Tag: donald trump

The Only “National Emergency” We Face is a Potentially Unchecked Executive

Shiam Kannan | United States

President Donald Trump has never been a steadfast proponent of Constitutional conservatism, but on Friday, February 15th, 2019, he issued a full-fledged assault on American constitutional principles, declaring a National Emergency at the southern border in order to gain access to billions of dollars for the construction of a border barrier. While a strong case can be made on the merits of a border wall, the issue at hand goes further: our nation is at a Constitutional crossroads, and at this moment, we must decide whether the President has the power to spend money without Congressional consent.

The Constitution clearly addresses this issue, and the answer, according to the document, is a firm “no.” Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states that “[n]o Money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” In other words, if there is no appropriations bill passed by Congress delegating money for a specific purpose, then money cannot be spent on that purpose. This means that Trump does not have any authority under the Constitution to unilaterally fund his border wall, or anything else, for that matter, using taxpayer dollars, unless Congress passes a funding bill which explicitly authorizes it.

Continue reading “The Only “National Emergency” We Face is a Potentially Unchecked Executive”

Advertisements

Ocasio-Cortez Needlessly Opposed the State of the Union

Michael Ottavio | United States

Tuesday night, President Donald Trump gave his 2019 State of the Union address.  With the country’s partisan divide growing larger every day, there was no question Trump needed to bring Americans together over issues that we all agree that we should address. And boy, oh boy, did Trump deliver for not only himself but for his party.

There will always be some in the opposition that abstain from clapping during the mention of more right-wing policies. However, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting attention this morning for appearing unhappy with achievements that should make any freedom-loving American happy.

During the State of the Union

Pictures of a stoned-face Ocasio-Cortez started surfacing during the SOTU address. She seemed to be unmoved by a speech that has earned a 76% approval rating. Ratings like that show that even many Democrats approved of the president’s State of the Union.

unnamed.jpg

With such high approval ratings, it is clear Trump did something right last night. But apparently, Ocasio-Cortez did not think so. She appeared on Rachel Maddow shortly after with a friend claiming that “it was clear he did not do his homework,” insinuating that President Trump did not prepare for the State of the Union address. This claim is a little bizarre, seeing how Trump both had an extra two weeks to prepare thanks to Democrats blocking his speech and read a scripted speech. Let’s be honest, Donald Trump did not write that himself nor did he just prepare notes last-minute.

This was a very calculated and planned out speech to boost his approval ratings, and it looks like it will do that. Trump needed a boost in the eyes of independent voters and to narrow the partisan divide. It appears he accomplished both last night.

Strange Reactions from Ocasio-Cortez

Since Ocasio-Cortez is Trump’s opposition, it is no surprise she would refrain from applauding at times. However, particular things she did not cheer for were shocking to many. During his speech, Trump made multiple comments about how unemployment is at an all-time low and that the economy is thriving. These remarks which got a rise out of both Democrats and Republicans, but not Ocasio-Cortez.

The most shocking moment for Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez came when she sat there stone-faced when Trump announced border patrols tackling the human trafficking problem at the border. This issue disproportionately affects women over men. One would think that a president making it a priority to combat human trafficking would be worth celebrating. But sadly, she sat there with the same discontent face she had on most of the night. Ocasio-Cortez continued to stay visually discontent throughout the speech, making no affirmative reactions during talks of programs that will help minorities and criminal justice reform, both issues that should be bipartisan.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did stand up and clap once. This occurred when Trump mentioned how there are more women in Congress than ever before. While this is something to celebrate, it’s funny how Ocasio-Cortez only celebrates herself. Though it’s obvious she was out to make a statement, she appeared to not care about how the country is actually doing. She didn’t care about helping to repair the divide; her only concerns were for herself and her message while the president she calls divisive gave one of his most unifying speeches ever.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

The Roger Stone Arrest Shows Mueller Grasping at Straws

Tom DiGennaro | United States

Early Friday morning, federal authorities placed Roger Stone, a longtime aide to President Trump, under arrest. The FBI took him into custody under obstruction of justice charges regarding the Russian hacking of several key Democrats’ emails during the 2016 election season. This is the first criminal case Mueller’s special investigation has brought in months. Without a doubt, the investigation is at this point just grasping at straws.

