Senator Rubio Leaves No Room for Confusion, Blasts Moral Equivalency




Many senators, congressmen, governors and other elected officials have stood up and voiced the clarity so many Americans wanted to hear since the deadly racial riot in Charlottesville, VA last weekend. It’s been a proud moment for a conservative registered Republican like myself to see the instinctive, deep anger toward white nationalists, and the unstable activists many of us faced over the last two years. It’s because I know who we are. I know we stand for equality, both under the law and in society, and for individual value.

It was the lack of such clarity from the White House that has left many of us on the right sighing in disappointment, or cringing in disbelief.



However, this too shall pass. And true leadership will outlive temporary, self-destructive whirlwinds. We saw several national leaders do just that this week. Aside from Sen Cory Gardner (R-CO) calling white supremacists “@$$holes” during an astounding town hall yesterday, Sen Marco Rubio (R-FL) made perhaps the clearest, most unequivocal statement against the moral equivalency many have demurred.


Thank you, Senator for saying more than just enough. For not leaving your comments in ambiguity. For making statements that require no follow up questions. We need more of this, from everyone. We’ve had enough. As you said, this old evil cannot be allowed to be resurrected. And you showed by example how to take a political risk, not just give lip service.

Wanting Heroic Courage, Needing a President


“No, you can’t wear your Power Rangers suit to kindergarten,” I reasoned with our five-year-old son. “I know it makes you a samurai but your teacher just won’t allow it,” I shouted behind him as he stomped toward his room.

A parents’ struggle between needs and wants this time of year is real. The kids need new shoes, a few pairs of (old looking) new jeans and a handful of crisp shirts as they head back to school. What they want, however, is something totally different. Yes, Gucci belts and Big Baller Brand shoes would be nice to have, but are completely unnecessary. And sure, your Power Rangers suit is super cool, but it’s wholly impractical. It’s as if back to school shopping perfectly encapsulates the barest fundamentals of a parent/child relationship—they want the world, and we give them all we can.

Inversely, we, as parents, want to give our children more than they need. We need to give them food, shelter and the occasional pair of (old looking) new jeans. But we want to give them the moon and stars. We want to make their dreams come true. We want them to believe in Santa Claus and we want them to have heroes.

And it is that last point that makes recent events, for me as a parent of three children, all the more disappointing. Our children want to believe in the idea of America. They want to believe that we, as a country, are fundamentally good. From a very early age they look for that—children from Seattle to St. Petersburg look for that.

Amidst the fireworks and patriotic bunting of early summer; amidst the small American flag they’ll soon stand and pledge their allegiance to in a stuffy, late-August classroom; they want a leader that embodies that spirit. They want a national leader to be proud of. But, as the aftermath of Charlottesville has sadly shown, right now there is no one there. And worse yet, it might be a long time before anyone with the heroic courage to stand up for what is right, to stand against a Nazi murdering a young woman—even if it angers his base—occupies the White House again.

President Trump’s immediate response to the tragedy in Charlottesville was a disgrace. And his Tuesday afternoon rage-filled impromptu infrastructure/tacitly supporting racism press conference was shameful. But that is who he is. That man, bereft of moral compass pointing him toward the light is who my children—our children—are looking to as the leader of the free world. And it sickens me.

Of course in this tinder-box environment everyone must choose a side. Every opinion, every word spoken and written, is sucked into a political vortex, shredded before crashing into the rails on one side of the spectrum or the other. You, as the reader, are at this precise moment deciding whether I am merely a concerned father or a Never-Trumping cuck, whining that the state isn’t doing enough to raise my kids for me. “Turn off the TV!” you’ll yell at your computer screen, convinced that I’m putting way too much thought into who my kids view as heroes. “You should be their damn hero!” I can almost hear you say.

But that’s where the sadness is. My kids don’t need a hero, they want one. They want to be proud of their president. My wife and I can raise our kids devoid of any mention of politics, or current events, or what insult the president of their country tweeted this morning. But that’s not America. That’s not the idea that we all so inherently believe in.

