You can call it the Weinstein Effect if you like, but what's going on, in reality, is a natural conclusion of years of morally offensive practices.
OK, let me clarify myself here. As the sordid details of Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuses have been brought to the attention of the general public, it also became clear that this wasn't exactly breaking news within the Hollywood community, nor those details about Kevin Spacey or other Hollywood luminaries. Now, we're hearing all sorts of lurid tales of politicians, businessmen, judges, professors, etc., all of whom are now left either to apologize and hope no one sues, or to remain in public denial of these alleged offenses.
This exposure is a good thing, as far as I can see, because these are people in the public eye and have a large influence over culture and policy--thus, it is our business to know what sort of perverted shenanigans they get up to, especially if that behavior borders on criminal. Whether the offender is Bill Clinton or the late Ted Kennedy or Bill Cosby or Jesse Jackson or whoever else, shedding light on evil is a good thing.
Now comes the problem, when politics enters into the fray. Take the situation in Alabama right now, where Judge Roy Moore is accused of some pretty horrendous sexual abuses from several years ago. He's been roundly criticized and ostracized, and rightly so if he in fact guilty. But let's take a look at his opponent, Doug Jones. Jones is an overt and extreme abortion supporter, right up to birth. On MSNBC recently, he declared that AFTER birth, he's a "right-to-lifer," but before birth, apparently that same baby is a woman's body.
Go figure. If that's not magical thinking, I don't know what is.
Regardless, the point is that because of this overly politicized culture in which we live, voters are given little choice in terms of which candidate for public office would be worthy of ones precious vote. The people of Alabama face a terrible choice: an alleged pervert versus a pro-abortion extremist. What does one do, short of a write-in campaign? And if that campaign fails, then the pubic is stuck with a garbage human being now holding office and being paid with our tax dollars.
We live in a culture of either/or, a Zero Sum society where if you have the slightest approval of, say, President Trump, then you're a racist, sexist homophobe, but if you oppose him, you're a pathetic SJW cuck worthy only of ridicule. The minute we start politicizing things to the degree we have, then sexual predators such as Harvey Weinstein get away with horrible behavior. And if the pervert in question has a great tax plan? Then we prop up the pervert in order to save a few bucks in our wallet.
Where does it end?
Personally, I think we're in need of a major cultural shift--not to the far right or left, but toward honesty, both political and intellectual. We have to stop propping up immoral behavior and rewarding failure. That happens through good policy that encourages education, marriage, and financial independence, to decrease our dependence on government. That's why it's so easy to turn a blind eye on immorality, because those immoral people are our bread and butter. We've gotten too used to holding our noses in the voting booth, so bad behavior is never checked.
The larger and more powerful the government is, the less say people actually have, and that includes in our voting. We all get a vote, but when that involves turning a blind eye on either side, then that's a compromised system, and either way, it keeps government in power because the rest of us are forced to act out of weakness. A child can't help who his/her parents are, and sometimes, a kid gets stuck with parents who are criminals or rapists or gangsters or dealers. But in the larger society, we have a choice in who we want our "parents" or leaders to be. Thus, the more dependent we are on government for everything from housing to education to the kind of toothpaste you can use, the more autonomy we give up, and that's what leads to this behavior of turning a blind eye to public figures' evil actions. It's a sign of our weakness as a society, and the only solution is to break that dependency.
While I'm always iffy about President Trump, for his consistent inconsistency, among other things, I do agree with the idea of "draining the swamp," though my version might look a little bit different to his. I look at these Congressional Republicans who are supposed to be making government smaller, and all I can do is cringe with every compromise and failure, particularly as they have a majority...for now. But these weak Republicans are the product of a morally weak society, and like everyone else, they seem terrified of cutting the governmental umbilical cord.
My call to action is for a popular revival of virtue, for the culture to encourage and praise real goodness, to praise girls and guys for waiting until marriage, to celebrate modest dress, and so on. That doesn't mean shaming people, but rather to put a cultural emphasis on the good and the wholesome again, to give young people a model of behavior they can admire and model. This all may sound very hokesy, but maybe we need a little bit of that, if only to prevent a further downfall of our society. It means we can raise the standard of behavior we expect from our public figures, whether on the screen or in elected office or in the stadium.
