Tag Archives: election issues

The Immigration Debate: My Take & My Support for Marco Rubio

You were born in Mexico. You know that your chances of giving your family a better life than you’ve had to this date are far superior in the United States. You also know that the US government is extremely lax in enforcing their immigration laws. Knowing those things, do you stay in Mexico and begin the long and arduous process of immigrating legally? Or do you take your chances and swim the Rio Grande in search of that better life for your family?

Before you answer, consider this scenario:

You’re driving down the freeway. The speed limit is 70 miles per hour. You know that state troopers will allow 5 to 7 mph over the limit before they stop you and possibly issue a ticket. So, do you drive the speed limit or, knowing you won’t be stopped, do you drive 75? Or do you own a radar detector so that you can exceed the speed limit by an even greater margin, comfortable that the likelihood of being stopped is significantly mitigated?

If you are consistent, you would either (1) go through the legal immigration process in the first scenario and drive the speed limit in the second, or (2) disregard the law by swimming the Rio Grande in the first scenario and by exceeding the speed limit in the second.

So what’s your point, you ask? I’m betting that many of those who support a position on illegal immigration that all who entered this country illegally must be deported because they “didn’t respect our laws” are some of the same people that fly by me on the Interstate on a regular basis. I would opine that the habitual speeders, especially those who use technology to evade detection “don’t respect our laws.” Would it be unfair to call the people belonging to the “deport all illegals (because they don’t respect our laws) while I continue to speed down the freeway” group hypocrites? I don’t think so.

We have an immigration problem in the United States. The root cause of the problem is not a disrespect of our laws by some who want to live here. The root cause of the problem is a lax and negligent federal government who, for decades, has turned the other cheek as people flowed into this country illegally. Just like the state trooper who sits on the shoulder as speeders fly by is inviting the traveling public to exceed the speed limit, so also is our government’s failure to enforce our immigration laws an invitation to come on in. Yes. Our illegal immigrants were invited to be here. Many of them have had children here (legally US citizens) and raised their families here. I believe that the vast majority of them truly are here to improve their lives, not to do us harm. And now, many of my fellow Americans want to yank the rug out from under them, separate families, and build a symbolic wall to keep them out once and for all. Shame on us.

Here is what I propose:

  1. The federal government must develop and implement a plan to enforce immigration laws currently on the books to stop the flow into the country. Until this is done, the problem will not be solved.
  2. Get rid of the wall idea. Enforce the laws. Invest the money that would go towards building the wall (no way will Mexico pay for it) in enforcing the laws.
  3. People who have entered the country illegally would have a reasonable amount of time during which they would have the opportunity to identify themselves and apply for legal residency.
  4. Of those in number three above, any with felony or greater criminal convictions would be immediately deported.
  5. Any person in the country illegally that is affiliated with any gang, even if they have no criminal convictions, would be immediately deported.
  6. At the expiration of the registration period, any person in the country illegally would be subject to immediate deportation.
  7. Amend the law to provide that children born in the US to parents who are not US citizens are not granted automatic citizenship; their status would match that of their parents.

Our government created this problem. We citizens stood by and let it happen. There is a humane and reasonable way to address this issue that could benefit millions of people while showing the world that the United States is still the world’s brightest beacon of opportunity. Let’s not be hypocrites. Let’s be kind, caring, understanding, and compassionate.

I support Marco Rubio for president. His immigration views align more closely with my own than any other Republican candidate in the race. Rubio is the compassionate conservative America needs right now. He is pro life. He is a constitutionalist. He is fiscally conservative. I believe that he is best positioned and most desirous of working towards healing the divide that the current Administration has nurtured over the past 7 years.

On Donald Trump, Terrorism, Divisiveness and Change

Trump

Photo credit: slate.com

Donald Trump sure has struck a nerve. Today I read a news article reporting that Trump now has a 20-point lead over his GOP rivals according to the latest CBS/NY Times poll. Here is a link to the story. Although I am not a Trump supporter, I get it. There is a perception by many of inaction by the current Administration. There is frustration and concern among many Americans that we have a government that is completely out of touch with mainstream America, as it appears to operate primarily for the personal benefit of those holding office. I share many of these perceptions. Donald Trump is challenging the status quo and the status quo doesn’t like it.

San Bernardino should have been a huge wake-up call to the nation, for San Bernardino proves that there are terrorists living among us. They have blended into society. They act and behave as you and I do, at least in public. They hold jobs. And they wait for their time to strike. In these trying times, Americans want strong leadership from Washington. We want a president who is clearly tuned in to what’s going on and who has a plan to address it. We want to be assured that our government has our safety and well being in front of mind. Unfortunately, many of us perceive just the opposite from President Obama. Trump’s proposals for dealing with terrorism, albeit controversial, are at least proposals of some sort of action. And, while I disagree with his proposals, I get it.

obama speech

Photo credit: foreignpolicyblogs.com

But let’s pause for a moment. Even among my doubts and concerns, I believe that our government is hard at work trying to address this problem. The United States has some of the best intelligence gathering forces in the world, and I believe our government has information that is probably quite rich. I trust that there is a plan, or at least a plan in the works. Is it realistic, or even prudent, to think that the president will call a press conference, take the lectern, and cite chapter and verse of all this work and our plans for defeating terrorism? Of course not! Setting my perceptions of governmental inaction and ineptitude aside, I really don’t believe that the president and his advisors are sitting on their hands on this issue. That just doesn’t make sense. I think it’s time for those of us who have been so critical of Mr. Obama to cut him a bit of slack. This is not an easy problem to solve.

