Tuesday, March 29, 2016
The racial divide in our country widens under Obama: The Black Lives Matter movement is so prejudicial they only believe black lives matter; Black citizens are protesting heinous crimes by white police officers against black youths, but these same people do nothing as thousands of black youths are killed by other blacks; Others are protesting to remove Woodrow Wilson, Thomas Jefferson, and Roger Taney from history because of their “bigoted” views, but they forget blacks have greatly taken advantage of the progressive movement started by Wilson or that the words “All men are created equal” written by Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence would help steer the anti-slavery movement; or Protests at the college level which want to remove racism at the expense of the first amendment. There is no question that the hypocrisy, racism, and lawlessness of these movements is worrisome. By eliminating history, it defeats the purpose of any movement – to forget the struggles of our past. In fact, these folks want to erase the lessons of history and start over by making the same mistakes (prejudice, stifling free speech, etc.). History has shown that many people, including white people, made lots of sacrifices to knock down the barriers of racism and prejudice, but these folks will never be recognized for their achievements by a bunch of misguided groups of people protesting throughout the country. They only want to harp on the negatives. After over 500,000 Americans died in the Civil War to end slavery and the drafting of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, racism and prejudice lived on through segregation and Jim Crow laws. One of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history allowed this to happen: Plessy v. Ferguson. The Court ruled that “separate but equal” was Constitutional. The first big turning point to end segregation occurred when the Court overturned Plessy in Brown v. Board of Education. The Court used unconventional practices and methods in this case to rule separate but equal was not equal and that school systems throughout the United States had to be integrated. First, the court overruled precedence, which does not happen very often. Secondly, the court allowed a social study to be part of the ruling. The study was conducted by a black couple who monitored children responses to questions by having them select a “white” doll or “black” doll as their answers. However, this study was flawed because it lacked control of variables and it contains the prejudices of the black couple conducting the study (the outcome was biased). From this study the court concluded even if white and black schools were equal, segregation was still harmful to black students. Thirdly, this court was making an “activist” decision. They could have waited for Congress to pass new civil rights legislation, but instead decided they would legislate from the bench. They were able to bypass this controversy by having a unanimous decision (9-0) including Judges Frankfurter and Jackson who generally ruled with judicial restraint and Judge Reed who was a known proponent of segregation joining the majority decision. Fourthly, the court applied the “equal protection” clause of the 14th amendment in its decision. However, federal jurisdictions did not have an “equal protection” clause but in Bolling v. Sharpe (filed in a federal jurisdiction – DC), the Court imaginatively read “equal protection” into the 5th amendment to have a consistent ruling as the Brown case. Following the Brown ruling, President Eisenhower used the National Guard to force integration at Little Rock Arkansas schools deeming the court’s ruling law of the land even though it was not passed by Congress. There were several other issues with the Brown ruling. I remember my mom being so happy to move us from one school system to another just 5 miles away. She told us it was a better school. It was certainly more modern, but the teachers were not any better. I would say they were the same. However, the big difference was that the “modern” school did not have a home economics class nor a shop class. Maybe the old school did not have the most modern equipment, but I learned how to cook and do woodwork at that school. In the Brown case there were lots of pictures showing lush conditions in “white” schools and schools with old equipment at “black” schools. I may not have a kitchen that is comparable to someone living in a mansion, but I can still be the better cook using inferior equipment. I learned how to write computer programs at school using outdated equipment and languages, but it was still applicable in the real world. “Modern” does not necessarily mean better all the time. Nor does it mean things learned on outdated equipment could not be applicable in the real world. These were some of the least compelling arguments used to claim separate but equal was not in fact equal.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
