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Jeff Flake is a reminder of why we need to abolish the 17th Amendment

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Jeff Flake is a reminder of why we need to abolish the 17th Amendment

It was a shock to see Jeff Flake’s performance in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday afternoon. On the vote he caved into the Democrats stalling measure to have an additional FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh prior to his nomination vote on the Senate floor. Jeff Flake once again reminded everybody that he is in the Senate for himself. It seems noble that an individual would oppose party lines and think freely in the Senate. The existence of political mavericks would be splendid in a seat that was up for reelections more frequently than every six years. But a Senator in the United State is afforded the luxury of a six year, six figure salary, acting a fool as they please.

Who does a Senator represent?

The 17th Amendment called for the direct election of Senators by the people. The people already had representation in our bicameral legislature. The House of Representatives serves as the direct voice of the people, while the Senate served as a voice for the states. Now that Senators no longer represent their state, who do they represent? Is it their constituents? Or themselves? In theory, since the 17th Amendment was a populist amendment, the Senator is now a representative of the people? But what incentive does a Senator have to represent the people, rather than themselves.

Arizona is an excellent case study, in which we have three vastly different subjects. John McCain consistently had one of the worst voting records in the US Senate. According to GovTrack, from Jan 1987 to Aug 2018, McCain missed 1,220 of 10,383 roll call votes, which is 11.7%. This is much worse than the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Aug 2018. Even into death, when physically unable to perform the duties of a Senator, John McCain refused to abdicate the position. Prior to the 17th Amendment, despite a six year term, the state could recall their Senators for various reasons. New Jersey was unable to remove Bob Menendez while he faced trial and Florida was unable to remove Marco Rubio while he was moping in 2015. Minnesota had to wait for Al Franken to resign. Removing an underperforming, inactive, or scandal enthralled Senator is entirely difficult in our society.

In contrast, compare that with Senator Jon Kyl. He has been appointed to temporarily replace John McCain. He was appointed with the confidence that he would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Jon Kyl will represent the interests of the state of Arizona, or at a minimum, its governor. And while the state cannot hold him to accountable, Jon Kyl recognizes his task to represent the state, as he is not currently an elected official. Jeff Flake who is retiring has been considered a wild card for some time now because he’s accountable to only himself.

Full Repeal

The return of the Senate to the states would cut down on underperformance. If a state is underrepresented in the Senate it would be their fault, but that issue was already rare. If a Senator missed key votes, voted the wrong way, or committed conduct unbecoming, they could be recalled. Senate elections wouldn’t require millions of dollars or PAC funding, a bone that leftist can chew on. Now further examine the content of state legislatures. A trifecta is where one party controls both houses and the governorship. There are currently 26 Republican trifectas among the states. That would equal 52 Senators to the Democrats easy 16 Senators from their 8 trifectas. This leaves a contestable 32 Senate seats. An even split of the 32 would give the GOP 68 votes, a supermajority that can withstand a few RINOs. Kavanaugh’s confirmation would be in no danger. The country may in fact curb spending eventually. Obamacare would have been repealed, or never enacted in the first place. The country would experience a massive shift to the right just by returning power to the states. The Democrats would have to shift away from socialism and back to being a “Worker’s Party” just to win votes. Conservatives should champion this issue. And if any good can come out of Jeff Flake, Conservatives should start talking about this movement.

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Culture and Religion

17 years later, Paul Washer’s shocking message still holds true

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17 years later Paul Washers shocking message still holds true

In 2002, Pastor Paul Washer delivered a message to around 5,000 young people. It has become one of the fiery Southern Baptist’s mostly widely-heard sermons because in it, we hear a very disturbing reality to most who proclaim to be Christians. Some simply aren’t doing it right.

He’s been criticized for the sermon. Some say he’s making it too complicated. Others say he’s scaring people away from the faith by making it seem too difficult. But this teaching is based on one of the most important teachings of Jesus Christ in all the Bible:

Matthew 7:13-27

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

I’ve heard many teach on these verses and I’ve taught myself on the strait and narrow. It’s frightening to some because it was intended to be, and Washer’s declarations to these impressionable young people is clear. But it wasn’t nice. It wasn’t kind. It wasn’t inclusive. It didn’t fit in with today’s version of common pastoral messages.

The need for constant repentance and ongoing belief must never be understated.

Sometimes, the need to be “nice” from the pulpit must be replaced by the true need to be honest. That’s what Washer does in this famous teaching. I strongly encourage everyone to spend an hour hearing it.

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Conservatism

Why Tomi Lahren’s abortion view harms American conservatism

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Why Tomi Lahrens abortion view harms American conservatism

Democrats are unambiguous and united in their view of abortion. It wasn’t always this way. As recently as a decade ago, there were a good number of pro-life Democrats winning elections and expressing their views as pundits.

Today, they don’t exist.

Republicans aren’t so repulsed by the pro-abortion people in their midst. It’s understandable that as a party that’s less focused on individual issues, one can be a Republican without checking off all the various boxes. This is fine. What’s not fine is for breaks in the ranks of conservatives. There are certain things that must remain universal among those who claim to embrace conservatism, especially among those who speak for conservatives.

Fox Nation’s Tomi Lahren is one of them. She claims to be a conservative, but she’s pro-choice. That fact, by itself, is understandable because the issue is a polarizing one in which people can be swayed to one side based on personal experience. It’s not like taxes which warrant universal scorn from conservatives. There are gun-toting, tax-hating, pro-choice conservatives.

But there’s a bigger problem with Lahren’s perspective. She’s not just attacking the Alabama abortion bill and pro-life perspectives in general. She’s doing so with an argument that flies in the face of reality.

Do we think government is the answer? No. In fact, one of the most appealing parts about the Alabama abortion bill is that it represents the first true opportunity for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. When it reaches the Supreme Court (and it almost certainly will) it gives us the first glimpse of how the current makeup of the court will react. In fact, the makeup of the court could actually be better if one of the left-leaning Justices retires soon.

Once Roe v. Wade is out of the way, we can finally express the truly conservative aspect of federalism that should have never been taken away – the states’ rights to determine their own healthcare laws.

If Tomi Lahren doesn’t like the abortion ban, that’s fine. Her choice. But to defend her choice by insinuating a challenge to Roe v. Wade is somehow an attack on limited-government tenets is false and harms conservatism.

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Guns and Crime

Thomas Massie exposes the many problems with Red Flag Gun Laws

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Thomas Massie exposes the many problems with Red Flag Gun Laws

Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) has been a staunch proponent of the 2nd Amendment throughout his career in Washington DC. This makes him an opponent to Red Flag Gun Laws which are spreading across the states. Colorado recently passed their version, bringing the total up to 15.

As we’ve documented numerous times, Red Flag Gun Laws are a direct attack on the 2nd and 4th Amendments. Depending on the version of the law, citizens can have their firearms forcibly removed from them by law enforcement when a judge decrees they may be a threat to themselves or others based on requests by people who know the victim. It’s important to understand that these laws are not based on anyone committing a crime. They are based on a feeling that someone may commit a crime.

It’s like the movie Minority Report, only without psychics. Gun owners’ liberties can be encroached based on the government’s “future crimes division.”

In this video, Massey gets to the heart of the matter by talking to Colorado Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams and Dr. John R. Lott of Crime Prevention Research Center. This is an important video for #2A proponents across the nation.

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