Whose Land Is It Anyway?

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The date is June 8, 2020. The place is a few neighborhood blocks located in Seattle, Washington. The time, otherworldly.

An assembled mob cordons off approximately six blocks of land in the downtown section of the city. No longer wishing to be part of the United States, the group declares that the land it has seized is now a sovereign nation.

The land is then christened with an official sounding name, CHAZ, which the mob explains stands for “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.”

Other details about the nation-in-formation quickly emerge, such as CHAZ is not subject to local, state, or federal laws. Strict borders are in place. So are armed guards and even a self-proclaimed “warlord.”

Many folks might think that the events described above could never really happen in America, but they have.

Folks might also think that even if such things were ever to occur, elected leaders at the local and state levels would surely jump into action to right the wrongs. But no, they haven’t.

In fact, Washington’s Democrat Governor Jay Inslee recently became the subject of ridicule when he pretended to be unaware of the fiasco that was taking place in the largest city in his state. His feigned ignorance was on display for all to see. So was the CHAZ story, which was being covered by every media outlet on the planet.

In the land outside of the CHAZ borders, meaning the actual city of Seattle, Democrat Mayor Jenny Durkan was engaging in a little pretend of her own. Not only did she abdicate her responsibility as mayor of all of the constituents in her city, she decided to play head cheerleader for the lawless mob, which had taken over the city blocks and the police precinct to boot.

Despite numerous credible reports of CHAZ residents brandishing weapons and damaging public and private property, Durkan continued to flaunt her obliviousness.

During a CNN appearance with Chris Cuomo, Durkan described the armed takeover of her city as a mere “block party.”

When Cuomo asked how long she intended to allow the illegal occupation of the city to continue, her response was cavalier to the nth degree.

“I don’t know. We could have a summer of love,” Durkan responded.

Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant went further than both the governor and mayor.

In a recent CNN appearance, Sawant used phrases such as “incredible movement” and “incredibly inspiring” to describe the CHAZ occupation.

Meanwhile local Seattle residents are suffering and are in dire need of help. Reportedly, there is a mafia-style “protection racket” going on, with shakedowns and other criminal activity being inflicted on average ordinary people who are unlucky enough to have been swept up in the leftist vortex.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best informed her officers via a video address that the police had “received reports that these armed people may be demanding payment from business owners in exchange for some of that protection.”

As a law enforcement professional, Best seems to be expressing the frustration felt by so many with regard to the governor and mayor, who are allowing criminal behavior to go unabated.

“We’ve also heard that they may be demanding to see identification from people who live in the area,” Best said.

Extremist groups who have lassoed the land are engaging in another form of extortion in their submission of a ludicrous list of demands. They are seeking, among other things, the complete removal of police, new trials for convicts of color, the racial segregation of hospitals, and free college tuition.

Best also indicated that the CHAZ takeover has caused police response times to be tripled because of the occupation.

“These are responses to emergency calls — rapes, robberies, and all sorts of violent acts that have been occurring in the area that we’re not able to get to,” Best said.

President Donald Trump has made it clear that if the local elected leaders continue to fail to act, he will provide the necessary help.

The president has the legal authority to intervene militarily using the Insurrection Act of 1807. There have been scores of times that prior presidents have done just that. In the 20th century alone, there were more than a dozen such uses.

–Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, each invoked the

Insurrection Act one time.

–President George W. Bush did so twice.

–Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson each invoked the act four times.

Although Democrats and their media allies are claiming that the commander in chief must be invited before he can provide federal military remedies, the president does not necessarily need a governor to issue a request before using the military for domestic law enforcement. The legislation itself grants the president broad discretion in making his decision.

Use of the military involves risks, which include injury and sometimes loss of life. As has been the pattern for President Trump going all the way back to the 2016 election, the mainstream media are going to find a way to blame him anyway, for positives, negatives, and everything in between.

So whose land is it anyway?

Not a mob of leftists, that’s for sure.

What You Need to Know about the Heads of Social Media and Big Tech

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In an unprecedented move by the head honchos of social media, President Donald Trump had several posts on his Twitter account slapped with “fact check” disclaimer labels.

When internet companies were in their infancy back in the 1990s, Congress, via legislation, provided them with immunity from certain civil lawsuits in order to encourage the development of “platforms,” i.e., digital places for users to share user-created content.

