Trump is beatable!

So tonight after Iowans have spoken in the nomination process, we now see that Donald Trump is not inevitable. He came in seconded for the Republican nomination with Ted Cruz winning the caucus and Marco Rubeo nipping at Trump’s heals for a very good showing for third place. We still have a long road to the eventual nominee and Trump may still win it, but he has now taken a big hit to his armor. We also now will see basically a three-man race between Cruz, Trump, and Rubio.

Trump did not have to win Iowa like Cruz needed to, but if he had won it, include that with his popularity and the anti-establishment mentality of the voters; he would’ve been for the most part unstoppable. Ted Cruz was able to win in Iowa despite the fact that polls showed him declining and Trump way ahead. Then there is the fact that Marco Rubio was really giving Trump a fight for second place. Just look at the results, Cruz with 51,666/27.6%, Trump with 45,427/24.3%, and Rubio at 43,165/23.1%; all of this out of a total of 186,874 votes.  As can be seen Trump just barely got and held second place.

One thing these results show is that while the Iowa caucus did indeed being a big turnout like it was predicted, that turn out did not benefit Trump. It was not Trump that brought in the voters, but all three together. The turnout and the results of the Iowa caucus are very troubling for Trump because for the first time we see that his high poll ratings and huge rallies will not actually translate to election results. 

Now we will see just how Trump does in New Hampshire, where again he has been polling very high.  If Trump does not win in New Hampshire, then I think we will start to see the “sharks” really pounce on him; that is when Trump will start to fall. With Iowa, we saw that he could fall, with New Hampshire, we will see if he falls. Another thing that Iowa did with regards to Trump was to provide another strong possible alternative to him besides Cruz. I am speaking of course, of Rubio. Unlike Cruz however, Rubio doesn’t just have support from the conservatives of the Republican party, but by moderates and the establishment as well.

If Rubio remains strong, we could begin to see a coalescing around him, to stop Trump and be the nominee for President. Yes, no matter how one looks at it, Iowa was not good for Trump not good at all. Trump now knows just how important it is to have a very good ground game, not just holding big rallies and being popular in the polls with lots of media coverage. If one does not have the grass-roots ground game, one cannot win the Republican nomination, let alone the general election for President of the United States.


Why A Trump Presidency Is Not the Best of Ideals

As the 2016 Republican primary continues to move forward and into second gear; Donald Trump also continues to dominate in the polls. Whether or not he actually gets the Republican nomination and then goes on to win the general election is still up in the air nonetheless, the question needs asking, would a Trump Presidency be a good thing or a bad thing for the country?

To start, let us look at the theme of Donald Trumps’s campaign message, “Make America Great Again.” First of all what exactly does he mean by making it great again? Lots of countries/nations throughout history have been considered great; these include, but not limited to the Roman Empire, the Soviet Union, and even Nazi Germany; all were considered “great.” Great does not equal good necessary, for there are many levels of what makes one great. Historically the United States of America has been a great nation because it was a good nation. By good I mean that it was a moral nation, a nation of ideals, and the people. Indeed, our very Constitution begins with “We the People.”

So what does Trump mean when he says he will “Make America Great Again.” Does he mean morally good and Constitutionally good or does he just mean great as in being a military, economic, and world leader again. Don’t get me wrong, those three things have been good for America (indeed the world) in the past, but only when it has been paired with and came as an afterthought to a “good” nation. What Trump represents is a knee-jerk reaction to events and the loss of status/leadership of the United Staes in the world. But the way he would most likely go about fixing such is not by returning the United Staes back to its roots of being a good moral nation but by being the “strong man” to other nations.

There is also where Trump stands on the illegal immigration debate and the letting in of refugees from the Middle East. Now both are serious problems that require fixing in this country, with regards to how we currently handle both. But what Trump is proposing is that for the first, we get rid of them and build a giant wall; and for the second, don’t let any in at all because a few may or may not be linked to Islamic Terrorism

For the illegal immigration issue, yes, we need to secure the border and solve the problem of those here in the United States illegally, but we can’t just deport them, for one it is not practical and for two completely inhumane. As it regards securing the border, a wall may very well work, but it is not the only thing that will, and certainly not by its self. Now for the refugees and the possibility of terrorists coming into this country to do harm, through them. Yes, there is always that threat and yes, we can’t guarantee we will be able to screen/prevent all of them. But it is impossible to prevent all attacks and provide perfect security, especially in a free society. The only way to do so is in a police state.

Look, when it comes to protecting the country from Islamic State and other Islamic Terrorist groups, the best we can do is be on our guard, take several precautions here and there, such as running as thorough background checks possible on all refugees that we let into the country as best we can. But we will never get 100% and we should not let that stop us from being who we are as a nation and welcome with open arms, those who are fleeing for their lives.

