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I’m Leaving the Republican Party

I’m Leaving the Republican Party

I’m officially leaving the Republican Party. Or rather, as cliché as it sounds, they’ve officially left me. The reason is pretty straight forward: they’ve finally stopped pretending to care about conservative principles and values. The once-great party of Reagan has completely abandoned the principles upon which it used to stand. The nomination of Donald Trump, a vulgar and know-nothing Leftist, nearly pushed me out fully and forced me to abstain from voting for either major-party presidential candidate for the first time in my life. I’ve been willing to vote for non-ideal Republican candidates because I was convinced that even the worst Republican is better than a Democrat. Maybe that used to be true. However, this week’s Budget Bill is the straw that broke this camel’s back. I used to think that while we knew Trump wasn’t really Republican, the now Republican-dominated Congress would surely be able to accomplish what they were elected to do. Any hope that I had was shattered with the passing of the Budget Bill that would make Barack Obama proud.

              SO. Let’s just briefly talk through what Hillary Clinton’s Donald Trump’s $1.1 Trillion budget plan does and does not do. It DOES keep funding for: Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, the Iran Deal, the EPA, the NEA, every other alphabet agency, and Sanctuary Cities. It DOES NOT fund: The Great Wall of Trump we’ve been hearing about every day for the last two years (In case you haven’t been paying attention: First, Mexico would be paying for it. Then, taxpayers would be paying for it. Now, no one is paying for it). BUT AT LEAST WE RAISED MILITARY SPENDING RIGHT?!?! MAGA!!!!

              Yes, it’s a complete surrender to the Left, yet the Republicans are celebrating a yuuuuge victory because they were able to slightly increase the military budget. This is completely par for the course.

              Cowardly Republicans have caved yet again. They told the American people that in order to defund all those things they just agreed to keep funding they needed the House, so we gave you a House majority. They told the American people that to get good things done they needed the Senate, so we gave you a Senate majority. Finally, they told the American people that they needed a Republican president, so the American people gave you a “republican” president. There is nothing left for us to give you, and you are still too spineless to actually fulfill the promises you ran upon. Why should we continue to show this useless party allegiance?

              Big Government is becoming more and more the desire of many Americans as millennials come of age. Why handle anything on your own if daddy-government will handle it for you? When everything you want is a right, you’re happy to surrender your freedom for the sake of those “rights.” In the past, Republican response to the dangerous and slippery slope to tyranny that is Big Government was a Ronald Reagan presidency. Now, the Republican response to Big Government is…more Big Government. Genuinely I ask, why does this party still exist? 

              As I said at the time of the election: I understood voting for Trump because anything was better than Hillary and the destructive ideology of Leftism that she brought with her. Unfortunately, as was the case at the time, many on the right become willfully ignorant or hold their tongues regarding the abominations that hold office for “their” party all for the sake of not letting “the other guys” win. This has allowed Trump and his cronies to completely take over the formerly dominant small-government ideologies in exchange for Trumpism, which shall not be questioned.  

              You’ll hear on the news that there is “much infighting” in the Republican Party. This is because the actual Conservatives, who stand for the principles that used to matter, are now openly waging war against the Trumpian/Nationalist/Populist movement that has become the mainstream of the party. Again I’ll ask: Why continue to vote for a party that represents nothing? Why do we continue to put power into the hands of incompetents who will do nothing? Because they’re less-statist than the Democrats? Sorry. That just doesn’t cut it for me anymore.

              Neither mainstream party represents this country’s founding values, and the obvious response to that seems to be the introduction of a legitimate third party. I can’t be alone in the desire for a major party that actually defends the Constitution. A party that keeps the very small government away from the free market. A party that believes in individual justice over social justice. A party that stands for low taxation for all. A party that wants to severely roll-back welfare programs and re-incentivize hard work.  A party that fights for Second Amendment rights. A party that believes that the government has no authority to control what free individuals do with their bodies. A party that understands that a strong foreign policy is important to keep us safe. A party that understands that we need to control our borders and limit immigration for the sake of our physical and economic security.

              The party that comes the closest to all this is the Libertarian Party, and it’s there that I’ll be making my home. The next question that arises when talking about third parties is why they never gain much support. This is rooted in a system that encourages people to follow parties rather than principles. Many Republicans and Democrats are fed up with their own party, but aren’t willing to defect. They are met with resistance from the group they are trying to escape, and are usually convinced that the “other side” will win without all the votes. This idea only furthers the problem. If everyone who hates being “forced” to vote Republican or Democrat jumped ship, I find it hard to believe that additional parties wouldn’t stand a chance.

              Now, none of this is to say that I’ll never vote Republican again or agree with some things done by the Republican Party. There are some lines of thought still in there with which I agree. However, I am finished linking myself to that group of useless, spineless cowards. If we ever want to have a hope of returning to our founding principles and values, those few of us left are going to have to shake up the system by doing something completely radical: convincing Conservatives to have principles.

Trumpism is Not Compatible with Small Government

Trumpism is Not Compatible with Small Government

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last three months, let me fill you in briefly as to what’s been happening. With the exception of the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, the actions of the Trump Administration have been a mixture of good, bad, and seemingly good but actually bad. My greatest concerns entering this new regime are beginning to come to fruition: Trumpism, whatever it means each day, is beginning to replace the formerly dominant conservatism or libertarianism of the Republican Party. With only the strongest surviving, many of our “principles first” heroes have fallen victim to Trumpism. They will go along with any and everything that Donald Trump says, for fear of losing their positions of good graces with the King. The nationalist, populist, mercantilist, isolationist, and/or borderline Leftist movement that is Trumpism now has control of the House, Senate, and Presidency.

Back in October 2016, I wrote the following:

“My biggest issues with this entire election cycle is not with Trump. We knew who he was going in. My issue is with conservatives who are changing their own fundamental belief systems in order to fit Trump’s mold. From my peers, to Breitbart News, up to Sean Hannity, people are claiming they believe in, and have always believed in, things they were vehemently against before Trump showed up. These are the same people who are perpetuating the delusion that Trump is only losing because of people like me who will not ‘bend the knee.”

The solution during the election was not to lie about Trump being conservative, and it’s even more important that this is not the solution now that he’s President. As I said at the time, if you thought you were faced with a binary choice and Trump was a better option than Hillary, or that you were voting for a Supreme Court Justice, I understand your reasoning. However, it is now unacceptable to just sit back and let the principle of small government die because we don’t want to stand up to Trump. Paul Ryan needs to do his job, and should be able to without fear of the consequences of making his master angry. The time for holding our noses and letting Trump be Trumpy in the name of stopping Hillary Clinton is over. He already won the election, now it’s time to demand that he stick to the promises and “principles” he ran and won upon.

Of course, history proved me wrong about my prediction that he wouldn’t win, and I am still glad that I was wrong in this case. I honestly wish I would be proved wrong about Trump more often. I’ve long held that Trump doesn’t truly believe in anything. As should be obvious from his actions of the last few months, he is greatly concerned with his ego. During the campaign, he would say anything that he believed would get him elected. Now, he is torn between fulfilling his campaign promises and doing popular things. Nothing demonstrates this internal struggle with more clarity than last week’s American Health Care Act debacle.

The entire world has talked about this bill ad nauseam, so I don’t feel the need to go into its specifics. I’ll just say that the single biggest issue is the retention of the “Pre-existing Conditions Mandate.” Insurance Companies are businesses. Businesses are started to make profits. Insurance companies make their profits on the gamble that you won’t need their help. How can an insurance company make money if there is a 100% chance that they will be needed? A basic understanding of economics tells you the answer is skyrocketing premiums. They used to make their money off charging a low monthly premium to all of the young people who probably wouldn’t need anything, and used that money, in conjunction with the higher premiums based on risk-factors, to maintain a profit margin even after helping their clients who need the most assistance. When the government forces insurances companies to take on already very sick people, thereby removing the gamble, the obvious result should be that prices skyrocket, which leads to the young people canceling their plans and gambling on themselves to not get sick, then paying out of pocket for anything that does happen. This leads to even higher premiums because the insurance companies have less people enrolled. Would you expect to be able to buy low-price fire insurance for your house after it has already burned down?

