What We Owe To Our Country

 As citizens, we owe the United States a renewed commitment to unity as proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence.

“… we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Okay, I’ll admit that pledge is too big a leap in today’s America!

But are we neglecting the sentiments behind the Declaration? Taking this republic for granted? And choosing to not honor each other? Without an obligation to preserving the idea of being one nation, our republic is definitely facing impending death.

Borrowed from A Republic Production motion picture company (1935-1967)

“… with a population once devoted to national service and personal honor, [the republic] was torn to shreds by growing wealth inequality, partisan gridlock, political violence and pandering politicians … the people … chose to let their democracy die by not protecting their political institutions…” — Historian Edward Watts, on the last century of the Roman Republic

Our nation is suffering from our neglect of it — and each other.

Our Chronic Ills Exposed

In the spring of 2020, the country faltered under a viral infection we knew little about. Many people recognized the preexisting conditions contributing to our inability to respond as a functioning commonwealth. Although we heard — “we are all in this together” —  we weren’t. Thus, already diseased, our dysfunctional nation couldn’t mount a unified defense against a virus.

“Chronic ills—a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public—had gone untreated for years. [So when this novel virus entered the country], the world’s richest power—[became] a beggar nation in utter chaos.”

Now — if we are willing to restore the health of American democracy — we owe it to our country to not simply treat some symptoms but to understand and cure the heart of the disease process itself.

Diagnosed as Political and Social Division

We know what unity feels like; in recent times, we’ve felt it. It was not created by us, but instead resulted from a wound inflicted by foreign terrorists. In that moment, we all shared a sense of shock and sorrow.

“… on September 11, 2001 … Our civic reflex was to mourn and mobilize together.”

Looking back, our sense of unity was short-lived. But it was long enough for political and greed-driven opportunists to take advantage of the crisis. While we were distracted, they used our lawmakers to further their agendas.

Then in 2008, created by lending instruments of financial destruction, and laws designed to allow these practices, the Great Recession hit. But while many low-wage and middle-class people experienced first-time homelessness, Wall Street gamblers cashed-in and walked away. We — the government paid for by the honest — bailed out those “too big to fail” while still digging out of the financial pit they left us in. We were not ALL in that together!

“Partisan politics and terrible policies …  erased the sense of national unity …”

“Inequality—the fundamental, relentless force in American life since the late 1970s—grew worse.”

“The long recovery over the past decade enriched corporations and investors, lulled professionals, and left the working class further behind. The lasting effect of the slump was to increase polarization and to discredit authority, especially government’s.” We Are Living in a Failed State by George Packer, June 2020

In a Vulnerable State

As a federal republic established upon the Rule of Law and a strong central government, it’s our job to ensure laws serve to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” But instead, there is a corrupted ruling-class legally lording over the working-class. That means as much as we all want to believe “all politics is local”, we owe our government a firm resolve to address the sickness that has permeated what Madison saw as the primary position of authority — our Congress.

“… exercise of the different powers of government … [is] … essential to the preservation of liberty … In republican government the legislative authority, necessarily, predominates.” — The Federalist Papers, No. 51, James Madison

If the authority of the legislative branch is to prevail over the governing of our republic, why do we continue to turn a blind eye to what ails it?

What We Couldn’t See Mutated Into Something Else

Based on current global political unrest and research on dead republics, scholars believe when representative governing no long serves ordinary people, populist movements arise. But believing in populism — as acting on behalf of the common people — and actually governing with the people’s needs in mind are two different things. The allure of the concept too often results in violent destruction of a republican form of government with replacement by an authoritarian one.

“Populism is ‘a very complex phenomenon,’ said noted MIT political scientist Richard Samuels …”

“Moreover, Samuels said, the promises of populists during campaigns do not always match the reasons they seek power, making it all the more important to look under the surface of the movement.” 9/16/2019 MIT News, scholars wrestle with the dynamics of a global political trend

We Didn’t See It Coming AND Don’t Understand It !?!

While experts grapple with explaining how populism sounds good but often is disastrous for people and governments, I’m going to take my best shot at explaining how I see things right now.

The rise of populism in the U.S. has all the characteristics of a destructive mass movement.

