Turn off your tv and watch this speech, it’s less than 30 minutes. Ronald Reagan, A Time For Choosing. You won’t be disappointed. It’s very relevant to the issues we face today. Who do you think most closely resembles this man? Ronald Reagan wasn’t perfect. But next to Calvin Coolidge who brought about “the roaring 20’s”, he was the best president we’ve had in the last 120 years. Speaking of Silent Cal, he was the only true libertarian president in modern history, and Reagan cited Coolidge as his favorite president of the 20th century. 

                         

      Think about your favorite candidate. Now ask yourself, does that person want to get rid of big government subsidies like ethanol, or expand them? Do they want to topple dictators and take on democracy projects like Bush and Obama; or do they seek a foreign policy of peace through strength, using restraint and sound judgement before sending in ground troops? Do they talk more about the greatness of the Constitution, limited government, and free markets; or do they talk more about the greatness of themselves? Do they have specific policy plans that will restore this Republic and its Constitution; or do they speak in vague platitudes that lack substance? Have they fought back against big government cronyism in both parties? Don’t get so stuck on one candidate that you can’t see straight. Cults of personality are not rational. This race is bigger and more important than any single candidate. Every one of these guys has flaws, but some have much fewer than others. 

Jeb Bush, Former Governor of Florida  What I Like: While he may not be my favorite candidate, I like Jeb Bush as a person. During his eight year tenure as governor of Florida from 1999-2007, he actually conducted himself as a principled conservative for the most part. He was a much better governor than Chris Christie or John Kasich. Bush made some impressive tax and spending cuts, and reduced the state’s government workforce by 11%. He stood up for the right to life in the Terri Schiavo controversy by signing “Terri’s Law” to keep her on life support, but was overruled by the Florida Supreme Court. Terri had severe brain damage and was in a nonresponive vegetative state. Her parents wanted to keep her alive, but her legal guardian/husband Michael wanted her cutoff. Jeb initiated Medicaid reforms that privatized certain aspects of the system. In 2005 he signed the Stand Your Ground Law, which states that no individual has an obligation to leave a place they have a legal right to be and authorizes them to use lethal force if they deem it necessary. The law was essential to the acquittal of George Zimmerman. He unsuccessfully pushed for more school choice. Jeb has a 3-rate tax plan similar to those of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. I prefer a flat or fair tax, but these plans are better than the current tax code and would generate economic growth. He appointed some solidly conservative judges to the Florida courts. Take an in depth look at each candidate’s tax proposal here: Candidate Tax Plans 2016

What I Don’t: Jeb has a lot in common with his older brother George, except he’s not as likable and less charismatic. He’s not an articulate debater and usually a bore to listen to. When he gets on stage it just seems awkward and clumsy. I don’t know anyone who’s yearning for another Bush presidency. I don’t like political dynasties, and I believe the majority of the people in this country don’t either. If his ego was a little bit smaller and he had a little more respect for the American people he would’ve recused himself from this presidential race. There’s over 300 million people in America. Why should every Republican President come from the same family? Jeb is a radical on immigration, a fervent supporter of amnesty. In 2004 he pushed a bill to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, fortunately the bill failed. Jeb has had some truly embarrassing, cringeworthy blunders over the course of this campaign season. While speaking at a campaign event in New Hampshire a few weeks ago, he smeared Donald Trump tongue in cheek by proclaiming he would not be a divider or agitator in chief among other lightly veiled jabs. Clearly dejected by the lack of applause, he told the audience “please clap”. About a week later he reached a humiliating new low while speaking at a rotary club luncheon in New Hampshire. In the middle of speaking, Jeb was suddenly interrupted by a rotary official and herded him off stage. “They’re kicking me out the door!”he said loudly, seemingly bewildered as to what was going on as he awkwardly made his way back to his seat. I felt kinda bad for him but it was hilarious. Ya just have to see it, Jeb Bush Cut Off By His Own Hosts

