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We the People: And then there was one

The departure of Ted Cruz and John Kasich makes Donald Trump, unbelievably, the winner of the Republican presidential primary.  Our complacent citizens must take this threat to good government seriously before it is too late.

The Donald has surfed a crest of discontent in the nation that could carry him into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue if Democrats don’t properly prepare for this unorthodox candidate.

There is little doubt that the Donald, during the race, will concentrate on subjects with which he is most familiar: hate speech, conspiracy theories and marital gossip.  He will avoid discussion about his lack of political experience and his regular business failures, at all costs.

This phenomenon is not about Donald or Hillary as much as it is about how the slow boiling frustrations of the economically challenged and unhappy citizens of the United States have affected the political atmosphere.

Trump’s bombast and absolute disregard for facts have made him a hero of Tea Party Republicans and he has an ability to foment controversy to divert attention from practical and important issues just like a skilled three card monte huckster uses distraction to fool his “marks.”

Trump’s ability to say anything and appear to be different to different groups works as long as they listen and don’t look at the cards or the hands. This chameleon can assure conservatives that he is conservative although he has defended Planned Parenthood, and now claims he is anti-choice despite support for PP legislation.

He yells anti-immigrant slurs even though he built a real estate empire on the backs of undocumented illegal immigrant workers. He promises that he will expel illegal immigrants, prohibit Muslims from entering America and that we will build a “great” wall between Mexico and the U.S. with the Mexican government paying the cost.

The key to his success is to get people to listen to his promises and to ignore the contradictions. He promises America will be strong and respected around the world but stated, “We cannot be the policeman of the world” and suggested that U.S. troops in South Korea (30,000) and Japan (50,000) be removed and that those nations build their own nuclear arsenals. If every nation in the world has a nuclear arsenal, the world will not be a safer place. Enigmatically, he has called for American troops to be deployed to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS.

Trump promises tax cuts but also promises increased defense spending to “make America great again.” Which is the true promise: decreased taxes or increased expenditures?

There is an understandable wish to have a strong leader who makes quick and decisive good decisions on behalf of the nation but we chose a constitutional government based on checks and balances to protect us from strong popular leaders who could become tyrants.

I believe that America is greater than any threat of National Trumpism and that in the unlikely event that the Trumpzies successfully vote him into the White House, the Republic, protected by the Constitution, will weather any storm including Typhoon Donald.

Senator Clinton, the presumptive Democratic candidate, will face a tough fight for the presidency against an adversary who has proven that facts are mere obstacles to be overcome or avoided. The eventual presidential victor will still have to find a way to make America better and to make Americans feel better again.

On May 2, 2016, we lost a local hero when Justice Arthur M. Schack passed away unexpectedly. He was a renaissance man: a high school teacher, an attorney and an elected Justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

He loved history and was an exceptional student who earned graduate degrees and a law degree before becoming legal counsel to the Major League Baseball Players Association. He distinguished himself as a legal scholar before he ever handed down a well-reasoned decision from the bench. He tempered justice with compassion.

He and his beloved wife, Dilia, a local district leader and community board member, were familiar to so many people in the community because of their involvement in many activities. Justice Schack maintained a life-long devotion to the Boy Scouts of America while doting on his son and daughter and grandchildren. He was a past chair of Community Board 10 where he will always be remembered for his energy, intellect and devotion to public service. He shall be missed.

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