must credit trump

Consider past elections for the GOP. Consider the entire electoral history of the Republican Party. Ask yourself when the Republican Party actually advanced a limited-government, free-market, and yes, conservative agenda. Then ask yourself when the average GOP voter paid attention to the failure to advance principles, and actually held their elected officials accountable for this failure.

There are a few examples of this happening. The Tea Party for one. The election of Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee, as well as a few others, was a bright spot in the otherwise dismal record of actual conservative types who share our agenda being elected to Congress. But the swamp has continued to win everywhere else, because it always wins. Those who hold the levers of power via their own purse strings control the GOP leadership, and those guys don’t care about your silly principles.

The Republican Party was, and still is, massively dysfunctional. But the fear of the Democrats by the average GOP voter is a powerful force that drives GOP victories. This was critical to the election of President Trump. It certainly didn’t hurt that over the course of decades, voters were told how evil and corrupt and absolutely unacceptable Hillary was, and that she would be the worst thing ever to happen to the country if elected.

What many of us finally accepted is that tribalism, party idolatry, and settling for “better than the Democrats” got the GOP right where it is now. The rebellion that led to Trump started way before he showed up, but he was the spark that started the fire. He should get credit for this.

Trump should get credit for the sudden discovery of the importance of principles.

Trump should get credit for a significant number of defections from the GOP tribe, when many of us were willing to see the scam for what it was and pronounce consequences for the actions of a few in “leadership”.

Trump should get credit for exposing the frauds for what they are, and for laying bare the existing flaws in the GOP.

Trump should get credit for the renewed interest in the rule of law, in the Constitution, and things of long-forgotten value to this Republic.

But none of this increased wokeness means a lick unless the average voter believes that changing their vote means changing the outcome of an election to get a better result in the future. This is where our focus needs to be to start the process of radical change. That’s right – it starts by helping those voters break out of the binary choice box. I’ll leave it to the experts to figure out how this could work, but it’s an essential step forward.

We need to consider the big picture. We need to recognize that an end to the GOP doesn’t mean the end of the world. We need to start planning for the future and embrace freedom. Freedom from tribalism. Freedom from party idolatry. Freedom from mindless defense of the indefensible. But this is something we must commit to doing together. The only way to get better leaders is to hold the ones we have accountable, even if that means one party loses some elections. The long-term benefit will outweigh the short-term risk. Let’s get this process started.


Consider the events of 2016. Republican primary voters were angry, and maybe just a little vengeful, at all the Republican failures they saw to advance conservative policies and keep promises they made back when they ran for re-election. Some of them saw Donald Trump as the “outsider” who would kick the doors down and dismantle the swamp and the swamp things controlling it in DC. This is the change they sought.

Many people voted for Trump to stop Hillary, and because of the Supreme Court picks.  I don’t blame them for this.  But we must shed this binary choice mindset and hold our political parties accountable for their obvious failures.  We must realize, as the great band Swirling Eddies once sang, “Evil is still evil, man – on the left or on the right”. Stop settling.  Stop with the lesser of two evils – or Trump vs. Hillary is merely the genesis of spiraling decline down this slippery slope.

We were told that #NeverTrump was all wrong, and that Trump would totally break that evil establishment, yo.  And yet…

Nothing has changed.

While we should be grateful that Justice Gorsuch has turned out to be a good SCOTUS pick, there’s much more that we should hold Trump accountable to do. There are many things we should hold the GOP accountable to do, including serious tax reform, completely repealing Obamacare and keeping promises made to the voters during re-election season.

But unless the GOP “leadership” gets some serious shock therapy in the form of crippling losses…

Nothing will change. They will still keep promising all the things, and delivering none of those things.

And the average GOP voter will keep enabling this dysfunction, because they are afraid to pay the price of surrendering Congress and the WH to the Democrats.  Make no mistake, the damage that could be done by giving back the levers of power to the left could be devastating.  But is this a sacrifice we need to make to wake the GOP from its slumber, and help it to recognize that the way they do business just isn’t working for the country or in their best interest re: winning elections?

Shock therapy may be the only thing that brings this dead party back to life.  It’s worth considering.

