Your Protest Means Nothing If You Act Like A Delinquent

At a very young age, I learned that throwing a fit would not yield the results that I desired. Considering that most parents work hard to impress a similar mentality upon their children, it is actually quite embarrassing that I even need to be talking about the events that occurred in Minneapolis on Friday evening.

As you may already know, Donald Trump made a brief stop in Minnesota on Friday evening to attend a fundraising event in Minneapolis. These events are typical of both parties and, like it or not, they are a common occurrence during an election cycle. Not surprisingly, Trump’s visit sparked an unjustified outrage amongst several individuals who felt it was their duty to publicly advertise their disdain with Trump’s politics.

Now, I am no fan of Donald Trump, and this is not an endorsement of his politics. I will not fault anyone who stands in opposition to him, nor will I insinuate that these individuals should refrain from engaging in a civil protest. As long as they remain civil, they have the right to voice their opinions. However, the events that occurred at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Friday evening crossed the line that distinguishes a civil protest from acts of delinquency.

Instead of protesting in a civilized manner, some of the protesters resorted to various forms of harassment, including pushing and spitting on Trump supporters. These tactics were meant to publicly intimidate those who have chosen to support Donald Trump, and they illustrate the childish attitudes that many have embraced this election season. Regardless of who you support, these tactics are despicable, and there is no room for them in a civil society.

We have become a society that is full of people who attempt to use their twisted view of righteousness to justify their obscene actions. These individuals preach tolerance, but show an inability to practice it when it conflicts with their agenda. They quickly become offended every time that someone disagrees with them, and they resort to childish acts to gain attention.

Here’s the thing. If you act like a child, you are going to be treated like one. Being an adult means accepting the fact that there will always be people who disagree with you. A failure to accept this is an indication that you are failing to accept reality. If you choose to engage in atrocious behavior, you are destroying your credibility and you deserve respect from no one.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to support the candidate that they think best represents their values. It’s fine to disagree with someone else’s choice of candidate, but you can still be civil with one another. If you think they are wrong, fine. If you think they are ignorant, fine. However, you will get absolutely no where by publicly intimidating or harassing those who disagree with you. This idea should transcend party lines and become a standard that applies to everyone.

Again, regardless of whom you choose to support for President, there is no excuse for acting in an uncivilized fashion. Don’t fool yourself into believing that you are a hero, because you are not one. In fact, you are a coward, and any self-respecting individuals can see right through your charade. If, on the other hand, you are able to remain civil, go ahead and stand up for what you think is right. I may disagree with you, but I will still respect your right to voice your opinion. Just remember, your protest means absolutely nothing if you choose to act like a delinquent.


When There’s a Moment of Silence, Please Shut Up

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On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, there was a brief moment that was meant to honor police officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Dallas County’s Sheriff Lupe Valdez was chosen to deliver the address, and she spoke about the importance of law enforcement and the selfless sacrifice that many have made.

You can watch her speech in its entirety, but it’s safe to say that there was nothing controversial about it. Sheriff Valdez spoke with pride about being a police officer, and put an emphasis on what it means to serve our communities. She also addressed the recent tragedies that have occurred, and the intense divisions that have emerged as a result.

Partisan politics aside, I thought that Sheriff Valdez’s speech was well-spoken. She touched on concepts that most rational individuals can agree upon. She didn’t seek to assign blame, but instead sought to bring about an environment in which we “start listening to each other”. She focused on the idea that it takes efforts, on both ends, to change the narrative and to improve relationships within a community.

Towards the end of her speech, Sheriff Valdez called for a moment of silence to honor officers that have been killed in the line of duty, as well as, their families.

That’s when the rabble-rousers seized the opportunity.

It should come as no surprise that, in the midst of a moment that was intended to show respect to the fallen officers, shouts of “Black Lives Matter” began to break to silence. Instead of heeding the advice that was offered just minutes earlier by Sheriff Valdez, the individuals responsible chose to further contribute to the divisive narrative.

I am all for protests, as long as the actions of the protestors don’t infringe upon the rights of others. I may disagree with your cause, but I will still support your right to protest, as long you do so with dignity and respect. However, please realize that, if you choose to act like a jerk, you are going to be treated like one.

