Considering the question: Given Vietnam’s horrors, is Trump really worse than JFK and LBJ?

About two-thirds of the Trump horror is about style, and character, and dishonesty and contempt for facts and rudeness and crudeness and egotism and incoherence.

I’m fairly desperate for ways to feel better about the current incumbent. This is a pretty twisted one, but I seem to have tried to find solace in it almost every day since I found it in my inbox.

An old friend whom I haven’t seen in more than a year reached out one recent day, most of the way through the Ken Burns/PBS Vietnam War series, with this:

Sorry, I have nobody else to express this to other than you. … 

I’m sure I despise Trump almost as much as you but in watching the Vietnam series on television I keep thinking: Is Trump really worse than JFK or LBJ?

So far, at least, Trump hasn’t laid waste to millions of lives to protect his political career.

I realize there’s nothing shockingly new in the Vietnam series, still seeing it laid out clearly, hour after hour, I’m surprised at the lies, the killing that went on even as both Kennedy and Johnson realized it was all a totally senseless waste.

God help me for thinking this, but is Trump really worse than Kennedy and Johnson?

Sorry for bleating on your shoulder.

I was 9 years old when John Kennedy was elected, a born and raised Democrat and in Massachusetts, no less. I thought JFK was a man of destiny. I look back on him now as a huge disappointment, full of character flaws (for example, he was an incredibly bad husband), who got where he got mostly on good looks and money that he didn’t even earn himself, who accomplished little as president (although it’s hard to blame a guy for getting shot, and I leave open the possibility that he might have done more and better if he had lived and been re-elected). I’m not sure I have much to back up the likelihood of that.

On the other hand, although this wasn’t emphasized in the Burns film, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara believed that JFK was determined not to get sucked into Vietnam any deeper than he already was, and to set a date to start withdrawing U.S. troops … when he took that bullet, and now we’ll never know if he would have had the strength and wisdom to do it.

As I hit my teens under LBJ, I despised him. On substance, that was mostly because of Vietnam. “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” Although with what I’ve learned over the years about how voters decide these things, it may have been because of his droopy face and his bad manners. I do know that my impression of him has risen fairly steadily (while my boy-crush on JFK continued to fade) during the endless decades of the Robert Caro LBJ biography series. (Could we have the next volume soon, please?) LBJ’s accomplishments on civil rights legislation and the war on poverty were historic achievements that must be weighed against his disastrous conduct of the war in Vietnam.

Heck, during my life I’ve had tremendous ups and downs about George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Only Abraham Lincoln seems to never — OK, seldom — disappoint. The same for Walter Mondale, although, regrettably, we never got to see him be president.

The current incumbent horrifies me. When I try to come up with one word, it’s always the same: “Horrified.” And yet, as my old friend’s forlorn email says, what has he done that compares with Vietnam for horror?

About two-thirds of the Trump horror is about style, and character, and dishonesty and contempt for facts and rudeness and crudeness and egotism and incoherence. On substance, he hasn’t been able to do much (although he will tell you that he’s had the most successful first 10 months of any president since Lincoln (and, of course, Lincoln’s first White House year featured the breakup of the country, but Trump may not be aware of that).

It’s really more upsetting that someone of Trump’s egocentrism could be president than anything he’s been able to do with the job (which is pretty amazing, considering that his party controls both houses of Congress).

So, to return to my old friend’s bleat that kicked this off, is it possible that the Trump chapter may turn out, reviewed retrospectively in the fullness of historical perspective, to have been something other than pure horror? I doubt it. But I would have doubted that my retrospective view of JFK would have fallen so far and of LBJ have risen so high. As long as we’re old, old friend, let’s try to hang on to the idea that future view of the present and the past is oft full of surprises.

And now, just because I wrote that, I’ll check the news and find out that while I was busy typing, Trump started three wars and sold the White House because a) Let’s face it, the place is a dump; and b) the offer was just too good to pass up and c) he’s president, and you’re not.

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Comments (38)

  1. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 10/03/2017 - 09:16 am.

    Put not thy faith in princes…

    …or in presidents. I’m not interesting in putting a hero or a god in the White House. I would be satisfied with an honest man or woman who has leadership skills.

    • Submitted by Mike Schumann on 10/03/2017 - 01:14 pm.

