As an originalist at heart, I’m always skeptical of any form of “modernization” that anyone attempts to institute on government functions, ideas, or philosophies. That’s not to say that I want the world to work strictly from rules made in the 18th century, but human nature in general and progressive nature in particular tend to corrupt through modernization rather than improve.

One exception that should be discussed would be the modernization of the unalienable rights set forth in the Declaration of Independence. Unlike the Constitution or the Amendments that should only be tampered with through the prescribed amendment powers given to the federal government as well as the states, the Declaration of Independence should be examined for the sake of its 21st century validity. We are no longer under the rule of England. We have a nation that is sovereign, a government system that is tested, and a people that are empowered. By examining the unalienable rights as they apply today, it’s possible to bring them back into a focus in a way that is more applicable today.

This isn’t an exercise in hypotheticals. I believe that we are at a point in American history when the Declaration of Independence needs to be remembered and applied. No, I don’t mean that it’s time to overthrow the government or kick California out of the Union once and for all. Because we are a people who are not oppressed by outside governments, the need for independence is not applicable. However, the unalienable rights mentioned in the document apply today perhaps more so than they applied back then.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are listed as unalienable rights called out specifically from the group. They are endowed by our Creator and apply today. Unfortunately, they don’t have the same meaning to modern-day Americans, which is why I believe we need to do a quick examination of how they should apply going forward given the situation.

Life

The first is the one that hasn’t changed in name but has changed in focus. Life is sacred. It is God-given and must be protected. It is a right and it should be unalienable. Today, liberals are trying to redefine life on multiple levels. The most obvious is, of course, pre-birth life. Abortion was not the evil scourge sweeping the nation in the 18th century. TO them, life was a right that could be taken away by other men, but they did not need to specifically call out when life began and when the taking of that life should be considered murder.

Today, we have that issue.

Rather than redefining, it’s important to maintain the same name as, in its purest form, it exemplifies the unalienable right perfectly. Should babies before birth be murdered as if they weren’t alive? Should terminally ill patients be assisted in their efforts to take their own life? Is the death penalty righteous, or perhaps a better way to ask the question is whether or not our justice system can declare when someone has committed enough harm on others to forfeit their right to continue to live?

Personally, I am as pro-life as one can be in regards to abortion and assisted suicide and I’m for the death penalty, not as a deterrent to crime but as an aid in healing the loved ones of victims. As Americans, the question of life is something that should be answered on a personal level by every individual. It amazed me that people can have no opinion on any of these issues. After all, we’re talking about the most precious gift given to man in this world.

Liberty

There is a challenge. Just as many have said that “conservatism” has been improperly co-opted and redefined to fit a particular paradigm, so to has the word “liberty.” Because we no longer fight for liberty from foreign, but rather from our own government, we have witnessed the original intent of liberty getting mangled in recent decades.

It was telling when the Libertarian nominee for President viewed liberty as strangely attached to feelings. From his perspective, if someone walked into a bakery owned by a devout Jew and asked them to bake a cake shaped like a swastika, the modernized definition of liberty states that the Jewish baker cannot infringe on someone’s right to have the cake they want baked. This is, in my humble opinion, a perversion of liberty. Just as a Christian bakery should not be forced to make a gay wedding cake, we cannot allow liberty to be used as an excuse to take away someone’s liberty.

All of this leads to our first shift in names. Rather than liberty, which only seems to maintain purity when we’re fighting against oppressive outside forces, we should instead embrace its close cousin, “freedom.” This aligns better with the Constitution; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly – yes, they’re liberties, but when we see them more appropriately as freedoms, we have a more defensible unalienable right. Antisemitism might be viewed as liberty to some, but that liberty cannot be allowed to supersede the freedom of a private business owner who does not want to participate in the celebration or promotion of an organization that killed millions.

Pursuit of Happiness

Like liberty, the left has taken the original concept of our pursuit of happiness and muddied the waters with social justice and political correctness. Today, if a student feels triggered because their happiness is impeded by someone else’s actions, even if those actions had neither the intent nor the realistic expectation of causing harm, they are allowed to feel like their rights are being attacked. It’s ridiculous.

Happiness is not a right! It never has been. The ability to pursue happiness is the unalienable right, perfectly worded in the 18th century and perfectly perverted today.