I was taught at a young age that interrupting a moment of silence is not a courageous act. In fact, it is extremely rude and it speaks volumes about your character. If you’re mad that the DNC dedicated a moment to honor fallen police officers who had nothing to do with the recent shootings, fine. Just realize that you can rip yourself away from your agenda, for just a few minutes, and still be a decent human being.

When you interrupt a moment of silence that was reserved for those who were killed in the line of duty, you deserve absolutely no respect. You are discrediting your movement, and are providing a perfect example of why many choose to distance themselves from it. If you want your movement to grow, change your attitude and alter your approach.

Acknowledge opinions that challenge your worldview, even it you don’t agree with them. Instead of dwelling on the differences, focus on the common ground and use it to build a foundation. Yes, black lives matter, but so does every other life. If you show disrespect towards the loss of innocent lives (regardless of their status), you are no better than those you claim to stand against.

So, the next time you are present for a moment of silence, please keep your mouth shut. Put aside your ego, and extend the same respect towards others than you would like extended towards you. There is a pretty clear distinction between fighting for justice, and being an inconsiderate jerk. Don’t treat others how you are treated. Treat others BETTER than you are treated.

Elizabeth Warren’s Hypocrisy Continues to Shine 

As I was watching the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, I experienced a plethora of emotions, particularly during Elizabeth Warren’s touching speech. I found myself caught between feelings of frustration and disgust, which is not surprising considering Elizabeth Warren is one of my least favorite political figures.

My disgust with Elizabeth Warren was not spurred by my disagreements with her policy positions. Yes, I believe she is wrong on many issues, but disagreements don’t necessarily have to result in contempt for one another. Policy positions aside, my disgust with Elizabeth Warren came about with a single sentence from her speech that summarizes how big of a hypocrite she truly is: 

“We believe we must get big money out of politics and root out corruption” 

This sentence, in and of itself, it neither controversial nor hypocritical. In fact, I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. It is the context in which this sentence was uttered that illustrates Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy, which was in the midst of offering a glowing endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

Let’s consider Elizabeth Warren’s political profile. She is best known, perhaps, for the crusade that she has led against Wall Street. She has consistently declared war on big banks, even though she has benefited from the lawyers who represent them. She is practically a messiah among the leftists who believe that free markets are the cause of all of our woes. 

Even though I strongly disagree with such sentiments, I still respect the rights of those to believe in them. However, my question is this: How can someone denounce big money and corruption, but yet continue to be a surrogate for Hillary Clinton? It simply doesn’t add up. Unless of course, Warren has chosen to forgo her principles in the wake of opportunity. 

In 2004, Elizabeth Warren fully acknowledged that Hillary Clinton had succumbed to the pressures of the Wall Street lobbyists. Now, as one of Hillary’s biggest surrogates, she passionately declares her support for an individual who embodies the opposite of what she claims to fight for. If that’s not hypocritical, then I don’t know what is. 

Initially, my theory about Elizabeth Warren’s public support for Hillary Clinton revolved around a potential bid for the Vice-Presidency. However, that idea was soon shattered when Wall Street shared their disdain about Elizabeth Warren as Vice-President. Ironically enough, when it came time to choose between Elizabeth Warren and Wall Street, guess who was crossed off of the list? You guessed it, Elizabeth Warren.

I will fully acknowledge that Warren’s support of Hillary could be completely independent of any opportunistic endeavor. For all I know, Warren could be supporting Hillary purely out of the “goodness” of her heart. Regardless of what spurred her to become Hillary’s most passionate surrogate, it is clear that she is violating the very principles that she defended during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

It’s not about motives. It’s not even about policy positions. It’s about consistency, and acting in accordance with the principles that you claim to support. By claiming to oppose political corruption and big money, and then actively campaigning with Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy continues to shine.   

Of Course Hillary Got The Nomination. What Did You Expect?

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Last week, the media “officially” declared that Hillary Clinton was the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party. This sweeping declaration was met with a resurgence of the usual rhetoric that we have learned to expect from the Clinton camp: men are oppressive, Republicans are sexist, and Hillary is the epitome of righteousness. While the sentimentality is quite touching, let’s not pretend to be surprised by this outcome.

