To My Friend Who Supports Trump: Some Questions You Need Answered

Dear Friend,

I get why you like Donald Trump for President. I really do. I have felt the frustration with the current American political process, seen the supposed conservatives be sent to Washington to get nothing done. And Trump appears to be someone who will be different.  That can be very appealing. He is talking about all the right things.

But he’s not saying some things you need to know before you cast your vote for him. Politicians (and that’s what Trump is now that he is running for office) have historically said a lot of things in the election, but not always done what they promised. Remember, that’s one of the reasons we are so frustrated.

Trump is a master at this election thing, it seems. He is very good at getting attention, and getting his message out. But… and you knew there was a “but” coming… many things he is saying in this election are very different from what he has said before. Some of his new positions are radically different from his previous ones.

People change. People see reason. Positions evolve. I’m OK with that. But what Trump is not saying is what led him to his new perspective. Because, if he can’t articulate a reason for his changed mind that should raise some red flags. many of his previous positions would place him squarely outside the realm of conservative politics.

You deserve to know why he became a Republican, because that speaks volumes as to how he will lead he country if elected President. These are just a few questions you deserve to have answered.

2nd Amendment: Previously Trump has said that he doesn’t understand guns, hates guns, and supported banning certain “assault” style weapons. Why did he change his mind?

Healthcare: Trump has previously called for a “single payer” healthcare system, where the government pays for everyone. Why has he changed his mind?

Taxes: Just a few years ago Trump was saying the government should seize 14% of wealthy American’s assets (not income, assets) to eliminate the national debt. That concept is entirely contrary to conservative values. What changed? Why is he now opposed to this sort of government action?

Previous Support: In years past Trump has donated money to many political figures, including many prominent Democrats (Some with the name Clinton!). He has said that he did this in his capacity as a business man. Why would he donate money to people whose political philosophy was so different from his own? He supported people who supposedly have values that are very different from his own for financial gains. As president, will he stand for the things he says he does, or will he make deals and violate his values (and ours!) for other gains?

Killing Terrorist’s Families: Trump has said multiple times that he wants to kill the families of terrorists as a deterrent for terrorism. At first I thought it was hyperbole, political rhetoric. Yet, when pressed on it in a debate, he did not back off of this. Imagine if you had an estranged son or daughter who, God forbid, became a terrorist. Trump would kill you and the rest of your family? How can anyone hold this view and still support the US Constitution and due process?

If Donald Trump cannot or will not answer these questions, and many more, then we must wonder how much of what he says is what a person must say to get elected and how much is what he now truly believes? Trump needs to answer these questions. He is a candidate for the most powerful job in the world. We need to ask these questions, and more. We deserve answers before we vote.

[UPDATE: I found this campaign ad which shows even more issues that Trump has changed his views on. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad, but why? He has not clearly explained the process, and why we should accept that he really has changed his mind and isn’t just acting like a politician and saying what he needs to say to be elected:

You may have to be logged into Facebook to see it.

President Obama Vetoes ACA Repeal, Middle Class Still on the Hook

As expected.

But the stated reasons annoy me very much.

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 2.01.50 PM

That’s right, after admonishing the GOP for not doing things that strengthen the middle class, he vetoes a bill that would put more money back in the middle class’s pockets. I’m not talking about what some pundit said, I’m speaking from personal experience.

Back when the ACA first went into effect I was self employed. My family and I had insurance that we could afford. Then I got a letter from my insurer saying my policy had to be cancelled and replaced with one that cost 300% more.

Today I have a good, middle class job that provides good insurance for me, and offers it to my family if I can pay the premiums. The premiums for my family total over $10,800 annually. What middle class family could pay that? Of course, if I don’t carry coverage then we pay a fine. And since my job offers a policy for my family, we can’t even take advantage of tax credits on the healthcare exchanges. So I’m forced to turn to the Government to help insure my children and a co-op for my wife that keeps us from being fined, but doesn’t allow her to go to the doctor.

How is this better for middle class families?

I have yet to meet, or even hear about, one single person who had health insurance before the ACA went into effect that has better coverage for less money. If you know of someone, let me know, please.

On twitter I ran into a couple of people who said that the ACA just needs a few more iterations for it to get better. How long are we gonna have to wait for that? It’s been the law for a couple of years. I have not seen one bill from any Democrat trying to improve on the ACA. It’s like they are afraid to say it isn’t perfect.

So we are in this limbo. The Republicans want to show their base that they are doing everything they can, and keep trying to repeal the ACA. Democrats won’t ever criticize any parts of the ACA, so they never try to fix it.

