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Will DHS reauthorization bring nationalized elections closer to reality?

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The summer of 2016 was an interesting and dangerous time for liberty-loving Americans. The Department of Homeland Security had become the preferred tool in Washington’s Constitution-killing toolbox to allegedly improve national security and keep the American people “safe.”

In June, then-DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson suggested that gun control “(had) to be a part of Homeland Security” in order to “minimize the opportunity for terrorists to get guns.”

In July, the GOP-controlled Congress responded by introducing a Constitutionally questionable bill that would have created a type of Minority Report pre-crime unit within DHS. Though it never became law, H.R.5611—which is still active—gave DHS authority to deny gun rights without due process based only on the possibility that someone might commit a crime.

Sounds like a bill Donald Trump would just love.

As primary season heated up in August, Johnson proposed that America nationalize elections with the DHS be used to “monitor” the process. Calling it “critical infrastructure,” Johnson believed that nationalizing would be the only way Washington could ensure an accurate vote.

Though Congress didn’t immediately address the issue, it looks like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are preparing to give DHS exactly what Johnson proposed.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will consider a bill this week reauthorizing DHS, with added amendments providing for so-called reforms addressing cybersecurity. Specifically, the amendments are intended to bolster cybersecurity for voting systems. The House has already passed a similar bill.

Since November 2016, Trump and the GOP have already created a US Cyber Command within the NSA (an idea proposed by Obama), and they recently renewed FISA 702, a law that empowers the NSA to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans without a warrant (a power abused by Obama).

Based on those two facts alone, you’d think that ideas created during the Obama administration would at least get a good vetting in GOP-controlled Washington. But with a president who has more in common with Obama than he does with conservatives when it comes to policy, and with the GOP hijacked by Republicrats and Trumplicans, I’m not holding out much hope that our Constitutional rights will be protected.

Oh well. It’s not like Trump is creating a secret global spy network that reports only to him or anything. Right?

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.

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Foreign Affairs

Thanks to Trump, Americans still have free speech

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Thanks to Trump Americans still have free speech

In spite of what mainstream media says, Trump’s rejection of the “Christchurch Call” may spare Americans from the Orwellian censorship other Western countries have pledged their allegiance to

Using tragedies to push political agendas is nothing new.

While people are still reeling from some disaster, before they are thinking rationally again is the best time for the shrewd-minded to take advantage of the situation. These cunning individuals cite prevention of another catastrophe in order to pressure those soft hearts – yet to come down from the shock of recent horrific events – into taking rash, impulsive, immediate action.

This is exactly what happened on May 15, when several nations and big tech companies, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft, signed a pledge written up in response to the Christchurch mosque massacre which was live-streamed by the shooter on Facebook.

The “Christchurch Call To Action,” which can be read in its entirety here, outlined efforts to be taken in order “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online,” including “strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of our societies” and encouraging media to “apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online.”

Among the countries who signed the call were Britain, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, the European Commission, Japan, Senegal, Jordan, India, and Indonesia.

But not America.

President Trump saw through the guise of humanitarianism that the Christchurch Call hid behind and refused to get on board.

In a statement regarding the president’s decision not to sign the Call, the White House claimed,

”We continue to be proactive in our efforts to counter terrorist content online while also continuing to respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Further, we maintain that the best tool to defeat terrorist speech is productive speech, and thus we emphasize the importance of promoting credible, alternative narratives as the primary means by which we can defeat terrorist messaging.”

Unsurprisingly, Trump has received a lot of backlash from mainstream media accusing him of being a “white supremacist bigot” contributing to “hate” for not signing the Call, but in reality, Trump was wise to stand against the crowd on this one.

The Christchurch Call is framed as a means for combating terrorism, but the vague terms sprinkled throughout the reactionary document like “inclusiveness” and “ethical standards” leave too much open to interpretation. Such loosely defined words make plenty of room for government censorship of any dissenting opinions on the Internet.

Other western countries are already sliding down the slippery slope towards an Orwellian future.

Just after the Christchurch shooting, New Zealand criminalized the video of the assailant’s livestream and his manifesto. Now, several citizens of New Zealand have been arrested and are facing up to 14 years of imprisonment just for sharing the video.

Some New Zealanders have also reported receiving visits from local police, who asked questions regarding their political views, such as if they liked Trump or not.

In Scotland, a man was fined £800 for making this video in the spirit of comedy:

Several U.K. citizens have been arrested, fined, or had the police visit them for criticizing Islam on social media.

While Americans like Alex Jones have questionably been banned from platforms like Facebook and Youtube, this is the worst it gets in the United States.

