By Marilyn MacGruder
August 9, 2015
The Fox News
Republican debates Thursday night had a record-breaking audience of 24 million.
I don’t know the size of the audience for the earlier debate
which hosted presidential candidates Senator Lindsay Graham, former Virginia
Governor Jim Gilmore, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former Hewlett Packard
CEO Carly Fiorina, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Senator Rick
Santorum, and former New York Governor George Pataki.
What became apparent in the early debate is that Governor
Gilmore and Carly Fiorina belong onstage with those we consider serious
candidates for the Republican presidential race and the others belong exactly
where they are... junior varsity.
In the Big Star Debate that same night, entrepreneur real
estate mogul Donald Trump, the strong leader in the race, appeared with former
Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, former Arkansas
Governor and former Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Texas
Senator Ted Cruz, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
The word used most often during the debate was
“conservative.” The candidates know they cannot win a Presidential election
without the votes of the conservative wing of the Republican Party and make
sure their comments feature any conservative actions, thoughts or deeds to
which they can lay claim. Equally, those audience members who truly are
conservative are left wondering what candidates mean when they say “I’m
conservative.” Some of their “I support this or that” comments shout “I’m a
neo-conservative” or "I'm a social liberal."
The hosts of the show did not clarify the term and they
should have done so. They made the journalistic mistake of not requesting
clarification of a term everyone was using but which was being interpreted
differently by different candidates. They assumed that everyone has the same
definition of the word “conservative.” They did not.
Whenever Jeb Bush and John Kasich use the word, it
translates to “fiscal conservative, social liberal.” In other words, they are
part of the neo-conservative family of politics. How do I know that? Both
support Common Core. Both support amnesty for illegal aliens in one form or
another. You can put all the lipstick on that pig you want, it’s still a pig.
How do you define “conservative?” First, it’s a philosophy
of life, not an independent action (or a series of actions). For example,
someone who supports building a wall to cease illegal alien entry into our
country may call him or herself a “conservative.” But if that person also
supports some form of amnesty their conservative credentials should be
questioned. Why? Because conservatives believe first and foremost in the rule
of law that flows from the Constitution and the first thing illegals do when
they enter America is violate our laws. It’s sad that they entered our nation
illegally and built an illegal life here and even sadder that their children
may have been born here and call this country home, but it doesn’t change that
their very presence shows disregard for our Constitution and laws that tell
them how to legally become an American.
A conservative is a constitutionalist. First and foremost,
that is what a conservative is. Second, you don’t get to pick and choose what
parts of the Constitution you support and reject those parts with which you disagree.
It’s an all or nothing deal which, when honored under one set of circumstances
but not another, indicates the person is like President Obama, believing he or
she has the right to set aside this or that constitutional law when they feel
like it. A real conservative doesn’t believe that.
Because conservatives are constitutionalists, they believe
in the Rule of Law that flows from the Constitution. You don’t get to pick and
choose which laws you respect. Either you respect and obey them, or you work to
change them. You don’t break laws... not even when you’re out for a Sunday
drive and want to exceed the speed limit. I admit that when government becomes
tyrannical and passes bad or unlawful laws, it is time to protest and if that
doesn't work, to disobey. Government and its laws must be kept in check.
Conservatives value and respect the truth. They do not
ignore reality. They do not live their lives as if things are as they want them
to be rather than how they really are. They identify problems and search for
solutions. They do not put on rose-colored glass while ignoring reality,
letting things get worse. Or, worse yet, they don’t compromise truth with lies
thinking they have somehow advanced an otherwise hopeless cause. To compromise
truth with lies and expect truth to shine through is to mix milk with coffee
and expect the coffee to remain black.
Perhaps rather than asking a question about whether everyone
on stage will support the Republican candidate who gains the nomination
(regardless of who it is), Fox moderators might ask candidates if they believe
in and support the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Rule of
Law, and if they value truth over political correctness. If they don’t want to
ask those questions, they might ask each candidate to define what he or she
means when they use the word “conservative.” Without that definition, an
audience cannot make logical sense out of the answers given by debate
participants who apply the word differently from one another.
If you look at the answers given Thursday night with those
three things in mind, you will find Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, and
Rand Paul are constitutionalists. And, it may surprise you, but so is Donald
Trump. From the earlier debate, so is former business executive Carly Fiorina.
When you look at the issue of abortion, Mike Huckabee gave a
truly conservative answer to that particular question. De-funding Planned
Parenthood as supported by Senators Cruz and Rubio is a good band-aid, but it’s
only a band-aid – and it doesn’t solve the real problem. The question that
needs to be answered is when can what a woman carries in her womb be defined as
“human life” deserving of the protections the Constitution gives all Americans?
Huckabee, however, supports Common Core... a socially liberal position.
Scott Walker opposes abortion on the grounds of personal
belief – and God bless him for it. So, too, do John Kasich and several other
debaters. The Constitution, not any individual’s personal beliefs, however, is
what needs to guide the behavior of any lawmaker and certainly the behavior of
our President. Walker is right that there are better, less risky alternatives
than late-term abortion to save the life of a woman in the late stages of
pregnancy... but even that is a humanitarian, not a constitutional, reason
late-term abortion is wrong.
