Lately I’ve been getting some inquiries concerning who I’m endorsing for president. One thing is for sure … it’s not going to be Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. You can bet your bottom dollar on that. I’d rather jam a spoon in my ear and drink battery acid before I’d ever vote for a socialist of any stripe.
Frankly, I’m skeptical of all the candidates, if not downright cynical. Sorry. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they’re all bad. But it does bring to mind a quote from one of America’s greatest generals, Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.:
“Politicians are the lowest form of life on earth. Liberal democrats are the lowest form of politician.”
There’s an old saying that I live by: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.“ I’ve talked to a number of people that I’m close to who feel they were literally betrayed after voting for the Republicans back in 2014. For the second time during Barack Obama’s administration the Democrats received a shellacking at the polls. The GOP took over the Senate and retained control of the House. They had been given a mandate: put a brake on the Obama administration … NOW!
And yet nothing changed—quite the contrary. Within a matter of days the congressional GOP leadership simply capitulated, giving everything the Obama administration wanted in the infamous CRominbus bill. The bloated bill funded all of Obama’s boondoggles for the next two years. The president got everything he wanted.
Campaign promises? … What campaign promises?
The disillusionment with the status quo Establishment has become palpable. So much so, that the word “traitors” and “betrayal” have been used to describe both the GOP Senate and House leadership by right-leaning individuals who decided to pull the lever for the Republicans in 2014, including myself.
But it’s not just Republican voters who are utterly fed up with the so-called Establishment. A sizable number of Democrat voters are throwing their support behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a self-avowed “democratic” socialist. According to several polls, a significant portion of left-leaning voters do not find Hillary Clinton trustworthy—or likable, for that matter. It looks to me like the grassroots on both sides of the spectrum are fed up. The natives (or “nativists,” if you prefer) are restless.
On the GOP side, presidential hopefuls like John Kasich, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have been trailing in the polls by a fairly wide margin behind “outsiders” like Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump throughout the GOP debates and primaries. Not surprisingly, this has sent the Establishment and their fellow travelers into a frenzied panic—if not a complete meltdown. I must admit, I rather enjoy watching it. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of folks, I say. But I digress.
The GOP presidential front-runners are now Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Of course, and it goes without saying, the real shocker in all of this is the rise of Donald Trump. And this is where things are really getting ugly, and nasty … very nasty. As a matter of fact, I don’t ever recall witnessing Republican and right-leaning voters go at each other’s throats with so much vitriol and invective the way they are now. The whole Cruz vs. Trump showdown is bringing out the fangs between both camps and their supporters. The insults and barbs that I’ve seen being hurled back and forth between Cruz and Trump supporters on various rags, blogs, social media, etc. is just off the charts. At times, it becomes so puerile and obnoxious that I’m just left shaking my head.
Granted, politics has always been a virtual and literal blood-sport. And, quite frankly, I think some people make way too big of deal over a little name-calling and trash talk. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, some people just take themselves way too damn seriously (paging NRO). That’s why we have to go to war on a fairly regular basis. This is nothing new, folks:
But I would’ve hoped that the brunt of right-wing rage would be aimed at the left-wing. So much for hope and change.
When it comes to the internet and social media, many hide behind anonymous accounts and say things that they would, more than likely, never dream of saying if they were face-to-face with their counterparts. I’ve often said that social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, message boards, comment sections, etc. are a classic case study in passive-aggressive behavior.
For quite some time, one of my biggest criticisms of people on my side of the political spectrum has been that they are often wont to form up in a circular firing squad and annihilate each other, while leaving their political opponents unscathed. Well, here we go again.
Conversely, when I look at my political opponents on the opposite of the political spectrum, I often observe them seemingly accepting any sort of behavior among their own, either good or bad. Just as long as they vote Democrat, they’re in like Flynn. The dems never, or rarely, call out their own. They march lockstep in unison. I’ve often said that Obama could murder puppies on live television, and his votaries would say, “While somewhat problematic, he was just having a bad day.”
