A President’s Legacy

TRUMP - and KENNEDY

by Diane Rufino, November 18, 2018

A week ago, I visited Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the place where John F. Kennedy as assassinated so brutally on November 22, 1963. We will celebrate the 55th anniversary in 4 days. At the end of the tour of the Texas Book Depository Building, where Oswald supposedly shot from the 6th floor window, there was a memorial plaque dedicated to Kennedy asking “What Might Have Been.” He brought out the best in young Americans, he energized them, called them to serve the country, he dared them to dream, he inspired them to be the best versions of themselves in order to inspire the rest of the world to be like America. This is what the assassination has galvanized in our collective memory, at least according to the Museum at Dealey Plaza.

Author Walter Lippman observed that “the final test of a leader is that he leaves behind in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.”  I thought that was a powerful statement.

Kennedy’s assassination certain made him a legend in the people’s mind. In American history. After his death, his widow Jackie Kennedy was heartbroken that his dreams would likely be forgotten. And to a great extent, with the Vietnam War (a conflict Kennedy was determined to avoid), the political turmoil of the 60’s, the race riots, the continued assassinations of popular figures (like Martin Luther King Jr and Robert Kennedy), his ideals became obscured and forgotten.

To her credit, Jackie created an image of Jack Kennedy’s presidency to help people, to help the country, remember – and that was CAMELOT.  She did this within days of her husband’s assassination. In interviews, she compared Jack’s 3 years in office to Camelot – King Arthur’s kingdom.

Camelot, the musical about King Arthur and Guinevere, created by Lerner and Loewe in 1961, was Jackie’s favorite. She loved the music and loved the story.  What prompted Jackie to make the analogy to “Camelot” was that the story hit so close to home. Like King Arthur’s kingdom, she wanted the country to remember Jack’s presidency as one built on lofty principles, hoping to build an idyllic America. And yet, like story plot, it all came undone by the forces set out to destroy Camelot.

Ronald Reagan was a leader like Jack Kennedy, in that he continues to inspire others to carry out his convictions for smaller, less intrusive government and the ability of the people to make their own decisions over their lives, their property, and their businesses. Rather than youthful age, it was Reagan’s gentle nature and good-hearted humor that endeared him to the American people. And yet he was strong and forceful when he needed to be – when the country needed him to be.

Barack Obama at first embraced an almost Kennedy-like persona – youthful, energetic, connecting to the people. But he was flash over substance. His promises were empty and instead of inspiring Americans to be their best and do their best, he inspired groups to retreat into their racial identity and to hate one another.

Enter Donald Trump.  He brought energy, common sense, expertise, vision, and a sense of purpose when he ran. Brass, often crass, arrogant and perhaps narcissistic, he brought to the public forum everything that was on the forgotten man and woman’s mind. He spoke their language and connected with the people like no candidate had done before. His rallies were a testament to the absolute gratitude of the people to finally have a candidate they could rally around, someone who might actually address their concerns and do what he promised.

And in an almost “Dewey Wins” moment (that is, defying all the polls and all the predictions), Trump won the presidential election in 2016.  The question, of course, would be whether he would keep his promises and be the president the people hoped he would be.

In taking the oath of office that gloriously warm January day (my husband and I were in attendance), Donald Trump spoke words reminiscent of Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan, and set the tone for what his vision of government would be:

“This moment is your moment: it belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day and your celebration. This is your country. What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.

The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

This is a historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction: that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are the just and reasonable demands of a righteous public. But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists. Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system that’s flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge; and the crime and gangs and drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.

For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; We’ve subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military;

We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own;  and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.

We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon.

One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.

The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.

But that is the past. We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power.  From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.  From this moment on, it’s going to be AMERICA FIRST.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.”

I want us all to remember his words and use them, like food and water, to nourish our political souls and remind us why we do what we do, why we should try to do more, and why we must not let our president down.  To let President Trump down is to abandon our own movement.

And so, I think when we reflect on that final test of a leader, of which author Lippman spoke, Donald Trump will be remembered and thought of as one of our greatest presidents ever. His conviction to make America Great Again is already contagious and inspiring others to serve with that same mindset. And I have a feeling that his ideals, his dreams will not only leave a conviction in others to carry them on, but I think they will re-define the conservative movement and maybe even the Republican Party.

 

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We May Be Great, But Can We Also Be Good?

