Talking to the Trump Administration

As the Trump administration puts people in place, federal agencies are changing in predictable ways.

Last week, the state senate’s Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs held a couple of days of meetings with federal agencies in Washington, D.C.  Senators Warren and Markey also took the time to share valuable thoughts with the committee.  I am not a member of the committee, but I went along at my own expense to sit in.

In each agency meeting, there were several career officials and a Trump administration appointee, to whom the career officials showed deference.  I was most interested to hear what the political appointees had to say and to understand how management directions are changing.

Overall, what I heard was unsurprising.   While Donald Trump’s personal ideology may be hard to define, the folks that he is bringing in at the political levels in agencies seem to be traditional Republicans – having a core faith that lowering taxes and reducing regulation will grow the economy and create jobs.

Their proposed elimination of the state and local tax deduction resonates with this faith. Eliminating the “SALT” deduction would mean that high income taxpayers in higher tax blue states like New York and New Jersey will lose a deduction on the federal income tax which will in turn put more pressure on the high tax states to lower taxes.

If an infrastructure bill moves forward, we should expect them to propose expansion of the role of private companies in building and managing infrastructure.

They distrust the public education system.  We should expect the department of education to use its discretionary money to further alternatives to public schools – parochial schools, charter schools, online schools.  To my question of whether this might undermine public schools financially, their quick answer was that overall federal education funding accounts for only 8% of school budgets.  In truth, if federal money follows students out of public schools, then other money will also move and financially weaker school districts may be destabilized.

We should otherwise expect the Department of Education to give less direction and regulate more lightly.  As an example, take the recent loosening of guidance on campus sexual assault.

I heard some bald statements about apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education: why should a kid get a degree in hieroglyphics . . . they need to know how to turn a wrench, not how to think . . . unless they are in higher management.

Apprenticeships, of course, can complement higher education and I do support new models for vocational training.  Yet, what I heard seemed to be a strong preference for industry-led training as opposed to government or university led training, a preference broadly consistent with an anti-government and anti-institutional perspective.

While mid-level Republican political people are happily moving into agencies and pursuing their traditional agenda, the times are politically challenging for congressional Republicans.  It is hard for them to straddle the concerns of their mainstream high-donor financial base and the anti-establishment passions of their primary electorate.

No one can predict how the big legislative issues will develop, much less how the rest of the world will respond to the President’s behavior.  But the Trump election is changing federal agencies in predictable ways.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

55 replies on “Talking to the Trump Administration”

  1. Thank you, Senator Brownsberger.

    Yes, it was disconcerting, although not surprising to read what education appointees had to say about “apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education: why should a kid get a degree in hieroglyphics . . . they need to know how to turn a wrench, not how to think . . . unless they are in higher management.”

    I recall a similar thought process by Governor Ed King and his appointees when I taught with other arts-oriented teachers at juvenile detention centers and locked-up facilities in the late 1970s. Why do the youth offenders need the arts to express themselves. They don’t need poetry or historical figures that they might be able to relate to such Henry David Thoreau. Just offer them strict discipline, respect for figures of authority, and a conventional education. And yes let’s teach them a vocational skill. They don’t need to develop their critical thinking or find ways to express their traumatic childhood and family life. That will all go away under the traditional methods of education or so they said.

  2. A typically measured and thoughtful commentary. But let’s be clear: these conservatives aren’t just operating from a “different perspective.” Their denial-based climate agenda rejects science as a method. So does their skewed trickle down economic policy (in an only slightly less quantifiable way). These policies are either delusional or deeply cynical.Their whole agenda is a massive transfer of wealth upward to the very richest. I appreciate the ‘comfort’ Will feels but I can’t share it.

    1. I understand and fully share your concern with what they are trying to do, but I don’t think that words like “delusional” are helpful.

      The funny thing is that some of them think we are “delusional” too. I regularly receive email from people on the farther right who accuse me of being delusional, corrupt, ignorant of my duties under the constitution, etc.

      I usually am able to bite my tongue in replying.

