Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Tyranny of Licensing

If the Chinese Virus--and the ensuing overreaction to it by many of our elected "leaders"--has taught us anything, it has demonstrated for us how truly dangerous and destructive that governments can be when they endeavor to curtail our rights in the name of some sort of "public good".  For decades, many of us on the political Right have cautioned our fellow citizens of the dystopian existence that would result if a large and active government were ever to take root.  But over the last couple of months, this discussion has ceased to be a theoretical one...instead, we have all been forced to live this nightmare of economic collapse, interference with our ability to make a living or even make basic decisions about how to live our lives, and restrictions on if our how we can even leave our homes.  The nightmare of government micro-management is being lived out, at long last...and it has turned out to be every bit as awful as we predicted it would be.

For those of us who have advocated for the "Limited Government" cause over the years, most of our focus has been on the Federal level of government.  We were focused on restricting--or even taking away--power from the Federal level because we knew that an assertive, out-of-control Federal Government would destroy our nation and would do it quickly.  However, in having this focus on the Federal level, many of us who are in the "Conservative" or "Limited Government" camps may have made a miscalculation.  You see, nearly all of the government overreach and micro-management that has occurred during the pandemic hasn't come from the Federal level.  Indeed, President Trump deserves praise for the restraint he has shown during this pandemic--refusing to use such a time of panic as an excuse to expand the powers of the Federal Government, and instead deferring to the individual states as much as possible (you know...just the way our Founding Fathers intended!) it turned was the State, Local, and Municipal levels of government that took it upon themselves to ruin our lives in the name of some mythical "greater good".

Among the many offenses by these "lower" levels of government, some of the most unthinkable and egregious have been the efforts to prevent businesses from being open, and to prevent individuals from engaging in the trade which puts food on their table.  When individuals and businesses have tried to push back against this oppression, they have often been threatened with having their business licenses or professional licenses revoked.  This has happened in Illinois....  And it has also happened in Michigan, as well. And these are only two examples of many around the nation.

It's one thing to say that local and state governments are being overly aggressive and negatively impacting the lives of the people they purport to represent (and that would be true, of course).  But in doing so, the next step is to understand the mechanisms by which these governments are enforcing these unconstitutional and dangerous edicts.  If you can understand the mechanisms these governments are working with, then one can begin working to eliminate and destroy those mechanisms, so that governments will not have the power to take such actions in the future.

In the cases of these businesses, the governments are using the power of licensing as a large stick with which to keep businesses "in line".  And this puts those of us on the side of Liberty and Individual Rights in a conundrum...because no matter how absurd, unconstitutional, or illegal any of these demands at the state or local level might be, a business license (or liquor license, if you operate a bar or restaurant) is a necessity in order to operate your business.  You're business simply cannot exist without such licensing.  So you either have to go along with these unconscionable demands, or be put out of business.

But what if there were another way?

We, as Americans, take the idea of licensing for granted.  We don't often give a second thought to the concept of businesses being licensed, or even to we as individuals being licensed or granted permits in order to do basic things like operate a motor vehicle, engage in a particular profession, or make improvements to our property.  But are such efforts by government actually beneficial to us?  Do we really gain more than we lose by allowing various levels of government to license and permit many of our activities?

The common retort to such an idea is that government is needed in order to regulate businesses, industries, and individual behaviors.  "If the government didn't license doctors, then anyone could operate on people!  You don't want that, do you?" is typical of the response I get when raising this idea among mixed company.  But does the licensing of Doctors really protect us from harm?  No--there are many doctors who have been properly licensed, and yet who have engaged in malpractice.  After all, there is nothing "special" about government that gives it's officials any sort of added intelligence, skills of judgement, or wisdom beyond what the general public has available to them.  A government is in no better position to judge whether someone is fit to be a doctor (or a plumber...or a barber...or a driver...or really, anything else) than the general public is.  A government employee has no special skill, knowledge, or background that would make them better suited to make these judgements than any of us have.

Individuals are fully capable of sharing information among each other with regards to which businesses and tradesmen are good at their jobs, and which ones are not.  And human beings will naturally seek out and share this information.  When you consider that we live in an era where "crowdsourcing" information on the internet is practically second nature to us all...we are able to more quickly, effectively, and precisely glean information about who we should (or shouldn't) do business with than a government ever could.  What do you do when you need a plumber, or an auto mechanic, or a handyman?  You likely go onto the internet and find reviews of the various businesses and people in your area who engage in these industries.  And it doesn't take you long to find plenty of reviews from those who do their jobs poorly, and good reviews for those who do their jobs effectively and affordably.  You never engage with government at any point in this process...nor do you need to.  You are fully capable of making these judgements on your own, and your fellow citizens are fully capable (and willing) to share this information among each other.

So if governments really aren't needed in order to prevent us from engaging with unskilled or unscrupulous businesses, then what's the point of licensing and permits?  From where I sit, it seems to boil down to two things--money and control.  With every license that is granted, government collects money (for nothing) from the business or person being licensed.  And down the road, when that government decides they want to micro-manage that business or person--they must either comply, or have that license revoked.

It's a shakedown scam the likes of which the old-school Mafia would have been proud.

