Never means Never

Donald Trump won Indiana last night. I was just going to be quiet and let the Trump supporters have their moment. Regroup today. See if there was any honorable way to stop Trump from becoming the nominee. It didn’t look good.

Then Ted Cruz, the last hope to stop Donald Trump from becoming the RNC Nominee, dropped out of the race.

Immediately the calls for the #NeverTrump people to unite behind the presumptive nominee began. Didn’t we know that we had to give up our position and stop Hillary Clinton?

Hold on. Were you not paying attention before? Maybe I need to explain what the word “Never” means?

When I, and millions of GOP primary voters (35-37% of us if exit polls are to be believed) said we wouldn’t support the GOP nominee if it was Trump, we meant it. We weren’t just saying stuff.

I didn’t say #NeverTrump for political expediency. It wasn’t a clever way to support Ted Cruz or some other candidate. I, like millions of Republicans, will not vote for Donald Trump, ever.

I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton either. She stands for things I don’t. She will never get my vote.

I evaluate candidates along 3 lines: Character, Competence, and Core Values.

With Clinton’s character, I don’t believe she is a woman of integrity. It’s obvious to me that she will lie and try to further herself over the country’s interests. Regarding competence, she certainly has had ample opportunity to learn how to lead, and has obviously given thought to the issues facing our nation. I disagree with her on the issues, and if her previous performance is any indication, I don’t think she would do a good job as President. And her core values are directly in contradiction to mine. So, of course, I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton.

In previous Presidential elections, I’ve been able to turn to the Republican nominee, hold my nose and vote for them because while they may not be perfect (none ever is) at least I could live with them in the role of President. I didn’t doubt there character (more than any other politician) or competence. And at least some of their core values aligned with mine.

But Trump?

Character: People say there are two Trump’s, the one he has to play in the primary and the private Trump. A man of integrity is the same in public and private. He has lied so often I can’t even keep up. Just yesterday, a few hours before calling for Cruz supporters to unite behind him, he was accusing Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the JFK assassination. he will say and do anything to get what he wants. He has written in the Art of the Deal that he often plays to people’s fantasies, and tells them what he thinks they want to hear. he calls it “truthful hyperbole”. He spins the circumstances, and presents them in a way that best help himself. I would say he is the master of that. But he is not a man of integrity.

Competence: He routinely contradicts his own stated policies. He campaigns according to public opinion. He basically throws something out and sees if it sticks. before the Wisconsin primary, there were a couple of days where he actually held 4 different positions on abortion. It seemed like he hadn’t given any thought to how to answer questions about a pivotal issue for conservatives. He changes positions all the time, based on whatever he thinks he should say to help himself. Most of the positions he claims to hold have been written by others, and he doesn’t seem to be familiar with them. His style of leadership does not lend itself to being President. his behavior on the campaign trail indicates that a Trump administration would not be a competent one.

Core Values: This is a big one. As I mentioned before, he doesn’t have a consistent position on abortion. He called for the killing of wives and children of terrorists (multiple times) and when he found out it would be a war crime, he said we should loosen up those laws. He’s soft on LGBT issues. He’s not for limited government. He’s soft on the ACA and government healthcare. He’s not for free trade. He’s a populist. He wants to ban immigrants/refugees based solely on their religion. He wants to round up illegal immigrants and send them home, build a wall, then let them back in. He wants to start a trade war with China and Mexico. He says he’s against visa for worker in American, but admits to using them himself to the benefit of his businesses. He wants to open up libel laws to shut down criticism from journalists. Until a few years ago, he held very liberal positions, and doesn’t have much of a reason for why he changed his mind. He has no conservative track record. He lies, a lot. He uses dishonorable tactics to smear his opponents.

Every core value I can identify is directly contradictory to my own. And the rest, who can tell what he thinks or will do? How many times has he given an interview, only to have his campaign clarify and walk back something he said?

At least with Clinton I know what we are getting. So no, I’m not going to vote for Clinton and I’m not going to vote for Trump.

And no, a vote for someone else is not a vote for Clinton. It’s a vote for someone else. Either my vote matters or it doesn’t. The Republican party has to earn my vote just like any party. Frankly, if I had been required to register as a Republican in Texas before the primary, I would request to be removed from the Republican membership. Since I didn’t, that makes it easier. I’m not handing the election to Clinton. Millions of us told anyone who would listen that we were not buying what trump was selling. the fact that th rest of you decided to buy it does not make it my responsibility to join you.

