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Elections

Getting Beyond our Convenient Political Narratives

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There is only one movie up for Oscars that I have any interest in seeing win, “American Fiction.” This movie has the guts to call out all liberal media, book publishers, and Hollywood producers who have made it clear that the only narratives they will allow to be seen support their woke worldview.

In “American Fiction,” an author snubbed by publishers because his novels are not “black” enough decides to play a joke on the publishing industry by changing his identity to a fugitive who writes in graphic terms about what it’s “supposed to be” like to be a “black” in America. The book fits the liberal narrative and earns the author an offer of $750,000, a new movie contract, and award consideration. He’s disgusted by the liberal bias but plays along only to see a disturbing reality play out. The truth is that it pays to support liberal narratives.

Most of the Oscar nominations and comments at the ceremony prove a left-wing bias every year. That’s why fewer and fewer conservatives even watch. Where is the consideration for popular movies like “Sound of Freedom” or “Boys in the Boat?” They don’t fit the Left narratives that “nothing bad comes across an open border” or “nothing good comes out of America.”

It’s true that we all tend to fall victim to “selective scanning.” It’s tempting to search for information sources that reinforce what we want to believe. Both sides of the divide tend to say the same thing—“If you knew the ‘facts,’ you would know the ‘truth,’ ‘OK, my truth!’” Both sides of any divide have a narrative with “facts” and “expert opinion” to back their position.

There are numerous examples of well-defended narratives that keep America divided:

The COVID Vaccines are good for you vs. The COVID Vaccines have the potential to do more harm than good (You can find some research and anecdotal evidence that vaccines work and similar evidence that some people have died or developed serious illnesses).

Climate Change will result in man’s destructive vs. Climate Change has multiple causes, and we can do little to change (Clearly, there is evidence of man doing damage to the environment, and there is evidence that there have been extended warm and cold periods throughout earth’s existence with or without man).

Entitlement Programs are essential to help those who can’t help themselves. Entitlement Programs foster government dependency and prevent self-sufficiency (It’s true that people need help, but it is best provided by a distant government bureaucracy or by family, friends, and local charities who can access needs and provide focused assistance and support).

Undocumented Aliens should receive government assistance and have a path to citizenship; Illegal Aliens have committed crimes and should be deported (There is evidence that some who have crossed the open border have committed terrible crimes, but it’s also true that some have been good workers with strong family values).

Both leading candidates for the 2024 Presidential election are loved and hated. They have counter-narratives depending on your side of the divide.

The left’s Trump narrative is predictable. Once elected, President Trump will be a “dictator,” “seek revenge,” “be fatal to the American experiment,” “a felon,” and “a threat to democracy.” In Short, the left’s message is simple, “Trump is dangerous for America and should be in jail.”

The right’s narrative couldn’t be more different. President Trump will “restore America,” “ensure our freedoms,” “destroy the deep state,” and “defend the Constitution.” In short, “Trump’s been victimized by politicized accusations and will save the America we love if he can just be elected.” Both can find statements from Trump’s speeches and past actions to attempt to justify their claims.

To the right, President Biden is “senile,” a “bumbling idiot,” “too old,” “an un-American traitor,” “a ‘big guy” crook,” and “dangerous to the future of America and should be impeached and in jail.” To the left, Biden has “helped keep America open to immigrants,” “helped prevent a climate calamity,” “provides necessary benefits for minorities,” “makes the rich pay their fair share,” and “is the only person in the way of a rightwing dictatorship.” Both views can find ammunition to support their claims.

Notice that neither side likes you to watch a whole speech. They want you to see just the clips and evidence that reinforce their own narratives about the candidate. Welcome to soundbite politics!

The 2024 election is too important for our future to be left with biased narratives about two candidates. It is not just the President that you elect; it is the people and the policies they bring with them that will determine the course for America’s future.

Instead of limiting yourself to biased narratives, there is much to consider in making an informed decision on who to elect. Both candidates have a record to look at. What are their major accomplishments? Do you support what they did as President? Now, look to the future. Join those who are demanding that both parties lay out their Contract with America. What are the top five promises and priorities for each party?

Let’s get beyond the name-calling and demand that they come before the people to debate the issues that matter most. Both these candidates are more than the narratives we have created. Let’s hear from them directly and then vote. To do less is not responsible citizenship and is detrimental to the future of our amazing country.

