Yesterday, I “helped” my second-oldest open her first credit union checking account. I say that I “helped,” but my only real contribution was telling her it’s okay if she doesn’t buy checks but keeps the 5 temporary checks she got from them as backups. “You won’t need them,” I said. “It’s 2017. Money is easier now than ever before.”

She’s still in high school but I put her one one of my credit cards to get her established. Having her as an authorized user gives her credit history while protecting her from making silly teenager mistakes. Every thing she uses it on must be approved, documented, and accounted for in the end. Now that she has a debit card, I’ll be using it to pay the expenses she accumulates on my card every month. If she’s ever short, I’ll work out a plan to cover it for her temporarily, but I anticipate she’ll never be short. So far she’s just used it for teenage essentials: gas, food, and an occasional pair of shoes when she’s worked extra hours.

As an active high school senior, she holds two jobs. I disagree with this particular choice but I support her right to make it. I wouldn’t say she’s overworked, necessarily, but it does create scheduling problems from time to time. She will learn from now until graduation one of two things: overextending herself brings challenges that she’ll want to avoid in the future or she’s capable of managing her time even when split between school, home, and work. Either way, it’s a great lesson I wish I’d have learned at her age.

Spend only what you can afford. Pay all of your bills on time. Work hard to generate enough revenue. Don’t go into debt unless absolutely necessary. These lessons are easy for a parent to teach a child, but they’ve clearly gone unlearned in Washington DC. More accurately, they’ve been ignored. The Democrats abandoned any semblance of fiscal responsibility a hundred years ago. The Republicans seem to ebb and flow in their understanding. Unfortunately, the current GOP-controlled Congress seems to have let those ideas completely fall to the wayside.

Obamacare must be fully repealed. Any replacement for it should be designed to systematically remove the federal government from the insurance business altogether. Defenders of the current plan will say that it’s a repeal that’s fixing the problem the only practical way going forward. The reality is that it’s the only way they imagine being able to pretend like they’re doing the right thing while still being economically irresponsible for the sake of votes.

One thing is guaranteed: if a Democrat were president today (God forbid), Congress would pass full repeal and either a conservative replacement or no replacement at all. Why? They’d know it would get vetoed. The fact that whatever they pass will likely be signed has forced them to reveal their real intention of continuing down the path towards big government fiscal failure just to avoid political losses in 2018.

There has never been a U.S. President like Donald Trump. It’s not his history, his ideologies, or even his style that make him completely unique. All of these traits have precedents in some form or fashion. The one thing that truly makes President Trump different from every other President before him is his ability to make mainstream media look like absolute fools.

Journalists have always had the upper hand. When they had a President they didn’t like such as George W. Bush, they could selectively pick out quotes that made him look silly while aggressively examining his missteps with a microscope. When they had a President they liked such as Barack Obama, they could just hang out with the guy and fawn over his clever quips.

With Trump, the media is tripping all over themselves, falling flat on their faces in the process. They seem to finally understand that Twitter is where they’re going to get their “sound bites” instead of directly from the mouth of the President. This is the only positive in the eyes of the media to having Trump as President. Everything else makes their jobs not only harder but potentially dangerous.

We’ve seen disinformation coming from the administration that essentially puts the media on notice. They fell hard for reports that the National Guard would be turned into a deportation force. Only after reporting the memo did the administration come out and say it was false despite attempts to verify it before the report. This was done specifically to promote the administration’s narrative that mainstream media posts fake news constantly. More recently, we saw the President himself act as a “senior administration official” to leak a story that he “envisions a bill allowing many immigrants to stay in US.” The motivation behind this one was even funnier. He wanted to get press coverage before his big speech before Congress so he’d have more eyeballs watching.

Both strategies worked wonderfully.

I mention his penchant for disinformation first because it’s not new to the office. Every President tries with various degrees of success to manipulate the narrative. Some say Obama was great at it, but let’s remember that the press were willing victims in many cases when the last administration wanted to shift perspectives. Bush43 was awful at it (though some in the administration were decent). Bill Clinton was masterful. Bush41 barely even tried. Ronald Reagan was arguably the best in modern history… until Trump.

