Monday, October 5, 2015

Presidential Candidates - #0 Yours Truly

"Who will be the next President of the United States?" is a question the whole world is asking.  With the 2016 caucus approaching, and candidates canvassing Iowa for support, my youngest sister and I have made a goal of trying to see all the candidates, Republicans and Democrats, in person.  So far we've seen six.  We are planning to see our 7th candidate, "The Donald," later this week.
I have been taking notes and photos (as well as collecting autographs), so I'm now starting a series of posts on the candidates we've met.  Once I've seen and posted about as many candidates as possible, I'll make my final decision on whom to vote for.

It's only fair though, before I give my impartial, unbiased reports on each candidate, that I tell you a little about what my own agenda would be if I were running for President.  (Don't you wish every news reporter would do that?!)
First off, I'm a registered Republican.  I registered as a Republican because I wanted to vote in the caucuses.  I actually probably am more of a libertarian (with conservative roots), but I disagree enough with both parties, that I'm not sure either of them would want to claim me.  The Democrats would definitely not want to claim me, but once in awhile (very rarely) they do come up with good ideas too.  

I'm a Christian, and the book that has most influenced me is the Bible.  Of course, just about every other Presidential candidate in the history of the nation has claimed to be a Christian, so (as I explained here) I don't believe a person should base his/her decision on whom to vote for on whether a candidate is a Baptist, Methodist, or Catholic.

The second most influential book for me is The Law, by Frederic Bastiat.  Basically it says the purpose of the law (government) is to institute justice, no more, no less.

I advocate the free market.  If you want to save yourself the trouble of reading, in short, I believe in less government.  
Taxes
Abolish the IRS.  Institute either a fair tax (sales tax) or a flat tax (a fixed percentage for everyone).

Social Problems
I'm pro-life.  I consider an unborn baby a person with rights which must be defended.

I believe in traditional marriage.  Since the government has proved its ineptness in defining marriage, I believe the most practical solution at the moment would be for the government to be taken out of marriage altogether.  If a couple wants to get married, they should be able to just have a consenting pastor, priest, or notary recognize their union--no government marriage certificates, no clerks being forced to marry people.  

Entitlements, Social and Health Insurance
Repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act.  It has made healthcare unaffordable for many people.  Get the federal government completely out of the health insurance business.

The government must pay back those who have paid into Social Security.  But I'd like to see Social Security phased out, and/or made completely voluntary with private alternatives.

All forms of welfare for individuals and subsidies for corporations should be gradually phased out on the federal level.  Charity should ideally be the work of the church and/or private organizations. 

Veterans should be able to use their benefits at hospitals/doctors' offices of their own choice, not just at V.A. hospitals.
Miscellaneous
  • All federal involvement in education should be ended.  Parents should ideally be responsible for the education of their own children.  Abolish the Department of Education.  Education would be left to the states.
  • Cut back on regulations, and make all laws understandable.  We have so many laws and regulations, no one can keep track of whether they're breaking one law or another.  This is terribly inefficient.  Institute a regulatory budget, and start working on getting rid of regulations until an ordinary person can understand everything that is legal and everything that isn't.  
  • There should be no federal minimum wage.  (See this article if you need a brief explanation.)
  • All foreign aid should be ended.  Start by eliminating the foreign aid to our enemies, and then go on to end foreign aid to our friends.  Considering we're trillions of dollars in debt, we can't afford to be giving money to people!
  • Work on creating a balanced budget, and paying back our debt.
  • Become energy independent.
  • Respect the fourth amendment, and don't spy on our citizens (as the government did with the Patriot Act).
  • Respect second amendment rights, for citizens to be armed--not just for hunting, not just for self-defence, but for defence against the federal government should it ever become tyrannical.
  • Reform the justice system.  Something is definitely wrong when I can read two articles in one morning: one about someone who committed a heinous crime against a child, and walked free after a plea bargain without even being listed as a sex offender, the other article about a clerk in Kentucky who was imprisoned without bail after refusing to issue a marriage license due to her conscientious objection.
  • Find alternatives to inhumanely long (and expensive) prison sentences.  (By alternatives, I mean a lot of things: from community service to firing squads.)
  • End illegal immigration, and make legal immigration easier.
  • End the Federal Reserve, fractional reserve banking, and inflation, and institute sound money.
  • Although I disagree with his method, since President Obama has taken the initiative in using the White House itself to make controversial political statements (by coloring it with the rainbow following the Supreme Court's decision), I would go to pains to make my own controversial Christian statement known in similar ways (How about a cross over the White House?).
  • Have the strongest military, but don't be the world's policeman.  We can't afford to have troops stationed around the world.  It's not our responsibility to make regime changes in third world countries.  Declare war only when we absolutely need to go to war to keep the United States safe, and then win quickly and efficiently.  
A distant relative of Snowball from Animal Farm
I expect there to be not a single reader who fully agrees with me.  But that's what libertarianism is all about: the freedom to disagree.  God gave mankind a freewill.