  3. Thank you for sharing your observations. It appalls me that their proposed tax plan is a blatant redistribution of wealth from the middle class to corporations and the super wealthy. What about the deficit which they are always complaining about. It is an ideologically driven recipe for disaster that is designed to systematically roll back all the progressive programs introduced since the New Deal.

  4. This is appalling. First, that anyone should show “deference” to a political appointee sounds appallingly like the USSR.

    Secondly, this privatization of things that worked perfectly well, is a money grab pure and simple.

    We have an entire administration that is milking the government for every penny they can get. I’m just so disgusted with what is going on and this only confirms my worst fears.

  5. Kudos to you for going to D.C. to get a handle on how things are going in the various agencies day to day. The comment “they need to know how to turn a wrench, not how to think” reminds me of Mitt Romney’s remark in 2012 that 47% of the people are dependent on government and feel they are entitled to everything. A pretty hostile, condescending attitude to millions of Americans. These appointees may find themselves in the same position as congressional Republicans, trying to satisfy a base that likes lots of these programs, and donors that do not.

  6. Thank you for going the extra mile and seeing what’s happening with your own eyes and ears.

  7. The changes on Title IX were proper in my opinion. Due process should not have been discarded as it was under Obama. I am no fan of Trump but on this issue on sexual assault. The administration is correct. We need to protect all women and men but not by doing away with Due Process.

  8. Thank you for these, as usual, rational observations on our present federal government. I’m curious about your take on private industry and infrastructure improvements. I recently read a book that bemoaned the decline of the mixed economy, where public/private enterprises built the interstate system and so much more. Whatever you think of those projects, the truth was that we were much less cynical about the role of government in the 1950s and 60s. Today, I feel like any contribution from private industry is a money grab—probably just like conservatives feel like any contribution from government will result in graft. Where do you think we stand here?

    1. The challenge in private infrastructure projects is to get a fair deal — one is usually, in effect, granting a monopoly, for example, on crossing a certain waterway if the private party builds a bridge. But then, how much are they allowed to charge.

      Nothing wrong with private investment, all good, but it’s risky for the public and needs to be approached with caution.

  9. Thanks for attending the meetings and giving us your take of what may happen in Washington. Washington is moving very slowly these days due discord in their own party and the judiciary.

  10. It is doubtful that Trump and the Congressional Republicans will be able to pass any major legislation. Perhaps a stripped down tax cut, but I doubt it. They are doing a poor job of presenting a tax bill (no hearings), truly conservative Republicans like Bob Corker and Jeff Flake believe it would create a much larger deficit, with an accompanying spike in interest rates in a year or two, and public opinion seems to be growing against it.

    The President will be able to continue to deregulate, putting our health and safety at risk, and shifting monies, as you say, away from public education.

    I appreciate very much your going to Washington, and reporting back to us.
    This is an uncertain and clouded time, and we need all of the facts we can get.

  11. Thank you, Will. Although this new administration insists they have a planned direction, I feel like our country is now being run by an adult with severe ADHD who needs meds to make him more grounded and therapy to help him with his acting out behaviors. It is most disturbing to hear the plans for education but not at all surprising. I am devasted for all the wonderful iimmigrants who have worked so hard to find a better life only to be sent back. Where is diversity in all this? It is a word Trump does not recognize. All
    we can do is pray that the more traditional Republicans will wake up. A few already have. Thank you, Will.

  12. Thank you for going down and listening to the various agencies.It seems as if these ideas have been floating around for some time and it took Trump’s election to make many of them considered possible. As a former teacher I worry that our public education system is slowly being impoverished instead of strengthened and everyone is agreeing with the Secretary of Education.

  13. Thank you for this first-person perspective. As you say, nothing in your report here is surprising, but it’s helpful (if discouraging) to get another perspective on the agency-level changes.

