Tag Archives: Vote

Hail to the Chief

Ok, I can admit when I’m wrong. I’ve never had a problem with that. So, here goes. I was wr-wr-wr-wr—wr….ahem….I was wr-wr-wr-wr-wr….(I can do this)…uh, I was….not exactly right. (apologies to the Fonz).

So, Trump won after all. I didn’t expect that. But it’s all good. At least Hillary didn’t win and that was the real issue. All my concerns about her machinations to ensure her presidency are now moot. The good news is that America has a chance to have a conservative justice to replace Scalia and any judges who retire in the next 4 years, which was one of my biggest concerns with a Clinton presidency. That, and with a Republican controlled house and senate, we should have no worries about infringements on our second amendment rights for the next four years.

For these reasons, I am happy.

But now we have the Donald as president. That is…unpredictable. Granted, Obama demonstrated that the presidency can be shackled by a recalcitrant congress, so if Trump goes too far afield, congress should be able to rein him in, but the real concern will be his mouth and how he interacts with world leaders on that stage. He is used to making multinational business deals, but politics is a bit different. Hopefully, he will surround himself with competent advisors to council him on protocols for dealing with politics on a world stage and he won’t embarrass himself or the nation.

To those who bemoan this missed opportunity to have a woman in the Oval Office: please do not take this election as a reaffirmation that America won’t allow a woman to be president. This election merely asserted that America won’t allow Hillary Clinton to be president. By all means, select a more qualified candidate next time. If she is not completely crazy and an elitist, ultra leftist/neosocialist who cannot identify with mainstream America, she has a chance. Having a vagina should NEVER be a criterion upon which a president is chosen. The president should represent his or her constituency, not describe them as deplorable when they do not agree with him or her.

I am glad I was…not exactly right. It means that our election system is not totally corrupted and run completely by the media and businesses (Soros), and that citizens can determine their governance which is as it should be. That, my friends, is democracy in action, even if we don’t agree with the outcome. I was pleasantly surprised as the election results ticked in on my browser last night. I refused to watch the media’s reports as they worked feverishly to predict and direct a Clinton win.

Speaking of the media, they have been lamenting the loss of their golden child all morning, trying to explain Hillary’s loss in terms they can understand. One pundit said it was because many more white voters went to the polls that they anticipated. Another claimed it was “Whitelash” as white voters cast ballots against Obama, rather than for Trump. Really? Now it’s racist? The media spent way too much time and energy trying to sway voters to vote for Hillary, they are having fits trying to figure out how to go on in the wake of the Trump victory. If only there was a way Americans could vote the media out of office, that would be a true victory at the polls.

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The Sweet and the Bitter of Election Day

Tuesday the 8th of November, 2016 will be a bittersweet day for many people in this country, if not the whole world. It is the date that the worst campaign in the history of this country will officially end, which is the sweet part. The bitter part is that it is also the date that we will have elected the person who will no doubt go down in history as one of the worst world leaders ever. It is not because we have been forced against our will to endorse a tyrant, but rather we have degraded the principles of liberty so much that the citizens of this country no longer know any better than to elect people based not on capability, but instead on popularity. Knowledge and logic have been supplanted by feelings.

This is not new to this election cycle, unfortunately. The election of Barack Obama was the first time a president was chosen not because of skill, knowledge, or experience, but rather because of social popularity. Obama was not elected because he was the most capable, he was elected because people thought it was time we had a black man in the White House. This election is another opportunity for the populists who want social justice to ring their bell by not electing the best candidate, but by electing the first woman to the presidency. In fact, it has become the media catch phrase as pundits tout how America will make history by electing Hillary Clinton.

The social justice warriors who gave us affirmative action and hiring quotas are now trying to staff the White House, as if the qualifications for that job are limited to the color of one’s skin or the gender to which they self-identify. A knowledge of history, or law, or economics or anything understood to be a formal education are not even mentioned in the candidate selection process. None of the candidates who ran in either primary touted their academic credentials. Very few of them mentioned their relevant experience. All of them threw out their feelings on the issues about which the media had drummed the populace into a frenzy and batted sound bites around like a litter of puppies fighting over a toy, and we the people watched with similar fascination as we decried the responses that hurt our feelings and shouted along with the ones that echoed our own beliefs.