If I were to describe my politics, I would say I’m a “bottoms-up” guy, not a top-down guy. In our form of government, the people are the sovereign, and our elected officials serve the people, not the other way around. I believe that all politics are local. Voters vote with their feet. My position has always been that I firmly stand on the U.S. Constitution. I describe myself as a “strict constitutionalist.” Some might call me an “original constructionist”—meaning, if it is not in the Constitution, then it is an express prohibition against it. This is the whole concept behind enumerated powers (cf. “negative liberties”).
I do not subscribe to the leftist notion the Constitution is some sort of “living, breathing document,” whose meaning and intent can be changed and reinterpreted whenever it might feel expedient to do so. The Constitution is the foundation on which our republic is built. Like a house whose foundation is built on rock—immovable and solid—our republic must be built upon firm bedrock as well. And a “living, breathing” constitution is like a house with a weak and shifting foundation built on sand. Here today, gone tomorrow.
“What, then, is the Constitution? I will tell you. It is no vague, indefinite, floating, unsubstantial, ideal something, colored according to any man’s fancy, now a weasel, now a whale, and now nothing…. The American Constitution is a written instrument full and complete in itself. No Court in America, no Congress, no President, can add a single word thereto, or take a single word therefrom. It is a great national enactment done by the people, and can only be altered, amended, or added to by the people.”
—Frederick Douglass, Glasgow, Scotland, March 26, 1860
The U.S. Constitution is constrained by enumerated (listed) powers, sometimes referred to as “negative liberties.” What does “negative liberties,” as opposed to “positive liberties,” mean? Well, if I understand it correctly, and I’m surely no constitutional scholar, I can best describe it by using a parable.
Let’s say I took my car to the shop and asked the mechanic to replace my brake pads. Upon my return, I discover that my car has been given a brand new paint job, the interior has been replaced with plush Corinthian leather, and a high-end stereo system has been installed. Incredulous, I ask my mechanic, “What the hell gave you the idea that you could repaint my car, replace the interior, and install an expensive stereo system?”
Nonchalantly, the mechanic replies, “You didn’t say I couldn’t do it.”
The whole “you didn’t say I couldn’t do it” mindset now infests the thinking of the executive, legislature and judiciary at the federal and state level. There is a belief among lawmakers, judges and executives that government can do whatever it wants. And yet these same elected officials, who are employed at the behest of the American people, swear an oath to defend, protect and preserve the U.S. Constitution.
Our constitutional republic was founded upon the unalienable rights of the individual. This is why the Framers decided our form of government would be a representative republic, not a pure, direct democracy based upon the notion of “universal equality” and majority rule. The Framers intent was not only to protect the rights of the majority, but the rights of the minority as well. While pure democracy can work on a small scale, it does not work on large scale (see Federalist #10, #14 and #48).
And that brings me to our Bill of Rights—specifically, the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution. The unalienable rights outlined in the Bill of Rights are non-negotiable; they are not open for debate. That debate was settled, in 1789, when the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The First Amendment begins with these words: “Congress shall make no law.” Whether it is respecting the establishment of a state-sanctioned religion (cf. Islamic Sharia Law), or infringing on the free exercise of religion, or abridging free speech, or the right of a free press, or the right of the people to peacefully assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances, or the right of the people to bear arms (being necessary for the security of a free state), or the right to private property, or the right to privacy, or the right against unreasonable search and seizure, or the right of due process, or the right against cruel and unusual punishment, or the right to a speedy trial by jury of our peers, or the right of constraining the federal government from disparaging or denying the rights of the people, or the rights not granted to federal government listed (i.e. enumerated) in the Constitution are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people—CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW!
These rights are unalienable; they are inviolate. They were not granted by human beings, but rather by our Creator. You were born with them. And note: the Declaration does not say that our rights are granted by Allah, or Jesus, or Yahweh, or Buddha, or whatever. It clearly states by our Creator. So, if you’re an atheist or agnostic, then your rights are granted by nature. But they are natural rights that no person can grant or take away.
