THE RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN
ADVANCING THE CONSERVATIVE CAUSE
Vol. 5 – No. 7 September 2021
The original content of this publication is copyrighted. Requests for reprinting may be obtained by contacting the Editor and Publisher at: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Table of Contents
Editorial ——————————————————————— 1
Progressive Sins ——————————————————- 11
The Efficacy of Masks————————————————- 12
Comments from Representatives——————————— 14
Comments from Correspondents ——————————– 15
Legislative Report ——————————————————20
Rhea County Republican Party News ————————— 23
Contact Your Representatives-———————————— 26
Kris Bancroft, Editor and Publisher
The Biden Legacy – Part 1
Long before Mr. Biden made the decision to run for president in 2020, those who knew him and those who had studied his career – both Republicans and Democrats – tried to warn the voters what such a choice would mean. Mr. 0bama gave among the clearest of warnings. Robert Gates warned us of Mr. Biden’s inability to properly analyze foreign policy. Certainly, a plethora of Republicans tried to warn America what a Biden regime might look like. Along with Mr. Biden’s proclivity for making disastrous decisions, they knew of the many questions involving the character of the man. But, somehow, all those warnings were ignored by 80,000,000 voters and now we are paying the price for their decision.
Early on, from the time Mr. Biden achieved his law degree, the world has known of his lack of ethics – he openly admitted that he plagiarized much of his thesis. Then, there are his highly questionable business dealings, most prominent of which have involved his history of using his office to enrich his family. Most recently, Hunter Biden’s involvement in Ukraine and China have enabled the Biden family to gain tens of millions of dollars. Some have tried to tell us Joe Biden had nothing to do with his son Hunter’s extortion racket but Hunter Biden’s emails tell another story – “10% for the ‘Big Guy.’’’
These frequent lapses in ethics seem to have risen at least to the level of a violation of the Emoluments Clause (See Article I – Section 9, Clause 8). Most likely though, Mr. Biden has committed other high crimes and is deserving of a serious investigation relative to Article I – Section 3, Clause 7, and Article II – Section 4 of our Constitution.
WARNING: This link contains profanity-laced quotations.
Giving close scrutiny to Mr. Biden’s actions and speech patterns, it is very tempting to dismiss him as some sort of gaffe-prone doddering old fool. Certainly, as we see him lately, with his dumbstruck stare with his mouth agape, we may be tempted to diagnose him as having dementia, but that would be a dangerous assessment.
Think: If Joe Biden has always been just a dimwit, and if he truly is afflicted with dementia, wouldn’t it have been quite easy to defeat him in any election? If Mr. Biden is all that dumb, what does it say about the voters and all the candidates who challenged him in every election during his political career? Mightn’t it be that Mr. Biden plays the fool in order to cause his enemies and opponents underestimate his ability to maneuver on the chess board of politics? We should again be reminded to not forget the lessons of Sun Tzu and Machiavelli – Never underestimate our enemy!
Let us now examine only on those events of which have transpired since his inauguration in 2021.
Mr. Biden began his occupancy of the Oval Office by closing down the Keystone Pipeline and suspending domestic oil production. This cost more than 15,000 Americans their jobs. America’s status as a net energy producer abruptly ended. Our economy suffered from the loss of income tax revenues on monies earned by energy industry workers, as well as the revenues generated by selling petroleum products domestically and around the globe. America was instantly penalized by the meteoric rise of fuel prices (up to 45% in some cases), as well as natural gas and heating oil price increases that make it more expensive to heat our homes. Every American consumer was penalized by the increased costs of consumables brought on by the fuel cost-related increases in delivery charges. Our manufacturing and agriculture industries suffered because the increased energy costs drove up their prices (it also harmed our ability to compete on the global market because of increased shipping costs). The shortfall in domestic energy production put America back to depending on OPEC – money spent on energy that benefits no one in the United States! While no one was looking, the Russians moved in and began sucking oil out of the formations that fed the ANWAR fields. In all, Mr. Biden’s decision to close down the Keystone Pipeline and end domestic energy production has driven inflation upward by at least 3%, it has made us more dependent on oil from countries that don’t like us very much, and it has weakened our economy.
Mr. Biden’s next move was to end the “Stay in Mexico” policy, suspend the fully-funded border wall construction, and to open the southern border. According to the latest available figures, since January 2021, there have been 1.6 million acknowledged entrants, from reportedly 105 countries. Some of those detained at our southern border were discovered to be on our terrorist watch list.
Even if all the potential terrorists have been captured (which they have not!), the influx of immigrants Mr. Biden has allowed into our country poses a very serious health and security threat to America: Virtually none of the processed immigrants have been vaccinated against, or examined for, the Wuhan virus or any other communicable disease, yet they have been transported – using American Taxpayer’s money of course – to all points in the United States! It only gets worse.
In July 2021, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reported they estimated some 450,000 “gotaways” have gone undetected. If the current trend continues, during the first year of Mr. Biden’s occupancy of the Oval Office, 2.8 million illegal aliens will have crossed our southern border by the end of his first year.
Mr. Biden’s immigration policy – or lack thereof – has an astoundingly negative impact on our economy: According to figures compiled by the Federation for Immigration Reform, each illegal alien – man, woman, and child – costs the U.S. taxpayer $5,795 per year. If the current trend continues, Mr. Biden’s open border policy will add another $15.6 Billion in costs to the American Taxpayer.
Along with hordes of aliens crashing our borders (the majority of whom are young men), the quantity of illegal drugs trafficked into the United States has increased exponentially. Since Mr. Biden declared our borders “open,” literally tons of illegal drugs have been trafficked into our country. How many? As of 18 May 2021, CBP have seized 6,494 pounds of Chinese-made fentanyl, 105,032 pounds of methamphetamine. Marijuana continues to be the highest amount of drugs per weight seized, as has been the case in years past. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2019, there were 70,630 deaths caused by illegal drug overdoses in the U.S. How does one calculate the costs for that!?
Next is Mr. Biden’s spending spree. Yes, the bills were introduced in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, but each of these bills were discussed with Mr. Biden prior to introduction so, in essence, by his collusion with the Democrats, these ridiculous, pork-laden, and economy-crashing spending bills belong to him. Fundamentally, Mr. Biden is the author of a three part economic crisis.
First, using the Wuhan virus as an excuse, he shut down and shuttered for good tens of thousands of small businesses. After the restrictions were lifted, his unemployment payments made it more economically advantageous to sit home and draw unemployment than to go back to work for employers who were pleading for people to come work for them.
The CARES Act enabled some families of four to rake in >$100,000 per year drawing unemployment. If all this sounds like a socialist model that will turn a self-sustaining country into a third world sewer, it is!
