Memorial Day and American Duty

Memorial Day is a special day to remember all those in the military who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation. They went where our country asked them to go.  They left behind family, friends, barbeques, and all the things that we take for granted as normal in our lives.  Their family became those who served with them on distant lands and seas.  But, they never forgot their families back home.  They missed the births of their children, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, Christmases and Thanksgivings.  They left behind wives, children, mothers, fathers, siblings, pets, cousins, neighbors, and friends.  Many of them never returned.

This tradition of American sacrifice started with the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence who pledged – “And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” They quite literally meant all of those things when signing the Declaration.  Because of their sacrifices and all those in the military who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, we have the luxury of continuing to protect our nation by making smaller, yet significant sacrifices to support a free America.

On this Memorial Day and always, I suggest that we all consider honoring their ultimate sacrifice with more than a thought and a prayer.  Many people will take time out of their day to remember.  I suggest that we honor their sacrifice by serving our country in our own ways.  We can pay attention to what is going on in this country and in the world.   We can listen to or read the news to understand the challenges our nation and communities face.  We can take the time to donate our time and/or money to those in our country who need our help instead of waiting for the Federal Government to do it for us.  We can serve our country and communities as business owners, policeman, fireman, nurses, and teachers.  We can take the extra time to research and vote for those elected officials who will serve us best.  We can use our freedom of speech to disagree with our elected officials when they are wrong and support them when they are right. We can donate to or volunteer for political candidates we trust.  We can stand up for our beliefs even when ridiculed, humiliated, or criticized by others.  We can cherish and defend the Constitution of the United States and hold our government accountable when they do not.  We can tell the government that we will not comply with laws or orders that violate the Constitution that our soldiers died protecting.

Mostly importantly, we can know our history – the good along with the bad – and understand why our freedoms are being eroded.  We must raise our children to do the same.  As President Ronald Reagan so aptly stated – “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” We must turn the tide now and realize that we don’t just have freedoms in this country, but many duties as well.

I have always regretted not serving the United States in the military.  At this point in my life, I will never have that honor.  However, because of their sacrifice and defense of my freedoms as an American, I still have an opportunity to serve my country and honor those lost in battle by honoring my duties as an American.

Democrat Invades House!

Our little Democrat

Even during this exciting political season, I had to take a break from blogging for a while.  You see – a Democrat has invaded our house.  Technically, we fell in love with her sweet kind nature and took her into our house.  I used to have a Democrat in the house about 5 years ago, but she has since grown up.  I forgot how difficult it is to have them.  They are needy.  They are whiny.  They harass the Republicans in the house.  They expect food, room and board for free.  You give them everything, yet they still pee on your floors and chew up your furniture.  Yes folks – we added a new puppy to our household!  Little Mia is a joy, but I can’t wait for her to become a Republican like her older sister Bella.

Our little Republican

Bella, on the other hand, works for her food.  She follows the rules.  She understands there are no handouts in life.  If she wants a treat – she follows our commands.  She has grown up to become a fine little Republican.  I don’t understand why people want dogs to remain puppies forever.  We added Mia to our family so we could give her a great home and train her to grow up to be a great dog!  Being a great dog in this household means being a Republican dog!

I now have a moment of silence in the house because I have taken the typical liberal way out.  I bribed Mia – the little Democrat – with a beef bone filled with marrow.  However, as with Democrats, bribing her with handouts is only a short-term solution.  We know that with training and discipline, she will turn into our second little Republican soon!

Governor Perry Suspends Campaign

Governor Perry suspended his Presidential campaign today and endorsed Speaker Gingrich.  Perry should have done much better in this race.  He started out very slow out of the gate and just couldn’t gain his stride.  Perry is a true conservative and a class act.  His commitment to making Washington D.C. less relevant in our lives resonated with Americans everywhere.  I hope that the other candidates were influenced by Perry’s strong support of the Tenth Amendment.  This issue is important and should continue to be brought to the forefront.

Because of his strong conservative credentials and personal integrity, Governor Perry was my second choice.  Although, Perry endorsed Gingrich, I would ask those Perry supporters to give Senator Santorum another look.  He is also a true conservative.  A strong family man.  A man of integrity and strength.  With your support, he can beat Obama in November.

Santorum – “Game On!”

Santorum succeeded in the Iowa Caucus with a positive and old school campaign.  He visited all 99 counties in Iowa and met with people on the ground in cafes and town halls.  While Iowa is not a predictor of the eventual nominee, this success is significant because it shows that Santorum is able to organize on the ground with limited money.  Imagine what Santorum can do in other states when more money floods into his campaign coffers!  This victory will surely prompt more people to donate to Rick Santorum.  Furthermore, if Bachmann and Perry drop out of the race, many of their voters will go to Santorum.  This will change the dynamics of the race and give conservatives a strong alternative to Romney.  In any event, Santorum’s victory will finally get his campaign the national attention it deserves.  As Rick Santorum said at the beginning of his speech tonight – “Game On!”