Before I am wrongly accused of being misogynistic, I will make it clear that I acknowledge the historic aspect of this moment. Hillary Clinton is the first woman to lead the presidential ticket of a major political party. I am proud of how far our country has advanced. However, this moment would be much more celebratory if the woman receiving the nomination was anyone other than Hillary Clinton. That may seem a bit harsh, but at least I’m not pretending to be surprised by this outcome.

In reality, Hillary was guaranteed the nomination the minute that she announced her candidacy. Bernie Sanders put up a good fight and, as an outsider in Washington, he certainly performed a lot better than I had originally anticipated. Although I refuse to #FeelTheBern, I actually enjoyed watching the 74 year-old “Democratic Socialist” attempt to dismantle the Clinton machine. However, it becomes increasingly difficult to win when your opponent is a politically-privileged liberal opportunist.

I know it’s difficult to imagine, but let’s pretend that Hillary is the altruistic savior that her supporters claim she is. Putting all politics aside, Hillary is (on paper) more than qualified to be the President of the United States. Just consider her extensive political resume: Yale Law School Alumnus. Former First-Lady of Arkansas. Former First-Lady of the United States. Former U.S. Senator. 2008 Candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Former Secretary of State. This resume has ensured, and will continue to ensure, Hillary’s continuous climb up the political ladder.

The truth is, Hillary Clinton is a prime example of the status quo. She is no stranger to the Washington establishment, and she knows exactly how to work the system. It is no secret that Hillary has made a fortune giving political speeches throughout the country. Averaging $210,795 per speech, Hillary has shown that she has the ability to effectively market herself. Don’t get me wrong, Hillary certainly has the right to give speeches, and to get paid for them. That’s the beauty of a free market. However, considering that many of these speeches were paid for by Wall Street, let’s not allow ourselves to buy into the notion that Hillary isn’t well-connected.

It just so happens that having access to an extensive network of well-connected Washington insiders is a prerequisite for success in a Democratic Primary. A basic understanding of superdelegates, and the role that they play, is all that it takes to realize that party insiders have a large amount of influence in choosing their eventual nominee. Let’s just say, it is by no coincidence that Hillary ended up with 92% of the available superdelegates.

I am in no way insinuating that Hillary won on the basis of superdelegates alone. Mathematically, she would have defeated Bernie based solely on her number of pledged delegates. However, there is no denying the pivotal role that superdelegates play in these contests. Superdelegates consist of elected members of the DNC, Democratic governors and members of Congress, and other distinguished party leaders. Since these individuals are not bound by the same rules as pledged delegates, they are free to support the candidate of their choosing.

When it comes to winning over superdelegates, the more connected you are the better. With 92% of the superdelegates rallied towards her cause, there is little doubt that Hillary was the top choice of the Democratic Party insiders from the very beginning. Considering the support she received from Washington insiders, the donations from Wall Street, and her ruthless ambition, it is absolutely no surprise that Hillary has received the nomination. Period.  

So congratulations. You nominated an establishment-friendly, politically-privileged opportunist who will stop at nothing to get the power she believes she deserves. This is neither an achievement, nor a victory for the American people. Hillary is a politically-privileged opportunist, and her ruthless ambition is nothing to be proud of. If Hillary is your candidate, that’s great. However, please don’t insult the American public by acting like this is an odd-defying moment.

Trump May Be Racist, But Most Conservatives Are Not

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Well, Donald Trump is at it again! Last week, Trump criticized U.S. District Judge Gonazalo Curiel, claiming that the judge was exhibiting bias while presiding over the “Trump University” litigation. The resulting backlash has led many to wonder if Trump is, yet again, resorting to the brash behavior that has become the theme of his presidential campaign. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Judge Curial is the son of Mexican immigrants, which Trump claims presents a conflict of interest due to his pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border. There is no substantive evidence that Judge Curiel has been motivated by bias, and it appears that the litigation will continue as scheduled. 

Now, I usually refuse to play the race game, and I am strongly against the politically-correct rhetoric that attempts to classify any controversial conversation as “discriminatory”. I will say that Donald Trump’s comments were irrational, and I personally disagree with his choice of words. However, I am not going to try to make this into another “TRUMP IS RACIST” piece.  

