Defining The Real Woman

By Randy Lynch

Alright…I can already feel segments of the internet locking and loading in anticipation of placing me in front of a social media firing squad for this. I wonder how many are going to accuse me of ‘mansplaining’ (not a real word, people) or trying to put women in a box. The truth is, much of this applies to both men and women, but I’m focusing on women while Jesse Broadt focuses on men in a related piece.

It’s hard to ask a man to define a real woman…mainly because our mindset is more like that of a dog than an existential thinker (ie. “There goes the ball! Get the ball! Bring the ball back! Aren’t you gonna throw that ball?!”). We spend a large amount of our lives not knowing what we want and DEFINITELY not knowing what’s good or bad for us. I’m no exception to that rule. I just got lucky and opened my eyes in time to recognize my real woman when I found her. Not all are that lucky so, guys, this is for you as much as the ladies. Figure out what’s actually important to you before you miss out on that real woman.

So, let’s hit it:

Real Women Can Leave The House Without Looking Perfect

We all like to look good, but it can’t be what drives us. A woman with her hair and makeup ALWAYS flawless can be attractive, but a woman who can turn her back on the vanity of HAVING to look a certain way and instead focus on just getting the job done can be downright beautiful. I once knew a guy who bought a ‘79 El Camino with a gorgeous shiny black paint job but, when we crawled underneath, the frame was almost completely eaten through with rust in places. There’s nothing wrong with paint but, if what’s underneath isn’t any good, the only thing of value you have is the paint. On the other hand, a woman who knows her own worth and is confident in the knowledge that it’s not all found in her looks, is formidable on multiple levels and will turn the heads of real men without even trying.

Real Women Educate Themselves And Don’t Let Others Do Their Thinking

“You’re a woman, so you should think/believe this.” “You’re a woman, so you should vote this way.” That’s the voice of our society, praising women for being empowered and strong…unless those women make choices it doesn’t like. After this last presidential election, Michelle Obama said that women who didn’t vote for Hillary “voted against their own voice” when your vote IS your voice. You can’t rely on others to empower you because all they really end up doing is indoctrinating you and trying to destroy you if you ever stray from their accepted narrative. A real woman decides where she stands on issues by using her brain and equipping herself to defend her positions. She empowers herself.

Real Women Aren’t Bullies

I recently watched a woman ask her friends on social media for help because she was having trouble with a project. One of her male friends offered her some advice based on his experience with similar projects and she turned on him in a heartbeat with anger and indignation. She accused him of ‘mansplaining’ (still not a real word) and proceeded to paint him as a sexist who was trying to push her down by…offering her the help she’d asked for in the first place. At the end, he was actually apologizing profusely to her. (By the way, a real man would’ve told her never to expect any help from him again and walked away instead.)

Real women don’t build themselves up by tearing others down. Like the liberals who would accuse those who opposed them of being racist in order to cow them into shutting up and going along with their agenda, there are women who use the same bullying technique by calling men who don’t fall in line sexists. Real women don’t need to sink to that level. They’re secure in who they are and don’t need to beat others down to create that security.

Real Women Take Responsibility For Their Action, Especially The Mistakes

Believe it or not, women are human and, like the rest of us humans, they make mistakes. They falter and fail at times. They do things they’re not proud of. Real women don’t make excuses or blame others for their failings. They own them. They learn from them, become stronger and use them to choose a better path that they can be proud of. These are the women who I respect and admire greatly. Their integrity and strength of character is inspiring.

Real Women Need To Be Their Own People

They need time and space to define themselves as individuals, not just as someone’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife or friend. They have to find their passion and their identity as an individual. For my wife, she’s rediscovered her love for painting and, let me tell you, she’s very good. Beyond her skill, though, it’s the happiness and contentment I see in her eyes when that brush is in her hand that really makes a difference. A real woman makes time for herself in order to be herself.

Real Women Aren’t Perpetual Victims

This is a rough world with some horrible people doing horrible things to others. Women are often their targets. Many are stalked, kidnapped, beaten and abused by those who claim to love them, and even raped. Those on the receiving end of those actions are victims and the perpetrators seriously need to be hauled in and prosecuted. But there’s a disturbing number of women who spend years, if not the rest of their lives, embracing a victim status and defining themselves by what someone else did to them. That’s a sad way to live and it gives power to someone who was trying to steal your power in the first place because they had none of their own. I know this one sounds really harsh, but it’s all about recognizing your inner strength and not giving it away in exchange for a title that should never be permanent. I know it takes time to deal with these kinds of trauma, but you were created to be stronger than you can ever realize and there’s nothing you can’t overcome.

Real women deal with the ugliness they’ve faced and put the blame squarely where it belongs: on their attacker/abuser. They recognize their own intrinsic worth, strength and beauty and they define themselves by that, not by the thing that was done to them. They grow and mature and reach the point where they become survivors instead of victims. They embrace their real girl power.

