Tuesday, February 23, 2016

There is a Book...About a Wall

We are at a pivotal crossroads in the realm of politics concerning how we deal with immigrants who have not gone through the proper channels to come to America. Governor Bobby Jindal has said, "Immigration without without assimilation is invasion." Others from the more moderate or liberal branch of politics will say that it is irresponsible to deport millions of immigrants who are already here and separate their families. What makes the issue even more complex is the most respected and recognized of all figures inside of the Church, Pope Francis, has stated that Christians don't build walls, they build bridges. We as Americans have prided ourselves as being a Christian nation since our founding. Can we continue to do that if we build a wall to prevent illegal immigrants from entering our country? What is greatly overlooked how there is an entire book in the Bible, devoted to the task of building a wall with the express purpose of keeping out invaders. It is the book of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah is the story about the Babylonian King Artaxerxes' Jewish Cupbearer, Nehemiah. Nehemiah receives news from Jerusalem that the city is in disgrace because the wall has been decimated. He is so downcast that the king recognizes his grief and asks him what is bothering him. Nehemiah tells him the situation and Artaxerxes grants him a leave of absence so that he can return to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall. When Nehemiah made it back to Jerusalem, he got to work building the wall alongside his countrymen, but met great opposition as they struggled to restore the wall to its original form. The opposition eventually fizzled out and the wall was completed. Afterwards, many of the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem to celebrate its completion. What was so important about this wall?

Back in Biblical times, it was well understood that walls were necessary for preventing invaders from trampling over a city. As you read the story, you will notice that their foreign rivals are the ones who oppose the building of the wall. They try to diminish it and their efforts so that they will stop trying to build it. Notice, also, that King Artaxerxes realized the dire situation Jerusalem was in without a wall. Why would he care to send his most trusted servant away on leave to rebuild it if it were not of high importance?

A wall, back then was a mark of political significance. One of the major miracles that God performed in the Old Testament was collapsing the walls of Jericho. The reason being that the walls were so high that invading armies could not penetrate their defense. Keeping invading forces out ensured that the culture within the wall would be preserved. In this instance, God wanted to topple the wall and exterminate the wicked culture of Jericho.

Walls are so significant that even the Kingdom of God is said to have walls. Why does New Jerusalem, God's Heavenly Kingdom, need walls? It demonstrates that only certain people are allowed within the boundaries. These people must be citizens of God's Kingdom. This is better explained when you read a description of the various divides in the tabernacle and Solomon's temple. In heaven, however, it is written that the gates will be open. This symbolizes that all are welcome to God's Kingdom, but even then, access can only be granted "Legally." 

Only those who have gone through the process of becoming citizens of God's Kingdom will be admitted inside of its walls. Those who have not will be cast out. Some would make the case that God is cruel under such circumstances, but he has made it clear that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The only way to enter God's Kingdom is through him. Now, let's apply that to today.

If not even heaven will allow people into its OPEN gates without having the proper documentation, why should we allow just anyone to come into our country? What is worse, we allow them in, grant free medical care, place them on welfare, and give them a job that pays less than what federal laws allow. We have and will continue to compromise our national identity so long as we continue admitting illegal immigrants into America. It would be wonderful if we could sit around the campfire, hold hands, and sing Kumbaya, but there are people that want into our country that want to kill innocent civilians.

Back in the days of Nehemiah, a foreign king granted him permission to build a wall around his nation's capital. Why do the politicians in America insist we leave our border unprotected and allow countless unknown persons in? God is the one who has established human governments, so we should find it important enough to defend our national identity; especially since our identity is one of the few in the world that has sought to do good to people and not evil. America has provided a safe haven in the world for its citizens. Those who are citizens have taken their commitment to this country seriously enough to enter through the proper avenues and assimilate into our culture of freedom. The intentions of the United States have been so misconstrued that even the Pope has begun to believe that our enemies' accusations against us are true.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Good Men Can't Be Good Leaders?

I'm listening to a radio break and the host of the morning show comes on, "I was listening to the Republican debate and Ben Carson got so fired up that he almost opened his eyes! ...Can you imagine this guy dealing with Vladimir Putin? ...[Impersonating Ben Carson]'I'd like to uh...talk to you about missiles and rockets' - [Putin interrupts] 'Shut up, get outta my office!' That's exactly how it would go down." All of a sudden I am irritated with the assumptions this host just made.

