It seems every presidential election comes with stakes higher than the last, and that is certainly true this year. Voters will again go to the polls in November to decide who can best handle the serious issues that our country faces, but this time it seems the state of our world affairs is in even more disarray. And, so is America's role in the world. Over the past 8 years, America has turned its back on its allies, negotiated with State Sponsors of Terrorism, and ignored decades of foreign affairs policy in an effort to appease rogue nations. The Obama Doctrine of Appeasement has not achieved peace. Instead, it has made America and our allies less safe.
Our nation faces determined enemies of all kinds. Our enemies are not just terrorist organizations; they are sovereign states. Take Russia for example. Setting aside its illegitimate invasion of other sovereign nations - Georgia and Ukraine - Russia is waging cyberwar on our nation, with reports of recent hacking into into multiple election databases in our nation. Then there's China, which is aggressively seizing land in the South China Sea to expand its power in a critically important area of the world. Also in Asia, we have North Korea, led by a lunatic, unpredictable dictator. North Korea has backed terrorism, threatened the United States and our allies with nuclear war, and is developing Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles that could be launched from submarines. I have long called on the State Department to re-designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism - it has certainly earned that designation and all of the sanctions that it brings with it. And then there is Iran, the largest State Sponsor of Terror that is better off today thanks to America's weakness and the Obama Doctrine of Appeasement. Thanks to the President's nuclear deal, Iran is a richer nation, able to fund terrorism around the world while simultaneously developing a nuclear weapon. That is why I voted against this so-called "deal". It has been the longstanding policy of this country to not negotiate with terrorists, but this Administration has not only negotiated with the largest State Sponsor of Terrorism, it has rewarded them. And, it even covertly paid ransom to release our captured American sailors. American dollars will now fill the coffers of the country who has facilitated and sponsored terrorism against the United States and our allies for decades. Make no mistake: this blood money will come back to haunt us. The United States must also quit giving American money to countries like Pakistan that has covertly supported terrorist activity for years. We don't need to pay those counties to hate us; they will do it anyway.
Aside from sovereign nations, we continue to face threats from terrorist organizations, like the Islamic State (ISIS). The Administration claims that ISIS is on the run. This could not be further from the truth. According to recent reports, 72 mass graves were found across Iraq and Syria filled with thousands of ISIS's victims. Many of the dead are Christians whom have been targeted in ISIS's reign of terror. The President may have likened ISIS to a JV team, but it has also expanded its activity and influence across multiple continents, claiming the lives of citizens from North Africa to Europe and the United States. The terrorist group has been linked to over 100 terror plots against Western countries. From airport bombings in Belgium and Turkey, to the Bastille Day massacre, ISIS has spread its terror all over the map. They have also planned attacks against the U.S. homeland and American citizens. Homegrown extremists in our nation and across the world have been influenced by ISIS propaganda through social media. I have championed the efforts in Congress to stop ISIS's cyber warfare. The United States should not allow a designated foreign terrorist organization - like ISIS- to freely use an American company's platform to incite violence, raise money and recruit more terrorists. I authored legislation to prohibit just that, and the House overwhelmingly passed my bill last December.
The Obama Appeasement Doctrine has resulted in a less safe world because there is a void of leadership, leadership that the United States once provided. This void has left a dangerous opening for our enemies and resulted in the rise of bad actors. These bad actors may have different goals but they all have one thing in common: they view our nation as the enemy. We need someone in the White House who will restore American leadership on the world stage. With that, our nation and our allies will be safer. And that's just the way it is.
TCR Comment: Congressman Ted Poe, Representative of the 2nd District of Texas, is one of the top conservatives in Congress, always ready to fight for our principles. A former top-rate and State District Judge who is a level headed leader for now and the future, and a hawk on spending, Congressman Poe is a strong constitutionalist who stands as a leading advocate on Capitol Hill for limited government, free market, low taxes, and individual liberty.
Phyllis Schlafly RIP
The godmother of modern conservatism in America Phyllis Schlafly has passed away at age 92.
It was her first book, A Choice Not an Echo, which your editor read and started down the road of conservatism.
She was the most influential pro-family activist form the 1980's and 90's. The founder of Eagle Forum, she led the fight to defeat the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment).