Similar to bookstores that are not in the business of creating, editing, or publishing the material contained on the shelves of their stores, companies such as Twitter were granted special protection from lawsuits so that digital platforms that merely host media content created by third parties (their users) would be able to operate unhindered by the threat of legal action.

Companies with very large social media platforms have been acting as if they merely provide space for third parties to share, when in actuality it is just that, acting. Based on the same premise, they additionally continue to maintain that they should not be held liable for what their users post.

Twitter’s decision to fact check in such a high profile and subjective manner stands as a watershed moment in the relationship between government and social media.

By fact checking the President of the United States on, of all things, an issue related to potential election fraud, Twitter tossed its identity of being a platform out into the ethersphere. But it also let the cat out of the bag as to its real present status, that of full-fledged publisher.

Twitter expressed a political opinion when it engaged in its fact checking. The issue was a mega-politically charged one involving mass mail-in voting and whether such a process is ripe for fraud.

President Trump’s tweet was evaluated by the overseers at Twitter, and users were prompted to “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” Upon clicking a link, users were subsequently instructed that “experts say mail-in ballots are very rarely linked to voter fraud,” an unmistakable political statement that also happens to be false.

If one is willing to dig a little deeper, what is discovered is that Twitter has implemented a policy that currently seems to apply to a single user—President Trump.

When a social media company engages in the same activities as a publication, it must be treated as if it were one. Newspapers, magazines, etc., fall under the umbrella of conventional publishers that create and edit their own content and are not exempt from liability.

Twitter has not been considered a publisher, despite the fact that it has been acting like one. But to exacerbate the situation, it has increasingly become a publisher of the most highly partisan kind. And it just so happens that, as of this writing, we are less than six months away from a presidential election.

Some big tech companies have also demonstrated a political bias in giving liberals a pass while engaging in an all-out targeting of conservatives.

–PragerU’s Facebook page was marked with a virtual branding iron as containing “false news” and was demonetized as well.

–A study from NYU on the addition of zinc to a hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment was removed by YouTube.

–A hydroxychloroquine video by Sharyl Attkisson was also removed, although it was subsequently reinstated.

–A contrarian Michael Moore-produced documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” was yanked from YouTube.

As reported by Vox, a number of top Silicon Valley figures appear to be working behind the scenes in a concerted effort to get presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden elected. Big tech names include LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Apple founder Steve Job’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs, and ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Twitter’s own Yoel Roth, who presently holds the title “Head of Site Integrity,” has referred to President Trump and his team as “actual Nazis.” Roth has additionally mocked Trump supporters, insulted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and provided campaign donations to former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

President Trump recently signed an executive order that sets in motion a potentially costly change for Twitter with respect to the company’s civil liability exposure. The order directs all executive departments and agencies to ensure that their application of Section 230(c), the law that limits liability, falls within “the narrow purpose of the section.”

The executive order cites the legislative purpose of the law to maintain the internet as a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” The departments and agencies are instructed to “take all appropriate actions in this regard.”

The heads of departments and agencies must also review advertising and marketing expenses that are paid to Twitter and other online platforms. This includes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as other parts of the executive branch.

With regard to Twitter, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and others, it is possible that some of the personnel of these departments and agencies will be looking into the practice of the gathering of information about virtually everything users do and then selling the data for billions of dollars.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has already indicated that the DOJ will begin drafting legislation to regulate social media companies.

President Trump’s executive order may have an immediate limiting effect on social media and big tech’s future editorial actions.

Apparently, tech CEOs, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, have already heard the footsteps of the federal government. Zuckerberg recently distanced himself from Twitter when he told Fox News that the social media platform had, in his opinion, made a mistake, and that no social media platform should be the “arbiter of truth.”

The bottom line is that social media and big tech companies can’t have it both ways. And hopefully, in the very near future, they won’t.

Justice Sotomayor Criticizes Colleagues

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In a recent dissent to a Supreme Court decision, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor crossed the bounds of judicial norms by accusing her fellow Supreme Court colleagues of being biased toward the Trump administration in carrying out their judicial work.

The case before the High Court, Wolf v. Cook County, deals with circumstances in which the government could deny visas or green cards to non-citizens who are looking to enter the United States.

