America Has Lost One Of Its Great Political Thinkers

Last Thursday, June 21, conservative writer, and columnist Charles Krauthammer passed away. The United States thus most significant in political commentary and thought. Throughout his writing career Charles, although he most assuredly had conservative leanings, he was never shy about questioning when he saw the need, the conservative thinking at the time on any number of issues. He was the same way when at the beginning of his long career was more liberal leaning. Even in his most critical of opinions to either side of the political divide he was always fair and presented his case most thoughtfully and transparently possible.

I always loved listening to his thoughts and viewpoints on the networks and reading his columns, for me he was an inspiration for how to responsibly express and share one’s ideas and views on politics and what is going on in the world. I unfortunately never knew him but will always count it among my most remembered, enjoyable experiences in my life to have met him in person at a dinner a few years back before the I believe it was the 2013 CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference).

Besides his excellent and well thought out views about events and such; what really has amazed and inspired me (and continues to do so) is his relaxed and joyful view on life. This despite or perhaps because of his being paralyzed early in his life and career. Whichever the case, he thus had developed and displayed throughout his whole life afterward a kind of joyful, easygoing attitude for dealing with everything life threw at him.

Charles wrote extensively on a variety of topics, most especially foreign affairs and in all of his views he never let his emotions rule him. His opinions were always not just well thought out, but meticulous and precise in detail. They were never it seemed to be rushed into being formed. He will most definitely be missed by those who follow the political process in the United States and pay attention to local, national, and world affairs/news. A huge gape in the intellectual opinions of political columnists has suddenly developed as a result of his passing. You will be missed, Charles Krauthammer!

Protest, But Protest With Love

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Protest” by “The Daily Post.”

To Live in the United States is to live with the protest; the ability to redress one’s grievances and stand for or against something. Since its founding, there has been a long tradition of protest movements such as the civil rights movement, the women rights movement and so on. At the same time, there has also been within these movements and others an ugly side to peaceful protest, that being rioting and responding with violence on the part of the protesters. When one protests, he/she should do so with love, not hate.

The goal of protesting is to peacefully advocate for some form of change in either society or government policy or both. This can work when others see you protesting and bringing an issue to light and may sympathize and even agree with you. But only if they can relate to you and your cause. They will not be able to relate or react positively at all if instead of peaceful protests, there is rioting in the streets, with looting and destruction of property, and even violence against fellow man.

Love of fellow man/human beings is what changes hearts and minds and improves this world that we live in. Hatred only hardens the heart and mind and makes things worse for everyone. Love unites, and hatred divides and destroys. So the next time you believe there may be an injustice in the world and are pulled to protest that injustice to bring attention to it, do so with love and not hate. Love those behind the injustice and only hate the injustice. As St. Augustine has said, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”


The Election Is Over; What Next?

So Donald Trump has won the 2016 Presidential elections and is now President-elect. What are we to do next? That is the question going through everyone’s mind in the country these last couple of days since the election. From the supporters of Trump and those who did not support him, to his skeptics. How will he govern, will he be a uniter or a divider? Can and will he be able to control himself in order to put together an effective government to get things done?

Now that Trump has won the Presidency, he has a long and difficult road ahead of him; no the nation has a long and difficult road ahead. The nation is still heavily divided upon itself and thus needs healing and while Trump did win overwhelmingly in the electoral vote which is what matters, he lost (though just) the popular vote. Which will only make it more difficult for him to bring the nation together and get consensus to get things done.

I have had my doubts about Trump, a whole lot, and I still do, but he is the Presidential-elect and won fair and square, thus we all in this country, myself included have a duty to at least give him the benefit of the doubt and help him the best we can, for he will be our President. As our President, we want him, no need him to succeed. For when the President of the United States succeeds, “We The People” succeed. But when the President fails, “We The Peole Fail.”

President-elect Trump is going to need all the help and prayers he can get in the coming days and months ahead. From setting up the right transitioning and getting the right cabinet and team formed that will help him to govern; to dealing with all the problems that are facing us as a nation right now and the more that will pop up in the next few years.

