Featured Post

Abortion is The Evil of our generation

So yesterday I came across a rather  appalling article  that tried to make it sound like states having increased abortion restrictions were ...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christianity and America part 2: Should America still be a Christian nation?

Welcome back to my series of posts on Christianity and America.   In part 1, I talked about why America was founded as, and still is, a Christian nation.  In part 2 today, I answer the question:  Should we still be a Christian nation?

This is a question often pondered, usually by progressives, but not always.  Many Christians themselves consider this as well.   With a growing demographic that has expanded beyond the bounds of Christian denominations, is the founding fathers original vision outdated?  It's an easy argument to make.  Islam didn't really have a presence in America.  Atheism and secular humanism didn't quite catch on in Europe until well after America was established and settled.  Most of the religious wars in Europe were fought over which way was the best to worship God.  If you want to put it one way, Europe was for many centuries "monoreligious".  Sure, there were different denominations, but they all followed the basic tenets of Christianity and the Bible.  Ironically, it's this history which has served as both an influence for our founding fathers as well as for some modern atheists' (shallow) claims that "religion only causes wars and death"...or something similar to that.   From this perspective, it's easy to get this progressive feel that our country is "trending away" from Christianity to be more "diverse" and "all inclusive".   Sort of makes sense, right?

However, I'm going to call upon an old adage here: "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should."  To adapt that to this perceived trend would be "Just because we seem to be heading that way, doesn't mean we should."   Many people, it seems,  have been quite focused on the "can" part, but don't necessarily take the "should" part into the equation.  I consider this a result of the growing activist mentality where people are encouraged to always fully exercise their rights whenever possible.  And why? Because they can.  The problem with this mentality is that it doesn't seem to take anything other than the desire to exercise one's rights into account.  For example, as a pedestrian, you have the right of way in virtually every scenario.  If you walk out onto a busy street, you have the right of way over the cars speeding by.   Yet, conventional wisdom would say that you probably shouldn't exercise that right whenever you feel like else you're bound to get run over by a driver (probably on their cell phone) not paying attention.   Another example:  You have every right to speak your mind about your boss, even if it's unflattering.  But again, common sense would indicate that you shouldn't because chances are if you're insulting enough, you'll get fired.  As you can see, there's a common sense element in both examples.  Common sense tends to be the gap between the "can" and the "should".

So how does common sense factor into whether we should stick with our secularizing trend or swerve back to Christianity?  As I've pointed out previous, it wasn't until the latter half of the 20th century where atheism and secular humanism started to take hold in this country.   Coincidently, that's around the time that our country's prosperity and quality began to flag. Our education has been on the decline since the 50's, where our SAT scores nationally were at an all time high.   With the exception of Ronald Reagan's historic economic turnaround (who is a Christian and conservative, mind you), our economy continues to slide as well as our global competitiveness.  Up until the mid 20th century, America was continually blessed from its inception to the point where it was able to successfully fight a world war on two fronts to fight back evil around the world.   While America itself doesn't have a perfect past, the fact that it has correct many of its mistakes and had continued to be blessed is a coincidence you cannot ignore.  When we were solidly a Christian nation, God blessed the country.  Ever since the country began to turn to secular humanism, we've been on the decline.  Common sense might tell you that being a Christian nation actually is the best.  

And if you want to call it coincidence, I'd like to point out another country that follows God: Israel.  No, they're not a Christian nation, but Chrstianity sprang forth from Judaism and they share many common traits. Israel, despite being a small nation surrounded by enemies in the middle of the desert, has been famously prosperous while many of its neighbors have not.  They've been successful in fighting off destruction for over 60 years despite being surrounded by bigger enemies.   If you want another example of a country that God has blessed and protected, look to Israel.

People like to dismiss this correlation as coincidence.  That somehow to two most blessed and successful countries in recent history were both God worshipping nations was just coincidence.  Yet, at the same time, they'll dismiss the record that atheists (via socialism) and secular humanism have racked up over the decades and centuries as "they just haven't gotten it right, yet".   Socialism (aka Leftism) is responsible for more deaths than any other movement in history.  Soviet Russia and Communist China has murdered more than 100 million of its own citizens (most during peace time).  America's decline in the past 50 years can be attributed to secular humanism's moral relativity and the lack of accountability to a higher power.

So let me ask this:  How exactly is our country slipping into decline "progress"?  So yes, while we can shed ourselves of this supposedly outdated, ancient and cumbersome religion as a nation, the results seem to be indicating that we shouldn't and instead should embrace what our founding fathers had embraced and what had been working for nigh 175 years:  Christianity.  

So should America still be a Christian nation? Absolutely.   It's part of what has made the nation great.  Turning our backs on a proven formula just because some "smart" people can't come to grips with its irrationalities doesn't seem all that smart at all.  

That wraps it up for part 2.   This answered the question and gave an over arcing view why we should steer back to Christianity.  In part 3, I'll tackle some of the issues/points that the opposition uses in their crusade to separate America from its Christian foundation.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christianity and America part 1: Why the USA was indeed founded as a Christian nation (and we still are today)

Now that the bountiful feasts of Thanksgiving are behind us and Black Friday has come and gone, we now settle into the Christmas corridor, that month long stretch where virtually everything is focused around Christmas in one way or another.  Christmas parties will being to pop up.  People start planning their trips and vacation accordingly.  Schools will have their Christmas  holiday programs. And as such, we're also going to see all the increasingly disturbing attacks on people expressing their faith by atheists targeting those wanting to put up nativity scenes or crosses or anything else that resembles Christianity shown in a public place (as an aside:  Do  you ever hear of atheists doing this to Muslims? That's for another post).  The point is there seems to be an ongoing hostility to Christian traditions in this country and it seems many people, Christians included, agree with this.  

It seems there's this idea that "separation of church and state" means absolutely no displays of religion, or Christianity rather, by government or even in public places by private businesses.  I'm here to point out that not only is this not the case, but that liberals have been exploiting this one line for decades to achieve their goal of reducing the Christian influence on our nation (which is a bad thing...again that'll be for another post).  I'm initiating a multi part series about Christianity and America.  This first part will argue why this country is indeed a Christian nation and why we still are today.  Subsequent parts will cover more topics.  Now onto part 1....

First let's start with the "separation of church and state".   Contrary to popular belief this line is not in the First Amendment.   Not only that, it's not even in any of our official founding documents.   Many people (I'd venture to say most today) wrongly use the phrase out of its original context and attach it to the First Amendment.  The phrase actually was written by then President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 in response to a letter he received from the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut who had heard rumor that the government was going to adopt the Congregationalist denomination as the national denomination.  You see, this was alarming because the reason for the First Amendment was to avoid what happened in England where there was only one official denomination that caused so many problems and persecutions.   Anyway, this is where separation of church and state appears, but it was to show that government wouldn't adopt an official denomination and use that to persecute any other denominations.  It was not to indicate that religion and government should be completely separate.   As I've mentioned before, religion and politics are inextricable.  The intent of the First Amendment was to indicate that government should not favor any one practice of religion over another so much that it restricts the practice of different religions and denominations. Government could not dictate how you practiced your religion.  Yet, it doesn't mean that government wasn't allowed to practice themselves.

