Monday, February 15, 2016

Gambling away the Supreme Court

It is an insult to politicians that are flip-floppers to call Donald Trump a flip-flopper. As a Casino owner, he is a bona fide dice-roller, making what he would do in office a complete gamble. ------
Consider just six of his many positions on who he likes to be Supreme Court Justice. Die side 1-Trump would appoint his sister, who has held that the Constitution protects the practice of partial-birth abortion.
Die side 2: Justice Thomas is the best Conservative Justice.

Die face 3: Justice Scalia was wrong on affirmative action

Die side 4: “Justice Roberts turned out to be a nightmare for conservatives . . .I’m going to appoint people that have great reputation that are great within the legal profession.” Die side 5: Trump would 'consider' appointing a judge who would overrule the same-sex marriage ruling.

Die side 6: Trump supports the liberal decision Kelo v. United States and laws that would restrict religious freedom in violation of the First Amendment.

Each of Donald Trump's comments represent both inconsistency and ignorance about the Supreme Court that is inexcusable for someone who is seeking to have the power to appoint Justices to the Supreme Court. First, No one should suggest appointing anyone pro-choice if they hope to get the Republican nomination-- yet Trump did. True, Trump admires Justice Thomas, but this does not explain whether his admiration will translate lead him to appoint a judge who yet opposes his views on affirmative action, eminent domain and religious freedom. Third, Trump wants to appoint people of great reputation to the Supreme Court-- and yet slams Justice Roberts (who had such a reputation). Last, Trump's statement that he would 'consider' appointing a judge who believes our Constitution does not require same-sex marriage is inadequate.

I have focused on Trump's statements prior to Justice Scalia's passing, because they paint a more credible picture of how Trump really feels than statements made in the heat of the campaign. The choice could hardly be clearer: Republicans must not vote for Trump if they value the Supreme Court.

It should not be a surprise that a vote for a casino owner is a gamble. With Supreme Court nominations on the line, we have no time to gamble.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Statement regarding Donald Trump's victory in the New Hampshire primary

Today, the world lost. Civility lost. Religious freedom lost.  Mexicans lost. Christians lost.  Muslims lost. Glenn Beck, Matt Walsh, Russell Moore, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and many other voices that condemned Donald Trump all lost

In New Hampshire, at least, Loud voices won.  Anger won.  Fear won.

Rather than be upset at these events-- returning anger with anger-- let us direct our energies towards re-educating our fellow Americans-- whatever their political views-- in the doctrines that made America great.  Civility, religious pluralism, family values, all played a role in making America, like many other countries, great.

I do not deny that Donald Trump's appeal is rooted in dissatisfaction with many people presently in power.  It is simply a universal truth, however, that one's actions-- even radical actions-- should not be based in anger, fear, and bullying absent a clear, thoughtful vision of the future.  When this happens, the solution is worse than the problem.

Donald Trump's bullying plays to both anger and fear.  While the problems with the political system that Donald Trump supporters mention are real, the proposed solution (Trump) is, almost unquestionably, worse then those problems.  His solutions are purposefully vague.

And if I'm wrong and the world wins by Trump's candidacy, the reason that the world wins is almost certainly an accident: neither Donald Trump's positions and attitude now nor his positions he held before he ran for office will solve the problems Trump's supporters raise. And, to the extent Trump's positions would 'solve our problems,' the solutions he suggests are completely opposed to my values.

If Donald Trump is good for our nation, it is because he'll completely change his mind and heart once elected.

If this election has shown anything, it is that Donald Trump is an expert in manipulating individuals.  Only education, not politics, is likely to starve his support.  His campaign only works as long as people don't understand the value of religious freedom, cultural diversity, differences in opinion, and civility in society, regardless of how much anger they may feel.

May we all go forth to educate others.


There may be exceptions to these broad conclusions I have drawn above.  For example, if Donald Trump means what he published in the heat of the Iowa campaign about abortion and judge-made law, and if he makes such issues a priority in his administration, we could have a landmark restoration of what he called a "culture of life."

I am skeptical he will keep his word on this issue (his publication 10 days before the Iowa Caucus seems very opportunistic), but, if he wins and does keep his word, I will applaud the positives that will come out of his presidency, just like I have about past presidents that I did not vote for.