Tag Archives: presidency

Trump wins presidency with lowest minority vote in 40 years

Donald Trump won the U.S. presidency with less support from black and Hispanic voters than any president in at least 40 years, a Reuters review of polling data shows, highlighting deep national divisions that have fueled incidents of racial and political confrontation.

Trump was elected with 8 percent of the black vote, 28 percent of the Hispanic vote and 27 percent of the Asian-American vote, according to the Reuters/Ipsos Election Day poll.

Among black voters, his showing was comparable to the 9 percent captured by George W. Bush in 2000 and Ronald Reagan in 1984. But Bush and Reagan both did far better with Hispanic voters, capturing 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively, according to exit polling data compiled by the non-partisan Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.

And Trump’s performance among Asian-Americans was the worst of any winning presidential candidate since tracking of that demographic began in 1992.

The racial polarization behind Trump’s victory has helped set the stage for tensions that have surfaced repeatedly since the election, in white supremacist victory celebrations, in anti-Trump protests and civil rights rallies, and in hundreds of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic hate crimes documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist movements.

The SPLC reports there were 701 incidents of “hateful harassment and intimidation” between the day following the Nov. 8 election and Nov. 16, with a spike in such incidents in the immediate wake of the vote.

Signs point to an ongoing atmosphere of confrontation.

The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a white separatist group that vilifies African-Americans, Jews and other minorities, plans an unusual Dec. 3 rally in North Carolina to celebrate Trump’s victory.

Left-wing groups have called for organized protests to disrupt the president-elect’s Jan. 20 inauguration.

And a “Women’s March on Washington,” scheduled for the following day, is expected to draw hundreds of thousands to protest Trump’s presidency.

American politics became increasingly racialized through President Barack Obama’s two terms, “but there was an attempt across the board, across the parties, to keep those tensions under the surface,” says Jamila Michener, an assistant professor of government at Cornell University.

Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric “brought those divisions to the fore; it activated people on the right, who felt empowered, and it activated people on the left, who saw it as a threat,” she added.

That dynamic was evident last week.

When Vice President-elect Mike Pence attended the Broadway musical “Hamilton” in New York on Friday, the multi-ethnic cast closed with a statement expressing fears of a Trump presidency. A far different view was on display the next day as a crowd of about 275 people cheered Trump’s election at a Washington conference of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist group with a strong anti-Semitic beliefs.

“We willed Donald Trump into office; we made this dream our reality,” NPI President Richard Spencer said. After outlining a vision of America as “a white country designed for ourselves and our posterity,” he closed with, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!”

DIVISION BREEDS CONFRONTATION

Though Trump’s election victory was driven by white voters, his performance even among that group was not as strong as some of his predecessors. Reagan and George H.W. Bush both won the presidency with higher shares of the white vote than the 55 percent that Trump achieved.

The historical voting patterns reflect decades of polarization in American politics, but the division surrounding Trump appears more profound, says Cas Mudde, an associate professor specializing in political extremism at the University of Georgia. These days, he adds, “people say they don’t want their children even to date someone from the other party.”

Indeed, voters’ opinions of those on the opposite side of the partisan divide have reached historic lows. Surveys by the Pew Research Center showed this year that majorities of both parties held “very unfavorable” views of the other party — a first since the center first measured such sentiment in 1992.

And the lion’s share of those people believe the opposing party’s policies “are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being,” the center found.

That level of division has spurred activists on both sides of the political divide to take their activism in a more confrontational direction.

In the wake of Trump’s victory, protesters on the left took to the streets by the thousands in cities across the country, in some cases causing property damage.

Much of the agitation was motivated by a belief that Trump’s administration will foster racism and push the courts and other political institutions to disenfranchise minority voters, says James Anderson, editor of ItsGoingDown.Org, an anarchist website that has promoted mass demonstrations against Trump’s presidency, including a call to disrupt his inauguration.