We, as citizens, gain very little from government licensing...but we lose much in the way of autonomy and revenue.  If we take away the power of state and local governments to license, then we also take away the primary mechanism they have with which to enforce unconstitutional actions.  At the end of the day, why should we be giving up our autonomy, and getting little of value in return?

I realize that licensing isn't a "move the needle" topic of discussion in the manner that Illegal Immigration, creeping Socialism, or other hot button issues are...but if we want to truly take power away from all levels of government (and what we've seen during the Chinese Virus panic demonstrates that we must focus on this, at all levels of government), then focusing on taking away these mechanisms--mundane though it might seem--is critical.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

It's Time For a 28th Amendment

The scare over the Chinese Virus has certainly upended our lives and our economy, to say the least.  And what has been most stunning about these developments is the speed at which governments have been able to restrict our movements, prevent our being able to earn a living as we once did, and compel businesses to shut down or radically change how--and to what extent--they will do business.  For those of us in the "Limited Government" (or even, the "Anti-Government") camp, this is the sort of government micro-management that we have long feared--and the results have been every bit as devastating as we imagined.  An economy ground to a halt, people struggling to find a way to feed their children and keep a roof over their heads, and the very autonomy we treasure being tossed aside for some mythical "greater good of society".

However, for most of us who have spent a lifetime fighting this sort of government overreach and micro-management, the source of this despotism has been a bit surprising.  For decades, we have cautioned against a Federal Government being allowed too much power--as this would undoubtedly lead to the destruction of our individual freedoms.  However, the assaults on our freedom we are seeing at this time are not coming from the Federal level, as many of us assumed they eventually would.  President Trump--in the face of incalculable pressure--has resisted every urge to use this crisis as an excuse to expand government overreach and to give the Federal Government more of a role in our individual lives.  For this, President Trump deserves a tremendous amount of praise...after all, my gut tells me that any other President--of either party--would have taken advantage of this situation to expand government and gain even more control of our lives (Remember the "Patriot Act" of George W. Bush?  Yes, the Democrats are horrible about these sorts of things, but they aren't always alone...)

No, it was "leaders" at the state, local, and, and municipal levels who engaged in these power grabs.  Mainly Democrats, yes, but often joined by RINO Republicans who--in the words of Rahm Emmanuel, couldn't let a crisis go to waste.  The fact that you are--as of this writing--currently cooped up in your home, wondering where your next paycheck is going to come from, or when you will be able to visit a grocery store that resembles something other than a Soviet breadline, is something entirely brought about by the power-hungry, micro-managing politicians in your state, city, and/or municipality.

So while our focus for so many years has been on restricting the power that the Federal Government has over our individual lives, is it possible that we have taken our eye off the ball--at least somewhat--in terms of the power that state, local, and municipal governments have?  Did this perhaps open up the possibility that local governments could radically impact the lives of it's citizens--determining winners and losers, telling you where and when you can move and where and when you can't?  No doubt that our form of government was set up so that the local governments would be the most responsive to us--that was the intention of our Founders.  But in acknowledging that reality, have we--even so--allowed too much power to be given to our local governments?

If there is one lesson to be learned from the Chinese Virus, it is that "Stay at Home" orders, "Lockdowns", "Quarantines", and orders determining what businesses are "essential" and "non-essential" can easily be abused by governments at any level, and can be used to quickly and egregiously take away our freedoms and exert control over our individual lives.  While our Founders intended for local governments to be most responsive to us--to be our "go to" when it came to those very few governmental needs we might encounter--I am convinced they did not intend this.  So the question is, how can we strip these sort of powers away from state, local, and municipal governments?

The best way to effect such change (and also the most seldom used method) would be to add an amendment to the Constitution.  While it is not an easy task to accomplish, such an amendment would be something that could not be changed by a Congress, an Executive Order, or a Court of any kind.  It would have the "teeth" needed to keep something like what we have seen from ever happening again.  I am proposing the idea of a 28th Amendment to the Constitution--the focus of which would be prohibiting any level of government from having the power to enact "Stay at Home" orders, "Qurantines", "Lockdowns", or forcing businesses to alter how they operate or to shut down, even in "Emergency" circumstances.  This period in history has proven to us all that government--at any level--cannot be trusted with this sort of power or ability, that they will always abuse it, and that when they do abuse those powers, the impact--in terms of economics and quality of life--is devastating.

I'm certainly not a Constitutional Lawyer, nor am I someone who has any experience drafting legislation or legal documents of any sort.  Therefore, the text of this proposed amendment that you are about to read is simply a rough, first draft.  No doubt my verbiage and word selection will fall somewhat short and will need to be tightened up--from a legal and Constitutional perspective.  If you have suggestions for how I might adjust the verbiage in order to make the amendment more clear or "air tight"--please feel free to post that feedback, and I'll update the proposed amendment accordingly.

This is what I have worked up--thus far--for the text of this 28th Amendment to the Constitution:

"No Federal, State, Local, or Municipal government shall prevent or attempt to prevent a business from operating in it's normal procedures and capacity.  Exceptions may not be made for times of emergency, natural disaster, insurrection, or Act of God.

No Federal, State, Local, or Municipal government shall prevent or restrict a citizen from his normal mode of free movement or from engaging in his legally obtained vocation, job, or business, under any circumstances
Exceptions may not be made for times of emergency, natural disaster, insurrection, or Act of God."

