I VOTED

donald-trump-and-hillary-clinton-at-the-first-debateYesterday I voted, and I did so before the debate. So obviously the debate did not affect my vote.

Why did I vote early? I will be an election officer this year (working at the polls). Since the lines could be long, I had to vote absentee or I might not otherwise get the opportunity.

What was on the ballot? Since the part of Prince William County I live in includes Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, here the ballot => sample-ballot-pwc-cong-1., and here is a link to the website where I got that sample ballot.

How did I vote? I voted Republican, and I voted for our state’s two ballot initiatives.

So did I listen to the debate? Yes. Actually, I listened to a video of the debate this evening. I thought Donald Trump did okay. I had hoped for a better performance, but after years of debating people online I did not expect any miracles. Politicians may not know as much they would like us to believe, but do know how to avoid looking foolish.

On stage both Trump and Clinton accused each other of corruption. Which of them should we believe? Donald Trump made his billions as a businessman selling what people wanted to buy. Bill and Hillary Clinton made their ten’s of millions in public service selling access.  Which of these people is most likely to have earned their money dishonestly at our expense?

I believe Trump more truthful. Yet in that debate Trump was working against the odds. He is up against a much better financed opponent, one financed by all those rich people she is supposedly going to tax. So instead of buying airtime, Trump has to spend as much time stumping around the country as he can. Moreover, because the news media is so partisan, Trump can always expect a partisan moderator. Therefore, the moderator spent more time interrupting Trump than Hillary Clinton did.

However, Clinton’s big war-chest and the news media’s bias were not Trump’s biggest problem. His big problem was Clinton’s skill in misrepresenting the truth. Lies can always be made to sound so much more lovely than the truth. Hence, at the same time Clinton painted Trump as some sort of demon designing to keep us from a fabulous Utopian paradise, she spoke glowingly of the grand future that the “rich” will pay for if we make them pay their “fair share”.

For how many decades now have Democrats been promising to make the rich pay their “fair share”? How many ten’s of millions have Bill and Hillary Clinton amassed during the decades they have been promising to make the rich pay their fair share? Why didn’t Barack Obama make the rich pay their fair share? He most certainly had the chance.

Trump biggest problem was us. When are we going to stop believing government can give us anything we did not give it first?

30 thoughts on “I VOTED

  1. One of the problems with early voting provisions is that it makes it impossible for the early voter to adjust his/her choice based on subsequent events or conditions. I know that these provisions have been justified by the idea that it encourages turnout, but it seems to me that a vote roughly six weeks before Election Day is a risky proposition. October is when these races often crystallize.

    Very interesting to see that much of your choice is driven by your assessment of the comparative “honesty” of the two major party candidates. The Clintons are indeed a mendacious pair, but Mr. Trump seems a stranger to truth on a day-in, day-out basis. I don’t think we have ever had a public figure at any level who is as unaware of reality, even on important matters. I suppose the difference between him and the Clintons is that the Clintons’ lies appear to be calculated, whereas Trump may not always be lying when he continually gushes the counter-factual – he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is uninhibited about picking up and regurgitating false information. If there is not an intent to deceive, it isn’t truly a lie. Nonetheless, if Trump’s inability to know truth from falsehood is the explanation for his chronic misstatements, it’s not a trait that one desires in the President of the United States.

    Scout

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @novaDemocrat

      And these supposedly credible observations are coming from a “Conservative” who never has anything good to say about a Conservative who is actually running for public office.
      🙄

      You don’t like Trump? Why am I so not surprised?

      Go back and look at what you wrote. There is nothing factual about it. It is all about how you feel about early voting, Clinton, and Trump.

      Feelings. How am I supposed to debate your feelings? Why would I even care to do so?

      Frankly, I don’t especially like early voting, but I I don’t disapprove either. My primary concerns with respect to the election process are that voters have access to the information they need (freedom of speech and freedom of the press) and that our votes be honestly counted.

      Is six weeks too early? I suppose so, but I have made up my mind, and I had to vote absentee anyway. I did vote absentee, but that can look much the same as early voting.

      Could something change? One of the candidates could have a heart attack. Hillary and Bill could rob a bank on election day. Not their usual MO, but who knows?

      Whatever happens, we can consider how to cross that bridge if and when we come to it. Today’s worries are enough.

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  2. Get a cup of coffee, Tom. You’re very confused this morning. And I see you’re still struggling with the name calling problem. As I said before, the onset of emotional maturity will probably cause that to diminish over time, so, if you’re under the the age of eight, there is hope.

    Yes, my comment was an expression of opinion, opinion that is based (at least in substantial part) on what you call “feelings”. And how is that different from most comments on most blogs? Isn’t that sort of what we do in these spaces? Was your post about your vote for Mr. Trump an expression of your feelings? I suspect it was.

    Moreover, my comment had nothing to do with “conservatives” or “liberals”, however defined in these days of sloppy labels and superficial knowledge of political philosophy. I was talking about early voting and personal integrity, something that both major party candidates are lacking on a perhaps unprecedented scale. Where do you see a conservative or liberal angle in that?

    But since you raised it, certainly you don’t consider Mr. Trump a conservative in any significant political sense, do you? He is advocating a very high degree of federal intervention in local issues, is a fiscal spendthrift, is anti free market, is completely ignorant of the Constitution of the United States, disrespectful of our military and judiciary, and has personal traits and behaviors that are not indicative of any kind of conservative inner ethos. This presidential race is not an ideological race in any conservative/liberal sense, Tom. It is a race between two extremely large egos of radically different backgrounds and experiences. We are all left to pick our poison.