Back to Donald Trump and why else he is a bad idea for the Presidency of the United States; this point I feel the most important and that is the fact that he only cares about himself. For the Donald, it is all about him and nobody else. Everything and everyone, he sees as how can they benefit him. There is the rub, we are already nearing the completion of eight years of one narcissistic president, we do not need nor can we afford another.

I understand that the vast majority of Republican voters (indeed all of America) is upset and angry with the party establishment and that of Washington as a whole; I am too, but that is no excuse for picking the first and loudest voice to be the nominee for President of the United States. Whoever it is that is chosen, will represent and be a representative of the parties’ views and ideals. Because of this, voters must think long and hard about who they vote for and why. They cannot do so on emotion. That there is the problem with Trump; he does not truly represent the Republican (IE Conservative) values. He is only taking advantage of voter anger and emotion for his own gain and views/agenda; whatever those may be, only he and God knows. Whatever else he may be, he is a demagogue and he must not become the Republican Party’s standard bearer, let alone the President of the United States of America.


The Problem In Politics Is Politics

Over the last few years, we have seen in the United States an increasingly incompetent and broken political system in our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. Our politicians can not get along and hardly ever come together to get things done.  Washington has increasingly become a town of “it’s either my way or the highway.” This goes beyond the regular division of Conservative and Liberal, Republican and Democrat (yes, you libertarians as well); this is about how our nation’s politics have become so divided that hardly anything can get done in Washington.

Along with the wide division is the fact that hardly any politician is in Washington for anything other than themselves. They and Washington have become so self-serving that when you combine that with the divisiveness, you get why the federal government can hardly get anything done these days. Going back to the beginning of this great republic, our founding fathers knew of the human tendency to be selfish and look after one’s own interest and historically how that has worked out in governments. That is exactly why they designed the Constitution as they did with the divisions of power and so forth. Even so, there has always been a certain amount of self-interested politicians, even in the founders day, and the United States is no stranger to divisiveness.

But the divisiveness and self-interests in our nation’s politics today is just beyond the pale. Not even the founders would or could of, imagined it all. In fact, they would be completely appalled at how our politicians act today, every single one of them; if they were with us today. This problem of politics is so great that it cannot be solved with just replacing the current crop of politicians. You will still have the problem with the new ones. Even you suddenly tomorrow every single member of Congress were to disappear and we got a completely new Congress, it is doubtful anything meaniful would change. 

In order to solve the problem of politics or at the very least make it a lot more bearable as it has historically been thanks to the founders, we as a country need three things. First, “We the People” need to get back involved in the political process, not just by voting in elections and joining or starting a political activist group, but by  paying attention to what goes on in the country and with our politicians and actually holding them accountable. Vote, but vote informed and don’t vote on emotion.

The second thing is related to the first and goes with it; that is a return to virtue. When I mean a return to virtue, I do not just mean we need leaders with virtue, I mean that the people need to be virtuous. When a people are virtuous, their leaders will more often than not be virtuous as a result. Leaders of any country, especially in Republics and democratic countries tend to be a reflection of the people.

The third and perhaps most important step is, no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on; in good governance nothing can really get done without moderation. This is indeed true in the Untied States throughout its history. From the very beginning of our history with the drafting of the constitution, we have had a moderation of different viewpoints and ideas being melded together to get the best results possible. Now this does not mean “compromising” one’s core beliefs, but moderating and negotiating with political opponents to where you can find agreements. Sometimes it also means giving up something less important for a very important objective and belief, the other side does the  same thing.

Bottom line, is that as long as we continue to have this extreme mentality on both/all sides of the political system of demanding everything be one way or the other; we will see the continuation of Washington gets nothing done and the downward spiral of the country. We as a nation have to be able to come together beyond one’s political beliefs.  If there is no moderation, that is the bringing together of different viewpoints on any given issue; then there is no cross-talking and as a result you get the divisiveness and self-interest politics that we have now.


Beware Anger in Politics

As we now begin the new and presidential election year of 2016, we as a nation are again confronted with the fact that in the electoral process, all conventional wisdom has been thrown out the window with the continual dominance of Donald Trump in the Republican Primary race so far. The rise of Trump can be attributed to one thing and that is anger, anger at the establishment of not only the Republican Party but Washington in general.

This anger is understandable in that over that last few years little if anything is able to get done in Washington D.C. Politicians in both political parties are increasingly viewed as out of touch with the voters and in the pockets of special interests. However, voters should always beware of voting just on that anger alone and not truly looking at a candidate or issue.

It may be in the short term, be very satisfying to vote for someone who seems just as angry at the whole political system as you are and is just trashing everyone a part of it. But in the long run, will only lead to trouble, for you, aren’t voting fully aware of all the facts and knowledge about the situation and a candidate that is driving you to vote.

