The Future of the Travel Ban- Combatting the Growing Terrorist Threat

The Future of the Travel Ban- Combatting the Growing Terrorist Threat

Now that the Supreme Court has approved President Trump’s travel ban, what’s next? Trump has argued that the ban is necessary to reassess vetting procedures for immigrants from high-risk countries. With the ban officially in place, the administration must figure out how to best enhance these procedures. It’s not altogether clear what changes need to be made, especially with so many questions surrounding the terrorist threat from abroad. Why do some people find the radical ideology embraced by ISIS and other terror groups so attractive? And what, if anything, can the U.S. do to combat the spread of this ideology?

Radical Islam, Social Media, and the Impact of Trump's Travel Ban in Alabama

Radical Islam, Social Media, and the Impact of Trump's Travel Ban in Alabama

Now that the Supreme Court has approved President Trump’s travel ban, what’s next? Trump has argued that the ban is necessary to reassess vetting procedures for immigrants from high-risk countries. With the ban officially in place, the administration must figure out how to best enhance these procedures. It’s not altogether clear what changes need to be made, especially with so many questions surrounding the terrorist threat from abroad. Why do some people find the radical ideology embraced by ISIS and other terror groups so attractive? And what, if anything, can the U.S. do to combat the spread of this ideology?...

A Strange Election: How Recent Events Will Affect the Race to Replace Jeff Sessions

A Strange Election: How Recent Events Will Affect the Race to Replace Jeff Sessions

No one can deny that we are living in strange times. From Russia interfering in U.S. elections, to a President who appears to be either a lunatic or a genius as he enrages the media by making up words like “covfefe,” to our own governor marred by a sex scandal, it seems our country is spiraling out of control by the second. And yet, in the midst of all of the chaos, we Alabamians have a decision to make: who to elect as our new senator...

A Strange Election: Who is More Likely to Win the Alabama Senate Seat, Luther Strange or Mo Brooks?

A Strange Election: Who is More Likely to Win the Alabama Senate Seat, Luther Strange or Mo Brooks?

No one can deny that we are living in strange times. From Russia interfering in U.S. elections, to a President who appears to be either a lunatic or a genius as he enrages the media by making up words like “covfefe,” to our own governor marred by a sex scandal, it seems our country is spiraling out of control by the second. And yet, in the midst of all of the chaos, we Alabamians have a decision to make: who to elect as our new senator...

Katherine Timpf: A Voice for Young Conservatives

Katherine Timpf: A Voice for Young Conservatives

In a political environment where it can be intimidating for young Republicans to speak their minds and openly identify with the party, Fox News commentator Katherine Timpf says the things that many GOP millennials are thinking. At 28 years old, Timpf has already established herself as a noted political pundit and an informed voice on hot-button issues. A comedian as well as a media personality, Timpf brings humor to subjects that could otherwise be awkward or contentious. Her unique style makes politics accessible for young people who might normally shy away from political discussion, and Timpf shows young Conservatives that popularized liberal views are not the only opinions of their generation...

"Trust me, I am an attorney"

"Trust me, I am an attorney"

You’re in a bind, and you’re confused. Legal-ese is a foreign language to you. You know you need a lawyer for this type of problem, but you’re not sure how to choose one and you’re really not sure how to talk to one. Maybe you’re not even sure if you can trust one. So what do you do? How do you find and pick an attorney and, even more important, what should you expect from your attorney-client relationship?

Will Trump Survive the Assault from the Media and the Left?

Will Trump Survive the Assault from the Media and the Left?

The greatest danger to the American people is not an outside force, but internal conflict. Our country has always had diversity of opinions and differences, but we have generally had common values to which we all adhered. Our leaders may have sometimes disagreed on the solutions, but at the very least they worked to inspire people to believe in something greater than themselves. All around us we see people losing hope—not just in political parties, but in the great institutions this country has held dear. People are beginning to believe that they can’t achieve their dreams, so many have stopped trying...

