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Donald Trump, pragmatist

While this has been a very interesting presidential campaign cycle, it has also been a disturbing one. I have seen many passionate patriots, many of whom I admire and respect, defend the candidate of their choice as if he or she were God incarnate or a member of their immediate family. The results: friendships have been destroyed and groups decimated over candidates that these patriots do not know on a personal basis. It is my hope that this writing will help put things in perspective and inspire voters to assess the candidates in an intellectual and non-emotional manner.

First, I would like to say that I have not firmly given my support to any candidate. From where I sit, they all have pros and cons. And since putting together a composite candidate is not possible, I believe we must weigh these pros and cons and decide which we can live with and which we cannot. Therefore, I have put together the list below to help to aid others that may be evaluating the candidates in the same manner.

All candidates, pro and con

Donald Trump

Donald Trump in 2011. He leads the candidates after New Hampshire.

Donald Trump speaking to the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference. Photo by Gage Skidmore; CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License.


  • Knows how to administrate in the real world.
  • Understands the financial world and how to achieve success within it.
  • He is a proven negotiator.
  • Speaks his mind (also a con at times).
  • Is financing his own campaign, which doesn’t obligate him to special interests or party arm-twisting.
  • He knows all the best people to enlist in his administration.
  • Was the only candidate to stand alongside of a confused Ben Carson when Carson didn’t hear his name called in the right sequence at the NH Republican debate. While this may seem like a minor thing to many, to me it displayed compassion and gentlemen ship that other candidates lacked.
  • He claims to have changed his position to be pro-life and offers a testimony to support his claims.
  • He is the strongest candidate to oppose illegal immigration.
  • He is strong on national defense and fighting terrorism.
  • He stands firmly against and understands the pitfalls of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would have severe consequences for our economy and sacrifice it at the altar of globalism.
  • He has a firm understanding of global banking practices and its pitfalls.
  • He understands how foreign nations manipulate money.


  • He is used to giving orders that are obeyed without question. A power not given to presidents.
  • He doesn’t apply any speech filters and often offends many as a result.
  • His ability to work with a divided Congress is unknown.
  • He lacks the “image” and demeanor expected of a president, which seems to be important to some.
  • He has not displayed a proper understanding of the Constitution.
  • He has been known to change his opinions but attributes that to being open-minded and teachable – not a flip-flopper that is only interested in pandering to his base. The voter will have to decide what they believe about this particular character trait.
  • Although he claims to be a Christian, has freely admitted that he doesn’t pray or ask for forgiveness, which makes him wise in his own eyes.

My Conclusion:

Those that are primarily interested in restoring the economy and negotiating better deals with foreign nations, as well as defeating terrorists and dealing with illegal immigration, should vote for Trump.

Senator Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz, Tea Party candidate for Senate from Texas and now among the leading candidates for President. Or is he?

Ted Cruz, speaking to a Tea Party express rally in Austin, TX. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License.


  • The most Constitutionally astute of all the candidates.
  • He has not broken his campaign promises to the people of Texas that he represents.
  • He is pro-life.
  • Has a solid record as a Christian, which should assure the public of how he will base his decisions.
  • He opposes illegal immigration.
  • He is strong on re-building the military and fighting terrorists.


  • He appears to be opportunistic and petty at times, especially before the debate where Trump was absent. He accused Trump of not attending a debate out of fear of Megyn Kelly but then hypocritically threatened to leave the debate floor because he wasn’t being treated fairly by her team – in a very rehearsed manner.
  • He is not known to be likeable, which many may consider an asset but will probably make him every bit as divisive as Obama. He may have strong conservative credentials but may be unable to implement them due to his demeanor.
  • He is often well-rehearsed, which makes him appear disingenuous.
  • His team’s recent antics during the Iowa Caucus are suspect, regardless of his apology to Dr. Ben Carson, who is a moral and forgiving man but stopped short of accepting the Senator’s apologies.

My Conclusion:

Those who are more interested in restoring constitutional rights will most likely vote for Senator Cruz. However, they may be disappointed to find out that because of his demeanor and reputation, he may be unable to change anything.

Senator Marco Rubio: (Perhaps one of the most confusing candidates of all)

Marco Rubio, the most confusing of the GOP candidates in 2016.

Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla. Photo courtesy United States Senate.


