Contrary to popular belief, liberal mainstream media bias is not the same ol’ narrative that conservatives have had to fight since the 1970s. Starting with the Bush administration and as a direct result of the rise of the internet, liberal journalists have dramatically increased their blatant favoritism towards progressive agendas. They don’t even try to hide it anymore.

We see a lot of publications like Newsbusters reporting on the bias. This is a good thing, but it’s not enough. As conservative citizens, bloggers, and social media users, we have to do more than point out the bias because most people are already aware that it exists. Sure, there are still pockets of hardcore progressives who claim the media is biased against them rather than the other way around, but we won’t be able to reach those people. Our focus should be on the masses who accept that media bias exists but who still allow themselves to be indoctrinated by it.

This is where fighting “smarter” comes into play. Most have seen examples of or even participated in the insult wars against people who share biased news. I’ve done it many times in the past, often referring to the “sheep” who hang on every declaration on The View or who share Paul Krugman links every time he writes a condemnation of conservative principles. We have to stop. The ball is in our court. We have the opportunity to start real political discourse. It won’t be easy. The passions on the left are heavy and have been stung repeatedly since November. We need patience and intelligence. We need to take the high road.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be aggressive with our strategies. One of the easiest arguments to make is calling out hypocrisy. It’s hard to deny when presented the right way, particularly in the current situation. It’s hypocritical of everyone on the left who fought for a smooth transition of power and acceptance of election results until it was their side calling the election results into question. You can’t tell us we need to accept the results if Hillary Clinton won, then decline to accept the results because she lost. This is just one example of the hypocrisy.

As I’ve noted in the past, both the media and liberal politicians are going to go after Trump’s biggest weakness: his thin skin. They know that he’ll respond to attacks, so that’s exactly what they’re going to do. However, it’s in the way they’re going to spin it that the damage can be done. They will attack, then wait for the counter-attack and report mostly on the latter. Today, we see it in the “feud” between Trump and Congressman John Lewis. The Congressman drew first blood by calling the legitimacy of Trump’s Presidency into question, for which he was rewarded by the press as being brave and righteous. When Trump attacked back, the media unleashed the hounds to highlight Trump as being racist (Lewis is black), misinformed (Trump called out Lewis as all talk, no action, despite his very real actions during the civil rights movement), and a bully (okay, that one’s accurate).

Trump Tweeted insults at a man who attacked him. How is that bigger news than a respected American politician calling into question the legitimacy of a Presidency based upon an intelligence briefing that admits the actual effects of Russia’s attempts are unclear? Are we supposed to unify behind Barack Obama but revolt against Trump? That’s essentially what Lewis is calling for, but you’d never know that based upon media coverage.

As noted on TNA, conservatives must go on the offensive against the bias:

What’s the right answer to the media bias problem? Fight back. Spread real news. Correct those who fall for the bias. Scorn those who report with bias. A free press is there to keep Americans informed, not indoctrinated. It’s time to make the media realize their agenda is not our agenda.What’s the right answer to the media bias problem? Fight back. Spread real news. Correct those who fall for the bias. Scorn those who report with bias. A free press is there to keep Americans informed, not indoctrinated. It’s time to make the media realize their agenda is not our agenda.

This is why we must fight harder. Despite the election results, we are losing this battle. The left is regrouping. The attacks from the media are incessant and increasing in ferocity. It’s up to conservatives to not only highlight when the media reveals their leftist agenda, but to also offer alternatives to those narratives. We have the truth on our side. It’s time for us to make others see it for what it is.

Today, the DoJ entered the fray to put an asterisk next to Donald Trump’s Presidency. They announced that they’re investigating the FBI for their pre-election actions. As you may recall, FBI Director James Comey was the first scapegoat offered up by the Democrats about why they lost so badly.

According to The Blaze:

The inspector general’s office at the Department of Justice announced Thursday that it will investigate the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state, as well as FBI Director James Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress stating that the bureau was reopening its case involving the Democratic nominee for president just days before the Nov. 8 election.The inspector general’s office at the Department of Justice announced Thursday that it will investigate the FBI’s probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails during her time as secretary of state, as well as FBI Director James Comey’s decision to send a letter to Congress stating that the bureau was reopening its case involving the Democratic nominee for president just days before the Nov. 8 election.

It’s been over two months since their devastating losses and we’re still seeing liberal publications scratching their collective heads. They simply cannot comprehend that Americans could say no to their agenda that they believe has worked out so wonderfully the last eight years. As a result, they’re doing everything in their power to make it appear as if they were robbed rather than accepting that their message simply isn’t resonating.

They’re looking for as many bogeymen as they can find to attach to Trump’s Presidency. They want this to be an unmitigated disaster from day one, so they’re employing jamming and propaganda techniques to force that perspective onto the American public. This, more than anything else, is why BuzzFeed did what they did.  They intend to beat all of Trump’s horses, living or dead, until a majority of Americans believe that they’ve made a terrible mistake.

