Control The Culture, Control The Nation

If you haven’t heard about the controversy surrounding the NFL and the National Anthem, then you must be living under a rock. This weekend, all forms of media and social networking were flooded with articles and opinions surrounding comments that the President made about standing for the National Anthem.

The President’s remarks came at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama on Friday night, where he addressed the topic of some NFL player’s National Anthem protests. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that *expletive* off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!'” This, of course, is in reference to the growing number of NFL players who have followed suit with QB Colin Kaepernick to kneel or sit during the National Anthem in protest of “police brutality and racial inequality.”

The President doubled down on his comments over the weekend and into this week with several tweets directed to certain teams, owners, and players who he feels disrespects the country, flag, and soldiers with their public protests during the National Anthem.

Ironically, the business mogul had this to say about the Office of the President meddling in the mascot issue of the Washington Redskins in 2013:

Everyone will have their own opinion on the President’s comments, but what I want to focus on here is more the reason behind the comments, rather than the content. Whether you agree or not, Donald Trump is a master at manipulating the media for his own accord and he has done it again here.

During his presidential campaign, then candidate Trump garnered more airtime devoted to himself by the media than any other candidate. While this was likely partially due to the mainstream media bias against him and for Hillary Clinton, he used it in his favor and fed the fire with comments and tweets that kept him front and center on the nightly news. The mainstream media’s dislike for President Trump actually plays into his hands and gets his name and message out to the public, veiled in a shroud of negative press.

Not only has the President gotten more press through these tactics, he has also controlled what the narrative is going to be. By bringing up the culture and controlling that discussion in the public realm, everyone has forgotten about the failed repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It went almost unnoticed that in the last 72 hours, 2 Republican Senators (Cruz and Collins) came out in opposition to the healthcare repeal bill.

This time last week, all you heard about was if another Senator dropped their support for the ACA repeal, then it would fail. Several Senators were in the spotlight, doing interviews left and right with media outlets about their wavering support for the GOP bill. On Friday, President Trump changed that conversation. For an entire weekend and well into this week, all you have heard about is kneeling, the National Anthem, and the NFL.

This isn’t the first time that this POTUS has done this and it certainly won’t be the last. Many people want to believe that these moves are another sign of the idiocy of the President, when in reality, those people are just another sheep, being herded along by the mainstream media’s selective flow of information. In all actuality, the President is controlling the national discourse to and from whatever he desires.

Anytime you see something that is being waved in your face over and over again, try to look past that obvious distraction and see what is behind it. In this case, the NFL distraction was waved in front of our faces for 5+ days when the media took the bait and ran with it. President Trump controlled the culture discussion and in turn, he controlled the nation.

President Trump isn’t the first POTUS to use this tactic and certainly won’t be the last, but he is an expert at sleight of hand.

Just as a magician uses subtle distractions to divert your attention away from a trick, the POTUS is masterfully diverting your attention from something else by controlling the culture discussion. If you can control the culture, you can control the nation.

Special thanks for my good friend JP on his suggestion for this post.

~Jason – Three Patriots

Fascist States of America

Think back to a year ago today and follow the mainstream news narrative to present time. Then candidate Trump was the GOP nominee for President of the United States and was largely seen as the underdog, a position he would continue to hold through the November 8th elections. The public narrative on candidate Trump was that he would drag the United States down into a dictatorship and ruin it forever. That same narrative rings true today in some media outlets, as well as in many opposition groups like Antifa and others. But is this idea really a possibility?

Let’s first take a look at Antifa and what they believe that President Trump is on a path to do to America. Antifa is a very far-left leaning group that uses military action and tactics along with violence to push their anti-fascist (hence the name Antifa) agenda . Antifa is fighting hard in the streets against President Trump and many Right-Wing policies that they oppose. This group claims that President Trump is a fascist and will do whatever it takes to prevent him from implementing his fascist policies. (I’ll pass on discussing the irony of using violence to fight their perceived violence.)

First and foremost, let us address what a fascist is. Merriam-Webster defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” While it is no secret that President Trump promotes a form of Nationalism with his “America First” policy, he is far cry from fitting the rest of the profile of a fascist.

But for the sake of arguing, let’s say that President Trump is a fascist and wants to implement his fascist policies to make America into his own authoritarian dictatorship. Is it possible for him to do this? The short answer is no and it is due to the checks and balances in the U.S. Constitution.

