North-South

To the Editor:
One wishes Gen. Kelly had elaborated the compromise he thought possible to prevent the Civil War.  The  economy of the South, its “way of life”, was dependent on slave labor (and White Supremacy) while, in the North, the abolitionist movement was gaining religious and humanitarian impetus.  Compromise on either side was impossible on the issue.  When the South opted to secede, Lincoln acted initially to preserve the Union, with abolition coming only later during the war.  During Reconstruction, Democrats gained the edge in the South, Republicans in the North.  When Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act through Congress, the two parties switched regions, but the North-South divide continues to this day.  The unfortunate aspect of Kelly’s remark is its Trumpian nod to Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy.
Robert Porath

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Gun Rights

To the Editor:
Sigmund Freud is not the most popular voice of reason in today’s psycho-chemical approach to controlling mental illness but it is undeniable that his psychosexual theories of sublimation and extension of elemental sexual anxiety can be applied to America’s fascination with guns, dating even back to the passage of the 2nd Amendment and the taming of the frontier, essentially Mother Earth.  Applied to Donald Trump, with his succession of trophy wives, his long red ties, his sexual braggadocio, his quest for adulation, and fascination with wealth and glamour,  Freud’s insights shine a light on his concern about the size of his hands.  It is more than a bit disconcerting that those same hands do command America’s military might and that his finger hovers above the nuclear trigger.  Hopefully his fiery rhetoric is just that, only rhetoric.

                Robert Porath

Fake, fake, fake!

Donald Trump made the first splash in his campaign for President with a “fake news” story that Obama was not born in America. Now he and his supporters cry, “Fake News!” at any reporting not favorable to him or his message, particularly in regard to the Russian involvement in his campaign. Looking past the tacit racism underlying the questioning of Obama’s “Americaness”, the claim of fake news has become a political tool to confound and confuse public perception of what may or may not be factual. A truthful evaluation of the Republican effort to Repeal and Replace Obama’s Affordable Care Act would term it the Fake Health Care Act in its denial of quality health care for those less fortunate, which also exposes the Fake Christianity of Republican politicians who choose to ignore the teachings of the Beatitudes. Through it all, it reveals that Donald Trump is a truly Fake Savior of America’s Greatness.

Robert Porath

A Guiding Thread

To the Editor:
If there is a guiding thread through the maze of incoherence and distraction created by the ascendency of Donald Trump to the Presidency, it points to a plan that America be governed not on democratic principles but as an autocratic fascist oligarchy.  With a Cabinet filled with retired generals, CEOs, and billionaires, it is no wonder the President so admires Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs.  Further, the Supreme Court decision on Citizens United cleared the way for the unlimited power of wealth to influence American politics, which sits well with the Libertarian/Republican desire for a limited, deregulated “small government”.  This is a government not of the People but one by and for a wealthy elite.
Robert Porath

The Dung Beetle Congress

To the Editor:
The Republican Party’s Repeal and Replace Obamacare efforts are rooted firmly in Social Darwinism, aka, the survival of only the fittest, as well as the Calvinist belief that being wealthy implied being in God’s favor, and the economic elitism of Ayn Rand. If you are poor, disabled, or otherwise unfortunate in life, your medical care is of no concern to the powers that be. Watching the slow determined slog of their attempts to push a bill to fruition through the halls of Congress brings to mind the image of a dung beetle resolutely rolling a ball of dung to its nesting place. One has to admire the dedicated and seemingly cheerful labor it applies to its task. That its prized possession has value to no one but itself is clearly not the beetle’s concern.
Robert Porath