Sunday, November 20, 2016

Focusing My Energies

For everyone questioning or wondering why everyone else can't just accept that the election is over and we have a president-elect I share the following-
Many of us cannot sit back and accept the outcome. We saw this election as a choice between two evils. And now, one of those evils has won. We have a target and a direction to point our battle now. Before there were too many options to fight. But now we have our candidate. We have our target. We know which agenda we must stand up against. We know which candidate to focus our energies on.
The battle is not over. The battle has just begun.

Let's Connect!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


The man who coined the term "libtard" and publishes racist, white nationalist articles is now an adviser to our next POTUS.
The national nightmare continues.
And the comparisons of Trump to Hitler become more real.

Let's Connect!

Thanks for rational, kind, and logical conversation.

Tonight I shared a link to a news article out of the U.K. about Melania Trump. Personally, I found it to be an interesting article about her background and what we could expect from her. Primarily, it talked about her modeling background. And it talked a lot about how Donald Trump talks about how beautiful she is to him. 
I shared the link from my phone, wrote a quick post (in its entirety "here's your family values."), and moved on. I didn't notice that the picture that generated with the link was a very risque photo from the story. Now, in my defense, the story had a lot of pictures, so I had no way of knowing that this completely nude photo would generate.
It was and is completely out of character for me to share something of that nature. But rather than someone actually privately contact me and say, "Hey, Erin, are you sure you meant to post that? It's a bit lewd." Or even publicly comment that they were sure I'd never post nude photos, instead, people started to harass me over it.
As of this moment I haven't deleted the post yet, and there are over 20 comments and climbing - everyone arguing and insulting each other and me.
I would have pulled the post down immediately had the insults not started so quickly. I don't normally tolerate such behavior. And I really and truly feel bad that I posted such a risque picture.
But something else stood out to me. First, that more than one friend that came to my defense pointed out that normally I am rational online. And I am grateful for that because I really do try to be rational when explaining politics.
The second thing that stood out was that it was very obvious that not one person read the article. They just jumped in with the arguments without actually knowing the facts.
And now I am watching friends from every side of my life argue with each other. And I hate that.
But I don't want to stop talking politics. Just because the election is over, doesn't mean the issues have gone away. This election cycle exposed some deep wounds in this country. To stop talking about them now is to put a band-aid over an infected, gaping wound. Wounds don't heal like that. They fester and get worse.
We need to keep talking. We need to work things out. 

Let's Connect!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Civic Trust = Higher Welfare?

Food for thought-
In countries where there is a high level of social or civic trust, (meaning that they trust the government to take care of them, they don't expect fraud, and they trust strangers more often), people look alike. For instance, Asian countries, and Northern European countries.
Think about that for a second. When people think or believe that the welfare dollars being spent on people who look like them, or presumably are more like them in most ways, they don't mind being taxed.

Let's Connect!

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Case for Voting Third-Party, and Why It’s Not Throwing Your Vote Away

It seems to be a popular idea right now that a vote for a third party, like Evan McMullin or Gary Johnson, is either throwing your vote away, or a vote for Hillary. I’d like to present the case for why a vote for a third party isn’t throwing your vote away, and in fact, is actually a wise choice.
This election is about more than who will be the next POTUS. I think we can all agree that no one wants either candidate to win. There are some who optimistically point out that a third party candidate just might mean blocking Clinton or Trump from reaching the needed 270 electoral votes, sending the race to the House and Senate to decide for us. (I have nothing against this happening. In fact, I like it and not-so-secretly hope it happens, just for the historic nature of the event. I honestly don’t know who the House would pick in that event, so I’m cautiously optimistic.)
The reason I encourage everyone to “vote their conscience” is because the president is only one person, one job. If you vote for Trump, you send the message to the House and Senate that you support his platform. If you do support him, that’s great. Maybe you’ll win. But if you vote for Trump, and you don’t actually support his platform, you still have sent a message to the rest of the lawmakers that you support that platform. Is that a message you really want to send?
Or would you prefer to send a message to those other parties that actually represents your beliefs? Your one vote may not be all that significant in the big picture. But in that smaller picture, the one that breaks down demographics and geography, and shows what people in your district or demographic believe, you have the chance to send a loud message.
Over the weekend, as Trump was flailing about in the wake of his own misogyny, Paul Ryan held a phone call with other party members. He allegedly released them from any obligation to support Trump. He told them to “do what’s best for you and your district.” I read that loud and clear as the right time for me to stand up and make sure that my representative and senator know what matters to me.
I can’t control the outcome of the presidency. But I can make sure that the legislative branch and the media know just how many people are not represented by the mainstream candidates. Because that is the first true step to reform- when people stand up and make their voices heard.
Several third party candidates have been disruptors and effective change agents. Whether or not you agree with his politics, Ralph Nader has very successfully managed to get his platform noticed while running as a third party. Gary Johnson has effectively raised awareness of the Libertarian platform (which is about more than legalizing pot). Theodore Roosevelt was another very notable and effective third party candidate.
Your vote matters because it sends a message about the direction you want this country to go in. I for one do not want anyone to ever get the idea I support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I want to send the message that I believe in immigration reform that allows for a kinder, gentler approach on the path to citizenship. I want to make it clear that I welcome refugees with welcome arms. (And that I believe every statistic Donald Trump, Fox News, and Breitbart has ever offered about refugees to be 100% fiction.) I believe in a strong military, and even stronger cybersecurity. (And let’s not forget that when asked about cybersecurity, Donald Trump’s answer was about how his 10 yr old son uses lots of apps.) I am okay with higher taxes, because higher taxes mean more money for education, welfare, and the military. (I am taxed at a much higher rate than anyone else reading this because I am a single, with a decent income, and no dependents, and no mortgage.) I support Hillary Clinton in her efforts to reform higher education tuition. I absolutely do not want to build a wall between the US and Mexico. I believe strongly in providing foreign aid. (Something I am sure will disappear under Trump.) And I am modern and smart enough to know that abortion is an important topic, but also one already decided by the Supreme Court. In other words, I don’t care what current candidates’ views are on the subject.
Because we will not be happy with either candidate winning the White House, it is more important than ever to send the message to the world what it is you believe in. Make sure your local representatives know what you think, and will represent your views in Congress.
Are you loyal to a party name? Loyal to the candidate that fronts that name? Or are you loyal to your personal beliefs? Which message do you want to send to the world?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Vote Your Conscience!

