Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Big Mistake by Trump, and Other Big Events in Politics this Week

By Gary F. Zeolla


 

      It was yet another big week in politics, with much happening, including what I believe is the first major blunder by President Trump. But I will overview a few other events first.

 

Sean Hannity and Ted Koppel

 

      The week started off with Sean Hannity agreeing to an interview with Ted Koppel. Sean said he did so as he respected Ted from his America Held Hostage days. For those who are too young to know, this was a nightly news show that aired on ABC during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80. It was so popular, when the hostage crisis ended, ABC changed it into Nightline. It was those shows that sparked Sean’s interest in politics.

      Sean claims the interview last about 45-50 minutes and was very substantive, but CBS only aired 70 seconds of the interview, editing it so as to make Ted look good and Sean look bad. As Sean put it:

 

      The interview lasted well over 45 minutes, and we discussed in great detail why there’s such a great divide in America in politics and in media. In my honest opinion, the exchange was a substantive give-and-take, worthwhile for any audience to see. But what the audience saw was a distorted fraction of that discussion…

      But if CBS and Ted Koppel want to prove they have at least a shred of honesty, there is one thing they could do. They could post on the Internet the entire, unedited footage of the interview. Let Americans see the footage they didn’t want to air, and the public can decide (Fox News. Sean Hannity: Ted Koppel and CBS are bad for America - not me).

 

      Sean’s call for CBS to post the entire interview on its website make sense. But as it is, this is just one more example of the mainstream media’s bias.

 

North Carolina’s Bathroom Bill

 

      North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” was repealed this week. The actual name was House Bill 2 (HB2) and required people to use the bathroom that conformed with the sex on their birth certificate.

 

      HB2 supporters argued that the law was needed to preserve people's privacy and protect them from sexual predators. Opponents said that was nonsense and that the danger was imaginary (NBC News. North Carolina’s ‘Bathroom Bill’ Repeal: Who’s Satisfied?).

 

      The reason for the repeal was the many boycotts of North Carolina (NC), such as by the NCAA. This could potentially cost NC millions in business.

      Personally, I find the whole situation rather disturbing, but not for the reason that others do. What disturbs me is that people who do not live in NC forced NC lawmakers to repeal a law that was initially favored by most North Carolinians. This type of situation always angers me.

      For instance, around Christmastime, a small town might have a nativity scene on public grounds, and no one in that town complains. But then some liberal from outside of the town visits the town and is “offended” by the display. They contact the ACLU, a lawsuit is filed, and the town, not having the budget to fight the lawsuit, removes the display. Then the person who filed the complaint leaves. Thus the residents of the town that wanted or at least didn’t care about the display have their wishes overridden by an outsider.

      Such a situation is ridiculous. The town’s residents should decide what goes on their public property, not an outsider. And the same goes here. The people who live in NC should be able to decide who uses what bathroom without outside interference. But activist liberals just cannot stand the idea that someone is doing something somewhere that they find offensive, so they will use every possible financial pressure to force conformity to their views.

      The irony is that this the very charge that liberals will level on conservatives and Christians. They will claim we are the ones who want to force people to live the way we want them do. But if fact, conservatives and liberals believe in freedom. If I don’t like the laws in a state other than the one I reside in, then I will simply not move there. But I would never try to force that state to change its laws from the outside.

      This is in fact President Trump’s position. He has refused to take a stance on the “bathroom issue” just saying it is a state issue not a federal one. And that is very true and why he previously reversed Obama’s executive order that required all schools across the country to allow students to use the bathroom that conformed to their “gender identity.” His reason for doing so was not that he disagreed with the content of the order. It is just that it was not the federal government’s business. And on that I wholeheartedly agree.

 

Sanctuary Cities

 

      President Trump and his Justice Department have taken steps to try to force “sanctuary cities” to conform to federal law. This situation is totally different from the preceding one in that enforcement of federal immigration laws is the federal government’s business. In fact, protecting our borders is a constitutionally mandated function of the executive branch of the federal government. And the legislature branch has concurred with that assessment and has given the executive branch broad authority in this regard. That is the basis of Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration.

      In this case, the attempt of some cities, counties, and even entire states to circumvent federal law by refusing to work with federal immigration officials and to harbor criminal illegal aliens is appalling and illegal. As such, the federal government has not just the right but the duty to try to force these sanctuaries to conform with federal law.

      By these sanctuaries not doing so, there have been many rapes, murders, and other crimes committed against US citizens by illegal aliens. But few seem to know about these crimes as the mainstream media has been reluctant to report them, as doing so would go against their preference for open borders. But the victims of such crimes or the relatives of those who have been killed have appeared on various conservative talk shows and have been in attendance at various Trump events.

