America is back

 

 

By Walter B. Bull Jr.

Before the analysis of President Trump’s September 19 address to the United Nations is compartmentalized by liberal and conservative writers, I would like to put forth my unvarnished opinion.

I liked the tone and American themed text that was not politically driven drivel pushed by the unrealistic cadre of Democrat politicians. Many listeners didn’t care for his philosophy. The stony silence when our president brought up the long term track record of failed socialism and central control of an economy by strong men dictators indicates Mr. Trump was testing his audience.

Much of the UN audience clearly prefer autocratic control and the lavish trappings of a protected political class. In terms of population numbers many nations are quite small, economic output is rural, but the world organization delivers cover for poor countries to strut their stuff.

The speech was set in a current environment of escalating conflict on many fronts. The world stage has a variety of players. To those who identify a target and preach destruction by force or stealth, the message was to think of their own people rather than those perceived to be an enemy.

Some were called by name, especially North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. Trump pointed out that that they are now forced to think more about self-preservation in a world where the United States military can control the skies and deliver destruction to the ground from a variety of launch equipment.

The strategic planning and military capability, missing from our country’s psyche since Ronald Reagan, is back. Gone is the thinking of Barack Obama who believed in a global world. Gone is a policy that exported America’s resources to the world’s under-developed nations, resources that were often pillaged for individual benefit.

We remember that the United States is the only world power with little or no territorial aspirations. When it is necessary to fight our soldiers show up, defeat the enemy, bury our dead and go home. Americans are not conquerors.

As Trump restores America’s position of strength, I believe that the Democrat Party is marginalizing itself. Their current crop of masked rioters, inexperienced educators, paid zealots, cop haters and their narrow view of this country are creating a situation where progressive thinking is viewed as akin to totalitarian central control.

In a nation as diverse of ours, liberal Democrats are being repeatedly rejected by the nation’s voters. Trump’s lament of failed socialism before the UN also should be heeded at home.

Unaffiliated voter surge

Newly minted data confirms what many area citizens are experiencing anecdotally. Demographics are shifting across Pinehurst, Southern Pines and surrounding communities. This is evidenced by just released voter registration statistics.

The Raleigh-based Civitas Institute, a self-described nonprofit policy organization, examined State Board of Elections voter registration data, beginning in early February (just after the Trump inauguration) through September 9, and finds surging numbers of “unaffiliated” voters. The trend actually began in 2009, at the outset of the Obama presidency, and coincides with a stark decline in voters registered as Democrats statewide.

As of September 2017, Civitas reports, unaffiliated voters narrowly outnumber voters registered as Republicans for the first time. What is behind the dramatic increase in unaffiliated registrants?

Since January 2009, Democrats have experienced a net loss of 229,368 registered voters. In 2009, Democrats made up 45.7 percent of the voter rolls; today they are at just 38.9 percent of the total voter registration. The unaffiliated ranks appear to have absorbed Democrats losses and more. Since January 2009, the unaffiliated bloc has seen a net gain of 652,823 voters and their share of the voter registration rolls have increased to 30.3 percent, up from 22.3 percent in 2009.

In Moore County, 502 unaffiliated registrants have been added to the rolls since February, while Republicans added 75 and Democrats shed 89 voters. Of the 65,642 registered Moore voters as of early September, nearly 41% are Republicans (26,806), 33.5% are unaffiliated (22,023), and 25.1% are Democrats (16,484). Fewer than 1% identify as Libertarians (329). To review other counties in the Civitas study, click here.

It is worth noting that in Wake County, where Democrats hold the majority among registrants (37.4% to 26.6% over Republicans), an unaffiliated bloc has emerged similar in size to the one in Moore. Unaffiliated voters in Wake account for 35.4% of registered voters, which presents an opportunity among Republicans in Wake to turn the tables on Democrats in the future.

Logically, we can assume that the uptick in unaffiliated voters reflects, in part, population growth fueled by young professionals and young married couples starting families, especially in Moore. Newly registered voters here, elsewhere in North Carolina, and across the nation, notes The Fayetteville Observer in a June 2017 op-ed, “will take (their) toll on traditional politics before long.” He cites research by Bob Hall of the voter advocacy group Democracy North Carolina:

Pinehurst stroller brigade
Population growth, driven by a younger demographic, gives rise to stroller traffic jams.

