Earlier today, top Trump adviser KellyAnne Conway continued her attacks on potential Secretary of State Mitt Romney, this time on the Sunday morning shows. She’s not alone with Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee voicing their opposition to Romney, who spent the majority of the campaign season attacking Trump.
It’s unprecedented for aides and allies of a President-elect to be so publicly opposed to someone their boss is considering for one of the most prized cabinet positions. The reason it’s never happened is because it’s downright strange. What in the world is happening?
Applying logic and deductive reasoning, I’ve found only three viable possibilities, with only one of them being not weird. Let’s take a look at the possibilities in no particular order:
It’s Mike Pence vs. Conway/Gingrich/Huckabee
VP-elect Pence has been vocal about his approval of Romney in the cabinet. Assuming that Trump respects his right hand man’s opinion, he may be pulling Trump in that direction with as much force as he can muster. Seeing the stalwart support from Pence, the opposition have expressed their perspectives and feel the only way to stop it is to build a groundswell in the news and among other vocal Trump supporters to pressure Trump into not picking him.
We can assume if Romney gets the nod that Pence has more pull than most of us realized. Then again, it could be pointing to a conspiracy theory about Trump keeping his enemies closer.
There has been no love lost between Trump and Romney over the last year, which is why it was shocking that they would meet in the first place. Could this be an elaborate ploy with one goal: public shaming of Romney? Trump is known to be very vindictive, but he’s also been known to be instantly forgiving. If this is the case, why would his aides and allies be attacking Romney in public?
Did Trump just pretend to consider Romney to allow his minions to shame him into an apology before pulling the carpet out from under him?
Through public shaming, this scenario demands humiliation. That means an apology. If Romney apologizes and then does not get the job, we can pretty much bank on this being the scenario the whole time.
Trump’s Just Testing the Waters
This is the one that wouldn’t surprise anyone. If Trump really doesn’t know for sure who to pick and is trying to get a diverse range of opinions from fans, media, and anyone else with a thought on the matter, this is the way to do it. Whether or not he condones the actions of his outspoken advisers remains to be seen, but he hasn’t seemed to be holding anyone back.
If this is the case, it spells doom for Romney’s chances. Other than a handful of blogs and some private endorsements, there hasn’t exactly been a rallying force behind Romney.
Regardless of who Trump picks, this strange Romney affair has been fun to watch. Whether you love Trump or hate him (does anyone feel anything in between?), you have to admit that it’s already shaping up to be a very entertaining 4-8 years.
Fever. Chills. Daggers in my throat every time I swallow. Having strep throat on Thanksgiving is my perfect little personal metaphor to place on this strange election cycle. Every Presidential election has its ups and downs, but in my lifetime I’ve never seen anything that comes close to the nauseating twists and turns we were put through in 2016.
That’s the cryptic part. The very awesome part of Election 2016 is that there’s incredible hope for the future. In lieu of one of my longer pieces, I’m going to obey my wife who has allotted only a brief time period on the computer and give a quick burst of Tweets that you you can post yourself. Even if you don’t post them, hopefully they’ll remind you of the potential ahead. Click on the ones you like to Tweet them.
It’s the most dangerous time of an election year on Capitol Hill. It’s neither rabbit season nor duck season. It’s lame duck season, which means that crazy things may (and probably will) transpire between now and the first session of the new Congress in January.
With a huge spending bill to pass before a government shutdown on December 9th, we will see as much fluff squeezed into it as possible. That’s the problem with lame duck legislation. Many of the people voting on it have no accountability to the voters. On their way out the door, they can do what’s best for them, their cronies, or even their future lobby bosses.
The lame duck session also gives the major parties an out so they don’t have to address controversial items before an election. The punted impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, while not directly attached to the lame duck session, is an example of something that would have happened if this weren’t an election year.
All business should be taken care of before the election. Voters will have a chance of holding Congress accountable with their votes. Important decisions won’t be made by people who won’t even be around in a couple of months. Doing so will help to reduce instances of real or perceived corruption such as the infamous reindeer farmer who swung the vote for a trillion dollar “cromnibus” in 2014.
Should Congress do anything during lame duck sessions? Of course. They should be prepared to handle emergencies. This doesn’t require a pre-established session; unlike the Great Depression and WWII, we should be able to pull Congress together quickly in case of emergency. What they should be doing during lame duck sessions is preparation. Transition of a new Congress is relatively smooth today, but it can be improved. Moreover, the time can be used by politicians who will be part of the next Congress to work towards future legislation that’s voted on during the first session of the next Congress. This will allow Congress to work more efficiently by reducing the learning curve and preparation time.
All of this can be done through Constitutional Amendment, though such a drastic measure hasn’t been necessary since the ratification of the 20th Amendment. Instead, internal rules can be put into place and agreed upon by both chambers and both parties. The rules could be changed in the future, of course, so it wouldn’t be as powerful as an Amendment, but it’s better than nothing. Perhaps if we ever hold a Convention of States, we could include such an Amendment, though it’s unlikely something so small would even hit the radar.
There are bigger issues to address, but we can’t continue to let the smaller issues slide as a result. Lame duck sessions can be easily resolved. We simply need enough people to stand up and say they don’t want the most corrupt seasons of every election year to continue to harm the nation.
The Never Trump movement failed. God’s Will, as always, reigned supreme and despite every ounce of opposition that the Democrats, media, and Never Trumpers could muster, the nation was saved from the evils of a Hillary administration as well as a Democratic-majority in the Senate. Does this mean Never Trump conservatives should follow the actions of the Democrats and media by whining themselves to sleep at night? No.
This is an opportunity. It’s a time for humility and reflection. Those of us who supported other candidates through the primaries generally fell into one of three categories after Trump’s nomination: late-boarding Trump Train passengers, anti-Hillary lukewarm Trump supporters, and both-options-stink Never Trumpers. The first two categories can carry on with business as usual. The conservative wing of the Never Trump semi-movement needs to fall in line behind the GOP unless they give us reason to do otherwise.
This is the trust-but-verify group. Trump won. The GOP survived to fight for two more years. It’s time to put ice on your bruised egos and walk it off. Many who opposed Trump and Hillary felt that both were far too liberal to achieve certain conservative goals such as returning powers to the states or reducing federal government spending. Those battles are not over, but it would be wrong to oppose everything the GOP does just because your side of the argument lost.
If the GOP repeals Obamacare instead of following through with recent threats to consider amending the reprehensible socialistic monstrosity, then every fiscal conservative should celebrate, even the Never Trump holdouts. If the GOP gets the Trump wall built, every American who opposes illegal immigration should rejoice, even if some of the wall turns out to be fencing instead (better than nothing, right?). If Trump puts pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment judges in as many courts as possible, including the Supreme Court, one of the biggest bits of skepticism from Never Trumpers will melt away and they should be happy as a result. If real conservatives make their way into the administration instead of Establishment types or alt-right political neophytes, there’s a good chance that Trump’s first term could be very successful (though his first official moves aren’t encouraging).
The new role of Never Trump conservatives is to righteously dissent. That means they should wholeheartedly support every conservative initiative even if Trump’s fulfillment of it proves that they were wrong before he was elected. That also means that every leftward lurch should elicit loud dissent. We know that it works on him. His famous “softening” on immigration was quickly reversed once enough conservatives spoke out to set him back on course. There’s a misconception that he doesn’t listen to people. It’s not true. He doesn’t always listen to his advisers, but he definitely listens to the cries of enough people. This is why I’m working on the Federalist Party in the first place. We don’t want to oppose the GOP. We want to oppose liberalism regardless of where it originates. We want to promote checks and balances between the states and Washington DC that can only be achieved by reducing the size and power of the federal government.
Four years ago, the prospects of the GOP having control over every branch of federal government was a long-term dream. Today, we’re one Supreme Court justice confirmation away from it becoming a reality. Now is not the time to oppose Trump for the sake of continuing a losing battle. There are opportunities abound for the Republican Party as long as Constitutional conservatives keep their voices loud and focused on issues rather than feelings. When the GOP does well, we need to be their loudest cheerleaders. When their proposals shift too far to the left or they start making unnecessary compromises, we should be the loudest detractors. Dissenting without reasons is what the liberals do. It’s an action that’s below true conservatives even if Trump isn’t their ideal President. Give him a chance to prove us wrong, but be ready to speak out if he doesn’t.
We’ll (hopefully) know who won the Presidential election late Tuesday. Regardless of who wins, the nation must learn some of the lessons that have come out in this election. Three of them are old items that were highlighted this year. Two aren’t exactly new, but they definitely hit peak importance as a result of this election.
Before we get into the elections, let’s make one important point. At the end of the day, we’re all still Americans (other than those who aren’t really Americans, but that’s another topic). As such, we need to do what we can to bring order. There will be no unity even within the parties themselves. This election has proven to be too contentious to expect any semblance of unity. However, we can all attempt to remain civil. The nation is going to be a powder keg for weeks at the very least. Cooler minds must prevail.
Now, about those lessons…
Early voting must go
Absentee ballots are necessary and righteous aspects of our voting system. Those who are unable to go to the polls on election day should be given an opportunity to vote. That doesn’t mean that early voting should be used to allow us to be lazy or avoid lines.
Early ballot applications should be frowned upon. I’m not suggesting any form of test, but the things that came out for both candidates from the time that early voting opened until election day were pieces of information Americans needed in order to cast an informed vote. Ill-informed voters are a problem without early voting. Add ignorance-encouraging early voting to the mix and the sanctity of the election is no longer beyond reproach.
Voter ID should be considered by every state
If you have to show identification to buy cigarettes, board a plane, enter a bar, or get a Costco card, you should show identification to help decide the leaders of this nation. Any arguments of racism or voter suppression are feeble and completely untenable. The risk of voter suppression is far lower than the risk of voter fraud. Every state should consider it (and no, it is not a federal issue even for national elections).
Third parties have no idea what they’re doing
Love them or hate them (or both), these two major party candidates are arguably the two weakest in modern history. If there was ever a time when third parties should have been able to make a significant impact, this was the year. The Libertarian Party decided to put up a leftist VP candidate to run with an uninformed Presidential candidate. The Green Party stayed true to their goals of having bark with no bite, a position in which they thrive. If they ever had actual power, they would trip all over themselves trying to give it to someone else.
The Constitution Party was unable to find 55 people in the state of California to fill out a form so they could at least be a write-in. On down the line, we see a combination of poor strategies and poor choices from every party, top to bottom. This is why I’m so invested in forming a Federalist Party, but that’s a whole other topic.
Issues must make a comeback
In 2012, there was a lot made of the fact that the press focused so much on Mitt Romney’s personal shortcomings. Oh, if we knew then what we know now about how low campaigns could go. The press and the voters paid so much attention to the character flaws of both candidates that most voters can only speculate about where they stand on actual issues.
We need to be talking about issues. We need to be talking about how to solve problems. We need more than a tidbit or a Tweet and until society is ready to go all-in on internet research, the media still has to deliver information on television and radio. They need to start doing that. The only question is the source of this gossip-mag journalism. Do the people guide the media about what interests them or does the media tell the people who they want to be interested in?
Change everything about the debates. Everything.
I’m not going to dwell on this lesson. You all say them. Moderators were generally awful. Questions were baiting and irrelevant. Time was too short for the answers. Many candidates in the primary had no opportunity to shine.
I’d love to see completely different debate format. Imagine questions (on the issues) asked of one candidate at the time without the other candidates present. They’re given ample time to answer it: 2-10 minutes, depending on the question. No audience. Not played live. After all of the answers are recorded, the candidates are brought together to hear all of the answers to the same question played to them for the first time. Then, they’re given 2 minutes to respond. They could attack one particular candidate. They could attack several. They could defend their own position or even change portions of their answer depending on what they heard from others. It’s far. It’s based around the issues. It’s informative. It would be fantastic.
There are other important lessons to learn from this election, but these give us plenty to work towards in 2018 and particularly in 2020.
One thing is certain: this campaign season got out of hand and it wasn’t entirely the candidates’ fault. The media played their standard leftist decoy role. The people obliged and rewarded them by tuning in 24/7. Twitter and its 140 characters became the venue for serious discussions. This election turned into a debacle. Thank the Lord it’s almost over. Hopefully.
Over the last few months, I’ve made no attempt to hide my willingness to criticize candidates. I don’t believe that being critical of Donald Trump will turn someone into a NeverTrump Clinton supporter, which is why I hope the following critique of current scandals holds more weight than if it came from a Trump-Does-No-Wrong blogger.
Hillary Clinton’s scandals are absolutely more important when weighed on the scale of Presidential fitness. Even if we put aside the conservative opinion that she’s ideologically wrong (I know it’s hard, but try), her actions over the last three decades in general and over the last 16 years in particular speak volumes about her inability to properly hold the office of President of the United States.
Let’s look at some of her actions in light of what Americans should view as Presidential skills.
Decision-making abilities: Benghazi is the easiest example of a string of poor decisions that can all be traced back to her. I’m not simply talking about the minute-by-minute indecision that prevented our boys from surviving the attack in Benghazi. The decisions that led up to the attack and the way that it was handled afterward were the epitome of incompetence. They shouldn’t have been left in such a vulnerable position before the attack. They should have been saved during the attack. The truth should have come out immediately after the attack. This is only the easy example. There are volumes that point to the fact that she has always and will always make poor decisions.
Honesty: Yoga schedules. Wedding planning. Early access to debate questions. YouTube videos causing Benghazi. Sniper fire. Need I go on? I could do this all day.
Holding America’s best interests above personal gain: Pay-to-play at the State Department and pretty much everything that has happened to her since leaving the White House dead broke speaks to her willingness to put her own self-interests ahead of America’s while she’s supposedly a servant of the people. If you’re going to throw out there that Trump has also always done what’s in his best interests, don’t. One does not have to be an objectivist to realize that private citizens have the right and even the duty to do what’s best to succeed personally in their lives. Public servants do not.
Avoiding the victim card: I have very few good things to say about Barack Obama, but one thing I can say is that he didn’t play the victim card nearly as much as I expected. Hillary, on the other hand, has played the card so often over the years that it’s a tattered and worn remnant with no credibility. A President cannot be allowed to be viewed as a victim. That’s not the American way.
I’m not going to apologize for Trump’s major character flaws. I’m not going to throw out talking points like “we’re not electing a Pope” or “he’s a changed man.” I do hold character as an extremely important attribute to weigh when deciding on the next President and Trump’s character is laughable. However, the left’s attempts to paint Hillary’s incomprehensible actions as big nothingburgers are reproachable. Her election would be untenable and her apologists are fraudulent in their attempts to make it happen. Shall we call them deplorables? If the basket fits…
Sometimes, something seems so obvious that I don’t even write about it. I assume that it will be covered by others, discussed on talk radio, or outright announced by the subjects. In the strange case of James Comey and the FBI’s renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, there are only two scenarios that make sense. For whatever reason, neither scenario is getting the national attention they deserve.
