What I Don’t Understand About Conservatives

I’m confused.

Or maybe the “conservatives” are confused.

I thought that the main platform in the conservative movement was less government interference in our personal lives.

But time and time again, this isn’t the case.

Take the bathroom controversy for example.

Google transgender bathroom if you need to be brought up to speed.

If the conservatives would have left themselves out of deciding what bathroom a person is allowed to go in, this would not be an issue.  But the state of North Carolina decided to overrule a law or ordnance that one of their cities made about bathrooms and then the Federal Government decided to step in and play Big Brother to the North Carolina.

Problem is that the North Carolina conservatives played Big Brother first.

And now that the Feds are in the game, it pertains to all of the United States.

People from Portland, Maine to Portland,  Oregon and even here in the Midwest, like Portland, Indiana are now being effected by the Feds reaction to North Carolina’s reaction to what happened in one of their cities.

The so-called Conservative Party known as the Republicans simply are just another version of the so-called Liberal Party known as Democrats.

They’re all about the power and the will of their ideals.

Sure there are major differences between those two parties but both are too heavily involved in making rules for the rest of us to live by.

I took a test last night that I’ve take before to see which Presidential Candidate I should vote for.  You can take it too at: https://www.isidewith.com/ .

Libertarian candidates were at the top of the list when it gave me my results.  That wasn’t a surprise, I have found this to be the result in the past when I took that test along with a few Republicans that dropped out of the race this year.

Time will tell what happens next.

 

And then there was one

I work in media.  I actually sell advertising on a radio station with a News/Talk format. Not NPR, but conservative talk radio.  Some of the stuff I hear, I agree with, some I disagree with.

We begin each day with a 4 hour local news program that is jam packed with information followed by 3 hours of Glenn Beck, 3 hours of Rush Limbaugh, a 3 hour local talk show and then 3 hours each of Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

Those national hosts I believe are sincere.

I also believe those national hosts are adept at showmanship.  They know how to work their audience to push their views in such a way that they gain lots and lots of listeners.  Most of the listeners agree with a lot of what each host says but there is also a considerable number who disagree.  Doesn’t matter, these 4 guys, Glenn, Rush, Sean and Mark have a ton of listeners and have attracted advertisers due to this success.

The liberal counter balance that I listen to is often MSNBC and the hosts there including Chris Mathews, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Laurence O’Donnel do the same as the radio hosts I mention.

One more thing about the work I do…  Because our radio station attracts so many listeners, smart business people advertise with us and with a news/talk format, we produce results.  I have some very liberal minded business people who spend money to advertise with me because the advertising works, not because of any political stance.

April our radio station was flooded with political ads.  When Indiana became an important state for the presidential candidates, that increased even more.  We had to bump some of our non-political ads for the political ones.  It was crazy.

Fort Wayne is the second largest metro in the state and we were also flooded by visits from 4 of the 5 campaigns.  Ted Cruz was here Thursday and again on Monday.  Bill Clinton came on Saturday and Donald Trump was here on Sunday.  Bernie Sanders packed them in on Monday too.

Sunday afternoon, I received an internal work email telling me that Glenn Beck was going to use one of our studios to broadcast his 3 hour show on Monday morning and so certain parts of our building were off limits.  As I drove to the radio station on Monday, I heard our morning show host on the phone with Donald Trump.

Crazy, crazy, crazy.

I voted early last week, 7 days before our election day May 3rd.

I got to sit back and watch all of this unfold.

As I type this, there is only one of the three Republican candidates left in the race as both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have dropped out.

Representing the Republicans in November will be Donald Trump.  Odds are still in favor for Hillary Clinton to be the candidate for the Democratic party.

There is another 3rd party candidate that my son-in-law reminded me about last night via Facebook that will be representing the Libertarian party.