Simply put--we must take away the power from government (all forms of government) to take over our lives, restrict our movements and our ability to glean a paycheck, and micro-manage our lives.  This virus (and more importantly, the overreaction to it) has served as a stress test for our society.  it has exposed the weaknesses and areas of improvement with our approach to government that we may not have seen before.  And what has been exposed is how quickly that local and state governments can so quickly embrace a model that strips away or civil liberties and reduces it's citizens to nothing more than pieces on a be moved around as those in power see fit, with no consideration being given to the quality of life that those citizens have.  Simply put, this must never, ever be allowed to happen matter the situation, no matter what challenge our nation faces in the future.  The power we have seen abused over these last few weeks must be permanently stripped away from ALL levels of government.  Individual Rights and Autonomy must never again be sacrificed for "the greater good".

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Reflections and Reconsiderations for a New Year

Now that the calendar has changed, and we are one week into the new year of 2020, we find ourselves at a point of reflection. A common action, of course, for most of us when the year changes...a new year is a natural point for each of us to take a "temperature check" of our lives--what's working?  What isn't working?  What would we like to improve?  What would we like to keep?  From our health, to our relationships, to our professional situation, to any number of other aspects of our seems that the turning of a new year provides us a natural point at which to take stock of it all and reflect on where we are, where we're wanting to go, and how best to get there.

As a part of this natural process, I have reflected, over the last couple of weeks or so, on this website.  When I initially put this site together nearly three years ago, I did so by considering and examining one question:  "What should a people or a nation do in the event that one of it's political parties has crossed the line from disagreeable political opponent...and has become, instead, a national security threat?"  The thesis put forth in my initial article on this site--and subsequently reinforced in nearly all of the other pieces I have written here--is that the Democratic Party is a National Security Threat--one which endangers the lives of Americans living in our nation today, and one which intends to destroy the future of our nation, as we currently know it.  As such, this site was put together as a mechanism of re-thinking how to interact with a rogue political party who is endangering our very nation--and even our lives.  But as the new year has come, I am asking myself, "Is that still the case--are the Democrats still a National Security Threat, and do we still need to take extreme measures in order to prevent them from accessing our political process--or have things moved in a different direction?  Is it possible that I over-estimated the danger and threat of the Democratic Party three years ago when I began this endeavor?"

As I began reflecting on these questions, I started by looking at what we are hearing out of the Democratic Presidential candidates during the Presidential debates we have seen over the last year.  In doing so, I noticed some things that went far beyond simple and understandable political disagreement, and moved into that territory of the Democrats being a clear and present danger to America and American Citizens.  We heard many of the candidates speak glowingly of Illegal Aliens--espousing different mechanisms and potential policies that would not only make it easier for these criminals to come into the country, but would also use our hard-earned tax dollars to make their lives more comfortable once they get here...all as these candidates ignored the crime, economic problems, and literal dead bodies that have resulted from the presence of Illegal Aliens.  We also heard Democratic candidates--without fail--praise the continued murder of unborn babies...and even suggest policies that would extend this ghastly "right" to even later in the pregnancy process, insuring even more infants would be murdered before they even had a chance to live.  And we even saw Beto O'Rouke casually and flippantly tell the nation "Hell Yes, We are going to take your AR-15, your AK-47"...removing the means that many fine Americans have to defend themselves from criminals, home invaders, Illegal Aliens, and even ultimately, their Federal Government.

So my process of reflection was already headed down the road of, "I guess I was right, the Democrats really are a dangerous National Security Threat" on the basis of what we heard in the debates alone.  But if those examples had started to confirm the direction I began going in three years ago...the week that just passed, December 28 to January 4--cemented it.

It was during that week that two very important things occurred...and that the reaction to these two news stories from the Democrats was such that any residual shred of respect, compassion, or deference that I had for any of them just went right down the toilet.  First, there was a tragic church shooting in White Settlement, Texas.  And as tragic as the shooting was, the number of deaths was minimized by a churchgoer, carrying his own weapon, shooting and killing the assailant.  As a result, only two people lost their lives--tragic in it's own right, yes...but far less that what would have surely been the case if this armed worshiper hadn't sprung into action.  But instead of being thankful for this loss of life, many Leftists, online and elsewhere, bemoaned the fact that this hero and others in the church were armed in the first place!  Beto O'Rorke tweeted that what they are doing in Texas clearly isn't working, in spite of Texas law providing for this hero to protect his fellow churchgoers.  USA Today--which you might me surprised to learn still exists in this era of dwindling newspaper subscribers--claimed it was "terrifying" that so many people in the church were armed, despite the fact that there would have been massive loss of life if they weren't armed.

But that was just the opening act from the Left.

Later in the week, President Trump launched an operation in which a drone attack killed the top military leader in Iran, a guy who had been personally responsible for the death and injury of countless Americans over the years.  His macabre resume of destruction was one that could hardly be imagined by a civilized person, yet it was all too real.  And yet, on a day in which one would expect Americans to come together and praise the death of one of the most bloodthirsty and dangerous enemies that our nation has ever had the misfortune to come across...there were the Democrats and the Leftists, criticizing the actions of our President in bringing this terrorist to justice.  A Democratic Presidential candidate even said the unthinkable, that "taking out a bad guy isn't necessarily a good idea".

