Learning

Timestamp: The early afternoon of New Year’s Day 2024.

I am returning to my version of live blogging a day earlier than I anticipated. As I do most mornings I read my posting, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Aside from an announcement of some significance my article was rather pro forma and with the exception of one article the newspapers were a disappointment. But that article motivated me to “come back” early.


I’ve seen the puzzled looks on many of my friends’ faces when I stated that as a coach, I learned much more from a loss than a victory. (You often learn nothing from a win. But it sure feels good!) If you can’t learn from being wrong in politics then you are in for a hard time. In 1974 then-President Gerald Ford pardoned (preemptively, which has never been tested in court) immediate past President Richard Nixon. His stated reasoning is that America needed to move on from Watergate. At the time I agreed with him using the same reasoning. (In my case sincerely; in Ford’s who knows?) History has proven both of us to be tragically incorrect!

Effectively Nixon went unpunished for his crimes against the American people. That signaled to the less than virtuous that if they attained the Oval Office, they could use their position as basically a get out of jail free card. Nixon gave us Ronald Reagan who openly defied American laws. (In his defense, at least not to personal profit.) Reagan’s VP and successor was George H.W. Bush who, at best, was incompetent as Reagan’s Veep if he didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. You have to question his character that he supposedly (if you believe his version of events) didn’t suspect and inquire.

Sans H.W. we never would have had George W. Bush on whose watch many shenanigans took place. W. may have been accused of being a genius, but never in this column. Was he corrupt or just a useful idiot for those who served with him that were? In either circumstance you can see the chain of events stemming from Nixon’s pardon.

To date the last link in this chain was the presidency of Donald Trump. Trump’s was if not the, then one of the most corrupt administrations ever. His evil deeds went largely unpunished and culminated in an attempt to overthrow the American government on January 6, 2021 after he had handily lost the 2020 election.

I contend that the entire chain of events outlined above stemmed from the pardon of Richard Nixon. That leads me to the motivation for this posting: the Washington Post’s article entitled: DeSantis, Haley pledge to pardon Trump if he’s convicted. Kinky Boots DeSantis and No No Nikki have actually gone on the record saying they would pardon a convicted Trump. That alone is reason to not vote for either of them. The reality is that DeSantis has only a slightly greater chance of being the 2024 GOP standard bearer than I do and I’m not a Republican. Haley looks like she will finish, an albeit distant, second to Trump in the GOP primary but we are still a long way out.

Mistakes – personal or those of others – only have value if you learn from them. It appears that the Governor of Florida and the former Governor of South Carolina are incapable of that task. Could it be something in the Republican “genes”? In any event I find that both dangerous and repulsive!

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