  • One of the most likeable of all the candidates, and probably the most able to work with both political parties. This “pro” can also be interpreted as a con by those who are tired of Republicans playing along to get along.
  • He is an extremely gifted orator who makes sense when he speaks.
  • He is very strong on foreign policy and events have proven that he knows what he is talking about.
  • He seems to sincerely believe in the American Dream.
  • He is pro-life and pro-traditional marriage.
  • He is a strong Christian and has given testimony publicly that indicates he is sincere.


  • He has not kept the campaign promises he made to his constituents.
  • He has gone from the halls of academia to government service in various capacities. (It should be noted here that his past performances indicate that he is a man of more substance that BO, and differs substantially on patriotism and loyalty to America and our Constitutional Republic.)
  • Like Trump, he has changed positions – especially on immigration. While he defends this change as being an awakening to reality, he never condemned his participation in the principles set forth by the Gang of 8 and the many lies he told the public regarding that alliance.
  • He voted to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), that would give massive powers to transnational corporations to control the global economy and diminish the sovereignty of autonomous governments and their authority to govern over the lives of their citizens .
  • He is often not present for important votes.
  • The people of his home state do not support him.

My Conclusion:

Senator Rubio is a bright young man but like other Senators, has not run anything, and the job of the presidency requires administrative – not just political skills or policy stances. However, he is probably the candidate best able to heal some of the party-initiated grid lock the past three presidents have created. Like Trump, he will have to convince the electorate if his changing positions are an indication of his teachability or a flip-flopping pandering to the base. People who are most interested in healing the party divisions in Congress probably will find a hero in Marco Rubio.

Dr. Ben Carson

Ben Carson at CPAC 2014. He might rank among the "preliminary candidates" dropping out early.

Ben Carson speaks to the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic License)


  • Absolutely the most likeable of all the Republican candidates.
  • He is obviously extremely intelligent and the only candidate who knows what he doesn’t know. Because of his high IQ, he may be able to educate himself quickly on necessary matters.
  • His common sense approach to social issues that plague this country can go a long way to healing families, and his personal experience can help inspire the hopeless in urban communities to overcome.
  • He is used to putting together winning teams in the OR, which may translate into putting together winning teams in government. However, this is an unknown.
  • He professes to be a strong Christian and has a testimony that supports that profession.


  • He is woefully inexperienced politically and not sufficiently knowledgeable on foreign affairs.
  • He lacks the fighting spirit needed to right many wrongs.
  • It is unlikely that he will be able to run a presidential campaign capable of defeating the Democratic machines.

My Conclusion:

People who are interested in electing someone outside of the political arena that they like, will have a good prospect in Dr. Carson. However, no measurement exists to indicate how he will lead in government.

NOTE: With the exception of Chris Christie, who resides over my home state, I will devote less words to the governors, since they are presently polling as second tier candidates.

Governor John Kasich

John Kasich, a member of that class of candidates called RINO's

Governor John Kasich (R-Ohio). Photo courtesy Office of the Governor, State of Ohio


  • He has done fiscally well by the State of Ohio.
  • He has enjoyed some success in Congress.


  • He is a centrist and not a conservative.
  • Many of his programs lean toward socialism.
  • Although he talks around it, he is a strong advocate for Common Core.

My Conclusion:

Those who prefer a moderate candidate should be pleased with Governor Kasich.


Governor Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush speaks to CPAC. He has a terrible reputation among candidates today.

Jeb Bush speaks to CPAC 2015. Photo: Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License


  • Has by far the best record within his state than any of the other two governors.
  • Has appointed jurists that are of the same fiber as Sam Alito.
  • Claims to be pro-life, although he did not lift a finger to help Terry Schiavo.
  • Signed School Choice into Florida law but conversely supports Common Core.
  • He has some military experience, which is more than any of the other candidates.
  • Is well-funded, which is both a pro and a con. It is a pro because he has enough money to see the campaign to fruition. It is a con because it is an indicator of his strong establishment ties.


  • He is soft on illegal immigration, although he would have you believe otherwise.
  • He is a strong supporter of Common Core, although he talks around the issue and is good at spinning his point of view when asked.
  • He is perceived to be “another Bush”, although his record is significantly better than his brother’s was as governor. His family ties makes his global ideology suspect, since his father was a committed globalist, and his kindly brother was as divisive as Obama.

My Conclusion:

I would prefer to vote for a governor rather than a Senator, regardless of who that might be. However, the pickins are slim. Bush falls short in many areas, but at least he has a somewhat conservative and successful record as a governor.

Governor Chris Christie

Chris Christie of New Jersey, likely the worst of the candidates still standing.

