Tuesday, March 29, 2016

How Batman V. Superman Failed and Why It Matters (No Spoilers)

One day, I’ll have children, and from the moment they come out of the womb, I intend to start indoctrinating them with the love of DC comics, but if I had a kid today, I don’t think I’d take them to watch Batman V. Superman. Previously, I talked about Batman and Superman as cultural figures and heroic role models, but now I have to explain how Batman V. Superman utterly failed to represent these characters appropriately. Though I have to talk a little about what happened in the movie, I won’t reveal anything you couldn’t glean from the trailers. 

In this movie, Superman is a tortured soul who strives to do the right thing and receives nothing but punishment for his noble intentions. When Superman saves people, he usually does so with a grimace on his face as if he takes no joy in his heroism. If his actions are based on any ethical principles, they remain a mystery for he never attests any.

This mystery is deepened by the insane characterization of Superman’s parents, Jon and Martha Kent. Whereas these characters in the comics provide the moral foundation for Superman, the Kents in the movies seem intent on stomping out any hint of ethics in their son. In Man of Steel, Jon Kent suggests that Superman should have let a busload of children die rather than reveal his superpowers, and in Batman V. Superman, Martha Kent tells Superman he should, “Be their hero, Clark. Be their angel, be their monument, be anything they need you to be. Or be none of it. You don't owe this world a thing. You never did.” In other words, “Be a good person…or don’t. Either one is fine.” 

The entire movie wallows in ethical ambiguity. It’s not that the protagonists struggle to find the right path but that the entire concept of a right path is dismissed.

Despite these shortcomings, Superman is at least heroic consistently choosing to help others. In contrast, Batman is no hero at all.

In BvS, Batman says of Superman, “He has the power to wipe out the entire human race, and if we believe there's even a 1% chance that he is our enemy, we have to take it as an absolute certainty,” and this is the entire motivation of Batman to try and obliterate Superman. Batman condemns Superman not for his actions but because he has power that could potentially be abused.

This ends justifies the means mentality sickens me. Internment camps, gun confiscations and the Patriot Act were all implemented because people allowed fear to overwhelm their desire for justice. People chose to abuse individual rights for promises of collective security. 

Batman is supposed to be a figure of justice, but this pathetic version of Batman allows his own fears to overwhelm him and he thereby subverts justice by seeking to destroy an innocent man for the supposed good of the collective.

For entertainment value, this movie might deliver, but the lessons it teaches are abhorrent. I’ve already seen more than a few adults try to justify Batman’s willingness to destroy Superman even though I suspect if the same actions were attributed to Lex Luthor, everyone would universally condemn the villain. This is the power of heroic figures. When we sympathize with people, we are prone to excuse their wicked actions. It’s difficult to guess how many adults are ethically influenced by this movie, but I have no doubt that every child’s mind is soaking up this new model of heroism that says morality is ambiguous and the ends justify the means. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Batman V. Superman - Why Do We Care?

This week, Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters. Presuming you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that comic book movies have become a huge trend over the last two decades. Just last year, we had four major comic book movies, and this year’s looking to set records with eight, count them, eight comic book blockbusters scheduled for release.

What is fueling this recent obsession with superhero stories? Superheroes have been around since the 1930’s, but they’ve never been as popular as they are today. Why now?

I’d argue that high quality CGI drove the superhero movie boom. Special effects finally caught up to the point that the over-the-top antics of comic book characters could be portrayed on the big screen without looking ridiculous. The massive success of two early 2000 films, Spider-Man and X-Men, opened the eyes of studio heads to the potential goldmine of superheroes. At the same time movie studios realized the potential for comic book movies, studios began to shy away from risky movies with original concepts and rely more on the safer bet of movie adaptations of material with pre-established fanbases. Comic books provided the perfect market for adaptations since the comic industry has been testing out different heroes and concepts for nigh eighty years and building a devout following in the process. The long history of comics assures that these characters and movies have multi-generational nostalgic appeal, and Disney’s acquisition of Marvel in 2009 made it much easier to produce comic book movies with a shared universe which paved the way to the massively successful Avengers franchise which in turn pushed demand for superhero movies to new heights. In addition to all this, let’s not forget the simple fact that while the real world is coming apart at the seams and many Americans have reasonably lost all faith that their leaders will sacrifice their own interests for the public good, superhero movies provide an excellent dose of escapism that restores some faith in the potential goodness of humanity.

