1st GregsList Guarantee

Seattle, July 15, 2015

I have been writing for over forty years, but have never written a political piece. Business writing and hockey dad stuff are for the most part non-controversial genres. This year is different. My heart feels compelled – deeply and passionately compelled – to shout out the alarming concern I have for my country, and the direction the government has been taking us for the past few decades.

This is an election cycle where I personally believe the apple cart of politics-as-usual will be upset to a level never conceived by the political correctness crowd, or the staunch proponents of today’s status quo.

I believe the apple cart rolling out the presidential election of 2016 will not only be upset – it will be tossed high in the air like a spinning political pizza.

Thanks to a candidate named Donald Trump.


1. He connects directly with the American voter
Donald Trump remembers Reagan Democrats. He also knows the founders of this particular country devised a unique form of government which allows the people, as individual voters, to “hire and fire” good or bad politicians every four years. No matter what the mainstream news media says, no matter what any academic or expert says, no matter what any shrill opponent says, Trump knows that the individual voter in America still has the power to control the political direction of the country. Kind of like cutting out the middle-man and shopping at a warehouse club.

2. He has single-issue power
Jobs. Illegal immigration. National debt. Defeating ISIS. Trump is so outspoken, and so confident in his business approach to these and other challenges (right or wrong) that he has the rare ability to earn votes on single issues. For example, he has said, “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Given his business acumen, this boast doesn’t appear to be a stretch, or just superficial political posturing. Regardless of party affiliation, past tendencies, or personal feelings towards him, many voters will simply say, “…and for that reason alone I will vote for Trump.” Single issue.

3. He is a uniter
To listen to the most vocal Trump opponents — including for the most part, the mainstream news media — one might think Donald Trump is perhaps the most divisive candidate in history. To believe his critics and opponents, one might also think he has absolutely no chance of winning the Republican nomination, much less the Presidency. The outlandishly contrarian position here is Mr. Trump is a uniter. When the votes are counted on November 8, 2016 it is my personal belief the numbers will indicate Donald Trump actually united us as Americans. The tally will confirm he united the Silent Majority; united the average workers of the country, including LEGAL immigrants; united voters who are fed up with politics as usual; united people who have had enough of political correctness; united the forgotten minorities who believe in capitalism and the American Dream; united women who believe Hillary Clinton and today’s feminist movement do not represent their views; united the military and its mission; and yes, united all of us who are simply frustrated with being silenced, minimized, disenfranchised, and shouted down during the last eight years.

4. His over-achieving family
Presidential families have been, and will be, forever scrutinized. Such is the nature of being in the public eye, and the gossipy nature of both many humans and today’s media. Anyone who has followed Trump over the years knows that he has always advocated a life of hard work and clean living to his family, and anyone else who will listen. He rails against alcohol, tobacco, and the use of drugs — the usual suspects of indulgence and under-achievement. In addition to health benefits, Trump believes if you are not shackled with time and energy-consuming bad habits, your time and energy can be focused upon more positive pursuits, such as work, family, hobbies or sports. Review the bios of his offspring, and even his critics and nepotism finger-pointers can agree the Trump family is indeed a hard working, highly successful family.

5. He’s thrives on criticism
Criticism allows Trump to engage his detractors publicly, which he loves the challenge of doing. In this Twitter Age, criticism (deserved or not) can go around the world instantly — you know, that “viral” thing. Trump, the consummate marketer, embraces the old adage that “any press is good press.” To stay in the news daily deprives competitors of the same airtime, a definitive strategy where opponents of both parties find it difficult to even be acknowledged, much less be heard. As importantly, with the evolution of social media and explosion of online conversations, this is a wholly unique era where the ordinary American can speak one’s mind publicly, free of censorship. There is the opportunity for real-time rebuttal to most news stories today, which is a secret weapon of the Donald Trumps, and other brand guys of the world. I have followed the online conversations from the beginning, and am still amazed at the support Donald Trump receives, especially with rebuttals to negative stories.

