Category: Politics

Politics

Trump’s Treason

By Craig Axford | United States

Treason is a word that will send many rushing to Google to look up the legal definition of the term. But excessive legalism can get in the way of describing certain actions accurately. Synonyms include betrayal and faithlessness, both of which can easily apply whether or not a prosecutor feels confident of being able to clear the high bar we rightly set to convict people of such serious crimes within a court of law.

When our presidents and other politicians raise their right hand and take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, we are not insisting upon a particular partisan or ideological interpretation of that document. Nor should we expect everyone to agree that our leaders are always interpreting it correctly. However, we are, or at least should be, demanding that they take the Constitution seriously.

The evidence that Donald Trump has never taken this responsibility remotely to heart is now so abundant that it requires a complete disregard for reason, regular recourse to conspiracy theories, and assertions of “fake news” on the part of his defenders to justify his actions. It’s tempting to end this article right here with the words enough said, and publish it. But if one is committed to making a serious case for treason that simply will not do.

To begin down that road let’s consider the by now well-established fact, which even the White House makes no serious attempt to deny, that Donald Trump insists upon only short bullet-pointed briefing papers. That even these cursory shallow analyses of what’s going on domestically and globally are not discussed at length, let alone absorbed, could be dismissed on the grounds Trump is merely too stupid to truly understand the nuances and history behind the information being presented to him. If this were, in fact, the case, his removal from office could simply be justified on the grounds he is incapable of carrying out the job.

But stupidity provides us with a reason to pity the president, not accuse him of betrayal. A lack of intelligence would still leave open the possibility that Donald Trump is a man who cares but is merely in over his head. To at least some degree this version of reality could easily be mitigated if Trump surrounded himself with people of greater intelligence and expertise who could educate and advise him. This would, of course, require a certain humility and willingness to listen. Even someone of incredibly average intelligence could and likely would if they somehow found themselves burdened with the responsibility of leading the United States, find considerable relief through delegation and deferral to smarter well-intentioned men and women possessing more familiarity with the workings of government.

Whatever Trump’s level of intelligence, humble and willing to listen he is not. President Trump has made explicit his attitude toward experts and general lack of interest in books or lengthy reports. A Washington Post article about his reading habits published shortly before he received his party’s nomination put his view of the written word this way:

He said in a series of interviews that he does not need to read extensively because he reaches the right decisions “with very little knowledge other than the knowledge I [already] had, plus the words ‘common sense,’ because I have a lot of common sense and I have a lot of business ability.”

Of course, not being an avid reader, or really much of a reader at all does not rise to the level of treason. It doesn’t even necessarily make you unqualified to be president. As the Washington Post article also points out, Trump wouldn’t be the first president that preferred short documents or to receive their information orally. But, as the historian Alan Lichtman pointed out, “Trump is really something of an outlier with this idea that knowing things is almost a distraction. He doesn’t have a historical anchor, so you see his gut changing on issues from moment to moment.”

The glee Donald Trump takes in his lack of curiosity is disconcerting in a citizen, but negligent in a country’s chief executive. For example, to willfully resist detailed briefings, preparation, or advice in any form in advance of a summit either with allies or adversaries rises to a level of irresponsibility that transcends merely being uninformed or apathetic. It is at this point that the oath taken on Inauguration Day to “faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” (emphasis added) becomes central to the claim that treason is the word that best describes the president’s attitude.

This isn’t a debate about learning styles. If charts, graphs, and pictures enable a president to absorb information better than lengthy briefing books, or if a president prefers to surround him/herself with people with diverse opinions and have a debate regarding the pros and cons of all the various policy options and never actually reads a word, we must still concede an effort is being made to receive and consider at least some of the relevant information. This president, however, goes out of his way to avoid even that level of engagement.

But Trump’s approach to acquiring and processing information is only the first plank in the case for treason, and it’s the weakest. To get to the crux of the argument we must confront his approach to the truth.

