Tomorrow is the first day of February (2016) and the first day of the Hawkeye Caucuci. Now the voters will begin to shape Decision 2016 in November. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina–the ball is in your court now!
Let me begin by saying I watched the debate, not the Trump rally. I found it to be a more organized debate with moderators including the now renowned Megyn Kelly having more control without The Donald in the room. In my opinion, nobody could actually be declared the winner and in fact, many say Trump won without showing up because he has taken over the media.
Ted Cruz needed to not only win, but needed to hit a grand slam to win back Trump supporters in Iowa. Although I disagree with pundits who claim is performance was horrendous, he did not perform like an ace debater either. And he did not endear voters by threatening to walk off the stage after being attacked by other candidates. There is a cliché that says if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen. If we are going to defeat ISIS as Mr. Cruz vows, we need a president who can take the heat. A Fox News poll gave the victory to Marco Rubio. Rubio does not always stand up to attacks from Cruz as the two aspire to be the first president of Hispanic roots, but Rubio performs solidly and consistently. But since the only scoreboard used in the debating game is the polls, the solid, consistent performances are not scoring enough points to levitate Marco to victories in the Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina trifecta. Jeb Bush gave his best performance, but too little, too late. He is more than five runs behind and if you know baseball, that means you cannot come back and tie the score with a grand slam home run, the one base hit that gets you the most runs, four, with one swing of the bat. John Kasich is the one you light a candle for; he is sensible and rational, but a steamship with no steam.
While Ted Cruz probably will not win a Mr. Congeniality contest, he is the only candidate left with a realistic chance to oust The Donald and the last chance for both establishment Republicans and the Tea Party faction as the party’s third faction is coerced to someone who has never held public office. He needed to dazzle at the debate and he fell short. Republicans like me who want to see the party trace its roots into people like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan are now depending on Cruz to make it happen. He still has a substantial number of supporters in Iowa but too many sold out to The Donald. All we can do now is let the games begin in Iowa and hope they do the right thing.
Like my fellow conservatives representing the Republican establishment, which is apparently now on the endangered species list, Trumps very significant lead in all the polls is a major concern. Our faction’s unofficial spokesman, Ted Cruz has announced, pleading with Iowans and New Hampshire-ites to vote for him, that if Trump takes both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be virtually unstoppable. Though it is too early for a Connecticut-ite to endorse a candidate with an April 26 primary, I can state that if only Trump and Cruz are on the ballot in the Nutmeg State, I would vote for Cruz both to “try” to stop Trump and to preserve the Republican establishment and conservative base. I give you disclaimer that this post is theory not fact, but I have reason to believe that the Trump balloon may have sprung a leak.
Disgruntled with Fox News’s Megan Kelly, a woman reporter of whom Trump made into one of his sworn enemy, The Donald plans to boycott the next debate. Making a stark statement that he could shoot a man on 5th Avenue in New York and not lose a single vote, Trump believes he is invincible in his quest for the presidency. But this could be a critical turning point for The Donald.
I learned a long time ago that the most fundamental form of insanity sane people are guilty of is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Any time you plant corn seed, you grow corn—consistently. No one to date has grown watermelon from corn seed. This is where his decision to stop debating could be a harbinger that Donald Trump is in the early stages of Dewey Fever.
