Is Democracy A Dying Species?

22 10 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The United States has the purest form of democracy in the world.  Does this mean that it is perfect, and without flaws?  Certainly not.  But we are blessed by our Founders’ inherent wisdom, which has stood the tests of time.  Years ago, I wrote:

I believe in this country, and I believe in Americans of all colors, faiths and backgrounds. The United States is the only true melting pot in the world, with its populace representing a United Nations of the world’s peoples. Yes, we fight and we even discriminate, but when times are tough—like after 9/11—we come together as one nation, which makes this country so great and special. Also, all of us or our ancestors came here from somewhere else. Even the American Indians are descended from those who crossed the Bering Strait—or the “Bering land bridge”—according to anthropologists.[2]

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has asked the question that is the title of this article:

What happens when democracy fails to deliver? What happens when people give up on democracy?

What happens when a majority or militant minority decide that the constitutional rights of free speech, free elections, peaceful assembly and petition are inadequate and take to the streets to force democracy to submit to their demands?

Our world may be about to find out.

Chile is the most stable and prosperous country in Latin America.

Yet when its capital, Santiago, recently raised subway fares by 5%, thousands poured into the streets. Rioting, looting, arson followed. The Metro system was utterly trashed. Police were assaulted. People died. The rioting spread to six other cities. Troops were called out.

President a Sebastian Pinera repealed the fare hike and declared a national emergency, stating, “Chile is at war against a powerful, implacable enemy who does not respect anything or anyone and is willing to use violence and crime without any limits.”

How does a democracy that has spawned within itself a powerful and implacable enemy deal with it?

Last week, tens of thousands of Lebanese of all faiths and political associations rioted in Beirut and Tripoli to demand the overthrow of the regime and the ouster of its president, speaker of parliament and Prime Minister Saad Hariri. All must go, the masses demand.

In Barcelona, Friday, half a million people surged into the streets in protest after the sentencing in Madrid of the secessionists who sought to bring about the independence of Catalonia from Spain in 2017.

In all of China, few enjoy the freedoms of the 7 million in Hong Kong. Yet, for five months, these fortunate and free Chinese, to protest a proposal that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China, stormed into the streets to defy the regime and denounce the conditions under which they live.

These protests have been marked by riots, vandalism, arson and clashes with police. “Hong Kong streets descended into chaos following an unauthorized pro-democracy rally Sunday,” writes the Associated Press. Protesters “set up roadblocks and torched businesses, and police responded with tear gas and a water cannon. Protesters tossed firebombs and took their anger out on shops with mainland Chinese ties.”

What are the Hong Kong residents denouncing and demanding?

They are protesting both present and future limitations on their freedom. The appearance of American flags in the protests suggests that what they seek is what the agitators behind the Boston Tea Party and the boys and men at Concord Bridge sought — independence, liberty and a severing of the ties to the mother country.

Yet, because the Communist regime of Xi Jinping could not survive such an amputation, the liberation of Hong Kong is not in the cards. The end to these months of protest will likely be frustration, futility and failure.

Perhaps it is that realization that explains the vehemence and violence. But the rage is also what kills the support they initially received.

In 1960s America, the first civil rights demonstrations attracted widespread sympathy. But the outburst of urban riots that followed in Harlem, Watts, Newark, Detroit and 100 cities after Martin Luther King’s assassination sent millions streaming to the banners of Gov. George Wallace in the campaigns of 1968 and 1972.

When the “yellow vest” protests broke out in 2018 in Paris, over a fuel tax, the demonstrators had the support of millions of Frenchmen.

But that support dissipated when protesters began smashing windows of boutique shops on the Champs-Elysee, assaulting police and desecrating monuments and memorials.

This reversion to violence, ransacking of stores and showering of police with bricks, bottles and debris, is costing the protesters much of the backing they enjoyed. In the trade-off between freedom and order, people will ultimately opt for order.

Yet, one wonders: Why are these outbursts of violent protests and rioting taking place in stable, free and prosperous societies?

Chile is the most stable and wealthy country in South America. Catalonia is the most prosperous part of Spain. Paris is hardly a hellhole of repression. And Hong Kong is the freest city of China.