Every president has gotten caught misspeaking, and at one time or another, it’s safe to say they’ve all given in to the temptation to mislead or engage in spin in order to promote legislation or policy that they support. But as the philosopher Harry Frankfurt points out in his famous essay On Bullshit, “The liar is inescapably concerned with truth-values. In order to invent a lie at all, he must think he knows what is true.”

In other words, though we may disapprove we can still take an odd sort of comfort from a president that is lying to us because he/she must care about the truth and make some effort to learn what it is, or at least what he/she believes it to be, in order to create the lie. In addition, a president and his/her staff will typically attempt to justify the lie, if only to themselves, on national security or greater good grounds. Whether the justification they come up with is right or wrong can be left to history to decide, but there is usually at least some concern at that moment with how the lie might be morally evaluated should it be revealed. So a liar, whether they are president or not, is concerned with the truth and with morality, even if only for the purpose of better covering his/her own ass. A liar has an agenda and has rationalized that agenda as an end that justifies the means.

None of this is true of the bullshitter. Harry Frankfurt argues that what differentiates the liar from the bullshitter is what each is attempting to deceive us about:

This is the crux of the distinction between him [the bullshitter] and the liar. Both he and the liar represent themselves falsely as endeavoring to communicate the truth. The success of each depends upon deceiving us about that. But the fact about himself that the liar hides is that he is attempting to lead us away from a correct apprehension of reality; we are not to know that he wants us to believe something he supposes to be false. The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no central interest to him; what we are not to understand is that his intention is neither to report the truth nor conceal it. This does not mean that his speech is anarchically impulsive, but that the motive guiding and controlling it is unconcerned with how the things about which he speaks truly are. (Emphasis in bold added)

Not all presidential lies represent treason, but the pervasive shoveling of presidential bullshit always does. That’s because bullshit represents something worse than a lie: it represents a complete lack of concern for what is actually true. When our leaders take their oath of office, they commit themselves to hold a certain minimum level of regard for the truth. They cannot “faithfully execute” their offices without it. National security concerns, or even just political maneuvering to win a vote, might possibly explain or justify a lie. But nothing can justify a complete disregard for what the truth is when you’ve sworn to defend the values enshrined in your country’s primary legal document. A leader can be forgiven for not understanding or finding the truth, but not for adopting a posture of indifference toward it.

Bullshit requires the bullshitter to make a lack of curiosity his/her primary value. If an effort to intentionally undermine the Constitution or give aid and comfort to an enemy constitutes treason, it can hardly be argued that a consistent lack of concern for what the Constitution actually says and total disregard for what might qualify as aid and comfort to any given enemy isn’t as well, at least in so far as this represents the attitude adopted by a president or other high-ranking government official. The difference is only that the former serves as an example of a specific willful act of betrayal while the latter represents a general ongoing betrayal without regard to circumstance.

Perhaps all Trump’s BS is just a smokescreen. Maybe it’s just intended to distract us from his real criminal or treasonous acts: ones that involve collusion with Russia and/or self-enrichment at the public’s expense. But if Trump’s bullshit is part of a plot to hide something else that’s going on, it’s not really bullshit. At least, not if we’re using Frankfurt’s definition. Using BS to distract us is more reminiscent of a magician drawing our attention away from the real slight of hand taking place elsewhere in order to create the illusion something has vanished into thin air. The magician, like the liar, is aware of what’s really happening and intentionally attempts to trick us into seeing something else.

Trump’s treason is more dangerous than the more familiar betrayal committed to advance an ideology or to get rich. His treason is best described as an embrace of nihilism. It constitutes a complete betrayal of the very idea of truth as well as a total indifference for either the United States in particular or the world generally. It is disruption for its own sake. Authoritarianism is desirable not on ideological grounds, but because it is a means to achieve a world where bullshit can be practiced without checks. To call Donald Trump a fascist is to attribute to him a kind of worldview, which gives him too much credit.

