Wednesday, February 27, 2008

What happens when College kids grow up

When I was an undergrad a professor told me one difference between a Democrat and a Republican, and I watched it play out in class yesterday. The saying goes something like this, “If you are in college and are not a Democrat then you do not have a heart, once you are out of college and are not a Republican then you do not have a brain.” In college you have young people that want to take on the wrongs of society, which is great, and they see the Democrats taking on what they see as injustices. I think this is noble, where would the Civil Rights movement have been without the 1965 freedom summer, when thousands of do good college students from the North came down south to try to make a difference. They did a lot of positive work in states like Mississippi and Alabama (unfortunately their greatest good was two of them dying, and the murder of two white kids finally brought in the FBI). But the rest of the saying goes as well. In one of my classes I have a very interesting young lady. She looks like college age, maybe a bit older. She is the kind that my first impression was that she was a bit weird. She is covered in ink with kind of wild hair. I like her because she talks in class, even if I do not always agree with her, she is a young crazy liberal college student. It turns out that she also owns her own store, I do not know exactly what it is, but some type of adult themed, many of her shirts have old fashion burlesque stripers on them. Anyway, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, Obama was on campus Friday, getting all the kids crazy, Obama fever is rampant here now. Since we spend much of our time discussing political history, I started class with a discussion of the Obama rally. I asked if he persuaded anyone to vote for him who had not already decided, to which I got a few (of coarse then I asked a follow up on which issues were they most impressed with, which they did not have any answers, his speech touched very few issues, less money for college mainly, focusing instead on the need for change). Then I asked if his speech changed anyone’s mind that had planned on voting for him. The girl raised her hand. I was very surprised to see her hand raised and so asked why. She said she could no longer vote for the Democratic party, Obama mentioned that he wanted to raise minimum wage. She owns a small business and is struggling to pay her employees now, and said if the Democrats get their way, she will be out of business. A perfect example of a liberal college student switching sides when they get into the real world. Unfortunately too many college students are too indoctrinated by the time they get out of college, and do not have professors like me to push them to think about politics but instead just swallow the propaganda they are feeding them, too many never realize that Democratic ideas are not in their best interest when they leave the confounds of the University (if you are interested I never talk like this to my students, I expect them to make up their own mind and not be influenced by my opinions). We all want to help people, its just how we help that we differ. Hopefully conservatism can have a comeback they way it did in the 80s, when wild haired college girls find it ok to vote Republican and people realize conservatism can help not just the rich but small business as well.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Politicians should do before they lose

I have only one political comment to make and that concerns Mike Huckabee. Over the weekend he pulled a Bob Dole. I know SNL is not as funny as it used to be, but luckily for us this is an election year, and SNL does its best work every four years during the election. One of their best skits in the past ten years was of the debate between Bush and Gore when they had to sum up their argument with one word. Gore looked into the camera and said “Lock Box” and then Bush (played by Will Ferrell) said “Strategery” Anyway Huckabee was on weekend update, and did a very funny bit. This has drawn more attention then all his campaigning. Now over the air waves people are talking about him and wondering why we have not chosen him instead of McCain. It was like after Dole lost in 1996 and then did a Viagra commercial. When people saw his humor instead of the grumpy old guy, they liked him more and wondered where that guy was during the election. So the moral is, do not wait until after you are out of the race or lost to bring out your real personality. Huckabee would have made a strong candidate and could have unified the Republican party, though he would probably have lost. Watch this on youtube, it is funny.

Top Ten Best Civil War Movies

I was just given my summer schedule and it seems I am teaching my Civil War class. The best part about teaching in the summer is that we watch movies (no one wants to hear me lecture 5 days a week). So I was putting together a list of possible movies to watch and thought I would make my top ten. Many of you may not care about the top ten best Civil War movies, but I will share them anyway. I just blogged about not many good movies, so if you are board, these are all worth watching

10. Horse Soldiers. This movie stars John Wayne and William Holden and directed by John Ford. This is the typical Wayne/Ford collaboration, and so you know what to expect. But as with all their movies, it is worth watching. It is about a Union cavalry raid into the deep south.

9. The Outlaw Josie Wells. Starring Clint Eastwood. This movie like the Horse Soldiers is not a great movie but I just like Clint Eastwood. As a Civil War movie it is a stretch, but Wells comes out of the guerrilla fighting in the west. This movie could easily be about Jesse James and how these men became so violent during the war it was hard to stop. This was also part of Eastwoods 1970s anti-hero movies.

