Despite What the Liberal Media Says, Not Going to College Doesn’t Make You a Dumb Conservative

The media seems obsessed with discussing how many voters in any given precinct have a college degree, especially if those voters vote Republican. In every article I read, or news story I watch, pundits and politicos champion the chances of Democrats in congressional districts where there are high numbers of college degrees, and write-off as Republican the districts where not as many people walked across the stage to pick-up their bachelors degree diploma. The implication is pretty clear: if you are college educated you are smart, sophisticated, and definitely a Democrat. If you didn’t go to college, in their mind, you’re a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal who doesn’t know any better than to vote Republican. This narrative has been used in-force in the aftermath of the Virginia elections earlier this month, and its horribly unfair.

As a man who grew-up in rural Spartanburg County, South Carolina, this “logic” offends me. I am the first member of my immediate family to go to college, the first to attend graduate school, and I know plenty of people from where I am from who are brilliant without a bachelors degree. My own father never went to college, nor did my mother, yet they have built a thriving business that provides great jobs to a good number of people. I know people from my hometown who run construction companies, manufacturing plants, and sell real estate who have never sat in a traditional college classroom. Many of these folks make more money than most of the college-educated writers at the Washington Post who deride them as dummies.

Liberals love to tout that people with four year college degrees are more likely to vote Democrat, which fills them with a sense of self-pride. This sentiment, however, is misleading for several reasons. First, there are millions of American voters, myself included, who are college educated and are still conservative. Additionally, not having a college degree does not make someone automatically less intelligent; I know plenty of people who went to college who don’t have the good sense to get out of the rain. The only correlation between college degrees and Democrat voters may be that most colleges indoctrinate their students with liberal orthodoxy in a decidedly secular-progressive atmosphere.

I am by no means against higher education; I encourage people to pursue higher education and / or skills training to build a better life for themselves and their families. I do not, however, appreciate the liberal tendency to use educational statistics to berate the intelligence of their political opponents. Further, I believe that the fact that bachelors degree holders are more likely to vote Democrat than Republican should serve as a rallying cry for conservatives to reengage in education policy at every level.

Lincoln was right, the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next. This warning extends to higher education, and the culture of our country hangs in the balance. We need more voters, regardless of whether they went to college or not, to vote for conservative, constitutional principles to secure the future for all Americans.

 

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Sorry Colin Kaepernick, But You’re No Pat Tillman

Colin Kaepernick is back in the headlines this week after GQ named him their “Citizen of the Year” for his sideline protests that have sparked a national debate. The former 49ers QB was GQ’s choice for “Citizen of the Year” because, according to their article announcing the decision, they are “Celebrating the man who became a movement.” Apparently, GQ believes that the best way to be a great American is to disrespect the symbols of our country, and impugn the legacy of those who have given their lives for our freedom. Such a decision by GQ rightly has Americans reeling over the magazine’s definition of good citizenship.

It remains somewhat unclear to me why Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee during the National Anthem while in the NFL. His own statements have, at times, seemed contradictory, ranging from a peaceful protest of “police brutality” to protesting the inherent racism that Kaepernick claims is embedded in the National Anthem itself. If Kaepernick wanted to raise awareness of police tactics and the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve, most Americans, myself included, would welcome the conversation. Clearly, there are issues related to some law enforcement officers and their relationship to the communities that they serve, and those issues ought to be addressed. The need for constructive dialogue does not, however, justify disrespecting the symbols of American freedom and those who have fought to protect them.

When I think about NFL players who deserve the title of “Citizen of the Year,” I can’t help but remember American hero Pat Tillman. Tillman was the first professional football player killed in combat since 1970 during the height of the Vietnam War. Following the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Tillman left the NFL to join the military, where he lost his life during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2003. When I think about heroes, I think less about Colin Kaepernick and more about Pat Tillman.

The First Amendment to our noble Constitution guarantees free speech to each of our citizens, and I respect that right even if I disagree with what is being spoken. Mr. Kaepernick has the right to do what he did with regard to our Flag and Anthem, but the American people have the same right to reject his statements as disrespectful to people like Pat Tillman who have paid the ultimate price for football games to take place in freedom and safety on Sundays. I am 100% on board with discussing how we can improve the relationship between our law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve, but that conversation can be fostered without disrespecting the nation we are trying to improve.

