Politics & Religion

It’s often said that the two things not to bring up at a large family event are politics & religion. The same goes for Facebook and social media lately as I’ve seen multiple “fights” break out as a result of politically related discussions.

I get it, these issues, for many people, are very personal. They are often cornerstones of belief that they have been past down from generation to generation. They can also be very complicated subjects with lots of “facts” on all sides of the issue. As a result, some people feel that these issues should remain “private” and should not be discussed.

If that’s someones view and they choose not to engage in discussion on the matter, that’s certainly their prerogative, but for me, it’s something much different.

Faith first, is the foundation of who I am. My belief in God, Jesus, and the Bible guides my decisions in life. I don’t always hold true to it as a I should and I often stumble in the walk, but it is the place I go back to for direction. It’s changed my life, it’s changed who I am, for the better — not perfect, far from it, but better and I want to share that with others.

Politics is a little different. It’s like a sport to me. While the ideals are very important to me, they are not the same as faith. I enjoy the intellectual challenges that come with policy debates, history, and charting a course for the future. I’m happy to have these discussions with people of all sides of the aisle. That’s why my brother in-law and I recently started a blog called Sometimes left, always right (arrogant, I know). We both enjoy the debate, the spectacle, and the process of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I believe what I believe strongly (as does he) and I think these things are important — BUT I’m not going to let it wreck my day.

Come November, either Obama or Romney will be elected President and the wailing from the opposite side will commence. Let’s step back, take a deep breath and realize that while these things are import and they can ultimately affect our lives, we only have so much control over them.

It is all worth discussion, it’s worth researching, and worth debating — but it’s not worth getting all upset about.

Why I’m Voting for Mitt Romney

After watching 14 debates, reading countless articles, and combing through every candidates websites, videos, and policies, I’ve decided that Mitt Romney is my guy.

He is not a perfect candidate, he is not a perfect person, and I don’t agree with everything he believes. Lets be real though, there is no such thing as perfect in this world. I do believe he is the best choice of the current candidates for many reason and I want to share why I believe that.

Some of these points will seem catty or unimportant to some, but I’ll explain why I think each are important. These are in no specific order…

1. Electability: In my opinion, Romney is the most capable of winning the general election (for many of the reasons below). This matters simply because if you can’t get elected, it doesn’t matter how great you are.

2. Poise: Unlike many of the other candidates, he has done very well under pressure and attack. Just about every other campaign and the media have come at him hard on his record, his policies, and his beliefs. He is able to clearly reply without getting too steamed up, and clarify any confusion. This matters for two reasons. First, because he will face the most well organized, powerful, and high dollar attacks against him in the general election and must be able to overcome them. Secondly, being a good president requires Poise.

3. Organization: His campaign has shown that it is prepared with strong, ground games in many states, a great online presence, and well done ads. This may seem silly, but his campaign is the only one (other than Obama’s) who has a website that’s mobile compatible. Why does a mobile website matter? Because it shows his campaign organizers care about the details and are prepared with the latest technology. It’s 2012, why in the world don’t all of the candidates have a mobile compatible website?

4. Experience: Romney has a wide range of experience. He offers a vast level of private sector experience dealing with massive company investments on a global level. He was successfully tenured as the governor of one of the most liberal states in the country. He also has experience turning around a very large organization in the Olympics along with his experience campaigning. These things matter, they give him perspective in different areas and they allow him to govern in a way that will be more effective for the country and the people.

5. Leadership: I believe Mitt is the strongest leader of the group. Others may have better vision or policy ideas in some areas, but overall, Mitt stands out as more Presidential. I believe he will bring together the right group better than any of the others. The President doesn’t need to have all of the best ideas, he just needs to know how to bring all of the people with the best ideas together, I believe Romney will do that based on his experience.

6. Faith & Family: There are a lot of thing I disagree with about the Mormon religion, but I’m not selecting my pastor, I’m selecting my President. What I see as key to Mitt’s success is that his family stands with him. His wife is always on the trail with him, his 5 sons are out all of the time supporting him. This was one of the things that was always questionable for me about Cain. You never saw his family with him. He talked about them, but you never saw them. Mitt’s family is there, they seem like a strong, loving, supportive unit, and I think that’s important for a President to have.

