President

Donald J. Trump, It’s Time

An open letter to our current President of the United States.

Donald J. Trump, it is time to cancel this game show where you occupy the White House.

Before I go any further, what is it that finally got me to speak out publicly and not just privately?

Anthony Scaramucci.

I am tempted to use similar (but not so graphic) swear words to describe my outrage of what he did this week.  But I won’t because I know better.

He doesn’t. He proved it by talking to a reporter and then blaming the reporter for his own words.

Communication Director? If this is the way he is going to represent the Executive Branch then he is the worst possible candidates.

I had a sliver of hope that Anthony could be the professional that could clean up the leaks coming from your branch of the government but he has turned out to be a bigger buffoon than you Mr. Trump when it comes to communication.

I did my best to look the other way when I would cringe at your tweets and off the cuff comments that you have made since that day in January when you took office and renewed your campaign promise to Make America Great Again.

I tried to look at all the dirt they dug up on you as simply part of your very non-p.c. past.  The bragging of an insecure millionaire talking with Billy Bush was from your past and once you were in the oval office, you would act the part and be humbled.

Nope.

The tweets kept coming.

Your staff seems to never be able to get the story straight about anything.

You, Mr. Trump are an Apprentice that has no mentor and from all appearances, you don’t want one.

In my fantasy world, you would meet privately with each of the living former Presidents and seek their wisdom.  They are the only ones on this planet that have had the responsibility that you now have and each of them were rookies when they were in office the first time too.

Jimmy Carter, the Bushes, and Barack Obama have wisdom that you need to learn. And you better include Bill Clinton too.

Imagine a humble man in the White House.  Even though it was long before my time, I picture Harry S Truman to have been humble.  The biographies I read of Harry when I was young portrayed him as a man of power who also was humble. I’m guessing that the 5 living Presidents also had various moments of humility as POTUS too.

But I am afraid that my just-described fantasy, will never occur.

And while I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt regarding Russia, even if you and your team were duped by those more experienced in political and covert operations, there are so many other blunders that are occurring and your reaction is to blame others.

I wish you would shut up publicly.

I wish you would stop lying or having “communication errors”. (They are really lies.)

I don’t wish anything bad or evil on you or your family, but again, I don’t wish it on anyone.

What’s next?

It’s time for you to retire.

Turn over the reigns to your Vice President.

Mike Pence was my state Governor before you picked him as your running mate and he was not my favorite but at the time he had values and principles.  Some of those were controversial and he made some enemies too but he actually had a fan base of support that wasn’t built on hype.

Right now, Mr. Trump you are in a no-win situation.  The Russian investigation has steamrolled the agenda that you promised and you personally have no self control.

Either your time in office will continue as is with perceived chaos every day as the media continues to push out the possible scandals until you become completely ineffective.

Or they do find dirt to go thru the impeachment process and due to the frustration by the American voters, Congress flips to the Democratic Party in the 2018 election and you are run out of town in disgrace.

Or you can say to hell with it.  Leave on your own.  Take the family and return to your choice of homes and try and salvage your Trump empire while attempting to stay out of jail.

Mr. Trump, if you really want to Make American Great Again, walk away and leave now.

The sooner the better so we can start to restore civility.

(I just wrote a follow-up that I encourage you to also read: https://scloho.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/my-fellow-americans-its-time/ )

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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?

 

 

The Worst of The Best

Too much has been said during this years presidential race by the candidates, their surrogates, their supporters and those who are anti-___________.

So I don’t add to the noise on social media or in public conversation.

It’s not that I don’t care.  It’s just that I have nothing to contribute that can be said in a tweet, or Facebook post that will make much of a difference.

I just finished reading the book, Think Like A Freak, by the authors of the Freakonomics series and handed my copy to my son.

The idea behind this book is to teach people how to open their minds by discovering predispositions and examine stuff deeper than we often do.

It’s the kind of stuff that I love to do, to play detective, to do experiments and to learn.

What caught my attention in the first place was stuff that they authors discovered about violent crime and abortion, in their first book, and the whole series along with the movie is worth your time.

But let me present my own thoughts today on the current Presidential election.  It’s about 9am on Sunday October 9, 2016.

Election Day is November 8th this year so in 4 weeks and about 3 days we will know who our next President of the United States will be.

The primary season ended a couple months ago with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump emerging as the candidates chosen by each party to run as the Democrat and Republican party presidential candidates.  For that reason and that reason alone, I’ll call Hillary and Donald, “The Best“.

Not the best people to run for office or to serve as POTUS.  But they were the winners of the series of contests that each major party held leading up to their conventions this summer and thus were designated to move on to the next round, the final round.

Applying the Think Like A Freak methodology you can spend a lifetime trying to uncover how we got here, but today it doesn’t matter.  Clinton and Trump won the races they were running and now we are in a sudden death battle that will determine the executive leadership of our country for the next four years and have lasting effects on our country beyond our lifetimes.

Now that I’ve explained why Hilary and Donald are the Best, let me tell you why I titled this article, The Worst of The Best.

It’s all the dirt and mudslinging that is going on.  By nearly everyone.

Trump’s past, Clinton’s past along with their present words and actions are being used to bring each other down.  And there is plenty of bad stuff that happens now that provides even more material.

The people who are truly passionate about wanting Trump to Make America Great Again are no better or worse than those who want Clinton to do what ever she says she wants to do, and are passionate about her.

I wish we could have an election about policy and direction, not about Hillary’s health and Donald’s, well you name it.

In Indiana, we are seeing and hearing a similar battle for an open U.S. Senate Seat with back to back to back TV ads attacking each candidate with sound bites.

I wonder what would happen if the Federal Election Commission would apply similar Truth in Advertising Rules that the Federal Trade Commission has in place.

You have perhaps noticed that up to this point I have not mentioned the 3rd party candidates. For President I will have a third choice, Gary Johnson is on my ballot.   No, he and the Libertarian Party are not going to pull an upset and win the presidency but I am glad that they made the ballot, simply to see how many votes they can pull away from the two major parties.

Here’s the truth.  Either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected November 8th.  Ballots have been printed, early voting has started and we will have one of them declared the winner, The Best of the Best according to the rules of our election process.

Time for me to attempt to research all the candidates on my sample ballot and pick who will get my votes next month.

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.