As an American patriot who bows before God and stands for the Flag, I do not agree with GQ’s decision to confer the title of “Citizen of the Year” on Colin Kaepernick.

 

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Since When Did Chuck Todd Give a Dang About the Deficit?

I do not know why I watch Meet The Press; I suppose that I have some latent sense of self-loathing that emerges every Sunday morning when I sit down with a cup of coffee. Chuck Todd is the most liberally biased major news anchor in America, and he makes no attempt to conceal his ideology. The interview, nay interrogation, Todd conducted this morning with Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania should serve as exhibit “A” when it comes to Todd’s liberal bias.

Always in favor of higher taxes and bigger government, recently Chuck Todd has conveniently become concerned with the national debt. Toomey, a former Club for Growth official, has long been a fiscally conservative fighter who has sought to cut spending and right-size government. Chuck Todd sought to blindside the senator from Pennsylvania by attempting to use his own record against him. While playing clips of Toomey’s prior comments in Congress regarding the debt and deficits, Todd went on to ask how he could support a tax reform package that will “blow a hole in the deficit.”

I nearly lose it every time I hear a liberal use the phrase “blow a hole in the deficit.” Since when has a liberal like Chuck Todd worried about the national debt? Guys like him were applauding while President Obama doubled the national debt in eight years on nationalizing healthcare, giving bailouts to labor unions, and “shovel ready” jobs to build bridges to nowhere. Now, when reducing taxes is on the table, the Left has started worrying about the debt? Give me a break.

The reality is that tax cuts stimulate economic growth, which drives-up the GDP. By revving-up the nation’s economic engine, real tax reform actually increases revenue to Washington even while people and businesses keep more of their own money in their pockets. This was well explained as the “Laffer Curve” during the Reagan tax cuts in the ’80s; the lower the tax rate, the stronger the economy, thus revenue to government goes-up even as rates come down. That’s because a smaller percentage of a bigger economic pie is better than a bigger piece of a smaller economic pie.

Republicans need to do more to make their tax proposal friendlier to small businesses and middle class families, but they need to pursue tax cuts and reform nonetheless. America is in desperate need of an economic revival, and the hollow refrains of washed-up liberals like Chuck Todd worrying about the debt shouldn’t slow the momentum for one moment.

 

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Sutherland Springs Victims Are No Less Victims Because They Are Christians

In the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, conservatives and liberals alike condemned the evil acts of Omar Mateen.

After 49 people were killed, and another 53 were wounded, no one cared whether or not they agreed with the lifestyle of those who lost their lives. No conservative that I know of, and certainly not I, tried to downplay the tragedy of such a shockingly evil act simply because the victims were gay or lesbian. The loss of any human life is a tragedy, as all are made in the image of the Almighty.

Yet, the unity shown between conservatives and liberals in the aftermath of Orlando was strangely missing following the Sutherland church shooting on Sunday.

On Sunday morning at 11:30am, 26 year old Devin Kelley walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, and murdered 26 people and wounded dozens more. Instead of solidarity, too many voices on the left have sought to politicize the shooting, and have even mocked the victims in the process. Such lack of civility is unacceptable as a small community of 400 grapples with the realization that a former member of the Air Force, who was court-martialed in 2012 on assault charges, killed more than two dozen of its citizens.

Within hours of the shooting, liberal commentators were blaming the mass murder on GOP support for gun rights, and mocking the faith of the deceased. Liberal actor Wil Wheaton, for example, lashed out at Speaker Paul Ryan saying that “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of sh&#.”

Comedian Chelsea Handler went even further, writing on Twitter that “Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”

Instead of honoring the fallen, and praying comfort for their families, leftists are attacking the faith and ideology of the victims, something liberals would have been rightly outraged over if conservatives had done so after Orlando.

In times like these all Americans, regardless of their faith or party affiliation, need to be merely human. We should seek to comfort and to heal, to mourn and to honor. The time for policy debate and understanding the ideology of the attacker will come, but it is not while the victims’ blood still stains the seats where they worshipped. If human decency cannot trump political expediency at a time like this, then national unity is little more than a pipe dream.

