Donald Trump: Presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee
5/17/2016 By John De Gree
Donald Trump is the presumptive Presidential nominee for the Republican National Party. This means, that everyone presumes he will represent the Republican Party in the general election. As the Republican Party nominee, he will face the nominee for the Democratic National Party in the general election, which takes place Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The winner of this election will be inaugurated President of the United States of America on Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20th, 2017. In many ways, Donald Trump’s campaign to win the Republican state primaries has been unusual.
State Political Party Primaries, Caucuses, and Donald Trump Because American Founding Fathers detested centralized decision-making and control of the country, they left it up to each state how it would choose political electors and candidates for President. Beginning in February, both the Republican and Democratic state parties have held elections to choose their candidates. The first candidate on the Republican side to win 1237 delegates (half plus one of the total) would become the Republican Presidential nominee. Donald Trump needs less than 200 more delegates and nobody questions if he will reach this number before the Republican Convention in July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.
In the first Republican state primary, there were 17 candidates. The large number of candidates was partly because President Obama is a Democrat and he is leaving the White House. For eight years, there has been no clear leader of the Republican Party. Many Republicans with political experience thought this was their chance. Of the candidates were sitting and past governors, senators, a former attorney general, a doctor and two business professionals. Most believed one of the professional politicians would win.
Because of the large number of candidates, not one candidate has won a majority of votes in most of the primaries. In fact, not one candidate has captured over 50% of the total vote for the Republicans. However, Donald Trump has captured a plurality of votes in more states than the other candidates. A plurality means a greater number of votes than others, but not reaching 50%. Because of Trump’s victories by plurality, he has been able to capture enough delegates that will put him over the 50% mark. This is because in many states, the political party decided to make the primary a “winner-take-all” primary. Any candidate who wins a plurality of votes captures all of the delegates. However, in the past seven state primaries, Donald Trump has captured 50% of the vote, winning with commanding leads in Indiana, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and New York.
The last primary elections take place June 7th. Either before or on this date, barring an unforeseen event, Donald Trump will become the Republican Party nominee and will face the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election.
Donald Trump To learn what Donald Trump’s positions are in key policy areas, his website is a good start, at www.donaldjtrump.com. There is detailed information regarding the following topics:
Pay for the Wall
U.S.-China Trade Reform
Veteran’s Administrative Reform
Second Amendment Rights
Great Discussion Questions You Can Ask Your Kids
What does presumptive Republican Presidential Nominee mean?
When and where is the 2016 Republican Convention?
How many candidates for the Republican Presidential nominee race were there in January 2016?
What does a plurality mean?
Explain what you know of Mr. Trump’s positions on key policies.
In order to have an opinion on a candidate, what are some ways a person can investigate a candidate?
On Tuesday, November 8th, Americans will have the opportunity to vote for the next President of the United States of America. There are a number of candidates, but the two main ones are Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. Each offers a different tax plan for the country. One candidate favors individuals and businesses keeping more of the money they earn and the other candidate favors raising taxes on individuals and businesses. One candidate believes that individuals and businesses make better decisions with their own money and another candidate believes that when a person makes a great deal of money, the government will make better decisions what to do with the money.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton plans to raise taxes on individual and business income. Clinton wants to raise taxes to limit tax deductions and to place an extra 4% tax on individuals with incomes over $5 million. This would raise the marginal tax rate on those earning more than $5 million to 43.6%. Clinton wants to enact a minimum 30% minimum tax on individuals. She would like to have the estate tax rise to 45%. The estate tax is tax on a person’s estate after he dies. Clinton would like to raise the top tax on investments (long-term capital gains) to 47.4%.
Presidential candidate Trump plans to lower taxes on individuals and businesses. Trump plans to get rid of the current tax brackets and replace them with three rates: 12%, 25%, and 33%. (Currently, tax rates are 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, 35%, and 39.6%. The more a person makes, the higher his tax rate is.) Trump wants to eliminate the investment income surtax. This means he wants investors to not be taxed extra for investing. Trump wants to lower the top corporate tax rate from 39% to 15%. Trump wants to eliminate the estate tax, so that when a person dies, all of his wealth transfers to his family tax free.
The tax plans of the two Presidential candidates and their respective political parties greatly differ from each other. The Republicans and candidate Trump think that lower taxes will allow Americans to keep more of what they make. They think that individuals and businesses will then spend and hire more, and that this would improve the economy. The Democrats and candidate Clinton think that higher taxes will make the wealthier pay more to the government, and the government will be able to take that money and invest it wisely. They think that government leaders will make decisions that improve the lives of Americans.
Great Discussion Questions to Ask Your Kids
Who are the two Presidential candidates and what political parties do they represent?