As a society, we have become so focused on feelings, that real matters that have meaning are relegated to whispers among the like minded, too afraid to speak out in public for fear of being labeled a bigot, racist, misogynist, extremist, leftist, right-wing, birther, libtard. If we cannot discuss the serious matters facing society as a whole, how can we hope to find a leader willing to do it? We can’t. This is why our politicians have become so impotent lately. They are afraid of being on the losing side of legislation being voted on by a public who cannot be counted on to actually learn anything different from their preconceived notions and ideals and who think it is time we had a woman in the White House even if that woman is a proven manipulative, elitist liar who doesn’t even think members of her own party are worthy of consideration.

Clinton said in an interview that she wants to be the president of those who vote for her and those who vote against her. Well, that is as stupid a statement as any candidate has ever made, but nothing more can be expected from someone who has manipulated the system at every turn to ensure her victory in the election, even going so far as to have defrauded the country by negotiating back room deals, including selecting her opponent, to lock in her win, no matter the outcome of the ballot count. When Hillary is announced as the winner (and she will be) understand it will not be because of the ballots cast. It will be because she defrauded an already corrupted process and was validated by a population that wanted a woman—any woman—president. Wednesday morning, there will be no more campaign commercials and no more news time devoted to the campaigns, but we will have someone who will no doubt end up being the worst president in history sitting in the White House. Bittersweet indeed.

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Culling the Herd

This blog has been silent of late, due, in no small measure to my own laziness, but also and more significantly by my ennui about all things political. Public reactions to the issues of the day and the coverage of the media have left me stunned silent and unable to articulate a response. I cannot grasp how an intelligent person can think the way that so many people seem to be thinking lately. I cannot follow how rational minds can accept the overreach of the judiciary and the executive branches of government without so much as an outcry about checks and balances. But before I go completely into rant mode, I do want to answer a political question my niece asked me in response to a comment I made on a friend’s Facebook post.

My pastor, Randy White, wrote a blog in which he analyzed the Fox news republican “debate.” I put that in quotes because it was not so much a debate as an attempt by Fox to rank the candidates. I won’t spell out Randy’s entire post here, but suffice to say he and I agreed on almost every point. This is a lot of why he has been my pastor for the past 9 years. He’s leaving the church now and I am very upset about it.

The debates are supposed to help the public find a candidate to support. This should allow the field of candidates be winnowed down to a reasonable number. We started the campaign season with a record seventeen republicans; too many to appear on one stage at the same time. Fox divided them up according to their polling numbers, which is no small statement about their viability as a candidate.

The candidates I feel have a shot:

Ted Cruz: He’s a long shot, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that he could pull off the nomination with some money and a good CM.

Mike Huckabee: One of the best speakers in the field. He communicates well and he has a lot of good ideas. His biggest weakness in the election is his strongest asset to his base: his faith. As an ordained minister, a lot of people are not comfortable with someone so strong in his faith leading the country, which is a shame. We need more like him.

Marco Rubio: Young, energetic and Latino. I differ from Randy on this one. The pundits like him and they love to categorize him as the republican’s best hope for relevance in the future. His youth may work against him unless he gets a crack team on his campaign. My biggest problem with him is his support for amnesty for illegal aliens.

Jeb Bush: Pros: Experience, name recognition, good speaker. Cons: Name recognition, waffler, past support for Planned Parenthood. I’m not a big fan of the younger Bush, and a lot of moderates are similarly unimpressed. Liberals will shut him down out of spite for GW’s administration. He has the best chance, however, of sustaining a campaign thanks to the established power base within the party.

Kasich: Was on the stage as a nod to Ohio only. He had some good responses to the questions he was soft-pitched, but he hasn’t spelled out his policy platform yet, aside from commenting on the media issues of immigration and abortion. He doesn’t have enough wide-spread support to maintain a campaign.

Rand Paul: The hothead. A lot of bluster and good interchange between him and Trump and Bush. Makes for good television, but that’s all he’s good for. He reminds me of the one guy hollering at the back of a crowd that desperately wants him to shut up, even if they know he’s right. I don’t see him riding it out until the end. He doesn’t have a presidential bearing.

Ben Carson: I loved his responses and I love his message. If no one had to actually hear him say it, he would go a long way. As it is, he looked unsteady on the stage, pale, almost sickly and tentative in his tone. He did not look presidential, even though he had some of the best things to say. If he gets an image consultant, he may last it out, otherwise not.

Donald Trump: I may be alone on this, but I hope not. Trump is NOT a republican candidate. Trump is on the Clinton campaign. His mission is to split the vote, and he is well on his way to doing so. Allow me to elucidate.