I should note that I haven't figured out the means of implementing everything I mentioned, since I'm not actually running for president.  I also realize that everything would probably have to be done gradually and in the proper order, and I would need the help of Congress...  But, now that I've broken the ice, few candidates should seem too extreme.
What would you do your first day in office, if you were elected President?

51 comments:

  1. I look forward to reading your posts! I would never want to be president of a country. Having been the president of several organizations I know it's IMPOSSIBLE to make everyone happy. :))

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    1. Very true! It would be a waste of time to even try.

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  2. You nailed it, Bethany. I do believe that last photo is a good one of our government - fat, lazy and always wanting more. :) Have a great Monday!

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    1. The pig might be offended to be compared with our government! ;)
      You have a great day too!

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  3. Great post! I am looking forward to more. I can't vote (I am a resident, can't apply for citizenship until next year), but I always like to research/learn more about candidates for government offices. ;-) I am hoping I can vote in the next next presidential election! ;-)

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    1. That would be awesome. Exciting that you can apply for citizenship next year! It will be good to have another U.S. citizen who actually does research on the candidates!

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  4. Bethany, I might be your "single reader" as so far you are definitely my favorite candidate! :) The only thing you have against you as far as I'm concerned is that you are a woman an I do not believe President would be a healthy job for a lady.
    If I were elected President the first thing I would do is run and hide under the nearest bed asking God why he allowed me to get elected! President of the U.S. is the last job I would ever want.
    I'll be looking forward to reading your conclusion. So far I am not very impressed with any of those running.

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    1. Thanks Lydia, that is better than I expected--one person who would *almost* vote for me! :)

      Heh, your preliminary reaction on being elected president is funny but also very understandable. Being president is a tough job, and it does seem to make people age quickly (see here.)

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  5. Bethany, I think I would like to be a president but it is a challenge. Your post express interesting points of view.

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    1. Good to know someone who'd be up to the challenge. :) Interesting is probably a very good word to describe my views.

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  6. Bethany - you are wise beyond your years, and you far exceed our Politicians. I may be #2 in your readers in agreeing with what you had to say. I agree and would vote for you!

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    1. Thanks Mari! Good to have a second vote! :)

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  7. I agree with about 90% of your platform and would vote for you in a heartbeat if you were on the ballot..

    Too bad more of our political leaders won't come right out and state just what it is they actually stand for and what their intentions really are!

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    1. It is nice to know what you're getting into when you vote for someone.

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  8. I look forward to reading your posts and agree with much of what you have written above. Are you SURE you don't want to run for President? :)
    Oh yea, first day actions--I think I would follow Solomon's example, when he was first made King, and ask God for the wisdom needed to be a good leader and do the right things.
    Blessings,
    Aimee

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    1. I'm afraid I'm not old enough to run this time around. ;)
      That sounds like a good/essential thing to do on Day 1! Without God's wisdom and guidance we'd be in big trouble.

