Photo Credit: Alex Martinez/Unsplash

Hilbert Morales

Too many significant events occurred this week which we all need to understand. To help, first read the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Then the U.S. Constitution (especially its first three articles). These documents present the ideals and methods whereby “We, The People” are governed by officials we elect. Many individual rights (and responsibilities) are enumerated which are essential to creating the freedom to seek ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.

The U.S. Constitution’s first ten amendments are known as ‘The Bill of Rights’. Its authors were all men who practiced the Christian faith and were all immigrant refugees from Europe. They created this democratic form of governance which is being changed by the Trump-Republican Administration whose actions are not MAKING AMERICA GREAT at all. Trump is undermining a government which has taken care of its residents since the 1929 Great Depression.

Understand that American Democracy is a ‘governance work in progress’ which undergoes changes. During its history, Black slaves have become freemen and citizens (1865); the income tax was developed and levied, and women also became voting citizens (1919). The original ‘American’ citizens were White, Anglo-Saxon-Protestants (WASPS); all were business persons; all supported the philosophy that ‘all men were created equal’ (under GOD’s Laws). All had experienced persecution, civic and royal family harassment, and religious oppression.

Recall that President Hoover (1929) initiated import tariffs on imported goods; soon thereafter, the Great Depression’s trade wars and isolationism resulted in unemployment rates of 25%. At that time the Federal Government had no entitlement programs designed to assist the impoverished and needy.

President Roosevelt told this nation that our greatest issue was ‘fear itself’ as steps were taken to change the U.S. Supreme Court to moderate its conservatism which did not support assisting business and the unemployed. The Democratic ‘New Deal’ programs which generated jobs using government programs such as WPA (Works Project Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). Social Security Administration was initiated to provide retirees some income entitlements which prevented abject poverty. Programs for widows, orphans, and handicapped/disabled individuals were created and implemented by Department of Health & Human Services.

During the 1930’s the rise of authoritarian dictatorships occurred. Nazi German’s Adolph Hitler and Fascist Italy’s Benito Mussolini became the dictators who invaded European nations and North Africa.

In the Asian sector, Imperial Japan invaded Korea, China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and many South Pacific island nations. Its attack on Pearl Harbor brought America out of its isolation and into WWII as “The Arsenal of Democracy”.

It was America under the leadership of FDR followed by Harry Truman that America became the dominant global power which kept Communist Russia (Stalin era) and Mao’s China contained during the Cold War with its ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missiles) deterrents. WWII was declared over in December of 1946… only to be followed by the Korean Conflict (1950); Cuban Missile Crisis (1962); Vietnam War (1974); Desert Storm (1990); and several other military interventions. NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was effective in keeping Communist Russia out of East Europe.

These incidents blemished the 73 years of world peace since 1945 when America, in collaboration with its Allies, successfully prevailed against the totalitarian Axis Powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan). During WWII an estimated 80 million humans perished.

Americans do not know that Mexican-American troops were the first to land in North Africa (and Europe at Sicily). Sixty Mexican-Americans were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor… the highest number awarded to this single ethnic group about which today’s President Trump knows very little. Recently, ‘Los Tigres del Norte’, a critically acclaimed Mexican band with roots in San Jose, entertained an assembly of 4,000 Latino troops somewhere in the Mid-East (per statements made on Comunidad del Valle, Damian Trujillo, producer, NBC 3, Sunday, 06.24.2018).

Despite Mr. Trump’s pejoratives, Latinos remain patriotic defenders of our American Democracy. Most of our ground troops today come from low income marginalized communities whose youth use military service to earn professional training.

After WWII America’s Marshall Plan, initiated 1946, generously rebuilt the economies and social infrastructures of both its allies and enemies. This Marshall Plan kept Americans fully employed resulting in the domestic American Consumer economy which was the envy of all nations, even to this day. It distributed wealth throughout all levels of both American society and many other nations (such as Japan and Germany). A robust global economy grew during those 72 post WWII years. American troops prevailed when political priorities did not interfere with superior strategic military efforts (Desert Storm). A transition happened when our military became ‘totally volunteer professionals’. America’s society and political leadership have lost contact with the reality that our American personal freedoms were earned by the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of those ‘grunts’ who kept this nation’s enemies at bay (or defeated).

In addition, many well-off Americans who benefit from the public funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF)…both of which provide grants to university research centers where bio-medical, engineering, and physics research first developed the knowledge and know- how which permitted developments in electronics, biology, and medical sciences. Many firms in Silicon Valley use technical know-how first developed by federal government programs (and Pentagon contracts). The World Wide Web is one such development. Where would Facebook be today without that public funded knowledge of nuclear physics, especially the electron?

Getting back to this week’s happenings: Latino families, must not be separated from their children when seeking asylum. Mr. Trump’s executive order does not deal with putting those 2,300 Latino kids back into the natural and rightful guardianship of parents. What goes on at the border is similar to what the Nazis did to Jewish families. The inability of Congress to craft a comprehensive Immigration policy which gives 11 million undocumented residents some sort of legal resident status is immoral and criminal.

The U.S. Supreme Court approved (5-4 vote) the TRAVEL BAN to and from 7 Muslim nations plus Venezuela on Trump Administration’s third try. The true culprits are radical Jihadist terrorists who have an ideology not appropriately neutralized by military power. Dissent was by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor who compared it to the internment of Japanese-American citizens by President FDR (1942). A Japanese-American, Peter Korematsu, of San Leandro, CA, resisted internment. This case, assisted by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), lost at the Supreme Court (1944); but was submitted again when documentary evidence withheld by government was rediscovered by an investigative researcher, Peter Irons, who took this case back the U.S. Supreme Court and WON. This week’s U.S. Supreme Court did not include Peter Korematsu’s case when adjudicating this Travel Ban.

The “Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees) case is about taking away the freedom (and choice) of working people to join together in strong unions to improve their lives and sustain their families. Unions were denied the right to collect fees from non-union employees who benefited from the collective bargaining performed by Union negotiators. Along with Wisconsin Governor’s Scott Walker taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employee union, this was another step by Republican conservatives to weaken Labor Unions who effectively organize ‘Get Out the Vote’ efforts. The Supreme Court denied the union the right to collect fees.

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, after 30 years on the bench, announced his retirement. This may mean that President Trump will get to appoint his second conservative Supreme Court Justice. If that happens, Roe v. Wade (Abortion) may be reversed. Many entitlement programs (Social Security, public education and Medicare) may become privatized. This is why it is very important to flip the Senate and House from RED to Blue. Only registered voters who actually vote this coming Tuesday, November 6, 2018 may do that. Plan to speak up with your voice and vote and then enjoy your Independence Day Holiday, July 4, 2018.