In America, government involvement in silencing online political dissidents through arrests and fines is unheard of. In declining to sign the Christchurch Call, Trump made a statement displaying his commitment to preserving his people’s right to voice their opinions, no matter how controversial.

While the Trump administration still stands, America will remain the land of freedom of speech.

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Culture and Religion

How Alabama’s abortion law sets President Trump up to be a pragmatist

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How Alabamas abortion law sets President Trump up to be a pragmatist

One of the favorite tactics for both major political parties is to paint opposing candidates as extremists. This is particularly true when it comes to presidential candidates; if you don’t recall, every Republican candidate since Ronald Reagan has been painted as a bigot by Democrats. But whether or not the people fall for the extremism play is usually based, at least to some degree, on reality.

That may not be the case in the 2020 election as both media and the expressions of the people seem to be favoring extremism as a reality rather than just a label. The President is a far-right bigot in the eyes of Democrats while every Democratic candidate (with the possible exception of Joe Biden) is a far-left socialist in the eyes of Republicans. Meanwhile, mainstream media is engaged in confirmation bias to appease their audiences. One need only look at coverage of the Mueller report to see how this is unmistakably true.

On the issue of abortion, the Democratic candidates have made no attempts to appeal to the middle. As each is either asked for or volunteers their perspective on abortion, invariably they are pushing no restrictions whatsoever. This is a far cry from the days when the Clintons thought abortions should be safe, legal, and rare. Today, abortions are to be embraced as far as Democrats are concerned, and any attempt to push for adoption or to fight for the rights of the child in the womb is considered bigoted. One by one, every Democratic candidate is adopting abortion extremism as their stated stance.

But President Trump did something yesterday that makes sense from a political perspective. I may disagree with his stance, but it’s a winning strategy for his reelection campaign. He said he is pro-life with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. This stance was once considered to be an extreme position for the right, but with the Alabama abortion bill removing exceptions for rape and incest, the President has the luxury of being closer to the middle than any of his opponents (again, with the possible exception of Biden – we’ll find out soon enough).

Thankfully, the President of the United States has very little they can do when it comes to abortion other than pick pro-life judges and act as the leader of their party. Executive orders on abortion would be certainly struck down regardless of what they say, so it comes down to ideological purity. With Democrats taking on abortion-on-demand as their stated radical stance, it’s hard to argue that the President is the extremist when even he doesn’t directly support the Alabama bill. He didn’t call it out, but by stating his personal position he established that he’s not as far to the right as the Democrats are to the left.

Today, the Democrats must embrace their primary voters, many of whom are the radical progressives “shouting their abortions” and pushing for a socialistic Dystopian future for America. Meanwhile, the President has the luxury of being more pragmatic with his approach since he’s already in general election mode. He doesn’t need to appeal to his base very much because they either stand behind him out of adoration or they fear the Democrats too much to consider going against him. Even most #NeverTrumpers are having a hard time reconciling their hatred for the President with the current batch of hardline hyper-leftists vying for the Democratic nomination.

We can argue the nuances of being pro-life and having exceptions, but as long as the Democrats are all onboard for on-demand abortions, the President’s less extreme stance on abortion will help him next November.

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Economy

Gary Vaynerchuk never talks about politics, but he’s great when he does

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Gary Vaynerchuk never talks about politics but hes great when he does

Language warning, in case you’ve never listened to Gary Vaynerchuk before. I have, and he’s great.

Those who know of Gary Vaynerchuk think of wine, social media, and digital strategy. The Belarusian American entrepreneur has been an outspoken advocate of all things “віно і маркетинг” for over a decade, but he rarely speaks about politics.

Recently, he did, and one prediction in particular caught my eye.

In an interview for Capitalism by Ryan Daniel Moran, Vaynerchuk said, “I believe we’re seeing the beginning stages of a four party system in America in the next 50 to 100 years.”

The way he sees it, both major parties are pushing to the extremes on the ideological scale, opening up spots for moderate progressives and moderate conservatives to have major parties of their own. This is the case in most countries; the United States is one of the few that has a true two-party system despite the fact that most of our founding fathers didn’t want it to turn out this way.

John Adams said:

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.

But Vaynerchuk, who has built a career around being write much more often than he’s wrong, says the opening is already being seen today. He railed against both parties, blaming both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama for poorly handling the financial crisis of the late 00s.

Millions have learned over the years to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk when he’s offering opinions. Though his political opinions are few and far between, there’s a wisdom to them you don’t hear from the pundits. It’s authentic, a rare quality indeed.

Petition Capitol Hill for Term Limits

Sign the petition. We demand Congress immediately put together legislation that spells out term limits for themselves. Americans need to know who is willing to suppress their own power for the sake of the nation. This can only happen by bringing legislation to the floor.

Will you help revive the American Conservative Movement?

 


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