Make no mistake, I see rough times ahead both for the United States and the world. From economic and financial issues, to the Heath Care Law (Obamacare), to tearism and dealing with Radical Islamist Extremists and other tensions and hot spots around the glob. Donald Trump when he takes office, he is literally going to have to take off at “light speed” to tackle all the issues and problems heading our way.

So please,  everyone dealing with the shock that Donald Trump is actually going to be President of The United States of America and not liking it too much and perhaps fearing the worse; please remember that like you and me and everyone else he is human. He deserves a chance to prove us wrong about him. Believe me, I have grave concerns about him, and do indeed fear just what he will do with all the power about to be bestowed upon him. But here is the thing, I hope and pray to God that I am wrong, and will greatfully rejoice if I am. What’s that old saying “Hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.”

Immorality Now Rules The United States

The election is over and the people have spoken, though it remains to be seen just what they voted for. It was also a surprising night with just how close the election results were and how well Donald Trump actually did. No one had really seen this coming, Hillary Clinton was the odds on favorite to win and was ahead in all the polls. Yet, here we are with a President elect Donard Trump. What does this say about the country and about us as a people, now that such a man like Trump could be elected President of the “Free World?”

Ever since its founding the United States has been a great country, not because of its power, but because of its goodness and because of the ideals that it has represented. The United States has always been an exceptional nation and a beacon to the world not because of its might or its people, but because it has for the most part been lead by virtue and goodness. It has stood for something greater than its self. Yes, there has been a many a flaws throughout the nation’s history, but despite those glaring flaws, it has strived to do better and be better than it is.

This has been what has always made America great and exceptional. Not because of its people or its leaders, but because of a calling of its people and its leaders to be better than they are. To improve, to self-examine, and to always be aware of one’s deep flaws and the flaws of the people, leaders and the nation as a hole. This is what has caused the United States throughout its history to stand up for the oppressed and to inspire the oppressed to stand up for themselves, even when from time to time, this great nation has its self been one of those keeping some oppressed.

With the Election of Donald Trump to the Presidency, I fear that all of this may change and that would be the greatest travesty in the history of the world. For what does it say about a nation and its people that it would chose for a leader, someone like Trump. A person that is so immoral and out for himself. He very little expresses remorse for his actions or what he says no matter how hurtful. He regularly attacks and just savages anyone who criticizes and disagrees with him. He mocks and belittles people. And he is obsessed with his image and “brand” and how he appears to others. The way he treats women and sees women is just so troubling and yet, says so much about his character or lack of one.

Thus, it is troubling to see a nation such as the United States vote in such a person as President (as leader) of said nation. America has been great because America has been good; in order to be good requires the people and leaders of a nation to be virtuous and moral. With the election of Trump, we as a nation are now entering uncertain times.

To be sure I have great reservations about Donald Trump as President. I was concerned as already said about his immorality, but also his unperdictability and just the plane unknown about just what he would do as President. I hope to God that my concerns are wrong about him, for he will now be my President and just what it would mean for the nation, the world, and the future if they are not. The people have spoken, and for good or ill, Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States of America. Come what may, we will as a nation, I truly believe make it as a nation and as a people if we remember and stick to what has made us “Great.” That being that we have been “Good.”

My Vote For A Third Party Candidate Is Not A Vote For Hillary Clinton!

The 2016 Presidential election cycle has been the ugliest, most surprising and most difficult of any so far, at least in my voting lifetime. The two candidates for President of the United States are some of the worst we have ever seen. Both have very high unfavorables, and both have extreme character flaws. I still cannot decide which one is worst or will be worst if elected. Although, I do believe that both are and will be bad for the country just in their own different ways. Thus, I cannot and will not be voting for either Hillary Clinton or Donard Trump. Though I will still be voting both for the down ballot and the presidential one. Here’s the deal that does not mean that I am throwing my vote away and am defacto voting for Clinton, we as a country have to move away from the notion that there are only two choices in voting, and voting for a third is giving it to one of the two.

