Monday, August 15, 2016

Confessions of a #MehTrump Supporter: Why I'm Voting for Donald Trump

I have a confession to make. I am now part of the 40% of likely voters, who this presidential election will vote for Donald Trump for president of the United States. Currently out of this  40% (to Clinton's 43%) their reason for voting for Trump usually comes from an angry response to government elitism, frustration about the economy, and wanting to dissolve political correctness. However reasonable this group's anger may seem, it doesn't seem fitting to put all of your hopes and dreams into the hands of anyone running for president of the United States. Personally, I don't expect government to solve the economy and I don't suspect the establishment will learn nothing after this election other than, "Wow! People really do like the idea of populism!" I put my faith in no politician, not even one with beautifully coiffed hair, which is definitely not a wig or a comb-over. (Thanks mainstream media for this valuable information.) That being said, there are two main reasons I'll vote for Donald Trump:

(1) I believe the Republican Party should fracture. As many of you know politically I'm a conservative Constitutionalist who has worked with the Republican party in part because I thought they had values that mirrored by own. Now I know what some of you may say, "Well, why didn't you protest against McCain's presidential bid, or what about Romney's?" Simply put I actually liked their policies, character, and record when compared to Obama's lack of experience and overall manner. In my opinion, Trump is the Republican party's version of President Obama. Both claim to be for the people and how they alone will enact the change their followers desperately seek, while their followers do everything in their power to protect them from all criticism, be it justified or not. Call me cynical (because I usually am) but I don't care for the (typically Democrat) rhetoric Trump seems so found of spouting. I never would have thought a Republican presidential candidate at the Republican National Convention would say the words, "I alone can fix the system," but I guess that's the philosophy the Republican party has to sell in order to stay relevant to the modern voter: government dependence.

Welcome to the Trump party! Leave your principles at the door!
As someone who has had to try to sell the ideal of and "freedom" to young people, I understand why the Republican party would shift this way. It's hard telling a potential voter that too much government is a problem and not a solution. Selling freedom isn't easy, but selling free stuff is. Things get especially difficult when you take into account that most young people have gone to public universities, have used government loans to attend that school, and who may find themselves working for government entities. Trump, as far as I know doesn't want to cut entitlement spending, is against free-trade, and believes the government can somehow "create jobs." Frankly, this doesn't sound like a Republican to me. (Or maybe it does, and if so I'm glad I'm washing my hands of them.)

With that being said I don't think the Republican party is able to change course. When faced with the outcome of Hillary Clinton becoming president they're in a helpless position and will vote for anyone (and I mean anyone) who will go against her. Disgustingly, the Republican and Democrat parties have now forced the American voter to engage in an act of desperation where they must choose a candidate whose values don't necessarily reflect their own to win the presidency to "save" the country. I'm not choosing Trump to save the country, I'm choosing him to break the party, and allow for the strong potential of a new conservative party to take shape and leave the Republican party behind.

(2)  My second reason is accountability. Donald Trump if president, will be held accountable for all of his actions by the press, in turn forcing journalists, after eight years, to finally do their jobs and eagerly investigate information released by Federal executive authorities or anyone who associates with Trump's administration. During the past eight years of the Obama presidency the media have done nothing to investigate any actions taken by his administration. I've yet to see any hard hitting investigations from mainstream news sources on the failed gun-walking operation called "Fast & Furious,"  which put about 2,000 guns into the hands of Mexican drug cartel criminals, to the recent Iran nuclear deal that would allow Iran to pursue the construction of two nuclear plants with little oversight by the United States, and now recently the revelation that the Obama administration paid $400 million dollars to Iran conveniently at the same time the American hostages were being released. Let's not forget the scandals involving the Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, such as her use of multiple private, unsecure servers to store classified government information while Secretary of State, her role in Benghazi and how she lied to the American people when she said the attack occurred in retaliation to a "YouTube video," and more recently the rumor the Clinton Foundation took money from Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for it's mistreatment of women and homosexuals. Then just when you think the media couldn't get any lower, they didn't even bother to critique the Clinton campaign's use of rope to wrangle fellow journalists during a parade event. The media doesn't cover these topics, not because these incidents aren't astounding or newsworthy, but because they don't suit their lazy narrative of "Republicans bad. Democrats good."