 

      Of 8,145 undocumented immigrants released from detention requests between Jan. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2014, 5,132 (63%) had previous criminal convictions or were marked a public safety concern; 2,984 (36.6%) had felony charges or convictions; 1,909 (23.4%) had misdemeanor convictions or charges related to violence, assault, sexual abuse, weapons, or drug distribution; and 239 (2.9%) had three or more misdemeanor convictions (ProCon.org. Sanctuary Cities: Top 3 Pros and Cons).
 

Executive Orders

 

      President Trump issued two sets of executive orders this week. Both were intended to foster job growth. The first rolled back Obama era environmental regulations. This of course has the left in a tizzy, claiming as they always do, that Republicans want “dirty air and dirty water.” But in fact, the regulations were examples of federal overreach and did more to hurt business than to help the environment. As Trump put it:

 

      “The action I’m taking today will eliminate federal overreach, restore economic freedom and allow our companies and our workers to thrive and compete on a level playing field,” said Trump, standing beside coal miners and members of his cabinet. “Together we are going to start a new energy revolution, one that celebrates American production on American soil” (Time. President Trump Signs Executive Order Rolling Back Obama-Era Environmental Regulations).

 

      This article on Time’s website goes on to state that it is unlikely coal will make a comeback even with this executive order, as natural gas and other alternatives are surging. That is fine. What this order does is to allow the market to determine which energy source is used and which falls by the wayside. That is how things should be, not the federal government making the determination through regulations.

      The second set of executive orders was a pair of orders to give protection to US workers from foreign governments who subsidize an industry in their country, giving it an unfair advantage over the US equivalent.

 

      President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders Friday focused on reducing the trade deficit just days before he holds his first meeting with his Chinese counterpart….

      The first order gives the Commerce Department 90 days to assemble a report on the factors behind the trade deficit, while the second seeks to increase collection of duties on imports…

      Coupled together, the orders appear to be a symbolic shot at China, which accounted for the vast majority— $347 billion —of last year's $502 billion trade deficit. (ABC News. Trump targets trade abuses with executive orders).

 

      As Trump put it during the campaign, he believes in free trade, but it must be fair trade. These orders are a step in keeping his promise to make that happen. Whether they make a difference in the trade deficit or not remains to be seen.

 

Obama Official Surveillance Admission

 

      A major admission made previously but receiving press this week was by a former Obama official. It is yet one more evidence that Trump was correct in his claim that the Obama demonstration was “wiretapping” his campaign and transition team.

 

      A former top Obama administration official has acknowledged efforts by her colleagues to gather intelligence on Trump team ties to Russia before Donald Trump took office and to conceal the sources of that intelligence from the incoming administration.

      Evelyn Farkas, deputy assistant secretary of defense under Obama, made the disclosure March 2 while on the air with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.

      “I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” Farkas, who is now a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said.

      “Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy ... that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their ... the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.” (Fox News. Former Obama official discloses rush to get intelligence on Trump team).

 

            This is potentially an admission of a felony on the part of Evelyn, yet one more in a series of felonies that have bene committed in regards to the US intelligence gathering of US citizens. All of these crimes need to be investigated and prosecuted, and the media needs to report on it, while apologizing to Trump for calling him a lair for his claims of being surveilled by the Obama administration. But the media is too caught up in the “Trump/ Russian collusion” fake new story to look at their real problems.

 

VP Mike Pence and Women

 

      In a previous interview, now Vice President Mike Pence said he would never eat dinner alone with a woman other than his wife and that he would not attend a function in which alcohol was served without his wife. This was to protect his marriage from even the appearance of impropriety. And these are very logical steps to take for someone who takes his marriage vows seriously. And they are actually rather mild steps in comparison to what some Christians have done in the past. Throughout Church history, there have been many men who have refused to have any contact with women whatsoever in order to avoid any possible temptation to sexual sin.

      But of course, in today’s climate of “sexual freedom” which is to say, widespread sexual immorality, the left is once again in a tizzy over these steps. They say they show how “weak” Pence must be and even are crying discrimination.

      In regards to the first, someone never knows how easily they will give into temptation until they are faced with it. Better to never put oneself in that position than to see how close you can live to sin before actually committing a sin. But the left has no concept of “sin’ and thus does not see it as something that needs to be avoided at all costs. But as the Apostle Paul put it:

 

            18Be fleeing fornication! [see Gen 39:12] Every sin, whichever a person commits, is outside of the body, but the one committing fornication sins against his own body. 19You* know, do you* not, that your* body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in you*, which you* have from God, and [that] you* are not your* own? 20For you* were bought [or, redeemed] with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your* body and in your* spirit, which are God’s (1Corinthians 6:18-20; ALT3).