There has been a lot of talk that Obama is to blame for the rise of Trump. There is a lot of truth to this sediment but Obama is certainly not the only person to blame for the rise of Trump. Republicans have a lot of blame for this as well. If congressional members merely did the job their constituents elected them to do, then maybe the world of Trump could have been avoided. Obama has been an abrasive narcissistic leader – similar to Trump. And the electorate is definitely mad at both Republicans and Democrats alike. This could be the simple reason for the rise of Trump. I believe the reason for the rise of Trump is not just about the feelings of the electorate – it goes a little deeper – the intellect of the electorate. I believe the reason is as I point out in an earlier blog – “The Reality TV Election”. And when we really get down to it, Obama was the first Reality TV President. Obama was the first President to blow off those boring press conferences for “cooler” appearances on talk programs such as on Comedy Central with John Stewart. The President doesn’t address the nation anymore about domestic or foreign crisis, but instead appears on ESPN to divulge his NCAA brackets. In fact, the President would place a higher importance on appearing on “The View” or campaigning then dealing with Russia, Benghazi, or the IRS Scandal. Obama has even appeared on Reality TV programs. Yes, in the narcissistic generation of social media – Obama is our first reality TV president. Trump is not much different. Trump will also appear on the talk shows like Obama. The media loves to cover both Trump and Obama while ignoring more credible candidates. And like Obama, Trump has made elections and the office of the presidency more exciting by rambling about their dislike for others and avoiding substantive explanations on policy. Yes, both Trump and Obama turn out tens of thousands of ignorant people to campaign events. These people are ignorant and oblivious about the true reality of the world. They actually believe true global realities can be found on reality TV. Let’s not forget that a big portion of Trump support this primary season is from Democrats. Especially, uneducated blue collar workers with ties to unions – a big part of the Obama coalition. However, Trump’s appeal is much more questionable than Obama’s. While Obama had the support of the entire Democratic Party (the Reality TV Party) and brought minorities to the polls in droves, Trumps appeal to a large number of independents and Republicans is in question – especially educated and elder persons who Reality TV does not thrill. It will also be hard for Trump to muster support from Democratic Reality TV candidate: Hillary Clinton. Clinton also goes on the shows and like many on Reality TV, she is a criminal with no moral being. So Trump will have his work cut out for him to win those votes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Frankfurter ended career and most historians view his legacy on the Court as being fairly inconsequential. Hence, he is not viewed well by history. This is because he did not believe in economic due process and he practiced judicial constraint. In my opinion, a judge we cannot remember, is a good judge. This means they did not get in way of the legislative process. I view a judge like an offensive linemen in football. An offensive linemen is doing a great job if you do not hear their name. But the real question is how can Frankfurter be known for judicial constraint but still rule in favor of FDR policies? Black and Frankfurter unanimously agreed with FDR policies, but once he died they could not agree on any major cases outside of civil rights. In fact, it is not surprising that an originalist and a judge practicing judicial constraint agreed on FDR policies. What is surprising they agreed they were Constitutional instead of being unconstitutional? Some say special circumstances such as the Great Depression and World War II may lead Justices to give a President leeway in executive powers, but that is hardly excuse. Consider another wartime case (Korean War) decided in 1952: Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer. The court decided 6-3 that Truman could not use an executive action to have the government takeover steel plants around the country without congressional approval. However, this time, both Black and Frankfurter ruled with the majority against the government. This decision was really no different than the Korematsu decision since both were wartime executive actions made without congressional approval that consisted of confiscating property and liberty. Scholars claim the Sawyer case set limits on executive action and strengthened the separation of powers of government, but I do not know if I agree with that. Decisions such a Korematsu are still on the books and that is dangerous because it sets a bad precedent – meaning a similar ruling can happen again in our future. There is no excuse to make bad decisions. What’s worse, judicial activism has become common place in the Court. Today, Obama is using executive action to rule on illegal immigration. We have seen Court case decided on issues such as: ObamaCare, gay marriage, and abortion – social justice cases that are not mentioned in the Constitution. Ironically, Black and Frankfurter would have been on the same side and ruled against these laws, but unfortunately they set a bad precedent in allowing judicial activism to occur in the FDR years which has led to some really bad decisions since they left the court. One final point, FDR claimed that the Court prior to his attempt to “pack” the courts was an “activist” court. So, does that mean FDR would have felt both Black and Frankfurter were activist judges after the FDR presidency? After all, they both ruled against similar types of FDR cases? Yet, Black and Frankfurter were on opposing sides of so many decisions that they did not like each other. They both had two vastly different viewpoints in interpreting the Constitution – Originalism and Judicial restraint. And history did not call either of these men an activist judge. It is very weird how these two men agreed on decisions to support FDR, united and voted against similar types of FDR cases after his death, and were on opposite sides of about every other decision. Strange indeed. I would say there had to be a great deal of corruption in the FDR administration for this happen.
