David Coughlin

Dave Coughlin recently retired from IBM after 31 years. He is now a political pundit who manages his web site "Return to Common Sense" and is an active member of the White Plains Tea Party. He was educated at West Point (Bachelor of Science, 1971) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (Masters, Administrative Science, 1976). He currently resides with his wife in Hawthorne, NY.

Most Recent Articles by David Coughlin:

Dummies Guide to Election Issues - 2016

Oct 27, 2016 — David Coughlin

Since the Presidential candidates won’t cover the issues and the debates won’t cover the issues, here is a one page “Dummies Guide to Election Issues for 2016”

Conservatives and liberals think differently

Jun 15, 2015 — David Coughlin

Why can’t conservatives communicate with liberals? Why can’t the Right communicate with the Left? Why can’t Republicans communicate with the Democrats? Are these two sides of the same coin?  It is said that conservatives always see the glass half full, choosing to focus on the positives, while liberals see half empty, focusing on the negatives, but that doesn’t explain all the differences.  Political philosophies tend to gravitate toward different assumptions, starting points, and approaches on most topics.  Keep in mind that this view looks at the two competing philosophies, not individuals who rarely conform exactly.

Why I could never be a liberal

Jun 11, 2015 — David Coughlin

I feel sorry for liberals! They always seem so unhappy – angry even. They never seem satisfied with anything. The glass is always half empty, never half full.  Their unhappiness is compounded by a lack of any idea what to do to make it any better. They seem clueless, not understanding why things happen and what causes things to happen.

Enough is Enough, It’s Time to Downsize the Federal Government

Mar 30, 2015 — David Coughlin

The size of the federal government has exploded over the last century.  The legislative and judicial branches of government have grown to serve the increased number of states and its growing population.  The size and scope of the executive branch has grown to reflect an expanded role of the federal government over the last 100 years.

Proud to be an American

Mar 22, 2015 — David Coughlin

I am proud to be an American, and proud of this nation’s history, culture, and accomplishments! America is a melting pot of immigrants who brought rich heritages to our shores, became immersed in American culture, and worked hard to achieve the American Dream.

Liberals are trapped in Bizarro-land

May 14, 2014 — David Coughlin

Our liberal progressive brethren inhabit a parallel universe where they see and hear things that do not exist and are unable to see and hear reality like the rest of us do.  Their political thinking is trapped in an alternative reality where they believe their superior intellect allows them to understand others’ motives and actions better than they themselves.

Republicans—show us the way

Aug 22, 2013 — David Coughlin

Obama has given us slow economic growth, overwhelming debt, high unemployment, and a record of disrespect from countries across the globe. Democrats sputter from one distraction to another, never staying long enough to accomplish anything or to be held accountable for any results.

Declare Victory in the War on Inequality

Aug 20, 2013 — David Coughlin

There is no doubt that our great nation’s formation reflected the cultural norms of the late eighteenth century with its sexual and race based biases.  These cultural inequities were addressed after years of debate, a bloody civil war, and the passage of a number of Constitutional Amendments.

Voters need some skin in the game

Jun 12, 2013 — David Coughlin

Voting in the United States is a privilege and a right of all citizens.  Strangely enough, this “right to vote” is not explicitly stated in the Constitution.  Six constitutional amendments were passed to guarantee voting rights to different groups of citizens.  The Constitution leaves the determination of voting qualifications to the individual states.  Over the last 40 years, voter turnout has been steadily declining.

It will take a burning platform before people will change

Jun 4, 2013 — David Coughlin

Authors James Bennett and Michael Lotus described in their book America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century, how America’s growth is marked by periods of calm and periods of transition. America (1.0) was originally created based on small farmers, Yankee ingenuity, and almost nonexistent national government that prevailed for the first century of our nation’s existence.

Republicans must embrace big, bold ideas that reflect conservative principles

Apr 10, 2013 — David Coughlin

Republicans and conservatives in particular, base their beliefs on the strict interpretation of the Constitution with limited government, free market capitalism and a strong defense. Unfortunately the policies and legislation created by the GOP does not align with the originalist rhetoric. Republicans have found out that it is easier to “talk the talk” than actually “walk the walk.” Consequently Republicans have been accused of becoming Democrat-lite with one-off proposals. If conservatives want to differentiate themselves from liberals, then they must create big, bold ideas for change that align clearly with the underlying conservative principles.

Republicans need to change the way they think

Apr 1, 2013 — David Coughlin

Republicans suffer from many problems, as their most recent election “autopsy” reported, but the biggest problem is they let the Democrats define them in the public’s mind.  First, Republicans must rebrand themselves as the party of growth and prosperity.  Second, they must learn to treat Americans as a continuum of people progressing in their quest to achieve the American Dream.  Third, Republicans must define themselves as the party of the middle class, as they serve the changing wants and needs of all American as they strive for success and prosperity.  There must be a clear vision and strategy that links individualism, hard work, and persistence with creation of personal wealth and prosperity, and one that mainstream Americans can understand and embrace as a solution to their problems.  The bottom line is that many of their problems will require Republicans to change the way they think, and reconnect with mainstream Americans.

Respect the office, not necessarily the man

Mar 6, 2013 — David Coughlin

The President of the United States is elected as America’s leader and represents the nation to other countries abroad. The specific roles and responsibilities of the President are clearly laid out in Article II of the U.S. Constitution. The office of President has a great deal of legitimate power and associated respect.

Change the narrative if Republicans ever want to win an election again

Dec 4, 2012 — David Coughlin

Republicans have lost their way in the political arena, out-marketed by Democrats who better understand what sells to the American voter. Democrat’s key to success was to divide the country loosely into a collective of voting blocks and target their message to each group, a reverse of E pluribus, unum.

Democrats Stole the Election

Nov 27, 2012 — David Coughlin

The electoral fraud evidence is accumulating to the point where I must conclude that the November election was stolen by the Democrats.  In the months leading up to the election, report after report surfaced highlighting significant erosion of support for President Obama.

It is not too early for conservatives…

Nov 9, 2012 — David Coughlin

The Republican Party lost the 2012 election while the conservatives watched from the sidelines. Republican moderates losing elections has become an all too common occurrence even though conservatives are the base of the Republican Party. It is not too early for the conservatives to start work to take back the Party and the country.

I am embarrassed to be an American today

Nov 7, 2012 — David Coughlin

Barack Obama is not my President, not by a long shot, but unfortunately he is the President of my country.  I am embarrassed to be an American today where so many people are oblivious to the damage being done to the fabric of our country and who voted for four more years of his destruction.

If we want smaller government, drastic action may be required

Jul 26, 2012 — David Coughlin

Our Constitution documents how we “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity…”  Recognizing that the Constitution was open-ended, the 10th Amendment clarified the limits of federal power “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Presidential election choice is suboptimal, as usual

May 31, 2012 — David Coughlin

Election choices are so poor that I am not surprised so few Americans even bother to vote each November. Democrats are so disappointing as they continue to chip away at our underlying American culture and values in pursuit of their socialist nirvana. Republicans are also disappointing since they talk a good game but, when push comes to shove, they too incrementally expand government but at a slower pace.

Congress: Fix it or start over

Mar 7, 2012 — David Coughlin

To say that Americans have lost confidence in Congress is a huge understatement.  Congress approval ratings of 12% are at all time lows, with disapproval ratings of 84% at all time highs, while 56% of Americans surveyed thought replacing everyone in Congress and starting over was the best alternative!