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Archive for the ‘cheney’ Category

There is no sugar-coating it. These are bad times for the Republican Party. In the space of one two-year election cycle, we somehow managed to give the American electorate such a bad opinion of us that we have lost NOT ONLY the Presidency to a first-term congressman/marxist /community-agitator from Chicago, but we ALSO have managed to go from the majority to the minority in both houses of congress. The carnage and humiliation also has extended to the state and local level. To sum-up the situation, in the wake of this two year whirlwind of crisis and doom, the GOP brand has been effectively left in tatters and the voters have taken the party to the woodshed for a well-deserved ass-whipping and left it there for a while to consider the error of it’s ways .

 As the current leader of the conservative-movement-in-exile ( Rush Limbaugh ) likes to remind us -” elections have consequences”, and now we have to face those consequences. I especially hope that all of you Republicans who sat out this last election because you couldn’t quite stomach pulling the lever for John McCain are pleased with the results and are enjoying things so far. I had my problems with the guy as well, but the alternative didn’t even bear consideration , as we all are now finding out.  It’s going to be a VERY, VERY long 4 years my fellow Republicans… I hope we use this time in the wilderness well.

So… Where do we go from here as a party? Well, for starters, let’s pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off, and take a look around us. Let’s review the situation in a nutshell…We  are now  10 months into this “Ultraviolet Catastrophe” known as the Obama administration, and our distinguished colleagues on the left have already rammed  40 years worth of pent-up liberal programs and TRILLIONS of dollars of government spending and debt down our throats, and they aren’t even CLOSE to being finished. National Health Care is imminent. Stimulus Package II is already being put through as we speak (piecemeal this time instead of all-at-once for obvious stealth reasons ). Early next year we have energy and climate-change  legislation ( AKA “Cap and Trade” ) warming-up in the on-deck circle. What our distinguished opponents have planned for the country in that area will, in actual  practice, place a virtual tax on every single thing that is manufactured or transported in this country while also raising the price of electricity and gasoline for every single American consumer. Later next year, the agenda  will then proceed to “comprehensive immigration reform” . Translated, this means amnesty for tens of millions of illegals and STILL no sign of border or workplace enforcement . Meanwhile, the Bush tax cuts will expire, and employee health benefits will be slated to be taxed as income to partially pay for National Healthcare. Capital gains taxes, payroll taxes,unemployment insurance premiums, corporate taxes, small business taxes, and personal income taxes are all going to go up to pay for all of these wonderful programs and the debt that our fine Democrat friends are running up. A ton of leftist federal judges are going to be being appointed to the bench for life , and probably two more liberal Supreme Court justices as well. Oh, and lest we forget, Mr. Obama seems determined to also find time in his busy schedule to lose the war in Afghanistan, and almost every economist will tell you that we are looking at a repeat of the massive inflation of the early 80’s  in the latter half of Obama’s second term thanks to all of the money he’s been printing. This all coming on the heels of the total collapse of the housing market, the credit-crunch, the auto-bailout, the banking and financial sector meltdown, record unemployment, AND the worst recession since the Great Depression. Whew!

 The Democrats now control the Presidency, they have a large majority in the House of Representatives, and they hold a 60 vote super-majority in the Senate. They are going to, therefore,  do whatever it is that they want for the next year or so until the 2010 elections when their majorities will be pared down somewhat. But even then, they will still have effective control of  both houses of Congress AND control of the White House for the next three years and two months even under our best-case scenarios. Things are bad, and they are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better folks.

The good news is that the Democrats are going to OWN all of this mess come 2012! So it’s hard not to find SOME hope and opportunity for our party to be given another chance in the driver’s seat. But before we start cheering and slapping ourselves on the backs at the likelihood of our coming right back into power soon, we should probably take a minute to consider just how badly we have failed as a party while we were in office to DESERVE being where we are now, and also we should consider the long-term damage that these people are going to do to the country while the adults are out of power . That mess will be left for our children and grandchildren to clean up because we failed to be worthy of the trust that the American people once placed in us. We should be ashamed of ourselves as a party that we strayed so far from our principles, and that we allowed the country to be taken over by these awful miscreants. We should all take this time to re-evaluate our party and to reflect upon what we once stood for, so that when the American people give us a chance again, we will once again be worthy of their trust.

To paraphrase Reagan- The American people didn’t leave the Republican party- we left them. I have a question for all you true-blue republican conservative types- Who was a better champion of the principles fiscal conservatism?- A)  Barack Hussein Obama, B ) George Walker Bush, or C) William Jefferson Clinton? ( The correct answer is “C” ). I was raised Republican. Cut me and I bleed Republican.My family has been Republican since the civil war. Harrises  voted for Lincoln and for every Republican presidential nominee since. Once upon a time, my Dad told me that he couldn’t bring himself to vote for a Republican candidate for a state office  because he disliked him personally.  Rather than do the un-thinkable (vote for a Democrat) , he instead chose the socialist-labor candidate. True story. I have many fond memories of Grandma Harris cussing at the Democrats on television. But even given all of my well-established Republican bonafides, I have to be honest- if I were given a choice right now of who I would want to be president- Obama, Bush, or Clinton…. I would choose Clinton in a heartbeat. And that, my friends, is why we are a party in exile.  We don’t need a third party to split the good guys down the middle and leave the bad guys in office ad infinitum. What we need is a SECOND party to give the electorate an actual alternative to the Republicrat monster we have created. Towards that end, it’s high-time that conservatives took over their own party again.

From a purely tactical standpoint, Republicans will be right back in power very soon, controlling both the Presidency AND both houses of Congress. However, the larger question remains- what do we DO with that power once we have it again, and NOW is the time to answer that question. That power will be handed right back to us by the Democrats themselves, who are not only over-reaching, they are doing-so BADLY. They have somehow managed to completely misinterpret the results of the 2008 elections as being an overwhelming mandate for the biggest  expansion of  the federal government since the Roosevelt administration. For some unknown reason, they seem to feel they have been given a license to run up the national debt so high that our great-great-great-great-great grandchildren will still be paying it off. It’s truly appalling to watch these folks toss around TRILLIONS of dollars like it was the change they found in their couch cushions while cleaning the living room last night . The speed with which this run-away spending is taking place is historic, and absolutely unsustainable. The sheer SCALE and SCOPE of their plans for the expansion of government  is absolutely breathtaking in it’s audacity. But this was absolutely NOT what the American people had in mind. You see, we ALREADY had runaway expansion of the federal government  and uncontrolled spending by the PREVIOUS administration ( although to a much lesser extent ) and they got summarily thrown out of office, just as these people soon will. Bush may have been a social conservative but he was also a budgetary disaster, and the American people rightly repudiated the party that he belonged to for- among other reasons- his criminal mismanagement of the economy- which is now continuing under the Democrats.

The 2008 elections came down to this I think- the Republicans got into office and behaved badly. Also they had the bad luck to be on-duty when the housing and financial crisis hit-( for which they were only about half responsible ). The American people only had two major parties to choose from-  Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. So the people had no choice but to throw one set of bums out and put the other set of bums in for a while. That’s not a mandate- it’s a lack of options.

If we Republicans want to regain the majority and KEEP it, then the first thing that we need to address is giving the American people a real choice again- we need to stand for a set of principles that are clearly distinct and different from the Democrats. Win or lose- going forward from here, we need to quit being “democrat light” and go back to our roots. We need to make elections about our conservative ideas, policies, and solutions again- not about who has the better slogans. The message of the Democratic party in the 2008 Presidential campaign boiled down to this- “Hope”, “Change”, and “Yes We Can!”  Are you freakin’  kidding me?!  If the Grand Old Party- the  party of Lincoln and Reagan for Godssake!- has now sunk so low that we could actually LOSE to these infantile buffoons with their carpet-bags full of jingoistic horse shit, then we truly DESERVE to spend some time in the political wilderness. Our party leaders should consider themselves to be in “time out”, where they now have the opportunity to stand in the corner and totally re-evaluate just what exactly our party is to stand for, and to remember what our core principles once were. Getting back in power again won’t be a problem for the Republican party. The Democrats were given a whole lot of rope in 2008 and they are -predictably- proceeding to hang themselves with it. The popularity of Congress  is worse than some plague rats I know, so we’ll get our chance soon enough. The REAL question is- what will we- the Republican Party- STAND for when we ARE given that chance again. That’s what we- all of us- need to be thinking about as a party now.

The American people NEED and desperately WANT national LEADERSHIP with real solutions now. This crisis CAN be an opportunity for our party, if we are able and willing to step in to that void with real solutions and ideas. There is  a sense of desperation and near-panic in this country that is almost palpable among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike. There is a growing sense that our elected leaders in BOTH parties seem incapable of solving even the most basic and obvious problems. It’s like everybody knows what needs to be done, but no matter who you vote for, nobody ever does it! You put the Democrats in charge and they run up the debt, spend money we don’t have, ship all our jobs overseas, and allow millions of illegal Mexicans to invade our country. So you put Republicans in charge and they do the SAME DAMNED THING! It’s maddening! It’s like NOBODY represents our interests anymore!  Health care costs keep rising all out of proportion to everything else and NOBODY seems to know what to do about it. The public schools just get worse every single year no matter how much we spend on them, and the kids seem to keep getting dumber and dumber- graduating knowing less and less. The streets of many major cities have degenerated into little more than gang-infested war-zones for all intents and purposes, and in many, many communities there is a growing sense of a fundamental breakdown of law and social order. The entire midwest- once the manufacturing heart that drove our nation- seems to have been all but written-off as lost by our political leaders. Nothing seems to WORK like it’s supposed to anymore. Things we used to take for granted can’t be relied upon anymore. And nobody really understands why. We are the first generation of Americans that believes our best days are behind us now. Now, more than ever, the Republican party needs to come forward with some answers to at least SOME of these problems. I believe that our party HAS those answers if we will only go back to our roots and quit trying to please the leftist news media by showing how limp-wristed and “moderate” we can be! Reagan didnt have any problem getting elected last I checked, and he was  an unapologetic conservative who was able to proudly and clearly explain what conservatism has to offer voters. The people who are encouraging us to become more “moderate” do NOT have our best interests at heart! They WANT us to lose, and no matter how much like Democrats we try to become, they are NEVER going to be on our side or like us!  If we continue to make elections a choice between Democrat and Democrat-light  then we are finished as a serious national party.