Look around Washington D.C. at all of the monuments constructed in remembrance of great men. That’s who we are. Individually, we are responsible for our own destiny. But collectively, we share the same idea.

The Christian author C.S. Lewis once wrote “Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”

I want to tell my children of brave American knights, I really do. But then I look around and am reminded why that’s not something I need to do today.

NEW: Four CEOs Desert Manufacturing Council As Trump Approval Sinks After Charlottesville

President Trump’s delayed condemnation of the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville seems to be taking a toll among his more mainstream support. In the wake of this weekend’s riots, three corporate CEOs who had been a part of the president’s council on manufacturing jobs abruptly resigned and the president’s approval rating has plummeted to its lowest point ever.

Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier was the first CEO to jump ship. In a tweet on Monday, August 15, Frazier explicitly linked his resignation to Trump’s silence on the Nazis who claimed to be part of the Trump movement.

In part, Frazier’s statement reads, “America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.” He added, “As CEO of Merck and as a matter of personal conscience, I feel a responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.”

Later on Monday, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich both left the council as well. Business Insider quotes Plank in a statement that says Under Armour “engages in innovation and sports, not politics.”

Krzanich said, “I resigned to call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues, including the serious need to address the decline of American manufacturing. Politics and political agendas have sidelined the important mission of rebuilding America’s manufacturing base.”

President Trump responded to the resignation of Merck’s Frazier with a tweet on Monday that attacked Merck for high drug prices: “@Merck Pharma is a leader in higher & higher drug prices while at the same time taking jobs out of the U.S. Bring jobs back & LOWER PRICES!”

A second tweet on August 15 addressed the subsequent resignations of Plank and Krzanich. “For every CEO that drops out of the Manufacturing Council, I have many to take their place,” Trump tweeted. “Grandstanders should not have gone on. JOBS!”

After the president’s second tweet, Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, tweeted that he too was leaving the council. “I’m resigning from the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative because it’s the right thing for me to do,” Paul said.

At the same time, Gallup released a three-day polling average that showed President Trump’s approval rating at 34 percent, its lowest level ever, with 61 percent disapproval. The poll ran from Friday through Sunday so it partially reflected the events in Charlottesville.

The American Manufacturing Council was set up by President Trump to allow corporate CEOs to advise him on manufacturing policy. Twenty corporate CEOs remain on the council. One additional member of the council, Elon Musk of Tesla, had previously resigned to protest Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change accords.

On Monday, two days after the Charlottesville riots, President Trump issued a more forceful and specific statement denouncing the white supremacist movement. It is interesting to note that his tweet attacking Merck came only 10 hours after Frazier’s resignation. The response time after Plank and Krzanich quit was even shorter.

Anatomy Of Political Violence: Charlottesville Police Chief Cites ‘Mutually Engaged Combatants’




Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas unpacked the events leading to violence and tragedy last weekend, providing a forensic anatomy of political violence. In his press statement, the words “mutually engaged combatants” seem to stand out.

It’s now obvious that both the “alt-right” and the counter-protesters (antifa and others) expected and welcomed violence. They did everything they could to subvert the careful plan police constructed to keep the groups apart and maintain the peace.

They didn’t want peace. They wanted headlines.

Let’s consider something for a moment here, that the leftist press would never, ever think or allow to be spoken or printed.



What if the ill-named “Unite the Right” (aka “J Crew Nazis,” “Tiki Cosplay Brigade,” “David Duke Dorks,” “Basement Brony Racists,” etc.) jackasses showed up, and nobody was there to counter-protest? What would have happened?

Would the Pepe-loving Trumpkins have suddenly gained national acceptance, added tens of thousands to their numbers, and consigned the works of William F. Buckley, Martin Luther King, Alexis de Tocqueville, Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, and  John Stuart Mill to Fahrenheit 451, to be replaced with Ann Coulter, Milo Yiannopoulos, Jared Taylor and Matthew Heibback? (Not to mention Ayn Rand and the Mother of All Struggles: Mein Kampf.)

