Jan 282016

The 2016 Iowa Caucus looms six days from now, and Rick Santorum rests firmly in last place according to most polls. Yet, I am willing to make a bold prediction, not just about the outcome in Iowa, but the consequences afterwards. See if you agree.

When the results are in, Rick Santorum will finish in a close third or fourth with Marco Rubio, gaining about 10-15% of the vote. How do I reach these numbers? It goes like this:

  • Trump and Cruz will split about 50% of the vote, with Trump likely getting the majority, but just barely. In other words, about 25% each.
  • Marco Rubio will pull in about 12% of the vote.
  • Carson/Huckabee/Fiorina will combine for 10%, probably finishing in that order.
  • Bush/Kaisich/Christie will combine for 8%, again probably in that order.
  • Paul/Gilmore will garner 5%. Probably Paul will get all 5%, which might put him in the top 5 finishers.
  • 50+12+10+8+5 = 85. That leaves 15% for Rick Santorum, placing him in third.

How will this happen? First, as many as 2 out of every 5 caucus goers have yet to decide on a candidate. If they all broke for Santorum, he would finish first rather than fourth. Actually, he would only need about a third of those undecideds to get to 15 percent. Then there will be those caucus goers convinced to change their votes to Rick Santorum during the caucus.

What happens when Santorum finishes third in Iowa? Don’t expect the media to admit the poll based criteria for positioning in the debates was flawed. In fact, expect any change in the criteria for future 2016 debates to penalize Santorum as much as possible. Why?

A third (or fourth) place finish for Santorum will prove his message resonates with voters when they have a chance to hear it. So does his authenticity. Don’t expect Washington insiders, the mainstream media, the donor class, the Republican establishment or any other elite group wanting to hold on to power to give him money or a microphone. They learned better in the 1990s and early 2000s when he was in Congress. This nation’s elites do not want Santorum to get his message out any more than they did Ronald Reagan. Every attempt will be made to shut him out and limit voters to the acceptable choices.

If the voters of Iowa and across America want a president who has fought and won battles to protect the unborn, families, working men and women, our borders and our shores, our religious liberty and our Constitution, Rick Santorum stands alone in this field. Unless we go out on a limb and join him.

Jan 252016

After months of campaigning, Donald Trump still leads the pack among Republican presidential candidates. Pundits and reporters have offered sage and sagacious analysis on why this billionaire business man dominates a field of strong and experienced political leaders. With the final debate before the 2016 Iowa caucus looming this week, and the actual caucus one week away, it seems time to offer a few observations on Donald Trump.

1. He knows how to sell his brand

Trump succeeds because he knows how to sell. He knows his audience, he believes in what he is selling, and he stands ready to meet any objection. If you have ever encountered a master salesman doing a hard sell, after a while you run out of reasons to say no. He counters every reason you give not to buy or to buy from someone else. Unless you step back and take a look at the big picture – like is this something you really need or want – you end up buying from him.

2. Leading in the polls is not the same as winning

While Trump dominates the polls, he has never won an election. Living in Kentucky, I have recent experience with why this matters. Matt Bevin was as much as 5 points down in the polls the day before the election, and defeated his democratic opponent by nine points on election day. The only poll that matters is the one where people vote.

It might also be good to remember while he has a plurality of support in the polls, he does not have a majority of support in the polls. Which means over half those responding prefer someone else. And many of those responding would still prefer anyone else as the nominee.

3. He is nominally pro-life

Donald Trump claimed in an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner on 23 January he is pro-life – with the necessary exceptions of course. Those exceptions would be rape, incest, and the life of the mother. These exceptions have begun to wear thin in the pro-life community, and increasingly with a majority of Americans.

Aborting a child resulting from rape or incest (presumably the incest was consensual and not rape) punishes by execution an innocent victim. Exceptions for the life of the mother seem valid, but it all depends on how you interpret the phrase. A generation of Republican law makers have used this wording as a excuse for doing little or nothing to slow the abortion industry in this country.

In short, Mr. trump said just as much as he needed to say to claim the title of pro-life.

4. He is no racist; he is a narcissist

Donald Trump does not believe some people are better than everybody else; he believes Donald Trump is better than everybody else. Just ask him. Better yet, just give him a chance to talk and he will tell you.

Yes, all politicians have to sell themselves, but Mr. Trump never seems to admit to a mistake or to a failure. If you know of any instance of sincere humility expressed by Donald Trump, please share it. He has what the ancient Greeks called hubris, which in Greek tragedy always led to a fall.

5. He is short on How

In the op-ed mentioned above, Mr. Trump describes himself as the builder who will build a culture of life in America. While doing so, he blames an over-reaching Supreme Court which must be checked and supports abolishing Federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Beyond that, he provides no blueprints for achieving his goal of building a pro-life culture.

This is typical Trump on the political campaign. He promises to deliver what people want, but never gives details on how it can be accomplished. He seems to forget the office of President of the United States is not the same as being president or CEO of your own business. He can’t order the Supreme Court or Congress to do his bidding. See number 4 above.

6. He is not a nice guy

This is a general impression shared by many, but think about this. Donald trump made his fortune in the New York and New Jersey real estate, construction, and casino industries. Who is it he does business with in these industries? Sure, any business person has to be tough to succeed. Carly Fiorina is tough.

But there is more than one kind of tough. There is the do-it-my-way-if-you-want-to-get-paid tough, and the do-it-my-way-or-I-break-your-legs tough. Mr. Trump has likely mastered both. Perhaps the second would come in handy dealing with ISIS, but where else might he use it?

7. This is not the president we are looking for

Mr. Trump has justified donating money to even the most liberal of politicians in the past by claiming when he calls they kiss his backside. In other words, he bought them off. It’s easy to take him at his word.

So when President Trump wants to get legislation through a reluctant Congress, will he buy them off? Is that where America has come to? Or will he use his well-honed negotiating skills and simply threaten to break their legs? Maybe he will rely on his charm and good looks to win them over. More likely he will imitate our current President and simply impose his will by executive order.

A Republican president is likely our only hope for stopping the dangerous downward spiral America is currently in. But just any candidate with an R by his or her name is not the answer. Too many of those helped get us here. We need the right person for the job. Donald trump is not the right person. Who do you think can do the job right?

Jan 212016
Photo from Pixabay.com https://pixabay.com/

Photo from Pixabay.com https://pixabay.com/

It seems sacrilegious to disturb the silence. All sound absorbed by the blanket of white. A blanket laid down in the night. A silent night. A night when crystalline angels drifted noiselessly down from heaven and covered the earth.

A still, quiet earth. All things united by this heavenly embrace. All things made one by this kiss from God. God comes in the silence. God comes, speaks in a whisper.

Like manna from Heaven came this gift from above. Not manna to nourish our bodies. Manna to nourish our souls. Manna feeding us beauty, truth, goodness.

Some curse the snow. Some reject the gift. Some hearts are hard.

Stretch out your hand – your tongue – your soul. Receive the gift from Heaven.