During the 1948 general election between incumbent President Harry S. Truman (D) and New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey (R), all pundits and newsmen in their day predicted The next president of the United States, Tom Dewey! Many newspapers in that era printed morning and evening editions and the Tuesday evening editions had the front page headline reading DEWEY WINS or DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN. Mr. Dewey went to bed that night believing he was president-elect and dreamt of his inauguration on 01/20/1948; an event which never happened. Harry Truman was re-elected after all, and the media of its day had enough egg on its face to supply Denny’s with various omelets and Grand Slam Breakfasts for the next six months. Pundits of the day spent countless hours figuring out how this happened. Some attributed it to Stom Thurman’s American Party (independent or Bull-Moose of the day) splitting the Republican conservative vote. Final results showed Thurman as a quintessential also ran although he did get electoral votes in two southern states. Some say his moustache did him. It was common practice for the Democrat party to target cities, urban working class, and for Republicans, knowing they had the very wealthy in their pockets, targeting small towns and rural farming communities. Rural dwellers, farmers or otherwise, associated his moustache with the city-slicker images. In 1948, small rural towns generally voted on paper ballots marking X’s for the candidate of their choice so those were the last tallied. But in the final analysis, the underlying cause for the failed Dewey campaign was with all the polls and pundits siding with him, all but sure he was inevitably going to win hands down, Mr. Dewey just stopped campaigning. Relaxed and took it easy till election day. Harry Truman went across the nation by train dubbing his whistle stop campaign leaving lasting message on various voters including rural and swing voters and Dewey blew it on the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday in November.
Do not hold your breath for Donald Trump to stop campaigning, but to stop debating, a key activity on the eve of the caucuses and primaries, may be the stifling stab Republican Trump opponents were waiting to come. If Ted Cruz can now put his campaign and his debating skills into hyper-drive, the expectations in both the Hawkeye and Granite States can turn on a dime. And it just may jar the memories of the Republican establishment and send a message to youth Republicans that Trump is not the man that stands for the party’s value and ideals.
Fellow Republicans, the time to act is now!
Reacting to people who claim they are no longer proud to be an American, I have suggested thinking about tyranny and oppression and thinking about what are you proud you are not. I am in agreement that The United States of America is not what it was years ago, but it is still the greatest country in the world and needs to be repaired, not blown up and rebuilt. In addition, before we [the people] implement solutions that may very well work, before we fix we must follow up by asking the question At what price?
On the Democrat side, the rise of Bernie Sanders has been quite a phenomenon. He has talked about breaking up big banks; well, that may be a socialist algorithm, but if he were to do that successfully, the end result would not be that of true socialism. American capitalism is based on the principle of competition and more smaller banks versus less bigger banks would mean more competition. The Marxian Utopia is to have no competition and the utopian view of banking would be to have only one bank all over the world. The Sanders algorithm would at the very least prevent one large bank (too big to fail) for the entire United States. It depends on from which end you define socialism. If you accept Sean Hannity’s definition liberalism on steroids than this would be a socialist movement. As much respect as I have for Mr. Hannity, his definition is quite kind to the concept. I prefer to define socialism from the backside where the metaphor changes to communism on tranquilizers. Satan hath the power to assume a pleasing form and the kinder, gentler socialism attracts more people, especially youth and low information voters, to that left fringe. But Bernie’s stand on banking in America is not what conservatives should be most concerned.
Bernie Sanders loves to take to the podium and talk about how American is the only major nation in the world without paid medical leave and universal health care as the law of the land. He talks about a one-payer system and converting Medicare to America’s National Health, equivalent to what they have in Canada and Europe. OK, Bernie, here is your $64 Trillion Dollar Question: Of all these countries you are referring to that have paid medical leave and universal health care as a right and not just a privilege, which one of these countries, if any, would you give up your American citizenship and go live there? The answer to that question is more important than liberal vs. conservative politics.
If we throw our conservative hands in the air and waive our white flags and do it Bernie’s way, we may just solve a lot of problems. We may eliminate greedy doctors, hospitals, and prescription drug companies and create better living for our poor, our sick, our elderly… Converting Medicare into a geodesic dome all across the nation, coast to coast, sea to shining sea and result in better living for many Americans. The follow up question for all Americans, liberal or conservative, Republican, Democrat, or independent, is a simple three word question: At What Price? It resurrects the spirit of Ben Franklin when he made it clear those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither. The freest country in the world with unsolvable problems is better than a tyrannical nation less than a mile from Eden. Especially in a nation where most Americans would make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the freest country in the world.
