Josh Hughes | United States
Tuesday night, President Trump gave his first national address to the nation from the oval office. The speech, which lasted just over 11 minutes, did not solve the stalemate between the House and Trump. Rather, it repeated the same rhetoric that Trump has used throughout the government shutdown.
Citing a “humanitarian and security crisis” as a reason for the address, President Trump outlined many reasons he believes Congress should accept his budget proposal. The beginning of the speech gave an overview of the opioid and drug crisis in America. Specifically, the president declared, “This year, more Americans will die of drug overdoses than in the entirety of the Vietnam War,”. Statistics from national archives confirm this, with over 72,000 and 58,000 deaths, respectively.
Stopping Drugs and Human Trafficking
Trump claimed that a wall along the border would stop the flow of drugs into America. He also focused on other things it would stop, such as human trafficking. An interesting talking point he did not touch on is the claim that terrorists were getting into the country via the southern border. This assertion has received considerable backlash in recent weeks.
Another large part of the speech hit on violence in America due to illegal immigration. The president mentioned the killing of Ronil Singh, the California police officer that an illegal immigrant killed. He also mentioned the recent “beheading” of a Georgia man by an illegal immigrant. This section of the speech was heavy with emotion.
To close out the address to the nation, he made a call for action. Trump implored Democrats to accept the bill that he and other top officials have proposed. He also asked the people to call their local representatives and demand they accept the deal, calling it an issue of national security.
Action from Trump’s Address to the Nation
It is unclear what will happen next. The president has said that he has invited Democratic leaders to speak with him on Wednesday. Yet, this is no guarantee that they will come to an agreement. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated that the president is fearmongering to get a deal rather than stating facts. Thus, so one can assume that House Democrats will continue to resist the president’s proposals.
The main takeaways from the night’s address to the nation are that the president did not declare a state of emergency, as he had previously suggested. Also, there was little progress between Trump and the Democrats as both sides refuse to budge. Many are claiming the speech was just an attempt to incite fear for political gain, and that it was a misuse of a national Oval Office address. Others, though, consider it necessary to ensure national security.
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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.
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.
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. Thank you very much for your support!
By Craig Axford | United States
We all need to ask ourselves the question Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to answer
Shortly after Schindler’s List came out in 1993, my wife and I got a babysitter and went to the theater to see it. I managed to keep it together until the scene depicting the cleansing of the Warsaw Ghetto.
If you’ve seen the movie, you know the film is done in black and white. But in the Warsaw Ghetto scene, there’s a small girl trying to escape the madness and suffering that has suddenly broken out all around her. Steven Spielberg made that small girl stand out by giving her a pink coat.
She was about my daughter’s age, and she looked very much like her too. I recall her crawling under a bed, and I remember Schindler looking down from a hill seeing her dash down the street uncertain where she might go to escape the machine gun fire, rape, and chaos that marked the Ghetto’s final hours. Later in the movie, we learn her fate. I don’t think I’ve ever wept so openly in a theater before or since. That could be my daughter I thought over and over again.
Yesterday, I was reminded again that this could be my family. As I watched White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodge the question yelled at her by Brian Karem, a reporter with Playboy Magazine, I saw the face of someone — the face of an administration — that simply could not imagine their children and grandchildren in anything other than the comfortable circumstances they already enjoyed.
“Come on, Sarah, you’re a parent,” Karem shouted at Sanders. “Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through?” No, she doesn’t. Besides, as she had already told CNN’s Jim Acosta, taking away the children of immigrants crossing the border is the law, and the Bible tells us to follow the law. It isn’t the law, but to these people the rule of law has always been seen as a rather quaint concept.
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”
― Anatole France
There are certainly plenty of verses that justify slavery, misogyny, and genocide in the Bible. Most of them are in the Old Testament, however. Though I’m hardly a religious man, I am well aware there are a number of other verses that focus on love and recommend forgiveness. Regardless, Jesus was supposedly not a man overly attached to the law, and he paid a price for it.
But if we’re inclined to turn to the Bible in situations like these, the verses we turn to say far more about us than they do Judeo-Christian ethics. Those willing to face Brian Karem and accept his challenge to imagine our children or grandchildren ripped from our arms don’t need a Bible verse to tell us that what’s happening on the Mexican border right now is evil.
I, like most Americans, grew up convinced that the horrors of 1930s and 40s would never happen here. Not in my lifetime at any rate. I was wrong. It’s begun. Border agents are telling mothers and fathers they are taking their child for a bath and not returning them. Sound familiar?
