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Conservatism Democrats Republicans Taxes Truth

Conservative, Pro-American Policies Are Winning

Rod Thomson

President Trump’s approval ratings are at their highest level ever, and Republicans have totally erased the 15-point lead in the generic congressional ballot Democrats held just two months ago.

This is telling on a couple of levels, and I hope Republicans are paying attention. Democrats may continue on their merry intersectional way.

First, polls taken on immediate issues are almost always driven by the media coverage. So the tax reform that passed in December was “deeply unpopular” with Americans. All the polls showed it. But what they really showed was how the media was covering the tax package — big tax cuts for the rich and corporations, regular Americans losing deductions — a big giveaway to “others.”

Of course that’s not what it was. That was a total misrepresentation driven by Democrats’ talking points. Americans are now seeing what the tax reform package is actually doing — real news as opposed to you-know-what news — and they are liking what they see. It’s not surprising, as many middle income Americans are taking home a couple thousand dollars more per year — what House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi infamously called crumbs in her ever so out-of-touch way.

Priorities USA, the most influential Democratic super PAC, recently released a memo noting the rise in popularity of the tax law. It urged Democrats to message more consistently against the tax law by taking the big picture class warfare tac of the rich getting more tax money and the irresponsibility of increasing the national debt — a laughably untenable position for people who supported President Obama’s doubling the national debt in just eight years.

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“It’s tougher to win when people are seeing more money,” said Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth, of Kentucky, the ranking minority member on the House Budget Committee. “That’s big money for a lot of people.”

Well, yes. So why are Democrats fighting that? They are literally saying the government should have that money — not working, middle-income Americans. Totally out of touch.

But good for Republicans and Trump.

The second lesson is that conservative issues are winners with the American people. Republicans must stop listening to the mainstream media, and listen to the American people. This is a lesson that apparently requires relearning every few years. The problem is that they are too influenced by the cultural elites. But the national media and celebrity class are as out of touch with Americans as the Democratic leadership.

But despite the overwhelming, negative public onslaught by the media and celebrities, the American people eventually see through the cultural nonsense to the real issue. But this is only beneficial when Republicans actually pursue and implement conservative policies with a pro-American attitude.

And the policies of President Trump and the GOP Congress have been overwhelmingly conservative (with the exception of the two-year spending agreement, in part because of the requirement for 60 votes and in part because of desire for re-election first.)

So Trump has been deeply unpopular in his first year, but of course, given the hysterically negative onslaught of media coverage, that is not too surprising. However, his approval ratings have been rising steadily since the tax reform package and the strengthening economy. In fact, his approvals are now equal or better than President Obama’s at the same time in his presidency at 48 percent approval, according to the most recent Rasmussen tracking poll.

What’s truly shocking is that Trump has received close to 90 percent negative media reporting in his first year and Obama had about 20 percent negative media coverage. Again, the American people eventually see through the smokescreen of old media coverage to the actual policies and their effectiveness. And conservative policies are effective and popular.

And the GOP has caught and maybe passed Democrats in the generic congressional ballot polls. Politico reports:

“Republicans have erased the Democratic advantage on the generic congressional ballot in a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll that, for the first time since April, also shows President Donald Trump’s approval rating equaling the percentage of voters who disapprove of his job performance.

Fully 39 percent of registered voters say they would support the GOP candidate for Congress in their district, while 38 percent would back the Democratic candidate. Nearly a quarter of voters, 23 percent, are undecided.”

What has changed? Certainly not the media reporting.

Largely, it has been the tax reform package, ongoing deregulation helping the broad economy, a breakthrough in the logjam blocking originalist judges, winning the government shutdown issues by not caving in and standing firm on building the wall and ending chain migration. There may also be a side help as more and more revelations show that there isn’t much to the whole Trump-Russia story, but there may be something to the FBI-DNC-Clinton-Russia story.

The bottom line remains the bottom line. If Trump and Republicans will stick to conservative principles, voice them confidently and expose liberal nonsense, they will win.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Conservatism Politics Race relations Truth

VIDEO: Taking down violent Antifa Marxists and the Alt “Right”

The Revolutionary Act’s Rod Thomson clears up the clouds of media confusion over who the alt right is and who Antifa is on the ABC panel. He explains how neither have anything to do with the Right in America.

