Making a choice in November

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Two articles today provide some interesting and worthwhile information and perspective on at least two of the candidates running for President in November.

The first, Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice, makes its argument from a Christian and religious perspective. I know there is at least one regularly reader of Behind the Black who will agree with this author’s arguments wholeheartedly, and I will say that the essay at the link provides some very compelling arguments in favor of voting for Donald Trump. While he makes many very effective arguments, especially on the issue of the the Supreme Court, I think for me his most effective point comes when he asks “How can we know that Trump won’t change his mind?”:

My reply is that we can never know the future conduct of any human being with 100% certainty, but in making an ethical decision like this one, we should base the decision on the most likely results. In this case, the most likely result is that Trump will do most or all of what he has said.

In the history of American politics, candidates who have been elected president have occasionally changed their minds on one or another issue while in office, but no president has ever gone back on most of what he has promised to do, especially on issues that are crucially important in the election. In this election, it is reasonable to think that the most likely result is that both Trump and Clinton will do what they have promised to do. That is the basis on which we should decide how to vote.

And notice how Trump has changed his mind. He continues to move in a more conservative direction, as evidenced by his list of judges and his choice for vice president. Just as he succeeded in business by listening to the best experts to solve each problem, I suspect that he has been learning from the best experts in conservative political thought and has increasingly found that conservative solutions really work. We should applaud these changes. [emphasis in original]

The second article, Gary Johnson: ‘Religious freedom, as a category’ is ‘a black hole’, I found very disturbing, in that it shows that this libertarian candidate sees nothing wrong with using the power of the federal government to oppress religious people over matters of conscience.

Neither article is convincing, but both are worthwhile tidbits of information that I think each voter who values freedom and the Constitution should consider.


  • Cotour

    Is it possible that Wayne Gruden may have been reading Behind The Black for the last couple of months?

    Its possible, his logic and conclusions are reasonable and sustainable regarding this particular subject. Hopefully a significant majority of Americans have simultaneously come to the same conclusions and are thinking in similar ways.

    I believe that is not as crazy a concept as some might think.

  • wayne

    Yes– this is very interesting. Good topic.

    I would speak to the Gary Johnson thing, briefly. (I do have a LOT of problems with him personally and if I were to vote Libertarian, it would be in spite of him and only to help them with future ballot access.)

    The Libertarian Party is akin to the DNC in organization, in that it is a loose coalition of a number of schools of thought, that run the gamut. (same with the RNC)
    Whereas the DNC organizes disparate groups on victim-status, Libertarian groups generally organize along the Freedom/Liberty spectrum.
    –But that is not monolithic by a long shot and not internally consistent within the Party structure, or individuals who identify as “libertarian,” with a small L.
    (Same as most traditional “democrats” don’t identify with leftism, and traditional republicans who don’t identify with crony-statism, but they identify with the respective National Party’s.)

    Economic Libertarians organize along free-market lines.
    Social Libertarians organize along “social-issue” lines.
    Anarcho-Capitalists organize along anarchistic-lines.
    and so on and so forth… they overlap to a high degree, but also as well, they do not.
    (Use multiple Venn diagrams to visualize this.)

    In another post, I was emphatic that our Founders & our Country was organized along “libertarian” lines, and I do believe that, but should have clarified further–

    Classical-Liberal thought is free-market, but is also well informed by our Judeo-Christian traditions and heritage. It’s libertarian at it’s core and as well acknowledges the role that our religious institutions play in representing traditional moral & ethical action and restraint.

    Social Libertarians in contrast with Classical liberal thought, differ greatly on topics such as “sex,” abortion, drugs, etc. (We should debate all these things, but be cautious about what we enshrine into Law, and what we try to collectively set moral/ethical standards of behavior, short of Law. –social/cultural pressure.)

    And there is also a fringe element which identifies as “Marxist-libertarians,” –which I have no clue along which lines they organize.

    Not defending the craziness that often occurs with large L Libertarians. (alex jones is very popular with a certain segment) but rather trying to illustrate how the national Party is cobbled together and with the provision “always be aware.”

    Losing my train of thought but– point is, labels literally mean nothing these days. They can inform you to a degree, but you really have to look at someone’s actual record and make a decision or projection.
    For me, Garry Johnson doesn’t necessarily represent my definition of “libertarianism,” but he is “better” than Trump or Hillary,
    –but as well—- I’m in the camp which does not want to support any of the “lessor of 3 evils.” Haven’t decided if Johnson “crossed over” a line in my head, but as I said above, IF I vote libertarian, its with no hope they would be elected & just to support ballot-access.

    –I am a Conservative first, with a heavy libertarian bent. (I’m also largely an atheist, but I don’t fear the Church. “Thou shall not steal, kill, covet, etc.” That’s all just pure common-sense and good old morality/ethics. Wherever it came from. and I want that part of our culture taught and transmitted as best we can without getting all Totalitarian on people.)

    Maybe I am more of a purist than I acknowledge, but for me, I just have some lines in the sand I am no longer willing to cross anymore.

  • Cotour

    Wayne, I boil your comment down to this one sentence:

    “–I am a Conservative first,”

    I would think it might more accurately read:

    “I am an American first” (?)

    And that might be the more clarifying approach to solving your conundrum.

  • wayne

    Cotour– (tangent– in another post I shilled for the Sleeping Bear National Shoreline Park, which is apparently referred to as “the Mayberry of Michigan,” by one (NYC) master-chef, — included in the video-link. Thought you might enjoy that.)

    Yes, ” I am an American.” (period)
    Unfortunately that phrase means a whole lot of different things to different people. (The left has totally co-opted our language.)
    I’m just not down with Trump, and pretty sure that won’t change.

    Interesting take on the two Conventions (in another thread)– I watched more of Trump than Hillary but generally in your time-frame as well.
    I would tangent and say– the DNC did a good job of presenting themselves in a “positive light.” The Content was bunk, but it was delivered quite well. I must say. (watched enough…it was all I could handle without my eyes exploding onto the screen.)

