Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 and is filed under Blog, Elections
There’s a lot of discussion these days over “fake news” and for good reason. For years many conservatives have suspected the liberal bent of the mainstream media. Stories and studies have proven this. 80%+ of the media is liberal, both in their giving and voting patterns.
They just don’t want to admit it.
Are they writing fake news? Is there some grand conspiracy?
No. But they are writing news that is heavily influenced by their worldview, the filter through which each of us sees the world around us. In other words, there is no such thing, in the end, as tabula rosa. No one is a blank slate. Each of us approaches a given story or situation with preconceptions, consciously or subconsciously. How we then share that news or story filters through our worldview.
Does that mean that all news written or reported by MSNBC, CNN or other “traditional” or decidedly more liberal outlets is fake? No. But how they write the stories and which headlines announce the news in them is definitely dictated by their worldview.
On the flip side, there are a lot of “news” sites that we have seen posted on conservatives’ social media accounts that more than just raise the eyebrows. They are downright laughable and yet were and are posted and shared without a second thought.
Here is our challenge to all consumers of news.
One, check the source before you read the story. In other words, ask yourself, “Where is this story coming from?” A lot of people made a lot of money this past election season by creating sites that peddled the news many people wanted to hear. See this story for more on that.
Two, who actually wrote the story? What do you know about this reporter of the news or opinion maker? If you don’t know or cannot say, then guess what? You might be a consumer of fake news.
Three, what is the purpose of this story? Is it actually to report news or sensationalize a topic?
Purveyors of fake news have subject lines down to a science. They know what consumers of news are looking for by watching trend lines on search engines like Google. In other words, they are looking for you before you know what you are looking for.
So before we run around calling all news that doesn’t agree with our worldview “fake,” let’s take a step back and run all the news we consume through the simply metric above: the source, who wrote or reported the story and what is the purpose of it.
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 and is filed under Blog
This morning The Blaze carried this story: GOP Senator Admits Republicans Aren’t Working on Obamacare Replacement Plan.
There are obviously a few problems with this scenario.
The first is that for four election cycles, Republicans have been running on the campaign promise that they will repeal Obamacare and tear it out “root and branch.” It is now apparent that maybe want many of us have suspected all along is true: those were just talking points. There was no real plan of action to actually repeal Obamacare at all.
The second is that with all the intellectual ammunition in the conservative, free market movement, not one Member has thought to create a road map for what healthcare world free of socialized medicine looks like. Really? Is this possible? We don’t need to replace Obamacare (socialized medicine) with anything but freedom in the marketplace.
Here’s our solution and it took us about 5 minutes to come up with it.
Create a marketplace where people are free to pick and choose the plan that fits them and goes with them across state lines. You have a plan you like but are moving? Totally fine.
But get government out of the healthcare business. Make insurance companies compete and in that competition, guess who wins?
Friday, September 9th, 2016 and is filed under Blog, Elections
No matter where you are on the Donald Trump phenomenon (Evangelist, Apostate, Unbeliever), it’s clear that he is part of a chain reaction, a cause and effect if you will, caused by the elites in Washington, DC.
The pattern has been this. Campaign cycles come, Republican politicians dust off the old playbook, make red meat promises (“I will rip out Obamacare root and branch!” or “We will end illegal immigration!”) to gin up the conservative grassroots, win, retreat from said promises under the guise of, “We just don’t have the numbers that we need to make progress here in Washington, DC-you don’t know how things work here,” attempt to govern like moderate liberals and then, as the next election cycle approaches, dust off the old playbook and lather, rinse, repeat.
And on and on this pattern has gone until the American taxpayer realized that maybe it was time to take the red pill and see how far down the rabbit hole things go.
Here’s what reality looks like. We are a nation that is now $19.3 trillion in debt. Illegal immigrants continue to pour in through our southern border at an ever increasing rate. Unemployment numbers are decidedly well above 5% and it appears in less than 10 years, the non-tax paying American populace will be over 50%.
Yet in Washington, DC, the GOPe fiddles as the nation burns.
To tell the grassroots that they shouldn’t believe their lying eyes.
To shift the blame from their poor performance and broken promises that gave rise to Donald Trump to “the conservative commentariat industry” that seeks to hold them accountable (read: fulfill campaign promises).
In other words, they would like to continue doing things the way they have always done them with no repercussions.
That is simply not possible.
In the chaos that is the 2016 election cycle, some takeaways have emerged.
One, the Republican Party as we know it is rotten from the inside out. Josh Holmes and others quoted in the article linked above have taken and continue to take corporate contracts to work for policy items that accomplish three things: make themselves a lot of money, help corporations crowd out the American taxpayer and continue to plow the American economy under (and the American taxpayer, but we already said that).