So, why would the “Republicans” keep these provably damning facets of Obamacare in their definitely not Obamacare bill? This is what happens when your party is being led by a leftist: he uses leftist metrics to gauge the success of leftist goals. One of the first sure-fire signs of this bill’s failure was the very clear difference in goals of Trump and Paul Ryan. Trump’s metric was the same as Obama’s: How many people will be covered? Ryan, a staunch conservative until about three months ago, had the goal of lowering premiums and getting government out of the business as much as possible. Those two visions are not compatible, and the result was the half-assed, disastrous pile of horse manure that we called Trumpcare Ryancare RINOCare Obamacare2.0 ObamacareLite Obamacare The American Health Care Act.

So, what happens now? Trump has been very inconsistent on pretty much everything for the past year and a half, especially on his political philosophy. The only idea that remains the same is Trump’s desire to be well-liked. This makes the least sense to me of any of the Trumpian philosophies because the reality is that he has never been well-liked according to polling, and especially isn’t right now (currently, he sits between 36-44% approval rating based on which polls you are quoting). The Right wants to love Trump, even as he spits in the face of their values. The Left will never approve of him, even when he does a lot of what they want. As I’ve said before, he utilizes a language very similar to that of Bernie Sanders, especially when he talks about trade.

Based on the news coverage of the last few days, it appears Trump is giving up on working with those on the right who won’t cooperate, and is planning on shifting his aim to those on the moderate left. This is stupid. There is simply no way that any elected Democrat would be able to return to their constituents, who all hate Trump (he has about an 8% approval rate amongst Democrats), and say that they worked with and yielded to him on anything. The Left is never going to support Trump, this should be obvious by what seems to be an eternal state of hair-on-fire over every single move Trump makes.

What would be the much smarter political move, and one that I hope Paul Ryan, Reince Preibus, and his other cabinet members are encouraging him to do, would be to unite those on the right who really do want him to succeed, so he can actually push through some successful legislation. Even the fiercest #NeverTrump-er is happy when they are proven wrong about Trump. I, for example, was ready to buy a MAGA hat after Gorsuch’s selection. I love what he’s doing as far as scaling back the power of the executive branch, I love his cutting overreaching regulations, I love the slashing of programs, I love his immigration policies (when he actually commits to them/roles them out properly), and I love a majority of his cabinet picks. None of this changes the plethora of big government tendencies that exist in this administration. However, it is important to look at which moves by Trump are popular not only among his base, but by those who didn’t support him in the election.

There is a choice coming for the Trump Administration. They are going to have to choose whether they are going to reach out to Rand Paul and the Freedom Caucus, or if they’re going to try their luck with Chuck Schumer and company. As I’ve said, I think there’s a snowballs chance in hell that any decent number of Democrats give Trump even an inch, but I don’t think that will stop him from trying. He has a bit of a history of doing the wrong thing.

Trump tweeted Thursday morning that he plans on fighting both the Freedom Caucus and the Democrats. This is beyond idiotic for several reasons. Many members of the Caucus were huge Trump supporters in the election. He could have negotiated with them for more than a week and reached a compromise. It is also infuriating and predictable that he attacks those who stand firm on their principle. As we said, he’s pretty much a Leftist, and there’s no tolerance for principle on the Left. From a practical stand-point, this is an idiotic political move. If he won’t play ball with the Freedom Caucus AND the Democrats, he his left with 216 votes in the House, and he needs 218 to get anything accomplished.

If Trump can stay consistent in small-government principles, relying on the promises and ideologies upon which he got elected, he will be able to find a common ground with the dominant federal party. If he continues to let his pride get in the way, refusing to compromise with those farther right than he is, he won’t only cost us the presidency in 2020, but he will destroy the small scrap of hope that we can return to the founding principles of small government and personal responsibility. If we really want to Make America Great Again, we cannot abandon the ideals that made it great in the first place.

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Luke Garrison is currently studying Criminal Law and Constitutional Theory at Seattle University Law School, and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America. For Questions, Comments, or Hate Mail, he can be reached at contact@lukegarrison.com. To hear more from Luke, follow him on Twitter: @_lukegarrison.

Is there a Common Ground in American Politics?

Is there a Common Ground in American Politics?

-Guest Contributor: Jesse Saywell

As a child, I had many dreams for my life. At first, I wanted to be a farmer. Then, I thought I’d be a police officer or serve our country in the Navy. I pictured myself a pop singer, a lawyer, a journalist, an actor, and even President of the United States.

Never once did I dream that at twenty-four years of age I’d be a socialist, atheist, progressive who is also writing a piece for a conservative website. Only in America, right?

Now I expect that many of you wanted to stop reading at the word “socialist.” And for those that continued reading, I expect the word “atheist” didn’t do me any favors either. But, for the love of our country, please hear me out.

So, let’s get the monkey out of the room. Yes, I’m a socialist. Not a communist. A socialist. There are places in America where I do not feel safe saying that – and that is wrong. It is wrong because I love this country with all my heart. I love democracy, I support our troops at home and abroad, and I support the constitution of this great country. If you’re a regular reader and supporter of this site, you and I probably disagree about almost every major political, economic, and social issue – but that doesn’t mean that I love America any less. We all diagnose similar problems, I just have a different prescription to solve them – but that’s not what I’m here to talk about this time.

I’m not writing today to convince you to vote for Democrats or to explain the benefits of a socialistic financial system. Unlike many of my liberal friends, I don’t feel the need to educate other adults. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. However, I do know that the attitudes I just mentioned are some of the many reasons that many conservatives and voters in rural areas have angrily turned away from the Democratic Party in recent years. I’m not giving up on finding common ground – and I believe I know who can bring America together again: Donald J. Trump.

Yes, you read that correctly. I believe that the one thing that liberals and conservatives can agree on is that President Trump is dangerous for America. At the risk of sounding overly-dramatic, it’s very possible that the President is guilty of treason. I’m not saying this because he’s a Republican (because let’s face it, he isn’t really a Republican), I’m saying it because there are so many unanswered questions when it comes to the President’s motives and methods. Donald Trump may say that he’s putting America first, but that simply isn’t true. I would hope that Americans who either didn’t vote for him, hesitantly voted for him, or even were full-out “Make America Great Again” hat-wearing supporters should be able to now see this. President Trump serves himself and his own interests, and that’s what makes him dangerous – even more dangerous than we previously thought.

President Trump’s first official White House press conference was used to attack the media, and lie about the size of the crowd at his inauguration. It wasn’t the largest crowd ever – anyone with eyes can see that. More importantly, even if it were true: is that really the first thing you want the President to be discussing in the days after his inauguration?

It should bother every American when Donald Trump calls a federal judge (especially one appointed by George W. Bush) a “so-called judge.” It should bother every American when the President of the United States calls the American media an “enemy of the American People.” I don’t deny that the American media can show serious biases. No matter how you feel about the media, I would hope we could agree that the media is crucial to our functioning democracy. When Senator John McCain stops just short of calling the President a tyrant while defending the media, there is a serious problem. When the President of the United States uses his first official press conference with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as an excuse to boast about his electoral victory (and provide false information that could easily be Googled), there is a serious problem. Even a Fox News anchor called the President “crazy” in response to this outlandish press conference. These are dark times indeed when I find myself agreeing with some on Fox News.

This says nothing of the continuing allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It’s no longer an unsubstantiated rumor or conspiracy theory – there’s a lot of smoke billowing out of the White House on this issue. Keep in mind that Russia didn’t intervene in our elections just to get any Republican elected. Russia wanted Donald Trump. Perhaps that’s because he has no party loyalty, or maybe it’s because they have some sort of compromising information about him. Even if there’s no direct collusion between Trump himself and Russia, multiple members of his cabinet did meet with Russian officials and have been less than straightforward about those communications. If proven to be true, the national security implications of this are gravely serious.

I know that many of you likely welcome some of President Trump’s policy proposals. I could argue against these policies for days, and I will – elsewhere. For now, we as Americans need set aside our political differences, and stand together for the good of our country in demanding that Donald Trump address and correct the serious problems in his administration, or step down. I recognize that Democrats have a much better chance of taking back the White House if Donald Trump and his 40% approval rating continues to serve as President, but I value the safety of all Americans more than I value my political agenda. I’m asking you to do the same. Country before party. Americans need to find a common ground before Trump… I don’t want to finish that sentence.