(Hall) believes all those new independent voters are going to steer the state away from the intense partisanship it endures today. Half of those unaffiliated voters are under age 41, Hall found in his research, while only a third of the Democrats and 30 percent of the Republicans are in that age group. Hall believes this will lead to “a notable bias for candidates outside the mainstream.”

“Ironically,” Hall says, “while the General Assembly is busy passing laws to add party labels to more statewide and local elections, new voters are rejecting the major parties at a record rate.” 

The challenge is clear and imminent. If Republicans want to convert these unaffiliated younger voters into votes for Republicans candidates (even if they choose not to become registered Republicans), our messaging must be laser-focused, more pragmatic and less partisan. This will require a concerted effort to hear from these voters on the issues they care most about. It is apparent they are unwilling to accept partisan gridlock, especially in Washington, and will be attracted to candidates that prove (rather than say) they get things done on tax reform, healthcare reform and immigration control.

We have witnessed this recently courtesy of the Trump presidency. President Trump sprung a debt ceiling deal on the Republican establishment by working with Democrat leaders Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Old school conservative commentators such as Brit Hume at Fox News Channel were aghast. “Trump got rolled,” Hume concluded.

But early polling indicates that Trump voters approve of the bi-partisan deal because it demonstrates Trump’s commitment to shaking up Washington. That is why they elected him last November, not because he is a hardline conservative Republican. In fact, they elected him knowing he is not.

Milestone year for NC GOP

The current frenzy of hyper-political correctness targeting statues, monuments and other images honoring major Confederate figures, including Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, is fueled in part by an agenda-driven, left-leaning media that craves any opportunity to associate Republicans, especially Southerners, past and present with slavery, bigotry and racism.

This attempted connection is flimsy at best because it is historically inaccurate. It arose simply because Republican President Donald Trump condemned a white supremacist rally (organized in support of preserving a Lee statue) in Charlottesville, VA, in strong terms, while simultaneously condemning violent “antifa” protestors who arrived to disrupt the rally. In no time, statue preservation was re-defined by the media as slavery glorification.

While there are undoubtedly many Southern Republicans who disagree with knee-jerk decisions by city councils and university boards to remove or relocate historically significant statues, fearing this could escalate beyond Civil War-era figures, their opposition has nothing to do with party loyalty. Among the many principals upon which the Republican party was founded, abolition of slavery was one of its most fundamental.

This certainly was a key pillar of the North Carolina Republican Party, which is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding this year. Campbell University Professor Ronnie W. Faulkner, the author of “A Brief History of the North Carolina Republican Party”, notes it was in its early days referred to as “the Radical Party” because it was “associated with abolition.”

“The party took immediate positions in support of Congressional Reconstruction,” Faulkner writes. It also sought “approval of the thirteenth (abolition of slavery) and fourteenth (protecting civil liberties) amendments, and black enfranchisement.”

Its origin dates to March 27, 1867, when “the first interracial political gathering in the history of the state” brought together 101 whites and 46 African Americans … in the Capitol House Chamber in Raleigh,” Faulkner writes.

Celebrations of the 150th anniversary are scheduled across the state, and will continue into early 2018. The Moore County Republican Party is planning a 150th celebration that will coincide with its annual Ronald Reagan Dinner, Feb. 6, 2018.

“I look forward to honoring the activists who have helped us keep the Republican Party a strong force in North Carolina,” said party Chairman Robin Hayes. “Their persistence and determination makes us grateful for the freedoms we have today, and gives us a reason to work for tomorrow. One hundred and fifty years is a milestone that every Republican in North Carolina should celebrate.”

 

 

 

 

Trump’s thriving presidency

President Donald Trump is an unconventional president. He does things that even some of his supporters don’t like. However, it pays to remember that’s why we elected him in the first place. Our country is facing huge challenges and conventional, establishment politicians haven’t gotten the job done. Change is needed.