Real Women Don’t Place Their Wants Over Others’ Rights

Real women don’t let others walk all over them and they don’t let others dictate what they can or can’t do or what they believe or what they say or how they choose to live their lives. In other words, they know what their rights as individuals are and they don’t surrender those rights. There’s another side to that coin, though. Real women also respect the rights of others. They don’t try to shut down events where people are expressing views they don’t like (see nearly any event where ‘feminists’ come out to oppose male speakers who express a right-leaning point of view). They don’t attack other women who don’t agree with them as traitors to their gender in an attempt to shame them into silence. Now, here’s the big one:

Real women embrace their sovereignty as an individual and their right to make decisions with what to do with their bodies, but they also understand where those boundaries are. They recognize that a baby growing inside of them is a separate person, endowed by God with the same unalienable rights they have. As they wouldn’t violate the rights of another adult or victimize a child outside of the womb, real women do not impose a death penalty on babies in the womb who have done nothing to deserve it other than existing. They do not choose death because of convenience, fear or the actions of others who have victimized them (see Real Women Aren’t Perpetual Victims). They don’t deny the personhood of those innocent lives in order to expand the boundaries of who they are while hiding behind a narrative of ‘choice’ while imposing their choices on those who cannot voice their own desires.

Now, to be clear, am I saying that women who support and promote abortion are not real women? Yes, I am. There’s really no nice way to say it. Am I saying that any woman who has ever supported, promoted or had an abortion cannot be a real woman? Absolutely not. We all do things we’re not proud of; we all make mistakes and we all do things that are wrong. We don’t have to spend our lives being defined by those things, not even the ones that will haunt us (see Real Women Take Responsibility For Their Action, Especially The Mistakes). Most of us are on the same path, stumbling our way toward being better people. Your past never has to define who you will be in your future.

Finally, here’s a simple truth so many are trying to obscure these days: While we share much in common due to our shared humanity, men are not women and women are not men…and there are not more than two genders, no matter what the social justice warriors want you to believe. Men and women are distinctively different from one another and those differences do not make one less or greater than another. When we embrace those differences, we all become greater by lessening each weakness and augmenting each strength, it becomes a little easier to become real women and real men.

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Defining The Real Man

By Jesse Broadt

I have heard so many ladies ask, “where are all the ‘real’ men?” However, in my experience, many women who claim to have finally met a great man, immediately set out to reinvent him, in an effort to design a fake version of the original. I do not understand this dynamic any more now than I did 30 years ago. I mean, did he enjoy going to the ballet before you were married? It may be time to analyze our perspective of “real.”

A real man loves and respects a woman, and goes the second mile to make her happy whenever possible. He does not merely love her body, possessions, or status, he loves the whole person. Real men focus their attention on a woman’s true beauty, which is found in her character, not in her looks, wardrobe or bank account. Real men solve problems, take the lead when necessary, and protect their home, wife and children from harm. Now that we’ve gotten through the boring stuff that everyone already knows, let’s get down to it:

Real Men do Not Turn Romantic Lines Over Breakfast

Real men do not spontaneously turn flowery lines similar to those found in paperback novels–unless they’re gay. If I was single and looking for a “real man” and a gentleman approached me to tell me I “have the loveliest eyes he’s ever seen and since the eyes are the window to the soul, my soul must be lovely as well,” my phony meter would bounce off the graph and I would run.

Real men rarely speak that way. That’s why they have a difficult time meeting women. They’re constantly trying to come up with great romantic lines, but it’s just not in their nature to be that complicated, theatrical and dramatic. Therefore, they usually either don’t talk at all, or they go whole hog eyes-are-the-window-to-the-soul deal and wonder why the eyes rolled and the gal walked away.

I would definitely, however, befriend a man who says “wow, dude, she’s hot,” as I walked by–provided he turns around and studies his hamburger with undivided concentration when he realizes I overheard. In my humble opinion, that means he’s real enough to say what he’s thinking, but polite enough to be embarrassed if he knows I heard him. That’s a real man. Sorry if I destroyed any fantasies.

Husbands are much more apt to say “you look really nice,” than “I don’t think you’ve ever looked more beautiful than you do this morning, my darling one and only love.” Of course, they can be trained to spit out lines, but in my opinion, you train a seal, not a person.

I’d rather just laugh at the “real” foibles: “Well, honey, you said you wanted an exercise bike, so I got you one for Valentine’s Day. What’s wrong with that? ” That never happened to me, but if it did, I guarantee you I would be laughing too hard to get angry.

Real Men Forget Anniversaries

Real people forget dates. Therefore, real men eventually forget anniversaries, birthdays and other special days. In fact, they only remember Valentine’s Day because of all the advertisements. No, ladies, that does not mean they do not love you. People forget dates. Men are people. It’s wise to refrain from throwing temper tantrums when a man forgets something, because if you’re in a relationship for the long haul, you’re going to be throwing a lot of temper tantrums.

Real Men do Not Have ESP

Over the 47 years of my mad existence, I must have heard “if he loved me, he would know,” at least 10,000 times. ESP is not a factor in reality. A man can love a woman with all his heart, but it does not make him clairvoyant. It only adds fuel to the fire to tell him what’s wrong and then add “you should have known.” It’s what he does when he realizes you’re upset that matters, not whether or not he could read your mind in advance.

