Paying Attention to the Candidates Down Under – With John Emmons: The Presidential elections are coming up in the fall; but, we can’t forget the importance of the congressional representatives. We don’t want a stalemate in the following years. Tune in to hear a Constitution Alive grad share how he won the nomination for Congress and discuss the political landscape.
Air Date: 05/06/2020
Guest: John Emmons
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Jonathan Richie
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Transcription note: Â As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith and the Culture
You find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live, where we talk about today’s hottest topics from a biblical, historical and Constitution al perspective. We’re here with David Barton. He’s America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.
Later in the program, we’re going to have a guest that has been through our Constitution program and now running for Congress. We encourage everybody to take Constitution Alive. Go into the WallBuilders library, and David is going to teach you all kinds of great history from the founding fathers in a biblical worldview that they had in founding the nation. I’ll take you in the Independence Hall and teach the Constitution right there in the room where it was framed. So that Constitution Alive course is a great way to get your foundation. Check it out at wallbuilders.com today, get that Constitution Alive class and begin to study.
Later in the program. John Emmons will be with us that candidate for Congress that’s been through Constitution Alive. And in the studio with us right now, Jonathan Ritchie, who was with us on a couple of programs before and while Tim is out, we’ve got Jonathan Ritchie joining us. And Jonathan, I can’t believe after the abuse we gave you the first few times, you came on the program that you came back.
Hanging on by a thread
Hanging on by a thread. Yeah, he’s a tough guy. Now, if he can put up with you and me in what we put him through, he’s doing pretty good.
Well, I have to say, you know, just a shout out here for Jonathan, for our audience that is not familiar. You know, you always see Tim or David or me on stage or you listen to the radio program or whatever. There’s a whole team at WallBuilders, that makes what we do possible. And one of the huge things that happens is just the research, just the library is so huge, over 100,000 original documents. And Jonathan, I think you could walk to just about any document in that library. You’re such an important part of now David and Tim’s brain, I think.
It’s actually where I live, in their heads. Rent-free.
Rent-free in our heads.
Yeah, yeah. Alright, guys, well, speaking of being an important part of the team nationally, basically the citizen team and making sure we have good folks in office requires us as citizens to get educated about the Constitution and know what we’re looking for in candidates when we go vote and sometimes, it causes folks when they go through our Constitution class or one of our other programs to actually get motivated to go run themselves.
And here it is election season, we’re paying attention to President, but there’s a lot of other races on the ballot, so we want to talk a little bit about today about how important it is for all of us to study those candidates and make sure we’re showing up to vote, not just in November, but in those primaries across the country that still haven’t taken place.
Yeah, because a lot of primaries have happened. Of course, the tension was really focused on Super Tuesday because that’s where you saw so many Democrat candidates fall out and Biden seems to have come to the front and it’s Biden and Bernie and they’re going back and forth.
Which was fun to watch.
It is fun to watch.
Don’t forget Tulsi Gavin.
Well, isn’t it interesting that Trump at his age is now the youngest candidate in the race? So, chew on that for a while. Yeah, this is amazing. So…
Except Tulsi, but nobody is paying attention to Tulsi anymore. I thought she was, you know, actually the closest to the middle out of all the candidates, which just tells you how far left the Democrat Party is gone.
Yeah, but I mean, she’s hanging on like John cases hung on for years ago with the Republicans when Trump was pretty much clearly it.
Yeah, exactly. Never going to get out of the race, so we’ll see what happened. But what’s interesting is all the national tension that night on Super Tuesday and presidential, nobody paid attention to congressional races. And let’s say that Trump does get reelected and I think, I’ve been saying for nearly a year, that thing is going to look kind of like the Reagan Mondale race. I think it’s not going to be particularly close, I think it’ll be pretty wide across the nation.
Well, and for our listeners who don’t remember 1984, that’s a landslide. I think Mondale won his home state and that was there.
I don’t think Reagan won 49 states out of the 50 in that election. So, yeah, thank you for doing that, because not everyone knew what that reference was. But yes, I think it’ll be more of a landslide.
Jonathan wasn’t born yet and I was in middle school, just to put it in perspective.
I still voted.
Did you even know what I was talking about with that reference, Mondale Reagan?
I did, but only because of what I do.
The Candidates Down Under
Okay. So, yeah, so you’re not normal in that sense. But what really struck me in this thing was down under, there are so many, because if Trump gets reelected, his agenda does not move forward unless the house changes back to Republican. If Pelosi is there, then it’s going to be a two-year stalemate pretty much and all the stuff he wants to do to make changes will not happen.