This last point indicates that there is more to the superhero obsession than just the visceral thrill of seeing people with amazing abilities and colorful costumes punching each other in the face. Superheroes stories operate on a deeper level by representing principles, struggles and heroic ideals. Spider-Man speaks to guilt, responsibility and redemption, Hulk speaks to the beast inside all men’s hearts that can be harnessed for good and Captain America speaks to a noble and principled form of patriotism.

So what do Batman and Superman represent?

In many ways, Batman and Superman stand as mirror images of one another. Though both heroes, they exemplify differing approaches to heroism which sometimes compliment and sometimes contradict one another.

Bruce Wayne suffered immense tragedy when a mugger murdered his parents right in front of his eyes. Rather than fleeing the darkness and pain that filled his heart, Bruce embraced it and vowed on his parents’ grave that no other children would ever have to lose their parents to violence. Using his righteous anger and learning how to control it, the young man honed his body and mind to a fine edge reaching the pinnacle of his human potential through sheer force of will and intellect. Having no superpowers as a crutch, Bruce gave himself an edge by becoming a figure of the night and releasing the darkness bottled inside him to inspire terror in the hearts of the cowardly and foolish criminals who prey upon the weak. Bruce hides his face behind a mask and similarly shuns humanity in his personal life keeping even those closest to him at arm’s distance sacrificing all for his grim yet noble quest. He can be cut, stabbed, burned, shot, beaten, bloodied, bruised and broken, but Batman always gets back up and triumphs.

In contrast, Kal-El never suffered tragedy. He lost his parents and his whole planet when Krypton exploded, but being sent to Earth as a baby, he suffered no trauma. Rather than being motivated by a desire for vengeance, Clark’s actions are motivated by a desire to live up to the simple, small-town values instilled in him by his goodhearted, adoptive parents, the Kents. Clark didn’t have to earn his superpowers; they were his birthright, so Clark’s is not a story of tragedy and triumph but of power and how to use it wisely. In a world where an Ubermensch could reshape the globe for a selfish cause, Clark chooses to serve others by being a figure of light, hope and inspiration. Clark doesn’t hide his face from the world. His Superman persona may be more bold than mild-mannered news reporter Clark Kent, but he strives to do what is right in all situations and his goodwill is always on display. He doesn’t hide from those he loves but embraces them fully without reservation. Rather than imposing his will on others, Clark always offers the best of himself and seeks to bring out the best in others. Superman may have the power to lift mountains, but it’s his willingness to make the hard decisions which make him a true hero.

Batman and Superman work as a complimentary yin yang typology. Batman is a figure of dark justice geared towards bringing retribution on the guilty whereas Superman is a figure of bright hope who does all in his power inspire everyone to be their best. Batman teaches us that through determination, dedication, endurance, and industriousness mankind can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness whereas Superman teaches us that true greatness of power is meaningless without an equal share of greatness of charity, hope, kindness and faith. These characters carry weight for us because they tell us something about ourselves and show us who we should strive to be. That is why we care about Batman V. Superman.

Also, it’s fun to watch people with amazing abilities and colorful costumes punch each other in the face.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Madonna, Fame Addicts and Underage Boobies

I found a single story that exemplifies so much of what is wrong with our society. 

At a recent concert in Queensland, Australia, Madonna pulled a seventeen-year-old girl, Justa I. Candy, on to stage, Madonna told the crowd, “She’s the kind of girl you just want to slap, on the a** and pull,” and then Madonna pulled down on the nipple ring on Candy’s corset exposing one of the teenager’s breasts to the audience. Rather than being upset, Candy told the media this was “The best moment of my life,” and Candy’s mother added, “My daughter is a fierce feminist in the way I raised her. It’s something that she’ll probably cherish for the rest of her life.”

Let me point out a few of the fails in this story. 

Justice Fail

If any normal person did this, it would be immediately classified as a sexual assault, but Candy claims she enjoyed the treatment from Madonna and the legal age of consent in Queensland is sixteen, so if Candy likes having her boobs whipped out at pleasure of a handsy old woman, so be it. However, it’s still illegal in Queensland to show nude images of teenagers until age eighteen, so how can Madonna’s actions possibly be anything other than a crime?

