Clayton Felts – The Resurgent https://theresurgent.com Committed to Freedom, Faith and Family Thu, 10 Jan 2019 21:05:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://theresurgent.com/wp-content/uploads/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Clayton Felts – The Resurgent https://theresurgent.com 32 32 104855451 Thank you Secetary ​Mattis f​o​r your service and warning https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/21/thank-you-secetary-%e2%80%8bmattis-f%e2%80%8bo%e2%80%8br-your-service-and-warning/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/21/thank-you-secetary-%e2%80%8bmattis-f%e2%80%8bo%e2%80%8br-your-service-and-warning/#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2018 06:26:02 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/21/thank-you-secetary-%e2%80%8bmattis-f%e2%80%8bo%e2%80%8br-your-service-and-warning/ Mattis served this nation with honor and his resignation letter should be treated with extreme seriousness

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Secretary of Defense General James Mattis is a great America. I do not say that lightly. Mattis served this nation honorably as a Marine officer and as the nation’s Secretary of Defense. The United States of America and world are worst off because he will no longer be in public service.

Late Thursday, Secretary Mattis announced to President Trump – and all Americans – that he would resign his office. In his letter to the President, Mattis was firm, respectful, but also issued a clear warning. He clearly stated one of the key core beliefs that has kept the world safe under the leadership of America and our allies.

“While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies. Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO’s 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.”

This is important. Clearly, the President does not believe this. That is a huge problem. When the President attacks our allies, who have had soldiers give their last full measure of devotion for the greater good of free nations, it is not only embarrassing, but dangerous. For over 3/4 of a century, America and our allies have helped billions have safer more stable lives. There is strength in numbers. NATO linked America and Europe gave the world not just a mutual defense pledge but in advancing democratic governance. Weakening this alliance makes our world worst for the rule of law, drives down human rights, and makes less opportunity to develop stable nations economically.

When America leaves our allies behind, a gap is created. That leads to Mattis’s second point; if America does not join our allies and lead, China and Russia are waiting to fill the vacuum.

“I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model – gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions – to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.”

Presidents Reagan and Bush ended the Cold War with the motto peace through strength. We, unfortunately, are now heading in the opposite direction. America becomes weaker when we retreat and isolate ourselves. This is why pulling out of Syria this week was such a poor decision. Under President Trump’s current vision, America is leaving and bad actors are walking in. As Senator Rubio tweeted today, “ISIS has members who spend all day plotting & inspiring attacks against Americans. The more territory they control the easier it is for them to do that. In Syria, 2,000 U.S. special forces were helping Kurds wipe them out. Without our help Kurds will have to go home to prepare to fight Turks. With no one on the ground hitting ISIS they will regroup & expand plots to attack Americans. We weren’t in Syria for to help anyone else. We were in Syria to wipe out terrorists who want to kill Americans.”

This leads to Secretary Mattis’s last point.

“My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.”

Under the chain-of-command, Secretary Mattis clearly believed he could no longer faithfully serve a President that did not align with these beliefs. The President is Commander-in-chief and he does deserve a Secretary of Defense that gives advice but also carries out his leading vision. Secretary Mattis knew this which is why he made the honorable decision to resign.

Jim Mattis was always calculated, well read, and well prepared. He thought about the end results and where outcomes could lead not just now but also over the next 40 years. He was not a Secretary that made light of combat or wanted endless wars. Along with his guidance for the Department of Defense, he deeply cares for the troops.

“I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.

I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.”

Losing Secretary Mattis is a big blow. Not only will his thoughtful knowledge be missed, but so will the restraint he brought to an unpredictable President. There is wisdom in a multitude of counsel. No advisor or cabinet member knew more about his subject area than Secretary Mattis. All we seem to have right now is President Trump’s hunches and Twitter feed.

With Secretary Mattis resigning, troops pulling out of Syria, and likely more leaving Afghanistan next, make no mistake, the world became more dangerous over the last 48 hours.

