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The Fear of Accountability

“If you’re 25 and you’re not a liberal, you have no heart. If you’re 35 and not a conservative, you have no brain.”

In a world where accountability is becoming increasingly more obsolete, it is far from surprising that people are more outraged by harsh words than they are heinous actions. More likely than not, at one point in your life or another, your parents uttered to you the age old adage, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” So my question to you is, when did this change? At what point did we begin to care more about the things people said to us rather than what they did to us? If I say I’d like to punch someone square in the mouth and the person next to me actually throws a punch in silence, who should be held accountable? Should I? Or should they? Now, why can’t we apply this simple logic to what is going on in our country today?

I’m not going to sit here and act like I’ve never been hurt or offended by someone’s words before, because I have—everyone has. The difference, however, is the ability to see the bigger picture. I’ll give it to you, if you are on any form of social media today, it is extremely difficult to take a step back and see the big picture. Things get so petty and so twisted as a result of the convenience and ease of the Internet; I am constantly guilty of this. Nevertheless, we have to start taking a step back and examining what really matters for the good of the country rather than winning a pointless argument on a Facebook post. What is the most important issue facing us right now? Is it national security or is it political correctness? Is it immigration or is it political correctness? Is it the economy or is it political correctness? Is it health care or political correctness? Is it ISIS or political correctness? See my point?

I, for the longest time, couldn’t figure out why people opposed Trump so strongly. Yes, I understand, he’s hurt a lot of people’s feelings. But I cannot help but believe that it goes beyond that. I think it comes down to idea of accountability. In the society we live in today, accountability is vanishing faster than a Clinton e-mail. Today, if we don’t want to do something, more likely than not, we don’t have to. People are petrified at the thought of being held accountable for anything and I believe that Donald Trump personifies accountability, which is the antithesis of who we have now and who we’ll have if Hillary wins.

In Obama’s America if you don’t want to work and contribute to society, you don’t have to—you’re not held accountable. In Obama’s America, if a county wants to take advantage of our country and pay nothing for our trade, services, our protection, they can—they’re not held accountable. In Obama’s America, if you want to go out and have sex with whoever you want and you don’t want to have a child, you don’t have to—you’re not held accountable. In Obama’s America, if an immigrant wants to come and live here illegally and take advantage of our education, our healthcare, and our social programs, they can—they’re not held accountable. If a radical Islamic terrorist, practicing a 9th or 10th century form of Islam, want to come here and declare Jihad on our soil, take the lives and sense of security of our citizens, they can—they’re not held accountable so long as they do so in the name of Allah. In Donald Trump’s America, these things will not be so. In Donald Trump’s America, we will be accountable, each and every one of us.

For those of you who are on the fence and are leaning away from Trump because the GOP establishment are distancing themselves from him, remember this: Neither John McCain, nor Paul Ryan, nor Glenn Beck, nor John Kasich got Donald Trump to where he is today. If they had been doing their jobs then not only would there have been no need for Donald Trump to run, but there would have been no way for him to have gotten this far. The establishment is comprised of politicians who are afraid of being held accountable themselves. Donald Trump has them scared to death. What scares them? Accountability. These politicians are wolves in sheep’s clothing and Donald Trump is dangerously close to exposing them for what they are and they are running scared.

We live in a country that invalidates and belittles the importance of a strong male role. Turn on a television at anytime of the day and see how every show or sitcom portrays the father as dumb and incompetent, so much so that it is pouring over into our societal expectations. A society that can no longer recognize the fact that as a leader, Donald Trump is much like a strong and stern father who expects and demands the most of his children, not because he hates them but because he loves them. The worst parents are the ones who let their children run rampant and give them whatever they want, whenever they want it. The best parents say and do the things that their children don’t necessarily like at the time, but are thankful for in the long run—they hold them accountable. A demagogue like Hillary Clinton will, without a doubt, be the nail in the coffin for this country. This November, vote for the long term, for the bigger picture. Vote for accountability, not for what has been disguised to you as cool or accepting or progressive, in order to make you feel good in the moment.

Obama Executive Order Lifts Iran Sanctions: Tweet #StatesCanSueObama!

Sunday, October 18, 2015,  President Obama signed an executive order initiating the start of the Iran nuclear pact under the JCPOA. In the bureaucratic argot it was  the Adoption Day, the 90th day following  Finalization Day, the unanimous  endorsement of the JCPOA  by the UN Security Council on July 20th. Sixty days hence on Compliance Day, December 15, 2015, if the UN watchdog agency the IAEA files a report on Iran’s prior military developments with findings, then upwards of $100 billion in funds sequestered under international and U.S. sanctions might be released. That’s a big if.