In short, if we are to expect good behavior from our cultural figures, then we need to behave better ourselves. To be fair, we can't trash public figures for the same exact behavior we're doing. We need to climb up from the empty rhetoric of virtue signaling and start to live that behavior we're calling for in our public figures. So if you're going to call out President Trump for his multiple marriage, you'd better check your own behavior first.
Our Lord Jesus Christ pointed out to the hypocritical Pharisees, "How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.'" (Luke 6: 42)
So far, so good.
I hate to admit it, or do I?
Each day since the inauguration of President Trump has been a tricky one, to be sure, considering his track record and past statements (see posts below). To be honest, I wasn't so sure what we'd get once Donald Trump entered into office, and I'm still not totally sure.
Can the man please lay off Twitter, for goodness sake?
But OK, he feels like it's his direct line to the public, so whatever. It's not a side of him that I like, and it's usually those moments that make me cringe. And then he turns around and appoints Neil Gorsuch, who seems to have a strong conservative background. I also liked that he reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which forbids American non-governmental programs from pending abortion abroad. I'm also glad he got us out of TPP and the Paris Climate Accords, and that he's working on cutting regulations and reducing the size of government. That's all good stuff, as far as I'm concerned.
No wall yet, but frankly, would that make that much of a difference? I'm no immigration expert by a long shot, so correct me if I'm way off--I would think that enforcing immigration laws more completely would be a better deterrent than a big wall, especially when you consider all the ways people would get across anyway. On the other hand, illegal immigration is supposedly down since January, even with no wall built. And a wall wouldn't necessarily protect us against acts of terrorism, but again, I'm no expert on any of that. Still, it seems that the word is out that our laws are actually being enforced, which is good. My hope is that will lead to more legal immigration, but I guess we'll see.
Furthermore, I appreciate that the Feds are now stepping back from education, allowing local communities have more charge. The more empowered individuals are in making their own choices regarding things like education, the better off we all are, so it's good to see a President who supports that.
I'm not going to comment on the whole Russia thing, mostly because I see it as a hoax that distracts people from the real situation in the world. I see Comey as opportunistic and unreliable (I thought that about him last year, and I can totally see why Hillary Clinton is furious with him), and I have little trust in the special prosecutor, considering the Clinton donors he's got on his team. But if even Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi say there's no evidence of any criminality, then I think it's time to move on...which I have.
I'm not sorry for my concerns about Trump back when he was campaigning, and I still see sides of him that I intensely dislike. I also see that there's been a fair amount of lies spread about him, to gain political points. But in addition to that, I have to remind myself that he was elected to be President, not Saint. Let us not forget Bill Clinton and the cigar. Trump may have said that a star could grab a woman by the p***y, Clinton stuck a cigar in it. In the Oval Office. And Hillary didn't call her husband unfit afterward. Then there's JFK and his revolving bedroom door. But we still love him, don't we? We still hold him up regardless, right? And of course, FDR was unfaithful to his wife throughout their marriage, but we don't call him unfit, do we?
When it comes right down to it, I think we would all do well to take a step back, calm the heck down, and let the man do his job. He hasn't screwed anything up yet, and at this points, I want to see him just get on with things. In a large way, that's what he's doing, so I hope he just continues that...as long as he continues to govern as a conservative, that is. Given time and real thought, health care and tax reform will come--why rush such important issues? Shouldn't they be done right rather than quickly? And if Trump continues his conservative trend, then who knows? Maybe I'll don a MAGA hat myself in 2020!
But I still prefer Ted Cruz (even if he looks like Grandpa Munster).
Today, thousands of Americans took to the streets across the nation to march for women's rights. Many marched to support their sisters and to affirm the beauty and dignity of women. In many ways, this march was a healthy expression of the recognition of women's strength and powerful presence in the world.
Amen to that, sisters!
At the same time, something else was going on that wasn't so healthy, so I think the best thing to do is to look at the "Unity Principles" on the Women's March site itself. First, they start with "Ending Nonviolence," which is a great way for anyone to start:
Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.
