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TNA’s new Managing Editor Steve Berman: In his own words

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Some people are politics junkies. Others are addicted to news. I am more of a “why” kind of guy.

I grew up in a fairly non-political family. My parents were blue-collar, and I started out in a blended family. My dad was a widower with three boys, my mom was a divorcee with two girls, and together they had my brother and me. I was the baby—born in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1964, when the Vietnam War was ramping up and the space race was white hot.

I don’t believe my mother ever voted for anyone but a Democrat her whole life. She’d vote a straight blue ticket, and she always voted. She divorced my dad when I was just four, and married my step-dad, Danny, when I was eleven. We moved to seacoast New Hampshire after that, where I did most of my growing up.

Although my mother, father and stepfather were all blue-collar workers, they believed in hard work and education. My dad was a tool and die maker at General Electric for 40 years. That position no longer exists—it’s been replaced by desktop CAD and numerical control machines. He used to do trigonometry in his head. My step-dad was a welder at the same GE plant, also for four decades—he ran the welding school in the marine steam turbine division.

All five of my mother’s children attended college. Of my six siblings, four graduated college, including myself. My oldest brother Roy had a degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern—he passed away last year. My brother Barry had a great career as an electrician, and eventually an inspector for the MBTA in Boston; he retired recently.

My two sisters both went to the University of Massachusetts, and my brother Jay and I graduated from the University of New Hampshire.

My mother and father were both full-blooded Jews, and ensured we had a Jewish education. My stepfather was Italian, but converted to Judaism at 50 years old to marry my mother (including the, err, anatomical bit). We were generally non-observant Jews, but I had seven years of Hebrew, which I can still read and understand.

The first presidential election I voted in was 1984. I voted for Reagan. My mom voted for Mondale, whom I couldn’t stand.

By the time I left college, I was fairly non-political (but left-leaning), very technical, and confident that I could do whatever I put my mind to. I remember Bill Clinton giving a speech literally in the field behind my condo in 1992. When the whole Gennifer Flowers thing erupted, I remember thinking “well, he’s dead.” I voted for Perot that year.

Then I moved to Central Georgia, where I observed the great lamentation and gnashing of teeth at Clinton’s election. I couldn’t understand why they so despised the man—after all he was a southerner like Jimmy Carter, right?

As I began to learn about politics and people, I realized that the “why” of ideas mattered far more than the “who” or the “team.” I began to realize that political contests are many times just popularity contests. I realized that the people we end up with in elected office, at the local, state, and federal level, are deeply flawed, and usually not the most competent person to do the job.

I learned that the biggest embedded self-interest group in America is the government itself, made up of a million people drawing paychecks funded by our taxes.

And I learned that the news we see, both online and on the boob tube, is generally presented to us in a way to influence our thinking, not to educate us to make our own decisions.

In 1995, I started a small company to sell Internet service in Warner Robins, Georgia. Less than a year later, I left my job at Robins Air Force Base to run that company full time. We started it with $52,000 in scraped-together capital, and sold it five years later for $2.5 million.

Then I spent about 15 years in various positions at a software company, incubating a payment services company, and helping to sell both to a multinational public corporation. By then, I’d had it with corporate life.

My experience with helping political campaigns, taught me it’s a dirty business filled with lots of charlatans and featherbedders, and you had to be careful to choose honest, competent people. Just like the news, just like business, just like government, it’s best to know “why” than just to blindly root for a team.

One day at my corporate job, the executive I reported to made an offhand remark that I could have another career as a writer after he read a motivational piece I wrote for my employees. So in 2014, I began pursuing that. I probably should have started in 1992.

What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.

I wrote a diary at RedState, and published on my own blog. I began writing for the local newspaper (I still do). I wrote for a year at Bizpac Review. Then I was offered the opportunity to be a featured contributor for Erick Erickson’s new website, The Resurgent. I was there the day the site debuted.

I’ve been cited by the New York Times, had pieces picked up by Fox News and RealClearPolitics, and published in The Stream.

Instead of simply cheerleading or spinning the news, I think it’s vital to know why things happen. I think it’s important to read news and trends from smaller outlets, by sometimes unknown writers.

I believe we learn more about the human condition by reading Flannery O’Connor on raising peafowl, or Adam Serwer on Robert E. Lee (Serwer is a senior political editor at The Atlantic) than the daily fare served up by the New York Times or Washington Post.

Why people believe what they believe is far more important than what some celebrity or senator thinks about the latest Trump tweets.

Of course, it’s important to keep up with news and events. Failing to do so is like putting one’s head in a gas oven that won’t heat up looking for the pilot light, while breathing in the gas.