This establishes that our founding documents had no intention of separating religion from government.  But what the country being a "Christian" nation?  As much as many modern people, who probably base their opinion on the faulty "separation of church and state" logic mentioned above, like to believe that the founding fathers never explicitly intended for this country to be a Christian nation, it's wishful thinking at best.  Consider a snippet from  this article though I recommend reading the entire article (parts bolded for emphasis):

The process of drafting the First Amendment made the intent of the Founders abundantly clear; for before they approved the final wording, the First Amendment went through nearly a dozen different iterations and extensive discussions.
Those discussions—recorded in the Congressional Records from June 7 through September25 of 1789—make clear their intent for the First Amendment.  By it, the Founders were saying: “We do not want in America what we had in Great Britain: we don’t want one denomination running the nation.  We will not all be Catholics, or Anglicans, or any other single denomination.  We do want God’s principles, but we don’t want one denomination running the nation.”
This intent was well understood, as evidenced by court rulings after the First Amendment.
For example, a 1799 court declared:
“By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.”
Again, note the emphasis: “We do want Christian principles—we do want God’s principles—but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation.”

This country was formed with Christian principles as its foundation and was intended to be that way.  This was no accident.   The founding fathers recognized the intrinsic importance of Christian values and wanted them established here sans the tyranny imposed by the monarchies of Europe.   And in a couple cases, this has been reaffirmed by following administrations.  In God We Trust was added to our currency after the Civil War.  President Eisenhower added "under God" to the pledge of allegiance in the 50's (yes, that's the 1950's).   It wasn't until the latter half of the 20th century, when the liberal/progressives were able to create an ever increasing wedge, that our country has somewhat retreated from its Christian roots.  I say somewhat because while that's the trend of Hollywood , the media, and liberal college professors, it's still not the trend with mainstream America (which the former parties are trying their best to make happen).   Christianity may be on the decline, but it's still the vast majority.

Chances are, when encountering someone who doesn't believe this country is, or was founded as, a Christian nation they probably base it off the faulty logic surrounding the "separation of church and state" phrase.  They also base it off the phrase "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", which they take a very liberal interpretation.  Essentially, they ignore the whole "make no law" part.  Public displays of Christian belief is not a law.  Having a nativity scene set up in a public park is no law.  Having a Bible verse on a cheerleader banner is not a law.  The argument is pretty flawed.

The bottom line is that yes, we were founded as Christian nation and we still are today.  Anyone that says otherwise, I would be highly suspect if their logic is built off of a faulty premise.

That wraps up part one.  In part two, I will cover the next logical question:  Should we still be a Christian nation?  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Supporting Israel, a fundamental Christian imperative

In light of the recent outbreak of hostilities between Palestine and Israel, I think it's about to take on this issue at Faith & Politics.  The loss of life in the evidently never ending struggle in the middle east is always heart breaking.  However, that sadness I experience will turn into anger fast when the all too predictable condemning of Israel pops up.  Israel is the warmongering oppressor of the poor Palestinians.  This anger is a deep, visceral righteously white hot indignation that makes me want to smite all the lies and deceit surrounding this conflict.  So, as such, this is what I hope to do in this post because frankly I feel support of Israel is even more important than the battle being fought here in the US.  We have a spiritual battle to fight that is indeed difficult.  But at least we aren't immediately surrounded by larger nations hell bent on our destruction that fire thousands of rockets into civilian populated areas on a regular basis.

First, let's get a couple things out of the way.  The media, with its overwhelmingly leftist influence, has a habit of portraying Israel in the worst light possible while conveniently overlooking the nasties committed by the Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah, and all the other militant organizations that are openly committed to the destruction of Israel.  Examples of this can be seen in MSNBC's Mara Schiavocampo lecutring Israel official about "relatively ineffective" Hamas rockets and the lack of reporting on the fake and staged videos Palestinians use to gain sympathy from the world. So if you were to believe that this conflict is Israel's fault, or even if both Israel and the Palestinians are equally to blame (as centrists are prone to doing), then  you'd be forgiven for thinking so.  Because while I'll admit that Israel may not be 100% innocent, they are definitely not the aggressors in this conflict and have on numerous occasions been far more magnanimous when it comes reaching a peace accord than the other side.   Israel wants peace.  The Palestinians do as well...except just not as long as Israel is around.

There's plenty of evidence to support this.  For example, in 2000 and 2008, Israel met all of the demands for a Palestinian state - both were rejected.  If the Palestinians were interested in peace, why would they reject everything they're asking for?  The answer is quite simple:  The Palestinians, the rest of the pan Arab world, do not want to have to officially recognize an Israeli state.  Arafat rejected the offer in 2000 because he'd have had to acknowledge Israel's sovereignty.  So even though he was getting everything he wanted, there was one thing he couldn't compromise on: acknowledging Israel and its people's existence.

But why?  Why not compromise?  Peace is the goal, right?  Sadly, no.  Not as long as there's an Israel.  You see, this issue goes deeper than just political boundaries to fervent religious beliefs.  This all stems back to the beginning of Islam.   A snippet from this blog post:
Darwish traces the problem to Mohammed’s relations to the Jews of Medina. He tried to persuade them to accept him as a prophet after his own tribe in Mecca had ridiculed his pretensions. When they rejected him, in Darwish’s words, “Mohammed simply and literally flipped.” As much as he had professed to love them, he now hated them. He engaged in unspeakable slaughter, she writes, ordering “the beheading of 600 to 900 Jewish men of one tribe and took their women and children as slaves.”
That has left Islam, says Darwish, with a major existential problem. “Islam must justify the genocide that Mohammed waged against the Jews. Mohammed and Muslims had two choices: either the Jews are evil subhumans, apes, pigs, and enemies of Allah, a common description of Jews still heard regularly in Middle Eastern mosques today, or Mohammed was a genocidal warlord and not fit to be a prophet of God, a choice that would mean the end of Islam.”

And there you have it.  I'm not sure how much simpler it can get than that.  Pretty much, this hatred of the Jews is not some relatively harmless racist Archie Bunker rhetoric, this is hatred that is ingrained into the fabric of Islam itself.  This is not to say that all Muslims hate Jews, because I know that isn't true.  However, it's a deep part of the religion.   And if you've been following the Middle East at all, you'll note how closely the Arab nation's politics and their religion are linked.   Jews are not to be the equals of Muslims ever.  It's ok for the Jews to exist...as long as they're subjugated to Muslim rule (ak no Israel).  So, to make peace and concessions with them is to do something fundamental against their religion.  Of course, this line of thinking will inevitably meander into deeper philosophical questions regarding religious validity, which is beyond the scope of this post (I'll probably do that one later).

And while one can just write off these extremists firing rockets as fringe extreme elements, there's one major difference:  there's pretty much no condemnation of these extremists by other Muslim nations or moderates in the Muslim community.  Christianity, despite having its violent past, has always had the moderate body denounce the extremist groups like the KKK or those that murder innocents in the name of God.  That silence speaks volumes and lends credence to the idea that the extremists are the vanguard of Muslim practitioners who are too afraid to act themselves as opposed to being the radical elements that give the religion a bad name.  While I do not want this to be an indictment of those that practice Islam, I'm making the point to reinforce the notion that the religion seems to be pretty ok with the destruction of Israel, even if only a small part of them say anything openly.