DC politicians are working behind the scenes to do the same thing. There are questions that the DoJ rightly needs answered by the FBI, but those questions can be done privately and without a full blown investigation. The reason they’re taking it as far as they are is simply a well-timed statement to the public. In essence, they’re saying, “In the midst of this Russian problem, don’t forget that Trump had help on the inside as well.”

Their plan would actually be quite entertaining if it were put into a fictional realm. Imagine the story line (read in a deep movie-trailer-guy voice): “They thought they had the perfect plan to rule the most powerful nation on the planet, but they got trumped. Now, the Democrats have a plan to wreak havoc on the political system and teach the people once and for all that the left is right. No one is safe. No action is too disgraceful. In 2017, they’re out for blood and they’ve got nothing left to lose.”

The Democrats aren’t trying to gain more power or affect public policy. They want one thing: retribution. Their actions are designed to make as many Americans as possible regret their choices in 2016. This year is going to be about making us feel bad so they can feel better about themselves.

If Hillary Clinton opened up a hamburger joint, would you eat there? If George Soros wrote a book and went on tour, would you buy his book and wait in line at Barnes & Noble to have him sign it? Did you run out and buy a Dixie Chicks album after they attacked George W. Bush?

Why, then, do conservatives continue to support Hollywood when the vast majority of people in it are pushing a left-wing agenda? Many of them spend more times promoting their political narrative than making movies and television shows. Most of them allow those narratives and agendas to leak through in their performances and movie choices.

As I write this, the Golden Globes are being watched by millions of Americans. A good chunk of those watching are conservatives. This isn’t intended to condemn any of you; I had aspirations to be part of the Hollywood world at one point in my life and even moved to southern California to pursue it. Over the last decade, I watched as the liberal underpinnings of Hollywood emerged into blatant attacks on many of the things that I believe. Recently, the progressive rhetoric has reached a crescendo to the point that they don’t even try to pretend they’re only entertainers. They’ve come out feverishly opposed to the philosophies that make America awesome and in favor of the socialist, lawless, liberal ideology that is leading us towards oblivion.

There are few institutions that are easier to generalize than Hollywood. Save for a handful of brave and outspoken conservatives, the vast majority of actors, directors, and producers are as left-wing as they come. Last year brought more of them out of the political closet as the fear of Donald Trump prompted policy commentary from the strangest places. Today, they are outspoken and angry.

Most of Hollywood is pro-choice. They support the ideas of giving greater rights to members of the LGBTQ community than to average Americans. They want open borders as long as the illegal immigrants aren’t in their neighborhoods. They want total gun control except for their bodyguards. They oppose school choice while their children go to private schools.

They support Obama, oppose Trump, and they’re going to do everything they can to subvert his presidency.

As conservatives, we should not support them. We shouldn’t buy tickets to their movies. We shouldn’t bump up the ratings on their television shows. We shouldn’t be fawning over them at awards shows or idolizing them in any way. Like it or not, they have power through influence of their huge audiences. Some of them reach millions of people every day with their ideologies.

It’s hypocritical for us to condemn their politics but support their careers. Every time we buy a ticket to movies written, directed, and performed by liberal activists, we’re giving them money that will be used to promote their agenda. How many of them gave to Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and other liberal politicians? Which ones held fundraisers to promote the progressive agenda? We empower them to attack our philosophies.

We need to make better entertainment choices. As much as I’d love to call for a boycott, it’s unrealistic. As conservatives, we can choose to watch movies by those who aren’t fighting us. They don’t even have to be outspoken conservatives as long as they’re not militant liberals. There’s a reason that Mark Wahlberg seems to be in every patriotic retelling of real events from Lone Survivor to Patriots Day. Clint Eastwood directs a movie every year or two. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could be the next Ronald Reagan. Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington might not speak too much about politics, but they’re open about their faith.

We have choices. We don’t have to kiss the ring of the Hollywood elites or risk boring ourselves with Fox News all night. If we spend our entertainment dollars supporting people and stories that align more closely with conservative philosophies, Hollywood will eventually take the hint. Even if they don’t, at least we can feel better knowing we’re not supporting the engines of our own demise.

Several stories posted on conservative websites this morning exposed what most conservatives already know: the media will instantly scream at the top of their lungs when hate crimes are perpetrated by “the right” but hold out against hope when they’re perpetrated against “the right.” That’s how it’s perceived, at least, and for the most part it’s true. However, this is a deeper, more sinister problem that deserves a response.