Donald Trump, Chairman & President of The Trump Organization    What I Like:   I give the Donald some credit for what he has done to persuade the American people about the importance of border security and stopping illegal immigration. He speaks his mind, is unapologetic about it, and can be hilarious at times. When he was talking about food stamps at one of his rallies a liberal in the crowd started yelling at him, to which he responded, “You know, it’s amazing. I mention food stamps and that guy who’s seriously overweight went crazy.” I prefer a flat or fair tax, but his three (3) rate income tax plan (10%, 20%, and 25%) reduces rates, eliminates the death tax, caps the corporate income tax at 15%, and incentivizes American companies to bring home money currently held overseas. A couple months ago Mark Levin referred to Trump as a “blue collar billionaire”. Unlike Mitt Romney, he has an extraordinary ability to connect with and relate to average Americans. He doesn’t care about being politically correct and millions of people are drawn to that. 

What I don’t:  Trump loves to talk about the greatness of Trump, but I have yet to hear him talk about the Constitution. He has made more vicious personal attacks against his fellow Republicans than any other GOP candidate. Examples: questioning the validity of Ted Cruz’s citizenship (even though he said it was a non-issue back in August), questioning Cruz’s Evangelical faith because of his Cuban ancestry, calling Cruz a “maniac”, comparing Ben Carson to a child molester, questioning Carson’s faith, Carson is low energy, attacking Rubio’s personal finances, Jeb Bush is low energy, comments about Carly Fiorina’s face, comments about Rand Paul’s appearance. Trump’s most blatant hypocrisies were his attacks about Cruz’s Goldman Sachs loan and Rubio’s personal debt, considering that as a businessman he’s probably taken out more loans than any other candidate and four (4) companies with his name on them went bankrupt. I realize not all of these were unprovoked, but who else has attacked basically the entire GOP field? 

Lack of Substance:   He loves to speak in vague generalities: “Make America Great Again”, “Build a wall and force Mexico to pay for it”, “Our leaders are stupid”, “I know how to make great deals”, “We don’t win anymore”, etc. He has made platitudes like those the foundation of his campaign. Besides his tax plan, he has mostly failed to provide any policy specifics whatsoever. For example Mr. Trump has said he will repeal and replace Obamacare “with something terrific”, without giving any details as to what that meant. 

Current Liberal Positions:    Trump has attacked Carson for opposing Medicare. He has attacked Cruz multiple times for opposing ethanol and says he will expand the subsidies. In the recent CBS Debate Trump said that the Bush Administration knowingly lied about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. That’s that the kind of conspiratory garbage pushed by creeps like Michael Moore and Code Pink. Trump owes an apology to President Bush, the members of his intelligence agencies and our brave soldiers who fought in Iraq. I wrote an article about this, the link to which can be found at the bottom of the page.

Past Liberal Positions:    Trump has a long and inconsistent record in politics: advocated universal healthcare in 1999, said that Hillary Clinton “is a terrific woman” in 2012, was a member of the Democrat Party from 2001-2009, urged Nancy Pelosi to impeach President Bush, and contributed a total of $581,350 to 23 different Democratic candidates (including Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel) between 1989 and 2011.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz      What I like:  He is the only one in this race who has a solid record of fighting for the Constitution and limited government against both Republicans and Democrats. His flat tax plan is a 10% income tax, 16% business transfer tax, 10% capital gains tax, eliminates the death tax, and eliminates the payroll tax. That would produce exponential economic growth. Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. The respected Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz said,”Cruz was off the charts brilliant.” Ted clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, worked for the 2000 Bush Campaign and was part of the legal team that won the Bush vs. Gore case, deregulated e-commerce while working at the FTC under President Bush, argued important cases before the Supreme Court as Solicitor General of Texas, and has practiced law in the private sector. He ran for Senate in 2012 against the powerful, establishment Republican, multi-millionaire Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and won despite being outspent 3-1. In 2013 he courageously led the first government shutdown in almost 20 years in opposition to Obamacare, which was ultimately fruitless because after a couple weeks Boehner and McConnell folded to give the Democrats everything they wanted. This summer Senator Cruz took to the Senate floor and exposed Mitch McConnell for the weasel he is, after McConnell lied to Cruz and other Republicans about his sneaky plan to re-authorize the Export-Import Bank (corporate welfare). I read his book “A Time for Truth”, which tells his inspiring life story, is intriguing, provides insight into the corrupt ways of Washington, and is packed with relevant history. Cruz was essential in defeating the Rubio-Schumer Gang of 8 Amnesty Bill. He learned from the amnesty mistakes Reagan made with immigration, insisting on securing the border and enforcing existing immigration law. Cruz’s foreign policy agenda feels reminiscent of Ronald Reagan. He understands the concept of peace through strength, while having restraint with the use of military intervention.  As I pointed out in my last article, the Texas Senator has been critical of the decision to invade Iraq, as well as President Obama’s decision to overthrow Momar Gadhafi in Libya and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. “If you topple a stable ruler, throw a Middle Eastern country into chaos and hand it over to radical Islamic terrorists, that hurts America,” Cruz said back in December. 

