Tuesday, April 23, 2019

SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP



  I grew up listening to Kate Smith singing God Bless America but until the recent controversy involving her supposed racist songs of the 1930's I knew very little about her. As far as I knew God Bless America was the only song that she ever sang. Little did I know that she had a string of hits. Smith was born in Greenville Virginia on May 1, 1909 and died June 17, 1986 in Raleigh North Carolina. She had a weight problem for most of her life and in spite of her powerful singing voice she had to endure many insults regarding her weight. Kate Smith never married. She was 5' 10" tall and weighed roughly 235 pounds. In public she seemed to handle the criticism well but would sometimes be seen weeping in her dressing room. She sang her big hit God Bless America for the first time on November 10, 1938 for Armistice Day. Kate was a star of radio and later television. During WW2 she raised over 600 million dollars in War Bond pledges. In 2018 dollars this amounts to 10.2 billion dollars. She raised 110 million dollars in one 18 hour marathon. When president Roosevelt introduced her to the King and Queen of England he said Kate Smith is America.

When I first heard that the Yankee's and the Philadelphia Flyers were suspending the playing of God Bless America during games, and Philadelphia was removing her statue, something told me not to rush to judgement. I have seen the left screw up enough not to trust them on things like this. This led me to look for the real story. I will admit that when I first read the lyrics to the two songs she sang, That's Why Darkies Were Born and Pickaninny Heaven I cringed at the stereotypical view of Black people. These songs were sung in the early 1930's. You have to factor in the systemic racism of that period but I continued to feel that there was more to the story. I found out that Kate co-wrote That's Why Darkies Were Born with Paul Robeson, a Black actor, singer and civil rights activist. So why would she co-write a racist song with a Black man who was fighting for civil rights. The answer came this morning while listening to Glenn Beck. Smith was using this song to mock White supremacy. As of yet I have not discovered her intent regarding the song Pickaninny Heaven sung in the movie Hello Everybody but I have to believe that if her intent was to mock White supremacy in one song she is doing the same in the other. This is much like Mel Brooks Movie Blazing Saddles. This movie was made in 1974 and a satirical look at racism in America. Because of political correctness I don't believe that Blazing Saddles could even be made today. This whole controversy was started by one email by a Yankee fan referring to the perceived racism in these two songs. The cowardly owners of the Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers besmirched the reputation of this great lady overnight by their knee jerk reactions. At least the Yankee's left open the possibility that they could return to the playing of God Bless America that became a tradition after September 11, 2001. They said that they were suspending the playing of “God Bless America” while they “carefully review this situation.” One email caused this. It is time for the good people of America to tell these people who want to destroy our past to shut up and sit down.  

THAT'S WHY DARKIES WERE BORN

By Kate Smith

Someone had to pick the cotton,

Someone had to pick the corn,

Someone had to slave and be able to sing,

That's why darkies were born;

Someone had to laugh at trouble,

Though he was tired and worn,

Had to be contented with any old thing,

That's why darkies were born;


Sing, sing, sing when you're weary and

Sing when you're blue,

Sing, sing, that's what you taught

All the white folks to do;


Someone had to fight the Devil,

Shout about Gabriel's Horn,

Someone had to stoke the train

That would bring God's children to green pastures,

That's why darkies were born.


PICKANINNY HEAVEN

Little pickaninnies listen to the tale of a place that I know
It's twice as high as the moon
You get there in a balloon

Haven't you been told of the place where the good little pickaninnies go?
I've just been there so I ought to know
Great big watermelons roll around and get in your way
In the pickaninny heaven

Luscious pork chop bushes growin' right outside your doorway
In the pickaninnies' heaven
I've heart that they've even got a Swannee River made of real lemonade
And though the good lord took your mammy
She'll be waiting for you In the pickaninny heaven
Heaven
Heaven

They eat the windows and doors
They eat the ceilings and floors
Every kind of pet from a big teddy bear to a little Mickey Mouse
And old Black Joe is their Santa Claus

I've heart that they've even got a Swannee River made of real lemonade
And though the good lord took your mammy
She'll be waiting for you In the pickaninny heaven
Heaven
Heaven











She sings to the orphans, “…though the good lord took your mammy, she’ll be waiting there for ya.”

