Tag Archives: elections

Feeling my way forward into the new era

The truth is that I have real concerns about my own well being at many levels, about the well being of many family members and friends and about a variety of institutions. But all of those concerns have been impacted by my concerns about America as a whole. It is not that they are overshadowed by such concerns but only that they are affected and in some way modified by those concerns about the nation. The recent election to my mind has along with all its aftermath so far brought many issues to the forefront of our national discussion which need to be examined.  There are real tensions we must resolve. Our relationships with Mexico and Canada are going to be brought into sharper focus by Trump’s efforts to expedite the Keystone XL pipeline and also to get Mexico to pay for a border wall. The cancelling of meetings and a summit with Mexico will bring a variety of issues into stark relief. The recent speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May — who is also Conservative Party Leader — to the Republican retreat in Philadelphia as well the upcoming summit with Trump will help us to understand our relationships with the United Kingdom that is emerging from Brexit. But just because these things will rise to the forefront of discussion does not mean that I will like the outcome.

A lot of people are distressed about the situation of the nation in ways and from points of view quite different than my own.    However some of them are somehow involved in a blog somehow or other that my sister has posted in at least once. I get the feeling that there is a kind of support group involved in all of that as well. Here is the link for the Sick Pilgrim blog.   Here is the link for my sister’s post which is not always so easy to find on the site. My last post had something to do with the nuanced nature of Jewish identity in America and what it has to say to American and American Catholic experience.  Sick Pilgrim is a good thing I think and a good set of things. But it is also, like U.S. Catholic with which it has some connections ( if only through personnel), it is also a sign of the strains that exist in American Catholic identity. Some of that strain is healthy and life-giving and even where it is not venting the experience of the strain can be healthy and life-giving.

This is a blog post I hope will be  fairly short, that is mostly about my feelings as regards the way things are in the world as it stretches forth before us today. But even more so about the world as I am experiencing it just now. The world we all live in at any given time is quite a bit smaller than the whole world all the time. Today I stopped by the Abbeville Cultural & Historical Alliance Museum and Art Gallery where the students of a local predominantly African American private school had provided the display which is up for January and February in honor of Black History Month — this year the display relates to the Voting Rights Act and larger issues of voting.  Along with photos from that display I include the badly framed selfie of my visit with tourists from Abbeville, France and some pictures of the faded mural from downtown. I am very rooted here even though I spent a good part of my morning checking the legitimacy of the first decent inquiry about a possible job offer that I have had in a long time –and that company was based in Hong Kong. i am still not sure if it is legitimate. if it is and all works out I might not be desperately underfunded for the first time in over a decade. but regardless of what happens little hope has grown up around my labors in this land and society, very little as regards my own needs and well being. But I wonder if the  people doing the work on the Voting Rights display are commenting on any particular aspect of the recent electoral experience. There are so many things to say about the outcome.  My own political comments on this blog are legion. But they all say that Black people and others should be able to vote in America. But the fact that all sides have protested so much about this election in which so many were able to vote shows that there are many questions left unanswered.

The Election has somehow or other marked a new era. But we all have familiar problems to solve and so does the country as a whole. For me most kinds of hope are luxuries that no longer seem relevant. Mostly there are bleak and dismal prospects in all directions. But I do vote and I do look around to see what might be available to hope for around the next corner.

President Elect Trump and Others

The race is over, the great duel of personalities and ideas which makes up a race for the United States Presidency has ended. Donald J. Trump has been elected President. Hillary Clinton has conceded and President Obama has promised to facilitate the transfer of power.  Something calamitous could happen but we can expect that it  will not and we will see a new administration in real distinction to the old one. There was a vigorous campaign and the electorate spoke within the constitutional mandate.   I did not vote for either one of them but I did vote. I am happier that Trump won than I would have been with Hillary’s victory. But over all my election cycle involved few victories.