The first scenario we’ll discuss has been partially covered here, but for the sake of accuracy we’ll throw it out there again. It’s the scenario where Comey and the FBI come out a day or two before election day and announce that after further review, they once again see negligence without a recommendation to prosecute. This scenario would fit with multiple reasons behind it; saving the integrity of the FBI so they don’t get hit with claims that they intentionally withheld information for Hillary’s sake is the most likely.
The second scenario was the first one that came to mind when the news broke Friday. Perhaps it’s my history of reading and watching too many police procedurals, but I waited for this to pop up in mainstream media. I was foolish to expect it. Instead, they’ve spent their time trying to point fingers and diffuse the situation with pro-Hillary propaganda. Then, I waited for conservative media to reveal it, but most of us spent the last couple of days lamenting over the wickedness of mainstream media and discussing how Hillary is so corrupt.
What didn’t get discussed was what they found when they discovered the email trove a few weeks ago. It has to be something new; bringing up old news would not have prompted Comey to do what he did. Before we reveal what I believe they found, let’s talk about what new things they didn’t find.
They didn’t find even more revelations of stupidity with the email server itself. They’ve already acknowledged that the team and Hillary were idiotic for having it in the first place.
They didn’t find classified information beyond what is already known because their focus would have been on Huma Abedin rather than Hillary if that were the case. By “focus,” I mean they likely wouldn’t even have sent the letter to Congress if Abedin was their target.
Lastly, they didn’t find damaging communications about Benghazi or any other scandal associated with Hillary. Such things would not be pertinent to the case at hand and would have been given over as fodder for Congress, and then only after the election.
What the FBI most likely found is communication between campaign staffers with direct ties to Hillary expressing her wishes to have damaging emails deleted. If prior to the investigation they made a conscious decision to delete damaging emails in an effort to cover their tracks, that would be enough for Comey to reopen the case. You might think that they’ve already seen evidence of that based upon the deleted emails they’ve already discovered, but there’s a distinction that must be understood. Discovering missing emails shows that they were deleted. However, the real smoking gun would be emails that instructed people to deliberately delete them. That’s the scenario where the law was clearly broken. That’s the scenario that would prompt Comey to do what he did.
If we see scenario one happen, then this was an effort to cover up for the FBI and protect its reputation. I’m not ready to believe the FBI is intentionally helping the Clinton campaign by distracting from the Wikileaks releases until election day as some have insinuated, so the first scenario means self-protection and a likely Clinton win after they announce their findings. With scenario two, it won’t just mean that Clinton will lose. It means that she’ll finally be charged with a crime. The question is whether or not she’ll plead guilty quickly enough for President Obama to pardon her.
Voices on the left were furious when John McCain suggested that Republicans in the Senate would block any nominees by Hillary Clinton if she becomes President. He walked back that particular talking point very quickly because he’s John McCain.
To no one’s surprise, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) quickly backtracked on a bold statement a few days ago, when he said, “I promise you that we will, we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton — if she were president — would put up. This is why we need a majority.” […]
But before pleasantly surprised constitutional conservatives could even raise their hand to pat McCain on the back, he quickly changed his tune, speaking through a spokesperson, Rachael Dean. She “clarified” McCain’s earlier remarks by saying that McCain “believes you can only judge people by their record,” pointing to Clinton’s “clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees.”
Before anyone starts searching their copy of the Constitution or checking Wikipedia for precedents, I’ll save you the trouble. Nine is not a magic number. It’s been the number for a century and a half, but there’s nothing that declares it needs to be the number. Moreover, there’s nothing that can compel the senate to confirm a nominee or even hold confirmation hearings. The powers laid out dictate that a Supreme Court justice can only be appointed by a President and can only be confirmed by the Senate. It does not dictate that the President must appoint, nor does it dictate that the Senate must confirm.
Here’s the real point, though. Eight is plenty. In fact, it may just be perfect. For the Supreme Court to take action, there needs to be a clear mandate. That’s an opinion, but it’s one that should make sense to any Constitutional conservative. With nine (or any odd number of) justices, actions for or against a ruling are essentially mandated automatically. That’s not how it should be. With eight, particularly if the justices are split between “conservative” and “liberal” ideologies, a true mandate would require that at least one justice changes sides.
What progressives will say is that keeping a split judicial branch of government impedes progress. The clear error in this thinking is in assuming that the Supreme Court has anything to do with progress. They don’t. That’s for the other two branches. The Supreme Court is there to prevent unconstitutional progress which, in our day and age, seems to be the majority of ideas proposed.
If we keep it at eight, it’s not the better or worse case that wins. Decisions won’t be based upon political leanings. The court can operate in a way that is much more pure. If a case is clearly won or lost, the Supreme Court will act because at least one justice should be willing to switch sides. That’s the burden that I believe is necessary for them to act. When it’s based upon a majority split along ideological lines, we get the debacles we’ve seen in the past few decades where the Supreme Court’s actions yielded failures on both sides of the political spectrum.
Keep it at eight. Not just now. Always. If the Supreme Court must act, it will be because the case was clear, not just because one side was a little better than the other or one based upon political lines.
As an originalist at heart, I’m always skeptical of any form of “modernization” that anyone attempts to institute on government functions, ideas, or philosophies. That’s not to say that I want the world to work strictly from rules made in the 18th century, but human nature in general and progressive nature in particular tend to corrupt through modernization rather than improve.
One exception that should be discussed would be the modernization of the unalienable rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence. Unlike the Constitution or the Amendments that should only be tampered with through the prescribed amendment powers given to the federal government as well as the states, the Declaration of Independence should be examined for the sake of its 21st century validity. We are no longer under the rule of England. We have a nation that is sovereign, a government system that is tested, and a people that are empowered. By examining the unalienable rights as they apply today, it’s possible to bring them back into a focus in a way that is more applicable today.
This isn’t an exercise in hypotheticals. I believe that we are at a point in American history when the Declaration of Independence needs to be remembered and applied. No, I don’t mean that it’s time to overthrow the government or kick California out of the Union once and for all. Because we are a people who are not oppressed by outside governments, the need for independence is not applicable. However, the unalienable rights mentioned in the document apply today perhaps more so than they applied back then.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are listed as unalienable rights called out specifically from the group. They are endowed by our Creator and apply today. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same meaning to modern-day Americans, which is why I believe we need to do a quick examination of how they should apply going forward given the situation.
The first is the one that hasn’t changed in name but has changed in focus. Life is sacred. It is God-given and must be protected. It is a right and it should be unalienable. Today, liberals are trying to redefine life on multiple levels. The most obvious is, of course, pre-birth life. Abortion was not the evil scourge sweeping the nation in the 18th century. TO them, life was a right that could be taken away by other men, but they did not need to specifically call out when life began and when the taking of that life should be considered murder.
Today, we have that issue.
Rather than redefining, it’s important to maintain the same name as, in its purest form, it exemplifies the unalienable right perfectly. Should babies before birth be murdered as if they weren’t alive? Should terminally ill patients be assisted in their efforts to take their own life? Is the death penalty righteous, or perhaps a better way to ask the question is whether or not our justice system can declare when someone has committed enough harm on others to forfeit their right to continue to live?
Personally, I am as pro-life as one can be in regards to abortion and assisted suicide and I’m for the death penalty, not as a deterrent to crime but as an aid in healing the loved ones of victims. As Americans, the question of life is something that should be answered on a personal level by every individual. It amazed me that people can have no opinion on any of these issues. After all, we’re talking about the most precious gift given to man in this world.
There is a challenge. Just as many have said that “conservatism” has been improperly co-opted and redefined to fit a particular paradigm, so to has the word “liberty.” Because we no longer fight for liberty from foreign, but rather from our own government, we have witnessed the original intent of liberty getting mangled in recent decades.
It was telling when the Libertarian nominee for President viewed liberty as strangely attached to feelings. From his perspective, if someone walked into a bakery owned by a devout Jew and asked them to bake a cake shaped like a swastika, the modernized definition of liberty states that the Jewish baker cannot infringe on someone’s right to have the cake they want baked. This is, in my humble opinion, a perversion of liberty. Just as a Christian bakery should not be forced to make a gay wedding cake, we cannot allow liberty to be used as an excuse to take away someone’s liberty.
All of this leads to our first shift in names. Rather than liberty, which only seems to maintain purity when we’re fighting against oppressive outside forces, we should instead embrace its close cousin, “freedom.” This aligns better with the Constitution; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly – yes, they’re liberties, but when we see them more appropriately as freedoms, we have a more defensible unalienable right. Antisemitism might be viewed as liberty to some, but that liberty cannot be allowed to supersede the freedom of a private business owner who does not want to participate in the celebration or promotion of an organization that killed millions.
Pursuit of Happiness
Like liberty, the left has taken the original concept of our pursuit of happiness and muddied the waters with social justice and political correctness. Today, if a student feels triggered because their happiness is impeded by someone else’s actions, even if those actions had neither the intent nor the realistic expectation of causing harm, they are allowed to feel like their rights are being attacked. It’s ridiculous.
Happiness is not a right! It never has been. The ability to pursue happiness is the unalienable right, perfectly worded in the 18th century and perfectly perverted today.
To me, the clearest way to enable the pursuit of happiness is through reduction of government interference. On the surface, one might wonder how smaller government can be associated with the pursuit of happiness. If you take a moment to truly consider it, you’ll see that it’s through government interaction that the pursuit of happiness is most hindered. In short, more government drains happiness while less government enables it.
If we look at America’s needs through a 21st century lens, we will see that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, freedom and an appropriately small degree of government. If those things become our focus as a conservative movement, we’ll have our best chance of surviving the leftward lurch that the government has been experiencing in recent years.
Guns. Supreme Court. Abortion. Immigration. Those were the first four topics in the first three questions from Wednesday night’s debate (2nd Amendment and the Supreme Court were squeezed into the first question). On these issues, which are arguably the four most divisive between the two candidates, Donald Trump was composed, informed, and surprisingly eloquent. He was able to portray his thoughts intelligently without sounding too rehearsed. With Chris Wallace at the helm asking questions about issues, the first 30 minutes of this debate were the best 30 minutes Trump has had in any debate, including the primaries.
He exuded the presence of a President more than he’s ever done in his life.
It went downhill from there, though not as badly as it will be portrayed. Mainstream media will condemn him for declaring that he won’t necessarily accept the results of the election. I’ll cover that more shortly, but let’s look at his other mistakes:
When she called him a puppet, his inner middle-schooler said, “No, you’re the puppet.” It’s already a viral Vine with hundreds of thousands of loops and rapidly rising.
When asked about entitlements, he talked about improving the economy and jobs which absolutely won’t fix entitlements without a major overhaul.
Lastly, he called her a nasty woman. She is, but that’s not going to help him score points with women, especially after drawing chuckles from the audience when he said nobody has more respect for women than he does.
There were other little mistakes, but all in all this was his best, most error-free debate. It also showed something to the conservatives in the #NeverTrump crowd: he might not be as far from their perspectives as they’ve been led to believe. His grasp of Heller far exceeded hers (no, Heller was not about toddlers, Hillary). His attack on partial birth abortion was spot-on and Hillary botched her response. Then, his vow and reiteration of appointing conservative pro-life Supreme Court justices was reassuring.
In those first 30 minutes, the all-important undecided Republicans and conservatives were given everything they would need to lean in his direction. Now, we’ll get to see the media playing up his unwillingness to definitively state that he’d accept the results of the election.
It will be an ineffective attack. To understand why, we have to look at the psychological effects that his stance will have on each type of voter.
Those firmly in the Clinton camp will take those words and move their chances of voting for him from 0% to -1%. Nothing lost there.
For those firmly in Trump’s camp, they’ll be cheering him on. Darn tootin’ they won’t accept the results if Trump doesn’t. It’s war!
Undecided Republicans will be a little affected by the notion, but the reiteration that election fraud is real combined with not accepting the results will push more towards him than away.
Undecided Democrats and Independents – here’s where it gets a little weird. Most of them won’t care enough to be swayed by the notion, but some will unconsciously lean towards him as a result. Why? Because it reinforces their feelings that the system is broken, that he’ll fight the system, and that they don’t want added chaos. Whether they realize it or not, the more that the media covers it, the more the undecided Democrats and Independents will consider Trump. Those who are undecided on the left are undecided because they really don’t like Hillary. If they liked her, they’d already be supporting her. The fact that they’re considering Trump means that his defiance to the system and antagonism of Clinton will be a plus.
Does this mean Trump will win? Unlike many self-proclaimed pundits, I don’t see this election as one that can be determined until election day. Nate Silver puts Trump’s chances below 20%. I tend to see it as still a tossup because 2016 is insane but more importantly because Trump is outperforming her on the issues. Tonight, it wasn’t even close. The only times Clinton sounded half-decent at all was when she was attacking Trump and/or pandering to women and minorities. On the actual issues, she sounded like a 3rd semester political science major with average grades and a crush on her professor. Trump sounded like he knew the issues.
There are hardcore supporters who have been there from the beginning for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It was these supporters who helped propel each to their party’s nomination and nothing that comes out between now and election day will change their minds. Most of the rest of us have been forced to take a hardline approach as well. In this late hour, the accumulation of October surprises will not change our voting preference. The surprises are THAT bad; Trump’s locker room talk is countered by Hillary’s Wikileaks corruptions which counter accusations made against Trump which counter Hillary’s attacks on the pro-life movement which counter… you get the point.
In other words, a large percentage (I’d put the number north of 50%) of the electorate will vote for a candidate that they only support because they believe the other major candidate would be worse. Never has any living generation of Americans seen a full-fledged race to the bottom like this one. This election won’t be won. The next President will be the candidate that loses less. We’re stuck having to fake enthusiasm for one candidate because we can’t imagine America with the other candidate in charge. I know many of the readers are full-blown supporters of Trump and that’s your prerogative. I will never support, endorse, or vote for Hillary, so at least we have that in common.
Regardless of who wins on November 8th, it’s imperative that on November 9th we evaluate what brought us here and make the choice to never let it happen like this again. I’m not talking about figuring out how Hillary evaded jail or why the best batch of conservative candidates the GOP has ever seen were summarily dispatched by a liberal and his wall. It’s time to take a look at the fundamental problems in Washington DC and across the country that prevent the obvious solution of Constitutional conservatism from having its day leading in the halls of government. As Bobby Johns pointed out in his passionate attack on liberalism in Congress, only three Senators and fourteen Congressman score an “A” on Conservative Review’s scorecard. Most GOP Senators and Congressmen score an “F” which means that they are slightly right-leaning at best.
This is why President Obama has never had a problem getting every single thing he’s ever wanted in the last eight years budgeted, including over the two years that Republicans have held a majority in both chambers.
This is why Planned Parenthood always gets funded.
This is why the internet is no longer under U.S. control.