    And, finally, contrary to your assertion (which you made with absolutely no knowledge), I have had the great pleasure to support (and say many good things about) several excellent conservative candidates for public office over the past 52 years. They are few and far between, particularly in a time when any candidate with a post it note can slap a label on his/her forehead as a conservative or liberal or whatever. But when I find them, I am effusive in my praise.

    Scout

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  3. @novaDemocrat

    There you go spewing the Democratic Party line. Still you complain about name calling.
    😆

    Hillary Clinton has a record as a highly unscrupulous and dreadfully unsuccessful politician.

    Donald Trump has a record as a highly successful businessman. Has Trump been a little sloppy with his words? Compared to his opponent? Even with most of the news media in her corner, she cannot be trusted to talk to the press. It is a known fact she avoids press conferences.

    Is Trump a Conservative? Whoever said he was or is?

    The choice is between Trump and Clinton. I voted for the successful businessman over the unscrupulous and highly unsuccessful politician.

    Trump may not be as knowledgeable and supportive of the Constitution as I would like, but Clinton is trying to undermine our republic. Trump likes my country and wants to make it great AGAIN (i.e., like it was). Given the way we are/have been going, going back is progress.

    Clinton wants to continue our nation’s transformation into the worst kind of tyranny.

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ― C.S. Lewis

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  4. What did I say (or spew) that was the “Democratic Party line”? Anything I said about Trump in the preceding comment is objectively demonstrable. He is a center-left Dem with enough ignorance and megalomania to be extremely dangerous to the institutions of a democratic, constitutional Republic trying to sustain itself and ts liberties n an increasingly complex and dangerous world.

    Mrs. Clinton is indeed unscrupulous, but Im not sure where you get the idea that she has been dreadfully unsuccessful as a politician. She got the voters of New York to elect her twice, despite having virtually no connection with that State before she ran for Senate. She has not lost a general election. Despite your and my low opinion of her (perhaps for different reasons), she has had remarkable success at the ballot box.

    More about your puzzling reference to CS Lews later, when replace my keyboard, which seems to be losng letters by the moment.

    Scout

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    1. @novaDemocrat

      You said what you said. Why do I have to repeat your previous comment?

      Now you are doing something even more irresponsible. In addition to doubling down on your vacuous criticism of Trump, you are calling Clinton successful. I have looked at Trump’s supposed gaffes. They don’t amount to much. His opponents just take something he said out of context. The dispute that Trump and Cruz had over their wives angered me, but Cruz finally accept the fact that Trump is preferable to Clinton. Frankly, I respect Cruz’s judgement far more than I do yours, and Cruz actually has something to be angry about.

      Why don’t I respect your judgement. Consider. Why do you call H. Clinton a successful politician? She got elected twice. I suppose the fact she was appointed Secretary of State makes her a successful Secretary of State too?

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  5. My question wasn’t what I had previously said. My question was why you referred to it as the “Democratic Party line”. What I said about Mr. Trump was completely within the mainstream of respectable conservative thought, Tom. Spend a little time with George Will, Michael Gerson, Charles Krauthammer, Kathleen Parker, Ross Douthat, John Podorhetz, Bill Kristol, Brett Stephenson, Peggy Noonan, David Brooks, and you’ll see that your early vote for Trump is the outlier with conservative thinking, not my utter abhorrence re Mr Trump, both as a person and as a candidate for public office on any level, let alone as a presidential candidate of the political party to which I have devoted my engaged political life and which I regard as a bastion of civility, reason, and justice.

    As for Mrs. Clinton, her appointment as Secretary of State doesn’t make her “successful” in that position. However, her appointment is at least an indicium of the possibility that she might not be a “dreadfully unsuccessful politician”, as you describe her. Sheesh, Tom – she got the people of New York to elect her to the Senate despite not having the slightest prior connection with the State. I sure can’t figure it out. Whatever the reasons, stuff like that doesn’t happen to “dreadfully unsuccessful” politicians.

    Finally, re the Cruz/Trump spat re their wives. I agree with you (if I interpret your correctly) that was one of Trump’s many vulgar and detestable moments. However, in fairness to him, he had some reason to be aggrieved. Recall that that exchange started in response to the Cruz campaign circulating some pictures of Mrs. Trump in and advanced state of undress to voters in Utah, apparently to drive Mormon voters away from Trump. Trump’s response was stupid and boorish, but, unlike some of the scores of other detestable things Trump has done, the provocation there was not trivial. I do try to be fair about these things. Cruz or his campaign people (and Cruz never repudiated their tactic) were just as much to blame as Trump in all of that.

    Scout

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  6. @novaDemocrat

    The Republican Primary season is over. Ted Cruz lost. So what are your supposed Conservatives going to do, vote for H. Clinton? If the choice is between Trump and Clinton, the choice is a no-brainer.

    You want to call H. Clinton successful, but the best you can do is say she had an important job or attack Trump. Her kind of “success” belongs in jail.

    I am not going to spend waste more time analyzing the Trump/Cruz dispute. What did the Cruz campaign supposedly do? How did the Trump campaign supposedly respond? Wading through the biased news media reports is too much trouble. I wish the news media would focus on the issues, but they won’t. Nevertheless, that does not stop me.

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  7. I only mentioned the Cruz/Trump thing because you brought it up. It is, as are so many things this time around, a disgusting little vignette and I was only picking up on your comment in an effort to try to find a small area in which we might find agreement. You asked how Trump responded. This is fairly old news, but Mr. Trump insinuated that he had dirt on Heidi Cruz and his campaign put out side-by-side photos of Mrs. Cruz (deliberately selected to be unflattering) and Mrs Trump (looking ravishing, as usual). As for the news media, they just report what’s out there. Some elements have opinions in favor or one or the other candidate, but we pretty much know who they are and can find our way through that if we read widely, objectively, and use our own knowledge and analytical skills to sort out useful data from the chaff of rumors, untruths, exaggerations, and speculation.