Roger Stone has been a personal confidant of Trump. At one point, he was a formal advisor during the presidential campaign. Despite this, he has not officially been a part of the administration since 2015.

The Mueller investigation did not charge Stone with conspiring with WikiLeaks or Russian officials. Rather, his indictment alleges making false statements to Congress about his involvement with wiki-leaks.

One must certainly question how it is a crime to (allegedly) seek out information on when WikiLeaks plans on publicizing material. One must also certainly question how it is not a crime to be “extremely careless” with classified emails as Secretary of State and deleting classified government emails related to Benghazi.

Grasping at Straws over Roger Stone

Failed attempts to indict President Trump have included going after Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn, and countless others. Even before Robert Mueller began his crusade, former FBI Director James Comey, who cleared Hillary Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing, was grasping at the same straws. This attack on Stone simply for knowing about a WikiLeaks release of information (which the American public should have been aware of, anyway) is not even in the ballpark of colluding with Russian hackers or officials. However, Democrats, the FBI, and mainstream media would have you believe otherwise.

Will Mueller try to use Roger Stone as a government witness against President Trump? Will these charges stick? And will President Trump ever be indicted on related charges? Impeached? Are these charges anything but an absurd attempt to stir up more conflict for the sake of conflict?

As of right now, it appears the answer to each of these is a fervent no.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

Nick Sandmann, MAGA Hat Kid: The Hidden Story

Mark West | United States

Last weekend was a bit of a blunder for me. I watched several viral videos surrounding what happened at the National Mall that spread on social media. Angered at what I perceived as disrespect, I made a snap judgment. I shared the first meme I noticed concerning the issue on Facebook. I had to partake in the political discussion on this controversy, right?

The narrative pitted the Covington Catholic High School students, many of which were white, male, and sporting MAGA (Make America Great Again) hats, against a group of Native Americans. The two groups had been involved in separate rallies on the National Mall that day. The Covington Catholic students were leaving a March for Life rally while the Native Americans had just finished an Indigenous Peoples March.

Both were about to intersect in a manner that would spark an unintentional national controversy.

A scene consisting of a what appeared to be a stare-down between Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann and Native American activist Nathan Phillips immediately split the national audience into regiments. The still shots from the video cast Sandmann in a negative light, with a smug, disrespectful smile on his face.

The Mainstream Media Story

We were incessantly informed by the mainstream media that Phillips heroically confronted the students as they chanted “Build That Wall” at the Native American protestors. An image serving to reinforce the narrative that racial motivations and anger are the motives for support of the southern border wall.

Erroneously, I believed the mainstream media reporting and shared the meme I mentioned previously. However, a close friend cared enough to hint that a full-version video was accessible on the internet. I found it, watched it, and I realized I was dreadfully wrong. Of course, I also deleted the meme I ignorantly shared.

The Hidden Story

Now, I’m not here to tell you what happened at the National Mall. Most of us have already decided our version of the timelines and our judgments of the intentions of the participants. What I am here to report is the hidden story of the MAGA hat kid.

The hidden story of the MAGA hat kid is the tribalism that drives each of us to ignore context while making snap judgments that fit our own narratives. I’ll pull a little gospel principle in by quoting D.A. Carson who said, “a text without a context is a pretext for a proof text”. In other words, if you ignore the context you will get the wrong message.

I got the wrong message, initially, because I was lacking the context to make sense of what was going on. There is an unfortunate occurrence in political conversation in our society. Far too often, we use pretexts and proof texts to reinforce our tribal view.

Our failure to contextualize is contributing to the erosion of political debate. We should thoroughly examine the context and all the information available to us. An opinion should be formed based on the previous. Instead, we almost always have our pre-disposed opinions. Consequently, we seek only the facts that offer support. The stare-down at the National Mall highlights just that.