This reflection process that I have been undertaking--and this last week in particular--have only reinforced what I stated three years ago.  When I see the Democrats advocating for Illegal Aliens, trying to take our weapons (and God help the people of Virginia, who are quite literally in the crosshairs of the Democrats on this issue as we speak), and poo pooing the armed defense of innocent people--whether in a church by a private citizen, or on the world stage by a courageous President--it is clear to me that they want this nation, as we currently know it and recognize it, to be brought to an end...and perhaps a grisly end at that.  They are as dangerous as any terrorist organization or any rogue nation we might face down elsewhere on the globe.  The Democrats are literal danger to you, I, and our children.  They must be disassociated from American politics by whatever means possible.

After three years, yes, I am more confident than ever that we must Outlaw the Democrats.  My journey of reflection has become one of reinforcement.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Red Flag Laws: When President Trump is Wrong

There is a caricature that many Leftists and Never Trumpers have about Trump is the impression that all Trump supporters blindly follow whatever President Trump says and does, and that they cannot somehow think for themselves.  And because President Trump has been so different from other Presidents over the last 2 1/2 years--because he has been so sensible and straightforward on so many major issues where previous Republican Presidents have been timid--I can see where the impression comes from, even if it is untrue.  We do back him up a lot, quite a bit more than many of us have backed up other Presidents, as a matter of fact.  While this has not been the sycophantic reaction that critics have deemed it to be, it has happened instead because of a symmetry on the most important issues that base Republican voters and Trump supporters have had with the President...a symmetry that most of us have never had with any other President in our lifetimes.  With such symmetry, those who don't understand the typical Trump voter might see the appearance of such consistent agreement and assume it is "blind allegiance"--when instead it is based on a much more deep and meaningful overlap of political and cultural ideals.

That symmetry was severely tested today (and, in some ways, may be broken...perhaps beyond repair) by the President's openness to "Red Flag" gun laws in response to recent mass shootings.  While I can't speak for other Trump supporters, I can say that--from my perspective--this is the first moment at which I've been somewhat ashamed of the President, or that I have truly questioned his commitment to our principals.  There were many reasons that I (and others) supported the President during the campaign.  We knew he was right on Immigration, we knew he was right about the Wall, we knew he was more correct about our economic issues than any President--of either party--that we'd ever seen...and we knew (or were at least led to believe) that he was strong on the 2nd Amendment.  Hints at national conceal carry reciprocity on the campaign trail peaked out interest.  His speeches at the NRA and in front of other 2A audiences seemed to not only check all the right boxes...but seemed to do so with a commitment that few other politicians (and none on the Presidential level, save Ron Paul) had ever demonstrated.

But then we had the Bump Stock Ban.  That was a blow...but to most of us gun owners, bump stocks were an anomaly...something akin to a toy.  Some of us were willing to look the other way, given that few of us had bump stocks, and even fewer of us seemed to have the desire to ever purchase or use one.  "If that's the worst that can happen", we thought to ourselves, "then we're in pretty good shape, given the overall anti-gun environment".

But then today happened...and I have to wonder if the bonds of trust that we who place a great deal of importance on the 2nd Amendment can ever get past the acceptance of the idea of Red Flag gun laws.  Now, to the uninitiated, I understand that such laws can seem like "common sense".  But such laws would be very problematic, for two reasons:

The first issue:  If we have people walking around society who are so deranged that they can't be trusted to own a gun, then are we suddenly going to be safe with them walking around society so long as they can't access a gun? Absolutely not. If they are that far gone, if they are that much of a danger to society...then they need to be institutionalized and separated from normal functioning people instead of trying to find ways for them to continue to be a part of society and endanger us (whether they can get a gun or not).  Allowing nutjobs to walk around our streets and our towns--so long as they do so without access to a gun--does not make them docile...and it certainly doesn't make the rest of us any more safe.

The second issue:  Why on Earth would we trust the government to make the decision of who is mentally competent to have a firearm and who isn't? We've already seen how far they will sink to interfere with a presidential election and how far they will go to try and get a sitting President out of office...why would we think they *wouldn't* abuse this new power within moments of having it granted to them? We could sit here all day and recite situations and incidents throughout our history when our Federal Government abused or misused it's power in order to silence, destroy, or even kill people they decided were their why would we think they wouldn't use this new found power for the same means?  Why would they not use this power against us in order to silence--or even dispose of--us?

Now, playing Devil's Advocate for a moment, I know two things about President Trump by observing him:  First, that he is a man of action.  Second, that he is a very compassionate person (perhaps compassionate to a fault, in some cases).  Given that set of personality traits, I could see a situation where he is naturally horrified and taken aback about the death and destruction over this weekend (as we all are)...and given his propensity to take significant and drastic action when he sees a problem that needs to be corrected...I can see him embracing these laws as a significant step towards--he believes--resolving this issue while staying away from things like "assault rifle" bans, magazine limits, etc.

I'd like to think that the President is taking this path--wrong as it may be--because of his compassionate nature, and because he legitimately (if incorrectly) believes that it will make a difference.