As Christians, I believe we ignore or abandon support of Israel at our own peril.  Christianity itself sprang from the Jews.  Let's not also forget that these are God's chosen people.  In fact, here's a fun little tidbit.  The Jews claiming to be a special and "chosen" people isn't unique to them.  There are plenty of other peoples and nations that believe they have some divine or mystic appointment.  Yet, how come these other peoples aren't persecuted like the Jews are?  It's probably because the world deep down just doesn't believe those claims.  And why are the Jews persecuted so?  Because, deep down, the world knows their claim as God's chosen people is legitimate. It sparks jealousy and hatred (see the above quote about how Mohammed killed 600 to 900 Jews in retaliation for them rejecting him as a prophet).  Among the ungodly, it's something they cannot acknowledge and must ridicule.  For if they acknowledge the Jew's special relationship with God, they must also accept God's power as legitimate.  As Christians, we know better than most the special place the Jewish people have with God.  We know better than most their ancient history.

Christians must stand with Israel, particularly in their time of need.  While again, they themselves aren't always 100% blameless (just look at how much God lets them get smacked around for their disobedience or when they stray away from Him), to consider them the monsters in this ongoing conflict, or even mutual monsters is an egregious mistake.  Israel is a beacon of freedom and hope in a land dominated by truly oppressive religion and culture.  The fact that they've fought off all their enemies this far is truly a miracle.  We should embrace that miracle and see through the lies promulgated by the media, the UN, and the Muslim aggressors.   These organizations are not our friends, but Israel is.  Take a stand and show your support.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The importance of Hollywood: Trickle down politics

As a Christian and/or conservative it's pretty easy to agree with the whole "country is going downhill" sentiment.  More of the country rejects foundational morality.  More of the country is losing its worth ethic.  Kids are growing up not really knowing the difference between right and wrong.  Victimhood  is a common practice.  This isn't even to mention our economy or our ever slipping competitiveness on the global scale.

While there may be many things to point at, in my opinion, they are all just results of something further upstream:  Hollywood.  By Hollywood, I mean the movie, tv, and entertainment industry.  I've previously written about the profound influence the media has on our lives, but what seems to be largely ignored by conservatives and Christians is that even the media is downstream of Hollywood.  It's been said that art inspires minds.  That's exactly what the entertainment industry (part of "the arts")  does.  They inspire minds.  The social stream goes something like this:

Entertainment/Arts > Culture  > Politics

What's done in the entertainment industry heavily influences culture which in turn influences someone's political views.  Therefore, if we were to place  liberal ideology at the heart of America's problems, we have to trace how that ideology has become further and further ingrained into our culture.   Where did it come from?  Largely from Hollywood and also the media.   Some may say "oh, that's just the natural progression of our society", to which I whole heartedly disagree.  A society that's become less productive, less educated, more selfish sounds more like regression to me.  A society's cultural shift is based on the that culture's biggest influence.   Up until the Renaissance, religion was by and large the biggest influence on culture but then the philosophers of that period gained prominence which then culture's influence became a confluence of the two.  Our country was born out of this type cultural influence, thankfully before Marx and his ilk became popular in Europe.

Yet, with the advent of widespread communication (radio and TV), another influence started to emerge:  entertainment.  Whereas in previous centuries, entertainment was perhaps on occasional treat or enjoyed exclusively by the upper echelons of a society, our technological advances were not only making entertainment more readily available, but also making life easy enough such that a person had more time to spend on entertainment.

But why is entertainment so influencing?  The answer is simple:  It opens people up to a wider world that they normally would not have any access to.  Here's a small example:  Have you ever fought in a war?  Have you ever fired a weapon in combat?  Chances are, the answer is no (which it is for me too).  Yet, how many out there believe they know what war is like or what it'd be like to be in combat?  Probably alot.  But, if we've never been in combat, let alone fought in a war at all, how are we able to draw a conclusion on what those are like?  Entertainment.  War movies.  Video games.   Movies like Saving Private Ryan and Platoon and games like Call of Duty have shaped the perception of war and combat for those who haven't experienced it first hand.  So in other words, entertainment can  fill in experiential voids within a person.

Another, more damaging example:  Why do many people believe Christianity is oppressive and full of proselytizing fanatic hypocritical racist bigots?  Chances are it's because TV shows and movies portray Christians in this way far more than they do any other way. While I readily admit there are those types out there within Christianity's ranks, I'll also say that a.) those type of people are everywhere - even in the so-called "tolerant" liberal circles and b.) those type of people are the vast minority.  But, because of Hollywood, the negative minority is portrayed as the norm for Christians.

And this is where the importance of Hollywood reveals itself.  Much like how the media can shape our perceptions, hollywood is shaping our culture.  Entertainment is the dominant culture shaping force.  Which isn't bad in itself if there was true proportional representation of our population, but that's not how it is.  Hollywood, much like the media, is dominated by leftists.  And they're not very tolerant of conservatives.  In fact, many conservatives in hollywood hide their political beliefs for fear of getting black listed in the industry. Left wingers are quite intolerant of right wingers (oh, the irony).  So with a stranglehold on the force shaping our culture, they're able to affect virtually everything down stream, which includes culture and then politics.  And those in Hollywood know those, hence George Clooney's rather smug academy award acceptance speech where he pretty much credited Hollywood for every major social advancement this country's ever made since the 1930's.

The point to be made here is that as conservatives, we ignore the influence of Hollywood at our own continuing peril.  Trying to change a person's political views that has been indoctrinated in liberalism via culture is an uphill, or upstream rather, battle because you're going up against such a common, ubiquitous influence that's a part of everyone's life.  While the battle can be won, it'll definitely be hard fought since you'll have to keep fighting against the cultural current.

So what to do? Many conservatives simply turn away from Hollywood as they don't want to deal with the leftist influence peddling. They'll renounce it and shun it.  But, as I've been saying, I think that's a mistake.  Hollywood, and entertainment, itself isn't the problem.  It's just a tool, so to speak.  It's those who dominate it that are the issue.  And the only way to combat that is to support conservatives in Hollywood as well as encourage more with such values to be a part of the industry.  There are definitely those with conservative and Christian values out there with plenty of talent that can make truly entertaining works that deliver the right message.

And it doesn't have to be preachy.  In fact, it shouldn't be preachy.  Just look how leftism today is injected into movies and TV shows.  While there is some that is bludgeonly obvious, many of it is subtle.  It's that subtlety that's needed.  A show that tells an entertaining story while championing conservative values.  A loving character who's a devout Christian, but doesn't go around whacking people over the head with a Bible.  It's possible.  Not only is it possible, it's absolutely needed in order to get our country back on the right track.

You change the culture, you change the politics.  You change the entertainment, you change the culture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Faith & Politics: The inextricable link

You might have noticed that the name of this blog has changed.   When I started writing Just One Conservative, it was under the ideal that just one voice for conservatism can have an impact and that every individual's voice has power.   And while I still hold true to this value, I've become aware that my political blog was too focused on....politics.  Makes a lot of sense, right?  Hear me  out...