What is Hillary Clinton’s tax plan?
What is Donald Trump’s tax plan?
Why does Clinton believe her tax plan is better than Trump’s tax plan?
Why does Trump believe his tax plan is better than Clinton’s tax plan?
What is your opinion? Which tax plan is better and why?
The Electoral College and President-Elect Donald Trump
11/17/2016 By John De Gree
On November 8, 2016, Americans voted Donald Trump as their 45th President. President-Elect Trump captured 290 electoral votes to Secretary Clinton’s 232. It appears that Clinton will win the popular vote by about 400,000, however, Trump won 30 states and Clinton won 19 (Michigan is still counting votes in a close election). Because of Trump’s performance in a majority of states, he captured the Presidency, based on the Electoral College.
The U.S. Constitution and the Electoral College The American Framers of the Constitution wrote that the President and Vice President are elected through the Electoral College. The Electoral College is an institution, or process. States are given a certain number of “electors,” people who vote for a President and Vice President. The number of electors given to each state depends on how many representatives each state has in Congress. The electors are directed by their state legislators how to vote.
Before 1824, state legislators decided how electors would vote. However, American politicians in the 1820s and 1830s, especially Andrew Jackson, thought that all American citizens should choose the electors. Because of Jackson and others, the people became the main voice in choosing electors, not the politicians. However, Americans still vote by state through the Electoral College.
Why did the Framers Create the Electoral College? Why Didn’t the Framers Establish Direct Democracy to Choose a President? There are at least two reasons why the Framers created the Electoral College. 1. They wanted proven leaders to decide who should be president, because they thought professional politicians would best understand who should lead the country. 2. They wanted all 13 states to join the United States of America, because the new country could probably not have survived if one or two states did not join. After the Framers wrote the Constitution, it had to be approved by the states to become the law of the land.
Allowing for a representative body, elected by the citizens, to choose a president, was a completely novel and radical idea. The Framers were taking an incredible risk in establishing a republic, and most thought the young United States of America would fail. Never before, in the history of man, had there been a republic established as the United States of America. The Framers wanted the President to be chosen by professional, proven leaders, who had been chosen by the citizens of each state. Their thinking was, “Who could make the best decisions about leaders than leaders themselves?” When the leaders were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, etc., it is easy to understand this logic.
The Framers established the Electoral College also to ensure the states that were lightly populated, or rural, would not be bullied by the more populous states. The lesser-populated states of Vermont or Rhode Island would not have joined the Union if the President were to be democratically chosen. In a democratically chosen election, the interests of the people of Virginia would have dominated the young country, much like the citizens of California and New York would today. The Electoral College ensures a President that is approved over a large and diverse geographical area, not just over one particular kind of people.
How Could America’s Electoral College Change? There are at least two ways how Americans could change the electoral process. 1. One way is for each state to change how their electors are granted. 2. The other way is for a Constitutional amendment.
For a state to change, it could decide to reward the politician with the percentage of electors that would coincide with the percentage of votes received. For example, in California, Hillary Clinton won 61.5%, Donald Trump won 33.2%, Gary Johnson won 3.2%, Jill Stein won 1.7%, and others won .4% of the vote. California, like most states, currently rewards the winner with all of its electoral votes, which is 55. If the California legislature wanted to, it could reward the electoral votes as a percentage of votes cast. However, the California Democrats (who control the California legislature) are happy with this way of rewarding electors, so California will probably not change how it rewards the winner of the vote in its state.
The second way to change the electoral process is through a Constitutional Amendment, which is detailed in Article V of the Constitution. However, to do this, a large number of states would have to agree to the change, and it is highly unlikely that state legislators, or citizens of each state, would ever agree to this, as it would diminish a state’s power in the Electoral College.
The Electoral College: An Institution of Stability The United States of America is the world’s oldest Constitutional Republic, and the Electoral College is one of the reasons for its longevity. Only once in America’s history has a Presidential election been a catalyst for war, which was the Civil War, 1861-1865. It can be strongly argued that it wasn’t the election of Lincoln that caused the war, but the issue of slavery. The Electoral College ensures that lesser-populated states are important and not dominated by heavier-populated states. It allows for states to have freedom in deciding how electors are chosen. And it ensures that the United States of America doesn’t become divided by geography or by urban or rural living.
Interesting Questions You Can Ask Your Kids 1. Who won the popular vote and the electoral vote in the 2016 Presidential election? 2. What is the Electoral College? 3. Why did the Framers create the Electoral College? 4. How could Americans change the Electoral College? 5. What is good about the Electoral College 6. What is your opinion of the Electoral College? By John De Gree of www.classicalhistorian.com Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.