Trumps new era comes on the heels of the extremely contentious race. It comes on the heels of a Presidency that was distinguished by a confrontational and intransigent style of executive power. Even now he has not yet taken office peacefully, But  the tone has been set. We will see if all the acrimony of recent months will yiled to the machinery of constitutional transition.


Beside the victory of Trump and other candidates three important things happened yesterday: First, there was a high turnout election in some places that have not seen such a high turnout in a long time. Second, there was a realigning election that allowed the working class people of America to stand out and be heard. Third, White people in America revealed their potential power as a voting bloc. A Nick Anderson Cartoon posted all around Facebook spoke to the importance of turnout.


But there was more going on than simply getting voters to the polls to express their feelings and concerns. America is seeking a new way forward. There are many who are deeply disappointed today and some who are elated but all have been through a great deal. I hope that this is the start of a great and worthy time. For America, it may well be, perhaps not so much for me. I did not vote for Trump myself. But I am a White, rural American who has worked hard and has very little. I could hear the echoes of my own voice in his movement. I voted early but I went to what would have been my polling place on Election Day and took some pictures.


There was a lot on the ballot yesterday. Even within the big story of Trump’s election there were many stories that made up the whole. The night was a late one for me and although I voted for Chris Keniston of the Veterans party — I was relieved.  Keniston got 1,880 votes in Louisiana. Trump got 1,178,004 vote and won the sate’s electoral votes. In addition all of the key speeches by Trump, Clinton and Obama have seemed reassuring to me. I had read through my Huffington Post  and Politico free subscriptions and my paid Washington Post and Daily Advertiser subscriptions and visited Real Clear Politics. I had communicated with a huge number of people about the political situation — and although I was not sure who was going to win as a result of my own research I did tend to believe the predictions that Hillary would win. I also found some other interesting things in the polling data before the election, what is below is among what I got from my Politico emails.:

Despite pre-election polls showing neither candidate poised to win a majority of the vote on Tuesday, a 55-percent majority thinks the winner of the election “has a mandate to take the country towards the vision they spoke about during the campaign,” while 23 percent don’t think the winner will have a mandate. Another 22 percent aren’t sure.

The Morning Consult/POLITICO Exit Poll was conducted October 18 – November 8, 2016 among 9,704 early/Election Day Voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment. The results have a margin of error of +/- 1 percent. Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

Trump won a compelling mandate to seek immigration reform, to enhance our position in world trade, to seek to renew the economy in blighted America and to abolish the current version of political correctness. What else he won a mandate to do is not all that clear. We also seem almost certain to make it out of the Obama administration without a violent revolution, a civil war or the assassination of a President or Presidential candidate. That is for me a real achievement we can take some pride in. Bad times may be ahead as may critical posts in this blog but there is a lot to rejoice in today as well.

There were some clues that this might happen that I posted on Facebook but not here:   Including a reference to a fairly late Post-ABC Tracking Poll showing Trump at 46%, Clinton 45%, as Democratic enthusiasm dipped in the final month of the race. But the Republicans have also kept control of the US Senate, the US House of Representatives and majority of the  branches in the States. Whether Trump is ready to lead a powerful party or not — he is in a position to do so. I posted one joke about the candidates (authored by me) during the whole campaign season that was in the spirit of the cheap and derisive tone of the campaign — this is it:

Secretary Clinton: “I have always believed that if a man will not take off his pants suddenly and in odd situations he cannot be trusted. ”

Trump: “That is a horrible idea you got from the Muslim Mexican Media feminist elite you sold your soul to…”

As for my  day after point of view: What was on the Louisiana  ballots can be accessed here. I voted for Charles Boustany for Senate who came in third. Kennedy and Campbell will be in the runoff.  I voted for Marilyn Castle for Supreme Court who lost to Jimmy Genovese in a field of two. I voted for Scott Angelle who is leading in a race for the Third Congressional District. I voted for Mike Francis who won a seat on the Public Service Commission outright in a filed of three decent candidates. So one candidate I voted for  was a  vote I knew could not win, two lost and one won outright and one made the runoff.