Principle over party. Period.

A Republican party that can nominate someone like Donald Trump doesn’t represent me. So I no longer “identify” as one. I’m now an independent conservative. I will find someone I can vote for, instead of against. As long as we keep voting for the lesser of two evils, we will keep getting one of the evils.

I’m still #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. Never means never.

Media Dogpiles Carson Because of Politico Post Saying He Lied, Clinton’s Benghazi Lies Still Not a Big Deal.

I’ve said it before. Journalism is dead.

This morning Politico posted an article with a headline that said Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson “fabricated” a story about West Point. If you follow the link, that’s not what the headline says now. In fact the Daily Caller has it’s own story about how much Politico has backed off of their original story. The first line of the original post was, “Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted … that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated” and it has been deleted, headline changed.

If you read the Politico story all the way through you can see that their initial inflammatory headline was way overblown. In fact, this is making a mountain out of a molehill. Carson may have the exact dates wrong, but he did meet Westmoreland and discuss West Point. Carson, like me and many others, apparently didn’t know that everyone gets a full scholarship at West Point. I didn’t know that, I would have expected an editor of the book to catch that detail.

Regardless, in a media driven by views and ratings more than truth, news organizations were off to the races. CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Newsweek, Fortune, USA Today and just about anyone else you can name all ran some form of the story. Carson’s campaign started crying foul, and the conservative news blogs started writing rebuttals. Fox is now running a headline that says the report by Politico has been called into question.

Now, I’m not sure Carson is our best candidate. He doesn’t seem to be the good at handling a media that wants to rip him and his candidacy apart. He’s said some strange stuff. (If reports are to be believed… he may not have tried to hit his mother with a hammer, or stabbed someone, or been robbed at gunpoint, and doesn’t know what the Pyramids are.) But this is just bad journalism. OK, Politico thought it had a story and blew it out of proportion. I could almost excuse that as over eager reporting on something they thought would be a huge story. (They should officially retract their initial claims instead of silently altering the story) But for every other major news organization to pile on without doing their own checking of the story? Come on.

This is just the latest in recent stories about Carson’s past life and statements. What did he do that made it open season on his past? He started leading the Republican polls and he criticized the media.

If the media were doing this to all of the candidates, Democrat as well as Republican, it would be easier to take. But no, this is the state of journalism in America:

In Benghazi hearing we see definitive proof that Hillary Clinton knew what she told the American people about the embassy attack was a lie.

Media: “Meh, why are the Republicans harassing her about this?”

Ben Carson leads some polls and said he was offered a scholarship to West Point, when in fact no one is ever offered a “scholarship” there because it’s free to attend if you can get in.

Media: “Carson’s a liar! Liar, liar, pants of fire!”

The double standard makes my head hurt.

Hillary Clinton’s Emails

If you’ve been following the election at all you have probably heard by now that Hillary Clinton, current front runner for the Democrats, is under criminal FBI investigation for what she may or may not have done with classified material contained in emails.

Let me say that again, the FRONTRUNNER for the Democrats in the 2016 Presidential campaign is under criminal investigation, by the FBI, for how she handles classified, secret documents.

Here’s an article that looks at the scandal and her defense of her actions:

‘Born classified’: Hillary Clinton’s best argument in the email scandal just got destroyed

It seems clear that several documents, several emails with classified information were mishandled by Clinton.

What does that mean?

Legally, I’m not sure. But politically, it could be bad. If this were a few decades ago, she would have already dropped out. But in today’s political climate, some people will still believed this is just partisan politics.

There are only a few possible conclusions you can draw from this situation:

1. Hillary Clinton is so inept that she did not realize that she had mishandled any material, and really doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

2. Or Hillary Clinton knew she was handing classified information through here private email server, but was more interested in what she wanted than the law.

3. Or Hillary Clinton didn’t care that what she was doing might be against the law. She just didn’t take the time to find out if it was OK to have her own email server.

4. Or Hillary Clinton doesn’t understand cyber-security at all, and thought her private server would be secure enough.

5. Or Hillary Clinton knew fully that she was breaking the law, but was more interested in keeping her communication private than obeying the regulations which require them to be public.

None of these conclusions make me want her as President. They all throw up major red flags, either about ability to lead and handle sensitive material, or integrity.

If we elect Hillary Clinton, we get what we deserve.