Did you notice that? Who is the perpetrator of violence? Not rapists or "rape culture," but the police and any other form of law enforcement. But they don't offer an alternative. This principle might be just fine, and certainly it's great to be against any systemic violence, but perhaps we should look at countries that oppress women to a far greater degree.
The next principle is "Reproductive Rights":
We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education.
I don't believe that every woman who marched today is pro abortion, and I don't believe that every woman who marched today is in favor of unbridled killing of innocent human life. I believe that most of the women who marched today are decent, law abiding individuals who want to make a difference, and that is a noble thing. That being said, they took part in an organization funded by blood money. The "Exclusive Premiere Sponsor" of the event was Planned Parenthood, and one of the "Social Justice Partners" was NARAL.
The Honorary Co-Chairs of the event include radical extremists such as Angela Davis (who considers Israel to be an apartheid state, and who is a proponent of the anti-Semitic BDS movement) and Dolores Huerta (a great admirer of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez).
Other partners funding the event include:
Of course, mixed in with all these radical partners are some fine organizations who do some good work for women in the community. At the same time, these good organizations are diminished by association. The stink of abortion taints the entire thing, and that's too bad. It's tragic, in fact.
Here's the thing: marches like this bother me because they treat women like helpless waifs who have no ability to function by their own wits, while at the same time affirming women's strength. For me, it's hard because, while I'd love to endorse any organization that supports women, I will not support any organization that offers abortion as a solution to problems. It's as though if Planned Parenthood lost its federal funding, that women would suddenly be incapable of regulating their own lives and their own fertility. Isn't that the opposite of the otherwise affirming message of the march?
If women are strong and powerful and amazing, then why do they need Planned Parenthood to take control of their fertility? If women are fantastic, when would their lives fall collectively into ruin should there be even the smallest regulation on abortion? Don't they think women can cope? What happened to Rosie the Riveter proclaiming "We can do it!"? What do these organizers really think of women? Don't they trust women's abilities to regulate their own fertility rather than assuming they can't? Can't women have the presence of mind to keep their knees together without Planned Parenthood trying to tell them they can't? Who really does support the dignity and strength of women?
There's probably a lot more I could say about this march. As a woman, I wish I could support it, but I cannot. All I can say is that I hope that women truly can see their own strength and really understand that they don't need Planned Parenthood or the government to dictate to them what they can and cannot do, nor make women feel powerless. The rhetoric today was such that it makes me worry that some will feed into that and start to believe it.
As for me, I will do my best to keep my hope in women and in our ability to rise above. We do not need Planned Parenthood. We can make healthy choices that do not involve someone else's death. We can love our bodies and not turn it into a place of violence. And we don't need radical women with extremist agendas to try to tell us otherwise.
Let the freakout begin.
Remember back in 2008 when Obama won, and some conservatives freaked out and called him a Muslim and a Communist and then liberals said they were a bunch of crybabies and racists and sore losers? Remember that? Yeah, well now it would seem that the Birkenstock is on the other foot.
Some of you may remember when conservatives freaked out over the video below--look at the title! Paramilitary Obama Youth Corps! Then there were some who compared these kids to the Hitler Youth. Remember that?
Remember these kids? These gradeschoolers who sang all about Obama (at the behest of their teachers, naturally)
Yeah, remember that? Remember how Obama voters slammed critics of these videos as racist, conspiratorial, Nazis who were mad about the election because the white man lost and the black man won? Remember that? And the critics had a point--these kids didn't become drones of the World State, and they didn't go to re-education camps funded by George Soros. They went on with their schooling and are probably in college now. Let's just hope they're not among the SJWs who are having temper tantrums about words written in chalk.
I've seen a lot of inflated rhetoric these days, much of which uses the words "racist," "xenophobic," "hater," "fascist." That last one really puzzles me because, while Trump is a lot of things I don't like, he's NOT a fascist. As Jonah Goldberg points out HERE, "So, yes, sure fascism was seen as being to the 'right' of Communism, because it was." But Goldberg also points out
The Nazi organization of the economy was certainly to the left of what FDR did during the early New Deal. It was also very similar in numerous ways, as many New Dealers admitted at the time (including FDR himself). Many respected historians (such as Wolfgang Schivelbusch, John Garraty, et al) have noted these similarities. To be sure, the New Deal was right-wing compared with the Soviet model too. But that makes the New Deal “right-wing” only from the Marxist perspective, not the laissez-faire/classical-liberal perspective.