 

 

 

 

Categories
America Conservatism Race relations Truth

Charlottesville Violence Only The Beginning Unless We End Identity Politics

Rod Thomson

This was all so obviously inevitable, the predictable result of divisive identity politics perpetrated on the American people — the exact opposite of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Unfortunately, it won’t end in Charlottesville. The alt right and white supremacists, the Antifa and BLM groups — none of whom represent the best or even the good in America — will arm up, plan and ramp up the hatred and divisiveness. Because that is what comes from slicing up Americans by every conceivable grievance.

And instead of calling us higher, to the vision of America as a shining city on a hill, too many Washington politicians will do their best to take personal advantage of the situation. And already have. Democrats have been doing that for years by carving Americans along race, ethnicity, gender and income and pitting them against each other to get the votes of the aggrieved. It’s a directly dis-unifying strategy. Trump appealed to the backlash from that and while he is not a white supremacist, there’s no doubt he attracted their support.

Let’s get a couple of points clear. The alt right is not principled conservatism, or at least the racist elements are not. White supremacists are definitely not conservative. The rally in Charlottesville was ugly and unAmerican in its very origins, long before the violence broke out Saturday. Racists’ actions are hateful and should be called out — whether by whites or blacks or browns or whomever.

But there’s the problem, the step back to see a broader context for Saturday. According to many Americans on the left, particularly in academia, blacks actually cannot be racist because they are a minority and were oppressed by whites in the South 50 years ago. It’s true that they were, but the idea that racism can only come from the majority is nonsensical. Are only blacks racist in South Africa where they are the huge majority? Of course not. Hispanics, the left claims, cannot be racist because they’ve been oppressed by whites all the way back to the initial European settlers — which is not really historically accurate, but it still works to divide. Only whites can be racist by this theory. Yes, that is precisely what the thought-leaders on the left preach and teach, and it works to be wonderfully divisive.

So this did not happen in a vacuum on Saturday. Let’s also be clear on plain human nature. A nation cannot tell an entire class of its people — in this iteration, white males — that they are the source of the country’s evils and have no legitimate opinion on entire swaths of issues. From college campuses to social media, white males are told to check their privilege, sit down and shut up. Literally. That is as unAmerican as the Charlottesville marchers.

If blacks are not supposed to listen to whites because they are white, and Hispanics are not supposed to listen to whites because they are whites, and women aren’t supposed to listen to white men because they are men (I know, it’s not consistent but it is part of intersectional politics, see below) then how does this possibly end well?

To put a fine point on the obvious, it doesn’t.

To think there would not be a backlash by some in the target group was naive at best. Purposeful at worst. To think that when violence was being perpetrated by Black Lives Matter and Antifa, that violence would not be perpetrated by white supremacists, was naive at best. Purposeful at worst.

Why purposeful at worst? Because there is a long line of philosophy on the far left that in order to overthrow the strong national order in the United States, American society must be foundationally destabilized.

 

Saul Alinsky’s real life radicals

Saul Alinsky was a fairly vile, anti-American radical leftist revolutionary who was deeply influential on the lives of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. This is really important.

In 1971, Alinsky wrote the seminal work for bringing down a stable, democratic America in “Rules for Radicals.” That Alinsky dedicated the book to Satan tells you a lot:

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”

Alinsky wrote that ethics, integrity and morals should be shunted aside for the purpose of the revolution. He believed that the long-term strategy of pitting segments of society against each other would undermine the nation and lead to the opportunity for, shall we say, “fundamentally changing” the country — in President Obama’s words.

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 1972, Alinsky said: “All life is warfare, and it’s the continuing fight against the status quo that revitalizes society, stimulates new values and gives man renewed hope of eventual progress. The struggle itself is the victory.”

Continuing fight. The struggle itself is victory.

Why is Alinsky so important? For one, he is still a favorite on college campuses. But more importantly, he is a favorite among leading Democrats today. Barack Obama worked directly with Alinsky organizations and taught seminars on his tactics as a community organizer — one of the methods Alinsky promoted in his book. Organize various groups to fight those in authority.

Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College on Alinsky, personally interviewing him for her paper. Alinsky was so impressed by her that he offered her a job, but she chose a different opportunity.