- 2018 (gray shirt, April 19, 2018)   by Diane Rufino, June 25, 2018

I’ve been really troubled by all the hate and all the vitriol and all the race-baiting coming from the likes of Maxine Waters and coming from those in Hollywood, in the Entertainment Industry, and in the mainstream media. The harassment, the inciting of harassment (which we all know will lead to violence, just as it did on the softball field last year at the annual Congressional softball game), the targeting, the vilification, the name-calling, the death wishes and the wishes for physical harm, the treating of fellow Americans with contempt and without due respect is uncalled for and uncivilized. We are Americans and are supposed to be tolerant and respectful. We are supposed to be the example to the world of how freedom liberates the human soul and spirit and inspires one to great heights. We are not supposed to be the example of how a country predicated on human freedom is ultimately destructive of itself.

President Trump is without a doubt making the changes and implementing the policies that are making America Great Again. When America is great, the opportunities are passed on to ALL Americans. So let’s not pretend that Trump is not good for this country.

Yes, we are becoming Great Again. We can all take pride in that. We thought that after the Bush and Obama years, it would almost be impossible to see the country turn around so quickly and successfully. But Trump has made it happen.

The greater challenge, as it turns out, may be to put our differences aside, put our grievances, and put our personal agendas aside, and treat each other once again with love and respect. In other words, can we be good again?

In that spirit, I made the following meme.
MEME- America is Becoming Great Again, but Can She Become Good Again

ELECTION 2016: The Choice for President is Clear

trump-in-nevada

by Diane Rufino, Nov. 6, 2016

Donald Trump is tireless and determined. He is committed to the movement, a grassroots movement, which wants to clean up government and make it work FOR the People and not against them. Government doesn’t know better, it doesn’t spend MY money prudently OR constitutionally, it is frustrating the American Dream this country once offered to people willing to work for it, and it certainly doesn’t have the American family, America’s communities, and the safety and well-being of its citizens at heart. Too often global interests, foreign policy, voodoo science (ie, offered to support certain business opportunities and interests), and incomprehensible deals take precedence over American interests. AMERICA FIRST! Donald Trump has proven to me his level of commitment and has shown me how hard he is willing to work. I hope he will be our next President. My concern is whether people will understand the stakes of this election and rise to the occasion, and in all honesty, act in thought and deed as our Creator made us — as individuals. We are not political pawns, to be bought and sold for the greater good of a political party which is run by entrenched political elites.

For a moment, put the “R” and the “D” aside and use the noggin that God so generously gave us. There are at least two glaring differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and if these two critical differences don’t seem to have an impact on your choice for president, then shame on you. Your vote determines the strength of our Constitution and the size and nature of our government. Your vote protects our country or erodes it. In short, your vote ensures the security of the country that thankfully (although no longer realistically) still claims the glory and reputation of men like those who fought WWII – ones who defended the freedom given to us by our forefathers and fought for our safety and security. We want that country back. We need that country back.

First, Donald Trump is running for YOU, the American People. There is no doubt about that. He has willingly allowed his faults and his failings and the embarrassments of his past to re-surface, to embarrass his family and to taint their name. He has been willing to take the criticisms and insults of the entirety of the political system (the Democratic Party, the Media, and the Republican Party too), as well as the false allegations that have hurt his reputation. When he could be sitting back and enjoying the fruits of his labor and investments, spending time with his beautiful wife and young son, doting on his many grandchildren, and relaxing at his home in southern Florida, he has volunteered to give all that up for a movement that he believes in and which he believes will right the wrongs in this country which have translated to the mistreatment of the American people in general. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is running for HERSELF. She is an overly-ambitious and career politician who believes she is entitled to the office. To her, it is not about the people or the country but about the historical distinction of being the first woman president. It is about ego and power.

Hillary has been plotting this election for a long time. She played the system and played the American people. When she lost the primary election to Barack Hussein Obama in 2008, she made an agreement with him and maybe even with the corrupt Democratic Party. If she would help get Obama elected, it would be her time in 2016. And the Party would support her. She would be made Secretary of State and have the credentials to seek the office of the presidency. But what we couldn’t have imagined is the corruption, the deception, and the ambition she would bring to her position in the State Department in order to advance her plans for the presidency. She cashed in on her “favors” from her husband (for sticking by him and helping cover up his numerous sexual abuses of women as president) and together, she and Bill established the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation would be the vehicle by which Hillary would raise the money she would use to “buy” her the election. As Secretary of State, she repeatedly put the interests of herself and her plans for the presidency over the interests of the country with respect to national security. She sold national secrets and national interests to the “high bidders” on the national scene looking to make certain deals that would either benefit themselves, their companies, or their countries. Our national interests and our national security were subject to her “pay-for-play” schemes. And the money began rolling in – millions and millions and millions of dollars – all into the elicit Clinton Foundation. That is why she had her email set on her personal server. That is why she conducted State business out of her own personal server and not subject to the “eyes” of the federal government, as required by federal law. The government, the American people, could never know what she was really doing as Secretary of State. how she was using her clearance and her power, and what she was doing with classified national security information. The men in Benghazi had to be left to perish because she was conducting business there that could not be exposed to the American people.

