Tag Archives: Kayleigh Mcenany

Trump puts Democracy on Notice

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Whenever I make the case against Donald Trump, I am subject to a barrage of, “what about Hillary” comments. As a Jewish American and strong supporter of Israel I’ve often been asked by those who oppose Hillary Clinton how I can choose her over Donald Trump.  Even if I am to  accept that she is not a friend of Israel, something I do not necessarily accept and another discussion irrelevant to my point, my answer has always been as follows.  A weakened American democracy is something that puts the whole world in danger and is something far more perilous for Israel than a president that does not support her.

This is no longer about which candidate you prefer to win on November 8th.  This is now about the future of democracy in the United States of America.  It is dishonest and irresponsible to put Donald Trump’s answers in convenient vacuums.  When the Republican nominee for president indicated at the 3rd and final debate that he would decide after the election on November 8th whether or not he would accept the outcome, this was not an isolated answer.  This was an answer from a man who is pushing a populist movement based on discontent, scapegoating and anger.  This is an answer from a man who has mocked people from almost every ethnic group.  It’s a man who has fired up the extreme right wing of the country. In his answer about the importance of the Supreme Court he honed in on the 2nd Amendment while once “joking” about how supporters of the 2nd Amendment could take matters into their own hands in stopping Hillary Clinton. I take umbrage with the comparison of Trump to Hitler, simply because you can’t compare a man who makes volatile and irresponsible statements to a murderous dictator guilty of the murder of millions of people including the slaughter of 6 million Jewish men, women and children.  However,that being said, that doesn’t mean any of this is good for democracy. That doesn’t take away from from his glib suggestion that his supporters take out his major opposition.

Trump is a high stakes gambler.  He personally has very little to lose by his effort to be president.  The problem is he’s been playing with house money, which in this case means the future of the country.   The only way what Trump has done turns out to be good for the country is if he wins and does a phenomenal job.  Two things that are seen as highly unlikely to a large segment of the American population.  For argument sake however, let’s play this out.  Trump wins, appoints the best advisers, defeats ISIS, stabilizes the Middle East, strengthens relationships with our allies, and orchestrates an historic economic boom.  If this were to happen, not only would American democracy be strengthened, the Republican Party would survive their organizational catastrophe.  As an American, should the unexpected happen and Mr. Trump does win, I hope and pray it plays out this way. Problem is, I am quite certain it won’t.

Of course as most polls show, it is unlikely Donald Trump will win.  But even if we allow that to be considered as a possibility, the demeanor and temperament he has displayed throughout this campaign has to be concerning to anyone looking at this with a level head. I know his surrogates and ardent supporters will make excuses for everything he’s said and allegedly done, but that doesn’t change any of the facts.  Corey Lewandowski and Kayleigh Mcenany can spend all day saying “what Mr. Trump was saying is….”, but that will never actually change the candidate’s words.  And words hold power. Not everything can be blamed on political correctness and not being a typical politician.  Most significantly, telling a debate moderator that “I’ll keep you in suspense” as to whether or not he will accept the will of the people and respect the peaceful transfer of power has nothing to do with being a New Yorker or an anti-establishment candidate.  It has more to do with an inability to accept defeat as an option.  That happens to be quality I love in an athlete and to some extent see as a positive in a political figure, but that does not mean Mr. Trump’s inability to accept defeat supersedes the will of the American voter or a political system that has worked for 240 years.  And let’s be honest and say what is on everyone’s mind and is everyone’s ultimate concern.  Trump’s refusal to agree to accept the outcome until he sees what happens is just short of incitement to riot and undermines the very core of American democracy.  His supporters have already shown that he can say anything he wants and they will still listen to him.  What happens if he loses, claims the election is rigged, and tells his supporters to take to the streets in protest?  The United States of America may face a problem greater than any it has faced in its history.

How is that possible you may ask?  Simply put, even in the face of the greatest threats, the most incompetent leadership, or the greatest discontent of the populous, America has always been able to rest its head on one basic fact. It has, at least functioned on the perceived principal of democracy.  It’s impossible to give full credit to a nation that once considered slavery legal, but even then it was a country that respected its system.  That respect held it together and allowed it to grow from a place where black slaves helped build the White House to a place where a black man resides in it as President of the United States.  Politics aside, I believe any reasonable and decent person has to see the beauty in a system that allows for that kind of growth.