    No, I don’t want to call “H. Clinton successful”. You made that up. I had earlier taken issue with your description of her as a “dreadfully unsuccessful politician”. the record shows that, whatever her faults (and you and I think they are many), she has been a bewilderingly successful politician. Whether that success continues in this cycle remains to be seen. If she loses, she might reflect on the fact that only she, among many well-known potential Democratic possible candidates, including her running mate, is unpopular enough to lose to someone as incompetent and unqualified as Donald Trump. Any other major Democratic Party figure would be burying him now. Any other major Republican figure would be burying her.

    Scout

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  8. @novaDemocrat

    I did not ask how Trump responded. What you just provided a fine example of how a biased news media quotes people. Instead of sticking to the issues, because your candidate could not otherwise win, you went for the dirt, the mud, the muck, and whatever sewage you could find.

    Your second paragraph is nearly incoherent. This conclusion, while it may reflect the popular wisdom, is probably wrong.

    Any other major Democratic Party figure would be burying him now. Any other major Republican figure would be burying her.

    I wish it were true.

    H. Clinton is clearly an Establishment Democrat. The party leadership wants her. The news media is doing everything it can to elect her. Barack Obama surprised them last time. This time there were no Barack Obama’s.

    Donald Trump is an anomaly, but not entirely unexpected. Within the Republican Party, the establishment is discredited. Therefore, rank and file Republicans fought tooth and nail to elect anyone except an establishment Republican. So the primary process — designed to thwart the Republican Party’s rank and file — produced a dark horse candidate. Donald Trump is not my cup of tea, but he beats Jeb Bush and the like.

    My point is that the system is behaving like it is broken because We the People are broken. We are getting the leadership we deserve because we have not done anything to deserve anything better.

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  9. Tom, Tom. Are you migrating between fantasy worlds? In your most recent comment, you say, “I did not ask how Trump responded”, the subject being the Cruz/Trump tiff over their wives during the primary. In your previous comment, to which I tried to be responsive, you said: “How did the Trump campaign supposedly respond?” Do you really lose all memory of what you say after the lapse of 2 hours? If so, all you have to do is scroll up and look at your previous comment. And the “dirt, muck and sewage” you accuse me of gravitating toward is not of my creation. This is just the archival material of the actions of a couple of the candidates for the Republic nomination. I don’t make this up, they do.

    But to end the evening on a harmonious note, I heartily endorse, without qualification, your last paragraph. Much of the electorate is poorly educated, highly manipulable, given to emotional, rather than analytical reasoning, ignorant of the economic, military and political forces that are shaping the world we live in, oblivious to our own country’s history and exceptional place in the world, and all too ready to grab at facile slogans, hollow promises, sound bites and spin. In that situation, a sizable cohort of voters, perhaps even sizable enough to affect the outcome of the election, is completely vulnerable to being played by unscrupulous, cynical politicians of both major parties. I could not agree more.

    Scout

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This exchange has intrigued and amused me greatly.

    The latest odds are that Clinton has between a 70 and 80 percent chance of winning the Presidency. Even when the polls have shown a closer horse race, the electoral college numbers have remained bleak for a President Trump. Trump’s disastrous debate performance, and then his “unhinged” late night tweeting about it since has continued to widen the gap. Why?

    Because the debate’s side-by-side comparison between an experienced and intellectually prepared stateswoman and conman turned reality TV star has begun to clarify the choice for many undecided voters. (I know, you did not see the debate that way, but it seems that the vast majority of viewers did). Although it might be entertaining television to imagine a Berlusconi type figure in the White House for a four season stint, unfortunately most Americans are starting to realize that the most powerful nation on earth, economically and militarily, simply cannot afford the luxery of such low brow entertainment. It seems to me that what Scout is trying to explain to Tom, but what Tom is closing his mind to is the fact that Republican conservatism may not survive the catastrophe of a Trump presidency either (and given what’s going on here on this blog and throughout the Republican Party, perhaps not even the Trump candidacy).

    If Trump were somehow elected, everything that has been unifying about Republican conservatism will be shattered into a thousand pieces. Tom amusingly trying to make an enemy of conservative Scout exemplifies the problem now, but that disagreement will absolutely explode the Grand Ole Party into open internecine warfare as the obscenely corrupting spectacle of a President Trump reality TV show scandalized the nation’s highest office on a daily basis for years.

    Tom says that he votes as a Christian, but seriously, has anyone ever seen a candidate for the presidency, Democrat or Republican (and I gladly include Hillary Clinton in this) that less follows (and even openly disdains) Jesus’ example of service, sacrifice, compassion and love? Tom says that he votes as a conservative, but as Scout continues to point out, on virtually every issue from government intrusion to free trade, Trump is simply not even a lose facimily of a conservative (and in fact, to the chagrin of many Dems on the far left, Clinton actually has a much better conservative record than does Trump). Tom claims that he votes as a Republican, and this indeed is the one area where he’s got Scout cold to rights. Tom is voting for his team no matter what, no matter who, and anybody who, on basic principles, shows disloyalty to the team, cannot be compromised with or even even understood, but he, like Scout, must be labeled a traitor Democrat, or worse, a disguised liberal. Ha!

    This same fear of banishment is why Cruz cynically endorsed Trump. I have very little admiration for the person Trump labeled as “lying” Ted Cruz. (In fact, my most glowing endorsement of Trump is that at least he is not Ted Cruz). After his surprise at being ostracized by his own party and his avid supporters for not ultimately endorsing Trump at the Republican Convention, Cruz arrived at the cold political calculation that, whether Trump won or lost, the Cruz political career would be over.

