The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. In fact, the world of American politics is rife with false friendships, manufactured enemies, and invalid perceived alliances that translate into a huge ideological mess. This mess is falsely broken down into a right-vs-left scale. No single person exemplifies this problem better than Steve Bannon.
Yesterday, Bannon was speaking at the Values Voter Summit and made some bold claims. He is starting a “revolution” within the GOP and many are taking notice. Unfortunately, his goals and actions are going to do real damage to the country with zero chance of doing anything good.
For complete transparency, I am co-founder of the Federalist Party. Therefore, it behooves me to have the lies and corruption of Republicans exposed just as brightly as the lies and corruption of the Democrats. Ever since Bannon left the White House, I’ve been receiving questions about whether or not we’ll align with his goals of ousting “RINOs” from office. We will not. The revolution that Bannon is flaming through primary opposition is neither beneficial for the nation nor aligned with the goals of the Federalist Party. We don’t want to replace Republicans with more Republicans. We want to replace Republicans and Democrats with Federalists.
What Bannon and his minions at Breitbart are doing is not new. They were waging war against John Boehner and Mitch McConnell since both rose to prominence following the 2010 and 2014 elections. They have continued their assault on Paul Ryan, Boehner’s successor, and are now challenging pretty much anyone who doesn’t swear unimpeachable loyalty to President Trump. They’ve gone so far as to attack those in office who ARE loyal to Trump but who don’t qualify as purely aligned with their brand of nationalism and alt-right “conservatism.” According the NBC, the only Senator up for reelection who is safe is Ted Cruz.
Bannon’s actions can easily be perceived as righteous because they target the people who have pushed the GOP away from its original course. Unfortunately, both the tactics and the end results of Bannon’s ploys are far from righteous. The tactics – raising money from reliable GOP donors to promote primary opponents – will only weaken the party without yielding real victories. The end results will be disgruntled GOP voters growing even more disgruntled when Bannon’s primary challengers lose. This will hand over even more races to the Democrats who are already poised to make strides towards taking control of the House and Senate.
What if some of his primary challengers win? This is a valid question and at this early stage it seems likely they’ll be able to pull a few primary victories from their hat. Here’s the problem. Bannon is toxic. Before he was ousted from the White House, many Democrats vilified him more than they do the President. Any challenger he’s able to push through the primary will have the Bannon albatross hung about their neck. Only the reddest states will put a Bannon patsy in office. The majority will push wins to the Democrats.
Let’s look at two important scenarios this situation creates: a Democrat Trump and a risen Breitbart.
As the President has made abundantly clear in his first 9 months in office, he doesn’t like losing. The opening foray into his first term has been plagued with loss after loss. Most of these losses stem from the impotent GOP-controlled House and Senate, though some come from his own misses through executive orders. Even if he’s able to string together some EOs that stick, the lack of legislation the GOP has been able to put on his desk is the only elephant in the Oval Office.
What happens if the Democrats take over Congress? Will the President sit back and play the veto game over and over again? No. He has always been a Democrat. His role as leader of the Republican Party has been contentious at best; it’s not a natural fit. The two things he made most clear during his campaign were pure nationalism and a desire to secure the borders. His actions since taking office have betrayed both visions. This will be most apparent when he signs whatever DACA-replacement bill hits his desk early next year.
If Bannon is able to throw the GOP into disarray (even more than it is today), the President will not magically become Calvin Coolidge. He’s not going to sit back and obstruct the Democrats’ agenda. He’ll figure out a way to make it his own. Winning is the most important thing to him; ideology holds no bearing.
Does Bannon knows this? Perhaps better than anyone else, Bannon is very aware of the malleability of President Trump. He witnessed it as Jared Kushner, Gary Cohn, and other liberals in the White House were able to sway the President away from Bannon’s agenda time and time again. If he knows this, why would he press forward with his plan? Does he not realize what will happen if he fails? The sad reality is this: he knows exactly what could happen. He knows there are two possible outcomes: either he’ll succeed and put his people in Congress who will push an agenda he wants or he’ll fail, give Congress to the Democrats, and watch the President lurch to the left.
