Republican Party

It Doesn’t Matter That Ted Cruz Broke The “Pledge”

If you paid attention to the news in any amount whatsoever during the Republican national convention, you are probably aware that on the third night (July 20), Ted Cruz gave a speech where not only did he decline to formally endorse Donald Trump, but implicitly told voters not to vote for him if it violated their conscience.

Not surprisingly, this speech prompted much outrage from the party.

He was booed offstage.

Former allies such as Sarah Palin said that his career was over.

Rick Perry and Dan Patrick (the lieutenant governor of Texas) have been mentioned as possible primary opponents against Cruz when he runs for re-election in the Senate in 2018.

Donald Trump is reportedly so embittered that not only does he not want Cruz’s endorsement should he change his mind, and has talked about funding SuperPACs against him and John Kasich, who also refused to endorse, in future elections they run in.

Ted Cruz himself has since explained his reasoning behind his decision to not endorse Trump, saying that he is “not in the habit of supporting someone who attacks my wife and attacks my father.”

That, in his opinion, invalidated the pledge that all the candidates signed to support the eventual nominee back in September.

Or did it?

I am a Republican who supported Ted Cruz for the nomination prior to him dropping out on May 3.

As I saw many of my fellow Cruz supporters turn into former supporters over his decision not to endorse, I struggled to figure out whether I should do the same.

I sympathized with the content of his speech (so much, that the Trump-sponsored vicious reaction to his statements, which included emphasis on the importance of preserving the Constitution and the idea that voters must vote according to what they believe is best for our freedoms, prompted me to decide to vote third party even though I’m a registered Republican), but I wondered whether he should be judged for apparently failing to keep his word.

I eventually decided that he should not be judged regarding the so-called “pledge.” Why? Because the pledge was invalidated into non-existence in deed. Not by Cruz, but by Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party.

As I thought about how to respond, I remembered an event that took place on March 29, 2015, when Donald Trump also renounced the pledge at the CNN Town Hall event that evening.

According to Time, Trump’s decision to renounce the pledge violated the terms that would have made him eligible to be on the ballots in states that required a loyalty pledge.

This could have caused him to forfeit his delegates in such states that had already voted at the time, such as South Carolina.

That didn’t happen, and the question is, why?

Why didn’t Reince Priebus follow through with his own rules, especially considering that as a leader of the GOP establishment, Trump’s downfall perhaps would have benefited him?

I can’t say for sure, but I would not rule out the idea Priebus’ decision not to penalize Trump was related to his belief that Trump can make deals.

After all, he and Trump had no problem making deals (abeit, indirectly via a coalition of Trump supporters and establishment figures in the Republican National Committee) that threw out proposed amendments to the convention rules that would have limited the power of the party chair, and redistributed it in the hands of lower-ranking members who could have affected the outcome of the development of the party platform, if not the convention itself.

Regardless of Priebus’ motivations, his actions do not reflect kindly on the reputation of the party, which, based on them, has been attacking Cruz based on a false premise.

A pledge that is not enforced is not a pledge. It is a joke.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Trump Continues His Alienation Of His Support Base

A few weeks back I posted an article talking about Trump potentially alienating his own base of support through his endorsement of a congressional candidate whose positions on immigration were virtually the polar opposite of his own.

Now, he has made a statement that could have a similar effect, as it can easily be construed as insulting soldiers who participated in the Iraq War.

According to PoliticoTrump made the following statement (reconstructed using both the video and the text on the article):`

“When we got out, we should’ve taken the oil. I’ll never forget some of the pundits — most of them don’t have the brains they were born with — they said: ‘They’re talking about a sovereign country.’ Iraq, crooked as hell. How about bringing baskets of money — millions and millions of dollars — and handing it out?,” Trump said at an evening rally. “I want to know who were the soldiers that had that job, because I think they’re living very well right now, whoever they may be.”

Read More: Forget the Judge Curiel Comments. This Is What Could Hurt Donald Trump In The Long Run

Now, as previously stated, this statement could easily be construed as insulting American soldiers, but it is not a guarantee.

