Mandated Vaccine to Fly?

The Epoch Times ran this op-ed on November 30, 2020: ‘Common Pass’ May Open the Door to Loss of Freedom.

Last month, United Airlines tested “[t]he first transatlantic trial of Common Pass, an app that creates a standard digital format for COVID-19 test results.”  Common Pass has been developed by the Commons Project and the World Economic Forum, and the hope is that it will both facilitate travel across borders and provide confidence to passengers that it is safe to fly again. The pass right now reports on a traveler’s COVID test status, but it could easily transition to track vaccination status, and indeed the industry expects it to do just that. The acceptance of these types of apps as a condition to travel is a very slippery slope and they should not be permitted for domestic flights. 

American Mind/Big Tech Imposes European-Style Law in American Jurisdictions, Challenging the Longevity of the First Amendment

My piece below was published by the American Mind on November 29, 2020.

Big Tech has infiltrated the American homeland and is imposing speech laws that resemble those of Europe, challenging the authority and longevity of the First Amendment. Although we share common ideals with other Western nations, we pursue and defend those ideals very differently. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our approach to speech.

It is important to understand how fundamentally different our country is from the rest of the world if we want to understand why Big Tech’s speech codes should not be inflicted on American citizens in American jurisdictions. Put another way, if the would-be monarchs of Silicon Valley get their way, their speech codes will ultimately undermine our American values of free speech and the First Amendment itself.  

The rest of this article is available at The American Mind here.

My Statement on the Conclusion of the Flynn Case & Why I Will Be Stepping Back From Politics for a Time

On November 25, 2020, President Trump issued a full pardon to Michael Flynn. I am thrilled for the Flynns, who are finally free from the nightmare of a government gone rogue and the clutches of a politically motivated court. General Flynn was innocent all along; the government acknowledged it had no case in May; and the fact that the President had to issue a pardon to put an end to the ongoing charade should act as a warning to all Americans that our justice system is in crisis. But today, I want to express my gratitude for being part of the Flynn case and explain why I will be stepping away from political activity, commentary, and analysis for the next nine months.  

The American Mind/Mr. President, Attack.

Published at The American Mind on November 11, 2020.

Does Trump still have a chance? That’s the question that flooded my inbox Saturday after the media called the election for Biden. If there was massive voter fraud, as some Republicans have alleged, Trump absolutely has a path. But only aggressive action on the part of the president and unwavering determination from his supporters will make that path navigable.

Many pro-Trump, nationalist Republicans are confident that Trump has a path because they believe that the Democrats committed fraud and that Trump will prevail in the courts on that basis. Many people have analyzed the election and concluded that the Democrats committed both electronic and manual fraud. They think the turnout was more than the Democrats had planned for, and Trump support was high in demographics they didn’t anticipate. Many who have analyzed the statistics think that this forced the Democrats’ hand and they had to cheat more than they had bargained for, which in turn created both statistical anomalies and even impossibilities in some precincts. I myself have reviewed statistics reports that identify mathematically suspicious counties in swing states.

When all the litigation is said and done, Pennsylvania is almost certainly going to resolve for Trump. Arizona and Georgia, both within reach for the president, are incredibly tight. There will be recounts and lawsuits that determine into which column they ultimately land, and the hope is justice will prevail in every courtroom and case. But courts are uncertain battlegrounds, and judges alarmingly fickle.

The American people who believe that something is not right can help by vociferously demanding election integrity and accountability. The media and the Democrats rushed to proclaim Biden the winner to shift the mood of the country and settle the issue. They did it to cast Biden as the legitimate winner and frame challenges from Trump as despotic resistance or even a coup.

This mood will affect the judiciary. Courts are wary of invalidating votes in the best of times. Judges are people, too. It will be hard to hand down rulings that could result in Trump’s win and, perhaps even more daunting, the shockwaves across the country and the world that would follow. The Trump lawyers will need traction in the courts to win early steps that give them discovery. A national mood demanding answers will make it easier for judges to countenance all these varied suits. So, Americans who want to do something should speak up now, support the president, and demand election integrity.