Tribalism Exposed

I’ve witnessed the anti-Trump crowd attacking Sandmann and his school over racism, as well as doxxing he and his classmates. Simultaneously, the MAGA crowd is attacking Phillips’ character and motives. The tribes are at war even though I’m not convinced that the principles themselves ever were. Through all of the back-and-forth, the demagoguery hurled by the Black Hebrew Israeliteswhich served as the flashpoint that escalated the tense scenario, has been largely ignored.

My first exposure to the tribalism that dominates our political process came as I listened to President Obama’s supporters chanting, “Yes We Can”, at campaign rallies. I spent the next eight years trying to have reasonable policy conversations with people who could never hold the man they supported accountable. They had their pretexts and ignored any contexts.

During the 2016 campaign, I saw a new emergence on the other side. Watching President Trump’s campaign rallies filled with chants of, “Build That Wall”, and “Lock Her Up”, I realized that I would spend President Trump’s tenure trying desperately to have the same conversations with folks who are out to get the Democrats back for President Obama’s term. They also have their pretexts and ignore any contexts.

So, instead of discussing what really happened and using the lessons as instructive to the society around us, we’re instead hedging into our tribes. We are devoting our energy to ensuring that we prop up those in our tribe while viscerally attacking those of the other. The tribalism is driving the context out of the conversation.

I’m Just as Guilty as You Are

Disclaimer: I’m not speaking from an ivory tower. I’m not exempt in my own tendencies to fall into tribal politics as well, as noted earlier in this column. However, my goal is to objectively focus on facts in their appropriate context, as best I can.

If we are going to secure a society of liberty for future generations to enjoy it is vital that we restore contextual facts to the political debate. Our tribes are not always right, and the other tribes are not always wrong. Our tribes haven’t cornered the market on patriotic fervor any more than the other tribes have un-American sentiment.

The Dire Consequences

Now, tribalism itself isn’t the issue, that’s not the takeaway here. The problem is ignoring reality in order to preserve the ideals of our tribe. In a way, our tribes become more important to us than our nation. When we allow our national fabric to be ripped apart for the sake of our tribe winning, we all lose.

We are all people and we bring a variety of perspectives to the same set of facts. Hence the necessity that we appropriately contextualize the facts at hand. Otherwise, we just continue the evisceration of political dialogue in our nation and become further polarized against our neighbors. If we don’t improve talking through our differences, our differences will manifest into the very things that will threaten the future of liberty in our nation.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

A War in Venezuela Will Include China

By Daniel Szewc | Poland

With the confirmation that the Venezuelan police force, under the control of Nicolás Maduro, has started shooting at protesters, the situation in Venezuela has only gotten tenser. This is all happening in the midst of the POTUS, Donald Trump, recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate president, albeit an interim one. Not only are Maduro’s interests even more at stake now, but the People’s Republic of China’s are also facing a conflict in the region.

The nations of Brazil, Paraguay, Canada, and Colombia have all, within 24 hours, recognized Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela. This lack of balance of recognition in contrast to power may be the cause of the escalation of violence in the streets of Caracas.

According to Bloomberg, the Chinese government has agreed to extend Nicolás Maduro’s credit line by $5 billion USD. This given sword, as usual in the Eastern dragon’s case, has two edges: Venezuela is obliged to sell China it’s most valuable resource, oil, at a very cheap price. A huge manufacturing economy, China relies on oil for its production of goods, without which their fast-growing economy would fall into ruins.

If the American government decides to intervene in favor of it’s preferred side of Venezuela’s political scene, then a proxy war between China, which majorly invested in Maduro’s army, and the USA is extremely likely to occur. China will be anything but reluctant to give up its neo-colonial acquisition.

Even though this conflict is unlikely to spread outside of North and South America, the ensuing famine and mass migration is sure to destabilize the whole region, as well as possibly hit the United States.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source