Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why Donald Trump?

Most of the people I have talked to express this sentiment about the upcoming Republican Nomination for President Donald Trump: "I cannot believe he is winning!".  This is normally followed by a negative expression (disgust, despise, hatred) of Trump as well as confusion to who actually supports this guy, since they have never spoken to an actually Trump supporter, and anyone indicating they would vote for him is normally using  South Park's 'Douche VS Turd' logic.  Another interesting thing is that the people I'm referring to are actual Republicans, although most of these arguments also pertain to independents and even liberals (though they would likely never support Trump).

I myself have pondered this question constantly and after some careful study and evaluation, I'd like to put forth my analysis of the situation and hopefully start to answer the question of 'Why Donald Trump?'

Political Failure

In the past, the Republican party was considered the conservative party, which loosely means they believe in limited government and often associated with Ronald Reagan.  The current Republican party is NOT seen as being conservative, you will hear it in the rhetoric of Republican candidates, but not in their policies.  No politician wants the bad reputation of cutting programs, think of all those helpless babies!  So over the past couple decades, America has sat by watching the politicians rushing toward economic disaster with escalating spending and a denigration of every value America holds.  Election after election, candidate after candidate, people have lost faith in politics.  Even as more and more responsibility is given to government (some say taken), the government has shown it is inept at solving problems.  How many times have the political candidates been arguing about illegal immigration, fixing the education system, the middle east, and so on.  Because of the political failure by career politicians, anyone who is NOT a career politician is seen as better.  Donald Trump is NOT a career politician, he is primarily a businessman.


The way the politics work in a two party system is that each side needs to stress its differences from the other side, this is a normal technique for making a binary decision, listing the pros and cons.  However, in politics, you will never list your own cons or your opponents pros; you ONLY list your pros and your opponent's cons.  But your even bigger impact, you will say that your opponent's con is VERY bad, in fact, SO bad that a vote for him/her is going to destroy the world.  This is normal in American politics today, each side continuously vilifying the candidate from the other side; and guess what?  Most people think both sides are right.
So when Donald Trump comes along and everyone says "He is the worst", what does that mean?  It means nothing!  He's just another candidate that everyone is attacking, in fact, many will think he's better since he's not a politician.  I've slightly modified a great line from the movie "The Incredibles" which speaks to this point: "If everyone is special THE WORST...then no one is".

Facts and Consistency

When people talk about Donald Trump, I have heard people argue "Name 3 policies he will implement and tell me how they will work" or mention some of Trump's history to show why he is a bad person or blatantly contradicts himself on a daily basis, or many other fact based issues with him.  I watched a very interesting interview with comic "Dilbert"s creator.  In it he talks about how people do NOT care about Trump's incorrect facts or contradictions because he is connecting with them on an emotional level.  This MUST be true since if people cared about that stuff, why would they vote for him.  Now before you think, "see, all Trump's supporters are idiots since they ignore facts", let me try to explain that this is actually a quite rational position.
As I have explained, for decades politicians have been quoting facts and statistics, and policies they will implement, and shouting about why they are consistent and did not actually contradict themselves.  But guess what?  They they took the facts out of context, fudged their statistics, did NOT implement the policy they said they would, and denied they were inconsistent.  How is that any different from Trump?  How is that any better than Trump?
Politicians have huge groups of professional political science majors working to ensure the facts are defensible and the politician has every ounce of wiggle room to adjust his position as necessary.  Any modern Presidential candidate can give a speech to a far leftist group in San Fransisco and a far right group in Texas in the same afternoon and not say one thing the audience disagrees with.  The fact that Trump just shoots from the hip is just evidence that he is at least more open and honest in his contradictions.

Campaign Finance

Here is a subject I know very little about, but what I do know is that it takes a LOT of money to run for president Donald Trump is VERY wealthy.  This just further indicates to people that politics is untrustworthy and even though Trump may be using his money to buy a nomination, people will still view him as better than politicians because he is not a one, and because he is financing his own campaign so he won't have obligations to his campaign investors.


 In conclusion, the reasons for Donald Trump's rise to Presidential Nomination are not actually as surprising as it initially appears.  This article is not intended to encourage or discourage people from voting for Trump; however, I think it is important to understand the reasonings behind his nomination, so that we might be educated accepting of alternate points of view, whichever side you may fall.