To me, the clearest way to enable the pursuit of happiness is through reduction of government interference. On the surface, one might wonder how smaller government can be associated with the pursuit of happiness. If you take a moment to truly consider it, you’ll see that it’s through government interaction that the pursuit of happiness is most hindered. In short, more government drains happiness while less government enables it.

If we look at America’s needs through a 21st century lens, we will see that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, freedom and an appropriately small degree of government. If those things become our focus as a conservative movement, we’ll have our best chance of surviving the leftward lurch that the government has been experiencing in recent years.

Guns. Supreme Court. Abortion. Immigration. Those were the first four topics in the first three questions from Wednesday night’s debate (2nd Amendment and the Supreme Court were squeezed into the first question). On these issues, which are arguably the four most divisive between the two candidates, Donald Trump was composed, informed, and surprisingly eloquent. He was able to portray his thoughts intelligently without sounding too rehearsed. With Chris Wallace at the helm asking questions about issues, the first 30 minutes of this debate were the best 30 minutes Trump has had in any debate, including the primaries.

He exuded the presence of a President more than he’s ever done in his life.

It went downhill from there, though not as badly as it will be portrayed. Mainstream media will condemn him for declaring that he won’t necessarily accept the results of the election. I’ll cover that more shortly, but let’s look at his other mistakes:

  • When she called him a puppet, his inner middle-schooler said, “No, you’re the puppet.” It’s already a viral Vine with hundreds of thousands of loops and rapidly rising.
  • When asked about entitlements, he talked about improving the economy and jobs which absolutely won’t fix entitlements without a major overhaul.
  • Lastly, he called her a nasty woman. She is, but that’s not going to help him score points with women, especially after drawing chuckles from the audience when he said nobody has more respect for women than he does.

There were other little mistakes, but all in all this was his best, most error-free debate. It also showed something to the conservatives in the #NeverTrump crowd: he might not be as far from their perspectives as they’ve been led to believe. His grasp of Heller far exceeded hers (no, Heller was not about toddlers, Hillary). His attack on partial birth abortion was spot-on and Hillary botched her response. Then, his vow and reiteration of appointing conservative pro-life Supreme Court justices was reassuring.

In those first 30 minutes, the all-important undecided Republicans and conservatives were given everything they would need to lean in his direction. Now, we’ll get to see the media playing up his unwillingness to definitively state that he’d accept the results of the election.

It will be an ineffective attack. To understand why, we have to look at the psychological effects that his stance will have on each type of voter.

Those firmly in the Clinton camp will take those words and move their chances of voting for him from 0% to -1%. Nothing lost there.

For those firmly in Trump’s camp, they’ll be cheering him on. Darn tootin’ they won’t accept the results if Trump doesn’t. It’s war!

Undecided Republicans will be a little affected by the notion, but the reiteration that election fraud is real combined with not accepting the results will push more towards him than away.

Undecided Democrats and Independents – here’s where it gets a little weird. Most of them won’t care enough to be swayed by the notion, but some will unconsciously lean towards him as a result. Why? Because it reinforces their feelings that the system is broken, that he’ll fight the system, and that they don’t want added chaos. Whether they realize it or not, the more that the media covers it, the more the undecided Democrats and Independents will consider Trump. Those who are undecided on the left are undecided because they really don’t like Hillary.  If they liked her, they’d already be supporting her. The fact that they’re considering Trump means that his defiance to the system and antagonism of Clinton will be a plus.

Does this mean Trump will win? Unlike many self-proclaimed pundits, I don’t see this election as one that can be determined until election day. Nate Silver puts Trump’s chances below 20%. I tend to see it as still a tossup because 2016 is insane but more importantly because Trump is outperforming her on the issues. Tonight, it wasn’t even close. The only times Clinton sounded half-decent at all was when she was attacking Trump and/or pandering to women and minorities. On the actual issues, she sounded like a 3rd semester political science major with average grades and a crush on her professor. Trump sounded like he knew the issues.

President Obama and many on the left celebrated today as the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood. They used catchy hashtags like #100YearsStrong to promote the idea that this “healthcare” company has been a positive force in America for the last century. Meanwhile, seven million babies have been murdered by them.

