Category: "Announcements"

Condolences to the McCain Family

I will leave it to the historians to argue about Senator McCain's legacy. At this point, it matters not. He has done his service.

All that there is to do now is offer my condolences to his family.

Every man fills a space, and for Senator McCain's family, that space is now empty.

May they be comforted by his memory. And may they live to make him proud.

It's easy to stand on the side and criticize. Whether we agreed or not, we should take heart that there are people who will step up to serve, And if we don't or didn't agree, perhaps now is the time to stop criticizing and step up.

Thank You Senator McCain for your service.

Reason to be Hopeful

Reason to be Hopeful

unsplash-logoPaul Dufour

So I haven't written in a while. I've created for myself a challenge so that I can responsibly fund my life and be on the road campaigning, and I've let my posts slide.

To be truthful, I also agree with a lot of what President Trump says he is trying to accomplish, and while he may be a little more brash than we might expect from a proper statesman, he's also saying what needs to be said, and confronting power structures which do not operate to our advantage.

And I've been thinking a lot about how my campaign should look. And thank G-d to all the conversations that our digital age is making possible, I think there is good reason to be hopeful.

We are living in dangerous times, it's true, but we can thank President Trump for allowing us to see the threat. There is no doubt that President Trump received support from the far-right, and even pandered to that crowd. You can read Make America Great Again any number of ways, from “make it lily white again,” which it never actually was, to restore the freedoms that have been frittered away through 231 years of government as usual, to “restore the oppressive patriarchy,” which interpretation is giving us the most fun at the moment.

But the threat that's been made clear isn't President Trump. He's not a threat. He's a calculating reality TV show personality enamored of himself trying to win in a new show. He hasn't organized any brown shirts, and couldn't if he wanted.

And even the most conservative judge he could nominate, if he were approved, wouldn't be but a nudge back toward notions of original intent. We're all clear by now that states can actually afford more “rights” to a citizen than the constitution requires.

So what's the threat? It's the people who are happy to talk rights, and respect, and democratic process, that is until it doesn't go their way. It's the people who talk about respect for their group, but dismiss anyone who voted for Trump because they place everyone who voted for him in the same group.

It's the people who teach our children that the only thing is power, that white men control and wield it inappropriately as a rule, and therefore we must take them down.

And what would they replace it with. A kinder, gentler power structure, run by them of course, policing not just against bad conduct, but against bad ideas, and also being the arbiters of what is a bad idea.

It's the thought police who have driven comedy off of campus, who shout down those speakers brave enough to try to bring a disparate idea to campus.

It's the thought police who would end a celebrity's career, especially if he leans a little right, because of an ill-formed tweet, or because he hit on the wrong person.

And it's also the powers at Google and Facebook who shut down and demonetize thought that does not jive with a certain viewpoint.

So Why Be Hopeful?

There's now a whole world of folk on-line, people like Joe Rogan, Steven Crowder, Ben Shapiro, and brave people taking unpopular stands against hate, like Sarah Haider, Bret Weinstein, and Jordan Peterson. And I just want to send a shout out to folk like Mike Rowe, who keeps showing us what is good about America.

The thing about these people is, though they swing from left to right, religious to atheist, and all sorts of other places, they all share a commitment. Put them all in a room, and they'd engage in a civil discourse with the intent of walking out smarter, better human beings.

They, and especially Jordan Peterson, are giving people permission to think for themselves again, are calling them to boldly take responsibility for their own lives, and are inviting them to own their own humanity.

They realize that the logical end-point of identity politics is that each person belongs to a unique set of groups, and therefore what we must celebrate is the individual, and painting with a broader brush is just an excuse to garner and abuse power “in the name of . . . .”

And their influence and following are growing. They are calling out the lies of the radicals on both right and left, and sharing the danger apparent such that we can all wisely choose.

And that's what this campaign is about. It's about continuing that conversation. It's about giving each American the space to own what is special and powerful about himself. It's about eliminating the structures that keep us beholden to ideas other than our own (which only starts with “draining the swamp”). It's about allowing people to see a full picture, to allow each person to declare and then live into his own American Dream.

It's potentially a scary place, but the path our forefathers intended for us, the one that has taken us to great heights, the one responsible for our ever improving world. We should have the freedom to boldly enter into our particular unknown, to confront and slay our own dragons, and not let others declare what we should be disturbed by and where to exert our energies.

Because it is when we are free like that that miracles occur. It's that fact that Americans can dream that people want to be American. And it is our freedom that ensures each can choose to live into his own dream.

If You Choose War . . .

If You Choose War . . .

If you want to see it as a tragedy, I'm not going to take that away from you. Tragedy is a part of the human condition. We all have our tragedies, individual, group, religious, national even.

It's what you do with that tragedy that's on you. A constructive way to deal with a tragedy might look something like asking yourself:

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