And so really, the attention needs to be on congressional candidates down under. And I will say that one of the best pieces of the night coming out of Super Tuesday was what happened to California. In California, they went to the ‘Jungle Primary’ kind of like Louisiana does. You don’t have Republicans or Democrat primaries, you put everybody on the ballot and the top two candidates come out and they’re going to be in the general in the fall.
And since California has been overwhelmingly Democrat, it’s nearly always Democrats coming out facing each other in the fall. So that ‘Jungle Primary’, it’s not you choose a Republican and a Democrat to face each other, it’s whoever the top two are. But in seven of the districts that were Democrat districts in California, a Republican came out as one of the top two. So, nobody saw that coming. So that puts even California back in play. It’s really crazy to see what’s happening down under.
And so, you look at battleground states, now, California is not a battleground state, but it might become congressional. It’s not going to win presidential. Well, I don’t know. I say that, maybe it’ll be presidential, maybe it will be Mondale.
Don’t count it out. There’s still Americans there, I’ve heard.
Yes, there are. And you look at Michigan, you look at Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida, those are battleground states and there’s some great candidates coming out of other states as well. Actually, we got a candidate that just won the primary in Pennsylvania and what could be a swing state and helping get the Congress turned back in a direction that we can continue making good Constitutional progress, good conservative progress. So, Rick, tell us about the candidate you got?
Yeah, you know, and in fact, I mean, over the years, I’ve met so many legislators and congressmen that have said I ran for office because of David Barton’s America’s Godly Heritage or listening to WallBuilders Live or some other connection through to WallBuilders. And now, we’re starting to hear people say the same thing as they go through the Constitution class, then they get excited and they realize, hey, this system can be saved and I need to be a part of it and so, they go run for City Council or School Board or whatever it might be.
John Emmons was actually running for Congress. He went through our Constitution class, got motivated, got excited, got educated about these things and now running for congress in Pennsylvania and recently won the primaries. We say, hey, John, tell us how this all happened and what we can potentially look forward to in November? So, John Emmons will be with us when we returned here on WallBuilders Live
Hey friends, this Rick Green from WallBuilders Live and I have had so many requests about, what in the world could we be studying at home right now you know I got the kids at home, they’re normally in school? Or if you homeschool, you’re looking for additional material. One-Room Schoolhouse. It is a great new series WallBuilders is putting out where you literally get a tour of the WallBuilders library as Tim Barton and Jonathan Ritchie bring history to life. There’s a couple of resources on this.
You go to YouTube and search for WallBuilders and look for a One-Room Schoolhouse. You can go to our Facebook page and get it right there on Facebook as we do it live each Monday and sometimes additional days from there. And then you can also just go to wallbuilders.com, scroll down to the bottom and we’ll be posting the videos as they come out. This is such a great way to learn and a great way for you to share with others. Gather the family around, watch the One-Room Schoolhouse and learn some great history. It’ll be vitally important to restoring our nation and bringing back these principles that made America great in the first place. Check it out firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome back to WallBuilders live, thanks for staying with us today. John Emmons is with us from Pennsylvania running for congress there and It’s been through our Constitution Alive class and just part of a great group out there studying the Constitution, getting involved in the community, and making a difference to save our country. John, appreciate your time today, buddy.
Welcome John Emmons
Thank you for the opportunity. This is wonderful, it’s good to talk to you again, Rick.
Well, man, I’m first of all, just thankful that you were willing to even, you know, begin to study freedom and study the Constitution and those things. But now for you to be stepping out running for Congress, basically saying to the community, hey, I’m willing to go to Washington, DC and be one of the good guys that actually restores our Constitutional republic.
Well, yes, and you know, the way I look at it, it’s the least we can do when we look back and we see the sacrifices that others have made for us to be in this position today. The way I look at it, yes, it’s a sacrifice for us, but nothing compared to what our forefathers fought for and all the people along the way that have fought for our liberty and freedom.
You know, I was thinking about you being in Pennsylvania today and I was just thinking, man, there’s been so much great history there. We love coming out there and taking people to Independence Hall and Valley Forge and just all the cool stuff that happened there. What is it like to be, you know, running for office and being involved in groups that are trying to restore those timeless principles of liberty in a state that has so much history, but yet people have forgotten where we came from and even when it’s right down the road, they don’t think much about what happened in those rooms, you know, 240 years ago? How awkward is that for you when you try to bring this stuff up and people are right there in Pennsylvania going, I don’t know what this guy’s talking about?
