For Super Tuesday and beyond, the words found in The Good Book may illuminate some consciences to live in the light and choose wisely. Guiding "red Gospel words of Jesus" offer the path for life and victory:
"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26)
Senator Rubio, many believed you to be a role model to look up to for upcoming generations. You were called the "GOP-JFK" that could bring "Camelot" back to America with your lovely wife and sweet young family. You were the hopeful visionary fostering an even better American Dream for our kids than the one given us by our parents. You were the youthful candidate with charisma and virtue. Noticeably, you were the candidate to visibly make "the sign of the cross" at the South Carolina debate, honoring the passing of Justice Scalia. In the Iowa debate, your response to the question of how you start your day was "in prayer, attending Mass" projecting a faithful "disciple of Jesus" image. TV ads promote Senator Rubio as a "Reagan Disciple." What happened to following Reagan's 11th commandment to never speak ill of Republicans? More critically where's Jesus' example being emulated? Jesus taught no more "lex talionis"-stand your ground, but no claw. In other words, "eye for an eye" or "tooth for a tooth" is out.
The shared strategy since Houston's debate by Senators Rubio and Cruz, to attack the GOP frontrunner by ganging up on him like a pair of alpha Havanese is embarrassing for the party of Reagan. Resembling Teddy Roosevelt's or General Patton's older and tougher terrier persona, CEO Trump doesn't back away from ankle biters. But beloved President and Mrs. Bush were not amused in their hometown. The mocking by Senator Rubio suggesting his elder contender Mr. Trump "wet his pants" and "you know what small hands mean" and vilifying by Cruz hypothesizing Trump tax returns "may show mob-ties" is infinitely more degrading to the junior Senators, who purport to be "Reaganites." Like him or not, CEO Trump's unique resume of accomplishments deserve respect. Career politicians tearing down business people harkens insight from President Reagan:
"The most terrifying words in the English language are:
'I'm from the government and I'm here to help!'"
Reagan Republicans in some circles are disheartened with the anti-discipleship strategy of the GOP Senators. Is it working and worth it?
Kitchen Chatter and Kitchen Cabinet
Americans at kitchen tables, including our diverse family, are dismayed with the personal rather than policy attack strategies in the Rubio campaign just as they were turned off by Ted Cruz after his campaign cheated in Iowa. It seems candidates of both parties succumb to the temptation of short term gains over long term victory. The same "dark" spirit or type of misguided political strategists that lured Senator Cruz to undermine the good Dr. Ben Carson, thwarting the true will of the good people of Iowa, seems to have entered the Rubio campaign. Fighting like frat boys in "Animal House," the only thing missing was food flying on the stage, not the expected stature of U.S. Senators and the antithesis of "virtue-driven" candidates. All know the stakes are high for Presidential elections, but this "win at any cost" mud-slinging lowers the office to gangster behavior. Accusations without any basis defrauds voters, with the mentality "throw enough mud, some of it sticks." The Houston debate was like watching the alley fight scene in West Side Story. And neither turned out well. Reagan Conservatives are embarrassed. Votes lost. Is it worth it?
Listen to Jesus and Yoda
Christians hold that the words that matter most come from the only true Savior of any nation. Jesus taught to be cautious so not to fall from grace, asking what is the profit if we try to gain the world but lose our soul along the way? Are extra delegates worth it?
This dirty antics race brings to mind sage advice when I ran for office in 1998. Friend and statesman, the first Japanese-American Governor of Hawaii, George Ariyoshi, delivered a valuable message perpetually worthy of consideration. He was Chief Executive for 14 years of our 50th state as a fiscal conservative. Unlike most politicians, he inspirationally operated the state in the black with a surplus, like a successful business. Governor Ariyoshi looked me straight in the eyes. Like Yoda, he softly but firmly said,
"Noel, in politics political strategists will try to offer you advice for 'winning' at any cost but you must discern if you are being influenced to go against your character, your conscience, your virtues and the ethics of what you believe is truly right or wrong.
It is tempting to do what they say will help you 'win,' but you have to live with the outcome of how it changes who you are as a decent human being. Be careful not to succumb to the promise of 'winning' if it means losing your soul and reputation."
White House Not "Animal House" Protocol
This primary election discourse of both parties no longer appears to be about determining what is best for America as a world leader: better jobs and opportunities for people struggling, clear strategies for counteracting perils for the future of humanity from ISIS to North Korea to addressing the number of new and dangerous viruses. Rather the fights for who will become President of the United States of America has been dragged into scenes in "Animal House" with debates mirroring boisterous shouting matches rather than a show of statesperson-like decorum. Even the woman in the race is not behaving dignified. Denigrating! Candidates, is it worth it?
American Values Matter
My late Scottish-Presbyterian Grandmother Lucia Pamela Beck came from St. Louis, the "Gateway to The West". Her husband, Italian-American Billy Angelo left his entire life savings in Cuba in 1959 to fulfill the American Dream with her in Florida. Grandpa Billy was like "Rocky Balboa," a champion prize fighter who never took on a fight unless he thought he could win it fair and square. They told me to be proud of being a "Daughter of The American Revolution," because our nation offered every citizen the opportunity to excel with hard work and cooperative team spirit. God rest their souls, they like many Americans are chagrin watching the immature conduct of both parties aspiring to lead our nation.