Monday, April 15, 2019

A BAD END FOR A BRAVE WARRIOR - THE STORY OF OSCEOLA



   Not much is known about Osceola's life as a young man. It is believed that he was born around 1804 in Alabama. His father was Scottish and his mother was Creek. As a youth he went by the name of Billy Powell. As an adult he identified with the Seminole tribe which was a conglomeration of southeastern tribes and escaped slaves. He acquired the Seminole name Osceola which means ( Black Drink Singer). Seminole purification rites required that a new warrior drink a laxative like black liquid brewed from yaupon holly leaves. Osceola became a hero to the Seminole and many Whites during the Second Seminole War. It became a very costly and unpopular war in the United States. Much like Vietnam. Osceola's first act of defiance was to kill the Indian agent Wiley Thompson at Fort King near present day Ocala Florida. Just prior to the war Thompson unjustly imprisoned Osceola and humiliated him. Osceola quickly proved himself to be a talented military leader. In December 1835 he defeated General Duncan Clinch at the battle of Withlacoochee. From 1835 until his capture by trickery he was able to elude multiple American armies sent to defeat him. In October 1837 while negotiating under a white flag Osceola was taken prisoner near Saint Augustine Florida by Major General Thomas Jesup. He was imprisoned at Fort Marion, better known as Castillo de San Marcos in modern day Saint Augustine. Although many White Floridians were relieved by Osceol;a's capture there was public outrage in America over this treachery. This outrage was not enough to help Osceola's plight. He became very sick with malaria while confined in prison. About twenty warriors escaped from Fort Marion in December 1837 but Osceola was too weak to join them. On New Years day 1838 Osceola and 237 of his people were transported to Fort Moultrie on Sullivans Island near Charleston South Carolina. By this time Osceola was a dying man with only a few weeks to live. The famous Indian artist, George Catlin, painted Osceola in his full Indian attire. Catlin wrote this about Osceola,"...they had taken great pains to give me an account of the war and the mode in which they were captured, of which they complain bitterly. I am fully convinced from all I have seen and learned from the lips of Osceola, and from the chiefs who are around him, that he is a most extraordinary man, and one entitled to a better fate." Osceola had become friendly with Dr. Frederick Weedon who just happened to be the brother-in-law to Wiley Thompson. The Indian agent that Osceola had killed at Fort King in 1835. Dr. Weedon was unable to help Osceola but he died peacefully. Weedon described his death this way. "He made a signal for them to lower him down upon his bed, and he then slowly drew from his war-belt his scalping knife, which he firmly grasped in his right hand, laying it across the other on his breast, and in a moment smiled away his last breath without a struggle or groan." It is said that Army officers and Indian's alike wept at his passing. Dr. Weedon then did something really weird. He cut off Osceola's head and would use it to punish his small boys when they misbehaved. He did this by hanging it at the end of their bed. Eventually he would give the head to his son-in-law who would donate it to the New York University Medical school and Academy of Medicine. The head was destroyed in a fire in 1866. Osceola's headless body was buried just outside the entrance to Fort Moultrie. I have had the honor of visiting his grave on two occasions. The first in August of 1989 and again this past June of 2016. The thing that I love about history is that many times the truth is stranger than fiction. Unfortunately this is one of the dark episodes of our past but is a story that must be told. Osceola is not just an Indian hero but an American hero. 
Fort Moultrie

