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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Republican Elephant04.26.2016 is finally here and I arrived at my polling place at the Quaker Farms School in Oxford, Connecticut and cast my ballot for Ted Cruz.  Trump is favored to win in the Nutmeg State; luckily Connecticut is not a “winner take all” state and every delegate that does not go to Donald Trump will be integral in stopping his evil.  Unfortunately for Cruz, Connecticut is too close to New York and with his caustic remarks on New York values, he will likely finish in third place here.

I have my doubts about the Cruz-Kasich “collusion” as it were.  I give them credit for trying but with both candidates needing more than one-hundred percent of the remaining delegates, the goal for both men is now a contested convention.  I am now on board with a contested convention.  But the one we do not want to see get nominated, none other than Donald J. Trump, can still acquire 1,237 delegates before July in Cleveland, guaranteeing him the nomination.  Though Richard Milhous Nixon is to this day considered the most corrupt politician in modern history, he was for all intents and purposes, and intelligent man.  The Nixon Axiom of American Politics states, if there is a movement to get rid of X, bet on X.  Presidential candidates have teamed up in this manner in the past to halt a frontrunner, but they were never this open about it disclosing their intention to the public.  I suppose with the media today, people would find out anyway.

I still think the better plan would have been for Kasich to drop out leaving Ted Cruz the only Trump alternative on the ballot ensuring him over fifty percent in most states (not New York).  As long as the anti-Trump vote is split two ways, Trump wins by default.  It is the simple Teddy Roosevelt Bull-Moose scenario in 1912 that resulted in the Republican vote split between Roosevelt and Taft and Woodrow Wilson winning the presidency with less than half of the popular vote.  Bill Clinton capitalized on this as well in 1992 with the Republican vote split between George H.W. Bush and H. Ross Perot.

I voted for Ted Cruz for two reasons; I think he is the only true conservative running and in a contested convention with Rule 40(b) in effect for the second and third ballot (barring a change in the rules on July 18 which is possible), Trump and Cruz are the only viable candidates.  No nominee after three ballots, 40(b) is out the window and anything goes.  I stand by my vote and pray the Republican Party does not divide due to Trump vs. The Establishment.  The die is cast.  Now we await the results.

Republican ElephantIf I had the stamina, I could write volumes answering this question.  Make college professors cringe by filling three blue books or so.  I learned to be a pretty decent chess player, a fair debater if asked, an excellent computer programmer although I never did it professionally, and an above average furniture salesman.  I did not learn to be a conservative.  This is because it is not a skill, rather a decision.  That is what makes politics a science, but the one of the most, if not the most inexact sciences in the history of man.  Whatever your juxtaposition on the political continuum, it is ultimately one’s personal decision.  You simply study the facts and listen to the real politicians sell their ideas and decide what you agree with the most.  With so much media coverage on the national debt in the early 1980s and the Democrat party being stigmatized as the “tax and spend” party, a popular campaign ad before the conventions even nominated anyone was “Vote Republican for a Change.”  This was the first directing sign that pointed me to Ronald Reagan and the conservative platform.  But what does it really mean to be a conservative and for that matter, why is it a good thing as an American?

First of all, many modern-day politicians and ordinary citizens for that matter call themselves conservatives, but are actually reactionaries in practice.  Reactionaries want to take it beyond mainstream conservatism and take us back to the past.  Reactionaries are reactive, rather than proactive.  Some continuums place another hash mark to the right of reactionary and label it Radical Right.  One reason for this was the notion that many people of the Jewish persuasion were very conservative thinkers, but still would not vote Republican because the Republican Party is generally the party on the right and Adolph Hitler was on the right.  But the true continuum is not linear but circular and “the fringe” sits in the back of the circle flanked by radicals on the left and reactionaries on the right.  Radicals often stand for the same things for different reasons.  For example, a reactionary would shut down a railroad; “we didn’t need it then and we don’t need it now.”  A radical would shut down a railroad;” we have air buses now; railroads are obsolete.”  I am definitely a conservative and not a reactionary.

In one of the Republican debates, Donald Trump was asked the question and he gave the most sophomoric answer on the books citing the root word as “conserve” and that he conserves resources and ideas.  This can cause a lexiconical argument; if you conserve resources are you a conservative or a conversationalist?  The infamous Trump is neither.  Support for spending cuts, conserving money…we’re getting there.  Limited government, i.e. conserving user of power…getting warmer.