      Trump’s Honesty

      One may not like his style and his rude / crude comments, but there is no filter between his brain and his tweets. So for better or worse, you know where he stands (even though he changes his mind a lot).

      That’s a HUGE plus compared to past presidents, who out of the public eye, got us involved not only in Vietnam, but Iraq, Libya, etc……

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/03/2017 - 01:49 pm.

        Trump’s Honesty

        Let’s leave aside his myriad lies for a moment. His “:honesty” has shown him to be a towering egotist with the temperament of an irate toddler. Why on Earth is that a good thing?

      • Submitted by Gene Nelson on 10/03/2017 - 02:22 pm.

        Only 8 months so far…North Korea…Iran..MidEast

        Huge plus with trump who lies almost daily to us…the voters?
        Maybe you need to expose yourself to real facts…

        You talk about Iraq, but ignore Afghanistan…both repub initiated wars…handled with total ineptness by bush and his administration with no source of funding…and let’s not ignore Iraq was a preemptive war based on lies.

        No wars yet…after 8 months…but massive threats, including nukes by trump towards North Korea with his attempt to do away with the Iran treaty to keep nukes out of their hands.
        …and let us not ignore…we’re still involved in Afghanistan…of which he increased the troop levels…and Iraq and Syria…of which he increased the troop levels.

        We have no idea where he stands and it changes every day. Truth is not his virtue and if he is criticized he goes on a twitter hissy attack. This creature is not normal…just scary and deceitful…with his love affair with our arch enemy Putin.

      • Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/04/2017 - 07:20 am.

        What are you talking about?

        Trump’s own staff can’t tell you where he stands. He says one thing now and 15 minutes later you get a different story. How is it a HUGE plus not knowing where he stands or what he means? Vindictiveness is what drives him, not anywhere near common sense. I don’t want a President who thinks it is all about him. His loose lips are going to get some people killed because the other side is going to misinterpret what he says or does. He is downright dangerous.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/03/2017 - 09:32 am.

    Johnson learned from his mistakes

    as Kennedy was in the process of doing.
    And his domestic policies saved lives.
    Trump may not have (yet) caused as many war deaths, but his domestic policies (start with health care and cuts in medical research) will in the long run cause more deaths.

  3. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/03/2017 - 09:43 am.

    Feet of clay?

    The study of history is the study of the failings of mankind and its leaders. My own list of heroes has shrunk to zero, though there are actions and achievements I admire. You’ve mentioned two of LBJ’s. Do they cancel out the lives lost in Vietnam? No, but it’s worth asking whether any person elected president in that time and place would have had any more success than did LBJ.

    I’m currently wading through “American Revolutions: A Continental History 1750 – 1814.” It is filled with hero-worship killers, including the land speculation of people like Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin, speculation based on and intended to profit from violation of royal edicts and the conflict with indigenous people such edicts were intended, in part, to avoid.

    There are no heroes. There are, however, a great many villains and incompetents. At a minimum, I expect Donald Trump will be counted among the great incompetents. He may yet manage villainy, should he lead us into a futile war on the Korean peninsula or completely destroy America’s already diminished standing around the world.

  4. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 10/03/2017 - 09:48 am.


    I am not a huge finger pointer. I feel that allocating blame tends to divert us from understanding and learning from the process of making bad choices.

    In thinking about policy disasters, I often notice how people speak in terms of inevitability; that they had no choice. It is interesting to me why these people who are frequently described as the most powerful people in the world, seem to be afflicted by a sense of powerlessness. Is that a delusion? Or are they really in the grip of forces beyond their ability to control?

    Another thing I see is that disastrous decisions, often, aren’t made all at once. Instead we see a process of incrementalism. Bad policy seems to be made in small portions. Little mistakes, little choices, each in itself inconsequential, some of them not wrong, but when added up lead to disaster.

  5. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 10/03/2017 - 09:51 am.

    Weak leader

    Support for Trump has a lot of different elements. Some of them even appealed to me, someone who wouldn’t dream of voting for Trump. One of those elements is the businessman model, the guy who can get things done. Steve Jobs starting in his garage, building the world’s most valuable company, that sort of thing. Now comparing Donald Trump with Steve Jobs presents issues of scale. Apple is a major corporation. In terms of scale, the Trump Organization is much closer to your corner gas station than it is to Apple. Trump was essentially the operator of a small business. But still, especially from his early years, we thought Trum

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 10/03/2017 - 10:17 am.