Period. End of story. Get over it.
Unfortunately, the federal government has been increasingly infringing, disparaging and eroding the Bill of Rights for many years. It is a slow and steady chip, chip, chipping away. We have elected representatives of the people who no longer seem to understand or respect this very plain and stern warning: CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW!
I’m not hearing too many Republicans these days, especially the Establishment types, talk about their commitment to defend, protect and preserve our Constitution. Frankly, I haven’t really heard a major GOP figure defend First Principles since the days of Ronald Reagan. I find that astonishing, and really sad.
Additionally, I’ve discovered over the past several years that a disturbing majority of Americans, including our elected officials, don’t seem to have a clue about constitutional matters. At one time, in America, it would be hard to find an American that wasn’t well-versed in the Constitution. But that was a long, long time ago … and that’s really, really sad. Of course, we’ve been raising an entire generation to hate their country. Besides, the Founders were just a bunch of racist tyrants, right? Not to mention “stupid old white men” (channeling Whoopi Goldberg).
You know, you can say a lot things about the (trigger warning: oppressive patriarchal cisgender reference follows) Founding Fathers, but “stupid” wouldn’t be one of them. Anyone who has ever read their writings can attest to that. But you have to read their works to know that. When I hear someone state the Founders were “stupid,” I know I’m listening to a really, really stupid person—not to mention (trigger warning: offensive cisgender sarcasm follows) misandrist.
And just to digress for a moment, while we’re on the whole subject of “far-right” and “extremism.” Isn’t it puzzling how a guy like me who believes in limited government, free enterprise, the unalienable rights of the individual, family, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is labeled as being “far-right”? And yet the same people, particularly leftists, claim that Nazis and fascists are “far-right” or “extreme right-wing.”
Huh. Weird. I mean, I realize that, in theory, fascism and socialism differ. But, in practice, there really isn’t a plug nickel’s worth of difference between the two. Think about it. If I were to ask your run-of-the-mill “progressive” whether or not they thought nationalizing education, banking, police, healthcare, imposing gun control, requiring national IDs, implementing euthanasia, und so weiter, was a good idea they probably would answer with an enthusiastic “YES!” Well, that’s exactly what Adolf Hitler did in Nazi Germany: he nationalized damn near everything. So, tell me again how my political beliefs are considering “far-right” or “extreme rightwing”? I mean, which is it? I don’t think my Granddad fought the Nazis so he could come back so you can call me a Nazi for being like my Granddad. But I digress.
Let’s move on to the subject of the oft-repeated pejorative these days—The Establishment. Well, I don’t think it is that hard to define. It’s all the old fossils in government who have become part of the woodwork for so long that they seem to feel they are entitled to rule over the American people, ad infinitum. The term could also be used to describe those who belong to American political dynasties like the Bushes and the Clintons. And as far as the Establishment types within the GOP are concerned, you can read my article which covers that subject matter in greater detail here. And don’t let the title fool you.
One of the things I’ve been noticing about the rancor on the right concerning Trump vs. Cruz is that there is a certain cabal of conservative pundits, media personalities and Republican party operatives, et al., that have anointed themselves as the sole arbiters and gatekeepers of all things “conservative.” They have decided (at least in their swollen heads) they alone can determine who, and who is not, a “true conservative.” The problem with this sort of “purity test” is: Just what do we mean by the term “conservative”? As is often the case, one man’s conservative is another man’s RINO (Republican in Name Only), and vice versa.
So just what is a conservative? How do we define it? Some call my political beliefs “conservative”—meaning: limited government, rule of law, freedom of association, fiscal responsibility, individual rights, maintaining national sovereignty, freedom (with responsibility), strong defense, family, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, etc. Others call my views “far-right.” Progressives, et ilk, call it “fascism” and “extremism.”
