Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Calling all Trump supports...and all Clinton supporters...Calling all Voters...

Hi, all. I'm back, with more to say about this upcoming election. Any of  you that know me very well know that I usually do not choose to be public with my opinions about politics, in general, but this election has me feeling very differently. One thing I will get on the table right up front is that I will NOT support either Clinton or Trump. These are not good choices by any measure, and I'm not even talking about all of the he said/she said crap that is being slung back and forth between the two, which I'm confident most of you find as abhorrent as I do. Both of them seem to be determined to expand government. Expanded government automatically means higher taxes. Who wants that? Well, besides 'our' politicians. Clinton is also for taking guns away from everyone and for partial birth abortion. Even many of you who consider yourselves liberals don't support either of those. Trump is all for building a wall between us and Mexico (do you suppose it will work as well for us as it did for China?) and frisking people indiscriminately. Like those will work. These are crazy extreme ideas from both of these candidates, and will only serve to divide our country further. We must ask ourselves, do we really want more divisiveness in our country? I don't.

So what are our options? Well, the first and best option is NOT to vote for either of them, but to vote third party. I'm hearing a lot of arguments against doing so, and I'm here to tell you, you're drinking the kool-aid. Our system of government is NOT a two party system. It is a multi-party system, and it is up to us as voters to teach these politicians that we are sick of the garbage they are spewing at us. If the Democrats and Republicans can't offer candidates that are reasonable (I'm not even saying "good", but just NOT bad) choices, we will, as an electorate, choose a third-party candidate who will be a voice of reason in Washington.

It is no secret that I have been strongly advocating for Evan McMullin. I won't go so far as to say that he is a perfect candidate, but when compared to Clinton and Trump, he comes out smelling like a rose. When he talks he doesn't raise his voice. Score 1 for Evan. He actually has experience in Washington, which may not seem so great to those of you who support Trump because your sick of "business as usual" in Washington, but I would remind you that Carter ran on that same platform in 1976, and he was pretty much useless in Washington because he never learned the art of compromise. Let us not forget that there is a reason Carter was booted out after one term. McMullin has spent time in the CIA and working on foreign policy in Washington. That automatically makes him better qualified to deal with foreign policy than either Clinton or Trump. McMullin bills himself as a conservative, but he is more moderate. I firmly believe that he has the best potential for reaching across the aisle and finding ways to compromise on some of the key issues that we, the voters, care about. Yes, I think we need to tighten our borders, but I don't think a fence is the best way to handle that. We also need a path to citizenship for those whose only crime is crossing the border, and whose children are citizens of the U.S. by birth. This is an issue we can compromise on.

And when it comes to compromise, that is what I'm talking about. All of us, liberals and conservatives, let's work out our own compromise and band together to send Washington the message that if they can't or won't offer us decent choices for candidates we will make our own choice. Vote for Evan McMullin, and make a statement as well as a decision your conscience can live with. 

                               "To him who has ears, let him hear."

Thus ends this segment of my thoughts on this election. Since this is my blog, and I am already well aware of how contentious the discussions are about the election, comments are closed. I hope at the very least, I have provided some food for thought.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Taking a Detour - My Perspective on the 2016 Election

After much consideration, I feel strongly that the time has come for me to put my thoughts about the coming election into words, so I'm hi-jacking my blog for this purpose. Many of you know that Norm and I are backing Evan McMullin's candidacy for President, and probably wonder why. There are many reasons, but here are just a few.

First, let me assure you that we are NOT supporting Hillary Clinton, which we have already been accused of. NO! A vote for Evan McMullin is a vote FOR Evan McMullin, and not for or against anyone else. Just because we don't support your candidate of choice, don't assume that we do support your opposition. One thing I learned in a writing class I took in college is about "slant". The use of various forms of words to denote a negative or positive viewpoint. It has left me somewhat jaded about much of the news, but here's one thing I can tell you about slant. It is unreasonable to accuse me of being "Anti-Trump", when you would only describe yourself as "Pro-Trump". If you describe yourself as "Pro-Trump", then in all fairness, you should describe me as "Pro-McMullin".

Another argument I have heard is that "third-party candidates never win." Let's talk about that. First, let me state that this comment is not true. You may have seen the meme on Facebook that says "A Vote for Lincoln is a Vote for Douglas". And, yes, I have seen the number of blogs that argue that Lincoln was not a third party candidate. But lets take a look at the historical record, and then you can decide for yourself. Note, first, that Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, so by the time he ran for office the U.S. had already had 60 years of elected Presidents. In 1860, there were THREE other candidates in addition to Lincoln for President: Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell, and Northern Democrat Stephen Douglas. Prior to 1858 when Lincoln ran for senate as a Republican, he had served as a representative of the Whig Party, which had been the primary opposition party to the Democratic party up to that point. On July 6, 1854 the Republican party was formed, and eventually replaced the Whig party as the primary opposition to the Democratic party. Now, if my math is any good, that means the Republican party was ONLY 6 YEARS OLD when Abraham Lincoln ran as the Republican presidential candidate. In our day and age, we think only of the Democrats and Republicans as the primary opposition parties during an election, but at the time Lincoln was elected, that wasn't the case. In my view, the Republican Party WAS the third (or fourth) party at the time of the 1860 election. I will grant that a third party candidate has not been elected President since then, but that does NOT mean it can't happen. It is on us as voters to make that decision, and not to allow power-hungry egotists to make that decision for us.

Now, to move on to the next part of the question. Why would I (well, we - both Norm and I - we are together on this) choose a Libertarian or Independent candidate? The best answer I can give to that is that I feel disenfranchised by the Republican party. While I have never declared party membership, intending always to identify as an independent, I do espouse conservative (and what I hope would be considered christian) values, both morally and fiscally, and have felt that, until 12 years ago, the Republican Party best represented my interests and values. In the past 12 years, however, I feel like the Republican party has moved away from me, and no longer represents the conservative values that I hold dear. If the Republican Party won't represent my interests, then I will be on the look-out for a candidate/party that will. This year, that person is Evan McMullin. I also believe that by choosing a third-party candidate, I am pushing against the two-party system, and by doing so, requiring those who would run for elected positions to straighten up and fly right. I want the people I vote for to have sense of responsibility to the people, good character, integrity, to be able to control their anger, and not come across as power-hungry. I want better choices when I go to the poll to vote, and neither Clinton nor Trump represent any choice at all. Can anyone honestly tell me that they have any respect for these two? If you don't respect them, why, oh why, would you ever want them to be the leader of our country???

Thus ends this segment of my thoughts on this election. Since this is my blog, and I am already well aware of how contentious the discussions are about the election, comments are closed. I hope at the very least, I have provided some food for thought.