Trump as Primaries Approach

One bit of news, I have found hopeful in the presidential race, has been that Trump is no longer leading republicans in Iowa.

I don’t want Donald Trump to be president because I believe a man’s character is more important than his policies. As it happens I seldom disagree with his policies, but I strongly disagree with his way of operating.

(See my blogpost on why I don’t want Donald Trump for President here.)

The best thing that could happen in America would be for us to learn from the success of the Trump campaign, but have someone else come forward to win the republican nomination and then the presidency. I have long expected that most of the Trump supporters know he would not make a good president, and will switch their allegiance as push comes to shove.

Learning the lessons means admitting that a great deal of people in this country, and especially those who are voting republican, want to see us return to a constitutional, conservative, and common sense approach to governing. Throw political correctness out the window, and let’s set about fixing the mess we are in—bring back jobs, secure our borders, and return to constitutional checks and balances.

The worst thing that could happen in America would be for Donald Trump to lose the not, turn independent and then hand the election to the democrats.


Political Ads

I am an Arizona voter. Like voters in other parts of the country, I am being subjected to political ads. Mostly I see them on the TV, but they are also on other outlets.

Based on these ads, I know what political campaigners believe will get someone elected. This is apparent to me because the ads have some very consistent themes.

These themes can be divided into two categories: mudslinging and image building.

In the first category, you want to paint your opponents as supporting Obama Care if you are a Republican. You should also associate your opponent with the president and it never hurts to bring up our spiraling national debt or the border crisis and how it affects Arizona. If you are a Democrat you will want to accuse your opponent of being a corrupt millionaire, who wants to cut taxes. If possible, associate the failures of Arizona government with tax cuts for the rich.

In the image building category, you should point out how you courageously stand for your principles. Show pictures of yourself with disabled veterans or foster kids. Show yourself empathizing with the victims of crime, or walking the border with law enforcement officers. Or if you can’t figure out which party you want to be a part of, just say they are both wrong.

The one thing that you apparently should never do is publicize your principles, or discuss the issues of the election, unless of course it is one of these lightening rod issues.

Unfortunately for me, I don’t want to cast my vote based on who throws the best mud or who polishes themselves up best. I want to know how the person is going to handle key challenges faced by Arizona.

What are they saying about Arizona, or America as a whole, if the voters they try to reach are unthinking ones who can’t see beyond these shallow facades?

Primary Election Day

There are times in the life of a pastor when I get a sudden rush of urgent activity that crowds out all other priorities for a time. This past week was one of those times. Being in a smaller church, I do not preach a lot of funerals. Last week I had two. I mention this as way of explanation for those of you who noticed that several posts I usually make were skipped.  I want to apologize if you were disappointed. I will get back on track as soon as possible. But since I am a working pastor I can almost guarantee it will happen again sooner or later. As long as we are both (both being me the writer and you the reader) willing to accept the realities of an unpredictable life, it will work out alright.

Having said that I want to pretend its yesterday, sort of, and post what might have been yesterday’s post if I had not been otherwise occupied.


Voting in the Primary

Today is Election Day here in Arizona. Today we vote in the primary so that the people of Arizona can choose which candidate they want to represent each party. Now in some other places they hold the primary to determine which candidate each party wants to put forth, but that is not how it works here. What is the difference between these two?

In some places only members of the party get to vote for that parties candidates, but here in Arizona, we allow independent voters to vote in the primary. I personally don’t think this is the best idea.

Since this is the case, there is a lot less incentive to be registered with a particular party. In fact, I think it might be preferable for people to not be affiliated and therefore when it comes time to vote they can either vote for the best qualified candidate within the party they most closely align with, or if they prefer they can vote for the least qualified candidate within the party they oppose.

I am pretty sure the law was not put into place with this idea in mind, but it does open up the possibility. In fact, this year I have seen a number of ads emphasizing independent voters can vote in the primary. After listening to the ad I have in mind, for the millionth time, I began to think they were implying this strategy.

So here is my advice. Get out and vote. But first educate yourself on the candidates and their positions. I also want to suggest you vote for candidates you actually want, and not use the vote as means of weakening the opposing party as described above. I don’t think it should be a legal option, and I don’t think it is a morally correct option.

Whose Fault Is It?

Yesterday a friend brought me a copy of a local paper. The nation and world section was centered on a column from Associated Press titled, Dear voters, This is your fault.

The article then went on to blame the voters for electing a government that reflected the people, especially having a congress that was divided. They actually spoke as if this is a new situation. Can anyone tell me when there hasn’t been a division between Democrats and Republicans in office?

I found a quote from our president to be equally ludicrous. “If we disagree on something, we can move on and focus on the things we agree on, and get some stuff done.” Shouldn’t government work on policy in the areas they disagree on too? Haven’t other administrations successfully brought about just such compromise?

Apparently compromise is no longer a virtue in Washington. The president again managed to get a deal worked out which gave him everything he wanted. He gave no ground in return other than to say he might compromise on some future date, and in some way yet to be determined.

But take note I believe the votes are less to blame than the coverage in the press. The amount of relevant information they don’t bother researching and reporting, is appalling. No one has covered how it was decided what would be closed in the shutdown. They didn’t give us any real details of the compromise reached. Nor were details given as to what a default would look like. Nor did they report about different groups heading to Washington to protest these actions. America roared its disapproval, and media had better things to talk about.

Instead they put out a fluff piece telling us it’s all our fault.