  14. Thank you, Will, for attending. Your clear summary is akin to what I have been reading and hearing for the past several months. It is just so very Infuriating and sad. Sallye Bleiberg

  15. Sen. Brownsberger, thank you for going to DC for this. I am so tired of all the wrongs of the Trump admin. There are no surprises for me. I would like to know if there is something I could do to help change the situation. I sign petitions, make donations, write e mails, probably read by an office clerk or a robot. This admin.,all the liars and mean-hearted people have to go. Reason, honesty and compassion are lacking.How and when this will change I don’t know.- John

  16. Despite the well-warranted suspicion of GOP-led initiatives in any area, we do need to expand vocational training. Not “new models,” just more of it. Not everyone is going on to college. Those who don’t, need marketable skills at an early age, and those skills need to be in high-demand, high-potential areas like technology and medical care. Unemployment among people of color is twice that of whites. Here is an opportunity to fill part of the gap.

  17. I would like to see the states that are funding the federal government to open a discussion about what we are getting from it. Is the Union of any value to us anymore? Why would I be interested in what someone living in rural Kansas or Alabama thinks about how I should be governed? Why should people who have nothing in common and frankly hate each other be forced to stay together?

    This isn’t an idle question. Millions may die without proper healthcare, an end to defense-contractor-led wars, science-based policy, etc. It’s time to open the discussion about pulling out, probably splitting the country into two or three units.

  18. Will, did you talk to any of the Democrats who are accused of sexual harassment?

    Are they also supporters of the LGBT agenda, LGBT education in elementary schools, feminism, and marginalizing Christianity?

    The answer is Yes.

    1. Wanting all kids to feel welcome, including LGBT kids is something everyone should push for. Being a sexual predator has nothing to do with the matter.

    2. Dee, my two Queer children would be delighted to explain the separation of church and state.

  19. The one consistent theme I detect in the actions of the current Administration is to put someone in charge of major departments and agencies (State, Interior, EPA, FCC, Education etc.) who do not believe in its mission and denigrate or even deny the value of the experience and expertise of its staff, many of whom have a genuine calling as public servants and try to formulate policies based on the best available facts and evidence. The other noticeable theme is one of untrammeled greed not restrained by any ethical compass. A third observation about DC is that the only widely bipartisan activities seem to be corruption and sexual behavior even if the sins of the members of one party are more extensive than those of the other. I appreciate hearing reactions from someone who has listened to the horse’s mouth (with apologies to horse lovers for making this connection).

  20. I wonder if the hearing you attended also included interest in “developing” wild and public lands for more profit and “jobs”? Traditional Rebuplicans at the federal and state level seem to have no care for the earth and conservation efforts. Bears Ears in Utah is under immediate threat. It is a sacred location to Native Americans and a much beloved climbing spot. It would be disastrous to develop this and other lands that are currently protected. The disregard for regulation also comes at the expense of state controlled and protected lands. But keeping the lands wild and protected is in EVERYONE’S best interest.

  21. Will, We do need “tax reform”. It’s
    very unfair that lawmakers have made
    filing so difficult that we have to
    buy Turbo Tax or pay a professional to
    file our taxes. We are also paying to
    have our state & federal lawmakers taxes
    done too. (another nice perk)

    1. Hi Bill,

      The Republican Tax effort is many things, but it is not clear that it makes filing taxes any simpler.

      “In fact, the Republican tax bill itself is over 400 pages long, and for most Americans, the process for filing taxes will feel similar under the GOP plan as it does today. And in some ways, the House GOP tax plan will even make the tax code more complicated.”

      There are proposals to make tax filing much simpler, but those have had a hard time getting anywhere in Congress.


      1. I agree with Bill, tax simplification would have been nice. This bill does not do that.

        Another idea that I like is tax fairness. By that I mean people of similar levels of income pay a similar rate (for simplicity people making $250,000 should all pay say 10%, so $25,000, not one person paying 14% and another 28% because of preferences). This bill does the opposite. Pass through pay a max rate, hedge funds get their carried interest preference…

        Sometimes it seems as if it is governing through spot.

        And as a side note, some of the privatizations of public water companies has resulted in skyrocketing rates. Is government efficient, no. But sometimes the alternative is worse.

