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Culture and Religion

Consider the consequences of a Trump resignation

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Let’s be realistic: Trump will never be impeached. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it — there could be an argument worth discussing — but a Republican Congress will never do it, and the GOP will be hard-pressed to give up its majority in 2018.

The Constitution permits impeachment proceedings on the grounds of “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors,” but as I’ve previously written, the term “misdemeanors” refers not only to legal infraction but, as Michael Stokes Paulsen describes, to “the broader sense of misconduct or misbehavior — literally of not demeaning oneself properly (‘misdemeaning’) in the exercise of an official capacity or position.” Or, as Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist 65, “the misconduct of public men, or…the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Trump’s opponents could easily present an argument that the president has abused or violated the public trust at least once.

In other words, Trump could be impeached, but he won’t be.

The only other options, then, are that 1) Trump completes his first term, 2) Trump is assassinated, or 3) Trump resigns. Trump won’t be assassinated — I’m sure many a lunatic has attempted to murder every president in modern history, but Secret Service is too competent to allow that to happen, I think. On the other hand, Trump may very well finish his term, but I don’t know if the country can handle this kind of strain for three and a half more years.

All that said, we at least have to consider the possibility that Trump resigns. There’s plenty to be said about the potential causes: frustration with low approval, discouragement about not getting anything done, conclusion that it’s the moral thing to do for the country’s sake (that’s never going to happen), or discovery that the presidency isn’t as much fun as he’d anticipated. The list goes on. But I’m not as concerned with exploring what would cause Trump to resign; plenty have done so already. Instead, I want to consider the consequences should his resignation occur.

These consequences will occur in the form of three C’s: Cabinet, Congress, and Culture.

Cabinet:

If Donald Trump resigned today, Mike Pence would become the 46th president of the United States. I’ll save my predictions for how the country would react to this transition for the cultural discussion, but I think it’s safe to say that a Pence presidency would be far more stable and secure than the current Trump regime.

Among other things, we could expect a reduction in the quantity of tweets coupled with an increase in quality. In all likelihood, Pence would carefully craft prepared statements before addressing the public on major events, and he would stick to his notes. Trump’s ad-libbing has gotten him into trouble in the past, but he can’t seem to quit. Furthermore, rather than just announce policy ideas to the Twitter-verse without any follow-up or forewarning, Pence would implement changes through the proper channels with the approval of corresponding cabinet officials. The travel ban, Comey firing, and transgender military ban all suffered from Trump’s dismal implementation.

I believe Pence would put an end to the White House leaks. Trump’s cabinet is still riddled with Obama-era staffers whom Trump will never fire because he agrees with them on policy. Trump has always been a big government guy; his only problem with Obamacare, for instance, is the name “Obama.” He openly supports single-payer and countless liberal platform points. Pence doesn’t. He would oust the Obama holdovers and establish a uniform cabinet.

As for Pence’s potential vice president, it wouldn’t be a popularity contest for reasons I’ll explain under Culture, so you could expect to see a somewhat principled conservative like Pence as first mate. I doubt we’d see Cruz, Lee, or Sasse abandon their valuable Senate influence, but you never know. Honestly, I don’t think it would really matter. I foresee that should Trump resign, Pence would set up a strong cabinet and a mature presidency. Think what you will about whether he’d be a successful president — we should at least be able to acknowledge that his persona would be far more presidential than the man-child in chief.

Congress:

What happens to Congress, specifically in regards to the 2018 election, depends greatly on the timing of this hypothetical resignation. If Trump follows the Nixon route and steps down three months before the ballots begin, we could see a Democratic upset à la 1974, in which Democrats picked up 48 formerly Republican seats in the House, extending their majority from 242 -192 to 291-144. But if Trump resigns tomorrow, such a turnaround would be unlikely, as there would be enough time for Pence to establish himself as president before voters instinctively lashed out against the establishment. There’s still a chance he could be unpopular, but the vote would be about Pence and Congress itself, not anger at Trump.

Back to impeachment briefly: if Democrats had a majority, impeachment might be plausible. But since the only way they’d obtain a majority is through Trump’s poorly timed resignation, that’s a moot point.