      Jobs v. Trump

      Jobs was a self-made man who not only became incredibly wealthy, but built a company that makes products that are part of everyone’s lives. Trump was born a multi-millionaire, who has been a terrible businessman, with multiple bankruptcies and other failed ventures. If he had put his inherited wealth into average-performing mutual funds, he would be worth far more than what he even claims to be worth today.

      Trump is a showman. He is not, and has never been, a guy who gets things done.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/03/2017 - 03:00 pm.

        Steve Jobs

        (the son of a Syrian immigrant, BTW)
        was born comfortably middle class.
        He was a mediocre engineer and contributed little to the actual design of the Apple computer.
        That was done by the other Steve: Wozniak.
        Jobs’ genius was in spotting marketable achievements by other people and taking advantage of them. He was certainly a far better businessman than Trump, but not himself an innovator.

  6. Submitted by Pat Terry on 10/03/2017 - 09:52 am.

    Fair question

    I ask the same thing about the sanitizing of Bush the 2nd. Bush wasn’t a racist and a bully like Trump, but the Iraq war was a catastrophic mistake. ISIS, Syria, refugees, general instability in the middle east – all of those things are problems today that were caused by the actions of a president 15 years ago. Has Trump done anything that bad? We probably won’t know for many years.

    The mistakes of Kennedy and Johnson – which were also terrible – should not be used as an excuse for Trump. “Well, he’s not as bad” shouldn’t be the standard we apply to a president.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/03/2017 - 10:09 am.

    We can’t help

    …but be creatures of our time and place. Still in high school when Kennedy was elected, and not quite the then-necessary 21 when LBJ was elected, I wasn’t quite as worshipful of JFK as Eric seems to have been, but I was certainly as critical of LBJ as anyone, since only a childhood history of poor health kept me from becoming another statistic in the meat grinder of Vietnam. The only presidential candidate to whom I’ve ever given money was local native son, Eugene McCarthy, and in the decades since, I’ve had reason to question even that small act.

    It’s a good rhetorical question, and a really good intellectual exercise, I think. Trump is a dolt and a thug, but he has (so far) not given orders that cost anywhere near 50,000+ lives, so on that basis, and if logic is worth anything at all, he ought to rate higher than both JFK and LBJ, mostly the latter, and mostly because of Vietnam. Most of us unsophisticated rubes in the far more innocent days of the early 1960s had no idea just how terrible a husband JFK was, and even when a few flaws were revealed, they were often glossed over by his PT109 exploits. Trump’s misogyny and sexually predatory nature is much more out in the open in an era where the sort of reverence for the presidency and personal privacy that existed while Kennedy was President is mostly a fading memory, so at least on the surface, Trump seems worse. In the judgment of history, he may be worse, or he may be judged to be about the same as JFK, but expressed differently. Johnson wasn’t able to fall back on glamorous wartime heroics to obscure his own character flaws, but as far as I know, womanizing wasn’t one of his prominent characteristics.

    In the long run, Kennedy accomplished less than he might have if he’d lived, and I’ve done the same sort of mental speculation that Eric has done regarding what might have been, had he lived and been given the opportunity. Johnson, on the other hand, still carries (and in my view, justifiably so) the blood stains of thousands of young Americans who died for no good reason as far as I’m concerned. I’m well aware, and remind myself frequently, that were it not for good fortune, I might well be among them. That said, Johnson’s domestic record, especially if we remember that he was a Texas Democrat, and not without his own racial and cultural prejudices, remains pretty astonishing in the area of civil rights. His foreign policy was a bloody disaster, for the most part, but domestically, it seems to my amateur’s eyes that he tried genuinely to do what he thought best for the society as a whole, with civil rights the keystone for that political worldview.

    There have been no perfect presidents, but, like Eric, my admiration for JFK has diminished over the years, while my estimation of Lyndon Johnson has increased over the same time span. That someone of Trump’s childishness and mean-spiritedness was elected, however narrowly, speaks poorly for many millions of Americans as voters. I think history will judge him harshly, and in part that’s because he’s managed to offend and alienate so many in such a short period of time. We aren’t even a year into his (hopefully only) term, and he already has record-breaking negative numbers in public opinion polls, which suggests that many Trump voters are dealing with buyer’s remorse, at least privately. He still has three more years in which to disappoint and disgust people, for reasons we haven’t even imagined yet, and that time span also provides plenty of opportunity for Trump to engage in his own foreign policy stupidity. In that context, I feel like all I can do is keep fingers crossed and hope that there are enough grownups around the world and in his own administration that he will not be able to do permanent, irreversible harm to either the United States or the planet. The odds appear to me to be no better than 50-50.