We all know what would happen in a reverse scenario. Had four white people kidnapped and beaten a special needs minority while chanting racial hate and insulting a Democrat, there would be riots. Buildings would be torched, people would get shot, and general havoc would ensue across the nation. The mainstream media would be stumbling over themselves like ravenous wolves to condemn the “atmosphere of bigotry” perpetuated by President-elect Donald Trump.

Instead, we have stories buried as if this wasn’t a big deal. The left is forcing themselves to yawn at this one because to give it attention would mean acknowledging that their narrative just experienced a setback. The vast majority of mainstream media publications are doing their obligatory mention, then moving on and telling the people, “Oh, look at what Trump Tweeted about Toyota!”

As I said, this is much more sinister than we can possibly realize. It’s worse than the fake news epidemic. It’s worse than the media’s obsession with being part of the story. In fact, it’s worse than state-run media. Some say that the media is the Democrats’ Pravda. Technically, that’s not true. The media has become the mouthpiece of the liberal ideology itself. This is much more dangerous than being controlled by the government or a political party because it empowers them to spread their narrative and promote their agenda without the majority of Americans even realizing it.

Let that sink in.

The media knows that if they all say something, it would be considered true. If they all bury a story, it has a chance of going away. To prevent this, two things must happen. First, the outcry from the right must be loud and persistent. In the case of the Chicago hate crime, we did just that. The facts surrounding the story combined with the incessant discussions on social media and conservative publications made the mainstream media push the story back to the top after initially burying it. They’re not at the point that they can dictate what the people want reported. Not yet.

The second thing that can bury a story is another story of substance popping up. It doesn’t have to be bigger, necessarily, but if it’s big enough and new, the media will have a “valid” excuse to bury the bigger story that goes against their narrative. We’ve seen this very recently. The U.N. resolution and subsequent condemnation by John Kerry against Israel had a day in the spotlight before Barack Obama changed the conversation by sanctioning Russia. Like clockwork, mainstream media turned their attention (and America’s attention as a result) away from his heinous acts to focus us on something else. The Russian sanctions will amount to literally nothing while the actions against Israel will affect America and the Middle East for a long time. Thanks to the media’s coverage, many will never know this until it’s too late.

This is a sickness that’s spreading through the media. Liberalism and agenda-building are becoming the primary business of newsrooms across the country.

We’ve seen this progressive ideological sickness in a more advanced form in universities. The media is a step or two behind them, but they’re bridging the gap. In education, it’s advanced beyond the intellectual shift we saw in the 60s and 70s. It’s progressed past the blatant bias we saw up to the turn of the century. In recent years, it’s hit its final manifestation as an accepted concept. Americans no longer have an illusion that their children will be fed anything but a steady diet of liberalism by their professors. The same thing is now happening in the media.

As conservatives, we allowed it to happen in education because we were too busy doing things to notice. They say that the best conservative minds in an industry build companies while the best liberal minds in an industry become professors. That’s how we got to the point we’re at today. It’s imperative that we do not allow the same thing to happen in the media. They’re pushing forward towards public acceptance of their bias. We must draw the line here and start pushing back.

I often write that conservative publications must take the high road. The only thing that upsets me more from a journalistic perspective than liberal media’s growth is when “conservative” media outlets play games. The standards at so many of the most popular conservative websites are low. They use click-bait headlines and skew facts in a way that makes us look just as bad as liberals. This is why I spend so much time writing every day for multiple publications. We have to take the high road. We have to be the counterbalance rather than simply the biased foil against mainstream media’s agenda.

What happened in Chicago needs to be called out for what it is. The media needs to be called out for burying the story. As conservatives, we have to balance our desires to spread the right word with the necessity of keeping the truth on our side. When we play their games, we’re giving fodder to those who want to paint us as “the right,” a label that they’re quickly positioning as being a bad thing.

It’s been a very long time since I’ve gone into a new year with hope from a political perspective… 16 years to be exact. The last time I expected good things to come out of Washington DC was 2001. Those dreams were crushed in part by a Bush administration that started off slowly. Then, 9/11 happened and all of the rules changed. Talk of war, loss of privacy, actual war, more government overreach, concern over a “President” John Kerry, a bad economy, and then the coup de grace of electing Barack Obama made the last 15 New Years politically concerning at best and absolutely abysmal recently.

Before I go into the things that I believe are very possible in 2017 that should give us all hope for a bright year, it’s important to understand what concerns me about it. The GOP has been marginally better than the Democrats over the last two decades and they squandered their majorities in both chambers of Congress the last two years. To add to my skepticism, I’ve never been excited about Donald Trump. That’s not to say that I wish Hillary Clinton won (God forbid!), but I was against him in the primaries and unimpressed through the general election. I still have major concerns, but three things supersede those concerns. First, I support many of his plans, particularly securing the border and renewing our relationship with Israel. Second, many of his cabinet picks have been impressive. Third, Mike Pence may be running more of the show than most previous Vice Presidents.