And us, the people, are left holding the bag.

But can we at least admit that the ACA needs to be fixed or replaced? Will Democrats at least admit that it could/should be improved?

Either we elect a republican President and keep a republican controlled House and Senate to replace the ACA with something else, or we work to fix the mess that the ACA is. 

 

GOP Sends ACA Repeal Bill to President – Veto Forthcoming. Still no Solution.

Yesterday the GOP controlled Congress finally managed to push out a bill that repealed major parts of the Affordable Care Act. For the first time a bill that repeals part of President Obama’s “signature” legislation will arrive on his desk.

Where he will immediately veto it.

And there isn’t a veto-proof majority in Congress, so we will still be stuck with the massive mess that is the ACA.

In the mean time, there still isn’t a replacement for the ACA in the works. At least, we don’t know about it if there is. I’d be OK with just going back to the way things were before, but we did need to fix some things. A bill that repeals and replaces the ACA with something that addresses some of those old issues would be much better received.

In the meantime our lawmakers make show votes and don’t actually do anything to help people who are now paying more for worse coverage under the ACA. The ACA is not affordable, and no one cares.

How to Close the “Gun-Show-Loophole” Without Affecting Private Sale of Firearms

Today the President is expected to use an executive order to further close the so called Gun Show Loophole, as well as add more restrictions for those trying to purchase a firearm legally. (Those who are trying to obtain a gun illegally will not be impacted by these actions…)

The media seems to imply that people who attend a gun show can just buy anything they want without any sort of background check. That’s not true, of course. The only loophole, and I use that term reluctantly, is that a person who is not “in the business of” selling firearms can sell a gun to someone else without having to do a background check.

According to some, the only real issue is that the ATF refuses to define what it means to be in the business of selling guns.

I can fix that. If you sell enough guns that you are required to pay taxes on your profit, then you are in the business of selling firearms. And should then require a license, and do background checks, etc… That’s it.

If you have a few guns you need to sell in order to pay some bills or raise some money, then you can do so without the red tape. But if you are buying guns and reselling them for a profit greater than the minimum required to pay taxes (I think that’s $600 annually right now.) then you need to fill out the paperwork and do what the law requires.

Sell a gun to your buddy, no issues. Make a profit selling guns to people, file the paperwork.

Mass Shootings Don’t Justify Gun Control

Although I shouldn’t need to, I will define mass shooting. It’s not- like some would have us believe- when 4 or more people are wounded or killed in a gun crime. It’s when one person attacks a group of people with the intent to kill as many people as possible. (If gun control advocates want to use general gun crime as a reason to push their agenda, they can. But don’t broaden the definition of mass shooting to artificially raise the number of incidents.)

Every time we see a new mass shooting in the news, the same thing always happens. People who support gun control jump up and down begging for more laws and restrictions while pointing to the mass shooting as an indication of the need for these new restrictions. But no new gun law will ever stop a mass shooting.

Mass shootings are not crimes of passion. They are committed by people who have decided to break a lot of laws. They are planned. And then executed. Anyone who already plans to murder people will not blink at breaking laws about gun acquisition, or any other gun restriction. No gun law will ever stop a criminal from getting and using a gun to commit crimes.

They are criminals. They break laws.

OK, sure, we could limit access to guns for a lot of people, and that might slow the mass murderer down. He or she might have to work a bit harder to get the weapon they plan to use to slaughter defenseless people. But they will find a gun, no matter what the laws says. So yes, we could  restrict the rights of law abiding citizens in order to hopefully slow down criminals. Yet, unless we can un-invent guns, we can’t stop criminals from getting them.

Guns exist. That genie is out of the bottle, that egg shell has cracked. There is no going back. Look at any country that has made guns illegal. Gun crime still exists. How? Guns were not just restricted, but completely illegal? Criminals break laws. Prohibition doesn’t work.

I’m not unreasonable. I am willing to accept reasonable back ground checks. For example, violent felons should not have the freedom to own handguns. They gave that up when they committed a crime. Assuming due process, I’m am willing to agree to reasonable background checks.

But as a law abiding American citizen, I’m not willing to give up my right to own a firearm, if I so choose. Whether I use it to hunt, or protect my family in my home, for target shooting, or any other legal way I choose to bear arms; that is my right.

The rights of US citizens should not be infringed because criminals might commit crimes. Any proposed gun restriction that is in place or might ever be put in place, whether by actual law or executive order, will never stop someone who has already decided to break the law. No new gun restriction will ever stop a mass shooting.