Benjamin Barber wrote in the Huffington Post that
I know that clarifying the actual meaning of such terms, deployed by ignorant zealots to vilify opponents in our over the top Congressional elections, is unlikely to make much of a political difference. People who use words as clubs are not really interested in their meaning. But just for the record, words do have meanings.
Barber made a great point back then, but unfortunately, many on his side of the aisle don't seem to practice what they preach when it's their candidate who lost and the other side that won. The prevailing excuse for this double standard is to use epithets as stated above, but what does that accomplish? It frightens people, it "poisons the well" by not allowing the new Administration to get a fair start. Oh, conservatives did that to Obama? Perhaps, but wait, didn't Obama supporters accuse his opponents of being un-American and unsupportive? Didn't they take conservatives to the woodshed over that? Yet now they're doing the same thing.
Remember that quote from Rush Limbaugh, the Left's Moloch? "I hope he fails." Remember that? Remember the outcry? the accusations of racism? ThinkProgess wrote:
Barack Obama has not yet taken office, and Rush Limbaugh is already rooting for his failure. (ThinkProgress 2009)
Wasn't that so unfair? Here Obama was, fresh from his victory over an old white guy and now the mean conservatives aren't being fair? Remember all of that? And now that Trump has won, we get this rhetoric:
One recalls Adolph Hitler and the rise of German Fascism. Hitler started out preaching his form of political gospel in the beer halls of Germany, where he frequently got a standing ovation. He honed his message there. Word of Hitler's speaking came to the ears of Dietrich Eckart, who was a famous German playwright and political activist, specifically the founder of the German Workers' Party. Eckhart was also an occultist and the occult society that he belonged to had predicted the coming of a "German Messiah" who would lead the workers forward. Think of Eckhart as Morpheus and Hitler as Neo from "The Matrix" and you have the concept. So Eckhart, mesmerized by Hitler and wealthy and influential, convinced his equally wealthy and influential friends to embrace Hitler as "the One" and they did; and put their bank accounts behind Hitler and got him onto the radio and into the newsreels as well. Hitler and his followers took Eckhart's Workers' Party and morphed it into the Nazi Party.
As much of a jerk that Trump is, to connect him in any way to Hitler and the Shoah is vile and inexcusable. You can say a lot of negative stuff about him (I already have), but to equate him with concentration camps and Jim Crow and white supremacy is going too far. This is inflated rhetoric on steroids, and it needs to stop if we are ever to move ahead as a nation. It was ugly when it was done to Obama, and it's ugly now.
Let me leave you with this graphic below, just as evidence of the way in which some on the left are characterizing both Trump and the Republican Party. This should offend you, but it should also show all of us that this rhetoric is powerful and it's not going anywhere any time soon. Unfortunately, many will look at a graphic like the one below and buy into it and take from it that all conseratives are like this. It is this kind of ad hominem attacks that all conservatives, therefore, must confront and address.
Clearly, we're headed for some strange times, from many areas of life. Let's just hope that we can rise above, keep our own rhetoric healthy and helpful, and never cave into bullying or vilification.
Thank God this damn election is over.
I know some of you are delighted with the outcome and some of you are troubled, and some of you are freaked out. Trust me, I understand all of that, and frankly, where I stand is uncertain. A lot of people I know and respect voted for Trump, and others I know and respect did not. And NO, that doesn't mean they voted for Hillary Clinton. It means their conscience couldn't permit them to vote for either. And NO, that doesn't mean that those who held their nose to vote for Trump didn't follow their conscience.
This whole cycle has been such a disgrace, and for so many reasons that have little to do with the actual candidates. There's been gloom and doom on both sides, as if choosing one candidate over the other will either destroy the planet altogether or condemn your soul to hell. The sad part of this was to see some individuals I normally respect suddenly turn into 21st century Pharisees. The judgmentalism got so thick, I could barely have a discussion even with other conservatives, lest they lambast me with admonitions and threats of hellfire and damnation. No exaggeration. I like discussion, but I resent being lectured or scolded.
