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PAC Candidates, Loving California, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom: As Political Action Committees become more powerful, do we end up with better candidates? Should we stop giving California a hard time? What did the Founders believe about secession? Tune in to hear our answers to your questions and more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!
Air Date: 10/06/2022
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Faith and the Culture
This is the intersection of faith and the culture. Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live. We’re taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. If you want to know the right position on any issue out there, that’s how you do it. You say, hey, what does the Bible have to say about this? I got to be in God’s word every day to know these things. But then what can history teach me about this as well? What works and doesn’t work? History shows us that.
And then, of course, our Constitution; if you’re going to apply these things appropriately under our system of government, we have to know the Constitution and get that constitutional perspective as well. So that’s why we always say, WallBuilders Live, looking at things from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.
We’re doing that with David Barton. This guy is America’s premier historian. I am so honored to get to work with David for the last couple of decades. I’ve run into so many people that are serving in the legislatures of states all over the country, in Congress, in Washington DC, school board, city councils, you name it, they say I ran for office because I saw this from David Barton, or I read this from David Barton. David has been a catalyst for restoring biblical values and constitutional principles and so thankful for that and just thrilled to be here with WallBuilders.
Of course, the name WallBuilders comes from that scripture in Nehemiah that says arise and rebuild the walls, that we may no longer be a reproach. We’ve got to rebuild the foundations. Folks, right here in America, there’s major cracks in the foundation. We’ve got real problems and rot in the culture. But the good news is it’s been revealed over the last couple of years. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and now we know it’s there and we’re learning what to do to restore the foundations in America. So we’re here with David.
We’re also here with Tim Barton. He’s a national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You ought to book him into your community, to your church, to your business organization, to speak. I’m telling you, he’ll light people on fire, he’ll get them excited, give them hope, and give them answers to how to turn this culture around.
My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach. And it’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. So let’s get started today. You send in your questions to email@example.com. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alright, David and Tim, here we go. Let’s jump into these questions. First one is coming from Paul, and it’s about PAC candidates, Political Action Committees, I assume is what he’s talking about here. “I heard a spokesman for the RNC or DNC lamenting loss of control to PACs, loss of control over people running for office, and resulting in people winning primaries who cannot win in the general election. I’ll add I see some crazies and undesirables based upon background checks that eventually arise during the campaign and people unable to articulate on issues.
Do you agree with the RNC or DNC spokesman’s lament? Is this PAC freedom healthy or is there a better alternative method to propose candidates? Also, you mentioned that a legislative person does not follow the party platform, but if people are put forward by PACs, then how much loyalty to the party platform should a party member have?”
So guys, just to kind of summarize what Paul’s asking, I think here is as PACs become more of a financial influence on who the candidates are that win the primaries, do you end up with better or worse candidates? Sounds like it’s the first part of the question. And then second, how do the parties hold those people to the particular party platform if it was the PAC that got them elected instead of the party apparatus, if you will? So, interesting questions, what do you guys think?
Yeah, I think that on this end and we see it a lot of times, whether you get a person who wins a primary that’s not a good person, in the general can’t win, and they don’t even have the values of the state, but they won the primary. And I think the problem here is not PACs, I think it’s the way the states run primaries. And let me give you an example.
If I back up to George Washington, he said, “The fundamental principle of the Constitution requires that the will of the majority shall prevail.” Thomas Jefferson, similar quote, he said, “The will of the majority is the natural law of every society and the only sure guardian in the rights of man.” So we’re talking about majorities here.
And if you happen to be in a primary in Texas or Georgia, we’re going to have a runoff so that we have a majority winner. If you happen to be in Missouri, if you happen to be in Wyoming, you can have eight or ten candidates running and somebody could win the primary with 18% of the vote and be your general election candidate and have 82% of his own party not behind him, and yet he’s the one representing the party.
I think the bigger problem is you have states that use a plurality system where whoever wins in that group of candidates becomes your nominee. If you’re in something like Texas and Georgia, elsewhere, okay, let’s say you didn’t get 51% of the vote, you only get 42% of the vote, but you’re going to be in a runoff with the second closest person so that when the state votes again between those, you will have a majority winner and that person will come closest to representing the values of that party.
Now granted, PACs are going to get involved even in Texas and Georgia and other these majority states, and they’re going to throw their money behind someone. So it might push someone to the top that maybe the party activists would not choose. But you got to remember that in a primary, it really is the activist of the party, and you assume that they know a little more about these candidates running than the average general voter will in November.
So with that, generally, if you have a full majority voting for it in the party of a state, you’re going to have better candidates than when you have seven or eight or five or three candidates running and whoever gets the top vote wins. That’s not the majority kind of principle that I think set forth, and I think that’s a bigger problem than PACs are.