But going deeper and to the edges of that coverage, and getting to the “whys” is the main reason I took on the responsibility of editing The New Americana. As a news aggregator, my goal is to do more than simply regurgitate the latest news and reactions, but to give that news a context and a vibrant canvass for you, the reader, to form educated and intelligent opinions.

Life is best when we know why we believe what we believe. It’s my mission at The New Americana to make it the place you go with your morning coffee and throughout the day for high quality, deep content. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy preparing it for you.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Eric Dixon

    June 8, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    This is excellent

  2. Marc

    June 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Hallelujah! I’ve been reading you on The Resurgent and am glad you are here.

  3. Pat Nicklaus

    June 8, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Welcome, Steve. Looking forward to reading your thoughts, rants and inspirations!

  4. Terry Hedden

    June 8, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I anticipate hearing truth without an agenda.

  5. Henry Davis

    June 9, 2017 at 5:03 am

    AMEN AMEN AMEN, Steve. You could not have hit it on the head any better. Thanks and Good Luck. Blessings will follow you.

  6. David L

    July 19, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I too was very pleased to find that you came on board to run the website. I’ve been a fan of your material on the Resurgent, as well as your blog. I’m the one who suggested recently, you get on the Hewitt show. I think I read that JD made some guest appearances recently too.

    I was contacted by a member of the Federalist, Tricia Morris, and had a nice chat. I mentioned to her that I could supply a steady stream of links for Information Security, as I follow them very closely. I’ve even written a few blog posts for
    https://GrahamCluley.com, and am in the list of contributors. I was invited to do so, but do to other issues, I’ve not been active lately.
    I also suggested several software solutions that leadership should use, to protect yourselves, as well as the organization.

    Anyways, thanks for all the hard work. It really shows and I hope inspires others to help spread the word.

    PS. I voted in my first presidential election in 80 for Reagan of course, I was just eligible by several months. I’ll never forget the look of astonishment on my bosses face, (he also was president of the school board) besides owning a glad shop, and was firmly a liberal. It was funny when he asked me what I thought I was doing there? Not knowing, I blurted out “peanut picker has got to go!” while standing in a long line. He promptly let me know that was a no, no, but, the cat was out of the bag ? and of course, Michigan went for Reagan in a big way. You know, Auto industry.

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Judiciary

Jeff Flake has become a punchline

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Jeff Flake has become a punchline

There are conservatives who oppose the President through conscientious means and with discernment of who to support and what to oppose. Then, there are “conservatives” like Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

In his final days in the United States Senate, Flake has decided to go out with his conscience intact. At least that’s what he’s telling himself and anyone who would listen. In reality, he’s going out with his middle finger raised to the man he blames the most for his career failures: President Trump.

Flake has threatened to hold up judicial nominations until the Senate votes to protect special counsel Robert Mueller. Let’s set aside the likelihood that such an action by Congress would be unconstitutional with Article 2 giving the President wide powers over the Justice Department. That’s a debate for Constitutional scholars.

Instead, let’s focus on what Flake is actually doing. He’s willing to jeopardize the judicial system which desperately needs an infusion of originalists just to fire a parting blow at the President. That’s really what this comes down to. He’s not obeying his conscience. He’s not protecting Mueller. He’s not trying to right a wrong. He’s being a child.

He’s a punchline.

Even if there was a real threat that President Trump might somehow interfere with the Mueller investigation, this wouldn’t be the way to try to protect him. All Flake is doing is pulverizing the few pieces of his credibility that were left standing.

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Democrats

Good news for the Democrat agenda: McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

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Good news for the Democrat agenda McConnell and McCarthy will lead the GOP

Trumplicans chalked one up for the status quo yesterday when they chose Paul Ryan’s right-hand man, Kevin McCarthy, to be the party leader in the House and unanimously re-elected Mitch McConnell to lead the Senate. Both men were endorsed by Donald Trump for the jobs.

Despite the fact that Republicans suffered the worst mid-term defeat since Watergate, McConnell and McCarthy touted a list of vague GOP accomplishments that conveniently failed to mention the party’s failure to keep their promises, which is why the Democrats won last week.

In an opinion piece for FOX News, McConnell bragged — now try not to laugh — about how the past two years of Republican leadership “will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.” He then challenged the new Democrat majority in the House to put aside partisan politics and work with Republicans to get things done.

Apparently, the concept of irony is lost on McConnell. Outside of the GOP’s alleged success at saving the Supreme Court, Democrats and Republicans have always been working together, which is why they still fund Planned Parenthood, Obamacare, DACA, and sanctuary cities with massive new spending that exploded the budget deficit.