Does anyone really think these misled sheep are anything but the fringiest of the conspiracy-loving fringe? Yet, like moths drawn to a flame, the far-left conspiracy-loving fringe showed up with violence in its heart.

The two groups probably have more in common than they care to admit if they sat down with a bottle of cheap bumwine long enough to discuss it. For example, they probably share a despicable belief that 9/11 was either a Bush-led or Israeli conspiracy. They probably agree with the blood libel that Jews and Zionists are a pox upon the earth. They likely agree that large corporations and banks are conspiring to keep the “little people” down and broke.

And they agree that violence is the path to a new order.

The groups needed each other to supply the “them” for violence–since killing little old ladies at Walmart doesn’t win sympathy from a sympathetic press or Steve Bannon. Just like ISIS needs to behead soldiers on the streets of London and Toronto and on factory floors in Oklahoma City, both the left and right fringe need to play to their deranged base.

The left fringe shows up to incite violence even at genuinely peaceful events like campus speeches by Ben Shapiro (who could not, ever, be called “alt-right”). When they show up at an event where “mutually engaged combatants” have arrived hell-bent-for-violence, violence will erupt.

Yet the press continues to call the left fringe’s incitement “protest,” and the right fringe’s incitement “hate.” They conveniently forget about James Hodgkinson, or the litany of violent incitements and attacks Ben Domenech compiled.





Both sides are guilty–on that one point, President Trump is right. However, Trump’s refusal to disavow the support of his right fringe worshippers, and his condemnation of the press as “bad people” has destroyed the credibility of his public statement. Every time Trump condemns the right fringe, he always follows with a wink and a nod on Twitter.

 

The man simply can’t condemn people who love him so much, even if they are truly bad people.

And we know that they are: Truly. Bad. People.

If the leftist press really wants to end the growth of the “alt-right” cancer, they must first tell their favorite pet left fringe to stop showing up. Occam’s Razor: Not having “mutually engaged combatants” on both sides does tend to decrease the chance of violence happening.

Charlottesville and the Constitution




Outrage, condemnation, and blame, the tragedy in Charlottesville VA has produced all three in non-stop fashion. Strangely enough, all of it pointed squarely at the constitutionally protected and legally approved group of white supremacist.

Lost amongst the repugnant odor of the alt-right’s disgraceful and spiritually bereft racial hatred, are their constitutional liberties. Lost and ignored by the MSM and most politicians. More importantly, equally ignored is the fact that the social justice warrior counter-protesters groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa were in Charlottesville specifically to infringe upon the alt-right’s constitutional right to gather on the public square.

The alt-right group had the right to a safe space in which to gather, as well as the most robust police protection available.  In their act of pushing through the police mandated safe space between the two groups and in physically confronting the alt-right group, the BLM/SJW group’s rights were then limited to a civilized arrest process, a Miranda warning, lawful detainment and the right to a speedy trial. That’s it. Full stop.



The MSM and the denizens of the DC Swamp in an effort to win cheap political points, rushed out and without proof, blamed the alt-right gathering for the murderous act of one man. There might have been a domestic terrorist conspiracy to murder and maim the BLM/SJW counter-protesters, but this hasn’t been proven yet. Not one politician has come out and stated the obvious, to wit: if the BLM/SJW counter-protesters had peacefully gathered and obeyed the police’s safe space rules, there would have been little to no violence and perhaps the murder would not have occurred.