Yeah, dad, to your point, one of the things that we know in these primaries is you have a much lower number of people voting in primaries than people that vote in a general election. And so to your point, it often is those who are more politically in tune, those who are more generally politically active and involved. Maybe you can argue over the last couple of years, especially since the kind of the Trump era, so to speak, there’s a lot of people that are fired up and motivated and they’re getting involved, and maybe they don’t know as much about these candidates; they just know they want something different. They’re looking for a change.
And so maybe at this point these PACs are able to run some ads and to advertise in certain ways that can impact people in these primaries, that maybe they’re not normally involved in the primaries. But then what we’re getting down to is really then we need to do a better job of educating people along the way. If we’re concerned about what PACs are doing well, then this is part of where no pack is going to outperform a really good grassroots campaign if the grassroots campaign really is a reflection of the majority of values of individuals from that particular party and whatever that particular state might be.
So ultimately, it goes back to an educational issue and we’re not against the reality of understanding it’s going to take money to run these campaigns. And if a super PAC has money to get somebody through the primary, hopefully, they have money to help get somebody through the general. Not to say that it’s always going to be the best reflection of who’s there. You know, dad, as you mentioned, even when you look at some of these states with primaries, like Missouri, for example, we have a very good friend, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, who was running in Missouri for a Senate seat in Missouri, and she finished second in the primary and nobody had more than 50%, in fact, nobody really had more than, I think, 23% or 24%. But the winner was chosen from the low 20s in percentile because they had the majority, because there were so many candidates running below that, so it wasn’t a run off.
So there are things we can look at and evaluate. Are there better ways to do this in a state? And you can really try to rally and vie in your state to do things better. But if you were frustrated with PAC getting involved, understand that this is necessary on some level. But certainly we also can acknowledge that we need a better job on the educational aspects. If we’re thinking we’re not electing good people, then we need to get involved in the process, nominate better people, work to campaign for better people.
And also, we say all the time, you can vote with your dollars. Make sure that you are financially supporting. Because oftentimes we will hear people get frustrated and they will talk about how it’s so bad, it’s so bad we don’t get the right candidates. And you’ve asked them, well, who did you donate to? Well, I didn’t donate anything to anybody. Well, that could be why we don’t have better candidates, because it does take money, it takes finances to get through these races, to get through a primary, to make it to the general, etc.
And of course, maybe you’re in a place you don’t have a lot of money to give, well, then you can do things like you can go do block walking. You can donate your time and your energy. You can put up signs around town. You can hold signs for people at different locations, so to speak. But there are things we can do to get involved. And we need to make sure we’re not just in a place where we’re complaining about problems if we’re not actively trying to be part of the solution.
The other thing I’ll point out is this was supposed to have been solved by McCain–Feingold, I mean, they passed that to get all the big money out so that people couldn’t buy elections. And this is the thing. A federal solution that does not go back to fundamental constitutional principles will always end up having more problems than it does. Tim, you hit it, this is a free speech thing. I have the right to put my money where I want to. If I’ve got a lot of money and put it behind a candidate and people don’t like that, then they can vote against that. But getting the federal government involved to regulate stuff like this nearly always backfires.
Now let me back up for just a second. You were talking about John McCain and some gold person. Who is McCain–Feingold? What is this about, guys? When did this happen?
McCain–Feingold, where did he find this gold and what did he do with it?
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, there was a guy who was in the Senate from Arizona, John McCain, who was a great patriot, sacrificed a lot in Vietnam, was one of those seven guys in Hanoi Hilton that was abused. Not a good political guy from values, but he was a great American and he and a Democrat named Russ Feingold out of Wisconsin, as I recall, got together and said, there’s too much big money in elections, it needs to be back to the people.
And so they passed McCain–Feingold, which is going to take the big money out, and then suddenly you have 527 to come in, you have these PACs that come in, and it’s worse than it was when they were trying to deal with the issue. So the federal government usually creates more problems than it solves when it tries to solve problems by not going to the Constitution. That was the argument against McCain–Feingold at the time.
Look, the Constitution gives us the right to free speech, and if I want to express that with my money, I can. If I happen to be a rich person, if that offends you, then vote against my guy. That was the choice of the people. Now that the government is involved in regulating this stuff, it has gotten worse, and it will continue to get worse. But getting rid of PAC is not going to do it. Going back to the fundamental constitutional principle that the will of the majority prevails, states need to change their primaries till the majority wins. I’ll just give an example from this year.
