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A Word to the Right Wingers

This message is directed to all of my conservative, right-wing, Christian friends, especially if you voted for Trump. If you are at all even remotely observant, you would have discovered the absolute backlash against you and what you stand for all over Facebook today. All kinds of horrible and vile things are being said about who you are and about your motivations, that you know is completely untrue. Unfortunately these straw men portrayals have been perpetuated by a political party and media wishing to use these attacks as a political tool and an effective campaign strategy. This has been going on for generations, so much so, that it has become a truth to so many people.

You are told that you are the most despicable type of evil that exists, and that you must obviously be motivated by hatred, racism, sexism, you name it. You know that none of these things about you are true. You know your heart and your motivations. You know that there is nothing more that you long for than to end this bitter division and to come together as one nation. But you’ve also discovered, like me, that trying to convince people of your true nature, through words, is pointless.

If you wish to stop this backlash against you, you have only one option–to prove them wrong through your actions. That is your challenge over the next four years. You have to live like Christ lived. You have to accept your victories with grace and reach out in love to all people. You need to make it very hard for their character assassinations against you to stick. As Saint Peter said, live in such a way that false accusations against you don’t make sense. And false accusations will come. They will always come. Conduct yourself in a manner that makes them look silly.

I’m officially going to take a stand for decency. Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of it since the elections. And this saddens me greatly. Screw political parties and their leaders! If we allow them to divide us, we let the WIN! Relationships mean much more to me.


PS: A long time ago, I discovered very quickly that the people who where violently opposing my political stances were doing so based on a premise about what I stood for and my motivations that was completely flawed. I errantly believed that if I could simply reassure them with persuasive word that what they thought about my politics was incorrect that we could at least open up a conversation and find some common ground.
So I became a crusader. I used Facebook, this blog, and other social media outlets as a forum, looking forward to getting a conversation started. But boy was I so wrong. Over time, I discovered that this was not the case. People preferred to hang on to their misconceptions, despite my pleading, and I lost a lot of dear friends as a result of it. When I discovered it was a worthless effort, I withdrew, preferring simply to be an observer. If I’m going to be crucified for my beliefs, I’d rather it be for my love of Christ, not over stupid politics. Only rarely will I make an exception… and I feel that now is one of those times.

PPS: I’ve watched with alarm over the past 24 hours people justify all kinds of retributory acts, including violence, against anybody who voted for Trump and for the Trump presidency. Their excuse is that it’s totally okay if it’s done in the name of “protesting the great evil.” This made me beg the question, what if, just what if, you are wrong about your assumptions of Trump and his supporters? What if he has had a change of demeanor recently? What if it is possible for him to moderate toward the middle while in office? Would that be welcome news to you? Would that provide the proper relief you need to put your fears to bed? Are you willing to put at least a glimmer of a hope that he does the right thing?

Common Ground

Whatever side you are on, you have to admit, this is a WEIRD election. I’m not trying to make a political statement with this piece (so no hate!), I’m just trying to be funny. And I’m not trying to go after your particular chosen candidate (I’m actually jabbing both, an equal opportunity offender.) After decades of bitter political rivalry, it’s good to see the two sides finally have something in common…

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Never Hillary trumps Never Trump

After much consternation, I have decided that I’m going to vote Donald Trump this election. Here is why.

There’s only going to be two outcomes from this election. Either Trump or Hillary is going to get elected. I’m sorry, but no third party will carry a single state, and even if they did, that’s incidental to the amount of electoral votes that person will need to take the election away from Donald or Hillary.

So my only choice is, who would be worse? If you truly believe that moral condition of both candidates is the same, then your point would be valid, it doesn’t matter who wins, the conclusion is the same, might as well write-in Alfred Newman.

I, however, do not believe that the final outcomes will be similar. I am mostly libertarian in my philosophy, my key issue being freedom and liberty. Who do I think will respect religious liberty more, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Well, that answer to me is pretty one-sided, Donald Trump, no comparison. Who do I think will work to protect the life of the unborn? Well we know Hillary Clinton has already said she supports abortion in the third trimester (a procedure that most of Europe has recently banned!) and whose primary donors includes Planned Parenthood. Again, the answer is pretty clear. Donald Trump, while in the past has been wishy-washy on the issue, at least has given lip service to the pro-life cause, and perhaps has made a genuine stance on the issue.

Pick any issue that matters in regards to liberty and freedom, and on all of them, Donald either is equal to Hillary, or he is fares better.

Are there some concerns about some of his stances? Yes, absolutely, especially when he proposes big government solutions to some of the issues we face. Are there some concerns about his character? Uh, yes, but character has nothing to do with policy. Some of the most charming presidents have had some of the worst policy ideas. Again, I’m a pragmatist. I recognize that we’re not electing a Messiah. We can’t get perfect in this world, so the most we can hope for is better and pray that whomever ascends to the position has a heart open enough to hear God’s prompting on their life and their leadership.

For those of you who can’t stomach a Trump presidency, this isn’t a knock on your position, you make wonderful points and raise reasonable concerns. For me, however, a Trump presidency doesn’t scare me. A Clinton one does. That’s the basis for my rational. Now I could be wrong, verdict is still in the air and the election is still a few months away. I’m not a Trumpster nor a Trump hater. I am persuadable and there’s still much that can be done to move my opinion one way or the other.


