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Celebrate the 4th of July with a third voice at debates?

The 4th of July is about more than beer, barbecue and fireworks.

This year we celebrate the adoption of America’s Declaration of Independence, the birth — 240 years ago — of our nation. But most importantly, America in 1776 declared freedom not just for the nation, but for each of us as individual citizens.

Thomas Jefferson penned the immortal words:  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.”

Wow.  Here was a new nation that was willing to turn history on its ear.  Instead of making people beholden to the government, the founders made the government beholden to the people.  People would be free to pursue their own happiness. Government would be limited.  There would be no ruling class.

It was an idea so radical that freedom-loving people everywhere wanted to come to America.  And not just to come to America, but to become Americans.  They embraced freedom, worked hard, loved their country, and helped their neighbors.  Together — each in individual pursuit of happiness — they built the greatest nation in history.

But 240 years is a long time for any idea — even liberty — to maintain its passion.  Too many of us take for granted the freedoms that the founders fought so hard to give us.  It is easier to ask the government to provide our happiness than work for it ourselves.   Just as the founders feared, government keeps getting bigger and more intrusive.  Just as the founders feared, we have allowed a permanent ruling class of career politicians and bureaucrats to emerge.

It may too late for us to achieve a return to the values that made America great.  But there are signs in this election year that we the people are sick of ever-bigger government and sick of rags-to-riches politicians.

Many of us don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  In the name of public service, the Clintons have used politics to become enormously wealthy.  And Trump has used big government and politicians like the Clintons to feed his own wealth and ego.

There is a glimmer of hope in the form of the only third party that will likely be on the ballot in all 50 states.  The Libertarian Party stands for the things that made America great.  Personal liberty. Individual responsibility. Limited government.

But the Democrats and Republicans — with the cooperation of those who benefit from “politics as usual” — have rigged the system to ensure that third parties can’t win much support.

If the Libertarian ticket — former Gov. Gary Johnson of New Mexico and former Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts — achieves at least 15% public support in the polls, they will be able to participate in this year’s presidential debates. If enough of us tell pollsters that we prefer the Libertarians, it could happen.

If Johnson and Weld participate in the debates, it would be up to them to win over voters. If it doesn’t appear that Johnson and Weld can be elected, we could still vote for either Clinton or Trump on election day.  But don’t we at least want the opportunity to consider a third alternative during the debates?

Here’s where you can learn more:  https://johnsonweld.com

Trump, Clinton…or a third choice?

Clinton & TrumpIf you’re not happy about having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump —and who is genuinely happy about it? — there’s something you can do: ask for a third choice.

Libertarian Gary Johnson is the only other candidate who will be on the ballot in all 50 states.  But most Americans don’t know about Johnson because the media and some national pollsters are ignoring him.

Whether or not we eventually vote for him, shouldn’t Johnson at least be mentioned by the media, included in national polls, and allowed to participate in the Presidential debates this fall?

Here are five simple things you can do:

  1. Send the following complaint to the media whenever their stories about Clinton and Trump fail to at least mention Johnson: “There is a third candidate on the ballot in all 50 states, so shouldn’t he at least be mentioned in your stories?”
  2. Sign this petition urging the pollsters to include Johnson along with Clinton and Trump in the national polls.
  3. Sign this petition urging the Commission on Presidential Debates to invite all candidates who have qualified for the ballot in all 50 states.
  4. Education yourself. Take this quiz to see where you stand, learn more about Gary Johnson here, and learn about the Libertarian Party here.
  5. Urge your friends to also do these five simple things.  Together we can make a difference.

Ten More Election Surprises?

This has already been one of the weirdest election years in American history, but it could get even crazier.Political parties

The Democrats have rigged their nominating process to hand their presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton — who with her husband are masters of crony capitalism and the fine art of using politics to achieve enormous personal wealth.

The Republicans weren’t as clever and will apparently end up with Donald Trump as their candidate — a braggadocio “I’m smarter than anyone” showman whose wealth exaggeration and tax-dodging are apparently so brazen that he is the first candidate in decades who refuses to release his tax returns.