Emotionally-driven — by frustration, discontent, fear and hatred — yet cultivating within its members — a sense of belonging and power, faith in the future, an “around-the-corner” brand of hope, a willingness to die for the cause —  and is directing hatred towards what the leaders define as “evil.”

For example, look at how Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA talks —about “liberals”, the “Democrat Party” and his movement— on stage at CPAC 2019.

[They,] “do not have good intentions” — “do not mean well” — [in higher education, they teach there is] “no such thing as right and wrong” [AND] “when we as a movement fight, we win.”

Finally Seeing the Danger

Another warning sign of impending disaster is the level of “preliminary work” done to set the stage for this movement. But don’t think for a minute this is a grassroots effort. The preliminary work was done exactly as outlined by Eric Hoffer in “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements” (1951) except this movement is sponsored by an elite ruling-class of millionaires and global billionaires—the same ones infecting the heart of our government.

We have to do more than “look under the surface.” But our actions must be guided by the Founding Fathers’ political principles and the institutional goals as designed to protection this republic. We owe it to the republic to avoid falling for authoritarian or totalitarian rule.

But The Disease Will Continue Spreading, For Now

Frustrated by politics, citizens will consume snake-oil if they think it will give them a voice in governing. But what many fail to see is how their emotions leave them susceptible to propaganda. Therefore, what Hoffer called “men of words” are who we need to put under a microscope.

Propagandists targeted — continue targeting — our leadership, institutions, and ethical journalism.

“Mass movements do not usually rise until the prevailing order has been discredited.”

“The discrediting is … [done by] … the deliberate work of men of words … the man of words undermines the established institutions, discredits those in power, weakens prevailing beliefs and loyalties, and sets the stage for the rise of a mass movement.” (p130-131)

Every citizen needs reliable, relevant, unbiased, easy to access information. We owe it to our “Posterity” to renew and strengthen the institutions capable of serving in that endeavor.

Stop the Bleeding While We Administer A Cure

Immediately, we need to demand better information from our institutions, cleaner legislation, and laws ensuring balanced, ethical news sources. Our government owes us that. In turn, we need to become better consumers of news and help others do the same.

Six questions that will tell you what media to trust By Tom Rosenstiel October 22, 2013 (Summary of Six questions that will tell you what media to trust)

And no matter what happens tomorrow, we must protect our educators, librarians, journalists and other writers.

 “It is the writer’s duty, Madeleine L’Engle argues, to continue reclaiming complex ideas from the grip of simplistic taboo…”

“The first people a dictator puts in jail after a coup are the writers, the teachers, the librarians — because these people are dangerous. They have enough vocabulary to recognize injustice and to speak out loudly about it.” From Dare to Disturb the Universe (The Marginalian)

Do We Have A Cure?

Our political and social disorder syndrome manifested itself with these symptoms.

“… a corrupt political class, a sclerotic bureaucracy, a heartless economy, a divided and distracted public.”

But, can we attribute all the symptoms to a single disease process? Well, in this nation of laws, the legislative branch is the heart of the republic. So consider this:

“There’s always been corruption in Washington, and everywhere that power can be found, but it became institutionalized starting in the late 1970s and early ’80s, with the rise of the lobbying industry.”

Source: The [Former] President Is Winning His War on American Institutions  April 2020

We owe it to the country to understand the reasoning behind the design of the American “federal republic”. Understanding the principles and institutions this republic depends upon for survival Is crucial. Otherwise, she dies.

“It is profoundly dangerous when a politician takes a step to undercut or ignore a political norm, it’s extremely dangerous whenever anyone introduces violent rhetoric or actual violence into a republican system that’s designed to promote compromise and consensus building.”

“The solution to keeping a republic healthy, if Rome can truly be a guide, is for the citizens to reject any attempts to alter these norms … [Edward Watts] …” SmithsonianMag

We have to demand a return of function to the heart of the republic.

We owe it to the nation — our United States of America — to make the effort to save her.

Her dome has been maintained and restored. The proper functioning to the institution upon which she stands has not.

Attacks on Educators

Historically, attacks on educators were confined to attacks on “liberal” professors. Not any more!

