Obligatory Super Tuesday Post

Yes, as someone with a blog who enjoys such things, it is out of a sense of duty that I am writing this post, but I will not apologize for loving this corrupt game we call politics. It it a tremendous opportunity the American people have to cast votes today. We think of the people in Russia who will suffer under yet another Putin term due to the false democracy in the former Soviet Republic. So who did you vote for, who would you have voted for, or don’t you really care? Because I’ve not yet done this since starting the blog, we’ll take a look at the four remaining candidates, and I will endorse at least one of them.(yeah, maybe all four) There is no reason the candidates were numbered the way they are below:

#1: The Traditionalist, Rick Santorum¬†¬† Rick Santorum is an old school, conservative family man. Placing so much emphasis on social issues and values has many evangelicals excited about politics again. Although Santorum himself is Roman Catholic, his strong opposition to gay marriage and abortion, and the way in which he has articulated his position has caught the eyes and tugged at the hearts of many in the still profound evangelical sect of American politics. He was recently a senator from Pennsylvania, and voted on some very key legislative issues. On the economy and fiscal policy he is most nearly a moderate, having voted for the bailouts of the banks and auto industry, but generally opposing government involvement with corporations. Pennsylvania is one of those purple states, so you can’t expect their senators to bleed red and die on the constitution. Santorum seems to be a respectable man, and also somebody with a distinct ability, in this race, to connect with the average American. He speaks passionately, but on occasion gets himself into trouble on the same coin. Comments like “homosexuality should be seen no differently than beastiality”, though they may score points with some, cannot come from a person running for President in a country on the cutting edge of secularism. I appreciate the fact that Rick is unabashed about his definitions of morality, and his strong faith, and its remarkable how he has grown and become a real contender in the race. He would be a formidable foe to debate President Obama on traditional values and the family, but his muddied career when it comes to the economy, by far the leading issue of 2012, will plague him this Super Tuesday.

#2: The Constitutionalist, Ron Paul

Teens, hippies, lend me your ears. Liberty loving, Thomas Jefferson reincarnate is hear to deliver salvation from expanding government. Ron Paul has been for me the most fun to watch this primary season. Generally speaking he is socially liberal and fiscally conservative, sticking with the classic libertarian formula. He is the only candidate that is explicit with his plans to slash spending and a goal to cut the budget in half with the elimination of tax dollar vortexes like the Department of Education. His economics and his understanding of what will happen if we continue nf our current path is spot on. Perhaps the most detracting thing about Ron Paul is his isolationist foreign policy. It didn’t work for Tom Jefferson, and it definitely won’t work for Congressman Paul. With Mid-East turmoil, an ascending China, and always ominous Russia, it would be irresponsible and impractical for the United States to remove itself from the world stage. Ron Paul blames the United States for 9/11, claiming its government as the “obvious aggressor” in the attack. Another troubling dynamic is his “conviction” that Iran deserves nuclear weapons if they want them because “We have them don’t we? Why shouldn’t they?”. If you’re looking for someone who is serious about the deficit, serious about the constitution, and will seriously put your liberty above everything else, Ron Paul is your guy.

#3: The Business Man, Mitt Romney

Former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney. The front runner, the moderate, the presidential candidate. Mitt ran in 2008, and came in third, behind Mike Huckabee and eventual winner John McCain. His father was governor of Michigan, where he was born, and recently won a primary. Mitt Romney is not a far right extremist, he is not an isolationist, he is not a champion of social conservatism. Mitt Romney is the business man. He spent 25 years in the private sector building Bain Capital, he was president of the Winter Olympics, and he was a republican governor, that managed to lead the Kennedy-blue state of Massachusetts from the right. To call Mitt a moderate may be fair, but as governor, he was irrevocably conservative. Besides having the best record on the economy, and the most experience, Mitt Romney is the most organized, has the most money, and he is the best debater in the group. He ran in 2008 and received praise for running a very strong campaign despite eventually losing. He launched a new campaign just about a year after President Obama was elected, and hasn’t looked back yet. He has already been endorsed by nearly 2/3 of the Republican governors, including Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, and John Kasich, all three of whom are in states that Barack Obama won in 2008. Stated simply, Mitt is the best equipped to defeat Barack Obama. The most proficient criticism he faces, is that he is a flip flop. Frankly, he has flipped all the ways I and others on the right wanted him too, so we’ll call it square. He truly is the Hamilton to Paul’s Jefferson. (<You’re welcome fans of history)

#4: The Visionary, Newt Gingrich

Former Speaker of the House, Newt has always had a gift for improvising and ingenuity. Most recently he is noted for a grandiose scheme to build a permanent base on the moon, but this comes in a time when Americans are struggling to build stable incomes. He is the most philosophical, and the most inventive, yet through it all he still seems able to energize a crowd. Baggage from Newt’s personal life stunted his early primary success, but if he is able to win handily in his home state of Georgia tonight, as well as in Tennessee, the old professor could be back in the hunt.