Alinsky specifically urged the division of society into many parts so one part takes from the other part to create “change” — and remember, change is both the method and the goal. That’s precisely what Obama did as President and the general platform of not just Hillary Clinton, but the Democratic Party. I know this sounds partisan, but it is a principled part of today’s progressives and their party. Fundamental change by pitting segments of Americans against other segments of Americans — not principles of liberty or rights, just division and strife.

 

Obama and Black Lives Matter

Moe reality is that American blacks had a rough go of it for the first three-quarters of America’s history. From slavery to Jim Crow, American blacks have had extra hurdles in pursuit of the American dream, and it is a stain on the country that it was so. That they also suffered under a level of police brutality, primarily in Southern states, is also a fact of history. That there could be lingering resentment over this is understandable, if not laudable.

And racism remains…among all people groups because the reality is that it is a dark element in human nature. It is immune to skin color.

However, we were moving in a positive direction in the 1950s and 1960s. Institutional and societal racism were declining in the United States and the Civil Rights successes in the 1960s were high points in leaping forward. Race continued to play a smaller role in the 1970s, but there was also a rising tide of race grievance where people who claimed to be civil rights leaders in the mold of Martin Luther King, were actually closer to race hucksters acting to greatly enriched themselves while pretending to be about civil rights.

By the 1980s, blacks had become a permanent, uniform voting bloc for Democrats — ironically, given that a larger percentage of Republicans supported the civil rights laws than did Democrats. And the Democratic Party was seeing the electoral benefits of dividing and pitting American against American, a la Alinsky.

Fast forward to 2008. As the first black president, Barack Obama had the unique opportunity to bring racial healing in another great leap forward, and many whites hoped he would do that. Many voted for him specifically in hopes of finally moving beyond race and truly embracing King’s dream.

But remember, Obama was an Alinsky-ite. That philosophy never called for healing, but for a continuing fight against authority — even though Obama was the nation’s ultimate authority as President.

A fair reading of President Obama’s eight years in office is that he made race relations much worse, typically by leaping to conclusions without the facts and actively alienating virtually all police and many white Americans — including some of those who voted for him.

From the Beer Summit to Trayvon Martin to Ferguson to Baltimore, in every instance of conflict between blacks and police or blacks and whites, Obama took the opportunity to deepen black resentment of whites, institutions and cops. Society was stacked against them. It was a poisonous response.

One result was the creation of Black Lives Matter, whose entire mission seems to be to create unrest and dissatisfaction through selective protests — but to do actually nothing in terms of saving black lives. BLM’s actions oppose the principles Martin Luther King espoused, but they are in lockstep with the ones Saul Alinsky espoused.

Of course, there have been bad shootings of blacks by police, and some cops have been arrested and convicted for them.

But Alinsky’s rules do not call for letting laws and the justice system work. They call for destabilization through division and violence to undermine the order of the nation, and BLM is a player in that.

 

College campus cults and intersectionality

American universities have become a hotbed for identity politics which are enforced through special treatment and speech codes — none of which seem in any way to be Constitutional.

College campuses have “safe spaces” that act as anti-free-speech zones. You cannot say anything that might offend another — and that depends on the other’s definition of what is offensive. Tricky. Other campuses have flipped it to free-speech zones, allowing the First Amendment only in a small, cordoned area that students can avoid. Echoing Orwell’s 1984, Speech codes are common.

And it is on college campuses where all of the Alinsky-ite divisions have been categorized and prioritized into a hierarchy of who bears the greatest grievance. It’s called “intersectionality.”

This is the study of intersections between groups representing different forms of oppression and discrimination. It is used to bind together various aggrieved groups into a political weapon. So feminists and gays and blacks may band together to protest an issue where say, transgenders were not getting fair treatment. This makes them more powerful and is precisely what Alinsky instructed in getting minority groups to create a majority influence and overturn the power structure.

But does a white feminist from the suburbs have the same aggrieved status as a poor black transgendered woman? No!

So intersectionality sets up a pyramid of the aggrieved with women, Hispanics, blacks, gays, transgendered, handicapped, fat, short and everything else. White males are not among those on the pyramid because someone has to be the oppressor. If a person is contained in two or more of these categories, their aggrieved status increases. White females are at the bottom, unless they are transgendered then they rise.

The queen of the pyramid might be a short black transgender female in a wheelchair. Unassailable, according to intersectionality.