Is that a harsh way to put it? Yes. Does it make some people, even many pro-lifers, cringe when conservatives call it murder? Yes. It should. We should all be cringing. We should feel uncomfortable with abortion. Some would argue that this is a political issue and attacking it on an emotional level doesn’t help the pro-life cause. I offer the counterargument that tackling the issue of abortion on any level other than emotional is a losing battle. Death is emotional. When we take away the emotion by making it purely political, scientific, or technical, we are declawing ourselves before the battle can be fought.

We need our claws. We need it to sting. We need supporters of abortion to face the reality that by embracing choice over life, they are placing a higher value on one person’s existence over another’s.

It was mentioned today that “The battle must be won for the hearts and minds of the people in America and around the world.” This is true on multiple levels. It’s the reason that Planned Parenthood and its supporters use technical terms like “reproductive rights” and “fetal tissues” instead of “abortion” and “babies.” The goal of their narrative is to desensitize us to the realities of abortion. They cannot win the emotional battle, so they make it political. They make it scientific. They make it technical. Unfortunately, many in the pro-life movement oblige by laying down our most powerful weapon, emotion, before we step into battle.

By no means am I calling for us to stop fighting with our votes, in court, and elsewhere on the political front. However, if those are the only arenas where we’re willing to fight, we are likely going to lose. Our disadvantage is that it’s 2016 and the people are so distracted by the Kardashians and Pokemon Go that they don’t allow themselves to be easily burdened by emotional realities in politics and religion. Our advantage is that it’s 2016, which means we have the technology to spread the message to those who are willing to hear. We can show them what a partial birth abortion really entails. We can share videos and images of babies in the womb, demonstrating that these are not just groups of fetal tissues. They are human beings, albeit very small ones. They are alive.

Here’s an example of why this is true:

We cannot win this battle with politics alone. Regardless of the law, the real battle must be fought from an emotional level. Some people are willing to have or support abortions because they are not convinced that they are promoting the end of someone’s life. If we turn the battle there rather than simply pushing for laws and promoting technicalities in court, we have a chance of winning battles. It’s important to remember that the battles are one life at a time. One abortion prevented is a life saved.

There are hardcore supporters who have been there from the beginning for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It was these supporters who helped propel each to their party’s nomination and nothing that comes out between now and election day will change their minds. Most of the rest of us have been forced to take a hardline approach as well. In this late hour, the accumulation of October surprises will not change our voting preference. The surprises are THAT bad; Trump’s locker room talk is countered by Hillary’s Wikileaks corruptions which counter accusations made against Trump which counter Hillary’s attacks on the pro-life movement which counter… you get the point.

In other words, a large percentage (I’d put the number north of 50%) of the electorate will vote for a candidate that they only support because they believe the other major candidate would be worse. Never has any living generation of Americans seen a full-fledged race to the bottom like this one. This election won’t be won. The next President will be the candidate that loses less. We’re stuck having to fake enthusiasm for one candidate because we can’t imagine America with the other candidate in charge. I know many of the readers are full-blown supporters of Trump and that’s your prerogative. I will never support, endorse, or vote for Hillary, so at least we have that in common.

Regardless of who wins on November 8th, it’s imperative that on November 9th we evaluate what brought us here and make the choice to never let it happen like this again. I’m not talking about figuring out how Hillary evaded jail or why the best batch of conservative candidates the GOP has ever seen were summarily dispatched by a liberal and his wall. It’s time to take a look at the fundamental problems in Washington DC and across the country that prevent the obvious solution of Constitutional conservatism from having its day leading in the halls of government. As Bobby Johns pointed out in his passionate attack on liberalism in Congress, only three Senators and fourteen Congressman score an “A” on Conservative Review’s scorecard. Most GOP Senators and Congressmen score an “F” which means that they are slightly right-leaning at best.

This is why President Obama has never had a problem getting every single thing he’s ever wanted in the last eight years budgeted, including over the two years that Republicans have held a majority in both chambers.

This is why Planned Parenthood always gets funded.

This is why the internet is no longer under U.S. control.

This is why the one time Congress was able to reverse a Presidential veto, it was on a bill that affects less than 1% of 1% of Americans. The only reason it succeeded was because retiring Harry Reid was the only Senator willing to side with Saudi Arabia over families of 9/11 victims. In an election year, the President never had a chance. His veto was symbolic.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough Republicans in office. The problem is that we don’t have enough principles in the people holding those offices. We need a party that holds conservative principles at the highest level, that throws political expediency out the window. We need voters to learn the principles that propelled this nation to its pinnacle. Most of those principles are found in the words of the Constitution. Others can be found in the examples of the men and women who defend them. Any politician who refuses to wholeheartedly keep the oath of defending the Constitution does not deserve our vote.