A Double-Edged Sword
Well, it’s really it’s interesting, because it’s kind of a double-edged sword because where we are in this district, it’s literally just, Valley Forge is right there, it’s in the northern tip of our district. At the southern end, there’s the Brandywine battlefield. So, on the one hand, you have a great amount of awareness about the relative history, more from the standpoint of George Washington, the founding of the country and so forth. But what you also find is a relative ignorance around the Constitution and what the Constitution means to our history and to the development of our country. And that’s what makes us strong today.
I’m thinking about Pennsylvania and the people that it sent to Washington before and you know, what an interesting mix. I mean, I think if I remember right, Joe Pitts was from, you know, when he served, he was representing Pennsylvania.
Yeah, Joe. Joe actually lives about 12 minutes away from my home.
No kidding. Okay, well, yeah, so he’s been a great friend WallBuilders. Yeah, because he started Values Action Team. I mean, just phenomenal, phenomenal guy. You know, you’ve had Rick Santorum, but you’ve had guys like Randell. I mean, it’s like a lot of our states, I mean, it’s a mixed bag and your particular district. I mean, right now, that is you’ve got some big city, right and then you’ve got some rural areas as well?
Yeah, it’s very interesting and that geographically, it’s one of the Chester County, the district is all of Chester County and the southern third of Berks County. So, where we’re positioned in Chester County, it’s one of the notorious collar counties. So, you have this interesting dichotomy that as the wave has moved out of Philadelphia, the collar counties have become purple and now they have a tinge of blue.
But when you look at this district, it’s very similar to what people might typically say about Ohio where Ohio is a microcosm of the United States. And in many ways, this PA six district is also a microcosm, because you do have some heavily populated areas. I wouldn’t quite call them big cities, but big enough, but we have a strong suburbian presence, but we also have a lot of farmland. And so, when you look at that in total, it’s very similar or when you look at the statistics, this district is a D2. So, it’s just very slightly favored the Democrats from a registration standpoint. That also…
D2 meaning it’s got a plus two, in terms of the number of Democrats registered over Republicans?
Correct. That’s right.
Okay, got you. And currently represented by a Democrat?
Right. And up until this last election, it had been held by Republicans. And as you pointed out, in 2018, when the redistricting took place, the unconstitutional redistricting took place in Pennsylvania. It went from about an R5 to a D2 and with all the circumstances that were going on at the time, it flipped over to the Democrat side. So, we’re trying to undo that now.
Trump to Win Pennsylvania?
Yeah, marginal district could go either way, for sure. And this is a state that, I mean, people didn’t think Trump was going to win. I didn’t think Trump was going to win Pennsylvania. I mean, that shocked me. He may win big there this time. What do you think just hearing on the ground there?
I think that that’s a distinct possibility. When you think of what happened back then, he won by roughly 50,000 votes, which is not much at all. I mean, that’s well within the margin of fraud in Philadelphia. But beyond that, that’s not much. But when you look then at what’s happened since then, with his policies and the way that it has improved life in Pennsylvania, even when you go into cities like in Berks County to go into cities like Reading, you will hear people say that life is better now, we have benefited from the Trump economy and people are actually feeling that difference, so I think that.
And then you have a county which is part of this district, Berks County, Donald Trump won by 20,000 votes back in 2016, their goal is to bump that up to 40,000 and they think they can do it. So, I think when you feel that across the whole commonwealth, I think there’s a very strong probability that he will take Pennsylvania again by a much wider margin than what he did before.
Well, I hope the coattail of that carries over into your district and several others around the state as well. And you personally, I mean, just as you’re out there running for Congress and I know, this is not fair for me to ask this question. But how much if any, did going through the Constitution Alive videos and learning from what we taught at Independent Hall and whatnot.
How much did that help in terms of you being able to articulate those founding values or even, you know, figure out maybe for the first time in your life, hey, oh, that’s what that part of the Constitution was about? I mean, did that have any part of that or am I just dreaming that it might have?
No, absolutely. I mean, it really helped clarify things. That’s what I think is great about the content of that, is the fact that it’s clear and it’s actually fun. You get involved in some Constitution classes that, yeah, it’s instructive, but it’s not a whole lot of fun and your mind can wander. But especially as you teach it, it’s very enthralling almost it keeps your attention and almost keeps you on the edge of your seat. So, you do a fantastic job with that.