It is yet another attack on the First Amendment to legitimize or even worse, legalize the BLM/SJW counter-protest because of the noxious hate filled speech being spewed forth by the alt-right. This is dangerous to the extreme. As a nation, by now we should be mature enough to recognize this fact. Yet, the liberal media is intent on blaming the alt-right for the violent illegal actions of some within the BLM/SJW counter-protest. (Slate)

When U.S. District Judge Glen E. Conrad rejected Charlottesville, Virginia’s attempt to relocate Saturdays’s white nationalist rally he wrote that “merely moving [the] demonstration to another park will not avoid a clash of ideologies” between demonstrators and counter-protesters. He also acknowledged that “a change in the location of the demonstration would not eliminate the need for members of the City’s law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services personnel to appear at Emancipation Park. But, ironically, by protecting the free speech rights of the white supremacists, Conrad may have ultimately suppressed speech by ensuring an armed confrontation between the neo-Nazis and the counter-protesters would break out and that police would be powerless to stop it until blood was spilled.

Why was physical conflict between the two parties a given? Because we have been inculcated with the idea that because certain “bad” speech is so unacceptable, that both government overreach and citizen protest criminality is not only acceptable, it is required as an honorable act of civil disobedience.

One of this century’s early shots across the bow of the First Amendment was the very public arrest of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, producer of the movie “The Real Life of Muhammad”. Ostensibly arrested for allegedly violating the terms of his probation, it was painfully obvious, Mr. Nakoula was arrested to appease Muslims worldwide. Blatantly ignoring his First Amendment rights, Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton needed this man as their fall guy and didn’t mind trampling on our constitution to make that happen.

There are more solutions as to solving the Charlottesville problem being written that one can imagine. However, any of those solutions must start with personal responsibility. The BLM/SJW counter-protesters were each individually responsible if they broke the law in counter-protesting and justice demands accountability. The killer in the car is personally responsible for his act, and no one else is to blame. To allocate blame elsewhere is to reduce his blame, and that is unacceptable. Lastly, the alt-right is responsible for the content of their speech. They are accountable to their Creator for the hate buried deep within their hearts, and without saving grace will one day be held accountable and justice will be meted out. But their speech does not make them responsible for the counter-protest or the murder.

The one man not responsible for any of this mess is the President. He is no more responsible than is Obama for BLM, or Bernie Sanders for SJW. Until America ceases attempts to score cheap political points by assessing blame where there obviously is none, until the MSM stops protecting the actions of some, while excoriating the activity of others, and until we quit conflating unequal events; America is in continued danger of weakening the First Amendment, and over time tearing our country apart.

 


This Is How We Win Over Hate




I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home.

When leftist antifa and anarchist forces, armed for violence, met neo-Nazi and white supremacists ready for violence, violence resulted. It will continue in this endless cycle of injury, blood and death, until it’s stopped by a more powerful force.

I’ve seen it with my own eyes: love is greater than hate.

And the weapon Pearce Tefft has chosen to fight with is love, and prayer. He penned a moving and powerful letter about his own son, Peter Tefft, who was one of the white nationalist marchers in Charlottesville.

I have shared my home and hearth with friends and acquaintances of every race, gender and creed. I have taught all of my children that all men and women are created equal. That we must love each other all the same.

Evidently Peter has chosen to unlearn these lessons, much to my and his family’s heartbreak and distress. We have been silent up until now, but now we see that this was a mistake. It was the silence of good people that allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around, and it is the silence of good people that is allowing them to flourish now.





The elder Tefft continued, dishing out some tough love.

Peter Tefft, my son, is not welcome at our family gatherings any longer. I pray my prodigal son will renounce his hateful beliefs and return home. Then and only then will I lay out the feast.

The Tefft family can be excused for their confusion–multiple times in the letter, Pearce Tefft reiterated that Peter didn’t learn his “twisted worldview” at their home.

He once joked, “The thing about us fascists is, it’s not that we don’t believe in freedom of speech. You can say whatever you want. We’ll just throw you in an oven.”

In the end, it’s prayer and love that wins back prodigals.

Peter, you will have to shovel our bodies into the oven, too. Please son, renounce the hate, accept and love all.