Meanwhile, John Roberts, a top officer in the Ku Klux Klan affiliate planning the December rally to celebrate Trump’s election, says the group is committed to non-violent demonstrations, but he sees Trump’s election as likely to bring a new era of political conflict. And much of the strife, he says, will be centered around racial divisions.

“Once Trump officially takes office, there is going to be a boiling over at some point in time,” Roberts says. “Who knows when that’s going to be, but it’s not going to be pretty.”

Study: Sexist men more likely to have mental health problems

Men who behave like promiscuous playboys or feel powerful over women are more likely to have mental health problems than men with less sexist attitudes, according to a study released this week.

The analysis found links between sexist behavior and mental health issues such as depression and substance abuse, said the study which appeared in the Journal of Counseling Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association.

“Some of these sexist masculine norms, like being a playboy and power over women, aren’t just a social injustice but they are also potentially bad for your mental health,” said Joel Wong, an associate professor of counseling psychology at Indiana University Bloomington and lead author of the study.

Its release comes on the heels of the election to the U.S. presidency of Donald Trump, whose comments about women that emerged during the election campaign were condemned by many as sexist and misogynist.

The research synthesized results of more than 70 U.S.-based studies involving more than 19,000 men over 11 years.

This involved looking at 11 norms generally considered by experts to reflect society’s expectations of traditional masculinity including a desire to win, risk-taking and pursuit of status, Wong said.

The traits, or norms, most closely linked to mental health problems were playboy behavior, or sexual promiscuity, power over women and self-reliance, he said.

“Men who have trouble asking for directions when they’re lost, that’s a classic example of self-reliance,” Wong said.

Also, men who exhibited those attitudes were also less likely to seek mental health treatment, the study said.

The researchers said there was one dimension for which they were unable to find any significant effects.

“Primacy of work was not significantly associated with any of the mental health-related outcomes,” said Wong in a statement.

“Perhaps this is a reflection of the complexity of work and its implications for well-being. An excessive focus on work can be harmful to one’s health and interpersonal relationships, but work is also a source of meaning for many individuals.”

 Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith. Published via  Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org.

Transcript: Hillary Clinton’s concession speech

Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you. Very rowdy group. Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you, thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too.

Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together, this vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it, too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort.

This is painful and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this. Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in America and I always will. If you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things. The rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

And let me add, our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet, and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.

We have spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone, for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and for people with disabilities. For everyone. So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek, and I know you will. I am so grateful to stand with all of you.

I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. It has been a joy getting to know them better and it gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy representing Virginia in the senate. To Barack and Michelle Obama, our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world.

And to Bill and Chelsea, Marc, Charlotte, Aiden, our brothers and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express. You crisscrossed this country on our behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most, even 4-month-old Aden who traveled with his mom. I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country.

You poured your hearts into this campaign. For some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted. And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook, even in secret private Facebook sites,

I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward. To everyone who sent in contributions as small as $5 and kept us going, thank you. Thank you from all of us. And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I have had successes and I have had setbacks. Sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers.

You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is. It is worth it. And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives, and to all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now — I — I know — I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. Finally — finally, I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me.

I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

Because, you know, you know I believe that we are stronger together, and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

So, my friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come, and there is more work to do. I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election.

May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

On the Web

Hillary Clinton on Facebook.

 

Dem to challenge Canadian-born Ted Cruz’s presidential eligibility

After enduring years of Republicans questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama’s presidency, at least one Democrat says he’ll file suit against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s right to run for the nation’s highest office, if Cruz becomes the nominee.

Cruz, an ultra-conservative, religious right candidate, is rising in the polls. He’s now in a dead heat with Donald Trump among Iowa Republicans.

A number of Republicans, particularly those associated with the party’s tea party wing, have never accepted Obama’s status as a natural-born American. Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and an African father.

So-called “birthers,” including Trump, have created elaborate conspiracy theories claiming Obama was secretly born in Kenya. The birther movement contends Obama’s parents created counterfeit documents making it appear that he was born in Hawaii so that he could run for president when he grew up.

