I got a call from the Bernie Sanders people on Tuesday. Apparently the phone number for the landline I have was once owned by a Democrat. I played along with the caller like a cat does with a mouse. I wanted to hear how far they would go with the Bernie giveaway spiel. Finally I drew the line when the caller pointed out Bernie's strong position on climate change. I informed her that I had worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and had been following this issue for many years. I went on to point out that despite all the scaremongering, the sky hasn't fallen as Al Gore and the rest swore it would by now if we didn't act. CO2 has gone up but the temperature has not. Fewer hurricanes, not more. After that spanking I let her go.
Bernie doesn't stand a chance to either get the Dem nomination or win the general election if he did. Remember George McGovern? I do.
Now, back to more serious business.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was my early favorite but he bombed out. That left me considering two others, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Rubio has a certain Reaganesque quality when he talks about America and has certainly become an impressive candidate. Long gone are the days when he looked like a deer caught in the headlights delivering the Republican response to the State of the Union Address and pausing to take a drink of water (video). His focus and presentation in the debates has been masterful. And most pundits agree with me that he delivered the best speech from Iowa on Caucus night. For me, he has the best grasp of foreign policy and national security.
But there's one thing I can't get past and that was his big flip flop on immigration amnesty. He ran as a Tea Party candidate for Senate in 2010 repeatedly swearing he would never support amnesty. Fox's Megyn Kelly played the video clips at last week's debate. The bill he co-sponsored would have granted immediate legal status, or amnesty, for illegal immigrants.
Now Rubio says that he understands that border security must come first. Something most of us understood all throughout the debate on immigration policy. After the immigration amnesty debacle in 2006 Senator John McCain personally told Mike's America in 2007 that he understood border security had to come first. But McCain joined Rubio in the 2013 bill that did exactly the opposite.
Having been burned once by McCain, I am reluctant to trust Marco Rubio who also says he has learned his lesson. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Mike's America Endorses Ted Cruz!
The most reliable conservative and the most unapologetic fighter for conservative principles is Ted Cruz. I will vote for him in the South Carolina GOP presidential primary on February 20. After eight long years of Obama's excesses we need a fighter who won't compromise but will seek to rollback Obama's hard left agenda. Cruz is that man.
There are some who say he can't win. These same naysayers might have said the same thing about Reagan in 1980. With a weak candidate like Hillary Clinton, I believe any Republican can win if they stop playing with the same failed GOP consultant rulebook that sent both McCain and Romney to defeat. Democrats know how to target their key voters while Republicans ignore their base and scurry after harder to get votes. If they correct that mistake and target the handful of key states upon which victory depends with a more effective ground game there's no reason Hillary, or any Democrat can't be beaten.
So, I follow the William F. Buckley Jr. rule and support the most conservative candidate who can beat the Democrats: Ted Cruz.
I know he has a tough slog ahead in New Hampshire and here in South Carolina but my vote and support isn't predicated on whether he can win every contest but whether he should!
Finally, I restate my pledge to support whoever the GOP nominee is. I challenge fellow GOP voters to do the same. If you can't then, please don't try and persuade me to support your candidate. We either win this together or we lose.
Here's my column for the local newspaper:
Voters face stark choice for change or more of the same
Voters in Iowa had their say. Soon, voters in New Hampshire will have theirs. On Saturday, February 20 South Carolina will hold the GOP presidential primary. The following Saturday Democrats hold theirs.
The choice between parties, like candidates, is as stark as it ever has been. Vote for one of the Democrats and expect more of the same empty promises and failed results. A vote for a Republican is the best chance for a new way forward. The choice you will make will have a direct bearing on how well you live your life.
Last month my Democrat counterpart in this space talked about Democratic values without being very specific and claimed somehow that they were more “mainstream.” Lotz said their candidate’s “values are America's values.” Always good for chuckle is our Mr. Lotz.
He cited immigration as one example. By that, Democrats mean an open borders policy with amnesty for all illegals currently in the country. Is it any wonder comedians call today’s illegals “undocumented Democrats!” Also big on the Lotz list was “freedom of religion.” For whom? Muslims perhaps but have you seen how Obama and the Democrats attack Christians at every available opportunity? They even struck references to God from the Democrat 2012 platform.
Gun safety was another item on the Lotz list. Who can oppose safety right? But none of the Democrat proposals in the wake of tragic shootings would have stopped those shootings. And under Obama, prosecutions and convictions of those committing gun crimes has gone down. Just as it is with immigration, the problem isn’t the need for new laws, but the lack of enforcement of existing law.
To watch the Democrat’s debate (hidden on a Saturday night) or listen to one of their candidates speak you would hear an endless litany of what is wrong with America and how so many voters are little more than victims who need an all powerful government to take care of them.
Democrats claim to care. I get it. But who doesn’t? The problem isn’t with the plethora of promises they make, the problem is that year after year they continue to fail to achieve results. During the Obama years this failure has been particularly agonizing for groups that Democrats say they care most about: African Americans and the Middle Class.
Among African Americans, who have been promised the most, both the crime rate and poverty have gone up, median household income has gone down, the wealth gap with white America has gotten bigger and unemployment continues to be much higher. Things are not much better for the Middle Class.
Under Obama the rich have gotten richer while the rest of us either tread water or sink. Meanwhile, prosecutions of Wall Street criminals have dropped. Tell me again which party is the party of the rich?
Democrats had majority control of both houses of congress and the White House the first two years of Obama’s presidency and the GOP didn’t take control of the Senate until a year ago. You can’t blame Democrat’s failure on Republicans.
But what are Republican values? Friday is the 105th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan. The Beaufort Federation of Republican Men has invited me to speak at a benefit dinner that evening. It causes me to reflect on the timeless values that Ronald Reagan and the GOP embody.
President Reagan believed in the fundamental goodness of the American people. America is a “shining city on a hill” not a place of despair or systemic injustice. Reagan understood that getting government out of our way and off our backs was the key to a more prosperous society fairer to all. Remember his words “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
He demonstrated that “peace through strength” works and won the Cold War and ended the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Democrats fought him every step of the way.
Any of the current GOP candidates represents a better chance to repair the damage done by Obama’s wishful thinking and far left ideology.