The Resistance, Kathy Griffin, and the Death of Civility

 The Resistance, Kathy Griffin, and the Death of Civility

At no time since the Civil War began has our country seen this level of partisan tension.  In a survey done in 1960, less than 10 percent of Americans said they would have a problem marrying someone from the other political party. In 2010, that number shot up to nearly 50 percent.  According to Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science at Stanford University, “In the 1950s and 1960s party affiliation made virtually no difference to interpersonal relations.” However, since the divisive 2016 election, partisan tensions have begun dramatically affecting our lives. From couples divorcing and friendships ending to widespread boycotts and politically inspired acts of violence, D.C.’s political climate has created undoubted turmoil across the country...

Power, Pride & the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

Power, Pride & the Fall: Reflections on our leaders and the Easter Message

As a student of history and politics, it is truly amazing how many great leaders fall because they give into the trappings of pride. In Alabama, our governor had to resign in shame & disgrace because he became conceited with his power, and in doing so neglected the love of his wife of 50 years for the temporal pleasure of a younger subordinate. Governor Bentley learned the truth behind the proverb that “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.

Is There Still Hope For America's Future

Is There Still Hope For America's Future

As I read the news each day, I realize that one of the major themes is a deep pessimism about America’s future, regardless of where you end up on the political spectrum. I understand why people feel this way, the divisions in this country seem insurmountable, and watching the acrimony in DC it looks like a “united” states isn’t possible. Yet, even though there are many things to be concerned about, I still believe America’s best days are in front of her. Our nation has overcome so many challenges and every generation has had problems that seemed impossible to surmount. Yet the one thing that has united this country is that our people have believed that our best days are yet to come. During WWII, it seemed impossible to combat the advancement at the axis powers. Our military was ranked 17th place in terms of its military might, and the German army seemed unstoppable.

Resignation, Impeachment, or Repentance: The One Thing That Could Save Governor Bentley

Last year, rumors began circulating concerning Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and his adviser, Rebekah Mason. Following the release of an illicit audio recording of the two, serious allegations came to light of a affair between Governor Bentley and Mrs. Mason. Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee is currently overseeing an impeachment investigation concerning a separate but related allegation of misuse of state funds by the governor. It’s been over a year since complaints against the governor were filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission. Governor Bentley adamantly denies any such claims, though he and his wife have since divorced.

Governor Bentley returned to the spotlight this month when hospitalized at Baptist Medical Center South overnight for an irregular heartbeat. News of the trip left many wondering how long Bentley’s tenure in office would continue. Republican Representative Ed Henry, lead proponent of the governor’s impeachment, spoke with reporters last week. According to Rep. Henry, the House will act on the Articles on Impeachment in the very near future, “pending the outcome of a senate trial.” Henry continued that, in order to avoid impeachment, the governor would have to resign by mid-April.

There hasn’t been much public polling, but what little polling is out there puts Governor Bentley’s approval ratings in the teens. In fact, a poll done by a BSC professor last June showed governor Bentley with a 17% approval rating, and the current news cycle is likely going to drop the number even further.  If the 17% number is accurate, then it would be one of the lowest approval ratings of a sitting governor since the invention of polling. Governor Bentley has completely lost the trust of the people of this state and is therefore unable to lead. The state legislature does not take him seriously and although he carries the formal power of Governor, he has lost all moral authority.