If the beneficiaries of freedoms and democratic rights come to regard them as insufficient to produce the political, economic and social results they demand, what does that portend for democracy’s future?

For, despite the looting, arson and attacks on cops in Hong Kong, Xi Jinping is not going to order his satraps to yield to popular demands for autonomy or independence. Nor is Madrid going to accept the loss of Barcelona and secession of Catalonia. Nor is the conservative Chilean government going to yield to the street rebels and revolutionaries. Nor is Paris going to back down to the “yellow vests.”

Yet, one wonders: If the “end of history” and worldwide triumph of democratic capitalism thesis has, as most agree, been disproven, is it possible that the Age of Democracy is itself a passing phase in the history of the West and the world?[3]

Americans have not given up on democracy at all.  While many are at odds with their fellow citizens about the direction that our great nation should take, they are exercising their rights of free speech dramatically, for an often-troubled world to see.  Is it a pretty sight?  Is democracy in action an edifying experience?  Not always, but it is a sign that our great democracy is functioning.  

The rifts in our body politic cut across lots of fracture lines: Donald Trump or no Trump[4]; abortions or no abortions[5]; foreign wars or no foreign wars[6]; the admission of illegal immigrants or none[7]; man-made “global warming,” or one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated on Mankind by the “eco-Nazis”[8]; — . . . and the list goes on and on.

If one person could be said to have been at the very heart of the cleavages in our society today it is the racist and anti-Semite Barack Obama, who did more than any other president to resew the seeds of racism in America today, and to divide this country along fault lines that are “fragile” in the best of times.[9]  By leading the treasonous efforts to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump, there is no doubt that Obama engaged in sedition, which is consistent with his character.[10]

Pat Buchanan was correct when he observed that “the rage is . . . what kills the support they initially received”—and we have seen all of this before (e.g., during the Vietnam War era), and survived.  George Orwell warned about it in his prescient Animal Farm, where all of the animals were considered equal until the Pigs accreted power and control, and subjugated the other animals (or “disbelievers”) until they reigned supreme.[11]

Abraham Lincoln and his trusted generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, dealt with the harsh realities of divisions within our great nation that might have torn it asunder—and they prevailed.[12]  At times, the forces of division (and of evil and darkness) must be destroyed, not simply defeated.  Nothing less will suffice. This was certainly true of Adolph Hitler and his “Thousand-Year Reich.”

Lastly, Pat Buchanan was mistaken in the conclusion of his article above.  In the United States, the Left is being given enough rope to hang itself, like its alter egos did before.  And most Americans are myopic: they are focused on their own lives, and do not really care what goes on in the world outside—as long as it does not affect them—which is understandable.

 

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-19-9-27.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/america-a-rich-tapestry-of-life/ (“America: A Rich Tapestry Of Life”) (citing http://www.philstockworld.com/2009/10/11/greenspan’s-legacy-more-suffering-to-come/ and http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/2951-ilene/31177-interview-with-timothy-d-naegele)

[3]  See https://buchanan.org/blog/is-democracy-a-dying-species-137638

[4]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/this-is-war-abraham-lincoln-and-ronald-reagan-understood-this-and-donald-trump-does-too/ (“This Is War—Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan Understood This, And Donald Trump Does Too”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/impeachment-may-become-the-singular-obsession-in-washington-and-dominate-news-coverage/ (“Impeachment May Become The Singular Obsession In Washington, And Dominate News Coverage”)

[5]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/abortions-and-autos-kill-more-in-america-than-guns/#comment-3298 (“55 Million American Babies Killed Since Roe v. Wade“—”One can only conjecture as to the contributions they would have made, which are forever lost like the contributions of more than 60 million human beings who were killed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and their thugs”)

[6]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/the-middle-east-is-not-americas-fight/ (“The Middle East Is Not America’s Fight”)

[7]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/ (“Illegal Immigration: The Solution Is Simple”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[8]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/a-34-trillion-swindle-the-shame-of-global-warming/ (“A $34 Trillion Swindle: The Shame Of Global Warming”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)

[9]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/is-barack-obama-a-racist/ (“Is Barack Obama A Racist?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the articles); but see https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/03/edward-w-brooke-is-dead/ (“Edward W. Brooke Is Dead”)

[10]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”)

[11]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_Farm (“Animal Farm“)

[12]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”)

 

 





When Will The Actual Shooting Begin In America’s Second Civil War?