This year, it’s too late. Principles have been abandoned by both major parties. This is why it’s important to build a new one. If the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, and Reagan has moved so far to the middle that conservatism has become a co-opted punchline used during campaign season, then examining our course through the lens of principles is our best course of action after the election.

Update (DTG): As you know I don’t censor my writers and respect their opinions but tomorrow morning I’ll give a short answer as to what he’s missing here.

Every pundit will have an opinion based upon their own biases and their news agency’s preferences. Some will highlight the move Donald Trump made to threaten Hillary Clinton directly. What they probably won’t mention is that from a purely strategic perspective, his charge that as President he would appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton’s “situation” was absolutely brilliant.

A large percentage of American voters generally do not like nor trust Hillary Clinton. The same could be said about Trump, but there’s a difference. They don’t like Trump for his personality, privilege, and/or policies. They don’t like Hillary because she should almost certainly be in jail. For three decades, she has evaded the law. The accusations against her are numerous and many of them are extremely serious even if you discount conspiracy theories about her alleged “hits” on political liabilities. She has been demonstrated to be a liar and a cheat, but it’s worse. She’s gotten away with things that others could not and that makes her scorned even by people who want to vote for her.

Undecided voters now have something to weigh against Trump’s damaging recordings from last week. Do they want to harm Trump for his misogyny or do they want to empower him to take out Clinton? Whether undecided voters realize it or not, the notion of seeing someone in power held accountable is extremely appealing to them from a psychological perspective. They don’t like it when the powerful get special treatment. They don’t like it when the powerful get away with things that average Americans could not.

By itself, his call for a special prosecutor was a strong statement, but it was his mic drop moment a couple of minutes later that really punctuated it in the minds of undecided voters:

 

It won’t matter who pundits say “won” this debate. In reality, it was a debacle from start to finish thanks to poor moderators and mostly terrible questions. Nevertheless, the winner when it comes to putting sway on undecided voters was, through the subtle effects of his promise, Donald Trump.


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There’s a subtle move being made by the left that is pulling many on the right to consider gun control options. The use of the phrase “common sense gun control” has been making its way through mainstream media for a while, but lately we’ve been seeing more conservatives discussing it. This was punctuated at the first Presidential debate when Donald Trump agreed with Hillary Clinton on the concept of “no fly, no buy” as a way to keep weapons out of the hands of suspected terrorists.

It makes sense, right? If they can just make the no-fly lists more accurate and prevent law-abiding patriotic Americans from finding their name on it, then what’s the harm in using them to prevent firearms from being purchased by the wrong people? That’s a good form of common sense gun control, right?

No. The basic concept of due process is shattered once any American is able to have their rights revoked without a declaration from court following a proper presentation of evidence and the righteous exposure of one’s accusers to the accused. Does this mean that the no-fly lists are bad in concept? Once again, the answer is no. It is foolish to completely hamper law enforcement. There’s a fine line between preserving individual freedoms and maintaining a proper level of security. We’re not going to tackle that issue right now. What we will tackle is the difference between a no-fly list and a no-buy list. Travel in general and flight in particular are privileges. Gun ownership is a right. Revoking privileges for the sake of prudence is defensible when the system is designed to support it. Revoking rights for the sake of prudence is untenable. Our rights may not be revoked without due process, period.

What form of gun control should we be willing to accept? None. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it. I know that sounds contrary to the American way, but we must be diligent in our opposition of gun control in any form. For example, I would prefer if those with mental illness were not allowed to own a firearm, but that doesn’t mean we should have mandatory psychological evaluations prior to purchase. I would prefer if only those with proper training were allowed to carry a weapon, but I would never advocate for mandatory firearms training as a prerequisite to owning one. There are likely “common sense gun measures” that you would agree to in some form or fashion, but we must fight them out of principle even if we believe in them personally.

The reason is the cracking open of doors. When someone is at the door and you believe they mean to do you harm, you don’t crack the door open for them. It becomes easier for them to push it all the way open. Every form of gun control, even common sense measures, will crack the door open for the left. They intend to do us harm in the form of full-blown gun control. We must keep the door firmly closed.

