Tag: election

My Dwindling Belief in Politicians and Public Service

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“How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism.”

James Monroe

In writing this post I must own that as a 35 year old woman I may come across as incredibly naive. Some may laugh at my ever being so foolish as to believe in such noble concepts. But today I’m here to tell you that this woman’s idealism has been wounded perhaps beyond repair in this election cycle but even before then.

You see friends I used to believe in something called public service. I knew there were certainly egos and narcissists in our government, but I was pedestrian enough to believe this was a loud minority. I believed that a majority of our leaders saw a need, an opportunity to serve and chance to do something more for the world than they might have in the private sphere.

Part of my reason for believing this was the lessened salaries most of these Ivy league graduates could receive in public service. Even something like the presidency doesn’t pay near what the men of that position would have earned in a different occupation.

public-service2Of course it is easier to believe the side I agree with is full of noble intentions and the opposite point of view is suspect, but I have always been one that defended the indefensible. Yes for years I stood up for politicians!  It was understandable to me that a person like John Edwards could place himself over the good of the country or any number of other narcissistic scandals could exist but I could ignore them as disgusting outliers.

When other people ragged on our representatives both national and local, I said “at least they were out there fighting and trying to make a difference.” I worked on campaigns. I even made calls and went door to door on occasion because I really believed in these people.  How foolish do I sound now.

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I’m not speaking for anyone else but myself. I just wanted to say that I don’t believe them any more.

In the last few weeks I have seen one representative after another compromise their principles to support both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If they believe they are good candidates than that I can understand and support that, but it is the public maneuvering to save face that makes me sick.

For example, congressman Jason Chaffetz, who I at one point had a ‘political crush’ on went in under a week from saying “he couldn’t look his daughter in the eye” and endorse Donald Trump to tweeting out “I will not defend or endorse Donald Trump but I am voting for him”

Shame on him. This is not the politics of public service. This is politics as political maneuvering to try and save face. A public statement of who you are voting for is an endorsement Mr Chaffetz whether you like to call it that or not.

He is not alone. Now after Hillary Clinton has been put back under investigation by the FBI liberals like Paul Krugman have gone from saying Trump’s allegations of media bias and a rigged system are outrageous to making the same claims about Hillary Clinton’s treatment. Nancy Pelosi said it was “partisan conspiracy-mongering.” Evidently only liberals are allowed to throw out conspiracies…

Other people may buy into one side or the other but I don’t any more. They are all spin doctors. They are all out to protect themselves more than what is good for our country.

They have all forgotten PUBLIC SERVICE!


You can call me a cynic but that’s really how I feel. They are supposed to be serving us. They are supposed to be looking out for us. Instead all they care about is themselves, their careers, and how it impacts their precious party.

I personally was proud of Senator Ted Cruz for being the one Republican to not endorse Donald Trump at the GOP Convention. This to me showed integrity. How wrong I was when mere weeks later he was answering phones and working for Trump.

Since then I have seen one leader after another fail to make a stand or compromise where they know they shouldn’t be.

It reminds me of the scripture story where Esau sells his birthright to his brother for a mess of pottage. When all this is said and done they will have either failed to speak up or actively spoken for something and someone unfit to stand with their own daughters let alone lead our country. They sold their birthright for pottage of momentary consensus and inclusion.

Yes, the third party candidates do give me a sense of hope but they are the minority and it is easier to be brave when you do not face the peer pressure of the bullying sheep.

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This is not a sudden realization for me but something that has been brewing for a long time. Back in 2009 I joined with other concerned citizens to protest the bank bailouts and other insane spending by our representatives. The tea party protests were the most inspiring and patriotic experiences I’ve had in my life.

Back then I believed that the representatives would listen and at least some of them were true public servants. Then I spent the next 7 years being treated like a terrorist, and radical by the very party that I was supposedly in allegiance with.

Representative by representative, leader by leader has fallen into a sea of self-interest since those days of protest in 2009. And now I just don’t trust any of them and perhaps that is the healthiest place to be in.

Gone are my illusions of public service and that elected officials were for the most part trying to do what is right.

I don’t believe in them any more.

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Romney’s Funny

So I’ve been sick the last few days and been working more than I should.  I still struggle to sleep at night even when sick so after my 20 minutes of trying to go to sleep I turned on the TV and stumbled up on Mitt Romney’s remarks at the Alfred E. Smith dinner.   It made me laugh a lot.  In fact, I thought it was much funnier than anything SNL has done this season.

Favorite lines:

“…tomorrow’s headlines would read, “Obama Embraced by Catholics; Romney Dines With Rich People.”

“Usually when I get invited to gatherings like this it’s just to be designated driver”

“In the spirit of big bird this dinner is brought to you by the letter “O” and the number 16 trillion”

After looking at recent job #s President will boast “you’re better off than you were four weeks ago”

On the bias of the press, headlines will say “polls show Obama leading from behind.”