If I had just one wish for my party, it would be this-  that going forward, we win or lose from now on as who we really are. It’s totally up to the American people to choose what direction they want to go, and if a new generation really does want to give up on our nation’s founding principles of freedom and limited government, to go down the road to socialism and an equal share in misery and debt for all,… well, then they have that right in a Democracy. We may have to respect that choice, but we can at least have the courage to stand up proudly and give them a clear alternative to that path!

Now is our time to do just that, fellow Republicans. Let’s consider what we can stand for as a party now that offers voters clear alternatives and positive solutions. Let’s do that  by applying conservative principles of fiscal responsibility and personal liberty to the problems that face our nation now. Let’s then boil those ideas down to a few core, focus-group-tested, bedrock policy planks that our party and all our national candidates vociferously STAND UP FOR every single time they give a campaign speech or appear on a Sunday talk-show. We need to reclaim and reframe the terms of the national debate in the context of a few clear, concise policies and principles that delineate and separate us from the alternative .

We need a new “Contract With America” with clear, easy-to-understand solutions that a majority of Americans agree with us on, and those core ideas and policies need to define us to our consumers/voters as a national brand. Every candidate and campaign- state, local, and national should then hammer those few core points- ten or less- home with the voters over, and over, and over again! Every Democrat should be beaten over the head with them at every opportunity! It worked great in 1994, and it will work again! 

The GOP is potentially set for a MAJOR comeback here. The Democrats were reluctantly handed the keys to the family station wagon in 2006 and 2008 by nervous parents with grave misgivings about doing so, and sure enough… that crazy bitch Nancy Pelosi immediately jammed the gas pedal to the floor and pointed the car-of-state right off a cliff. These people will be grounded again very soon, and won’t be back in the driver’s seat again for a very long time. This is the Carter administration all over again. I just hope to God we can find another Reagan to clean up this mess. But regardless of who the standard-bearers wind-up being,  we as a party have to get back to our core principles and come up with some clear, concise policies and ideas that all of our candidates can get behind and sign-on to in 2012.

Towards that end, I have some thoughts about which specific areas of national policy we need to focus on as a party to bring us back to what we once were- a true national party that actually represented the people’s interests and had some real policy solutions to the problems that face or nation – not just slogans, flag-waving, and ideology, which isn’t going to cut it anymore.

 Here would be my Top Ten ideas for a new “Contract with America”…

ISSUE NUMBER ONE: LAW AND ORDER

For starters, let’s go with our core competency as conservatives and pledge that if the Republican party is put back in charge, that we will take back our neighborhoods from gangs and lawlessness. Let’s pledge to put as many police officers on the streets and build as many jails as we have to , to re-establish basic Law and Order in our cities as a national priority. Long-term, of course this is going to mean getting ahold of the awful public school systems, and stopping illegal immigration, both of which are feeding all of these murderous gangs that are exploding everywhere and turning our communities into war zones. But first things first- In the short-term, we need to meet this enemy head-on and in-their face with boots on the ground. We need a “Surge” into the areas that the forces of law and order have basically lost total control of in the last ten years or so. We need to employ counterinsurgency tactics to “hold and  clear” the enemy strongholds in our cities and take back the areas where they currently operate with  impunity. If it sounds like we are fighting a war, that’s because we are. Case in point: the city of Oakland, California is currently being terrorized by over TEN THOUSAND gang members running amok killing each other ( and many innocent bystanders while they are at it ) with total impunity. You walk down the wrong street wearing the wrong color, and you stand a fairly high chance of being summarily executed in broad daylight.Primarily, these hoodlums consist of;  the “Norteos”, the “Sureos”, and the “Border Brothers”. Each and every single one of these saggy-pants-wearing fucktards needs to be rounded up, cuffed and stuffed,  and thrown in jail for a twenty year sentence immediately and without further delay. To accomplish the task of  battling ten thousand mexican gangbangers, the city’s gang-unit ( recently disbanded ) consists of eight officers. Eight. 

  Let’s face it… Republicans are natural Law and Order, hard-ass types.  Our party’s base is basically Hank Hill from “King of the Hill. We  like peaceful, polite, and safe communities. We don’t litter.We like to mow our yards. And we have no use whatsoever for any aspect of thug culture. None whatsoever. The American people in Oakland, Chicago, and Detroit are tired of living in fear. So let’s roll into these neighborhoods with 50,00 new cops, round these jackasses up, and kick some ass! This issue has always been a total winner for us. Republicans should ALWAYS stand for more cops, safer streets, and criminals in jail where they belong!  

ISSUE TWO: THE BORDER AND WORKPLACE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT

The majority of the American People have HAD IT with this situation! Thirty million illegal Mexicans have just waltzed into our country like they own the place, taken over entire cities and industries, completely inundated our schools, filled our jails to overflowing, bankrupted our healthcare system and overwhelmed all of our social welfare programs which are supposed to be serving  American citizens and now no longer can. These people show little if any inclination to assimilate into our culture or customs as previous waves of immigrants in our history have done, and instead are perfectly content to continue jibber-jabbering away in spanish while they steal our identities, celebrate Cinco De Mayo instead of the 4th of July, and lower everybody’s wages while they steal the jobs of millions of out-of-work Americans. Mexican gangs are turning hundreds of previously safe communities into war-zones where decent, law-abiding working people and senior citizens are now forced to live in abject fear for their lives.  Enough is by-God enough! We know where the Democrats stand on this. They want to do everything in their power to keep the status quo going- open borders, sanctuary cities, and amnesty. They thwart every attempt to secure the border, to enforce immigration law in the workplace, and to allow local cops to check immigration status. They do everything they can to allow these people to enter and re-enter the country, and to stay here illegally. They do everything they can to make it possible for illegals to get healthcare, education, welfare benefits, food stamps, WIC, Section-8 housing, home loans, bank accounts, driver’s licenses, voter registration cards and auto insurance. They hinder every attempt to identify these people, to round them up, and to deport them. This is understandable. The Democrat party is the party of  government services. Illegals need these things and represent a vast potential constituency if they can only be legalized somehow. The Republican party needs to offer an alternative to this ongoing national outrage. The VAST majority of Republicans want the border closed, and want the assholes who are giving these people jobs rounded up and thrown in jail. The majority of Americans- regardless of party- also want the border closed. So let’s get on the right side of this issue!  On DAY ONE of a new Republican administration, let’s pledge to put troops on the border, and make a border-duty rotation a PERMANENT part of normal Army and National Guard service. Troops come off their tour-of-duty in Afghanistan or wherever, and rotate back to peacetime duty on the border for 6 months or so. Enough with the foot-dragging and hand-wringing on this issue! Let’s build a thirty-foot wall from Brownsville to San Diego! And let’s put illegals awaiting deportation in charge of clearing the brush from a hundred meter  zone on either side of that wall. Again, this issue is a total winner for us! Even most legal hispanic citizens want the border secured and immigration enforcement in the workplace. In fact, these people are the ones MOST hurt by rampant illegal immigration, as many of them are the ones on the lower rungs of the job market  having their wages lowered and their jobs stolen by the illegals.

ISSUE THREE: TRADE REFORM TO BRING OUR JOBS HOME!

I am a realist, and as such, I have been willing to tolerate a little bit of corruption, bribery, graft, and personal enrichment on the part of our public officials- just so long as while they are stealing a little piece from a very large pie, they make sure that the American people’s interests are looked after as well while they are doing it. But at this point, our elected officials are focused entirely on taking care of themselves, but are apparently not even remotely interested in taking care of us. And that has to stop. The trade agreements and  policies of the last 25 years have absolutely been to the ruin of this country. Republicans and Democrats alike have been falling over each other to ship our jobs overseas and to transfer trillions of dollars of national wealth out of the country to China that could have- and should have- been spent on American’s needs. The industrial heartland of this country has had it’s guts ripped out and the entire industrial Midwest has been in a permanent recession and bleeding jobs now for two decades thanks to these idiotic trade agreements. The Republican Party has traditionally been the party of trade protectionism, and we need to get back to that- if , for no other reason, than to give the American voter an actual choice betwen the two parties. Because right now, BOTH political parties have sold us down the river on this issue.