This is why the one time Congress was able to reverse a Presidential veto, it was on a bill that affects less than 1% of 1% of Americans. The only reason it succeeded was because retiring Harry Reid was the only Senator willing to side with Saudi Arabia over families of 9/11 victims. In an election year, the President never had a chance. His veto was symbolic.
The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough Republicans in office. The problem is that we don’t have enough principles in the people holding those offices. We need a party that holds conservative principles at the highest level, that throws political expediency out the window. We need voters to learn the principles that propelled this nation to its pinnacle. Most of those principles are found in the words of the Constitution. Others can be found in the examples of the men and women who defend them. Any politician who refuses to wholeheartedly keep the oath of defending the Constitution does not deserve our vote.
This year, it’s too late. Principles have been abandoned by both major parties. This is why it’s important to build a new one. If the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, and Reagan has moved so far to the middle that conservatism has become a co-opted punchline used during campaign season, then examining our course through the lens of principles is our best course of action after the election.
Update (DTG): As you know I don’t censor my writers and respect their opinions but tomorrow morning I’ll give a short answer as to what he’s missing here.
Every pundit will have an opinion based upon their own biases and their news agency’s preferences. Some will highlight the move Donald Trump made to threaten Hillary Clinton directly. What they probably won’t mention is that from a purely strategic perspective, his charge that as President he would appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton’s “situation” was absolutely brilliant.
A large percentage of American voters generally do not like nor trust Hillary Clinton. The same could be said about Trump, but there’s a difference. They don’t like Trump for his personality, privilege, and/or policies. They don’t like Hillary because she should almost certainly be in jail. For three decades, she has evaded the law. The accusations against her are numerous and many of them are extremely serious even if you discount conspiracy theories about her alleged “hits” on political liabilities. She has been demonstrated to be a liar and a cheat, but it’s worse. She’s gotten away with things that others could not and that makes her scorned even by people who want to vote for her.
Undecided voters now have something to weigh against Trump’s damaging recordings from last week. Do they want to harm Trump for his misogyny or do they want to empower him to take out Clinton? Whether undecided voters realize it or not, the notion of seeing someone in power held accountable is extremely appealing to them from a psychological perspective. They don’t like it when the powerful get special treatment. They don’t like it when the powerful get away with things that average Americans could not.
By itself, his call for a special prosecutor was a strong statement, but it was his mic drop moment a couple of minutes later that really punctuated it in the minds of undecided voters:
It won’t matter who pundits say “won” this debate. In reality, it was a debacle from start to finish thanks to poor moderators and mostly terrible questions. Nevertheless, the winner when it comes to putting sway on undecided voters was, through the subtle effects of his promise, Donald Trump.
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There’s a subtle move being made by the left that is pulling many on the right to consider gun control options. The use of the phrase “common sense gun control” has been making its way through mainstream media for a while, but lately we’ve been seeing more conservatives discussing it. This was punctuated at the first Presidential debate when Donald Trump agreed with Hillary Clinton on the concept of “no fly, no buy” as a way to keep weapons out of the hands of suspected terrorists.
It makes sense, right? If they can just make the no-fly lists more accurate and prevent law-abiding patriotic Americans from finding their name on it, then what’s the harm in using them to prevent firearms from being purchased by the wrong people? That’s a good form of common sense gun control, right?
No. The basic concept of due process is shattered once any American is able to have their rights revoked without a declaration from court following a proper presentation of evidence and the righteous exposure of one’s accusers to the accused. Does this mean that the no-fly lists are bad in concept? Once again, the answer is no. It is foolish to completely hamper law enforcement. There’s a fine line between preserving individual freedoms and maintaining a proper level of security. We’re not going to tackle that issue right now. What we will tackle is the difference between a no-fly list and a no-buy list. Travel in general and flight in particular are privileges. Gun ownership is a right. Revoking privileges for the sake of prudence is defensible when the system is designed to support it. Revoking rights for the sake of prudence is untenable. Our rights may not be revoked without due process, period.
What form of gun control should we be willing to accept? None. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it. I know that sounds contrary to the American way, but we must be diligent in our opposition of gun control in any form. For example, I would prefer if those with mental illness were not allowed to own a firearm, but that doesn’t mean we should have mandatory psychological evaluations prior to purchase. I would prefer if only those with proper training were allowed to carry a weapon, but I would never advocate for mandatory firearms training as a prerequisite to owning one. There are likely “common sense gun measures” that you would agree to in some form or fashion, but we must fight them out of principle even if we believe in them personally.
The reason is the cracking open of doors. When someone is at the door and you believe they mean to do you harm, you don’t crack the door open for them. It becomes easier for them to push it all the way open. Every form of gun control, even common sense measures, will crack the door open for the left. They intend to do us harm in the form of full-blown gun control. We must keep the door firmly closed.
The old adage says, “if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.” That’s exactly what the left wants to do. They are currently conditioning Americans, even conservatives, into believing that common sense gun measures are the way to go to keep us safe. What they won’t tell you is that the long-term plan (though it really won’t take that long if we crack the door open for them) is to dismantle our gun rights piece by piece. All it will take is a liberal President and a liberal Congress to start pushing their boundaries. They will take them further and further until they get their wish.
Some believe they are trying to take away the 2nd Amendment. That’s ludicrous. They wouldn’t dare try to take it away. In fact, they will embrace it. However, embracing it will be done in a way that’s intended to redefine it. We’re already seeing articles coming out every day talking about militia and muskets. The left truly believes their sensibilities are higher than those of the founding fathers, so they’re going to use the hallowed words of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights against us.
The real solution is Constitutional carry, but that is as unrealistic today on a federal level as taking down the 2nd Amendment. Until the day comes when we can protect ourselves and demonstrate how Chicago is a broken model, we must not give an inch. We must not crack the door open at all. We must oppose federal gun restrictions, even if they make common sense.
There’s a voting block that has received nearly zero attention this election year from the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to say much because her progressive perspectives are natural and assumed. Donald Trump has mentioned it one time in a single sentence in 16 months. Gary Johnson has oddly avoided it altogether. Homeschooling families, who often vote specifically based upon a candidate’s position on the issue, have been left in the dark with innuendo and assumptions as the only ways for them to formulate an opinion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Association, which almost always endorses someone in elections at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where anybody stands. They haven’t endorsed.
It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Americans because such a small percentage in this country take advantage of this crucial educational option. What people need to realize is that it’s a core issue that indirectly affects all Americans, conservatives in particular. It’s one of the last bastions of defense for those of us who believe that the government should watch our backs and essentially leave us alone otherwise. When the government tells us how we’re allowed to educate our children, the dominoes start falling.
This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my family isn’t homeschooling one of our children. Our youngest is ready to make the transition to a Christian middle school just as her siblings did before her. It’s important to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abraham and Sarah), our homeschooling days are behind us. I no longer have a personal reason to fight for school choice, homeschooling rights, or any other K-12 initiatives. However, I’m a conservative who sees the big picture. Parental rights are right up there with religious liberties and gun ownership as core issues that act as a foundation for everything else.
Is Donald Trump for homeschooling rights? Probably, though his lack of attention has made many homeschoolers wonder if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary Johnson? Possibly, though his progressive brand of libertarianism as it pertains to religious liberties should make us wonder where he really stands on education. Is Hillary Clinton? Certainly not, though as with everyone else she hasn’t discussed the issue. This is an issue for which every candidate must make their perspectives clear. Nothing implicit; we need an explicit stance that definitively declares where each candidate stands. Why? Because anyone -Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent – who will fail at protecting our Constitutional rights will first fail to protect homeschooling. It’s a harbinger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with bigger problems.
It’s a small issue near the bottom of most conservatives’ checklist, but with such things it’s important to remember the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
When my thoughts first turned to this article, I imagined taking a case-by-case, issue-by-issue approach to demonstrate that government’s role when seen through a Constitutional lens is to empower us rather than to limit us. This was going to highlight through an evidentiary process how this nation can survive and thrive when government gets out of the way and allows the American people to do what we’ve always done: make things happen.
While compiling the ample evidence to present my case, something changed. My mindset shifted from that of a courtroom attorney to that of a physician seeking to diagnose the root cause. This particular study was so easy with evidence so blatant that I started to wonder how in the world we came to this state of being in the first place. Why has government turned into the nursemaid that wakes people up to give them their sleeping pills? When did the people start allowing the government to tell us what we’re allowed to do instead of giving us guidance through laws that tell us what we shouldn’t do? That’s when it dawned on me that I was asking the wrong questions and, perhaps, fighting the wrong battle.
Could it be that the current manifestations of government are the result of a people that generally doesn’t want to do or think for ourselves? Did we create the nanny state because enough of the population demanded more nannies? As you read this, you’re probably thinking to yourself that the answers are obvious, that liberalism has enabled laziness while enabling entitlements to overrun the halls of governance. Were we fed enough lies that we became the problem that we wanted to solve in the first place?
As I looked deeper into everything, I realized that it’s not a one-sided issue. Even conservatives have embraced the nanny state mentality in many instances. They justify it better; I look at Marco Rubio as an example. I liked Rubio even though he wasn’t my first choice for the GOP nomination. One of the things that I didn’t like was his appeasement of the Big Sugar lobby. They’ve supported him since his early days in politics when he was barely known in Florida, let alone to the nation. Since then, he has been one of their biggest protectors, shielding them from the “evils” of free trade by subsidizing them in ways that prevent foreign competition with cheaper and better sugar from muscling into our free market economy. Is he still a conservative? Mostly, yes. Is he still part of the problem? Absolutely.
America was built on innovation and creation on the backs of hard working industrialists striving to continuously improve. However, there were those who took advantage of their power to prevent others from challenging. This is where the need for oversight and protections became relevant and even necessary. From the late 19th- to early 20th-century, income inequality and the power of the “one percent” was so rampant that it would trigger any modern day delicate snowflake into hyperventilation. The people demanded protections. They demanded that the government reach in and do something about it. The government obliged and fought the “robber barons” and “evil industrialists” to make sure that conditions and opportunity were in place for a wider multitude. This was a good thing.
It turned into a bad thing. Safeguards turned into regulations. Oversight turned into audits which turned into direct meddling which turned into the “necessary” bailouts of today. Then, the rich fought back as they’re wont to do. They put more money into influential activists who eventually became lobbyists. When they couldn’t coax the politics in their direction, they bought more politicians. The struggle for money and power took on a life of its own in dark alleys or behind closed doors. Today, influence is still being purchased, but it’s happening in broad daylight. Big Sugar didn’t have to use a proxy to meet with a trusted secret ally of Rubio’s at midnight in an empty parking garage. They filed the proper paperwork, contributed the right amount of money to the right people, and “earned” their subsidies through Rubio’s rise.
Here’s the problem. Whenever topics such as these are brought up, it’s usually on a conspiracy theory forum or on an anarchist’s blog. It doesn’t have to be. This is a topic worthy of mainstream attention, but it’s given next to none. Why? Because to get a full understanding of how it works and why, one must first acknowledge that the system can be fixed. Unfortunately, the system is so interwoven and tightly knitted into every other system (including the 4th and 5th estates) that it’s simply accepted. Those who understand it feel that it’s corrupt but couldn’t imagine a way to take it apart. The majority who don’t understand can curse about corruption and talk about how dirty our politicians really are, but they have no other way to act other than to vent.
If the system of overreaching government, obtuse regulations, out-of-control entitlements, and upside-down tax and spend policies could be unraveled, we could build something that has never been built before: a true capitalistic republic that was driven by innovation and an empowered citizenry. Earlier, I wrote that innovation and creation built this nation, but mending it today and reclaiming our exceptionalism is not possible with the current state of affairs. This is extremely depressing because the advancements of communication and infrastructure that we enjoy today would yield the prime environment for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if we could just get government to allow it. We tasted this prosperity through most of the 20th century, but we got lazy. We got comfortable. We took our eye off the ball and failed to recognize that big government, once thought necessary to protect us, has become our greatest obstacle.
Imagine a government that protected everyone’s opportunity rather than everyone’s well-being. Instead of a nanny state, imagine a state that focused on helping people find and achieve personal goals. Instead of being protected, they could be empowered. Would some people fail? Yes. Would they require help? Yes. Should the government be the one who helps them? In most cases, no. Even the status of our welfare state could be privatized. The industry of caring for others in need has been left to the government and it continues to grow. While the government can provide the final safety net to prevent people from hitting the bottom, every safety net above could be better maintained in the private sector. We can see this very clearly evident in the most liberal cities in the country. The more the government “cares” for the people, the worse off those people tend to be.
Imagine a government that only regulated what absolutely needed to be regulated for the safety of citizens rather than the protection of special interests, a government that reduced taxes and fees on businesses to the point that they could be competitive on any market, whether local, national, or global. Instead of Big Sugar spending money lobbying and contributing to campaigns, what if they put all of their efforts (not to mention the money they didn’t have to pay to lobbyists and political campaigns) into innovation. Instead of relying on subsidies and tariffs, they would be forced to rely on their capabilities. Instead of figuring out how to keep the foreign companies down, what if they figured out how to make better sugar at a cheaper cost?
Whether it’s people or businesses, when the government takes away our ability to fail, they reduce our opportunity to succeed.
These are all topics that would require much more fleshing out than what I can put in a single blog post, but it’s important to understand one thing: none of this can be fixed without two major changes. The first major change is the two-party political system. Conservatives have no home for themselves. We rent a room in over the garage in the GOP’s house because it’s less liberal in general than the Democrats. Sadly, we are seeing a post-conservative Republican Party that still lays claim to the mantle of Reagan, Coolidge, and Lincoln without actually taking advantage of the mantle’s conservative philosophies. We need a new party.
The second major change is that we need an Article V Convention of States. It’s a good thing that there hasn’t been one in the past. Frankly, it wasn’t needed and would not have worked properly. Today, it’s desperately needed. Many fear a Convention of States because there’s a potential for disaster if it isn’t handled properly. The only way that it could work is if the vision of people like Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, and Mark Levin could be realized. We need amendments to the Constitution that rein in the federal government. We don’t need to add more restrictions to the people. We need to prevent Washington DC from continuing down the road it’s on.
This is a lot to take in and we’re just scratching the surface. In this strange Presidential election year, most eyes are on one candidate who will destroy us and another candidate who will transform us. Regardless of who wins, we know that government is going to continue to grow. It’s up to conservatives, TRUE conservatives, to stand athwart history yelling, “stop!” Otherwise, these issues big and small that we’re facing in the election will become irrelevant as the nation crumbles under the weight of a government that’s supposed to be covering our flank.
Hillary Clinton represents an existential threat to the nation. She would perpetuate the liberal dumbing down of America, attempt to load the courts with more leftists, and redefine our unalienable rights to match the progressive agenda. Under no circumstances would I endorse or even remotely consider voting for her.