    And the audience they are trying to reach, is not any of us–it’s the less-informed people. Not being elitist but that’s just the way it is.

    Trump does not have a lock on this, at least, not today.

  • Kirk

    Mr. Trump is quoted today saying, “If you really like Donald Trump, that’s great, but if you don’t, you have to vote for me anyway. You know why? Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court judges. Have no choice, sorry, sorry, sorry. You have no choice.”

    No Mr. Trump, I do have a choice and I will not be voting for you specifically because of statements such as this. I know you believe that you are running for the office of Dictator, but you aren’t there yet.

  • wayne

    a hearty “well stated.”

  • Localfluff

    He must be phrasing himself like that on purpose to get media attention. Media bites everything they can attack him on, so he leave his statements vulnerable in order to get massive free time in liberal media (who’s viewers he want the most). The Russian statement, which stole some of Clinton’s nomination news volume, is getting cold, so time for a new one today: “Americans have no choice”. Media wants Trump news to get eyeballs, and Trump give them harmless easy valuable news stuff on a regular basis. If they weren’t saturated by this daily candy, Media might’ve had time to take some uncontrolled initiative on their on.

    And all these attacks against Trump are without damaging effect, they are too small. They can be explained as sarcasm or as a familiar way of expression. Voters have no choice because the alternative candidate is so crooked. No one will care about this phrasing in November, it will forgotten in a week. What remains is Trumps total dominance in mass media, which Hillary seems to want to avoid.

  • Phill O

    For those not wanting to vote for Trump and make it easier for Hillary to win, look to Canada. We are in a s-t load of economic trouble because we voted a very left wing gov. in nationally and in Alberta.

    I do not like billies, but have worked for them successfully and was promoted rapidly. I have worked for some like the Clintons (suck up, s-t down) and they were disasters.

    I can not write anything any better (not near as good) as the article Bob listed. Many may not agree with all the arguments, but the supreme court one relates to a fascist party taking complete control of the USA; and it will not stop there!!!!

    This election will require extensive thought to the long term.

  • Cotour


    The perception machine pushes on:

    Its Trumps to loose IMO.

  • Cotour


    I explained it like this to a Liberal lady friend who is confused about the politics of the day. You must see the election as not shopping for a boy friend or a husband (or a girl friend or wife for that matter), you do not have to “like” him you are shopping for a metaphorical hit man to take care of business. Period.

  • Alex

    Michael Savage says: “Liberalism is a mental disorder” and he is right.

    A word from an European foreigner to all Americans. Your personal vote in November is very important, also for rest of world.

    Please end the socialist way that your country has gone in last decades, end the political correctness stuff, end the multicultural experiments, also pressed on Europe, end your stupid and dangerous military actions all over world, please respect Russia and its interests, withdraw from many places, give free some states in Europe and Asia. Encourage these countries to be a sovereign partner and not one of your puppet states.
    All summarized in one short phrase: VOTE FOR TRUMP – the last hope for western civilization!!

  • wayne



    What do you think of that Alexander Dugan guy? (Is he still pretending to be an academic?)

  • Cotour


    But “security” officials trusted Obama with security briefings? Trust Hillary with security briefings? Both Obama and Hillary are surrounded by verifiable Leftists and what could be solidly argued as by Muslim Brotherhood operatives, and Hillary herself has demonstrated gross / criminal negligence with actual secure information transferred on her own ILLEGAL server. But they do not trust Trump.

    More perception machine operation?

  • Phill O

    Cotour “More perception machine operation?”

    One supervisor told me that truth means nothing but perception is everything. Darned passive aggressive blockhead. Never liked him. Give me a bully any time for a supervisor.

  • Cotour

    Don’t shoot the messenger.

  • Laurie

    The quote from Jeremiah speaks to praying for the welfare of the state, and then the substance of the article focuses on what is good for Christians. This is fair insofar as they should be more or less the same thing – just so that is clear.

    That said, history is replete with overthrown nations, kingdoms, societies … any vote is good for the (continuation of the) system, and while I do believe that changing the system from within is what Christ lived *and* taught, there clearly comes a point where systems collapse. To be clear, we’re not there yet, but always finding a way to justify voting for the lesser of two evils is one sure-fire way to ensure the end comes.

    So no, I’m not convinced.

  • Cotour

    Related, my email this morning:

    After having a conversation with a very successful computer engineer friend (Google, Intel, Adobe, Apple, the real Mcoy) from California the other day, who in a short conversation unambiguously agreed with me on 5 or 6 political topics but will still support the Democrat presidential candidate because he sees the Republican candidate as being “unstable”, I have had to totally reconsider my thinking on my political positions. If he can agree with me on the issues but comes to a different conclusion about what is politically “best” and is willing to push our country much further down the socialist road by voting for a self described “progressive” liberal (socialist), much like Bernie Sanders and our current president who has helped deliver our country to where it is today, then I surely must reconsider my positions. Here are the first 10 positions I have restructured. How many do you agree with?

    1. America is best when it “leads from behind” (Barack Hussein Obama).

    2. I now think that the borders should remain open and allow anyone to enter the United States without knowing who they are or why they are here or when they might want to leave. America does not belong to only the Americans, it belongs to the entire world.

    3. I think that Hillary creating her own separate, non secure email system and communicated our governments business over it is a non issue and the 30,000 emails that she chose to delete are probably none of anyone else’s business. All Secretary’s Of State should do the same and none of their communication work product need to be owned by the United Sates government / people.

    4. I now think that a 19 TRILLION dollar government debt is of no concern to me.

    5. I think that we all need to pay more taxes in order to provide all of the living expenses and health care for all new arrivals from the Middle East in addition to the people freely entering our country from South of the border and of course our own 43 million food stamp recipients and social welfare dependents and their growing family’s.