  22. Thank you for reporting back from the Capital. Refreshing to hear intelligent commentary without “hype”. I appreciate the new insights (for me) about what to watch for in education. I hope – desperately – that Democrats win back some power before serious damage is done in the environment, education, immigration, taxes….and the whole moral tone that this Administration exudes.
    Eleanor Jaffe

  23. I am a conservative Democrat. I know how to turn a wrench and I have an MA and a MBA. I was in a VOC – ED school for some 20years. Then off to DC for three years. Talk about molasses movement (term limits PLEASE!! ) I am in a PhD program now with teaching professors who would be unable to fix a leaking faucet or a flat tire. VERY book smart, liberally oriented and street smarts lacking. Observing young college liberals is pretty frightening to me …knowing they will not be able to use their liberal arts degrees in a job market we have. All my former VOC-ED students a gainfully employed and NOT at an entry level pay scale. Call one of the auto kids for a diagnostic computer evaluation or one of my plumbers to unclog your toilet or drains. Do not faint at their pay rates. Then call on a history major with a BA in hieroglyphics and find out where they are gainfully employed.

  24. Secretary of Education,Betsey Devos made the right choice to return sexual assault cases back to the judicial court system with parties to have legal representation, and not to continue the on-campus ‘kangaroo court’ with only a preponderance of evidence for action and no legal representation that the Obama administration demanded or lose federal funds.

  25. “Predictable” is in the eye of the beholder, but over and over we see Trump’s team focused on dismantling government. Here are a few examples.

    What will be left in 3 years? That’s hard to predict.

    Trump taps Mulvaney to head Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    Mulvaney himself, while in Congress, savagely attacked the bureau, calling it in 2014 “a wonderful example of how a bureaucracy will function if it has no accountability to anybody.” He added that the CFPB has been a “sick, sad” joke.

    Rex Tillerson Is Fiddling With PowerPoint While the World Burns
    Experienced and talented diplomats are fleeing; top posts have inexplicably gone unfilled; and those left behind are demoralized and adrift. Applications for the foreign service are down by half. As the head of the Foreign Service Association, an alumni group, recently pointed out, the number of career ministers—the diplomatic equivalent of three-star generals—is down from 33 to 19, while minister counselors—equal to two stars—has fallen from 431 to 369.

    Ryan Zinke is erasing ‘public’ from lands he’s meant to guard
    Back in March, Zinke rescinded the federal moratorium on coal leases on public land. The halt had no effect on existing coal leases or mining but prohibited the Interior Department from offering new leases. The moratorium had been put in place last year by Sally Jewell, the previous Interior Secretary under President Barack Obama, so that the department could evaluate coal’s impact on climate change (40 percent of U.S. coal comes from public lands).

    Zinke, however, scoffed at the notion of a societal cost of carbon and claimed the moratorium was unnecessary. He quickly cleared this impediment to coal companies’ access to the resource under public lands.

    Then, in August, he repealed an Obama administration rule that ended a scam coal, oil and gas companies had long relied on to make deceitfully small royalty payments to the federal treasury.

    The rule put an end to the practice of these companies extracting natural resources from public lands, selling the resources to affiliated companies at artificially small markups, and then having the affiliates resell the materials at a substantially higher price. Royalties paid to the public were calculated on the low initial sales price to the affiliates rather than on the price of the resource on the open market.

  26. Bill,
    High tax states???? Maybe those states like Massachusetts should curtail their spending and not tax the citizens so much.
    There is so much waste in government.
    Remember the state doesn’t have any money, you have my and everyone else in the state money

    1. He is a Senator and you should address him as such, David.

      Also, those citizens in the highest bracket currently paying 13.2% are destroying this country. We must ensure taxes on those high earners are never decreased in the pursuit of lowering the middle class tax burden.

      The most economically viable time in the history of this country was under Ike, David. The top tax bracket was 55% and there was no “effective marginal rate” because tax loopholes did not exist to the extent they do now.

      The largest waste we face as a state is corporate welfare and handouts to the top earners. That must end now.

      1. I agree.

        Please address him as Senator Brownsberger to give the respect he has earned and deserves.