PS. I’m really fed up with the BS accusations about Trump and the Republicans being racist. If “racism” is the only reason why you won’t vote for Trump, then you are seriously deceived, and quite honestly, intellectually lazy. Since the Republicans have been falsely and bizarrely (bizarre as to how in the world is it allowed to stick without any evidence!?!) of racism, naturally, Trump must be racist by association. It’s intellectually lazy, because it’s become the go-to rhetoric to try and shut up opposition speech when you don’t know how else to combat it.
After his acceptance speech, I can’t tell you how many liberals and blog writers summed it up by saying it was the most racist thing they had ever heard. Which means, they didn’t listen to it, because if they did, there’s no way in the world a reasonable person would have come to that conclusion. Even if Trump is racist, that speech was the furthest from racist one can get! The whole night both Ivanca and Trump pandered to every single minority group, promising policies to help their group on a personal level, INCLUDING the LGBTQ community! The few shots of the crowd (were very quick, because it’s clear even the networks are trying to promote this racist meme) showed an extremely diverse group complete with Asians, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics and Whites. A large contingent of Hispanics were waving signs proclaiming “¡Hispanics para Trump!” Even with this video evidence, I still heard some claim that there were only whites in the crowd! Yeah, I get that that’s what you hope the truth is, but when reality proves otherwise, how can you mentally get around looking at a picture and then calling it what it isn’t?!
If you’re in the camp that’s trying to tell me that his acceptance speech was racist, then it’s obvious that you had mud in your ears, and truth and reality don’t matter to you, so it’s obvious I cannot reason with you.
If you want to PERSUADE me not to vote Trump, use real FACTS, not broad racist accusations.

Super Delicates

super-delicates-cartoon-bhummel-2016

I apologize for the crudity of this cartoon. I’m normally not this vulgar, but it really has become this type of election campaign.


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Trump the Madness

For those who have known me long, you might have picked up on a few things. First, I am a libertarian leaning conservative. Second, I try not to get mired into any allegiances with individual people or politicians. I simply don’t have the stomach for it. And third, while I will frequently sit back and remain quiet, I am very quick to defend, rigorously, truth and freedom.

 

The latest hysteria over Donald Trump is what has me particularly troubled. Reading the blogs that I do, this feverish outrage is coming from both Republicans and Democrats. Look. Donald Trump is a lot of things. He’s insulting, unfiltered, narcissistic, crass, bullying. But he is also NOT a lot of things that have been unfairly attributed to him. Let’s not make him worse than he already is. The reason he is getting this reputation is that so many are WANTING to believe the false narrative put out about him by both the liberal media AND the Republican establishment. That’s what I’ve noticed about politics over the course of 30 some years. We are eager to villianize our opponents. It’s not enough that we have evidence that such politician has a zit on his forehead. Nope, we are going to immediately proclaim that he has leprosy, thereby justifying our poor treatment and quarantine of that individual.

 

Donald Trump has some undesirable traits. But let’s drop the hyperbole and stick with just the facts. Let’s not allow ourselves to get caught up in the mob mentality and be quick to hate. Let’s not assume attributes to an individual so that we can justify our hate. Yes, I’ve seen the YouTube clips. Yes, they are troubling. But they are a string of clips taken out of context to make Donald Trump appear to be somebody worse than he is. Guess what? I can find a string of YouTube clips of words spoken by Barack Obama himself that suggest that he’s the antichrist. Heck, I could probably slice and dice the words of Mr. Rogers, if I wanted, to make him sound like Stalin.

 

The point is, STOP! Take a deep breath. Before you start lashing out all of these hateful accusations against an individual, ask yourself if the means by which you are doing so is not hateful itself? The ironic thing is, I’ve seen several of my friends on Facebook repost a picture of Donald Trump painted naked (with a very small …), complaining about how Trump is so crude. Huh, what? Is not your posting just as crude? Are we to the point where the wrong we proclaim to hate we are allowed to exercise in response?

Are we to the point where the wrong we proclaim to hate we are allowed to exercise in response?

Take a deep evaluation. Where did your ideas about this person come from? Are they based on a personal knowledge of that individual, or have they been worked up by all of the far left or far right blogs and YouTube videos you’ve been watching? Here is what I know. Ten years ago, during the middle of the “Apprentice,” NOBODY would have suggested Donald Trump was any of the things they are now accusing him of being. He was clearly not racist on his TV show (ask contestant Amarosa). He was not bigoted. He was not Hitler. He was not Satan. He didn’t become those things until… he joined the presidential race as a Republican. Suddenly, Donald became all of those things.

 

People loved him back then. They envied his wealth, his influence. They watched his show. They loved the way he said “you’re fired.” And yet we were SOOO willing to forget all of this once the political mud slinging started. How do I know this?

 

I went to Donald Trump’s Facebook page. I wanted to see who among my friends liked it. I was shocked. Some of the most outspoken against Mr. Trump currently liked his page. Both from my liberal and Republican friends. No doubt they liked the page long before Donald entered the race and simply forgot they had done so. What changed? Did Donald Trump change? Or did you allow yourself to get caught up in the hype? (Quick, run to your Facebook and double check this isn’t you!)