That there are supposedly only a couple of thousand children so far does not mean we are as far from Auschwitz as we would like to think. Numbers are about scale. Evil is about how we treat others. Whether our betrayal of human rights affects one, a thousand, or a million people we are tarnished just the same.
But the numbers will not remain a couple of thousand. Those taking a quantitative view of evil must tell us at what number we should be troubled that our country is tearing families apart, traumatizing children, and condemning people to live in warehouses and (soon) tent cities. They must explain why quantity matters when it comes to human rights abuses, but not when it comes to treating people as though they have inherent dignity and worth.
I’ve had enough of walls. I’ve already seen more hate in my native country than I ever thought I would. If we can answer the question Sarah Huckabee Sanders could or would not, we must oppose this government with every fiber of our being. The global community must not engage in appeasement. If America’s noble aspirations are to be salvaged, the current US government must be peacefully but forcefully resisted on every front. If successful, we’ll never know how far America would have descended without our resistance, but that’s not something we want to find out.
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By Will Arthur | USA
One element of libertarianism that separates its ideology from other groups like conservatives or liberals is the consistency between ideas. Libertarians consistently believe that the correct steps to gain freedom is by limiting government involvement whether in the political or economic realm. Milton Friedman sums up why libertarians view the need for both political and economic freedom by saying “Economic freedom is an essential requisite for political freedom. By enabling people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction it reduces the area over which political power is exercised”. If you look at the ideology of a democrat/liberal it is much different than the libertarian approach of consistent belief. Liberals often say they promote political freedom but believe the government should have a great deal of control over the economy. This government economic control often is summed up in the idea of socialism.
Today socialism is often characterized as an economic structure that transfers wealth from private individuals/groups to the public/state. The idea behind this transfer of wealth is done so that the state can distribute it back out to the citizens more evenly and “fairly”. The distribution can be seen to be done in many techniques: healthcare, welfare, corporate bailouts, and subsidized housing to name a few examples. typically these techniques of wealth distribution are put in place with the support of the left/liberal side.
Libertarians speak and act strongly against government handouts and socialism because we believe the government should not be able to take from people who earn a living and pick and choose who receives these free handouts. Instead, people should have individual responsibility and freedom to provide for themselves in the manner that they choose through the free market.
Libertarians are not the only political group that speaks out strongly against socialism, however. The conservative/right side often speaks out against handouts like universal healthcare and welfare and says they are against socialism. But after speaking against universal health care and welfare they believe they should receive handouts (paid for by the tax dollars of citizens) of their own. A good example of the handouts conservatives want would be a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Conservatives may deny that the building of a border wall between Mexico and the United States is socialism, but Frederic Bastiat would claim differently. In his book The Law, Frederic Bastiat talks about how there are two types of plunder: legal and illegal. Legal plunder being especially dangerous because it protects the beneficiaries and criminalizes the victims who oppose the plunder. Bastiat goes onto to say that “[all plans of legal plunder] constitute socialism”. Today and throughout most of American history, the most obvious example of legal plunder would be taxation, since taxation is the forceful taking of wealth from the people by the government. According to Bastiat if taxation is legal plunder then taxation would also be socialism, and anything supported by taxation would also be a form of socialism.
With taxation being an avenue of socialism and a border wall being funded through taxation, conservatives and Republicans are very ironic. To say you support capitalism and oppose socialism until you need something funded through socialistic means is extremely hypocritical. Especially when there are more peaceful and capitalistic ways to lower the immigration of bad/unproductive immigrants that a border wall would supposedly lower.
A study by the Center for Immigration Studies tells us that “An estimated 49 percent of households headed by legal immigrants used one or more welfare programs in 2012…” and that those illegal immigrants often benefit from the welfare programs their legal immigrant children receive. These statistics prove that if conservatives truly want to limit the immigration of bad or unproductive immigrants they should instead start with abolishing socialist programs such as SNAP, TNAF, Social Security, Medicaid, subsidized housing, and all other welfare programs.
If the immigration of needy or “bad” immigrants that the right side strongly despises does become a serious problem for the United States, the decision the Republicans and conservatives make will tell a lot about them. Will they only vocally oppose socialism while accepting handouts of their own like a border wall, or will they live up to their claims of opposing socialism and put an effort to eliminate the welfare programs many immigrants live off of?