If the former happens, he’ll get his wish. If the latter happens, he’ll get his other wish, which is…
A risen Breitbart
No, I’m not talking about a reincarnation of Andrew Breitbart. What Steve Bannon knows is that Breitbart, the publication, thrives through opposition. The website and the man behind it are most powerful when fighting from the trenches. They get the most pageviews and wield the most power when Democrats are in control.
I’m not suggesting that Bannon hopes to lose. He truly does want to put his people in office. However, neither he nor Breitbart actually lose if his puppets lose. If anything, they become more powerful by losing than they do by winning. They become the face of the new Republican opposition. Their alt-right label gets replaced by the anti-leftist label. Once again, they can become the darlings of the conservative media world.
In other words, there is no real risk to Breitbart or Bannon with this play. They either get what they want or they get the other thing they want.
The real righteous path
If I sound biased about the Federalist Party, it’s for obvious reasons. We cannot allow the Democratic-Republicans to continue to hold all the power. They have yielded nothing but expanding government and shrinking freedoms. The notion that replacing Republicans with Republicans will yield different results is insane. We don’t need more conservative Republicans in office. We need actual Federalists in office.
There’s only one long- and short-term solution for this nation. We need to return things to a Constitutional perspective. We need checks and balances between the national and state governments. We need American citizens and families to be at the top of the government hierarchy and DC to be at the bottom. We need the federal government to be the last line of defense, not the tip of the spear. Until we get a fundamental change in the mentality of politicians, we’re not going to truly solve problems. Democrats stab at the people by growing government while Republicans try to throw band aids over the wounds, all the while perpetuating government growth in their own way. We don’t have a conservative-versus-liberal problem in DC. We have a limited-government-versus-everyone problem. The Republican Party is not the party of limited government. They’re the party of slightly-smaller-than-the-Democrats government. This is unacceptable and won’t solve our problems.
If Bannon really wants to fix things, he’s heading in the wrong direction. He shouldn’t be trying to fix the GOP because their ailment is too deeply embedded in their DNA. Instead, he either needs to come on board with the only righteous solution – true limited-government federalism – or he needs to get out of the way.
Ben Sasse: Neither party has ‘a long-term vision’
With the GOP losing it’s way and the DNC losing it’s mind, now is the time for a new party paradigm.
As someone who left the Republican party years ago, Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R., Neb.) sentiments on the subject were well received. The emergence of a new conservative, Pro-Liberty party has always been bubbling beneath the surface. While the timing of such considerations is problematic at this point in time so close to the midterms, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
The problem of moderate Republican Party and populist tendencies.
Let’s face facts, the Republican Party has morphed into a moderate, centrist party with an agenda based on the poison of popularism instead of Conservative principles. In many ways, it’s reflective of the ‘at the moment tactics’ of President Trump. This really shouldn’t be the case, there is a reason the founding fathers created a system of government based on three branches of government. In physics, a plane has to be defined by a minimum of three vectors (i.e. forces). Take away one or two of these vectors and the plane is no longer defined. Such is the case with government as well, take away one or two of these vectors and the system becomes unstable.
To be blunt about what could happen in the near future, if the Democrats succeed in retaking the House of Representatives we could see something far worse than mere impeachment. We could be witness to all manner of ‘bipartisan compromises’ that would only serve to push us further down the slippery slope away from Liberty. The President has an unfortunate tendency to take the word of the last group he consulted, exemplified by his “Take the guns first, go through due process second.” gaff earlier this year. At this point in time we don’t need to compromise, we need to reverse the process and restore Liberty.
We cannot give any more ground.
The Constitutional principles that undergird our freedom are under a full frontal assault by those who try to maintain the pretence of favouring Liberty with the self-labeling as “Liberal”. As much as it is hard to believe, the 1st amendment is under attack on a daily basis along with last bastion of government restraint, the 2nd amendment. Many do not realise that we are dangerously close on the slippery slope to seeing those Liberties disappear forever. We cannot afford any more ‘compromises’ with those out to destroy Liberty on the nation’s Left.
The Democrat’s have become a national Socialist Party.
