Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Lot to Process Before the Election

I know there are many who will vote for their president based on whether there is an (R) or a (D) right next to their name. That is all that some people care about. They will post about the faults of the other candidate and will not do the same for their own. In fact, they will downplay the significance of the problem their candidate faces. You will hear people say, "It is locker room talk" or "Why are we talking about emails?" Unfortunately, it is so much more than that. Americans have picked probably the two disliked candidates to date, and then they say, "I must pick the lesser of two evils." It is like people are glued to the two parties and they have to stick with that choice. Now, I understand not all third party candidates are on all 50 states ballots, and at this point, Gary Johnson does not look that much better. But with all the information that is coming in about these candidates, I am surprised that people can defend the actions of their parties candidate while blasting the other. It reminds me of the Bible passage in Matthew 7. 
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

We end up judging the other candidate without truly looking at our own. As a military member, I know it is more than just an email. As a guy, I know it is more than just locker room talk. I honestly cannot see where I can vote for either candidate based on the work they have put forth. Both candidates are equally flawed, yet one candidate is going to make it to the White House. I honestly do not see a point with these two candidates that we can finally come together and repair the divisions of the past few election cycles have brought. 

So, I ask you, the reader, to look at both candidates faults equally. If you do not know the importance of classified emails, find it out. If you think things are only "locker room talk" look again. Truly process the information. This is the next four years we are talking about. We need to have a better understanding of who our President is going to be. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Conservative Platform

As a conservative we cannot endorse abortion, however, the Supreme Court has ruled on the issue, and unless some miracle happens the Congress cannot ban abortion, so, what should the conservative platform be? One should look to Europe. Many countries ban abortion no later than 20 weeks, and some go as early as 12 weeks. That should be the platform of Conservatives. Why? Because at this point and time conservatives are always on the defensive. In this way, Conservatives can now go on the offensive. The left has often times looked at Europe as a way of doing things. This way Conservatives can push back

Homosexual Marriage
Many Conservatives believe in traditional marriage. However, If it was broken down, they also believe all people deserve to be treated equally in the eyes of the government. We always have! We believe in equal tax laws, many on the conservative side even believe in a flat tax. With that said, A government should not tax more of an inheritance because you are not legally related, nor should they keep people from visiting loved ones from the hospital because of sexual orientation. The conservative movement should focus on removing marriage from the government. The alternative is to apply for a Government Union. Ministers cannot endorse these unions, leaving government officials (court house) to be the ones to sign off on these Unions. This then separates Church marriages and Government Unions. 

Illegal immigration and Border control
There is no way America can deport 11 million people. Will not happen. However when people think of the word Amnesty they think of a free pass. That should not be the case. Truth be told, there should be a path to citizenship, but that also involves not being able to get social security, and tax credits right away. There has to be some kind of penalty for coming in illegally when there were so many people to go through the system legally that are still waiting. In order to get this right, the one area that one must look at, securing the border. Which also would mean a temporary halt on immigration. One must close the borders, reinforce the border, and work on a way where the immigration laws can be fixed. Step one, Close the border, stop immigration. Step two, reinforce the border, maybe even include a neutral zone. Step three find a way to legalize those already here. Step four fix immigration laws on the book, streamline the process. Step five reopen the country for immigration.

Gun Control 
The second amendment gives the right to bear arms. While we have rights, we can lose them. Thus you need to reinforce the laws on the books.Conservatives should also sign on to if you are on a no-fly list that should equate to a no gun list. Now conservatives can add a way to appeal being on a no-fly list, but if there is evidence you should be on that list then there is a reason to withhold the right to purchase a firearm. They should also sign on to a universal background check. The same standard should apply to all 50 states. 

Religious Freedom
Most conservatives believe in the freedom OF religion, not the freedom from.  We understand the federal government should not establish a federal religion, but the observance of is not the same as establishing. If this country ever gets a Muslim president, and he chooses to cite the Koran, he has that right. We may not agree with it, but it is his right. One cannot ban religious observances from happening because that too would be an establishment of secularism which is a faith background. The issue is that we have become so divided on many issues we have decided things must go our way. We cannot have that. 

Foreign Policy
We cannot shut ourselves off from the world, but one cannot give up its sovereignty. The United States is always willing to come to the table for a compromise on issues, as long as the other party is a willing participant. We will not give aid to those who only want the handout. We will also not intervene in issues unless warranted. 