Lundi Gras bonfire & Boustany meeting 012

Dr. Boustany and I at a town hall meeting. This was several years ago.

I also voted on Constitutional Amendments.  I voted to improve the Registrar of Voters standards and that passed — I won. I voted to give Universities more  fiscal autonomy that failed  — I lost.  I voted against eliminating the deductability of Federal Income tax
on state taxes the, change failed — I won. I voted for more tax protection for the surviving spouses of LEOs and troops killed on active duty and that passed — I won. I voted to reform the rainy day fund, the change passed — I won.  I voted for a deficit correction plan, the change failed — I lost.

So I do not have a host of victories to celebrate but I do have hope for a Trump Presidency to make things better. I have concerns about China and Mexico. I have concerns about sexual politics. I have concerns about the nature of our system But I am happier with Trump than I would have been with Hillary.

Clinton’s Campaign: Does She Have Credibility, a Creed and a Contest ?

Will Secretary and Senator and Former First Lady  Hillary Rodham Clinton be the first female President of the United States? It certainly seems likely. Here you can read my first post when she became the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party.  Since the very first version of this post came out the Washington Post has run an article saying that her credibility is damaged, that article is here and it may or may not represent political reality. But the contention made here in all versions of this post so far is that there appears to be a small chance that she will be indicted, arrested and charged in the email scandal or in any matter to do with Benghazi. By small of course I mean that there is not a large chance. There appears to be a miniscule chance that Bernie Sanders will mount a successful revolt or set up a powerful third party challenge which would derail her path to the presidency. There is more or less no realistic chance that she will be stopped from being elected except by the victory of Donald Trump as the Republican Nominee over her as the Democratic Nominee in the general election. Almost no chance is not the same as no chance. Any number of things could happen including death of physical impairment. But the odds seem to be better than fifty percents that she will be the next POTUS. Few people have ever had more relevant work or official experience when approaching the highest office in the land. To be a Senator is a lot, to be Secretary of State is a lot, to be First Lady is a lot — to be all three is a staggering degree of experience. Of course I physically stagger more easily than some more physically gifted readers and so I go to that adjective and the related adverb more readily than they might. But if one does not stagger one at least must take notice of the degree to which she embodies tremendous experience. Compared to her:

  1. Donald Trump has never held elected office,
  2. he has never lived in the White House,
  3. he has never lived in the executive mansion of a State,
  4. he has never held an office appointed by a President,
  5. he has never led a sustained policy discussion as Clinton did with healthcare,
  6. he has never been officially invited to sit at the table to negotiate  a formal treaty on behalf of the United States.
To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

On the other hand they do have some lack of experience in common:

  1. Neither on has held a major post in a religious institution,
  2. neither has served in the military,
  3. neither has served in the workaday world of the intelligence community,
  4. neither has lived on our borders or in border towns for any length of time,
  5. neither speaks Spanish of French well, official languages of our neighbors,
  6.  neither has lived and worked as a citizen in the way business people, missionaries, journalists and  volunteers do every day across this world as they forge an American identity abroad.

Ambassador Stevens was an unusually high ranking victim of violence abroad. In the last few days other Americans have lost their lives around the world but a glimpse into the kinds of decisions he faced is also a glimpse into kinds of decisions that Americans who believe in what they are doing abroad face every day.  The following excerpt is from the recent report on the Benghazi incident:

While the end of the fiscal year funding deadline was looming, the Diplomatic Security Agent in charge at the Embassy in Tripoli was, nonetheless,
concerned about Stevens’ trip to Benghazi. Although his first planned trip to Benghazi in the beginning of August 2012 had to be canceled because of security,14 Stevens was adamant, however, about going in September.15 The Diplomatic Security Agent testified:
Previous to this—to his decisions to going up there, there was— we would meet weekly to discuss the security situation in Libya.…[
T]here was a specific meeting regarding what was happening in Benghazi. In that meeting, we reviewed incidents and  probable causes, what’s initiating it. And a lot of discussion was that it was the conflict or the incidents up there were, you know, local population against local population and that that they weren’t specifically targeting Americans … up there. I expressed my concerns about the incidents that did involve us. And the basic response was that they … were anomalies.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

We all have images of what leadership should look like which are not simple portrayals of reality.