This is part of the game that must be played in Washington DC. The press knows it. Their thirst for a scoop often supersedes their desire for the truth, so they’ve always played the game and hoped to come out on top as often as possible. With Trump, they’re quickly being taught (though likely not learning) that his administration has the upper hand.

With that important piece out of the way, let’s look at the thing that makes Trump unique.

Truly useless and bound to be replaced

Most pundits are aware that President Trump is pushing the narrative of mainstream media being loaded with fake news because he doesn’t like them. That’s only half the story. The other half is more nefarious and must be watched carefully by both sides of the political aisle.

Trump doesn’t just want the mainstream media to look bad. He wants them eliminated. He wants them replaced. The easiest way for his agenda to be successful and his next term to be secured is if he can make the people disenchanted with the press itself. He’s known this for years and has discussed manipulating the media since the 1980s. The difference today, as president, is that Trump realizes they will never be on his side. He could make Barack Obama his personal adviser and start initiating leftist policies and they still wouldn’t like him. The leftists press aren’t as concerned with his policies as much as they’re concerned with the man himself. They hate him.

As a result, he’s going to eliminate them as much as possible.

Past presidents have had contentious relationships with the media, but Trump is going to continue to push the bounds far beyond anything we’ve ever seen. He’s making the relationship personal and relying on their unhinged desire to destroy him so he can paint them as dishonest and “enemies of the American people,” as he once declared. What the press doesn’t seem to understand is that he’s winning this war. They’re still playing the game as if it’s them versus him. He’s playing the game as if it’s them versus America. Over time, he’s going to win this battle.

That’s the good news. As someone who has had an issue with mainstream media for decades, I cheer his efforts. The only thing that concerns me is that he seems to be pushing to not only eliminate them but to replace them with his own people. Anyone who thinks he has Steve Bannon so high in the administration because of Bannon’s political know-how doesn’t get it. Yes, Bannon knows politics, but he knows the media better than just about anyone.

For the sake of space, I’ll wrap it up, but there’s so much more to explore on this topic. We’ll cover it further on Thursday. In the meantime, be mindful that President Trump is going to continue his attacks on the media and there’s nothing they can do about it.

Every day, the media loses credibility. Every day, President Trump gains new sympathizers who are sick of how mainstream media paints the administration and anything associated with Trump. Even the left is starting to notice the bias. As improbable as it sounded a few months ago, Trump’s war with the press is going to pay off. Their hatred for him will demonize them in the eyes of the people.

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri has a flare for the dramatic. She’s risen on the Democratic power charts by calling out Republicans every chance she gets. It’s no surprise that she would call out Attorney General Jeff Sessions after it was revealed he met with the Russian Ambassador during campaign season last year.

That’s a pretty powerful condemnation of her former peer in light of the recent revelations. The problem is that it’s a complete and total lie. She DID have a call with a Russian Ambassador in the past.

Twitter has a long memory. Granted, it was a group call and mentioning the Russian Ambassador within the group technically means she didn’t speak with him directly, right? We also should take into account that she didn’t actually meet with the Ambassador. Phone calls are easy to forget, especially for a busy Senator.

Uh oh…

No group call this time. No call at all, in fact. She actually met with the Russian Ambassador.

Here’s the problem with leftist hypocrisy (all hypocrisy, for that matter, though it predominantly spews forth from leftists): The rhetoric can only sustain the narrative for as long as the truth remains hidden. Senator McCaskill inserted herself into a situation and thought she was throwing stones. Instead, she was throwing a boomerang that came back to hit her.

The problem here isn’t the dishonesty. It isn’t the hypocrisy. It’s that mainstream media won’t say a thing about McCaskill’s lie. They’ll cover for her just as they tried to cover for Hillary and just as they covered for President Obama for eight years. This is the reason I write about politics. The real hypocrisy comes from the storytellers more so than the subjects of their stories.