The more I delve into conservatism, the more I realize how intertwined its political aspects are with its faith aspects.  American conservatism, or Americanism as Dennis Prager calls it, is rooted in Judeo-Christian values.  You could say that these Judeo-Christian values gave birth to the American conservatism we're fighting for today.   And while there are virtues of conservatism that aren't specifically "Christian", you can't really separate the two.  If you buy into Americanism, you also acknowledge the virtues of its influencing Christian values.  As any of you who've read my previous posts are aware, I already unabashedly support the Christian views when it intermingles with whatever political topic I'm discussing.

But, the re-branding of this blog goes a little further than that, coinciding this post's title as well as being the re-branding's inaugural post.  There's a more universal maxim here that goes beyond conservatism, and that maxim is that one's political and religious beliefs are inextricably linked.  This goes for conservatives, liberals, Islamists, and just about everyone - even atheists.  You see, many falsely assume that religion is the same as belief in some deity or spirit.  When in fact, religion is simply just a collections of beliefs and world views.  An atheist is just as religious as a Christian, but they instead put their faith in man and science instead of God.  Religious beliefs are the core of someone's beliefs, morals, and views.  Political leanings and beliefs are an extension of religious beliefs.  One's political beliefs can serve as a reflection of one's religious beliefs.  The two, no matter one's political beliefs, are inextricably connected.  You cannot talk about one without delving into the other.  Trying to divide the two into separate spheres is largely futile.  Any political belief that's not directly supported by one's religious values will find that the substitute support itself falls back to their religious values.

And that's why this blog is changing to be called Faith & Politics (not very original, I know).   My continual growth as a Christian and my burgeoning political commentary are no coincidence.  Therefore, while this blog will still have political postings, it will also pivot to the (much) larger picture:  The ongoing struggles of Christianity in America and the underlying battle for the soul of this country and its people.  I'm hoping to highlight what I see as the battles we are fighting as well as areas where our Christian mandate might be needed.

Because make no mistake, there is a spiritual battle being waged in this country.  There's a whole spiritual war being waged around the world.   However, the battle in America is different than that of other nations (except for perhaps those in Europe).  Our battle is against seduction and complacency.  Seduction to give into the immoral ways of living because they are easy and readily available.  Complacency in our nation's abundant provision keeping us from stirring into action.  Our fight is against indifference.  One of my all favorite quotes is:
Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.
Evil wins when good men do nothing.

Leftism (Liberalism, Socialism, etc.) relentlessly pushes for the ouster of Christianity from our government and our society.  Under the guise of being "progressive", swaths of Christians are being tricked into complacency and indifference in supporting positions that go against Biblical principles.  It's the Enemy's most insidious plan.  No need to eradicate Christianity when you can just subvert its followers.

Sound like crack pot conspiracy theory?  No doubt.  God has blessed me by having my beliefs tempered by the same doubts that many liberal folk use, so it's easy to see how this looks from "the outside".   That doesn't change the truth though.  It'll boil down to faith and the conviction in that faith.  My eyes have been opening up to the larger battle at hand.  Sounding like a "right wing nutjob" isn't going to suppress what I feel to be important messages to write.

Let me leave you with this one notion:  It's easier to have courage when you have your back to the wall and nothing left to lose than when you're in a comfortable place with plenty to lose.

Welcome to Faith & Politics:  Just One Conservative's transformation into looking at the bigger picture.

Monday, November 12, 2012

This country may not see an "old white guy" president for a long while...

Look, I'm not one to participate or condone in racial politics.   I much prefer being colorblind in these areas, which is why I objected to electing the first black candidate for president.  The color of his skin should have no bearing on whether or not he was qualified, in both elections.  Any time race is a factor in choosing it leads to two types of racism: standard racism and "soft" racism.  Standard racism is pretty simple to understand.  It's when someone is being unnecessarily critical of someone for no other discernible reason than their race.  Many people that have been objectively critical of Obama have been accused of this.

The other type, what I like to call soft racism is more central to this post.  Soft racism is when someone doesn't hold someone of a different race to the same objective standards everyone else is required to meet.  In other words, it's giving someone a pass/break simply because they're a different race which, for this country, is typically any non white race.  Many people that rejected Obama as president based on objective reasons typically would accuse his supporters of this soft racism. 

So did soft racism win Obama his two terms?  There's definitely a solid case for it.  But there's more to it than that.  With our ever shifting demographic and an electorate that's trending ever more Democratic, the elitist, old rich white guy caricature, particularly for Republicans, has stuck.  It's been an effective campaign tool for Democrats.  Not only, as seen in Romney's case, did they directly paint him as such, but are simultaneously able to create an illuminating juxtaposition by nominating a younger, fresher candidate.  

Case in point:  The country has not been kind to candidates over the age of 60 the last 20 years while the previous 36 year stretch (1952 - 1988) favored candidates over 60.  Here's a quick timeline (candidates over the age of 60 bolded)

  • 1952 - W: Eisenhower L: Stevenson
  • 1956 - W: Eisenhower L: Stevenson
  • 1960 - W: Kennedy L: Nixon
  • 1964 - W: Johnson  L: Goldwater
  • 1968 - W: Nixon L: Humphrey & Wallace
  • 1972 - W: Nixon L: McGovern
  • 1976 - W: Carter L: Ford
  • 1980 - W: Reagan L: Carter
  • 1984 - W: Reagan L: Mondale
  • 1988 - W: Bush L: Dukakis
  • 1992 - W: Clinton L: Bush & Perot
  • 1996 - W: Clinton L: Dole
  • 2000 - W: Bush L: Gore
  • 2004 - W: Bush L: Kerry
  • 2008 - W: Obama L: McCain
  • 2012 - W: Obama L: Romney
If you count both Perot & Bush in 1992, then over than 60 candidates are 0 for 6 since 1992.  Prior to that, they were 5 for 6.  And sure, you could perhaps write that off as a coincidence and that there's no real evidence that the country is rejecting older candidates.  But given the shifting demographics and how voters seem to care more about making an emotional connection with their candidate, it'd be folly to ignore this data.  

So even before Obama, the success of older candidates has been trending downward.  But, what I think officially spells the doom of "old white guys" as president is the soft racism spoken about above.  Whereas before if you were to pit an old white guy against a younger white guy, there's still a chance you could win because the candidates were of the same race, just different ages.  But, when you throw racial, and undoubtedly gender, differences into the mix, it underscores the elitist old white guy caricature much more so.  The old white guy represents the out of touch elitist rich guy that can't connect with the common person.  The younger, minority candidate just is able to "get" the people more.     Even though neither are always true, that's the emotional response.  And even if someone is not a liberal that bases everything on feelings, emotional responses will always be stronger than logical responses.  

Republicans that think the Democrats aren't going to keep using to their advantage are just fooling themselves.  There's already talks of Hillary being the candidate for 2016.  There was already buzz about San Antonio mayor Julian Castro being "the next Obama" for the Democratic party.  The party has plenty of minorities to nominate.  And again, if a junior senator (who happens to be a minority) having only served two years of his first term with no major accomplishments to speak of can get elected when up against a 70 year old former Vietnam POW and elder statesman white guy by electoral landslide, then they can pretty much put anyone (as long as they're not openly hostile in their rhetoric) out there and have a serious shot at winning.