Well, thanks. I wasn’t fishing for a compliment though. I just want to know does the content though help you as a candidate now go out there and say, this is what needs to be restored as we’ve missed these basic concepts about how a constitutional republic actually works?
Now, it very definitely does, because there is a yearning for that. And you know, some of the things that still, I think are foremost in my mind, it just some of the basic thoughts around you how unique our Constitution was at the time and still remains today as you look around the rest of the world, not that many countries actually have a Constitution and certainly don’t have a Constitution that has lasted as long as ours does and hopefully ours lasts forever.
But just the fact that we have a special situation and when we are able to talk about American exceptionalism, at the very heart of that is our Judeo-Christian founding as well as the Constitution and the way the framers constructed that. So, the other part is, as we watch the daily news cycles, we can think back to the genius of the framers and what they did with regard to the three branches and the checks and balances, because that gets tested almost on a daily basis now, where this branch or this individual will make commentary that we can argue more effectively, knowing that they may be either ill-informed or totally misrepresenting the truth about how our government is supposed to work.
How about the race itself? Tell us a little bit about the primary, I guess you’re already Republican nominee or do you still have the primary coming up? I can’t remember.
I do not have an opponent, so I am clear now for November. So yeah, there wasn’t opponent and I got the endorsement in Chester County with 85% of the vote. I got unanimous endorsement in Berks County. And when we went out and got petitions, I got three and a half times as many as needed and just to demonstrate our strengths and depth. So, it’s clear sailing now. No opponent until I get to November 3.
And speaking to November 3, so the incumbent is not just a Democrat, pretty far out there, Left democrat and stood with Nancy Pelosi on much of what has happened and certainly was for impeachment. So, this would be a big shift to go from someone like that to a Constitutionalist that understands the foundations of what we’re fighting for here.
Right. And so, you know, one example, Christy Houlahan, who is the incumbent, I take issue with her because she was in the Air Force for about four or five years and then is in Congress, she twice took an oath. And I think she violated that oath when she went out for impeachment. She not only went for impeachment back in September, she joined with six other people with a service background. And they put an op ed in the Washington Post and basically gave Nancy Pelosi the cover to come out two or three days later and indicate that she was ready to move forward on impeachment. So, not only did she support impeachment, she was one of the leaders of impeachment.
Well, this could be a big change, super excited for you as a candidate and even on the campaign trail. Regardless of what happens in November, I think you’ve got a real shot at winning this thing. But regardless of the outcome of that election, lots of great things could happen if you win. But even this process over the next six months or so, where you’re going to be educating people on the campaign trail is a big part of what we’re encouraging people to do, running for local office, running for State Office, in your case, federal office, so that during that campaign process, you’re educating your friends and neighbors on these very important principles.
So, it’s a win already. I hope it’s an even greater win later in the year and that we get to see you in Congress next year. But I’m just super excited that as somebody who’s been through Constitution Alive and understands the importance of returning to those foundational principles, that you’re willing to step out and run and I hope we see a lot more of that across the country?
Yeah, it does feel like there’s a wave growing and I think, some of this, I believe, is the maturing of the Tea Party movement, the grassroots movement that began what, 10-12 years ago. And as we all have matured through these various mechanisms, I think, has prepared us to be in a better position to run today.
And then, as you look at the landscape today, I’m not sure how you could find a stronger difference between the conservative Republican message and the results that have been shown even in these early years as Donald Trump has applied those policies versus what we’re seeing from the Left, whether it be Bernie Sanders and the socialism that he’s been talking about or even the brand that Joe Biden appears to be spewing. So, to me, this is very clear for voters. We’re standing at a fork in the road and on one fork is prosperity and freedom and on the other fork is socialism and what I’m calling basically, indentured servants. So, it could not be more clear the choice that we have.
I agree with you and I think even mentioning kind of, not only with if it’s Bernie, the socialist, complete socialist and proudly socialist agenda, but with Biden, I mean especially, I’m thinking Pennsylvania you know the Obama thing about, clinging to your God and your guns. I mean, Biden said the other day that he wanted Beto O’Rourke to be the one heading up his policy to confiscate guns.
So, Pennsylvania, wake up, man, this a guy going to come in after those guns and frankly, those policies, same thing with Beto O’Rourke and others that Biden surrounded himself with that don’t want you to have your freedom of religion either. So, you’re definitely under attack as we all are across the country and it’s a vital time for people to step up and you’re doing that not, only with your words, but your actions, your pocketbook, the whole nine yards. And just thankful for you, man, we’re out of time.
