The Founding Fathers Have Their Say …

The Founding Fathers, as we call them, united 13 disparate colonies, fought for independence from Britain and penned a series of influential governing documents that steer the country to this day.  I’ve often wondered over the past three years what they would think if they were to drop back in now and see what has become of the nation they founded.

LO AND BEHOLD!  They have not only popped in for a quick visit, but they even made a video to tell us just what they think of the current occupant of the Oval Office!  Take a look … I think it will bring a smile to your face, if nothing else.

Very well done, don’t you think?

Trump’s Next Career!

Folks, I have exciting news!  I have finally figured out what Donald Trump is!  Everyone in the world has some calling, some talent or skillset that makes them better suited for one job or another.  Some people are fortunate enough to be able to engage in a career that matches their talents and skills to a paycheck.  Others, unfortunately, are not so lucky, as in the case of Donald Trump.

Trump has tried and failed at many things in his lifetime, although he would deny that he was a failure.  He has tried being a casino owner, a real estate mogul, a television persona, a beauty pageant moderator, and now a politician.  None of these are the jobs that Donald Trump was cut out for, but I have found his niche for him!  He is cut out to be a stand-up comedian!

Remember Rodney ‘I don’t get no respect’ Dangerfield?  Or what about Don Rickles, Steve Martin, Redd Foxx, Andy Kaufman … Seinfeld … the list goes on and on.  I think Trump could fit right in with these guys, for his one liners are classic first-timers.

On Tuesday, ahead of the special election in North Carolina for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives from District 9, Trump held a … well, I think it was more of a campaign rally for himself, but he claimed that the republican candidate Dan Bishop, who was trailing in the polls, had asked him to come and stump for him.  Seems, though, that Trump made it all about himself, as is so often the case.  Anyway, in reading some of his comments, I was bowled over!  No, not by his honesty and integrity … wake up!  He has none … but rather by how humorous … how utterly laughable were the things he said!  And in front of a crowd of about 6,500 people, too!  Take a look at a few, with my natural snarky responses in blue

  • “They’ll say, you know, George Washington had a great election, too. The fake news, right? The fake news.” (Truth is that Washington did have a great election, having been elected unanimously.  No other president since has come into office with a universal mandate to lead.)

  • “They tried to do the recession thing, you know they tried the Russia thing. That didn’t work. They tried many other things. I always say, the media and their partner, the Democrats.” (Can’t you just picture Don Rickles saying that?  🤣🤣)

  • “Those statements are a little bit, sort of not too good. Huh? What is the word we want to use here? A little — no. No. No. They’re pushing a little hard and it’s not — it’s not working.” (WTF??? A “little bit, sort of not too good”?  That’s what my 4-year-old son used to say when he didn’t like what I fixed for supper!)

  • “Tomorrow is your chance to send a clear message to the America-hating left — and it’s got to be — and by the way we’re building that wall and it’s going up very big.” (One of a comedian’s best tricks is to change boats in mid-stream, but … I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done with such dizzying speed!)

  • “Did Don Jr. give a good speech? I heard that. They all said he was on fire. Well, he’s fighting. He loves his country. My son loves his country.” (🤣🤣 Junior’s speech was last month in Pikeville, Kentucky, and some 200 people attended.  In fact, the “crowd” was so sparse the organizers made everyone move to the very front, so it would look like the stadium was packed!)

  • “So now it’s just different and now it’s working the other way and tariffs are a beautiful thing when you know how to use them. They’re a beautiful thing.” (Tariffs are beautiful?  Who knew?  That’s like saying the Boston Strangler was a beautiful guy!)

  • “Well, every inch of wall that we put up is vital and we’re putting up miles and miles and we intend by next year at the end of the year to have anywhere between 400 and 500 miles of wall built and this is serious wall. This is the real deal. Serious wall.” (Serious wall??? As opposed to … what … humorous wall?  Funny wall?  Ay chingada!!!)

  • “I was even (ready) to stand out in the rain and get my hair soaking wet, but they said it was a little bit out of your district. But it’s my hair. May not be great, but I will say it’s better than most of my friends who are the same age. A lot better. A lot.”  (His hair, in and of itself, is a the joke of the century!!!  Even Boris Johnson’s isn’t as bad as Trump’s!  🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣)

  • “We have screens and loudspeakers and everything. It’s really amazing what’s going on out there. But after years of building up other countries we are finally building up our country, that’s the bottom line.” (Say WHAT???  Are the screens and loudspeakers something he’s never seen before?  And … is he using them to “build up” the U.S.?  How?)

