Jindal Skips Iowa Freedom Forum for American Family Association

Who is running for President?  Well, Jeb Bush already told us he was.  Yesterday was the Iowa Freedom Forum and many of the other contenders made an appearance.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  Mark my words, all six of these men will be running for President.  Along with Jeb Bush and Rand Paul, that’s a field of eight candidates.

Bobby Jindal is a fantastic Governor, but his special powers seem to disappear when he leaves the state of Louisiana.
Bobby Jindal keynoted an event for the controversial American Family Association and skipped an important event in Iowa.  While some will call it a blunder, Governor Jindal might have made a very wise move getting the American Family Association obligations out-of-the-way early.

A ninth candidate, who undoubtedly wanted to be at the Iowa Freedom Forum, was busy making headlines in his own state of Louisiana. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal skipped the Iowa Freedom Forum to give a 15-minute speech at an event hosted by the American Family Association where he argued the country needed to embrace its Christian roots and experience a spiritual revival.  In 2011, Rick Perry keynoted the same event for the American Family Association before announcing his run for President.  I think a lot of pundits are going to question Jindal’s decision to skip the Iowa Freedom Forum for the more controversial American Family Association “prayer rally.”  However, I think it was a pretty heads up move.

Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum proved in the last two Presidential election cycles, winning the Christian right is paramount to winning the Republican Iowa Caucuses.  And if you’re a dark horse candidate, you absolutely must win Iowa.  That would imply that the Iowa Freedom Forum was more important for Jindal.

Was Jindal better off sharing a stage with a plethora of charismatic conservatives all gloating about how conservative they are in front of a hodgepodge of Iowa conservatives?  Or did he do the right thing by keynoting an equally large group of conservative Christians from the American Family Association in his home state?  The people who attended the American Family Association event are going to be bigger donors than the grassroots elements that showed up at the Iowa Freedom Forum.  They’re also exclusively from Jindal’s desired audience of conservative Christians.  Jindal’s speech also gave the predominantly protestant crowd at the American Family Association an early warning that he was Catholic.  Jindal’s not running from Catholicism, but embracing it and it’s important that Jindal sets the narrative on his faith before any of Huckabee’s Fundamental Baptist supporters do.  That topic would have been inappropriate for the Iowa Freedom Forum as attendees were looking for denunciations of unpopular Obama policies.  It was perfect for the setting of the American Family Association.

The American Family Association is a powerful lobby and Jindal hosting them at Baton Rouge, Louisiana is undoubtedly going to make many in their leadership happy.  That’s very good for Bobby Jindal.  As powerful as the American Family Association is, they represent the extreme right-wing of social conservatism.  Personally, I dislike the American Family Association.  I think they cause more problems than they solve by spreading intolerance and forgetting that we’re all sinners in need of God’s grace.  The American Family Association’s rhetoric, in my opinion, drives more people further away from God than brings them to Him.  However,  as I wrote above, the American Family Association is still an important lobby and as long as Jindal doesn’t share in their approach, I’ll be thrilled that he got this done so early in his campaign that nobody is going to remember it unless they were one of the hundred protesters on the LSU campus protesting the American Family Association event.


The Avengers of Conservative Bloggers

For 11 years, I have refused to write anywhere online but KTracy.com.  As of next month, that’s going to change.  I am teaming up with two former KTracy.com contributors, Travis Gearhart and Semp; a newspaper man; and a local trouble maker to create a new multimedia enterprise based on Travis’ domain: www.mattersofopinion.com.

Travis and I put our heads together and created a very elite selection of talented writers with brilliant conservative minds.  Their mission is going to be simple.  “Create whatever you want.”  Think of it like TownHall but with quality control up front.

Because of my lack of personal time since taking this job a few years ago, I have been unable to write as much as I would like.  By joining a team of six or seven skilled writers, we are going to be able to provide you with much more content on a much more frequent basis… more content than I’ve ever been able to generate on KTracy.com.

However, what I’m most excited about is the triumphant return of the Matters of Opinion podcast; which will be hosted by Travis Gearhart.  The podcasts will be one hour long and updated weekly.  Travis will be bringing in guests including national political leaders, grassroots activists, policy experts, and elected officials from around the country.

What’s going to happen to all this awesome KTracy.com content?

