#WAR: Melissa Mackenzie on Andrew Breitbart

This week I am taking a break from what I would normally do for my Friday column. Normally I write during the week as time allows, edit, polish, rewrite, edit, etc. All of which I have been doing, but I feel the need to publish something else today. Something that struck a chord with me this morning and that honestly have not been able to stop thinking about all day. Therefore I am going to postpone publishing what I have been working on this week and instead am writing this ‘on the fly’. This may turn out horribly so I request your forgiveness in advance.

This morning while going through my twitter feed as is my daily ritual, I came across a tweet from Katie Pavlich with a link to a special report piece Melissa Mackenzie wrote about Andrew Breitbart. To be honest I knew the name Andrew Breitbart, that he started the news network that carries his name and that he was a mentor to Ben Shapiro, but beyond that I knew very little.

I started by first watching about half of the first video linked in the column. Andrew’s wit, wisdom and personality leaped off the screen and I could immediately feel a kinship with him. But more importantly I found myself agreeing with what he was saying. Especially when he started to discuss his liberal beginnings and the epiphany he had in regards to Rush Limbaugh. The realization of how his liberal bias of Limbaugh came at the hands of the main stream media. The very same media that I too turned to in the beginning. Andrew said, “All the things I had been told reflected that negative stereotype. But I in fact had never assessed him myself and recognizing that the main stream media doesn’t necessarily tell you the truth, or tells you the truth from its ideological standpoint became this panacea for me where I started to challenge the main stream media.”

Think about those words. ‘…the main stream media doesn’t necessarily tell you the truth, or tells you the truth from its ideological standpoint…’.

I too had come to the very same conclusion of which I wrote about here back in May of 2017. We shared a common experience that I am now coming to the realization is not all that uncommon for conservatives. The realization that the main stream media is, in fact, spinning a narrative that is against our beliefs and who we are as individuals. Their goal is simple – succumb to their ideology or be silenced. And it has been working for decades.

I stopped the video and read Melissa’s column beginning to end. Twice. Slowly reading the words and absorbing their impact like waves in the ocean. Her blunt assessment of the current political environment was spot on. From the main stream media’s hate of President Trump to their even more vile hatred for those who voted for him. Their coverage of the March for Life this past weekend using the Covington Catholic High School boys and Nathan Philips to destroy the positive narrative all while providing glowing non-stop coverage of the Women’s March with nary a mention of its antisemitic undertones. It was as though she had somehow gotten an all access pass into my mind, was taking notes and wrote them for me.

I found myself nodding in agreement….to myself….alone….in my office with only my dogs to see the spectacle. Her affirmations that the Covington kids had the right to wear their MAGA hats, that they have a right to be pro-life, that we have the right to have our voices and morals accounted for as well and that we have the right not to be silenced. And that though we do not seek them out, we must fight the battles that we know are just and right to fight. Not for the sake of arguing but for the sake of truth. For the sake of defending our civil liberties. For our freedom.

Melissa brilliantly chose and used Andrew’s words as encouragement as you read them along side hers. “They declared war on us; we did not declare war on them. We have an obligation to fight back!” – Andrew Breitbart

I couldn’t help but tweet to Melissa letting her know how much I appreciated her column. To me it read like a Conservative Declaration of Independence. It motivates and inspires me to keep learning, to keep writing and most importantly to keep speaking my mind and telling the truth when the main stream media spins their narrative with lies and deception. I know I am years late for the call to action, but I am here now.

I hope to do justice to what Andrew started and to continue to fight as he did. I ordered his book this afternoon, ‘Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!’ and cannot wait to read it. I now have a strong desire to learn more about him, his story and the way in which he waged battle against the New York Times and CNN.

Like Andrew said . . . .

WAR!

Wit, Wisdom & Wokescolding

There is nothing worse than the point in an argument or debate when you realize you are wrong. If you engage in enough discussions, especially those that are political in nature, it’s inevitable that you will find yourself in that position. It is impossible or at least highly improbable that you will understand every key issue you are confronted with. Instead we tend to focus on the issues that matter most to us. We spend our time learning them, understanding the arguments and getting to the point where we understand the complexity of the issues so that we can in turn explain them simply to those who have not taken the time to do so. There are only so many hours in a day and only so much time you can give to any subject. As Richard Feynman said, “I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”.