Chris Christie holds a town hall meeting in Hillsborough, NJ, on March 2, 2011. Photo: Bob Jagendorf, CC BY 2.0 Generic License


  • He is pro-life, although he appointed Lee Solomon as a conservative jurist to the NJ Supreme Court, regardless of the fact that Solomon was endorsed by NJ Right to Choose for opposing parental notification for minors seeking abortions.


  • He also appointed Sohail Mohammed to the NJ Superior Court, a reported leader in the Muslim culture. Although Christie defended his appointment and called those who opposed him “crazies” , Steve Emerson of The Investigative Project on Terrorism called Mohammed a longtime mouthpiece for radical Islamists.
  • Other appointments include Bruce Harris, a known gay activist, to the NJ Supreme Court the same week he vetoed a same sex marriage bill. This appointment was rejected by the NJ legislature.
  • The Governor says he opposes illegal immigration and sanctuary cities but has continued to fund the 11 sanctuary cities in the Garden State.
  • According to United Van Lines, who document the number of households leaving each state, NJ had the most households in the nation leaving the state during 4 of the last 5 years. Keep in mind that Christie took office in 2010 and was governor for all of the years in question.
  • He chose Progressive Democrats for Attorney General, Board of Public Utilities, Public Education, and Environmental Protection positions while shunning qualified Republicans.
  • Raised bridge, tunnel, Parkway, and Turnpike tolls, property taxes and electric bills, etc. to fund his spending hikes.
  • Bankrupted the Department of Transportation, which operated at the highest per mile cost in the country – nearly three times more than the next highest state, Massachusetts, and now proposes a $.25 per gallon of gas tax increase to pay for his folly.
  • Stood tough against teacher, firemen, and police unions in a supposed move to fix the insolvent pension plans but actually made them more insolvent by allowing pensions to be based on the last three years of a person’s salary and not their lifetime contributions.
  • Opposed Governor Scott Walker’s plan to end teacher union and civil service abuses.
  • Lied about NJ pulling out of Common Core, while he forced its implementation.
  • Irresponsibly spent billions of FEMA money on storm solutions that were proven failures, as well as giving hundreds of millions of relief money to cronies that had no damage or loss from the storm.
  • Stacked the deck in favor of the election of Democrat Cory Booker over Republican Steve Lonegan to fill the Senate seat of deceased Senator Frank Lautenberg and refused to disperse Republican donations earmarked for Lonegan to Lonegan.
  • Claims to be pro-Second Amendment but signed 23 additional gun regulations into law.
  • Supported the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States, while claiming to be a bipartisan hero – regardless of how he now tries to spin the endorsement he previously stated publicly.
  • Justified publicly violating the 4th Amendment as being heroic.
  • Dissed the 911 families and insulted them when they objected to a mosque being built at the 911 site, but claims he’s a hero to them.
  • Agreed to the appropriation of $500,000,000 to NJ’s Abbott District schools after stating publicly and on many occasions that this appropriation was unconstitutional.

My Conclusion:

Although this Governor talks a good talk, he is perhaps the biggest RINO in the bunch. It is true. He has had experience in administrating government, but he has not had success. When the Governor took office, NJ had an almost unsustainable debt, was number one in property taxes, was on the verge of defaulting on its pension commitments, was number one in auto insurance costs, number one in cost of living indicators nationwide, number one for the highest medical costs, had the second most restrictive gun laws in the nation, etc., etc., etc. And now, after six years of Governor Christie’s rule, nothing has changed but according to Christie, it’s not his fault. While he can’t blame George Bush for NJ’s ills, he blames the NJ legislature – after all, NJ’s Bully Governor can’t possibly be the problem, even when one considers that he signed into law numerous pieces of Democratic legislation. If America prefers the dangerous status quo and has no concern about Supreme Court appointments, then perhaps Governor Christie is the man they should be voting for. As for me, if by some chance this man becomes the Republican nominee, I will not be voting for POTUS in November. My reasons are clear. I see very little difference between this RINO and any Democrat or Democratic Socialist he may be opposing.

Reprinted from The Daily Rant, copyright 2016 Mychal Massie. Used by permission.

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RoseAnn Salanitri is a published author and Acquisition Editor for the New Jersey Family Policy Council. She is a community activist who has founded the Sussex County Tea Party in her home state and launched a recall movement against Senator Robert Menendez. RoseAnn is also the founder of Veritas Christian Academy, as well as co-founder of Creation Science Alive, and a national creation science speaker.

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Adam H Muther

My old Digg Patriots still kicking. Nice.

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