At the end of the day, though, the only one who can settle this is the president himself. Donald Trump needs to do what he does best, what he did to win in 2016, and what made him such a successful President—he needs to do the unpredictable, the unorthodox, and the aggressive. If the statisticians are right and we are staring in the face of massive election fraud, he needs to attack on every possible front and he needs to do it now. He should launch the necessary suits or investigations that permit him to subpoena election workers; he needs to audit the counties where statisticians have identified suspicious anomalies; he needs a forensics team to examine the code; he needs an investigation of Dominion Voting Systems.

When the Democrats lost in 2016, they launched a two-year investigation into “Russian collusion” that consumed tens of millions of taxpayer dollars, diluted the Trump administration’s focus and energy, and ended in Robert Mueller’s conclusion that there was no collusion between Trump and the Russians. An allegation of an internal, rigged election is far more serious. If true, the foundation of the American Republic has been corrupted and our fundamental right to self-determination and self-government stolen from us. This allegation warrants even more than the onslaught the Democrats unleashed in 2016. If everything is aboveboard, these aggressive efforts will turn up nothing, thus re-establishing trust in our system for 71 million Americans and indeed for many of our friends and allies abroad.

But, if there is fraud, Trump’s full-force assaults should find a weak spot. Breaking through that crack will reveal a scheme that will shock the world. Any other Republican candidate would concede at this juncture—intimidated by the force of the media, the exultant mood of the Left, and the inevitable assault they will unleash if the election swings back to the Right. But Trump is a new kind of Republican.

If the Democrats have indeed committed mass voter fraud, they are in quiet fear of their precarious position. They’ve overplayed their hand and all the president needs to do is attack. The path to victory for Trump himself, to finally exposing the expansive corruption of the Left, and to the restoration of our democratic republic, requires nerve no other politician possesses. If Trump decides to do what every other Republican would flinch from, the Democrats know he will blow their scheme wide open. In this pivotal hour, Donald Trump must not flinch.

Mr. President, sir, let’s finish this.

Photo: Flickr Gage Skidmore

This Is Why Trump Shouldn’t Concede – Hillary Said Not To!

Under no circumstances should Donald Trump concede. He shouldn’t concede because he has not lost yet. Hillary Clinton gave this advice to Joe Biden just before the election:

Hillary Clinton: “Under no circumstances should Joe Biden concede the election…because I think this is going to drag out and, eventually, I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch, and if we are as focused and as relentless as the other side.” There you go. The Democrats and the media are screaming that Trump needs to concede, but in the reverse situation, they would be doing exactly what we are doing, and frankly, they would be more aggressive. Clinton says we are focused and relentless, but that is kind of laughable. Everyone knows that the old Republican Party is neither focused nor relentless; it caves to the Democrats every time, as you can see from the many prominent “Republicans” like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney who are out prematurely congratulating Biden for his media win. 

The Democratic Party beats up on the country club Republicans all the time, but it has never really gone to war with the Nationalist Republicans—with Trump’s MAGA Party. This is our first time the Democrat Party has met the new, Nationalist MAGA Republicans in a pitched battle. I don’t know if we will have the relentless focus to match the Democrats, but if we are going to win, we have to rise to the challenge. So, again my message is be aggressive. 

Let’s run through some other very pertinent stats. 

This was no blue wave. Even if we are not right, and there was no massive fraud (there was, but for the sake of argument) Donald Trump has garnered over 70 million votes right now. In 2016, he only got 62 million. Trump expanded his support from the American people by 8 million votes this year. His support among blacks, Cubans, Hispanics, LGBTQ…all are up this second election cycle. Contrast this to Barack Obama, who garnered 69 million votes when he won in 2008 and only 65 million in 2012. Obama’s support after four years trended down; Donald Trump’s support exploded up. 

But, the fraud is the issue. Democrats spend a lot of time talking about trusting science, so let’s trust some math. According to Richard Baris (@peoples_pundit on Twitter) “we are now approaching, and in some metros will exceed, turnout levels that are comparable to nations where mandatory voting is the law.” He pointed to a BBC article from 2016 titled Vote Rigging: How to Spot the Tell-Tale Signs which said, “You never get a 98% or 99% turnout in an honest election. You just don’t.” BBC said this level of turnout triggered a presumption of fraud. Furthermore, I’ve been watching the reports on the statistics coming in, both for the Trump Team and for Sidney. These are people doing practically round the clock work crunching numbers. The numbers are showing statistical impossibilities. I might get with Wilson and pull together some stats for a post, but it’s also being widely reported on conservative outlets.