First of all, “Free Trade” with a third-world country where the workers earn less in a day than American workers earn on their coffee breaks is not even possible. The entire premise of “Free Trade” is preposterous.OF COURSE factories and producers are going to go where the labor is cheapest if we allow them to! Hello MacFly! Also, the playing field is not even remotely level. Not only are we paying for most of the world’s security with our military, but we have a lot of worker and environmental protections in place during the manufacturing process that add to the costs of goods produced here as well. The only thing “Free Trade” with third world countries gets us as a nation is a massive transfer of wealth and jobs to other countries- who then turn around and loan that money back to us to finance our out-of- control government spending. It’s pure insanity! The Chinese are our bankers now, and can bring our currency and our economy to it’s knees on a whim should we ever get out of line on Tibet, on human rights for Chinese citizens like free elections, or on the issue of Taiwan just by selling even a small percent of their massive currency reserves- which are in dollars. Not only is our trade imbalance with China an economic disaster, but it’s also very dangerous in terms of how our hands are tied now in on matters of foreign policy! We wouldn’t last one day in a war with China if they decided to invade Taiwan tomorrow. They would dump their dollars on the world market and throw us into another Great Depression overnight! Am I in favor of trade? Sure! But we should be adding duties and tariffs on imports and on multinational corporations who base themselves elsewhere to avoid taxes , while still having access to the biggest market on earth. We are getting screwed here! We need to raise tariffs such that the costs of production overseas equal the costs of production here. Period. That’s fair. Everything H.Ross Perot said turned out to be true. Lincoln was a staunch trade protectionist! And for all of his free-trade rhetoric- when push came to shove, so was Reagan. He wasn’t about to let us get pushed around or taken advantage of, and practicality was much more important than ideology with Reagan when it came to motorcycles, machine tools, steel, semiconductors, and cars. There’s a reason why Toyotas are being built in Alabama today, employing American workers and paying taxes HERE, and that reason is Ronald Wilson Reagan playing hardball on trade. We need to tell the WTO to go take a hike, abrogate all of our trade agreements, and renegotiate them on a case-by-case basis according to what benefits THIS nation the most. I mean, that should be our fundamental guiding principle on matters of trade, should it not?- IE. what benefits this nation the most? If OUR interests are not the primary concern of our elected officials, then exactly whose interests are they looking out for?! This issue is a TOTAL winner for the Republican party, and it puts the GOP  back in play again in the entire  midwest- Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois specifically.  I am amazed that , considering the huge electoral bounty of these states, that both political parties have gotten away with giving states like Ohio and Michigan the ol ” Dirty Sanchez” on the issue of trade and manufacturing  jobs for the last twenty years. It’s outrageous! Why do the voters of Cleveland, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Dayton tolerate this unmitigated, unlubricated cornholing by their national leaders in both parties? In Michigan, they are literally letting paved roads revert back to gravel. They are razing whole neighborhoods and turning them back into grassy fields. Unemployment is at 17%! This issue is RIPE to refuel an entire political re-alignment in the heartland, and Republicans need to get in there and fight for those votes!

Besides, practically speaking, if the Republican party has a future, we HAVE to take back the midwest, which used to be our power base, to counteract Democratic encroachment in the west and southwest. California- for all intents and purposes- is a write-off for us now. If we are also writing off Ohio, we may as well pack it in, because the GOP is finished as national party. Let’s pledge as Republicans to leave WTO, to re-examine our trade relationships, to bring those relationships back  into balance, and to start bringing our manufacturing  jobs ( and the wealth and prosperity they generate) back home!

ISSUE FOUR: RADICAL CHANGE TO FIX OUR SCHOOLS

Really, I should have put this one first, because it’s by far the Republican’s best issue, and the one that Democrats are most vulnerable on. We spend FAR, FAR, FAR more than any other country in the world on education, and yet we somehow wind-up  back in 27nth place on standardized testing among nations in some subjects at some grade levels. We keep pouring our national wealth into the disgraceful, FAILED abomination that is our nation’s public schools, and STILL  all the Democrats want to to is spend more money! All across the country, millions of school children in places like Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago are either dropping out entirely, or graduating from high school dumb as a box of rocks- not knowing how to read, write, speak the english language, or add two numbers together. The ignorance and lack of learning taking place in public school systems across the country- despite our massive national investment in these failed institutions – is APPALLING. We’ve seen time and again that charter schools and private schools accomplish ten times the results for half the price, so let’s give ALL parents the choice to take their kids out of these awful public failures and put them in private schools that will better serve their needs. Let’s toss this current failed model on the scrap heap of history and give people their own tax dollars back in the form of a voucher that they can spend on ANY school they choose- public or private. Let the marketplace decide who wins and loses. Make parents and kids empowered consumers and let them vote with their feet! The Democrats will fight us tooth and nail on this, because if we take away their ability to subject captive school children  to leftist indoctrination in the public school system for 12 years, they are sunk and they know it. The job they’ve done using the public schools to brainwash and dumb-down American school children ( future voters ) has been a critical component of the success  the counterculture has had in remaking our society as a whole. If we manage to put all those kids in private schools where they will actually learn facts about history and government, learn how to read, and learn how to critically reason,  the Democratic party as it is currently constituted is done for. Education reform is a  dagger aimed right at the heart of the liberal democratic base- especially the Congressional Black Caucus- who want to keep American school children dumb, poor, and dependant on them. There is a REASON why our political leaders all put their children in private schools while they expect poor, inner-city kids to go to failed public schools- it’s because they care less about the children than they do about their political power base with the teacher’s unions, and more about their opportunity to indoctrinate children into leftist ideology. We as Republicans should beat Democrats over the head with their vile hypocrisy on this issue every day of every single election campaign. No Republican politician or candidate anywhere should EVER step in front of a microphone or TV camera without demanding to know when the President will either be sending his own kids into the Baltimore public school system, or will be giving the parents of those kids who are trapped in there the same opportunities to learn that HIS kids have! Republican office-seekers should be standing on the steps of every failed school in America DEMANDING equality of opportunity for every child regardless of their race or income. How is that not a winner for us? Republicans have been on the right side of this issue for a long time. We NEED to put this front and center, and start PUNISHING the Democrats for being on the wrong side of this. We need a national, coordinated marketing-campaign every single election-cycle to throw this in the face of Democrats who have no leg to stand-on, and no choice but to hang their heads in abject shame on this issue.  Micheal Steel are you listening to me? 

ISSUE FIVE: A REALISTIC ENERGY POLICY

The bursting of the housing bubble wasn’t the only thing that sent this economy into the current recession. Four-dollar -a-gallon gas prices are what finally pushed us off the edge of the cliff. How soon we forget, eh? High gasoline and electricity prices add a virtual tax onto the production and transportation of every single good and service in the economy. It’s a tax on all consumers and producers. It’s money taken right out the pockets of commuters and working families trying to make ends meet. It’s higher prices on food and dairy products. It’s a tax on every manufactured good that gets to the marketplace on tractor trailers or rail cars. It’s a tax on all road and air travel that cancels vacations and road trips, and affects tourism , the airlines, and hotels. Looking forward, because of the slowdown in the economy, the lack of investment capital, and quite frankly, because of a democratic administration that is openly hostile to most traditional forms of energy production, there has been greatly reduced investment in exploration, refining capacity, and new energy infrastructure over the past two years . This lack of investment means that when the economy finally DOES start to get some legs and starts getting going again, gas prices are going to go right back up to four or five dollars-a-gallon and will quickly put the brakes on any economic recovery. And that should be happening right about 2012 when the Democrats are going to have to answer to the American voters as to why they have done NOTHING during their time in power to increase our nation’s ability to produce energy- instead choosing to leave our economy at the mercy of OPEC.

We Republicans have been doing everything possible for years to try and increase domestic energy production- including more offshore drilling, oil-shale conversion , tapping our own abundant natural gas stores in Alaska, and building more safe, clean, non-polluting nuclear power plants. The Democrats have thwarted us on these things at every turn, and in 2012 we have to make them PAY for it, with a well-marketed and well-publicized National Energy Initiative focused on increasing domestic production, and on bringing an end to our reliance on foreign oil.

It’s a statistical fact that even if we turned the entire Great Plains into one giant windmill farm, and turned the entire state of Arizona into one giant photovoltaic cell, there is no possibility that these sources can ever power more than a fraction of our national energy needs. Nuclear power plants and increased natural gas production are the only thing we can realistically do in the short-term to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of oil and coal until we can bring hydrogen power to bear in the long-term. And yet Democrats who supposedly care so much about reducing carbon emissions and stopping global warming, block these beneficial things at every turn. They have no realistic answers or solutions to offer, and we Republicans need to smack them around on this issue like the limp rag-dolls they are in 2012 when Americans are fuming at the gas pumps once again. 

We should also be smart and couch our energy policy in terms of a realistic plan to reduce carbon emissions in the short-term with nuclear and natural gas, and we should get 100% behind cellulose-into-hydrogen research as a long-term solution as well. There is no reason at all why the Democrats should own the “Green” issue. All they have is empty talk- we are the ones with real solutions that we can present within the framework of a realistic national energy policy!