His premise (based on the full context) was basically that a good man cannot make a good leader. I have heard over and over how people like Ben Carson and Ted Cruz cannot make a good President because they are too good of men. I actually have inserted the word good into their mouths, but on the criteria by which they disqualify such men, I would classify the qualities they count as negatives to be marks of a man of good character. What are these characteristics.

#1) Of all other characteristics it is feared that since they do not raise their voices as loud as some of the other candidates, they are somehow weak.

#2) The Establishment politicians hate them. How can you convince either side to cooperate with you when they do not like you?

#3) Powerful dictators of the world hate and disrespect the United States. How can a nice person insist upon the standing down of hostile forces around the world?

#4) They are too nice too often. How can you trust someone that is so nice?

#5) They stand by their convictions. If you are not willing to compromise, how are you ever going to accomplish anything when you have to work with people?

Starting with #5 and working my way up, have we not been waiting for a leader with strong convictions? We voted for Clinton because George H. W. Bush broke a promise not to raise taxes, instead choosing to compromise with the Democratic Senate. We elected George W. Bush because we wanted to restore dignity to the White House after Bill Clinton's affair with a young intern in the Oval Office. We elected Obama because we wanted a President that would be sensitive to the needs of the country and not special interest groups. We want someone who stands for something good and decent.

#4) Since when is being nice a negative? I understand that the accusation is actually that too nice = fake. That's okay, but look at Tim Tebow. Even now, after being persistently scrutinized by NFL teams who refuse to include him on their roster, despite being a playoff bound quarterback with a post season win under his belt, he remains smiling and kind. Yes, his niceness has not landed him a spot on an NFL team, but I do not think that his kindness is really the issue here. I think it's more so that he makes a lot of the players, coaches, and owners feel uncomfortable that someone as content as himself, whether he starts or not, can have success inside of a league of cut-throat competition. Face it, some people just find no reason to be mean and it does not hurt their ability to influence people; in fact, most people like dealing with someone nice.

#3) After reading this post, go on to YouTube and look up anything you can find with Ronald Reagan. You will notice that he is a very bright, cheerful, and energetic man. But Reagan was not naive about the intentions of other nations (when most other politicians seemed to be) and he certainly was not weak with foreign policy. He was the President that demanded Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the Berlin Wall. Reagan was a very nice person, but he knew the power he had at his disposal. Teddy Roosevelt said it best, "Speak softly, and carry a big stick." The President of the United States has the most powerful military force in the world at his command. If someone like Carson got elected, shoot, if Droopy the Dog ever got elected President, so long as he shows that he keeps his word, foreign powers will not test his willingness to use military might.

#2) Of course the Establishment politicians hate them! Carson and Cruz represent the death of the Established order in Washington D. C. They intend on keeping their word when they get to Washington. I think that in the course of the Republican Primary, many voters have forgotten that you cannot trust Establishment candidates. They are renowned for breaking promises. In the case of Ted Cruz, he has ratted them out; exposed them for who they are. But their is hope for someone like Carson or Cruz in beating them, if elected President.

Reagan had the same problem in his days as President. He was particularly hated by the Establishment for having run against their President, of which he was the same party affiliation. You would have thought, after getting elected, that Reagan had no chance of convincing his fellow Republicans, let alone the opposing Democrats, of working with him. What did Reagan do?

Simple, he knew that he was elected by the American people and owned their overwhelming support. These same people are the ones who elected Congress. So, Reagan appealed to the American people to win their support in whatever cause he was pursuing. In doing this he was able to convince Congress to support his agenda, lest they risk loosing re-election.

#1) This idea that a leader has to be loud is absurd. A leader needs only to be bold. Carson is bold in that he has left his profession to pursue the highest office in the land, lacking professional experience in politics. Cruz is bold in that he stands before the Senate and holds them accountable for their lies and deception. When you are able to present a convincing argument and you stick to the facts, there is no need to be loud.

If you were to go on to YouTube and listen to some of the court cases that Ted Cruz has been involved in, the point is made all the more clear. His cold, accusing poker-face unsettles those that he questions. His questions allow no wiggle room for those he questions. When someone is lying or dodging a question, it is obvious because they resort to restating themselves over and over while never directly answering his questions. Not everyone will crack, but many will.