One priest I really respect said recently that if you voted for the lesser of two evils, then you made a wrong choice because you still voted for evil. But, if you voted for a candidate based on a potential good outcome, then that was acceptable. Wise words. Were more people as understanding and clear-headed as he, this would be a much better world.
Instead, a lot of conservatives got caught up in a negative, and shall I say demonic vortex that shorted out their reason and any sense of compassion toward those with whom they disagreed. Sure, there are serious issues with voting for Hillary Clinton, but to stand on ones proverbial pulpit and point an accusing finger and question anyone's private spiritual life is unChristian and uncharitable. On the Cross, Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." If only more Christians would actually follow this sentiment.
These self-righteous hypocrites made me see why some liberals hate conservatives, to be honest. Heavy-handed judgmentalism is hard to take, especially when it gets wrapped up in religious rhetoric. It gets really old really quickly. I heard sentiments to the effect of saying "the REAL Catholics" or "the REAL pro-lifers" think this and that, as if a difference of opinion suddenly renders one not Catholic or pro abortion. As I've said before, this election is not a Zero Sum Game where if Hillary is wrong, Trump must be right, or if I'm not voting for Trump, I must necessarily not care about the unborn.
This kind of garbage doesn't actually help anything or anyone, and in fact, it's demonic in nature. The devil wants to separate us, pit us against each other, manipulate our feelings and fears and insecurities so that we start backbiting each other and alienating each other. I even heard stories of people's friendships breaking down over posts in social media. These are good people, people who are pro-life and generous and gifted and intelligent, now cat-scratching each other and throwing around accusations and nursing deep, emotional and personal wounds. All because of some Facebook post or Tweet or whatever else.
God help us if we're that petty. That's exactly what the devil wants, and if we don't start to fight back and reach out to each other, then we really are lost and it won't matter who is in elected office.
Therefore, my post election advice is as following, for both liberals and conservatives:
In the classroom, teachers often get frustrated when students incessantly ask about numbers of points or how many sentences does this need or what number of what will get me an A. My response is always the same: focus on the material and really learn it, and the grades will come naturally.
So why can't we apply that to the political process?
Just think, if we hadn't listened to the polls, the two people at the top of the Presidential ticket might be very different from the two individuals we have today. Politics today has become a slice-and-dice numbers game, totally based on trying to satisfy the diverse populations that have little to do with each other and that often contradict each other.
You end up with a candidate who has to make these kinds of decisions:
When politics is turned into a numbers game like this, how can we determine who is the best candidate? This sort of poll-driven culture breeds shallow decision-making, much like those students who are totally driven by grades and their GPA and test scores. Choosing a candidate isn't like solving for X. It's not a formula or an equation or a template to be filled in. Yet the media drives that unhealthy, unthinking narrative all the time, only serving to increase confusion and causing many voters to go for a famous name. The devil you know is better than the devil you don't.
Seriously, look at these two now running in the general election. Could anyone ask for any worse people than them? Couldn't the Democrats come up with a far better, more qualified candidate? I'm not a Democrat, but I have to think that the Party leadership made their decisions based on the idea that this year is "Hillary's turn," as if the country owes her something for having put up with that pig of a husband of hers for so long.
The Republicans are no better. When you consider the vast array of excellent candidates: Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, among others, the best they could end up with was Donald Trump? Really? That aging sleaze bag huckster is the vision of the future? God help us.
But look at what they did throughout the primary process. Everything was geared toward who could beat Hillary and who looked Presidential and who satisfied which demographic in which state or county or region. Not character. Not real vision. Not integrity. Not commitment to the Constitution. I actually understand why people such as Mark Levin and Ted Cruz have admitted that they'll vote for Trump, even if I disagree. They both know that Hillary is a "deplorable" excuse for a human being and that her presidency would be a disaster.
Every time I feel a little tempted to cave in and support Trump, all I have to do is listen to what he says, and then I fall back into my #NeverTrump mindset. I'm happy there.