The most fundamental definition of conservative I was exposed to in eighth grade was “one who supports preserving the status quo.”  Almost there, but that would imply a “do nothing” politician; a Zen enthusiast who just wants to accept and leave things as they are.  But then conservatives would not be on a mission to repeal Obamacare, which for better or worse is now the status quo.  Actually, the political continuum is measured relative to the status quo.  For example, Vladimir Putin is Radical Left by American standards where we never had Communism and hope and pray we never do.  But Putin is Reactionary Right by Russian standards as he is a throwback to Russia’s recent past, Soviet Communism.  In most countries of the world, it is necessary to be a liberal if you believe in freedom.  But in the United States of America, the status quo of which the continuum is measured is our Constitution.  Being a constitutionalist is a prerequisite to being an American conservative.  We are far from a perfect nation, but we are the best Earth has to offer.  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 clearly defines the inalienable rights of the people; other constitutions are merely an owner’s manual for how the nation’s government operates.  For Americans, the Constitution is located on the conservative hash mark and a true conservative will never tarry too far to either side of the Constitution.  We have to change with times and we have leeway to go to the slight left without crossing into liberal territory and to the slight right without going overboard to the reactionary fringe.  When we must change, we must be sure both the change and the agent for change or method check with the Constitution.  All elected Presidents sworn in take an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States so help [me] God.”  A liberal will always have a harder time with this than a conservative due to the juxtaposition of the Constitution on the continuum.  I believe my devotion to our great Constitution is what makes me a conservative and justifies my decision to be right of the fulcrum on the continuum.

American-Flag1Earlier today, (04.12.2016) I heard Ohio Governor and presidential hopeful John Kasich speak of the two paths, referring to establishment conservatism or the “darkness” referring to but not mentioning by name Donald Trump.  This implies the Republican Party is already fractured and he hopes for the contested convention where the delegates will decide which path.  For the nation, there are several paths and we the people will have to make that choice come November.

First, there is the path of socialism laid out by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who speaks of free college and Medicare for all.  Sanders told his own constituents that taxes will go up but other expenses will go down and overall a better life (of which I respectfully disagree).  This is the first critical step socialism takes in diminishing freedom.  After the food, clothing, and roof over our heads we need for basic survival, the one expense we have no choice in life is taxes.  The same amount of money in taxes is not the same amount of money in private sector expenses.  We have no choice but to pay our taxes and we cannot negotiate tax rates.  But when it comes to which private sector company we choose for our health insurance, we have a choice and can shop rates and select perks based on our age and needs.  The more money we are forced to spend with channels for which we have no choice (i.e. the government) the less free we are.  In the history of the world, no nation with a democracy of some form has ever been as free a nation as the United States of America.

With a generation to eager to violate Ben Franklin and sacrifice liberty for security (both financial and with respect to our enemies domestic and abroad), socialism will inevitably become the law of the land unless America takes drastic action.  These next two national elections, this one and 2020 are the last eight years we have to make right by America and maintain its lofty status as the greatest country in the world.  We took the stopgaps away from corporations and they got too greedy.  Fifty years before the Great Ronald Reagan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt put the stopgaps on and over time Washington, DC got too greedy.  We need a compassionate conservative solution that works.  God Bless the good Republicans who held the line, but the time to simply be the party of NO is over—we need an alternative solution.  We are stuck with Obamacare until we have something better that does not impose on our freedom by penalizing $695 on our income tax for being uninsured.  But we still need laws ensuring nobody is denied insurance due to a pre-existing condition, choices for doctors and specialists, and parents being able to retain children on their insurance until age twenty-six.  We are a nation of laws, but not a nation of regulatory committees, which will grow exponentially in a socialist state.

Then there is the hideous path Trump laid out for a return to bigotry and hatred and laissez-faire form of capitalism where men like Frick and Bayer preached the distribution of wealth is for those few of us selected by God.  While the road to socialism is full of creases and potholes; what Jimmy Buffet referred to as a secondary road that shows its age (Bob Robertson Society Band), the Trump Highway is smoothly paved like a magic carpet; paved with good intentions, as is the road to Hell and is just that in disguise.  A road lined with shiny bobbles that Satan uses to deceive us.  A road to fascism and new era Jim Crow but not just discrimination on skin color, discrimination against anyone not in solidarity with Trump.  A road where the top one percent becomes the top one-one-thousandth percent with the smallest oligarchy in the history of this nation.  A road where the United States has no allies in the world and it becomes us against the world.  A road where the Constitution is reduced to toilet paper.  Not the America where I grew up.

