The Speech Heard Around the Chamber: The Aftermath of the State of the Union

To mark the opening of a parliamentary session in the United Kingdom, the Monarch is invited to give a joint address to the Houses of Commons and Lords. The sovereign typically gives a bland speech about the joint houses of parliament representing the best of British unity and representative democracy. America, despite its historical disdain for the monarchy, loves royal pomp and circumstance. The State of the Union (SOTU) at its core, is a copied-and-pasted version of the monarch’s address to open parliament. It typically includes the same stale message and vague optimism that the nation is on the precipice of a new era defined by the current leadership’s agenda. While the British crown need not worry about its approval (at least, not since the Bolsheviks quieted down), the SOTU, if done properly, is the most reliable approval bump of the year for the American president. The president bets all his political capital on the SOTU, and relies on his speechwriters to give him a winning hand. Luckily for President Trump, his writers did just that.

Trump had a nearly impossible task given the two and a half years of divisiveness that has surrounded his political career: to put forth a unifying message and do so with sincerity. The combination of storytelling, distinguished guests, and an appropriate amount of Trump’s signature off-prompter comments painted a picture of a distinguished leader personally addressing his nation.

President Trump began by introducing heroes of the nations’ various natural disasters, proclaiming, “We love you,” as they were recognized with great admiration. He then introduced an Ohio couple who, thanks to the restructuring of corporate and pass-through tax rates, was able to expand their business and hire over a dozen new employees. Their humble Midwestern charm gave a face to the abstract benefactors of the bill and denounced Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that the tax bill boiled down to mere “crumbs” for the American people.

The president deftly wove together an epic story of success and heartbreak that drove his message and agenda home, perhaps culminating in North Korean defector Ji Seong Ho’s triumphant stand with his crutches held high over his head.

Many were unsure of what to expect from such an unpredictable president, as Trump is not known for his adherence to the presidential or ceremonial. However, Trump competently delivered a very presidential speech that made the him look unifying and compromising, while exposing Democrats as pig-headed in their fierce opposition. Democrats refused to stand as their duly elected leader entered the room, nor did they stand as the chamber exploded in empathetic applause for the grief-stricken family of a man brutally murdered by an MS-13 gang member – another casualty of unchecked immigration. They grumbled and moaned as Trump spoke of record labor force participation and low unemployment for minority communities and women. Nancy Pelosi maintained her stern-faced scowl throughout the speech, clad in black as if attending a funeral in memoriam of her own relevance.

Democrats’ blatant disrespect for the President of the United States didn’t buy them much. Immediately following the speech, a CBS poll stated that 97 percent of Republicans, an astonishing 43 percent of Democrats, and a critical 72 percent of independents approved of the speech. Not to mention that Trump’s approval rating has skyrocketed to 49 percent since Tuesday night, according to Rasmussen. It would seem that the nation has taken notice that the party of inclusion and diversity refuses to rejoice at progress, simply because the man in office holds different beliefs than they do.

The American public is sick of petty partisanship, evidenced by the popular reaction Tuesday night. The speechwriters in the west wing saw this and delivered a State of the Union that outlined the president’s conservative agenda, while stressing the need for unity. If Trump continues to offer opportunities at bipartisanship, given the precariousness of the left’s current position, he will place himself firmly in command of the narrative going into 2018 and beyond.


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Special thanks to my coworker Nick Briscoe for his help in writing, researching, and editing this article. Nick is the Manager and Director of Media at the Reid Law Firm in Birmingham, AL and is a recent graduate of the University of Alabama. Nick plans to attend law school in 2019.

This article originally appeared on The Rouser.

Left Behind: How Conservative Faith Groups Have Rejected Alt-Right Politics

The alt-right has been fairly quiet in the mainstream media recently. Between the government shutdown, the passage of sweeping tax reform, and continued tension with North Korea, the movement that captivated and infuriated America last August seems to have faded into the background. While potentially detrimental to a movement that feeds off of stirring up trouble on the national stage, the alt-right has much larger problems to worry about than media attention – namely, the complete rejection of its core values by many of its traditional supporters and the demise of some of its most influential figures.

Many of the alt-right’s most prominent public figures have been dropping like flies as the American public uncovers their true intentions – to seed division among Americans, advance their racist and misogynistic identity politics, and prop themselves up with imitation political power.