 

Sean Hannity made the observation that Donald Trump is very polarizing. You either love him or hate him. There seems to be no middle ground. I’m trying to be that middle ground. I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t revile him either. The point of this blog is not Donald Trump, but the greater picture of the human condition. Let’s together avoid mob think and start searching and standing for truth.

The Force that Is The Donald

trump-go-roundFor the most part, I have been sitting back watching the Republican primary race unfold, a bit detached from everything, and somewhat amused. Reading the copious blogs that I do, apparently, I’m in the minority, as the Republican infighting has become fierce. And at the center of it all is Donald Trump.

It has become quite clear to anybody who is honest that the Democrat party is now the Socialist party of America. I’m not bagging on it, it’s merely an observation, and even honest liberals I’ve talked to say the same thing. The Republican party is going through an identity crisis, trying to decide whether it wants to fill the slot that the Democrats left open, or move back to its classically liberal (and by that, I mean more in the sense of libertarianism… it’s been documented that the term “liberal” has been hijacked by the progressive left, a term once belonging to the Republicans and once standing for individualism, liberty, personal and fiscal responsibility) roots on which it was founded.

And in the middle of this epic battle, enter stage right, Donald Trump! The non-politician, uncouth, politically incorrect fireball has swooned a YUGE majority of Republican voters and the political class cannot figure out why. Liberals are going nuts, eager to exaggerate Trump’s antics in order to further the false narrative of all conservatives being the worst reprobates ever to walk the planet. And with Trump commanding 30% in the polls, it’s not hard for them to try and lump everybody in that camp.

However, let’s peel back the hype a little, step outside our political allegiances, and let’s break this down rationally. This, at least, from how I see the world.

To start, Donald Trump is the product of bully politics, not the cause of it. If you are not a conservative, then you probably do not understand just how frustrating and demeaning it has been when the Democrats and the media successfully tar, feather and brand conservative ideas as being hate-based. Even during the most egregious violations of first amendment rights, conservatives who dared to defend those rights were charged with all sorts of anti-(fill in the people group here). The classic example was when Hobby Lobby questioned why they should be FORCED to purchase something for their employee, simply because she wanted it, when it violated their religious objections (aka, the contraceptions). Heck, I’m against being FORCED to purchase ANYTHING for my employees, let alone something I disagree with. And yet, we were told that because of our LIBERTARIAN and FIRST AMENDMENT stance on this issue, that we wanted to roll back woman’s rights, stick women in the kitchen with bare feet, deny them voting, etc. It was infuriating, because women’s rights had NOTHING to do with the issue, but bully politics was shown to be highly effective.

Pick any issue, and the results were the same. Voter ID? You’re a racist. Religious freedom? You’re a homophobe. Border security? Bigot. Fiscal Responsibility? Hater. Republicans in Congress gave lip service to defending all of these things, but in the end, the false accusations made almost every single one of them cave to the Democrat’s demands. It’s as if Republicans were at the playground, getting bullied, beat up, and lunch money stolen by the mean Democrats. Republican voters are so sick and tired of being bruised and battered. All of a sudden, Donald wanders onto the playground and socks these bullies a few times in the nose, leveling the field a little bit. Perhaps his method isn’t the right way to handle it, but does it matter? Republicans have turned the other cheek so much that they’ve run out of cheeks! They don’t even know if he is a conservative, but they don’t care, he’s taking it to the establishment, and he’s not afraid to fight.

Obama has probably been one of the most divisive presidents in recent history. He has made no bones about the fact that his real enemies are conservatives. Instead of defending truth and justice, blind of partisan politics, he attacks and intimidates conservatives, using every department of the federal government he can get his hands on. You can only beat up somebody for so long before they snap. Republican voters do not want to simply switch the balance of power. They want revenge. They want paybacks. They want liberals to have a slight taste of the injustices they have suffered since 2008. To them, Donald represents that. When liberals began attacking the Donald, instead of cowing like most Republicans, he swung harder. That’s attractive to a lot of people.

Look, I’m not saying this is my position, it’s just my assessment of a lot of voters in the party based upon what they are saying on the various blogs and political forums. I happen to lean more libertarian. I also like to sit and observe, often times with amusement, the political sphere before I come in heavy with assumptions and judgments. I am the perfect portrayal of the political middle, at least from where I’m standing. 😉

It’s debatable whether or not Trump would make a good president. I would hope that before swearing to take an oath of office that he would read through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, from foreword to final period, so that he knows that the president should have limited powers. I do worry that we will trade a left wing tyrant for a right wing one, and I’m not even sure he’s even all that right wing. People point out that he used to be a Democrat and that he can’t be trusted. Well, Reagan used to be a Democrat too, and he turned out okay. Who knows? All I know is that the inclusion of Trump in the race has made this a very interesting election season indeed.

Trump-Go-Round

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Here’s a little caricature. It just seemed to make sense, and for crying out loud, it’s funny! I’m actually not really trying to make a huge political statement with this (it’s okay to let loose once in a while and just have fun, right?)

Do I think the Donald will win the nomination? Who knows. Am I supporting him in the primaries? Well, he certainly isn’t my first choice, no. I’m not sure who I really like, but I like the gumption Carly or Ben are displaying, and I’ve always been a huge fan of Marco Rubio. Regardless, Trump has certainly taken command of the conversation, of the electorate, and whether the Elephants like it or not, he is riding their party on the endless cycle of the American political system.