We struggle with how best to resist men like Trump because the vacuousness of it all is outside almost every human’s experience. Few of us can even begin to imagine it is possible for a human mind to float so free not only from what is true but from concern for what is true. A man that can stand there and tell us with a straight face that he is the only Republican to win Wisconsin in more than 70 years is perhaps ignorant of the truth or perhaps a liar. But a man that can do it over and over again in spite of being repeatedly corrected in the media is simply reminding us that his power lies in his capacity to ignore reality entirely.

Donald Trump does not merely baffle us with his bullshit. He mesmerizes us with it. The claim that his Inauguration Day crowds were the largest ever isn’t about promoting a lie. It’s about demonstrating to us how he can look at the exact same pictures as everyone else and without hesitation, shame, or probably even much extra mental effort claim to see people that aren’t even there. Immediately people begin to diagnose and to rationalize as if he cared whether or not he was suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder or some other psychopathology. Take him seriously but not literally. No no, take him literally but not seriously. Before we know it nonsense has become the national language and we have become as unanchored from history and values as the president. As a consequence, the nation itself begins to die.

Debating civility in the face of nihilism on this scale is like debating the proper response to a black hole. The only thing we can do is avoid the event horizon. Because where that is isn’t exactly clear, the best course of action is to steer as far away from it as possible.

Some may argue it is not polite to label such complete disregard for the truth treason. What do we call it then? I’ll happily call it something else provided the word we use communicates with moral clarity the danger living too near the edge for too long poses.

Others argue we do not want to get down into the mud and wrestle with Trump and his supporters. This, they say, will only leave us as dirty as they are. To these people, words like treason will only sully those that utter them while serving to embolden his most ardent supporters.

This kind of thinking is a form of denial. It assumes we have not yet achieved a national volume of mudslinging to get everyone good and dirty, or that cleanliness will be restored to the rest of the country once someone turns on the mid-term or 2020 showers and washes all this filth away with a Democratic victory. Or perhaps people believe that Robert Mueller will be able to wipe us clean using the pages of his eventual report to Congress.

All of that may be necessary but none of it is sufficient. We are facing a challenge not just to our values, but to the very idea of values. This storm will not clear simply by winning an election or impeaching a president. Nihilism never relinquishes until it has been utterly rejected.

America needs a zero-tolerance policy not at its borders but within them. Enlightenment democratic principles rest upon the idea that shared human values are real. They are aspirational, to be sure. As such they are flexible enough to expand to include more people and a greater diversity of thought, but they are not relativistic. The absence of bullshit, particularly in our leaders, is not a luxury. If we are to remain true to our principles it must be seen as a necessity.

Traditionally treason has represented a line that is crossed by the intentional betrayal of one’s country. That’s not a line we should ignore. However, we shouldn’t kid ourselves by thinking there’s nothing beyond it. Donald Trump has shown us there is considerable territory on the other side.

We don’t yet know with certainty whether Trump or members of his campaign engaged in a conspiracy to steal an election, but we do know he has abandoned the very idea of truth and the very notion of values. That’s more than enough to condemn him. Ultimately there can be no treason greater than this within a society committed to human rights and the rule of law. Each additional day we mince our words and dither about the presence of this human moral void in our midst we are one day closer to the event horizon. We cannot risk finding out too late we have already crossed it.


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Austin Petersen Is Bitcoin’s Best Chance In Congress

By Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

We are less than a month away from Missouri’s GOP primary on August 7th, and Austin Petersen is standing strong behind his support for Bitcoin and alternative currencies. Following an open-faced attack on Bitcoin from Representative Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Petersen promised to “stop cryptocurrency regulation” if he is elected to the United States Senate.

Petersen is a long time cryptocurrency advocate who ran for president as a Libertarian in 2016. He is now at the end of a heated primary race against Josh Hawley, the sitting Attorney General of Missouri. Hawley has had to battle off Petersen’s determined grassroots campaign along with questions from both the state GOP and the national media who have spotlighted Hawley for his ineptitude and lack of interest in the primary campaign. Petersen has seen a major wave of youth support that has enabled his campaign to reach tens of thousands of Missourians through phone calls and knocking on doors in the past few months alone.