Real Men do Not Over-Analyze

Women say their husbands do not “think about their relationship enough.” Well, women are correct. Real men do not sit there scrutinizing relationships unless it’s obvious that something’s wrong. Then, they go ask another guy what to do. (Sigh.) However, they rarely get a spontaneous urge to analyze everything and fix what isn’t broken. That’s our department.

Real Men Have a Life

Real men pursue passions that do not involve their wives or girlfriends. This is because real men have outside interests. Women who are threatened by this should do some soul searching: no one should ever be wholly defined by a relationship.

Real Men Need Personal Space

The need for personal space never goes away. In fact, any woman who trolls her boyfriend’s Facebook page or grabs her husband’s phone to “check up on him” is taking her relationship on a shortcut to the morgue. Obviously, the same is true in reverse, but I’m picking on women right now.

Real Men Are Not Doormats

Real men do not live in a perpetual mode of “yes dear.” Naturally, the “yes dear” factor is always there: “No, honey, I’d rather you not hike up your pant leg to show off your tattoo at my cousin’s formal wedding.” It’s true that men usually take the path of least resistance if it’s something that’s really no big deal anyway. After all, he can show off his tattoo later and avoid being lectured on the way home from the wedding.

However, real men do not hide their opinions, become whipping boys for their significant others’ bad day, or do something simply because the woman threw a temper tantrum. That last dynamic is another shortcut to the marriage morgue. In other words, real men respect themselves enough to refuse verbal or physical abuse, as should everyone.

Real Men do Not Imitate Donald Trump

Finally, real men do not act like Donald Trump. Everyone knows the picture that went viral: the pathetic narcissist holding the umbrella over his own precious hide, while his wife and little boy struggle along behind against the wind and the rain. Of course, that’s a bad example. The Crotch Grabber-in-Chief barely qualifies as a human being, much less a man, husband, father, or leader.

Unlike Donald Trump, real men do the things feminists get angry over. They hold doors, tune up our cars, mow lawns, and lift heavy objects. They even change flat tires. In fact, I never remember my husband saying “do you want to hop out and change it or should I?” He really doesn’t even expect me to get out of the car, unless I want to stretch my legs. However, these things have a way of balancing out: he gets to say “what’s for dinner?” instead of standing there staring at the stove like it’s a Rubik’s cube. Yes, I do think some chores naturally fall toward one gender as opposed to the other. You can get violent and throw lizard gizzards at me for that, it’s cool.

Nevertheless, regardless of our individual opinions on how to split up chores and other weighty matters, if a man simply models himself after the complete antithesis of that sad excuse for a human, Donald Trump, he automatically becomes the best role model in existence. This is because real men do what Donald Trump does not; they treat others–including their wives or girlfriends–the way they want to be treated. Whether or not it comes out perfect enough to suit the other person ultimately depends on her maturity level. However, if everyone treated other people the way they want to be treated, the endless, petty nonsense that most couples fight about would blow away in the wind.

The Joe Arpaio Pardon: Unraveling A Career With The Stroke Of A Pen

I’ve always had difficulty with the presidential power to pardon. It’s an absolute power that seems so out of place with the rest of our Constitution. Nevertheless, it was constitutional for President Trump to pardon Joe Arpaio this past week, but it really wasn’t very wise. 

The former Sheriff of Maricopa County was convicted of criminal contempt of court for refusing to comply with a court order. A large part of the evidence against him was his own words on national television and radio declaring his intention to ignore the order and just keep doing what he’d been doing. Now, whether you believe that order was right or wrong, there is no question that it was issued by a legitimate authority and that it was ignored by Arpaio. In short, he was clearly guilty. 

Then, without going through any of the normal procedures or the Office of Pardon Attorney or even waiting for sentencing to be completed, President Trump decided to pardon him. Many are talking about the procedural problems with Trump’s actions, of which there are many, but there is also a personal cost to Arpaio that I doubt he even realizes. 

While many have tried to demonize “Sheriff Joe” as an evil, corrupt, racist cop, no one can deny that he’s always been committed to enforcing the law, no matter who’s involved. Among other saltier quotes, he’s said that, “I’m an equal-opportunity law-enforcement guy – I lock everybody up,” and, “I have compassion, I’ve told you people that over and over again. Enforcing the law overrides my compassion.” What he’s been saying, in essence, is that there are consequences for our actions and we all have to face those consequences. Most of us would agree with that sentiment and respect it. 

It’s not a revolutionary sentiment. It used to be simple common sense. Pastor Charles Stanley has said, “One of Satan’s most deceptive and powerful ways of defeating us is to get us to believe a lie. And the biggest lie is that there are no consequences to our own doing.” Author Phillip K. Dick says, “This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance.” Finally, the great poet, Grace Jones, said, “Everyone has to make their own decisions. I still believe in that. You just have to be able to accept the consequences without complaining.” (Yes, I just quoted Grace Jones. You have to admit though; she is right.)