I also think it is time for we Americans to take a collective deep breath. We are divided, and our divisiveness does not help matters; it makes them worse. My Facebook feed is replete with what I call “Facebook Pundits”: These are people who are self-declared experts on what the government should or should not do to address terrorism and other issues facing our great nation; People who refuse to listen and consider opinions and statements by those with whom they disagree; People who demonize the liberal or the conservative whose views and opinions differ from their own; People who post half truths, and even blatant lies, in sorry attempts to forward whatever agenda they’ve chosen to support. Mark my words: this divisiveness will bring down our country long before ISIS or any other enemy does. It must stop, and it must stop now.

vote

Credit: usvotefoundation.org

America was founded on several wonderful principles, one of them being the fact that we are not subjects of our government; our government works for us. We have a process of electing individuals to serve at our will from the President through Congress; from state governors through local town councils. Whether we voted for the individuals in office or not, we must unite around them. We must lift them in prayer. We must join together and present a united front against those who would threaten our national and personal security. When we disagree with our government or with one another, we must do so civilly and respectfully. And as we do so, we must hold those whom we have hired to represent us accountable for their actions or lack thereof by becoming informed, offering constructive feedback, and exercising our right to replace under performers via the power of our electoral process.

Which brings me full circle, back to Donald Trump. I’m glad he has the government establishment and the elitists in the mainstream media in a tizzy. I’m glad he’s calling them out and speaking his mind. But I cannot support him because Trump epitomizes the divisiveness and name-calling that I believe is very problematic for our country. I believe he could do considerable damage representing America to the world in his style and demeanor. Under the current Administration, our country has become more divided than ever. We need a leader at the helm who will set the tone I described above; one who will seek to unite our divided nation and lead us to a brighter and more prosperous future. Based on what I’ve seen from Mr. Trump to this point, he is not that man.

Right now things are looking rather grim. We need change. How about taking the lead? Let’s resolve together to be the change we seek. Let’s resolve not to continue to throw gasoline on a fire that is nearly out of control. Rather, let’s resolve to treat others – all others – with the dignity and respect each deserves as a child of our Creator. If each of us will do so, we won’t have to wait until January 2017 for change. The change can start right now.

Who’s on First: Money or Life?

At a recent campaign event, I participated in a conversation that I found quite troubling. A Republican candidate for Texas Agriculture Commissioner stated, among other things, that he is “pro-life, pro-God, pro-gun…” etc. Upon concluding his remarks, I was introduced to a young lady who was quite upset that the candidate mentioned his pro-life stance. She said that Republicans must drop the abortion issue if they want to succeed in unseating and defeating liberal Democratic opponents. She said that restricting her right to choose an abortion is contradictory to a truly conservative pro-Constitutional stance. If government is to leave us alone, she said, it should not meddle with a woman’s right to choose. She told me that she is a fiscal and a social conservative, but further said that most Republican women, unless they are Evangelicals, are pro-choice. She said the party risks losing their support if conservative members of the party continue to make abortion an election issue.

As I was about to engage her points, which were well conceived and rather persuasive, a gentleman joined our conversation and agreed with her. He said Republicans must put fiscal issues first and avoid discussion of social issues. In other words, if we don’t get our financial house in order, none of the social issues really matter (not a direct quote; rather, my interpretation of his main point). I’ve heard this song before, and I’ve never liked it, for I consider this perspective to be completely backwards.

So what, really, is fundamentally important? Does the accumulation and management of wealth top the list, or is there something even more important than money?

I understand the logic behind the “fiscal first” mentality, and I believe it is well intended. Without a strong economic base and a responsible fiscal policy, our society will ultimately meet its demise. This is, in large part, the burden I carry for our country. Our federal government is grossly negligent in its management of its financial resources. It has constructed an onerous and punitive tax system. It spends far more than it collects. Those whom we have elected to lead, Republicans and Democrats alike, have failed to offer long-term solutions. If we continue down this road, we will surely lose our country.

As much as I agree with the need to elect leaders who will insist upon fiscal responsibility at all levels of government, I do not agree that this is the issue of most importance. America’s social values have evolved over the years, but not for the better. What some call “progress” I call “travesty”.  In the United States, it is legal to terminate the life of a child in the womb for any reason. We euphemize abortion by labeling it as “the right to choose”, an issue of “women’s health”. We rationalize it by arguing that it is somehow compassionate to terminate an “accidental” or “unexpected” pregnancy by not bringing an “unwanted” child into the world. What wiser people would have once considered twisted logic has embedded itself into society’s mainstream to the point at which many who once fought to defend the defenseless are abandoning that fight in the interest of the “fiscal first” philosophy.

Even worse, people on both sides of the abortion debate use this issue as a means to divide and conquer their political opponents. Rather than focus on the innocent lives that are taken and the women whose lives are forever impacted by their decision to abort, we instead use these victims of abortion as ammunition in our political battles. Even as I type these words, I am amazed at how cold and callous our society has become.

Is there something more important than money? Yes, of course there is. You are more important than money. I am more important than money. People are more important than money; yes, even that “unwanted” child who is growing and developing in her mother’s womb is more important than money. If we who advocate for life succumb to the temptation to abandon the fight in favor of “fiscal first” we are no better than the abortionist who coldly takes that innocent life with his instruments of death.

I believe very strongly that a society that advocates and celebrates such misguided social principles cannot survive long-term. For that reason, I will continue to support only those candidates for office who advocate for life. Might we lose a few battles along the way? Perhaps. But in advocating for life I believe we will ultimately win the war.

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