Inconsistent Standards and Insurrection
Ever since the fateful day of Jan 6, 2021, the political right has been treated with extreme scrutiny by media, the public, and elected officials. Terms like domestic terrorist and insurrection are used freely to describe anyone wearing a MAGA hat. Some media members have even claimed to expect a reaction comparable to drone strikes on American citizens. Not only has the backlash and sloppy grouping of ideologies gone too far, but even worse, it has further revealed a glaring trend in modern America: hypocrisy and inconsistent standards.
As a 28 year-old, I have grown up in a world which taught me to expect hypocrisy from the left. I learned early in life that there are two rule books – a rule book for the progressives and a rule book for everyone else.
Racism was bad for everyone… unless it was racism against Caucasians (as a person of mixed ethnic heritage, this standard has bothered me for as long as I can remember).
Free speech was great and nobody deserved to be silenced… unless the person in question was a “right wing extremist” who could be unjustly and conveniently categorized as a “Nazi”.
Border barriers, guards, and guns were discriminatory, dangerous, and disgusting… unless they were used to protect an elitist elected official or a Hollywood star living in a gated and guarded community. More on that later.
Even though I grew up knowing and expecting the hypocrisy and double standards of progressives, the past year left me consistently surprised by the brazen nature with which lies were leveraged. Before we go any further, let me make something very clear: what happened at the DC Riot was inexcusable. Investigations about exactly who was involved and where the blame should be placed are underway and I look forward to gathering all details and evidence – but we don’t need all the evidence to say that anyone involved in the violence and destruction was wrong. That said, I see a staggering double standard being applied to the political right – a standard which was entirely absent from the political left during months of deadly and destructive riots. In this writing, I want to talk through a brief comparison of the two oddly similar situations and the oddly dissimilar reactions they received.
First, let’s look at the titles used to address the riots of the left and the single riot from the right. When addressing the DC Riot, two words seem ever-present: insurrection and terrorism. Don’t believe me? Take thirty seconds and browse through google results for January 6th, the Trump impeachment, or any other topic tied to the riot. You’ll see these words pop up time and time again. How about the months of deadly leftwing riots? These were treated quite differently, with leaders insisting that they were a myth or that the riots were merely “fiery but mostly peaceful”. Preferential treatment and conveniently selected words seem like a go-to strategy for the media and the left. The truth, though, is that by definition we have faced insurrection across America for more than half a year – and almost every bit of it came from the political left.
Next let us consider the timelines involved in the left-wing riots and right-wing riot. There is no need to draw this point out as the comparison is simple. The left rioted, burned, killed, attacked, robbed, and destroyed under the guise of seeking justice – they started shortly after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 and scattered riots still occur in February 2021. The right-wing riot lasted for several hours on a single day in early January of 2021. No violence or suffering is OK – but the fact stands that months are worse than hours.
How about the social reception by the media and elected officials? Again, this comparison is both simple and alarming. After millions of dollars in damage, many killed, extended violence, and traitors claiming American soil in CHAZ/CHOP, leading democrat Jerry Nadler said that violence and riots were a myth. Adrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, and Mike Doyle were some of many democrat officials to participate in protests which ended with destruction and, in some cases, outright rioting. Their participation was not only tone deaf and reckless from a security standpoint, but it also happened amid the height of COVID lockdowns and efforts to social distance. Masks and social distancing were often entirely absent practices at riots and protests, leading to untold numbers of infections and deaths. CNN talking head Chris Cuomo directly lied about American law and supported violence when he said, “Show me where it says that [American] protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.” Arguably the most egregious source of support for violence is found in our sitting Vice President Kamala Harris, who publicly supported an effort to bail out rioters. Some of the rioters bailed out went on to further the destruction and damage upon their release. Surely with this precedent, conservatives as a whole were treated with grace and fairness after a single day which saw a contextually small group rioting, right? Wrong. Conservatives were entirely shamed and disowned. The rioters were (justifiably) decried within a day by President Trump, elected republicans, and conservative influencers.