That’s the preface necessary to set the stage for dissent. As I wrote previously, questioning Trump’s policies will not make you a #NeverTrump Clinton supporter. We can see Trump as a leftward lurch by the GOP or we can view him as an opportunity to take a malleable candidate and show him why fiscal conservatism is the right direction for America if we want to thrive today and be sustained into the future. I’ve held to the hope that the latter can come to pass but recent trends point to the former being the more likely scenario.
A recent poll should shock every fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. 85% of Republicans surveyed said that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54% of Democrats. Let that sink in. The party of Reagan that has witnessed the tremendous benefits of a free market economy and the absolute need for free trade as a hallmark of our fiscal plan has reversed its perspective in a single election cycle. I don’t care how charismatic of a salesman someone is – this should not have been even remotely possible.
There’s a difference between believing that our current free trade agreements can be improved and believing that free trade is bad. Free trade is not bad. It has always been the driving force for our economic prosperity. Today’s communication and infrastructural advancements make this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of trade in ways that we have never been available to us.
More importantly, we are no longer the only consumers nor are we the primary producers. The global economy is expanding and the United States needs to lead it, not break away from it. The fear of globalism is a righteous fear. It’s the primary reason that we need to maintain as much control of global trade or risk losing our place as the main benefactors.
Here’s a short video from 2010 that explains it quite nicely:
The biggest argument against free trade is that it means more jobs are sent overseas. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. In a thriving free market economy driven by free trade, the “loss” of jobs is an opportunity to replace low-yield employment with higher-yield employment. As companies rightfully send certain jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to places where they can be done more cost effectively, the nation’s economy becomes more stable. With stability comes the creation of more industries and increased domestic employment requirements within those industries. Jobs aren’t lost. They are traded. They are replaced. As a consumer-driven nation, the need for better employees rises with free trade. As a technology-driven nation, the need for higher-skilled employees rises with free trade as well.
“Fair” trade is part of an anti-growth economic system. It’s a short-term bandaid that forces companies to keep jobs and production facilities in the United States. This concept is being sold as a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s only a good thing in the beginning. As revenues dry up due to increased production expenditures, costs of goods rise for consumers. Whether through tariffs or forced domestication of production, the benefits for a few are taken from the wallets of the masses. For example, let’s say Apple was forced through tariffs or mandates to produce the iPhone in the United States. That would bring a huge number of jobs back; over a million people contribute in some way to iPhone production worldwide. It’s a win, right? The problem is that production costs would skyrocket. The already-overpriced iPhone would need to retail over $2000 to make up some of the difference. As sales volume drops, so too would jobs.
If you’re thinking that Apple makes enough money already and should bring those jobs to the United States without raising prices, you’ve already taken your first steps towards a socialist mentality.
The GOP has been more responsible over the years when it comes to fiscal planning… at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. I contend that the GOP isn’t pushing to the left because of Trump. Instead, it has always wanted to be the moderate populist party for the sake of winning elections rather than a party that believes in the tenets of fiscal conservatism.
The shift away from free trade is reminiscent of a lesson in George Orwell’s 1984 that doesn’t get as much attention as others. In the dystopian novel, we learn of the dangers of an overreaching government and how “Big Brother” can make our lives miserable for the sake of a perceived good to the oligarchy. We all know about doublespeak. What gets less attention is the lesson of controlled perceptions. In the book, Oceania is in a constant state of war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. The question of who the enemy is at any given moment is dictated by the leaders and maintained in false perpetuity, including in the past. If Oceania is at war with Eurasia at any given moment, it has always been at war with Eurasia. If the government shifts and declares that they are at war with Eastasia, then they have always been at war with Eastasia and have never been at war with Eurasia. Attempts to say otherwise are punished.
Somehow, the electorate is believing the manufactured reality that the Republican Party is now against free trade. If you were to question some of the 85% of Republicans who believe this, I would wager that a majority would say that the party has always been against it. Sadly, they may be inadvertently correct.
Those of us who view Hillary Clinton as an existential threat to the United State of America can list dozens of reasons she is unfit for President without breaking an intellectual sweat. The question of whether or not she is better than Donald Trump is something that undecided Independents will answer to determine who wins in November. For many, it will come down to who they dislike or mistrust the least. Depending on what happens between now and then, the out-of-control Black Lives Matter movement may be the one factor that drives Independents to lean towards Trump.
For the sake of her party and base, Hillary has allowed herself to be attached to Black Lives Matter. As hard as this is for many Republicans to accept, I do not believe that she’s actually sympathetic at all to the cause (even a liberal is capable of seeing the indefensible damage they’re doing), but she wouldn’t dare to condemn them in any form or fashion. She needs them to not hate her, to not bring the message to the masses that they prefer one of the third party candidates.
Her problem is quickly manifesting in Charlotte. If reports of a dashcam video showing Keith Scott brandishing a firearm before being shot turns out to be true, then the violence and rioting will be another example of unrighteous anger, destruction of property, and unwarranted violence stemming from the reactionary lack of reason demonstrated by the group.
Hillary can neither distance herself nor embrace them. She’s walking the tightrope of appearing to be sympathetic without sounding as if she approves of their activities. Her Twitter account the last couple of days has had reactions designed to appease every side, followed by a flurry of unrelated Tweets to bury her perspectives away from scrutiny. She’s trying to address the issue with a wave, then change the conversation as quickly as possible. It takes a lot of scrolling to get down to this Tweet:
We have two names to add to a long list of African Americans killed by police officers. It’s unbearable, and it needs to become intolerable.
All of this brings us back to the choice facing Independents. They have a wildcard in Trump and an untrustworthy liar in Hillary. Their cores negate each other in the eyes of many of these voters, which leaves them with a choice based upon emotion. Every time there’s a riot that draws lines between race rather than justice, it’s a reminder that she’s going to perpetuate the problems and magnify the hatred. Just as Trump needs a portion of minority voters to support him, so too does Hillary need Independent white voters to not see her as a threat to their safety.
Riots like the ones in Ferguson, Baltimore, and now Charlotte are reminders to voters that Black Lives Matter can strike them in their own cities. Hillary will be perceived as a supporter of Black Lives Matter no matter how deep in her profile she buries her Tweets. These truly undecided voters will make their final decision based not upon Trump’s rhetoric or Hillary’s scandals. Everyone is well aware of those. They’ll make their final decision based upon how each candidate will directly affect their lives. Every BLM incident, terrorist attack, and crack in Obama’s economy will push them closer to holding their noses and voting for Trump even if they don’t like him.
After all, they really don’t like Hillary, either.
As a business owner, I rely on people to enter into a covenant of sorts. I need them to be there for me and I need to be there for them. As such, it has always been important for me to know them, to have a clear understanding of their capabilities and dedication to the job. The hiring process has always been more than just an interview and a resume; I want to know certain things about people.
Even entry-level positions have certain basic requirements, but when we’re looking for executives, we have to take it up a notch. Three years ago, when I was searching for a partner who could be the chief executive in my current company, it was important to know as much as possible ahead of time. The person I finally chose to partner with went through dozens of meetings. It had to be mutual; we learned more about each other over several months than I would ever share with a close relative. Success is easiest when there are no surprises and after three years, nothing has popped up that I didn’t know about before we started.
The application for President of the United States seems to require much less vetting than my search for the CEO of my business. It shouldn’t be that way. We as a nation are going to enter into a covenant with this person. We have to know them intimately. The way things are today, we are only allowed to know what we’re granted in privilege and we must make this extremely important decision based upon information that others often provide. It shouldn’t be like that. Would we even know that Hillary Clinton had an illness if she hadn’t been caught on camera? No.
Requirements to be President are intentionally vague in the Constitution and I wouldn’t recommend trying to change anything through an amendment, but it would certainly be nice if we could had three basic requirements, even if they were informal but accepted and fulfilled by those seeking the grandest job in the world.
Full Medical Background and Independent Exam: For the sake of keyholder-status, I know more about my partner’s health than I know about my best friend. The likelihood that we are being fed lies by at least one major candidate pertaining to her health is utterly ridiculous. It would be nice if a complete medical history and independent medical examination were required and either made public or given to a Congressional committee for review.
Confidential Background Check, Including Financial Ties: The argument from most Trump supporters who do not call to see his tax returns is that it’s not a requirement and none of our business. Both are true. However, I would certainly feel a lot more comfortable if a Congressional committee or, better yet, a selected group of governors were granted access to a complete background check. That includes tax returns. We don’t need everything spilled onto the table for the world to see, but I’d like to know if there are concerns. A confidential financial and historical investigation of candidates is not too much to ask.
Constitutional Scorecard: The President is sworn to defend the Constitution. There should be no doubt in the minds of the people that the person most responsible for defending the Constitution actually knows the Constitution. They should be required to take a test to at least let us know they have a working knowledge. How can they defend what they don’t understand?
It’s obviously too late this election year to make any changes like these, but we should learn the lessons that have come from it. Are we about to elect a President with major pre-existing medical conditions? Are we about to elect a President who is financially beholden to foreign interests? Are we about to elect a President who doesn’t know the difference between Article II and Article XII of the Constitution? It’s sad that we have to ask these questions.
Be careful what you wish for, Republicans. Hillary Clinton’s medical episode today, officially diagnosed as a result of a three-days of pneumonia, has raised serious questions about her future as the Democratic nominee for President. Pundits are speculating. Some conservative publications are saying, “told you so!” Even some of her most ardent defenders in the press have to admit that it’s worth reporting.
The last thing the GOP should want is for Hillary to drop out. She’s the best possible candidate for Donald Trump to to compete with and possibly the only one who is hated enough for him to defeat. If she’s replaced, the repercussions could be devastating up and down the ticket.
There have been a handful of reports discussing the possible ramifications, most of which are either false or ill-conceived so I won’t link to them from here. Instead, let’s look at this logically and read what the rules say about such things. First, the DNC does not have the same type of established rules that the RNC has in the event of their candidate dropping out. Their bylaws grant the Democratic National Committee broad powers between conventions, including the responsibility to “fill vacancies,” though the nature of those vacancies are not discussed. This is uncharted territory for them. While they do not have the power to replace a candidate that has been nominated at the convention, they have all the power they need if she vacates.
Bernie Sanders supporters are pushing. Speculation about Elizabeth Warren is strong. Tim Kaine’s name has been floated as being pushed to the top of the ticket. At least one publication even considered 36-year-old Chelsea Clinton as an option. Clearly, the most likely replacement, the one that the DNC and power brokers in the Democratic Party would want, is Vice President Joe Biden. Uncle Joe has said that he “regrets every day” that he decided not to run. With under two months to go, his regrets may be reversed as a Biden-Kaine ticket is the most plug-and-play option the Democrats have.
It’s pretty obvious that something is being considered. It would put them in a position that they crave: being the victims of circumstance.
Trump has been compared, erroneously so, as another Barry Goldwater waiting to happen. While that particular debacle of an election has not been possible before, these circumstances change things. Many historians are wrong when they claim that Goldwater lost so horribly because he was too radical which is why most comparisons between Goldwater and Trump are incorrect. Goldwater lost in a landslide because we’ve always been a sentimental nation. John F. Kennedy’s death less than a year before election day guaranteed a huge victory for Lyndon B. Johnson. If Hillary drops out and is replaced by Biden, we might not see the same level of a defeat that Goldwater experienced, but the odds will definitely shift in the Democrats’ favor.
Hillary has lost all momentum and Trump is picking up steam. While it’s futile to speculate what will happen in this topsy-turvy election cycle in the final two months, Trump should be considered the favorite at this point as long as he’s facing Hillary. If a switch is made, we could be seeing Trump TV on the horizon.
We have a unique opportunity as conservatives. Donald Trump is new to politics. He’s malleable or, as he puts it, capable of changing his mind whenever he wants. This is the chance we haven’t had in our lifetimes – to mold Presidential policy by using our voices to let him know what we expect.
Trump supporters may argue that doing so is a sign of disunity and therefore any opposition to his policies is going to help Hillary Clinton win. There are two flaws to this argument. First, no Presidential candidate should be given a free pass to implement their whims without hearing the voice of the people even if such criticism may be viewed poorly by others who are still considering the options. Second, if criticism from the right is enough to make him lose to Hillary, he wasn’t cut out for the nomination in the first place.
Hillary Clinton is the worst Democratic candidate in decades. Even Walter Mondale was better; Ronald Reagan would have won Minnesota and completed the 50 state sweep had he been running against Clinton, though DC would have still probably gone to the Democrats. She has been clearly demonstrated to be a liar, corrupt, and unexceptional in every way. Any GOP candidate with a pulse and conservative policies would be pulverizing her in the polls. Trump needs to step up (and lately, it seems that he’s been doing just that).
Trump is a new to political campaigning. He’s new to conservatism. He’s a “baby Christian” as some have called him. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and that can be viewed as either a weakness or an opportunity. I choose to see it as a grand opportunity to point him in the right direction… to the right.
We’ve already seen examples of this. When attempting his leftward lurch on immigration, better known as “the softening,” he received push back from some of his supporters. Frankly, I didn’t think he received enough push back, but it worked. Within a week, he abandoned his toe-dipping into the realm of amnesty-that-shall-not-be-called-amnesty and returned to his original stance. Lately, he’s been hinting at a return to the left on the issue, for which we must continue to apply the pressure.
One does not have to join the #NeverTrump camp in order to oppose some of his policies, nor does one have to support all of his policies if they want him to win. It is imperative that we agree when he’s right and disagree when he’s wrong. He will be wrong on many issues; at heart, he’s still left-leaning and it shows in his proposed policies. If he is to be President, he cannot go down the road of big government and dramatically increased spending. If we say nothing, who will? The left? The Establishment? Only the grassroots and truly conservative politicians will be able to sway him away from any lingering liberal tendencies that are tugging at his heart.
Another major concern is the Supreme Court. Many who are reluctant supporters attribute the SCOTUS as their primary reason for supporting him over Clinton. There’s a problem that is so drastically under-reported that one might consider it to be a conspiracy. Shortly after releasing his amazing list of conservative judges he’d consider for the Supreme Court, he declared that it was just a starting point. Then, during the Republican National Convention in a closed-door meeting, he declared that he had many other names, “fabulous people,” as he put it, who were now on his list. Currently, there is one spot open. There’s a chance that as many as three more will come open in span of his Presidency. Why does he need more than the original 11? Why won’t he release those names? Why won’t he commit to appointing only conservative justices? Is he hedging his bets in case the Democrats take control of the Senate? Is he preparing to use SCOTUS nominations as bargaining chips? We don’t know and currently nobody is willing to ask.
Mark Levin might be the prototype for the type of conservative voice that can support Trump while still holding his feet to the conservative fire. He’s denounced Trump’s $7 trillion retreat on tax cuts. He’s called out his plans to expand government and dramatically increase the national debt. He’s highlighted nearly every liberal policy that Trump has proposed, a large list which seems to be getting bigger. However, he praised him on immigration. He praised the wall. He praised his willingness to act against terrorism and confront the Islamic State. He was #NeverTrump. Now, he’s voting for Trump. In lieu of the example set by so many Trump supporters from average voters to television pundits, Levin has chosen to endorse him with his vote while keeping his leftist policies in view.
