I am, without question, an unabashed Mitt Romney supporter. Governor Romney’s brand of pragmatic, common-sense conservatism, combined with his deep humility and grace make him one of the most dignified, respected politicians not just at home, but across the globe. Needless to say, I have been very excited at the prospect of a Secretary Romney in the State Department. If the President-elect wants to make a smart, calculated choice for America’s chief diplomat, he would be well advised to choose the former Massachusetts governor. First, and foremost, the position of Secretary of State calls for an individual that is able to travel the globe and readily present American interests in a firm, yet positive demeanor.
I, like most people, got 2016 very, very wrong. I thought last Tuesday would be a continuation of the status quo — a third term for President Obama. Instead, I, along with the rest of America, was sorely mistaken. We have now elected a reality television star as our president. And, not surprisingly, this reality television star has transformed the presidential transition process into a rerun of the Apprentice.
In less than a week it will finally be over. No more ads, no more speeches, no more debates. In just five days the most vitriolic election in modern American history will finally come to a close — and I can’t wait. Four years ago, MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough said something quite fascinating. Remarking on the first presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, Scarborough stated how lucky we were to be Americans.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R–Wisc.) has not had a good couple of weeks. Because of his rejection of Donald Trump, it seems as if most of the Republican Party is in an all-out rebellion against its highest-ranking figure in the federal government. Furthermore, Mr. Trump seems bent on destroying the Speaker’s reputation, as the Republican nominee has launched a massive attack on Mr. Ryan’s character, ability to govern and competence. Personally, I find these attacks to be disgusting — and I think it would be helpful to address each of the attacks on the Speaker. First, the pure hatred that Mr. Ryan has received in the wake of his rebuke of Trump is, quite frankly, unbelievable.
The Armed Forces of the United States is, without question, the most powerful military force in human history. The ability of the U.S. military to project power across the globe would leave the Roman Empire, the Persian Empire and the British Empire in awe. Without a doubt, there is no nation in existence that has the capacity to challenge American military supremacy. Yet despite the incredible strength of American military hegemonic power, our armed forces are in desperate need of change. First, it is key to understand that a strong, powerful American military is central to global peace and prosperity.
This election has been defined by the absurd. From Trump’s endless list of obscene comments, to Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” claim, we find ourselves in the precarious position of trying to decide between the lesser of two great evils. Yet 2016 is not just a presidential year — we must also make the critical choice of who should take the reins of the Senate. In more ways than one, the battle for control of the Senate will be crucial to the future of our republic. No matter who the next commander-in-chief will be, we must face the reality that the Senate will have a crucial say over the Supreme Court, U.S. intervention in the Middle East, relations with China and Russia and the budget.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson launched his famed War on Poverty, declaring: “This Administration, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty.” From the time that Johnson made this declaration, the federal government has spent an estimated $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs — and the level of success of these programs is highly debatable. Certainly, Johnson’s war had a major effect on senior citizens, as the poverty rate for the elderly declined nearly 18 percent between 1964 and 2015. However, total poverty rates declined less than three percent between 1964 and 2015. Today, 14.5 percent of Americans (nearly 47 million people) live below the poverty line, while the youth poverty rate has reached a stunning 20 percent.
What these numbers do not tell is the story behind America’s poor.
This campaign has showed the ugly side of American politics. The nation has witnessed one of the most uncivil, destructive and poisonous elections in the history of our republic. On both sides of the aisle, politicos have utilized some of the most vitriolic tools in their rhetorical arsenal — and virtually no one is without blame. The beating heart of the destructiveness of this campaign lies with the candidates. Trump’s vitriol is obvious — from making fun of a disabled reporter, to making disgusting remarks on Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle, to attacking a Latino judge, to suggesting that Hillary Clinton should be assassinated, Trump’s comments have fueled an angry revolt within the Republican Party.
Tuesday night was anything but a celebration for conservatives. For those of us who believe in free trade, immigration, close contact with our allies and the just treatment of women and minority groups, Donald Trump’s sweep in Indiana marked a period of mourning and reflection. How and why did the party of Lincoln reach such a state that Donald Trump — a man who has supported gun control, free trade restrictions, affirmative action, single-payer health care and tax increases — ended up as our nominee? The answer is simple: the Republican Party lost its way. The Bush years were the beginning of the Republican exile to the land of insanity.
This election seems to be focused on trivial things: from the size of Donald Trump’s fingers, to Hillary Clinton’s houses, to Ted Cruz’s facial features. While some major issues have been debated (immigration, ISIS, banking regulation), the vast majority of the nation’s problems have been disregarded — and perhaps the most important issue of all has been ignored. In the past year, hardly any of the candidates have engaged in a serious conversation regarding our extraordinary debt and deficits. As I write this, our national debt stands at a breath-taking $19,249,726,000 — nearly $1 trillion more than our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And the numbers only continue to climb.