The Cruz-Trump Debate Showdown

The races for the presidential nomination are tightening in both parties. Bernie Sanders is doing surprisingly well against Hillary Clinton. I like what one commentator said about that: “To see her struggling to overcome the challenge from a glowering grouchy grandfather socialist like Bernie Sanders tells us a lot about how far left the Democratic base has drifted.”

On the Republican side, Ted Cruz is now pushing Donald Trump in a way Trump didn’t anticipate; he doesn’t like being behind in a poll, as he now seems to be in Iowa:

Biggest Problem

Trump has spent a lot of time trying to convince Republican voters that everyone else is a “loser,” and that he is the only one who can lift America out of its doldrums. The “loser” meme is getting kind of old:

Losers

So when it looks like he might be the loser, he comes up with a new strategy: claim that Cruz might be ineligible to run because he was born in Canada. Never mind that Cruz’s mom was always an American citizen; ignore that the distinction always has been between someone born to an American citizen and someone who has to go through the naturalization process (which Cruz didn’t have to do); suggest that this could be a huge problem if he becomes the nominee; call for him to have a court decide this.

We have a granddaughter who was born in New Zealand. Her mother—our daughter—is a natural-born American citizen; her father is a naturalized citizen; our granddaughter is considered a natural-born American citizen even though she has never spent one second of her life in the United States. Ted Cruz, except for that brief, transitory period when his father took a job in Canada, has lived in the U.S. all of his life.

There should be no controversy. Trump even acknowledged in the debate last week that he decided to raise the issue because Cruz was coming up in the polls. How crass can you get?

Cruz tore Trump’s argument to shreds in that debate. It was a joy to watch.

Later, Trump got his revenge when Cruz critiqued what he called “New York values.” Now, anyone with even half a brain knew what Cruz meant: that New York in general, and the City in particular, are havens for leftist ideology. When is the last time New York went for a Republican in a presidential race? (Hint: his initials are RR.)

Cruz was quite clear that was what he was talking about. So what did Trump do? He shifted the focus from that leftist ideology that has dominated the state and talked about the way New Yorkers dug out of the rubble of 9/11 and showed great courage in the process.

No one disputes that. It was a clever political ploy, but a ploy nonetheless. It had nothing to do with what Cruz was talking about; rather, it removed the entire context of Cruz’s comments and concentrated on something that had no relation to what he was saying.

In retrospect, Cruz probably should have known Trump might do that. He also probably shouldn’t have singled out New York but the elitist, leftist ideology itself. As a result, Trump had another “victory” in the debate, no matter how deceptive.

What was truly ironic is that he accused Cruz of being insulting, as if the Trump campaign hasn’t revolved around a steady stream of insults for which he never is called to account.

Once you get past the anger Trump has been able to take advantage of, and listen to what he actually says, you discover there is very little “there” there. What we get instead is a healthy helping of hubris, grandiose promises, scanty knowledge of the issues, and a character—based on his previous political/policy views and personal life—that cannot be trusted:

Trump at Debate

Called on by Democrats to apologize for his remarks, here’s what Cruz said in response:

Ted Cruz 2I apologize to the millions of New Yorkers who have been let down by liberal politicians in that state.

I apologize to the hard working men and women of the state of New York who have been denied jobs because Governor Cuomo won’t allow fracking. Even though there had been many high paying jobs just south in Pennsylvania, New Yorkers are denied the ability to provide for their families.

I apologize to all the pro-life and pro-marriage and pro-second amendment New Yorkers who were told by Governor Cuomo that they have no place in New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

I apologize to all the small businesses who have been driven out of New York city by crushing taxes and regulations.

I apologize to the millions of unborn children, many African-American and Hispanic, whose lives have been taken by politicians who relentlessly promote abortion on demand with no limitations.

I apologize to all of the African-American children who Mayor de Blasio tried to throw out of their charter schools that were providing a lifeline to the American Dream.

I apologize to the people of New York who are offended when the New York Daily News lambastes anyone who prays for victims of violence.

I apologize to the people of faith who are ridiculed and insulted by the New York media.

And I apologize to all the cops and the firefighters and 9/11 heroes who had no choice but to stand and turn their backs on Mayor de Blasio, because Mayor de Blasio over and over again stands with the looters and criminals rather than the brave men and women of the law.