But Jeb Bush calls himself a “conservative,” too. And, to be fair, I have no doubt that Jeb Bush may support a number of these principles I hold dear. Yet Jeb! also supports big government initiatives like Common Core national education standards, open borders, FDR-style welfare programs, the United Nations, globalist initiatives, etc. So this is where the whole definition of “conservative” becomes “problematic” to me … to steal the social justice warrior’s (SJWs) favorite word.
I do not support big government, because I believe strongly big government is the problem. Undoubtedly, this makes me a fascist. But we already covered that. And remember, if you believe as I do, you’re also a xenophobe, racist, nativist, homophobe, Islamophobe, ad nauseum. So check your privilege.
Moving on …
I’m not so easily placed in a nice, neat, little conservative box. I don’t think anybody is. (trigger warning: mansplaing follows) We are all unique individuals; which is problematic, considering we need to “crush the cult of individualism” (Ivy League approved) … or something. But I digress.
Do I find myself agreeing with conservative principles and policies more often than not? Yes, but not always. I also have a lot of libertarian leanings, especially when it comes to economics. But I have issues with libertarians concerning their stand on law enforcement and the military, among other things.
There are times when I don’t fit into either the conservative or the libertarian slot. And I, for one, will not submit to being required to put on a strait jacket of uniform opinion. The first time I ever heard the phrase “political correctness” I about came out of my chair. I thought to myself, “Americans do not tow some party line!” To steal a phrase from Barack Obama Incorporated: “It’s not who we are.”
OMG! He’s an independent thinker! GUARDS! SEIZE HIM !!!!
This brings me back to the “purity test.” Listen, we all have feet made of clay. At the risk of sounding preachy, none of us are right all of the time. Nor is there anyone who is wrong all of the time. Although it may seem that there are some who are. But the maxim still stands. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.
(Note: For some reason I felt the need to write all that. Sorry.)
If I were to gather together ten of my most politically like-minded friends and ask them, “How do we best govern this nation?” I guarantee you, without any shadow of a doubt, there will be disagreements—possibly profound disagreements. So how much more difficult is it, then, when we gather together people from all over the nation with very different political views, including diametrically opposed views, and attempt to govern this nation for the good of all? Well, it’s called “Congress” (hence the incredibly low favorability ratings).
This is the point where both sides have to make compromises. It is what it is. But I want to be clear. There are some principles unique to Americanism that cannot be compromised (e.g. the Bill of Rights). For example, I believe strongly in fiscal responsibility and limiting the size of government. Sadly, there are those who are adamantly opposed to any limiting of government power. Quite the opposite, they want to increase the power of the state. And these individuals will fight tooth, fang and nail to prevent any limiting of federal powers … the state will provide all of our emotional, spiritual and physical needs (cf. matriarchy, patriarchy, motherland, fatherland).
I don’t often use football analogies. (But when I do, I blame climate change.) Regardless how you may feel about Tom Brady and the New England Patriots football team, they have a long history as a formidable and winning team. I was watching the Patriots one Sunday a few years back. And I was particularly impressed how Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense were able to keep up their forward momentum. Even when they lost yards, they quickly gained them back. Brady and the boys steadily marched down the field a few yards at a time. There was a few times Brady managed to connect with one of his receivers for a significant gain in yardage. But, for the most part, he just kept progressively pushing the line forward, a few yards at a time, consistently converting third and fourth downs into first downs. It didn’t take long before they were in the end-zone for a touchdown. It was machine-like.
And here’s my point: If I could have my way, I would repeal the Sixteenth Amendment (income tax), repeal the Seventeenth Amendment (popular election of senators), dump our debt-based monetary system, abolish the Federal Reserve (i.e. central bank), return to sound banking, pay off the debt, balance the budget, eliminate numerous government departments and agencies (e.g. Dept. of Education, EPA, TSA, etc.), drastically reduce spending, and so on. The problem is: just getting any one of these initiatives (repealing the progressive income tax, for example) would require overcoming huge hurdles and massive resistance by hostile forces vehemently opposed to such measures. Who knows, they might even try and kill me.
