Author: Josh Hughes

Trump’s Border Wall is Another of his Broken Promises

By Josh Hughes | United States

On Tuesday, President Trump and Democratic leaders met in the White House to discuss funding for the border wall. However, the conversation did not go well for either side. Rather than coming to a compromise, both sides kept at a standstill. The president, meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, reiterated how adamant he is about funding for the wall. In fact, he stated that if he did not get $5 billion in funding by the December 21 deadline, the government would shut down.

Despite this threat, the details of the shutdown are not the most important issue here. The part that sticks out the most is that President Trump failed on yet another promise. He has been doing this from the start of his political career. Unlike most politicians, he ran on an often “non-political” ticket. That’s not to say he didn’t run on important issues, but the way he went about addressing them was something many people were unaccustomed to. He was proudly “politically incorrect,” and portrayed himself as a candidate who wouldn’t be like other politicians. Now, nearly two years into his term, he has failed in coming through on many of his campaign promises, despite having a Republican majority in both houses of Congress until the midterms.

Broken Promises

During the president’s campaign, he repeatedly said the United States was going to build a wall across its southern border. He also emphasized a desire to make Mexico pay for it. Two years in, there is no wall, and now he is asking taxpayers to fund his wall. Whether or not the wall is a good idea is up to the reader to decide, but the fact that he has not kept a promise is alarming, but not surprising.

During the campaign, Trump also said that he would balance the budget, and “do it fairly quickly.” On the contrary, the federal deficit is increasing and has neared one trillion dollars. It is unlikely this trend will change in the future, either. The national debt is also continuing to grow.

During the campaign, Trump heralded himself as a champion of gun rights. Many conservatives were relieved that the war on the Second Amendment would be over after the Obama administration. Trump and the NRA struck a friendship that, to many, seemed to usher in an age of complete gun freedom. Yet, he has only stripped gun rights away, recently announcing a ban on bump stocks. Minor restrictions are slippery slopes that lead to the further erosion of rights.  

The List Continues

Other examples of promises broken by President Trump include not taking vacations, pushing for Congressional term limits, pursuing charges against Hillary Clinton, cutting Common Core standards, and defunding Planned Parenthood.

President Trump promised many things that sounded good to conservatives and libertarians. Despite this, he has failed to come through on most of them. With Democrats taking control of Congress in 2019, it will be tough for his promises to pass, even if he wants them to. They simply will face heavy compromises. It will be interesting to see what plan he chooses to finish the last two years of his term, but hope for actions favoring liberty is quite low.


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What Americans Should Learn From the Yellow Vests

Josh Hughes | United States

Over the past few days, many French citizens have staged a countrywide protest over the heightened taxes that plague many of the country’s poor, as well as the national government’s disinterest in the lower and middle class. Over the course of three weeks, they have gotten the new gas tax suspended and have captured the attention of not only their own leaders and countrymen but of the world. That’s right: the movement has gone international, earning the name “European Spring”.

The protest has reached the ears and hearts of libertarians around the world. As of now, the future of the movement is uncertain, but their actions, solidarity, and results have been impressive, to say the least. If Americans were to follow their lead (just as the French followed the American Revolution with one of their own), many productive changes could occur.

Starting Like the Yellow Vests

One of the perks of the French protest is there were hundreds of thousands of reformists in one area with one common goal: to be seen and heard. The liberty movement in America is a mess with no clear goals or direction.

The Libertarian Party, from the local chapters up to the national organization, need to unite under one banner: change. Whether the change is social or fiscal does not matter; what’s important is that all levels are consistent. A federal legalization of marijuana, prison reform, and lowering of taxes are many popular places to begin, however.

How to Make the State Listen

The Yellow Vests found a great way for those in power to listen: refusal to be ignored. While the destruction of the property of others isn’t ideal (nor in line with libertarian beliefs), marching in large numbers is a good start. Marches on Washington and other state capitals demanding prison reform or drug legalization could do a lot in terms of encouraging change in America.

One major weakness among Americans is their lack of involvement in politics. Many that are knowledgeable neglect to put hands-on effort into the movement. Beginning the protests is the hardest part. Once there is momentum, more people will join in.

