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Trump 2.0

By Steve Woodward

Headlines plucked from the cultural cesspool:

Headline: Although the chairman of its board of directors resides in Tampa, the NAACP is warning black citizens and other “people of color” to avoid visiting Florida. (Does beet red due to uncontrolled laughter make me a person of color? Asking for a friend.)

Headline: Washington state is allocating $83,000 to host a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity education conference in June that includes a keynote speech entitled, “Drag Story Hour and Fireside Chat”. This is the same state that passed a law to declare parenting a threat to children.

Headline: Pundit Peggy Noonan, once renowned as a Reagan speechwriter, today warns that Republicans must turn on Donald Trump by taking a cue from the FBI’s response in 2017 to “Russian collusion”. 

Writes Noonan, “(Trump) was so impossible to imagine as president, such an obviously bad man and thus a threat to our country — that otherwise temperate and responsible people found themselves willing to believe anything about him, and, in the case of the FBI, willing to pursue any probe even when the evidence was thin or nonexistent.”

Against this backdrop of cultural lunacy and hysteria, the staid William Galston, in his weekly Wall Street Journal column, warns Republicans that we will go to our political grave unless we cave. On everything. We must echo Noonan and apologize for our Trump votes in 2016.

We already are racist, transphobic and too tolerant of the insufferable Orange Man. Now, we normal, law abiding conservatives have another, broader problem. We are too strident on abortion, same-sex marriage, trans weirdness, and border security. 

Galston and his mainstream media ilk do not acknowledge — or understand — that Americans living in flyover country, and even those in rural counties on the coasts, are not ever going to compromise on principle. Just look at what our complacency has wrought in recent decades. We were too compliant, if anything. We were also asleep. What became of education while we slumbered under the illusion that teaching history was a fairly straightforward exercise, unincumbered by revisionism.

Galston, from his elite perch, intones that Americans are “yearning for cultural moderation.”

That is quite an assumption, as it assumes vast swaths of Americans are weary of adhering to the Constitution, and to Biblical principles that undergird Christianity. Only a columnist who resides in a paneled office surrounded by scholarly pablum would advance such an elitist narrative. 

“U.S. voters,” he concludes without referencing any polling, “are looking for candidates willing to defend what most see as moral common sense and recognize that complex cultural issues can’t be reduced to a binary choice.”

In fact, this presumption that we must adopt moral common sense strikes many Americans as accepting moral erosion, a precipitous decline into a Godless abyss.

This call for a coming around, accepting that a Judeo-Christian mindset is out of favor, also resonates within the pages of The Atlantic, a periodical that is very well written and often compelling. But, of course, it is underpinned by the agenda of Marxist demagogues on the editorial executive floors.

“The Republicans are in the grip of a cult of personality, so there’s little hope for a normal GOP primary and almost none for a traditional presidential election,” The Atlantic writes. “Meanwhile, Republican candidates refuse to take a direct run at Donald Trump and speak the truth — loudly — to his voters; instead, they talk about all of the good that Trump has done but then plead with voters to understand that Trump is unelectable.“

This is a view from elitist world. Trump only is unelectable inside the cocktail parties in New York and Washington where the attendees are unaware of escalating crime in the streets of major cities, unyieldingly high prices for food and utilities, and a humanitarian crisis along the southern border. Worse, the elites are unaware of ascending school boards and village councils in small and midsize towns where the voters welcome a Trump resurgence because it began years ago and is entrenched today — at the grassroots. 

Wall Street Journal editor emeritus Gerard Baker, in his weekly column, Free Expression, devoted most of a May 23, 2023, review of the Trump’s “unelectability” to points which support that claim — Trump can’t win; he’s damaged goods. But Baker acknowledges this much about Trump’s primary opponents: “It takes more than a little chutzpah for someone who hasn’t registered a single vote in a presidential primary contest to dismiss someone who has already been elected (in 2016) as ‘unelectable’.”

The never Trumpers warn that we are delusional in believing that a second Trump term, led by a man into his late 70s, will recapture the triumphs of his first term. But what if we get Trump 2.0 in 2025? If it reverses the train wreck that is our economy, our foreign policy and our open southern border, and refutes so-called “cultural moderation”, the country wins, the people win, and our enemies once again will shrink into the shadows. 