  8. Submitted by Misty Martin on 10/03/2017 - 11:51 am.

    Oh, Eric, I do like your style!

    I, too, have been trying to discover things to like about a President that I chose not to vote for, and I like your take on history – I really do.

    This is quite possibly the most refreshing article that I’ve read in a couple of months, if not longer. And so timely too, with all the attention on the Vietnam war coming into focus because of the Burns’ documentary and all – I believe that if we look hard enough, we can find clay feet on most of our historical figures, and skeletons in the closets as well.

    Maybe it’s the man’s rudeness and ignorance that drives me crazy – I don’t know. But I do appreciate your take on all of this – it has been the bright spot in my dreary day.

  9. Submitted by Gene Nelson on 10/03/2017 - 12:01 pm.

    In less than a year of trump…total chaos

    I’m not going to justify trump on anything and if you listen to him, he really is ignorant about almost everything.
    You mention the Vietnam war, which was horrendous…which involved JFK, LBJ and Nixon. Do not give Nixon credit because got out. He had to. There was a rebellion going on in our country over it and Civil Rights.
    What we don’t know and what we fear is the use of nukes by Trump. Already we’re hearing inane blather from him with his threats where millions and millions of Koreans could die with his incessant inane comments and threats, putting both Koreas and the US in danger.
    We also do not know what he will do with the Iran treaty as he’s talking breaking it.
    This creature of inanity, hyperbole and deceit could have us in multiple wars…with issues far more serious than Vietnam.
    There is no comparison between trump and anyone. He is just a horrible horrible misinformed creature of hyperboles and hate.

  10. Submitted by Mike Chrun on 10/03/2017 - 12:53 pm.

    Fear there hasn’t been enough time …

    to really judge how this 13 year old bully might end up being regarded. My highest hope for him is a
    really incompetent dolt whose main accomplishment was enriching himself and undoing many of the protections for the poor and the environment. Not good, but basically not disastrous since he might provide the cleansing of the system that was needed.

    My fear, however, is that his bluster, bullying, and dishonesty might lead us into a nuclear war. He’s way too casual with his insults and threats. A misstep and millions of lives could be lost. At least with Kennedy and Johnson there was some agony and turmoil over what getting further into Vietnam might lead to. Maybe this clown has some of that inner turmoil also, but I seriously doubt it and that might prove disastrous.

  11. Submitted by Bill Kahn on 10/03/2017 - 12:55 pm.

    History is going to break down U.S. leadership into two periods, before FDR and after FDR and what drives the whole thing is how the haves and have nots are perceived and perceive themselves.

    What drove all post-WW II presidents regardless of party until at least Bush 41 was opposition to communism along with whatever other ideology each dragged into the White House.

    You can’t compare Lyndon Baines Johnson with Trump; one was a pragmatic New Dealer who could ‘git’er done and the other is an ignorant boob who could not do anything but show meager profits in an industry known for high profit endeavors designed to minimize and externalize any risk (even the failures are relatively painless for the best) that Trump dabbled at, but never mastered (he’s got the P.T. Barnum thing down, sans the profits).

    The various forms of democratic and communist governments around the world over time are really two sides of the same coin when you look at them from the vantage of the haves and have nots, and we all should be horrified at the possibility of our revolution from the tyranny of the English over their American colonies shifting to one like that bloody one in France that came shortly after in which most of the haves lost all.

    We’ve got a large segment of our society who think that it is their duty to rise up in armed rebellion against the tyranny of government, a large but shrinking segment who believe that we can vote our way to better government, and a growing segment who just don’t care anymore save for how they and theirs weather things.

    The main differences in any government on Earth are defined by the leaders of each, and a demogogue like Trump is truly horrifying for he stirs all camps of the have nots to extremes against the haves, heartless and greedy ones as well as those who care for peace and justice in the world, something that was lost to all but the knowing few in Vietnam.