In short, Trump has a clean slate in my books. As long as he performs near the lofty expectations we all have for him, I will be the first to admit I was wrong. Until then, I will pray that I was wrong about him and hope for the best.

With those disclaimers out of the way, let’s look at the seven things Washington DC can do in 2017 that can truly make this the best year in a long, long time for America.

Immediately start addressing illegal immigration

You’ll notice that I didn’t say, “start building the wall.” Before anyone gets too uppity, we have to address this particular issue prudently. The wall will take a long time to build, to which most will say, “all the more reason to get started.” This is a massive project that must be done properly. More importantly, there are measures that we must take to prevent the blitzkrieg of border crossers that has already begun since Trump won.

Border security can be increased dramatically in weeks. By taking this first step, we will be able to then start building the wall. It’s imperative that we send a very clear message to those wanting to cross the Mexican border that we have men with guns waiting to apprehend them and send them back. If we start with the wall, we’ll only encourage them to rush to cross the border more quickly.

If the wall gets started in 2017, great! If it has to wait until next year, so be it. This is too important to rush, especially when tripling or quadrupling the manpower and resources at the border will be more effective in the short term.

Repeal Obamacare without compromise or delay

Kill this abomination. That doesn’t mean rush it, but a motivated Congress can analyze the situation and come up with a plan that will mitigate the damage of a repeal. However, that doesn’t mean that we should delay and it definitely doesn’t mean that we should embrace portions of it as Trump has suggested. Kill it all the way. Replace it with something better that doesn’t included taxes, penalties, or removal of choices. Allowing interstate commerce of insurance would go a long way towards making sure we get rid of it quickly with minimal damage.

Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem

As I noted in another article:

When the most powerful nation in the world takes a step that they’ve never taken before by embracing the Jewish nation’s right to the capital of their ancestors, the place where King David ruled 1600 years before Islam was even formed, it will change the way the world has to deal with both Israel and America. Instantly, we’re put back into a position of strength that we haven’t seen in eight years.When the most powerful nation in the world takes a step that they’ve never taken before by embracing the Jewish nation’s right to the capital of their ancestors, the place where King David ruled 1600 years before Islam was even formed, it will change the way the world has to deal with both Israel and America. Instantly, we’re put back into a position of strength that we haven’t seen in eight years.

If Trump does this one thing in 2017, I’ll consider myself fully chastised for not supporting him before.

Take a conservative approach to trade

I get it. “America first.” It’s hard to argue with those who believe that exporting jobs is caused by poor trade policies because that’s the line of thinking the GOP has taken. In reality, free trade is by far more beneficial to the U.S. economy as well as workers than fair trade. What people must understand is that jobs will be lost over tariffs or forced domestication. It’s basic economics. If companies are forced to pay more for American workers, they have three options: cut profits, cut jobs, or raise prices. As Carrier demonstrated, they allowed Trump to “save” jobs for now, but are now forced to replace those jobs in the near future.

The two biggest reasons we lose jobs overseas is innovation and incredibly bad economic conditions for business operating in the United States. The first reason, innovation, is going to happen regardless of trade policy. Science, technology, and an ever-changing style of consumer demand means we’ll always watch some jobs change. That means that old jobs are lost and new jobs are created as a result. As for poor conditions for businesses, a conservative approach to the free market economy and free trade will enable American businesses to stay in America. They’re not just driven out by higher domestic wages. Higher wagers are often a net wash with overseas wages when shipping and logistical costs are included. It’s the tax and regulatory systems that drives businesses away. Kill the unnecessary regulations, reduce the taxes, and you’ll find more companies flying their patriotic flags high and proud.

Come up with a trillion dollar infrastructure plan that doesn’t cost a trillion dollars

We have infrastructure problems. Unlike many conservatives in my circles, I’m willing to acknowledge that the problem is as big as Trump paints it to be. However, with a national debt nearing $20 trillion and a budget deficit that could hit a trillion dollars in less than two years, adding another trillion dollar program is insane.

Trump’s team has been relatively obscure with their plans, but if they can truly use investments and private industry to undertake a trillion dollar infrastructure fix without having American taxpayers foot the majority of the bill, I’m all for it. In fact, it may be the road map to privatizing future projects that Libertarians and Federalists have been seeking for a long time. This could be an extremely good thing if they can pull it off.

Stop the wave of attacks on the 1st Amendment

Free speech. Freedom of the press. Freedom of religion. All of these are under attack. Those attacks need to stop. Trump, Congress, and most importantly the Supreme Court must do what they can in 2016 to reverse the direction this nation is heading. Between Barack Obama and his social justice warriors, we’ve seen more attacks on the 1st Amendment in the last eight years than in the years we’ve been a nation combined.Stop the wave of attacks on the 1st Amendment Free speech. Freedom of the press. Freedom of religion. All of these are under attack. Those attacks need to stop. Trump, Congress, and most importantly the Supreme Court must do what they can in 2016 to reverse the direction this nation is heading. Between Barack Obama and his social justice warriors, we’ve seen more attacks on the 1st Amendment in the last eight years than in the years we’ve been a nation combined.