While McConnell and McCarthy have adopted Trump’s “blame the Democrats for my failures” playbook, the sad reality is that Republicans favor the Democrat agenda because it’s their agenda; bipartisanship is a given.

Based on developments during the lame duck session, it’s going to be worse when the 116th Congress opens for business in January.

Nancy Pelosi called last week’s victory a mandate to save Obamacare and she will promote legislation designed to move America closer to a single-payer healthcare system. Trump has a track record of support for Obamacare and he promoted single-payer healthcare during his 2016 campaign.

Following the recent shootings in California, Pelosi announced that she would make gun control a top priority. Trump and the GOP have actively promoted radical gun-control legislation, including: seizing guns without due process, establishing an FBI database to track guns and gun owners, and requiring a license to own a gun.

Now comes word from the Democrats that they will work to bring back a classic of Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialists — a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. As expected, Trump appears to be a fan of the idea.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump supported raising the minimum wage to at least $10 and hour. And as part of the recent US-Mexico trade deal, he fought for and won a $16 an hour minimum wage for auto workers on both sides of the border in an effort to price Mexico out of the auto industry. Ironic because he’s essentially admitting that mandatory minimum wages eventually result in lost jobs.

Even thought economic advisor Larry Kudlow recently stated his preference to see the federal minimum wage eliminated, Trump’s history of flip-flopping on this along with a host of other issues, along with his 2020 re-election hopes, means that the Democrats will likely win on the issue.

We were repeatedly told last week to vote Red to make sure we stop the Democrats. But to quote Hillary Clinton during the Benghazi hearings, when it comes to the difference between Republicans and Democrats . . .

“What difference, at this point, does it make?”

 

Originally posted on StridentConservative.com.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook.

Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Media

To advance conservatism, nobody gets a free pass

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To advance conservatism nobody gets a free pass

Before the midterm elections, most of the writers here spent a good chunk of their copy space helping Republicans in their campaigns. They focused on exposing Democrats for what they are (as well as what they’re becoming) and often turned their back on the negatives associated with Republican candidates.

This was intentional and I allowed it. Like many proponents of limited government, I compare the rhetoric and actions of the two major parties and I see one that’s pushing for big government and another that’s pushing for even bigger government. The fallacies in the Democrats’ proposals are obvious and universal. Republicans have a mix of good and bad; for example, lowering taxes was good, but simultaneously increasing spending was bad.

I allowed the pro-Republican approach because in the world of partisan politics, we’re stuck in a lesser-of-two-evils scenario. While I personally didn’t get involved in party politics and focused my posts on fighting for conservative and limited-government federalist values, I didn’t ask my writers to do the same. Any who chose to promote the Republican agenda, which was most of them, were allowed to do so.

They still can. I’m not censoring anyone. However, I want to be clear about the true purpose of this news site.

We are not a partisan site that is pro-Republican or anti-Democrat. We are a pro-American site that understands the importance of limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life, plus many other ideas that are usually associated with conservatism and/or classical liberalism.

Now that the election is over, we are relaunching our GoFundMe page.

Getting donations during campaign season was tough, but now we’re ready to accept help. We need it.

The description of our site on GoFundMe encapsulates what we are.

Our society is rapidly deteriorating into helplessness. Ideas such as self-governance, conservatism, patriotism, personal responsibility, limited-government federalism, and civil discourse are being threatened by a sharp leftward lurch. It isn’t just progressives who are veering to the left. The center is shifting to the left and as a result, many who are or were conservative have become more open-minded to the cultural and geopolitical shifts.

We are losing our ethical, traditional, and logical cores as a society.

NOQ Report has three goals:

1) Expose the fallacies of this leftward lurch that is making progressives more unhinged and conservatives more malleable.
2) Educate the masses about the benefits of liberty-driven philosophies that include limiting government, defending freedoms, and protecting life.
3) Engage with people in a meaningful way. We want a dialogue with everyone whether they agree or disagree with us.

America deserves better than what mainstream media feeds us.

Every dollar donated is invested back into the site to pay writers, editors, and to promote the site so it can reach more people. We have limited advertising on the site for a reason. We do not want “corporate overlords” who try to steer content, nor do we want to load the site with spammy ads. This is why we must rely on you, the readers, to keep the site afloat.

As of the middle of November, 2018, we are relaunching this campaign. We had a soft launch that had minimal success. We are pushing harder now. Please help us elevate this news site to compete against the incessant leftist propaganda being pumped onto the internet. Donate now.

Moving forward, we are going to focus on our three goals. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. If they aren’t helping to limit government, defend freedoms, and protect life, we’ll call them out.

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