Who wasn’t shocked at the results of the 26th State Assembly District race?
Just as shocking, but not as well known, were the results of Tulare County Supervisor District 4 race that stretches from Dinuba to Woodlake.
But then again who wasn’t shocked when President Trump was elected?
In the assembly race, incumbent Devon Mathis was expected to lose by at least a few points and maybe even come in third.
As for the supervisor’s race, successful business man and Vice Mayor of Dinuba, Kuldip Thusu, was expected to win the seat outright without the need for a run off in November.
But in both races the underdog won. Little known candidate Eddie Valero won outright at 54%, for supervisor, and beaten-to-a-pulp Mathis came in first in the assembly race out of four viable candidates.
For the assembly race, Visalia Mayor Warren Gubler was the odds-on favorite to come in first and proceed to the November primary, probably against Mr. Mathis, but maybe even against Tulare City Council member Jose Sigala.
Not only was Mr. Gubler expected to come in first, but many felt as though Mr. Mathis would not even make it through the primary.
After a month of debating with myself, what I missed when predicting that Mr. Gubler would win – I realized I hadn’t missed anything at all.
In New York’s 14th Congressional District, a 28-yea- old woman of Puerto Rican decent, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, beat 10-term incumbent Representative Joseph Crowley in the Primary. Mr. Crowley was the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House and considered a possible replacement for Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’ victory sent shock waves through the Democrat Party and was reminiscent of when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost his Republican primary to an unknown tea-partier in 2014.
In a campaign video that went viral, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said in the very last line, “It’s time for one of us.”
And that is why Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Mr. Mathis, and Mr. Valero won their races. It even explains Jose Sigala’s surprising, and decisive victory against well-liked incumbent Shea Gowin in their Tulare City Council district 1 race in 2016.
The “one of us” maxim is also why Tulare City Council member Carlton Jones will never be recalled. The constituents didn’t care about Mr. Mathis’ reputation of harassing women, or Mr. Trump’s sexual predation, and the district does care about Mr. Jones’ documented abuse of women.
I did not predict that Mr. Mathis would win the primary, but I did lay down the groundwork for how Mr. Mathis could. I said that Mr. Gubler was the establishment’s dream candidate, while Mr. Mathis was the face of America and “will get the vote of every person out there who feels just a little ignored.”
Mr. Mathis was, and still is, spurned by the Republican establishment and his life could be described as messy. But few people in Tulare County haven’t found their lives in a mess and Mr. Mathis resonates with them
Also, constituents made it clear in the 2016 presidential election that they don’t want the “establishment candidate.”
Mr. Mathis’ victory has much wider implications than just his seat in Sacramento.
Jack Langer, Congressman Devin Nunes’ Press Secretary, said that Mr. Cantor’s loss in 2014 put everyone on notice. No Republican was taking their primaries for granted anymore because no one wanted to get “Cantored.”
For this election, Democrat Congressional Candidate Andrew Janz has no chance against Mr. Nunes this November.
But a Republican would.
It’s been the worst kept secret that Mr. Mathis has had his sights on the 22nd Congressional seat since before he knew his way around the assembly.
Mr. Mathis was once again reprimanded for sexual harassment in June by the Assembly Rules Committee. In contrast, Mr. Nunes, just like Mr. Gubler, appears to be a faithful husband and doting father who behaves with decorum around women.
But despite his many issues with women, Mr. Mathis won the primary. So it’s pretty obvious locals do not care.
We live in a different world. Is Mr. Langer still paying attention?
What would happen if Mr. Mathis challenged Mr. Nunes in 2020? Mr. Mathis is “one of us,” while Mr. Nunes won’t talk to us.
Could Mr. Nunes get Cantored?
America Needs its Republicans
A few months ago my daughter’s boyfriend, Brendon, left the Republican Party to register as an independent. This has been a national trend. Several high-profile Republicans, including columnist George Will and cable talk show host Joe Scarborough, have also left the Republican Party.
Just recently, die-hard Republican Steve Schmidt, Senator John McCain’s former campaign manager for president, publicly renounced his membership in the Republican Party in a Twitter post saying, “it is now fully the party of Trump.”
