Nov 072016

Election Eve 2016 is a time of choosing, and I have made my choice after reaching the following two conclusions: (1) I do not want Donald Trump to become President of the United States; (2) I do not think Hillary Clinton should be President of the United States.

However, given the choice between the two – and we all know the next President of the United States will be either Donald or Hillary – I can only vote for Donald Trump. For me, preventing Hillary Clinton from becoming President is that important.

I understand other people think the exact opposite. There are many valid reasons not to like Mr. Trump and not to want him to win this election. But the reasons to oppose Mrs. Clinton far outweigh those for opposing Mr. Trump.

hillary_clinton_official_secretary_of_state_portrait_crop Evidence clearly demonstrates Hillary Clinton used her position as Secretary of State to enrich herself, selling favors to foreign powers and businesses in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation, exorbitant fees for speaking engagements, or positions on boards or as consultants. In this, her husband, former President Bill Clinton was an accomplice.

The Clintons have a history of such behavior. On Mr. Clinton’s last day in office, he granted a pardon to a nefarious corrupt businessman on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Marc Rich had fled to Switzerland to avoid prosecution after illegal dealings with the Iranians while they held Americans hostage, the North Koreans, South Africa, Cuba and other embargoed regimes. Rich’s ex-wife was a well-known fund-raiser for the Clintons. Even the New York Times condemned the act.

No, Mrs. Clinton does not deserve the office of President. She and her husband have too often betrayed this nation’s trust. She only wants the office for the power and the money it will make her. Mr. Trump might also want the power, but he made his money the old-fashioned way – he inherited it.

donald_trump_august_19_2015_croppedDonald Trump was not exactly born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he was no pauper’s son either. To be fair, he took advantage of his father’s wealth and built a financial empire far exceeding what he was given. To be charitable, he seems ready to pass his empire on to his children and give something back to his country. Perhaps it is only right and just he do so.

This contrasts with Hillary Clinton, who seems to think she deserves to be President. She speaks and acts as if she is entitled to be President. Her often smug and condescending attitude communicates not only a superiority over the American public, but a disdain for the majority of Americans.

But the biggest mark against Hillary Clinton for me is her violation of the five non-negotiables: abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, and so-called same-sex “marriage”. The Catholic Church teaches these matters of moral law are intrinsic evils that can never be voted for or supported in any way. Mrs. Clinton supports them all, and has indicated she endorses punishing those who do not accept her views.

Given the next President of the United States – either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton – will appoint at least one if not two or three members to the Unites States Supreme Court, and those justices will influence life in this country for at least the next twenty, thirty or even forty years, and their decisions could have a permanent impact on the future of the country, I feel I must do my part in preventing Hillary Clinton from winning tomorrow.

I do not want Donald Trump to become President of the United States, but I will be voting for him tomorrow. Please join me.

Jul 252016

america-maialisaThe main argument for Donald Trump is Hillary Clinton, just like the main argument for Hillary Clinton is Donald Trump. Just ask a supporter for one or the other and you hear the same response.

Not for Trump? You mean you want Hillary in the White House?

Not for Hillary? You seriously trust Trump with the nuclear button?

The best case for each candidate is the case against his or her opponent.

Trump vs Trump, Hillary vs Hillary

There is no doubt in my mind a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a catastrophe for the county. Likewise, I am positive a Donald Trump presidency would be a disaster. So my choice is between a catastrophe or a disaster.

We often joke in the United States about our political decisions being a choice between the lesser of two evils. Usually we mean a choice between someone with whom we disagree a little and someone with whom we disagree a lot. Not so for the 2016 election.

Never in my lifetime have I witnessed both major parties putting forth such unqualified, unsuitable, irresponsible, self-serving, narcissistic candidates for the highest office in the land. Not to mention they both come across as mean and nasty.