    If Trump won, Trump would have banished the traitor Cruz to the wilderness forever (just as Tom is trying to banish Scout) and if Trump loses (which seems more and more likely) then Cruz feared that, because of the disunity he caused within the Tea Party and Christian conservative ranks, he would continuously shoulder much of the blame for a Clinton presidency. Either way, Cruz realized his political ambitions were over unless he sacrificed his soul to the same devil he had so recently publicly tried to discredit and shame.

    So Tom, do you really want to talk about Christian morality or conservative policy or issues, as Scout has attempted to do here? Of course not. You have presented here in your responses only a blind-to-any-reality hatred of Hillary Clinton just as you have demonstrated here only a blind-to-all-his-extreme-faults party loyalty to Donald Trump. Rather than actually look at the hard compromises on issues and policy that one must weigh in looking at the records and statements of the two candidates, you have above only dismissed everyone who disagrees with name calling and generalized mislabeling. Instead of addressing a ridicously stark chasm of basic moral decency, character and qualifications between the two candidates, you defect with that old line of blaming the media and Clinton conspiracy theories.

    I know, Trump is the victim and his supporters are also all just victims too. The media is picking on Trump and his supporters by pointing out real facts and issues. So, of course, the only Republican party line response must be to whine about being so victimized and then call everyone else names. Don’t you find this line just a little silly after a while?

    I know you are smarter, more deeply complex and more good natured than that Tom. I’m just not buying it. So before, you choose to default to victimhood in your response to this post, step back and think for a minute. Before you claim that I am attacking you and mischaracterizing you, look at what has been your response to Scout throughout this entire exchange – has it been only to try to mislabel him and mischaracterize what he wrote? Reread it with an open mind from Scout’s point of view. How have you actually addressed the facts and issues that Scout raised as to how destructive electing such an obvious clown as Trump, a man so completely unguided by any actual conservative principles that you don’t even try to defend him on this, would be to the Republican Party? How has your exchange here with Scout already shown the damage Trump has done and continues to do to Republican conservativism? Rather than just dismissing them as traitors to blind party loyalty, have you really ever once responded to why all the pricipled Republicans that Scout has named recognize that Trump is the worst thing that has ever happened to the Republican brand and everything that conservatism claims to stand for? Have you read their objections?

    I’m not attacking you personally, and I am not your enemy just because I think Trump is laughably not qualified to be POTUS. Scout certainly isn’t your enemy either. If you cannot respond with issues, policy, ideals and facts, but instead feel the need to cry that the system is rigged and that you are always just the victim of anyone who disagrees with you, as Trump continuously does, then are you just claiming to feel victimized by the facts, and what do you really stand for in a Donald Trump presidency? That inheriting riches and then cynically using a corrupt system to stay rich, no matter who gets screwed, proves that Trump is morally and intellectually equipped to be the economic leader of the free world? That open marital infidelity and three beauty queen young wives proves that Trump best knows how to rate fidelity, loyalty and trust so as to criticize other’s morals and call them names? (Side joke: Question: why didn’t Trump marry his last wife first? Answer: Because she wasn’t born yet). That because Trump has enriched himself by offshoring his money and products, and on scamming corrupt tax loopholes, that he, for some insane reason is “the only one qualified” to fix this corrupt system, which he would naturally do even to the economic disadvantage of himself and his rich buddies? That a person who has never served anyone but himself for a single day in his life, somehow knows better than the servicemembers, career diplomats, and long serving politicians how to protect and serve the strategic interests of this country and its people and our allies?

    Rather than deflecting and mislabeling anyone who disagrees, or feeling victimized by reality, let’s discuss issues, policy, character, experience, preparation. Unless you really don’t want good natured, intellectual disagreement and diliberation on this blog, but only parroted party line loyal applause and approval, in which case, it’s your circus. I’ll just sit back and enjoy the spectacle with all the good humor I can muster, especially at the clown leading the Republican ticket.

    Either way, my admiration and love for you, Tom, will remain. Our political disagreements and blind spots will never change that. There’s no malice intended or given here – looking at the problems in the rest of the world and the struggles that our parents overcaim to get us here, I just feel continuously blessed at the luxery of debating what are, by comparison with history, such small dilemmas. Of course, in what you called “the selfie generation” everything and every issue takes on a self absorbed “end of my little world” drama, but in God’s history and God’s plan, we are not even a blink. Perhaps the best way to remedy our aggrandizement of ourselves and our little problems is to laugh at ourselves. Perhaps the best portrait we can get is not a selfie, but a cartoon caricature that exposes us for who we really are, flaws and worts and all. I have many, as I’m sue you will grace me with pointing out. 😊

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    1. Apologies for the intrusion, Tony (as you are in far more capable hands with CT) but could not resist your glaring observation citing her queenship as a statesman………

      In the words of John McInroe: You cannot be serious?

      As to your 70% number of her highness winning the election…………uh sir, I live in a Democratic stronghold, and there is nobody that I know who is voting for this woman. Your 70 percent is a pure media fabrication.

      The ONLY way Clinton can win is with the help of corrupt voter machine tampering. Is Trump any better? It’s not the point. The point is how vile the Clinton machine is.

      But statesman? Please. Compared to hyenas maybe, and I say maybe, and I am being polite even at that. Statesmen do not cite half of God fearing Americans as ‘deplorable.’ Wake up Tony. Nuff said.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Do you actually believe novaDemocrat is a Conservative? He may be what you want a Conservative to be, but he ain’t a Conservative.

    Nevertheless, I will consider this from your perspective. Don’t you believe Loose Lips Hillary (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/237250.html) is an experienced and intellectually prepared stateswoman? So why not call novaDemocrat a Conservative?