Fort Moultrie

Osceola's grave





Friday, April 12, 2019

DADES DEFEAT


  On April 2, 2019 my wife and I traveled down to Tampa Florida to watch my grandson Russell Qualls play in a disabled hockey tournament. Near present day Bushnell Florida I noticed a small brown sign that simply read Dade battlefield. I told her that I wanted to stop there on our way home from Tampa. We followed the signs to the Dade battlefield that was in a beautiful and secluded spot just two miles off of I-75. Making a calculated guess I told my wife that this battle probably had something to do with one of the three Seminole wars that the United States fought intermittently from 1817 until 1858. I am very familiar with the First Seminole War conducted by Andrew Jackson but until I visited this battlefield I knew very little about the Second and Third Seminole Wars. The first war lasted from 1817 until 1818. It was prompted after a boat was attacked in November 1817 commanded by Lieutenant Richard W. Scott coming up the Apalachicola river by the Red Stick Creeks. Only seven soldiers survived out of forty-five and this came to be called the Scott Massacre.

  The Indians had been raiding into American territory and using Spanish Florida as a haven but this attack was the straw that broke the camels back. President Monroe authorized Jackson to punish the Indians, even if it meant crossing over into Spanish Florida. This war resulted in the cessation of Florida to the United States by the Adams-Onis treaty in 1819. Another motivation of the Americans was the recapture of escaped slaves from as far away as Virginia and Tennessee. These escaped slaves found refuge among the Seminole and many were adopted into the tribe. In a quick campaign Jackson defeated the Seminoles, burned Seminole villages, and hung two British subjects named  Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C. Ambrister. They were accused of giving aide to the Indians. Jackson would capture Saint Marks and Pensacola during this campaign. The formal occupation of Florida began in 1821 and Andrew Jackson was appointed military governor. Florida would become a state on March 3, 1845.

  The second Seminole War lasted from 1835 until 1842 and the third war from 1855 until 1858. By the time of the Dade battle Jackson would be well into his second term as president. On May 28, 1830 Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which would ultimately be responsible for the second and third Seminole Wars. The Indian Removal Act affected five southeastern tribes. The Cherokee,Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole. In 1823 the government had signed a treaty with the Seminole called the Treaty of Moultrie Creek and the Indians were given a reservation in the central part of Florida. Fort King was built in present day Ocala and the army reported that things were peaceful with the Indians. This peace lasted for about five years. Then the White settlers began demanding that the Indians should be moved into Indian territory which is present day Oklahoma. The status of escaped slaves continued to be a source of irritation. Spain had granted them their freedom but the American's did not recognize this and they were living alongside the Seminole on the reservation. They came to be called the Black Seminoles.

  White settlers who owned slaves in Florida had slaves that were escaping and living among the Seminoles also. After the passage of the Indian Removal Act the Seminoles resisted being sent so far away from their home. They began to grow hungry because game was becoming scarce on the reservation. Whites began to fear an Indian uprising or an armed slave rebellion. In the Spring of 1832 seven chiefs agreed to go to the Creek lands in Oklahoma for several months and see the area for themselves. If they liked it they would return and encourage members of their tribe to move there. They signed a statement in Oklahoma that said that they found the land acceptable. Upon their return to Florida most of the chiefs renounced the agreement saying that they had been bullied into signing it. Besides this they said that they had no power over other members of their tribe and could not force them to move. Even some U.S.Army officers agreed that the Indians had been bullied. This treaty became known as the Treaty Of Payne's Landing and it was passed by the Senate in 1834. The treaty gave the Indians three years to move west. The government interpreted the time period as beginning in 1832 and they were to be gone by 1835.

  Fort King in Ocala was reopened in 1834 and it was the job of the Indian agent, Wiley Thompson, to talk the Seminoles into moving. He called the Indians together for a meeting but they told him that they were not moving. They said that they were not bound by the Treaty of Payne's landing. Some of the chiefs finally agreed to move but asked to be given until the end of 1835 and Thompson agreed. Things deteriorated and Thompson placed a ban on the sale of guns and ammunition to the Seminole. The great warrior Osceola was angered by this treatment and claimed that the Whites were treating them like the slaves. He told Thompson,  "The white man shall not make me black. I will make the white man red with blood; and then blacken him in the sun and rain ... and the buzzard will live upon his flesh." Later Thompson had him locked up and before he could be released made him agree to abide by the Treaty of Payne's Landing. Violence against Whites increased and in August 1835 an Army courier named Private Kinsley Dalton was killed by the Indians traveling from Fort Brooke, present day Tampa, to Fort King. Dalton Georgia would be named after him.
The Indian reservation after the Treaty of Moultrie Creek

