Commentary: Republicans Must Stop Retreating on Abortion

While President Joe Biden’s halting performance in the first 2024 presidential debate generated the most significant commentary, it was some of former President Donald Trump’s remarks that raised concerns for pro-life voters. Those remarks ended up foreshadowing the recently proposed Republican platform’s surrender on the abortion issue.

Trump’s first misstep was his contention that “everybody” wanted abortion regulated at the state level. “Fifty-one years ago you had Roe v. Wade,” Trump argued, “and everybody wanted to get it back to the states, everybody, without exception, Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives. Everybody wanted it back… Ronald Reagan wanted it brought back” (emphasis added).

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Commentary: The Destructive Generation Proves America’s Weakest Link

Burning American Flag draped over fence

Governor Ronald Reagan, in his 1967 inaugural address, famously remarked, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Reagan today might have expanded on his theme by declaring that civilization itself is both fragile and can lost by a generation that recklessly spends its inheritance while neither appreciating nor replenishing it—if not ridiculing those who sacrificed so much to provide it.

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Analysis: Trump Says Biden Is ‘So Bad’ That Every State Could Be Competitive

Donald Trump

“As you can see today, we’re expanding the electoral map because we are going to officially play in the state of New Jersey—we’re going to win the state of New Jersey… We’re also looking… at the state of Minnesota, which hasn’t been won [by the GOP] since 1952 and we’re leading in the polls, and the state of Virginia and actually many other states, I don’t know, it could be all of them.”

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Commentary: If Republicans Want Better Legislative Outcomes, Trump Needs to Win Greater Majorities by Playing for the Popular Vote

Donald Trump at rally

Since 1960, Democrats have won the popular vote in 10 out of the last 16 presidential elections, and thanks to a combination of historical realignment (beginning during the 1930s), presidential coattails and the incumbency advantage, have also won U.S. House majorities in 11 out of those 16 contests, oftentimes with super majorities.

The modern story over U.S. House control, and therefore legislatively shaping the society of laws we live in presently, begins in 1932 when Franklin Roosevelt and Democrats utterly crushed Herbert Hoover’s reelection bid, winning 57.4 percent of the popular vote and 42 states to Hoover’s meager 39.6 percent and 6 states.

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Commentary: Free Markets are Necessary But Not Sufficient

Family Prayer at Dinner

For most of our lifetimes, classically liberal economics so dominated the Right that nobody wondered if conservatives were abandoning free markets. In recent years, though, a new generation of conservative thinkers—more traditionalist, populist, or nationalist than libertarian—has challenged the utility and even the morality of laissez faire economic policy.

We welcome their questions and critiques, as they have compelled American conservatives to have a long overdue conversation about the market, the family, and the state. But the blunt truth is the movement cannot abandon free markets. The moral and practical case for free enterprise is as necessary today as it was when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher used it to rescue their nations’ economies and win the Cold War.

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Commentary: The U.S. Defense Industrial Base

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, along with increased tensions in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region, has generated many debates. Debates about the stability of the international order, the cohesion of NATO, and many others. But for the United States, one significant debate regards the size and expansibility of the American defense industrial base. It’s a discussion that is well past due.

Last year, Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl testified to Congress that, “What the Ukraine conflict showed is that, frankly, our defense industrial base was not at the level that we needed it to be to generate munitions.” But the challenge with ammunition is more symptom than cause, in economic terms something of a “leading indicator.”

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A Closer Look at Vivek Ramaswamy’s Bold Plan to Take Down the Administrative State

President Calvin Coolidge once said, “unless bureaucracy is constantly resisted it breaks down representative government and overwhelms democracy.”

GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wants to pick up where old Silent Cal, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump left off, proposing a plan to halve the size of the federal administrative state in his first year in office — should he be elected.

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Commentary: Is Former Vice President Mike Pence’s View on Conservatism Correct?

Former Vice President Mike Pence in a speech before the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and in an article in The Wall Street Journal warned Republicans and conservatives about the danger of populism. The former Vice President argues, in echoing Ronald Reagan’s 1964 address, that it is “a time for choosing” for Republicans whether to continue to follow the “siren song” of populism or return to true conservatism. It is clear that Pence is not only drawing a line in the sand and forcing a debate over conservatism, but also distancing himself from former President Donald Trump and those who support his policies. Nevertheless, Pence fails to understand that the conservative populism he is denouncing is actually rooted within the American conservative tradition.