Nice to have a good laugh! Hopefully it will make a few people see Romney in a new light. Not as stiff an unapproachable as the primaries made him look.

Not Ready for Female President

I haven’t done a political post in some time but my thoughts have been on the upcoming Iowa caucus.  I am very curious to see who will emerge as the Republican frontrunner (combined with New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida).  There are things I like and don’t like about all of the candidates and I honestly have not decided who I like the most.

I relate to Mitt Romney and feel he has the business sense to help get this economy running- like America’s CEO. I also like his dedication to family and traditional values. I am not a fan based solely on his Mormonism, but I must admit I do feel a certain underlying connection when he speaks. I felt the same thing when Harry Reid spoke at BYU and I would never vote for him, so clearly it is not a deciding factor.  I do think that he is good in debates and will present a formidable candidate to Pres.  Obama.  I also think he is a smart choice for Republicans because he has experience working with democrats to get results.  He is a compromisor (sometimes too much so) but after 4 years of uncompromising liberalism I can live with a moderate Republican.

That said, closest to me in positions is Michele Bachmann who as a fellow tea partier believes in a small federal government with greater rights going to the states.  For example, programs like education should be handled at the local, state level.   Bachmann has also been consistent in her support for marriage, minimal spending, against raising the debt ceiling and supporting pro-life legislation.  The interesting thing is whenever I talk to my Republican friends who mirror my political opinions they all say that Bachmann is ‘unelectable’.

Why is that? Part of the reason is she has some polarizing positions that won’t attract moderates, but I also think that America is not ready for a female president. 92% of American’s say they would elect a female president, but I don’t know if that statistic pans out to actual candidates.  A 2007 study found  “that a significant percentage of people are hiding their true feelings on questions related to female candidates for the presidency….While women candidates seem to be making some strides in races for many offices…the office of the presidency may be difficult to reach.”

Why would people be resistant to a female president?  Well, I think the problem lies that a female candidate has to have everything that a male candidate needs plus they need to prove their leadership abilities (something that is a given in most men).  A woman must also prove that their family is not a barrier to their work (something that has been thwarting women in many careers for years).

Also, all of the female candidates so far have been criticized for their styles in ways men are not. Someone like a Hilary Clinton is too much of a pantsuit wearing unfeminine witch (I would use another word but I have a family friendly site!) or in the case of Sarah Palin you are too much of a prom queen, too fluffy.  Men are not judged by such a shallow filter.  For example, John Edwards was criticized for his $400 haircut and his fluffy internet video getting ready for a photo shoot; however, it was only a momentary laugh and it did not seriously hurt his candidacy.  If it had been a woman with the video getting primped and spending $400 on a haircut she would be immediately dismissed as a joke.

Anne Kornblut author of ‘Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win describes what is an ‘electable’ female candidate:

“I’ve played this game with myself for a long time. She is completely impossible. She would have served in the military and stayed home and raised her children full-time. She’d be married to someone with money, and she’d have some business experience. There’s just no way she could exist. There are too many demands on this candidate.

But joking aside – she’d be authentic, which would need to be true of a male or female presidential candidate. She’d cross the credential threshold – she’d have demonstrated that she’s qualified, and she’d be a communicator. Those are the areas where women have sometimes struggled.”

The problem is there will always be a male candidate with similar positions without the barrier of being a woman.  What political party will take the risk on a female candidate when you can pick a male without that risk?

I really wonder if the democratic party (a generally more progressive party) cannot elect Hillary Clinton with all her leadership experience is there an electable candidate out there?  I really don’t know.  I certainly believe there are many candidates that are capable and would do a great job but are they electable?  I just don’t know.  I wish they were but I don’t know.

It is generally seen acceptable for a woman to be chosen as a vice presidential choice and perhaps this is a first step but perhaps not.  Since the first vice president the office has been seen as  “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived”.  Women have always been the supporters of men and is that not the role of the vice president?  Of course, there is always the potential of becoming president as the vice president (happened 9 times in our country’s history) but it is still the silver medal of political power.

The problem is not that women couldn’t do the job, its that people subconsciously feel they can’t do the job as well.  It may be unfortunate but true that people still see maternal affection and feminine virtues as weak and fragile.  I happen to believe they are strengths and provide an empathy that is not as present in most men who have not spent time caregiving in their lives.  In addition, not all women, or all mothers, are the same, even if they are perceived as being the same or as having the same weaknesses.

Just as men shouldn’t be looked at as one voting block, women should be seen as unique individuals with different strengths and weaknesses.  Unfortunately, I don’t know if this will ever happen.  I hope it will, but again my fear is there will always be a male candidate that doesn’t have to overcome these barriers.