As I’m writing this, many millions of people around the world are watching the Academy Awards. I know I’m not alone in “boycotting” the Oscars, though calling it a boycott is silly. It’s simply a choice. To say it’s a boycott is to belittle the efforts made by those who actually oppose the actions of organizations in sustained and systematic fashions. Like many Americans, I’m just deciding to do something else with my time.

I’ve ranted in the past about avoiding Hollywood. I didn’t watch the Golden Globes and I’ve called for conservatives to find entertainment alternatives, but this is a little different. The Oscars are the big show. It’s the one that is viewed around the world more than any other entertainment awards event. This year, people in other countries will watch the awards and will be able to come to only one conclusion: America hates its President and is falling apart as a result.

They don’t know the situation. Because they’re not bombarded with American news the way we are, their limited exposure means they have to form their conclusions from an incomplete data set. Watching the Oscars, they won’t realize that a large portion of Americans support President Trump. They’ll watch Hollywood liberal after Hollywood liberal bash Trump. They won’t hear a single one say anything positive about the President and if by some miracle they do (I don’t think Clint Eastwood or James Woods are winning anything this year), they’d hear the crowd throw out loud boos. This is Hollywood honoring Hollywood and disgracing the nation that gave them their opportunities.

I mentioned that what many of us are doing during the Oscars should not be called a boycott. If the ratings of this Academy Awards are low (which I doubt), it won’t faze any of them. The only way that they can be made to care about the absurdity of their liberal message is for their actual dollars to drop. That means it’s up to conservatives to stop watching. Sounds hard. It will be. Heck, I’m a movie fan. I moved out to the LA area because I wanted to get into the movie business a decade ago. Things change and I’m glad I didn’t follow through with that particular goal, but one thing is now clear to me. I cannot allow my hard-earned dollars to be used to promote the leftist agenda that spews forth from the people that Hollywood supports.

That’s not to say I won’t see any movies at all. I’m just going to be very selective. I’m going to support the stories that have conservative leanings. I’ll support directors and actors, few as they may be, who are unabashedly conservative. I’ll read more books, watch less television, and spend my downtime educating myself on YouTube with conservative and/or Christian messages.

In other words, I’m done with liberal Hollywood.

Leftists in Tinseltown will continue to embarrass our nation until we let them know that enough is enough. That doesn’t mean a Tweet or a blog post. The only way they’ll listen is if we hit them in their paychecks. The only way we can hit them in their paychecks is to stop spending portions of our paychecks to support them.

Democrats hate Republicans and will find nothing good in anything they do. Republicans hate Democrats who they believe can do no right. Federalists hate neither major party. They call out concepts they oppose and embrace actions they like. With President Trump’s reversal of President Obama’s bathroom decree, Federalists have several reasons to cheer the GOP leader.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the kudos I’ll soon be posting at the Federalist Party website:

  • Freedoms and rights must be protected as long as they don’t supersede “greater” rights and freedoms. In modern American society, we’ve seen a rise in people claiming the right to do things that contradict the rights of others. We’ve seen this in calls against “discrimination” when private business owners want to exercise their right to practice their religion. We’ve seen it with “reproductive rights” superseding a preborn American’s right to live. Most recently, we’ve seen it with Obama’s declared right for someone to pick their bathroom, an action that steps over a person’s right to privacy and safety. Trump’s move is the first real step in preserving freedom that we’ve seen in eight years.
  • “Leave it to the states.” I love it when a DC politician says these words. When it’s the President of the United States saying it, I’m downright giddy. When it comes to the convergence between education and safety, every Federalist can cry tears of joy when the President supports states’ rights.
  • One of the more subtle things this did was keeping the transgender issue apolitical. This is a cultural issue. Let’s remember that a transgender person has the exact same rights as anyone else. They’re able to use the restroom they were biologically built to use. This isn’t about giving them equal rights because they already have those. The transgender agenda is about giving them more rights than other people. Trump’s reversal brings the issue into its proper context as a cultural dilemma rather than a political one. That’s not to say it won’t be politicized, but when the White House sets the pace, it’s a great thing.