So, once again, I’m back to the football analogy. You just have to start moving the ball forward a few yards at a time. You could call it gradualism, or incrementalism, or even progressivism (see what I did there! WINK!). And if you lose a few yards, go for a short pop over the middle for a first down. You can’t throw a “Hail Mary” every time, unless you like losing big time all the time. It’s progress, not perfection. But steady progress can get you to the end-zone. It’s also called being realistic … and practical. Besides, it’s delicious too.
I get so damned sick and tired of hearing politicians promise us the moon and the stars. Don’t you? I don’t care what side of the aisle they’re from, either. I am utterly fed up listening to said individuals tell us whatever they think we want to hear, and then doing the complete opposite of what they promised once they are firmly ensconced in power. And I know for a fact that there many, many people who feel just like I do right now. How do I know that? Because I’m special. But I digress. It’s one of the main reasons I believe we are seeing the intense backlash against the Establishment. And the backlash is occurring on both sides of the political spectrum. That’s a good thing … a very good thing, in my opinion.
Before I start to take a deeper at the battle royale between Sen. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, I still feel the need to explore this whole issue of bad behavior that is coming from certain Trump and Cruz supporters a little further. I’ve read and heard comments from some Trump cheerleaders that people who are endorsing Cruz are just a bunch of “Cruzbots”—mindless morons who are supporting a phony, fraud and liar, etc. Conversely, I’ve read and heard plenty of comments from some Cruz cheerleaders that Trump supporters are just braindead maggots who are not “true conservatives” and need to be driven into the sea and dispensed with.
Well, welcome to politics.
When some of these motor-mouths are confronted over some of their more noxious accusations and vituperation, it is not uncommon to hear the retort: “Can I not express my opinion?” Yeah … okay. Expressing your opinion is one thing. Acting like a pompous ass and obnoxious jerk is another. And remember, I’m talking about people on my side of the political spectrum tearing each other’s ever-loving throats out. Of course, I’m not talking about all Trump or Cruz supporters. Let me be clear perfectly. (See, I can be presidential, too.) But I am talking about both Cruz and Trump supporters. Nobody is getting out of this unscathed.
As I see it, this sort of scurrility I’m witnessing right now between the two camps could possibly have long-term deleterious effects moving forward. I’m talking about long-lasting resentments, here. Who knows. It’s not there is a difference of opinion; it’s how that opinion is being expressed. And you have to ask yourself, to whose benefit? I have friends and family who are endorsing Donald Trump. I also have friends and family who are endorsing Ted Cruz. Should I tear their throats out? How about their lungs, Jim? (R.I.P. Warren Zevon.)
For example, fellow Council member Tom White at Virginia Right! came out in support of Donald Trump a little while back. Tom has written several articles clearly articulating his reasons on why he is endorsing Trump. Now, if anybody out there wants to resort to objurgating Tom’s bona fides as a “true conservative,” I will tell them, in no uncertain terms, Tom has been very active in Virginia GOP politics, from what I understand. Much more so than many of those who are hurling their imprecations aimed at all Trump supporters. He worked hard in getting RINO Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) unseated. TEA Party candidate David Brat took over Cantor’s chair. This was a major coup that sent shockwaves throughout the Establishment. (How cool is that?)
Once again … yes, people have a right to their opinion. They have a right to disagree with Tom, et al. I fully understand that. But doing so with mocking and derisive opprobrium is not only unproductive, it’s utterly self-destructive, in my opinion. Remember, we’re talking about our own, here. And, yes, I realize the mockery and scoffery is spewing forth from both sides.
It really makes me wonder, at times, if there are any grownups left in the room.