Romney was a missionary in France during anti-American times, Bill Clinton visited Russia as a student in the Cold War years and there are other connections to tat least the same world Chris Stevens lived in that can be found in other political lives outside the military but not in the lives of Hillary Clinton or Donald trump so far as I know. Both have traveled a great deal. both have been at some risk but the proportion of risk to resources has never been equal in my opinion to the baseline many Americans abroad have experienced every day all of my life.

The other thing that they have in common is access to fame, fortune, privilege and the people in power. This is not an even contest between the two of them but neither does it really matter who has had more of such opportunity. These opportunities have defined both of their lives for a long time. One big difference of course is that Trump like all previous American Presidents is a man and Clinton is a woman. I visited that in the post where her candidacy was all but assured but I am not going to deal with it much in this post.

There are issues related to Clinton that have very little to do with the fact that she is a woman. Trump recently said he just knew very little about her religion and she responded by declaring her self emphatically enough to be a Methodist. My own take on some of the discussion of Clinton’s religion has been posted in this blog before and can be seen here. Of course there may be more to say as time goes on.  One fact about the election of the first Clinton to the Presidency is that the result was likely determined by the most credible third party candidate in presidential politics in my lifetime — Ross Perot. He made it more than possible for Bill Clinton to defeat George Bush Senior. Thus Clinton did not face the kind of intense contest he would have otherwise.  This kind of splitting is well established in British politics and may have been fostered in some way or another by the Rhodes Scholar, Bill Clinton as the biggest take home lesson from his time in Oxford. Some may see Trump as Ross Perot on steroids. He is the third party candidate who became the  candidate of a major party and the main obstacle to Clinton’s election. that would still be true even if Romney or someone becomes a real third party candidate somehow. So how does trump match Clinton on matters of faith?

To see Clinton’s faith in political terms this season means to examine Donald Trump’s faith as well. He seems to be a person, like Clinton, about whom one could say a great many contradictory things based on pretty good evidence. That is not necessarily because he is deceptive or a hypocrite but may be because of the place he comes from in his life context. Interestingly enough he has made it clear that he supports Christmas as a national holiday and seeks to preserve it. That was the narrow subject of my original blog post about Clinton’s faith and the faith of other candidates.    Christmas was of course never my only interest in the religious identity of candidates. I love Christmas very much and the Christian observance of it by this country is a tradition I think worth striving for and worth some sacrifice. However, it is interesting that the ugliest rumors and suspicions about Donald Trump involve the ways in which he reminds people of the NSDAP or Nazis and the Third Reich. While many Christians nothing like the Hitlerites have rallied around Christmas, there is also no doubt that the Nazis made Christmas and especially the control of Christmas tree sales and early focus of political activity.  In further clarification, it is interesting to note that the list of candidates in the Democrats poll I posted in that article did include Biden but did not include Sanders. Even more interesting is that Trump does not appear among the six Republican candidates who appear in the poll I posted and reviewed in terms of the religion of the candidates. Huckabee was the leader in the poll and he was of course a Baptist minister who claimed the same hometown as President William Jefferson Clinton — Hope, Arkansas. So where does that leave the discussion of religion as I saw it back in 2014? It is not a perfectly relevant post in every way  then.  But here is the principal quotation from that blog post as it pertains to understanding Clinton’s faith in very general political terms. The first paragraph below deals with how Americans likely to vote Republican were thinking about Republican candidates in 2014 and how that related to Christmas and it observance by the Christians of this nation . However the remaining paragraphs  relate to what Clinton’s religious identity is likely to be. It is perhaps best to look at the text:

There is a lot of shaking out to do if these numbers mean any thing before any Republican can claim the nomination.  But it does indicate perhaps the streams of thought that are shaping the country as regards finding a religious root for values expressed by America’s  “right” in politics.