It doesn't escape me that Trump isn't a nice man, or a well-spoken politician, or someone I could fully trust as commander-in-chief, but right now he is what makes the media get up in the morning. Silly though it may seem, if the mainstream media wanted to do their job, evoke true journalistic integrity, and regain public trust they would vote for Trump.

Even with these two reasons, I still have some reservations for voting for Trump.

What if the Republican party doesn't fracture due to this political shift of values? What if there aren't enough conservatives who want to break away from party that may give them what they wanted, but at the same time expand Federal government to do it? Honestly I don't expect a massive party to arise, but I do expect to see a new network of conservatives  in creating a new platform using new media, online tools, and engaging in local communities that the Republican party has ignored. To my surprise I've encountered many minorities, women, and young people who are conservative, just not Republican. If the Republican party fractures, they may find a political group that represents them. Then again who knows what will happen? This all assumes Donald Trump will win the presidential election, but as it stands today the odds are in Hillary Clinton's favor, and as we all know if Clinton wins the world will suddenly blow up (or something to that effect).

What if the media, even if after Trump wins the presidency, decide to engage him by just covering inconsequential information about him and his administration? This theory is reasonable given that the media does mostly focus on mundane actions president Obama engages in, such as his golf outings, vacations, and the occasional foreign handshake photo-shoot. Going through media headlines like Trump Tried To Invite Himself To Chelsea's WeddingNC Trump Staffer Resigns Amid Lawsuit Alleging He Pulled Gun and now the latest Time Magazine cover featuring Trump's "meltdown," it would seem like a safe prediction to say the media could do the same with Trump and focus on his words rather than policies.

Here's the problem: one of his policies will directly effect mainstream media journalists. Donald Trump wants to "open up" libel laws so he can sue media outlets because in his words, "It's so unfair. I have stories, and I have - you have no recourse. You have no recourse whatsoever because the laws are really impotent." Is this someone the media can ignore? Would it stand to reason that they not only focus on this policy but multiple policies that effect their narrative? Even though I don't agree with their narrative, I can see the value of critique, which is something that within the Republican party isn't welcome in this new pro-Trump era. It would be refreshing to see the media finally do their job after eight grueling years of pundits pontificating their love for the prophet Obama (peace be upon him).
So much for being the party of Freedom of Speech and anti-political correctness. *sigh*
Unlike many Trump sycophants, who plan on voting for Trump because it's the "right thing to do," I'm not here to tell you this is the right decision, or the moral decision, or one that I'm necessarily proud of. I'm not even going to encourage you to vote or not vote. Do what you please. Nevertheless, this is my decision when faced with the fact we need a media, a government, and a society that is accountable for their actions, and right now they aren't. As long as the media and public hold Donald Trump accountable for his indiscretions while ignoring Clinton's flaws and failures, I plan on voting for Trump this November. No matter who wins, hopefully I won't be the only one holding them accountable for their actions as president of the United States.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Responding to YouTube Comments #1: Social Conservatism, Women, and Muh Amy Schumer

Questions: the sentences that usually get an answer hardly ever get answered using the YouTube comment system. Why? Well it's complicated, and by complicated I mean the YouTube comment system on occasion doesn't allow me to even notice a comment has been posted at all. However, today I'm going to answer and address some comments that I find answer-worthy. Here we go.