Trump’s supporters have a dual-purpose this election year. They need to get him elected and they need to keep pushing him to the right against his leftward lurches. To do one and not the other is inviting the worst-case scenario: a “Republican” President who, in the name of bipartisanship and without the dissent of his constituents, pushes a liberal agenda without opposition.
Winning a Presidential election normally requires a strong face of unity from the party and its voters. The all-important Independent vote is often swayed by the level of consolidated and consistent support from the Republican or Democratic bases. The candidate backed by the strongest unified front will be the one that gets more Independents as well as crossovers from the other party.
This year is different. For both candidates, the opposition is at unprecedented levels of strength and numbers; they’re the two least popular candidates in modern history. This presents a dangerous scenario for both parties because it allows for the “general election pivot” to be more pronounced. They don’t have to stick to their guns. They simply have to pander to as many undecided voters as possible. That means that they must eliminate hardcore stances that would normally preclude Independents from voting for them. For example, Hillary has barely discussed her disastrous $15 minimum wage proposal for months. Her voters know she’s doing it and she doesn’t need to highlight it now that she has the nomination.
For Trump, one precluding issue is illegal immigration. He is very aware that it’s the one issue for which he’s been considered far-right from the beginning. He’s also aware that a slight majority of Americans, including moderate Republicans, are in favor of some form of legalization or amnesty. This is why he’s cracking the door open ever so slightly on the possibility of softening his stance. It’s why he’s gone from “we’re going to build the wall and Mexico is going to pay for it” to being “almost 100%” on building it at all. It’s also why he’s insinuating to Hispanic leaders that there may be a better way than the “harsh” deportations he’s proposed in the past.
In reality, this isn’t the flip-flop that mainstream media is painting it to be. He’s said that he’s trying to “come up with something fair” but he hasn’t quite flipped or flopped. Until he offers a proposal that says he’ll look at legalization options for illegal immigrants or that he won’t deport millions of people who have broken our laws, we have to go with the idea that he’ll take a strong stance on the issue as President. However, we cannot give him a sliver of a doubt about our position on the issue. The question has been asked, “Should Trump supporters call him out?” The answer is absolutely yes.
In any other recent Presidential election, the unified voice of a candidate’s supporters should avoid saying anything harsh. They should support the candidate on issues they agree with and avoid the others. This year is the exception. If Trump is allowed to backtrack on his initial position, the position that earned him the instant support of millions of Americans and that has grown his base for over a year, then he will continue to crack the door open further. Once he does that, there’s no going back, even for Trump. It would be a huge mistake to open discussions on legalization or amnesty and then to go back to his initial promotion of a “deportation force.”
His campaign believes that he needs to pull in a larger percentage of Hispanic voters. They believe that the only way to do this is to soften on illegal immigration. That cannot be allowed to happen. It’s the responsibility of every Trump supporter to make it known through email, Twitter, or whatever method you choose that we want a wall, we want illegal immigrants deported, and we want the rule of law to be re-established in this country after eight years of lawlessness. This isn’t negotiable. There’s no room for softness on this issue because once a little weakness is shown, that sliver of a doubt will become a giant fissure that will result in no wall, limited deportations, and a continuation of lawlessness.
Instead of pivoting to the current populist view, he should stand by his marquee policy proposal and give everyone a reasoned argument about why it’s necessary. He should appeal to the Hispanic population, the majority of which are here legally, and demonstrate to them why illegal immigration hurts them directly. In this one issue, Trump has the truth squarely on his side. There’s no need to bend on it.
Now is the time for his supporters to let him know. currently, he hasn’t officially softened his position. It’s the perfect moment for him to come out and say unequivocally that he will do what he said he was going to do from the beginning. If we don’t let him know that we disapprove of a position shift, there will be plenty of people whispering in his ear that he needs to back it down a few notches.
If the Republican Party is to unify behind Trump, he cannot back off on his most conservative policy perspective. For many, it’s all we have left. He’s abandoned free trade. He’s promoted affirmative action. He’s suggested a $10 minimum wage. He’s offered to go after portions of the 1st Amendment. With all this, he’s remained conservative on immigration. Don’t let him take that away from us as well.
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In the worlds of marketing and politics, the most powerful weapon is word association. It works both ways. Associating a campaign with a positive word or phrase can build a rabid following; “hope and change” worked wonders for President Obama. Associating an opponent with a negative word or phrase can be even more devastating. Nobody knows this better than “Low Energy Jeb” or “Lyin’ Ted.”
It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. If the narrative can be sold, it can kill a campaign.
Donald Trump has chosen to go with “Crocked Hillary” and on the surface this seems like it falls in line with his other nicknames, but it doesn’t. It’s missing something very important: new messaging. Republicans believed that Hillary was crooked before Trump assigned her the moniker. Many Independents and even a good chunk of Democrats have known it for a while. Trump’s nickname for Hillary isn’t hurting her the way nicknames hurt Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, or the others who’ve fallen prey to Trump’s negative word association.
In essence, we already knew on the surface that she’s crooked. He didn’t introduce a new message.
There’s a word that would work wonders to take down Hillary. It’s ideal because it’s a word that hasn’t manifested very often throughout the campaign but when people hear it, they can make the connection in a way that cannot be disconnected.
The word to associate with Hillary Clinton that would doom her campaign is “entitled.”
Through the primaries, she’s held the air of someone who felt entitled to the nomination. The recent revelations from the Wikileaks email release verify that the DNC felt the same way about her.
Her campaign portrays her as entitled to the White House for the sake of history. They don’t come out and say it, but the subtle messaging they’re using is that she should win because she’s a woman, she has political experience, and she’s been there before. More importantly, they are painting Trump as the type of person who should not be entitled. He can use this against her.
She acted like she was entitled to not be “flat broke” when they left the White House in 2001. The way she treats the media exudes a sense of entitlement; they only get to talk to her when she deems it. Even her famous speaking fees put on display a level of entitlement. After all, she’s Hillary Clinton. She’s entitled to every penny she earns when talking to room full of Wall Street bankers.
It wouldn’t be hard to get voters from any party to associate her with feeling a sense of entitlement. Trump doesn’t have to call her “Entitled Hillary” to make it happen. He simply needs to talk about it and make sure his surrogates are placing the proper level of emphasis on using “entitled” or “entitlement” when discussing her.
If there’s one thing that can draw the universal ire of the electorate, it’s when a candidate seems to think he or she is better than everyone else. By getting the world to see her as entitled, it’ll be much harder for voters to mark her name on election day.
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A lot of my friends on Facebook say that they are going to “stop talking about politics,” meaning they are going to stop talking about who to vote for and about what our betters have in store for us. Too much nastiness; too many hurt feelings, they say.
I must be getting old in the world of online opining—I’ve been blogging since 2003. Since that time, I’ve been called all manner of nasty things related to my race, religion, heritage, politics and whatnot. I’ve been called a whore for the white man and an African snob by black people. I’ve been called a Low Information Voter, an apologist for Islam(!) and a probable welfare queen by white people—the presumption was that I voted for the present POTUS. In 2008, I was even called “delusional” by an alleged conservative. My crime? Asserting that Barack Obama is a Marxist/socialist/progressive/communist. (Who’s the LIV now?)
As a result, insults pretty much roll off my back. In addition, I rather enjoy answering back like a civilized human while, sometimes slipping the verbal shiv in without the insulter knowing it…until they see their blood on the floor.
My point is that my skin may be thicker than that of some you who only recently began offering your opinions to the public and that, if you change your mind about discussing politics, you skin will grow thicker also.
My other point is that politics is life and vice versa. Here in America, politics deals with those to whom we give permission to run our lives—at least for now it does.
Now, you can abdicate talking about politics, but it will still be present, still there in the midst of what you call your personal life.
Don’t think so? I can cite many examples which affirm my assertion, but let’s go with the latest one: the 2016 Omnibus Bill. Look at the shizam that this thing funds.
Syrian Refugee Insertion
Klanned Planned Parenthood
Expansion of the H-2 Visa Program
Illegal Alien Resettlement
This is by no means a complete list. All of these issues affect the personal lives of American citizens and at least one is a moral issue. This bill is a legislated means of putting the government’s hands in the pockets of American citizens and taking away the few pennies left therein in order to screw over these same Americans. To refuse to engage on these topics is to agree to your own legal plundering…by Republicans, I might add.
Yes, when you argue about this stuff—politics—you will get push-back, often from those who have not thought scenarios through to their logical end points and/or who are fact-deficient. Or, perhaps, it’s you who has not thought scenarios through or are fact-deficient. This is what arguing does: exposes flaws in thinking and refines it, or at least it is supposed to do that. (That other thing which we called argument—composed primarily of insult—is, in fact, not argument. It’s poo-flinging. Modern terminology: trolling.)
I urge those interested in true argument to stay with the public discussion of ,politics–of life–in spite of the poo-flingers. I would even say that the abdication of reasonable men and women in political discussions is what has caused poo-flingers to flourish. Nature abhors a vacuum.
Keep talking as if your life depends on it, because, in fact it does. And don’t worry. At some point the time for talk will be over.
by Steve and Timothy Imholt (mainly Steve, Tim was too angry, as he is an adult with autism and has an autistic son he pays out of pocket to cover.)
Do you remember the debate about why Obamacare was going to be so very good or so very evil (depending on who was hogging the microphone)? Regardless of where you fell on the scale from progressive to arch conservative, one area which had very little argument was over what healthcare should cover regarding children. Yes, there was argument about the role of government, about government over reach, about fiscal consequences, but about kids?
Nope, I don’t remember it.
I bet you don’t either.
I can remember the discussions about orphan drugs. I remember comments from both sides about catastrophic coverage. Even discussions about pre-existing conditions. These were things that most people thought the ACA would/should (depending on party affiliation) cover. Even the insurance companies and the Republicans in a last ditch effort to stop the ACA talked about other legislation, in place of the ACA, that would cover pre-existing and catastrophic situations.
But what they didn’t do was talk about situations that were fixable when the fix was expensive. Talk about donut holes. There is donut hole in coverage the size of the Holland Tunnel if you work for most companies. You see, the way things are today, some kinds of illnesses actually ARE covered by the ACA marketplace and public aid, but NOT through employer plans precisely because they are so expensive, and the employers had good lobbyists to get wording in there for an exemption for employer based plans.
Still others aren’t covered by the ACA market place OR the employer because get this… they are too expensive. It’s like finding a Ho Chi Minh tunnel at the bottom of a Florida sized sinkhole. You take the tunnel because you have to.
Is there a poster child for this hole? Autism.
You see, when you catch autism early it is treatable. But the treatment needs to be aggressive. And even better, its effects can be truly managed and even called cured. But the current costs are somewhere higher than $30,000 and in some cases even $50,000 per year for several years. Most employers would rather not have to deal with that kind of cost. And (please use a Gomer Pyle voice when reading this), Surprise, Surprise, Surpirse, state and federal laws say they don’t have to cover it.
Think about this. The employed person has to pay out of pocket to get his kids treated. That same person has to pay taxes that, in turn, pay for subsidized coverage for other people, some of whom don’t have a job, so that their kids can get this treatment because the ACA says that they can. So one guy gets to fork out the money twice, or if he can’t afford for his kids to get these treatments out of his own pocket has real problems.
That is assuming the guy who has a job can find a way to afford it. How many people have that kind of money leftover from the rest of their budget in their after tax salary? Especially with all the new tax rates, hikes in grocery store prices, and stagnant wages in the middle class.
It is a nutty situation, but that is just one prime example. We are SURE there are others. We will be on the lookout. Just follow bankruptcy filings and some will likely be found.
The ACA act itself provides a partial loophole as well. Turns out the Fed doesn’t always cover it because it’s a congenital condition. Those plans which do cover it are a lot more expensive. Currently, the only real option left for a family with an average income is for the kid to get put on public aid. On public aid, the kid can get covered. Except that like a Ho Chi Minh tunnel, the hole can collapse at any moment.
Now for those readers who don’t have to deal with this every day, getting on public aid is NOT like switching cable companies. You need to get qualified again, and again, and again. It takes a lot of effort by parents to pull it off. And each time they have to requalify, treatment gets impacted either because docs won’t accept it, or they can’t actually deliver until approved (again and again and again).
Remember that comment about catching it early, and being aggressive? Let’s be blunt. Being aggressive is not compatible with government paperwork.
So, as a country, we end up actually causing kids to not get the treatment they need, exactly when it would do the most good. All because companies didn’t want to have this really large cost, and the Feds on ACA didn’t want the premiums to go up even more than they are going up next year.
How did it get this way? From my perspective, it was because from the progressive standpoint, it had to be covered, so sticking it to the states was a good idea. (Actually for some of the progressives, anything that eventually will lead to a single payer system is a good thing, no matter how many kids get trampled in the meantime). But the conservatives aren’t off the hook either. Again, from my standpoint, allowing companies to exclude this kind of thing, is the direct equivalent of being Pontius Pilate, washing their hands. Why? Because for conservatives, anything that shows how bad the ACA is must be good, no matter how many kids are trampled.
From my perspective, political autism has eradicated public oughtism.
The saddest part of all? It’s not those kids knowing that they won’t be treated today. You see, none of them will notice it today because they are too young, and they really do have issues. And it probably won’t be those kids when they are grown, because at the speed they won’t get treatment, they will have challenges, at a much higher rate than they should. And the annual cost of that will be paid by everyone, just as the ineffectual treatment they will get because of a defective public aid system.
Yet keep sending these yahoos back to Washington, again, and again. Perhaps it’s the public who is more autistic than we would ever want to admit.
As I grow older I have noticed that the world around me has changed. This is not unusual; change is the one constant in life.
One of those changes has been a gradual shift in politics to pure name calling and lack of, let’s just say, honesty with politicians. But, it isn’t just them. We elect them, therefore, isn’t the voting public at fault? Well, that is a philosophical question for another day, but applicable to this particular discussion.
As a nation, like it or not, we are about to enter into an agreement with the Iranians pertaining to their nuclear agreement. As a part of this “deal” Iran will obtain nuclear weapons. It is going to happen.
Who cares if another Nation has these weapons? After all, there are other nuclear powers which including the following:
The United States
The United Kingdom
At least these are the known ones.
What’s one more?
The difference here is that Iran is spending loads of money supporting terrorist groups and their tactics and has also declared what they would do with these weapons should they have them.
Now, I know, someone is going to say, “Ohhhh those crazy Iranians are just saying that to make their citizens happy, they really won’t use them.”
Ummm, ok. Maybe, but maybe not.
Personally, I am well aware that there are conventional weapons now that offer up the same yield as a nuclear device. All one has to do is look at the MOAB for this sort of behavior. Google MOAB sometime and see the videos on YouTube. It is a conventional device with as much explosive power as the Hiroshima Bomb.