    How do I rate Loose Lips Hillary’s debate performance? Was she better prepared than Trump? Yes. If we equate the ability to tell Slick Willy lies shamelessly, she won. That just not what we should want in a leader.

    Trump did not behave like a political pro. Not sure that is a problem. Was not my idea, but that is why some people voted for him. He still stood and fought, and he stated his case in spite of the fact he had to debate both the moderator and Loose Lips Hillary. At some point, it is up to us to pierce Loose Lips Hillary’s lies. Just because someone lies shamelessly does not excuse us from using our ability to reason.

    Now what should we make of the fact that you, obviously no friend of Conservatism, expect Conservatives to respect and value your advice as to what would help our cause? Strangely, such suggestions from your crowd always equate to behaving like you. You clearly don’t understand. We are Conservatives because we think you are doing “it” (running our government) all wrong. We are tired of Big Government. It is stealing, dishonest, corrupt, ruinously expensive, wasteful, cannot be trusted,…. But did you not give your advice sincerely and sweetly? So I am obligated to take it? No.

    Look at what you wrote. You cannot find one believable thing to say about Loose Lips Hillary. She’s more Conservative than Trump? That’s comedy! All those words. Most of them spent attacking Trump, and most of them just a mindless repetition of Loose Lips Hillary’s charges. And the stupidity! Who expects anyone to pay more in taxes than they legally have to pay, and you don’t even know what Trump did pay.

    You know the best kind of lie (assuming you want to lie)? It is a half truth. That’s what Loose Lips Hillary and the Liberal Democrat news media are doing to Trump. They take something he said out of context and make it sound of absurd. Instead of spouting crap you know nothing about, why don’t you dig a bit. Put the words Trump said in the proper context. Set aside your ridiculous bias and stop pretending an accomplished CEO at the age of 70 has suddenly become a madman.

    The Democrats did the same thing to Goldwater. They tried to do the same to Reagan, and they are still blaming the failures of the Obama administration on that horrid George W. Bush. It is standard procedure for them. It is what Communists do. They never take responsibility. They just find someone to blame and use their own failures as an excuse to demand more power.

    I know you are not stupid, but there is such a thing as willful ignorance. You may wish to read about it. => https://citizentom.com/2008/07/07/i-stand-corrected/

    Am I always right? No. Do I always do what is right? No, but I have learned that I behave like a fool when I make it about me. What is right and what is wrong is what is right and what is wrong. My feelings. Your feelings. They don’t have much to do with morality. What our feelings do is war within us. On one side there is our conscience and hopefully some Godly wisdom. On the other there the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

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  12. After listening to your Virginia Senator Kaine last night debate, I can understand why you voted for Trump. He makes our Illinois Senator Durbin look good. Now I better understand why Democrats cannot make agreements, cause they do not listen, they just keep babbling on and on and on.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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  13. Tom – knowledgeable, thinking, decent conservatives have stepped way, way back from Trump. He would not be welcome in our homes or around our families on pure decency grounds. We do not welcome him within the precincts of our revered constitutional government on grounds that he lacks experience, knowledge, character, temperament, respect, and judgment necessary to be at the helm during an extremely dangerous time in the world. None of us has ceded to you the right to excommunicate any of us from “conservative” ranks. That key is not in your hands, friend.

    You use these political labels in the most shallow of ways – to avoid analytical thought about issues. This is a dire problem that afflicts too many these days, a problem that is drastically diminishing the quality of governance in the Republic. If you are uncomfortable with an idea or a thought, you lash out childishly and call the other guy a name or two. Not only does this reflect on your personal values, deportment and character, it also makes you easily manipulated by hollow seekers of office who can buy you off with a bumper sticker, a meaningless slogan or a red hat. That you are among millions similarly afflicted doesn’t excuse you – it rather makes the challenge facing the country in difficult times all the more daunting.

    It may be that one of your betes noires, the education system, is responsible for this state of affairs. There are a great many people out there who, because of modern information technology, have access to avalanche quantities of information, but have little ability to synthesize and critically evaluate what they are hearing. Superficial labels are a great crutch for such types, because they can substitute for hard thinking. They are sort of a valium for information anxiety. But, as you often demonstrate, the labels can also be used as weapons to attack, counterfactually, people with whom you disagree. They become a tribal identifier where folks identify who can come in their clubhouse, and who stays out. This works very well for pre-adolescents. Not so well for grown-ups who know something, have been out in the world and seen how horribly things can go wrong when humans resort en masse to label-thinking, have learned from their experiences and have a care about the future of this country.

    Scout

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You continuously prove my point, Tom. 😏

        No, it’s not about you or me, or Scout, for that matter, and how you would choose to make it about us by mislabeling us and mischaracterizing our positions to stand us up as us the strawmen that you wish to knock down rather than the complex citizens that we really are is mystifying and confusing. If you don’t want to make it about you and have us label you as either the perfect conservative hero or the evil busy body liberal villain, why do you insist on doing so with us? 😕

        Yes, it is actually about Donald Trump verses Hillary Clinton. But it is also about principles. One of the things that I admire about you, Tom, is that, when it comes to actual moral principles of citizenship, service and compassion, you are the opposite of Donald Trump, and indeed, much as you may hate the comparison, you are far more like Hillary Clinton.

        We all may disagree vehemently about how our moral principles should be applied in government, but our commonality here is that we all also pretty much agree that citizenship is just as as much, if not more, about our moral responsibilities to the community as it is about protecting our individual rights to self gratification. We both care deeply about our our community and our country. We take those responsibilities to community and country as seriously as we feel the need to protect ours and other’s individual rights. In ways that are both very different and also very similar, we each have tried to serve our community and our country to make them better and more prosperous, but more importantly, we try to make our country and our community more morally principled. We each know that we have inherited great gifts and blessings, material, intellectual and moral, from our parents. We also recognize, or at least we should, that with such great gifts comes even greater responsibilities.

