The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

“I'm a Christian first”

Ted Cruz has been quoted as saying: “I'm a Christian first, American second, conservative third and Republican fourth.” Is this what we want for the Presidency? I think not.

Perhaps a clergyman, whose job is to serve God, should be “a Christian (or whatever religion he is) first.” But I think a President, whose job is to guide the country, has to be an American first.

While I don't like Donald Trump, I'd still take him over Cruz. My first choice is still John Kasich. But if, as Cruz has said, A vote for John Kasich … is a vote for Donald Trump, I say, “So be it.” I'd rather see Trump nominated than Cruz.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Whatever happens, I cannot support Ted Cruz

There are some signs that people who want to thwart Donald Trump's nomination as Republican candidate are coalescing around Ted Cruz. I am quite appalled at this. If Cruz is the nominee, for the first time in over 50 years I could not vote for the Republican candidate for the Presidency. It is clear. Ted Cruz is a religious fanatic, whose view of the Constitution is so far from mine, I could not vote for him. When I read things like

When Cruz says he wants to “reclaim” or “restore” America, he does not only have the Obama administration in mind. This agenda takes him much deeper into the American past. Cruz wants to “restore” the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.

it makes me shudder. This is not my America. I see our country as a pluralistic nation, one which may have a majority of its citizens Christians, but one equally open to all religions, which means the Government should be totally secular.

If it happens that I am forced to choose between Trump and Cruz, I will go with Trump. And if Cruz gets the nomination, though I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Cruz in November either. My vote will go to a third-party candidate: which one depends on who will be on the Maryland ballot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

John Kasich for President

The results are in on yesterday's primaries. Marco Rubio, who was the man I expected to be the eventual nominee, did so poorly in his home state of Florida that he quit the race for the Presidency. But John Kasich won Ohio. He won it big. The most recent polls showed him narrowly defeating Donald Trump in Ohio, with the Real Clear Politics average of recent polls showing a 39% to 35% margin. The actual results were 47% to 36%.

I had been withholding an endorsenment, though ever since Chris Christie withdrew, those who read this blog knew that Kasich was my favorite, only because Rubio was still an acceptable choice, and if I thought he was more likely to beat Trump and Ted Cruz, and Kasich did not, I wanted a chance to endorse him. But now the race is down to three men:

  1. Donald Trump, an inexperienced-at-politics man whose knowledge of the Constitution is flawed and whose manner is decidedly un-Presidential,
  2. Ted Cruz, a religious fanatic whose accession to the Presidency would really hurt our First Amendment rights, and
  3. John Kasich, who has been such an outstanding Governor of Ohio that his popularity there, where they know him best, is immense.

With the above characterizations, it is clear that Kasich warrants my support. If it ever comes down to Trump vs. Cruz, I'd take Trump (unlike my wife, who has such a visceral dislike of Trump that she would certainly vote for any Democrat — even socialist Bernard Sanders, though she does not approve of his socialistic politics — to defeat him). But as long as Kasich is in the running, I have to say he is the best choice.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Rally around Cruz? Never!

An article on the Chicago Tribune website entitled “To stop Trump, GOP establishment must rally around Cruz.” The author, John Kass, claims that the only way for the establishment to stop Donald Trump is to back Cruz. And to me, generally supportive of the establishment, this article s plain and simple anathema. The fact is that Cruz represents everything bad within the Republican party. He is simply a bigot, far more than Trump. Note that John Fea of Religion News Service says:

Cruz wants to “restore” the United States to what he believes is its original identity: a Christian nation.

Fea's article is worth reading. And it points out that Cruz' attitude is disavowed even by many “evangelical Christians.” As a non-Christian myself, I believe that the vision of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and others of a nation with a total separation of church and state is the correct one. And no matter what else may be a point of agreement between myself and Ted Cruz, I cannot support him. He wants this to be a Christian nation, and that is not a nation in which I can live. I will even support Trump, if it is the only way to deprive Ted Cruz of the nomination.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Another case of strange bedfellows

Another candidate that I liked and respected has endorsed someone surprising. I was surprised to see Chris Christie, who was one of my two favorites for the 2016 nomination, endorse Donald Trump a few days ago. Now Carly Fiorina, who was not among my top favorites but who I liked enough to count her as someone I could happily endorse if she won the nomination, has endorsed someone I dislike more than Trump: Ted Cruz.

I think in each case the former candidates saw the likely matchup as a Trump-vs.-Cruz competition and endorsed the one they disliked least. Christie (who once was asked his beliefs on evolution and responded “That’s none of your business”) obviously agrees with me that religious beliefs should not override the Constitutional ban on establishment, and like me, he is trying to avoid a Cruz presidency. Fiorina, in her statement endorsing Cruz, said she was horrified by Trump. And she obviously sees Cruz as the best hope to beat him.

As for me, I'm more horrified by Cruz. Sorry, Carly. I like a lot about you, but between Cruz and Trump, I'll hold my nose and choose Trump.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

In a Trump vs. Clinton election, the vote will be strange

I'd heard before of well-known Republicans who might vote for Hillary Clinton rather than see Donald Trump in the Presidency, and others, like Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who might go for a third-party candidate. Now along comes former Senator Jim Webb, who considered himself enough of a Democrat that he entered the competition for that party's nomination, who looks to be headed the opposite way.

This November may see some strange voting patterns.