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Inside Trump’s Meeting With House Republicans

Former President Donald Trump gathered Thursday morning with House Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club to talk politics and strategy just five months out from the election, according to lawmakers in the room who spoke with the Caller.

Trump was greeted by House Republicans singing him Happy Birthday one day before he turns 78 years old, and was gifted the game ball from the Republicans’ 31-11 victory in Wednesday’s Congressional Baseball Game before he spoke.

Trump joked that the performance of the Democrats’ outfield in the game was a bigger help to Republicans than anything they could have done themselves.

During Trump’s remarks, he mentioned The Washington Post’s readership being down 50 percent, and was met by cheers.

Trump then mentioned that he plans on doing 100 tele town halls for House candidates, and called the tele town halls a “secret weapon,” according to a source familiar in the room.

At one point during the discussion, Trump took a shot at political operative Jeff Roe, saying Roe does surgery on candidate’s wallets. Roe backed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ primary bid against Trump and was widely criticized for racking up big dollars without delivering positive results.

The former president also made an interesting remark about former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Trump claimed that Pelosi’s daughter told him the two would’ve made a good pair had they not been involved in politics, but Trump joked that he thinks Pelosi is much older than he is. The California Democrat is 84.

Trump then took a jab at those who voted to impeach him, saying all but one had been removed from office. The source told the Caller that Trump was forgetting about Washington Rep. Dan Newhouse.

The 2024 frontrunner also told House Republicans that tariffs will be a top priority.

Trump weighed in on the changes to the Republican National Committee (RNC), saying Michael Whatley and Lara Trump have totally transformed the RNC, and noted that he chose Whatley because of his performance as NCGOP Chair.

Since the changes, the RNC and the Trump campaign have seen their best fundraising success of the cycle so far, shattering their own donation website following Trump’s conviction in Manhattan.

After his remarks, Trump took questions from the lawmakers, many of whom just thanked and praised him.Trump will now meet with Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

(This is a developing story. More information will be added as it becomes available.)

AUTHOR

HENRY RODGERS

Chief national correspondent.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

PERKINS: An Open Letter to the Republican Party

The stresses on America both internationally and domestically are immense. We face the brute reality of war in Ukraine, which could easily spill into a NATO country. The Middle East is more volatile than at any time since the founding of Israel 76 years ago. There are grim warnings from some people of civil war here at home as the cancel culture seeks to silence and even eradicate voices with which they disagree. Political invective has become personal and ugly — even among friends.

These challenges we face have been entrusted to us, this generation, by God. We have no reason to fear the difficulties we face because as 2 Timothy 1:7 says “… God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

While there are many things that deserve Americans’ attention, there is one topic that many political leaders are doing verbal gymnastics to avoid talking about. It’s an debate that has been, is, and will be a defining issue for our nation.

Two years ago next month, the Supreme Court reversed the calamitous 1973 abortion rulings that led to the taking of nearly 64 million lives. But what should have been the fulfillment of decades of effort to heal a blot on the Constitution and our national conscience has become a flashpoint of conflict. In the past 23 months, tens of thousands of infants have been saved in pro-life states — but perhaps two million more have been lost as the Biden administration and the abortion industry have combined to end all pretense that abortion is about health care and begun promoting do-it-yourself abortions by mail.

The Dobbs decision has given America a second chance. An opportunity to repent. The times call for a new campaign for life, but instead, we see sign after sign of a retreat among our fellow Republicans on this defining issue. And now, there are rumors and reports of an organized campaign to weaken or remove altogether from the GOP Platform language that insists every boy or girl in the womb has a right to life. Having written a large portion of the last two Republican Platforms and elected to the upcoming platform committee, I am involved in those conversations, and I am hopeful we will end in the right place.

But I want to be clear: The right to life transcends other political debates and the interests of any and all political parties and candidates. It is truly the right without which no other right has any meaning.

In his last speech before his death on April 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln said, “Important principles may and must be inflexible.”

Please don’t mistake my words as partisan. Advocates for the sanctity of human life want all political parties to embrace what our Founders declared as the first among the rights with which we are endowed by our Creator. On this, we are and must be inflexible.

It’s time for us to reflect on what one political party did right — and now risks getting completely wrong. And it is fitting to go back to the very beginning of the Grand Old Party nearly 170 years ago to understand the stakes that loom today.

All of us are familiar with the high drama of the mid-19th century, the turmoil that would divide a nation. The focus of the debate was not at first slavery itself but the extension of slavery into the territories of a rapidly expanding nation. The times compelled America’s representatives to take a stand. Many did so at odds with the political parties that brought them to office.

One of them, Pennsylvania Congressman David Wilmot, was first elected as a Democrat in 1844. Two years later, he stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and offered what became known as the Wilmot Proviso. The Proviso set the condition that no addition to U.S. territory resulting from the Mexican War would permit either “slavery or involuntary servitude.”

Democrat Lewis Cass replied with the idea that became known as popular sovereignty. He wrote of this idea to a colleague, “Leave it to the people, who will be affected by this question to adjust it upon their own responsibility, and in their own manner[.]” This manner of dealing with a matter of profound and universal significance, leaving it to one segment of the public or state to determine whether other men could be owned as property, should sound familiar to our ears right now.

Thus was laid out the core debate between Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, between the Democratic Party and the newly forming GOP.

Wilmot re-emerged in time as a Republican. In 1856, the newly formed party met in Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence. The Convention adopted a platform that tracked the text of the Declaration, then proceeded to make its applications clear. It said: “[I]t is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.” Those twin relics of barbarism. From the very beginning, the Republican Party concerned itself with moral questions — and rejected the idea that these were merely matters for local debate and resolution.

Four years later in Chicago, in May 1860, Wilmot was among the first to take the floor of the Republican Convention. Speaking of the reigning Democrats, he said, “A great sectional and aristocratic party, or interest, has for years dominated with a high hand over the political affairs of this country. That interest has wrested, and is now wresting, all the great powers of this government to the one object of the extension and nationalization of slavery. It is our purpose, gentlemen, it is the mission of the Republican party and the basis of its organization, to resist this policy of a sectional interest.”

Wilmot went on to cite the Constitution and hail the Revolutionary era, saying of the Founders: had they thought that “they were called upon to endure the hazards, trials and sacrifices of that long and perilous contest for the purpose of establishing on this continent a great slave empire, not one of them would have drawn his sword in such a cause.”

To the delegates gathered in the Windy City, these were not mere catchphrases, tossed among the “real issues” of commerce and taxation. They were the embodiment of the ideals of Washington and Jefferson. They were the very reason the party existed. And the reason was no mere, to use Wilmot’s expression, “sectional interest” — it was the principle that all men are created equal and that governments exist to protect their unalienable rights.

Now, we could spend hours discussing the history that followed these events in the 19th century. For my purposes, I will only note that our Republic developed rapidly in that era, and the direction was almost uniformly toward protecting fundamental, natural rights. The century saw the abolition of slavery and the adoption of three constitutional amendments to ensure its demise. The century saw the rise of the women’s suffrage movement, events an ever-growing body of scholarship shows were led by women who decried abortion as the ultimate exploitation of women.

The 19th century brought another band of progress: the great wave of states acting to protect the unborn child. These policies were advanced and adopted not by extremists, or Christian nationalists or whatever the slurs of our day might furnish, but by the newly formed American Medical Association. These forces converged in proposing and ratifying the 14th Amendment in 1868.

I urge us all to take a fresh look at the scholarship of people like Professor Robert George at Princeton and John Finnis at Oxford. They persuasively argue that “[T]he 14th Amendment’s guarantees of due process and equal protection apply to human beings, as persons, at all developmental stages — pre-natal as well as post-natal — and in all conditions.”

Some might say, “This is well and good, Tony, but what has this got to do with the 21st century and the role of the parties and legislatures of our day?” My answer is straightforward. It has everything to do with it.

Let’s begin with the stark reality of the world as it revealed itself in the 20th century. For all the progress in science and technology — we can debate whether that includes the invention of the cell phone, the internet, and the “Barbie” movie — the 20th century was unparalleled in the development and use of mass violence.

There were two world wars, dozens of smaller conflicts, the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the development and dropping of two atomic bombs, the H-bomb and long-range nuclear missiles, the millions of victims of Stalin and Mao. There was also something new to humanity — the top-down imposition of coercive population control, beginning in China but spreading worldwide. If the Republicans were right about slavery, how should we respond to this latest manifestation of a dismissive view of human life?

The start of the 21st century has seen the emergence of a related issue. Is it surprising that once man is free to end the life of a helpless child in the womb, then he will next turn to the weak, elderly, or vulnerable who are outside the womb?

To find our way forward in the 21st century, we only need to look back to America’s debates on slavery. The Democratic Party once embraced “popular sovereignty,” which held that issues of profound significance, such as slavery, were private decisions for the plantation owner and his state. The Republicans of those days passed the 13th Amendment, ending slavery; the 14th Amendment, providing that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” or “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”; and the 15th Amendment, providing that the rights of citizens to vote shall not be “denied or abridged … on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

That Democratic Party was wrong then. And its ideology of “privacy” has been wrong for the past 50 years. To see abortion and assisted suicide as merely matters of private conscience is a cynical misreading of American history and a threat to the foundations of our American Republic.

