The Phony Factor: Why Hillary Will Lose

FILE PHOTO:  In Profile: 100 Years Of US Presidential Races

In the entertainment industry, of which politics is undoubtedly a part and shares some eerie similarities to the glitzy cult of personalities, there is that intangible quality that has been said to make a star. That thing. It. Pizazz.  Or quite commonly, the X-Factor.  Sort of a conglomeration of likability, charisma and talent, the X-Factor can separate good from great, memorable from mundane, pleasant from ghastly.  Think Kennedy vs. Nixon, 1960.

Sadly, in many cases, this characteristic can be of greater significance than either achievement or practical ability to do the job at hand.  But people like to see people succeed whom they like to like.  And they watch, and elect, those individuals who come across as sincere, personable, likable and genuine.  The kind of people that, no matter how far fetched this scenario might be, would come over for a beer and brat, or hummus and wine if you prefer.

On the other foot, people hate feeling duped and cannot abide being lied to. (again see Nixon, 1974)  We despise those who are disingenuous and, the majority of the time, the majority will turn away from those ineffectual leaders towards the ones that make us smile. This introduces, while perhaps not a polar opposite, a counter to the X-Factor:

The Phony Factor.

Think back on previous presidents and the opposing, inevitably losing candidate of the other party:

Barack Obama vs. John McCain- one was fresh, new, black, hip and ostensibly intelligent and completely devoted to his desire to transform the United States.  The other was John McCain.

-Mitt Romney fared little better as he never quite seemed to embrace, or at least find peace with the charge before him.  I think he wanted to be president, and for the right reasons, but the environment in which he had to operate was simply outside of his capability.

W. vs. Gore- the election was a coin toss and at the time, either one was X or Phony at any given time.  As the years have gone on, W. has become much more likable (any doubters can watch this) but as of the election, both were rather “meh.”

John Kerry vs. W.- Good old lurch barely looks comfortable in his suits, let alone his own skin, and couldn’t get much more than the anti-Bush crowd, which just wasn’t enough.

Bill Clinton vs. Bob Dole- need I say more.

Bush 41 had exposed Michael Dukakis as a bleeding heart that endangered the public to secure his first term but for the second he had to combat both a charismatic Clinton and his own “read my lips” faux pas.  Too much to handle for the father.

And then there’s Ronald Reagan.  Mr. X-Factor who took all but Minnesota (his opponent Walter Mondale’s home state) to win his second term.  Morning in America was ubiquitous.

Which brings us to the epitome of the phony factor:

Hillary Rodham Clinton

I will go out on a limb here, so far out from the election, and say, with no equivocation:

Hillary Clinton will NOT be President of the United States.

She is simply too phony.  She stereotypically lives a life of public service which has amassed her family hundreds of millions of dollars.  She has been the First Lady, a Senator, the Secretary of State and yet clings to a message that she will reform Washington.  Why would she?  It made her who she is, with her style of success only possible in such a back-scratching, tit-for-tat, $200,000-500,000 per speaking engagement environment.

Her disconnect from reality is mystifying and yet entirely expected in the cynical realm of politics today.  Joel Gehrke at National Review writes,  “Clinton noted that small business creation has “stalled out,” to her chagrin. “I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it,” she said while campaigning in New Hampshire. “Because people were telling me this as I traveled around the country the last two years, but I didn’t know what they were saying and it turns out that we are not producing as many small businesses as we use to.”

Again, First Lady, Senator, Sec. of State… and she didn’t know???  And this is just a smidgeon of the say anything mentality that will drive this election cycle.  She has such contempt for the “regular” beneath her, and she isn’t even aware of it.  That’s what Rumsfeld would call an “Unknown, unknown.”

Just take the test, which I will admit is less objective and more mystical that I generally purport to be, but ask yourself: Phony or Real?  Genuine or Fake?  Deep down, we know it to be true.  Hillary is a big faker, who was born in the 40s and claimed for years that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary who climbed Everest in 1953.  Why?  Because she will say anything and doesn’t believe that we the people, and especially the Democratic Party, will see through it.

But we, of all political bents, don’t like fakers in the White House.

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The Cover of the Rolling Stone

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“We take all kinds of pills that give us all kind of thrills, but the thrill we’ve never known,

Is the thrill that’ll getcha when you get your picture on the cover of the Rollin’ Stone.”

– Dr. Hook, “Cover of the Rolling Stone”

The absence of principled conviction, as reflected in moral relativism, will inevitably lead to the dissemination of ideas that conflict with one another.  And in so doing, the unconfessed single standard hiding behind the supposed double standard will emerge…

It was never a difficult task to dissect the motivations behind the Rolling Stone story about a girl from the University of Virginia who had been gang-raped at a frat party.  This fed into the narrative of an ideology that knows that women are treated as a lesser species by the neanderthal caucasian men who are the source of all of society’s ills.  They hate for breakfast and rape for dinner.

So why bother to question other sources aside from the victim?  Why question the responses of her friends that could be called nothing short of in-credible (as in, NOT credible)? And when it was discovered that one of “rapists” was not even at the party, then…?