The way for this nation to move forward on such issues is for the the actions rather than the party to be the focus. As always, I’ll be critical when the actions call for it and I’ll give praise when the actions are righteous. This is an instance when I have no problem giving our President the full kudos he deserves.

There are two major things that should concern the American people about mainstream media. We’ve seen one of them very blatantly rear its hypocritical head since the start of election season in 2015: major left-wing bias. The other is even more dangerous and if we don’t take hold of the first, we’ll be faced with the second.

Before we get into the more severe threat of mainstream media, let’s focus on the one that’s clear and present. Mainstream media has been “left-leaning” for over four decades. Some may remember a time when the media was actually right-leaning. Those days are obviously behind us; anyone who doesn’t qualify for Social Security benefits has likely never seen right-leaning mainstream media (other than arguably Fox News and WSJ) in their adult life. The major shift that we witnessed in the most recent election cycle is unabashed bias. There was still a semblance of subtly in their bias during the Bush43-era. Today, they’re loud and proud about being leftists.

There are righteous cries by conservatives to do something about this problem. The Democratic Party’s propaganda wing has become so engrossed with their own rhetoric that they’re having a hard time understanding why there’s any opposition to them at all. It’s imperative that conservatives do what they can to simultaneously denounce mainstream media’s bias and to promote independent and conservative media that needs help in being the countermeasure to liberal talking heads.

It must be the people who bring about this change. It cannot be the government. This brings us to the bigger threat that could engulf us: state-run media. Today, it’s practically impossible for anyone to imagine a press that’s controlled by the government. It’s never been the case in America (despite rumored efforts by the “Deep State,” the CIA, and other powerful government entities) for the government to have control over the media, so very few are concerned about it. We should be.

If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that the sentiment of the American people can be shifted very quickly. In the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency, nearly 70% of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. Even Californians outlawed it for a time. Today, less than 40% of Americans oppose it. In less than seven years, the sentiment on this topic was changed through liberal indoctrination in colleges, massive propaganda campaigns in the media, and pressure put on those who would oppose the practice.

What we’re seeing happening with the media is not indoctrination from one side. Both liberals and conservatives are starting to see needs for “restraints” on the media. Not to sound too conspiratorial, but the rise of the “fake news” narrative is designed to get us to not trust ANY media. There has always been fake news. In fact, it’s not any worse today than it was a decade ago. The difference is that we’ve put more of an emphasis on it through social media. We’ve given it a tangible name and defined it as a bogeyman to be feared.

Tearing down the 1st Amendment freedom of the press concept won’t start off as state-run media. It will start as “limits” to what can be reported. It has already started with calls by powerful people in government to rein in their reports by forcing verification before news can be published. This comes in the form of strengthening libel laws that yield consequences if reporters get a story wrong. All of this is being packaged in a way that the people can get behind without realizing that they’re supporting restraints that harm the Constitution itself.

The problems of fake news and liberal bias are real. The battle must be waged by the people, not the government. If we call for the government to take action, the only way they can solve the problem is by taking us several steps closer to the bigger problem of state-run media. Instead, we have the power as Americans to fight it through our voices and our dollars. I would love to help lead this effort, but there’s already too much on my plate. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to step up and start directing the grassroots to fight the liberal bias and fake news problem without the government getting involved.

Mainstream media outlets must be made aware that if they’re going to be biased, they won’t get our money nor our page-views in the form of clicks. That’s not to say that there’s not room for commentary or op-eds, but those must be clearly delineated. Smaller media sites, particularly those who adhere to neutrality, need our support. As for conservative media, we’re currently outnumbered and outgunned. We need help to be the commentary that opposes our liberal counterparts.

All of this sounds hard. It will be. The alternative is for the government to step in and take action. That is not a valid solution. Once they start, history tells us they cannot help themselves. They’ll take it further and further until the media is a shell of what it once was. To those who say that this would be a good thing, remember that if they’re just a shell, someone will be pulling the strings. I’ll take a left-wing mainstream media over a government-controlled media any day of week. At least bias can be countered through discernment and spreading the word. Once the government gets involved, it quickly turns into oppression. If that’s allowed, it will be almost impossible to reverse.