Acknowledge our enemies, including Russia

No, I don’t think Russia hacked the election. Whether or not they hacked the Democrats’ email is debatable, but it changes nothing. Russia has been adversarial to us for years. The only thing different in 2016 is that the Democrats, who laughed the Russians off four years ago, are now screaming about them while the Republicans, who called them the greatest threat to America four years ago, are now saying it’s no big deal and we can all be friends thanks to the Trump/Putin bromance.

Here’s the reality: Russia is our enemy. They have recognized this for many years while partisan bickering prevented most in Washington DC from acknowledging it. Trump’s connections to Russia won’t be a concern as long as Congress is able to keep Russia in proper perspective. From Syria to Ukraine to BRICS to just about every action they take, they clearly demonstrate that they are not our friends. Trump will realize this at some point. Then, we can start classifying them with Iran, China, North Korea, and Cuba.

Remember, enemies can cooperate. The old adage of keeping your friends close and your enemies closer applies today. The challenge is in keeping our guard up while sharing many spaces with these countries.

Real hope and change

Things are looking up for the first time in a while. There are so many things that need to be accomplished, but never since Ronald Reagan has there been an opportunity to actually accomplish them. Don’t let liberals get you down. If these seven goals can be achieved, even some on the left will realize that 2017 was a great year when all is said and done.

Today, a truce has been brokered in Syria that will hopefully turn the corner on the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. With the country torn to pieces, refugees have been flooding into Europe and some parts of the Middle East, creating a dangerous situation for the entire region. America, under the leadership of President Obama, was not a part of the talks.

America, under the leadership of President Obama, didn’t deserve to be part of the talks.

Let’s take a quick look at recent history in Syria. It was a chain reaction of horrible mistakes. First, Obama drew his “red line” of chemical and biological weapons, claiming that if Bashar al Assad used them it would change the calculus for the United States to take action. Assad crossed the red line. Obama didn’t take action, letting the window of opportunity close before Russia stepped in.

Then, Obama went with the plan of arming and training Syrian rebels to take on Assad’s army. As many will recall, much of the support that Obama gave to enemies of Assad ended up being transferred to the Islamic State and other radical Islamic militants. They were supposed to be the force that drove back the Islamic State and got rid of Assad. Instead, they were neutered from the start by the poor plan before being obliterated by Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Finally, Obama attempted to negotiate peace while bickering with Russia over who would be involved. He tried to work through Turkey to get one done. His “smart power” policy would share the credit for cleaning up the mess he created. Instead, Turkey found a better partner in Russia and they got it done without him.

With 22 days before Obama is out of office, it’s fitting that he’s been excluded from cleaning up the mess that he created. As a parent, I’ve used with incredible efficiency the non-involvement tactic when the kids leave a mess behind. I draw their attention to the mess they made, then I proceed to clean it. When they offer to help, I tell them that I’ll take care of it because if they were concerned about the mess, they would have cleaned it up before. The guilt they feel as they watch their mess being cleaned has more of a lasting impact than making them clean it up themselves. Today, they clean up their messes before I see them.

Obama is being treated like a child by the international community because he’s acted like a foreign policy neophyte for eight years. He cannot take credit for fixing Syria and will get most of the blame for allowing the situation to explode. America is meant to be strong, to lead. Obama wanted to lead from behind. Instead, he’s being left behind. The result is a world that is much worse off today than when he became President.

As many Republicans finish basking in their victory over their Democratic relatives they only see at Christmastime, we’re looking at the final week of 2016. More importantly, we’re looking at the final four weeks of the Obama administration with new information that needs to be applied going further, particularly for conservatives.

For some of us, the future is about building on the successes of 2016 and applying our newfound DC dominance towards solving problems. For a number of stalwart conservatives who are still skeptical about what the future holds, there are lessons to learn and challenges to address in order to steer the Trump administration and GOP Congress in the right direction.

Some of the lessons from 2016 are obvious and won’t be covered here such as Obamacare (just repeal it), terrorism (do what it takes to stop it), gun rights (protect them), and mainstream media (don’t trust them). Other lessons need more focus if we’re going to have a productive 2017. Here are the top 7 lessons to heed.

Stick to our guns on abortion

The narrative of pro-life versus pro-choice has been shifted. We’re still addressing our movement with the same basic language, but the left is now pushing “reproductive rights” over “choice” because they simply couldn’t get around the idea that the baby must be considered in choices. In many ways, this leftward push towards politically correcting their narrative worked against them, but that doesn’t mean they’ll continue to lose.