Back to the Iranians and name calling.
I have entered into a discussion with people about this deal. I have often been called names because I wasn’t 100% on board with the President and Secretary Kerry. Fine, call me names who cares. But I think it speaks volumes of where we are in this national politically.
If we can’t have a dialog for more than 2 minutes offering up concepts and ideas and backing those up with one another without being called names because I don’t instantly agree with you, well that isn’t going to offer up viable solutions now is it? If you keep putting down a person’s Idea long enough just because it does not follow along your party lines, soon you will get no ideas from other persons you are in fact requesting alternative ideas from.
Think of it kind of like incest. One generation down maybe nothing weird happens but sometimes you get Geoffry from Game of Thrones.
The only other thing that happens when I discuss this Iranian deal is discussed in my experience is the question “What’s the alternative, no deal? War?”
Think of it like buying a car. Would you spend Mercedes Money on a Hyundai? No that’s a bad deal. So most people would walk away.
Yes, no deal is fine in that case, and with the Iranians. It is ok sometimes to walk away.
But not when it comes to politics. There we just need a deal we can go on the news and say look we got a deal. Yeah, but it sucks. However, that isn’t on the news, but let that go.
Don’t believe me?
A former combat medic and I wrote a book recently called The Last World War (Available on Amazon in eBook and Print).This book was written by myself (usually a conservative guy) and a Texan, gun toting, former combat medic with two tours in Southwest Asia (including combat duty). I assure this particular part of a review made us laugh:
“PC Pajama Boys write and AH/Future History Book? Is this what we have come to? Left Wing Obama Boys are now writing in this genre?”
Well let’s see, neither of us are fans of the President, neither of us voted for him, not that it matters. The review went on to basically indicate something that we thought carefully about before writing the book (which has other very complimentary, 5 star reviews btw).
The issue with this person was that if we are nuked by Iran the United States would respond (in his opinion) by turning Iran into a parking lot for a massive glass factory.
Well, I for one am not so sure.
Let’s look at the first few people in that loop. President Obama? Would he nuke back? If Iran had used all of its nuclear weapons and there were no other attacks imminent would he launch nuclear weapons? I don’t’ think so. He would more likely go on TV and demand calm while there was a “detailed investigation to determine who was really behind the nuclear attack.”
Let’s say President Obama was not the President for some reason (which happens in the book) and Vice President Biden is the President? Would he under those circumstances? I don’t think so either. Vice President Biden would roll his eyes, throw his hands up and look like a shifty used car salesman.
How about Speaker of the House? I know he wouldn’t. He’d cry, but not launch nukes.
The book is fictional, but the response by those who chose to not rate it well has all been politically based. Because apparently we have gotten to the point as a nation where two veterans who write FICTION novels are now accused of politics we don’t hold based on what may happen once Iran gets nuclear weapons if we assume the spinal fortitude of those who run our country to be what we have experienced it to be.
Now, personally, I am of the belief that nuclear weapons will be used again in anger. There will be more tests, and there will, almost without a doubt, be an attack using one at some point in the not so distant future. I leave it to others to decide what will happen when that occurs, but I believe what we have written was what would happen based on those in charge today. It would not be a nuclear response on our part. It would be conventional, and our conventional troops are the best in the world, and in my opinion, would be dominant as they always are.
I would like to conclude today by asking that everyone be more patient. Exchange ideas with those we disagree with, have the discussion. Listen to their opinion; ask them why they believe what they believe. If their reason why is reasonable to you perhaps you will change your mind. If it is not, well then you know where the flaw in their thinking is and (key word here) politely point out your why on that same subject, you might just get a convert.
I know someone is going to say, “Yeah well they won’t listen,” well no. Not at first and certainly not if you don’t try, but the exchange of ideas is what adults should do. We should not have name calling, especially by our elected leaders who use the nightly news I’m stuck watching to tell me how awful the other guy is, but never get around to saying what they would do, merely how bad that other guy is.
To the guy who wrote that review, thanks for reading the book, I appreciate you taking some time, but I assure you your review will not go into the annals of history as one we care much about as you admit in it that you stopped reading before the halfway point. Next time, review books you finished and not those you decided who I was and what I was before you bothered to look into the matter. Never, ever jump to a conclusion. Thanks!
We leave you with this thought. The next time we get upset with the ways those that lead this country behave, we have no one but ourselves to blame. We need to find the right guy, not the most “electable,” find the right guy and work hard to get that guy into office. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. I’m sure someone told that to a guy named Washington a long time ago.
Thanks for reading the post, and for those who have read and enjoyed my various works of fiction, I am humbled by you taking the time to enjoy that work. It is an honor to have fans.
You know I really thought that as soon as the left figured out that pissing off voters by burning things, blocking streets and calling for the murder of police tends to turn off voters this kind of thing would stop.
Now while interrupting liberals at brunch might cause one to smirk but I’m of the opinion that people should be able to sit and have bit to eat if they want. And I further think the owners of said establishment should call the police and have those who disrupt their business arrested, furthermore both the groups and the individuals should be sued so that any so that any monies they manage to shake down from other business or city organizations can be attached and any income that said protesters manage to get can be garnished.
Now what do these two events have in common: Two things come to mind
They are events that only serve to cause the average voter to actively dislike said people.
They are being done by Democrat activists
This being the case there is one logical thing for republicans to do.
If I was a republican pundit I would never miss an opportunity to describe these activist as Democrat activists and invite any Democrat I’m on a panel with to either embrace them or reject them.
It’s a no lose situation for us, if the Democrats reject them they risk annoying their activist base, while if they reject them they even more tightly tie themselves to actions that turn off voters.
Not a day should go by when some member of the GOP doesn’t make this case on national TV, particularly on MSNBC or CNN because that’s where the embrace of these loonies will cause the most longterm damage to liberalism.
Force feed these protesters down the Democrats throats. The time to construct this meme in the voters minds isn’t in 2016 it’s NOW.
And GOP if your party leaders and candidates are not taking the lead in doing this? You need new party leaders and candidates.
Two NYPD officers responding to a robbery call were shot in the Bronx late Monday night, police and law enforcement sources say.
A 30-year-old officer was shot in the arm and lower back, and a 38-year-old officer was shot in the chest and arm near East 184th Street and Tiebout Avenue in the Fordham section shortly after 10:30 p.m., officials said at an early morning news conference.
Every Political season is full of “mis-truths.” The worst part about them is that we, the voting public, let politicians asking for our vote get away with it, again, and again, and again. To make matters slightly worse we allow these lies to separate us and cause arguments in our personal lives. Ok…maybe not all of us engage in those arguments, but I know I have had heated arguments with professional people, in my workplace, over certain issues just because it was on a campaign ad. I decided to accumulate a few, and put them in a list. I hope you agree with me, but I am sure someone, somewhere will yell at me (but what are friends for).
I will stop EBT fraud!
Electronic Benefits Technology is a program that has fraud in it, lots of fraud. Depending on whose numbers you believe the fraud rate is somewhere between $2B and $50B annually. I personally approached members of both political parties here in Massachusetts (at a State level) about a high tech solution to EBT fraud. You can find it over on PJMedia in an article I wrote. The answer I got back was funny in ways. “Oh we need to get this other State Rep.” The reasoning seemed sound. That person is known for screaming about fraud in that system and wanting to make changes. After months of attempting to get them on the phone, I did…They didn’t want to even touch it because “the other party would never…” you know the rest. Funny part is I had members of the other party interested. If we can save the program money, and keep the system around for those who really need it by weeding out fraud and abuse, then why not? Both parties should love that. Unfortunately not really, the long and short of it was that both sides raise too much money demonizing the other on that issue to ever solve it.
I’m going to eliminate wasteful government spending!
I have been an adult long enough to know that you won’t ever drive wasteful spending to zero. It can’t be done. The government is HUGE. If you work for a company larger than 15 people you will know that there are times that waste comes into play. Someone out there will do it, it happens. Given the insane number of employees of the Federal, State and Local governments there will always be examples of waste. Just once I would love to hear someone tell the truth and say “I’ll tell you about waste when I see someone else do it, then look for another thing I can complain about, while getting my face on the news for the free exposure.” The phrase “I’ll reduce government waste” I would believe, but I will never hear that during a campaign. The very that moment these words leave a politicians lips run the other way and vote for someone else.
All Scientists agree that ….
Fill in the blank, I have heard this phrase on a variety of subjects. I am a Scientist with a PhD in Experimental Physics. I have known many scientists in my life. You will never, ever get all scientists to agree on anything (including how gravity works). I can barely get three of them to agree on which book has the best presentation of it, or worse, where to go have lunch. If someone says this assume everything they say after this is just an excuse for a large spending program that will funnel money to someone who donated to a campaign.
I will make sure that we convert everything everywhere to renewable, clean energy sources
Ok, ok…I like clean energy also. I did work in alternative fuels as part of my career early on. I want nothing more than to minimize the use of fossil fuels everywhere. They are dirty, they are dangerous but OMG they are plentiful and cheap. If anyone says “I will make sure we replace all fossil fuels with,” assume that someone who owns a wind, solar, or fuel cell company is a big backer, OR whoever said those words doesn’t understand something. That something is just how much we consume of fossil fuels every single day (natural gas counts also, don’t forget). It isn’t that we don’t want those energy sources, I know I do, but fossil fuels are just so darned efficient and we consume so much of them. The various alternatives are not going to reach the scale of fossil fuels as far as production anytime soon. My favorite one here is people that push electric only cars. That is fun…you do have to charge those cars and most electricity in the United States is generated with coal which burns dirtier than gasoline, so in reality, all you are doing is trading a dirty fossil fuel to charge your electric car, in place of a cleaner one I put in my car. But if it makes you feel good, enjoy…more power to you, that is one of the things that makes this country great. You are free to do as you choose, as am I. I would probably own a Tesla if I could afford one, but I can’t, so I drive a gasoline based car.
My new program will reduce overall government expense
I’m not even sure what to say when I hear this. Let’s think about it this way. This person running for office is going to start a NEW program that will SAVE us money. How? By spending more money? It is new, it is money we didn’t spend before. Will it shut down a different program or will this new thing just run around and collect fees and taxes from us we didn’t pay before it existed. I think we all know the answer to this. If you want to SAVE money you eliminate programs not start new ones.
I hope you have enjoyed my little rant and rave of this list. It is an election season, and while this is meant as humorous we should all take how we vote seriously. It is important to do so. We should give serious consideration into who runs this country. Please research who you are voting for, look beyond the party affiliation at the person. Elect only the best people to office, not ‘Us Versus Them.’
You can finding my writing here on DaTechGuy on Tuesday most weeks, or in one of several books on Amazon.com including the best-selling fiction novel Forest of Assassins, and the recently published eBook Laughing at a Military Enlistment, about the jokes various friends and I pulled on people when we were in the Army. It is amazingly juvenile humor but funny all the same.
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I know, I am just a silly enlisted veteran. I was discharged approaching 20 years ago now. However, I want to say something that needs to be said.
Placing troops on the southern border of the United States will NOT solve this problem, and it will cause us issues. Why? Why not just jump in with the masses and say, yes bring our troops back from wherever they are and put them down there.
First, the troops are tired. They have been deployed often and they are ready, and deserve, a break. If we were being invaded by a military force, and the drug cartels may qualify but that is a different discussion, then yes we should do that. But to stop the stream of civilians (although some are gang members) across the border is not what the troops are designed for. It is also not, and this is more important, it is NOT what they are trained for.
Second, the military has two purposes in its design. Their job is to kill people and break things, or support other troops who do just that. They do get used for humanitarian things from time to time, but they really shouldn’t. Do we want to kill all of the civilians coming across the border? I don’t think so considering how many kids are in this long line of people coming.
So what is the answer to the porous border problem?
Lots of people have chimed in on this problem.
I want to look at this differently. Why are they coming here?
Somewhere along the line someone breathed a word that amnesty was on the table as a potential immigration solution.
There is no doubt that we have had a broken system. My wife is a first generation legal immigrant and she has told me of her first hand awful experiences of going through the system legally. So yes, our system needs work.
We need an investigative reporter to ask some questions.
Why does the rumor of amnesty get you to this long line of humanity coming across the border?
Why are children (according to some news outlets) trying to jump on moving trains and, in some cases, getting hurt (some losing limbs) in the process?
What are they running from would be my first question?
What is life now like in their country of origin?
Have drug cartels really taken over so is the threat of deportation so bad they won’t try it?
That brings us to the next question. How do you close that border.
There is no fence, no number of guards, and no increase in border patrol that will cut it. There is a huge border.
The only way to do this…legislatively.
First we need to fix our messed up immigration system.
Second, we need to make the penalties for coming here so severe for both the immigrant and anyone employing that person here illegally that no one would dare cross those lines.
In conclusion, troops aren’t the answer. Legislative reform is. Ask your lawmaker to roll up their sleeves and do their job. Fix the system. Don’t deploy troops.
We can’t continue to use our troops for whatever the crisis of the day is.
They have a specific purpose and doing the job of our hard working border agents isn’t it.
Don’t deploy troops to the border. Get lawmakers to do their job. Let’s enforce the laws that are out there and if those laws are not what we want them to be, don’t ignore them, reform them.
In just over 5 years, the Obama administration has been saddled with the apparently unfounded accusations regarding corruption. These accusations include the IRS targeting of the Tea Party, the Veterans Administration wait lists, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Attorney General, and on and on and on.
In large part, the reason that the Republicans and the Obama team spend more time antagonizing than harmonizing, is because the very terms which are used makes each team defend that which the other attacks.
Republicans attack the Administration over the Fast and Furious, the IRS, the VA, the Obama team defends the very items which they had attached the Republicans for the previous eight years under the Bush administration.
Both groups are wrong. The Obama administration is neither a world of transparency nor of corruption, neither worse, nor better in those regards than the Bush administration. They are however, different.
The problem for the Obama White House is really only two things. If they were to correct those, they would actually become the administration they believe themselves to be.
First, the Obama team is simply less knowledgeable than is needed, about what goes on within the wide ranging bureaucratic feudal kingdoms of the Federal Agency soup which comprises Washington DC.
One could even make the claim, although I don’t, that the best real defense of the Administration is that they are incompetent.
I believe them when they say that they don’t know about the VA problems, even though it is clearly documented that they did (even to the point of them criticizing the Bush administration about it).
I believe them when they say that they didn’t know about Fast and Furious, even though the documents show that Attorney General Holder clearly did know.
I believe them when they say that they don’t believe the IRS scandal is real, even though it clearly is.
I believe them when they say, they didn’t really coverup on Benghazi even though they obviously did.
I believe them when they say that the BLM is actually managing the federal lands rather than managing an anti- human environmentalist agenda.
I believe them when they say that the EPA isn’t being pushed to declare carbon dioxide as a pollutant, even though every breathing person is therefore a polluter.