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To honor President George H.W. Bush, we should live out his virtues https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/01/to-honor-president-george-h-w-bush-we-should-live-out-his-virtues/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/01/to-honor-president-george-h-w-bush-we-should-live-out-his-virtues/#respond Sat, 01 Dec 2018 21:59:51 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/12/01/to-honor-president-george-h-w-bush-we-should-live-out-his-virtues/ Any definition of a successful life must include service to others

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George Herbert Walker Bush had a number of titles; World War II hero, U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to the U.N., chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ambassador to China, Director of the CIA, Vice-President, and President. He was a man of decency that always seemed to push away celebrity and fame, in order to serve.

“He took himself lightly and took his responsibilities to his help his fellow man seriously. He was a man of enormous love,” President George W. Bush.

The elder Bush defined leadership by always doing the right thing, not because of self, but because it helped others. He was the last gentleman, always dropping individuals handwritten notes.

When Vice President Al Gore lost the 2000 election to his son, the first call Gore received was from 41. It was the elder Bush that called to simply offer a few kind words.

One of my favorite stories of someone taking responsibility for both their words and actions, was when Bush was a young U.S. Congressman in Texas’s 7th District. The year was 1968, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been just assassinated in April. Tensions were high in America, especially in the south. Only months later, Bush would vote for the Fair Housing Act, which was legislation that banned discrimination with regards to race to equal opportunity housing. Bush’s vote set off a firestorm of harsh criticism inside his district.

The mail his office received was 500 to 2 against his vote. After casting the vote in favor of the bill, Bush was ready to face the voters. In a town hall inside the gymnasium of Houston Memorial High School, angry constituents filled the stands to listen to their congressman and then let him have it. Despite the disparagement, Bush did not wavier. Instead, he back his action with words. Over the next minutes, Bush gave his explanation. He defended his vote. “I voted … not out of intimidation or fear, not stampeded by riots – but because of a feeling deep down in my heart that this was the right thing for me to do. That this was the right for America. I knew it would be unpopular – I knew it would be emotional, but I did what I thought was right. What more can I tell you.”

More than a public servant, he loved his family. His greatest achievement may be that he and Barbara had the longest marriage in presidential history, an incredible 73 years.

In the CNN documentary ’41on41”² the former First Lady was quoted that the President learned his traits from his parents.

“George’s mother (Dorothy Walker Bush) was a gentle, wonderful soul. Both his mother and father (U.S. Senator Prescott Bush) taught him to lead by example.” No example reflected the future President’s qualities more than a Walter Howard poem that Dorothy wrote on a Bible she gave to her son on May 29, 1938.

I would be true, for there are those who trust me,

I would be pure, for there are those who care,

I would be strong, for there is much to suffer;

I would be brave, for there is much to dare;

I would be friend to all, the foe, the friendless,

I would be giving and forget the gift.

I would be humble, for I know my weakness;

I would look up, and laugh and love and lift.

What advice, what virtues. Our nation would be better if we became truer, purer, stronger, braver, a friend to all, a giver, making ourselves humble, and lived by enjoying life by laughing, loving, and lifting up. If there were more people like him, the world would be a better place.

As Jon Meacham wrote in his biography of the 41st president, “Bushes were to win, but not brag; succeed, but not preen.”

On Nov. 9, 1989, President Bush watched as communism was defeated and the Berlin Wall fell. This was no small feat. The world literally changed that day. The man that served with such distinction pushed away fame and instead remained behind the scenes when the concrete came down.

When urged by his advisors to visit Berlin, Bush refused to celebrate, saying, “what would I do, dance on the wall?” Why, did the President say this? “Looking back,” former Secretary of State James Baker answered this very question,” one of President Bush’s outstanding traits was his humility, and particularly his insistence after the Iron Curtain fell that Americans not gloat about our victory.”

Bush knew he had serious business left. It was not like Gorbachev and leaders in the Kremlin disappeared that day. He knew that at that moment, his actions would later play a key role in maintaining peace. After all, he was also the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, and Commander-in-Chief of the greatest military the world has ever known.

President Bush understood that when you actually achieve valor, no thanks is necessary. He was a President of a different time, a humbler time. Bush was someone that always showed strength through gentleness. Someone you could be proud of. Someone that when victories came, he refused to gloat.