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Commentary: Why Not ‘America First?’

It’s challenging to say something original about the Ukraine war. It’s been debated now for more than a year, and it’s not over yet. But that’s bad news for those supporting the war. Most Americans’ interest in foreign policy matters is limited, and many expect quicker favorable results than are probably ever possible in war. A year of war in a far-off land – another war in another far-off land – is not something Americans are likely to support for long, especially if it’s led by a stumble-bum president who picks incompetents for cabinet secretaries, campaigned for a mentally challenged stroke victim, and may be compromised by his son’s business dealings. 

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Athens County GOP Will Not Comply with Ohio GOP Censure of State Rep Edwards for Disregarding Party Obligations and Voting for Speaker Stephens

Following the Ohio Republican censure of the 22 lawmakers who voted with Democrats last month to choose the new Speaker of the Ohio House, saying they had disregarded their obligations to the party and the public, the Athens County GOP has said that they will not comply with the state party’s censure of Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville).

Edwards was among the 22 GOP representatives who joined forces with the Democrats to choose State Representative Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) as speaker. The choice came despite the Republican Caucus‘ previous selection in November of State Representative Derek Merrin (R-Moncolva) as the new speaker.

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Commentary: Six Bold Ideas for Trump, Republicans to Rebound from 2022 Midterms

After an underwhelming midterm election, the Republican Party and its enigmatic leader Donald Trump find themselves in a political wilderness, much like Ronald Reagan did after losing the 1976 nomination.

The Biden Democrats with hiding Kathy Hochul and hobbled John Fetterman seemed as beatable as bumbling Gerald Ford, and yet somehow the Reagan and 2022 GOP teams lost the process even though polling data showed they had won the hearts of the faithful. And the despair of knowing a far left regime (Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden) might rule for another election cycle led many to throw hands up and point fingers.

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White House Unveils Nancy Reagan Stamp, ‘Important Part of One of the Most Pivotal Presidencies’

Acommemorative postage stamp of former first lady Nancy Reagan was unveiled Monday in a White House ceremony attended by surviving family, historians and first lady Jill Biden who remarked of the portrait-size image on display, “Isn’t this stamp just beautiful.”

When the stamp officially goes on sale next month, Reagan becomes the sixth first lady to have one created in her likeness, following Eleanor Roosevelt, Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison and Lady Bird Johnson.

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell Alleges Twitter Is Carrying Fake Accounts in His Name; His Just-Banned Official Account’s Takedown Reveals the Ruse

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell on Sunday launched a new Twitter account that was suspended less than four hours after its creation.

On the move by the social media giant, Lindell said, “Like the [banned] Twitter account, it’s more corrupt than you’ve seen there. Twitter, a week before that – a week before – they put up a fake account. Twitter’s done this three times to me, and then they run the account, and act like they’re me. So they go, ‘Oh, Mike’s okay with the election.’ Like everything’s business as normal.

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Longtime Conservative Campaign Strategist Gerow Persists in Bid for Pennsylvania Governorship

Charlie Gerow has worked with Republican public officials for over four decades. He hasn’t been among them, though he contends that augurs well for how he would perform if elected governor. 

“I’m an outsider who knows what’s going on inside,” he told The Pennsylvania Daily Star. “And that’s what voters are looking for — somebody who’s not an officeholder, who’s not part of what’s going on right now but who knows what needs to be done and knows how to do it.”

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JC Bowman Commentary: ASD Is Still Not the Solution

The adage is that no one loves a warrior until the enemy is at the gates. We are the land of the free for one reason only: We are also the home of the brave. We need more people willing to stand up and bravely speak out on issues. However, it is not always about being right, it is about doing what is right. On that front, we need more warriors not afraid to do what is right and what is necessary.

Ronald Reagan, a man known for his wit, preferred humor to attack politics. Journalist H.W. Brands wrote: “Even those who disliked his policies had difficulty disliking him.” Brands also called Reagan the Republican Party’s “last hero, their last real vote-getter.”