At the same time, I wish I weren't in that situation. I wish I could have remained a Republican and that I could support the Republican candidate, but with things as they are, I simply cannot. Had the culture been different, had people followed their hearts and been able to separate themselves from the powerful media narrative, we might have a better choice. Personally, I think the media pushed Trump as an exciting, fun, refreshing candidate while at the same time, holding on to all the scandal they've been collecting on him for years. That way, when he runs against the awful Hillary, she comes out smelling like a flower and he comes out smelling like a turd.
And America loses either way. As long as we insist on looking on percentages and not at individuals, we will continue to have sub-par candidates. Until we as Americans start to think more deeply and to insist that candidates are evaluated based on the content of their character rather than on which special interest group likes them or hates them, then maybe we'll finally get leaders that will truly help to restore the United States to a place of exceptionalism and greatness.
America deserves much more than the slop we've been dished out, but it's on us as a people to drive out the slop and demand the very best. That means thinking beyond polls and demographics and looking inward, at the candidates and at ourselves.
What the hell?
This political year has been a strange, surreal experience for me and for many conservatives who take serious issue with Donald Trump. For months, he's bullied and insulted his way to the top, and now, it's time for the coronation as the GOP's El Jefe.
Many of the speeches were fantastic, to be honest. I liked Pat Smith's heartfelt testimony and hard words for Clinton, and I admired Sheriff David Clarke as he talked about the war against our law enforcement officers. All strong, standard conservative themes. And then it got strange on Tuesday, as they started to talk about business and job creation. Traditionally, conservatives favor the free market and look to competition and international cooperation to develop the economy and create jobs. This classic video below will give you a pretty good idea of the power of the free market.
I doubt Donald Trump would agree with this, considering he wants to impose tariffs on nations like China. (THIS article explains the problem with tariffs). Trump's ignorant oversimplification of the trade problem with China, in fact, could cost Americans a lot more in the long run. He wants to impose a 45% tariff on goods imported from China, but that's really just a band-aid over a bigger with labor overall. If those other problems, such as the high cost of doing business in America, aren't addressed and remedied, then the cost of goods will skyrocket and damage the economy further. Take a look at THIS and THIS from the National Review for more information. Trump's short-sighted, quick-fix mentality is further shown by Kevin Williamson from the National Review: "For many years, nearly half of our trade deficit came from imports of a single product: oil, not Hondas or cheap flip-flops from China. Oil accounted for 40.5 percent of the trade deficit from 2000 to 2012."
Wasn't Trump supposed to be a sharp, fierce businessman with a deep understanding of industry and trade? Then again, he wants to build a wall to protect us from illegal immigrants, as if that's the big solution.
What particularly appalled me these last couple of days were the speeches by Rudy Giuliani and Mike Pence, both of whom went out of their way to insist that Trump is a good guy with a big heart. A real pussy. (the kitty cat kind, of course...). "I am sick and tired of the defamation of Donald Trump by the media and by the Clinton campaign — I am sick and tired of it!” Giuliani said. “This is a good man!”
So let's review and see whether this is correct. Let's start with "Lyin Ted" and "Little Marco," and even "Crooked Hillary." These are schoolyard taunts, not appropriate for an adult seeking the highest office in the land. We teach children not to call people names, so shouldn't we hold adults, especially those running for public office, to the same standard? That doesn't say "good man" to me.
OK, how about some of the other things he has said over the last several months. Do these show him to be a good man? I found these at refinery29.com
The verdict: Sorry, Rudy, but you're wrong. Thanks for playing.
So this is the guy the GOP is supporting (noses pinched tightly closed)? Then it's no longer my party. If they are so cowardly that they can't stand up to this bully, preferring to lose their reputation and honor for the sake of power, then I don't even know what to say. I just hope that Ted Cruz will say some good things and tell the truth about this man. I'd like to think that he's got a moral scope and a lot of integrity, so I guess we'll see. In the meantime, I'll continue to reel from the disgusting display Mike Pence gave yesterday, equating Donald Trump to Ronald Reagan. SMH
Yes, I'm one of those.