After she stepped down as Secretary of State (and I’m not sure if it was because of the “fall” she took which so very coincidentally robbed her of her memory), she and Bill had made a fortune through the deals and the speaking fees and the “one-on-one meetings” and the “face time” with Bill or Hillary and whatever else that they offered to rake in the money. When it came time for the primary election season, she showed the Democratic Party that she is a proven money-maker. She wouldn’t need much money from the national Democratic Party because she had already raised so much. And we all know that money is at the root of all politics. And so the party embraced her and did all it could to ensure that she became the party’s candidate for president. That is why we heard Debra Wasserman Schultz and the rest of the Democratic Party communicate through emails how they would discredit Bernie Sanders and hurt his chances in the primary. They didn’t expect him to do so well and they couldn’t allow it. It wasn’t part of their plan. With all the money raised – MISAPPROPRIATED from the State Department – Hillary bribed the media, the manufacturers of the voting machines, and probably even several Republican members of Congress. With so many things taken care of, she just had one minor problem… how to get away with all her criminal activities. How will she get away with all the laws she willingly and intentionally broke? Well, that was easy. She used her influence (after all, the system had already determined that she WILL be the next president of the United States) to shake down the Justice Department (I mean, apply pressure that only the Clintons know how to apply). The meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch for 45 minutes while she was waiting on her plane was no coincidence. And it wasn’t for the opportunity to talk to her about golf and grandchildren.

If you think she acted appropriately when Secretary of State or in her use of the Clinton Foundation, just ask yourself why has the FBI done an about-face and has decided to move the investigation of Hillary Clinton forward. It’s because the agents of the FBI know that there is more than enough evidence to conduct an investigation, enough so that an indictment will be likely (otherwise it would NOT have made the decision to re-open the investigation with 11 days to Election Day; it would have waited until after the American people have casted their votes), and that a miscarriage of justice was done the first time when FBI Director James Comey recommended that no investigation be conducted. The FBI, an independent agency of the Justice Department, by-passed the Oval Office (Obama) and the Justice Department (Loretta Lynch) in issuing its letter calling for the new investigation which shows that the office is trying desperately to restore confidence in its reputation and to restore faith and confidence in its ability to gather facts, conduct investigations, uphold the rule of law, and to seek justice. With its letter of October 29, the FBI is telling the American people that they MUST NOT elect such a corrupt individual, such a flagrant and unrepentant law-breaker, such a willfully abusive politician to the highest office in the land.

SECOND, and just in case you question the motives and sincerity of the two presidential candidates, just look at how each are funding their campaigns. Donald Trump is funding his campaign with his own money. He is criss-crossing the United States many times a day (sometimes 4 and 5 times) to meet with voters and share his plans to Make America Great Again — all on his own dime. He is running his campaign, in charge of his own fundraising, hiring his own security, and arranges his own venues. He owes no one anything.. EXCEPT for the American people who are the ones who have put wind in his sails. They didn’t have to do it. They could have sat back, complained that they didn’t get a polished candidate, and taken their chances on Election Day. He is not bought by any special interest groups and is therefore not controlled by any. He is not a puppet of the Republican Party because although he is running as that party’s candidate, he is doing it HIS way, with his own money. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, could have used the money that she and Bill made in books and speaking fees and other deals to fund her campaign (after all, their net worth increased exponentially in her years as a “public” servant) but instead, chose to accept money from special interests, including foreign interests and most clearly, from the rich and powerful bankers and investors on Wall Street. If anyone dares to question whether contributions buy influence, all he needs to do is look at the speeches given by Hillary to those bankers and investors, which were released by Wikileaks. In those speeches, the “real” Hillary for president was exposed to the American people. She would have two sets of policies. One she would share with the people (and they would believe, just like everyone believed Obama) and the other would be the real policies that she would make for the benefit of the rich and powerful political elites.

Hillary Clinton is as corrupt and as ambitious as it gets. The shocking degree of her ambition alone should scare every voter. She is already prone to the type of evil that has motivated her to the heights she is now. Once in charge of all the instrumentalities of government, once able to wield the full power of the federal government, and once able to exert the influence that only the highest office in the land can exert, I can’t imagine what she could be capable of.

Donald Trump may not always “talk the talk” of an ideal candidate, but he certainly “walks the walk.” I believe this is the Donald Trump that Americans first took notice of, the man they believe can Make America Great Again, and the man they trust to lead the country and to do the right thing for all of our country’s people.

 

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