Let us not forget the tens of millions of government employees who have, for more than a year now, been paid not to work. While we consider all the bureaucrats who’ve collected their salaries and benefits from the club houses of their favorite golf courses, let us not forget the teachers, and the many negative effects their absence has had on our kids.
Education in the United States, already down to 19th in the world, has been set back a full year. Sadly, we hear that some of those students who were abandoned by their schools will never return to the classroom. Due to the interruption of their education are they now destined to end up on welfare or in prison?
Stimulus, welfare, and so-called infrastructure spending is the hallmark of the Democrat Party. The first phase of Mr. Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan (popularly known among the fiscally responsible Republicans as the “Bernie [Sanders] Bill” combines every scheme the Democrats have ever hatched and puts them all on steroids.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget did a deep dive on the “Bernie Bill” and conservatively estimated it will require $2.9 Trillion in borrowing each year over the next decade to pay for all the programs. Who might be willing to lend us the money? China is the only country capable of doing so. What might happen to our economy and our ability to pay back those loans if we are stricken with another pandemic or if there should be another terrorist attack from the Middle East?
Representative Jason Smith (R-MO), the Ranking Member on the House Budget & Finance Committee, informed us in an appearance on the Fox Business Chanel that the bill the Democrats have just passed (along party lines), will, over the next decade, cost the American Taxpayer $85 Trillion.
One report from the Congressional Budget Office (which, at times, seems heavily influenced by the Keynesian economic philosophy), informed us that bill alone will add (at least) $4.5 Trillion each year to our nation’s debt!
Of the many socialist “nuggets” in the “Bernie Bill” is a carve out of $18.5 Billion to put Green Cards in the hands of all illegal aliens and to the immigrants the Mr. Biden has allowed to pass through our southern border. But, there’s much more to this matter: With a Green Card, a non-citizen can obtain public housing, a college education for themselves and their children, public transportation passes, free tuition for English classes, and Medicaid. With more than thirty million non-citizens on the welfare rolls, the system that was designed for U.S. Citizens will collapse without the input of Trillions of dollars more funding. The U.S. will, of course, have to borrow the money to fund it.
The other way the Democrats plan to pay for their outlandish spending spree is by raising taxes – “only on the rich” they tell us – but here’s what that means:
Those successful entrepreneurs and corporations hire workers only when they can afford to pay them. If a business’s taxes are increased, their profit margins are decreased. If their profit margins are too low, they cannot afford to expand their businesses. Without expansion, there is no justification to hire more employees and, in every case, a decrease in profit margin ultimately results in a reduction of the workforce.
One of the sneaky things the Democrats failed to reveal is their intention to increase revenue by placing a new tax on 401k plans. Initially, the compliant press was silent about the tax on retirement plans but the news has finally leaked out.
And then, there’s Biden’s policy for Afghanistan – it is not the result of a failure to plan, it is the result of a plan to fail! But first, let us examine the history of modern day U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
We must never forget many of the facts that surround al Qaeda’s attack on the United States on 11 September 2001. One of those things we must never forget is that U.S. personnel called into the White House, reporting they had Osama bin Laden, known at the time to be the leader of the terrorist organizations, in their sights and were ready to take him out but William Jefferson Clinton ordered them to stand down. Think: Mr. Clinton gave the orders to stand down knowing full well that bin Laden had been credited with planning the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and had been confirmed as having been directly responsible for al Qaeda’s attack on the USS Cole, and the attack on Americans in Mogadishu.
In late 2001, when George W. Bush sent forces into Afghanistan, the mission was to hunt down Osama bin Laden and destroy al Qaeda. Along with the hunt for bin Laden and al Qaeda, then President Bush made a Fabian-like declaration that we should also rebuild Afghanistan in accordance with his version of perfection.
With billions upon billions of dollars in swag, our diplomat’s orders were to encourage those who ruled Afghanistan to provide equal rights to women and to whomever was perceived as a “minority.” As the money flowed, women and girls cast off their hajibs and enrolled in schools. The 6th Century mindset people who had lived out their lives under Sharia law and ran the largest opiate cartel in the history of the world began to warm up to the idea that 21st Century living might not be so bad after all.
Meanwhile, U.S. forces remained on the ground and they were provided the best equipment the Military Industrial Complex could provide. While al Qaeda ceased to be an imminent threat, the Taliban were waiting in the wings, and bin Laden was still sucking in oxygen by the time “W.” left D.C. for Texas.
During the 2008 presidential debates Mr. 0bama accurately corrected John McCain by informing him that, the Taliban had become the biggest threat to freedom in Afghanistan and the world. Realizing that fact required no exceptional intellect, after all, al Qaeda had been pretty much decimated by the hundreds of tons of bombs and missiles the U.S. and NATO forces dropped on them.
Where Mr. 0bama got it dreadfully wrong was in his approach to the war on terror and in his general philosophy on diplomacy, in general. Instead of operating from a position of strength, when it came to international affairs, Mr. 0bama decreed that America would reach out to other countries as “an equal partner” rather than as the “exceptional” nation. After he finished his oration, he set out on his “apology tour” and went around the globe bowing to any foreign government official or royal family member who would give him an audience . . . except to our allies, of course. (Does anyone remember the evening he refused to give an audience to Benjamin Netanyahu – Mr. 0bama was down in the White House basement shooting hoops?)
The fundamental miscalculation made by Mr. 0bama was his egalitarian approach to foreign affairs and putting them in full view of every despot and terrorist on Earth. His declaration that the United States had no claim on exceptionalism, i.e.: (1) America would ratify more treaties and turn to international organizations more often to deal with global crises and security concerns like nuclear weapons, often before turning to our traditional friends and allies; (2) that America would no longer emphasize diplomacy but opt for “soft power” instruments, e.g. summits and foreign aid to promote its aims and downplay military might; (3) that America would adopt a more humble attitude in state-to-state relations, and; (4) that America would play a more restrained role on the international stage was viewed by the world as something akin to shouting “The United States is stepping down from our position as the world’s number one superpower.”
Then, of course, was his JCPOA deal with Iran – what many legal experts seem to think was an act of treason, but that’s a topic for another day.
As we watch Afghanistan fall to the Taliban, some of the talking heads on mainstream media have begun their attempt to blame President Trump for the miscalculations currently being made by Mr. Biden, but they are wrong and here’s why:
During President Trump’s tenure, in spite of the Afghan government’s many imperfections, Afghanistan had made great strides in its coming of age as a viable, democratic government. The government controlled most of the country’s territory. There was real economic growth based on something other than the opium trade. Women could work and move about freely. Young girls could go to school. The Taliban were cowering in their caves, al Qaeda was hiding out in Pakistan, and ISIS-K was nothing more than an idea.
With the U.S. spending less in Afghanistan in a year than the 0bama regime spent in a week and with American forces training and advising Afghan forces, our troops were not fighting wars and taking causalities.
