Politics

A Deplorable Election

Days ago, Hillary Clinton made headlines calling half of Donald Trump’s backers a “basket of deplorables.” She soon apologized for the statement, but only about the 50% portion of the remark.  Mike Pence countered that Donald Trump’s supporters were “hard working Americans.”  He further added, ““Let me just say from the bottom of my heart: Hillary, they are not a basket of anything, they are Americans and they deserve your respect.”

Frankly, it was a stupid thing for Hillary to say and Pence eloquently and smartly responded.  Of course, the media could not let Pence get one up, so Wolf Blitzer of CNN decided to bring back David Duke.  Blitzer tried to get Pence to acknowledge that David Duke was deplorable.  Pence declined and a minor firestorm erupted that Pence would not classify Duke and the Klan as “deplorable.”  However, that was false.  What Mike Pence actually said was that he wasn’t going to engage in name calling. He said that Duke had already been denounced and that their support was not wanted. Of course, we can argue as to Trump’s flippancy on David Duke, but there is zero evidence that Mike Pence has ever supported Klan members or pandered to them.

Anyone who knows Mike Pence and his history knows that Mike does not like negative campaigning.  He rejected it very publicly after his unsuccessful first election effort to unseat Phil Sharp (D-IN) writing an article, “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner” and publicly apologized to Sharp.  He refused to do so when running for Governor.  He has been forced into that role as the VP candidate, but he does not like to lower himself to name calling.  It was a cheap shot and it is an example of what gives journalists a bad name and low regard among Republican voters.

For weeks now, the Trump campaign has dogged Hillary Clinton about her health.  She falls (literally) ill and all there is a frenzy among Trump supporters of proof of their suspicions.  From all indications, she did suffer from pneumonia, resulting from allergies and exhaustion from the campaign schedule.  Trump remained surprisingly quiet and staff and surrogates were threatened to be silent.  Even so, the campaign is dogged with a lack of transparency and calls for release of health records – all the while, Trump refuses to release his tax returns.

It is a deplorable election with deplorable choices.  Hillary Clinton can’t keep track of her stories on emails and won’t divest herself from the Clinton Foundation, even though she says she will do so if she wins.  Trump can never keep any story straight. He has continually flip flopped on immigration, abortion, Planned Parenthood and now climate change.  He routinely just makes things up and is rarely held accountable – likely because there are so many that the impact of a single lie is not that seemingly significant.

When you look to third parties, Gary Johnson asked “What is Aleppo?” when it had been all over the news for weeks as a result of the humanitarian crisis from the Syrian Civil War.  His isolationism was revealed to be cluelessness. Jill Stein is facing criminal charges for playing protestor.  One who is to be the Enforcer and Executor of laws lacks any credibility if she ignores the law.  Then we have Evan McMullin – the only adult in the room.  Unfortunately, however, due to his late entry, he will be a on limited number of state ballots – and, sadly, not on mine although I fully support his candidacy.

It is a long 2 months and we haven’t seen the debates yet. Like Hawaiian Limbo, we will indeed see how low can you go. It’s going to be a grim few weeks.

On the subject of “deplorable” and the context of Hillary Clinton’s remarks, please welcome Matt Adams (no relation to me) as a guest columnist to Vocem Libertatis.  He will be detailing the origins of the alt right movement and their relationship to white supremacist, nationalist and the Russian power brokers.

How I Remember September 11, 2001

15 years ago today, I had just finished working out in the fitness center of the American United Life Tower – now One America – in Indianapolis.  I had just showered and was getting dressed when someone said that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  By the time I got out, many were glued to the TV.  A second plane had hit the second tower. We all knew it had to be a planned terrorist attack.  I immediately suspected, as did many others, that al Qaeda was responsible as they had attacked the embassies previously.  Of course, we soon learned that in fact they were the perpetrators.  We were completely stunned as watched the towers engulfed in flame and smoke and were horrified as people jumped to their deaths to escape the flames.