  • “Did you ever really sort of feel where you don’t even have to treat people nicely? You don’t have any choice, you have to vote for me. I can leave right now.” (Please, yes, DO leave right now!  Go!  Find your spotlight in the late night talk shows!  You will make a killing!  And don’t worry – you won’t even have to treat people nicely – not that you’d know how anyway.)

  • “In fact, we are keeping even more promises by far than we made or than we promised, so many more. So many more. So many more.” (Are we all scratching our heads and rolling our eyes yet?  🤷 🙄 )

  • “We had to do something and you know budgets are fine. I love budgets and we’ll get to that. Don’t worry about it but we had to rebuild.” (Awww … he loves budgets.  Isn’t that just the sweetest thing you’ve heard?  Nothing to see here folks, just a bit of re-building, slashing of democratic norms, no big deal!)

  • “Boom. Boom. Made in the USA. If you want Made in America, I don’t care. What do you like better? Made in America or Made in the USA?” (Um … does he even understand the difference?  Personally, I will go with “Made in Japan/France/Soweto” at the moment)

  • “Under the normal rules, I’ll be out in 2024 so we may have to go for an extra term.” (This has to be the funniest one yet, don’t you think?  If he tries it, I swear I will go buy my own AR-15 and take him OUT!)

  • “I’m not a vain person. But I look better under an incandescent light than these crazy lights that are beaming down on us.”  (Sorry, folks, but this has taken it from 🤣 to 🤢.  Donnie – forget the career as a humourist … perhaps you’d do better as a … a … sorry, I got nuthin’. I’ve never in my life seen an uglier person than he.  Pocky skin, ugly fake hair, and a humongous wobble-belly.)

Well, that’s about all I can take of his brand of ‘humour’, my friends.  I had initially thought to tell Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and the two Jimmys — Fallon and Kimmel — to take a back seat to the newest comedian in town, but … let’s face it … this one isn’t funny, he’s just pathetic.

Happy National Honesty Day!

I began getting a daily email of the “National Day” events a few months ago, for our friend Ellen occasionally teased me for not knowing that it was a certain “National Day” on the calendar. It has become a nightly ritual for me to read off the many national days on a nightly basis, to my girls, and we have a bit of fun over such things as National Hug-a-Plumber Day, National Shrimp Scampi Day, etc.  However, as I was reading off the National Days last night, one in particular caught my eye.  I pondered, and daughter Chris said she could smell the wheels turning (a bit of rust … the wheels need to be oiled).

National Honesty Day is celebrated on April 30 in the United States to encourage honesty and straightforward communication in politics, relationships, consumer relations and historical education. It was invented by M. Hirsh Goldberg, who chose the last day of April for two reasons. First, since the first day of that month, which is April Fools’ Day, celebrates falsehoods. Second, it is the anniversary of the First inauguration of George Washington on April 30, 1789.

Trump-pinocchioBy now, I’m sure you know where my mind is headed, yes?  Interestingly, this month, according to The Washington Post Fact Checker, Trump logged his 10,000th lie since taking office!  I debated writing a little made-up conversation with Trump in which I asked questions and he answered honestly, since it is Honesty Day, but even when I allowed my creativity to flow freely, I simply could not imagine him telling the truth.  So, instead I thought I’d feature a few ‘toons related to the subject.  But first, a bit of related trivia I came across:

  • According to Times Dispatch, a recent Gallup poll found that nurses are the most honest people. In contrast, lobbyists, salesmen, and members of Congress are supposedly the least honest people. (This was from 2012, in the ‘pre-Trump era.)

  • Book-of-LiesAccording to Goldberg’s book The Book of Lies: Fibs, Tales, Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed The Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives, the average person lies about 200 times a day with lies including omission and white lies.  (Seriously???)

  • According to a poll conducted by London’s Science Museum upon 3,000 British citizens, the average British man tells three lies a day, while the average woman tells two lies a day. The average lie for a man is “I didn’t drink that much!” and for a woman it is “Nothings wrong, I’m fine”. Also according to the poll, people are more than likely to lie to their mothers.

Trump-lie-1trump-lie-2Trump-lie-3Ed Wexler / Cagle CartoonsBruce Plante Cartoon: Trump's "Best People"Donald Trump lies

Trump-lies-8

And my own personal favourite …

Trump-lie-7

Let’s Raise the Bar …

I have an idea that I would like to propose: Any candidate running for federal office – either Congress or President/Vice President – should have to take and pass the U.S. Citizenship test.  It should be requisite.  If it were, I can guarantee you that Donald Trump would not be in the Oval Office today, for much of the citizenship test pertains to history and the U.S. Constitution, and Donald Trump is relatively illiterate in both areas.  A few examples of his grasp on historical details:

  • Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president [Macron], so what about Napoleon? He said: “No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.” The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death.
  • “I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person but he had a big heart. He was really angry that he saw with regard to the Civil War, he said ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”  (Jackson died 16 years before the beginning of the Civil War)
  • “I am very proud now that we have a museum on the National Mall where people can learn about Reverend King, so many other things. Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”   

And those are but a few examples of Trump’s grasp of history.  Nada.  I knew more by 4th grade than he knows at age 72.  Why?  Did they not teach history in that fancy military school his daddy sent him to?  Or was he simply not smart enough to learn?  Sad.

