Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#NeverTrump Thoughts

A few #NeverTrump thoughts:

1. I asked this question of Mark Davis (a talk radio host filling in for both Dennis Prager and Hugh Hewitt in the past two weeks) on twitter:

If @BernieSanders was the R nominee, would you support him over @HillaryClinton? #NeverTrump #NeverHillary

If I could go back and ask the question a little differently I'd choose a recent liberal New York mayor such as Bill DeBlasio or Michael Bloomberg. The point is that Trump is just as liberal as them, yet I'm being asked to support him because he's worse than Hillary Clinton? Sorry, I can't. He is just as bad as them, and therefore just as bad as Hillary Clinton, so therefore there is no choice.

2. Let me ask a question: how do Congressional elections typically go for the party that doesn't hold the White House? The answer in a word is "poorly" (see 2010 and 2014 for the most recent examples). Let's say that Donald Trump is elected. I think it's reasonable to say that the off-year elections would go very poorly for the Republicans, meaning a loss of definitely the Senate and probably the House as well. What would that mean? It would mean we would have a liberal President and a liberal Congress. Do people saying to vote for Trump think that he would veto legislation passed by a Democrat-led Congress? What about his Supreme Court picks? Do you think he'd stick to his guns or would he compromise his deeply held conservative principles in the interest of getting things done?

3. "But but but...Hillary is worse." No, they are equally bad. Which means that for the first time in my adult life I will not vote for the nominee of the Republican Party, because the Republican Party nominated a Democrat. There is no choice.

I realize this is pretty defeatist sounding, so what do I suggest as a positive actions?

1. Get involved in your local races. Work to elect good solid conservatives to local offices, which will continue to build up the bench and to help serve as a firewall between the federal and local governments.

2. Involve yourself in the culture. Support things that promote conservative values. When the Left intrudes, fight back. Voice your disapproval, and ignore the Left's cries of "racist!" "sexist!" "homophobe!" because frankly they don't mean anything any more.

It's going to be a rough 8 years, but it's already been a rough 8 years. We're used to it, and we can learn lessons on how best to fight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Poll Testing Conspiracy

Today a new poll came out from Qunnipiac University that shows Donald Trump virtually tied with Hillary Clinton in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. I'm going to say up front that I don't believe this polling. One observation that Rush Limbaugh has made about the media is that polls no longer reflect the news, polls drive the news:

"Polling data to news organizations and professional politicians, it's gospel.  They live and die by it. They don't even look at polling data as a reflection of public opinion.  It is, but that's not how they use it.  They use it to actually make news, and they use it to try to shape public opinion, not reflect it."

As I was reading about the Qunnipiac poll this morning it struck me that there might be some reason why this poll looks the way it does. I start with two basic assumptions:

1. The media and Democratic party (but I repeat myself) wants Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee. There are many reasons for this including ratings, a desire to destroy the Republican party, and a desire to have Hillary Clinton be the next President.
2. Much of the Republican party is not willing to get behind Trump.

So here's my (admittedly conspiratorial) sequence of events that are the reason this poll exists:
1. Media puts out a skewed poll out that shows that Trump could win (when in reality there's no chance).
2. This causes both the Democratic base to become more energized for Hillary and also convinces more Republicans to support Trump.
3. Those Republicans who are trying to either block Trump's nomination or put together a third-party nominee, who already have a major challenge, will get blocked because of the shift of support.
3. After Trump officially becomes the nominee the polls will shift back towards reality (Trump losing in a landslide). This will accelerate after the Democratic convention in July.
4. The 2016 Presidential race is the ratings bonanza that the media wants, and the outcome is a Hillary Clinton presidency, which the media also wants.

Am I reading too much into this? Probably. Could this backfire? Definitely. Time will tell if I'm being too conspiratorial, too naive, or too wrong.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Anger Mismanagement

In the last week I've had two good conversations with two good friends about the 2016 Presidential election. They are both center-left, both upper-middle-class, and both wondering why the Republican electorate seems to be so ANGRY this year. The theory I worked through with both of them is that the normative conservative American is angry because they're sick and tired of being told to sit down and shut up because they are conservative. I've set up four strawman conversation snippets below to help me make my point:

Conservative: "I think that we should have better controls and management on who comes into our country, and that people who aren't here legally shouldn't have the right to drive, vote, or get government benefits."
Response: "RACIST!"
Conservative: "...um, no, it's our country. Shouldn't we have a good idea of who comes in and why they're coming and...
Response: "RACIST!"
Conservative: "..."

Or try this one:

Conservative: "I think that human life begins when sperm meets egg, and that abortion (while sometimes medically necessary) shouldn't be paid for by the government since it ends a human life."
Conservative: "...um, no, I understand that only women can get pregnant but human life is something that should be protected and..."
Conservative (under his breath): "...fine whatever..."

What about this one:

Conservative: "Marriage has been the union of one man and one woman for the whole of human history, and I think that it should stay that way because a married mother and father is the best way to produce good children."
Conservative: "...um, no, I don't really care what two (or more) consenting adults do, but the societal ideal of marriage between one man and one woman is worth protecting and defending because..."
Conservative (a little louder): "...OK, whatever..."

And how about this:

Conservative: "There are about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and even if only 1% of them believe in Jihad against non-Muslims that means over a million potential enemies are out there. Maybe we should tightly screen people coming to America from Muslim-majority countries."
Response: "ISLAMOPHOBE!"
Conservative: "...um, no, not all people who practice Islam are terrorists, but that's the pool they're coming from so maybe we should..."
Response: "ISLAMOPHOBE!"
Conservative: "...OK, that's how you want to play it?"

See a pattern here? If you're a normal conservative American who holds those views the response over the past two decades has been, "Shut up, racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe!" After a while people get tired of being called something that they're not and they're going to fight back.

In 2016 some have latched on to Donald Trump as their champion. I disagree with this decision, but I understand it. The consequences are playing out in real time and I hope that the Republican Primary voters come over to Ted Cruz as quickly as possible, because if they don't we're in for 8 years of President Hillary Clinton, and I'm not looking forward to that at all.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Governor Cuomo Graces Upstate New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo visited my hometown of Rochester, NY today to talk about state initiatives for western and upstate New York. Local reporter Rachael Barnhart wrote a short piece about the visit and a couple of things struck me as interesting.

First, when presented with the fact that there are 40,000 fewer jobs in Rochester than during the 90's the governor got petulant. He called her a cynic and said that we should look at the glass as half full. I found his tone interesting. It was as though he expected to be thanked and loved for bringing money to Rochester. More on that in a second.

Second was a quote that she included in the piece (not in the video): "Rochester can't help Rochester. It takes the state government to help Rochester."

So let me get this straight:
1. The citizens of Rochester pay taxes to the state of New York.
2. The state of New York distributes those taxes as it sees fit, including grants back to the city of Rochester.
3. The governor expects the citizens of Rochester to be grateful for what they get from the state of New York.

Seems to me that it would just be easier to, oh I don't know, NOT have the money funnel through Albany. Why not just lower taxes by the amount of the grants and call it even?

Of course I know the answer. As the Instapundit likes to say, insufficient opportunities for graft. But I think it's instructive and a useful lesson to citizens. How much does the money we get from the state cost? More thoughts on this topic later.