This election season has brought out more emotions, vitriol, and accusations than any other election cycle in modern U.S. memory. 
As I watch the country bicker and slander each other, something stands out at me- how grateful I am to live in a country where we have the freedom to speak our minds and to vote. And that despite the general unhappiness among the people in this election cycle, we do not fear a coup in our government. We have rarely ever been so split as a country, and yet we know that regardless of the outcomes of election day, that we will not be in a civil war the next day. That is a blessing and gift many other countries cannot claim.
My loyalties are to my country and my personal beliefs. I am not loyal or subject to a particular ruler, candidate, or political party. We are all always free to vote in a private setting where we can choose to vote our conscience. We are not pressured or forced to vote for an unfair ruler in a sham and insult to democracy. No one except for you will know who you voted for. And we will never be punished for our vote. This right and ability to always vote our conscience is one of the greatest gifts we have as Americans.
Our Founding Fathers made the choice to set up our country as a republic, and not a straight democracy. We get to cast our personal vote, but then our votes are represented in the Electoral College. In recent months, the Electoral College has received more attention than usual. People have argued that it is an antiquated and redundant system. But today as I think more about the freedom to vote your conscience in private, the more I respect the Electoral College.
Consider this for one moment. If the electoral representatives had reason to suspect that certain demographics had been forced to vote for a tyrant or dishonest figure, and not get to vote their conscience, the Electoral College could choose to override the dishonest votes, and instead vote with the true will of the people. The Electoral College is a simple concept that in good years may seem pointless or redundant. But in the event of a bad year, this seemingly inconsequential procedure could truly be the thing that protects our ability to vote our conscience.
I have considered leaving my personal endorsement and announcement of who I will vote for here. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that by choosing to do so, I will lessen my point above. Your vote is your personal choice. You can vote for who you believe in, no matter who that person is. You are not restricted by party names or labels. We all have the ability to vote without fear of punishment or repercussion. So my personal endorsement does not matter, but my vote does. Just like yours.
Go out and vote. Vote your conscience, because you can!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

10 Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten

Freakonomics Radio: 10 Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten

In my dreamworld, every person in the United States would listen to this. (I'm far too Libertarian to say "every person would be required.") It's just too good. It's too right. It's in every possible way completely needed. People need a better education about how the politics in the United States works from an unbiased and actually educated and experienced source. And this podcast episode does a great job of breaking it down and explaining things in just the right now. (In my humble opinion.)

Ever heard of the Seattle idea of "Democracy Dollars?" Personally, I love it. (And you can bet that if we had that system at the federal level, there is no way Trump or Hillary would be our current candidates.)

No cheering at debates? Please and thank you! Listen, I've been one of the staffers sent to a debate to make as much noise as possible. I know how completely rigged those audiences are.

And Howard Dean is spot on (never thought I'd say that) about the Electoral College.

Go listen to it. It's great. It's interesting. And it just might open your mind.