Photo Credit: Posted by Gen Z Conservative 

“As Trump clearly signals an escalated attack on teachers, remember that these right wing groups from Turning Point USA to Campus Watch are not only targeting professors but high school teachers. He has blown his dog whistles, so watch out for the vicious dogs now.” (First Posted by Hyung Nam on Facebook 10/31/18. Updated:7/5/2020 )

Attacks on educators— and the whole public education system —will continue. Raging since the 80’s, this modern-day battle for control of education will not simply end with the election of a new president. Any single president is not integral to success of the plan. The plan requires organized control of the rules of governing.

Enter: Turning Point USA Coupled with Leadership Institute

Founded in 2012, Turning Point USA (TPUSA) is led by Charlie Kirk, an affluent young man that sees no need to continue his own formal education. Partnering with the Leadership Institute, the multi-million dollar TPUSA offers activism grants for conservative students around the country.

“Tax filings show the organization is funded by many of the same groups that support the Leadership Institute ... “

“Turning Point USA trains students in the art of viral filmmaking. The goal is to document campus ‘snowflakes’ ­– a derogatory term for young liberals viewed as easily offended – whenever they’re caught pushing leftist agendas. Conservative superstars such as commentator Ben Shapiro and Campus Reform Media Director Cabot Phillips speak at the group’s conventions and encourage college kids to always be prepared to film. They even offer to help student-made videos go viral by reposting them on their websites.”

The Professor Watchlist is another product of Turning Point USA. The blacklist of professors, many sourced from Campus Reform articles, seeks to ‘expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.’ Would-be saboteurs are encouraged to submit tips to the watchlist along with photo or video evidence of the offending professor.”

And the Leadership Institute?

Founded in 1979, Leadership Institute claims non-partisan 501(c)(3) status but clearly “identifies, recruits, trains and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.” That is their mission.

“The Leadership Institute’s tax filings show net assets of more than $25 million in 2016, just over $1 million of which was funneled into Campus Reform. Roughly two-thirds of the institute’s income comes from philanthropist groups such as the Charles Koch Foundation, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation and DonorsTrust and Republican super-donors such as Richard Uihlein.”

“According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, publications such as Campus Reform and The College Fix pay student reporters about $50 per article. Many of the stories are sourced from the Leadership Institute’s network of close to 1,600 conservative student groups across the country.”

“A liberal influence guide on the Campus Reform website, titled, ‘The Evil Empire on Campus,’ lists college groups supported by ‘major, national leftist organizations’ as one of the many examples of liberal indoctrination at universities.”

 

Orchestrated Attacks on Educators and the Results

“When a teacher is featured on Fox News, Breitbart, Campus Watch or The Red Elephants, the harassment follows in short order, making high-profile cases easy to count. But a recent report by Abby Ferber, a sociology professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, suggests that many professors experience targeted online harassment even when stories or videos about them don’t go viral. Those teachers still suffer racial epithets, misogynist comments and death threats out of the public eye.” (Hyung Nam)

These attacks on educators aren’t making headlines across the country. Yet, “according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, editors at Campus Reform’s headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, keep careful track of their ‘victories’ — instances in which a report published on their website results in a change in university policy or the sacking of a professor” (Hyung Nam). Consequently, harassment by politically-motivated, well-financed NON-PROFITS are changing education policies and curriculum. DAMN!?!?!!

Will We Allow This To Continue?

Not everyone put on the “Watch List” had the same experience. Here’s how Heather Cox Richardson described what happened to her four years ago.

“I will never forget standing in my dark kitchen in my pajamas, at the counter, reading my laptop in shock as I found out that some young grifter named Charlie Kirk had found my name online and put it onto his new website as a danger to students (send money to resist left-wing professors like Richardson!). As I stood there, watching in horror, messages came in from all over the country telling me people had my back. And then I wrote a post to reassure my friends that I was used to this sort of harassment and it would be okay, and then that post went viral, and I came off the list within days.”

Professor Richardson’s story ended well. But we can’t count on that being the case for others going forward. There is no certainty that things will go well for the nation’s education system.