**Guest Contributions are edited for grammar, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Step Into the Right Staff**

The Violent Left is in Denial

The Violent Left is in Denial

We millennials have finally crossed the threshold  as a generation, like many generations before us, wherein the political left is willing to justify its worldview and its half-truths with violence. The riots at UC Berkeley and the violent portions of the anti-Trump inauguration protests are not by themselves a threat to the stability of the United States. However, it is disconcerting that the mediasphere,  including a cacophony of histrionic voices on social media from everyday garden-variety leftists, has  already begun to generate a narrative of justification for violent acts as a “legitimate” response to words and/or potential policies they might not like. This is dangerous.

Moreover, this is not a courtesy  that is extended to the political right when the tables are turned. While the neckbeards and Bernie bros cling to the popular vote of the most recent presidential election to justify any and every act of civil disobedience (even when the activities veer into the realm of criminality), they neglect to discuss how and why both houses of Congress are red. The two most likely options are unflattering to this demographic. Either (A) The Democratic Party does not have the backing of the people, including demographics they once thought they held a monopoly over, and are out of touch with the spirit of the current age in America or (B) the demographics out on the streets protesting were too lazy or apathetic to be bothered to vote. This social force’s own inability to connect with and mobilize ordinary Americans is the very reason Trump has carte blanche to enact any conservative reforms he wants.

What are they protesting exactly? Words? Attitudes? A certain “feeling” that Trump will not represent the groups they want represented? (And to hell with everyone else, of course!) Where is the logic in this? The President once engaged in “locker room talk”. Clearly this indicates he means to strip female CEOs of their positions to reallocate them to Klansmen.  Surely, he will send these poor newly jobless women on their way to the menstrual hut thereafter. Look at their slogans: “NO TRUMP, NO KKK, NO FASCIST USA” They’re conflating three separate things. What is this, far-right intersectionality?

Please.

These geniuses could never correctly identify a fascist. If Mussolini ran for office today as a Democrat, they’d recognize and embrace most of his policies as their own . Mussolini in turn would love his new electorate – Mussolini, the atheist who identified as a socialist for much of his early life and career. What are life, liberty, and property rights when weighed against “the cause” or “the state” or “social justice?”

It also goes without saying that the KKK had a long, intimate history of association with the Democratic Party. See more: http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan

The silver lining is that their excessive reactions will undermine their own agenda.  The Hollywood elites are distant enough from ordinary Americans as it is, but the gulf will only widen as they throw themselves fully into a revolution no one asked for . We see it over every Trumpian policy. The left loses their mind over a “Muslim Ban” that restricts people of all faiths from the seven Muslim-majority countries (out of about 50) determined by the Obama administration. They lose their minds over Trump’s deportations, even though it is unlikely that he’ll deport more than Obama did. Whether it be an economic proposal that could have come from the mouth of Bernie Sanders, all the way to saying that men can’t use the girls room if they feel like it, the hysteria is truly out of control. Soon enough, even the most complacent and ill-informed Americans will understand the game that “liberal” elites play.

When  Pompey had control of the Patricians, Caesar used the Plebs to his advantage. What would happen if the Plebs ever found out how exactly they were being used, or if they understood that wealthy liberals have something to gain from all their “altruism?” Bread and circuses until the coffers are emptied, anything to widen the gap. It is fine for the poor to be poorer in the long term so long as the rich be less rich, as Margaret Thatcher correctly identified. She only omitted that it was the rich families that the liberal establishment does not like that are reduced. Wealthy families in bed with the liberal agenda always seem to come out on top, greatly enriched; “charity” indeed. Every time a Debra Messing or a Sarah Silverman or a Lea DeLaria tweets to incite violence, the timer starts on when ordinary people will inevitably ask: “Where are they?” It’s not their children being arrested. These celebrities gladly send out legions of fans to do their dirty work. What’s the loss of few pawns compared to “the greater good?”

To the thugs who now call themselves “anarchists,” but eschew the Non-Aggression Principle, I ask: “Where were you for the last eight years of Obama’s statism? Why are you only anarchists when the policies jeopardize bread and circuses?” And finally, “Are you really that dense?”

They are not anarchists just because they desire to be ruled by a different faction of the elite. They think they’re communists, which makes them useful idiots for manipulative “progressive” elites to maintain their own power, status, privilege, and all the other naughty buzzwords. There is no greater hypocrisy. Black is white and red is blue if a progressive sophist can spin it in a way that favors his master. This entrenchment of privilege manifests itself in the dynasty, the political family.

“Progressive political families.” Isn’t that contrary to all their platitudes about redressing problematic privilege? You bet it is! For example, Senator  Chuck Schumer and “comedian” Amy Schumer are two tentacles of the same squid. Chuckie writes the policy and Amy justifies it to the public at large through her medium. That’s why a fan base is collected. If it’s not a product being sold; it’s an ideology. Progressive news anchorman Anderson Cooper is of Vanderbilt stock. These champagne socialists and limousine liberals really do have blue blood. The American liberal elite are so inbred they put the Hapsburgs to shame. Tell us again about the needs of the working classes. Refugees welcome indeed. To use a Lefty technique: I don’t see any of them volunteering to take in these refugees or illegal immigrants into their homes. Of course not, they just want to use the apparently unlimited budget of the federal government to add more and more people to our spectacular welfare system, and more low-skill level workers into the work force, while we struggle to even take care of our own. The moral posturing is really something. To these privileged progressives: enjoy your cheap labor while a veteran starves.

 

Left, Right, or Center: We Should All Fight the Deep State

Left, Right, or Center: We Should All Fight the Deep State

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”- Dwight Eisenhower

On Monday night, Michael Flynn resigned from his position as Trump’s National Security Advisor after 24 days on the job. This was preceded by more leaks that Flynn had “questionable” contact with a Russian Ambassador, and allegedly lied to Vice President Pence about this contact. This adds yet another blemish to this new administration, and certainly does not ease the concern about Trump’s favorability towards Russia. Some are calling his departure a “resignation” and some a “firing,” but here is the truth: Flynn was Assassinated by the Deep State.

The Deep State, also known as the “shadow government,” is the term used to describe the not-so-secret group of bureaucrats in public and private institutions, including national security and law enforcement agencies, that are unelected, yet are entrenched and hold a great deal of dangerous power. They use their security clearances to leak classified information, usually anonymously, to the salivating mainstream media who will run with any story that feeds their narrative without looking back. Many of these bureaucrats are leftovers from the Obama administration, and, at the risk of sounding like a Conspiracy Theorist at Breitbart or InfoWars, it would appear that they are going to use their power to blackmail Trump. Trump went after the Intelligence Community during and after the election, and now they are getting their revenge.

Just a bit of background on the Flynn situation: The story has, to what should be no one’s surprise at this point, spiraled slightly out of control. On December 29th, Flynn spoke on the phone with Russian Ambassador Kislyak, discussed the sanctions put in by Obama, and then denied that this occurred. The message from the Trump team is that Flynn was only let go for lying to Pence, and that his actions with Russia were just part of his job. The message from the media is that Flynn is modern-day Benedict Arnold and needs to be hanged. As usual, it appears the truth is somewhere in between the two narratives. What we know for sure is that three people from the Trump team are being investigated by the FBI for their alleged ties to Russia during/after the campaign: Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone. Notice a name that’s not there. FBI Director James Comey decided around January 16th that there was not enough evidence surrounding Flynn to warrant an investigation. While it is clear that Flynn did have some interactions with Russians that don’t look good for him or Trump, nothing he did appears to be illegal, and anything else being thrown around appears to be speculation. No, he didn’t commit Treason. No, there is no violation of the Logan Act (which all of a sudden people care about again). The over-the-top coverage on this by the mainstream media is mainly devoid of facts and is playing on the Left’s eagerness to see Trump fail.

All that being said, something about this does not add up. In an administration that is clearly not too concerned with telling the truth (see “Alternative Facts,” or the bright, sun-shiney day when Trump was sworn in as President in front of the largest inaugural crowd in history, or Trump’s insistence that over 3 million illegal votes were cast in the election that he won), why would Flynn lying to Pence be enough to get him fired? It isn’t. Trump is caving to the pressure from the bureaucrats. It turns out, the swamp does not want to be drained.

