Guest post by Ian Parish
“I want to talk to you this morning about reigniting the promise of America,” said the Senator from Texas on the stage of Liberty University, a university that is recognized as the largest Christian university in America. The air in the room was tense, with every hearkening to “imagine”, the room became heavier with emotion. Ted Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, continued his speech, “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America, and that is why today I am announcing that I’m running for President of the United States.”
March the 23rd. That is the day that the first major candidate, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, announced his candidacy. He shot out of the gates, earlier then all the rest. The Road to 2016 had begun.
On June 30th, the polls were vastly different then they are today, many months into the 2016 Presidential race. The Real Clear Politics Poll shows that the polls on June 30th were: Former Governor Jeb Bush with 13.8 percent, Governor Scott Walker with 11.4 percent, Senator Marco Rubio with 11 percent, Neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 9.4 percent, Former Governor Mike Huckabee with 8.4 percent, Senator Rand Paul with 8.2 percent, Senator Ted Cruz with 5.8 percent, and business mogul Donald Trump with 4.2 percent of the vote.
Where are we now? Well, according to the Real Clear Politics Poll, everything has flipped on it’s head. Trump is now the front-runner with an overall 35.6 percent of the vote! Ted Cruz, who is now beating Trump in Iowa, has a national poll of 18.6 percent. Rubio is close on Cruz’s tail with 11.6 percent, having stayed relatively static since June 30th. Carson, after a brief spike, is back down at 9.4 percent. Governor Chris Christie is at 4.6 percent. Jeb Bush, the supposed front-runner and establishment hopeful, down to a staggering 4.4 percent. Rand Paul, with what some referred to as “hot-headedness” dropped down to 2.6 percent. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett Packard, enjoyed a brief moment of glory after the first few debates. She shone in the format, and got as high as 11.8 percent, before dropping to the current 2.2 percent.
It’s been an amazing, whirlwind political year. Donald Trump has harnessed the anger and sheer frustration of the right, and no matter what he says, he continues to rise in the polls. The firebrand Senator Cruz is steadily overtaking him, while the rest of the pack gets left behind, slowly but surely.
2015 shall be remembered by many things.
The year gay marriage became a legal definition, transgenderism became acceptable, and the fight over Obama’s executive amnesty began. The year that Republicans faltered, time and again. The year of the Black Lives matter movement. The year Kim Davis went to jail. The year of the outsider in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
It’s been a momentous year. Love it or hate it, this, in part, is how 2015 will be remembered.
My prediction for next year? Surprise, for that is all we can expect. We can expect nothing more, and nothing less. Political seasons have been turbulent since Brutus and Cassius murdered the Emperor Julius Caesar on the Ides of March, outside of Theatre of Pompey.
Upheavals happen. Races shift. The likely front-runner today might be at the bottom in three months. Only time will tell.
It is my hope and fervent prayer that this will be the year of reawakening. That this is the time when conservatives, evangelicals, the Liberty Movement, and libertarians came together to reignite the promise of this great nation. When hundreds upon thousands sought to restore this nation to it’s constitutional and Judeo-Christian roots. When the founding principles of this nation were reawakened, reignited, and restored to the pinnacle on which they so highly sat.
That is my New Year's Wish.
And with that, I wish you all a blessed and fruitful New Year.
The case against Kasich
In mid-October, everyone was preparing for the first Republican Debate hosted by Fox News. The top-tier debate, as it is known, consisted of candidates Jeb Bush, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and Scott Walker.
Well, until the Governor of Ohio John Kasich announced his candidacy.
Coming into an already crowded Republican Primary, Governor Kasich unseated Rick Perry from the top tier debate and banished Perry’s campaign to oblivion. After that first debate, he was championed by the media as having a great performance. Several months into the election cycle, some still think that John Kasich is the man to help America.
I tend to disagree. Governor Kasich claims, time and time again, to be a leader with conservative, Christian principles who knows how to get stuff done. How conservative is he, really? Let’s look at his political record.
In 1994, Kasich was one of the Republican leaders in the House who agreed to a last-minute deal with then-President Bill Clinton to pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He led 42 other Republicans across party lines to vote with the Democrats to ban “assault” weapons. His support of the infamous “assault” weapons ban caused the National Rifle Association to give Kasich an “F” rating in 1994.
If this doesn’t give most Republicans a red flag, I don’t know what will. The protection of our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights are key to the values of the Republican Party. However, this isn’t the only time he’d side with liberals in his life.
As Governor, Kasich has championed the Common Core Standards and has accused most Republicans who turned against it of playing politics. Not only that, but the State of Ohio has the country’s ninth-largest achievement gap in reading, as well as the second largest achievement gap in math and the fourth largest in high school graduation.
