We the Democrats of Shelby County, Iowa--from the great towns of Defiance, Earling, Elk Horn, Harlan, Irwin, Kirkman, Panama, Portsmouth, Shelby, Tennant, Westphalia and all points in between--are glad you're here! Come on in! Join us. Participate in the ongoing story that is the Democratic Party. There's room for all. We turn nobody away. The Future awaits!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2015
Back when I was kid in the 1970s there was a program that was syndicated on KETV Channel 7 out of Omaha, Nebraska that aired once a week after the late local news on Mondays. It was called All-Star Wrestling. As the title suggests, it was a program featuring professional wrestlers from around the Midwest.
A company call Geraspeed sponsored the broadcast. Joe Zweiback was the maker and pitchman for Geraspeed. During breaks between wrestling matches, he would tell you all the wonderful benefits that were to be gained by taking a capsule of Geraspeed every day. His commercials were the perfect complement to the actual wrestling matches.
I remember the gallery of wrestlers like it was yesterday: Cowboy Bob Ellis, Stan Pulaski, Iron Mike DiBiase, the Avenger, Mad Dog Vachon, Irish Pat O'Connor, Verne Gagne. There were many more.
After every match, the victor would be interviewed. There were the "good-guy" wrestlers who always gave calm, sensible interviews promoting some upcoming match in some midwestern town or city, and than there were the "bad-guy" wrestlers. These were the villains, the ones that you hissed and booed at. Their interviews were loud, bombastic and filled with braggadocio. They fought dirty and broke the rules whenever the referee wasn't paying attention.
It was a show. Even a young kid would eventually catch on. I know I did. These were showmen. Good athletes in their own right, but they were performing for the crowds and cameras.
And now we have Donald Trump. All-Star Wrestling meets politics. It, too, is a show. Trump is no different than those "bad-guy" wrestlers I remember. He's loud and bombastic. He brags all the time. He attacks his opponents and anyone he deems his inferior--which is almost everyone.
But there is one critical difference: Trump is running to be the leader of the free world, backed by a personal fortune that enables him to speak without a filter. He is Trump unplugged, and it is an ugly sight. He is, in fact, the quintessial "ugly American."
One need go no further than his immigration policy. Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads as follows:
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
This section of the amendment grants birthright citizenship. Anyone born here is citizen. That's been the accepted norm since this amendment passed in 1868. Trump wants to repeal this section of the amendment. He wants to end birthright citizenship, along with several other Republican candidates for president. Of course, one can't repeal just a portion of an amendment with the wave of a magic wand. Congress can't do it. The courts can't do it. An executive order from the president can't do it. Only a new amendment to the Constitution could accomplish that which Trumb seeks.
If this were done, what would be the criteria? The press has yet to pin Trump down. Would the amendment be retroactive? Would it take citizenship away from those who already have it? If so, how far back would it go? Would it take away citizenship retroactively from the descendents of freed slaves? What about Europeans who came here and were never documented? My own grandmother came here illegally from Austria. To accomplish Trump's aims, his new amendment would simply have to have some degree of retroactiveness built into the language.
Aside from the 19th Amendment--Prohibition--the Constitution has never been a document that takes away rights. This new amendment that Trump supports would do just that. And let's not be coy. Trump is only interested in those undocumented workers coming from Mexico. Trump has already stated his intention to round up all the undocumented workers and deport them, eleven to twelve million people.
How would that work? Would the INS be smashing down the doors of homes in the middle of the night and rousting the occupants within, forcing them into the streets, forcing them to lie facedown on the pavement? Would each undocumented person be driven down to the border individually? Or would they be concentrated and processed in camps around the country? What would become of their wealth and property acccumulated in the United States? Would it be confiscated and used to build Trump's super wall on the border?
Does anyone find this imagery disturbing? Or reminiscent? Let's add Trump's own campaign slogan to the mix. He says he wants to "Make America Great Again." Well, since immigration seems to be the centerpiece of Trump's plan to accomplish this goal, he must believe that eleven million people from Mexico who are here without documentation must be responsible for America's woes as perceived by Donald Trump.
"Yeah!" scream his supporters. They're to blame. Does this ring a bell?
The Republican base is no longer content to be the base. They are moving upward to higher levels. Trump is taking them there as he builds his latest tower. His tenants are angry and stoked with jingoism. They have their guns and believe God is on their side. They have their latest savior in Donald Trump. The Bible is his favorite book, after all--although he can't name a favorite story or verse and is unsure if he's an Old or New Testament guy.
At first, the Trump candidacy had its amusing aspects. It doesn't anymore. He is an apalling candidate who cites his high poll numbers as if they were Nielsen Ratings and testimony to his fitness for the highest office in the land. He is so reprehensible that he's masking all the extremist tendencies of his fellow Republican rivals. Compared to Trump, they may almost seem reasonable.
Don't believe it.
The Republican Party has spent nearly seven years blocking and bashing President Obama. Anything he has supported, they have opposed to the point of absolute unreasonableness. They have treated him with the utmost disrespect. They have ridiculed him relentlessly. They have humiliated him whenever possible. They have questioned his own citizenship incessantly. They have engaged in a slow-motion lynching of his presidency, and in so doing, they have profoundly disrespected and denigrated the very office of the presidency to such a degree that Republicans en mass feel that anyone can be president--even a buffoon with a big mouth and big wallet like Donald Trump.
They have created this specter called Donald Trump, and now he's rampaging across the political landscape, chewing up the scenery and spitting out the likes of Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker like so much unpalatable political fodder. We're all going to need to take our Geraspeed to get through this nonsense.
Shelby County Co-Chair
GO OUT AND DEMOCRAT!
POSTSCRIPT: I apologize for not updating this site in a long time. Life has a way of intruding as it did for me last December and January when I lost my parents suddenly and unexpectedly. They were the two best people I have ever known, and I miss them very much. Because of them, I am a Democrat and proud of it.
I have updated the site with new content in the media and links areas. I have also updated the candidates section to include our Democratic candidates for president. Let's move on. There's work to do.
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