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Dr. Terry Paulson is a PhD psychologist and author of The Optimism Advantage, They Shoot Managers Don't They, Speak Like a Pro, Meditations for the Trail, and The Dinner: The Political Conversation Your Mother Told You Never to Have. Since founding Paulson and Associates, Inc. in Agoura Hills, CA, Dr. Paulson has presented to such companies as IBM, 3M, Kaiser, Nationwide, SONY, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and hundreds of hospitals, government agencies, and associations. Dr. Paulson is a past president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the National Speakers Association. He’s been inducted into NSA’s CPAE Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor given to less than 230 speakers worldwide. Dr. Paulson is a long-time conservative Republican who has spoken to numerous Republican groups. He currently is a regular op-ed columnist for townhall.com and politicrossing.com. Terry brings knowledge, tasteful humor, and a passion for conservative principles to every presentation. Dr. Paulson graduated with honors from UCLA and received his PhD in psychology and an MA in theology from Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, CA.



 
 
 

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Elections

It’s Trump’s Time to Shine

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Former President Trump could easily be over-confident going into the June debate. President Joe Biden isn’t even comfortable answering questions from friendly media who want him to look good. He struggles even when he has note cards. Can you imagine how he might perform in the debate when he doesn’t know the questions or Donald Trump’s response. Even many in his own party are worried about him not performing well.

It almost makes you wonder if this could be the Democrats’ plan. A poor performance in the debates could increase the calls for Biden to step down and not run for four more years. With the next scheduled debate being in September and their Chicago convention in August, Democrats would have time to let Biden withdraw with honor and still have time to select another candidate who would not be burdened with having to defend the Biden record.

Former President Trump has been making fun of Biden at every turn—his advanced age, his mental failings, his stupid comments, and his failed policies. It will be tempting but a mistake for Trump to make the debate focus Biden’s failings. Belittling Biden reinforces the view that Trump is mean spirited. In 2020, Biden didn’t beat Trump; Trump beat himself. It was the “hate Trump” voters that came out to defeat Trump, electing Biden was just the result of their intense dislike of the GOP candidate. To focus on demeaning Biden will only fuel the haters and give undecided independents a reason to stay home.

President Trump has the platform priorities that Americans are eager to support. Instead of wasting comments on Biden’s inadequacies, Trump should focus on what he will immediately do once back in office. If he keeps coming back to the following nine winning messages, Trump will win in a landslide:

1. Americans overwhelmingly want an end to Biden’s open border. The day I take office, I will use executive orders to end open borders and reinstate my policies that helped cut illegal immigration to the lowest rate in decades. There will be no amnesty for illegals. Illegals committing crimes will be deported immediately. Illegals will not receive government entitlements reserved for citizens and those here legally.

2. Too many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck paying inflated costs for fuel and food. I will immediately institute an “all of the above” energy policy that will once again make America 100% energy independent and lower the cost of fuel. That alone will begin to bring down the inflated price for food and other basic needs.

3. America is tired of watching criminals do crimes and then being released the next day. Do the crime, do the time. I will do everything I can to use federal law to hold criminals responsible when states won’t. I will strongly support law enforcement and work to keep Americans safe in their cities!

4. Americans are tired of elitists deciding what is best for their children. I will put parents back in control of the choices that have always been theirs. I will work in support of school choice and require parental approval for any surgery no matter what a child’s “declared” gender.

5. Americans in both parties have strong views on abortion and women’s rights. I will reject any efforts to pass federal legislation on this divisive issue. I will support allowing states to vote on this important issue.

6. Americans remain reluctant in using our military in foreign wars. When I was President, I made it clear that we wanted no war, but would respond strongly to any military aggression by our foes. I am committed to keeping America strong and our adversaries know and fear that.

7. Americans do not trust our election process. I will do what I can to return America to our pre-COVID procedures that had worked for over a century. We will return to limiting voting to one day. Voters will be required to request and sign any absentee ballot, verify citizenship at the polls, and use paper ballots that can be recounted as needed. There is no need for additional days, ballot harvesting, or voting machines that do not rely on paper ballots.

8. Americans are tired of forced environmental extremism and unjustified warnings about catastrophic climate change. If citizens want an EV, a hybrid, or a gas-fueled car, that will be their choice. America can and will take care of the environment by leading the world in clean energy technology that can take advantage of our rich oil, gas, coal, and alternative energy resources.

9. Finally, Americans are tired of exploding government spending and out-of-control national debt. It is time to cut the size of government. We will work to take on the “deep state” to get rid of redundancy and costly inefficiencies. It’s time to end automatic budget increases and institute zero-based budgeting that requires every budget area to be justified every year.