While the GOP has it’s own issues, the DNC has lost the plot going full socialist. How they think that this is a winning strategy is beyond comprehension. We are over $21 Trillion in debt, not to mention the estimates of over $80 Trillion in unfunded liabilities. Meanwhile they are promising all manner of vote-buying largess without nary a word on how’s it going to be funded. A number of years ago, video raconteur Bill Whittle produced a short dissertation entitled ‘EAT THE RICH!’
in conjunction with mathematical maven ‘Iowahawk’ examining how long the government could be funded by taking ALL the property from the rich of the nation. Even at that time 7 years ago, this type of scheme would have only run the government for a year. Of course, that would have been the end of it since ‘the rich’ would no longer pay any taxes. The bottom line here is that the Left cannot fulfil any of it’s existing grandiose promises, much less add new vote buying schemes to the mix.
The nation’s Socialist-Left won’t be able to fund it’s vote-buying schemes.
In recent days, many of the luminaries of the Left have been asked how they would fund their grandiose schemes of ‘Free’ healthcare, ‘Free’ college, ‘Free’ housing, etc, etc. No serious answers have been forthcoming, only that we are somehow under a moral imperative to provide this largess to everyone in the states and around the world for that matter. The nation’s Left won’t be able to fund it’s promises if it attains power, but it doesn’t seem to care. It is only concerned with gaining power, while the GOP is only concerned with holding onto power.
Where do we go from here?
In many ways it’s a blessing that the nation’s Left has dropped the mask and gone full socialist. That has been obvious for years, and it’s always best to play to one’s strengths. Even though that ‘strength’ is an ideology based on ideas from over 500 years. The left wants to run headlong into a brick wall, who are we to stop them. Those in the DNC unwilling to accept it’s abject failure can #WalkAway to the GOP or they can move over to a new party that is based on rock solid Conservative principles: The Federalist Party.
There is a reason why the United States is the greatest nation on earth. There is a reason why the first experiments in collectivism were tried here and rejected. There is a reason why we are the lone superpower in the world. And there is a reason the Socialist-Left would like to tear it down and replace it with the failed model of the French Revolution.
The founding father’s were learned men, they took the available ideas and crafted a limited government paradigm that has been shown to work over the centuries. We need to restore that best model of governance with a new party, getting back to the time-tested precepts of Liberty.
Establishing a proper foothold in federalism
While I was away, I had plenty of time to think about federalism. One interesting note is that I did this without having the lens of current events in the way. I was completely away from pretty much all forms of news; if it wasn’t big enough to be talked about by family, I probably missed it.
One of the interesting side-effects of living like this is that my sometimes-random, sometimes-focused thoughts pertaining to federalism were geared towards historical and theoretical federalism. I wasn’t contemplating how a federalist should view Obamacare or gun control. Instead, I was able to apply proper federalist principles to a general perspective. Think of it as a 30,000-foot view.
There were some interesting conclusions and even more interesting questions I’ll go into in the future, but the biggest takeaway is that federalism can only work in modern America if we’re able to get a proper foothold. We’re on a slippery slope with a left-right, liberal-conservative dichotomy that currently holds the nation’s ideologies hostage. Most conservatives believe that federalism applies only to their ideas while most liberals believe federalism is a convenient tool to invoke only when they’re not in power.
The reality is that federalism has very little to do with right versus left, at least as it pertains to decision-making. Let’s look at a basic way to apply federalism generally. Hopefully then we can understand the challenges that can prevent us from finding our foothold. This is not meant to be a scholarly or philosophical look at federalism. It’s just a quick view to set the stage for finding solutions.
The federalist lens
I’ve written in the past that the roots of federalism were based on sharing powers, not making the national government more powerful. In the 18th century, states held the lion’s share of government power so it was necessary for early federalists to push for a stronger central government. Today, the power has shifted unnaturally to favor DC, so a true federalist will embrace taking power away from the central government and distributing it to states, counties, cities, communities, and most importantly to individuals and their families.
With that understood, let’s look at why federalism does not fall within the left-right paradigm that exists in America today. There’s no need to show examples of conservatism championed by federalism because conservatives have generally embraced most tenets of federalism whether they know it or not. However, there are many examples of how leftist ideas also invoke federalism and rightfully so.
One easy example is New York politicians’ desire to give “free education to all.” While conservatives will naturally ask the question of how expensive this “free” idea will become, many are calling on DC to figure out ways to block the attempt altogether. This is 100% against federalist tenets and should not be acceptable. If New York wants to go down that road, it is not DC’s job to stop them. One of the beauties of federalism applied to 50 states is that they should be free to attempt whatever programs their residents desire. If it fails, it is a lesson for other states. If it succeeds, it’s a model upon which others can embrace or improve.