    6. I think that any bank like, Goldman Sachs or lobbyist representing any interest should be able to pour as much money as they want into the bank accounts of any politician or their Foundation’s in the form of “speaking fees” or any other type of financial instrument.

    7. I now believe that releasing 150 BILLION dollars to the Iranian’s so they can rebuild their country, buy new planes (hopefully American), develop their nuclear infrastructure so they can have nuclear weapons and the missiles to launch them is in the best interests of America and the world in general.

    8. I now believe that American history and its “white” founding needs to no longer be taught in school because it is racist and the Constitution be rewritten because it is 240 years old and does not reflect our modern society.

    9. I now believe that if you are an Ambassador for the United States government and installed by the Secretary of State in a dangerous country and you find yourself in dangerous and life threatening conditions, you are on your own, you should have known better.
    All requests for military intervention in order to rescue you or your underlings lives will be considered as an unnecessary military
    aggression by American forces.

    10. I think that the country and the world for that matter would be a better place if the United States Supreme Court were populated with a majority of philosophical Liberals and Leftists in order to restructure the Constitution in the way that reflects better our modern world.

    So the subjective “sanity” and style of a candidate is now my determining metric for choosing my preferred leadership and not demonstrable damaging long term political actions and philosophies. Thank you Joe for awakening me to my mistaken and faulty thought process, I will let you know how it works out :)

  • Edward

    (Alex, if it is America that is so aggressive against Russia, what was it that Russia did to Crimea, and is doing to the Ukraine? Do you think that only Russia’s interests are important and no other country’s interests are?)

    From the first essay: “In this election, it is reasonable to think that the most likely result is that both Trump and Clinton will do what they have promised to do. That is the basis on which we should decide how to vote.”

    Since Trump has a wide variety of things that he said that he would do on each topic, most mutually exclusive, then we can be sure that no matter what Trump does, he said that he would do it.

    The author failed to explain why voting for Trump’s form of tyranny is morally right, but then again, Christianity has an amount of top-down rule, and it accepted monarchs and tyrants for two millennia, so accepting Trump is no stretch.

    From the first essay: “Now that Trump has won the GOP nomination, I think voting for Trump is a morally good choice.”

    Trump was not the moral choice before, but now that he is the Republican nominee he suddenly becomes moral? I laugh at such (il)logical thinking.

    From the first essay: “If this election is close (which seems likely), then if someone votes for a write-in candidate instead of voting for Trump, this action will directly help Hillary Clinton, because she will need one less vote to win.”

    Well, that same logic applies to every other non-Clinton candidate as well, so go ahead and feel no guilt in voting for anyone other than the RINO.

    As for Johnson being a less than perfect conservative, well, that has been Cotour’s point all along. He believes that conservatives should either vote for the perfect conservative candidate, or else vote for the liberal Democrat masquerading as an imperfect conservative candidate, but never, ever vote for the imperfect, actual conservative. This essay advocates the same strategy, guaranteeing liberal Democrat rule. Go figure.

    As for the Supreme Court topic, well, look at the Justices that (actual) Republicans, who are far, far more conservative than Trump, have put onto that embarrassingly disreputable board, and how those same appointees have betrayed us. What makes anyone think that the liberal Democrat RINO, Trump, will put anyone better on that court? What is more, who among us thinks that the treacherous Republican run Senate would mind putting yet another latent (or blatant) Democrat onto the court?

    Phill O wrote: “For those not wanting to vote for Trump and make it easier for Hillary to win, look to Canada.”

    Trump looks to Canada for his good ideas, too. He thinks Canada’s healthcare system works, and is likely to replace Obamacare with a US version of Canadacare. Thus, for those wanting to vote for Trump to win, look to Canada, because that is what he brings.

    Face it, everyone, the Republican Party has failed us completely. Their candidate is so bad that he needs multiple arguments excusing his liberalism, donations only to Democrats — not conservatives or real Republicans — and he needs justification that everyone else is supposedly worse. This means that Trump doesn’t come close to nearly being far second for a good choice.

    The fact that the Republican Party has chosen to become another Democratic Party, running its own liberal Democrat candidate, does not make it any more moral to vote for their liberal Democrat candidate. In fact, it only encourages and rewards the immoral act of placing RINOs on the Republican ticket. Now we have two liberal Democrats on the ballot, and the liberal Democrats have most of the country convinced that we must choose between only those two — practically the same person. That is hardly freedom of choice.

    What a crock.

    Welcome to Obama’s America, land of the formerly free.

  • wayne


    Good stuff, once again.

    – I tend to think the Repub Party is terminally-ill and it’s just a matter of when it actually dies. It’s sort of the “GOP-In-Name-Only” Party, now.
    -There’s going to be a whole bunch of pure-craziness for the next 100 days, and then it will totally morph into a Twilight-Zone marathon. No matter who is elected.

    Obama still calls the shots until January 2017. (They are prepping the Presidential Pardon List, with haste. Remember the type of people Bill Clinton pardoned, “scoundrels & thieves’.”) And lets not forget the lame-duck congress– the same “usual suspects” will have time to do all sorts of additional damage.

    I’m totally convinced,– I can only worry about the down-ballot & try and help who I can Local, State, Nationally, and– it’s absolutely time to pull the “Emergency Tyranny Override Escape Hatch,” known as an Article 5 Convention of the States.

    The list of States solidly on-board is growing and has been doing so, Republicans hold more elected offices since the Civil War, and a Convention of the States does not involve anyone or anything connected to the Federal Government.
    -Each of us lives’ in a sovereign State of the Union, the States created the Federal Government and now it must be the States who fix it.
    -There’s only two legal way’s to amend the Constitution, the 2nd way was inserted specifically to enable the States to override the Federal Government if it became tyrannical and top-down.

    slight pivot– I’ve been trying to read a bit more in depth on the period preceding the formation of the Republican Party & the 1860 Republican Convention in particular.