THE DADE BATTLE

  When it sunk in that the Indians weren't leaving, the state of Florida mobilized for war. The Florida militia and the U.S. Army placed themselves on a war footing. White settlers were being massacred and fled to the large towns, forts, or left the state altogether. Osceola captured a militia supply train killing eight soldiers and wounding six. Slaves escaped and joined the Seminoles. At that time the U.S. Army only had 550 soldiers in the state. Fort King had one company of soldiers and it was feared that they would be overrun. Fort Brooke had three companies and two more were on their way to reinforce them. It was decided to send two of the companies at Fort Brooke to reinforce Fort King. Two days before Christmas on December 23, 1835 one hundred and ten men began the march to Fort King on the military road. They were under the command of Brevet Major Francis Langhorne Dade who was about 42 years old at the time. Dade knew he was being shadowed by the Seminole but he expected to be attacked at river crossings or in the areas that had thicker forests to the south that could conceal the movement of the Indians. When he got into the more open areas that consisted of pines and palmettos he let down his guard and pulled in his flank protection so his men could travel faster.

  Today there are still many pines and palmetto's interspersed with oak trees. I read a historical marker that claimed that the oak trees were not there during the battle. In these forest the Indians could easily be seen if they were standing but they hid themselves from view by crawling and crouching. The Indians would probably have attacked sooner but they were waiting to be joined by Osceola's band of warriors. He was determined to kill Indian agent Wiley Thompson, the Indian agent who had humiliated him. Tired of waiting on Osceola the Indians led by leaders such as Micanopy, Alligator, and Jumper ambushed the soldiers. It was around 10:00 A.M. on the cold morning of December 28, 1835. Major Dade was riding a horse and he was the first to die. Half of the soldiers were killed or wounded in this first volley including three of their six officers. In addition to Major Dade, Captain Fraser and Lieutenant Mudge were killed.

  The soldiers retreated a short distance and were able to slow down the attack with the single cannon they had brought along. This gave them enough time to build log breastworks. When the Indians resumed their attack the small area of the breastworks made it easier for them to kill the remaining soldiers. All but three soldiers were killed. Private Edward Decourcey survived because he was covered with bodies. Ransom Clark looked dead because he had been wounded five times and was bleeding heavily from his head. Private Joseph Sprague also survived after playing dead. The next day the Seminole pursued the three soldiers and Decourcey was killed. Sprague and Clark eventually made it back to Fort Brooke alive. Clarke collapsed within a mile of the fort and a friendly Indian woman helped him make it the rest of the way to the fort. When the battle ended the Indians stripped and robbed the bodies and around sunset they left the battlefield. After this forty or fifty escaped slaves rode in on horseback and butchered the men who were still alive.

  Large plantations were burned and settlers killed all over Florida. By the end of 1836 all but one house in what is now Miami - Dade and Broward counties had been burned by the Indians. Major Ethan Allen Hitchcock, who was with the expedition in February 1836, that found the fallen remains of Dades command, bitterly stated "The government is in the wrong, and this is the chief cause of the persevering opposition of the Indians, who have nobly defended their country against our attempt to enforce a fraudulent treaty. The natives used every means to avoid a war, but were forced into it by the tyranny of our government" This battle was the opening shots of the Second Seminole War. After seven long years of fighting in this war the United States would spend forty million dollars which in today's currency would be the equivalent of one trillion dollars. Over 1,500 soldiers died along with countless numbers of Indians and White settlers.