Americans across the political spectrum are good and decent people. We came together after September 11th, the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Charleston Church shooting, the Pulse nightclub nightmare, and the Las Vegas massacre. We must do so again now.

There is something seriously wrong in our society, and I think it is more spiritual than political. We must all now do our part to heal the soul of America, before more Americans lose their lives in an ever-escalating instability brought-on by cultural chaos and moral decay.

 

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GOP Tax Plan Should Slash Individual and Corporate Rates

The Republican tax proposal unveiled this week will create a boom in the American economy. By lowering corporate tax rates and creating a simpler tax code with fewer brackets, the GOP plan will help encourage capital investment and accelerate economic growth. For these reasons alone, the proposal is worthy of support, but I do believe there is room for improvement. While we are cutting corporate and business top marginal rates, we should similarly lower top marginal individual tax rates.

During the Obama Administration, the Bush Tax Cuts were allowed to expire, which pushed the top marginal individual rate up to 39.6%. The rate remains 39.6% today, and the Republican plan does not lower it. Granted, the GOP recommendation is to increase the earnings threshold for filers to qualify for the top marginal rate from $480,000 to $1,000,000, but the second highest rate of 35% still will wallop families earning $260,000 and above, while families earning from $90,000-$250,000 will still pay a federal income tax rate of 25%. While the so-called standard deduction will be doubled from $6,000 to $12,000 for individual filers, and from $12,000 to $24,000 for family filers, the top individual rates are still too high.

While the GOP is cutting the top marginal corporate tax rates by 15%, I believe they should match the 20% top marginal rate to-be-paid by corporations for small businesses like LLCs, S-Corps, and Partnerships, while also cutting individual tax rates. We should pursue a flat income tax bracket between 15%-20% that will lower rates for all families when combined with a $2,000 child tax credit and standard deductions. By lowering individual rates across the board, as well as corporate tax rates, we can usher in an era of unprecedented economic growth in the American economy for all American families.

While the result of lower rates across-the-board will be increased revenue to Washington, Congress must still begin to curtail the size and scope of the federal government. Republicans should not make the same mistakes we made with the Bush Tax Cuts; we cannot simply cut taxes to try and grow our way out of trillion dollar deficits and a staggering national debt. There must be fiscal restraint, coupled with entitlement reform, to slow the growth of government and restore it to constitutional boundaries.

I would vote for the GOP bill as proposed, as it presents the single most sweeping tax reform package since the 1980s, but I would prefer we go further and cut individual tax rates while we cut corporate rates across-the-board. Lower taxes and less government is the recipe for an American economic renaissance, and are the keys to a new American century.

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Maybe the D.C. Circuit Court Should Enforce Its Order with Its Own Army?

President Donald Trump has prominently displayed the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the Oval Office wall, just behind the Resolute Desk, as a reminder of his ascent to the presidency from an outsider status. Jackson, one of the most controversial and colorful characters in American history, was a political outsider and populist when he became president- and he held the media of his time in disdain. For these reasons, Trump has continually drawn comparisons of himself with the nation’s 7th president, which culminated with his visit to Jackson’s home outside Nashville in March of this year. As a conservative, I have mixed feelings about Andrew Jackson; he rightly opposed expansive judicial overreach and supported limiting the power of central banks, which is good, but he also embraced policies toward Native Americans and others that were radical even in his time.

One area of policy with which President Trump needs to agree with Andrew Jackson is pushing-back against the judicial branch when it intrudes into the prerogatives of the executive. Article II of the Constitution makes clear that the “President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” This clause is pretty unambiguous; the President is the Commander-In-Chief of America’s military and, as such, gets to make decisions about military preparedness and readiness. This makes a preliminary injunction issued this week by U.S. Justice Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a judge for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, all the more baffling.

Justice Kollar-Kotelly assumed the powers of Commander-In-Chief for herself when she decided that she had the unilateral authority to skew the constitutionally established lines of authority between the executive and the judiciary. Kollar-Kotelly has issued a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s decision to reverse an Obama-era policy regarding transgender service members in the military. The Judge’s opinion states that “there is absolutely no support for the claim that the ongoing service of transgender people would have any negative effect on the military at all.” Such a statement is wildly subjective, and is more a matter of opinion that established case law. On top of being opinion versus law, it is also an ill-informed opinion given that many current and former military officers support the President’s decision.