Though being wrong does not feel good it should not be allowed to be a deterrent from engaging in those conversations in which you are not an expert. How else are we to learn? We should embrace the chance to discuss, ask questions and become familiar with the facts as they pertain to the issue. Ignorance is not a crime nor should it be viewed as a reason to dismiss a person’s opinion. Rather it should be viewed as an opportunity to teach and possibly learn a new perspective that you hadn’t though of previously. But we must also be careful not to mistake a difference of opinion with ignorance. They are in no way the same and to make the assumption of ignorance is what leads to dismissive and disingenuous discussions that lead to stagnation with no forward progress. Unfortunately this tends to happen a lot.

Political discussions devolve into an exchange of parting shots aimed at those on the other side. Pointed words aimed at not only the issue being discussed but the character of those who oppose our views. More often than not Democrats tend to do this by focusing on the moral character and intellect of the person they are debating. Republicans proclaim to focus on facts and ignore emotional responses as nothing more than opinions that carry no relevant weight in the discussion. After all, as Ben Shapiro says – ‘Facts don’t care about your feelings’ and that mantra is carried by many Conservatives. The problem is that you can readily find moral reasons or facts to uphold any side of an issue you debate. So the questions are: which is correct? How do we determine what side of the issue is the one we should choose to work towards finding a solution that best suits that side of the argument?

I found myself in this position Wednesday evening while discussing with two others on social media the Electoral College. I raised the discussion point contending that the Democrats in the House are attacking the Constitution itself by submitting H.J.Res.7 that would abolish the Electoral College. The two individuals I was discussing this with took the stand that the E.C. is essentially a relic that was pro-slavery and therefore should be abolished with the Popular Vote replacing it. I disagreed with their reasoning and stated that I believe the E.C. should remain and be protected. The sides we took are not the issue I’d like to discuss here, but rather what happened as we debated the issue.

The conversation quickly became a listing of educational resume from one of the two who support abolishing E.C., that my sources provided in support of my view are not academic institutions and the constant statement that I am out of my league on this matter because their education is superior to mine. The second supporter of abolishing E.C. was not on the attack as much as the first, but was dismissive of any responses I had no matter their validity (like the fact that slavery is no longer a thing). Simply put the problem was both sides were convinced their side is the correct side. We failed to acknowledge that both could be true at the same time.

Did the E.C. benefit southern states by the Three Fifths Compromise allowing slaves to be counted for representation in the House? Of course it did. To bring the example to present day it would be the equivalent of us allowing Illegal Immigrants to be counted on our census thereby giving more representation to those states supporting sanctuary cities like California, Illinois and New York. Republicans would lose their collective minds if that were to happen, just as the Democrats rightly objected to the Three Fifths Compromise. Was the E.C. specifically written to support slavery and allow a skewed electoral process? Absolutely not. Additionally, neither of the two have yet to provide facts supporting their argument despite multiple requests for them to do so. I only received an NPR article explaining why some scholars believe it to be so, but no hard evidence just conjecture. Federalist No. 10 and No. 68 explain how the E.C. protects against factions and what Alexis de Tocqueville called ‘the tyranny of the majority’. Nowhere do those papers indicate slavery as a necessary cog to make this engine work.

Instead we volleyed shot after shot at each other’s education, the quality of information being shared, some name calling and a lot of snarky comments along with a lot of wokescolding towards me. I regret to say this conversation thread lasted many hours. As would be expected no middle ground was to be found. It essentially ended with the posting of memes at my expense and the classic ‘no point in arguing with someone who needs to double down to support an illegitimate treasonous president.’. I find many of my discussions with Liberal Democrats end with them ending the conversation by similar means instead of providing persuasive evidence to support their views.