Like I’ve previously said, I’m done with the GOP, but for the people who still care about it, there’s only one way to save it.  It must be completely broken to be rebuilt. If you’re still hanging on to this party, ask yourself what the ROI is.  What have they done for you lately? If you’re here for all that limited government, Constitution, free market stuff, this isn’t the party you are looking for, at least not anymore. If the policies the Republicans push are merely Democrat-lite, it’s time to go.  Head for the lifeboats.  Free yourself.  Be an activist if that’s what drives you, but understand that this party has failed you, and don’t be a prisoner to a party label.  Fight for principles, not for political parties.  Keep your integrity and make the tough choices.  We are all accountable to Someone greater than ourselves, and He doesn’t grade on a curve.

an open letter to evan mcmullin

Dear Evan,

It’s not you.  It’s us.  It was always about us and our complete frustration with the failure of the two main political parties. What happened in November between conservatives, hard-core #NeverTrump, and yourself was a marriage of convenience, and it was also the perfect storm for any third-party candidate to take votes away from two deeply flawed candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  I’m sure you know this.  You seem to be a smart guy.

You were the last man standing of the third-party candidates I could have voted for as a conservative.  I give you credit for putting yourself out there to be an alternative choice for us.  Thank you for that. But the Hillary / Trump choice made it easier for those of us who got tired of voting for the status quo Republicans to finally reject both horrible candidates. I doubt any of us would regret rejecting this binary choice, and it wouldn’t have happened without the Trump nomination.

Here’s the thing, though.  #NeverTrump ended after President Trump’s election.  It’s time to move on.  I remain just as skeptical of President Trump as you are, but if you’re planning to run for office again in the future, you should know that your current strategy is turning off many conservatives who were willing to give you a shot at being an alternative voice.  Suddenly, we are remembering why this happened, and that your conservative street cred is not exactly the strongest compared to others we trust to speak for us. I’m starting to regret voting for you, even under these unique circumstances.

Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and Senator Sasse have earned the right to call themselves conservatives, based on their record and their activism in support of conservative values.  You have not. But there’s time here to earn the credit we have given you by our votes last November.  Conservative street cred is merit-based. It’s time to re-direct your energy to fighting battles that matter to the rest of the country – defending religious liberty, committing to the full repeal of Obamacare, and pushing for legit tax reform that reduces the burden on the American people.  Our President will rise and fall on his own merits.  There’s nothing we can do to change that.  Use your new-found platform to do more than snipe at our President.  It would benefit you and the country you love.  Think about it, ok?

With respect,



Today I am celebrating the rejection of a corrupt Washington insider who survived well past her sell-by date to get thisclose to becoming the leader of the free world. This is a great thing for the country. Hillary Clinton would have been a disastrous choice for America to make, for reasons we have articulated many times. We won’t get to see the results of a leftist takeover of our federal government, and there are many Republicans, including Ted Cruz, who fought hard to make sure this didn’t happen. Unfortunately, this also means that the failed leadership of the GOP and the RNC will continue to operate as they have been, as thugs and dictators. We will see no necessary change in the party, because they will see no need to change with this stunning victory by Mr. Trump.

So I was wrong about the expected results of the presidential election. I am saying it out loud and in public. I didn’t expect Donald Trump to become the President-elect of this great nation. Then again, either did any of the smart set who have far more knowledge than I do about how these things work. The media was proven wrong. The exit polling was proven wrong. Pretty much everything we thought we knew was wrong. This changes a few things for me.

First, I would like to congratulate Mr. Trump on his stunning victory. I didn’t expect him to win, and I was wrong. My goal has always been a country that is guided by its founding document, the Constitution, and I wanted a leader who would make defense of our freedoms a priority. I hope Mr. Trump turns out to be that kind of leader, and we will find out once he takes the Oath of Office.

Second, it’s time for #NeverTrump and Trump supporters to unite, and put all the petty personal stuff behind us, because we have work to do to fix the country. I would like to believe I haven’t burnt any bridges, but I’m human just like anyone else. There’s more I could have done to help bring our two sides together, and I hope that now I will have a second chance to do that.

Third, we need to acknowledge that the problems we had with Trump still exist. He hasn’t suddenly become a different person by winning an election. He is still going to tweet stupid and dangerous things. He still has work to do to convince conservatives that he will keep his promises of nominating originalist judges, repealing Obamacare, and securing our borders. We have work to do keeping him accountable to these promises. There are no excuses available to the Republican Party and to President-elect Trump for not advancing a conservative agenda. We must also hold House and Senate leadership to account in these areas, and we cannot afford to lose a moment in reversing the mistakes of the past 8 years.

