Patrick Gonzales Local columnist

Local columnist

Each time I read one of Rusty Rogers articles I cringe, for good reason. He’s constantly pushing the agenda and narrative that Trump has somehow rescued the United States from adverse failure, but fails to point out that never in our country’s history have we had a commander in chief so daft when it comes to understanding policy, foreign affairs and economics.

He wants you to believe our way of life is somehow going to change drastically if a Democrat is elected. Politicians lie, cheat and steal. That’s how they all operate. It matters not what political party they align themselves with; they are cut from the same cloth.

This president has merely convinced the likes of Mr. Rogers and his base that bullying, rude behavior and temper tantrums is how Americans act – or worse – is acceptable behavior for the President of the United States of America; and he’s wrong on all accounts.

I want to reiterate I do not align myself with either party as I believe the entire political system is corrupt, but because Wyoming requires a party affiliation in order to vote in primary elections I am still registered as a Republican as I have been since I was eighteen years old.

Apparently, Rogers hasn’t done his due diligence when it comes to facts. Facts and truth seem to be cast aside for sensationalism and hyperbole, and I will give you some examples:

Tariffs:

TRUMP: “Don’t let them tell you, the fact is — China devalues their currency, they pour money in to their system. Because of that, you’re not paying for those tariffs. China’s paying for those tariffs,” the president said, hours after announcing a new set of tariffs on Chinese goods. “Until such time as there is a deal, we will be taxing the hell out of China.”

FACT: Tariffs are taxes on goods coming in to U.S., paid by the importer. The exporter — in this scenario, China — doesn’t pay a thing. “All of the U.S. tariffs have been passed to U.S. importers, U.S. retailers, U.S. consumers,” said Stephen Redding, a Princeton economist and author of a recent study analyzing the effects of Trump’s trade war in 2018. “Somebody in the U.S. is paying higher prices.”

TRUMP: “I don’t think we’re having a recession. We’re doing tremendously well ... And most economists say that we’re not going to have a recession.” — remarks to reporters in Morristown, New Jersey.

FACT: Actually, most economists — about 74% — do expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021. The economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics mostly didn’t share Trump’s optimistic outlook for the economy. Thirty-four percent of the economists said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession in 2021. That’s compares with 25% in the February survey.

An additional 38% of those polled predicted that recession will occur next year, down slightly from 42% in February. An additional 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year. The 226 economists responding work mainly for corporations and trade associations.

Judges:

TRUMP: ”We will have, within another 90 days, 179 federal judges. And I say, ‘Thank you very much, President Obama.’ Because he was unable to get them filled. I don’t know what happened to him, but he was unable. So, President Obama did not do his job.” — remarks on Aug. 18 to reporters in Morristown, New Jersey.

TRUMP: “Within about two months, we’ll be at 179 federal judges and two Supreme Court judges.” — AMVETS convention on Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump does have a stronger record than Obama so far in picking federal judges, but it isn’t due to complacency from the Obama administration. Instead, unprecedented lack of action by the Republican-controlled Senate on Obama’s judicial nominees in his last two years in office left Trump more vacancies to fill.

Of the 71 people whom Obama nominated to the district courts and courts of appeals in 2015 and 2016, only 20 were voted on and confirmed, said Russell Wheeler, an expert on judicial nominees at the Brookings Institution. Trump entered office in January 2017 with more than 100 vacancies on the federal bench, about double the number Obama had in 2009. Trump has since been aided by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has pushed through Trump’s nominations of appeals court judges.

Wheeler said Trump has had 146 judges confirmed and seated — a pace that is solid but not extraordinary. At least four other presidents — Clinton, John Kennedy and Richard Nixon in modern times as well as George Washington — surpassed him at comparable points in their terms in the number of appointees as a percentage of “authorized judgeships,” or the total judicial seats created by Congress.

Gun Violence:

TRUMP: on prospects for gun control after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio: “We have very, very strong background checks right now... And we’re looking at different things. And I have to tell you that it is a mental problem. And I’ve said it a hundred times: It’s not the gun that pulls the trigger; it’s the person that pulls the trigger.”

TRUMP: “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem... Just remember this: Big mental problem, and we do have a lot of background checks right now.” — remarks Sunday to reporters in Morristown, New Jersey.

THE FACTS: He’s oversimplifying the role of mental illness in public mass shootings and playing down the ease with which Americans can get firearms.

Most people with mental illness are not violent and they are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, according to mental health experts. They say that access to firearms is a big part of the problem.

Arthur Evans, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association, said that red flag laws urged by Trump, which are also known as extreme risk protection orders, are a worthwhile step. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have such laws, according to the nonprofit Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence; some have used the laws to temporarily disarm people who have threatened violence.

But Evans and others said assigning too much blame to those with mental illness adds to stigma that keeps people from getting treatment.

A country’s rate of gun ownership is a far better predictor of public mass shootings than indicators of mental illness, said Adam Lankford, a University of Alabama criminologist who published a 2016 analysis of data from 171 countries.

Just a few examples.

Rogers is entitled to his opinion and point of view which he offers almost weekly in the Daily Times.

America has always been great, not because of presidents and politicians, it is great because of our principles, rights, freedoms and opportunities. America isn’t perfect, but still better than the rest of the world. The neighborhood has always been great, Mr. Rogers, despite its many flaws. A reality star didn’t make it that way. We the American people did…

On a final note Rogers said, and I quote “socialism is not equality, it is sameness. Everyone except the party elite gets the same everything. The party elite get the best of everything. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that already exists and has existed for some time, even with conservative, capitalist-driven leadership…

Remember this, because someone is rude, obnoxious and contradictory doesn’t mean he’s a good leader. “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” ~ Socrates

Just my two cents.

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