Election Theater Act 1, The Lightning Rods

Much like a lightning rod on a building, political lightning rods are sacrificial elements designed to protect the main candidate from damage. Shoved out front and to the top of the candidate pool, the press, opponents and voters focus all of their energy on them, keeping the actual candidate from unwanted scrutiny and potential harm in advance of the general election. Who is the actual candidate? It’s way too early for us to have that information, but we do know whom it is not, the ones who are taking the heat right now. Election Theater Act 1 is now on stage. 

A word of warning: What follows is my opinion and my opinion alone. It is based on my observations of far too many elections and the political process as I currently see it. 

As of today, 22 Democrats are in the running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2020 elections. There are an additional 23 potential candidates who have discussed but not yet ruled out running on the Democratic ticket. With such a crowded field, it’s only possible to focus on the lightning rods. 

The lightning rods also serve another function, to throw out as many potential policy ideas as they can to see what sticks. If the ideas are well received, it becomes part of the party platform. If it crashes and burns, there’s no damage done to the candidate waiting in the wings.  After all, lightning rods are sacrificial. 

Why don’t I believe the current front-runners will be the ones on the ballot in 2020? The answer is in the voters being targeted by the DNC (Democratic National Committee) for a number of elections. The candidates they would likely support en masse are not two elderly, white male millionaires with more ugly baggage than the Kardashian’s on a weekend trip to Las Vegas. 

It all comes down to the illusion of choice. We believe all of the candidates have an equal chance to succeed and our opinions as voters are essential in the process. Instead, the pre-election campaign process is merely a smokescreen for the chosen few to determine who their favorite candidate is and what will be the winning platform issues. As we saw in the 2016 elections, and the lawsuits against the DNC by DNC’s own members, the DNC has the right to choose whomever they want, regardless of the will of the voters. 

Who is the actual Democratic candidate for President in 2020? Since the DNC hasn’t released their decision yet, we can only speculate.  I have my favorite, as I’m sure you do too. I’ve placed my first and second choices in an envelope, sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s back porch to be opened following the Democratic National Convention. 

I should note that while I’ve been talking about the DNC with all this, it doesn’t mean I believe the RNC (Republican National Committee) is any different. I am firmly convinced the denizens of the D.C. swamp are so entrenched in their own little world that they will do anything to protect it and themselves.  Until we as a nation come together to kick them out, impose term limits on congress and ensure that the people who pass the laws are not exempt from them, it will continue. 

You may be wondering why is the pre-nomination process so important to a Second Amendment supporter. For me, it’s not so much the candidate as the platform they and their party are running on. In order to gain the support of the party, each candidate has proudly bought into the myth of gun control as public safety policy. Restricting your right to buy, use and carry firearms, taking your firearms from you, while doing nothing to curb criminal use of firearms against you, is what they are pushing. 

When political policy includes stripping away our Constitutional rights, I become very concerned and very involved. And I’m not just talking about Second Amendment rights, I’m also talking about the First Amendment and every other one of the rights we hold so dear. 

If you don’t think your rights and liberty are at stake, take a look at what has been happening in Venezuela. After being stripped of their arms, the people are at the mercy of a brutal and unjust government. But of course, this could never happen in a modern society like ours, right?  I’m sure that’s what the Venezuelan people believed too. 

If you value your rights, you’ll start paying very close attention to what’s going on. Not just want is being reported by the news or on social media, but all the things behind the scenes.  Get involved now and stay involved. 


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To Serve Man

Ever since individuals came together to form societies, they have called upon some of their members to serve the public interest. Those who have heeded the call have provided everything from basic services like water and roads to safety and representation in larger groups. Public service was considered a calling and was never considered a lucrative life since they were paid by some kind of tax or assessment on the people they served. But what happens when those who serve do so for their own greed?

Every so often we’ll see a story about someone who has been living in the wilderness alone. These few hardy individuals are probably the only ones who are able to do everything for themselves. The rest of us rely on public servants for the essentials of modern living and beyond. For that mutual benefit, we pay a portion of our own earnings in the form of taxes. The more people, the more taxes, the more services needed and supported.

Our representative government used to be made up of citizen volunteers who served part time while continuing their regular jobs or businesses. When you look at our nation’s agricultural background, you can understand why legislative sessions traditionally run in the fall/winter months vs. the spring/summer growing seasons. Many state level governments continue to meet part-time and some not every year.

Somewhere along the line, the system was changed and those who serve are now taking the public for everything it can bear. Instead of representing the interests of the community they serve, they seem to primarily represent their own interests. How? They specifically exempt themselves from the laws they create for everyone else. They ignore rules, regulations and laws that do not meet their own immediate needs and create others that help them retain control and power.

If you need a current example, look no further than the California Legislature. The latest budget bill includes new requirements for qualifying a recall petition for ballot, specifically intended to help delay the recall vote of a member of the ruling party. This same budget bill even expands California’s list of persons prohibited from owning firearms. But then California is notorious for finding inventive new ways of sneaking law changes without public input or comment, a fact Second Amendment supports are well aware of. So-called ‘gut and amend’ laws completely change a bill at the end of the legislative cycle to bypass public hearing and comments. Rules for comments during hearings are suspended or ignored when dissenting opinions are brought up. Dramatic changes to statutes are submitted as administrative ‘file and print only’ regulations.

And what of our legislators themselves? Gone the way of the Dodo are the part-time, representative members of the community. Replaced now by full-time, professional politicians who have precious little in common with the people they are supposed to represent. This is especially true at the Federal level where our members of Congress enjoy salaries, benefits, retirement packages and perks of employment very few of their constituents can even dream of let alone acquire.

Our President campaigned on a platform to fix the federal government in a number of ways, including to “drain the swap”. A laudable goal, but I don’t believe he quite understood how strong the Swamp Side is. At the first sign of a sump pump, I fully expect the residents of the swap to simultaneously declare their swap a protected wetland as well as a National Historic Landmark. The residents, as the swamp’s indigenous inhabitants and preservationists of the swamp’s native culture, would be immune to any outside drainage.

This is of course our own fault. All of us, as the citizen, the taxpayer and the voter, have allowed the system to become so bastardized, so blatantly corrupt and so unaccountable to anyone. It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly, one little piece at a time so nobody would notice. Does all this sound familiar 2A supporters?

Can it be turned around? Can we return our government to the hands of the people? I’d like to believe so, but it’s going to take a lot more people caring about their country to make it happen. Even if we can’t drain the swamp, keeping it from getting any bigger would be a step in the right direction.

What happens if we don’t get involved? One of these days we’re going to wake up and realize they’ve really been writing a cookbook.


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