    Trump doesn’t hold a candle to the Nixons, the Stalins, and all those who guide us to committing the worst injustices on the planet, but he is more dangerous than any past president because he has no real schema for life on Earth save from his unbridled narcissism.

    You can’t compare Trump and LBJ. It goes way beyond apples and oranges to something more like human and inhuman, to partly descend into diatribe here, but even that is not fair. The vision of LBJ and that of Trump cannot be defined in the same way simply because the blindness of one was limited to communism and that of the other is nearly total.

  12. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/03/2017 - 01:07 pm.

    That was indeed a “bleated” question by your old friend!

    By what stretch of imagination does one jump from that tragic era in American history to the current muddled and constantly shifting and tittering catastrophe?

    The Vietnam War was the culmination of misguided mistakes of supposedly intelligent and enlightened leaders of that era. They were neither fully far-sighted nor cognizant of the changed world around them. They did not know the terrain of the land called Vietnam nor the methods of war being employed by the so-called “enemy”. To make matters worse, American leaders stuck to their flawed principles and plans because of hubris and other reasons. And sadly, the American people were also [unwitting] partners in the calamity of Vietnam … and that is probably the one lesson we did not learn back then. It took America more than a decade to get out of the “Vietnam quagmire”! … And yet, we repeated that same folly in Iraq and Afghanistan !!

    As to the current disastrous direction in which we are headed, we can lay all the blame on one political party and one demented person. The calamities so far are natural or nature-based, but we don’t know what is lurking around the corner. There is absolutely no wisdom, caution, or intelligence in the current leadership, and we are living from day to day with utter dread of global apocalyptic war(s).

    In both cases, the past and the present, we cannot lay the blame entirely at the feet of our leaders! We, the people, elected these leaders!

    So now, we can only pray for Divine intervention to bring forth brave and determined saviors who would lead the American people to protest and block every wrong path that the current administration and its supporters are so dead-set on taking!

  13. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/03/2017 - 01:09 pm.

    Interesting Questions

    There are a lot of possible responses here, but I think the only sensible one is “We don’t know yet.”

    If we are judging only JFK and LBJ based on their Vietnam policies, and Trump’s performance so far, the answer is no, Trump is not the worst of the three. JFK is blamed for getting us into Vietnam (although both Truman and Eisenhower sent American advisers and material aid there), and LBJ escalated the conflict on false premises.

    On the other hand, we can’t judge Presidents in isolation. The body count, or lack thereof, is only one of many criteria. Warren Harding kept us out of new wars, started a military draw-down and a diplomatic reset in Latin America, and convened disarmament conferences. All good things, but who would rate him as anything more than one of the bottom five Presidents?

    I also think it is meaningless to try to rate a President’s place in history while he is still in office (never mind in office for less than a year). My personal rule is to pay no attention to the historical rankings of a. Presidents who have been out of office for less than 25 years; and b. William Henry Harrison. The full impact–good or bad–of a President’s term is often not apparent until the partisan opinions surrounding his tenure have died down (Lord knows I’m no fan of GW Bush, but it’s too soon to say he was on a par with Nixon).

    William Henry Harrison was in office was in office for a month, so judging him is unfair. If he worked at Burger King, he would still have been on probation when he died.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/05/2017 - 09:09 am.

      “We don’t know yet”

      Thoughtful response, as well as “body count”,
      With all the changes, rolling back EPA, humanity for immigrants, isolation on the world scene, does one also start looking at collateral damage? Do we have a scale for, are things better or worse and the impact? Additional air/water pollution, lower health/safety standards, ie.. reduced quality of life for 330,000,000 people is a pretty big worse from this perspective, not to mention the do nothing against the 30,000 a year death toll from gun violence.

  14. Submitted by bart Bevins on 10/03/2017 - 01:25 pm.


    I am almost 69 now – was 18 when the Tet Offensive took place. I was in college and did not serve. I try to remember what that time FELT like – watching America burn and having the very real feeling in 1968 that the US was truly on the verge of coming apart. Watching the Burns series has been a painful reminder of all of that.

    Leading up to and through out the war the US and its leadership seemed to misread almost everything about the country and the conflict it was entering. We had a narrative and a worldview (e.g., the domino theory) that we simply could not, would not, put aside in order to see the particular situation. We willingly chose to ignore – and did not understand – the country, the people, the culture, the nature of the fight – or we thought we could bend all of those factors toward our view. Why could we not stop? Why can we not learn?

