Presidential talking points…

Under my administration alternative facts will be eliminated in favor of FACTS.

We will not be at war with the press and we will invite scrutiny. We will strengthen laws protecting our residents against libelous and inaccurate reporting while still preserving our freedom of speech. Entertainment and political commentary are not the news. Verifiable facts should be the goal of newsworthy journalism not spin or loyalist affiliations. I will work to restore public trust in the presidency by being forthright with the people of this country and welcoming the press. We will trust news agencies to disseminate accurate information about our policies and will encourage our citizens to do their own investigative research into those policies to keep us and the press accountable. The idea of news as entertainment must end and criteria for disseminating accurate reporting needs to be strengthened within legitimate news agencies. Again, opinions are newsworthy but are not the news.

I plan to unite specific cabinet heads so that joint efforts are strengthened and duplicate missions are cut. I envision our Attorney General and Secretary of State working together to ensure justice for all United States citizens here and abroad while showing leadership abroad that is worthy of trust and provides a beacon for democracy. Our Defense and Homeland Security will also provide seamless protection from internal and external threats and will work with Veteran Affairs to honor our armed services personnel and veterans with increased services and care benefits. We will have increased focus on infrastructure. There is no excuse for crumbling infrastructure, unemployment and lackluster trade within this prosperous nation so there must be a meeting of minds within Transportation, Energy, Urban Development, Agriculture, Commerce and Labor. It is long past time that we get our country’s interior in shape and rather than fighting for operational funds, these departments need to work toward common goals that increase building and road safety and that keep our people housed, employed and fed. We can and will streamline efforts.

Plain and simple… Foreign Policy is much more than a photo op. Allies are a valued and necessary part of a thriving nation. The importance of our association with countries that have similar values and commitments to democracy cannot be overstated. We will build on those relationships. They will not be disrespected, ignored or coerced any longer. We will negotiate trade and security commitments fairly and equitably without resorting to threats. As friends we can work out our disagreements respectfully. We need to do a better job of nurturing our relationship with longtime friends and allies. It makes us all stronger.

We will take an honest, multi-faceted look at immigration and asylum practices and create a system that welcomes hard working, diverse and law-abiding prospective citizens and also provides protection and safe repatriation for asylum seekers. We will identify and coordinate with cities and towns so that we can place new residents in areas where there are employment opportunities. I am not interested in opening our borders to all applicants, but I do want to put a fair system in place that values our country of immigrants yet limits municipal liability. Our new system will restructure how we hold undocumented people and provide expedited court decisions. The cost of increased and expedited judicial hearings will be offset by the elimination of long-term holding cells and the cost of care and maintenance for these facilities.

This fact is possibly the most important… Our country dies without an educated populace. We have neglected our schools for too long and it’s time to not only make college affordable but to increase the availability of a trade school education. Our skilled workforce is in decline and there are people that are currently unemployed that are only a few classes away from an internship. We have a plan to increase construction, manufacturing and automotive programs and put people in contact with employers who are willing to train and educate in their respective fields. We will work with businesses and universities to prioritize fields of study so that incoming college freshman know what areas of employment are thriving and opportunities can be identified through employers looking for a specialized workforce. While I don’t foresee fully paid college educations for our citizens, I do plan on expanding programs and financial aid in academic areas that are national and economic priorities. Increased financial aid and grant programs are an investment that has major dividends through higher employment and new business growth.

Environmental concerns will no longer be ignored. This is not a for or against topic. We need to encourage programs that educate us in leaving a minimized global footprint and increases environmental protections. There can be a meeting of the minds in regard to conservancy and development. Energy Projects don’t have to be an environmental nightmare or a money pit. We need real life solutions regarding climate change not gloom and doom predictions. This administration will encourage scientific research and solutions to environmental concerns while still protecting business and a growing economy. The two are not enemies of one another and together can boost economic growth through increased knowledge and joint ventures.