Professor Richardson views the “Conservative” warfare waged against “Liberal” educators as follows.

“That the only way Movement Conservatives have managed to stay in power is to game the system through gerrymandering and voter suppression, hatred, and now the intimidation of people like me says to me that even they know they are in danger of losing control of the country. As a friend of mine says, a dying mule kicks the hardest.”

But it feels like we are far from the end of the attacks on educators.

A good first-line of defense includes:

  • being aware of the organizations sponsoring the destruction of public education,
  • being able to hear the dog whistles, and
  • knowing how fervently the ruling class wants control of the whole public education system.

Stopping the overthrow of our government institutions requires we do more.

Image by Xeno Phrenia

“People have asked what they can do in this moment. Across the political spectrum, I would urge everyone who believes in this nation to focus on the mechanics of government … call out official actions that you would find unacceptable … call out those who make assertions without factual evidence … call your representatives constantly to register your opinions — it matters … “

“And try to stop demonizing political opponents who fall within the normal political spectrum so we can all stand together against those who are trashing our institutions and our legal system.” Heather Cox Richardson

Turning Point USA: Aiming to Win

Turning Point USA fits the criteria of an astroturf — fake grassroots — organization. But what makes them a real danger are three things: their strategies, target audience, and mode of operations. Even real Republicans have warned about this far-right danger. It behooves us all to take note!

Turning Point USA (TPUSA) began with the discovery of a charismatic young speaker named Charlie Kirk by Tea Party activist William (Bill) Montgomery. Through Montgomery, Kirk became further connected to the influential and well-to-do. Together they launched TPUSA in 2012. Montgomery left TPUSA in April and recently died due to COVID-19.

In Kirk’s telling, he started the group in his parents garage as a teenager in Chicago and grew it to be a powerful political force through sheer grit and hard work.”

Discrepancy? Or deception? Your call.

The Storm Is Here” is a QAnon rallying cry. Another slogan is “Where we go one, we go all” thus the hashtag #WWG1WGA

Growing Fear: Let’s Connect the Dots

First, breathe. Politics is out of control. But knowing the truth about America’s current power struggle is the first step towards gaining back control of our country. It starts with understanding the rise of people like Charlie Kirk and organizations like Turning Point and QAnon (dots in need of connecting). Start by considering what others fear.

“Today’s politics and social tensions are dominated by three fears: fear of other social groups, fear that those other groups are encroaching on one’s territory, and fear that the state no longer has the ability to protect the people.”

Those fears underlie Turning Point’s strategies. But the strategies are not new. They’ve been used historically and have worked well for President Trump — to date.

“Trump’s aim is to incite fear—fear of violence, disorder, change—and to paint himself as the bastion of law and order.”

BUT “things do not have to get worse.

“… there is still time for political leaders—locally and nationally—to calm the storm, douse the flames, and stifle the violent provocateurs across the spectrum…” Is America in the Early Stages of Armed Insurgency?

First, The Charlie Kirk Story

After launching TPUSA, Charlie quickly rose through the Trump ranks.

“By the time the 2016 election rolled around, Turning Point was a well-funded outfit and Kirk had become increasingly influential. He met Donald Trump Jr. at the GOP convention that year and glued himself to the president’s eldest son.” USA TODAY

In 2018 the Washington Examiner dubbed Charlie “Kid Trump.” The title fit! But it wasn’t simply due to Charlie’s efforts. He already had much in common with Donald J. Trump. Charlie shares a similar background — he’s from a “well off family”— and both operate similarly in keeping their dealings under-wraps.

“Earlier this year, leaked records revealed TPUSA efforts to secretly funnel thousands of dollars into multiple college student government elections to elect conservatives.” Who Funds Conservative Campus Group Turning Point USA? Donors Revealed

Kirk’s TPUSA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and as such “may not be an action organization (may not attempt to influence legislation & may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates).” But Charlie Kirk walks a fine line and few will calling him out when he crosses it.

TRUTH: According to the FBI, militants on the radical-right have committed more acts of domestic terrorism. QAnon members included..

Utilizing Kirk’s Charismatic Appeal

TPUSA targets 18-24 year olds (and the larger millennial voting block) with anti-government, anti-leftist propaganda. In the process, Charlie effectively campaigned for Trump in 2016 and has never stopped.