 And Now it's time to recognize that Good Men are not only fit to lead, but have been the most effective leaders in history. President Washington was not said to be loud or outspoken, but was seen as an honorable man who lived a quiet life. William Wilberforce battled slavery in Great Britain and won. He was described as being an impish, puny man. But when he stood before Parliament to lay down his arguments against slavery, he was said to be a man who once before appeared as a shrimp, quickly became as big as a whale. Abraham Lincoln was no doubt a passionate man. But he was known as Honest Abe. As a good man, he had the guts to send the Union troops to war against their brothers in the South. George W. Bush, a man who never responded to personal attacks, launched one of the most powerful retaliations against Afghanistan after the World Trade Center was toppled by Osama Bin Laden.

Good Men are the best leaders. They have the ability to make tough decisions, based on their moral convictions, without batting an eyelash. The problem in politics today is not that good men have allowed D.C. to walk all over them. The problem is that there is hardly a good man in D.C.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Phil Robertson on Ted Cruz and Donald Trump

Sometimes I feel like a loner when it comes to politics. As a result, I sometimes question my judgment with who I stand with when it comes to major elections like the one that is coming up. I am glad that there is someone out there that I wholeheartedly agree with when it comes to the 2016 Republican Primary and Presidential election. That man is Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson.

If you are not a regular viewer of Duck Dynasty, you might remember Phil from his infamous condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle. His strong words against the practice almost resulted in his banishment from the show. But his family rallied around him and pressured A&E into keeping him in and continuing their series.

I was browsing through YouTube and came across an interesting video: Phil Robertson on why he's backing Ted Cruz. Fox Business' Neil Cavuto was interviewing him concerning about why he supports Ted Cruz as well as what he thought about his son Willie's support of Donald Trump. His response summed up almost exactly how I feel about the situation.

He stated that he supports Ted Cruz because Cruz stands for God and for James Madison (meaning the Constitution of the United States).

Concerning Trump, he stated that too many youngsters like Willie and Cavuto are easily swayed by the smooth talking Donald Trump. I do have to say that I would not call Trump smooth talking at all. However, the distinction he made between Trump and Cruz was significant.

Ted Cruz is clearly a man of God. Ted Cruz has been likened to a televangelist by his critics because of the centralized role God plays within his campaign.

He is also a strict Constitutionalist. Talk radio hosts might disagree on many things about many of the candidates, but there are two things that most of them agree on in relation to Cruz. He will defend the Constitution tooth and nail and he will honor his promises to his constituents to the bitter end. It doesn't take much digging to figure out that Cruz is not afraid to be ostracized for being a straight shooting politician. He has been called divisive, a hardliner, and a man who will not compromise by the Establishment Republicans. Other candidates echo these criticisms as they are really the only points that they can hold against Cruz up till now. The problem is that his supporters know that his divisiveness in Washington D.C. is actually a good thing. The Republicans and Democrats have been getting along so well, have been so united, that you cannot tell the difference between the two factions. It is almost certain that his critics ate aware of the truth behind their accusations but it does not stop them from using this as a black mark against him.

One such candidate is his rival and front-runner, Donald Trump. Despite the anger and strong language he has used, he has managed to win over some significant endorsements: Jerry Falwell Jr, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin. And it seems as though his endorsements continue to emerge from seemingly unlikely places. In the words of Robertson, it seems like they are being smooth talked over to his side.

Nonetheless, even Robertson acknowledged that Trump is not the worst of what's out there. Trump, is still a man who loves this country and says he wants to see it achieve greatness again. When you look to the left and see Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battling it out for the Democrat nomination, Trump's shaky view on things don't seem quite so bad. Because his campaign maintains a certain amount of ambiguity, I believe that he very well may possess the ability, if elected to make America Great Again.

Alas, a strict Constitutionalist would be preferable to a more popular option. The problem is that so many promises have already been broken by Washington that voters do not want to see another elected Washington official in the White House even if it is one who has the stellar record of Ted Cruz. But the race is far from over. Nobody knows what the next few months will hold for either side of the political aisle and it will be interesting to see how things shake out. My sentiments is that I am grateful for people like Phil Robertson who stand firm by their convictions that we want a Godly man who will preserve the foundations of this country, but will do what is necessary to make sure that a candidate is not elected President whose aim is to destroy this country as it was founded.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Conservatives and Liberals Could be the Same...If they wanted to be

Shocking enough statement, I know. Can a conservative and a liberal be the same in this great country? Let's look into this a little.

