The World Series of Poker and the New Jim Crow

Every year the best poker players in the world gather in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, the largest and most prestigious tournament series there is.  I look forward to playing at least one WSOP event each June, and have three cash finishes to my credit.  This year the series was moved back from June until October, so I was planning to head out to Vegas for a few tournaments, and had already won a $1,500 seat into the “Monster Stack” event.  Then the discrimination began. 

On August 27 the WSOP announced that they would be requiring all entrants into this year’s tournaments to show proof of vaccinationReactions from the poker world were divided.  2003 WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker, who gave hope to millions and started the poker boom by winning without being a very good player, previously had planned to sit out the series because he doesn’t understand odds and was afraid to play, but now is thanking the WSOP for their intrusive decision.  On the other side of the coin, 2009 WSOP main event champ and four-time bracelet winner Joe Cada says he will now be staying home this year because of the rule.  Can you guess which one the media portrays more positively?

Remember that the left uses a playbook to make it seem like their position is the norm and any people who disagree with them are on the fringe.  They want you to feel like you are crazy if you don’t think the way they tell you to.  Because of this, I am going to predict the narrative that the media will push about the WSOP this year.  There will undoubtedly be smaller fields in the tournaments than normal and the media is going to lie to us about the reason.  My prediction is that we will soon see stories about how there are fewer entrants this year because people are worried about playing poker due to coronavirus fears and restrictions on international travel.  While there will surely be some players who do not play because they overestimate the odds of dying from Covid (the odds are nearly 100 times less likely than randomly drawing the 4 of clubs from a deck of cards), this will not be the main reason for the lower participation.  The real reason is actually the exact opposite.  People will not play because they are not living in fear like the left wants them to be.  A large number of would-be participants will not attend because they think that people should have the freedom to assess their own risks and make decisions without being bullied.

If it was just the World Series of Poker doing this, it would be a major problem, but this vaccine mandate situation is a lot bigger than that.  Somebody who I respect told me that she does not see vaccine mandates as a hill to die on.  She has been vaccinated so the mandates do not really affect her.  Here is the problem with that thinking.  This is not about the vaccine.  It is about government power and overreach.  Do you think that a tax on tea would be a hill to die on?  I’ll go out on a limb and guess that at least one of those people who threw tea into Boston Harbor didn’t even like tea.  This has as much to do with our opinions on the vaccine as the Boston Tea Party had to do with their opinions on tea.

There are only two directions this can possibly go.  We can choose liberty and allow people to decide for themselves whether or not to get vaccinated, or we can relegate anybody who will not do exactly as they are told by the bullies on the left into a permanent, Jim Crow style underclass.  These tyrants do not want unvaccinated people to be allowed to work, shop, enjoy entertainment, eat, or socialize.  They claim to care about people but are perfectly fine with firing millions of Americans who are willing and able to work.  These good, hardworking citizens will be pushed into poverty or into a growing black-market economy.  Is it strange that the left says they are doing all of this to save lives but seem to have no problem if you die of starvation because they forced your job to fire you?

You may be wondering what I plan to do about the WSOP.  Honestly, I considered pretty much every possible option, but ultimately decided that I do not want the WSOP to profit from me until they stand up for freedom and change this policy.  Not only is it invasive, but it is illogical.  If the vaccine works, then nobody in the building should be worried.  The people who would be scared are vaccinated, and the people who are not vaccinated would not be there if they were scared.  Neither the unvaccinated nor the vaccinated should play if they believe in liberty. 

Instead, I plan to take my $1,500 over to a tournament series at The Wynn and play an $1,100 buy-in event on the same day that the WSOP Monster Stack event is taking place, then go over to The Golden Nugget the next two days for $200 events.  I encourage any other poker players to join me.  Organizations or businesses that discriminate based on vaccine status should be treated the same way as you would treat places discriminating based on race.  In other words, they should not receive a penny from any of us.

What Is Liberty?

The week before California’s recall election I had the privilege of meeting the world’s greatest athlete from 1976.  That title was traditionally bestowed on the winner of the decathlon, and at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal Bruce Jenner won the gold medal for the United States while setting a new world record.  In 2015 Bruce Jenner shocked the world in an interview with Diane Sawyer in which he told Sawyer that he was now a she.  (Disclaimer:  So as not to be a science denier I am using the scientifically correct gender pronouns in this article.  That is not the focus of the article.)  Jenner, who now goes by the name Caitlyn, ran in the California recall election as a Republican to replace the inept Governor Gavin Newsom.  The Friday before election day Caitlyn Jenner was the guest speaker at a discussion group that I have been attending for the last couple of months.