The scandal with Rebekah Mason has cost the Governor more than he could have ever imagined. He lost his wife of 50 years, his relationship with his children is strained, and he is facing potential criminal charges if he used state funds to cover up this affair. Regardless of the legal outcome of the case, there is nothing left for the governor after his term is over because his term was so marred by public scandal, it is unlikely that he would have many people willing to associate themselves with him. Yet, I believe that many people in Alabama would be willing to forgive the governor and potentially give him another chance if he would simply be willing to repent for what he has done. The governor needs to first seek forgiveness from God and his family, and then the people of this state deserve an honest account of what happened. Right now the polls are so low that there is no way the legislature is going to be able to find a way not to remove him from office, and if they failed to follow through with impeachment, then the people of this state could throw out many of them in the next cycle. Governor Bentley started his administration talking about loving his brothers and sisters in Christ, and by taking a stand on faith issues, he has held himself out to be someone who trusts in the Lord. Regardless of any voter's particular faith, all of us understand what sincere repentance looks like. Bentley’s apologies to this point have in no way dealt with the real issues of breaking trust with his family and the people of this state. He has done some good things as governor, and I would hope that when the history books are written, they don’t just discuss the sex scandal. The only person who can make this choice is the governor, and I believe that sincere and contrite repentance could restore his governorship and hopefully restore his relationship to his family. The point of writing this isn’t to attack the governor but to encourage him to do the right thing and see how gracious both God and the people of this state would be to him because like I said he has done many positive things for this state and is a very bright governor.

The scriptures teach in Proverbs 16:18-19 that, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” This verse cautions all those who seek power. It takes courage to ask for forgiveness and to acknowledge one’s own shortcomings. It is my hope that Bentley will recognize the error of his ways. After all, “what shall it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36). It is far more important to have family than power. What good is having a seat in the Governor’s mansion if you have no one to come home to? Bentley is in control of his own actions moving forward. If he asks for forgiveness and truly gives himself to God, only then will he find peace and reconciliation. Bentley has already lost so much, and if he is unable to find humility with God, he stands to lose even more. He has already lost his wife and the support of constituents. He must be careful to not lose sight of God as well, for without God, undoubtedly we have nothing.

No matter Bentley’s actions, we are likely to see some form of a conclusion to this matter in the next few weeks. The Ethics Commission is meeting April 5, and they are expected to release a report on their findings. Whether it is by means of an impeachment or resignation, Bentley’s tenure as Governor will soon come to an end if he doesn’t act soon. For his own good, I hope Governor Bentley is able to own up to the mistakes he has made and accept the consequences humbly that are to come.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

What’s Really Behind the Left's Recent Attacks on Congressman Palmer

The election of Donald Trump has created hysteria among the far left members in the Democratic Party. With the repeal of Obamacare on the near horizon, the left has focused their energy on disrupting GOP town halls. Our congressman Gary Palmer was recently a major target of this effort, which begs the question: why did the left organize specifically against Gary Palmer? Some background on Gary Palmer's life and history will shed light on why the Left is focusing so many resources to take him down.

Before being elected to represent the 6th Congressional District of Alabama, Palmer was famous for advocating for conservative solutions to help reform Alabama’s government. In 1989, he founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a think tank that played a pivotal role in defeating a $1 billion tax increase proposal in 2003, which was proposed by a Republican Governor. Palmer demonstrated that he was willing to stand up for his principles even if it meant challenging members of his own party. In 2014, most political analysts believed that Palmer had little chance of winning the GOP primary due to the fact that his opponents were better funded and organized. But what Palmer had was a powerful message that he would not abandon his principles regardless of the cost. Palmer won both due to his command of the issues and because he pledged to the voters that if elected, he would not vote for John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Unlike many politicians, Palmer actually stuck to his promise and famously told then Speaker Boehner that he could not in good conscious vote for him, which took Speaker Boehner by surprise because most freshman congressman wouldn’t challenge the leader of their own party. At first, Palmer was threatened with being sidelined, but in time Boehner actually respected Palmer for being a man of his word, and Palmer was put on some very influential committees.

Now in his second term in Congress, Palmer has also made attempts to curb the out-of-control deficit spending looming over the country. Last year, he proposed an amendment prohibiting bills costing more than $500 million from being brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of the rules. Currently, the rules often allow for bills to be passed quickly while House rules are suspended, which limits debate and encourages the frivolous spending seen over the last 8 years. While this amendment was voted down at the time, it is more likely to pass now that a Republican is in the White House.

