Ron Davis

Recent Posts From Ron Davis

Justin Amash Shouldn’t Run for U.S. Senate

Justin Amash

Justin Amash first won my favor with his staunch adherence to the Constitution, and he further impressed me by taking government accountability and transparency to new levels.

With every vote he casts posted to his social networking profiles, Amash is actively and openly accountable to his constituents. I wish my Congressman were more like Justin Amash. I wish every member of Congress were more like Justin Amash.

Amash is, without a doubt, my favorite politician in Washington, and now there are rumors that he could be trying to move into the Senate. While I love the thought of Amash joining Senators Paul, Lee, and Cruz in the Senate, I don’t think Amash should run for Carl Levin’s soon-to-be-open seat in the Senate.

Amash was challenged for his House seat last cycle by a self-funded Democrat. His campaign was rushing for last-minute fundraisers to put him over the top for Election Day. Fortunately, the challenge from the left was not as much of a challenge as they anticipated, and Amash was able to return to Congress.

Amash doesn’t yet have the statewide name recognition (and the reputation that’s sure to follow) necessary to win in a statewide election. If he’s still at the point where he’s - as the incumbent - concerned about a Democrat with a pile of cash, he’s not ready to be running for a seat in the Senate.

Beyond that, he’s not exactly loved by the GOP leadership back home, and he’d have to spend a lot of his money to get through the primary election cycle. Primary elections can be brutal and expensive, and they’re usually followed by a tough general election as well. Without being a household name, Amash won’t likely be able to “Money Bomb” his way through the election process.

And it’s also worth noting that winning Michigan isn’t exactly a foregone conclusion for Republicans.

It’s Time to Take the Car Keys from Lindsey Graham and John McCain

John McCain and Lindsey Graham

It happens in every family at some point. Grandpa has been driving for so much of his life, but as he becomes unsafe behind the wheel, the kids have to step in and take away his car keys.

More often than not, he’ll resist. He wants to control his life, though he doesn’t see the danger he causes when he’s driving. The family has to step in with a bit of an intervention, and Grandpa has to be forced usual space in the driver’s seat.

The Republican Party is in a similar situation. Grandpas McCain and Graham are growing increasingly dangerous behind the wheel of the Party every day. They’ve been driving things in the Party too long, and their reckless behavior puts the Party in jeopardy.

This is, of course, in the wake of what happened after Senator Rand Paul’s filibuster last week, but Graham and McCain have been out of control behind the wheel of the Republican Party for some time.

Recent quotes from the senators about Paul’s filibuster have been awkward and unusual at best. Referring to filibuster supporters as “wacko birds” and “impressionable libertarian kids” shows McCain’s senility. Graham called the filibuster supporters paranoid and openly sided with President Obama on the issue.

Beyond making silly quotes and siding with the opposition, Graham and McCain are trying to squash what Republicans now have that they have been longing for since before McCain’s presidential run: excitement.

After a lackluster eight years of President Bush, we’ve had two of the least inspiring presidential candidates possible. Nobody has been truly excited or inspired about Republican politics in quite a while.

And then on a Wednesday morning when nobody expected it, Senator Paul took a stand and ignited passion in the party.

The response from McCain and Graham? Disdain and panic.

Ron Wyden: Wednesday’s Other Hero

Ron Wyden

Without a doubt, Wednesday belonged to Rand Paul. The Republican senator stood his ground on the floor of the Senate for almost 13 hours, and he was supported by several of his colleagues.

While I don’t want to take anything away from Senator Paul - his stand for civil liberties was both courageous and heroic - there’s another senator due some recognition. Ron Wyden was the only Democrat willing to join Paul in support of liberty.

I’ve been in Republican politics long enough to know that when one guy abandons the team - even if in a move to do what’s right, he’s treated as an outcast. He loses the good committee appointments. People rally to find a candidate to challenge the traitor in a primary election. He gets tagged as being not a “real” Republican - a “RINO,” if you will - and it takes a lot of time before people in the party forget or forgive his betrayal.

Rand’s filibuster on Wednesday was as a member of the minority party. Yes, he was doing the right thing, but he didn’t have to go against his own party and his own leadership in the Senate or against his own president to make his stand. (To be fair, I’m convinced that Paul would have made his stand no matter the circumstances.)

Every senator who came to Paul’s side on Wednesday was a Republican who could vocally oppose a president and his appointments without fear of punishment from his leadership. Every senator, that is, except Ron Wyden.

