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Who’s at fault? YOU are!



People are going to hate me for this one, but I’m not here to sugar coat things for you.

At this moment people are angry about McCain (R-AZ), Murkowsk (R-AK), and the other Republican senators who refused to repeal Obamacare entirely like they’ve promised to do for years. On the surface their anger is justifiable. Obamacare was a top priority for all of these people for years. Or at least, it seemed to be.

Show votes were made during the Obama years, but that’s all they were: a show in order to gain votes and campaign donations. Sure, this seems obvious in hindsight, but the truth of it is, this was pretty obvious all along.

The majority of the GOP is the same as the Democrats. They have been for a long time. The senators who betrayed their word have been for big-government for a long time. Many who voted for repeal but clearly didn’t want it, like Lindsay Graham (R-SC) are no better.

The thing is, you can’t blame a snake for being a snake, and these people have been snakes for years. All it takes is a few minutes of research to know who you are voting for, and yet the vast majority don’t bother to do that research. You wouldn’t buy a car without doing some research about its safety record, so why are so many so free with their votes without doing the same research?

It’s because most people are lazy to some extent or another. We’re not a democracy, we’re a republic. The people don’t make the decisions, they pick the people who do. The fact is, people need to do a better job picking those who make the decisions.

And so, I don’t blame the GOP Senators who lied, I blame the people who voted for them. Conservatives are big on personal responsibility. So let’s stop blaming the GOP members who lied, let’s start blaming ourselves. Stop getting fooled. Stop having conniptions when your elected representatives lie to you. Instead, do better next time. Take responsibility for the fact that you elected these people, and their actions reflect on you.

Only one of the seven GOP Senators who voted for repeal is up for reelection in 2018 (Collins, R-ME), and she probably figures she’s safe in Maine. The others are COUNTING on you being lazy and having a short memory of their true feelings on a variety of issues, especially this one.

Stop having a short memory. Stop voting for the “lesser of two evils.” Here in Texas, I refused to vote for John Cornyn the last time he ran. I wasn’t willing to take responsibility for whatever Cornyn might do and might not do. I voted for Ted Cruz because, while I don’t agree with everything Cruz does, I was comfortable taking responsibility for whatever actions he took in the Senate.

Sure, Cornyn still won, but his actions are on those who voted for him, not those that voted 3rd party or wrote their votes in. Basically, not on me.

Alaskans could have been rid of Murkowski years ago. Arizonans should have put McCain out to pasture a long time ago, and they had no excuse not to last year. Those who voted for them have no right to feel betrayed. They’ve been big government progressives for years, so why did conservatives still vote them in? Because the Democrats are worse? Based on what?

Demand better. If those running aren’t good enough, don’t vote for them. Who cares if the Democrats win an election? The result is the same, and the next election will be easier for a REAL conservative, someone who shares your values.

Don’t worry about whether or not they’ll win anyway. You do YOU. You worry about YOUR vote. You worry about whether or not the person you are voting for really represents YOU. You might not be part of the “in” crowd who voted for the winner, but if that’s what you’re worried about, you have no business complaining about the results. Frankly, if that’s all you’re worried about, you have no business voting in the first place (looking at you, first-time voter who finally got off your lazy duff for Trump of all people), but that’s another topic for another day.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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  1. Earnest

    July 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Ben, you pretty much hit the nail on the head with this piece. We as voters do indeed need to take more personal responsibility in what had transpired up in D.C. & get the right people in place that are ACTUALLY for representing US & not RESENTING us. Excellent piece.

  2. David L

    July 29, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I think most would or should agree with where the blame falls.

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Guns and Crime

When gun control failed, SRO saves Maryland school



2 students and a suspect were injured in a shooting that took place in southern Maryland. The shooter has since been announced dead. He used a handgun which are highly regulated due to Maryland’s strict gun control. Following the Parkland shooting, Governor Hogan proposed putting a lockbox on casino revenues to be used to fund security in school. This would be the first serious attempt to use the casino money, which was supposed to be for schools, for their intended purpose. In response to today’s incident, other counties, such as Carroll County, are placing deputies in schools as a direct response to the shooting in St. Mary’s County.

The Story

ABC: Student suspect dead, girl critical, boy stable after shooting at Great Mills HS in Md.