President Trump had devised a plan to withdraw from Afghanistan with the proviso that if the Taliban harmed any American interest during the process, he would come down on them like a ton of bricks. President Trump’s plan was to accomplish the following tasks, in the following order: 1. Extract all American civilian contractors and U.S. diplomats. 2. Present an offer to extract all Afghan civilians who had worked alongside U.S. interests. 3. Extract all items held in the Afghan embassy and all military hardware not issued to the Afghan army. 4. Turn over the military bases in Afghanistan to the Afghan military. President Trump handed Biden a problem mostly solved. All Biden had to do was negotiate a lasting settlement from the position of strength that had been handed to him, or maintain an economy of force presence in Afghanistan if the Taliban failed to deliver. Instead, Biden just decided to call it a day and call the troops home regardless of what the Taliban did on the ground.
Mr. Biden essentially reversed President Trump’s planned order of withdrawal. He announced to the Taliban that he was turning Afghanistan over to them, he asked that the Taliban protect Americans and the Afghans who had worked with our contractors and military. He provided the names of the individuals working as contractors as well as their Afghan aides. There was some indication that he’d provided the Taliban with biometric data on these individuals. When his scheme began to fall apart, Mr. Biden went on TV and admitted to the American people that he might not be able to extract Americans and Afghanis who had provided crucial help. Following are some of the main points as of 27 August 2021:
Mr. Biden cannot legitimately blame anyone but himself. When he laid out his plan, his Joint Chiefs and Secretary of State, as well as numerous advisors in the Pentagon had told him his plan would fail as early as April 2021.
On 18 August 2021, when Mr. Biden announced his decision to immediately withdraw from Afghanistan, it came as a shock to our NATO allies – they’d heard nothing of his negotiations with the Taliban.
Predictably, his opening comments were to blame President Trump for his plan to have U.S. troops out of the country by September of this year. Mr. Biden claimed he was trapped by the agreement but failed to acknowledge that President Trump had imposed significant requirements on the Taliban, conditional to our withdrawal. His false claims were not challenged.
Mr. Biden’s actions, his comments, and those offered by prominent members of his regime have irreparably harmed the reputation of the United States as a country on whom our allies can depend. The harm inflicted to our country by Mr. Biden will endure for a generation. Certainly, the world has noticed how Mr. Biden has forsaken thousands of the Afghans who risked their lives and the lives of their families to serve as our interpreters, NGO workers, and to provide on-the-ground intelligence on the activities of the Taliban; they can feel nothing less than betrayed, cast aside.
To make matters worse, our NATO allies who committed their troops and treasure to venture in harm’s way have recalculated the level of trust they place in the United States. Although the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had, as of 20 August 2021, remained silent, other prominent figures in the UK did not. On hearing that Mr. Biden had informed our NATO allies that they would have to fend for themselves:
Former Prime Minister Theresa May stated “Was our intelligence really so poor, was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak, our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate? Or did we just feel we had to follow the US and hope that on a wing and a prayer it would be all right on the night?
“I am afraid that this has been a major setback for British foreign policy. We boast about global Britain, but where is global Britain on the streets of Kabul? A successful foreign policy strategy will be judged by our deeds, not by our words.”
For the first time in our nation’s history, Britain’s Parliament rebuked a U.S. President! While the majority of remarks made by Parliament focused on blaming the Prime Minister for placing his trust in Mr. Biden, Tom Tugendhat, Tory Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee was more precise in his comments: “To see their commander-in-chief [the US president, Joe Biden] call into question the courage of men I fought with – to claim that they ran – is shameful. Those who have not fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have.
“I leave the house with one image. In the year that I was privileged to be the adviser to the governor of Helmand, we opened girls’ schools. The joy it gave parents to see their little girls going to school was extraordinary … The second image is one that the forever war that has just reignited could lead to. It is the image of a man whose name I never knew, carrying a child who had died hours earlier into our firebase and begging for help. There was nothing we could do. It was over. That is what defeat looks like; it is when you no longer have the choice of how to help. This does not need to be defeat, but at the moment it damn well feels like it.” Other notable comments made by UK’s Parliament can be found at the following link:
If Mr. Biden keeps to a schedule that is his and his alone to turn Afghanistan over to the Taliban on 31 August 2021, there can be no doubt but what Mr. Biden will be leaving tens of thousands of Afghans who offered their aid to the U.S. and our NATO allies. There can no doubt but what Mr. Biden will be leaving thousands of Americans behind if he keeps to his schedule. There can be no doubt but what the Taliban will hunt down and kill every last one of those whom Mr. Biden’s plan has caused him to abandon.
The Americans, NATO forces, and those Afghans who placed their trust in the hands of the United States will be easy for the Taliban to find: It has been confirmed that on our way out the door, Mr. Biden handed to the Taliban the biometric data on all U.S. Citizens, NATO troops, the Afghan military, and the 50,000 as a means of enabling the Taliban to “ensure they were letting only our friends through their checkpoints.” Mr. Biden handed the bona fides to ensure a death sentence on everyone whom he has callously chosen to leave behind.
On 26 August 2021 we learned an individual had “somehow” passed through all the Taliban checkpoints and made his way to the Abbey Gate and the Kabul airport where the individual detonated the improvised explosive device (IED) he had carried and took the lives of some 50 people, 13 of which were U.S. military personnel. Given our understanding of how the Taliban’s checkpoints were impenetrable we were caused to question how this could have happened. Our questions grew exponentially when we later learned the majority of U.S. military personnel were gunned down as they arrived at the scene of the explosion – not only did the Taliban allow the bomber to slip through, they also allowed the gunmen – with their guns – to slip through, as well. And to think, Mr. Biden has placed his full faith and trust in the Taliban!
Following the news of the bombing, Mr. Biden held a news conference where he read his script from the teleprompter. He took a few questions but only one – the question from Fox News reporter Peter Doocy – seemed to press Mr. Biden for a serious answer: Mr. Biden conditionally admitted his full responsibility for what had happened – and was happening – in Afghanistan. At the same time, Mr. Biden swore that the U.S. would hunt down and kill those responsible.
The question Mr. Biden did not answer is how could U.S. forces hunt down and kill those responsible if we have fully removed ourselves from the country? In an interview with Mr. 0bama’s former Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta acknowledged that Mr. Biden had made another in a long string of empty promises and that he felt Mr. Biden would renege on his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.
Through the many comments and observations made on Mr. Biden’s occupancy of the Oval Office, there is one phrase that summarizes the entire fiasco: Our enemies no longer fear us and our allies no longer trust us, and if we started today with a new administration in the White House, it will take a generation to build back what Mr. Biden has thrown away in a mere matter of seven months. Anyone who dares to doubt these truths should be reminded that – for the first time in our history – Russia and China are now engaged in joint military exercises! Will Taiwan be the next country betrayed by Mr. Biden?