Humans have one great enemy: death. The passing of a loved one is always tragic. That said, numbers matter. 9/11 was worse than a highway accident which killed two people. We recognize this reality in almost every instance… except riots. When counting civilian and law enforcement deaths, the left-wing riots claimed between 25 and 35 lives (the range of numbers exists because there is some disagreement regarding which deaths can be fairly counted as direct results of the riots). The right wing riot has similar discrepancies in how deaths are categorized and blamed on an event or group, but tallies consistently range in single digits with between 3 and 7 people losing their lives. Leftist rioters injured approximately 700 cops while the right-wing riot injured 14. Much like the timeline addressed above, this does not justify any of the wrongdoing which took place – but more lives taken and more injuries given points definitively towards a more egregious offense.
Buildings are not people, but they are tied to people. Some buildings like public and federal houses represent our country and communities. Others, like private homes and businesses, represent hours of life, dreams, safety, and hopes. Several dozen federal and state buildings were damaged, invaded, or claimed by left-wing riots through the months. A single federal building was damaged and infiltrated during the right-wing riot. Millions of dollars of damage was done to small businesses and homes amid leftist riots. Not a single home or small business is known to have been targeted on January 6th.
What about the legal response? Leftist officials and Hollywood stars denied that crimes were happening and supported bailing out criminals. Local leaders told their police departments to stand down. Military support was repeatedly refused all around the country in democrat-controlled regions as city blocks burned. When President Trump finally sent federal law enforcement to protect the public, he was called an authoritarian. When the DC Riot broke out, police and national guard were authorized to send reenforcing units within minutes.
Lastly, what was at stake in each of these situations? Many will say, “Aha! This is where the difference lies. You see, the right-wingers stormed THE CAPITOL!” This avenue of thought is wrong for two main reasons. Left-wing rioters threatened to storm the White House before being beaten back by law enforcement, physically attacked elected officials around the country, stormed state buildings, attacked and claimed police precincts, and damaged private homes. The only difference is that A-list political celebrities were in the capitol while run-of-the-mill cops and local leaders were pushed out of their buildings around the country. I do not recognize an inflated sense of importance for elitists. Secondly, many of the elites present in DC were entirely silent or supportive regarding months of left-wing riots. These same elites were flabbergasted when a riot knocked on the doorstep of their workplace. In short, when the attacks were in YOUR neighborhood and claiming YOUR workplace, riots were treated as a myth or a movement worth supporting. When a riot infringed on a day in the life of American Oligarchs, the situation suddenly changed. A wall was immediately erected, troops were deployed, patriotism and the American way quickly became very important.
The Path Forward
It is my hope that this comparison will help to expose some of the partisan and deceptive lies being consistently told. I do not support political violence and I have said so consistently. The American left has a different standard. The radicals openly support violence as long as it is from their own side - then they turn around and attempt to claim a moral high ground at the first opportunity. To people like this, I can only say shame on you – your willingness to destroy lives for a political narrative disgusts me. We should all be willing to stand against the abuse of innocent citizens and police officers. The sooner we can agree on such an elementary topic, the sooner we will have some semblance of national unity.
Article also available at https://www.redlibertymedia.com/
A Silver Lining of COVID: Exposing Leftist Leaders
We have all heard the rallying cries. "Trump has blood on his hands" some scream. "Stay at home – even if it saves one life," elitists proclaim from their ivory towers as the middle class bleeds out. Amid the grandstanding and media-messaging, one major problem emerges: reality.