  • Edward

    “Republicans hold more elected offices since the Civil War, and a Convention of the States does not involve anyone or anything connected to the Federal Government.”

    We can only hope that the local Republicans are not as liberal Democrat as the national ones. Otherwise, all is lost.

  • wayne

    Yes rampant rino-ism is pervasive, but it’s somewhat easier to keep track of & hold them accountable, on a local level. (“somewhat”)
    I forget the exact number, but there are 20+ State Legislatures, controlled by Republicans & with (mostly) Republican Governor’s, who have already passed their own enabling legislation calling for a Convention of States.

    The movement has been relatively organized so far & there is model-legislation already written, so everyone will be on the same page going in. (as to calling a Convention and adopting the Rules, before hand.)

    I did over-state one item previous; Congress’ only involvement, which is required by law, is to announce when sufficient States have voted to call a Convention. That is their only role, everything else is the exclusive power of the respective States.

    Proposed amendment’s include:
    -Repealing the 17th Amendment.
    -12 year term-limits for all appointed or elected official’s.
    -The power of States to collectively override any Federal Legislation. (3/4th’s of the States concurring with a set time limit.)
    -The ability of States to collectively override SCOTUS Judicial Decisions. (Same as above)
    -Outlawing the ability of the Federal government to consume more than a set percentage of GDP. (with provisions for Wars, etc. but not free-phones or food-stamps.)
    (Mark Levin has proposed 11 Ammendment’s in detail, he calls them the “Liberty Amendment’s.”

    Everything & anything one would ever want to know–

  • wayne

    yes, that remains a problem. ( a big problem, but at least it’s at a local/state level.)

    As we learned this election season– “we” have little influence on a Federal level.

    But, and this is the GOOD news– there are 20+ State Legislatures who have already passed the enabling Legislation, calling for a Convention..

    We ARE in striking distance, it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!!
    (We don’t have to physically storm the beach at Normandy, or go to some other hell-hole overseas, ALL we have to do is get politically active, in our own States, and take back our own damn Federal Government.
    They work for us, not the other way around.

    We need to activate the Tyranny Override Emergency System, known as Article 5. It was put in precisely for what is going on now. They knew “we” would eventually screw this all up, –power always concentrates– they knew that, and they included, as Levin likes to say, “A lifeline to the future,” so we could reign the Feds in.

    Anything you might want to know about Convention of States:

  • wayne

    Rino’s are always a concern!
    The GOOD news is however, some 20+ State Legislatures, have already passed (identical) enabling legislation to participate in a Convention of the States.

    Interesting short essay you might enjoy from the folks at CATO:
    “A defense of 3rd-Part Voting”

    …and a quote attributed to Mark Twain:
    “There is no distinctly American criminal class, except Congress.”

  • Steve Earle

    Wayne said:
    “…–I am a Conservative first, with a heavy libertarian bent. (I’m also largely an atheist, but I don’t fear the Church. “Thou shall not steal, kill, covet, etc.” That’s all just pure common-sense and good old morality/ethics. Wherever it came from. and I want that part of our culture taught and transmitted as best we can without getting all Totalitarian on people.)…”

    Wayne, that also describes me to a “T” (and that’s from a former Sunday School Teacher ;-)

    Cotour, I have had the same reaction from so many here in The People’s Republic of Massachusetts:

    ” I don’t support most of what Hillary wants, but Trump is EVIL, therefore I must vote Hillary…”

    My own mother is in that same camp. When I break down each issue, she is with me, but at the end of each conversation she repeats stuff about Trump she heard on MSNBC and tells me she HAS to vote for Hillary.

    I am working to at least get her in the Johnson/Weld camp. Not that it matters since our state, the home of Fauxcahontas, will, as always, vote Democratic.

  • Cotour


    The Cato Institute piece may make third party voters “feel” that they are making a rational and substantive decision, and I support all dissatisfied Democrat voters to vote for either Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. Its important to “feel” as though you are making some significant contribution to your cause.

    But my position related to this particular election comes down to two simple issues no matter your degree of happiness or distress with either of the candidates.

    1. I am happy and comfortable with where the Democrat party and president Obama has brought our country which is further to the left (read leftist), and I want to continue moving the country in that direction. And I support Hillary Clinton and her competence and experience with continuing that agenda.


    2. I am very, very concerned about the direction that our country has been driven which is way, way too far to the left and although Donald Trump is to say the least an unconventional candidate I am willing to support his candidacy and a at least a four year term in order to attempt to stop the continued push to the left that the Democrat party (the Borg) have so successfully pushed us.

    What these two thought processes will cause to happen numerically to the elector process is probably overall a 50/ 50 effect, that statistic being affected by world wide events, and comments by each candidate at a time much closer to the election date itself. But for me, as for you and most people that read Behind the Black and many, many other Americans around the country seem to agree and have real concerns that the sustained lurch to the left is unacceptable and existentially a threat to us all.

    I posted a sarcastic email above where I was conversing with a friend who I had not spoken to in a while who identifies as a Democrat. In our conversation he agreed with me on every point but came to the conclusion that Trump was not “sane” and would, even though he agreed with me on every issue he was going to support the further slide to the Left.

    (And to be clear I think it must be understood that most people who identify as being a “Democrat” do not understand that the Democrats in power today and lined up behind them are not the same kind of Democrats as they self identify with. The Democrats in power today are “Democrats” in title but are philosophical Leftists. Most do not really understand or are able to make the distinction between the two, they believe they are all one. This is a very dangerous condition and a credit to those Leftists who have achieved it, they really are much better organized and focused than the chaotic Republicans.)