Let's Connect!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Choose Religious Freedom

Recently I read an article about Gary Johnson (Libertarian candidate) and religious liberty. It turned me 100% against him.
But his exclusive piece in today's Deseret News, has turned me 100% to him. I highly recommend reading it.
Whereas I've been a Libertarian for a while now, it was his out-of-context comments about Mormons and religious freedom that turned me against him. Now that I've read them in context, and he's expounded on the subject, I can fully back him, solely on his beliefs regarding religious freedom. I completely and in every way agree with him.
Specifically this is what has won me over -
"non-discrimination and religious freedom are not opposing forces, but can instead go hand in hand.
I want to be clear. I believe we can, and must, strike a balance between our shared American values of religious liberty and freedom from discrimination. My concerns lie with the possible consequences of politically-driven legislation which claims to promote religious liberty but instead rolls back the legal protections held by LGBT Americans.
This does not in any way diminish my respect for and commitment to the legitimate protection of the right to believe, to practice and to express deeply-held religious beliefs."
"America is big enough to accommodate differences of opinion and practice on religious and social beliefs. As a nation and as a society, we must reject discrimination, forcefully and without asterisks.
Most importantly, as president I will zealously defend the Constitution of the United States and all of its amendments."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Electoral Votes versus Popular Votes

There is a renewed interest in the Electoral College across the US right now. Many people are disenfranchised with their party’s candidate, and are wondering whether or not voting for a third party candidate will help or hinder the other party.
The big question out there is can a candidate win without 50% of the popular vote? And how does the Electoral College really work? There are a lot of people out there right now unhappy with both Trump and Clinton, and are turning to Johnson out of desperation. But does Johnson have a chance at winning? Or will his presence make a real difference in keeping someone else from winning? There are even people who hope that maybe former Governor Mitt Romney could somehow win as a write-in candidate.
The bottom line is this- right now, it is very possible that the Electoral College results will not reflect the popular vote. And it is also very possible that if enough people continue to show their support for a third party candidate, that the electoral college will not produce a winner, and the presidency will be determined by the lame duck Congress and Senate.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start back at the beginning.
Instead of selecting a president based on how many votes they receive, the Founding Fathers established what's called the Electoral College. Each state gets the same number of electors as it has Congressmen and Senators -- and the bigger the state, the more electors it has.  (In all but 2 states (Maine and Nebraska), the winner of the popular vote will get all of the Electoral College votes.)
There are a total of 538 electors. A candidate needs the vote of more than half (270) to win the Presidential election. There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by state law and those bound by pledges to political parties*. Throughout history more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged.
It is possible to win the presidency without winning the popular vote. In 2000, President George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Vice President Al Gore by .51% but won the Electoral College 271 to 266.  (Who voted that year and doesn’t remember the significance of the “hanging chad?”)
In 2012 President Barack Obama got 51% of the nationwide votes, narrowly defeating Governor Mitt Romney in the popular vote. But those votes translated into 61% of the Electoral College votes, giving the illusion of an overwhelming victory.  Winning in key states with the larger number of electoral votes matters.
As of 5pm Eastern time on July 27, 2016, neither Donald Trump or Secretary Hillary Clinton has over 50% of the popular vote according to polls. As of this moment, Real Clear Politics polling average shows Trump at 45.7% and Clinton at 44.6%.  If you change it to a 3-way race, and include Governor Gary Johnson, it changes to Trump 39.6, Clinton 39.2, and Johnson 8.6.
It is of great significance that if you then translate those votes into electoral votes that the situation shifts into Clinton’s favor. According to the popular website “270 to win” Clinton currently has 241 electoral votes, while Trump only has 105, with 125 “toss up” votes too close to determine. (Which means Trump and Clinton are within 5 percentage points of each other, making it too close to call.) Those 125 votes will easily give Clinton the remaining 29. (All she has to do is win Florida to make that happen.)  Obviously, the Trump campaign will do everything in its power to gain traction in those gray states.  Johnson does have a fighting chance in Utah and New Mexico, but the 11 votes between the two states won’t make much of a difference.
Real Clear Politics shows Clinton/Kaine with 202 electoral votes, Trump/Pence with 164, and 172 toss up votes. RCP was updated as of July 25, 270 to win was update July 19.
But we have to go back to the importance of the difference between the words majority and popular. Remember that only 2 states divide up the electoral votes to represent the popular votes. All of the other states are winner-takes-all. In other words, a vote for a third party candidate could throw the election in favor of a different party in those states.
But let’s keep going with the “what if” game. What if no one gets enough electoral votes? It’s highly unlikely at this point, but in this completely unprecedented election year, anything could happen.
What happens if no one wins the Electoral College? What happens next? If no candidate receives a majority of Electoral votes, the House of Representatives elects the President from the 3 Presidential candidates who received the most Electoral votes. Each state delegation has one vote. (In other words, forget drafting Mitt Romney. He could only win as a write-in, and not in the Electoral College.)
The Senate would elect the Vice President from the 2 Vice Presidential candidates with the most Electoral votes. (In other words, Johnson’s running mate, Gov. Bill Weld, has almost no hope of winning an office.) Each Senator would cast one vote for Vice President. If the House of Representatives fails to elect a President by Inauguration Day, the Vice-President Elect serves as acting President until the deadlock is resolved in the House. 
I won’t decide for you whether or not voting third party will make a difference in this election. Everyone should vote their conscience and for the candidate they believe in. And no one interested in voting third party should be discouraged by this information. If there is anything we have learned in this election cycle it’s that the unbelievable, unprecedented, and impossible can happen. And we’ve definitely seen that there are people out there who aren’t happy with the status quo. If enough people forget about loyalty to labels and vote their conscience, this could be the year that the Electoral College changes.
*One last thought- It could also be the year that the Electoral College doesn’t follow historic precedent. There is no federal law that requires electors to vote as they have pledged. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legal control over how their electors vote in the Electoral College. This means their electors are bound by state law and/or by state or party pledge to cast their vote for the candidate that wins the statewide popular vote. At the same time, this also means that there are 21 states in the union that have no requirements of, or legal control over, their electors. Therefore, despite the outcome of a state’s popular vote, the state’s electors are ultimately free to vote in whatever manner they please, including an abstention, with no legal repercussions.
What happens if an Elector violates the state law? It’s a misdemeanor or small fine, usually only $1,000.
The states where Electors are bound – Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Notable battleground states where Electors are not bound- Florida and Georgia.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Declaration of Independence