It was an eloquent “apology,” and one that I wish more Republicans had the courage to issue.

Cuomo: No Welcome Mat for Conservatives

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Cuomo Gathers With Supporters On Election NightThe governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, made a rather startling statement in a radio interview recently. Speaking of the nature of the Republican party—of which he apparently claims to be an expert—he said a battle is raging within the party between moderates and extremists. He identified those “extremists” in the following words:

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

I guess I should be glad I don’t live in New York. Apparently, believing in the sanctity of human life from the womb to old age, wanting to be able to defend oneself against domestic violence, and holding to a Biblical morality regarding marriage that has been the bedrock of Western Civilization for centuries is now “extreme.”

The blowback against the governor’s comments led him to issue a clarification, as politicians are wont to do when they insert foot into mouth too blatantly. He says his words were “distorted.” He didn’t mean everyone in New York, just those who run for office.  Oh, that makes it better. Live quietly and don’t express your “extreme” views on these issues and we’ll allow you to stay and pay our exorbitant taxes to fund our progressive policies. But don’t ever attempt to run for political office with those views; that’s unacceptable. How tolerant of him.

Governor Cuomo, you seem not to realize it’s those very people you sneer at who are upholding the basic morality that permits civilization to continue. Someday, you may be grateful for those extremist right-to-life people when the state determines you are too expensive and unproductive to contribute to society.

You also never know who may come to your aid with a weapon to stave off an attacker; police and bodyguards aren’t always at your beck and call as they are now in your high position. By the way, do your bodyguards carry so-called “assault” weapons? Perhaps they should be unarmed. Wouldn’t that be more in line with your principles?

And, down the road, when you finally see the consequences of the destruction of real marriage, you might someday be tempted to rethink your promotion of immorality.

You, Governor Cuomo, claim to be a practicing Catholic. Your church promotes the pro-life cause and holds steadfastly to traditional marriage as established by God. The way I see it, you have a choice before you: either recommit yourself to what you claim to believe or stop saying you are a Catholic.

Please understand, Governor Cuomo, that those “extremists” you so roundly condemn are the only ones holding your state together. They are the salt and light in this world; if you exclude them, you plunge us deeper into spiritual darkness.

Losing Our Minds–Part II

As I said yesterday, I’ve been meditating on just how foolish we have become as a people. It’s as if our common sense has left us. Another area where this foolishness is on display is with this new round of gun-control mania. New York passed new legislation making it the strictest state against gun ownership, but California is now making a run for the title. According to a recent article, Democrats there have unveiled a new package of legislation that even goes so far as to allow potential confiscation of the state’s 166,000 legally registered semi-automatic rifles.

All of this has been pushed from the top, of course, with Obama’s Biden-led commission. Yet it’s all based on the assumption that guns are the problem, a typical assumption from those who don’t recognize the real problem—the sinfulness of man. External “solutions” don’t solve internal problems. And there are all sorts of contradictions and hypocrisies to point out, such as . . .

Even in the wake of the Newtown killings, there is resistance to posting armed guards at schools. What if teachers could defend themselves? Would a shooter think twice about carrying out his deed? Or would political correctness prevail?

Right now, mass murderer Christopher Dorner is loose in California. Would a disarmed populace feel safer or more threatened in this circumstance? Do I really have to answer that? Have we lost our minds to that extent? There’s a popular picture making the rounds on Facebook that makes the point quite succinctly:

Why is it so hard to understand that criminals don’t really care that a legislature just passed a law putting more restrictions on gun ownership? Every time one of those laws passes, they rejoice. Every time one of those laws passes, we are less safe. You don’t need a Ph.D. to figure that out.

Tomorrow’s topic: immigration.

The Present Crisis

The intent of yesterday’s post was to ensure we understand that there have always been bad times in American history, and that we’ve been at the point of despair before. Our future as a nation is still open; the decisions we make now will determine our path.

Today I do want to emphasize the severity of our current problems, as a kind of counterpoint to yesterday’s hopeful thoughts. It’s important that we don’t put our heads in the sand, figuratively speaking. What are we facing right now, and how do these problems compare to previous ones? I’m going to provide what I consider to be the key list of issues with which we have to deal:

  • As a nation, we have never been this deep in debt. Credit agencies are threatening to lower America’s rating for dependability in paying our creditors. In just two and one-half years of the Obama administration, we’ve added $5 trillion in debt, rushing rapidly toward a grand total of $15 trillion. That means more than one-third of that debt has accumulated on Obama’s watch. Yet he doesn’t even seem to take it seriously. There’s no attempt on his part to cut back on the spending. Instead, he hopes to pass another stimulus and raise taxes.

