Category Archives: 2016 Election

The Dark Cloud of 2016: A Race Between two Limousine Liberals, a Billionaire from New York and a Millionaire from Westchester

It cannot be overstated; the presidential election of 2016 is the most consequential in the post Cold War era and domestically since the end of the Second World War. The leftist policies of the Obama era will either be swept into the ash pile of history or made politically irrevocable and indeed extended by Hillary Clinton running as the lost leftwing candidate in American History. The resultant tax increases emerging from the Democrat convention will top One Trillion Dollars. She will destroy the highest quality health care system in the world and replace it by the “equality” of mediocrity.  She will veer the Supreme Court to the radical left within days of her election. The only people to economically benefit will be the Clinton family as we can expect big money donations, many of them foreign, to flow in as Bill runs the family money machine from the East Wing of the White House.

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton  - Three New York Limousine Liberals

Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton – Three New York Limousine Liberals

This year should have been an easy win for the GOP as only the Democrats and their tools in the media were celebrating the historically unpopular Obama administration and nominating a candidate who is distrusted by 2/3 of Americans. Well, if any party can screw up a sure thing it is the 20th Century GOP. First we find a way to keep the Democrats as a majority in the senate in 2010 through 2014, reelect the weakest president in the past century in 2012. Now in 2016 we find a way when presented with the most talented field of presidential candidates in memory to nominate a world class narcissist, misogynist, mediocre (at best) businessman, and first class nutcase Donald Trump. I will not waste time restating the case against Trump; it plays out every day on television.

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump – Serious Clinical Problems

So America is faced with an unfathomable choice; between a Billionaire Limousine Liberal from New York an a Millionaire Limousine Liberal from Westchester. The Donald offers incoherent rants and virtually no policy. It serves those of us who are proud to be associated with the Party of Lincoln and Reagan right that we should fall for a trashy long-con perpetrated by a mediocre con man. On the other hand the Dems have served up a warmed over intellectually bankrupt and morally corrupt nominee who will be the first president in history who, if she was to enlist in the military, would not qualify for a low level security clearance. This would have the making of a great dark comedy if it came from a studio in Hollywood, although it would likely be far too unbelievable. Yet reality it is, and reality must be faced head on.

Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton – Untrustable at Any Speed

For the past year I have stepped back from politics, a passion I have enjoyed all my life. This slow moving train wreck has quite simply been too painful to watch. Yes voters are angry, especially on the right, at the elected establishment’s failure to recognize the anger of the people who sent them to Washington. But the solution is not to send a lunatic to Washington, particularly one who based on his lifetime of statements, is likely as liberal as Hillary. If you wanted change, no one was less liked by the establishment than Ted Cruz. Want a bigger tent, Marco Rubio was your person, a Country Club Republican then John Kasich was your man. There were literally a dozen republicans who would have made good, if not great, presidents and for whom defeating Hillary would have been easy. What did the voters do, they elected a warmed over reality TV star.

The day after Trump became the presumptive GOP nominee I was ready to head down to our town hall and change my registration from Republican to Libertarian. The two lefties from New York simply are not worthy of my vote. Yet, I didn’t feel like handing the Donald an even bigger victory by turning over the Republican Party to the Know Nothing crowd. To be sure, the next president of the United States will be either Hillary or Donald, that much is clear. However, in either case the best antidote is a Republican majority in both houses of the Congress. It will take serious people, conservatives one and all, to stand up for the constitution in what will be trying times. Regardless of the outcome at the presidential level, the GOP is almost certain to retain control of the House with Paul Ryan as its Speaker. It will be imperative that the house use its considerable power, not least its control of the purse, to keep whichever NY Leftist is in the White House from destroying our economy. The Senate may be beyond hope if Hillary wins which will mean the Supreme Court will be in the hands of the radicals she appoints for decades. But the house can deny either Liar or the Loony the ability to drag the country too far down the left lane.

