Fellow Christian, Trump may need us but we do not need him

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If I had a dollar for every time a fellow Christian told me we “need Trump”, I could single-handedly fund my church’s next building campaign.

The line of reasoning typically goes something like this —

  • Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice but he is the only good choice remaining.
  • If Hillary wins she will appoint very liberal justices to the Supreme Court and we will “lose many of our freedoms.”
  • Hillary does not believe the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to own guns. She will appoint justices who will “take away our guns”.
  • Hillary Clinton wants more Syrian refugees imported into our nation and she wants a country with open borders.
  • Hillary Clinton wants abortion on demand, and at any time during the pregnancy.
  • We “need Donald Trump” to keep President Hillary Clinton and her liberal agenda from becoming a reality.

And to which I respond the following —

  • It only takes 41 U.S. Senators to block an extreme liberal Supreme Court nominee. In this political climate, I hold out that even moderate Republicans will stand against the nomination of an extremely liberal activist judge.
  • Hillary will be gone by 2020, and 3 of the oldest judges are already liberal or liberal leaning (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kennedy). So even if she got 3 picks in 4 years, the balance of power wouldn’t even change.
  • If you don’t think Hillary will be extremely vulnerable in 2020 then you’re not paying attention. The only reason she’s even winning now is because Trump is such a TERRIBLE candidate.
  • If Hillary actually promoted “abortion on demand to the final trimester”, Americans — who have been trending more pro-life in recent years —  would revolt. Same idea in regards to trying to “take away our guns.” If she tried it, the Dems would lose huge in the 2018 midterms, and she would be a lame duck until 2020 (even better).
  • Donald Trump is only pandering to the anti-abortion vote. He doesn’t even mention the Pro-Life issue anywhere on the policies page of his website (trust me, I looked).
  • Open borders produce free markets, but if we just enforced existing immigration law we’d be fine.
  • As Christians we are called to extend a helping hand to the “least of these.” The fear-mongering when it comes to Syrian refugees is maddening.
  • A strong Republican Congress can hold her feet to the fire as the opposition party in DC. If Trump is elected, they have to carry his water — very bad for a generation of Conservatism.
  • Jesus is King, quit with the “we will lose many of our freedoms” scare tactics. You’re being fed a load of crap.
  • Hillary’s policies may result in persecution of the church from the outside, but Trump will poison it from the inside (as he is already doing). I contend the latter would be much worse.

So while Donald Trump knows he needs our votes to win, which is why he shamelessly panders for the pro-life vote and plays to the Christian Right’s need for political power, we do not need him. Vote for him if you want, but please don’t tell me I need to.

If persecution comes and our faith is tested, that just means Jesus was right. Our faith would be affirmed by such trials. Count me in, and onward to 2020!

More reading from others —

So am I not going to vote?

I still plan to vote on November 8th, and will support the Republican and conservative candidates down ballot for Congress, and at the state and local level. For president, I will likely vote for the Gary Johnson/Bill Weld libertarian ticket — not because I agree with everything they stand for, but because every vote they receive helps with ballot access for the Libertarian Party in future elections. The best way forward for this country is to support every effort to break the two-party stranglehold. In Maine, voting for Gary Johnson is the best means toward that end. If you live in Utah, I would encourage you to support Evan McMullin.

Read Next –> My position explained: Why I’m still #NeverTrump and hedging my bets until 2020

Johnson and Weld deliver clumsy message on Late Show with Colbert

 

As a #NeverTrump center-right conservative Libertarian, I will support the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld this fall. But I’m also trying to convince my conservative friends that they don’t have to settle for Trump, and Johnson/Weld is worth a look.

However, the message Johnson continually delivers on appearances like last night’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert is making this more difficult for me.

Take a watch above, then check out my advice below.

Sure, there were definitely lots of applause lines which makes it an overall good appearance, but here are some tips for Gary Johnson to make this ticket more appealing to disenfranchised center-right conservatives like myself.

Be more prepared to deliver specific bite-sized talking points on ‘What is a Libertarian?’ Whether you’re discussing the personal freedom and fiscal responsibility championed by Libertarians, or the non-interventionist foreign policy, be ready to clearly deliver these points in bite-sized chunks that make your point. In the above interview, you were shaky at best.