Finally, conservatives must commit to do something we didn’t do during the George W. Bush administration – hold President Trump’s feet to the fire on the things he’s promised us he would do. This is critically important.  From here on out, we trust no one blindly. Promises made continue to be broken, and the Republican Party gets away with their treachery EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. More importantly, our elected officials need our support with prayers, phone calls, and emails, when they are doing what we want them do, and especially when they are not.  They need to know that we are paying attention, and I hope we have learned from the past that this party cannot be trusted to govern correctly without our loud assistance.  Let’s go. Let’s do this.  God help us all.

beyond november

Unless something radically changes in the next several months, we will be looking at the election of Madame President. The organization Hillary Clinton has is way too strong for Trump to overcome with disciplined messaging and a few good debates – even if he could manage to accomplish those two goals. Whether Hillary manages to overcome her health challenges, or whether she is forced to withdraw, the Democrats will have the clear advantage on November 8th.

Many factors will have contributed to this result, but the primary factor will be the corrupt and dishonest Republican Party and their feckless “leadership”.

This massive failure has been in the works for years. It started accelerating in 2008 with the nomination of McCain, and continued with the nomination of Mitt Romney. Both men had admirable qualities and were on some level men of personal character. But their primary weaknesses were areas they shared with the Democrat nominee Barack Obama, so they couldn’t attack him on important issues that mattered to people. In addition to that, many people were swept up in the historic value of electing the first African-American president. That’s a tough challenge to overcome for a Republican nominee, even for a candidate that could paint in bold colors and articulate the “perceived” clear differences between the Republican Party and the Democrat Party – which they did not have in 2008 and 2012.

Even with that handicap, many Republicans, including myself, voted for the lesser of two evils because we couldn’t possibly vote for that scary socialist Marxist Obama guy. Anybody but Obama. Sound familiar? That’s because the Republican Party has been stuck on the same spinning hamster wheel of failure and refuses to learn from its mistakes. Why should they change? Why should they suddenly start paying attention to the people they claim to represent? After all, the average Republican doesn’t realize how stark the departure is from what we thought it represented as a party. We just keep voting for the Republicans because they are always way better than the Democrats. But are they really that much different? 2016 has proven that they are not.

This is the big picture – the Republicans are not who we thought they were, and it should matter to people who are still hanging with this political party after seeing what it has become.

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to the GOP – grounds for our divorce


Consider this the official announcement of my divorce from the Republican Party. It’s clear the RNC and the GOP do not respect the voice of conservatives or of the delegates duly elected by the people of this country. This party has been using us for years to elevate their political power and control. But you don’t really care what we think, do you? You are out of touch with the grassroots of your party, and you refuse to allow transparency and accountability of the RNC leadership. You authorized strong-arm tactics in the rules committee and allowed the delegates to be threatened with political reprisal by your own thugs and by the ones employed by Trump. You are afraid of dissent. You are afraid of alternative voices. This is not a healthy party. The party of yes-men will continue to shrink its base. This should bother you if you care at all about the party’s future.

Your betrayal of conservatives can no longer be excused. You used us, your conservative base, to gain power and win elections. All along we have swallowed hard and accepted the lesser of two evils because we believed it was for the greater good- that the Republican Party was the vehicle for our values and principles to be represented in policy implementation and discussions. We have given you more than enough chances to come correct, to acknowledge our worth and value to the party, and at the very least, to respect our right to be heard in the rules process and the convention proceedings. This shouldn’t be too much to ask.

What does the Republican Party stand for right now? Limited government? Let’s see the evidence. Do its representatives embody any principles we formally endorsed in the Republican platform such as: sanctity of life, protection of marriage, and religious liberty? Do you all even actually believe what you claim to believe? Rule of law? Please. You and your gangs of RNC / Trump thugs broke convention rules, stifled dissent and debate, and threatened delegates for opposing your new savior. You have shut out the conservative base, and chased Democrat, independent, and socialist voters at the expense of the conservatives you already had. You allowed vicious personal attacks on Ted Cruz, and helped orchestrate opposition to him simply for calling you phonies out and speaking truth to the country. The general election voters would have to be blind not to figure out that this party is a corrupt and dishonest fraud which has nominated a man who is a con artist and a charlatan.