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Under FDR, the Court ruled in Helvering v. Davis that the government could enforce a social security and unemployment system. Obviously there is nothing in the Constitution about social security and unemployment, but the court ruled that it was a tax covered under the 16th amendment allowing the government the right to impose an income tax. However, the newly proposed Social Security Act was not an income tax, but a payroll tax. The tax dollars collected went into the Treasury and were not earmarked for social security of unemployment, but instead could be used as the government saw fit. In fact, in Fleming v. Nestor in 1960 the Court ruled that workers had no legal standing to collect social security and those benefits could be eliminated or cut entirely. So social security was just another way for the government to tax and create more revenue. When social security passed, the life expectancy was 63 and the age to collect social security was set at 65. Hence, social security was designed so that most people would not collect benefits. It was a scam and a present day Ponzi scheme. It was truly an innovative new way to tax Americans and was not at all investment insurance to protect citizens from another financial collapse. To further complicate matters, social security was enforced on all private sector citizens but not government workers. How could such a scheme be constitutional? In Korematsu v. United States the Court ruled that FDR had the power to round up and place over 120 thousand Japanese Americans into internment camps (prisons). Thousands would die from dysentery due to terrible living conditions. And in the process of arresting Japanese Americans, all of their belongings were confiscated and never returned including, money, property, vehicles, furniture, jewelry, and so forth. Less than 80 years after the Civil War America was once again discriminating against an ethnicity and depriving them of the right to due process under the 14th amendment added to the Constitution just for cases like this. What the Court practiced under FDR was neither “originalism” nor “judicial constraint”, it was judicial activism. After the death of FDR, Frankfurter and Black moved almost immediately into the roles they would be known for on the Supreme Court: Black would be and originalist and Frankfurter would follow judicial constraint and would be on the opposing sides of many major decisions. In West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette in 1943, you could see the difference in Frankfurter and Black. In the case, it was ruled that Jehovah Witness students had a first amendment right to break a tradition of saluting the American Flag in schools. Black believed that the first eight amendments in the bill of rights was applicable to the states via the 14th amendment. Hence, Black was able to apply this philosophy to the 1st amendment to render a decision in the Barnette case. On the other hand, Frankfurter believed that the courts did not have to decide whether or not a law is good or bad, but merely determine if the law was reasonable. In his decent, he did not see anything unreasonable with people saluting the American Flag whereas Black felt people had freedom expression to salute the flag or not. Black had a narrow view of the 4th amendment by claiming warrantless wiretapping was legal. He viewed conversations as different then tangible things obtained from searches and seizures. He also refused to read “privacy” into the constitution which is commonly done today. How can this same person who does read anything into the constitution such as to protect conversations and privacy make those same decisions in the FDR era?
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
It is often hard to prove that Supreme Court decisions are activist if the people on the court are consistent in their decisions. However, in analyzing two Supreme Court justices under FDR, Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter, it is easy to see how their decisions changed once the FDR era ended. Black and Frankfurter were appointed to the Supreme Court by FDR. Black was a justice from 1937 to 1971 and Frankfurter was a justice from 1939 to 1962. Black has been called an “originalist”, deciding cases based on the actual words of the Constitution and not making his own interpretation of the document. Frankfurter has been called a justice that used “judicial constraint” and relied more on Congress to pass laws instead of using economic due process. Frankfurter and Black were arch rivals on the court, but that was not always true. Up to 1943-44 both Black and Frankfurter were judicial activists, loyal to the man who gave them their posts – FDR. In 1937, FDR was fed up with losing case after case before the Supreme Court, so FDR attempted to “pack” the courts. This law would allow FDR to add 6 new justices to the Supreme Court for an overall total of 15 justices. This would give FDR the majority he would need to pass his New Deal agenda. Despite overwhelming majorities in congress, Democrats shot down FDR’s attempt to be King of the United States. However, shortly after the packing the courts plan failed, justices resigned, died, and shifted allegiances and just like that FDR had the majority he had been seeking. Is this a coincidence or something more sinister happening? It seems highly unlikely that FDR would have so much good fortune at the expense of several judges, but it is how it went down in history without any investigation. Under FDR the interstate commerce clause was vastly expanded to include intrastate commerce and non-tangible items such as insurance. Probably the most famous case was Wickard v. Filburn decided unanimously in 1942. The majority said that Ohio farmer (Filburn) could not grow more wheat than what was allowed by the Agriculture Adjustment Act of 1938, even if the excess wheat was going to be consumed by his family. The court argued that by eating his own wheat, Filburn could not buy wheat from across state lines to eat and therefore violated the interstate commerce clause. The Agriculture Adjustment