But this is the real world, and the old cliche is true--the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.  Perhaps the President should be reminded of why we have the Second Amendment in the first place.  Many people may have forgotten--or perhaps they were never taught in the first place--that the ratification of our Constitution among the original thirteen states was not a slam dunk.  Indeed, there was much contentiousness when the Constitution was presented to the various states for possible ratification.  There were many issues, questions, and concerns that individual states had with the Constitution, but among the most profound of these concerns was the presence of a centralized government and a standing army.  After what the colonists had been through with England--dealing with a strong centralized government that would use it's standing army in order to abuse it's power--they were understandably leery about setting up another centralized government that could, in effect, end up doing the same thing.  This was a major point of contention during the ratification of the Constitution.

As a result, the Bill of Rights--the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution--were drafted.  These 10 amendments were designed to assuage the concerns of the various states, and without them, the Constitution would not have been ratified.  The Second Amendment, of course, was one of these 10...and it was critical, as it was designed to give the states the assurance that--because the individual people would always have the right to bear the same arms that the standing army had--the centralized government could never use that standing army to run roughshod over the people.  This was a critical compromise, and without it, it's doubtful that the Constitution would have ever been ratified in it's current form, with the centralized Federal Government intact.

Red Flag gun laws would make an absolute mockery of this critical compromise and arrangement.  The point of our Right to bear Arms is to keep the centralized government in check--it wasn't about hunting, target shooting, or even self-defense from criminals (although those are wonderful side benefits).  The states understood that, even in the best of circumstances, the citizens relationship with the central government would always be acrimonious and filled with tension.  That the centralized government could never be fully trusted, and that they had to take measures to keep that government off balance.  They certainly never would have allowed that government to determine whom among them would be allowed to have weapons and who wouldn't--this would defeat the entire purpose of not only the Second Amendment, but of the Revolution as a whole.

Look at it this way--would we ever divulge to Kim Jong Un where every missile, bomb, tank, and aircraft that we have are located?  Absolutely not.  Would we ever allow Kim Jong Un to determine how many missiles, tanks, planes, etc that we had...and to make conditions on what armaments we could build or purchase, and who would be in control of them?  Heavens no!  But Red Flag gun laws would force the American People--who's relationship with their government even in the best of times can be no less distrustful and acrimonious than that with enemies like Kim Jong Un--to allow the very government we are distrustful of, and which we may have to do battle with one day (though we all hope this never comes to pass), to have the final say on who has what weaponry.

The President's words today might come from a place of compassion and love...but that doesn't matter.  What has been suggested by the President today will throw the precarious arrangement between the American People and their government out of balance...and over the long term, it will place us all in danger and potentially under oppression.  It is absolutely unacceptable, and the President is unequivocally wrong.  Worse yet, he has severely damaged the bonds of trust he has with his supporters, and with good Americans across the country.  And I fear these bonds may be difficult to repair.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Socialism: It's Far, Far Worse Than Racism

Stop me if you've heard this one before...but The Daily Beast and MSN both printed an opinion piece that brusquely stated, Trump is a racist. If you still support him, so are you.  You know the drill, I'm sure--some Liberal website pounces on something that President Trump said or did, pronounces the actions or words in question as "racist", and then uses that pronouncement as a free pass to define most or all of Trump's supporters as "racist".  This isn't exactly the treading of new ground, it must be said.

And no doubt, most of you know what comes next in these situations...supporters of the President vociferously--and accurately--point out that the words or actions of the President are not racist, and explain in painstaking detail why those actions or words are not racist.  The Left takes none of these well thought out and sensible defenses of the President--or of ourselves--seriously...continues to call us racist (even in the face of logic and proof otherwise) and they stick to their pronouncement (and their narrative) come Hell or high water.  We who are supporters of the President in these scenarios argue logic with these Leftists...but it seldom works, because they aren't interested in logic.  Instead, the are interested in Social Justice--the definition of which seems to ebb and flow depending on whatever they need that definition to be at that given moment.

And so, this all-to-familiar scenario is playing out once again.  This past weekend, the President called out four vocal, anti-American Senators, effectively telling them to go back where they came from.  The media, predictably, pounced on this, falsely calling it "racism".  And for the next 24 hours (or more) Americans argued about it--online, around the water cooler at work, at the bar...practically any place where human beings interact.  One group insisting the actions were racist and that anyone who supported the President's words were racist as well...another group defending the President and pointing out--accurately if not unsuccessfully--why the President (and themselves) are not "racist".

Just like we've seen countless times before.

But here's the thing--even though those of us who breathlessly defend the President in these situations are right to do so...getting mired in these argument about what is racist and what isn't racist...about whether the President is racist or not...about whether WE are racist or not...they all miss the point, at least somewhat.

Because, you see, these conflicts and arguments--purposely orchestrated as they always are by the Left--exist ONLY if everyone excepts the Leftist premise that racism is the most important issue facing America today.  Stop and think about it--why do Leftists constantly play the "race card"?  They do so because they believe that it automatically ends any conversation...that the charge of racism is so horrible, so severe, so unspeakable that the risk of being accused of racism--or worse yet, to be proven to be a racist--is enough to shame anyone into silence.  They put racism on such a high pedestal that they honestly believe that the presence of racism in a person's life invalidates every other positive achievement and contribution to society, even writing The Declaration of Independence and helping found this country! In the mind of the Leftist, racism is the single worst thing to ever happen to America and the single worst attribute of humanity, or of any indiviual.

