The United States of Trump

How the President Really Sees America: A Book Review

by Kelly R. Smith

The United States of Trump book cover
The United States of Trump book cover

The United States of Trump is yet another offering from Bill O’Reilly’s stable of historical and insightful books. This book begins with a look at Trump’s childhood and family life, particularly how his father, Fred Trump’s work ethic affected his own personality and work ethic.

While it is true that The Donald worked with his father and learned his chops there, he wasn’t content with real estate work that was confined mostly to the New York City boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. He wants Manhattan. When Trump wants something, he’s all focus and strategy.

New York Business vs Washington

O’Reilly delves into how “business as usual” differ between New York real estate and inside-the-beltway Washington. They are completely different paradigms and Trump has not been eager nor inclined to morph into a “swamp-dweller.” Unlike the career bureaucrats, his vision includes a strong sense of national sovereignty.

As O’Reilly says, “But Trump did not temper his New York style and swagger when he rolled into Washington. His inauguration was met with wide-spread loathing, and he did little to win over the DC establishment. He simply did not understand the game because he didn’t want to take the time to figure it out. In New York, it’s in your face. In Washington, it’s in your back.”

President Trump, the Biased Media, and Fake News

If there is one thing Trump has roiled about both during the campaign and after taking office, it’s the mainstream media’s tendency to produce fake news. He takes it as a personal insult, which in verified examples it is. It is broadly believed that there are two reasons for this. First, rather than being impartial, the mainstream media is left-leaning. Secondly, the press resents losing their voice to Trump’s tweets where he takes his gritty prose directly to the American people.

Just as bad as the mainstream media is the world of social media. Twitter has taken to banning the New York Post and censoring a story exposing the corruption of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. It is real news preceding the 2020 election. Covering it up is a blatant attempt to influence the election. Forget Russiagate, this is Twittergate.

The Presidential Election

Much of the book details the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Trump as well as the election itself. O’Reilly is in an excellent position to chronicle this period of time as he was behind the scenes and in fact includes many of his interviews with Trump in the book.

These interviews are perhaps the best view-ports into Trump’s vision for America and how he plans to make it great again. The businessman-oriented approach is a completely different animal than the Washington-entrenched apparatchik paradigm. His view includes an America strengthened by a robust economy, a strong military, and a southern border wall.

Although the polls and the mainstream media were all in for Clinton, they all underestimated how Trump’s unorthodox style would play in fly-over country. This is evidenced by the fact that Trump did not win the popular vote but took it by way of the electoral college. Although this book does not delve deeply into how the country has changed because of Trump’s ascendancy (those books were be written later), it does offer an insight into how the president really sees America. I’ve got to give The United States of Trump 4.5/5 stars.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.


History & Rationale: Electoral College

The Founding Father’s Way of Ensuring that the Votes of Every State Count

by Kelly R. Smith

Electoral College Results for the 2016 Election
Electoral College Results for the 2016 Election
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This article was updated on 01/06/21.

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With the 2020 presidential election all but over, whether you believe it was rigged by the Democrat Socialists or not, it’s a good idea to take a look at what the electoral college is and what it isn’t. Typically, following the election, the losers go on a frenzy crying, “It’s not fair! Abolish it!” Well, until the next time it helps them win. Then, it’s the best thing since sliced bread. This latest time, it is the liberal left that are gnashing teeth and rending garments.

A Brief History of the Electoral College

When the founding fathers were working out the details of national sovereignty and the Constitution in 1787, the question of how to conduct the presidential election was a contentious issue. In fact, it was one of the last issues to finalize.

Some of the suggestions seem downright bizarre today. The Virginia Plan opined that the National Executive should, “be chosen by the National Legislature.” James Wilson of Pennsylvania was more rational by favoring a popular election. Another suggestion put forth recommended that the election be determined by the Senate alone.

The next day Wilson suggested that districts be created where popular elections would be held to choose electors. These electors would then alone determine the next executive. Later, Elbridge from Massachusetts opined that only state governors have a vote. James Madison preferred a popular vote but was concerned that heavily-populated states would hold an unfair advantage. Therefore, he surmised that a committee with one representative from each of the eleven states should elect the President. That’s the electoral college as it went into the Constitution.