Despite the fact that Palmer was aware that the Left was going to disrupt his town hall on Feb 25th, he still attended because he is willing to listen and respond to any constituent regardless of political ideology. Palmer not only fielded every question posed to him by the Left at the town hall, he even made a point to step outside and speak to the protestors who were unable to enter due to the fire code because he wanted to give them a chance to voice their concerns as well.

However, despite Palmer working hard to listen to the concerns of his constituents on the Left, he will likely be a target because he has obtained a significant amount of influence through his appointment to the Budget Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Congressman Palmer has also been appointed to the Republican Policy Committee as Vice President and to the Steering Committee of the Republican Study Committee. These committees are often tasked with working out the details of major pieces of legislation, and Congressman Palmer will have the ability to work behind the scenes on transformative conservative legislation. That is why the Left is so determined to take him down. My grandfather, a WWII veteran, always used to say that you only take flack when you're over the target, which means the closer you are to achieving your goal, the more opposition you will have. Palmer is up to the challenge of continuing to promote conservative solutions to the problems American face.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com. Article co-written by Chris Simmons who is a law student at Cumberland school of law and can be reached at csimmon2@samford.edu. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

How Partisan Tensions Are Destroying Relationships, and How We Can Fix Them!

At no time since the Civil War began has our country seen this level of partisan tension.  In a survey done in 1960, less than 10 percent of Americans said they would have a problem marrying someone from the other political party. In 2010, that number shot up to nearly 50 percent.  According to Shanto Iyengar, a professor of political science at Stanford University, “In the 1950s and 1960s party affiliation made virtually no difference to interpersonal relations." However, since the divisive 2016 election, partisan tensions have begun dramatically affecting our lives. From couples divorcing and friendships ending to widespread boycotts and politically inspired acts of violence, D.C.’s political climate has created undoubted turmoil across the country.

The New York Times wrote an article entitled “Political Divide Splits Relationships – and Thanksgiving, Too.” In this article, family after family is ripped apart by the election. One daughter described in the article calls and forbids her parents from seeing their grandchildren ever again due to political differences. One man’s mother claims she, “no longer had a son.” [i]  While each family has their own unique history, there is one constant in each story listed in the article. In every case it was the Trump Supporter who was singled out and cut off from the rest of the family. In the article, the Times points out, “Democrats have dug in their heels, and in some cases are refusing to sit across the table from relatives who voted for President-elect Donald J. Trump.” [ii] 

Trump supporters have not been completely free of political resentments either.  During the election, many called their fellow supporters to boycott companies that didn’t align with their views. Macy’s was boycotted for not holding Trump’s clothing line. Oreos were boycotted when they moved their company to Mexico, and Ben & Jerry’s was singled out for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. [iii] Personally, I could never boycott Ben & Jerry’s because their ice cream is just too delicious.

Democrats had their fair share of boycotts during the election as well. In Detroit, Democrats singled out Don Studvent, owner of the restaurant 1917, for catering a breakfast for Donald Trump, Jr. Though Studvent is a Clinton supporter and has signs supporting her outside his restaurant, he had only two tables filled during what he says was his busiest lunch hour. Studvent argues that the choice to cater for Donald Trump, Jr., was strictly business and that he “can’t take sides” when dealing with his business because he has employees to pay. [iv]

The politically inspired boycotts did not end on election night. One political activist group, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, is attempting to sway the future of healthcare through boycotts. The group calls for the boycott of any restaurant that allows a Congress member who voted to repeal Obamacare to eat. Scott Dworkin, an adviser to group said, “Restaurants who don’t ban Members will be boycotted by D.C. residents and close down. We’ve done it before – It worked.” [v]

While anecdotal, the above examples give a glimpse into the lack of civility seen throughout our country. In some instances, such political hostility has been known to evoke violence. For example, in Chicago, four teens tortured a mentally disabled teen (who supported Trump) on Facebook Live. Reportedly, the teens threatened the boy with a knife and forced him to drink toilet water. [vi] While an incident like this is rare, it is emblematic of the partisan tension that has taken hold of our society.