What then about the left? Where does the other side of American  political energy come down on our connecting with the roots of Christianity.  Unlike the possible GOP nominees, Hillary Clinton has tended to tower over her challengers for the 2016 Democratic nomination. Some people are saying that candidates like Elizabeth Warren are poised to show explosive growth but it would take a lot of growth to challenge  Clinton in the primary.

Joe Lieberman who ran with Al Gore was not a Christian but a Jew who seemed to tolerate a good deal of public Christmas. Mitt Romney belonged to what most scholars consider to be a post-Christian religion but it is one that celebrates Christmas as an American holiday and the birth festival of Jesus Christ. Many presidents have been devout Christians: Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, John Kennedy and half a dozen others are clearly men who in my opinion must be seen as Christians entirely. Whatever they did not achieve of the Christian ideal is not because they did not adhere to that faith and religion. Richard Nixon was reared as a Quaker and (though many American Quakers seem pretty much to be Christians) Quakers as a whole are not a Christian faith but one which grew up among Christians.  It is hard to say what Nixon was when he was President. With men like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and  a few others it hard to say where they stood in terms of religious classification and identity.

So that brings me to Clinton. She is a favorite enemy of the Christian Right and other religious people in American politics and she may well deserve it. She has a background which is mostly verifiable: Clinton was reared a Methodist Protestant Christian, belonged to a Senate Prayer Group and has spoken at Prayer Breakfasts.  Her profile may seem different to American atheists than to most other people. Here is an atheist site evaluating Clinton’s background and religious values.  It is hard to know how  she would deal with Christmas.

I have just finished observing the Independence Day  holiday in a minimal sort of way. It is always a time that I like to think about what it means to be an American and posts about those thoughts can be seen here. But although those ideas have been posted here they have more often been shared in other places and my thoughts about America have been posted here on other holidays. Those holiday thoughts on Memorial Day have been  here and on Veterans day have been here. While I have in common with Clinton and Trump that I have not a day of service in the military in my past it seems to be the military holidays that most inspire my patriotism. My observation of the Independence Day holiday was not entirely minimal by every standard and I did post quite a few notes and the lyrics of the National Anthem on my Facebook profile but minimal my observance  certainly was  in some measures. Neither Trump nor Clinton were very visible in my own perusal of our nation’s birthday. But one of them will likely be the American Head of State by next Independence Day. Unlike Christmas these holidays are not specifically Christian. I am a Christian and for me Christian prayer is part of these national holidays. I am not sure how the faith of either major candidate informs  their celebration of these days.  But faith and the most gung ho kinds of patriotism are linked by many as can be seen at links here and here. What else does  America expect from a leader and does Clinton have it?

Clinton has a lot of government experience, but the range is not infinite. One of the big achievements of this week has been the placement of the Juno observatory in position as a satellite of Jupiter. Some of the reason many people around the world are interested in this project can be gleaned here.  Neither Clinton nor Trump seems to be the kind to play an extraordinary role in blazing a pioneering trail into space.  These kinds of brave explorations may shape the future or not but they do not seem to define the vision of either Clinton or Trump.

One question many people have about religion is whether or not someone who prays for help should be President. Perhaps prayer means one cannot do the job. But some contend Clinton had private emails because she did not want to disclose the degree to which she could not do her job. That story can be seen here. It is to be noted that this not entirely clear story comes from a publication as biased in favor of Clinton and against Trump as one can get. But the point is here only that Buzz Aldrin, a rocket scientist, astronaut and space planner is a noted public prayer promoter in his own life and not being known for religious acts makes nobody a scientist.