This isn’t the first time that Petersen has made headlines in the cryptocurrency community. His campaign began taking Bitcoin donations through BitPay (here) last summer and in February, Petersen received the largest Bitcoin donation ever made to a US political campaign at the time: 0.284 BTC, which was then valued at $4,500 USD. Three months later, his campaign was gifted a stunning $250,000 dollars worth of Bitcoin that the team had to return due to Federal Election Committee (FEC) rules.

Speaking with CCN last year, Austin Petersen elaborated on how his limited government stance on the American financial infrastructure has instructed support for open market cryptocurrency conditions:

Bitcoin’s disruptive influence is just what our financial system needs at this time. For too long, the federal government has had exclusive control over currency, stymying competition and growth by falsely limiting consumer choice — a fact we would all be aware of were the Federal Reserve subject to the same kind of audits privately-held companies are. Cryptocurrency represents the future of American creativity and American liberty, and I’m delighted to accept campaign donations in this form.

An atypical politician, Petersen has been banned from Facebook twice for raffling off donated AR-15’s to his campaign. He is a devoted supporter of the 1st and 2nd Amendments of the Constitution. This is evidenced by his pro-gun commercial titled “no compromise” that has been airing all over Missouri televisions recently. His limited government message of less bureaucracy and more freedom makes him one of the most exciting candidates that America has seen in the last half-century. Crypto has always been an outsider economic revolution and Petersen is a political one. That it would be a farm boy from the plains of Missouri to lead the cryptocurrency charge into the beltway seems in many ways fitting.

Petersen represents the first American generation of crypto-conscious politicians. While there are a few crypto advocates in Congress today, none have been so vocal and open in their support for alternative currencies and blockchain technology. Petersen has, again and again, recognized the artistic, cultural and economic liberties that are the heart and soul of the Bitcoin community and his insightful knowledge of United States monetary policy makes him an eloquent defender of the sector. His pro-capitalism ideology is rooted in a strict, hands off interpretation of government’s role in a citizens life that champions innovative financial networks like Bitcoin instead of demonizing them. All of this makes him a natural fit in the new currency scene which emphasizes privacy, liberty and peaceful transactions by free market standards.

If Petersen can triumph over Hawley his campaign has polled strongly against Democrat incumbent Claire McCaskill for the general election in November. To learn more about Austin Petersen’s campaign, you can find his candidate website at the link below:
https://www.austinpetersen.com/


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Pussy Riot Invades World Cup Pitch

Spencer Kellogg | @TheNewTreasury

“We live in a country that can do away with a person” -Nadezhda Tolokonnikova 

Four members of the Russian punk band and anarchist protest art group Pussy Riot are being held in a Russian prison tonight after they ran onto the field during the second half of the World Cup Final between Croatia & France. In a sight that stunned viewers and saw players pushing and grabbing at the dissenters, three women and one man were hurried off the field as President Putin watched on from the boxes above.

For fans of soccer around the world, it was a confusing and frustrating moment that broke up tense action in the 52nd minute of play. But to those who have watched Pussy Riot gain notoriety for their public acts of protest, this was the culmination of a roughly decade-long chain of demonstrations that have demanded free speech, LBTQ rights, and shown direct vocal opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pussy Riot claimed responsibility for the protest on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

https://twitter.com/KevinRothrock/status/1018551542302101505

The group first made headlines on February 12th, 2012 when they broke into Saviour Cathedral in Moscow and proceeded to perform a “punk prayer” in front of the altar. Three of the women were arrested on charges of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison which they described as endless humiliation upon release.

They would find the media spotlight again when they attempted to perform in front of an Olympic sign at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. In a video that went viral around the world, Russian Cossacks used horsewhips to attack the members of Pussy Riot for exercising their speech. Two members were arrested on charges of theft but were released in hopes of assuaging what had been sustained criticism from journalists regarding free speech rights in Russia ahead of the games.