In 2019 the Trump administration, via the Department of Homeland Security, issued a new rule to be used for the purposes of determining whether an individual could be granted legal entry into the United States.

The executive branch already had the authority to determine whether an individual who applies to enter the country is likely to become a “public charge,” i.e., a person “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence.”

However, certain non-cash financial aid items, such as food stamps, housing, and health care assistance, were not previously taken into account for such purposes, but were included under the new Trump administration rule.

Prior to hearing this case, the High Court had blocked two nationwide injunctions that were issued by lower courts, resulting in the enforcement of the new rule. However, a third injunction, which was limited only to Illinois, remained in effect, barring the implementation of the new rule in that state.

The Trump administration filed an application with the High Court for an emergency stay, which requested that the Justices block the Illinois injunction that allowed Illinois to continue to exclude non-cash financial aid items from being a part of the dependency assessment.

The High Court’s decision to halt the Illinois injunction and allow the state to consider non-cash financial aid thus enabled federal authorities to enforce the new policy in Illinois.

In her dissent, Justice Sotomayor enlisted a highly unusual comparison to bolster her argument against the majority’s approach to the government’s stay applications. Drawing similarities to arguments brought by those advocating for death row inmates, Justice Sotomayor accused fellow members of the High Court of showing greater concern for President Donald Trump than for convicts facing execution.

In an apparent incrimination of five of her fellow colleagues, Justice Sotomayor alleged that they had politicized their rulings.

Justice Sotomayor had voted in the subject case, Wolf v. Cook County, along with three Democrat-appointed Justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan.

As a Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court, I have had the privilege of having dozens of cases come before the High Court and found it disconcerting to read that Justice Sotomayor had written that the five Republican-appointed Justices were “putting a thumb on the scale in favor” of the Trump administration.

There is an unspoken yet palpable expectation that political opinion as it may potentially relate to a judicial ruling would be conspicuously left behind at the courthouse steps.

In addition, Justice Sotomayor was highly critical of the frequency of the relief from the High Court, in the form of stays against injunctions, which had been sought by the Trump administration.

“Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases, demanding immediate attention and consuming limited Court resources in each,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. She went on to assert that the High Court is biased in favor of the Trump administration when it comes to these stay applications.

The notion asserted by Justice Sotomayor that the Republican-appointed justices on the High Court are politically biased does not appear to square with the records of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

In 2012, Chief Justice Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote the majority decision in favor of the Affordable Care Act, which was a clear departure from conservative ideology. And Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, both of whom were appointed by President Trump, have sided at times with the four Democrat-appointed justices in relation to several cases.

In her recent writing, Justice Sotomayor appears not to have taken into account the reason for the larger number of stay applications. The increase is due to the unprecedented use of the federal courts by opponents of the president.

In 2019, during a speech to the American Law Institute, Attorney General William Barr cited the widespread use during President Trump’s term of nationwide injunctions that affect presidential policies.

The numbers correspond with the misuse of the judiciary in an unparalleled way. During the entire 20th century, courts issued just 27 nationwide injunctions of this type; however, in the three short years that President Trump has occupied the Oval Office, activist judges have attempted to hamper his administration with 40 nationwide injunctions.

“When a nationwide injunction constrains a significant executive policy, the Justice Department has little choice but to seek emergency relief,” Attorney General Barr noted. “… the alternative is for the government to wait months or years for appeals to run their course before the executive may implement its policy at all.”

No Equal Justice, No Freedom

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Those who administer criminal justice in our country have historically sought to be consistent with the fundamental American tenet that all are “created equal.”

In recent times, though, criminal laws have been applied by powerful institutions in a manner that is dramatically unbalanced, and the contrast has been jarring.

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone was taken into custody in a mode that has traditionally been reserved for the most dangerous criminals. Twenty-nine heavily armed agents, 17 vehicles, a helicopter, and two amphibious units were deployed to carry out a pre-dawn raid on a 67 year-old man with no prior criminal record. By the way, CNN had been tipped off, and the tactical team showed up only after cameras were in place.

Stone was aggressively prosecuted for process crimes that had arisen during the investigation. Contrast this with the case of fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who lied under oath while in his official capacity. McCabe was neither arrested nor prosecuted. Instead he was allowed to cash in on his name recognition as a CNN contributor.

