Friday, December 23, 2022

Jan. 6th committee recommendations could have been written the day the committee was established!

Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair


     After 18 months, the U.S. House select committee investigating the January 6th U.S. Capitol breech released an 845-page report based on over 1,000 interviews.  The nine-member committee had just two Republican members.  Rep. Liz Cheney, (R-WY) and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, (R- Il) were the two GOP members.  Both Cheney and Kinzinger have been strong public critics of former President Trump.

     The committee alleges President Trump oversaw the effort to put forward an alternative slate of electors in seven states he lost.  Citing the 14th amendment (equal protection under the law), the committee recommends the former president be barred from holding any future government office- federal or otherwise.  They also recommend Congress pass laws with stronger criminal penalties for those who obstruct a peaceful transfer of power.  They also recommended Congress pass laws that give select committees be given subpoena power.    A number of individuals the committee subpoenaed did not appear including former President Trump.  Steve Bannon was convicted in federal court for refusing to provide testimony to the committee and was sentenced to four months in prison.  Three observations:

      First, the committee’s findings were predetermined.  The January 6th committee was not as concerned with investigating the breach of the Capitol as they were getting President Trump.  None of the members of the committee went into the process with an open mind.  Cheney and Kinzinger were handpicked by Speaker Pelosi because they are Trump critics and they were elected Republicans.  The Democrats needed a couple of token Republicans on the committee so they could call it ‘bipartisan.’  Rest assured; the conclusions were preestablished.  The goal is and remains to prevent Donald J. Trump from ever holding office again.

      Second, the January 6th breech of the Capitol should have been investigated by Congress.  The U.S. Capitol is the people’s house, but individual citizens don’t have a right to vandalize and destroy it.  Thus far, 964 people have been charged in the breech- over half have pled guilty.   Some were just ‘caught up in the moment,’ and acted on impulse.  Others wanted to overthrow the government.  Still others, just love conflict and like to tear up stuff.  Whatever the reason, those who bum rushed the Capitol on January 6th didn’t use good judgment and their actions didn’t further their cause for liberty.

     Third, the committee wants to reform the Electoral Count Act of 1887.  They want Congress to pass a law that prevents a Vice President from questioning a state’s electors.  They advocate for the VP’s role to be largely ceremonial.  The U.S. Constitution is clear; the VP presides over the process.  It is not ceremonial. 

     They recommend raising the number of votes needed in Congress to question a state’s election results.  This recommendation contradicts HR1, a proposal by Democrats to federalize elections.  But perhaps it doesn’t conflict with HR1?  The goal of the Democrats is to control the process by taking voters out of the equation.

     The committee’s recommendations ignore average Americans.  They want to manage/control the election system after the voters have spoken.  America is a Republic.  The power is held by the people and their elected representatives.  The January 6th committee wants an oligarchy, a system of government where a small group of elitist rules.  The creditability of their report is questionable at best.  Eighteen months and a ton of tax dollars wasted!  The recommendations could have been written the day the committee was established.


Sunday, December 18, 2022

Americans celebrate Christmas in a big way!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     The birth of Jesus Christ will be celebrated this week.  Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States in 1870.  It was an attempt by President Grant to unite the nation after the civil war.  Most private companies in the United States close on Christmas and give their employees the day off.  Three observations about the Christmas holiday:

     First, early Christian believers didn’t celebrate Jesus’ birth.  Celebration of Christ’s birth started in the fourth century when the church fathers in Rome decided to set December 25th (winter solstice) in order to ‘Christianize’ the popular pagan celebrations on that date. 

     Winter solstice is the day of the year with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year.  This year winter solstice is December 21st.  In the ancient world, winter solstice was celebrated with gift giving, feasts and festivals.  Sound familiar? 

      It is unlikely Christ was born on December 25th.  Most Bible scholars say shepherds would not have been in the fields with their flocks in the winter, implying a warmer month as the actual date of Jesus’ birth.  But Jesus Christ was indeed born and His birth should be celebrated by believers.  How that is done should be a matter of personal liberty.  Scripture neither commends or condemns celebrating Christ’s birth. 

     Second, Americans celebrate Christmas in a big way!  A whopping 75% of annual retail sales in the U.S. are during the Christmas season.  In 2022, holiday retail sales are forecast to reach $942.6 billion dollars. 41% of Americans are willing to take on debt due to gift giving.  The average American family spends $1,000 on Christmas.  Americans spend $6 billion on Christmas trees. 93% exchange gifts and 74% attend holiday parties.  According to USA Today, 10% of people return their gifts to the store and 47% of those who got gift cards didn’t get the full value from the card. 