Abortion is a cultural issue that has seeped into politics. It’s imperative for the pro-life movement to stay with the message of life beginning in the womb and not after birth. This stance will allow for more states to ban abortions at 20- or 24-weeks and will enable us to push those protections even closer to conception in the future. All we need to do is let science meld with emotion. This is political, but it must be fought on a cultural level if we’re going to continue to make up ground.

Democrats won’t be complacent again

The certainty the Democrats felt about winning the Presidency and the Senate left them absolutely shocked on election night. They didn’t lose so badly because they didn’t have enough supporters. They lost because in the key states there was enough complacency to prevent them from getting out the vote the way Obama did in 2008 and 2012.

It won’t happen again, at least not for a long time. They will come out hard in 2018. 2020 could be a bloodbath if Trump isn’t successful. They have the ammunition they need to get out the vote. They were overconfident; how many Democrats didn’t vote because they were so certain of victory? That will be the rallying cry going forward, so Republicans need to get their people out with as much fervor.

Free trade has enemies in every corner

It was once safe to assume that the Republican Party was the party of free trade. That simply isn’t so anymore as many party-line followers hear the message of fair trade and believe that it’s the new game plan. Fiscal conservatives who believe in the free market economy have to fight both the GOP and the Democrats to achieve the business growth and financial environment necessary for future prosperity.

Now more than ever, trade must flourish. It’s worrisome that so many in both major parties are fighting against this. It’s up to conservatives to hammer the message back in place before we start seeing the cost-expanding effects of “fair” trade.

Immigration is a winning issue

Remember that taboo of illegal immigration, walls, and deportations that allegedly helped doom Mitt Romney in 2012? Trump’s message was even harsher and it worked.

Illegal immigration is a major problem that most Americans can acknowledge. While more Americans lean in favor of some variation of amnesty, 2016 proved that it’s not important enough of an issue to prevent candidates from winning. Particularly when we tie it to the two biggest hot buttons – economy and terrorism – we’ll be able to continue to fight open borders, amnesty, and other liberal immigration principles without fear of losing elections.

Smaller-government needs further prioritization

Killing some regulations, pulling back on the reins in some departments, and eliminating most of Barack Obama’s executive orders is a good place to start, but doing so will only bring us back a decade when government overreach was still rampant. It will take a much more pronounced attack on big government to make a dent which is why I’m now a Federalist.

What’s worse is that many of the proposals coming from our future leaders in DC are pushing for bigger government. From a trillion dollar infrastructure plan to expansion of certain very expensive programs and initiatives, we have our work cut out for us. Reducing the size of government hasn’t been a priority since the last Federalist President, Ronald Reagan. We need to bring it back to the forefront quickly or continue to suffer through a two-party system where both sides increase budgets, bureaucracy, and power in DC.

Subsidies aren’t necessary for buying votes

One of the most important lessons that was forgotten by many is that subsidies don’t win elections the way they once did. Ted Cruz demonstrated that in the Iowa caucus by winning while being the only candidate against ethanol subsidies while Marco Rubio lost his home state of Florida while defending his sugar subsidies.

Now that we see this truth, it’s time to strike before everyone completely forgets. Subsidies are created to buy votes in local areas and they persist out of fear for losing votes. 2016 debunked the second part of the myth. That means we need to cut now.

The alt-right is a growing problem

Did the alt-right help Trump win? Absolutely. He brought out a slew of new voters in both the primaries and the general election, many of whom probably aren’t even aware that they embrace alt-right concepts.

Here’s the thing, and I say this knowing that it will be an unpopular statement to some who read this. The alt-right helped Trump, but they are not a positive influence on the GOP or American politics. The surface-level appeal that keeps them going makes their ranks easily manipulated away from conservative principles. The term “alt-right” is unfortunate because in many ways they have far-left views intermingled with the views that are considered far-right. This makes for a dangerous combination for any party that wants to address issues beyond the emotional surface.

2016 was a good year for Republicans and a potentially good year for conservatives. There’s hope, but let’s make certain that hope doesn’t turn into the same complacency that doomed the Democrats. If we don’t, we could be looking at quick reversals in 2018 and 2020.

Hate is a real issue. Americans have plenty of it. They demonstrate it all the time. The difference between hate today and hate in the recent past is that it’s now manifesting in the form of hoaxes perpetrated mostly by the left. They don’t want to be seen as hateful, so they turn their own hate into “clever” ruses to paint the right as the “real “haters.

Fake news is a real issue. As an obsessive consumer of political media, I’m a fake news hipster. I’ve been calling it out since before it was cool.

Today, we’re seeing the two collide in spectacular fashion. They’ve always had a secondary relationship in that hoaxes would be perpetrated and the media would investigate and report if necessary, but the boundary that separated them has collapsed. Today, the media’s standard operating procedure is to report the hoax first, investigate (or maybe not) later.

