Will Courage, Integrity And Caring Save Our Country On November 5th?

By Donald A. Collins | 28 March 2024
Church and State

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Extreme confusion seems to abound about where the US should be heading as we move forward into the most important Presidential election in our lifetimes.

Much wise advice has been presented but many of us have been sidetracked by the complexity of the issues thus losing the ability for many citizens to discern what will best result in our maintaining the moral standards that brought us to being the most successful and important nation in the history of the world.

Clearly homo sapiens are far from perfect and the above paragraph is not meant to ignore US multiple human shortcomings.

In fact, addressing those shortcomings provides the best opportunity to suggest how we could improve outcomes within our democratic system.

A list of examples will be vigorously debated but serious improvements will require the 3 qualities in my title and the political ability to excise the demonic powers that stand against progress.

Let’s start with gun control laws as defined in the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution. How about banning ownership of automatic arms such as MR 15s! No chance of getting that passed as Virginia’s Governor Glenn Lumpkin bridled at obviously needed changes as he vetoed a bill to remove automatic weapons.

Lest you get too optimistic about the negative tenor of questions by Justices on the 3/26 Mifepristone case, read this cautionary piece by Jessica Mason Pieklo of the Rewire Group:

Reading too much into Supreme Court oral arguments is always risky, but after Tuesday’s oral arguments in FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, it really seems as if the conservative legal movement’s most brazen and political attack on medication abortion may have hit a snag.

Despite a well-orchestrated legal campaign against the Food and Drug Administration and “chemical abortion” brought by Erin Hawley and Alliance Defending Freedom, there’s a decent chance the justices decide that the anti-abortion doctors and dentists don’t have enough legal standing to bring this challenge now. I’m using cautious optimism here.

What was clear Tuesday, both outside the Court and inside during arguments, is that no matter how the Court rules in this case, abortion pills—and especially pills by mail—are here to stay.

For a little over an hour, advocates and the justices wrestled with questions around legal standing, causation, and whether to resurrect the Comstock Act in response to FDA efforts to make medication abortion more accessible in the United States. What was left unsaid, however, was that pills by mail have changed abortion access in ways the anti-choice movement and its accomplices in the federal courts will never fully undo.

Yes, the courts may succeed in shifting the legal landscape around the availability of abortion pills, but no court ruling has the power to take away access and knowledge around self-managing abortions with pills. None.

That will be an important truth to remember should the early signs from Tuesday’s arguments prove to be false and the justices ultimately rule to roll back medication abortion access. A decision isn’t expected until sometime in June.

The vicious campaign against women’s rights goes back forever not only in the USA.

To repeat, Trump gets the most credit for destroying the reputation of the Supreme Court with his appointment of 3 ideological Justices to augment 3 others to form a long-term right-wing court who might still attempt to ban Mifepristone, which now allows women to terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks.

While at thus point it is almost redundant to cite the obvious, an article dated July 14, 2015 by Mark Russell entitled “Trump displays shameful lack of integrity” has it right earlier than most.

Russell said,

That concept has been defined as “. . . the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” as well as denoting “. . . the state of being whole and undivided.”

By any definition the recent rhetoric of presidential candidate Donald Trump is the antithesis of integrity. It’s been indicative of serious moral lapses in both his words and in the muted responses of his fellow contenders.

Initial reactions to Trump’s outrageous assertions about the character of people from an entire nation were met with silence, muted criticisms and dismissively tolerant apologetics that he was just being himself.

Here is what Trump said: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. . . They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Victoriana History Magazine, writing of immigration to America in the 19th century, noted that, “The Irish were stereotyped as uncivilized, unskilled and impoverished and were forced to work at the least desired occupations and live in crowded ethnic ghettoes. Irish immigrants often found that they were not welcome in America; many ads for employment were accompanied by the order “No Irish Need Apply.”

Imagine the outrage that would have ensued had any candidate for president said, “When Ireland sends its people, they’re sending people that drink excessively, they’re bring in crime, but I assume some are good people.”