All I will say is this, IF Donald Trump is elected President, I will pray that will be a good President, and not the monster we all fear.  I will also advocate for a valid 3rd party, so we may once again have quality candidates.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why I feel sorry for Ray Rice

I imagine Many of you experienced this recently; either at work or somewhere else.  You found yourself in or listening to a conversation about what a piece of filth Ray Rice is.  But strange as it was to me, I felt sorry for him and began to wonder why.

I watched the new Ray Rice inside the elevator video and contrary to what many have said, I was not shocked or horrified.  The reason I was not shocked by the video is because it contained exactly what I expected to see after watching the first video, Ray Rice knocking out his fiance.

Don't get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the actions of Ray Rice, it is NOT ok to hit a woman like that.  I would say 'it is never ok' but I want to be honest and truthful and I assume we can all agree there are actually times when it would be, such as if the woman were about to stab a baby or something like that, but that's getting off-topic.

Now let's get to why I feel sorry for Ray Rice, I believe in redemption and forgiveness.  Ray Rice made a horrible mistake, but we all have made mistakes, only a few of "us" have had that mistake flaunted for the entire world to see.  That is the surface level explanation, but let's dig a little deeper.

As we all know, the internet allows for information to spread so fast and has led to this global online community, we know this.  I'm not the first to write about the 'mob' mentality, but it still shocks me that we might 'know' about this mentality but it does not stop us from it.  As a culture, we pretend to care so much about equal rights, stopping generalizations and racial profiling, but we are EXTREMELY quick to paint someone with a single stroke when it comes to certain topics.  Do we forget that Ray Rice is a human being, who does both good and bad things?

The "court of public opinion" is a yes or no question.  The question is 'Should we shun this evil person?' or 'Is this person a saint?'  I remember reading blogs in the past about this same topic a number of years ago, and it seemed to say something like this:
"We as a society need to be careful, because this mob mentality is a slippery slope"
Well, we have slipped and are at the bottom.

The message being reported about Ray Rice is that he is a horrible human being, not worthy of playing sports or having any joy for the rest of his life, and that is wrong!  It is hard for most of us to feel sorry for someone who has an abundance of money for running around with a pigskin, but what good is all the money in the world if you have no friends.

Just read what Ray Rice posted on Instagram and see if it reads as someone who is laughing all the way to the bank:

"No one knows the pain that the media and unwanted options from the public has cause my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his [expletive] off for all his life just to gain ratings is a horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow and show the world what real love is! Ravensnation, we love you!”

Oh wait, I am mistaken, that post was from Ray Rice's wife, the same woman he knocked unconscious in that elevator, who at the time was his fiance, but has since married him and said she is partially responsible at a press conference.  Well, she is clearly just a gold digging whore who is just upset that he no longer will make her millions of dollars.  I say that sarcastically to show that we can even demonize the victim in the situation and paint her as a horrible human being as well.

Please don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying the Rice family are wonderful people, I'm actually just saying they are like you and me, capable of good and bad alike.  As any good internet blog, tweet, post, comment, I should be providing some divisive conclusion which will pick a winner and turn the mob towards anyone who disagrees, but I will be soliciting advice from the only person qualified to give it.

There was a similar situation in which a mob of people were about to kill a woman for committing adultery.  The answer is the answer to how we should feel about Ray Rice: "He that is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her'.  That man was also God, Jesus Christ.

It may feel morally superior to look down at Ray Rice and condemn him, but if we first look in the mirror, we might remember that time we did something stupid, or that thing we do when no one is watching.  What if someone posted that online and you had enough followers to constitute a mob?

God created humans with the ability to choose good or choose evil, He is Love, and He loves us regardless of our choices, but is also Just and will ensure justice is done in this world.  This is how we should treat others, love first, but without compromising truth.  What Ray Rice did was wrong, but we should still love him and promote redemption.

You may notice a paradox between perfect Justice and perfect Love.  How can a perfect God be both perfectly Just and still Love us completely? The answer is found in Romans 5:

"8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God." v8-9