An essay by James A Graves, Jr.
I have a quandary. Or if you prefer; a dilemma, a predicament, a problem. And it’s political in nature.
You see, I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Neither a Liberal nor a Conservative. I’m a Constitutionalist. But being a Constitutionalist is problematic because America has a two-party system. Florida is a closed primary state, so, in order to vote in local and primary elections, you have to be registered as a Democrat or a Republican. And this spills over to the presidential elections, because voting for a candidate other than a Democrat or Republican could be viewed as wasting my vote since only a Democrat or Republican will be elected president.
So my quandary is; do I vote Democrat or Republican?
The decision is complicated. Please allow me to explain…
Since I was old enough to vote I had been a Democrat. It was a family tradition for four generations. Perhaps more - I’ve not been able to trace my roots beyond my great-grandfather. He was a Confederate soldier and fought in the Civil War. After the CSA fell, he voted Democrat because it was essentially the same thing, especially in the South.
I never understood racism. I grew up in the Deep South in the 50’s and 60’s, so I saw racism up close. It was part of our culture and I knew I didn’t like it. I watched the Selma riots and hoped all of that racist crap would go away. Then I saw that the Democrat Party was changing. President John F Kennedy seemed to be leading that change. I liked what he stood for and, had I been old enough, I would have voted for him.
Change continued in the Democrat Party over the ensuing two decades. Governor George Wallace, once a staunch segregationist, was elected governor of Alabama for a fourth term in 1983 with overwhelming support of the African-American electorate and, during the next four years, made more African-American political appointments than any other figure in Alabama history.
However, by then I had already left the Democrat Party. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter was sworn in. He had campaigned on reducing America’s military. I was on active duty, five years into my first tour and currently assigned to the Tactical Air Warfare Center at Eglin AFB, FL.
The choice to make the USAF a career or hire on with a defense contractor was a difficult decision. One of my primary options to stay in was transferring to the new B-1 bomber project as an avionics tech because the QSR Test Project that I was involved in was due to end in 1978. But, toward the end of 1977, Carter cancelled the B-1 project. The Democrats seemed happy to go along with his decision and that was it for me. I joined the Republican Party and separated from the USAF.
I remained a Republican until President George W Bush and the US congress passed the Patriot Act in October 2001. At that point my alarm bells started going off. To add insult to injury the Department of Homeland Security was created in November of 2002. It was apparent that the Patriot Act and the DHS were nothing more than political kneejerk reactions to the 9/11 attacks. And because the American people signaled that they were willing to trade their freedom for security, a blatant power grab by entrenched deep state politicians and bureaucrats had occurred. It was like tossing a bone in front of a hungry dog.
Much to my dismay, subsequent research revealed that, with the exception of the US Army’s elite intelligence unit, Able Danger, the US intelligence agencies had failed miserably. Able Danger operatives had tracked the 19 al Qaeda terrorists around the globe, gathering detailed information on each one, as well as Bin Laden and other al Qaeda terrorists. But the FBI refused to meet with Able Danger’s Pentagon liaison on three separate occasions to receive a briefing on the intel Able Danger had gathered, which was almost a terra bite of data, and included copies of the terrorists’ credit card receipts showing the purchase of the airline tickets and the box cutters they would use in the attacks on the fatal flights. Additionally, not only did CIA, NSA, DIA, FBI, etc. not share intel in a timely manner, they failed to act on the intel they had. The 9/11 attacks could have been prevented.
So, on April 2, 2006, I sent a resignation letter to the Republican National Committee. They didn’t reply. The RNC didn’t care. It was only a symbolic gesture on my part, stating what I had felt since October 2001 – the President, congress, and the Republican Party had betrayed the Constitution and sold out the American people.
I had been researching other political parties and decided that The Constitution Party was the one most committed to freedom, the one most dedicated to our American Representative Republic as established by the Constitution (America is not a democracy), and the one most determined to uphold the Constitution.
But, as I said earlier, because Florida is a closed primary state, in order to vote in primary elections, which usually includes local candidates that have the most effect on our daily lives, it is necessary to be registered as a Democrat or a Republican.