We are seeing the exact same behavior playing out in Washington D.C. today in regards to the Government shut down over border security. President Trump is refusing to budge on $5.7bil for a wall/barrier. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer refuse to provide the funding for something they believe to be ineffective and immoral. Thus, the shut down continues on into its 28th day – the longest Government shut down in our nations history. Neither side realizing that both of their visions of border security can be true at the same time. The Democrats know barriers are a necessary part of border security and have voted many times before in the past for precisely that. President Trump knows the Dreamers path to citizenship is important to the Democrats and their base. There is a deal to be made here where both sides could walk away with political wins. Provide funding for the barrier, give DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship and reopen the government. America sees this compromise – why can’t Congress?

Perhaps bipartisan debate by We The People of the United States of America is actually the first step in getting our elected officials to do the same. After all, we elected them to office so it is really not all that surprising that they mimic our actions and behaviors when we debate with each other on social media. But there is an expectation that those in Washington D.C. would conduct themselves better. It literally is their job to find compromises on issues such as this. Maybe we should first hold ourselves to maintain civility, decency and the truth in our own conversations before expecting the same from Congress? Lead by example with civil discourse and respect. Following only the facts to support our positions with reason and compromise at the forefront of the discussion.

Now wouldn’t that be something!

Democrats Mantra: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Change The Rules

2016 was a devastatingly difficult election year for the Democrats. I can still see the faces of the main stream media as the election results started coming in that were giving the indication that the impossible had happened. Donald Trump was to become the president elect and eventually the President of the United States. Over the course of the following days and weeks they tried to come to grips with reality. They struggled to understand how this came to be. There had to be an explanation and malicious actors at play here – like the Russians! How is it they lost at a game they were almost guaranteed to win from the start?

It never occurred to them that perhaps they should look into getting better players, but that’s a story for another column.

Eventually they came to the conclusion that the problem was millions of simpletons like you and I who call themselves Conservatives. We are uneducated, evangelical, racist, xenophobic, older white males who dictate to our wives who to vote for because we are also misogynists. How could we possibly be trusted with our votes? Drastic measures must be taken to ensure things like this never happen again! But what to do? The answer the Democrats came up with is simple. Change the rules.

Of course I’m being overly dramatic here. Or am I? It’s not as though they haven’t done that very thing in the past.

In 2013 Senate Democrats led by Harry Reid used the nuclear option on executive branch nominations and federal judge appointments. This was done to ensure President Obamas nominations would not be challenged by traditional filibuster rules. In true “tit for tat” mentality, the Republicans returned the favor in 2017 by invoking the nuclear option in order to end debate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The Democrats were enraged that their own tactics were used against them and lead to President Trumps first Supreme Court Nominee to be confirmed. Democrats changed Senate rules in order to get what they wanted in the short term only to have it backfire on them in the long run. Now they are at it again, but this time they are targeting the Constitution itself.

With 2020 now clearly in sight and the Democrats taking control of the House they are wasting no time taking efforts to ensure what happened in 2016 does not happen again. On the first day in session for the 116th Congress Rep. Steve Cohen (D) from Tennessee submitted H.J.Res.7 which proposes amending the Constitution to abolish the electoral collage and to provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President of the United States. No longer would the Democrats have to suffer winning the popular vote like what Hillary did in 2016 but still lose the White House.

By turning our presidential election cycles into nothing more than a popularity contest it can easily be won by securing votes in only a few states. There are two video’s by Prager University from 2015 that explain the Electoral College and why it is so important. I highly recommend you watch them and will provide links to them below this article. The protections built into the Electoral College are crucial to defending our democracy. It ensures we all continue to have a voice when it comes to our elections and guards against interference from other countries which, oddly enough, the Democrats still believe happened in 2016. Why if they believe another country colluded to influence our elections and did so successfully would they now seek to change the process making it easier to influence our future elections by going with a simple popularity vote?

This is why the Democratic Party has become so dangerous. When faced with a loss that they cannot comprehend or believe to be unjust – they seek to change the rules to favor their immediate objectives. They do not consider the future impacts. Forget that for hundreds of years we have had the Constitution to protect our freedoms and it has worked. That doesn’t matter. They lost and don’t like it let alone understand basic Civics. As soon as they acquire the slightest bit of power again, as they did in 2018 by winning back the House, they immediately work to change the rules to try and ensure they do not lose again.