The election of Donald Trump as our president would not be the end of a national nightmare, but merely the beginning.  As long as the odious Trump can keep selling his bills of goods, many of which are not constitutional, he will coerce many Americans to go to their state legislatures and apply for an Article V Convention of States to take the stopgaps off the evil Trump view of the America.  If the Convention of States had the approval of thirty-four state legislatures, they can simply amend the Constitution or throw it completely out and devise a new one which can be ratified with three-quarters of Congress or three-quarters of state legislatures.  This is why Trump must be stopped even if we must break rules to do it and covet clemency later.

Then there is a path to a reunified great nation that can emulate the shining city on the hill.  The path to the shining city is the path that was laid out thirty-six years ago by our founder of modern conservatism, the Great Ronald Reagan.  The path to the shining city is to stay on course with the very status quo that defines our juxtaposition on the classic political continuum, our Constitution.  Not a perfect union, but the most perfect union in the history of the world.  We must change with the times, but we must keep the Constitution in our radar, our GPS as we journey not to the fringe (lead us not into temptation) but to political solutions both partisan and bipartisan that not only sound good on paper, at debates and town halls, and off the tongues of those seeking the presidency, but that actually work (deliver us from evil).  With a Constitution that fully respects God and refused to neither relent to ungodly principles nor let them infiltrate the document, make our great nation as idyllic and pure as any earthly domicile the Good Lord will allow.  This means we must recognize the rights of all mankind including and especially those different from us in appearance, beliefs, and intangibles.  We must become that idyllic small town where everybody knows everybody else and will lend a hand when needed.  We must be what we pledge allegiance to the flag and ensure we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all and that it must be applied to all who inhabit our land and all who desire to escape tyranny and oppression and live free with us.

The roots of such a nation reside first in education because if we do not graduate a generation of self-governing individuals, socialism will becomes a necessary evil for basic survival.  We are at the crossroads right now and we are into the final eight years where we can preserve freedom and American democracy for centuries if we make the right decisions now—not only on who we elect, but in selecting the policies that power the nation and in selecting the methodology to ensure nobody’s rights are violated while the scaffold smothers our quarters.  I ask of the generation about to accept the torch, don’t settle for second best.  Don’t settle for socialism or Trump oligarchy and fascism.  Remember, the continuum is circular and the two fringes meet at the back of the circle.  Both extremes stand for the same things for different reasons.  Ronald Reagan once said the United States of America is the last great hope for mankind.  We are the only true superpower left in the world and without power over foreign lands, we can only lead the world by example.  God Bless the United States of America; in all its glory of the past; and to so it can be that the best is yet to come.

 

Republican ElephantMathematically, I believe the best way to stop Trump is for Kasich to drop out, make Ted Cruz the only anti-Trump option, and allow him to win with 50% of the vote or more to acquire the most delegates.  Good news is Cruz got eight states so he will go to the convention in compliance with Rule 40(b) and be viable should the convention open making it impossible for Kasich or an outsider to be called unless several stale-mated ballots entice the RNC and the delegation to change the rules.  If the convention does not open, Kasich cannot be the nominee because he needs 110% off the remaining delegates (more than 100%) and if Trump upsets Cruz in Wisconsin, Cruz will need 102% going forward, allowing for only two possible scenarios; Trump or an open convention.

If I learned anything interesting through the Decision-2016 process is an appreciation for our political system and the multiple tiers of representation that make us a less than perfect democracy according to how democracy was defined by Aristotle, but how the added representation is a necessary evil.  For twenty-five years or so, I advocated for abolishing the delegate system, having a nationwide primary on the first Tuesday in March with all fifty states and the District of Columbia voting on the same day, and the candidates acquiring the most votes in each party being the respective nominees.  If you go back to 03.01.2016, there would be no way to stop the wrath of Trump and his neo-fascism.  Likewise, as archaic is the electoral college is, should a thug like Trump get elected by a narrow margin in the electoral vote, there is a chance the electors in the twenty-two states that do not bind electors can change their vote and although this contradicts the notion that American Democracy should meet Mr. Lincoln’s criterion of being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, such punitive actions are worthy of clemency as stopping a man like Trump is indeed the greater good.

Dictatorships are made of iron and democracies are made of glass, as it were.  A democracy can vote in a dictator, but a dictatorship cannot vote in a democracy.  I would not be speaking in favor of any punitive actions to void the caucus and primary votes of the people if I did not see a candidate as an eminent threat to our great republic, but Donald Trump demonstrates this every time he opens his mouth.  Many argue our system is broken; I will gladly take a broken democracy over a well-oiled operational dictatorship any day.  And the preservation of its longevity is far more important than how perfect a democracy can be on planet Earth.