Lockdowns don't work. Leftist leaders do not believe their propaganda, but they insist that you drink their "Kool-Aid." This article will survey the failures, misinformation, hypocrisy, and political games of the COVID era. Let's start with the failures: Of the five states which performed the worst in COVID deaths, four are under the iron fists of power-drunk Democratic governors. The state that stands out as by far the worst – New York – is comparable as a significant city hub in overall population size and travel frequency to Florida. Google statistics indicate the average age of the population is 36.7 in New York, while Floridians average substantially older and more susceptible to COVID at 42 years of age. With their striking similarities and the advantage of New York's population taken into account, it is shocking to see that Florida ranks in the middle of the pack as the 26th worst state in COVID deaths reported. If you only watch the nightly news, it would persuade you to believe that Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is an accomplished leader leading the charge of COVID success stories. At the same time, Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is a failed, anti-science hillbilly. The truth is the exact opposite. Oddly enough, states with the most vocal and severe lockdown mandates such as NY, NJ, MI, PA, and CT have been documented as being either worse than or comparable to several states who hardly saw any lockdowns at all, such as SD and TN. The data is clear – lockdowns and radical leftist leaders are ineffective.
Next, let's take a brief look at misinformation and hypocrisy. Below, you will see a list with hyperlink citations exposing outspoken, power-hungry leaders who fit two pieces of specific criteria:
1) Imposing or openly supporting radical COVID measures. These measures include but are not limited to regulating or closing churches, releasing criminals from prison to avoid infection, fining small business owners for opening private stores, threatening jail time for breaking quarantine, and mandating curfew.
2) Each of these leaders is known to have brazenly broken their own mandates in an exercise of elitist, "rules for thee but not for me" fashion.
The list provided is not even remotely close to extensive when considering hypocritical participation in riots, protests, private events, and celebrations. For brevity and impact, only several high-level acts of hypocrisy were chosen.
The Republican Party is far from perfect, and yet after an extensive search, only one group appears to be susceptible to the most contagious disease of 2020 – hypocrisy among democratic elitists. If you have a documented case of a republican official who supported COVID mandates and then publicly broke their own rules, reach out, and the correction will be published – hypocrites of all stripes deserve to be exposed.
Lastly, let us address the unfortunate and disgusting topic of playing political games with people's lives, jobs, families, and dreams. Governor Tom Wolf (D-PA) was caught in a hot mic moment agreeing to participate in "political theater" by wearing a conveniently placed mask at a public briefing. The aforementioned democratic leaders made bold statements about fighting COVID, and yet, each of them held their citizenry to a higher standard than they were personally willing to uphold. In the 12th worst COVID state of PA, Health Secretary Rachel Levine exemplified what can only be categorized as disgustingly corrupt or woefully incompetent leadership. Secretary Levine Pulled a parent out of a group facility just before sending infected elderly patients to similar facilities. As many Western PA residents know, the vast majority of deaths in the region come from condensed elderly populations – the type Secretary Levine was sure to avoid when it came to family members.
From an event in Doylestown Pennsylvania, September 29, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf and PA State Rep Wendy Ullman chat about removing their masks to speak.
In a feeble defense, Secretary Levine tried to play the semantic game by differentiating between personal care homes for the elderly and nursing homes, as though COVID prioritizes one over the other based on nominal differences.
Worst of all, several leftist leaders came out immediately after President Biden's inauguration to publicly call for the reopening of the economy. Some of these leaders called for reopening despite seeing more deaths per day than when they originally called for lockdowns. In the face of such inconsistent standards, what was the true impetus to close our economy in the first place? A simple but unbelievably corrupt answer seems to emerge – a closed economy prior to elections made President Trump look bad, and a recovering economy after a democratic victory makes President Biden look like an immediate success story. In PA, Governor Tom Wolf (D) and Secretary Rachel Levine (D) ignored experts at nationally recognized health centers such as UPMC, who advised reopening the economy while protecting the vulnerable in May of 2020. You see, reopening in May would have been too soon, even if it is what the science called for - because Donald Trump was still president. The priority was always spinning a narrative, not saving lives or jobs.
In the case of some people, like Governor Wolf, we know that "political theater" games were being played. In other cases, the best we can do is gather evidence and speculate… but the timing and inconsistent logic sure seems convenient, doesn't it? These political games are disgusting in and of themselves. Still, when we remember that these games brought about delayed medical treatments, depression, spikes in anxiety, suicide, loss of millions of private dollars, and crushed individual dreams, the political games start to look downright sinister.