When Liz Cheney up in Wyoming went rogue and looked like a Democrat, Wyoming is the most conservative state in the nation by demographics, by all the measurements, and so suddenly there were eight people that wanted to run against her. Well, if you throw eight people into a primary, that means in Wyoming because they don’t have a majority, somebody could win that primary with 15%. You could have 85% of the state against Liz Cheney, and she’d be reelected because you split it between eight people. That was not what the state wanted. And so this is why that fundamental principle of majority of rules has got to come back into politics.
Yeah. And just to echo both of your comments on basically free market of ideas and let people donate to candidates or PACs, and from a practical perspective, a lot of people may not realize that where a PAC is really helpful, take, for instance, Turning Point now as a PAC where people that want to help turn the country around, but they don’t know who to give to. They don’t have time to go study all these congressional candidates and figure out who to donate to. So they say, hey, well, I like Charlie Kirk, I listened to his program, and he seems to have a good handle on what’s going on and Turning Point is now got a PAC so I can donate to that, and they will pick, they’re real familiar with which candidates are good.
I’ve thought for years about starting a Patriot PAC where everybody that follows Wall Builders and Patriot Academy and all that would have a place they could donate, and then we have somebody run that. Well, we’ve had PACs that we’ve worked on. You guys have been very involved in organizations that are helping people from all across the country be able to donate somewhere and then somebody that’s really plugged in and paying attention to the races.
Now, can that be corrupted and one person has too much? Of course, all those things are possible; the sky can fall tomorrow. But it is a good vehicle, I think, for people to be able to donate. They can’t take the time to go study all those candidates.
Great question in terms of whether or not it also has abuses or can mess up the system. But you know what? Let people decide, let the market decide and not, as you said, David, had the federal government get in and try to micromanage and regulate these things, they tend to cause way more problems than they solve. I think the one thing we’d all agree on is just transparency. Whoever is giving the money is transparent. Whoever is donating the money is transparent. Whoever is receiving the money is transparent.
Then everybody can look into it. And like you said, David, if they say, that rich guy over there gave a whole lot of money to this candidate, so I’m afraid they’re going to be bought, so I’m not going to vote for them. Well, that’s your choice. That rich person that’s given that money may very much share your values, and they’re helping to fund a campaign while you and I can go knock on doors and hold signs they’ve got the money to donate, I think that’s a healthy thing actually.
Hey, Rick, what you said about transparency, that was really one of the election form things we thought would really help. Because if you know how elections run, like, for example, in Texas, you have filing deadlines where you have to show your donors, and you post that publicly. Well, in the last 30 days, generally, federally, you don’t have to show who your donors are in the last 30 days. And that’s where so many people wait till the last 30 days. They pour in a lot of money because it’s not going to come out until after the election is over, who is behind them.
And if I had a Republican candidate, in the last 30 days, Planned Parenthood is pouring money into them like crazy, that tells me probably not a prolife candidate, but I won’t know that till after the election is over. And so it’s a real problem having that. So one of the suggestions that we had when we were helping run the party here in Texas and trying to get reforms done was within 24 hours, you enter it in your records.
You ought to put it up on web, make it available within 24 hours who your donors are, and then you can see if there’s a last minute surge of somebody trying to buy a candidate or buy an election or whatever, that would be aware, and that would be a news story. That would be something that would go out. Conservatives would talk about what they don’t like. Liberals would talk about what they don’t like. They’d let their forces know.
But that type of instant transparency is very easy to do because you have to record those checks and donations, just make them available within 24 hours or 48 hours. But this thing of waiting three months and then waiting two months and then waiting a month till after the election, that’s just not good for voters.
Yeah. And that transparency can be done. And like Bill Bennett says, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” So, if that transparency is out there, you’ll get rid of that corruption and not all of it, but it’ll be much better because you can identify. Okay, guys, we’re going to go to break. But as we go to break, we’re okay with criticism here, folks, so you can definitely email in if you hear something from us you don’t like. Here’s one.
Somebody emailed in and said, “Please stop bashing California. I’ve been a born again Christian for 25 years, and as well as my family, kids, grandkids, extended family, tons of friends, and our brothers and sisters, all in our motorcycle ministries. We have so many Christians here in California. Every time I hear you all on your broadcast, California is getting totally hassled by you all and it’s not cool. We can’t all just up and move, and some of us actually like it here. Stop acting like you Texas boys are better than everyone else. We are followers of Jesus Christ first, then citizens of the USA, second. I used to live in the south. No one wants our country to be Godly more than we do here in this “terrible” state of California. But you all need to stop acting like God isn’t working here.”