Last Day of Early Voting

The election to determine the Senator from Louisiana who will  hold the seat of Senior Senator Mary Landrieu will be held December 6, 2014. The last day of early voting is today November 29, 2014. Mary Landrieu’s party will have lost its chairmanships no matter who wins. In addition if Cassidy wins he will be the Junior Senator from Louisiana and David Vitter will become the Senior Senator.  A great deal has changed regardless of the outcome as regards this seat. But a vote by those who read this blog and can vote is important.  I have already discussed the election which includes many issues already decided here.  I have set out some of the impressions the Election Day experience made on me here.  I have set out some of the signs of Obama’s declining stock and discussed its meaning here.  I have discussed Louisiana politics and politicians in a way different than most media have here.  I took two side journeys one on the military and one on race but still part of this election cycle of the blog. But I have not discussed every aspect of the race, I have voted for Landrieu in the past and I voted for Cassidy this  time. I hope people vote according to enlightened self-interest and their consciences. I hope whoever wins will do their duty well. I am giving Cassidy a chance to prove worthy of my support.



The voting booth remains a powerful part of our society.

The voting booth remains a powerful part of our society.

Landrieu tied her reputation to the sing of her party in directions that neither I nor the majority of voters support. America is in a time when many transitions must be made. The GOP will have a chance to show that it can make things better. There will be a lot of conflict with the White House.  Next year will be interesting.

To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

To safeguard liberty we must be able to adapt to the changing times.

In all this readers should remember that I belong to no political party. My own political ideas for America are put forth throughout this blog including here, here and here. I am a radical who is committed to the society I would like to change and to its constitutional well-being. I encourage those who can to vote.

Early Voting in Louisiana Opens Today & goes to the 26th except Sunday

Jay Dardenne and Caroline Fayard compete for the Lieutenant Governor’s post for the remainder of the term vacated by Mitch Landrieu since he became mayor of New Orleans.

Incumbent David Vitter and Congressman Charlie Melancon lead a pack of contenders for the US Senate.

There are constitutional amendments related to public nuisance property, disabled veterans privileges, the waiver of rights to a jury trial, the exemption from taxes for homesteads damaged by disasters, the effective date for pay raises in public office and the share of severance tax revenues that go to each parish.  I recommend one take time to know these proposed amendments.

These are the only statewide issues although others are on many other precinct ballots. I voted early today.

Running Off to the November Elections

Well we have a party-led primary to give us a Libertarian candidate as well as Congressman Charlie Melancon as our Democratic US Senate candidate and Davis Vitter as our incumbent Republican US Senate candidate. We have passed two constitutional ammendments which have made changes to the Louisiana constitution. We have had our open primary in which Sammy Kershaw who shares with me roots in Vermilion Parish was squeezed out as close third in a race which had almost half a dozen candidates finishing well below him. That leaves the runoff election to Republican “Jay” Dardenne our current Secretary of State and Caroline Fayard a Democrat and Louisiana lawyer endorsed by Bill Clinton personally.

In addition to all of this we have lots of races which do not involve the entire state. We now look at the races which the rest of the country is anticipating to see who will control each chamber in Congress as well as our other offices up for election this term.