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Friday, May 20, 2016

My independent vote counts

Today it occurred to me how much more my vote counts this year than ever before. Because I intend to vote third party.
Most people would argue right now that a vote for an independent or write-in presidential candidate is a throw away vote. But today I realized that's simply not true.
My vote means more because it sends the strong message of who really represents me and my values.
I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton. She's dishonest. I don't trust anything she says. And plain and simple she just doesn't represent my political beliefs.
I cannot vote for Donald Trump. He's too arrogant, too brazen, and too unreliable to be trusted. He doesn't represent my beliefs morally or politically. I believe a vote for Donald Trump is a vote for the next world war.
I will not follow the half-hearted Republican cry to rally 'round the nominee presumptive. The word "Republican" means nothing to me. I see no reason to stay loyal to a label. I choose instead to stay loyal to my beliefs. I am ashamed of the party leaders who know that Trump is the wrong candidate, and yet are sticking with the party. (I have felt no loyalty to the party for many years. But they particularly alienated me when the evangelicals who run the party began to support the morally defunct Trump - a known philanderer, but couldn't support the Mormon Romney. Talk about unforgivable hypocrisy.)
And that is why my independent vote matters so much more this year. It may not be a tipping point vote that helps pick the next POTUS. But it will send a loud message about who does and will represent my beliefs.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Donald Trump is Donald Trump's Very Best Spokesman

The fact that Trump actually thinks that people can't tell that this is his voice is absolutely ludicrous. The very idea that he even posed as a spokesperson to talk about himself in such glowing terms is ludicrous.
It is appalling that so many Republican leaders are supporting him out of spite for Hillary, or just to protect the Republican label. The name Republican means nothing now.

SOURCE: Donald Trump masqueraded as a spokesman to brag about himself

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

6 Important Reasons I Will Never Support Donald Trump for President

A friend of mine on Facebook recently stated that he’s really starting to like Trump. Specifically he said, 
“Learning more about this man as his campaign develops.
Let me say it like this. I resonate with so much of what he says. Believe it's American and I believe it is on point. We must hunker down on big issues like immigration, nuclear weapons, sanctions on China, jobs, terrorist groups and many other issues.
Side note. Trump is sloppy. He is not a career politician. He is in some ways what we should expect from someone who is on the outside looking in. He wants what so many Americans feel for this country. He loves America!
Trump isn't going to tout the constitution because that is an unspoken for him. It is not the constitution in and of itself that concerns the American people. It's about big issues and how can we make them align with the American values. He's not a constitution martyr.
Side note. I'm not in love with the guy yet but I'm forming arguments that help me understand who is the best for our country. I am in love with his momentum.
Now, take for example, his temperament and the crazy things he says in front of millions of people... If it wasn't for these things would he otherwise be fit for president? Maybe. Maybe not.
What is to be said about defending oneself when your opponent takes a cheap shot at your hands/manhood? Was that presidential? What is presidential?
In my opinion Trump's ideals, how he thinks, aligns with the constitution with what hopefully the American people want deep down.
He went on to more or less to invite people to explain why they disagree. So, friend, here we go. Here is why I strongly disagree with Trump to the point of actively campaigning against him.

1. Actual Trump quote, “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you.” 
I can see and understand why this sounds like a good thing to some people. And I’m someone who likes to always say Merry Christmas. It’s a religious holiday and I treat it as such. But I respect that for the majority of Americans, it’s not a deeply religious holiday. I respect that in order to be more generic and not say the wrong thing to other faiths some people don’t say it. I could shrug off what Trump said as one of his big crowd-pleasing statements that he would never actually make happen, but that’s just the thing. Some of his other statements worry me that he might actually try to pass a law or decree that forces people to say Merry Christmas. And again, I like Merry Christmas. But it’s the forcing anyone to say anything religious that scares me. And the complete and total disregard for freedom of speech.