        You may not have seen the movie or read the book, but Donald Trump is the real life manifestation of the Gordon Gecko character in “Wall Street”. If you have a chance, listen to or read the “Greed is Good” speech that the Gecko character gives and you will find the manifesto of Trump’s entire life and immoral raison d’être. Gecko is a villain in the story, but unfortunately much of the country, much of the business class, and far too many Christians would have us turn our common moral principles on their heads and believe Gecko is a hero, and that Trump is that same kind of hero incarnate in real life.

        Your entire defense of Donald Trump, including your defense of his apparently avoiding taxes, is in complete contradiction of our shared principles of service and communal responsibility. The fact that Trump may have done nothing illegal in perpetuating a corrupt system that allowed Trump to avoid his responsibilities to pay for such things as the defense of our country, does not make it moral or right. Just the opposite, it’s absolutely unprincipled and immoral.

        Perhaps if Trump could show that he given his share to charity or that he had served his country and community in other ways, then we might disagree about whether the tax system was corrupt, but we would agree that Trump met his responsibilities in some principled way, but Trump has not shown any of that. Trump’s whole life is one of narcissistic self absorption and material self gratification. He glorifies in the slime of corruption. He essentially says that greed is the highest moral good, and you, like so many others, and against everything you actually seem to demonstrate with this blog and with your public life here, have bought into this lie.

        By contrast, you may disagree with her politics, you may deeply disagree with her ideologies on the roll of government, you also may cite some flaws in her character and judgement over a lifetime of public service, but you cannot deny that she has spent most of her life serving her community and her country in the ways that she believed were principled (just as you have) whereas Donald Trump is a poster child for one who was given much, grabbed even more from others, and gave very little back in return. In a side-by-side comparison of Trump to Clinton in this regard, she stands so far above him that he squeaks like a sad, small minded little tweeting mouse moral stature next to her.

        So yes, Tom, what I admire about Clinton in this regard is exactly what I admire about you, and God bless you for it. You are so much more like Clinton and so very little like Trump on principles that, although I can see why on politics you will never vote for her, it amazes me that you can even stomach Trump for one moment. ☺️

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        1. Tony

          novaDemocrat has been commenting regularly on this blog for years. His claim to Conservatism is a standing joke.

          How did I mischaracterize your positions? Did I compare your character to that of a corrupt politician?

          Where did I claim to be a hero? There is something heroic about insisting upon evidence BEFORE making an accusation? You know there is not, and you know how to gather evidence. Unlike me, you have been instructed on the rules of evidence. So what is your excuse for ignoring those rules?

          Anything I have said about Loose Lips Hillary can be easily substantiated. Except in the form of vague generalies you two have not even tried to say good about Loose Lips Hillary. When we compare Trump with Loose Lips, stand them side-by-side, Loose Lips comes off better? Why? Loose Lips worked for government, and Trump ran a business. Stupid! Without businesses and people working for businesses, government would have no money for Loose Lips to steal.

          Loose Lips has virtually zero accomplishments. Instead she has beeen involved in a series of well documented scandals. If she was not being protected by Obama’s Injustice Department, she would be in jail.

          So how does Loose Lips expect to win? She is running a smear campaign against her opponent, and all you are doing is repeating lies about Trump and making up some of your own.

          Do I disagree with how you apply such immoral behavior to government? Why should I agree? Should I be asking what is in it for me? What is in it for you?

          What you are doing is hateful. Why are you doing it? That is something you will have to figure out. I don’t even want to know.

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      2. Only you can decide what labels you choose to wear, Tom.

        Hillary Clinton’s statement about a basket of deplorables was half very wrong and half quite correct. That’s why she retracted it – because she rashly and unjustifiably assigned a proportion to the deplorable quotient – “half”. She quickly realized that there was no empirical justification for that statement – she had just pulled it out of thin air.

        The part of her statement that was correct was that the gamut of phobias and -isms she mentioned are indeed deplorable and totally corrosive of the American spirit: racism, homophobia, xenophobia, anti-religious bias, etc. Presumably no patriotic American disagrees with her that there is no room in this Republic for that kind of outlook.

        Scout

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        1. @novaDemocrat

          So she renounces her “deplorables” statement. Then she proceeds to tar Trump as some kind of demon from the abyss. And you two repeat that tripe. Hence I think that Loose Lips just said what you and Tony and your confederates wanted to hear.

          It is certainly not the first time we have heard something of the sort.

          It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. — Barack Obama

          This sort of attitude is why our nation’s founders had so little use for majoritarian tyranny. They knew that if we did not limit the power of our government we would not leave each other in peace.

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  14. Here is a link to the “Greed is Good” speech that I reference from the movie, “Wall Street”:

    It sounds attractive doesn’t it? I read an article where the author of the book on which the movie was based went to give a speech to college business students. The author was horrified to find that the students actually idolized the villain, Gordon Gekko.

    Several years ago when my wife was teaching economics in college, she told me about how graduate students at several of the major business schools were surveyed on ethics. One of the questions that the business students were asked was essentially, “If you knew something was ethically and legally wrong, but you also knew it would make you a large amount of money and you would never be caught or charged, would you still do it?” The vast majority of the students answered affirmatively.

    Despite his being a Democrat and an avid liberal, you, like many Republican conservatives, have favorably quoted JFK when he said this at his inauguration speech:

    “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

    JFK was born rich. He was extremely well educated, smart and attractive. I’m sure he could have gotten out of military service during WWII, or at least his dad could have gotten him a cushy staff job way behind the lines and out of danger, and yet he served heroically and nearly died on PT109. He earned the Medal of Honor. JFK lived an ethos that was common to much of the best leadership in the country for most of its history, and it includes many of our most influential Founders. That common ethos is summarized in JFK’s quote.