Military officers with whom I have spoken believe that the President’s decision with regard to transgender service members ended an exercise in political correctness under the Obama Administration. Congressman Steve Russell (R-OK), a retired Army officer who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said that the President reversed the “implementation of a policy that does not enhance readiness, forces all Americans to spend taxes on unnecessary elective surgeries, and would force many military physicians, leaders, and counselors to violate rights of conscience protected under the 1st Amendment.” I could not agree more with Congressman Russell, a man who has commanded soldiers under fire in a theater of war.

Regardless of a person’s personal beliefs on transgender service members in the U.S. military, all Americans should be worried about judicial tyranny. Unelected judges in black robes believe that they have the right to reverse the decision of voters, as they did with the Obergefell decision in 2015, the people’s elected legislative officials, as they have done on everything from private property rights to the Defense of Marriage Act, and have usurped the powers of the duly elected President of the United States with regard to military policy. Our Great Republic cannot, and must not, be ruled by judicial imposition. If judges continue to govern the country by court order, then it is impossible to remain a nation with a government of, for, and by the people. I hope President Trump and his military officials simply ignore Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s overreach and make decisions regarding military readiness as they are entitled to do under Article II of the Constitution of the United States.

 

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JFK Records Release Exposes Distrust of Government Institutions

The public release of the government’s remaining undisclosed JFK files this week caused quite a controversy across the country. The Kennedy Assassination took place fifty-four years ago next month, yet it remains a perennial topic of conspiracy theory pontification. In recent years, conspiracies surrounding the shooting of JFK have grown even more intense than in the immediate aftermath of the assassination itself. This is a troubling symptom of our culture’s growing distrust of our government and public institutions, which must be overcome if we are going to restore free and responsible government in America.

Americans’ distrust of government is certainly not without reason; we have seen examples in recent days of just how entrenched special interest groups and political hacks are in Washington and government at every level. One has to look no further than this week’s revelation that the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign paid an opposition research group, Fusion GPS, to create a dossier about Trump and Russia. To make matters worse, it now appears that the FBI under James Comey may have helped with the now-infamous “Russia Dossier” that is nothing more than pure political propaganda.

The FBI is apparently not the only federal agency to be politicized in the last several election cycles; the Justice Department settled with several Tea Party groups this week after admitting that the IRS under Barack Obama did, in fact, target them for unfair scrutiny of their non-profit statuses. Americans have always had a healthy wariness of government overreach, and that is a good thing, but this constant barrage of scandals has taken a healthy wariness to an almost complete loss of confidence.

As the JFK records were set to be unsealed this week, people across the political spectrum openly wondered if it would reveal that the CIA helped kill the 35th President, or if Lyndon Johnson paid the assassin. This historical speculation is driven, at least in part, by present political scandals. Even long-held beliefs and ideals are under scrutiny because of the lost trust we have in our elected officials at nearly every level. This must change if we are going to reunite our nation.

For the record, I do believe that JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and was not helped by the CIA. I also believe, however, that the IRS targeted conservative groups and that the Comey FBI helped Hillary Clinton create propaganda last year. Those issues are now beyond conspiracy theory.

If we are going to rebuild trust in our institutions, we must reaffirm character in our country. Politicians of both parties need to be held to higher moral standards, and we need term limits at every level so that an elite political class does not become entrenched in their own interests. By depoliticizing agencies that serve all Americans, regardless of political ideation, we can help restore national unity and confidence in a government of, for, and by the people it is supposed to serve.

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To Rein-In the Fed, President Trump Must Not Reappoint Janet Yellen

America has a massive debt problem, on that most Americans can agree. How it we ended-up here, however, is a matter of interminable debate between our two major political parties. The process of running up a $20 trillion federal deficit may seem complex and complicated, but in reality it is no more complicated than a family running-up enormous balances on their credit cards.

The same spending principles are at play, and many of the same mistakes are made. The federal government, like most households, finances its spending in one of two ways: income coming in (in the form of taxes for government, salaries and wages for households) or through the use of debt (Treasury securities for the government, credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc. for households). The responsible government or household strives to make ends meet, while striving to stay away from the excessive use of debt instruments. Deficits are created when needs arise that outstrip income, and entrenched debt is created when debt is treated like income in perpetuity.

