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We Must Reject the Political Binary

Are you ready to be manipulated? Are you ready for a dose of good old fashioned emotional blackmail?

If you’re a conservative who’s not a fan of the left-wing extremists in the Democratic Party or the fiscally irresponsible racially divisive Trump-led GOP get ready to receive pressure from all sides.

Most conservatives will tell you that a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump (such as Independent Congressman Justin Amash) will hand the country over to left-wing extremists.

Similarly, many anti-Trumpers like Tom Nichols, don’t want you to back someone like Amash because it will re-elect Trump, “..don’t let anyone – left or right – sell you on a 3rd party run against Trump in 2020. That only helps Trump. “

Whether its Amash or any other conservative Independent who appeals to you, you can expect pressure to pick between the lesser of two evils instead.

They’ll do this by trying to persuade you of absurdities. The most absurd idea is that you are responsible for delivering your vote, the politicians aren’t responsible for winning it. If the Democrats win with less than a Majority, Trump’s propagandists will not blame the fact that they fell into lockstep in renominating a historically unpopular liar whose lack of ethics, and racial divisiveness alienated the country. Instead, they’ll blame Independent voters who backed another candidate over the GOP’s anointed choice. Failing that, they’ll attack the candidate as if he or she were the pied piper of Hamlin.

Similarly, if Trump wins because the Democrats nominate a candidate who can’ t bring themselves to say third-trimester abortions are wrong, favor gun confiscation, and support radical “Medicare for All” plans that will effectively end private insurance, it will be the fault of Independents who wouldn’t vote for their horrible nominee.

Major party politicos love to blame Independent and Third-Party campaigns for their troubles because it serves a dual purpose. First, it allows campaign insiders and party bosses who blew elections to escape blame. Second, it serves to serve as an argument to discourage Independent voting.

Thus, we can understand Democrats who blame Jill Stein and Gary Johnson for their 2016 loss rather than Hillary Clinton running a Presidential campaign that included multiple stops on Broadway but avoided going to Wisconsin. It’s also why Republicans will blame their 1992 loss on Ross Perot despite abundant evidence that Perot wasn’t to blame for Bush’s loss.

It’s an insidious game both parties play that fundamentally flips our Republic on its head. In the next few blog posts, I’ll be talking about how to defeat this binary view of politics.

We Can Do Better, America Now Available for Digital Pre-Order

We Can Do Better America (affiliate link) is now available for pre-order in the Kindle Store.

We Can Do Better, America makes the case for why we need a new conservative party and explains how we can do it.

The e-book will be released on September 16th. The pre-order price is set at only 99 cents. That will increase after the release date. This book will be enrolled in the Kindle Select and Kindle Lending Library program during its initial launch, so Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited subscribers will have a chance to read the book for free. We’ll have more details on the physical book launch soon.

Americans Need a Better Way

I’ve been a critic of Donald Trump and the politics he represents. He’s remained unpopular despite a strong economy. Yet Trump has a fair chance of being re-elected.

You needn’t look any further than the Democratic Party to find out why. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tx.) the brother of Democratic Presidential candidate Julian Castro tweeted out the names of Trump donors in his district and set them up for harassment and intimidation. Democratic Presidential candidates Kamela Harris and Elizabeth Warren suggested that teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson despite the findings of the Obama Justice Department, earning four Pinocchios from the Washington Post’s fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

At the same time, five Democratic Senators including Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) filed a most unusual legal brief in a gun-rights court case. It didn’t argue why the Supreme Court should rule in their favor, but it did threaten the United States Supreme Court with court-packing should they not see things their way. Their argument for court-packing is that the court is “sick” in that it’s not as left-wing as these Senators want.

Over the last two and a half years, Democrats have had an opportunity to be better than the poisonous cruel, divisive, dishonest, corrupt, norm-violating politics of Donald Trump. Instead what Democrats have offered is a different flavor of the poison. We’ve seen a Democratic Party that winks at anti-Semitism in the way Republicans wink at White Nationalism. The Democrats have fully embraced an inhuman abortion rights fanaticism that leads to thunderous applause for laws that allow for abortion right up to the moment of birth.

At the same time, Republican critics of President Trump have failed because all they offer is criticism. Senator Romney or Senator Sasse will stick their heads up and offer criticism of the President but not give Americans an alternate path. They’re not trying to change the Republican Party. They know they can’t. Thus, to those in the party, their criticism comes off as passive-aggressive undermining of the person who’s actually in charge and no one admires that.