  By 1842 upwards of 4,000 Seminoles were forced to move out to the Creek reservation in Oklahoma. Many battles and skirmishes would be fought but the war would be declared over on august 14th 1842. The Second Seminole War would provide combat experience for many future Civil War officer and generals that fought for the North and South. Major Robert Anderson who defended Fort Sumter, Major General Abner Doubleday USA, Major General Jubal Early, CSA, Brigadier General William S. Harney, USA, General Joseph E. Johnston, CSA, Major General George G. Meade, USA , Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton, CSA , General William T. Sherman, USA, Major General George H. Thomas, USA, Braxton Bragg-CSA; Joseph Hooker-USA; Edward Ord-USA; Samuel Heintzelman-USA; William H. T. Walker-CSA; Ambrose Hill-CSA, John Magruder-CSA, and Brigadier General Truman Seymour, USA. The Third and final Seminole War in the 1850's left a population of roughly 200 Seminoles in Florida. By this time the rest of the Seminoles agreed to go to Oklahoma. The remnant that remained hid out in the swamps and places that the White man was unwilling to bother with. The Florida Seminoles of today can trace their heritage back to this stalwart group.
The military road

The terrain of the battlefield

The area where the attack began

Where Major Dade fell







The breastworks





An artist depiction of the battle



National cemetery in St. Augustine where the casualties from the Dade battle are buried



Battle relics

A musket of the period

Thursday, April 11, 2019

WHY I WALKED AWAY



  On opening weekend I was able to see the movie Unplanned and it is a powerful story. The movie is about a woman named Abby Johnson who spent eight years with Planned Parenthood. As the director of a clinic in Texas her life was radically changed after witnessing an abortion on an ultrasound. She quit her job and has since become a strong advocate for the pro life cause. Ironically the actress playing Abby Johnson found out from her mother that she was minutes away from being aborted. Her mother had already had one abortion and she was sitting in the waiting room about to abort another baby when she decided not to go through with it. The actress believes that this was divine intervention. This movie is well timed because of the movement going on in various states to protect a woman's ability to have an abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, all the way up to and including the moment of birth. There is also an attempt by Republicans in various states, such as Tennessee, to end abortions after a heartbeat is detected. This legislation is called the "Heartbeat" bill. Watching this movie and the way it depicted Planned Parenthood officials reminded me of the movie Schindler's List. Put these people in a Nazi SS uniform and they would have been right at home. It would be just as easy to imagine these monsters just as cold bloodedly marching the Jews off into the crematories. I am a very sinful man and the last thing I want to do is come across as self righteous and judgmental but for many years now I have wondered how a professed Christian can justify being a Democrat. Or for that matter anyone who professes to be a believer in God's Word such as the Jewish people for example. The abortion issue played a huge part in why I chose to walk away from the Democrat Party. Some of the best Christians I have ever known were Democrats. Two in particular were Tennessee politicians for many years. When asked why they remained in the Democrat Party their response was that that was the only way they could be elected in their districts and I suspect that they were raised by Democrat families with a long history in that party. I have told my story several times about how I walked away from the Democrat Party in the early 1980's. My conversion to Christianity happened while I was stationed in Colorado Springs in the Fall of 1971. I remained a baby in Christ until the late 1970's when I really started getting into the meat of Word. As late as the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 I still identified with the Democrat Party. I can somewhat relate to those Democrats on the night that Hillary was defeated. You know, the ones who were crying and depressed on television and social media. I was no snowflake, and I didn't cry, but Carter's defeat bothered me so much that I couldn't sleep on election night in 1980. Believe it or not Reagan had to deal with the crazy left just like Trump does. There was a " Reagan Derangement Syndrome" although not nearly as bad as Trump has had to deal with. Reagan was mocked by the Hollywood celebrities and the media. They called him a cowboy an ultra right winger, racist, bigot, simple minded, etc etc. He was too old and stupid to be president. I bought into this rhetoric and on election night that is why I was so upset. The recession of the late 1970's and early 1980's was much worse than the recession that Obama inherited in 2008. The real estate market was nearly dead because of high interest rates. Inflation was out of control, and our heavy industries such as steel and the automobile industry were nearly dead. Northerners were moving down South, and West, in droves looking for work. I was unemployed at one point in 1982 and forced to go on to Food Stamps for about a year. The only job I was able to find was making 4.50 an hour. The Reagan recovery of the economy wasn't quite as rapid as Trump's has been but by early 1983 it was obvious that Reagan's tax cuts and deregulation policies were working. Although I had voted for Carter I didn't like the defeatism that he perpetrated and the anti American sentiment constantly expressed by the Democrats. There was a renewed patriotism and pride in America. I was reevaluating my view of Reagan and by 1984 I was solidly in the Reagan camp. During this period I began to take a good hard look at the pros and cons of why I identified with the Democrat Party. In the end there were no pro's, just con's. As a Democrat I always considered myself a moderate to conservative or a Henry "Scoop" Jackson type of Democrat. From 1968 to 1972 something happened to the Democrat Party. I had noticed that the party had taken a radical shift to the left but I was hopeful that it was just a temporary phase they were going through. This is why my first vote was for the Republican Nixon. I just couldn't vote for George McGovern who was too far to the left for me. Today, I am convinced that the leftward swing in the Party is permanent and without a miracle there is no turning back for them. In 1976 I was excited about Carter because I really thought that he was a moderate and I was proud to see a Southerner that was not a racist elected to office. In addition he was a Christian and seemingly proud of it. I had hopes for Carter but he was a big disappointment. In 1980, however; I still saw Carter as the lesser of two evils compared to Reagan.


