The Flavor of the day?

 Donald Trump         tedcruz2                          No doubt, by now, you have a  favorite, someone you could support; or like me, do you vacillate? Carson or Trump.

Carly Fiorina was my choice, she had a conservative political platform, plans, she could lead, and she could heal. But, she was voted off the island. So Sunday, after reading and thinking about which candidate to support next, I found myself intrigued by Donald Trump. ‘What makes him tick?’ What is his allure?

A bit more reading and I felt I knew how his offensive language,  name-calling,  loud-mouthed buffoonery and more-was so often overlooked. Americans are angry. They are so angry that they’ll forgive many sins. He has alienated huge groups of of people and made more enemies, but his ranks keep swelling. His following includes Democrats, Republicans and Independents. So, what does he have that the others don’t?

Donald Trump does not focus on negatives, he has a positive outlook on the American future: IF HE IS IN CHARGE. He is driven to succeed and is everything that I’ve thought I don’t want in a president. And he has said some pretty outlandish stuff. How could I ever I entertain thoughts of Donald Trump as President? Let me explain.

Our next president needs to unite, be a uniter-in-chief, not a divider-in-chief. Our next president must be one who doesn’t pit one friend against the other. Our next President must not be owned by special interest groups and lobbies who got him to DC in the first place. Our next President must not owe special interest groups, or in the words of Ben Carson, “be beholden to none.”

That Presidential candidate must be more than someone who can pass a litmus test of the issues. The next President must be someone who knows the issues and knows that we, the people must be united again.

The next President must be a leader. In the words of the movie, “The American President,” “They [citizens of the US] want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”

A house divided against itself cannot stand.““Abraham Lincoln. And this house, our country, is sorely divided. So, I went  hunting.

My first look was at the Democratic candidates, at Hillary Clinton. Has she ever said that she has a goal to her presidency that was anything other than pushing her agenda? Has she ever said anything about uniting a divided nation? Nope. She speaks of plantations and puts on phony accents.

Three minutes of listening to her shout about how horrible Republicans are, and how Democrats know what’s best for me, stoking the fires of racial hatred and divisiveness, convinced me that she wouldn’t be going out of her way to have me talking to my Democratic brethren any time soon or talking to and long lost friends. Bernie Sanders? He would have me hate people who have money or he’d have me hate people who make more money than I do…Another no.

With the elimination of those two candidates, I chose from the 5 Republicans. My candidate needed to be someone who not only would deal with the issues the way I felt best, wanted to make the USA whole again, heal it’s wounds domestic and abroad, lead, and be someone who could best the Democratic nominee: one tall order, but there had to be a GOP candidate who could fill it.

Ben Carson and Donald Trump had that understanding of the issues AND an agenda for the future of this country, but I looked at all the candidates.

Marco Rubio has the most thorough and well-developed understanding of the issues, but he didn’t talk about uniting Dems and Republicans, before the divide between us got so great that we nearly drowned and before it became a must to talk of unification.

Ted Cruz is too much a snake-oil salesman and after what was done to Ben Carson, though I’ve no doubt that it was not done by Cruz himself; there’s that little thing, called  guilt by association. He’s off the island.

John Kasich doesn’t excite me. He doesn’t offend, but he doesn’t excite; how’s that for immaturity? Off the island.

That leads me to Ben Carson, who speaks his truth in Common Sense ways; a politician, he’s not and that is a plus. But, America is throwing him out. Why? Not because he lacks inspiration. But because most Americans have a preconceived notion that candidates must fit a certain mold. Must be a politician.

For the American people to embrace a candidate, that person needs to at least LOOK the part of a politician, even if it is just “I kiss babies for a living.” That person needs backing by the right people in DC or the job of the presidency can’t be done.  Rightly or wrongly so, and with regret that I didn’t see a way out, I joined those who voted ‘Gentle capable Ben’ from the island. Not because he was the only principled conservative left, but they didn’t see a pathway to win the nomination for Ben.

That left: ‘The Donald.’ While a bigot and bully, there is no doubt in my mind that Donald Trump loves this country

Even with all his foibles (and they are many), I think Donald Trump is a good man. He takes some pretty bizarre and downright questionable positions on issues that are important to many, and it’s easy to question his virtues, but his love of country can’t be questioned. He just employs strange ways of showing it.

Then, it crossed my mind that by alienating, mocking, goading and name-calling, is Donald Trump going to be able to bring these people back to the flock, to heal their wounds?

But, it’s time for conclusions, here. Donald Trump is my first choice. Ben Carson is my second choice and Marco Rubio is my third choice. But tomorrow, I reserve the right to change my mind, yet again!