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Scott Presler Brings #ThePersistence to His Ohio Tour Supporting Jim Renacci for Governor

Scott Presler

The conservative activist whose tagline is “Make Kindness Great Again” is bringing his #ThePersistence vibe to his tour of Ohio in support of Republican James B. “Jim” Renacci’s gubernatorial campaign.

“Well, I’m not on a bus tour, but I am in a rental vehicle traveling this state of Ohio, and I’m driving myself. I’m not living a fancy life with a chauffeur,” said Scott Presler, who worked as a dog walker and also for a Northern Virginia school system before he dedicated himself to electing Donald J. Trump president in 2016. “I take care of my own business, but I started in Medina, Ohio, doing a Super Bowl, anti-Woke party with Jim Renacci running for governor.”

Presler said he is traveling all over the state to get the word out before the May 3 primary, when Renacci faces Gov. R. Michael DeWine.

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Commentary: Great American Stories Such as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Bert and Ernie

This week in 1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was screened for the first time at the Globe Theatre in New York City. Audiences weren’t quite sure what to make of the film, even though it starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed and was directed by Frank Capra. Perhaps the economic jeopardy of life in Depression-era small towns was still all too real. Or maybe the specter of sons and husbands returning from the front reminded audiences of how many American fighting men had not come back from Europe or the Pacific.

Stewart, the leading man who portrayed small-town savings-and-loan owner George Bailey in Capra’s movie, was such a charismatic leading man that when studio executive Jack Warner heard in 1965 about Ronald Reagan’s plans to run for governor of California, he quipped, “No, no! Jimmy Stewart for governor. Ronald Reagan for best friend.”

But casting in movies, as in life, can be deceiving. It was something of an in-joke, for instance, to have Jimmy Stewart play the older brother who flunks his Army physical in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and can’t go to war. In real life, Stewart and Frank Capra both enlisted in the military after making “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” together in 1939. The Italian-born Capra, then in his 40s, produced an evocative series of films for the military called “Why We Fight.” Stewart did his part, too, and then some. After winning Best Actor for his role in 1940’s “The Philadelphia Story,” Stewart had become the most bankable star in Hollywood. Nonetheless, by the time Pearl Harbor was bombed, he was already in uniform, pulling duty at Moffett Field, south of San Francisco, in the Army Air Corps. By the end of World War II, Stewart had flown 20 combat missions in a B-24, become a squadron leader, been awarded a chest full of medals, and risen in rank from corporal to colonel.

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Commentary: Revisiting Prudent American Realism

Donald Trump sitting at desk

I have long deplored the poverty of international relations (IR) theory, which pits “realists” of all varieties against “liberals” or advocates of “liberal internationalism” and its corollary, “cooperative security.” In essence, the debate between these two schools is a dispute between Thucydides and Machiavelli on the one hand and Kant on the other.

Realists argue that states are driven by naked interest. In a system of “international anarchy,” states face a security dilemma that leads to arms racing, offensive and defensive alliances, and ultimately war. For realists, the international system is conflictual. In contrast, liberal internationalists argue that the international system is potentially cooperative. Diplomacy trumps force. For realists, liberals are too abstract and place too much emphasis on the “good side” of human nature. For liberals, realists are too pessimistic and cynical. In addition, say liberals, realism is too parsimonious: it fails adequately to explain the world.

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Commentary: America Gone Mad

After three weeks in Europe and extensive discussions with dozens of well-informed and highly placed individuals from most of the principal Western European countries, including leading members of the British government, I have the unpleasant duty of reporting complete incomprehension and incredulity at what Joe Biden and his collaborators encapsulate in the peppy but misleading phrase, “We’re back.”

As one eminent elected British government official put it, “They are not back in any conventional sense of that word. We have worked closely with the Americans for many decades and we have never seen such a shambles of incompetent administration, diplomatic incoherence, and complete military ineptitude as we have seen in these nine months. We were startled by Trump, but he clearly knew what he was doing, whatever we or anyone else thought about it. This is just a disintegration of the authority of a great nation for no apparent reason.”

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Mollie Hemingway Commentary: Taking on the Establishment

Before the 2018 midterm elections, Trump’s political advisors were thinking about the president’s re-election bid and noticed a curious commonality among incumbent presidents who didn’t get re-elected: they all faced challengers from within their own party.