    This IMO illogical logic and justification frustrates me because I believe that this particular election, unlike other elections that are billed as so, really is the parting point where America as it was intended will forever go in a direction that financially and philosophically is very much counter to that intent and will become in time what we all fear and despise, a quasi free socialist copy of centralized government Europe with open borders and catering to those who would destroy us all. All counter intuitive to me and you, and many, many other Americans, of that I am certain.

  • wayne

    good stuff. (People (some) tend to trip-the-light-fantastic, when I mention the agnostic/atheist thing.)

    I used to be more critical of the “Church,” but it’s an Institution that shaped our Country (to its core) and serves to help people keep-a-grip on themselves, and without utilizing Totalitarian State control.
    –I’ve spent a huge portion of my life, attempting to get people to take responsibility for their actions, good, bad, or neutral. Whatever helps them to do that, I support.
    –I do however, absolutely fear Islamic crap-o-la, and will publicly advocate that sufficient numbers of them be killed where they stand, in their own hell-hole countries.

    Yeah… labels are largely useless in this day and age, which is sad & dangerous.

    It’s not my job however, to twist my beliefs around, on a Trump. (That would be his supporters, who should be attempting to persuade me, but they don’t want to. They trash me & attempt to manipulate me with the basest of motives.)

    The CATO article clearly describes our Electoral College system, and–depending on what State your are in–your vote may or may not impact the Electoral College. It’s not a popular ‘direct-democracy’ process by any means, and for good reason.
    The whole point of the original thread– “Why Voting for Trump is a Morally good choice,” is purely about “feeling good” about one’s choice.

    I would also put forth– “The most important election of our lifetime,” was 8 years ago, was 4 years ago, etc…
    That ship sailed, 100 years ago, in the birth of American-Progressivism, and we have collectively done a terrible job of refuting it.
    Even if it was a magical “Reagan + Cruz” Vs. Hillary, ticket this year, and they won— that alone is not going to change our trajectory. One Man, or even “one strong man,” can’t change this mess, it requires we all put forth some effort, and not just every 4 years.
    (We need to activate the Emergency Tyranny Override System and reign in our current overlords and mastermind’s. Just read Article 5, it was put in for a reason & hotly debated at the time.

    as an aside– if we eliminated (smashed!) the 17th Amendment, our Federal Government would again become more, but not entirely, responsive, to the States which created it, as our Government was originally designed.

  • wayne

    Wrote a lengthy reply to Steve and Cotour, but it evaporated into cyberspace, when I pressed “Post Comment.”
    brief aside as well– I get that “identify storefront” CAPTHCA, way more than pure chance, and they are all in a foreign language….

    in brief–
    Steve– I understand and empathize.

    Cotour– It’s Trump and his supporters job, to persuade me.
    It’s not my obligation to support him just because his opponent is a scum-bag.

  • Steve: Cotour’s frustration today in his inability to convince unhappy voters to vote for Trump only demonstrates again my conclusion that the Republican Party is truly the stupid party. (See Part 1 and Part II of my past articles on this during the primary season.) As I said then:

    It looks like Republican voters are going to pick the weaker of the two candidates for their nominee.

    At the time Cotour argued strongly that all the polls would turn out wrong that showed Trump weaker than Cruz against Clinton. He still might be right, but his sudden discovery that there are many voters who hate Clinton but will still vote for her over Trump — and his resulting frustration because of this — should not surprise him. I and many others here at BtB were warning him that this would happen many months ago.

    Cotour: Every single point you make about how terrible Hillary Clinton will be as President are 100% right. The problem is that you (and too many Republicans) choose an extremely weak alternative that doesn’t strike many voters as any better, and for many appears far worse. Even now, I remain unsure of what I might do come the November Democratic primary. Clinton might be more terrible than Trump (I am as yet unsure), but at least if she is elected it will be liberal/socialist Democrats who will get the blame. If Trump is elected the blame will attached to Republicans and conservatives, even if that fact is essentially incorrect.

  • Cotour

    “It’s Trump and his supporters job, to persuade me.”

    I agree 100% with you Wayne and that is Trumps job to somehow accomplish.

    (I have through experience learned its always wise when you have some time invested to select and save, if you can remember. I have also been frustrated by hitting the wrong key and deleting all of my, as you well know, brilliant thoughts and observations :) And Capture is a pain in the ass now and then, but probably very necessary. (A secret, I am a robot. Don’t tell anyone)

  • Cotour


    I still unwaveringly see Cruz as being too narrow a candidate that has not changed and is unable to this day to beat Clinton, and overwhelmingly fails at the “Like me” aspect of the contest. As a matter of fact IMO he will never attain his presidential aspirations if he stays in that narrow classification of “conservative” / ” religious right”. The Senate is his home for the foreseeable future and possibly that is as far as he will go.

    I really can not come up with ANY candidate who might have had a chance to win against the H. Clinton machine. Try to name one other candidate than the “Wunderkind ” Cruz. This election will be / is being fought in the asymmetrical manner and that will be the only way to victory. Trump may be the only American capable of such a feat.

    And as evidenced by my post I AM frustrated with people who define themselves as Democrats but are unable to see where their party has drifted and what it has become. Its a 50 / 50 shot right now and we will all see how that goes right down to the wire.

    If I have to project I must assume that there will continue to be murderous random radical Islamic attacks world wide as well as within our country and our economics are underwhelming, both IMO give the edge to Trump.

    A guess: Trumps next reactionary question to the Muslim who spoke at the convention and asked if he has even read the Constitution: Do you believe in the Sharia? And when he refuses to answer will put the issue to rest. Lets see how asymmetrical this can get.

    From chaos comes order, and there will certainly be chaos!

  • Cotour: You have your opinion about Cruz being weaker than Trump against Clinton. I have polls that said the opposite. In any debate, I find facts always more convincing.