The current Democratic Party contest consists of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Sanders is an admitted socialist running as a democrat (semantics, I know, since they have become one and the same) and not a genuine candidate. The party just has to have someone else to look like they are having a real primary since they have no incumbent. Hillary took a dive in ’08 so the party could elect the first black president in history with a proviso that she would be the candidate in ’16. There will be no other viable candidate on the democratic ticket unless Hillary gets convicted.

Now, the democrats are well aware that Obama has lost a lot of the moderate and independent voters that helped get him into office. Since those voters are up in the air, the only way to ensure Hillary gets elected is to prevent those independent and moderate voters from voting republican. The best way to do that is to give them an alternative: enter Donald Trump. Trump is spouting the republican battle cry like a seasoned general—almost like he actually believes it. Heck, I like what he’s saying. I agree with most of what he is saying. The problem is that I don’t think he actually believes what he is saying.

He won’t get the nomination. He will announce as an independent. He will do his best to keep the support he drums up through the republican primary, thereby weakening the republican candidate’s support. If you do not want Hillary in the Whitehouse, do not support Trump.

The second tier candidates had a mini debate before the main show and none of those are likely to survive the first wave of cuts. Rick Perry’s campaign is already on the rocks financially. Fiorina has a lot going for her if she can get more exposure. If she can get her numbers up, she may ride it out. My biggest problem with her is her support of abortion as a “women’s health” issue. You will find that she won’t tow the party line on abortion and she will probably duck the issue the whole way through the campaign. I anticipate the campaign will be narrowed to ten before Thanksgiving, and four or five by Caucus time.

It is too early to pick a candidate now, however. Always use the whole primary period to research all the candidates and when voting time comes, then make your decision. Please do NOT rely solely on the media for this information. It would be akin to buying a car solely on the salesman’s pitch. Look the information up yourself.

Happy voting.

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Pitching the Vote

As we head into the big election week for the congressional midterms, the media is all aflutter trying to predict the outcome well in advance of actual voting. This is ostensibly in keeping with a trend of trying to be the first media outlet to accurately announce the winners. I think it is more than that, however. I believe that the media—ever so left leaning—is trying to use the cover of prognostication to actually effect the election results.

It is human nature to want to be on the winning side in any contest. No one wishes to be associated with a losing team, or losing effort, and those who find themselves in this unenviable position often try to distance themselves from the team to avoid embarrassment. If a candidate is predicted to win, this prediction may actually swing undecided voters to support the candidate based on their chances of winning, rather than voting for a candidate that more closely aligns with the voter’s ideology.  No one wants to vote for the losing side.

Look for numerous ads paid for by campaigns and political action committees designed to sway voters, but also, be on the lookout for articles run in newspapers, magazines and on TV that ostensibly are trying to cover the race, but are actually casting one side or another in a negative light—even if it is only saying something banal such as “this campaign is struggling with funding” or “this campaign is x number of points down in polls.” Those supposed news stories are nothing more than attempts to get voters to vote against those campaigns by painting them as losing propositions.

Also, look for stories that tout as successes that which has previously been panned as failure. An article on Yahoo from Business Insider this morning praised the successes of Obama Care even though it is pretty much recognized as an abysmal failure by both parties. The article says that it is a success because more people have insurance than had it before. It doesn’t mention any of the controversial issues that have arisen from the measure.

The most egregious issue with campaign ads are the blatant lies and obfuscations that campaigns issue during the elections. One candidate has taken an opponent’s words on abortion out of context to make it appear as if he supports rape. Ridiculous. Another ad for another candidate tries to intimate that the opponent would be a bad representative because he made millions as an insurance salesman. I’m sorry, but I think a person who earns millions of dollars in their job is a success and would probably make a pretty good representative. If he were running in my district, I’d vote for him.

People have been calling for campaign reforms for decades. Unfortunately, this will never happen. The first amendment provides for free speech and, aside from some case law that prohibits out-and-out lying, a candidate can say pretty much whatever they want in an advertisement and can buy as much air time as they can afford. What this means for you and me is that we get deluged in political advertising from TV, radio, internet, mail, email, and even phone calls from all directions until election day filled with some of the most inflammatory statements of dubious veracity ever imagined.