When President Trump became United States President in January 2016, ISIS (also known as the Islamic State and DAESH) controlled roughly 1/3 of Iraq and 1/3 of Syria. By the end of November, 2017, the U.S. and its allies had defeated ISIS. ISIS no longer controls any territory. While ISIS still exists as an Islamic terrorist organization, it is now unable to collect any taxes or terrorize entire towns. The defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a monumental success in the war on terror and it has a stabilizing effect on peace throughout the world. ISIS has its roots in the early 2000s, when many of its founding members were part of the al Qaeda organization, once led by Osama bin Laden. In 2013, Islamic terrorists reorganized into what they called “ISIS,” or, the Islamic State in Syria. The enemies of ISIS call them DAESH, which is an acronym for ISIS but also a derogatory term in Arabic. After President Obama pulled American troops out of Iraq, ISIS took over large areas of Iraq and Syria. Initially calling ISIS the “J.V.” of terrorist groups, President Obama was forced to send back American soldiers into Iraq to take back the land American soldiers had previously won. The Classical Historian had reported the devastation ISIS had caused, not only in the Middle East but in the world. In “Syrian Refugee Crisis,” we reported that of the over 1,000,000 refugees fleeing Syria, many were in fact Islamic terrorists pretending to be refugees. In November, 2015, ISIS killed 130 people and wounded 413 in Paris, France. It was the worst attack in France since World War II. In December of 2015, two members of ISIS, an American-born Syed Farook and his Pakistani wife murdered 14 and wounded 21 in the barbarous attack on Americans in San Bernardino, California at a holiday party. OnNew Year’s Eve, 2015, in Cologne, Germany, over 600 German women were assaulted by Muslim immigrants from Syria. It is unknown if any of the immigrants were ISIS. In March, 2016, ISIS killed over 30 and wounded up to 230 in coordinated attacks in Brussels Belgium. Of course, there have been countless other terrorist attacks and it is impossible to list them all. When President Trump campaigned for the Presidency, he promised that he would wage war against Muslim terrorists differently than President Obama had. Trump declared that his administration would clearly state that the terrorists were Islamic fundamentalists, and that naming clearly who the enemy was would help in the fight. President Obama’s administration refused to state that ISIS was an Islamic fundamentalist organization. Trump also stated that he would change the rules American soldiers fought under, so that they could more easily attack and defeat the terrorists. Rules of engaging the enemy has been changed, according to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, though because these rules are classified, it is impossible to know exactly how they were changed. Though ISIS remains a threat to the Middle East and to the world, their threat has been greatly diminished by the policies of the Trump administration. ISIS no longer holds any territory, is unable to terrorize large communities, and collect taxes. ISIS and other radical Muslim terrorist groups exist, but they appear to be a much lesser threat than just a few years ago.
President Trump and Jerusalem 5/23/2018 In May, 2018, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise and moved the United States embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Since 1995, all U.S. Presidents had promised or spoken about moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Israelis praised this move and named an Israeli intersection near the embassy Trump Square. Hamas protested this move by staging attacks against the Israeli – Gaza Strip border. Israeli defense forces killed 58 repelling these attacks. Hamas is the radical Islamic terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip. Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a country and believes Jerusalem needs to be the Islamic capital of Hamas-controlled Palestine. Israel is the only republic on the peninsula of Arabia.
1947-1979 The Israeli-Palestinian conflict did not begin centuries ago, but instead, after World War II. In a series of three articles, The Classical Historian traces the Israeli-Palestinian conflict throughout history. Before World War II, there was not an extended history of conflict between Jews and Arabs. In 1947, two years after the end of World War II, the United Nations voted to establish two countries west of the Jordan River; a Jewish and a Palestinian Arab country. The Jews accepted this plan, but the Palestinians and surrounding Arab countries did not. In 1948, Jews in Palestine declared the birth of the modern country of Israel, consisting of the lands the United Nations had set aside. The surrounding Arab nations (Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) militarily occupied the land that had been set aside for the Palestinian Arabs. These four countries attacked Israel. Over the next 29 years, Israelis fought the Arab nations in all-out war, in smaller, disconnected battles, or against Arab terrorist attacks. Major wars during this time were the initial Israeli-Arab War in 1948, the Suez War in 1956, the 1967 Six-Day War, the War of Attrition in 1969-1970, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During these wars, Israel defeated the Arabs and conquered land that the United Nations had set aside for an Arab Palestinian country. Israel holds some of this land, believing that it is necessary to repel invasions from the Arab countries.