Trump’s opened his campaign on a platform of bigotry just one day before crazed killer Dylann Roof. driven by his own bigotry, slaughtered nine innocents in a Charleston, S.C., church.

When Senator Elizebeth Warren announced her intention to run for President in 2020 she offered a list of things she would do to repair our democracy after Trump if she were elected which certainly would have been worthwhile.

Here are a few:

ADDRESSING THE CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

On day one of my presidency, I will take aggressive steps to root out the corruption and incompetence of the Trump administration and to hold that administration accountable. I will:

  • Remove all political appointees. Rooting out the corruption in our government starts with wiping the slate clean on political appointments. Donald Trump gave influential, high-ranking positions to his donors, friends, and political allies. I will ask for the resignations of all political appointees, including U.S. Attorneys, save only those positions necessary to preserve continuity and protect national security during the transition period.

  • Prevent political appointees from burrowing into career positions. The law outlines clear rules that help prevent political appointees from circumventing standard hiring practices and “burrowing” into the government by converting from a political appointment into a career position. I will strengthen enforcement of rules around conversion from appointed positions to career civil service to root out officials who attempt to burrow into agencies.

  • Establish a Justice Department Task Force to investigate corruption during the Trump administration and to hold government officials accountable for illegal activity. Donald Trump has run the most corrupt administration in history. He was impeached for withholding foreign aid in an effort to try to benefit his re-election campaign. He has enriched himself and his business through the power of his office. And there are public reports of potentially illegal corruption in every corner of his administration. If we are to move forward to restore public confidence in government and deter future wrongdoing, we cannot simply sweep this corruption under the rug in a new administration. That’s why I will direct the Justice Department to establish a task force to investigate violations by Trump administration officials of federal bribery laws, insider trading laws, and other anti-corruption and public integrity laws, and give that task force independent authority to pursue any substantiated criminal and civil violations. I have also committed to establishing a task force to investigate accusations of serious violations by immigration officials during the Trump era.

  • Review the performance of independent agencies and remove leading officials for cause where there is justification to do so. For good reason, the heads of independent agencies can only be removed for cause — for example, if they neglect their duties or engage in malfeasance while in office. My administration will review these agencies and determine whether any of these agency heads warrant removal for cause — and I will not hesitate to use my for-cause removal authority if the facts justify it.

Warren concludes here presentation with this paragraph: “Donald Trump’s presidency has been a dark period in American history. That period won’t end just because Donald Trump has left office. If we want to write a new chapter in the American story — one in which the government and economy actually work for the people — we will have to cleanse the corruption from our government and urgently act to appoint officials who will bring integrity to public service.”

Read all her ideas here.

President Biden has certainly brought integrity back, illustrated particularly by his appointment of a completely independent Department of Justice Attorney General Merrick Garland and has conspicuously kept hands off in Garland’s pursuit of Trump’s crimes. Garland also appointed a Special Counsel to deal with the Hunter Biden case which remains thorney matter for both Bidens.

Finally, I refer to the wisdom of Martin Luther King who opined “You Can’t Legislate Morality; You Have to Change Hearts First”.

Read the source of this quote here.

On March 26 about the time the Supreme Court was hearing arguments about Mifepristone, the distinguished Senator and Presidential VP candidate Joseph Lieberman died. His courage, integrity, and caring about our highest values seems to have virtually disappeared from the vast majority of GOP House members in Congress.

Former GOP House leader Liz Cheney exhibits those qualities as she puts her country ahead of her political career in calling out Trump.

A Trump election this year would keep our government’s morality sinking into a fascist swamp from which it could prove almost impossible to resurrect our democracy!!!!!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?”, “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”, “Can Our U.S. Survive 8 Plus Billion of Us”, “Economic Growth: A Cancer on all Earthly Life”, “On the Precipice of Political Disaster in 2024” and “Democracy at Red State Risk”.

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