Okay, I've decided to abandon my idea of having each of the characters from Lazarus Rising pipe in on the 2016 election. It dawned on me that I could sum up what these guys and gals would do in a sentence. Last week's guest, Forrest Vance, the antagonist of my novel, would want nobody other than himself to be the leader of this great nation, and in the book he takes it. Lazarus Parker, the protagonist, in 2016 would've blindly followed Mr. Vance only later to give up on life once Vance's true character was revealed. Abigail, my personal favorite and the main character of future e-books, as a young woman had zero interest in the political system only later to learn how important that duty of participating in a republic really is. Of course, by then the country has so radically changed that it would be a disservice to her own patriotism to seriously discuss this particular election cycle. Jack Payne, Abigail's father and the main character in my e-book, "Eyes of Payne," was an obvious Republican due to his personal connection to President Bush and the events of 9/11.
However, one thing did occur to me as I gave serious thought to what each of these fictional characters would think about our current collection of presidential candidates. It's 2016! I realize many of you are thinking, 'boy, he's a slow one,' but this is the year Lazarus Rising begins in. Forrest Vance loses his bid for reelection to the House only to make an unprecedented comeback later on. I struggled for years on how to get my antagonist to the White House. I realize in the past dictators have been elected, but for the most part I have always had faith that the American people would stand up before it got to that point. That our military would never fire shots at the people on any one person's command. That makes the silly argument that we should get rid of guns because none of us are going to fight against nuclear bombs moot. And so Lazarus Rising became more of a good versus evil story rather than a conservative versus liberal one. Although I get into those issues as well.
The problem now is I see two things that scare me: a growing amount of people convinced the system is rigged against them, and a lack of understanding of what really is at stake in our republic. FYI for those of you out there that claim we are a democracy... we didn't even use that term for the United States until after the Civil War! Our founders feared a democratic style of government more than any other... of course, the idea of socialism or communism had not reared its ugly head yet. My favorite remark from those who favor socialism is that this time we will perfect it. You see, it only works if it is perfect, and I've been to enough services on Sunday to learn that man is simply not capable of being perfect. Side note: Thank God for grace and forgiveness.
The beauty of capitalism? It doesn't have to be perfect to lift people out of poverty, to create more rich people than any other economic system ever did, and it allows for the true equality our founders yearned for in the Declaration of Independence. If we are not careful and get back to letting hard work and ingenuity payoff we are in danger of making sure no one has the opportunity to do what we are so good at: creating wealth. You see, government creates nothing, people in the private sector do. As a nation shall we never forget the scariest nine words in the English language, "I'm here from the government; I'm here to help."
So now onto the election of 2016. Although I have to admit it has been entertaining to watch, never did I think I would see the day in America where we would have a socialist and businessman/reality star get serious consideration. I'm not really going to spend any time in the democratic race since they have bigger problems than just this election. The dems have lost so many elections lately I'm surprised how arrogant they are simply because they have a two-term president in office. On the local levels it has been nothing but ugly for the democrats. The fight has really come down to how left of Obama the two candidates are willing to go. I venture to guess many Kennedy democrats are wondering what happened to their party. They have a man who calls himself a socialist winning primaries and a former Secretary of State that at best made some real boneheaded decisions. And then there's Donald Trump who... oh wait, I'm sorry I forgot, he's running as a Republican? It must have slipped my mind after hearing him use Democratic talking points from the 2008 election in the debate the other night.
So I guess that's a great lead in to what is going on in the Republican Party. Unlike the talking heads I'm not really that upset about the myriad of candidates that started this process. What does scare me is the aforementioned Donald Trump. And Ted Cruz for that matter. Not because of the old adage those same talking heads claim that, 'they cannot win,' but what their presidency might look like. Abraham Lincoln wasn't even on the ballot in eleven states! Yet his political brilliance of being everyone's second choice propelled him to the highest office in the country. Even the beloved Thomas Jefferson had to go to the 36th ballot in the House of Representatives to win the White House. Which, by the way, led to a change in our Constitution that gave us the system of electing a president and vice-president we have today.
Anyway, back to this century. Trump is more suited for the other side. The only saving grace: his lead is stuck at thirty-five percent. As others exit the race his support doesn't get significantly bigger. As for Ted Cruz, he is just like Barack Obama. No compromise. A my way or the highway type. Both of them are incapable of working with the other side of the aisle, and in Cruz's case his own side! I haven't made it a secret that my guy was Carson. Other than the idea of a medical doctor required to send troops in harms way I had no reservations about him as a leader. His quiet demeanor and sense of humility was attractive. But I'm also a realist, and it appears that his chances are just about zero at this point.