Transparency

benjamin-hummel-transparency-2015The first time I ran this cartoon, I was very sick and my drawing of Hillary was embarrassing. I’ve since redrawn it and I’m quite pleased with the caricature, in fact, I think it rather funny, which is the point of caricature to begin with.

I cannot say with any measure of certainty, whether or not Hillary Clinton did illegal things with her emails, server, etc. I can make assumptions and I will let the legal experts sort it out, but I am amazed at the absolute lack of scrutiny made by the Democrat party. Seriously, if this were a Republican, his entire party would turn on him and he would be mincemeat within a week, guilty or not. That’s what I’m hoping to draw attention to (draw attention…, see what I did there?) with this cartoon. I am so fed up with the blind allegiance to these political candidates, on both sides. Is it not beyond the realm of possibility that this human being you have put up on a pedestal could have acted inappropriately, if not illegally? Wouldn’t you want to search for the truth, in order to hold everybody accountable? In America, are we all not responsible to the law? Or are those in power exempt?

No more needs to be said than that. Hope you enjoy the cartoon!

Jeffco Schoolboard Recall

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To start out this post, I have to say, I hate recall elections.  They are a blight on the democratic process. I have always been consistent in this. I spoke out when Republicans used the “recall” process to remove two Democrat Senators in Colorado Springs just as strongly as when I spoke out against the Scott Walker recall. It is disgusting, it undermines the will of the people. In the case of the Colorado Springs’ Senators, the excuse was, oh, well, they passed laws that were anti-second amendment. Yes, so did a majority of State Senators, and so did Governor John Hickenlooper. Was it a bad law? Yes, it was a terrible law, but I’m sorry, when you elect anti-second amendment Democrats, that’s what you are going to get. Why should there be any surprise in this?

The same goes for Scott Walker. He spelled out exactly what he was going to do when elected. The people elected him anyway. Then he did exactly what he said he was going to do. And we are shocked, why? Yes, there’s a small minority interest group (with a national, organized powerbase) that doesn’t like what he did, but that should not give them the right to out him like they tried to do.

The same is true for this current Jeffco recall. The conservative school board ran on a platform that included many of the changes they said they would enact. The people who elected them were fully aware that this was the type of board they were going to get. These members did not hide their intentions when trying to get elected. To recall them is to completely disregard the collective will of the people of Jeffco. If they are doing a crappy job, then let that be determined properly and legally, when their term ends and they are up for re-election.

In researching this cartoon, I wanted to get inside of the heads of those behind the recall. I went on their websites. I watched their TV clips. I listened as they spelled out a variety of reasons for the recall.

First, they claim that the state of Jeffco schools is a disaster. I suppose this is subjective, because I, as a Jeffco resident and tax payer, am very happy with the changes. Based upon the increase in higher teacher pay, more local control, and more financial equity among individual schools, to me, it looks like things are actually moving in the right direction.

Secondly, these proponents of the recall kept pointing back to the changing of the AP program and the consequent student walk out. That whole debacle was a manufactured farce to begin with, as I have documented in other blogs. The school board only mentioned they wanted to bring the curriculum up for review, to see if it needed to be changed. The outrage over the review was remarkable. Accountability comes with reviews. To be outraged at the review indicates zero desire for accountability. And of course, the student walk outs, make no mistake about this either, had nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with taking the afternoon off. Most students, when pressed, could not even answer why they were marching.

Another big claim they make is that the board “broke the law,” in regards to the compensation of the new superintendent. My guess is that these people realized that simple policy differences are not enough to warrant a recall, and in order to get enough signatures to hold the recall, if they added “and they broke the law,” people would sign the petition, most likely without even asking questions.

When you say “broke the law,” the imagery most people get initially is probably going to be something like bank robbers with guns. I have not done enough research into the alleged accusation to know if it is warranted, but from what I have read, it sounds much more of a technical issue than anything else, and the conservative board insists that the charges are baseless. If they truly did break the law, then a prosecutor should have already brought charges. And, in case anybody forgot, this is America, where you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. If they did break the law, a recall is not what you need, you need a trial. Due process is guaranteed to everybody, not just those who politically agree with you.

Finally, there is one website that makes the claim that these school board members should not serve as head of public education because (wait for it)… they are Christian. Well, there you go. Didn’t realize that Christian discrimination is a cause for recall. (Granted, it was a line item among several other reasons, but it still caught my attention.)

The point of the cartoon is, there is a lot of good the school board has done, whether the haters wish to acknowledge it or not. This good has been documented. Some mistakes have been made as well, yes, but if we ousted everybody who made a mistake, no Democrat would be holding office (and to be fair, neither would Republicans). This recall is disruptive and ruinous. Achievement rates in Jeffco have improved since these changes have been implemented. The unions who are ultimately behind the recall are destroying the train of progress that has been established. This recall hurts the children most of all. These conservatives have put a system into place. Let’s let it run its course and let these school board members do their jobs.

