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There’s no doubt both parties are broken, but America isn’t dead yet

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Could there be a more depressing Independence Day column than one titled “The Problem with Participatory Democracy is the Participants?” That’s like saying, “the problem with my family is my relatives.”

Eitan D. Hersh, associate professor of political science at Tufts University, penned it in The New York Times as a polemic against “cheap participation” in politics and civics in pursuit of “political hobbyism.” What pabulum!

I think there’s too much “cheap political science” actually, and not enough actual teaching students how to think deeply or engage in ideas they don’t personally agree with.

And Bob Burnett lamented that Democrats are “searching for the soul of the Democratic Party,” in the progressive Common Dreams blog. Ironically, he used Bruce Bartlett, a GOP stalwart and historian, as his cudgel.

Over the course of two decades, the Republican Party became the Oligarchy Party. It didn’t abandon ideas but rather turned the conservative intellectual process over to a small number of billionaires. Republican congress members became tools of the oligarchs. Inevitably, this produced the situation where Donald Trump cut his biggest deal; Donald became President of the United States after agreeing to let the oligarchs guide his domestic and foreign policy after accepting millions in financial support.

I’ve always said that Trump was a Democrat right up to the day he announced his run as a Republican. But Trump was the kind of Democrat that no longer exists–the one former Senator Max Cleland was. During the primaries I asked Cleland what he thought of the Democratic Party now. His answer was unprintable.

Where Democrats, political scientists, and Republicans argue over whose money has more influence in politics, both parties go out and raise hundreds of millions of dollars, then pour $50 million into a single House district in Georgia to try and make a point.

The parties are both broken, and Donald Trump is the symptom, not the disease. But he, as abhorrent as he is as a moral role model, may be part of the cure. It’s like when snake venom is used to make antivenin.

Trump’s dismantling of some of the administrative state, while simultaneously debasing the executive office of the President, opens the door to a better cure. Both Democrats and Republicans are looking to states and local control for their own good. And that makes the case for less federal power.

We need a fresh slate of candidates beholden to neither party and their money. Party money has so many strings attached, with donors, PACs, super PACs and committees that it’s all very much broken.

That’s why the Federalist Party‘s arrival is so timely. We don’t need another social media outrage machine. We don’t need another Tea Party. It’s not another reactionary group. It’s a proactive and thoughtful organization beyond shallow “political hobbyism,” dedicated to simple goals, less federal control, and freeing us from the brokenness of tribalism.

It could be a golden opportunity.

In February, 2016, I wrote “I’d rather see the GOP lose and stand for something than win and stand for nothing more than winning. If that makes me a bad Republican, so be it.” Even then, I had a feeling the Trump might win–I even went so far as to (God help me, I repented later) justify Hillary.

With Trump’s election, the GOP may have been set back decades, and may even go the way of the Whigs if his deep unpopularity swings enough seats in 2018. Just think, two seats in Congress have already nearly been lost in almost completely GOP-safe districts.

The Federalist Party has an opportunity to begin building a new conservative banner with candidates who can win against the failed politics of both the Republicans and Democrats. If the GOP won’t carry the banner, why shouldn’t Americans turn elsewhere?

I believe that there’s still hope for America, that we haven’t succumbed to “bread and circuses.” I believe that the Democratic-Republican chokehold on politics can be broken. I still think there’s a chance for the GOP to revive itself out of Trumpism. But that window is closing fast with every repulsive tweet the president sends.

This Independence Day, I celebrate America’s resolve not to remain a self-hating dysfunctional family like Mr. Hersh posits. I think we can choose a better path.

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1 Comment

  1. Vincent Arguimbau

    July 3, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Actually Trump is a god send for Federalism whereby the administrative state is so locked down by presidential tweet generated dysfunction that Progressives come around to the idea that FDR policies managed and run by a maniac is a dangerous thing and that possibly the solution is let cities and states develop and fund local solutions and ignore Washington altogether.

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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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