During the first seven months of President Trump’s term, media coverage has been overwhelmingly negative. It is no exaggeration to say that the mainstream media are intent on forcing him from office, which would be a disaster for our system of elected government. The Democratic Party is overwhelmingly opposed and unified in its all-out resistance to the president. Even some Republicans in Congress are failing to support him. Considering all of that, it is important that we focus on President Trump’s extensive accomplishments during his first seven months. The list below includes some of his administration’s most significant. We urge you to keep these things in mind and support President Trump as he works to Make America Great Again.

Jobs & the Economy

  • 1,019,000 new jobs created in America since January, nearly all in the private sector
  • Unemployment index is at the lowest level since 2007 (4.4%)
  • Cutting hundreds of regulations enacted by the Obama administration. The American Action Forum estimates $70 billion in national cost savings due to reduced regulation.
  • Signed an Executive Order stipulating that for every new regulation, two must be eliminated
  • Established improved ties with the business community to foster an improved business climate
  • As a result of the pro-growth policies President Trump is pursuing (reduced regulation, lower taxes, etc.), the economy is already growing at a faster rate. GDP growth was up 3% in the second quarter of 2017, a key milestone.
  • Stock market has attained 25 new all-time highs and is up 17% since January
  • Consumer confidence is at the highest level since 2000
  • Signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order to create American jobs

National Defense and Support of Our Veterans

  • $54 billion in increased military spending this year, reversing President Obama’s cutbacks
  • Pressured NATO allies to increase their defense spending to meet their NATO commitment after decades of failing to do so
  • Delegated authority to our military leaders to take action they deem necessary, reversing micro-management by the Obama Administration (MOAB)
  • Taking action to ensure veterans get the care they deserve:
    • Signed legislation allowing veterans to get care outside of the VA system if needed
    • Took action to improve the VA medical system, including firing 500 poor-performing employees, suspending 200 more and taking disciplinary action on others
    • Streamlined veterans medical record keeping to improve care

Immigration

  • Illegal immigration down 53% since January
  • Authorized the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers
  • Taking action to reign in sanctuary cities and deny their federal funding
  • Taking action to jumpstart the construction of the border wall ($100 million)
  • Taking action to arrest and deport immigrant criminal gang members

Energy

  • Authorized the Keystone XL Pipeline after years of delays by the Obama Administration
  • Authorized the Dakota Access Pipeline after delays by the Obama Administration
  • Increasing exports of American energy to create jobs and support foreign policy goals
    • Increased coal exports, restoring jobs in the coal industry
    • Increased foreign LNG (liquefied natural gas) shipments to create American jobs and reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas
  • Signed Executive Order to extend offshore oil and gas drilling
  • Boosting oil and gas development on federal lands
  • Reversing EPA regulations which destroyed jobs in the coal industry

Trade

  • Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), which would have destroyed 6.5 million American jobs
  • Renegotiating NAFTA to implement better trade policies with Mexico and Canada
  • Renegotiating the United States-South Korea Free Trade Agreement
  • Taking action to increase beef, coal and LNG shipments to China

Foreign Policy

  • Forcefully challenged Syria and Russia by firing 59 missiles into Syria to stop chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian people
  • Establishing better relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to limit Iranian influence in the Middle East. President Obama did the opposite; currying favor with Iran at the expense of our Middle East allies.
  • Increased sanctions on Iran to end their destructive and destabilizing actions in the Middle East
  • Taking stronger action against North Korea’s development and testing of nuclear weapons; which President Obama ignored under his policy of “strategic patience”
  • Brokered a ceasefire in southwest Syria
  • Reversing territory gains made by ISIS in the Middle East

Government

  • Appointed and confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch
  • Considering not filling hundreds of bureaucratic jobs in Washington, DC
  • Reduced White House payroll by $22 million
  • Saved $700 million by renegotiating contracts for new F-35 airplanes
  • Signed an Executive Order implementing tough new lobbying standards for political appointees

Moore County Republican Party

The Swamp

By Jim Lexo
President, Moore County Republican Men’s Club

I lived in the Swamp for decades and didn’t know it. Out of college, I moved to Washington, DC, and ended up working in Congress for 12 years in the 1970s and ’80s, and stayed in the area until five years ago.

