Tag: Presidential Politics

Biden Toppled As Front Runner and Blacks Haven’t Voted Yet

By Michael February 11, 2020 0

In a recent national poll, former Vice President Joe Biden drops from atop the polls as the likely Democratic nominee, a front-runner no more.

Biden’s moderate approach to defeating impeached President Donald J. Trump displaced for the democratic socialist ideas of Senator Bernie Sanders and former New York Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg is waiting on the flank for Sanders and Bloomberg to falter. read more

Joe Biden Didn’t Suck As Bad As the Pundits Contend

By Michael February 8, 2020 0

I watched the debate from New Hampshire. Contrary to the television political pundits, I thought that Joe Biden had a great discussion about his views on the future of the country.

The future, after all, can not begin until Donald J. Trump is defeated. Biden made it clear that the goal of the 2020 campaign season is to defeat Trump. read more

Dems Fail, Trump Wins 2020 Re-election

By Michael December 3, 2019 0

Trump repeats.

It’s November 3, 2020, and yes, you read the headline on your social media feed right. Donald J. Trump did it again.

He won re-election for President. Just four years ago, he stunned the political world, winning the American Presidency over former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was perhaps the most qualified person and the first woman nominee of a major political party ever to seek the office of President. read more

Have The Democrats Lost Their Freaking Minds?

By Michael May 16, 2019 5

Now that there are at least 24 announced candidates for the Democratic Party Nomination, its time to ask the question:

Have the Democrats lost their freaking minds?

The 2020 Democratic Primary is a virtual buffet, a smorgasbord of delectable candidates like goodies, each vying for the focused attention of the American electorate. read more

Is America Ready for a Gay First Family

By Michael May 3, 2019 0

Before former Vice President Joe Biden pushed President Barack Obama into coming out in favor of same-sex marriage, this was an unthinkable question.


Biden’s 2011 support for Gay marriage may be more of an impediment to his chances of winning the Democratic Primary in 2020 than any of the other issues raised about his four decades in public life read more

Biden’s 14 Second Sound Bite on Dick

By Michael May 3, 2019 0

Yesterday I read with amazement a tweet from a woman I admire for her spiritual affirmations. The tweet said, “I like Dick.” An explicit declaration of what she likes, right.

I did a double-take. Did my friend tweet what I think I read?

I was not surprised to learn that my friend might actually like Dick. But it stunned me to see that she admitted liking Dick in such a public space. read more

Kamala Harris Hammers Bill Barr

By Michael May 2, 2019 4

Yesterday the nation witnessed the strict prosecutorial style of Senator Kamala Harris (D, California). Harris hammered the top prosecutor in the country, Attorney General William Barr, during Barr’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Harris, one of three candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination, wasted little time on Barr’s penchants for pretending he did not understand the meaning of simple words in the English language. read more

On The Arrogance of Power in the White House

By Michael January 4, 2019 2

American Presidents have never been wilting violets with tiny egos. Once Richard M. Nixon averred out loud, that criminal activity is not criminal activity if committed by the President of the United States.

Nixon believed it was lawful to order some of the President’s men to break into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters and steal their plans for defeating his reelection efforts. Also, any subsequent lies to cover up his involvement in the break-in was a legal exercise of the powers of the Office of the Presidency. After all the federal criminal code was designed to prosecute all other Americans except the President – the only person in the American system of justice whom the law did not apply – placing the President above the law, at least so Nixon thought, vowing to the bitter end that he was “not a crook.” read more

Is Clinton Or Stein Eligible To Be President?

By Michael September 19, 2016 2

Here we go again? Now that the birther issue has finally been put to bed by Donald Trump, a new constitutional question arises concerning eligibility to serve as President of the United States. This election cycle the issue of eligibility does not center on citizenship, but on sex.

Albeit, this specter is raised only by this writer, but it is not too far-fetched to imagine that Donald Trump, should he lose the 2016 General Election, would raise this question. After all he spent six years and good money investigating where the first American president of African descent was born in an attempt, not to delegitimize the Barack Obama presidency, but to have cause to remove him from office.