Marrying Rick Santorum

Choosing a political candidate is similar to dating. There are men with whom you flirt. There are men who you date.  And then there are the men who are so exceptional that you take them home to meet the parents.  Women learn the difference between these kinds of men with varying speed.  The Republican Primary voters (according to the polls) have flirted with most candidates and even dated a few  - Romney, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Gingrich.  Each one of the aforementioned candidates have surged in the polls and generated excitement in the Republican Party only to lose attention later.  This primary reminds me of those who are serial monogamists – being head over heels for someone for a month or so and then moving on to the next “best” shiny thing.

After flirting with and/or dating Romney, Bachmann, Perry, Cain, and Gingrich, Republican voters have yet to seriously consider Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.  Admittedly, after finding out Rick Santorum was running, I instantly thought he was the best man for the job.  But, like many, I later got distracted by some of the other bright shiny things. I “flirted” with a few candidates and even dating one.

 Governor Mitt Romney

For the record, I have never trusted Romney.  He is the “too good to be true” guy.  He is the guy that admits that he cheated in the past, but promises to never do it again.  He is good-looking and well spoken and will tell you anything you want to hear.  In my earlier naïve years, I may have flirted with Romney.  I may have even been stupid enough to date him.  However, I learned long ago that this kind of man will disappoint you in the end with either infidelity or inability to commit.  Romney is definitely not the marrying kind.

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann

Bachmann is included in this list of those who Republicans have “dated” because of her early surge in the polls before Perry announced his candidacy.  I strongly considered Bachmann as her values closely align with mine.  However, I was disturbed by what I thought to be intellectually dishonest comments attacking other candidates.  This made me question her ability as candidate.  It also made me wonder if I could trust her.  As with any relationship, trust is imperative.  I am not sure why she chose to misrepresent the Gardasil issue.  If it was a mistake, it was a big one in my book.

Governor Rick Perry

After seeing Rick Perry speak at CPAC 2011 in Washington D.C., I really wanted him to enter the race.  He has strong conservative principles and a proven record of success as Governor of Texas.  His stance on State’s rights and promise to make Washington irrelevant was all the sweet-talking a lot of us Republicans needed.  He is charming with his Texas swagger, confidence, and patriotism that is so lacking in the White House today.  However, that charm started waning with each passing debate where Perry turned in disappointing performances.  Furthermore, many Republicans disagree with his stance on immigration reform in the State of Texas.  Aside from a few issues, Rick Perry is one of the most proven conservative candidates in the race.  He will need to recapture that spark among voters again and convince them that he can stand toe to toe with Obama in a campaign.  Perry is a datable guy if he can just work hard enough to make us believe in him again.

 Herman Cain

Cain was certainly an attractive candidate – a man whose confident and straight-forward way of talking gained attention among Republicans.  Cain was a refreshing change from the field of professional politicians.  His strong conservative convictions and unique delivery caused many voters to flirt and even date Cain for some time (there is no pun intended here).  However, his lack of knowledge on foreign policy coupled with his reputation as a “ladies man” (whether deserved or not) destroyed his chances to ever be brought home to meet the parents.

Speaker Newt Gingrich

Who could resist a flirtation with Gingrich, a former conservative hero that ushered in a Republican majority in Congress for the first time in 40 years in 1994?  In debate after debate, Gingrich proved that he wasn’t just a flash in the pan from the 90’s, but a powerhouse of intellect and debating prowess.  This combination caused a large jump in his polling numbers as many Republicans decided to take the plunge and date Gingrich.  Unfortunately for Gingrich, many of those voters were reminded of Gingrich’s entire record.  Not only had he supported liberal policies in the past, he continues to express his admiration for one of the most far left Presidents in history – FDR.  Hearing this made me want to break up with him on Twitter instantly.  Like all relationships, when you realize your values do not align on serious issues, it is probably best not to proceed forward.   Many are still dating Gingrich, perhaps hoping that they are dating the Gingrich who wrote “The Contract with America.”  I hope that he is that man.  But, I think that his recent statements have shown that while he is a conservative sometimes, he still believes in using big government to achieve his goals.  So, that leaves us with Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

 Congressman Ron Paul

I don’t think conservative voters have ever given any real consideration to dating Ron Paul.  Let’s face it – Ron Paul supporters have married and pledged their life-long fidelity to him long ago.  These libertarians are like enthusiastic newlyweds proclaiming to the world their love.  Conservatives have flirted with Paul’s ideas more than the man himself.  He has raised the bar for many other candidates on economic issues such as the Federal Reserve and even on some foreign policy issues.  However, while many Republicans are open to suggestion that America is suffering from battle fatigue and our military is overextended around the world, what we really want is a hawk in the White House.  We want to be protected from those in the World who would destroy America.  Republicans can’t date or marry Paul because we just don’t think he can protect our country.  We can’t trust him to be Commander in Chief.  Everyone knows that a relationship without trust is really no relationship at all.