The problem many seem to be missing here is that Trump just helped turn Arpaio into the “Do as I say, not as I do” type. With this pardon, Joe Arpaio’s message has become, “Actions have consequences…unless you know someone in power who can get you off the hook.” His image of integrity became one of hypocrisy with this single incident. Before you start shaking your heads and making that “tsk” sound at me, I do understand that the action of issuing the pardon was Trump’s and not Arpaio’s, but it was Arpaio who reinforced the pardon as a positive. He accepted it enthusiastically and gratefully, saying, “I’m very appreciative of the president issuing that pardon. It shows how he backs up law enforcement.” The thing is, this wasn’t backing up law enforcement. It was a message that cops don’t have to follow the same rules as the rest of us…as long as they’re friends with the President. It should actually be very insulting to every decent law enforcement officer in the nation.

Beyond his appreciation, Arpaio has even asked the court to vacate his conviction. That is not the action of a man who is willing to accept the consequences for his actions. That is the action of a man who has no respect for the legal system whenever it fails to conform to his desires…a very similar attitude to that of President Trump. That is not the tough, principled man that Sheriff Joe Arpaio claims to be. That is a man who is only “law and order” when it suits him. 

One last thing: Donald Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio before the whole court process was completed…before sentencing. Considering Arpaio’s age and his long career of public service, it would’ve been reasonable for the President to commute his sentence had he received any actual jail time. In that way, the conviction would’ve still stood, sending the message that the law does matter and it does apply to everyone. Instead, we got President Trump issuing a full pardon where he didn’t even mention any specifics of the case, the validity of the charges or even the conviction itself, mainly because none of that mattered to him. 

If a decent person was standing next to a guy and nodding their head in agreement while he was talking about the importance of Freedom of Speech and how differing viewpoints should be treated fairly, but then he went into a tirade about how Jews are evil or throwing around the “N-word” or singing the praises of the Confederacy, that decent person would walk away and condemn that guy if they were truly decent. Similarly, the President, who’s pushed himself as a law and order guy, similarly went off the rails with this pardon by showing his true colors and Joe Arpaio, instead of walking away from him when he did so, not only continued to stand by him nodding his head, he openly endorsed his sentiments. 

Your personal integrity translates into consistency in your actions and that consistency is what builds credibility with others. With the help of Donald Trump, Joe Arpaio has shown to everyone a major lack of consistency. As a result, he has shown that his level of integrity isn’t nearly as high as he portrays and, for that part of the American public who are still capable of critical thinking (i.e. not those who’ll automatically hate everything about him because he’s an “enemy” nor those who’ll automatically love everything about him because he’s a “friend”), he’s effectively lost his credibility. And that credibility is nearly impossible to get back once it’s gone. I hope Arpaio enjoys his pardon. By the time he realizes what it’s actually cost him, there’ll be nothing he can do to diminish that damage.

Being #NeverTrump Gave Me Super Powers!

IMG_2268Yes, you read the title right. Since I became #NeverTrump, I have the strength of three men! … Well, I actually have the voting power of three voters. Still not too shabby, but I guess I won’t be donning a mask and cape to fight crime; just to go to the odd comic book convention. See, it occurred to me that there is a funny little side effect to one of the major arguments that gets leveled against me by the Pro-Trump crowd. The argument is this:

“If you don’t support Donald Trump, that’s the same as voting for Hillary!”

This is a bad argument, of course. It’s false, dishonest and manipulative, but, for the moment, let’s give it more consideration than it actually deserves. I recently received a response to my writing on this subject in our local paper where I was told that my refusal to support either Trump nor Hillary was the same as me voting for Trump (obviously a Hillary supporter). We’ve all seen the meme:

IMG_2267

But I got to thinking about this. Trump supporters see that first statement as valid and true. But, if you employ logic when examining it, there is exactly the same amount of evidence and substance (namely, none) for that second claim as there is for the first, so let’s take a look at what that actually means:

First, every American who is eligible to vote for president (those who registered to vote, are not felons without restored voting rights, are 18 or older and are not dead…sorry about the last one, Democrats) has exactly one vote to cast. Are we agreed on that? Ok, good. (I’m assuming we all agree on that.)

Now, if not voting for Trump is a vote for Hillary, then it is equally true that not voting for Hillary is a vote for Trump. That means that, by not voting for either, I’m actually voting for both. That means I actually have the power to cast TWO VOTES; twice that of a normal voter!

Stay with me, people! We have one more leap to make here.

So, what happens if I vote for someone other than the “Big Two”? Let’s say I decide to vote for Gary Johnson or Darrell Castle or even write in Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio…or vote for Pikachu. (I know…he wasn’t born in America, so he’s not eligible, but everybody’s looking for him across America right now, so there’s that…) Now, I STILL haven’t voted for Trump or Hillary, so that’s the equivalent of voting for both, so I have effectively cast two votes…but I also cast a vote for someone else. In effect, I have cast THREE VOTES in one election! I have effectively become more powerful than any voter who votes for either Trump or Hillary. I have the power of three voters…and I didn’t have to get bit by a radioactive poll worker!