Fear not, kind men and women!  Everything currently on KTracy.com will be ported over onto www.mattersofopinion.com.   Automatic redirects will also be provided for anyone using a link to an existing article or blog post.   For the first few days, KTracy.com will redirect to mattersofopinion.com.  Eventually, the domain will be used to advertise my various books and offer interested parties my CV and resume.  But that’s all boring stuff.

The real action will be at mattersofopinion.com where awesome new features will be added constantly; including more merchandise, more original videos,  Travis’ amazing podcast, mind-blowing analysis, and other cool features.


I Didn’t Watch Barack Obama’s State of the Union

Scrolling through Facebook this morning, it’s amazing how many of my conservative friends are writing angry messages and how many of my liberal friends are writing messages about how many of my conservative friends are writing angry messages.  That might make me sound like a liberal for writing about how many of my conservative friends are writing angry messages, but I think it’s worth noting more how my liberal friends are writing messages about how many of my conservative friends are writing angry messages and not writing messages celebrating the message of the President’s speech writers. They’re not even writing messages defending the message of the speech writers, only writing messages about how many of my conservative friends are writing angry messages about the message of the speech writers.  With everybody writing a message about something; I wanted to write a message, too.  I chose to write my message in the form of a tongue twister.

Now read that paragraph aloud really, really fast three times.  I’ll seriously post video of anyone who tries.

I'm done listening to this man's lies.  However, even though everyone knows he's a liar already, they still bring themselves to waste time watching him lie.
I’m done listening to this man’s lies. However, even though everyone knows he’s a liar already, they still bring themselves to waste time watching him lie.

Seriously though, I didn’t watch the President’s State of the Union.  This is arguably the least important State of the Union in our country’s history and undoubtedly the least important of the Obama Presidency.  Why?  Because we have a Republican-controlled Congress and the President has proven time and again that he is not interested in compromise or negotiation.  He would sooner let America burn than work with (even a liberal) Republican brazen enough to dare suggest a way to stop the burning.     And what did the President suggest in his State of the Union?  A bunch of free stuff paid for with tax increases wealthiest Americans.  Really?  THAT is your plan to work with a Republican Congress?  If I know the President’s teleprompters are that out of touch with reality, why should I waste hours of my life watching the State of the Union?

So, what amazingly constructive thing did I do with the time I spent not watching the State of the Union?

I was watching PBS’s Antiques Roadshow: New York on my Amazon Fire TV… and I can honestly say, I’m the least angry of all my conservative friends this morning.


Romney Leading Huckabee in Iowa (by a lot)

Tan Mitt Romney on Univision
Shockingly, Hispanic voters in 2012 weren’t wooed by Mitt Romney after he appeared on Univision with a spray-on tan.

I have to admit that I’m shocked by polling data coming out of Iowa.  The Gravis poll found Mitt Romney leading Huckabee with 21% of the vote compared to Huckabee’s 9%.  Rick Santorum was not a candidate listed in this poll.  This after Mitt Romney lost the Iowa Caucuses in two consecutive primary cycles, first against Mike Huckabee in 2008 and then against Rick Santorum in 2012.

Of course, this doesn’t mean anything.  2008 and 2012 both saw Mitt Romney leading Huckabee and then leading Santorum with sizable leads in Iowa before losing the state.

Mitt Romney’s advantage in the polling as of late has everything to do with him being the last presidential candidate.  A lot of moderates have “buyer’s remorse” for voting for Obama in 2012 and because he was the candidate in 2012, Republicans feel like they know him better than they know any of the other candidates, even those that ran but lost the nomination in 2007/8 and 2011/12.

The polling was done by Gravis Marketing.  I’ll be honest and say that I don’t necessarily trust Gravis to have unbiased numbers.  However, these numbers do have some credibility when compared to an October poll by Bloomberg testing the candidates with Romney’s name added to the mix.  Bloomberg had Romney at 17%, Huckabee at 9%, and Santorum at 3%.  Since Mitt Romney has been showing more interest in running, it only makes sense that he would see an uptick in his poll numbers.

If Mitt Romney didn’t lose Iowa twice already, I would say this is a bigger deal.  If anything, it makes getting in the race that much easier for Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.  They both know they’ve gotten close to riding the dark horse to the nomination before, they both probably figure the second time will be easier.  At least for Mike Huckabee, I believe that will be true.  However, assuming Huckabee gets in the race, Rick Santorum is going to have a REALLY hard time finding the level of support he needs for a repeat of 2012.