Of all the protests that Pussy Riot have organized, this was by far their most prolific yet. In front of a relaxed looking Vladimir Putin, Pussy Riot again used the global stage to point out the lack of free speech and religious tolerance in their home country. On their 2014 appearance with Charlie Rose, Maria Alyokhina explained the group’s philosophy: “[Putin] is a person that built his power through the power of fear… Attempts to intimidate us don’t have any result because we don’t want to operate in the system. We want to create a new system where the priority is given to freedom and truth.”

Teenage star Kylian Mbappe gave one of the protestors a high five before she was driven to the ground by security.

71 Republic’s staff will be following this story as it develops and heads to trial.


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President Trump, a Week in Review: Interview, Boris Johnson, More

By Evan Pereira | Republic of Ireland

President Trump has been busy this week, dealing with Mueller’s Special Counsel, the drama regarding NATO and the Summit in Brussels and last but not least, his visit to the United Kingdom. Perhaps his trip to the UK could clear his mind and act as a bit of a stress reliever. But based on the events of Friday the 13th, it appears this did not occur.

A Heated Agreement

In an interview with the British tabloid newspaper, The Sun on Thursday evening, the President harshly criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s ’12 Point’ plan for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union (in layman terms, Brexit). President Trump stated that it would ‘kill’ the trade deal between the United Kingdom and the United States. The President also claimed he advised May to avoid a ‘soft Brexit’ deal, alleging that she “didn’t listen”.

Yet, it was only in June 2016 that then-candidate Trump was unaware of the meaning of Brexit. While in an interview with The Hollywood Reporters Michael Woolf, he uttered “Huh?” when Woolf prompted him with the question “And Brexit? Your position?”. Woolf then reminded him about the meaning of Brexit before Trump voiced his support of the Leave campaign.

“If they do a deal like that, we would be dealing with the European Union instead of dealing with the UK, so it will probably kill the deal.”  — President Trump critiquing PM Theresa May’s ’12 Point’ Brexit Plan

News sources across the world, from the Indian Express to the Washington Post, have joined in their condemnation of Trump’s comments. Some went so far as calling them a “chaotic roadshow” or “Brexit bomb”.

Theresa May’s Replacement?

Along with dishing out critiques about the deal, the President also gave his opinion about who should be Prime Minister. President Trump essentially endorsed Boris Johnson, the Conservative MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip. The former London Mayor resigned as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs this Monday. He served in the role for just a few days shy of two years. Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative MP for South West Surrey and former Secretary of State for Health, is his replacement.

President Trump described Johnson as “a very talented guy” and stated that he had “a lot of respect” for the former Foreign Secretary. “I am just saying I think he would be a great Prime Minister. I think he’s got what it takes.” said the President.

Trump stressed that he was not trying to pit Johnson against May. However, one cannot mask his strong praise for Johnson. Trump also linked himself to the former official, saying that “I have a lot of respect for Boris. He obviously likes me, and says very good things about me”.

There has always been speculation that Boris Johnson’s ultimate goal was to get to Number 10. After David Cameron resigned in June 2016, pundits and commentators expected Johnson to be the first person to announce his candidacy for the Conservative leadership, especially since he has had a rivalry with Cameron since their schoolboy days at Eton. In the end, Johnson did not go for the position.

As speculation around the chances of Theresa May resigning remains prevalent, one group considers Johnson 5th most likely to become PM. British betting company Ladbrokes gives Johnson 5/1 odds of assuming the role. Ladbrokes ranks Home Secretary Sajid Javid as the favorite, with odds of 9/2.

The Baby Trump Balloon

Possibly one of the most creative protest symbols in London, the baby Trump balloon is a reality. The balloon took flight Friday morning at roughly 9:35 A.M. BST at Parliament Square Garden. The balloon flew for two hours, at a height of 30 feet (9m). The official march to accompany it began at Portland Place at 2:00 P.M. BST.

The balloon measures at 20 feet (6m) tall and depicts the US President as an infant. It wears only a diaper and holds a smartphone in its right hand. The project raised $38,000 (£29,000) over a period of one month thanks to roughly 2,000 backers. Organizers of the protest wanted to go on ‘world tour’ with the figure.