            The solution to the problem of partisan tension isn’t that we all must agree with each other. Americans have always had a diversity of viewpoints on issues, and that is the mark of a free society. However, we cannot subscribe to the mindset that because someone has a different viewpoint that makes them not worthy of our respect or friendship. Many people create their views honestly, after having given it much thought, and it is foolish for us to demand that people in our lives see the world as we do. Personally, some of the best friendships I have had were with people who didn’t believe virtually anything I did. What was great about those friendships is that we actually challenged each other by listening to one other’s viewpoints.

            There is so much we can learn from each other if we stop yelling and start listening. Listening doesn’t mean we compromise our principles or our faith. Rather it means that we have chosen to show respect to one other and demonstrate that even though we disagree we can still show we care. I once heard a pastor say, “No one cares what you say until they know that you care,” and that is how we can heal partisan tension. If you really want to persuade people to your way of thinking, first listen to what they have to say and show them you care. I promise they will be much more open to what you have to say. Don’t miss out on quality friendships because of different worldviews. Treat people well no matter what they believe, understanding that they may or may not come around to your point of view. We must remember that being a good friend is more important than being right, so let's all do our part to show respect to each other and be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

 

Co-written by Kaela Carpenter and Chris Reid. Kaela is a student at Samford University and an intern at the Reid Law Firm. She is on a pre-law track, and you can reach her by e-mail kcarpen3@samford.edu.  Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com.Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

[i] Prager, Dennis. "Ten Reasons Left-Wingers Cut Trump Voters from Their Lives." National Review. N.p., 01 Dec. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[ii] Sabrina Tavernise and Katharine Q. Seelye. "Political Divide Splits Relationships - and Thanksgiving, Too." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[iii] Ford, Zack. "Trump Supporters Launch Boycotts of Pepsi, Oreos, and Netflix." ThinkProgress. ThinkProgress, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[iv] Fink, Jenni. "Liberals Boycotting Restaurant Owner Who Catered for Trump Jr. Are Completely Missing the Point." IJR - Independent Journal Review. Independent Journal Review, 16 Nov. 2016. Web. 23 Feb. 2017

[v] Stinson, Jim. "Liberal Activists Bully Restaurants Over Obamacare." LifeZette. N.p., 23 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

[vi] Moreno, Amy. "BREAKING : Four Charged With Hate Crimes for Torturing Mentally Disabled Teen on Facebook Live." TruthFeed. TruthFeed, 05 Jan. 2017. Web. 23 Feb. 2017.

Obamacare “Death Spiral” Necessitates Need For Replacement Plan By GOP

The repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one Trumps biggest agenda items for his first term. As recently as February 16, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated, “It has become increasingly clear that this law is collapsing,” and that, “It will keep getting worse unless we act.” In his statement, Ryan speaks to the ever-increasing insurance premiums that the American people are forced to pay, while their co-pays have gone up and their access to quality physicians has gone down.