This is because after reading the statement and listening to the audio over and over again, I came to two conclusions:

1) It was a jarbled mess. This is especially evident if you listen to the audio, where it is difficult to tell when he is beginning or ending a sentence because he is rushing to get to whatever point he is trying to make. It is difficult to tell if he is talking about US soldiers or someone else (possibly Iraqi soldiers, as Trump has claimed in a subsequent statement without providing hard evidence) for this reason.

2) If you thought Trump’s statement was properly structured, then it sounds like he is saying that the soldiers did have the job of bringing money and handing it out, but didn’t do that job.

Only time will tell whether or not Trump’s statement, along with his endorsement of pro-amnesty North Carolina representative Renee Ellmers in her failed bid to win the Republican nomination in her bid for re-election, will hurt his numbers in the general election.

After all, what else would you expect when you make statements contrary to the beliefs of the GOP base, which is unabashedly pro-military?

If you support Trump, you should be very worried right now, as you probably don’t want to take time to make sure he doesn’t stray from your positions after all this time.

If you oppose him, you should be crossing your fingers and hoping that the Trump supporters don’t take action even if they are very worried.

Regardless, the Trump Saga continues…

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: IoSonoUnaFotoCamera/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

So What Exactly Does The Libertarian Party Stand For Anyway?

Let’s face it. Donald Trump is a very unpopular guy.

As of last week, 55% of Americans have a negative view of him. 40% of Republicans say they will not vote for him, and 19% would vote for Hillary Clinton.

However, what about the remaining 21% of Republicans who would not vote for Trump or Clinton? Would they vote at all? Some, if not many, will not.

Others, however, are contemplating third party options.

The same logic applies to the 31% of Bernie Sanders supporters who may or will not cote for Clinton, and the 20% who would vote for Trump.

Perhaps the most frequently discussed of those options is that of voting for the Libertarian Party, whose online search results have reportedly surged since Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican primary on May 3.

On Sunday, the Libertarian Party nominated former Governor of New Mexico Gary Johnson for President, and former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld as his running mate.

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In an era where it seems that the Republican and Democratic parties are the only political parties around, and where dissatisfaction with them is near historical highs, it seems only fitting that additional options be shown to and discussed with the general public. Therefore, this article will be dedicated to doing so with the Libertarian Party.

Former Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for President. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Former Gov. Gary Johnson is the Libertarian Party nominee for President. Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Like all political parties, the Libertarian party determines its platform at its national convention. The result of this convention (aside from the nominees) are as follows:

-The Libertarian Party places emphasis over individual sovereignty over all else. It criticizes both the Democratic and Republican parties as being too regulating and authoritarian. It demands that the government not deny the right life, liberty, and property for the sake of itself or others.

-Under this philosophy, the following policy positions are advocated:

1. Individuals should be able do whatever they want to their bodies (appeals to liberals).
2. The government should not control the internet of mass media (appeals to elements of both sides).
3. The government should not spy on everybody (appeals to elements of both sides).
4. The government should not classify anybody by sexual preference (appeals to liberals).
5. The government should not regulate abortion (appeals to liberals).
6. Criminal laws should be limited to those involving person-to-person interaction (appeals to liberals).
7. The government should not regulate guns (appeals to conservatives).
8. The government should not interfere in property ownership (appeals to conservatives).
9. The government should not interfere in pollution regulation, for it is less trustworthy and effective than innovative civilians who seek to do the same (appeals to conservatives).
10. The government should not interfere with the energy market (appeals to conservatives).

11. The government should not rely on income taxes to produce a balanced budget, which should be mandatory (appeals to conservatives).

12. The government should not interfere in non-fraudulent banking practices (appeals to conservatives).

13. The government should not interfere in the free market (appeals to conservatives).

14. The government should not interfere in worker-employer relations (appeals to conservatives).

15. The government should not interfere in education, which should be determined by parents (appeals to conservatives).

16. The health care market should serve as any other market that operates across state lines, and not be subjected to government intervention (appeals to conservatives).