It has become crystal clear to anyone who has observed these cases, as well as other high-profile prosecutions or lack thereof, that the criminal justice system has not been equally applied.

Most Americans sense that fairness requires, even demands, a single justice system be firmly in place, as opposed to a multi-tiered one. Denying the constitutional mandate for the “equal protection of the laws” is dangerous to the freedom that our nation treasures.

The guardrail, which stands between our freedom and tyrannical rule, is much thinner than we think. If lack of equality in the administration of criminal law by a government is left unchecked, what will stop that government from engaging in more serious abuses of the legal process?

The use of the criminal justice system as a means of eliminating political opposition is a practice that has been consistently used by totalitarian regimes, and those governments that are on the road to totalitarianism.

The way fully developed unequal justice would manifest itself in a tyrannical regime is via a public trial in which the guilt of the accused is pre-determined by the judicial authorities before the process ever begins, a.k.a., a “show trial.”

By holding a counterfeit trial, an undemocratic government is able to eliminate foes and, at the same time, warn others as to the consequences of dissent or opposition. The misuse of criminal law and procedure is, in fact, the ultimate propaganda.

The world is full of examples of this malevolent misuse of judicial institutions. In Soviet Russia, criminal trials were meticulously staged. If the accused did not admit guilt for fabricated crimes, he or she was deemed to be “uncooperative” and would oftentimes be summarily executed without a public show trial.

In the early 1920s, fake criminal proceedings known as “model trials” were used by communist oppressors to make an example of individuals both in Russia and the Ukraine.

In the 1930s, the cold-blooded dictator Joseph Stalin used faux criminal justice to suppress any possible criticism, opposition, or dissent via the Moscow Trials of the Great Purge. The discredited New York Times reporter Walter Duranty claimed at the time that these due process-free trials were actually fair.

During the 1950s, after the communists took control of China, the Communist Party under Mao Zedong charged thousands of people with crimes and, after show trials, many ended with a death sentence.

In 1989 the memorable Tiananmen Square student-led protests took place. The demonstrations were indelibly stamped in the minds of Americans when video footage and photographs emerged of a lone man standing in front of a column of tanks. Show trials were given to many of the protestors who were arrested and charged as communist-termed “rioters and counter-revolutionaries.”

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi government established a large number of “special courts” that used made-up crimes to wage pre-determined prosecutions on individuals who were perceived as hostile to the regime. Thousands of German lives were taken on the orders of the “special courts.”

These examples compel us to pursue the ideals that are reflected in our founding documents and legal traditions.

A phrase that sums up the legal foundation of fairness is engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. It reads “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW.”

These words re-phrase the Court’s unanimous decision applying the Fourteenth Amendment, when then-Chief Justice Melville Fuller wrote that “…no State can deprive particular persons or classes of persons of equal and impartial justice under the law.”

How Trump’s Impeachment Record Can Be Wiped Clean

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An idea has been floated by Republican leaders to pass a resolution that would fundamentally alter the impeachment record of President Donald Trump.

The means that would be used to bring about the auspicious outcome is a legislative approach commonly known as expungement. When finalized, the “impeached” label would be amended in the record books, as would the “forever” characterization attached to it by the House Speaker.

More than merely a sound idea, expungement is a necessary one because of the fatally flawed process that the House of Representatives used to pursue the impeachment of the president in the first place.

The impeachment inquiry began without a vote. The hearings featured secret witness “auditions.” The evidence produced was largely inadmissible hearsay and opinion. And rules that were imposed during the process prevented the accused from mounting a defense.

The above mentioned, as well as other defects in due process, make it imperative for the GOP to re-take the House of Representatives and for the new leaders to expunge the impeachment of the president, which will thereby restore integrity to the record.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is on record as being in support of this concept.

“This is the fastest, weakest, most political impeachment in history,” McCarthy told the New York Post. “I don’t think it should stay on the books.”

In addition to McCarthy, influential GOP members of the House, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.), Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep Lee Zeldin, (R-N.Y.), and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex.), have all voiced approval of the idea.

So has President Trump. When asked by a reporter whether he believed the House should expunge his impeachment from the congressional record, the president responded, “They should because it was a hoax. It was a total political hoax.”

