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Politics 101: Why do candidates run in presidential primaries, and continue to run, when they have no chance of winning?

1-You never know, e.g., Jimmy Who? or the Comeback Kid Bill Clinton or the skinny kid with a funny name Barack Obama.

2-You become famous by developing name recognition, e.g., Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer.

3-You position yourself for higher political office or future campaigns, e.g., HW Bush, Joe Biden, Ben Carson.

4-You position yourself for higher income jobs, increased speaker fees, e.g., Mike Huckabee, Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

5-You’re described in media the rest of your life as “former presidential candidate,” e.g., Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, et al.

6-It’s fun, you travel around treated as royalty, media follows you, e.g., Herman Caine, Carly Fiorina.

7-You keep your issue in the news, e.g., Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson.

8-Egos and Logos, e.g., Ross Perot, Michael Bloomberg. 

9-Money, Sex, and Power, or what Scripture calls Lust of the Eyes, Lust of the Flesh, and Pride of Life, e.g., John Edwards, Gary Hart, and enough others to run the alphabet.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2020    

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A 2:08 min video I recently recorded with Manna Media, considering the way people argue on social media that their political or partisan views are righteous, all others are ipso facto unrighteous, and God clearly favors their view exclusively.

This one will probably get me in trouble, and that's OK, but if you argue otherwise the burden of proof is on you.

In Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address near the close of the Civil War, he said, "Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained...Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other...The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes."

© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019

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It’s become commonplace for people who don't like a speaker or a public discussion in some other public forum to demonstrate their displeasure by disrupting the meeting or hearings or proceedings or event with the apparent goal of preventing, silencing, i.e., not allowing the other side to be heard.  

Some are now arguing this is their “right,” and that it is good and proper to silence opposing points of view.  We hear this argument on both the Left and the Right.

This is a dangerous trend.  It suppresses the First Amendment, and it is not what a free country is about - again, whether one likes or supports the speaker, or the points being shared.

Let’s take a moment for a much-needed Civics 101 lesson.

1—Is protest legal in the US? Yes, in this free country it is, as long as the protest is peaceful and nonviolent, i.e. not harming people, others’ property, impeding people’s progress on public thoroughfares, or otherwise creating a threat to public safety.

2—Do I have to agree with protesters to agree with their freedom to protest? No.

3—Should protestors (or speakers) with whom I disagree be silenced? No, this idea and now increasingly common tactic is at fundamental odds with the constitutional principle of freedom of speech or expression.

4—If the point of protest is to draw attention to something considered troublesome, isn’t it logical that the more outrageous the protest the more likely it will elicit response? Yes and No. Yes, outrageous is OK, as long as it fits within #1. No, outrageous may backfire on protesters, eliciting not a response to their views but to their methods.

5—Is protest “bad”? No, not really. It is part of what it means to live in a free, open, pluralistic, and democratic society.

6—Do American citizens have the “right” to protest anywhere, anytime, for any reason? Yes and No. Yes, as long as it fits in #1. No, if it violates #1, and No, in that protest is not ipso facto a right in private or even public places because along with a "right" comes "responsibility."

There seems to be an entire generation or more of the American public who evidence little knowledge of the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or case law about fundamentals of a free society.  They’ve grown up or are growing up with no instruction, or if they were taught about civics they were taught with a bias.  What’s scary about this is that older political leaders, many of whom know better and who do understand the fundamentals of our free society, are going along with or encouraging this new view because they think it translates to political power for their Party or viewpoints.  Some of them, particularly on the Left, are arguing the US Constitution and/or the Bill of Rights be revised or even thrown out and rewritten.

This is also threatening, trading principle and proven, reasoned and reasonable process for power.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Let’s talk 2020 presidential election realpolitik in a nonpartisan, non-ideological way, meaning no endorsements stated or implied. 

1—President Trump is very good at being who he is, whether you or I like that fact, like him, or not. 

2—If President Trump is breathing, he’s going to run again in 2020.

3—If Democrats want to win the White House, they must choose wisely, meaning Democrat candidates, or most certainly the Democrat nominee, 

     --Must be as good at being who he/she is as President Trump, 

     --Must have uber-thick skin, 

     --Must have off-the-charts communication skills, and 

     --Must have an actual set of new, worthy, better-future ideas that can be shared in 3-4 sound bites. 