I would love to recommend a law prohibiting such commercials, but again, it is provided in the first amendment and I am an unrepentant supporter of the constitution and the bill of rights. The only way to combat this onslaught of lies is through education. Research the candidates and find out through their voting record what is fact and what is fiction. Caveat emptor applies to the electorate. Do not blindly accept the advertisements of political candidates any more than you would blindly accept a salesman’s pitch. But also, do not listen to the news media telling you who will win. You determine who will win only when you vote.

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Throwing The Vote Away

Politics in this country have always been divisive and contentious.  Who one votes for can be a big part of one’s identity.  With the presidential elections only two months away, there is a lot of discussion on who will win, and by extension who people will vote for.  Some people are fed up with the current administration and want someone–anyone else.  Some are still quite enamoured of the incumbent and wish his to remain for four more years.  Some are very supportive of the challenger and wish him to take over.  There are those, however, who claim total disillusionment with the two-party system, the electoral process and the system of government.  Some of these individuals are choosing not to vote or to write in a candidate.  This is wrong on so many levels: it perpetuates the current system that is causing their disillusionment, it risks keeping an official in power who is the cause of disappointment, and it only feeds more dissatisfaction and frustration.
The reason we have elections every four years is to ensure we have fresh ideas in the white house, new perspectives to tackle our problems and to ensure that one person cannot build an intractable power base in the federal government.  The founding fathers wanted to avoid having a king in charge of the united states, and created the position of president with the limitations in place strictly to avoid that possibility.  The person we elect to the office is limited to two terms, and has to be reelected to the second term by running against and defeating a challenger.  If he cannot defeat the challenger, he only gets one term.
This is how the American people ensure we don’t have to settle for incompetent leadership.  If an elected official fails at the job they were elected to do, they don’t get a second term.  It is a simple system.  The elected work for the people, and this is how the people can fire the incompetent.
The vote has two functions.  By casting a vote for a candidate, a voter is expressing support for that candidate, while at the same time expressing disdain for the opponent.  If a third party is in the mix, the vote becomes muddied.  A vote for one candidate is a vote against the other two.  But suppose that of the three candidates, one is favored, one is a long shot and one is a contender.  The third candidate may have a serious chance of winning, except that the vote that may have put him over the top went, instead, to the long shot candidate, thus giving the victory to the first candidate.
A write in candidate rarely wins an election.  There have been write in campaigns that were organized when a potential candidate couldn’t get on the ballot for some reason.  Some of these candidates did indeed win, but most of these cases were for primary elections and senate races; never for the presidency.  Even a write-in candidate has to have the most votes.  Those that win still campaigned, getting the word out to the electorate to write their name in the ballot.  Casting your vote for a write-in candidate that no one else is voting for is throwing your vote away.  It is taking the five dollars your mom gave you for school lunch for the week and giving it away because Monday’s menu was unappealing, then wondering why you can’t eat lunch for the rest of the week.
Skipping the election is no answer either.  Refusing to vote simply perpetuates a frustrating system.  The only way to change an administration is to vote against it every chance one gets.  The country is filled with people who are fed up with the government, but who refuse to participate in it.  The government is not some foreign entity, some untouchable authority with absolute control over the citizenry.  The government derives it power from the governed.  They exist because we put them there.  If we don’t like the job they’re doing, only we can get them out.  We do this at the voting booth.
I am no fan of Obama.  I didn’t like his candidacy four years ago and nothing has happened in the past three-and-a-half years to change my mind.  In fact, my opinion has only solidified.  Obama is bad for this country.  He cannot be allowed four more years to inflict even more damage on the constitution and the well-being of this country.  He must be defeated in November and the only way to do this is to vote for his opponent.  Some would call this choosing the lesser of two evils, and that might be an apt comparison.
Mitt Romney is not my first choice for the presidency.  He is not a perfect candidate and while I do agree with a lot of what he stands for, I disagree with several of his platform planks.  But I am voting for him for the simple reason that he is running against Obama and I would vote for a monkey on a rock before I would vote for Obama.  But a vote against Obama is not enough.  If I voted for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, I would just be giving the victory to Obama.  Johnson has zero chance of winning the presidency.  Ralph Nader has zero chance.  Ron Paul has zero chance.  The only way I can effect change in politics is to vote for a candidate that can displace the incumbent.  The only way I can try to get rid of Obama is to vote for Mitt Romney.  Writing in my uncle’s name on the ballot will not do that.  Refusing to vote will not do that.
We rarely get the perfect candidate that we want.  We have to select the candidate that most closely reflects our personal values and will provide the leadership that is closest in line with our vision for the future.  If neither candidate provides that, select the one that comes closest.  Vote in November; but vote smart.  Make it count for something.  Don’t throw it away in protest.

