Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Conscience And the Trump Clause

 Before the second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump began, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Republican Senators that they could vote their conscience.  But did McConnell and other Republicans really vote their conscience?  Let's take a look at the definition of the word.





Conscience:  The knowledge of faculty by which we judge of the goodness or wickedness of ourselves.

Ref: A Dictionary of the English Language by Samuel Johnson, A. M. London, 1755





Conscience:  Internal, or self-knowledge, or judgment of right and wrong;  or the faculty, power or principle within us, which decides on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of our own actions and affections, and instantly approves or condemns them.

Ref:  An American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster, L. L. D. New York, 1828.




Conscience:  The internal acknowledgement or recognition of the moral quality of one's motives or actions; the sense of right or wrong as regards things for which one is responsible; the faculty or principle which pronounces upon the moral quality of one's actions or motives, approving the right and condemning the wrong.

Ref: A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles edited by James A. H. Murray, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889.

Note: This dictionary was originally printed in fascicles (parts) from 1884 to 1928. It was reissued as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in 1933.




Conscience:  The faculty of recognizing the distinction between right and wrong in regard to one's one conduct.  Conformity to one's own sense of right conduct.

Ref:  The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language edited by William Morris, New York: American Heritage Publishing Co. 1969


Down through the years, from Johnson's Dictionary, to Webster's Dictionary, to the OED, and then to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of the word conscience has not changed much.  But what has changed is that the word conscience has become meaningless to Republican politicians and voters who still follow Donald Trump.

Mitch McConnell and 43 other Republican Senators clearly did not vote their conscience in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.  After the voting was concluded, and Donald Trump was ruled not guilty of incitement of insurrection, McConnell stood on the Senate floor and said, "Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day."  Practically and morally responsible....

Mitch McConnell and the other Republicans are practically and morally responsible for letting Donald Trump get away with murder.  They are practically and morally responsible for letting Trump get away with an insurrection against the United States of America!   

Why?

Is it because of the Trump Clause?

In the current legal system, there is such a thing as the conscience clause: a clause in a law that relieves persons whose conscientious or religious scruples forbid compliance.

In the current political system, there appears to be such a thing as a Trump Clause: a clause that relieves Republicans from condemning the actions of Donald Trump. 

What is sad and even scarier is that the word conscience has become a meaningless word to millions of Republican voters as well.  The phrase, Let your conscience be your guide, no longer has any meaning to them.  And they are willing to vote for him again.  They believe in the Trump Clause:  Trump can do no wrong.











Sunday, January 31, 2021

1/6: Never Forget

Make no mistake about it.  The storming of the Capitol on 1/6 was a game changer.  It was an insurrection plain and simple.  It cannot be swept under the rug.  It was incited by the inflammatory words of Donald Trump, the defeated President of the United States, who, come hell or high water, ballots or bullets, was determined to stay in power.  Never forget!

Never before have the words "never forget" had such a profound meaning.  We shall never forget 9/11.  But here with 1/6, we are not talking about foreign enemies; we are talking about domestic enemies!  Think about that for a minute.  Enemies, foreign and domestic.  And never forget it.  We are literally talking about the enemy within.  And Donald Trump, the defeated President of the United States, incited his followers, the enemy within, to storm the Capitol, plain and simple.

Let that thought sink in.... And not just for a minute.  Never forget it.  Donald Trump, the defeated President of the United States, incited his followers to try to overturn the government, not by votes, but by violence.  

Donald Trump still wants you to believe the Big Lie.  That the election was a fraud. But think about this for a minute.  That there would be no doubt whatsoever about the result of the election, and paramount to that, that the vote count was completely accurate, the votes in 42 of the 50 states had a paper trail.  Moreover, the votes in all of the battleground states had a paper trail.   In Georgia, the ballots were counted and counted and counted.  And with the same result every time: Biden won the election. Trump lost.  Never forget that fact.

For the Republicans, the ones who want your votes, and for the ones who vote, it is no longer a question of country over party.  For some Republicans, it is simply a matter of personal integrity.  Liz Cheney is one of them.  And so are the thousands and thousands of Republicans who, since 1/6, have changed their party affiliation.  For other Republicans, it is simply a question of absolute loyalty to Donald Trump versus personal political suicide.  Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, is one of those Republicans.  RINO would be a better tag for him because Kevin McCarthy is a member of the Party of Donald Trump, plain and simple.  That is a fact.  Kevin McCarthy,  RINO, flew down to Mar-a-Largo the other day, stood next to Donald Trump, and cemented that relationship.  Never forget.