 

 

 

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The GOP Texas Debates

Trumpsignspledge  marcorubio  tedcruz2All 5 Republican candidates discussed the issues very intelligently . These are among the best and the brightest of the Republican party. That said, these three candidates (besides engaging in the debate),  whined, bickered, threw mud and argued like petulant children at times, minimizing the impact of their campaigns on reasonable Americans who don’t like childish antics. Their scream-fest only brought more attention to:

carson johnkasichBen Carson and John Kasich managed to stay above the fray. Unfortunately for ‘gentle Ben,’ his mild-mannered responses while loaded with common sense and honesty, weren’t noticed often enough.

But, John Kasich drew huge applause on the issue of negotiations between Apple Computers and the executive branch, comparing President Obama’s inept negotiation skills to national security. It was one of Kasich’s stand out moments where he made an opportunity to be heard.

However, are Carson and Kasich  done, now, relegated to ‘yesterdays stars?’ Are they overshadowed by the mudslinging Trump, Rubio and Cruz show?? Au contraire! Ben Carson and John Kasich stood out for their anti-bickering posture, but Carson wasn’t able to-or just plain did not, make enough air time moments to showcase what he could offer. Pity. Because his is a moral compass which we could all embrace.

John Kasich did. He took advantage of every opportunity to make constructive statements while he stood back and let Trump, Rubio and Cruz pummel each other and joust.

Jeb Bush Suspends

Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush was in the race for some time. One of the first to announce his candidacy for President of the United States, and despite having spent about $44,000,000 on his campaign, he suspended his efforts last night after not faring as well as he’d like and need to in the South Carolina primary yesterday.

The stellar ‘cast’ or lineup of Republican field of candidates has thinned from 17 or 18 to 5. There were so many candidates early on and Jeb stayed in the race after others departed; Jeb Bush doesn’t fight for name recognition like others do!

Below, are photos of the remaining 5 GOP candidates and today, a short ‘blurb about Dr. Carson:

GOP candidates copy1

 
Ben Carson is humble, soft spoken and intelligent; a retired pediatric neurosurgeon (Emeritus) who has many common sense solutions to problems facing everyday Americans- which have escaped us for years.

He has the power of his convictions and the power of his faith, but but he never proselytizes. However, his humility should never be confused with weakness. Dr. Carson speaks from the head, which is strongly guided by his heart, faith and intellect.

Soft-spoken, and a political outsider, Dr. Carson rose to national prominence when he spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast some years ago. His candid criticisms of Barack Obama were tolerated (?) only in part, because he was a minister.

Dr. Carson is one of the political outsiders in this ‘race.’ He and Donald Trump shared this honor with Carly Fiorina, another candidate who recently suspended her campaign in this, the year of the ‘outsider’ candidate.

 

IMMIGRATION THOUGHTS

From 17 to 6, the GOP field narrowed further last week when Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie left the race. Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, John Kasich and Ted Cruz remain.

6 finalists

How about a crib sheet about the candidates and their positions on immigration? I’m sure that these will be discussed at the CBS debates-which can be seen on CBS TV this eve at 8 PM Central time.

BEN CARSON: His stance on immigration involves always keeping in mind that we are a nation of immigrants and unfortunately, many decisions that have been made lately have caused members of the GOP to be labeled as xenophobes, racists and mean-spirited; while they attempt to solve a problem quite involved. Immigration used to mean something; citizenship, obeying the laws of the US, and participating in our electoral process, to name a few. He’d address legal as well as illegal immigration. his website

DONALD TRUMP: There must be a wall around the border because a nation’s soverignty is not assured if it’s border is penetrable. A nation without a secure border isn’t really a nation and a penetrable border is the cause of much that ails us, work-related issues, amnesty (which he disagrees with), and cheap labor to compete with American workers. his website

JEB BUSH: Using a technologically advanced system to enforce our borders, he would tighten and enforce existing immigration laws and enforce a very rigorous pathway to legal immigration for those who are here illegally. By improving infrastructure, the border will be patrolled more effectively (like boat ramps for the Coast Guard and new roads to improve effective patrolling of very remote federal land. Cartels know that this land is not patrolled well now, so this area is especially vulnerable. his website

MARCO RUBIO: Even though most of us are descended from immigrants or are immigrants, we are a nation of laws that need to be enforced to have an effective immigration system. Our current system is broken. Legal immigrants are becoming fewer and fewer while illegal immigration is increasing in frequency. He believes that a secure border is one way of preserving our national sovereignty. He also believes strongly that enforcing existing immigration laws is NOT anti-immigrant.