Personally, your editor has interacted with her numerous times, starting in 1996 when we both spoke at the Faith and Freedom Rally at the Convention in San Diego.
Most recently at the Texas State Convention in 2014, we spoke and I asked her when she would write a sequel to A Choice Not an Echo, she responded "I am waiting for the next conservative hero."
Last year, she released an update of this fine book, so your Editor called her and asked who our hero is. She said she had to write the update as she was getting older, but we had no hero like Ronald Reagan.
This icon will be missed.
As for our readers, the first five who would like a copy of her new book A Choice Not an Echo Updated, write your request to us and we will arrange for you to receive a complimentary copy.
State Of The Race
The latest polling and campaign developments show a tightening as Trump is aggressively campaigning and Clinton is raising money and spending it on television.
The debates will be important, but from here, Trump's visit to Mexico and his speech to a Detroit Afro-American church helped him immensely.
Meanwhile, Clinton is absorbing the steady drip of scandal and it's hurting her.
The Case For Trump For Religious Conservatives
Friend Gary Bauer, pro-family leader at Campaign for Working Families, laid it out:
Update: Texas Republican Leaders Take Lead,
- Supreme Court appointments
- Thousands of other judicial and government appointments
- The future of religious liberty
- The chance to end abortion-on-demand
- Defeating radical Islam
- Stopping Christian genocide
Support GOP From The Courthouse
To The White House
Last issue, TCR unveiled the Courthouse to White House Project led by Senator John Cornyn, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and State Senator and Republican Caucus Chair Paul Bettencourt.
Since then, Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan and Texas Board of Education Chair Donna Bahorich have joined in this important project.
As more and more sign up, observers are asking, where are the Republican leaders?
Immigration Reform Ideas:
Some Good Ones From Donald Trump
In fact, he has provided a public service in focusing on some critical issues and concepts.
What are they? Criminal illegal immigrants will be gone. Most Americans agree. Non-criminal illegals get to stay, hopefully, after we get real control of all of our borders. An eligibility system that allow confirmation of eligibility before working. Build a border wall with Mexico like the fence outside San Diego, which led to a 90% reduction in illegal entries.
So with control of the borders and deportation (enforcement first) of criminal illegals, the grand bargain can then be completed with some kind of legalization of residency status and the vast majority of the country would support it.
All Politics Is Local:
Why Not Feature Outstanding GOP Officeholders?
With the Harris County Republican Party still intent on using the useless slogan "Harris County Works," the candidates are wondering why no effort is being made to excite the voters with stories about our great officeholders? A friendly reminder, especially this year, people vote for people, not necessarily a political party or a political entity.
Partisan Election Of Judges: The Conundrums
Several of our readers sent their comments to TCR regarding our article on the partisan election of judges in our last issue. Here are the best two:
From Clint Moore:
Please realize that it is better to have the Primary and General Election voters choosing the judges than the Governor or commissioners court. If we ever lose the gubernatorial election to the Democrats, Democrats would make every state district court-and-above judicial appointment across all 254 counties. That would liberalize courts across the entire state in just 4-8 years. Very dangerous. At least we keep the control locally with primaries and elections, by electing our judges starting with our primaries. Retention is a red herring. Hardly no one would ever get un-retained.
From Maureen Mulrooney:
When Congressman Ted Poe was a Judge in Harris County, he advocated the non-partisan election of judges. As you stated, any judicial action has to be based on complete impartiality and yet, Party affiliation and monetary support is necessary when election season rolls around.
If, just as local school board and city elections are supposedly non-partisan, judicial positions were sought under that same umbrella, the decisions and rulings from the bench, would enable people to vote according to performance instead of Party.
Good judges could then be elected by everyone interested in a fair and impartial judiciary, regardless of Party affiliation. I believe that Ted Poe had it right several years ago and it is still right today.
TCR on the Air
Red, White & Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones on Fridays at 7:30 pm on PBS Houston Channel 8, replaying Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Mondays at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
About Your Editor
Fall Political Preview: With Guests: Erica Grieder, Jay Aiyer, and Brandon Rottinghaus.
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his nineteenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last fifteen years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 13 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 15th year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.