And then there is this convenient truth: Kamala Harris no longer will be vice president. 


By Steve Woodward

Public education reform is on the move in Moore County, and long overdue. Who is the hysterical citizen standing in the breech, shouting, “Halt!”?

It’s none other than the editor of The Pilot, John Nagy, who seems to live with numerous rent-free occupants between his ears. 

He’s been very upset ever since the Moore County Board of Education was reconstituted by the will of voters. Three new board members were installed last December, joining the status quo terminators elected in 2020, David Hensley, Philip Holmes and Robert Levy. Suddenly, a dependable 4-3 rubber stamp board became a 6-1, take-no-prisoners reform board, no longer beholden to a tyrannical Robert Grimesey, whose reign as Moore County Schools superintendent was notable for its unchecked spending and inattention to deteriorating campus discipline. He has faded into retirement, or, perhaps, exile.

Nagy’s May 14, 2023, op-ed contends that our teachers are under siege at the hands of “cynical and conspiratorial” culture warriors. Seems he has failed to notice that teachers increasingly are conduits of the political Left’s deliberate hijacking of public education, which has given us math and reading proficiencies in free fall, a student population ever more traumatized by gender dysphoria, and chronic student misconduct bordering on chaos.

These downward trends already were reality before March 2020 when China unleashed a bioweapon in the form of an infectious virus that quickly spread as Chinese nationals were permitted to travel into the U.S by air. 

Bowing to a sudden suspension of individual liberty, our schools were shuttered and students were sent into a twilight zone called “remote learning” that sacrificed educational progress to protect them from a virus posing very little threat to their well being, or the health of their teachers. After months of school closures were lifted, kids were subjected to morning temperature checks, suffocating masks and useless social distancing. They were back in school but education remained at the mercy of pandemic hysteria. The former school board was in full compliance, and exploited the “scamdemic” by subjecting citizens attending its meetings to mask mandates and heightened scrutiny. The latter because they dared to question Draconian measures never before seen.

Unwarranted masking attracted a protest ahead of a September 2021 school board meeting.

Then-board chair Libby Carter went so far as to gin up a never confirmed security threat used to subject school board meeting attendees to metal detectors and an oversized presence of campus security officers. In at least two cases, taxpayers were physically removed because they would not wear masks. In hindsight, attendees should have shunned masks entirely and dared security to manhandle all of us as we speed dialed our attorneys. 

Against this surreal backdrop of the past three years, Nagy wants to know why anything needs to change. In fact, he accuses the current school board of engaging in “chaos theory”. 

Nagy’s assumption is that teachers are being targeted as scapegoats for every shortcoming in public schools. He defends them as “first responders to the social, emotional and intellectual needs of our children away from home.” This benign notion would not have raised red flags in the past, but recent generations of teachers emerging from woke universities firmly believe their college degrees — many earned in the catch-all major known as “education” — obligate them to protect children from their parents, rather than acting in partnership with moms and dads. Grooming is not limited to sexual orientation.

When the current school board did what it had been elected to do, limited ranks of teachers and parents were not pleased. The Parents’ Bill of Rights, accessed Nagy, “unfairly targets transgender students in Moore County.” A bald-faced lie. Rather than recognize parental rights, Nagy recommends emphasizing the “legal obligations of teachers and counseling professionals.” Since when do teachers/counselors have an obligation or, worse, a right, to shield students’ mental health concerns from parents. This is precisely why transgenderism is trending forward, with no concern among some (not all) teachers that transitioning often is the first step toward serious mental health breakdowns, even suicide.

A resolution to require students to read a book and submit a written book report set off a wave of exploding heads. It was dismissed as a ploy in which board members are usurping the authority of and questioning the performance of teachers.

Nagy complains further that books are being removed by board members and their surrogates “unilaterally from classrooms”. This is a real humdinger. It’s not true. The books under scrutiny have been discovered lurking in school libraries. In one case, the content of a book was so graphically vile members of the former board cringed as passages were read aloud by a citizen during a board meeting. This scene has been repeated at school board meetings around the nation.