To fly the balloon, the protest organizers needed permission from the Metropolitan Police, Greater London Authority and the National Air Traffic Service. All of the groups gave such consent. However, the Greater London Authority and National Air Traffic Service made it clear that the decision was not political.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a harsh critic of President Trump, is in charge of the Authority. So, some believe that he may have had some political intentions. Alas, a challenging figure has entered the ring: the baby Sadiq Khan balloon.

Balloon Baby Revenge

Free speech advocate Yanny Bruere is behind the baby Khan balloon. It is set to also measure 20 feet in length.

Bruere showed distaste of the Trump balloon Friday. The activist said, “I think it’s insulting and childish. We shouldn’t be making the U.S. President feel unwelcome.”

Despite this, Bruere appeared to believe it justified to raise money for the Khan balloon.

Nigel Farage, MEP, the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party, had similar thoughts. On Fox News Friday afternoon, he declared, “Whatever anybody thinks of President Trump, America is our closest and most important ally in the world.”

Bruere raised $66,000 (£50,000) over a period of only three days for his project, thanks to roughly 3,100 backers. He says that he hopes to fly the baby Khan balloon in August. This assumes that he gets permission from the same groups as those behind the Trump balloon did.

The project’s Crowd Funder page states “In light of the Donald Trump ‘Baby Trump’ balloon being allowed to fly over London during his visit to the UK, let’s get a ‘baby Khan’ one and see if FREE SPEECH applies to all and whether or not Mr Khan and the London Assembly will also approve this”.

The page also mentions the sky rocket of crime in London. This includes moped crime, knife crime and acid attacks in the past two years. The page claims they will donate surplus money to the campaign to remove Khan from office and defend free speech. BBC News host Andrew Neil joked Friday that protesters should ‘Fly one of [Khan] wearing a stab vest’. This is likely a jibe at the epidemic of knife crime in London.

Mayor Khan’s Media Debate

Mayor Khan appeared on Good Morning Britain this Thursday, where he debated with former CNN host Piers Morgan. Morgan made two key arguments. First, he asked if Khan would support allowing a ‘big, black baby’ Barack Obama balloon or a balloon depicting Khan as a pig. He also asked Khan if the balloon could affect U.S. and U.K. trade negotiations.

Khan affirmed the first question, provided it was ‘peaceful and safe’. To the second argument, he countered, saying he cannot be the censor that decides what is in good taste.

Morgan also challenged Khan on having different standards regarding President Trump’s visit to London from when the Saudi Crown Prince and Turkish President visited London. He argued that they are far worse people, and should thus be viewed this way. Thus, Morgan argues, it is wrong for Khan to denounce Trump but not these leaders.

Despite his lack of frequent public comment, Khan does have a record of opposing foreign human rights violations. As a human rights lawyer, Khan visited south-east Turkey and condemned human rights violations carried out by the Turkish government.

President Trump and Prime Minister May

The Irish Times reported that President Trump apologized to PM May on Friday morning for his prior comments on Brexit. After the two leaders concluded numerous meetings, they held a joint press conference. Despite previous disagreement, the two leaders praised progress that the nations have made.

“The Chequers agreement reached last week provides the platform for Donald and me to agree an ambitious deal that works for both countries right across our economies. A deal that builds on the UK’s independent trade policy; reducing tariffs, delivering a gold-standard in financial services co-operation, and – as two of the world’s most advanced economies – seizing the opportunity of new technology. All of this will further enhance our economic co-operation, creating new jobs and prosperity for our peoples for generations to come” — PM Theresa May

Further British Endeavors

After the talks, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made their way to Windsor Castle to meet the Queen.

Yesterday evening, President Trump traveled to Scotland we he met the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell. The Scottish National Party called for peaceful protests during President Trump’s weekend in Scotland while both the Green Party and Labour Party said that the President was not welcome in Scotland.