Man, I miss those times and I will miss President George H.W. Bush.

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Senate Republicans block Mueller protection bill https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/29/senate-republicans-block-mueller-protection-bill/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/29/senate-republicans-block-mueller-protection-bill/#respond Thu, 29 Nov 2018 20:30:31 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/29/senate-republicans-block-mueller-protection-bill/ Mueller should be allowed to finish, but the protection bill lacks the constitutionality to stop a termination.

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I highly respect special counsel Robert Mueller. He is a man of enormous integrity and should be allowed to finish his work. I deplore every attack the President has charged Mueller with. When the special counsel’s report is complete, you can believe what is in it. President Trump may call this process a witch hunt, but that is a lie. If the President fired Mueller, that would set off an absolute firestorm. At that point, Congress should look into obstruction of justice charges and impeachment.

Mueller’s team has indicted or received guilty pleas from 32 people and three companies. This group includes four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Six of these people, including four former Trump aides, have pleaded guilty.

I support Mueller and his work, but I do not support the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act. My opposition to the bill is not in principle to the theory of protecting Mueller, but the lack of constitutionality.

In the text, the bill simply requires the Justice Department to notify Congress if the special counsel was terminated. Senator Mike Lee, who opposed the bill Wednesday, cited Justice Antonin Scalia’s 1988 dissent in Morrison v. Olson on the role of Article II Section 2 of the Constitution. That dissent reinforced that power and control of all functions of the Executive Branch fall under presidential authority. The President is to oversee that laws are faithfully executed. The law also grants that the Justice Department falls under the Executive Branch, therefore the special counsel is under the authority of the chief executive.

If the Senate passed the bill, it’s highly unlikely the House of Representatives could. That would change in January when the Democrats take over. For hypothetical purposes, let’s say that Congress passed the bill then, do you really think the President would sign it?

The bill also lacks teeth that would protect the special counsel from the President. I read the entire bill, there is not one sentence that could legally stop the President from firing Mueller. It only states that the Attorney General should report to Congress on changes with the special counsel. Again the separation of powers comes to mind. That goes back to Senator’s Lee point yesterday.

The only way I could see Congress having grounds to stop Trump is with the appointment of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Whitaker’s appointment likely violates federal statutes and the Constitution. Therefore, any action Whitaker could take against Mueller may be consider unconstitutional because he has not been confirmed by the Senate.

That leaves us with what the bill is really about, politics. As NBC report Noah Rothman wrote this morning, “but this current debate is not really about the Constitution. It’s about politics, and the politics of this thing are as Machiavellian as they are morally ambiguous.”

Congress does have the right and responsibility to oversee the President and Executive Branch. This bill may provide a warning shot that President Trump should not fire Muller, but it cannot prevent it. The best way to prevent a constitutional crisis is to influence the President personally. As Rothman put, “Congress preserving its influence over the president remains the best way to prevent Trump from doing something reckless or stupid. That won’t please “The Resistance,” but it will keep the Republic intact.”

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People are lonely, politics are not the answer https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/27/people-are-lonely-politics-are-not-the-answer/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/27/people-are-lonely-politics-are-not-the-answer/#respond Tue, 27 Nov 2018 16:00:00 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/27/people-are-lonely-politics-are-not-the-answer/ If we want to change this epidemic, we must invest in people.

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I am writing this two days after Thanksgiving in a coffee shop in southwest Georgia. Just a mere 48 hours ago, countrymen across our nation came together to celebrate what George Washington called, “a day of public Thanksgiving and prayer, acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.” The major reason many of us enjoy Thanksgiving is the joy of community it brings. We gather together with our families, friends, and neighbors to celebrate the blessings of what has happened and what is yet come. We watch parades and football, eat too much pie and turkey, and laugh and enjoy the company of others.

What happens when individuals lose this sense of community? What do people do when gatherings fade and isolationism emerges? This is the question Arthur Brooks posed this weekend in the New York Times. As Brooks stated, “America is suffering an epidemic of loneliness.”