24 09 2019

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

The title of this article is a “loaded question,” which we hope and pray never happens.  However, the Democrats have launched impeachment against our President, which moves us one step closer to a bloody internal war.[2]  And yes, Trump supporters—including law enforcement and our military—are armed to the teeth, like they were when Abraham Lincoln was the president and our last Civil War began.

Acts of sedition have been underway since before our national elections in 2016.  Barack Obama and his fellow treasonous co-conspirators embarked on a concerted effort to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump, which continues to this day.  When will they be held accountable, and imprisoned at the very least?  Until this happens, no American should believe in our system of justice, because it does not exist.  It is a fable and a fantasy, and a tragedy of epic proportions.[3]

On two other occasions in my lifetime, similar events have happened, when our great nation was torn asunder.  One involved the Vietnam War and the hatred leveled at former President Lyndon Johnson.  There were bumper stickers on cars in the District of Columbia that asked: “Where is Lee Harvey Oswald now that we really need him?—referring to John F. Kennedy’s assassin, and suggesting that Johnson should be killed too.  The second event involved Richard Nixon and Watergate, where the hatred of him reached a fever pitch.

Today, the country is polarized in a manner approaching that of our last Civil War, when America was torn apart and barely survived.  If Abraham Lincoln had not been our president, it likely that the United States would not exist as a nation today, but might be two or more countries, occupying North America.  Lincoln and his generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman[4], turned the tide and won the war, at an enormous cost in human lives.  For decades after that. America’s South functioned as a defeated nation within the United States, much like East Germany—or the DDR—existed in a united Germany after the fall of the Soviet Union.

From the moment that Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, he has been attacked by the Left and despicable RINOs like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan on the right[5], and by the Left-leaning American media.  The attacks have been relentless, without ceasing.  In a very real sense, Trump is America’s first truly Independent president, who is beholden to neither political party, and attacked by elements in both.  His very presence has been and continues to be a threat to Washington’s “establishment” and power structure, and to the goals of globalists in the United States and abroad.  As I have written, the Democrats are “evil” but smart, while the Republicans are “Neanderthals” and dumb.  This was my conclusion when I left the U.S. Senate, and it has never changed and continues to this day.

I began as a Democrat in a devoutly-Republican household, where my parents “idolized” Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon.  However, working on and with Capitol Hill for most of my adult life led me to the conclusion that I did not want to be a member of either political party.  I have been an Independent ever since.  Lots of Americans in our great nation’s “Flyover States” have felt disenfranchised; and Donald Trump has captured their beliefs and been their leader since his presidential campaign began.  Is the man perfect?  No one is, but he embodies the hopes and dreams of vast numbers of Americans who elected him in 2016 and may reelect him in 2020.  Will his enemies, domestic and foreign, accept that result; or will his presidency be besieged until it runs its course?

The latest attacks on the President have been discussed by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—in an article entitled “Will ‘Ukraine-Gate’ Imperil Biden’s Bid?”:

With the revelation by an intel community “whistleblower” that President Donald Trump, in a congratulatory call to the new president of Ukraine, pushed him repeatedly to investigate the Joe Biden family connection to Ukrainian corruption, the cry “Impeach!” is being heard anew in the land.

But revisiting how this latest scandal came about, and how it has begun to unfold, it is a good bet that the principal casualty could be the former vice president. Consider:

In May 2016, Joe Biden, as Barack Obama’s designated point man on Ukraine, flew to Kiev to inform President Petro Poroshenko that a billion-dollar U.S. loan guarantee had been approved to enable Kiev to continue to service its mammoth debt.

But, said Biden, the aid was conditional. There was a quid pro quo.

If Poroshenko’s regime did not fire its chief prosecutor in six hours, Biden would fly home and Ukraine would get no loan guarantee. Ukraine capitulated instantly, said Joe, reveling in his pro-consul role.

Yet, left out of Biden’s drama about how he dropped the hammer on a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor was this detail.