ISSUE SIX: A BALANCED BUDGET PLEDGE

It’s not that difficult. If I spend ten dollars for every five I earn,  I am soon going to find myself  in a financial mess. The same is true for both governments and for private citizens. Americans are rightly horrified and appalled at the spiraling national debt. And this issue should especially be a way for fiscal conservatives to reach out to young voters, as all of this spending and debt really amounts to nothing more than generational theft. Why the hell should our children and grandchildren be forced to pay off trillions of dollars of debt that we have run up? It’s a crock! Republicans have traditionally been the mean old party-poopers who say “No,we cant afford that!” when Democrats want to spend more money on failed systems or create some new government program or entitlement. We abandoned that traditional role under Bush II. That’s our J-O-B as conservative Republicans people,  and it’s high-time we got back to it! This current course we are on is unsustainable, and is going to be to the ruin and bankruptcy of generations of Americans yet unborn. Our next Republican candidate for President should swear a blood oath before God and before the American people, that he will not sign a budget that is sent to him by Congress that adds one penny to the national debt, and swear that he will resign if he ever does. Further, Republicans should bring up for a vote in both houses of Congress a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution each and every single time the Congress is in session. Let the Democrats vote it down over, and over, and over, and over again! Then beat them senseless with their own voting record  each and every election cycle. We should also put forward a thirty-year plan to pay the national debt down to ZERO- and it shouldn’t be back-loaded until “our guy” is out of office either! The reason why we waste so much money on things that we don’t really need is that it’s all going on the national credit card. If we cut up the credit card and actually have to pay as we go, we will find it a lot easier to set priorities and cut waste. Every federal dollar spent on cow-fart experiments, dog-parks, aquariums, the Endowment for the Arts, National Public Radio, PBS, and Woodstock museums should be a dollar taken out of Grandma’s retirement check. That should keep them honest and focused for a change.

ISSUE SEVEN: A STRONG AND CLEAR VISION FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE AND HOMELAND SECURITY

 In 1980, Ronald Reagan was able to compare and contrast favorably his strong vision for America’s national security against Carter’s wimpy, whussy, apologetic approach to international  affairs. This should also be the case for Republicans running against Obama in 2012 who is repeating all of Carter’s mistakes. Mr. Obama managed to somehow convince us all during the campaign, that he wasn’t just some flakey first-term community agitator from Chicago by talking tough on National Defense. He said time-and-time-again during the campaign, that we needed to focus and get tough on the war that REALLY counted- Afghanistan. And yet here we are 10 months later, and the Taliban is taking over again, and general McKrystal’s request for 40,000 additional troops has been sitting on Obama’s desk while this chump worries about the 2016 Olympic games. The man is getting advice from people who are actually telling him to cut a deal with the Taliban, cede the cities to them, and to then focus on predator strikes and special ops missions instead of on counterinsurgency. He is not even listening to the guys who engineered “the Surge” in Iraq and snatched victory  from the jaws of defeat with a brilliant “clear and hold” counterinsurgency strategy. 

The current administration- in addition to trying real hard to lose the war in Afghanistan, is setting the Guantanamo detainees free, is tying the hands of our law enforcement agencies to conduct surveillance and wiretaps on terrorist suspects, is still leaving the border wide open despite recent actual attempts made by islamic terrorists to cross over from Mexico, and is even launching a major criminal investigation into CIA interrogation techniques during the Bush administration.  The question can be fairly asked- just whose side are these people on anyways?  

The argument can perhaps be fairly made, as to why we should not have gone into Iraq during the Bush years, but one thing that CANNOT be denied is that the overall strategy of placing the country in an offensive posture of  engagement with the enemy ABROAD was a smashing success that needs to be continued. We buried tens of thousands of  Al Qaeda, jihadists, and other assorted muslim whackjobs while fighting over in Iraq, and it’s much better that we engage them there as opposed to engaging them here. The Clinton-era policy of treating national security and anti-terrorism as a law enforcement matter best left to the courts and to international sanctions was a total disaster. Bush and Cheney did what was necessary to keep this country safe, and thwarted over thirty separate plots with their aggressive surveillance, interrogation, and wiretapping policies. Mark my words, we are going to rue the day that we let this current bunch of lawyers and armchair theorists get into office.

Iran is going to acquire nuclear weapons and supply them to the terrorist groups that they already fund and arm all over the world, and Obama is going to do absolutely nothing to stop it from happening except to wag his finger at them, and threaten to “engage in serious dialogues” with them. He will impotently plead  for more UN resolutions and sanctions ( which never accomplish anything even when implemented ), and most of those resolutions and sanctions will be blocked in the UN security council by Russia and China.

Just as they did during the carter years, our enemies are laughing at us. Once again, Russia knows it has a free hand to expand into Ukraine and the Baltics thanks to our weak, spineless President.

How soon we have all forgotten the lessons of 9-11…  We saw that day what our enemies have in store for us, and we should remember that the only reason the death count wasn’t 50,000 or more that day, is that those buildings didn’t collapse as quickly as they had  hoped. Also, we should remember that we foiled an even worse plot than 911 to hi-jack and crash multiple 747’s and we did this by water-boarding Khalid Sheik Mohammed. FYI, we dont DO waterboarding anymore  because this new bunch is running things and figures that if we will only be nice to our enemies, then they surely will be nice to us in return.

We live in dangerous times, and we are fighting a new type of war that is full of asymmetrical engagements and one where our success or failure is highly dependent on surveillance, intelligence gathering, and on interrogation. Like it or not, we just can’t afford to have a bunch of pussy liberals running the country at this juncture in our nation’s history. Maybe some other time would be better. I mean, God bless them for their good intentions and for wanting to be nice to everybody, but we need serious adults in charge now, and these people are simply going to be the death of us.

We Republicans, for better or worse, are the party of war and ass-kicking now, and that’s what the country needs, not the  Democrat party of defeat and retreat. We have to lay it out plainly for the American people that we are the ones who are going to keep them safe. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to take another 911- courtesy of our dear little friends the well-intentioned Democrats- to remind the voters who needs to be in charge at this point. Don’t get me wrong, the Democrat party wasnt always like this. Kennedy and Truman took no crap from anybody, and neither did FDR. But the Democrat party today is the party that was taken over by the dope-smoking hippy counterculture of the 60’s and is run by their worthless children now. It’s up to the Republicans to keep America safe now.

The next American President needs to be brutally honest with the American people about our prospects in Afghanistan and make both a serious commitment to victory in that theatre of operations, and to setting realistic expectations for what we hope to accomplish there. Afghanistan is never going to be a successful country per say. It will never be a particularly happy or prosperous nation. They have nothing at all going for them in that godforsaken place except yak dung, heroin, and Islam. ( And I am not even sure which of those three excreable items is the worst to have – although personally, if I had to pick which of the three I would most want to have in my country, I would start with the yak dung, which could at least be used as fertilizer, then I would put heroin second, followed last of all by Islam- which is probably the most dangerous and mind-numbing of the three … ) Any “nation-building”, modern progress, or human-rights  that we manage to create there for those people is all well and good, but we need to remember that that is not really why we are there. They need those things in Ghana as well, yet we haven’t invaded them. We are THERE to send a message to other countries who would allow their territory to be used as a base for terrorist operations against the United States. That message is this: If you do that, your country will soon find itself under new management and your leaders will go from living in lavish palaces to living in caves and waiting for our laser-guided munitions to come flying down their vent pipes. We should not be looking for an “exit strategy ” in Afghanistan. We should stay there indefinitely and keep our boot on the throats of the Taliban for the next 40 or 50 years. Why not just be honest about that with the American people?

We just can’t walk away from there after 911 without ceasing to be a great power, so why not settle in and accept it? We’ve had troops in Germany and Japan for longer than that. Why not transfer them over to Kabul and Kandahar until 2060? We kill people every day over there who wish this country harm. Great! So why leave and give Al Qaeda back their safe haven? Let’s stay!

Oh, and on the subject of 911- the fact that eight years later, ground-zero is still a fucking hole in the ground is a national disgrace! Why couldn’t we have spent some of that trillion dollar stimulus package to put up a skyscraper three times as tall as the WTC, only this time with anti-aircraft batteries on top and a big sign that says “Try that again motherfuckers!” I seriously think that our next President should step in there and vow to rebuild on the site of the twin towers something bigger and better than anything anywhere else in the world! Talk about a perfect symbol of strength and defiance for this country and an expression of our party’s renewed commitment to national strength and pride! It’s exactly what we need, and what’s more it’s the right thing to do. Would Lincoln or Reagan have just let the site of the twin towers sit there empty as a testament to American impotence? I think not.

ISSUE EIGHT: TERM LIMITS

A recent poll showed that the America people- Democrats, Republicans, and Independents- would gladly vote tomorrow to remove every single member of Congress from office and start completely over. I would be among those who would vote in favor of this. Whether we accomplish this by state referendums leading to a Constitutional Convention, or by bills pushed forward in Congress, I actually think this is something that we need to do. I am sorry to say that money and lobbyists have such an influence over our political leadership now, that the nation’s work is simply no longer getting done. It’s time  to start over. As things currently stand, fund-raising for the next campaign has to begin the very first day of an elected official’s new term in office. We have created a class of permanent career politicians whose primary function is to raise money to keep getting elected. These people are insulated from reality by class privelege and by power that is wielded over others for far too long. They exempt themselves from the laws and burdens that they impose on their constituents, and rarely are held accountable for violating those laws. Representative Charles Rangel is the living, breathing poster-child for everything we have created.

Half of the people our new President put up for Cabinet positions were admitted tax cheats- including the Secretary of the Treasury! You couldn’t even make this stuff up and be believed it’s so crazy.

