Trump/Sanders: The Odd Couple

2016 proved to be the year where an outsider candidate with more partisan views could capture the attention of the voters and steal the limelight from more seasoned and traditional candidates. This was very true of both Billionare, and now President, Donald Trump and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Both managed to tap into the frustrations of the middle aged whites and the youth. They have changed what is expected of a candidate and they types of policies acceptable on a campaign. There has not be such a progressive candidate for the presidency since FDR in the Case of Bernie Sanders, nor such a Bull-Moose since TR in the case of Donald Trump. Trump and Sanders proposed populist ideas such as protecting/expending social safety nets, fair trade, and infrastructure investments. Their anger towards the establishment and the way things are resonated with many Americans who felt the same way and were tired of voting for Clintons and Bushs. But the their more immoderate views such as building a wall on the southern border, and providing free education and health insurance for all, respectively, might take both of their parties further to the left and right, than to the middle like Clinton and Kasich would’ve preferred. In the future, more Trump/Sanders inspired candidates will most likely pop up and state parties will begin litmus tests in their primaries as to who is conservative or liberal enough. While we’ve seen this in primaries and elections before, the result of their candidacies have been felt. In Florida, House Speaker and likely Gubernatorial Candidate, Richard Cocoran, has pushed the house further to the right economically, in effect claiming Republican Governor Rick Scott’s polices aren’t conservative enough. The Democratic Candidates  for Governor, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and Orlando Businessman Chris King both advocate for raising minimum wage and expanding healthcare access like Sanders. The future of political parties in the United States might get even more polarized, thanks to Uncle Don and Uncle Bern.

Happy to be Wrong

Over  year ago I wrote an open letter to Donald Trump, asking him to leave the Republican Presidential Primary. I truly believed at that time he would doom the party to another four years of exile from 1600 Penn. I was wrong. It became very clear he had struck a nerve for millions of Americans and received the most votes of any candidate in the history republican primaries. I was not one of those voters. I am proud of my vote for Senator Marco Rubio. For many months I titter-tottered between casting my vote for Hillary Clinton or Gary Johnson. 

Growing up as a McCain/Romney Republican, my personal views were very broad and represented my exposure to the those in the Tea Party Movement and those in the heart of the establishment. For a period of time it seemed that no candidate would earn my vote. Hillary Clinton, for as much as she wanted to be moderate, has a big blue streak running across the furthest left part of her heart dating back to HillaryCare in the 90’s. Libertarianism is too socially left for a Christian Conservative as myself and too economically right for the gerneral public to embrace because of the welfare state that has ballooned under the former Obama Administration.

So when Governor Johnson failed to make the debates and after listening to Senator Kaine speak his mind at FSU, it became clear to me that it was time to “come home” in November and cast my ballot for Trump. With a conservative like Mike Pence as second in command and the promise of a rightful heir to Justice Scalia on the Court, I got my ticket to board the “Trump Trian” and I am proud of my vote for Donald Trump. 

Millions of Americans believed, as I did, that the Obama Administration and a perspective Clinton Administration did not and would not, respectively, listen to the dissenting side. Hillary Clinton’s campaign alienated the same people who had placed their trust in her husband, from a Clinton Administration that claimed “the era of big government is over” now wanted to usher in a new era of big government. The “Hope and Change” candidate learned that it isn’t easy to change Washington and hope is a worthless currency in politics. While it was clear from the beginning that Donald Trump was not the perfect candidate and despite what anyone might say, there is no such thing. The only candidate an individual will always agree with is themselves. This is the heart of our republic, that average citizens would represent their communities and make our country a more perfect union. 

While President Trump continues to be surrounded by controversy, it is in the midst of sweeping reform. If he is able to follow through on his promises, against all odds, he could be the next LJB. I intend to expound upon this idea in the weeks to come.

A Reflection on the Holocaust Museum

           In my junior year of high school, the Harrison Singers performed Holocaust Cantata: Songs from the Camps and while in Washington, D.C. for a choral festival, we visited the National Holocaust Museum to gain a better understanding of such a dark time in our human history and to help further connect us to the work. Each floor told a certain story, the rise of the Nazi Regime, the genocide, and the liberation of the camps.