I fear that Donald Trump’s America has a danger of damaging that freedom to grow.  I don’t know what is in the man’s heart and what his true intentions are. There are people I like and respect who think he is doing this for selfless reasons.  Others believe he is doing this to attain the greatest power, either for personal benefit or at worse, anarchy and destruction.  I don’t know the answer, but I do know that his words have put a dent in our democracy greater than any put by any of our external foes, because the more Mr. Trump falls behind the more he pivots from challenging the establishment to challenging the system.  He does this in what appears to be an effort to mold the system to his liking and his benefit, something that terrifies many for one very important reason.  Even a system with a corrupt establishment within its ranks is better than a country running on one individual’s idea of what the system should be.  A system running the way only one person wants it to run is nothing short of a dictatorship.

This election has transcended Republican against Democrat, Conservative against Liberal, or Trump against Clinton.  This election is now a referendum on the democratic system that has held this country together for almost 2 and a half centuries, and regardless of the outcome, that is something that should concern and disturb many American citizens because it should never have gotten to this point in the first place. When this election is over, if the democracy remains in tact, the challenge of leadership, media and all concerned citizens is to find out why.  Otherwise it will only get worse.

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How Emotion has taken over Politics

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Let me start by putting all my Trump supporting “friends” at ease.  This is not a trash Trump post. It is also not a trash Hillary post. I won’t even be trashing Bernie, despite my serious issues with his policies towards Israel. Actually, hold that thought.  I take that back.  I might trash Bernie a little. You see, the point is that to many people it makes no difference what these politician’s policies actually are.  What ultimately matters is who we like.

I start with a bit of disclaimer.  A friend of mine who has been around for many election cycles and has met numerous politicians, candidates and even presidents over the years told me that every election he’s ever seen was decided by who people like more than by the candidate’s policies.  That being said, personally I’ve never seen anything like what we are witnessing this year.  It’s so bad that if Clinton and Trump would do exactly the same thing the reactions would be completely different based on who people like.  Trump knows it.  We all assume he was joking when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his supporters would still support him, but we all now know this is true.  Of course I don’t believe for one second Trump would shoot someone on 5th Avenue, he’s more likely to take them out back and do it on Madison Avenue (just kidding), but those who support him wouldn’t care either way.

It’s not just Trump supporters by any means.  I’ve seen numerous discussions take place between staunch Conservatives and Hilary Clinton supporters, and when they ask them about the deaths of 4 Americans in Benghazi and hold her responsible, her supporters never come back with a factual response.  They either say it doesn’t matter, there was nothing she could do, or that they don’t care if she made a mistake, they still support her. I’m not discussing her culpability in the matter, and I am not saying whether there is or is not a factual response, but if you support her and that is your answer, it’s not about policy, it’s either about personality or habit.  By habit I mean voting for someone because they represent the party you stand behind and you could never vote differently no matter what your candidate says or does. But let’s be honest. If you didn’t sufficiently like the candidate, that would most likely trump (pun intended) your usual habit.

A friend of mine in the sales world once said, “people buy with emotion, then justify it with logic”.  It would appear most Americans vote the same way.  Case in point, here are some of the most common terms of the day

“I love Trump”

“I hate Hilary”

“I hate Trump”

“Feel the Bern”

“I love Hilary”

“Trump scares me”

“I like Trump”

“I like Hilary”

“I like Bernie”

These 9 terms are indicative of what drives a large portion of the American electorate as  we sit here today May 18, 2016.  Don’t believe me?  Watch “Waters World” on the “O’Reilly Factor” just one time and you’ll see how a large percentage of people who choose the president think (using the word think very loosely).  And those are just the dumb ones. Want to hear a smart person sound really stupid? Turn on CNN and listen to Kayleigh Mcenany, Georgetown graduate who studied politics at Oxford University and Donald Trump surrogate. Surrogate is different than supporter. Supporters don’t need to sound smart, surrogates do.  The best way to describe Kayleigh Mcenany’s support for Donald Trump is to imagine him tweeting something to the effect of, Kayleigh Mcenany is an ugly cow (I use that as an hypothetical because she’s actually quite attractive).  I am fairly convinced that her response would be something like this.  I believe what Mr. Trump was trying to say was that he loves his wife Melania very much and that she is the most beautiful woman in the world.

You see, in this election cycle it doesn’t matter to the people what you say or what you’ve been accused of doing, all that matters is if you like them.  I’ve heard people who love Israel say they like Bernie Sanders in the same sentence.  Why? Because he’s a charismatic old dude from Brooklyn and they like him. It certainly can’t be because of his approach towards Israel, an approach that could facilitate its destruction. Then again, why listen to me.  I’m just saying that because “I hate Bernie”.  I’d add that to the list but it’s not a prevailing emotion. Most either like him or don’t take him seriously. I as a Jew and a Zionist feel strongly about him because of a stated policy approach.