 I say it’s time for REAL change, not just empty campaign slogans about “change”. I advocate a new  “One and Done” term-limits law for both the House and the Senate. It would not be a career or a lifetime pension type of deal anymore, but rather an opportunity for community service, and then you go back to private life- or, if you do a good job, you could run for higher office. A majority of the American people want this, so let’s get behind that sentiment. Alternatively, I wonder if we couldnt set up some kind of vote-swap on the internet that would pair Democrats with Republicans who  live in districts currently controlled by their own respective parties. Maybe we could make a mutual pledge to one another to not vote for the incumbents in our districts even if it means voting for the other party. It would be sort of  like bi-lateral disarmament negotiations. We could try it in two districts at first- one republican and one democrat, and see if everybody lives up to their word. 

ISSUE NINE: CONGRESSIONAL PAY AND BENEFITS

No more automatic pay-raises in the dead-of-night, and index the bastard’s salaries to exactly match the average American’s salary. They earn what we earn. And they have to retire on Social Security- no  pension. And they have to use the “Public Option” for their own families’ healthcare. And they have to send their own kids to public schools. It’s time to bring these people out of their comfortable cocoon of privilege and wealth, and make them live in the mess they are creating for the rest of us. It’s the political equivalent of rubbing a dog’s face in his own crap when he keeps pooping on the carpet despite your best efforts to teach him otherwise.

ISSUE TEN: A BOLD AND VISIONARY NATIONAL UNDERTAKING OF SOME SORT

We Americans are natural pioneers. We are risk-takers. Builders. Dreamers. We crossed a rugged wilderness in covered wagons to make a better life. We landed men on the Moon. We built the Panama Canal. Built the Internet. Constructed the Interstate Highway system. Invented sliced bread, Tai-bo, and TV remotes. We spend more money on chew toys for our dogs each year than the Gross National Product of many nations.We liberated Europe and invented the Atomic Bomb. People are being born into abject poverty right now, today, in American hospitals- who will go on to college and become millionaires someday. We can do all of these things because we Americans have an absolute faith that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! The word “CAN’T” doesn’t even exist in our dictionaries.If you can dream it, you can do it! Every true American believes this deep down in their hearts as individuals, and what we need to do to get things back on track , is to get that spirit back AS A NATION again. We should have higher hopes and aspirations for ourselves than looking forward to an equal share in misery for everybody, and to have to go to work every day just to pay off the interest on the national debt, and to fund a bunch of social entitlement programs.

We need a new national undertaking. Something bold. Something special to work for that unites and inspires us. We need a candidate for President to stand up and say that if he is elected , then we will do something audacious, incredible, and almost unimaginable. Something tangible. Something specific. Something to look forward to. Something to gather the family around the television set to watch happen. Something to keep kids laying awake at night in their beds wondering if maybe someday – if they study real hard in school-maybe they could be a part of such a thing.

Most of all, we need a President  to tell us that we WILL NOT FAIL at it- to say it to the world! And to say that we will do whatever we have to as a nation to achieve the goal. We need something to remind us that our best days are NOT behind us, and that ANYTHING IS STILL POSSIBLE. Now more than ever, we need that. So let’s do it! Let’s go someplace nobody has ever gone before, or do something that’s never been done before. Let’s go to Mars or cure cancer or build a giant spaceborne interferometer to see if we really are alone in the universe. Let’s commit ourselves as a nation to something that will stand as OUR legacy to the ages- like the Apollo project was to our grandparent’s generation. Maybe we could get NASA back on track. Maybe they could do something with their 18 billion-dollar-a- year budget besides pay the russians for rides to the International Space Station- which is all they apparently have planned for the next decade. Maybe instead of “Cap and Trade” legislation, we could spend that trillion dollars setting up the greatest medical research center that the world will ever see , and pay for the schooling for 50,0000 new doctors and researchers to go and work there. To cure Cancer, Aids, and all of  the genetically passed-on diseases while we are at it. You know, we could probably actually pull it off,  if we were to put all of the  power and  imagination of the American people behind it .

Something. Anything! Just not the fading away with a whimper of the greatest nation the world has ever known. Just not to go softly into the good night of socialism and unending debt-service. To instead hold our heads up and to dream the impossible dream like Americans are supposed to.

As Republican’s, let’s venture something bold, and offer an optimistic vision for our future!

In conclusion…

 To anybody out there on the on the internet who actually reads this screed/manifesto in it’s entirety, I just want to say thanks very much for listening to my ideas on where I think the Republican party should go from here . I am happy to listen to any ideas if someone has any better,additional, or alternative proposals.

Take Care and God Bless…

PS. – Cheney/ Limbaugh 2012!

Further Suggested Reading:

Pat Buchanan on the Border:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=33903#

Ronald Reagan: Trade Realist, by Alan Tonelson…

http://www.americaneconomicalalert.org/view_art.asp?Prod_ID=1134

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Those of you who came here looking for the “Evolution versus Intelligent Design”, essay please click here:

https://tyharris.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/evolution-versus-intelligent-design-astronomy-may-soon-settle-the-matter-once-and-for-all/

Those of you who came here looking for “The Most Worthless Generation” essay, please click here:

https://tyharris.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/the-most-worthless-generation-an-essay-on-the-state-of-american-culture-by-ty-harris/

Political Prognostications by Ty Harris on the 2008 Presidential Election:

This is not part of the “Essays” series persay, but rather just a politically- oriented blog-entry. It’s a summary run-down of some thoughts I have on the 2008 Presidential election. Nothing in this entry is particulary controversial or argument-inspiring, at least compared to the last two essays. It’s just a topic that interests me, and since this is my blog, I am going to write about it whether anybody reads it or not. Politics has interested me since I was about 12 years old. That’s when I started expanding my mental horizons a bit, away from my own small, personal  affairs, and into the bigger questions of what is going on in the world at large, and why things are the way they are. I remember as a kid, watching the evening news and asking myself ( and my parents ) endless questions about WHY there was so much fighting going on in the world, and about WHY there was a gas shortage. I was never really content with just accepting that things are the way they are. I always wanted to know the “why”. I wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power, in government, and in politics that caused national policies and decisions to come about. I wanted to know what wars were SPECIFICALLY being fought over,  and what historical hostilities like the israeli-palestinian conflict, were SPECIFICALLY rooted in. I wanted to know WHY children were starving in Africa. I wanted to know WHY the world was the way it was. I didn’t see any really good REASON for all the poverty, hunger, war, and unhappiness in the world, and I so I really wanted to understand and know about the different social and economic systems that people had adopted in various cultures, that caused things to be the way they are. Those pre-teen musing were the beginnings of my “career” as an amatuer political junkie. In the intervening years, I have used my political punditry to stir up many conroversial and pointless arguments -for no reason whatsoever- in the workplace, in the home, and at many social gatherings such as holiday dinners and parties. And I never seem to get tired of  it either. I still remember going up into the study in the attic of my Grandma Harris’ large old house, and going through all of the hundreds and hundreds of books that she had on every subject you could think of. I devoured the knowledge contained in those books voraciously- especially the political ones-, and I still have fond memories of sitting indoors on rainy or snowy days- leafing through musty, old encyclopedias and ancient tomes- finding out interesting things about every topic under the sun. I also still vividly remember finding a worn-out, old booklet in a pile of books up there in that study, which contained the text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. I found those documents fascinating, an I read every word of it, over and over again. I came to know those documents forwards and backwards. It was in those days that I first fell in love with America. I came to realize, through reading and through trying to understand the words contained in those documents,  just how lucky I was to live in a free country. The fundamental justification for everything America stands for is contained in the preamble to the Declaration of Independance, and I challenge anybody to this day,  to show me words or principles more true, more just, or more beautiful. In fact, if you want to read it right now,  you can click on this link:

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

I still get a shiver down my spine when I read the words in the preamble to the Declaration, the Constitution,  and the Bill of Rights. The words are so powerful, so revolutionary,  and so FEARED that they  are still banned and censored in places like China, Iran, and North Korea. But like all truth, there seems to be no way to hide the light in the darkness forever, and I dont doubt that we have only seen the very beginnings of the tidal-wave of Freedom and Democracy that will sweep this world in the next hundred years. As I grew up, and got older I kept reading. In high-school, when other kids were out drinking and partying, I was more likely to be found curled up in bed with a cold glass of milk and a copy of Nixon’s memoirs. I never lost my interest in politics, and I never joined the legions of beaten-down cynics who just shrug their shoulders today, and say that all politicians are corrupt. I never gave up on my country – or the world- as being beyond hope, and I never thought that my vote didn’t matter. To the contrary, I have never missed a presidential election in my adult life, and I have never stopped learning, reading, and listening as much as I can- trying to understand the issues, the arguments, the philosophies of governance and economics, and the various controversies that make up American political discourse in our times. My family was the type of family that sat around the TV on election night with our electoral tallies in hand, and our state-by-state predictions already on-the-record. I had many, many enjoyable political discussions and arguments with my Dad growing up. He shared my interests- if not all of my opinions- and it’s one of the things that I miss about him the most. To this day, on election night, I will be up until dawn waiting for the final tally and the returns from Hawaii to come in, long after the final result has been decided.

 So, here I am- all grown up- with a lifetime of political reading and thought under my belt going completely to waste. I just figure it would be a shame to have a blog, and to not offer my two cents worth about the 2008 election. So I will offer herein a few prognostications about the 2008 candidates, a few opinions about the issues, and a few predictions- just for the record. Labor day is traditionally the start of the American Political season heading into a general election year, so I wanted to get my opinions on the record promptly, before some of the candidates start dropping out, as they soon will.

