The Right Wing is NOT Republican

Republicans should use the Trump debacle as an opportunity to correct course and build a reasoned, principled, inclusive future

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President Reagan meeting with Senator John McCain in the Oval Office. July 31, 1986. Photo credit: Reagan Library Archives.

The 17 months of Donald Trump’s campaign for the presidency subjected the American public and the national discourse to a degrading obsession with personal insults, authoritarian threats, and overt cues to racist fringe politics. Since his election, Republican leaders have hoped he would “moderate his behavior” and begin to use rhetoric more befitting of an elected president.

He did not do this during the transition, and his first three weeks in office have demonstrated a near total disregard for anyone or anything that would limit his authority to act as he pleases, even where all evidence, and the law itself, are against him. Many conservatives now openly wonder what to do with someone who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but demands they follow his lead without question, even when he openly defames, dismisses or undermines their core values.

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New Jersey Special Voting Process Irregularities

After telling the people of New Jersey they would be able to vote in today’s election, in spite of severe impacts from hurricane Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration appears not to have taken adequate measures to support the new voting options promised. There are reports of downed servers blocking email applications for mail-in ballots, while county clerks responsible for responding appear not to be making needed information available to voters.

Ever suspicious of am arch-rival’s intentions, some progressives appear yo believe Gov. Christie intended the email ballot request process to be a trap, designed to disenfranchise voters, since New Jersey law in non-emergency situations forbids voting at polling stations once the request for a mail-on ballot has been sent.

My own personal experience supports anecdotal reports of blocked or overloaded processing at the county level. A request, with completed application, sent to the Monmouth County Clerk’s office has received no response at all… not even an automated email response to let me know the application had been received. Only one phone number associated with the County yielded a human voice. The kind woman knew nothing about what would happen, but had been told to give out two numbers which are not even in service—or, which are in service, but so overloaded, no one can get through and they automatically disconnect.

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Barack Obama: Radical Centrist, Responsible Leader in Difficult Times

Barack Obama is not your typical Democratic politician. He is not your typical politician, for that matter. In so many ways, some subtle, some resounding, he is unique. But what is perhaps the most important attribute of his politics is that his thinking is not rooted in relentless commitment to an ideological agenda. He is a centrist; he is a pragmatist; and, where he arrives at progressive policy solutions, he does so because he has reasoned through the value of those solutions.

In many ways, this has made him an ally to the progressive movement throughout his career, but it does not mean he will always follow the instructions of the progressive movement. He is a thinker, and that means he understands and benefits from a genuine comprehension of intellectual contributions to our deeper understanding of the world; that does not mean he is beholden to any particular intelligentsia. He believes public service is about thinking through real, human solutions to human problems.

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