    That ethos seems to have been replaced, especially in our Baby Boom generation, by the Gordon Gekko (and Donald Trump) “greed is good” ethos. In business, this new materialist ethos was the fundamental cause of the Great Recession and, most recently, the cause of the Wells Fargo fraud scheme. In Christian circles it manifests itself in the new prosperity theology, an aberrant turn in Christian ehtics which Pope Francis has publicly lamented. In the military, since Vietnam, very few of the children our elite and would-be leaders have chosen to serve their country, even in times of war. In politics, as I have said, Donald Trump represents the rise of the new “greed is good” ethos to our highest offices of national leadership.

    I think that principled people of good will, both liberals and conservatives, both Democrats and Republicans, at their best, share this ethos of service and sacrifice, and are troubled by its seeming decline in modern times. Aren’t you?

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    1. Don’t waste your time. I have ZERO respect for Hollywood.

      You really ought to read The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. Our economy works because people purse their self interests. Call that greed if you must, but that just makes you greedy too.

      Each of us has the right to determine how we will spend our labor and capital. Generally, because we want to spend our labor and capital profitably, we make better decisions for our self than anyone else would make for us. Socialism is just about taking such decisions from us. Then someone like Slick Willie or Loose Lips Hillary decide how to invest our time and money.

      Does our economy work far better when people are honest and care about each other? Of course it does, but Socialists have no way to make people honest or care about each other. Socialists just steal.

      Government cannot give us anything the private economy did not produce first. People have tried over and over to make a Socialist economy work, but it does not.

      Our business people are being educated by our government. You don’t like their morals? Consider where you got your own. Consider how you are libeling Donald Trump.

      Do I respect JFK? Yes. He was only in office a short time. He was not a great president, but as far as I can tell he did his job. That was in the early 1960’s. That was before the ruling on school prayer. That was before Democrats reversed the efforts to undo the New Deal. That was before the Democrats corrupted the Civil Rights movement. That was before Democrats lost all respect for our Constitution.

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      1. So you do not believe in an ethos of service such as JFK was speaking of in the quote? Most of the rest of what you wrote is a non sequitor. I am not advocating pure collectivism over individualism or vice versa. As I have said previously, it is a stupid and endless debate because neither Republicans nor Democratics advocate ideological purity on either side that ridiculous argument, not do either actually want to live in the ghastly world where such a purity exists. I’ll say it again – I work for a private company, am paid well for it and like it that way. I also don’t want a mercenary military service nor do I want my company to be completely unregulated. The real question is about what is moral and what is ethical. Something can be done privately or done by government and still be moral or immoral, legal or illegal.

        I have read “Wealth of Nations”, or at least most of it. It was not an easy read and it was some time ago, but I know that although Adam Smith is now known as the father of modern economics, he actually thought of himself at the time as a moral philosopher. I have since learned that Smith was one of a group Enlightenment philosophers that lead western culture astray from our fundamental and natural Christian philosophical roots, but that is a much longer discussion. That aside, my remembrance of Smith is that he would have been horrified by the modern thought that the “unseen hand” of productive self-interest would be “unenlightened” or ungoverned. Smith was not actually any kind of economic libertarian by any stretch of the revisionist imagination of many so-called Republicans and conservatives today.

        I’m immorally libeling Donald Trump by giving you his own thoughts and words and unabashed philosophies? And, of course, your ad homonyms and conspiracy theories about Clinton are absolutely saintly? Like you said Tom, why don’t we refrain from making this about us and about trading silly insults about each other. I know that you are smart and a basically descent person of high moral integrity and have no desire to play that game, but I do enjoy a passionate discussion.

        As for my supposed lack of a good and moral education, I don’t claim brilliance or enlightenment by any stretch, but I feel fortunate and blessed to have an education at all, which actually came from both public and private institutions over the years – I went to a Jesuit College my first year before I ran out of money and had to back to work to earn more (cook, truck driver, deck hand on off shore tug boats, newspaper reporter) but my undergrad degree was ultimately from a public university (much cheaper) and my juris doctorate came from a large regional Baptist University (way too expensive and should have gone to the state school down the road to get about the same quality of degree). It was a gift and a blessing to have opportunities from both sources, as I’m sure, considering your obvious intellectualism, at least some of your education must have beneficial too.

        Now back to the point. If you apparently believe in the principles of service and sacrifice that JFK was talking about, how can you possibly believe that Trump in any way does when he unabashed exemplifies just the opposite of those principles?

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        1. What I believe with respect to that quote is well enough indicated here => https://citizentom.com/2016/10/02/selfie-culture/.

          Apparently what you believe about Adam Smith has more to do with what was written about him than what he wrote. What you think about Democrats and Republicans? Sigh! What is so hard to understand? Limited government is not the same as no government. Conservatives support the Constitution. That document charters a government, a limited government.

          Are you immorally libeling Donald Trump by sharing your thoughts and words and unabashed philosophies? Yes. You have taken what Trump said out of context. At best, you are repeating what you have heard without bothering to find out the truth. You know better. Since you worked as a reporter, you should have some idea just how partisan the news media can be. You have heard of negative politics. The Democratic Party most certainly participates in the vein.

          Could I dig up all kinds of rubbish about Loose Lips Hillary? Yes, but that is not what I have done. I have pointed to what is very public and well-known. Her record stinks. She violated security laws with that email server. The Clinton Foundation accepted gobs foreign contributions. Half the of the people Loose Lips met with as the Secretary of State had given money to her foundation. I could go on, but what is the point? You need to investigate Loose Lips and Trump yourself. I have some posts, but I have only touched the surface of what the deceitful woman has done.