But the real challenge will fall to the millions of Americans who call themselves Republicans to ask themselves how we could have let this happen. The people get the government that they elect. This one is on each and every one of us who let it happen. It’s not enough to be #NeverTrump, we must stand for something and stand up for the Constitution itself.

Libertarian Gary Johnson - The Only Reasonable Choice for President

Libertarian Gary Johnson – The Only Reasonable Choice for President

On Tuesday November 8 I will walk to the polling place down the street and proudly cast my vote for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. While not as polished as most presidential candidates, Gary stands for limited government, has a track record as the two term governor of New Mexico of fiscal responsibility, defending the rights of individuals and respect for the constitution. Down ticket I will vote the GOP line.  The Republican Party will remain the only one which will be able to restore mainstream values to Washington in the wake of a likely Presidential train wreck.

Whichever idiot wins that night, when their term ends on January 20, 2021 and they thankfully leave office (I have no doubt it will be a one term presidency), in my heart and soul there is trust the Republic will be as strong and resilient as it has been for the last 240 years.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson, Hillary Clinton

He Came in Like a Wrecking Ball: The Political Disaster that is Donald Trump

Living most of the last two decades in the tri-state area one cannot escape the presence of one Donald Trump. His presence is ubiquitous from the high end condo developments and office complexes to the billboards promoting his various ancillary ventures in media and branded products. Donald Trump is not a man, he is a brand that is bigger than life. In the business world, his record is admirable not just for his over the top promotion and resulting economic payout for him (he is very very rich), but as a survivor in an industry where may titans of today are dust in the wind tomorrow. Donald Trump is bigger than life and he knows it.

The Political Wrecking Ball that is Donald Trump

The Political Wrecking Ball that is Donald Trump

Donald Trump is also a political chameleon who has poured considerable money in to political campaigns, mostly democratic including the likes of Andrew Cuomo and Hillary Clinton. In stark political terms, Donald Trump has the political convictions of a weathervane. As the wind goes, so goes the Donald. Thus he has decided to run for President in 2016 and joins the 16 other declared major candidates. No person can deny the importance of money to the political equation and Trump brings the satchel filled to the rim. He also brings an incredible understanding of how to feed and manipulate the media machine who love a big mouth and love one even more if it is damaging to the Republican party. Trump is an amazingly shrewd self promoter and has acutely identified the frustration in the conservative base. For years we have been promised large and delivered light by Republican candidates and leaders. With so many truly viable and electable candidates as are in the GOP race this year, trump understands that a low teens popularity puts him near the top of the polls and his mouth has an unlimited ability to entertain.

While many of Trumps remarks this year are objectionable and have rendered him undetectable (Donald Trump will not the the 45th President of the United States), what is most regrettable is that Trump has not brought his considerable business expertise to the debate around improving the American economy. In this area he has much to add and could have created a compelling case for a Trump presidency. Instead he resorted to his carnival barker roots and went loud and wild. Its not his policy proposals that are wrong, there are polls that consistently show a majority of Americans want real boarder control (ie a BIG wall) on the southern boarder and economic disincentives for Mexican illegals crossing the boarder have been discussed before, and need to be back on the table. Trump had much to add to the debate, but instead has emerged as one of the most destructive forces to enter conservative politics since Joseph McCarthy.

Donald Trump has introduced a tone of hate and negativity into this campaign which is not only destructive to both the Republican brand but also his own reputation. Additionally he is discrediting the very positions he is advocating by framing his positions with anger and hate. Mr. Trump is a big boy and he can answer to his own conscience for his positions and statements. I support the 1st Amendment rights of any American even when their words are, in my opinion, vile and repugnant. But all conservatives and republicans should understand, the broader electorate sees Trumps rantings as being representative of the GOP. In 2012 the repugnant statements of Missouri GOP Senate candidate Tood Akin not only assured the reelection of one of the worst senators in recent history, Claire McCaskill, but contributed to the defeat of at least 4 other senate candidates and several house nominees. Donald Trump has the ability to make Akin look like a tremor to the earthquake that is Trump.