     Third, most celebrating Christmas miss the reason for the season.  The number of Americans who worship Christ is declining.  According to a poll by Pew Research, Christians will be a minority in America by 2070 if current trends continue. Sociologists call the people who are shelving their Christian roots, nonverts.  These young adults(30 years and under) are more secular than their parents and grandparents.  42% of young adults do not consider themselves religious.  They miss the true meaning of Christmas and Christianity because they don’t realize they are sinners.  They don’t show any interest in Christ because they don’t understand their need of salvation.  They don’t understand the wages of sin is death and plummets people into an eternal hell.  They ignore the remedy/treatment because they don’t even realize they have the disease. 

      The trend toward atheism and agnosticism has been a slow but steady decline in Europe.  In the U.S., it has been steep and quick, starting in the early 2000s.   To compound the problems, churches have resorted to secular tactics to fill their pews.  They have sought relevance and ditched reverence.  The Gospel has become secondary to schemes, activities, and programs. 

      Two thousand years ago, the Creator of the universe, the eternal God, took on humanity. With Christ’s birth, God and man were fused together in indivisible oneness.  The real significance of the birth of God in human form is overlooked, trivialized and minimalized in the very holiday created to celebrate His birth.   

     Theodor Seuss Geisel was a children’s book author and cartoonist.  He wrote 60 books under the pen name, Dr. Seuss.  In “The Grinch who stole Christmas,” the title character says in anapestic meter: “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store.  Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” You are right, Mr. Grinch!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sinema’s change will change nothing in the Senate.

Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair

           On Tuesday, Republican Hershel Walker was soundly defeated by Sen. Raphael Warnock in Georgia.  It was the final U.S. Senate race of 2022.  Warnock was elected to a full six-year term.  His win gave the Democrats a 51-49 edge in the upper chamber- at least for a while. 

     Three days later, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, (D-Arizona) announced she was leaving the Democratic Party and registering as an Independent.  Sinema evidently will continue to caucus(meet/cooperate/vote) with the Democrats since they announced she will keep her committee assignments.   Sinema joins Senators Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), and Angus King, (I-ME) as an Independent.  All three caucus/meet/cooperate/vote with the Democrats.

     Sinema is serving her first term in the U.S. Senate and is up for re-election in 2024.  She is the first openly bi-sexual woman in the Senate.  Sinema is considered a centrist on fiscal issues and is often aligned with Sen. Joe Manchin, (D-WV) on key votes. 

     Sinema’s change of course wasn’t met with enthusiasm by fellow Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders.  Sanders said Sinema’s decision was driven by ‘political aspirations for the future in Arizona.’  Sanders said, “I think Democrats there(Arizona) are not all that enthusiastic about somebody who helped sabotage some of the most important legislation that protects the interests of working families and voting right and so forth.”  Sinema countered, “Registering as an independent and showing up to work with the title of independent is a reflection of who I’ve always been….Nothing is going to change for me.”   

     Democratic leaders in Arizona said they felt betrayed by Sinema’s flip flop.  A sitting Democratic Congressman had already announced his plan to run against Sinema in the 2024 Democratic primary challenge.  Three observations:

     First, changing Party affiliation in the U.S. Senate has happened before.  In the last eighty years, there have been twelve flips by sitting Senators.  Most didn’t mean much, but one in recent memory did.  One of the most dramatic defections came just after President George W. Bush was elected in 2000.  The Senate was evenly split coming into the 107th Congress, with Vice President Cheney set to cast the tie-breaking vote.  Then Sen. Jim Jeffords, a senator from Vermont announced he was flipping to Independent and would caucus with the Democrats.  It changed the balance of power in the Senate.  Jeffords took great pride in the shift, proudly declaring himself ‘not conservative.’  Jeffords never appeared on the ballot again, choosing to retire from the Senate when his term ended.

     Second, Sinema’s change will change nothing in the Senate.  She will keep her committee assignments.  Sinema will still caucus/meet/vote with the Democrats.  The move helps her avoid a contentious primary in her upcoming re-election bid.  Sanders is right(for once)- she is driven by political ambition. 

     Third, when elected officials change Party affiliation, most of the time it is for convenience, not conviction.  That’s true at all levels of government- not just at the federal level.  As the Sooner state has become increasingly Red, ambitious, zealous candidates have registered Republican so they can use the GOP brand to further their aspirations.  They know being a registered Democrat is a liability with Oklahoma voters.  Most of these new converts have never read the Republican platform.  They could care less about Party beliefs and values are.  They only want to win.  After all, if these indispensable individuals can’t win, they can’t govern and serve in humility/conviction/meekness and bless us with their superior intellect and insight.

     In 1983, the late U.S. Rep. Phil Gramm from Texas was serving in the U.S. House.  He came to the conclusion he wasn’t a Democrat anymore.  Gramm resigned his seat in Congress.  A special election was held to fill his seat.  Gramm ran as a Republican and was elected to the seat he resigned.  Gramm said the voters should decide if he was who they wanted to represent them and if they disagreed with his Party change, he should lose.  That took conviction.  No other switcher- before or since- has followed that model. 