Act was a really bad law. Its purpose was to put caps on crops to lower supply and increase demand to raise prices. What made this so insane was that there millions of people across the country starving besides, it was not up to the government to generate laws to artificially raise agriculture prices – prices that incidentally, most families could not afford. Even though the excess wheat grown by Filburn would not cross state lines, the court found a very “imaginative” way to rule against him. Under FDR the power of the contracts clause in the Constitution and in the 1866 Civil Rights Act was all but eliminated. The contracts clause was commonly used in cases up to 1937 to prevent government from overregulating citizens. This was originally determined in the 1905 case of Lochner v. New York where the court ruled the state of New York had no right to break a contract between bakers and their employers to limit work hours. Sure it sounds great to limit work hours of bakers, but there are reasons why bakers had long hours. Limiting hours would have closed the doors of hundreds of mom and pop bakeries at the expense of huge baking companies that could afford to hire more workers to limit hours. In another case, if the Court ruled in favor of the butchers in the Slaughter House cases then thousands of innocent civilians would have died from Cholera. All rules and regulations do not necessarily fit into a one size fits all – and this is what the Court started when it eliminated the power of the contracts clause in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish. The Court no longer viewed contracts as important and allowed governments to enforce “on size fits all” regulations. In other words, governments are so arrogant that they believe that they understand and can resolve complex problems of each uniquely different municipality by passing a single law.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
I am not saying the “Lochner” court never used substantive due process in any of its decisions. In fact, substantive due process was used in probably their most famous decision: Schenck v. United States. Schenck was a socialist from Philadelphia who wrote an anti-war pamphlet during WWI urging citizens to use their rights and not sign up for the draft. The court used substantive due process to define a limit to the first amendment to uphold Schenck’s conviction for espionage. Interestingly, famous justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, who chastised his fellow justices for using substantive due process, wrote the famous statement in the majority decision: acquainting Schenck’s actions to “Falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic”. If that is the limit to the first amendments legality then every politician today is guilty of violating the first amendment. Substantive due process has become a liberal tool to garner more power for the Supreme Court and diminish the power of elected government officials at both the state and federal levels. Instead of courts existing to reinforce the democratic process, they are legislating new laws. Consider how the court has decided cases on privacy, marriage, and abortion. The court would have to come up with some imaginative theories incorporated into the constitution via the fourteenth amendments due process clause for that to happen. In doing so, the courts have vastly diminished state’s rights under the tenth amendment. Past cases of substantive due process should not mean it is a precedent and the practice should continue. If this is what Justices think our founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution they are sorely wrong. There is a process to include new “rights” into the Constitution and that is to add a new amendment. If it is the will of the people to add new privacy laws; gay marriage laws; and abortion laws amended to the Constitution, then so be it. It is not up to the court to “assume” or to “creatively” find ways around the constitution’s original intent. Let’s face it; substantive due process takes the will of the people out of the equation and that is not right. I find it hard to believe this country could not unanimously pass an amendment to protect American citizens’ privacy. It shows we are lazy and want to sidestep the constitution to get our way. It is a power grab. To render social justice decisions is very dangerous as Chief Justice Taney found out when he ruled incorrectly on Dred Scott. That being said, the Taney decision put the country on the fast track to the Civil War and ending slavery once and for all. Most scholars disagree with that statement, but had Taney ruled the other way, it is quite possible that Lincoln is not elected president in four years. It is highly doubtful that the decision is carried out by the South so nothing would have changed. Taney’s decision made President Buchanan a lame duck from the get go since he concurred with Taney’s decision. Many call Dred Scott the worst decision in American history and it is vigorously debated today. Statues of Taney are continually defaced and many are still calling for them to be taken down. If that kind of animosity exists 160 years later, think of the animosity that existed when this decision was first rendered. The Dred Scott decision was undoubtedly a huge factor in the start of the Civil War. Fast forward a hundred years: the court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. Forty years later, a majority of Americans are still opposed to abortion (albeit a small majority). This is how the court rules against the will of the people. Recently, the court made gay marriage the law of the land despite nearly half of all states having constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and women. Social justice decisions do nothing except polarize Americans, especially when magical techniques such as substantive due process are used to pass the measure.