Doesn’t matter.  The cause is what matters, that’s what’s just and that’s what’s important.  During the games of the Final Four (as well as throughout the entire NFL season) we saw athletes talking directly to camera about how WE need to end sexual assault.  As though it is somehow OUR fault and WE need to assume some collective guilt over what is already considered to be a horrendous crime.  And that’s the point.  Get the story out there to spread a message so that even when the facts are not entirely clear, the narrative is what sticks.

Because when the truth isn’t good enough, make it up.

Sexual assault is a plague in frat houses and across college campuses, don’t you know? Even if these particular frat boys didn’t sexually assault on THAT particular night they were going to soon, so it is for the common good that the house was closed and their reputations trashed.  And if we have to “enhance” the definition of sexual assault, then so be it.

 “The Department of Health and Human Services identifies sexual assault as “verbal, visual, or anything that forces a person to join in unwanted sexual contact or attention.” Under that definition, forced kissing can certainly constitute as a form of sexual assault.”  Not that forced kissing should be tolerated at all but when it conflates with gang-rape we have an ethical dilemma due to an ideological agenda.

But there’s a conservative war on women, don’t you know?  They want women (and men by the way) to pay for their own contraceptives.  Jerks!!!

So, if real assault, faux assault, kiss assault and contraceptive assault can merge into a stew of hostility that’s then fed to the masses from the spoon of Rolling Stone, maybe the “crimes” will stick, even when the acts didn’t occur.  No one thinks of kissing when the words “sexual assault” come into play and the folks at DHHS and Rolling Stone know this.  Its the classic bait-and-switch.  Billy Flynn, & The Old Razzle-Dazzle.

Because when the truth isn’t good enough, make it up.

Women and men have horrible, traumatic events occur in their lives through no fault of their own.  No one ever deserves to be raped or “brings it on themselves.”  That is why the penalties for sexual assault are very severe.  They are horrible acts that society has deemed worthy of drastic punishments in the worst cases.  And while women have had to struggle for equal treatment in professional areas and with regards to civil rights, those aren’t current bouts against the mainstream.  Everyone believes in the equal treatment of women.  (I’ll shamelessly refer you to the bogus 77 cents on the dollar claim in a previous post.)

When a woman comes forward to report an attack, what is the existing stigma that is so feared?  Rolling Stone just showed that a woman with no evidence at all could dupe one of the biggest magazine’s in the country into believing her.  There was also the alleged rape of a woman by the Duke lacrosse team that never occurred, but people believed it. (Sharpton even showed up, of course he did)  But the story sticks and schools hyper-react so that they cannot find themselves in a position where they are accused of not caring about rape victims.  And what about the system? The cops, the judges and the DA want nothing more than to lock up rapists.  Their problem is that they want ACTUAL rapists.

But men and women lie.  They lie when accused and lie in the accusation.  It is the job of campuses, the police and the attorneys to find the truth.  Leave the ends that suit any ideology at the door and FIND THE TRUTH.  It would have taken any one of numerous “journalists” at Rolling Stone five seconds to sort this out. (They all get to keep their jobs too in spite of this debacle.  Isn’t that special??)  But they knew the truth before this girl from UVA even walked in the door.  So substantiating facts became a secondary matter and they went with the narrative that must be true, according to their own beliefs.

Rolling Stone has betrayed the very cause they sought to push forth.  While I don’t believe that women will now be viewed as liars first who must prove their accusations or go home, the magazine has undermined the essence of credibility and in cases of sexual assault, credibility is key.  When accusations are all there are, how else can the truth come out but through investigation and tests of credibility?

The truth is the end worth pursuing.  Not the phony war on whomever it is there is a conservative war on this week.  Not the inequality that may or may not exist.  Find the truth!

True leaders, honest public servants and daring journalists park their ideological baggage at the door and leap into the unknown, grasping for the facts.  They search out and expose criminals along with nefarious actors because they do in fact exist, but not in this case.

And here’s the sad part:

Somewhere, maybe on a college campus, last night a woman was attacked and raped.

How is she supposed to report this today knowing what occurred at UVA when the truth wasn’t good enough?

Rights 101: The Individual in Indiana

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“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

It is a sad testament to the lack of social progress to see so many cultural and political issues reemerge into the fleeting gaze of the public spotlight.  An issue appears, as quickly as a speck in your vision, and just as it becomes clear, it vanishes from view.  The public no wiser, the politicians no better, the country no stronger.

I have been writing these “articles” for just a little while and I already find that I have sufficient material to regurgitate topics from the archives.  Just add a dash of my patented snarky ketchup to the pre-prepared topic casserole du jour and, voila!.  What was once old becomes new!!

But that wouldn’t achieve one of the primary goals of The Last Best Hope: to expunge the detritus that settles between my ears.  So let’s take those leftovers and really whip up something divine!