I watched Congressmen and Senators serve a half century or more on Capitol Hill. Those who lost their elections, or retired, just moved downtown to K Street in DC to join lobbying firms. As former Members, they have access to the floor of the House and Senate and, of course, they have a network they developed over time. Members do other Members favors because they know it might be them asking some day, or they want them to attend various fund raisers.

Let me say there are many Congressman, Senators and lobbyists who have good ethics, work hard and have the public’s interest at heart. However, there is enough back scratching and quid pro quo that things become terribly “out of whack” in the hinterlands (outside the DC bubble). Take the U.S. tax code. It is now up to 9,000 pages because a lot of corporations, nonprofits, unions and other organized entities hired lobbyists to get special provisions inserted into the code. The same is true for all of the appropriation bills, and on and on.

After a hundred years of this, life in the Swamp became very good for all of the swamp creatures, but not so much for Joe Lunchbox. We went from a government providing for our necessities to an uncontrollable behemoth. When I moved to Moore County to retire, I looked back at the Swamp and realized how wrong all of it is. We need to drain the swamp, I often thought. When I first heard a group of people outside Trump Tower chanting, “Drain the Swamp”, I thought, wow, these people are on to something.

Eclipsing liberty

Rush Limbaugh is perceived by the liberal left as a dangerous figure because his radio audience is vast and multigenerational. Democrat/Socialist politicians firmly believe that average American citizens are complete idiots (exhibit ‘A’ was the infamous admission by MIT economist and Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber that the “stupidity of the American voter” assured Obamacare’s passage). They are convinced that Rush listeners are willing sponges, anxious to absorb whatever he says, and that Trump’s appeal, and victory, was driven by the Limbaugh Effect during the eight-year Obama era.

Conversely, there are substantial numbers of moderate Republicans, centrists and so-called independents (typically Democrats who are label averse) who dismiss Limbaugh as a bombastic entertainer, not someone to be taken seriously.

Whatever you might think about Limbaugh, his recent on-air analysis of what has been driving violent protesting, campus disturbances, and the defacing and removal of statues of historic figures across the American South, should be heeded. This was not a rant. It was eloquent and thoughtful. These are the key points:

America is Under Attack

America is under attack from within. Our culture, our history, our founding are under the most direct assault I have seen in my life. And I’m sure it’s the same with you. We haven’t seen anything like this. You might even get away with saying that we are on the cusp of a second civil war. Some of you might say that we are already into it, that it has already begun. However you characterize it, though, we are under attack from within.

Growing Desecration of America’s Founding

None of this that is happening on the left is random. None of the riots, none of the protests. They are not the result of the left being offended by individual acts. Antifa didn’t show up in Charlottesville because they found out something was going to happen that offended them. They showed up in Charlottesville to create mayhem and cause hell. They showed up in Ferguson, Missouri, to do the same thing.

They showed up in Baltimore to do the same thing — and wherever they show up today and tomorrow and next week, it’s by design, on purpose, has an objective and an agenda. And that agenda is to erase American history. That agenda is to distort, erase, and impugn our history. It is crucial if they are to succeed. Because, you see, if enough Americans can be persuaded that America, as founded, is unjust — if enough Americans can be persuaded that America, as founded, is inherently racist and immoral and illegitimate — then it will be all that much easier to erase America as founded.

America’s Proud History Has Been Distorted by Educators, Politicians for Years

We have been in the midst of hysterically inaccurate education for generations. America is unique. America copied no other country. Every other country was a copycat of others, with governments that denied individual freedom, denied opportunity, denied sovereignty. That’s what was copied. Tyranny was copied, nation to nation, people to people. That is the history of humanity: Living in tyranny, living under authoritarianism, living in poverty, living in sickness — until the United States came along, which copied nothing.

The United States and its founders rejected all of that tyranny, oppression, poverty. In America, the individual was the supreme power. That is being erased under the premise that the individual is corrupt. The individual is likely a racist or … a homophobe or some other ill-prepared sack of humanity, and so we need to overcome the corruption that is the individual, that incomparable embrace of humanity that is the United States of America.

