Dealing with the Devil

Dealing with the Devil

 

This morning we awoke to news that, after months and months of negotiations, President Obama announced that we have struck a deal with Iran concerning their nuclear enrichment activities and their pursuit of nuclear weapons. The same regime in Tehran- which held hostage our diplomats for 444 days in 1979-1980, and which has funded, promoted and facilitated terrorist activities throughout the Middle East and around the world, ever since, and which has as its mantra “Death to Israel and Death to the Great Satan (meaning the United States)”- this same regime is now to be trusted with its promise to export 80% of its enriched uranium and refrain from developing nuclear weapons for ten, fifteen, twenty five years (take your pick), or forever (according to Secretary of States John Kerry) because “we have a deal”….. (pfffft!)

 

Well let’s consider this little troublesome fact. The whole premise of “the deal” depends upon the ability of the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect SOME (but NOT all) of Iran’s enrichment facilities…with (get this) two weeks advanced notice. In exchange of this ability, the economic sanctions which purportedly brought the Iranians to the negotiations, in the first place, would be lifted in stages….and if they are found to have violated the deal, such sanctions (which are difficult, if not impossible, to be imposed) would suddenly (get that) be “snapped back”.   Unbelievable !

 

Imagine, for a moment, a teenager’s mom telling her teenage son that she will be periodically inspecting the top drawer of his dresser for marijuana, AND will give him a fortnight’s notice of such an inspection, each time she feels the need to inspect it… and, then, if she DOES find marijuana, after said notice, he will lose his set of keys to the family car. What pot-smoking teenager would not accept THAT deal?

 

There is absolutely no difference between this scenario and “the deal” that the Obama administration has struck with Iran…none.

 

Except for one thing…we are not talking about the dangers of a teenager smoking some joints here…we are talking about an existential threat to one of our closest allies (Israel) and, given the fact that Iran is also developing Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), a national security threat to the United States of America.

 

This is the net result of electing a inexperienced, idealistic, naive community organizer to the most powerful position in the world, one whose Secretary of State, John Kerry, an anti-war protester, who lied to Congress in the 1970s, slandering his fellow war veterans with unsubstantiated tales of US servicemen beheading enemy combatants in order to advance a narrative, is negotiating Israel’s survival and our own national security with the most evil regime in the last thirty-six years….Can we all say a collective “WTF”?

 

It is this same president who has asked Israel to give up its defensive nuclear arsenal and is also insisting that Israel share its protective dome with the Palestinian State- a state which advocates Israel’s destruction.

 

Meanwhile, Kerry’s predecessor- one Hillary Rodham Clinton- has approved the deal’s “key elements”, which should only serve to give us and Israel much pause as to the possibility of her being elected the next president of the United States.

 

Stepping back to the scenario of the mom and her teenage son, we know what he is smoking. The question should be “What are Obama, Kerry and Mrs. Clinton smoking?”

 

-Drew Nickell, 14 July 2015

 

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Proper Role of the Republican Party

The Proper Role of the Republican Party

 

In all of the kerfuffle of the ill-considered way that Donald Trump assailed John McCain this past week, what has been lost is the great divide within the Republican Party- a divide which has cost them five presidential elections in the last forty years (’76, ’92 ‘96, ’08, ’12) and control of both houses of Congress during much of this time. Unlike the Democrats who are always, ALWAYS united during presidential elections, Republicans have not been so united since the re-election of Ronald Reagan in 1988- and that election was the first time Democrats confronted a truly unified Republican Party since Dwight Eisenhower ran for re-election in 1956.

In looking at the divide within the GOP, a broad generalization would find that this divide exists between the GOP moderates (a.k.a. the Establishment Republicans), as personified by Nelson Rockefeller, Richard Nixon , Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain, Mitt Romney, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, etc. and GOP conservatives, as personified by Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, Trey Gowdy, Jason Chavitz, etc. (For the purposes of this discussion we have omitted any of the now sixteen candidates running for the 2016 Republican Nomination).

While Democrats have a pre-disposition to rally around their party’s nominee, be they moderately liberal or extremely liberal, Republicans have a unfortunate tendency to hold out for the “right” candidate, meaning that moderate Republicans refuse to support conservative Republicans, and conservative Republicans refuse to support moderate Republicans- all of which more than delights their Democrat adversaries, as well as the de facto running mates of Democrat nominees, also commonly known as the mainstream media.