We are not the only nation in the world with a constitution, but we are the only nation in the world with a constitution that specifically defines the inalienable rights of its citizens and labels them unwavering and mandates no laws that impede in any of these rights be passed by any local, state, or the federal government. Other constitutions are simply operating manuals on how their governments work. We are the greatest country it the world, not because we are perfect, but because we are better than the rest of the world. Long before America was a gleam in anyone’s eye, Adam and Eve biting into that apple was mankind’s rejection of the perfect world and forcing us into a world run by knowledge and tribulations. Capitalism and the private sector built the economic infrastructure of this great nation from the ground up and we just need to repair it, not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We also need to protect the rights of those who wish not to participate. Off the record, you have to be plum loco to not want to be insured, but on the record, mandates through fines on income tax returns are not the answer. Neither is socialized medicine. We are, always have been, and always will be a nation of laws and passing sensible, reasonable laws will allow real solutions through the private sector to be implemented. And it will allow the American dream to be reborn and those living in poverty will have the opportunity to overcome and make a good living, which is really what they want.
Let’s fight for America, not to transform it into a less free country!
I do not always get a chance to listen to Rush Limbaugh’s program and I do not strive to be exactly like him. But I do find him insightful and full of the wisdom that makes a conservative tick; and the media is lucky to have him. He is not a Trump supporter either and the essence of today’s program (01-20-2016) is how people he would never expect to be Trump supporters are being steered in that direction.
Yesterday, Sarah Palin joined him on a speaking tour and rambled at the podium on how great a man Trump is and why we need him to be our next president. Either she bought his bill of goods or she would like to be his running mate. Now I learned Bob Dole is supporting Trump too. I am not sure Bob Dole at his age is very influential, but he was an icon for Republican conservatism in the late 1990s and the last World War II veteran to run for president. As I was driving home, Sean Hannity had Newt Gingrich as his guest and he too is seriously considering supporting Trump. Mind you, this is a free country and I am not suggesting cutting off their fingers if they dare validate a ballot for the man. It is just that Donald Trump is not mainstream Republican conservative establishment; he was once a Hillary supporter, but due to his popularity, Republican icons are coming out of the woodwork hitching to his star believing he is their best chance to take back 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Rush repeatedly states that Trump is an outsider, not conservative enough to be president, and claims the nomination of Donald Trump, regardless whether or not he wins in the general in November is the final nail in the coffin for the Republican establishment and is not a big boost to the Tea Party either. My thought was the Republican establishment is throwing their hands up in the air and giving up—claiming their time is done and the party is getting a makeover from The Donald. An even bigger mystery is Hillary Clinton hopes she does get to run against Donald and polls show she would defeat him (just short of a landslide). Rush claims Republican voters demand a true conservative candidate like Ted Cruz. But the polls go the other way. I hope we hear more from independent swing voters. One area I do disagree with Rush is he believes Republicans can win in November without unaffiliated swing voters. Too many Republicans got disillusioned by the cast of characters the party fostered in the last three presidential elections and have left the party. As a side note, George Will is contemplating bolting from the GOP. With a slight insurgence by Bernie Sanders among young voters, I doubt he can overtake Hillary but he can give her a run for her money and make a statement to swing voters so Trump is not getting elected solely by voters voting across party lines. On the other hand, if Republican conservative icons are romancing The Donald, there is even a higher probability middle of the road unaffiliated swingers will follow suit.
My personal advice to fellow Republicans is to DUMP TRUMP. He does not represent our conservative values and way more an opportunist than a conservative. Rush says the same thing. I am asking the party to re-evaluate before it is too late.
I believe Ronald Reagan would spin in his grave if he could perceive the Trump candidacy. But Donald Trump himself is not the false prophet. The false prophet is the devilish force that has allured populous Republicans to romance Trump over establishment candidates within the Republican Party. I plead with fellow Republicans to vote for somebody else in the upcoming caucuses and primaries.
Amazing, now that the rubber meets the road and Trump needs to take the Evangelical base away from Cruz, he is suddenly a Bible scholar. 2 Corinthians 3:17, Where the spirit of The Lord is, there is liberty. Anyone minimally familiar with the Bible knows it is 2nd (second) Corinthians. The nomenclature for Biblical verses is the name of the book, the chapter, and the verse. There are two books of Corinthians known as first and second. Not to mention he was campaigning at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, a devout Christian school. Wonder if he would have brought his Bible to a businessmen’s rally or to Harvard scholars?