Many birthers believe the circumstances surrounding Obama’s birth were part of a scheme to plant him as a “Manchurian candidate” who would take his marching orders from the Muslim world.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. He held dual citizenship until 2014, when he renounced his Canadian citizenship.

The U.S. Supreme Court has never clarified whether someone with Cruz’s heritage meets presidential eligibility muster. But New Hampshire election officials rejected arguments that Cruz is unqualified to appear on the ballot there.

In an interview with Fox News radio’s Alan Colmes, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, said he plans to file suit against Cruz’s eligibility if he wins the GOP nomination. 

“He’s technically not even an American,” Grayson said.

Colmes, a liberal, didn’t disagree, suggesting it’s hypocritical of Republicans to have a problem with Obama’s birth certificate while Cruz was “literally born in another country.”

Under Title 8 rules, if a person is born outside the geographical limits of the United States and its territories to parents that include an alien and a U.S. citizen, that person is eligible for the presidency — but only if the natural-born parent was “physically present in the United States or its outlying possessions for a period or periods totaling not less than five years, at least two of which were after attaining the age of 14.”

Because the law is vague, Congress passed a resolution in 2008 stating that John McCain, who was born in Panama to a military family on assignment there, was a natural born citizen eligible to run for president.

Bush 41 unloads with critique of Cheney, Rumsfeld

Former President George H. W. Bush has finally revealed what he really thinks of his son’s presidency, faulting George W. Bush for setting an abrasive tone on the world stage and failing to rein in hawkish Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense chief Donald Rumsfeld.

In a years-long series of interviews with biographer Jon Meacham, the elder Bush frowned on the sometimes “hot rhetoric” of George W. Bush, saying such language may get headlines “but it doesn’t necessarily solve the diplomatic problem.”

The elder Bush faulted Cheney and Rumsfeld for their “iron-ass” views, calling Rumsfeld an “arrogant fellow” and saying Cheney had changed markedly from the days when he served in the first Bush administration.

As vice president, Cheney “had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer,” the elder Bush said, adding: “He just became very hard-line and very different from the Dick Cheney I knew and worked with.”

Ultimately, the elder Bush assigned fault to his son for Cheney’s over-reach and for fostering a global impression of American inflexibility.

“It’s not Cheney’s fault, it’s the president’s fault,” the elder Bush said. “The buck stops there.”

For all of that, though, the elder Bush did not suggest that he disagreed with his son’s decision to invade Iraq, saying Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “is gone, and with him went a lot of brutality and nastiness and awfulness.”

The assessments are contained in Meacham’s 800-plus page “Destiny and Power,” the fullest account yet of Bush, the only modern ex-president not to write a full-length memoir. Meacham, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his Andrew Jackson biography “American Lion,” draws on Bush’s diaries and on interviews he conducted with Bush from 2006-2015. The book is being publicly released on Tuesday.

Jeb Bush, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said he hadn’t read the book but he showed no inclination to echo his father’s criticisms.

“My thought was that Dick Cheney served my dad really well,” Bush said in an Associated Press interview Thursday in New Hampshire. “As vice president, he served my brother really well. Different eras. Different times.”

George W. Bush, too, was measured in his reaction, saying in a statement that he was “proud to have served with Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. Dick Cheney did a superb job as vice president, and I was fortunate to have him by my side throughout my presidency.  Don Rumsfeld ably led the Pentagon and was an effective secretary of defense.”

In the book, George W. Bush was asked about his father’s criticisms of his own language and allowed that his rhetoric had been “pretty strong.” But he was unrepentant on that count.

“They understood me in Midland,” he said, referring to the Texas town where he was raised.

The elder Bush, for his part, said he wasn’t sure what had changed Cheney, but added that he thought the Sept. 11 attacks had made him more hawkish about the use of U.S. military force abroad.

“Just iron-ass,” the elder Bush said. “His seeming knuckling under to the real hard-charging guys who want to fight about everything, use force to get our way in the Middle East.

The elder Bush also speculated that the views of the vice president’s wife, Lynne, and daughter Liz may have contributed to Cheney’s rightward turn.