People are created to be with other people. In Genesis, God created Eve for Adam, because it was not good for man to be alone. From the beginning, we were made for community. Yet, in 2018, multiple studies report this trend is changing. Individuals are increasing lonely. Almost half of Americans feel alone or left out. Thirteen percent of Americans say that have no individuals that know them at all. If you took the population of the United States, that would be over 48 million people, that daily walk around this nation and feel completely alone. No wonder 45,000 people have taken their lives this year and another 70,000 have died from a drug overdose.

What heartbreaking stats.

We are not meant to go through life like this. If you are one of these individuals that feel alone, know you have value. You are the imago dei – created in the image of God. Find people in your community that believes this. It is worth the fight.

Brooks goes on to state that people that are isolated are increasingly turning to tribal politics for meaning. “People find a sense of community in the polarized tribes forming on the left and the right in America. Essentially, people locate their sense of “us” through the contempt peddled about “them” on the other side of the political spectrum.”

This too is dangerous. Politics as an idol will never satisfy the soul. Winning an election or getting a policy passed into law can bring temporary happiness, but not everlasting joy. I have sat beside – and heard stories – of dozens of people dying on their deathbeds. None of these individuals dying said they would have more peace if someone could just read them politics. Those people who were about to touch the face of God wanted to pray or be with people they cared for. It was people and experiences that brought comfort, not what President Trump, the news, or Congress were arguing about.

I have a challenge for all of us. What can we do this week to invest in people? What can we do to invest in our community? Maybe it is simply knocking on our neighbors’ doors with some cookies to introduce yourself. My wife and I did that this week and one of our neighbors, who was a lonely elderly lady who just moved in, spent and an hour telling us how grateful she was to have our new friendship. Another way may be taking time to talk with the people you come in contact with. That could be with the coffee shop employee or a grocery store attendant in your town. Maybe it is to take the next month off from social media and spend time playing games or cooking with your family. If we want to change this epidemic, we must invest in people.

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Ret. Admrial William McRaven is everything President Trump is not https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/19/ret-admrial-william-mcraven-is-everything-president-trump-is-not/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/19/ret-admrial-william-mcraven-is-everything-president-trump-is-not/#respond Mon, 19 Nov 2018 16:00:00 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/19/ret-admrial-william-mcraven-is-everything-president-trump-is-not/ President Trump is foolish to attack Ret. Admiral William McRaven's character

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Retired Admiral William McRaven is someone that truly makes America great. His life is not some slogan on a hat, he has lived out this motto with service to our country. Forget the politics of all this, he should be thanked by any Commander-and-Chief; Republican or Democrat. America and our military are better for his 37 years of service as a Navy Seal Commander.

McRaven not only commanded the servicemembers who killed Osama bin Laden , but he also commanded the servicemembers who captured Saddam Hussein and those who rescued Captain Phillips.

He is a man of personal integrity and outstanding character. He has been married for 40 years. Some may dismiss this, they should not. A man who cheats on his wife will cheat on you. Being married to the same woman that long says a lot about an individual. Character is destiny. That goes for all of us personally, but that also goes for us as a nation.

On Sunday, President Trump attacked McRaven. Saying he was a Hillary backer in 2016. That is a lie. The President also tried to place blame on McRaven for how long it took our military to find bin Laden. This is also wrong. The CIA was in charge of finding OSB, not the Navy Seals. Within hours of getting the go from President Obama, Seal Team Six, under the United States Special Operations Command of McRaven carried out the mission with valor.

These comments reflect more on President Trump’s lack of dignity, not McRaven. Honestly, does the President actually think he could bully a man like McRaven?

Addressing the 2014 graduates of the University of Texas, McRaven said this about individuals that try to bully, “during the land warfare phase of BUDS training, the students are flown out to San Clemente Island which lies off the coast of San Diego. The waters off San Clemente are a breeding ground for the great white sharks. To pass SEAL training there are a series of long swims that must be completed. One is the night swim.