      1. I still have a Brownsberger bumper sticker from what? 20 years ago? Lol. I’ve earned the right to call him Will

  27. I liked the disruptive nature of the Trump movement but at first I never thought he’d actually make and it ended up being something completely different from what some early Trump curious folk imagined, a protest against traditional Republicans became an endorsement somehow.

    Ray Dalio reiterated this week that the U.S. is deeply divided politically and socially because of an escalating wealth disparity between the top and bottom tiers, and “according to Ray Dalio, who manages the largest world’s hedge fund. That gap is “our biggest economic, social and political issue” and played a significant role in Donald Trump’s election victory””

    So today people can easily be both right and wrong at the same time. Today both figuratively and in reality one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. The divide breaks us into 5 camps with fairly predictable political opinions and behaviors honed by experience, which doesn’t necessarily guarantee objectivity, whatever that is. These camps are elite left, elite right, the shrinking middle, the deprived left and the deprived right.

  28. I am very concerned about the public infrastructure being sold off to private concerns, especially things like schools and libraries. One of the founding concepts of this democratic republic was that everyone got an education, that education was not just for those who could pay for it. I don’t trust charter for profit schools to spend the money necessary to educate everyone.
    I am also concerned about net neutrality.

  29. I feel fortunate to live in a high tax blue state that provides quality education to public school students, and safety net programs that protect those that have fallen on hard times. I don’t have children but I do not resent paying for those that do. I’m not religious but I believe in Christian ideals of feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and sheltering the homeless and am happy that I am financially secure and that my tax money goes to help those in need. As an atheist I don’t understand how the Christian Right wing can be so heartless yet profess to be “Christians”.

  30. Responding to: “I heard some bald statements about apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education: why should a kid get a degree in hieroglyphics . . . they need to know how to turn a wrench, not how to think . . . unless they are in higher management.”
    Senator – I received public education in New Bedford in the 1950’s. During 6 periods in 7th, 8th and 9th grades we were required to take classes in the 3 R’s as well as Social Study, Science & Gymn. We also could elect to take one shop each year — Electrical, Carpentry, Printing, Typing (before computers, of course), Mechanical Drawing or Machining. The girls were offered Cooking. Everything else was done AFTER school if grades were up–sports, drama, chorus, etc. We graduated with some good practical skills.
    Teachers had one day a year for extra training, not 1/2 days all year long. And discipline was handled by extra periods, 7th, 8th, 9th…which ruined our extra curricular activities.
    A return to those days and Common Sense would help a lot, I feel.
    Of course the Teacher’s Unions would not allow such things.

  31. Hey Will! Thanks for the detailed update. As you say: unsurprising. What is unfortunate is the willingness of conservative Republicans to dispense with the work of previous administrations and their own colleagues and pursue policies that are nakedly partisan and ill informed (your example re: vocational education is just one). Its easy to take pot shots at higher education and anti-intellectualism is as old as the Republic itself. But doing so overlooks how critical higher education is to the future of our economy as a creator of jobs and entirely new industries. Paul (at) bloggingbelmont(dot)com

  32. There is one over riding concern I have that neither the left or right are addressing is the alignment of tax burden with beneficiaries. An example is
    my town is going “hog wild” on school system expenditures. The funds are from property tax which places an undue burden on senior citizens which pay well into double digit percentages of their income forcing many to leave the community. On the other hand, we have the gas tax which is used for rebuilding roads and bridges which rightfully the burden is placed on the users (beneficiaries). There should be more thought to this issue in all levels of government.

  33. Thank you for putting some perspective on these changes. Your insight about the deductibility of local and state taxes is worrying. Recently I told my grandchildren that I like to pay taxes that support local services like schools. We need to emphasize the responsibilities of living in communities.

  34. Based on your narrative of your meetings with the political bureaucrats the conservative vision for America seems to be similar to the vision of the world shown in the 1975 movie with James Caan, and Jon Houseman “Rollerball”. It is an early vision of a world where Corporations rule the world and individualism and freedom are not allowed. It is a bit frightening and Orwellian that Republican vision for society is dystopian and opposite of their professed rhetoric concerning freedom, individualism and opportunity based on merit.