Experimentation allows the states to be like governmental labs. This is a good thing. It applies all the way down (or up, depending on your point of view). Cities should be free to adopt just about anything that does not hinder others. This is a key point because the fear of a free-for-all in governance makes liberals and conservatives alike cringe. Are sanctuary cities acceptable in a federalist model? No. Unless a sanctuary city is able to contain the suspects and criminals they set free, their actions against federal cooperation are not true federalism. Cities cannot be allowed to harm their neighbors based on their actions (or lack of actions). Sanctuary cities are perversions of federalism.
Steps toward federalism
While I get back into the swing of things, there are still many questions I need to answer. One is where the Federalist Party stands, or more specifically where I stand within the Federalist Party itself. Just as with my friends here at NOQ Report who carried on in my absence, I know there were many who continued to build the groundswell for the Federalist Party. Where the party and I stand will be an important piece of information I’ll need before knowing how to proceed.
One thing that does not require any additional information is the realization I came to while on hiatus. For federalism to succeed in America and truly gain a foothold, it MUST be understood. I’m a firm believer that 70% or more of the American population would embrace the tenets of federalism if they understood it properly. Just as a right-leaning gun advocate can be shown how true reciprocity can only be accomplished between states instead of by decree in DC, so too can left-leaning environmentalist can be shown the benefits of localizing environmental protection rather than sinking money into the EPA or (gulp) the Paris accords.
In my downtime, I concluded that a population that does not understand federalism cannot properly embrace it. Conversely, bringing true federalism to light can and will help it gain more supporters because it simply makes sense. Going forward, that will be one of the most important roles I play in the outside world. Championing federalism is the best thing I can do in American politics. It won’t be easy, but if we’re to continue to prosper as a nation, we must wrest power away from DC and back into the hands of the people.
Hazel picks up key endorsement
With just a couple of weeks to go before the Georgia primaries, insurgent candidate Shane Hazel has picked up a key endorsement in his bid to unseat liberal Republican Rob Woodall in the Georgia 7th Congressional District.
Hazel, the former Marine Force Reconnaissance member and proven businessman, has picked up the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus. The RLC, also known as “the conscience of the party” endorsed Hazel should come as little surprise. The RLC has a long history of focusing on endorsing liberty-minded candidates, rather than establishment members who have proven themselves to be unreliable when it comes to conservative issues.
The RLC earlier this year likewise endorsed MO Senate Candidate Austin Petersen.
The outpouring of support for insurgent candidates is clear as supporters take to social media to voice their displeasure at the lack of follow through from lawmakers like Woodall during their time in control of both houses of Congress and with Donald Trump in the Oval Office. The failure to repeal Obamacare as well as passage of a massive $1.3 Trillion omnibus bill have angered most voters on the right, resulting in the realization that giving the GOP control of Washington is not enough, they must, in fact, cull the GOP Congressional roster of those who make conservative promises, but vote like leftists.
As my readers have noted I’ve followed several insurgent races across the country. Hazel’s may be the best example of a truly grassroots movement of ordinary citizens fed up with “business as usual” in Washington, and instead want to see real change with a return to Constitutional principles.
In a past article I noted that Hazel and others were not garnering any support from many of the major lobbying groups. In the latest of their disappointing moves, the National Rifle Association chose to endorse Woodall, telling Hazel they preferred to stick with “the devil we know.” Well, the problem with dealing with a devil is sooner or later he’ll betray you. Woodall had bragged previously that he has the lowest score from the NRA of all Republicans in Georgia, and that he was proud of it.
Always a class act, instead of complaining about the NRA’s rather typical move in endorsing establishment candidates, he told me “I will never vote for any legislation that puts people, especially veterans, on a no-buy list without due process. Woodall has voted repeatedly for Feinstein gun control, Fix NICS, against national reciprocity, and for Obama’a 4660 that has put 200,000 veteran on a list denying them their right to bear arms, without due process. Shall not be infringed means exactly that.”
The NRA’s hierarchy can say what they like, but we rank-and-file gun 2nd Amendment advocates don’t vote the NRA line, and I think we’re smart enough to vote for a man who truly cares about liberty, not a man who has proven he doesn’t.
You can learn more about Shane at www.shanehazel.com
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