2016 Election / KelleyGram

KelleyGram: Defending America Against Trump’s Banana Republicanism



Friends – the election has been drawing near and I have been focused on two main issue:  (1) Stopping Donald Trump by alerting people to just how serious a threat he is and (2) fighting voter suppression.  On the first issue, I published the column below yesterday on HuffPost, along with related posts detailing the Republican newspapers and Republican leaders who have stepped forward to say “Trump must be stopped.

If you are wondering why I am not writing about why Hillary deserves to be President – I have already done that and encourage you to read Hillary Clinton A Democratic Trailblazer for President and Making the Case for Hillary.

On the second issue, I wrote a column excerpted below challenging Republicans to vote to restore the Voting Rights Act and I will also be assisting with voter protection in a battleground state on Election Day.  I’ll give you a hint of which one it is at the bottom of this email.

I hope you find this informative and, more importantly, I hope you will vote this November.  The day after the election, be sure to listen to Cyber Law & Business Report at 1pm eastern/ 10 am pacific on Cranberry.fm as I talk about the results with veteran pollster and radio personality Mike O’Neil.

You can read the web edition of this email here.  Finally, for my east coast friends, I will be there this weekend attending my 35th reunion for La Salle Academy in Providence.

Defending America Against Trump’s Banana Republicanism
October 16

The choice this election is relatively simple. You can choose between a candidate who is indisputably qualified and capable of serving or, as Wall Street Journalcolumnist Dorothy Rabinowitz explained, elect “the most unstable, proudly uninformed, psychologically unfit president ever to enter the White House.”[i] This should not be a difficult choice.

The Trump Economy

Donald Trump proclaims that he will make America Great Again. Trump projects that he can exceed four percent annual growth under his economic plan. Yet it is telling that not one Republican alumnus of the Council of Economic Advisors has endorsed Trump. In fact, Martin Feldstein, who chaired the council under President Reagan, stated

I have known personally every Republican president since Richard Nixon. They all showed a real understanding of economics and international affairs. . . . Donald Trump does not have that understanding and does not seem to be concerned about it.[ii]

Trump’s call for huge punitive tariffs against China and Mexico would spark a trade war that economists project could cost 4 million jobs and sink us into recession.[iii]

I fully understand that working families are frustrated by the changing economy and feel that Washington is not looking out for them. I fail to see, however, how such families think they will be better off with a President who built his business empire by stiffing people like them or who peddles merchandise assembled in the very countries he claims engage in unfair trade.

Trump and the World

Donald Trump also claims he will make America safer and stronger, but Robert Gates who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama is not alone is saying “[a] thin-skinned, temperamental, shoot-from-the-hip and lip, uninformed commander-in-chief is too great a risk for America.”[iv] In fact, Foreign Policy was compelled to issues its first endorsement ever since Trump has “repeatedly demonstrated his ignorance of the most basic facts of international affairs.”[v]

Trump’s statements questioning the United States’ commitment to NATO or favoring allowing Japan, South Korea or even Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons set off alarm bells worldwide. In addition, there have been many questions about his “bro-mance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially since he is disregarding his intelligence briefings to deny any Russian involvement in the hacking of Clinton operatives.[vi]

Do we really want to give the nuclear codes to a man who gets unhinged over a tweet?

A Trump America

What truly makes America great, however, is the Constitution which is something Trump has shown little regard for. He has called for jailing Hillary Clinton and her lawyers, requiring Muslims to register for a government database, believes libel laws need to be changed to allow him to go after and intimidate the media and has called for disregarding U.S. and international law against torture and war crimes.

It begs the question – is he running for President of the United States or dictator of a banana republic? It is no wonder that traditionally Republican newspapers like theHouston Chronicle and Cincinnati Enquirer have called him a danger to the Republic.[vii]

Trump has stoked a chauvinistic nativism that is more akin to Making the Confederacy Great Again and is antithetical to American values. Even worse, with his campaign collapsing in the polls, he is now trying to undermine the legitimacy of the election itself and foment unrest after the election.