The Intelligence Community has repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to use classified information against someone they don’t find favorable. The FBI and NSA, using their authority from Executive order 12333 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, were monitoring correspondences between the Russian Ambassador and Flynn. There is a plethora of laws that dictate how this information is to be used and distributed, especially if there is a “U.S. Person” involved. If there are concerning legal matters, they are to be brought before the Director, and ultimately Congress. Leaking non-criminal private conversations is not only illegal, but it gives the Deep State the power to destroy their opponents from a façade of anonymity.

This should be seen from all sides as inherently bad, and there is plenty of hypocrisy from the Left and the Right on this issue. The same people who were outraged about James Comey’s behavior during the election, are overjoyed about this, and the people who celebrated Hillary’s woes think that Flynn’s whistle blowers should be hanged for treason. Actions don’t change legality or morality because they’re done “for your team.” This is also not the first example of leaking to hurt the Trump team. Did you ever think to wonder how it is that the media finds out what is said on Trump’s phone calls to foreign leaders? Or how we know who in the administration was denied or granted security clearances? Whether or not you want to see Trump fail, you need to be intellectually honest. When it becomes acceptable for the Intelligence Community to be waging their own wars against the current administration, or influencing elections, a “police state” is not out of the question. There are examples of this throughout history, and even in modern-day Russia. If they can take down the most powerful in our country, what do you think will happen if they set their sights on the general public?

The Deep State would not have as much influence if not for its most powerful allies: The Mainstream Media and the side of the political aisle that lost, which right now is the Left. As I said earlier, the media coverage of this has been disgraceful. This “scandal” has, just this week, has been treated like the worst event that has ever happened in the history of America, and has been compared to a “Class 5 Political Hurricane,” Iran-Contra, Watergate, 9/11, and Pearl Harbor by the likes of CNN and the New York Times. We have no idea what is going on. Should we maybe wait for some more facts? The media are lighting themselves on fire and jumping off the cliff over everything that is happening in the Trump White House. They are so eager to see him fail that they are stating reports that are impossible to prove as fact.

The members of the media are chumming the water for their base, the political Left. The Left has gone back and forth between all the stages of grief every day since November 8th. Twitter and Facebook are filled with talk of Trump Impeachment Parties, ways that Hillary or Bernie can still be elected, Trump/Hitler comparisons, and the aforementioned flammable reaction to all news Trumpian. The media is purposefully adding fuel because they know their stories will sell. We are seeing a collaboration between the media and the Intelligence Community to take down an elected administration, of which neither are very fond. I really hate that I even need to make these comparisons, but this is only a few paces away from Stain’s Purges, Mao’s Red Guard, or Mussolini’s Blackshirts. These tyrants utilized secret agencies, as well as propagandized through their media, to take out the “undesirables” in their country and/or government. Throughout the election, and now, the Left keeps referring to Trump and his team as fascists. If secret groups within the government, in concert with the media, are taking out the people they don’t like…this might actually be a reasonable time to sound that alarm.

Once again, it doesn’t matter whether you love or hate Trump. We all should be able to rally behind the idea that it is not a good thing for these D.C bureaucrats to have the amount of control that they have. The Left is already faced with a president who has all the overreaching powers that they were so happy to give Obama because he was on their side. Do you really think this pendulum won’t also swing back? Allowing power to go unchecked, especially at the federal level, is a very dangerous game. If you think that the Deep State is finished, you better buckle up. They’ve tasted a small victory, and now won’t stop until they have their Grand Prize: Trump’s Impeachment.

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Luke Garrison is currently studying Criminal Law and Constitutional Theory at Seattle University Law School, and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America. For Questions, Comments, or Hate Mail, he can be reached at contact@lukegarrison.com. To hear more from Luke, follow him on Twitter: @_lukegarrison.

Yes, Students are More Important Than Teachers

Yes, Students are More Important Than Teachers

At the change of classes just before 1 o’clock yesterday, there was a collective wailing and gnashing of teeth at the public school in which I teach.  Teachers gathered outside their rooms to bemoan the death of the education system, and plan for what they are all going to do when they lose their jobs.  This was, of course, because Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Education Secretary by the Senate.  Loud, angry comments rang throughout the hallways.  Teachers told their students to “say goodbye to your education kids, welcome to Trump’s America.”  In addition to being despicable and untrue, this kind of hysteria is the same kind you hear from postal employees every time a conservative dares to suggest that maybe we should look into privatizing mail delivery in our country.  What is playing out in front of our eyes in these Cabinet confirmations is a microcosm of what the last Presidential election was all about.  People are tired of the government not using their money to serve the people.  They are tired of nothing ever changing, year after year.  The mere suggestion that we should even consider some other ideas in this country is met with derision, animosity, demonization, and outright character assassination.  This is why a majority of Americans have an underlying feeling that we never actually progress in this country.  This is why we are hopelessly mired in failed programs that once played a necessary role in society, but whose well-intended objectives have either not come to fruition, or simply have just run their course.  No business would continue to run an advertising program for a product that was no longer wanted or needed.  That would be insanity.  Not to mention immoral to waste money that could otherwise go toward growing said business that hundreds, or thousands, of employees are depending on to feed their families. 

The American public education system in its present form is only about 150 years old.  To even suggest that we could possibly have perfected it after such a short time, to the point where suggesting any further changes are tantamount to sacrilege, borders on complete stupidity.  That is especially true when you factor in the drastic changes to our society which have occurred over that short time period.  Over the years we have put many Band-Aids on it to hold it together, but the world for which the public education system was created has moved on.  Band-Aids are no longer working.  Is it completely broken?  No, of course it isn’t.  But why can’t we even talk about making some changes to it?  Liberals always accuse Conservatives of holding onto the past, and not moving forward with the times.  Perhaps they are even correct about that in some circumstances.  However, on this issue, it is Liberals who are desperately holding onto the past, burying their heads in the sand, and refusing to even consider that perhaps there could be a better way.  Shame on you, Liberals. You need to stop posturing that you are “for children” if you’re unwilling to even consider some substantial changes that will benefit them.

The people who lament and bewail this country’s lagging test scores, decry America’s place in world education standings, and who march in droves all across the country any time a Conservative talks about injecting some accountability into the education system, will in the very same breath be completely outraged by a person who tries to do anything to try and fix the problem.  Do you know who does NOT go out there and march against ideas like charter schools, vouchers, and ending teacher tenure?  The parents of children who are in failing schools, that’s who. When a new charter school is opened, those parents are beating down the door to get their children in.  I teach in a great school.  In a perfect situation, the current education system can function quite adequately.  But, in those situations where there is poverty, drugs, crime, and high birth rates paired with low marriage rates, the current education system does not cut it.  It’s as simple as that.  Teachers show up heavily at those protest marches.  Union leaders and sympathizers show up at those marches.  Wealthy people whose children are in an awesome school with awesome facilities and lots of other awesome happy wealthy kids frolicking around them, they are at those marches too.  The single mother in Detroit, Atlanta, or Chicago is not there.  And frankly, we should be ashamed of ourselves for putting the needs of people who might suffer some inconveniences or even need to re-think their career choice over the needs of the children of this country.  How dare we tell parents of children in failing public schools that the needs of their teachers and unions are more important than the needs of  their children?  That is why Betsy DeVos is the right person for Education Secretary.  Because she is not part of the system.  The system is struggling precisely for the reason that everyone who is in charge of fixing it has an investment in keeping it the way it is.  All of the insiders depend on its status quo being maintained.  DeVos has no investment in the system. She has no experience in public education. Most of the reasons that liberals are so outraged by her confirmation are the very reasons that she belongs in this position. If you are going to reform something, an outsider is the perfect person to do it.  It is not unreasonable to suggest that things like vouchers, charter schools, and changes in tenure should be considered as possibilities to help our nation’s education system.   It is not hateful to talk about those things, it is not racist, and it is not intolerant of LGBT rights.  Do you know what is hateful, racist, and intolerant?  To willfully and fervently act to prevent our most vulnerable children (poor, minorities, and legal immigrants) from participating in the same American opportunities that wealthy children have.  If your child is in a good school, that’s great.  Guess what?  That school is not going to change.  Your school is not going to suddenly get worse.  No one in their right mind believes that every single school in the country is broken.  However, if your child is in a failing school, and those failing policies are being protected by powerful unions, that school is the one that will be targeted for change and re-tooling. As it should be. 