  • wayne

    I occasionally compose in Notepad and transfer it, but yeah– “ghosts in the machine” on occasion and/or pure operator error. And it’s always dangerous when I compose on-the-fly.
    ( It was an absolutely brilliant comment, meticulously composed, edited, corrected, and with links, but lost to cyberspace! HAR)

    yeah– CAPTCHA is required to keep the auto-posting trolls away. I have found– you can do the CAPTCHA first, and then compose. But, sometimes… it just doesn’t pay to be “too smart by a 1/2.”

  • Cotour

    Facts are things that are, a poll is a subjective and sometimes self serving slice of a particular moment in time far removed from reality of the actual end result. The FACTS will be found on Nov. 8th 2016.

    In this debate, the only “facts” you cite are not facts at all. I have seen polls that assert that the earth is flat, that does not make it so?

    An you continuously confuse Ted Cruz, who I like as a Constitutional, Conservative attack dog, with a Reagan like politician. That is not happening with Ted Cruz unless he can soften his rhetoric and persona. Somethings just are what they are. A solid and immutable Conservative will never be a viable Republican candidate nor the president of the United States.

  • wayne


    Trump loves Polls’, he won’t shut up about them, except when they don’t go his way.

    Cruz isn’t Reagan, Reagan was Reagan, a once in a lifetime combination of personality & smarts.

    Now, I really wondering if you voted for Mondale over Reagan.

  • Cotour

    I would have voted for Mondale’s daughter, but alas not Mondale himself.

    I have voted for one Democrat in my life and that person was Ed Koch. I personally liked him and he was in general a good mayor, a real character. I would go so far as to postulate that even the Zman also most likely supported him at least once. (?)

    That’s the thing about polls, when you like them they are good and when you don’t like them they suck because there is no way they can be accurate. We wait to see how this craziest of crazy elections will work out. Out of chaos comes order, one way or another.

  • Steve Earle

    I have to agree with Cotour on this: The polls may have favored Cruz over Hillary VS Trump over Hillary, but as much as I agreed with Ted both Wayne and Cotour are right, he is no Reagan. His speaking style and demeanor need work, both are off-putting to many, and his somewhat erratic decision making evidenced by his choice at the RNC convention….

    I disagree with the idea that no real conservative can become President. As Rush Limbaugh is always saying, we need someone who will clearly and JOYFULLY communicate and defend conservative principles. Reagan was good at that, not perfect, but good. If Ted goes to Charm School and steadies himself as he ages, he might have a shot…. Otherwise the search goes on.

  • Cotour


    Any Conservative, like Cruz, who is perceived as being hard line and a narrow Conservative, with the holy rollin religious component also thrown in will never be the Republican candidate and if he or she were they could never win. I will stick by that statement. He can never develop the broad nation wide appeal necessary to pull it off.

    Reagan was a particularly well groomed and trained communicator starting from a relatively early age, he spent his whole life it seems preparing for his roll as president (I do not mean that in any negative way) and IMO he played it very well.

    At the top of his game he was the best. Reagan knew from his core the issues and he was in fact previously a Democrat until he came to understand what was really going on. Trump is light in that respect, he is a “winner” and will steam roll you to accomplish his goals but does not project that deep Reagan like benevolence and gravitas (something he must work on). Trump is a specialist, possibly the only current person that can give Hillary the loss that she deserves. A different kind of political animal for a different kind of job.

    Reagan wrote a lot and if you remember his speeches they really came with a compassionate, reasoned logic, vision and force from his core. It was like breathing. Ted Cruz will never be that or anything like that. Which is not to say that I do not like Cruz, I like him and admire him in the roll as the hard line narrow but developing Constitutional Conservative, that’s what he is good at. Find what you are good at, and do that.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “The Cato Institute piece may make third party voters “feel” that they are making a rational and substantive decision …”

    It is not a feeling. Democrats do a lot of “feeling.” This is a matter of actual freedom. Each voter *must* be free to vote as he chooses. To insist that the only choice is between two parties is to advocate that all other parties be banned, as no one should be allowed to choose any of them.

    To “feel” the right answer is how someone can agree on every point but conclude a different answer. To “feel” the right answer is to miss the counterintuitive answers — such as man is not the main cause of the now non-existent global warming — self-guilt notwithstanding.

    To suggest that it is *this* election that will determine whether America will be a tyranny is to miss the importance of the 2008 election, in which the elected tyrant actually made this a tyranny. It will take far, far more than a single president can do in even two terms to undo what Obama has put asunder.

    Every time the lesser-of-two-evils arguments are made, I “feel” that my supposedly irrational choice is justified, because I refuse to choose either evil. Both are malicious.

    Steve Earle,
    You seem to be falling into the Cotour trap. Just because someone is not the perfect conservative does not mean we should not vote for him. As long as he is conservative (Trump isn’t even close to it), then he is worth our consideration, and if he is the best choice among the conservatives running, he is worth our vote, too. Perfection is not mandatory.

    Cotour wrote: “Any Conservative, like Cruz, who is perceived as being hard line and a narrow Conservative, with the holy rollin religious component also thrown in will never be the Republican candidate and if he or she were they could never win.”

    Well, that’s supported by so much malarkey. One word refutes the whole statement: Reagan. He won two landslide victories.

    It is obvious from all facts and discussions that even Democrats believe in conservative values, they have merely been brainwashed to believe that conservatives do not. throwing granny off the cliff was actually Obama’s position, not Ryan’s or any other conservatives, yet people voted Obama anyway. All a conservative has to do is convince people of his values, like Reagan did, and people will flock to him. Instead, Obama fooled people and won over two people who would not express their values.

    This must be why Cotour is so confused about the electability of conservatives.

    Cotour’s arguments are some of the worst that I have ever come across. They sound so much like my Democrat friends and family — who share my conservative values, by the way, they just don’t think that they are the values that other conservatives value.

  • Y’know, all these criticisms and complaints about Cruz being raised now were the same criticisms and complaints I heard about him when he first announced his candidacy for the presidential nomination. And what was the conclusion of all those brilliant analysts then? Cruz’s effort is a waste of time, he will never be popular or successful and should just give up! The voters don’t want his brand of “narrow” conservatism! What they want is Jeb Bush!