It’s tribalism at its most pernicious. It serves to divide and weaken the nation’s foundations because none of it has anything to do with the U.S. Constitution or universal truths for all mankind.

 

And so…Charlottesville

For years I and others have been warning that this ugly divide-and-conquer identity politics was going to inevitably lead to some dark places in American culture. And so it did on Saturday, as it was building to from Ferguson.

By now most everyone has heard that a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. turned violent and deadly on Saturday. It was spawned out of attempts by leaders in Charlottesville to take down a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The demonstration of a weird amalgamation of alt-righters, Confederate sympathizers, white supremacists, KKK-ers and veterans seemed relatively peaceful, if distasteful. The white nationalist flags were ugly. But Black Lives Matters and Antifa showed up in force and both sides had helmets and primitive weapons. Eventually things got violent, which seems like was ultimately the point, perhaps for both sides.

(Ironically, the black-clad Antifa stands for anti-fascist while the group uses fascistic tactics across the country. They are a slice aligned with left, but not always owned by the left.)

Things got really ugly and tragic when a car was driven into the crowded street, apparently aimed at the Antifa and BLM group, with horrific results.

But forgive me if this entire picture does not look a bit like what Alinsky was teaching in Rules for Radicals, a handbook of the activist Left and leaders in the Democratic Party.

 

The only solution is Martin Luther King’s dream

Martin Luther King was truly one of the great men of his era and a prophet of what is needed to heal this country. His loss was incalculable and I fear we continue to reap the results of it.

In his famous and powerful “I have a dream” speech in 1963 in Washington, D.C., King said, in part:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

“And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

“Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

That is the only American society that can endure. We must choose: The principles of Martin Luther King or the principles of Saul Alinsky.

Rod Thomson is a former journalist, author and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Conservatism Politics Truth

The Establishment Hugh Hewitt Mindset Destroys Conservatism

Rod Thomson

I listen to Hugh Hewitt every day, and was a guest on his nationally syndicated radio program a few years ago. He’s smart, well-informed and one of the best interviewers I’ve ever heard — and I’ve conducted literally thousands of interviews over the course of 25 years in journalism. And maybe his greatest feat is managing to be a football optimist despite being a Cleveland Browns fan.

But Hugh Hewitt and the establishment mindset he brings represents exactly what is wrong in Washington, D.C. today.

He is totally missing what is happening in the country, and just as importantly needs to happen in Washington, because, I think, he is too close. He is the establishment in mindset in that, of course, politicians do whatever needs to be done to get a win in the “W” column and look toward the next election.

Along the way of following this path, the Republican Party has indeed won the levers of control in D.C. — the House, the Senate, the White House and perhaps the Supreme Court — and at the same time gone a long way to losing its soul. Does the Republican Party represent conservative, traditional, Constitutional principles, or does it represent the continuation of Republican politicians’ futures and power in D.C.?

The Hugh Hewitt Mindset lists sharply towards the latter.

 

What is the Hugh Hewitt Mindset?

Essentially this mindset accepts swimming in the moral, ethical and principle-less cesspool that is current-day Washington, rather than living and leading by the morals, ethics and principles that could begin decontaminating the cesspool.

Yes, it is a lofty goal, and only ever partially achievable.

But the Hugh Hewitt Mindset actively works to puncture holes in the decontamination vessels sent to Washington to serve in Congress.

The Hugh Hewitt Mindset excoriates principled conservatives such as Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul who have stood by their beliefs even when taking a beating by the mainstream liberal media, to which Hewitt is dangerously cozy. The Hugh Hewitt Mindset castigates Sen. Ted Cruz for the government shutdown in 2013 and warns of the impending doom it would cause the party — and was proven totally wrong when Republicans swept to massive gains in 2014.

The Hugh Hewitt Mindset tears into the House Freedom Caucus, which tried valiantly to stick to the promises its members made to voters — that is, pour in a modicum of decontaminate —  because in Washington it is totally expected to tell voters one thing and then do something else once elected. The Hugh Hewitt Mindset has no problem with Republicans promising strong conservative principles during campaigns, as long as those principles can be jettisoned to get a W for the Rs.

