Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Perfect Presidential Candidate (or any Federal, State or Local Candidate)

Is there truly a perfect candidate for any office, no matter how low or how high? No, in truth, there is not, and the reason has less to do with any given candidate than it does with the massive political parties, the money brokers, and the “fringe” groups who hold every candidate to the fire if they dare to step an inch towards getting something accomplished that doesn’t align with their belief structure.

The groups involved in the above, some considered mainstream, some considered fringe (although they should all be under on large umbrella), are the Progressive Left, the DNC, the RNC and those who adhere to the middle of the road, there is the Tea Party, and there are the religious (which covers several categories) – All of these unforgiving and holding to a set of principles that is neither right or wrong, yet somehow muddies the water consistently for very good candidates who may somehow not meet a small criteria.

As we move towards yet another contentious general election, one will find they will either have a candidate that is flawed according to the set of specifics, and neither vote, or perhaps vote in spite for the opposition. Then there are the pragmatists, who each election hopes against hope that they will have a candidate they can stand, rather than a candidate that is the lesser of two evils.

Categories that fall (or may fall) under an undesirable individual for whom to cast a vote (according to the fringe)

A Catholic A Mormon (see 2012 and millions of evangelicals) A woman (not, sadly, in my lifetime) A candidate, male or female, that has not given enough money or support to NARAL A candidate, male or female, that has given to and supports pro-life groups A candidate who votes against the particular dogma of the “group”, while in office, and that group pulls support, preferring to lose on overall ideology rather than gain on purity (Scott Brown – Tea Party).

Voter suppression, dead voting, bussing in “voters” from other states, and a myriad of other charges, both real and imagined, are often used as an excuse, or the fact that the candidate does not excite, or did something long buried in the past, that makes them – un-pure.

There are those groups with money or clout or both that will throw both at a particular candidate who suits their needs and future gains – unions, PAC’s, those that have the wherewithal – Koch brothers, Hollywood, aligned against, a candidate or candidates who may not be one hundred percent pure to the electorate, but who would, in anywise, be a better choice, than the conglomerate that the party hierarchies and the money that follows, make for them.

The solution to this entire schematic would be to score the candidate, not necessarily on purity, but perhaps on a scale of purity – 70% say, in order to finally bring some sensibility to the process.

The national parties may have their “chosen” one, (or perhaps two), and those are the individuals, who for whatever reason, are called to the vocation, yet, may side more often with the party, than with those who cast votes – it would be a miracle, indeed, if one were able to cast a vote for the individual who was also called to the vocation, but was a choice of the people.

Look carefully at these candidates, that are now standing before – not as Republican’s or as Democrats, or as Tea Party, Libertarian, Progressive, or pick a flavor, but as the individual who’s story is most compelling, who is wedded to a philosophy and who may have strayed from that philosophy either through growth or pragmatism. They might also wish to be in the good graces of the respective party, for one reason or the other, but overall, they may mostly align with one’s belief structure. One will not go to hell for voting for a Mormon, a Methodist, or Catholic, or what-have-you, their Church will never rule the nation. In a perfect world, that would be exactly how individuals would cast their votes, and it would, in this opinion produce far better results.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Dog Named Dillon - Personal Reflections

A family photo - three sisters with Dillon

There are times when we mere mortals meet the love of our life – oddly shaped, with wagging tail, pleasing smiles, and begging for more attention than one might feel capable of giving. The perfect complement to any family or individual would be the noble dog. More of than not, being burdened with life in general, a child brings home, or begs to have that cuddly puppy that they will care for, if only you will let them bring him or her home. That is how Dillon came into our family; my nephew brought him home to my sister who quickly became Dillon’s “mom”. Dillon, a perfect Welsh Springer spaniel, full of love and quiet patience, a member of the family who saw my sister through much of life’s joys and trials - a marriage, and the loss of our parents, her husband and our sister.

Dilly, as she calls him, loves his treats, his bed, and has tolerated, Suzie, the big calico that came to be adopted when our oldest sister passed away. Dillon loved to play with Camilla, my puggle, and give a wide berth to Maxmillon, my Napoleonic daschund. As he aged, and Oscar, our field beagle, appeared to amuse Dillon, who watched as Oscar bayed his way around the yard while we visited. Dillon loves visitors, sitting in the big bay window, wiggling his entire body as one walks up the drive. His soft, wavy fur and big smile, to match his huge heart are, perhaps, his finest attributes.

Tonight, Dillon is gravely ill, and my sister’s heart is breaking and mine is breaking for her.

Dillon will be euthanized tomorrow, as he suffers from cancers, and renal failure – we are told that this is the kindest way to treat an “animal”. Yet, while our minds may suggest this to be true, our hearts cannot bear being the ones to say the last goodbye.

Surely, there is a place in heaven for our best friends who share our best and worst times. Surely, there is a greater purpose that we share with our companions that, to some of us, are greater than most humans. For those who hold our best friends in such high esteem, it is, at times such as these, that we suffer most, grieve harder, and wish that dogs lived the same lifespan as we. Dillon is a brave and stalwart, loving and patient friend and he will be sorely missed. Perhaps, after all, God may bring them home sooner, to enjoy peace, while they wait patiently until we join them.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rand Paul best Hillary Clinton in 2016 Hypothetical match-up - Elizabeth Warren, Republican Turned Progressive, responds being credited with the Occupy Movement.

From the Lexington Herald Leader: Rand Paul has “narrowly” bested Hillary Clinton in a 2016 Hypothetical matchup – the Leader called it a “home court advantage”. The final advantage 48 (Paul) to 44 (Clinton) –which is the spread that separated President Obama from Mitt Romney.

Although several sources suggest that Clinton may not run and that the opponent from the left of center will be Elizabeth Warren, until the dust clears, there is little that can be gleaned from these polls other than who is better recognized at the time of the poll. As in 2012 when many top tier polling candidates eventually did not run, it may just be that early polling in 2016 will go the same way. That said, Mass Live (Springfield Republican)’s story this morning on Warren suggests she does not respond well to the truth:

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking exception to a characterization put forth by former student, Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, as he tries to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.

In a fundraising letter sent this week, Cotton, who studied under Warren at Harvard Law School prior to her 2012 Senate election, described his former professor as the "intellectual founder of the radical Occupy Movement" and someone who supports a "European-style, single-payer" health care system, according to Talking Points Memo. And on Saturday, Warren struck back with a fundraising plea sent to her thousands of supporters on behalf of Pryor, her colleague in the Senate.

Of interest in the Mass Live article is Warren’s going to bat for endangered Democrats: i.e. Franken in MN and Sheehan in NH and well as Pryor because should she fail, and these Democrats lose their seats, which appears likely in two of the three instances, then, that will leave her little credence with the democrats as to her “star power”. Additionally, using the tire d war on women may not be the best method to denigrate a GOP challenger at this point, given how that panned out after the 2012 elections.

Speculation abounds, however, the players are bound to change, especially should Clinton not run, and Warren become similarly toxic, who then? Joe Biden?

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