I said at the outset that the life issue is not a partisan one. We would, of course, like to see the party of Lincoln stand firm on what it has held as a matter of principle since 1856. We’d like to see it do so because it’s the right thing to do, and the party’s pro-life position has brought it more and more support from young people, African-Americans, and Latinos.

In the first GOP Platform to be written after Roe v. Wade in 1976, the Republicans took a stand that has remained to this day. Let me quote that platform verbatim:

We protest the Supreme Court’s intrusion into the family structure through its denial of the parents’ obligation and right to guide their minor children. The Republican Party favors a continuance of the public dialogue on abortion and supports the efforts of those who seek enactment of a constitutional amendment to restore protection of the right to life for unborn children.

In 1980, the GOP took another and even bolder step. Ronald Reagan was engaged in a nip-and-tuck primary contest with George H.W. Bush. To salvage his campaign, Reagan sought to resolve a controversy over his signing of a liberal California abortion law in 1967 by sending a strong letter of commitment to pro-life leaders. They responded with endorsements and Reagan marched to victory. Once again, Michigan was at the center of the drama. The action moved to Detroit, where a triumphant Reagan selected Bush as his running mate and crafted a platform built on the 1976 language, unifying the party.

You know the rest of the story. Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter handily. Carter, for his part, was deeply uncomfortable with abortion and supported the Hyde Amendment. In 1984 the GOP Platform took another massive step forward, going beyond endorsing a constitutional amendment and actively asserting that the Constitution, properly understood, already protects unborn human life. It said:

The unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We therefore reaffirm our support for a human life amendment to the Constitution, and we endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

From that point forward, the Republican Platform has not only consistently affirmed the unborn child’s “fundamental individual right to life,” it has expanded its language to include issues from adoption and defunding of abortion providers to opposing cloning and supporting federal protections for infants born alive after induced abortion. Likewise, abortion has not stood alone in these platforms, because the issue is transcendent in other ways too. Attacks on human life have led to some of the most egregious assaults on the family and on religious freedom and conscience. To these the GOP has consistently said a vigorous “no.”

As the last four decades have now shown, when these principles are celebrated, the Grand Old Party prevails at the ballot box. When the messaging or the candidate deviates from these principles, failure is assured — look at the results in 1996, 2008, and 2012.

What are we to think when Republican leaders suggest reconsidering the party’s stance on the sanctity of human life, on constitutional protection for the unborn, and on a commitment that has lasted over half a century? That the Republican Platform, for the first time in half a century, may sound a retreat on this core principle?

In such a situation, the alarm cannot be sounded too soon or too loud.

We, champions of the God-given right to life, are under no illusions. The ravages of the Sexual Revolution are all around us. Today, we even debate whether mutilating the bodies of children in vain attempts to change their sex is a good thing. Shame on us. Under these circumstances, standing for the sanctity of each and every human life is hard.

But, “Important principles may and must be inflexible.”

I don’t dismiss this challenge, as ballot initiatives in various states have shown. All I can say is, we are not doing this for ourselves. We are seeking the protection of law and public policy for the most vulnerable among us, the unborn, and for their mothers, who either did not expect to be pregnant or did not expect the man in their lives to reject them when they got the news.

Praying, standing, and voting for justice is always the hard road, the way of the cross.

Justice is never won easily. The fight for justice is never time-limited. A single presidential election settles a country’s policy for four years. But our nation’s policy on the right to life is timeless. Like millions of conservative voters and activists, the issue of life is the issue above all others that drew me into the world of politics and policy three decades ago. To abandon it now, to adopt a platform that declares this issue of no national significance, that leaves the unborn completely exposed to dismemberment, cardiac injections, and poisoning in the womb, that sets the stage for a national policy of abortion on demand by a Democratic majority, would be a tragedy of historic proportions.

After all is said and done, what is being asked of us? For me, it is no more than that we be faithful. To not fear, but to respond in the spirit of power, and of love and of the sound mind we’ve been given.

Being faithful is all that is being asked of us. Luke, the Great Physician, records Jesus’s words, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Let’s rededicate ourselves to this battle for true freedom — the freedom that celebrates life and refuses to destroy it. Over the next two months, this battle will play out over a single document, the national Republican Platform, but its object and prize are the soul of a nation. Let’s stir the spirit of the American people, of every party and persuasion, to rediscover the gift of life and our duty to uphold it in every sphere.

My friends, we must be inflexible on this important principle of the sanctity of human life — the future depends upon it.

Adapted from a speech given at the 2024 Lincoln Day Dinner in Muskegon County, Michigan on May 21.

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Uni-Party Socialist Congress returns to work April 9th 2024. Conservatives must fire House Speaker Mike Johnson!

The do nothing socialist Republican Party return to the Washington swamp on Tuesday April 9th, 2024 to continue their symbiotic traitorous relationship with their Communist Democrat pals.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) the poster child for the Democrat Communist Party will once again prepare legislation to print more money and or borrow money from Communist China to fund the corrupt government of Ukraine.

The majority of the House of Representatives ran by fraud republicans will continue to protect the borders of Ukraine while totally ignoring the borders of our constitutional republic allowing Biden to continue his invasion foreign nationals into the United States.

On Friday April 12th, 2024 the fraud republicans will also no doubt reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before its April 19th 2024 deadline.

This will allow the U.S. government to continue spying on American citizens in gross violation of our 4th Amendment rights using AT&T equipment and assistance in secret data collection buildings all over the USA.

A skyscraper in New York City 500 feet tall, with 29 stories and no windows and no lights located at 33 Thomas Street is one of many NSA listening posts funded by the Republican controlled congress used to spy on Americans.

Thanks to great American patriot Edward Snowden we would never have learned about this. The entry to this building is identified as an AT&T telecommunications building but what it really is an NSA mass surveillance spy hub. It’s code name is Titanpointe.

This unconstitutional spy hub is funded by the uni party communist/socialist congress so they can read your Emails, listen to your phone calls and collect data on Americans internet web surfing without any oversite. At night you can’t even see the building it disappears onto the darkness.

If you have an AT&T cell phone provider don’t bank on any privacy. General Clapper the former director of the NSA lied to congress repeatedly about his surveillance of Americans. Why is he not in jail?

AT&T was given the code name Luthium in all its contact with the National Security Agency. This building is also just a short walk away from the FBI field office in New York City.

If you are a fan of the US constitution and privacy under the 4th amendment you won’t like what goes on inside this building. The NSA has collected over 150 million phone records in the past on American citizens. There are over 59 NSA spy hubs all over our republic all funded by the Republican led Congress.

This illegal and unconstitutional FISA Act will no doubt be reauthorized by the uniparty socialist / communist congress and Americans will continue to be spied on at the building located at 33 Thomas Street in New York City and at 58 other buildings all over the republic.

Facebook, Google, AT&T all work closely with the NSA and if you still have AT&T and Facebook accounts you have surrendered your freedom as you freely give the US government access to your privacy.

The conservative members of congress in the Republican Party who must suffer the indignity of having an “R” after their name must take action to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from his leadership position when they return to their 4 hour tax payer funded work weeks and replace him with a real leader and conservative constitutionalist.

Then in November we must return president Trump back to the White House so he can get to work restoring constitutional law. Trump must also grant a full pardon to Mr. Edward Snowden on day one as our president in January 2025.

©2024. Geoff Ross. All rights reserved.

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ROOKE: D.C. Republicans Prove The Swamp Is As Infested And Useless As Ever

After losing over and over again, state after state, to former President Donald Trump, Nikki Haley finally won a Republican Primary race in the District of Columbia.

If Republican voters were ever in doubt about whether Republicans in D.C. understand them and the issues facing everyday Americans, Haley’s win should solidify in their minds that they don’t. In the 2020 general election, D.C. voters overwhelmingly voted for President Joe Biden. Trump garnered just 5% of the vote in the district. The 2024 GOP primary was more of the same. Only about 2,000 people voted, and of that sampling, Haley won 63% of the vote to Trump’s 33%.

In open primary states, Haley has been able to hang on because Democrats are willing to jump the aisle to side with the “anyone but Trump” option in hopes their failing candidate, Biden, will be able to sneak out a win in November against a candidate adamantly rejected by the Republican base.

However, D.C. is not an open primary. Only registered Republicans can vote in the D.C. primary, making her win an eye-opener for voters about who is running the offices of the most important officials in the country.

Haley is not the base’s choice in Iowa, South Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Idaho, New Hampshire, etc., but the D.C. political class overwhelmingly supports her. The people who think they know better than the Republican base about what issues and policies are good for them love Haley.

Chair of the D.C. Republican Party Patrick Mara and Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors Dan Schuberth perfectly encapsulated this point with their quotes about Haley’s win to Politico.

“This universe is a little more sophisticated than just about any universe in any other state,” Mara told the outlet. “I listen to the political podcasts in the morning. I read the newsletters throughout the day. That’s probably, like, half the people showing up at this.”

“You’ve got a really dialed-in political class,” Schuberth, who hosted Haley’s D.C. campaign stop, said. “You know, folks read POLITICO. They read The Hill. Folks here are reading the Washington Post.”