The old adage says, “if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.” That’s exactly what the left wants to do. They are currently conditioning Americans, even conservatives, into believing that common sense gun measures are the way to go to keep us safe. What they won’t tell you is that the long-term plan (though it really won’t take that long if we crack the door open for them) is to dismantle our gun rights piece by piece. All it will take is a liberal President and a liberal Congress to start pushing their boundaries. They will take them further and further until they get their wish.

Some believe they are trying to take away the 2nd Amendment. That’s ludicrous. They wouldn’t dare try to take it away. In fact, they will embrace it. However, embracing it will be done in a way that’s intended to redefine it. We’re already seeing articles coming out every day talking about militia and muskets. The left truly believes their sensibilities are higher than those of the founding fathers, so they’re going to use the hallowed words of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights against us.

The real solution is Constitutional carry, but that is as unrealistic today on a federal level as taking down the 2nd Amendment. Until the day comes when we can protect ourselves and demonstrate how Chicago is a broken model, we must not give an inch. We must not crack the door open at all. We must oppose federal gun restrictions, even if they make common sense.

There’s a voting block that has received nearly zero attention this election year from the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to say much because her progressive perspectives are natural and assumed. Donald Trump has mentioned it one time in a single sentence in 16 months. Gary Johnson has oddly avoided it altogether. Homeschooling families, who often vote specifically based upon a candidate’s position on the issue, have been left in the dark with innuendo and assumptions as the only ways for them to formulate an opinion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Association, which almost always endorses someone in elections at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where anybody stands. They haven’t endorsed.

It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Americans because such a small percentage in this country take advantage of this crucial educational option. What people need to realize is that it’s a core issue that indirectly affects all Americans, conservatives in particular. It’s one of the last bastions of defense for those of us who believe that the government should watch our backs and essentially leave us alone otherwise. When the government tells us how we’re allowed to educate our children, the dominoes start falling.

This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my family isn’t homeschooling one of our children. Our youngest is ready to make the transition to a Christian middle school just as her siblings did before her. It’s important to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abraham and Sarah), our homeschooling days are behind us. I no longer have a personal reason to fight for school choice, homeschooling rights, or any other K-12 initiatives. However, I’m a conservative who sees the big picture. Parental rights are right up there with religious liberties and gun ownership as core issues that act as a foundation for everything else.

Is Donald Trump for homeschooling rights? Probably, though his lack of attention has made many homeschoolers wonder if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary Johnson? Possibly, though his progressive brand of libertarianism as it pertains to religious liberties should make us wonder where he really stands on education. Is Hillary Clinton? Certainly not, though as with everyone else she hasn’t discussed the issue. This is an issue for which every candidate must make their perspectives clear. Nothing implicit; we need an explicit stance that definitively declares where each candidate stands. Why? Because anyone -Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent – who will fail at protecting our Constitutional rights will first fail to protect homeschooling. It’s a harbinger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with bigger problems.

It’s a small issue near the bottom of most conservatives’ checklist, but with such things it’s important to remember the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

When my thoughts first turned to this article, I imagined taking a case-by-case, issue-by-issue approach to demonstrate that government’s role when seen through a Constitutional lens is to empower us rather than to limit us. This was going to highlight through an evidentiary process how this nation can survive and thrive when government gets out of the way and allows the American people to do what we’ve always done: make things happen.

While compiling the ample evidence to present my case, something changed. My mindset shifted from that of a courtroom attorney to that of a physician seeking to diagnose the root cause. This particular study was so easy with evidence so blatant that I started to wonder how in the world we came to this state of being in the first place. Why has government turned into the nursemaid that wakes people up to give them their sleeping pills? When did the people start allowing the government to tell us what we’re allowed to do instead of giving us guidance through laws that tell us what we shouldn’t do? That’s when it dawned on me that I was asking the wrong questions and, perhaps, fighting the wrong battle.

Could it be that the current manifestations of government are the result of a people that generally doesn’t want to do or think for ourselves? Did we create the nanny state because enough of the population demanded more nannies? As you read this, you’re probably thinking to yourself that the answers are obvious, that liberalism has enabled laziness while enabling entitlements to overrun the halls of governance. Were we fed enough lies that we became the problem that we wanted to solve in the first place?