THE PATH FORWARD
It is never enough to merely recognize a problem or complain – we must offer a path forward; otherwise, the opposition will prevail every time. America must try something new; a bold and swift economic reopening modeled after Florida's success story while prioritizing and subsidizing the most vulnerable – our elderly and immunocompromised neighbors. After trillions of dollars spent on empty efforts and untraceable bailouts, we should welcome the limited spending tied to a mass-reopening while providing for the comparably small group of extremely vulnerable citizens who opt-in to such a system. Lastly, we must remember the leaders who lived out their hypocritical power fantasy in 2020. Governors Gavin Newsom, Andrew Cuomo, and their cohorts must face political backlash for their failures and corruption. Many of these leaders rule in a relatively local setting. That means that YOU can make a difference. You can contact, peacefully protest, politically pressure, and vote out the authoritarians among us. Take action today.
Article also available at https://www.redlibertymedia.com/
This is Why Americans Distrust COVID Numbers
I recently had a conversation with an acquaintance during a slow shift. The individual, a millennial man only slightly older than myself, had heard about my political involvement. It’s hard to hide these days.
“So what do you think about COVID?” He asked me. I thought for a moment before answering, “What do I think about COVID? That is pretty broad – can you narrow that question down a bit?”
“I guess I mean I want to know your overall thoughts on the reporting and handling of COVID,” he answered.
“Hm, OK.” I started, “Well there are a ton of details and sub-conversations we could have on this, but as a whole I think COVID is a real sickness which has been intentionally leveraged and misrepresented for political gain. I’ve read a lot of studies, talked to many medical professionals, and I think it is entirely fair and justified for people to think they have been lied to about the specifics of the entire COVID situation.” I answered. Have you ever been in a situation where you can literally feel the other person frowning without even looking at them? That is exactly what happened as my words landed. After a long silence, my acquaintance said, “I think that it is beyond stupid for people to say things like that – we have thousands of people dead and a global sickness and people still question things.” Now it was my turn to frown, “Wait a second, I don’t think you heard me – COVID is real. I am not making light of anyone dying. But that can be true and it can be true that the situation was politically leveraged and misrepresented for power and influence. Those two ideas are not mutually exclusive.” We went on to have a good conversation – one which actually ended with my counterpart admitting that COVID certainly has been misrepresented and politically leveraged.
These conversations are difficult to have because of the fear and emotion tied up in the topic – it makes people exist on a hairpin trigger. They are just waiting for someone to “make light” of the situation so that they can get incensed. Like I told my acquaintance, COVID is a huge topic and I could write about different aspects of it for hours. That said, I want to focus in on one topic this time around: Why are people justifiably skeptical about COVID reporting from the medical and media communities? A long list of coincidences have raised red flags for Americans – I’ll present a few of them. We will move through this list with some semblance of paying attention to chronological order. Let’s get into it!
The world-changing COVID situation kicked off amid controversy in Wuhan, China. While the Chinese government knew about COVID and the dangers involved for several weeks, they intentionally buried the story while abusing their own people. The misinformation campaign spearheaded by China’s government caused a veil of distrust and conspiracy to justifiably surround the health crisis almost immediately. That was strike one – Americans had questions and legitimate doubts about the information they were receiving from the very first chapter of this story. Then we all learned that the World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit in the Chinese lies about COVID. The weeks that were lost due to Chinese and WHO deception and negligence were weeks of potential preparation, study, and awareness that the world would never get back. Not only was China to blame for the virus itself, but after the virus began to spread, China covered the crisis which lead to a long-lasting domino effect ending in the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of countless thousands. Americans were hit with the surprise spread of a brand new virus and the considerable warning we could have had was blocked by China (strike one) and the WHO (strike two). US citizens with their ear to the ground already had serious reasons to believe they were watching a deadly show of smoke and mirrors.