The prosecutor had been investigating Burisma Holdings, the biggest gas company in Ukraine. And right after the U.S.-backed coup that ousted the pro-Russian government in Kiev, and after Joe Biden had been given the lead on foreign aid for Ukraine, Burisma had installed on its board, at $50,000 a month, Hunter Biden, the son of the vice president.

Joe Biden claims that, though he was point man in the battle on corruption in Ukraine, he was unaware his son was raking in hundreds of thousands from one of the companies being investigated.

Said Joe on Saturday, “I have never spoken to my son about his various business dealings.”

Trump and Rudy Giuliani suspect not, and in that July 25 phone call, Trump urged President Volodymyr Zelensky to reopen the investigation of Hunter Biden and Burisma.

The media insist there is no story here and the real scandal is that Trump pressed Zelensky to reopen the investigation to target his strongest 2020 rival. Worse, say Trump’s accusers, would be if the president conditioned the transfer of $250 million in approved military aid to Kiev on the new regime’s acceding to his demands.

The questions raised are several:

Is it wrong to make military aid to a friendly nation conditional on that nation’s compliance with legitimate requests or demands of the United States? Is it illegitimate to ask a friendly government to look into what may be corrupt conduct by the son of a U.S. vice president?

Joe Biden has an even bigger problem: This issue has begun to dominate the news at an especially vulnerable moment for his campaign.

Biden’s stumbles and gaffes have already raised alarms among his followers and been seized upon by rivals such as Cory Booker, who has publicly suggested that the 76-year-old former vice president is losing it.

Biden’s lead in the polls also appears shakier with each month. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has just taken a narrow lead in a Des Moines Register poll and crusading against Beltway corruption is central to her campaign.

“Too many politicians in both parties have convinced themselves that playing the money-for-influence game is the only way to get things done,” Warren told her massive rally in New York City: “No more business as usual. Let’s attack the corruption head on.”

Soon, it will not only be Trump and Giuliani asking Biden questions ab[o]ut Ukraine, Burisma and Hunter, but Democrats, too. Calls are rising for Biden’s son to be called to testify before congressional committees.

With Trump airing new charges daily, Biden will be asked to respond by his traveling press. The charges and the countercharges will become what the presidential campaign is all about. Bad news for Joe Biden.

Can he afford to spend weeks, perhaps months, answering for his son’s past schemes to enrich himself through connections to foreign regimes that seem less related to Hunter’s talents than his being the son of a former vice president and possible future president?

“Ukraine-gate” is the latest battle in the death struggle between the “deep state” and a president empowered by Middle America to go to Washington and break that deep state’s grip on the national destiny.

Another issue is raised here — the matter of whistleblowers listening in to or receiving readouts of presidential conversations with foreign leaders and having the power to decide for themselves whether the president is violating his oath and needs to be reported to Congress.

Eisenhower discussed coups in Iran and Guatemala and the use of nuclear weapons in Korea and the Taiwan Strait. JFK, through brother Bobby, cut a secret deal with Khrushchev to move U.S. missiles out of Turkey six months after the Soviets removed their missiles from Cuba.

Who deputized bureaucratic whistleblowers to pass judgment on such conversations and tattle to Congress if they were offended?[6]

Next, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon has written an article for The Hill, which is entitled “Let’s get real: Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections”:

Earlier this month, during a bipartisan meeting in Kiev, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) delivered a pointed message to Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

While choosing his words carefully, Murphy made clear — by his own account — that Ukraine currently enjoyed bipartisan support for its U.S. aid but that could be jeopardized if the new president acquiesced to requests by President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani to investigate past corruption allegations involving Americans, including former Vice President Joe Biden’s family.

Murphy boasted after the meeting that he told the new Ukrainian leader that U.S. aid was his country’s “most important asset” and it would be viewed as election meddling and “disastrous for long-term U.S.-Ukraine relations” to bend to the wishes of Trump and Giuliani.

“I told Zelensky that he should not insert himself or his government into American politics. I cautioned him that complying with the demands of the President’s campaign representatives to investigate a political rival of the President would gravely damage the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. There are few things that Republicans and Democrats agree on in Washington these days, and support for Ukraine is one of them,” Murphy told me today, confirming what he told Ukraine’s leader.

