#NeverTrump + #NeverClinton = #GoLibertarians

I was disappointed this week when Donald Trump mathematically eliminated the chance of having a contested convention because of his dominant performance in the Indiana primary. I have been even more disappointed by seeing people who hate Clinton and hate Trump saying that they’ll hold their noses and vote for either one or the other.

If you are morally opposed to both Trump and Clinton, it seems to me that the only moral choice left is to vote for a third-party candidate. Please check out the Libertarian debate hosted by John Stossel and ask yourself if any of these candidates aren’t head and shoulders above both Trump and Clinton.

Also, try taking the quiz at isidewith.com and see whether you side more with a Libertarian candidate on the issues than with either Trump or Clinton. Personally, I found that I had more positions in common with all of the libertarian candidates than I did with either Trump or Clinton.

I’m planning to vote for a third-party presidential candidate this year for the first time in my life. If you are also part of the #NeverTrump or #NeverClinton crowd, you should seriously consider doing the same.

Please don’t throw away your vote by voting for someone you hate.

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Open Letter to John Kasich

Dear John,

If you haven’t noticed, it’s high time you dropped out of the race. Your continued involvement in the race is – if anything – more likely to allow Trump to win the Republican nomination than to achieve your stated objective of forcing a brokered convention.

Look at the latest Wisconsin poll results, for example: Cruz 36, Trump 35, Kasich 19. The only possible role you can play there is as a spoiler. Are you trying to get Trump elected as the Republican nominee? If not, then you need to evaluate the math and recognize that it’s time to drop. I don’t think I’m anywhere near being the only one who is growing less favorable to the idea of you being selected in a brokered convention, since you seem to be working so hard at preventing a brokered convention from happening.

Let’s take an honest look at how you’ve done in the contests to date. Displayed graphically, it looks like a tally of reviews for a really bad book. You have the smallest number of good finishes and the largest number of bad finishes. Admittedly I left out your 8th place finish in Iowa in this graphic, but, the key question from this data is clear: how can any of us take seriously a candidate who has more 5th place finishes than 4th place finishes, more 4th place finishes than 3rd place finishes, more 3rd place finishes than 2nd place finishes, and more 2nd place finishes than 1st place finishes?

Kasich Placement

Did you notice that you even managed to place 4th in Arizona in a three-man race? If that doesn’t give you a sense that it’s time to read the writing on the wall, it’s hard to know what would. Perhaps the fact that you’ve earned less than 10% of the vote in 19 of the contests held to date would give you pause.

Kasich's Percentage

Admittedly, you did win in one state (your home state of Ohio). Congratulations. But have you also noticed that, even in your home state of Ohio, people are either mocking or skeptical of your continued presence in the race :

Your strongest argument for your persistence in the race is your electability. You claim that polls show you faring well against Clinton, which is true. But have you thought about the possibility that the only reason you fare well in polling against Clinton, is that you are so irrelevant that nobody has bothered attacking you yet? It’s a pretty big stretch to assume that if you have 10 fifth place finishes (and 19 finishes at 10% or less) while competing only against Republican colleagues that you’ll be able to defeat Clinton in the general election.

Maybe it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee, because it certainly looks like the longer you wait the less pleasant the smell will be.

 

 

Top Ten Reasons Independent-Minded Voters Should Consider Romney

Electoral Trick of Treat

Halloween Pumpkin Showing Our Electoral Choice

1. Romney Provides a Real Hope of Change

2.  Romney Proposed a Pragmatic Energy Independence Program

3. Romney’s Behavior is Altruistic

4. Romney Has Crossover Appeal

5. Romney Is More Presidential … and Does His Homework

6. Romney Has an Inclusive Track Record

7. Romney Doesn’t Pretend to be Poor, Although He is Frugal

8. Romney’s Behavior Demonstrates Understanding and Compassion

9. Romney Has a Proven Track Record as a Problem-Solver

10. Romney Has a Proven Track Record of Collaboration

#1: Romney Provides a Real Hope of Change

In summary, you may want to consider voting for Romney if you desire change, and if you look forward to something better than the past four years has offered. You may want to vote for Romney if:

– You believe that Wahington is broken by partisan wrangling and you want a President with a proven track record of working with both parties
– You want to see a candidate who has a track record of creating a positive working environment for women within his Massachusetts administration, while his opponent who — although passionate about women’s rhetoric — created a hostile workplace for women in the White House
– You believe that a candidate with a proven track record as a problem solver is more likely to help the United States solve its budget crisis so we can avoid following the path of countries like Greece into economic chaos
– You believe that pursuing a pragmatic plan for energy independence would provide an economic dividend and a peace dividend
– You believe that a candidate with a consistent personal track record of compassionate and altruistic behavior is the kind of person who can be trusted with high office

If you look forward to a better, brighter future, Mitt Romney may be the candidate for you.