As if the corruption of China and the WHO was not enough, we see another legitimate complaint as we look back on the past year and a half. As COVID developed in 2020, President Trump claimed that based on the intelligence briefings he had at his disposal, it was apparent to him that COVID originated in a lab – not a fish market. He said China had to be held accountable and joined mainstream news outlets like CNN in calling COVID the “Wuhan Virus”. Though President Trump used the same titles spread by mainstream media, he was maligned from all sides – with medical professionals and media talking heads claiming that the very idea of COVID originating in a lab was a wild conspiracy theory and the name “Wuhan Virus” was inherently racist. Again, Americans who were paying attention had serious questions. A little Google digging showed that the lab in Wuhan was a particularly specialized facility which worked on Coronavirus studies. Another quick internet search showed that many diseases were named after their geographical point of origin – such as Zika, Spanish flu, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, West Nile virus, and Ebola. With such a well-established medical history of virus names and an extremely suspicious lab being located nearby the outbreak origin, Americans began asking, “Why are we being silenced? Why are these questions not OK to ask?” The true answer was simple – 2020 was an election year and using COVID as a politicized weapon to attack Donald Trump with was just too tempting a proposition for the left-wing institutions to pass-up. But that wasn’t the explanation we were given by the news. No, we were told that we needed to believe the narrative and anything else was racist, hateful, and reckless. Strike three.
Next, let’s consider how the situation continued to deteriorate via one of the largest and most controversial measures taken to mitigate COVID in the US: mandatory lockdowns. Lockdowns began as what appeared to be a good-faith effort to slow the spread. They were suggested, not forced, and they were a shot in the dark at protecting against an unknown threat. As time passed, we began to see two unfortunate trends. First, we saw that leaders in blue states were all too happy to fulfill their power fantasies by using “emergency powers” to forcefully regulate, limit, and close churches and businesses. It is worth noting that many of these leaders did not follow their own lockdown mandates – Gavin Newsom, Andrew Cuomo, and Lori Lightfoot come to mind when we think of COVID-hypocrites. These leaders were ready to harass or fine individuals who chose to open their churches or businesses – but in private, these very same leaders broke their own rules with no legal repercussions. We also saw groups of democratic leaders protecting the functionality of their own businesses – Tom Wolf and Gavin Newsom both allowed their side-hustles to remain open and unhindered as other businesses in their respective states were forcefully closed. As relief packages rolled out, companies which Newsom partially owned received millions of taxpayer dollars. Americans had another set of legitimate doubts and questions – namely, “If this disease is truly worth stripping us of our economic and religious liberties, why do the elites disregard safety measures once they think nobody is looking?” If you were among the millions of citizens who asked such questions, you were labeled as an anti-science COVID denier.
As the months rolled on we began seeing that states with the most restrictive lockdown mandates (such as NJ, NY, PA, and MI) performed as bad or worse when compared with the states which had less restrictions (such as FL, TX, AL, and SD). The logical reaction would be to assess the situation, see that our tactics were not working and were doing more harm than good, and change tactics. But the media and leftist leaders couldn’t risk looking bad or admitting that they may have been wrong – especially not when Donald Trump had been a leading voice in resisting lockdown mandates. The path forward was clear for corrupt leaders – ignore the science, data, and measurable results and shame anyone who pointed out the obvious truth. After all, if people died and the economy crashed, that was a negative story that could be placed at the feet of Donald Trump as he campaigned for his second term.
Another set of questions originated with the CDC and their apparent unreliability amid the COVID crisis. The CDC admitted to mixing viral and antibody test results during a time when the news shifted to reporting infection rates rather than death rates. As infection rates raised and death rates dropped, the news should have been at least partially hopeful – more cases with fewer deaths means a less deadly virus. Instead, it seemed that a convenient mistake in the CDC and a trend in media reporting were working together to paint the situation in a manner which was less than complete and accurate.
Sadly, the confusion and misleading reporting didn’t end with the CDC. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading voice on America’s response to COVID, seemed to flip and flop his way through the pandemic. Some of his most infamous failures can be seen in his complete 180 regarding the usefulness of masks and his adamant public support of social distancing which suddenly became noticeably less important amid widespread leftwing riots. As BLM and ANTIFA members took to the streets by the thousands without masks or social distancing, Dr. Fauci was suddenly tongue-tied and unable to advise against mass gatherings. When pressed on the issue, Dr Fauci refused to offer the medical advice which he had previously been all too eager to share.