Before I voted last week, I ranked 4 of the 5 candidates as follows:

  1. Bernie Sanders. I believe that he has been a straight shooter and honest.  His opinions did not flip back and forth, and when there was a position change, it was well thought out.  He stood on principles. Two things I like about Bernie is his desire to take big money out of elections and out of the running of the government; and his push for universal health care.  The health care system we have now is still broken and while it was never a personal priority for me, I believed that if the system was going to be overhauled, it needed to be done completely, not the half-assed mess we have now.  Our parents/grandparents had a sweeping change take place when Social Security was put into place and I thought we needed to bite the bullet and do something radical if the federal government was going to jump in.   Problem with Bernie was that it is constitutionally impossible for the President to make the changes he proposed.  Also Bernie was getting screwed over by the establishment Democratic party and their super-delegate system.
  2. Ted Cruz.  This is the guy I voted for. My second choice out of the 4.  He was the one who was most likely going to follow the constitutional powers of the president and hold Congress to do the same. My vote for Ted was simply because I wanted him to win Indiana and slow down the Trumpster. Yet I saw he doing plenty of dumb stuff leading up to the Indiana primary so I wasn’t surprised that he lost the Hoosier state.  I was surprised when I saw him quit.
  3. Donald Trump. He’s the guy you vote for while you hold your nose.  He’s a creation of the media that thought that if they exposed him, it would be the end of his campaign.  Instead, the media gave him so much free time and coverage that he didn’t have to spend much at all.  As I listened to his speech after winning in Indiana, he said his opponents spent 8 or 9 million bucks compared to his less than 1 million in campaign ads and yet he didn’t need to.   For me the only reason I would vote for Donald in November is to stop:
  4. Hillary Clinton. Sure, I’ve been influenced by the Hillary Haters.  But I have yet to hear a compelling reason to trust her.  She made her own mistakes that I won’t go into here, but when she lied about them, it simply reinforced my distrust of her as a leader of our country.

Not on my list at all was John Kasich, who turned into a caricature of a disillusioned candidate who thought he had a chance to be President but turned into a whiner.  Too bad because at one time, he was at the top of my list of these five.

With 6 months to go before we have our final election, we don’t know who will be our next President.  I know that I wish it was someone that would examine the Constitution and follow it along with holding Congress to their constitutional powers.  I’d also like to see the removal of all the influence buying in elections and in government.  And give me term limits and a flat tax too as I dream…

Here’s what I do know will happen. Hard Core Hillary fans and Hard Core Donald fans will vote for those candidates no matter what.

But how many of the Bernie fans will vote for Donald because he’s an outsider or how many will not vote at all because they were sold on Bernie, not the Democratic party?

Also how many Republicans will vote for Donald because they simply don’t want Hillary under any circumstances, or how may will vote for Hillary because they hate Donald so much, or will they stay home too?

Only time will tell.

Pray for those who are running and pray for those who are elected.

An Update On “Trumpism”

A friend posted on Facebook:

So I really have to ask this… Why? Why are people actually voting for Donald Trump? When he announced last year i honestly thought it was just a joke. I remember standing in my bedroom getting ready for work and i had the news on. I just stood there and laughed out loud. Are these people serious or am I missing something? I am completely dumbfounded and honestly, yes honestly, I am terrified. What the hell is happening?

 

After reading many heated back and forth comments I decided to chime in on his Facebook post with this:

There are many Republicans who were elected on a promise to bring conservative ideas back to our government. First they took control of the House of Representatives and very little happened to change “business as usual”. Next the Republicans promised that they needed control of the Senate too, they would pass conservative based legislation and the result was even worse.

Despite having control of the legislative branch of our Federal government, nothing has been done of note that lives up to the conservative promises that were made. Along comes Ted Cruz who managed to get elected to the Senate and buck the “business as usual” system and made several enemies and very few friends in Washington. Ted was supposed to be the “Constitutional conservative outsider” that would reduce the power of the Executive Branch and shrink the Federal Governments role in our lives back to what we had before most of us were born.