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Substantive due process is a law term and my definition of it is as follows: It is a means by which lawyers can use the fourteenth amendment (particularly the due process clause) of the Constitution to introduce theories about the intent of the constitutional framers. In other words, it is judicial activism. The deception that is substantive due process has been going on for a long time – even before the fourteenth amendment. Some trace it all the way back to the Dred Scott decision in 1857. But the first major landmark case said to using substantive due process was Lochner v. New York in 1905. I would disagree with this assessment, that the Lochner decision used substantive due process, for the following reasons: First, the Supreme Court found all of the health condition provisions of the Bakers Act of 1895 Constitutional. There was only one provision of the act that come under scrutiny and that was the clause saying all Bakers had to adhere to a 60 hour work week. Secondly, in deciding that the 60 hour work week was unconstitutional because it violated the fourteenth amendment’s right to due process because it broke the “liberty of contract”. This was rational for a number of reasons. First, the law was arbitrary. The court could understand why the law wanted to clean up the health conditions in the baking industry. But why did the court single out just the Baking industry for a maximum hours work week? These motives were unknown. Secondly, the law was irrational for a couple of reasons. First it was arbitrary and secondly, it was seen as a way for unions of big bakeries to suppress and try to put smaller bakeries (mom and pop shops) out of business. Smaller businesses could not afford to employ enough employees to cover multiple shifts, seven days a week to adhere to the 60 hour work week. Thirdly, the maximum hours request only referred to employees and not the owners. If owners could work long hours than why not employees? Fourth, many argued that housewives work longer than 60 hours a week cooking, cleaning, and caring for their families. A majority believe this decision was substantive due process because the right of “liberty of contract” was not in the fourteenth amendment. Hence, many deduced the decision was a theory by the justices to say “liberty of contract” was implicit in the fourteenth amendment. That is not entirely true. The fourteenth amendment was passed to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Republicans knew the South would not provide new freed slaves the rights they deserved as free citizens of the United States. So they passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment so the courts could enforce the new law. Within the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was the right of “liberty of contract”. So this was not a theory or interpretation of the fourteenth amendment. It was the actual intent of the fourteenth amendment so this is NOT substantive due process. The next 34 years the Supreme Court would be known as the “Lochner” era where the justices routinely used “liberty of contract” to strike down intrusive state laws that were arbitrary and irrational. It was not until the 1937 case West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, where the court’s decision flipped and the “liberty of contract” argument was no longer sufficient to strike down state laws. This is where I believe the judicial activism started, in the FDR years. Around the time of the Parrish decision FDR attempted but failed to pack the courts. And then mysteriously, associate justice Roberts changed his views on “liberty of contract”. Of course when Roberts left the court he burned all of his documents and we know very little about him and why he changed his views. Some believe that Roberts was intimidated or even bribed to side with FDR. What follows is the worst decision in U.S. history: Korematsu v. United States where internment camps used to hold 120 thousand Japanese Americans captive was ruled Constitutional during WWII. That is substantive due process at its best.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Many scholars and pundits alike, especially liberals and libertarians, feel the Supreme Court Slaughter House decision of 1873 was wrong and even grossly negligent. The Slaughter house case was important because it was the first case ruling about the newly passed fourteenth amendment. It was an unusual 5-4 split decision ruling against the butchers during the New Orleans post-Civil War reconstruction era. The Louisiana state legislature passed a law that monopolized butchers under one company and moved their operating location outside of the New Orleans city limits for health reasons. The butchers claimed this violated the “privileges and immunities” clause of the fourteenth amendment. In other words, they no longer had the privilege to practice their trade and make a living. By ruling against the butchers, many argued the Supreme Court all but eliminated the scope of the “privileges and immunities” clause. Others claim the Slaughter House ruling played an important role in allowing the passage of the Jim Crow laws of the 20th century. Here are some reasons the Slaughter House decision was a sound one: All butchers were offered jobs to work with the monopoly butcher company. So no butcher was put out of work and denied the ability to practice their trade. In the past, New Orleans butchers already practiced their trade like a monopoly. They conspired to drive up prices and to push “blacks” out of the profession. Also, localized monopolies are much different than national monopolies. Localized monopolies are very common in the US and hardly violate any commerce regulations. For instance, there may only be one shoe store in 1870s New Orleans, but that does not mean it is a monopoly. By siding with the local and state legislatures, the Supreme Court was siding with the post-Civil War Reconstruction effort. Much of the Louisiana reconstruction era state legislation was made up of African-Americans (about 1/3). John Campbell, the attorney for the butchers, was a former Supreme Court justice who resigned at the outbreak of the Civil War to work for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Campbell was one of 7 justices who ruled against Dred Scott in 1857. Campbell was bitter and