Like rats from a sinking ship, Senate Democrat have vowed to investigate Mr. Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan.
Those good people who thought they’d escape paying rising fuel taxes by purchasing electric vehicles will soon get a nasty surprise from those clever little taxmongers. Get ready for the Electric Vehicle Tax. A new government program designed to test the design, acceptance, implementation, and financial sustainability of a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee has been unleashed. It will address new ways to fill the need for additional revenue for surface transportation infrastructure by applying a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee.
By Dr. Rosemary Biggio
There are venial and mortal sins. Biden, the plagiarizer and chief, committed mortal sins. Biden began his career as a plagiarizer during his time at Syracuse University Law School. The law school had him repeat a first-year class, after initially flunking him, for copying at least five pages from a published law review article.
Recently, Biden stole Harry Truman’s quote “The Buck Stops”. However, Biden pulled a bait and switch action by blaming Trump, his policy wonks, and the Afghanistan fighting forces while shell-shocked President Biden bunkered down in Camp David.
President Trump wanted to get us out of endless wars. However, regarding Afghanistan there were conditions to be met. Biden’s sins are mortal because they endanger our country and embolden our enemies but, we busy woke to new pronouns, gender dysphoria and equity. To those of you who hated Trump’s mean tweets and voted for Biden, you opened Pandora’s Box unleased chaos.
Dr. Biggio is a Friend and Correspondent from Williamstown, NJ, and the author of numerous books and articles including Crockpot Cooking: A Collection of Prose and Poetry, which is available at Amazon or her publisher Xlibris. https://www.xlibris.com/. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Press of Atlantic City and The Star Herald of the Diocese of Camden, NJ. Be on the lookout for the release of an international thriller she is currently working on; the tentative title is The Thistle Foundation.
John Wayne’s Five Rules to Life:
- Money cannot buy happiness but it’s more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.
- Forgive your enemy but remember their name.
- Help someone when they’re in trouble and they’ll remember you when they get in trouble again.
- Many people are alive today only because it’s illegal to shoot them.
- Alcohol does not solve any problems, but neither does milk.
THE EFFICACY OF MASKS
Kris Bancroft, Editor & Publisher
And the debate rages on: Do masks protect us or do they harm us? Or, is the answer somewhere in between? My answer is it depends.
Some years ago I earned a degree in Environmental Science, I specialized in Hazardous Waste Management and became certified to work in that area.
During my training, I was taught the various levels of personal protective equipment – PPE – and the protection provided by each level. Although I learned about the requirement to work in Level 4 biological laboratories (places where viruses are studied and sometimes manipulated for a gain of function purposes), I only spent a day in training where the class donned Level A. It takes approximately 40 minutes to don and test these positive pressure suits and, although the temperature of the forced air is (sometimes) regulated to make them more comfortable, there is a limit to their comfort. If properly fitted and worn, this level of PPE would definitely protect the wearer from the Wuhan virus but there’s next to zero possibility that we will ever have this protection made available to us.
In the “real world” we can protect ourselves from viruses by social distancing and wearing what PPE is made available to us. So, to answer the question as to whether these commonly available masks might protect us, the answer is a conditional “maybe.”
“Maybe” is dependent upon what type of mask we wear, how we wear it, the condition it is in, and for how long we wear it. Following are some links that present the most widely accepted opinions on the most commonly available masks. These experts tell us:
No mask will help us if we don’t wear it properly. We cannot expect any protection from a mask if we have it over our mouth but not over our nose. A mask will not provide its maximum level of protection to us if it is not flush with our skin.
A dirty mask provides less protection and is more uncomfortable. When a mask becomes dampened or its porosity is decreased by the presence of particulate (e.g. dust), it blocks air from coming through and this blockage often causes the seal to break between the edges of the mask and our skin. This allows all manner of creepy-crawlies to get into our airways.
Cloth masks work better than paper masks and masks constructed from cotton or wool work better than masks constructed from synthetic materials. If our only choice of mask materials is paper, we should change them out and discard them when we do. If we use masks constructed from cloth, we should wash and dry it after each use. It’s also a good idea to have a spare.
There are some people who seem dead set on the idea that masks do not work. In response to that line of thinking I offer one question: If masks don’t work, why do healthcare professionals wear them?
Total fuel consumption of U.S. airlines is approximately 19 billion gallons annually.
Total fuel consumption for mining Ore for construction of electric car batteries is approximately 21 billion gallons annually.
The 21 billion gallons of fuel burned can only produce enough ore to build 250,000 electric car batteries.
The lifespan of an electric battery is 10 years and is not renewable. By 2050 these batteries will fill landfills with 50 million pounds of waste that does not break down.
I wonder if people would still advocate for electric powered cars, vehicles, and equipment is the best hope for our future if they knew the true size of their carbon emissions footprint.
We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. – Ronald Reagan
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from someone else. When half the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the government is going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea that it does no good to work because someone else is going to take what they have worked for, that is the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931.
Mystical references to “society” and its programs to “help” may warm the hearts of the gullible but what it really means is putting more power in the hands of bureaucrats. – Thomas Sowell
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. – Harry S. Truman
COMMENTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES
Elected Representatives from all States and all levels of government are encouraged to share their thoughts, opinions, ideas, and announcements by emailing them to email@example.com . Your constituents want to hear from you! – Editor
US Senator Marsha Blackburn, R-TN
Tennesseans are aghast at the chaos that has unfolded in Afghanistan. This week, I joined Senator Jim Inhofe and fourteen colleagues in sending a letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to fulfill his responsibility to evacuate American citizens and Afghan partners. My team and I are closely monitoring the heartbreaking situation and are doing everything possible to help those trapped or needing information. Please contact Afghanistan.firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a Tennessean and have a loved one in need of assistance.
COMMENTS FROM CORRESPONDENTS
You are invited to become a Correspondent and share thoughts, opinions, ideas, and announcements with subscribers to this newsletter. Please state your city, state, or country in your submissions and email them to: email@example.com . Your fellow Conservatives want to hear from you! – Editor
Ted Engel, Treasurer of the Rhea County Republican Party offered the following:
Inspired by the debacle unfolding in Afghanistan, I reread “The Things They Carried” again over the past couple nights. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s widely considered to be one of the finest novels about the Vietnam War. I would highly recommend it.
It was written by a man named Tim O’Brien, himself a veteran of the war. He served in the American Division, the same division as William Calley. O’Brien would later relate in interviews how the people of My Lai were very hostile whenever Americans came around. He didn’t realize why until the news of the massacre that had occurred before his arrival in the country finally broke.
