02 August 2016

Memorandum on Trump

The following is my rare political post. 

Dan Rather recently wrote regarding Donald Trump, 

"...As those of us who have ever struggled to get hired know all too well, you have to start by impressing the boss. And when it comes to the Presidency of the United States, you have to send your CV and sit down for job interviews in front of the American people - not just your party faithful. Watching this week unfold, I am not sure Donald Trump fully understands that dynamic."

I think there is truth to this. In every election, you will always have a core group of people who will support their party's candidate No Matter What, and perhaps another core group who simply wants to defeat the opposing candidate, No Matter What.  I don't suggest we ignore these groups.  But even so, some demographics that a lot of people overlook are the undecideds, the independents, and the moderates.  I suspect these played a key role in putting Ronald Reagan into office in 1980 as well as Bill Clinton in 1992. If a candidate simply ignores these groups, it is done at his or her political peril. However, if the candidate is determined to alienate these groups, as Trump now appears intent on doing, how can that possibly be a hallmark of political success...?

30 June 2015

A Partial Explanation

Q: If God is perfect, why are things anything but, even at Church or among Church members?

A: "God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes." --Dieter F. Uchtdorf 

In Which I Outline a Few Principles of General Application

With respect to recent events, it is needful to take a step back and outline some basic principles that I follow. I am deliberately keeping this generic. As always, I speak only for myself.

  • 1. In my case, silence does not necessarily indicate acceptance or consent on a particular topic, issue or event. It may simply mean I've not had a chance to formulate a response. 
  • 2. I may not always formulate a public response. 
  • 3. Not everyone has the same religious beliefs that I have. The faith that I have adopted for the past two decades, for instance, is quite different from the faith of either of my brothers, and very likely the balance of my extended family on both sides. 
  • 4. Not everyone has the same political beliefs that I have. In fact, I am probably a centrist on many issues, and as such, would likely disagree with certain factions from BOTH of the major political parties.
  • 5. I feel that we must be respectful and considerate of others, even as to certain subjects and topics of disagreement, and regardless of how the political winds are blowing at the moment. This means finding areas of common ground where possible, but also includes agreeing to disagree when necessary. [Note: Someone will recognize this is a repeat of something I said sometime back, but I felt it was worth repeating.]   
  • 6. It is not necessary to change one's religious faith (or any essential portion of that faith), in order to be respectful and considerate of others. 
  • 7. It is not necessary to change political party affiliation (or even to have a formal party affiliation) in order to be respectful and considerate of others.
  • 8. I don't believe that a difference of opinion should be construed as hatred towards those of the opposing view, unless it is expressly worded as such.
  • 9. I am not perfect, and do not know anyone who is, save for one individual who is well known throughout history. Within the bounds of reason, we need to be more patient and forgiving with each other, within our families, and also with ourselves. 
  • 10. I will teach and share those things I know for myself to be true, and would accord others the same courtesy, provided it is peaceful and in keeping of the laws and Constitution of our land.
  • 11. I believe the First Amendment incorporates more than public conduct, or even private conduct. It incorporates matters of our very conscience. 
  • 12. This list is not intended to be exhaustive or to cover every possible situation. I'm only covering the heavy hitters. I reserve the right to amend as necessary. (Or not.) :-)

Regards, --SJR