Today began with a panel discussion on one of the biggest themes of the event-- immigration. The title of the segment was “If heaven has a gate and a wall and extreme vetting, why can’t America?” There was a discussion that logistically, it would be next to impossible to round up and deport 15 million illegal immigrants. Vetting incoming immigrants is vital-- screening for health issues, as well as for criminals and terrorists. It was understood there is a need for many of these people who are already here. It was considered prudent to vet these people, give them a legal worker status without benefits from the government. The initial need is to secure the border before moving on to any sort of reforms.
Robert Davi spoke on media accountability. There seems to be wide public support for the administration’s decision to block certain outlets from the briefing yesterday. It seems the mainstream media has built a reputation that has many people angry. There was wide applause whenever the term “fake media” was used. Robert pointed out that one problem is the major new outlets and publishers are owned by large, diverse corporations, leading to the appearance of a conflict of interest at the very least, and actual conflict and bias at the worst.
David Bossie of Citizens United essentially parroted the same theme of the event. He spoke of the unfairness of the MSM and the angry left. He made a point of the importance of Trump’s conservative populist message. The “forgotten man” became the trump voter. (The Forgotten Man was a book written about the average man during the Great Depression who was left out as the elites worked on solutions.)
There was a panel discussion among journalists Ralph Hallow, Susan Page, Rick Unger and Byron York. Historically, the Bible Belt and the Rust Belt have been very predictable. Republican positions have been very predictable. It was noted that there are deep divisions and fractions in both parties, and in reality, they are probably deeper on the Democrat side. The panel agreed that the orthodoxy is not understood within the media or Washington.
None of the panelists believed Trump would win, even into election night until the actual results were coming in. The three conservatives indicated they hoped Trump would at least do as well as Romney, if not a little better. All were shocked at the acceptance by conservatives of protectionist trade policy and what Steve Bannon called Economic Nationalism. Byron York observed that people are under attack and sees Trump as someone who can protect them.
Something they all noted was that the “religious right” did not go to the obvious candidate and that there was wide crossover appeal from Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. People on the right seemed to respond more to feelings this time around.
Mark Walker (NC) brought a brief message. Please take a couple of minutes to watch it.
True heroism is remarkably sober and very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. - Arthur Ashe
There were discussions on data and ideas, and fitting information and policy to affect change. Also discussed was how political correctness is killing US institutions and free speech. Three rising Republican stars were highlighted and how they became involved in politics.
A panel also visited the phenomenon of “snowflakes” on college campuses and facts vs. feelings, safe spaces, and trigger warnings. All the panelists encouraged students to stand their ground, go to a coffee shop, demand acceptance as a paying student. Lawrence Jones suggested if people want a safe space, then they should stay at home. They had some great advice on how to combat the problems of silencing conservatives in colleges and universities.
Scott Pruitt promised to restore power to the people while recognizing the state's sovereignty and return to federalism. His message was very well received. He said that people’s desire to see the EPA dismantled is justified. The EPA grants over $4 billion to schools and organizations, many of which are for wasteful programs. Near-term is to roll back regulations that have exceeded legislative intent and then work on things such as regulatory certainty so businesses know what to expect. Pruitt believes we can be good stewards of our resources and grow our economy.
Sheriff David Clarke closed out the event. “Blue lives matter in America.” He challenged those in attendance as to whether the founders intended the government we have today. No, they embraced the concept of self-rule. He spoke of Lincoln's struggle to keep the dream and idea of liberty alive. “We are either a United people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.” - George Washington
“Every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face—that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender.” -Ronald Reagan
The sheriff spoke passionately of his life in law enforcement and the importance of the rule of law. It is a time for choosing. It was a good close, see the whole speech here.