Conservative Republicans find this tendency most distasteful, for the simple reason that it allows Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media to fracture what would otherwise be a united Republican front. It also allows the Democrats and their mainstream media allies to paint ALL Republicans as right wing extremists, regardless of whether they are moderate or conservative. One look at the past ten presidential elections, and all ten of the Republican nominees were labeled as “extreme” even though, in reality, only one of them has been a true conservative (Reagan) and the other has been a semi-conservative (George W. Bush). What is the message? Regardless of who the Republicans nominate in 2016, that person will quickly find himself/herself so labeled as a right-wing extremist, regardless of their position on any issue, for the simple reason that it will be a signal to all of the identity constituencies- blacks, Latinos, gays, pro-abortionists, union members, and those on the dole- to queue up and vote for the same Democratic politicians who have managed to keep them in the fold, and in the harness, since the 1940s. It’s not that conservative Republicans, in particular, have ignored any of these specific constituencies, but rather they have, in fact, offered non-governmental alternatives to those governmental solutions, which the Democrats are so famous for offering…

The folly of moderate Republicans is that they have an unfortunate tendency to imitate, if not duplicate, the programs and platforms of the Democrat Party…which begs the question “why have two parties if they are the same?”

This is precisely what far-too-many Republicans, especially establishment Republicans, have failed to grasp- especially when they find that the keys to the White House are in possession of their Democratic opponents. In their efforts to be comparatively bi-partisan, the “go-along, get-along” cabal of establishment Republicans have ceded far-too-much ground in the over-arching political debate, even before the “battle” is joined. If the Republican Party is ever going to “get back in the game”, as it were, they must differentiate themselves from the Democrats, and stop trying to imitate, much less duplicate, the Democrat Party’s platform positions. Otherwise, all one is left with effectively, is a one-party state not unlike that which exists in Russia.

It is indeed unfortunate that the resultant graying of lines between supposed-conservatives and liberals have left this country a bickering, albeit sickening, mass of gelatin between two parties that, in the final analysis, are almost identical in their pursuit of ever-expansive government and political stasis. What this country needs, really, is a true election between two distinct political philosophies, i.e. a contest, say, between a Bernie Sanders and a Ted Cruz, so that this country at long last can settle the abiding issue of what type of country it wants to be…a socialist country which provides all things to all people, like the ones we would find in Europe, or a free-market economic powerhouse that would elevate all people to their fullest potential with the inherent virtues of self-sufficiency, individual liberty, and the unfettered pursuit of happiness and prosperity that once made this country the envy of the world.

Yet, if this election turns out to be, as the pundits would have us believe, a contest between Hillary and Jeb, the can will once again be kicked down the proverbial path of pathetic posturing that sees the greatness of this country slip further and further into the dustbin of history. So, while we argue as to whether or not “the Donald” owes an apology for his inartfully-stated characterization of Senator McCain, let us resolve to keep our eyes on the prize of national renewal and the destiny of this nation that, in the last seven years, has lost its way.

-Drew Nickell, 21 July 2015

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Call of the Trump(-et)

The Call of the Trump(-et)

 

Love him, like him, admire him, or hate him as you will, but there be no doubt that when Donald Trump does something, he does it in a in a big way. Whether he is opening a golf course, a hotel/casino, or even a presidential campaign, he is a whiz at garnering attention. While that, in and of itself, can be a double-edged sword in the world of politics, there are more than a dozen of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination who absolutely and undeniably covet the attention that he is commanding in this summer before the convention summer of 2016… and he is not backing down…not anytime soon.

 

His advantages are obvious. He has the requisite wealth to pursue his quest without having to kowtow to donors, hat in hand, begging them for the cash necessary to mount a serious national campaign. When he speaks, he commands attention and he does so without consulting pollsters and advisors who all-too-often bind a candidate from saying anything that carries any meaning, whatsoever. He is honest when he voices his opinion, albeit perhaps to a fault, but honest, nevertheless. Above all else, he lacks the fear to do so that is so sickeningly obvious in so many other politicos, right and left. He carries the bombastic delivery of a Theodore Roosevelt, the self-confidence of a Ronald Reagan, and the fighting spirit of an Andrew Jackson. When he is lambasted or insulted, he has the cajones to reply in kind, and with the artful modus operandi of a prizefighter, as most recently displayed when he “served” South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, after Graham called him a jackass…by forcing the Senator to go through the inconvenience of having to change his wireless phone number…that is absolutely priceless in a world saturated with enough sensitivity and political correctness to make even “Miss Manners” gag on the saccharine soliloquy of acceptable social intercourse that is politics. Senator Graham will no doubt think twice the next time he wants to start a scrape with “the Donald”.