Stepping forward to stand with Rand Paul was no easy decision for Wyden. Party politics can be a tough game to play, but when the pressure was on and the decision had to be made, Wyden took a stand with a small minority and against his own party for what is right.

Solving EBT Abuse Could be Solving the Wrong Problem

There’s concern in Rhode Island over the abuse of EBT benefits. With thousands of dollars in cash withdrawn from ATMs in places like liquor stores and bars, there’s almost certainly a bit of abuse of the system going on.

It’s easy to see the concern. EBT benefits are supposed to help those in need be able to buy things to help their family survive. There’s not likely anything for sale in liquor stores or bars that a family needs to survive.

Even in grocery stores, there’s a reason for concern. While someone with a limited budget should be pinching pennies in the checkout aisle, things that aren’t a necessity can be purchased with EBT cards.

People concerned about EBT abuse are calling for more restrictions and rules around the spending of that money. I think it makes sense to take some practical measures prevent abuse, though there’s a risk of reaching a point where the money spent to prevent the abuse exceeds the amount of abuse.

But beyond that, the solutions proposed for stopping EBT abuse are attempts at solving the wrong problem. The right thing to do is to help get them away from a reliance on government to provide grocery money.

In a perfect world, there would be no EBT system to abuse. Realistically though, these systems aren’t going away anytime soon, so we should do what we can to minimize the expense. The most effective way to minimize that expense is to help those who would stand on their own to do so.

Politically Incorrect Chicken: Buffalo Wild Wings and Second Amendment

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I love seeing a business owner taking a stand for what he believes, especially when he knows that his views could negatively impact his business’ revenue.

Recently Buffalo Wild Wings has gotten some press over signs on their doors that prohibit the presence of firearms. I’m sad to see this, because, as you may know, I’m a pretty big fan of the Second Amendment. (I support the right of any law-abiding citizen to carry any weapon he chooses anywhere he sees fit.)

People are calling for Buffalo Wild Wings to drop its ban preventing the legal possession of a firearm in their restaurants, much like there were calls several months ago for Chick-fil-A owners to reverse their position on some issues.

It’s important that we remember these people have a right to operate their businesses however they chose, but one of the wonderful things about the free market system is that consumers have the right to eat their chicken somewhere else.

I like Chick-fil-A. I eat there much more frequently than I should, but that has everything to do with the quality of the food they serve and nothing to do with their politics. I don’t really care for Buffalo Wild Wings, but not because of their anti-gun policy. I’ve found their food to be a little expensive and a lot mediocre. So I don’t eat there.

I don’t typically make decisions of where to eat on a restaurant’s political views. If I like the food, I eat it; if I don’t like it, I eat somewhere else.

Inflation, Braves’ Shortstops, and 12 Year Old Babysitters

Inflation, Braves Shortstops, and 12 Year Old Babysitters

My 12 year old daughter recently landed her first regular job. Once a week she goes to watch a little boy for a couple hours so his mom can get things done around the house.

She’s both delighted and very proud of her earning power. Plus, it will help her understand the value of money – and hard work – as she starts moving into her teen years. I’m excited. She’s excited. Everybody’s excited.

Last night she was asking me about inflation. Her question specifically was about the idea of minting two $1 trillion dollar coins and why it might be a bad idea.

So we talked about the increase of money supply, and I tried to explain it in a way I thought she could understand: baseball cards. Her favorite baseball player is Atlanta Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, so I used him in the discussion.

I said, “If there were only 100 of a certain Tyler Pastornicky card in the world, would it be worth a lot or a little?”

“A lot!” was her reply.

“So if I had one, what do you think it would be worth?”

“Probably at least $50.” (Please nobody sell my daughter your Tyler Pastornicky cards…she’ll pay way too much for them.)

So we continued the discussion, talking about how long she would have to work to earn the money for that Pastornicky card. And then I said, “what if, after you’ve already spent $50 for the card, the baseball card company prints 1,000 more of the same card?”

She got mad. And rightfully so. She knew that her prized baseball card would be worth a lot less than the $50 she paid for it. “But,” she said, “they don’t do that. When they say there’s only 100, that’s all they make.”

My Take on the Women Libertarians Issue

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Last week, Julie Borowski posted a video posing a question about why there aren’t more female libertarians. It’s an interesting thought, for sure. Her point in the video was that women have pressure to be more socially accepted, and since libertarianism isn’t exactly mainstream, women shy away from it.

There were a few responses – and a lot of chatter on Facebook – about Julie’s video. I saw a few times it was called sexist and over the top, and I suppose those descriptions aren’t entirely incorrect. Julie’s got her own unique style in her videos, and I think more than anything, her style was a little more pronounced in that video than it usually is.