  35. I appreciate your attending even tho’ it was at your own expense! This news, while perhaps not surprising, is deeply disturbing. At least in my case I am over 70 and have no grandchildren…but that does not diminish my concern for the damage that this administration and in particular this ___________ president is doing to every aspect of life. If there is anything that we as simple citizens can do besides being sure to continue to vote, and to avoid tuning out in apathy at all costs, please pass on your suggestions!

  36. Senator, you and others of your kind have almost destroyed this State and Great Country your honorableness service.
    “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

    How our politicians are destroying America in 8 steps !!

    By Richard Lamm as the former DEM. Governor of Colorado 2003.

    “Here is how they do it,” Lamm said: First to destroy America, “Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy. Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.”

    Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, “Invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

    Third, “We could make the United States a ‘Hispanic Quebec’ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved! Not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.’”

    Lamm said, “I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.”

    “Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school.”

    “My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology.’ I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.”

    “My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity! Unity is what it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshiped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic Games.

    A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell.

    “E. Pluribus Unum” — From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’ instead of the ‘Unum,’ we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.”

    “Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘x! xenophobes’ halt discussion and debate.”

    “Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.”

    In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, “Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis’s book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don’t read that book.”

    It is not too late; please consider why, what and how you are doing the best for this Great Country.

    1. Although I was definitely a full blown victim of sexual assault, abuse, loss of family members at a very young age, I do not believe it’s all about good government vs bad government. Knowledge is power and the truth needs to be displayed and it is if only one opens their minds to understand.
      I also have to comment on the destruction of America issues because I think that too much technology and nuclear waste including evangelicals added to the powerful Asian immigrants who reside here in America and pretend they don’t understand English while they provide information and freedom to their own country including video and technology paraphernalia which distracts our legal population to build businesses instead of alongside agricultural development which remains urgently important to Americans.

  37. Before you take up your position, you should know what you are talking about and not perpetuate such false hoods. You owe it to your self and to the people you represent to know what you are talking about before you SREW-UP this Country any more than you Dems. already have.
    You are wrong about what you do not know about. The most dangerous elected officials are those “Who Do Not Know That They Don’t Know. As the saying goes they are fools do not follow them.