I figure by this point I should have some #NeverTrump people at least grinning…and I hope laughing. It’s true that this is all silliness, but there’s also a point here. You see, I figure any Trump supporter reading this has gotten really irritated and has maybe even started to change color a little. A least, I can hope they are. “This is ridiculous and unrealistic,” I imagine them grumbling…and they’d be right. It is ridiculous and unrealistic, but the importance is where it’s all ridiculous.

What I’ve used here is actually a debating technique called “Reductio ad absurdum”; latin for “reduction to absurdity”. The idea is simply to take a concept to its ultimate, and usually absurd, conclusion. But the truth is that it’s not the final extreme conclusion that my vote actually counts as three that’s absurd. That’s actually just a logical conclusion based on the original premise. This argument that not voting for ‘X’ is the same as voting for ‘Y’ is dishonest. Your vote is something of value to be spent, much like money, where you decide it should go. Have you ever told someone that, if they don’t spend their money to buy a Bible, that’s the same as spending their money to buy porn? Of course you don’t, because it’d be absurd…and so, is this statement about voting. However you choose to use your vote, it’d doesn’t have a list of side-effects connected to it likes Cialis commercial.

So, if it’s such a bad argument, why do the Trump people keep going back to it like a touchstone? Do they not realize that it’s a flawed argument? Many don’t. For them, it was used to manipulate them and now they embrace it as gospel and use it against others. But there are those who know it’s dishonest and don’t care. For them, if it gets people to go along with their agenda, then the truth be damned.

Of course, if that isn’t quite enough to get people in line, they’ll amp it up a little and, when you continue to refuse to support Trump, they’ll just accuse you of actually being a Hillary supporter or even a closeted liberal. Sound familiar? It’s the same thing the left has been doing for decades, except their accusation of choice is to call us racists, but the purpose is exactly the same in both cases; to force people to do what they want them to regardless of their convictions or principles or even any concept of right and wrong.

This actually comes from Saul Alinski’s 12th Rule for Radicals: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Basically, embarrass, vilify and shame those who stand in your way…until they don’t stand in your way anymore. Yes, I’m saying that there are those who call themselves conservatives who are acting in accordance with the teachings of Alinski. The practices of the left are virulent and, when we play with them, we run a huge risk of getting infected with something we REALLY don’t want.

But that’s a subject for another day. I only bring it up to reinforce the point that this argument that not voting for Trump is the same as a vote for Hillary comes from a very dark, dishonorable, dishonest place. It has no validity and it’s only purpose is to bully you into doing something, no matter what your heart is telling you is right.

The next time someone tries to bully you this way, consider trying this: Do your best Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi voice (Sir Alec Guinness…he was way cooler), smile and say, “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” These people won’t get the humor in it; they have no sense of humor when it comes to their spray-tanned messiah. I can also pretty well guarantee they won’t get the pop culture reference and it’s always fun to watch people like that flounder trying to make sense out of such a nerdy reference!

Defend Your Principles And Values; Don’t Compromise Them

There’s a cancer in the conservative movement and the Republican Party. The carcinogen that kick-started it into high gear is Donald Trump. This cancer leads to the abandonment of conservative principles and values. When Trump first announced he was running for president, I figured his days were numbered once people started seeing through his facade of respectability. The problem is, he never actually bothered putting up a facade. He remained openly the same deplorable person he’s always been and, even worse, his supporters eagerly dismissed his incredibly liberal past, some of it only a few years old, and embraced his bad behavior. I could easily write an almost unending series of columns on why Trump is a horrendous choice for any office, but I’m concerned today about how contagious his attitude and behavior has become.

The first time I heard Trump mention a name in a speech and someone in the audience just shouted out, “Loser!” and Trump smiled like a proud papa, I feared this would only get worse. I wish I’d been wrong. Trump verbally abuses others; his supporters do the same. He objectifies, belittles and devalues women, even going so far to blame one for the bruises she received from a larger man; they do the same and go further, including calling and threatening her life. He encourages physical violence; they comply, punching people and threatening to do worse, including murder. There are more stories almost every day about Trump supporters making death threats to those who hold positions in the GOP and even to delegates if they stand in the way of a Trump victory. Let me say this again to impress the seriousness of the situation: There are people affiliated with the Republican Party through Donald Trump who are threatening to kill people if they don’t get their way! This is not what the GOP and conservatism has EVER been about. It’s what we’re supposed to be standing against as it comes from the left! But it’s ok since Trump said he’ll pay their legal fees, right?

All this would normally be enough for us to condemn a candidate without hesitation. After all, if it was Hillary acting this way, we’d all be calling her a monster…and we’d be right! However, many refuse to judge Trump by our normal standards. Conservatives who usually promote principles and integrity and the truth now turn a blind eye and gleefully jump on that Trump-wagon. National personalities like Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Ann Coulter sing his praises and run interference for him. Even a local radio personality in my hometown, Kelly O’Connell, seems to have fallen under the Trump spell and is inclined to ignore the ugly truth and repeat the liturgical talking points of the Trump campaign.