6. He is the only Republican who can take millions of votes from Hillary
As with Reagan Democrats, come election day, the rubber meets the road inside the American voting booth, where the secret ballot is the true voice of every American. If I were managing the Hillary Clinton campaign, I would not only be concerned about a Donald Trump presidential ticket — I would be petrified. One of the largest obstacles the average Republican has faced in recent years is the wildly successful demonization of their brand and beliefs by Democrats. Indeed, anyone who honestly believes the average Republican is filled with hate and bigotry, has simply embraced this Democrat marketing message. Unfortunately for Democratic strategists this time around, a savvy marketer like Trump will not be defeated by simple, broad-brush vitriol.

7. He is a New York businessman
Whether or not you love New York, it is the world’s business capital, and where Donald Trump cut his entrepreneurial teeth – not inside the Washington beltway. New York has more influence than the Pope, and more money than God. (That is a joke, folks). In the aftermath of September 11th, much of the civilized world became New Yorkers for a time. Whether you are a Trump lover or hater, he is New York and all it represents. There should be a photo of Donald Trump in the encyclopedia under the term, “Epitomizes New York; A true New Yorker; Spokesman and poster child for New York capitalism.” If any voter prefers a Washington outsider in this election cycle, where more appropriate a place to spawn a president who promises to run the country like a business.

8. He loves America and lives the American Dream
My favorite president was Ronald Reagan. I loved his patriotism. I loved his passion for America. I loved his optimism. Say what you will about the Reagan years, pro or con, it is clear that he passionately loved this country. Reagan reignited patriotism in the early 80s. That is, he led the bandwagon of patriotism and civic pride for an America that was reeling with self-doubt from the cynical 60s, and burnout from the yawning, depressing Carter years. With Donald Trump, some parallels to Reagan’s brand are remarkable, especially his direct appeal and connection to the average voter. Love him, hate him, laugh at his hair, scream at his loud mouth, there is one thing that is crystal clear: Donald Trump loves America. He is a New York capitalist – not a euro-internationalist – and not the least bit ashamed of it. Trump understands the 1776 Great American Experiment of individual freedom and capitalism can be swallowed up by socialistic internationalism and New Age revisionism in a heartbeat.

9. The Democrats now have a track record
Regardless of how the current administration’s record is spun by political operatives and media talking heads from the right or left, what is now tangible is eight years of performance by a Democratic President. The same applies to the Hillary Clinton years as a Democratic Secretary of State. Recalling Barack Obama as a campaigner in 2007, he had the benefit of no actual track record. Just like Governor George W. Bush in the late nineties. It is much easier to be a new, untested candidate, than one who has an eight year record to tout — or defend. One luxury Hillary Clinton may NOT have in this political cycle is a free pass from the media, should she proffer speculative, utopian plans, such as then candidate Obama touting he would quickly stabilize the Middle East and North Korea, and have a transparent administration.

He is ratings gold
Donald Trump gets ratings. He enjoys enormous name and brand recognition worldwide. Ratings mean attention, and attention means money. No matter how provocative, he is an interesting fellow, which of course is the bread-and-butter of media ratings. The very definition of “provocative” means one provokes. Whether or not anyone saw this coming, Mr. Trump’s candidacy, coupled with his controversial words and bombastic personal style, has provoked a spirited national conversation which, in the end, means ratings. If it comes down to a televised presidential debate, is there anyone who would not tune in to watch Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump? I’m thinking ratings on steroids.

© Copyright 2015 by Greg Meakin

Greg Meakin is a Seattle businessman and freelance writer. Email him at gregmeakin2020@gmail.com or visit his website at www.gregmeakin.com

Mayor Patty Lent

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Patty Lent was a two-term mayor for the City of Bremerton, Washington. Last November, in a photo-finish election, she passed the torch to a new mayor, Greg Wheeler.

I have known Patty for over fifteen years, long before she entered public office as a city mayor.  I wanted to take a moment here to thank her for the eight years she devoted so passionately to the citizens of Bremerton.

I reached out to Mayor Lent last week. During a long catch-up phone call, I welcomed her back to the private sector and invited her to be a Contributor to my new eMagazine.

She was enjoying a well-deserved sabbatical but is enthusiastic about returning,  rested and relaxed.