Since I have my moments when I both like and don’t like Trump and Hilary, I’ll leave my personal feelings (other than my disapproval for Bernie) out of this.   I will say this in defense of everyone, myself included that base their support or lack of support on emotion.  There’s nothing wrong with voting for someone who makes you feel good about life, the future, and the country you love, or at least like.  Just admit it.  Don’t try so hard to pretend it’s because of policy when we all know that most candidates main policy issue anyway is just getting themselves elected.  Pick who you like, hold your breath, and hope you’re right.  And while you’re at it don’t insult someone who likes something or someone different than you do, because there is no right and wrong when it comes to what someone likes.  That would be like someone telling you they like Pizza and responding “your wrong”. Those of you who will say that is very different may be in that minority that does pick a candidate based on policy or claims to because they are justifying their emotional choice with logic, but let’s face the facts.  Elections are popularity contests, not referendums on judgment and experience.  And my friend is probably right.  It’s probably always been that way.

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Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly Regarding Media Involvement in Trump’s success

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Dear Bill,

I happen to be a fan of yours.  I watch your show often, find you engaging, informative and have a great admiration for your intelligence.  Normally I find you to be true to your word about being fair and balanced.  However in a recent discussion on your show in which you discussed the impact the media has had on the rise of Donald Trump I felt you did the one thing you normally do not do, you spun the story to benefit your position. Normally the manner in which you stay clear of that trap distinguishes you significantly from anyone else that comes close to your level of success.  In this matter however I fee that you failed tremendously, and here is why.

I find it unlikely you will read this, even less likely you will respond and next to impossible that my concerns will reach anyone beyond your organization or your show for that matter, but seeing as this is indeed a story I agree to be as significant as you maintain it to be, I felt it important to reach out to you.  You may indeed be entirely correct regarding some of your assertions of your lack of involvement in the promotion of Donald Trump.  I believe you when you say you have made unsuccessful attempts at getting other candidates on your show and I accept your argument that your job is to report the news and that Donald Trump makes news.  But what about the rest of the media, be it FOX ,CNN or others?  After last week’s primaries in Pennsylvania, my brother Marcel Groen, State Party Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party was scheduled to appear on FOX Business with Neil Cavuto.  He waited for about an hour before he had to go back to attend to his responsibilities and commitments.  Why? Because almost every single guest that came on, some that appeared to not be originally scheduled, came on to speak about Donald Trump, pushing Neil Cavuto way over his schedule.   I understand that FOX is a network far more in sync with the Republican Party, but there was more news that night than Donald Trump.   I realize in fairness that what happened the day of the Pennsylvania primaries can not be directly seen as helping the rise of Donald Trump to that point, but it certainly did represent what has been going on for quite some time.  Also let me make something clear.  This is not about me being disappointed that my brother did not appear on air that night.  I am quite certain he got over it immediately as did I and anyone else who wanted to see him. However, it does clearly show how the coverage is driven by the Trump phenomena over everything else.

And it is hardly just FOX who is to blame. CNN has their very own Trump surrogate, Kayleigh Mcenany at almost every political discussion.  What other candidate can we say that about?  It often seemed that when there were Trump surrogates at most of these discussions, they were countered more with anti-Trump voices than with surrogates for Cruz or Kasich.

The media may not want to accept responsibility, but it has a responsibility nonetheless. For months all we heard about John Kasich was how he was the most qualified of any candidate. Yet since he was not exciting enough, and therefore might not have generated the same ratings, the percentage of time he was covered compared to Donald Trump and even Ted Cruz was catastrophic to his candidacy.  And Bill, regardless of whether or not the other candidates accept your invitation to be on your show, did you not have some responsibility to cover their activities in a more proportionate manner?  Your answer may very well be that you did not have that responsibility and that would certainly be within your rights. After all, as you often say, it is your show, you have been number 1 for a long time and you know what you are doing.  I just think it would be have been more fair and balanced to an audience possibly making the most important choice of its lifetime if you had accepted that responsibility.  Most of all it would have been far more honest if you would have come clean and admit it’s all about ratings rather than say the media did not play a significant role.

I have heard the argument that has been made about how so much of the negative press about Donald Trump also comes from the media.  That immediately made me remember one of my best friends from my High School days in London who once told me, “I don’t really care if people love me or hate me, as long as they talk about me”. Donald Trump has benefited from this excessive coverage from the start, be it good or bad.  But Bill, I ask you to consider the following analogy.  When a fan rushes on to a baseball field, television no longer shows the fan in realization that in doing so the allure of rushing the field has been significantly diminished.  Who knows what might have happened for example if the media had reacted comparably to Donald Trump saying that John McCain was not a war hero because he got caught.  The Trump campaign may never have gotten to where it is today.

All this being said I will continue to watch because I do respect you and enjoy your show, even if I do feel that regarding this topic you have been much less truthful than you normally are, not just to your audience but possibly to yourself as well.

Sincerely,

David Groen

 

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