That is what many of the frenzy-criers and hobbledehoys today do not realize; we do not actually directly vote for the president directly, we vote for state electors to represent us. If we really had a popular vote, the voters in states like North Dakota would not have a say at all but California certainly would. In my humble opinion that would be a bad idea; most of the rest of the country isn’t as ready for Democratic Socialism as the west coast is.

Advantages of the Electoral College

The election is decentralized, that is, it takes place in individual states. The states have some say over how their voting process takes place. Some career politicians such as Elizabeth Warren oppose the college because she thinks the federal government should control the entire process and individual states should have no voice. So much for claiming to be for the common man and woman. That is the voice of incubating tyranny.

Why is this important? For one thing, if an individual state wants a recount, they can do it; that is their prerogative. If the Federal government had all the power, one state could trigger a national recount. What a mess that would be. Remember what a nightmare Florida was with the “hanging chads?” Imagine going through that with all the states. Why, it would be time for the next election before the current one was settled. It would in essence be a clever way of circumventing the presidential term limit.

The electoral college also helps presidential candidates by giving them a way to organize their campaigns. They know the sway that each state has so they can plan how much time to spend campaigning there and how to allocate funds. Many states would be cleanly ignored.

Disadvantages of the Electoral College

It can be a bit disheartening to think that individual votes don’t matter as much as we think they should, and indeed, that is a concept that was drilled into us in civics class. Back when we still had civics class rather than revisionist history. A faithless elector is one who has been chosen to represent their state in the electoral college but decides to cast a ballot against their state’s popular vote wishes. This has only happened a handful of times, but still.

It can actually depress voter turnout. For example, in the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton had a solid 15- to 20-point lead on Donald Trump in the polling several weeks prior to the election. The final outcome resulted in a difference of 16.2 points. For Republicans and Independents, casting a ballot could seem pointless because Clinton’s win seemed like a foregone conclusion. Perception is everything; and it can be manipulated.



It may not accurately reflect the national popular will. This is the main complaint made by Democrats today. Although Hillary won the popular vote, Trump won by virtue of the designated electoral vote. In my opinion that was a blessing. This way we got at least a portion of a border wall. If Hillary had of won it would be a free-for-all at the open borders. But having the system or not is really a trade-off; without the election system we currently have, small states would consistently be disenfranchised. Does anybody really want a country where your vote does not count unless you live in California, Florida, or New York? Of course not.

I hope this article on the history and rationale for the electoral college helps you as we will continue to roll into yet another presidential election cycle every four years. If it did, pass it onto your friends. In the long run, every vote really does count, just not in the way you might think it does. Please participate in the poll on the right-hand sidebar of this page.

Further Reading

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About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

About the Supreme Court

What You Need to Know: History, Constitutionality, Usurping Power

Photo of Kelly R. Smith   by Kelly R. Smith

Supreme Court 2018
Supreme Court 2018
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This article was updated on 04/28/21.

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When Judge Anthony McLeod Kennedy, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, announced his retirement from the Supreme Court, that freed President Trump to appoint his successor.

The Supreme Court is a unique institution in all the world. If you live in this country (USA), this article will explain what you need to know about the Supreme Court, or as it is sometimes called, SCOTUS, (Supreme Court of the United States).

Supreme Court Justice is a Lifetime Gig

Once seated, a supreme court justice can hang up his or her resume. There is no expiration term on this job unlike regular judges who must pander for your votes at each election cycle. The president appoints SCOTUS justices according to his or her political persuasion. For this reason some have argued that the ability to appoint supreme court justices is one of the most powerful tools that sitting presidents has. Presidential terms in office are fleeting, a mere four to eight years, but their policies embedded in their SCOTUS selection endure far beyond their years.

This is the reason why President Obama’s appointment of Sonia Maria Sotomayor was so disturbing to constitutionally-aligned Americans and even foreign-born critics.  She indicated that she intended to pass rulings based on her personal sentiments (“empathy,” she said) rather than on the basics of the constitution which she is bound by oath to comply with and defend. This is to say, not even contemporary sentiments, no, just her own as she defined herself, a woman of color. In other words, incrementally change the country based on her personal life experiences, not the citizens.

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Sonia Maria Sotomayor

Well, that statement is just sexist and racist.

An unabashed left-wing liberal radical, she also ruled against the Stolen Valor Act which prevents individuals from portraying themselves as armed forces heroes for false personal gain. This (from my perspective as a veteran) is a poor choice for this high office. What possible reason could the be to oppose this other to discredit veterans? Shame.