Pence would pursue conservative policy (as he did as governor of Indiana) and most likely put more pressure on Congress to pass more/better legislation. And if they didn’t listen, he could reasonably claim that he had done what he could and shift the public’s blame to Congress.

Culture:

The previous two points have been largely positive; I think Pence would make a comparatively tremendous president after Trump — almost any conservative would. But this is where things get dicey: I know we’re already in a volatile situation, but I’m not sure if Trump’s resignation would make matters better or worse.

According to a recent poll, 24% of Americans claim that absolutely nothing imaginable could cause them to disapprove of Trump’s presidency. So if Trump resigns, no matter who succeeds him, at least a quarter of the country will be unhappy.

On the flip side, 28% said in the same poll that Trump couldn’t do absolutely anything imaginable to make them approve of his actions, “other than resign.” So would that 28% be happy about a Trump resignation? Maybe for a few days. But they wouldn’t like Pence any more than they like Trump, and Trump actually agrees with the Left on a number of policies. Pence doesn’t. If the Left can despise the first presidential candidate in history to openly support same-sex marriage, imagine how much rage they would direct at the man who won’t eat dinner alone with a woman who’s not his wife.

By that same token, it wouldn’t matter to the Left whom Pence chose as VP; they would hate them anyway, unless it were a Democrat or a RINO, which simply isn’t going to happen. And Trump stumpers wouldn’t be satisfied by any VP pick either, since they’d be too upset by the loss of Trump. As it stands, if Trump stays in office, 28% of the country is guaranteed to be unhappy. If he resigns, 52% will be.

But let’s be honest: the solution to our cultural polarization has little to do with the president, whomever it is. Trump has legitimized the Alt-Right just as Obama validated Black Lives Matter. But I don’t care how we got here; we’re here now. People are angry, riots are happening, and the president alone can’t put an end to the inevitable clash, neither Trump nor Pence.

That said, the chaos will be inestimably worse if Democrats are in control, pledging to rescind our basic freedoms and demonizing the very institutions which protect us. If Trump resigns next year, momentum could dramatically swing in the Left’s favor. If Trump resigns within the year, we could almost certainly recover from the initial blowback in time to preserve a congressional majority. We might even be better off.

Mr. President, if you can get your act together and ride out this term, creating actual solutions and improving the political climate, that would be wonderful. But if you can’t, and if you’re planning to resign, please, Mr. President, do it soon.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards, Co-Host of The New Guards Podcast, lifelong fan of the Anaheim Ducks, and proud Hufflepuff. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in English from Brigham Young University in 2017. One day later, his wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Richie is a constitutional conservative and doesn't see any compassion in violating other people's rights.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Z. Little

    August 19, 2017 at 8:45 am

    We have a long history of truly dumb Presidents so what’s to remove or impeach over? Being stupid doesn’t disqualify one from government service for if it did, we wouldn’t have a government. If we learn two things in life it should be: never shop while hungry or vote when your mad.

  2. Shirley

    August 19, 2017 at 8:55 am

    Interesting ideas. The one thing I’ve noticed that the author hasn’t mentioned is the despicable action of people like Obama, Hillary, Soros, Schumer, who actively and with money are fighting Trump on everything. They take anything the President does and make it controversial. I believe they will continue doing that to Pence and with the media regurgitating the talking points of the left day in and day out, he has no chance either. At what point does all this opposition become treason? I am not a “Trump supporter”. I am a constitutional conservative trying to give the President a chance to govern without constantly criticizing him. He was dually elected by the people.

  3. Rick

    August 19, 2017 at 9:56 am

    All presidents are dually elected. This one, like the one before him, are total morons lacking moral charachter and the slightest concern for the future of anyone but themselves and their brand. Trump’s biggest obstacle is Trump. Don’t blame liberals for Trump. Hypocritical repubs are to blame, which includes evangelicals. You sold out and deserve what you have. When will we learn. Dems are whack in terms of ideas and Repubs are dishonest hypocrites. Thank you Hannity, Limbaugh, etc., and those who blindly follow.