As I looked deeper into everything, I realized that it’s not a one-sided issue. Even conservatives have embraced the nanny state mentality in many instances. They justify it better; I look at Marco Rubio as an example. I liked Rubio even though he wasn’t my first choice for the GOP nomination. One of the things that I didn’t like was his appeasement of the Big Sugar lobby. They’ve supported him since his early days in politics when he was barely known in Florida, let alone to the nation. Since then, he has been one of their biggest protectors, shielding them from the “evils” of free trade by subsidizing them in ways that prevent foreign competition with cheaper and better sugar from muscling into our free market economy. Is he still a conservative? Mostly, yes. Is he still part of the problem? Absolutely.

America was built on innovation and creation on the backs of hard working industrialists striving to continuously improve. However, there were those who took advantage of their power to prevent others from challenging. This is where the need for oversight and protections became relevant and even necessary. From the late 19th- to early 20th-century, income inequality and the power of the “one percent” was so rampant that it would trigger any modern day delicate snowflake into hyperventilation. The people demanded protections. They demanded that the government reach in and do something about it. The government obliged and fought the “robber barons” and “evil industrialists” to make sure that conditions and opportunity were in place for a wider multitude. This was a good thing.

It turned into a bad thing. Safeguards turned into regulations. Oversight turned into audits which turned into direct meddling which turned into the “necessary” bailouts of today. Then, the rich fought back as they’re wont to do. They put more money into influential activists who eventually became lobbyists. When they couldn’t coax the politics in their direction, they bought more politicians. The struggle for money and power took on a life of its own in dark alleys or behind closed doors. Today, influence is still being purchased, but it’s happening in broad daylight. Big Sugar didn’t have to use a proxy to meet with a trusted secret ally of Rubio’s at midnight in an empty parking garage. They filed the proper paperwork, contributed the right amount of money to the right people, and “earned” their subsidies through Rubio’s rise.

Here’s the problem. Whenever topics such as these are brought up, it’s usually on a conspiracy theory forum or on an anarchist’s blog. It doesn’t have to be. This is a topic worthy of mainstream attention, but it’s given next to none. Why? Because to get a full understanding of how it works and why, one must first acknowledge that the system can be fixed. Unfortunately, the system is so interwoven and tightly knitted into every other system (including the 4th and 5th estates) that it’s simply accepted. Those who understand it feel that it’s corrupt but couldn’t imagine a way to take it apart. The majority who don’t understand can curse about corruption and talk about how dirty our politicians really are, but they have no other way to act other than to vent.

If the system of overreaching government, obtuse regulations, out-of-control entitlements, and upside-down tax and spend policies could be unraveled, we could build something that has never been built before: a true capitalistic republic that was driven by innovation and an empowered citizenry. Earlier, I wrote that innovation and creation built this nation, but mending it today and reclaiming our exceptionalism is not possible with the current state of affairs. This is extremely depressing because the advancements of communication and infrastructure that we enjoy today would yield the prime environment for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness if we could just get government to allow it. We tasted this prosperity through most of the 20th century, but we got lazy. We got comfortable. We took our eye off the ball and failed to recognize that big government, once thought necessary to protect us, has become our greatest obstacle.

Imagine a government that protected everyone’s opportunity rather than everyone’s well-being. Instead of a nanny state, imagine a state that focused on helping people find and achieve personal goals. Instead of being protected, they could be empowered. Would some people fail? Yes. Would they require help? Yes. Should the government be the one who helps them? In most cases, no. Even the status of our welfare state could be privatized. The industry of caring for others in need has been left to the government and it continues to grow. While the government can provide the final safety net to prevent people from hitting the bottom, every safety net above could be better maintained in the private sector. We can see this very clearly evident in the most liberal cities in the country. The more the government “cares” for the people, the worse off those people tend to be.

Imagine a government that only regulated what absolutely needed to be regulated for the safety of citizens rather than the protection of special interests, a government that reduced taxes and fees on businesses to the point that they could be competitive on any market, whether local, national, or global. Instead of Big Sugar spending money lobbying and contributing to campaigns, what if they put all of their efforts (not to mention the money they didn’t have to pay to lobbyists and political campaigns) into innovation. Instead of relying on subsidies and tariffs, they would be forced to rely on their capabilities. Instead of figuring out how to keep the foreign companies down, what if they figured out how to make better sugar at a cheaper cost?

