Again my apologies, but I was in Indiana this past weekend and am currently in Columbus, Ohio working through Thursday. Please check back as a new blog will be posted as soon as I find the time (no later than this coming Sunday). Many thanks. Have a great week and be well!
Despite trying to be "unplugged" while sailing the North Atlantic from America to the U.K. and back, it was impossible to miss the conventions and the nonsense they elicited. According to the Republicans, America has lost respect around the World due to Obama (and hence - Clinton). Except the only folks I encountered that believed that sentiment were from Toronto and avid Fox News followers. Every person actually from Europe that I encountered and asked, indicated a liking to Obama and tremendous respect for America. So why do so many in America believe it when politicians claim such nonsense?
More importantly, the "Make America Great Again" crowd can't seem to appreciate the fact that the broken government they think Trump will "correct" is actually controlled by the Republicans - their own people! Who controls taxes? Congress! Who allows the Administration to fill in gaps in legislation with regulations? Congress! Who creates the budget and controls and oversees all spending under it? Congress! Who runs Congress? The GOP has controlled the House of Representatives since 2011 and the Senate since 2014. So what gives?
Upon returning from my voyage, I saw a posting on Facebook I thought would be neat to share. The posting showed Donald Trump stating that NAFTA was a disaster and it was all because Bill Clinton signed it into law. Trump emphasized 6 times that Clinton was behind "that disaster!" I shared it because it included the fact that President George H.W. Bush signed the NAFTA treaty, not Clinton. Not long after doing so, I received a private IM from an individual pointing out that Bill Clinton had indeed signed the treaty into law. I felt awful! As soon as I returned home I checked this issue out. I always will admit when I am wrong. Hypocrisy is something I always try to avoid! What did I find? Bill Clinton did sign NAFTA into law and I was wrong. Except under closer scrutiny I found that Clinton signed it into law after it was ratified by the Senate from President Bush - whom had signed it in treaty form with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. All treaties must be ratified by the US Senate. The entire NAFTA Treaty was in place and signed by Bush. Once ratified, new President Bill Clinton signed it into law. The main point though is this. Although technically correct that Clinton signed NAFTA into law, it is misleading to claim all of the problems from the Treaty rest at his feet. None of the Treaty's terms were negotiable when Clinton came to office. All of the terms were negotiated and signed off on by Bush. So blaming Clinton for the perceived problems with NAFTA is misleading. And what do we find then? We find social media being used to miscommunicate facts in an effort to persuade - and in many instances - to mislead.
So now that we have become so reliant on social media for our "facts" - perhaps it is best to have all such outlets post a banner of "Caveat Emptor" - BUYER BEWARE! As President Thomas Jefferson once wrote; "He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors." Have a great week!
Just got back in the wee hours of the morning. Many thanks for waiting me out for my return from "holiday" (and celebrating 36 years of marriage to my life-mate Shellie Fay). I will post an updated blog this Sunday. Obviously, a lot has happened in the political world since my last posting. Be well and check back Sunday! Many thanks!
Daniel R. Rubin is an Attorney, Educator, Lecturer and National Award Winning Author. He is a recently retired adjunct professor of American History who also taught Advanced Placement United States Government and American Politics in Venice, Florida.