Alright really good comments. And just to be honest, David and Tim and I probably speak in California more than all the other states combined because we love California as well. But we kind of like to bash on each other too. We pick on each other when we’re off the air or even just us three. So California is like our little brother as Texans and as our little brother, we pick on it sometimes, but we do in fact love you.
Man, if you think we’re tough on California, you ought to hear it when Oklahoma and Texas get together in the same room. I mean, our football…
You’re talking about friends in north Texas, right?
Yeah, exactly. And they say Baja, Oklahoma. Our sarcasm and hard times sometimes is lightly intention and lovely given because we do believe that California can turn. And if Christians there would get involved, your problem would be there’s so many moved out to go to other states. But nonetheless, there’s a lot of Christians that can make a difference. And we do love you guys out there. We appreciate you.
And there’s no doubt, God is doing a lot of stuff in California. We’ve seen a lot of people. And Rick, as you mentioned, we’re out there all the time, is because there are so many good people trying to stand up and fight back. It’s a major uphill battle. There’s a lot of corruption. There’s a lot of terrible policies happening. But there’s no doubt God is moving. And we’ve talked about on this program many times, we think we’re seeing another great awakening happening unfolding around us. And California certainly is a major player in that.
Some of these significant very kind of liberal Democrat strongholds, we are seeing God do some really cool things. So definitely, we receive and acknowledge that God is moving. We are citizens of heaven first and then here in the US, wherever God plants us, whatever state we’re in, we’re going to work to make a difference. And certainly, we see God doing that all over the nation. But we’re not going to stop talking about terrible policies and terrible leaders when they occur. And certainly, California has been subject to some terrible leadership, terrible policies, but God is still moving out there. So that is a great point.
Well, as we go to break, we’ll say kind of a shout out to all of our friends that are pastors in California that have been phenomenal over the last few years. They had led the way in standing up against the COVID crackdowns. All the folks like Jack Hibbs and Rob McCoy and Mike McClure, and I mean, we could go on and on and on, there’s just so many that have done such a great job to see Ocelli and Yuba City. So we are very, very thankful for our friends in California. And I kind of like calling California the little brother. I mean, I know they got bigger landmass, more people, all that, but they’re still the little brother. Stay with us, folks.
Don’t go there. Only Alaska has a bigger landmass. Don’t give them what they don’t earn.
Oh, you’re right. They don’t have bigger landmass, they just have more people crammed into all those big cities. That’s what it is. So we definitely are going to call.
That’s right, they are the little brother. They got 50% more congressman than Texas does, but we’ve got more land. So they are the little brother.
Alright, California, we love you. Stay with us, we’ll be right back. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
THE AMERICAN STORY
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have at WallBuilders called The American Story. For so many years, people have asked us to do a history book to help tell more of the story that’s just not known or not told today.
And we would say very providentially in the midst of all of the new attacks coming out against America, whether it be from things like the 1619 project that say America is evil, and everything in America was built off slavery, which is certainly not true or things, like even the Black Lives Matter movement, the organization itself, not out the statement Black Lives Matter, but the organization that says we’re against everything that America was built on, and this is part of the Marxist ideology. There’s so many things attacking America.
Well, is America worth defending? What is the true story of America? We actually have written and told that story starting with Christopher Columbus, going roughly through Abraham Lincoln, we tell the story of America not as the story of a perfect nation of a perfect people. But the story of how God used these imperfect people and did great things through this nation. It’s a story you want to check out, wallbuilders.com, The American Story.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundation of Freedom Thursday, and especially thank you to all the listeners in California because we just love you. We’re just going to say that about 100 times for the next few programs.
Alright, Keith Haynes has the next question, guys, it’s about secession and Robert E. Lee. He said, “I have a US. History book WallBuilders has written and I love it. I’m not yet through it, and I really hope you do a volume two or maybe a volume three sometime soon covering our true history from when the first one leaves off. I’ve got two questions. The first one is about secession and whether or not the Founders ever intended for that to be an option. I’ve read a great deal about it going both ways. But frankly, I consider David Barton the go-to historian. The second question is about Robert E. Lee and possibly Stonewall Jackson.
I’ve read a lot about Lee and believe he was a strong Christian, the same with Jackson and possibly a number of other Confederate generals. What was his or their justification for going with the south? Your thoughts on Lee and Jackson would be very much appreciated.”
Okay, guys, we could do a whole program on all three of these. But first, real quick, The American Story, I know you’ve been working on a volume two, and I think maybe even, as Keith suggests, a volume three. So tell us about that first, and then tell us what you think the Founders thought about secession and then a little bit about Lee and Jackson.
Well, volume one ended with the fall of slavery. It really kind of ended after the Constitutional Convention. We went ahead and acknowledged all the way through the slavery. So volume two picks up and does mostly the 1800s.