On the flip side, the Hugh Hewitt Mindset has seemingly no problem with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell running quite conservatively at home in Kentucky (also Rand Paul’s state) when McConnell seeks votes, then governing quite establishment-like in D.C. and tossing aside his conservatism whenever that works better. The Hugh Hewitt Mindset knows this is just the way things are, understands “everybody” does it  — Republicans and Democrats in their respective ways — and accepts that. Gracious comfort is given to McConnell’s duplicity because McConnell can sometimes be effective in the cesspool. But in the end, he only adds contamination to the sludge in the system.

 

How the Mindset works

Hewitt writes a regular column for the Washington Post — and now has a show on MSNBC — because the Mindset makes him solidly establishment and so broadly acceptable in establishment circles in the media.

Indeed, Hewitt has an unwarranted love affair with the mainstream media. I appreciate many of the journalists he has on, but his obeisance to them is unbecoming, unnecessary and telling. He’s a terrific interviewer and asks many of the right questions and followups, but he legitimizes the most bias mainstream journalists (Glenn Thrush jumps to mind) to his audience of listeners on the conservative Salem Radio Network.

In his most recent Washington Post column, the full Hugh Hewitt Mindset was on display.

Hewitt slammed the “Wall Street Journal ideologues” because they think taxpayers in states that levy state income taxes should not get to deduct those from their federal taxes. The Journal writers understand that, fiscally, such deductions result in federal taxpayers living in states without income taxes — mostly red states — subsidizing the others. Why should Texas and Florida taxpayers be subsidizing the massively irresponsible spending in California and Illinois?

The Hugh Hewitt Mindset? “F.A. Hayek doesn’t vote in large numbers. Blue-state voters with Republican congressmen do.” Snarky, D.C. arrogant, and totally missing the principles of the “ideologues.” Another word for ideology might be principles. Instead, need a W for the Rs.

He writes: “The GOP lacks policy victories, thanks to imprudent Freedom Caucus members and scared moderates.” See? The Freedom Caucus with its foundational conservative principles would not throw them all away and go back on promises to voters regarding repealing Obamacare. They’re the problem. What are scared moderates? Those are incumbents who, if they have principles are far removed from the Founders’, and who would be frightened of losing re-election if they voted for the repeal and replace bill. He understands them.

The Hugh Hewitt Mindset prescription? “Odds of success increase if the parties go big at the start by removing the sequester’s limits on defense spending and adding immigration reform to the deal: appropriations for President Trump’s wall paired with legalization of the law-abiding, undocumented population but no path to citizenship. A truly ambitious “go big” option could also include a settlement of the judicial confirmation wars, because the more moving parts, the better the chances of success. McConnell, Ryan and Democratic leaders Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) could get together with a half-dozen of the smartest members from both parties to work on an expedited basis and go big.”

So basically, get a few really smart people in a backroom, wheel and deal out of the prying eyes of voters and the rest of Congress, make sure lots of people willing to trade their votes for bridges to nowhere get what they want, and then roll out some mammoth piece of porkified legislation covering a thousand political miles. Great idea. Always goes well. And in the end, we would have moved leftward even as Republicans controlled everything. Not an unusual outcome in the mindset.

G.K. Chesterton understood this problem when he wrote in, What’s Wrong with the World: “Compromise used to mean that half a loaf was better than no bread. Among modern statesmen it really seems to mean that half a loaf is better than a whole loaf.”

So if, say, members of the Freedom Caucus were to vote no on such a leviathan bill because they, on principle, oppose legalizing 12 million people who came here illegally — and they promised their voters they would not — the Hugh Hewitt Mindset gives them a sharp smack upside the head and blames them for not being prudent team players and dumping their promises and beliefs. They’re the problem!

 

The Mindset vs. principles

This is why Republicans are having such a devastatingly difficult time getting anything done, despite having all the power. They are a party divided between the dominating Hugh Hewitt Mindset and a minority holding to foundational principles.

The Democratic Party mostly wants to do stuff to help people — or buy votes, depending on your level of cynicism. But it has very few actual principles, and none that fall within the tradition of the Founders. It’s why Democrats joyfully celebrated a leader who wanted to “fundamentally transform” America. He was the first black President — fine, but not a principle. And he despised the Constitution as a “charter of negative liberties.” That fairly represents a lot of that Party — but not most Americans by a long shot.

But this absence of founding principles puts the Democratic Party on much more comfortable ground in D.C.