The implied message did not require an interpreter for Zelensky to understand: Investigate the Ukraine dealings of Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and you jeopardize Democrats’ support for future U.S. aid to Kiev.

The Murphy anecdote is a powerful reminder that, since at least 2016, Democrats repeatedly have exerted pressure on Ukraine, a key U.S. ally for buffering Russia, to meddle in U.S. politics and elections.

And that activity long preceded Giuliani’s discussions with Ukrainian officials and Trump’s phone call to Zelensky in July, seeking to have Ukraine formally investigate whether then-Vice President Joe Biden used a threat of canceling foreign aid to shut down an investigation into $3 million routed to the U.S. firm run by Biden’s son.

As I have reported, the pressure began at least as early as January 2016, when the Obama White House unexpectedly invited Ukraine’s top prosecutors to Washington to discuss fighting corruption in the country.

The meeting, promised as training, turned out to be more of a pretext for the Obama administration to pressure Ukraine’s prosecutors to drop an investigation into the Burisma Holdings gas company that employed Hunter Biden and to look for new evidence in a then-dormant criminal case against eventual Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, a GOP lobbyist.

U.S. officials “kept talking about how important it was that all of our anti-corruption efforts be united,” said Andrii Telizhenko, the former political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington who organized and attended the meetings.

Nazar Kholodnytsky, Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me that, soon after he returned from the Washington meeting, he saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election. That’s when two top Ukrainian officials released secret evidence to the American media, smearing Manafort.

The release of the evidence forced Manafort to step down as Trump’s top campaign adviser. A Ukrainian court concluded last December that the release of the evidence amounted to an unlawful intervention in the U.S. election by Kiev’s government, although that ruling has since been overturned on a technicality.

Shortly after the Ukrainian prosecutors returned from their Washington meeting, a new round of Democratic pressure was exerted on Ukraine — this time via its embassy in Washington.

Valeriy Chaly, the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States at the time, confirmed to me in a statement issued by his office that, in March 2016, a contractor for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) pressed his embassy to try to find any Russian dirt on Trump and Manafort that might reside in Ukraine’s intelligence files.

The DNC contractor also asked Chaly’s team to try to persuade Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to make a statement disparaging Manafort when the Ukrainian leader visited the United States during the 2016 election.

Chaly said his embassy rebuffed both requests because it recognized they were improper efforts to get a foreign government to try to influence the election against Trump and for Hillary Clinton.

The political pressure continued. Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in crucial U.S. aid to Kiev if Poroshenko did not fire the country’s chief prosecutor. Ukraine would have been bankrupted without the aid, so Poroshenko obliged on March 29, 2016, and fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

At the time, Biden was aware that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma, the firm employing Hunter Biden, after a December 2015 New York Times article.

What wasn’t known at the time, Shokin told me recently, was that Ukrainian prosecutors were preparing a request to interview Hunter Biden about his activities and the monies he was receiving from Ukraine. If such an interview became public during the middle of the 2016 election, it could have had enormous negative implications for Democrats.

Democrats continued to tap Ukraine for Trump dirt throughout the 2016 election, my reporting shows.

Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior U.S. Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, worked in 2016 as a contractor for Fusion GPS, the same Hillary Clinton–funded opposition research firm that hired Christopher Steele, the British spy who wrote the now-debunked dossier linking Trump to Russia collusion.

Nellie Ohr testified to Congress that some of the dirt she found on Trump during her 2016 election opposition research came from a Ukrainian parliament member. She also said that she eventually took the information to the FBI through her husband — another way Ukraine got inserted into the 2016 election.

Politics. Pressure. Opposition research. All were part of the Democrats’ playbook on Ukraine long before Trump ever called Zelensky this summer. And as Sen. Murphy’s foray earlier this month shows, it hasn’t stopped.

The evidence is so expansive as to strain the credulity of the Democrats’ current outrage at Trump’s behavior with Ukraine.

Which raises a question: Could it be the Ukraine tale currently being weaved by Democrats and their allies in the media is nothing more than a smoke screen designed to distract us from the forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report into abuses during the Democratic-inspired Russia collusion probe?