Currently, House Republicans are working towards a replacement plan that they believe will be lower costs and increase access for most Americans. As of now, there is a substantial difference of opinion regarding healthcare reform between Republicans and Democrats. Many Democrats support a single-payer system which would effectively eliminate the insurance companies and give the government complete control over your health care decisions. Democrats claim that this single payer system would work “just like the VA” and provide the same level of quality care to all Americans that we provide our veterans. First, our VA is not the model you want this country to emulate. In the past years it has been proven that incompetence at the VA has led to the deaths of many of our nations most decorated veterans. Sadly, the issues with VA have been around for many years. When my dad was doing his residency in the early 80s as an internal medicine physician, one of his rotations was at the VA in Birmingham. On one occasion while he was working there he heard an alarm go off which meant that a patient was going into cardiac arrest and if he didn’t resuscitate this patient quickly they would die. The normal practice is that when someone is going into cardiac arrest the nurse will go to the room with the doctor to help them revive the patient. However, when this cardiac arrest code went off my dad had to run through the halls and try to find this patient who was in imminent danger of dying and finally he went to the nurses station and asked “what room is this patient in” and the nurse pointed to the room with a chicken wing in her hand and my dad was thankfully able to revive the patient. Obviously he was very angry and confronted the nurse and said why didn’t you assist me in reviving this patient and she said that “she was on her break and hadn’t finished eating her dinner”. Well my dad justifiably let her know his thoughts on the matter and the next day the person who got in trouble was not the nurse who was more than happy letting a veteran die rather than take two minutes away from her dinner,  it was my dad who apparently wasn’t sensitive enough to this “so-called”nurse. The problem with giving the government control of our healthcare is that it is almost impossible to fire someone and unlike the private marketplace where you can promote people based on merit, the way you advance in the government system is much different. So if any politician ever says they want to make healthcare run like the VA you need to do everything in your power to make sure that person never wins an election or you may be the person who goes into cardiac arrest during a dinner break and good luck suing the government for negligence because your chances of recovering damages on this when it is in the hands of the government will be slim to none.

 That being said the Republicans prefer a replacement plan with health savings accounts, tax credits to help pay for insurance, and high-risk pools for the chronically sick. The Republicans aim to create a more patient-centered system, allowing for greater choice among insurance companies and healthcare providers. The House Republicans’ blueprint also includes a change in Medicaid payments. Under the ACA, the federal government covers the majority of insurance costs for the Medicaid population. Under the Republican’s proposed plan, states would be reimbursed with block grants. Block grants would limit Medicaid spending, which is currently reimbursed as a percentage of whatever each state spends. Although the House leaders have laid out this general repeal-and-replace plan, a definitive plan has yet to be formulated. As of now there is just speculation as to what the final product will be and if states will end up losing federal funds.

Considering the general formatting of plans to repeal-and-replace the ACA, it is important to follow two individuals throughout the next few months. First, we should follow statements made by Representative Kevin Brady, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, as tax credits are a large portion of Republicans’ repeal-and-replace plans. Representative Brady has discussed tax credit options with a number of congressmen, as well as a potential widening of health savings accounts.  At this point, Representative Brady’s opinions are rather broad. Brady stated, “We’re really looking at a whole range of options.” Although this statement is extremely general, it is important to continue following Representative Brady’s statements and opinions, as his committee will be incredibly influential in the passage of a replacement bill.

The second person to follow is Tom Price, President Trump’s appointment for Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services. Price is decidedly against abortion-providing organizations and strongly supports employers’ rights to delegate the level of reproductive healthcare employees receive. While a member of the House of Representatives, Price proposed his own vision for health care reform, The Empowering Patients First Act of 2015. This plan significantly mirrors the plan House Republicans are currently pushing, including giving tax credits to pay for insurance and creating health savings accounts. Considering Secretary Price’s history, it is likely he will gladly support and adopt most anything House Republicans pass in regards to healthcare reform.

With the repeal of the ACA, replacement is vital. Replacement is necessary, as a total repeal without a replacement would disrupt millions of Americans’ healthcare. Many fear, without a replacement, insurers selling individual health plans will exit the market because they will no longer be subsidized. Replacing the ACA would minimize the potential fallout.. Replacement is a complicated issue and undoubtedly much more is to come, but so far, House Republicans appear off to a good start.

Written by Chris Reid and Bennett Naron. Mr. Naron is a political science major at Samford University and can be reached by e-mail at bnaron@samford.edu. Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.comOur firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

The End Of Free Speech: How the Far Left Uses Violence and Fear To Shut Down Speeches Throughout the Country!