Caitlyn’s talk was impressive.  He was personable, friendly, and funny.  Jenner said that after the Sawyer interview there was more criticism for coming out as a Republican than there was for coming out as transgender.  Jenner also told a funny story about being in the weight room at the Olympics when a female East German athlete came in and started lifting heavier weights than him, ironically causing him to leave because he felt emasculated.  Jenner genuinely cares about California and wants it returned to the greatness it once had.  I did not expect much talk about actual policy positions, but Jenner has a pretty solid grasp of many of the problems Gavin Newsom and years of Democrat control have caused, including sky-high tax rates and backbreaking regulations.  A lot of ideas that Jenner had to fix some of these problems were good, including a sunset provision which would require regulations to be reevaluated by the legislature every ten years or else they would fall off the books. 

There was, however, one major point that Jenner made that stood out to me because it was based on a flawed premise.  Jenner said that he decided to run because of his belief that California needs a moderate Republican to fix the state.  Specifically, he said that people should vote for him because he is conservative on economic issues and more liberal on social issues.  Jenner also said that the candidate that I endorsed, Larry Elder, is “far-right.”  The premise of that argument ignores the fact that conservatism comes with a built-in solution to people disagreeing on social issues:  liberty.

Jenner’s reasoning assumes that the choice you have is between voting for a left-wing government controlling your life or a right-wing government controlling your life.  In actuality, the choice is between a left-wing government controlling your life or you controlling your life. 

For example, as a conservative Republican, I believe that the country would be much better off if every single American attended church weekly.  I would agree with Jenner if a governor who is “far-right” was going to mandate church attendance.  As much as I think we would all be better off if everyone went to church, I only believe that to be true if it was done voluntarily instead of under coercion.  If the Right operated like Democrats this might be something to worry about.  Imagine, the government forcing all businesses with over 100 employees to require proof of church attendance to be employed there.  Jenner’s argument only works if the Right did that kind of thing.  Instead, the Right wants people to be free to choose, even if we disagree.  That is what liberty is. 

Conservatives, especially Christian conservatives, are often accused of telling people what to do on moral issues.  The truth is, we do care about your moral decisions and we want you to choose what God wants for you.  Notice, however, that I said: “choose.”  Except on the issue of abortion, where the choice directly harms another person, we do not want to take the decision away from you.  The difference is huge.  Conservatives may try to persuade you to do certain things, but that is not the same as using tyrannical power to force those things.  This is what Caitlyn Jenner was missing.  The further to the left a politician gets, the more parts of your life they want to control.  Being a moderate Republican still means they want to have more control over you than a “far right” candidate does.  That is not a good selling point. 

Jenner was asked if he would run for office again if he lost this election and answered that he wasn’t sure about running again, but he would definitely work with the Republican Party to become more of a big tent party that is more inclusive.  I hope that he does, but it needs to be done by explaining clearly that the way to do it is to push for a return to limited government and personal liberty.  We can agree to disagree.  You are welcome in the Republican Party even if you want to use your God-given liberty to do things we may not agree with.  I certainly do not agree with many of Caitlyn Jenner’s lifestyle choices, but I also do not want the government to force him to do what I would prefer.  The Right has no interest in taking away your liberty.

My Endorsement for the California Recall Election

October is my favorite month of the year.  I spend most of the month playing baseball tournaments in Arizona and watching postseason baseball on television.  Last October was even better because I got to escape the tyrannical lockdown orders in my home state of California that destroyed businesses, ended friendliness by covering up smiles with mask rules that do not even work, turned record employment numbers into record unemployment, crushed the dreams of young athletes, and kept people from enjoying meals together by forcing the closure of restaurants.  That is, unless you were the worst governor in the nation, Gavin Newsom, who proved that he did not believe in his own dictatorial mandates by eating with a group of lobbyists at a swanky restaurant, The French Laundry, where they ran up a $12,000 bar tab. 

It is obvious that California is a mess.  People and businesses are fleeing the state in droves.  As you all know, we are now less than a month out from a special election to recall Governor Newsom.  There are two questions on the ballot.  Question one asks whether Governor Newsom should be removed from office.  VOTE YES!  His failures are so clear that the vote should be unanimous.  Question two asks who should become governor if Newsom is removed.  Over 40 candidates are running, and that is what brings me back to Arizona last October.