The suspect, a student, is dead after a shooting Tuesday morning at a high school in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, that has left a girl in critical condition and a boy in stable condition, according to authorities.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office says it happened at Great Mills High School and that police are on the scene. ABC7’s Brad Bell said sources first told him that the shooter was a student, as were the two victims. Police later confirmed that the shooter was a student. Police also confirmed that a school resource officer took action to end the threat and authorities confirmed the incident has been contained.

MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital identified the victims as a 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. They say the two were taken to them at around 8:15 a.m. and that the girl was later taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center.

The Takeaway

Being uninformed, deliberately or ignorantly, many on the left will use this as a rallying point for gun control. But as a Marylander, I can attest to Maryland having some of the strictest laws in the country. These laws failed to prevent this incident, as they have failed to curb Baltimore’s crime. Too many on the right, as well are just as uninformed about current laws. We can’t begin to talk about gun control when the population is so desperately malnourished of facts. We can, however, contemplate the issuance of SROs in schools or other means of security such as allowing teachers to voluntarily undergo concealed carry training.

Alas, leftists are saying the SRO went in knowing that an AR-15 wasn’t being used. No, the SRO did his job unlike those cowards in the corrupt Broward Sheriff’s Office. They are trained to engage whatever the gun, because confrontation saves lives. This SRO is a hero. I look forward to knowing his name. Thankfully, only the perpetrator is dead, and together let us pray that the two students recover.


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Fundamental transformation of USA: Donald Trump edition



In the age of Trump where the GOP has become the party of Republicrats and Trumplicans, there are those who claim that Donald Trump hijacked the party of Reagan. And while there’s some validity to that point of view, I have to slightly disagree.

A hijacking is usually an act of force where the hijacker seizes control against the will of those being hijacked. But in the case of today’s Republican party, we have a group of volunteer hostages suffering from Stockholm syndrome:

  • Hostage’s development of positive feelings toward their captor
  • No previous hostage-captor relationship
  • Refusal by hostages to cooperate with outside forces
  • A hostage’s belief in the humanity of their captor, because when a victim holds the same values as the oppressor, they cease to be perceived as a threat

Regardless of how it happened, it’s become clear that the party of Reagan no longer represents conservative values, and they have replaced those values with the values of Donald Trump.

As we approach the 2018 election season, this reality is giving rise to the “mini-Trumps” people who are running for office not to save America, but to reshape the GOP into the image of Donald Trump. We’re beginning to see what this looks like at the national level, and now we’re seeing it in state races as well.

In Nevada, Dennis Hof, the self-described pimp who runs a house of prostitution called the Love Ranch just announced his candidacy for the District 36 State Assembly seat. His motivation for running? Donald Trump.

Following an appearance at the annual Lincoln Dinner hosted by a Republican women’s group, Hof shared how he considers Trump a sort of kindred spirit:

“We’re both famous-and infamous. We’re both high-profile. We’re both celebrities. We’re both successful businessmen. We both have reality television shows. We both have written books. We’re both rich and can’t be bought. There’s a lot of similarities.”

He left out “we both have had sex with an unknown number of women,” but I guess he didn’t want to brag about that. Although, if he had, that would have given him two more things he has in common with Trump (the sex and the bragging).

Speaking of multiple sex partners, since the evangelical community gave Trump a “mulligan” concerning his sexual escapades, I’m expecting Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Robert Jeffress to issue their endorsement of Hof as a man made in the image of Trump (idol worship reference intentional on my part).

Donald Trump wrote The Art of the Deal while Dennis Hof wrote The Art of the Pimp. Ironic how these similar titles prove how Trump, to paraphrase Barack Obama, is fundamentally transforming the GOP and America.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be 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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Conservative candidates to look out for in Illinois Primary



The traditionally though of as blue state, does fallow the trend of other blue states where more rural counties vote more Republican and urbanized areas vote Democrat. That being said, Illinois has a lot to offer in the 2018 Primary. What’s remarkable about Republicans in this state is that they are keeping the Democrats honest fielding a candidate in most races. What is highly disappointing is the lack of Republicans that aren’t RINOs running in the race. So many are just as uninformed on guns as liberals in the media. And too many have ideas for healthcare other than repealing Obamacare. DACA is a split issue, and Trump, surprisingly, is a nonissue in most, if not all, of these races. Another side note, is that Illinois has a very low presence of 3rd Party candidates, so the Libertarian Party wasn’t put into much consideration. Nor were endorsement all that meaningful.