Before the swim, the instructors joyfully brief the trainees on all the species of sharks that inhabit the waters off San Clemente. They assure you, however, that no student has ever been eaten by a shark — at least not recently. But, you are also taught that if a shark begins to circle your position — stand your ground. Do not swim away. Do not act afraid. And if the shark, hungry for a midnight snack, darts towards you — then summon up all your strength and punch him in the snout, and he will turn and swim away.

There are a lot of sharks in the world. If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them. So, if you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.”

McRaven has lived his life defeating some of the worst individuals and terrorist on the planet. I doubt he is going to be fearful of Trump’s narcissistic comments.

In his book based off that commencement speech, “Make Your Bed,” McRaven wrote about how we should have respect for many, knowing that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if we do these things — then the world will be a far better place.

Our nation is far better because McRaven served it. If the President will not recognize that, maybe the rest of us will.

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We Have An Adolescence Problem https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem/#respond Fri, 09 Nov 2018 19:00:21 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem/ Society has become comfortable with too many adults acting immaturely

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We have a President that acts like an impulsive teenager, press reporters that make stories about their own narcissistic stoutheartedness, a White House that spins and sends out edited videos for political purposes, mobs of protestors that harass, and an election board leader in Florida that refuses to comply with state laws. We have leaders that divide and help create a society of victimhood. We live in a cycle of the airing of grievances; a battle between lackeys and antagonists. More and more, society continues to accept and become comfortable with a state of perpetual adolescence.

This lack of maturity is not isolated to politics. Politics simply reflects society. I recently listened to a story from the New York Times that as much as people say they do not like the direction of the society, that statistically stories that feature gossip, sex, and extremism all have the most views. Americans may not want to be in the wrecked car, but we sure seem to slow down to see the accident as we drive past.

During President Reagan’s final address to the American people, he said, “I am warning of an eradication of that (knowing who we are) – of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.” President Reagan went on to offer two solutions to regain that spirit, that maturity. That we pay more attention to history – with a great emphasis on civic ritual – and that all great change starts around the dinner table.

We can learn a great deal from history. History is not about facts and dates, it’s about people. History is not boring, because people are not boring. These people teach us about life. History is human. History is about cause and effect. History is about leadership or lack thereof, or twisted vision that inflicts its mistakes upon leaders. History shows us the effect and inaction of every decision. There was no simpler time, ever. There was no easier time, ever. Those who say 2018 is the worst time in America history must have forgotten about those who lived during the Civil War or the influenza epidemic of 1918. History is a marvelous antidote for our current condition.

Every morning, there are millions of Americans that wake up, take their kids to school, work hard at their jobs, pay their taxes, support their communities, and act their age. These individuals are not flashy. This special interest group has no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we’re sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, “we the people.”

Unfortunately, too few of these Americans’ stories are heard in the bowels of Twitter or on cable news. That needs to change.

We are all born with flaws. We live in a fallen world and I am not expecting anyone to be perfect. In fact, one sign of maturity is the ability to recognize that you do not have all the answers. I am not suggesting I have all the answers. I am hopeful we can change. In order to do that, we must first recognize there is a problem.

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We Have An Adolescence Problem https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem-2/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem-2/#respond Fri, 09 Nov 2018 19:00:07 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/09/we-have-an-adolescence-problem-2/ Society has become comfortable with too many adults acting immaturely

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This week we had a President that acted like an impulsive teenager, dancing on the graves of recently departing Congressmen. We have reporters that instead of reporting the news, m stories about their own narcissistic stoutheartedness, the White House sending out edited videos for political purposes, mobs of protestors harassing a media member’s family at his home, and an election board leader that refuses to comply with state laws. What in the world is wrong with our leaders? Where are the adults? We are the statesmen and honest brokers looking out for the greater good? More and more, society continues to accept and become comfortable with a state of perpetual adolescence.

Maturity does not come from age, but instead from character and experiences. We are all born with flaws. There is wisdom in wise counsel. We live in a fallen world and I am not expecting anyone to be perfect. In fact, one sign of maturity is the ability to recognize that you do not have all the answers. I am not suggesting I have all the answers, I simply suggest that we start recognizing this problem.