What I Don’t:    In 2013 he voted in favor of tobacco subsidies. A few years ago he supported increasing the number of H1B visas to import more high skilled workers, even though college graduates who majored in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields have been struggling to find jobs and their wages have remained stagnant since the 90’s. 

Florida Senator Marco Rubio     What I like:  Rubio is charismatic and a skilled debater. As Speaker of the House in Florida he played an essential role in getting high schools to offer more vocational programs (like welding, carpentry, automotive classes), expanding school choice, limiting the state government’s authority to seize private property, lowering property taxes, and fighting Governor Christ’s big government climate change agenda. He bravely ran for the Senate against the incumbent governor Charlie Christ and won in a surprising upset. He has been vocal in his opposition to President Obama’s disastrous deal to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba, which does nothing to improve human rights there. One of Rubio’s biggest strengths is his broad knowledge of foreign policy. I applaud Rubio and Kasich for being the only candidates who have endorsed the Article V state convention process to amend the Constitution and reign in this out of control federal government. Rubio’s tax plan is similar to Trump’s. Every candidate’s tax plan can be seen here Comparing 2016 Candidates Tax Plans

What I don’t:   For the first half of this campaign season he almost talked more about his blue collar parents who fled Cuba than he did about his record. There’s a reason for that. Unlike his time in state congress, Rubio’s tenure in the Senate has been disappointing. He ran as a tea party conservative and, like most Republicans who go to Washington, has not conducted himself as one. He betrayed his Senate campaign promises about being tough on immigration by joining the “Gang of 8”, which tried to pass a massive immigration bill that would’ve granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. Rubio has made several dishonest attacks against Cruz’s position on immigration. As a Florida state representative he supported in state tuition for illegal immigrants. He voted against Rand Paul’s “Secure Act”, a bill that would’ve temporarily stopped incoming refugees from countries at a high risk for terrorism. His foreign policy initiatives are similar to those of his fellow indiscriminately war hawkish Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. This is evidenced by his support for toppling Ghadafi in Libya and Assad in Syria. Obviously these dictators are bad people, but they bring stability to the region. Trump, Cruz and Carson are the only current candidates who seem to understand that. Rubio vowed to “slow down” and “force changes” to the recent 2000 page omnibus spending bill; but then he skipped the vote. A long time friend of Rubio told reporters that he hates working in Congress, which kind of makes you wonder if he just ran for Senate because he was power hungry and wanted to run for President at the end of his term. 

Neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson  What I like:  Carson embodies the American dream. He grew up dirt poor, raised by a single mom in Detroit and worked his tail off to get into Yale and Michigan. From 1984 until his 2013 retirement he was the leading pediatric neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Hospital, performing around 15,000 brain surgeries. Over the course of his career he made lifesaving breakthroughs in the field, such as performing a separation of conjoined twins and developing a technique to control brain seizures. In 2008 he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom for these accomplishments. To call him a genius would be an understatement. I believe Cruz and Carson have the best tax plans. Carson’s plan establishes a flat rate income tax rate of 14.9%. Carson and Cruz are really the only candidates who have run a clean campaign, free of personal attacks and dirty smear tactics. I respect both of them a lot for that. He has also advocated phasing out Medicare. 