Best Picks: Max Rice, Jitendra Diganvker, Connor Vlakancic, Preston Nelson, James Marter, Bill Fawell, Donald Rients
Worst Picks: Author Jones, John Morrow, John Elleson, D. Vincent Thomas Jr., Jeremy Wynes, Sapan Shah, Mike Bost, Adam Kinzinger
Best Race: District 16
Worst Race: District 10
Favorite Candidates: Connor Vlakancic & Preston Nelson

District 1

Standing in the red corner is Jimmy Lee Tillman II facing off against Bobby Rush. This isn’t his first time making a run for the seat, but this time he is unopposed in the GOP Primary. Though it seems he runs to serve as an opposition to Rush rather than to win. Tillman seems like a different kind of Republican which one would have to be running in Chicago. For his willingness to shut down underutilized military bases and government offices, Tillman seems fiscally responsible. Either way Chicago conservatives don’t seem to have much other alternative than Tillman who is the founder of the MLK Republicans.

District 2

This is a solid blue district also, but conservatives should steer clear of John Morrow. If Conservative ideals are to gain traction in the district they ought to be led by someone who isn’t a RINO. From this online interview, he opposed eliminating the Obamacare mandate, thinks there’s a gun show loophole, opposes Israel, and is open to accepting North Korea as a nuclear power. I’ll take a Democrat over this guy. David Merkle is a better pick for Conservatives as he is more focused on working for constituents and not the system.

District 3

No Republican decided to oppose Arthur Jones, so I would urge Conservatives to write in a nomination. Please coordinate if you want to vote Republican. Otherwise it seems as though Daniel Lipinski is the candidate of choice. He is one of the few pro-life Democrats in Congress and has one of the most interesting primaries of Democrats this year. A pro-life Democrat is better than a neo-nazi.

District 4

Longtime swamp-dweller, Luis Gutierrez announced retirement. Mark Wayne Lorch is the only Republican in the race. Meanwhile three Democrats eagerly thirst to replace Gutierrez in this highly gerrymandered seat. Lorch seems like a good choice, in the sense that he is running on a tax cuts friendly platform. Not too much other information can be gathered, not even a website.

District 5

Tom Hanson appears to be the only Republican running, but he’s just a placeholder.

District 6

Here we actually have a Republican incumbent, Peter Roskam. Roskam is a run in the mill Republican, reliable on votes and Democrats are mounting an attack for his seat. Roskam is unopposed in his primary. He is also the best hope of thwarting the Blue Wave.

District 7

The GOP front runner is likely Jeffrey Leef. Leef is strong conservative on a multitude of issues, Israel, immigration, and is quite knowledgeable on economics. However on two polarizing issues, I see weakness. He’s weak on protecting the 2nd Amendment despite stating that gun control does not curb violence and states we need background checks, something we already have. He also indicated being in favor of laws capping people’s ability to stockpile. On matters of healthcare, he seems more focused on replacing Obamacare, than repealing it. But his “replacement” is a lot of fluff. He talks about phasing out the ACA and moving it towards a more fiscally responsible system which hardly explains what he wants to do. Meanwhile his opponent is Craig Cameron. On the issues, Cameron comes off as a Big Government Republican, though his heart may be in the right place. He wants more jobs, believing that will make a safer community(Chicago). His means of getting that are merely scaling back government and its regulations. Rather he’s in favor of tax incentives and limited subsidies (a step-up from most of Capital Hill.) On a local level, I think Cameron would make an excellent politician. On a national level, he doesn’t stand out as particularly strong. This is a tough choice for conservatives.

District 8

Another unopposed Republican going up against an incumbent Democrat. Jitendra Diganvker or JD is looking to take back the seat once held by social media commentator, Joe Walsh. JD seems like he would be a solid representative of his district seeing his emphasis on not making the financial lives of his constituents harder. This shapes his positions on both taxes and the national debt. JD is a solid choice for Conservatives, and if he plays his cards right, he can make this a competitive race.