We all know the truth. The rich and famous operate under a different set of rules than we regular peasants who actually suffer the consequences of our actions. Queensland wont press charges because it would be bad publicity, so they’ll let it slide, and this does nothing but embolden nutjobs like Madonna. The media promotes this type of behavior with articles which may as well read, “Superstar Madonna Shows Teen’s Boobie! OMG LOL.” Great journalism you star blitzed, ethically void wastes of human potential. 

Feminism Fail

Let me get this straight. Justa celebrates being paraded in front of the crowd in her corset, spoken to as if she’s a kinky hooker and then exposed in front of the a crowd of eager onlookers, yet she’s a good feminist. Either feminism glories in the objectification of women as sex objects or feminism is so meaningless that even those who claim to be good feminists don’t actually know what the movement represents.

I’d argue that Justa Candy and her mother actually understand a great deal about one central tenet of feminism, the double standard. As Candy’s mother put it, “People are saying what if this was a male performer, what if it was some else’s daughter – well it wasn’t another man and it wasn’t another girl it was Madonna and my daughter.” If a man exposed Candy, it would be a problem, but if a famous woman exposes her, it’s all kosher. Whatever happened to equality of the sexes?

Parenting Fail

If your teenage daughter is wearing a corset with nipple rings with your consent, you’ve failed as a parent. We could mention the facts that the corset actually belongs to you and that your child sees her nudity in front of throngs of people as the crowning achievement of her life as extra nails in the coffin, but the nipple ring corset alone really kills any pretense you may have had of being a serious parental figure. Just go to your bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror, say, “I have failed my child,” and have yourself a good cry. You might even bring a bottle of wine to salve your pain. The wine won’t make you a better parent, but your kid is probably too far gone at this point anyway.

Fame Fail 

Why exactly is Justa okay with being partially nude in front of people? Simple, Justa I. Candy wants to be a model and put her body on display for a living, and since she has now gained a lot of exposure (in multiple senses of the word), she might succeed in that goal. 

As someone who champions the right of the individuals to do whatever they choose with their lives, I 100% support Candy’s right to take off her clothes for money, but that doesn’t change the fact that Justa is trying to follow the Paris Hilton path of being famous not for the quality of her actions but for the contents of her undergarments. Justa says that being stripped is the best thing that ever happened to her, and if Justa only cares about her fifteen minutes of fame, she’s probably right. Right now, the entire world is looking at her and her beautiful body, and if she’s lucky, she might become a professional model where she’ll be ogled for three more years before being replaced by a younger and more beautiful teenager seeking the same cheap route to popularity, and what then will become of Miss Candy who is so starved for attention and affirmation that she thinks being told she has a slappable posterior before being stripped is as good as her life will ever get?

In case you’ve been wondering, Justa I. Candy is not the teen’s real name. I gave Candy this nickname because I think that’s how Candy perceives herself. She celebrates and encourages her own objectification, and that’s her choice, but I want no part of it. That’s why instead of helping her career as a professional naked person by mentioning her real name and showing the many photos of her in various states of undress, I’m showing pictures of kittens which in my opinion hold more cuteness and infinitely more self-confidence than this poor girl who eagerly wants to trade sexy pictures of herself for fame. 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Tips for Persuading the Young Socialist in Your Life: Part 2

Do you have a leftist you love? Are they “Feeling the Bern” or “Ready for Hillary?” Have you been failing in your attempts to sway them from the dark side? 

In Part 1, I offered some strategies which should help you woo your friends and family members to the right side. I suggested you should accept the fact that your loved ones truly like socialism, avoid the Nazi references, engage the emotions and avoid personally attacking people leftists respect. Today, I’ll three more suggestions.

Questions not Answers

People who care deeply about political issues tend to forcefully condemn expressions of bad political dogma and passionately assert their own views, but this instinctual style of direct confrontation is usually the least successful in actually convincing people. When someone makes a forceful argument, people tend to get defensive and make forceful counterarguments, but these counterarguments often ignore substance and follow tangents or new avenues of attack, so what is gained in vigor is usually lost in focus. 

