America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, December 7, 2018

With the midterm elections behind us, the question on most politicians’ minds is whether Donald Trump is likely to be re-elected in 2020. It’s clear that he has a loyal base of support that represents about one third of the electorate. He won in 2016 because rust-belt blue collar workers and suburban women joined that base. There was also broad disaffection with Hillary Clinton and an “I don’t like either one of them” mentality which caused many voters to abstain.

Trump proved adept at stirring up anger and confusion, easily disrupting whatever passed for a strategy among Democrats. His lack of regard for political norms, his willingness to make outrageous comments from which he never backed down, and his disregard of the truth served him well when appealing to voters who felt left behind or disenfranchised. Get people angry enough and they’ll overturn the establishment…

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America the Beautiful

November 30, 2018

Today, speaking for President Donald Trump, Sarah Sanders said, “The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax … probably undermine[s] our relationship with Russia.” After all the outrageous things she’s said on his behalf, that’s a pretty amazing statement. I can’t even characterize it. It’s obviously incorrect, a deliberate distortion of reality. On the other hand I wouldn’t classify it as something as routine as a Trump lie.

Like many people, I’ve paid close attention to the intricacies and nuances of Trump’s behavior, and I wonder if something more sinister and scary is going on. I fear Trump may be suffering from a case of circular Doublethink. I know it sounds funny, but I’m serious. “Doublethink” means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously and accepting both as true (http://www.orwelltoday.com/doublethink.shtml).

Doublethink isn’t just a literary device invented by George Orwell. It’s an insidious form of delusional thinking. When delusions lead…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 22, 2018

I’ve always considered Thanksgiving untouchable. For years it’s been the only American holiday that remained free of self-righteous religious preaching and self-important politicians, who were thankfully smart enough to realize that what we were most thankful for was not having to see or hear them for at least one day. Most of us would rather enjoy our families and friends, steeped in the warmth of our own personal spirituality.

Of course, it was different this year. Our self-loving president filled the airwaves with a military teleconference with some troops stationed in Afghanistan and Kuwait. It’s not uncommon for presidents to thank the military stationed overseas for their service on Thanksgiving. It’s always a staged, artificial event, because…well…presidents feel it’s something they’re required to do. Most don’t do ritual all that well, but we forgive their awkwardness because, after all, we really are thankful to the…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 20, 2018

If you long since gave up being shocked by anything Donald Trump does, you shouldn’t be surprised at his complete indifference to the crimes of the Saudi Crown Prince. “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, we’ll probably never know for sure,” was Trump’s reaction to the CIA’s near certainty that Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Instanbul last month.

If that triggers a feeling of déjà vu, it’s because it was the same refrain he used when the CIA told him Russia definitely hacked our 2016 election at the direction of Vladimir Putin. It was the same thing he said when Roy Moore, his favored candidate in Alabama’s special Senate election was credibly accused of assaulting teen-age girls, and when recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was similarly accused in sworn testimony by a California University Professor…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 12, 2018

Now that the Democrats have won back the House, what are they going to do with their majority? The Party’s performance in recent decades isn’t encouraging.

Nancy Pelosi, if she becomes Speaker, must quickly determine the House’s course for the next two years. She has three basic approaches from which to choose. She can attempt to negotiate bipartisan legislation with Trump and the Senate, obstruct the president’s agenda, or go down the path of investigating Trump with an eye toward impeachment. Whichever she chooses there can be no waffling. Once she picks a strategy she’ll have no choice but to see it through.

Above all, she must never trust anything Trump says, publicly or privately, and not rise to the bait he throws out with his tweets and hate-mongering rallies. Chaos is his friend. He will lie and mislead as he always has, his primary…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 9, 2018

The Sandy Hook massacre occurred almost six years ago. In case you’ve erased it from you memory, twenty-seven people, mostly young children, were gunned down by a heavily armed, mentally unstable young man because he was angry at his mother, who was one of the victims. Since then, the number of innocent people killed in shooting sprees in the United States is 391, with another 823 injured. Please take a moment to scan the table of deaths and injuries to refresh your recollection.

Sandy Hook wasn’t the first mass shooting of innocent people in this country, but I started there because that one was so horrific, most Americans thought it was the final straw. Surely Congress and the President would have to take some action to prevent this from happening in the future, wouldn’t they?

Guess not.

Thousand Oaks nightclub Thousand Oaks, CA 11/7/2018 12

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 5, 2018

Tomorrow, the nation will participate in the fifth midterm election since Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992 – at least some of it will. There are two very significant things everyone should know about mid-term elections.

First, they usually serve as a significant check on the actions and power of the current president. Presidents Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama all suffered devastating setbacks to their political agendas in their midterms, and the polls (I can’t write that word without cringing) suggest that might happen tomorrow.

Perhaps more important, and certainly more surprising, despite the sharp turnaround in national political attitudes that usually result from the midterms, turnout is always disappointing. In the first midterms held for each of the previous three presidents, the turnouts in percentage of eligible voters were: (1994) 38.8%, (2002) 37.0%, and (2010) 37.8%. That’s absolutely shocking.

After twelve years…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, November 2, 2018

When I began America the Beautiful, I selected the maxim “Dedicated to preserving what has made America great.” It wasn’t intended to be subtle. The truth is, I hate blogs. But I hate hypocrisy and anything else that denigrates our country even more. So I bit the bullet and somehow, I’ve managed to publish 160 articles since Trump was inaugurated.

I’m old enough to have followed Donald Trump’s career ever since he forced himself into the public eye, and I despised everything he stood for long before he was either a politician or a Republican. For Donald Trump to have adopted “Make America Great Again” as his campaign slogan was pure chutzpah, (which probably demonstrates that whatever else he is, he’s not anti-Semitic.) It’s no surprise to me that he doesn’t know America’s greatness had nothing to with ideas like winning at any cost…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, October 29, 2018

As you contemplate how you will vote this year, keep in mind that President Trump has characterized this election as a referendum on him. Of course it is. In Trumpland, everything is about him. Let’s go with that and look at the facts.

Trump and his Republican dominated Congress passed what the president called the largest tax cut in history for the middle class. But a recent poll commissioned by the Republican National Committee found that an overwhelming majority of voters believe by more than two to one that the tax cuts benefit the wealthy instead of average Americans. Only you know how it affected your taxes, but what you may not know is that as a result of the tax cuts, the gross federal debt increased by $1.25 trillion in FY 2018, and in FY 2019, which began on October 1st, the federal…

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America the Beautiful

Alan Zendell, October 15, 2018

Since the day he announced his candidacy for president, Donald Trump has relentlessly attacked the media. His initial attacks were completely unprovoked, as all of the major cable news channels devoted far more airtime to his campaign than anyone else’s. Those long, raucous rallies he conducted were covered live from start to finish with virtually no commentary.

Leading up to the 2016 primary elections, the media were united in their criticism of Trump’s campaign tactics – yes, even Fox News. Fox was the voice of the Republican establishment, and Trump was threatening to turn it upside down. When the media began criticizing Trump it was because of his divisiveness, his pandering to the most negative elements of our society, and his demonstrated attitude toward women. Also because millions of Americans old enough to remember World War II and its aftermath still cringed at the striking…

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