I've heard all the arguments: "you may as well vote for Hillary;" "do you want Hillary to determine the Supreme Court"?
And so on, ad nauseam.
I'm not #NeverTrump because I like Hillary or because I'm an idiot or because I'm bitter about Ted Cruz. Mainly, I have one major reason (maybe 2-3) for being #NeverTrump
First, I don't like Trump. I think he's a nasty, vile person who has temper tantrums and behaves like a spoiled five year-old brat when he doesn't get his way or when someone says something negative about him. Take his treatment of Megyn Kelly for example, or Elizabeth Warren (I don't like her but I don't think she's "goofy"), or just all the awful things he's said about women over the years.
Second, Trump has no ideological core in relation to his stances on policy. Let's take abortion for example, which apparently he's pro life except in the cases when he's pro choice. So he's said he's not against partial-birth abortion, but then he says he's pro life, then he wants to prosecute women who seek abortion and then he just pulls the Regan card. When it comes right down to it, it seems like his stance on abortion blows with the wind--if it's more strategic to be pro choice, then he's pro choice but if it's better to be pro life then he's pro life "with exceptions" (like partial-birth abortion apparently, which is tantamount to infanticide). Thus, if he can't manage to make a strong stance one way or the other on such an important issue, then how can we trust him on other issues?
Let's take nuclear proliferation, for example. One day it's a global problem and suddenly he thinks that Japan and South Korea should obtain nuclear weapons. One day he's against the Iraq war and the next he's OK with it. One day he's heard of David Duke and then he hasn't (when Duke endorsed him). One day he's a huge supporter of Israel and suddenly he wants to be neutral, and then he tries to pander to AIPAC after that. And despite the NRA's endorsement of him, he still favors gun control, even when he says he doesn't.
Third, he's not conservative! He even said that it's the Republican Party, not the Conservative Party. Here's a general laundry list of his liberal stances (except when he flip flops on them when it's convenient):
I'm not going to get into the whole violence at his rallies issue because it's clear that much of the violence comes from anti-Trump people. That he won't calm people down is evidence of his manipulation, but I'll save that whole thing for another day.
In the meantime, keeping all this in mind and more, I can't see my way to holding my nose and voting for him. How can I vote for someone when his stance on everything changes on a daily basis? There's a lot I could probably forgive to vote for him, but as he's shown himself to be unstable, immature, cowardly, and manipulative, my vote will go elsewhere (not to Hillary). Everyone has to vote their conscience, so if that leads you to support Trump, then that's your decision. As for me, I'll remain in the #NeverTrump #NeverHillary camp and pray for a better tomorrow.
God save America!
These are just some of the few outrageous things Donald Trump has uttered in recent times, to the disgust of critics nationwide, on all sides of the political spectrum. What has mystified me, along with so many others, is why such a man would get even a single vote, and especially from conservatives and Evangelicals.
But let's take a look at the wider culture for a moment. Let's see what's been popular in our culture in recent years:
Granted, some of these shows are well done and have substance (I'm a fan of "Game of Thrones"), however, if we look at them as a whole, it's easy to see a cultural trend that is not healthy. Viewers all over the country have been fed a steady diet of shows that feature too much violence, too much sexuality, base values, crass language, and not too much substance beyond the obvious.
Along comes Donald Trump in 2016, then, running for President of the United States of America. As disgusted as we should be, it's not really surprising to me that Trump has become a sort of folk hero to so many. After all, when you consider 7 years of a do-nothing Congress who has given up so much of their own power to Obama, it's clear that we need a change, someone who is a political outsider. Indeed, the outsider candidates have done very well, including Trump, Ted Cruz, and Bernie Sanders on the other end of the spectrum.
Many voters, myself included, view Ted Cruz as a sort of Second Coming of Ronald Reagan, our best chance in 25 years of a return to a stronger nation. He is supported by people of substance, including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Greg Abbot, Rick Perry, Ben Shapiro, Thomas Sowell, even Caitlyn Jenner. Yet Trump seems to be sucking away precious votes, despite what should be a no-brainer. Are people so sick and tired of politics as usual that they have chosen the shiniest, noisiest trinket on the shelf?