This race will be Donald Trump versus the image the electorate has of Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton versus the image the electorate has of Hillary Clinton. Both sides will be trying to paint the worst picture possible of the opposing candidate while doing everything possible to “photoshop” their own.

Race to the Bottom

The next few months until November really will be a race to the bottom. To the bottom of approval ratings. The winner of this presidential election will be the one who has the least negative favorability rating, because polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are both disliked by over half the population.

Which means there must be some overlap. In other words, a not insignificant percentage of the electorate dislikes them both.

But what are the alternatives? The Libertarian candidate? The Socialist candidate? It’s possible third party candidates could get as much as a third of the popular vote. There will be no third party candidates with Electoral College votes, because we still have a winner take all mentality in this country – a mentality which has driven our current two party system.

This election might be the death knell of the winner take all two party system.

Opposing Predictions

I have two opposing predictions for the 2016 election, neither of which involves predicting the eventual winner. My predictions concern how the American people will lose.

First, this could be the lowest voter turn-out ever in the history of American presidential politics. With so many people turned off by both candidates, no one will be energized to turn out and vote for either candidate. This is where the third parties make their best showing.

A more likely scenario is a record voter turnout. Not because any is energized for a candidate. The record turnout will be the result of voters energized against a candidate. Exit polls will show voters were motivated to vote against Donald Trump or against Hillary Clinton.

You Lose

It is a sad time in America. If you like what has happened the last eight years and want more of the same, vote for Hillary Clinton. If you place your hope in change, vote for Donald Trump. But wasn’t hope and change what launched the last eight years?

This 2016 election you can avoid a catastrophe and vote for a disaster, or avoid a disaster and elect a catastrophe. Whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton wins in November, the American people lose come January.

Mar 102016

The passing of Nancy Reagan brings home the passing of the Reagan era in the Republican party. There is both an irony and a poetry to her death in the midst of this raucous 2016 Republican primary campaign — a campaign her husband would likely have found unacceptable. As much as Ronald Reagan’s name and legacy has been tossed around the past few months, Nancy ‘s passing spares her from suffering through the fracturing of his legacy in this life. We remember Ronald Reagan. We remember what he stood for and what he did. And none of the current candidates are worthy successors.

With all do respect to Donald Trump — which admittedly is very little — Pope Francis was right. Real leaders and real Christians build bridges, not walls. What was Reagan’s famous line? “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” But Reagan succeeded in far more than demolishing the Iron Curtain and sweeping the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history.

Conservatism today is fractured. We have blue-collar conservatives, libertarian conservatives, evangelical conservatives, national security conservatives, big money or establishment conservatives. It seems everyone has a piece, but no one grasps the whole. And everyone clings to their piece and excludes anyone who doesn’t hold as essential what they hold essential.

Reagan did not exclude anyone from the conservative movement, nor did he abandon principle or seek to widen the definition to make the designation all inclusive and therefore meaningless. Reagan sought to convert. He was The Great Communicator. He brought the the message to the people, then brought the people along beside him.

Reagan was not perfect, and he knew it. He remained humble. He didn’t tout his own accomplishments or successes, instead he proudly proclaimed what we the American people had accomplished in the past and could accomplish in the future. He was sustained by faith and a knowledge he was doing what was right.

Today’s candidates forget government isn’t the solution, it’s the problem. Everyone plans to abolish Obamacare, only to replace it with other federal programs. Why is the solution to affordable health insurance allowing it to be sold across state lines, making it subject to federal regulation instead of state regulation? Does anyone really believe this will result in greater competition rather than rapid consolidation? Why is health insurance and health care even an issue for the federal government? Because multi-state companies want to reduce HR costs.

Twenty-first century American conservatism is on life support. IT doesn’t need a bigger tent, nor is the tent so full people need to be turned away or ushered out the door. The tent is big enough, being held up on all sides by solid principles. What American conservatives need before this century proceeds much farther is someone to explain the delights within the tent and a committee to welcome newcomers inside.