Serve a purpose greater than yourself
Everytime a salesman talks to me about aproduct or service they start with the most important reason why I should buy his/her product or service, and that is, it will satisfy a need, or it is in my best interest to buy his/her product or service.
Why don't we take a look at a the top issues of the two major political parties in our country today. Let's start with ...
MEDICARE FOR ALL - It sounds very expensive at first glance but it serves a greater purpose other than just my interest. Democrats are proposing to offer medicare coverage to every qualified adults with the intention of removing premiums, co-pay, deductible, and still cover individuals with pre-existing conditions. They plan to pay for this program by imposing additional taxes on people who makes 50 million a year or over, or as they call it, the top 1%.
It also sounds like Democrats are picking winners and losers. But, can we really define individuals who makes 50 million a year, losers? Since our last recession in 2007-2008, we have seen the rise of corporate profits and creation of more billionaires in this country's history. In fact, I also benefited from the biggest tax-cut ever conceived when I sold 2 of my companies in the last two years. So, it is not only Democrats who are picking winners and losers, I just happened to be on the winning side of the equation at the present time.
At the end of the day, we are still to pick which side are we going to fight for, medicare for all or let wealthy individuals keep most of their money.
PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT - I love hiking and enjoy going to amazing national parks of this country. So, I am a little bias when it comes to protecting our environment. Many will argue that having too much regulations in lieu of protecting the environment can prevent many companies from operating smoothly and creating many jobs.
I also hate regulations that is too restricting and sometimes downright ridiculous. I am in real estate industry, and when you try to fix or improve a property you will encounter regulations that is too expensive. If you are improving a property tainted with asbestos it may cost you tens of thousands of dollars, and when that expense is not budgeted, it will take a big chunk out of your potential profit. It sucks and it hurts to the bone.
Now, the question is, is that additional cost to me worth protecting our environment?
Unfortunately, my answer is still ...YES. That $10,000 could have paid for 2 trips in HAWAII for my family. Imagine relaxing at @FSOAHU while munching on GIOVANNI'S SHRIMP TACOS...GRRRR! At the end of the day, is it worth having clean air, clean water, or even saving someone's life?
SOCIAL AND MORAL ISSUES - I use to think that I cannot be a 'Christian' and be a Democrat. But the more I read my bible I have learned that the God I pray to, is the God of Social Issues. The bible talks about a God that says, 'What you have done to the least of these, you have done it to me'.
In life, I always focus on what causes an issue and everyone should be responsible for all decisions and actions that they have taken. But, God does not tell us to help with pre-conditions. God does not require us to ask or investigate why a person or group or people has gotten to the situation they are in before we render our help. Have you read God's response to a rich young man's question on how he could get to heaven, God said, 'Sell all your belongings and give it to the poor'. It is very clear to me that the God in the bible has taken a side, and does not call the wealthy people losers, it is just their pathway to heaven.
Now, let's look at the number one attraction for the 'conservative' movement, the Abortion issue. I am a product of a situation where my father has to choose between saving my mother or his son (me). My delivery was very difficult. During my delivery, my mother has lost a lot of blood, and I am becoming toxic to my mother. After many hours in labor, the attending physician (a surgeon) asked my father, 'you now have to decide between saving your wife or your son'. My father answered, 'Save both and let God decide'. My mom was heavily sedated and I am not sure if my mother was asked this question. But I have a feeling that the answer might be the same.
Their answer and resolve is the reason why I am alive to today and now blogging about this issue. Many of you might think that I could be the poster boy for the 'Pro-Life' movement, and I also thought that for many years.
The slogan 'PRO-LIFE' immediately places the other side of the this argument in a terrible position, who can really oppose life?
Then I started listening to the other side of this argument, and found out that just like me, they are not pro-abortion, they are simply 'PRO-CHOICE'.
During my delivery the attending physician did not consult a lawyer or refer to an existing law, he just offered my father 'A CHOICE', and my father made a decision that the conservative movement can champion. But, it is still a decision that my father and mother has to make and not any law of any city, municipality, or government.