During one of my stints in the Phoenix area, I noticed that radio host Larry Elder would be doing a screening of his movie, Uncle Tom, at a local theater.  As a big fan who had listened to Larry Elder for years, I bought a ticket and headed downtown for the night.  The film is excellent and I highly recommend you take the time to watch it.  It explores how black conservatives are marginalized and disparaged by Democrats and the media in America.  Larry Elder produced, co-wrote, and starred in the film.  Before each showing of the film, he did about a half-hour talk, introduced the film, and answered some questions from the audience.  He knows his stuff! 

His focus then was on ending racial division, strengthening families, and because it was a week before the election, President Trump and Joe Biden.  Larry Elder is now one of the candidates running for governor of California.  He is running on a platform that includes giving Californians back our freedom, improving the homelessness crisis that was exacerbated by the current governor’s policies, giving parents the choice of where to send their children to school, reducing wasteful government spending and regulations that harm our economy, and lowering California’s skyrocketing crime rate.

Wait, there’s more.  I know that many people are less worried about policy than they are about personality.  I don’t understand that myself, but I have good news for you.  The best part of my evening at the theater last October was when I met Larry Elder after the movie.  I have been to events with other celebrities and radio personalities, and they will usually shake hands and sign a copy of their book or DVD for the guests in attendance, but Larry Elder did more than that.  He stood there in the lobby of the theater and had a real conversation with every person who lined up to meet him.  He wasn’t running for anything at that point.  He didn’t have to stand there all night.  He genuinely took an interest in two theaters full of strangers.  When I got to the front of the line, he spoke with me for literally a few minutes.  I was wearing a Dodgers jacket, so he talked baseball with me, and actually knew what he was talking about.  I gave him a copy of my book, The God Bet, and he asked me about it.  He kept asking me questions about myself long after most people would have moved on to the next person in line.  I was very impressed.  He has the personality and character to go along with the solid policy positions that I want in a leader.

California would be lucky to have Larry Elder as the next governor.  This is why I am proudly and enthusiastically endorsing him in the September 14 special election.  If you live in the state, vote YES on question one, and vote for Larry Elder on question two.  If you don’t live in the state, you might as well come vote anyways.  We don’t check ID here!  (To be clear, that was a joke.  I do not condone cheating.  What do you think I am, a Democrat?)

Let’s Make a Deal to Save Lives

America is divided and we all know it.  Many people talk about us coming together and finding common ground, but in general, I don’t think that is possible because we no longer share the same values.  There is, however, something that both the left and the right claim to want right now that makes for a great compromise.  Both sides say that they want to save lives. 

Now, a fair compromise gives both sides something that they want.  We should all agree that saving lives is a worthy cause, even if we do not agree on how to do it.  If both sides are sincere about their desire to save lives, they will agree that this is a compromise worth agreeing to.  If not, they never really cared about saving lives and just wanted power and control.

So, how does the left say we can save lives?  They want everybody to get vaccinated from Covid.  For full disclosure, let me explain my position on the vaccinations.  I am not vaccinated.  I am not an anti-vaxxer.  I believe that each individual should have the freedom to choose whether they get vaccinated without having to disclose their vaccination status to anybody.  Some people on my side might not agree with this, but I do not think the vaccine is likely to kill you.  We have to be honest about that.  It likely kills some people, but the odds of that are pretty slim.  If we say that the media should stop exaggerating the dangers of Covid, we should not turn around and exaggerate the dangers of the vaccine. 

That being said, there are two main reasons why I have not partaken.  First, it is a solution in search of a problem.  There is literally a 0.0% chance that Covid will kill me.  You have to go another decimal point for it to even register as a cause of death, and that is using the inflated numbers from the government.  The risk of me dying in a car accident on the way to get the shot is likely higher than the odds of me dying of Covid.  I do not want to take an experimental vaccine if I am fine without it.  Second, it is far too much fun listening to angry leftists flip out because there are people who won’t fall in line and do what they command us to do. 

My thoughts aside, the left says that they want everybody vaccinated because it will save countless lives.  Whether it will or not, they are pulling out all the stops.  They are trying to guilt-trip people into compliance. They are vilifying and shaming people who choose not to get vaccinated.  They are bribing people to get the shot with cash and contest entries.  They want vaccine passports so that they can shun and banish unvaccinated people from society.  They would like vaccinations to be mandated for all Americans.