17. Social Security should be replaced with private retirement planning (appeals to conservatives).

18. Military service should be limited to voluntary defense of the country’s territory (appeals to elements of both sides)

19. Internal security should not trump individual liberty (appeals to elements of both sides).

20. All foreign aid should be ended (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to paleoconservatives).

21. Trade and immigration should not be restricted unless there is a threat to national security (appeals to elements of both sides, but mostly to liberals).

22. The government should not interfere in private practices of discrimination (appeals to conservatives).

23. The government should not try to rig electoral systems to create a party system with a limited number of parties (appeals to elements of both sides).

24. The people have the inherent right to self-determination (appeals to conservatives).

At the end of the day, this party is very socially liberal but very fiscally conservative.

This unique platform has the potential to either attract or repulse people on both sides of the political spectrum.

If the party wants a chance of growing to substantial polling numbers, it may have to target single issue voters.

Given that single-issue voters appear to be significant in numbers, as indicated by Gallup polls on the level of priority voters have on issues such as abortion and gun control, perhaps that may be all it needs to do, especially if it succeeds in attracting protest votes from disillusioned Republicans and Democrats.

Do you wish this party good luck in its quest? Feel free to comment and share your opinion below!

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Why The Republican Party Is So Out Of Touch With Reality On Climate Change

By Nicholas Olivera

In mid-December, leaders from 195 countries came to an historic agreement in Paris about how to address the global crisis of climate change. The agreement was heralded as a pathbreaking moment for both international diplomacy and the scientific consensus concerning climate change.

Back home in America however, things felt a bit differently, as they often do.

A week after the historic agreement, President Barack Obama mocked Republicans for their continued failure to recognize climate change as a real issue.

“The American Republican party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change,” Obama said according to the Guardian.

According to a recent Pew survey, only 27% of Republicans believe that global warming is mostly an issue caused mostly by human activity.

Only a couple of the Republican presidential candidates have expressed the belief that global climate change is a man-made threat.

Former governor of New York George Pataki has openly acknowledged his stance on climate, saying during October’s GOP debate: “It is not appropriate to think that human activity — putting CO2 into the atmosphere –doesn’t make the Earth warmer. All things being equal, it does. It is uncontroverted.”

Pataki has spent some time working towards a cleaner environment, having served as co-chair of the Independent Task Force on Global Climate Change, an independent commission dedicated to preventing climate change.

The group even issued a report back in June of 2008 making market-friendly recommendations in order to cut carbon emissions 60 to 80 percent by the year 2050.

And while Pataki is a staunch believer in climate change there’s no mention of it on his campaign website.

Why would a candidate with so much passion for the issue of climate change leave it out of their campaign?

“The fact that it isn’t being talked about very much by the rest of the candidates doesn’t surprise me,” Dr. David Woodard, a professor of political science at Clemson University and former consultant of Republican candidates told RISE NEWS. “I have found that other candidates have gotten a lot more mileage by bringing up the terrorist issues.”

Six of the remaining dozen candidates have dismissed the issue entirely.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum has said in the past that he believes that climate change is nothing more than an excuse for “more government control of your life.”

Texas senator Ted Cruz asserts that climate change was simply concocted by “power-greedy politicians.”

And of course Donald Trump has made his beliefs concerning the issue known in a rather vulgar way.

The remaining candidates are caught somewhere in the middle; each of them have publicly expressed a mixture of doubt, hesitancy, and skepticism in regards to climate change.

New Jersey governor Chris Christie has acknowledged the existence of global climate change but argues that the degree to which human activity contributes to it is up for debate.

Former governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore (yes, he is still running) claims to need more proof as to whether or not it is a man-made issue. Even former governor of Florida Jeb Bush has expressed his skepticism.

But chances are this is an issue that won’t pick up traction within the GOP nomination contest this year.

“I don’t think it’s an important issue this year given the events in California along with other terrorist attacks,” Woodard said. “The other candidates are going with the more hot-button issues where they get the most press attention and conflict with their peers.”

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Cover Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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