    As for Mr. Trump, he doesn’t have as much blood on his hands as his predecessors, but its early yet. I am not at all sure what he thinks he is trying to do or if he can sustain the interest necessary to do it. I tend to think his ego and his anger will limit his imagination – and that is bringing us back to something like 1968.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/03/2017 - 02:02 pm.

      Lack of health care costs lives

      It may not be as immediate as a war, but in the long run more Americans may die if Trump and his ilk gut our health care system than were killed in Vietnam.

    • Submitted by Nick Foreman on 10/03/2017 - 03:33 pm.

      Just remember the present piece of garbage

      President managed to obtain 7 deferments to avoid Vietnam.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/03/2017 - 04:23 pm.

    Little premature with the question

    JFK was in office for two years, and LBJ for five. Come back and ask this question in 2019 or later. I think Bush and Cheney were definitely as bad looking at the havoc they wrought on the middle east. The only reason our casualties weren’t as high in Iraq and Afghanistan is modern body armor, training, and trauma medicine.

    If we see a N. Korean mushroom cloud over a US city within the next 3 years I think something like that could put Trump in the same league as JFK and LBJ. In the meantime it is safe to say that Trump is definitely far more incompetent that any previous president.

  16. Submitted by William Beyer on 10/03/2017 - 05:48 pm.

    JFK had ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Vietnam a few weeks before he was murdered.

    Read John Newman’s “JFK and Vietnam, 2nd Edition” for chapter and verse. Or, read this – – or referenced articles by Jamie Galbraith. He can be blamed for some things, but not for escalating the Vietnam War.

    At the same time, he also ordered the Department of Defense to take over clandestine military actions from the CIA. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to conclude that these two actions got him whacked.

  17. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/03/2017 - 06:04 pm.

    Trump’s personal characteristics are so far removed from what we are used to seeing in our Presidents or reading in our history.

    Feet of clay ?

    No, mud itself–top to bottom.

    Insecure, aggressive, ignorant, unteachable, narcissistic, incoherent, greedy, lecherous, prejudiced, on and on. He’s a schemer and a back-stabber.

    It’s all on display, every day loudly and proudly, every tweet, every rally, every incoherent speech.

    If he were a guy in your neighborhood, he would be the guy most of America would avoid at a party or a neighborhood gathering and you would be pretty hesitant to loan him a 20 until payday and you would know that every conversation would invariably track back to what a great guy he was in his own eyes.

    But he’s not my neighbor..

    As a person, he is pretty much every thing that I despise.

    As the President, I feel embarrassed and short-changed and I have no confidence in his intellect and temperament to keep us out of serious trouble or to make good decisions that would affect the nation positively.

    As for how history will judge him, we have to see–there’s another 1000 days of his term to go and at least 5 or 10 years to put it into perspective.

    But my perception is that, at the minimum now, his longest lasting effect will be to shred the effectiveness and moral authority of a government by the people and turn it into a a genuinely corrupt, semi-authoritarian captive of the powerful and wealthy.

    Destroying governing norms leaves room for any future President, Democratic or Republican to do what they will for whatever purposes that lies within them.

    Maybe not as high a body count, but certainly a lesser county.

  18. Submitted by Tom Johnson on 10/04/2017 - 01:08 pm.

    Considering the Question

    Considering the horrors of Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, much of Africa (and the massive and rapid expansion of the African Command), Yemen, Mexico, etc., is Trump worse than Obama in terms of U.S. foreign policy?

  19. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 10/04/2017 - 01:54 pm.

    11th commandment…

    Ronald Reagan use to quote the 11th commandment for the GOP…”Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

    I thought Eric held to a democrat version this commandment religiously, especially regarding his treatment of Hilary Clinton during the campaign.

    However, maybe this commandment only applies to dead democrats.

  20. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/04/2017 - 07:47 pm.

    Different perspective?

    Perhaps folks are looking in the wrong places, hearing plenty of comments, with the country so divided, that we are headed for a civil war!. From the political side nothing would seem to make “T” happier, he could then be anointed Emperor, just like his hero buddy Putin. Like they said its only been 8 months of anything but common sense and intellect.

  21. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/05/2017 - 08:48 am.


    This seemed rather apropos to the article: Relevant or irrelevant?