It’s a question worth asking.[7]

“Ukraine-gate” and impeachment are simply the latest attempts by America’s Left to divert attention from their presidential candidates, who consist of misfits, freaks, racists and anti-Semites.

As these attacks on President Trump continue unabated and get even worse before next year’s elections, the country may be ripped apart and become more polarized than ever.  When will the actual shooting begin, and open warfare commence like our last Civl War?  Is it merely a matter of time?  Can our great nation heal and survive from such trauma?  If the past is any indicator of the future, the answer is “yes,” a resounding “yes,” but it will take time, perhaps lots of it—and there may be bloodshed aplenty.

And what are America’s enemies abroad thinking and doing?  Like our last Civil War, they would be wise not to get involved, or to take any actions that would be adverse to those of the United States.  This is true of China and North Korea; and it is especially true of Russia’s brutal dictator-for-life Vladimir Putin’s designs for all of Ukraine: “a key U.S. ally for buffering Russia,” to quote John Solomon.[8]

 

Bald Eagle and American Flag --- Image by © Ocean/Corbis

 

© 2019, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and Timothy D. Naegele Resume-19-4-29). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://apnews.com/a9a0bed9f81343b7a725a9adcd84e01b (“Pelosi orders impeachment probe: ‘No one is above the law'”)

[3]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/americas-left-is-vile-and-evil/ (“America’s Left Is Vile And Evil”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/29/barack-obama-is-responsible-for-americas-tragic-racial-divide/ (“Barack Obama Is Responsible For America’s Tragic Racial Divide”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/10/will-the-trump-presidency-conclude-in-2025/ (“Will The Trump Presidency Conclude In 2025?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/02/is-putin-right/ (“Is Putin Right?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/29/the-democrats-are-evil-but-smart-while-the-republicans-are-neanderthals-and-dumb/ (“The Democrats Are Evil But Smart, While The Republicans Are Neanderthals And Dumb”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/ (“The Mueller Report: A Monumental Travesty”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/the-state-of-our-union-2019/ (“The State Of Our Union, 2019”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/29/it-is-time-for-trump-supporters-to-fight-back/ (“It Is Time For Trump Supporters To Fight Back”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/the-american-lefts-feeding-frenzy/ (“The American Left’s Feeding Frenzy”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-department-of-injustices-inspector-general-is-complicit-in-the-deep-state-cover-up/ (“The Department Of Injustice’s Inspector General Is Complicit In The Deep-State Cover-Up!”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/ (“America’s Newest Civil War: 2017 And Beyond”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix”) (see also the extensive comments beneath each of these articles)

[4]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/03/21/ulysses-s-grant-an-american-hero/ (“Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero”)

[5]  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_In_Name_Only (“Republican In Name Only”).  Lots of us are ashamed of the fact that we voted for Romney and Ryan in the past.

[6]  See https://buchanan.org/blog/will-ukraine-gate-imperil-bidens-bid-137533 (“Will ‘Ukraine-Gate’ Imperil Biden’s Bid?”); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7492969/The-story-Bidens-son-Ukraine-Trumps-claims.html (“Hunter Biden got millions from overseas biz while his father was VP. Did Joe intervene to save him?”) and https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/sep/23/donald-trump-flips-ukraine-furor-joe-biden-son-hun/ (“Trump flips Ukraine furor on Biden, son”) and https://pagesix.com/2019/07/01/hunter-biden-started-dating-brothers-widow-right-after-crack-binge/ (“Hunter Biden started dating brother’s widow right after crack binge”) and https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2019/06/12/hunter-biden-married-los-angeles-woman-after-split-with-his-brothers-widow/ (“Hunter Biden’s messy personal life is back in the news. Will it cause political headaches for his dad?”)

[7]  See https://thehill.com/opinion/campaign/462658-lets-get-real-democrats-were-first-to-enlist-ukraine-in-us-elections (“Let’s get real: Democrats were first to enlist Ukraine in US elections”)

[8]  See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War”) (see also the extensive comments beneath the article)





Jefferson, Lincoln And America

22 03 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

Three books are worth reading about Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and America: the “Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson,” which was edited by his great-granddaughter, Sarah N. Randolph[2]; “Lincoln” by David Herbert Donald[3]; and “A History of the American People” by Paul M. Johnson.[4]

Jefferson was a giant, and the first book chronicles his extraordinary life through his letters and the letters of others, lovingly assembled and edited by Randolph.  At various points, the book is moving and tearful; elsewhere it is joyous and humorous. At all times, Jefferson’s seemingly-unlimited talents and brilliance, as well as his qualities as a decent human being and his erudition, shine forth.

