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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fence-Jumping Double Standards

Shortly after 7 pm on Friday, a 42 year-old central Texas man identified by authorities as Omar J. Gonzalez jumped the White House fence and managed to enter the front door of the President’s residence. Justifiably, a great deal of concern has been expressed by lawmakers and security experts over the incident. Media outlets across the country have posted stories about the incident using headlines such as this one from ABC News saying “Fence-Jumper Makes It Into the White House”. I’m just wondering if we changed that headline to read “Fence-Jumper Makes it Into America”, would it get a different reaction?

The first version of the headline reports that a man, apparently of Hispanic descent (no mention has been made of his citizenship or immigration status) who jumped the fence and illegally entered the White House, and the second version could be about a man of Hispanic descent who jumped the border fence and entered the country illegally. Why does a single incidence of a fence breach generate so much excitement and concern when it takes place at the White House when the same thing happens hundreds of times a day along our border and no one seems to be concerned? Why did the Secret Service arrest Omar Gonzalez and remove him from the White House when those who enter the country illegally are surrendering to the Border Patrol and being welcomed with open arms?

Absolutely, I understand the need to keep the President and his family safe from those who would cause them harm, but the double standard here is unmistakable. Almost two years ago, in an effort to illustrate the double standard presented by Gun-Free Zones used to ‘protect’ children’s’ schools while the President and his family are given armed guards, I posted a White House Petition to eliminate Secret Service protection for the President and his family and replacing it with a Gun Free Zone. That petition did get enough signatures to warrant a response from the White House, and it also generated a considerable amount of discussion on the internet, and even made a segment on the Fox News show “The Five”. Although most people understood the point I was trying to make, I was surprised how many completely missed it.

Although it hasn’t been discussed in the articles I have read on the incident, there is certainly reason to be concerned that the intruder wasn’t just some moron that needed a good excuse to screw up the rest of his life. With the current situation in the world, and the recent reports from Australia of terrorist plots against members of Parliament and their Prime Minister, the obvious concern is that the man was involved in an act of terrorism.  The White House and its residents are not the only possible terrorist targets in America; the rest of us face the same danger.

Yes, the President and his family need to be secure in their home, but our families should be secure in our homes as well. Securing our homes includes knowing who is able to enter the country, as well as having the ability to use guns to protect our families regardless of where they might be. Guns supposedly won’t make our kids safe at school, yet they are used to protect the President’s kids while they attend school. As others have already pointed out, we are told that a fence won’t make the border more secure, yet a fence is used to keep the White House more secure.

It isn’t just about keeping families safe. The media was quick to point out that the President and his family were not in the White House at the time, but the Secret Service was still on duty to keep the home secure. The White House itself also deserves to be protected as a symbol of our nation, but it is only a symbol; the nation it represents deserves to be protected as well. Is it acceptable for the President to live in a fortress protected by the best armed security force in the world while the rest of us are left to defend our families against those who come across our borders unimpeded and against those who would deny us the freedom to own the tools we need to provide that defense?

I do not begrudge the President, any President, the security necessary to keep him and his family safe; in fact, I insist on it. I want our national leaders to be free to do their jobs without being exposed to danger from those who would do them harm. I want the same freedom for me and my family, and it would be really appreciated if the President would stop doing everything in his power to deny me that freedom.  Stop inviting criminals, drug cartels and terrorists into the country illegally, and stop trying to deprive me of the guns I use to defend my home and my family.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Few Questions for John Boehner

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that immigration reform would help the economy. His remarks on the subject came in a question and answer period following an economic speech. Although he did acknowledge the need to secure the border first, he did not explain how granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens would help those who are currently unemployed, nor did he explain how the “comprehensive immigration reform” bill he wants to pass will accomplish border security or anything else it is supposed to do for us. Perhaps we have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.

One of the more frustrating things about our elected representation in Washington is that they are operating under the delusion that the American people will just believe what they tell us without question. The disconnect between Washington DC and the real world is staggering, a fact which explains why the only people in Washington with a lower approval rating than Barack Obama are in Congress. The days of Americans blindly accepting what Washington tells us are long over, and proponents of amnesty need to find a much more convincing argument for their position than anything they’ve offered so far. With that in mind, I have a few questions for Speaker Boehner.

First, as I mentioned earlier, could you please explain how adding millions of low skilled workers to the workforce will in any way help the millions of people who are either under-employed or unemployed? I realize the concept of using common sense is nearly non-existent inside the Beltway, but here in the rational portion of America people are still quite familiar with it and expect it to be used as often as possible.

I would also like to ask if anyone has considered what will happen when all of those illegal workers the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is so fond of suddenly achieve legal status. They currently take “the jobs Americans won’t do” and work for slave wages because of their illegal status, but won’t be forced to do so once they are able to “come out of the shadows”. Those jobs will still need to be filled, and it will cost more to pay legal workers, unless of course new illegal workers come into the country to fill them. Oh, that’s right, the immigration reform bill does nothing to fix security on the border so y’all have that covered, don’t you?

