Monday, October 26, 2015

This Presidential Campaign Has Been Educational

Senator Ted Cruz in Waterloo, IA

As many of you know, I am a part of the Cruz for President campaign here in Iowa. In Iowa, people treat politics like many people in Texas treat football, as Senator Cruz has so often said. There is a popular notion here that if a candidate won't come and talk to the average, everyday voter, they don't deserve the support of the average, everyday voter. I don't think people in Iowa truly know how good they have it. I think this will be Donald Trump's undoing here. He holds huge(yuge, in Trumpese) rallies and doesn't actually speak to individual caucus goers. While to many, Iowans may seem entitled to be the first in the nation to weigh in on the election, they do take it seriously. Senator Cruz is at home in front of huge crowds, tiny little coffee shops or the lobby of the Dutch Country Inn in Kalona, IA.(Shameless plug for a friend of mine that owns the place)

I have had a chance to be around many of the Republican candidates, aside from Senator Cruz, and doing so has only strengthened my resolve in helping Ted win the nomination and then be elected President of the United States. I've met Rick Santorum(nice man), Bobby Jindal(very good guy), Mike Huckabee(spent too much time on TV, probably should have stayed there), Rand Paul(different?) and Carly Fiorina(sort of contrived). I've seen Jeb Bush(stilted and has no business seeking this nomination) speak in person. With all of that as a preface, Ted Cruz is unlike any other politician or public figure I've ever met. He is comfortable in his own skin. Many of these people would make a decent president. To be fair, a can of PBR would be better a better president than what we have now.

But I digress. Ted Cruz has shown himself to be the most highly educated man to ever seek office, yet he is also incredibly down to earth. He is never uninformed about a question asked by a random event attendee. I can vouch and say that no one that comes to Ted's events are there because they were planned plants to ask questions that he had already prepared answers for. Those of us involved with the campaign specifically stay out of the way when he speaks so that people that aren't as familiar with him get a chance to ask anything they like.

I've also had the chance to sit with Senator Cruz in a small group setting of just staff and volunteers. He doesn't change when the media isn't around. He treats everyone with respect and asks that we speak freely and with no filter. He listens and then speaks with an authority on the issues that I have never seen. His answers aren't focus grouped to death. His answers are sincere because they are based upon principle.
Ted Cruz talking to a group of staff and volunteers.

To illustrate this more completely, I was at the Iowa Grassroots Coalition Honest Assessment Forum this past Saturday. Ted Cruz was the headliner at the event(even if it wasn't billed that way). Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee also attended. Ted Cruz arrived early so that he could speak to the attendees before going on stage. Once on stage, he owned the room. The format was such that most of the time was reserved for questions of candidates. All three candidates answered the questions with little hesitation but only Ted was able to stir the room to standing ovations and sustained applause. After he spoke, he jumped down (literally) off the stage and headed back to talk to the people in attendance. Frankly, I felt bad for the two that had to follow him. Many left after Ted spoke.

I was amazed by the way that people that I know from Twitter and Facebook that were tacit supporters of Ted Cruz but had never seen him away from the Senate or a more formal setting reacted when his townhall event in Council Bluffs, IA was broadcast on CSPAN last Friday night. He also took open phone calls. People all across the country were able to see what I saw the first time I met Senator Cruz. He doesn't change. He doesn't have a private or guarded persona that changes when he is in front of the public or media. He is also a huge movie buff. He loves to quote movies and has held true to Reagan's use of humor when he is campaigning too. He often remarks that we should be happy warriors for liberty because we know that our cause is just. I can't agree more.

