2016

Thinking Out Loud on the Cusp of the Trump Presidency

It’s that transition time.  The 2016 national election has come and gone and for the most part, the counting is over.

The incumbents are either breathing a sigh of relief if they ran for re-election and won, or planning their next steps if they ran and lost.  Some never ran and they didn’t have skin in the game, so their future plans were made months ago.

We have seen a real ugly side of politics this election cycle and both the Democrats and Republicans should be scared.

Why?

Because both of their parties were rejected.

I’ll start alphabetically with the Democrats.

If there was strong support for the Democratic party, then Hillary Clinton would have own the presidency with both the popular and electoral votes.  But I saw this campaign season as a rejection of not just her, but the Democratic party “business as usual” platform.

Here’s my case:

Bernie Sanders.

Eight years ago we saw the same with a different name: Barrack Obama.

Both elections were supposed to be shoe-ins for Hillary.  1st female president, most qualified, most experienced, you name it, she was a winner on the achievement tally sheet compared to her primary opponents.

But in 2008, the candidate that beat her had the enthusiasm vote.  It was a vote for Hope and Change.  We were tired of the war and distrust of the government under the Bush years.  Barrack offered a clean slate and there was not a damn thing the Clinton’s could do to stop him.

Eight years later they were better prepared with enough Democrat Party Super Delegates in their back pocket that there was no way Hillary would not be on the ticket in November.

Problem was this old Socialist dude from Vermont who looked like the crazy Uncle that everyone dreads coming over for the holidays, Bernie Sanders.  The Democrats expected him to be nothing more than a pesky mosquito but instead Bernie created a movement.

Bernie was the Hope and Change for hundreds. Those hundreds became thousands and then millions.  The Democratic party panicked and stooped to dirty tricks to help Hillary.  There was no way that Hillary was going to be tossed out of the general election but then came “commie lovin’ Bernie”.  But did you see the crowds that Bernie drew versus the crowds that Hillary gathered when they did campaign stops? Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana the number of people who were, “with her”, were outnumbered by those that “felt the Bern”.

Bernie should have been the Presidential Nominee for the Democrat Party, but the math of delegates with the Super Delegate factor made it impossible.

At the moment the leader of the Democrat Party is not named Clinton.  The leader is named Obama, and his time expires in January to hold office.  The Democrat Party is leaderless.

The Republican Party isn’t in much better shape either.  Imagine the people who wanted some one with conservative values were so dissatisfied with the field of nominees that Donald Trump beat all of them.

Donald Trump doesn’t represent the Republican Party.  They tried everything they could to prevent Trump from winning enough delegates to secure the nomination, but they failed. Then when he won the Presidency, many sucked up to him who were in the nasty fight just months before.  Those Republicans are not sure if they should ride on the Donald’s coat tails but they certainly don’t want to be left behind.

The only reason we still have just two major parties is the idiotic choices the other parties have offered.

Gary Johnson may be a nice guy but when he failed to name a foreign leader that he respected during a national television interview, he lost credibility big time.  When I saw that clip, I know how I would have handled it.  He was sitting with his V-P partner, and he should have simply said to Mr. Weld, “Gee, Bill, I’m not sure which one to pick, who do you think would be on the top of our list?”

That shows the ability to think on ones feet and maybe it’s because I’m in sales, but I know how to answer questions that I’m stumped on.  And most questions I am asked, I know ahead of time what my answers will be.

So the Republicans have lost their party to the likes of Donald Trump and the Democrats have simply lost and need to find a spokesperson.

Bernie and Donald both represented the 2016 Hope and Change that Barack Obama presented in 2008.  Each of those three men simply offered Hope to different segments of the voting population who wanted Change that would affect their own interests.

Now…

What are you and I to do?

It’s time to do some thoughtful thinking and have some open discussions with people of all political leanings.

Pick issues that are important to you.  If you need a list, you can use a website like https://www.isidewith.com/  and look at the issues and choices listed.  A word of caution with this website, is that some of the questions are geared to steer you towards a certain mindset, so feel free to challenge the questions wording and perhaps rework them to your own liking.