Here’s the thing for me, in my politics, I am very conservative. I cannot stand the thought of Hillary as President, I totally believe that she is wrong for the country and will take us on the wrong track. My principals and beliefs will not allow me to support her. However, this is also the case with Trump, while I can to a certain extent relate with him or his supporters, unlike with Hillary, again, my principles and beliefs will not allow me to vote for him. Nonetheless, those same principals and beliefs say that I have to vote for a candidate for president. Staying home or just voting for the down ballots is not an option for me; to me, voting is a right but it is also a duty. So I have to vote for the president, but cannot vote for either of the two major party candidates, that leaves a third party ticket.

The thing with this choice for me, and I suspect a lot of others is that there is this misconception that in our two party system, a vote for a third party in a two-party race is just throwing your vote away and allowing one of the two to more easily overcome the other. This is so not true, if one candidate was fated to win, he/she would win no matter how you vote. Two things here, one, in any political race no one is fated to win, and two, the belief that in any race there are only two choices, just because we have two major political parties is so overdone and just plain wrong. In fact, the issue is really a self-fulfilling prophesy, that only comes true because people believe it and thus act upon it.

Over this last weekend, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has come out saying that he would vote for Trump and in fact endorsed him. Yesterday, on the Glenn Beck radio show he defended his decision to do so by saying that Hillary Clinton was such an unbelievable choice and that Trump was the only thing that stood in the way of her and a “Supreme Court stacked with liberal judges and progressive opinions.” Ted Cruz in defense of his decision also said that “this is a binary choice.”

Again, the ideal that any Presidential election, let alone this one is a binary choice is just plain wrong. We almost always have more than two choices in our presidential elections. There is always another choice to vote for and still vote. Even if you have to decide to vote for just the down ballot, you can do so. But more importantly is that elections are not about choosing the lesser of “two evils” or  voting for a ” not this person.” No, voting is about choosing who you think is best for the position, and who you think best represents you and your concerns/values. We need to remove ourselves from this “us versus them” mentality in politics and the notion that “if you don’t vote for him you are by the default voting for her.”

This is not the case for me, I am not voting for either Clinton or Trump; I will in the end vote for who I think best represents my concerns/values. My choice will not be perfect, but then this is politics we are talking about, that does not exist. In the end, we all have to just make our best judgement calls and make do with what we have. But there is always another choice, America and I hope you take that to heart. 

The Meaning Of Rebellion; Happy Birthday, America

As we celebrate our Independence day, this day for the 240th time since the 13 United States declared independence from Great Britain, we need to remember why one rebels. To remember that rebellion cannot be taken lightly. We humans, rebel for a lot of reasons, because we are oppressed or we see others being oppressed. We rebel because we may see injustice in the world. There are also different levels of rebellion at one’s disposal, there is the violent kind, the peaceful and passive kind. But whatever the form it takes, it should never be taken lightly.

Rebellion according to Merriam-Webster is either an attempt by a group of people to overturn or change a government, open opposition to a person or group of authority, or going against the rules or standards of society. All of that is correct in telling what the act of rebellion is. But that does not explain exactly why one rebels or when rebellion is called for and exactly what type of rebellion is called for. 

When the 13 colonies decided to break away from Great Britain they did so at great risk and  at first very reluctantly. Even when fighting started after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, at first they just wanted there grievances solved. For them rebellion was a last choice kind of thing. It was not at all taken lightly, the act of rebellion by the 13 original states. But that is the thing that we as Americans, as the inheritors of 13’s act of rebellion and fight for independence need to remember, that it was not an easy thing to decide to rebel, let alone succeeding in it.

When we celebrate our independence and all the freedoms that we as Americans enjoy in this great country, we also need to remember just all the original sacrifice and thought that went into making it all possible. But above all we also must remember that no matter the form it takes, the act of rebellion is an act of change. Thus those doing the act of rebellion must have a clear idea of what that change is to look like, less they come to regret the change.