The greats of American history come alive through their correspondence and Jefferson’s letters to George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe, Patrick Henry and Alexander Hamilton, to name just a few—along with the Marquis de Lafayette and Napoleon Bonaparte of France.  We witness firsthand the American Revolution, this nation’s founding, Jefferson’s years in Paris, the French Revolution, and his presidency.

Perhaps three things stand out most of all: the depth of his love for his family and the meticulous care with which he nurtured each family member; his love for Monticello and his desire to return there and be rid of the burdens of public office; and his relationship with Adams that, once breached, is finally restored at the end of their lives.

Remarkably, both presidents died on the 4th of July, 1826.  To paraphrase the words of Jefferson, two “Argonauts” sailed on, leaving this country forever changed and better because they had passed here.  “I steer my bark with Hope in the head, leaving Fear astern,” Jefferson wrote to Adams in 1816.  From being Secretary of State and Vice President to two terms in the presidency, involving the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Jefferson never lost his love for or his belief in this great country.

He was a farmer, scholar, scientist, diplomat, a leader and a politician.  He was an accomplished horseman who was faithful to his belief in the need for at least two hours of exercise each day.  He was a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather; and he loved music, birds and his gardens in Albemarle County, Virginia.  And he was an American.

In the second book, “Lincoln,” Donald writes brilliantly, and truly spans Lincoln’s life and gives one a sense of being there.  Perhaps most striking is how the tide of events carried Lincoln and changed his views (e.g., with respect to the slavery issue alone, from colonization to emancipation).  Also, Donald describes Lincoln as a master, very calculating politician, not unlike the politicians of today.  He was certainly not the folksy backwoods caricature that often is presented, although he used that to his advantage (e.g., to disarm opponents and garner support).

Despite being wonderfully researched, and spreading out the facts for all to see, one gets the sense that what truly made Lincoln “tick” was unknowable, from a deeply personal standpoint.  Having worked on Capitol Hill, my sense is that most senators are that way, possibly because they have been compromised again and again to reach high offices, and to be all things to all people.

Also, it was interesting how Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman “saved” Lincoln politically, while many of his other generals were either indecisive or utter buffoons.  Lincoln knew that changes were needed, but he was often hesitant to “rock the boat” and make them.  After his reelection in 1864, he seemed much more self-confident, which was cut short by his tragic death.  The reader is left to wonder what he might have accomplished during his second term.

When the book ends somewhat abruptly, one’s interest has been whetted.  It is only too bad that Donald did not do an appraisal of “what might have been.”  There is no question that Lincoln was brilliant, and he was really maturing as a political leader when he was killed.  What a remarkable four years might have followed.  Also, with essentially no protection at all, it is surprising that more leaders of that time were not killed by the John Wilkes Booths of this world.  Lincoln, God love him, was fearless and a true fatalist—or at least that is how Donald depicts him.

One is led to think about Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon, who was so important in Lincoln’s life, and his thoughts about Lincoln’s life and death.  Also, Grant’s memoirs—which are said to be the finest done by an American president—are wonderful to read, along with books about Reconstruction, the diaries of Lincoln’s two male “secretaries,” etc.

Years ago, I read an article about how one could only understand the Southern “mentality” by appreciating how conquered peoples—or the vanquished—have been able to survive throughout history under the rule of the victors; and Donald’s book sets the scene for that to take place.  Also, one cannot help but be impressed by what a monumental struggle the Civil War represented, and the human carnage that it left as well as the deep scars that remained.  This book is truly fascinating, and Donald provides a brilliant “birds-eye view,” which is well worth reading.

The third book is “A History of the American People” by Johnson.  For all of us whose ancestors came from distant shores, or however we ended up as “Americans,” this book is rich in details, events and trends that have been woven together to describe our history and what it means to be an American.  This reader gained a new sense of pride in what America is and how our history has evolved, and where we are apt to go as a people in the future.