So there’s that.

President Biden and Court-Packing

Joe Biden, when “campaigning” for office from his basement bunker, claimed that he was not a fan of packing the court with leftist judges. However, after the “election” was over, he began to conceptualize the process. Or perhaps his staff did; it’s not clear.

Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices, joining progressive activists pushing to transform the court in order to render “woke” judgments and mold the country into one that complies with Critical Race Theory guidelines. President Donald Trump and Republicans appointed 3 conservative justices in 4 years, including one who was confirmed just days before the 2020 election. Thus, the left is seeking not only to rectify that but to do it in a most unorthodox way. The time-honored tradition, honored by both sides is “retire and replace.” It is a kind of gentleman’s agreement that with this administration has been relegated to the trash-heap of history.

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters on Thursday she has “no plans to bring it to the floor. I don’t know that that’s a good idea or bad idea. I think it’s an idea that should be considered,” she said of the court expansion plan. “And I think the president’s taking the right approach to have a commission to study such a thing. It’s a big step.” In other words, she’s being a mugwump, playing both sides of the fence. She wants it but knows she will be partially culpable for setting a precedent when the Republicans take the reins in the White House.

History Behind the Supreme Court

The Constitution wisely permitted Congress to decide on the make-up of the Supreme Court although it seems like a conflict of interest. The three branches of government are the executive (the United States President), the legislative (Congress), and the judicial (SCOTUS). The legislative branch first exercised this power with the Judiciary Act of 1789. The act, signed into law by President George Washington, specified that the court would be made up of 6 justices who would serve on the court until they died or retired.

Today there are 9 sitting justices and together they hold more power than arguably anyone on the planet. An odd number makes it hard to reach a tie vote on a ruling. They serve and issue edicts until they retire or die.

Anthony Kennedy Retires

For example, when Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement it set the stage for President Trump to appoint a successor.

Why does this matter? Whoever Trump places on the bench will wield power for years, even decades, long after the presidential torch has passed. This is why the power of the president can last far longer than his term. It doesn’t always work out that way and there is no denial that some justices are flawed.

For example when Justice Roberts “interpreted” Obamacare non-compliance to be a “tax” rather than a “fine” he usurped Congressional authority. Specifically, the Supreme Court has no such authority but they have “assumed” it over time. Like, if I jaywalk enough times without getting busted, it becomes legal. Bullcrap, but there you go.

The Supreme Court Justice Nomination Process

As we mentioned, there are nine Supreme Court justices. One is designated as the Chief Justice and the other eight are Associate Justices. When any one justice dies or retires it makes for a vacancy. Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution makes it clear that the president has the responsibility of nominating a Supreme Court Justice replacement.



The reason for using nine, an odd number, is so when SCOTUS hears a case and rules on it there will not be a tie.

Next the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing to approve the nomination, or not. Following a lengthy question and answer, the committee votes on the prospective justice. If approved, all is good. If not, the process begins anew.

However, there is a fly in the ointment. Republicans usually appoint conservative judges and Democrats, liberal ones. It is very possible that one party will unanimously oppose. In fact, it is not inconceivable that outright political chicanery will take place.

The Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

The last nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is a good example. After other Democrat stalling techniques had failed, they brought Christine Blasey Ford out of the wings to accuse him of sexual misconduct (he allegedly unsuccessfully tried to force himself on her) some thirty five years ago at a high school party.

One problem is that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee had received a letter from Ford regarding the alleged misconduct. But rather than share the letter with the committee as one might expect would be part of the process, she deliberately withheld it, perhaps to use as ammunition when all other delaying tactics had failed.



Ford was found to be making false statements and working with the Democrats to disrupt the process. This “make it up as you go” tactic failed, but not before causing he and his family irreconcilable harm. This is how the radical Democrat left party operates. Can’t win with the facts? Just make it up. Pay stooges to bear false witness. It certainly almost worked when Hillary and the DNC scripted and paid for paid for a fictional dossier in an attempt to impeach President Trump. Yet, no one went to jail. Go figure.

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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.


Why the American Liberal Wing of the Party has the Democrats Floundering

by Kelly R. Smith

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Liberalism defined by Norman Thomas
Liberalism defined by Norman Thomas

Post updated on 11/01/20

The policies and philosophies of both the Democrat and Republican parties are always in flux. At times this is such a slow process that it is hardly noticeable except in retrospect. The Republicans still identify as  conservatives but in action they have become Republicrats. They still talk the talk but they don’t walk the walk. Both John Boehner and Paul Ryan rolled over and gave President Obama everything he wanted. Without a fight or any credible sausage-making.