Why did this happen? Did the media become suddenly more gullible? No. This is willful. Ever since about a month and a half before the election, mainstream media started their “ready, fire, aim” stance on hate hoaxes because they realized they needed it to propagate their narrative agenda. They’ve learned two important things: falling for a hoax will not decrease ratings/readership, and they can source each other rather than investigate in order to justify their choices.

Here are four major hate hoaxes that have been reported in the last 24 hours:

In all four cases, there were reasons for the media to doubt the stories. In all four cases, the narrative of white and/or conservative and/or Trump-supporting and/or bigoted “people of privilege” persecuted and/or harassed and/or discriminated against some variation of minority. In all four cases, the hoax was reported before confirmed and later it was revealed by law enforcement or conservative media that we had all been duped.

Here’s the core of the problem. Mainstream media has a narrative agenda that has failed miserably. They did everything they could to hand the White House and Senate to the Democrats. In the past, that’s all that needed to happen; if the media united behind a cause, they could bend the will of the people. In the case of the 2016 election, their agenda backfired, so they now have two choices. They could learn their lessons and return to a bygone day when reporters actually reported and commentators made absolutely certain their perspectives would not be confused with news.

Predictably, mainstream media has chosen option two. They’re doubling down. The lesson they think they learned from their mistake is that they can’t allow a sliver of doubt to creep in. They actually think they were too easy on Donald Trump. They think they didn’t push enough of their narrative on Senate races. They think they now need to promote their agenda in full force, working overtime if necessary.

They’re going to get away with it, too, if we let them. Nobody calls out the original source. All it takes is for one media outlet to report something as real and the rest will jump on the bandwagon rather than investigate if for themselves. It’s not that they believe it to be true. It’s that they hope for it to be true. That’s enough. They’ve lost their way.

As conservatives, we need to take two stances. We need to call out the media when hate is faked and we need to call out the real haters. We’re not innocent in this. Many conservatives will turn a blind eye or even mount a feeble defense when real bigotry or hatred is present. To stay consistent, we have to stick with the truth regardless of whose side is to blame. The only way we can defeat the liberal media narrative agenda is if we take the high road every time.

Americans supporting candidates other than Donald Trump had 17 months to make the case to America why he shouldn’t be the next President of the United States. Based upon the rules set forth in the Constitution and subsequent election laws passed over the last 220 years that every candidate agreed to when they initiated their campaigns, Trump won the election. This matter is settled with one viable exception.

Before we get to that exception, let’s discuss the things that are not exceptions to the rules. They are relevant because they’re currently being used by the left in an attempted to sabotage Trump’s victory. As a proud member of the new Federalist Party, it disgusts me that so many Democrats are attempting to invoke the safeguards set forth by our founders to subvert the powers of the electoral college and prevent Trump’s ascension to office.

Fear of ridicule, harassment, persecution, or physical harm are not valid exceptions for electors to change their votes. It’s a sad state of affairs that we have to point this one out, but that’s the tactic that many Democrats are using today. Attempting to bully electors isn’t just immoral. It’s against the law, but it’s worse than that. It’s an action that eats away at the foundation of this nation.

Admiration of Hollywood celebrities and their “enlightened” perspectives is not a valid exception for electors to change their votes. The ridiculous video many of them put out in a plea for electors to change their votes is allowable and almost admirable… if you forget that it’s a ridiculous video. While I’m skeptical about its actual core intention, if we take it at face value, it’s still pretty silly. Again, the attempt would be admirable in a way because it’s a protected expression of an opinion, but in this case their opinion is futile. Even if their message succeeded, it wouldn’t change the result of the election.

Lastly, mass media anti-Constitution propaganda pushed from the highest office in the land and spread through the Democrats’ mainstream media minions is not a valid exception for electors to change their votes. We are a constitutional republic with an electoral college safeguard in place to make sure the worst-case scenario doesn’t happen. Trump may be the worst-case scenario in the minds of many Democrats just as President Obama was the worst-case scenario in the minds of many Republicans, but neither represented a true existential threat to America. Obama did damage, but we can recover. Trump will do some good and some bad, but it’s unlikely that he will single-handedly propel us into the abyss.

That brings us to the viable exception. Of the pieces of the Constitution that were debated by both sides, the electoral college was the most agreeable. It was called “excellent if not perfect” for one important reason. Their fear in the 18th century is possibly a relevant fear today. They believed that the electors could have the discernment necessary to make certain the next President wasn’t planted by a foreign power.

