Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
August 9, 2015
The Fox News Republican debates Thursday night had a record-breaking audience of 24 million.
I don’t know the size of the audience for the earlier debate which hosted presidential candidates Senator Lindsay Graham, former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Senator Rick Santorum, and former New York Governor George Pataki.
What became apparent in the early debate is that Governor Gilmore and Carly Fiorina belong onstage with those we consider serious candidates for the Republican presidential race and the others belong exactly where they are... junior varsity.
In the Big Star Debate that same night, entrepreneur real estate mogul Donald Trump, the strong leader in the race, appeared with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Arkansas Governor and former Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The word used most often during the debate was “conservative.” The candidates know they cannot win a Presidential election without the votes of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and make sure their comments feature any conservative actions, thoughts or deeds to which they can lay claim. Equally, those audience members who truly are conservative are left wondering what candidates mean when they say “I’m conservative.” Some of their “I support this or that” comments shout “I’m a neo-conservative” or "I'm a social liberal."
The hosts of the show did not clarify the term and they should have done so. They made the journalistic mistake of not requesting clarification of a term everyone was using but which was being interpreted differently by different candidates. They assumed that everyone has the same definition of the word “conservative.” They did not.
Whenever Jeb Bush and John Kasich use the word, it translates to “fiscal conservative, social liberal.” In other words, they are part of the neo-conservative family of politics. How do I know that? Both support Common Core. Both support amnesty for illegal aliens in one form or another. You can put all the lipstick on that pig you want, it’s still a pig.
How do you define “conservative?” First, it’s a philosophy of life, not an independent action (or a series of actions). For example, someone who supports building a wall to cease illegal alien entry into our country may call him or herself a “conservative.” But if that person also supports some form of amnesty their conservative credentials should be questioned. Why? Because conservatives believe first and foremost in the rule of law that flows from the Constitution and the first thing illegals do when they enter America is violate our laws. It’s sad that they entered our nation illegally and built an illegal life here and even sadder that their children may have been born here and call this country home, but it doesn’t change that their very presence shows disregard for our Constitution and laws that tell them how to legally become an American.
A conservative is a constitutionalist. First and foremost, that is what a conservative is. Second, you don’t get to pick and choose what parts of the Constitution you support and reject those parts with which you disagree. It’s an all or nothing deal which, when honored under one set of circumstances but not another, indicates the person is like President Obama, believing he or she has the right to set aside this or that constitutional law when they feel like it. A real conservative doesn’t believe that.
Because conservatives are constitutionalists, they believe in the Rule of Law that flows from the Constitution. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws you respect. Either you respect and obey them, or you work to change them. You don’t break laws... not even when you’re out for a Sunday drive and want to exceed the speed limit. I admit that when government becomes tyrannical and passes bad or unlawful laws, it is time to protest and if that doesn't work, to disobey. Government and its laws must be kept in check.
Conservatives value and respect the truth. They do not ignore reality. They do not live their lives as if things are as they want them to be rather than how they really are. They identify problems and search for solutions. They do not put on rose-colored glass while ignoring reality, letting things get worse. Or, worse yet, they don’t compromise truth with lies thinking they have somehow advanced an otherwise hopeless cause. To compromise truth with lies and expect truth to shine through is to mix milk with coffee and expect the coffee to remain black.
Perhaps rather than asking a question about whether everyone on stage will support the Republican candidate who gains the nomination (regardless of who it is), Fox moderators might ask candidates if they believe in and support the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Rule of Law, and if they value truth over political correctness. If they don’t want to ask those questions, they might ask each candidate to define what he or she means when they use the word “conservative.” Without that definition, an audience cannot make logical sense out of the answers given by debate participants who apply the word differently from one another.
If you look at the answers given Thursday night with those three things in mind, you will find Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, and Rand Paul are constitutionalists. And, it may surprise you, but so is Donald Trump. From the earlier debate, so is former business executive Carly Fiorina.
When you look at the issue of abortion, Mike Huckabee gave a truly conservative answer to that particular question. De-funding Planned Parenthood as supported by Senators Cruz and Rubio is a good band-aid, but it’s only a band-aid – and it doesn’t solve the real problem. The question that needs to be answered is when can what a woman carries in her womb be defined as “human life” deserving of the protections the Constitution gives all Americans? Huckabee, however, supports Common Core... a socially liberal position.
Scott Walker opposes abortion on the grounds of personal belief – and God blerss him for it. So, too, do John Kasich and several other debaters. The Constitution, not any individual’s personal beliefs, however, is what needs to guide the behavior of any lawmaker and certainly the behavior of our President. Walker is right that there are better, less risky alternatives than late-term abortion to save the life of a woman in the late stages of pregnancy... but even that is a humanitarian, not a constitutional, reason late-term abortion is wrong.
When you look at the issue of privacy violations that result from the NSA’s gathering of data that tells them who all citizens of the United States talk with on their telephones or email daily, Rand Paul clearly placed the Fourth Amendment into the debate. He was right. It is a constitutional answer.
relates to the candidates, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Governor
Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul appear to be real conservatives
based on the questions asked and my definition of the word. Some of the
others appear to be fiscal conservatives and social liberals. Some appear
to merely be politicians trying to enhance their political reputations
by running for the presidency. Donald Trump remains a question mark relative
to whether he is a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.