I shortly went upstairs to work.  Everyone was glued to internet news.  One Tower collapsed and we were completely dismayed.  The second tower collapsed and we were sickened.  We learned that the Pentagon had been hit.  While there was no evidence there was a threat to our building – the 2nd tallest in Indianapolis – we could not help but worry that we might be next and what was next.  Who was safe? How large was this attack?  Were my wife and children safe?  We were released to go home as no one was able to get work done.

The world changed that day in so many ways.  I remember days of no contrails in the skies and no planes overhead. Shortly afterward came the anthrax attacks.  No one felt safe.  We all lived in fear.  We were horrified at what had happened in New York and Washington.  Yet stories of courage came from those hours.  We heard of the bravery of first responders in New York.  The stories of survival from the towers and in the Pentagon.  Perhaps most stunning was the story of Flight 93 and courage of those passengers who likely gave their lives to save others from another attack.

We were unified as a nation in resolve as firefighters raised a flag over the ruins of the towers.  We rallied around the President – who had not won the popular vote in the last election – and were heartened by his grabbing a bullhorn and letting the terrorists know that would hear from us and that they would be held responsible.  Parties didn’t matter. We were all Americans and we had been attacked.

The fear from that day changed us in many ways.  We demanded that the government deal with terrorists aggressively and surrendered many freedoms.  I most cognizant of the scrutiny we now endure to board a plane as I write this in the air today.  We enacted laws like the Patriot Act which gave our government the ability to intrude upon our privacy in a much greater way.

I guess it’s easy for me to reflect upon my own reactions and memories today being in the air on this day.  I certainly had some trepidations about flying today.  However, what happened 15 years ago is so much larger than our personal memories, fears and reflections.  3,000 Americans perished suddenly that day.  They went to work like any ordinary day. They had no idea it would be their last day.  Their families had no idea they would never see their loved ones again.  None of these had anything to do with the complaints of the terrorists.  They were ordinary Americans.

In addition to the ordinary citizens that were lost, many first responders died doing what they were trained to do – save lives, sometimes at the expense of their own.   Many more have died since due to diseases from inhaling toxic fumes and dust from the debris as they sought to find survivors and recover the remains of those we lost.

As we reflect this day on the events of 15 years ago, think about the families who lost and may we be ever mindful of those we love.  Don’t take them for granted.  Don’t put off telling them how much you care.

Also as we reflect on the events of that day, I remember vividly how we came together as a nation.  No one decided to use the national anthem as a political statement.  People realized that as Americans we are all in this together.  We stood as God Bless America was sung and many, including me, were brought to tears.  We did not focus on our differences.  We focused on what we had in common.

I don’t mean to minimize racial divides in our country or the inequities that are present.  We are not perfect and we need to address those issues.  However, need to reclaim that sense of what we have in common.  We need to remember why we pursue justice and equality – because that is our heritage.  We need to remember that those 3,000 died not because of what is wrong with America.  They died because the perpetrators hated everything that unites us.  The dead included many faiths, races, LGBT and straight.

The rancor of this election has had little to do with our shared values.  We need to embrace those values – without losing the sense of urgency to address wrongs in our society or wrongfully denying they exist.

Let us remember those who left us that day.  Let us remember the courage of those sacrificed all to save lives.  Let us also remember for whom they sacrificed themselves – fellow Americans of all faiths, races, preferences and genders.  For those in the NFL protesting today, you picked the wrong day. It’s pretty clear you don’t understand what the flag means.  Ask those firemen.

 

 

An End to Writer’s Block

Sorry for the absence over the last few weeks.  For those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know I have not met with doom or foul play.  Between working on campaigns, despair over their results and having to take care of some matters in my personal life, it has unfortunately left me with little time and a severe case of writer’s block.  I had numerous articles that never left the draft stage.  However, don’t despair.  The stupor has cleared.  Articles will be forthcoming soon.  There is work to be done.  Freedom is on the line. I will not be silent.