Senator Rick Santorum

For me, it began and will hopefully end with Rick Santorum.  He was the first guy in the room I noticed.  He is smart, has strong conservative convictions, and conveys them well.  Unfortunately, I think many voters have put him in the “friends” category because they didn’t really feel that “spark” they felt with other candidates.  Rick Santorum is the good guy.  He doesn’t have baggage.  He is consistently conservative.  He is a family man.  He is the guy the girls pass over to date the bad guys.  He is the guy that is a great friend to those girls even though they repeatedly make mistake after mistake.  After some period of time, girls turn into women and learn that the bad guys are not the ones to marry.  Then they turn their attention to the “marrying kind”.  They turn their attention to a man like Rick Santorum.  It is time to stop flirting with candidates whose values don’t align with ours with the false premise that only they can win.  This primary is time for conservatives to choose.  It is time to find that candidate to take “home to meet the parents.”

Rick Santorum has a consistent, proven record of social and economic conservative principles and an impeccable character.  He believes in American Exceptionalism.  He is a hawk on foreign policy.  He has a proven record in the United States Senate working to reduce dependency on welfare and protecting the sanctity of life.  He is also a fiscal conservative who has obtained high scores from the American Taxpayers Union and pledged to end crony capitalism in Washington.  Rick Santorum is the total package.  As Rush Limbaugh said on Wednesday – “I love Rick Santorum, if he won I would never have to wonder if he would do the right thing.”

The question confronting conservative voters in this primary is will we do the right thing?  Will we vote for the person we believe in and trust?  Or, will we let Washington insiders and pundits tell us to lower our standards and support a more “electable” candidate?  We have several great candidates running in this primary. As any good friend would advise, life is too short to settle when choosing a mate.  As I advise here, this election is too important to settle for anyone but the best.  This is why I am supporting Rick Santorum.

Grow up Republicans!

Lord knows that I love President Reagan.  Like many others, I became a Republican because of him.  After reading Lou Cannon’s “A Role of a Lifetime”, I spent the next 10 years searching for another Ronald Reagan in every candidate for public office.  Then, I grew up.

There is only one Ronald Reagan.  And, I would venture to say that some liberals are right – Ronald Reagan couldn’t win in the eyes of many Republican voters today because he wouldn’t be conservative enough.  He certainly wouldn’t be the most polished candidate, not in the beginning.   Reagan was successful because he was genuine.  We cannot expect our candidates now to be someone who they are not.  We cannot expect them to be Reagan.

If we wish to pay homage to Reagan, we must believe as he did that “American’s best days are yet to come.”  Living in the past can be fun for a time.  We all love to talk about the great Reagan days and quote him at every opportunity.  Someday, there will be another candidate – dare I say – better than Reagan.  America’s future is dependent on us to choose with conviction, but also realism.  Many conservative voters are ideological – throwing away candidate after candidate because they don’t measure up.  I understand this as I used to be one of them.  There is a tremendous comfort in deciding that you will not compromise in a candidate – that you will not accept any flaws.  However, this is a losing proposition for America.

It is important not to continuously put any of these candidates on a pedestal from which they will inevitably fall.  Many people in the blogosphere and editorial pages have all but given up on Perry because of his lackluster performance in last night’s debate.  The same fall from grace has been seen with other Republican candidates as well.  Ronald Reagan has become the “one that got away”.  You know – the person by which we compare all others.  The problem with that thinking is that it increases the likelihood that we will miss the “real deal” when it is right in front of us.  Is that person Rick Perry?  I honestly don’t know yet.

If you are supporting a Republican candidate because you truly believe in his/her values, this isn’t aimed at you.  I am talking to those who consistently attach to the bright shiny new thing in the room – be it Cain, Bachmann, Palin, or Perry – and then abandon all hopes at the first sign of trouble.  It is time to grow up and realize that all of these candidates are imperfect.  No one is perfect.  No one is the perfect candidate.  We must move beyond our idealized version of Ronald Reagan and find a leader for today.  We must find the most conservative leader who is genuine, who can help return America back to our founding principles, and in whom we can trust.

Top Ten Quotes from CNN Tea Party Debate

  1. Gingrich – “The American people create jobs, not government.”
  2. Perry in response to Romney’s criticism of his using the phrase “ponzi scheme” in reference to Social Security – “You called it criminal in your book”.
  3. Cain about calling the Social Security System a ponzi scheme– “I don’t care what you call it.  It is broken.”
  4. Perry – “People are tired of spending money we don’t have on programs we don’t want.”
  5. Santorum on the economy – “Obama’s economy…would need to make a drastic improvement to be a disaster.”
  6. Santorum to Paul – “On your website, on 9/11, you had a blog post that…basically blamed the United States for 9/11.  You said it was our actions that brought the actions of 9/11.  Now Congressman Paul, that is irresponsible.”
  7. Paul – “How do you pay for a tax cut?  You don’t have to pay for a tax cut.  It is the people’s money!”
  8. Paul on the use of executive orders – “The executive order should never be used to legislate.  I made a promise that I would never use the executive order to legislate.”
  9. Romney about immigration – “This is the party that believes in enforcing the law.”
  10. Bachmann on improving the economy – “Cleaning out corporate welfare, making us more competitive in the 21st century.”