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Getting Beyond our Convenient Political Narratives



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 and 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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Will Democrats Do What They Must?



On a warm August evening in 1974, President Richard M. Nixon said from the Oval Office that he was resigning, becoming the first president to do so. He confessed that he no longer had “a strong enough political base in the Congress” to finish his term.

Sen. Barry Goldwater, Ariz., the 1964 GOP presidential nominee, was a respected conservative leader in a Senate whose Republican ranks were less conservative than now. In a May 1973 interview with Time magazine, Goldwater had given an early warning, “If it can be proved that he (Nixon) lied, resignation would have to be considered. It would be quick. Everything would be over, ended. It wouldn’t drag out like impeachment.”

At a regular Senate Republican Conference lunch on august 6 of 1974, Goldwater had fumed: “There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House today!” When he went to see President Nixon, Goldwater confided, “There’s not more than 15 senators for you.” After that showdown, the curtain on President Nixon’s presidency came down three days later.

In this challenging time in our history when President Biden’s competency is under serious question, will Democrat leaders have the courage to do the same? With this report, more Democrats and Independents will be less inclined to vote for Biden. That may very well impact the future of many Democrat politicians whose own election could be impacted if their voting base stays home. After his Wednesday night address, the evidence that Biden is in trouble is plainly obvious.

President Biden’s poll numbers are now at an all time low. The shocking Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Hur report suggests that Biden should not be indicted because Biden is “a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory” that a jury would be unlikely to convict. The Special Counsel also noted that Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen;” he noted that such actions “present serious risks to national security.” It is clearly a risk for Biden to remain in office.

When President Biden addressed the country after the report was disclosed, he asserted that his memory was fine, and the report confirms that he was not indicted and did nothing wrong. His comments to the press questions were combative and defensive. He took no personal responsibility, blaming his staff for the faulty storage of classified documents. His message was strident and clear-Trump is guilty, and I did nothing wrong.

If he is not competent to stand trial for his actions, how can he be confident enough to remain president? It’s time for a private confrontation by Democrat leadership. If Biden does not listen, it is time to exercise the 25th amendment option to remove him from office.

It is not easy to use that 25th Amendment option. It is even more difficult with only 9 months before a critical national election. Waiting until the Democrat Convention in August leaves little time to right the ship and promote a replacement candidate.

Democrats, do your job to clean out your own house. President Biden is not competent to meet the challenges of our time. Do it now or pay the price in November. As Republicans, we hope you let Biden remain your candidate, but that is selfish. President Biden is our current leader and his decisions impact all of us and a world in turmoil. This isn’t about politics. We can’t afford even eleven more months of a mentally incompetent President.

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The Great Divider Who Is Too Easy to Hate



Who came to mind when you read the title of this column? Most likely it is the current front runner for the Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump. Of course, after winning a strong majority from the Iowa Republican caucuses, he has called for unity and extended praise to his political rivals, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. Trump now wants unity: “It’s time now, for everybody, our country, to come together. It would be so nice if we could come together and straighten up the problems of the world. … We’re going to come together. It’s going to happen soon,” His answer for unity is simple, “unite around me!”

But he has a funny way of demonstrating the sincerity in his call for unity. His refusal to even debate Haley or DeSantis and his claims that neither have what it takes to even be considered as his vice president, suggest a lack of respect for both of his primary opponents in his own party.

Before Governor DeSantis ended his campaign and endorsed Trump, the former president had called DeSantis “DeSanctimonious,” “overrated,” “disloyal,” “a political opportunist,” and a candidate whose team is filled with “misfits and grifters.”

He’s called his only remaining opponent NickyHaley “a bird brain,” “overrated,” “a disaster,” “not tough enough,” “not a good negotiator,” and “okay, but not great.”

So, if you voted for or supported either one of these obviously “unworthy” candidates instead of Trump, what does he think of your decision making as a voter? His name calling seems to extend to those stupid enough to support either of them. Does his name calling make you want to unite behind him in 2024?

Of course, we can’t allow another four years of Biden. If he becomes the candidate, most Republicans will find a way to support him. We like what he promises to do if elected, and he did deliver on a lot of his promises in his first term. We also know it’s never just a president you elect. You are electing the team and policy priorities the candidate brings into office.

After all, most pundits predict that Trump probably will win. He just has to defeat gaff-a-minute Biden. Biden’s open border, high inflation, and energy decisions make him an easy opponent to campaign against. What could go wrong? Even with those who don’t like Trump’s style, he will certainly pull enough votes to beat a Biden/Harris ticket.

But what if the Democrats have other plans? If the Republicans confirm Trump as their candidate at their July convention, the Democrats could still have some surprises in store when their convention begins August 19th. With Palestinian protestors demonstrating outside the convention over his support for Israel, legal problems for “the big guy” and Hunter, and even many Democrats upset with his border policies, what if President Biden is convinced to use the Democratic Convention to humbly bow out of even running?

Who would the Democrats pick? My guess is not someone old, not someone with a strong liberal pedigree, or a controversial candidate easy to hate. No, why not pick someone younger who is charming and charismatic, with no track record to even attack? The candidate could claim that he didn’t support Biden’s executive decisions and thus shouldn’t have to defend them. Like all liberal candidates, he could campaign promising to govern as a moderate, representing all Americans.

Such a candidate would be much harder for Trump to beat. Why?

He’s old, and many Americans feel both Biden and Trump are too old to serve another term. Many seem to want someone younger, someone new.

Trump’s unresolved legal issues, though obviously politically motivated, will still distract him from campaigning and may actually result in a conviction he will have to defend.

No matter who the Democrats pick, the “Hate Trumpers” on the left won’t stay home! They may not like Nicky Haley, but they don’t hate her. They HATE Trump and would do everything they can to keep him out of office.

What of the independents? The loyal Trump supporters aren’t bothered by his personal attacks and name calling, but independents are nowhere near as enamored by his personal attacks. Give independents a fresh face that they can project hope onto, and they may very well reject Trump like a bad habit.

The Great Divider may be able to beat an unpopular and failing Biden but is that who he will face? This election is too important to be stuck with a candidate that is easy to hate and unlikely to be able to unite even his own party. Here’s hoping the Republican Convention will be open to consider Trump situation in July instead of crowning him as their candidate now. The party needs a uniter, not a divider.

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