Some Analysis On What Happened

Warning: What follows is snarky political commentary. Read at your own risk.

Waiver: I am not partisan. I am too concerned about the unborn to be a Democrat. I am too much in favor of immigration and open borders to be a Republican. I am too cynical of the human condition to be a Libertarian. I trust no politician.

Disclosure: I will not, at any point in the future, buy or read Hillary Clinton’s book. Its just not something I’m inclined to do.

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What Happened is the title of her book. It is not lost on me that her book title doesn’t have a question mark. She is not asking, she is telling. And that is perhaps as much insight as anyone needs into why she lost in the first place. Nevertheless, I take it as a question. What follows are my answers to her not-so-rhetorical question.


  1. Hillary lost. That is what happened. She was a bad candidate. I am not a Trumper, and that has been made manifest on the pages of this blog before, but he out campaigned her. It has been said before, and should be said again– There is nothing anyone else did that kept her from going to Wisconsin. It could be argued that Trump didn’t win; Clinton lost.
  2. The emails are a fact of her own making. She tries hard to blame Jim Comey for her defeat as if he invented the problem. The problem was one she made. If one thinks on it from a certain perspective, Comey can become a sympathetic character who was between a rock and a hard place as it concerned the Clinton emails.
  3. Bernie Sanders did her a favor. If Sanders hadn’t been such a magnetic candidate, even fewer people would have cared about the election from the Democratic end. The truth is, the Dems made a terrible mistake in fronting HRC to begin with. Elizabeth Warren would have been the preferred candidate, IMHO to either Bernie or HRC. The only positive thing for the Dems is that the table is set for a strong Warren run in 2020. I, for one, think that Warren V. Trump would be compelling to watch. I’m already making popcorn and Kool-Aid. I mean, can you imagine the fiery Elizabeth Warren’s righteous indignation if Trump would have stalked her in a a debate the way he did HRC? She would have lit him up right then and there.
  4. America is sick of the Clintons. In many ways, she lost for the same reason Jeb Bush could never get traction in the GOP primaries. Most people are ready to move on. I am one of them.
  5. Benghazi mattered. Yeah, that was a big deal to a lot of people. I understand diplomacy means risks, but the way she and President Obama tried to sell that debacle to the American public was a disgrace and many Americans remembered that at the voting booth.
  6. If she couldn’t handle Trump’s tactics in the campaign, how on earth did she expect to handle Russia, China, and North Korea? I think Putin might have overplayed his hands when he worked so hard at undermining the Clinton campaign, because he would have run roughshod over her presidency.
  7. Whining is not pleasant. As a leader, you have to own your problems, and sometimes even own the problems of others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken the blame for something I had nothing to do with, but because I’m the leader it is my responsibility. Blaming others and whining is not productive. Someone should tell her this.
  8. There is a gender problem in our country, and some people didn’t vote for her because she was a woman.  That is true. It is stupid and sad, but true. However, that is not why she lost. There are some people that didn’t vote for Trump just because he was a man, or who voted for Obama because he was black or didn’t vote for him because he was black or didn’t vote for Bush because he was from Texas or because he was from Texas. A strong candidate worthy of being the President of the United States overcomes this. How many people didn’t vote for Kennedy because he was Catholic? or Romney because he was Mormon? I don’t think I ever heard Mitt Romney complain about Mormon bias.

I do not wish HRC any ill will. I wish her the best. I want her to ride off into the sunset with Bill and spend time being a grandmother, doing philanthropy, advocating for women’s issues, and perhaps giving political commentary whenever she wants. But I don’t ever want to see her name on ballot again. Her time is up.

CHRISTIAN ARTS FESTIVAL: THE ATHANATOS EXPERIENCE

Yesterday we wrapped up the first (I hope) annual Athanatos Christian Arts Festival. Or, as I prefer to call it, Dragonfest. Here are some highlights.

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ACM Authors Michael Pape, Joe Courtmanche, Anthony Horvath, and Greenbean holding the Mic

Incredible Content

The strength of the Festival was the high quality content offered. There was far more going on that I could personally attend, but I sat in on writing seminars, music seminars, art seminars, historical analysis, and theology. Needless to say, I had a blast. Joe Courtmanche’s seminar on global threats was sobering and riveting, Rob Cely’s theology of Zombies thrilled, Paul Benett’s first person narrative in costume, no less, of a civil war Johnny Reb was riveting, Hillary Ferrer’s seminar on art not only introduced my daughter to Potato Jesus but also encouraged me in my artistic endeavors, and John Ferrer’s tour de force presentation on the historical paradigms of holocaust lead to a challenging contemporary application. The nerdiest one, which might have been my favorite, was the science fiction seminar lead by Dylan Thompson, which could have been titled Jesus and Philip Dick.