After Reagan was elected he made me realize that I had been a conservative all along but I just didn't know it. I was a patriot, believed in a strong defense, and was pro law and order. Until John Kennedy the party seemed to represent those things. Kennedy was a war hero, a cold warrior, and established our space program. Not until I was in my thirties and forties did I began to realize the value of tax cuts and how they spur economic growth. Kennedy proposed a large tax cut that spurred one of the longest periods of economic growth in history that lasted well into the 1970's. Reagan and Trump did the same thing. His inaugural address spelled out what America should always stand for. "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty". I also love this line "Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate". Then the most famous of all "My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country." Ideas that are anathema to the modern Democrat Party today. Can you imagine a Democrat today giving a speech like this? Yet Kennedy is still touted as the hero of the Democrat Party. Kennedy was a Conservative and with the values I have today I could see myself voting for him in 1960. He could be what we think of as a Conservative Republican today. There are fiscal and secular conservatives, as well as social conservatives today. Social conservatism is a fairly new phenomenon because since the 1960's the Christian - Judeo culture of America has been under an almost constant secular attack. Social Conservatives have been forced to fight back. Issues like abortion, same sex marriage, and the constant erosion of moral standards in society weren't on the radar in 1960 when Kennedy was elected. In 1960 television sitcom's like I Love Lucy, Leave It To Beaver and Father Knows Best portrayed married couples sleeping in separate beds. Even fiscal issues such as welfare and entitlements can be viewed on a social and moral level when you factor in the damage that these programs have done to the American family since the 1960's. They have incentivized women of all races to marry the government. As a result poverty has increased because many women no longer view a man as a necessity. As long as they can make it without a man, thanks to the government. Without a male presence in the home crime figures skyrocket. This is the main reason so many Blacks are incarcerated. It is not a racist criminal system but the lack of men in Black families that are responsible for the high crime rates among Blacks. Obama was a habitual liar but in a Father's day speech as a senator he once told the honest to God truth "More than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled — doubled — since we were children." He went on to say that these absent fathers don't realize that "responsibility does not end at conception" and are "acting like boys instead of men." Don Lemon of CNN, another radical leftist, also told the truth when he was quoted as saying that 72% of Black children are born out of wedlock. Compare this to 1965 when liberal Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a report warning that the destruction of the Black nuclear family would hinder further progress toward economic and political equality. Statistics show that people who wait to have children after they are married, and graduate from high school, will stay above the poverty level and will not be dependent on the government for support. Blacks raised in a home without a father are more likely to be a criminal and to be poor, In 1900 a Black child was slightly more likely to have been born in a two parent family than a White child. Even during slavery a Black child was more likely to have been born under the same roof with both of his parents than today. It was not slavery or segregation that destroyed Black families but Lyndon Johnson's War On Poverty program that sent workers around knocking on doors telling Black women that they were entitled to welfare provided that there was no man living in the house. The War On Poverty did not decrease poverty, it has increased it. Government welfare and the lowering of moral standards have also affected White families. In the 1960's only 5% of Whites were born outside of wedlock. We are now looking at 25% of White children being born out of wedlock today. The same percentage that Blacks were at in 1965. I personally know a White woman who has had numerous children out of wedlock by different men. Everything from the roof over her and her children's head, to the food on their plate, the clothes on their back, and the phone that she uses is provided by you and I the taxpayer. Does anyone believe that if she had been born 100 years ago she would have been so careless and irresponsible unless she was in a committed relationship with a man? The Democrat Party has continued to push these destructive welfare programs since the 1960's. 