I look forward to Mayor Lent contributing her expertise and wisdom to the Politics section, and maybe even a few other categories of Secrets from the Inside.

I can’t wait to read Patty’s articles — I’ll bet she has a secret or two she can share.

How fun.






Jonathon Kneeland

Jonathon Kneeland is a conservative Canadian blogger. His political commentary essays have attracted hundreds of thousands of views, and generated spirited (if not emotional!) debate. I encourage readers who enjoy an intellectual read, and thought-provoking analysis, to follow Jonathon’s work. His website is newcenter.ca. and you can email him directly at jonathon@newcenter.ca.



WHY I CAME TO AMERICA …and what I think now

by Greg Meakin

When I was 12, I decided I would someday go to America.

Specifically, it was the awards ceremony of my 1971 junior football banquet. How weird is that? But let me explain.

In 1971, I played my third season of Canadian junior football. Americans call it Pop Warner football. I was very excited to play that season. I already had a few years of organized football under my belt, I had practiced all summer long, and it was my first year as a starting quarterback. Even my coach forecast a good year for me. After all, in a league where rookies are snot-nosed 10 year-olds, a kid who’s 12 is a wily veteran indeed.

My coach designed an offense around a running quarterback. Now commonplace at all levels of football, this approach was rare back then. What he did not plan for was his quarterback (or any quarterback really) shattering every offensive record in the league’s history.

And it wasn’t even close.

In a 6 game season I gained 1053 yard on 56 carries. That’s almost 20 yards every time I ran with the football. (Hard core football fans always do a double-take on those numbers!). The kid who came in second was a half-back and scooted for 850 yards on over 140 carries. At less than 7 yards per carry, he was a distant second in league rushing.

On the scoring side, I finished with over 120 points – 20 points a game. The same kid above scored 40 less points with almost three times the carries. Even in junior football, the numbers don’t lie. My season was a “Wayne Gretzky” year; a Secretariat win by 30 lengths.

I tell this story not to boast. After all, it was kid’s football. I tell this story only because of the awards banquet. Not unlike the NFL, junior football trophies were awarded to the league’s leading rusher, leading scorer and most valuable player. That evening, I was beginning to wear a path to the podium, accepting trophies for Leading Scorer, Leading Rusher, and Team MVP. These were nice awards, but the biggest of them all was the league’s Most Valuable Player Award. As the announcement began, all eyes in the room were on me in anticipation.

What happened next was more shocking than an American Idol upset. The league’s Most Valuable Player Award went to the other kid – the one who came in second in

everything. Duncan was a school buddy of mine and a great football player, but when walking up to the podium he looked over to me apologetically – embarrassed really. My coach, who was sitting beside me at my team’s table, whispered, “Don’t feel bad — they just didn’t want to give all the trophies to one kid.”

Even at the tender age of 12, I felt jilted. You mean they wanted to spread the trophies around so the other kids wouldn’t feel bad? But what if I deserved to win? What if I practiced harder, or worked harder, or studied my playbook harder in order to be the best that year? Wasn’t trying to be the best a good thing?

In looking back, I realize it was my first personal encounter with socialism.

To be continued…

Greg Meakin is an American / Canadian dual citizen who was raised in Montreal and now resides in Washington State.

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Political Buttons


…and Greg’s Political Button Game is born

Finally, a politician is catching up to me. I recently watched Senator Ted Cruz corner Fox’s Megyn Kelly on her political views, and personal party allegiance. It was awesome.

In case you missed it, Cruz implied Kelly was clearly not a liberal, based on her reporting, and she and other Fox News personalities have indeed voted in presidential primaries in the past.Cruz’ claim was that journalists were ideological voters too, regardless of the objectivity they feign in their lofty media role.

My mother was a teacher for forty years, and said that her younger students were often surprised to see her shopping at the grocery store. Those youngsters believed that all teachers lived at the school. Very cute, but also applicable to some media members who believe they never leave the microphone – they remain “above” regular citizens in a way.

In their minds, they are clearly smarter than regular people, and somehow anointed with the only correct vision for the issue of the day. Volumes of public record corroborate this claim of journalistic subjectivity.  