Why We Must Strike Now

The Yellow Vests have inspired a resistance in the world, against tyranny and oppression. Now is the time to take action. Now is the time for those who think they can extort us to hear our voices. The country and the world are moving towards authoritarianism at an alarming rate. If we cannot completely stop the government, it is the duty of the people to contain it. This occurs by holding them accountable and making sure they hear the voice of the people.

When all that’s in the media and culture is socialism or neoconservatism, that’s what we get. Libertarians, minarchists, anarcho-capitalists, and all those involved in the liberty movement need to be a part of this. In order to have results, there must be solidarity and unity.

If the people of the United States don’t make changes soon, the country is destined to fall even deeper into authoritarian tyranny. The Yellow Vests are leading the way by standing up for their individual needs and rights, refusing to let the government take advantage of them. It’s in the best interest of all liberty-loving Americans to fight for their rights. Do something today. Make a difference for good.


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The Libertarian Party Won’t Win, and Here’s Why

By Josh Hughes | United States

In 2018 alone, a sizable 833 Libertarian candidates ran for various offices in the election. From school board seats to national races, the party had many solid chances to grow this year. However, they only managed 27 victories. Depending on one’s perspective, that may be a success, especially including prosperous losses such as Larry Sharpe’s in New York.

On the pessimistic side, however,  3.4% of candidates winning their respective elections, with the overwhelming majority of the spots being relatively non-partisan such as “Soil Conservation Board” and “School District Board,” isn’t exactly a huge accomplishment for the liberty movement. 2018 was a prime opportunity for the Libertarian Party to make gains. But with this defeat, they will likely now have to wait until at least 2022, as voters are more likely to vote for the two major parties during the presidential election.

With all of this being said, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the status of the LP. Since its conception in 1971, the party has yet to consistently be a factor in any meaningful elections. While this isn’t entirely the party’s fault, it is certainly startling.

Poor Recognition

Unfortunately, the two party system has periled the fringe third party for its entirety. While their platform is certainly appealing to many on the right and left, many do not know about it. The sad reality is that the Libertarian Party simply doesn’t have the funding to advertise on the same scale as the Republicans or Democrats. From not being able to debate during the presidential election, to not being able to fund commercials for races, the party will frankly never be a contender if they don’t get access to more money.

Poor Reputation

People who know just a little about the party usually know one thing: “Didn’t their presidential candidate not know what Aleppo was?” The inept leadership and not-so-great candidates they choose to run usually shed a terrible image of what the party really stands for. What’s more, the party has moved more to the left recently. Taking the stance of open immigration and a very noisy anti-Trump policy certainly will not help draw in right-wing voters on the fence.

Another reason voters will be apprehensive is an unfortunate byproduct of America’s voting system. Unlike in a system of alternative voting, where voters can rank candidates without fear of wasting a vote, the U.S. only allows one vote. Suppose a Democratic candidate has 45% of support in a race, a Republican has 40%, and a Libertarian has 15%. Hypothetically, a majority of the 15% of LP voters, if given the choice between the two, would rather a Republican win than a Democrat.

Knowing the Libertarian candidate won’t win with only 15% of the vote, the voters often compromise their beliefs and vote for the Republican rather than let the Democrat win. In this instance, the Republican wins. However, the Libertarian supporters still aren’t satisfied because neither party matches their views. This idea of “choose the lesser of two evils or waste your vote, possibly helping a worse candidate win” is a horrible flaw in America’s system, and largely contributes to the unpopularity of third parties.

The Unfortunate Reality

As good of an idea as the Libertarian Party is, it frankly can’t win. The system makes it virtually impossible for any third party to be a major contender. Voters see (R) or (D) next to a candidates name and will make their choices based on that. “Libertarian” simply doesn’t have the name recognition or funding to compete. The best course of action for liberty-minded individuals, at least for now, would be to run as independents or liberty-minded Republicans, such as Austin Petersen of Missouri. Running on the Republican ticket without compromising one’s values is the best way to start winning major elections for the liberty movement. 


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Charging Assange is a Terrible Idea, and Here’s Why

By Josh Hughes | United States

The federal government has inadvertently named WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a court filing in an unrelated case. The naming of Assange appears to have been by accident, as the charges came up on the file for a man charged with sex crimes. But, this shows that the Justice Department has his name on file and has likely charged him in a secret case. A spokesman for the attorney’s office simply stated that the filing was an error, while the FBI has declined the comment at all. The whole affair seems very secretive and mysterious, and for good reason. Assange has been a Justice Department target for some time now. Assange has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since August of 2012. Without a doubt, his extradition and trial in the U.S. are important to many people of both major parties.