And the music! We heard so much quality live music from Celtic to rock, but what I particularly liked was from classical guitarist Alyssa Caitlin and bass ukulele pop musician Alma, who reminded me a little of Erin Ivey.

This is just the stuff I was able to attend. So much more was going on. I hope some of it was recorded for the interwebs.

My Presentations

I wasn’t only a consumer at the festival, I was also able to share. The opening day I gave a talk on the nature of stories, and then I used the eight 2016 Oscar nominated films as a template to discuss the application of story. Then I pivoted to the Bible, and showed the Bible’s use of these classic story motifs. I finished the with three different takes on the Jesus story in church life today.

In the evening I gave a longer talk, but it was mostly about writers wants and needs–particularly the idea of needing to stretch ourselves in our craft and the importance of taking the reader into consideration. Friday I participated in two panel discussions, as well as a talk on my research about child sex trafficking for The Little Girl Waits.

Finally, I was privileged on Sunday to speak during our worship experience as we walked through the Stations Of The Cross.

Wisconsin

The festival was in a field in Greenwood, Wisconsin. I have never been to Wisconsin before, so this was a genuine treat. We drove in on Wednesday from Eastern Minnesota and took the back roads. What a lovely place! It felt like we were driving through The Shire. This thought was reinforced with every Amish horse drawn buggy we encountered.

I ate cheese curds for the first time. They tasted like soggy mozzarella sticks.

There were lots of Green Bay Packer references.

The people were nice–not gregarious like home–not naturally talkative like back home, but they were polite, respectful, and helpful. They kept saying I sounded funny, but I told them I left my translator back home.

The Biggest Payoff

The biggest blessing, though, was spending time with other Athanatos authors–the other horses in the stable–so to speak. Hanging out with Tony Horvath wonderful. He is the mastermind behind the curtain pulling all the levers, the brains behind Athanatos publishing, and getting to spend quality time with him was worth it all.

Looking forward to next year.

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND MY OWN PERSONAL CRYSTAL BALL

ANOTHER FOUR YEARS? (NICE JACKET)

For starters, my crystal ball is sometimes dim and cloudy, but what does it matter?  This post will have a short shelf life anyway.  By Wednesday morning we will know more than now.  However, for the past 20 years or so I have made election predictions.  I have been right the previous four.  The last time I was wrong was the Bush/Clinton/Perot election.  Who knew a crazy man could get that many votes and swing the election to Clinton?  Not me!

TIME FOR A CHANGE? (I NOTICE SLEEVES ROLLED UP)

Please please please keep in mind that regardless of who wins the presidency I will be disappointed.  I am not in love with either candidate, and generally tend to be non-partisan on these issues.  I enjoy watching and speculating, like a person who doesn’t bet on horses might watch a horse race for the pure enjoyment of it.  That’s me.  But before the rest of the nation votes (here in Washington we vote my mail and my ballot was turned in last week) I want to share some of my analysis.

  • If President Obama is re-elected, it will be by a very, very slim margin.  I am one of those who think that he might lose the popular vote but win the electoral vote.
  • Ohio is not the only key state.  I suspect Pennsylvania and Wisconsin might go Romney, as well as Colorado and maybe even Oregon.  Yes, Oregon.  Call me crazy, but I’ve got a hunch.  Romney could win the Presidency without Ohio, which would be a very big deal.
  • Four years ago I predicted then Senator Obama would win, but I couched it by saying he would be a one term president and I likened him to President Carter.  Weirdly, this election cycle reminds me of 1980 a great deal.  Romney, though, is no Ronald Reagan and President Obama is much stronger than Jimmy Carter was.  However, the Benghazi debacle feels a lot like the Iran hostage situation and gas prices feel something like gas lines.  In 1980 it was pretty close in the polls, but when people went to vote, it broke for Reagan.  I feel like it could happen again tomorrow.  It might break for Romney in a big way.
  • Polling traditionally favors Democratic candidates and under reports Republican strength and turnout.  The polling currently is a statistical dead heat nationwide, which means, to my mind, that Romney may actually have  a 4-5 point lead.

Two months ago I would have said the Romney campaign was dead in the water, but right now, analyzing things the way they stand, I predict that Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States.  Keep in mind, I am not saying that is what I want, but that is my analysis.  If he does win, I think his coattails might be long enough to give the GOP the Senate and the House.  If this is something you are happy about, please accept my congratulations.  If it is not, please don’t blame me.  Besides, there is just as good a chance that I am wrong although I am trying to be objective.

I personally believe that not much will change regardless of who wins.  People will continue to live their lives, go to work, raise their families, and Jesus will still be sovereign.