If there is one thing we as Americans should be able to come together around, and throw out our petty partisan squabbles over, it’s our children’s future.  If you are an unnecessary bureaucrat in the bloated Education Department and may lose your job, I’m sorry.  If you are a teacher who may lose some of your perks and benefits, I’m sorry.  If you are a teacher who may lose your job, and need to relocate or find a new career, I’m sorry for you as well.  If you are an administrator who spends your day dreaming up new ways not to hurt our children’s feelings, I’m even sorry for you.  Yes, bad, incompetent, or just plain ole lazy teaches should be nervous.  You can all go ahead and march till you are blue in the face.  The rest of you should get the hell on board, and let’s try to work together to fix this problem.  The education system in America is not broken, but it is old and outdated. For the love of God, the reason we all go to school from September to June is so kids can be available during harvest time to work on the farm.  How many of our poor, under-performing, can’t-string-a-series-of-words-together-to-create-a-coherent-sentence inner city kids are spending their summers harvesting corn and okra?

All we are asking for is the privilege of being allowed to simply consider other options.  We know that not all of them are perfect solutions.  Some of those options may even bring financial hardship to people currently in the education system.  As I said, I am one of those people. So be it. The farmer who stayed mired in the past and did not move forward technologically faced financial hardship.  The car manufacturer who did not seek to satisfy its customer’s needs faced financial hardship. The self-employed photographer who did not upgrade to digital format faced financial hardship.  That’s how it is.  Liberals love to call themselves “progressives.”   The very definition of progress requires some things to be left in the past.  There is nothing at all “progressive” about the Liberal stance on education.  It is a stance of preserving the status quo, preserving their union affiliations, and preserving their own power.  In fact, it’s “regressive.”  In a follow up article, I will be addressing each of the three mentioned “radical changes” Devos’s confirmation is a good step towards, as well as why they are so important for the children we claim to care about.

Put your money where your mouth is Liberals.  Stop demonizing anyone with ideas that challenges a system that is failing millions of your so-called “base.”   Stand up for the people who you claim need you to protect them.  Tell them that union bosses, inflated salaries, unnecessary bureaucrats, and an antiquated system guaranteeing a job for life does not take precedence over the lives of their children.  Do it, and do it now, or this will have been the first of many elections where the country rises up and denounces you and your policies… On second thought, just sit there and continue to spit on the less fortunate in our society by refusing to move forward in an honest dialogue.  Dig your own graves.  We’ll take it from here.

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Step Into The Right’s Managing Editor remains anonymous for professional purposes. He is working towards his PhD in American History, and is a professor of History, Government, and Economics.

Obamacare: Looking to the Future

Obamacare: Looking to the Future

As we enter the final hours of the Obama presidency, let’s take a look at the defining legislation of the President’s tenure: The Affordable Care Act, nicknamed “Obamacare.” Strife with critics and shrouded in controversy, the looming transition of power in American politics threatens to undue the cornerstone of Obama’s administration. However, faced with the reality of the situation, the new Republican government cannot simply eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Doing so without replacement would leave behind a vacuum in which nearly 22 million people would become uninsured, having become dependent on this subsidy. Rather, it will be the task of our new President and Congress to not only repeal Obamacare, but replace it with something better.

The first step towards a better healthcare system for the United States is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act. Of these, its practical and strongest provisions are: allowing dependents to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, guaranteeing coverage to those with pre-existing health issues, and protection from being denied coverage due to the discovery of new health issues. These points are amongst the most popular of Obamacare and are provision in which both House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump have expressed strong interest in continuing under a new plan.

One quick note about pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies are private businesses with the same goal as all others: make money. They make their money gambling that you won’t get sick. This is why older people pay more. There is a bigger risk of illness in a 80-year-old who smokes than in a healthy 22-year-old. How can an insurance company make money if they’re forced to take people who are already sick? Should you be able to buy Fire Insurance for your home after it has already burned down? While this is one of Obamacare’s most popular, and most fought for, provision, some things are not as simple as Bernie Sanders would have you believe.

Obamacare has enough shortcomings to raise serious concern over its effectiveness in the long term.  From the raised premiums across the board, to lacking the ability keep your doctor under this plan, many of President Obama’s original promises of the effectiveness of this plan have been broken.  This is a by-product of legislation that increases government beaucracy while decreasing private sector partnerships.

Currently, because President Trump has not fully disclosed his plan for replacing Obamacare, the most reliable option we have in assuming what may take the Affordable Care Act’s place would be the Paul Ryan plan.  Under this new legislation, the stronger points previously mentioned of the Affordable Care Act would be retained and incorporated into this new plan. It will still provide health coverage to those who cannot afford their own, promote more private sector partnerships which create more competitive healthcare markets, and grant greater autonomy to the states in how they will distribute these benefits.

The key component for the new Republican government in restructuring universal health care will be greater private sector partnerships. If, instead of the Federal government contracting their healthcare coverage to a small handful of giant healthcare providers, we were to grant Federal tax credits to individual people who could redeem them in their state health insurance market place, it would allow for a more fluid distribution of capital across health insurance companies. In doing so, health insurance companies would become more competitive and lower their premiums to attract new patients.  This is the most crucial component of reforming Obamacare. It will lower premiums, reduce government beaucracy, and create a more economically competitive market without having to take away health care coverage to those who need it.

In addition to lower premiums, the top priority of reforming Obamacare is to take the government out of medicine. This is not an attempt at selling my political or ideological rhetoric, but rather a fact grounded in data.  Fewer and fewer healthcare providers are accepting government programs, like Medicaid. At face value, this can be hard to understand. It becomes more transparent when you examine why this trend is happening. The average service billed to a patient’s Medicaid takes upwards of a full month before the doctor’s office receives reimbursement from the government. Once it finally arrives, they often only receive two-thirds of the billed amount, and are left at a lost for the remaining third. This is the sort of beaucracy that needs to be eliminated for any kind of national health care system to thrive while still promoting free markets. This can be accomplished by analyzing the few states that have the most effective Medicaid programs, and then implementing their strategies in those states with less effective systems.

Although Republicans have many plausible ideas for reforming national health care to make it more efficient and private sector friendly, there is a point of some worry. One major provision that Paul Ryan advocates for is the grouping together of “high risk” individuals (chronic or terminal illnesses ect.) into a separate market of their own with a premium cap. This in turn would dramatically lower premiums for healthy policyholders, however, it is a fair and ethical question to ask: At what cost? Reducing premiums for the healthy while allowing for an environment where the premiums for the sick and terminally ill will sky rocket is amoral, unethical, and something that in the long term will have catastrophic results. In a healthy insurance market, the only way you can assure lower premiums for EVERYONE in your market is to integrate the high-risk patients with the low risk. This is one of the many problems that arises when the government is involved.

Lastly, there is a major problem that neither Republicans nor Democrats seem to be discussing. In reforming our healthcare system, we could reduce operating costs for doctors and health care professionals, then premiums would go down, as services would cost less. The big problem? Malpractice insurance. Roughly 70% of general surgeons, obstetricians, and gynecologists are sued once in their career, and 50% more than once. However, of the overall malpractice suits, only 1 in 7 actually results in a payout to the plaintiffs. With these stats in mind, it is fair to say that if a more thorough vetting process were instituted for frivolous medical lawsuits, medical malpractice insurance would cost significantly less, provider’s opportunity costs for procedures would be greatly reduced, and ultimately insurer premiums would be greatly reduced as well.

The issue of national healthcare has long been a source of contention in American politics. Arguing whether we should have it or not is ultimately irrelevant, as under the Affordable Care Act millions of Americans have become dependent on a system that if vanished overnight, would have disastrous consequences for society. This was in large part done by design from the Democrats and is ultimately characteristic of its bureaucratic flaws. Ultimately, it will be the duty for our new Republican government to make a new form of national healthcare that is more cost efficient, private sector friendly, and doesn’t enable our eternally expanding Federal government.