  4. arasaid

    August 20, 2017 at 5:46 am

    Yes, there will always be division, but a good leader can influence and explain WHY his policies would be good for the country. Many people settle down once they hear good reasoning and not just platitudes. Pence is very capable of being a good leader, if he chose to do that rather than the “politician talk” he sometimes uses.

  5. Donald Mack Flippin

    August 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Mister Angel, you misspoke while writing your article. I will absolutely guarantee that the Democrats WILL NOT extend their majority next year, sir. That cannot happen because the Democrats are not presently in a majority, in neither chamber of Congress.

  6. Richie Angel

    August 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Mr. Flippin, don’t misunderstand — I stated that the GOP would be “hard-pressed to give up its majority in 2018,” and my comment of Democrats extending their majority referred to the 1974 election.

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Culture and Religion

Is Mike Pence too political for church?

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There have been a lot of talk lately about Mike Pence speaking at the SBC. Many complained claiming it was divisive and political. Jonathan Leeman wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition criticizing the very idea of Mike Pence speaking. I will address this article in greater detail on the points that I agree and disagree with. But first, let me answer the very question I posed: Pence isn’t too political to address a congregation, but his speech was.

In short, Mike Pence’s address offered zero substantive theological content. It was merely about his privilege as serving as Vice President. While acknowledging this privilege merited a short section in the beginning, it needed no more continuation. Instead, Mike Pence droned on and on about his experiences and the administration’s accomplishments.

I think there’s only one way you can sum up this administration: It’s been 500 days of action, 500 days of accomplishment. It’s been 500 days of promises made and promises kept. 

Pence’s address followed a pattern of praising Trump with loosely intertwined references to God and praising his hosts as guest speakers often do. The intertwined religious language while praising the accomplishments, not of God, but of the President is the briefest summation of Pence’s speech to the SBC that can be offered. The only biblical passage cited was Psalm 126 in reference to a story that served as praise to the Trump administration. God wasn’t working though Trump in Pence’s speech. Instead, Trump was working. At the end of his speech, Pence did offer a superficial message about praying for America with a quoting scripture.

Mike Pence had an opportunity to address the leaders of many churches. He blew it. But would all politicians do the same?

Politicians Should Be in the Pew, Not the Pulpit?

Jonathan Leeman’s article for The Gospel Coalition draws this conclusion. He has five reasons for not allowing politicians to address a church event.

  1. No reason to give attention to a politician’s words over a plumber’s or an accountant’s, at least not in our assemblies or associations.
  2. Having a political leader address our churches or associations of churches tempts us to misconstrue our mission.
  3. Undermines our evangelistic and prophetic witness.
  4. Hurts the unity of Christ’s body

Reason one is most certainly true. However, I believe we ought to separate the person from the profession. On the basis of spiritual maturity and calling should a politician or any notable guest address an assembly. This first reason is the one I believe to have the most merit in regards to the situation at hand. Inviting a politician to address a Congregation is wrong if the only reason is that they are a politician. However, if the politician is a member of the church, what is wrong with having a fellow member speak?

Reasons two and three are certainly tied together in there logic. I believe these reasons hold merit for Pence’s sacrelidgious speech but are not inherently true of all politicians who accept such similar offers. Reasons two and three open a multitude of separate issues both independent and dependent on the circumstances. Meaning, yes this could happen, but the degree in which we can mitigate the temptation are limited for Satan is the tempter. In the case of Pence, reason three was definitely true. Many would see that the SBC tied itself to Trump. But that is not the fault of the SBC per se. But that is Pence’s fault for giving a campaign rally speech instead of a message. If Pence gave a theologically sound speech there should be little temptation to misconstrue the mission. The third reason is inevitable. Since the beginning, Christians witness has been undermined by the lies of Satan. The original Christians were thought to be cannibal and even atheists. We can’t always prevent these lies, but it would be good not to validate them which Pence did.

Now hurting the unity of the body of Christ is a weak point. Leeman’s fourth point is basically saying that Pence is too polarizing, because Trump is… Trump, on a National level to address a church. Pence is polarizing, but he was polarizing before Trump. The polarizing premise is true but, assuming Pence is indeed a follower off Christ, this would be the result of living a Christian life. Here’s another polarizing figure: Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cake Shop. Would polarity disqualify him from speaking? If we are to apply national likability to our church speakers, we’re going to end up with a lot of TV personalities who don’t comprehend dyophysitism.