This comment was in response to my video entitled, Why Women Aren't Funny. In it, I begin by asking a very simple question: out of your top ten favorite comedians how many women are on that list? I'm a fan of comedy, I have dabbled in stand up before, and I love the art form, and some of my favorite comedians are Patrice O'Neal, Bill Burr, and Colin Quinn. I can honestly say that there are few women on my list and if they are on the list it isn't because of stand up but the comedic acting and skits they created. However, I can't deny that women when compared to men on average, aren't very funny. Why? Women don't have to be. In fact in my opinion women don't really need to be anything but there in a modern relationship. They just have to be there, try to be nice when they can, and be decent company while being physically attractive for their mate. The women comedians who are funny usually don't engage in stand-up and instead do skits, improv, or anything else that involves acting. This may be fine for some like Denton up here, but not for me, so there are no ladies on my top ten list.

As for men, lets face it, you guys have to be funny in order to attract the attention of a female. When a woman is listing off traits she would love in her potential mate she usually lists "funny" or "makes me laugh" as one of those. I've yet to meet a man who told me, "I think you're funny N.C. Clark, I think we should date." Never. Ever.

But no, Amy Schumer is a female and she must be funny to someone, therefore you may now disregard anything I said in the video and move on to another brilliant comment by one of my viewers.

What happens when you make a video entitled Women in Politics: A Tale of Two Representations? You get this lovely comment about how you didn't "take a stand."

Now the purpose of the video was not to take a specific stand, other than to say that women in politics
change nothing within the political sphere, other than try to score brownie points by using "feminine" buzz words and sayings like "as a woman" or "women's issues." Basically women try to pander to other women, and for women like Blessington, it works. Overall I challenged the belief that women have some kind of Patriarchal barrier that prevents them from becoming representatives and that female representation in politics doesn't matter in the slightest to someone like me who doesn't care about superficial representation (race, gender, etc). I care about ideology, values, and character. But wait, what about estrogen that has to do something to make women more valuable and make a real difference in politics. Newsflash, it doesn't. According to political pundits like Candy Crowley, who herself wanted to believe women can make positive changes in government, suddenly realized when it comes to the allocation of power, responsibilities, and representation women are no different than men. No less kind, and no less nurturing. I therefore presume that the nature of the job makes it so that women with the same personalities of leadership, confidence, and charisma choose the job of a political representative and ultimately make the same decisions or come to the same positions as their male counterparts.

On the contrary, if I were to believe this comment I would have to assume Senator Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) or would be a better representative than Paul Ryan (R Wisconsin 1st Dist.) for me, because Pelosi and I are both women and Ryan is a man. This is laughable. The mere question of "did you know that Republican women candidates do not get any support from their party" further proves my point. This comment reeks of sexism or the preferential treatment of a specific gender all based upon stereotypes that some female politicians blatantly take advantage of. A good example of that manipulation is the Hilary Clinton's campaign ridiculous use of emphasizing how Clinton is a woman and that is what makes her special or different than the other candidates. No talk of substance or specifics. All they have to do is say, "I'm a woman, hear me roar!" and women like Blessington clap like trained seals.

Lastly, I have a comment recommending a response to a video entitled, Social Conservatism is Abuse. Sadly, I'm the only open conservative political pundit this person knows and so I feel it is my duty to at least speak on the matter.

Lets begin with the videos claims:
(1) Social conservatism is about going "back to the past."
(2) In the past he was emotionally and physically abused in the past.
(3) Therefore, it must be the case that social conservatism is abuse.

Why would he see it as abuse? "Well," he answers,"I see it as abuse, because it is. They are attempting to abuse the liberties and rights of others. Curtailing them, stripping them away, preventing them from expanding." He mentions that when he talks to social conservatives they seem to have no interest in the progressive ideals that involve marriage equality, gender equality, or dismantling the Patriarchy. All of which I don't find relevant to his argument, and I'll explain why.

First, for fun, lets accept his basic definitions of what is "conservative" and what is "progressive." Conservative according to the video creator is staying in the past, while progressive means
Now at first most people would agree with these definitions, however there is "conservative" is the general sense, "conservative" in the philosophical sense, and "conservative" in the political sense and lastly "conservative" and what it means to a person emotionally or personally. This person has decided to make the claim that conservatism, as defined by their own experience, actually is the true definition by which everyone who claims to be conservative actually is. More to the point, his personal became an objective definition which highly influences his interactions with others.