I don’t want to drag out a hundred different issues in this blog entry. Anybody who has read my essay on “The Most Worthless Generation” already knows my basic stance on things, and the general direction that I come from politically. I am a conservative republican. I am a fiscal conservative. I am budget hawk, and I am a war-hawk ( some would say a neo-con. ) I have a populist streak in me, and I see eye-to-eye with Pat Buchanan on immigration and trade policy, although we had to part ways after 9-11 on the War on Terror, and on Foreign policy. I am pro-life, pro-gun rights, and generally conservative on most social issues. I’m not exactly from the redneck wing of the party though. I am not racist, and I have no particular problem with homosexuals. I like or dislike people based on who they are, and on how they conduct themselves- not based on what color they are. Also, I think gay people were just born that way. In the same way that I never made a “choice” to start liking women ( it just happened ), I think homosexuals never made a “choice” to start liking members of their own sex. I figure it’s genetic. I think that someday scientists will discover the “gay gene” and vindicate my opinions on that matter. So I guess I have a bit of a tolerant streak in me- although I also seem to have ZERO tolerance for certain behaviors that people CAN control ( For instance, these idiots in their cars with the loud, buzzy mufflers who drive around in residential neighborhoods playing loud bass and shaking windows. I wish the cops would pull these jokers out of their crappy honda civics and execute their sorry asses on the spot. ) I tend to like to evaluate issues on their own merit, and I can be persuaded if the facts support a particular side- even if it’s not my party’s traditional stance. I am open-minded on global-warming, although the hypocritical demagoguery with which the phoney-baloney left uses this issue nauseates me. I WOULD like a better national energy policy that would result in less pollution, ( and I am sure that our country could easily acomplish this, if the  environmental advocates who want to reduce carbon-emissions  would stop preventing us from building nuclear power plants). In accordance with my populist streak, I am not happy with corporate loop-holes and tax dodges that are enriching these villains at the country’s expense while the federal budget deficit grows astronomically each and every day.  My biggest issues politically are;1.) strong national defense and going after radical islamists in every way possible, 2.) education reform, 3.)  entitlement reform, 4.) immigration enforcement, 5.) homeland security, and 6.) trade policy reform. I agree, generally speaking, with the founding father’s original vision of limited government, but I am not a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. I see that Government does have a proper role in certain matters that people can’t better do for themselves. I see also, however, that government is notoriously, and inherantly, in-efficient and I think that government programs should be viewed as a last-resort to solving most societal problems- not the first. I also advocate strongly for cultural reform- although I think that that lies less in the perview of politics, and more in the perview of the choices we make as individuals.  I may write an essay at a later date called “Why I am a Republican”, in which I will go through the issues one by one, and explain why I feel one way or another about a given topic, but for now, suffice it to say that the Republican party is on the right side of MOST of the issues that are MOST important to me- but not all of them.

 Both modern American political parties today are like “Big Tents” in the sense that there are a number of “wings” in each party who part ways on particular issues, but who share a lot of common core-beliefs that still bind them together as a party underneath the tent. The primary candidates often reflect these various “wings”, and in the primaries, those of us who care enough to vote, pick the candidate whose beliefs most closely reflect our own special conscerns. In the general election though, usually, the wings set aside their differences and come together for the good of the party, and you have to settle sometimes for a guy whose general philosophy matches your own more closely than the other guy’s. That’s how I came to vote for Bush- twice. The first time around, I voted for him because he was a social conservative, and a straight talker. After 8 years of listening to the pervert-in-cheif  explain his way out of his “bimbo eruptions” with such brilliant statements as ” it depends on what the meaning of the word is, is”, I was ready for a good ol’ boy from Texas who loved his wife, saw things in black and white, and had some kind of a moral compass. After 9-11, I was glad for my choice of bush, because he had a Reaganesque good-and-evil view of the world, and I knew that he wouldnt be afraid to meet radical  Islam on main street at high-noon and shoot it out clint-eastwood style. In the post-911 world , the presidency is not for the morally and idealogically conflicted. And Bush was neither.

 I have supported bush’s overall policy on the war on terror 100% from day one. In the field of foreign policy, his clarity of vision has served the country well in terms of GENERAL guidance.It’s in the details, the implementation, the management, and the competence areas that Bush unfortuately doesnt do quite as well. It’s clear that his heart is better than his head. He means well, but let’s face it- he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes. While I support our war-effort in iraq in terms of the justness of our cause, tactically speaking, it’s been a botched disaster of incompetent management from day one. Rumsfeld bears a large responsibility for this fiasco, but so does Bush. ( General Shinseki will go down in history as the Cassandra who was absolutely right about everything, but who – sadly- wasnt listened to by anybody. ) The Hurricane Katrina fiasco was one of the worst examples of presidential incompetence in the history of the republic ( right up there with Clinton and Carter giving enriched uranium to the North Koreans ). We have had 8 years of complete non-leadership on energy policy, trade policy, and on immigration policy. Bush’s fiscal policies have been disasterous- nay catastrophic. His primary fiscal legacy will be the HORRIFIC Prescription drug bill, which- when added to the already un-funded entitlements of medicare, medicaid and social security – may be the final nail in the coffin for our nation’s financial future. Also, he brilliantly managed to turn Clinton’s ( and in fairness, the republican Congress’s ) budget suplus into a deficit of historic proportions. Fiscally, Clinton was actually  more of a Republican than Bush has been. The border situation is a disaster of unmitigated proportions, and he has continued the utterly ruinous trade policies of the Clinton/Gore administration. Frankly, I am ready for a change. I am NOT voting for a good ol’ boy this time around just because he’s a republican, and because I think his heart is in the right place.

If a candidate wants my vote this time around, he had better quit talking in vague generalities  and show me some specific policy proposals on a whole range of issues that have been totally ignored by Bush for far too long- especially illegal immigration. I’m not voting Democrat, but by-god, if John McCain gets the nomination, I ‘m staying home for the first time. The democrats can put whoever they want in office, and I’ll wait for 2012 to see if my party can nominate a serious candidate who will protect the god-blessed borders! So- without further ado- the candidates, and my take on them…

 The Big Four Republicans:

John McCain-

 As I said, if he gets the nomination, I am staying home. I know other conservative republicans who feel exactly the same way. When you lose the base of your party you CANNOT win a general election, and McCain is in trouble now. McCain was actually the presumptive early-favorite going into this, so he has had to make some major mis-steps to wind up where he is now. He is also a very decent, honorable man who I would be proud to shake hands with, but when he decided to part ways with the party base on immigration reform, he sunk his presidential chances. Honestly, the border situation has gotten so ridiculously out of hand, that I am NOT voting for somebody who is soft on this issue. I respected McCains’ brave attempt to clean out the agean stable that is the  modern political process, with his Campaign Finance Reform bill even when most republicans didnt support that. I am willing to tolerate a little bit of his “maverick” tendencies as far as toe-ing the party line goes, because it smacks of integrity and intellectual honesty. But if there is ONE issue that good Americans in BOTH parties are howling for blood on, it’s border security. He screwed himself on that issue, and he would probably admit it if you asked him. And it’s too late for any feeble back-tracking now. I don’t trust him. When we needed him most on this issue, he wasnt there for us. Sorry, John. Sadly, his brave, and patriotic support  of Presidnt Bush on the Iraq War has probably damaged him more than helped him. There are just too many independents and “particular participants” out there who have totally had it with the whole fiasco and how it’s been run. If Bush had fought the war correctly, with appropriate troop levels and such, McCain might be riding a wave of victory right into the white house now, but with things all going bad, and the President’s poll numbers in the toilet, the wagon he hitched his star too is going right down the drain. I dont think McCain will get the nomination, but according to recent polls, he IS one of the very few republican candidates with a real chance to beat the democratic nominee.

Rudolph Giuliani-

According to current polls, he is the solid republican front-runner right now. He is also the ONLY republican that currently polls favorably in a head-to-head match-up with the early democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. I like Rudy Giuliani. He was a good mayor. He is a highly competent manager. He is highly results-oriented, rather than ideology-driven, and he DID clean up New York City with no-nonsense, hard-nosed anti-crime policies. But, like McCain, he is soft on immigration. New York City is one of the so-called “sanctuary cities” in this country now, where illegal immigration and illegal employment is ignored as a matter of policy, and Guliani had a large hand in that. I have zero faith that he is going to take serious measures as president to close the border, deport the illegals, and punish the employers who are driving this whole mess to begin with. I also question whether or not being the mayor of ANY city qualifies a person to be President. He is also an un-abashed supporter of abortion rights. The conservative christian base is NOT going to support his stance on that, and for many in that bunch, it’s their number-one issue. If you want the republican nomination, a good place to start is by NOT iritating the core of the party base. Nevertheless, he is a smart, articulate man, and he is rock-solid on national security. He, better than anybody else, knows EXACTLY what the islamic terrorists want to do to us, and there is no danger he will ever forget that. He might just pull it out and get the nomination. If he swears a blood-oath to do something serious on immigration policy, I MIGHT even hold my nose, cross my fingers, and vote for him in the general election, but he sure-as-hell wont get my vote in the primaries as punishment for this “sanctuary city” crapulence.