8. The Red Badge of Courage. Film based on the short story written by Stephen Crane. Crane was a newspaper man during the Spanish American War, and wrote about the internal struggles of soldiers who wanted to be brave, yet ran in the face of war. Perfect casting. It starred Audie Murphy, the most decorated American soldier in history.

7. Andersonville. This was a TNT movie, but well done. It describes in living hell that Union soldiers suffered in the worst prison camp during the Civil War, Andersonville, GA. Not a happy story, but moving, makes waterboarding look like a picnic in the part.

6. Gods and Generals. Ted Turner and Ron Maxwell tried to recreate the magic of Gettysburg (see #3) but fell short. Both movies are four hours long, but Gettysburg was about one battle while Gods and Generals covered three years so they could not get the character development of the first movie. Also the long speeches worked for Gettysburg but got old in G and G. It is worth watching if for no other reason than it mostly showed the life of Stonewall Jackson, one of the greatest Virginians, and Generals ever (just ask my son Jackson Lee, can you tell who the other great general was). It is very accurate and tells a good story.

5. Gone with the Wind. This is my Tami special. This four hour classic epic, gives an excellent description of the home front during the war. It is not a good movie to show the truth about slavery, but does show how everyone’s life in the South was affected by the war. I do not get people’s obsession with Scarlet O’Hara (like Tami), she is not a good person, but is a fighter. Book and movie came out in the 1930’s and is a classic depression era film, showing the people of the depression, that there were harder times, and the people got through it.

4. Ride With the Devil. This movie stars Toby Maguire (Spiderman), Skeet Ulrich (Jericho), and Jewel (Ty Murray’s girlfriend), and was directed by Ang Lee (Broke Back Mountain, but don’t worry there are no soldier on soldier love scenes). This is not a great movie, but the reason it ranks number 4 is that it finally tells the story of the guerrilla fighting along the border. Men in Missouri and Kentucky did not fight the kind of war most fought, theirs was a crueler and bloodier war and this movie shows their lives well.

3. Gettysburg. This four hour epic has everything you want in a Civil War movie. It was detailed very accurately with a few exceptions (they unfairly blame JEB Stuart for the Southern loss, and make Lee look like an old fool at times). This has drama and action and is very moving. It has an all star cast, but Jeff Daniels steels the show as Col Chamberlain. It also has a great soundtrack.

2. Shenandoah. This movie could easily be number 1. One of the best Jimmy Stuart films ever and that says something. Stuart plays a widowed father (wife was Martha, same as Mr. Kruger’s Christmas, coincidence maybe). He wants nothing to do with the problems happing between the two sides, but his family and farm are caught in the middle. Very sad film, and will pull at your heart strings. I like it as a historian because of the way it shows how much of the mountain folk tried to avoid the war. On a lighter side, Stuart gives the best prayer ever given in a movie.

1. Glory. The number one spot has to be Glory, which would be on my top five war movies not just civil war movies. Great cast, Mathew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes (Princes Bride), all of them deserved awards. It was inspired by the letters of Col Shaw, the scenes where he is thinking, it is his real words. It was pretty accurate (their were no ex-slaves in the regiment, the Thomas character was the most accurate. They did not want men who were scared of white masters, it was meant to be a model regiment so only the best of men). It showed good battle scenes. Battles like Gettysburg were rare compared to the small skirmishes that were shown in Glory. Mostly Glory is an inspiring film, and in order for a movie to be good, it must move its audience, and Glory touches me even today, though I have seen it many times. It also has one of the best soundtracks of all time

If you have not seen any of these films, I highly recommend their viewing instead of wasting a night watching another reality show, check out some of these. If I have left any out feel free to comment. I know I left out Cold Mountain-I did it on purpose, though I like the battle of the Crater scene.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