In full disclosure, I happen to be good friends with one of the conservative board members. Does this taint my perspective? Of course, and I’m willing to admit it. However, because I do know this individual, I can give personal testimony that this person is a good and decent individual, who desires only the best for the children of Jeffco. None of the villainous accusations made against him are true. He is a family man, a genuine guy, and a true American. 

IRS Scandal

In case you live under a rock, or in case you get your news from MSNBC, the big scandal of the day is that the IRS is targeting conservative and Tea Party groups.

Yawn. This is news? I mean, I guess it is in the fact that it’s finally being reported, but no doubt this has been suspected for a long time.

My biggest frustration with all of this is the Democrats. When are you going to start cleaning house? What boggles my mind is that honest, hard working, freedom loving Americans are so loyal to their own party, that they are unwilling to rid it of corruption as it has taken over. I’m sorry, using the IRS as bullies to shut down political opposition (aka speech) during two election cycles is tyranny. There is nothing else you can call it. Sure it’s your guys doing it, so you’ll look the other way, but you same people screamed foul at W for barely even sneezing!

The Republicans have NOOOO problem jettisoning politicians the moment they are accused of wrong doing, whether or not such accusations are even true. Remember Tom Foley? Tom Delay? Dan Maes? Why can’t you Democrats do the same?

Of course, these attacks by the IRS are justified according to Democrat Harry Reid. According to him, because these conservative non-profit groups are sometimes fronted by rich (gasp!) people, they shouldn’t be allowed to qualify like the liberal non-profit groups (fronted by rich people). So, let me get this straight, rich people shouldn’t have free speech protection? Actually, yes, I’ve had some liberals tell me, and with all sincerity, they say money should be removed from speech so that it becomes fair. Then they pat themselves on the back for being so freedom minded.

Money does make speech easier, but guess what, it exists on both sides. Need I remind you that Democrats have outspent Republicans on every major national election since 2006? Money is speech and there shall be NO law restricting it!

Other prominent liberals have justified these IRS attacks by saying violent and racist groups like the TEA party should have extra scrutiny placed on them. WHAT?!? I’m confused. Do these liberals really believe that the TEA party is racist and violent, or are they just saying this as a convenient way to quickly demonize and dismiss their opposition? Every time a liberal tries to pin the TEA party as violent, I ask them, based on what? Can you name for me an actual violent incident involving a TEA party member? I can tell you how many times TEA party members have been falsely accused after any number of terrorist attacks, only to be quietly exonerated later. (Gabby Giffords, Aurora shootings, Boston bombings.) Perhaps they only remember the first media accusations and not the later correction?

And the charges of racism? Sooooo… let me get this straight. Smaller government and fiscal responsibility are racist?

This is a tactic often used by dictators. Falsely accuse your political opponent of the worst possible immorality you can think of. (In America, right now, that’s the charge of racism.) Then because they are so immoral, you can justify perpetrating whatever injustices against them you want, you know, like IRS harassment. It’s how Hitler got an entire German country to turn against the Jews.

What are your values? Forget party allegiance. Take the time to investigate the people on your side and those from the other side. When anyone, Republican or Democrat, engages in unethical activities in order to gain political power, the entire nation should be holding them accountable, not just the opposing party.

Side Note: Phew! Sorry this is so long. But it’s like the adage, a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can even put on its shoes. Lies are easy to spread as one liners on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else. “The TEA party is racist.” Once it’s out there and people start believing it, just saying “no they’re not” will not suffice. Unfortunately, it requires long documentation and rational explanation in order to set the record straight and even then, people are slow to believe. That’s the beauty of cartoons sometimes. They can hammer home a truth much quicker and more poignantly than words.
Post Script:  Even I was subjected to harassment by the Obama campaign. Back in 2008, I posted Obama’s position on Orphan Works based upon a Newsweek article. A week later, I received a phone call (area code New York City) from a lady claiming to be on the Obama election campaign, telling me they were going to sue me for libel if I didn’t take down that post, citing a Time article in which Obama was quoted as taking the opposite position. Of course, I took it down, but does that mean Obama might have read some of my cartoons? Cool.

The Undecided

Okay, so it’s election season and the cartoons have been few and far between. I’m sorry, okay, a lot’s been on my plate lately, and since this is my NON-paid gig, it sits in the backseat.

I am going to make a declaration that may sound outrageous upon first utterance. This Tuesday, I do not think everybody should vote. In fact, I strongly believe that some people should not vote. Now that may sound harsh, and perhaps it is a little, so let me clarify. I do believe that every informed person should vote. That’s a big distinction.

“It’s your right!” come the calls from those who are trying to get one demographic or another to the polls to swing it favorably their direction. Yes, and with all rights, there comes responsibility.

YouTube is full of videos mocking the uninformed voters, people who cannot even name the vice president of the opposing party. (Some who cannot even name the VP of the person they just voted for!) It amazes me when I find out the reasons why people support certain candidates in any given election. Usually it’s because they believe the negative ads against the other person. But other reasons include likeability, swagger, good looks… What is this, the high school prom?!?

And what really boggles my mind is the so-called undecided demographic. How can you be undecided? No one should ever be undecided. Let me break it down for you. You have core values. These can be broken down into economic issues, social issues, and foreign affairs issues. Each party (notice I said party, not person) has made statements about where they stand as a party on those issues. You find out which aligns most correctly to yours and you vote the party ticket.