And they would win, if the opponent is another old white guy.  So while I don't like playing racial politics because it's inherently racist, I will come out and say that as long as Republicans keep putting out old white guys, they'll keep losing.   Democrats know this and will keep exploiting it.   We can all lament the fact that the country is trading wisdom from experience for the wisdom in youth fallacy.  We can bluster about how the color of someone's skin shouldn't matter until we're blue in the face.   But it doesn't change reality.   It will be a long time before the country elects another old white guy.  It might even be a long time before another white guy is president.  Repairing the GOP brand is going to take time.  Putting forth candidates that fit that caricature mold isn't going to help with that.

While it's impossible to predict the political landscapes even four years from now, one rather safe bet is going to be the underlying racial issues this country just can't seem to shed, putting the old white guy at a distinct disadvantage on the national scene.  If Republicans want to compete, they're going to have to seriously consider offering up their own minority candidates - and lots of them.  While I'm not sure if Herman Cain was ready for the presidency, it's quite obvious to me that it was the Obama campaign that sunk his candidacy (Gloria Allred being involved is a dead giveaway) because they knew it'd disarm one of the best weapons in their divisive campaign strategy:  race.  

Yeah, if the snide comments about the RNC are any indication, the left will undoubtedly do their best to claim the right is putting up "token candidates", but that'll fall apart the more we have and the more it's clear that these individuals can make good presidents.  With the right messaging, this diversity can show that the Republican party is not really the "old white guy" party everyone seems to think it is.  Anyone that's been to or seen a Tea Party really in person (and not just what the media shows) knows the diversity, and unity, already exists.  We just have to do more to shed that burdensome image.

The issue with repairing the GOP brand isn't about abandoning our conservative principles as many seem to be saying.  It's showing that these principles are not the exclusive domain of old white guys.  We need to show that these policies are indeed for all Americans.  Putting forward a lot of diverse candidates often, as much as I dislike that type of racial political strategy, will go a long way to demonstrate that our message transcends those gaps and can unite people.  If Democrats are the party of divisiveness, Republicans need to be the party of unity, which coincidentally is a foundation of conservative values.  We just to have to positively project that this idea is indeed for everyone.  Showcasing and promoting minority candidates can go a long way in helping with that.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where do we go from here? The Road to 2016...

As I've said in my previous about having the courage to nominate a principled candidate, there should be some serious soul searching among the Republican party.  And not just with the establishment Republicans, this goes for the Tea Party and Libertarian parts as well.  The establishment has a serious base problem while the Tea Party and Libertarians lack effective diplomacy in their messaging.  There's things that, as Republicans, we should start working on now in preparation for 2014 and 2016.  Yes, now.  Not a few months before, but right now.  But first, we have to acknowledge something:

The GOP Brand is damaged

Blame the liberal leftists and their Alinsky like tactics until you're blue in the face.  Keep pointing to how historically it's been Republicans that have championed the good fight.  If this election is any indication, that tack is ineffective.   And while the leftist tactics are undherhanded and it doesn't seem fair that the Republican party, once the party formed to abolish slavery and the party that pushed the civil rights legislation, is now painted as the intolerant and bigoted racist, the bottom line is it's been effect and is costing us the ultimate result:  winning elections.

This isn't to say the leftists are solely to blame.  There's plenty of blame within our own party.  When a party struggles to define itself effectively to the general public, then it allows that public to fill that perceptual void with whatever anyone else (i.e. a leftist) tells them.  When we continuously shoot ourselves in the foot by not doing a better job of vetting our candidates who end up getting predictably ambushed by the social issues grenade, then it's no surprise many people think Republicans are what the leftists have been saying all along.

Again, we can outright deny this all we want, but the reality is the damage has been done.  And we need to repair it.  It's going to take a lot of time and continual effort to do this.   If there's one thing to admire about the left, it's their unending dedication and passion to their cause despite how wrong headed or misguided their cause might be.   If conservative Republicans want to repair the damage that's been sustained to the GOP brand, they'll need to be just as relentlessly dedicated and passionate.

A Third party?

The idea has been brought up that like what the Republicans did with the Whig party in 1854, that a new party should spring out of Republican party that represents the growing libertarian/conservative sentiment growing in the country.  And while the time table seems to be roughly close (the party formed in 1854 and elected its first president in 1860), the problem is unlike in 1854 where the charter members of party rallied around an abolitionist goal, we do not really  have such a prevailing issue these days to unite around.  While conservatives and libertarians share many common ideologies, they also differ on many too.  Libertarians and conservatives believe in smaller government and keeping the government out of peoples' lives.  They support the same constitutional principles, but differ heavily on social issues.   Libertarians are far more socially liberal than conservatives.  And while the libertarians can simply break off from the Republican party officially, this leaves a broken opposition to the Democrats.  While perhaps the Libertarian might pull some Democrats, it probably will not be enough to mount an effective opposition on their own.  I don't think it's a good idea.

I also am a firm believer that a two party political system is the only way to go.  The problem with a three party+ system is that one party will always be insurmountably larger than any one of the other two, making elections easier. And if somehow all three parties managed to be roughly the same size, then whomever won wouldn't have done so with the majority of the nation, if one party won with 34% of the vote (34 to 33 to 33), then that means 66% of the people did not support the winner.  Political ideology also isn't a 3d scale, there's a far left and a far right.  One's stances in various areas (fiscal and social being the biggest) determine where they fall within that 2d scale.  So while in a two party system someone may not get a candidate that perfectly meets their criteria, they have a better chance to elect someone that fits more closely with their views than they do electing the perfect candidate.

The perfect candidate

So no third party, what's left is repair.   Part of that is being to settle what the perfect candidate would be.  Yes, I just talked about there never being a perfect candidate along a 2 party system.  That's when it comes to defining their positions compared to one's own positions.  What I'm talking about in a perfect candidate are the meta requirements, which are far more universal.   The perfect candidate should:

  • Have a strong principled stance on whatever issues are part of the party's platform
  • Have a solid record demonstrating the conviction to those principles
  • Be excellent at articulating their stances in a way that doesn't turn off voters
That's it really.  But, as should be quite obvious, if we can't even get our platform or foundation in order, we'll never deliver a perfect candidate.  Which leads me to the repair work we need to get started on...

Establish a solid platform

This needs to happen first.  The platform doesn't have to be huge, but it needs to be something all Republicans need to agree upon.   This will be tough considering the give and take between the three and some may not consider one issue or another to be something that can be sacrificed without gutting what the party is about.   Establishmenters (new word) may have to be ok with becoming more rigid in standing up for principles.   Tea Partiers might have to give on some of the lesser social issues.  Libertarians may need to be ok with a slightly more constrained form of liberty.  Whatever it is, there needs to be consensus on these platform principles.  What each side will need to understand that even though some things they might find important is not on the platform, it doesn't mean they have to sacrifice those issues personally.   But, as a unified front, this is what the Republican party officially campaigns on.   Having that message without the infighting repairs the foundation.   The platform principles should be distinct from the liberal Democrat platform and are not necessarily required to be "popular" among liberal constituents.   This becomes the party's rallying base, which is important....

Educate educate educate

What can be done now, without waiting for a solidly established platform, is for people to educate themselves in order to effectively educate others.  One of the reasons the left has been so potent has been that they've been able to impregnate young impressionable minds with their view points virtually unchecked.  No, I'm not suggesting taking back the universities (that's more of a long term goal).   The point is that this indoctrination has lead to downstream success.  We can apply it on a micro (4 year) scale as well as a macro (generational) scale.  Since this post about the road to 2016, I'm focusing on the micro scale..