Then Donald Trump came along, Donald has gotten more free press than anyone the past several months as the press expected him to implode with each comment and remark that have sent past political candidates into obscurity. But because of the dissatisfaction of a big chunk of the Republican base due to the broken promises of the current elected establishment GOP, Trumps words and promises started to sound good. Promising to get something done and having a track record in business of actually getting stuff done has contributed to his appeal.

Forget for a moment all the politically in-correct stuff he has done recently and over the past 40 years… what concerns me is that it appears that he wants to use the Executive Branch to make changes that are supposed to be made be the Legislative Branch. We would be trading the Executive actions of President Obama for Executive actions of a President Trump. That’s not the answer for those who want a more conservative government (Ted Cruz style). Individuals vote for the person they believe will benefit them and their family the most. Too much emphasis and power has been willingly been given to the Executive Branch in my opinion. Whew….

That’s all for now.

The Uh-Oh Presidential Race of 2016

It’s crazy.

Never would any of us imagined last summer that Donald Trump would be leading the Republican Party delegate race right now.

Nor was it entirely predictable what is going in the Democratic Party primaries.

Let me do the easy stuff first.

I was watching Chris Hayes on MSNBC recently and he mentioned that Hillary Clinton has always started at the top of her game and slid down in the polls with every election she has been in.  He was referring to 1st run for office as U.S. Senator from the state of New York, her 2008 Presidential run and now her 2016 run for POTUS.  I’ll take him at his word.

What I saw was the turn out for Bernie Sanders increasing week after week after week leading up to the first couple of primary votes.  The numbers I saw was the huge number who would show up at his events, but even more important was the number of individual donors.  They outnumbered Hillary donors by huge margins.

Why is the number of donors important?  It shows a grass roots movement where people have invested their own cash.  These people are also likely to vote since they are invested in Bernie.  What is weird however is that Bernie could be denied the candidacy because of the super delegate system that the Democratic Party uses.  The irony is that Bernie could win the popular vote in the primary and not be the candidate for President after the Convention, which has parallels to the 2000 Gore versus Bush general election.

Meanwhile the G.O.P. wishes they had super delegates to stop Trump but they don’t have those same powers.

Without going into the hi-jinks of Mr. Trump, I would rather focus on how he gained his support.

As a marketing guy, it’s easy to understand but even my wife who is not in marketing spotted this early on…

The amount of press coverage Trump has received has been huge. In my house we have CNN and MSNBC and Fox, but we rarely watch Fox News.  I listen to conservative talk on my radio station and I also listen to NPR on the radio.  Everyone, it seems is going gaga over Trump.  If he was doing a rally, the shows and networks would cover it live. Then they would talk about what Trump said. And then they would talk more and more about Trump.  Once we started the debates, the moderators would ask questions about what Trump said.

It was stupidly ridiculous.  Why did they do this?  Money.  They were focusing on the topic that they thought would attract viewers. The outrageous stuff that Trump would say.  The coming downfall of Trump. Everyone wanted to be there and cover it live.  But it didn’t happen.

The more free publicity Trump got, the more popular he became.  Trump drew out the worst in a lot of people.  He spoke the words in front of TV cameras that people would utter in private, knowing that it was rude or politically incorrect to say out in the open.

Trump has also stirred up the politically ignorant.  The people who want the President to fix stuff. The people who do not understand what the role of the 3 branches of our Federal Government are supposed to do and not do and also don’t understand the limits our Federal Government has constitutionally compared to the role of state and local government bodies.

Both Bernie and Donald are correct in saying that we have a broken political system and both propose to fix it from the Executive Office.

I have to say that as of this moment, I have only one candidate left in the race that is okay with me.  And that person may not be around when I get to vote in the Indiana Primary in May 2016.  That leaves me with others whom I have much lower levels of enthusiasm for.  Uh-oh.