First, when I say conservative and liberal I mean in the political sense. In the current environment, conservatives and liberals are vastly different; not just in the political sense, but in just about every field of thought. For instance, I am a Bible scholar and I would be considered a conservative Biblical scholar. What does that mean?

That means that when I read the Bible, I read it for what it says and I believe that the Bible is not a document that was meant to be interpreted one way 2000 years ago and in a different way today. A liberal scholar would say that the Bible was written for a particular context for a particular time that, while it holds some truths applicable today, the majority does not apply to today's circumstances. A conservative theologian will always affirm the divinity of Jesus. Liberal theologians sometimes deny this very fundamental truth to the Christian faith as it is taught in the Bible. There is very little conservative and liberal theologians would agree upon.

Likewise in the current political environment. A conservative politician is very different from a liberal politician. Why is that and how could I propose that the two could ever be the same?

The problem is not so much conservative and liberal in politics; it is constitutionalist vs anti-constitutionalist. An anti-constitutionalist should not be allowed in American politics and it is a shame that they slip through the cracks and get elected as often as they do. If we were dealing with conservative and liberal constitutionalists, the dynamics of our political system would be very different.

A constitutionalist is simply someone who abides by the words of the Constitution of the United States.

The problem we have is that the conservatives and liberals have become very similar in that the majority of them are anti-constitutionalist. They want to follow a government structure that requires a big government and infringes on the constitutional rights of the people. These politicians would be defined as the Establishment.

There are a small number of politicians that we call conservatives and the media makes them out to be crazy people. These conservatives are constitutional conservatives. They are battling against the Establishment to restore the government back to the principles of the constitution.

How can you be a constitutionalist and be a liberal? Let's take the issue of gay marriage. I believe that a politician on the national level who follows the constitution would not differ on the solution to this issue whether they are conservative or liberal. A constitutionalist would say, with the current laws and understanding of marriage in relation to the federal government, that marriage is a matter left up to the states. Now, a conservative constitutionalist would be more likely to say that marriage should not be recognized by the government at all, because it is a private religious institution. A liberal constitutionalist might be more likely to want to pass an ammendment to either allow or disallow the practice of gay marriage. How does that differ from the Establishment?

The Establishment tries to find ways to force things upon the people who elected them. Party allegiance is more important than supporting the people who elected you. George Washington famously denounced the idea of political parties. Individuals were supposed to be elected based on their ideas and were supposed to battle it out with other politicians to prove that their ideas were better. When political parties get involved, politicians become a class separate from the people who are voting for them and their election becomes more about personal gain than faithfully serving the American people. The Establishment inherently defies the principles of the Constitution because America was supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The Establishment is a regime reminiscent of a socialistic or a communistic ruling class. It separates politicians from the average person and exalts them as someone "more important."

With a constitutionalist, everybody wins whether it is liberal or conservative. With an Establishment politician, all you can expect are lies and tricks that are designed to trick voters into giving up more of their freedoms to accomodate the political class.

Is a conservative and liberal constitutionalist the same? Not 100%. But the options they provide are either to leave the Constitution as it stands or to legally ammend it to bring about change. Pray for the few remaining constitutionalists that exist in Washington. They don't have it easy and you can't imagine the pressure they face to become another victim of the Establishment's lure.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The World Needs Jesus

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

I've heard a lot of things this week and much of it has not been good. People lying, slandering, engaging in unseemly behavior, debauchery, and just all around wickedness. It would be easy for me to condemn the world except for the one simple fact that brings all of this into reality, I am no better than anyone mentioned in these news items. The only difference between many of them and myself is that I acknowledge that I am sick and they do not.

We are saved by grace, as I am sure you have heard. This is what confuses the world about Christians. We say that we have been forgiven through God's grace, meaning that he has shown us undeserved favor, and yet we hold the world to a standard that surpasses our own standards of morality. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we would recognize the sad reality that although the acceptance of Jesus into our hearts wipes our record of sin away according to God's book, that does not mean that we live as angels here on earth.

We need Jesus, all of us. Every day I need to be reminded to walk with him. Even then I allow myself to be dragged into the muck of the world that pollutes my mind and my heart. But when I am alone, I fall to my knees and thank God for his mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I need Jesus and I know it.

Only in Jesus can we be complete. He forgives our sins, wipes away our guilt, and empowers us to live life to the fullest. To live for anything else or anyone else is pointless. Who cares how great you might become in this lifetime? All people die one way or another, so who cares? But in Jesus, we have eternal life.