Whether it’s people or businesses, when the government takes away our ability to fail, they reduce our opportunity to succeed.

These are all topics that would require much more fleshing out than what I can put in a single blog post, but it’s important to understand one thing: none of this can be fixed without two major changes. The first major change is the two-party political system. Conservatives have no home for themselves. We rent a room in over the garage in the GOP’s house because it’s less liberal in general than the Democrats. Sadly, we are seeing a post-conservative Republican Party that still lays claim to the mantle of Reagan, Coolidge, and Lincoln without actually taking advantage of the mantle’s conservative philosophies. We need a new party.

The second major change is that we need an Article V Convention of States. It’s a good thing that there hasn’t been one in the past. Frankly, it wasn’t needed and would not have worked properly. Today, it’s desperately needed. Many fear a Convention of States because there’s a potential for disaster if it isn’t handled properly. The only way that it could work is if the vision of people like Tom Coburn, Jim DeMint, and Mark Levin could be realized. We need amendments to the Constitution that rein in the federal government. We don’t need to add more restrictions to the people. We need to prevent Washington DC from continuing down the road it’s on.

This is a lot to take in and we’re just scratching the surface. In this strange Presidential election year, most eyes are on one candidate who will destroy us and another candidate who will transform us. Regardless of who wins, we know that government is going to continue to grow. It’s up to conservatives, TRUE conservatives, to stand athwart history yelling, “stop!” Otherwise, these issues big and small that we’re facing in the election will become irrelevant as the nation crumbles under the weight of a government that’s supposed to be covering our flank.

Hillary Clinton represents an existential threat to the nation. She would perpetuate the liberal dumbing down of America, attempt to load the courts with more leftists, and redefine our unalienable rights to match the progressive agenda. Under no circumstances would I endorse or even remotely consider voting for her.

That’s the preface necessary to set the stage for dissent. As I wrote previously, questioning Trump’s policies will not make you a #NeverTrump Clinton supporter. We can see Trump as a leftward lurch by the GOP or we can view him as an opportunity to take a malleable candidate and show him why fiscal conservatism is the right direction for America if we want to thrive today and be sustained into the future. I’ve held to the hope that the latter can come to pass but recent trends point to the former being the more likely scenario.

A recent poll should shock every fiscal conservative in the Republican Party. 85% of Republicans surveyed said that free trade has cost the U.S. more jobs than it has created, compared to 54% of Democrats. Let that sink in. The party of Reagan that has witnessed the tremendous benefits of a free market economy and the absolute need for free trade as a hallmark of our fiscal plan has reversed its perspective in a single election cycle. I don’t care how charismatic of a salesman someone is – this should not have been even remotely possible.

There’s a difference between believing that our current free trade agreements can be improved and believing that free trade is bad. Free trade is not bad. It has always been the driving force for our economic prosperity. Today’s communication and infrastructural advancements make this the perfect opportunity to take advantage of trade in ways that we have never been available to us.

More importantly, we are no longer the only consumers nor are we the primary producers. The global economy is expanding and the United States needs to lead it, not break away from it. The fear of globalism is a righteous fear. It’s the primary reason that we need to maintain as much control of global trade or risk losing our place as the main benefactors.

Here’s a short video from 2010 that explains it quite nicely:

The biggest argument against free trade is that it means more jobs are sent overseas. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of economics. In a thriving free market economy driven by free trade, the “loss” of jobs is an opportunity to replace low-yield employment with higher-yield employment. As companies rightfully send certain jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs, to places where they can be done more cost effectively, the nation’s economy becomes more stable. With stability comes the creation of more industries and increased domestic employment requirements within those industries. Jobs aren’t lost. They are traded. They are replaced. As a consumer-driven nation, the need for better employees rises with free trade. As a technology-driven nation, the need for higher-skilled employees rises with free trade as well.

“Fair” trade is part of an anti-growth economic system. It’s a short-term bandaid that forces companies to keep jobs and production facilities in the United States. This concept is being sold as a good thing. Unfortunately, it’s only a good thing in the beginning. As revenues dry up due to increased production expenditures, costs of goods rise for consumers. Whether through tariffs or forced domestication of production, the benefits for a few are taken from the wallets of the masses. For example, let’s say Apple was forced through tariffs or mandates to produce the iPhone in the United States. That would bring a huge number of jobs back; over a million people contribute in some way to iPhone production worldwide. It’s a win, right? The problem is that production costs would skyrocket. The already-overpriced iPhone would need to retail over $2000 to make up some of the difference. As sales volume drops, so too would jobs.