If Trump is true to form, he may  hire the best lawyers money can buy to dig into the records of the Constitutional Convention that in 1787 gave us our governing document seeking to find whether Secretary Hillary Clinton or Dr. Jill Stein are eligible to become president of the United States of America.

The constitution specifically refers to the president by use of the pronoun”he.”

This article will look at the following constitutional provisions that deal with the office of the president:

(1) Article I, Section 4 of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(2) Article II, Section I of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(3) Article II, Section III of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(4) Article VII of the constitution as ratified in 1789,

(5) Amendment XII of the constitution as ratified in 1804,

(6) Amendment XX of the constitution as ratified in 1920,

(7) Amendment XXII of the constitution as ratified in 1951,

(8) Amendment XXV of the constitution as ratified in 1967,

The constitution as ratified in 1789, Article I, Section 4 required congress to convene each year on the First Monday in December. In presidential election years, Article I requires Congress to certify the new president by the first Monday in March. Also, in 1804 the 12th Amendment set the commencement of the term for the president as March 4th.

During the period that Articles I, II and VII were debated and voted upon by white men, women held legal status through their husbands or fathers. Thus they, perhaps, held rights equal to the rights of their husband’s or father’s African captives. These Articles do not specifically prohibit women from becoming president. There would not have  been a need to do so, as it was understood by the white men fashioning out a document that would give them economic and political control over the colonies that women had no voice or right to govern the Republic or any of its states.

In 1932 the constitution was amended to change the date that congress convenes to January 3rd each year and set January 20th for the date that new presidents are sworn into office.

In each of these three constitutional provisions the constitution specifically speaks of the president in the masculine person, “He”.  While on the other hand when the constitution references members of congress or members of the citizenry it uses the terms “person” or persons.”

For instance, Article II, Section 1 reads: “The executive ower [emphasis on the P is in the original document]  shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold Office during the Term of four years…”

Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 6 reads: “The President shall , at stated Times, receive for his services, a compensation,…, and he shall not receive any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.”

Paragraphs 7 of Article II, Section 1 reads: “Before he enters on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:…”

Article II, Section 2 says, “…and he shall have power to grant Reprieves and ardons for Offenses against the United States, except in cases of Impeachment.” While paragraph 2 of this section states, “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties…”

The constitution states in Article II, Section III, “He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses,…he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers; he shall take Care that the laws be faithfully executed…”

The framers of the Constitution went to great length to clarify the meaning of several words in their articles of incorporation. They codified the meaning of these terms in Article VII, which is the last Article of the original constitution. The thirty-nine men who approved these Articles on September 17, 1787 did not attempt to give any different meaning to the pronoun “he” than its common usage in the eighteenth century.

When the 12th Amendment was added to the constitution in 1804, it clarified the method for election of  President and Vice-President,but it was silent on the question the president’s sex. Perhaps, there is no mention of it for one or two reasons.

Obviously, women were not considered a party to the Articles of Incorporation of the United States of America, and the assumed understanding of of the 18th century men drafting the legislation was that a woman could never become president of their political and business entity.

By 1920 woman had gained the right to vote. Eight years later, the constitution was amended for the 20th time as mentioned above. Women had just begun to flex their political muscle and correspondingly the 20th Amendment does not contain any language specifically allowing women to serve as president.

In 1951, the constitution was again amended to address the presidency. The 22nd amendment dealt with term limitations. In this amendment, the pronoun “he” does not appear. However, in Amendment 25, the Presidential disability and succession provision ratified in 1967  the pronoun “he” reappears. This was at the beginning of the “Women’s Liberation Movement.”

Amendment XXV, Section 3 states, “Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary….”

If America is indeed a country ruled by law, then these examples point out how antiquated the constitution is in the 21st century. Women, kidnapped Africans and immigrants were not included in the founding document that our leaders purport to the world as a shining document on democracy. The harsh reality for both Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein is that  the black letter of the law contained in the constitution could be used to prevent either of  them from taking the  oath of office should one of them win the presidential sweepstakes in November.