Another columnist, Max Boot, wrote why he re-registered as an Independent after being a lifetime Republican. “I can no longer support a party that doesn’t know what it stands for–and that in fact may stand for positions that I find repugnant.”
Mr. Boot added that he and other former Republicans are rooting for a Democratic victory this November because, “just like post-war Germany or Japan, the Republican Party must first be destroyed before it can be rebuilt.”
But why would devoted Republicans leave the party because of Mr. Trump, who isn’t even a Republican and never has been? He is just an old cranky man who was a Democrat and changed parties only so he could become president.
When I pointed this out to Brendon he said, “I know Trump is not really Republican. It’s because of the rest of the Republicans that follow him.”
We only have two political parties, and Trumplican is not one of them.
America needs a strong Republican Party to counter a strong Democratic Party and to stand up for their core beliefs, like small government, lowering the deficit, and real family values.
Fred Rogers, of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, was a lifelong Republican. Do you think he would have quit the party? He said that the world has changed on the outside for children but that they are the same on the inside.
I believe the same is true for Republicans. Despite what is happening now on the outside, Republicans are still the same on the inside.
So stay and fight for your party.
Let’s Talk about Abortion
Given the fact that abortion might be illegal relatively soon I thought it was an opportune time to debate the weighty issue of when life begins.
There are those who believe that life begins at conception, and those who think life begins at birth, and those wise enough to know that no one knows.
So when does life begin? When the heart starts beating? When the baby takes its first breath?
Kay Packard, of the Hand Analysis Institute, says that a child gets its fingerprints at five months in utero and they can be used as a spiritual map, of sorts, for the rest of their life.
Is that when the soul enters the body?
I know when a soul leaves the body.
I hate to compare my son Alex to his dog Roo, or our family cat, Panther, but they all passed within 18 months of each other. And I believe all life has a soul. I was there when each one took their last breath and it was amazing how fast their bodies turned into nothing more than organic material.
The same must be true of a fetuses or a baby. At some point they transform from organic material to life. But when?
For this and other reasons I don’t know if abortion is right, moral or a sin, but I do know that it should be legal for those who need or want one.
The babies who grew inside of me had the same sacred soul as the soldier fighting on the battlefield. Their lives were just a valuable as the wrongfully convicted man on death row. They even had the same sacred soul as the guilty man convicted of murder facing the executioner.
So what is the difference between capital punishment, going to war, or having an abortion?
Pro-lifers will say “but a baby’s soul is innocent.”
All those men facing the executioner were at one time innocent souls growing inside their mother’s bellies. And if my children, or anyone’s children, had had the crap beaten out of them day after day, or were severely neglected they might be murders also.
As pro-lifers might be want to remember, there but for the grace of God go I.
In the midst of the MeToo movement discrimination against women in the United States is indisputable. And when you are pregnant it is 100 times worse. “The sanctity of motherhood” is bunch of bull.
As a mother of five I can’t say where I land on the debate of whether or not a woman should bear children. It is a huge sacrifice, in all aspects of the word, and not supported by our government. The misogyny experienced by pregnant women at work, or by an abusive husband, or a country that takes sadistic advantage of those most vulnerable, makes it a hard sale for me to say every woman should have children, or that women must carry every pregnancy to term.
If the United States wants to lower the number of abortions, then feed all the children. House all the families, and provide healthcare for everyone. Throw in college and it will make moms and dads reconsider having an abortion who already have children they want to send to college.
Is it a sin to have an abortion? Does the doctor who administers the drugs to an inmate on death row go to hell? Is the drone pilot directing bombs to destroy an occupied building, killing all those inside, dammed for eternity?
Can we expect 350 million Americans to agree on these issues, or should we just leave it up to the individual?
I do know some things for sure: There is a reason why middle aged women can’t naturally get pregnant, because they would go to work and shoot their misogynist bosses, no one knows when life begins except God, and if all the miscarried and aborted babies are waiting for us moms when we get to heaven, then good, because it will be a lot easier raising them there than in the United States.