Vail Daily column: Random thoughts on politics, the military and more |

Vail Daily column: Random thoughts on politics, the military and more

Butch Mazzuca
Butch Mazzuca |

• Living in America is a privilege, and for nearly 250 years, people have come here to become Americans. At the same time, a significant part of the social contract to become a citizen is to assimilate into the American culture, learn English and pledge allegiance to our constitutional framework. Those who are unwilling to fulfill that obligation shouldn’t be here.

• In politics, the only people who should make decisions are those who will actually pay a price when they’re wrong.

• If members of Congress had been forced to use Obamacare without the generous subsidies embedded in the Affordable Care Act legislation then this abomination would have been repealed and replaced long ago.

• The military prohibits people from entering the armed forces for a variety of reasons, i.e., health, physical appearance, education, etc. In fact, 71 percent of Americans aged 17-to-24 don’t qualify for military service because of that screening. The same Pentagon report also cited that 1 percent of that demographic are both physically qualified and have a legitimate interest in serving. So to be clear, the only criteria that should be used to determine whether or not transgender individuals should serve in the U.S. military are those that measure combat readiness and effectiveness.

• Straight news doesn’t drive TV ratings or web traffic — controversy and scandal do that. Consequently, commentary and news reporting are now so badly blurred that it’s almost impossible to get at the facts in political matters. Far too much of what we read and hear from a left-leaning media is little more than thinly disguised opinion pieces — scandal sells.

• If you’ve examined the pros and cons of Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) and David Perdue’s (R-Georgia) proposed legislation regarding the RAISE Act (Reforming American Immigration for Strong Economy), then you understand this common sense bill does more to recognize the fact that it’s the American people who are the real stakeholders in our immigration system than any proposition yet presented. The proposed plan mimics the merit-based systems used by Australia and Canada.

It’s also interesting to note that before Donald Trump endorsed this merit-based system, the left loved the idea of putting in place such an immigration protocol. They agreed that factors such as age, educational background, skill sets, level of expertise, prior achievements and the ability to invest in their own entrepreneurial business and not just the ability to speak English were commonsense criteria for culling applicants who want to immigrate here. But for some inexplicable reason, ever since the president endorsed this legislation it’s become racist to want to exercise a modicum of control about who immigrates into this country.

• Regardless of any humanitarian reason, the fact remains that sanctuary policies espoused by progressives are in violation of immigration laws that have been enacted by Congress. While some proffer specious rationalizations (people here illegally do work Americans won’t, they pay taxes, blah, blah, blah) there is no gray area — one either follows the law or one doesn’t — and unless the law is changed, other arguments are specious.

• Patriotism is more than a “Proud to be an American” bumper sticker or waving a flag on the Fourth of July. A true patriot supports his country — and outside of direct combat, the greatest support a person can offer his country is to become informed on the issues — and that means getting one’s news from sources that make a legitimate attempt to report on it in a fair and unbiased manner.

Quote of the day: “In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.” —Francis Bacon

Butch Mazzuca, of Edwards, writes regularly for the Vail Daily. He can be reached at

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