Mixed Emotions in 2016

18 years ago my Dad died and I returned to Fort Wayne, to the home I grew up in to help my Mom downsize and move forward with her life.  3 years later she moved and 3 weeks after that move she died.  But for two of those three years that I shared a house with my Mom, I saw her political stance change.

My parents were probably Republicans. I don’t know if they voted straight ticket or did research and picked the person they believed was best for the job.

My first presidential election that I voted in was when I was 20 and Ronald Reagan was my choice. In Presidential elections I have voted for the Republican candidate ever since.

But…

I have also voted for Democrats in both primary and general elections along with 3rd party candidates.

I try and research those running for office at all levels.  When I voted in November for city offices, I knew who was who.  Most of the folks I voted for lost.

I look for people who are truthful.  I also want people who will follow the law.  In Presidential politics, the law is the U.S. Constitution which sets limits on our Federal Government and protects the rights of citizens of our country.  The Constitution also splits the power between different branches of government.

As we move forward, I want to state something and be crystal clear about it.

I do not agree with many of the things that our president, Barrack Obama has done during his 7 years in office.  I felt the same way about his predecessor, George W. Bush.  Most of my disagreements were about the power that assumed that I believe was out of bounds according to the Constitution.

(As a side note, I wasn’t paying as much attention to all this stuff before 2000. I was busy with life and even though I voted, we didn’t have the 24/7 cable news and Facebook stuff going on.)

I do not care what the skin color or religion or gender or even sexual orientation is of our President and all of our elected leaders.  You can’t claim I am racist or anything else because I don’t base my agree/disagree on those factors.

I don’t hate either.  I am disturbed by those that do hate and I am really disturbed by those that make statements without understanding.   I also get upset by those that put too much politics in the political process.  We elect people to roles of government not to roles in politics, right?

Who will I vote for when I get to vote?  Depends on who is on the ballot.  Will I vote in the Democratic primary or Republican primary? We will see who is running when I get to vote in May 2016 which is when Indiana has our primary.

Polls are interesting but we really won’t know what’s what until each state has their primary.   I have my opinion that I have been sharing with a select few and I’ll share right now…

Bernie Sanders will beat Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee.  I was predicting this last summer as I saw the number of individual donors grow and grow and grow.  Every individual donation represents just one vote in the primary…

Opinion two is about Donald Trump. He has never been the favorite of Republicans.  All he has had is the lead over everyone else, but not the majority.  Even if Donald has 40% who want to vote for him, 60% don’t want him.  We will need to see who drops out and how quickly the GOP field narrows because in the primary process that begins next month, to become the Republican Party nominee, the candidate must win a simple majority of 1,191 of the 2,380 total delegates at the Republican National Convention. As each state has their primary contest, candidates will earn delegates and it is an open race until someone reaches the magic number of 1,191.

What stands out in my mind about Donald Trump is that he is making promises that are unconstitutional for a President to enact.  This is the same problem I have with some of President Obama’s actions.

Something I like about Bernie Sanders is the universal health care via a single payer option and that single payer is the government.  It was done under the New Deal of FDR with Social Security to provide a minimum level of income for citizens.  We have seen the pros and cons of this for health care in examples around the world.  The affordable health care act has failed on the affordable promise.  It was a compromise and I really wanted them to overhaul the system of paying for health care by going all the way, like Bernie Sanders has proposed.

It would dismantle private health insurance companies and thousands would lose their jobs who work for those companies.  So what. If I could trade in the $800 a month I pay under my employee health care for a more streamlined system that eliminates the claim forms and co-pays for a similar amount or less, count me in.

But, I am getting ahead of myself.  The mixed emotions of the 2016 political scene is real and we’ll see how it shakes out in the weeks to come.

Another Year

2015 is history. 2016 is alive and in full swing.

The calendar, like the clock does not stop for anyone. Rich, poor, black or white, each person is given the same amount of time each hour, each day, week, etc.