Here is where my compromise comes in.  Conservatives also claim that they want to save lives.  While the net number of people saved or lost by the Covid vaccines is debatable, conservatives can document how many lives their tradeoff would save.  The number is approximately 62 million lives in the past 48 years.  In fact, since the left supposedly cares about black lives, this compromise would end the leading cause of death among blacks in America.  My proposal is this:  I would gladly volunteer to get the vaccine, and even support mandatory Covid vaccines in exchange for the immediate and irreversible ban of abortions in the United States. 

When you think about it, it’s the perfect compromise.  Both sides claim that the problem they would be solving is a major, existential crisis.  Both sides are even giving up what they perceive to be the same thing; choice in a healthcare decision.  If they truly believe that what they are fighting for will save myriad lives, this would be an easy and heroic deal to make.  If they will not make this tradeoff, they must not really believe that their respective cause will actually save many lives. 

We are not likely to agree on which action actually works, but whether you are on the left or the right, you can be sure that this deal will save lives one way or another.  My sleeve is rolled up and ready.  If you honestly believe that lives will be saved, agree to the compromise.  Otherwise, you know it’s not that important to you.

The Ultimate Sin?

As a boy growing up in the ‘80s, you had to watch certain things on Saturday television to stay in the loop.  I distinctly remember going down to the playground in my apartment complex armed with the secret word from Pee Wee’s Playhouse so that I knew when to scream real loud.  Those boyhood gatherings would soon turn into a discussion of a far more serious Saturday television event: WWF wrestling.

“Dude!  Did you see Brutus ‘the Barber’ Beefcake cut that guy’s hair?”  

“Oh man, the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage is mad!”

“Did you see what happened on Piper’s Pit?  Hulk Hogan is gonna fight Andre the Giant!”

Recently, I have been nerding out on some WWF nostalgia.  I ran across an A&E Biography episode about “Rowdy” Roddy Piper a few weeks ago and I loved it.  It turns out that A&E is airing a bunch of WWF (now WWE) themed documentaries.  I made sure to catch the one about Andre the Giant when it came on because he is a legend.  I even watched one about Mick Foley, who was a little after my time but still very intriguing because he would let them beat him nearly to death for his craft.  A few days ago, I saw one about another legendary wrestler from my childhood, The Ultimate Warrior. 

It followed the usual formula for a biographical documentary.  It talked about the Warrior’s youth, his meteoric rise to the top of the wrestling world, his struggles and fall from grace, and his untimely death.  Something stood out about this one, though.  In the section about his fall from grace, they first explained the real reason, which was the same as with almost every wrestler.  He started arguing with his boss, Vince McMahon.  However, they then spent a long segment on what they really saw as his ultimate sin.  The Ultimate Warrior came out as a conservative.

The Warrior (he legally had his name changed to Warrior in 1993) actually became a conservative blogger and speaker after his wrestling career.  The guests who were interviewed in the Biography episode wondered aloud if they could still admire the Warrior after learning about his unforgivable opinions.  At first, this made me roll my eyes in annoyance at the blatant double standard.  After all, had Warrior become a progressive pundit, would A&E have criticized him for it and painted him as a horrible person?  We all know the answer to that. 

After a bit of thinking, though, I am glad that corporations, the media, and the entertainment industry continue to reveal their hatred for anybody who dares to disagree with them.  It chips away more and more at their credibility when people open their eyes to how intolerant those institutions are of anyone who doesn’t fall into line with their views.  Their obvious bias against conservatives alienates many who may not even be conservatives themselves, but don’t think people should be vilified for holding conservative values.  It certainly should make clear to conservatives that the mainstream culture has nothing but contempt for you and you have to stand up to them.

This contempt is not reserved only for celebrity conservatives like Warrior.  Remember, the left sees conservatives as “a basket of deplorables.”  You may not have the status to get as much attention as a famous person, but they still want to marginalize and silence you for taking conservative positions.  Just try questioning the security of our elections and see how long it takes social media sites to censor your posts.  If you have the audacity to say that homosexuality is not the ideal, which is one of the things they went after the Warrior for in the documentary, those on the left would attack you with a folding chair if they could get away with it. 