What do you think about this issue?  Are we ready for a female candidate?  If so, why do you think the candidates so far have failed (assuming Bachmann does not get the nomination)?  What can be done to create a viable female candidate? Who do you think should run that hasn’t? Do you feel that motherhood is more of a barrier for women than fatherhood is for men?  What other barriers need to be breached and how can that happen? Do you feel resistant in a woman’s ability to lead? (Be prepared to defend yourself on that one!) Do you think that a women would make a better or worse president?  If so, why? I would love to hear your perspective.

On a lighter note, there have been 2 female presidents on network shows (Commander and Chief and 24) so that’s some headway. Now for life to imitate Hollywood!

The Republican/ Tea Party Opportunity

As all blog readers know I am a Conservative American that has strong passionate feelings in regards to politics.   For years I pretended to be a moderate because I thought it sounded open-minded and fair.  However, I began to notice that most of my views both morally and fiscally landed on the conservative side.  (If you want to see a few areas I agree with President Obama check out this post) Finally after the 2008 election I decided to stop pretending and embrace my beliefs- not only embrace but fight for them.  I was disgusted by the stimulus package, car company bailouts, government intrusion into our most personal choices, mounting debt, imminent deflation of the dollar, the massive health care bill, and declining moral values.

Then came the tea party rallies, which gave me the chance to protest these policies. I don’t think I have ever felt as patriotic or as proud to have freedom of speech then when I carried my sign in the tea party rally.  It was a great moment in my life. (btw, why does it seem like protesters on the left are characterized as bold, courageous,  and patriotic but the right are described as radicals and dangerous? Makes me crazy!)

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I know the movement has been mainly Republican but to all the Democrats who mock it- the tea party made many establishment Republicans reexamine their policies.   Politicians like Bob Bennett would no longer get the automatic rubber stamp from their republican base.   Bennett served for three terms but was not reelected in the primary because of his vote on TARP and support of health insurance mandates.   Despite many characterizing it as ‘extreme’ or ‘radical’ I have yet to see anything in the tea party movements (and rallies) that wasn’t patriotic and concerned.  We  don’t want to see our country go so far into debt that there is no way back.  We also want to keep our freedoms and our ability to choose how we run our lives.  Clearly we need government but the involvement should be as minimal as possible.  Washington needs to trust the American people and the free market to make the right choices- with a little nudging from Uncle Sam along the way.  Getting our country on track and out of debt will require CUTTING programs (some of them quite worthy) and getting rid of entitlements.  We cannot continue to spend money we don’t have.  To me it is as simple as that. As I mentioned before, this goes for the Republicans and Democrats.   They both got us into our current mess.

On Tuesday, after a year or more of campaigning, many of the Tea Party Republicans came into power- particularly in the House of Representatives.   Naturally not all of the tea party republicans won their races but this should be expected in any new inner-party movement.  In the Democratic party many progressive candidates lost election early in the 20th century and now they are the mainstream of the party.  For instance, William Jennings Bryan ran for president 3 times, loosing each time.  Now his ideas are part of mainstream liberal doctrine.   As weird as it sounds I expected some Tea Party Republicans to lose on Tuesday.  After all, Rome wasn’t conquered in a day!

Anyway, the next two years is the chance for the Tea Party Republicans to live up to their rhetoric.  We will see.  I am cautiously optimistic.  I know it will be hard to get everything the movement wants with just control over the house but I will be looking for some noticeable change.   Even if the bills get vetoed I want to see the budget cuts go through the house and let the Democrats be to blame for blocking them.  If these new Republicans wimp out I will be very disappointed.

This statement by Tea Party star Marco Rubio is encouraging of good things to come. Let’s hope he and others live up to the potential…

I pray our country can get out of the grasp of Chinese debt, that the dollar can become strong and that traditional values will reemerge.  The closer we get along these lines the happier I will be.  I hope I have explained my views well.  Its always a little scary to put them out to the world for scrutiny.  Please be kind as we debate the issues.

Things I am NOT

On September 15th Draper City had a primary election for its mayoral and councilperson races.  As I have never missed an election (even on my mission) this was no exception and I dutifully filled out my absentee ballot.  Before doing so I read the candidate bio sheet to try and make an informed decision.  It was interesting how most of the candidates shared credit for the same things and boasted the same qualifications- with one major exception.  A candidate named Mark Barrett said the following on his bio page:

Qualifications
-Not a land developer
-Not a personal friend of land developers
-Concerned citizen representing my neighbors best interests

I didn’t know that not doing something was a qualification and if it is I don’t know why he stopped at land developing.  Why not add “I am not an adulterer or a murderer”.  How about “I am not stupid or a klutz?”.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were judged by what we are not?  I think all of us would be able to add much more to our qualification list! I for one am not an Olympian, not a hair-dresser, not a supermodel, not a astrophysicist, not Miss America.  If you read over that list quickly I sound pretty amazing!

I wonder if Mark wanted to be elected at all? Surely he has some real qualifications.  It’s not like it is president- just Draper City Council!

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