The Me First Presidency

If you spent any time in conservative circles the last decade you likely heard the complaint that President Obama was too egotistical. Personally, I think the fact he wrote two autobiographies before he was even elected to the Senate should be proof enough for anyone. But he also demonstrated his self-centeredness on a regular basis. After a significant speech, you could count on finding articles and discussions on Twitter and conservative websites about the number of times Obama used the words “I” or “me” in a speech supposedly about someone or something else.

A speech about the economy became a speech about him. When delivering the news that Seal Team Six had killed Osama bin Laden, he referenced himself more than the Seals and intelligence agents who made the raid possible.

And yet, in the race to be the most egotistical, self-centered president in American history, Trump just left Obama in the dust.

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Death Panels Are Real. Just ask the Parents of Alfie Evans.

When America debated Obamacare in 2009, Republicans raised the specter of what Sarah Palin called “death panels.” This was not a fantasy or an exaggeration designed to take normal policy and make Democrats look bad. It was in the bill.

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Being a Veteran does not confer Special Status in a Democracy

I spent a few months shy of five years in the US Army, during which I twice deployed to Iraq. We as a country have decided that merits special treatment in certain circumstances. Some businesses provide discounts. Every Veterans Day I even get free meals. And my local supermarket has designated parking space for veterans.

But in a democracy, my military service gets me the same one vote as everyone else.

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Starbucks shows there’s no way to escape Social Justice Warriors

Starbucks is a proudly progressive company. 90% of Starbucks’ political donations go to Democrats, according to opensecrets.org. A few years ago, the coffee giant urged its employees to start conversations about race with customers until they realized customers just wanted, you know, coffee. More recently, Starbucks has committed to hiring 10,000 refugees by 2022.

None of that prevented Starbucks from being lambasted as racist and boycotted for a single incident before all the facts were even known.

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U.S. and Allies bomb Syria. Good. What’s next?

Last night, President Trump announced joint air strikes with Britain and France against Syrian dictator Bashar Assad in response to his repeated use of chemical weapons against Syrian rebels and civilians. This is an important step for American national security and the world order we helped establish, but it is only a start. The real test comes next.

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Debate Bad Ideas

Most explicitly political articles I read are conservative, but I frequently like to escape my bubble and read the left as well. Occasionally a liberal makes a valid point that changes my mind about something (it’s rare, but it happens). The best writers on the left at the very least help me refine and improve my conservative beliefs by forcing me to consider them again and again at new angles. Even poorly reasoned garbage from popular liberal organizations helps me understand the other side so I am better equipped to debate them.

Today I read some poorly reasoned garbage from Huffington Post that was informative. In a piece entitled Bad ideas aren’t worth debating, Noah Berlatsky argued conservatives are dumb and evil, therefore they shouldn’t be hired to write by mainstream publications and those smart people on the left shouldn’t bother reading or debating them. Unlike Noah, I understand that even stupid, unAmerican ideas like his are worth understanding and refuting.

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A Never Trumper’s Take on One Year of President Trump

During the 2016 primary and general election, many conservatives, myself included, said they could never vote for Trump. After a tweet from Erick Erickson, these conservatives collectively became known as Never Trumpers. A year into Trump’s unexpected presidency, it is time to review and update my position.

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#nevertrump