In contrast when responding to a pointed question, an intellectually honest person must weigh the issue carefully thereby viewing the situation from a new angle. In this manner, carefully crafted questions often reveal contradictions in someone’s philosophy. 

For instance, the Democrats are constantly arguing that the federal government is corrupted by the rich and powerful who buy favors and that the federal government must have more power to keep the rich in line. What if you asked, “If you believe politicians are in league with the rich elitists and are using federal power to benefit the wealthy, wouldn’t increasing the power of corrupt politicians just allow the rich to buy more favors?” For those who say the rich aren’t paying their fair share, ask them, “Exactly what would be a fair share?” Chances are that many leftists would propose numbers much lower than the wealthy’s current tax burden. 

A carefully crafted question can often do far more to make someone reevaluate their views than a thousand forceful assertions. People often dismiss conclusions reached by others, but they tend to remember conclusions they reached for themselves.

Principles not Party

Let’s imagine you are trying to convince a young Democrat that conservatism is superior to Progressivism. You point out that conservatism is not about favoring big business but about empowering the humble individual entrepreneur to make it on his or her own. Conservatism is about defending the Constitution, fiscal responsibility and upholding religious and ethical values, and as the shining alternative to the political horrors that are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, you present the beloved and inspiring face of Republicanism…Donald Trump. Are you seeing the problem?

Let’s just quickly review the biggest faces of the Republican Party for the millennial generation. We’ve got Bob Dole, George W. Bush, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Donald Trump. I’m sorry folks, but none of these men are true alternatives to big government principles.

If you want to convince a socialist of the values of small government, then you can’t point to Republicans as a true alternative. You can certainly argue that Republican ideology is less corrupt and favors smaller government than that proposed by Democrats, but the simple truth is that Republican aspire to a different form of control over the population rather than true self-governance. If you fail to admit this, Millennials will rightly call you on your hypocrisy. 

Instead of arguing that Republicans are the answer, admit that many of them are also part of the problem and ask the leftists to be a true revolutionaries and fight for the cause of liberty against both parties.

Plant Seeds and Love Them

Accept the fact the your best efforts may fail to convince socialists that socialism is bad and love the socialists anyway. 

I know, it’s depressing, but if you think back to the political changes you’ve experienced over the years, I’d be willing to bet that anytime you’ve changed positions, there has been a single moment where you realized your values had changed preceded by many smaller moments in which you’ve questioned your prior values. I can’t think of a single time where someone has discussed something with me and I found myself turning a complete philosophical 180 through the course of the discussion, but I can think of dozens or perhaps even hundreds of comments that challenged my worldview, stuck with me and required me to think long and hard about what I truly believed. This is what you must do for others. If your mindset for every discussion is conversion or failure, then you better be prepared for a lot of disappointment. 

We must love people. Sometimes we get so caught up in our frustration that we allow our politics to overshadow our friendship and even our kinship. If all anyone hears from you is condemnation, they will stop listening. People are of more value than politics, and if you let your anger control you, you’ll lose both the person and the argument. 

Your job is not to convert people but to plant seeds and water with love. Place a little idea in someone’s heart, and only time will reveal what might grow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tips for Persuading the Young Socialist in Your Life: Part 1

It seems everywhere I turn these days, liberty minded people are perplexed to see their friends, family members and the general public supporting Presidential candidates who are socialist or socialist in everything but name. The younger generation seems especially friendly to “Feeling the Bern,” leaving small government people trying to figure out how their loved ones can possibly overlook candidates’ socialist tendencies. 

I can tell you why so many of the youth love the socialist candidates. This is complicated point which will take a lot of concentration to understand and accept, so please brace yourself for the nuclear bomb of truth I’m about to drop. People are supporting socialist candidates because…they really, really like socialism. 

I know this should be obvious, but I think a lot of people, especially the older generation, are in denial. Those who grew up during The Cold War era when the socialism of the U.S.S.R. was painted as the philosophical antithesis to all things American have an instinctive and vitriolic rejection of anything reminiscent of Soviet Russia, but most in the millennial generation were not even alive during The Cold War and none know much about it unless they happen to be a dedicated student of history. Most youngsters have zero problem with socialism, so no amount of, “But he’s a socialist,” style arguments will ever sway today’s budding leftists. 