The Republican Party remains the repository of long-standing, bedrock American principles such as individual rights, freedom of religion and speech, limited government and capitalism. That formula of understanding that built this nation into the greatest in history is nested within the Republican Party, but rarely acted on.

But when Republicans stand up for those principles, and in doing so endanger some piece of legislation that the establishment leadership desires, they are pilloried by the Hugh Hewitt Mindset. Compromise is a necessity in legislating, but that does not mean burying principles. If this mindset pushes more politicians into compromising principles and campaign promises, or into elevating those who are ever more willing to, then the Republican Party will lose its soul. And if the Republican Party does, where are the foundational American principles to live? Do they ultimately vanish?

19th century theologian and philosopher Tryon Edwards wrote: “Compromise is but the sacrifice of one right or good in the hope of retaining another — too often ending in the loss of both.”

This is the path of the Hugh Hewitt Mindset.

Yes, I’m using Hewitt as a proxy to represent establishment thinking in D.C. and everywhere else it is to be found.

In Washington, there are no “self-evident truths.” There is winning. There is power and influence. There is re-election. And there is access to power and influence. The Hugh Hewitt Mindset abets the continuation of this sludgy, bad-for-America mindset, which means the continuation of the decline of America.

Rod Thomson is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Conservatism Truth Violence

A Conservative Response to the Scalise Shooting

By Rod Thomson

One of the bulwarks of conservatism is personal responsibility, and it is not to be set aside for political convenience. So let’s place the blame for today’s shooting squarely where it belongs: on the man who pulled the trigger 50 times.

A liberal Democrat from Illinois who volunteered for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders and was a super fan of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, opened fire on Republican Congressmen who were practicing for the annual charity baseball game between Republicans and Democrats. The man apparently asked to make sure it was Republicans on the field, then pulled the triggered about 50 times on a long rifle before Capitol Police killed him. The shooter wounded House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and injured four others. Scalise is in critical condition.

Too much talk radio was quick to blame the “toxic political environment” created by the extreme and irrational liberal response to the Trump presidential election — despite talk radio wrongly being the butt of blame in previous violent events.

Yes, we have a toxic political environment right now. It’s not the worst ever in our nation, but really bad.

Yes, people like Kathy Griffin holding President Trump’s bloody head feeds the toxicity. Actions like Shakespeare in the Park assassinating Trump; politicians like Democrat Vice President candidate Tim Kaine tweeting about “fighting them in the streets;” Maxine Waters’ general insufferable extremism; groups like Antifa with overt violence against Trump supporters; and the general state of overheated, too often dishonest journalism all feed the toxicity. But truthfully, so do some of Trump’s tweets and some talk show hosts who support Trump, like the loathsome Alex Jones. I hope some of these folks will re-think their level of vitriol.

But as is the case in every situation such as this — from the massacres at Columbine and Sandy Hook, to the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, even to Kathy Griffin’s repulsive act — personal responsibility takes center stage. The “culture” or “environment” is not to blame for an individual’s actions. That’s a cheap escape card. Griffin tried to blame Trump. No. Griffin did it, and that’s on her.

Every man and woman stands on their own decisions. We make thousands and thousands of personal decisions in our lives and accept the consequences. Some children grow up in inner city poverty to a struggling single mom and rise to become brain surgeons and presidential candidates. Dr. Ben Carson. Some come out of the exact same situation and wind up in prison for life. Because it was not their environment, it was their personal choices.

I remember well when Democrat Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords was shot in 2011 in Tuscon, Arizona, and the immediate blame went to the “environment of hate” supposedly caused by conservative talk radio and Sarah Palin’s map targeting congressional districts with crosshairs. But of course, it turned out that the shooter was a drug abusing whackjob who had a personal fixation on Giffords. He also made personal choices.

Neither is it right to clump this evil man with “leftists” in general, as I heard too much today. I know many liberals and Democrats who I constantly disagree with and occasionally get irritated with (both parts mutual) — whose ideas are noxious to me and I believe to the nation — but they should not be tainted for the murderous actions of this man. Conservative ideas can defeat liberal ideas every time. That is where the battle is joined.

So while Bernie Sanders and other heroes of today’s shooter certainly add political toxicity — and each should reflect on their responsibility for doing so —they are not responsible for a shooters actions. Neither is the gun he used, which was immediately jumped on by the left.

The shooter alone is responsible. And he has apparently received his just reward.

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