What additional surprises could come out of this stranger-than-fiction election?  Perhaps some good developments if citizens are disgusted with “politics as usual” and are willing to fight for real change.  Such as:

  1. Will Democrats ditch Hillary? Whether or not she is indicted for one of her many scandals, will the Democrats turn elsewhere if they become convinced she won’t win?  Because she is so untrustworthy?  Because so many in her party are rejected her in favor of the outrageous socialist, Bernie Sanders?  But of course they wouldn’t dump Hillary for Bernie.  They would likely turn instead to Joe Biden or John Kerry.
  2. Will Republicans dump Trump?  Very unlikely.  Too many Republicans have already chosen Trump as the best way to give the “middle finger” to “politics as usual”.  They are so disgusted that they are willing to take a chance on an egomaniac who has a nonsensical platform but promises to shake things up.  For better or for worse?
  3. Will Trump become “presidential”? Also very unlikely, unless he is actually as smart as he thinks he is.  Could he overcome his habit of insulting everybody who doesn’t agree with him?  Could he actually study an issue before taking a knee-jerk stance?   Could he explain that he has learned that “building the wall” can more efficiently be achieved by high tech approaches and real immigration reform?  And that he has learned that America can become more competitive in the global economy with tax reform, without starting trade wars?  We will see, but I’m skeptical.
  4. A rejection of both political parties? Will citizens finally wise up to the fact that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major political parties?  Will they finally recognize that both Democrats and Republicans are equally guilty of promising too much and delivering too little, wasting tax dollars, handing out special favors to their supporters, and increasing the national debt?
  5. The rise of a third political party? Perhaps the two “major” political parties have sunk so low that disheartened citizens will finally consider alternatives, such as the Libertarian Party — especially if the “third” party nominates as formidable a ticket as proven former governors Gary Johnson and  Bill Weld.  This is the party that stands for minimum government and maximum freedom — the principles that made America great before the self-serving Political Class started screwing things up.
  6. A rejection of the Elite Political Class? Will citizens finally realize that they are being duped by career politicians?  That gridlock has become a major profit center for politicians of both parties, at the expense of “we the people”?  That politics in America has become the easiest path to enormous personal wealth?
  7. The rise of the No Labels movement? This group bills itself as being “for all those who have had it up to their eyebrows with all the petty infighting, party-first agendas and hyper-partisan wheel-spinning that are keeping the government from doing the people’s work”.  I wish they were more disciplined about limiting the federal government’s roles, but perhaps that will come later.  For now, their efforts to encourage non-partisan problem-solving are worthwhile.
  8. A demand for election reform? Congress won’t do it, so we need a citizen-driven Constitutional Amendment along these lines: “Candidates for elected federal offices shall accept campaign contributions only from individual citizens. Campaign contributions by businesses, political action committees, labor unions, trade associations, and other groups shall not be permitted. All campaign contributions must be made a least one month prior to the applicable election, and full disclosure of the amount and source of each contribution shall be posted online at least two weeks prior to the election.”
  9.  A demand for congressional reform? Unfortunately, Congress won’t reform itself — the members love things just the way they are.  So, once again, we may need a citizen-driven reform movement like the one outlined here.
  1. A demand for fiscal reform?   Politicians find it all too easy to engage in deficit spending.  Voters want goodies, and they don’t like taxes.  So, give them the goodies, lower their taxes and let the next generation worry about the rising national debt.  Congress won’t reform itself despite the efforts of groups like Fix the Debt.   Deficit spending will never stop unless citizens rise up against the political class and impose a Constitutional Amendment like the one being pushed by the Compact for a Balanced Budget.

Is this the best we can do?

Clinton & TrumpHillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

That’s the best America can do in 2016?

Will we elect a self-serving and scandal-ridden career politician who will say and do anything to achieve power and money?  In other words, elect President Clinton and get more of everything that is wrong about American politics?

Or will we elect a crude egomaniac who preys on our fears and prejudices and apparently has no principles, guiding philosophies or respect for anything other than himself?  In other words, elect President Trump and risk taking American politics from bad to worse?

It may be too late for us to avoid having to face such a depressing choice in this election year.

Regardless of how this election ends, could non-partisan citizen-based movements like No Labels give us the tools we need to save our country from the career politicians, crony capitalism, political parties and partisan media?

 

Only in government!

In Phoenix, three city officials have been “disciplined” for  sloppy and incomplete staff work. The punishment?  Suspension with pay for a day or two.  A couple of days off with pay.  Only in government!

Bureaucrats Politians Sowell

Freedom & the right to earn a living

freedom 2

The Goldwater Institute, a libertarian think tank in Phoenix, strikes another blow for freedom with its proposal to reduce unreasonable government regulations.

The Right to Earn a Living Act would reverse the current rule that forces people to prove that they should be free to run a business, and instead would require the government to justify restricting people’s economic liberty.

See the full report here:

http://goldwaterinstitute.org/en/work/topics/free-enterprise/entrepreneurship/right-to-earn-a-living-act/

We need a problem-solver, across party lines

I just joined No Labels’ New Year’s resolution to elect a Problem Solver as our next president.

Click here to join me: http://hq.nolabels.org/page/s/newyearsresolution

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