It was sad last night as I was adding some good movies to my list and I could not come up with any. I looked at all the movies we have gotten from net flix over the past year or so and realized we have been watching junk. What has happened to Hollywood, why are today’s movie makers so much worse then just a few years ago. I am sure I am not the only one who did not see or even hear of most the movies nominated for awards. I must admit first that I do not watch R movies, and that limits me to what I can watch, but I see them when they are on TV and I still have not seen anything that good. What is most interesting is that of the movies on my list only one is a recent Hollywood movie. I have gotten so desperate that I am listing old movies that have recently been airing on TV. The majority made for TV movies or mostly HBO movies. HBO and other cable channels recently have surpassed what Hollywood is doing. If you have not watched Band of Brother, you are doing yourself a disservice, it is one of the best movies I have seen in years. Melissa and I rented them over an entire weekend, we could not stop watching. The movie I am most excited about right now is HBO’s John Adams. If you are like us, we do not get HBO, but you can rent their movies later. Another series of movies that I love are the Horatio Hornblower movies, made by A&E. If you liked Master and Commander, you will love these movies. There are about 8 in the series and they are all good. They star Ioan Gruffudd (more famous for his lead in Fantastic Four and King Arthur, another one on my list). As I said there are a couple on my list that are older movies but I happened to catch them over the past few weeks, and they are still great movies, so if you have not seen them, you should. King Arthur, a bit different from the normal legend (Excalibur and Camelot being the two most classic Arthur movies, not to mention Search for the Holy Grail), but it is an excellent movie. I also watch Amistad the other day, and remembered how good of a film it was, very powerful. The only recent Hollywood movie was We Are Marshal, not a great film, but I enjoyed it enough to recommend it. So if anyone is reading this blog, what have I forgot or have not seen that I should. Know that I do not see movies on the big screen (three kids and all) and my net flix list has about 20 movies, so if it is real recent I may not have seen it yet. Let me know what you think. And yes Tami I watch American History X, but got something different than you did. The movie was supposed to show that hate can destroys your life, but the fact that the brother got killed, not for being his brother, but for helping a white kid from being beaten up, to me said that his hate was justified, and in order to protect his own he needed to fight back. I doubt that was the message they meant to say, but that is what I got. Let me hear your opinions on movies, and of course on politics.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Campaign Update

Once again bad voting last night as McCain won all three primaries and his margin of victory is getting stronger, even among conservatives. The exit poll numbers that were the strongest for McCain was 70% to 30% for McCain as the best candidate to beat the Democrats. I am all for beating the Democrats, but not if it means selling out the party. As I have said McCain is the winner, there is no way to stop that now. What I found more interesting this week was that Romney has asked all his delegates to support McCain and not Huckabee. In an earlier blog I mentioned that I felt Huckabee was pushing for the VP. Now I am not so sure. McCain can not be happy about having to continue to spend money in campaign in state when he has locked up the nomination. I am sure he would rather spend his money (something he is week on) getting ready to beat the Democrats. The Romney support, there is a chance that he might be looking for the VP seat, something a few weeks ago I never would have dreamed of. Now it makes sense. Romney has everything McCain needs. He is a conservative, he knows how to manage the economy (McCain is weak there), and most of all he can make money. Huckabee seems to running for 2012 now, more than 2008. If the Democrats win this year, he is setting himself up as the conservative candidate. He began this race as a no one, but in four years, he could be a force, that is if McCain loses which as you know I do not believe will be the case.
The Democrats are moving along as expected. Obama won his 10th state in a row last night. Hilary is dying. She still has a chance with the March 4th elections. TX, PA, and OH have enough delegates for her to take the lead, but momentum is against her. One thing that might hurt Obama is if he lets his wife speak again. Her comment about not being proud about America could hurt them, although I do not think it will stop most Obama supporters, but it will hurt him more in Nov if he wins. The way it seems to be going, it looks like Obama can pull this out. Hilary will not go down without a fight. She is in town tonight fighting hard for Texas. And she will not loose without fighting for the delegates from FL and MI to be seated, even though she agreed ahead of time that they should not count. She will also try to get super delegates to vote for her, but I can not see the party allowing that to happen.
It would be interesting to see Romney as VP. I might do a talk on Mormons in politics in history in an upcoming event, but the powers that be only wanted it if Romney was still in the race. It would be an interesting conversation.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Presidents Day