Many Arab countries and people continue to refuse to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and a constant state of war exists. Palestinians organized themselves into various terrorist organizations, aiming to destroy Israel. A terrorist organization attempts to harm its enemy by using horrific acts of barbarity, such as purposefully killing innocent civilians on a bus or in a pizza restaurant, or by assassinating athletes and journalists and women and children. Yasser Arafat founded the terrorist group Fatah in 1959, and in 1970, the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) was established in Jordan and later moved to Lebanon. Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Qaeda are more modern terrorist organizations aimed against Israel.
1979-1986, Egypt and Lebanon Recognize Israel Major peace developments occurred in 1979 and the 1980s. In 1979, with U.S. President Carter acting as the chief negotiator, Egypt and Israel signed a peace agreement, and Egypt became the first Arab country to recognize Israel’s right to exist. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and destroyed much of the PLO. In 1983, Lebanon recognized Israel’s right to exist, the PLO was forced to leave Lebanon, and Israel agreed to not invade Lebanon.
1987-1993 The First Intifada In 1987, the First Palestinian Intifada began. Intifada means “shaking off” or “shaking up.” Arab Palestinians violently protested Israel’s occupation of lands that the United Nations originally had chosen for the Palestinian country. Israel had taken these lands in the wars against the Arab countries. Israel argued that occupation of these lands was necessary so it wouldn’t be attacked from those areas.
Much changed from 1987 to 1993. In the Intifada, Palestinians threw rocks at Israelis, attacked civilians, and Israel used its military supremacy to defeat the protesters. Palestinians targeted both military targets and Israeli citizens. One technique used during the Intifada was the suicide bomber. A Palestinian would strap bombs to himself, go on a crowded bus or in a restaurant, and blow himself up, killing innocent Israelis.
About 2,000 Palestinians and 300 Israelis were killed during this time. Palestinians claimed Israel was an occupying force that abused its power. Israel claimed the right to exist and protect itself. At the end of the Intifada, Israel withdrew from much of the two areas it had occupied, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The PLO, led by Arafat, renounced violence, accepted the United Nations plan for two states in Palestine, and recognized Israel’s right to exist. Israel recognized the PLO as the representatives of the Palestinian people. It was to be known as the Palestinian Authority (PA) from now on.
1993-2000 The Oslo Accords The Oslo Accords were various agreements between Israel and the PA that was to eventually establish two countries, Israel and Palestine, and resolve the problems that had existed between the Israelis and the Palestinians since World War I. It began with much enthusiasm on both sides, but ended in armed conflict. Disagreements involved the capital city of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, and Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
2000-2005 The Second Intifada Open conflict between Palestinians and Israelis continued. As in the First Intifada, Palestinians targeted both soldiers and civilians and used suicide bombers. In contrast with the First Intifada, Israel aggressively asserted control over civilian areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, killing terrorist leaders in their homes, destroying PA infrastructure, and maintained occupying forces. PA leader Yasser Arafat died in 2004. The new PA leader, Abbas, agreed with Israeli Prime Minister Sharon to stop all fighting. The cease fire began in 2005.
2005 to Present Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah, and Israel In the last 9 or 10 years, Israel has fought against radical Islamic groups in the West Bank and Gaza, in Lebanon, and has militarily occupied parts of Palestine. Israel has also continued to expand Jewish settlements into areas that Palestinians claim as their own. Hamas, Fatah, and Hezbollah are three terrorist organizations whose stated goal is to destroy Israel.
Hamas won elections in the Gaza Strip in 2007 and took over administration. Hamas also defeated the Palestinian Authority. Along with running the government, Hamas built tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip to smuggle in weapons used to attack the Israelis. Over the years, Hamas has launched missiles at Israel. Fatah, another terrorist organization, controls the West Bank. On November 2012, Israel launched a military offensive aimed at destroying the military power of Hamas. Hamas has launched more than 1100 missiles into Israel, and Israel successfully degraded Hamas’ ability to fight. Hezbollah is in southern Lebanon, and periodically launches missiles into Israel or conducts military raids.
2018 Trump Moves U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Since 1995, every U.S. President has spoken about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. However, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip object to the embassy in Jerusalem because it legitimizes the country of Israel. It is the stated goal of Hamas and Fatah to create a Palestinian country and to destroy Israel. Other Arab nations, and some Asian nations, also desire to annihilate Israel. Hamas and Fatah want Jerusalem to be a capital of an Islamic country. Because manyj have a strong hatred against Israel, each U.S. President has been afraid to move the embassy.
The opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem is a sign of American-Israeli friendship and a challenge to terrorist groups and countries who want to destroy Israel. When President Trump campaigned, he declared his administration would move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This month, Trump followed through with his pledge.
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