    More Killed by Guns Since 1968 Than in All U.S. Wars

  22. Submitted by Joe Musich on 10/04/2017 - 08:42 pm.

    Strange question…

    that might be best ignored. I would rather questions be directed to the social, economic and political conditions of the moments to those mentioned in the title. Others seem be attempting to point that out. If you trying to ask is there a period in time I have a positive sense of nostalgia toward. There might be three brief windows of time with just before and the election of JFK, LBJ and then Obama. With each of these a felt of sense of hope for the future because they spoke of an “us” and I really felt they meant it if only the actual results were fleetingl. None since then have stirred that feeling within me. Only LBJ had some success. And one wonders if Nixon had not derailed efforts to end the war prior to the 1968 election how the world might have been different. But Nixon did not do that alone,. Some of those pricipals are still with us.

  23. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 10/04/2017 - 09:31 pm.

    Can someone explain to me what bad for the country has Trump done?

    • Submitted by Bill Kahn on 10/05/2017 - 11:26 am.

      I suspect that no one can, and that’s really the problem, isn’t it?

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 10/07/2017 - 09:42 am.

      I’ll bite:

      In process of reducing EPA regulations: Making him a pro-pollution president, pollution is a health hazard. Making American’s unhealthy from this perspective is bad, but I suppose you could argue its a jobs program for the health industry. Discrimination against transgender, this is a fascist tactic to divide, basically says, all men/women are not created equal. I guess if you are fascist and discrimination, dehumanizing is a good thing, this is a step in the right direction. Blaming the press, “fake news” media for reporting real news you don’t like. This again is another fascist tactic to divide the country and solidify power around himself. Guess if you are against the 1st amendment, and pro-totalitarian type leadership. it is also good news.
      Travel “Muslim ban”: Basically discriminating against religion, so if you are thinking that only certain religions and cultures are acceptable, again its discrimination and another great fascist tactic, and very divisive. Repealing DACA: Another discriminatory move, Makes Americans look like the fascists from WWII, round up these “illegals” and truck them off. Many studies have shown that immigrants legal or not, have a high propensity to contribute and make American a better place, so the converse to that is by rounding them up and exporting them their positive contributions are negated. Not to mention that many of those folks are here as economic refugees, and are only guilty of 3 things being of south of the border ancestry, having a different skin color and wanting to make a better life for themselves. So America loses its humanity, another great fascist tactic to divide America. And, there are not 1000s of WASP Americans waiting in line to take those jobs left behind.
      So I guess if dividing America is good, making Americans sick is good, polluting our skies land and water is good, discrimination is good, De-humanizing people is good, changing America from a democracy to a fascist regime is good, your right Trump hasn’t done any bad!
      Would not take much to provide numerous white house releases on the above points.

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 10/09/2017 - 09:50 pm.

        Let’s see: “Reducing EPA regulations” – do you mean to say that ANY pollution regulations are good? I mean EPA may say that no gas car may drive anymore, would you be OK with that regulation? It will reduce pollution… “Discrimination against transgender” – what does it have to do with “all men/women are not created equal?” “Blaming the press, “fake news” media..” – do you want to say that the media is objective towards Trump? That it didn’t do everything possible to prevent his election (re: an old tape)? And what does it have to do with the 1st Amendment – to the best of my knowledge he has not closed any papers or TV channels… “Travel “Muslim ban”: Basically discriminating against religion” – it is directed towards certain countries where not only Muslims live and doesn’t include most countries where they do live – how is it a Muslim ban?

      • Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 10/09/2017 - 09:51 pm.

        As a Jew, I find it highly offensive that you imply that I am a fascist. It is also offensive when treatment of illegal immigrants (yes, by existing law the term is illegal alien) in America is compared to treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany. These people came here illegally and the worst that may happen to them is that they will be deported to their native country. Compare it to Jews in Germany who were German citizens and who ended up being murdered… Where is the similarity?

        “Many studies have shown that immigrants legal or not, have a high propensity to contribute and make American a better place” ” Do you advocate open borders?

  24. Submitted by Joe Musich on 10/05/2017 - 08:13 pm.

    What bad has Trump done ….

    Well first off he has made us the laughing stock of the world which will result in fewer future visits here and large capital investments and purchase of products created here. The world is watching home destablize the country and it’s economy. The world is already begin wonder “why bother !”

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