What the Democrats have proposed is not democracy. It is an attempt to implement totalitarianism by those who believe their morals and ethics are superior. The bill is sure to be dead upon arrival should it even make it to the Senate floor. But that’s not really the point here. The point here is that the Democrats have shown their true colors. They have exposed their intentions for everyone to see. And it’s not just the Electoral College they are after. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) along with many other cosponsors have introduced another bill aimed at the Second Amendment called the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019 that essentially outlaws every rifle and handgun.

However, consider what would happen if Rep. Cohen’s or Sen. Feinstein’s proposed legislations were to pass. Democracy will have died at the hands of those who claim to most ardently defend it.

It appears their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Prager University Videos:
POPULAR VOTE vs ELECTORAL COLLEGE
DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

New Year, New Congress

It’s New Years Eve 2018 and the government is in its tenth day of a partial shutdown over border security funding.

President Trump is requesting $5 billion in order to build sections of the wall, or fencing depending on who you ask, increased technology and border patrol agents. The Democrats are perfectly willing to give up $1.3 billion for fencing and other border security provisions, but no funding for a wall. Should the president hold true to his word the absence of that noun would render any spending bill to be proposed by Congress this week to be denied upon receipt. The question is if the president is willing to take the risk of denying the Democrats proposal. With that answer comes the answer to how much he is willing to give up in order to fund the government and have it reopen as well.

But why now? Why has it taken two years for the president and Republicans in Congress to finally take a stand on border security and wall funding? After all, building the wall was a staple of the president’s campaign and was a key issue that contributed to him winning the election. The reason is simple – the Republicans and the president have run out of time.

In just two short days the 116th Congress will convene for the first time on January 3rd, 2019 thus propelling President Trump’s administration into a two year “lame duck” session until 2020.  Democratic leaders have already announced a proposal that they are pushing to vote on this coming Thursday to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year save Homeland Security. They will only be funded through February 8th which will include the aforementioned $1.3 billion for fencing but no funding for a wall. The goal of this proposal is to see just how far President Trump is willing to go in his fight for funding a wall.

The irony here is that the Democrats are now opposing what they have already voted for several times in the past. There are multiple videos and news stories from 2006 where Democrats supported the same type of border security measures being discussed today. In fact 23 other Democrats along with then Senator Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer voted in favor of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. In re-reading the Secure Fence Act of 2006 it seems to echo exactly what President Trump and the Republicans are seeking today. More fencing along the Southern border (I.e. a wall or barrier), more vehicle barriers, checkpoints, lighting, advanced technology like cameras, satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles to reinforce our infrastructure at the border. You can hear Kellyanne Conway state exactly that during a recent CNN interview.

Historically speaking funding border security is not a partisan issue. It never has been. $60 million was allocated according to the DHS in 2009 in the form of grants to fund Operation Stonegarden for border States. That same year there was in excess of $106 million more set aside for Southwest border security measures, again per the DHS website. Time and again both Democrats and Republicans have voted for funding for border security. To take a broader approach if you consider an estimate of $4.4 trillion Fiscal Year 2019 federal budget the $5 billion President Trump is asking for border security is a fraction of 1% of the overall budget. It’s essentially nothing in the grand scheme of things.

So why are the Democrats opposed now?  In a word – politics.  They simply cannot stomach giving the president a win when it comes to one of his key campaign promises.  Even if they claim victory in that whatever is built it is not called a wall in any bill or budget package they vote in favor of.  At the end of the day, they can say President Trump didn’t get his wall and that, it seems, is more important than anything else – even securing our country.

Semantics are the name of the game in Washington D.C. to the detriment and frustration of the American people. With a Democrat controlled House coming into session it can be expect that we will see much more of the same over the next two years. That is if they don’t spend all their time with investigations and repeated attempts to impeach the president. Either way there seems to be little hope for any political wins on the agenda of President Trump in the near future. That is certain.

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A Court of Law VS. The Court of Public Opinion

This is still America.