#4: Romney Has Crossover Appeal

Artur Davis, formerly a Democratic Representative from Alabama, spoke at the Republican National Convention this year. In 2008, he gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention seconding Obama’s nomination. And he was a co-chair of Obama’s national campaign in 2008. But this year, he attended the Republican National Convention to support Romney.

Davis spoke of his reasons for changing allegiance and challenged Democrats and independents to compare the two candidates and decide which one better measures up to their vision of America.

Do you know why so many of us believed [in Obama in 2008]? We led with our hearts and our dreams that we could be more inclusive than America had ever been, and no candidate had ever spoken so beautifully. But dreams meet daybreak. The jobless know what I mean, so [do] the families who wonder how this Administration could wreck a recovery for three years and counting…. Remember, my friends, the President saying of negative politics and untrue ads, “Not this time?” Who knew “not this time” just meant “not unless the economy is stuck and we can’t run on our record?” Remember when the President said of his own election this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal? Who knew the plain English version of it was, “Middle America, get ready to shell out 60 bucks to fill up your car?”… So, this time, in the name of 23 million of our children and parents and brothers and sisters who are officially unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, let’s put the poetry aside, let’s suspend the hype, let’s come down to earth and start creating jobs again. This time, instead of moving oceans and healing planets, let’s pay our bills down and pay down the debt … so we control our own future. And, of course, we know that opportunity lies outside the reach of some of our people. We don’t need flowery words about inequality to tell us that, and we don’t need a party that has led — while poverty and hunger rose to record levels — to give us lectures about suffering…. Bill Clinton, Jack Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson reached across the aisle and said, “Meet me in the middle,” but their party rammed through a healthcare bill that took over one-sixth of our economy without accepting a single Republican idea, without winning a single vote in either house from a party whose constituents make up half of this country…. This is the dawn before we remember who we are. So, may it be said of this time in our history: 2008 to 2011, lesson learned. 2012, mistake corrected.

If the man who seconded Obama’s nomination has come out in support of Romney, it may be worthwhile for Democrats and independents to evaluate Obama’s promises and his track record and decide if there is a better source for hope and change.

#7: Mitt Romney Doesn’t Pretend to Be Poor, although He Is Frugal

I can’t quite figure out why it’s so offensive for Romney to admit that he owns Cadillacs. Would it be better for him to pretend that he didn’t? The media coverage of those comments seem unfair to me.

Let’s look at the experience of Corrine and Hal Prewitt as a counterpoint to the media coverage of Mitt Romney. The Prewitts are independents who vote for both Republicans and Democrats, they are not Mormons, and they did not support Romney in 2008. However, in 2009, they purchased Romney’s house in Park City, Utah, and they learned a great deal about Romney in the process.

The linens in Romney’s house were good quality, but not from fancy stores, while the pillows in the master bedroom came from a discount store. When they went to the mud room, they found that Mitt had duct-taped the holes in his gloves.

His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities, but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.

Mitt personally showed the house to the Prewitts at closing, he explained how to use and service the appliances, and he gave them his contact information in case they should have any problems. Romney rented a truck, loaded it with the help of family and a friend, and drove the truck himself to his new home.

Mitt and his family are much more in-touch with average Americans than many people realize. They had a home of faith and family just like many of us…. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch…. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done.

Romney is clearly frugal, Romney even used to live on a constrained budget when he was a student, but it’s fine with me if he doesn’t pretend to be poor.

On the other hand, Michelle Obama visited Zanesville, Ohio in the last election cycle. Zanesville is located in a county that had a median income of $37,000, and she told a group of women she met with:

I know we’re spending — I added it up for the first time — we spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we’re spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements and so on and so forth…. And summer programs. That’s the other huge cost. Barack is saying, ‘Whyyyyyy are we spending that?’ And I’m saying, ‘Do you know what summer camp costs?’… We don’t complain because we’ve got resources because of our education. We’ve got family structure…. So I tell people don’t cry for me.

In a county where 12% of adults have a college diploma, Michelle went on to talk about the difficulties of paying off student loans when they should be saving for their kids.

Call me a contrarian, but I’ll take Mitt Romney’s admission that he owns Cadillacs over Michelle Obama’s comments in Zanesville. Remember, Romney never complained about how expensive it was to service his Cadillacs, he just admitted he owned them. To me, it seems more out-of-touch to complain about spending $10,000+ on extra-curricular expenses for your kids in a county where that represents over one-fourth of the median income than to admit you own Cadillacs. And I certainly wouldn’t mind having a rich guy in the Oval Office who still knows how to be frugal.

It seems to me that the independent voter would do well to read the Prewitts’ experience of buying a house from Romney and see if that doesn’t provide a new vantage point for judging Romney.