All of the wrist-wringing is intended to set the stage for Nagy’s most damning accusation aimed at the current school board, which is that its steadfastness is running teachers out of the profession and leaving classrooms understaffed.

The fact our cranky local columnist ignores is that a majority of teachers are not cultural warriors, do not view children as vessels to be manipulated, do not despise their pupil’s parents and love their profession. 

The Levy-chaired school board has correctly identified that sweeping reform is past due in Moore County schools. Sadly, it will come too late for numerous teachers who have given their all but feel helpless trying to stem the tide of compromised educational standards, declining student proficiency in the basics of math and reading, and trying to survive in schools that for too long have been hijacked by undisciplined students, and have too few campus security personnel to control them. 

This is reality not theory.


By Steve Woodward

What a swell honeymoon it was. It’s over.

The days of RC Cola and Moon Pies are fading from memory. During its May 8, 2023, public session, the Moore County Board of Education took on a lengthy agenda. By night’s end, whether owed to fatigue or fear, the board seated last December to pursue reform and transparency had lost its way.

It was difficult to watch because we’ve seen this movie in the past and know how it ends.

The very same board, chair Robert Levy, vice chair David Hensley et al (minus a lone dissenting voter who represents the last gasps of the Robert Grimesey regime), that boldly authored and enshrined as policy a Parent’s Bill of Rights a few weeks ago, went completely wobbly on students’ rights.

Say it ain’t so. At issue is when the school year begins. It is common knowledge that the academic calendar established by the state Board of Education in compliance with state law does not serve the best interests of public education — specifically, students.

The school year starts deep into August (August 28 in 2023-24), which has one very intended consequence — it keeps vacation cottages and condos on the beaches and in the mountains churning revenue until summer’s end. State lawmakers have always protected the travel and tourism industry, even at the expense of education.

By bowing to said industry, lawmakers penalize children by sending them off to their annual December Christmas break having not completed the semester, including term papers and exams. Thus, the cloud of this unfinished business intrudes on kids, teachers and parents, compromising what the lyricist called “the most wonderful time of the year.”

This absurdity could easily have been deep sixed by our board of education on May 8. A proposed “early start” calendar would move the opening date of the 2024-25 school year to August 7. This would facilitate ending the first semester before the Christmas break, with school resuming January 7. Lastly, the school year would end on May 23, in time for Memorial Day weekend, leaving many weeks for surf, sand and majestic mountains.

The biggest no-brainer since parents’ rights and book reports were restored. Or so it appeared.

Superintendent Tim Locklair’s hands presumably were tied. He recommended keeping the traditional (flawed) calendar intact, citing state law. But laws are made to be challenged, especially those established to sustain cronyism. Vice chair Hensley, never one to back down from a challenge, urged fellow board members to remember their mission, and why they were overwhelmingly elected.

“Fiduciary responsibility” requires the board to act boldly, he said. Subjecting kids to post-Christmas final exams denies them a well deserved mental health break and, in some cases, surely impacts exam performance. (How many kids hunker down studying for exams on break? Zero?)

And there is another consideration that four members of the board ultimately rejected. Lee County (N.C) schools altered its academic calendar and has yet to face a legal challenge. This was confirmed in real time by Moore County board attorney Richard Schwartz.

“The current calendar is untenable,” Hensley said. It exists because of “special interests in Raleigh and only special interests. It is 100% driven by the travel and tourism industry.

“If the travel and tourism industry wants to sue us, I guess we’ll see them in court.”

Citing his inclination to “model obedience to the law,” chair Levy would not be convinced that the board faced yet another opportunity to defy the status quo

Levy was joined by board members Ken Benway, Stacey Caldwell and Shannon Davis as “yes” votes. Yes to a calendar that compromises the educational outcomes of county students.

Hensley, Pauline Bruno and Philip Holmes voted “no”. Actually, hell no.

Later, Bruno expressed disappointment in her fellow members. “I am on this board to make a change. I think we showed a lack of courage tonight.”