He has shown us how to live out eternal lives. We are to live out our lives in sacrificial love for one another. It was Jesus himself that said that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for his friends. Is not love our very reason for living?

For God first loved us. He himself is love and created us for the sake that he is love and wanted to spread his love. His love is our life blood and his blood made it possible for us to receive his love. This blood was shed of his Son, Jesus. We all need Jesus. The world needs Jesus. I need Jesus. Amen.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show: What About It?

The title of this post says it all, Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show: What About It? If it wasn't for the controversy it was stirring up, I don't know. The performance as a whole wasn't memorable, but the performers did a pretty good job. But it was crammed with all sorts of political brainwashing. To me, I react by saying, "What else is new?" If you haven't noticed yet, everything is political brainwashing anymore. Nonetheless, let's do a quick overview of the show one piece at a time.

The scenery.

It was very colorful. Very colorful. Clearly someone...Coldplay...wanted an LGBT themed Halftime Show. But the scenery, despite the vibrant colors, will go down as very not memorable.


I thought that the music was overall pretty good, but if you are performing a Super Bowl Halftime show, you should be aiming higher than pretty good. I was not familiar with most of the music, so I was glad to hear them open with a good song that I happen to be familiar with.

As for Beyonce, I don't possess the cultural understanding to get all of the references in her music, but maybe she could have picked an entrance song a little less racially charged. Because even if you do not understand everything else she is singing about, certain words/lyrics definitely stuck out and did not leave me with the impression that I was welcome to view this Halftime Show.


A few years ago, Beyonce lit the stage up in one of the most spectacular Halftime Shows ever. This year I did not feel quite as impressed by her performance. She sang well and still has some moves (despite almost falling, but who cares), but to me she came across too militant and was overshadowed by everyone else on the stage.

Bruno Mars on the other hand, holy moly that guy is talented. I can't remember when his first appearance at the Super Bowl was, but I was impressed by that one as well. Maybe I don't watch enough music videos (or listen to enough mainstream music) but this guy's dance skills and voice are some of the best I have ever seen.


The opening and closing were very much in your face. They wanted you to know from the get go that this is a pro LGBT performance. They changed things up in the middle, but then they went all out with rainbow flags, banners, clothing, and a huge rainbow sign supported by the audience that said "believe in love" (What does that even mean? Like, believe that love exists? If that's all, I'm sold, but something tells me that was not the message) at the end. It's sad that rainbow decor is supposed to represent the LGBT community because even though it was not a memorable theme, it was still pretty to look at.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't there some sort of Supreme Court decision last year regarding gay marriage? That being said, what was the meaning of this in your face display of LGBT pride? I guess I'm so used to stuff being shoved in my face by the mainstream anymore that it neither surprised nor angered me. Okay, maybe it surprised me in that I felt that they are behind the times if they are still fighting for gay rights, but after the past 3 years its been like, "Oh, whaddaya know? Another gay pride display. I wonder what else is on. [Click].". How much further can it go? The only solution anymore is to just not watch, but every now and then they hit a home run (Black Eyed Peas were really good, Destiny's Child, U2, and Katy Perry to name a few of the performances I really enjoyed in years past).

Now, Beyonce. I had to do a little research on because I have heard that her performance was Black Panther themed. I know who the Black Panthers are but I wasn't sure exactly how she made that clear. Apparently it had a lot more to do with her attire and that of her supporting dancers. In bad taste? Let's just put it this way: I don't expect Super Bowl 51 to feature Taylor Swift with an entourage clad in white hoods...just saying. Beyonce removed any doubt of her statement by signaling with the Black Power salute. It was not as bad as I thought it would be granted what I heard about it, though.

My complaint is that we should be over this sort of childishness by now. Have we not had a black President in the White House for the past 7 years? Did we not have a Supreme Court decision that ruled it unconstitutional to not allow gay couples to get married? Weren't the 60's...back in the 60's?

You know what? I do believe in love. What I saw at the Super Bowl Halftime Show had nothing to do with love. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs. What I saw on display, sure they had smiles on their faces, but what prompted them to take upon the themes that they did? Pride, anger, rudeness, and an inability to let go of the past. If they had the slightest bit of an idea of what love truly is, we wouldn't be trying to dissect what they were trying to get across. We would said something more like, "Wow, those guys are good."