Others have chosen a quiet departure. There have been many retirements in the House Republican conference in 2018 and so far in this cycle. Some have publicly said that having to deal with the constant nonsense that President Trump brought to the office was just too much and others have said so privately. Most are too afraid of Trump’s more rabid supporters to speak their mind. That’s not leadership, that’s abdication and political cowardice.

The one person who has shown some leadership is Representative Justin Amash (I-Mi.) He recognized the Republican Party is broken and he left it. However, he’s continuing to fight for what he believes he’s right. He’s still fighting for the Constitution. I’ve expressed my hope that he’ll help start a new political party. Even if he doesn’t, he’s shown far more leadership than anyone in these sorry political times.

Americans desperately need a positive and serious alternative to the toxicity of both President Trump and the Democrats. Without it, the only debate will be over whether Americans end up choosing the best of the two horrible options we’re sure to be given in 2020.

GOP and Democrats Agree To Send Country Further Down Road to Fiscal Ruin

The one thing that can be worse than partisan squabbling is when the two parties come together on something. Neither party has the best interest of the country at heart, so many bipartisan deals are decisions that represent the mutual political interests of the parties rather than the long-term well-being of the American people.

A case in point can be found in the latest deal to increase the debt ceiling:

President Donald Trump and bipartisan congressional leaders clinched a sweeping two-year budget agreement that would produce hundreds of billions in new spending and take the threat of a fiscal crisis off of Washington’s plate for more than two years.

The deal, which came together in a burst of urgency during a period of two weeks amid a steady stream of phone calls Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, would eliminate — for good — the budget caps put into place in 2011 and suspend the debt ceiling until July 31, 2021…

In total, the agreement would lock in a $1.3 trillion budget deal, which includes $320 billion in additional spending over the course of two years. 

The bipartisan agreement means more massive out of control debt and playing kick the can with America’s long-term fiscal problems to get the President and Congress past the 2020 elections.

I’m sympathetic to the idea not raising the debt ceiling would have serious consequences such as default on the national debt or immediate reductions in spending with limited ability to target them. It’d be like a sudden stop of a runaway train or truck and decelerating it immediately from ninety to zero.

However, a sane course of action would be to apply the breaks. Any increase in the debt ceiling should be coupled with efforts to slow down and eventually stop the madness of runaway debt.

This deal serves as another a reminder the Republicans are not the party of fiscal responsibility. Despite promising to eliminate the national debt in 8 years, President Trump was shown the massive increases in the debt coming down soon back in 2017 and responded, “Yeah, but I won’t be here.”

As horrible as the President’s statement was, it’s hard to be too outraged as it reflects the short-term attitude of both parties based on their actions.

What America needs is to have a serious conversation about our priorities and how we get our debt under control. That’s not going to happen until we have a new party that can challenge and compete with the Democrats and Republicans.

Bigotry in Politics

The President tweeted something racist today. I’m not going to get into specifics. Sadly, the specifics won’t matter much for the reason I’ll explain below. This will probably be the only time I will address this on this blog. It really only needs to be talked about once because it’s a repeating cycle.

The responses on the right and left are predictable. Many #NeverTrumpers and reluctant Trump supporters will write and speak out on how wrong what the President said was or at least how foolish it was. The reluctant Trump supporters will wring their hands but will never consider washing them of President Trump.

His fan base will rush to his defense, defend the statement, or try to gaslight us into believing we didn’t read what we just read. They’ll insist President Trump isn’t a racist (as if it matters whether Trump uses racially charged language out of a belief in white supremacy or just to stir up hatred for his own political benefit.)

The morally bankrupt defense of the President will be bolstered when the left responds to the statement in a way that goes massively over the top and leads even those who criticized Trump to remember their anti-anti-Trumpism.

The Left will increase the effectiveness of the “whataboutism” being hurled by Trump fans over the Democrats support for bigots in the distant past and more recent times. Then either a leftist presidential candidate will come up with some extreme policy proposal or President Trump will end the old controversy by starting a new one.

At the end of the day, many people will walk away a little angrier and a little more afraid. Others will shred a little more decency and increase the level of awfulness they’ll put up with to get what they want. While still others will feel a little more depressed and disenchanted with the state of our politics. It’s the slow corrosion of America’s civic soul.

Here, we won’t be participating in this circus. Likewise, the book We Can Do Better, America is about solutions and how we break this cycle. Both major parties have problems with bigots that they refuse to address, whether it’s alt-righters for the Republicans or the left-wing anti-Semites that find an easy home in the Democratic Party.

We need a new conservative party that will welcome Americans from every race, ethnicity, and creed to unite behind the principles of political liberty and limited government. I believe a new party should follow the principles laid out by George Washington in his letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island and give “to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Our focus will be on breaking America’s ongoing destructive cycle.

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