King Versus Trump, A Contrast In Leadership

King at Klein March 1964
King at the Klein Memorial Auditorium, March 1964.

From Hearst Connecticut Media:

The contrast of leadership between a man fighting peacefully for equality and a president cruelly excluding swaths of people based on their country of origin or religion could not be more stark than on the occasion of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday Monday.

… Who speaks to your ideal self? The leader of a movement for social justice or the self-proclaimed “Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters”?

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.” Donald J. Trump

“I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose.” Donald J. Trump

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.” Martin Luther King Jr.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, the alt-right, do they have any semblance of guilt? … Do they have any problem? I think they do. So as far as I’m concerned that was a horrible, horrible day. Wait a minute, I’m not finished, fake news.” Donald J. Trump.

Full editorial here.



  1. MLK; Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles.
    Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.
    Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.

    Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
    Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
    Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

    But, conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

    1. America has always been great in comparison to other countries. Dr. King worked every day to make it greater for everyone by way of equal access and opportunity for all.
      I am a registered Republican, I did not and do not support President Trump. Each morning when I see Mr. Trump on the news I ask myself how did this happen? How did this man become president?
      By Mr. Trump trying to make life difficult for certain groups of people and not offering compassionate solutions, he only makes life great for the haters.
      It is my opinion that racism and hate exists among the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee leadership. After bringing this situation to the attention of the general membership in April of 2016 I offered solutions to correct this which was followed by a private conversation with Mr. Garrett in which he expressed much resistance to my solution and made several racist remarks.
      Since it has been my understanding that Mr. Garrett has done his best to smear my reputation within the city and among Republicans statewide. As I see it this is the price to be paid for trying to correct the racial injustices of others.
      A new committee has recently been elected. The legal aspects of that election are currently under review by the State Elections Enforcement commission. There are many new faces on that committee. It is important that these new members are aware of the history of rude and disrespectful behavior toward African American and Latino members by Chairman Garrett. Mr. Garrett does have his supporters who will dispute these claims. However those who may come forward to defend his past behavior by doing so only indicated their approval and validation of his racist views and behavior.
      At a recent public meeting African American political activist Sauda Baracca stated “when I attended a meeting of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee I was treated so badly I had to look around the room to make sure I wasn’t at a Klan meeting” From what I have experienced this is typical behavior for Mr. Garrett.
      When I became a member of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee in 2015 less than 30 of the authorized seats were filled. Being white and male I was quickly welcomed into the inner circle. By November of 2015 I was an elected official of the City of Bridgeport. I soon became fully aware of how this organization operates and in 2016 started to take steps to correct things.
      I can honestly say one person can make a difference, if you observe the situation and have a plan. I have met my goals of pressuring the leadership to fill seats that have been vacant for many years, to have a diverse membership that is reflective of the city’s population, it’s not at the level I had hoped for but it is a start. My last wish is that the new committee makes a responsible choice for its leadership.
      Dr. King is an inspiration to all, I have learned and benefited by his life’s work, for that I will be eternally grateful.
      Joe McLaine

        1. There are many good and moral Republicans such as myself in this city; unfortunately for the most part the only Republican voice heard in this city has been that of an immoral racist who by controlling the local committee has driven away quality people from the local Republican political process.
          It is important for this city to have multiple active political parties to insure the electors of Bridgeport get the best choices for candidates for local and state offices. Unfortunately many responsible Republicans in this city know the dirty secrets of this local organization and want no part of it and have become inactive.
          It is my intention to organize responsible Republicans and to establish a dialog with our elected officials to work together as Bridgeport residents to improve our city and abandon the practice of the status quo city Republicans of simply criticizing and not offering help or solutions. Let the status quo pursue their agenda of hate and prejudice as they continue their downward spiral into insignificance. They will be the cause of their own extinction.
          I cannot think of a better day to launch Responsible Republicans for Bridgeport.

          1. For several years, I have been a persistent active Republican voice on broad issues of public interest. I have found that, even in Bridgeport with the large disparity of the Democrat to Republican voter percentages, most urban voters welcome a conservative voice of reason. The extremes of the single-party system have begun to make many life-long Democrats receptive to a good Republican voice. Some are even hungry for it!

      1. I have been a life-long Republican, moved to Southern Connecticut in 1985, moved to Bridgeport in 2005, and became a member of the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee in 2013 when I was invited by then Vice Chairman Mike Garrett to be the Republican candidate for City Council for the 131st District (the Hollow and South End). That was the first of several very interesting and productive campaigns in Bridgeport.

        Regarding President Trump, I do not believe he is racist as some have painted him. I also believe that he has compassion. The fact that he wants to limit immigration reflects his long-term goal of protecting America.

        Regarding the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee, there may be several within the ranks who are racist. We are a work in progress. A way of beginning to deal with that is open frank discussion. I believe there are various of the group who are not racist. I actively promote principles of equality including through real judicial reform.