As I wrapped up the year, I saw that there are many people who are focused on their own circle of life to worry about, or care about the political scene we see unfolding as we kick off the real process of voting to select our next President.

By the time I get to vote in a primary in May, the GOP may have 3 to 5 candidates and the Dems will have Bernie and Hillary.   So while it is interesting and often makes me shake my head wondering when I hear these people talk about why they deserve my vote, I can just be an observer until the end of April.

In the meantime, life will move forward.  Looking back at 2015 first…

I saw friends and family touched by death more this year than any other I recall.  From my Mom’s side of the family,  one cousin and her mom both lost to cancer last winter.  On my Dad’s side, another cousin lost her oldest son to suicide.

Closer to home my step-kids lost their dad unexpectedly when his heart gave out while he was on a bike ride. Death also touched some of my former co-workers in Detroit and former high school classmates.  Maybe I am at the age (56) where death starts showing its ugly face with more frequency.  I hope not, but if this is the new norm then it was ushered in with an increased frequency.  Besides those previously mentioned, a friend of mine who encouraged me to register my own business a few years ago lost his battle to cancer and I just found out this week that my dental hygienist was grieving the loss of her mom a couple weeks ago.

Other changes saw my youngest daughter divorce and her husband has primary custody of their two young ones.  My heart aches for all of them and yet I know that there is life, lots of it on the other side of divorce, having gone through it myself.

Oldest daughter and family moved to Colorado, son and wife moved the opposite direction to South Carolina and step-daughter and family are attempting to relocate closer to us.

These are the things that are weighing on peoples hearts and minds more than political matters.

This week, I noticed a friends facebook posting about a change in offices that also put a perspective on our lives:

Guy Renovating My Office: “How’s it look?”

Me: “Awesome! Thanks for your work!”

Guy Renovating My Office: “Glad to have the work.”

Me Internally: “(Jesus Christ, I take literally everything for granted. I am thankful for a steady job and a paycheck and benefits and…and…and…)”

Each of us is blessed. As I said at the beginning,  we all have the same 24 hours a day. Let’s value them and live fully in the days ahead.

 

Hope and Trust

The sun is shining bright on this Saturday morning in the middle of November in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The Mrs. is off to work, the cat has found a soft comfortable bench in the living room that my wife picked up recently in preparation for holiday visitors.

This is the stuff that is our real lives.

Not the media reports of doom, gloom and fighting.

Now I’m not going to say the media is all wrong.  It’s just that they are presenting what is current in the last 24-36 hours and filling time until the next story breaks.

It would be a shame if all you and I did was to listen and watch all the bad stuff going on and not pay attention to the good too.

It might also be irresponsible to ignore the news completely, at least considering I work in the media. But sometimes that type of escape is tempting.

Especially with the rush of bad news piled on top of political bickering and wars and what not.

After being glued to the radio and later TV on Friday hearing the reports of terrorism in Paris, we needed a break and watched a couple of “normal” shows.

Saturday, I flipped on the TV to see the latest and then headed out to take care of things in my life.

We can not escape the tragedy and horrors of this world, but let us also not escape the beauty and wonderment that is in front of our faces.

How?

Well, I place my Hope and Trust in God.  Not just any God, but the God of the Bible, the one that includes Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It was a decision I made as a young adult in my 20’s and it has carried me through many personal ups and downs.

Let me wrap this up with an observation…

My cat.

I think I have a cat-like relationship with God to some degree.

My cat acts content and seems to be worry free most of the time. (like me)

My cat can get scared or startled every once in awhile (like me)

My cat likes to do his own thing and wanders off to explore the world each day (like me)

But My cat also returns home and feels secure at home. (like me)

My cat doesn’t worry about food and water because he knows I will provide it (like God does for me)

My cat takes care of himself most of the time (like me)

But he also lets me take care of him for needs beyond his ability. (like God does for me).

Oh and he likes to play with other cats and also hang out with his people too.  ( I like to hang out with friends and also need  my time with God too).