The two quotes that Donald Trump should pay heed are Matthew 24:6, No one can serve two masters, God and [money]. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other. This is not to say you cannot have money, but God is the master you must serve. Giving some of your money to the needy is the sign you are rich man serving God. I am not his judge, but the indicators point to money as Trump’s real master. The other one is in First Corinthians, namely 1st Corinthians 13:1 A man who can move mountains but has no love is just a clanging cymbal making noise. Listening to Trump speak is like standing under a girder at a construction site listening to “clang, clang, clang!”
I am surprised at Sarah Palin for falling for Trump. He is not Tea Party, he is not the religious right, and he is certainly not the Republican establishment. In a race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I would most-likely write in a candidate in protest. I could not write in anyone vying for the 2016 nomination because they all took the pledge not to run as a 3rd party independent and I would not want any of them going back on their word on my account. Palin was on my short list for possible write-ins should the November election take on this form. But I can’t protest Trump by writing in a Trump supporter. It goes to show you the false prophet can get the best of you if you let it. The best I can say for now is keep the faith.
For those of you fans of lexicography, you may find it interesting, even fascinating that the words united and united are made with the same six letters simply reversing the order of the two in dead center. They are potential antonyms but the two words are seldom used that way. In the United States of America, Americans strive for both things; united as a people and as a nation, and at the same time untied; free to think and believe as we choose.
Last night, the three Democrat candidates performed their last debate before the Iowa Caucus or Hawkeye Cauci, as it were, in South Carolina. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders demonstrated their difference in the future of health care; Clinton wants slight modifications on the now status quo Obamacare a.k.a. The Affordable Health Care Act while Sanders wants to virtually eliminate private insurance and convert Medicare to National Health, i.e., socialized medicine as in Canada and a majority of European nations. But in their closing statements, all three including Martin O’Malley stated the key to America’s future is to unite all of the American people.
A novel idea, but one of the most deceptive claims in advertising is called the incomplete claim. Take an old time slogan like You can be sure if it’s Westinghouse. Sure of what? Sure it will break down? Unity is one of the three God given powers of the human race along with submission and the spoken word. Of the three powers, unity is the most ambivalent, the most omnipotent, and the most difficult vehicle to drive. It is the power of unity that allowed Adolph Hitler to rise to power in the 1930s and forced America and its allies into World War II and make the ultimate sacrifice. The first thing Hitler did was ban free will and convince Germans to become part of a master race where everybody is the same and thinks alike.
Since the disbandment of the Dixie faction of the Democrat party further right than Republicans and power in Dixie shifted to the Republican Party circa 1995, we saw the birth and growth of The Great Divide where gridlock in Congress is the rule and the two major political parties are in competition working for themselves and their parties and not for the American people. Sure, this is a call for unity. But be forewarned of the dangers of unity for the sake of unity.
The system is not completely broken; it is just overdue for a tune-up and oil change, as it were. The current scenario of two rival parties getting nothing done is frustrating, but can never destroy American democracy and the American way of life. Our Founding Fathers wanted to ensure the legislative branch not become a law-passing dynamo because most of what we need is in the Constitution as we are the only nation in the word, in the history of the world to establish a constitution that is not just an operating manual for government, but a directory of our inalienable rights and that no laws shall be passed that impede these rights. The real danger is in unanimity, as was understood by the great philosopher Plato.
There are 535 members of Congress, a president, and nine judges on the Supreme Court, making up the D.C. 635. If 635 people agree on everything, there are only two possibilities; either everybody is right or everybody is wrong; and when everybody is wrong, everybody thinks they are right. Congress was never intended to be a fraternity where everybody dresses the same everybody talks and acts the same way. Plato warned us of the dangers of direct democracy evolving into mob-ocracy if the masses were united around something bad or untrue and spoke in favor of polity, which is another term for republic or representative democracy; a legislative body like the Congress rather than one supersized New England Town Meeting. It is easier to deal with corruption with 635 people than 635 million people.