The 49 States of America? The Hawaiian Nationalists

Supporters of Hawaiian nationalists march for independence from the United States.
Supporters of Hawaiian nationalists march for independence from the United States.

After several decades, anger at how a few businessmen from the United States unethically claimed the Hawaii is reemerging among many native Hawaiians.  Moderates in this group are currently working with the Federal government to have protections currently given to Native Americans.  However, there is another group of ethnic Hawaiians who don’t think that goes far enough.  They’re part of the growing Hawaiian nationalist movement and, as the name would suggest, they’re seeking to re-establish the Kingdom of Hawaii.

One would probably suspect that these two groups in Hawaii don’t get along.  One would be right.  There is an extreme amount of distrust between them, with the Hawaiian nationalists accusing the moderates of selling out and the moderates accusing the Hawaiian nationalists of blindly risking the negotiations with the Federal government.

hawaii-independence2Personally, I’ve always been sympathetic of a good claim of sovereignty, but the Hawaiian nationalist movement is just too far-fetched.  Is their claim just?  Totally.  Is it realistic?  Not at all.  The reason why can be found in demographics.

Here’s the ethnic make up of Hawaii according the 2013 US Census Bureau statistics.

Asian: 37.7% (Joe Biden would say Oriental)
Caucasian: 26.6%Mixed Ethnicity: 23.1%
Native Hawaiian: 10% (this number includes other “Pacific Islanders”)
Hispanic: 9.8%

The way Hawaii was taken is absolutely absurd and a complete breach of ethics on the part of the United States and our citizens more than a century ago.  I wouldn’t dare deny that.  However, giving the Hawaiian Islands back just isn’t realistic when only 10% of the population are descendants of the original inhabitants.  On top of that, not even the whole 10% are Hawaiian nationalists.

In fact, the Hawaiian nationalism is a vague cause backed by a few organizations who don’t even agree on what they want.  Some groups are seeking the restoration of the Kingdom of Hawaii, complete with the monarchy.  Others, such as Nation of Hawaii, want to see the new government organized as a republic.  While I doubt any of these groups advocate forcing non-natives off Hawaiian soil, you’re going to have a hard time convincing people to go it alone.  Unless abuses from the continental United States start actively being committed against the Hawaiian people (and I’m not talking about tree-hugger abuses like “pollution” and “environmental damage”), native and non-native alike, the Hawaiian nationalist movement is dead in the water.

US Air Force F-15's fly over the coast of Hawaii.  PACOM is the largest regional command in the United States military, covering over 50% of the world's population and surface area.  And it's headquarters is at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii.
US Air Force F-15’s fly over the coast of Hawaii. PACOM is the largest regional command in the United States military, covering over 50% of the world’s population and surface area. And it’s headquarters is at Camp H.M. Smith in Hawaii.

And that’s probably in the best interest of all Hawaiians.  Unlike in 1893 when the Kingdom of Hawaii was toppled, the world is a very small place and the Pacific Ocean provides no realistic protection from imperialists.  With a current meager population of less than 1.5 million people, the Hawaiian people have absolutely no hope to protect themselves in the event China, Japan, Russia, or even the United States decide it is in their national interest to hold the islands.  And given Hawaii’s strategic importance because of their geographic position in the Pacific Ocean, it won’t take much to argue holding Hawaii is in their interests.  There’s a reason why PACOM is headquartered in Hawaii and it isn’t just because we wanted it on American soil.

This would then lead Hawaiian nationalists to accept the continued US military presence on the islands; which is important economically because the Department of Defense spends over $6 billion a year in Hawaii alone and if they were to leave, about 18,000 local jobs would be lost almost overnight.   Unfortunately, because the Hawaiian nationalists view the US claim on Hawaii as a “prolonged military occupation,” they won’t be eager to keep the United States military around unless they’re willing to concede on some of their talking points and risk a bit of humiliation by keeping our military there.

While the flag industry would boom in China as they printed out millions of American flags with 7 rows of 7 stars, don’t invest in that market because of the Hawaiian nationalist movement.

It’s easy for Hawaiian nationalists to blame the Federal government for all of their problems.  Sure, you could struggle for generations to get nowhere with the cause of Hawaiian independence.  However, it would be far easier to stop electing left wing ideologues and start voting for Republicans who would give more power to states and local government.   Then, you could give your children something more than a lost cause; for they will spend their lives struggling.

There’s nothing wrong with practicality when it comes to politics.

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