If former President Trump uses every debate question to focus on what he will to do if elected, Joe Biden is likely to self-destruct on his own. Biden’s inadequacies are painfully evident. By focusing on the issues that matter to Americans, it won’t matter what candidate the Democrats settle on. With a winning platform, Trump will win in a landside and bring Congress and the Senate along for the ride. By avoiding personal attacks, he won’t add fuel for the haters. In short, it’s time for Trump to give voters back the America they fear they are losing. May it be so!
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Elections

A Way Forward after Trump Found Guilty

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Politicrossing. The Intersection of Faith and Politics.

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This is not the America we have known and loved. This is legal warfare striking at the heart of our republic. For the first time, an American President has been found guilty on 34 counts in a New York courtroom. As it now stands, he will be sentenced on July 11th. It may be unlikely Trump will be sentenced to prison, but even if the verdict ends up being repealed, what will be the result of this unanimous conviction on the November election and our growing political divide?

Will Americans rally behind a President wronged by a partisan assault on our legal system? Those who support him will clearly rally to his side. Within hours Trump doubled the record for daily contributions with a commitment of over $34 million, over twenty percent of which was from first time contributors. Right now, his support is growing.

That small New York jury, influenced by a biased judge, will not decide the future of America, voters will in November. Americans will have the opportunity to vote the verdict that counts most by reelecting Donald Trump President. But as positive as polls may appear right now for the past President, those voters who hate Trump are happy with the result and will show up at the polls to defeat that “felon” Trump.

The “Hate Trump” vote gave Biden the Presidency in 2020. Biden didn’t win on his personality or platform; it was the “hate Trumpers” who came out in record numbers to defeat Donald Trump. They have not gone away, and they now have more ammunition to fuel their hatred of the man.

Conservatives know that this next election is critical to the future of our republic. Candidate Biden presented himself as a harmless centrist ready to unite the country. But he governed as a progressive extremist using executive orders to end our energy independence, open our border to millions of illegal aliens, and spend our way into crippling inflation leaving many living paycheck to paycheck. Biden will claim that the rate of inflation has come down, but the result of months of inflation remain, putting more and more American on the brink of insolvency.

If people vote on whether they are better off after 4 years of Joe Biden, Trump’s conviction will mean little. Far too many Americans are hurting. No matter your age, politics, or race, if you can’t put food on the table for your family, you want a change. You remember what your life was like under Donald Trump. They will compare that to life under Joe Biden. The choice should be easy for another Trump victory.

But will that be the case in November. Now, there are strong reactions engendered by this kangaroo court and the travesty of these convictions. But it is a long way to November, and we are yet to see what the long-term impact of this court decision and possible additional convictions that may yet come. Some legal analysts have suggested that the New York case was the least likely charge to result in a conviction. Will Americans get weary of a wounded warrior, a President that is fighting against one partisan persecution after another?

Republicans are united in the belief that they must win this next election. Will there come a time that the baggage Trump carries into the election make his election unlikely? As of now, he is facing a failing opponent who has a hard time putting sentences together. But more and more Democrats are calling for Biden not to run and to find a new candidate to put forward.

What would happen if Biden steps down as President Johnson did? Who would Democrats put in his place? Would it be Michelle Obama? Some question putting a person up for election that has never been elected to any office. On the positive side, Michelle has no record to defend, she would bring back the aura of President Barack Obama’s Presidency, and she could easily disavow support for Biden’s controversial decisions. In short, she could be the Democrats dream candidate to rally behind.

On the morning after the verdicts and record donations to his campaign, Donald Trump said to America, “I will do what I have to do to save our country.” What if the early poll numbers for Trump begin to fade the closer we get to November? Would Donald Trump put America first if it looks more and more like he might lose to the candidate Democrats choose? Could he step down and campaign in support of a candidate with no negative baggage and powerful Contract with America? The Republicans have a strong bench of ready candidates and winning issues to support.

Right now, it is not clear his stepping down is necessary. But if it is, I hope that Donald Trump would put his love for country first. He has been wronged, but winning in November is more important than whether Donald Trump is our next President. Whoever Republicans elect would bring the right people to Washington and the policy priorities that matter to Americans would once again drive the focus of this great country.

Rest assured that if Trump is the Republican candidate in November, we must work to rally support for him. Just know that with the election irregularities that are sure to surface, our candidate must win big. If the GOP wins big, Democrats can’t cheat their way to victory. May Trump live up to his promise to do whatever he has to do to save this country, whether that means running himself or supporting someone else better positioned to win. But win we must! May it be so.

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