Like Jack Philips, Pence has taken a lot of flak for being a devout Christian. Isn’t this the kind of person who may have a good message to the assembly? Seemingly so. Again Pence under-delivered. To be fair, Leeman clearly states he doesn’t blanket outlaw politicians from speaking.

I can envision a few circumstances where there is some measure of mission overlap that could justify it. Maybe a group of Christian college presidents asks the secretary of education to address them. Or a Christian conference on work asks a Christian congressman to talk about working as a Christian on the Hill, so that attendees can apply the principles to their own settings.

But while it’s not an outlaw, such an unwritten policy places constraints on the church that are not inherently necessary. Leeman supposes some similar justification was used when The Gospel Coalition had Ben Sasse speak. In 2017, Ben Sasse addressed The Gospel Coalition and gave a theological speech. He was noted for sounding more like a pastor than a politician.

To me only two things matter:

  1. Theological substance
  2. Correct theological substance

On these two requirements I think the body of Christ would remain unified with a clear picture of its mission.

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Culture and Religion

Video Double play: Busting the gun grabber’s musket myth.

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Gun confiscation bingo

Two videos that eviscerate the Liberty Grabbers ‘One shot’ musket myth.

It is a bedrock principle (if they have any) of the Liberty grabber Left that back during the ratification of the US Constitution the only weapons in existence were flintlock musket that took 5 minute to reload. Thus there wasn’t any school violence because it would have taken too long for the perpetrator to kill anyone.

As it typical of the lore of the national socialist Left, this is a lie of the first order. A previous video celebrated the “Assault Weapon” tricentennial, which was bit of the tongue in cheek variety since there were other repeating “Military Style” weapons in existence before this time period. These will be detailed in future articles. Meanwhile we present two videos that also bust the ‘Musket Myth’, one a short presentation from the Royal Armouries on the Jover and Belton “Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket”

Royal Armouries
Published on Aug 30, 2017
Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson, gives us a peek at the Flintlock breech-loading superimposed military musket, by Jover and Belton (1786)

This is a very relevant piece since the inventor Joseph Belton corresponded with the Continental Congress in 1777:

May it Please your Honours,
I would just informe this Honourable Assembly, that I have discover’d an improvement, in the use of Small Armes, wherein a common small arm, may be maid to discharge eight balls one after another, in eight, five or three seconds of time, & each one to do execution five & twenty, or thirty yards, and after so discharg’d, to be loaded and fire’d with cartridge as usual.

“It was demonstrated before noted scientists and military officers (including well known scientist David Rittenhouse and General Horatio Gates)”

This destroys the mythology that the founders had no knowledge of this type of repeating firearm technology that existed already.

The second is a humours dissertation on the subject from video raconteur Steven Crowder https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/

from a few years ago that also eviscerates this bit of Leftist mythology.

Published on Feb 10, 2015
People have been telling us for years that the 2nd amendment was written in a time of Muskets, and that it doesn’t apply to the evolved weapons of today. Is it true?

So why is this important?

Two primary reasons. One that these factual examples demonstrate that the founding fathers knew of these technological advances. Therefore, they destroy any Leftist pretences that the 2nd amendment be confined to muskets. Second that, school violence is something other than an issue of guns.

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Culture and Religion

Gay Americans speak out in support of Christian Baker, against the gay lobby

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The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government – lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.

-Patrick Henry

As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Now, however, after years of radical LGBT activist domination over the nation’s dialogue surrounding civil rights, liberty-loving gay Americans are pushing back.

All wheels have begun to squeak.

Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled (7-2) in favor of Jack Phillips, a devout Christian and confectionary artist. In 2012, after declining to lend his artistry skills toward the custom adornment of a cake intended for the celebration of a same-sex wedding, Phillips was sued for discrimination and was later found guilty by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Although the Commission had deemed Phillips’s art – confectionary art is a subset of sugar art – as expression under the First Amendment, his religious views were publicly attacked by commissioners. It was this blatant governmental bias which persuaded the Supreme Court to reverse all previous rulings against Mr. Phillips.