Though it is not the America I think of when I think of pride, patriotism and love of country.  That America I equate with my Grandfather’s generation and the actions they took during World War II.  It was a simpler time, as they say.  A more honorable time, I say.  A time that I greatly desire to see come again.  We saw glimpses of that same America after 9/11, so I know that America still lives in us somewhere.  And I want to believe we are slowly moving towards it again.  However, there is something missing that we need back if we are to ever truly get back to that America again.

In the America of the past we would act on a matter because it was the right thing to do.  We did not make decisions because they were politically advantageous.  Instead we would look to a higher place.  A place no longer allowed in the schools of our ‘civilized society’ for fear of offense to another.  A place that was our guiding moral principles and where we drew our strength from as a nation.  A place that was such an innate part of our lives throughout our history that our Founding Fathers wove it into our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence as the foundation of our country.  A place we would turn to time and again to serve as our guiding star – our ‘True North’ – when all hope seemed to be lost.

Or at least we used too.

Take for example Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.  The accusations of Dr. Ford with no supporting evidence or corroborating witnesses would have been thrown out in every court of law in our nation.  But that is not the case in the court of public opinion.  It is there where it matters not what you can prove with facts and evidence.  The accused has no rights above those seeking social justice and not justice.

They cannot defend themselves with facts and logic unless they first acknowledge the accusers’ pain and their right to feel however it is they feel.  Even if those feelings are unfounded and implicate you in a potential criminal act.  In the court of public opinion, it only matters what emotional response you can evoke from the jury and that those emotions mirror those of the accuser for a conviction.  To those seeking social justice, feelings do not care about your facts.  Sorry, Ben Shapiro.

After all, social justice is not the same as justice.  It does not exist in the black and white world of right and wrong.  It lives in the misty grey hues of feelings and emotions that our elders have always cautioned us never to make decisions upon them alone.  And with good reason.

SCOTUS_Equal Justice Under The LawIn a court of law, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  In the court of public opinion, the burden of proof of innocence is now the responsibility of the accused and is much more difficult to quantify.  Any unwillingness on the part of the accused to defend themselves by denying the accusations or attempts to discredit the accuser is viewed as evidence of guilt and not innocence.  You only have to look at the nomination of Kavanaugh and how it has been halted by unfounded accusations to see that truth play out in reality.

America has lost its moral compass.  We are no longer able to see our ‘True North’ through the fog of social justice.  The faith we once had in our religious convictions reflected in the faith we had in each other and as a nation.  Without the principals that once guided our Founding Fathers and subsequently my Grandfather’s generation we have left ourselves with no foundation on which to firmly stand.  It was our faith in God and the teachings of the Bible that gave us a firm and clear understanding of what is right and what is wrong.  It is because of our inability to root ourselves in the belief of something greater than ourselves that we now default to emotional responses to answer some of life’s most difficult questions.  Questions that should only be answered and acted upon with the truth dictating right over wrong.

Norman Doidge wrote the Foreword of Dr. Jordan Peterson’s most recent book 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos.  In that foreword he talks about the complexity of life and how the Bible is essentially a set of rules for us to live by to avoid becoming slaves to our passions.  When left to our own devices we tend to gravitate towards the things that make us feel good instead of what makes us good people.  This is where Doidge makes a point that stuck out to me.  He wrote,

One neat thing about the Bible story is that it doesn’t simply list its rules, as lawyers or legislators or administrators might; it embeds them in a dramatic tale that illustrates why we need them, thereby making them easier to understand.

To me this suggests that faith in God and attempting to live by His example as told by the Bible has less to do with the supernatural implications of religion and simply means that you strive to live by a set of rules that when followed are generally accepted as ‘good’.

It is by no means my position that should you not believe in God that it is impossible for you to be a good person and live a good life.  What I am suggesting is that historically speaking when we as a nation would face adversity, as my Grandfather’s generation did and as did our Founding Fathers, we would look to a higher place for guidance.  In doing so they often clearly saw the right thing to do and would follow that path with an unstoppable conviction.  A conviction founded in the belief that they were doing the right thing for the right reasons in the eyes of God.  To them there was no greater calling or purpose in life and they viewed that responsibility as an honor.