The Democrats and the media are trying to engineer this election. Consider that Fox et al called Arizona and Georgia for Biden, where only about 10,000 – 15,000 votes separate the two candidates (and both states will be going to recounts), but the media refuses to call North Carolina for Trump, where the President is up by over 75,000 votes. Can you see how we are fighting media misinformation? It’s extraordinary. The Democrats and the media have made us into a banana republic. 

We aren’t going to give in. 70 million voters are energized and want answers. The Supreme Court said in Bush v. Gore, “the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental; and one source of its fundamental nature lies in the equal weight accorded to each vote and the equal dignity owed to each voter.” The fundamental right to vote is on the line here. Can because if illegal votes are being counted, as we think they are, then our votes no longer carry equal weight. Every American deserves full and aggressive investigation.  

That’s it for now. The key here, though, is that Trump has not conceded because he has not lost yet. He is doing exactly what Hillary Clinton counseled Biden to do if Biden found himself in the same scenario, and we can still win this election. Don’t let the Democrats get away with this level of hypocrisy and don’t let them gaslight you into defeatism. We are marching. This is the moment we will find out the mettle of the MAGA movement. I believe we have the courage and the resolve to finally measure up to the Democrats. If we choose to, we can do it.   

Photo: Flickr Gage Skidmore

The Federalist/There Is No Going Back To ‘Normal’ After Trump; The Republican Party is Changed Forever

Published on The Federalist on October 28, 2020.

Trump is not a Republican.  He never was before, and he is not one now.  As the nation speeds toward November 3rd, Republicans have been all over the board with predictions on the outcome, but some prominent Republicans have been consistently negative about Trump’s prospects and even hopeful for his defeat. This month, Peggy Noonan penned an archetypal anti-Trump piece titled “Biden, Pence and the Wish for Normalcy.” Noonan mused almost longingly that America might be headed toward an unprecedented landslide in favor of Biden. She said that if this happens, one of the primary reasons will simply be “that [Biden] is normal…and people miss normal so much.”  Noonan, like many Republicans who don’t like Trump—both prominent and rank-and-file—wants to go back to normal. The reality is we are never going back to “normal.” The old Republican Party is dead. Trump made a new party, and that is the party of the future. 

In 2016, Trump hijacked the Republican Party. Although billed as Republican, the support propelling him to victory was a new configuration of the electorate. Many mainstream Republicans still don’t understand this, but no other Republican was going to win in 2016. Trump won because he was not actually a Republican.     

Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are in the midst of their own internal civil wars.  The extreme Left-wing of the Democratic party is hurtling toward socialism and the destruction of American values. The Left is shifting into a machine of destruction that isn’t just focused on our statues or the names of military bases, but on destroying the fundamental principles of our country. Indeed, the escalating rhetoric currently employed by the Left historically does not just silence dissent, it eventually seeks to eliminate the dissenters. America is in a struggle not just for its identity, but for its life.  

While the Left remakes itself, the Republican side of the aisle is in the midst of its own struggle. When Trump won the White House, the anti-Trumpers of the Republican Party pivoted on a dime.  For most, it wasn’t a unity move, it was a simple power play and it was survival. Trump won, so the GOP decided to ride that wave. They stacked the White House with their people, promoted mainstream Republicans toward Presidential appointments, and benefited as best they could from the electoral upset, but they never coalesced behind Trump or his new party’s plan for American renewal. Both the Never- and Reluctant-Trumpers are hell-bent on holding out until Trump is out of office to return to the “normal” times for which Noonan yearns. What all Republicans need to realize is the Republican Party—as it was—is dead.  Its leaders lost the GOP’s soul by following globalist policies and pursuing their own personal wealth at the expense of the American people. While those Republicans were busy chasing their own interests and melding into a single ruling elite in Washington, the country and indeed the world, changed. What has come to be in the stead of the GOP, and what will continue to develop, is a new party. Trump is not a fluke president, he unified a movement and formed a new party that will continue on, even after he leaves office. 

