What Matters in 2016?

This is not intended to be a 2016 election blog. Instead, among the many lost tribes of conservatism, the Bull Gator Party is intended to be a city of refuge. A place where ideas can be discussed without the associated restraints of, and the ensuing direct endorsement of, “party”.

The current campaigning going on serves as a convenient catalyst for conversation, and is thus intertwined with our goal of shining new light on unpopular ideas.

Everyone has “their issue.” There are organizations and voters whose entire political world of thought revolves around abortion. Another set of folks rally around education, whether they work in the industry or have children of the age where they see the products of a failing education system in their daily lives. Out of these interests, and other interests like them, come political infighting and the separation and concentration of donated funds into special interest camps.

How does one focus on what matters? Certainly action is not warranted, and will not be taken on every issue in every presidential term. For that matter, do we want a leader who aims to actively and aggressively FIX problems? If the Bull Gator Party is about anything, it is about thoughtful leaders who resist the urge to throw money at every problem in some sort of maniacal legacy building quest (i.e. “fundamentally transforming the United States”), and confine themselves to the enumerated powers in the constitution.

The office of the president was never designed to be the primary driver of the nuts and bolts of any change, but to set the course and right the ship as it is required, in the routine administration of the executive branch. The job of making laws was intended to be the province of our elected representatives in the house and senate, and more importantly, in our state capitols.

There is a lot at stake in 2016, but with debate moderators asking questions designed to humiliate candidates regarding fringe issues (“What would you do if your daughter told you she was gay?”) it is time to hone our focus on the macro level issues that matter.

  1. Consitutional Conservatism – Problem – The size of the federal government, the irresponsible and freedom-killing national debt, and the infringement of individual and state rights by an out of control federal government. Action needed – pass a federal balanced budget constitutional amendment. Responsibly phase out (i.e. ELIMINATE, not reform) several federal government departments. (Education and Homeland Security come to mind).
  2. Securing the Border Problem – Immigration Policy (firmly within the constitutional boundaries of the federal government) which allows millions to enter the country in violation of immigration law resulting in grave economic and security risks. Action needed – There a number of competing views, to be discussed at depth in future posts. Suffice it to say for now that all candidates need a solid plan on this issue. All solutions must begin with regaining control of the southern border once and for all and enforcing existing laws.
  3. SCOTUS Selections –   Opportunity – Antonin Scalia (79), Anthony Kennedy (79), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (82), and Stephen Breyer (77) are highly likely to be replaced within the next four years, and nearly certain to be replaced in the next eight years. Of all the powers of the president, this power has the most potential to impact the fundamental character of the nation. Action Needed – Don’t scrutinize justices based solely on their positions on past issues. Look for patterns of thought that reflect a deep deference and respect for not only the text of the constitution, but for the founders timeless concept of federalism.

You will take note that the following have been intentionally excluded from the list: Abortion, Gay Marriage, ISIS, Job Creation, Obamacare, Gun Control, Tax Code. This is not to suggest for a moment that all of these issues are not very important. These are significant issues on the micro level and it is clear that they are near and dear to the hearts of many. These are the conservative hot-button issues used to drive grassroots momentum and inertia that hopefully propels many in to the polling place. But they are a double-edged sword, because they also drive wedges between the different camps of conservatives and force candidates to die gruesome deaths on unnecessary battlefields once they are competing on the national stage.

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