You can decide for yourself whether or not Trump is a racist. What I care about is the effect that Trump’s actions are having on the conservative movement. By consistently trying to exploit and manipulate the frustrations of the First Amendment supporters, he is providing the left with ammunition that can, and will, be used to slander, criticize, and demerit conservatives of all backgrounds. 

It’s important to understand that Trump is an exception to the rule. A man like Donald Trump will hurl insults and accusations at ANYONE who disagrees with him. When his ego is threatened, he has a tendency to respond in the most offensive ways imaginable. While there is a stark difference between an egomaniac and a racist, it is important to realize that perception is everything. 

In the eyes of the progressives, Republicans and conservatives are already made out to be racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Christian, white males. I may have missed a few, but you get the idea. Donald Trump’s behavior does nothing to improve this image, on the contrary, it feeds into it. Hillary Clinton has, to no surprise, already capitalized on his comments, referring to them as “dangerous” and “bigoted”. Unfortunately, considering the facts, it becomes increasingly hard to debate her assessment. 

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, MOST conservatives are willing to be tolerant of others, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. However, we believe that tolerance cannot be one-sided, nor does it mean that we need to accept or support things that we disagree with. I will be tolerant and respect you, as long as you don’t try to FORCE me to support your views.

Despite accusations from the social justice warriors, it is possible to be anti-political correctness, pro-free speech, and pro-tolerance. There are many rational individuals who oppose the politically-correct agenda, not because they want to intentionally hurt others, but because they desire the freedom to express their views without experiencing vicious backlash from progressive hypocrisy. Most of us just want the freedom to live our lives and to be left alone.

Donald Trump does not represent a true conservative attitude towards free speech, in fact, he represents the antithesis. Although he has gathered many followers in his crusade against political correctness, we have to be honest about what his main goal is: to crush any form of speech that bruises his ego. By exploiting the well-understood frustrations of the free-speech advocates, he is able to utilize his signature bully tactics to discredit those who oppose him.

My plea for the American public is this: don’t let Donald Trump define your opinion of all conservatives. We do not use speech to intentionally hurt others. We use free speech to stand up for our beliefs and values, and we refuse to bow down to political bullies. Instead of falling victim to schemes designed to discredit us, we need to stand together and show that we do not condone speech that is derogatory and divisive.  

No, I Am NOT Obligated To Support Trump

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I recently had the pleasure of engaging in a conversation with an individual who, without a doubt, is a Republican Party loyalist. By that I mean, one who will support the Republican Party no matter how far it drifts away from it’s original values. Throughout our discussion, this individual made it very clear that Republican-leaning conservatives should rally around Donald Trump in order to beat Hillary Clinton. I believe the exact words were: “If you’re not going to get on board, then you better get out”.

Now, I’m certain that this individual is someone who cares deeply about our country, and they must be horrified by the prospect of Hillary Clinton becoming President of the United States. While I certainly share this concern, it begs a very important question: As a Republican-leaning conservative, do I have the obligation to support Donald Trump during the general election?

My answer, quite frankly, is ABSOLUTELY NOT. I refuse to play the “lesser of two evils” game for any longer. I refuse to be a mindless drone that follows a political party regardless of how far they drift away from their values and principles. Finally, I refuse to buy into the idea that, by not voting for Trump, I am essentially voting for Hillary. These toxic ideas have plagued our political arena for long enough, and I refuse to fall victim to this ego-boosting rhetoric.

Every Presidential election cycle (this one in particular), I am inundated with the idea that we are supposed to vote for “the lesser of two evils”. Sure, Donald Trump may be a bad guy, but hey, Hillary Clinton would be a heck of a lot worse. This argument may have worked when the GOP nominated pseudo-conservatives, such as Mitt Romney and John McCain, but anyone who follows politics can see that Donald Trump is on a whole different level.

If I am limited to only two choices, both of which are highly undesirable, why should I violate my conscience by voting for either one of them? Am I obligated to support the power of a political party, or am I obligated to stand for my principles? Instead of limiting myself to two horrendous choices, I believe it is my duty to vote according to my principles and my values.