You and I can disagree on the roll of government, and that’s fine. We can argue those merits based upon our own understanding of history and I’ll let you throw in your vote for the Democrat party. But if you are pro-life, believe in private property rights and favor a strong military, it does not make sense to me that you would vote Democrat, simply because he’s cooler than the Republican.

Every voter should know where they stand on all of the ballot issues before they arrive at the polls on election day. To be reading the questions for the first time is foolish. And then to cast a vote, just so they don’t have empty spaces on their ballot is even worse. Let me clue you in. If you don’t know, don’t vote! An incomplete ballot is still counted! It is perfectly fine to show up on election day and just vote for president (or county sheriff, whichever you’re most passionate about). Your vote will count. And you won’t inadvertently be voting for a cause or person that just might not align with your values.

The founding fathers originally felt that only land owners should be allowed to vote. I certainly am not advocating we go back to this, but they had a point. They knew that if you owned land, you had to be intelligent enough to make that transaction a reality. And an intelligent voter is always an informed voter. There is no national intelligence requirement for elections, nor would I wish for one (I could see abuses in that in a hurry), but people should at least be informed on the issues.

I don’t remember the exact quote, but it’s from Thomas Jefferson and goes something like, “the uninformed electorate are tools in the hands of a despot.” How true that is. If we can be swayed by razzle, dazzle, then only we are to blame when we vote away our freedoms.

 

Happy Halloween

Yeah, yeah, I know. Many of you liberal folk out there would be saying the same thing if Obama doesn’t win the election. It just depends on perspective, I guess.

Political Balance

Extremism exists on both sides of the political spectrum. I’m not really a fan of either, but then again, my world view just happens to be exact center.

I say this in jest, knowing that there are many liberals who actually believe this to be true. They cannot conceive of a world in which their worldview just might be left of center, perhaps even far left. To them, they are the center and everything to the right must be extreme.

In reality, I don’t think the center actually exists. Every issue has a right and left side to it and to be in the center is to say that you simply don’t care. The moment you care is the moment you leave the center.

The danger in thinking you are the center is that you’ll eventually fail to see how far to a certain direction you end up being. This is especially true of the media. Instead of being watchdogs of our country, they are complicit in ushering in the left wing trend that is bringing us dangerously close to socialism. And I’m sorry, but to me, socialism is leftism to the extreme. I want no part of it in this country.

Having the two parties usually provides a good balance in order to keep the country more or less center. However, if any one party becomes successful in tipping us over that edge, it will be next to impossible to ever get back to that balance. I fear that’s where we are right now in this country. This coming election could be the deciding election on whether we finally topple over to the left in a collective heap, or whether we are able to bring about some right-wing balance.

Wait For It

 

Wow. It didn’t take any time, did it? Very shortly after the announcement that Paul Ryan is to be Romney’s vice president, the attacks starting rolling in. I have seen some fascinating vitriol and some amazing charges against Ryan, including the idea that he doesn’t believe in the first amendment, to the idea that he will destroy women’s rights, and of course, the big one, he must hate grandma and grandpa, because he wants to take away their medicare.

Some of these groups launching these attacks tell us that they are more informed than us backwards conservative hicks, as they bring whatever dirt they can find on Ryan to light. So a full time smear machine staff found dirt on their political opponent, that makes them more informed? I suppose if I had a full time smear machine staff, I could bring out all the dirt I wanted about Obama.

But I don’t want to go there. I don’t want this campaign to be about the gutter. There is so much more at stake here. Let’s talk about the issues and truth, and not about trumped up rhetoric. Kudos to Obama, who quieted a booing croud when he congratulated Paul Ryan and commended him on being a decent man. And Obama couldn’t have been more right when he said that this election comes down to two choices. However, Obama was dead wrong when he claimed “their way” has proven to not work. Our way is freedom. Freedom has always worked. American prosperity over the last 200 years proves it.

I could go on forever debunking all of the lies that have come forth from these smear campaigns. But it will detract from the point of this cartoon. I hope for the sake of Ryan’s family that the media and the liberal extremists do not destroy Ryan personally like they did Sarah Palin. But I won’t hold my breath.

The Bain of the Political Season

It is absolutely frustrating having to listen to the droning back and forth between the Romney camp and the Obama camp about his time at Bain Capital. Really?  Have politics denigrated to the point where we are arguing over stupid dates of when somebody left their job ten years ago? I am really trying hard to figure out how this is relevant to saving our country.

I understand the arguments. The Obama camp has accused Romney of a felony for saying he left the company at one date, but then kept working. Typical leftist smear, and even after Romney has come out on CNN to disprove all of Obama’s accusations, the media is continuing to run with the story.

Shame on Obama for this kind of smear politics! But double shame on Romney for getting himself dragged into it. I get it, at some point you have to stand up and say, look, I’m being completely misrepresented here. But come on, this argument has been going on for far too long, can we start talking about issues again? If I were Romney, there are so many other positives about his record that I would parade instead.

The biggest argument Democrats are propping is that Bain shipped jobs overseas while Romney ran Bain. Conservatives countered by saying this occurred after he left in 1999. But aren’t they both missing the point? What about all of the American jobs that Bain DID create? This record is overwhelmingly positive.

