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Final pitch to vote straight red ticket: “We can’t go back”

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There are two things I’m normally not a fan of: straight ticket voting and national party messages. I’m backing off from both of these pet peeves for this election. Keeping control of the House of Representatives is just too important for me to quibble over degrees of conservatism as I normally do.

I will be voting straight Republican ticket this year. It’s not the first time I’ve done it, but it’s the first time I’ve done it without fully embracing everyone on the ballot. I’m not crazy about a couple of Republicans on my ballot, but I’m voting for them anyway. If we lose either the House or the Senate, the progress we’ve made over the last two years will be halted at best, reversed at worst.

That’s why this video actually worked for me. It represents me. I agree with the messaging. National party messages are usually based on issues. I remember when the GOP put out horrible ads in 2012 that were all about Obamacare. It was the right message for most individual candidates but it wasn’t universal enough for the party to promote it. When a national party focuses on a single issue, it speaks of a generalization that will not resonate.

This message geared around the economy is universal. It’s a safe bet that the vast majority of people seeing this message are in better financial situations than they were two years ago. Instead of making it a partisan message like they did in 2012 when half the country liked Obamacare, they chose to go with a personal message reminiscent of President Reagan’s message in 1980. It’s actually the opposite message; Reagan was pointing to how bad the economy was in 1980 and asked, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”

It was powerful and it worked. This message of not going back isn’t quite as strong, but it works nonetheless.

Americans must ask themselves if they’re better off than they were two years ago. If they’re honest, the vast majority will admit that their bank accounts are bigger, their tax burden is smaller, and prospects for prosperity are much, much higher.

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Economy

Progressive think tanks: If the economy holds strong, Trump should win in a landslide

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Progressive think tanks If the economy holds strong Trump should win in a landslide

Tribalism makes it challenging to gauge where the sentiment of the most important voting blocks stand. Hyper-leftists would vote for a broken refrigerator before voting for President Trump in 2020, while the MAGA crowd would stand in line with no food, water, or a bathroom for two days if that’s what would be required for them to vote for their man.

But these won’t be the people who determine the results of the 2020 election. They never are, even if their numbers are greater on both sides as noted by Ben Shapiro in his new book. The rabid Republicans and determined Democrats may ebb and flow in size, but it’s the people in the mushy middle who win elections.

Knowing this, it’s often difficult to determine what the sentiment is if we go solely based on the news. Just as with the dedicated tribes, so too are media outlets generally spun in how they present the news. This is why a story from today on left-leaning Politico prompted a read. It was worthwhile going through the leftist spin to reach the meat of the story, which basically says if conventional wisdom about incumbents and the economy hold up and the economy can remain strong through the election, President Trump should win in a landslide regardless of who the Democrats nominate.

Models from multiple think tanks conclude the conventional model favors the President, but these are unconventional times. It’s still very possible for the economy to remain strong and for the President to be hit with another onslaught of scandals, as he was in 2016. Then, there’s the “it” factor of the Democratic nominee. Someone like Senator Kamala Harris throws in the minority-female combination as an appealing wildcard in the mix. Meanwhile, Beto O’Rourke and Senator Bernie Sanders still have incredible fundraising infrastructures that could help them dominate the money battle through the primaries and during the general election.

Of course, there’s always the possibility the economy could fall. Analysts have been predicting it in a way that’s vulgar, as if they hope the economy falls and people are hurt by it just to make sure President Trump loses in 2020.

If Republicans can put on a full-court press on the economy, something they failed miserably at in the 2018 midterms, they may be able to ride the President’s wave to victories on Capitol Hill as well. November 2020 will sneak up very quickly.

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Conservatism

Building the wall versus stopping overreach: The conservative conundrum

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Building the wall versus stopping overreach The conservative conundrum

The rift between conservatives and moderates in the Republican Party is normally a black-and-white issue. It’s easy to tell which perspective is more conservative and which gives into the left-leaning moderation practiced in the mushy middle.

That gap is being blurred by a single issue right now. President Trump’s national emergency declaration to redirect funds for building the border wall has conservatives siding with moderates on both sides of the debate. Some are choosing to side with the President to stand in solidarity in order to get the wall built. Senators Ted Cruz and Ben Sasse were notable in their decision to vote against the resolution stopping the national emergency.

The other side says overreach is overreach even if the end goal is desirable. That’s where Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul have teamed up with moderates like Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski in voting to block the President’s emergency. While they’re doing it for different reasons, it’s still noteworthy that they went against the President’s wishes.

