Every Dollar Matters

Republicans In Power

First Amendment Rights

1/6/2017 20:26 PST

eric matthews

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Heritage Foundation, a Republican think tank, has an series of excellent pages on this subject. They go into excellent detail and cite a lot of case law. I truly hope they will keep these pages up during the Trump Administration as we witness a similar assault on the new Administration similar to the one we saw from the Tea Party which started protesting the Obama Administration from the beginning.

In my opinion this part of our Constitution is most sacred and core to our Democracy.

Let us be reminded by one of our more popular and successful Presidents on the purpose and intent of each citizens right to freedom of speech.

When the Tea Party began protesting almost immediately after President Obama was sworn in I was not happy and certainly did not agree with much of what they had to say (Of course I totally agreed with their call for fiscal responsibility on the part of our elected officials).

Even though I did not agree with what they had to say I supported their right to say it. This is what the first ammendment is all about, and what (ironically) makes us a great nation and sets us apart from so many other nations.

I do not agree with the Hate speech of the Ku Klux Klan or White Identity/Nationalist groups. I find their rhetoric to be vile and offensive. But, I defend their constitutional right to exercise free speech.

If you are an American and you believe in this sacred and fundamental right then you too will defend the rights of your fellow Americans to speak their mind. As President Reagan once so eloquently stated, the right to free speech is to protect citizens from a tyrannical government.

As Daniel Moynihan was attributed to saying, "You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts."

So, as we start 2017 with the Republicans in charge of every branch of Federal Government here are some facts.

In 2008, when Obama took the Oath of Office, the Nation was in economic collapse. The credit markets were frozen, the housing market was collapsing. Unemployment was at 8%. The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) was at 7,949.09

unemployment chart

Prior to the 2008 election the makeup of our Government was as follows:

The Republican response in helping to fix the crisis they helped to create can best be summed up in this 8 second clip.

Like the Democrats were in 2008 the Republicans are now in charge of all three branches of Government. The are inheriting an economic situation where the unemployment rate is 4.9%. The DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average) is today at 19,963.80. These are certainly only as few economic indicators. But, no one with any reason could argue that in general the economy is in much better shape as Trump takes office than it was when Obama took office. Having said this many people are underemployed, Many more working families are living in poverty. Many of our cities like St. Louis, Detroit, Youngstown have fallen apart because their jobs have been sent overseas and their local and state governments have not been able to replace them with other good paying jobs. We have screwed over small farmers, and allowed big companies like Walmart to ruin small towns and and put many small businesses out of business in the name of lower prices.

I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. I am an independent. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I do no suffer fools very well. They will also tell you that I do not like hearing bullshit. Finally, they will tell you that I actually prefer to engage in civil debate with people that have a different opinions than mine. This I feel is how one gains perspective, empathy, and knowledge. But, you need to come to the table with facts and data. I am not into spin and propoganda.

I am going to be one of millions of people that will be speaking out and opposing the Trump Administration and the aspects of the Republican agenda that I do not think are in the best interest of working familes and those of us close to retirement. Like the 2.8 million more voters this election that voted for the loser we are disgusted by the racist rhetoric of Trumps campaign. By his bashing of the media (though they certainly deserve a great deal of criticism). Neither choice this year was very good. But, the one that just got elected is about to mess with the middle class when it comes to Medicare, Social Security, Healthcare, Foreign Relations, and Race Relations, and basic 1st ammendment rights. I do not think Trump personally is planning on making draconian changes to Medicare and Social Security. He ran on not messing with it. The problem is the majority party is planning on making these changes. And, there are people like Bannon in his inner circle that are in favor of making draconian changes.

I hope to be wrong on Trump and the Republicans, but frankly I have too much invested to wait and see TEOTWAWKI. I also believe that the middle class has been screwed over by both political parties, wall street, the many uber wealthy and their lobbyists for a long time now. We have been divided and fighting each other like a bunch of chumps. It is time to focus, collectively open our eyes and start to see what is happening and demand change. It is time to stop being red and blue and to start being Americans on the things we have in common.

As long as the middle class is divided along red and blue lines we are inneffective. We MUST find common ground. Trump got is by 80,000 votes across three swing states with a populist message that did promise a few things we in the middle class should agree on. Namely, making health care more affordable, fixing our shitty trade agreements that send jobs oversees, fixing our crumbling infrastructure, and figuring out how to crush ISIS. Personally I do not care which party fixes these problems as long as they get fixed.

The majority of us that did not vote for Trump will NOT be putting up with...

... To quote Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto regarding the Japans attack on Pearl Harbor... "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve"

Many of us in the so called "silent majority" who would actually prefer to stay quiet and live our lives away from politics are now awake and actively going to participate in our Democracy in numbers that will dwarf anything this country has ever seen. We believe in our constitution. Make no mistake that we will defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic.

Check back as I am just getting started.