The lesser of two evils?


Is it just me or do many of you wish that you could find a viable alternative to making a choice between a self-serving inept felon and a volatile ego maniacal jackass, as the next President of the United States? Of course, though sarcastic, that’s a rhetorical question. I know that very many, if not most, of my fellow Americans share a similar view. Later, I’ll offer empirical evidence of that.

Some will suggest that throwing your support to a third-party candidate is a viable alternative. That’s only half true. It is an alternative but it isn’t viable. Regardless of your third-party vote, Clinton or Trump will be the next POTUS and you will have changed nothing.


In order to find a viable alternative to this dilemma, I suggest stepping back and taking a fresh look at our concerns about the nominees of the two major parties. Up to now, I’ve seen this assessment include:

• Choose between the lesser of two evils.
• Are they evil or just flawed?
• Are they unfit or just unacceptable?
• Are they immoral or just unwise?
• The fear of what he says versus the fear of what she does.
• For different reasons, neither can be trusted.

Frankly, I find each of these considerations to be somewhat reasonable. But they don’t really lead to a viable alternative that positively impacts the ongoing devolution in American politics. Ironically, I heard the solution summed up in a statement made by Hillary Clinton that was, as usual, meant to demean Donald Trump. She said,

“We need to stand up as a people and say that America is better than (this)!”

I wholeheartedly agree and absent a truly acceptable alternative candidate, I firmly believe it calls for an unorthodox approach to making the changes so many of us have been crying out for in American politics. It means refusing to continue to vote for “the lesser of two evils” and only voting for candidates who are truly deserving of your vote. What I’m recommending is that all of us who share the frustration expressed in my opening paragraph refuse to vote for any of 2016’s presidential candidates, while voting for every down-ticket candidate who deserves our support. I think of it as  … 

… A Presidential Voters Strike for Our Union.

I know that many will, at least initially, say that my recommendation is crazy, it will effect no change and that either Clinton or Trump will still be the next POTUS. No doubt, the latter is true and it’s going to take all of U.S. pulling together, finally setting aside our ever deepening polarization, to survive whichever one is elected. This Voters Strike could be the first step in that movement and I believe it can effect the changes we long for. I want to offer my logic, that I believe is fully sane, by presenting the empirical evidence I alluded to earlier. Continue reading


Filed under Current Events, Government, Liberty, Making a Difference, politics, Presidents, United States

Running for Dogcatcher

Campaign 2

Gary Wiram, PCO – Precinct 690

Have you ever heard someone slam a politician by saying, “He’s so unpopular he couldn’t even get elected Dogcatcher”? According to Wiktionary (not a source I’d trust for something more important), the usage of this phrase is summed up as follows:

“Dogcatcher is virtually never an elected office (only one elected dogcatcher office exists, in Duxbury, Vermont); the phrase is hyperbole, using dogcatcher to indicate ‘the most lowly conceivable office’.”


After considering that Wiktionary says Dogcatcher is virtually never an elected office, I’ve decided that the elective position I now hold has become the most lowly conceivable office – i.e. Precinct Committee Officer (PCO). If you don’t know, a voting precinct is a subdivision of either a city or county where each address in the area is assigned to a precinct and each precinct is then given a specific location for its residents to vote. Precinct sizes vary but the U. S. has an average of 1,100 voters per precinct, with each one having both a Democrat and a Republican PCO. These are unpaid elected positions meant to help the parties stay in touch with the thoughts and feelings of neighborhood residents. If a person files to run for PCO and they’re unopposed, their name doesn’t even appear on any ballot. Typically, if a person who files to run for PCO is unopposed, they are appointed to that position by their respective party. However, if more than one person files, each of their names appear on the ballots of voters living in the respective precinct.


Precinct 690

Precinct 690

Two years ago, the Chairman of the Clark County Washington Republican Party (CCRP) asked me to run for PCO in Precinct 690. I agreed to do so, with the understanding that I’d have limited time and energy to do the job. This year, due to my dismay over what has happened at the top of both party’s tickets, I came close to not filing for reelection. After further prayerful consideration, though, I decided that if I’m going to make any difference in getting my party and our country back on course, I needed to be willing to do my part. Interestingly, shortly after I did file, I learned that another person had also filed. That meant that, in my aim to make a difference, I’d have to start by campaigning. Although I won’t bore you with all the details of my campaign, I want to tell you about some of its key aspects and the ways in which I was blessed along the way. Continue reading


Filed under character, commitment, community, Local Politics, Making a Difference, politics, Presidents


“I didn’t leave the Democrat Party. The party left me.”