    I learned three things about myself: the type of leader I want to become, the type of world I want to live in, and the type of world I don’t want to live in. The first step in to this realization was holding a sobbing freshman who couldn’t understand how the world had allowed it to happen or how anyone could’ve done that to millions upon millions of people and neither could I. A portion of the museum, the tower of faces, extends two of the three floors and displays hundreds of photographs of the families and people murdered in the holocaust. It struck me, those faces looked just like me and like Alannah who was crying in my arms. “They all looked so happy.” She said into my shirt. There was nothing I could say to comfort her, no explanation. That day only reinforced my desire to enter public service and to become a part of the solution to the multitude of humanitarian crises that our nation seeks to aid and heal. 

          During a time when anti-immigration, anti-Catholicism, and anti-semitism was cultural norm, America was silent to the destruction of democracy and Jewish oppression in Germany. The 1928 Presidential Election of Herbert Hoover versus New York Governor, Al Smith and the refusal to port the SS Saint Louis was proof of an enabling America, a bystanding America. That is not the America I want to live in. My America lives by the creed inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” I was taken back by our ability to make a difference and our failure to do so until the end of the war because we had such isolationist policies in which I find selfish and disgusting. I firmly believe that America can be a force for good and when it has an opportunity to be it should be at every opportunity. So when dictators come to power, their demise are just as quick as their rise.

          At the door, I received an identification card. Inside it said, “This card tells the story of real person who lived during the Holocaust.” My person was Boria Lerner, a political activist and leader in the Jewish Resistance. At each page of his story correlated with a floor. Lerner fought alongside the Spanish Republicans against fascism and “after the war ended in March of 1939, he enlisted in the French army to fight against the Nazis. But, due to an illness, he was unable to serve and was discharged. In 1941 he headed a unite of the Jew resistance overseeing the assembly and distribution of bombs in German-occupied cities. He was arrested, tortured, and after giving up no information, shot before a firing squad.”

           His story begs us to remember what he and millions of others went through to preserve their culture and way of life. His story begs us to remember the Holocaust. His story begs us not to relive the mistakes of the past as we have before. His story begs us to question authority and demand the truth from our government and elected officials so that no one man or one group ever abuse its power so grossly as the Nazis had. We have an obligation to positively influence the world. Some say this is neither a task we asked for nor are obligated to carry out, but I say we are. Because if we don’t stand up for the things we understand to be right and just, who will? If this generation does not ick up the baton of leadership now, then when? This is an age old rhetorical question that demands us to answer it. Whether or not we realize it, we will answer it. We will answer it in how we live, in the men and women we elect, and in the policies we implement. Then we will be called upon to recount what we did “to make the world a bit better and more beautiful for having lived in it,” as philanthropist Edward W. Bok said.

Restoring the Heart of America

This past week, throughout our long history, has seen a great deal of bloodshed, frustration, confusion, fear, anger, and turmoil. Law Enforcement vs. the People and visa versa. So many lives have been take on both sides. There is no question both sides need to answer for these grivences, and our justice system needs many reforms

One of the major disconnects we face is the lower socioeconomic status of many minorities. This creates a negative stereotype that suddenly connects the color of one’s skin to their pocketbook, their zip code—to their worth. 

We can change this. Jack Kemp gave us the solution many years ago. Economic Development Zones for our most disadvantaged communities. In lifting every American’s quality of work, education, and life can we take America forward and truly realize the dreams of our forefathers. 

Turning our poorest cities into our brightest can solve a plethora of issues we face: minority unemployment, home ownership among minorities, quality of schools—quality of life will rise. Dignity for every American.

This police brutality must end and so must the anti-police sentiments. We must not give heed to the voices that wish to divide us. We must work to raise the quality of life for every American. In doing so, I think we’ll see the out-of-wedlock births fall and the incarceration rate fall among minority communities. But that can only happen when we lift them up instead of tearing them down. Giving them a hand, not giving them the finger.

And maybe one day, #BlackLivesMatter won’t just refer to the young men and women taken from us by police brutality and gang violence but the black lives that never make it out of the mother alive. What about those lives? In an edition of The Atlantic: “An African-American woman is almost five times likelier to have an abortion than a white woman, and a Latina more than twice as likely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” It doesn’t have to be that way. As a nation we can provide the moral foundation and support to change the tide, give every life meaning, and every woman respect and dignity. 