Dr. Ben Carson Officially Suspends Campaign

At CPAC to day, as expected, Dr. Ben Carson announced that he was suspending his his campaign for the Republican nomination for President. Two days ago, Dr. Carson announced that he saw no viable path forward and would not be participating in the debate, but did not formally announce a suspension in his campaign. Carson anounced earlier today that he will serve as national chairman for My Faith Votes and pledged to continue to be involved in the election.

 

See Breakng Story from Politico

New Trump Fraud – $5.2 Million Supposedly Raised for Veterans Doesn’t Exist

Trump skipped the debate in Iowa in January to hold a “fundraiser” for veterans after his public spat with Megyn Kelly and Fox News.  His alternative event was controversial as he originally was looking to partner with the Wounded Warrior Project which had fallen under heavy scrutiny over its internal spending.   As this site previously reported, on the DAY of the event Trump registered the domain DonaldTrump forVets.com and directed contributions to the Donald J. Trump Foundation with no specific veterans organizations listed as beneficiaries.

Trumpvets

In fact, some veterans organizations specifically refused to participate declining to be a political prop for Trump.  Trump claimed to have raised $6 million for veterans which included $1 million from himself.  Here is the webpage that was tossed up on the day of the event.  It is still up requesting donations and claims to have raised $1,670,000 online.

Trumpwebpage

 

CNN investigative reporter Drew Hicks investigated the distribution of these funds.   He was told by the Trump campaign that the information was available on their website. It is not. He went to the known beneficiaries and to date has only been able to track down $800,000 that has been distributed.  This leaves $5.2 million unaccounted for.  Where’s the money Donald? Is this how you’re going to take care of our vets?

 

CNN Investigative Report on the Missing $5.2 million

Day 6 – This Was Our Finest Hour

Bush Quits Race for President

After receiving only 7.8% of the vote in the South Carolina primary, Jeb Bush announced that he was suspending his campaign for President.  It ends several days of wild speculation that his campaign was at an end. The Resurgent reported earlier in the week that a conference call had announced that payroll for staff was ending today.  The report was picked up by Politico with the addition that staff members were circulating resumes.  In an interview with Megyn Kelly Friday night on Fox News, Jeb dismissed the report but did not deny it.

Jeb was the original favorites among Republicans and many expected a Clinton-Bush rematch in the November election.  Jeb was the favorite target of Donald Trump and Jeb was one of the few Republican candidates to attack back.

In his farewell speech, he thanked family and staff who had stuck with him and congratulated the remaining candidates “on the island.” (no doubt a reality TV smack).  He made no reference to any endorsements, but simply spoke going home to sleep with his best friend and in a touching moment kissed his wife Columba.

At Marco Rubio’s headquarters in Colombia, Governor Nikki Haley congratulated the governor on his campaign.  Likewise, Marco Rubio referred to Governor Bush as “the greatest Governor Florida has ever had” and hoped that his career of public service would continue.

Donald Trump Wins SC Primary, Rubio 2nd, Cruz 3rd

Donald Trump managed to translate his lead in the polls to voting booths. He secured a double digit winning margin at 34% compared to 22% for both Rubio and Cruz.  Rubio came in ahead of Cruz for second.  No other contenders were in double digits. Bush 7.8%, Kasich 7.6% and Carson 7.2%.

In terms of delegates, Trump will receive the lion’s share as South Carolina awards delegates by winner take all by congressional district.  Trump won in all counties except 2 – Richland (Colombia) and Charleston which were both won by Rubio.  It remains to be seen how those delegates will be counted.  However, Cruz will not receive any delegates.

Hillary Clinton Wins Nevada Democratic Caucus

Hillary Clinton narrowly beat out Bernie Sanders to win the Nevada Caucus.  This race was carefully watched after Clinton was shellacked by Sanders in New Hampshire.  Clinton is expected to do well in South Carolina in the Democratic primary there next Saturday.  The question now is whether this slows the momentum of Sanders who has now eclipsed Clinton in national polling.

Day 5 – We Fight for Our Children and their Future