Climate Change
I don't believe in man-made climate change. I just do not see the actual science behind it. However, as conservatives, we should promote being good stewards of the earth. That means if there are better ways to use energy, we should find it. If there are ways to get off our dependence on fossil fuels, we should use it. Green energy is not bad. Wind energy is useful, and cleaner let's continue to develop wind farms. 

Common core is not the answer. But neither is putting all your eggs in one basket like Oklahoma has done. They got most of their spending on education through the oil industry. When that collapsed so did education. There needs to be a better way to support education. Also, No Child Left Behind seemed to hurt more than help. Ways to fix the issue, Education needs to be a budget priority. You cannot tie education spending to a certain industry, it is not fair to the school system. Also, Cut the levels of standardized tests. When I was a Para-educator it seemed there were many tests and less time for teachers to be teachers. Let us put the education back into the hands of the teachers, and find ways to support them. 

The current debt is at 19.5 trillion dollars. To think we are going to cut spending and fix the problem is a joke. We will need to cut spending, but it may be necessary to raise taxes. So how do we cut spending? Conservatives believe in a balanced budget, which cannot happen without sacrifice on both ends. We may need a tax increase in the short term, but where waste can be cut, it needs to happen. Where do we cut spending? Often times it is fought through politics. There needs to be a study that shows actual waste, and area's that can be improved. That way programs are not cut that actually do provide benefit to the country

In the Declaration of Independence, it says we have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is my belief that that happiness is for the community, not the individual. If we all pursued our own desires, someone would ultimately ruin that for us. But as a community we deserve happiness, and that is only accomplished by working together.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gary Johnson Deserves a Spot at the Debate

I want to start off by saying, I do not agree 100% with Gary Johnson. I do not know if he has my vote or not. But I will say that with the negative ratings of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, we need another voice at the table. For too long I have heard the phrases, "I am going to vote for the lesser of two evils," and "A vote for a third party is a wasted vote." The problem is these two phrases are what kill the republic. If you believe voting for the lesser of twi evils save your vote, you might as well stay home. By that logic most states are already decided anyways. If you are a democrat in Oklahoma, might as well stay home because your vote doesn't matter. If you are a Republican in California, might as well stay home. As a matter of fact, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania should be the only ones that vote, seeing as if every news agency is focused on those three states. We need to vote our conscience. If you truly vote for Clinton just because trump scares you more, you are a part of the problem. Give the other parties a chance. I know I am.

Monday, May 2, 2016

You are a Bigot

My hope is that the title got your attention. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was told that one day I would be considered a bigot. When you type bigot on a google search, you get this definition, "a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions." Though I do like their synonym as well, "partisan." Bigotry is not a one sided issue. This word is thrown out by the left towards anybody who does not conform to their idea. You will see this Election cycle candidates who cannot reach across the aisle because the other party, "has no ideas worth listening to." We have become so divided as a nation that nobody is willing to tolerate anybody else's opinion. I believe marriage was meant to be between a man and a woman. Does that make me a bigot? No. Now, if I said, "marriage is between a man and a woman, and all who disagree with me should be put to death." That would be bigotry. But I do not believe that. Many people who are called bigots and intolerant for their views on homosexuality do not believe that. But we get shut down for having a differing voice. That is actually closer to bigotry. So before you go off saying someone is a bigot or intolerant for not having the same views you have, take a step back. We need a more open dialogue. It is okay to disagree on issues. But if you are not willing to discuss those disagreements in a civilized manner, you are part of the growing problem that this country is facing. Partisanship. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Independent Mindset

I read an article the today about how John Boehner perceived Ted Cruz. This is what the former Speaker had to say about the presidential candidate:

             Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with                        almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my                      life.

That is the problem. As a conservative, there is a lot that Ted Cruz says that I like. However, not being able to work with people is a problem. There are area's that I cannot vote yes on. I.e. expanding abortion rights, taking away 501c3 from organizations that do not accept gay marriage, etc. However, in order for this country to be able to run there are area's where compromise needs to be on the table. If you have alienated the whole legislative branch, you cannot serve as Commander-in-chief. The problem is there are a lot of people who are turning more to the right or more to the left, and nothing is getting done. The reason Congress has had such a low approval rating is because both the left and the right have dug their heels in the sand, and will not work with the other side, and this has not been a recent deal either. It was going on in the Bush years as well. As an Independent, I would like to see things get done. There needs to be a way both sides can come more to the center. They do not need to give up their convictions, but they need to find a way to keep this government running.