Take the rise and fall of Steve Bannon for instance. While many may not see Bannon as a poster child for the alt-right, his desire to create a populist state in America and love for creating division to promote his ideology gives voice to the more radical wings of the movement. Despite his quick rise to power as a leading member of the Trump campaign, his radical views lead the White House to cut all ties with him. Thinking he could continue his influence, Bannon backed a deeply flawed candidate in the Alabama Senate election and lost a seat that was nearly guaranteed for Republicans, as many conservatives rejected his narrow-minded politics. Bannon was then dropped by his own nationalist-bent media outlet, Breitbart, for his controversial statements criticizing the Trump administration, concluding the glorious fall of one of America’s most reprehensible political figures.

Another alt-right figure with weakening influence is teenaged white-nationalist Nicholas Fuentes. Fuentes came to power in alt-right circles for his childish tirades on the biased media, suppression of the white male, and his objections to feminism; however, he gained national attention for withdrawing from Boston University after receiving death threats for attending the Charlottesville white supremacist rally last August. Recently, and similarly to Steve Bannon, America First Media, the nationalist media outlet that Fuentes helped create, severed ties with Fuentes, leaving him to spew his white-nationalist filth to the confines of his own Twitter followers.

As the demise of its leaders continues to take power away from the alt-right movement, perhaps a more telling development is the seemingly complete rejection of its core ideals by the greater American culture. Fifty years ago it was a much different story in America than today. Nationalism and white-supremacy were the norms in many parts of the country, and some of its staunchest supporters were people and groups of faith. However, today’s alt-right finds itself outnumbered as a fringe political movement legitimized only by its small base of misguided Twitter followers.

One of the most promising events to come out of the Charlottesville rally was the overwhelming condemnation of racism, nationalism, and white supremacy by leaders of nearly every major religion and faith. Many of the counter-protesters at the event were Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, Methodist, etc., and following the rally, a group of 150 theologians and activists released a document entitled the Theological Declaration on Christian Faith and White Supremacy. The declaration stated, “Our task here is twofold, to acknowledge and repent of the Church’s complicity in perpetuating white male supremacy in all of its forms and to hear and to heed the call to return to the truth of Scripture, fully revealed in the person of Jesus.” Despite many leaders’ – like Bannon and Fuentes – attempts to tie their beliefs to religion, the church continues to leave them behind.

Perhaps there is a reason the alt-right has remained relatively quiet recently. Rather than giving proponents of the alt-right a voice, the modern church – along with the rest of America – has stood strong against those who support hatred and bigotry. The hatred found in identity politics is simply not compatible with the message that promotes love and compassion for fellow men and women created in God’s image that is found in Christianity. Neither is it compatible with the long-standing belief in the equal freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness espoused by Conservatives. I am proud to identify as both.

We as Christians, as Conservatives, and as Americans should continue to stand against those who promote the values embraced by the alt-right. Rather than allow our culture to be defined by the immoral actions of the radical few, we should continue to stand for love, for grace, and for freedom.

This article first appeared on The Rouser.

Daniel Bruce is a former writer for the Yellowhammer News, the leading conservative news source in Alabama, and he is a frequent guest political commentator on conservative talk radio. He is also a contributor for Rouser News, and is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University.  You can follow him on Twitter @d_bruce96


Scott Dawson: The True Evangelical Candidate in Alabama

Scott Dawson, popular evangelist and one of the many Republican candidates for Alabama’s 2018 gubernatorial race, has made a name for himself for his biblical approach to politics. Unlike some recent “evangelical” candidates in the state, Dawson approaches politics from a servant’s heart and embodies what it means to be a true evangelical conservative candidate in the modern era. While not infallible, his message of hope and unity could bridge the gap between the older and younger wings of conservatives in the state and bring much needed change to Montgomery.

Founder of the Scott Dawson Evangelistic Association, he has helped spread the unifying message of hope in Jesus Christ throughout Alabama and across the country. He announced his candidacy on the syndicated “Rick and Bubba Show” in the summer, saying that his decision was birthed out of a “broken heart” towards Alabama politics. “I started praying through it,” Dawson said, “and it became so overwhelming in my life, that for a time such as this to serve. I’m not looking for a career change, I’m not in a mid-life crisis; this was just birthed out of a broken heart.”

That broken heart has put Dawson in fourth place in the fundraising race, three places behind current Governor Kay Ivey, who has managed to amass over two million dollars in campaign contributions. Ivey enjoys one of the highest approval ratings among all governors across the nation and is the early favorite to win the GOP nomination next year. However, both Dawson and Ivey have a similar blemish on their record: their support of Roy Moore in the U.S. senate race.