Mara and Schuberth are among the Republicans living inside the D.C. echo chamber who believe that reading mainstream media newsletters and political punditry, knowing all the people working on the campaigns and living in the district gives them a better understanding of what’s good for Americans. In the political class system, they would consider themselves at the top, while a family of six burdened by the economic and social repercussions of their hubris is an uninformed lemming.

Haley’s presidential campaign has been nothing short of a wish list for the old guard of the Republican Party that flies in direct contrast to the new GOP. Middle America does not want to send their boys to fight in another endless war in the desert, where death is inevitable. Parents are disgusted with the state of the U.S. education system, which acts as an indoctrination camp for far-left policies. Working-class Americans can not only see but feel how illegal immigration puts their families at risk, lowers their wages, and makes them compete for jobs that are rightfully theirs.

Trump captures the angst of everyday Americans in the way the Democrats used to do, while Haley campaigns like a Reagan-era Republican devoid of this insight. He stands up for these people, tells them it’s okay to recognize how these policies affect them, and promises to right the wayward ship once he’s back in office.

To disregard this reality the way the GOP political class does is why the base will take two steps forward and one step back. While at the state level, Republicans are fortifying election integrity, fighting back against open borders and killing the infestation of DEI, the D.C. swamp is terrified even to admit these issues are a problem, much less take the fight to the radicals implementing them.

It takes a level of ignorance and arrogance to tell Republican voters they can’t have the safe, prosperous country they grew up in. That their wish to have policies focused on putting Americans first isn’t popular or winnable when Trump beats their preferred candidate, Haley, into the ground in every state, gaining momentum with each victory. He’s a political force not just because of his one-liners and smash-mouth style of campaigning but because he gave a voice to the base when everyone else told them to forget their patriotism, forget their American dream and instead bow down to the global machine ruining their country.

AUTHOR

MARY ROOKE

Commentary and analysis writer.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

ROOKE: Trump Needs An Ultimate Wingman As His VP — The Pick Couldn’t Be More Obvious

Who former President Donald Trump picks as his running mate is one of the most anticipated announcements in the 2024 election season.

It can’t be just anyone because Trump can’t afford to have another vice president serving in the role who doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace the America First movement. It’s his entire platform. The policies are as important to Trump as they are to the base pushing him through his primary race.

Former Ambassador Nikki Haley, the last obstacle to Trump’s nomination, lost to the “none of these” option on the ballot in Nevada, erasing any doubt that no matter how many “Independents” or “Democrats” show up to vote in the GOP primary, the old Republican Party is dead on arrival.

The base wants Trump. They want him to come back into the executive branch and wreak havoc on the entitled ruling class that jailed political prisoners, sent billions overseas while our economy collapsed, closed down pipelines, pushed DEI over safety and left the U.S. border wide open for terrorists to enter.

To them, it’s 2016 again, but on steroids. Trump’s VP pick needs to reflect this. Enter Vivek Ramaswamy.

After his defeat in Iowa, he dropped out of the race and immediately endorsed Trump for president. On the campaign trail, he’s an asset. He knows how to talk to the base in ways they connect with and want to listen. As far as optics go, Ramaswamy is handsome, and his wife is beautiful. Their family picture is wholesome. His young children mean he’s got skin in the game. Whatever happens to America, happens to them. It’s everything that most politicians wish to portray but can’t because they rely on the corrupt Washington D.C. echo chamber for their image.

Still, similar to how America got former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump needs someone who speaks to the middle. This is where Ramasway will thrive. On the campaign trail, when activists would crash his events, Ramaswamy calmed them and invited them into the fold. Trump needs someone to settle the ruffled feathers for him without diminishing him.

While Trump is the general moving the chess pieces and being the face of the war the base wants to rage, Ramaswamy would be the major ensuring the men follow orders. No one galvanizes the base like Trump, and Ramaswamy seems to know his role would be to support, not overshadow.

While these other candidates for the VP position have shown they can use the power of the America First movement to get elected in their respective states, most of them still lack the understanding that to be effective, Trump can’t be undercut. The movement can’t afford another defector.

On the presidential campaign trail, Ramaswamy took a different approach to all the other candidates. He embraces all the parts of Trump that were good for the American people. He talked about the issues surrounding the former president without demonizing him. It was essentially a masterclass in handling a base scorned by the ruling class.

Most of the Republican candidates seemed to be confused about how to approach Republican voters when it came to the political indictments against Trump. But one thing is sure: the last thing a candidate should do to the people who were forced to eat the pain of the 2020 election and all its integrity issues is to pretend it wasn’t happening.

Ramaswamy came out fighting. He promised to stay off the ballot in Colorado as long the state refused to allow Trump to run as a candidate. He not only pledged to pardon Trump if he was convicted of any of the charges against him, but he vowed to wage war against the people and agencies responsible for the political persecution.

His fellow Republican candidates could be correct in their attacks that Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign was essentially him auditioning for the open vice president position.

But the jokes on them.

The biggest shock is that any of them ran at all. For those outside the D.C. consultant class, there was never anything more obvious than the reality that Trump would always be the nominee. Whether it’s Ramaswamy or not, the important thing Trump’s VP needs to know with every part of him is that he isn’t there to run the country for Trump but to be the enforcer.

AUTHOR

MARY ROOKE

Commentary and analysis writer.

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EDITORS NOTE:  This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Conservative Jeff Landry Inaugurated as Louisiana’s 57th Governor

The Bayou State has a new governor — a stalwart conservative Christian dedicated to faith, family, and freedom. On Sunday, former Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) was sworn in as the state’s 57th governor, succeeding Democrat John Bel Edwards. Landry was elected governor in an October primary election, winning with 52% of the vote and averting a runoff election.

Family Research Council President and former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives Tony Perkins delivered an inaugural prayer for Landry Sunday night, praying, “Father, we break with the ways of the past, where we leaned on governmental schemes and political power; today, we declare we look to You and the power of your Holy Spirit!” He prayed for Landry and all of Louisiana’s elected officials, saying, “Above all, we pray that the words and deeds of our leaders would glorify you so that your blessing upon our state will be so bountiful it will be undeniable to the rest of the nation.”

Speaking on “Washington Watch” Monday night, Perkins explained that when he first moved to Louisiana as a young man, “We didn’t have any Republicans to speak of.” Even when elected to the Louisiana state legislature, Perkins noted that there was only one statewide Republican in office and Republicans “were in the extreme minority in the legislature.” Now, he said, Republicans hold “supermajorities” in both chambers of the legislature. “Every statewide elected official is Republican,” he declared. “But it’s not just Republican. It’s about policy initiatives. It’s about ideology. It’s about commitment.”

As Louisiana’s attorney general, Landry fought hard for pro-life and pro-family values. He supported the state’s 2022 abortion ban, and urged Louisianians to “simply respect the legislature and Louisiana’s constitution,” adding, “And if you don’t like Louisiana’s laws or Louisiana’s constitution, you can go to another state.” He opposed the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, calling the requirements an “unconstitutional and immoral attack” on Americans.

In 2018, Landry teamed up with now-speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-La.) to support Christian prayer in public schools, following lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State alleging that school districts were “teaching” Christianity. The attorney general has also been a vociferous opponent of the LGBT agenda, including encouraging the state legislature to override the governor’s veto of a bill banning transgender surgeries for minors.

Landry announced his gubernatorial campaign in 2022 and was endorsed by the Republican Party of Louisiana, former President Donald TrumpMike Johnson, U.S. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.), and others. In Louisiana, all candidates for governor appear on the ballot, regardless of party affiliation; if no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff election is triggered between the top two contenders. Landry won handily with 52% of the vote, with Democrat Shawn Wilson placing second with about 26%. In his victory speech, Landry declared, “Today’s election says that our state is united.” He continued, “It’s a wake-up call and it’s a message that everyone should hear loud and clear, that we the people in this state are going to expect more out of our government from here on out.”

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson attended Landry’s inauguration on Sunday, saying in a press release, “Governor Landry has been a longtime friend and champion for the people of Louisiana, and he will serve our state with dignity and a steadfast commitment as he tackles the many challenges we face.” He added that he hopes to work with Landry to “restore” Louisiana “as the best place to work, live, and start a family.”

Perkins said that Christian conservative values are core to the new governor, saying, “If you believe it, say it. And if it’s really who you are, you should not, quite frankly, you can’t hold it back. And this is who Jeff is. He spoke it. He was unafraid of it.” The FRC president also noted that mainstream media is not giving much focus to the first governor inaugurated in 2024. “It does not fit the national media’s narrative, it’s not what the Left is telling us America is, it is the total opposite,” he said. “But there’s hope that if all of us will vote, will stand, will pray, we’re going to see these same results across the nation in 2024.”

AUTHOR

S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITOR NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Texas Republicans Ask All School Districts To Immediately Leave Texas Association Of School Boards

Several members of the Texas legislature sent a letter to every school district in the state asking them to immediately leave the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

Texas state Representatives, led by GOP Rep. Brian Harrison, are asking school districts to leave the TASB, claiming recent decisions the association made regarding school board protests and transgender students prove to Texas parents that the TASB “work[s] against their values and potentially place[s] their children in harm’s way,” according to the letter shared exclusively with the Daily Caller.