My plea to voters this election cycle is to find a candidate that is willing to work with the other side. One that is willing to go across the aisle to get things done. Let us hope this country goes in that direction.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What an Independent Would Like to See in Coming Elections?

Interestingly enough, I have a friend who is running for Lt. Governor of Utah, Kim Bowman, and I had the chance to ask him a couple of questions before his nomination became official. I asked him if I was an eligible voter, who as an independent is looking for a change in everyday politics, but leans conservative, how would you earn my vote? His response, "I'd present you with the hard facts about the way things are going. For example, that our population is getting older and we don't have the infrastructure to take care of them. My version of fiscal conservatism is to spend $10 today to save $100 next year.  That's what I'm talking about doing with our aging programs, because it's a heck of a lot more expensive to wait until people are really in need." I liked that answer because it showed that he had a plan that he was willing to present an idea that could challenge the everyday thought of a conservative. However, I believe there is a point that is missing. I am an Independent, and as such I do not hold to a political party. Over the past 12 years (as long as I've been eligible to vote) I have seen partisan attacks get worse. This includes the Utah elections of 2016. While I am not an eligible voter in the state of Utah, I have an eye on it because my friend is running. One area I have seen it get worse is in the idea that porn is a public health hazard. I have seen marriages end, teenagers struggle, and people lose their jobs over the use of pornography. In that way, I could see the current Utah Governors thoughts as to why he needed to label porn as a health hazard. Instead, I have seen Bowman Supporters lash out at the Governor saying he has no idea what he is talking about. He is just this old religious minded guy that needs leave his religion out of politics. It is the same problem I see in the national elections. People do not want to open a dialogue with the other side. I have even seen it in my friend's campaign and his rhetoric. Looking back to when I first met Kim Bowman, we had a discussion based on Gay Marriage. I am a conservative who believes marriage is between man and a woman, but also believe in fair treatment by the Federal government. How do I believe that can work? Through civil unions. But in our discussion Bowman said, "Wilde, I love you as a friend, but twenty to thirty years from now my kids will see you as a bigot." He could be speaking truth. But there is a way that could change, and it starts with our elected officials. It is not enough to just get elected and push your agenda. We have seen how that plays out. Nothing gets done, and everybody blames everybody. You have to open a dialogue. I believe Kim Bowman can do just that, but is he willing? So far, he has talked about the progressive agenda, and it won him a ticket on the ballot as a democrat. I am proud of him. But if he is to earn the vote of Independents. He will need to show that he can work with the other side, and have a civil conversation. That is what many Independents want to see from both sides, Democrats and Republicans. If that becomes the norm, maybe people like me will not be seen as a bigot, but someone with a different perspective, who also has the right to be heard.  

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Religious Freedom

I have been keeping up with these "Religious Freedom" bills that are popping up around the country, and what they entail. The thing is, this was expected after the Supreme Court ruled on gay marriage. When the Supreme Court ultimately decided that states did not have the right to decide what constituted marriage, there became a void. For years, both Federal and state laws said marriage was between a man and a woman. It is something I still hold to. As a Christian, I believe in traditional marriage. The problem is with the government. When the Government got a hold of marriage and attached benefits to it, then the marriage waters get a little muddy. I believe in equality of government benefits no matter race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc. Therefore, I was willing to entertain the idea of a federal government sanctioned union. I was also okay with states determining their own definition of marriage because the Bill of Rights gives the states that right. But because of the void left by the Supreme Court decision many conservative states have felt like they need to act. States like Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi all have passed bills in their legislative branches. The Mississippi bill allows individuals, businesses and government employees (including counseling services, foster care and adoption services), nonprofits and other entities to refuse goods and services to LGBT people and anyone who has had extramarital sex on religious grounds. Some believe that this includes the denial of emergency services. If that is the case it would go against all that religion, especially Christianity stands for. The Bible clearly states that one is to love their neighbor as themselves. It even states, "love your enemy and pray for those that persecute you." As a Christian, it would be wrong to deny someone emergency services just because they are living a lifestyle you disagree with. I do believe private businesses should be allowed to decide who they serve, I also believe pastors should be protected to speak biblical truths, and turn down couples who want to be married, and are not living a lifestyle that the pastor believes reflects the traditional values of marriage. Those things should be protected. Finally, a county clerk who believes in traditional marriage should not have to put their name on a marriage license, but she should not stand in the way of a couple who want to be married in accordance with state law. She should be able to step aside and allow someone in her office who is okay with signing the marriage license to do just that. But in no circumstances should emergency services be denied due to sexual orientation. To be honest, that would be unChristian