So what does this have to do with anything. It's simple. What if we accept the premise that conservative means staying in the past and progressive means going further, what does that have to do with the "good" or what values are correct? Nothing. Ideas of the past could just be as good as those in the future. Or perhaps the future's values and ideals are not as worthwhile as some would believe. What would be needed to solve this problem is clear context and understanding that conservatism actually is within the context of someone that is conservative... someone like myself.

What does it mean to be a conservative from a philosophical stand point? To find virtues that have lasting value and promote them. It is not to trample the rights of others, unless of course you are a conservative authoritarian, but then again any authoritarian group would want to trample your rights so unless you believe that "conservative" and authoritarian are synonymous and if so you have my sympathy.

Nevertheless back to the philosophical argument presented, or should I say, emotional argument. I believe that our country is founded upon the idea of the free market of ideas for someone to say, "that the idea that social conservatism is toxic," and ought to be eradicated is quite hysterical. Not only can't destroy an idea within this free market, but you ought not to. How is it moral to imply that an idea should be eradicated because you feel it is wrong. At least explain unemotionally why it's wrong! But no, just say that it's toxic, toss out some poor examples without context, and sprinkle on more vague definitions of what you feel is happening rather than what is, because I really need more of this in my life.

When it comes to "progressive" concepts, is it toxic to ask questions? Is it toxic to ask if abortion is legal, how are we to define when liberty begins and when does liberty end? Is it toxic to merely state that the average child does better in a family with a father and a mother? Is it toxic to say that conservatism isn't abuse? For a person who defines themselves as progressive, he really doesn't understand that today's progressive idea is tomorrow's conservative value. He has the attitude of a king, picking and choosing ideas he finds valuable for any personal reason then dictating that if you don't like these values, accept them, or dare I say question them, you sir and/or madam are toxic. He is literally the caricature of a progressive.

Honestly, I don't wish an idea to be eradicated because it's not worth the mental energy to wish something that can't come to fruition. You can propose new ideas that are contrary to what is now "conservative" or as the video creator defined it, "the past ideals," but keep in mind anything that you propose today will be old tomorrow if accepted by the general populous. As life moves on, we may die but ideas will stay around forever, some people like me call this progress.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Re: Things the GOP has to get to win the elections

Recently a twitter follower of mine by the name of Tomás Allende Conte sent me his article, "Things the GOP has to get to win the elections." So I thought what's the best way to address his suggestion was with an article in response.

Conte's first suggestion for the grand old party, or as most know them, Republicans is to (1) steal the gays, assuming most like himself don't care whether or not a business sells him a wedding cake, caters his wedding, etc. "The GOP must get over the gay issue, it’s gone, you may as well tell gay people they are welcomed into your party." I find that there are two problems with this suggestion.

My first issue is more of a clarification: one does not have to be a conservative (traditionalist) to be in the Republican party. Therefore it is possible for anyone of any race, sexual orientation, gender, etc, to be a Republican as long as they subscribe to the goals of the party, some of which include believing that the United States is an exceptional country, families should be strong and free from government intrusion, and the Constitution should be treasured and upheld. Regardless I understand why there is a confusion between conservative traditional values and the Republican party, considering within today's recent shift within both parties where those on the far left and far right have demanded larger representation within their own respective parties. A great example of this is the new GOP platform where they cite traditional marriage as the cornerstone of America, something most parties wouldn't even bother citing in the early 2000s. It would have just been a given. How do I know this to be the case? Hillary Clinton was against gay marriage in 2004, and more recently while running for President of the United States, she changed her mind on the subject. It is important to remember a Democrat can be a conservative (or a traditionalist) and a Republican can be a liberal (or a non-traditionalist). Technically gays were always welcome to the party.