Other cases which raised legitimate questions about the accuracy of COVID reporting found their roots in quickly buried stories that saw labs exclusively reporting positive COVID test results. This practice undoubtedly lead to artificially raised rates of infections being reported. Yet again, Americans who were looking for the man behind the curtain saw serious cracks in the narrative, but they were almost immediately silenced, shamed, and shouted down when they voiced concern.
The WHO stumbled in front of the nation again when on the very day that Joe Biden was sworn in, more restrictive and selective methods of testing and diagnosing COVID were released to the public. This action raised serious red flags as it seemed like another coincidence in a long list of convenient developments for a political agenda. The newer and more restrictive methods by their very nature would result in less cases being counted and reported, thus making the newly legitimized Joe Biden appear to be an immediate success story.
More medical concerns were brought forward when it became public knowledge that hospitals which tested and treated patients for COVID were given a direct monetary incentive for a COVID-positive diagnosis. Though the truth of this fact has been danced around and avoided, the idea that a hospital is at least incentivized to play hard and fast with affirming a COVID case is indisputable. Proving specific cases of abusing this monetary system is something that would require extensive investigations, but the concern that greed is a powerful incentive is a legitimate one. Through 2020, stories began to emerge about mis-diagnosed cases. Some were personal anecdotes from friends and family members – I know of individuals in my personal sphere who were diagnosed without ever even taking a COVID test. Like many Americans, I have had contact with multiple medical professionals who quietly disagree with the mainstream narrative around COVID but remain relatively silent out of fear for their job security and reputation. Other instances of misdiagnosed cases were published by local news outlets – people dying after motor vehicle accidents and gunshot wounds were being brought in and declared as COVID deaths. A popular counterpoint to these claims is, “OK, sure that happened a few times. But do you really think that those few cases impacted the overall numbers reported?” The obvious answer is no – however, it is entirely within reason to ask the following. “If a man who was killed in a motorcycle accident is counted as a COVID death – a case which is so absurd and egregious that it is almost unbelievable – how many other less obvious but still false cases were misdiagnosed?” If you don’t understand that concern, let me offer it via a metaphor. Imagine that you are in business with a person who has access to millions of dollars in company bank accounts. Somewhere along the line, you lend this person $5 and when it comes time for the person to repay you, they come up with an outlandish lie about how they already returned your money. It is entirely reasonable for you to then develop serious concerns about how the person in question might be acting with the millions of dollars they have access to, given that they could not even maintain honesty in a simple case concerning $5. These widespread anecdotes mixed with professionally documented cases of mistakes and misreporting caused equally widespread and well-founded distrust – especially when both political and monetary incentive were on the table.
More doubts about testing accuracy and reporting were raised when many false-positive tests began to receive attention. One of the most noteworthy instances saw 77 NFL players test positive for COVID-19, only to retest and find that each of the cases had been inaccurate and misdiagnosed. Again, both officially reported cases and anecdotes abounded, causing citizens to question whether or not the rising infection numbers seen on nightly news truly represented reality.
The last topic we will address in this overview of legitimate questions surrounding the 2020 pandemic is hypocrisy. We have briefly looked at several leaders who broke their own mandates, but the list of hypocritical leaders who emerged during 2020 is lengthy. One massive source of COVID hypocrisy can be seen in mainstream news, where failed and shamed Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was hailed as a hero while the wildly successful Governor Ron DeSantis (R) was treated as an anti-science failure. Amid all the misleading reporting, a troubling pattern emerged. Red states such as GA, TX, and FL which performed either better than or comparable to blue states were painted as failures while blue states such as MI, NJ, and NY which performed equal to or worse than their red counterparts were heralded as COVID success stories. Americans stood by and watched as states with lower death counts were ruthlessly attacked while failed governors of blue states wrote books and made nightly news appearances hosted by enamored anchors. If the situation was truly about saving lives and not power grabbing or political leveraging, why was the odd discrepancy so prevalent?