A few months back I’d written about two gay guys who walked into a bakery.  (I made the same joke then too, as you can find here)  The gist is that they wanted the baker to make them a wedding cake and the baker said “no” due to his religious convictions.  The men pressed a lawsuit and said baker was compelled to make said cake, decorations and all.  My position on this was, and is, that government compulsion of behavior is an invalid role of the state and that everyone deserves the right to direct or withhold his or her own work.  There is little quite so demoralizing as a job you take no pride in doing.

Which, of course, brings me to the great state of Indiana.  The Hoosier State has become the new Cuba, with trade and travel restrictions accompanying a general disgust for its leader, Mike Pence, who apparently hates homosexuals so much that, along with the state legislature, just made it legal to discriminate against those of same-sex orientation.

Or not.

Despite the rampant criticisms of certain reporters, the mob mentality, and of course Al Sharpton (just know that if Sharpton is on your side then you’re doing it wrong.  And by it, I mean Life) Indiana did not pass a sweeping reform to bring back the gestapo in white hoods.  What Indiana lawmakers drafted, and what Governor Pence signed into law, (and has done an admirably atrocious job of explaining) is a protection of the limitations on government as articulated in the first amendment, because, as 19 other states have found sans protest, the federal protection does not extend to the states.

And, in the spirit of leftovers, this federal protection, known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), was signed into law in 1993 by that fastidiously fellatio-ed fellow, former President Bill Clinton.  It was supported by then senator Barack Obama in the Illinois legislature (although Indiana does not have the same legal discriminatory protections of Illinois), along with a 97-3 vote in the Senate and unanimous support in the House. (that’s right, EVERYONE)  Simply put, this was not a controversial bill and times have not changed that much.  Gay marriage is on the rise but not universal and religion is still a bedrock of American culture.  I have yet to find a town of any substance without a church of some kind…or a liquor store.

The federal bill has been used to protect native americans, Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Jews and followers of Santeria.  The feds, and subsequently the states, like Indiana, have altered the way that courts approach cases where there are competing rights and possible governmental interests in the protection of those rights.  The laws are now “requiring a “compelling state interest” justifying a ban on religious practice, an action “narrowly tailored” to that interest, and the “least restrictive” means of pursuing it.”

The question now becomes (and has been) which rights are paramount and deserve protection?  Is a Jewish printer required to create recruiting pamphlets for the Aryan Brotherhood?  Should a devout Muslim photographer be compelled to shoot the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition?  Is a homosexual florist mandated to provide ornamentation for the opening of the new Westboro Baptist church?  And should an evangelical Christian be made to bake a cake for a ceremony that fundamentally violates her beliefs?  No, no, no and NO!

The abilities of every human being are the result of experience, dedication and hard work.  Religious beliefs provide a sacred foundation for how to live this life and prepare for the hereafter.  And sexual orientation is a basic component of all human beings.  But, when one person, couple, group, church, magazine or psycho-outfit demand that an individual act against his conscience, that individual deserves protection.

Yes, stores and restaurants are places of public accommodation and being that the owners of such establishments have opened their shops in such a legally-mandated climate, they are NOT allowed, under Senate bill 101 or any other, to openly discriminate.  The baker must still bake a cake for a gay customer.  But, the baker is not compelled to partake in any part of the wedding ceremony of two gay men.  There is a subtle and vital distinction.  It will be up to the courts to decide when to use which of the aforementioned rights to whom applies… etc. etc.

The First Amendment is the most basic of all protections against government that the citizens of this nation possess.  It protects the most endangered and discriminated group of all…the individual.

Some people have deplorable views based upon nothing more than a shallow upbringing, vapid stereotypes, and, in the absolute worst cases, unsubstantiate-able hate.  And some of those people own businesses.  Personally, I believe that much like one’s house, one’s business is one’s property and the owner should determine how to conduct business in said business.  Allow the free-market to determine who succeeds.  In most cases, as displayed by one aspect of the outcry in Indiana,  people support each other and will serve whomever walks in the door.  And those who don’t will suffer the wrath of fierce competition.  Let the creative destruction begin!

But no one should be compelled to act against his or her own will by government forces in violation of religious beliefs.  One person can never have a right to another’s time or ability.  That is not a right, that’s slavery.  Senate bill 101 will see some added language to specifically prohibit discrimination but such additions are catering to the wrong forces.

Don’t be like so many people, inclined to believe what is spoon-fed, flown into the hanger, when it fits comfortable, intellectually lazy preconceived ideas.  The mob is rarely right and never interested in truth.  It is the most base reaction to forces that, on most days, it can’t be bothered to attempt to understand.  Just check out voter turnout for the biggest elections.  Within the lifetime of anyone who might be reading this, the highest turnout among the voting age population was in 1960 at 62.8%.  In 2012 it was 54.9%.  That means that on the best of days only have of any of those people marching have any idea of what they protest.  The rest are acting on emotion alone, too busy chanting to be bothered with the details.

Learn and seek truth, not support for the opinions you already possess.  The world will open in ways that you can only now imagine.

“Buy the Truth…and sell it not.” – Proverbs 23:23