Second problem, under the backdrop of this recent overwhelming cultural shift, is it best for the Republican to "pander" to certain groups that commonly beg the Federal government (and the Democratic party) for recognition? Would it be best for a party that has bluntly stated "we want the Federal government out of our lives" to pander to a group mostly comprised of people who want the Federal government in their lives? It may be the case that you (whether part of the LGBT or an ally) will say "I don't care if a restaurant, photographer, or bakery does not wish to provide their services at my wedding," however the case isn't yours to decide, it's now left up to the courts. (Which was my issue with the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage last year, for more clarification check out my video here.) More to the point, the Republican party values individualism while the Democratic party values collectivism. Would it be appropriate for a party that has historically valued individualism and resistance to Federal government overreach to then promote the actions of LGBT groups like the expansion of gay marriage by way of the Supreme Court? No. It's no secret, the Republican party does not pander to "oppressed" minorities including the LGBT and even though some within the party (usually establishment Republicans) see this as a flaw, I find it refreshing to know that the party overall doesn't care that I'm a woman or Hispanic in the same way the Democrat party would. Regardless, this anti-pandering mindset does not stop LGBT Republican grassroots groups like Log Cabin Republicans from actually getting there message and ideas across. A message, when looked at objectively does not only contradict with the token "traditionalism" within the party, but with the idea of smaller government in which people within the state decide the laws governing that state (10th Amendment).

Small note: Let's say the Republican party actually decides to "steal to the gays," do we really think there will be a massive migration of LGBT members moving into the Republican party? Sorry but I don't believe that would happen, neither does the party, which may be another reason why the establishment won't even consider it. It is also why they don't consider reaching out to other voters like women, minorities, and young people from the Democrats. It's not enough to say "well you should try to reach out to gays," you have to explain why they should and how this would benefit the party, other than saying "well it will make the party more diverse." Remember, in most Republican and conservative circles diversity is not a virtue.

My understanding of the GOP (or even the Democrat party) accepting the concept of gay marriage is that its a recent phenomena that most people were not prepared to have an opinion on. It has blindsided many politicians and citizens who would have never thought of the concept just ten years ago and now have decided to address gay marriage in the same way they address everything else that is a social issue. In the Democrat's case they have a preconceived moral standards founded on a utopian equality for collective human happiness, while Republicans have moral standards of traditionalism mixed with individualism as a means of human happiness.

As for how some Republicans and most conservatives feel about gay marriage, to paraphrase conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro, "gay people originally said we don't want the government to prosecute us for being gay, and everybody went OK makes sense. Afterward they said don't worry we won't want government benefits. Within ten years they wanted civil unions, and everybody went I guess that's OK. The homosexual community then said well don't worry we won't want same sex marriage. Then within ten years they wanted same-sex marriage and everyone went OK. Now within two years they were trying to throw bakers in jail from not catering same-sex weddings." This is exactly why most Republicans address this social issue and to be honest some homosexuals within the Republican party do as well. In fact most of the members in my college Republican group were gay, and didn't really care about being "married," rather they say their lifestyle as extremely opposed to the idea of marriage at all. On that note, if you would like to know about where I personally stand on the issue of gay-marriage read my Modest Secular Proposal.  Moving on.

His second suggestion is a bit more obvious, even to those not paying attention to party politics. (2) "Clinton is a radical feminist: This should be your mantra for the campaign." Furthermore Clinton when compared to Trump and Sanders will not be viewed as a radical, so make her accountable for the stances she takes. If she stands with BLM, does an interview with Lena Dunham, or disregards male rape ask her why.

"Journalists" behind the Rope
In principal I love this idea. A political figure, especially someone running for president, should be held accountable for their actions in the past and present in order for the voter to make an informed decision. Unfortunately there can be no accountability where there is no ability to hold someone to account. The GOP has already tried to show the public scandal after scandal and they have slipped away from public view like water off a duck's back. Whether we bring up the the Monica Lewinsky scandal, to Benghazi, to Whitewater, to the disappearance then reappearance of the Rose Law Firm records, to the Clinton Foundation receiving money for favors, nothing has seemed to stick and I blame the left-wing media. Most news media outlets have let her and her husband come out unscathed, unworried, and bold enough to rope them in like cattle.

