The Republican Trinity
Sessions, Bolton, and Roberts

In the last couple of weeks, after returning home from visiting my family in Myanmar, I have written various essays, talked to the classes that I am teaching, and expressed to any person that I see about those four transformative weeks that I experienced. It started in Lahore, Pakistan and continued in Taunggyi, Myanmar. In future essays, I’ll write about trying to raise a half million dollars for both the schools in Lahore and Taunggyi. What else can a 77-year-old guy do with his time? Ask me whether I am happy as a lark.

So, now you know that I am happy. However, I know someone in the West Wing of the White House who is also as happy as a lark. Trump has finally accomplished something that truly drives him. For years, he has tried to outdo this predecessor, President Obama. Name anything that Obama has done, Trump attempts to best Obama. He is so rattled by some black guy from Kenya that he maintained that Obama was an illegal immigrant from Kenya.

Then there was the issue of getting the Nobel Prize for Peace in December 2019. But alas, Abiy Ahmed Ali won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation, and in particular for his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighboring Eritrea.”

Nonetheless, Trump thinks that he deserved the Nobel Prize. He dissed the notion that some black guy from Kenya received it in 2009 even though he was an illegal immigrant. Interestingly, Abiy Ahmed Ali, who won the award last month, is an Ethiopian political leader who worked to resolve problems with the country on its northern border, Eritrea.

What fascinates me is that Ethiopia’s southern border is with Kenya where that other black politician came from about whom Trump is so obsessed. Beyond that issue, Trump has convinced himself that the Nobel committee rigged the nomination against Trump and in favor of Ethiopian human rights leader, Abiy Ahmed Ali.

He still has his eye on the prize.

What is more fascinating is that while Trump keeps his eye on the prize, political history is even stranger…and true. I want to get all my cards on the table. I’m not a Trump supporter nor even a Republican. I am more left of center than most Democrats.

Having said that, there are three Republicans with almost no ties to each other politically, ethically, and in any other way. They all predate Trump. Nonetheless, those three republicans have congealed into a strange trinity of sorts.

The first member of this strange trinity is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, known to most as Jeff Sessions. He was viewed as one of the most right-winged US Senators. During his term as the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, he was nominated for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. For a litany of reasons, including blatant racism, the Senate did not confirm him. However, when Trump became president, Sessions became Trump’s Attorney General. Additionally, he lied or forget that he had at least two contacts with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, during his confirmation hearing.

I don’t agree with what Trump is saying.

Accepting the fact that Sessions and I are polar opposites on a long list of his positions related to racism, xenophobia, immigration, LGBT, etc., he did one thing correctly. He did remember a couple of contracts with Kislyak, which caused him to recuse himself from the Russian investigation and Mueller’s probe.

The second person of my Republican Trinity is John R. Bolton. Bolton began his neocon career by supporting Goldwater in his 1964 presidential campaign. When that didn’t work out, he was Spiro Agnew’s intern, which went nowhere also. Then off he went mudding the waters of the Iran-Contra mess. Then he believed that Cuba was developing biological weapons. When George Bush wanted Bolton as our ambassador to the United Nations, the Senate’s approval was hung up by the Democrats. So, Bush made a recess appointment of Bolton as our UN ambassador.

Bolton got into the Trump administration as his national security adviser on April 9, 2018. However, that job didn’t work out well for him. Trump fired Bolton on September 9, 2019. Trump didn’t like Bolton’s views, which ran counter to his policies about Iran, North Korea, etc.

I don’t agree with what Trump is saying.

There isn’t much that Bolton believes that parallels my views along with many Americans. That being said, Bolton isn’t at all like Sessions when it comes to issues like racism. I don’t buy Bolton’s political beliefs, but he is far more moral and ethical than Sessions.

You should be asking why? What made Bolton an ethical man? Bolton looked up to one of his mentors…Edmund Burke. As a member of the British Parliament during the last half of the 18th century, Burke didn’t like how Britain was dealing with the American colonies, especially about taxation.

Additionally, he supported the impeachment of Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of India from 1774-1787. As with Burke’s concern about the ethical issue of taxing the American colonies, he was rattled by Hastings executing an Indian tax collector. Burke charged Hastings with crimes and misdemeanors. It took Burke two days to read all the charges against Hastings.

The final person making up my Republication Trinity is Chief Justice John Glover Roberts, Jr. Roberts, Sessions, and Bolton are all republicans. Interestingly, while all three are to the right of me politically, Roberts isn’t at all like Sessions on anything. He doesn’t parallel Bolton on political issue either. Nonetheless, he is far more ethically driven than is Bolton.

I don’t agree with what Trump is saying.

There are some matters that are similar between Roberts and me. Actually, I wrote an open letter to him for my website mentioning some of them. We are both Aquarians being born late in January. He and I have homes in Indiana. Finally, he is extremely ethical. While I may not agree with him on some political ideas, at least he bases his decisions on his moral compass.

Do you want an example? It is one of the issues about which I admired him the most. Obama, when he was in the Senate, voted against Bush’s nomination of Roberts as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. However, when President Obama’s Affordable Care Act came before the Supreme Court, Roberts sided with the liberal justices by supporting Obamacare.

My Republican Trinity is a strange phenomenon. Not all republicans are cut from the same cloth. America is extremely polarized today. There have been times in our history as a nation when were also were polarized. Perhaps, this is the time for us, as Americans, to find and then use our moral compass. Let’s go back to Bolton’s mentor, Edmond Burke. Here are three key ideas that were the basis of his compass.

• “The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.”

• “The Fate of good men who refuse to become involved in politics is to be ruled by evil men.”

• “Evil prevails when good men fail to act.”

I was in my senior year at Muskingum College when Bob Dylan released The Times They Are a-Changin'. It was one of the clarion calls for my generation. Back then, our society was polarized also. Dylan and a very long list of others stood up and began to make some fundamental changes in the American psyche.

That was a half century ago. Perhaps this impeachment trial may become an axial moment for America in 2020. Burke informed Bolton. Hopefully, Bolton and Roberts will help inform much of America.

Dylan sang his insight to all of us but also to those in Washington. “Come senators, Congressmen / Please heed the call / Don't stand in the doorway / Don't block up the hall.” If Dylan is correct, Trump will be removed from office, which is one thing that he accomplished that Obama didn’t.