Conservative Ideas in America and the Day of Obama’s Election

 This blog post was firstposted in Politico when Obama was elected to the Presidency Conservatism it is worse than you think if you are one, but you probably aren’t!
Content: I feel a certain amount of sympathy for Barack Obama. I choose to start with that line because I consider myself to be one of the people most opposed to Barack Obama within the spectrum of legitimate politics. However, I don’t think that there is any doubt that we have reached the point where Conservatism can be looked at as something which has merited the term “crisis”. America is in a crisis and I believe that it will prove to be a very grave crisis. However, conservatism is in a far greater crisis. For argument’s sake let us say that the terms right and left, Democrat and Republican describe a real political dynamic which matters in this country. I would argue that on the right in this country we have lots of politicians who use the label “conservative” but actually we have a collection of Libertarians, Tax Avoiders,  Moderate Neo-Fascists , Ultra-Reformed  Protestant Theocrats, and Anglophile Antiquarians who collectively squeeze a weak and demoralized conservative group of Americans who hardly matter at all.  Some of these five never discussed groups would be Conservatives if there really was a Conservative Movement for them to be part of , on the other hand many fundamentally despise Conservatism.I voted for George Bush the first time and almost certainly would have voted for him the second time if I could have made it to Beijing’s American Embassy in time to vote. However, I missed that election. I voted for Mcain-Palin in the most recent election. I also voted for Mary Landrieu a Democrat this year. Through my life I have voted for a collection of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.  My sympathy for Barack Obama comes into play in this regard. Like Obama (and a lot of other people)  I have had to make the best choices I could at any given time. By the time I was old enough to vote I had forged a lot of bonds and relationships which included fundamentalists, communists in other countries, resentful Moslems, white supremacists, black radicals and lots of other people who don’t fall into the neat safe categories that President mills like mid century Yale Law normally produce in quantity.  If I were to have made a run at the US Presidency there would be people some folks would like as little as I like Rev. Wright and David Ayres. Despite all that colorful background I have lots of self-respect and more oddly yet, I think of myself as an authentic American Conservative. Arguably, I am one of the only American conservatives who could be optimistic abpout the Obama example. Beacuse if such an oddly positioned person of such a background as Barack Obama can be President of the United States then maybe I could at least get elected parish assessor, city dog-catcher, county councilman, water-district representative or something else somewhere in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Somehow I don’t think Obama’s election signifies anything nearly that hopeful for someone like me.  I am able to accept that there is not likely to be a government paycheck in my future. That is unless you include the kinds of fellowships and part-time job checks form school boards and universities which I have gotten in the past. I don’t hate liberalism but I know that Liberals are more likely to take a political interest in those with odd and quirky backgrounds than conservatives are. I am able to say that I have won a few elections. I won a seat on Dorm Council in College, I was elected as Outstanding Graduate in my department , college and university for that particular commencement exercise at a different school. Then In China  a few years ago I organized elections among my student for various class and subgroup offices. Then there are a couple of elections where I was elected to post that I can’t discuss here by groups that like their privacy.  None of those races seem very much related to the Presidency or even a governorship however. In most of these races my political philosophy was not a central aspect of what people were electing me for or voting against. Many people hold office for other reasons than political philosophy. People vote for friends, members of their race or class, to keep seniority in a legislature or because they are personally opposed to the candidates opposition. But in  the big leagues there are always some questions of political philosophy that become important. I would argue that Conservatism is usually not on the menu.I think that a coherent expression of American Conservative political philosophy would require at leason very long book. If someone hasn’t read any of the books which have helped to from my opinions then an article or two would not make the great sweep of ideas stand clear. Here I am going to do someting very different. I am going to propose ten unthinkable planks in a platform in an agressive conservative movement. I don’t think that conservative means passive. Some of these would even require constitutional ammendments. I believe that these planks would probably unpopular and are largely undemanded but that is because Conservatism is largely dead. I think that passing something along these lines would be essential to setting our country on a good conservative path. I believe struggling for something like this would be essential for rebuilding a conservative movement.