Today is Presidents Day and I thought I would just offer a few words. Last week I was interviewed by the local paper who wanted to write a story about Lincoln. I thought it was a poorly written article about a very important man, and I did not like the way he used quotes from me. The author wanted to know what Lincoln’s impact was on the nation. However, he was looking for something new, not the mundane answer of Lincoln freed the slaves. However, as I said, it has become the generic answer, that Lincoln freed the slaves and keep the Nation together, but that was in fact his two most important accomplishments. The author wanted to show that Lincoln was not for freeing the slaves, I tried to argue that Lincoln always hated slavery, but it was not his principle concern, saving the nation was. But you can not take away the fact, no matter the reason, that under his presidency, 4 million slaves were given freedom.
Where the article fell short was honoring possibly our greatest president. I would like to spend a few moments discussing the qualities that made Lincoln so great. First his devotion to duty. Like our current president, Lincoln was not a popular president. He got us involved in a bloody and cruel war. But Lincoln was not out to win a popularity contest, he knew his duty was to save the nation and that is what he did. He almost lost reelection in 1864, but refused to change his message or alter his tactics in anyway to appease the population. Second his humanity. He became famous for stopping executions of soldiers, so famous in fact that his generals did all in their power to keep news of executions from reaching the president, knowing he would let them go. He often took time his busy schedule to write letter to parents of fallen soldiers. He listened to everyone without complaint. Every day lines would form outside the White House as people were allowed to meet with the president, 90% of those that came, wanted to complain. Lincoln would listen patiently, to everyone. He would often go outside and if he saw a soldier in line, he would bring them to the front. He showed his humanity, in the way he suffered. In personal writing he agonized over the numbers of men dying (in 100 years, it will be interesting to read Bush’s private letters, I bet he suffers the same way).
One his greatest attributes was his faith. He once said “without the assistance of the Divine being I can not succeed, and with it I cannot fail.” Another important attribute was his patience. He was criticized by everyone, and often embarrassed and disrespected by his Generals, but he never got angry unlike his counterpart, Jefferson Davis, that got mad at everyone and went through Generals and cabinet officers like changing clothes. Once General McClellan refused to come down stairs to see Lincoln. He made the president of the US wait hours until he finally decided to grace Lincoln with his precedence. This is the same General who when refereeing to Lincoln referred to his as the ape. Yet as long as Lincoln thought McClellan could win the war, he kept him.
My favorite part of Lincoln was his humor. He had to be the funniest president we have ever had. He was famous for his one liners in his conversation and his speeches. He said in one speech, “I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.” What was great about his humor, was that he could make fun of himself. He was void of pride, and his self deprecating humor put people at ease. He was also America’s greatest speaker. His Gettysburg address is brilliant. In just a few paragraphs he summed up the entire reason for the war. If you have not read the Address, please do so, it is not long and is so powerful. I will attach it at the bottom, it is the best tribute I can think of.
I think it is wrong that we are not off school today. I have noting but respect for Dr. King, but why do we get his birthday off and not Washington and Lincoln’s or at least Presidents day. We have moved so far away from honoring our politicians, we forget that men like Washington and Lincoln should and need to be honored. In a time when a politician is the furthers thing from a hero, we forget that these men were and are heroes. Lincoln was truly a good man, and not just a good president. His conviction in the face of such tragedy deserves our respect and our honor. It is impossible in a short blog to tell all that was good about this great man (I would suggest David Donald’s Lincoln, great book), but suffice to say that if the US did not have this man during our greatest struggle, a man who would blend political expediency with high moral purpose, and who had the passion and determination to see the crisis through, our nation would be very different, and I am convinced much worse. After his death, his sec of war said it best, “he now belongs to the ages.”

As a tribute to Presidents day, read this speech, it goes across ages, generations, and wars. After Lincoln’s death, a great statesman said that Lincoln was wrong is in statement that the world will never remember what was said, Senator Sumner said, “"The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech."
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, February 15, 2008

