The Greatest Country in the World

MAGA (Make America Great Again) is the wrong message.  It is a false message.  It is a disheartening message that undermines America by causing us to question our greatness.  WE ARE THE GREATEST NATION THAT THE WORLD HAS EVER WITNESSED!  We are first economically, militarily, technologically and, most important, first in human rights.

Our values make us first.  Our faith, truth, honor, integrity, justice, human rights, tolerance and our willingness to work together make us a leader in the world of democracies and a rampart against authoritarian dictatorships.

Our democracy makes us great.  But, democracy is hard work.  Sometimes we run off course, we pull too far to the left or too far to the right.  But, when we work together in good faith, we run true north.  We need to find common ground for the common good.  America is already great, we only need to work together to make it better for all.

America is an ideal, not a single culture or race.  We are a country of immigrants who have come together by the ideal of freedom from tyrants.  Let’s make sure that we all exercise our right to participate in our government by voting and being politically active to protect ourselves from our homegrown tyrants fueled by greed, a greed that is fortified  by unfair government policies that favor the wealthy.

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS ALREADY GREAT!!!  Your participation and vote will make it great for all Americans.  Remember a democracy in not easy, but worth the work for we all yearn to live free together.

Everybody does it….

…doesn’t make it right.  Who didn’t learn this in childhood?  This was Trump’s defense of Paul Manafort’s crimes.  He feels bad for him because all the lobbyists do this and he was the unfortunate one that got caught.  Well, what happened to the promise to drain the swamp?

The scourge of greed is rampant in Washington, big business and the wealthy class.  Financial crimes cost the American people billions of dollars every year.  Dollars that are desperately needed to repair and improve infrastructure, education, and healthcare, and to support the scientific research and development needed to keep America in the forefront.

The cavalier attitude of the President to these financial crimes is not good for America.  These destructive financial crimes are seemingly seen on the same level as speeding.  A lot of people speed, but only a few get tickets.  A lot of people are engaging in tax evasion, misuse of public funds and other financial crimes, but only a few are held accountable.

Some speeders harm others, but all financial criminals hurt others.  Financial crimes cause people to lose their homes, jobs, healthcare and their opportunities, just to name a few of the atrocities created by unfettered greed.

Greed is a sickness, an addiction.  There is never enough.  Paul Manafort is the personification of greed addiction.  He blew through 80 million dollars and borrowed 20 million more.  That is more than the life’s savings of hundreds of retired middle class families.  He used these millions to buy things, not to help others, not to create, not to make the world a better place, not to secure his own retirement or invest in his children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

Manafort is only one sad example of a greed addict in America.  There are many, many more.  They are more dangerous to our country than inner-city crime committed for survival.  Big money needs to be banned from campaign finance and financial crimes must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Expected Qualities of an American President

Republican, Democrat, left, right, center, conservative or liberal are all meaningless without respect, honor, honesty, authenticity, decency, integrity, accountability, empathy, inspiration, empowerment, collaboration, considered decision-making and national stewardship.  These are the qualities I expect from an American President regardless of their political affiliation and leanings.

Our current president is blatantly lacking in nearly all these qualities except for authenticity.  Due to his impulsivity, we are subjected to the first, unconsidered thoughts, that come into his mind through a Twitter feed and this is seen by many as authenticity.  However, to be authentic, every thought does not need to be made public.  Responsible authenticity would involve revealing the collaborative and considered process that was behind presidential decision-making.  These impulsive utterances posted on Twitter are creating unintended consequences and unnecessary anxiety for American citizens.  This is simply irresponsible and dangerous for our country and democracy.

Please vote with these expected qualities in mind…  character is of the utmost importance.



American Democracy is gravely at risk, along with western democracies across Europe.  The forces or entities that are working together to destroy democracy, to me, are shocking and almost unbelievable.  Who would ever think that the Russian dictatorship and the greedy world oligarchs bent on destroying democracy across the world would be supported by the President of the United States, the American upper classes blinded by greed, the American lower classes succumbing to Trump’s lies, Christian evangelicals supporting racism, sexism and anti-LGBTQ rights, the NRA and complicit Republicans?  Why is this happening?