      As the cross reference in my Analytical-Literal Translation indicates, this is an obvious reference to Joseph fleeing from Potiphar’s wife, who was trying to seduce him. To anyone who values their marriage and their relationship to God, this is the appropriate way to deal with temptation, flee from it, not flirt with it.

      In regards to the claim of discrimination, I am really getting sick and tired of the left shouting discrimination, bigotry, and the like anytime someone on the right does something they don’t like. It belittles real cases of discrimination. In this case, Pence has made a decision of how he will deal with members of the opposite sex, and he has every right to do so in accordance with his own moral and religious beliefs.

      Another point worth noting here is this interview occurred way back in 2002. As such, this is yet one more example of why we have so many “bad” politicians and so few good choices for elected offices. People who care about their reputations do not run for public office, as they know that opponents will reach back into their past and find something they did or said wrong, no matter how long ago it was, and plaster it across the airwaves. And if they cannot find something the person said or did that was genuinely wrong, they will twist something innocuous into a major scandal. Such politics of destruction have really got to stop if we ever want good people to run for public office.

 

Trump University Settlement

 

      No, this is not Trump’s big mistake this week. This is actually an old case that the media and Hillary tried to make a big deal out of during the election. But Trump supporters didn’t care then and don’t care now, just as they didn’t and don’t care about Trump‘s tax returns. It is only the media and far left that care about such things. But since this case was just settled, the media and Trump-detractors will try to make a big deal about.

 

      A federal judge on Friday gave final approval to a $25 million agreement to settle fraud claims arising from Donald J. Trump’s for-profit education venture, Trump University, rejecting a last-minute objection to the deal….

      The approval of the settlement, assuming it stands, brings to a close a case that garnered outsize national attention during Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. He faced two suits in California and one in New York brought by Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general.

      The suits contended that Trump University students had been cheated out of thousands of dollars in tuition through high-pressure sales techniques and false claims about what they would learn. Mr. Trump and his lawyers continued to deny those claims, even after the settlement was first announced in November, soon after his election….

      After his election in November, Mr. Trump reversed course and agreed to pay $25 million to resolve the litigation. He did not admit fault, and he maintained in posts on Twitter after the settlement announcement that he “did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U” (NYT. Trump University Suit Settlement Approved by Judge).

 

      Thus this was an out of court settlement in which nothing was proven or admitted to. It was just more expedient for the Trump administration to settle out of court rather than go through a drawn-out trial. That is something else that is common but rather despicable nowadays. People can be forced to fork over large amounts of money to avoid even more money and time being spent on a trial, whether there is any basis to the lawsuit or not.

 

President Trump and the Freedom Caucus

 

      We now come to Trump’s big mistake this week. But first, let me state for the record, I was not a supporter of Donald Trump during the primaries, and even once he became the Republican Party’s nominee, I was not fully on the Trump train. But I ended up voting for him as I knew that a Hillary presidency would be a disaster (see Vote for Third Party or Trump?)

      However, once Trump was elected, I have been supporting him in hopes that he would keep his campaign promises and in fact make American great again. And so far, he has kept many campaign promises and has been doing a great job, no matter how much the leftist media is trying to make it look otherwise. But I will point out when Trump screws up, and he just did in a major way this week.

      Trump attacked the “Freedom Caucus” in the House and blamed it for the failure of the House’s attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. See the relevant sections at Eventful Three Weeks in Politics: Part Two for why I think it was good thing “Ryancare” was thwarted. And yes, the Freedom Caucus had a hand in defeating Ryancare. But rather than attacking them, Trump needs to listen to them. They had sound conservative reasons for being against Ryancare that Trump needs to hear. And he needs to hear their conservative ideas on taxes and other major issues that Trump will be dealing with.

      The reason why many conservatives like myself were hesitant about supporting Trump is that he is not a true conservative but more of a populist. But conservative principles work, which is why I am a conservative. As such, Trump could learn from the Freedom Caucus ways to bring about his policy goals.

      On a more practical level, Trump needs the votes of the Freedom Caucus to get any of his future policies put into law. I can only guess he thinks he will be able to court Democratic votes by going against the Freedom Caucus, but what he needs to understand is the only way he would get any Democrat to vote for his policies is by becoming a bull-blown liberal. But if he does that, he will lose the votes of most all Republican in Congress and the support of those who voted for him. As such, he is playing with fire by attacking the Freedom Caucus and really needs to backtrack from this approach.

 

Conclusion

 

      I am not sure if I will be able to keep posting comments each week on political events, but with so much happening each week, it is hard to resist doing so.

Big Mistake by Trump, and Other Big Events in Politics this Week. Copyright 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this website April 1, 2017.

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