My Side of the Fence

The danger isn't going too far. It's that we don't go far enough.

This is as good as it gets?

Here's the unvarnished truth of the matter: the national political parties have failed us.  Out of 15 original candidates, the GOP has Blow-hard Trump, Far-Right Cruz and also-ran Kasich (more than a little ironic that the only guy capable of doing the job is relegated to playing spoiler).  The Dems have a socialist and Hillary.  This is as good as it gets?  The most powerful nation in the world, nay, the most powerful nation in the history of the world is about to be governed by one of these clowns?  This is as good as it gets?

Look, if Cruz is the nominee, the center-right electoral core of the GOP is voting Dem.  The guys is a peddler of fear.  If Trump is nominated, the conservatives will stay home and the majority of the center-right core is voting Dem or staying home.  Kasich would garner the support of most of the GOP and, but for his strident anti-abortion stance, he would pull support out of the center-left group.  If Hill is nominated, the left fringe of the Dems will stay home but she might pull lots of general election support from the center.  If Sanders is nominated, it's a train wreck for the Dems and maybe the country.

People are "Angry at Washington."  I get it but this isn't the way to fix it.  People are only going to get angrier because ain't nothing going to happen next January to change the situation.  People like Trump because he is a "straight shooter."  The positions that he is willing to articulate are messaged perfectly.  He doesn't like illegal immigration.  Solution?  Build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it.  Simple and straightforward.  Kind of the opposite of "tear down this wall" but same simple delivery.

This "straight shooter" deal is an interesting concept because we do need a politician who doesn't BS the people.  However, that leader needs to also be forthright in messaging and campaign on outcomes.  Goals.  If you peddle fear, like Cruz or "free stuff for everyone" like Bernster, you might get elected but you've set yourself up for failure.  You can only be against everything.  That isn't going to produce useful outcomes.  This will produce four more years of executive orders and crazy talk on the radio, Fox and MSNBC.

I hate to sound like a broken record but we need a leader like either an early Reagan….or maybe the early Clinton.  Both guys did things that I didn't like (and in Clinton's case I didn't like him much at all).  However, both guys had the courage to do things that weren't all that popular in their own parties back then and that would be unthinkable right now.  Reagan – the man lauded by all republicans – raised taxes 8 (!!) times and as much as it burns my butt to say it, Clinton (a democrat) was the last President to balance the budget.  Look, let's be honest here: The number one problem facing the country isn't part of our current electoral dialog – it's the debt and defect spending.  It isn't part of this process because it's hard to sell a solution to that.  It is far easier to talk about the second amendment being wiped out or free college for everyone or building a damn wall.

Fixing that problem will force the country to have a discussion about priorities and finances.  It is going to be hard.  It is going to take some time and the people are going to have to support some stuff they don't like.  Republicans and Democrats alike are going to have to be disciplined enough not to scrap budget limits because they want to do something new and shiny.  We need a disciplined leader who appeals to our better lights.  A person who starts a discussion about goals and solutions.  Not fear.  The current crop of candidates is largely an embarrassment and, with the possible exception of Kasich, not capable of governing the country in any meaningful manner.

We need a reset button because none of these folks are the right one.


  1. I don't disagree with any of that Andy, but the problem is there IS NO reset button. These 5 are our choices.

    You started off with saying the parties have failed us, can they save us? Is the "best option" a contested convention and someone comes in that isn't in now, a candidate we can get behind? For example, a Romney/Ryan ticket couldn't beat Obama last time, could they beat Clinton or Sanders? Could someone else that isnt in the conversation today? Ot is it all pointless cuz if Trump doesn't get the nomination he'll go indy thus guaranteeing the Dem wins regardless who it is?

    I heard once a Trump/Rubio ticket discussed. Get Trump in now and he'll tire of it in 4 years, then we can have 8 years of Rubio. Interesting idea, slim to none chance them agreeing to it.


    So national politics is a bust. What about our locals?


  2. I'll bite:  I see little in the way of leadership from either the locals or our presidential hopefuls.  The physical condition of the City is getting worse and our Economic Development folks can only seem to land micro businesses (I see that the wine store in old town is closing).  We get lots of "I support this and that" from our Council but damn little action.  I have only lived here abtou 10 years but I think it's time we had some new blood in the City.

    As for the Presidential race: I think the gop is going to have a contested convention.  My hope is for Kasich but I don't htink it's gonna happen.

  3. Many stark truths in your observations.

  4. Mary Ann Jenkins

    April 16, 2016 at 10:17 am

    I am very disinchanted with the whole presidential poltical race for 2016.  I scratch my head to try and understand how our country asreat as she is can only come up with the clowns running on both the democratic and republican parties.  I do believe that our country has become so fractured that we have lost focus as a country and everyone is marching to different beat.  Everybody is in it for what they are going to get from the government.  I am particularly dismayed at the number of young people who are marching to have a socialist government and the sad part is more of them really do not understand the consequences of this type of government.  They mainly see rich people as the ones that need to pay for their free college.  In other words the old redistribution of the wealth mantra.  We will take your money and give it to someone else.  I don't know what is going to happen come this November but I am really scared.  I am sorry to say that this country has lost focus and there will never be any going back.  I won't be around in another generation to see the results of this fractured America but I feel sorry for my children and grandchildren.  It is not going to be pretty if we stay on a socialist path.