Ronald Reagan, 1962

On September 12th, 1974, I got to attend a Republican fund-raiser dinner in Indianapolis, where Ronald Reagan, the former Governor of California, was the Keynote Speaker. I walked in to that event thinking of myself as a Democrat. Since I grew up in what many would call a Blue Dog Democrat area of Indiana and I was raised by Greatest Generation Democrats, what else could I possibly be? However, due to the disillusionment I and many in my generation experienced over our nation’s failed leadership relative to the Vietnam War, in 1968 and again in 1972, I voted for Richard Nixon, the Republican Candidate for President. Understandably, that left me questioning my alignment with the Democrat Party. That evening, I went home with that questioning answered. As I listened to Governor Reagan express his views, I recognized that they were identical to mine and that I’d had the same experience that he did … I hadn’t left the Democrat Party, it had left me. I went home that evening clearly understanding that I was what would become known as a Reagan Republican.

“If the Republican Party nominates Trump.



Michael Reagan, 2016

Though, at times, I have felt like this election season is killing me, I haven’t had to say it from the grave yet but I have been saying the very same thing. Sadly, now, the “if” is gone. Donald Trump is the presumptive presidential nominee of the GOP. My being driven back to the Democrat Party will not be the result of the Republican Party leaving me in this way, however. I will not vote for Trump but neither will I vote for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democrat Party.


Continue reading


Filed under Current Events, politics


My eulogy for my Mother, as read at her funeral.

When Jesus was asked “What is the greatest commandment?”, He answered, “Love God with everything you’ve got and show that by doing likewise with your fellow man.” Of course, that is a paraphrase but my Mother took it literally and quite seriously. I think it’s fair to say that love was her life’s theme.

Geraldine Elizabeth Ray Wiram August 12, 1919 - April 14, 2016

Geraldine Elizabeth Ray Wiram
August 12, 1919 – April 14, 2016


That was demonstrated from her beginning, in her birthplace, Greenville, IL. Her connection with family and friends that she knew prior to her family moving to Terre Haute, was something she always treasured. Of course, the most precious to her we’re those who went with her to Terre Haute; her Father E. K. Ray, her Mother Clara, her Sister Thelma and her Brother who died in infancy. Throughout her life, she looked forward to getting to know him in Heaven and now, she’s getting to do that.

The people I knew as Grandpa and Grandma Ray, Aunt Thelma and Mom started becoming part of their community through Grandpa’s job on the Pennsylvania Railroad, through neighborhood activities, through school activities, through service organizations and probably most important of all, through the Second Avenue Evangelical United Brethren Church. The relationships that were developed during that time are too numerous to mention but, as evidenced by some who are here even today, these were not passing acquaintances but loving relationships that Mom nurtured throughout her life.


I do want to mention two relationships that we’re of particular importance though. During that time, my Aunt Thelma met a handsome young man, named Bob McIndoo. For the sake of brevity, let me just say that I ended up knowing him as Uncle Bob. He was a man I truly admired and Mom loved him dearly, as she did Thelma’s and Bob’s children; my late Cousin Ron, my Cousin Janet Sue and my Cousin Jim. Since they have been a prolific bunch, that gave Mom In-laws, grandchildren and next generations of the same to love too.

The other particularly important relationship developed during that time involved another handsome young man named Chet Wiram. Although you won’t find his name in Mom’s obituary, he was of great importance in her life. His Dad worked on the Pennsy too, they lived in the same neighborhood, they went to the same schools and they were together in the youth group at Second Avenue EUB. There were 12 Wiram kids, 10 who survived childhood, so even if they had just become friends, that would have expanded Mom’s social circle exponentially. But, a romance blossomed and when he was 21 and she was 19, they married. Of course, that worked out to the benefit of many in this room today, including my Sister Nancy, our late Brother Dick and myself. Then, along with Mom, in addition to the Rays, the McIndoos and all those Wirams, there was us to love. Added to that we’re the Franzwas, the Sagraves, the D’Amicos and the Dillers, through a Son-in-law and three Daughters-in-law, who she loved as her own children. Since we have been a rather prolific bunch too, grandchildren and next generations were added to Mom’s circle of love through this too.


In my view, Mom’s love was most vividly demonstrated in her dedication to her Husband and her children. Shortly after Nancy was born, Dad joined the Navy and went off to WWII. About nine months after Mom visited Dad in his Southern California port, Dick came along. And, not long after the war ended, their baby boomer showed up … that’s me. All during that time, Mom’s love was the driving force, holding that young little family together. At the start of the next decade, though, Chet and Gerry’s marriage ended. Mom responded by pouring her life and love into her children. In the process, she found the job that would provide her living for the rest of her life. She became a Long Distance Telephone Operator. In the beginning, that meant working a split shift and riding the bus two round trips per day, so that she could see her kids off to school in the morning and be there when they came home in the afternoon. She recruited my Aunt Carolyn and several neighborhood ladies to stand in the gap for the times she couldn’t be there. My Sister joined in with that more and more, as she got older. I don’t think its an exaggeration to sum up this season of Mom’s life by saying, “No greater love has a woman than this, than to lay down her life for her family.” Continue reading


April 19, 2016 · 7:25 am

The Death of Homophobia


As one who openly opposes same-sex marriage, I recognize there are many who disagree with me and I’m not surprised when they attack my views. I’m, also, not surprised when this involves my being attacked personally, including being called homophobe. I’m not surprised by that but I’ve never fully understood it.

