Conflicting Rights

March 27th, 2015

 

As Americans, we are guaranteed many rights. Occasionally these rights come into conflict. Such an example is Christians in wedding related businesses vs. homosexuals getting married. Unfortunately, both sides have taken the unreasonable position that the other side has absolutely no rights at all. The Left condemns Christians that do not want to have any part in a gay wedding are evil bigots. Some owners have been threatened with jail or had death threats. Meanwhile, the Right proclaims that Christian owned businesses can do what they please as exemplified by the recent Indiana law.

 

So what’s the solution? I believe that everyone has the right to enter a business and purchase a product or service. I also believe that a business has a right to determine what they will sell. For example, anyone has the right to go in to a bakery and order a wedding cake. The baker may choose not to make a particular cake that it finds objectionable such as one that is pornographic or has a swastika.

 

We face many challenges today. I think that the biggest is the political divide. Both sides are locked into battle, each refusing to compromise. They are more interested in winning than what is best for the country.

 

It would be nice if we lived in a world where disagreements are worked out instead of having demonstrations and spewing hate.

 

The Goldwater Strategy

March 27th, 2015

 

Back in 1964 conservative Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater won the Republican presidential nomination. His advisors thought that a campaign that appealed to the Right was a winning strategy. The idea was that there were millions of true blue conservatives that didn’t vote because they didn’t like the mainstream Republican candidates. The result was a disastrous loss. He got less than 39% of the vote and only won his home state and five southern states.

 

Amazingly, this strategy is being used once again. In announcing his candidacy, Ted Cruz expressed the same idea. Attracting only the far right is ludicrous. Many use the losses by John McCain and Mitt Romney as evidence for this theory. Political views had nothing to do with it. No Republican could have won in 2008 because of the financial crisis and Obama’s popularity. Romney ran a poor campaign in 2012.

 

So what will happen with Cruz? He stands a good chance of winning the Iowa caucus. Since so few people vote, Christian conservatives have a huge influence. The last two winners are Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. If he can knock out Rand Paul early and pick up his supporters, he has a slight chance to win the nomination. If that happens, it will be 1964 all over again.

 

One of the many factors in getting to the White House is an effective strategy. Copying one that failed miserably is a bad idea.

 

Help Wanted: President, No Experience Necessary

March 24th, 2015

 

Many people seem to believe that there are only three criteria to be president; to look good on TV, be well spoken and have the “right” political positions. It is the most demanding job in the world yet people don’t hesitate to vote for people who do not have the experience to do it well. In 2008 we elected a president whose resume included being a community organizer, a few terms in the state legislature and less than four years in the Senate. Much of his term was spent running for president. His only management experience was running his staff. Nobody would think of hiring a CEO with that resume. He would have made many fewer mistakes if he had more experience.

 

Now we are looking ahead to another election. Certainly no one would question Hillary’s Clinton’s experience, whether or they agree with her. Many Democrats are pushing for Elizabeth Warren. She has been a law professor, briefly served in the White House and, like Obama, is a first term senator.

 

There are many people vying for the GOP nod. Three of the leading candidate, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are first term senators. Two candidates have no government experience at all.

 

In 1960 many considered John F. Kennedy to be unqualified even though he had been in Congress for 14 years. Times have certainly changed.  

 

The Iran Letter

March 14th, 2015

 

Republicans in Congress have rightfully criticized President Obama for the many times he has exceeded his authority. Now 47 senators have decided to do the same thing.

 

First a little background. For some time the US and Europe has been negotiating with Iran over limiting their nuclear program. Current proposals center on allowing some uranium enrichment to continue and removing all restrictions in ten years. Understandably many are upset. Iran is a rogue nation and a strong supporter of terrorism. The thought of such a country having atomic weapons is truly horrifying.

 

Congress has tried a variety of ways to show their displeasure. Some have proposed the ridiculous idea of having Congress directly involved in the negotiations. That clearly violates the Constitution. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was invited to address them. That was really an attempt to poke a stick in Obama’s eye rather than to accomplish anything useful.

 

Enter Tom Cotton. He has just been in the Senate for a few weeks but decided he should get involved in the negotiations. He authored a letter to Iranian leadership and got 46 fellow Republicans to sign it.

 

This has created considerable uproar. Some have gone so far as to accuse them of treason and say they should all be imprisoned. That is ridiculous but the letter clearly infringes on the rights of the executive branch and is also a stupid idea. Some have pointed out that Democrats have done the same thing. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

 

After winning the Senate, Republicans were supposed to show they could govern. First they almost shut down Homeland Security and now this stunt. They are doing about as well as the Clinton presidential campaign.  

 

Racism and the First Amendment

March 11th, 2015

 

I was shocked to see the racist song done by a University of Oklahoma fraternity. I am not naïve enough to believe that racism isn’t still around but didn’t think it would be quite so overt in 2015.

 

University President David Boren took decisive action. He threw the fraternity off campus and expelled two students. Certainly a university has a right to decide what fraternities and sororities may operate on their campus. However, I do have a problem with the expulsion. It was clearly done without any due process. While their actions were outrageous, I don’t believe anything uttered in private (on a rented bus) warrants such action.

 

Political correctness is alive and well. The smallest of offenses against preferred groups is dealt with swiftly. Expressing hatred toward undesirables (whites, men, the wealthy, Christians, conservatives, etc.) is perfectly fine. Apparently even threats of violence are OK. Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa said, in front of President Obama, said of the Tea Party “Let’s take those sons of bitches out”.

 

We need to remember that the First Amendment isn’t there just for speech we agree with.