Of course, while I’m trying just as hard as I can to be a low information American, that isn’t the reason I believe them. It’s the second problem that the Obama team has that makes me really believe them about all of the above
I can see that the Obama team and their supporters believe in their hearts that all these things really are just about the critics being racist. For most people, when you think someone is a racist, just as with the LA Clipper’s Sterling, most people stop actually thinking and just react. So the Obama team screams “They are wrong” without even realizing they should have led the charge.
In one sense only, the Obama team is correct. Criticisms can come from people who are racists. The problem is that this makes the Obama Team them color blind to any objective facts. Overcoming that knee jerk reaction against any criticism because it may come from “a racist” doesn’t happen easily.
And if you think being incompetent is difficult, try being so suspect of others motives that you can never believe that they can differ in what they think and still be reasonable. It makes the perfect defense for any critique.
Changing that viewpoint is really America’s challenge much more than the Obama team. That they have infected us with that view is the real legacy of the first African American presidency. And that is really the saddest part about where we as a country have gone.
Instead of asking for the impossible, let the Obama team have a realistic goal, of opening their eyes about the real world of governmental bureaucracy, and the fact that they really do have the responsibility to actually be accountable for the second term.
“Maggie Haberman,” said King turning to a panelist, “that’s what strikes me, what democrats are saying privately in the wakes of the healthcare.gov problems, they see a president who doesn’t want to take command, doesn’t want to act fast. Raising the competence question. Some Democrats, who believe in government, [are saying] this White House doesn’t appear to have its hand on the lever.”
Mr. Hawkins: As you hold such strong views why don’t you stop talking and do something?
Richard Dudgeon:Me? I have no respect for any sort of law so what do I care what kinds enforced?
The Devil’s Disciple 1959
I went back to my room and thought to myself, “This has happened for the best. Everyone will soon see that he’s mad, and lock him up. And there are no other descendants of Augustus left now of an age to become Emperor, except Ganymede, and he’s not got the popularity or the necessary force of character. The Republic will be restored. Caligula’s father-in-law is the man for that. He has the most influence of any man in the Senate. I’ll back him up. If only we could get rid of Macro, and have a decent commander of the Guards in his place everything would be easy. The Guards are the greatest obstacle. They know very well that they’d never get bounties of fifty and a hundred gold pieces a man voted them by a Republican Senate. Yes, it was Sejanus’ idea of turning them into a sort of private army for my uncle Tiberius that gave monarchy its oriental absoluteness. We ought to break up the Camp and billet the men in private houses again as we used to do.”
But–would you believe it?–Caligula’s divinity was accepted by everyone without question.
Robert Graves I Claudius 1937
Lately I’ve seen a lot of stories commenting on the tactics of the left in this election cycle:
Obama said, taking a dig at Republicans who are “going through, you know, the stages of grief … anger and denial and all that stuff …”But a president who is viewed by most Americans as less than honest has no business crowing about a victory that remains anything but obvious. And he certainly should not heap insults on people who for four years have profoundly disagreed with him on the wisdom of Obamacare. To put this as “less than honest” is to be charitable.
Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that GOP positions on immigration were motivated by racism. She was followed by Representative Steve Israel, the head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who said, “To a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements animated by racism.” Even some leftists, such as Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, have rebuked the excess of these attacks. Referring to Democrats’ use of the “equal pay” issue to buttress claims that Republicans are waging “a war on women,” Marcus wrote, “The level of hyperbole — actually of demagoguery — that Democrats have engaged in here is revolting.”
Many commentators and politicians on the right are accusing the Administration of delaying the decision for political reasons, just as they did when a similar delay was announced prior to the 2012 Presidential Election. In all honesty, it’s hard not to see political motives behind this at this point. The relevant applications have been pending for several years, all the requested information has been provided, and everyone who has wanted to comment about the matter has had more than enough time to do so.
While all of this might to conservative seem so transparent that they are shocked that anyone would fail to see these moves for what they are, it really represents a cultural difference between the way the left and the right look at various issues:
Environmentalists welcomed the latest delay. “Mostly we think this helps us,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the environmental organization Sierra Club. “The only thing better than a pipeline that shouldn’t be built is to delay it for up to another year or more.”
The institutional left have always been happy to take small bites of a pie slowing chipping away at the foundations It’s the single’s hitter’s mentality, add up enough delays and you’ve pretty much does the same as kill any project
But there is something more basic, that’s driving all of this, and that difference is cultural.
The GOP has increasingly become the party of traditional American Judeo Christian values and these values are values of absolutes. Sin & virtue, truth and falsehood. While you will have some disagreements within as a rule you are talking about lines that exist for a reason and those lines determine if a candidate is acceptable or unacceptable as Marco Rubio discovered the hard way
Because this is a deep culturally based belief one would assume it was shared, so when on Gay Marriage Barack Obama flipped flopped and flipped again going from being in favor to being unequivocal opposed
JUNE 2011: “The president has never favored same-sex marriage. He is against it.” http://t.co/zuIQV2vt
Being a Roman Catholic I looked at the Black Church historically much as I saw the Catholic Church in Poland both as a religious institution and as a unifying force to support a people under oppression.
When freedom finally came for Poland the faith remained strong, I naturally assumed that the Black Church remained a strong and solid bastion of Christian belief.
Ah how quickly things changed, when the president was willing to abandon his pretense of opposition to Gay marriage the Black Church had a choice to make and given a choice of Gods, picked Barack Obama.
Why was I wrong, because I looked at this matter in terms of Judeo Christian culture, rather than the new culture of liberalism, where the morality is defined by ends and means.
Electing democrats is moral so any ends to that means is OK, so if you consider the flip-flop of a Charlie Crist:
Back in the day, when Crist was Republican, he was the ne plus ultra Republican, including on abortion. Now a Democratic candidate for governor, suddenly he’s the consummate “war on wimmenses” Democrat. In this interview, Crist tells an incredulous interviewer that even though he once insisted that he would sign a law outlawing abortion, he never, never, nevah told a woman what she could or could not do with her body.
Or a Wendy Davis:
Last year Wendy Davis despite her filibuster that made her famous proclaimed herself “pro-life”, Last week despite her previous attempt to restrict guns Wendy Davis proclaimed herself in favor of open carry, and now Abortion Barbie herself is willing to say: 20 wk Abortion ban? I could support that.
You can’t make the assumption that progressives will object
Many conservatives are confused when this kind of flop fails to hurt a democrat with their base but that’s looking at things with the eyes of traditional American culture and that’s simply not today’s left.
they don’t give a [insert your colorful metaphor here] what the heck Charlie Crist did in the past. They only care that he has a “D” after his name.
Moreover this kind of governance by political convenience has a proven track record from 2012, not just on gay marriage but on keystone
Three years ago, Obama understood that more Canadian oil, and less OPEC oil, was exactly what was in America’s national interest.
What changed, in the meantime, were the political fortunes of Obama himself. Everyone sees this for exactly what it is: cynical politics. Having failed to impress swing voters with his economic performance, the president has been forced to capitulate to the extreme environmentalist lobby so necessary, now, to fund and redeem his re-election bid
Until that time republicans will just have to deal with the inherent disadvantage of a base that unlike the left’s will not tolerate being spun.
Closing thought, there are in fact those who would suggest we adopt the left’s tactics & practice saying that anysuch spin for fun & profit is justified by the need to fight fire with fire rather than keeping our own house clean.
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Until recently I was recently a declared candidate (now thankfully back to private citizen) for the US Congress. It gave me a chance to discuss privately, candidate-to-candidate many topics with voters, party officials, and sitting politicians (from both parties) various topics that are facing our country today. I also dove into potential solutions to a variety of those topics with those same people.
Voters care about solutions.
Voters care about character.
Voters care about the future of the country.
The famous actor Matt Damon once said it perfectly in an interview with Playboy Magazine and I will now rephrase his statement.
Politicians don’t care about anything being different than it is today; they care about the next election cycle and their campaign funds.
In short, politicians care if your check clears. More importantly, the majority of them care about how to get more of your money through either taxes or campaign donations than they do about solving problems.
What makes me say this?
Several times, ok every time with one exception, when I sat with an elected official to discuss a solution to a problem the same thing would happen. They would listen, there would be a meeting, there would be a follow up and ultimately I would be told, we know that would solve it but we can’t do that.
Why would they not want a solution? Well, because solving a problem, especially doing so fast, would limit their ability to yell about that problem on the campaign trail. It would limit access to people who care about that problem and their campaign donations. They had much better ways (more politically correct) of phrasing the situation but this was the crux of their argument.
Solving a problem too quickly means they have nothing to argue against.
Who can run a campaign if you aren’t against something?
Well I thought we were about solving problems through the laws of the country put forth in the Constitutions (Federal and the various States).
Let’s look at one such problem.
There are a flux of questions surrounding the polarizing subject of same-sex marriage in this country. How is marriage defined? Is marriage a religious sacrament or is it a tax filing status? Is a civil union the same thing as a marriage? Should marriage be resolved by the federal government or handled at the state level? These are all important questions up for discussion.
But what if there was a different way to approach this issue?
My experiences as a professional scientist have taught me how to discover resolutions by focusing on the origins of a problem rather than implementing a “quick fix” solution. By understanding the fundamental issues at hand, we can work to find a more elegant and lasting solution to the problem.
After researching a variety of views and opinions on same-sex marriage, I decided to seek a voice on the matter. My aunt has been involved with the same women for nearly half a century, and I was curious to get her perspective. I asked her if there was difference whether or not the government recognized her commitment, and if so why? I had never thought twice about the government’s opinion on my marriage, so her insight was quite valuable.
Her response what quite blunt (and always with a smile), and she told me her reasons why it matters. The first and possibly most important reason was the defining of same-sex couples as second-class citizens. By adding provisions that a same-sex marriage is not equal to those of a different-sex marriage, a two-tier social system is created and is clearly in violation of basic human equality.
Her next example involved a state of emergency. There have been many cases where a spouse is unable to visit his/her significant other because of a hospital policy limiting visitation rights to immediate family members only. By current law, she wouldn’t meet the requirements of immediate family to her spouse. In case of an emergency she could only sit in the waiting room despite their substantial tenure together. AND if there was a decision to be made involving life support or treatment plans, my aunt would have no legal opinion on the matter. Ridiculous to think that you could spend your whole life with someone, and not be involved in these critical decisions.
The third issue is equally bad. When my father passed away, my mother inherited the estate without having to pay an inheritance tax. They were married. They spent a lifetime together building what they had, and that makes sense. Why is it, then, that if my aunt’s spouse passes away, my aunt won’t have that luxury? That makes no sense.
So how do we solve this problem? Some people say these marriages are not the same as my heterosexual marriage because their religion says so. I respect that opinion, but separation of church and state should preside over the matter. I think the answer become simple and obvious.
We get the federal (and state) governments out of the marriage definition business. On my federal (and state) tax form it asks if I am single, married, or head of household. Why is that? This should be simplified.
There should be two options: DEPENDENT and HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD.
Some questions arise.
What about deduction differences? Well, tax codes change all the time. Why not change this one to work as well. Rearrange the deductions for head of household with 3 dependents to be the same as married with 3 dependents. Perhaps we change the deductions from having a special category for married to an increased deduction for dependents. No muss, no fuss and we are done.
We also need to figure out what to do about inheritance taxes. Again, the answer presents itself, if you are part of that household; there are zero inheritance taxes. Couples who built a household together should not have to have that chopped in half when one member of the couple passes away.
What to do about hospitals? Well…we just passed a sweeping healthcare law that right now isn’t terribly popular, so let’s amend it to enforce this policy nationwide. Alternatively some new, simple, 1 page bill could be passed that says this must be allowed. Partnerships are partnerships after all.
I know through various advanced work involving legal documents for medical purposes much of this can be solved…But should we put American citizens through that trouble? I don’t think we should.
There is one other issue I would like to state as plainly as can be for the record. I do not want the government in this issue at all. That states, means, or otherwise implies, that the government can not force the various religions to marry someone. The religions must decide, the pastors, the ministers, priests, and justice of the peace, must decide for themselves what couples they feel comfortable marrying.
Why should this be allowed? Allow people to make up their own mind? Simply, that is they way it works now. We wouldn’t want, or even condone a Catholic Priest conducting a Jewish Wedding (offered merely as an example and I can name 10 more examples).
I discussed this topic with sitting politicians of both major political parties. No one could convey a country argument to the viability of this solution. Everyone agreed it would work and give both sides of the argument what they want, need or desire. I have spoken to voters of both extremes (Liberal and Conservative) and gotten largely the same response. So why is this not moving forward?
Simple, follow the money. How much money is raised by people on both sides of this topic. No solution will be seen without either extreme pressure or taking the money out of politics. My guess is, we won’t see this problem go away anytime soon.
Somewhere someone will be upset with me bringing up this topic as an example. There will be other posts in the near future involving other solutions I proposed on a variety of topics, and in some cases, far more bizarre statements from relatively famous (infamous?) politicians.
Timothy Imholt PhD
Physicist by training, Engineer by paycheck, fiction writer for fun, and co-author of the critically acclaimed Forest of Assassins available now on Amazon.
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Stop the Ride Want to Get Off – Partisan Politics are Making Me Sick!
by Gary Goldman
Is it just me or do you feel like you are on that never-ending Ferris wheel at the local amusement park? Around and around we go and where and when we stop nobody knows. Whether you are trying to manage your day-to-day activities, your household, or your business the degree of frustration caused by the actions of government leaders on a levels is overwhelming. Both political parties are guilty of coning the American people.
How can so many elected officials be so clueless? The uncertainty that is caused by their lack of courage to address the issues that are affecting us on a daily basis amounts to pure negligence. Every step that our political leaders take, every breath that they inhale, and every decision that they make is calculated on the basis of political gains and losses. Their constituents have become second nature.
We need to get away from this feeling that there is no solution to the problems that face this great country. We cannot continue to allow our political leaders to evaluate every issue based on partisan politics. Every time that it looks like a certain problem or issue is being resolved, our political leaders add some foolish resolution to a bill that derails the entire process. Many of the laws, and executive orders, that are being enacted today are stealing this country right from under our feet. We the people have allowed them this power by not fighting back.
No one ever assumed that either side would agree on all of the issues. Dialog and debate are honest and healthy ways to resolve our difference. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could stop identifying every issue as Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, and start evaluating issues based on the facts?
Issue based politics that would look at a proposed bill based on how it affects you and I as opposed to how it will advance ones political career. I know most of you are probably assuming that I have lost my mind and that this type of behavior can never be accomplished. That is exactly what our political leaders want you to think.
They want us to surrender our rights and powers over to them. They know what is best for us! Well I say the time has come to let them know that “We the People” are not going to take it anymore and their actions have to represent our wishes.