So, who’s right? My post early essentially said both sides were right, but I believe this topic needs further clarification. We need the wall and we need to rein in presidential powers. That may very well be the case, but the bottom line from a conservative perspective is that this is not the type of “emergency” that presidents should be able to declare indefinitely. Things have not fundamentally changed in the last two years. The border situation is worse, but it’s no more an emergency now than it was when the President was sworn into office.

While it stays within the letter of the law, it’s a flawed law that doesn’t have the necessary checks and balances. The National Emergencies Act is an abomination to the Constitution and it’s unfortunate it hasn’t been challenged until this very important issue.

Most of the President’s supporters are saying the law is law now and if anyone wanted to challenge it, they should have done so sometime in the 43 years before President Trump tried to use it to secure the border. This is correct. It’s the reason why I’m not going to jump up and down blaming President Trump for using a tool in his toolbox that Congress gave him. It’s overreach. That much is certain. But it’s legal overreach.

The fact that it’s legal doesn’t make it right.

The NEA needs to be addressed immediately. Unfortunately, it’s almost certain that it won’t be because now that the President has allegedly opened Pandora’s Box, Democrats are craving the day their president will be able to use it for gun control, abortion, environmental protection, or any other pet projects they might not be able to ram through Capitol Hill. Is it hypocritical of them to try to block this president then defend the next Democratic one? Absolutely. But they don’t care.

Lest we forget, the real bottom line in all of this is that the President and the GOP should have been having the border wall battle with the Democrats long before the midterm elections. Even if he signed off on four or five spending bills to get through the Obamacare battle and tax reform, he should have been putting his foot down long before the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. Why did he wait on his signature campaign promise? I can only imagine Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Jared Kushner, and other squishes gave him very bad advice. Now, he’s forced to fight a battle that likely will not get a significant amount of wall done before the 2020 elections.

He will veto the attempted override of his national emergency by Congress. Then, the legal battles begin. At this point, it behooves conservatives to work towards permanently fixing the NEA.

We need the wall. We need to limit the powers of the NEA. The arguments from the conservative supporters on both sides of this issue are partially right. Now, we’ll see how big the rift between them becomes. It’s not a good day for the GOP.

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Conservatism

American Conservative Movement: Let’s fix the GOP from within

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American Conservative Movement

Nearly three years ago, I decided to be done with the Republican Party. It was a tough decision as a lifelong Republican, but all of the broken promises and fake portrayals of conservative principles during election season made it the only viable option.

What followed was an attempt to build a “new second party.” The failures of every third party in the modern era made me reluctant to back the Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, or any of the tiny conservative iterations, so we set forth to start something new that could take advantage of the internet and mobile technologies in ways the third parties had missed.

After a wonderfully hopeful start, it became clear there would be no way to build a party up to the level it needed to be in order to make an impact today or in the near future. We might as well have named it the Hopefully By 2040 Party; there was no potential to have a say in government before then with a new party.

I watched with interest as Steve Bannon attempted to build a movement that would primary Republicans he deemed unworthy. I didn’t fully agree with the premise as he seemed more bent on putting in old school controversial conservatives instead of finding a new batch of untouchables who could bring conservatism back to the heart of limited-government Republicanism, but it was a good test to see if he could make an impact. He did not.

Then, something strange happened. The Justice Democrats took a hybrid of our plan (getting exceptional citizens outside of government to come into DC with their principles intact) and Bannon’s plan (primary the old guard) and found tremendous success. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a direct product of the Justice Democrats.

What they did and how they did it were bold and effective, but there were problems. They installed pawns. They played with funny money. But if a movement can be established that works from the same basic premises and inserts true conservatives into the offices around the country and in Washington DC, we have a real opportunity to make a difference.

If this sounds similar to what the Tea Party did, that’s because it’s not terribly far off. But among the many problems with the Tea Party was having no clear direction and very poor vetting. Some of the people they installed as “Tea Party Conservatives” ended up becoming establishment Republicans shortly after winning their elections. This is why it’s so important to find patriotic Americans who are in the real world, not politicians who have honed their ability to sound conservative. If my times in Washington DC have taught me anything, it’s that principles are always secondary to the thirst for power.

This is why we need to find people who aren’t interested in being lifetime politicians. We’re not looking for people interested in building their careers in DC. We need people who don’t want to be in politics, but who appreciate the need to get good people behind the desks on Capitol Hill. In other words, we need people who want to fulfill a duty to the Constitution rather than an ambition they want to achieve.

We’ll be making moves as soon as we establish a groundswell of interest. If you believe it’s time to put the right people in office, those who will be servants to Americans and representatives of conservative values, please fill out the form below.

If you believe the GOP has fulfilled their promises, this movement is not for you. If you want conservatism to be more than campaign rhetoric, help us build the American Conservative Movement.

American Conservative Movement

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