But is that really so?  Is racism the single most important issue that America as a whole, or that we as individuals, have to deal with on a daily basis?

Well, let's wasn't racism that flew those planes into our buildings on September 11.  It isn't racism that is invading our Southern border (well, not racism on behalf of Americans, anyhow).  It isn't racism that is committing all of the robberies, thefts, murders, and rapes that occur on a daily basis.  It is not racism that has sent our manufacturing jobs overseas.  No...when it comes to those important life-or-death issues that we have to account for and deal with each and every day...racism doesn't play a role at all.

I'm certainly not suggesting that racism doesn't exist in America, certainly, it does (though it's certainly not a one-way much racism seems to be propagated towards Whites as anyone...but that's probably another discussion for another time).  But on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represents the most pressing and important issues we face on a daily basis, and 1 represents the most minor of issues we face...

...I'd give racism about a 3 on that scale.

You see, just because Leftists believe that racism is a 10 out of 10 on that scale, it doesn't make it so.  And we are under no obligation to accept their flawed premise.  We don't have to take the bait.  So the next time they accuse the President--or you--of racism, perhaps the proper way to answer that charge is to say:

"No, it's not racist...but so what if it were?"

Force them to defend their premise that racism is the most important thing in the world, ever.   Force them into a conversation where racism is put into proper perspective when compared to real issues that impact regular people every day (and which might even be Life and Death issues, such as in the cases of Border Security and Illegal Immigration).  What so many of us know--but dare not say--is that there are things out there that are far worse than racism.

And one of those things is Socialism.

We could write volumes documenting the destructiveness, violence, loss of life, and abject poverty that has been brought about in the world because of Socialism (and indeed, many authors have done just this...their works are not hard to find).  And as bad as racism might be on some level, it certainly doesn't have the overall track record of depravity in human history that Socialism/Communism/Liberalism does.

And yet, "The Squad" (as these four vocal, Socialist senators have become known) are pushing Socialism, and accusing the President--and you and I--of racism.  But between the two, which is more harmful to America?

It isn't the President, it is "The Squad".

So we must take the power away from the word "racism" and accusations of it.  Stand up the the Left and say "so what if racism exists...there are far worse things".  If you take away their power behind that word...if you reject their demand that everybody recognize racism as "the single worst thing on planet Earth, ever"...if you stand up to them and make it clear how insignificant racism actually is in our overall lives...if you do these things, then you will force Liberals and Socialists to discuss ideas and issues that actually matter, and that actually have an impact on America.  And that ALWAYS works out to the advantage of those of us on the Right.

In the end, the Left only brings up accusations of racism as a distraction--a bait and switch, if you will.  Because deep down, they know that if they can get us distracted by discussing something as minor and insignificant as racism, then they don't have to discuss legitimate issues that actually matter.

So the next time a Liberals calls you (or our President) a racist, just say, "So what?  I'd rather be a racist than a Socialist!"

And Socialists all need to go back where they came from--as the President told The Squad.  Or at the very least, they all need to get the Hell out of America!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Beware Of The Olive Branch

As I write this piece, it has been three weeks since the 2018 Midterm Elections.  In looking back roughly a month or so--back to the Midterm Campaigns--I remember the tone of many of the Democratic Senate and House candidates during their campaign.  It was a tone of normalcy, of "regularness", of telling Americans in Flyover Country that they were really no different than us...they weren't crazy...they weren't unpatriotic...that they have the same concerns as the rest of us...that those Democratic candidates were, for lack of a better term, "reasonable".

This tone was, of course, a striking difference to the tone we in Flyover Country had seen out of Democrats for the last decade or so.  After continual and constant examples of Democrats focusing on the wants and needs of Illegal Aliens, Urban Criminals, Muslim Terrorists, the LGBT community, Environmentalists, crazed Feminists, and anyone else who wanted to attack the very religious values and traditional family structure that made America great to begin with...and after continual examples of  Democrats placing a far higher priority on people in these groups than they ever did on the wants and needs of normal, middle-class, Christian Americans...there was understandably a great deal of distrust and skepticism of Liberals and Democrats in Rural America leading into the midterms.  In order to win their elections (particularly in the Senate--where those elections are statewide in nature, and where you simply can't get around having to appeal to rural voters), Democrats were going to have to actually speak to Americans in Flyover Country, and provide them with a message that was far different then what their party had espoused for the last decade.  A daunting task, yes...but a necessary one if the Democratic candidates were to have any legitimate shot at winning.

Now, I don't want to overstate this direction--it certainly wasn't something that we saw from Democrats on the national level, or in their appearances on CNN, MSNBC, or other national news and opinion outlets.  Those folks continued to appear as crazy as they've ever been.  But out on the campaign trail--and that state and district levels--Democrats who were actually running for office tried their best to paint a different picture.  It was those Democrats who tried to paint a picture of being "just like you", but simply having a different way of dealing with our nation's issues than President Trump and the Republican Party have.

