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Could a Tennessee Senate seat go for the Dems?



I can’t speak for all Tennesseans, but I believe the Democrats are now a primary-vote away from what could feasibly be their long-sought golden ticket to Senatorial victory in my red state home of Tennessee. On Friday, our former governor, Democrat Phil Bredesen (2003-2011), announced his entry into the race for outgoing Republican Senator Bob Corker’s Senate seat; if your first thought is that a Democrat could never win Corker’s current seat in a “red state,” think again.

Many people outside of the South, of all political persuasions, assuage their own insecurities by perpetuating prejudicial ideas about us Southerners as a group: we are uneducated, uncivilized, close-minded, inbred, racist, bigoted, toothless, and backward-thinking lowlings, gun-nuts, whose goals in life include a desire to oppress the huddled masses, eliminating perceived threats to the white hillbilly seniority. The derogatory and, quite honestly, offensive mischaracterizations of Southerners are too numerous to count.  Over time, we’ve developed pretty thick skins and, at the end of the day, all of us “lowlings” know the difference between truth and pompously fallacious opinions.

The real, cryin’ shame is that none of us hicks will ever be able to erase the years upon years that we Southerners have had to endure of audible torture by way of the linguistic monstrosities that some people in Hollywood apparently believe to be authentic Southern vernaculars. Listening to Nicholas Cage’s authentic Southern accent turned the simple act of watching “Con Are” from beginning to end a real accomplishment! Which brings me back to Phil Bredesen…

The good governor:

Tennessee has a diverse citizenry, but there is cultural undergirding. Not all, but for the most part, Tennesseans of varying political and religious leanings and of diverse racial backgrounds are generally bound, ideologically speaking, by a respect for personal authenticity and follow-through, a dislike of taxes and of fiscal mismanagement upon the part of the government, and a desire to be left alone to live in peace, without having anything forced upon us from the government or other powerful entities. Phil Bredesen was elected governor for precisely these reasons. It is because of these very same reasons that he could very well be the Democrat’s golden ticket. He is authentic!

Bredesen, who was the mayor of Nashville before becoming the 48th governor of Tennessee, assumed office amid a budget shortfall due to TennCare (the state’s Medicaid). The previous governor, Republican Don Sundquist, had tried instituting a state income tax to generate more revenue. Predictably, proved to be a wildly unpopular measure, drawing protests and a few acts of vandalism at the government building and Sundquist’s office in Nashville. Sundquist’s income tax attempts ultimately failed. We Tennesseans generally prefer to keep our hard-earned money, thank you very much!

Many of Don Sundquist supporters turned against him, seeing him as unauthentic since Republicans are supposed to be fiscally conservative. This seed of distrust led many Tennesseans to elect Phil Bredesen – already known to be a conservative Democrat – over his Republican challenger, Van Hilleary. [It also didn’t help the Republicans that Van Hilleary was a no-show to a skeet-shooting match-up between himself and Bredesen.] As an article at Nashville Scene explained, “In 2002, Tennessee voters had three essential beliefs. No. 1: The state budget was screwed up, and they were sick of hearing about it. No. 2: It seemed to have something to do with TennCare. No. 3: They did not want a state income tax to “fix” the problem. Both Bredesen and Hilleary understood these things. Nevertheless, there was the sense even among some Republican voters that whatever Hilleary’s ideological purity might have been, only Bredesen had the chops actually to do what needed to be done.” The article continues, “And, yea, verily, upon Phil Bredesen’s inauguration, all of these things came to pass. The budget fights disappeared from the headlines. TennCare was tamed. And the income-tax genie retreated into its bottle, never to be heard from again. Little wonder, then, that four years later Bredesen was re-elected almost by approbation, winning even staunchly Republican Williamson County, the home base of his GOP opponent.”

I am a conservative. I voted twice for Phil Bredesen, for governor.

Under his tenure, the fiscally conservative Bredesen understood and respected Tennesseans’ preference for low taxes over “government goodies” and did not attempt to force more taxes down our throats. Tennessee also requires a balanced budget, which basically means that the state can’t spend more than it takes in. In a 2011 exit interview, he remarked, “As long as you’re willing to tell people there are certain things you can’t do — you can’t have Massachusetts services and Tennessee taxes … [then there’s an understanding] that Tennessee’s future lies more in being a low-tax state and accepting the level of services that implies.” And so, under the taxation-restrictive environment of Tennessee, he made the most of what he had to work with.

