Thursday, February 2, 2017

Political ramblings

I spent quite a bit of time and energy in October and November thinking about the election.  This was such a crazy election.  I wasn't happy with our choices.  I actually got involved in some conversations and had some thoughts to share on FaceBook.  Here are a few of those:

October 12, 2016
More thoughts on government.... This is from "The Proper Role of Government" by Ezra Taft Benson (not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints): "No one has the authority to grant such powers, as welfare programs, schemes for re-distributing wealth, and activities which coerce people into acting in accordance with a prescribed code of social planning. There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to the government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me..."
"...Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing wealth and providing so-called 'benefits' for some of its citizens, it then becomes a means for what he (Bastiat) accurately described as legalized plunder."
"Bastiat's explanation of this legal plunder:
When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it --without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud--to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated, that an act of plunder is committed...How is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives to the other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime..." (The Law, p. 21, 26; P.P.N.S., p. 377).
On Government Cannot Create Wealth:
"Students of history know that no government in history of mankind has ever created any wealth. People who work create wealth. James R. Evans, in his inspiring book, The Glorious Quest, gives this simple illustration of legalized plunder:
Assume, for example, that we were farmers, and that we received a letter from the government telling us that we were going to get a thousand dollars this year for ploughed up acreage. But rather than the normal method of collection, we were to take this letter and collect $69.71 from Bill Brown, at such an address, and $82.47 from Henry Jones, $59.80 from a Bill Smith, and so on down the line; that these men would make up our farm subsidy. Neither you nor I, nor would 99 percent of the farmers, walk up and ring a man's doorbell, hold out a hand and say, 'Give me what you've earned even though I have not.' We simply wouldn't do it because we would be facing directly the violation of moral law, 'Thou shalt not steal.' In short, we would be held accountable for our actions."
The Proper Function of Government:
"The proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily the mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created b"y man. No man possesses such power to delegate. The creature cannot exceed the creator. In general terms, therefore, the proper role of government includes such defensive activities, as maintaining national military and local police force for protection against loss of life, loss of property, and loss of liberty at the hands of either foreign despots or domestic criminals."
"It also includes those powers necessarily incidental to the protective function such as:
1. The maintenance of courts where those charged with crimes may be tried and where disputes between citizens may be impartially settled.
2. The establishment of a monetary system and a standard of weights and measures so that courts may render money judgements, taxing authorities may levy taxes, and citizens may have a uniform standard to use in their business dealings."

October 14, 2016
Okay, so I thought it would be important to get some thoughts out there, especially since it seems that several of you are now thinking about voting for Evan McMullin or another 3rd party candidate. I don't blame you, because Clinton and Trump both have deep character flaws and unfit for presidency. The thought of either one of them as president scares me. Yet, we still have to vote and have a lot at stake in this election. I have been having a hard time deciding about how I should vote. Should I vote for someone who has very little to no chance of winning, but who is of good moral character? Or should I vote for the candidate who is immoral, but who I agree with on the issues? Ultimately, the goal is to defeat Hillary Clinton, as I think under her presidency we would see many of our freedoms lost. She also supports late term abortions, and I can never support that. The most telling moment in the last debate was the question on appointing supreme court justices. Trump said he wants to appoint someone who would uphold the constitution. I think Hillary will nearly rip it to shreds! It's easy to jump on the McMullin bandwagon. I like where he stands on the issues and seems to have good moral character. He's a feel good candidate. I wish he was the Republican nominee, but he is not. I wish Trump would have stepped down and we could replace him, but that's not happening either. I do think that McMullin has a chance of winning Utah and shaking things up, but the scenario in which he even has a chance of winning still depends on Trump winning all that he can. If either candidate reaches 270 electoral votes, the game is over. So here is the important thing: If you live in a red state or a swing state, you need to vote for Trump. If you live in a blue state, as I do, you might be able to afford a conscience vote for 3rd party. But if (and only if) you live in Utah, it might be a risk worth taking to vote for McMullin. I don't think he has a chance of winning any other state. It's too late in the game. But if he could win Utah... that's a huge game changer. I know what the rest of you are thinking - "I can never support Trump." As much as you despise Trump, you have to realize that he individually does not represent the Republican party! We are part of a team, and we just happened to get a rotten captain. We have to look beyond the person and think about what's best for the team. Are you willing sacrifice and take one for the team? I know who the millions of babies who are aborted (and never have a voice) would vote for! You might be voting for Trump in name, but what you are really voting for is our right to life and liberty and the principles on which this nation was founded. You don't have to be ashamed to vote for that! Think about it. And think really hard about voting 3rd party - a McMullin vote in red states swings in favor of Hillary.

November 10, 2016
I have read many bitter and hate-filled post-election posts (and pre-election) about Donald Trump. It doesn't bother me that people are expressing disappointment, anger, or fear. I understand the feeling of not knowing what the future of our country has in store, what the consequences of new policies will be, what kind of change will come, or what kind of leader Trump will be. We don't know. What bothers me is the continuing hateful rhetoric, labeling, and divisiveness expressed. I find it a bit hypocritical that the things that people continue to bash Trump for are the very qualities they are displaying. Labeling all those that voted for Trump as racist, bigots, Muslim haters, or whatever. That's not okay. Cursing and name calling are not okay. Posting mocking pictures of Trump is also disrespectful. Making fun of the color of his skin, his hairdo, his hand gestures, the way he talks. How is that any different than the claim that he has mocked the disabled? He has not, by the way. Let's rise above the resentment and hate. We're better than this. You don't like his character. I get that. He has said some things that are really inappropriate. He has been called out on that and hopefully this has been a wake up call that the way we speak and behave does matter. But you also have to realize the role the media has played, in bashing him and and searching for every instance where they could tear him down. And in many cases, they have been false accusations. People continue to hold on to the stories the media has fed them. For instance - allegation of raping a 13 year old. Not true. Other women coming forward, claiming sexual molestation. Did you see that in the Project Veritas videos how they had women in place ready to come forward and make false accusations? Mocking a disabled reporter - he didn't do that. The media spliced together a photo and video clips of a gesture that he has used on more than one occasion. Here is the real story:…/ Does that change your perception of his character a little bit, knowing that he was NOT mocking the disabled, that he did NOT rape anyone, that he has been falsely accused? It doesn't change what we have seen that IS a true representation, but do you think that maybe the media and the late night shows have shaped a really negative and unfair perspective about him?
The one that is really convicting is the video of locker room talk. There's no getting around that one. That's completely unacceptable. The spotlight was shined on his past sins - it nearly cost him the election, as many in his party turned their back on him. I did, for a while. I ultimately decided that it was more important to vote for the party's platform, realizing what freedoms were at stake if Trump lost. I am still worried about what kind of leader Trump will be, but I think we need to stop focusing on his character flaws. We all sin and have probably said or done embarrassing things. He who is without sin can cast the first stone. It's not our job to cast stones. Our job is to forgive. Let God judge and punish. You might say, "But I just can't forgive him for ________" (insert something bad he said or did). Jesus forgave a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. I'd say that was a pretty big sin. Yet Jesus teaches us about forgiveness and how often we should forgive others (even 70 x 7). If we don't choose to forgive, we're going to carry around a burden on our own shoulders. Eventually, we need to let it go, to move forward. I would hope that we can get past the hate and resentment and divisiveness. Choose forgiveness. Choose not to be offended. Choose kindness. Choose hope. Choose to make yourself, your families, and communities better. We can do this!

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