Five U.S. presidents since 1900 have lost their bids for a second term. William Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin Roosevelt, Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. While each election is determined by unique factors, all five of these failed incumbents dealt with internal party fights or serious primary challenges.

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House Passes Virginia Rep. McEachin’s Bill to Study Creating a Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Area

The House of Representatives passed Congressman Don McEachin’s (D-VA-04) Great Dismal Swamp National Heritage Act on Tuesday. If passed in the Senate, the bill will require the Secretary of the Interior to study potentially designating a Heritage Area in the region of the Great Dismal Swamp on the Virginia – North Carolina border.

“The Great Dismal Swamp is an incredibly important historical, archaeological, and environmental site for the Commonwealth,” McEachin said in a press release. “The Swamp was once a home and refuge to African American and Indigenous populations and enabled robust economic activity between the communities that called it home. Not only does it have immense cultural significance, the Swamp also plays a crucial role in our continued fight against the climate crisis.”

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Commentary: Biden Will Prove Reagan Right About Big-Government Incompetence

Respected Washington Post journalist and CNN host Fareed Zakaria has thrown down the gauntlet by betting that President Joe Biden “can show us that Reagan was wrong” when the Gipper said that “government is not the solution to our problems. Government is the problem.”

The headline in the Washington Post was “Biden is showing government can work,” and this assertion was supported by a commitment from a Biden White House official that “For people like us who believe in government, task number one is to make government work.”

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Commentary: A Retired Professor’s Retrospective on How Academia and Society Have Gone Separate Ways

I landed in Washington, D.C., in 1965 as a graduate student. For a conservative, the landscape was barren.

There was no conservative administration, no national newspaper that competed with the liberal New York Times and Washington Post, no conservative think tanks that rivaled the Brookings Institution or Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and no conservative majority in Congress.

Over the previous 32 years, the Democrats occupied the White House for 24 years, and both houses of Congress for 28 years. For all practical purposes, Washington and national politics were a Democratic Party monopoly.

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Commentary: The Left Can Never Forgive Nor Forget Phyllis Schlafly

The release of the Hulu-produced movie “Mrs. America” reminds us once again of CHQ Chairman Richard A. Viguerie’s observation that Phyllis Schlafly may have been the most important conservative who was never elected to public office.

And, as Mr. Viguerie wrote on the occasion of Mrs. Schlafly’s death in 2016, it probably seems like ancient history or some obscure chapter of a long-forgotten college textbook to today’s young conservatives, but Phyllis Schlafly, perhaps even on a footing equal with Ronald Reagan, was the savior of the modern conservative movement.

The year was 1972, the month March, just three short months before the Watergate break-in that eventually brought down Richard Nixon, Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) with substantial Republican support.

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Commentary: From Bullets to Ballots, and Back to Bullets?

At the beginning of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln summed up the case against partisan impeachment when he reminded his countrymen that, “It is now for [Americans] to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets, and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves at succeeding elections.”

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Hamilton County May Pay More Property Taxes for School Social Workers

  Hamilton County residents may have to pay 17 percent more in property taxes so the local school system can have enough money to create 350 new positions. And Hamilton County School Board member Rhonda Thurman told The Tennessee Star many of those proposed positions are unneeded. School board members have already voted in favor of the plan. Thurman was one of two school board members who voted no. County commissioners must still give the OK. They will likely have a vote next month, Thurman said. That extra money, if county commissioners go along, should generate an extra $34 million for the school district, Thurman said. Proposed new positions include counselors. graduation coaches, a data warehouse programmer, a testing coordinator, a director of social and emotional learning, new assistant principals, and a college and career advisor, among other things. The money would also pay for 15 new truancy officers. “We already have 10 truancy officers. That (addition) will get us 25. They’re just going to drag kids back to school who don’t even want to be there who then misbehave when they get back,” Thurman said. Thurman said a quote from former Republican President Ronald Reagan best describes how the…