Phil Bredesen ran the state like he had his business. He instituted 9% across-the-board spending cuts and incentivized business, which brought to 2,889 new companies to Tennessee, including International Paper and Nissan, which brought $2.8 billion in business investment into the state and created 104,000 jobs. He reformed TennCare and, with the subsequent fiscal savings, implemented “Cover Tennessee,” a coverage safety net for people with pre-existing conditions and the uninsured. The TN Lottery was successfully passed which enabled teacher pay to be raised above the Southeast average and Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten initiative to be expanded statewide. Tennessee’s bond rating rose to exemplary status. Oh, and did I mention he was the first TN governor in modern times who did not raise the state’s sales tax?

In the past, Bredesen has referred to DC’s debt proliferation as “immoral,” warned states against financial dependency upon the federal government, criticized the forced passing of ObamaCare, and has consistently derided partisan politics, even encouraging his own party to be more centrist. In addition, Phil Bredesen remained respectful of Tennesseans’ beliefs, which was in stark contrast to the typical democratic condescension towards all things outside the stringent party line. For example, although he had believed it to be “excessive,” when Tennessee voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment defining marriage as “one man and one woman”, Bredesen signed it.

In essence, Bredesen was hugely popular simply because he was genuine and authentic, followed through on his promises, demonstrated respect for the will of his constituents, and didn’t tax the heck out of us.  The hard left loathed his fiscal responsibility and sweeping entitlements reform, and the power Republicans were mad because they didn’t win and because, in several circumstances, Phil Bredesen acted more fiscally conservative than those calling themselves “conservatives.” Meanwhile, the rest of us – ya know, the normal people – were generally pleased. He understood what regular people wanted and needed, and while imperfect, he basically followed through, relatively fanfare and drama free. To be completely honest, I would still prefer to have Democrat Phil Bredesen over our current Republican governor, Bill Haslam.

The golden ticket:

Tennessee is a moderate-conservative state. When Phil Bredesen took on Van Hilleary in the race for the Tennessee governorship, the Republicans tried to paint Bredesen as a far-left “liberal.” This proved to be fatal to Republicans for one reason: Phil Bredesen was well known as a moderate, even conservative Democrat. Just this week, Bredesen stated in an interview with the USA Today Network that he is not running against Donald Trump. Yet, in the past few days since Bredesen’s announcement that he is seeking Bob Corker’s Senate seat, the Republicans appear to be aimlessly falling back on this exact same losing strategy. It boggles the mind!

Marsha Blackburn, a well-liked Congresswoman, is currently the lead contender for the Republican team. She has stated that Bredesen is a supporter of liberal policies. She also claims that Tennesseans want a change, indicating that the 74-year-old ex-governor is not the change agent we seek, as he already served us for eight years. Yet, Ms. Blackburn has herself been a member of Congress for Tennessee since 2003. I believe this is called “the pot calling the kettle black.” To the point, the Republicans don’t seem to, at least not as of yet, know exactly how to counter a popular ex-governor with a conservative record to which they, themselves, claim to champion.

How popular is Phil Bredesen? He secured his second term as governor winning 100% of the counties in Tennessee. So, then, what might his odds of be at winning a Senate seat? Consider a 2011 Nashville poll. Bob Corker was currently running for re-election (2012 election cycle) to the Senate. The poll sought to weigh the odds of a hypothetical contest between the then-outgoing governor (Phil Bredesen) and the current Senator Bob Corker for Corker’s own Senate seat. The poll’s sampled voters chose Phil Bredesen over Bob Corker by 46 to 41 percent. Given voters’ overall distrust of career Republicans, a distrust to which Bob Corker undoubtedly contributed, coupled with Bredesen’s authenticity and conservative record, he may very well be the golden ticket.

Will the 2018 senate race turn out to be a replay of the Bredesen verses Hilleary gubernatorial race?

My own reservations:

I find myself left wondering why Phil Bredesen chose to run as a Democrat. Why is he a Democrat? The Democrat party has become socialist, racist, and, frankly, verging on the absurd. Why on God’s green earth would Phil Bredesen choose to align himself with such nonsensical, anti-American thinkers who now dominate the Democratic party? Has he had some sort of change of heart? Is he the same person who led our beautiful state for eight successful years? Has he, himself, abandoned his well-known “live and let live” mindset? I can’t help but wonder. I can’t help but to be suspicious…

Bredesen’s choice to align himself with the Democrats who openly display their disdain for Southerners like myself causes me, as a Tennessee voter, to be uneasy, to say the least.

I can’t say how the race will turn out. What I can say is that this race just got a whole lot more interesting! If Republicans want a win, they are surely going to have to work for their meal.

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ruth Walker

    July 11, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for saying what I have been thinking. I’m an 83 yr old woman, who is neither Republican nor Democratic and this is the first time I Have ever committed on my views on line..It is so hard to fine a statesman or stateswoman in this country but I really believe Phil Bredesen is a wise and experienced leader. I have lived in Nashville since 1974 .

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Culture and Religion

Video: So, You Think You’re Tolerant?