I first read the book when I was in high school, after enjoying an excerpt from it in my senior English literature textbook. I read it again a few years later. This most recent read, though, was surely the most meaningful.
War stories take on a different import when you have a young son to tuck in at night. Instead of identifying with the characters yourself, you imagine his face on the pages. There’s a reason the military mostly relies on high school kids for recruitment. Boys view the world (and themselves) differently than men.
That’s not to say there’s anything dishonorable or foolish about military service. Quite the contrary. Service is to be lauded, and the selflessness of signing up is certainly admirable. But the more a person lives and experiences, the harder that decision becomes.
Turning back to Afghanistan, there are obvious parallels to Vietnam (particularly in its ignominious end), but there are important distinctions, too. I wonder if those distinctions won’t lead to deeper scars on our collective psyche than those left by Vietnam.
America seemed to stumble into the Vietnam War. Mission creep meant that the U.S. was heavily involved with the commitment of many thousands of troops by the time the average American even knew where in the world Vietnam was. As the war deepened and more and more blood was shed, the war became increasingly controversial.
Afghanistan was different. It was supposed to be the “good war,” if there could ever be such a thing. Especially in contrast to the invasion of Iraq.
The attacks on America that precipitated the War in Afghanistan evoked the righteous effort to rid the world of the twin tyrannies of National Socialism and Japanese Imperialism. The swift defeat (or so we thought) of the Taliban was a signal to the world that America’s military might was invulnerable. How naïve we were.
Until last week, it had likely been a long time since the average American had thought much about Afghanistan. The constant news coverage eased when we “won.” Our looming defeat grew in the shadows of obscurity, escaping the notice of the general public.
Our popular culture experienced Vietnam differently, too. With the notable exception of “The Green Berets,” the Vietnam War was generally off limits to Hollywood until after it was over. We knew how the story ended before we started telling it.
The War in Afghanistan, though, was fertile entertainment territory, with movies like “12 Strong” and “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” telling small stories within the greater context of our mighty victory. Even works of complete fiction like “Iron Man” were built on the premise of our superiority to backward Afghan insurgents.
Those films exist in a different world. A familiar world.
The one we now live in seems foreign. Uncanny. Like a bad dream that we will surely wake up from.
We won’t. The world changed forever when Kabul fell, and the full consequences of that fall will take time to reveal themselves.
But back to high school kids, our children, and “The Things They Carried.”
The world is a dangerous place. More dangerous now than a week ago.
Our national defense depends on having brave young people willing to sign on the dotted line.
After this colossal, shocking, two-decade military debacle, where our incompetent government has shown its willingness to expend the lives and limbs of our youth while achieving nothing for their sacrifice, will those brave young people still turn out?
Can we blame them if they don’t?
Michael Godart, a retired Law Enforcement Officer from Wethersfield, CT provides a history lesson:
In 1975, President Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War. President Ford went to Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate. However, there was one US Senator who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon
This senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford. Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator–President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall. Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America. When they arrived in America, President Ford asked Congress for a package to assist these refugees to integrate into American society.
That same troublesome Senator torpedoed any support for these shell shocked, anti-communist: Americans and our helpers, the refugees.
Instead, President Ford had to recruit Christian organizations to offer assistance on a voluntary basis. As he did so, the Senator belittled those efforts. What kind of person would oppose President Ford’s tireless work to do the right and humanitarian thing? Who would want to play politics with the well-being of innocent people who stood by America in the tragic Vietnam War?
That Senator was (drumroll, please) JOE BIDEN!
From the book – “When the Center Held.” by Donald Rumsfeld in 2018.(biography)
Dr. Rosemary Biggio, PhD, teacher, noted author and essayist from Williamstown, NJ shared an eye opening vignette on how Americans are being manipulated by our government and their willing accomplices in the press:
When I was in 7th grade, the teacher [showed the class] a video and told us to take notes. Ten minutes in, she threw on the lights and shouted at Steven Webb Sladki, telling him he wasn’t taking notes and should have been. But the thing was, Steven was taking notes. I saw it. We all saw it! The teacher asked if anyone wanted to stand up for Steve. A few of us choked out some words of defense but we were immediately squashed. Quickly, we were all very silent. Steve was sent to the Principal’s office. The teacher came back to the room and said something like: “See how easy that was?” We were reading “Anne Frank.” I started to understand. I just thought now was a good time to share this story. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that what you see with your own eyes isn’t happening.
George Neihardt, Oakland, NE shares an item to celebrate:
I am happy to let all my Republican friends know that our Governor, Pete Ricketts (R), has signed a pro-gun omnibus bill. This bill made considerable improvements on our state’s carry permit law. It’s now a lot easier to renew our carry permits and our laws on transporting firearms have been clarified so we know exactly what we can and cannot do.
[Governor Ricketts is proving himself to be one of the most constitutionally and fiscally conservatives in the United States! He is the “real deal” folks! – Editor]
Cyril Ostiguy, Carroll County GOP Chair
Last week Jan & I traveled to Alamo TN. The Crockett County Seat for the Crockett County GOP meeting. Crockett County was formed in 1871 from portions of Haywood, Madison, Dyer and Gibson counties. It is named in honor of David Crockett (1786–1836), frontier humorist, soldier, Tennessee state legislator and U.S. congressman. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,586. The county courthouse was completed in 1874.
The meeting was in one of the court rooms. The wood work was astounding. We met up with Pat Riley and Gaye Overcast from Gibson County. Here again GOP leaders going to different County meetings. This is what I’m talking about when I say we can’t do it alone. There is strength in numbers. Andy Cole is another great GOP Chair. Jan spoke with him before the meeting. He is also Vice-Chair of the Young Republicans. We think that is where his heart is as he mentioned if he ever got the Chair of The Young Republicans, he would resign the County GOP position and put all his efforts into The Young Republicans. As Republicans we should celebrate folks like him. He is the face of our future.
State Rep Chris Hurt spoke at the meeting. He is Vice Chair, Education Administration Committee in Nashville.
He has lots of concern (as we all should) over our children virtually missing a whole year of school. He spoke of CRT and how the Legislators passed a bill to outlaw it in TN schools without naming as such. He said they would only change the name if they used it. He is quite impressive. In my eyes, another Conservative Republican.
[Cyril and his wife Janis are the two most dedicated folks I know. They are tireless workers and visited the Rhea County Republicans not too long ago. These folks are dedicated to Advancing the Conservative Cause and I’m proud to call them my friends.]
Bill Bastenbeck, a Correspondent from Dayton, TN offers observations on masks:
In the real word, masks don’t work.
I’m no doctor, but I have eyes. I’ve watched people wear masks at work, church, adults and children in stores and other public places. Noses hanging out, masks around chins, pulling down the mask to talk. Really? This is good!? And then the mask gets pulled back up over the face, fingers all over the front of the mask where all the germs are! That’s hygienic [?]