“Don Jr. came in and announced, ‘If it weren’t for Charlie Kirk, my dad would not be president of the United States today.’”

“’If there’s one person this president admires, it’s Charlie Kirk,’ House majority leader Kevin McCarthy tells a roomful of high school students ….”

You see, Charlie is “the hook” at TPUSA meetings, conventions, and social media blitzes. His job is to fire-up the crowds. He is a provocateur.

“Charlie Kirk … has made it his business to ‘own the libs,’…”

“Own the libs” is slang for “triggering the liberals” into reacting. It’s one of Charlie’s favorite games enjoyed by his young audiences.

“He sees himself as a general in the ‘culture war’ and TPUSA’s members as ‘culture warriors’—effective ‘disrupters’ of the left on campus and eventually across America.”

Will TPUSA Turn the Tide for Trump in 2020? And what is the Long-Term Goal?

 

Look at Turning Point USA’s 2018 fourth annual High School Leadership Summit.

“On July 23, hundreds of students gathered  … The four-day event … [was] punctuated by speeches by prominent conservatives, from House whip Steve Scalise and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to rabble-rousers like Sebastian Gorka and Anthony Scaramucci.”

For four days, speaker after speaker, hour after hour, the audience is enraptured by such political entertainment and by the performative politics they’ve come to D.C. to join in.”

“The nation’s villains are obvious at TPUSA: liberals and the media …”

This “us-versus-them” discourse is nothing new in politics. But Kirk’s provocative style of using disinformation targeted at young people must be recognized for the danger it is creating. Therefore, prepare yourself to believe the unbelievable.

“… asking him [Charlie Kirk] about the further growth of TPUSA and whether he’d be interested in bringing the organization abroad. ‘I wouldn’t rule it out,’ he says. ‘It’s something we’re considering. We have groups in Canada.’ Is it something you could see in Europe? ‘Oh, without a doubt. I would love to take this global. Yes.’” (2018 Kid Trump)

Not So Fast Say Traditional Republicans

Some Republicans are questioning Charlie Kirk and his tactics. Look at what Jordan Lancaster, a contributor to “Red Alert Politics,” had to say in 2019 about TPUSA’s growing influence among high school and college students.

“Turning Point’s entire existence is deceptive.”

“Turning Point claims to exist for the mission of ‘promoting the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government.’ In reality, it’s an organization that pulls kids too young to know any better into a group that’s deeply troubled and dishonest at its core.”

“To make matters worse, TPUSA has a troubling track record with racism.”

“Young conservatives should avoid Turning Point USA at all costs.”

Going Global?

That idea did not go on a back-burner.

“Kirk … is  … a smooth-talking, telegenic salesperson pitching Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ agenda to a young audience. Now he has radical ambitions to import its confrontational brand of activism to the UK.”

“But already some of the Tory activists Kirk recruited to launch Turning Point in the UK are having second thoughts about its war on ‘cultural marxism’ … ” Days After Its Disastrous British Launch

This is THE strategy. Find a cause, twist a few facts in with lies, ignite emotions, and later aim the enthusiasm at the real goal. But people are catching on. The question is, will enough catch on in time?

Back in the U.S.A.: Followers & Influence Grow

2015: “ …  Turning Point has a presence … on more than 800 high school and college campuses.”

“GOP donors, strategists, and even presidential candidates are awed by his [Kirk’s] composure, his intellect, his passion for politics …”

2019: “… Turning Point has become the largest student movement in the USA, with 150 staff, a budget of $15 million, and a presence in no fewer than 1400 educational institutions.”

2020: “… $10 [ or $15?] million budget comes mostly from conservative billionaires and the oil and gas industry … funding … student training … including leadership conferences at the White House, attended by President Trump himself. Most of the money comes from very rich conservative donors … including … the in-laws of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

So, where does QAnon fit into the Kirk & Trump Show?

Well, for starters, both Kirk and Trump have promoted QAnon posts on Twitter. But much of the public is still unfamiliar with Q, QAnon, and Twitter. So again I remind readers, you might find this story unbelievable.