During President Reagan’s final address to the American people, he said, “I am warning of an eradication of that (knowing who we are) – of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit.” President Reagan went on to offer two solutions to regain that spirit, that maturity. That we pay more attention to history – with a great emphasis on civic ritual – and that all great change starts around the dinner table.

We can learn a great deal from history. History is not about facts and dates, it’s about people. History is not boring, because people are not boring. These people teach us about life. History is human. History is about cause and effect. History is about leadership or lack thereof, or twisted vision that inflicts its mistakes upon leaders. History shows us the effect and inaction of every decision. There was no simpler time, ever. There was no easier time, ever. Those who say 2018 is the worst time in America history must have forgotten about those who lived during the Civil War or the influenza epidemic of 1918. History is a marvelous antidote for our current condition.

Every morning, there are millions of Americans that wake up, take their kids to school, work hard at their jobs, pay their taxes, support their communities, and act their age. These individuals are not flashy. This special interest group has no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions, and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when we’re sick—professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truck drivers. They are, in short, “we the people.”

Unfortunately, too few of these Americans’ stories are heard in the bowels of Twitter or on cable news. Instead, we have leaders that divide and help create a society of victimhood. We live in a cycle of the airing of grievances; a battle between lackeys and antagonists. It does not have to be this way. We the people, elect everyone. We the people can demand better. Forget making America great again, let’s start by making our nation mature again

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President Trump is a master at changing the subject https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/08/president-trump-is-a-master-at-changing-the-subject/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/08/president-trump-is-a-master-at-changing-the-subject/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 18:00:37 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/08/president-trump-is-a-master-at-changing-the-subject/ President Trump craves the media's attention and knows what buttons to push to get the coverage he wants

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A day after Republicans lost more seats at the state and national level since Watergate, President Donald Trump refused to take any public blame for the midterm elections. Instead of doing what President Clinton, Bush, and Obama did when their party got thumped in the midterms, Trump doubled down claiming complete victory and then quickly changed the subject. Like it or not, the President is a master at changing the media narrative.

The President’s almost hour and a half press conference was combative, lacked substance, and full of babble. It was a combination of politics and professional wrestling. This is just how the President likes it. He again got the news off the midterms being negative and back on his antics.

Later in the afternoon, the President was at work again. This time, the White House released the resignation letter of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Sessions letter did not have a date on it and clearly states that the President asked for the resignation. Think about just the first part of my last sentence. The letter did not have a date. The White House had a huge news story in the bullpen waiting for a perfect strategic time to release it. That is strong public relations.

Finally, the White House announced that the Press Office was revoking the press credential of CNN reporter Jim Acosta. Acosta had earlier in the day had an incident with a White House intern when the CNN reporter tried to ask a follow-up question at the lengthy press conference. Acosta does grandstand and the White House has the right to revoke any credential. However, when you review the video, it seems like the White House is blowing this whole incident up for political reasons. This is the perfect example of making a mountain out of a molehill.

When the President does not like the press coverage, he knows how the change the focus. He knows the press cannot help but go after every smoke bomb he puts out. The media and President have a co-dependent relationship. President Trump craves the attention and the media craves the ratings. Trump knows this. Every time the White House sets its hair on fire, they know it will be covered. The President has been doing this since the 2016 campaign. Trump’s pattern when he doesn’t like the coverage is to say or tweet something outrageous and down the rabbit hole the media goes. President Trump is no Rhodes Scholar but he remains a genius at media manipulation.

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BREAKING NEWS: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/07/breaking-news-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/07/breaking-news-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 01:04:38 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/11/07/breaking-news-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns/ Matthew Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Session, will take over as Acting Attorney General

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It took less than 24 hours after the midterm elections for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. The White House announced this afternoon that Session has resigned and Matthew Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Sessions at the Justice Department, will serve as the new Acting Attorney General.

Earlier this afternoon, President Trump was directly asked multiple times about shakeups in his Cabinet but chose not to answer about Session, saying, “he was extremely satisfied with his Cabinet.”

Sessions, who was the first U.S. Senator to support the President during the 2016 Presidential Primary, had recently fallen out of Trump’s good graces after he recused himself with regards to the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein remains in charge of that inquiry.