And so what if jobs got shipped overseas? Is that not a reflection of just how difficult it has become to hire American help? Between the overinflated union salaries, the herculean hoops and regulations, and the heavy tax burden, it’s becoming harder and harder to keep jobs in America. Certain city governments in America promise to audit all business owners and make their lives an accounting nightmare. And that’s just at the city level. Keeping track of all the different stupid taxes at all the different levels has become a headache. You’ve got property taxes (which are much higher for commercial than residential space), usage taxes (if you don’t know what usage taxes are, look it up, it is one of the most cumbersome and burdensome taxes out there), sales tax, income tax, taxes for hiring an employee, taxes for making certain products, taxes for using certain products, taxes for small animals that live in the area, and on and on it goes!

Then we have all of the regulations, for some industries, so many, that failure to adhere is a certainty. And we are surrounded by people more than willing to enforce these burdens through litigation, penalties and fines. As a result, most businesses simply will cease to exist if they DIDN’T outsource, at least at some level.

It amazes me on how completely ignorant of business most of these Democrat talking heads are. If they’d ever been in charge of a large and successful organization, they would know that the head does not make a lot of the intermediary decisions. These belong to the managers underneath him, and even smaller decisions belong to the managers underneath them. If the head were to micromanage every decision, he would never sleep, eventually burn out and the company would collapse. Thus, chances are high that if in fact overseas hiring did occur during Romney’s tenure at Bain, he probably was not even aware it.

And even if he was, it says to me, more than anything, that he’s a good business person. It shows me that he is willing to take whatever steps are necessary to keep his businesses alive. I would question his judgment if he chose NOT to send certain jobs overseas, ESPECIALLY if the end result was the loss of a business. Which provides jobs for the American people: A business that has had to outsource some of its labor, or a business that no longer exists? It also says to me that Romney must personally know of all of the legal headaches to keeping a job in America, and thus he would know exactly how to fix those issues in order to attract businesses back to America! Right now, I’d much rather have a shrewd manager in our oval office than the economics ignoramus we currently have.

I don’t remember where I saw this, perhaps it was an Obama ad, but basically somebody mentioned that while Romney was at Bain, he made a 15 million dollar profit, therefore, he is not fit to serve as president. I was floored when I heard this. Are you serious? That’s exactly why he SHOULD be president! This demonstrates success. Do we not want success leading us? It demonstrates an understanding of how to manage money. In our financial crisis we are in, doesn’t it make sense that the most perfect person to get us out of this mess is somebody who knows how to do it?

But what angered me more than the fact that they were saying this is that they are gambling on Americans finding the ability to make a profit to somehow be repulsive. Have we really gotten to this point in America, where success is vilified and making a profit is immoral, perhaps even felonious? We have an entire political party that thinks that this is how to get elected, and to me, that is a sad, sad thing.

I don’t normally leave such long blog entries, but this election cycle has me unnerved. While we keep on focusing on stupid minutia such as when Romney left Bain, the real issues that are at the heart of our American existence continue to be ignored.

GOOOOooooo…. BAMA!

This is an illustration I just finished recently for Centennial Review. It was one of my favorites to work on. It’s coupled with the article that can be found here:

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/

Some additional thoughts on my end. The media fawning of Obama is hilarious to observe, which made this cartoon so fun to work on. What blows my mind is how they pretend to be impartial, even balanced. Please! There is no such thing. At least back during the 1700s and 1800s, newspapers took sides and you knew which side they were on and you chose your paper accordingly. Credit Fox for their honesty in that regard. The Media was supposed to be the watchdogs of our Republic. Perhaps now we need watchdogs of the media?

Look, A Recovery!

 

I know that in addition to fabulous cartoons, you, my fans, await anxiously for whatever contrived commentary I will give to compliment the cartoon. So here it goes… Drumroll, please… “This is one of my first cartoons that I’ve painted digitally. It’s quite a different technique than my normal, Adobe Illustrator, renderings. I think I kind of like it.” So there you have it.

Seriously, I cannot watch Barack Obama much anymore without nearly blowing my top. The things that come out of his mouth are almost venom. I know politics are dirty, just ask Aaron Burr, but for crying out loud, to say that capitalism has NEVER worked, and that the Republican’s way of doing things have failed us? Is he for real? How on earth did America become the most prosperous country in the world, if not for capitalism? The numbers don’t even add up. Higher unemployment, gas prices and discouragement now than when he first took office. The only thing lower are home values, which have tanked! If capitalism doesn’t work, then how does he explain the late 1800s, when capitalistic tycoons like Carnegie, and Mellan, and Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller ruled the roost, even then, American prosperity and ingenuity flourished? How does he explain that the greatest advances in science, medicine, cinema, sports and art have all come from a country built on free markets?

Then he goes on and says if it weren’t for those dern Republicans who won’t pass all his jobs bills. Huh, what? What jobs bills? Like the pipeline he shut down? That wasn’t the Republicans! Like all the rhetoric about forcing the rich to pay more? How does that create jobs? (I’ve never been hired by a poor person, just FYI) Like all the stimulus bills? Where the average, so-called, job created cost the taxpayers approximately $200,000? (according to figures put out by the Weekly Standard). Are there more job bills just like these that those evil obstructionist Republicans are refusing the pass that I’m unaware of? If so, thank God for the Republicans!