Back in May 2016, I wrote a piece titled Why Goats Can’t Vote, about the U.S. Citizenship test and how only 62% of U.S.-born citizens can pass the test.  One of the comments on that initial post was from my UK friend Bushka:

“Always been amazed by this phenomenon…Even Presidents are known to lack such simple knowledge…..No Names!!!”

Fitting, don’t you think?  I was thinking about this tonight and I thought it might be interesting to see just how Trump would fare.  Let’s give him a few questions and see how he does, shall we?  The following are actual questions from previous citizenship tests. Trump’s answers are in his favourite colour, red.

What is the supreme law of the land?
the Supreme Court 
the Bill of Rights
the Declaration of Independence
the Constitution

The correct answer is “the Constitution”.

The idea of self-government in in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?
We the Government
The President is
We the People
The Founding Fathers

The correct answer is “We the People”.

Citizenship Study Questions 1-20
What is an amendment?
a change (to the Constitution)
an addition (to the Constitution)
both a and b
none of the above

The correct answer is “both a and b”.

What do we call the first ten amendments to the Constitution?
The Bill of Rights
The Ten Commandments
The Bill of Laws
The Preamble to the Constitution

The correct answer is “The Bill of Rights”.

What is freedom of religion?
Religion has power over the government
You can force anyone to participate in your religion
You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion
Religion should not exist, and all citizen should be free from it

The correct answer is “You can practice any religion, or not practice a religion”.

What is the “rule of law”?
Everyone must follow the law, except the leaders
Everyone must follow the law, except the government
Only Congress is above the law
Everyone must follow the law, leaders and government must obey the law, and no one is above the law.

The correct answer is “Everyone must follow the law, leaders and government must obey the law, and no one is above the law”.

Well, well, well … looks like Bushka was right, eh?  To his credit, Trump got #3 half right, so I can give him a half point, which brings his score up to 8%.  This ‘man’ could not even become a citizen of the nation he is in charge of! I was pleased that I got them all right … I actually took 20 of them and got them right … so even I am more qualified to be president than Donald Trump!  Hmmmm …

Seriously though, folks … I understand why the framers of the Constitution set very few eligibility requirements for president:  one must be 35 years of age, a resident “within the United States” for 14 years, and a “natural born Citizen”.  That was in 1787, and the framers already knew they were writing the rules for George Washington to become the first president. Looking to the future, they set the age requirement in order to ensure a mature man (women weren’t even allowed to vote or own property back then, so they didn’t count) would be elected.  The citizenship requirement was simply to keep Alexander Hamilton, who was born in the West Indies, from becoming president.  Our constitution is an 18th century one developed for a newly independent British colony.  And it worked well for a number of years.  But this is the 21st century and times have changed.  Just as we amended the Constitution to allow women to vote and to abolish slavery, it is time we amend it to set a higher standard for the presidency.

Until the Trump presidency, we didn’t question the eligibility requirements, for we had men who were well qualified, who had studied not only law, but also English grammar and history.  But today that is not the case.  Take a look at a few recent presidents:

  • Bill Clinton had a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University, a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar. In addition, he had experience in government, having served as Governor of Arkansas for 11 years.
  • George W. Bush had a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in history from Yale University, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School, and he had served as Governor of Texas from 1995-2000.
  • Barack Obama double-majored in college, earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and English Literature from Columbia University, graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School, served as an Illinois State Senator from 1997-2004, and as a U.S. Senator from 2005-2008.

Compare to Donald Trump who has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Wharton School of Business, four draft deferments, nearly 6,000 lawsuits, numerous sexual misconduct allegations, and six bankruptcies to add to his résumé.  No relevant education, no relevant experience.  What were people thinking when they voted for him?

There are portions of the U.S. Constitution that need to be updated.  The electoral college is one, and I will cover that in a future post, but the qualifications for the head of the government, the man with the most power, seriously need to be upgraded and brought into the 21st century, preferably before the 2020 election.  At the very least I would expect degrees in political science and/or international relations, and at least four years relevant experience.  This nation cannot afford another Donald Trump, or even another four years of this one.  Let’s raise the bar.