Both Moore and Ivey framed their vote as a vote for the Republican party, attempting to distance themselves from Moore’s accusations of sexual assault. Dawson said that he was unsure if the allegations were true and would vote to maintain the Republican Senate seat. Ivey admitted that she believed the women who accused Moore of assault, and still directly supported Moore’s campaign. Other Republican leaders have attempted to blame state party chair Terry Lathan for threatening any Republican who spoke out against the party nominee. However, Lathan was simply forced to follow the decisions of her committee members, and any attempt to fault her for the outcome of the election is not only factually inaccurate, but morally reprehensible. It was important to attempt to maintain the party’s slim majority, and there may have been some reasons to doubt the accusations. However, voting for a man who is almost certainly a child molester, has no respect for the rule of law, and preaches a gospel of hatred and anger was a major mistake. This appears to be a rare moment where both Dawson and Ivey caved to political pressure.

Dawson is in an interesting position as he is the most likely candidate to inherit Roy Moore’s large evangelical base, and his background in organizing youth rallies suggests he could easily be able to earn the support of Alabama’s young voters. However, to accomplish both, he will have to set himself apart from the theocratic rule and gospel of anger, fear, and bigotry espoused by Roy Moore. He must make voters aware that he intends to govern from a biblical worldview, as he has explained:

“I’m not going to replace the capital dome with a steeple; I’m not going to make everyone believe like me, live like me; we live in a free country. The scripture teaches you to treat everyone with respect. That word respect means to hold everyone in a high regard.”

Dawson realizes something that Roy Moore forgot: God does not need the government to build His kingdom. He needs politicians with a heart for all people, who will protect His church’s right to minister to those in need. It is this sentiment that will appeal to many of the state’s young evangelical conservatives.

Further setting himself apart from Moore, Dawson should oppose any support he may receive from Steve Bannon, as his beliefs directly contradict Dawson’s vision of hope and unity for the state. Dawson could never accept support from a man who demonized Mitt Romney for serving as a missionary, and should publicly denounce Bannon’s involvement in any part of the Alabama gubernatorial race.

Dawson is not just an evangelical candidate; he is strongly versed on policy as well. Dawson believes in establishing a strong future for the state through prison reform, infrastructure revitalization, and education reform. However, Dawson’s platform doesn’t stop at the talking points. He believes in listening to what the people of Alabama want to see happen in their state, and began a listening tour at the end of the summer to do just that.

Governor Ivey’s short term in office has been a refreshing shift from the corruption and complacency that plagued Alabama politics in the previous administration, and there is no doubt that she would continue to lead the state well if reelected in 2018. However, if the state’s conservatives want to finally elect a true evangelical leader – one who will lead as a servant, continue Alabama’s explosive economic growth, and advocate for those of faith – they have the potential to do so in Scott Dawson.

This article first appeared on The Rouser.

Daniel Bruce, is a former writer for the Yellowhammer News, the leading conservative news source in Alabama, and he is a frequent guest political commentator on conservative talk radio. He is also a contributor for Rouser News, and is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University.  You can follow him on Twitter @d_bruce96

Scott Beason: The Voice of Alabama Conservatives

Whether on the floors of the Alabama House and Senate or over the Alabama airwaves, Scott Beason continually proves to be one of the top conservative voices in the state.

Hailing from his beloved city Gardendale and a University of Alabama graduate, Beason was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives at the age of 28. He served there until 2006, when he was elected to represent the state’s 17th district in the Alabama Senate. In the legislature, Beason proved to be a staunch supporter of the state’s conservative values. He repeatedly advocated for Alabamians’ second amendment rights, firmly stood against reckless spending, and sometimes singlehandedly killed tax increases, saving Alabamians millions of dollars.

In 2011, Beason was one of the leading sponsors of Alabama’s anti-illegal immigration bill, HB56.  Frustrated by the Obama administration’s lack of action on national immigration law enforcement, Beason drafted one of the only comprehensive immigration reform measures to pass any state legislature. The bill sought to protect critical manufacturing and agricultural jobs for Alabamians.  Despite a rocky road with opposition from groups supporting illegal immigration, the bill succeeded in providing much needed change to the state’s immigration system and prompted other states to attempt similar action.

That same year, Beason again proved to be a courageous proponent of conservative values in his home state. As a years-long FBI investigation into a vote-buying scheme related to the state’s gambling industry came to a close, it was revealed that Beason, on his own volition, had agreed to wear a wire to assist in the investigation. Evidence obtained with Beason’s help lead to prison terms for multiple players in the corrupt gambling industry. It was revealed during the investigation that Beason himself was offered $1 million a year in exchange for his support of pro-gambling legislation. However, Beason stuck to his principles and weathered the storm that ensued from the lawyers of those indicted and the media outlets who had been the recipients of gambling advertising dollars.