Throughout this year, President Trump has indicated multiple times that he wanted Sessions gone. However, with the midterms pending, multiple Republican Senators warned the President that they would not confirm a new AG if Sessions was let go. Now that the midterm elections are over, Sessions is officially done at the request of the President.

Here is the letter from the White House.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

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The Politics of Fear https://theresurgent.com/2018/10/30/the-politics-of-fear/ https://theresurgent.com/2018/10/30/the-politics-of-fear/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 16:00:19 +0000 https://theresurgent.com/2018/10/30/the-politics-of-fear/ Politics has become not what you stand for, but how to make you afraid of something

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We live in a world politically, that is dominated by fear. Turn on any news network, or listen to most political ads, and you will see or hear messages that prescribed less about what that candidate will do, and more about how bad it will be if their opponent is elected. Most people I personally come across vote against a candidate than for a candidate. Politics is becoming less about what I am for and more about what I am against.

Do not get me wrong, I understand why campaign managers and political consultants use this tactic, it works. I have seen first-hand how fear can turn poll numbers around by going negative. This has been a tactic as long as campaigns have been around. Throughout history, when traditional institutions have become less trustworthy and fear is created, people have turned toward strongmen. In the long term, this is never worked out well. The beauty of our founding is that America has always been about principles, not about personalities. I am not suggesting that we have a kumbaya moment where everyone gets along and policy differences are not compared. Disagreements are good. The beauty of our democracy is that we do not live with majority rule, that the minority has a voice. A voice is a seat at the table. What I am writing about is selling fear with no substance. My frustration is when candidates create boogymen that having nothing to do with the actual problem.

I not here to point fingers. Both sides use fear. Blaming one side over the other will not help. We must start acting like grown-ups. Mature adults fix problems not just blame those who started the problem. If we get in the cycle where we are always reacting what someone else said, we will never get out of the cycle. Politics is always downstream from culture. The true reason fear works in politics is that culture has shifted away from stable anchors in life (families, faith, community engagement). That change has allowed fear to creep in. Anger, which can come from fear, is instructive and most people tend to be frustrated about important things. Social media has allowed us to change that. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram were originally intended to bring individuals closer together. It was a form of digital community. Instead, it has isolated many and created ideological echo chambers. Fear thrives in that environment.

The worst place to be social media is the middle. Unfortunately, the loudest pundits seem to get the most attention. Donald Trump figure that out in the 2016 primary. If you want views, write or say something ridiculous. Many in the political entertainment business make a lot of money writing books and hosting shows this way. That may be good for the bottom line, but it has not been good where information is instant and easily believed.

The first step in solving our problem is figuring out that we have a problem. There are two types of fear. The first is a healthy fear. It is the fear we all have when we know not to touch a hot stove or jump off a bridge. It’s the fear that we should be careful, cautious, and calculated. But there’s another type of fear, the fear of stress, worry, the unknown. That type of fear is often spoken in the Bible. Over and over, God commands His children do not fear or do not worry. When God repeats himself, pay attention. Repetition implies importance. As Jon Bloom states, “this bold, happy confidence in God is not only an expression of trusting love in him; it also makes us feel lovingly expansive and encouraging toward others because we’re filled with hope in God.”

What if we took these commands seriously? What if just Christians in America stopped fearing every straw man that is brought up? Instead of being paralyzed by the unknowns, we engaged, invested, educated ourselves. Knowledge is power against fear. What if we started supporting candidates on either side of the debate that appeal to our better angels instead of our darkest impulses? What would America look like then?

This morning, David Brooks wrote in the New York Times that, “I keep coming back to this topic because the chief struggle of the day is sociological and psychological, not ideological or economic. The substrate layer of American society — the network of relationships and connection and trust that everything else relies upon — is failing. And the results are as bloody as any war.”

We will always have forces that divide. There are others that always will try to restore. Fear is easy, but it’s not ultimate. When the mask is removed from fear, we see the wizard behind an empty curtain. In politics, it would be nice if more started pulling the curtain back. Our nation would be better off if or when that happens.

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