If you’re looking at me to convert your loved ones, you’re out of luck. You have a personal relationship while I’m just some dumb schmuck with a blog. Hopefully, the leftists you know trust and respect you which puts you in a much better position to reach them than I’ll ever possess, so let me share some strategies which should help you make your case. 

Ease Off on the Nazis

Talking with a friend the other day, we discussed how our church gave us both the impression that a sinful life would immediately destroy you and make you miserable, so when my friend first smoked pot and first had premarital sex and did not immediately become a heroine addict or break out in genital warts, he felt the stated risks of sin had been nonsense. If the church had emphasized a more realistic view of sin being fun for a season but having serious long-term cost, perhaps he would have taken a different path. 

Similarly, some conservatives paint an overly cataclysmic picture of socialism. Yes, Hitler, Stalin and Mao were all practitioners of different forms of socialism which lead to the deaths of at least a hundred million people, but we need to be intellectually honest. There are plenty of socialist states in Europe where people are not being rounded up and executed in death camps.

People do need to know the horror stories of National Socialism and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (by the way, you can start using these terms instead of Nazism and the U.S.S.R. to subtly emphasize the importance of socialism to these regimes), but leftists also need to know the more moderate problems inherent in all socialist nations such as the negative impact of socialized medicine, the higher taxes and the lower standard of living. However if you make it sound as if electing Bernie Sanders will lead directly to another holocaust, most leftists will understandably dismiss you. 

Feelings not Facts

For generations, small government types have been making largely fact based arguments while leftists have appealed to the feelings of the American people. Which side has been winning? 

Bernie Sanders hasn’t been giving specific answers to how economic systems should be structured to even the playing field or how he will fund his many new initiatives, but he has been abundantly clear in condemning the status quo as morally corrupt and stating that the rich have an unfair advantage. Many people don’t need to be convinced in their head if you can capture their hearts. 

Fight fire with fire. It’s counterintuitive for many conservatives, but lead with emotions. Ask questions like, “Is it fair for people who chose not to go to college and those who sacrificed to pay their own way through college to have to pay for everyone else’s tuition?” and, “How will it make people who spent years working to earn $15 an hour feel to learn they are now working a minimum wage job with a higher cost of living?” Don’t drop the facts, but insert the feelings into the facts. 

Philosophy not Politicians

We’ve all felt indignation when the media attacks a conservative politician unfairly. Perhaps we were not even that thrilled with the politician ourselves, but when we heard the opposition taking a hatchet to a guy on our side, we got defensive. 

Leftists feel this way too. A lot of people love Bernie and Hillary, and if you aggressively attack them, you’ll likely end up hurting the feelings of their fans and make them less likely to listen to your arguments. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, and I fully admit that I all too often fail in this area, but it’s important to focus criticism in a way that targets the message and not the messenger. Make sure to focus on issues rather than personal attacks or you risk ostracizing your audience.

That’s it for today, but later on in the week, I’ll release Part 2 where I’ll discuss a few more strategies. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Tiny Tragedy - A Personal Story

I’m a dad, yet I’ve never been a dad. I have a child, but I’ve never seen it. I’m a parent with nothing to parent. I am a paradox.

Not long ago, I got the life shaking news. Mary Jane, my wife, surprised me with a Hallmark approved love letter conveying the expected sentiments of affection, but along with the usual mantras of romantic love came a surprise twist, a handwritten addendum reading, “And you will be an amazing father.”

That Friday evening, my whole world changed in an instant as I discovered my wife and I were having a baby. The next evening, my world changed again as I discovered my wife and I were having a miscarriage.

Shell shock is the only way to describe it. Neither of us expected the pregnancy or the miscarriage, and yet both hit us within the span of thirty hours. Severe cramps lead to a trip to the ER, and we soon found ourselves greeted with the blunt news that our child was dying and nothing could be done to stop it.

We retreated. I fled into my video games and she into her Netflix. We waited. The doctor said miscarriage was likely, but a follow up test would be required in another two days to confirm, so we escaped into fantasy worlds hiding from the feelings we couldn’t understand or begin to process, but we came together again on the day of the second test. Blood was drawn and tests were run, and we didn’t know what to do with ourselves while waiting for the results. We ran errands. We went shopping. We ate lunch. Time passed. In attempt to inject some muted fun into an otherwise dour morning, Mary Jane had her nails done while I read comic books in the salon. After hours of waiting, the call was finally made, the expected results were given, and we went home. Behind closed doors away from the eyes of the public, Mary Jane burst into a bout of short, jagged sobbing before quickly falling asleep. I quietly stayed by her side.