Beason returned to private life in 2014, but continues to be a strong voice for conservatives across the state. He has continually insisted on going back to the basics – the fundamental issues of freedom – and has travelled the state informing Alabamians of these freedoms and the future of the state.

Beason now hosts his own radio show, “The Scott Beason Show,” weekdays from 10 a.m. to Noon on north and central Alabama’s 101.1 WYDE, Birmingham’s AM 1260 and FM 95.3, or on the internet at  Anchored by music that will remind you of a simpler time, Beason’s show tackles the top issues of the day and provides the very best in conservative political commentary. The show routinely features some of the biggest names in politics and news, and consistently challenges and defends the essential ideals of conservatives everywhere. Recently, Beason was able to get an exclusive one-on-one interview with Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, following the infamous allegations of sexual assault against the judge. No matter the topic or guest, each segment of the Beason Show is guaranteed to highlight the biggest pillars of conservatism: God and Country.

With a long future ahead of him, Beason’s insightful conservative commentary doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. Alabama could not be more proud of their senator turned radio host, and the nation deserves to take a look into the voice of Alabama conservatives: Scott Beason.

This article first appeared on The Rouser.

Daniel Bruce, is a former writer for the Yellowhammer News, the leading conservative news source in Alabama, and he is a frequent guest political commentator on conservative talk radio. He is also a contributor for Rouser News, and is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University.  You can follow him on Twitter @d_bruce96


Why Comparing Steve Bannon to Satan is Libelous and Unfair... To Satan

Steve Bannon, former White House advisor and CEO of Breitbart News, descended on Alabama once again on Tuesday to stump for Roy Moore. Appearing at a rally in Fairhope, Bannon continued to wage war on establishment Republicans, launching disgusting attacks on anyone who wasn’t perfectly in alignment with his views. The fact that he barely referenced Moore’s opponent, Democrat Doug Jones, is further evidence of Bannon’s true, troubling intentions: The annihilation of the conservative & establishment wings of the Republican Party.

Bannon rose to political dominance during his work with President Trump’s campaign. In fact, he deserves much of the credit for aligning Trump with marginalized voters in the Republican party and uncovering the massive amounts of corruption and complacency amongst establishment Republicans.

However, Bannon’s war did not end with the election of Donald Trump nor with the defeat of the Democrats. He has felt increasingly disillusioned and betrayed by members of his own party, who he believes do not hold strong enough to their principles. His answer? An all-out war against the Republican party, employing every weapon in his arsenal: namely his political power and knack for smear campaigns.

Since leaving the White House, the former Goldman-Sachs executive – you could simply substitute corporate sleaze if you’d like – has attempted to bring his war to nearly every major state Republican primary. His first test came in Alabama, where he backed Roy Moore over Luther Strange, the candidate endorsed by President Trump. With Bannon’s help, Moore won the primary, possibly at the expense of the state’s Republican party, which finds itself reeling from the results.

Bannon has waged his war of hyper-partisanship in the nastiest of ways. This was most evident at the Moore rally Tuesday night, where Bannon launched fiery attacks against Republicans. Most notably, Bannon attacked Mitt Romney for his remarks that Moore would be a “stain on the GOP and the nation,” NBC News reported. An infuriated Bannon dug at Romney’s lack of military service saying, “You hid behind your religion. You went to France to be a missionary while men were dying in Vietnam. Do not talk about honor and integrity.”

He then had some choice words for Romney’s family. “You ran for commander in chief and had five sons — not one day of service in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have 7,000 dead and 52,000 casualties, and where were the Romneys during those wars?”

The remarks elicited cheers from the crowd, despite the fact that Bannon implied that anyone who chooses to do mission work instead of military service is a coward. Religious freedom is something that everyone should support, but Bannon doesn’t seem to respect people who are willing to sacrifice for their faith. Bannon may not respect different religious traditions, but it was shocking to see so many cheer at what was a truly evil comment.

Another front in Bannon’s war is being fought against Mitch McConnell, the leader of the establishment wing that Bannon intends to destroy. McConnell is hated among many Republicans for his soft leadership and inability to unite the party. However, Bannon’s attacks are anything but unifying. The two camps ostensibly declared war on each other, with McConnell recently launching an all-out offensive against Bannon. Not shying away from a fight, the battered majority leader has accused Bannon of anti-Semitism and posing a significant threat to the party, while his Super-PAC has spent millions of dollars fighting against Bannon-backed candidates.