STOP saying “socially liberal”! The word “liberal” is universally disliked by conservatives, and even most independent voters. Use the typical Libertarian phrase “socially tolerant” instead, and focus on the individual choice and anti-government intrusion aspects of Libertarianism when discussing marriage and abortion. Weld’s line of “I want the government out of your pocket and out of your bedroom” is a clearer message — go with that.

Quit with the “oh, totally fringe, totally fringe” joke. I know you’re trying to say “actually, we’re far from fringe and Trump was wrong to call us that.” But the way you deliver your response always sounds awkward. Just make your point clearly, and move on. Don’t embrace the “fringe” label – rebut it.

Wear friggin’ dress shoes. America is not ready for a president in a suit and sneakers. Sure, wear them on the campaign trail for comfort, but when appearing in a setting like the Late Show, take some fashion tips from Bill Weld and step it up a notch!

 

 

 

Why I changed my voter registration from Republican to Libertarian

Libertarian_Registration_Change_City_Hall_croppedBeginning when I joined the College Republicans in 2000 during the first Bush/Cheney campaign, to my time in the Maine Young Republicans leading up to McCain/Palin, to supporting many local and statewide races within State Party politics ever since — I’ve always been relatively active in the Republican Party. A “wannabe activist” if you will.

Now in my mid-30’s and 2016 happened. In an open election season that began so promising with 17 candidates, I started as a Rand Paul supporter… before shifting to Rubio… until finally settling on Cruz — all in hopes of avoiding Trump.

Then Trump became a reality.

While some of my Republican friends are still holding out hope that there will be mutiny at the National Convention, and the Grand Old Party will cast aside the bombastic casino owner of Reality TV fame, I decided it was time to begin looking for other options.

A week or so after Ted Cruz suspended his campaign, I decided to see who the Libertarian Party was running this year. Gary Johnson, their nominee from 2012, was back again. However, it was a young upstart who caught my attention — Austin Petersen. Barely old enough to run for President, he was saying all the right things from my center-right, pro-life perspective. He communicated Libertarian principles in a way that just made sense. He was my guy!

From there I found the online libertarian subculture. From Libertarianism.org’s introduction, to Reason’s free thinking, to the Cato Institute — and every Facebook page and Twitter account of liberty activists in between — I had discovered people that actually cared about their country AND their individual rights!

The Libertarian National Convention rolled around and I followed the events on CSPAN with intrigue — and intriguing it certainly was — with their Libertarian brand of self expression and humor. My candidate of choice did not get the nod, but the more well-known Gary Johnson was given another shot to expand on his record 1% from 2012.

Closer to home in Maine, the Libertarian Party was caught in a court battle. And as chance would have it, right around the time I was most interested in “being Libertarian”, a judge ruled in favor of the LP of Maine and granted them until July 12th to simply garner 462 more voter registrations in order to become an officially recognized party in our state.

Most people agree the 2-party system is broken in our country. Joining the LP in Maine was my chance to help break up the monopoly. I could be one of those 462 registrations!

So as of June 9th 2016, it officially happened. Here is photographic evidence:

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Leaving Bangor City Hall I felt a sense of freedom I can’t easily explain. The weight of Donald Trump was off my back, and the air smelled a little sweeter.

Sure the Libertarian President ticket is a little too socially liberal for my liking. I’ve even shared how the Johnson/Weld ticket could tidy up their message a bit to appeal to more voters “like me”… But that’s just it — who am I to force “my liking” onto every other possible LP voter?

Who knows what post-2016 will bring. I can honestly say I hope Trump loses and sails off into the sunset never to return to the Republican Party again — even if that means 4 years of Hillary. The conservative movement could regroup and beat her in 2020, and would be all the better for it. Hillary’s possible Supreme Court nominations don’t worry me either.

Maybe someday I’ll rejoin the GOP, especially if Rand Paul (or Justin Amash) ever run in a GOP presidential primary again.

But others say the GOP may go the way of the Whig Party (see below video) — which would be no skin off my back as I’ve already found a new home.

Onward for Freedom!

Why I’m not worried about the Supreme Court, and will gladly support a Third Party this fall

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All my conservative friends are worried about the Supreme Court. Many have settled on Trump with the future of the Supreme Court being their only justification. I respect this view, but here’s how I continue to sleep at night as a freedom-loving American who is leaning toward supporting a third party ticket this fall — even if that increases the likelihood of a Clinton presidency.