But, thankfully, there are a few adults left. For example, author and political researcher Trevor Loudon has, for a while now, firmly placed his support behind Sen. Ted Cruz. Loudon believes Sen. Ted Cruz is the best choice for the Republican presidential nominee because of Cruz’s strong support for the U.S. Constitution. Obviously, that is an important factor for me in a presidential candidate, as well. While Trevor and I are not close personal friends, I do consider him a good friend. I had a chance to sit down with Trevor when he visited Indianapolis in February 2013. I got to talk to him for well-over an hour. Additionally, we’ve been emailing each other for years. And some of my articles are posted at TrevorLoudon.com from time to time. I visit Trevor’s website on an almost daily basis. And I’m good friends with his webmaster, fellow Council member Terresa Monroe-Hamilton, who is also supporting Ted Cruz. I love Terresa and Trevor. They are wonderful people. And I’m proud to know them. And I respect their opinion.
Contrarily, Diana West, author of The Death of the Grownup (apropos at this juncture, no?) and American Betrayal, endorses Donald Trump. Diana is a very talented and thoughtful writer, and a meticulous researcher. I had the distinct pleasure of receiving an email from Diana a little while back praising me for an article I wrote. And I do occasionally communicate with Diana via email. We follow each other on Twitter, too. I visit her blog on an almost daily basis. So I would consider her a friend as well.
Now, I know for a fact that both Diana and Trevor both have a great deal of mutual respect for each other. But it just so happens that Diana and Trevor happen to have a difference of opinion over the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. In my opinion, they both give cogent reasons why they believe the way they do. But I can just about damn well guarantee you that neither one will be taking to their blogs, nor the airwaves, to lambaste, defame and castigate each other over their difference of opinion on the Cruz vs. Trump cage match. Of course, I can’t speak for anybody. But I’m willing to bet on it.
Another example of a split in opinion between people who have very similar conservative political views, yet are on opposite sides of the Cruz-Trump debate, are syndicated talk show host Dana Loesch and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit fame. It’s pretty obvious, at least to me, Jim Hoft has come down in support of Donald Trump, judging by the regular pro-Trump posts at his blog; while Dana is firmly in favor of Sen. Ted Cruz. I know for a fact that Jim Hoft and Dana Loesch are friends. She’s said as much on her radio show—not to mention the fact that Jim has been a frequent guest on her show. I would be surprised to see these two engaging in ad hominem attacks on each other over the Cruz vs Trump issue. Of course, you never know. But it would surprise me if they did.
Before I get into trying to separate fact from fiction (as if I can really do that) concerning Trump vs. Cruz, I’d like to briefly explore the issue of flip-flopping. There are several questions I ask myself when a person changes their mind on a previously deeply held belief or position. How and why have they changed their mind? What was the impetus? Did they discover new evidence or facts they were previously unaware of that changed their views? Certainly, in my own life, I have changed my mind on some formerly deep-held positions. When I examine what it was that made me reexamine and reject a previously deeply held belief, it usually is because somebody or something presented a solid and convincing case that was backed up with facts and irrefutable evidence. I just couldn’t ignore it. I was swayed. Some might even say, “I evolved.”
Another question I ask myself when someone “evolves” is: When did this “evolving” occur? Was it for the sake of expediency? For example, a guy who previously hated country music suddenly says he loves country music. Then you discover his current love interest is a woman who loves country music. I might be a little suspect regarding his “true conversion” at that point. If our fictional new country music lover doesn’t carry his love of country music forward, despite the fact that he broke it off with his country music-loving girlfriend, then I’m going to come to the conclusion that his “evolving” was just a ruse “to get the girl.” But that’s just me.
So let’s try and see if we can increase the signal-to-noise ratio in hopes of gaining a clearer picture of where Ted Cruz and Donald Trump actually stand on the issues. Okay, I’m just kidding. It only gets murkier from here.
Below you’ll find two videos. The first vid is an anti-Trump production taking him to task for his flip-flops over the years. The second video is an anti-Cruz video featuring his shifting positions over time.
Did any of that help? I didn’t think so.
One of the more eye-opening pieces penned by Diana West is an abecedary of quotes (read here) from a number of “conservative pundits” that reveals a rather stunning degree of vileness and invective against Donald Trump, and anyone who supports him. I must admit, there is a great deal of hypocrisy revealed in the quotes she included in her piece; considering that many of those she quoted have bitterly complained about Donald Trump’s “vulgarity” and “banality,” while jumping head first into Vulgarville themselves to express their umbrage about Trump’s “coarse” and “blunt” behavior. It’s a definitely a “pot meet kettle” exposé.