          You launched a blanket attack on business people. My point is that most of them get there moral instruction from the public school system and the mass media. You think you went to better schools. Maybe you did, but that just means you have even more reason for being ashamed of attacking Donald Trump with baseless accusations.

          Do I think Trump is a great choice? No. I think our choice between Trump and Loose Lips is a sign of moral decay. I think our presidents should be people who have led admirable lives. In some respects, Trump does not meet that criteria. He is not awful, but we had better choices.

          However, Trump won the Republican primary race, and Loose Lips clearly belongs behind bars. So Trump is a fairly obvious choice.

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      2. Tom – If you are a fan of Adam Smith (I am, so this may be a point of common ground between us), you have to be appalled at Mr. Trump’s comments on trade. The only hope we have is that he doesn’t believe a word of it, and he is just scamming the folks who have not had the pleasure of being exposed to Mr. Smith’s 18th Century, but timeless, genius.

        Scout

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  15. Tom – as far as I know, the only one who considers my conservatism “a standing joke” is you. I take it rather seriously, as it is the product of more than 50 years of reflection and study. That you think it a joke, I submit, may be more a reflection on your views than mine.

    In any event, much as a sense of humor can be a valuable asset, you have recently told us that you think that indications of Russian meddling in our electoral processes are funny. That brand of humor doesn’t travel well or far.

    Scout

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  16. Tom wrote:

    “Limited government is not the same as no government. Conservatives support the Constitution. That document charters a government, a limited government.”

    To a great extent, I agree. However, in order to understand those actual limits of state, federal and local government, one needs to understand he entire constitutional history and record of juris prudence, including the dramatic changes wrought by the Civil War and the post Civil War amendments, by the rise of the modern state, and by exigencies of 21st Century globalization. One also has to have a deeper understanding of how the common law system that we inherited from England, and in which our Founders were trained, actually works.

    You are a smart person, Tom, but you are quite obviously (and apparently willfully) ignorant in these knowledge categories. You imagine simple constitutional absolutes that actually never were, you refuse to understand how the constitutional system necessarily adapted within its own systemics, and you wish to return to some supposedly homogeneously agreed upon 17th Century fiction that never actually existed from the moment the Constitution was adopted and that simply could not and will not work in a modern globalized world.

    If you were willing to learn all this and were willing to take off your ideological blinders to the real complexities and imperfect compromises that must be made in the law (and indeed, that our legal system works toward by design), then we could have a lively debate over specifics, and we might even agree on some areas of reform and limitation. However, as it is, like arguing with a petulant teenager who whines that his world isn’t fair when he has actually landed in the lap of freedom and prosperity that his fathers and forefathers could not have even imagined, this just becomes an endless exercise in futility.

    Tom wrote:

    “Could I dig up all kinds of rubbish about Loose Lips Hillary? Yes, but that is not what I have done. I have pointed to what is very public and well-known. Her record stinks. She violated security laws with that email server. The Clinton Foundation accepted gobs foreign contributions. Half the of the people Loose Lips met with as the Secretary of State had given money to her foundation. I could go on, but what is the point? You need to investigate Loose Lips and Trump yourself. I have some posts, but I have only touched the surface of what the deceitful woman has done.”

    I think your view here is not even reasonably objective and is blinded by your disdain for Clinton. It is disproportional to the actual facts. Clinton has made some mistakes, especially as it concerns how she handled emails at the state department, and she had admitted to this mistakes, but nothing she has done in all the areas that Republicans have partisanly investigate endlessly and conspiracized beyond fantasy were actually illegal, nor were they even that out of the ordinary for others in her position, including most Republicans.

    You claim the press is biased, and I agree, but not in the way that you think. I think that, because of their guilt about being called liberally biased, the press is so gun shy that they give in to the Republicans’ false equivalencies. Clinton has been endlessly investigated at incredible public expense to no avail and is expected to bare her private life, her personal emails, her personal mail, her medical records and soon Republicans will demand her daily stool samples just to make sure her crap doesn’t stink.

    By comparison, you give Donald Trump a pass on everything from his tax returns to using his charity foundation funds (of course, he doesn’t donate to it) to pay off his business legal settlements to saying insane things on foreign policy, just to name a few. The common excuse is that the Donald is not a politician, but a businessman and cannot therefore be judged by basic standards of common decency, basic policy knowledge for the job he is running for, or factuality on anything that he has ever said or done. Trump unabashedly and proudly tells you that he is the epitome of a crony capitalist, that he is really good at immorally scamming the government, the tax payers and the most corrupt parts of the system, but that is morally ok because you hold businessmen to a different moral standard (actually no moral standard). (He learned bad ethics at state schools? I don’t think so). And then Trump tells you that because he is a crony capitalist and has made his career being an immoral crony capitalist, he is the only one that can fix crony capitalism, and you actually buy that con. 😳

    This is not stuff “taken out of context” Tom and you know it. This is stuff Trump has said and he has done, and he’s quite proud of it. He doubles down on it whenever he is caught. You go investigate it. Actually investigate what really happened for both candidates, and then, if you even can, set aside this irrational hatred of Clinton, give up the double standard and see the extreme and obvious moral imbalance between the two candidates for what it really is. Demand that Trump open up his finances at least as much as Clinton has.

    Thanks, but I already have investigated both candidate”s available records and that’s why I could never vote for someone so unabashedly immoral as Trump, and why I am happily voting for the more qualified and obviously more morally centered Clinton. This isn’t even a close call with Trump, and I think in your heart of hearts, you have to know that, whether you will admit it or not.

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