 

His disadvantages are equally obvious. He has no political experience, per se, aside from donating to multiple candidates over the years, from both parties. His brazenness- part schmaltz, part shtick, with a heavy dose of New York City guile turns off a lot of people in the hinterlands- particularly in the South and the Midwest, where abrasiveness is not so tolerable due to regional social norms which exists, by and large, in those areas. His generally ritzy bearing, in all manners of dress and style, makes him seem incapable of relating to the “average joe”, much the same as Hillary Clinton’s icy seclusion makes her seem out of touch in the same manner. Seemingly devoid of any sense of humility, he has a tendency to sing the song of a braggadocio, which only serves to fuel the disdain that such behavior elicits. Most importantly, he often lacks restraint in what he says which, when he says something corrosive, makes political observers take pause in what otherwise would be the efficacy of a populist campaign.

 

As things stand now, in this all-too-early presidential campaign, it remains to be seen whether “the Donald” can master his foibles while continuing to capitalize on his considerable gifts of showmanship. Republicans will rightfully fear the possibility of his pulling a “Perot”, and running as a third party candidate, should he be locked out or denied the nomination. Democrats will just as rightfully fear what he would do, facing Hillary, in a debate. For the time being…and it’s damned early…the nomination appears to be his to lose, but there is absolutely no doubt that he has drawn a tremendous amount of interest during a time that usually draws little interest, and left unchallenged, makes him a formidable and viable candidate by any measure. It just depends on whether this Trump (-et) plays “charge” or “taps” at the end of the day…

 

-Drew Nickell, 22 July 2015

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

 

The Cancer of Division

The Cancer of Division

Join or Die

Take heed of the symbol of a dismembered serpent. For those familiar with American history, it is recognized as an emblem associated with the early days of the American Revolution. It represents eleven of the thirteen colonies, omitting Georgia and Delaware, (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Connecticut amalgamated into “N.E.” as in New England). The message was as clear, then, as it is today… “Join or Die” or, in other words, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”, and just as prescient today, perhaps even more so…

 

Today, we live in a divided America- perhaps more divided than at any time since the 1860s, when this country was ripped apart by the bloodiest war ever to take place in the Western Hemisphere- the American Civil War. Much of the blame, perhaps all of the blame, for this division rests at the feet of those who we elect to serve in Washington DC- particularly with a president who spent both of his campaigns, and all of his presidency, dividing Americans and pitting them against one another in an ignoble attempt to divide, and thus conquer, a country whose exceptionalism he derides and whose greatness he denies…. Black against white, poor against rich, union against management, gay against straight, women against men, Muslim against Christian, agnostic against religious, pro-abortion against pro-life, immigrant against native-born…and the list goes on, and on, ad nauseam….Barack Obama did not invent these divisions, but instead of ameliorating these divisions, he has instead accelerated them, just as an arsonist would accelerate a small fire into a conflagration with the addition of gasoline. He did so with a purpose of camouflaging his real intent…to “fundamentally transform the United States of America”, just as he promised on the night of his election in 2008. In actuality, this is code for bringing the greatest country in the history of the word, down into the depths of mediocrity, and ultimately, destruction.

 

And yet…

 

There is another, less corrosive but equally destructive cancer of division taking place within the Republican Party. For many election cycles, going back to 1964, Republicans have gone at one another in the quest to nominate the “perfect candidate”, and each time have ended up with the nominee’s supporters being elated, and the rest of the GOP disgruntled…so disgruntled, at times, to the extent that these disgruntled Republicans have sat out elections, easily giving the presidency to a united Democrat Party, as best evidenced by the elections of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

 

Today, it is happening again in the G.O.P. True conservatives, (Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Scott Walker), moderates (Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsay Graham), moderate conservatives (Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio), outsiders (Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump), and (forgive the term) wannabes (Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, George Pataki) are all having what amounts to a sophomoric food fight with one another, in an effort to gain a point or two in polls which are wildly premature. Even the candidates who are/were senators (Cruz, Graham, Paul, Perry, Rubio, Santorum), are having a go with candidates who are/were governors (Bush, Christie, Huckabee, Jindal, Kasich, Pataki, Walker) and those who have never been elected to any office (Carson, Fiorina, Trump), trying to say that their current/former occupation is more suited to being president than the others’….and all to the delight and pleasure of Democrats and their oh-so-partisan allies in the media.

 

Some of these candidates, most notably Ted Cruz, have been magnanimous in reaching out to other candidates, welcoming them into the fray, or joining together with them in discussions, as evidenced by the meetings between Cruz and Trump, and the Independence Day get together with Rubio and Christie at the home of 2012 Nominee Mitt Romney. While these get-togethers are a positive sign, this much remains certain….a divided Republican Party, not to mention a third party run by ANY of them, will ensure that the next president will have a “D” after their name and, as things stand now, that president will be a former first lady and Secretary of State. Worse, these intra-party spats are pitting Republican voters against one another- a trend that is virtually orgasmic to Democrats who will unite behind their nominee, regardless.