Of course, it goes without saying, that it is not only Trump and his supporters who are on the receiving end of aggressive and unhinged attacks (more here) from shadowy psyop terrorists.
Some of the most vociferous voices against Donald Trump, as of late, have themselves switched from their previous positions on Trump. Case in point, Glenn Beck:
Glenn Beck is singing a much different tune now. Back in December, Beck compared Donald Trump to the notorious, Chicago-born Marxist Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals and Reveille for Radicals—a hero of progressives and American Marxists, and Chris Matthews. Alinsky is sometimes been referred to as the “godfather of community organizing.” So, naturally, Barry just love him some Saul. Darnit. I just keep digressing. (I blame society … of course, I could blame da Jooooooos!)
Beck apparently believes Trump is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. There have been unsubstantiated reports Bill Clinton encouraged Donald Trump to get more involved in Republican politics. If true, that is certainly a YUUUGE! red flag. But, once again, these reports are unverified.
Glenn Beck also really rubbed some people the wrong way when he insinuated that if you’re a TEA Partier who backs Trump, then maybe you really were against Obama merely because of the color of his skin. In short: you’re a racist.
Beck, meet shark. Now … JUMP!
There was quite a dust-up over accusations Ted Cruz was playing “dirty tricks” during the Iowa primary when his campaign staff sent an email on caucus night reporting prematurely, to Iowa precinct captains that Ben Carson was dropping out of the race. Carson’s crew was encourage to throw their support over to Ted Cruz. Ben Carson was reportedly furious. It was CNN who allegedly first reported Carson was dropping out. Ted Cruz has since apologized for the confusion, pointing out that his campaign was going off the initial CNN report.
Renee Nal has but together a detailed timeline (read here) on the Ben Carson incident during the Iowa primary in defense of Ted Cruz. Conversely, Diana West has also put together a timeline on the same incident that takes a different tack (read here).
One question I have about the Carson story is: Why didn’t the Cruz camp just contact the Carson camp to confirm, instead of relying on the CNN report? I think that’s a valid question. And it does not, by any means, let CNN off the hook, either. We live in an age of deception and advocacy journalism. It’s not just the Information Age; it’s also the Disinformation Age.
Diana West has written several pieces looking at some of Ted Cruz’s shifting positions on various issues, including the whole controversy surrounding Ted Cruz’s “natural-born citizenship” issue. Naturally, there are contrary views concerning Cruz’s eligibility at (read more here).
Renee Nal has also written an article (read here) that tries to separate fact from fiction concerning some of the myths, misinformation and disinformation making the rounds about Ted Cruz. It’s a lengthy article. But it’s actually a pretty quick read. I recommend it, whether you’re pro-Cruz or not. You might learn something.
Now for some deep thoughts, by Brent Handy.
A personal observation I’ve made over the years when I look at the American political landscape is the rather profound differences in personality types that occupy the right and left-side of the political spectrum. What I mean is that I’ve come to the conclusion that people are often attracted to either the right-side or the left-side of the political spectrum based on their personality type. When I say “personality type,” I’m referring to the psychological definition of “personality type.” This is why I have started to loathe the whole notion of the right-left paradigm. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, there really isn’t a right or left; there is only an up or down. We are either moving toward tyranny, or moving toward freedom. (That’s heavy, I know.)
Some personality types have different communication styles. For example, some people respond better to feelings and emotions. Other personality types simply want facts and figures, sans all the emotion. It’s not that either personality is wrong; it’s just that they are different. This can, at times, result in people of different personality types talking right past each other. There are advantages and disadvantages to each personality type. I have long believed that the more emotional and social (i.e. communal) types are attracted to the left-side of the political spectrum, while the more matter-of-fact and independent types are attracted to the right-side. The point is: we need both types. It is not that either type is wrong per se, just different.