Putin wants to dismantle western democracies because they hold him accountable to human rights and international law, including the rule of law, equal rights, free speech, decency and respect, free secret ballot elections, universal suffrage, separation of powers, civil rights and liberties, political freedom for all, an uncodified social contract, limits on the authority of government and an independent judiciary.  Holding him accountable to these ideals keeps him and his oligarchs from the massive amounts of wealth they have stolen from the people of Russia and stashed in democratic countries.

Putin is using computer hacking and social media to undermine democracy from within by dividing us through lies.  Trump is doing Putin’s bidding from the Whitehouse by lying to the American people and by denouncing our NATO alliances.  Trump only has two motivations in life, self-aggrandizement and money (including Russian money).  He has no loyalty to the Constitution of the United States, democratic principles or the American people.  He ran for the presidency because he thought it would be good for his brand.  He uses people’s economic struggles to promote racism, sexism and anti-immigrant sentiment, even hatred, instead of finding legitimate avenues for Americans to find work that pays  livable wages.

Two Trump supporters at a rally were photographed wearing pro-Russia T-shirts that said they would rather “be pro-Russia then a liberal. ” I find it outrageous that they would rather live under the rule of a murderous dictator who denies his citizens basic rights and kills those who oppose him, then in our democratic nation that guarantees individual rights.  I believe they are attracted to the power of an autocrat and the fact that Russia is now a white, Christian, male dominant, anti-gay and anti-immigrant nation and that it is easy for an autocrat to do away with those who don’t fit this limited view.  What they are not taking into account is that they too will no longer be free.  They will be under the dominance of the autocrat as he wields unchecked power and takes the wealth of the country for himself and his lackeys.  Sadly, these pro-Russia sentiments are also embraced by white supremacists who are now empowered by the American president.

Some evangelical Christians have been insulted by how mainstream media sometimes depicts Christians in unflattering ways.  As a result, they have turned to right-wing media for their news where they are taught to fear immigrants, minorities, feminists, muslims and the LGBTQ community, and to distrust the mainstream media and the government that upholds civil, equal and human rights for all, seemingly unwittingly, upholding white supremacists views.  They have become one of the forces supporting those who are deconstructing American democracy.  (See Notes on Christianity below for further information)

The wealthy, the NRA and the complicit Republicans are under the spell of Russian money and power and the tax cuts for the wealthy provided by the Trump administration.  They have lost sight of real American values guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.  They can only see the now, not the future.  They are supporting a new world order, ruled by the oligarchs.  They have forgotten that liberal democracies oppose monarchies and that government exists to serve the people.

Hopefully, it is not too late for us to save our democracy.  Greed needs to be seen for what it is, stealing from all citizens.  Lies need to be uncovered by truth.  Cyber security needs to be a national priority and campaign finance needs to be changed so that all Americans are truly represented in government not just the wealthiest.  I can’t believe an American president is accepting of a murderous dictator, and that the congress of the United States is seemingly looking the other way.




Notes on Christianity:  As a Christian, I am particularly perplexed by the racism and intolerance being spewed by some Christians and the support of a President who promotes such hatred. As an aside, according to, 52% of Liberals are Christian.  What follows is what I have discovered about some Christians.  Pro-Trump evangelical Christians (80% of white evangelicals reported voting for Trump) voted for Trump for his anti-liberal and anti-mainstream media rhetoric.  Some Christians see mainstream media as biased against Christianity because  mainstream news is religiously neutral and some fictional shows, on occasion, depict Christians in a bad or comical light, as they do with other religions and practices.  In The Loudest Voice in the Room, Gabriel Sherman writes that journalist are liberals because they write “…unflattering stories about Christians.” Feeling insulted by mainstream media evangelical Christians turn to right-wing media where they are taught to fear immigrants, minorities, feminists, muslims and the LGBTQ community, and to distrust the government that upholds civil, equal and human rights for all.

Sadly, according to Keeping the Faith by Commentary in the article titled For Irreligious Evangelicals, Christianity is About Politics – Not God  (11/7/2017), “…evangelical is now associated with prejudice and intolerance.  In the era of Trump, ‘evangelical’ has come to connote not a good news message of grace, but ‘cultural conservatism.'”