Thankfully, there's some excellent political literature out there.  These two books should be considered mandatory conservative reading:
  • The Road to Freedom  by Arthur Brooks.  This book makes a very important assertion that cannot be stressed enough: we have to make the moral argument in favor of capitalism and free markets.  We can spout numbers all day long, but it will not resonate.  Making the moral argument elicits a stronger response, more meaningful response.  While the book focuses on the economic viewpoint, which is indispensable, the need to make the moral argument should be expanded to every platform principle.  The moral argument for limited government, the moral argument for lower taxes via the Laffer Curve.  Reading this book, as its title suggests, can lead to understanding what it takes to achieve freedom.
  • Still the Best Hope by Dennis Prager.  Dennis Prager is a very prominent, very intelligent, very articulate champion of conservatism and what he dubs Americanism.  Many younger conservative minds have been inspired by him, including yours truly.  This book helps reiterate what it means to be American.  What American exceptionalism really is.  It relays a very powerful message:  That Americanism is the best hope for humanity in the world.  He explains how the other two primary competing ideologies, Islamism and Leftism, are ultimately corrupt.  If you ever needed affirmation that we are fighting the good fight and are truly on the right path to take, this book is amazing.  It also will arm you with the points you'll need in your educating of others.
The goal in reading these two books, and thus your education, is to:

Make the moral argument for Americanism

That's the goal.  Backing up the push for Americanism using the moral argument is our best shot at changing hearts and minds.  Reading these two books will give you an excellent reference.   

The right message packaging

With the right platform and the ability to make the right argument, there's one step left.  And that's putting that message in the right packaging.  All too often, conservatives fall into the trap of "if you don't believe this, then you suck".   That, obviously, to someone else, is probably not going to win over hearts and minds.  In fact, it'll back up that (false) imagery of the GOP being a party of hateful bigots.  It doesn't matter how true you believe it to be (for example, I have a hard time not calling out someone who supports abortion, or someone that even supports someone who supports abortion, as morally corrupt), this type of admonishment isn't effective.  You may feel frustrated with having to "coddle" people, but that's the reality and landscape we deal with.  

This is hard to do for conservatives simply because our basic notions of self reliance and accountability is almost always a half step away from admonishment.  It's all too easy to suggest that the situation a person finds themselves in is a result of their own poor decisions.  It's all too easy to suggest they take responsibility for their actions and find themselves a way out of it.  It's all too easy to take that ideological high road.  The problem is that not only can this response truly be callous, but even a non callous response will look uncaring and sneering to everyone watching.   

I want to reiterate this:  It doesn't matter how right you are.  This type of dialog isn't about showing how right you are.  It's about showing empathy and relaying how your way can truly help them more than the other.  There's a huge difference between the two.  A conservative that can do this without compromising their principles WILL win over the hearts and minds of those around them.  We have the right way.  We just have to be better at messaging in a more positive way.

Positive reinforcement will trump negative reinforcement every time.  This is a lesson many conservatives will need to learn.  And believe me, I'm right along in needing to learn it.  I have a nasty habit of wanting to crush a liberal's shallow, poorly thought out opinion into oblivion as soon as I encounter it.  Yet, any time I've done so, I've been labeled the hateful bigot which naturally destroys my chances of actually having them consider what they're believing may not be right.

Wrapping it all up

Basically put, if we want to have any success in the conservative cause over the next decade, let alone this next presidential election, we need to start making headway now.   We need to get out our message effectively.  We have to establish a solid base with a solid message.  We have to repair the damaged GOP brand or else we'll never convince an increasing Democratic electorate that our way is better.

Again, it starts now.  Let's not be the bitter losers.   We've had a couple days to feel sorry for ourselves.  Time's up.  We need to start getting the ball rolling and do it effectively.  If there's one thing we can learn from Romney during this election was how effective he was in the debates at keeping a positive, civil spin while simultaneously debunking, disagreeing, and deflecting heat that came his way.  Yeah, some times he came off as smug or condescending, but the point is he was better at the messaging in those debates than anyone ever has been.  It's a model to go by.  

So let's pick ourselves, realize that we do indeed have a lot of work to do and start now.  If you think this is too early, keep in mind that Obama's successful re-election campaign was already in motion in 2010.  And the head start proved worth it.  And we have a lot more to accomplish than what they did.

The road to 2016 starts with 2012.  Let's do it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What this election should teach Republicans

There's a vast amount of Monday morning quarterbacking going on today, to no surprise really.   People scrambling to figure out "What the hell happened?".  It's kind of sadly amusing to see how assiduous some have become despite being ferverously optimistic just a day before.  And while I can understand the sentiment, I can only say it's really nobody's fault but ours.   

I firmly believe Mitt Romney would have made an excellent president.  His qualifications were presidential.  I'll stand by my support of him as firmly as I know those who supported Goldwater in 1964 still stand by their choice 48 years later.  I believe that Romney is truly conservative.  It only takes looking past his political career choices (more on that in a moment) to see a man steady in the Mormon faith.  Whether or not you agree with the Mormon faith is irrelevant as long it's understood that it shares many of its basic tenets with Christianity, particularly the moral social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.  He was a bishop within the church at one that went out of his way on one occasion to try to save an unborn life by trying to convince a member of his congregation not to have an abortion.  So the principle was there.  

Then what was Romney's fatal flaw then? It was not openly running on his principles.  And I'm not just talking about this election season, but all his prior elections.  You see, having campaigned in a deep blue state like Massachusetts for both Senator and Governor, I'm sure Romney felt that he had to moderate himself in order to get elected.  A principled conservative winning in such a deep blue state probably did not stand a chance.   In other words, he covered and obfuscated his light in order to achieve victory in Massachusetts.  And while that can work in a more homogeneous demographic like Massachusetts, that's not going to work for the country.  His conscious choice to moderate years ago painted him into a political corner.  

Why is this the fatal flaw?  Because the turnout that was expected of Republicans didn't happen.  All this talk about enthusiasm proved to be just conservative echo chamber.   And the turnout didn't happen because people didn't see a man of principle to stand behind.  He wasn't the bold conservative leader they were hoping for.  Sure, many conservatives fell in line and rallied around the party.  But it was the wavering undecided support that ultimately didn't cash in.   This explains the polling vs the results in a few states.  Pennsylvania was supposedly deadlocked in the polls on Monday.  Yet, come Tuesday night, Obama won the state without breaking a sweat.  The polling of likely voters wasn't wrong per se, just the assumption that the sample represented the electorate was dreadfully wrong.   Instead of the turnout that expected, the opposite seemed to  happen.   These people just stayed home.  And the lion's share of that can be attributed to not really  having a candidate they could truly believe in.   As I said in prior posts, Romney was no Reagan despite Obama being Carter reborn.  

So what's the lesson here?  If you want to win an election, you need to run principle.  You need to have a political record to back it up.   A moderate Republican will never win.  Ever.  McCain didn't.  Dole didn't.  Now put Romney in that category.  I know keep harkening to Reagan, but he was the last Republican to win a decisive victory as president (Bush 41 pretty much rode on Reagan's curttails, so doesn't count in my view).   And he did it on priciple.  Yeah, he was rejected at first, but he stuck to his message.  And won big.   Liberal infected Republicans like to pretend that moderates are the most electable.  But now they're 0 for 3.   The last Republican to win, Bush 43, ran on principle (even though he was far more government leaning than a real conservative...."compassionate conservativism" is what he called it).   