This is not to judge anyone who votes for Donald Trump, or even Hillary Clinton for that matter. Your vote belongs to you, and you are entitled to vote for whomever you believe in. My vote, on the other hand, belongs to me and is dictated by a strict adherence to the Constitution. My vote belongs, not to a political party, but to me. I vote for the person that I think will best represent my values, my principles, and the United States Constitution. If neither nominee reflects these characteristics, why should I feel compelled to vote for either one of them?

Part of the problem lies in this “Party-First” mentality, which has been having a destructive impact on American society. In the modern political arena, if you are Republican, you must support every Republican candidate, regardless of whether or not they adhere to conservative principles. The needs of the political party take priority, even if it means electing someone who skews conservative beliefs in a negative way.

The same argument can be made in regards to the Democratic Primary, in which many voters support Bernie Sanders. However, due to the superdelegate system, Hillary Clinton will clinch the nomination because party insiders have determined its in the party’s best interest. Unfortunately, on the Republican side, there has been a decreasing focus on the Constitution, and an increasing focus on who can ensure that the party stays in power. While the Democratic Party has been destroying the Constitution for years, it is disappointing that certain conservative sell outs are willing to compromise principles for party power.

Another theme that party loyalists seem to beat their drum to is the argument that: “If you don’t vote for Trump, you will be, essentially, casting a vote for Hillary”. This argument is a bunch crock, and anyone who uses it needs to take some serious time to reflect upon what is really driving their political decisions. Again, my vote belongs to ME. If I choose to follow my convictions and vote for a third party candidate, that is MY choice. If I choose to write-in a candidate that I believe in, that is MY choice. Neither of these actions are a vote, or an endorsement, for Hillary Clinton, nor are they a vote or an endorsement for Donald Trump.

I assure you, it is possible to be anti-Trump without being pro-Hillary, and vice-versa. We should not allow ourselves to be defined solely by a political party or an individual candidate. This election is not about Donald Trump. It is not about Hillary Clinton. It is not even about the Republican or Democratic Parties. It is about bringing America back to its constitutional principles, and supporting the individuals who adhere to these principles.

In conclusion, if my only options are to “get on board, or get out”, then I will have to say, in good conscience, that I will choose the later option. I will continue to support, and vote for, the state and local candidates who reflect the values and principles that I hold. I will continue to support the ideas that I believe in. However, Donald Trump is a man who has spent his life subscribing to liberal ideals, and has defined his character through amoral actions. If I were to throw my support behind Trump, I would be forced to violate my deepest held principles.

During the 2016 General Election, I urge all voters to vote based on their convictions. If you strongly believe that Donald Trump’s divisive and derogatory approach will “Make America Great Again”, then vote for him. If you believe that Hillary Clinton’s progressive-minded, politically-correct propaganda will reignite what makes American great, then vote for her. I refuse to be a pawn for either candidate, and no, I will not support Bernie Sanders either. If you are, like me, unsatisfied with both of these options, I encourage you to find a candidate who you can conscientiously throw your support behind. Don’t continue to let egotistical grabs for party power influence how you vote.

The Flawed Economics of Bernie Sanders


For those who don’t follow politics, the entire campaign of Bernie Sanders is built off of his contempt for “the millionaires and billionaires” who (in his view) are the cause of America’s economic woes. 

The self-proclaimed “Democratic-Socialist” from Vermont has gained nation-wide popularity for his crusade against the corruption between Wall Street and the political elite. Although fighting corruption is not a bad thing, there are many flaws in Sanders’ approach to economics.

Bernie Sanders’ following seems to come from a utopian-esque world in which everyone gets something for nothing. Producers of goods should WANT to give away goods at a price below profit. The wealthy should WANT to give a large chunk of their money to the poor. In Bernie’s ideal world, fairness is synonymous with forced charity. 

As I highlight in the following article, Bernie Sanders isn’t all bad. The man has stuck to his principles (albeit principles that I disagree with) for almost 40 years. If there is one thing I admire in a politician it is consistency over opportunism. Sanders has also made it his goal to break the relationship between Wall Street and Washington D.C., which is a link that should have been broken long ago. However, neither of these are an excuse for bad economics.  

Although Sanders is slipping in the polls, his ideology will continue to live on, especially amongst millennials. Therefore, it is important to discuss the economic fallacies that surround Sanders’ ideas in order to ensure that the U.S. doesn’t slip into welfare statism. 

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