So here are my unthinkable Ten:

1.The Aboriginal Americans Ammendment: The Eskimos, Indians, Hawaiians, Chamorros and Samoans should be given a single grant in treaty of one or two percent of all Federal Governmnent lands (not state or private lands) . These lands should be under a perpetual and largely green treaty which would allow some activities and not others in perpetuity.  The American Indians should have several federal territories with representation in the House of Representatives and not in the Senate. The other four groups should  have one relatively contiguous teritory with representation in the House of Represnetatives but not in the Senate. Each of these Territories should award one transitional elector for each member of the House of Representatives an also one long-term elector who  would serve in at least three Presidential elections and who would have standing to join together and have several specific perogatives in the Senate. Those elgible to vote as Aboriginal Americans could choose tov ote either as Aboriginal or generic American Citizens. At the time of this creation a final trust fund should be st up and there should be included some bonds and securities maturing over time. Then there would be a final treaty settlement of all  grievances between the United States and aboriginal peoples.

2.The First Lady Ammendment: The First Lady should be recognized as a junior but joint Head of State. She should receive a perpetual constitutional earmark of revenues  for use in grants and programs for women and mothers. She should be specifically authorized to undertake purely ceremonila diplomacy any where in the scope of American diplomacy. Whenever a woman is President of the United States then the majority of the ear-marked funds should go to a trust and earn interest. A skeleton amount and skeleton tasks only be reserved for the Presidential consort husband.

3. The Defense Department should be required to allot a greater percentage than ever before to its Junior ROTC program. These programs should be able to be chartered by public and private schools. Students would take a class a day, would go to camp two weeks a year with their State or Aboriginal Territory National Guard Unit and would spend a month  with the Americorps each summer. In return for this volunteers would recieve healthcare, have a varied scholarship account and eat at a training table at school. 

4. Puerto Rico Should be made our fifty-first state and the last admitted without a constitutional ammendment. A part of Puerto Rico anda part of the US Virgin Islans should be set aside for a Fedral Carribean territory similar to but separate and less represented than the Aboriginal Territories. Those elible to vote as Old Carribean Americans would have to choose not to vote as generic Americans.

5.The State of Utah should receive a Charter rescinding the requirement that it abolish Polygamy. It should be given ten years to set up a domestic regime of polygamy that will answer for all serious concerns such as underage marriage and would recognize plural marriage responsibly in Utah without exagerated full-faith and credit elsewhere.

6. States with highly regulated casinos and a history of vigorous related law enforcement should be allowed to develop a regime for licensing the use of recreational drugs with physicians present and federally license detox-release requirements. Casinos would collect both a high state and federal tax for this drug use.

7.The Federal Racial Classification scheme should be abolished. Especially the not very popular and mostly made up Hispanic race based mostly on one’s father’s last name. There should be a recoginized Permanent Committe on Race, Ethnicity and Kinship. The US Census Bureau should be put under the direction of this body which should also have the authority draw up congressional districts. All retired Presidents generally and Vice Presidents over 70 years old would be lifetime members of this committee. Americans would all have the right to transfer one percent of their income tax witholding and four percent of all their property taxes to family associations which would be chartered by this commitee. These family associations would all share in a seireis of federal programs providing surpluses, grants and loans for them to use especially in stting up daycare, healthcare and eldercare programs.  These family’s would self identify their race and ethnicity.

8.The Navy should develop a Navy One Program . This would be a sailing longship on which the frist family would entertain and a permanent destroyer escort. This ship would also  offer high honor Junior ROTC, regular ROTC and  Naval Academy work study positions on this ship.

9. A working Federal Death penalty program should be developed and it should be applied regularly when required or clearly indicated. Piracy and Terrorism should be principal causes for its use.

10.The federal government should create a full scale set of Mother’s Incentives working with but not entirely dependent upon the First Lady’s bureaucracy. Companies, cities, towns, and States would receive generous incentives for providing small gardens, job-sharing programs, cottage industries and very flexible positions for mothers with young children. These programs would provide a further annual bonus to married mothers with young children.

Yes I am aware most of you think that thses things have nothing to do with conservatism. Unfortunately that is because most Americans no longer have any idea what Conservatism. I don’t mind so much if these things make you want o hurl ridicule or even vomit. However, if they do then maybe you should consider not calling yourself a conservative.