I'm not angry about what happened. Like I said, I'm used to this sort of stuff now. In fact, the way they went about this was far more mild than what you would get in an awards show. It just so happens that it does not belong in a place where they truly are not the main attraction. The Halftime Show is supposed to give fans time to go to the bathroom and get something to eat or drink. And if they happen to remain seated instead of battling the rush of traffic, they should be rewarded with the levity provided by a first class performance with you in mind.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Legend of St. Valentine

Claudius the Second was the ruler in Rome in the 3rd Century. This was before Christianity was recognized as a legal religion within the empire. Claudius II declared that all people would worship the 12 gods of his religion or be put to death.

A man by the name of Valentino was arrested by the Roman authorities for worshiping for not worshiping to Claudius' 12 gods. He was sentenced to death. But for a short period, he was thrown into a jail cell where he would await his ultimate fate.

His jailer had a family and a daughter named Julia. The jailer observed Valentino closely and saw that he was a well educated man. He made a deal with Valentino that he would educate his daughter until the day of his execution. Julia was blind and required such special attention. Valentino taught her history, math, and about nature. But most importantly, he taught her about Jesus.

Julia desperately wanted to see. She never dreamed that a day would come in which she would have sight. As she listened to the stories about Jesus, she asked Valentino if Jesus could give her sight. To this, Valentino replied, if it is in his will, then yes. They prayed together and at the moment that they had asked God to give her sight, her eyes opened up and she could see. They praised God for the miracle he performed.

On the eve of Valentino;s execution, he wrote a letter urging Julia to stay close to Jesus. At the end of his note, he signed it:

From Your Valentine.

He was executed February 14, 270 A.D. We now celebrate February 14 to display our affection, love, and to one another.

Not everyone knows the story of Saint Valentine or the origin of Valentine's day. Most people perceive it as a hokey day where lovers go on dates, exchange gifts, and express their committed love to one another. The story of Saint Valentine has a deeper message to it than that.

There was nothing romantic about Valentino's relationship to Claudia. She was a student, he was her teacher. Even more important to remember is that he was a prisoner being watched after by her father. Nonetheless, it is clear that they loved one another. Not in a Romeo and Juliet sort of way, but in a kindred sort of way. She loved him, because as a man marked for death, he invested the last days of his life educating her and leading her to God. He loved her because she was a precious creation of God Most High.

If only we could remember what love is in our society. The love between a man and a woman is something special. But this special bond known as agape (uh-gop-eh, the most holy form of love) is a form of love that can be shared between any two individuals and it has nothing to do with romance.

Have a happy, romantic, and blessed Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Campaign Continues

The Iowa Caucus has come and gone. Winners have been announced, Losers have voiced their frustrations. Of course, in most cases the losers were not big losers so long as they walked away with delegates. Iowa has painted a very clear landscape for this political season: the American people are tired of dealing with "The Establishment." I personally appreciated the results on many levels, but Iowa's results still require a lot of explaining.

On the Republican end, Ted Cruz pulled an upset over Donald Trump (the candidate predicted to win). This should not have been as surprising as it was in Iowa. But let's start with the obvious. An establishment candidate did not come anywhere close to winning Iowa. Sure, you might say that Marco Rubio was only 1 point behind Trump, finishing a close third, but is Rubio truly establishment? It's speculative, but I would say that there is much about him that separates him from your typical mainstream career Republican. Regardless, under Rubio was Dr. Ben Carson. In no way can it be argued that the retired Neurosurgeon is part of the Republican Establishment. If you accept my premise, the top 4 candidates were non-establishment and all of the rest couldn't break 5% in Iowa.

On the Democrat end, Hillary nipped Bernie Sanders. Some might say that this was a serious blow to the Sanders campaign, but I beg to differ. Here's a guy who was trailing by somewhere around 30 points in December. December! That was barely a month ago! Combine that with lots of the strange unexpected twists that ultimately resulted in a Hillary victory and one ought to conclude that coming as close as he did to defeating Hillary was not half bad. Did I mention that Bernie is not what you would call your conventional Democrat? The common link is that people are fed up with Establishment politicians. What do both sides of the aisle expect from their elected officials?

The outcry of voters is very easy to understand, we want politicians who will follow through with their promises.