Another opportunity being involved with this campaign has afforded me is being able to meet people that I would not have had a reason to meet before. At a meeting recently with Iowa and nationally known talk radio host/columnist Steve Deace, I was not only fortunate enough to meet the aforementioned Deace but I also ran into Marlin Bontrager and his son Josh. I had seen them and the rest of their family perform at a religious liberty rally that Senator Cruz held in Des Moines back in August. Marlin and I talked and found out that I lived only ten minutes north of them and that I was looking for a church to attend during my time in Iowa. He invited me to church at Marion Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, Iowa. I took him up on his invitation. I was blown away. The church is the most alive church I've ever been to. I'm hooked. I can't see attending any other church. The welcome I received was unconditional and overwhelming. At the end of that first service, I was invited to come to dinner at the home of Marlin and his wife Becky. Oh, they have 10 children, 5 of voting age. A better group of children, I've never met. I had an amazing Sunday dinner and a great few hours of fellowship. The family travels the country and sings gospel music when they aren't farming just north of Kalona, IA. They are all huge supporters of Senator Cruz, by the way. If Senator Cruz wins Iowa by 7 votes, we'll know who made the difference.

With Senator Cruz's steady rise in the polls and his amazing group of staff, volunteers and donors behind him, I can feel the momentum building behind this campaign. I encourage all liberty minded folks to join the effort.

My involvement in this campaign has solidified my thoughts on remaining politically active for the rest of my life. I may not be cut out to hold office but I think, by supporting good and virtuous leaders and then holding their feet to the fire once they are in office, I can help in my own little way. I encourage all of you to do the same.

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

My Morning in Iowa with Ted Cruz

I've had the great pleasure of being a part of the Ted Cruz campaign organization for several months. I've had grassroots meetings with the Senator and have now had the chance to meet his wife, Heidi too. I've also made new friends. It is easy to make new friends when you are working toward a common goal and have similar ideologies. Liberty is a great rally point.

Wednesday morning, at a small hotel in Kalona, IA, I had the chance to see the loyal support that Senator Cruz has developed. This little place was packed with over 100 people and a gaggle of local and national media types(I didn't want to confuse them with the actual people). We were well over the stated capacity of this place yet no one complained (a few people from the local volunteer fire department were there). The fresh cinnamon rolls were a hit. The hosts of the event were as impressive as the candidate himself. Marlin and Becky Bontrager and their family (ten children, 5 of voting age) are huge supporters of Senator Cruz. I can speak to this family because I've had a chance to attend church with them and I also spent a Sunday afternoon at their house for a home cooked dinner and an afternoon of discussing faith and politics. The Cruz campaign couldn't have a better group of advocates.

I've also had the pleasure of getting to know the Iowa Campaign Manager, Bryan English and several of the other staff members that work out of the office in Urbandale, IA. They are great people. I also need to say hello to Lyndsey and Blue (yes, that's his given name) at the office. These two young people from Texas are great team members and great assets for the campaign. I do look forward to them enduring an Iowa winter. Blue is already wearing a coat all the time and it has only been below freezing once.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this campaign is a labor of love for everyone involved. The support continues to grow. As the Senator was leaving Kalona, an elderly woman approached me because I was wearing a campaign T-shirt and asked where she could send her campaign donation. She said that she hadn't donated to a campaign since 1984. I gave her the address in Houston and found an envelope for her. This is just one anecdotal piece of evidence that I've seen for the momentum being gathered by this campaign.

I've seen the way that the Senator interacts with the people at his campaign stops. He is incredibly sincere in his concern for the individual voters. He doesn't pander to identity groups. He speaks to ideas and principles. I challenge you find a more consistent candidate that hasn't just become a conservative since declaring their candidacy for president. He does make it known that he is working to bring together a coalition of disaffected voters that have been cast aside by the Republican party. There are over 54 million Evangelical Christians in the country and many have not voted for several election cycles at the national level because of the disdain showed to them by the Republican establishment and the Democrat party en masse. These voters are being awakened. I was announced as a guest of the Bontrager family when I attended church at the Marion Avenue Baptist Church in Washington, Iowa and the pastor specifically said that I was working with one the of the presidential campaigns and that if I were asked about it, the folks there would find I was with the right guy. Amen!

Ted has also made huge strides by bringing in many of the former Ron Paul voters in the early states. Many of Ron Paul's liberty-minded supporters in Iowa and across the nation have joined with Senator Cruz because they see a man that will do what he says he will do once elected.