4—Candidates Must not try to out-Trump Trump, emulating his style, nor should they simply run as the Anti-Trump.

5—Same goes for any Republican considering challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination.

If you doubt this, ask what happened to the other 16 good, decent, prepared Republican candidates who ran in 2016. 

Again, this is not an homage to President Trump. It’s realpolitik. Sentimentality, hubris, unwarranted optimism, “experience” no matter how impressive, are not enough.

If another Republican or Democrat is going to win election in 2020 he/she Must be someone authentically different from and more compelling than President Trump.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attributionstatement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events, or connect with me at    


Every four years—or what increasingly is every two years, fast moving toward every year—candidates vying for the office of President of the United States proclaim their religious affiliations and affirmations to the voting public. It’s a US phenomenon and not a bad one, really.

A would-be-President’s religious convictions are interesting to know. As free-society voters we probably ought to know what a candidate believes about religious matters because in some way, small or large, these beliefs help define his or her character, personality, and possibly approach to leadership.

Then again, if history is any guide, we might be forgiven for asking whether a duly elected President’s religious views mean much to everyday governance.

Let’s take a look:



© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2014

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During the 2008 presidential campaign then Senator Barack Obama’s website “won” the beauty pageant with other candidate’s websites hands-down.

And it wasn’t just “beauty” in the sense of a good style and look. It was a fantastic landing page that brought you immediately into a backstage video one on one with the candidate. Then you heard him announced, got a glimpse of the raving crowd, and “followed” him up the stairs to the podium. You were there. You experienced the excitement. How could you not get enthused and vote for this candidate?

President Obama’s 2008 campaign also set new standards in using the Internet to raise funds and get out the word. In 2012, the current crop of Republican Party presidential candidates is pushing the Internet’s political envelope again.

Clearly, one way to get to know presidential candidates is to visit their websites. Obvious enough.

But you learn more than what the candidate thinks about given issues. You learn something about either their creativity/vision or perhaps the creativity/vision of their webmasters. Of course some of this is a function of available resources. But whatever the source, presidential candidate websites are a lot alike yet can vary dramatically.

Of 7 Republican candidates (counting Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman who’ve now dropped from the race) and President Obama, 5 websites used Landing Pages, 6 offered a Store where campaign items can be purchased, and 3 presented some kind of blog.

Most Interesting:

--Ron Paul’s site features a large inset box in which a counter works continuously before your eyes tallying gifts to his campaign. In addition, donors’ names and residences are listed as in Rex Rogers, Grand Rapids, MI. Both the dollar total and the names change rapidly. Eye-catching.

--Another Ron Paul distinction: his site includes a fairly lengthy Statement of Faith, like one might find on a preacher’s, author’s, or Christian college president’s website.

--President Obama’s site not only asks for volunteers to host events, the site lists numerous examples of the kinds of events a Vol can sponsor. Good seed-sowing. And, like 2008, the site is classy and well organized.

--Mitt Romney’s site uses a landing page, features more space as opposed to overwhelming text which makes the site more visually appealing, and creatively uses icons.

Most Uninteresting:

--Rick Perry’s site, Rick Santorum's website, and Jon Huntsman's site are for me least attractive. Rather basic and not visually exciting.

--Newt Gingrich’s website is text-heavy…which is to say, wordy. Surprised? So is the candidate.

Most Self-Promotion:

All candidates promote themselves, of course, but some candidates promote more than their political experience. Some promote their books.

--Michele Bachmann’s now suspended campaign website is basically selling her book.

--Newt Gingrich’s site features his wife in a section called “Callista’s Canvas.” Actually, Newt has a couple of sites marketing both his campaign and also his books and their company called Gingrich Productions. 

Most Kids:

--One interesting thing about this bunch of Republican presidential wannabes is the number of children the candidates have:

Michele Bachmann, 5 along with 23 foster kids;

Rick Santorum, 7;

Jon Huntsman, 7 including 2 adopted;

Mitt Romney, 5;

Ron Paul, 5;

Newt Gingrich 2;

Rick Perry, 2.

That’s a lot of kids. The Obamas have 2 girls.

Candidate videos telling their personal stories range, at least the ones I identified, from about 1:00 minute to well over 5:00 minutes.

So, when it’s said and done I give the website creativity prize to Ron Paul. Stands to reason, I guess. He is the maverick in this campaign.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2012

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