Mitt Romney-

I like Mitt Romney. I am voting for Mitt Romney. I want a proven track-record of results, specific policy proposals, and a candidate who is whip-smart and has the experience to do the job. That man is Mitt Romney. Yes, I know he is mormon, and that scares a lot of christians, but I am here to tell you that I have met many mormons, and they are every bit as conservative and family-values oriented as christians are. The man is running for head of the secular government, not for the position of supreme religious commander. Some tolerance is in order here. His record as Governor is stellar. He achieved FULL medical coverage in the state of Massachusetts with a brilliantly concieved, practical, and detail-oriented plan that assisted those who could afford the coverage the least, while still leaving the actual implementation of health care in the private sector- which is the exact opposite of hillary-care. Socialized health-care is coming if she gets elected, and it will be a total disaster for our country. You have been warned, and you heard it here first…Clearly, SOMETHING needs to be done with America’s health-care situation, but I believe that what we need is smart reform, not nationalization of the industry. He was a fiscal conservative in office, and a budget hawk. He wasn’t afraid to raise fees in his state to balance the budget, and he turned deficits into surpluses. I have had enough of the economic train-wreck that we have been on for the last 8 years. Romney will put the books in order. Also, he was the Governor of a state- which is a more appropriate stepping-stone to become head of the executive branch, than being a senator, a mayor, or a congressional representative is. He is also a sucessful businessman, a self-made millionaire, and is far and away the smartest guy in this bunch. He has flip-flopped on abortion, but he is saying what he needs to say now, to get the nomination. Really, it’s hard to know what his real thoughts on the matter are. He probably just said what he had to say on social issues to get elected as a republican back in liberal Massachussets. I trust him on fiscal policy, on national defense, on leadership qualities, and on entitlement reform. He’s saying the right things on illegal immigration too, although I don’t know if he’s for real or not. He’s certainly preferable to McCain and Giuliani in that regard. He has the money and the organization to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, so he should pick up early momentum in the primaries. Go Mitt!

Fred Thompson-

 Sigh… He’s been hyped like the born-again second-coming of  Ronald Reagan, but I just dont see it. Reagan was a California Governor, and he cared a LOT about conservative principles. Reagan was on a MISSION. As for Fred, well, you get the idea that he doesn’t really care all that much. He had a short, un-distinguished, boring career as a senator from Tenessee. True, he was a reliable conservative vote, but what- in particular please- makes him qualified to be president? Sure, he’s a nice guy. A down home good ol’ boy who talks in vague generalities. But, I’ve had enough of that, and I dont care if he was an actor on Law and Order. As far as I am conscerned, acting abilities are where the similarities between him and the Gipper end. He’s a nice enough guy, but really, there’s NOBODY in this bunch of candidates who is fit to carry Ronald Reagan’s jock-strap- including Fred.

The Second Tier Republicans:

 Mike Huckabee-

 If Romney or Giuliani gets the nomination, Huckabee would be a fine Vice Presidential pick. He would balance the ticket demographically ( Northeastern/ Southerner ), as well as throw a bone to the religious right who – rightly- love Huckabee. Huckabee distinguished himself in the debates with direct, smart answers. He is a rock-solid christian conservative and is  an ordained minister. He is a sucessful state governor to boot. Heck, if I didnt like Romney so much, I’d be voting for this guy. His name recognition, his record of achievment, and policy proposals aren’t neccesarily on a par with Romney, so I cant vote for him in the primaries, but I do really, really like this guy. If Republicans lose in 2008, he might be a more well-known candidate for a second run in 2012. And if- by some miracle- Huckabee does get the nomination, I would whole-heartedly support this fine candidate. His inclusion on the ticket as a vice-presidential candidate would also greatly energize the base, and excite me as well.

Sam Brownback-

A good, reliable conservative, but not so much appeal beyond the hardcore conservative base. There’s only room for one such niche-candidate in the field, and the christians seem to have coalesced behind Huckabee. Besides, Huckabee is a better speaker, and is a Governor, as opposed to Brownback only being a senator. When Brownback drops out, Huckabee gets his base of support by default. That might be enough to move Huckabee up into the first tier of candidates- possibly ahead of McCain.

Tom Tancredo-

 I know I can count on Tancredo on immigration, but I’m not sure that that alone makes a person a viable contender. Besides, he hasn’t got the experience to be President as a mere congressman from Colorado. He knows this. He knows he isn’t going to be President, and I believe he is only making this presidential run as a labor of love, to draw attention to the problem of illegal immigration that has been ignored for far too long. He has forced the issue into the debate, and for that, God bless you, Tom.

Ron Paul- He’s the Dennis Kucinich of the republican party. He’s the niche candidate of the kooks. The black-helicopter, isolationist, libertarian wing of the party that unfortunately sticks it’s snout under the flaps of the republican tent. Paul is not so easily dismissed though- there is enough anti-war sentiment out there now, that dis-illiusioned, dis-enfranchised kooks from BOTH political parties are actually supporting this guy. He has growing grass-roots support. It’s hard to see the guy ever winning, but he does have some true-believer followers, who are peacefully participating in the political process and having their voices heard. For that, I must respect his devotees, even though I  have a hard time understanding why these genuinely earnest people think he should be President.

 Duncan Hunter-

Just as the religious wing of the party has to choose between Brownback and Huckabee, the anti-illegal immigration wing of the party has to choose between Tancredo and Hunter. NOBODY will ever out-Tancredo Tancredo, so I am not sure why Hunter is even in this race.

The un-announced Dark Horse:

Newt Gingrich-

Newt is every bit as smart as Romney, and he rightfully claims the mantle of “champion of all true conservatives everywhere”. The man has “been there and done that.” A former Speaker of the House ( third in line in the Presidential order of sucession ), he stormed the house of representatives in 94′ and gave republicans their first majority there since humans split from chimpanzees, I think. He has a knack for putting together a few key, focus-group-tested issues into a platform, and then beating the opposition over the head repeatedly with those talking points. He is a formidable campaigner. He said he would probably be getting in the race if Thompson flops as the annointed savior of conservatives ( my words not his )- which Thompson has proceeded to do so far. ( Skipping the debate was a BIG mistake Fred ). So Newt will probably get in. He is well-spoken, and has a broader-base appeal across the party than Huckabee does. Conservatives like him more than McCain, and he’s a better candidate than Thompson, so Gingrich – if he runs- probably COULD even wind up third behind Romney and Giuliani. If any of the other conservatives bow out, he picks up many of their votes at the expense of Romney and Giuliani. He could even wind up in second place behind Giuliani , if christians just aren’t having any of Romney’s mormon-ness and wish-washiness on abortion. As much as I really like Newt, I also hope he doesnt get the nomination. The problem is that he is a polarizing figure with high negative approval ratings outside the party. In this evenly-split elecorate, it’s critical to have a shot at swaying some of your opponent’s less-reliable demographics, and at winning over some independants. Also, it’s not a good idea to nominate somebody who will give your opponents an inspiration to go out to the polls in droves. Newt does for the republicans what Hillary does for the democrats. He galvanizes the opposition into action.

Ty’s Republican Predictions-

 Giuliani is in the catbird seat. Every one of these candidates has flaws which make them  unpaletable to at least SOME major wing of the party, and in the end, Giuliani may have the BROADEST appeal and simply be offensive to the LEAST number of republicans. Romney is my guy, 100%, and I hope he gets the nomination, but if he doesnt… well, I will probably support Giuliani for the good of the party. But I’ll be holding my nose when I pull that lever. I do hope Huckabee becomes the vice-presidential nominee. It would season him for a realistic run at the big chair in the future.

An Outrageous Statement by Ty, Sure to Draw Gasps From The Peanut Gallery:

 Truth be told, the most qualified guy on the planet to BE President of the United States is Dick Cheney. He can’t run for president, because of the unpopularity of the Iraq war,  and also because of this administration’s rank incompetence in so many areas , but if he COULD run, I would damned well support him. The guy is as rock-solid steady as they come. Our country’s enemies fear him in their bones, and honestly, he’s probably been the adult in this administration all along.

Two Other Guys Who Can’t Run:

Jeb Bush-

He is well-qualified to run for the office of President. He’s an experienced, well-spoken former governor of Florida, with a proven record of strong leadership, and he can bring Florida’s priceless swing-state electoral votes to the table. But at this point, the country is suffering from the advanced stages of Bush-fatigue, so it’s probably a non-starter, even as a vice presidential candidate ( which he would be well qualified for ).

The Terminator-

The only thing that stands between this California Governor and the oval office is the Constitutional prohibition on foreign-born citizens becoming President. If he could run, he would win, and I would sleep like a baby knowing that Arnold has his finger on the button. Nobody would DARE attack this country. It wouldnt be the M.A.D doctrine ( Mutual Assured Destruction ), It would be the A.I.D.O.Y.S.A.I.Y.E.T.A.I doctrine( Assured Instantaneous Destruction Of Your Sorry Ass If You Even Think About It ). I heard once, that Utah Senator Orin Hatch was working on a Constitutional Amendment to allow foreign-born citizens to run for President, but when the dems took over congress last year, that was the end of all that.