District 9

In the ninth, we have broader competition for the nomination, four candidates. John Elleson quickly falls out of serious consideration because he is apparently an avid fan of Joel Osteen, the Prosperity Gospel preacher. He’s a pastor of some presumably apostate church. He has gotten in some legal trouble for thievery which he and his wife pled no contest to. Do not vote for this crooked fraud. Then there’s Max Rice, who by all means is a solid pick. He’s strong on guns, healthcare, and has a sensible grasp on all things Trump. I also believe conservatives will like how he will deal with congressional staffing and budgets. I really enjoyed his interview here. Then we have Sargis Sangari both a veteran and an entrepreneur. though he seems likable on foreign policy and immigration, he also seems to be government heavy on anything criminal justice reform. Last but least is the RINO candidate D. Vincent Thomas Jr. The guy can’t answer a specific policy question head on and has every inclination of supporting social leftism. He’s anti-gun, against repealing Obamacare, but has the balls to run as a Republican. The Conservative pick here is Max Rice.

District 10

The tenth is a swing district, one that a rising red tide may capture pending the right candidate. There is a three way battle among Republicans to take on Democrat, Brad Schneider. First in the ring is Doug Bennett. Bennett is a local public servant looking for to represent his district. He has the endorsement from local organizations and Joe Walsh. However, Bennett was not in favor of Trump’s tax cuts. The tax cuts capped state tax deductions hurting the Illinois population. Rather than lowering state taxes, Bennett would rather raise the cap. This type of thinking is a serious issue. He is also uninformed on guns recommending legislation that already is law. But it looks like we may be desperate to find a quality candidate. There is Jeremy Wynes, the pro-abortion candidate. It’s interesting how many Congressional candidates are running with student debt in their platform and few other issues, and then offer no solutions. There’s also his main rival Dr. Sapan Shah. Both of their websites are filled with fluff, and weak explanation on their policy beliefs. Words like “common sense” are meaningless if you don’t say the solution. Shah is also pro-abortion and like Wynes isn’t strong on healthcare. I guess Joe Walsh’s assessment was right that Bennett was the only Conservative, but I’ll use that word lightly for now.

District 11

This is a particularly weak looking race between Nick Stella and Connor Vlakancic. I thought I wouldn’t like Stella because he was media endorsed, but he seems to have concise policy explanations as well. He surprisingly has a strong stance on the 2nd Amendment. On DACA the two disagree, with Vlakancic in favor of zero path to citizenship. Vlakancic has a surprisingly deeper history in politics with involvement on Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” The sharped tongue Vlakancic is stronger on guns than the others in the state and also strong on healthcare. As far as Conservatives go, he’s the real deal.

District 12

Incumbent Mike Bost looks to defend his seat. The guy is a proven RINO with a Liberty Score of 35%, a common theme among Illinois Republicans. However Preston Nelson is the Austin Petersen of Illinois. He is a pro-life libertarian running as a Republican. If he doesn’t win and likely won’t knowing seeing how RINOs performed in Texas, I hope he doesn’t give up. Nelson is a top pick out of Illinois.

District 13

Another RINO, Rodney Davis is running unopposed.

District 14

We have another Republican incumbent, perhaps the most conservative, running unopposed. Randy Hultgren is a solid choice over a Democrat counterpart.

District 15

John Shimkus is another unopposed incumbent, but a RINO.

District 16

Adam Kinzinger is the worst rated Illinois Republican on Conservative Review. Thankfully someone is challenging him. This is a safer red district. Rising to the challenge is James Marter, the candidate who in 2016 lost a in the general election for US Senate. Marter is a solid Conservative and hopefully his failed Senate campaign left him with a foundation of supporters. Marter makes it immediately clear that he supports the 2nd Amendment, a recent top priority for candidate selection. He is also for repealing Obamacare, something that should go without saying but doesn’t after 2017. Marter is a top pick in Illinois.

District 17

Bill Fawell looks to have a fighting chance in the Illinois 17th. He is Libertarian leaning and an outsider running on not being bought. Fawell is a solid choice for Liberty lovers everywhere. From his knowledge of the Constitution to his outsider perspective, opposing the system of DC as it currently is. Fawell is a top pick in Illinois.

District 18

Darin LaHood is one of two Illinois Republicans that doesn’t have an F Liberty Score. That being said, he’s not getting a nomination unopposed. This was only LaHood’s first official term, but that’s not deterring Donald Rients. Rients stance’s are centered around small government Conservatism. That is why they are few and principled. If we give LaHood more time, he will likely show his RINO horn. I’d say Rientz is the pick here in the 18th.

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