If you’re thinking that Apple makes enough money already and should bring those jobs to the United States without raising prices, you’ve already taken your first steps towards a socialist mentality.

The GOP has been more responsible over the years when it comes to fiscal planning… at least that’s what we’ve been led to believe. I contend that the GOP isn’t pushing to the left because of Trump. Instead, it has always wanted to be the moderate populist party for the sake of winning elections rather than a party that believes in the tenets of fiscal conservatism.

The shift away from free trade is reminiscent of a lesson in George Orwell’s 1984 that doesn’t get as much attention as others. In the dystopian novel, we learn of the dangers of an overreaching government and how “Big Brother” can make our lives miserable for the sake of a perceived good to the oligarchy. We all know about doublespeak. What gets less attention is the lesson of controlled perceptions. In the book, Oceania is in a constant state of war with either Eurasia or Eastasia. The question of who the enemy is at any given moment is dictated by the leaders and maintained in false perpetuity, including in the past. If Oceania is at war with Eurasia at any given moment, it has always been at war with Eurasia. If the government shifts and declares that they are at war with Eastasia, then they have always been at war with Eastasia and have never been at war with Eurasia. Attempts to say otherwise are punished.

Somehow, the electorate is believing the manufactured reality that the Republican Party is now against free trade. If you were to question some of the 85% of Republicans who believe this, I would wager that a majority would say that the party has always been against it. Sadly, they may be inadvertently correct.

Those of us who view Hillary Clinton as an existential threat to the United State of America can list dozens of reasons she is unfit for President without breaking an intellectual sweat. The question of whether or not she is better than Donald Trump is something that undecided Independents will answer to determine who wins in November. For many, it will come down to who they dislike or mistrust the least. Depending on what happens between now and then, the out-of-control Black Lives Matter movement may be the one factor that drives Independents to lean towards Trump.

For the sake of her party and base, Hillary has allowed herself to be attached to Black Lives Matter. As hard as this is for many Republicans to accept, I do not believe that she’s actually sympathetic at all to the cause (even a liberal is capable of seeing the indefensible damage they’re doing), but she wouldn’t dare to condemn them in any form or fashion. She needs them to not hate her, to not bring the message to the masses that they prefer one of the third party candidates.

Her problem is quickly manifesting in Charlotte. If reports of a dashcam video showing Keith Scott brandishing a firearm before being shot turns out to be true, then the violence and rioting will be another example of unrighteous anger, destruction of property, and unwarranted violence stemming from the reactionary lack of reason demonstrated by the group.

Hillary can neither distance herself nor embrace them. She’s walking the tightrope of appearing to be sympathetic without sounding as if she approves of their activities. Her Twitter account the last couple of days has had reactions designed to appease every side, followed by a flurry of unrelated Tweets to bury her perspectives away from scrutiny. She’s trying to address the issue with a wave, then change the conversation as quickly as possible. It takes a lot of scrolling to get down to this Tweet:

All of this brings us back to the choice facing Independents. They have a wildcard in Trump and an untrustworthy liar in Hillary. Their cores negate each other in the eyes of many of these voters, which leaves them with a choice based upon emotion. Every time there’s a riot that draws lines between race rather than justice, it’s a reminder that she’s going to perpetuate the problems and magnify the hatred. Just as Trump needs a portion of minority voters to support him, so too does Hillary need Independent white voters to not see her as a threat to their safety.

Riots like the ones in Ferguson, Baltimore, and now Charlotte are reminders to voters that Black Lives Matter can strike them in their own cities. Hillary will be perceived as a supporter of Black Lives Matter no matter how deep in her profile she buries her Tweets. These truly undecided voters will make their final decision based not upon Trump’s rhetoric or Hillary’s scandals. Everyone is well aware of those. They’ll make their final decision based upon how each candidate will directly affect their lives. Every BLM incident, terrorist attack, and crack in Obama’s economy will push them closer to holding their noses and voting for Trump even if they don’t like him.

After all, they really don’t like Hillary, either.