In spite of the similarities in principle of private households and the federal government, there are several major financial differences in their accumulation of debt. The biggest of these differences is the ability of the Federal Reserve to create the money needed to pay-back the government’s debt obligations. Whereas households actually have to earn the cash they need to repay their obligations, government fires-up the printing presses, figuratively speaking. This means that, ultimately, we all pay for fiscal irresponsibility in Washington.

Here is how the debt cycle in D.C. actually works: Congress blows billions of dollars more every year than the federal government takes in through tax revenue, the Treasury Department issues bonds to securitize the debt (the bond is the credit card of the government), then the Treasury sells these bonds to investors to raise the capital needed to pay for profligate spending by the government.
The question then becomes who buys the bonds? Unfortunately, the answer is that the Federal Reserve has bought $ billions through bond-buying programs.

From stimulus packages, to big government bailouts, the Federal Reserve has been one of the largest purchasers of bonds issued by the Treasury. This is a tell-tale sign that investors in this country, as well as abroad, have lost some of their appetite to continue bailing out an out-of-control government in Washington. This ought to serve as a warning sign to Washington.

There have been other governments in modern history that have tried this same sort of socialistic monetary scheme, with predictably disastrous results. Germany’s Weimar Republic gave it a whirl, destroyed their economy, and ended up with Adolf Hitler in the aftermath. The Greeks gave it a go, only to find themselves going down the road to economic oblivion. These are just two examples of what not to do that policymakers in Washington seem unwilling to heed. Hyperinflation is the inherent result of printing money from thin air, and this is a de facto tax on the American people.

If the government prints money to pay its own bills, doesn’t that destroy the value of money already in circulation? The answer is yes, and we call that process monetary debasement inflation. This means that the dollars in each of our pockets are becoming more and more worthless as the printing presses keep printing. This makes everything from corn flakes to clothes more expensive for American consumers, and the value of our savings and retirement accounts is undermined.

The circle of socialism, wherein an over-promising, big spending federal government attempts to cover for its financial mismanagement through the printing of cash, actually has the same effect as a tax hike. That result is less purchasing power for American families, which translates into hampered economic demand and sluggish economic growth. This adversely affects the standard of living of all Americans.

As President Trump considers his choice to chair the Federal Reserve next year, I hope he selects a candidate who wants to limit the power and reach of the central bank. Congress, likewise, needs to expand its oversight of the Fed including, but not limited to, annual audits of the bank’s balance sheet and income statements. If the unaccountable power of the Fed is not reigned-in the prediction of Thomas Jefferson that “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation… their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered” will be fulfilled in our time.

 

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The Southern Poverty Law Center, Not Family Research Council, is a Hate Group

On August 15, 2012, I was on my way into downtown D.C. to record my daily radio program at the Family Research Council (FRC) when I got a call not to come. I was in D.C. for a conference and had been using the studios at FRC to broadcast my show back in SC, until Floyd Lee Corkins II walked-in shot a security guard that morning. Corkins admitted that his design was to kill as many people as possible, and to place Chic-Fil-A sandwiches on their bodies because of the organization’s stance in favor of natural marriage. Corkins was motivated to do so by FRC’s being included on a list of hate organizations released by the uber-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Fast forward to October, 2017, and see that the SPLC has learned nothing from the near mass-murder their antics inspired in 2012. SPLC has renewed their labeling of the FRC as a hate group, because of their pro-life and pro-family stances, and have openly called for their public denunciation. I shudder to think how this renewed dog whistle to radical leftists might inspire the next Corkins to kill pro-family conservatives. The FRC’s annual “Values Voters Summit” took place this weekend in Washington, and President Trump gave the keynote address on Friday evening.

The President’s participation in the event has sent the Left into hysterics. The headline at Newsweek says it all “Donald Trump to Speak at Hate Group’s Annual Event, a First For A President.” To read that headline, one would be forgiven for thinking that the President was planning to speak to a neo-Nazi convention, not a pro-family rally. That the Left now considers social conservatives bigots, and brands supporters of traditional marriage haters, is alarming. Is it any wonder that Democrats are losing up-and-down the ballot in spite of the Republican Party’s internal strife?