Expungement of a presidential impeachment remains the subject of debate by legal scholars. In my personal legal opinion, though, it clearly can be done.

If we take a look back at the seventh U.S. president, Andrew Jackson, we see where the precedent for an expungement was set

In 1832 President Jackson, a Democrat, ran for re-election. His opponent was National Republican Party candidate Henry Clay. Jackson won.

However, Clay’s party took control of the Senate. Under Clay’s leadership, the Senate demanded the delivery of documents from the Jackson cabinet related to a dispute over a presidential veto. After President Jackson refused to release the documents, Clay introduced a resolution to censure him, and after weeks of debate the resolution was passed.

Then in 1837 the Democrats regained the majority in the Senate. They proceeded to have President Jackson’s censure expunged from the record.

If a federal legislative body has the power to expunge a resolution that censures the president, I contend that it likewise has the ability to expunge an impeachment.

Some cable news experts have argued that if the House could expunge an impeachment, it would have done so with President Bill Clinton. Interestingly, this is precisely what Democrats tried to do.

The year was 2010. A dozen years had passed since the impeachment of President Clinton had taken place for misconduct relating to an affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky.

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) introduced legislation to expunge the Clinton impeachment. He was unsuccessful in his effort, and later he himself wound up in prison for bribery, money laundering, and fraud.

A Republican House can and should work to expunge from the record the impeachment of President Trump. A GOP-controlled House would not be bound by an impeachment resolution passed by a previous House.

Although it is unlikely that some of the more vocal opponents would be silenced, an investigation by a GOP-controlled House may have an effect on the way in which history would be interpreted.

House Republicans plan to investigate lead impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and/or his staff’s potential connections to the so-called whistleblower. There is an origin story to the manner in which the whistleblower’s information came to light and the reason why it conflicted with the actual transcript of the president’s telephone call.

The withholding of the 179-page transcript of testimony given by the eighteenth witness, a.k.a., the inspector general of the intelligence community, will be one of the first documents a future Republican House will want to see.

Supporters of President Trump and many independent voters observed how the House hearings were conducted and largely concluded that the impeachment process was unfair to the president.

Increasing public awareness of the potentiality for an expungement will have a ripple effect in the political world and may ultimately boost an already high GOP enthusiasm level, which will assist Republicans in flipping the 18 seats needed to regain control of the House.

Expungement just may be right around the 2020 corner.

Democrats Try to Undermine a Trump Acquittal

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As the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump comes to a close, Democrat resistors are having a hard time coming to grips with an impending acquittal.

Perturbed members of the opposition party have now chosen to engage in a smear campaign that characterizes the Senate proceedings as illegitimate.

Using a worn-out playbook from past attacks, some of the more spiteful Dems are trying to massage the minds of a would-be unsuspecting public that the acquittal of President Trump somehow lacks legitimacy because of a supposed deficiency of witnesses or documents.

In an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show on January 17, 2020, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the following: “You are impeached forever,” punctuating her comment with the line, “No matter what the Senate does, it [impeachment] can never be erased.”

On January 30, 2020, the day before the Senate voted against subpoenaing additional witnesses or documents, Pelosi said to a reporter, “You cannot be acquitted if you don’t have a trial. You don’t have a trial if you don’t have witnesses and documentation and all of that.”

The very next morning, which was also prior to the pivotal Senate vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “The president’s acquittal will be meaningless, because it will be the result of a sham trial. If there are no witnesses, no documents in this trial, there will be a permanent asterisk next to the acquittal of President Trump written in permanent ink.”

Other Democrats joined in with the spin, as did most of their willing media accomplices.

Many will recall when the Democrats flooded the media with a similar set of talking points at the conclusion of the confirmation process for then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Some of the more spiteful Dems contended that the process would be unfair and tainted if there was not a delay for an FBI investigation.

After the president and the GOP relented to a week-long FBI investigation, certain Democrat office-holders ran to the microphones to assert that the investigation was insufficient and the confirmation process flawed.

Once again, it really would not have mattered how the GOP senators had proceeded with the impeachment trial. If the trial did not match the outcome that the removal-oriented Democrats wanted, they would have followed up with a coordinated negative message anyway.