The Republican Party in its current state is broken. It is sick. It took this election to lay bare the flaws and fraud for all to see. It has now become the party of Trump, and I don’t see a place for conservatives like me in this new evolution that embraces social liberalism and promotes big government involvement in the economy and in social policy. These are my reasons. There are many others like me who are making a clean break from a party that boos Ted Cruz for speaking of principles and values, yet embraces the failed policies of the Democrats, including their social liberalism. I’m done with this party. It is now your job alone to douse the dumpster fire you could have avoided months ago after it costs you the election in November. Enjoy Trump. Own this massive failure. It is all on you and the Republican Party.

burning the straw men

There will always be political agendas.  There will always be those looking for an excuse to stomp on the rights of our fellow Americans. This was quite clear from the rapid responses to the terrorist attack in Orlando. We must stand up to all of this and refuse to be bullied into surrendering our liberty for useless government promises. The solution is not the denial of Constitutional rights for law-abiding citizens, nor is it a indiscriminate bombing of the Middle East. We need to stop with our knee-jerk answers, our expected blame of political opponents, and our reflexive desire to tear down Constitutional boundaries to have some illusion of security.

All lives matter.  It makes no difference who you are, what you believe, or what political party you support. Christians believe this. That’s why we will fiercely defend the lives of our brothers and sisters in the LGBT community in Orlando, because the strength of our culture is respect and tolerance for all of our people. It is possible to disagree on issues such as gay marriage while recognizing this basic principle.

You know who doesn’t subscribe to this idea? ISIS. ISIS, as we all know, is a terrorist organization whose members indiscriminately kill those who are not Muslim. If you wanted to call out a group whose hatred for gays has reached unconscionable levels, there’s your enemy. It makes no difference whether the Orlando shooter was straight or gay. He claimed allegiance to ISIS, and that cannot be ignored.  Terrorist sympathizers and committed terrorists are coming for us here in America, and not just ISIS. They are already here.  Now we must deal with them.

Freedom and liberty are under assault in this country.  Our Constitution, which protects the rights of all of us to live free in the greatest country in the world is being trampled on by this current administration and some of its enablers in Congress.  Those who have been tasked to protect it are more concerned about scoring political points than actually solving problems. In this case, I’m referring to those in both political parties who are trying to use tragedies such as San Bernadino, Sandy Hook, and now in Orlando, to pass even more useless gun control legislation.  All these measures do is to keep law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves and their families. Criminals don’t obey gun control laws, and terrorists don’t restrict themselves to weapons containing bullets.
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still #nevertrump

As most of you are probably aware, I have supported Senator Cruz for the GOP nomination. I have also strongly opposed Donald Trump. I am one of those ‪#‎nevertrump‬ people, and have been for quite a while now. These are my biases, and I’m admitting that up front.

While I realize that there may be some awesome patriots and great Americans who support Trump, my experience with his fans has not been as pleasant. I have been personally attacked for expressing my negative views of him on twitter, and while their criticisms weren’t especially biting, it still speaks to the kind of people he attracts in his fan club. This alone would not steer me away from supporting Trump, although his current calls for GOP Unity fall flat when conservatives are still being disrespected by Trump himself and by what some of us refer to as ‪#‎TrumpCult‬.

In my view, we currently have two bad choices for president – Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. You may be perfectly fine with either candidate, or you pick Trump because you think Hillary is worse – or, if you’re in my position, you can’t vote for either one of them. I don’t know what I’m going to do when November comes. Maybe I’ll vote third-party. Right now the future of the GOP doesn’t concern me because I’m done with them. A party that doesn’t stand for the principles and values I stand for, and one which has surrendered to its internal corruption is no longer a party I can support.

Here’s what I believe. Trump is a man with questionable personal character, as we all are. But we acknowledge our failures, and try to learn from them and not repeat our mistakes in the future. Trump has shown no willingness to admit mistakes. He nicknames other candidates “Little Marco”, “Lyin’ Ted”, etc,etc, and ascribes his own personal flaws to his opposition. He flat out lies and spreads tabloid smears about Cruz, and that’s a serious character flaw in my book.

He also surrounds himself with thugs who have shown limited ability to run a competent campaign, to represent him in a positive light, and to handle the day-to-day operations of a presidential campaign without personally attacking other campaigns. He is a sore loser when he loses and a sore winner when he wins. This should bother you in a general election if you support him.

But maybe you are attracted to Trump because WALL, or some of his other policy proposals. You should be aware that even now, he is moving leftward to attract Democrats and indys to his cause. Either he doesn’t really believe the policies written on his website, or he doesn’t care enough about them to commit to following any of them as the nominee or as President. Either way, Trump is a total wild card when it comes to anything he says he wants to do, and this includes the all-important Supreme Court picks. We know who Hillary is, and what she will do. We can’t predict what Trump will do, and I believe everything for him is negotiable. He’s already proven that.