Our healthcare industry is not living up to its name. Our people are increasingly unhealthy and uncared for because of our broken system. When a majority of people are an illness away from bankruptcy, it’s time to restructure the entire system. Prescription trials cost money but outrageous executive payouts are preventing necessary trials. Insurance companies are dictating who gets treated and for what. Hospitals are overcharging for basic items in order to make up for losses from insurance and pharmaceutical contracting practices. Healthcare that promotes profit over human life is not healthcare at all and our countrymen deserve better. We will restructure the system in a way that actually ensures our people can see a doctor and get treatment without losing everything. We need a pricing system that makes sense and where medications, procedures and preventative aids are priced evenly across every community. In my mind, this is the most basic of rights and affects every aspect of a thriving community.

We are a nation of gun enthusiasts who value their 2nd amendment rights. While there will always be differing views about what those rights entail, the reality is that gun ownership is protected by our constitution. That said, no responsible gun owner wants to see gun violence in our schools, malls and movie theaters. They take ownership responsibilities seriously and want violent offenders off the streets. I will strengthen gun laws WITHOUT affecting law abiding owners. In an effort to get gun violence under control some states have adopted laws that are aimed at eliminating guns and penalizing individual owners. Unfair and seemingly retaliatory gun regulations will be addressed and eliminated in favor of common-sense gun laws that reduce threats while protecting owner rights.

We’re being divided. There are issues that are presented to us as black and white yet they require complex thought, historical knowledge and compromise. Progress and tradition both have value and we can find common ground. When we look at issues with a win at all cost mindset, we all lose. With that said, I plan to address these controversial issues and hopefully make inroads in securing fundamental rights for women, minorities, religious organizations and LGBTQ people. Freedom is synonymous with the USA and we can secure freedoms for all of our citizens while still keeping true to our beliefs and traditions. Compromise and compassion are not bad words and I aim to prove that.

Paying down our national debt will be a priority, not an unfulfilled political promise. Paying down our national debt allows us to commit funds in areas that improves our GDP, expands employment opportunities and keeps businesses open. It is irresponsible to ignore this part of our economy.

Taxes! Always a debate topic that creates interest in the people that are looking at a reduction and fury from people looking at an increase. We have created a system that average citizens don’t fully understand. Even economists can struggle explaining the regulatory quagmire. We need simplicity. Fair taxation for ALL citizens. We can offer business incentives that promote successful business expansion but the days of wealthy businessmen paying zero taxes is over. This country should incentivize companies willing to reward employees when their business is thriving and successful. My taxation plan can actually ensure that trickle-down works for everyone and is not a money grab for the wealthy alone. I believe our nation prospers when people can acquire wealth, but the current wealth gap is not sustainable. The growing gap between the haves and have nots has created a system where having one full time job is not enough to be self-reliant, let alone raise a family. Hard work and ingenuity is wonderful and should be rewarded but not on the backs of those implementing and maintaining the business. I want to encourage a symbiotic relationship between employer and employee that sees both succeed and prosper. A commitment to each other that seems more familial. I truly believe that by restructuring the tax system we can achieve a more balanced relationship not just in our country but internationally as well.

My administration will value faith and religion and I aim to protect both by honoring the protections of our founding fathers. The separation of church and state was put in place because our forefathers knew that politics in religion is catastrophic for the faithful. Politics creates false idols and earthly promises. Separation does not protect government and it does not protect religion; it protects the faithful from the schemes of those with a worldly agenda.

This administration will not be about me or for me. I surround myself with the best and brightest in their respective fields and my cabinet will work to strengthen every department within their purview while being ever mindful that taxpayer dollars should never be squandered. I look forward to serving this country that I love and earning your respect.

Shooting The Melting Pot

“MANY FINE PEOPLE”
The past two weeks have seen 3 major mass shootings with the attackers providing manifestos quoting propaganda from Trump rallies and proclaiming their white pride. Our current president refuses to take responsibility or take action to limit sales of military grade weapons, but instead continues to attack our darker-skinned state representatives that are trying to curb racism, bigotry and violence. He validates U.S. terrorists with his rhetoric and empowers them with his inaction. It is the beginning of August and we have already seen over 33,000 shootings (not including suicides), and more than 250 mass shootings with a vast majority of the weapons purchased legally. There are 600 million guns in circulation and registered gun owners average 9 guns per household. The argument that bad guys will be the only ones with guns doesn’t fly when faced with the above statistics. Average citizens are committing these crimes. We don’t want to claim our violent tendencies and hatred so we call the shooters “mentally ill” but it’s our gun-loving society that’s ill. White supremacy is our terrorist problem. Not immigrants not Muslims, but home-grown racists and murderers propped up by an incompetent and hateful administration.