The nine signatories — GOP Reps. Brian Harrison, Briscoe Cain, Richard Hayes, Terri Leo-Wilson, Matt Schaefer, Nate Schatzline, Bryan Slaton, Mark Dorazio and Tony Tinderholt — said that although they “appreciate” that TASB left the National School Boards Association in May 2022, the amount of time the decision took to make was troubling.

January Letter to School Board Presidents Re TASB Vf-2 by Mary Rooke on Scribd

“We were shocked last year that it took the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) almost an entire year to leave the National School Boards Association (NSBA) after it sent an indefensible letter equating parental involvement at school board meetings to ‘heinous actions’ which ‘could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism’ and called on federal law enforcement to potentially target parents,” the letter stated.

The Texas lawmakers also took issue with TASB’s “radically pro-transgender” guidance released in January, which they claim undermines parental rights and violates Texas law.

“This dangerous legal advisory appears to encourage school districts to refrain from reporting child abuse and to obscure information regarding children exhibiting gender dysphoria from their parents,” the letter stated. “In the guidance, TASB also may be encouraging schools to violate Texas’s recent law, the ‘Save Girls’ Sports Act,’ and allow biological males to participate in girls’ sports. We feel duty bound to make sure all elected officials charged with overseeing the education of Texas student[s] are aware of this.”

Harrison told the Daily Caller that Texas parents shouldn’t be responsible for funding “woke ideology” with their tax dollars.

“It’s bad enough that harmful woke ideology is being pushed on Texas students over the objection of their parents, but worse that local elected officials are forcing those same parents to fund it with their tax dollars,” Harrison told the Caller. “That must end. I appreciate my colleagues joining me in fighting to stop the continued weaponization of our constituents’ tax dollars against them.”

Texas school districts are not required to be part of TASB or any school board organization. The representatives have directed their offices to help provide school districts with alternatives for the services TASB currently handles.

AUTHOR

MARY ROOKE

Commentary and analysis reporter.

RELATED ARTICLE: Texas Representatives Demand Review Of ‘Radically Pro-Transgender’ State School Board Guidance

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

An Introduction to Politics for the Politically Clueless

If you have always felt somewhat lost on the political landscape, this primer is for you.


With midterm elections around the corner, many are undoubtedly trying to brush up on their knowledge of politics, having mostly ignored the topic since the last election. Maybe you know some of these people. Maybe you are one of these people.

For those trying to get a crash course in politics before they vote, the process can be a little daunting. You might try reaching out to a politically-knowledgeable friend, but chances are you’ll end up getting more of a rant than answers to your simple questions.

So, in an attempt to provide less of a rant and more of an introduction, here are some basic ideas that will help you get oriented on the political landscape. Note, this isn’t about specific platforms or candidates, nor is it a civics lesson—there are plenty of other places to get that information. Instead, this is more of an introduction to political philosophy. It’s about the principles and big ideas that motivate the various positions.

The starting point of politics is a very simple question: What should the government do? How you answer this question basically determines where you fall in the political realm.

Whether you’re a Republican or Democrat or somewhere in between (or somewhere else, or completely lost), there are certain things almost everyone thinks the government should do. For example, most people think the government should provide things like police, courts, roads, and national defense.

There are other government initiatives, however, that are more contentious. This would include issues like gun regulation, drug prohibition, public schooling, and business regulations like the minimum wage.

Another way of thinking about the fundamental question of politics is to ask “what decisions should the government make for us, and what decisions should individuals be allowed to make for themselves?” As Thomas Sowell said, “The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”

Should the government have the final say as to whether people use cocaine, or should that decision be in the hands of the individual? Should the government raise taxes, meaning they decide what to do with a certain sum of money, or should they lower them, meaning the individual decides what to do with that money?

When framed this way, it becomes clear that the more the government does—that is, the more the government makes decisions on our behalf—the less we are free to make our own decisions. Every decision the government makes for us is a decision we can’t make for ourselves. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

This insight can be used to develop a very basic political spectrum. At one extreme you have the government making virtually all decisions for its citizens, to the point where the government has “total” control over its people. That would be totalitarianism. At the other extreme you have the government making absolutely no decisions, at which point you have no government, that is, anarchism.

Each political philosophy fits somewhere on that spectrum, and where it fits depends on how much it says the government should control our decisions.

The spectrum above has the advantage of being simple, but it doesn’t always do a good job of representing where people stand. For example, if someone wants lots of government involvement in the economy (regulating businesses, minimum wage laws, high taxation, lots of government programs etc.) but also desires strong social freedoms (free speech, drug legalization, etc.) it can be hard to represent that position on a 1-dimensional axis. Thus, to make these distinctions somewhat clearer, political philosophers have come up with a 2-dimensional political compass that splits economic and social views into their own categories. Economic views are represented by the horizontal axis and social views are represented by the vertical axis.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE ‘POLITICAL COMPASS’

Though there are two axes instead of one now, the premise is very much the same. At one extreme you have total freedom and no government interference (the far right economically and far down socially). At the other extreme you have lots of government and virtually no freedom (the far left economically and far up socially).

It’s worth noting that “socially liberal” views are sometimes called “libertarian” in contrast to “authoritarian” as in the graphic above. But this is different from the philosophy of libertarianism, which favors both economic and “personal” liberty.

It’s also important to clarify “socially liberal” in this context. The term is often taken to mean libertinism. In the political context, however, “socially liberal” does not mean condoning any particular set of lifestyle choices. It just means rejecting the criminalization of lifestyle choices that do not violate anyone else’s rights.

With some artistic license, the previous 1-dimensional spectrum could be overlaid on the political compass. It would essentially be a line running diagonally from the top left corner (totalitarianism) to the bottom right corner (anarchism).

Republicans (aka conservatives) and Democrats (aka liberals) are both near the middle of this compass. The main difference between them is that Democrats generally lean toward more social freedom and less economic freedom (bottom left quadrant) whereas Republicans lean toward less social freedom and more economic freedom (top right quadrant). So Democrats might push for higher taxes and looser drugs laws, whereas Republicans will push for lower taxes and more stringent drug laws.

Libertarians (bottom right quadrant) are often seen as a weird mix of some Republican and some Democrat positions (“socially liberal, fiscally conservative”), but the above framing hopefully makes it clear why this isn’t the case. Libertarians are simply for freedom in all its forms, and it is the liberals and conservatives who have the strange mixes, championing freedom in some areas while trying to restrict it in others.

Where you fall on the political spectrum ultimately comes down to what you value. If you want the government to provide lots of services but stay out of people’s personal lives, you’ll probably fit best with progressives/liberals. If, on the other hand, you believe there should be stricter social rules but that the government should largely leave the market alone, chances are you’re more of a conservative. And if you just want the government to leave people alone in every domain, you’re probably a libertarian.

These are only generalizations, of course. Every side has its nuances, and as you talk to people from different perspectives you’ll probably start to pick up on them. In fact, the best way to learn is to talk with people who disagree with you. Even if they are the ranting type, asking questions of political nerds can really help you understand where they’re coming from. You might still disagree, of course, but you will at least have a better grasp of the political landscape.

And who knows? They might actually change your mind.

This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.

AUTHOR

Patrick Carroll

Patrick Carroll has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo and is an Editorial Fellow at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

GOP Set To Win Massive Majority In House, Analysis Finds

Republicans are expected to take control of the House of Representatives with a potentially massive majority, according to the Fox News Power Rankings.

The GOP is predicted to win between 225 and 255 seats in the November midterm elections, according to the Fox News Power Rankings, which uses data such as historical trends, fundraising and other polling to create projections for elections. Currently, there are 33 seats that the GOP will likely win, with another 30 seats considered as “toss-ups” come this November, according to the analysis.

One such seat is New York’s 18th Congressional District, which has a 65% chance of flipping red, according to FiveThirtyEight. The district was once a Democratic stronghold, but with redistricting Republican New York Assemblyman Colin Schmitt appears poised to win the seat.  

“The issues at hand are economic and crime-related,” Schmitt told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Crime is affecting our community, and the economic issues are crushing us in the Hudson Valley.”

Roughly 56% of voters said that the economic state of the nation was the most essential issue to them this election cycle, according to polling from Republican State Leadership Committee.

The nation has seen a slight rightward shift with states such as Florida and minorities groups like Hispanics becoming more right-leaning, exemplified by the election of Texas Republican Rep. Mayra Flores in a special election

Oregon’s 5th Congressional District could see its first Republican member of Congress ever, according to FiveThirtyEight. Republican Lori Chavez Ramirez is projected to cruise to victory against her leftist challenger.

Other outlets such as Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight also predicted the GOP would win the House handily.

“Joe Biden’s failed agenda has led to record-high prices at the gas pump and grocery store, and put every vulnerable Democrats’ reelection efforts in jeopardy,” National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Michael McAdams told the DCNF.

The predictions by Fox News come at a time when President Biden’s approval numbers hover around 33% and Democrats are losing faith in his ability to win an election, according to a poll by The New York Times.

AUTHOR

CARL DEMARCO

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Reality Check: The Republican Party Is The Indispensable Last Line

Those who want to save our country would do well to aim their fire at the real enemies of America, not those on their own side who want to save it.


I was the speaker at a large Republican event recently and, inevitably, the grievance was aired in the Q&A portion: “Where’s the Republican Party? They are worthless. They won’t do anything.”