To this very day when you are called to testify in a court of law, you are sworn in and put under oath – your oath – to tell the truth.  You are placed under your oath by raising your right hand, placing your left on the Bible and vowing to tell the truth – so help you God.  We do this because as a nation we were founded on the principles held so dearly by our Founding Fathers that came from their faith in God.  That any oath taken in the name of God is to be viewed as the truth as though you were speaking to Him on your day of judgement.

It’s fascinating to me that despite being under oath in a court of law people often times do not believe the testimony provided.  Yet, in the court of public opinion no such oath is taken but those accusations and charges are taken at face value and treated as ‘gospel’ without any evidence to support them or witnesses testifying to their validity.  The irony is not lost on me, I assure you – but what does that say to you about the state of our society today?

There is a reason why my Grandfather’s generation is referred to as ‘the greatest generation to have lived’.  It’s because they knew right from wrong, saw the injustices in the world and our own country, rolled up their sleeves and got to work correcting them.  America’s past is not without its imperfections – no nation that has ever risen to power is.  But as has been stated by others more intelligent than I, what makes America so great is the fact that we took steps to correct those injustices and acknowledged our faults.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if more people from both sides of the isle did that today?  How do I get that on the docket for the court of public opinion?

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Pre-Midterm Madness 2018

Politically speaking this week has been a difficult one for Conservatives.  The combination of the Manafort conviction and Cohen testimony coming within roughly 24 hours of each other was a one-two punch to the gut that has, for the moment, knocked the wind out of us.  Though we saw the punch of Manafort’s conviction coming, the Cohen testimony seems to have caught quite a few people off guard.

Is this just a momentary distraction?  Time will be the judge of that.  However, to those Conservatives who are quick to point out these two events have nothing to do with Russian Collusion or President Trump, I would caution you to not so quickly dismiss their impact.

Democrats and Republicans will hold their grounds and no votes will be swayed by the events of this week.  The same cannot be said for Independent voters.  A Wall Street Journal article published yesterday referenced a polling of Independents showing they are moving to the Left regarding which party they would like to see control Congress after the 2018 elections.  In that poll Independent voters favored Democrats over Republicans by 22-percentage points, up from an 8-percentage point advantage from earlier in the year.

I’m no statistician but a 14-point swing is nothing to scoff at or ignore.

Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial start to the mid-term election cycle, is now less than two weeks away.  The timing of these events can be either a blessing or a curse for Republicans.  The blessing being that they have time to diffuse the situation and drive the narrative towards things that matter.  The economy, low unemployment ratings, immigration reform, border security, preserving the tax cuts and continuing to do right by our military and veterans.  The curse being that it brings back to the forefront the Democrats favorite talking point – impeachment.

Though I do not believe either of these to be high crimes and misdemeanors they will, none the less, fuel the calls from the Left for the next few days to come.  For many on the Left their dislike of President Trump is so strong that impeachment is a delicious morsel on which they love to chew.  Which begs the question many have already been asking long before this week began.  Is simply being “anti-Trump” enough for the Democrats to win the midterms or do they need an actual message for their campaign?  A message that, as of now, has yet to manifest itself and unify the party.

In the end the party that controls the narrative moving into and beyond September 3rd will ultimately be the party to win the midterms.  The narrative will motivate voters, especially the Independent voters, to show up and cast their ballot.  Though historically the mid-term elections have been lost by the party in power, the sense among Conservatives is that this election cycle carries weight.  The concern being that the progress made thus far could, and likely would, be undone should Congress turn blue.  The Democrats also believe this midterm cycle carries weight, but as far as I can tell only in so much as it pertains to the ability to bring forth articles of impeachment as mentioned earlier.

From my seat I have little faith in polls since the ones in 2016 were so off base.  The noise coming from both sides of the isle is more of the same droning that has been taking place for much of the year.  The same can be said of the Main Stream Media as well – so I say toss a quarter and you’ll have just as good a chance at predicting the winner of this year’s mid-terms as anybody else.

But that doesn’t excuse you from voting, though!