Saturday, November 21, 2015

Race for the White House 2016 Volume 47

Many things have happened in the race for President since last Saturday afternoon, and of course, it is impossible to cover them all here.

The Republican field has gotten smaller with the exit of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, but that does not seem to have much of an impact on too much, as the field remains crowded.

The issue of terrorism has dominated the discussion over the past week, much of which was referenced in my post about the Gubernatorial election in Louisiana. These are indeed scary times and the divides between the party are steep. My sense is that an election about national security is going to favor Republicans, as Democrats are mostly out of step with the anxiety faced by the American people in the light of radical Islamic jihadism. The left considers these fears unfounded and racist. In spite of that, there are also voices on the right that trouble me a great deal as to how they propose responding to these matters. Donald Trump is certainly a prime example of that, as the GOP candidate has used loose language on the campaign trail this week to openly consider a registration system for Muslims living in the United States. What a horribly un-American idea that conjures up horrible historic parallels.

I remain very suspicious that Trump is even a legitimate Republican, and is not running for President, in the lowest road possible way, in order to damage the party, but there is no doubt that a lot of voters who consider themselves Republicans buy into what he is selling. That is somewhat understandable but no less concerning. As un-serious and unqualified as Trump may be, the Paris attacks seem to have bolstered his poll numbers, largely at the expense of Ben Carson, who may not come across as "tough" enough.

As mentioned, the Democrats approach this issue in a very different. Last Saturday night, Hillary Clinton was given a debate win by many, but problems with the way she answered questions persisted. People on the left were upset she cited 9/11 as a reason for her ties to Wall Street and their financial support of her, and at another point in the debate, she said the fight against ISIS was not the U.S.'s fight, although she either contradicted that or cleaned it up in a speech later in the week. A large takeaway from the debate was that Democrats refuse to use the word "radical Islam" and consider climate change more of a threat to America.

Barack Obama got many headlines this week though, especially when traveling abroad in his role as President, and using press conferences to bash Republican Presidential candidates. While he never mentioned any names, it was clear that he was speaking at least in part of Ted Cruz, regarding the controversy involving Syrian refugees. Cruz was happy to take the bait, and invited Obama to "insult me to my face" once he returned to the country. Cruz would definitely raise money off of that, and so would Democrats in response, but I feel like both Obama and Cruz have acted in a way that is below the dignity of the office of President.

Obama seems genuinely more angry about efforts to stop or slow down the resettlement of Syrian Muslim refugees to the country than he does about terrorist attacks themselves or the risk of them. He continues to minimize the strength of ISIS. Even Democrats disagree with Obama that ISIS is "contained" and confirm that they are indeed on the march.

The issue of the Syrian refugees is a very, very complex one, and I am very morally conflicted by it. Welcoming refugees from oppression to the American shores is part of what has always made America great and America should never give up that ideal. I want very much to see Syrian and Iraqi refugees, Muslims and Christians alike, saved from terrorism and potential genocide, and the U.S. should play a role in that. However, the times are just too dangerous and the situation is too risky to not look at the entire picture. Ninety-nine percent of these Muslim refugees might be great people and would be assets to our country, but just a handful of people with other agendas could unleash tremendous damage and terror upon the American mainland and all its people. There is no reason why we cannot have a temporary pause, in order to improve the vetting process. That is what nearly 50 Congressional Democrats voted for this week, but Obama and others in the party remain adamant.They think they have the political, legal, and moral high ground and are being very quick to throw around epithets against those that disagree. I think this has the potential of rebounding very badly against them. I will also note that Obama himself imposed a six month pause in the settling of Iraqi refugees back in 2011, because of concerns regarding terrorist infiltration. If that was fine then, what is the issue now?

This debate is likely to rage on for some time in Congress and may prove to be a very important part of the campaign trail. While bringing about greater vetting in the refugee process might be a policy and political necessity, I will continue to speak out against voices like Trump and the cancer they have brought upon conservatism, just as freedom loving Muslims have the responsibility to speak out against radical Jihadism.

There is no doubt in my mind that in the ongoing War on Terror, it is imperative to elect a Republican, who at least understands the threat. The Democrats just do not get it and it would take a catastrophe that none of us should even want to consider before they do.

Responsible governance calls for some sort of middle ground on how we both stand for liberty as it relates to refugees and on the matter of data collection and surveillance. which itself is a major chrism in both parties. As it relates to refugees from the Middle East, if American cannot do everything or even as much as we wish we could, we should still do something. In contrast to Presidential candidate Chris Christie, I do not believe we should close ourselves off from accepting three year old orphans and giving them a chance to grow up as Americans.


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