The makeup of Trump’s party is new. He didn’t win in 2016 only by motivating greater Republican turnout. Trump flipped voters; he pulled from across the aisle. This excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article provides a striking example: 

“What happened in 2016 is [Trump] got a great many people who had supported Barack Obama and Democrats in the past to vote for him,” Republican strategist Whit Ayres told me earlier this week by phone. “Trumbull County in northeast Ohio is my classic example. Obama beat [Mitt] Romney there by 22 percentage points. Trump beat [Hillary] Clinton there by seven—a 29-percentage-point turnaround. So it was far more changing the allegiance of existing voters rather than generating a substantial turnout of new voters.”

Making this even more clear, after one of his recent rallies in Florida, RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel reported that “31.8% [of attendees] were NOT Republicans. 16.3% were Democrat. 24.4% did not vote in 2016. 14.4% did not vote in the last 4 elections.”

Trump’s new party cuts across traditional party lines and draws from every socio-economic stratum in America. Although Trump’s base remains the strong conservatives who once vitalized the old Republican Party, he has attracted blue collar Democrats, immigrants, and minorities. What unites these people? What are the core values of this new Party of Trump?  

The “Make America Great Again” slogan excellently captures the spirit.  Trump’s party retains the core family values of the old GOP, but with an additional and robust focus on economic nationalism, strong sovereignty and national security, and smart foreign policy. The people in Trump’s party are risk takers and wealth builders, and they truly live the American ideals of independence and free thought. The Party of Trump is composed of people who want to survive and thrive on their own two feet. Trump’s “Promises Made, Promises Kept” theme is a direct repudiation of years of betrayal by Washington elites—years of big social and economic pledges from politicians on the campaign trail followed by inaction or even straightforward betrayal of those promises in D.C. So, the party of Trump is motivated by politicians who don’t just talk, and not even by those who take some action, but by those who actually deliver.  

The people who oppose Trump have something in common, as well. They are predominantly takers. They don’t build; instead, they want the safe route to success.  This type of person is found in every stratum of society, too. From politicians like Joe Biden and Mitt Romney, to the middle-class people with safe corporate jobs who have no skin in the game, to the poor who would rather get a hand-out than a hand up. 

The anti-Trumpers within the Republican Party are working hard against the President and his party. Just last week, the New York Times highlighted the organized elements of this insurgency in the article “The Crowded, Competitive World of Anti-Trump GOP Groups.” Leading the pack are The Lincoln Project (Rick Wilson and George Conway) and the Take Back Our Party Pac, run by Greg Schott, “who sold his business software company to Salesforce in 2018 for a reported $6.5 billion,” and has poured $1 million into targeted ads trying to convince soft-Republicans to vote against Trump. 

The type of Republican who does not believe in Trump does not understand how the world has changed and cannot face the crisis we are now in. They come in one of two flavors: the corrupt, self-interested and the weak. They either want politics to be normal again, because that is when they held power and made money, or they can’t stand up to the assault of the Left (they want to be perceived as having that most-prized virtue of the GOP: gravitas). Most importantly, whichever flavor a Never- or Reluctant-Trumper comes in, neither is a winner; they are both compromisers. They either compromise to advance their own interests at the expense of this country, or they compromise from weakness, flinching from the possibility they’ll be mocked and ridiculed the way Trump is. 

Four years ago, Trump understood something had to change in America, and today it is now clear we are in more of a battle than we ever imagined. The unfolding facts of the elite entrenched bureaucracy’s attempted coup and the radical resolve of the far Left to destroy our institutions, our history, and perhaps us, too, requires a new kind of Republican. Politicians today must be fighters. Although Trump is unique in his style, every politician who successfully follows after him in this new party will need to show Americans that he or she is willing to fight for the good of the nation with the same uncompromising and aggressive resolve. Politicians who can take on our new party’s platform will be winners in America. 

The old Republican Party is dead.  Americans have witnessed the corruption at home and understand the threats we face from abroad, and they see that politics has changed. We cannot go back to “normal” if we want to turn this ship around. Trump’s new party is comprised of people who still believe in the American dream for themselves and for each other, and who are ready to do the difficult work necessary to peacefully but decisively, and without apology or compromise, return this country to its founding principles.  Be wary of the negative assaults of otherwise “good” Republicans and don’t let them get you down.  When the chaos of this current realignment settles, it will be clear that they aren’t in our party. Their party failed America and the world; ours is going to lead America back to prosperity and encourage a global movement toward national sovereignty and freedom. 