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Can Americans express their opinion in the public square without fear of retaliation or censorship?

Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair

      The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

     The framers of the Constitution understood the importance of protecting the freedom of individual conscience.  James Madison, the father of the Constitution, called man’s conscience ‘the most sacred of all property.’  Thomas Jefferson said no ‘provision in the constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience against the government.’ 

     Is free speech being suppressed in modern America?  Can Americans express their opinion in the public square without fear of retaliation or censorship?  If social media is considered the public square, perhaps it is.  On Friday, Elon Musk released internal documents from Twitter files that revealed the social media giant restricted the sharing of a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s shady dealings.  Hunter is President Biden’s son. Musk said he released it to expose what he claims is the political left’s grip over Big Technology.  Three observations:

     First, social media is not the public square.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others are private businesses and have the right to set up guidelines and policies on how they do business.  While it is true that 3.5 billion or 45% of the world’s population use social media to keep in contact with others, social media is still free enterprise.  Users are social media consumers and have a choice as to whether they post or not.  The platforms have a choice on what they allow. 

      Second, social media engages in censorship and suppression. As Musk’s release revealed, Twitter restricted the widespread distribution of information that would have been damaging to the 2020 Biden campaign. 

     Some conservative lawmakers have attempted to pass legislation prohibiting platforms from censoring posts based on a person’s viewpoint and users who have been censored would be able to sue a site for it.  Restricting the right of free enterprise to operate without government interference is what Republicans have traditionally stood for. 

     Third, actions have consequences.  As the big social media giants have ramped up their ‘thou shalt not’ philosophy with users, they have lost users and thus important advertising revenue.  Advertisers of goods/services don’t traditionally seek controversy.  Twitter advertising is down -30% vs. last year.

      Last month, Elon Musk told Twitter staff the companies’ financial problems are so serious that ‘bankruptcy is not out of the question.’  Facebook revenue is down and profits are less than half than one year ago.  Protecting fellow Americans from themselves has cost Big Tech’s bottom line.

     The loss of free speech in the public square has evolved because of three clear deficiencies in modern America: (1) The void of in-person interaction among people.  Courageous keyboard warriors now communicate with their friends without looking at them eyeball to eyeball.  That has resulted in comments and insults that in years past they would never say in person, but now do.  The perceived importance of interpersonal skills is at an all-time low.  (2)  Respecting a differing opinion and being humble is considered weak.  Exaggerating another’s position and attacking them personally is fashionable and celebrated.  Civility is dead. Ideological purity is demanded.  (3) The intolerance of the tolerant.  Those who demand respect for their opinion don’t respect those who disagree with them.   The problem with the first amendment is it protects the speech we hate and tolerates the speech that offends us.  Until Americans recognize others have a right to be wrong, the first amendment will be subdued.

Sunday, November 27, 2022


Weekly Opinion Editorial 


by Steve Fair


     In an op/ed in Politico last week, Jeff Greenfield addressed the Republican and Democratic Party presidential nomination process.  Greenfield writes the Trump campaign has an under-appreciated advantage in understanding the GOP nominating process vs. other potential candidates, because they have been through it before. 

     Most registered voters have little idea how a Party selects the nominee.   The two major Parties do not do it the same way.  Democrats require delegates to their national nominating convention be proportionally allocated in each state.  Republicans leave the decision on how delegates are selected up to each state.   

     Some states, including Oklahoma, hold a presidential preference primary.  In Oklahoma, if a candidate receives 50% of the vote in the primary, all the state’s delegates are pledged to that candidate.  If no candidate reaches the 50% threshold, all candidates who receive 15% or more of the vote get delegates.    Other states use a caucus or a state convention to select national delegates. 

     In 2020, Oklahoma had 43 delegates to the 2020 convention.  15 of those delegates were selected at Congressional District level (5 districts x 3 delegates each).  25 were selected at the state GOP convention.  3 were automatic delegates as elected members of the Republican National Committee (State Chair/National Committeeman & Committeewoman). 

     Oklahoma Republican Party rules and Oklahoma State law bind convention delegates to vote for who they are pledged to for as long as that candidate remains in the race.  Every delegate must sign an affidavit before they attend the national convention.  Three points about the process:

     First, Trump does have an advantage in the nomination process.  Knowledge of how the primary system works is crucial.  Early in 2016, the Trump team was clueless about the delegate selection rules.  They even dared to claim the system was rigged- all while they were winning.  Knowing the quirky rules, by state, is fundamental to being effective in a primary campaign.  Ignorance of how the game is played is no excuse- especially for well-organized candidates.