The Office of the President wields a vast amount of power, which has expanded greatly over the last half century, but that power isn’t unlimited or unchecked. The president’s powers reach from enforcing the laws, to being Commander-in-Chief of the military, to Executive Order powers, and many places in between. [See previous post “Constitutional Powers of Government (Part 3)”] While these powers are broad and have become more far-reaching, they are still put in check by other members of the U.S. Government.

If President Trump gives an order to the military, but that order doesn’t correspond to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, then the members of the military have the ability to not follow the orders, if they are illegal and against the Code. There is precedence here where members of the military were punished for following orders that violated the Uniform Code, so it’s not a far-fetched idea that the military can disobey direct orders from the president.

If the president signs an executive order that is illegal, it is not binding law. The court system is one set of checks and balances to the presidential powers. An executive order can easily be overruled by almost any federal court in the land if it is found to violate the ultimate law of the country. This has been seen during President Trump’s tenure, where the courts deemed the travel ban to be unconstitutional, until the Supreme Court ruled that it was in fact a power that the president was able to use.

The houses of Congress hold another card in the deck of checks and balances. They have the ability to pass laws and if the president vetoes the bill, they can overrule him with a 2/3 majority vote. They also carry the power to impeach the president if he violates his oath of office. Take Nixon as an example of this check and balance… He overreached his authority and fired a Special Prosecutor, which caused Congress to speed up the impeachment process, effectively ending Nixon’s presidency.

These examples as well as many others show how one person would not be able to set up his own aristocracy or dictatorship. There are thousands and thousands of high ranking officials that would have to all waive their power to allow any US President to gain full authoritarian power and frankly, that’s not going to happen. So, groups like Antifa who are stirring up violence and controversy over their fear of full blown fascism are way off base on their thinking, and only doing harm to the country that they claim they love so much. The media’s narratives of a King Trump are also wrong and show their implicit biases in their reporting.

With that being said, there has not been one single empire that has ruled forever. Every empire has fallen at one point or another and history shows that the United States of America will not last forever either. Some empires have ruled for thousands of years, others shorter. In the end, it appears that there are only 2 constants in this world: Death and Taxes.

Jason – Three Patriots

Make Immigration Great

Earlier this week, news hit the airwaves that President Trump had reached a deal with the Democratic leadership in Congress dealing with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and immigration reform. The President met with leaders from both parties this week and agreed to a plan set out by the Democrats on DACA, much to the chagrin of the Republicans.

As you may recall, President Trump rescinded the executive order from former President Obama, which instituted DACA without the approval of Congress. Many people felt this action to not be inconjunction with the scope of executive orders, but the policy stood until this past month when President Trump rescinded it, with a 6 month waiting period to allow Congress time to pass a bill and do this the right way.

Republican leaders in Congress are outraged that the Republican president would make a deal with Democrats. The problem here is that America has come to a point that compromise and listening to different viewpoints is almost a dirty word. Yes, politics is dirty and messy, but it wasn’t so long ago that you would see this type of compromise all the time between two parties. One party gets one thing that they want, the other party gets something else.

Lately, you haven’t seen compromise in the government. It’s been very one sided to the ruling party. Whether that is a lack of willingness on the ruling party, or a lack of willingness on the minority party, I’ll let you be the judge, but there has not been much compromise as of late.

This is how we make government work… we compromise. The Republicans need to give some concessions to the Democrats on immigration to get their support, but the Democrats need to give concessions to the Republicans as well. This will require some work and some squelching of egos. In the words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want.”

So, what would a bipartisan bill on immigration look like? Well, there have been several bills that have been presented in recent years, most notably in 2013 with the “gang of eight” bill that was drafted by 4 Democrats and 4 Republicans. This bill provided a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants in the US and other safeguards and improvements on the immigration system. It was passed with a supermajority in the Senate, but House Speaker John Boehner refused to take it to the floor of the House and effectively killed the bill at the end of the 113th Congress.

Currently, President Trump wants funding for a wall or fence along the US and Mexico. Democrats want DACA re-instated permanently, along with other policies such as amnesty. Congress and the President must agree to allow some of the Democrats policies into the bill as well as some of the Republicans policies. This is the only way that a good, fair and solid bill would be passed and be able to stand the test of time. The Republicans don’t want to take a page out of the Obama days and force their own immigration reform down everyones throats because as soon as they lose their majority, the Democrats will come knocking to overturn the legislation (think Obamacare).

So, is Trump wrong for meeting with and agreeing to some terms with Democrats? Absolutely not. It’s compromise folks. Jump on board with it and see how this and many other plans can continue to make America great.