I like Megan Kelly a lot, but it was surprising and fun to see her speechless for a change, if only for a few seconds! How could she possibly say on camera that she personally votes Republican, and voted for George W. Bush twice? Cruz was subtly goading Kelly to come clean, and she did not answer his baiting. It was fun for me to watch, which shows how old I am getting.

I was waiting to hear her tell the senator she never bought into the War on Women against Romney, and voted R in 2012.   

(Megan Kelly’s political views are only speculation on my part of course, and I invite her to counter my opinion anytime!).

Decades ago, when experiencing my government of Quebec creeping up on my civil rights, and after observing the observers observe – that is, watching and critiquing the media itself – I figured out a sure-fire way to ensure objectivity in journalism.

I dreamed up a little game — the Political Button Game — and this election cycle would be a perfect time to play. Like any game, there are rules, and the rules must be followed by all media personalities who do the news or comment about politics – in print, on television, on the radio, online, smoke signals – all of ’em!

As you will see with the game, journalists would now be required to wear a political button. If a reporter or commentator does not vote, has not voted, or is ineligible to vote, they’re not allowed to wear a button. For a radio personality, it would now be required to disclose his or her button color upfront, and at sign-off — just in case the listener missed the beginning of the radio show!

If the reporter is an illegal immigrant, then his or her button is also a GPS – to assist immigration services in tracking them down for deportation.

Here’s how the Political Button Game works, and who qualifies:

RULE 1: A big button must be worn every minute a reporter or commentator is on camera: A red button with an R for Republican, a blue button for Democrat, and some shade of purple pastel for Libertarian voters. The letter chosen must reflect the actual past votes in previous elections, or how someone is planning to vote in 2016. According to polls, most people know who they are voting for already, and wear it on their sleeve anyway. With this full disclosure on the lapel rule, if anyone doesn’t like it, or thinks it’s un-american, they don’t have to vote! And, those folks are also free to move to another country that might work better for them! That freedom thing is so awesome that way.  

RULE 2: Undecided – or registered Independents – are excluded from having their own button. For once, they have to act like grown-ups and make a choice upfront. And if they have voted the same way for the past two elections or more, they must wear that letter. (See Rule 1).  

RULE 3: For this game, the L button is just a catch-all for Libertarians, Reformers, Independents, Greenies, and all other unelectable parties.

RULE 4: Ok, here it comes. Only U.S. Citizens who are eligible to vote may vote. It’s a new concept to many Boomers and younger liberals, but it’s surely what the founding fathers of our country would insist on. Even in 2015. Living legally. And, almost as surprising, valid photo I.D. is required in order to vote. Same requirement as signing your kids up for youth sports, renting a car, or buying a drink. Sorry, it’s a rule.

Four simple rules. Easy.  


The nice thing about the Political Buttons Game, is nothing changes in terms of the election itself. The only thing that changes is disclosure; those who feed us information and opinions must disclose upfront their political leaning and voting track record. This is a little bit like a politician having to disclose everything down to his or her bank account so that we know who we’re dealing with!

Whether or not the journalist is being objective, or tilted toward personal ideology, can at least be weighed and determined by the reader or listener. Those journalists or commentators who wear no button are not bad people, but we’re at least able to know they have no skin in the game. They’re just talking.

Now that Political Buttons must be worn, the playing field of spin, ideology, or personal bias should be much more level for the average voter like you and me. I can’t imagine the buttons not keeping everyone a smidge more honest and upfront, don’t you think?

And in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure, I will wear a button too — I am an ideological Libertarian, with a big R on my big red button.

How ’bout yours?

Of Hate and Lies and Other Happy Thoughts

Originally published July 2005, and rings so true in 2018!

Is it just me, or is there a lot of hate going on these days? Am I imagining it, or is the word lie being spoken today as frequently as other thoughtful three letter words, such as cat and dog?

Examples abound. Theory research can begin by simply skimming a local newspaper or eavesdropping on a heated conversation in the bagel joint down the street. And don’t even think about turning on a television or radio unless you want your notes to give you writer’s cramp.