Back to this belief in growing the middle class through economic freedom, Conservatism, has the potential to cure these ills. Conservatism can save the American family. Fiscal prudence and financial literacy will take us out of debt, personal and national.  Giving millions of Americans a chance at achieving the American Dream.

Because no American should have to doubt the validity of their hopes, dreams, or asperations because of the color of their skin or the uniform they wear. We can overcome the odds and stack the deck in the favor of justice and personal freedom. There are millions of stories, stories that shine upon the triumphs of human spirit. 

This crisis we face is one of the heart. Are we, the American people, capable of delivering on the promise we made to one another on July 4th, 1776? That everyone has the right to “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”? Of ensuring that a “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not parish from this earth.” We can deliver on that promise and secure the blessings of liberty, but it must be for all. Not just some. 

What do you think? Am I off base? Share your perspective with me in the comments below! 

Independence Day, Everyday

240 years ago, our founders changed the way peoples looked at and interacted with their governments. By declaring that “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursiut of Happiness.” Never before had a government been founded upon such principles. No government had ever admitted its own need for change. The brilliance of our founders is that they set up a government that could be bettered and perfected. Our Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times! In which we reaffirmed that all mankind is created equal, regardless race or gender, and their freedoms are not dispensation of government. 

But relating to the founders today, being able to truly appreciate the gravity of our freedom seems distant to grasp. Let’s meditate on the things, 240 years later, that still set us apart from many places in the world! 

In many parts of Asia and Africa, many young girls around the world are denied the basic right to pursue an education.

In America, while we may not like the out comes, our more recent elections (save 1960, 1968, and 2000) have gone unquestioned and undisputed. The same cannot be said for Austira, its Constitutional Court has ordered a new Presidential Election beheld because of voter fraud, “77,926 of the 4.5 million votes cast were affected by improprieties in how mail-in ballots were processed.” 

  • Equal Rights

While this conversation continues today about the treatment and employment practices concerning African-Americans, Women, and the LGBT community, America is still by far the most progressive (and humane) country on these issues. 

Everyday, right here in America, we get to decide our future and how we wish to pursue our American Dream and pursue our happiness because we have education for all, because we have fair elections, and we, generally speaking, have made strides to ensure the protections of our inalienable rights endowed to us by our Creator. And while America is far from perfect, we can continue to perfect it. That is what makes having an engaged and informed citizenry so important to the endurance of this country. That is what makes your voice so important. One vote won’t change an election, but 300 Million informed votes, cannot only transform America, but effectively, the world. 

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

When was the last time you picked up the phone to talk to a family member about this upcoming election? And not just the presidential election; the school board, city council, state legislature, courts, congress? Each one, believe it or not, is equally important and affects our lives in such minute, and not so minute, ways that greater investment and involvement would truly transform our country. 

So get out there, get in formed, and inform your friends and family; then make them do the same!

Happy Independence Day! 

A President’s Folly

I took issue with some of the President’s remarks last night. Well first I will mark my support with his last phase,”Freedom is more powerful than Fear.” Channeling a little FDR on the eve of the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

My first question: Why was he not sitting behind his desk? Every President before him has shown their seriousness by sitting behind the Resolute Desk. Note: Resolute. 

Second Question: Why will he not call ISIS/ISIL for what it is? Radical Islamic Terrorism. We can all agree that this is a perversion of Islam that all decent Muslims reject. But we must call it for what it is. The time for political correctness ended a long time ago. And with the bloodshed in France and California, it’s past time to get serious about defeating ISIS/ISIL or as the President previously referred to it: the JV Team. 

Last question: Why must he politicize every death with Gun Control? Most gun violence is committed by those who have no criminal background—nothing a background check would’ve picked up. Instead, we must encourage every citizen to protect themselves, become educated on how to properly handle arms, how to prevent crimes, to inform the proper authorities if someone shows distressing mental issues or showing signs of radicalization. 

I want to add I agree with his remarks about Muslim-Americans. We are not at war with Islam, just as President Bush made clear days after the Attacks on September 11th, 2001. We are at war with Radical Islamic Jihadist, those who wish to kill nonbelievers. But we are not out to start targeting Muslims the way FDR and the Democrats dehumanized Asian-Americans after Pearl Harbor. Although we must not be afraid to speak out when we see any suspicious activity of any kind as the neighbor of the San Bernardino terrorist had failed to do. We must not be silent in the pursuit of keeping the public safe.  