The news wasn’t the only source of hypocrisy among leaders who claimed to care deeply about safety and stopping the spread. Joe Biden famously broke his own mask mandate on federal property mere hours after declaring the national rule. Almost immediately after the Biden Inauguration, the Democratic Governors of Illinois, California, and New York eased lockdown restrictions – some amid COVID rates that were higher than when the restrictions were first implemented. Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi were both spotted breaking the California mandates they vocally supported and Gretchen Whitmer traveled after urging her constituents to stay home. With each case of what appeared to be blatant politically motivated elitist hypocrisy, Americans asked, “Why should we trust anything that you tell us?” No good answer was ever offered to such questions.
To summarize - why do Americans largely distrust COVID reporting? Because the entire situation had deception baked into it from day one. Because all mistakes seem to be strategically timed and spun to conveniently benefit one political faction. Because misinformation and inaccuracies have been proven multiple times. And most of all, because as much as the powers that be hate to admit it, Americans still have some sheep dogs mingling among the flocks of sheep.
Article also available at https://www.redlibertymedia.com/
The Impotent Constitutionalist – Ben Sasse
Ben Sasse is an interesting character in modern politics. He has the oft recognized credentials of a constitutionalist like Ted Cruz but the lackluster energy of Jeb Bush. Ben Sasse seems like a crossroads marking the meeting of opinionated conviction, weak resolve, a good heart, and a forgettable legacy. Sasse seems to have many good ideas, but when we start to ask two questions, his ideas begin to fade. First, what has Sasse accomplished for America? Second, when controversial or difficult topics cause political crosshairs to land on him, has Sasse held the line? Let’s consider these questions by reviewing some of his noteworthy decisions over the years.
Senator Sasse recently made headlines as one of only seven republicans to vote in the affirmative concerning the 2021 impeachment of President Trump. The unprecedented impeachment was historic for several reasons. The 2021 impeachment of former President Trump was the second impeachment in a single term after a failed initial effort only a year earlier – a situation which represents a historical first. Next, the 2021 impeachment relied on no evidence, witnesses, or argument being presented by the US House. To place this situation in context, the 2019 impeachment of President Trump and the impeachment of President Clinton both relied on extended professional inquiries, private investigations, presentation of evidence, testimonies, and debate. Each of these elements were entirely absent when the House drafted an article of impeachment against Trump in 2021. Next, the senate impeachment process was almost not heard at all after a constitutional concern split the senate. 44 Senators and many citizens believed that, given no historical precedent, it was unconstitutional and dangerous to impeach a former office-holder. Though the pro-impeachment side won, the entire process started on shaky ground with doubts being cast over the very legality of the proceedings. The now-established precedent of impeaching a former office holder reveals a pandoras box of possibilities, including impeaching former Senator Kamala Harris for her support of violent rioters and impeaching former President Barack Obama for using the FBI to delegitimize an incoming administration and using the IRS to punish political opponents. Senator Sasse has been silent on the pandoras box which he voted to open – his focus appears to be entirely on Donald Trump. The next problem is that the pro-impeachment side presented evidence which was proven to be photoshopped, selectively edited for out of context messaging, and intentionally dishonest. Senator Sasse had no apparent problem with voting for a political prosecution which, in a court of law, would see the manipulated evidence thrown out and the presenters threatened with a minimum of 16 months in prison. Lastly, Sasse seems to have been entirely accepting of an impeachment case which relied on blatant political and social hypocrisy and selectively applied standards of conduct.