These are not all of the reasons, but they are some of the key reasons that come to mind. As with any decision process, part of that process is deciding why NOT to select one of the other candidates, here are a few reasons I decided against other candidates and for Romney.

Why NOT Ron Paul? Look, I actually like Ron Paul. I love that he has been one of the most consistent candidates on his core beliefs on liberty and freedom. Those things matter, A LOT, but I don’t believe he is electable in the general election, I think his foreign policy is too radical, he does not really have any executive experience, and I’m not convenced he could bring people together in a way that would be required to be what America needs in a president now.

Why NOT Newt Gingrich? Newt is the idea man and I like good ideas. Most of what he is saying in the campaign is VERY comptable with what I believe. I really love his debate style and sheer knowledge of the political system, BUT I have big reservations over his electability in the general election, his political “baggage” and his recent support of climate issues with Nancy Pelosi and his tendency to be somewhat unpredictable about what he’s going to say or how he’s going to handle any given situation. Newt would make a great VP, but I don’t see that happening either.

Why NOT Rick Santorum? He tends to take things too far. From Iran to gay marriage to any number of other topics, he tends to be too aggressive in his stance toward some topics in a way that I think doesn’t look or sound presidential. Why does that matter? For the same reason I don’t want someone out representing my business dressed like a clown.

Why NOT Rick Perry? Do I need to detail this one?

Why NOT Jon Huntsman? Huntsman’s got a great track record as governor, his jobs ideas are very well reviewed, and I think he knows his stuff. I am concerned he comes off as a little soft on China. I believe Romney is right about his strong stance on putting China in their place and we need someone that’s willing to stand up to them in the next four years. Also, honestly, he annoys me. The way he talks, the way he acts, his random chinese. Not a good reason not to vote for someone, but it’s the truth. Huntsman would also be a great VP selection, but I don’t think he’ll be Romney’s pick. 

So that’s it. It’s not perfect, but on January 31st, I’ll be headed to the polls here in Florida to place my vote for Mitt Romney. I believe he can beat Barrack Obama. I believe he will be a strong leader for America and I believe he knows what steps to take in order to help get Governemnt out of the way and allow business to turn this economy around.

I hope you’ll join me in voting for Mitt in the primary and most importantly, in the general election.

America’s New Civil War

We are a nation divided. We may not be standing on hills and shooting at each other with bullets, but we are with words. The political environment is so polarized that nothing productive can be done (on either side).

Almost half of our country believes in big government solutions and the other half in limited government solutions. One side believes in taxing the rich to pay for the poor and the other side believes in individual liberty. One side believes in unions and the other in private enterprise. Where is the compromise on these issues? How do you reconcile these ideas?

It seems we are in a deadlock where both sides are just banging their heads against the wall. Will one side eventually crumble and given or will one side eventually convence enough people that will give them the majority?

This political, ideological civil war could be the great undoing of our nation.

Ultimately, we probably all (left & right) need to do a little more listening and a little less talking. Understand the other side, try to share our own beliefs in a reasonable fashion and make progress where there is common ground.

The question remains however… what about the areas (big areas), where there really is no common ground? What then?

Time to Grow Up America!

America, we have a problem. While our past is littered with prejudice and discrimination, I would argue that we are now becoming more divided than ever before.

We the people are so concerned with fitting into a specific category or brand. It’s a constant male/female, black/white, gay/straight, christian/muslim/atheist, conservative/liberal, rich/poor, etc. etc. We need to start being individuals that stand on principles, character, values, and actions — not on labels or brands.

There is so much division based on labels and preconceived notions of who someone is. It is not one side or another that perpetrates it, yet we are continuing down a path of more division rather than more unity.

We will continue to bang our heads against a wall as a nation, if we are unable to find the areas we do agree on and make progress. There is no question that there are deep differences in philosophy regarding many important issues and those things should be debated and discussed, but they should be done so in a way that avoids the constant labeling and name calling like we are still in 7th grade.