Despite of the Supreme Court ruling’s narrow scope, by mid-day on Monday, freedom-loving gay Americans had begun to speak out in support of Jack Phillips’s Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, and celebrate the Supreme Court ruling in Mr. Phillips’s favor.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must… undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

-Thomas Paine

Pushing Back: Live on the Radio

Speaking with Rush Limbaugh on Monday, a Seattle woman who identified herself, saying, “I’m gay, I’m Hispanic, I’m female, I’m middle-aged, and I’m conservative,” stated:

I wanted to comment on the cake thing, on the Supreme Court judgment ruling on the cake matter. I wanted to say that I am so pleased to hear that, because I just don’t understand how people in this country can keep fighting against having their negative rights, against having what makes this country great, and against that which are the people that came to this country and come to this country, come here for. I just don’t get it… we are the country on this planet that stands for everyone to come and have liberty.

…[P]eople want to have freedom. But what they don’t understand is that freedom never needs to be defended. It’s liberty that needs to be defended. God gives us our freedom. God gives us the right to be free. We have to defend our liberty.

Another Limbaugh caller who identified himself as a wedded gay man, expressed disdain for the radical LGBT activists, describing them as “militant,” asserting:

…[I]t does not make our situation any easier when these militants are on the news because they do not represent me.

His {the husband’s] family didn’t show up at our wedding because they believe a marriage is between one man and one woman. And I don’t want to brand them a bigot or a homophobe for the rest of their lives when I could have an opportunity to have a relationship with them. I’d rather understand where they’re coming from and try to build off of what we have in common than brand them over a decision like a cake and then not have a relationship with the man I love’s family.

The caller continued his frank criticism, stating:

I think these militants make it worse, not better, and they don’t have me — in mind when they’re out there doing it… I just think they’re really loud and obnoxious, and so they get on the news.

They went on TV, and they said what their case was. They said it was never about the cake; it was about making them do what they wanted them to do. 

And I would rather go get a cake from somewhere else and not be on the news and have a chance at understanding where other people are coming from than force my will on them any more than I want them to force their will on me. I know a lot of people don’t accept gay marriage. However, it’s a lifestyle choice I made. They choose not to bake me a cake. I’ll get one somewhere else.

My sexuality makes up so small of who I am as a person; it really shouldn’t matter.

Pushing Back: Speaking Out on Twitter

Other non-totalitarian, liberty-loving gay Americans chose to push back by making their voices heard via social media.

Pushing Back: The New Squeaky Wheels

The phenomenon of gay Americans, fellow freedom-fighters, pushing back against the radical LGBT lobby isn’t unique to the Masterpiece Cakeshop court case. Since 2013, Chad Felix Greene- a wedded gay man – has “been writing in favor of religious freedom for those asked to participate in gay weddings.”

After Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Greene stated:

LGBT’s hysterical denunciations and hair-on-fire rhetoric has not changed. Fortunately the argument has. We must continue fighting the rhetoric.

This case is not over.

Back in December of 2017, a gay duo – T.J. and Matt – made headlines for their open support of Jack Phillips and all who wish to exercise religious liberty and freedom of speech.  In a video for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the pair, standing outside the front entrance of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, explained:

We’re here to buy stuff from him and support him, because we don’t think any artist should be forced to create for something that violates their beliefs.

On Monday, echoing the same sentiment, Mr. Greene explained to his followers on Twitter:

The LGBT movement needs to understand that tolerance goes both ways. They have been behaving as though they are entitled to special treatment from everyone under the guise of ‘equality.’

We have equality. But we don’t have the right to demand others violate their beliefs for us.

The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages is what every part is entitled to and ought to enjoy.

-Benjamin Franklin

Reason to Hope

The trappings of authoritarian identify politics are being rejected and the walls are beginning to crumble. Liberty-loving Americans representing a plurality of circumstance and lifestyle, often hidden from the limelight of the media, are joining together in good will.

As a Christian and an artist, I count the mounting acts of ideological divergence – examples of bravery – from those in the gay community, as true blessings!

Alas! The Lord works in mysterious ways.

 

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