And the Democrats? They’ve lost their way as well. They have lost the White House, the Senate, most of the state governor slots, and many seats on the municipal level. They have regained the House during the mid-term election and promptly reinstated the delusional Nancy Pelosi as Speaker.

The party today is disjointed, comprised of the mainstream sheepls, the liberals, and the truly unrealistic liberals (socialists) such as “Bolshevik” Bernie Sanders. Well, he’s not technically a Democrat but he ran as one and caucuses with them so the point is moot. It doesn’t help that Hillary Clinton‘s illegal chicanery cost him the nomination, something the mainstream party’s faithful and the fickle millennials choose to ignore. Those rules don’t apply to us. Hint, hint, nod, nod.

The Democrat Party Players Have Outlived Their Usefulness

One of the reasons the Democrat party has been experiencing a meltdown is that there are few new players of any caliber. And the old guard is hanging on like frayed bookmarks. They are old and it shows.

Take Nancy Pelosi for example. She has lapses of memory leading to stuttering or mumbling, “Uh, uh, uh.” She has taken to giggling like a 5-year old at the most inappropriate and solemn moments. And when referring to the sitting president Trump she had this to say, “There’s nothing I can work with President Bush on.” Um Nancy, that was over eight years and two iterations of Obama ago?

And Maxine Waters seems to have some neural synapse issues as well. Speaking of the Russians she said, “They have hacked our D-triple C, uh, DNC.” Maxine, it’s your party’s infrastructure; you should know the acronyms by now.  And continuing she said, “As Putin is advancing into Korea.” If she ever had a grasp on basic geography or international politics, it’s faded away like the morning dew.

And let us not forget Sheila Jackson Lee saying, “I stand here as a free slave.” If memory serves, all slaves were freed before her time. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg but they demonstrate that no young guns are stepping up from the ranks.

Societal Changes Have Morphed the Democrat Party

It can be said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (not to be confused with the ballsy Theodore Roosevelt) and his policies ushered in the age of American liberalism. His New Deal put those policies into practice. This spirit of liberalism embodied the philosophy that citizens were united in a collective enterprise. They banded together to construct a strong nation and protect each other. The mantra they marched to was, “Solidarity, opportunity and public duty.”


Both sides of the isle will admit that this construct served the country well in its time of need. But times change, technology advances, citizens embrace new concepts of self-identity and relationships, and American liberalism has hardly had feet of clay.

Things really began to change when President Reagan ushered in the concepts of self-reliance and small government. The country flourished economically and suddenly traditional liberalism lost its sheen.

The days of all working together for the collective good were gone. The various groups of progressive activists splintered off and began to direct their efforts away from mainstream party politics and toward a broad range of single-issue social movements that provoke liberal anger. The politics of identity is now the name of the game.

Nowhere is this more obvious than on college campuses across the nation. Liberal, tenured professors mold the young minds not with Roosevelt’s all of us together attitude, but encouraging separation along identity lines. This is classic Obama/Saul Alinski/Antifa tactics. Divide while accusing your opponent of deviding. Rather than encouraging these young adults to grow up and take responsibility for themselves, they provide “safe spaces” where they can play with Legos and finger-paint. And some of these spaces are segregated.

These are the snowflakes that the Democrat party is inheriting. And encouraging, as the mindless bots that they are.

Democrats Have Contradictory Bias Issues

Not long ago the alt-left folks were having fits because a Christian baker would not betray his convictions by decorating a wedding cake for a gay couple. Fair enough; it is his business even if Obama would have said, “You didn’t build that.”

Barack Obama, "You didn't build that."
Barack Obama, “You didn’t build that.”

But now the tables have turned. This happened when Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to eat a meal in peace. “I was asked to leave because I worked for President Trump,” she said, adding, “We are allowed to disagree but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm, and this goes for all people regardless of politics.”



Yeh, and the Democrats rejoice. Unlike the Christian baker, under liberal rules a bigoted Democrat restaurant manager has the right to refuse business. Because business is their religion? Perhaps. Despite the restrictions they put on them.

No wonder the Democrat party is floundering. They have no rudder, they have no clear direction, and their “leaders” have dementia.



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About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.