Do people toss that paper mask several time a day and get a clean one or have washable ones they can swap out during the day? Nothing like walking around with a few days’ worth of disease and germs just microns from your nose and mouth.
Mask use today has become a kind of pacifier, a low tar cigarette or light beer. We are told, even mandated’ to use them and we will be safe.
Dr Fauci was probably right the first time: “When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.”
In theory a face mask works to stop the spread of airborne pathogens, and if used correctly, it will. But we are not in theory, we are in the real world, with real people.
For me, I’m old, I got vaccinated. I get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, keep a few feet away from people and take the vitamin supplements my doctor recommends. And if he recommends a booster shot, I’ll consider that too. And unless it’s absolutely necessary, I do not enter places where masks are mandated-it’s just too risky.
Vickie Bonner, a Correspondent from Prattville, Alabama shared some good news:
We were happy to read a story in the Montgomery Advertiser that our State School Board has officially banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory. In their decision, the Board said that any ideology that promotes ‘concepts that project fault, blame, or a need to feel guilt toward people because of their race or sex’ would be banned in all Alabama public schools.
As a mother of kids in grammar school, I was very happy to hear this news and the results of this ban served to inform me that this decision came just in time. Here’s why: No sooner than we heard about this decision from the State School Board, my daughter mentioned that her teacher had collected up one of the books she had gotten at the beginning of the school year. This tells me that CRT may have been taught for longer than we could have imagined!
I hope you’ll share this news with your readers and tell them that all parents had better start paying attention to what the schools are doing to their kids!
Robert Franks reports from Staten Island, New York City:
My friend, it’s getting crazier here every day! This morning I saw a group of grown and rather intelligent-looking people carrying professionally-made signs that read ‘ban all evictions free housing is a right.’ This is merely one facet of the internal decline of our country and an illustration of the trend toward full-blown communism.
J Pat Rich a Correspondent from Lexington, SC offers some analysis:
So, let’s put some things together…This is the type of critical thinking that the Democrats don’t want you to do, and try their best to subdue in the government schools…
We all know that inflation is really going crazy. It is costing us double on many products just since Biden took office. The Biden administration is telling everyone it is because of the shutdowns from the pandemic…but, it does not take much sense to know that the inflation did not take off until the election was “won” by Biden. So if the shutdowns were causing the inflation, the shutdowns started in spring of 2020…yet the runaway inflation really did not start until December (when businesses knew Biden policies were going to stop their businesses from making money).
So, if it is not the shutdowns, what is causing the inflation? Pretty simple…the Democrats insistence of keeping the increases on the unemployment checks! People make more by staying at home and not working! We all know there are plenty of jobs for everyone (most every business has signs saying now hiring, and businesses are closing because they can’t get workers to show up). So there is no need for the extra pay for the unemployed.
Why is that causing the runaway inflation? Businesses are having to raise their pay to keep and hire employees! The evil Democrats are getting their minimum wage increase without passing the new law!
As any honest economist knows, if you raise the wages (or taxes), you must raise the price of goods to cover the cost! And I have been telling you for many years that any minimum wage increase will get completely wiped out by the inflation that always follows a minimum wage hike. Nobody ever is making a “livable wage” if they are getting paid the minimum wage if it be $8, $15 or $100 dollars an hour. The only entity that benefits from a higher minimum wage is the government (their tax rates stay the same, but it is more money, so they benefit).
So thank you Democrats for proving that an increase in wages only means an increase in inflation! And that the increase in pay for those getting the increase in wages will be outpaced by the inflation…which means that NOBODY has an increase in take home pay after increasing the minimum wage!
The Democrats do not care about the workers, just the taxes they pay!
[HOO-RAH! – Editor]
Harrison Lapahie, Shiprock, NM shares some important history.
Wow, this is a quite telling story, ONE FOR HISTORY BUFFS THAT I BET YOU DID NOT KNOW.
In 1975, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War. President Ford went to the U.S. Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate.
However, there was ONE U.S. SENATOR who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon. This Senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford.
Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator, President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall. Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America.
When they arrived in America, President Ford asked Congress for a package to assist these refugees to integrate into American society. That SAME troublesome U.S. SENATOR TORPEDOED ANY SUPPORT for these shell shocked anti-Communist, and our helpers of Americans in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese refugees.
Instead, President Ford had to recruit Christian organizations to offer assistance on a voluntary basis. As he did so, this U.S. Senator belittled those efforts.
What kind of person would oppose President Ford’s tireless work to do the right and humanitarian thing? Who would want to play politics with the well-being of innocent people who stood by America in the tragic Vietnam War?
THAT SENATOR WAS JOE BIDEN!
From the book “When the Center Held,” by Donald Rumsfeld in 2018 (biography).
Ben Cuthbertson, a correspondent from Noblesville, IN shares some shocking news:
I have a friend who reported on attending a school board meeting where her children attend school down in Carmel, IN. She told me that someone there read one of the textbooks the school uses and it was riddled with pornography. Finally, she came up with a report that was posted by the Western Journal, which I hope you will share with your readers. We absolutely cannot allow this type of stuff to continue happening in our schools! I hope everyone who reads my letter to you will make a point of learning what their kids are being taught. WARNING: This link has some very graphic language!
Tennessee – Justin Owens, President of Beacon Center of Tennessee reports on a potential threat to our sovereignty.
In July, the AFL-CIO, one of the nation’s largest unions, held its “Week of Action.” Its main focus was to push the U.S. Senate to join the House of Representatives in the passage of the PRO Act, which would drastically alter labor relations in this country. One of the biggest changes would be the elimination of right-to-work laws in 27 States, including Tennessee. Right-to-work has been a fundamental ingredient in our economic success as a State, so a federal override of this important policy would be devastating economically. Fortunately, not everyone is sitting idly by. Tennessee legislators saw the looming threat against our fright–to–work law and began the process of giving voters the option to enshrine right-to-work in our State Constitution, to defend against these new attacks. If voters ratify Amendment 1 next November, it will send a strong message to Washington that the States – not the federal government – should govern workplace freedom.
The Legislative Report provides information on some of the more remarkable bills that have been introduced in Congress. Its purpose is to provide the reader with information about pending legislation that may prompt the reader to contact their representatives to express their views.