The counterculture championed by the Democrat Party during the 1960's popularized drug use and free love. The combination of these things have also led to the destruction of families. Nothing has destroyed families more than drug use. It has also increased homelessness on our streets. Many homeless people are that way because they are so addicted they cannot keep a steady job or enter into a committed relationship with anyone. Many, if not most are mentally ill from long years of drug abuse. We have an epidemic of illicit drug use in this country and people are dying like flies. I place most of the problems that I have listed directly at the feet of the Democrat Party and partly at the feet of the Republican Party. I am not talking about the rank and file Democrat. Most of these are good, honest, decent, hard working, patriotic Americans. Because of family tradition, however; or a personal history with organized labor, and many other factors of indoctrination, they cannot sit down and take a good hard look at the evil people that are running their Party and do not share their values. If you believe in a strong national defense, a strong foreign policy, free market capitalism, good trade policies, a sound economy, tax cuts, and are a patriot then you are in the wrong Party if you are a Democrat. If you are a socialist, and hate America because you believe that we are responsible for the evil in the world, hate our military, want to disarm American citizens, hate free speech, and hate Christianity, then you should be in the Democrat Party. If you believe that abortion should be restricted, believe in our Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, then you should not be a Democrat. The Democrats believe that the Constitution was written by narrow minded White men and the Constitution is no longer relevant to the modern age. They look at it as a living breathing document, which is code for them being able to change it on a whim. Democrats hate elections because they can only get elected if they lie. They lose elections because they are out of step with American values. So they bypass the electorate and use the courts to do their dirty work or they overwhelm the country with illegal aliens who will change the demographics to their favor. Now they are even wanting to do away with the Electoral College, lower the voting age to 16, allow imprisoned felons to vote and pack the Supreme Court. This is also why they don't want voter ID's. It is easier to commit voter fraud in those states that do not require a voter ID.This is not a call for anyone to run out and join the Republican Party. With some exceptions they are a big part of the overall problem. Both Parties are corrupt. I see the Republicans simply as the lesser of two evils. I am an independent Conservative who only votes Republican because I can't vote the Democrat ticket and live with myself. Republicans believe in big government and the Democrat's believe in bigger government. One Party is driving toward the cliff in a Mercedes while the other is driving for the cliff in a go kart. Either way they are both headed toward ultimate disaster. Over the years I have asked various life long Democrats why they choose to remain in a Party that does not represent their values. I know them well enough to realize that their values don't match up with the Party that they blindly follow every election. Usually they are at a loss for words or they will fall back on the bumper sticker response that the Democrats support the working man and the Republicans are for the rich. It is funny that the wealthy seem to dominate both parties. I am encouraged by the # Walk Away movement and the Blexit movement which stands for Blacks exiting the Democrat Party. It is exciting to see people finally wising up.