He will hire thousands of border patrol agents and will eliminate federal funding of sanctuary cities and he, too would wall the 700 miles of our southern border, deporting criminal illegal aliens.  his website

JOHN KASICH: Very likely the more electable of the candidates, John Kasich, as the governor of Ohio, believes that illegal immigration, the declaration of a caliphate, rise and thriving of ISIS are results of the lack of American leadership in the world and creation of a vacuüm in which ISIS spread. his website

TED CRUZ: Emphasizing that border security is part and parcel with national security, he sees enforcing the security of all of our borders as necessary for a good national defense, he would crack down on illegal immigration knowing that 40% of illegal immigrants have overstayed their Visas. He, too, would build a wall and vastly increase our border patrol and he has emphasized that this wall would work.

As long as American unemployment remains high, he would increase scrutiny about H-1-B Visas, no longer federally fund sanctuary cities, deportations of those here illegally would increase and he among others would end the current ‘catch and release’ of those here illegally who have committed crimes.  his website

 

Where have they gone?

The GOP race began with 17 candidates and narrowed somwhat after the Iowa caucuses and narrowed even more after the New Hampshire primaries. Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie both suspended their campaigns and the GOP candidates are ‘The Donald,’ Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson. Already Carly Fiorina has plans:

post election

It looks like she is looking forward and going to make a go of speaking engagements. Like her or not, she has some get up and go.

Even though she is no longer a presidential contender, I see a future for her, as she is the real deal. It is said that she’s not authentic and she ran Hewlett Packard into the ground. For the first 3 pages on ‘Google; all that can be found are articles which decry her ineptitude as a CEO, most of which exaggerate and are not specific in the least; but since when do most liberals present facts?

Many say she ‘lies’ about Planned Parenthood having sold baby parts and the Planned Parenthood videos have been edited. Yes, they were edited, but the things that were edited out, were inconsequential bathroom trips, commute time, and things like that. The official report found that the content of the tapes to be authentic. A good article describing South Carolina primary antics await the candidates who made the cut.

From where I sit, there are questions about whether Ben Carson and John Kasich have the ability to go much farther than SC, but Carson is known to appeal to many in the ‘Bible Belt.’

Chris Christie
Chris Christie

It is thought by some, and this is a stretch to me, that Chris Christie cut a deal with the Democratic party to exit the race and support their efforts in return for support in a presidential run in 2020 or 20024. I cannot imagine that from a former prosecutor who has vowed to demolish Hillary Clinton in a debate so he could win the election, but there are some members of his state (New Jersey) who do not feel that he would make a good president.

santorumAfter exiting the race, Rick Santorum endorsed Marco Rubio,but many will remember the moment on MSNBC when Santorum was not able to state many achievements of Mr. Rubio.

 

And the field narrows

After the New Hampshire primary, these ‘finalists’ remained:

After NH

Chris Christie, VA governor, exited the race after a better showing than expected, but one not good enough to ‘bring in’ the donors. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate him for bringing a lot to the fore. He would have been a formidable opponent.

Also of note was the exit of Carly Fiorina from the race. Could you tell that she had my support? My diagnosis? America was not ready for her message-or at least they are not ready for that message coming from a woman.

Hers was not a hope and change message; it was a ‘challenge the status quo’ message and returning government to the hands of the people.

Carly’s message was a much more populist message, and in that sense only, it bore a similarity to the message from Bernie Sanders, but not as extreme. His is popular because of the freebies it offered-which were COMPLETELY impossible. Hers resonated because it would return government to what our framers intended. But, by their vote, the American people said they weren’t ready for that; as much as they express a desire for a change.

Also not working in Carly’s favor was the image she portrayed, and I believe it was mostly wrong. I believe that the image perceived by the American public was one of a power-hungry woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants and if ‘you’ stand in my way, YOU stand to lose and ‘I will crush you’.

That’s not true, but if she was perceived that way…is it any wonder the establishment felt threatened-because she said she would challenge the status quo.’

One lesson I have learned is that we should never stop challenging our leaders, challenging them to bring the best of themselves to the ‘table.’

Why settle for a new norm? There is a difference between a tough call and a tough vote

Make yourself a cup of tea and spend 1/2 hour getting to know Carly Fiorina as New Hampshire got to know her a week ago. A political outsider and previous CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she’s been watching politics and seeing that they don’t work for us, anymore. Hers is a much-needed voice of common sense.

Having served as an advisor to John McCain’s 2008 campaign, she served on the external advisory board of the CIA holding high security clearance. She has served in policy-making positions for national and state governments.

Carly has led a number of charities and nonprofits, most recently: chair of Good 360, the non-profit charity which Forbes has ranked one of the 10 most effective worldwide charities.

In her presidential bid, she is currently running 6th in New Hampshire polls and is tied with Jeb Bush in the delegate counts, she’s running ahead of Chris Christie and Ben Carson. Give serious thought to this serious contender.