The ethos of America has changed greatly in the last 229 years when the constitution was debated and put forth to the 13 original colonies for a vote. Women had no voice or vote. Africans imported in chains had no personhood and were deemed to be worth 3/5th of a white man. White women who were powerless in 1787, now have the right to vote and serve in government. Enslaved Africans have been recognized as human beings. Immigrants continue to pour into the country, some legally, some illegally.

Perhaps, it is time to amend the constitution to reflect American life as it has evolved since 1787. David Cobb, a California lawyer is one American who believes it is an idea whose time has come. He is part of a group called, “Move to Amend.” The group is addressing the personhood status given to corporations by the  Supreme Court of the United States in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010).

While the Supreme Court has defined a legal document as a person, thus entitled to freedom of expression protection granted to the people under the First Amendment to the Constitution, neither it or the constitution specifically states that a woman can take the oath of office for president. Additionally, any effort to amend the constitution should include outlawing the continued enslavement of African people via the 13th Amendment, Section I. This provision permits enslavement of Black people as a method to extract free labor in concentration camps called prisons, which in the 19th century were public facilities, but today are largely private run concentration centers.

Given the precarious position of women in Colonial America, the absence of language granting women the right to serve as President should be corrected. For more reasons than one, it is time to amend the Constitution and make it more inclusive of all hues who make up the mythical “melting pot.”

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round; and the host of Beyond the Law with Harold Michael Harvey. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.

SOURCES:

The Constitution of the United States of America, American Civil Liberties Union edition

 

 

A Green Challenge To The Red And Blue

By Michael August 9, 2016 2

 HOUSTON, TEXAS, CASCADE PRESS (CP) Is a Green challenge to the red and blue teams possible in 2016? I am not Green. But last week I spent three days at The Green Party Convention in Houston, Texas.

My presence prompted three people to ask me the following question.

“Harold, why would you travel to Houston to cover The Green Party Convention,” Tracy Larkin, host of the Tan Town Coffee Club on the Tracy Larkin Broadcast Network (tlbnetwork.com) asked right off the bat, during our weekly telephone interview on Presidential Politics. For the past year, I have been offering my perspective of the 2016 presidential race to listeners of the Tan Town Coffee Club Show.

 In the past, I have provided my commentary from the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas, from the Golden Isles of Georgia on Saint Simon Island and while lost on a country road in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Last Saturday morning our interview took place via telephone, as usual, while I was in a theater at the Student Center South on the campus of the University of Houston.  I was embedded in the media section of the Green Party’s Nominating Convention.

As fate would have it, the convention took a recess in order to set up a Skype interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, just in time for me to receive my regular Saturday morning call from Tracy Larkin.

This was not the first time I had been asked that question. The day before, I was walking through the student center enroute to a press conference with Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein. I was stopped by a sheepherder, Beryl Baker, from Tucson, Arizona. She took one look at the handwritten media pass that had been issued by the media credentialing committee and queried, “What’s with that media badge?”

She has been a member of the party since 2000. She is running for the office of constable  in Tucson. The look on her face doubted that I was a member of the media and had handwritten a media pass in order to spy on her party’s gathering. I assured her that I did not have time to play games and that I did not appreciate her challenge of my credentials, inasmuch, as her party had issued the handwritten press badge. The Green Party Press Pass was a far cry from the press credentials that allowed media access to the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The 2012 DNC was a historic convention. It was the first time a major political party had nominated a Black man as it nominee for two consecutive election cycles.

After we cleared the air, she wanted to know why was I there, because she said, media outlets rarely covered any of their other conventions. As only a sheepherder can do it, she got to the real nitty-gritty, she asked if I was there to write a mean-spirited story about the Greens.

I told her what I would tell Tracy Larkin the next day. I told her that I came to answer two questions in my mind. First, I wanted to understand who are the people who make up the Green Party. Next, I wanted to get a feel and sense of whether the Green Party could take advantage of the growing discontent Americans have for both of the major parties nominees. In short, could the Green Party pull off a miraculous victory.

Then a prolific blond video blogger from Vermont, Claudia Stauber, posited the same question and broadcast my answer to thousands of her followers on Facebook. As a result, I received a flood of new friend requests from her subscribers.

