Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chris Medina - What Are Words

I posted this just because it is a touching song and video. No politics or message intended.

Do wolves have a right to eat?

Do wolves have a right to eat?  If so what if they can’t catch a deer or rabbit or whatever else they like to eat?

What if they are a lone wolf or in a pack, does that make it different. What about the whelps (pups) do they have the right to eat? What if their mother gets killed or is sick and can not feed them?

If so, what about the burden placed on the wolves prey? Should the deer lie down so the wolf can kill it, just because it is hungry? Conversely, does the deer have a right not be eaten?  Does it have the right to run away?

The answer is “no” the wolf does not have a right to eat; the deer does not have a right not to be eaten. However, the deer does have the right to run away and the wolf has a right to chase the deer.

But wolves, lone and in packs, do eat deer and deer do try to run away. So, what’s the point? The point is rights are inherent in nature, no matter what law is passed, wolves do not have a right to eat deer and deer can not have the right not to run away from the wolves that chase them.

A right can not impose an obligation on another and a right can not be infringed for the benefit of another.

Thomas Sowell Dismantles Egalitarianism (Frances Fox Piven Edition)

Who can win the presidency? It’s not necessarily who you think.

Who can win the presidency? It’s not necessarily who you think. Conventional wisdom says that Lincoln, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, and Obama could not win.

Lincoln - 1860:
In 1860 Lincoln only won 39.8% of the vote, but was elected largely in part because of dual political schisms.

The Democrats were divided over the concept of “popular sovereignty” in the case of slavery. In the decades before the American Civil War, the term "popular sovereignty" was often used to suggest that residents of U.S. territories should be able to decide by voting whether or not slavery would be allowed in the territory. This concept was associated with such politicians as Lewis Cass and Stephen A. Douglas. Note: neither faction was in favor of ending slavery.

Die-hard former Southern Whigs and Know Nothings who felt they could support neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party formed the Constitutional Union Party. They wanted to compromise on slavery but otherwise were “similar” in other ways to the republicans.

As a result of this four way election, an unattractive failed lawyer managed to get enough votes to win the 1860 election, thanks to being the only choice of abolitionists. Keep in mind that in 1859 the biggest story in the country was the trial and execution of John Brown. This in no small part made slavery the trunk issue of 1860.

Therefore, thanks to political schisms, Ole’ John Brown, and other ancillary issues, Lincoln (who should not have been able to win) won.

Nixon – 1968:
Nixon who failed to win against Kennedy in the razor thin election 1960, came back to win against Hubert Humphries and George Wallace in 1968. Again this resulted on no small part to the split democratic ticket. Wallace represented the segregationist wing of the Democratic Party ran as an Independent when he failed to get the nomination from his party.

The Democrats, who wear the incumbent party in 1968, were also severely hurt do to anti-war sentiment bubbling up among their own constituents. The anti-war protests and the schism over segregation were the trunk issues of 1968.

Reagan – 1980:
Reagan ran for the Republican nomination ion 1976 and nearly defeated the incumbent president. However, despite this near success many did not consider him a serious candidate. He was vilified by the media in a time before there were any significant conservative outlets. There was no Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Internet, etc. He was also under attack from the dominate moderate/liberal wing of his own party. At best he was in a close race with Carter in late October; some people have suggested he was down 8% but a closer analysis suggest it was fairly even in the polls prior to the Oct 29 debate. Yet despite being an “amiable dunce”, just an actor, and too conservative… he came back and demolished Carter.

The horrible economy and the problems in the middle-east, both of which could be lain at President Carter’s feet, were the trunk issues that Reagan road to his victory.

Clinton – 1992:
Bush 41 had a 90% approval rating coming out of Desert Storm; there was serious media chatter that the Democrats should nominate him from president even though he was an incumbent Republican president. Many of the obvious choices from the Democratic nomination decided not to run.

However, Bush had alienated much of his conservative base by breaking his 1988 campaign pledge against raising taxes, the economy was in a recession, and Bush's perceived greatest strength, foreign policy, was regarded as much less important following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the relatively peaceful climate in the Middle East after the defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War.

Just as in 1860 and 1968 the election of 1992 had an additional candidate who drew enough support to impact the elections result.

The public's concern about the federal budget deficit and fears of professional politicians allowed the independent candidacy of billionaire Texan Ross Perot to explode on the scene in dramatic fashion—at one point Perot was leading the major party candidates in the polls. Perot crusaded against the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), internal and external national debt, tapping into voters' potential fear of the deficit. His volunteers succeeded in collecting enough signatures to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states. In June, Perot led the national public opinion polls with support from 39% of the voters (versus 31% for Bush and 25% for Clinton).Perot severely damaged his credibility by dropping out of the presidential contest in July and remaining out of the race for several weeks before re-entering. He compounded this damage by eventually claiming, without evidence that his withdrawal was due to Republican operatives attempting to disrupt his daughter's wedding.

The trunk issues of the economy, the end of the cold war, and Perot’s candidacy resulted in Clinton winning with only 43.01% of the vote.

Obama – 2008:
The election of 2008 what noteworthy because it was the first election since 1972 that did not have an incumbent president or vice president on the ballet.

Barrack Obama, a junior senator from Illinois, decided to run against the Democrat’s presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. Conventional wisdom held that his lack of experience, ultra liberal views, and even in mixed racial heritage made him unelectable.

He was however, able to ride enormous support from the old guard media, a recession, and waning support for two ongoing wars, to victory over a moderate Republican John McCain.

I have listed five unlikely winners of the Presidency and some of the reason why they won, what commonalities are there between the examples I have listed and how does this apply to today.

In three of the five (Lincoln, Nixon, Clinton) there were more then two candidates that received enough votes to sway the election. The other two (Reagan and Obama) had two had trunk issues of a bad economy and unrest in the Middle East.

What can we learn from this? How do five (by conventional wisdom) unelectable men get elected.

The simple answer is this. Despite any negatives a candidate may have, if he or she can articulate a message that resonates with the electorate. Then that candidate can win. That is not to say “any” message well articulated can be a winner that is not the case.

A candidate can not come across as “crazy.” Seeming crazy is easier to do than one might expect when in the sport light of a Presidential Campaign. Ross Perot, Howard Dean, and Ron Paul all have fell victim to the “sin” of appearing somewhat crazy. Opponents and their supporters in the media and blogosphere will pounce on a candidate who does or says something crazy.

A candidate can not be short or ugly. This might be unfair but the reality is short and or ugly candidates are less viable in these days of visual media. Height is often said to be the single physical characteristic that most often correlates to victory in a Presidential elections.

So can Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich…et al win. The answer is absolutely, but it depends.

How is the economy?
What is the national security situation?
How do they deal with their negatives?
How do they appeal to independents and single issue voters?
How do they handle a hostile media?
Can they articulate their message well?
Can they get their message out?

Paul Ryan: Debt is Heading to Catastrophic Levels