I understand that people are angry and frustrated. I am, too. We conservatives have been lied to, used and betrayed by much of the GOP leadership, both nationally and often on local levels. God knows, the Republican leadership in my state is no prize but, when you start viewing the world through the lens of frustration and anger, you start making bad decisions. You start believing that any action, no matter how vile or even illegal, is acceptable as long as it benefits your idea of the ‘greater good’. We see this in the most vocal elements of support for Donald Trump. They overlook his bad behavior and poor treatment of others while also excusing their own bad behavior and poor treatment of others by dismissing the means in favor of their ends: supposedly to “Make America Great Again”. The thing is, justifying our means in pursuit of any goal is not how we achieve any degree of greatness. This is the kind of path that leads to us losing our way, our values and, ultimately, our souls.

I really don’t want Hillary as president but I also have to honestly say that, at least with her, it’d be clear who and what she is. We already know that, if she becomes President, she’ll do everything in her power to add to the damage already inflicted on our nation by Barack Obama, but at least she can’t hide her allegiances or her affiliations. She can be easily identified as an agent of the left, as a voice of the Democrat Party, making it much easier to motivate people on the right, in office and out, to oppose her.
Trump, on the other hand, has cloaked himself in the guise of conservatism and, although it’s a poorly put together cloak, many have enthusiastically accepted it, both his supporters who claim to be conservatives and the mainstream media who are more than happy to equate all conservatives with Donald Trump. Meanwhile, there are those within the Republican Party and the conservative movement who are spreading the lie that we have no choice but to support the GOP candidate, no matter who that is. (It’s ironic because many of these people are decrying perceived disenfranchisement of voters…conveniently only in primaries that Trump loses…and accusing those who oppose Trump publicly of trying to tell them who to vote for while spreading this narrative designed to bully conservatives into voting a certain way.) The problem is that, when we buy into that lie and give our vote out of some sense of party loyalty, or even out of fear of Hillary Clinton assuming the presidency, we give credence to claims that Trump and his hardcore supporters are typical of what conservatives are. For decades, we have constantly fought against accusations from the left that we are racists, sexists, homophobes and rich old white men who don’t care about anyone or anything beyond the bottom line. By lending our support, no matter how grudgingly or marginally, then, fair or not, we place ourselves under the same umbrella of elitism, bigotry, misogyny that fits Trump so well. Every accusation thrown at us will suddenly stick better than ever because of our guilt by association with a GOP headed in many ways by Donald Trump and guilt by complicity for actively choosing to give him our votes to help place him there.

And don’t delude yourself into believing he will magically become “presidential” upon winning the White House. He has spent his entire life indulging in his base nature and he’s a little too old and set in his ways to change just because he’s sitting in the Oval Office instead of some building with his name emblazoned on it. Those of us who either give in to pressure or allow ourselves to be conned by this snake oil salesman and support Trump in any way will find ourselves measured and judged based on his behaviors. It may not sound fair, but that’s the way it works. We are all defined by what we do and who we associate with much more than we are by our words alone.

I don’t care so much these days who the candidate is or what letter he puts by his name as much as I care about what kind of person he his and what he places value on, because we must stand firm on our principles and values more so today than ever. That’s what creates the solid foundation of integrity and consistency upon which we build our character and identity as individuals and conservatives. Make no mistake, the only way for a true conservative to actively support Trump is to ignore, devalue and abandon conservative principles and values. In doing so, our foundation weakens and cracks and ends up being more like dirt than rock…and you know what happens when you build your house on shifting sand.

Our foundation as a nation has already been eroded badly over time by both the overt efforts of the left and the lukewarm response of some on the right, especially the Republican Establishment and many Republicans holding elected office. Can that foundation be repaired? I certainly hope so but, either way, it’s more important than ever for us to protect and strengthen our foundations as individuals and to encourage the same in others who we can positively influence. Think about this in terms of your children, as they are the people you have the largest amount of influence over. If you’re planning on supporting Trump, think carefully first and ask yourself: What would you tell your children if they ask at some point if you supported him? Can you honestly tell them that he valued the things you value or that he acted in a way that you want your children to act? If not, then do you want to tell them that winning is more important than what you normally claim to value and what you’ve tried to instill in your kids? Be aware: You won’t have to say it at that point. Your actions will have shown what’s in your heart and, like a smoker who lectures their kids about not smoking and then is horrified when they catch them lighting up, your surprise, should they embrace bullying, launching verbal attacks on others, winning no matter who they hurt and an attitude accepting of thuggish, violent behavior, will be way too little, way too late.