What I Don’t:   He lacks the energetic persona of his opponents, which is necessary to get people fired up. He would be a good running mate in my opinion. Dr. Carson has demonstrated that he doesn’t have the political experience required to manage an efficient and well organized campaign, which is clear by the resignation of his campaign manager along with over a dozen other staff members about a month ago. At every debate I can remember, once the moderator gets to him he says something whiny along the lines of “thanks for including me”. That joke was funny the first time, but it’s really getting stale. 

Ohio Governor John Kasich    What I Like: Kasich supports utilizing Article V of the Constitution to bring together a Convention of the States and pass a balanced budget amendment. That is all.  

What I Don’t: “When you die and get to the, get to the, uh, to the meeting with St. Peter, he’s probably not gonna ask you much about what you did about keeping government small, but he’s going to ask you what you did for the poor.” That direct quote from John Kasich really tells you everything you need to know about him. He’s a pious liberal demagogue. Kasich is basically the opposite of what I’m looking for in a Republican nominee. The poorly worded statement above is something you’d expect to hear from Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. Joseph Farah of WND Commentary pointed out the blatant fallacy in Kasich’s theory on Christianity and how it relates to politics: “Jesus wasn’t lobbying Caesar to take care of the poor. He was commanding his followers to do it with their own sacrifices and their own compassion.” Not only do I dislike his politics, I also find him repulsive. During debates he has a tendency of interupting moderators and other candidates, only to flail his arms and disappoint us with an incoherent rant. John nobody gives a crap that your Dad was a mailman. In no way does that qualify you to be President. The fact that you have no record to run on does not mean you should make that the centerpiece of your campaign. Just because someone has a parenthetical “R” next to their name does not mean you should vote for them. Kasich went out of his way to capitulate to Obamacare and betrayed his fellow Republicans in the Ohio State House of Representatives in the process. He made a massive expansion to Medicare, and the great people of Ohio won’t feel its most damaging effects until Kasich is long gone.

Why This Is Important 

      When you think about the entire course of human history, the United States have not been around long. I believe America is exceptional, hence the name of my blog and Facebook page. Yet this magnificent and beautiful country, she is not immune to societal failure or collapse despite the brilliantly organized system of checks and balances our founding fathers implemented almost two and a half centuries ago. The Roman Empire lasted about twice as long and the Byzantine Empire almost four times as long, but they failed by making some of the very same mistakes our leaders are making today. It’s important to look at history and see what works and what does not. Look at the British Empire, Persia, the Aztecs, the Incas, ancient Egypt, Germany and all the once great but now has been/fading nations of Europe. 

      Our future hangs in the balance. This is an important decision Republicans, one that must be made carefully. I believe that four more disastrous years of a socialist Democrat President would seal this country’s fate in a terrible way. The National Debt just passed $19,000,000,000,000. Tens of millions of illegal immigrants have been allowed to stay here for decades. Workers, skilled and unskilled alike, can’t find jobs due to persistent waves of both legal and illegal immigration. The EPA is doing its best to shut down coal mines and oil rigs. American industries are being crushed by a massive leviathan of regulations that only grows by the day. Big corporations and the well connected use an army of lobbyists to get their tax breaks and subsidies, while small businesses and average citizens suffer under the oppressive reign of the IRS. Our tax code should be 7 pages, not 74,000. We face grave national security threats that have only gotten worse over the last seven years. America is at a crossroads. We need a courageous leader who will fearlessly take on these issues. 

                                    

      I’ll leave you with these timeless pearls of wisdom:”I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!”, Barry Goldwater.

Written By Jason O’Day, Founder and Operations Manager of American Exceptionalism