Anti-Trump protesters were hoping to fly the baby Trump balloon over or close to Turnberry Golf Course, where the Trumps will be staying for the remainder of the weekend. Scotland refused to allow it though, as an air-exclusion zone is in place in the Turnberry area. The President and First Lady will depart Scotland on Sunday evening to return to Washington D.C.


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Hawley, Missouri GOP Rip Page From Failed Clinton Playbook

By Francis Folz | United States

38 percent. That is the percentage of the Missouri electorate Hillary Clinton garnered in her failed bid for president in 2016. You would think the Missouri GOP would be smart enough not to use a page from Ms. Clinton’s shoddy playbook, especially since Mr. Donald Trump defeated Ms. Clinton by 19 points in the Show Me State. However, this is not the case.

The Missouri GOP voted on July 3, 2018, to suspend a rule that prohibits the National Republican Party (the establishment) to spend money on a particular candidate in a contested primary. Instead of leaving the race between the candidates and the voters, the Missouri GOP thought it would be a fantastic idea to act like there is not a primary by concerting with the national party to elect Josh Hawley. Sound familiar?

Ms. Clinton colluded with the DNC to rig her primary election against Bernie Sanders only two years ago. And to add insult to injury, the DNC decided to further isolate the Sanders wing of the party by barring his supporters from the party’s convention the same year. Common sense would suggest not to repeat the same mistake of snubbing the grassroots, especially in such a close race. Polls show Mr. Hawley either trailing Claire McCaskill or narrowly leading her within the margin of error.

However, the grassroots’ liberty candidate in the race, Austin Petersen, is determined to fire Claire in November. In a matchup between Mr. Petersen and Ms. McCaskill, Austin bests Claire 56% to 40%. In light of that recent poll, it should be common knowledge not to interfere in a heated race between a weak, establishment candidate and an electrifying grassroots firebrand. 

But to make matters worse, in an out-of-touch move, President Trump and Vice-President Pence have weighed in for Mitch McConnell’s Josh Hawley. This shows disdain for the vast amount of Missouri voters reluctant to support Mr. Hawley. After all, it was Mr. Hawley who aired campaign ads not even two years ago that promised not to use the Attorney General’s office to climb the political ladder. Such promises have long since vanished.

However, attempts to shut out the grassroots have not weathered Austin’s spirits, and why should they? Mr. Hawley has modeled his entire campaign after Ms. Clinton up to this point. For example, Mr. Hawley decided meeting with voters and debating his primary opponents is beneath him. So, Josh skipped the vast majority of Lincoln Days hosted by local Republicans. He was also missing the night Congresswoman Ann Wagner flew from D.C. to St. Louis to host the Republican senatorial debate. To make up for his blunders, Josh thought he could score a few political points by throwing former-governor Eric Greitens under the bus. Publicly alluding to impeachment before even filling charges, he effectively denied Mr. Greitens due process.

Furthermore, Mr. Hawley has been spotted lifting weights at the gym and buying wine during business hours (you know, while he’s supposed to be performing the duties of Attorney General). This is all part of a pattern.

Back in March, while Mr. Petersen and other primary candidates were out shaking hands with voters, Mr. Hawley chose to stay home and talk about his NCAA bracket on Twitter. And just when you thought Mr. Hawley couldn’t be more distant to voters? His official senatorial website doesn’t even have an “issues” section to let Missourians know how the Attorney General feels about crucial topics. To this day, Mr. Hawley refuses to rule out voting for Mitch McConnell for Majority/Minority Leader.

Mr. Hawley has even admitted in one of his few interviews that he was not interested in running for senator at first. Comparatively, Austin Petersen, Mr. Hawley’s most formidable primary opponent, has been attending countless local events and speaking with a myriad of voters on the campaign trail. It appears that the West/East Coast educated Attorney General believes the GOP establishment’s blessing will be able to carry him across the finish line in August. Judging by the Missouri GOP’s recent, unconventional actions, however, it may be harder than Mr. Hawley and company imagined.


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