This is one of the most common refrains on talk radio. Glenn Beck does it almost daily. Steve Deace and his team never stop. Rush used to do it regularly. And therefore, a lot of conservatives and traditionalist Americans think it is true. But is it?

Exhibit number one in this case is always the failure to repeal Obamacare. That’s where the line of accusation really kicked in.

They had the House, the Senate, and a president who would sign Obamacare repeal and they did nothing!

This narrative is wholly wrong, however. Contrary to the narrative, the GOP-controlled House did pass a full repeal of Obamacare in 2017—just as promised. Republicans almost unanimously supported it. It went to the Senate, where three Republicans voted against it. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) had not campaigned on repealing Obamacare, however. Collins is from a liberal state and had always supported keeping Obamacare, so there was no broken promise there. But Senator John McCain had campaigned and fundraised every time, including his most recent election, on repealing Obamacare. It was McCain who single-handedly betrayed those who wanted to repeal Obamacare, not the entire party. It failed 51-49, because of one turncoat vote based on what appeared to be the petty reason that he hated President Trump.

The Glenn Beck version that represents many people’s idea of events is just flat wrong. And this is one of the foundational points for the “Republicans do nothing” criticism.

But what about one of the ultimate swamp creatures, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)?

Mitch McConnell is the problem. He can’t be trusted!

McConnell is maybe the single favorite bogeyman for those who say the Republican Party is the problem. But NPR described his efforts to repeal Obamacare this way: “McConnell, who seemed to exhaust every trick in the procedural playbook to get to this point [of voting], seemed surprised and undercut by the result.” Right, because McCain stabbed him in the back, too. Nevertheless, virtually every judge that President Trump nominated, McConnell pushed through the Senate confirmation process, including changing rules and playing hardball. Even now, he is holding together every GOP Senator to oppose the Left’s craziness. McConnell has been there too long and is hardly trustworthy, but neither is he the locus of the problem.

But the election was stolen and the Republicans didn’t do anything!

You sure about that? The Republican-run Arizona Senate ordered a full forensic audit of Maricopa County’s 2.1 million votes, the most comprehensive election audit in the history of the United States, and they stood firm against withering, egregious media attacks and smears almost daily to conclude the audit. There are two other states conducting further election audits against fierce opposition.

And so far, 14 Republican states have passed tightened election laws. Did you read about Georgia losing Major League Baseball’s All-Star game? That’s because they tightened up Voter ID and vote monitoring. These changes, and more are coming as the RNC and state parties are creating plans to more aggressively monitor and challenge voting in real time in future elections. That’s not nothing.

But what about now? The country is going down the toilet and Republicans aren’t doing anything!

Frustration with the direction of our country is understandable, but again the fire is aimed at the wrong people. Republicans have held unanimously against HR 1, against the $3.5 trillion in spending and on other terrible initiatives. Since the Senate is 50-50, neither party can afford a defection. Yet it is the out-of-power GOP that has stopped every bad idea they’ve had the power to stop. That’s not exactly nothing.

Interestingly, it is the Democrats who cannot keep their party together. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) are the Democrats’ equivalent of John McCain and Mitt Romney to their base. And don’t think for a minute that the Left’s most fervent believers are not saying the same things on the other side about their two “squishes.” AOC and her squad are obviously frustrated they can’t ram through their disastrous schemes.

Part of the problem is a basic misunderstanding of political parties. In a sense parties, like a representative Republic as a whole, are mirroring their supporters. And they are necessarily broad. So the problem really is all of us. It’s just a lot easier to blame someone else. The American people let it get to this point.

But this is where we are. And the full stop reality is that the Republican Party is the only remaining American institution not under control of leftists and anti-Americans. The media, academia, public schools, Hollywood, the music industry, every federal government department, most major non-profits, and now, Silicon Valley tech giants, are all controlled by the Left.

Given that, I often stand amazed that Republicans can ever win anything. But we do. And it is because the GOP is the only organization that has structure in place, from the city to the state to D.C., that will fight the destruction of America. It is far from perfect, and there are plenty of disappointing individual Republicans, but that is the nature of political parties. And given what is arrayed against it, the party has been surprisingly effective.

Attacking the Republican Party, not individual Republicans, is equivalent to fragging your only defense force. In the end, that only serves the interests of the Left by depressing voter turnout—one of our strengths. Those who want to save our country would do well to aim their fire at the real enemies of America, not those on their own side who want to save it.

©Rod Thompson. All rights reserved.

The First-Ever Woke Democratic Primary Is Going To Be Awesome!

Let’s be straight, if not for a certain dementia setting in deep within the Democratic Party, Republican chances for a successful 2020 election would not be looking great.

But hallelujah (maybe) we do have the Democratic Party racing at warp speed lurch to the jaw-droppingly radical left. When it comes to the competing nonsense of intersectional politics, grievance structures, getting rid of air travel, special interest slices and a festival of pandering, the scene for the next 16 months will be one gigantic display of neon insanity.

In other words, awesome.

Get the popcorn, pop up the recliner footrest and watch how a party led by a 29-year-old bartender seeks to remake the most successful economy in world history — all while devouring its own members in a delicious internecine display.

(Unless of course, they actually win the House, Senate and Presidency, in which case civilization is doomed.)

But let’s focus on the pure entertainment value of the next year and a half — in case it’s all that is left — and start with the most recent unprecedented wackiness: eliminating planes and cow farts in 10 years.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the notorious AOC, the bubbly, pretty, likable young ignorant whackadoodle now holding sway in the Democratic Party, thanks to a wildly irresponsible media, has proposed the Green New Deal, which is a sumptuous combination of an 8th grade Marxist class that just watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

Let’s just tap the high points: In order to deal with the threat of climate change that will end the world in 12 years (AOC’s words) the United States must lead the salvation of humanity by giving everybody free healthcare, free college, affordable/free housing, healthy food, well-paying jobs, and economic security for those unable or unwilling to work.

To accomplish this, Green New Deal says the United States need to eliminate all fossil fuels, including natural gas, in 10 years. Eliminate all nuclear plants in 10 years (yes, they are the only efficient clean energy we have, but nothing in this plan is remotely sane, so don’t draw the line there.) Eliminate all cars that run on gasoline in 10 years. Eliminate all planes and replace travel with high-speed rail. (No word from the Hawaii delegation on this point.) And naturally, we will need to upgrade or replace every building in America. Every. Building.

This is an exquisitely laughable proposal. The only challenge serious people have had in critiquing it is running out of adjectives to describe its utter madness.

The spin cover run by the media on this plan is quite amazing — honestly, almost impressive. It’s obviously indefensible by even the most partisan media (which is pretty much all of the media.) So here’s the media operatives’ spin: Republicans are hyper-focused on the details, but the goal of the plan, you see, is to get the conversation started. Republicans are missing the point. We need to have a conversation about this peril and this starts it.

First, have we not been talking about climate change? Seems to me I recall a convo or two on this point. Second, not sure we need to have a conversation on getting rid of planes and cow farts. But that could be just me.

The next example of the unprecedented absurdities facing Democrats is the self-decapitation of the Democratic leadership in Virginia.Unbeknownst to many Americans, apparently dressing in blackface was a thing in Virginia in the 1980s.

Photos of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam from his college yearbook show him in blackface (or worse, possibly a KKK outfit replete with pointed hood.) If he falls, second in line is Democratic Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, who as soon as Northam’s apparent fate became nationally known has been beset by accusations of sexual assault by two women, which seem more credible than the one who accused now Justice Brett Kavanaugh. If Fairfax also falls, next in line is Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. And like clockwork, he confessed that he, too, dressed in blackface several years ago. Fourth in line? The conservative Republican Speaker of the Virginia House.

We know how this ends. If Democrats were held to the standards they have created for Republicans and others, all three would be gone by now. As of this writing, all three remain in office and apparently are planning to stay there. So much for blackface and #metoo when it comes to Democratic politicians. So much for #believeallwomen if you are talking about Democratic politicians in office.

Republicans should be like kids in a candy store for the 2020 races, pushing every Democrat on whether they support eliminating planes or the death of the planet; and whether they #believeallwoman and compare their answer against their statements during the Kavanaugh hearing. This is a rich vein to mine. (Not by the media, of course. They’ll ignore it. But by Republican opponents.)

By way of comparison, photos of the Republican Florida Secretary of State surfaced recently of him in blackface at a Halloween Party several years ago. He resigned in hours. It’s not clear any Democrats will resign, which makes sense. I mean to put a fine point on it, they were the Party of slavery, of Jim Crow laws, of Bull Connor, of herding black Americans into tenements and locking them into welfare, and which still use race unabashedly to further their own political ends on a pretty much nonstop basis. It’s in the DNA of the Democratic Party.

Speaking of DNA in their veins, the Democratic Party now openly supports infanticide. I’ve avoided this term for decades during the abortion debate, although I do think that given the humanity of the resident in womb, it is just that. But the aforementioned Gov. Northam said a baby meant for abortion that is born alive and living outside the womb can still be killed by the “choice” of the mother. Sorry all, that’s infanticide.

This came days after the New York legislature erupted in applause after passing a bill allowing for abortion up to the literal moment of birth at 40 weeks. Further, the bill stated that a pregnant woman who is assaulted and that assault kills the baby — even if she is full term and on her way to the delivery room — authorities are banned from charging the attacker with murder. Only assault on the mother. The baby is simply non-existent to the Democratic Party. Standing applause.