Leftists like to fancy themselves as being tolerant and Liberal, but they fall way short in both qualities.

Leftists will tell you that they are the most tolerant people who have ever lived, they will also scream at you for being a racist, xenophobic troglodyte if you happen to mention that you’re a conservative. They are supposedly ‘Liberal’, being in favour of Liberty while demanding it’s polar opposite – socialism.

Yes, if there is one constant in the universe, its that Leftists cannot be honest about who they truly are. This is what we love about our wonderful opponents on the nation’s socialist Left, for they are nothing like another group that went by the same nomenclature who also screamed at people in the streets with the motto: Common Good Before Individual Good. [Gemeinnutz vor Eigennutz]

But let’s not talk about the epithets they project on their enemies, let’s talk about how they get along with everyone who just happens to agree with everything they say. A new PragerU video featuring Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report looked at who is really tolerant. He is a true Liberal that discovered that it is actually the Pro-Liberty Right that is more tolerant, go figure.

Dave Rubin
Jul 9, 2018
Are you tolerant? You probably think so. But who is tolerant in America today? Is it those on the left, or those on the right? In this video, Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report analyzes this question and shares his experience.

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Trump celebrates the victory of a Democratic Socialist to feed his ego



Following Tuesday’s primary races, Donald Trump tweeted his glee after ten-term NY Rep. Joe Crowley—a Democrat many thought would replace Nancy Pelosi as the party’s leader in the House—lost his primary race to a Bernie Sanders supporter, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Besides proving himself to be a textbook narcissistic sociopath, Trump’s happiness concerning Crowley’s misfortune misses the point that the Democratic Socialist movement within the Democrat party is on the rise.

Back in January, Louis Farrakhan’s favorite Democrat and the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee Keith Ellison (MN) praised the work of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and its positive impact on the Democrat party—even adopting parts of the DSA agenda into the Democrat party platform.

In the May 16 primaries, we witnessed four openly Socialist candidates supported by the DSA win their campaigns in Pennsylvania state House races. Since three of the four winners are running unopposed in November, the DSA is guaranteed to be victorious.

With New York’s 14th Congressional District leaning Democrat +29, Ocasio-Cortez is also assured of winning her race in November, meaning that Socialism will have another voice in Washington.

There are those who will argue that the DSA will fail to advance its agenda because it’s too extreme, but recent evidence would appear to contradict that claim. For example, Bernie Sanders nearly beat Hillary in 2016—losing to her due to rules that rigged the primary in her favor—while running on a platform chock-full of socialist ideas.

By the way, some of Bernie’s socialist ideas were adopted by Trump.

With Bernie’s run for President and victories like Ocasio-Cortez’s under its belt, the DSA is experiencing dramatic growth. Since the 2016 election, nationwide membership has increased from 5,000 to 40,000, with 1152 of those members joining the day after the NY primary.

Younger voters are embracing socialism in ever-increasing numbers. According to a November 2017 report by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, nearly half of millennials (44 percent) polled at the time preferred socialism to capitalism.
It’ somewhat fashionable, even more so in the age of Trump, to laugh at Democrats when they show their socialist colors, but with conservatives also embracing parts of socialism, Democratic Socialists could have the last laugh as we quickly approach the day of becoming the United Socialist States of America.

Ronald Reagan once warned, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

It looks like that generation is here.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.


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

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High-Speed Rail: Incompetent & corrupt bureaucrats



The California train-to-nowhere has proven once again that incompetent bureaucrats run California. In a recent article by the Fresno Bee, these incompetent bureaucrats have to tear down a bridge that they are building due to safety issues. And the Fresno Bee rightfully states:

how do we know if anything it has built is safe?. If the rail authority can’t build in the flat lands of the valley, how can they be expected to build safely in the seismic areas of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area?

This could have been prevented, and one person that could have stopped this boondoggle is the incumbent Controller and my opponent Betty Yee. Unfortunately, Betty Yee is not interested in protecting taxpayers but protecting her political backers that have filled her campaign war chest with over a million dollars in contributions.

The Controller must protect the taxpayer, and that is why the Controller has independent audit authority and can cut funding when a project or program doesn’t comply with the law; which the HSR project doesn’t comply with Prop. 1A funding parameters requiring 1/3 from the federal government, 1/3 for private investment, and 1/3 from the state.

As Controller, I will investigate and audit this project to expose the waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption and will stop payments until the project complies with the law.

Almost four years in office she has done nothing to protect taxpayers. She has failed to do her job, so much so, that the federal government has begun an audit investigation into this project.

We can’t afford four more years of Betty Yee. It is time to replace her and elect Konstantinos Roditis as California’s next State Controller.

Konstantinos Roditis is a candidate for California State Controller. You can learn more about his campaign at, and you can follow him on Twitter & Facebook.

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