had an axe to grind. He wanted to create an irony by using the newly passed thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments against the North’s reconstruction effort. Campbell solely wanted to stunt the reconstruction effort led by black politicians and northern businessmen (carpetbaggers). Due to the butcher’s negligence of discarding animal entrails, feces, and urine into the Mississippi river (near pipes that pump in the city’s drinking water no less), New Orleans was a health hazard. Every year thousands of people were dying from cholera outbreaks. It is also important to note, other major cities such as New York and Boston created laws to prevent butchers from contaminating the water supply. This was hardly a unique situation. Actually, by ruling against the butchers, the justices were ruling in favor of the civil rights of the citizens of New Orleans and protecting them from the negligence of the butchers. The Slaughter House decision was bipartisan. Four of 7 Republicans ruled with the majority decision and 2 Democrats were split. This type of bipartisanship is hardly seen in Supreme Court split decisions were both parties are on opposing sides of the decisions. In other words, this was not a political decision. Samuel Miller, who wrote the majority opinion, claimed that the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were drafted with one primary reason in mind – to protect African American slaves. These laws were not drafted to primarily protect butchers or whites for that matter. And who are we to argue with Miller? After all, he was alive and working in government when these amendments were drafted. Hence, he had a better understanding of the intent of amendments then present day pundits. And Miller’s defense of African Americans civil rights during his opinion should have been enough for the Court to properly rule on the 1875 Civil Rights Act (1877) and on Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). Unfortunately, the court ruled the fourteenth amendments “equal protection clause” prevents State’s laws from discrimination, but it does not prevent individuals and corporations from discriminating against blacks. These decisions led to the Jim Crow laws, not the Slaughter House decision. The Fourteenth amendment has been used to rule on many of the top landmark cases in US history – contraception, abortion, gay marriage, and other social justice cases. My point is that the fourteenth amendment hardly seems weakened by the Miller decision. Are there really any major injustices in US history that were blocked by Miller narrowing the scope of the “privileges and immunities” clause? For instance, removing the privilege of marriage for all did not stop the court from ruling in favor of gay marriage. Politics and broad interpretation of the Constitution has not stopped liberals from getting their way. It has not stopped the Court from making social justice decisions in which they have no jurisdiction. I do not see any limitations in Court’s ability to protect the civil rights of Americans by the Slaughter House ruling. The butcher’s may have been slightly inconvenienced, but that may be the consequence of war, public health, and modernization. A ruling in favor of the butchers would have been a blow to reconstruction, public health, and black governance. This would have set a very bad precedent for the fourteenth amendment.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
I do not like it, but I will vote for Trump in the general election over Clinton or Sanders. These have got to be the 3 most flawed candidates in election history making it a sad state of affairs for this nation. Trump is the biggest narcissist, Sanders the most socialistic, and Clinton the biggest criminal and liar. I do not buy the fact that many claim Trump is an outsider. He is merely the guy sitting at opposite ends of the negotiating table (lobbying) from politicians lining their pockets with money with the intent of getting something in return. This is the biggest form of corruption in Washington these days and it is destroying our country. Let’s face facts, Trump is obnoxious. A child persona disguised in a man’s body who likes to throw insults at anyone who does not agree with him. This is far from Presidential behavior. I loathe listening to Trump’s non-substantive nonsense. But it is not much easier listening to the words of Sanders and Clinton bashing 1% of the population and calling the other 99% victims. Sure, I could vote for a third party candidate. However, most of them may not be much better. I could never vote for Bloomberg if he runs, he is the king of the nanny-state and more government intrusion. I heard Jim Webb may run as an independent and he would certainly be a better choice than the circus that is Sanders, Clinton, Trump or Bloomberg. However, a vote for a person other than Trump would certainly help Sanders, Clinton, or Bloomberg win and we cannot have that. I would much rather have Trump and some of his conservative views over socialism and progressivism. For instance, Trump will place a conservative on the Supreme Court, the others would not. And this may be the biggest issue facing the country at this time, replacing Justice Scalia. If Scalia is replaced with a liberal, then religious freedom, gun rights, and other Constitutional rights will most certainly go away or push further Left. I also view Trump’s business background as a huge plus over the other candidates for dealing with the economy. Trump’s persona has also put political correctness out of the limelight and that is another big plus and yes, refreshing. I believe Trump is smart enough to surround himself with the best conservative minds to do the job. Trump definitely thinks he is great, but deep down he understands his limitations even if he would not admit to it. There are definitely more positives in a Trump presidency over the others. He is easily the lesser of the Evils. That is not saying much, but that is the deck we have been dealt. Hopefully, the Republican Party will heal from this brutal primary season and coalesce around the nominee no matter how flawed he is.