More unprecedented insanity: AOC proposed a 70 percent tax rate before she unveiled her junior high plan to remake American civilization. But one of her radical compadres in Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar, saw her 70 percent and raised her to 90 percent. Within days, the New York Times ran a column calling for the abolishment of millionaires and, voila!, #abolishbillionaires was trending on the Democratic left. This is how fast the most astonishingly un-American ideas travel to the radical cliff on the left, and Democrat politicians are flummoxed in how to deal with them.

And we’ll wrap up this circus of absurdities with the combination of Medicare for All and open borders. Medicare for All, which is single-payer universal government health care, is estimated to cost $33 trillion over 10 years — nearly doubling the federal budget on an annual basis. Of course, it will cost more than that. Combine that with free college for all and assured housing and a $15 minimum wage (although why stop there?) and open borders in which literally millions of unskilled, uneducated immigrants who don’t even speak the language can roll on in, and you have a pretty massive national financial collapse racing toward us.

And this does not even reach the actual politics of the presidential campaign in which it is likely no Democratic contender ever will be able to survive the gauntlet of ever-changing political correctness standards and the viciousness of their own base. Meanwhile, every conceivable real and imagined kitchen sink has been thrown at President Trump and he just hit 50 percent approval in Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll.

So enjoy the spectacle. It’ll be awesome! (Except for the whole future-of-civilization part.)

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. It is republished with permission. Click here for the definition of “Woke.”

Democratic convention more about Fantasyland than America

If you had just arrived from Mars to observe the Republican and Democratic conventions, one after the other, you undoubtedly would conclude that they were talking about two different countries.

One America recognizes real threats from foreign jihadi fighters who seek to eradicate our existence and to replace our freedoms with Islamic sharia law. It believes that economic revival — through tax reform, trade reform, and enforcing our borders and immigration laws – holds the key to future prosperity.

The other America believes we face no real foreign threats, the economy is doing great, and that our biggest challenge comes from crop failures, rising seas, and monster storms caused by — you guessed it, climate change.

It wasn’t by chance that the Democrats made no mention of ISIS on the first day of the convention and scarcely mentioned it on the next two days.

Terrorism and Islamist ideology that seek to replace our democratic republic with a “superior” law written by Allah are a distraction from the real mission of Democrats in Philadelphia. As former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley put it: “to hell with Trump’s American nightmare.”

In his first year in office, President Obama directed the Central Intelligence Agency to divert significant assets from the war against real threats from terrorists and enemy nations to the hypothetic dangers of “climate change.”

The Defense Department was ordered to follow suit, and under Obama’s direction, launched massive building programs at American naval bases to shelter them from rising seas.

President Obama squandered billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in pursuit of an ideological agenda.

This past May, the CIA quietly shuttered its climate change initiative, since it was unable to find data to sustain the Left’s faith in its new religion that man-made climate change would destroy the earth, or significant portions of it.

Cyclical changes in our climate have always occurred and have had dramatic impacts in the past, long before the carbon emissions the Left blames for today’s droughts and tsunamis.

Hollywood actress Signourey Weaver, hair on fire, introduced a “scare-me” video by James Cameron and claimed that farmers in Kansas were losing their crops today because of climate change.

I understand that Ms. Weaver is too young to have lived through the Dust Bowl — so am I. But I would hope she isn’t too dumb to have read about it and to have understood that these things have happened before, and will happen again.

Government’s role, in such circumstances, is to extend a helping hand of solidarity to individuals who lose their livelihoods to disasters they had no way of foreseeing. Its role is not to preemptively cripple the nation with fantasy-driven regulations and shut down entire sectors of the economy.

Incapable of a sustained conversation about national security, we’re left with Sen. Harry Reid suggesting that the Director of National Intelligence should “fake” national security briefings to Donald Trump. Why? Because Trump suggested that perhaps the Russians might be able to find the 33,000 emails Hillary Clinton admitted she deleted from the private server even President Obama warned her not to use.

In Senator Reid’s mind, entrusting Mrs. Clinton with our national security secrets is just fine, even though FBI Director James Comey acknowledged she had been “extremely careless” by transmitting highly-classified intelligence information on her personal email server. Let’s not forget that the FBI still hasn’t found more than 2,000 classified emails Mrs. Clinton deleted.

Bill Clinton thought he had found a “trump” card that would earn his wife a place in the pantheon of national security heroes.

“She launched a team — and this is really important today — she launched a team to fight back against terrorists — online — and built a new global counterterrorism effort,” he said.

Think about that for a moment. In the words of her own husband, Mrs. Clinton’s main achievement in the war against the terrorists attacking us was to hire a few social media analysts whose advice she didn’t consult and in fact ignored when they informed her the Benghazi attacks had nothing to do with a YouTube video insulting Mohammad.

I’ve got news for the Clintons: our intelligence community has been focusing on social media for years. The biggest growth industry among the Beltway bandits is foreign language experts who can mine Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites for evidence of jihadi connections.

That’s great, but it isn’t enough.

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta went overboard in his support for Mrs. Clinton, claiming that, if elected, she would take office as someone who “has the trust of our troops who know she will always have their back.”

Four men died in Benghazi because Mrs. Clinton didn’t have their backs. Instead of rushing to the rescue, she spent hours in meetings trying to keep Panetta from sending reinforcements to their rescue.

But that’s the other America. The America of facts.

The differences of our two Americas are many. One America lionizes the mothers of young black men killed by the police – often after they had committed assaults of one sort or another. The other celebrates as heroes police officers gunned down by snipers seeking vengeance.

One America believes that women, illegal immigrants, invalids, minorities, and people with kaleidoscope glasses constitute grievance classes who deserve special treatment. The other believes that all Americans deserve equal treatment under the law and equal opportunity under our system.

As a life-long investigative reporter, I remain committed to the facts. But I recognize that the contest in November will be determined not by facts, but by faith, and by how many believers on each side come to the polls. That is the new reality of the two Americas of 2016.

New Republican Party: The Red, Purple and Parchment Troika

In my column New Democrat Party: The Red-Green-Rainbow Troika we took a look at the Democratic Party and how President Obama has fundamentally changed it by forming political alliances, creating a Troika. The members of the Red-Green-Rainbow Troika are certainly strange bedfellows but politics makes for strange bedfellows.

Now let’s look at the Republican Party.

Who has fundamentally changed it, why and is it for the better or worse? Who are members of the New Republican Party Troika (NRPT)? These are questions that may help voters understand what happened during the presidential primary of 2016 and what will happen in the lead up to November 8th.

Just like the Democratic Party, the GOP is make up of a Troika. The Republican Troika consists of three major factions:

  1. Conservative Republicans (a.k.a. the reds). These are the Grand Old Party elite (GOPe). They joined the party after the Goldwater years and have gained in power and prestige due to their unwavering party loyalty. They normally vote the Republican ticket.
  2. Republicans In Name Only (a.k.a. the purples or RINOs). These are individuals who joined the Republican party solely to win a political seat or appointment. A perfect example is former Florida Governor, former Republican and now Democrat Charlie Crist. The purples do not hold conservative values, rather they change as does the weather in the Sunshine State. The RINOs will not necessarily vote for the Republican ticket. Some have joined movements to undermine Republican nominees for president dating back to the days of Barry Goldwater.
  3. Constitutional Conservatives (a.k.a. the TEA Party). They embrace the parchment upon which the Constitution and Bill of Rights are written and signed by the Founding Fathers. This group includes Libertarians.

What differentiates these three factions is their commitment to “conservative values”, which are defined differently by each faction.

Arizona Republican Senator Barry Goldwater and presidential candidate in his book “The Conscience of a Conservative” wrote:

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

This statement, to many Republicans, defines Conservative values at every level of government. The idea of limited government as envisioned by the Founders and enshrined in the Constitution. States rights are paramount and trump efforts to impose government laws and regulations upon the population.

But not all members of the Troika embrace Goldwater’s statement. For you see there has been no true Conservative leader of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan. How do we know? The American Enterprise Institute’s  in a column titled A reality check about Republican presidents measured the growth of government (i.e. regulations) over the past fifty years. Murray writes:

…I think it’s useful to remind everyone of the ways in which having a Republican president hasn’t made all that much difference for the last fifty years, with Ronald Reagan as the one exception.

First, here’s the history of the most commonly used measure of growth in the regulatory state, the number of pages in the Federal Code of Regulations.

murray_05132016

We can fairly blame LBJ’s Democratic administration for the initial spike in regulations, and Jimmy Carter’s years saw another steep rise. But using number of pages as the measure understates what happened during the Nixon years, when we got the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, plus much of the legislation that gave regulators the latitude to define terms such as “clean” or “safe” as they saw fit.

After the Carter years, the slope of the trendline was shallowest in the Reagan and Clinton administrations (with the Clinton result concentrated in his second term, when a Republican House imposed a moratorium on some new regulations). The increase during the Obama years remained on the same slope as the one during George W. Bush’s years. And if you’re thinking about the Democrats’ most egregious regulatory excess, Dodd-Frank in 2010, recall that Sarbanes-Oxley passed in 2002, when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate.