Congress, as we have written has been thwarted in its attempt to reject the pact by a Democrat Senate minority vote in September. Further, even if the Republican majority brought a resolution to bring a suit against the President’s  violations of several Iran sanctions law and the lack of complete information on negotiations and side agreements under Corker Cardin, it would fail to pass as it lacks a super majority.  That is why it is up to the more than 27 members of the Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) led by Florida’s AG Pam Bondi to consider bringing a cause of action in a favorable Federal District Court.  To that end today we sent each one of the RAGA Members the following tweet: #StatesCanSueObama!

We know that some of the  RAGA members expressed concern in late August 2015 urging their colleagues to push for sanctions.Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe and State AG Scott Pruitt co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, “Let States Do the Job Obama Won’t: Sanction Iran”:

President Obama’s executive agreement with Iran is enormously controversial for good reason. Negotiated in coordination with Russia, China, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the deal welcomes Iran as a participant in the world community conditioned only on marginal changes to its nuclear program. It effectively allows Iran to maintain technology that would lead to a nuclear weapon, as well as continue its human-rights abuses, sponsoring of terrorism, imprisoning of American hostages, and threats to American allies, including Israel.

Fortunately, the U.S. states have the power to limit these threats, if they all choose to use it.

To date, 25 states have enacted such sanctions against Iran. This is pursuant to the explicit authorization for such sanctions contained in the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010.  Congress found “that the United States should support the decision of any State or local government that for moral, prudential, or reputational reasons divests from, or prohibits the investment of assets of the State or local government in” Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed during July 28th congressional testimony that President Obama’s deal does not affect the states’ ability to impose sanctions on Iran. However, he  said that the administration “will take steps to urge [the states] not to interfere,” because President Obama had, as part of the deal, agreed to “actively encourage” the states to drop their sanctions.

We urge states to do exactly the opposite. Rather than drop their sanctions against Iran, states should strengthen and expand those sanctions.

On  August 31st, Oklahoma AG Pruitt and Michigan AG Bill Schuette sent a letter to all 50 states urging them to impose state-based sanctions against Iran.

On September 8th, 2015 14 Republican  Governors signed a letter drawing attention to the States’ authority under the 2010 Comprehensive Iran Sanctions Federal  law  to enact sanctions as we noted in our October 2015 article, “Can States Prevent the Release of Iran Sanctions Through Federal Litigation?”

As of yesterday, with the President’s  signing  an executive order adopting the JCPOA, there may be a race by some members of RAGA to also consider bringing a suit to  block release of sequestered funds that may likely be devoted to the continued  support of global terrorism and development of ballistic missile technology . The latter for the express purpose of deploying a nuclear weapon against  US interest and allies in the Middle East, especially Israel. Just a few days before the President’s action on Adoption Day,  Iran announced a successful test of the Emad guided missile with sufficient range , 1,700 kilometers,  in violation of both  the  2010 UN Security Council Resolution 1929  and Resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA.

Noted Constitutional Lawyer David B. Rivkin, Jr. of the Washington, D.C. office of  the law firm of Baker Hostetler, has successfully brought actions on behalf of  the US House of Representatives in Federal  court on separation of powers grounds. He has presented arguments that the  states have standing to bring a suit to block release of sanctions.  In a discussion of this and other options in our October NER article he argued:

The states that are interested in pursuing this can certainly go forward in part, because of the viability of state-level sanctions and a number of states have put forward sanctions of their own.

A number of Attorney Generals and Governors can. They should and will be interested in this and you don’t need many states. You can have a couple of states doing that. However, they have to have a very carefully thought out sanctions package in place and they have to put it forward under state law. Then they can take the position that the legality of a sanctions package depends upon what is the federal government’s policy toward Iran.

By the way you don’t even need state legislatures. A number of states have Constitutions that allow governors to pass sanctions by executive order. They don’t even need to pass it as legislation. It is a question of individual state Constitutions. It could be done in a matter of weeks if you had governors who were interested in it.

The Dallas team of the National Security Task Force of America  (NSTFA) undertook a grass roots action. They tweeted Texas Governor Abbott and Attorney General  Paxton and 125 Texas legislators urging them to join with other states in bringing a suit that might prevent release of sequestered funds under various federal  Iran sanctions laws.  We believe that exemplary model developed by the Dallas  NSTFA team  might be followed in many of the states whose Governors signed the September 8th letter to President Obama. That is why we took the initiative today of tweeting the members of the Republican Attorney Generals Association led by Florida AG Pam Bondi.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.