  • We are going to burst through our debt ceiling in August unless we cut spending. But what solution do the Democrats offer? Keep raising the ceiling. It doesn’t work for governments any more than it does for individuals and families.

The logic used by the administration is fascinating:

  • The ideology behind Obama’s policies is more socialistic than anything proposed by FDR or LBJ. He has taken over one-sixth of the economy by ramming through a very unpopular and unconstitutional healthcare bill.
  • We are stuck in a recession that has similarities to the Great Depression. The housing market has now been declared worse than what we experienced in the 1930s. Obama’s socialist policies have undercut the free market, ruined small business, and kept unemployment high.
  • On the education front, he has taken steps to end school voucher programs, such as the one that was working well in Washington, DC, forcing poor children into awful government schools where they will learn virtually nothing. He is in the pocket of the educational establishment, which is more attuned to maintaining its stranglehold on education than achieving results. The NEA, in particular, has a political agenda perfectly in line with Obama’s ideology. Any attempt by conservatives to change this broken system is met with hysteria and hyperbole.

  • Culturally, we have degenerated to a place unparalleled in our history. Over fifty million unborn children have been murdered since 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision. Homosexuality, which was always considered a perversion of God’s gift of sex, is now being touted as a laudable lifestyle, no longer a choice but simply a genetic difference. Last week, New York’s legislature, pushed by Democrat Governor Cuomo and acquiesced in by enough Republicans, made homosexual marriage legal. The Rubicon has been crossed. Marriage itself is being trivialized and degraded. We have broken with Christian belief and tradition to our detriment.

  • The homosexual advance has become so dominant that it is difficult to watch television without finding a sympathetic homosexual character on a program. It’s an all-out assault on basic Biblical morality.
  • Speaking of morality, our political leaders have fallen short at a record pace lately. I don’t need to review all of the scandals; you know them. Anthony Weiner has become a classic symbol of all that is wrong with our moral compass.

  • When we turn to foreign policy, we see the United States practically laughed at in most of the world, the takedown of bin Laden being the exception to the rule. Few in other nations, friend or foe, take Obama seriously. He has become Israel’s worst nightmare. He’s now expanding that bad dream by sitting down and talking with the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, operating on the illusion that they have renounced violence. What a fantasy world! Both are dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the overthrow of Western civilization. This is a travesty of the highest order.

Have I forgotten anything really important? Possibly. I’m sure some of you could add to the list. Taken all together, this set of problems may signal the worst crisis we have ever faced as a nation. We could be on the verge of falling apart completely, morally and politically.

An essential part of the solution is to rid ourselves of the current political leadership, but that’s only a part of the solution. There is a more foundational need. That’s my subject for tomorrow.

Military Ballots and Political Correctness

I would hate to omit some stories in the rush of election coverage, but there is one that is directly related to the upcoming elections that should make anyone wonder what’s going on. Of all the people who should be allowed to vote, those serving in the armed forces overseas, particularly in Afghanistan, should have top priority. They are literally the front line of defense against terrorism.

Yet two of our largest states, New York and Illinois, missed deadlines for sending troops their absentee ballots. In New York, some counties, including New York City, even missed an extended deadline. In Illinois, they graciously extended the number of days for a postmarked ballot to be returned—by one day.

Is this merely incompetence or is there something political going on here? It is assumed that most soldiers vote Republican, and those two states are controlled by Democrats. Yet I can also easily believe that gross incompetence is the culprit. Either way, this is atrocious.

We’ve already seen in the past week how subservient to Islamic pressure the media is—Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar storming of the set of The View in protest of Bill O’Reilly’s comment that Muslims were behind 9/11, and the firing of Juan Williams by NPR. Well, we must not be Islamophobic, right?

I mean, who wants to be unsophisticated and mean-spirited? Certainly not the mainstream media. Who can blame serious citizens for seeking information elsewhere?

There are so many more options now. The proliferation of media sources is one of the best developments of the past few decades. No longer are we held hostage by an elite that fashions the news in its own image. Some things actually do get better with time.