  5. Agree Mary, and in my opinion the only hope to clean up our political system is term limits. We already limit our executive branches both here in VA (governor) and nationally (President), but we have no legislator term limits. Especially at the national level our legislators once elected go straight into re-election mode, everything they do becomes focused by how it will get them elected again instead of how it will best serve those who elected them.


  6. Andy,

    Sorry I'm late to the disussion. The problem isn't our parties, they are merely a reflection of the electorate. The problem is us. We've become a silly, selfish, and superficial people. I grew up in metro-Boston, and attended public schools. Hardly an island centerist political thought. I was offerred a solid education, and availed myself of this, for the most part. What was different?

    Educaters educated, rather than coddled. Self-esteem came from measurable success, whether it was refelcted in your grades, performance on the field or court. There weren't any "participation awards". Now this isn't meant to be a slam against our public schools here in Manassas. They have made tremendous improvement, especially OHS. I point the biggest blame at the Dept of Education…not the local school systems. During a time when kids need to learn highly techical skills to do the most basic of jobs, school systems are turning themselves in knots over which locker rooms, showers, and restrooms can be used by the tiniest fraction of students…or those immature students who just want a thrill. Johnny can't read or do math…but at least he can use the girls locker-room. Wouldn't want Johnny to enter the workforce both un-educated AND maladjusted. We can't teach classic greek critical thinking anymore. The Greeks were ancient white guys….and making someone study classical greek culture is a micro-agression. Better stage a protest and make demands of the Dean. Beats going to class to satisfy the requirements for that degree in Transgender Womens art and poetry or BDSM studies. I mean…They are spending $200K for that useless degree…they deserve to have their demands considered.

    It's not that our electorate doesn't have information…they just don't have good information. Journalism is DEAD. There's no Chet Huntley or David Brinkley out there. It's all OP-ED, disguised as news. How many people, especially young people, get all of their news from social media? I knew we were in trouble when "The Daily Show" was listed as the top news and information program for millenials. They can't distinguish between comedy/satire, meant to entertain, and a news program, meant to inform. 

    The internet has democratized information sharing. One of the first mediums (blogs) have been both a blessing and a curse. Now we have "Youtube", "twitter" and all of the other means of connecting and sharing information….but this doesn't make it "good information".  Having a blog (present company excluded) a twitter-feed, or a youtube channel, doesn't make one an expert in anything. It just means that one has a greater ability to spread good and bad information to an ever growing population lacking the ability to think critically.

    Reality TV…need I say more? 

    I've been watching a lot of documentaries on N. Korea. Of all the communist, totalitarian regimes, N. Korea is the one that I've never heard a rational person (celebrity or not) try to defend…Dennis Rhodman doesn't count. I'm watching western journalists document the highly choreographed tours of Pyong Yang, where the Cult of Kim is venerated…people believe that the "Dear Leader" has given them a modern prosperous country…and the Korean War was started by the United States attacking across the 38th parallell. At first I was wondering how these people could be so brainwashed…then it hit me: that's all they are allowed to believe.

    And we are seeing this here: There are people, some of them agents of the state or elected officials actually advocating for the criminal prosecution of "Climate Change Deniers". The mayor of Houston demanded transcripts of pastors sermons…just to make sure they aren't preaching unacceptable doctrines. Dissent is no longer tolerated, and "wrong-thinking" equals dissent. Remember that solid public education I wrote about earlier, where critical thinking was encouraged? 1984, Animal Farm, and the Gulag Archipelago were required reading in the Waltham Public School System. How much do you want to bet these books are no where to be found there today?

    How many kids have read the "Federalist Papers" or "Political Thought of the American Revolution". How many realize that originally, only the House was elected by popular vote…and this is why they stand for biennial election? The Senate was elected by the state legislatures, and the President by electoral college? Now there are calls for eliminating the electoral college. Everything should be by "popular vote". The further we've moved from our original republican form of government…the worse the quality of government has grown. Correlation or causation…your choice.

    Sorry for the long answer: But Yes…this is as good as it gets…because that's what "we" want…and since we elect them…we deserve everything we get.


  7. So how about your buddies Wolfe, Sebesky and Parr there Andy?

  8. andy

    April 28, 2016 at 10:28 am

    What about them?  They're all friends.

  9. So that's why you've been silent about their defection I guess.  

  10. andy

    April 28, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    I don't pretend to be their spokesman.  If you have questions for them, ask them.  All I know is that Mark has elected to either not run at all or not run as a republican.  

  11. This is your blog, which you indicated not too long ago: "this is an opinion piece from here on out!  Might have to break a few eggs along the way!"  So as the Vice Chair of Manassas Republican party you have NO opinion about three of your own, two of which are Republican elected public officials suddenly defecting in mass to become Democrats?  

  12. andy

    April 28, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    A fair point.  However, only Wolfe was an elected republican or even a member of the republican party.

  13. Has Wolfe gone democrat?

  14. Mary Ann Jenkins

    May 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    I think Mr. Wolfe went democrat when he failed to support all of the republican slate during the last Council election.

Comments are closed.