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  9. I echo Aimee's comment. On my first day as president I hope the first thing I would do is pray, and ask Father God what He wanted me to do in the name of His Son, Jesus, as He empowered me with the Holy Spirit. Having typed that, I am hazy on what specific practical proposals I might pursue, although many of my interests and concerns are similar to yours. I appreciate that Scripture encourages us to pray for those in authority! xx

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    1. Sounds like an excellent idea for your day 1.

      Those who are in authority or critical situations need a lot of prayer. I know I certainly would appreciate it if I were in public office. It impressed me when we were at the Rubio townhall; the last question someone asked him was "How can we best pray for you?" And he said to pray for his family since the campaign was difficult for them with him traveling so much. He also encouraged the audience to pray for all the other candidates as well.

      But that verse makes me think. We're supposed to pray for those in authority...but it doesn't exactly say what we're supposed to pray. So I don't imagine we have to pray "Lord, bless so-and-so, and all our government leaders." If, say, we were in some foreign country under an oppressive regime, would we be praying "Lord, curse our wicked leaders, bring them to justice, and deliver us, so we can live a peaceful, quiet life"? I'd be strongly tempted to pray that way, though I'm sure some people might believe in nicer prayers.

      Anyway, thanks for commenting!

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  10. I agree with alot of your points Bethany. If I was a president, I would pray and seek God first, then cut off funding for abortion clinics, get traditional marriage back, and abolish Halloween from being a national holiday.
    Love,
    Ashley
    creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

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    1. just to point out, Halloween is not a national holiday. If the mail runs on the day, it's not a national holiday.

      The holidays are New years, Martin Luther King Jr B-day, Washington's b-day, memorial day, July 4th, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

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    2. Since Halloween isn't a national holiday, I guess you'd just have to call off the annual White House Trick-or-Treat. Oh well, I've never celebrated Halloween, and I can't say I felt my childhood was deprived. :)

      It sounds like you would have worthy goals, Ashley.

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  11. I agree on a lot of your points...
    First day in my office at the White House would be to BE VERY CAREFUL of Russia...I've never trusted them as far as I could throw my house....I would watch them like a hawk....I also would stop funding to abortion clinics and, as ASHLEY stated, strike down same sex marriage (can I, as President, throw out all the Supreme Court and start all over..? They are sticking their noses where they just don't belong)

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    1. There are a few good justices (maybe 4?). But the judicial branch has overstepped its rightful powers, in my opinion.

      Huckabee in a couple of his speeches referred to what the Supreme Court is doing/has done as "judicial tyranny" and stressed that our next President will have to stand up to the courts and not surrender the executive branch to the judicial. He proposes term limits and a strict litmus test, and has mentioned using executive orders to protect the religious liberty of businesses, churches, etc.

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  12. I couldn't do much on my first day in office. Getting congress to do anything in 24 hours is on paper possible, but in reality it is impossible. I think a lot of Americans on both sides of the arguments think the President has more power than he does.

    Take Obama's executive orders. The president can only really change the way the federal government functions on a short-term basis. Like Obama raised the minimum wage, but only for federal employees. Any executive order can be over and done with by the next man in the big seat.

    Far as candidates I've met, the number is 0. Republicans flock to my part of the country (upstate sc) all the time especially in primary season. I'm not a fan of anyone on the GOP field.

    I remember Bernie Sanders coming to the next city over (about 25 miles) but I missed the chance. I don't think Hilary has visited, though I'm not too thrilled about her. Though I would never miss the chance to meet Bill Clinton. The other candidates are doing so terrible in the primary polls that this certainly is a two-person contest.

    Unlike the GOP where it seems there's more people than can actually vote for president. I'm surprised Donald Trump has kept his lead in the polls even though some challengers have gotten close but usually go back down. I bet Jeb is most shocked of all of them. He thought he was heir apparent.