2. His comments to and regarding Megyn Kelly and other media members.
First, his comments about Megyn Kelly have been downright rude, misogynistic, sexist, and inappropriate. If any other public figure made those comments they would be hung in the public square. But because Trump is his own media circus, and statements like that make a bigger circus, so somehow he gets away with it.
I will say one thing almost in Trump’s defense. I will agree with this one thing he said in his Washington Post Editorial Board panel. “You’ll do a hundred deals, and you’ll do one bad one or two bad ones — that’s all they read about are the bad ones. They don’t read about the one hundred and fifty great ones that you had. And even some of the ones they write that are good, they make them sound bad.”
He’s right. There is an exploitation problem in the 24/7 news cycle. The media does blow things up unnecessarily. (In fact, I’m writing a book about this subject.) But at the same time, I don’t get the impression Trump only had 1 or 2 bad deals. There are too many stories and rumors about lots of bad deals. I don’t trust him to be honest. Ever.
But let’s go back to how he says that when he’s in the Oval Office he wants to limit the media from saying bad things about them. He calls it making them be fair. (And again, I do think the media could be more fair by not exploiting so many stories just to sell papers and fill the airwaves.) But we should never, ever limit or attempt to control the media.
For this reason alone I could never vote for Trump. And why I truly believe he would lead our country to hell in a hand basket faster than you can say gesundheit.

3) He stated that he thinks the number of illegalimmigrants in the United States is “30 million, it could be 34 million.” 
This number is flat out wrong. Horribly wrong. It’s about 11 million.
It’s not that he got the number wrong. It’s that this is a perfect example of how he makes up random facts. He has plenty of money. He could have a well-experienced campaign staff with experience writing speeches and doing research for him. But he doesn’t. He prefers to speak off the cuff, and not use a speechwriter. Some people respect that. My problem with it is that he doesn’t research anything he talks about. He has no problem spouting off about things he has no knowledge of.
Actual quote –
“[The difference] will [matter] when it’s appropriate,” Trump said. “I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take long.”
Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist organization based in the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah is a Shiite Islamist militant group and political party based in Lebanon. Both are avowedly committed to Israel’s destruction.
His ego… “I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take long.” Wow. I’m not impressed with that sort of comment. In fact, it’s a massive turnoff.
He wants to be the most powerful man in the world (or actually probably believes that he is already) and he doesn’t bother to research the issues?? I can’t support that. At. All.

4. To quote the NY Times, “Even more disqualifying is Mr. Trump’s temperament. He is erratic, inconsistent, and unprincipled. He possesses a streak of crudity and cruelty that manifested itself in how he physically mocked a Times journalist with a disability, ridiculed Senator John McCain for being a POW, made a reference to “blood” intended to degrade a female journalist, and compared one of his opponents to a child molester.”

5. His tendency to say, “I will be the best {insert anything here}.” I don’t understand how or why people believe him when he makes this claim. I can walk around all day telling you that “I will know more about it than you know, and believe me, it won’t take long” and you would hate me for it. And yet, somehow, there are people who actually believe him and like him for it.

6. I truly believe that despite the fact that he says things like how he’ll uphold the Constitution, his actions speak otherwise, and his knowledge of the Constitution is seriously lacking.
For instance, in January, he said the following on Meet the Press. –
Let me ask you. Senator Rubio sponsored a bill back in Florida to give in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants. There’s a lot of states that allow in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants. I’ve not heard your position on that.
I’m opposed to it.
Totally opposed?
They’re here. They’re not here legally. I’m opposed to it–
Even kids born to illegal immigrants–
Well, I happen to disagree with the whole concept of anchor babies. I mean, you look at anchor babies–
But that’s in the Constitution.
No, it’s not in the Constitution. If you read and if you look, and if you go to the real scholars, like different people that I can give you, they will tell you. Somebody comes over and they have a baby on our border and it happens to be on this side of the border, we’re not mandated to take care of that baby. You do not have to change the Constitution.
You may need a vote in Congress, but you don’t have to change. Now, there’s a, you know, debate about that. I don’t think it’s even close. And I’ve been on this issue for a long time. No, no, people have to come into our country legally, Chuck. They have to be here legally.
Trump was completely wrong.
According to Section 1 of the 14th Amendment, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The vast majority of legal scholars hold the opinion that children of immigrants who are born in the United States are citizens.
Again, it’s when he says things like, “if you go to the real scholars, like different people that I can give you” that I get really worried. If he’s so rich and great, why doesn’t he have actual credible scholars and researchers on his staff?
His position on illegal immigration isn’t even what I’m taking offense with here. (But let it be known, I greatly disagree with him there.) It’s the fact that he wants to be the POTUS and doesn’t understand the 14th Amendment!!

These are not all of my reasons. But this is already over 1,600 words. So I’ll stop here.
Donald Trump is not a man with the knowledge, temperament, or experience to be the President.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Hell no, Trump Must Go

It's no secret that I am on a one-woman mission to tear down the Trump. The man disgusts and scares me. In the past few day there have been some very interesting articles about him, in a creative way of not actually being about him.