Furthermore, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, evangelical views have changed.  In 2011 30% of evangelicals “…agreed that a politician’s personal life had no bearing on their public performance,” while in 2017 “…70% said they would be willing to separate the public from the personal.”  Consequently, “…the results suggest that many self-described evangelicals no longer embrace a spirit of humility, sexual fidelity, and care for those who Jesus called ‘the least of these.'”  And it allows them to support Trump in spite of his lies and infidelities.  Rather, “God is invoked to justify preserving the social order.”  (Their idea of what the American social order should be, white, straight, male dominant and Christian).

The article continues, “It’s no secret that many self-described evangelicals are actually not religiously engaged.  During the Republican primaries, Donald Trump’s base was substantially non-church going evangelicals.  And these non attendees were also more likely to agree with racist and anti muslim views.”  It is a shame that  ” …in today’s polarized culture, ‘evangelicals’ have come to be associated with Trump-supporters and intolerance,” the result of  ” …the cultural right’s takeover of evangelicalism. ”  Moreover, the far-right is using the Christian faith as a foundation to promote “…white nationalism, anti-Islam, anti-gay, anti-immigrant and anti-feminist views.” Christianity is being demeaned by these “non-attendees”  but, true Christian values, according to, include to worship only God not things, wealth or power, to respect all people, to be humble, honest, moral, and generous with both time and money, to practice what you preach, to not be self-righteous or judgmental, to not hold a grudge, and to forgive others.  Fortunately, Ed Cairns of the University of Ulster’s Peace and Conflict research Group stated that ” …the more that people went to church, the less prejudice they showed.”














Perplexing: Religious Right Support of Trump


37969460_1918936641496712_157947546864451584_n.jpg  I was perplexed when I saw this picture posted on Facebook.  Since then, I have heard that some Christians believe that Trump was elected President through Divine intervention.  It is hard for me to believe that God would choose this man of sin to lead our democracy, a man who has no regard for the Constitution of the United States and the rule of law, a man who doesn’t know that its Second Corinthians and not two Corinthians, a man who even believes he is above the law. Trump is named in thousands of lawsuits for his questionable business practices including hundreds of unpaid bills from contractors, vendors and workers that he has stiffed.  Furthermore, why would God support a self-centered, engager of illicit affairs, alleged sexual assaulter and  incessant liar who has been documented lying over four thousand times since taking office?

Seemingly, the Bible warns us of such a person in the following verses.

“Let no one deceive you in any way for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the destined for destruction.  He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, declaring himself to be God” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 NRSV 1989

“The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders and every kind of wicked deceptions of those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and to be save.”  – 2 Thessalonians 2:10 NRSV 1989

The lawlessness, destruction and lies of President Trump is not good for our democracy.  The motivation behind these abhorrent behaviors is unfettered wealth and power so that he can try to enter the realm of world oligarchs who have stolen the riches of their fellow countrymen.

He garnered support from the religious right by subliminally calling for a straight, white, Christian nation and the promise of installing conservative judges and cracking down on illegal immigration.  And for this, Christians are willing to look the other way when confronted with Trump’s seemingly unrepentant Christian shortcomings.

As a Christian, I believe we are here to love and help others and to inspire others to love and help.  We are not here to judge, demean and to be greedy.  Fear and narrow interpretations of the scriptures can cause us to believe and act in unsavory ways.  There are no simple answers because the theology of Christianity is very complex.  Sometimes, I think we (Christians) should adopt the Hippocratic Oath to simply do no harm.  As a Methodist, I try to use the Wesleyan Quadrilateral which looks at Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience to hone my beliefs and actions.  With a foundation in Scripture and Tradition, using Reason and Experience of current knowledge helps me to make, what I hope are, good decisions.

I try to respect the beliefs of others.  In fact, the motivation for this blog was to try to understand why people I respect support Trump.  However, I am struggling with believing Trump became President through Devine intervention and not Russian meddling, Jim Comey’s untimely announcement and the shortcomings of the Clinton campaign.