Friday, August 7, 2015

A Few Reflections on the Presidential Race

With the first Republican presidential debate having been held last night and broadcast live on national TV, the contest for the 2016 presidential election is now well under way, and things are a bit crazy at this point on the GOP side of the political aisle.

In the last two months, billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump has rocketed from obscurity to the head of the pack, "trumping" all his rivals in the latest polls. Although this development was unexpected by many observers including myself, it really isn't too surprising considering the enormous sums of money Trump has to spend on his campaign, the attention he is getting from the mainstream media, and his rather formidable persona and ability to speak out clearly on many of the issues facing our country. That said, Trump has a number of serious liabilities that I believe will result in his popularity declining steadily over the coming months as we approach the Republican presidential primary elections. His major problem is that he is a super-wealthy establishment politician like John McCain and Mitt Romney, and polls indicate that the American people are sick and tired of such career politicians. Obviously Trump can talk a great game on many issues dear to conservatives, but can the American people really trust him to do what he says he'll do if he buys the nomination and if he manages to snatch the White House away from Hillary Clinton? I would say no. Someone who hails from the top one percent income bracket and uses his millions to buy the presidential election simply will not serve the interests of the average American or the best interests of this country. There is also a disturbing lack of consistency regarding Trump's positions on important issues such as abortion. Granted, Trump has bellowed that he would shut down the federal government, if necessary, to defund Planned Parenthood. But apparently several of his campaign managers have ties to the abortion industry. And then there are some very legitimate questions and doubts about Trump's character and values, including whether all of his money was earned honestly and so forth. Basically, I think the more closely people scrutinize Trump, the more problematic facts they will learn about him and the less they will think he is truly fit to serve our country as president.

Unfortunately, the Conservative Action Fund, an excellent political fundraising organization that I respect and support, has just announced that it is endorsing Donald Trump for president. I am shocked and disappointed that this organization has gotten caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment and fallen victim to "Trumpmania." In my opinion, the CAF should retract this foolish, emotion-driven endorsement of an untrustworthy establishment politician and instead make the rational decision to endorse a trustworthy conservative who can decisively defeat Hillary Clinton in the next election such as Ben Carson, Marco Rubio or Rand Paul.

It was good to hear that Senator Rand Paul did so well at the debate last night. I can't help but like and admire this guy. He's a man of principle, and unlike many of his corrupt Republican colleagues, he never compromises his principles for the sake of expediency or political gain. And he's a man of action who fights like a bulldog in the Senate to get things done while many of his  colleagues slumber in comfortable inaction under the spell of the Obama administration. In my mind, Senator Paul is one of only three candidates who should be seriously considered for the Republican nomination because of his upright character, sound issue positions, and ability to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Another, perhaps even better candidate with that winning combination would be Senator Marco Rubio; although he's a little down in the polls at the moment, that can change and probably will. He has appeal and charisma, he's a faithful Catholic, he raises the exciting possibility of our nation's first Hispanic president, and he would automatically defeat Hillary Clinton by winning a large share of the Hispanic vote.

As some of my readers are aware, I am a staunch supporter of Ben Carson for the Republican nomination and the presidency because he is a well-respected, trustworthy and articulate conservative leader of devout Christian faith and traditional moral values with the right positions on critical issues who will decisively defeat Hillary Clinton by winning a large share of the black and Hispanic vote. Since May of last year, I've been involved with The 2016 Committee (formerly the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee), the fantastic super PAC that's been working hard on Ben Carson's behalf (but separately from his official presidential committee, in accordance with federal election law) to make sure he a) runs for president, b) wins the Republican nomination, and c) wins the White House. We've accomplished the first goal already and are currently focused on the bigger challenge of the second. Many are calling Ben Carson a longshot, but recall that Barack Obama himself was also a longshot for his party's nomination eight years ago, when everybody was certain that Hillary Clinton would be the nominee. We're using the same entirely legitimate strategy that Obama successfully employed to snatch the Democratic nomination away from his richer and more powerful rival Hillary Clinton in 2008. That strategy involved early fundraising and grassroots organizing in key primary election states at least two years ahead of the actual primary elections. The candidate who actually wins the Republican nomination for president won't necessarily be the one with the most money to spend or the one who surges highest in the polls; it'll be the one who is best organized, the one with the most volunteers and the greatest number of individual donors, the one can most successfully mobilize the grassroots and turn out the vote. That candidate is Ben Carson.

Although I did not see last night's debate, I read that Carson did very well in it, and that as a result of his performance, he has now moved from the fourth to the third most popular Republican presidential candidate. This is great news which indicates that Carson's candidacy is continuing to steadily gain momentum. I firmly believe that, if it seriously intends to defeat Hillary Clinton or whoever the Democrats nominate next year, the Republican Party must reject weak establishment Republican In Name Only candidates like Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie and instead choose to unite behind a trustworthy conservative and citizen statesman like Ben Carson and make him their standard bearer in 2016. Many other Republican contenders can excite the party's base, but only Ben Carson can walk into a room full of liberals, give an extemporaneous thirty-minute speech and receive a standing ovation at the end of it. This guy is special. He's authentic, intelligent, compassionate, and a great communicator who can speak the truth to people's hearts as no other Republican candidate for president can do. Our country needs his leadership. I hope and pray that he will win the Republican nomination, and I encourage all my readers who are not already doing so to support him for president.

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