We Have Arrived At a Crucial Moment

Free, informed speech is punished, diversity of thought is punished and discouraged — and it’s all coming to a head now, folks. This mob (in the streets) is made to appear much bigger than it really is. This mob tried to elect Hillary Clinton and failed. The media is directing all of this — call it a soap opera or a movement or a strategy. And let me tell you, the media and these mobs? They’re not just into removing statues, folks.

They’re not in this just to remove Republicans, and they’re not in this just to remove Donald Trump. The campaign here is to convince you that your country isn’t worth defending. The campaign here is to convince you your country is deeply flawed from the outset and needs to be completely remade, reconstituted, outside the framework of a constitutional republic. … The campaign is to concentrate power and to end the era of the individual and individual liberty.

 

 

Ceiling and dealing

The most optimistic among Republicans are anxious for September’s arrival, believing their efforts to bring about tax reform and personal and business tax cuts will succeed where similar heavy lifting to repeal and replace Obamacare failed.

Obamacare had become an entrenched entitlement in very short order, leaving many Republicans talking out of both sides of their mouths. GOP lawmakers showed little to no spine when it came time to act. In the case of tax reform, they are likely to hear from throngs of constituents who feel strongly that swift and significant cuts and simplifications are long overdue. Repealing Obamacare carried the threat that some would “lose” healthcare coverage (albeit unaffordable coverage). Tax cuts are about meaningful gains for ordinary working Americans, not loss.

Some Republicans are even pushing the idea of income tax reductions that will be retroactive to January 2017, as reported by The Hill:

The House Ways and Means and the Senate Finance committees are weighing the issue as they write legislation that can be introduced after the August recess.

By all accounts, momentum should be building toward a historic legislative tax reform bill, the most consequential in three decades. But there is a parallel issue that will arise after the recess that could turn out to be a momentum killer.

Richard Hudson photoIt comes to our attention via North Carolina Congressman Richard Hudson’s weekly email newsletter. Rep. Hudson (NC-8) headlined his digital missive, “We Must Act Now”. One might assume Hudson would have been referring to tax reform. He was not:

As your Congressman, I stand by my word that I won’t support a debt ceiling increase without spending cuts or substantial, cost-saving reforms. I agree we need to pay our bills, but raising the debt limit without fundamentally reforming government and addressing the events that brought us to the risk of default isn’t paying our bills – it’s asking foreign countries to pay them for us.

Hudson’s focus when he returns to Washington apparently will be how to manage debt ceiling politics. And make no mistake, the debt ceiling exists for no other reason than to fuel political gamesmanship. Republicans don’t play the game well, unfortunately, always yielding to raising the ceiling lest they be blamed for a “government shutdown” that denies children access to parks, military veterans access to monuments, retirees access to Social Security payments, and so on.

Writing for American Thinker, Rick Moran forecasts a dire scenario:

Democrats will not bail Republicans out of this mess – and a mess it is almost certain to be.  If you thought Obamacare repeal was a debacle, wait until the factions start lining up to support or oppose a debt ceiling increase.  As for Democrats, they are likely to pop some popcorn, sit back, and be entertained by the GOP tying itself in knots over the increase.  It won’t be a pretty picture.

House Speaker Paul Ryan already has begun to express his enthusiasm for making big strides on tax reform in recent social media posts. And, as with Obamacare, the first steps toward cuts and reform will begin in the House under Ryan’s leadership. Yet, it is worrisome that tax reform was not referenced by Rep. Hudson until the eighth paragraph of a 10-paragraph email.

In addition, I’m also working to advance comprehensive tax reform. … I support reform based around the concepts of simplicity, efficiency and equitability. … We need to lower the corporate tax rate to promote job creation, increase wages, and eliminate harmful loopholes and special interests.

Everything Hudson espouses is right on target, precisely what voters were salivating for when they handed Republicans control of Congress and the White House. But with so little time remaining in 2017 to get major things done — 12 working days to inevitably raise the debt ceiling after the recess — GOP lawmakers must demonstrate they can pursue their objectives on dual tracks.

If instead they spend the fall banging their heads against walls over ceiling politics, the bottom will drop out of their support and the free fall to 2018 election consequences will begin.