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    1. True. Especially being busy with the inauguration and formalities, it would be difficult to get much done on Day 1. However, some candidates have promised certain things they would do on Day 1 to get their administrations off to good starts and signify what they deem most important.

      You are correct that the president by himself can only do so much. But he's a very influential person, and I think Obama can be credited with getting *a lot* done, and in many ways drastically changing our country. (I think he should get major credit for the Affordable Healthcare Act, "advances" in LGBT rights, sort-of legalization of drugs, and our foreign policy. Of course, he doesn't get all the credit, but I believe he was a major influence.) He promised change, and as far as I can see, he kept that campaign promise.

      It might be interesting to meet candidates, even ones you do not agree with, if you have the opportunity. Seeing and listening to Bernie Sanders was an amazing experience for me as a Republican. Admittedly, it was like listening to someone from another planet, since his views are so far removed from my own. He openly and apparently sincerely advocates and discusses things many others would not dare to mention (redistribution of wealth for one). I'd almost recommend listening to him to everyone--Republican or Democrat. I believe it's good to try to understand both what I'm voting for and what I'm voting against. I will wish you the best in finding a Sanders meeting to attend!

      Trump is a very neat candidate, and I think he adds an element of interest and humor to the race. I didn't really expect him to stay in the lead so long. He's different all right, and people seem to like him; but it's very hard to believe he'll be the Republican nominee. There's still plenty of time for opinions to shift. But I guess we'll see.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  13. "the freedom to disagree" I love that. And it's something we should all remember and practice. Without mudslinging and aggressiveness. In a free society, we all have a voice. And I'm willing to discuss, debate and even argue something as long as people remain respectful and open to listening. I am impressed by how honest and direct you are about your opinions and beliefs. No pretending with you!

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    1. Thanks Martha! Mutual respect is critical to any intelligent discussion.

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  14. Bethany, You are impressive! I'm happy to see a young person (shoot, any person!) actually taking time to learn in-depth about the candidates in order to form an intelligent decision. Too many people are uninformed voters. ;)
    And just for the record, I would vote for you. :-)

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  15. Beautifully composed photo Bethany. I agree, you are very impressive as regards to seeing all the candidates. I shall be interested in what you think of them.

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    1. I better get busy with my posts about the candidates! Mostly I'll be trying to write about what they said/think rather than what I think of them, but I'm sure I won't be able to resist sticking in an opinion or two...or three. ;)

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  16. Interesting to read your views, Bethany. Politics are something I don't comment on, but I will be interested to read your reviews of the candidates. - Karen

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  17. I can't believe you blasphemed that poor, poor pig! lol What did that pig ever do to you? You are right on so many thing, Bethany. I love that Trump is running----love it for the entertainment value---at least we can get a few laughs this campaign. xo Diana

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    1. Trump definitely does his part to help keep things interesting! :)

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  18. Very interesting post! You are so wise Beth! Liuba x

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    1. I wish I were wiser. ;) But the Bible says the Lord gives wisdom, so I know where to look for it.

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  19. Such a fun and insightful post Bethany! I agree with you on many things, however, I'm definitely a bit more on the liberal side. But I'm with you in that there are many things on both sides I"m not happy about. I think both parties need to be better about working together as, when things are truly broken down, we're often after similar goals in the long run. If we'd quite fighting with each other we might actually accomplish them. Lol
    xo

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    1. Yep, unfortunately I do understand what you're saying. It can never be simple, can it?

      But I guess that's partly what I love about our country. It is complex and we are free to express our ideas and beliefs this way. If every issue were just "black and white" - or only allowed to be "this or that" it would be a pretty scary place.

      However, sometimes I wonder if there were just a little more compromise....just a little more of seeing things through the other person's eyes - especially on fundamental issues, well maybe we could move forward and not be at a constant stale mate.