        I believe there are other problems with the organization including the influence of several leaders who utilize the Town Committee, not for the public good that is intended, but rather for personal aggrandizement and individual political gain. To accomplish this, they trample over our Bylaws. It’s like African sociologist Manady Traore recently said when he referred to “heads of state who mess with the constitutions to perpetuate their power . . . . ”

        Yes, there were various serious deviations from the party rules regarding the recent caucuses for nominating candidates for Town Committee members for the up-coming two-year term, not the least of which was the failure to give proper timely legal notice of the caucuses. On this, I too have filed a formal complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

        When someone is driving on a highway with a speed limit of 60 mph yet that person is driving at 65 to 70 mph, the state troopers don’t normally give tickets. But when that person is traveling at 80 to 90 mph, tickets are issues. In this instance, some leaders of the local Republican Town Committee are figuratively traveling in excess of 120 mph. Something needs to be done so slow them down, that in order that they re-strategize to proceed to serve the public as is ibtended and needed.

        1. Eh

          Ethan Book, so you don’t think that 45 is a racist, well that’s your believe but that’s not what people of color think. Tell me, why aren’t there more blacks and Hispanics joining the Republican Party in Bridgeport or the state or even nationally?

          1. Mr. Book,

            I agree with Mr. Mackey in a more general sense. The only people in Washington DC that are defending Donald Trump by not openly criticizing him are Republican Congressmen.

            Face facts, dude. The GOP is now the party of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, David Duke and other angry white men. The “white power” movement has been emboldened by Trump’s election. The GOP has to live with that stigmatism. If the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee is controlled by racists that only reflects the party at a the state and national levels.

            Your efforts at reform are commendable but will not amount to much unless and until meaningful changes are made.

        2. Mr. Book,

          You appear to be toeing the party line by not directly criticizing Mr. Trump while not exactly praising him. His racism is well documented. From the New Yorker: 

          In a 1991 book about his experiences running Trump Plaza, in Atlantic City, “Trumped! The Inside Story of the Real Donald Trump—His Cunning Rise and Spectacular Fall,” John R. O’Donnell, a veteran casino executive, recalled a conversation that he had with his boss about an employee in the Plaza’s finance department who happened to be African-American. I cited the passage last fall, after Trump attacked Myeshia Johnson, the widow of a black soldier in the U.S. Special Forces who was killed in Niger, but it is worth reproducing it now. (The quote below begins with Trump speaking about the black employee. The “I” at the start of the second paragraph is O’Donnell.)

          “Yeah, I never liked the guy. I don’t think he knows what the fuck he’s doing. My accountants in New York are always complaining about him. He’s not responsive. And it isn’t funny. I’ve got black accountants at Trump Castle and at Trump Plaza. Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day. Those are the kind of people I want counting my money. Nobody else.”

          I couldn’t believe I was hearing this. But Donald went on, “Besides that, I’ve got to tell you something else. I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is. I believe that. It’s not anything they can control. . . . Don’t you agree?” He looked at me straight in the eye and waited for my reply.

          “Donald, you really shouldn’t say things like that to me or anybody else,” I said. “That is not the kind of image you want to project. We shouldn’t even be having this conversation, even if it’s the way you feel.”

          “Yeah, you’re right,” he said. “If anybody ever heard me say that . . . holy shit . . . I’d be in a lot of trouble. But I have to tell you, that’s the way I feel.”

  2. I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

    Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

    But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.

    In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the “unalienable Rights” of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

    But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

    We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.

    It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

    But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

    The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.

    We cannot walk alone.

    And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

    We cannot turn back.

    There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: “For Whites Only.” We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.

    I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.

    Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

    And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today!

    I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

    I have a dream today!

    I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.”

    This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

    With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

    And this will be the day — this will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning:

    My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride,    From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

    And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

    And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

    Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

    Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

    Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

    Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

    But not only that:

    Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

    Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

    Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

    And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

    Free at last! Free at last!

    Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

  3. Mr. McLaine, Ron Mackey had been asking that of Dave Walker and the Connecticut Republican party prior to election of 45. When would Dave or the Connecticut Republican party disavow the racist and vitriolic remarks from 45. Needless to say, neither has addressed his concerns and now after reading your post it has becomes painfully obvious why.
    Mr. McLaine, MLK said a lie can’t live forever and thanks for bringing that lie to light.

  4. Ron Mackey // Jan 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    I would like to change the topic for a moment, I’m glad to hear Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano statement. I’ve been asking Republicans to speak out on the action and comments of 45, now where are the other Republicans in Bridgeport and in the state?

    “Top Connecticut Senate Republican denounces Trump comment”

    Updated 12:00 pm, Friday, January 12, 2018

    The top Republican of the Connecticut Senate is calling on President Donald Trump to apologize for vulgar remarks he reportedly made about immigrants from Africa and Haiti.

    Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano says the comments are “beyond inappropriate and offensive” and “fly in the face of what it means to be Republican and an American.”

  5. MLK; “But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear?…It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

    1. Don, one of MLK greatest speeches was “Beyond Vietnam” given April 4, 1967, one year to the day earlier.


      The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, delivers a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” in front of 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York City. In it, he says that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.
      King had been a solid supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society, but he became increasingly concerned about U.S. involvement in Vietnam and, as his concerns became more public, his relationship with the Johnson administration deteriorated. King came to view U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as little more than imperialism.

      Additionally, he believed that the Vietnam War diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. Furthermore, he said, ‘the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home…We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.’”

      King maintained his antiwar stance and supported peace movements until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, one year to the day after delivering his Beyond Vietnam speech

      NPR Neal Conan, host:
      In 1967, a year to the day before his death, Martin Luther King, Jr. departed from his message of civil rights to deliver a speech that denounced America’s war in Vietnam. The message directly challenged the president who’d taken great political risks to support civil rights legislation and also challenged many of his colleagues in the movement who’ve called it a tactical mistake.

  6. MLK was and is a leader. Donald J. Trump is a bully, full of bluster. No spiritual or intellectual depth. There is no comparison. 

    Today’s GOP bears no resemblance to the party of Honest Abe. Lyndon B. Johnson forced the southern confederates out of the Democratic Party in the mid sixties when he sign the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts into law. The so-called “southern democrats” (really the confederate aristocracy defending slavery under the cover of “state’s rights”) fled into the “big tent” of the GOP. 

    Over a few decades the GOP has devolved into the party of the alternative right. White nationalists, neo confederates, the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, skinheads and other racist groups felt emboldened by Donald Trump’s unintended victory.  they joined the “evangelical” Christians brought into the party by Ronald Reagan. 

    Trump skipped out on events honoring MLK out of ignorance. He doesn’t give a shit. His followers interpret this as antipathy. It is not. Donald Trump is just a dumb ass, an intellectually shallow man.

        1. Of course it was, Joe. It is becoming increasingly difficult for members of the administration to rationalize Trump’s behavior and statements. (The only one that continues to sous Sarah Huckabee Sanders.)

          As long as Donald Trump is occupying the White House (and I do mean occupying, in the Biblical sense) and has an iPhone in his sweaty little hands he will be a liability to the GOP.

          His brand is so tarnished hotels and condominium complexes managed by his real estate corporation are having the Trump name removed from the buildings. After the Democratic Party retakes both chambers of Congress in November the people of the United States of America can look forward to having his name removed from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

  7. Kid, there are responsible Republicans who respect others in this city. I would suggest that someone ask the newest BlackRock Democratic candidate for the DTC what drove her from the Bridgeport Republican party. It is my understanding that Donna Curran has an impeccable reputation. The answer to this may be of interest to us all, I’m curious.

  8. Myself, my wife, Rosa Correa, Eddie Correa, Willie Smith, Anna Garcia, I could go on, we are here. My mission Ron lets work together, in the spirit of MLK, lets all join hands. Forget the haters, we can accomplish more by working together.

    1. There are a number of issues that have been glossed over or simply ignored by the Republican Party, namely social, economic and civil rights, the environment and basic human decency. Our public education system sucks, to put it mildly. The GOP is not the party of Lincoln, not any more. Honest Abe signed the emancipation Proclamation; it is absurd to think Donald Trump would do the same thing today. He does not like African-Americans or Latinos. That is well documented. If you, Mr. McLaine, respect and honor civil rights and equality for all and not just well-heeled white suburbanites well then by all means step up to the plate. From what I’ve read your comments ring hollow. There’s not much commitment in your words.

      The people of the city of Bridgeport have been misused by an entrenched party apparatus that serves the interests of a qlique of well connected individuals, not the greater good. Our cynicism is well founded.

    2. Joe, you said, “Ron lets work together, in the spirit of MLK, lets all join hands. Forget the haters, we can accomplish more by working together,” well, if that’s true then you can do that but with the name of Republican there is mistrust and you will get nowhere. How much longer must you and other Republicans in Bridgeport continue to do nothing. The Bridgeport Kid clearly explains why the Republicans have no respect and no power in Bridgeport, What’s sad is you guys can’t help change anything but as long as you guys can call yourself Republicans you’re happy, sad.

      1. Ron, there is much truth in what you say. We need a multiparty system, and because of the damage done by t some members of this party on the local, state and federal level there is much mistrust for Republicans and justifiably so. Change has to begin somewhere. I would like to meet with you and other interested people to exchange ideas and build a relationship.

        1. Mario Testa’s Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee is facing its first major challenge in a long time. After losing out on state administered campaign welfare money Joe Ganim’s best hope is a high delegate count at the state nominating convention. Now he’s in danger of failing at that.

          GBYD are a movement to be reckoned with.


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