Photo: White House Flickr

The Subtle Twists of the Mainstream Media that Rob Americans of Choice

The media lies to and manipulates the American people. In 2012, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote a piece in The New Yorker connecting Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. That’s the same connection the Bush administration was using to argue for the Iraq War. Goldberg’s story was ultimately debunked—long after Americans had deliberated and the die had been cast. So, sometimes the media makes very big, false allegations. But the media is also always gently distorting the truth in day-to-day reporting, and thereby shaping national opinion based on falsehoods. The below snippet is from an article in The Daily Beast, and it is quintessential mainstream media reporting. In an article reporting on the ACB hearings, The Daily Beast said:

This was not an admission. Barrett was making a statement of fact, not expressing an opinion. Barrett made clear to Klobuchar how she defined “super-precedent” in the article. Here is the transcript of Barrett’s point:

The way that [super-precedent] used in the scholarship and the way that I was using it in the article that you’re reading from was to define cases that are so well-settled that no political actors and no people seriously push for their overruling. And I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category. And scholars across the spectrum say that doesn’t mean that Roe should be overruled. But descriptively, it does mean that it’s not a case that everyone has accepted and doesn’t call for its overruling. 

All over mainstream media (e.g. The Washington Post), Barrett’s comments to Klobuchar have been framed as “an admission.” By leaving out the definition that clearly makes her point purely a descriptive one, the media is telling the public that Barrett confessed she is gunning for Roe. This type of subtle twisting is typical of the mainstream media. When every single issue has this type of distorted slant, it deforms our whole society in furtherance of an agenda. 

Remember Goldberg of the Iraq War debacle? He was the author of the anonymously-sourced Atlantic piece alleging Trump has disdain for the military. Every article you read from a mainstream source—whether it is on Trump, police brutality, foreign affairs/China, the Supreme Court—has these sleights of hand that warp the truth and deceive you.  It is ok for Americans to disagree, but Americans deserve the truth so they can freely make up their minds. If you are reasoning from falsehoods, your conclusion is not your own—it has been predetermined by someone else through the manipulation of the facts. Stop swallowing whole what your side of the aisle is telling you and start critically thinking for yourself. Do you hold your views because you reasoned to them from solid premises, or because you were deftly handled by media with an agenda?

Trump Can’t Break His Contract With America

Donald Trump should choose his nominee from the 2016 list—not from the recently expanded list. Republicans all seem to agree that Trump should nominate immediately, but whom he should choose has less consensus. The two front runners are reported to be Judge Amy Coney Barret and Judge Barbara Lagoa. Judge Barrett has widely been assumed to be the likely nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, and between these two women, Trump should nominate Judge Barrett.  Whatever Judge’s Lagoa’s qualifications, she was not on the list in 2016. The President made a promise when he was candidate Trump, he can’t break his word now. 

The President has a contract with America—Trump’s SCOTUS List.  The original list was part of Trump’s pitch to the nation in 2016, when the Supreme Court was one of the primary motivating factors in that election. Trump released the list to the public many months before the election and committed to choose someone from that list if the American people put their trust in him. Americans considered the list and elected Donald Trump to the White House.  The 2016 list of Supreme Court nominees is not just Trump’s list, it has been vetted and ratified at the ballot box by the American people. 

Those persons added to Trump’s list recently—however qualified—are part of his pitch to the American people for the second term.  The expanded list is Trump’s proposed contract, which I have every expectation the nation will accept, but it is not the contract under which we are operating now. If Trump were to choose someone only recently added to his expanded list, it would be substantively the same as straying from the list in 2018 to nominate someone not on the list—Trump would be breaking the contract. He would be breaking the promise he made to choose a nominee from the list he presented to voters in 2016.  Should another vacancy arise on the Supreme Court during his second term, the expanded list could be used, but until the election, anything but a choice from his 2016 list is a breach. 