With all that said, I don’t expect anyone who has already picked a side to join me as #nevertrump or to suddenly change their mind about either candidate. This is more for me to clarify for myself where I stand. I don’t have to settle for the lesser of two evils, or for any evil at all, and NEITHER DO YOU. But it’s up to you. Your vote is yours. You don’t owe it to any political party, and now, neither do I.

choose cruz

America is in a very dangerous place right now. Our country is broken and fractured as a result of the past eight years. Its citizens have lost faith in everything, but especially in its two political parties. My expectations of Democrats are very low to begin with, so when politicians from that party break promises and continue to grow our government spending and federal overreach to ridiculous levels, it’s hardly a surprise.

Here’s the truth – both parties are broken, but no party is more broken than the Republican Party. They continue to ignore the will of the people and not only break promises, but also disrespect those who want us to stick to the original principles of this party – limited government, free markets, strict devotion to the Constitution, and responsible spending of taxpayer dollars. They have betrayed us, and the anger of the American people is largely due to the failure of this party to keep its word and be a responsible caretaker of the trust we gave them. This is where we are as a country, and it’s frightening what remedy our fellow citizens have chosen to address this massive Republican failure. I will get to Trump shortly, but this is about fixing the immediate problems we have in this political process.

Let’s start with this admission: Ted Cruz is not likely to win any beauty contests or popularity contests. Noted. One could of course argue the same is true of Trump. This should not be important to determining who can be the leader of the free world, and based on what we have seen so far, it is not. It is my contention that we need a change agent who will drastically modify the broken status quo within the limits of our Constitutional system, as well as someone who understands the current mood of the country and our hunger for governmental reform. That man is Senator Cruz.

If we believe that government is broken, and a large majority of us do, based on all the Trump / Cruz votes – then you can’t elect someone who will continue to break promises to the voters with bad deals / bad legislation. The only true outsider willing to stand up to his own party and say, “What the hell are you doing?” is Cruz. That’s a quality I want in a President – someone who knows exactly what time it is.

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dark swan review – spoilers

It is time once again to return to the magical beautiful world of Once Upon a Time and do some reviews of Season 5 part 1, in which Emma takes on a new role. Emma is now the Dark One, and there are more than a few consequences to her choice at the end of Season 4. These we will be discussing here in depth, so there will be spoilers. Armed with that knowledge…here we go…

As we begin the episode, even younger Emma is watching the Sword and Stone animated movie at the theater and she steals a candy bar. She is about to indulge when Merlin (as an usher) shows up and gives her a warning not to mess with Excalibur. Love the foreshadowing in the beginning, but I’m not sure that scenario in the best way to set that up.

We then pick up the story from when Season 4 ended, just after Emma becomes the Dark One and vanishes. Hook is crushed and angry at the same time when he is unable to summon her with the dagger. The heroes enlist the help of the Apprentice and after tricking Zelena to open the portal with the Apprentice’s wand, they are able to get to Emma. Even after becoming the Dark One, Emma still unites the heroes in a common cause – but this time she’s the one who needs saving.

Another new thing is the connection of Excalibur to the Dark One’s dagger. This is something I didn’t expect, but it sets up a connection between the heroes’ world and Camelot, which we need to justify the purpose for being in that world and the new characters that we meet. Jennifer Morrison is absolutely killing it as the Dark One, and her scenes with Apparition Rumple were brilliant. I love how Emma’s inner struggle is displayed visually by the devil on her shoulder(Rumple), which he portrays with his awesome evilness.

The new characters add more than a little spice. I can’t point to any miscast characters in the whole history of OUAT, and season 5 brings even more examples of this. King Arthur is just how anyone could have pictured him, although there is an unwelcome surprise as we delve deeper into the Camelot story. Merida is very strong and she was the perfect first opponent for Emma’s first test. This time Emma’s family saves her, and Killian leads the way. It’s amazing how the relationship between Regina and Emma has developed to the point where they understand and trust each other. That she gives Regina the dagger shows a shift in their roles. Standout moments include the expected snark between Regina / Zelena, and the delicious one-liners with Hook and Regina. Regina’s all over this episode and that’s a great thing. All the plot twists and turns almost make you forget about the convenient loss of memory device that has been completely overplayed at this point.