Then, it was over. Mary Jane awoke a couple hours later. We spent some more time together, but soon Mary Jane said she was fine, and since then, things have returned to normal.

Except life isn’t normal anymore.

It’s not bad. I’m not sad. I’m not obsessed with it. I haven’t screamed. I haven’t cried. I’m not frustrated or angry or mopey or discouraged or hurt, and yet I’m not the same.

We were incredibly fortunate that the miscarriage followed so quickly our discovery of the pregnancy. I can only imagine the pain so many have felt losing a child in pregnancy after months of anticipation, yet despite my ever so brief time as an expectant father, it still happened. For a few hours, I was a dad.

Now what am I?

I simply don’t know what to feel. This is simultaneously one of the biggest events in my life and yet an incident that has almost no impact on my life. How can you reconcile these two disparate realities into one being? It fills my head with questions I can’t quite answer. Am I even really a father? Does this even count? Will I now have an unknown child in Heaven that I will one day meet in the afterlife?

When does life become life? When is a person created?

It’s an issue that’s been central to the abortion debate for years. One side says a new person comes into being from the moment of conception. The other side says, a human life is not a person until it comes out of the womb. If limited to these two options, I have no doubt about which view I hold. I would certainly prefer people to hold the extreme view that personhood begins at conception as opposed to the other extreme view that it’s morally acceptable to murder a fully developed nine-month-old child just because it happens to be located in the mother’s body, but I’m not sure the truth can be found at either extreme on this issue. It’s a crystal clear scientific fact that a new human life is created at conception which if able to mature will result in a child 100% of the time, but it’s hard for me to think of it as a person at a stage where it doesn’t even have a nervous system. The brain doesn’t even begin development until week five, so does that mean it’s not a person prior to this or does it still deserve personhood just by virtue of being human? What’s happening on a spiritual level?  Does God bestow a soul to each fertilized egg at the moment of conception? What then of identical twins who begin as a single fertilized egg and then split to form two siblings? Has the soul God provided split as well or are two souls inserted from the beginning?

I can spend all day asking myself unanswerable questions, but I know that such dry mental gymnastics are just an attempt to emotionally distance myself from something immensely personal. It’s safer to deal in the realm of religious and political theory than to accept the ambiguities of my current reality.

The truth is that my wife and I created a new human life, and that life died before we ever got the chance to know it. That is our small, tragic reality.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Jeremy’s Writing - Now with 90% Less Trump Bashing

As you’ve likely noticed, I’ve been posting articles frequently for the past couple weeks mostly on political topics. I wanted to explain why and give you some idea on where I’m taking my writing in the near future. 

My reasons for writing are simple. I love my country, I feel it is going down the wrong path and I want to do my part to influence the country towards liberty. I have no illusion that many people will read one of my articles and instantly convert to my point of view, but I hope that by providing a fresh perspective, I can help others look at the world in a new way and give them a better platform for making decisions for themselves.

Some people have complained that I’ve spent too much time attacking Trump. Perhaps I have, but let me explain why. First, Trump is the only game in town right now. He’s easily the most dynamic figure on the political scene, and the current battle over whether or not he becomes the GOP nominee is likely to be the single most important factor influencing the nation over the next four years. I have to discuss him. Second, I wrote all the articles on Trump before I started publishing them, and though I quickly realized after I began publishing that I had written too much for most people to read, I figured I may as well finish what I already started hence the twelve-part anti-Trump barrage I delivered over the course of two weeks. 

That being said, I’ve said my peace about Trump for the moment, and now I’m giving it a break. I’m sure I will make some brief comments about him addressing the daily news and longer comments down the line, but no long screeds are in the immediate future. 

In general, I’m going to make an effort to write more concisely. I intend to post many “Quick Thought,” articles throughout the week on whatever is on my mind.

Tomorrow, I’m going to release something personal about a recent loss that my family experienced. 