I will never promote abortion, but I will always respect the rights of every mother and father to be, to make that decision for themselves.
Now, let's take a look at the main issues of the other party ...
IMMIGRATION AND BORDER WALL - We keep hearing the slogan 'OPEN BORDER' from Republicans. Just like the slogan 'PRO-LIFE' it instantly suggests that the other party promotes an open border idea.
Last time I checked, everyone coming from Mexico or Canada has to go through an immigration gate (or wall), and speak to an immigration officer. We also have existing walls, and metal fencing already in placed. I can agree that some fencing needs work and we probably we need more walls to be constructed in places that has evidence of illegal drugs crossing.
My issue with this agenda is, 95% of illegal immigrants currently staying in this country came in legally, but eventually overstayed their visas. None of them have to climb any walls to get in. The solution that the republicans are proposing to solve our immigration problem is similar to the efforts of trying to kill Bin Laden, by declaring war with Saddam and occupying Iraq. This remedy, is similar to cleaning your ear by picking your nose.
I support zero tolerance and deportation of individuals who committed a crime or violence, and with no legal status. If you have hurt anyone in this country and you have no legal status, you need to be deported.
But, if you have not hurt anyone or broken any law, and willing to pay a fine, I don't see any reason why our government should not take their money, by imposing a penalty for overstaying their visas, and increase salaries of our teachers, fire fighters, police men and women, or cover expenses of our wounded warriors. Imagine, 15-20 million people willing to pay a penalty in exchange for legal status. That's a lot of money for our wounded warriors.
I also don't see the need to deport individuals who came here as children (DACA). We are imposing penalties and punishment on people who cannot even decide at the time of their entry to this country. Can you really punish individuals with parents who decided to give their children a better chance in life? This is like punishing kids in college because their parents wants them to get a college education.
I also understand the popularity of this issue, because it caters to the hateful nature of many groups in this country. Let's not pretend they don't exist, and probably some of you strongly believed that you don't have this tendency. Let's be real, I myself have this tendency, at times, and judges people simply by the color of their skin, how they dress, or how they talk. It is probably human nature to discriminate, but this tendency that resides in all of us must not be allowed to dictate our immigration policy or how we relate to each other.
We need to overcome this hateful tendency that resides in 'ALL' of us. That's right! I said 'ALL', because people of all races have tendencies to be hateful of other race.
At the end of the day, we need to have practical solutions to our immigration problems and not satisfy our hateful nature. What are we going to do with individuals who overstayed their visas?
TAXES AND GUNS - We always get this pitch from every Republican candidates in every election, 'No to Taxes and Keep Your Guns'. As an entrepreneur, I immediately gravitate to keeping my money. It takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices to earn money. So, I don't want to hear any candidate proposing additional taxes by taking what I have earned through hard work, and just give it to anyone or any group they like.
But, I also appreciate the work of First Responders, Fire Fighters, Police Officers, Public School Teachers, National Park Workers, and daily sacrifices made by our Men and Women in Uniform. I also appreciate the fact the my parents will be cared for (Medi-Cal/Medicare) in case they get sick.
So, how do we find the balance of asking people to pay their fair share and enjoy all the benefits that comes with paying taxes.
The number one argument of conservatives about taxes, is that, 'Government will just squander your money and will leave our children a mountain of debt'. Do you remember the 'DEBT CLOCK' talking point that every conservative tv host were peddling when a Democrat is in the White House. After the Republican took power, the 'Debt Clock' has now joined the endangered species, because you don't see them in any conservative tv show anymore.
I don't enjoy paying taxes, in fact I cringed every time I do it. But, it could be useful if appropriation and spending is done with moral conviction. We always need to ask how a candidate will pay for his programs and how are taxes will be use.
We just implemented the biggest tax cut in our nation's history. My question to you is, WTF did you get?
To the coal miners in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, and those popular blue states, WTF did you get?
To the farmers in Texas, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, and those popular red states, WTF did you get?
To the teachers, first responders, our men and women in uniform, WTF did you get?