In the emailed version of the Legislative Report, you will see markers + and + on certain bills. The red icon is placed to encourage the reader to contact their representatives and ask them to vote against the legislation. On bills marked with the green icon, the reader is encouraged to contact their elected representatives and ask them to support the legislation. The reader is always encouraged to keep informed about all legislation from other sources so they may be aware of bills that affect our lives. Decide today that you will make your voice heard. If you remain silent, your representatives will never know your thoughts! – Editor
SPECIAL NOTE: It’s Appropriations Time in D.C., and wading through the hundreds of pages for the various bills to read the enormous figures allocated for various Departments, Agencies, Bureaus, and Offices is mind-numbing. Appropriations bills are not normally included in the Legislative Reports of this publication because there simply isn’t room to provide a thorough analysis of each one but, rest assured, if they were included, they’d each be marked with the icon to encourage taxpayers to contact their elected representatives and demand to know whether they’ve lost their mind. In all candor, our representatives are spending us into the poorhouse; they’re running up the debt on our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They are tarnishing our legacy and enslaving our progeny. Our generation will be despised by those who inherit the debt we’re giving them! The ONLY way to change that is for each American Citizen to DEMAND those who represent us start immediately to show some restraint and start paying off our national debt. Will you join me in sending that message? – Editor
HR 4879 To amend the Atomic Energy Defense Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 to increase the minor construction threshold, the associated design threshold, and the notification requirement to begin minor construction projects. (Scott DesJarlais, R-TN, text not yet available).
S 1301 Promoting Physical Activity for Americans Act (Sherrod Brown, D-OH, 6 pages).
This bill would provide for the publication by the Secretary of Health and Human Services a booklet of physical activity recommendations for Americans. It’s not often that I agree with anything Senator Brown has proposed but I think this would be a worthwhile function of government.
HR 4791 Protecting Renters from Evictions Act of 2021 (Maxine Waters, D-CA, 2 pages). Having had a similar bill defeated in the past, “Mad Maxine” is at it again with a bill that would prevent landlords for evicting tenants who refused to pay their rent.
HR 3469 Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act of 2021 (Bradley Schneider, D-IL, 9 pages). This bill amends the Small Businesses Act to codify the Boots to Business Program, and for other purposes. Essentially, this bill would provide training to veterans and/or their dependents who wished to start their own business.
S 583 PRICE Act of 2021 (Gary Peters, D-MI, 14 pages). This bill may be cited as the “Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021.” The purpose of this bill is to promote innovative acquisition techniques and procurement strategies. Essentially, this bill would limit the price gouging techniques often used by private sector suppliers and contractors.
HR 1199 STEM Diplomacy Act (Chrissy Houlahan, D-PA, 2 pages).
To authorize the Secretary of State to waive any or all of the individual occupational requirements with respect to an employee or prospective employee of the Department of State for a civilian position categorized under the GS–0130 occupational series if the Secretary determines that the individual possesses significant scientific, technological, engineering, or mathematical expertise that is integral to performing the duties of the applicable position, based on demonstrated job performance and qualifying experience. With respect to each waiver granted under this section, the Secretary shall set forth in a written document that is transmitted to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management the rationale for the decision of the Secretary to waive such requirements. While some may argue that autodidacts may be as capable as those who earned degrees in any field of study, it must be remembered that such an individual may not be a “good fit” in certain crucial roles since they did not possess the self-discipline required to earn a degree, and therefore may incapable of demonstrating the necessary discipline required of those serving in crucial roles.
HR 4209 DHS Illicit Cross-Border Tunnel Defense Act (August Pfluger, R-TX, 3 pages). The most remarkable thing about this bill is learning the Department of Homeland Security and/or Customs and Border Patrol do not have adequate authority, capability, or practices already in place to detect tunnels crossing our border. What were they thinking?
+HR 3684 INVEST in America Act (Peter DeFazio, D-OR, 1934 pages). The stated purpose is bill is to authorize funds for Federal aid to improve highways, highway safety programs, transit programs, and for ”other purposes.” [emphasis added!]
This bill was passed in the House of Representatives along a party line vote and forwarded to the Senate for consideration. After the addition of a significant amount of pork, the Senate passed the bill with the aid of 19 so-called “Republican” votes!
Since changes were made in the Senate, the modified version of HR 3684 has been sent back to the House of Representatives for further consideration. Following are some details about this bill that will inform the reader as to what our elected representatives are trying to pull.
Breitbart did an EXCELLENT breakdown of this bill, available at the following link:
+HR 4 John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 (Terri Sewell, D-AL, 45 pages). The purpose of this bill is to amend the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to revise the criteria for determining which States and subdivisions are subject to Section 4 of the Act and, of course, for “other” purposes. In essence, as written, Ms. Sewell’s proposed changes would require that each State and political subdivision to have representation mirroring the demographic profile of that State or political subdivision. Such a requirement would potentially nullify the desires of the electorate.
RHEA COUNTY REPUBLICAN PARTY NEWS
The Rhea County Republican Party Monthly Meeting
The next meeting of the Rhea County Republican Party will be a regular meeting, held on 9 SEPTEMBER 2021, at 7:00 PM, at the Sheriff’s Training Center, 711 Eagle Lane, Evensville, TN. Guest Speaker, Mr. Quentin Kaus, Vice President of the McMinn County Young Republicans, will be our guest speaker. The topic will be: How to start a Young Republican’s organization in Rhea County.
Rhea County Republican Party Executive Committee
Bitsy Gryder – Chairman Kris Bancroft – Vice Chairman
Judy Bancroft – Secretary Ted Engel – Treasurer
Marvin Keener Sr. – Vice Treasurer
Minutes from the Previous Meeting
The Rhea County Republicans met for a social gathering in August; minutes are recorded only at our Regular Meetings, which are held on odd-numbered months.
Who Were the “Wide Awakes?”
Cyril Ostiguy, Chairman of the Carroll County (TN) Republican Party, shared an article by Sonia Shoenfield, Librarian and Historian at the Cook Memorial Public Library, Chicago, IL. The following link will introduce you to the author and several of her other works. Sonia Schoenfield | Shelf Life (cooklib.org)
The Wide Awakes are one of the least known but most influential groups to have had a part of the election of 1860, and Libertyville is lucky enough to claim a part in their story.
The presidential election of 1860 was tightly contested. Four candidates held widely different stands on the hot button issues of the day: slavery, states’ rights, homesteading, and whether new states to the union should be slave or free. Abraham Lincoln was the candidate of the newly formed Republican Party, and he was by no means the beloved name then that he is today. However, his supporters were passionate, and the most passionate of all his supporters made up a unique group called the Wide Awakes.
The Wide Awakes came into being as supporters of the Republican Party and first organized in March of 1860 in Hartford, Connecticut. The Honorable Cassius Clay, a state representative from Kentucky who was a Republican and an abolitionist, came to speak in Hartford in favor of the Republican candidate for governor of Connecticut. A torchlight procession was formed to escort Clay to and from the hall where he gave his speech. The young Republicans who escorted him carried leaky kerosene torches so they outfitted themselves in black cambric capes and caps. They made such an impression with the crowd and among themselves that they soon recruited more members for their marching club, made up a constitution, elected members, and gave themselves the name “Wide Awakes.”