WikiLeaks and those associated with it are often accused of violating the Espionage Act of 1917. It is a wordy document, but it basically makes it illegal to leak classified documents or anything else to the detriment of the United States, specifically in wartime. WikiLeaks has been in the news quite a bit over the past decade for releasing many notable pieces. These include documents about CIA spying, war crimes, and U.S. atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, however, they have made international news for the involvement in the alleged Russian hacking of the DNC’s emails in the 2016 presidential election.

Charging Assange: A Dark Move

Would pressing charges against the organization and Assange be a good thing for the U.S. to do? In a time when the current administration is under heavy fire for limiting the press and making the media the enemy, perhaps it would be best to lay off such outlets whose sole intent is to provide transparency. WikiLeaks and Assange did nothing wrong; their sole crimes are the exposure of government crimes.

How could anyone, especially from a party that claims to support government transparency, support the arrest of a man and an organization who does just that? In times like these, perhaps suppression of the media isn’t the way to go. Admittedly, the government would never encourage hackers, leakers, and other whistleblowers. However, it may be more beneficial to drop the charges and continue to let Assange operate out of his base in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. To be fair, WikiLeaks has never been partial or partisan, exposing both left and right wing issues.

With the election of right-leaning Lenin Moreno as president of Ecuador, Assange may be facing an uphill battle. Extradition is a very tough case, one Assange has promised to fight. For the time being, he is safe, but officials in the embassy have begun to be stricter towards him. He has not left the embassy in months. The near future will be interesting to follow with the WikiLeaks foundation. The loss of Assange would be a huge blow to the liberty movement. For now, all one can do is hope for his safety. 


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Be on the Lookout for Gun Grabbers

By Josh Hughes | United States

The attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 27, marked another link in a long chain of American mass shootings. While the horrendous act of bigotry was one America will not soon forget, especially those of the Jewish community, it is imperative to not let the rhetoric of both the left and the right make the nation susceptible to giving up the rights that the people hold dear.

With the attack coming so close to the midterm elections, politicians and the media are sure to make a late push calling for “common sense” gun laws. Do not be tricked by their appeals, as this is simply code for “infringement of your rights.” You see, there is no such thing as a reasonable gun law. According to the Constitution, any law made that restricts your right to carry or own firearms in any form is an infringement. On top of that, most real patriots would agree that they don’t need a 230-year-old document to tell them that they can carry in opposition to their government. Rather, one carries because they know what is right and are aware of how best to defend themselves from their government.

It is likely that within the next few years, pressure from other countries and certain citizens will force the US government to heavily restrict or ban guns altogether. In some communities, total gun confiscation has already started. In others, it is nearly impossible to obtain a gun or a license. But this isn’t just a product of the left. The president, Donald Trump, along with the NRA, has called for a ban on bump-stocks for semi-automatic rifles. It is interesting that the alleged champion of the firearms-bearing right wing is now proposing that a law should be put in place that would regulate how gun owners would be able to carry. This is proof that government tyranny is not a partisan issue, and either side will jump at the chance to take away the freedoms of the people.

One day in the next few years, when the police come knocking on your door demanding that you turn over your guns to them, you will have a choice. By this time it is fairly obvious that you will no longer be able to cite your constitutional right to carry. While the piece of paper from the 18th century will not be able to help you here, this is a scenario the founders were wary of and wanted to make sure the people were prepared for it.

When they come, and they will, it will be your duty to resist. You will have to resist for the protection of your nation. You will have to resist for the protection of your community. You will have to resist for the protection of your family. You will have to resist for the protection of yourself. To give in is to submit to tyranny, and that is a hole that is impossible to crawl out of. Will there be bloodshed? Almost undoubtedly. Would there be a potential for a total war? Definitely. The future of the country is coming to a polarizing fork. Soon, “Republican versus Democrat” won’t matter. It will become “free individuals versus the government.” The fight won’t be an easy one, but it’s of utmost importance to not give in. As Patrick Henry famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” As Frederick Douglass said, “It is better to die a free man than to live as a slave.”


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