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Get Out The Vote And ID

The Pennsylvania state court reaffirmed a ballot measure passed by voters in the last election that established voter ID requirements for the state.  The law, similar to one passed in ten states,  requires any citizen voting in an election to provide a state issued photo ID card as proof of identity.  Proponents of the law claim that this will cut down on voter fraud.  Opponents claim that that the measure will disenfranchise certain voters such as the elderly and the poor.
Some opponents, including Vice-President Joe Biden, claim that requiring ID is tantamount to Jim Crow era poll taxes.  In that time, citizens were required to pay a tax months in advance of an election and then bring the receipt of the tax to the polls to validate their ability to vote.  This led to the 24th amendment to the constitution which states: The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.
The issue, however, is not whether the ID requirement is a tax.  It is obviously not a tax since ID cards are free.  It is that, in this day and age, identity theft is rampant and people are required to show ID at almost EVERY interaction the average person experiences.  To get a library card, to see the doctor, to drive a car, to pay by credit card, to GET a credit card, to open a bank account, to get a job, to do almost anything you have to have some form of proof of identification.  Why do we allow people to vote for the highest office in the land without requiring the same?  In fact, in Texas and many other states, voters have to register to vote and have a voter registration card or ID to show at the polls.  How is requiring ID any different?  It is not.  At least not for legitimate voters.
Liberal news media trotted out a 92 year old woman who wept that she had voted in every election since she was allowed to vote, but that she feared she would not be allowed to vote in this one because she does not have photo ID and doesn’t think she can afford one.  How does she cash her social security checks without photo ID?  She does not drive, so she does not have a driver’s license, but the law does not specify a driver’s license.  It specifies photo ID.  In Pennsylvania, state issued ID cards are free.
That is not good enough for opponents of the measure.  They claim that the process of getting the free card would require the infirm or poor to travel across the city and spend money getting the necessary documentation such as birth certificates or social security records, etc. needed for the ID card.  They insist that this is an “unfair burden” and an obstruction to the electoral process. 
Having photo ID is simply the cost of doing business in today’s economy.  If you don’t work, if you don’t drive, if you don’t shop, you still have to interact with some business, individual or agency at some point and at that point, you will need ID.
There is no point in not having it.
Most media reports admit that the most vocal opponents of the measure are democrats because most individuals affected by the measure are the poor and elderly–who tend to vote democrat.  What this means is that Democrats are not interested in voter rights, rather they want to reinforce the impression that the voting is a right that republicans want to take away for the poor and elderly.
Voting is not a right.
Voting is a responsibility.
It is a privilege afforded to those who live up to the responsibility of voting, much like performing jury duty.  The democrats are well known for bussing the poor and infirm to the polling stations so that they can vote for the democratic candidate.  I would wager that, of all those who are brought to polling stations by “get out the vote” busses–funded by liberal democrat leaning groups–almost none vote for conservative or republican candidates or issues.
Now these same groups are calling voter ID a poll tax.  Why?  Because their busses are filled with people with no ID.  I am not alleging that they participate in voter fraud, but there have been allegations of these busses making rounds of polling stations, and who’s to say the same people don’t vote in several districts?  Just food for thought.  Why else are they so adamant about not having accountability in the polling process?
A CBS news report claimed that there have been fewer than 70 convictions of voter fraud in the past decade.  While that may be true, that just means that other incidences of fraud were not discovered or caught or they were over looked.  If the poor and elderly were required to present photo ID at the polls, opponents feel that it might discourage them from coming to vote and that means fewer votes for democrats.  I find it difficult to be concerned about that.
ID cards are free in most states.  To obtain one would require some effort on the part of the citizen.  This is how it should be.  Voting is a responsibility, a privilege afforded to citizens for active participation in government.  If it is not worth the effort to comply with the requirements, don’t complain about not getting the government you want.
The mantra of democracy is one man, one vote.  For our admittedly flawed system to come close to working, we need to ensure that one man gets only one vote.  Voter ID helps with this and the Pennsylvania State Judge, Robert Simpson reaffirmed this by saying the law is “a reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe burden when viewed in the broader context of widespread use photo ID in everyday life.”

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