 With their votes, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minority Leader, and the other 44 Senators who voted that Donald Trump's second impeachment was unconstitutional, cemented their relationship with Donald Trump.  They belong, lock stock, and barrel, to the Party of Donald Trump.  Think about that for a minute. 45 Senators.  RINOS.  Donald Trump's second impeachment.  Will the RINOS let him off the hook this time too?  Will they try to sweep Donald Trump's involvement in the insurrection under the rug?  Will you let them?  Never forget.

Do the millions and millions of Republicans who voted for Donald Trump want to sweep the uprising of 1/6 under the rug?  If they do, they are RINOS, plain and simple.  There are no two ways about it.  They are the Party of Donald Trump.  They want to forget that 1/6 ever happened.    Hell!  They want us to forget that 1/6 ever happened!  That shall never happen!  Never Forget!  And never ever let them forget!



Sunday, January 17, 2021

America: The Butt of All Jokes

Thanks to Donald Trump, his enablers and his followers, America is the butt of all jokes.  Here are four photos a friend from Australia sent to me.









 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Enemies of the People

 January 6, 2021 will not go down in history as just another day of infamy during your presidency, Mr. Trump.  You incited your followers to storm the Capitol building to prevent the count and certification of the votes of the electoral college.  Sure, they delayed the count for six hours, but they did not succeed.  Congress reconvened and most of the Senators and Representatives fulfilled their constitutional duty to certify the results of the election.  Afterwards, you tweeted, through an intermediary,  that there would now be an orderly transition of power.  But you also said, it's only the beginning of our fight."  

You are wrong Mr. Trump.  You are toast! You and your followers, whom you love so much, have gone too far.  You need to be gone by the most expedient means available.  You could be impeached.  You could be ushered out via the 25th Amendment.  Or you could resign.  I don't care if you go out in a strait jacket.  But you need to be gone!

Four years ago, you took the only oath of office that is written in the Constitution:

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.

You did not faithfully execute the duties of the Presidency yesterday.  You did not preserve, protect, or defend the Constitution of the United States of America.  Instead, you sought to usurp the Constitution.  If the word, usurp, is not in your vocabulary, it means to take (a position of power or importance) illegally, or by force.  

I find it ironic that the words, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, are not included in your oath of office.  Especially when the domestic enemies were your very own followers.  Let's call a spade a spade.  Your followers yesterday were rioters, insurrectionists, traitors.  And yes they were one of your favorite phrases, enemies of the people.

You and you alone incited them to march up Pennsylvania Ave.  You and you alone are responsible for their actions. Hell, you are responsible for your own actions!  For by your actions,  you have violated your oath of office.  You sought to usurp the orderly transition of power.  You Sir, are an Enemy of the People.








Saturday, January 2, 2021

Begone Mr. Trump!




Find a new home Mr. Trump! New York doesn't want you.  Neither does Florida! And take your Proud Boys, QAnon, and your other deplorables with you! America has voted. You are the loser. America no longer wants you.

You should have been gone right after the Mueller Investigation. But your Attorney General William Barr saved your ass! No collusion! No Obstruction! That's what Barr said, and that's what you and your followers proclaimed. 

But over seven hundred former federal prosecutors signed a letter saying you would have been prosecuted for obstruction if you were not President.  If there were no obstruction, Mueller surely would have been able to prove that you and your intermediaries colluded with the Russians and helped them interfere in our elections.

You should have been gone right after the impeachment.   Yes, your "perfect" phone call. You withheld military aid for a country in a war with Russia in order to coerce its leaders to provide damaging material against a potential Presidential Primary candidate. 

But all but one of the Republican Senators saved your ass!  Afterwards, you became King Trump, all knowing and all powerful.  No one was willing to get in your way.

What was it you once said? "I alone can fix it." But you didn't fix it, did you?

You could have and should have fixed our country's response to the coronavirus! You, and you alone are responsible for too many Americans who have died from the coronavirus.  