     Second, expect the RNC and some states to alter/change/amend the rules.  It happens every cycle.  A state changes their delegate selection process to a caucus system or a presidential preference primary or move up or back the date of their primary. 

     The RNC attempts to ‘manage’ the process to avoid a brokered convention by dictating which states can go first in the primary order.  They try to impose penalties (not sitting their delegates) on states that don’t comply.  Each state wants more influence in the nomination process.    

     In 2015, former RNC members presented a rotating system that would have rewarded Red states like Oklahoma, Alabama, and Utah, by allowing those states to hold their primaries first.  It would have given more conservative states a greater influence in the nominating process.  That proposal was soundly defeated.  The RNC continues to allow Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada and Florida to hold early races, in spite of the fact they are not as conservative as the previously mentioned trio of states.  Don’t expect the RNC to change the primary order in 2024.

     Third, Oklahoma voters cast their presidential primary vote for an unknown representative. That representative is a political activist who will represent them at the GOP national convention.  They will be legally bound to vote the way the district or state voted.  They will spend their own money and time to travel to the convention.  They will be criticized by some for sticking to their word and doing what they said they would do.  Why would anyone do that?  Because they love their Party, their state and their country?  Those fellow citizens should be applauded, not abhorred.  They should be cheered, not discouraged.  Without their dedication, devotion, and commitment, the process would be havoc and anarchy.     

     America was founded on the principle of the government deriving power from the consent of the governed.  Until the majority of the governed deposit sustained ownership in government, the unengaged and uninformed will show no appreciation for political activists and will detest elected officials.  Roger Miller said, “Some people walk in the rain- others just get wet.”

Sunday, November 20, 2022

“Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump announced he was running for the Republican nomination in 2024.  “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States,” he told the crowd gathered at Mar-a-Lago. “America’s comeback starts now,!” Trump proclaimed. 

     Some of Trump’s family isn’t on board like they were in his previous two campaigns.  Ivanka Trump Kushner, the ex-president’s daughter and former advisor, did not attend the announcement and issued a statement after the declaration of her father.  “While I will always love and support my father, going forward I will do so outside the political arena,” Trump Kushner said.  Her husband, Jared Kushner, a former senior advisor to the president, did attend the announcement, as did sons Eric and Barron, but Donald Trump Jr. was not in attendance.

     Reaction to Trump’s announcement was mixed from Congressional Republicans.  Four term Congresswoman Rep. Elise Stefanik, (R-NY), endorsed Trump, calling him the most popular Republican in America, who has a proven record of conservative governance.  Three term Congressman Rep. Andy Biggs, (R-AZ), who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA) for Speaker earlier this week said Trump was the leader of the Republican Party.  Former White House physician, Texas Congressman Ronny Jackson, (R,TX), said he was 100% behind Trump. 

     Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney(who served 15 months in the job) said Trump was the only Republican who could lose in 2024 and it would be a mistake to nominate him.  Outgoing Maryland Governor Larry Hogan agreed.  Sen. Richard Burr, (R-NC), who is retiring after 28 years in Congress, said he could care less about Trump’s announcement.  It is not unheard of for an ex-president to covet moving back to the White House. 

     Three ex-presidents in American history have come back and ran for the job.  President Ulysses S. Grant served two terms as POTUS from 1869-1877, but declined to run for a third term.  He changed his mind in 1880 and ran for the Republican nomination, but lost to James Garfield on the 36th ballot. 

     After losing to FDR, President Herbert Hoover ran for the GOP nomination in 1936 and 1940, but failed to win the Party’s nod. 

     Three other former presidents tried to get their old job back by running as third-Party candidates. Martin Van Buren ran eight years after he was defeated and came in third and got no electoral votes.   Millard Fillmore created the Know Nothing Party’s nomination in 1852,  and finished third with 21% of the popular vote and got eight electoral votes.  Could it have been the Party’s name?

      Perhaps the best-known ex-president to try and win the Oval Office job back is President Teddy Roosevelt.  After serving seven years, Roosevelt chose to not run for reelection.  He handpicked Secretary of War William Howard Taft as his successor, but quickly regretted the decision.  Roosevelt ran against Taft for the Republican nomination in 1912, but narrowly lost.  Teddy then created the Bull Moose Party.  He got 27.4% of the popular vote and 88 electoral votes.  Taft got 23.2% of the popular vote, but only 8 electoral votes.  Taking advantage of the Republicans splitting the vote, Woodrow Wilson won 435 electoral votes with just 41% of the popular vote. 

     President Grover Cleveland is the only former president who has come back after being defeated for reelection to win a second nonconsecutive term.  Cleveland was the 22nd and the 24th president with Benjamin Harrison the 23rd.  Cleveland, the former governor of New York, beat Harrison in the rematch in 1892.    