Criminals who sneak across our borders illegally are A-okay with the left.  If protesters block traffic and throw bricks through the windows of businesses, the left will make excuses for them.  Publicly announce that you are no longer the gender that you really are and they will laud you for your courage.  Murder a baby in the womb and the left will praise your “choice.”  Those are all fine, but if you are found out to be a conservative, they think you should lose your livelihood, your reputation, and become an outcast from society.

The Ultimate Warrior was a flawed man.  He was apparently egotistical and did not get along with many of his fellow wrestlers.  Was Warrior the most articulate or tactful conservative speaker?  Of course not!  Would you expect him to be?  He’s the Ultimate Warrior, not William F. Buckley.  Was he perfect?  No, but he did defeat Mr. Perfect in the ring.  Was this article an excuse for me to take a trip down memory lane and watch old wrestling matches?  Absolutely, but we do need to call out double standards in our culture when we see them.  Do not let them silence you.  In this fight, we all need to be warriors.

An Open Letter to Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred

Commissioner Manfred,

I love baseball.  Between playing, coaching, and watching baseball I have probably spent more time at a ballfield than anywhere else in the world.  Unfortunately, today I am distraught.  I love my country, too, but it is in danger. 

Our founding fathers understood that people are better off when they are free to decide how to live their lives without government interference.  Therefore, they had the brilliant idea of setting up a system where the power comes from the people up to the government, not the other way around.  We do that by voting for people to represent us.  As you know, we just had a contentious, disputed election where many states accepted ballots without knowing who or where they came from.  This is not a baseless claim.  Most states did not verify who cast the ballots that were counted.  This is a fact.  Whether you agree or disagree with the results, there is now a large portion of Americans who distrust our election results, and for good reason.  Check out this funny video I made that shows why we need safeguards to secure our voting.

The state of Georgia is trying to restore faith in our elections by simply asking that we verify who is casting the ballots.  Your decision to take away the All-Star Game that was supposed to be held this summer in Atlanta is punishing the state of Georgia for trying to protect our ability to choose our government officials at the ballot box and trust the results.  Not only is it unfair, but you justified your decision by falsely claiming that the new law was meant to suppress voting.  The people who make this claim say that requiring voters to show identification somehow prevents black people from voting.  I don’t lightly throw around the term “racist” like many now do, but to say that black people are too dumb to show ID is definitely racist.  If you truly want to honor the memory of “Home Run King” Hank Aaron, you need to turn away from the idea that blacks are inferior to whites, not embrace it like you are by furthering this lie about ID. 

To be perfectly honest, when I hear that somebody is against voters showing ID to cast their ballot, I assume that the person just wants their side to be able to cheat and assure a political victory.  It really makes me question your judgment when the best excuse you can come up with is in essence that no, you don’t want to cheat.  You just think that only white people are smart enough to get an ID.

The part that really has me upset is that I don’t know what to do.  Baseball is the greatest game ever invented.  Many of the landmark moments in my life can be connected to what was going on in baseball at the time.  Since you, the Commissioner of Baseball, have decided that cheating in elections is not something to prevent, many people are boycotting the game.  Either you are for cheating, which is certainly possible considering the slap on the wrist that the Astros got, or you are a racist who thinks blacks are inferior. 

Whichever it is, I have to decide what to do, and here is how I am going to rationalize watching baseball this season.  The game on the field is still great.  The people around it may not be, but it has been that way before.  You may think that black people are not intelligent enough to show identification to vote, but until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, blacks were not even allowed to play in the majors, so you are not the first racist to be involved with baseball.  If the game survived them, it can survive you.

Now, I want to give you the opportunity to defend yourself against charges of racism, but the only other possibility is just as bad.  If you do think blacks are fully capable of getting an ID and are still against requiring ID to vote, then you just don’t want us to know where ballots are coming from in our elections so that cheating is easier.  There is, fortunately, an easy way to tell which you actually believe.  If you really think asking for ID discriminates against blacks, you will tell all of the ballparks in Major League Baseball that they are no longer allowed to ask for ID at beer stands.  After all, if it’s racist to require ID to vote, it is racist to require ID to buy beer. 

This tells me that you likely are just using race as an excuse for looking the other way when cheating happens.  The Democrats and the Astros thank you.

Sincerely,

Steven Connally

In Defense of Naps, Golf, and Cancun

I am going to defend Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz from some undeserved criticism.  As you can see, I am very consistent on this stance whether the person involved is someone I generally agree with or someone I almost never do.  Both the right and the left are guilty of this attack and should both stop it. 