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Ciaran Bruen is a graduate of Binghamton University and is now pursuing his MBA. He has interned on Capitol Hill, worked for the New York State Government, and has worked on various political campaigns.

Building Peace in Israel (Without Leftist Sophistry)

Building Peace in Israel (Without Leftist Sophistry)

The Nation of Israel is a friend and ally to the United States. As such, it’s stability and prosperity is intertwined with our own. Understanding it’s complex neighborhood is our key to creating bold new solutions to the troubles that have frustrated diplomats for generations. Applying Conservative principles, such as peace through trade and reinforcing strong, defensible borders, is vital to sustaining order and security. Achieving peace in Israel will, contrary to Leftist lies, benefit the whole world by leaving future generations a more cohesive society than what we have inherited.

Despite all the support a two-state solution garners in the UN and the media, it appears to be a misguided and simplistic, even Solomonic solution that will never engender any protracted peace. The longer-enduring effect of Palestinian statehood along 1967 borders will only create a mismatch of two competing, mutually-hostile nation-states: each claiming the land of the other state as “rightfully” its own in perpetuity. Perhaps such a scenario suits the agenda of some, but it certainly does not build a lasting peace.

Firstly, the Green Line of the so-called “1967 border” is merely a ceasefire line and has never been a recognized international border. Secondly, there has never, properly speaking, existed a State of Palestine. The political structure of the historical ideal of Palestinian nationalists was always one controlled by foreign imperialist entities (the Rashidun Caliphate, the Ottoman Empire, and finally the British Empire). Rather than recognize a new state ex nihilo (as the UN intends to do on September 15, 2015), it would benefit all parties (excluding the most radically nationalist) to recognize that a perfectly adequate homeland for the Palestinian people already exists as a sovereign state: Jordan. The majority of Jordanians are already Palestinian and the state of Jordan represents some 70% of the original British Mandate for Palestine.

Historically speaking, the reason for the UN partition plan of 1947 was due to the demographic composition of the land at the time, considering the limited pace of Jewish immigration. The ensuing persecution of Jews across the Middle East led to the influx of one million Jewish refugees from the Middle East alone, discounting refugees from Europe and the Holocaust. Considering the new demographic composition of the land, 70% is an appropriate portion of the land for Arabs, if indeed we are talking about a just solution for all parties and not the wholesale uprooting or annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Jordan, with the above considerations, represents a completely suitable right-of-return homeland for those Palestinians who no longer wish to live in diaspora.

How then should the remaining Palestinian territories be administrated? There are at least two options. My preferred option is that all parties drop the arbitrary demarcation of 1967 and instead allow Israel to annex Area C of the Oslo Accords, rather than forcibly evicting Jewish settlers. Concurrently, rather than evicting the Palestinian minority in Area C, they should be given full Israeli citizenship, with voting rights. Areas A and B should continue to fall under the administration of the Palestinian authority which would function as a completely autonomous governing entity or parallel government within the State of Israel, without becoming an independent state, maintaining all the rights of Israeli citizenship except that their voting rights extend only to local, Palestinian Authority elections, the governing apparatus of the autonomous Judea and Samaria region: a status not unlike that of Puerto Rico to the United States.

Alternatively, one could revive for the West Bank (Judea and Samaria, as the territory is known in Israel) the three-state solution in which Jordan would assume control of the entire territory, including Area C. My main concern regarding this proposal is that the borders are completely indefensible. Compared to having the nice straight line of the Jordan Valley as a border, this plan would put an international border in place that would divide the city of Jerusalem. Historically, we know that divided cities are not sustainable, to say the least.

A particularly thorny impediment to peace is the status of the Gaza Strip. The Hamas-led government there refuses to cooperate with either Israel or the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. The conclusions left for the Gazans is that they must either be granted full independence or else left in a legal limbo (which would be inadvisable, inhumane, and I do not by any means advocate). Proponents of the three-state solution would have Gaza handed over to Egypt in a similar fashion to how the West Bank would be annexed to Jordan. However, today the Egyptian government is having difficulties pacifying Islamist insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. The last thing the Al-Sisi administration needs is more Islamists to deal with, such as Hamas.

Here’s where this proposal veers into radical idealism:

In order to foment a lasting and sustainable peace, I propose a monetary and economic union for the nation-states of the Levant. Beginning with a customs union and slowly progressing stage-by-stage to a full economic and monetary union under the Israeli shekel, this war-torn region may achieve peace by commerce. The European Union has done much to promote peace in Europe – a lasting peace – and has as an institution, even been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The security and stability of Europe began and evolved from a simple trading bloc. My ideal would have this process replicate itself in miniature throughout the four states of the Levant (Israel, Jordan/Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria).

It is my hope that Israel could take a stabilizing leadership role in the region much as Germany has done in the EU. In doing so, Israel could both potentially export democracy and raise the standard of living among its neighbors in exchange for new markets for Israeli enterprises to explore.

Now, moving on to a bigger and more complicated topic, which is an important factor in regional security, yet far too big to do justice in the context of this article.

Whichever faction prevails and becomes the government of whatever is left of Syria (if such an outcome is even possible) will require aid, in terms of security and financial assistance, to begin reconstruction. Israel and Jordan can muster some support and fill this void, along with the rest of the international community. These actors particularly because they are directly affected by the aftermath of the Syrian Civil War in terms of their security. Whether these nations like it or not, any foreign policy mistakes will lead to domestic consequences when it comes to states in such close proximity.

Further incentive for implementing a full economic union with the embattled Syrians, outside of peace and security, is Syria’s lucrative oil reserves, though Israel’s huge, newly discovered sub-aquatic natural gas reserves as well as the slumping price of oil may diminish the magnitude of the incentive this would bring to the negotiating table.

The economic prospects are interesting, but undeniably it is security that serves as the major catalyst for action in the region. The threat from groups such as Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra necessitate regional security cooperation. Lebanon has both lessons to offer and lessons to learn concerning its confessional system of pluralist representation. Linking a religious sect to their own parties has the benefit of ensuring representation in a sense, but it is by no means a perfect solution as it enables and perpetuates division between the sects. More important to the Israelis would be the tolerance of the Lebanese for militant group Hezbollah, a major security concern. In myriad ways, all participants would benefit from further cooperation, yet the main impediment to any formal moves towards that end would be the violent militant Islamist groups: Hamas, Nusra, Hezbollah, and ISIS.

Further Balkanizing forces in the region include Kurdish and Druze separatism. But that is another article altogether.

Were such a union of the states of the Levant to defy the odds and come together to unite against religious fundamentalism, provide security, and create new dynamic investment opportunities, the trajectory of human and economic development could experience unprecedented success for the region. Furthermore, economic and monetary union would serve as a bulwark and counterpoint to other influential hegemonic spheres such as that of Iran or the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Factions used as proxies by outside powers within the Levant such as Hezbollah and the Assad regime (Iran) and rebel groups such as Ahrar al-Sham (Turkey) and Nusra (Saudi Arabia and Qatar) have served only to destabilize the Levant and embroil it in conflict.

United, the states of the Levant can stand together against the neocolonialist ambitions of foreign elements and in doing so preserve the cultural, economic, and political autonomy of the Levantine peoples, bringing peace to a region of the world in desperate need of stability.

Fascism and The Left’s Hypocrisy

Fascism and The Left’s Hypocrisy

fidel

As we have seen in the majority of recent political discourse, the Left loves to name call. The Left knows that they can’t win any policy arguments, so they attack your character or just shout their feelings really loudly in an attempt to derail the argument. This is especially true now that a reality TV star defeated their candidate. Throughout the years, depending on the events, their favorite meaningless buzzwords change. During the Obama regime, the word “racist” was king. Everything and everyone who wasn’t all-in Left was racist, didn’t you know? I think that one of the reasons there has been so much delicious Liberal outrage is not only Hillary’s glorious defeat, but knowing that they’ll have to put “sexist” on the back burner until next time, and think of a new insult to hurl at those who dare oppose them. Their anger has set their hair on fire, and they can’t think of anything original, so they’re recycling “fascist” from the Bush years. Trump is a fascist, Trump’s cabinet picks are fascists, Trump’s voters are fascists, and even if you didn’t vote for Trump, you’re a fascist for supporting anything he does. As is the case with all the words the Left has overused to the point of meaninglessness, the narrative runs something like: “Yes, we know we’ve called everyone we don’t like racist/sexist/bigot/fascist, but we REALLY mean it this time.” So, it’s time to talk about what Fascism is, as well as why the Left has both no idea what they’re talking about, and the genuine hypocrisy that is the Left saying the word “fascist” if they’re not looking in a mirror.