The only righteous way to tackle the problems we’re seeing in the media is for the people to address it from the grassroots. Calls for media oversight from DC will not end well for Americans. We need a free press to stay free. We need free Americans to change the media’s ways with our voices and our dollars. We do not need anything that will harm the 1st Amendment regardless of how appealing that may seem to some today.

There are plenty of plans to repeal, replace, tweak, fix, improve, dismantle, and otherwise make changes to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. I’m going to keep this short for the sake of simplicity because the answer isn’t hard. Repeal it. What you do after that will work out just fine.

Some will say, “But we need to have a plan in place or the GOP will get slaughtered in 2018 and 2020!” I don’t completely disagree, but there’s an important caveat to note.

There is no plan that doesn’t include installing some variation of socialized medicine that will prevent everyone from losing their coverage. The math simply doesn’t add up. You can’t take something as fiscally obtuse as Obamacare and replace it with something that yields the same results without being essentially the same thing. Yes, people will lose coverage. Yes, the media will play it up. Yes, the Democrats will point to it as a reason to regain power.

The only way to prevent the Great 2018 Slaughter of the Republican Party is to fulfill the promise that they made to repeal it, to invoke the mandate that the last election gave them, and to work like crazy to fight the negative optics associated with it. The sooner they do step one, the better. There are some who are secretly pushing to repeal Obamacare but to not have it take effect until after the election. This is unacceptable. Rip it off like a putrid old band aid and then govern the country amazingly going forward. That’s the only hope.

Here’s the thing. This isn’t new. The GOP has claimed to want to repeal Obamacare for six years. There has been more than enough time to plan it out, prepare for the consequences, and enact a plan to mitigate political damage done. Why are they now acting like this is a brand new development? Why aren’t they embracing perfectly good plans such as the Paul-Sanford bill? Why aren’t they following the lead of people like Ted Cruz who want to fulfill the promise they made?

There. I said it would be short.

What they do after this economic abomination is repealed will work out as long as it doesn’t include a similar monstrosity. The window of opportunity has been open. If they don’t take decisive action now that they have the chance, then they deserve the routing that they fear will happen by doing what they said they were going to do in the first place.

President Ronald Reagan was an enigma. His goals and the results he produced were often achieved by contradicting the accepted paradigms. He was known for strength and military prowess, yet America participated in fewer battles under him than any President in modern history. He helped individuals and small businesses at the bottom rung by letting money “trickle down” from the top. He was strong on immigration, yet gave amnesty to many.

Historians and political scientists are still trying to unpack how he was able to produce desired results by addressing the problems from directions opposite of Presidents before and after him. One of the least discussed but most profound contradictions in Reagan’s arsenal was “new Federalism.” Like President Richard Nixon before him, Reagan believed that if you take the power-balancing ideas of the original Federalist Party and apply them to modern problems, you can fix the broken aspects of American government.

His first challenge was overcoming the stigma associated with the early Federalists. Both their name and the twisting of their goals would seem to oppose what he wanted done, but this is a misconception. They wanted a stronger federal government than their opponents who believed in the primacy of the states. Federalists wanted a balance between the states and the national government. The anti-federalists didn’t want the national government to have much influence at all – no substantial army, no navy at all, and no ability to sign binding treaties with other nations. In essence, the Democratic-Republicans of Thomas Jefferson wanted every state to be sovereign to the extreme. If France wanted to sign a trade pact or alliance treaty, they’d need to do so with each individual state rather than with one United States of America.

Reagan’s vision of modern Federalism is to achieve the same goals of the original Federalists but from the opposite end of the spectrum. He realized that the national government was quickly becoming too powerful. He embraced the Federalist approach of checks and balances between the states and Washington DC that empowers either to properly represent their citizens. If someone in Michigan was being oppressed by the federal government, they could go to the state to seek protections. If it was Michigan that was oppressing this person, they could call on DC for help. Only through balance of powers can this country be properly managed. Only through balance of powers can the people’s freedoms be properly protected.