“SEND HER BACK”
These are our president’s words aimed at a congresswoman who is an American citizen and angrily chanted at his rallies along with shouts of “shoot them” when he condemns immigrants. Since we’re “sending back” U.S. citizens to their countries of origin if they disagree with Donald Trump, I wonder which country I’ll be sent to. I’m not entirely sure where most of my ancestors came from but I’m pretty sure that my heritage is Irish, English and German with about a dozen other nationalities mixed in. I suppose I should expedite my genetic testing. Once we de-code my ancestry, do I get to choose the country I’m deported to and will they accept disobedient U.S. citizens? Do I have to be housed in one of the immigrant internment camps before deportation? Do I get to take all my assets with me and bring my relatives too? Do I get automatic citizenship with my new country including a passport? Interesting proposition, but I’m sure this opportunity is not suggested to people with my skin color.

“SHITHOLE COUNTRY”
While the president used that term to denigrate countries populated with people of color, I have to wonder if it doesn’t ultimately describe us. We need to again take pride in our culturally diverse communities and international diplomacy, but we currently have a government obsessed with bigotry, for profit-prisons and segregation by skin color and wealth. While I can’t ignore our history of racism, slavery, misogyny and violence, I had hoped that most of that ugliness was behind us. The country that I love is worshiping military grade weaponry, intolerance and white supremacy. White nationalism is the only type of nationalism that’s acceptable to our nation’s president as he attacks anyone who disagrees with his hate-filled agenda. We are being urged to fear people that don’t look and behave exactly like our most ultra-conservative citizens. If we have compassion for others, we’re told to find a new country.  Anyone that is not a white, straight, christian man is being persecuted and the laws of our founding fathers are being dismantled. Our courts are being packed with judges that are committed to restructuring laws and dissolving rights. Our legislators rarely accomplish anything of substance because of the infighting. This nation has not been so at war with itself since the Civil War and the causes are eerily similar. I pray for a return to national civility and governmental checks and balances but recovery is a long way off. This is the USA as we go into 2020. We must do better!

The Truth is not a Lie…

IMMIGRATION:
LIE: Mexican immigrants are overrunning our country – TRUTH: According to Pew Research undocumented Immigrants from Mexico have declined since 2009 by almost 1 million. (8)

LIE: We need a border wall – TRUTH: A majority of undocumented immigrants are not coming over the border but instead overstaying their visas. (6)

LIE: Undocumented Immigrants don’t pay taxes and are a drain on society – TRUTH: They pay $11.6 Billion in taxes, (3) and add $2 Trillion to the nation’s GDP. They also pay into social security while rarely receiving benefits. Children of immigrants are 5% more likely to go to college than resident children. (6)

LIE: Immigrants increase crime rate – TRUTH: Actual numbers show there is NO increase in the percentage of crimes when comparing residents and immigrants and in fact crime rates have decreased 12% since 1980 even though immigration from non-border countries has increased. (5)

SEXUAL ASSAULT:
LIE: Women exaggerate the prevalence of sexual assault. – TRUTH: 1 in 5 women are raped. This number is not generally disputed, and often considered low. 63% of assaults are not reported and 90% of college student assaults are not reported. (4) A sexual assault happens every 107 seconds. (10)

LIE: Men are in danger of false charges. – TRUTH: Of the 321,500 (7) annual assaults that are reported, 2-10% are either unprovable or false charges, similar to any other felony. (4) (10)

LIE: Wearing revealing clothing, behaving provocatively, or drinking a lot means the victim was “asking for it”. – TRUTH: The perpetrator selects the victim ~ the victim’s choices don’t mean they’re consenting to sexual activity. (10)

LIE: Sexual assault is an act of lust and passion that can’t be controlled. – TRUTH: Sexual assault is about power and control and is not motivated by sexual gratification. (10)

LIE: Transgender people commit sexual assault in bathrooms. – TRUTH: Transgender people are 3% more likely to be sexually assaulted. (7) There have been ZERO reported cases of Transgender people assaulting someone in a bathroom. (8)