The United States is a melting pot, or a rainbow of different colors, religions and ethnicities, and therein lies its soul, strength, creativity and diversity, and yes tensions.  Johnson’s weaving of minute facts into a tapestry that is “us” deserves to be read and reflected on by all.  We may not agree with each and every observation or conclusion, but we cannot help to be impressed by the sweep of history that Johnson chronicles and how he methodically marshals the facts into a remarkable and coherent whole, of which each of us is an integral part.

I only hated to see this book end—which was true of the other two books as well—and I wished that that I could read about the next 100 years of this “grand experiment” called democracy, but those pages are being written in history with each passing day, month and year.  While it took the arrival of a new millennium for Johnson to share this monumental undertaking with us, let us hope that similar brilliant works are forthcoming.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g.www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See http://www.amazon.com/Domestic-Thomas-Jefferson-American-Classics/dp/0804417598/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

[3] See http://www.amazon.com/Lincoln-David-Herbert-Donald/dp/068482535X/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

[4] See http://www.amazon.com/History-American-People-Paul-Johnson/dp/0060930349/ref=cm_cr-mr-title





Ulysses S. Grant: An American Hero

21 03 2010

By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

It is been said that Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs are the finest written by an American president, and this assessment may well be true, which is among the reasons why I wanted to read them.  Abraham Lincoln held Grant in very high regard, and credited both Grant and General William Tecumseh Sherman with winning the Civil War militarily and thereby preserving the Union.  Grant returned Lincoln’s respect and praise, both in the words that he wrote and in his decision not to become a presidential candidate in 1864—and probably become a very formidable rival, according to Lincoln’s keen political judgment.

It is a shame that Grant did not write about his own two-term presidency, and instead concluded his memoirs with the war’s end.  However, he died of throat cancer in 1885, twenty years after the “rebellion” ended and less than a week after completing work on the memoirs—which were written in large part to provide much-needed financial security for his beloved wife, Julia Dent Grant.  They accomplished their purpose, and were encouraged and edited by his friend, Mark Twain.

While I am not a student of the Civil War, nor of the other campaigns in which Grant served—all of which are discussed in great detail—his memoirs give the reader a window into the man and the war that wrenched and transformed this nation, and produced so much carnage on both sides.  Like Dwight D. Eisenhower and other famous generals, Grant concludes: “[T]his war was a fearful lesson, and should teach us the necessity of avoiding wars in the future.”

However, Grant adds: “To maintain peace in the future it is necessary to be prepared for war.  . . .  [U]nless we are prepared for it we may be in danger of a combined movement being some day made to crush us out.”  With respect to former slaves, Grant writes: “[H]e was brought to our shores by compulsion, and he now should be considered as having as good a right to remain here as any other class of our citizens.”

As to the future of our nation and the healing of its wounds, he concluded:

The war has made us a nation of great power and intelligence.  . . .  I feel we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great harmony between the [North and South].  I cannot stay to be a living witness to the correctness of this prophecy; but I feel it within me that it is to be so.  The universally kind feeling expressed for me at a time when it was supposed that each day would prove my last, seemed to me the beginning of the answer to “Let us have peace.”

The expressions of these kindly feelings were not restricted to a section of the country, nor to a division of the people.  They came from individual citizens of all nationalities; from all denominations—the Protestant, the Catholic, and the Jew; and from various societies of the land—scientific, educational, religious, or otherwise.  Politics did not enter into the matter at all.

Grant dedicated his memoirs to the “American Soldier And Sailor.”  And it seems true, as Geoffrey Perret has written, “he was modest, sensitive, generous, honest, and superlatively intelligent.  Grant’s courage, both moral and physical, was a matter of record.”  He lives on through his words and deeds, having saved a nation—albeit not being recognized fully as the American hero that he was.

© 2010, Timothy D. Naegele

Grant


[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass), the first black senator since Reconstruction after the U.S. Civil War.  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates (www.naegele.com).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years.  See, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles

[2] See http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Memoirs-Ulysses-Modern-Library/dp/0375752285/ref=cm_cr-mr-title








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