To rebel against an authority because one sees an injustice being done is not enough, one needs to know how they would make things not only different but better. Rebellion is never good, what is good about some rebellions are the results of rebellion. In order to have good results, one needs a clear and reachable vision.

So remember, America as you celebrate your 240th birthday, just why you had rebelled in the first place. Ask yourself was it a good result. I say it was and because it was, if I had to I would rebel again to protect the results of the original act of rebellion by the 13 original United States of America. Happy Birthday America, Happy Independence Day!




Honor To Those That Gave All

Independence day. flag usa

flag usa on the background of sunrise

So today is Memorial Day, a day for the United States of America to honor all men&women who died while serving the military. The history of Memorial Day dates back to the late 1860s after the Civil War. Those who risked it all and died for this great country, most certainly deserve all of our thanks and gratitude. We can never honor those who gave their lives in the line of duty enough, but we can try.

Why is this the case, why do we honor those who have fallen so? Why do we need to? Because we just do, those men and women who have laid down their lives for us and this great country gave their all. Every man and woman who ever died while in the service of the United States Military, did so for something greater than themselves.

That mentality to not only recognize that there is something bigger than oneself but to make the decision that, that something is worth diving for is unfortunately a rare commodity, and as such that kind of mentality deserves more than any other to be respected, honored, and remembered. Actually it requires much more, it requires that we put up those with that mentality upon a pedestal so that their sacrifice is never for gotten. Not just their sacrifice, but what they sacrificed for and why they did so.

We honor and remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and died because it is not only the right thing to do and because it is the least we can do, but because these heroes inspire us. They inspire us to stand up for what is right in the world and what we believe in. We also want future generations to remember them and their sacrifices and also be inspired by them.

So that is why we honor our men and women in military service that died for this country and why we have to do so. In the end we really have no choice but to honor them. They gave so much for us, they gave it all, that the very least that we could do is give them the honor that that have earned and deserve. So honor and remember the men and women of our arm services who have died for us.

The Disaster of American Politics

This is a response to the one-word prompt “Disaster” by “The Daily Post.”

Disaster, that pretty much sums up what politics in the United States of America have become. People both the politicians and the political lay person attack one another. No one can get along anymore and we cannot find qualified people to run for public office because they are afraid of the mud slinging and having their families brought into the mix.  Increasingly, at the local, state, and national level, the government cannot get anything done even on things that everyone agrees on because of the politicization of everything; not to mention the spread and growth of the bureaucracy.

Things have gotten so bad with regards, to running this country that both major political parties have produced unconventional candidates; we have either a self-proclaimed socialist in Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side and on the Republican side, we have Donald Trump, which I am still not sure what and who he is other than being a, well a potential disaster. Yet, both of these men have and continue to draw huge crowds in support. To top it off, once we finally get to the general election for the Presidency of the United States, we may have the choice of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton which in my view is no choice at all, both are equally bad.

Actually, between both parties, of all four of the main candidates: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz, none are really good choices. All of this goes back to the point that America’s whole governing political system is in the dumps. Everyone knows it and are just getting more and more fed up and wanting to throw in the towel.  It is pretty much the reason behind the rise of the likes of Trump and Sanders.

Politics is a disaster, there is no question on that point, and they will continue to be so as long as the voters, that’s “We The People” continue to be disinterested voters. When one does vote, ones need to vote informed. Voters need to really know the who, what, when, and where of those candidates and positions that they are drawn to vote for.

We all must also realize that our elected officers and potential elected officers are just a reflection of ourselves and our broader society. If we want a productive and polite political process in the governing of this country, then we need to lead in that. The last few years and even few decades, we have not been that example for our politicians to follow. As long as the people continue to not show virtue, of their own and do not educate themselves on who and what they vote for than American politics will continue to be a disaster.

The founding fathers, indeed the founding generation of this great nation knew this well. There is the famous story of at the end of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention when walking out a woman came up to Benjamin Franklin and asked, “What have you given us, sir?” He answered, “A Republic ma’am, if you can keep it.” Well said Ben, and unfortunately, you were right, for we are about to lose it.

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.