Forget the usual suspects associated with the term hate, such as terrorists and organized groups. Forget repetitive national talking points accusing selected human targets of lies, lies, lies. I am addressing an evident tidal wave of unspoken acceptance for these pugilistic words and thoughts that seem to have found a place in the daily vocabulary and lives of everyday Americans.

Years ago, I was listening to an inspirational friend of mine who was discussing the word hate. In a matter-of-fact way, he said the word itself was unwelcome in his home, not unlike a trouble-making patron who had been permanently banned from a business establishment. He had taught his children that this was a “strong word,” with no place in any positive environment, especially the family home.

I quizzed him further about this household policy, and his elaboration was simply that when a word or concept is accepted in a home, it would likely become a permanent house guest.

This is obviously not a new idea. Most religions, ideologies and schools of thought address this hypothesis in some way, often attaching memorable labels and acronyms. Think Golden Rule, Karma, myriad positive thinking models, among others.

And what of this lie word. Although notorious in today’s sound bite driven political battles, this happy verb is springing up as the word du jour in many daily conversations. Forget salty political operatives here, we’re talking about regular folks — kitchen workers to Cub Scouts. I can hear it now:

Cub Leader: “Ok scouts, today we’ll be doing indoor activities as it is pouring rain outside.”

Cub Scout: “But yesterday you said we’d be playing soccer outside. Why did you lie?”

When the stars align a special way, and the golden opportunity presents itself, one can perform a double whammy of sorts on a fellow human being, such as the oh so eloquent, “Because you lied, I hate you.”

At times, I rationalize I’ve been following politics too closely of late. On other occasions, I figure I’m just becoming overly sensitive. But then, without notice, a reminder pops up, often from unexpected sources.

Anyone who has spoken at hot-topic public meetings, or dealt with certain groups or associations, or been roped into office politics can probably relate. How often does a public meeting turn into a hate fest; a youth association become a weapon of discontent; or an office setting morph into covert operations of smear?

And I am not talking about the Art of Debate, or even heated debate. Disagreement, fair and square, is a sign of mutual respect and can lay groundwork to conquer challenges through cooperation and pragmatism.

No, I’m referring to that certain look, those certain words, or a certain action, which might cause the recipient to wonder, “I understand our differences here, but what’s with the personal hate?”

A definition of the word hate on a psychology website, self-knowledge.com, reads:

“Strong aversion coupled with desire that evil should befall the person toward whom the feeling is directed.”

Bingo! That’s what I’m talking about. The desire that evil should befall the person perfectly describes that certain look mentioned above. Wishing evil upon anyone during the ordinary course of daily life certainly sounds hateful to me.

Again, we’re not discussing appropriate and accurate applications of the word, such as a terrorist’s hate for America, but rather the tepid hue of personal hate in more mundane circumstances. This might include a Little League parent spewing verbal venom at an umpire or a drive-thru customer going berserk because the fries were missing!

Anyone who has worked extensively with the public has undoubtedly gone home many a night feeling pretty beaten up. Typically, these tough days are simply part of today’s demanding customer service world. However, these same employees likely have a list in their heads – hopefully a short list – of those certain customers who went far beyond simple complaints or concerns. These hateful people and their antics are often permanently etched in the employee’s lifetime memories.

Test it out sometime. Ask anyone who has worked with the public if he or she has ever felt personally hated by a customer. And get ready for some graphic stories.

Any probing discussion, even one such as this which is completely unscientific, inevitably evolves into a search for reasons.

From the outset, it seems easier to tackle core issues behind today’s predominance of the word lie than the word and concept of hate.

In a word-dissection age of focus groups and hyper-advertising, lie is not a bad word at all. Especially in the political campaign arena – which is nothing more than sales; selling a candidate — it is a word that endeavors to bloody an opponent’s nose, thus making the candidate’s mug look prettier. It delivers the blow with deadly accuracy. Like a flash grenade, “My opponent lied” lands with a thud. It’s simple to understand. “You’re a damned liar” is pretty clear.