It is difficult not to outwardly laugh at the Leftists who call Donald Trump and his Cabinet appointees fascists after we watched them mourn the death of Fidel Castro. The same people who weep about how terrible Donald Trump is, and shriek all the terrible things he is going to do that violate human rights, talk about what an effective leader Fidel Castro was. Yes. Really. This isn’t just the Left of the Unites States, by the way. From Obama talking about “the countless ways Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, and families, of the Cuban Nation,” Jimmy Carter saying that he only remembers his visits with Fidel in Cuba fondly and Castro’s “love for his country,” to the Prime Minister of Canada, to the Palestinian Dictator, to Vladimir Putin, to Chinese Dictator Xi Jinping, Leftists all over the world wept that one of their own had fallen.

To set the record straight: Fidel Castro destroyed Cuba’s flourishing economy, teamed up with Che Guevara, another mass murdering fellow who is glorified by the Left (you’ve seen him on T-shirts. I promise), he arrested and executed thousands of dissenters including anyone who tried to escape the hell-hole, and he begged the Soviet Union to attack the United States during the 1960’s Cuban Missile Crisis. A quick note about the amazing Cuban Healthcare system you’re probably hearing about: it’s all a lie. There are three tiers of Cuban Healthcare. The bottom tier of the healthcare system, which the majority of Cubans citizens qualify for, is so terrible and poor that when you go to the hospital you need to provide your own sheets, toilet paper, and light bulbs for the room. Doctors reuse latex gloves. As for their “legendary” low infant mortality rate, they have an astronomically high abortion rate because they murder any child who shows even the slightest issue in-utero. Their system only works for those in the top two tiers: the Cuban elites, and wealthy foreigners like Michael Moore. Regardless of these facts, you’ll hear Bernie Sanders and company referencing Cuba as a role model for the United States.

Why would anyone have anything nice to say about Fidel Castro? The reason is actually quite simple: The Left does not care about evil acts committed as long as they are in the name of the Leftist agenda. Moral Relativism runs rampant in the Leftist mind. You can be a mass murdering dictator, but if you are seeking the same collectivist utopia that the Left seeks, they can look past it. The Left’s entire ideology is centered around the idea of equality of outcome, rather than equality of opportunity. The rights of individuals impede the “greater good” of the state. This is in part because to the Left, rights are endowed by the State, so the State can give and take-away individual rights based upon whatever they want to do that day. This is one of the many reasons that every fascist, socialist, and communist regime has been so successful throughout history… or am I getting that confused?

Let’s look at Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of what this word actually means: “Fascism-a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” Now let’s see…race over individual…centralized autocratic government…economic and social regimentation…suppression of opposition… Does this sound like anyone we know? Refer back to my piece on the Left hating free speech.

With that definition in mind, why is it generally accepted that the Republicans are the fascists? The Left holds on to only two areas of fascism, and runs with them: nationalistic pride, and the general tendency of those on the right be religious. They create this certifiably false claim that all Republicans are trying to impose their religion onto the whole country. Side note: they also ignore the fact that while we do have Freedom of Religion in this country, Judeo-Christian values greatly influenced the founding documents of this country, as well as the Laws of any successful country in history. To say otherwise is willfully ignorant.

The Left equates nationalistic pride with ethnic pride, specifically, white supremacy. This comes from an understanding of History. In the past, the reason nationalistic pride and ethnic pride have been linked is because the people of many other countries in the world have a set race. For the most part, Ethiopians are black, Germans are White, Chinese are Asian, Mexicans are Hispanic. So when Hitler talked about German supremacy, he literally meant killing all those who weren’t Aryan. The idea that Trump is “literally Hitler” because he wants to “Make America Great Again” and is “America First” is ridiculous. America has no set race. Americans are people of every color. The faction of Trump supporters that are white supremacists is a small percentage, but the media disproportionately reports on them because it feeds their narrative and, more importantly, makes them a lot of money.

While Trump is certainly not a Fascist in the way the Left believes, there are some things we should be worried about and, no, they’re not his tweets. Everyone is very excited about Trump “saving jobs” with his Carrier deal. While you’re excited that Trump did a good thing, and on the surface this seems like an inherent good, you need to think with a clear head. As I’ve said before, Trump does not stand for small government. Trump saved between 800-1000 jobs by bullying Carrier with the threat of imposed tariffs. In other words, the government said to a business “Do what I want or I will ruin you.” This is the same crony capitalism that Trump was so against during his campaign. Just because we are getting what we want in more jobs, does not mean that the principle changes. If you were pro-Free Trade during Obama’s presidency, and now have switched to being pro-Protectionism simply because that’s what Donald Trump says we should do, you just might be the problem.

This is my biggest problem with the Trump election. Our principles don’t change just because “our guy” won the White House. Worship principles not people. Setting aside that the federal government has no Constitutional authority to dictate the behavior of a private business, this move does not encourage a free market. The solution to companies trying to outsource their businesses is not to punish them, it is to fix the reasons they want to leave. It is wrong for the government to tell a business that they must bake someone a cake, and it is wrong for the government to tell a business they must operate in a certain sector. We must be consistent. We all need to keep an eye on Trump’s economic policies and ideologies, and call him out when he does something bad, because we know we won’t hear anything about these types of things from the media. As we’ve discussed, the Left is willing to allow the branches of fascism that violate basic human rights, if everything is fair economically. It is also becoming obvious that we won’t be able to rely on Republicans to call Trump out on something they would have scolded Obama for doing.

The Left uses intimidation or physical violence to block any viewpoint not in line with their policies of thought policing, “settled science,” and inevitable economic ruin. They are trying to establish the Orwellian Thought Police, and lock up all of us intolerant Conservatives who dare to propose another line of thought. The fact that Leftists call any non-Leftist a fascist is borderline satirical. I hope they keep this nonsense up, as we all should, because this will almost guarantee more Conservative victories, and Lefty tears, in 2018 and 2020. The Republican Party isn’t perfect by any means, and we need to hold their feet to the fire, but as we’ve seen this year, imperfection Trumps fascism.

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Luke Garrison is currently studying Criminal Law and Constitutional Theory at Seattle University Law School, and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America. For Questions, Comments, or Hate Mail, he can be reached at contact@lukegarrison.com. To hear more from Luke: Subscribe, using the mail icon, and follow him on Twitter: @_lukegarrison.

President Trump: A Reality Check

President Trump: A Reality Check

trump-smileDonald Trump has proven me wrong every step of the way. I did not think he would win the primaries, and I certainly didn’t think he would win the election. Even though he was the lesser of two evils, I could not vote for him because he is truly evil. That didn’t change because he won the election. Rather than list all my reasons I could not vote for nor support Trump, I will direct you to my first piece. In their latest disservice to America, the Left has made everyone forget all the bad things about Trump. I’ll only speak for myself, but so far my happiness about a Hillary loss, and everyone on the Left entering a dark place of despair where there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth, has far outweighed my fear and skepticism for a Trump presidency. As always, reality is more important than feelings. The enemy of your enemy is not always your friend. Both Democrats and Republicans need to be honest about Trump. It’s time for a reality check. #ActuallyHeISYourPresident, so let’s take a quick dip into The Good and The Bad of President-Elect Donald Trump.

The Good

Term Limits: This is a good thing that everyone should be getting behind, no matter which side of the aisle you’re on. Career politicians will do anything to keep their seat, only caring to benefit themselves. It is extremely difficult to dislodge an incumbent, with between 80%-90% retaining their position each election. Limiting the number of terms would ensure the true representative of the people was in the seat, and add another check to preventing an oligarchy.

Scale back Economic Regulations: “For every new regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated.” This will allow the Free Market to actually function, compared to an Obama regime that regulated the economy to a standstill. He proposes a number of possible policies to lift some of Obama’s stranglehold on the market, and most of them seem plausible. I have the opinion that our current government sucks at almost everything, so these types of policies are particularly exciting for me.