All you had to do was to lead the country in fighting the coronavirus.  You should have echoed CDC guidelines and strongly recommended that Americans wear a mask and social distance.  You should have set an example and worn a mask yourself.  Instead, you made it into some sort of personal freedom on whether an American citizen should wear a mask or not.

You could have and should have enacted the Defense Production Act and provided the necessary PPE first response workers desperately needed.  Instead, the states had to compete against each other to acquire the necessary PPE.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett provides a timeline of your coronavirus responses on his blog. And it includes memos to you that Bob Woodward revealed in his book Rage.


Timeline of Trump's Coronavirus Responses



I mention Bob Woodward's book about you, so aptly titled Rage. Here is my review:




Rage is the second book that Bob Woodward has written about Donald Trump.  Fear was the title of the first book.  Donald Trump was disappointed with the first book, and complained that he was never interviewed for it.  At the time, Trump's staff would not give Woodward access to Trump.  For the second book, Bob Woodward was able to interview Donald Trump  no less than seventeen times, and queried Trump extensively about the problems confronting America and his Presidency.

During a television interview shortly after Fear was published, Woodward was asked to give his bottomline assessment of Trump's leadership.  Woodward replied, "Let's hope to God we don't have a crisis."  We had a crisis, the coronavirus.  In the midst of the coronavirus, we had the crisis over Black Lives Matter versus Trump's Law and Order.  And Woodward gave Trump every opportunity to explain his actions and inactions.

Woodward ends the book with the following paragraph:

"When his performance as president is taken in its entirety, I can reach only one conclusion:  Trump is the wrong man for the job."

                        ______________________________________________________



Here's my review of Woodward's first book about you, Fear: Trump in the White House


I posted my review on Sep 25, 2018 and ended it with this premonition:

"Yes, real power is fear. And I am afraid."
                        Jerry Morris

                                –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Yes,   I am still afraid! You lost the election but you still don't want to go!

You contested the election in the courts.  You lost.

You contested the election in the legislatures.  You lost.

You're contesting the election in Congress.  And you will lose....

You are only making things worse.  You are still President in name only.  You should resign.

You have done nothing whatsoever to curtail the coronavirus pandemic.  Leading up to the election, there were  9,297,353 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. And 231,599 Americans died during the pandemic.  

On the first of January the total number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus was a staggering 19,663,976. Even worse, 341,199 Americans have died from the coronavirus. 

Since the election, over 109,600 American have  died from the coronavirus.  All because of you.

Begone Mr. Trump!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

A Troubling Fact Regarding the 2020 Presidential Election

Joe Biden won the 2020 Presidential Election.  As a Democrat, that makes me happy.  As an American, that makes me even happier because President Biden will strive to get the coronavirus under control.  But what did disturb me regarding the coronavirus and this election is that more than 71 million Americans voted for Donald Trump. 

Granted, these Americans had a right to vote for Donald Trump.  And they exercised that right.  But what would have happened if Donald Trump had been re-elected?   Would he have turned around and instructed everyone to wear masks during this epidemic?  I don't think so.  He would have continued to do nothing to contain the coronavirus until the vaccine was readily available.  And how many more Americans would have needlessly died in the meantime?  Thousands.  Didn't these voters realize that?   And if Donald Trump had been re-elected, would these voters have been morally responsible for the thousands of Americans who would have needlessly died while waiting for the vaccine?  That is what troubles me.  

There is a May 2007 Irish Times article on the web titled "Voting is a Serious Moral Responsibility."  The gist of the article is that voters have the moral responsibility to vote for the candidate who can best take care of the welfare of their fellow citizens.



That, clearly, is my thinking.  Donald Trump refused to even try to control the coronavirus.  Because of that,  I believe the 71 million American who voted for him shirked their moral responsibility to vote for the best candidate.  Sure, one can argue, that controlling the coronavirus isn't everything.  That there are many more responsibilities of a President.  But, to me, life is paramount.  In our very own Declaration of Independence, life comes before liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Life matters.  And Donald Trump did nothing to safeguard American lives from the coronavirus.  It did not go away like he said it would.

The author of the newspaper article, Sean Fag├ín, wrote an interesting book in 1997 titled, Does Morality Change?  I already ordered a copy and it is on the way to me.  I'm hoping his book can shed some light on my understanding of moral responsibility in today's world.