If you conclude that this vote falls short of redlining the courage meter, be aware that the tide turned even more toward status quo-clinging on a matter before the board involving a retired school security officer and “his” trusty firearm. We hope chair Levy wore steel-toed shoes for this egregious vote.

More in my next installment.


By Steve Woodward

Reporting on the horrific April 28, 2023, knife attack by a Pinecrest High School male student, 16, that left a female student, also 16, hospitalized with life threatening injuries, the Chief Officer for Student Support Services, described “a heroic effort” by many in its aftermath.

During Monday’s Board of Education work session, Mike Metcalf provided a chronology of what happened around and after 8:35 a.m., including instinctual acts of valor by students untrained to react to random violence. Their courage in the moment made all of the difference in limiting the havoc wrought by the knife wielding teen.

A student used his vehicle to block the assailant’s car get-away (using the car belonging to the victim). With the attacker now on the move on foot, a student turned attention to the victim, removing his shirt and using it to apply pressure to the wounds of the writhing girl. Principal Stefanie Phillips arrived soon thereafter, followed by a campus nurse carrying a trauma kit. A law enforcement officer ran down the attacker and cuffed him. An EMT vehicle was dispatched to rush the victim to FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital.

Metcalf said school administrators adeptly turned to coordinating the restoration of order and instituted plans to send students home in their personal vehicles with parental permission, while instructing other students who wished to leave the campus to contact their parents. Mobile phones are taken for granted in 2023. In the morning hours of April 28, the tactical use of mobile phones brought order amid disorder.

A smart phone also was the best option when Superintendent of Moore County Schools Tim Locklair sought to alert the seven members of the Board of Education. He texted them collectively around 10 a.m. 

One or more board members were in sub-committee meetings. One was seven times zones away on business in eastern Europe. One was at home caring for a newborn. Others were going about their days at work.

By the next day, The Pilot, marginally a newspaper, had posted a detailed report about the attack on a helpless victim on its website. It also posted a report about a morning prayer vigil in front of the Pinecrest auditorium on Saturday, April 29, attended by three students who were on the scene after the stabbing. But it added one more element to “the story”. 

“Board of Education Reacts in Private Text Thread”, blared the headline

How did the editor of The Pilot, John Nagy, who wrote the story, know about the texts? He was not included in the text chain with all seven board members and Superintendent Locklair. He knew because screen shots of the texts were captured and forwarded to Nagy. Evidence of this is irrefutable. Thus, amid the sober environment of the past 24 hours, Nagy used the content of the texts (posted as screenshots at to ostracize board members, the very board members he has targeted frequently since a new board was seated after last November’s elections.

“Under North Carolina law,” wrote a frothing Nagy, “a majority of board members constitutes a quorum, and the rapid-fire discussion of school business (by text) may be a violation of the state’s public meetings law.”

Nagy’s reporting objected to the tone of the text exchanges. He called out school board member David Hensley, his favorite target, who viewed the unthinkable incident as a natural outcome of a failure to expel and incarcerate students who pose threats over recent years. 

‘I have only been saying that for 2+ years,” Hensley texted. “It is time we actually start doing it, or the School Board will start running the (campus) Police Dept directly and we will ensure they are incarcerated.”

Previous school boards have not addressed school campuses patrolled by inadequate police protection, and were negligent in a failure to submit police to active shooter training for more than five years. 

What was not mentioned in Nagy’s “report” by the Pilot is that April has been an active month for security alarms directed at school board members. In each case, detailed by Hensley in Monday’s meeting, text alerts kept board members up to speed.

Where was the outrage about internal texting on April 17, when a credible threat was reported at Sandhills Community College requiring campus evacuation? Where was breathless reporting on April 19 when board members were kept informed by text about protests outside two high schools involving students who walked out of classrooms against policy to protest the board’s Parents’ Bill of Rights? Where was the wrist wringing about open meetings laws when board members were notified by texts about a bomb threat at New Century Middle School?

Why, you ask? Because no sinister citizen betrayed fellow members by leaking the texts. But given the heightened community awareness of the Pinecrest incident — a student was stabbed with knife — nefarious forces could not resist, as Hensley correctly observes, an opportunity “to score cheap political points at the time of a terrible tragedy.”