We must reject this notion that the Middle East is to be a dumping ground for violence, that there is no hope for peace in the Middle East. There can be peace.  But it must be peace on our terms. Peace means every child, every girl, gets an education. Peace means Christians, Jews, and Muslims can worship in harmony. Peace means the People can choose the type of government they have. It will take a statesman of the highest degree to achieve this. 

We need another Eisenhower, another Kennedy, or another Reagan. Someone who will clearly identify the enemy and who will have a firm resolve to confront it head on. President Reagan did this, even when the media and democrats where aghast when he called Russia “the Evil Empire.” He understood how we must preserve freedom. At any cost, at any expense, and by any means. 

And as we remember Pearl Harbor, we must remember our resolve after that horrible attack. We must defeat this enemy that abhors everything we stand for. Now just as then, there are those who wish to take away the freedoms we know are given to us by our Creator. Yet when our security is at risk, we cannot jump to limit liberty or else the enemy has won. Those who wish to harm us would rather see us self-destruct rather than send their people to die, although they’ll do it without hesitation. 

The next President will be tasked with putting the nail in the coffin of ISIS/ISIL. We will not win this war with ISIS/ISIL if we do not declare it and treat it as a war. In the wake of Paris, the fear grew that it would come here. It’s here. It’s been here. The Next Preisdent must prepare for a fight that we cannot afford to lose.

 Because we will not survive this appeasement. Appeasement is not peace. Appeasement is a form of surrender and surrender is no form of peace.

It’s Time to #DumpTrump

Dear Donald Trump,

You’re no Ronald Reagan. 

Since June, your divisive rhetoric has only hurt our party and has turned off prospective members. Your crude and rude demeanor is not “tough.” It is unbecoming of anyone, not just public servents. Anyone. Period. 

You are not God’s gift to mankind. That would be Jesus Christ. To paraphrase Llyod Benstein: I know Jesus Christ, he’s my personal Lord and savior. He died for my sins. You sir are not Jesus Christ. 

So don’t compare yourself to President Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a man with a big heart and a warm vision of America. Our America. Your America is cold, cynical and cruel. 

The GOP Establishment does not hate you because you upset their status quo. They hate you because you “do not speak for the rest of us,” as Then-Actor Ronald Reagan said in his 1964 Time for Choosing Speech. The issues that confront us require the temper Theodore Roosevelt described, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” 

You sir, have a boastful and fiery tongue which Proverbs tells us: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, but the mouth of fools spouts folly.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭NASB‬‬

As for this refugee crisis, which to the fault of the President for not standing with the Syrian people and letting his word be but dust in the wind, we must open our arms to those we can vet and verify. The anti-Semites of The Franklin Roosevelt administration turned their backs to the Jewish people when they sought refuge. Our government stood on the wrong side of history—we must not make the same mistake now. 

 We as Americans have an obligation to stand with those huddled masses who yearn to breathe free. For we were once “strangers in a strange new place,” for we were once “poor wayfaring strangers.” We must never forget those freedom men who battled oceans to get here for religious liberty and those who waited days and days to catch a glimpse of that woman standing in the distance, lifting her torch; lighting their way to freedom, to peace, and to new life. We must open our hearts to all willing to work and contribute to this experiment.

We are Americans. There will never be any issue nor any person so divisive that this union cannot stand. To take inspiration from President Jefferson, we are all Republicans, we are all Democrats. We share the same principles that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

And it’s safe to say, our effort to dump you is a bipartisan effort. Your campaign’s days are numbered until your poll numbers tank. You can drop out in disgrace and then the Republican Party can nominate someone we all can respect. 

In short: We’re breaking up with you. And it’s not us, it’s you.  

Sincerely,

Nicholas Bique

P.S. (added 10/08/2016)

 Mr. Trump you have received the Nomination of the Republican Party for President of the United States. You have ruined almost all of your chances at becoming the next President. Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United Statesbecause  you lack a moral spine and clearly have no qualms with saying what ever you please because of your socioeconomic status. When you’re own wife and running mate refuse to defend your comments, you truly have a problem. But that’s not you’re only problem: senior members of your party have recinded their endorsement of you. Let that sink in, members who the public respect and admire want nothing to do with you.