 The Democrat Big Three:

Hillary Clinton-

The fact that this obnoxious, insufferable, ethically bankrupt, soul-less seeker of power is currently running way-ahead in all of the polls to be the democratic nominee, proves that the Democratic Party has a slightly suicidal streak in it. I mean, havent they been frustrated long enough? Aren’t they tired of being denied and dissapointed? Even when Bill Clinton managed to sneak into office courtesy of H. Ross Perot, he had to practically govern as a moderate republican because of the disaster that Newt and company visited upon the democrats in congress. Now that the Democrats have both houses of congress, they have a REAL shot at finally getting some of their major policy initiatives through, if they can only find an electable candidate. But here we go again with  another Mondale/Dukakis/Kerry joke with no chance to win! Even if the democrats were to run the anti-christ himself, they couldn’t pick a candidate more certain than Hillary to bring out every last Republican to the polls on election day, no matter what- come rain, fire, hail, hell, or high water. How much does this woman motivate me as a republican to vote? Almost enough to make me actually vote for John McCain, that’s how much. I hope they nominate her. I really do. She will never be president. Too many people flat-out despise this very hate-able woman. Her marriage is a total sham, and it’s obvious that at her core, there is nothing there but a lust for power. And this recent business with the illegal campaign contributions from shadowy chinese figures is bringing back WAY too many bad memories. She’s got a LOT of baggage- the travel office firings, the improper gifts, the pardons, the secret nationalized health-care hearings, the rose law-firm billing records, Web Hubble and Susan McDougal, the insider trading, the ridiculous notion that she really didnt know about her husband’s innumerable extra-marital affairs that have been going on for decades…. I could go on and on, but I won’t. For republicans, a Hillary nomination is the same as handing us the keys to the white-house limousine again.

John Edwards-

 The biggest phoney-baloney hypocrite to ever come down the pike. Yeah, right, he cares about global warming while he drives around in his SUV, flies everywhere on his private jet, and uses more energy to heat and cool his buzillion-square-foot compound in a month than the average citizen spends in five years. His conscern for the poor half of his “two Americas” is so touching too, while he is living in his mansion, getting 400.00 haircuts, and working for the hedge-fund. And what exactly qualifies him to be President? Being an ambulance chaser trial-lawyer? One undistinguished term in the Senate? Being Kerry’s losing VP candidate? Please. If the dems dont nominate Hillary, I hope they nominate this buffoon so Romney or Giuliani can use him for a punching bag.

Barak Obama-

 While he is in no way qualified to be President, ( he hasn’t even completed his first term in the Senate!), of the top three Democratic candidates, he’s the least offensive one by far. If the Dems have any brains at all, they will snap out of their stupor and nominate this guy and seize the steering-wheel away from the seemingly inevitable Hillary nomination, before she drives the whole party over the cliff. The guy is talking tough on the war on terror, and wants to invade the tribal reigons of Pakistan to go after Bin Laden. Hell, I’m a conservative neo-con republican, and I may have to vote for the guy. He’s electable. It could actually happen. Plus, he has the backing of Oprah, who is more powerful and influential than Hillary will ever be…

 The 2nd Tier Democrats

Dennis Kucinich-

He wants to create a “Department of Peace”. Presumably he will also create a “Department of Dope-Smoking Hippie Crap” while he’s at it. We have Ron Paul. They have Dennis Kucinich. The kooks have their man.

Mike Gravel-

 Sigh. Shouldn’t there be some kind of psychiatric exam , before you are allowed to run for president? Did you see this guy in the debates? The other democrats were obviously embarassed that he was up there.

 Chris Dodd-

 Un-distinguished party-line hack from the do-nothing senate. Zero possibility of ever being President, and he knows it. Maybe he is running to raise his name recognition enough to possibly get tapped for Vice President, who knows….

Bill Richardson-

 I actually kind of like this guy. He’s a Governor. As a republican, I disagree with him on enough issues that I would never vote for him, but he’s not so far to the left that I wouldnt be able to respect the man if he were ever to become President. He’s a bit more moderate on some issues than some of his fellow democratic contenders. Some of that probably comes from being governor of a western swing-state with conservative values for the most-part. He also has experience as a cabinet secretary, but he didnt exactly accomplish very much while he was there. Based soley on experience, he’s the most qualified candidate in the field. If Hillary gets the nomination, she could use a guy like Richardson as a VP vandidate to smooth out some of the rough edges on the ticket, and he would even balance things demographically. Also, New Mexico is a small, but critical swing state in the very tight electoral vote breakdown. It could come down to those 4 electoral votes. He seems a bit out of his league as President, but would probably be a good VP.

Joe Biden-

 The smartest guy running for the Democrats actually. Has a nasty habit of speaking the truth though, and therefore wouldnt appeal much to the kook base. Generally acknowledged as an expert on the military, on intelligence matters, and on foreign-policy, he would probably be a steady-hand on national security, diplomacy, and the war on terror. Maybe a little too adult and responsible to get the nomination of the Defeat and Retreat party at this time though, whose primary mission this election cycle is to see us lose in Iraq as quickly as possible. A truly distinguished career in the Senate. A man of integrity, and somebody who could reach across the aisle and work with leaders in the other party. His approach to things would be different from Bush’s, but I would still feel semi-OK with Biden in the oval office. I guess that probably means that he has no chance of getting the democratic nomination.

 The un-announced Dark Horse:

Al Gore-

He should run. Time is runnning out fast for him though, because he needs to get in the game FAST if he is going to compete in terms of organization and fund-raising. He is watching things, and weighing his chances, but he had better not wait too long or the bandwagon is going to pass him by. His opportunity is historical in proportion, if you look at things. You’ve got an unpopular two term incumbent republican President with approval ratings lower than some plague-rats I know.The democrats are riding a wave of popular sentiment and discontent in the country with the hugely unpopular war in Iraq. Gore’s chances would be MUCH better than in 2000, without Bill Clinton’s tom-foolery and hi-jinks , and much better than Kerry’s chances in 2004 against a 9-11- bolstered incumbent Bush before things went sour in Iraq. The democrats are PERFECTLY positioned to take the Presidency, but they dont have a viable candidate. Gore should get in there! Hillary is the republican’s heaven-sent inspiration to get everybody out to the polls, Edwards is a ridiculous clown, and Obama’s experience pales beside Gore’s. Gore has even given himself a lot of street-cred with the democratic base with his tireless ( if hypocritical ) efforts to raise awareness about global warming during his years in the wilderness. He was never a bad candidate to begin with , in terms of most of his positions on issues. Fairly strong on national defense- at least when he was a senator. He’s a moderately conservative southerner on a lot of social issues, so he has a potentially broader-based appeal out there in “fly-over country” than many  libs like Hillary ever will have. Also, he was against the war in Iraq from day one ( anything Bush is for, Gore is against as a matter of principle ), so the democrats already like him better than Hillary, who they feel let them down. On the negative side of the ledger, Al may actually be SLIGHTLY- but not totally- unhinged mentally, judging from some of  the shrill, crazy speeches that he gave in the wake of the 2000 post-election fiasco. Also, he is without a doubt, one of the most insincere and boring public speakers I have ever witnessed. But what the heck- he has had 8 years to work on his delivery. Maybe he will pull a Richard Nixon and rise from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix. There IS historical precedent. Nixon lost to Kennedy in 60′ in a VERY, VERY close election that was rife with voter-fraud and electoral shennanigans- just like in  2000.

Ty’s Predictions: 

I am not going to predict who will win the democratic nomination. It all depends on how suicidal the dems are feeling coming into the primaries. If they have a moment of clarity and choose to pull back from the abyss, it should be Obama. If not, then Hillary. The others don’t seem to be credible nominees at all.  What I WILL predict is this- if Al Gore runs, then he will win the nomination, AND the general election. The question is- will he run? I am told that the Clinton camp has people carefully monitoring  his weight at his public appearances, because they see that as the most likely indicator of whether he is going to run or not. He knows the nomination is potentially there for the taking in this weak field of contenders. The question is- is somebody who lost the presidency by 300 votes in Florida, AND wanted the job so badly that he was willing to try and SUE his way into the office- is such a person capable of passing up another grab at the brass ring? My guess is that he won’t be able to resist the siren call.

The Ten Million Dollar Prediction- Who will be the next President of the United States?:

Impossible to say with any reliable degree of certainty, but if I was in Vegas, and I had money riding on it , I would put my money on Al Gore. If he does run, then I will go out on a limb and definitively predict he will be the next president. If he doesn’t run, then my fall-back prediction would depend on whether Hillary gets the nomination or not. If she does, then I herebye make the following prediction- the republican nominee will win -regardless of who it is.  The woman is unelectable.

As far as who the Republican nominee will be, I will predict Romney, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. He’s not polling well compared to Giuliani, but he’s got more money than God, and he’s doing well in the early primary states. Now, if Gore doesn’t run, and democrats do the smart thing and nominate Obama, I will make the following prediction as well… crazy as it sounds, I think Obama will win. As a republican, I hope not, but the democratic nominee in this election cycle, if they even remotely electable, has the wind of historical precedent at their back. They would have to screw up royally to lose in this current anti-republican climate.

 So… my predictions, in order of likelihood of being the next president are…

1. Gore

2.Obama

3.Romney

Of course, the hazard of making reckless predictions about an event that is completely unforseeable at this time, is that I may be totally wrong about all of it.  Be that as it may, if you want to be a political prognosticator, then I think you should be brave enough to go out on a limb and make specific predictions that you have a chance of being wrong about, so I have done so. I hope that some of you fellow political junkies out there will enjoy these totally pointless ( but enjoyable from my standpoint ) political ramblings of mine. If anybody has any comments, please state the following in your comment somewhere- 1. Who do you predict will be the next Presient, and 2. Who do you WANT to be the next president?

Good night, and good Luck- Ty

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