I suggest doing this exercise on your own first.  When I did it, I discovered that I don’t have opinions on some issues.  That’s because I don’t know enough to decide where I stand on the topic, or it’s not as important as other items on the list.

Forget about liberal or conservative labels.  Forget about party positions.  Think through your ideas and beliefs and then share with others in a discussion.

Every action will have unintended reactions.  Nothing operates in a bubble.  We cannot predict the future but we can learn from the past.

I want to be part of a better future for myself, my family and for strangers too.  Are you with me?

 

 

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 Aftermath of the 1st GOP Debate(s)

Thursday was the day we looked forward to.

Not in a normal way we look forward to something fun and exciting.

For me it was more like the feeling when you are stuck in traffic because there is a bottleneck up ahead and you are not sure what is causing it.  It could be a horrendous accident with blood and guts all over the road or it could be the highway crew closing down a lane to fill in some old pot holes.

I was planning on catching the also rans at 5pm but I got home after 6 and only saw the last few minutes.

When the big boy debate ramped up I realized why I don’t watch Fox News.  This wasn’t a serious debate, it was a joke.

I almost sound like Trump as I type those words but I won’t be as rude.

In years past a debate was where there were topics and questions and everyone got their turn at answering the question from the moderator.

This was more like a vetting operation.  The 3 host/moderators took turns asking questions crafted to each persons flaws and weaknesses and asked them to defend themselves.

Substance? Nope.  Real Answers to Real Important Questions? You had to ask a Real Important Question and that never happened.

Okay, so they didn’t ask softball questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” but this was a waste of time.

Even with the lack of substance, I was able to narrow the field of 17 to my favorite 5 possibilities.  So here we go:

I say, Gilmore, Pataki and you say who?  Two old guys who used to be Governors that no one knows or cares about.  They had their shot at fame at 5pm Thursday.

Perry, Santorum, Huckabee and we both have flash backs to the last couple of Republican Presidential Campaigns.  Sorry Rick,  Rick and Mike but your lights are growing dim.  And it’s not because of the Donald.  You just don’t have it this time around to make it.

Also in that kiddy table debate at 5 a few others that need to rest up and find something else to do.  I’m sure they are good folks but this is not their year. I expect Jindall, and Graham to just stay put as they say in their current government jobs.

7 down, 10 to go…

Despite his Christian values and excellent back story, Ben Carson won’t make it.  If you are supporting him or any of those I already mentioned, please stop and look at those that have a chance to not just win the primaries, and the presidency but can also lead and represent the country for 4 or 8 years.

With that last statement, I have to remove a couple more names. Christie, Cruz.  Christie has lost his luster and Cruz was the outrageous one before Trump came along.

On to the Final 7 and I can narrow it down to 5 possibilities. I have to give props to Kasich the Ohio governor that we just started learning about.  He is one I will investigate further.  Same with Fiorina. She is also worth checking out.

Walker, Rubio and Paul.  They also make my top 5 but we will see.  Bush and Trump are not on my list but they are both dangerous.  Jeb needed to shine and his answer to an education question on Common Core was not inline with his public position.  But he has lots of money to hang around awhile.  Trump is an opportunist and can’t be trusted which was what the first question in the debate was all about when the candidates were asked to pledge loyalty to the party candidate when the primary season was over and the Donald refused to rule out an independent run.

In 11 months only one will be the Republican Presidential Candidate and I sincerely hope it is one from this list of five:

  • John Kasich
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Scott Walker
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rand Paul

And as a side note, on the Dem side of the fence,  I hope Bernie Sanders continues his climb as Mrs. Clinton falters and the others running continue to be obscure.

More to come in the months ahead.

 

 

Not The Donald

I’ve been having an ongoing conversation with my wife about Donald Trump since he started making noise about running for President in 2016.

Actually my wife and I have had ongoing political conversations since we met 15 years ago. Despite our seemingly opposite viewpoints on several issues, we married and have survived some pretty heated debates.