In 2008 one of the biggest promises Obama failed to deliver on was affordable health care. Remember, your premiums, according to Obama, were supposed to drop $2500. With few exceptions that vast majority of Americans are paying about that much more for less coverage than they had through their previous "substandard" plans." What's more, lots of voters expected single payer healthcare. Now, I don;t specifically recall if that was promised, but it was well understood that Obama wanted to push healthcare into a single payer system where the government pays the bill. Obama has left his base in want with his inability to deliver a true single payer system.

In 2010 and 2014, Republican voters made their voices deafeningly loud, "REPEAL OBAMACARE!" In 2010 Congressional candidates promised that they would go to Washington and repeal Obamacare. They demolished their Democratic rivals in the midterm elections, but their confidence change once they took the majority in the House. Their confident boast that they would repeal Obamacare became, "We can't repeal Obamacare. We need the Senate." It was a lame excuse, but whatever. In 2014, Republicans took back the Senate and the New Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, immediately made a statement to the American people that, "Today, the American people have made it clear that they want Washington to work." Um, yes, Washington working would be a good thing...working for the people who elected those who occupy various offices, that is. Then he went on to say that Republicans would go to work, crossing the aisle and working with the Democrats. Why on earth, after two years of being subject to a Democrat Super Majority, would the election of a Republican House and a Republican Senate indicate that the American people wanted Republicans to get along with Democrats? Sounds to me like they wanted to defeat the Democrats. Republicans went to Washington and vowed not to stop a single thing Obama wanted to do. Under such circumstances, the Democrats have accomplished more than what they did in their Super Majority years through a Majority Republican Congress! Something smells fishy. Enter: our presidential hopefuls.

The Outsiders of the Republicans and Democrat Bernie Sanders share one thing in common: They are going to tell you exactly what they are going to do once elected. How do we know this?

Starting with Republican front-runner, Donald Trump. Question his motifs all you want, but we all know it would be much more profitable for him to stay in the business world. Immediately after entering the campaign friends and associates abandoned him left and right due to his stance on illegal immigration. If you've listened to any of the things Trump has said, it would not make sense for him to lie. The guy admitted to essentially paying off politicians in his first national debate! I don't say that to defame him; I say that because lying about that would only hurt him. I believe he truly desires a strong America.

Ted Cruz. To me he is the easiest candidate to authenticate. He's only been in the Senate since 2013 (elected in 2012) and has done things their that have made him very unpopular among Establishment Republicans. He fought Obamacare, he fought granting illegals amnesty, he fought the planned parenthood scandal. He was blamed for shutting down the government by not voting to raise the debt ceiling. All of the other Republicans buckled, but he stood his ground and kept his word to those who elected him.

Rubio is the sketchiest of the four top Republicans, but I believe that overall he is solid. He was a Tea Party candidate back in 2012 who vowed to end the corruption in Washington politics upon his election. Unfortunately he was snagged up early to write the infamous "Gang of Eight Bill" that would forever be an albatross around his neck (a bill that sought to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants already in America). But when you hear this guy speak, he sounds nothing short of a pure conservative, I'm going to grant him amnesty as, if not an Outsider, a conservative.

Dr. Ben Carson made his entrance into the political arena by rebuking President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. He made headway for his alternative healthcare proposal and was hailed or his boldness in confronting the most powerful man in the world. Even next to giants like Trump, Carson is the most accomplished man in this entire race. I would say more, but where do I start.

Then there's Bernie. He appeals to my generation that has been loaded up with student debt and then released into a dismal job market. When I say dismal, there really are lots of jobs out there, which are ripe for the picking. The problem is, I didn't spend 7 years in school at my expense to earn less than $30,000 a year. It is a generation that truly is over-educated and underemployed. As a result, an entire generation has been saddled with debt that they will be paying off the rest of their lives through jobs that require far less training than what they paid for. Like it or not, Bernie wants to stick it to the rich and compensate the low earners of America. He calls himself a socialist. True, most Democrats are definite socialists, but they try to hide it which often results in unfulfilled promises. In the past, nobody wanted to be labeled a socialist, not even Obama in the 2012 election. That is why Establishment Democrats fear him. He wants to follow through with his promises, which might really tick off the big money donors of the Democrat party.

This is just a snapshot of what is happening in this year's election. There is still a long ways to go before the picture becomes as clear as possible. But as long as things continue to proceed as they are, one thing is for sure. This is not going to be a good year for the Establishment on either side of the aisle.