National Security and Constitutional Rule of Law: He proposes Five actions. Cancel all of Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders, fill Scalia’s seat with a Justice who cares about the Constitution, cancel funding to sanctuary cities, remove illegal immigrants, and impose extreme vetting on all people entering our country from terror-prone regions. He has gone back and forth between whether or not he will accept a fence, but this is, of course, not the point. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wall, a fence, or a crocodile-infested moat. The point is that the illegal crossings of the border get shut down. Important Points: There is nothing for legal immigrants to be concerned about. Preventing another ISIS attack on our soil is more important than maybe hurting the feelings of Muslim immigrants by thoroughly vetting them. Everyone who tries to come here should be thoroughly vetted. If you do not follow the laws for legal immigration to this country, you don’t get to stay. These are not controversial statements. We are a sovereign country. Sovereign countries have laws and borders that must be respected.

Restoring Community Safety Act: More cops lead to less crime. That is basic stuff. Lawmakers shouldn’t be afraid of being called racist, or accused of racially profiling. Reality is reality. Again, stopping the crime is objectively more important than hurting subjective feelings. Stop the crime, improve the communities, businesses will want to open there, which provides jobs and other economic benefits. Would you want to open a business in a city where the store will get robbed, or you’ll get mugged walking back to your car?

School Choice: The public education system in this country is, at best, troubled. I place the blame mainly on tenure and lack of school choice. If teachers can’t be fired, they have no reason to do a good job.  If the students have no choice but to attend a particular school, that school has no incentive to perform well. This is why the DMV sucks, you can’t “just go somewhere else,” so why should they care if they give terrible customer service after you’ve waited 3 hours?

The Bad

I’ve already discussed Trump’s character. There are many terrible things to talk about. At the end of the day, a president can still be an effective leader even if he is a terrible person. We have survived this before, the most recent and prominent being Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton. As I’ve also discussed before, Trump is no hero of Conservatism in all his policies. We must be honest about him.

On the books, Trump has only one consistent ideology that I take issue with: his Free Trade Opposition. Trump and Openly-Socialist Bernie Sanders have almost the same position on this. That should tell you something. The solution to foreign competition is not punishing people for going with the competition, the solution is being better than the competition and incentivizing Americans to stay domestic.

My issue with Trump’s policies so far, especially those “hot topics,” is that he is very inconsistent. From little things that don’t matter, Fence vs Wall, to things that really do matter, like what he plans to do with Obamacare. On 60 Minutes last week, Trump said that he would be keeping in the “pre-exisiting conditions” part of Obamacare in his “much better” plan, which he is yet to spell out, in case you haven’t noticed. That’s a major reason that premiums are skyrocketing, and Obamacare is failing. Insurance companies make money because they bet that you are not going to get very sick. You can’t buy fire insurance after your house burns down.  A non-smoker has a much lower chance of needing help than the guy who has smoked “a pack a day” for 50 years, so the non-smoker pays significantly less per month. Americans would rather take the penalty, than pay for an over-priced insurance they don’t need.

I said in my last piece that Trump believes nothing, and would say anything to get elected. He shows not only inconsistency in policy promises, but inconsistency in logic. In the interview last week, he said the following two things: that he would appoint Justices to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v Wade, and return abortion laws to the States AND that his position on gay marriage is “irrelevant because it’s already settled. It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. It’s done.” Regardless of your position on these topics, you must see that there’s a flaw here. Also, this is a very Leftist way of thinking. “Just the way it is” is only acceptable if it’s something you personally support.

Trump has softened on his three strongest selling points in the primary and general election: He said he would repeal Obamacare, and now he says that he is going to keep the most damaging aspect. He was one of the strongest candidates on illegal immigration, one of the reasons I think he won the primary, and now has pivoted to almost an identical position that he smashed Marco Rubio for in the primaries. He also for the last year has been the candidate of “Lock Her Up” and “the special prosecutor,” and now says that he will not pursue Clinton because she’s “a good person.” Now I understand that this is just politics, and he is trying to bring the sides together, but this was a major part of his campaign. He also hired a lobbyist, Mike Catanzaro, to lead his energy team despite the strong stance he took against lobbyists having a role in government. These are just a few of his flip-flops, and individually they don’t seem like a big deal, but what is coming next?

Final Thoughts

President-Elect Trump hasn’t done anything yet. Almost everything people are overly concerned about is simply based on media-hype and speculation. I have already addressed a few of the biggest issues those on the left have, and here I’d like to address a few more.

I implore all people in the United States to read the Constitution and the Federalist Papers. From those, we need to clarify two important things: what your rights actually are, and what powers the president has. I hear too often from many Americans “WE HAVE A RIGHT TO… (insert thing they don’t have a right to).” Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to it. There is a reason we have so vehemently opposed Obama’s overreaches for the last 8 years. The office of the presidency was not intended to have this much power. You supported Obama using the Constitution as toilet paper because you were getting what you want. Did you really think the pendulum wouldn’t swing back?

I won’t speculate on Trump’s potential cabinet picks. As far as his current picks that are causing people to lose their minds: We all need to hope that Reince Priebus has more power than Steve Bannon. I also think it’s important to note that Bannon is not a white supremacist. He’s a nefarious man who has ruined Breitbart News, and panders to the alt-right white supremacists. There is zero evidence that he is one himself, though I know that evidence doesn’t matter to the Left. I mean, how could the Huffington Post be wrong? You should be much more concerned about his economic ideas. In regards to Jeff Sessions: He was prevented from attaining a judgeship in 1986 due to alleged “racist remarks.” His factual track record, however, shows quite the opposite. He desegregated schools in Alabama, and led the prosecution of a KKK leader, who he ensured was executed by the way, which led to a seven-million-dollar civil suit, which broke the Klan in Alabama. So, he might be racist, but he also fiercely battled racism. Refer to what I said earlier about bad people/good leaders. You’re going to draw your own conclusions, but those are the facts.

No, he’s not going to put Muslim citizens on a registry. This is a myth. As we’ve said, he will implement a strong vetting process for those who try to enter the country, or suspend immigration from ISIS affected areas of the world until that vetting system is ready. This will not be a repeat of World War II, on any side, let’s calm down a bit.

Yes, Trump is going to act to remove your ability to murder unborn humans, and he’s certainly going to stop forcing tax payers to fund your convenience killings and your birth control. If Trump is all the horrible things you say he is, and you’re most worried about birth control and abortion, you might want to re-evaluate yourself as a human.

As mentioned above, Trump’s clearly not against gay marriage. All the Mike Pence demonization from the Left is the same stuff they’ve said about every hard-right Christian Republican for the last decade, so no one cares. Trump defends certain Religious Freedom Acts. Religious Freedom is both what allows for same-sex marriage of those who wish to take part AND what forbids forcing Christian businesses to take part. You cannot have one without the other. You don’t have to like it, I don’t have to like it, they don’t have to like it, but that’s the whole point. You have a right to live as you please. You do not have a right to force others to live as you please. Expecting millennia-old religions to completely abandon their doctrine for the sake of your feelings is incredibly selfish. Stop it.

This is nowhere near a complete list, and we are learning more every day, but it is vitally important, for the sake of the country, to be honest about Trump. For Republicans, call him out when he does bad stuff. For Democrats, you need to accept that he’s going to do good stuff. I’ll end on a final word to Liberals: If you’re ready to impeach him over tweets about Hamilton, you won’t be taken seriously when he does something actually terrible. Your volume is turned all the way up, and he hasn’t even stepped into office. It won’t be as bad as you think. I have always been honest about Trump, and will continue to be honest about him. Good and Bad. If he attempts to overreach on power, I will call him on it. If he attempts to take away yours, or any American’s actual rights, I will turn my volume all the way up and fight for you.

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Luke Garrison is currently studying Criminal Law and Constitutional Theory at Seattle University Law School, and is a graduate of The Catholic University of America. For Questions, Comments, or Hate Mail, he can be reached at contact@lukegarrison.com. To hear more from Luke: Subscribe, using the mail icon, and follow him on Twitter: @_lukegarrison.

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