For those who are being drawn towards Donald Trump because of being tired of the letdown and disappointment from the Republican Party establishment as well as the establishment of Washington as a whole, all I can say is be careful what you wish for. You are willing to put up with and support him no matter what he does and says because you see him taking it to the “man” so to speak.

But does Trump really share your views and concerns, is he really the best choice to shake up and change how things are done in Washington? Or is he just bringing to light how messed up this country is right now? Is he perhaps taking advantage of your anger and frustration, (rightly so) for his own gain?

In the end, no matter how messed up this country is. No matter how much needs to change. We as a nation and you, the individual voter need to remember our roots as a nation and its Constitution. We are and always will be under said Constitution a Republic. What is a Republic, you ask. It is a representative democracy, where the people use their best judgement and knowledge to elect those who will best represent their interests and govern for all. When one votes on just anger alone; or allows their anger to control them they cannot do that reliably.

Live By Love Not Passion

“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, competing against one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:22-26 

     As followers of Christ, one is called to live a certain way, act a certain way to others and to be a certain way not sometimes not when it is convenient but all the time, every minute of every day. To the point of it, being second nature for us. This certain way as mentioned in Galatians 5:22-26 is basically to live in love, and to show others Christ’s love for them in our actions. Though as the scripture says it is important not to just be kind to others, but to be patient with them; to not be quick to anger with others and not to hold grudges.

Though this is not always very easy for us even as Christians to do, (it is never easy). One area in today’s society that I believe needs us to live more by the fruit of the Spirit is in the political divisiveness that constantly is facing the United States and the World in some places. We need to remember that though we have our differences on how to confront the different issues facing us, we are all humans and children of God.

So the next time you get into a discussion on a political issue, don’t to let your passion for it get the better of you. Be patient with the person or persons and listen to their side. When you keep your passions in check  in either political discourse or any other arena of life and don’t allow them to take over you allows few so much better afterwards.

Honoring Our Protectors

So today, this Wednesday, November 11, 2015, all of the United States saluted our veterans; Those who have put their lives on the line for our freedoms and our way of life, as well as those who continue to do so. We also had in our thoughts and prayers those who are serving right now or are about to serve and have made the choice to serve.

Veterans Day is not just another day that just happens to be recognized on the calendar; it is about paying our protectors: past, present, and future their due. But it is also more than that it is a reminder that we can never do enough to repay and thank them for all that they have done and will continue to do. Also  that we as a nation do not do nearly enough for them. We don’t give them the needed care when they come home and leave the service, or at least not the right amount or put a lot of effort into doing so.

As evidenced by the state of the VA; we do not repay them enough for what they do and what they sacrifice to do so. We do not take good care of their families or give them the tools to do so themselves. Although a lot of businesses and even states (Texas) do a lot to promote hiring preferences as they should to veterans, it is still not universal enough and the automatic decision.

In fact, that is the best thing that can be done for honoring our veterans, making sure that there are jobs for them. An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today by David H. Petraeus and Sidney E. Goodfriend do a good job of accurately advocating for this. They explain how the business community needs to do a better job of making hiring veterans a priority and that they should be leaders on honoring them that way.

America, it is one thing to honor and thank our veterans, but do we actually do enough to actually repay them for their service. I think the answer is an obvious no, we do not. We can do better and we should. Veterans Day is not so much about honoring and remembering our protectors but a reminder to do so by doing a better job taking care of them.

Finally a Presidential Debate with Substance

So this Tuesday night on the Fox Business Network, we had the Fourth Republican Presidential Debate or is it the 7th and 8th I cant’ quite remember what with there actually being two, one a primetime and one a pre-primetime debate each time. Regardless, both of them were very successful and much more substance filled than all of the previous debates combined. Each and every candidate really got into exactly how their policies if elected would help the country and improve the economy and they also really went into the details of their tax reform plans that their campaigns are proposing.

Compared to every other debate including the Democratic debate I actually felt that I learned something about the candidates and what they are for and would do if elected President of the United States. For who actually stood out and did very well, I will stick with just those in the second debate tonight, the prime time one. I actually think that all of them did very well except perhaps Donald Trump. Although I will say that his comments about President Eisenhower where both informative and striking. Like always he just does not offer substance in what he says and puts forward. And in a debate where all the candidates were focused like a laser on substance about their plans and visions his lack of such really stood out and did him no good.

For the others, like I said they all did pretty goo, but the four that I think really stood out was Senator Marco Rubio, Business Woman Carly Fiorina, Senator Ted Cruz, and Ben Carson. Each one of them was precise, on point and knew what they were talking about. But by far the winner was Rubio who was not only knowledgeable but powerful and inspirational in his talking.

Regardless, of how each of the candidates did, once again I have to say it was a magnificent debate and that I learned a lot about each one of them. We need more debates like the ones we had Tuesday night. They are exactly what debates are all about; forums where candidates debate the real issues facing the country with real solutions. This Tuesday night was the first time we got that.