     Will Donald Trump be successful and serve a second nonconsecutive term like Grover Cleveland?  Will history repeat itself and Trump win a rematch against Joe Biden like Cleveland did against Harrison?  Will Trump be like Grant and Hoover and fail to get the GOP Party nomination?  If he lost the nomination, would he follow Teddy Roosevelt’s example and create a third-Party?  It remains to be seen how it plays out, but one thing is certain: 2024 is taking shape to be an eventful election.

     American philosopher George Santayana famously said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

     Phil Connors in Groundhog Day put it in more contemporary terms: “I wake up everyday, right here in Punxsutawney, and it’s always February 2nd, and there’s nothing I can do about it.”  That’s how most Americans feel about politics and their government.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Celebrity Republicans clearly didn’t convince voters of their competence!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Last Tuesday’s elections didn’t turn out like most political pundits/sages expected.  Instead of a red wave, it was more like a calm pink tide.  Republicans appear to have gained enough seats to take over the U.S. House, but the U.S. Senate will remain under Democrat control.  It appears the Democrat has won in the Arizona governor’s race, so all in all it wasn’t a strong night for Republicans.  Three observations:

     First, Parties don’t win or lose elections, candidates do.  Republican elected officials and so-called political experts recruited, equipped and funded bad candidates.  The Senate GOP candidate in Pennsylvania was Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Turkish Muslim, who lives in New Jersey.  A regular on Oprah Winfrey’s show, Oz was recruited because he had name recognition and Republicans thought Oz would appeal to ‘swing’ voters.  His opponent was the sitting Lt. Governor in Pennsylvania who had a stroke and struggled through a debate.  They were running to replace Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican. Oz had little appeal to Pennamites in the larger metropolitan areas and Democrats picked up the seat.  Oz may know medicine and television, but in politics, he was a political novice.   

     Republicans ran Kari Lake for governor in Arizona.  Lake was a Phoenix TV news anchor who had high name recognition.  Her Democrat opponent was Katie Hobbs, the sitting Secretary of State in Arizona. It appears Lake lost in a very close race.  In Georgia, the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate was Herschel Walker, who was a Heisman Trophy winner while at the University of Georgia and a well-known professional athletic.  Walker was recruited because everybody in Georgia knows who he is.  Walker hasn’t lost yet, but he trails his Democratic opponent as they move to a December 6th runoff.     

     None of the three GOP candidates mentioned have held elective office before.  All three were unconventional, out of the ordinary, outsider candidates.  The three were aggrandized as being conservative outsiders in the mold of former President Donald Trump. Yet voters didn’t seem to care about their notoriety or celebrity status.  They chose the more conventional candidates.  Perhaps the days of PT Barnum ‘now in the center ring’ politics has run its course.

     Second, the grand old Party missed a great old probability.  Inflation is at a 40 year high.  The economy is in the tank. Exit polling showed the economy/inflation was the number one issue with over 50% of voters.   Odds were in Republican’s favor.  Democrat’s failed economy policy is hurting the average family.  Even Democrat pollsters projected the GOP would win big on Tuesday, yet Republicans failed to capitalize on the number one issue.  They instead ran candidates based on personality and not policy. 

     Third, Oklahoma and Florida were the two bright red spots.  Oklahoma voters cast their ballots overwhelmingly for Republicans, which is not surprising.  Republicans easily won their races in the Sooner state, in spite of the fact millions were spent in dark money ads attacking Governor Stitt and Ryan Walters. 

     Florida is another story. The sunshine state reelected Governor Ron DeSantis to a second term 60% to 40%.  DeSantis won Miami Dade county, a traditionally Democrat county, by 10 points- the first time a Republican has won it in over twenty years.    Republicans in Florida won all statewide races and now have super majorities in both the state House and Senate (Oklahoma did it in 2014).  That gives DeSantis a launching pad for a 2024 presidential run.  Florida is a key swing state. 

     The lesson from Tuesday is candidates win or lose elections- not Parties.  Ill prepared, amateur, greenhorn candidates have little appeal to the knowledgeable voter- and they rarely fool the uniformed one.  Running a candidate with little substance so an extra chair is needed at the caucus meeting is a foolhardy strategy.  A notable luminary on the ballot is no different than the unknown career politician.  Both must convince the voter they are competent to do the job.  Celebrity Republicans clearly didn’t do that on Tuesday.


Sunday, November 6, 2022


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     On Tuesday November 8th, America votes.  As of this writing, Republicans are expected to win enough seats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Control of the U.S. Senate hinges on three very close races.  Results in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Georgia will determine control of the upper chamber.   Polling indicates races too close to call, but pollsters have been wrong.  Some believe the state of the economy (record inflation, supply chain issues) will result in a Red Wave with Republicans taking control of both chambers, rendering President Biden’s next two years politically impotent. 