We all need to toughen up when it comes to free speech

Last month, the Pew Research Group released a study showing 40% of millennials polled believe government should be able to censor speech considered offensive to minorities. In the Las Cruces Sun News paper, a commenter in the Sound-Off section asked “why conservatives manage to make ‘politically correct’ and ‘compromise’ dirty words”. It also that claimed political correctness is the embodiment of “common decency” and those who oppose it are mean-spirited, slanderous and prejudicial. A Sun News contributor and publisher of a New Mexico political site, Heath Hausamen, wrote on his site recently calling for polite online discourse and condemning speech he implied leads to violence (“Online discourse should encourage understanding, not violence”). The implication here, while much of the media and the left are simply saying it outright, points directly to the killer in Colorado who recently went on a rampage in a block of buildings, including a Planned Parenthood. While it’s not clear if Hausamen is trying make this claim or not, the claim has generally been that the fact that those who oppose groups like Planned Parenthood inspired this murderer by exercising their speech rights and talking about the heinous acts that Planned Parenthood are engaging in. He, and others like him, are calling for speech to be regulated in order to do away with offensive and hateful speech. 
It sounds enlightened on the surface, but it’s really a disturbing trend pointing away from the principles that made America great. It’s disturbing because so many young people are ok with allowing the government power over the second right mentioned for protection from that same government in our Bill of Rights. They’ve bought into a seductive narrative that truth is relative and opposition to what they believe is hate. The thing is, polite and popular speech wasn’t the reason for the First Amendment. It’s for the revolutionary, incendiary, offensive speech that makes people uncomfortable and spurs them to think and take action. Free speech is more than an individual right. It’s essential to human progress. 
The men who enumerated this right in our Constitution are the ones who’d just finished fighting a bloody war for independence that had been precipitated by speech that was offensive to a great many and absolutely lead to violence. The revolutionaries who wrote and spoke backed up their words by taking up arms. The words of men like Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams were offensive and condemned by many as encouraging resistance and violent rebellion against the government. They were, of course. Thank God that they were. Even Thomas Jefferson’s words in the Declaration of Independence, sadly, are still considered offensive by many today. After all, Jefferson talks about rights endowed upon us by God, not by any laws; absolute rights like Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Life, especially, is a right that most pro-choice people hate being discussed as an absolute and the idea of God being cited in a government document is horrific to many progressives today. Isn’t it sad to think of our founders being targeted to have their speech limited today?
Throughout our history, revolutionary speakers and writers like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Susan B. Anthony, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. have changed our nation for the better. Their words were inflammatory and created discomfort. Imagine if those words had been silenced because they made people feel bad when that’s what made them so powerful. But that’s what many want today. 
I figure I’ll be accused once again of wanting to get rid of all laws regarding speech, but that’s just not the case. We do need laws prohibiting speech that solicits violence or creates panic, but we don’t need to be broadening those limits. For example, progressives are jumping on the bandwagon claiming that those who talk about the practices of groups like Planned Parenthood (the wholesale killing of babies, the selling of their corpses with all the dispassion of a n auto junkyard) are encouraging the sort of violence we saw recently in Colorado. This couldn’t be further from the truth but, for the left, it seems like we’re now living in a cable TV show: “Truth Is The New Hate Speech”. 
We’re citizens of a nation founded on confrontational revolutionary discourse. We don’t shy from that or cry foul because we don’t like what is said. We combat speech that we find offensive or wrong with our own speech, which us equally protected. It’s the way things change. It’s the way those who are wrong or dangerous are ferreted out and identified. Speech is one of the main weapons that our founders left us with in order to defend and promote what is good and defeat and call out what is evil. But, to use that weapon properly, we have to allow for others to wield the same weapon and we can’t cry foul or run for a ‘safe place’ when we hear things we don’t want to hear. Let’s thicken our skins a bit and embrace the benefits of a society where speech is protected and countered with more speech. 

A Call To Fight For Revolution In The GOP

We’ve had a rocky year politically. At the federal level, we’re seeing the results of two presidential terms of “Hope and Change” that’s left so many Americans feeling hopeless and facing changes that have definitely not been for the better. Our society has been under near constant attack by progressive agendas that treat our Constitution like a nuisance to overcome or weasel around in order to limit speech whenever they decide that speech is inappropriate, trivialize and silence people of faith and attack our right to defend ourselves and others. Progressives push a false environmental narrative that does nothing but spend money with no discernible results. They downplay the importance of laws and securing our borders while painting those who break our laws as the victims. They promote the government taking more and more in taxes, spending more on their pet projects than it brings in and calling it all “charity” and “assistance”. 