Conte's third suggestion is easier to write than implement: forget Bill Clinton. He writes, "You’re fighting for the young demographic, the Lewinsky scandal is gone, and if you go after that, you risk getting called on dismissing traditional family values."

To this I must say, how can we go after Hillary for being a feminist (someone who claims to support women's issues) if we don't bring up this scandal? What about other women that were sexually involved with Bill, like  Paula Jones, Gennifer Flowers, Kathleen Willey? Not the mention the alleged rape of Juanita Broaddrick supposedly back in 1978 by her husband. What's even more ironic is this recent Hillary Clinton tweet:

So she's only a feminist (using the usual feminist definition of course) when it comes to trying to get the female vote, but when it comes to her personal life she is not. She not only ignores male rape, but female rape accusations as well. Furthermore while we are on the subject of rape, back in 1975 Hillary legally defended an alleged rapist of a 12 year old girl. Now suddenly today in 2016 I'm supposed to believe she is a "defender of women?" Oh, did I mention Lena Dunham in her own book admitted to molesting her little sister? I didn't? Did I mention Dunham lied about a sexual assault by a college campus Republican? Well neither did most mainstream journalists. Ultimately my question becomes how can we challenge her character, judgement, and honesty if we don't go back and look at these scandals? We can't. We won't. We shouldn't.

As for Conte's worry of "risk getting called on dismissing traditional family values" by bringing up past sexual indiscretions of former President Bill Clinton, the issue from my perspective doesn't have anything to do necessarily with morality, it has everything to do with national security and lying to millions of Americans while under oath. Any flaw in character can become a flaw in America's national security. For example the president can be extorted by our enemies to either fund or promote their nefarious activities. From my perspective being pro-family values is akin to being anti-risky behaviors, therefore it would make sense those who are pro-family values within the Republican party are going to address Clinton's sexual history in that manner. Honestly the risk of Republican embarrassment seems worth it given the level of the position Hillary Clinton is seeking: the presidency.

Lastly, Conte suggests the GOP not only ignore Bill's past indiscretions, but ignore the idea that global warming does not exist, "Even if you believe it’s not real, there is no evidence it isn’t, so instead of getting yourself stuck in a very difficult position, go to the economics. Why a carbon tax doesn’t work? How has been the handling of the issue been under Democrats? There is a lot to criticize there without saying it’s not real." He goes on to write, "You won’t win that argument, the academia is on the democrats on this one, and to be perfectly honest so am I, in principle..."

Global warming or should I say climate change, or whatever else they decide to call it in the years to come, is a theory and not necessarily a fact. Forgive me if I believe a 1.02C increase in average world temperature isn't a big deal. That being said I will ignore that slight difference between us and I can agree with Conte's overall message, whether or not you agree with the theory the solution to this theory does not solve the theoretical problem. Unlike Conte, I not only want the GOP focus on the horrible carbon tax policy, I want to delve into how the issue is dealt with by politicians during campaigns. Interestingly enough Obama used this theory to promote his presidential campaign. During his nomination victory speech President Obama said his moment (presidency) will be "the moment when the rise of the oceans will begin to slow and our planet will begin to heal..." I highly doubt the (theoretical) issue of climate change will be solved in a mere 4 (now 8) year presidential term, but call me crazy (or better yet Republican). False promises of grandeur like Obama's on the subject of climate change is probably one of the reasons I don't take the theory very seriously. Without any specifics on what Republicans can do except stop denying the theory and then stop denying the "solution," I'd be interested to see if Conte would like Republicans to do the same thing: run on changing the temperature during their term but use different solutions for the problem.

Believe me I understand the need for a Republican image problem to attract those outside of the party, but if the restructuring of the Republican party means it's values are going to be revised because we need to be on the "right side of history," then to many conservatives like myself it's not going to be worth it. The Republican party's reputation by the overall public is one thing, it's reputation to it's own members is another thing altogether.