    Well, those analysts were very wrong. Cruz ended up as the last man standing against Trump, and had only a few things fallen slightly differently, could have beaten him. He did not, which indicates that Cruz needs to hone his game, but none of this history (made up of facts I might remind you) indicates he will “never be the Republican candidate.”

    As I say, I prefer facts over opinions. I am hearing a lot of opinions here, but the facts say otherwise.

  • Cotour

    1. I am arguing strategy here not anyone’s freedom or right to vote.

    2. I do not like the word “Malarkey”, it reminds me of Joe Biden, Joe Biden is a jackass. Please do not continue to use it.

    3. Reagan was not seen as a narrow inflexible Conservative / religious hard liner, Cruz is. Reagan was human, Cruz is perceived as more of a Conservative robot.

    4. “It is obvious from all facts and discussions that even Democrats believe in conservative values,”
    Correct, in my conversations as I have illustrated earlier I can go issue by issue and offer solutions and general philosophies and Democrat and Liberal alike will inevitably have to agree with me. But still can not vote for a Republican because of the general narrow Conservative and religious perception that they have cast in the world. Some women see that narrowness as a threat as do some men. Who is the person that can humanize the Conservative Re[publican?

    5. I am the least confused person that comments on this subject.
    (not to be obnoxious, but I am from New York :)

  • wayne

    Just to clarify slightly– Cruz doesn’t present like Reagan.
    But I find general agreement between Cruz & Reagan’s Policies. And fully assert that an actual Conservative, such as Cruz, could & would win, in a landslide.

    I actually agree with large portions of what Steve & Cotour say, but differ on some interpretation’s & conclusions.

    Cotour– no offense intended–but those “New York liberal democrat-values” just don’t play well in ‘fly-over country’ and they never have. That’s why you get ultra-liberal Republicans like Romney in Massachusetts, or a Chris Christie in NJ.

    Trump is master trash-talker & I’ve pretty much deciphered his spiel, but I would put forward, that’s not how to attract people like me.

    I just don’t trust the guy.

  • Cotour

    I hear you.

  • Cotour wrote: “Reagan was not seen as a narrow inflexible Conservative / religious hard liner, Cruz is. Reagan was human, Cruz is perceived as more of a Conservative robot.”

    Boy, I don’t know how old you are, but you are very wrong here. The exact same accusations you use against Cruz were the exact same ones I heard continuously, beginning in 1975 when he first ran against Ford and continuing endlessly through his victory in 1980 and even beyond. If I wanted to spend the time, which I don’t, I could easily find hundreds of quotes from mainstream press pundits in the late 70s saying exactly what you say about Cruz. All were wrong. So are you.

    Cotour wrote: “I am the least confused person that comments on this subject.” It is always nice to be so certain about things, so right. It means you really don’t have think about what anyone else says about anything, since you are the one who knows.

  • wayne

    I missed a number of comments whilst typing.

    Edward– good stuff!

    Cotour– #3, Reagan was vilified and hated by most everyone in the establishment. It’s only in hindsight & nostalgia that those factoids are glossed over. Reagan “bumbled” a LOT, it was his MESSAGE that resonated. (two landslides.)

    The only people who think Cruz is a robot- are the people who never have and never will support him. I wish he could do Shakespeare in the Round, but I don’t want the reality-tv Guy, I want the kid from Debate Club.

    Mr. Z– well summarized.

  • Cotour

    Cruz is no Reagan nor Reagan like, wrong persona, wrong body of work. Reagan is more an asymmetrical creation, Cruz is and is perceived as an Ivy League manufactured hammered out politician, Reagan was reborn and eventually perceived as having strong principles and compassion and took care of business once the people were able to see it for themselves.

  • wayne

    I missed even more whilst typing.

    Mr. Z– You totally nailed it in your 5:27pm remark.

    All this stuff I hear against Cruz is almost exactly word-for-word what was said about Reagan.
    My god– Reagan was absolutely attacked viciously & non-stop, and by some of the exact same people, who now advise Trump. The EXACT same people.

  • Cotour

    Cruz and Hillary have more in common then Cruz and Reagan. (I can hear the screams of outrage over my key board)

    Other than political affiliation, they are both manufactured Ivy league lawyer / politicians,
    (trained in political symmetry).

    Exactly the opposite of what Reagan and Trump were and are ( Who were and are not politically trained, not lawyers, although Trump did go to Wharton for business, and both Reagan and Trump, in the context of politics are outsiders and are asymmetrical. Trump more than Reagan).

    “Reagan was absolutely attacked viciously & non-stop, and by some of the exact same people, who now advise Trump. The EXACT same people.”

    Thank God the same people who ran against Reagan’s campaign and attacked him are on board, how else do you expect to win? All of that treachery and manipulation is needed to defeat the 30 year and counting Hillary Clinton political ambition machine.

    We are not looking for a lover, we are looking for a hit man or hit woman who can take care of business.

  • Cotour

    This is the next thing that is going to blow up IMO.

    And Trumps one question that destroys this entire narrative of this Muslim lawyer who unfortunately lost his Marine son?

    Does Mr. Khizr Khan believe in the Sharia?

    When he does not or can not answer this question because to do so will publicly alienate him from his religion and make him essentially a marked man, then the duality of the Koran and Islam will be revealed. The Constitution and the Koran are natural and deadly enemy’s as these current news story’s illustrate.

    Mr. Khizr chose to become political and I do not see how Trump allows this to play out against him.

  • wayne


    Are you just being argumentative/inflammatory, or are we seeing the real Cotour, up close?

    I almost got sucked into the chaos, and composed a bunch of text, but then I thought, “you don’t care one way or the other.”