A word ending in “phobe” might seem to imply fear, as in “phobia”. But, in common usage, a homophobe isn’t one who fears a homo(sexual), it is meant to indicate one who hates them. Thus my lack of understanding, being called homophobe, since I neither fear nor hate homosexuals, individually or as a group. On the contrary, I’m a follower of Jesus Christ and I, daily, do all I can to adhere to The Lord’s command, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39. As a result, though I’ve openly stated my opposition to same-sex marriage and I’ve clearly stated my reasons for holding that position, I don’t believe there has been any hateful word or action on my part in doing so.


Not surprisingly, I was disappointed with the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. However, I was heartened by some of President Obama’s related remarks following that ruling. This included him saying:

“I know that Americans of goodwill continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases, has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact and recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom.” Continue reading


Filed under hate, Love, same-sex marriage

Hands Off! Don’t Loot!

Devestated Business in Ferguson, MO

Devastated Business in Ferguson, MO

One current rallying cry being used by those, like Al Sharpton, who have made a profession of fanning the flames in America’s black/white racial divide rather than building a bridge across that chasm, is “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” There is no legitimacy to it. It’s based on a concocted account of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

The rallying cry that needs to be taken up instead is:

“Hands Off! Don’t Loot!”

Innocent residents and business owners in Ferguson, MO, have suffered tremendous losses at the hands of those who used Michael Brown’s death as an excuse to steal and destroy. In some cases, the losses meant the end for businesses and the livelihood they provided for owners, employees, suppliers, etc. There is nothing lacking in the legitimacy of this rallying cry. It’s based on a sad but absolutely true aspect of this matter. Continue reading


Filed under community, Crime, Current Events, Justice, race

Clark County (WA) Votes on Home Rule Charter

Taxpayers Lose Representation While Gaining Wasteful Bureaucracy

Cross-Posted From:


Vote No


In November 2013, Clark County (WA) voters elected five county residents from each of the three Clark County Commissioner districts to serve as a Board of Freeholders. In May 2014, the board approved a drafted home rule charter, specifying a form of government for the county, to be placed on the ballot for the November 4th general election. By law, the Board of Freeholders dissolved when the proposed charter was completed. According to one of the (now former) Freeholders, the aim of the proposed charter is “to give taxpayers better representation, more local control and needed protections against abuse of power and wasteful government.” In my view, if this was the aim of the Board of Freeholders, they missed their target altogether. In fact, I believe the proposed charter would produce results that are fully opposite of the board’s stated objectives. The following summarizes my perspective on this:


If you’re in favor of self-government, you should vote “No!” on the proposed Clark County Home Rule Charter. If you’re in favor of handing over your authority to a small group of career politicians, their special interest friends and the wasteful bureaucracy they aim to build up, you should vote “Yes”. It’s that simple.


Presently, Clark County government is headed up by three full-time elected Commissioners. This means you have ultimate control by choosing to vote a Commissioner in or out at the end of their respective four-year term.


The proposed Charter would replace the three full-time Commissioners with five part-time Councilors whose authority would be placed in an appointed County Executive – i.e. an unelected bureaucrat. This would mean the complete removal of the ultimate control you presently have over Clark County government.


For clarity on this last point, think about the current County Commissioner you are most interested in removing from office. Now, think about that person resigning and successfully seeking to be appointed as the new County Executive (with his or her resume, it would be hard to fault their qualifications). Now what are you going to do?!


The pro-Charter elitists have added a petition and initiative process to their proposal, as a seeming enticement to vote “Yes”. Since it cannot be used to eliminate or reduce taxes or fees, or change a county policy, or stop or amend a county project, or add or get rid of a program, or reverse a budget decision, or amend the charter or repeal the charter, or … , it is pretty much impotent.

Although the aspect of the proposed Charter that takes authority out of the hands of Clark County voters provides more than enough reason for a “NO!” vote, it has many other negative features. These include: The marginalization of rural interests through redistricting and a planned four-year transition that is likely to bring chaos to a presently stable county government, where the costs of governing have been seeing dramatic reductions, contributing to the overall thriving of the county itself.

As the British say, the proof of the pudding is in its eating. There are 133 counties on the West Coast. Only 28 are Charter Counties. Only 5 of them have County Executives. Zero (0) of them have County Executives with the autonomy Clark County’s would have. This makes it abundantly clear that the right thing to do is to …

Vote NO Charter!

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Filed under Local Politics