All of this, under his watch. Is that really a conservative, or a RINO? Common Core is known for being a dumbing down of standards that many of us already have in place. Common Core math has been proven to be ridiculously convoluted. If you don’t believe me, check out the Top Ten Most Ridiculous Common Core Math Problems So Far. However, this isn’t the end of the atrocity that is Common Core. One of the books that is recommended reading for 11th and 12th graders is “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison, a Nobel Prize winning author. To summarize the book, it’s a pornographic/erotic novel about rape, incest, and pedophilia. 
How can any Christian, conservative, or even decent man support these standards, with what’s entailed in them? It is appalling, and diametrically opposed to conservatism. Heck, it’s even diametrically opposed to decency!
These are just two of the liberal positions that John Kasich has held over his 36 year political career. His career alone is enough for me to oppose him, but that my friends, is a topic for another article.
In conclusion, Governor John Kasich is simply not a conservative, constitutional stalwart. He isn’t. Let us recognize him for who he is: another John McCain, Lindsey Graham, or Mitt Romney. A gutless flip-flopper, who will do anything for a vote. He is more of the same-old, same-old. More centrism. More catering to Obama and Establishment Republicans. More loss of civil liberties. John Kasich is exactly what’s wrong with the Republican Party today. He is also the reason the Republican Party might go extinct.
Let’s just hope we can save the Party before that happens.
Today the Kleins of Sweet Cakes by Melissa paid over $350,000 in fines for damages to a homosexual couple who ordered a wedding cake. The Kleins were following their religious beliefs and yet even with the First Amendment they are being persecuted for a simple religious belief.
The story of the devaluing of the First Amendment is long, but the key case was Employment Division vs. Smith, which ruled that in order to be a fundamental right, religious liberty had to be a secondary right in any claim. In order to give Religious Liberty protection again in the wake of the Smith Decision, Congress passed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA required that all religious liberty cases be tried using the judicial standard of strict scrutiny. The RFRA test has five parts. These five parts can be divided into two parts: things which the individual or business has to prove and things which the government must prove. The test is as follows.
The case for Cruz
Opinon post by Peter Baergen. This post reflects the personal opinions of the author & should not be construed as the position of Freedom's Defenders.
At the peak of the 2016 race, there were 22 candidates running for President. It’s taken a while to narrow down my choices, but I’ve finally boarded the Cruz ship.
So, why Ted Cruz?
Ted Cruz is a consistent, principled conservative. He has a proven record of supporting conservative principles and not backing down when the fight gets tough. When he says he’ll do something, you can count on it. He’s not afraid to tell the truth, no matter who he’s talking to (think Mitch McConnell). When it comes to the issues, Ted Cruz stands firmly atop my list of candidates.
Ted Cruz is one of the most experienced candidates in the race. He’s worked in one capacity or another in all three branches of the federal government, whether as a Supreme Court clerk, as a Bush administration official, or now as a U.S. Senator. His time as Solicitor General of Texas gives him valuable experience defending the Constitution before the highest court in the land, and also is a state-level position, giving him a deeper first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by the states. This is a key point to remember when thinking about 10th Amendment issues.
Ted Cruz is a skilled communicator. The GOP has not done a good job of communicating their message to everyday Americans like myself. In fact, this was one of the reasons cited by former Senator Rick Santorum, Dr. Michael Farris, and others when they endorsed him for Senate in 2012. We have a presidential field this cycle with several excellent communicators running, and it would be a mistake not to pick one of them (or two!).
Now that we have established his values/principles and his qualifications/experience, as well as noted his excellent communication skills, we move to the next area of consideration for me: does the candidate have what it takes to win. Ted Cruz has a clear path to victory and the money to make it work, which is more than can be said of the overwhelming majority of the candidates in the race.
In conclusion, this is a relatively rare opportunity for conservatives to unite behind a strong principled conservative with a proven record — I would argue the strongest and most principled conservative in the race — who is among the frontrunners of the Presidential race. Let’s make the most of it.
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)
This is an opinion post by one of our team members and should not be construed as an endorsement by Freedom's Defenders. Originally posted at http://peterformichigan.com/2015/11/13/the-case-for-cruz/. Used with permission.
CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST 1: "Now that we have the majority, Congressional leadership must send an Obamacare repeal bill to the President's desk! Even if he vetoes it, we must move conservative legislation through Congress and lay the responsibility on the President for blocking it."
ENTER STAGE RIGHT: H.R. 3762
NARRATOR: "H.R. 3762 is a bill passed by both the House and Senate that takes major steps to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle Obamacare."
CONSERVATIVE ACTIVIST 2: "Don't be fooled, folks! This is a useless show vote by McConnell and the RINOs so that they can say they voted to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, but they know it's just another fake show vote -- because President Obama will veto it!"