And, yeah, one of the things worth pointing out is when we were finishing The American Story, dad, as you and I were doing some of the final edits, some of our team and staff, we had some different professors who were reviewing it for us, it was 2019. And as we’re finishing the final edits. The 1619 Project came out and they begin saying all this crazy stuff that America was founded and rooted in slavery. The Founding Father fought the revolution to preserve slavery. And all of these crazy claims that were coming out in their initial articles.
And that’s when we said, okay, we were going to stop like with George Washington’s presidency. Because we started with Columbus and then we finally made it to where America is a nation. We have a constitution, we have a president, and this is where America kind of began, relatively speaking. And so we thought, okay, with the 2019 now focusing on The 1619 Project, let’s at least tell more of an honest story of the issue of slavery. But dad, to your point, really, we kind of jump from George Washington as quickly as possible to get through some of the abolition movement, some of the major players and leaders fighting slavery.
And even when you kind of get in this build up to the Civil War, there are a little more details, a little more nuanced than a lot of people recognize with even some of this battle over slavery. All that to say, this is where we recognize having a second and third volume of The American Story we want to back up and really pick up with the second volume of The American Story goes to the 19th century.
So kind of the John Adams presidency up to the end of the late 1800s, and then picking up from, I guess really 20th century coming forward in the third volume and just telling a lot more of these stories, a lot of the details and stuff that goes on. So there definitely is part of this that we will hopefully be able to cover. And God willing, these will be out in the next couple of years at some point.
And going to the question, we’ve already kind of addressed some previous programs, some of the stuff about Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, etc. There’s definitely a lot of southerners who were not proslavery, they were fighting for their states. Because we have such national international communication technology and transportation today, we don’t think about our states near as often as they did. And so that was a big issue to them, and that’s why the 10th Amendment is a big issue in states. And so their mentality was states. So not all we’re fighting for slavery.
But when you back up to the first part on secession, that secession thing is one that most Americans don’t know about. We had secession attempts back when George Washington was president. We had secession attempts when John Adams was president. We had secession attempts when James Madison was president.
And every time the Founding Father said, no, this is not a no fault divorce, you don’t get to come and go as you wish. You made a covenant, you made a contract, you committed, and you’re part of this family, and we’ve just got to work out our differences. And so the concept of secession is not part of the Founding Father’s concept.
And when the south tried to secede in 1861, there’s a number of publications that came out and said, look, this violates all original intent, this is not what you guys agreed to. So, secession was never part of the plan.
Along those lines too, dad, you pointed out where individuals like a Robert E. Lee very specifically was not fighting to promote and protect slavery. However, if you do look, as you mentioned at some of these early secession documents, and really there’s a lot of writings against the secession at the time of the build up to the Civil War, but the first state to succeed with South Carolina.
And when they succeeded, not only did they write a secession document, which is really a very small, little like paragraph essentially informing the rest of the United States of America that they were leaving, right, they’re out, we’re done, we’re going to direction. But they also released a Declaration of Causes. And their Declaration of Causes was their idea of a Declaration of Independence, where they’re laying out their philosophy of government and why this relationship is no longer tenable and their estimation.
And when they’re leaving, they identified in their Declaration of Causes that they were leaving so that they could preserve the institution of slavery. And they invited all other slaveholding states to join them because they knew with this new Republican president that slavery inevitably was going to come under attack and it could end. So the only way to preserve slavery was to separate.
PAC Candidates, Loving California, And More – On Foundations Of Freedom
But the reason this matters is because you do have a little bit of this nuance, where some of the major political leaders were very clear, it was the issue of slavery. But then you have guys like Robert E. Lee. He was recruited by Lincoln first because Lincoln recognized the value of him as a leader. But when Robert Lee realizes that there’s going to be a war and that his family is going to be threatened and his friends are going to be potentially killed, he tells Lincoln that he couldn’t lead a military that is going to potentially kill his family and friends. He’s going to have to help protect and defend his family and friends if this war is inevitable, etc.
But again, the reason it matters is oftentimes we paint history with such broader brush and so simplistic of what we try to do that we lose the fact that there can be additional details or nuance. And when you have millions of people involved in a conflict, often there will be millions of different ideas that are coming together. However, with that being said, this is some of the stuff we cover in The American story. We will go even further in some of these details and some of the future versions, and then we run out of time today to go any further on this. There’s a lot more detail with this.
But certainly, back to the original thought, secession was not the idea from the Founders at all. The Founding Fathers did not think it was a good idea or even that it was constitutionally permissible.
Out of time for the day, folks; you can get more on our website, wallbuilderslive.com. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.