      Love that you're so young Bethany....yet so wise, thoughtful, and concerned for our country! xoxo

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    2. Chris Christie really emphasised building working relationships with the opposing party, since, I guess, he had to do that in New Jersey with Democratic leaders in the statehouse.

      After listening to many Republicans and also to Bernie Sanders, I'm pretty sure Sanders has very different long term goals than the Republicans do. I think you are right though that everyone does want a better economy, more jobs, and prosperity. How to achieve this is quite the matter for discussion. Sanders' method and the methods of various Republicans are worlds apart. He is fighting for a completely different worldview/ideology.

      I really wish Republicans and Democrats could just sit down, figure out a logical way to do things and get them done. But when people disagree on the fundamentals of what is logical, it's tough. Considering the country is about half Democratic, half Republican, I think they have to find a way to work together if they want to get anything done. (That said, as one candidate noted, Congress not getting anything done is at least better than going in the wrong direction.)

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    3. hmm...bad timing on my part--I copied my comment, and changed he to "Sanders" since someone pointed out my antecedent was unclear, and reposted--and now my comment is below your reply! Sorry.

      You are right. It is very important to try to see things from the viewpoint of others, even if we may not agree with their viewpoints. We need to not just listen, but also try to understand why people think the way they do. Thanks for your comments Carrie!

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  20. Hi Bethany, Wow, in just the last few days you've published 3 new posts since I last checked up on your blog. :-) Yours is actually one of the best blogs I've found so I should put more priority into checking up here more often. Well, I can't really even imagine what I would do on my first day as POTUS. :-) I respect you and admire you for having so many clear ideas about what you would do to fix things. I will pick one topic to comment on: Taxes. Yes, we need something that is more fair. And yes, it seems like a flat tax for everyone would be a good and simple answer. Why is it that our Congress just can't fix it? Thank you for sharing your blog! And thank you for all those comments you left on my blog recently! Have a great weekend ahead!

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    1. I do wish Congress would get something done about taxes. I think many people are frustrated that Congress hasn't seemed able to get a lot of good things done. Studio C has an interesting sketch out on the Republicans and Democrats (it's not completely accurate, but it's rather humorous): see here. Have an awesome weekend as well!

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  21. Hello Bethany, I like the sentence that you quoted on your former article "without morality, freedom cannot reign, and without faith, there is no basis for morality” (Tocqueville, 12).
    We are going to have election next year too. I read on the newspaper an advice that seems to be reasonable for me: we should read about the lives of the candidates, better if there are biographies of them. Then I will start to do it and I hope to make the right decision.

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    1. Ah, Tocqueville has so many good quotes! I remember falling asleep late one night over his Democracy in America in high school.

      I wish you all the best and wisdom in deciding who the best candidates are to vote for in the Peruvian election. I agree that reading books about, and even better, written by, the candidates is a good idea.

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  22. WHYYYYY can't we have sensible people like you running for office? Must we be stuck with the thought of Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders here? *cough*

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    1. I'll appreciate your vote should I decide to run in 2032. ;)

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  23. Bethany for President!!!! Hon...you definitely have my vote!

    I consider myself to be a Constitutional Conservative, but since there is no CC party, I have to vote Republican, because it most coincides with my general beliefs. Less government is definitely in my agenda and I agreed with every point you made. I do wish we could have a REAL Christian in the White House, not someone who just "considers" himself/herself a Christian because they don't truly understand what that means and they don't want to look like a heathen. :-) I have to admit, though that I have lost a lot of faith n the system. I don't think we vote for the candidates anymore, but they are chosen for us. In the hope that I am wrong, though, I will cast my vote.

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    1. Ha! Thank you Marie! Good to have one more vote! :)

      I do hope out of all these candidates we get a good, decent Republican nominee who, if elected, won't just let the establishment continue on its merry way toward the economic and moral bankruptcy of our nation.

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