When the millions of illegal aliens are given legal status, will that number be subtracted from the quota of legal immigrants allowed from their home country? Those quotas are a legal limit, so would it not be right to stop legal immigration from those countries until that country is back under that limit? What about those who are standing in line to come into this country via the normal legal process; will they be forced to wait even longer?

Let’s take a look at the political ramifications. I know your Democrat friends are telling you that Republicans need to pass immigration reform to be able to defeat Democrats in future elections, but doesn’t that make you just a little suspicious that they might have other motivations for telling you that? Do you really believe people who by a large majority see the government as a source of benefits rather than a protector of freedom are suddenly going to start voting against the party that is known for its willingness to keep those benefits flowing? Seriously?

What about the Republican base; do you really believe the majority of Republicans want amnesty? Perhaps you should call up your buddy Eric Cantor and ask him how his support of amnesty worked out for him. The fact that even Democrats are afraid to delve into the issue prior to the mid-term elections should give you the clue you obviously don’t have. If most Americans supported amnesty both parties would be falling all over themselves to get this done before the election rather than waiting until afterwards. Common sense tells me that even you understand that, and it tells me you have so little integrity that you are only waiting until after the election to ignore our wishes and push this bill through the House in time for the outgoing lame duck Senate to send it to the President’s desk.

Perhaps you could tell me what in this bill will do anything constructive towards securing the border? If the border is not secure before we even consider a discussion about anything resembling a legal status for those already here, how will we prevent a flood of new illegal immigrants from coming across the border in anticipation? What problem will this bill solve for American citizens? How will this bill make us more secure, reduce unemployment, help the economy, and reduce the deficit? Don’t bother with the same tired talking points you’ve been using all along, because frankly, they fail to impress; if that’s the best you’ve got don’t bother.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Do You Suffer from Ballot Envy?

I have sworn off voting for establishment Republicans so many times I feel like I need a 12-step program. Like most Conservatives, the GOP ‘leadership’ and those that toe the establishment party line disgust me even more than Democrats. Now that the GOP Senate primaries are over, in many cases, such as we have here in Virginia, we are faced with either voting for a establishment GOP candidate, a Democrat, Libertarian, or not vote at all.  I have never been one to sit out an election, even resorting to writing my own name in when Sam Nunn was running unopposed, but my anger at the GOP establishment has made it just as hard to vote for someone who will continue to support the RINO GOP leadership. Every time I hold my nose and vote for one of them I tell myself “never again”. Having given much thought to this issue, I realized there is one compelling reason to do so in the upcoming election, and to do so enthusiastically.

Currently my state, Virginia, is represented in the Senate by two Democrats, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine; a fact that I know has Thomas Jefferson and James Madison rolling in their graves. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie is the epitome of an establishment Republican, taking the right views on such issues as gun control and abortion, but failing miserably when it comes to tax reform, healthcare and immigration. My only other choice would be Robert Sarvis, a Libertarian who comes closer to being a Democrat than a Republican.

As you can imagine, I’m not terribly excited about my choices.

Conservatives in other states are in a similar predicament, and most of us are suffering from ballot envy, wishing we could vote for a Ted Cruz or a Mike Lee. As much as we would like to do so, we have to face the fact that, even if the GOP takes control of the Senate in November, this will not be the election cycle that allows us to pack the Senate with strong conservative voices such as Cruz and Lee. Some, like me, have entertained the thought that being represented in Washington by a Democrat isn’t much worse than with a RINO Republican, and with a Democrat there would at least be a chance of defeating him in another six years, but I have finally reached the conclusion that sitting out this election would squander my opportunity to be a part of something big, even bigger than helping the GOP take control of the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has effectively shut the Senate down since the GOP took control of the House in his effort to prevent anything remotely resembling the Conservative agenda from coming to a vote. When there is no vote, there is no debate and minds cannot be changed. For the most part, the only outlet for conservatism in the Senate has been in the press, and that has been limited to the few news outlets that will cover conservative views. If all 45 Republicans currently in the Senate were hard core Conservatives, it would make little difference if they never have a chance to vote.

Where our opportunity to do something big lies is in the effect giving control of the Senate to the GOP will be, even if we do so by voting for establishment Republicans, not so much because the GOP will be in charge, but because putting them in charge will give the Conservatives like Ted Cruz, Tim Scott, Jeff Sessions, and Mike Lee a voice that will allow them to exhibit the kind of leadership we know they are capable of. Conservatives will still be outnumbered in the Senate even with a GOP victory, but even in limited numbers they can do considerable damage to the Progressivism that is destroying the country. As it stands the more eloquent and convincing their arguments are, the more determined Harry Reid is to prevent a vote from taking place. While they are currently able to stop some liberal legislation from passing, there is no chance that conservative legislation will ever see the light of day. That will change in a big way if we can help the GOP regain power.

As much as I would like to have Ted Cruz as my Senator, moving to Texas just isn’t an option for me. Although he does not represent my state, he does represent my political views and ideology has no borders. I just look at it as Senatorial foster care; if I can help Conservatives gain an effective voice in the Senate, my views will be represented.

Let’s go vote!