The Supreme Court’s sole purpose is to interpret already existing law, not make new law. They simply decide legal precedent. Consider this, a balanced Senate forces the President’s hand — regardless of party — to nominate someone who will refrain from being a judicial activist. This principle is of course one product of the balance of powers as outlined in The Constitution.

The proof of how a balanced Senate affects this process is seen in how President Obama, considered by many to be the most liberal president in recent history, nominated Merrick Garland — a highly respected, highly qualified, moderate nominee (who deserves consideration from the Senate, by the way). President Obama’s more liberal nominees were made during the years when the power of the Senate was more Democrat-controlled

Hillary Clinton would be similarly prevented by a balanced Senate from nominating a liberal activist judge. The only thing that could jeopardize Republican numbers in the Senate is Trump’s cancerous position at the top of the party as he would steadily alienate voters from the GOP in the years to come. Let’s not bite off our nose (settle for Trump) to spite our face (lose Republican seats in the Senate long-term). In a twist of fate, the only person who can save the Republican Party from Trump is it’s longtime nemesis — Hillary Clinton!

[ More Reading on why Trump’s Supreme Court picks might even be worse: If You Care about the Constitution, Donald Trump Is Not Your Ally ]

Four years is not a long time. The oldest SC Justice is Ruth Bader-Ginsburg — already a liberal. Replacing her with a Clinton appointee would be no big loss. The next two oldest justices are Stephen Breyer and Anthony Kennedy — again left-leaning moderates (depending on who you ask, even liberal). Therefore, if even the worse case scenario happens and Hillary gets 3 picks in 4 years, the balance of the Court would not move too much as long as the balance of power in the Senate remains where it is today. It’s a scare tactic to say otherwise!

Hillary would not be guaranteed two terms. In 2020, the conservative movement will have had time to regroup (as long as Trump isn’t leading the party) and a much stronger candidate would be able to exploit her weaknesses, and the American people would be more than ready for a change after 3 terms of Obama/Clinton. This is why I’m willing to wait. Trump would lose interest in politics and be back to hosting reality shows — that would be good for America! Patience is a virtue!!

So that’s how I sleep at night and look forward to supporting a Third Party alternative this fall. The only viable option is likely be the Libertarian ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. While not perfect, they are a much better alternative for America’s future than Trump (or Hillary), and a vote for them would keep my conscience clear.

Please keep any comments civil, or they will be deleted.

Maine GOP Caucus Results by County: Penobscot is Cruz Country

Senator Ted Cruz won the Maine GOP Caucus this weekend. While he fell just short of the 50% threshold needed to carry all the delegates, he won in resounding fashion sweeping 14 of Maine’s 16 counties.

Cruz visited Penobscot County in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for a rally at the University of Maine in Orono the day before the caucus. It turns out this visit paid large dividends once the votes were cast.

I took it upon myself to key-in the county-by-county raw data in the slideshow released by the Maine GOP to create some charts which truly show this impact. Take a look (click any chart to enlarge).

Cruz/Trump 2016 Maine Caucus County by County Vote Totals:

Cruz Trump - Maine Totals by County

Cruz/Trump 2016 Maine Caucus County by County Vote Percentages:

Cruz Trump Maine County By County Percentages

Here’s a breakdown of Cruz’s Win Margin (in votes) by County:

As you can see, in raw vote differential, Penobscot voted overwhelmingly in Cruz’s favor helping him to carry the state.

Cruz Maine Caucus Win Margin by County

Percentage by County of Cruz’s Total Win Margin:

And finally — of Cruz’s Total Win Margin — this chart shows how each county contributed as a percentage to the win margin.

Cruz Percentage of Win Margin by County

As you can see Penobscot County is truly Ted Cruz Country, and I can’t help but think his in person visit played a major role in stunting the effect of Governor LePage’s earlier endorsement of Donald Trump.

Raw Data (screenshot):

For anyone interested, here’s a screenshot of the raw data I used to create the above charts (click to enlarge). As you can see, Cruz won Penobscot County by 872 votes with a total of 1,409 out of 2,270 total votes cast (62%). In his 2 losses in Aroostook and Knox counties, Trump’s margins were a mere 7 votes and 26 votes, respectively (highlighted in red).

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