    I’m not going to say categorically, you are a Statist-Totalitarian at heart, but would instead let others make that determination for themselves.

    “From a totalitarian point of view, history is something to be created, rather than learned.”
    George Orwell; The Prevention of Literature- 1946.

  • Jamie Menzing

    We can’t know if Trump will change his mind. We do know that Hillary is a fascist and a liar and will be bad for America.

  • Steve Earle

    Exactly Jamie.

    And just to be clear, I am not a Trump fan-boy, or a Cruz critic, I would have voted/sent money/held signs for Ted. I just can also see his shortcomings, just like I can see Trumps.

    That’s why I said above that Reagan wasn’t perfect, he was good but not perfect.

    I do agree with Cotour that Cruz, had he won the primary, would have been demonized to the Nth degree for his religious beliefs and that same thing will happen to any conservative who runs now. The press and the Dems will attempt to hang religion around their necks as though it’s something to be ashamed of.

    What does that say about our culture that being religious is now seen by at least half the voters as a bad thing…. :-(

    As far as the Khan situation ( KHHHHAAAANNNNN!!!!!!!!!! ;-) WRKO in Boston was saying this morning that there are reports the guy is an Immigration Attorney with a long history of backing Sharia Law and deep connections to the Dems.

    Cotour is right, Trump needs to be smarter with his comments and attacks. He could have attacked Khan on the Sharia Law angle and ended the whole thing right there.

  • Cotour

    Wayne, please elaborate.

    I am sharing my read on the current events of the day. I am interested in strategy and the philosophies and psychology that drives human beings to do what they do in order to prevail. How is that “statist / totalitarian” ? You surprise me.

    Do you find my proposal to confront Mr. Khan with that particular question objectionable? We know that Mr. Khan’s son was a patriot, but that does not indicate what Mr. Khans beliefs are. The sons unfortunate death does not give Mr. Khan, or should not give Mr. Khan, cart blache to say what ever divisive political statement he pleases without push back.

    Know the game, play the game , win the game.

    Steve Earl, you are a wise man.

  • Cotour

    Wikileaks should help in “making a choice” this November.

    I wounder whether if these revelations will back fire or the people of America will understand Hillary in a new and more complete way and reject her tap dancing around things. I suppose the final nail would be if the 30 thousand deleted Hillary emails were released and a portion of them were work related or related to Clinton Foundation quid pro quo arrangements with the Russians or others for their generous “donations” and not about “personal” communications.

  • Steve Earle

    I am afraid we may be seeing the new Cindy Sheehan or Whats-her-name Fluke. Both heros of the left and portrayed as ultimate victims of those Republican meanies.

    If Trump doesn’t squash this somehow we will be seeing Mr Khans face on every station and every newspaper between now and November, and the useful idiots (on both sides!) will cower in fear and beg forgiveness (which will only fan the flames of victimhood)

    I’m already sick of hearing about what a saint he is. Just please go ahead and detonate the Genesis Device already!

  • Cotour

    “He could have attacked Khan on the Sharia Law angle and ended the whole thing right there.”

    I think it will go a bit further and then someone, other than Trump, ask the Sharia question, either in an interview or via social media.

  • Edward

    Cotour wrote: “1. I am arguing strategy here not anyone’s freedom or right to vote.”

    Strategy? For what? How best to turn America into a tyranny? It sure as [ahem] ain’t a strategy for keeping America free!

    It is better to advocate the strategy of voting for a conservative, unless tyranny is the goal. We can’t get liberty without the conservative. That he fails to see that explains volumes about Cotour’s position.

    2. I do not like the word “’Malarkey’”

    If the malarkey fits …

    But, Cotour, if you stop advocating for tyranny, I will stop using the word malarkey. Deal?

    Cotour wrote: “3. Reagan was not seen as a narrow inflexible Conservative / religious hard liner, Cruz is.” … “Cruz is no Reagan nor Reagan like”

    Once again, just because a candidate is less than perfect does not mean that the right vote is for the liberal Democrat, who will bring more tyranny to us, rather than vote for the less-than-perfect conservative. Cruz is and always was better than Trump in almost every way.

    Cotour wrote: “Who is the person that can humanize the Conservative Re[publican?”

    The person that votes for the conservative Republican. Too bad we don’t have one running for president, this year.

    Cotour wrote: “Cruz and Hillary have more in common then Cruz and Reagan.”

    This needs a lot of explaining, considering that Cruz and Reagan are/were both conservative and Hillary is anti-conservative. Diplomas from the same school are not an important common denominator. Cruz and Clinton both start with the same letter, but that, too, is not something in common that matters one whit. Saying Cruz and Clinton have a lot in common is a ridiculous statement of desperation.

    Cotour wrote: “We are not looking for a lover, we are looking for a hit man or hit woman who can take care of business.”

    No, we are looking for a *president* who will restore liberty, not a hit man who will take care of his own business. Such a statement shows that Trump and Clinton are more alike than Trump and Reagan or Cruz and Clinton.

    Cotour wrote: “Mr. Khizr chose to become political and I do not see how Trump allows this to play out against him.”

    Trump may not be as eager to be president as many suppose. He does not seem to be eager to make winning moves.

    Cotour wrote: “Know the game, play the game , win the game.”

    A vote for Trump is a vote to lose the game. A vote for Trump is a vote for Clinton’s Tyranny, it just takes a different path to get there. This is where most people get fooled, they think the different path goes to a different place, but as Yogi Berra said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” Berra was directing the way to his house, and it didn’t matter which branch you took, it came back together before reaching the destination. In a similar way, Trump and Clinton are just different branches of the fork in the road to tyranny. It is the wrong direction for us, both branches lead to the same destination. We want to go back in the direction of liberty.

    This is why I will not vote for a tyrannical candidate, such as Trump or Clinton. Never Tyranny! is becoming my motto.

  • wayne

    Good stuff Edward!

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