Time to grow up America… or we will fall.

Walter E. Williams & Taxation

While listening to the radio today, Walter E. Williams, was substituting for Rush Limbaugh (who was busy getting married). Every time I hear Mr. Williams it has really be a treat. He is clearly extremely intelligent and well spoken, but has a way of bringing very complex economic ideas down to a simple example.

Here is one that I found extremely interesting regarding taxation. It goes something like this.

A man is walking down the street and sees a poor, hungry, old lady on the side of the road. He says to himself “I need to help this person.” He then pulls out his gun, walks up to you and says “give me your money now.” He takes your money and goes to buy the women food, shelter, clothing, and maybe even a car and a new cell phone.

What would this man be committed of? Robbery. Thief. Etc. While the result of what he was using the money for was good, the way he went about it was not. Theft is theft.

How then is it any different for the Federal Government to come in and force one tax payer to give them their money so that they can redistribute it to another tax payer which that Government deems to be worthy of these funds? How does this in any way equate to protecting the constitution?

Thus is taxation in America today.

America, Roosevelt, & Immigration

An interesting quote from Theodore Roosevelt in 1907:

“In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.  But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American.  There can be no divided allegiances here.  Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all.  We have room for but one flag, the American flag.  We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.  And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

A slippery double standard…

Our country, specifically those in the mining and oil industries, experienced horrible catastrophes recently. Men who have much more dangerous jobs that I, ended up dyeing due to accidents or explosions.

Both of these stories are tragic. The lose of American lives while hard at work in freak accidents. What is interesting is the response from the media and politicians. With the mining accident, all of the focus was on the lives of those lost. The President even attended a large ceremony in their honor. In the oil rig accident however, very little has been said about those that died. Don’t they deserve the same respect?

Furthermore, I have seen much discussion from the left, saying that we should never be drilling offshore and this is proof of that. I even saw a sign from a protestor at a congressional hearing that said “spill, babu, spill” (mocking the previous “drill, baby, drill”). Does this make any sense at all? Because of one accident (regardless of the size) that we should just stop production completely? If this is how we operated everything, we would not drive in cars, fly in planes, ride a bike, produce food, or just about anything else.

Just because there is an accident (or a mistake), you don’t just stop. You learn from it, make improvements, and move forward.

The oil spill is a major problem, no question about that. We need to put all of the resources we have forward to protect the gulf, the wildlife, and the beaches, but we also need to be smart about what happens next. Work to determain what caused the accident, find ways to make it less likely to happen again and move forward.

A government big enough…

big-governmentWith unemployment now the highest in many of our lifetimes, do we still believe that massive government spending and huge bailouts are the solution to turn the economy around? Or should we maybe consider some aggressive tax cuts and pro-business policies? On one of the morning shows today they had a huge story about how horrible Wal-Mart’s “sick day” policy is and how it’s spreading the flu and how people feel like they are forced to go to work if they are sick because they will get a demerit. Clearly, we don’t want people working with the flu, but at the same time, companies (especially of that size), MUST have strict policies in place to protect their business and make sure people really seriously consider not showing up for work. If they don’t, they won’t be able to serve customers and there are plenty of people lining up at Wal-Mart for their low prices despite how “evil” they are. I am so sick and tired of business and businessmen being demonized in our country. Clearly, there are “bad guys” in any industry, but to act like everyone who wears a suit and tie to work is a criminal or everyone who runs their own business is a thief is lunacy. This country was built on the back of men and women who busted their butts to get where they are. It’s built on the back of people who don’t want unemployment, government-care, obamacare or anything else. We are becoming a nation of fat, lazy, self absorbed people who do not know or understand how this nation became the most powerful civilization in the history of mankind. If we don’t ALL (liberals, conservatives, libertarians, vegetarians, whatever) WAKE UP, get up and make things happy as INDIVIDUALS there will be a steep price to pay. Bottom line: Government is NOT the solution to our problems. Government is the problem. Individual liberty, freedom, and plan old hard work is what will turn this ship around. “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford Ok, I’m glad I got all that out.