Oh how the media and the left are eating this up. They cant get enough of Trump and when some second rate poll shows him leading in the mid teens, they gladly anoint him the GOP front runner. These news organizations are run, without exception, by New York limousine liberals who are already planning Hillary’s coronation. The fact Trump makes good copy is just icing on the cake. All this is seriously eroding the Republican position in 2016. The election which on the fundamentals is strongly leaning in a conservative direction could well be handed to the Clinton left if they conclude the GOP cannot lead. Conservatives must understand, if the Republican nominee does not win, Hillary will be the next President, the very woman Trump has enthusiastically supported for more than a decade. One never really knows what motivates a person to run for president, but for Trump it is most assuredly not conservative principles.

Its time for those of us on the right to speak up for real conservative candidates, to speak in an inclusive and positive tone, not with hate. I came of age during the Reagan era when he sought an America which would be a shining city on a hill, not a junk yard dog fight in the Bronx. This is our time and this may well be our test. Decide carefully.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Republican Party

Convictions, Conscience and Political Activism

Those who know me or have read this blog in the past know for the last few years I have, for the most part, gone quiet and withdrawn from the fight.  While getting a little older adds perspective it should also result in your questioning how your beliefs interact with your fellow citizens and more broadly society as a whole. I have never wavered in my core conservative believes. I believe in the individual rights and personal responsibility of the citizen. I believe in a government limited in scope to only those core responsibilities necessary for a free and just society. I believe in the defense of our freedom and those around the world who stand with us in the defense of liberty. What was shaken was my belief in the “conservative” movement and indeed the Republican Party is the internal dramatics which seem bent on self destruction. The 2012 election cycle was a disaster for conservatives and Republicans alike (I believe the two are inseparable), yet I reached the painful conclusion in the waning days of the 2012 campaign that the impending defeat was self inflicted. That the Republican Party with the weight of the conservative movement could not defeat the Obama-Reid-Pelosi Democrats made me question if those groups truly represented my view.

“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”                                                                                                                                                                                   Senator Barry Goldwater, Republican National Convention, 1964

Like many conservatives of my age, my views were rooted in the 1964 campaign of Senator Barry Goldwater, who lost that election just 6 weeks before my birth. Those views were crystallized during my teenage years as the Reagan-Thatcher conservative wave redefined western culture and politics while defeating, at least in the short term, the forces of evil that threatened the very existence of individual liberty. I believe in simplicity for it is that which can adapt to the unforeseen and provide direction in times of crisis. Conservatism is simply limited government, personal freedom and responsibility as well as the defense of those values against all those who seek to defeat them. For me, that is the test I apply to any political question. However in the early part of this century that direction seemed to be lost within the conservative movement and most certainly in our elected represent ivies.

At the elected level Republicans took on the character of “Big Government Conservatives”, a fundamental contradiction of terms that defies reason or logic. However of greater concern the conservative movement began to be dominated by those who sought to used government power to achieve their parochial agendas rather than to limit government’s interference in the ability of the individual to achieve those most basic of American values: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. I grew up in an age where conservative leaders were “happy warriors”, driving forward an agenda to improve the lives of people by improving mutual prosperity while limiting government interference in the lives of the citizen. We earnestly believed that our policies represented the best path for the largest number of people while still protecting those who needed a hand up.  By the middle of the last decade some claiming the mantle of leadership of the conservative movement had become decidedly nasty. Indeed many were advocating government activism to advance their respective special interest agenda at the very expense of the liberty of the individual.