Marco Rubio removed himself from my list of possibilities when I learned his first major speech after the announcement of his candidacy was given at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Most of the problems in America today had their start at the CFR which controls far too much of what goes on in Washington, D.C.
Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are not natural born Americans. That is a constitutional requirement for a person to hold the office of the President. I love Ted Cruz and would vote for him, but this is a major roadblock. The fact that his wife, Heidi, has worked for Goldman Sachs for years is another.
The Supreme Court of the United States has never applied the term “natural born citizen” to any definition other than “those born in the country of parents who are citizens thereof”. The most often quoted Supreme Court case is Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) but USA We the People makes available several Supreme Court decisions that define “natural born.” They all say it means an American citizen born of two American citizens.
A lot of Americans don’t take the “natural born citizen” clause in the Constitution very seriously. Perhaps they have bought the liberal/progressive line that a legitimate candidate for the Presidency need only be a citizen – born in the United States. A lot of anchor babies whose mothers unlawfully come across the border to give birth in San Diego or El Paso are born every year. They can, using this definition of “natural born,” become President – even if they were raised and educated in Mexico. The point is, “natural born citizen” is a very important qualification for anyone wanting to become President of the United States – and it is part of our Constitution.
To believe otherwise is a very dangerous, anti-constitutional position for several reasons – including an acceptance by the Republican Party that Barack Obama was always a legitimate candidate (and in my opinion he is not and never has been). Obama’s birth certificate has nothing to do with it. His father’s Kenyan birth has everything to do with it. He is not and has never been a natural-born American citizen because his father was not a citizen of the United States at the time of Barack Obama’s birth.
By approving the idea that to qualify for the Presidency all you need to do to run for president is be born in America makes what Obama did lawful – and it is not. To accept one of these three men – Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio – as a legitimate Republican candidate for the Presidency removes the possibility that Obama’s Presidency (and all of the programs and appointments put in place under his pretend Administration) will one day be declared unlawful because he was unqualified to be President (not a natural born American). Think about it. What a great way to get rid of most of the Obama Administration’s bad legislation, including Obama Care. If a Republican candidate who is not a natural born American is accepted as the legitimate Republican candidate, the possibility of one day declaring Obama’s Presidency void due to natural born citizenship non-qualification is dead.
As for Donald Trump’s performance Thursday night, had I been standing on the stage with him I would have raised my hand with him. There are people running for the Republican nomination that I would not support just because the Republican Party says this is the person they want elected to office. They also recommended John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who have kept none of the Republican promises made before the 2012 and 2014 elections.
I respect Trump for his honesty. What puts me off about The Donald is that he relates himself to the problems of the world (rather than relating the problems of the world to himself) That is a text book definition of a narcissist and we’ve had more than six years of watching a narcissistic President in action.
Trump may not be a narcissist. Maybe he relates himself to the problems of the world because he lacks a record as Congressman or Senator or Governor and his personal success is what he has to relate to when he speaks of problems and solutions.
The Donald can dissipate the view many people have of him – that of narcissist – by talking about solutions to problems rather than just pointing out the problems and telling us how stupid politicians are. Though in most instances he’s right telling us how stupid they are, it tells us nothing of how he would have been smarter in solving the specific problems the “stupid” politicians have failed to solve.
He can talk about how to create jobs, not just point out something we all know: Jobs must be created. He can talk about how to stimulate independent business growth, not just point out that the current Congress and White House are destroying independent banks which removes access to credit needed by independent businesses (which employs the largest percentage of America’s workers). We’ll see if he has specific suggestions in mind or if his campaign is just going to point out problems most of us know exist.
It’s hard for me to say this because when Carly Fiorina was fired from Hewlett Packard, I wrote a relatively nasty article about her. After watching the first debates, she stands out solidly as the best prepared, the clearest thinking, the most knowledgeable candidate on the long list of Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential race. We need to know more about her.
I’m not into wars against women or feminism, but I think it would be a riot if Republicans elected the first women President of the United States of America... if a woman is the most qualified to hold that job.
� 2015 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved
Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career in 1956 as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 years (plus) as a banker and bank consultant, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, was U.S. Consulting Editor for Private Banker International (London/Dublin), and other major banking industry publications. She has written seven non-fiction books about banking and taught private banking at Colorado University for the American Bankers Association. She has authored seven banking books, one dog book, and two works of fiction (about banking, of course). She has served on numerous Boards in her community.
Barnewall is the former editor of The National Peace Officer Magazine and as a journalist has written guest editorials for the Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News and Newsweek, among others. On the Internet, she has written for News With Views, World Net Daily, Canada Free Press, Christian Business Daily, Business Reform, and others. She has been quoted in Time, Forbes, Wall Street Journal and other national and international publications. She can be found in Who's Who in America, Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in the World.
Web site: http://marilynwrites.blogspot.com