     In the Sooner state, record amounts of money have been spent on the governor’s race.  Dark money groups have spent millions attacking Governor Stitt.  The lack of transparency and disclosure of who funds the obnoxious, outrageous ads should concern everyone, matter their Party affiliation.  The anonymity allows rich donors to remain undisclosed to the public, while spending millions to influence and buy an election. 

     Federal courts have ruled Americans have a right to use their money to fund campaigns pushing their values and views.  They rule it is a freedom of speech issue. But the public should demand to know who is funding the campaigns.  Until the laws are changed requiring exposure, the public should pay no attention to any dark money ad campaign.  If dark money lurid, dramatic ads were ignored and became ineffective, donors would stop funding them. Three observations about the midterms: 

      First, the best candidate doesn’t always win.  The vast majority of voters are woefully ignorant of issues and candidate’s qualifications and experience, and often base their vote on which candidate has the best marketing plan.  Politics doesn’t require truth in labeling, so lying is an accepted and encouraged practice.  Candidates who do not slander, misrepresent or distort their opponent are considered weak and frail.  Candidates who win because they exaggerated their opponent’s weaknesses and inflated their superiority may win, but they don’t magically transform into gracious, civil, responsive elected officials.  The character and ethics with which they ran their campaign follow them into office.

     Second, America needs resolute leaders.  Hopefully the victors this week are determined, uncompromising and consistent in their convictions.  They should recognize only God knows everything and they should be humbled they were triumphant.  They should listen to their constituents.  They should seek wise counsel from a wide variety of counselors, not just those who funded their campaign.  Sadly, many politicos have become nothing more than puppets for a special interest group that funded their campaign.

      Third, Tuesday’s elections are temporal.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t important, but the space/time continual is not going to be destroyed no matter the outcome.  Christian believers should recognize that God is in control and He sets up authorities as He sees fit.  Winners and losers on Tuesday should recognize that as well.  If more professing believers in elective office governed using the two great commandments as their guide (love God/love neighbor), perhaps God would show mercy on America. 

     Tuesday will not end the discussion of politics.  The 2024 president race will begin immediately after the polls close.  Aspirants in both Parties will begin to test the waters and put together their ‘exploratory committees.’  Americans will not catch a break.  The electioneering will continue! 

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Legislators don’t fund anything- taxpayers fund everything.

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Public money is defined as money that has been collected by government from citizens, usually through taxation.  During a recent TV interview, a two term GOP Oklahoma state legislator, running for re-election, proudly proclaimed he would protect public money.  He went on to say that ‘we’(assuming he meant the legislature) funded this program and that program.  That would have been a sight to below- 149 legislators pulling out their personal checkbooks to fund state government.  That, of course, is absurd and preposterous, but sadly most voters don’t see the error in his statement.  Three observations:

     First, there is no public money.  Government doesn’t generate any money, it consumes.  The private sector generates money.  The so-called public money is taxpayer money.  It doesn’t cease to belong to the taxpayer once the government collects it.  It is still taxpayer money.  It isn’t laundered like drug money and can be used however government is inclined.  When naïve, inexperienced, airheaded elected officials arrogantly proclaim they are funding anything, they expose their stupidity.  Legislators don’t fund anything- taxpayers fund everything. 

     The late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher said, “The state has no source of money, other than the money people earn themselves.  If the state wishes to spend more, it can only do so by borrowing your savings, or by taxing you more.  And it’s no good thinking that someone else will pay.  That someone else is you.  There is no such thing as public money.  There is only taxpayers’ money.”

     Second, taxpayers should pay attention to how their money is being spent.  The majority of taxpayers view their taxes as a necessary evil.  Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”  The problem is most taxpayers don’t watch how their money is spent after it has been collected.  The money doesn’t stop being their money once the government has collected it.  It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to make sure that money is being spent in a proper manner.  The reason there is so much government waste, fraud and corruption is because taxpayers take so little equity in their money.  If more citizens required elected officials, at all levels, to provide a detailed accounting of where their money was being spent, perhaps America’s out of control government spending could be halted. 

     Third, no publicly funded entity is ‘entitled’ to taxpayer money- they should earn it.  When secondary education, public employees, or state agencies haughtily declare they are entitled to ‘public’ money, without accountability, they are poking their finger in the taxpayer’s eye.  Oklahoma should require zero based budgeting, a system that requires that every penny appropriated be justified.  The current system of just bumping up last year’s allocation doesn’t identified waste, and rewards agencies that cheat. 

     No doubt the legislator knows where the government gets their revenue.  No doubt he knows he did not personally fund anything, but words and terminology matter.  The mindset tax dollars cease to be ours once collected flies in the face of self-government.   Anyone who believes otherwise is a socialist.  Pay attention to how your money is being spent.

Sunday, October 23, 2022


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     One thing both Republicans and Democrats can agree on- the other Party’s stance on issues, if left unchecked, will destroy America.  In a recent NBC News (a liberal leaning organization) poll, 80% of those polled believed the other side is a precarious threat to democracy.  America is more polarized and divided than ever before and it boils down to one thing- how they view the U.S. Constitution.  Three observations:

     First, liberals hate the Constitution.  They believe the 2nd amendment is about duck hunting and the Electoral College too complex.  They advocate direct election of the president, ignoring state rights.  They believe the Constitution is broken and should not be reclaimed or amended, but discarded.

     In an August New York Times op/ed, two liberal law professors-Ryan Doerfler (Harvard) and Samuel Moyn(Yale)- wrote: A politics of the American future like this would make clear our ability to engage in the constant reinvention of our society under our own power, without the illusion that the past stands in the way. To liberals, the Constitution is the past and cannot be applied to today’s complicated problems.  According to liberals, America should be constantly ‘reinventing’ itself with no rules as a guide.

      President Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

     Second, the Constitution exists to limit the power of government and to insure our freedom.  It codifies the freedoms of speech, association, assembly, press religion, equal protection under the law, the right to due process and the right to privacy.  It’s not just a yellowing old document under glass at the National Archives.  It is what keeps government in check and insures our individual freedoms.  Without it, America isn’t America. Liberals want America to become more like Europe, with government being more involved in citizen’s lives. 

     Third, public schools are required by law to teach about the Constitution each year.  Most Americans don’t know that.  In 2004, Congress passed a law that requires schools receiving federal funding to provide education on the history of the Constitution each Constitution Day.  The bill was introduced by the late Senator Robert Byrd, (D-WV)Sadly, most schools don’t offer a comprehensive overview of the U.S. Constitution.  Rick Green has a video series titled, ‘Constitution Alive,’ that is available online that provides an excellent overview of the Constitution.   Every American citizen should know what the founding document says. 

     The October NBC News poll found Americans are angry.  Liberals are angry at the Supreme Court because they disagreed with the Roe vs. Wade reversal.  Conservatives are angry because Joe Biden is president.  Both are angry about the economy.  But anger or zeal without knowledge or resolve accomplishes little.  The outcome of the midterm elections in November will come down to which side is enraged the most.


Sunday, October 16, 2022


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Most Oklahomans know the Five Civilized Tribes were relocated from the southeast U.S. by the federal government to Indian Territory in the 1830-40s.  Those five tribes are the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw and Seminole.  In 1851, Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act, which created the reservation system and provided funds to move Indians onto farming reservations.  The Dawes Act of 1887 granted private land ownership to tribal members, but the net result was tribal member’s land being reduced by one half.   

     In 1906, Congress passed the Oklahoma Enabling Act, whose stated intent was to disestablish the afore mentioned reservations of the five tribes.  The action was required by Congress so Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory could merge and be admitted to the union in 1907.  The 2020 McGirt decision ruled the reservations were never disestablished and are still intact.  That decision has created a legal quagmire and could ultimately spilt the Sooner state in two. 

     This week, the five tribes endorsed Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister for governor.  Hofmeister is the Democrat Party nominee.  She was elected twice to her current post as a registered Republican, but changed political affiliation to run for governor.  Some recent polls show the race close between her and GOP nominee, Governor Kevin Stitt, an enrolled member of the Cherokee tribe.  The only reason the race is competitive is the monies the tribes are pumping into Hofmeister’s campaign.  Three observations:

     First, the tribe’s issue with Kevin Stitt is about money.  In 2004, Oklahoma voters approved State Question #712 by a 60-40% margin.  712 enacted a Tribal Gaming Compact allowing tribes to operate slot machines and card games.  The 15-year compact, negotiated by former Governor Brad Henry and then State Treasurer Scott Meacham, required 6-13% of the money casinos take in go to the state.  88% of the amount is earmarked for education.     

     The compact was set to expire in 2020.  After he took office, Stitt proposed the tribes give the state a higher take than the original agreement, but the tribes balked.  The tribes claimed the original compact rolled over and they are under no obligation to renegotiate.  In 17 years, the state’s tribal gaming industry  has grown to over 150 casinos.  Hofmeister agrees with the tribes and has no problem with their sweetheart deal.  The tribes want a puppet in the governor’s mansion, not a partner.  They are happy with the current spilt because after all- the house always wins.