 

Since Republicans cannot do anything to heal the divisions that are the perverse progeny of Barack Obama, for so long as he remains president, they would be wise, instead, to resolve to unite as a Republican Party. They should call on ALL of their candidates to stop trashing one another (including Donald Trump, along with his own trashing of the others), and remember “the Gipper’s” eleventh commandment: “Thou shalt not insult another Republican”. Each of the candidates must resolve to support whoever the nominee is, regardless, because ANY one of them would be a far better president than ANY of the Democrats running today. Instead, they need heap their vitreous on Obama and Hillary and keep pounding away, day after day.

 

To do otherwise is to metastasize the cancer of division- one of their own making- and will ultimately lead them, and their country, to peril.

 

-Drew Nickell, 23 July 2015

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

The Bitter Harvest (-ing)

The Bitter Harvest (-ing)

 

Perhaps the most difficult of lingering issues which politicians are loathe to discuss, due to the extremes of emotions associated with both sides of the debate, the legacy of Roe v Wade bedevils all of us, forty-two years hence. For Americans who argue either side of the issue there is little room for equivocation because it is, in the final analysis, a life and death issue- not so much for the mother in most cases, but for that of the unborn child.

 

Those who favor unrestricted access to abortion can and do euphemistically dismiss their advocacy of abortion as “pro-choice”, even though the most grievously-affected person, whose very life is terminated, is denied such choice. Referring the unborn child as “a fetus”, while clinically sound, is merely another way of objectifying a human being in an attempt to dismiss the central argument of life, itself- an absolute right to life that is specifically listed in this country’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence. Juvenile attempts to justify all instances of abortion, due to the comparatively rare cases of “rape and incest”, are also a convenient dodge since such cases are merely a fraction of one percent of all abortions performed in the United States. Similar attempts at such justification, based on vague concepts of the mother’s health, are merely rationalizations of the procedure, which are all-too-easily contrived by doctors performing the procedures, rather than empirical medical realities. An expectant mother, whose life or health is truly endangered by her pregnancy, is by far the rare exception- as opposed to the oft-cited frequency (still a vast minority) of instances so contrived by doctors who have a financial incentive to do so. In the end, it is an inescapable and undeniable conclusion that well over 95% of abortions are merely elective procedures, purely based upon convenience and economics, rather than medical realities. But don’t tell this to a “pro-choicer”, lest you be labeled as engaging in a war on women…

 

Regardless of the position one takes on the issue of abortion, the recent videos of officials of Planned Parenthood, dismissively discussing the marketing of organs harvested from aborted babies should make everyone step back from the central issue of abortion, and consider the ghoulish implications associated with such callous dialogues. Planned Parenthood, taxpayer-funded to the tune of $ 500 million per year, is the largest provider of abortions in the United States and, despite what proponents say about the other services this organization provides, Planned Parenthood derives the lion’s share of their revenue by performing abortions. The mere fact that taxpayers, the majority of whom are opposed to unrestricted abortion, pay to prop up this business is ludicrous enough, but the fact that such funds support an entity which would harvest infantile organs for re-sale on the open market is monstrous to an extent not seen in decades. Those doctors, one of whom is seen sipping wine and casually discussing such marketing, along with brainstorming ideas of how to make such procedures “less crunchy” so as to preserve the viability of such harvested organs, are nothing more than the modern day equivalent of Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele. Ironically, when President Obama recently praised such activities of Planned Parenthood, as “performing God’s work”, reminds us all that the Nazis once used those precise words to justify the slaughter of millions in concentration camps across eastern Europe.

 

Setting aside, for the moment, the primary issue of terminating lives of many millions of babies who are denied their right to live, do we really, as freedom-loving and life-respecting Americans, want to continue to support and abide the monstrous and bitter harvesting of body parts by any organization- particularly one so endowed with government largesse? For those of you who would say “yes” to this question, I challenge you to look at these videos and answer to yourself, alone, as to whether or not this is truly a good thing- regardless of whether or not you would say so, publicly. While you are doing so, consider your own humanity and how precious you view your own life, and then decide for yourself if you, or anyone else, truly have the right to determine whether or not another person has the opportunity to live, when such a person is not afforded to be party to such an existential decision.

 

-Drew Nickell, 30 July 2015

© 2015 by Drew Nickell, all rights reserved

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