Since the Democrat Party had aligned itself with liberals, progressives or outright socialists, and favored abortion, gun control and big government, I maintained my membership with the Republican Party.
In other words, I was a Republican in name only. I became a RINO.
Fast forward 14 years to present day. It’s only two months until the presidential election. I’m watching the political ads, the conventions, the speeches, the interviews, and the news. In other words – the American political circus that comes to town every four years.
Overshadowing that are the riots, or “peaceful protests”, as they are apparently referred to these days. I’ve discovered that, despite destroying public and private property, including burning cars, businesses and local, state and federal buildings, and of course killing cops and a few innocent bystanders along the way, all of that is still considered “peaceful protests”, and completely legal, as long as the demonstrators/rioters/Antifa anarchists, etc., are protesting the police, conservatives, Christians, the American flag, historical statues, or America in general.
You can also claim to be anti-fascist, but spout fascist philosophy (ignoring the Constitution by silencing those who disagree with you, burning books, etc.) and use fascist-style intimidation, strong arm and violence tactics, as long as you direct your actions against anyone or anything that you decide is fascist. And, to ease your worries, you have plenty of allies in the media and Democrat government that will cover for you and justify your actions. That’s a really good gig if you happened to be an anarchist.
What’s even more remarkable, some Americans deny the riots are happening at all, like US Democrat Representative Nadler, who has declared that the riots are a myth, that no destruction has occurred, and all of the videos of burned and battered cities have been photo shopped.
I find that attitude quite strange. And I’m sure the unfortunate business owners who have lost their places of business, police and victims of the violence who have been injured, and the families of those who have been killed during the riots have a considerably different viewpoint.
It all seems rather counterintuitive. But then it’s no more strange than mandating the wearing of masks in public to prevent the spread of the China Virus, but not requiring the proper disposal of masks/PPE when leaving a potentially contaminated area. So, masks become a mobile repository for the virus, which is then carried everywhere the wearer goes, spreading the virus even further each time the wearer exhales, and when the mask is touched, removed and reused.
We live in truly strange times.
But despite all of the chaos, I’m still trying to focus on the promises being made by the Democrats.
I know what the Republicans are offering. President Trump has kept his campaign promises. The southern border wall is being built. Finally. I can see that the US economy is doing well, albeit propped up by the Federal Reserve. It’s difficult to attach politics to the Fed, which is a privately owned banking system and not a government entity. The Fed is the largest land owner in the world, wields total financial power, and is, for all intents and purposes, out of the US government’s control.
(I hope that scares you, because it scares me).
Nevertheless, America is doing better economically. Income taxes are lower. Unemployment is down in historic numbers - the China virus notwithstanding. America is stronger militarily today than we were four years ago. We’re standing up to our global enemies. We have hunted down and killed some of the radical Islamic terrorists who had declared jihad against America and been responsible for the deaths and maiming of hundreds of American troops and thousands of innocent people throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Many US troops have been brought back home, and, because Israel has been recognized by more of its Arab neighbors, hopefully the Middle East will be stable for a while.
Eliminating government regulations, like the myriad of rules strangling small business, and the morass of EPA regulations, as well as other useless regulations, have made some progress in reducing the size and grip of oppressive government control. More elimination needs to be done, but we’re at least heading in the right direction. Because of regulation easing, America is now the world’s largest producer of oil, producing 18% of the world’s oil, which means we could go completely oil independent if it becomes necessary. And it may.
President Trump has done more for Christians and to oppose abortions than any other president in history. As a Christian, I’m thankful for that, because the persecution of Christians around the world is increasing. Unfortunately, because of the Liberal Left’s rapidly growing anti-Christian attitude, persecution of Christians in the US is also on the rise, which is very troubling. It’s good to know that someone in the federal government is trying to uphold the Constitution, defend religious freedom and protect unborn children.
I’m aware of President Trump’s opponents;
* The deep state Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Progressives and Socialists, all hungry for power and holding the strange belief that we need one of them in charge to control our lives and tell us how to live.
* The intractable never-Trumpers who believe the Russia hoax is real despite the fact that the DOJ has begun to prosecute the perpetrators of that hoax.