It's time to stop drinking the liberal Kool-Aid.   We need to nominate a high quality, principled conservative candidate that will run as such.   Someone that Republicans and conservatives will instinctively and viscerally believe in.  It's time to stop trying to beat the liberals at their own political correctness game.  It doesn't work.  We'll lose every time.  Instead we need a candidate that will proudly stand up and say "Yes, this is what I believe in and this is what's right, who's with me?"  No, they might not win at first (because you still need a quality candidate and a good ground game), but it's a far better chance than continuing to throw out moderates who stand no chance of winning against Hillary in 2016.

If you can't see the storm coming, heaven help you...

Tonight was a bit of an eye opener for me.  I figured this would be the time to start turning this country around.  But evidently, I was wrong.  The problem runs far deeper than I had thought.  As Ronald Reagan once said, freedom is never more than one generation away from exitnction.  In addition, Dennis Prager has said understanding what it means to be American has been lost by the last two generations.  Tonight's results reflect such a statement.  That so many people do not really grasp the threat to freedom an unconstrained Obama administration represents.   That so many people can't see how it's the ever encroaching liberalism / progressivism that is ruining this country shows a country one or two generations removed from know why being American is unique and exceptional.  They have no idea how hard the freedom they take for granted today was fought to achieve.  That type of problem goes beyond just buying into Obama.  It's been seeping into our education system in a very Alinsky type fashion for decades unchecked.  By now, it's systemic and I honestly am at a loss at how to beat that problem back.

Which comes to my point in this post's title.  Dick Iverson, a very wise man of God spoke to our church a few weeks ago.  His message was pretty simple:  God sends storms when there's a change needed.   From my conservative Christian standpoint, an Obama re-election and all that it means and stands for is that storm.  Do I expect everything to go to hell in a hand basket immediately? No.  But what I've discovered as I've become older is that the most insidious spiritual battles one encounters are the ones that don't seem so bad, where just a little ground is conceded.  That little ground, repeated enough times, turns into big ground until one day you have your back to the wall and you're not quite sure how you got there.   This is the type of storm I expect: gradual baby steps of "not so bad" loss over the next few years.

As Islamism continues to exploit the left in Washington for their own gains while Israel can't rely on the US for support, we have a president that has been testing the religious freedom waters with the HHS mandate (if you think that wasn't deliberate, you have not been paying attention).  We have a president that will rule through executive order fiat if Congress, an intended check against presidential power, doesn't give him what he wants (and if you believe that's ok because of "stupid House Republicans", you definitely have not been paying attention).   All this points to some troubling times ahead for those staunch Americanists and Christians.  Again recalling Prager, he states that Americanism is the best hope for humanity.  And it's true.  Sad thing is many don't even know what being American means.

It looks a bit grim doesn't it?  Storms can be that way.  However, there is hope.  As Dick Iversion said as well, God never lets storms bring you down to destroy you, but to rebuild you into something stronger.  That's what tonight is about.  As I said, the problem on display in this country tonight runs deeper.  Deeper than even a presidential election. It's deeper than a political problem.  It's a spiritual problem.  It's a morality problem.  So for those that know better, this night is a call that we have lots of work to do.  So much in fact that I'm wondering if we'll ever see the fruits of our labors.  

We can pray, as we should, for this country.  But to me, after tonight, it seems quite obvious.  We need to affect the change that will change this nation around.  It needs to start right in the communities.  The left got where they are today by injecting themselves into the education system to indoctrinate young impressionable minds with their liberal sludge.  So it's time the stronger and greater force do the same.  Tonight should be a wake up call to all conservative Christians (and I know there are alot of you out there) that if we want the change we so desire, we're going to have to fight tooth and nail for it.  

What's funny is that just a few days ago I was exhausted from keeping tabs on the election.  And I thought for sure I'd have some respite either way.  But no, if anything, watching tonight has strengthened my resolve. There's lots of work to be done.  God have mercy on this nation and help us all.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

The one video you should watch before voting tomorrow...

Ok, so I'm still trying at the last second to convince people to vote for Romney.  I know I said my post a few days ago was my final appeal for that vote.  That's still true.  But this video is amazing.  It's a few minutes long, but it packs a succinct effective punch.  To all the people already strongly in Romney's camp, this will be very similar to things we've been saying.   To all the shaky people undecided and/or leaning way or another, this video is specifically for you.  To all the staunch, but disillusioned Democrats, this video might change your mind to vote for Romney as opposed to not voting.  And for all of Obama's entrenched liberal base, I'll give you a cookie (or a fat free healthy snack of your choosing) if you make it all the way through the video regardless if it changes your mind or not.

I could speak to what the video says, but it's far more potent to just soak in the imagery fresh.  So enjoy.  And Vote R&R this Tuesday.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Republicans and Conservatives: YOU MUST VOTE

While I recently penned my final appeal to get more Romney votes, my last pre-election post will be for those Republicans and conservatives out there.   Many of you are exhausted like I am.  Many of you have been fighting for just as long or even longer.  Many of you may be disillusioned into believing the effort was all for naught.  That even despite your level best, the cacophonous media narrative of Obama's "inevitable re-election" looks like a startling reality.  It's these people I'm speaking to:


Even if you think Obama is going to win, you go vote for Romney.  Even if the media coverage is already projecting Obama to be the winner on that day, you go vote for Romney.  If you have any friends or family that feel the same way, you drag them to the polls and you vote for Romney.   And here's why:

The media is trying their absolute best to blunt the Republican enthusiasm that this election has generated.  They know that if this enthusiasm persists into election day, Romney will win.  And win big.  The polls that most news outlets are using rely on a sample that's assuming the Democrats are going to have the same historic turnout they had 4 years ago.  But here's the real kicker:

It's projected that Republicans will enjoy their own historic turnout this year.

There's the truth.  It's projected that for the first time in a long time, Republicans will make up a larger proportion of the voting base than Democrats.  That lone generates its own enthusiasm.  This is what the media is trying to suppress.  They don't want Republicans to know that there are alot of Republicans out there fired up to vote.  Because if that happens, what was considered a "close" election turns into a landslide.  That's what the media is afraid of.  The finish line is right around the corner and all we have to do is cross it.  Don't be that person that gives up at the last second.  It's the only way we're going to lose.

Don't believe the media.

Don't believe the polls.

Just get yourself and any other Republican friends to vote.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

My final argument to vote for Romney

For someone that has been following the presidential election campaigns since the end of 2011, I'm exhausted.  It has been a long, brutal campaign season.  Combine that with the fact that never before had I been so passionate about politics and I admire those people that are in the trenches like this day in and day out.  It is truly a battle and one that I'm hoping will yield victory for Romney on Tuesday.  With that in mind, I'm going to be make my final appeal to anyone who may still be undecided or still harbor a seed of doubt for Romney and/or still aren't very thrilled about Obama.  From my standpoint, there are a myriad of reasons to vote for Romney over Obama.  Many of those I've gone into on this blog.  Frankly, I feel I've said just about all I needed to say about the election.  The problem with most of it is high minded and those not  having a hyper focus on politics this past year will probably not be interested enough in them.  So this last appeal is on a very base idea:  Who is going to do better at turning this country around?  Obviously, you know my answer...