I should add that presidents don’t bear a lot of blame for failing to reduce regulation — their power to restrain the activities of the regulatory agencies is limited — but neither has electing a Republican president done any good, with Reagan as a partial exception.

Read more.

With the GOP nominee process ending and Donald Trump as the nominee, what has changed? Who is now the leader of the GOP?

Many would say Trump, as the nominee, will be driving the policy and politics of the Republican Party. However, their are those who write and speculate that their remains an internal discord within the party between one of the three factions. The most likely faction to cause this discord are the purples/RINOs. The other two factions have begun uniting behind Trump.

Ayn Rand wrote, “The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

What are the uncontested absurdities of the Republican Party elite? Here’s a short list:

  1. Fear. Republican elites fear being called out by Democrats, the media and at times by fellow Republicans. The fear is palpable.
  2. Political correctness. Republicans succumb to the pressures of being politically correct (see #1 above).
  3. Compromise. Republicans are prone to compromise their values when it is unnecessary or by dint of constant pressure from the Democrat Troika. Compromise is the art of losing slowly. Something the GOPe is accustomed to.
  4. Elitism. The Republican elite (GOPe) has consistently ignored the voices of primary voters in 2008, 20012 and in 2016.
  5. Old guard career politicians. The old guard is not focused on retaining the core values of the party of Abraham Lincoln, rather it is focused on winning re-election.
  6. Lack of leadership. The GOP has controlled Congress for the past 4 years yet has failed to stop the agenda of the Democrat Troika. The leadership of McConnell/Boehner and now McConnell/Ryan have failed to make headway.
  7. Politics by press release. Republicans have become the party of the press release. They send out press statements that sound good on the surface but seldom become political reality, law or have an impact on public policy or Main Street Americans.
  8. Ignoring the base. The GOPe believe they can win presidential elections with old guard, politically correct, compromising, career politicians.
  9. Going along to get along. The best way to win re-election is to go along with the GOPe and Democrats. Shutting down the government to keep from increasing the national debt or reducing the size of government spending goes against the grain of the GOPe.
  10. The GOPe eats its own. The GOPe in the name of items #1-#9 will attack candidates and elected Republicans. Moderate means purple.

So what’s the solution to all of these Republican absurdities? As Newt Gingrich wrote in an article in The Washington Times on January 8, 2016 titled “Donald Trump”:

You’re sick of politicians, sick of the Democratic Party, Republican Party, and sick of illegal’s. You just want this thing fixed. Trump may not be a saint, but doesn’t have any lobbyist money influencing him, he doesn’t have political correctness restraining him, all you know is that he has been very successful, a good negotiator, he has built a lot of things, and he’s also not a politician, so he’s not a cowardly politician. And he says he’ll fix it. You don’t care if the guy has bad hair. You just want those raccoon’s [rabid, messy, mean politicians] gone. Out of your house!

Donald J. Trump has changed the political paradigm. Will the purples follow or become the thorn in the side of Trump. That is the question.

lincoln quote

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An Overthrow of the Government

Sure enough, presidential candidate Donald J. Trump racked up impressive statistics in his Fox News debate tonight, effectively trouncing the competition that included Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Once again, however, Fox’s Megyn “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” Kelly ambushed Mr. Trump by falsely stating that the Better Business Bureau had given Trump University a D-minus rating, when in fact it’s rating is, as Trump asserted, an A!

Here is the Better Business Bureau report, with an ‘A’ grade for Trump University.

trump university bbb report grade a

The same trouncing happened last week when Trump’s victories in the primaries garnered him the lion’s share of electoral votes by winning Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia, which, according to Philip Bump of The Washington Post, “no Republican has ever won…going back to 1960.”

Both pundits and pollsters attributed the massive turn-outs to Mr. Trump’s having excited, inspired and therefore mobilized the electorate––in some cases well over 100% increase above the 2012 midterms. In one instance, Mr. Trump beat Sen. Cruz by 450,000 votes; in another he beat Sen. Rubio by over a million votes! According to writers Bill Barrow and Emily Swanson, Trump had “significant support across educational, ideological, age and income classifications.”

In his victory speech last week, looking and sounding presidential, Mr. Trump accurately proclaimed: “We have expanded the Republican Party.”

This ought to have been music to the ears of Republicans everywhere, especially “establishment” types who constantly seek to attract influential voting blocs comprised of African-Americans, Hispanics, and young people, all of whom––mysteriously, incomprehensibly, self-destructively––have huddled under the Democrat tent for decades, gaining not a micrometer of progress in their personal lives, wages, schools, crime rates, the pathetic list is endless.

Trump, only nine months into being a politician, has accomplished this incredible feat. But the more he succeeds, the more the Grand Poobahs of the Grand Old Party, as well as the media (both right and left), have devolved into what appears to be a clinical state of hysteria.

Think about this. Barack Obama’s record violates every principle and value that Republicans and Conservatives claim they stand for. Under his watch, we have…

  • 94-million unemployed Americans
  • An almost-insurmountable debt of nearly $20 trillion
  • Borders so porous that not thousands but millions of unvetted and potentially murderous illegal aliens (i.e., jihadists) have been able to invade our shores and set up their U.S.-government-dependent shop in sanctuary cities around our nation
  • A severely diminished military and nothing less than vile treatment of our veterans
  • Trampling on the Constitution
  • Bypassing Congress to act unilaterally (and illegally)
  • Appeasing our enemies and spitting at our allies

…and yet those same Republicans and Conservatives––in full control of the Senate and House––have been notably absent in mustering up anything more than mild rebuke to counter Mr. Obama’s assaults on our country.

But to them, Trump is the real threat!

BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES

That’s what the frenzied GOP, media, and also-rans are trying to do, figuratively closing any openings in what they believe is their own personal Ship of State now that the threatening weather called Donald Trump is upon them. They are in a state of impotent horror, given their abject failure––in spite of multimillions spent and generous media assistance––to stem the Trump juggernaut.

Ironic, isn’t it. If any entity deserves a comeuppance, it is the very arrogant, go-along-to-get-along, ineffectual, leftist-whipped, emasculated, cave-to-Obama, bow-to-the-lobbyists, accommodate-the-Arab-lobby establishment!

Impotent? Emasculated? Yes, money and power are mighty motivators, but it is a tacit acknowledgment of their own sissified selves that is now spurring Trump’s critics into action.

And they’re trying their damnedest!

On March 2, a gaggle of Republican national security leaders––no doubt many of them members of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations whose animating raison d’ȇtre would be threatened by a Trump presidency––wrote an open letter to Trump expressing their “united opposition” to his candidacy.”  They don’t like his “vision of American influence and power in the world….advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars…rhetoric [that] undercuts the seriousness of combating Islamic radicalism…insistence that Mexico will fund a wall on the southern border…,” on and on. Comical, isn’t it, that everything they’ve failed to address with any seriousness or success compels them to slam the guy who promises to address those issues and succeed.

On March 3, 22 Republicans––including philandering Congressman Mark Sanford and the execrable Glenn Beck––declared that they would not vote for Trump.

August writers like the Wall St. Journal’s Bret Stephens have been apoplectic about Trump for months, sparing no slur or invective. Author and military historian Max Boot has dug deep into his assault repertoire to make sure no insult has gone unhurled.  And the usually dazzling Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online is simply unable to contain his hostility to Trump’s candidacy, just as most of the other writers at NRO have jumped on the anti-Trump bandwagon. And that’s not to omit the florid hysteria emanating from Commentarymagazine.com.

On March 4, desperate anti-Trump operatives pimped out good ole patsy Mitt Romney to go before a teleprompter and read the words written for him by an anti-Trump operative. So sad––a man who once had class.

But no one forgot that Romney, a lifelong liberal, lost both senatorial and presidential elections and that the last image of him––etched indelibly in the American public’s consciousness––was of him debating his rival for the presidency, Barack Obama, and simply folding like a cheap suit!

Romney––who The Wall St. Journal called “a flawed messenger”––didn’t look or sound like he had dementia, so it’s strange indeed that he barely mentioned the endorsement Trump gave him for his campaign for president, and the lavish praise he heaped upon Trump.

Romney’s hit job evoked the following 22-word, devastating and well-deserved tweet from Trump: “Looks like two-time failed candidate Mitt Romney is going to be telling Republicans how to get elected. Not a good messenger!”

All of the abovementioned people––and dozens I haven’t named––are growing frustrated that their old tricks of marginalizing and finally destroying the target in question haven’t worked. They long to emulate the JournOlist  of 2007, when over-400 members of the leftist media colluded to quash any and every criticism or fact-based doubt about Mr. Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to hold office, to intimidate any critic into silence.

To this day, has anyone seen even one of Barack Obama’s college transcripts, his marriage license, a doctor’s evaluation? Now it’s the Republicans––actually those cocktail-swigging “conservatives” who routinely cozy up to the lobbyists they’re beholden to––who have gotten together to defeat Trump. These feckless so-called leaders decided that their target, a self-funded former liberal, was worth more of their negative, insult-laden literary output and passionate commentary than the Marxist-driven, jihadist-defending, anti-Constitutional, anti-American regime in power.