Maybe that’s being nice. Either way, her video got me thinking about her topic, which I’m sure was one of her goals. I know that when I write, my primary goal is for the audience to give real thought to my content.

As I’ve been thinking about Julie’s post, I’ve come to the conclusion that she asked the wrong question. Sure, we want more libertarian women among us, but I think the real question to ask is why aren’t there more libertarians in general, not just women.

The answer, I’ve decided, is that libertarians are an obnoxious bunch of people who are difficult to deal with on a regular basis. (And I say this knowing quite well that I’m among that group.)

Boehner is Bad News for GOP

John Boehner

Today is the start of a new Congress. That means Speaker Boehner is up for reelection as speaker. Rumors are circling that there are enough Republican Congressmen willing to remove Boehner from the role of speaker. Whether that’ll happen or not remains to be seen, but Boehner is toxic for the GOP needs to be replaced.

He has shown that he has no backbone. He has shown that he has no willingness to stand up against the president. A spineless coward does not need to be the Speaker of the House.

The GOP has a lot of rebuilding to do. They control one house of one branch of government. The leader in that position needs to be someone who can articulate a clear viewpoint and work toward that end.

This approach of opposing Obama until the very last minute and then giving them exactly what they want isn’t working. Democrats are getting exactly what they want out of Republicans, and they are getting it in a way that lets them blame the GOP for everything that goes wrong.

This can’t continue.

I don’t write this post in support of a specific member of Congress that could challenge him. The people in the House that I actually like (which are few and far between) aren’t the type of people with broad support within the party. (That’s par for the course when you lean libertarian.)

Instead, I write this as someone who can use some common sense to see that Boehner is doing everything in his power to ruin any chance of a Republican victory in 2014. Or 2016. Or maybe even 2018.

Replacing Boehner is the right thing to do. He’s proven himself inept and unqualified. If the GOP is going to turn this ship around, they first need to throw Boehner overboard.

What Will You Do for Liberty in 2013?

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I hate New Years resolutions. Sure, it’s good to consider where you are, reflect on what you’ve done, and consider how to move forward in certain areas of your life. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself. But resolutions are often made in a way that makes them impossible to keep.

We set ourselves up for failure, and then 2 weeks into January when we fail on our resolution, we give it up and go back to the way things were in December, as if there weren’t a reason that we made the resolution in the first place.

So, yeah, I’m not a fan of formal New Years resolutions.

But I have been thinking about 2013. Politically, it should be a slower year than 2012. We don’t have a presidential election this year, and the legislative and executive branches remain quite divided. (A stalemate in Congress can be a good thing, though.)

Last January, when we were looking forward to 2012, we knew there were a lot of opportunities to get involved coming in an election year. But what about now, when there is no big election? How do we advance liberty in 2013?

Get to know your legislators. 2012 offered me the chance to get to know my congressman. I don’t know him well (yet), but I know him. I also had the chance to get to know some state representatives and state senators who will be working to shape legislation in Atlanta.

Follow legislation. Watch closely when legislation is introduced. Read the bills. Understand what they do. When you’ve educated yourself, you’re able to take a better stand for/against legislation because you’ve read it for yourself (instead of blindly taking talking points from the media).

What I Don’t Want to Write About

When I write, I actively try to make my readers think about my topic. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I don’t really care. If you’ve given consideration to my point of view and decide you disagree, that’s ok. My primary goal is to challenge you to think about my topic. If I have done that, I’ve succeeded. (You can always get around to agreeing with me later.)

But what should I say about a school shooting? They’re awful. They’re an attack of cowards. They’re a tragic reminder of the depravity of man. These things are all true, but none of us need our points of view challenged when the topic is school shootings. Everybody agrees that school shootings are tragic and awful.

Should I jump on a bandwagon of people calling for more restrictive gun control laws? (You’ll never find me in that camp, by the way.) Should I take the other approach and call for more freedom for people to carry guns to protect themselves (and those around them)?

Maybe I should talk about the misguided, obnoxious, hate-filled, hell-bound people of Westboro Baptist Church who are planning to show up at the funerals of these kids to “sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.” Idiots.

I have some choice words for the people of Westboro Baptist Church, but they’re words my Christian mother (who reads everything I write) would not appreciate. So, to avoid a lecture from my mom on using foul language in my writing, I’ll refrain from calling the Westboro people all those things, even though it’d all be true.

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