“Lynne Cheney is a lot of the eminence grise here _ iron-ass, tough as nails, driving,” Bush said. “But I don’t know.” He said daughter Liz Cheney also was “tough” and influential in her father’s administration.

As for Rumsfeld, Bush said he had “served the president badly. I don’t like what he did, and I think it hurt the president having his iron-ass view of everything.”

“There’s a lack of humility, a lack of seeing what the other guy thinks,’ Bush said of Rumsfeld. “He’s more kick ass and take names, take numbers. I think he paid a price for that.”

Rumsfeld responded in a statement: “Bush 41 is getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions.”

Emails and phone calls to several contacts for the Cheney family were not immediately returned. But Meacham gave Cheney a chance to respond in the book to Bush’s criticisms. Meacham wrote that Cheney smiled and murmured “fascinating” after reading a transcript of Bush’s comments.

“No question I was much harder-line after 9-11,” Cheney said, adding that the younger Bush wanted him to play a significant role on national security.

“I do disagree with his putting it on Lynne and Liz,” he added.

The book suggests that Jeb Bush isn’t the only member of the current presidential field who has long had an interest in the White House. The elder Bush writes that when he was a presidential candidate in 1988, Donald Trump made an overture to be his vice presidential candidate, an idea that Bush found “strange and unbelievable.”

Bush also traces his own evolution in thinking about gay marriage, writing: “Personally, I still believe in traditional marriage. But people should be able to do what they want to do, without discrimination. People have a right to be happy. I guess you could say I have mellowed.”

End-of-life dispute re-emerges as 2016 issue for Bush

Jeb Bush was preparing to release the emails he sent and received as Florida governor when he was excoriated by a letter-writer to The Miami Herald.

The headline: “Don’t trust Jeb Bush with the power of the presidency.”

The subject of many of the emails was Terri Schiavo. The letter-writer was her husband, Michael.

Bush’s effort to stop Michael Schiavo from removing his brain-damaged wife’s feeding tube was a defining moment of Bush’s time in office.

Bush, a devout Catholic, sided with Terri Schiavo’s parents in the end-of-life dispute and reached for unprecedented authority to intervene. Michael Schiavo said his wife did not want to be kept alive artificially.

As Bush moves toward a run for president in 2016, Michael Schiavo has re-emerged, promising to campaign against Bush and remind voters about the ex-governor’s role in the matter.

“I will be very active,” Schiavo, a registered Republican, told The Associated Press in an interview. He said he plans to back Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, should she run.

To Schiavo, Bush “owes the public, along with myself, a huge apology.”

Asked last week about the case, Bush told the Tampa Bay Times: “It’s appropriate for people to err on the side of life. I’m completely comfortable with it.”

Bush’s recently released emails are part of his attempt to define himself on his terms. Many of the emails deal with the Schiavo case.

“Please know that I respect the opinions of those who disagree with the actions I have taken,” Bush wrote a constituent in 2005. “This is a heart-wrenching case, and I have not taken any action without thought, reflection and an appreciation for other points of view.”

Friends and advisers to Bush say his actions were driven largely by his faith, and they believe his effort to keep Schiavo alive _ despite wide public disapproval _ illustrates principled leadership. That could help in early presidential voting states such as Iowa and South Carolina, where social conservatives hold significant sway in the nominating process.

“Jeb felt strongly from a personal standpoint that she should be given a chance,” said Al Cardenas, former chairman of the American Conservative Union.

Terri Schiavo’s parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, asked Bush for help. They disputed the diagnosis that she was in a “chronic vegetative state” and said that their daughter, as a Catholic, would not want to be taken off life support.

“For Mr. Bush, it was clearly about doing the right thing,” said David Gibbs, the Schindlers’ lead lawyer. “He knew the easiest thing would be for him to avoid the issue and just be the governor. But he felt in principle that one disabled woman was worth his time and attention. He showed genuine compassion.”

Bush first intervened in 2003 as the Schindlers’ legal appeals were coming to an end. A judge’s ruling that Michael Schiavo, Terri’s legal guardian, could remove her feeding tube had withstood years of court challenges. But the governor took the unusual step of writing the judge and asking him to assign a different guardian.