So, in between, press conferences and workshops on “abolishing corporate constitutional rights, confronting oppressive behaviors on racism and sexism and why the Green Party must become a membership financed party,” I talked with as many delegates and attendees as I could.

Racially, the Green Party is primarily white, working class and poor. Very few of them watch television and of those who do, none tune into Fox News. It has a strong contingent of indigenous people, and a small, but solid tribe of Africans. If I had to guess, I would surmise that fewer than 10 percent of its members make more than $50,000 annually; with a large percentage making an average of $35,000 per year. There is no scientific basis for this guesstimate. I based these numbers purely on what members told me about their lives and by use of my own internal radar.

Many of those in attendance were like Tim Dehne, a party regular since President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into law in 1994. He took a two-day ride on a Greyhound Bus from his home in Corvallis, Oregon. A two-time victor over cancer, Dehne, encountered many Americans on his bus trip, who are not registered voters and could care less about the presidential election taking place in November.

Others drove from California, Washington State, Missouri, Vermont, Michigan, Georgia and Mississippi. They are serious about their issues, i. e., climate control, $15.00 an hour wage, universal health care, immigration reform and providing reparation to descendents of enslaved Africans.

A refrain heard by several white speakers during the convention was that white people had to stop being white. David Cobb, the driving force behind the Move to Amend Movement said that white was a construct that has no place in today’s world. In fact he opined, that race was created to keep the natural allies – European immigrants and African immigrants – separated and at each other throats; and not at the throat of the captains of industry who profit from this division.

Two black scholars, Asa Gordon, an expert on the electoral college from the District of Columbia and YahNe’ Ndgo, a nineteen year old freedom fighter from Philadelphia, challenged members to cleanse themselves of their racial biases. One white delegate from Mississippi walked out on Ndgo’s challenge for whites to purge themselves of their racism. The delegate later explained over a cool beverage, “I walked out on her because, I know I am a racist, but she does not have to tell me that I am one.”

Which leads me to the second question I wanted to answer during my sojourn to the Green Party Convention. In order to have any chance of competing against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Green Party will have to expand its base. While they have much in common on the issues with progressive whites, Latinos, indigenous people and Blacks who supported Bernie Sanders, they are not, as is the case with most white Americans, familiar with the nuances of people of color.

However, I saw a genuine and unique attempt to embrace the differences in people, in race relations, in sexual preferences and in perceived disabilities.  It was refreshing to see white people check other whites on race and ethnicity. Stein has pledged to paint the White House Green, thus sticking a psychological dagger into the heart of racism and white supremacy with the stroke of a house painter’s brush. No longer will the assumption be that the White House belongs to a dominant white male mindset, but to people of all hues, sex and religious belief or nonbelief.

While the Jill Stein-Ajamu Baraka ticket will get some Black votes, it is not likely they will pull many members of the Black Bourgeoisie into the Green fold. Members of the Black professional class would lose status and finance should the Green Party win and lift the Black poor out of poverty. Surely, had this class of Black people been interested in lifting up less fortunate Blacks, there would be some tangible manifestations of this desire, as there is enough representation from this Black class in congress to have made significant inroads by now.

Black congress members perpetually fight the battle for voting rights, purely it seems, out of a desire to survive in office; without correspondingly pushing for a decent wage, or for instance, financial access  to college.

A case in point, many of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities that were founded to provide a pathway for Blacks to enter the American economy coming out of the era of enslavement are on the verge of closing their doors due to lack of funding and student financial aid from the federal government.

If the Green Party is going to get a large percentage of Black votes, Baraka, a renowned international peace activist, will have to get the Pan African community to turn out in record numbers. This segment of the Black community, like the disinterested white poor that Dehne saw on his two-day bus ride down from Oregon, has never exerted its political muscle on election day; at least for the Blacks, not like their ancestors did in 1868 and for a few decades after the Reconstruction era. Many Pan Africanist have thrown up their hands at what they believe is a corrupt political system. This resulting hopelessness in the system, causes a sense of apathy about voting.

Should the Pan African community show up around the issue of reparations; and Stein can mobilize recent college graduates with her plan to forgive student loan debt, the Greens could pull off a nonviolent revolution at the ballot box. We will watch and report.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.