Trump should ignore anyone who is unwisely urging him to consider his electoral prosects.  He will take Florida regardless, and the President’s power to choose the nominee for the Supreme Court should be above politics. 

The nation, both Trump’s supporters and haters, have expected Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s replacement to be Barrett for some time now, and she has been doubly approved by the American people.  She is on the original 2016 list, so the country accepted her when it agreed to its contract with Trump, but they reaffirmed that choice when, in 2018, voters expanded the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate. In a surprise move, Trump should pivot from his penchant for unpredictability, and nominate Barrett, because with that choice he carries with him the full force of the American electorate. 

Additionally, Republicans shouldn’t stop playing hardball—we should press the advantage and protect our nominee. With Barrett, the ghastly abuse that is the confirmation process right now can be mercifully streamlined. Because everyone knew Barrett was the likely replacement for Ginsburg, she received a SCOTUS level scorching from the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017, where her Catholic faith provoked the Democrats to attempt an unconstitutional religious litmus test.  Barrett should only have to go through a very quick day of hearings and the nomination should be put to a vote. 

Donald Trump made a contract with America.  Although an updated contract is pending review and acceptance, we are still operating under the terms proposed and agreed upon in 2016.  Promises made, promises kept is more than a slogan, it is a reality that has fueled Trump’s stratospherically successful first term, it will propel him to the White House, and it will Make America Great Again in a second term.  He can’t stop now, right at the eleventh hour. Donald Trump vowed to choose a nominee from the 2016 list, and he should nominate Amy Coney Barret to the High Court.  

Why A Conservative Can (And Should) Defend Trump’s 1776 Commission EO

In recent weeks, Donald Trump has made clear his intention to counter subversive and seditious programs in public schools across the nation, and I want to make sure—very quickly and briefly—that conservatives understand that we can wholeheartedly support this effort without compromising our stance for limited government and respect for our system of federalism and states’ rights.  

Yesterday (September 17th), Donald Trump announced his intention to sign an executive order to create the 1776 Commission that will promote patriotism in education.  This initiative will be tasked with countering the subversive and frankly seditious 1619 Project launched by radical Leftists and the New York Times

A lot of conservatives think we have to be entirely hands-off.  They think that because education is a state issue (and I fully support it remaining a state issue), the federal government and the President have no role. They are wrong. In a recent Supreme Court case, Justice Thomas made some simple points that are important to consider in light of this debate. 

The case was Agency for Int’l Development v. Alliance for Open Society Int’l, Inc. (Yes, Soros) Soros’ group challenged a government policy that requires foreign organizations to articulate a public stance against prostitution and sex trafficking to receive federal funds from one of our aid programs. 

The Court determined that *foreign* organizations (here, Soros affiliates) must comply with this policy or forego the U.S. funding. Justice Thomas wrote a concurrence in which he made an excellent point that is good to consider in the context of this dust up about the 1776 Commission.

Thomas said: “’The First Amendment does not mandate a viewpoint-neutral government.’ Thus, the Government may require those who seek to carry out federally funded programs to support the Government’s objectives with regard to those programs. After all, the Constitution itself ‘impos[es] affirmative ideological commitments prerequisite to assisting in the government’s work.’ It excludes viewpoints such as communism and anarchism, stating that those engaged in government work must swear an oath to support our Constitution’s republican form of government. See Art. VI, cl. 3.” (internal citations omitted). 

Thomas makes very good sense. The states accept a lot of money from the federal government, and comply with the various requirements that Congress attaches in order to receive those funds (hello, South Dakota v. Dole in which SCOTUS held that highway funds can be conditioned on a drinking age of 21–every state complied). Public schools receive federal funds. The idea that America has to stand by while public schools teach our children to hate their own country is suicidal and downright insane. We don’t have to fund seditious programs; we can mandate pro-America curricula.

Throughout this whole debate is the underlying reality that, as a society, we have lost the idea of objective truth. People no longer think they can make a definitive judgment on what is right and what is wrong. That’s a terrible error. We have to have the courage to make real judgments again and defend our principles.  I am very proud of President Trump for taking this step, because all our efforts are in vain if the next generation thinks this country and its Constitution are oppressive and evil.  Let’s support Trump in this and help him defend the Constitution.