University Shootings

I just wanted to say a few words about the shooting at Northern Illinois yesterday. Tragedy like this hits everyone hard, harder for students and alumni of the school, but also difficult for students and alumni of Virginia Tech. Last year as Melissa and I watched the reports of what happened at Blacksburg, our sprits hurt. We made some inquiries about friends and ward members. I was in the Bishopric of the student ward and so new the LDS students well. We were very relieved to see our State President being interviewed. He taught in the building that was hardest hit. We loved our time in Blacksburg, and have often said that was our favorite place we have lived. Everything seemed to just work while we were there, school was great, Melissa had a great job, and we were so happy. To hear lone gunman could shatter the peace we felt when we lived there, just hurt. I had never felt so safe. We only had one house key, so we never locked our door, and never felt nervous about it. I hated that people associated Tech with tragedy. They kept showing the hospital, and the mourners gathered there. To me that hospital is where Big Jake was born, something that only brings found memories. I loved how the Hokie nation came out of the incident. We are stronger than ever, and I think the nation saw something special about Blacksburg. I hope the Northern Illinois nation can overcome the same way. We stopped in Blacksburg over Christmas break, partly to buy Hokie gear, but also I wanted to pay my respects. They have built a memorial to the victims. I did not feel right taking pictures at the memorial, but I did take one of Jake from a distance. I want this to be positive, I know Illinois is suffering right now and will for a time, but they can endure, and that is that the Hokies showed everyone, you can endure. However I would also like to address the issue of the media. There is no one to blame from such acts of violence except the shooter, however, I remember last year telling Melissa that I wish the media would back off the coverage of the Tech shooting, especially talking about the killer. They did not make him a hero, but they did make his famous, or infamous. For people with the right mental make up, infamous is all they need to copy such acts. Why not go out with a bang like the guy at Tech. I know the media needs to cover the news, I just wish they could make some moral decisions of how far they will go with such stories. The anniversary of the shooting is this semester, and with the shooting at Northern Illinois, I am sure they will blow up this story, and inspire who knows to try to top it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A response to comments

My brother-in-law, whom I respect his opinion, has suggested I was a bit unfair towards McCain when it comes to his voting against the tax cuts. Yes it is true McCain sited his reasons as he also wanted a bill to cut spending. McCain has an excellent record on this, one area where I admire him. He is only one of 5 men on capitol hill that has not earmarked spending for his state. However, I still feel my criticism is just. As I am sure all would agree, politicians lie. They always have great reason as to why they do certain things. As it came out this morning that Clinton is in the top percent of earmarking for her state, she justified it for saying she is defending NY from terrorists (and she gets mad when others use the 911 card), but who can argue against fighting terrorists. There is only one way to know the truth about politicians and that is their voting record, they can not lie there. McCain voted against tax cuts, he can give all the reasons he wants, but he still voted against tax cuts. I will support McCain completely if he tried to stop spending, but I still want to see a president who supports tax cuts. He has said that he will spend trillions of dollars on fighting global warming, where will he get the money. This leads me believe tax cuts are not in his future. And by the way for those you who are living north of us, which is all of you, what do you think about global warming as you are experiencing this winter, as for us it is still in the 90s. One more comment for Doug, your neighbors may be able to beat up ours, but I bet ours are betters swimmers. Good luck to Doug and Tami, we are praying for you guys, I hope went well.