"The most important skill for any con artist is the ability to lie with complete confidence. People generally feel uncomfortable lying, and they assume that others share their reluctance to fabricate. For this reason, the average person finds it difficult to dismiss a false statement delivered with absolute authority." - The Weekly Standard, "The Art of the Con."

In Utah at a campaign event this weekend the Trump claimed that he "paid the tithing" for some of his employees straight to the Mormon Church for them so they "wouldn't be tempted." If you're Mormon and reading this, you know that's just a bald-faced lie. That's not how tithing works. It's the most ridiculous lie I've ever heard on such a public scale. If you're not Mormon and reading this, ask me privately, and I'll be glad to explain how and why it's so ridiculous.  - Salt Lake Tribune "Trump Questions Romney's Mormon Faith."  Oh, and criticizing or questioning Mitt Romney in Utah to a group of Republicans?? That's just laughably stupid. Talk about not knowing your audience, and self-aggrandizing beliefs. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Coalition for a Civil Society

I spend a LOT of time worrying about the future of our country if Donald Trump gets the GOP nomination. I spend a lot of time analyzing the possible reasons why the other GOP candidates have said they would support him if he becomes the presumptive nominee, and they won't go rogue or third party.
But I'm not a whiner, and I try to be more than just an armchair quarterback. I've been active in politics most of my life, and I know how to get involved and make a difference. I won't just sit around and complain about the direction of politics in this country.
If Kasich, Cruz, or Rubio get the nomination, I can support them. I could vote for any one of them. I'd prefer it be Rubio, with Kasich as my second choice.
But I can't support Trump. Period.
I admit the idea of a brokered convention excites me.
I love the idea of a candidate breaking off and going third party. I accept that that will most likely mean that the Democrats win this cycle. And I'm okay with that. I can endure another 4 years of a Clinton administration. Bill wasn't that bad. (He wasn't that great either, and was definitely the beginning of a serious moral downfall in this country, but he wasn't bad economically for us.)
But during those four years a major overhaul of the political system in this country can finally happen. A third party can grow and gain strength in that time. And we'll finally see a left-middle-right three party system. I WANT that to happen.
I firmly believe that if a new, strong, middle moderate party forms that we will begin to see a move civil and effective dialogue.
In my efforts to be more than just an armchair quarterback, I have a new goal to create a "Coalition for a Civil Society." A coalition to create civil discussion within politics, and raise the bar on the difference between entitled behavior and noble principles.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Smarter You Are, the Less Likely You Are to Vote for Trump (I have proof!)

I never thought I'd say coming in second, and even third place, is a great victory, but for ‪#‎TeamMarco‬, it is. I'm thrilled with his results tonight. 
Something very interesting to note about the VA returns. Rubio won Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Prince William, Fredericksburg City (but not Spotsy), Henrico, Richmond, Goochland, Radford, Albemarle, Chesterfield, James City, Winchester, and York counties. Notice anything interesting about those counties?
Let's reword it like this instead-
He won the homes of GMU, UVA, William and Mary, JMU, Patrick Henry College, Mary Washington U, Liberty University, Radford, VCU, Shenandoah Conservatory, Christendom College, and U of Richmond. (Not listed in same order as the counties.)  Not to mention all of the people who live in NoVA, but attend GWU, GU, and JHU, or are known for having post-graduate degrees.
Also known as the most affluent and educated counties in the state. Apparently, the smarter you are, the more likely you are to not vote for Trump!
It's interesting to also note that in Montgomery County, home of VA Tech, Rubio lost to Trump by a mere 29 votes. So we can sort of pretend that county followed suit too. (And after the final tallies have been truly certified, that number could possibly tip in Rubio's favor.)
(I'm a little disappointed that Rubio lost by nearly 1,000 in Roanoke County. However, he only lost by 200 in Roanoke City. Cruz had a stronger showing overall in the county than in most areas in the state.)

I applied my education theory to a few other states that I have some knowledge of as far as major universities go. It holds up in GA, NH, AR, SC, and IA. It didn't hold up in Massachusetts. I tried to apply it to AL, but the data was inconclusive and skewed due to a tornado touchdown in the specific counties I was interested in. And admittedly, I know nothing about Minnesota universities or counties. Texas went overwhelmingly for Cruz. 6 counties went to Trump. Notably, not one has a major educational institution in it. (Which is saying something. Texas has universities and colleges every 10 feet!) My knowledge of OK was also too limited, but I did see that at least in 1 of the 2 Rubio counties, there was a major state university!
So apparently the smarter you are, the less likely you are to vote for Trump! And now we have proof! 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mormon v. Casino Tycoon

Remember just 4 years ago when evangelicals couldn't possibly vote for a Mormon?
Funny how now they seem to have no trouble voting for a casino tycoon on his third marriage.
Really makes you question some people's principles. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Let's Take a Moment to Really Look at How Things Have Changed

The GOP is known as the old white man party. The elite, good old boys club that tries to rule the world with a selfish myopic eye.
So let's take a quick look at the current candidates for the GOP nomination-