The Hartford group seemed to strike a chord with other enthusiastic young Republicans nearby. Wide Awake groups sprang up in neighboring towns in Connecticut, then in neighboring states. They took turns visiting each other’s towns for marching rallies when they weren’t providing escort duties to political candidates. As new groups formed they wrote to the Hartford club for advice on how to put together a Wide Awake club; the Hartford boys received so many requests that they printed up a form letter to send out instead of answering each request individually.
Wide Awake groups sprouted up across the country like dandelions, and as their popularity grew, so did their activities. They carried banners and lanterns in addition to their torches, they marched in formation, they sang, and their parades included bands and sometimes mounted riders. They carried no weapons but sometimes found themselves lured into a fight by belligerent members of the opposition. The Wide Awakes became so popular that newspapers in the south printed alarmist articles accusing them of being a military organization that would be ready to march into action against the south at a moments’ notice.
Wide Awakes put on quite a show at the Republican convention in Chicago in May of 1860 when Abraham Lincoln was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate over William Seward. The Chicago Wide Awakes marched every day; when the convention was over the delegates no doubt brought home tales of the impressive marching clubs they had seen, and more Wide Awake clubs were formed throughout the Midwest. It’s not hard to see the appeal; what self-respecting young Republican wouldn’t want to be part of a uniformed, disciplined, marching, torch-bearing group like the Wide Awakes?
The popularity and enthusiasm of the Wide Awakes had reached a fever pitch in October before the November election. The Wide Awakes of New York City decided to have a National Wide Awake demonstration a month before the election, on October 3rd. At first just the Wide Awakes from Brooklyn and New Jersey were invited, but soon the event ballooned into an all-out lollapalooza. Wide Awakes came from every ward and borough of New York City; from Brunswick and Camden, New Jersey; from Boston, Providence, Albany; from Hartford and New Haven Connecticut, the last group being accompanied by a Glee Club of 20 members drawn in a decorated wagon. On the day following the demonstration, the entire front page of the New York Times was taken up with descriptions of the event. An estimated 12,000 Wide Awakes marched that night; the procession was five miles long and took two hours to pass by.
Meanwhile, out west, Chicago had plans of her own. Coincidentally, William Seward was scheduled to speak in Chicago on October 2, and that was reason enough for Wide Awakes from miles around to come for the event. In fact, to generate enthusiasm, the Chicago Wide Awakes offered a challenge: a beautiful silk banner would be given to the Wide Awake club who brought the greatest number of members in proportion to the number of Republican votes cast in their town in 1858. The Waukegan paper threw down the gauntlet for Lake County and asked, “Will Libertyville or Fremont or Wauconda or Waukegan bear off this prize? Let us all make the effort. It is not impossible that some town in Lake County may get it.”
The big day arrived, and people poured into Chicago. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Never was our city visited in a single day by as many strangers. It surpassed in numbers even the attendance upon the National Convention last spring, and the United States Fair of 1859. Every street…swarmed and buzzed like a bee hive.” Seward spoke in the afternoon and that evening the excitement continued. The Wide Awakes who had come to hear Seward gathered on South Michigan Avenue for the Torchlight Procession up Clark Street. At the end of the parade the winner of the coveted prize banner was announced…Libertyville. The banner was brought home by train and displayed at the Lake County Fair just days later to a very proud constituency.
We know the rest of the story. Abraham Lincoln was elected president on November 3 and sworn into office on March 4, 1861. About a month later on April 12 shots were fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina and soon Lincoln was calling for volunteers for the army. The Civil War had begun. Were Wide Awakes across the country among those who volunteered and served during the Civil War? This is a question that remains unanswered. What we do know is that the Wide Awakes were a patriotic group of men who ardently supported Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Party. As the years passed, the men who had joined the Wide Awakes still cherished their memories of their torchlight parades and electioneering in 1860. Edwin Parkhurst, who was a member of the prize banner-winning Wide Awake club from Libertyville, spoke so often during his life of his participation in the big Chicago rally that it was mentioned in his obituary in 1927.
The prize banner won by those Libertyville Wide Awakes is still displayed with pride in the upstairs hallway of the Ansel B. Cook Home, along with two Wide Awake torches. The banner is 6 feet high and is showcased in a glass frame. It is made of black silk with writing of gold leaf and an illustration of the Chicago Wide Awake parade in the middle. Across the top it reads, “Presented to the Wide Awakes of Libertyville by the Chicago Wide Awakes, Oct. 2nd, 1860.” This banner is a cherished possession of the Libertyville-Mundelein Historical Society. The impact of the Wide Awakes may have faded over time, but they are still remembered in Libertyville.
– Grinspan, Jon, “Young Men for War: The Wide Awakes and Lincoln’s 1860 Presidential Campaign,” Journal of American History, 96 (September 2009), 357-78.
– Rathbun, Maj. Julius G., “The ‘Wide Awakes:’ The Great Political Organization of 1860,” The Connecticut Quarterly, vol. 1, 1895, p 327 – 335.
– Rinhart, Floyd, and Marion Rinhard, “The Prairies A-Blaze: Iowa Wide Awakes Carry Torches for Lincoln,” Iowa Heritage Illustrated, vol. 77, Spring, 1996, p. 42-48.
– Thompson, B. F., “The Wide Awakes of 1860,” The Magazine of American History, with notes and queries, November 1909, vol. 10, p. 293-296.
CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TODAY!
Regardless of where you live you can find your elected representatives at any level of government by visiting the following link. Remember: While they might be fairly bright, none of them can read your mind, so it is your obligation as a citizen to express your thoughts (and to urge all your friends and family and like-minded folks to do the same!) https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials
Here’s a handy guide for Tennesseans in the 4th Congressional District:
|Joseph Robinette Biden (a.k.a. the “Big Guy”)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington D.C. 20500
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461
|U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty
Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 244-4944
Fax: (202) 228-3398
|U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn
357 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3344
Fax: (202) 228-0566
To contact visit website:
|U.S Representative Dr. Scott DesJarlais
2301 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6831
Fax: (202) 226-5172
|Governor Bill Lee
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-2001
Fax: (615) 532-9711
|Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
Link above provides all methods of contact.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader
|State Representative Ron Travis
301 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1450
|State Senator Ken Yager
301 Sixth Avenue North
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone: (615) 741-1449
Fax: (615) 253-0237
The Biden regime tells us there is no inflation. I wonder if they’re aware that, directly due to their policies, the cost for the following items have increased greatly:
Car rentals – 87%
Used cars – 45.2%
Gasoline – 451%
Airfares – 24.6%
Hotels – 19.6%
Furniture – 8.6%
Bacon – 8.4%
TVs – 7.6%
Fruit – 7.3%
Shoes – 6.5%
Fresh fish – 6.4%