* The misguided liberal leftists who foolishly believe the fantasy that America can have a better version of Socialism - sort of a ‘Socialism Lite’ - which will make America a mythical utopia.
* And the terminally clueless who want Trump voted out of office because “he’s not very nice and I don’t like him”, as if one of the requirements to be the US president is to be the equivalent of a beauty contest Miss Congeniality winner.
I don’t even try to sway people with those attitudes. I learned a long time ago that you can’t reason someone out of something they didn’t reason themselves into. Besides, the latest woke tactic against reasonable thought is screaming racism accusations at anyone who tries to use facts to win an argument against liberal ideas. Apparently, facts are now also racist.
In order to circumvent the urge to punch some liberal left idiot in the face for falsely calling me a racist, I simply avoid those people all together.
But concerning my quandary, the abortion issue is the most important, because it is a critically serious issue. I believe that life begins at conception. And my argument is; if, at conception, there are no medical issues that would prevent the natural development of a fetus in the womb growing to term, then a baby will be born. Consequently, how can anyone claim that a fetus is not a baby but part of the mother, and can simply be removed like an infected appendix?
Abortion kills a baby at any point during a pregnancy, and no one has a right to kill a baby. The very thought of killing a baby in the second or third trimester, not to mention partial-birth abortions, is morbidly barbaric. If there is no other choice, an abortion should at least be performed during the first trimester. Additionally, harvesting aborted baby body parts (like Planned Parenthood does) goes well beyond morbidly barbaric—it’s horrific, systemic evil.
But let’s set the abortion issue aside for a moment - I like the idea of all of the free stuff that the Democrats are offering, like free healthcare, free college tuition (I know I’m old, but I’d kinda like to get a master’s degree), free green energy, and being paid to stay home if we don’t want to work.
All of that interests me. I’m retired, on a fixed income. I had to go back to work because my fixed income isn’t enough to pay my bills right now. (Divorce tends to create issues like that) But I’m almost 70. I’d really like to stay home, piddle around the house, mow my yard, and go fishing. If the Democrats will pay me to stay home, I’m all for it.
Also, my healthcare insurance costs me almost $300 per month. And it’s just me. So, Bernie’s free healthcare for everyone sounds great. I know the question of ‘who will pay for it’ comes up a lot, but I’m old, I won’t be around that much longer, so why should I care who has to pay for it?
I realize that, as an old Christian white guy, I’m not in the best position. I mean, we’re considered by the left as evil, homophobic (actually, fill-in-the-blank phobic) womanizing racists, and should all be totally ashamed of our whiteness.
But then, the Democrats, who have embraced the left and Socialism, have just nominated an old, creepy Catholic white guy for president. And during the Democrat presidential debates, the lady of color who he has chosen as his vice presidential running mate accused him of being an evil, womanizing racist. But apparently that’s okay because now she says he’s basically the savior of the world.
So I think, all things considered, I may be able to stay under the woke left’s radar – at least for a while anyway.
I’m aware that the “peaceful protestors” are invading suburban neighborhoods in the middle of the night, throwing ‘imaginary’ bricks and things at homes and screaming at the occupants over loudspeakers to give up their homes because they don’t deserve to live there and should surrender their homes to the “peaceful protestors”. I think the term “reparations” comes up a lot.
That’s a bit troubling. But then, my home is a twenty-five year old mobile home that was trashed by my previous renters, and located in what I like to call the ‘Redneck capitol of the world’. So, I’m relatively confident that the “peaceful protestors” are not likely to set their reparation-entitled sights on my trailer.
So, it all boils down to whether I should continue being a RINO and vote for President Donald Trump, who opposes abortion, or go with the idea of getting in on all of the free stuff and, against my Christian beliefs, vote for Joe Biden, who is in favor of abortion…
Time to make a decision…
(playing the Jeopardy! theme song)
Decisions… decisions… decisions… think, think, think… Hummm… what to do?? what to do???
Oh, what the heck! I’ll eventually have to quit work and stay home whether I want to or not.
And why do I need a master’s degree? I’d probably just hang it on the wall with my other awards anyway.
Besides, I love babies… ;-)
©2020 James A Graves, Jr.