The Constitution grants the Senate the sole power to try all impeachments. The Speaker of the House has no real role in an impeachment trial. However, as Pelosi did when she conditioned the delivery of the Articles of Impeachment, the House speaker is attempting to exercise influence and exert control over the Senate impeachment function.

In stark contrast to the way in which the House hearings unfolded, the Senate conducted the impeachment trial process in a fair and dignified manner. While carrying out its constitutional duty, the Senate received and considered a record produced by the House of Representatives. Seventeen of the 18 witnesses from whom the House obtained testimony had their transcripts released. Noticeably absent was the transcript of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who gave testimony that is widely believed would have been helpful to the president’s case.

During the Senate trial, members of the Senate, acting as a jury, listened to more than 190 portions of testimony from 13 of the House witnesses, and additionally had access to almost 29,000 documents.

It was the House Democrats who made the decision to disallow any witnesses that would support the president’s case. It was also the House Democrats who chose not to subpoena other witnesses, because they apparently did not wish to take the time to allow the judicial branch to do its job; that is, the job of dealing with the important constitutional issue of executive privilege.

Some of the more spiteful Dems seem to enjoy projecting the image of wrapping themselves in the Constitution, while they slice it to ribbons with deceitful words and duplicitous conduct.

The Trump Doctrine in Real Time

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The mainstream news and entertainment media are once again in a frenzy trying to figure out what just happened on the world stage and how they can make the latest Trump victory look like a loss.

The president does not expect to receive accolades for his successes from those who have hated from the start. No credit given for the safe return of hostages, no singing his praises for facilitating the meet-up between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in, no congrats for making changes in trade policy that resulted in better deals for average working folks, and on and on.

But prominent among President Trump’s many accomplishments is the re-building of the United States military and the re-shaping of our foreign policy. The president’s approach to national security issues has at times been referred to as the “Trump Doctrine.” With the recent turn of events, however, it has become enshrined.

A brief explanation of terminology. The sum and substance of an administration’s foreign policy carries the label given by analysts and experts of “presidential doctrine.”

A presidential doctrine serves an important purpose; that being, to inform the public and signal to the world the manner in which foreign affairs will be conducted in accordance with a president’s worldview. It is essentially a summarization of the distinctive approach taken by the president to the nation’s relations with other nations.

The U.S. air strike that killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes has spelled out the Trump Doctrine in a way that the president’s detractors, and thankfully America’s enemies, did not expect.

It may have come as a surprise to Bret Stephens, who wrote a biting critique of President Trump in the New York Times back in September of 2019. In his piece, he catalogued the ever increasing attacks purportedly made by Iran against the U.S. and its allies. The attacks included six on tankers, a shoot-down of a U.S. surveillance drone, the seizure of a British ship and its crew, and strikes on oil processing facilities that halted half of the Saudi’s critical oil production.

Stephens claimed in his article that the Trump administration was “bluffing” in its condemnation of Iran and characterized the administration’s position as “weakness masked in bluster.” His critique was written prior to the time Iran committed an act of war by attacking a U.S. embassy.

Two simple phrases have been used to describe President Trump’s foreign policy: “principled realism” and “America First.” The president himself has articulated these concepts in formal speeches, press conferences, verbal statements, campaign rallies, and the like. Half the country understands exactly what he is saying and enthusiastically supports him in his efforts.

The Trump Doctrine is simple and honest in its content and end goal. It embodies the notion that our country is best served by putting the interests of our own people first.

It also brings to a screeching halt a worldview that seeks multilateralism, celebrates the demise of sovereignty, and embraces the practice of appeasement.

After Iran committed an act of war by orchestrating the attack on our embassy, the targeted limited action in which the Trump administration engaged was the correct approach in dealing with the rogue state. The administration sought real deterrence yet did not seek an escalation of military conflict. It was, and remains, the only option with which we could defend ourselves while simultaneously sending the necessary message.

There is another thread that quietly winds its way through the Trump Doctrine.

The president built his field of dreams before stepping on that escalator. With fame and fortune already in hand, unlike others before him, he views his options with clearer eyes. Unclouded by concerns that produce weakness, he projects a strength that springs from a genuine love of the country.

That’s the Trump Doctrine in real time.