Everybody points to George Bush and blame him for all the troubles we face now. Only problem is, when you trace the start of the downturn, it just so happens to coincide with Democrats taking control of the House and Senate in 2006. Since then, they’ve been in the driver seat. That’s six years they’ve had and they celebrate at 8% unemployment! What about the 4% we enjoyed in 2006? And while they can claim we are in recovery, the results speak for themselves. As an sales person, I have seen a dramatic drop in sales since 2006 and it has not ever come back.

So what is capitalism and what is it that Obama really opposes? Another word is “free markets”. To be opposed to free markets is to be opposed to freedom. If Obama had at least said something like, “While capitalism has its positives…” I could have respected him a little more. Instead, he cannot concede even the tiniest bit, for doing so will reveal how destructive his redistribution policies are. To say the stuff that he does, I have to conclude that either he is an idiot who does not have a clue about history, or he is diabolical and doesn’t care, because it’s all about the agenda.

Listen, I’m not rich. It’s easy to envy them, and they certainly have their excesses. But I like living in a society that rewards hard work with the possibility of achieving greatness and wealth. I do not want to be punished for achievement. Success should not be immoral, but the way our president spins it, he makes it sound like it is.

Final thoughts. The Democrat Party can sit on their little mound of rocks and call it a recovery all day long, but I think the American people remember what it was like to walk along the edge of the canyon and until we get back to that point, there’s going to be a lot of turnover in Washington.

Green Energy

So let’s see if I have this straight. The green energy company Solyndra receives tons of money from the stimulus as part of the green jobs initiative. A few months later they go bankrupt. Where did the money go? Not sure, but we find out later that Solyndra contributed to Obama’s election campaign. Something’s not right with this picture, but the complacent media seems all too eager to sweep it under the rug.

Imagine if this was reversed. Suppose Bush earmarked through tax payer dollars a ton of money to some oil company who then gave it back to his election campaign before going bankrupt. The American media would go nuts, the American people would be outraged, and both would be right in doing so. Yet, in the case of Solyndra, we barely get a yawn.

What’s the difference? Is it because Obama is a Democrat, and therefore untouchable? Is it because Solyndra is a Green Energy company, so somehow their actions are divine and holy?

I’m all for standards. But double standards I can’t stand.

Blame a Republican

When I listen to the Media, Occupy Wallstreeters, and hard-core Liberals, all I hear is that the Republicans are to blame for everything! Can’t get a job, must be the Republicans’ fault. Don’t like the weather? Must be the Republicans’ fault. Sick of paying high gas prices? That’s definitely a Republicans’ fault, because they want to mine for domestic oil! Have an ingrown toe nail? Somehow that’s the Republicans’ fault as well.

What’s really frustrating is that we have a “blame-Republicans” president. With a Democrat congress, he’s had practically carte blanch for all his ideas for his first two years, yet every time he gets up to speak, he never talks about the issues, it’s always the Republicans fault. Remember, your misery is to be tied to the Republican party and nothing else. If you sit on your bum, smoke pot and can’t afford to buy a trip to Europe, remember class, who we are to blame?

 

 

 

Recant

I debated on whether or not I wanted to go through with this cartoon. I know it’s going to cause controversy, and believe it or not, despite being a political cartoonist, I really don’t like controversy. What pushed me over the edge were the multiple cartoons out there equating Santorum as being the leader of the Crusades, here to chop off your head if you don’t accept his religion. What a bunch of inflammatory nonsense! And while the Catholic church does have the stain of the Crusades as part of their history, many, many more Christians and Catholics lost their lives from Roman times to present day, due only to their faith.

These recent attacks on Santorum are not really aimed at him, but at Christianity in general. They are quite telling. According to a number of Liberals I’ve talked with, if you proclaim your faith, it’s ramming it down people’s throats. Therefore, equating Christians to all kinds of horrible activities is justified. Yet, they wouldn’t dare say those kinds of things against the Muslim faith, even though some jihadists will kill you if you don’t accept their faith.

But the most frustrating thing of all is the legislation Obama passed that would force Catholic organizations to provide abortion and contraceptive services to their employees, despite their moral objections. What’s frustrating is not that Obama did this, for he has shown his true colors by now, but that many of my friends are saying this is an issue of freedom. By not forcing the organization to provide contraceptives is denying the employees their freedom, thus this legislation was necessary. Huh?

The choice of what the organization provides as compensation, paid or in benefits, to its employees, should be up to that organization. That’s freedom folks! Freedom is allowing everybody their choice, including the so-called big guy. It’s the employers company, the employer’s money, the employer’s risk and the employee freely chooses to work there. Nobody is forcing that employee to work there. If they don’t agree with the company’s moral standards, then find another job. Santorum had it right. By forcing Catholic organizations to provide contraceptive services, it’s the government forcing its belief system on the church! Liberals get so worked up about the imaginary “Wall of Separation,” yet if they want to have this wall, then they need to be willing to keep their liberal government out of the church as well.

I’m not a Catholic, and I rarely get offended, but this past week has been very instructive about how people really view the church. And let me tell you, some of the talk has been scary. Religious freedom in America is on attack, and that’s really what this cartoon is about.