Many people have asked me to write things designed to reach people being wooed by Hillary and Bernie, so I have several things designed to help people trying to knock the scales off the eyes of leftists. I’ll probably release the first one next week. 

Along similar lines, I’m going to write an ongoing series which will discuss some very basic principles of liberty. These might seem simple to some, but it has become increasingly obvious that many people on both sides of the aisle lack the fundamental bedrock principles upon which any good government must be built, so we must begin to learn and teach these things. 

I have more in the works, but I’ve teased enough for the moment. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and consider my writing. If you enjoy an article, please share it with others. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Quick Thought: GOP Primary Down to Two?

How did Cruz win Maine? It’s the hardcore conservatives that usually rally around Cruz, but I thought the entire left coast was a liberal bastion. Did all the conservatives in the Northeast retreat from the progressive hellholes of New York and Vermont to their fallback position in Maine in the thin hope that a conservative revolution would save them before the Commies push them into the Atlantic? 

In all seriousness, Maine voters do tend to the left; the state as a whole hasn’t voted for a Republican Presidential nominee since 1988, so I'm wondering if Cruz’s victory is a sign that the field is narrowing to two real contenders which forced the generally moderate state to back Cruz as their perceived lesser of two evils. Rubio, the more establishment candidate, didn't manage to get within a hundred yards of single victory in any of the Super Saturday states whereas Trump and Cruz both took two states apiece though the laurels belong to Trump since his states carried more delegates. Still, the narrowing of the field is a good sign for anyone opposed to a Trump presidency, but for Cruz to win, he still needs Rubio to drop. If Rubio doesn't bail soon, only Trump will have any real chance of winning the required delegates and securing the GOP nomination

Any predictions on what will happen?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Marco Rubio Controls the Fate of the World

One man will decide the future of the country and currently carries the power to anoint the next President of the United States, Senator Marco Rubio. 

At first glance, the results of Super Tuesday seemed grim. Cruz needed a big victory to reverse Trump’s momentum and marginalize Rubio, but Cruz only won three of the twelves states and Rubio won Minnesota keeping him somewhat relevant. Trump carried eight of the twelve states for an apparently massive win, and at the end of the day, Trump’s delegate count of 319 gave him a huge lead over Cruz’s 226 and Rubio’s 110.

However on closer inspection, Cruz performed fairly well. Looking purely at the Super Tuesday delegates, Trump only collected 237 to Cruz’s 209. That’s hardly a staggering margin, and Cruz placed second in the five states he lost. That’s a solid showing which proves Cruz has the potential to challenge Trump. In a head-to-head poll, Cruz solidly beats Trump among GOP voters by an eight-point margin. Cruz can and almost certainly would win in this scenario, but he can only do it if Rubio drops out of the race. 

Unfortunately, Rubio seems unlikely to wave the white flag because he has bet everything on the presidency. Florida law forbids anyone from running for multiple elected offices at once meaning that by running for president, Rubio has sacrificed his senatorial position. Rubio might be eyeing a run for Florida governor in 2018, but even this may be too ambitious considering that Rubio is losing to Trump by twenty points in his own home state, and this can’t possibly help his chances of becoming governor of the Sunshine State. You can’t blame the guy for trying, but politically speaking, Rubio has climbed out on a limb and sawed it off behind himself. Rubio’s retirement from the GOP primary may very well mark the death knell of his political life, so what incentive does he have to give up the minuscule chance he retains of becoming President?

Two things might compel Rubio to drop. First, Cruz could offer Rubio a slot as Vice-President. This would require Rubio to humble himself and look past the pools of bad blood spilt with Cruz, but it would keep Rubio in the political spotlight and give him a chance at the Presidency after a term or two of a Cruz Presidency. Second, Rubio’s distaste for Trump might be greater than his resentment towards Cruz. Common enemies create common allies, and much more unlikely political alliances have been forged.

The conservative movement has been suspicious of the ultimate loyalty of Marco Rubio for years, but at last, we will finally see Rubio’s true agenda. Rubio can stay in the race thereby ensuring victory for the immoral, big government Republican Donald Trump or Rubio can leave the race and throw his support behind the consistent conservative constitutionalist Ted Cruz. The moment of truth has arrived and the fate of the nation rests in the hands of Marco Rubio.