Once again I have been assigned to write on my own blog site. Melissa keeps saying I should write on hers so there is new stuff, but then when I write she does not want it, it is too long or too political. Unfortunately I have been consumed by the presidential race this year, unfortunate because it is not going the way I would have hoped, and it keeps depressing me. I thought my native state of Virginia would come through and it almost did. It looked as thought Huckabee might pull off the victory. A win in Virginia would have changed everything. What conservatives need is for McCain to fall short of the required delegates to clinch the nomination. Then in the Convention if it is show that conservatives were voting against McCain 2 to 3 the party delegates who had voted for Romney could vote for Huckabee and pull off the miracle. However, that does not look possible, we needed Virginia. It looks now like a forgone conclusion that McCain will win the party and I also predict he will win the presidency, the reason for my prediction is history.
Those who know me well, know I predicted last year the race would come down to Huckabee/Thompson verses Edwards. Most thought I was crazy to predict Huckabee, but I had history to back me up. It turns out I am wrong on the person but right on the theory. My idea was that the president needed to come from the Sun Belt (California to Florida) because that is where all the presidents have come from for the past 40 years. The last president to win an election from the North was JFK, since then we have had Texas, CA, GA, CA, TX, AR, and TX. I hope you notice a trend. One reason for the trend is the shifting population base to the Sunbelt as the so called Greatest Generation and the baby bombers get older and move to warmer climates (my Mom and Dad), and one thing both generations do is vote, as opposed to the younger generations. However the larger reason is the shift in political geography. Starting in the 1860 election, the southern states voted for the Democratic party, they were so strongly Democratic that they became known as the “Solid South”. The South would stay solid up until the 1968 election, always voting for Democratic party except on two occasions when in 1948 the deep south voted for the Dixiecrat party and Strom Thurmond and in 1968 the same states voted for George Wallace. One both occasions the deep south voted for the candidate running on white power and segregation. In 1968 the rest of the south voted for the first time in over a 100 years for the Republican party and Nixon. Up until the 2004 election the South has continued to remain solid, but this time for the Republicans. There are just three exception when a few Southern states voted for a Democratic, in 1976 for Carter and 1982 and 1986 for Clinton, in all three occasions they voted for a southerner. This is the crux of my argument, the best way for the Republicans to win is to run a Sun belt conservative and the best way for the Democrats to win is to run a southerner. Running a North Eastern candidate has not work for over 40 years and so why would it work now. So I predicted early that even thought no one outside of Arkansas had heard of Huckabee, because he was the most conservative southerner (Thompson had not entered yet) that he would over time rise to the top. I was almost right. McCain was from AZ, a perfect state but he was way too liberal to win the Republican party. I guess I was wrong, kind of, (see other post about why the party has not gone liberal but Romney and Huckabee split the vote). Where I am right is I believe the next president of the US will be from the Sunbelt.
As for the Democrats I thought the only logical choice was Edwards. Obama had no experience and no substance, and even thought Clinton had been popular, I never thought she had a prayer to win the primary. Traditionally you never run someone like Hilary. Bush and Clinton and even W. were relatively unknown until they began the race. The point is when you start running you will make enemies, so why would you run someone who was already hated by half the population. Hilary is the kind of person you either hate or love, not a lot of in-between, and that is not a good way to win people. If Hilary wins, I do not think she can capture any southern states, Obama has a small chance by capturing the black vote. But McCain will capture the southern conservative vote, as well as conservative Democrats and all the independents. Edwards or some other southern conservative democrat would have been the Democrats best chance for victory, but lucky for us the Democrats have at time proven not to be that smart.
So my conclusion is, If McCain wins, which I am predicting he will, I had the correct theory, but just the wrong name.