Ben Carson- most obviously not a member of the old white man's party.
Marco Rubio - A Miami-born, Cuban American, the son of Cuban immigrants
Ted Cruz - his name is actually Rafael Edward Cruz, was born in Canada, to an asylum-seeking Cuban married to an American woman.
Donald Trump - okay, obviously he would be the poster for entitled, old white men. (But if you look at Cruz' background you'll discover he was pretty entitled as well.) But let's give him some credit for having married 3 different woman, Ivana born in Czechoslovakia , Marla, an American, and Melania from Slovenia. So while still an entitled old, white guy, he does have some international influence on this thinking
Jeb Bush- again, the ultimate in entitled white guys. But he is married to Columba, a Mexican woman.
And John Kasich- the only one of the candidates without an international, non-white familial connection.

When 2 of the candidates can spar on stage about speaking Spanish, this isn't your father's Republican party.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I Don't Want to Fall in #Formation

For the past week the social media and marketing experts have been trashing the restaurant chain Red Lobster for not taking better advantage of Beyonce mentioning it in her new song, "Formation." 
She performed the song at the Super Bowl last week, just as she released it. 
But she didn't really perform the song at the Super Bowl, did she? 
She performed an annotated version of it. The real song could never have been played in full on television or radio. 
Here are just SOME of the lyrics. Edited for language. 

What happened at the New Wil’ins?
B*****, I'm back by popular demand

[Refrain: Beyoncé]
Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess
Paparazzi, catch my fly, and my cocky fresh
I'm so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress (stylin')
I'm so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces
My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana
You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama
I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros
I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils
Earned all this money but they never take the country out me
I got a hot sauce in my bag, swag

[Interlude: Messy Mya + Big Freedia]
Oh yeah, baby, oh yeah I, ohhhhh, oh, yes, I like that
I did not come to play with you hoes, haha
I came to slay, b****
I like cornbreads and collard greens, b****
Oh, yes, you besta believe it

[Refrain: Beyoncé]

[Chorus: Beyoncé]
I see it, I want it, I stunt, yellow-bone it
I dream it, I work hard, I grind 'til I own it
I twirl on them haters, albino alligators
El Camino with the seat low, sippin' Cuervo with no chaser
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard)
Get what's mine (take what's mine), I'm a star (I'm a star)
Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon' slay (slay), gon' slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation, cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated

[Verse: Beyoncé]
When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay
If he hit it right, I might take him on a flight on my chopper, cause I slay
Drop him off at the mall, let him buy some J's, let him shop up, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
I might get your song played on the radio station, cause I slay
You just might be a black Bill Gates in the making, cause I slay
I just might be a black Bill Gates in the making

I have a problem with songs like this, and I will very likely get some negative feedback for my honesty. You have to lower your IQ, and then forget anything and everything about grammar, rhyming, and meter, for this song to make sense. I get that Queen Beyonce is a big deal. The girl can dance. And she's put out a few fantastic songs. But then there is this song. Maybe she's put out profanity laden song before and I just don't know about it. That is entirely possible. 

But this song was performed (abbreviated) at the Super Bowl. The profane verses were left out. Because, in theory, we still have some sensibilities left as a nation that says lines like "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay" aren't appropriate. 

Which brings me back to Red Lobster. 

In a day and age of internet stardom and social media notoriety, it is expected that when someone like Beyonce references you, that you jump up, and milk it for all its worth. 

But what if that company doesn't want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster, cause I slay?" That seems to be the question nobody is asking. 

After a delay, the company did finally seize the opportunity with the following tweets- 

But then they dropped it and went back to their usual #lobsterworthy campaign. 

It's the question no one seems to be asking - what if Red Lobster just didn't want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to Red Lobster?" 
Cause they just might not want to. 
If you had a family restaurant would you want to be known that way? 
It goes back to the common sensibilities of the nation as a whole. Should any restaurant want to be associated with "When he f*** me good I take his a** to..." 

Just because Beyonce said it, doesn't make it good. And I think a lot of people collectively forgot that this week. JUST BECAUSE A CELEBRITY SAID IT, DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. Not even a celebrity so popular as to be dubbed Queen B. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Right to Choose (and the Consequences That Follow)

You can't have a federal election without bringing it up.
It's been 43 years since Roe v. Wade, and we're still talking about it. Abortion is legal, and has been for a very long time, and yet we are STILL talking about it.
And now I'm going to talk about it too.

The argument that a woman has the right to choose what does or does not happen to her body is a very compelling one. I don't believe there is anyone out there who believes that another individual should dictate what happens to a woman's body.

But it's not just a woman's body, is it? It's the woman and the life she is carrying inside of it.

But let's go back to the right to choose. I don't disagree with it. In fact, that very strong libertarian side of me that hates over-legislating things, wants to say it's none of my business, and let everyone choose.

Until I remember the innocent life on the inside.