I urge all of you to support the Cruz campaign. A better man has not run for this office in years. The contrasts in our current president and Senator Cruz are marked. The difference between Ted and his fellow Republican challengers are also quite stark. He has the most money of all the Republican challengers outside of the self funded (somewhat speciously) guy with bad hair, yet he is an incredibly good steward of the funds he has been blessed with. He flies coach, stays in inexpensive hotels and would rather spend those funds meeting the people that will help elect him instead of paying political leeches that would lead him astray. Let's all help elect a good man that will help reignite the fires of liberty that have been tamped out by overbearing and overarching government.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Are You a Closet Statist?

After a so-called conservative, liberty minded Republican snapped at me today for calling out a squishy establishment moderate for what he was, I had to write, lest I let my temper get the better of me. A certain "Republican" in the presidential race said he would provide bibles to those running that were actively opposing the giant cluster (insert your favorite pejorative here) that is the Affordable Care Act/Medicaid Expansion (known as Obamacare for the remainder of this post) because Jesus would want those of us that see this law for the steaming pile of excrement that it is to see it from another point of view because it helped poor people. Frankly, I was offended by what this squishy moderate that stands for nothing said. He is using a charitable man, who was the Son of God, and asked people to give freely of themselves to go along with government coercion that ends up hurting actual charity.

Over the past few days, it has become clear to me that many people, even on my supposed side, prefer statism to liberty. Obamacare is the epitome of statist policy. Many College Republicans I've spoken to see no issue in government creating new "solutions". "Government solutions" are euphemisms for growing government and usurping liberty. Frankly, if a candidate doesn't want to take a chainsaw to the federal government, I would never support that candidate. I'm done with party politics. I'm in this to support one candidate. I want to see baseline budgets go the way of the Dodo bird. I want to see actual cuts in federal budgets, not just reductions in the rate of growth that are screamed about as if they are actual cuts by the bureaucrats.

Be very aware of the way that statists pervert language, on either side of the aisle, to fit their explicit or implicit goals. If you seen a politician use the word "sensible", that actually means draconian. If you see a politician use the word "investment", that is used as a means to grow government by spending more money. If you see a politician use the word "comprehensive", that means make government larger by writing a bill so big that it can't be read in a month of continuous study. A politician that uses the word "sustainable" generally means that he wants to find a way to limit choice and force you to pay more for goods and services. If a politician uses the word "fairness", that means redistribution of what others have earned or will earn in the future. If a politician says "bipartisanship", that means conservatives must fold and anything that is not palatable to the DC establishment is deemed as "partisan bickering".  Be wary of Washington Cartel speak and call it out where ever and when ever you see it.

Why, in what still is by most polling results a center right country, are conservatives seen as the political outliers? If these polls are to be believed, because that's what politicians do is believe polls, why are the radical leftists like Obama not ostracized? Maybe this is a reason to not believe the polls instead of a case study on the political persuasion of the citizens of this country. In either case, all that is really needed for a revolution is about 10% if the population to see the need to reignite the fires of liberty that used to burn so brightly and caused this great land to be deemed the "shining city on a hill".

A few bright spots can be seen. Senator Ted Cruz announced great fundraising numbers for the previous quarter and an even better start to this quarter. What this means is people are opening their checkbooks to fund a candidate they see as someone who can help correct the giant leftward list that has taken place over the past 7 years. All of this is being done with little news coverage from a media that is deathly afraid to cover the one candidate that will not play into their hands.

In closing, if you see a candidate that the leftist media loves and seems to be accepted in the DC social circles, run away and hide. That candidate will not be the agent of change needed in Washington, DC. For those of you that yearn for change for the better, for a return to Constitutional government and for a return to liberty, I urge you to stop supporting statists, either overt ones or those who are more covert, and support Senator Ted Cruz for President of the United States.

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By the way, if you support a Bernie Sanders, please feel free to move to Cuba, China, or North Korea and experience the fruits of total socialist policy.