Is there “a simple explanation“? ……  But, is it acceptable behavior for a U.S. president?

In short, the anonymous “Q” first posted comments on what was called 8chan. Less than a month after Q’s first post, Trump tweeted the “QAnon-promoting Twitter account MAGAPILL” (2017).

Innocent enough? No, it isn’t ! It’s deceptive.

This is the mechanism being used to shape the “culture wars.” This is how the Trump arm of the 2020 Disinformation War is being waged.

“Q” releases a post (sometimes cryptic in nature). Others pick up on it and social media is flooded. Here’s an example.

“On July 7, [2018] Charlie Kirk ….  published a tweet that contained startling but inaccurately sourced statistics about the alleged growth of human trafficking arrests under the Trump administration.”

When Charlie was called out on it his tweet quickly disappeared. But the fake news spread over social media. Really? Is this THAT important? Yes! This disinformation feeds into the QAnon followers beliefs.

This is how it happens — by design. A fake story is released.

 

It spreads like wildfire. The meme making apparatus goes into overdrive. But before fact-checkers can slap a label on the disinformation, it has been consumed with the result being two-fold. First, this story feeds the QAnon conspiracy. Secondly, the fact-checkers become the villains thickening the plot as a main-stream media (MSM) cover-up.

Yeah, there was no trailer.” This was not a sex-trafficking operation.

You see, QAnon supporters believe that a “deep state” of “elites” exists where pedophiles are running a global child sex-trafficking ring. They believe that Donald Trump’s claim to “drain the swamp” was in reference to his working diligently to end the atrocities and stop the conspiracy waged —by evil Democrats— against America.

How Effective is QAnon’s Spread of Disinformation?

EXTREMELY!

“In July, Q believers co-opted the #SaveTheChildren hashtag and organized rallies that lured in a lot of well meaning people with no idea about the conspiracy theory behind it.” America’s Fastest Growing Cult

Remember, “Turning Point’s entire existence is deceptive.”

TPUSA’s influence runs high. Their effort to reach young hearts and minds runs deep. So  with their leadership linked to QAnon, they are more than a threat to national tranquility. Their agenda includes winning seats at every level of government. Therefore, the public must believe that the threat posed by Kirk, Turning Point USA, QAnon, and the Trump family is real and serious.

Voters NEED TO KNOW If Their Candidates Are QAnon Supporters or Adherents

Back in May, Idaho political journalist Randy Stapilus wrote about Q and a 2017 remark where President Trump referred to “the calm before the storm.”

Mr. Stapilus went on to tell Idahoans about the Senate race in Oregon.

“[Jo Rae] Perkins [R], it turns out — this seems not to have been widely known beforehand — is a Q adherent. In announcing her win, she said on a video, ‘Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team.’”

Stapilus called for QAnon candidates to stand up and let us know who they are and what they believe.

BELIEVE THE UNBELIEVABLE

“QAnon’s conspiracy theory is a rebranded version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Compare for yourself. Q’s rebrand is a watered-down version of this.

“A secret cabal is taking over the world. They kidnap children, slaughter, and eat them to gain power from their blood. They control high positions in government, banks, international finance, the news media, and the church. They want to disarm the police. They promote homosexuality and pedophilia. They plan to mongrelize the white race so it will lose its essential power.” From : “the 1902 Nazi newspaper, Der Stürmer —derived from the German word for ‘Storm’.

                            SOURCE: Just Security

The rise of Nazism began as a mass movement. But it did not have social media to use as an accelerant. However, consider this. Hitler understood how crucial it was to win over the youth to his side.

“Turning Point, funded by millions of dollars of dark money seems to have more in common with a culture war approach which embraces partisan gerrymandering and increasing restrictions on voting rights as necessary remedies to combat a liberal scourge.”

“But those things are profoundly undemocratic, as is running stealth student-government campaigns in order to enact an agenda which is hidden during the campaign itself.” SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed

THIS needs to be stopped NOW!

Remember, “things do not have to get worse … there is still time” for local and state actions to calm The Storm.

VOTE AGAINST Q CANDIDATES¦ SAVE AMERICA, STOP FASCISM