    Even though the many comments you receive from conservative make good sense and are based on fact and the US Constitution they fall on your bias, Dem. agenda, liberal deaf ears. Here are the true reasons for your deaf ears and your disregard for law-abiding Americans and the US Constitution that you swore your oath to uphold.
    The Civil War is Here
    The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule.
    March 27, 2017
    Daniel Greenfield
    Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
    A civil war has begun.
    This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.
    The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.
    It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning.
    It was for total unilateral executive authority under Obama. And now it’s for states unilaterally deciding what laws they will follow. (As long as that involves defying immigration laws under Trump, not following them under Obama.) It was for the sacrosanct authority of the Senate when it held the majority. Then it decried the Senate as an outmoded institution when the Republicans took it over.
    It was for Obama defying the orders of Federal judges, no matter how well grounded in existing law, and it is for Federal judges overriding any order by Trump on any grounds whatsoever. It was for Obama penalizing whistleblowers, but now undermining the government from within has become “patriotic”.
    There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.
    After losing Congress, the left consolidated its authority in the White House. After losing the White House, the left shifted its center of authority to Federal judges and unelected government officials. Each defeat led the radicalized Democrats to relocate from more democratic to less democratic institutions.
    This isn’t just hypocrisy. That’s a common political sin. Hypocrites maneuver within the system. The left has no allegiance to the system. It accepts no laws other than those dictated by its ideology.
    Democrats have become radicalized by the left. This doesn’t just mean that they pursue all sorts of bad policies. It means that their first and foremost allegiance is to an ideology, not the Constitution, not our country or our system of government. All of those are only to be used as vehicles for their ideology.
    That’s why compromise has become impossible.
    Our system of government was designed to allow different groups to negotiate their differences. But those differences were supposed to be based around finding shared interests. The most profound of these shared interests was that of a common country based around certain civilizational values. The left has replaced these Founding ideas with radically different notions and principles. It has rejected the primary importance of the country. As a result it shares little in the way of interests or values.
    Instead it has retreated to cultural urban and suburban enclaves where it has centralized tremendous amounts of power while disregarding the interests and values of most of the country. If it considers them at all, it is convinced that they will shortly disappear to be replaced by compliant immigrants and college indoctrinated leftists who will form a permanent demographic majority for its agenda.
    But it couldn’t wait that long because it is animated by the conviction that enforcing its ideas is urgent and inevitable. And so it turned what had been a hidden transition into an open break.
    In the hidden transition, its authority figures had hijacked the law and every political office they held to pursue their ideological agenda. The left had used its vast cultural power to manufacture a consensus that was slowly transitioning the country from American values to its values and agendas. The right had proven largely impotent in the face of a program which corrupted and subverted from within.
    The left was enormously successful in this regard. It was so successful that it lost all sense of proportion and decided to be open about its views and to launch a political power struggle after losing an election.
    The Democrats were no longer being slowly injected with leftist ideology. Instead the left openly took over and demanded allegiance to open borders, identity politics and environmental fanaticism. The exodus of voters wiped out the Democrats across much of what the left deemed flyover country.
    The left responded to democratic defeats by retreating deeper into undemocratic institutions, whether it was the bureaucracy or the corporate media, while doubling down on its political radicalism. It is now openly defying the outcome of a national election using a coalition of bureaucrats, corporations, unelected officials, celebrities and reporters that are based out of its cultural and political enclaves.
    It has responded to a lost election by constructing sanctuary cities and states thereby turning a cultural and ideological secession into a legal secession. But while secessionists want to be left alone authoritarians want everyone to follow their laws. The left is an authoritarian movement that wants total compliance with its dictates with severe punishments for those who disobey.
    The left describes its actions as principled. But more accurately they are ideological. Officials at various levels of government have rejected the authority of the President of the United States, of Congress and of the Constitution because those are at odds with their radical ideology. Judges have cloaked this rejection in law. Mayors and governors are not even pretending that their actions are lawful.
    The choices of this civil war are painfully clear.
    We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.
    But we cannot have both.
    Some civil wars happen when a political conflict can’t be resolved at the political level. The really bad ones happen when an irresolvable political conflict combines with an irresolvable cultural conflict.
    That is what we have now.
    The left has made it clear that it will not accept the lawful authority of our system of government. It will not accept the outcome of elections. It will not accept these things because they are at odds with its ideology and because they represent the will of large portions of the country whom they despise.
    The question is what comes next.
    The last time around growing tensions began to explode in violent confrontations between extremists on both sides. These extremists were lauded by moderates who mainstreamed their views. The first Republican president was elected and rejected. The political tensions led to conflict and then civil war.
    The left doesn’t believe in secession. It’s an authoritarian political movement that has lost democratic authority. There is now a political power struggle underway between the democratically elected officials and the undemocratic machinery of government aided by a handful of judges and local elected officials.
    What this really means is that there are two competing governments; the legal government and a treasonous anti-government of the left. If this political conflict progresses, agencies and individuals at every level of government will be asked to demonstrate their allegiance to these two competing governments. And that can swiftly and explosively transform into an actual civil war.
    There is no sign that the left understands or is troubled by the implications of the conflict it has initiated. And there are few signs that Democrats properly understand the dangerous road that the radical left is drawing them toward. The left assumes that the winners of a democratic election will back down rather than stand on their authority. It is unprepared for the possibility that democracy won’t die in darkness.
    Civil wars end when one side is forced to accept the authority of the other. The left expects everyone to accept its ideological authority. Conservatives expect the left to accept Constitutional authority. The conflict is still political and cultural. It’s being fought in the media and within the government. But if neither side backs down, then it will go beyond words as both sides give contradictory orders.
    The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections. Now their treason is coming to a head. They are engaged in a struggle for power against the government. That’s not protest. It’s not activism. The old treason of the sixties has come of age. A civil war has begun.
    This is a primal conflict between a totalitarian system and a democratic system. Its outcome will determine whether we will be a free nation or a nation of slaves.

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