On this day when we all heard about the death of Nancy Reagan, many of us who came of age in the 1980's are feeling a bit nostalgic, a little wistful about the good old days. It also makes me wonder whether Ronald Reagan could be elected in 2016. Granted, a lot of crazy stuff went down in the 1980's--we weren't bunch of innocents or anything. But there was heart in those days, a sense of the appropriate, and without the need for "trigger warnings." We just knew the boundaries, even if we decided to break them sometimes. The culture has devolved since then, replaced by political correctness and misplaced tolerance for the inappropriate.
Take some of the current trends in fashion, for example. Men and boys with their asses hanging out of their pants, literally, or women and girls with micro mini skirts--neither trend is brand new, but as the norm, they have made indecency cute. I admit that as a pre-teen, I tried to get away with wearing "booty shorts." It was the late 70's! But both my parents and the culture preached otherwise, so even when I tried to rebel, I knew I was acting inappropriately. I didn't always obey, but at least I knew I was wrong.
Similarly, back in the day, we had artists who were crass and rude and inappropriate, but we knew they were out of line, even if we listened to them anyway. The cultural shift, however, has made the crass and banal acceptable, normal, even desirable. So moms listen to Miley and Nicki and Ke$ha along with their kids. So what is Donald Trump but a continuation of the same cultural downshift? With the rest of the culture in the cesspool, Trump's popularity makes perfect sense.
Let's just hope this doesn't go too far. A Trump presidency (or a Clinton one for that matter) would be a celebration of the dregs of society and the death of propriety or true sensitivity or taste.
God bless America. God save America...from itself.
The moment Sen. Ted Cruz entered the Presidential race, I knew that I would support his campaign. Though I like Marco Rubio a lot, there's something about Ted Cruz that stands out to me, more so than with Rubio. Both men are principled, but what I think I admire about Cruz is that he's ready to deliver on what he says.
I was particularly impressed by him, for example, when he stood up to the rest of the Senate related to abortion and Planned Parenthood. He was willing to take a huge political risk and speak out for his beliefs, even if he was mocked and insulted. I love that about him that he has the political and personal courage to see something through. It's not that some of the other candidates wouldn't stand up for their beliefs, but I think that Cruz will actually put everything on the line rather than cave in to pressure. That's exactly what we need right now.
Trump may be about "the art of the deal," but Cruz is wiser than that. He knows all too well that a bad deal isn't worthwhile, and that sticking to the Constitution is far greater than anything else as an American. Cruz has shown that he has the judgment to make smart political decisions and to be honest. Sure, he'll play politics, as all politicians do, but he strikes me as someone who puts values first, and who bases his politics on his values.
He's been labeled as the Second Coming of Reagan by many on the right, and I don't disagree with that. Reagan was about creating opportunities for individuals to determine their own future and to be independent, and I see that in Ted Cruz. HERE'S+ his record defending the Constitution, from his campaign site. In an essay for Constituting America, Cruz had this to say:
The reason for this failure lies in Congress’s refusal to fulfill its constitutional role. For far too many members of Congress, partisan loyalty to the President and ideological commitment to his goals outweigh any interest in asserting their own institutional rights and prerogatives as the people’s representatives. They are all too willing to hand power over to the President.
A Cruz presidency would hand power back to the People, just as Reagan tried to do. There's been so much frustration with Congress these last several years, and despite all the promises from the GOP saying they're suing Obama or they're doing whatever else, Congress has still failed to meet its Constitutional duties. I believe that a President Cruz would change that and help to restore the balance of power that has been violated again and again by the current Administration and Congress.
Whoever you happen to choose for President this year, I would just urge you to consider the person, and not the title. In this year of the disgruntled voter, there's been a huge, well-deserved backlash against "the establishment," however, that anger should not blind anyone to make a huge mistake. Yes, Cruz is a politician, but he's also a man of principle and strong character. He is not a panderer, and he's not a chameleon. He's just himself, for better or worse. Choose your candidate well, and from BOTH your heart and your mind.
God bless America!
Our national problem is not political, but spiritual. As long as we live in a godless society, we will continue to have the Obamas and Clintons and Trumps of the world.