The election of 2008 seemed to erase those issues as we were reminded that conservatives and Republicans of differing perspectives were not the political foes, the most left wing President and congressional majority in the history of the Republic were. The rise of the tea party movement, the most effective grass roots effort sense the Sons of Liberty in the 1770’s, united the right and in 2010 resulted in the largest congressional reversal in a century. For a time it seemed like order had been restored and rational conservatism was again in the majority of the body politic. Then came the 2012 GOP presidential campaign and the gates of the asylum were opened as one of the most internally destructive political races in memory resulted in the election of the politically weakest incumbent Presidents in a century (Yes, Jimmy Carter was politically weaker – his own party was fatally divided – but in the wake of Obamacare this incumbent should have been doomed).  For me it was late summer of 2012, convention season, when I first realized that the damage was done and like a freight train rumbling down the tracks toward a washed out bridge, the GOP nominee was headed to defeat. To be honest, there were many contributing factors leading to Mitt Romney’s loss, but in my opinion the divisive and indeed hateful soundtrack of the 2012 primary campaign resulted in the eventual outcome.  Political fratricide is so illogical and irrational that it borders on the insane. Thus my crisis of conscience and belief began.

“Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers. King Pyrrhus is remembered, but his nation disappeared. Winston Churchill set aside his lifetime loathing of Communism in order to fight World War II. Challenged as a hypocrite, he said that when the safety of Britain was at stake, his “conscience became a good girl.” We are at such a moment. I for one have no interest in standing in the wreckage of our Republic saying “I told you so” or “You should’ve done it my way.” “                                    Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, CPAC 2011, February 11, 2011

Politics without principles is a dangerous thing and I have always believed that a leaders beliefs and convictions were not only more critical but a better prediction of success than policy specifics. Going back to my earlier reference to simplicity, the conservative-libertarian-Republican right’s failure can , my opinion, be laid almost entirely on the movement forgetting two of Ronald Reagan’s foundational rules of politics: the so called 11th Commandment “thou shall not speak ill of a fellow republican” and his 80/20 rule on those who agree on 80 percent are friends rather than enemies for disagreeing on 20. We saw a presidential campaign where those who stood no chance of ever being elected president were elevated by a media set of ratings, and more than a little leftist dirty tricks agenda, as they spewed hate filled attacks of fellow candidates in the name of “real conservatism”. In life I have very little sympathy for those who are the “victims” of deliberate self inflicted wounds, in politics it is unforgivable.

Honesty time, I have a soft spot for internet politics, these words appear as such. However the apparent anonymity that the internet provides many of all political persuasions brings out the worst in many as they utter words they most likely (we hope) would never say face to face. Rather than improve transparency and increase dialogue among citizens, the internet has turned places like twitter and facebook into digital MMA Cage Fights: anything goes and the consequences are irrelevant when compared to the number of “likes” and “retweets”, where number of followers determines the virtue of the words. While entertaining when bored, this is not a recipe for either intellectual or electoral success; it brings into question the virtue of the author. A few years into the internet era I abandoned the use of usernames, where the technology allows, and only write under my own name. Only where there is a very real threat to the use of a real name exists, and those are rare indeed, is there value in anonymous words.

Yet the problem is deeper and more fundamental than simply the words, it seems like many have suspended that part of the brain that questions the motivation of the speaker. The air waves are filled with so many voices of conservative thought (there would be leftist voices if only they could get ratings – think Air America) yet perversely those voices do dramatically better economically if the Republican party fails. Bill Clinton was a financial windfall for many conservative hosts only to be surpassed by Barack Obama. Now I am not saying all these hosts are motivated only by money and as a believer in free market capitalism I support entrepreneurism. However it is the listeners who seem at times to turn off their own brains. Politics, like government itself, must gain its intellectual legitimacy from the people, not the hangers on to the process.

Lastly we come to the question of purity. While we all like to be in a room full of people who agree with us totally, it soon becomes apparent that those conversations provide little intellectual challenge. Politically it is death. The hard core reality of politics in America is philosophically there exists no pure majority in our politics. I do believe there is a fundamental conservative undercurrent, especially on the role of government, but that is not enough to form a governing majority. If we learn nothing else from the lessons of recent years, divided government achieves nothing but delaying hard choices (think Social Security, Debt…). Governing majorities are created, built from individual building blocks of points of agreement between individuals. Ronald Reagan understood this. Those who truly remember the 1980’s know he didn’t get all he wanted. Yet even with Democrats controlling at least one chamber of Congress his entire presidency he arguably achieved more than any conservative in modern memory (yes I know a strong case can be made for Thatcher, but the message would be the same). It is time we must decide do we want a government consistent with conservative values that only gets 80 (OK, maybe 90) percent; or do we want leftist majorities which give us more like Obamacare. Winning and electability are not bad words, intellectual dishonesty is much darker.