Let’s start with the latest example.  Recently, Texas Senator Ted Cruz was predictably blasted by the left for going with his wife and two daughters to Cancun during a terrible ice storm in his home state.  My first thought was, “That sounds like a pretty good idea to me.  If I had a choice between sitting in an ice storm with no electricity and sitting on the beach with a margarita, I know which one I would choose.”  My next thought was, “Is that my reaction just because I like Senator Cruz?  Would I have a different reaction if it was Bernie Sanders?”  This is a normal question for me because we as conservatives should not have double standards like the left does.  You know, like how Democrats cheered on rioting thugs for a year and then started denouncing rioting thugs on January 6 when they thought they could win political points.  My conclusion:  No.  I would not feel differently if it was a political opponent. 

I reached this conclusion by looking at times when Democrats have been criticized for wasting time on leisure activities instead of “doing the work of the people.”  The example that came to mind was something that Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and many other presidents have been criticized for:  golf.  I specifically remember those three presidents being attacked for spending too much time on the golf course during their term in office.  In every case I defended them, whether they were Republicans or Democrats, for this simple reason:  the less politicians do, the better it is for us.  As another golfer president once said, “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

Both the left and the right need to stop with this criticism.  Ideally, politicians would spend more time, not less, golfing or on vacations.  Pondering this reminded me of one of our very best presidents.  Calvin Coolidge was known for sleeping 10 to 11 hours a night and then taking a long nap in the afternoon.  How much better off would our country be if politicians spent more time sleeping and less time interfering with our lives?

This gave me an idea.  As you know, I almost always oppose government regulations, but I actually want to propose a rule for anyone elected to public office.  Upon election, each office holder must take up a new hobby that occupies at least 5 hours per day.  It’s a brilliant law because nothing would help the American people more than to keep politicians busy and out of our lives.

To help get them started I even have some ideas for current politicians. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren – Gardening:  Senator Warren famously claimed to be an American Indian, earning her nickname, “Pocahontas.”  Since American Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, gardening would be the perfect hobby for her to reconnect with her roots.

Representative Adam Schiff – Writing:  I don’t mean writing political op-eds for the Washington Post.  I mean writing fiction books.  Mr. Schiff is known mostly for pushing imaginary claims that President Trump colluded with foreign countries to interfere with the U.S. election in 2016.  I think his wild imagination could come up with some crazy international political thrillers.  He could be the next Tom Clancy!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer – Poker:  One of the skills that makes a good poker player is bluffing.  Bluffing is simply the ability to look right at people and lie with a straight face.  Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer have been perfecting this skill for years.  They wouldn’t have any trouble setting up games either.  We could fill the Amazon Room at The Rio with lying politicians!

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – Yodeling:  Honestly, I just want to see this.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo – Calling bingo at senior living communities

Senator Mitt Romney – LARPing:  LARPing stands for Live Action Role Playing.  Basically, a group of guys get together and pretend to be people that they’re not, like knights, elves, and wizards.  Senator Romney should be good at that since he has pretended to be a Republican for years.

Senator Bernie Sanders – Stand-up comedy:  I hear he looks a lot like Larry David.

Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, aka “The Squad” – Start a band: “Performing next on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, singing their hit single, “Israel Has Hypnotized the World,”… The Squad!” 

Joe Biden – Massage therapy:  We all know that Joe Biden has already been known to massage women who cross his path.  He may as well take some classes and get a little side gig going. 

Ultimately, whatever they decide to do it will be better for the country than anything they are doing now. 

Give Us the Same Courtesy That We Gave You

The first paragraph of this article is here for a very specific reason. To promote the article on social media I had to make sure that there was no political speech in the first couple of lines so that it wouldn’t be censored. The original started here:

Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress.  They are calling for unity, but what they mean by that is, “Now everybody needs to agree with us.”  That is not going to happen.  I am not saying that in an obstinate way.  I’m just being realistic and honest.  People disagree and that is alright.  Republicans were in charge for the last four years and many people disagreed with them, and I expected that as well because that is how life works. 

This leads me to my one request to Democrats.  Now that you’re in charge please give us the same courtesy that we gave to you when we were.  That courtesy is this:  When people disagree with you, don’t force them to do what you want. 