Sunday, November 1, 2020

There Are No Coronavirus Liability Waivers For This Election

 


This picture says it all about the Trump presidency.  He refuses to take responsibility for the 230,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus during his watch.  And the Republicans in Congress have blindly followed his every misstep lock step and barrel.  They, too, take no responsibility for the situation our country is in.  Then there are the Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and who intend to do more of the same in 2020.  If they have their way, and if Donald Trump get reelected, we will have more of the same.  They need to take responsibility for the situation our country is in.

Things could have been different.  President Donald Trump could have controlled the spread of the coronavirus, and thus save thousands of American lives while doing it.  All he had to do was to listen to the scientists.   He could have recommended that everyone wear a mask and practice social distancing.   Instead, he ridiculed those who wear masks.  And he held political events in the People's Rose Garden, where social distancing most certainly was not practiced.  Of late, Donald Trump is holding last-ditch political rallies to try to save his presidency.  His followers, however, have to sign liability waivers because the Trump administration does not want to be responsible for anyone who contracts the coronavirus during these super spreader events.

The Republicans in Congress could have helped control the spread of the coronavirus, and thus save thousands of American lives while doing it.  They could have provided congressional oversight.  They could have steered the Trump Administration to do what was best for America.  They could have pressured Donald Trump to invoke the Defense Production Act to provide the much-needed personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers and other essential personnel.   They could have supported a national mask mandate. They could have passed a second Stimulus bill to provide financial aid to Americans and to the cities who so desperately need it.  Instead,  the Republicans in Congress have all but shirked their congressional oversight responsibilities.  They let the Trump Administration do what was best for Donald Trump.  As for the Americans in desperate need for financial aid, the Republicans let them down.  As for the cities in desperate need for financial aid that Congress failed to provide they will have to begin laying off healthcare workers and other essential personnel.

Then there are the Americans who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and who intend to do the same in 2020. Many of them could have worn masks in public, practiced social distancing, and thus saved countless American lives.  Instead, they brazenly flaunt local mask mandates, and social distancing recommendations. If they are asymptomatic, they are the unknowing super spreaders of the coronavirus.  They need to take responsibility for their actions.

Donald Trump could have won the upcoming election in a landslide.  Republicans in Congress could have retained their seats.  All Americans could have been proud of the way Donald Trump handled the spread of the conronavirus – if only he had listened to the scientists.

They say that this election is not just about Donald Trump versus Joe Biden.  It is about the future of America.  That is oh so true.  Think about it.  

What will happen if Donald Trump gets reelected?  As he has repeatedly said, will the coronavirus go away right after the election?  I don't think so.  Sure, we will eventually get a vaccine, but experts are saying that the public won't get the vaccine until the spring.  In the meantime, how many more Americans will die from the coronavirus?  Another hundred thousand?  Two hundred thousand? A quarter of a million Americans?  Do you think Donald Trump will suddenly tell everyone to wear masks?  I don't think so.  When it comes to the coronavirus,  we are looking at more of the same under a second Trump presidency.  And, mind you, the experts say, ""where the coronavirus goes, the economy goes."

What will happen if Joe Biden gets elected?  As he has repeatedly said, he will listen to the scientists.  He will suggest a national mask mandate on day one of his presidency.  That, coupled with increased rapid testing, contact tracing, and temporary lockdowns where necessary where and when necessary will save countless American lives.  And while the spread of the coronavirus is being controlled,  President Biden will work with Congress to restore the economy and build back better – especially if the Democrats take control of the Senate as well.  When it comes to restoring the economy, Joe Biden has the experience to do it.  He has done it before, after the 2008 financial crisis.  President Obama had Vice President Biden work with his former colleagues in Congress to restore the economy.  And restore the economy they did, even though it is Donald Trump who takes credit for it.

They say that most Republican voters wait until election day to cast their ballots.  If you are a Republican voter, I urge you –no, I plead with you –– to consider, I mean really consider –– who can best control the coronavirus in the coming months.  Your vote will determine how many more Americans will die from the coronavirus in the coming months.  You must take responsibility for your vote.  There are no coronavirus liability waivers for this election.