Under the Bannon regime, there is no civility in politics, no cordiality, no meaningful civil discourse – the hallmarks of American politics. It’s his way or the highway, “us vs. them,” and those who disagree are publicly shamed. Bannon and his populist whim, bent on destroying the Republican party, could very well take America down with it. In a time of such cultural and political strife, it is exceedingly dangerous for political elites to preach a message of hatred and division.

Bannon is currently in my state because he is supporting Judge Moore. I have no doubt that he will continue to attack and belittle all those who stand in his way. In a recent poll, only 8 percent of Americans had a favorable view of Steve Bannon so its hard to understand why anyone would want his support. Bannon and Roy Moore both preach messages of hatred towards those who see things differently than they do. Bannon has shown he has utter contempt for people of faith and Roy Moore see’s his political opponents as the enemy.

These men do not represent the majority of conservative Republicans nor do their tactics of playing on the fear of voters deserve any praise. Bannon is no different than the people he seeks to replace. In the end, Bannon and Moore want political power and will do whatever is necessary to obtain it. I just hope that these men will be exposed for what they truly are…… agents of darkness.

This article first appeared on The Rouser.

Daniel Bruce, is a former writer for the Yellowhammer News, the leading conservative news source in Alabama, and he is a frequent guest political commentator on conservative talk radio. He is also a contributor for Rouser News, and is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University.  You can follow him on Twitter @d_bruce96

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

God Does Not Need the Government to Build His Kingdom

Christians all over Alabama have rallied behind Roy Moore in a desperate attempt to keep their controversial and disgraced judge in the senate race. Pastors across the state have expressed their continued support, often at the expense of the poor victims of his sexual escapades. They claim that Moore is not only waging a war against the establishment elite, but also against the moral depravity that is running rampant through our nation. Many see Moore as the savior who will rebuild God’s Kingdom in America through his seat in the Senate. However, God does not need a government to build his kingdom. That’s simply not the message found in Christianity.

Throughout his career, Roy Moore has used his position to shove his version of Christianity down the throats of Alabamians, and was removed from his position twice for doing so. Men like Moore mistakenly believe that they can bring a culture to salvation through force and law. However, this line of thinking was never a goal of Christ or the early Christian church, and has historically failed throughout history. Many Jews thought that the Messiah would come to wage war against the oppressive Roman Empire and establish a rule by God and His people. Instead, Jesus told them to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to love their neighbor as themselves; they crucified Him for it. In the early 1600’s, Christians fled from the government’s oppressive version of Christianity in Europe, and came to North America, in search of religious freedom. While that freedom was still often restricted in some colonies, it was these experiences that led to the founding of our great nation and a historic belief in the separation of church and state.

As Christians, we have always believed that evangelism is the result of love and grace shown by a community of believers who go out and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world of lost and broken people. It is through that love and grace that God builds His kingdom on earth. However, some have distorted this doctrine, believing that they themselves can use their positions of power to bring wayward sinners into submission. Whether this be done with honest intentions or with a hidden self-promoting agenda doesn’t matter. It simply will not bring others to Christ, and has tainted the name of Christianity in our culture. God does not need powerful politicians to build His kingdom.

All of this being said, that does not mean that government and politicians can’t play a role in God’s kingdom. They play a crucial role in fact. Christian politicians should be elected to ensure the government protects the church, and establishes a society in which it can grow and continue to build God’s kingdom. Now, as those politicians serve in a secular ruling body, they should not turn around and persecute those who do not have the same beliefs as the church. Rather, they should ensure that the government protects every belief and creed, while providing a space for the church to minister to those who need it most and change the culture from the inside out. For example, we should not ban homosexuality, but allow the church to minster to those tempted by it. This ensures that hurting and broken people experience the love and grace of Jesus Christ, rather than being locked into an iron-clad way of life that fosters rebellion and leads them further away from the words of Christ.

This is where Roy Moore and many like him fall short. Without commenting too much on their apparent exploitation of Christian values to gain a vote, these politicians mistakenly believe they can bring salvation to all through force. Ironically, they tend to push many away from Christ by painting a tainted portrait of the Gospel and putting it on display for all to see. God does not need the government to build His kingdom, but He does use each of us to spread His love and grace throughout our communities, states, and nation.

I beg my fellow Christians in Alabama to encourage Moore to step down and push the Republican party to back a candidate who will lawfully protect our Christian and conservative values in the Senate.


Daniel Bruce is a media consultant at the Reid Law Firm. Daniel is studying Political Science and Economics at Auburn University and plans to attend law school after graduation. He is an avid writer and gives a refreshing millennial perspective of many of the issues of today. Follow Daniel on Twitter @d_bruce96.


Photo courtesy of Flickr user maorlando