One thing I’ve noticed about a significant portion of the people who occupy my side of the political spectrum is that some of them can be very rigid in their thinking, in my opinion–an all-or-nothing mentality. I will either get everything I want, or I will pick up my toys and stomp off.
I’ll give an example. An “Evangelical” was being questioned on Fox News on why he was not voting for Ted Cruz. His response was rather enlightening. As an Evangelical, he stated that they had a set of rules, and Cruz wasn’t following the rules.
What rule did Cruz break? Ted Cruz didn’t tithe, or at least didn’t tithe enough, according to “the rules.” I thought to myself, “Here we go again … the purity test.” Cruz wasn’t following “the rules.” The irony in all of this is that Ted Cruz has positioned himself as the defender of Evangelicals, yet a number of Evangelical voters have thrown their support behind Donald Trump.
How can this be?
Trump has not broken “the rules,” in my opinion, since he never positioned himself as the defender of Evangelicals in the first place. I’m not saying Trump is “anti-Evangelical,” at least as far as I know. But perhaps the Evangelicals see Trump as being brutally honest, even though it may not comport with all of their beliefs. But since Cruz has positioned himself as a strong defender of Evangelical values, but doesn’t tithe, they see him as disingenuous. Remember, he “broke the rules.” He failed “the purity test.”
Reports following the last presidential election claimed some four million Republicans voters did not vote—mostly Evangelicals. And here’s the typical answer I’ve often received when I’ve asked Evangelicals and Republicans who did not vote in the 2008 presidential elections:
“I’m not voting the lesser of two evils. I stood for principle.”
You know, I’m all about standing for principle. Principles over personalities, I always say. But I’m also practical, a realist. (Trigger warning: more oppressive mansplaining follows) We don’t always get everything we want. I was not happy, at all, when Mitt Romney was foisted up us as the Republican nominee for president. As matter of fact, I predicted if Romney was the GOP nominee, the repubs would lose. And they did. But I can damn well tell you I’d take a Mitt Romney over a Barack Obama any day. Sometimes in life we are confronted with only bad choices. And we have to make a decision between the least bad choice. (I know what some of you are thinking … and I’ll get to that.)
There was a guy a while back who had his arm hopelessly pinned by a rock while hiking in a canyon. He was confronted by two grim choices: 1) he could sever his own arm with a pocket knife; 2) he could wait to die slowly by exposure. He chose to cut his arm off … yet he lived, albeit minus a limb.
What good is this notion of “I followed principle” when everything around you is being systematically destroyed because you decided not to vote, literally handing the election to Barack H. Obama? Can you help me out with that, homeslice? Granted, I’m sure Mitt Romney would have done some things as president I wouldn’t have liked. But it was the least bad choice. By not voting, you assured that the worst choice would become reality. There’s that rigidity again. It’s all or nothing. Romney didn’t pass “the purity test.” So you picked up your toys and stomped off. But you “stood for principle.”
In conclusion, the purpose of writing this article was not to tell people how to vote. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure what the purpose of this article was … OH YEAH! Anyway, it’s up to the voters to decide who they will vote for. But I did want to provide some sources and information from people I respect, but who differ in their opinion on who they they prefer as the GOP presidential nominee. I wanted to provide both sides, both pro and con. I wanted to provide opinions from people who are level-headed and civil, despite disagreements.
Can’t we all just get along?
If the self-anointed gatekeepers of all things conservative believe being obnoxious and overbearing is going to win people over to their side, they can have at it. They can let us know how that works out for them. As for me, whoever ends up being the Republican nominee for president, that’s the person I’ll be voting for. Period. Why? Because I have no choice. Doesn’t mean I’ll necessarily like it. But it is what it is. And maybe the point here is that if we, as Americans, are fed up with the direction this country is going, and the people we keep electing into office, perhaps we should all take a long look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “What’s my part in all of this?”
Back out quiet.