But that right to choose. How can you argue with that? How can you argue that a woman must remain pregnant when she doesn't want the baby? It does seem unfair and almost cruel.

Until you remember the atrocity you are going to commit on the tiny body growing inside the woman.

But again, it's her right to choose, isn't it?

It is. She got to choose to sex. She chose to engage in an act that had consequences. She chose to engage in a life-creating act. And she has to live with those consequences.

Life is not fair. Life is often cruel. We make choices all the time, but we rarely get to determine the consequences that follow. Especially when the consequences involve other parties.

Like that little life growing inside of her.

I absolutely believe in a woman's right to choose. But she also has the right to live with the consequences of that decision. And that consequence is that she created a new life. 

(And don't ever tell an adoption advocate, who comes from a family with many adopted members, that it's not fair to make the woman have a baby she didn't want. There will always be someone out there who does what the baby. Always.)

(Isn't it amazing how much money people will spend on a surrogate mother when there are other women out there aborting an unwanted pregnancy?)

As for the tangential arguments around abortion, such as Planned Parenthood. I have no problem admitting that Planned Parenthood does offer several valuable services to low income communities. But in no way, shape, or form, can I ever agree with federal tax dollars being spent to fund abortions. How can anyone justify that the government should be providing that service?

Insurance and birth control - if there is one thing I have learned in my past year of Obamacare nightmares, it is that you can always shop around for a different insurance provider. If the one your employer offers doesn't cover birth control, go get a different plan. And pay for the plan yourself. Because why on earth should anyone else have to pay for you to get birth control? And if you are going to argue that it should be a law that all insurance providers should cover birth control, they should also cover fertility treatments. And while I hate creating lots of laws to legislate every tiny thing, there is one law I would support- pregnancy and maternity leave should absolutely NOT be covered by disability. Since when was a pregnancy a disability? Maternity leave should be covered by all employers and insurance. In fact, I think the US needs to take a page from Denmark, Norway, and a few other countries, and actually pay mothers to take maternity leave. Why can't Social Security also go to mothers out on maternity leave? (And if you believe that the federal government should cover abortions at Planned Parenthood, why can't the federal government pay for the birth, instead of the death, of the baby?)

And one last thing- restrictions on abortions. If you are going to make such a major, drastic choice as to terminate a pregnancy, you should be educated on all of your options, by a qualified individual first. And if the woman is a minor, then, yes, she should have to have parental consent. If she still has to have a permission slip signed by her parents to ride the school bus, she should also have to have their permission to have an abortion.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to see teenage girls forced into pregnancies they don't want. So let's provide real sex education that isn't just about diseases and abstinence. (Although, let's face it, abstinence is a highly effective form of birth control.)

I am all for a woman's right to chose, and to live with the consequences. Which does mean that if her choice was taken from her, and she was forced into sex (rape, incest, abusers), then I have no problem with allowing that abortion. And if the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother, the mother has the right to chose between her own life and the life of the child. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Personal Manifesto

1. I no longer consider myself a Republican. I am definitely not a Democrat either. I am a bleeding heart conservative, if such a thing exists. I believe in and defend the Constitution of the United States. That includes Religious Freedom and the Second Amendment. I believe in gay rights. I believe in many programs that help the less fortunate. And I really hate big government and big business.
2. I believe citizens have the right to bear arms. I do. I have no problem with people owning firearms. However, I do not think ALL people are smart or sane enough to have one, and do, 100%, firmly, and without question, believe we need stricter gun controls. Gun permits and CCL's need to be determined by much more than a computer and a gun store owner. And they shouldn't be for life. They should have to be renewable, just like a driver's license.
3. I am all for stronger and more States' rights. Sure it means some states will get a little carried away with their legislation. (California, Massachusetts, and Illinois come to mind.) But as long as people have the right to pick up and move away, or vote out bad politicians, those problems will take care of themselves in time. (Everyone in Utah knows at least one Californian who has moved to UT to get away from the craziness of CA.)
4. I believe that as things currently stand, politics and representatives has put gay rights and religious liberty at odds with each other. I do not believe that it has to be that way. And I think that in time that will start to work itself out. I believe in gay rights. I believe in religious liberty. And I will work to help those two things work in harmony with each other.
5. Donald Trump is a complete arse.
6. I fully support the refugee movement. I live in one of the designated refugee towns. I am not in a situation where I can provide housing for someone. But I will absolutely give my time, skills, and money to assist refugees in whatever way I can.
7. Obamacare is a complete disaster. The state marketplaces are a complete disaster. Healthcare reform has been a complete disaster. And my opinions are based solely on my personal experiences using all of the above. I firmly believe we need more controls and safeguards. I believe the insurance system in this country is a complete crock. I do not think the government should run insurance. At.All.
8. There is a violence and narcissism problem in this country. And I believe the two things go hand in hand. The more narcissistic people become, the more they believe they have the right to violent, unchecked, harmful behavior. I don't know how this can be fixed or helped, but something needs to be done.