I started this blog as a way to collect my thoughts and share with her and other family members, but I have my doubts if any of them read it.

Anyway, Donald Trump.

The wanna be president?  A blow-hard with some weird hair style?  The guy who led the “birther” movement which claimed that President Obama was not born in the United States?  The leading Republican Candidate in the polls?

According to the website Real Clear Politics that has a listing of the latest polls, Trump is polling better than any of the other Republican candidates.  His biggest lead was a week ago when he scored a 24.  #2 was Scott Walker with 13 and Jeb Bush had a 12 for 3rd place.

Let’s do some math. 13 from Walker plus 12 from Bush = 25.

Add in the poll numbers from the other candidates and you end up with Trump 24, everyone else 68.

(These numbers are from the ABC/Washington Post 7/16-19 poll).

The talking heads on radio and TV are misinterpreting the meaning of the poll.

They say Trump is the Republican Favorite.

No, he is not.  He leads the polls and that’s it.

Turn it upside down.

68% of the people polled picked someone other than Donald Trump.

The Donald only got 24%.  8% said none of them.

Trump is getting all the media coverage.  He was a known name before this election cycle.  The other candidates are simply not known yet.  I don’t know the differences between each of the candidates, at least not all of them and I am not going to start paying a whole lot of attention, now change that…

I am not going to do a lot of research until a few months from now.

I hear the talking heads tell us why we should or should not like: Bush, Walker, Rubio, Paul, Christie, and all the others, but it’s all fluid, not solid.  No one stands out as a clear leader yet.

Once we get the first debate out of the way and maybe the second debate, I’ll do my research on the real candidates that are still running and see who matches my list of what I want.  No one will.  I know that, but somewhere down the line I’ll pick someone by the time we have our Indiana primary in May. Or vote for Bernie?

But no, Not The Donald.  If you listen closely to what he says he will do, he is making claims that he would do stuff that the President of the United States does not have authority to do. That alone disqualifies him in my book, (along with plenty of other reasons.)

 

The Making of The President 2016: The Race Has Begun

I work in the media world.  Radio broadcasting and digital media.  But despite that disclaimer, I am not a fan of the way media handles political news.

My activity in radio these days is all on the advertising side.  My paid work in digital media is also related to marketing although I was a full time “Social Media Magician” for awhile.

The 24 hour news channels on TV have to fill their 24 hours and the talking heads will repeat stuff over and over again, giving their slant on the stories we just heard last hour from the previous host.  Is it any wonder that MSNBC is losing viewers?

Admittedly the radio talk show do the same for 3 hours each day, but interestingly we have enough people in Northeast Indiana that want to hear national talk show hosts, Rush, Glenn, Sean, and Mark to keep them on the air year after year.  The radio ratings for Beck and Limbaugh on WOWO radio show that they are the most listened to over the 20+ other radio stations in Fort Wayne.  Hannity and Levin are on in the evening and so their audience is smaller, but they get a respectable number of fans tuning in each week.

It’s April 2015 and finally the most recognized potential Presidential Candidates are making their intentions official.  Ted Cruz followed by Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio.  The conversations will shift from speculation to reporting actual campaign activities.  But don’t worry, the commentary and editorial and opinion pieces will continue to be the meat and potatoes for the next 18 months or so.

Already the silly season has begun.  Headlines made a big deal out of a typo in a Hillary press release that made it sound like she hated women and children.  The missing word was for.  And we all knew it was an overlooked typo.  It’s not just silly, it is downright pathetic that this typo made it into the news.

Each of us have a voice and a vote.  Depending on when your state has their primary election next year, you may have one or two handfuls of candidates to choose from.  Come November 2016, you really need to vote, no matter who is on the ballot.  It’s your right and responsibility.

Regarding your voice.  You can speak face to face, you can speak online and you can speak with your time and money.

I won’t be giving money to any politician.  I’ll do my best to refrain from getting caught up in social media debates.  I may add a few comments about the Presidential race on this website.  I will describe what I want in a President. I will vote.

Hang on, once again, we are in for a bumpy ride to the White House.