Here in Missouri, Claire McCaskill--who was running to retain her Senate seat--seemed to go all in with this strategy.  It started with the usual advertisements touting her background of having grown up in rural Missouri.  It then progressed to how much she valued "reaching across the aisle" (all of which seemed to ignore the most obvious question--if "reaching across the aisle" to Republicans was truly as much of a focus for Claire as she claimed...then why didn't she just cross the aisle and become a Republican at some point during her long career?).  Finally--perhaps because she hadn't gotten her point across, or perhaps out of rote desperation--McCaskill actually started calling out members of her own party as "Crazy" in an attempt to separate herself from them in the eyes of Missouri voters.  In the end, it didn't work--it was, after all, too much of a pivot from what rural voters had seen and heard over the last decade--McCaskill lost her Senate seat to Josh Hawley...and around the country, Republicans ended up gaining seats in the Senate (something that, historically speaking, just doesn't happen during a President's first term).

Ok, so the strategy didn't work for Democrats.  But what if this wasn't just a strategy?  What if, in a "glass half full" sort of moment, there had really been a pivot in the Democratic Party and the American Left back towards normalcy and towards the values of rural Americans?  If so, couldn't that portend some good things for America's future?  Couldn't there be *gasp* the possibility of meaningful cooperation and even a hint of that most treasured of focus-group tested buzzwords, bi-partisanship?

Well, given what we have seen in the last three weeks of the election, the answer to that last paragraph is a pretty clear, "No".  Almost immediately after the election, the actions of Democrats proved that they had gone from "reasonable" back to "bat-shit crazy" in about the same amount of time it takes a Corvette to go from 0 to 60 MPH.   Almost immediately, Democrats went peddle-to-the-floor on backing the invading hordes marching through Mexico with the intent of invading at our Southern border (or, as sympathetic and anti-American journalists often referred to them, the "migrant caravan").  From there, a Democratic Representative from California tweeted casually about using nuclear weapons on gun owners who refused to give up their guns.  In short, the focus for Democrats has reverted back to what it always was--uprooting the values, beliefs, and behaviors that have stood our nation in good stead for so many years, and replacing them with a "fundamentally transformed" America based on false notions of "Social Justice" and "equality" at any and all costs.

In other words, they are just a nutty today as they were before the Midterm campaigns.  Nothing really changed, and Senate voters in Flyover Country recognized this, and didn't take the bait.

But this situation does raise a red flag for us.  At some point during the next two years, there will be a push from Democrats for some sort of "bi-partisanship" or "coming together" on some issue.  Mark my words--this will happen at some point before the 2020 Presidential election.  Maybe it will come because they recognize, late in the game, that continual investigations and attempts at impeachment (if they choose to go that route) will piss the American People off to the point that they have no real shot in 2020...or maybe it will be something more pragmatic, such as an infrastructure plan of some sort that they would likely get cooperation from President Trump for, and that they could then take back to Flyover states and say, "Look, we can work across the aisle".  Whatever the motivation or situation that might bring it about...I fully expect some sort of push for bi-partisanship to come from the Democrats within the next two years.

And when this push does happen, it will look like something similar to what we saw in the 2018 Midterms--a calculated attempt to "put on the mask" and convince normal Americans that Democrats and Leftists have more in common with us than we think.  Their words and their rhetoric will--temporarily--try to give this impression.  But pay attention to their actions, not their words.  Whenever this occurs, they really will not change in the manor that they proclaim (just as it is clear the "changes" they tried to convince us of during their Midterm campaigns were not legitimate in the end).  Rest assured, they will be every bit as evil and anti-American as they are today.  They will just try to convince you otherwise.

When they offer the olive branch--and they will at some point over the next two years--brush it away.  Do not accept it.  It is only an attempt to place themselves closer to power, so that they might continue their incremental destruction of America.  They are not bargaining in good faith for America, and they never will.  It will be the political version of the "Tennessee Handshake"--shaking a man's hand with your right hand, while you have your left hand behind your back, with a knife in it, preparing to stab the person in the back who's hand you are shaking in the moment.

Reject them and their calls for bi-partisanship, no matter what they say to your face. In the end, it is what is best for America in general, and for us all individually, in particular. 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Re-Thinking America's Two-Party System

You've probably heard it so often in your life that you barely notice it:  "Our two-party system has served America well".  The justification we are given (or that we sometimes tell ourselves) is that the two-party system results in the "extremes" from both sides cancelling each other out, and the center taking the best ideas from both sides and molding it into cohesive policy.  It's an idea that nearly all of us believe in, to the point that we almost take it for granted...that it's almost obvious.  The one thing you rarely see people take issue with in America is our two-party system of governance.

On the surface, it does seem like a good idea, or at least a reasonable one.  If you have two political sides, each genuinely wanting the best for America (whatever that might entail), and both operating in good faith,  then exposing ideas and policy to the scrutiny of debate and process from both sides very well could result in stronger policies being produced as a result.  If everybody truly wants the best for America, and both sides are working toward that end, then the resulting debate and compromise could potentially be a very good thing, indeed.

But what if only one of the two parties is operating in good faith?  What if only one of the two political parties truly wants what's best for America, while the other party wants to bring down the very principles, ideals, and history that made us great in the first place (and endeavors to "fundamentally transform" America)?  Is the two-party system still beneficial in that case?