We cannot be afraid to lose, in the short-term, if we want to win in the long run. We have to stop doing the same things over and over that have gotten us into this predicament. Our votes do count and it is time for us to take America back to the people. Democrat, Republican, or Independent voters have to start doing what is right for the country as a whole.
Gary S. Goldman is the owner of Gary S. Goldman & Associates out of Shearborn Ma. providing business & management consulting services to business. His weekly radio program Business Politics & Lifestyle with Gary Goldman can be heard each Saturday at 9 AM EST on WCRN AM 830 Worcester MA.
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Perhaps no other phenomenon has perplexed the Republican political establishment as to why it is that in every Presidential election of recent memory that upwards of 90% or more of the Black vote always seems to go the Democratic aspirant for President.
For years the Grand Old Party (GOP) has wondered what it must do to increase its share of minority voting participation. There was one time in which the (GOP) was the natural home of the Black American voter.
Perhaps a historical analysis would be helpful at this juncture. Let us take a brief look at American during the midst of the Civil War.
The year was 1863 and President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the blacks living in the Confederacy from perpetual bondage and servitude. Blacks – or Negroes as they were referred to back them were elated and proclaimed that Lincoln was mightily used by “Divine Providence” to set them free.
Over the next few years, the Republican controlled congress would pass landmark legislation which included sweeping changes to our national character:
The Republican controlled 38th Congress that passed the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery; the Republican controlled Congress passed the14th Amendment that granted freedom to the former slaves; and the Republican Controlled 40th Congress passed the15th Amendment that conferred the voting franchise on Black Americans.
Furthermore, from the end of the Reconstruction Era of 1877 to 1932, Black Americans identified the (GOP) as the party of Liberty, Political Freedom, and Economic Growth.
What happened to change this political paradigm within the Black American community where they left the Republican party and defected to at that time the party of the Ku Klux Klan and States Rights? This writer suggests that the Black vote was lost to the (GOP) due to three watershed Presidential elections – each sixteen years apart – from a 32 year period from 1932 through 1964 ( Presidential elections in 1932, 1948, and 1964).
1932 – America was in the midst of the “Great Depression.” The incumbent President was the Republican Herbert Hoover. Mr. Hoover was bewildered over why the economic downturn which began on Black Tuesday in 1929 was so persistent. President Hoover offered America a “balanced-budget” and Governor Franklin Roosevelt of New York offered America an unbridled optimism later to become known as his New Deal. For the first time in history, many Black Americans abandoned the party of Lincoln and cast their votes in large numbers for a Democrat for President.
President Roosevelt created his “ Black Brain Trust” which was an early harbinger of a “Black presence” in a Cabinet position and he signed an Executive Order 8802 in 1941 which banned discrimination in the Defense Industry. The order also established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to enforce this new policy.
1948 – The incumbent President was Harry Truman. Many political observers thought that the 33rd President of The United States was in over his head. Mr. Truman did not possess the natural charisma of Mr. Roosevelt. However, President Truman did several things that forever endeared him to Black Americans:
1947 – President Truman became the first sitting president to ever address the convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); this was an unprecedented step by an occupant of the Oval Office;
1948 – President Truman signed an Executive Order desegregating the nation’s military. Again, in Ancient Rome, one of the quickest way for a person outside of the empire to gain citizenship and credibility was by serving in Rome’s legendary army. President Truman knew that as Whites and Blacks served together in the military that the walls of Jim Crow segregation would eventually come tumbling down;
1948 – President Truman signed another Executive Order outlawing discrimination within the Federal Government
These bold moves by the 33rd President of the United States enabled him to gather 80% of the Black “Negro” Vote on Election Day in November of 1948.
1964 – Sixteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson was running for the office of the Presidency against Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona. In the summer of 1964, President Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act which was one of the most sweeping pieces of “human rights” legislation passed anywhere by any government in history. The Civil Rights billed outlawed the remaining vestiges of “Jim Crow segregation” in both the North and the South and it prepared the way for Black Americans to fully participate in all aspects of American Political, Economic, and Social Life.
Unfortunately, while 80% of Republicans in both the Senate and the House voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Senator Goldwater opposed the bill on “Libertarian / Constitutional grounds.”
[This writer is a lifelong admirer of the late Senator and notes that Mr. Goldwater’s devotion to “Constitutional principles” was unassailable. However, while Senator Goldwater was “legally correct,” he was both “politically and morally” on the wrong side of this historic issue. In his native state of Arizona, Senator Goldwater worked tirelessly to desegregate the military and to integrate many of the institutions in his home state. Liberals often forget that Mr. Goldwater despised segregation, but his chief concern was the unwarranted accumulation of power by an overarching Federal Government (was he an early proponent of “Tea Party” convictions? Smile!).
On election night in 1964, President Johnson received 94% of the Black vote and the final nail in the coffin took place – Black American voters now solidly identified with the “Democratic party.”
If the GOP is to make inroads into both the Black and Latino constituencies, then there must be a carefully laid out and concerted long-term strategy – similar to the one carried out by the Democrats from 1932 through 1964 – that enables the GOP to stay true to its beliefs in “limited government,” but at the same time expressing to politically displaced minorities that the GOP – to quote former President Ronald Reagan – is a “big tent” that welcomes ALL PEOPLE who subscribe to the vision of our founding fathers in Free enterprise, Religious Liberty and Limited Government.
The 11th Doctor:Using a console without a proper shell. Whew. It’s not going to be safe.
Idris:This body has about eighteen minutes left to live. The universe we’re in will reach absolute zero in three hours. Safe is relative.
Doctor Who The Doctor’s Wife 2012
Yesterday we talked about how the IRS scandal is much more dangerous to the Administration, a scandal so easy to understand that even a low information Obama voter can get it.
Now that the scandal is getting worse and worse something has to be done, not only to keep the MSM from digging but to keep conservative blogs for digging.
Remember conservative bloggers likely know local tea party members who have dealt with the IRS. Each one of them is in a position to put actual faces to these people and these individual organizations.
While that stuff is unlikely to produce additional national stories directly, they have the potential to create local stories that would become more significant as the scandal grows.
If I’m in charge of the political operation of the White House, I need to change the subject and it doesn’t matter what I change the subject to.
And that’s where Benghazi can suddenly go from a liability, to an asset.
If I was the political man at the White House, I’d set up a faux whistle-blower and every time the Tax Story started to move I’d leak something on Benghazi, or Syria. I’d make sure it got itself to Breitbart and the right blogs to make sure the lower level bloggers pounced.
While the dam has broken on Benghazi, the right has been so hungry for this kind of hing any kind of new story, even if it is just spin on how people inside the White House feel, would create a feeding frenzy.
In fact leaks on “feelings” & “worries” would be the best thing. Such things are huge political stories so bloggers etc would really want to go all in, but they wouldn’t constitution anything that would hurt legally.
That’s why the President’s statement about Benghazi being a “Sideshow” and his emotion on it is important. The idea is to keep the story off the of the IRS side of the show. If they fail at this task, this administration is in danger.
Never let a crisis go to waste, even if it is one involving you.
Update: Cleaned up some grammar
Update 2: Two practical examples. Yesterday I got a call from the Lowell Sun asking for my input on the scandal. I’ve been on the air for 3 years and it’s the first time the paper called because of my knowledge of the tea party in Massachusetts.
The Internal Revenue Service’s admission that it deliberately targeted the non-profit applications of Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny was no surprise to Diane Belsom, whose small South Carolina organization has waited nearly three years for approval of its federal 501(c)4 status. The homeschooling mom says the unexplained delays and intrusive requests for additional information — apparently aimed at discouraging activists opposed to the Obama administration’s policies by wasting their time and money — were a common experience for those dealing with the IRS.
Here is the money quote:
“The crazy thing is, we’re a really small group,” Belsom told ViralRead in a telephone interview Tuesday, estimating average attendance at the Laurens County Tea Party’s monthly meetings at between 40 and 50 people.
“We don’t have a lot of money,” she said, describing what she called “insane” hassles from the IRS. “It’s just harassment. It’s not like they’re going to get a lot of money out of us.”
It’s only crazy if the goal was money.
I submit and suggest you can find this story repeated in every state of the union on the same scale.
By the way, does anyone remember what the Obama administration thinks about the effort to fight voter fraud? And now we have evidence that the IRS targeted groups that want to pursue more stringent processes to prevent voter fraud. What a coincidence this must be. How … convenient.
It’s only going to get worse.
After a strong Sunday Monday was a quiet time for DaTipJar but we start Tuesday more than half way toward this week’s paycheck.
Seven readers kicking in $20 each will mean that for two weeks in a row the paycheck is made early meaning days without needing to shake DaTipJar.
Lyndon Johnson’s loss had been due to a political fluke. He had been beaten not by his opponent’s friends but by his opponent’s foes. O’Daniel had won the Senate seat not because these men wanted hi to be Senator, but because they didn’t want him to be Governor.
The Years of Lyndon Johnson, the Path of Power Robert A. Caro 1982 pp 740
It’s not personal, it’s strictly Business
The Godfather 1972
There is one dynamic in the advance/non-advance Benghazi story that hasn’t gotten much play.
Yesterday Chuck Todd spent most of the daily rundown trying to undo the damage Morning Joe did by covering Benghazi as it actually is rather by painting it as one twenty years of attacks on Hillary Clinton.
On Twitter I was talking with Mike Hummell (who I really have to have on my show again sometime soon) and he tweeted the following
@datechguyblog The only reason #Benghazi is a still a story is to blame O and handicap Hillary. Otherwise, over with.
Forgetting the whole “not being prepared for an attack on the 9/11 anniversary or trying to save the Americans in danger” business That is an interesting point, but what Mike misses in his argument is who it actually applies to.
No doubt there are people who will take advantage of the situation politically but who is that political advantage of most value to?
What if you were, say a Democrat governor of a deep blue state who has presidential ambitions. You’ve backed the president time & time again making TV appearances, going to and hosting fundraisers and defended him and his administration even to the point of pushing his gun control agenda in your state despite a bit of a backlash.
And you realize that your reward is going for this loyalty is to be expected to stand aside for maybe 8 more years of Hillary Clinton or perhaps even Michelle Obama or both.
Now suddenly comes this Benghazi scandal. You looked the other way and supported the leftist chorus in attacking Mitt Romney before the election but now that it’s over there is no downside to you if this breaks wide open. You have no connection to the administration, as the Governor of a state you had no responsibility for any of these decisions. If the full truth comes out it won’t lay a glove on you.
So perhaps with the dramatic hearings fresh in memory you encourage friends in the media to cover the story rather than ignoring it and when it comes to a head maybe you go on one of those Sunday shows, deride the politics but insist that we owe it to the American People to let the truth come out.
It will sound so bipartisian.
I can see a certain Maryland Governor doing this, I can see a California Governor doing it too, or perhaps even one from New York whose family still feels robbed that some lascivious upstart from Arkansas was president instead of their patriarch.
It will be quiet it will be subtle but the moment will come and if those ambitions democrats see that moment coming and can quietly nudge it forward they will, particularly if they can do it without leaving fingerprints.
“The Empire grew quickly, nobody likes to have their planet blow up beneath them.”
DC Comics Presents 36 1981
I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse
The Godfather 1972
Yesterday Victor Davis Hanson wrote a bit about liberalism do as I say liberals, mentioning Hollywood
The public wonders why Hollywood is so liberal — is it the Bohemian culture surrounding the arts? The natural creative temperament of actors? The Lotus-land surf and sun of the southern-California beach milieu? Perhaps. But penance plays a role as well. For the overpaid and pampered Hollywood movie star, calling for raising taxes, banning guns, ending global warming, and legalizing gay marriage means never having to feel too bad about living on the beach and making, under our capitalist system, more money in a month than do many Americans in a lifetime.
His point is well taken but this is the carrot that he’s talking about, he is ignoring the stick.
It is the stick that makes all the difference.
It is the stick that says, if you don’t give lip service to the liberal cause you won’t get that first job.
It is the stick that says if you are publicly conservative you won’t be considered for that guest role.
It is the stick that says if you are out campaigning for conservatives you won’t get that series.
It is the stick that says if you aren’t pushing our causes will will not get the face time on the talk shows, you will not be sitting on the late night shows and you will not find yourself passed over in a million different ways.
The pattern is not unique to Hollywood. I’m sure many Democrat pols who were brought up good Catholics were asked kindly to be silent on their city councils and selectman positions on certain issues out of party loyalty, but when they decided they wanted to advance beyond that counsel seat or that selectman position they are shown the stick and if they don’t give in, they don’t advance.
Never forget while the carrot is a motivator it is the stick that really makes the difference.
Two years ago at my very first CPAC in Washington DC after interviewing a bunch of Republicans (which one might expect to meet at CPAC) I walked down to the McDonalds at the bottom of the hill for a cheap lunch and noted some transit workers. I decided to interview them and asked one “Why are you a Democrat” they turned it around and asked me why I was a Republican and I answered thus:
“What made me be a Republican was because of, well Catholicism. I’m anti-abortion, and when it came to abortion & gay marriage in my state of Massachusetts it came to be that if I agreed with my church, I’m a Catholic and I’m very Catholic and I’ve been all my life, that people were calling me a racist and a bigot for believing my beliefs and that, that was the final straw for me. ‘Cause I had been a democrat all my life and my mother the same way and I felt I wasn’t welcome.”
Well it took a few years but via Stacy McCain, it looks like some Christians in the Black Community have finally caught up with me.
My friends the Democrat party and their progressive coalition have become anti God, anti Bible, anti church anti family, anti marriage, and anti-life. They have turned their backs on Christians, it’s time for us to turn our backs on them.
By the standards of the Democrat party just about every president, every member of congress, and every governor who served in the 20th century and before is a racist, bigot homophobe.
I really think the party made this shift this year by design. If there was a white candidate at the top of the ticket it would not be all that hard for Black Pastors to rebel but with Barack Obama Black Americans on the spot between their loyalty to the first black president and their God.
This is what the democrat party has come to, If you had told me this would be the case in the 70’s or early 80’s I would have laughed at you.
You think that Democrats around the country are going to win — as I hear time and time again from people on the street.
Democratic fundraisers, activists, supporters, and even politicians alike have somehow collectively lapsed into the sentiment that the president is going to be reelected and that we have a good shot to take the House back while holding the Senate.
I ask: What are you smoking? What are you drinking? What are you snorting or just what in the hell are you thinking?
Now he doesn’t dare hit Obama’s policies and spends a good amount of time hitting Romney in his latest piece but he seeing what is right before his eyes. The left seems to be blissfully unaware of what is coming this fall aided by a media that kept up the illusion right up until the Jon Stewartrally fell flat on its face
I don’t know if it will take until the Monday before the election for Media Credibility Day to come. As Dan Collins notes and Captain Ed note Scott Walker might highlight reality a lot sooner than they think, but when it does it will be a storm and within a few weeks it will be gone and no results favorable to any Republican will mean anything to the media.