At fifteen I signed our Family Bible in Missouri and noted the signatures of our ancestors Reverend Eleazar Wheelock and his daughter Lucia. A Congregational Minister and founder of Dartmouth College in 1769, he desired to educate Native Americans and lift their plight. His dream for Dartmouth was never meant to be the portrayal in "Animal House" as a place which housed petulant frat brats and spoiled sorority sisters. Notably similar bad behavior is becoming the new norm by some aspiring to be President. Disturbing!
Politicians and Entrepreneurs Must Unite for America
One of our sons, founder of a successful company based in Florida, introduced us to Marco Rubio. Major donors from the hospitality industry supported Marco for Senate with a hopeful eye to his candidacy for President in 2016.
At the Miami estate of a tourism industry colleague we had in-depth "one on one" dialogue with Senator Rubio. He candidly expressed his views on defending the State of Israel; concerns with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and his ardent thoughts about America's foreign policy with Cuba. The changes taking place in the country of his family heritage were of keen interest to him. He like fellow Cuban-American Ted Cruz, has voiced clear opposition to opening relations with the current government of Cuba. Marco Rubio is articulate and knowledgable, well-versed about foreign policy.
Before Houston, Senator Rubio's promise of "uniting" the party inspired some active Reagan Republicans to discuss a winning "Trump/Rubio" ticket. Pioneer entrepreneur and policy wonk working together for the greater good sounds appealing. The strategy of combining successful global business expertise with foreign policy experience could be a way to "unite" the GOP and the country. Better trade negotiations logically create more jobs and higher revenues. Domestic manufacturing lifts minorities and struggling union members. A stronger military with a well-crafted strategic plan for winning. More competitive and caring healthcare plans including for Vets and homeless. Lower taxes with simplified reporting. Secure borders. By "uniting" the candidates pledges to "Make America Great Again" with "A New American 21st Century" the bells of freedom and prosperity ring for future patriotic generations irrespective of political or educational backgrounds. Like the team of elder visionary President Reagan and younger statesman Vice President Bush. Recent strategies by the Senators of Florida and Texas to personally belittle or vilify Mr. Trump is questionable, lacking Reagan-like statesmanship, making a team endeavor unlikely.
Paradigm Shift in U.S. Politics?
Go back to Reagan Days to understand dynamics. Working with Lyn Nofziger, political advisor to Ronald Reagan, was an enlightening experience. He agreed to come out of retirement for my campaign bringing wisdom and wit. Lyn was an outspoken loyal "Reaganite" with a great sense of humor. I can imagine him chuckling while comparing this election cycle to the Reagan Revolution of the eighties, similarly attracting new voters for a greater America. Feisty Nofziger would applaud 'We The People.' Notably he proclaimed,
"Government should work to insure the rights of the individual,
not plot to take them away!" Adding, "I don't like government.
It's just that simple."
"We The People" Will Decide
So far a diverse range of Americans voting illustrates the "People's Choice" award is going to CEO Mr. Trump. He is attracting new voters. The GOP competition has produced a "non-reality" show of party unity in favor of mud-wrestling, amateur imitators. With the exception of the dignified statesman Dr. Ben Carson and the Ohio Governor Kasich, all the rest have broken the President Reagan 11th Commandment of friendly competition. The new reality show to watch this coming season stars "We The People" and is directed toward the RNC and DNC establishment with the mandate: "You're Fired!" Lobbyists with self-serving establishment plot the "Ides of March," before the will of 'the people' is revealed.
Chump Change for Trump Change
"The People" sentiments reflect the words of greatly missed Ronald Reagan, "Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.'" People across America are not "chumps" anymore, trusting in campaign promises of "change" from 'status-quo' politicians. The people want leadership change that leaves them with more than "chump change" in their pockets. People want success, security and salvation!
If people's choice, not super delegates, ruled the Democrat Party- they would probably nominate "Bernie, the Metal Snake" (his Chinese birth symbol) to duke it out with the Republican nominee. The flawed system means the lucky candidates to undertake the intense "Fire Fight" will likely be "Hillary, the Fire Pig" (her Chinese character) in the "status-quo" corner and "Donald, the Fire Dog" (his Chinese character) in the "entrepreneurial change" corner. With Governor Chris Christie as his new "pressure fighter", there will be a plethora of knockout punches to the opposition.
Establishment, like it or not, most bets now favor "The Dog" in the hunt. The roaring-soaring "We The People" Movement desire passionately to hear in 2017: "You're Hired!" Remember, Trump promised to be "The Greatest Job-Creation President in History." Supporters say, "There's lots of life in the old dog yet!"
As The Good Book says, "Where there's life, there's hope! (Ecclesiastes 9:3)"
Brothers, Sisters, Alleluia. Amen.