Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Many Politicos are One Trick Ponies!

Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     2023 has been a challenging year, especially in politics.  In a Wall Street Journal article, Republican pollster White Ayres described 2023 as a terrible year for America’s political system.   “The dysfunction and misfires were long and on occasion embarrassing,” Ayres claims.

      From the GOP Speaker of the House train wreck to the Biden administration’s clumsy handling of the Gaza strip, 2023 has not been a banner year for competence, proficiency, and expertise.  Elected officials’ performance has affected how Americans view their government.  In a September 2023 poll, Pew Research found 65% of Americans are ‘exhausted’ when they think about politics.  Just 4% say the political system is working and only 16% trust the federal government.  Trust and respect for the American political system is at an all time low.  Three observations:

     First, money controls politics.  Wealthy donors dominate political campaigns at all levels of politics- from the White House to the outhouse.  The growth of super PACs and dark money PACs allow billionaires to pour unlimited amounts of money anonymously into races.  Attempts to remove the anonymity of donors is met with little success because those benefiting from the invisibility of dark money donors are the ones charged with changing it.  Some advocate campaign finance reform and public financing of campaigns.  But those proposals are un-American and limit individual freedom and liberty.

     The growth of money in politics allows special interest groups, trade associations, and rich people to ‘buy’ an elective office.  The windfall has led to an explosion in the number of political consultants who craft a message, knock off the rough edges and define a candidate.  Like consumer products companies market a product, the features, advantages, and benefits (FABs) of a candidate are highlighted.  Componence, proficiency, and ability are trumped for marketability.     

     Second, grey hairs have to lead.  The older generation must take the front.   A September Gallup poll showed Generation Z (ages 7-22) have little knowledge or respect for major U.S. institutions, like the government or the police.  Some of that is due to the decline in civics training in the public schools, but few KIDS get training at home.

     Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts wrote, “Each generation has an obligation to pass on to the next, not only a fully functioning government responsive to the needs of the people, but the tools to understand and improve it.”  Sadly, most baby boomers (ages 59-77) paid little attention to politics and their government for most of their life.  Some BBs have ‘awakened’ from their long slumber, and become politically engaged, but instead of recognizing real change is incremental, they demand immediate reform and are largely ignored by elected officials.  Their bellowing becomes like sounding brass and tinkling cymbal, changing nothing.

     Third, America is electing the wrong people.  For years, self-promoting, career politicians were blamed for America’s problems.  But the average length of service for U.S. House members is now just 9 years (4.5 terms) and U.S. Senate members 11 years (less than 2 terms).  Career politicians are not the problem.   It is elected officials representing a small constituency focused on a sole issue. The new breed of elected official- at state and federal level- lack a multifaceted, well-rounded background.  Many are a ‘one trick pony,’ skilled and knowledgeable in only one area.  They reject conciliation and negotiation as a means to govern.  They are willing to settle for nothing instead of something.  That is not representation of a broad constituency- that is aloofness and impassiveness.  The fruit of which is contention, conflict, and polarization.  

     What type of candidate does America need to elect?  Moses was advised by his father-in-law in Exodus 18:31 to seek out for leadership those with five attributes: (1) capable, (2) truthful, (3) not covetous, (4) fear God, (5) selfless.  Until America looks for those candidates, it will be more of the same dysfunction and misfires in 2024.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Christmas exposes the insignificance of politics!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     In 1963, Andy Williams first sung, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” on his TV variety show.  Written by Edward Pola and George Wyle, the tune has become a Christmas season classic. The song is a celebration and description of activities associated with Christmas, primarily focused on get-togethers between friends and family.   But is Christmas the most wonderful time of the year? 

     According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), December is the most dangerous month for drug and alcohol-related deaths.  In a Healthline study from 2015, 60% of adults polled said they experienced some degree of stress during the holiday season.  Those include financial stress, conflict-laden family gatherings, loneliness and unrealistic expectations.  Others are grieving from the loss of a loved one- an empty place at the table.  According to a British study, feeling low around Christmas is common among the unemployed, divorced, and widowed. For those, Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year?  Three observations:

     First, Christmas is widely celebrated in the U.S.  According to a Gallup poll, 93% of Americans observe the holiday in some way.  A Pew Research poll found 71% of Americans do not celebrate the ‘religious’ aspects of Christmas.  That number is double what it was just twenty years ago.  Only 51% of Americans polled planned to attend a church service in conjunction with Christmas.

     The commercialization/exploitation of Christmas has changed the holiday from religious to secular.  Instead of recognizing the ‘reason for the season,’ and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas has become a time for festive parties, and lavish gift giving.   The average American family spends over two weeks salary on Christmas gifts.  According to a UCLA health study, between Thanksgiving and News Years, Americans drink nearly twice the alcohol they normally drink.  

     Second, Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Believers who do not celebrate the holiday point to pagan origins and that Christ did not command His followers to celebrate the day of His birth.  But He didn’t forbid it.  Shouldn’t those who claim Christ celebrate His birth?  Tim Keller said, “There has never been a gift offered that makes you swallow your pride to the depths that the gift of Jesus Christ requires us to do.  Christmas means we are so lost, so unable to save ourselves that nothing less than the death of the Son of God Himself could save us.” That is the reason for the season.  That is the true meaning of Christmas.  During a time when a confused/chaotic world is so aware of Christ, shouldn’t believers use that opportunity to point out He is not a babe in a manger, but the Savior of the world? 

     Third, Christmas exposes the insignificance of politics.  The Christmas story shows the incredible lengths God went to in order to save His people. It magnifies a holy, sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent Creator who gave His only son to redeem sinful man.  In the grand scheme of things, elections, political Parties, elected officials, rallies, and legislation is temporal at best. Christmas should be a time every man engages in soul-searching introspection, seeking to get their priorities in line with their Creator.  It should not be a time of self-aggrandizement, but a humbling one.  It should not be a season of debate/argumentation, but one of contemplation. 

     The prophet Isaiah (9:6) foretold the birth of Christ.  In that well-known verse, he wrote ‘the government will rest on His shoulders.”  There will come a time when Christ will reign over a literal, earthly, geopolitical kingdom of all the kingdoms and governments of the world.   Unlike convoluted, chaotic human governments, the Messiah’s kingdom is uncomplicated because He is the Eternal Father, Creator, and Sustainer.  There is no bloated bureaucracy, no spin masters, conflict or talking heads in Christ’s administration.  When Christ returns to execute the final political solution, there will truly be world peace.  That will be the most wonderful time!   

Sunday, December 17, 2023


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


On Saturday, Houthis, an Iran-backed group, launched attacks on U.S. naval and commercial ships in the Red Sea.  The naval destroyer USS Carney shot down 14 attack drones launched by Houthi.  The goal of Houthi’s attacks were to disrupt the commercial shipping lanes. It worked because Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, halted all shipping through the area.  The Pentagon has moved significant naval presence off the coast of Yemen to support a potential U.S. response to the attacks. 

     The Houthi movement emerged in Yemen in the 1990s as an opposition group made up primarily of Shia Muslims.  Due to their intimidation type tactics, the Houthi movement is considered to be the Yemeni mafia.  The Houthis goal is to govern all of Yemen and support movements against the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.  After the Israel-Hamas war broke out, Houthis started firing missiles at Israeli cities from their position in northern Yemen.  Houthis has stated they will continue to attack Israel until it is destroyed.  Three observations:

     First, in 2021, President Biden de-listed Houthis from a sanctions list against terrorist groups.  President Trump, as he was leaving office, placed Houthis on the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list.  Biden’s removal upset Saudi Arabia and with reason.  Houthis has launched more than 1,000 attacks on Saudi in recent years.  The group gets their funding and training from Iran.  Houthis should have never been removed from the FTO list, but Biden wanted to send a message and play hardball with Saudi in the early days of his administration.  He thought he could negotiate with the Iranians- a foolish belief.  Back in March, the Iranians agreed to stop funding Houthis in their attacks on Saudi, but they never lived up to the agreement.  Houthis should be immediately put back on the FTO/sanctions list.  The removal has been part of the reason they got the funding they needed to launch the attacks.  Forty bipartisan U.S. House members sent a letter to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken calling for Houthis to be re-classified as an FTO and legislation has been put forward calling for sanctions against Yemen. 

     Second, the Biden administration has told Israel they would handle Houthis.  But clearly there is a reluctance to strike back at Houthis.  Biden appears more concerned about his shaky agreement with Yemen and Iran than dealing with terrorists.  U.S. military leaders have warned retaliation against Houthi remains an option, but until Biden recognizes that negotiating with terrorists is foolhardy, Houthis will continue to lob missiles and launch attack drones.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has allegedly told President Biden they will hit Houthis since the US appears unwilling to do so. 

     Third, economics will ultimately drive action.  The Red Sea is a major global trade artery.  If Houthis is successful at slowing/stopping the flow of ships, supply and demand will kick in.  Oil, grain and consumer goods pricing will move up.   2024 is an election year and Biden can ill afford to have more inflation or ‘supply chain’ issues when he is on the ballot.

     Since President Biden took office, prices have increased +17.4% and wages have increased +13%.  Only President Carter had a higher inflation rate- +26.2%- at this point in his presidency.  Because money is the driver, expect Biden to reverse his boneheaded decision to remove Houthis from the FTO list to keep the shipping lanes open  and prices down.

     The Houthis slogan is, “Death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews and victory to Islam.”  That, in itself, should have been reason enough to keep them on the FTO list.       

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Who is the BIG GUY?

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


    On Thursday, a 56-page federal indictment was handed down charging Hunter Biden, President Biden’s youngest son, with nine counts of tax evasion.  The indictment details Biden’s debauchery and dishonesty in trying to avoid paying taxes.  According to Special Counsel David Weiss, Biden charged off personal expenses, including a membership to a sex club, as business expense.  If convicted, Biden faces up to 17 years in prison.   

    The indictment comes after two IRS agents derailed a ‘sweetheart’ deal Biden had worked out with federal prosecutors.  The two whistleblowers claim IRS and FBI agents were discouraged/blocked from investigating then Vice President Biden’s involvement with his son’s shady business dealings.

     The U.S. House Rules Committee is scheduled to discuss an impeachment resolution on Tuesday.  Rep. Tom Cole, (R-OK), Chair of the Rules Committee, said: “We know from the whistle-blowers, the investigation of the president’s son was interfered with.  There is enough there to continue to look and certainly to empower investigators with every tool they need to get to the truth.”

     House Republicans are pushing for a floor vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden’s involvement/knowledge of his son’s activities.  Hunter Biden has been subpoenaed by the House to testify behind closed doors on Wednesday December 13th and  Republican House leadership has vowed to charge Hunter Biden with contempt of Congress if he refuses to show up.  Three observations:

     First, the indictments of Hunter do not mention President Joe Biden.  Hunter Biden was charged with tax evasion, not the president.   Republicans have the duty to investigate if and how Joe Biden was involved in Hunter’s dealings.  If the POTUS was unaware of his loose cannon son’s degeneracy, he should welcome the investigation.

     Second, who is the ‘big guy?’  On Hunter’s laptop, an email was found to his business associates stating 10% of the money from a foreign government transaction went to ‘the big guy.’   One of the email recipients- Tony Bobulinski- says Joe Biden was ‘the big guy.’   If that can be proven, that is huge!  At that time, Joe Biden was Vice President and was legally prevented from doing business with a foreign government.  The American people have a right to know if Biden was using his office to benefit financially. 

     Third, impeachment is a political process, not a legal one.  Even if the House votes to impeach President Biden, the Democratic controlled Senate is not likely to vote to remove President Biden from office.  Removal requires a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate. 

      Impeachment of a president used to be a rare event.  Only three presidents have been impeached in American history, but none removed from office:  Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Donald Trump twice, in 2019 and 2021.  It appears impeachment of a president will be commonplace in America’s future.

     Furthering an investigation into President Biden’s involvement with his son’s illegal activities and determining if that involvement rises to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors is Congress’s responsibility. 

     William Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice: “The sins of the father are to be laid upon the children.”  In the Biden’s case, the opposite may be true. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Substance has been sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve Fair

      On November 1st, Governor Kevin Stitt issued an Executive Order(EO) that created the Campaign Finance and Election Threats Task Force (CFETTF).   The task force is charged with (1) identifying ways that Oklahoma is leading the nation in election security, (2) identify campaign finance loopholes that need to be addressed, and (3) recommend legislation to curtail any interference in Oklahoma politics by domestic or foreign entities.  “I’m proud to report that Oklahoma is a national leader in election integrity.  But we must not rest on our laurels.  Instead, we must ensure that our election and political processes are not tainted by other government investment and interference,” Stitt said.    

     The CFETTF will have nine members: (1) the Chair appointed by the governor, (2) the Secretary of the State Election Board, (3) the Secretary of State, (4) a county election board member from a large county, (5) a county election board member  from a small county,(6) Speaker of the House, (7) President Pro Tempore of the state Senate, (8-9) two at large members appointed by governor.  Two weeks ago Stitt announced he had appointed Anthony J. Ferate to chair the CFETTF.  Ferate served as the long-time general counsel to the Oklahoma Republican Party and a short stint as Chairman of the OKGOP.  Three observations:

     First, Oklahoma’s voting processes are not bad.  The state uses a uniform election system.  Oklahoma voters cast their ballot the same way in every county.  Each of the 77 counties follow the same voting procedures, use the same security protocols and use the same type of voting device.  It’s not that way in other states.  In most of the states where voting irregularities occur, continuity in processes is non-existent.  Decisions on what procedures and voting devices are used are made at the county level.  No so in the Sooner state.  

     Every county in Oklahoma uses an optical scan voting device that provides an auditable, verifiable paper ballot.  The devise cannot be connected to the internet.  State statutes requires ballots be secured by the local county sheriff and a strict chain of custody maintained through the certification of the election. 

     Second, auditing the current system is a good idea.  No voting system is perfect, because there is no perfect human.  Someone determined to lie and cheat to illegally vote is hard to stop.  That doesn’t mean Oklahoma election officials shouldn’t try.  Election integrity in the state can/should be improved. 

     In the 2020 general election, a family member of a Comanche County retired state legislator sent in an absentee ballot to the local county election board for the lawmaker after their death.  Clearly that was dishonest, unethical, and illegal.  It wasn’t an accident.  The family member was trying to cheat.  Thankfully, they were caught.  Cheating happens and improving processes and procedures should be a priority for the CFETTF.

      Third, the CFETTF should address dark money.   As long as special interests can fund dark money campaigns anonymously in Oklahoma, election integrity is at risk.  Dark money groups have accelerated in growth in recent state elections.  They spread lies, misinformation and buy elections candidates/elected officials with no accountability.  Cloaking freedom of speech with incognito political hit pieces is un American.  Voters have the right to know who is funding the dark money campaigns, just as the donors have a right to fund the campaigns.  Until light is shined into darkness, Oklahoma voters should ignore a dark money campaign message. 

     Stitt’s choice of Ferate to chair the CFETTF is a good one.  He understands the state’s voting systems and the dark money issue.  But he will have those who will oppose his leading the CFETTF because Ferate has been involved in politics longer than a year.  Those same naysayers will criticize him for parting his non-existent hair on the wrong side of his head. Karl Marx called it ‘critical criticism’- defined as ‘criticism for the sake of criticism.’    In modern politics, unfortunately substance/competence/experience has been sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism.


Sunday, November 26, 2023

Oklahomans and Texans should guard their conservative values!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     There has always been a love/hate relationship between Oklahoma and Texas and it goes beyond the annual OU/Texas Red River rivalry.  When it became a state in 1845, Texas had to give up some of its land to Oklahoma territory.  That’s why the Sooner state has a panhandle.  A half century later (1896), Greer County, Texas was taken from Texas and given to Oklahoma, after it was determined the Red River’s true stream was not the north fork flow. 

     A dispute between the two states in 1931 was over a toll bridge at the Red River between Colbert, OK and Denison, TX resulted in a war.  The quarrel resulted in Oklahoma Governor ‘Alfalfa Bill” Murray declaring martial law and sending the Oklahoma National Guard to prevent Texans from entering the state.  Murray showed up at the bridge site armed with a revolver.   Texas Governor Ross Sterling sent Texas Rangers to the bridge to defend Texas highway workers.  Eventually the dispute was settled, but it is still known as the ‘Red River Bridge War.’

    In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Texas efforts to build a pipeline to import water from Oklahoma.  The clashes between the two states are ongoing. Oklahoma historian Bob Blackburn describes the two state’s relationship as a swaggering boastful big brother (Texas) clashing with an accomplished but self-conscious little brother (Oklahoma).  Three observations:

     First, both states are growing in population.  Texas has grown +16% in population the past decade- Oklahoma +6%.  Many of those relocating to Texas/Oklahoma are fleeing liberal states because of politics.   They seek more conservative, traditional values in their government.  But a conservative Republican in California is often a moderate in Oklahoma and Texas.   That could change the political landscape in both states.

     Second, some are fleeing Texas.  Texas experienced a surge in popularity during COVID, which drove up housing prices by 30%.   Many Californians moved to the Lone Star state because housing was less than in California. They didn’t factor in Texas’ high property tax, but many are moving back to Cally.  Nearly 500,000 people have left Texas in the past two years.  During that period, the state experienced a net gain of 200,000 in spite of those exiting.   Many of those leaving cite the ‘too conservative’ politics in Texas as the reason they are departing.   

     Third, migration could change the two states’ politics/voting from red to purple.  Statewide elected officials in both states are all Republicans.  The GOP controls both state legislatures.  Oklahoma’s federal delegation (5 House/2 Senate) is all Republican.  Texas’s federal delegation is mixed.  It has 38 seats in the House and 13 are Democrat.  The Democrats have gained 5 seats in the last decade.  The Ds represent urban areas of the state.  Much like Oklahoma, the larger population area residents are not as conservative as their rural counterparts.  Expect that trend to happen in the Sooner state. 

     Oklahoma and Texas have a great deal of shared history.  They share a reliance on the agriculture and energy sectors in common.   The two state’s political values and governing are similar.  Citizens in both states love to hate the other in sport’s rivalries.  The truth is the two states have much in common, including a real threat to their political identity from newcomers. 

     Georgia was once a reliable Republican stronghold, but today has four statewide Democrat elected officials.  Oklahomans and Texans should guard their conservative values or they will see the same thing happen in their state. 


Sunday, November 19, 2023


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Thanksgiving is a holiday tradition that dates back to the 1600s in America.  In 1621, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoaqs celebrated a good harvest with a day of thanksgiving and prayer.  From that time until 1863, states observed a thanksgiving holiday at their own discretion. 

     In 1863, President Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving for all states.  On Halloween Day in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt signed a presidential proclamation changing Thanksgiving to the next to last Thursday in November.  FDR made the date change to boost the economy and give retailers seven more days to sell Christmas gifts.  The proclamation/date change was controversial.  Opponents called the holiday ‘Franksgiving,’ for the next two years.  On December 26, 1941, Roosevelt signed a Joint Resolution of Congress changing Thanksgiving in the U.S. to the fourth Thursday in November.  Three observations:

     First, Americans have a great deal to be thankful for in 2023.  The U.S. is far from perfect, but citizens in the U.S. have more freedom and liberty than anyplace on earth.  Americans are, for the most part, able to pursue a dream that others across the planet can only wish for.  That blessing didn’t come cheap.  Past American heroes gave their life to protect that way of life. 

      No other country in the world has the illegal immigration issue America has.  People, of all races, creeds, and religions, from across the globe seek to migrate to the U.S. because it is better than where they are.  Americans should recognize God has shed His grace on them by allowing them to live in the land of the free and home of the brave.

     Second, America’s blessings come from the hand of a sovereign God.  Americans don’t naturally run faster or jump higher than citizens in other countries, yet the U.S. is the envy of the world.  Americans should never pound their chest or pat themselves on the back and take credit for those blessings.  They should humbly recognize God has blessed their country in spite of Americans wickedness and depravity.

     The decline in the number of people who hold a biblical worldview in America is down by a third since COVID.  In a Gallup poll survey last year, 81% of American adults said they believed in God(down 15 percentage points in 10 years), but less than half of that number actually attended a church service in the past year.  Taking the blessings of God for granted may very well result in the loss of God’s favor on America.

     Third, gratitude should not be celebrated just one day a year.  Americans should be appreciative and thankful every day.  Having a continual attitude of gratefulness and recognizing acts of kindness others bestow on them could change America from the polarizing, angry, divisive place it has become. 

     Thanksgiving Day in America has become a day for gathering of family for feasting, and watching sports.  Some don’t even recognize it as a day of thanksgiving and call it ‘turkey day.’  Even with those who celebrate thanksgiving, little time is taken to recognize God’s blessings.  Charlie Brown (Peanuts) asked a profound question about Thanksgiving: “What if, today, we were grateful for everything?”   Good question!  Why not indeed?


Sunday, November 12, 2023


 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     Last Tuesday was election day in America.  The Democrat incumbent governor in Kentucky was reelected.  A pro-abortion ballot initiative passed in Ohio.  Democrats gained full control of the Virginia General Assembly.  The GOP governor in Mississippi was re-elected and a Republican was elected to the NYC city council from the Bronx.  Based on the success of the Ds, mainstream media and political pundits immediately begin to predict 2024 was going to be a disaster for the GOP.  Three observations:

     First, forecasting future elections is next to impossible.  Trying to tie one race to another is foolhardy.   Prognosticating 2024 elections now is like divining when an earthquake, solar flare, or asteroid will occur- no one knows until it happens. It is still too early to predict which political Party or candidate will win next year’s elections. 

     After every election, talking heads and self-described experts take a small sample size, extrapolate, estimate, conclude and predict future election outcomes for the sole purpose to ‘influence’ those future elections.  They try to wag the dog.   That is done on both ends of the political spectrum. Take all of them with a grain of salt.  The truth is no one knows the future, but God Almighty.

     Second, elections are won by those who vote.  That sounds too simple, but the fact is turnout is the key in every election.  Early analysis of Tuesday’s elections indicates Republican turnout in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia was less than Democrat turnout.  Why did GOP voters decide to stay home?  Was it apathy or deliberate sabotage as an act of protest?    Was it a distrust of the electoral system?  Was it the candidates themselves?  Most certainly, it was candidates!  Ultimately, candidates win or lose races.  A political Party provide the infrastructure and ballot access, but getting voters to the polls is the responsibility of each individual candidate.    

     Mark Levin says the GOP candidate for governor in Kentucky wasn’t conservative enough.  He could be right, because down ticket Republican statewide candidates swept their races.  What Levin doesn’t tell you about the governor’s race is the Democrat governor was an incumbent.  Incumbents win 96.4% of the time in all races.    

     Third, without unity, Republicans will lose in 2024.  Some Republicans blame the poor showings in Tuesday’s elections on the leadership of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  Some blame illegal immigration. Some blame Party ‘messaging.’ Some blame the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).  RINOs blame the extremists. Extremists blame the establishment.  Some blame earthquakes, solar flares, and asteroids.  Republicans, at all levels, are engaged in a circular firing squad; a self-destructive internal conflict with mutual recriminations.

     There is no unity in the GOP.  Reagan’s 11th commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republicans) is ignored.  Cliques, packs, tribes and bands dominate the Republican Party and interaction with those outside the clique/pack/tribe/band is condemned.   Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  No house is more divided than the GOP.

      Tuesday’s elections were not a disaster for Republicans.  It’s disappointing Ohio GOP voters stayed home and didn’t vote down the pro-abortion bill.  But the other races were lost by candidates, not by the Republican Party. 

     As the economy continues to struggle, prices continue to increase and wages lag behind inflation, 2024 looks to be a year of opportunity for Republican candidates.  Most Americans vote with their pocketbook.

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Absolute truth has been traded in for Moral Relativism!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

      A theocrat is a person who rules or governs as a representative of God or a deity.  Contemporary examples of a theocracy are Iran, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.  Some believe recently elected Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, (R-LA) is a theocrat.  While asked about his worldview on Fox News Speaker Johnson responded, “Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it.  That’s my worldview.”  According to Marci Hamilton, a liberal political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Johnson’s admission he will base important decisions on the Bible proves he will ignore the U.S. Constitution and replace it with a battle of the faithful against the infidels.  Hamilton, who describes herself as a Christian believer, says religion is a ‘leap of faith,’ not susceptible to reasoned discourse.  In other words- there is no absolute truth- relativism.  Three observations:

     First, is a Biblical worldview in a leader incompatible with the Constitution?  The mere fact that question is being asked seems bizarre.  The founders of the United States were overwhelmingly Christian believers.  In a study by the University of Houston on the founders, they found 34% of all the quotes attributed to the founders were from the Bible.  Those men believed the Bible and it guided their life.  Matthews concern about elected officials using their power to establish a state religion mirrors that of the Danbury Baptists.  They sent Thomas Jefferson a letter expressing concern the founders were trying to establish a ‘state’ religion.  Jefferson’ response was each man was free to worship- or not worship- as he sees fit.  The first amendment protects that right. 

     Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God.  For 200 years, there was little debate that America was founded by Christians based on Christian principles.  But with the growth of secularism in modern culture, absolute truth has been traded in for moral relativism: the teaching that knowledge, truth and morality exist in relation to culture and are not absolute. 

     Second, everyone has a worldview.  A worldview is formed and influenced during childhood and redefined during the young adult years, making it the decision-making outlook through adulthood.  Worldviews are influenced by childhood upbringing, family, religion, friends, geography and education. Johnson is being attacked because he said his worldview was based on the Bible, but every person has a worldview.  A secular humanist believes the material world is all that exists.  A Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.  A worldview is a combination of all a person believes to be true.  Their worldview becomes the driving force behind every motion, decision, and action.  Every elected official, regardless of Party affiliation, has a worldview- and a right to it.  A person’s worldview will affect their response in every area of their life.  All 535 members of Congress have a worldview that guides their actions.

     Third, there is no evidence Johnson will govern as a theocrat.  The Speaker is an attorney and a constitutional expert.  He recognizes the Constitution is the founding document that guides America.  While the Christian Bible- and the principles therein- was used as a guide, the founders were clear that Christianity not get preferential treatment.  They insured all theological thought to be given the same treatment in the marketplace of ideas.  Calling Johnson a theocrat is a red herring.   

     In a recent poll by veteran pollster George Barna, those holding a biblical worldview in the U.S.  has fallen to a mere 4%- a drop of a third from three years ago.  Barna said the new lows among American adults could effectively spell the ‘extinction’ of biblical beliefs in our nation.  “When you put the data in perspective, the biblical worldview is shuffling toward the edge of the cliff,” Barna says.  Barna says young people in particular are the most aggressive at rejecting biblical principles in our culture.  In a world of relativism, it’s refreshing to have a leader like Johnson who believes there is still absolute truth. 

Sunday, October 29, 2023

The challenge Johnson faces is the same as what McCarthy faced- holding the GOP caucus together!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     On Wednesday October 25th Rep. Mike Johnson, (R-LA) was elected the 56th Speaker of the U.S. House on the fourth ballot of voting.   He received 220 votes- 217 are required for election.  Johnson was the 4th Republican nominee after the successful motion to vacate the speakership of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA). Johnson is the second least experienced Speaker in U.S. history.  He has served in the House just 6 years and 10 months.  Three observations:

     First, who is Speaker of the House Mike Johnson?  He is a Louisiana lawyer.  He served two years in the Louisiana legislature before being elected to Congress.  He is the first Speaker from the Bayou state.  Johnson worked in private practice and founded Freedom Guard; a nonprofit legal ministry designed to represent Christian clients in lawsuits. 

    Johnson, 51, has served as vice chairman of the Republican caucus.  He has been a member of the Judiciary and Armed Services committees.  He is a past chair of the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group of House members.  Rep. Kevin Hern, (R-OK) is the current chair. 

     Johnson is a Southern Baptist.  He and his wife have been married for 24 years and have four children.  He has said, ‘my faith informs everything I do.”  He and his wife co-host a podcast ‘Truth be Told,’ in which they discuss public affairs from a Christian perspective.  In an interview with Sean Hannity after his Speaker election, Johnson said he believes in the core values of American conservatism; individual freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets and human dignity. 

     Second, what will Speaker Johnson do?  The duties of the Speaker of the House are outlined in the U.S. Constitution.  They preside over the House, maintain order and govern the administration of House business.  The challenge Johnson faces is the same as what McCarthy faced- holding the GOP caucus together to get anything accomplished.  The nation is in the midst of a budget crisis with the Continuing Resolution (CR) expiring in less than three weeks.  Johnson has said he would start by negotiating with President Biden and Senate Democrats about funding bills.  He has floated the idea federal funding be cut by -8%. 

     Johnson also favors changing House rules to make it more difficult to remove the Speaker.  He supports helping Ukraine and Israel.  He wants Congress to be consulted before use of military force in the middle east.  If the Republican House caucus unifies and stays together, they could get concessions from Biden and Senate Democrats and actually govern. 

     Third, what will the Crazy Eight do?  The eight so-called Republicans who voted with the Democrat minority to remove McCarthy can sabotage Johnson.  With a razor thin majority, the tail (the Crazy Eight) can once again wag the dog.  There is no evidence the Crazy Eight learned a lesson in the last three weeks.  Don’t expect them to now be team players.  Expect them to disrupt, derail and to not cooperate  with the other 200 plus GOP members. 

     Johnson appears to be a principled conservative.  The task before him is getting  the 221 Republican caucus members to stay together.  It’s herding cats time.  Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something.  Republicans struggle to do that.  It’s past time to pull on the same end of the rope at the same time.  Playing tug of war with ourselves ain’t working.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Iran snookered the Biden administration!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair

     The situation between Israel and Hamas has prompted the Defense Department to send a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense(THAAD) to the Middle East.  Two U.S. aircraft carriers and 2,000 Marines have also been deployed to the region.  Iran backed terrorist group, Hezbollah has threated to join the fight against Israel, but Israel has vowed to ‘cut off the head of the snake,’ should that happen.  Countries across the world are picking sides and WWIII could be right around the corner.

     The present conflict started on October 7th (a Jewish holiday- Simhat Torah) when Hamas fired over 5,000 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel in the span of 20 minutes.  That attack killed 1,400 people and injured 3,300 more.  Both Jews and Palestinians were killed.  Hamas, who occupies the Gaza Strip, is upset over the expansion of Israeli settlements in Gaza and general Israeli policy, especially their recent attempts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.  Three observations:

     First, the U.S. has historically been a strong supporter of Israel.  The state of Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of U.S. foreign aid.  U.S. taxpayers send $2.67 billion each year to help Israel with their military defense. The United States is Israel’s largest trading partner.  The U.S. has used it’s UN veto power 42 times against resolutions condemning Israel.  That’s more than half the vetoes the US has exercised.    In 1948, when Israel became a nation, the U.S. was the first country to recognize the new state.  Since the attack, President Biden has repeatedly stated his support for Israel, but his actions just a month ago likely help fund Hamas.

     In September, Biden arranged a prisoner release deal with Iran, which saw five Americans exchanged for five Iranian citizens held in the U.S.  Part of the deal was the transfer of $6 billion in frozen Iranian money from South Korea to Qatar without fear of U.S. sanctions.  Prisoner for prisoner wasn’t enough to seal the deal.  Iran snookered the Biden administration and, in the process, helped get money to Hamas.  

     Second, are we living in the last days?   Biblically, the last days are the period from Christ’s ascension to His return, so we are definitely living in the ‘last days.’   But are we seeing the book of Revelation playing out before our eyes?  It’s certainly possible.  All the players are on the stage.  But Christ said no man knows the hour when He would return.  His command was for believers to ‘occupy’ until He returns.  Martin Luther was asked what he would do today if he knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow.  Luther responded, “I would plant an apple tree today.”  It’s human nature to gander into the future, but being obsessed with signs and wonders accomplishes little.

     Third, God gave Gaza to Abraham.  Some 4,000 years ago, Abraham traveled from the Chaldean city of Ur (present day Iraq) to Canaan.  God then told Abraham, the land was his and his offsprings.  Therein, lies the problem.  Both the Jews and the Palestinians are the offspring of Abraham.  The descendants of   half-brothers- Isaac and Ishmael- have been fighting for centuries over this same piece of ground. 

     The land in dispute is the Gaza Strip, a narrow piece of land on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.  It borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the east and north.  It has a total land mass of 141 square miles- an area about the size of Seattle, Washington.  Over 2 million people live there- both Jews and Palestinians.  It is the third most densely populated area in the world.  Since 2007, Hamas, a militant Islamist group, has ruled Gaza.  Because Hamas invaded Israel, expect Israelian ground forces to counterattack.    

     U.S. foreign policy should always include support for Israel.  Two thirds of the American people agree with the US supporting Israel, according to a recent poll.  No nation has stood with Israel more consistently or been a better friend than America.  That is- until September 2023, when President Biden was out negotiated by Iran.  Unsettling times, but while the rapture may be tomorrow, today plant an apple tree.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Those who preach principle don’t always practice it!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair


     On Wednesday the Republican caucus nominated Rep. Steve Scalise, (R-LA) current Majority Leader in the U.S. House, as their nominee for Speaker of the House.  The vote was 113-99, with second place finisher Rep. Jim Jordan, (R-OH) endorsing Scalise after the vote.  GOP members appeared to be united behind Scalise after the conference and a floor vote was expected on Thursday.  But, the CRAZY EIGHT representatives, who partnered with the Democrats to oust Speaker McCarthy, reneged and refused to support Scalise. This was after they had vowed to do so in caucus.  Scalise then withdrew himself from consideration for Speaker. 

     On Friday, the House caucus met again to select a Speaker nominee.  Rep. Jordan won the first ballot 124-81 over Rep. Austin Scott, (R-GA).  On a second ballot, a vote on who would support Jordan as the Party’s Speaker nominee, the vote was 152-55.  Republicans control the chamber by a slim 221-212 margin.  With the GOP conference spilt/fractured/splintered, they can afford to lose no more than four votes within their ranks to elect a Speaker.  Three observations:

     First, who is Rep. Jim Jordan?  Prior to entering public life, Jordan was the assistant wrestling coach at the Ohio State University for eight years.  He served in the Ohio state legislature (House and Senate) for ten years prior to running for Congress.  He has served nine terms in Congress. All told, Jordan has been an elected official for 29 of his 59 years.  He is a career politician. 

     Jordan is credited with ousting former Speaker of the House John Boehner eight years ago.  A founder of the House Freedom caucus, Jordan was a thorn in the side to Boehner, who describes him as a ‘political terrorist.’  “I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart- never building anything, never putting anything together,” Boehner says about Jordan.

     Jordan is conservative on policy.  He is pro-life, pro second amendment and an ally of former President Trump.  Trump has endorsed Jordan for the Speaker’s job.  

     Second, Americans don’t need to see how the sausage is made.  The GOP conference should conduct the Speaker vote in private.  The floor vote should be a mere formality.  Every effort to avoid the January 2023 15 ballot vote should be avoided.  That was a circus and the world doesn’t need to see the clown show.

     Third, those who preach principle don’t always practice it.  The CRAZY EIGHT voted with the Democrats to remove Speaker McCarthy based on principle.  But those same ‘principled’ members are pressuring the 55 members who voted to not support Jordan to violate their values.  They have rallied Trump supporters, through social media and the airways and the releasing of private phone numbers of members, to threaten the 55 with the rage of the Party’s base voters if they stand in the way of Jordan’s election.   Threats, ultimatums, oppression are the tactics of terrorists, not people of principle.  There is no respect for the principles/values of the 55 who disagree? 

     Intimidation and browbeating to get Jordan the Speaker’s post may work short term, but it won’t long term.  There has to be true unity in the GOP conference or the House will remain paralyzed. Bullying fellow members could win Jordan the Speaker’s race, but it won’t work in governing.  With a razor thin margin in the House, the next Speaker will still be herding cats. 

     The GOP proudly declares it is a Party of principle.  A great deal of the Republican Party platform is supposedly based on Biblical concepts.  Yet little of the Party’s conduct in the Speaker’s race resembles those precepts (no fruit of the Spirit). 

     Situational ethics, arrogance, threats, bullying and justifying bad behavior have served to make the GOP look like the Party of the devil.  Until the bombastic rhetoric is dialed down and the Party begins to practice what it preaches, voters will question their trustworthiness and that will result in defeat in 2024.

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Until Republicans are able to govern with a majority, America has little reason to give them one!

 Weekly Opinion Editorial

by Steve fair


     The U.S. House is without a speaker, who according to the Constitution, is required to be its leader.  Until one is chosen, the lower chamber is essentially in a holding pattern.  Rep. Patrick McHenry, (R-NC) is serving as Speaker Pro Tempore until a permanent speaker is selected.  Speaker Kevin McCarthy, (R-CA) was removed from the speaker’s position on Tuesday after he lost 216-210.  208 Democrats were joined by 8 Republicans to kick McCarthy to the curb.  All 210 votes to retain were cast by Republicans.  No Democrat crossed the aisle and voted for McCarthy.  Three observations:

     First, Republicans can win elections, but regularly fail at governing.  They can’t/won’t unite or come together.  Democrats don’t have that problem.  Even when they disagree, they stay fused.  Not the Rs.  Some elephants are furiously independent and demand absolute total agreement with their views.  There is no wiggle room. They are willing to walk away from the negotiating table with nothing instead of something.  That strategy always results in nothing for the average American. 

     The eight ‘principled’ Republicans who crossed the aisle to vote to remove McCarthy were willing to partner with people who agree with them only 20% of the time so they could show those they agree with 80% of the time how ‘principled’ they are.  Their action will not result in any significant change in the direction of America.  Until Republicans are able to govern with a majority, America has little reason to give them one. 

     Second, the eight members who voted with the Ds should join the Democratic Party.  Clearly, they ‘identify’ with the Ds, so give the Democrats the pleasure of dealing with these so-called principled people.  The CRAZY EIGHT should be expelled from the GOP caucus and begin their ‘walk of shame’ before their constituents.  Each should be willing to explain to the voters/citizens in their district why they voted with the other Party and practiced situational ethics.  These Brutus types should be proud to defend their backstabbing.     

     Third, the new speaker will face the same challenges.  No matter who is elected to the post, the difficult duty will be to try and unite the caucus.  Several candidates for speaker have emerged, including Rep. Kevin Hern, (R-OK)- a good choice.  But how long will the next speaker last?  Only until the CRAZY EIGHT decide to join the Ds again and make a motion to vacant?   The new speaker will walk the same tightrope of McCarthy.  There are two ways to fix this bedlam: (1) the CRAZY EIGHT recognize something is better than nothing and start to work and play better with others, or (2) Republicans win more House seats, get a larger majority, and render the CRAZY EIGHT irrelevant.  The first is not likely to happen.

     After the House passed the Continuing Resolution (CR) two weeks ago, the handwriting was on the wall- McCarthy had to go- according to the Ds and the CRAZY EIGHT.  Passing the CR- and keeping the government from shutting down- was akin to committing the unpardonable sin.  Never mind the CR is only good for 45 days!  With the clock ticking for the House to get a real budget completed in a little over a month, valuable time that could be used to identify waste and make spending cuts is being taken to conduct a speaker’s race.  Republican voters should be outraged by the actions of the CRAZY EIGHT.