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Commentary: Trump Knows When to Fold ‘Em

by Michael Walsh   In the course of a high-stakes negotiation, the player who walks away from the table is the one with the least to lose. Ronald Reagan did it to Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik in 1986, and Donald Trump did it to Kim Jong-un this week in Vietnam. Good for the president. A lot of people have brought up Reykjavik; I discussed the similarities on the Hugh Hewitt radio show with guest host Kurt Schlichter on Thursday. Reagan met Gorbachev in Iceland in the fall of 1986 and the two men were approaching an agreement that might have included the abolition of all nuclear weapons. But the Soviet premier wanted the Americans to drop the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as “Star Wars.” That was a bridge too far for Reagan, who abandoned the talks and went home. Naturally, the hostile press was appalled—the abolition of all nukes! And this cowboy won’t give up a pet program that probably won’t work anyway! Warmonger! Reagan was widely viewed at the time as an “amiable dunce” who didn’t understand the first thing about the complexities of international diplomacy; why, the doddering old fool actually thought “We win, they lose” was…

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How Many Times Trump’s Predecessors Declared a National Emergency

by Fred Lucas   The push for a border barrier marks President Donald Trump’s fourth declaration of a national emergency—about a third as many as his three immediate predecessors in their two terms. The number of declared emergencies puts Trump on a par with Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. President Gerald Ford, who signed the 1976 National Emergencies Act, did not declare an emergency under it. His successor, Jimmy Carter, made two such declarations during his single term—one of which is still in effect. In all, 32 presidential declarations of a national emergency remain in effect, counting Trump’s action Friday, while 21 expired or were canceled. The overwhelming majority of national emergencies involved either blocking access to U.S.-held assets for bad actors on the world stage or preventing financial transactions with those countries or with international entities and individuals. Trump’s three immediate predecessors—Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton—each served two four-year terms. Obama declared a national emergency 13 times and nine of those emergencies are still in effect, according to the Congressional Research Service. The younger Bush declared a national emergency 14 times, and 10 are still in effect. Clinton made 14 declarations, six of which…

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Commentary: Market Fundamentalism or Love of Country?

by Henry Olsen   Tucker Carlson’s much-discussed monologue last week leaves much to be desired. But factual errors or rhetorical excesses are not why it attracted vociferous criticism on the American Right. What really set the critics off is Tucker’s underlying moral premise: American republicanism sometimes requires public restraint of private vice, even in the sphere of economics. The fact that this is even a debatable premise speaks volumes as to why American conservatism has struggled to become a majority for nearly 90 years. And the fact that this is the bottom line of President Trump’s approach to economics speaks more volumes as to why he swept the Republican field and won the White House. Carlson and Trump agree that American business owners have long since stopped thinking they owe anything to American workers or communities because they are American. They contend too many American executives, responsible only to shareholders who in turn value only the highest monetary return possible, are unconcerned about whom they contract with so long as the contracts are upheld. Nearly everyone concedes this is how business operates today; the question is whether correcting or influencing this is a proper matter for public action. Conservative dogma…

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Commentary: Merry Christmas – We’re All Gonna Die (Again)!

by Thaddeaus G. McCotter   One of the less salubrious effects of the anti-social network is how everything and anything is deemed the end of the world and, logically, the end of humanity. True, to the Regressives, the end of humanity does not mean the end of the world but, rather, a reprieve from us for Goddess Gaia. But why quibble and ruin the spirit of the season? Speaking of ruining the spirit of the season, to paraphrase President Ronald Reagan: “Well, here we are again.” Here at home, the Dow is down and the Donald’s ire is up. The government is shut down over the issue of funding for the southern border wall. General Michael Flynn was in court for sentencing and is still not sentenced. Michael Cohen is going to jail and the president has discussed the case with his acting attorney general, causing within the political class an outpouring of narcissistic panic about the fate of our free republic not seen since lunch. Naturally, the hashtag “#TrumpResign” is trending number one, because the onanistic resistance has mystically divined that this is the silver bullet that will make the bane of their existence pick up his money bags…