At the University of California Berkeley, students protested a speech being held by a controversial speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos (just to be clear I find some of his views repugnant, distasteful and mean spirited). The protest quickly turned into a riot, with protesters throwing bricks and shooting off fireworks. The riot forced the event’s cancellation. Several injuries were reported and at least four banks were vandalized after the protest. During the riot, fireworks were thrown up onto the second-floor balcony inside the venue and fires were lit outside. Yiannopoulos’s speech on campus was sponsored by the campus’s Republican club and was a sold out event (1). By rioting to the point that the event had to be canceled, the protestors attacked the freedoms of Yiannopoulos and every person who planned on attending. Unfortunately, this was not an isolated occurrence. Not long after the riots over Yiannopoulos at Berkeley, California State University Los Angeles experienced a very similar set of events.

At Marquette University, students protested conservative Ben Shapiro’s speech on campus. Again, the protest lead to smashed windows and spontaneous fires. The student group, Young Americans for Freedom, was the sponsor of Shapiro’s speech. In the scheduling of the speech, the Young Americans for Freedom hoped to give conservatives a voice on campus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just fellow students impeding on the Young Americans freedom of speech, it was also members of the University’s faculty. In addition to the protest, one employee callously attempted to sabotage the event through Facebook. The faculty member posted in the University’s Facebook group Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies asking students, employees, and even former employees to reserve a seat as a student and then not to show up. In doing so, the employee intended to take seats away from people who actually wished to attend the event.

Unfortunately, it has become a common trend on liberal campuses to attack any speaker who isn’t politically correct. Some students feel the need to protest any thoughts and ideas that do not align with their own, resulting in a population of students who expect to always get their way and are stunned when they don’t. The election of President Trump is a prime example of this behavior. Liberal students were so confident that Hillary Clinton was going to win that when she did not, they were traumatized. As a result, Cornell University students held a “cry-in,” University of Michigan professors delayed an exam, Columbia University postponed midterms, University of Connecticut excused students from missing class, and one professor made an exam optional at Yale University (2). College campuses have created safe spaces that protect students from any form of disagreement, thus creating a bubble of identical thinking people. Instead of helping students, these bubbles act as an extreme impairment, limiting students from facing the rest of the world.

The creation of safe spaces could ultimately serve detrimental to the future of the first amendment. When these shielded students graduate, they are not going to know how to deal with controversy. They won’t be able to calmly and logically convey their ideas and emotions when people disagree with them. Students will venture into the workforce with no respect for the ideas of others who disagree with their own.

In order for the United Stated continue to be a free nation; it is imperative that we encourage the free exchange of ideas. The University of Chicago is a great example of how college campuses can support the freedoms of each student. Instead of creating safe places, trigger warnings, and free speech zones, the University of Chicago sent its students a statement addressing campus political correctness head-on. John Ellison, Dean of Students, wrote, “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warning’s, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own” (3).

The overall trend on university campuses for safe spaces and riots is a genuine threat to free speech. People with differing opinions should not be silenced and people should be able to discuss controversial and offensive ideas without the fear of violence. If you are confident in what you believe it shouldn’t bother you if someone else believes something different. People who resort to violence or threats are emotionally unstable and don’t care about how their actions will hurt innocent people. Colleges should not enable this kind of behavior but do everything in their power to encourage their students to listen to all ideas (even repugnant ones that Milo has) and if they disagree then learn to articulate their disagreement in a thoughtful way. The rioters who attempted to shut Milo down only gave him a bigger platform and so the views that they found repugnant where only amplified by rioting.

Written by Kaela Carpenter and Chris Reid. Ms Carpenter is a student at Samford University and can be reached at kcarpen3@samford.edu. Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and was a health policy advisor to the governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).

 

Sources:

1. "Riot Forces Cancellation Of Yiannopoulos Talk At UC Berkeley." CBS San Francisco. CBS, 1 Feb. 2017. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

2. Robby-soave. "Colleges Cancelled Exams for Students Traumatized by Trump's Election." Reason.com. N.p., 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

3. Richard Pérez-Peña, Mitch Smith and Stephanie Saul. "University of Chicago Strikes Back Against Campus Political Correctness." The New York Times. The New York Times, 26 Aug. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.