If you ever wonder how this could happen, why Republicans and self-described Conservatives could rebel so ferociously against a candidate who promises to strengthen our military, bring jobs and industry back to America, seal our borders against the  onslaught of illegal aliens, and make America great again, wonder no more.

FOLLOW THE MONEY

Doesn’t it always come down to money? Money leads to power and influence and control, all of which politicians––that too-often pliable and buyable species––lust for. It’s not only the ephemeral day-to-day power they fear losing, it’s the entire network they’re enmeshed in, which involves all the treaties and deals and “arrangements” they’ve signed onto and the pelf it promises to keep on yielding (for Exhibit No. 1, see The Clinton Foundation and the mountain of cash it reaps).

Imagine their fear of a president who actually cuts the pork, actually strikes deals that don’t line his own pockets, actually exposes the bad deals that have been made by the bad players in Washington, D.C. Imagine what Trump will learn about the massive under-the-table, self-serving deals that were made in the Iran deal and others.

The same lust for power applies to media moguls whose wealth is not limited to TV stations and newspapers but to the very deals made by government and on Wall St. No one knows this better than Mr. Trump, the author of the mega-bestseller, The Art of the Deal. That’s why his critics are so terrified. They pretend to be offended by the kind of comment or gesture that they themselves express routinely. But they’re really afraid of being in the presence of someone who is utterly immune to either their blandishments or strong-arm tactics.

Roger Stone, a former advisor to Mr. Trump, told writer S. Noble at WorldNetDaily.com, that the perceived threat is so real that “The GOP establishment would rather suffer through four years of Hillary––whose policies are indistinguishable from Marco Rubio’s or Mitt Romney’s––than to have an outsider be president, like Trump who is beholden to no one.”

As Mark Cunningham wrote in the New York Post: “All the noise about Donald Trump’s ‘hostile takeover’ of the Republican Party misses a key point: Such takeovers only succeed when existing management has failed massively. And that’s true of both the GOP and the conservative movement. Trump’s a disrupter—but most of the fire aimed his way is just shooting the messenger.”

Monica Crowley, editor of online opinion at The Washington Times, explains that the “emotionally fragile Republican ruling class” deluded themselves into thinking that Mr. Trump couldn’t possibly win. “Then actual voting began. And the first-timer, the brash anti-politician, began racking up resounding victories…”

In addition, Crowley writes: “Like his style or not, Mr. Trump is an in-your-face guy. Voters want that kind of guy taking it to President Obama’s record, [to] Hillary Clinton…and to the unbridled, destructive leftism that has rendered America virtually unrecognizable.” And, I might add, taking it to the wimps in the GOP!

Former Governor Mike Huckabee told Fox News that Donald Trump’s success represents a peaceful “overthrow of the government” and that the Republican establishment should be glad it’s being achieved with “ballots not bullets.” He added that the Trump phenomenon was a “political revolution in the Republican Party and in the country.”

School Is About Freedom, Marco Rubio, Not Just Money

Republicans including Marco Rubio parrot leftist lines about how education’s ultimate goal is money. It needs to be a great deal more than that if our republic is to survive.

Once again, presidential candidate Marco Rubio, when asked a question about education, disparaged liberal learning by repeating his well-rehearsed lines about preparing students for careers in a “global” and “twenty-first-century” economy.

During the CNN town hall last week, he said that rather than teaching philosophy (“Roman philosophy,” no less), colleges should teach practical things—like welding. Sadly, Rubio is not alone. Many Republicans, forgetting their conservative roots, have joined Democrats in advancing a utilitarian view of education.

Now, there is nothing wrong with being a welder. My father, an immigrant, was one. And there is nothing wrong with philosophy—for the student in a technical school. In fact, it was our Founders’ belief that only a literate, well-educated citizenry could govern themselves. Even the tradesman should be versed in the basics of literature, history, and ancient philosophy, they thought. “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people,” said James Madison.

Modern Philosophy Is Merely Cynicism

Rubio, however, does not distinguish between legitimate philosophy and what philosophy, like the rest of the humanities, has become under the regime of tenured radicals. The problem is that philosophy professors no longer teach their subjects or, if they do, it is to cast suspicion upon the very enterprise, as I learned in graduate school in the 1990s.

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience.
My seminar on ancient rhetoric consisted of the professor elevating the sophists, the teachers who for fees taught the art of persuasion by making the worse case seem better. The ends were practical: so citizens could defend themselves in court. To my amazement, my professor ridiculed the traditional philosophical goals of searching for the truth.

In the intervening decades, the situation has become worse. Consider Emory University philosophy professor George Yancy. This full professor, according to the university’s website, specializes in “Critical Philosophy of Race (phenomenology of racial embodiment, social ontology of race),” “Critical Whiteness Studies (white subject formation, white racist ambush, white opacity and embeddedness. . .),” and “African-American Philosophy and Philosophy of the Black Experience (resistance, Black identity formation . . .).”

Yancy received national attention in December for penning the screed “Dear White America” in The New York Times. He began, “I have a weighty request. As you read this letter, I want you to listen with love, a sort of love that demands that you look at parts of yourself that might cause pain and terror, as James Baldwin would say. Did you hear that? You may have missed it. I repeat: I want you to listen with love. Well, at least try.”

Yancy would do well to review the Greek philosophers on the art of rhetoric and what they have to say about not insulting your audience (“Did you hear that?” “Well, at least try.”). Behind such appeals like Yancy’s is an implied threat. Invoking the names of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and other allegedly innocent victims of police violence, he accused “White America” of being racist through and through. Such rhetoric presages and justifies the angry mobs on our campuses and in our streets.

Philosophy Doesn’t Mean Grievance-Mongering

College campuses, once the places where the civilized arts of debate and the pursuit of truth were taught, have become places where the PhDs, doctors of philosophy, lead mobs of students in pursuit of retribution against some “systemic” wrong, usually in reference to race, ethnicity, or gender. Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, supporter of the Black Lives Matter mob movement, is promising to make such education free.

Our presidential candidates should consider what philosophy, rightly understood, could do. Indeed, by studying Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” students would be able to distinguish between different rhetorical appeals and learn the legitimate arts of persuasion—those that allow us to live in a civilized manner, where we resolve our differences through debate, not violence.

Were students to study Plato’s “Republic,” they might understand the dangers of a popular democracy and why the American Founders rejected one. They would consider Thrasymachus’s contention that justice is synonymous with strength, with being a “winner,” regardless of the methods. They might decide to evaluate such rhetoric carefully when it comes from a political candidate, like Donald Trump.

They would consider whether it is good for the government to put people in certain classes, as craftsmen or “guardians,” instead of allowing them to choose for themselves, or whether government should raise children rather than parents. What has been the historical outcome of such societies with centralized government, five-year economic plans, government-assigned jobs, and child-rearing from infancy? Are there any similarities to what Sanders is proposing?

Education Is Ultimately about Self-Governance

This is not to say that a class discussion should center on current political candidates. Indeed, the truly philosophical professor will keep the discussion largely away from the immediate. If the lesson is taught well, the student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education, not regimented job training and political molding.

The student should come to his or her own conclusions and be able to carry those lessons into adulthood. That is the purpose of an education.
The responses to Rubio’s statements in November, by such leftist outlets as ThinkProgress, CNN, and Huffington Post, were quite telling. They replied in kind to his materialist arguments. “Philosophers make more money than welders!” they said. In this they betrayed their utilitarian view of education, one that dominates the Obama administration, specifically through Common Core, a federally coerced program designed to produce compliant workers in the global economy.

The job training part has lured some short-sighted or corrupt Republicans. In higher education, too, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker advanced short-sighted “careerism,” as if he had forgotten, as Peter Lawler pointed out, Alexis de Tocqueville’s argument for studying the Greek and Roman classics. Earlier this year, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin suggested that electrical engineering was worthy of support, while French literature was not.

The other part of the progressive vision for education is to produce graduates who adhere to the state’s status quo. Students are trained to work collectively, focus on emotions, refrain from making independent judgments, and read in a way that does not go beyond ferreting out snippets of information. They are not asked to read an entire Platonic dialogue or novel. They do not get the big picture, from the dawn of civilization.

Our current educational methods are a far cry from the Founders’ robust views, of preparing citizens who are literate, logical, and knowledgeable; citizens capable of voting intelligently.

We Need Cultural Renewal, Not Materialism

We should embrace this conservative view of education. Although it is extremely rare in today’s college classrooms, it is being advanced in more than 150 privately funded academic centers on and off campuses. According to the John William Pope Center for Education Renewal, these centers “preserve and promote the knowledge and perspectives that are disappearing from the academy.”

One of these is the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, where I am a resident fellow. It was founded by three Hamilton College professors in 2007, and is located in the village of Clinton.

AHI offers students the option to read the classics in a manner that is increasingly difficult to find in the typically highly politicized open curriculum. AHI-sponsored reading groups have focused on the works of such important figures as Leo Strauss, St. Augustine, and Josef Pieper. This semester Dr. Elizabeth D’Arrivee is leading a discussion group on Plato’s “Republic.”

Political candidates would do well to explain how they will support such efforts for educational renewal, instead of disparaging philosophy and literature.

RELATED ARTICLE: Campus Protesters Try to Silence Conservative Speaker, Demand College President’s Resignation

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Federalist. Photo Crush Rush / Shutterstock.com