The reason it’s not discussed much is because he didn’t come close to completing his mission. Despite his charisma and intellect, he soon realized that the government he ran was extremely reluctant to give up any of its powers. This, more than anything else, is why we’ve formed a new Federalist Party. Even someone as strong and well-liked as Reagan was not able to break through the DC cartel’s self-aggrandizing addictions. We need a party that truly believes in reining in DC overreach to start winning seats at local, state, and national levels of government. Reagan needed help and the GOP was unwilling to give it to him.

Today, we need Reagan’s concepts of Federalism even more than we did in the 80s. Things have gotten worse. DC is a swamp, and while President Donald Trump is trying to drain it as quickly as possible, he can’t get it all done. In fact, his focus on reducing bureaucracy is righteous but is only one small part of the overall formula. Reining in government overreach requires a three-pronged attack and draining the swamp will only go after one of those prongs. We need more. Just as GOP leadership didn’t support Reagan’s efforts, we cannot expect them to initiate the purging of their own powers any time in the future, either.

Thankfully, we’re not starting from scratch. There are those in DC such as Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Justin Amash, and Ben Sasse who have demonstrated an understanding of the need to rein in federal power in all three branches, including their own. They are a minority even in their own party. This is why Federalists must coalesce around a party that’s willing to support them and bring fresh blood into the halls of government at every level.

Reagan had a wonderful vision of small-government Federalism that remains unfulfilled to this day. It’s time to put people into office who will truly take up his mantle and act to reduce the power being accumulated in Washington DC. As Reagan once said, “Government does not solve problems. It subsidizes them.” The time to solve the problem is soon. The way to solve them is being built today.

There’s an old saying that makes its rounds at law schools across the country. The most talented law students become lawyers and eventually judges. Those who can’t make it as lawyers become professors. While this is meant as a derogatory statement students make about their law professors, there’s a bit of truth in it. No, I’m not suggesting that law professors are or were bad lawyers, but it’s no surprise that even in the relatively-conservative profession of the law, a majority of educators tend to lean left.

It’s much worse in other professions. I don’t have to convince you that higher education is a infested with leftist educators and administrators. Any debate about that reality has been thoroughly quashed in the last few years. Instead, it’s important for us to come up with a plan to address this issue going forward.

Here’s the biggest problem. They’re embedded. It would be nearly impossible for a conservative revolution to happen in college leadership or among professors because they already own the entire market. They run the schools. They run the departments. They hire and promote the professors they want and the vast majority of them are leftists. This is a problem that we won’t be able to solve from the top, so we have to address it from the bottom up.

We have to start with the students.

This is often framed as a challenge for America’s future, but that’s only half the story. As adults, we often view college students as relatively impotent. Perhaps in the past they were, though one can argue that most major movements in our history have started with passionate students operating within their collegiate environments. Today, they’re even more empowered because of social media. The always-on aspect of American society gives the professors and students a much louder megaphone. Instead of having to contest with bad television coverage from protests, we are now faced with a generation that has more reach than ever before. They can reach each other and they can reach the rest of the world.

To fight this, we have to do three things.

Prepare our Children

As a parent of a college student and another about to enter, I have been spending a great deal of time preparing them for the attempt at indoctrination they’re bound to experience. The only surefire way around it is to not send them to college (and yes, that’s a valid option in today’s economic construct). If you’re unwilling to do that, then it’s imperative that you get them prepared.

How it’s done is up to you. I was blessed with children who are quite discerning for their age. They both came to the conclusion that they were conservatives without me bombarding them with propaganda or putting posters of Ronald Reagan on their walls as children. When they had questions, I answered them. We’ve shown them the correctness of fiscal and social conservatism, but it must be taken a step further.

As good as conservative philosophies are to those who will listen, it’s still challenging to overcome the onslaught of leftist thoughts that they’ll experience in college. There’s no real way around it, so it’s important to do two things: prepare them before they go and be open to questions once they’re in the belly of the beast. So far I haven’t had to explain away any liberal ideas that started creeping into their mindset, but I’m prepared to do so at any point.