Most conservatives, be they Republicans, Libertarians, Independents or even Democrats understand that progressive agendas are wrong-headed and destructive. (And, yes, Virginia, there are conservative Democrats. There’s really only one organization that has the numbers, funding and political clout to effectively oppose it all. It’s effectively stood for liberty, equality and the value of life since its founding, usually in the face of staunch opposition from Democrats. It’s the Republican Party. While modern Democrats today push a false narrative of a “Party Switch” in order to distance themselves from their own party’s past and label Republicans as racist, elitist, homophobic women-haters, the real damage caused in the GOP comes within the party itself. 
Leadership and many in office have become a disappointment more often than not. It seems we’ve gotten very good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We create the image of being ineffective and unprincipled by talking big, then capitulating; giving in and backing away from initiatives like defunding Planned Parenthood and our leaders sign off on Obama’s wish lists like this latest Omnibus bill. Add corruption to the mix like Diana Duran’s gambling fiasco and Susanna Martinez’s attempt to misuse her authority…not an isolated incident for her, either…and we create an image of corruption that the left delights in hanging on all Republicans. 
Because of this, so many conservatives shy away from the GOP and members decide to leave. I do understand their feelings. The problem is, there’s really nowhere else to go. There’s currently no other party that has the potential to embrace conservatism so fully and the ability to stand against the Democrat Party effectively. 
The GOP is still the best party for conservatives to unite, but things have to change soon. The majority of Republicans are good people, but who need to actively oppose those who embody terms like “RINO” and “Establishment Republicans” and have been steering the GOP in the wrong direction for way too long. We still have many good officials and leaders and they’re easy to recognize. For the most part, look for the people who make enemies out of the Republican establishment as well as the left. We just need more of them and I know they’re out there. There was an awakening in the GOP with Ronald Reagan and the seeds of revolution were planted with the TEA Party movement. That was a great start, but now’s the time for conservatives to harvest those seeds and either reclaim the Party and restore the principles and integrity it once represented clearly or abandon it to fade into oblivion and create some new unifying force for conservatism elsewhere. For me, I’m not ready to give up. I believe the GOP’s worth saving, but it’ll require conservatives to stand together: conservative Republicans standing up to leadership to force them to do what’s right and other conservatives to step into the Party and add their voices. This is still the party of Lincoln deep down and most members know and embrace that, but we’re long overdue for revolution and reclaiming our Party is a vital step in reclaiming our nation.
Most conservatives, be they Republicans, Libertarians, Independents or even Democrats (Yes, Virginia, there are conservative Democrats…although they tend to be devalued and bullied into silence.) understand that the progressive agenda is wrong-headed and incredibly destructive to our society. There’s one organization that, above and beyond all others, has the numbers, funding and political clout to effectively stand against all this: the Republican Party. The GOP has effectively stood for liberty, equality, personal responsibility and the value of all life since its founding in 1854,usually facing staunch opposition from Democrats. While Democrats today try to push a narrative of a “Party Switch” that is both untrue and fairly incomprehensible to follow in order to distance themselves from their own party’s past actions and try to paint Republicans as racist, elitist, homophobic women-haters, the truth is that the real damage caused in the GOP is committed within the party itself. 

Unfortunately, GOP leadership and many Republicans in office have become a disappointment more often than not. It seems that the Republican Party has gotten very good at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They talk big, then capitulate; giving Democrats whatever they want, from backing away from efforts to defund Planned Parenthood of federal money to simply signing off on Obama’s wish list with the latest Omnibus bill. They create their own image of being ineffective and unprincipled. Add cases of corruption to the mix that, while pale against the corruption of those on the left, still cause damage to the GOP. Here in New Mexico, we had Diana Duran’s gambling fiasco and Susanna Martinez’s attempt to misuse her authority to punish people she saw as making her life difficult…not an isolated incident for her, either. Their actions are deplorable and do need to be condemned. They create their own image of corruption that the left delights in painting all Republicans as equally corrupt. 
It’s because of all this that so many good conservatives shy away from joining the GOP or decide to leave if they’ve been members…and I do understand their reasoning. The problem is, there’s really nowhere else to go. The Libertarian Party only embraces some conservative principles and many that are clearly liberal. As such, they will probably never be able to gain the numbers necessary to stand against the Democrats. The same numbers problem exists for other smaller parties, like the Constitution Party and the Conservative Party. And those who become Independents are simply throwing away any chance they had for presenting any kind of unified conservative voice. 
The Republican Party is still the best place for conservatives to unite to affect positive change. The majority of Republicans are good people who are truly conservative and who need to become active and oppose those in the Party who’ve created the need for terms like RINO and Establishment Republicans and have been steering the GOP in the wrong direction. It’s not too late to repair the Party. After all, we have many good Republican officials and leaders and they’re easy to recognize. For the most part, look for the people who make enemies out of the Republican establishment as well as the left. There was an awakening in the GOP with Ronald Reagan and the seeds of revolution within the Party were planted with the TEA Party movement. That was a great start, but it seems that now is the time for conservatives to harvest those seeds and either reclaim and reform the Republican Party and restore the principles and integrity that it once represented so clearly or abandon the Party completely to let it fade into oblivion to join the Whigs and start something new to become a unifying force for conservatives to stand proudly together again. For me, and I’m not nearly ready to give up on the GOP. I believe there plenty that’s worth saving there, but it’s going to require conservatives to stand together. Conservative Republicans need to stand up to leadership when it’s wrong and force them to do what’s right. Conservatives who aren’t Republicans need to step back into the Party and stand with their brothers and sisters to make their voices stronger and louder. The Republican Party is still the party of Lincoln deep down, but in order to bring that greatness out again, we need to once again stand united on the principles that the party was founded on and that we still believe in. America was built with a system in place to allow for constant revolution without the need for resorting to violence in the process and we’re long overdue for revolution…first within the Republican Party, then within the nation.