Nothing can be done about John Nagy, publisher David Woronoff and The Pilot. Masquerading as journalism, it is advancing every twisted agenda on the Left’s top 10 — including manufactured racial division, gender dysphoria, woke education and the end of order and law enforcement.

What can be done is to launch a thorough board investigation into who leaked the April 28 texts, pursuing a reckless vendetta and exploiting an attempted murder at Pinecrest High. 


By Steve Woodward

A wasp was in the earliest stages of crafting a nest under the roofline of our home when my wife coincidentally looked up and spotted it. A broom obliterated the nest and sent the wasp flying away.

Typically we fail to identify the silent toiling of wasps in springtime. By summer, an entire family is residing atop its fragile comb mansion and routinely terrorizing outdoor guests on the patio.

The Left has operated like clever wasps during the decade or so now behind us. It quietly has indoctrinated young minds, turning them against God, family and country. It has weaponized normal. It has turned weather from a topic for smalltalk into a crisis of climate change. It has re-defined racism to a point of absurdity — history texts, math problems, even highways, are racist. It has hijacked the judicial branch of government, aka, the courts. On a dime, it transformed a manageable health crisis into a tyrannical circus, the after effects lingering among us still.

And then along came the Make America Great movement which, in the view of the Marxist Left, was the enemy it had been waiting for, the cause on which all of its handiwork could be focused, and the justification for untold acts of aggression against people and institutions.

The Atlantic magazine’s April edition carried a cover story, “The New Anarchy: America faces a type of extremist violence it does not known how to stop”. Naively, I expected a deep dive into everything described above. Tyranny and the like.

The anarchists decried by the author are not the rabid, brick hurling, Fauci worshipping, church persecuting, gender grooming members of the wasp-like New Left. Oh no, the enemy is us. Donald Trump. Proud Boys. Parental rights activists at school board meetings. And all who dared set foot in our near the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Publication of the magazine’s at-a-minimum 10,000-word screed comes at the same time as a new book’s release — Get Trump, by Alan Dershowitz.

One of the great legal scholars of his time, Dershowitz is no MAGA Republican. He has said so often. But as he witnessed the psycho-wasps swarming in rage, Dershowitz could not merely observe from the sidelines. In defending Trump’s legal protections under the law, and for writing Get Trump, he has been demonized by the Martha’s Vineyard elites with whom he socialized for decades.

“Unconstitutional efforts to stop Trump from retaking the presidency challenge the very foundations of our liberty: due process, right to counsel, and free speech,” Dershowitz writes. “Those who justify these dangerous departures from the rule of law argue that threat posed by a second Trump presidency is ‘different’ and ‘immediate’, while the departure from constitutional norms are longer and more abstract.”

Trump is the most glaring and highest profile target of maniacal “wasp wrath”. But wasps’ nests are everywhere, and the patriot anarchists feared by The Atlantic are not in the same league. Not even close.

Meanwhile, here in Moore County, the windshield road kill insects of irrelevance (not wasps, more like flies) addicted to drag shows, sexually graphic library books and transgender grooming are still trying to calm down after a recent move by the school board to restore order.

The Board of Education, comprised of six out of seven members elected overwhelmingly to Make Students Great Again, is painting with bold strokes because that is what is required to put county schools back on a path to education reform. It adopted on April 17, 2023, a Parents’ Bill of Rights. The Pilot calls it a policy that forces our schools to communicate with parents when a student adopts different “pronouns”. Heretofore, the mindset of many indoctrinated teachers has been that Mom and Dad are the problem, the catalyst that has driven a child to question his gender. The bill of rights merely requires teachers to share any mental health red flags with parents where their children are concerned. The problem here, say the critics, is that parents are inconvenient.

Here is the bottom line. The Pilot despises the current school board because it represents the values of the vast majority of Moore County parents, grandparents and taxpayers at large. The former “woke” school board, propped up by The Pilot despite its dereliction of duty, is no more. We won. They lost. But, in victory, we must be vigilant and defiant.

Let’s get on with it.