It also can be targeted to a broad, national audience, which is the ultimate goal of effective message peddling today. Reaching consumers, with lightning speed and en masse, is the name of the game when seeking to transact with voters and other retail buyers.

With today’s technology juggernaut, once a word is selected and accepted as an avant-garde word du jour — as lie has apparently become — it will be verbally and electronically rocketed around the world, invariably landing in the mouths of the greater populace, including kids.

Even if the application of the word stumbles into the area of complete inaccuracy, perhaps being void of premeditation as in the silly Cub Scout example mentioned earlier, it is selected over other words simply to get the intended result — a means to an end.

Reflecting on core reasons for this hate wave today – both the word and the action — is a deeper mystery to tackle. Inhumanity in any context deserves volumes, not paragraphs, as a few thousand years of published and unpublished writings will attest. Nonetheless, Mirriam-Webster defines the noun version of the word hate as:

“Intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.”

In this definition, a few prospective answers are presented. At first blush, it seems straightforward. In time, however, I get the feeling the derivatives proffered – especially fear and sense of injury — subtly hint that the word in question has much depth.

Not surprisingly, the dictionary does not treat the word lightly. So why should we?

And that’s really it. As the saying goes: A place for everything and everything in its place. Is there room for the word hate and lie in the world today? Sure. Terrorists and convicted perjurers definitely make the grade, respectively. Will media super-saturation or consumer-fatigue cause the words to lose traction, making them less visible someday? Hopefully.

Finally, will verbal and written word-choosers look in the mirror first – questioning their own fear, anger or sense of injury motivations — before launching hateful words and actions onto fellow human beings? Possibly, but don’t hold your breath. Too often, trendy words exit with much more hesitation than their lavish arrival on the stage. Take the word groovy, for example!

Regardless, it does not mean we can’t stand on guard and be aware of the lie word and hate phenomenon. After all, they are discussed together here because they are akin to kissing cousins; from common roots, they often flirt with one another and appear very comfortable when working together.

And it does not mean we have to buy into this or any other in-vogue trend and become a messenger, a pawn, wittingly or unwittingly. The good news is we are free as a people to simply ignore.

The act of truly respecting our English language – as well as our fellow Man — can only lead to good, can’t it?

In our homes, in our offices – and in our thoughts — all that is required, really, is to choose our words carefully.


Greg Meakin
July 2005


Dueling Citizens


My reasoning is below, and I will simply go all in with my original GregsList prediction: Donald Trump will be reelected. 

And by all in, I mean ALL IN. The election is over, according to Democrats and the media, but I will stick with my Trump pick. And I have no problem being wrong. 

I reason my prediction as follows:

1. If not for the pending litigation by Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, I would encourage President Trump to concede after December 14th certification day, and work towards transition. You don’t overturn elections by onesey-twosey lawsuits, but both Parties have until December 14th to dispute anything they want.  

2. The Supreme Court will not entertain any frivolous case. However, should Ms. Powell and Mr. Wood present a case which, for example, identifies millions of disenfranchised votes for the president, it would be the Court’s duty to citizens to consider the case. The numbers I am hearing are 3-million and up. The election would likely be awarded to Trump —  and yes, all hell would break loose!

3.   At this moment, I would wage odds around 85-90% Biden, and 10-15% tops for the president — a long shot by all measures. (I’ve already got a bit of Trump long shot money with a few of my Biden friends).

4. But this is how movies end. This is how heroes become heroes. They are the complete underdog — if not in deep doo doo — and overcome to win in the end. IF the president is reelected against all odds, it falls into the miracle category required for great stories. And I always believe in the underdog.

5. As a side note, I pray this election mess never happens again. I hope both sides agree to fix the system before 2024. I will be writing a piece soon about privatizing elections, a la Federal Express partnership, but that’s for another day. 


American vs. Canadian

Quick link here to an American version political commentary, to a Canadian edited one. The Toronto Sun, a online and hard copy publication, recently published the second version of this Bill Cosby story. Just wanted people’s opinion of which they preferred — the American version, or Canadian…

And fun, this is the first Politics story that features my son Carson’s artwork.

Evil Bell-Hop, by Carson Meakin. So cool.