We now find ourselves in the middle of the 2016 Presidential campaign and yes it is very much underway. We on the right will be facing a left united behind Hillary Clinton in a way no party has in a century. I have concluded that this is the fight that will define much of the rest of my life. If the left wins Obamacare will be permanent, Clinton Immigration reform will change the nature of America (full disclosure, I am an Immigrant, an American by Choice) and the economics of envy so common in Socialist Europe will come to our shores.  This is a fight no true believer can stand by and watch. For me it is a challenge to stand by my principles, convictions and respect for others while helping in some small way preserving  America as the land of personal freedom and liberty: home of an exceptional people.

Let the fight be joined.

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Filed under 2016 Election, Conservative, Politics, Republican Party

A Conservative Republican Wish for 2014

As 2013 comes to a close, the GOP finds itself in the enviable, if somewhat unexpected, position of commanding the political high ground in a mid-second term election year. With the generic vote showing the GOP with a 5 point lead over the democrats, a pickup of more than a dozen house seats is more than likely and the 7 needed to gain control of the senate, while not as likely, very much achievable. Yet we saw in 2012 the right GOP coalition of conservatives, libertarians and right of center moderates is more than capable of seizing defeat from the jaws of victory. Remember, we allowed a president who presided over the worst economy in half a century, imposed a widely unpopular government takeover of health care and implemented a disastrous foreign policy to be reelected. Controlling the high ground means we have the advantage of defining the agenda, but it also presents the opportunity for spectacular defeat.

In 2014 the Republican Leadership and the Party as a Whole Faces the Challenge of Capitalizing on the Political High Ground They Now Occupy, or Squandering Opportunity

In 2014 the Republican Leadership and the Party as a Whole Faces the Challenge of Capitalizing on the Political High Ground They Now Occupy, or Squandering Opportunity

For those of us who believe in free markets, limited government, equality of opportunity and personal responsibility, the imperative is to stop the Obama left in 2014 and set the groundwork for a Republican to take back the White house in 2016. We can play “could have, would have, should have” over missed opportunities in 2010 and 2012, or we can seize the moment and begin to right the course of the nation in 2014. The words here are not a policy prescription for renewal but rather a wish for the right to unite in its pursuit of a single shared objective, to stop the leftist drift we have been on since 2006 and begin the restoration of America by releasing the potential of the American people. It is my hope that as we move forward in the battles that will define 2014 we keep these few guiding principles in mind.