Someone to Support
But hey, what’s a website people can go to learn more about you. Question I get all the time is, hey, you know, I don’t really have anybody locally running that I’m excited about, I want to learn more about. Who else across the country could I support? So, I know, most of our listeners are outside of your district. We have stations in Pennsylvania, maybe one in your district. But for people outside of the country that just want to know more about you and maybe take a Constitution Alive class like you did and possibly run for office as well, how can they learn more about you, your campaign, what you’re doing?
Okay, the easiest way is just to go to our website or Facebook, it’s basically the same. It’s EmmonsforCongress. That’s Emmons, the word, for, spelled out for and then Congress, so EmmonsforCongress, that will get you to the website and then also to the Facebook.
John, appreciate you, man. God bless you. I wish you absolutely the best and looking forward to hearing some good news in November.
Very good. Thank you very much, Rick, really appreciate the support.
Well, that was John Emmons, thanks to him for coming on the program today and we’re in studio with Jonathan Ritchie and David Barton. Guys, we got people like John all over the country running for local office. And if you’re not running for office this year, you need to be studying those candidates’ surveys and even go into meeting with candidates and saying, hey, I want to know whether or not you’re the right person to support. Everybody can be involved here. But it’s exciting to see those that are running even for something as high level as Congress.
And probably, most people did not know about that seat in Pennsylvania or what it represented. And here you got a really good guy and it was that way all primary. Now, as a matter of fact, if you really want to get encouraged, you need to go look up, and this is a video that went viral, but it’s from Mark Robinson. And Mark Robinson was one of eight people running for lieutenant governor in North Carolina. He’s a black man and he is so outspokenly conservative and he went in front of the city council of Charlotte, I believe it was and just tore them up in the right direction.
And it’s not what they expected from a black man who was not carrying the message that they think a black man should carry. He was an individual and he just mopped up in the Republican primary in North Carolina, is a guy that came out of nowhere. He has no political background, but he has convictions, he has courage. He clearly knows what he thinks is right and wrong and people lined up said, yeah, you’re exactly what we want. And that happened all over the nation.
So, as we start looking now toward final elections in November, man, don’t just look only at present, get informed about who’s down underneath. Look at who’s there, we can make some huge changes in the nation, whether it be at the state level with candidate, just like in North Carolina, you got Dan Forrest running for governor, you got Mark Robinson running for lieutenant governor or seats with Emmons in Pennsylvania wherever it is, get to know those candidates and get the good guys in office.
Yeah, you know, David, I mean, it couldn’t be any more appropriate than right now. I mean, we have seen the loss of liberty in America in such a big way and it’s through politicians, it’s elected officials, what we call public servants that have made these decisions.
Paying Attention To The Candidates Down Under – With John Emmons
And so as you get ready to vote this year, as your primaries are happening in your states or certainly in the general election, man, you ought to be asking some tough questions and finding out where they stand on the Constitution and whether or not they protect your constitutional right, even in the face of an epidemic and who they’re going to listen to in terms of experts and whether they’re going to let these decisions go to legislators or governors are going to act like dictators, I mean, all those are very, very important questions.
And what you’re looking for is a basic fundamental principle and conviction in the people that are running for office that they actually believe in individualism and not in group thing; that they believe in the individual and empowering the individual in the family and not empowering the government, almost always comes down to that. Who decides, right? Who’s going to make the decisions on these things? And anyone you elect that tends to lean towards, quote-unquote, the experts and government solving the problems and all those things, they are going to take your freedom. You need to lean towards those candidates who you know, quote the Bible, who quote the Declaration, who quote the Constitution and talk about John Locke and others and talk about individual liberty and making sure that you get to decide and that you have more freedom and power, not the politicians and the bureaucrats. That’s what you’re looking for when you look for those candidates.
Thanks so much for listening today. By the way, if you would like to take a Constitution Alive class, we are giving them away for free right now at constitutioncoach.com. We’re looking for more people to go through this class and become candidates just like our guest today and you can be one of those, go to constitutioncoach.com. We’ll even give you for free right now a host license that allows you to be a Constitution coach, and actually host classes. So, even if you’ve never done anything like this, it doesn’t matter what your experience is, it’s a great opportunity to get plugged in. We’ll give you the license for free. We’ll train you. It’s all available, it’s quick, it’s easy and you can be hosting classes literally within 24 hours. So, check that out at constitutioncoach.com.
Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live.