Yet this is the same “crop of influential Republican consultants” who want to take the party back over and “enact their principles.” What, we wonder, are their principles? Is it really to roll back Obamacare? We would offer this in response to that. While the name Billy Piper might not ring a bell for many readers, he is the former chief of staff to Mitch McConnell (Josh Holmes’ predecessor, slightly taller, less hair than Holmes). While Mitch McConnell was out promising to uproot Obamacare, guess what Piper was doing? Lobbying for it and not just for it, but the expansion of it to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in lobbying fees. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, too.
Why would Piper do this even as he actively remains a part of McConnell’s inner circle?
See the three reasons given above.
Another takeaway is that the Republican Party is comfortable being a “little less liberal” version of the Democrat Party. Maybe we should add “extremely” in front of “comfortable.”
They don’t believe in limited government-“It’s here to stay, might as well work with it!” They don’t want free market healthcare because a bevy of former staffers from leadership offices are making hundreds of thousands lobbying for it (see Piper, Billy). They don’t want to stop illegal immigration because corporations like the cheap labor (electoral results and demographic shifts in favor of the Democrats be damned) and corporations fund their war chests.
If there is a lesson to be learned from 2016, it is this: the GOPe gave rise to Donald Trump after years of broken promises. Their hope was to use him as a vehicle to further empower themselves. As an electoral apocalypse looms, they are now pivoting to the blame game.
We cannot and must not let them. Their chickens are coming home to roost and it’s about time.
Friday, October 23rd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Uncategorized
In this episode of American History in 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun of the Madison Project discusses how the Declaration of Independence came into being, laying the intellectual foundation necessary for the American colonies to move into outright rebellion against King George III and the British Empire.
Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 and is filed under Blog
As we noted last year in our post Defining Conservatism, it is critical that words retain meaning. By definition (literally), that is what they are intended to do. One would never use “cold” to describe “hot” or “dry” to describe “wet.” There are implications to the improper use of words.
We often hear the word “conservative” bandied about, untied to any concrete example(s) of why it should be used other than the ones using it hope to gain some street cred with their hearers, the grassroots activists who are, by experiential action, conservative in nature.
Which brings us to Paul Ryan. First elected to Congress in 1998, Paul came was the fresh, under 30 face of the new conservative movement. He was the smart kid with the pencil tucked behind his ear and slide ruler in his pocket. He was going to save America.
However, in spite of his tax plans painfully crafted to balance the budget over certain time periods (all of which were so far in the future as to beggar the question of relevance), it became abundantly clear that Paul Ryan’s voting record and his rhetoric did not sync. In fact, not only did they not sync, they were so at odds with each other we began to wonder as to the split political personality of Paul Ryan-big government Paul or small government Paul-and who would win the Gollum-style argument in the mirror.
It’s clear now that Paul was, all along, what we have suspected for some time. A big government liberal who has mastered the talking points that conservatives want to hear, which is why we see the easily entertained (namely Hugh Hewitt) rush to defend Paul Ryan’s “conservatism” against the attacks of those who point to his voting record and say, “Prove it.”
In a normal world (not Washington, DC), our actions define us. That is reality. It is how the real world works. In light of that, take a quick minute to review the “highlights” of Paul Ryan’s voting record.
During his tenure in Congress, Paul has voted for (each hyperlinked with what these bills actually have done or will do to America):
–No Child Left Behind
–Medicare Part D (projected net expenditures from 2009 through 2018 are estimated to be $727.3 billion-can we just say, “gazillions”?)
–The Employment Non-Discrimination Act
–The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
–Numerous Debt Ceiling Raises
–Amtrak Reauthorization (with a price tag of $7.2 billion)
Couple this voting record with his stances on amnesty, his voting for a Continuing Resolution that funds Planned Parenthood AFTER the videos exposed Planned Parenthood for selling aborted baby parts for profit and one is hard pressed to define Paul Ryan as a conservative.
A Republican, yes. A conservative, no.
So let’s be done once and for all with this nonsense that Paul Ryan is a conservative. He is, at best, a middle of the road Republican content with being in power and never using it to achieve anything of merit.
Friday, October 9th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
In our first series of podcasts, How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun of the Madison Project discussed practical steps to winning in politics.
In the next few podcasts, our series within a series, Drew discusses the intellectual foundation for conservatism and how our nation began with American History In 5 Minutes. Today’s podcast discusses the origins of the American Revolution and the influence of pamphleteers in the American colonies.
American History In 5 Minutes, Episode #1
Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections
She rocketed to the nation’s attention with her testimony in front of the House Ways and Means Committee in 2013 as the IRS scandal involving tea party groups was breaking on headlines daily.