  1. The American People Seek Solutions, Not Opposition. Obamacare represents the greatest threat to the America economy of any government policy in half a century. Almost since it was adopted the majority of Americans have opposed the takeover of our health care by government.  To the frustration of Nancy Pelosi, the more Americans have come to know Obamacare, the less they have liked it.         While it is well and good that we on the right hang the O-Care albatross around the necks of the democrat left that shoved this down the throats of the American people with zero bi-partisan support, 2012 showed us that is not enough. The GOP and the right coalition have failed to present a single cohesive and comprehensive free market alternative to Obamacare. People want to believe in something, not simply oppose the wrong. Health care does need reform, free market reform. While some have tried to propose alternatives, no single viable plan has emerged. If Washington conservatives stop simply screaming “Repeal” and propose reforms that will truly improve healthcare, they will be embraced. The American people want to believe again.
  2. Shout Less, Think More. I am tired of idiots claiming to be conservative guiding lights. Growing up in the Goldwater, Reagan and Gingrich era’s, the right were the ones proposing the innovative and effective policy alternatives to the challenges and future of America. Somehow we lost that and have allowed those who simply scream no at increasingly loud volumes to take the helm. The left is still peddling the discredited neo-socialist ideology that they pushed for the last half of the 20th century. The American people have not moved left, but they will only follow the conservative/libertarian right if we demonstrate we are in fact the grownups in the room and are ready to lead. We have no right to power in 2014/16; leadership must be earned. Ideas and words matter, it’s time we think before we speak, they will listen.
  3. The Media Establishment Will Never Be Balanced, Take The Message to the People. The media establishment, particularly in the New York/Washington corridor will never give the GOP fair coverage, nothing new here. Get over it. In the early days of the internet it was conservatives who initially effectively embraced technology. Those days are gone. For the right to successfully regain control of government, we must bypass the media and take our ideas directly to the people. Forget converting viewers of MSNBC, they are the extreme left who wallow in their hate and envy. However, we must also stop talking to ourselves about how right we are and take our intellectual arguments directly to the people. Obsess on those who seek solutions and alternatives and forget the leftist screamers.
  4. Purity in Martyrdom is for Suicide Bombers. Those were the words of former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and with which I could not agree more. We must once again not only accept but embrace the diversity of ideas of the coalition of the right. Moderate is not a bad word, but rather a friend who needs support and encouragement to support you. Fight for your ideas based on their merits, rather than against those who do not agree totally with you. The conservative movement can never allow the ideological perfect to become the enemy of the politically achievable. In 1980 Ronald Reagan ran on a promise of an across the board 30 percent cut in personal income tax rates. Once in office in 1981 when the democrat controlled congress passed the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut which only contained a 25 percent cut, he did not veto it and issue an all or nothing demand. Reagan embraced victory and signed the bill before they changed their mind. Embrace those who are inclined to support, trust in the virtue of our beliefs and ideals.
  5. Be Aware of Motivation of Those Who Seek to Lead:  Each of us needs to consider the motivations of self promoters who put their personal advancement ahead of advancing the cause and national interest. An idiot with a large following on Twitter is still and idiot. Presidential ambition can be admirable unless it is put ahead of the nation’s interest.
  6. America Cannot Afford Even 2 More Years of Obama Unchecked. With Harry Reid exercising the nuclear option and abandoning senate traditions to force through more leftist judges and appointees, we need to check mate Obama with effective, if not our right, GOP control of the senate. And don’t take 2016 for granted. The media establishment is ready to put Hillary in the White House in 2016 and never underestimate their ability to get what they want. That which advances our cause is virtuous, all else is working for the left.
  7. Embrace Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou Shall Not Speak Ill of a Fellow Republican”. We have come to confuse high follower counts on Twitter with wisdom. Many cheered when moderate GOP senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) did not seek reelection in 2012. They celebrated the departure of a moderate who was not as conservative as most of us. What they got in exchange was a leftist senator, while declaring himself independent he caucuses with the D’s and is to the left of all but few in the senate. In what idiotic logic was this an improvement? Snowe supported every Republican Presidents Supreme Court nominations and most proposals. Most important, she voted for the GOP leadership in the senate and not Sen Reid.  Think about this one long and hard. An 80 percent friend is better than a 100 percent advisory.

History is on our side and the apatite of the people for change is strong. Barack Obama has produced the worst economic record of any two term president in 75 years. Harry Reid and the do nothing Democrat Senate has produced one budget in his 7 years as Majority leader. Nancy Pelosi consumed so much leftist cool-aid that she is self delusional in her pursuit of an extreme left wing agenda which is supported only by the left wing of the democrat party. The political high ground is truly owned by Republicans in 2014, yet I wonder will we again let victory slip from our grasp. Only in victory will we stop the leftward drift in America and begin to restore the personal and economic freedoms we cherish.

To one and all an outstanding 2014, and let’s make 2014 the year Americans take back our freedoms.

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Filed under 2014 Election, 2016 Election, Media, Politics, Republican Party, The Grand Old Party