So as I began to look around and listen to what the other candidates had to say I realized two big problem that need to be addressed: Cruz and Trump. Certainly they would be better than anything the democrats are suggesting thus far, but both come with personal liabilities that concern me. You see, this isn't an us versus them problem, if the dems ever put up a man or woman I could mostly agree with and trusted, I would have no problem checking the box, or impregnating a chad if you will. You see, I always walk into the voting booth with the idea of what would be best for our country. I have to admit even after my guy lost in the 2008 election that I had a sense of pride for what had been accomplished with the people choosing Obama. But I digress. That is a story for another day.
Although I would vote for Trump or Cruz over the former Secretary of State (she probably has the nomination unless she gets arrested), I am not convinced that they are what is best for us as a nation. I would, in a sense, be voting for the lesser of two evils. Trump seems to be one that would make too many 'deals' and Cruz wouldn't make any. We are a country that needs to comprise. Ronald Reagan said, "I'll take 80% of what I want now and come back later for the other twenty." If both sides thought in this way our government would once again function and get things done. Maybe that illusive illegal immigration problem would be solved; although I have a feeling both sides like using this issue as a political football.
So here is my call to all my fellow conservatives that see the danger with these two men. It's time to stop getting behind the "anyone but Trump" or "anyone but Cruz" camp and start putting our energy behind one candidate. I have two friends that both don't want Trump. But the three of us all support three different candidates. That is what Trump is counting on, a long enough split by the rest of us to keep that lead. If the three of us were for the same guy, and you multiply that out with the rest of the "Please God, not Trump!" crowd, we could really get somewhere. I say we let things play out in South Carolina. Once we see that non-Trump/Cruz guy that has garnered most of the support, lets get behind him. The track we are on waiting for Trump to do something that stops him (maybe he finally did it last Saturday night) has not been working. It is time to end the nightmare of a candidate that does not present realistic ideas, talks as if he can simply do as he pleases as president (we already have one of those), and two men that are simply just not very nice, period. We can end political correctness without being crass.
To the supporters of these two men: ask yourself if the kind of divisiveness these men provide is any better than what we've seen over the last ten years. Cruz appears to be using some underhanded campaign tactics. Go back and watch last weeks debate; listen to what Trump says about President Bush and 9/11; then ask, who does that really sound like? Not even mainstream democrats made these claims. Trump merely blows with the wind, and with the future of the Supreme Court in the hands of the next president, that could have disastrous consequences.
For now I'm backing Marco Rubio. I still have a glimmer of hope that Carson makes a comeback; yet with almost 20 trillion dollars of debt, a country divided more now than ever, and the future makeup of our third branch of government, just having someone win the presidency with an R behind their name is not enough. Winning the election does not solve our problems. First, a president is the leader of all the people, not just those in his party. Those that get things done usually have a knack for not disparaging the other side, or their own for that matter! They have a way of reaching across the aisle and finding common ground. After watching the continuous attacks by Trump and Cruz, this does not seem possible by either one of these guys. I realize politics is a blood sport; that it gets messy, but these two seem to have that narcissistic personality trait that has damaged Obama's image to many of his detractors as well as his supporters.
A hard-lined conservative like Cruz will do as much damage to the conservative movement as Obama did to the liberal agenda. We cannot just sit claiming to stand on principle as the country crashes and burns. Compromise has been a big part of what has made this country tick for over 200 years. I have no idea what a Trump presidency will mean. I do know that he appears to be someone unable to handle the criticism that comes with the job. A man that doesn't even have the common decency to allow another to finish talking.
I realize many are just plain mad. I'm mad too! No matter which side you root for those we send to Washington never seem to follow through with what they promise. Our Nation's Capitol is looking more and more like the Capitol from The Hunger Games. I get it. But lets not allow our emotions to get us swept up in a message that doesn't even start out with hope and change. The decision We The People make in this upcoming presidential election will affected the next two generations. We can't afford to get it wrong.
I want a president interested in uniting us. Cruz and Trump simply don't fit that bill.
Anthony D. Flores loves to spend his summers writing fiction. His strong Christian faith and love for this great country find its way into his fiction. His work is also available on Amazon by Clicking Here.