Call out Hypocrisy

The other bastion of liberal ideologies is the mainstream media. With few exceptions, they are also populated with a majority on the left. This makes for a great tag-team effort between schools and the media. The leftists at colleges make a fuss and the leftists in the media paint their fuss in a positive light.

It’s up to bloggers, video producers, and social media users to call them both out when they’re hypocrisy is apparent to us. Because of the nature of our situation, we can’t expect them to do it themselves. We’re the voice of dissent against leftist hypocrisy in higher education. The media will not do it for us.

Engage in Discourse

We’ve seen conservative speakers shunned by colleges across the country. This is no reason to stop trying. In fact, we need to do it more.

It’s not just up to public speakers who attempt to speak at colleges. We also need to be active on college forums. We should be replying and being the voice of reason on college publications. We should address them directly on social media. The best friend of leftist indoctrination is a silent right.

Can we convince a leftist professor that free markets yield better results than heavy regulations and obtuse tariffs? No. However, when we engage publicly with them, it’s the audience watching the exchange that has the opportunity to see the right way.

It’s not going to be easy to take on the leftist juggernaut of higher education in America, but it must be done. Conservatives can only win through legislation as long as we have enough voters putting conservatives in office. This will trend away from us if we let the left have carte blanche on the biggest future (and current) voting block.

The majority of things that come out of Washington DC do not require our assistance. President Trump lays down an order, Congress passes a law, or some agency puts out a regulation and the citizenry does what it can to comply. It sounds Draconian but it’s a system that works. Our participation in the republic is to vote in representatives, empowering them to keep order and hopefully assist us in prosperity.

Today’s rumors that Trump is about to take religious liberties onto his plate will, if true, require our actions. He will need our help. Defense of religious liberties has been a hot topic since before the country was even formed and will continue to be a hot topic long after we’ve left this world. That’s the nature of the most polarizing aspect of human existence.

For eight years, faith-minded Americans have witnessed a government that has positioned religious freedom as a form of discrimination. They say that a baker can’t practice her religion in her own private business and must bake whatever cakes people order. They say a wedding photographer must take pictures at an event even if her religion tells him it isn’t really a wedding. They say that religious organizations cannot express their political opinions because they’re a religious organization.

All of these things are (hopefully) about to change under Trump’s administration. If they do, it’s up to us to support it appropriately.

This is a tricky subject. The cultural promotion of religious freedoms isn’t a black and white issue even though it probably should be. We’re going to have to make tough choices in the near future. One of the toughest is acceptance of other religions. The Judeo-Christian faiths are, in my humble opinion, the most accepting of the other religions. We need to take this up a notch if and when religious freedoms are taken up by the administration. True tolerance is accepting that everyone’s religion, even those with values that run contrary to our own, has an equal right in America. There are those who will say, “but we’re a Christian nation.” I agree, but part of being a Christian nation is accepting the commission to spread the Word of God. It doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to accept others of our faith and ignore or reject other faiths. It’s our right in the Constitution to share our faith and it’s a calling in the Bible to do the same.

When Trump makes his move, it will be first positioned by the left as an attack on LGBT rights. Then, it will be positioned as an attack on atheists. Then, the narrative will shift to this being about Christians only and that other religions aren’t going to be allowed to share in the same freedoms. All of these narratives are pre-packaged and easy to fight, but the President cannot fight them alone. Those of us, regardless of personal religious beliefs, who embrace the freedoms that the 1st Amendment grant us must be vocal in our defense. We must support all righteous decisions at all levels of government. Moreover, we must denounce all perversions of the 1st Amendment that attempt to use the freedoms against us. Yes, that’s going to be a thing at some point in the near future. Watch for it.

Between travel bans, walls, and a flurry of executive orders, it will be easy for religious freedoms to get lost in the sea of issues. It’s our duty as Americans, whether we’re religious or not, to defend the rights of individuals and organizations to freely practice their beliefs. This is the battleground that requires us all to take up spiritual arms. It’s time to stand up for what’s right.