FREE PRESS “in quotes”:
LIE: “It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation.” ― Adolf Hitler
TRUTH: “A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” ― Albert Camus

LIE: “One of the things I’m gonna do, and this is only gonna make it tougher for me, and I’ve never said this before, but one of the things I’m gonna do if I win… is I’m gonna open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We’re gonna open up those libel laws. “With me, they’re not protected, because I’m not like other people…We’re gonna open up those libel laws, folks, and we’re gonna have people sue you like you never get sued before.” – Donald J. Trump
TRUTH: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

LIE: “The FAKE NEWS media is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people. SICK!” – Donald J. Trump
TRUTH: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson

ABORTION Christian Viewpoint:
LIE: Abortion is murder according to bible – TRUTH: There is no such claim and in fact there is only one mention of abortion in the entire bible… Numbers 5:27 says that “bitter waters” were used to induce miscarriage which was considered just and necessary in certain circumstances. (1) (2)

LIE: Life begins at conception. Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalm 139:13-14 are often given to support the idea of life beginning at conception but are in reality shedding a light on the fact that our omnipotent God has known us since creation and His timing is not our timing. It’s a huge leap to make those verses anti-abortion. – TRUTH: Life begins at first breath… Genesis 2:7 & Ezekiel 37:5-6 God’s breath of life; Job 33:4 Breath gives life. (1) (2)

LIE: A fetus is more important than a woman. TRUTH: Exodus 21:22 While both have value, a woman’s life has greater value than a fetus (1) (2)

CHRISTIAN AUTHORITY and LGBT:
LIE: Fundamentalist Evangelicals are the only real Christians. TRUTH: There are 31,000+ Christian denominations with 5 major “families”; Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal and Evangelical. (11) The numbers are disputable but the point is that there is no church that can claim absolute truth in any matter without thousands of objections. There are often highly educated members of each denomination that claim to have insight into the true meaning of the bible and spiritual relationship, but there is absolutely no way to fact check this before our deaths.

LIE: LGBT people are an abomination and any association is implied approval of their lifestyle. TRUTH: Sexual orientation and gender identity are not a choice or lifestyle. The 7 bible verses that supposedly refer to “homosexuals”, a word not used in English translation until 1946, were for the most part referring to non-consensual relationships between a person of power and usually a child or effeminate male and are not referring to loving, monogamous relationships. Many Christian denominations support this hermeneutic and love LGBT people dearly and consider them valued and faithful members of their congregations. I acknowledge that this can be a controversial subject, however, we must draw the line when it comes to legislative endorsement of discrimination. A person should never be an outcast because they were born different from the majority and any effort to deny basic human rights is not representative of Christian thought or societal freedom. (1) (12)

 

Citations:
(1) Holy Bible- Verses from Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Job (NSV English translation)
(2) The Bible Tells Us When A Fetus Becomes A Living Being (2012) http://www.thechristianleftblog.org/blog-home/the-bible-tells-us-when-a-fetus-becomes-a-living-being
(3) The Institute of Taxation and Economic Policy (2016) – https://itep.org/wp-content/uploads/immigration2016.pdf
(4) National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2015) https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf
(5) The Myth of Criminal Immigrant (2018) – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/03/30/upshot/crime-immigration-myth.html
(6) Facts on Immigration (2017) https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/04/20/430736/facts-immigration-today-2017-edition/
(7) Victims of Violence: Statistics (2015) – https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence
(8) Pew Research Center/FacTank (2017) – http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/27/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/
(9) Statistics show… (2015) https://mic.com/articles/114066/statistics-show-exactly-how-many-times-trans-people-have-attacked-you-in-bathrooms#.Yh7qkyMNp
(10) Sexual Violence Myths and Facts  https://www.ourresilience.org/what-you-need-to-know/myths-and-facts/
(11) How Many Christian Denominations  https://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_Christian_denominations_are_there
(12) The Trevor Project – https://www.thetrevorproject.org/trvr_support_center/lgbtq-religion/#sm.00001glpgmh8v4ekvqhtkoge774wt

I want to point out that I have much more documentation than is listed here but didn’t want the citations to be pages long. I chose the most relevant ones for each statement.