If you are under the impression that oddly biased, un-American, and arguably unconstitutional impeachment support is the only problem with Sasse, you would be unfortunately mistaken. In a recent interview, Sasse explains that it is not enough to be “anti” – we must explain what we are “for”. While this is certainly a sentiment worth supporting, Sasse never seems to clarify exactly what he is for. The senator explains that he is against the culture Trump has created. He claims to be more in-line with presidents like Lincoln and Reagan. Oddly enough, both Lincoln and Reagan ruled during tumultuous times, played major parts in political polarization, took unprecedented measures for the preservation of Americanism and democracy, and were established as political fighters who inspired undying loyalty. In truth, Lincoln and Reagan, who Sasse likes to name drop as claimed historical partners, seem to share more similarities with Donald Trump than they do Ben Sasse.
In another recent interview, Sasse asserts that Trump supporters are in a “personality cult” and discredits claims of election fraud. While Donald Trump, like most leaders, certainly does have followers who could be accurately described as being blindly loyal to his personality, such a broad claim is both insulting and inaccurate. Millions of citizens have simply supported Trump because he is an outsider who is constantly lied about by the media and governmental powers-that-be. Other voters have faithfully voted for Trump because he was the best choice available. Senator Sasse brags about his large victory margins in a deep red state while discrediting massive election irregularities, widespread allegations, and bipartisan election security concerns. None of these decisions seem to fit with the character of a Reagan-esque Constitutional Warrior.
The same interview sees Sasse claim to be a supporter of “Rule of law, constitutionalism… and extending the American dream”. He has written several books on constitutionalism, but beyond that, his efforts towards these end goals seem malnourished. Regarding the rule of law, Sasse was justifiably quick to speak out against the DC Riot – a unanimously disowned event. He was conspicuously quiet as a more controversial and prevalent topic threatened his home state of Nebraska. As violence in the name of BLM and racial justice claimed the streets of Lincoln and Omaha, Ben Sasse seemed tongue tied with very little to contribute to the needs of the day. Regarding his ambiguous effort to “extend the American dream”, Sasse seems rather selective in the dreams he protects and extends. To a citizen hurt in DC, Sasse seems to extend his deepest condolences. To thousands of citizens hurt in left-wing riots and millions disenfranchised by unstable election processes, Sasses seems disinterested.
Lastly, let’s briefly consider Sasse’s pro-America, pro-rule of law, pro-constitution claims against his voting record. In an era of rising national debt and economic war with China, Sasse has voted repeatedly to increase our budgetary spending and reduce accountability at a national level. He has also voted against sanctioning our greatest international military threats found in Russia, North Korea, and Iran. When we look to one of the bipartisan ideas that is justified – a call for criminal justice reform – we see that Sasse swung and missed with a vote opposing the movement.
As Nathaniel Fischer explains in his writing, The Life of Sasse, the Nebraskan Senator likes to scold our judicial and congressional system – but his list of actions and steps towards a better future is embarrassingly short. Fischer goes on to explain that while Sasse seems to enjoy complaining about American education, he was almost entirely inactive during conservative movements to modernize and improve academia. According to Fischer, Sasse was vocal about recognizing economic problems in his home state, but was silent when it came to providing solutions. This pattern seems to be a predictable cycle for our opinionated but impotent conservative warrior.
This writing is not meant to paint Sasse as an anti-American leader or an enemy of the people. Rather, it is meant to ask, “Are we holding elected conservatives accountable, or are we simply seeing the title constitutionalist and signing on board?”. Sasse has supported some good movements, specifically in the realm of pro-life policy. Sadly, though, Sasse seems all too often to be an uninspired and fair-weather warrior on the battlefield of ideas. Does Sasse hate America? No, I do not believe he does. But does Sasse love America enough to consistently take on dangerous and difficult ideological battles? Again, I think the answer is clearly no.
The days we live in are trying, unstable, and dangerous.
We need leaders modeled after Washington, who was willing to reject the most powerful empire on earth for liberty’s sake.
We need Lincoln, who was willing to become a reviled figure and take unprecedented action in order to preserve constitutionally promised human rights.
We need Theodore Roosevelt, an innovator of policy solutions who rejected political norms and lead from the front.
What we have is Ben Sasse in Mom jeans hugging his copy of the Constitution as America burns.
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