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Commentary: The George H.W. Bush Obituary You Won’t Read In The New York Times (Part Two)

by Richard A Viguerie   As the establishment media rushes to make the late President George H.W. Bush a saint of bipartisanship conservatives ought to remember the real George H.W. Bush and heed the political lessons available from an honest review of his record. Patriot, a public servant in the sense that the old Republican establishment viewed politics, and a paragon of old-fashioned public decorum and virtue he most certainly was, but he was, just as certainly, not a conservative. Those of us who have been around conservative politics for a while remember the smirk on Democratic senator George Mitchell’s face when he conned George H. W. Bush into abandoning his “read my lips” promise to oppose new taxes. If “Read my lips: no new taxes,” was the most memorable line of the 1988 campaign, George H. W. Bush’s decision to abandon that commitment was, politically, the most momentous act of his presidency. The decision to go back on his pledge not to raise taxes didn’t take place until well into his term. But Bush’s betrayal of the Reagan Revolution started the minute he took the oath of office. Within hours of Bush’s inauguration establishment Republicans, such as James Baker III,…

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JC Bowman Commentary: Lives, Fortunes, and Honor

US flags w airman

JC Bowman writes: Freedom should never be taken for granted.  Today we are debating the very concept of what it means to be a citizen of the United States of America.  While many citizens are very passionate about our country, others seem disillusioned and some openly hostile.  It is why the Declaration of Independence is such an important document. It expresses what it means to be an American. 

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Trump-Putin Summit Shows Why the President Is Ahead of the Curve

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump

By Robert Romano   President Donald Trump will be meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland on July 16. There the two will discuss nuclear weapons and U.S.-Russian relations. This is not only the right time to cool tensions between the two foremost nuclear powers — who have clashed over Syria, Ukraine and other potential hotspots — but also the right time politically for Trump to take to the international stage. Coming off a successful summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, achieving an agreement in principle to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, President Trump’s popularity is soaring. He has the political capital to meet with Putin. Trump’s surge, simultaneously stunning and perplexing to D.C. elites — but not to his supporters — comes as he does not appear to be hampered even in the slightest by the ongoing Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Probably because there was no collusion. But not only does Trump have the political capital to meet with Putin from a position of strength, it is politically smart for him to do it. Peace is popular. Not only is this what Trump ran on in 2016 — achieving a better relationship with American adversaries…

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Judd Matheny Gets Endorsement of Michael Reagan for Congressional Bid in Tennessee’s 6th

Judd Matheny, Michael Reagan

Conservative Republican Judd Matheny picked up a big endorsement this week when Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan and a former nationally syndicated talk radio host, visited Tennessee to promote his campaign for Congress in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. The August 2 Republican Primary will select a nominee to fill the seat being vacated by Congresswoman Diane Black, who is running for Governor. “Judd Matheny has the conservative principles and statesmanship that my father so loved in a candidate,” Reagan said in making his endorsement. “Judd will uphold Ronald Reagan’s legacy in Congress and I urge you to vote for him and I support him fully.” Matheny said that Reagan will be assisting his campaign in a variety of ways leading up to the Republican Primary. “Ronald Reagan was unwavering in his commitment to national security, economic freedom and prosperity, and the conservative principles essential to promoting and protecting liberty,” Matheny noted. “I am proud that Michael Reagan sees the same characteristics in me that were embodied by his father and am excited to have his support and friendship.” Michael Reagan is the son of former President Ronald Reagan and Academy Award winning actress, Jane Wyman. He authored many successful…

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Commentary: Are Conservatives and the GOP Better Off Today Than We Were Before Trump?

by Jeffrey A. Rendall   At the end of his lone presidential debate opposite President Jimmy Carter in 1980, Ronald Reagan looked straight into the television camera and famously asked the American People, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Republicans and conservatives need to similarly ask today, “Are we better off than we were two years ago?” For it was two years ago on August 6, 2015 that Donald Trump took the stage in Cleveland, Ohio with nine other Republican presidential candidates to debate publicly for the first time as a member of the GOP presidential field. That particular forum is perhaps best remembered for Trump’s initial testy exchange with moderator Megyn Kelly (of Fox News back then), but from the very start of the program it was clear the “outsider” New York businessman’s presence would change the dynamic in the party. The day after the debate I wrote at ConservativeHQ.com, “Trump delivered perhaps the most unconventional ‘performance’ in a debate that we’ve ever witnessed – and his presence literally forced all the other candidates to get serious about staking out and defending their positions. “In one way or another, Trump dominated the debate from the…

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