whole new population is suddenly watching every step the media will let them see.  A side effect of this newfound political passion, however, is the abandonment not only of objectivity, but even of common sense. At the extremes, we have attempted assassinations, riots and domestic terrorism.  Less dangerous perhaps, but nearly as disturbing is the utter contempt many on both sides hold for the other. This is not the America we want to live in.

What has happened to us? How did we come to this sorry state?  What we have at this moment in American history is a clash of cultures, a true culture war. It did not happen overnight. This “war” has been brewing for a long time. What is different about today is its eruption into the open, into everyday life and discourse.

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Obama’s Legacy & Trump’s Future – Dr. Larry Fedewa

“The Police Academy” is a program for law enforcement personnel, and hosted perhaps the most comprehensive interview I have done to date. Link:
https://www.policeacademypodcast.com/podcast/2017/4/6/obamas-legacy-trumps-future-dr-larry-fedewa
Here is the summary:
In this episode, Dr. Larry discusses everything from American politics, to the retribalization of America, to our founding fathers fighting for American ideals; from the history of Islam and Christianity, to the fight against ISIS today. Buckle up and enjoy the show!

A Family Discussion of Mr. Trump

Cousin May blasts President Trump

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Monday, March 13, 2017

A few weeks ago, my column discussed the opponents to Mr. Trump. I divided them into three groups: the true believers, the pragmatists, and the anarchists. Among the pragmatists, I referenced “a church full of relatives”. The excerpt was as follows:

“The pragmatists see everything differently. These people are not extremists. They believe that the status quo ante has worked quite well for the past 50 years, and they do not want to see it replaced with something different which may not work as well and which is therefore a leap in the dark.

“I have a whole church full of relatives who are solidly anti-Trump but are certainly not extremists. They are lifelong Democrats, solid citizens in a Midwestern state (Michigan) which has been governed with few exceptions by union-backed governors and senators ever since the Depression. They are against Mr. Trump because they don’t like his style but primarily because they don’t understand him and don’t agree with what they do understand, a lot of which comes from the heavily biased media. Most Democratic politicians also fall into this category.”

This comment drew the following response from Cousin May:

“I enjoyed reading your recent commentary. I am not so sure I fit into the category you have placed your “church full of relatives”. I am devastated by the election of Donald Trump and have decided to quell my angst by taking action and communicating as much as possible with our elected officials.

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