While George Washington warned us of political parties running this country, he was in his day a member of the Federalist Party, but believed political parties should be used to launch ideas but to run for office as an individual and to not take party affiliation with you to the elected office. Over the years, the need for a two-party system became a necessary evil because with several micro-parties popping up here and there, we would end up like France and at best achieve plurality, but no majority. It makes perfect sense to have one distinct party for liberal thinkers and one distinct party for conservative thinkers; but it requires the engine run the way it is intended. An unfortunate side affect is the conservative party became the party of the wealthy and the elite forcing the working-class majority towards the liberal party even if they are conservative thinkers at heart.
Our Founding Fathers intended Congress to implement the Platonian dialectic, one of the greatest and most sophisticated power tool to enhance the power of the spoken word. One side states a thesis and the other side responds with an opposing view called antithesis. The learned men [and women] extract the best of each and form a synthesis. The synthesis becomes a new thesis and those opposed reveal the antithesis to once again be synthesized. The process continues until equilibrium is reached, i.e., when there is no viable antithesis. Both sides are untied and encouraged to think freely to uncover as many antitheses as possible and then when the final synthesis is achieve, to then unite around that solution and turn it over to the president in the form of a bill. Some people call this loyal opposition. As a conservative, instead of competing with an opposing liberal view, I need to allow it to complete me. No man is an island and I am no exception. I am not right all the time and I allow myself to be checked and balanced by an opposing view, then settle on a relative truth. This way we are united around truth, not falsity.
The problem in Washington and in state capitals and town halls as well today is modern politicians have broken away from the dialectic and have turned two-party system politics into a team sport; shouting their ideas unwavering and whichever side scores the most points wins. This was another one of George Washington’s warning on political parties. But creating a Congress that agrees on everything is not the answer. The status quo shuts down American democracy, but total agreement will destroy it. Both parties need to show up to the halls of Congress with their own ideas. They just need to stop playing gladiator and start playing legislature! Go into the game untied with compassion and free-thinking and at the end of the day, be united with, by, and for the truth.
In 1775, right before the American Revolution began, a man named John Otis, who many historians claim to be the real founder of the revolution, attended a meeting with a group of people including Sam Adams, who was the ultimate rabble rouser in his day. The meeting was held in a private home in the outskirts of Boston, in an attack which required climbing a ladder to enter. They knew little of Alzheimer’s disease in 1775, by Otis was probably in the early stages. Nonetheless, he made it up the ladder and dutifully attended the meeting. He asked the committee the fundamental question that need be asked before any act of war, What are we fighting for? Otis and Sam Adams seldom saw eye to eye and Adams responded to rid ourselves of these infernal redcoats! It was the wisdom of John Otis that prevailed that night when he explained that if it were not for the British Empire, [we] would not be here in the first place, referring to the Jamestown settlement. A good parallel to President George H.W. Bush in 1990 telling his fellow Americans as well as Iraq that the Iraqi people are not our enemy, only that brutal dictator in Baghdad (i.e., Saddam Hussein). Adams then replied with taxation without representation! Yes, said Mr. Otis but it goes even deeper than that. We are fighting for our inalienable rights! In 1775, a year before the Declaration of Independence, forming an new nation was not the objective—we were willing to settle with George III once he began recognizing the rights of the colonists. King George unwilling to cooperate, we declared our independence on July 4, 1776 and won the war five years later.
As I frequently make reference to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers but not to emulate them to a tee, we learn from John Otis that those in power need to drop their swords and shake hands and strive to be unified, but to delay gratification and go to work using the dialectic until we are unified around the truth, and not some false profit or some Satanic being like Adolph Hitler.
UNITED and UNTIED vary with the order of the third and fourth letter. The greatest challenge of living in America and preserving freedom and democracy is we have to be both of these things; otherwise we make ourselves obsolete and end up just marking time until doomsday.