 

Ted Cruz: America Is Better Than This



In the wake of the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, there was the usual slew of hot takes as partisans across the spectrum engaged in the all-too-familiar ritual of trying to wring cheap political points out of a tragedy.  On the left, it was typically some variant of how Donald Trump’s harsh rhetoric set the stage for all this, and how all conservatives need to take their share of the blame for an ascendant white supremacy movement.  The right, meanwhile, retreated to pointing fingers at Antifa for ratcheting up the political violence, and blaming the news media for turning the other way and aggravating an already tense situation.




Lost in most of analysis, however, was the moral argument against any kind of violence, whatever justification its perpetrators use to elevate their cause.  Fortunately, a few saner voices did raise themselves with words meant to heal after far too much hurt.  One of them was Senator Ted Cruz, who took to the pages of the Daily Signal to deliver a simple yet direct message that goes straight down to the heart of the matter:

It’s tragic and heartbreaking to see hatred and racism once again mar our great nation with bloodshed.

The First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans to speak their minds peaceably, but violence, brutality, and murder have no place in a civilized society.

The Nazis, the KKK, and white supremacists are repulsive and evil, and all of us have a moral obligation to speak out against the lies, bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred that they propagate.

These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this.

Indeed, America is better than this.  We know that because we have seen her in times of great darkness and strife before, when she struggled to reconcile the lofty ideals of her founding with the injustice suffered by some of her own citizens.  We know that because America looked deep inside herself and found the strength and the courage to rise above, and make good on her ongoing promise to try and forge a more perfect union.  And we know that because, more than anything else, the vast majority of Americans truly believe in the sacred creed that all people, no matter where they come from or what they look like, are in fact created equal.

That’s what makes America exceptional–and nobody will break that spirit, least of all the kind of thugs who would use brute force to achieve their bigoted ends.

Senator Cruz did the country a favor in reminding us of that.

Trump’s Photo With White Supremacist Is Fake, But Contains a Pearl of Truth




A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. – Mark Twain

A widely circulated photo, purportedly of President Donald Trump posing for a selfie with a man known on Twitter as @Millennial_Matt, has turned out to be fake. Shocking, I know.

The tweet, as such things always go, has been deleted, but the photo was up yesterday, on @Millennial_Matt‘s Twitter profile. Of course, that profile is now also restricted.



Why was this lie, among thousands, so particularly pernicious? As The Blaze reported:

It was also significant because it appears that “Millennial_Matt” attended the rally on Friday night, which many equated with the white supremacist rallies of the 20th century.

The photo was tweeted by Raf Sanchez, whose own Twitter profile shows him as the Middle East correspondent for the Telegraph. Why a reporter for a British newspaper covering the Middle East saw fit to add this particular piece of garbage to the Fake News Landfill is something for his employers to address. But obviously, very little fact-checking was done before Sanchez hit the “tweet” button.

And this is the problem, isn’t it? In the rush to get something out there and make it go viral, to be the famous reporter who unmasked the Trump “alt-right” conspiracy connection, Sanchez tweeted a badly done Photoshopped picture from a guy’s Twitter profile.

Here’s the idiot @Millennial_Matt on Youtube yesterday describing how “Baked Alaska” was attacked with pepper spray and lamenting his “thousands of death threats.”

Well, buddy, this is what you get when you’re a despicable Nazi-lover. Your whole riff on free speech would be much better received if you actually believed in the freedoms you enjoy as an American. More of Matt’s stuff can found on a play list titled “Hitler did nothing wrong” (which I won’t link here).

Matt’s Photoshopped lie garnered 28,000 retweets and nearly 34,000 “likes” according to The Blaze (can’t verify that now because of the Memory Hole). The correction has been retweeted 829 times (as of this writing), with just over 2,000 “likes.”

Twitter is a sewer of lies, fake news, propaganda, trolls, and Russian bots. I wash my hands and use latex gloves whenever I get “facts” from there.

Yet buried in this lie we do have a pearl of truth. Matt wants himself to be associated with Donald Trump, and Donald Trump has not repudiated that (and other “alt-right,” neo-Nazi, KKK and racist) love affair.