The only hate group involved in this blow-up is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which routinely attacks Christians, conservative Jewish organizations, anti-terrorist organizations, and pro-family groups. According to the SPLC’s own tax returns, the organization possesses enormous wealth, has offshore bank accounts in the Cayman Islands, and holds ownership stakes in several foreign corporations. In short, the SPLC is a slush-fund for liberal billionaires who want to trash family values conservatives.

Speaking to the Family Research Council doesn’t constitute a speech to a hate group. Giving a speech to the SPLC may, however, count.

 

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Police are Good, but Not Perfect, and Honest Discussion Should Replace Disrespecting America

American politics have descended into such a dumpster fire of partisan acrimony that we have no remaining semblance of civil discourse in our country. From rising racial tension, which has now extended even to disrespect for the Flag and Anthem at football games, to legislative stagnation in Washington, it seems increasingly like we share a continent but not a country. This needs to change, this must change, if we are going to extend American prosperity into a second century of American Leadership. Many of the debates we are having have merit, but are addressed in the wrong way by all sides.

Take, for example, the ongoing debate regarding the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities that they serve. There should not be two absolute extremes in these debates; it should not be portrayed that the police are either pure evil or perfectly pure. I know from first hand experience that neither is the case, and that is a good place to begin a real discussion. Three years ago tomorrow, on the day after Columbus Day 2014, I was arrested and put behind bars. The charge was child abuse, and the warrant was signed. My ex wife, with whom I had been fighting for 3 years over the custody of our 3 year old son (she left our marriage immediately after giving birth), was my accuser. She needed to leave the state to be with her new husband, and she wanted me out of the parental picture. She found a sympathetic female detective who helped her hurt me, and she trumped-up charges without any evidence. My only apparent crime was desiring to be a dad who is in the mix.

After four nights in the county jail, which resulted in much publicity because I am a public figure, and four months without seeing my own son, all charges against me were dropped without even so much as a preliminary hearing. I won primary custody of my son, and my ex wife was reprimanded for her lies. Through this ordeal, however, I learned more about America’s criminal justice system than I ever wanted to know. Some things were very comforting, many were very disturbing, and I never thought any of it could happen to me.

My general conclusion after my time in the belly of the beast is that, in spite of its flaws, America still has the most just criminal justice system in the world, but that it is still terribly flawed. It is driven too much by money, plea deals, and connections, and this inherently favors wealthier members of our society while simultaneously being more burdensome on less affluent folks. This results, oftentimes, in many people of lower incomes and of color being convicted of criminal offenses that more affluent people may escape. This is different than saying that the system is inherently racist or oppressive; it is neither. Unintentional bias is not the same as intentional, systemic oppression.

As a conservative, it is my desire that we have honest conversations about the police, the criminal justice system, and how to ensure that both treat everyone equitably. For starters, we must remember that the police and prosecutors are agents of the government and, therefore, should be respected but not immune to public scrutiny. We most also reduce the number of offenses that lead to incarceration, lest we trap people in lifestyles of recidivism and repeat offense. Among other things, this means that we should establish drug courts like Governor Rick Perry did down in Texas, to help people convicted of petty drug offenses rehabilitate before throwing them in prison and making truly hardened criminals of them at early ages.

With regard to the police, we should establish programs like my home County of Spartanburg, South Carolina, that build bridges of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Our Clerk of Court, Hope Blackley, established a Criminal Justice Academy to educate young people, particularly at-risk youth, about the criminal justice system, and to help law enforcement officials better understand communities that have an inherent suspicion of the police. We should establish programs to ensure that law enforcement officers wear body cameras in every jurisdiction, and that respect for the police is established in every corner of our country. By mutually seeking to understand all sides, we can build a nation that is more just and generous.

Finally, discussions like I have outlined here ought to replace disrespectful and disruptive riots in cities, on college campuses, and should replace NFL players taking a knee in disrespect of our National Anthem and Flag. We are a good and noble country, and we are always about the business of building a “more perfect union.” That work of building a more perfect union begins with each of us respectfully engaging in civic discourse with respect for one another and the very nation we are seeking to improve.

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