“I normally would not address a letter to the judge in a pending legal proceeding,” Bush wrote. “However, my office has received over 27,000 emails reflecting understandable concern for the well-being of Terri Schiavo.”

His request was rejected.

On Oct. 21, 2003, six days after the feeding tube was removed, the GOP-controlled Legislature passed a one-page bill granting the governor the power to order the tube reinserted. Bush signed it into law, and a police-escorted ambulance moved her from a hospice to a hospital, where the tube was put back in.

“I honestly believe we did the right thing,” Bush wrote a constituent who supported the move.

Others weren’t so sure, including some of the Republicans who shepherded the measure through the Legislature. “I keep thinking, ‘What if Terri Schiavo really didn’t want this at all?”” the late Jim King, then Florida’s state Senate president, said at the time.

Nearly a year later, the Florida Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional. Bush appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, was rejected and asked Congress to intervene. Lawmakers, including then-Sen. Clinton, voted to give Terri Schiavo’s parents legal standing to appeal anew in the federal courts, which then rejected their case.

In a last-ditch effort, Bush tried to have the state Department of Children and Families take custody of Terri Schiavo, based on allegations that she had been abused by her husband and caregivers. The move was rebuffed by the presiding judge.

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo died.

Even after that, Bush raised questions about Michael Schiavo’s involvement in his wife’s initial collapse and asked that a state prosecutor revisit the case. “Jeb Bush had no right to do what he did,” Michael Schiavo said in his letter to the newspaper.

The prosecutor concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

“Voters should consider what someone who used the power of government to hurt so many would do with the power of the presidency,” Schiavo wrote.

In a statement upon Terri Schiavo’s death, Bush said he joined those in Florida and around the world who were “deeply grieved by the way Terri died.”

“I remain convinced, however, that Terri’s death is a window through which we can see the many issues left unresolved in our families and in our society. For that, we can be thankful for all that the life of Terri Schiavo has taught us.”

More Clinton White House records to be released

The National Archives said it plans to release 2,000 pages of documents from former President Bill Clinton’s administration on June 6, covering a wide range of topics including Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 campaign, gays in the military and the Supreme Court nominations of Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

The papers have been closely watched this spring as former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton considers a second presidential campaign. The former first lady’s new book on her State Department years, “Hard Choices,” will be released next week.

More than 15,000 pages of records from the Clinton White House have been distributed since February, offering details into the administration’s unsuccessful attempt to overhaul the health care system, how it responded to GOP victories in the 1994 elections and how the former first lady’s aides sought to shape her public image.

The records to be released on June 6 could offer more insight into Clinton’s decisions during the 1990s.

Gore’s presidential campaign dominated the final year of the administration — including a lengthy recount saga in Florida —and he ultimately lost to George W. Bush despite winning the popular vote. Clinton’s administration created the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy that addressed gays serving in the armed services, and it dealt with two Supreme Court vacancies during his first term.

Another topic will involve records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Congress passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which established an assassination records review board during Clinton’s tenure to carry out release of records.

Other topics will include the administration’s handling of international crises in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia; its response to terrorism; the Oklahoma City bombing and efforts to spread democratic reform in Cuba.

The memos, drafts of speeches and other papers are being disseminated through the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Donald Trump does not support marriage equality

Donald Trump, who is mulling a run for the presidency in 2010, told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that he does not support marriage equality.

“New York is a place with lots of gays, and I think it is great,” he told Van Susteren. “But I’m not in favor of gay marriage.”

Trump also characterized himself as “very conservative Republican.”

Trump spoke last weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was embraced by GOProud, the Republican gay rights group.

 Politico reported that “Trump entered into the gay marriage fray in 2009, when he defended Carrie Prejean’s stated opposition to gay marriage. Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant, defended Prejean for speaking out, comparing her views on gay marriage to President Barack Obama’s.”

Trump has long been embroiled in a high-profile public feud with out comedienne and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell.