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Not Like Reagan’s Era… “Freedom Summit” Ponders How To Carry Conservative Cause Forward

October 8, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


MESA, Ariz. — President Reagan was appropriate for a particular time and place, “but that’s not our America. Reagan today would be a fish out of water. In my view, (President) Trump is the man of the hour,” conservative national filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza told a “Freedom Summit” in this Phoenix suburb.
While Reagan in the 1980s focused on the Soviet Union, taxes, and inflation, D’Souza said, Trump is “not only in a political fight but in a cultural fight,” and he’s fully engaged.
D’Souza joined radio hosts and bloggers speaking to more than 600 people in an auditorium at the Mesa Arts Center on September 30 for a program lasting more than two hours, sponsored by Townhall Media and Phoenix-based conservative talk radio KKNT (960 AM).
National radio talk host Mike Gallagher agreed, saying, “We’re got a guy in the White House who’s in the fray. . . . I cringe at some of the stuff that’s been thrown at this president.”
Gallagher said he thought the United States couldn’t afford to have Hillary Clinton as president, so he decided he’d fully back whomever the Republicans chose as their presidential nominee in 2016.
Citing the importance of the abortion issue and Democratic extremism favoring abortion, Gallagher said, “For me, so much of this comes down to life….For me, everything starts with the sanctity of life.” The audience applauded, as it often did during the program.
Larry Elder, another national conservative radio talk host, later agreed with a theme sounded here that leftists politicize everything they can, leaving no corner untouched.
As much as he had opposed Barack Obama as president, Elder said, “it never occurred to me, it never occurred to me” to have professional football players protest against Obama at their games.
Elder was referring to recent protests against Trump by National Football League players, encouraged by leftist sports media.
This Freedom Summit occurred one night before the Las Vegas Strip’s October 1 shooting massacre at a country-music festival. Leftists immediately reacted to the tragedy by pushing their political platform for more gun control, again validating conservatives’ complaints here.
The Nevada gunman reportedly had such a heavy arsenal in his high-rise hotel room that one wondered what difference additional modest gun-control measures could have made.
On October 2, The Federalist senior editor David Harsanyi, noting an adamant tweet against the NRA by Hillary Clinton, commented:
“This kind of reaction hardens the resolve of Second Amendment advocates and creates an environment that makes any realistic options moot. Rather than specifically pointing to areas of achievable compromise, the reaction of most gun-control advocates seems to be a declaration of partisan war.”
Earlier, during the September 30 program, D’Souza said that Democrats are strengthened in their crusades by forces including the media, academia, and Hollywood. If it were a matter of Republicans just having to face off against Democrats, the GOP “could crush them easily.”
However, in Congress, he said, there’s also the factor that “we don’t have a Senate majority right now” because three to four of the GOP’s numerical majority of 52 senators “go their own way.”
Gallagher seconded this idea. When Gallagher mentioned the names of Arizona’s two dissident Republican U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, audience members booed.
If Republicans were unified, he said, there’d be “no stopping their agenda.”
D’Souza said, “The Democrats are specialists in generating narratives.” Citing a deception used to help pass Obamacare, he said, “‘If you want to keep your doctor, you can.’ That’s a lie.”
Democrats “generate these mammoth lies…and then they present it as a fait accompli,” he said.
Despite Democrat narratives, the Ku Klux Klan isn’t a danger to the U.S. today, D’Souza said, although it was a danger back in the 1920s — when Klan members marched off to attend the Democratic National Convention.
In his historical works, D’Souza has demonstrated that when the Klan actually had weight to throw around, it was on behalf of Democrats, not Republicans.
The greater danger today, he said, is the left-wing Antifa movement.
Later during the program he added that in the early days of the Civil War, no Republican at all owned a slave; they all were owned by Democrats.
As for the left’s current aggressions against all aspects of life, D’Souza said one would think they’d be content because they already dominate fields including the media, Hollywood, and Broadway, but because these leftists have “an insatiable appetite,” they demand bringing in the world of sports, too.
Gallagher said, “We’ve never seen character assassination” of Trump at the level seen now.
“We’re supposed to accept (the allegation that) there’s a racist in the White House,” even though he never once was accused of being a racist in his career as a Manhattan billionaire.
The audience applauded when Gallagher said the people in this auditorium are fed up with this character assassination.
Later Gallagher said, “The left hates normalizing Donald Trump” so that he might appear to be an acceptable human being. Gallagher recalled the left’s displeasure when television host Jimmy Fallon got Trump’s permission to muss up his mane of hair on the air in September 2016. “Jimmy Fallon normalized this terrible, terrible man,” Gallagher said.

Build The Wall

Another participant, former Arizona congressman and Newsmax TV broadcaster J.D. Hayworth, told the Mesa audience that Trump “understands the heartbeat of America. He may be a billionaire,” but he understands ordinary people.
Presidents of both parties had been weak about the border since Reagan signed the Simpson-Mazzoli bill on immigration into law in 1986, Hayworth said, adding that Reagan’s successor, President George H.W. Bush, told border agents not to enforce the law.
Townhall.com political editor Guy Benson asked Arizona resident and KKNT afternoon talk co-host Chris Buskirk what kind of deal on the border are people here comfortable with.
“It’s that simple,” Buskirk replied. “Build the wall, enforce the law….Everybody wants to see the law enforced fairly,” without discrimination.
Later, Benson said the only difference from the past so far under the Trump administration has been Neil Gorsuch becoming a Supreme Court associate justice and the administration’s selection of lower-court judicial nominees.
If Republicans can’t get tax reform done in Congress, Benson said, is it correct that “there’ll be an open insurrection among their voters, and they’ll be wiped out” in next year’s elections?
Blogger Ed Morrissey replied that in 2006 Republican politicians “didn’t do anything but protect themselves….They’re just talk.”
That November, in the middle of Republican George W. Bush’s second presidential term, the GOP lost control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats and also lost ground on governorships and state legislatures.
Now in 2017, Morrissey said, despite Republican control in Washington, D.C., “they haven’t solved anything,” and everything will be considered their fault because they’re in charge.
Buskirk’s KKNT talk-show co-host, Seth Leibsohn, told the gathering that he made a decision after pondering whether to run for the congressional seat in Arizona’s Ninth District next year, and he will become a candidate. That seat, currently held by left-wing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, will become vacant as Sinema enters the race for Flake’s Senate seat.
Leibsohn said he wants to join his voice against the tinpot dictators and terrorists who think some days that they have America on the run.

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