If I were to boil it down to a single line it'd be this:

Romney can deliver the recovery this nation needs while Obama cannot.

That's as simple as it gets.  But let's break this down...

Why can Romney deliver?
Look past the "out of touch rich guy" image that's common among media outlets.  Look past the accusations of flip flopping.  Disregard Big Bird, binders, and bayonets for a moment.  Instead, look at what Romney has actually done:

Bain Capital:  He ran a very successful venture capital business - which, by the way, without venture capital firms, most of the businesses you have today would not exist.  Venture capital firms invest money to new business ventures that grow jobs.  They work on salvaging failing businesses.  Sure, they fail at times and people do lose their jobs, but Romney's overall record at Bain capital was very successful.  He has proven experience within the economy, probably more so than any other president or presidential candidate in recent memory, and was successful at it.  Knowing how our capitalist economy works and how to get it going again is something we sorely need.

2002 Winter Olympics:  He turned around an event that almost didn't happen because it was going bankrupt and was riddled with corruption.  And it became one of the best and most memorable Olympiads in recent history (Who can forget the powerful performance of the Star Spangled Banner by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir while an actual flag that survived the World Trade Center was honored?).  This shows he knows how to make internal adjustments toward recovery and be successful at it even when there's a lot on the line.  

Governor of Massachusetts:  Massachusetts is one of the bluest states in the country.  The fact that a Republican could even be elected in a state with a legislature that's 87% Democrat is an achievement in itself.  Yet, even despite this, Romney was able to reach across the aisle (he had to), in order to get things done.  He had his priorities in order:  straighten up the fiscal mess, then push for healthcare reform.   And again, he did this all while having a ridiculously lopsided Democrat legislative majority.  This shows he has executive governmental experience (something I think all presidents should have) as well as an ability to work with "the other side" to get things done.  This is an extremely valuable skill to have.  Presidents that are able to do this have shown to be outstanding leaders.

This is all stuff he's done.  His resume speaks for itself. Tune out the social issue fearmongering for a moment (women's health, abortion, etc.).   Romney is a moderate rooted in conservative principles.  He, including Paul Ryan, are not going to push any radical social issue agendas.  They have no intent and will be far busier working on righting the country's fiscal ship.  Do they have a plan? You bet they do.  Don't be fooled into believing they don't.  They've been talking about the plan, reducing taxes and easing the regulatory burden, as the vehicle for economic growth.

Romney has the experience and a proven track record to do what this country needs.  You rarely get candidates more qualified than this where their skillset matches almost perfectly with what our country needs.

Why can't Obama deliver?
Much like looking past Romney's "out of touch" image, look past the cool guy, celebrity status image Obama has cultivated.  Sounds like he'd be great to have hang out at a party.  But running the most powerful nation in the world is not a party.  Instead, let's look at his resume and what he's done:

Obamacare:  The goal of Obamacare was to reduce health care costs.  Yet data has shown it to have the opposite effect:  increasing healthcare costs.  Many small businesses cannot afford to hire more employees (less job growth). Some have gone out of business due to Obamacare's regulations.  It's also loaded with hidden taxes - not to mention the mandate tax - that will effectively place more fiscal burden on the middle class than alleviate it.  And on top of all that, it's estimated to cost taxpayers at least $200 billion a year once fully implemented.  This was happening at a time when the country was still reeling from the 2008 meltdown.  This shows us two things.  One, is that he's implemented legislation that is doing the opposite of its intent, revealing a lack of capitalist economic understanding.  Second, it shows his priorities being questionable.  While enjoying full Democratic control of Congress, he used it to push this costly healthcare reform instead of first getting our economy in order.  

The stimulus:  The government took about $800-900 billion and "invested" it back into our economy (in comparison, Bush 43's stimulus was only about $40-50 billion).  It was intended to create more jobs and get the economy going.  The problem, however, is that it didn't quite work out that way.  The economy, which was already starting to begin a natural recovery period, not only did not get the intended jump start, it flat-lined and has been that way ever since.  Large investments were made into green energy companies, many of which have since filed for bankruptcy (Solyndra being the most famous).  The stimulus, many don't realize, was a massive redistribution effort and the primary tool of those like Obama who believe in "spreading the wealth".  That's what this stimulus was:  He took hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and had his government give it to whomever they thought deserve it.  It resulted in tepid growth at best and negative growth at worst.  This highlights how government is not the way to stimulate growth because they are, in reality, not economic experts.  They're not good at "spreading the wealth" effectively or efficiently.  For a stimulus on this level to only yield tepid results, and even regressive results, and for this to be the go to tool for a redistributionist like Obama, then it just shows that we can expect more of this down the road.  We might not be so lucky next time as they push for even bigger stimulus which will make things even worse.

The deficit:  Obama had a goal to reduce the "unpatriotic" (his words) deficit accrued by George W. Bush by 50%.  Instead, he's increased it by roughly 50%.  He's acquired more debt in 4 years than Bush 43 did in 8.  People like to blame Bush for the economy, which indeed was bad when Obama took office.  Yet, if Obama was at least marginally effective at accomplishing his goal, then the rate of that our deficit increased every year should have decreased instead of increased.  So while we can blame Bush for having a terrible economy in 2009, blaming him for our deficit increasing faster over the next 3-4 years is disingenuous.  The bottom line is Obama only did not deliver, he did nearly the exact opposite of what he intended.  This points to someone following a philosophy that you can spend your way out of debt.  Yet, as the numbers reveal, that you in fact can't keep spending money to get out of debt.  It just creates more debt.  If you need more proof that it doesn't work, just look at Europe.  They, like Obama, believe they can spend their way out of their rising debt.  It's not working out that well for them either.

These three pieces show a president that had his chance to affect recovery.  He tried what he thought worked - and it didn't.  He has shown repeatedly during this 2012 campaign that he either does not understand how our capitalist economy works or is disdainful of it and therefore rejects its principles.  He also hasn't given any new ideas to fix the problem.  He's given goals, such as creating x amount of jobs, but how does he plan to do that?  He's tried what he thought would work, and it didn't - and it cost us dearly.  The only thing we have left to assume is that he'll try the same thing again and hope it'll work this time.  But we've seen how it worked out before and it's far too big of a gamble to go further into debt by utilizing a strategy that has historically failed time and again.

I'm sure Obama could eventually learn from his mistakes, but that's what having decades of experience is for.  A president receiving on the job training has just been too costly and will be.  And frankly, if there's one job in the whole world where experience and an impeccable resume matter the most, it'd be becoming the leader of the free world.


When you compare the two by what they've done.  When you look at the results, you see a challenger with decades of successful experience in fixing fiscally troubled entities (both business and government) with a plan that has proven to be successful in the past (his tax cuts are quite similar to Reagan's which lead to economic boom) vs an incumbent who's tried things his way, has not succeeded, and has no different plan moving forward.  Recovery is needed now.  The risk of giving Obama a chance to "get it right this time" is too great.  It's time to bring in a pro.  The choice seems pretty clear to me.