Computer Programmers have an oft-used phrase:  Garbage In, Garbage Out.  The meaning of the phrase is that if a programmer makes a mistake during the programming process, that mistake will--without exception--manifest itself in the finished program, regardless of whatever else happens during the programming process.  Garbage In, Garbage Out can apply to politics as well--if one of the two parties involved in our political process is consistently wrong about every single subject, topic, or issue that comes up...and if that party continues to be allowed to take part in the political process...then how can the end results of that process end up being anything good or worthwhile?

To put it more precisely, how can a party that has consistently advocated for Illegal Aliens, empathized with Urban Criminals over Police, has been more concerned with the "rights" of Muslim Terrorists over the basic protection of American citizens, has consistently attempted to take away our gun rights at every turn, has actively worked against the lower taxes that so many of us--across all economic levels--have benefited can the presence of that political party in the political process result in anything of value when it comes to dealing with the very issues that America as a whole deals with?

To put it can't.

The Democratic Party (and the American Left as a whole) literally get it wrong every single time.  And they've done it for decades.  Yes, cooperation could be a good thing if the opposing party did the right thing at least some of the time.  But the Democrats don't even have that modicum of a track record.  Since at least the 1990's, the Democrats have been on the wrong side of literally every major issue and event that America has experienced.  As such, American politics would be far better off without that party's participation.

But if the Democratic Party went away (either by losing so many elections that they go extinct...or by some sort of legislative means that would outlaw their existence--which is what we consistently advocate for on this website), then we would have only one party remaining in American politics--at least in a realistic sense.  (Don't even try to convince me that something like the Libertarian Party or Green Party could effectively take their spot).  We would most likely end up being a one-party system in America--the Republican Party.  When people think of one-party nations, they often think of the worst.  They envision the most egregious and despicable tyrants of all time when the think of a one-party system.  But does this necessarily have to be the case?

To answer that question, I have to look no further than to look within America's core.  Specifically, I look to the rural communities of America's South and Midwest.  What many people don't realize is that a lot of these rural communities and counties operate--in a de facto sense--as a one-party political system.  In many of these rural areas, the Democratic Party either isn't present, or is so small and neutered that it has no impact on local politics at all.  During general elections, most Republican candidates run unopposed (Primary elections, on the other hand, can be quite competitive, with multiple Republicans running for most offices).  In many rural counties in America (and certainly in my home state of Missouri), Republicans have every single elected office in the county...and this has been the case as far back as anyone can remember. While a one-party system has not been legislated into existence in these areas, it still does very much exist, because that's what the voters in these areas want...and have wanted for quite a long time.

Uniformity in politics is not the only type of uniformity that exists in many of these areas.  In many such counties, religious and cultural views are nearly unanimous as well.  The vast majority of residents are Evangelical Christians (though there are often many different denominations in these areas, they are still denominations that fall under what one might refer to as the Evangelical or Fundamentalist umbrella.  In other words, you won't see any "exotic" religions from around the world--there will be no Islamic Mosques or Buddist temples to be found in these areas, for example).  The result is a population that has largely the same views not only on politics, but also on morality, religion, and the basic concepts of "right and wrong".

I grew up in one of these areas--a county in Southwest Missouri that hasn't voted for a Democrat in a Presidential Election since 1896.  And I can tell you that we never seemed to run across the same issues (crime, cultural rot) that our more politically and religiously diverse brethren in the big cities of St. Louis and Kansas City had to deal with.  Everybody knew Right from Wrong.  There was no confusion when it came to basic morality.  And if somebody came in from the outside who didn't share those views, they were generally worn down by the populace (in a good way, of course...there was never any violence) until they adopted a proper viewpoint.  The few Democrats, Liberals, or Atheists who showed up would normally be ostracized (in a nice way) until they better fit into our community.  Sometimes they would fit in better over time, and in other cases, they would move away--but either way, our community kept on doing the right things.  Things were so peaceful that someone could have a rifle in the gun rack of their truck, park it on the school parking lot, and nobody would bat an eye about it (and there was never any trouble that resulted from it, either).  We all trusted each other and worked together--but this was specifically because of that cultural, moral, and political uniformity we shared.  Had we been more diverse in these ways, we couldn't have had those bonds of trust that are necessary to work together and solve problems.

So having lived through what was effectively a functioning one-party political (and social, and religious) system, I can vouch for the fact that it is not problematic by default.  Indeed, it resulted in far more efficiency and genuine trust, as we didn't waste time and resources considering ideas that everybody knew had no place in our community to begin with.  There was debate on the issues, of course...but it was debate that arose from everybody coming from the same "starting point" in terms of basic morality.  Within the GOP, and within Fundamental Christianity, there can often be meaningful debates and cooperation.  But outside of these entities, cooperation and debate seems to do far, far more harm than good.

Is there a perfect number of political parties that America's political system should have?  I don't know that there is...but I do know that whatever number of parties we have in our system, the Democratic Party--as it currently stands--must not be a part of it.  But as a part of the discussion, we shouldn't reflexively reject the thought of a one-party America.  We have hundreds of examples of such an America, all across our rural areas and "Flyover Country" that demonstrate to us that a one-party system does not automatically result in tyranny or totalitarianism...but instead can result in a great foundation not only for making important decisions, but for raising families and bringing forth the best in humanity.