When you look at the issue of privacy violations that result
from the NSA’s gathering of data that tells them who all citizens of the United
States talk with on their telephones or email daily, Rand Paul clearly placed
the Fourth Amendment into the debate. He was right. It is a constitutional
As it relates to the candidates, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Dr.
Ben Carson, Governor Jim Gilmore, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul appear to be
real conservatives based on the questions asked and my definition of the word.
Some of the others appear to be fiscal conservatives and social liberals. Some
appear to merely be politicians trying to enhance their political reputations
by running for the presidency. Donald Trump remains a question mark relative to
whether he is a fiscal conservative but a social liberal.
Marco Rubio removed himself from my list of possibilities when I learned his
first major speech after the announcement of his candidacy was given at the
Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Most of the problems in America today had
their start at the CFR which controls far too much of what goes on in
Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are not natural born
Americans. That is a constitutional requirement for a person to hold the office
of the President. I love Ted Cruz and would vote for him, but this is a major
roadblock. The fact that his wife, Heidi, has worked for Goldman Sachs for
years is another.
The Supreme Court of the United States has never applied the
term “natural born citizen” to any definition other than “those born in the
country of parents who are citizens thereof”. The most often quoted Supreme
Court case is Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1875) but USA We the People
makes available several Supreme Court decisions that define “natural born.”
They all say it means an American citizen born of two American citizens.
A lot of Americans don’t take the “natural born citizen”
clause in the Constitution very seriously. Perhaps they have bought the
liberal/progressive line that a legitimate candidate for the Presidency need
only be a citizen – born in the United States. A lot of anchor babies whose
mothers unlawfully come across the border to give birth in San Diego or El Paso
are born every year. They can, using this definition of “natural born,” become
President – even if they were raised and educated in Mexico. The point is,
“natural born citizen” is a very important qualification for anyone wanting to
become President of the United States – and it is part of our Constitution.
To believe otherwise is a very dangerous,
anti-constitutional position for several reasons – including an acceptance by
the Republican Party that Barack Obama was always a legitimate candidate (and
in my opinion he is not and never has been). Obama’s birth certificate has
nothing to do with it. His father’s Kenyan birth has everything to do with it.
He is not and has never been a natural-born American citizen because his father
was not a citizen of the United States at the time of Barack Obama’s birth.
By approving the idea that to qualify for the Presidency all
you need to do to run for president is be born in America makes what Obama did
lawful – and it is not. To accept one of these three men – Ted Cruz, Bobby
Jindal and Marco Rubio – as a legitimate Republican candidate for the
Presidency removes the possibility that Obama’s Presidency (and all of the
programs and appointments put in place under his pretend Administration) will
one day be declared unlawful because he was unqualified to be President (not a
natural born American). Think about it. What a great way to get rid of most of
the Obama Administration’s bad legislation, including Obama Care. If a
Republican candidate who is not a natural born American is accepted as the
legitimate Republican candidate, the possibility of one day declaring Obama’s
Presidency void due to natural born citizenship non-qualification is dead.
As for Donald Trump’s performance Thursday night, had I been
standing on the stage with him I would have raised my hand with him. There are
people running for the Republican nomination that I would not support just
because the Republican Party says this is the person they want elected to
office. They also recommended John Boehner and Mitch McConnell who have kept
none of the Republican promises made before the 2012 and 2014 elections.
I respect Trump for his honesty. What puts me off about The
Donald is that he relates himself to the problems of the world (rather than
relating the problems of the world to himself) That is a text book definition
of a narcissist and we’ve had more than six years of watching a narcissistic
President in action.
Trump may not be a narcissist. Maybe he relates himself to
the problems of the world because he lacks a record as Congressman or Senator
or Governor and his personal success is what he has to relate to when he speaks
of problems and solutions.
The Donald can dissipate the view many people have of him –
that of narcissist – by talking about solutions to problems rather than just
pointing out the problems and telling us how stupid politicians are. Though in
most instances he’s right telling us how stupid they are, it tells us nothing
of how he would have been smarter in solving the specific problems the “stupid”
politicians have failed to solve.
He can talk about how to create jobs, not just point out
something we all know: Jobs must be created. He can talk about how to stimulate
independent business growth, not just point out that the current Congress and
White House are destroying independent banks which removes access to credit needed
by independent businesses (which employs the largest percentage of America’s
workers). We’ll see if he has specific suggestions in mind or if his campaign
is just going to point out problems most of us know exist.
It’s hard for me to say this because when Carly Fiorina was
fired from Hewlett Packard, I wrote a relatively nasty article about her. After
watching the first debates, she stands out solidly as the best prepared, the
clearest thinking, the most knowledgeable candidate on the long list of
Republican candidates for the 2016 presidential race. We need to know more
I’m not into wars against women or feminism, but I think it
would be a riot if Republicans elected the first women President of the United
States of America... if a woman is the most qualified to hold that job.
© 2015 Marilyn M. Barnewall - All Rights Reserved