In The Federalist #68, Alexander Hamilton wrote:

Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one querter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils. How could they better gratify this, than by raising a creature of their own to the chief magistracy of the Union? But the convention have guarded against all danger of this sort, with the most provident and judicious attention. They have not made the appointment of the President to depend on any preexisting bodies of men, who might be tampered with beforehand to prostitute their votes; but they have referred it in the first instance to an immediate act of the people of America, to be exerted in the choice of persons for the temporary and sole purpose of making the appointment. And they have excluded from eligibility to this trust, all those who from situation might be suspected of too great devotion to the President in office. No senator, representative, or other person holding a place of trust or profit under the United States, can be of the numbers of the electors. Thus without corrupting the body of the people, the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task free from any sinister bias.

In short, the founders didn’t simply want to prevent a bad choice for President. They wanted to prevent corruption in any form but specifically corruption by foreign powers. While some might make the case that Trump has too many connections to Russia, it’s hard to imagine that he’s an actual foreign conspirator planted in office to bring down the country. I could easily make a case that Hillary Clinton was even more likely to be influenced by foreign powers had she been elected, but she thankfully was not. With that said, I have called on conservative media to help sort this whole Russia business out.

If electors truly believe that Trump is a Russian plant who will intentionally bring down the nation on orders from Vladimir Putin, they should exercise their rights as electors to prevent it. If they believe the more likely scenario that he’s a patriotic American who wants to forge a good relationship with Russia, then that’s simply not viable grounds to change their vote. For the sake of as smooth of a transition of power as possible, the electors should vote for whoever their state’s voters selected as President. The final tally should be 306 to Trump, 232 to Clinton.

Update: As if on cue, leftist-operated Facebook is turning to liberal “fact checkers” in their quest to quash the scourge of free speech fake news. As you read the article, keep this in mind because the drumbeat is getting louder every day. Folks, if conservatives don’t get louder, we’re going to get drowned out. Never underestimate the ability of leftist propaganda to turn good people to the left.

Liberal media is running with so many narratives right now that it’s getting hard to keep up. Russia rigged the election. Obama is leaving the economy in pristine condition. James Comey rigged the election. Snowflakes are being triggered by anything associated with Trump. Fake news rigged the election. Trump is going to take us to war against China, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, and everyone else (other than Russia). The electoral college needs to unrig the election.

Just when we thought that the floodgates of leftist propaganda was fully open during election season, the media has somehow opened them up even further. The sad reality is that if we, the conservative media and activists, don’t do something to stop it, their plan is going to work. We’re going to experience a liberal revival based on sheer brainwashing that hasn’t been seen since the Reagan era.

Things are actually much worse than they were in the 80s because now we have the internet and social media. Both venues are dominated by leftist ideology; for every conservative blog or news outlet out there, the left has a dozen to counter them. They have the advantage on social media sites, not because there aren’t enough conservatives using them but because their “algorithms” favor liberal perspectives.

The original reason I started my conservative news aggregator is the same reason I love writing for DaTechGuy. Conservatism needs more voices and it needs those voices to be louder in order to break through the false narratives perpetuated by the left. We are fighting a two-front war. On one hand, we have the known enemies on the left with liberal politicians, media, and individuals spreading their agenda. On the other hand, we have RINOs in office who are pushing the GOP to adopt more “moderate” policies, most of which would be considered outright liberal just a few years ago.

The modern conservative movement is in danger. While most of you are likely immune to the swarm of narratives the left is pushing right now, we have to acknowledge that most Americans are not. Just because they don’t trust the media doesn’t mean that the media doesn’t affect their worldview. We are all being bombarded with stories on television and the internet that tell us everything is going to fall apart with the GOP in control of the government. This “chaos strategy” works. As a strange man once pointed out, if you tell lies often enough, they become the truth.

We cannot be lazy. We cannot become complacent. We definitely cannot spend another moment basking in our election victories because the left is already hard at work trying to reverse them. They want to see big gains in 2018. They want to see bigger gains in 2020. To accomplish this, they will paint America as a nasty place that’s falling apart because of the Republicans. More importantly, they’ll blame conservative philosophies for every bad incident, herding as many Americans as possible into embracing their liberal ideology.

I have to do my part to stop this. YOU have to do your part as well. No, I’m not talking to everyone who’s reading this. Some people simply don’t have the time to invest into a political project and are lucky to have the time to even read the occasional article. There’s no fault assigned to those who are unable to help. On the other hand, those of you who have a voice need to make it louder. Those of you who can build a voice should start doing so now.

It doesn’t require starting a blog or a YouTube channel, though that would be nice. It can be done through word of mouth, social media, letters to the editors of local publications, or comments left in any of these venues. We need to call out the left’s lies. We need to highlight the right’s goals and perspectives.

Today is the day that conservatives need to realize the war is not over. We may have won some elections, but we’re still the underdogs. The left has more resources and advantages. We need to fight their propaganda even more tenaciously than we fought during the election. Otherwise, the gains that were made in 2016 can be easily wiped away in 2018 and 2020.