     Second, the tribe’s formal endorsement will not likely impact the election.  Tribal membership in Oklahoma is less than 14% of the population and Native Americans have a history of not voting.  In a study by Steven Doherty, he found they were 51% less likely to vote than other races.  The tribes spend a lot of money on politics.  They fund campaigns for candidates that will promote their agenda (like Hofmeister).  They employ an impressive lobbying apparatus at the State Capitol.  The public endorsement, while impressive optically, is doubtful to influence their rank-and-file tribal membership.

     Third, Hofmeister wants to be governor of the State of Sequoyah.  Hofmeister said if she was elected, she would just an equal participant at the negotiating table with the tribes, not the head.  Oklahomans don’t need a governor who doesn’t lead and believes representing 14% of Oklahomans is justifiable. 

     In 1905, the State of Sequoyah was proposed to Congress.  It would have composed the eastern part of the state- about 44% of the land mass of Oklahoma.  A Constitutional Convention met in Muskogee.  A vote was taken in Indian Territory.  The constitution was approved by a 6 to 1 majority.  President Teddy Roosevelt opposed admitting two states.  The Rough Rider proposed combining the two territories into one state, gaining widespread support in Congress.  The State of Sequoyah evaporated and the State of Oklahoma was born.  With the McGirt decision and the recent attitude/endorsement of the five tribes, it appears the State of Sequoyah has been resurrected.

Friday, October 7, 2022


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     Clean Up Oklahoma(CUO) is an organization that claims to want to stop politicians from abusing their power.  They urge Oklahomans to ‘get their mop’ and clean up Oklahoma politics.  They have an anti-corruption pledge they want every candidate to sign.  The three major points in the pledge are to: (1) Prevent politicians, their staff, and donors from profiting at the taxpayers’ expense, (2) Strengthen open records laws to stop secret deals and gifts from special interests, (3) Stop the rigging of our elections and return power to the voters.   Sounds good, doesn’t it, but who exactly is Clean Up Oklahoma and who is funding them? 

     Clean Up Oklahoma attests to be a non-partisan grassroots movement, but that isn’t true.  The Director of Clean Up Oklahoma is Jay Williams, a former staffer for Kendra Horn, the one term defeated 5th district Democratic Congresswoman now running for U.S. Senate against Mark Wayne Mullin.  Williams also was an active member of the Bernie Sanders campaign.  That is partisan. 

In the pledge CUO wants candidates to sign, they advocate for open primaries, taxpayer funded political campaigns, and a non-partisan (appointed) redistricting commission.  All of these ideas are directly from the Democrat Party playbook.  That’s partisan.  Three observations:

     First, Oklahoma could use some cleaning up.  The recent Epic school debacle is a good example that corruption is alive and well in the Sooner state, but signing a pledge (especially this one) will not eliminate corruption.  Mankind is born with a sin nature and unchecked, that nature will produce corruption. As long as man is on this earth, there will be corruption, deceit, and duplicity.

     Oklahoma is not nearly as corrupt as it was the first 100 years of statehood- all under Democrat control.  The Oklahoma county commissioner scandal was the largest in American history.   In the late 1990s, Democrat legislators put their family on state payrolls as ghost employees and state tax dollars were appropriated for non-existent dog food plants.  Both those scandals were uncovered by the federal government because Oklahoma state officials were unwilling to expose their good ole boy buddies.  That has changed.  The most recent corruption in Oklahoma has been investigated by state officials. That is progress.  At least our state leaders are willing to expose corruption, unlike in the past.   

     Second, Clean Up Oklahoma isn’t really against corruption- just corruption that doesn’t include them.  CUO wants open primaries because they are losing elections in Oklahoma.   Winning an election in Oklahoma means you have to run as a Republican.  Democrats know the only way to change that is to change the rules.  Clean Up Oklahoma doesn’t want fair elections- they want to tilt the table to help them win elections.  Open primaries are a petri dish for corruption.

     Open primaries would allow Democrats to vote in a GOP primary, which makes about as much sense as the Baptists letting Presbyterians vote in their business meetings.   Their other ideas are just as foolhardy.

     Third, there is no truth-in-labeling in politics.  All consumer goods are subject to laws that require the manufacturer to disclose net contents and the name of the producer.  Food items are required to provide nutritional information.  When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says the ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.  Violations can result in action from the Federal Trade Commission.  Sadly, no such law exists for politics.  In politics, you can call a baloney sandwich crème brulée without liability. 

     Because there is no accountability, Clean Up Oklahoma is playing dirty politics without consequence. Only their non-existent conscience guides them.  They run false and misleading television ads and flood social media with delusive messages- all while claiming to take the high road.  Low information, unenlightened voters are their target audience.  The only cleaning up in Oklahoma Clean Up Oklahoma wants is to elect liberals in November.  Don’t be fooled by clever branding- they are not mopping up corruption- they are polluting.  Candidates that sign their pledge should be avoided, not lauded.