Friday, February 8, 2008

I am taking over the blog again to mourn another loss, the loss of the Reagan coalition in the Republican party. I was sickened last night as I watched the election returns, sickened to see my party turn against everything that Nixon and Reagan had done to build up a party machine that has dominated party politics since 1968. It now is inevitable that John McCain will win the Presidential nomination for the Republicans, a man who economically and socially should not be allowed to call himself a Republican, at least not the Republican party of Reagan. With his win I will not be surprised to see a third party come into being, running a true conservative, so conservative voters will still be able to vote their conscience. Before I go on, I first, as you may guess, what to discuss historical elections that have some significance to this one, or at least remind me of this one.
The 1824 the presidential election was between 5 men all calling themselves republicans, John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and some guy named Crawford. Because they were all Republicans the party did not decide on a ticket and all 5 men were still involved in November. When the Electoral College voted, none of the men received a majority of the votes and so the election was kicked over the House of representative. Once there, Henry Clay, knowing he could not win the election told his supporters in the House to vote for John Quincy Adams, the man who was closest to him ideologically. With the support from Clay, Adams won the election, and in return reward Clay was the secretary of State position, the launching pad from most Presidents in the early Nineteenth Century. This election came to my mind last night in the West Virginia primary. In West Virginia the delegates vote together to come to a consensus vote. In the first vote none of the candidates could capture a majority. So McCain knowing he was the least likely to win, instructed his supports to vote for Huckabee, guaranteeing Huckabee a victory and blocking a win for Romney. Nothing illegal was done, but morally it may be questionable. In 1824 the deal became known as the “corrupt bargain,” and it did carry repercussions. Andrew Jackson was running in the race, but only half-heartedly, not fully knowing if he wanted to be president. However, after the corrupt bargain, he was so angry that he and his supporters began campaigning right away for the next election. Jackson supporters broke away from the Republican party and began calling themselves the Democratic Republicans or later just Democrats. Based on the personality of Jackson, and Democratic anger over the corrupt bargain, Adams only served a four-year term, and was soundly defeated by Jackson in 1828. Will this election cause another break in the Republican party is yet to be seen, but many conservative voters will find it difficult to stomach President McCain.
A second election that comes to mind is the famous 1968 election. The Democratic party was going through a philosophical shift as it was become a much more liberal party, and becoming the party, of minorities, women, poor, and the anti-war movement. The Democratic primary came down to three men, Humphrey, McCarthy, and Bobby Kennedy. The hopes and dreams of the new left were placed on the man that they believed could change everything, Kennedy. He would get them out of the war, protect civil rights, and began a liberal state. McCarthy also represented the new left, but not as strongly as Kennedy, and Humphrey was a more traditional Democrat. However, to the horror of the party, Kennedy was gunned down after a campaign speech in California, and McCarthy basically dropped out after Bobbie’s death, leaving Humphrey to accept the Democratic nomination. The New Left Movement did not take Humphrey's acceptance lightly, as seen by the riots that broke out in Chicago during the convention. What ended up happening was many new left Democrats did not vote allowing for the Republicans to began a thirty year dominance of the White House. Nixon also had a hand in the victory, running a perfect campaign of playing off the fears of middle America, who were tired of the violence, protests, hippies, drugs, and rock and role. Nixon brought together a coalition of conservative, and blue-collar families into what was known as the silent majority (the hundreds of thousands of people that do not go on TV and complain, but vote). This was a powerful coalition, but was only increased by Reagan, who added conservative democrats and those who thought we were losing the Cold war. But he also strengthened to the core of the party with the Christian right, a group that up to now, has been necessary to please in order to win the Republican party.
This election could turn out to be similar to 68. Many conservative voters, myself among them, could become very disenchanted with the party. In some ways I would rather see a Democrat in the White house then McCain. The Democrats have complained for 8 years about Bush and the war. Let them fix it; let them see it is not so easy. Let them pull our of Iraq and watch as terror gets stronger and Americans come under attack. But with McCain, who will challenge him. He is liberal enough for Democrats to agree with, and can Republicans be the one challenging a Republican president. This could be a watershed election, like 1896, or 1968, where there is a fundamental shift in party ideology. My personal opinion of whether Republicans vote or not depends on which Democrat is elected. If Hilary is the nominee, Republicans, my self included, will have to vote for McCain, he may be bad, but at least he is not the anti-Christ.
What I hated seeing the most last night, was a conservative, Huckabee, blocking for McCain. If the election was a two way race between McCain or either Romney or Huckabee, I do not believe McCain would be winning. If you watched the polling numbers, strong conservatives were not voting for him, he was winning the moderate vote. The conservative vote was split between Romney and Huckabee, allowing McCain to win. If Huckabee did not win the states he won last night, Romney would have won them. It is a shame to see the only two conservative men fighting against each other with the outcome of letting the liberal win. The Party needs to have some control over the situation. I have been a supporter of Huckabee, until I saw him smooze up to McCain last night. After he made the comment that the race was between himself and McCain a reporter asked several times, why should voters support you over McCain, but Huckabee would not give a answer. All he would say is that McCain is a good candidate and he would not say anything against him. When you are actually trying to win, you do not have to bash the other guy, but you can point out where he is very liberal.
One last comment. It is apparent that I do not like McCain and just incase anyone is still reading this I will give my justification and why I think he will ruin the party of Reagan. Socially, he supports the liberal agenda, from stem cell research to women’s rights. He voted against the Bush tax cuts. He is proposing billions of dollars to fix global warning, I do not have a problem with saving he environment, but where does he think he will get them money. Vote for McCain and taxes will go up. He has admitted on air that the economy is not his strong point, in a time when the economy is in desperate need of help. He supports amnesty to illegal immigrants. I am not anti-immigration, but I think it should be done properly. When given a chance last week at the Reagan library to say he would veto the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill, he would not answer. His record of voting with democrats is enough to scare me too much. I know I am rambling, this blogging is dangerous, and so far I have discussed religion and politics. I love this country, and I take the right to vote very seriously, so when I see things going so wrong I get up set because there is not much I can do about it. I need to add here at the end, that the views of his blog do not necessarily represent the views of the Finck Five, but I sure hope they do.

Welcome to my blog

I would like to welcome everyone to my blog. I know some of you have been reading Melissa's blog, but she did not want me to write political messages, so I decided to start my own where I can say anything I want. One note, anyone who knows me, knows I can not spell, and if I just want to write and am not going to stop and correct all my spelling, so you are forwarned. Enjoy.