This may surprise some of you after being told by the media for four years that President Trump was a fascist dictator, but I cannot think of anything that he forced us to do during his term.  If you disagreed with President Trump and the Republicans, they did not make you do anything against your will.  Republicans let people agree to disagree.  

If, for example, you disagreed with the tax cuts that were passed, Republicans did not force you to go along with it.  They implemented no penalties for people who wanted to keep paying the higher tax rates voluntarily.  Yes, you can do that.  Surprisingly, wealthy Democrats who complain that rich people don’t pay their fair share do not opt to pay more themselves when given that choice.  Alright, maybe not so surprisingly.

Ultimately, this is the main thing that Republicans want:  to be left alone.  We want to control our own lives and let others control theirs.  Another example; we may understand that homosexuality is immoral, but we do not block people from the practice.  In fact, the Trump administration started a global effort to end the criminalization of homosexuality.  (In contrast, Democrats kowtow to countries like Iran who put homosexuals to death.)  Republicans also disagree with divisive groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, yet do not want them prevented from speaking or kicked off of social media.  Another Republican belief is that God is central to the American way of life and necessary for our success, but we do not want to require church attendance.  In other words, Republicans would like everybody to act in particular ways but think that people should be free to choose for themselves.

This approach is not a new one.  It is actually one of the principles that our country was established on.  Our Founding Fathers were wise men who understood that people would not always agree as to what should be done.  They also knew that throughout history, when the powerful forced those who disagreed with them to conform to their will it sowed contempt, division and conflict.  Their solution was liberty.  If one group wants to do “A” and another group wants to do “B,” the answer is not to have the group in power force the other group to do what they command.  Instead, the first group can do “A” and the second group can do “B.”  They can try to use persuasion to win the other side over but they should not use coercion.

If Joe Biden really wants unity this is what he should do.  Refrain from taking away our liberty.  Allow people to have free will and do what they think is best for themselves.  He can disagree with our choices but he should not overrule them.  Here are ten great suggestions that the Democrats can do to respect the liberty of Americans:

  1. If you decide to raise taxes, make it optional to pay the old rate like the Republicans did for you. 
  2. If you want people to wear masks, make it optional like the Republicans did.
  3. Let scared restaurant owners who want to shut down do so, and let the ones who want to remain open choose to do that.  If patrons want to show up they can but if they are afraid they should also be free to stay home.
  4. Let churches decide whether to remain open or close down.  If congregants do not want to attend they should not be forced to, but those who do should be allowed in.
  5. President Trump stopped enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, which threatens to take away tax-exempt status from churches if the pastor endorses a political candidate.  Continue with that policy and allow pastors to decide for themselves what to say from the pulpit without threat of retaliation from the government.
  6. If somebody wants health insurance that covers pregnancy and drug rehabilitation they should be allowed to purchase it.  If another person wants less expensive insurance that does not cover those things they should be allowed to choose that.  If someone else prefers to pay out of pocket for medical care instead of buying insurance they should be able to do that.
  7. Do not force law abiding citizens to buy guns.  Likewise, do not prohibit them from buying guns.
  8. If someone wants to do a job for $8 per hour, do not prohibit them from doing so and force them out of a job.  Let people decide for themselves what wage to accept.
  9. Do not force people who are against murdering babies to pay for the murder of babies.  Do not use taxpayer money for Planned Parenthood.
  10. Refrain from banning or restricting us from using certain products like incandescent light bulbs, straws, grocery bags, soda, and shower heads with good water pressure.

These are all things that Democrats have tried to dictate in the past.  If they truly want unity this list would be a solid first step.  Instead of using tyrannical power to control those of us who disagree with them, try going back to our founding vision of liberty.  It’s the least they can do after Republicans did it for them the last four years. 

Is President Trump Our King Josiah?

As President Trump leaves the White House I have been contemplating his similarities with another great leader who challenged the status quo and “drained the swamp.”  The biblical king, Josiah, was the last good king of Israel’s southern kingdom of Judah before they were defeated by the Babylonians and taken into captivity. 

Both the United States and Judah had gone downhill quite a ways after some downright bad leaders who “did evil in the sight of the Lord.”  Don’t get me wrong, both nations also had some good leaders, except that they failed to roll back all of the evil policies of the bad rulers.  When reading through the books of Kings and Chronicles you begin to notice a pattern arise where the good kings usually had one fatal flaw mentioned.  It seemed to always be described like it was here with King Jotham:

And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.  However the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. – 2 Kings 15:34-35

These high places were generally set up in Israel by the bad kings and were used for pagan worship and idolatry.  Even the few kings who “did what was right in the sight of the Lord” failed to remove the high places, with two exceptions:  King Hezekiah and his great-grandson King Josiah. 

