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Just a Rant
The Republican 17-way debate is just the first act in our nation’s politics, our country's version of Kabuki Theater.  From the reviews I’ve read, the consensus is that Carly Fiorino did well among the bottom tier candidates and Donald Trump continues to be “The Donald.”  Sigh.

My personal political prediction:  Hillary will be the next President because in this Bizarro world, Republicans campaign for Democrats.  Republicans will spend their money and time in the spotlight shooting each other in a circular firing squad where they each jockey to be the nominee by tearing down everyone else.  By the time November 2016 rolls around, the public will have learned from Republican candidates and Republican donors why the Republican nominee is a jerk, not a “true” conservative, not a Christian, etc, etc.

I am deeply discouraged by the direction our country is headed, and suspect that others are, as well, but I’d give anybody a run for their money in a race of dissolutionment.

In my lifetime, our country has abandoned the Constitution.  The Second Amendment has deteriorated to a “right” that is now conditional on prior approval by federal, state and even local officials, and debate rages about how many more restrictions on the law abiding citizenry are OK.  The freedom from warrantless searches nominally guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment is violated every day without complaint every time we get on an airplane or enter a public building or send an e-mail or make a phone call.  We seem to have traded individual freedom for the illusion of security (we’re doing this to protect the public).  Today's Constitution is "It’s OK to give up our Constitutional rights and freedoms because we need to protect ourselves from Islamic terrorists."  The terrorists have won whenever we do that. 

Our Courts make up Constitutional rights when the social issue de jure make such rights politically expedient.   Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” is a must read, ‘cause it’s what we seem to aspire to.  If you’ve not read it, the first, prophetic lines start with:

“The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”

Our Federal Reserve runs our economy by printing money and bailing out crony banks that made stupid business decisions.  We are addicted to government entitlement programs of all types – social security, Medicare, Medicaid and national security spending top the drivers of our economy.  The debate about Obamacare was about entitlements to health insurance -- whether we should adopt a system of health insurance to ensure that individuals are not responsible for their own health care – somebody else (the government, the taxpayers, the insurance pool) should pay for my health care, not me.   In Milton Friedman's taxonomy, entitlement spending means that we are spending someone else's money, and consequently, will do so without restraint.

As a practical matter, it is impossible for our government (at all levels) to spend within its means, so budget deficits are now described in terms of whether the rate of economic growth exceeds the rate of deficit accumulation.   Historically, that sort of uncontrolled entitlement, deficit spending ultimately results in run-away inflation.  If you’ve not read it, This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly by economic historians Reinhart and Rogoff is a frightening, must read book.

My Dad fought the Chinese in Korea.  My generation died fighting communists in Vietnam.  China is now an economic superpower that lends us money and makes the goods we buy.

The historical atrocities of large, centralized governments that claim to represent “the people” from the era I grew up in – I think of the millions killed by their own governments under Mao, Stalin, Castro, and Pol Pot – are utterly forgotten.  We also saw those large, centralized governments embrace market principles and walk away of centralized government – the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rise of China are the two big historical examples.  Our country, however, has missed those historcial lessons and is moving in the opposite direction. I guess the belief is that our large, centralized government and the people who work for it will somehow be different and more restrained than the polito-bureaucrats, so it’s OK – and indeed proper – to expand government in every aspect of our lives and we should accept every erosion of our freedoms with a smile knowing that it’s for our own good.

In my lifetime, Democrats stood for more government and Republicans for less government.  I don’t think that’s true anymore.  But I also am tapped out when it comes to how to fix this state of affairs.
In regard to the debate:

I'd be happy with any 8 out of the 10 from the main debate and one from the secondary debate being elected next president. That's just how good a group I feel we have running for the nomination. Even though the bar certainly isn't very high if you're comparing to the current administration and a 12 year old boy with conservative leanings would be an improvement, I am still impressed with whom we will have to choose from.

Donald Trump certainly doesn't have the depth of background I'd want in a president, however, even if he disappears tomorrow from the race he's served our country well in bringing to people's minds the illegal immigration issue, and that America needs to get back to winning in the world and that winning isn't a bad thing. He's demonstrated to politicians that people want somebody who is real and are sick of the double talk.

He's done the one thing that I screamed out loud so many times at Romney - OWN IT! Romney let his handlers run him, he listen to much to their advice of not embracing his wealth which was the end result of being successful. When the liberals would attack Romney for being wealthy and therefore out of touch, he put on a plaid shirt and messed up his hair trying to look more 'common'. Had he simply done what Trump has done and embraced his wealth, saying F yes I'm rich, I earned it, that's what America is about! He might have been elected.

I favor Scott Walker because of his combination of policies and first and foremost smaller government and balanced budgets with fiscal conservativism.

Cruz had an excellent showing in the debate and I'd be very happy to seem him as the next president of our country. His track record is excellent, being able to stand up to washington, the democrats and his own party.

I'm very excited about voting a Republican into the white house next year! I see many good choices.

In regard to the way the country is going and going to end up...

Well, all good things come to an end, even the best civilizations eventually succumb and like the Romans, the French and the English as they have all had their moments as world leading powers so too probably must go the United States, luckily I'm closer to dead then being born so I really only have to deal with about the next 30-40 years and hopefully they won't turn us into a complete copy of Europe totally before then.

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