The Endorsement: I greatly appreciate Rick Santorum’s message of tradition and strong families, Ron Paul’s love for liberty and the constitution, and Newt Gingrich’s skill at the podium and his ability to reform. Although all these things are needed, and have contributed to making this country great, if Barack Obama is not challenged by a strong, and united front of independents, moderates, and conservatives we don’t stand a chance at victory. Priority number one of the next election must be the defeat of the Barack Obama and his destructive policy. That is why for 2012, Mitt Romney is the candidate I am supporting in the primaries, and hope to see challenge Barack Obama for the presidency.

Be sure to comment or email A.J. at reformedcal1517@yahoo.com

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Tea Anyone?

The so called Tea Party Movement has been the object of praise by personalities like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Mark Levin. It’s already being referred to as the rise of the third party in America. A few questions to consider: Will the Tea Party Movement grow into a powerful third contender in the American political arena? What is the message, or what are some unifying elements of the movement? Is the Tea Party the best way to go about changing Washington?

Before delving too deeply in my responses, I’d like to try and discover for a moment why these people have any right to the “tea party” label. On December 16, 1773, patriots in Boston, fed up with countless abuses of power by a mad prince, his cruel courts, and an intolerable parliament, took action. They would not adhere to the seemingly “for kicks” Tea Act passed by an out of touch and proud of it British Parliament. In this one act, the fundamental issue of the American Revolution was masterfully displayed. Taxation without representation demanded no obligation of the American people, except to make a grand last stand for their freedoms. What the Boston patriots did was not simply a waste of perfectly good tea. (which, for those of us who hate the stuff may already put them a step ahead of our modern day “tea partiers”) The magnificence of what they’d just done in challenging the world power. The imagined consequences were nothing less than a miserable life spent in rat infested, plague saturated European prisons, a public tar and feathering, or most compassionately, death by hanging. Their articulate display of liberty cannot and should not be reduced to such nominal displays as we’ve seen by these right wing extremists who march on our nation’s capitol in the name of Thomas Jefferson. (forgive me of the ad hominem, and any others that manifest.) While I very much expect that Mr. Jefferson would have defended their right to do so, I highly doubt that faced with the challenges of today he would be nearly as critical of Washington, or nearly as self-centered. Thomas Jefferson and the tea partiers are most different in this way: Thomas Jefferson was a man of vision and enterprise, he was articulate and practical, fair and dignified, as well as directed-none of which can also be said of the Tea Party. Thomas Jefferson was generally speaking very selfless, always considering how his vision would affect his constituents. He loved liberty, but most of all that his people had it. These same folks who cracked jokes about those in attendance at the inauguration of our first black President, a truly grand and historical procession, now stand in the same place lining the same streets, declaring themselves the onslaught of a new revolution. It is absurd and should be fiercely challenged for anyone to be comparing this rabble to the men who built this nation. (And although it is a secondary issue, Sarah Palin is no George Washington.)

The Tea Party will not become an influential third member in any branch of government, chiefly because their platform, defined in their own crude terms, is porous and irrevocably near sighted. As a lover of history, I quickly noted some similarities between the tea partiers and the group that I believe to be their doomed ancestors, the “Know Nothings” of the 1840s and 50s. I hate to say it, but the majority gives me the awful impression of doomsday preparers and paranoid saps that have never read or considered any of the arguments against their “convictions”. The Know Nothings were nativists and racists opposed to all forms of immigration, legal or not, into the United States. Sound familiar? They proposed harsh crackdowns, strict naturalization laws, and raised anti-Irish, anti-German, and eventually anti-Italian sentiments. No position could be more at odds with the country the founders envisioned and sought to establish. In addition to locked down border nativism, the tea partiers are largely evangelicals, and sticking with tradition, intolerant of other worldviews and perspectives, even amongst themselves. The Know Nothings didn’t last because they ran on hate and isolation, and like all great societies, we evolved out of the primitive states of paranoia that drive such things. I would expect this new second wind for Know Nothing doctrine to succumb to the same fate. The fact of the matter is America is among the most secular places in the world, and this old European style of intolerance won’t be sustained. Most basically however, the platform and reason for this “tea party” is a government that’s too big. Once that problem is fixed, which it will I believe over time, as it always has done, going through flexable periods of growth and downsizing, the Tea Party will die. But perhaps this is what they want, in my understanding, they have no reason other than downsizing government for being. This is why I can say with confidence that this movement will not last or be too influential for very long.

One thing is evident, these people are angry about something. Government being overbearing? The PATRIOT Act? Welfare? Leaders that are too benevolent with “their” money? Legitimate complaints include tax reform, which should be done to make things simpler and promote growth of the private sector, and corruption should be curbed. But for all of us who see these as serious issues, don’t leave it up to the conservative brand of the Occupy Movement for reform.