All these big corporations, and probably the one you are working for right now, kept boat loads of money that is supposed to be remitted to the IRS. The hope is, that these big corporations will share their money to you. However, they just gave bigger bonuses to their CEOs, laid off more workers, and still transferred their manufacturing to a much cheaper location.
This strategy is similar to placing a prime rib in front of a dog and hoping that dog will share it to your other dogs.
At the end of the day, paying taxes is a pain and borrowing more money to give more tax cut for the wealthy, is simply insane.
Let's move on to GUNS. In full disclosure I am not a gun owner, but I support the rights of citizens of this county to own guns.
I am a big fan of the show ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE. Sometimes, I even envy their way of life. The freedom that comes from being self sufficient, growing your own food, and away from all the distractions we get living in a big city. But living in remote places will make you vulnerable to the reality of harsh environment. Being susceptible to attacks from wild animals and criminals, place you in constant danger. So, high powered guns and rifles is an absolute necessity for this way of life.
But, if you are an elementary school Teacher in Connecticut, a Farmer in Texas, or a Coal Miner in Kentucky, do you really need an AK-47 to survive?
Can a duck really survive a bullet from 9mm gun?
Requiring a National Background Check prior to acquiring a gun or high-powered rifle should be reasonable to people with a healthy mental state. If you find this requirement problematic, you might be suffering from some type of a mental disorder.
I don't mean to be sarcastic, but I strongly believe that there are many responsible gun owners who agrees with a national background check prior to owning a gun or high-powered rifles.
ABORTION, GENDER & MARRIAGE - I have expressed my views on PRO-LIFE vs PRO-CHOICE, so I will go to GENDER, or 'too many gender' issue.
I am a pastor's son, so I grew up in a very conservative environment. I was not exposed to dealing with any other gender outside of male (boy) or female (girl). So, my expectations on my children are the same. I am now a father of a girl in college, and a boy in middle school.
Lately, my kids would ask me, 'what if they turned out feeling a different gender to what I know them to be'. This is what my children would call, 'a cringy moment', at least for me. At first, I stated that, 'there is no such thing as other genders, you are either a boy or a girl'. Then they asked, 'how do you determine that'? I responded, 'just look at how you pee'. They then said, 'you can pee a certain way and be a different way'. I did not really gave them a straight answer, and I hope they realize that I was just being facetious. Fortunately, I was able to get out of that cringy conversation and have my time to really think about what they were asking.
After a serious and intense reflection on this matter, and a few tears shed just imagining them as a different gender, I concluded that it will not diminish my love for my son and daughter. The intense emotion I am feeling is the tug of war between the teachings of my father, asking me to refuse that possibility of them being different or gay, and the love for my children that is telling me to accept them for who they are.
At the end of the day, they can use all the letters in the alphabet to define who they are, but they will still be my children that I will love until my last breath. I will not allow my father's understanding of the bible, and the environment I grew up in, to justify hating my own children.
Now, Marriage. It is still my personal preference that marriage should stay between one man and one woman. But, I don't have hateful feelings towards people of the same gender getting married. If one truly values the essence of 'Freedom', one should cheerfully accept the reality of people having different lifestyles and views.
At the end of the day, anyone should be able to marry who they love.
Love of country does not mean you have to support policies that are mean spirited and sometimes downright hateful to immigrants, specially horrific separation of minor children from their parents. It is okay to love your country and be accommodating to people seeking a better future for themselves and their children.
Today, extremism is masquerading as nationalism. It has infected our local politics and spreading around the world. The problem with extreme ideology is, it is the enemy of compromise and the bride of conflict. Peace and Harmony are the casualties of extremism.
Despite my strong feelings about people who have extreme ideology, I also believed that many of these people who support policies that are mean spirited to other race or religion has the capacity to be kind. Their politics maybe extreme but, when given the opportunity to help, many of them will also voluntarily help.
Life will give you enough reason to always justify division and hateful policies, but always allow KINDNESS to form your IDEOLOGY and not the other way around..
Following Presidential Candidates on their Journey to the White House at RoadtotheWhiteHouse.com