“You have forgotten your place,” she said to Members of Congress that day. “It’s not your responsibility to look out for my wellbeing and to monitor my speech. It’s not your right to assert an agenda. Your post, the post that you occupy, exists to preserve American liberty. You’ve sworn to perform that duty, and you have faltered…”
Having launched the Wetumpka Tea Party in Wautumpka, Alabama in 2009 with her husband, Eric, Becky and her group had applied for 501c4 status from the IRS so that they could engage in practical ways in the political arena. Like many tea party groups, they were strung out by the IRS for over a year without any communication. As the IRS scandal unfolded, it was clear they were operating under directives to stymy the tea party movement before the 2012 elections. Things took a turn when the IRS began asking tea party groups for list of their members and donors, however, and Becky Gerritson struck back, joining a suit to sue the IRS for egregious overreach.
Along the way, we intersected with her when she volunteered herself and her tea party for Get Out The Vote efforts in 2012 in Florida to help Ron DeSantis win his House seat (he did). Of all the candidates we have every known, this is one that we have a long standing relationship with and couldn’t be more happy to see her run, especially as she is running against Martha Roby, the current incumbent in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. With a paltry 54% on the Heritage Action scorecard and a absolutely terrible -43.5 on the Madison Performance Index, Roby has earned a place in our Hall of Shame with a voting record that is more in line with a Democrat member than a Republican from one of the most conservative districts in the United States.
Not only is it time for Martha Roby to be retired, but we have a legitimate candidate in Becky Gerritson running against her. This is our goal in 2016, to take deeply red districts and make sure the Members that represent them actually represent them and are not lackies for a GOP Establishment gone awry.
This is why we are so excited about Becky’s run for Congress and happy to endorse her today. A full spectrum conservative, she is a leader who knows exactly what is wrong with Washington, DC and why she wants to go to Congress-to change the way things are done there.
Friday, October 2nd, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Elections, Family Values
Listen as the Madison Project’s Drew Ryun breaks down the Presidential race, the GOP Establishment and other topics with Steve Deace, the Rush Limbaugh of Iowa.
To hear Drew’s interview, click here.
Monday, September 28th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Economy
We are winning. No doubt about it. The GOP Establishment, so confident it had crushed the peasants in 2014, is in disarray. After 9 months of abysmal performance, the proverbial chickens are coming home to roost for the Establishment.
The first indicator of this was the quitting of John Boehner on Friday. He quit. He did not resign to protect an institution, no matter how hard he and his team have tried to spin it.
He was potentially days away from being fired by his own caucus as a major fight over the Continuing Resolution loomed and he refused to commit to defunding Planned Parenthood through it. He and his team were still, believe it or not, under the impression that they won the majority in the House and grew it in 2014 based on his jobs agenda.
What, you ask, was John Boehner’s jobs agenda? Crickets. . . .
Don’t worry. We wonder as well.
No, John Boehner and Co. were given the majority to repeal ObamaCare, stop executive amnesty, halt the Obama Administration in its tracks and use the power of the purse to enforce all of the above.
He not only didn’t do any of that, he and his team rammed through the following “big ticket” conservative items like:
*Stripping conservative language from the DHS bill to pave the way for Obama’s unlawful executive amnesty
*Approving $500 Billion in Deficit Spending
*Walked away from Medicare reform
*Ruining the Pain-Capable Abortion Ban, the only pro-life legislation likely to be seen this session.
Much to his amazement, Boehner found he couldn’t spin himself out of how the items above were actually conservative and good for America.
Why? Because the ground underneath him had shifted. He wasn’t just dealing with outside pressure. He was dealing with internal pressure thanks to the House Freedom Caucus, a majority of whom were Madison Project candidates over the last few election cycles.
He was, in essence, attempting to govern with out the consent of the governed, i.e. his caucus. And they were ready to toss him.
Now that he is gone, House conservatives need to keep moving forward. Here are our suggestions for the next few weeks.
- Clearly communicate to any GOP Members who are considering running for House leadership: “You cannot allow John Boehner to ram through a transportation bill, renew funding for the Export-Import Bank or fund Planned Parenthood in October or you will not be considered for any leadership slot.”
- Work to elect someone, if not one of their own, who will be amenable to working with them to advance campaign promises. Before they support whomever it is they want to win leadership roles, they must have firm, public commitments from them on a host of issues: that they will stop any nonsense Boehner thinks he will engage in in October (see the above) and that they will drastically reform the House rules, from Steering Committee to chairmanships to the Rules Committee. It’s time to restore a little democracy to the peoples’ chamber.
- Message that if the government slows down, that is all it is. A slow down. Not a shutdown. ALL essential parts of our government will continue to be funded. If Obama and the Democrats want to have a public debate over Planned Parenthood, we should welcome it.
This is opportunity. With Boehner out, House conservatives hold all the cards.
It is imperative that they use them.
Friday, September 25th, 2015 and is filed under Blog
In today’s episode of How To Save Your Country In 5 Minutes, Drew Ryun dives into the intellectual thought that gave rise to the American Republic. Who was John Locke and what work of his heavily influenced our Founding Fathers? To find out, listen to the new podcast below.