Why an Independent Should Consider Romney, #9: Problem Solving

My previous blog entry commented on our national government being broken. With that background, what would be more appealing than a leader with a proven track record as a problem solver? Let’s take a look at Romney’s ability to solve problems in several different arenas.

1. Bain Capital problem solving – Romney’s firm specialized in seeking out troubled companies and turning them around. One of Romney’s detractors, a former member of Obama’s administration, gave a positive review of Romney’s record at Bain Capital:

Overall, Bain Capital’s record was extraordinary, among the best in the business…. Of course, a number of its early stage investments failed. That is the nature of venture capital — an industry not unlike baseball in that a .300 batting average can be an excellent performance. But who can quarrel with an investment firm trying to nurture and finance young companies? The story of the private equity business is somewhat more complicated. Almost by definition, a private equity investment is made with the hope of improving the profitability of the “portfolio company”…. Bain had less than its share of bankruptcies, but it had a few — it appears four — that are particularly troubling…. Let’s be sure to keep these few problem children in perspective. During the Romney years, Bain made 77 significant investments — and a number of smaller ones. It made billions for worthy investors and, yes, doubtless created some incalculable number of net new jobs for the U.S. economy.

2. Home problem solver – Mitt’s son Tagg describes his dad as someone who is constantly trying to solve problems:

“In his spare time, he wants to solve problems,” Tagg Romney said in an interview. “He wants to figure out, when he comes over to your house, he wants to figure out, ‘Well, your boiler’s not working. How are we going to fix the boiler?’ and ‘Have you noticed that some of your trees are dying out there? Why are your trees dying? What’s causing that? Can we figure that out, and can we go down to the hardware store and see if they’ve got something to fix that?’ And all of a sudden you see him driving a tractor in your backyard, and he’s pulling stuff up. He’s like, ‘Oh, these rocks were doing that.’ I mean, that’s just who he is.

3. Olympics turnaround – The Salt Lake Olympics were suffering from scandal ($1 million in bribes) as well as financial problems (projected debt of $397 million), when Romney was asked to take the reins. Romney’s COO at the Olympics praised Romney’s involvement in the Olympic turnaround:

It was in the midst of a scandal, and you only know how dark it was there if you were there…. Prospective sponsors, nobody would answer the phone. We had a budget deficit, the morale was very low…. [Romney] can see into a situation very quickly… He’s very facile with numbers. He’s got that raw intellect which lays a great foundation… He is a blast to work with. He’s very funny, he’s got a wonderful sense of humor; he has endless energy. It’s always hard for people to keep up with him, because he’s going at 90 miles an hour all the time.

In the end, attendance at the Olympics was up compared to previous Olympics, and the budget shortfall turned into a $56 million surplus. And Romney, who had said he would not accept a salary unless the Olympics ended in the black, turned over his Olympics salary to charity.

4. Bain & Company problem solving – Not only did Romney solve problems for companies in which Bain Capital made investments, Romney was also called on to turn around Bain Capital’s parent company (Bain & Company). Bain & Company was suffering from problems with debt and from dissatisfaction among employees and clients. Clay Christensen, a Harvard Business School professor, described Romney’s accomplishment in glowing terms:

There’s nobody that I can conceive of who could have come into that fractious situation, and pull that together…. I know Nancy Pelosi very well and I know a number of the Republican leaders…. Pulling those guys together is a lot easier than pulling Bain together.

5. Personal problem solver – Mitt Romney helped members of his congregation with personal problems while he served as a lay pastor in the LDS church. Ronnie Catalano and his wife credit Romney with saving their marriage.

‘Mitt was the one who really stood out. He was always caring about my family, my wife, my children,’ Catalano said in a recent interview. ‘He taught me how to keep my family together.’ ‘He saved us. He rescued us,’ added his wife.

6. Government problem solver – Mitt Romney inherited a state budget that faced a $3 billion shortfall and managed to generate budget surpluses by reducing spending, consolidating government agencies, increasing fees, and closing loopholes. He didn’t change the tax rates but still managed to set the state’s financial house in order. Even staffers who were helping one of his Repbulican opponents admitted Romney had a strong fiscal record in Massachusetts:

State Senator Bruce E. Tarr, also a co-chariman for Mr. Giuliani’s campaign, said Mr. Romney ‘provided some pretty strong fiscal discipline.’

I’ve been waiting my entire voting life for a President who would actually follow through on campaign promises of turning around the fiscal disaster of our national deficits. I have been successively disappointed by every Republican and Democratic President in my voting lifetime. With Romney’s track record of establishing fiscal discipline in the Olympics, in the corporate world, and in state government, and his overall record of being a creative problem solver, I’m willing to suspend disbelief for the first time in many years and hope that, finally, we might have a candidate who can pull it off.