Country First

Herein lies the quandary for Republicans. Understandably, their views are at odds with Hillary Clinton’s platform but a Trump Presidency would put our country at grave risk. That is why many prominent Republicans have refused to support Trump; in fact Arnold Schwarzenegger has argued that “it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”[viii]

Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with the temperament and experience to serve as President. Hillary Clinton she is the only candidate who will uphold American ideals, as Trump’s only loyalty is to himself. As the Salt Lake City Tribune explained,

The fact is that the next president of the United States will be one of two people, one eminently qualified and painfully forged, the other a total disgrace.[ix]

An election is not just about electing candidates, but rather is a statement about who we are as a nation. The world is watching anxiously as we make this choice.

This is not an ordinary election. As your official voter guides arrive in the mail, think of it, instead, as a draft notice to defend America. The threat is clear and Democrats and Republicans alike must unite and speak with a loud voice on Election Day rejecting Trump’s Banana Republicanism.

Go to Post for endnote links.


Many newspapers who have never or rarely endorsed a Democrat and many prominent Republicans have stepped forward to say that Trump must be defeated.

The Case Against Trump … from the Right Wing Media

Part I (Sept. 28) and Part II (Oct 12)

Prominent Republicans Are Refusing to Embrace Trump’s Calamitous Campaign (Oct. 7)

I Am Not a Doctor But I Play One on Cable News:

The Lunacy of Pneumonia-Gate

Huffington Post (Sept. 13)

. . . . Yet the media’s response appears to be why should we concern ourselves with giving the Oval Office to some senior Billy Madison, when we can play Marcus Welby and speculate about all the illnesses Secretary Clinton may have? This episode reveals that the illness we really should be talking about is the woeful state of American journalism today.

Challenging Republicans to Take a Stand Against Bigotry

Huffington Post (Sept. 4)

This summer, a number of restrictive voting laws were thrown out by the courts in several states including Texas, Wisconsin and North Carolina for being discriminatory.  The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals called out North Carolina for “the most restrictive voting law North Carolina has seen since the era of Jim Crow”.

. . . . The Fourth Circuit, however, did not necessarily have to read between the lines since there are a number of statements by Republican officials about how these measures are designed to increase Republican chances of success in November by reducing minority voting.

Martin Luther King once said, “[h]istory will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”  Rep. Sensenbrenner reintroduced the Voting Rights Amendment Act this Congress and, again, it has just sat there ― even as President Obama and others marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Selma’s Bloody Sunday.

Fifty years after Selma, the Republican Party is standing not with John Lewis and others who dared march on that day, but rather on the side of George Wallace and the Alabama state troopers who attacked them.  While I commend Republicans who have stepped forward to denounce Donald Trump’s bigotry, we need your voice to denounce your party’s standing on the wrong side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

CLBR Now on Cranberry Radio

I am the host of Cyber Law and Business Report which airs every Wednesday at 10AM Pacific and recently surpassed the 200th broadcast milestone. This year the show moved to Cranberry Radio. Listen live or via podcast at Cranberryfm or via the following podcast channels.

Recent shows of interest include:

HRW’s Kristine Beckerle on Social Media andWomen’s Rights in Saudi Arabia

Brian Michael Jenkins on Cyber Terrorism and Silicon Valley

Recent Posts:

Cyber Report

Recent Posts: Trophy Lives

Recent Posts:

Today Past

Shameless Random Puppy Picture

So, where will I be on Election Day?

Here”s a clue . . . 


Q.  So who is Bennet Kelley?

A:  I am the founder of the Internet Law Center a small law firm based in Santa Monica, California where we represent clients across the globe on issues such as e-commerce, online advertising, privacy, cyber harassment and online reputation management, intellectual property and general business matters.

I am a past co-chair of the California Bar Cyberspace Committee and recently named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the most influential attorneys in E-Commerce and Digital Media.    

In addition, I am the host of Cyber Law and Business Report which airs every Wednesday at 10AM Pacific and recently surpassed the 200th broadcast milestone. 

Q.  But this is a political newsletter . . . 

I have been active in politics for nearly 40 years and was Co-Founder of the Democratic National Committee’s Saxophone Club, its young professional outreach and fundraising arm, from 1992 to 1998. 

I write regularly for Huffington Post and have won two Southern California Journalism Awards for online and print commentary and a third for my legal newsletter. 

Phone: 310-452-0401

Email: bennet@bennetkelley.com