It made me wonder why the other good kings allowed the high places even though it was obviously wrong.  Then it struck me.  It’s for the same reason that our good presidents have not reversed the immoral policies of our bad presidents.  They knew that many people would not like it and they lacked the political courage to follow through.  There was probably a lot of political pressure by the people who worshipped and sacrificed at the high places, and even the good kings bowed to that pressure. 

Kings Hezekiah and Josiah did not.  They both had the backbone to stand up for what was right and removed the high places from the land.  In the United States, conservatives have been frustrated because even when we elect good leaders they have lacked the courage to do what is right.  Like Hezekiah and Josiah, President Trump has not.  Here are some of his landmark accomplishments:

  • The first wicked king of Judah was Solomon’s son Reheboam.  When he became king the people came to him and said, “Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” (1 Kings 12:4)  In other words, regulations.  The government was forcing them to do too much and interfering with their lives.  Reheboam took the bad advice of his friends and responded, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to your yoke; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!” (1 Kings 12:14)  Our bad presidents have greatly increased the bone crushing regulatory burden on the people.  Our good presidents, like George W. Bush and his father, said they were for smaller government but did not actually lessen regulations.  President Trump did.  He made a guideline that for every new regulation, two had to be removed.  This led to a booming economy and record low unemployment.
  • Both good and bad presidents have said that we should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move our embassy there.  None of them had the guts to actually do it.  President Trump did.
  • Speaking of Israel, President Obama greatly damaged our relationship with God’s chosen people and our greatest ally.  He treated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with contempt.  His administration chastised Israel for defending themselves.  He backstabbed them and allowed them to be attacked in the United Nations.  Most notably, he put Israel in grave danger by appeasing Iran and making a deal to remove sanctions against them and give them billions of dollars without even forcing them to end their nuclear program.  President Trump was the most pro-Israel president of my lifetime and maybe ever.  He defended Israel in the United Nations, acknowledged their sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and ended the appeasement of Iran by pulling out of the dangerous Iran Nuclear Deal.  He was even able to broker peace deals between Israel and Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates.
  • About ten years ago my health insurance started to rise precipitously in price.  President Obama had forced through the government monstrosity now known as Obamacare, which also took away our freedom with regards to our healthcare decisions.  President Trump eliminated the individual mandate, taking the teeth out of Obamacare and giving individuals back more control of their healthcare.
  • After years of weak defense of our nation’s borders, President Trump was able to get over 400 miles of wall built.
  • There is one rule that is repeated in each of the first five books of the Bible; that murderers should be put to death.  The federal government has failed in this responsibility, as only 3 murderers had been executed between 1963 and 2020.  President Trump has enforced the death penalty for murderers again, with 13 federal executions being carried out in the last year.
  • Good presidents and candidates have been lied about and vilified by our biased and corrupt media for decades, frustrating millions of Americans because previous presidents just took the abuse.  President Trump fought back and constantly called out the media for their unfairness and propaganda.
  • One of the great reforms of King Josiah is found in 2 Kings 23:10.  “And he defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or daughter pass through the fire to Molech.”  To make your child pass through the fire meant to sacrifice them to the Moabite god Molech.  This evil practice was not only allowed to happen in Israel by the wicked kings, but kings Ahaz and Manasseh actually sacrificed their own sons.  The United States has a similar practice that is protected by the wicked presidents:  abortion.  Unfortunately, even our good presidents have been inept at curtailing this evil act.  President Trump has stepped up to the plate and defended babies.  He was the first president to attend the March for Life.  He has found a way to block funding for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the country.  Most importantly, he has appointed three pro-life Supreme Court Justices.

You may be wondering why I chose Josiah to compare President Trump to instead of Hezekiah since they both stood up against the status quo and removed the high places, and I have two reasons.  First, Hezekiah came earlier and that leads me to compare him to another great president who upset the apple cart, President Reagan.  Second, Josiah was only 8 years old when he became king, and President Trump does tend to speak without much tact like a kid might.  It is disappointing that too many people couldn’t get past that lack of tact, because like King Josiah, he may be the last great president we ever have.  Thank you, President Trump, for making us great again.