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Bringing reason to an unreasonable political world: An interview with Austin Petersen

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Over the last couple of years, our politics have become more and more polarized and those in politics have become more unreasonable, seemingly day by day. One of the few voices of calm, reason, and stalwart principles that have emerged over that time is Austin Petersen.

The former Libertarian Party candidate for President who gathered a huge following during his run is now running for US Senate from Missouri, looking to gain the Republican nomination and challenging the far-Left incumbent, Claire McCaskill.

Missouri, a state that went for Donald Trump in 2016, seems like a perfect spot for the GOP to pick up a seat now held by a Democrat. I got a chance to speak with Mr. Petersen about what some of his priorities would be if the voters of Missouri are ready to be represented by someone other than a far-left ideologue.

I have to say that while I’ve met dozens of politicians, Mr. Petersen came off as one of the most authentic, a man dedicated to securing a future for Americans and who really wants government to stop invading every aspect of our lives.

BW: What issue(s) do you see as most crucial to ensuring continued American prosperity?

AP: Well one of them was tax reform which the GOP Congress passed and the President signed. That legislation has brought people in Missouri pay increases and bonuses. Senators McCaskill voted against those tax cuts for working Americans and that’s something I plan on bringing up during this campaign.

The next thing we need to do now that we’ve gotten some tax reform is spending reform at the Federal level. Federal spending is out of control and leaving us with more debt year by year. This is something I’m very intent on fixing.

BW: You’ve long been a strong and outspoken supporter of the 2nd Amendment. If elected, what would you do to strengthen the rights of gun owners?

AP: Well I think one of the biggest problems has been that we need to stop playing defense in the assault on the 2nd Amendment. We need to start playing offense. Instead of debating new restrictive regulations we need to start rolling back the regulations we already have. I would even support a repeal of the National Firearms Act.

BW: How do you feel about Attorney General Sessions crack down on states that have legalized marijuana.

AP: I think it’s a waste of DOJ resources to police cannabis at the Federal level. It’s a state matter, and I would support the bipartisan bill proposed by Senators (Cory) Booker (D-NJ) and (Rand) Paul (R-KY) that would decriminalize marijuana at the Federal level.

BW: Would you cosponsor that Bill?

AP: Yes, I would.

BW: What do you feel needs to be done about the illegal immigration in America today?

AP: Well I think there are two extremes, neither of which is right. We don’t need open borders and we don’t need the other extreme of shooting anyone who comes across.

I think the best thing we can do is reform our welfare system to make sure illegals aren’t coming here to live on the taxpayer dime. If we set up a system that prevents this, it will set up our economy to be present for those who want to come here, work hard, and build their American dream, rather than coming and expecting handouts.

BW: Since you brought it up, what kind of welfare reforms would you like to see?

AP: Well the elephant in the room (on welfare) is corporate welfare. Corporations just got their tax rate so lowered with excellent results for workers, and it’s time taxpayers stopped giving out welfare to corporations. This is something I would like to tackle head-on.

BW: What is the most important thing the voters of Missouri should know about you?

AP: I keep my promises. I’ve been offered bribes and received pressure, even threats, in order to get me to change my position on certain issues. I never have. My primary opponent has made promises he then backed off of due to political pressure. I never have and I never will.

BW: Do you think the St. Louis Cardinals have made enough moves to be competitive this season?

AP: No, I don’t. I will admit that while I like the Cardinals, I’m a Royals fan. I root for the Cardinals, as long as they aren’t playing the Royals.

*Authors note: I’m a huge Cardinals fan but you have to respect a guy who stands by his team even when asked about the OTHER Missouri team.

Culture and Religion

Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

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Katherine Timpf on fighting political correctness

National Review reporter and Fox News contributor Katherine Timpf often discusses political correctness. She talks about it so often that one might think it’s a subject she enjoys, but in reality it’s simply a problem she passionately wants to solve.

In American society, it is way too easy to offend. People do not want to hear that their perspectives are wrong. That’s apparently some form of violence. They don’t want to hear an opposing viewpoint. That’s allegedly a form of oppression. Many on the left feel entitled to express their opinions in any way they see fit and also to prevent others from sharing their opinions if there’s a difference in worldviews.

The hypocrisy of political correctness is thick.

As Timpf recently pointed out on National Review, it’s a problem that doesn’t have an easy solution, but trends are pointing to positive movement against the specter of political correctness.

Political Correctness: Study Finds 80 Percent of Americans Think It’s a Problem

https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/10/political-correctness-problem-according-to-80-percent-of-people/I could go on for pages and pages, but you get the point: Writing about political correctness sometimes makes me feel as if everyone has gone mad, and I’m very glad to see that this doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, a strong majority of people apparently agrees with me. A strong majority believes that political correctness has gone too far, and probably would agree that we need to be careful to protect our ability to speak freely in this country.

That’s certainly encouraging, but it still doesn’t make me feel entirely better. After all, the small, PC-obsessed mob can sometimes be very powerful. Once it decides that someone or something is racist or sexist, that conclusion can carry a lot of weight. It can ruin careers and lives. It can remove perfectly good, innocuous words from acceptable speech, because even the people who might not see a problem with those words don’t want to risk being accused of racism or sexism for using them. The only answer is to keep fighting, to keep exposing and mocking such overreach when it occurs — and to take solace in the fact that so many people have awoken to its dangers.

Keep fighting the good fight, Ms. Timpf.

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Quotes

Marsha Blackburn on the state of the net

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Marsha Blackburn on the state of the net

Tennessee Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn has been a proponent of internet freedom since before it became a hot topic. She pushed for recognition of the potential problems that can arise if progressives get their way with a heavily regulated internet.

Seven years ago, when many Republicans were learning how to set up a Twitter account, Blackburn was preparing conservatives for the fight they had coming. Our online rights were going to get attacked by the left and the Obama administration was well on its way towards making their vision of net neutrality a reality.

One particular moment of a speech she gave in 2011 stands out:

Conservatives must not let big government, regulation, or taxation limit the long term potential of the Creative Economy, as it has already done with the industrial sector.

Regulation hampers innovation. Taxation stunts growth. Big government suffocates all. These premises don’t just align in the real world. In the digital world, they are even more prevalent. Marsha Blackburn understands this. Make her a Senator, Tennessee.

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Foreign Affairs

Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

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Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

Headlines have been popping up for over a decade that China is embracing Western-style freedoms for its people. Some variation of praise and hope have littered our news wires for some time, yet the incremental changes that are so often touted rarely turn into anything substantial and are often replaced by setbacks.

The economy is still far from free. Access to information television and internet is heavily controlled. Religious activities must be held in secret. This isn’t the China we’ve been promised.

It’s not the China the government has been promising its people.

Vice President Mike Pence drew criticism from leftists who found his recent comments inflammatory, but at this point does it really even matter? After three presidencies that treated China like the great reformers they’re not, isn’t it about time we try to use honest words and aggressive actions to call them out rather than allow them to continue their expansion unchecked?

Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy Toward China

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-administrations-policy-toward-china/Previous administrations made this choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all of its forms -– not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, personal liberty, religious freedom — the entire family of human rights. But that hope has gone unfulfilled.

The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people. And while Beijing still pays lip service to “reform and opening,” Deng Xiaoping’s famous policy now rings hollow.

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