Paid Lobbyists, What Is Their Purpose and Are They Always Bad:Â It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday, a special day of the week where we get to answer questions from you, the listeners! Always answering your questions from constitutional principles! Tune in today as we answer your questions such as what is the relationship between our “Immigration dysphoria” and the concept of dual citizenship? What is the purpose of a paid lobbyist? Are all lobbyists bad? How can we properly affect the next generation? And so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live!
Air Date:Â 03/22/2018
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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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
President Thomas Jefferson said, “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves. And if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”
You find your way to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live where we talk about the day’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. We’re always looking at those things from a particular perspective – it’s a biblical, historical, and constitutional, perspective.
We here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor, he’s the president of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green, I”m a former Texas state legislator.
We’re thrilled to have you with us. We also encourage you to go to our website there at WallBuildersLive.com. You can get a list of our stations around the country, listen to previous programs. In fact, today’s what we call Foundations of Freedom Thursday, so you can go back over the last few weeks if you want more of these type of programs.
And the difference is on Thursdays, we tend to dive specifically into foundational principles from the Constitution, the Declaration, the Bible, the founding fathers, and you can actually be the one to pick what we’re going to talk about. You can send your questions in, so send them into radio@WallBuilders.com, that’s radio@WallBuilders.com. We”ll try to get to your questions on our Thursdays. We’ve got several we’re going to try to get to today.
But before I jump into the questions for David and Tim, one other website I want to give you – WallBuilders.com. So, WallBuilders Live is the radio website. WallBuilders.com is our main site. The reason I want you to go check that out is because as we talk about these topics today, as we answer these questions, there’s going to be particular topics that we dive much further into in articles, or DVDs, or books, and all of that is available at WallBuilders.com. So, be sure and check that out so that you can get yourself, and your family, and the people close to you, equipped, and inspired, and engaged, in influencing what’s happening in the culture.
What is the Concept of Dual Citizenship?
Alright, David, Tim we’ve got a lot of questions. First one is actually going to come from Susan, it’s on immigration. She asks, “What is the relationship between our “Immigration dysphoria” and the concept of dual citizenship? Didn’t immigrants in previous generations have to renounce their native citizenship in order to become an American citizen? I really appreciate WallBuilders Live programs. You do such a good job of tying my past to my eternal future.”
I like that. That’s first time – “tying my past to my eternal future”. Susan, I’m going to borrow that today and then I’m just going to steal it outright and use it from now on. So, it’s really, really, good. David, Tim, what do you think? What is this concept of dual citizenship?
When you look at citizenship from the American historical perspective the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, says that Congress is the one that can establish a uniform rule of naturalization. So, the founding fathers, when they wrote the Constitution, says Congress gets to set the standard of what happens when you come to the nation.
Once you get here than the states have huge control over immigration. But your basic, if you will, the lowest barrier that you have to jump is set by the United States. What happened was, after the Constitution had this clause and the Constitution goes into effect, is ratified, we have president George Washington 1789. Congress then passes three immigration laws over the next decade to help establish that uniform rule of naturalization.
You have a law passed in 1790, 1795, and 1798. These are the requirements that were set forth. If you want to be a member of the United States, if you want to come here to be an American, it’s not by birth, it’s not by anything, it is by belief, it is by committing to certain beliefs.
Here’s a requirement the founding fathers gave – you have to have good moral character, you have to believe in the equality of Americans and renounce any title of nobility. If you think you’re greater than somebody else, you come here as a lord or a duke or anything else, you’ve got to renounce that – we’re all equal here. You have to have a residency of at least five years in the U.S. before you can become a citizen. Because what we do here is so different from any country you’ve come from. You have to learn how to think like an American before we’re gonna give you the right to vote. We don’t want you to change our system to what you had, we want you to know what our system is.
No Anchor Babies
It also says that children of naturalized citizens become citizens at the same time their parents do, but not the other way around. You can”t have anchor babies. So, citizenship goes from parents to children, not from children to parents. If you come here and we find that you’re a security risk, we can deport you and permanently ban you. And that’s why we also have criminal background checks for coming here. If you come here and turn out to be a weight on the government, you come here and you get welfare, etc., then we can also move you out. You’re here to contribute, not to take. So, these are the things.
Now, going to Susan’s question, to be an immigrant to the United States you have to pledge to support only the Constitution, and our government, and laws, and renounce allegiance to any other government, and loyalty to any other nation, or to any other system. You have to come with a single focus – I support America, the Constitution, our government and laws. And anything else that contradicts with that I renounce and I will not be loyal to that. So, this actually goes to a Bible teaching where that Jesus is the one who tells us that you can’t serve two masters – you’ll love one and hate the other. Or you’ll be devoted to one and despise the other.
So, if you’re coming to America we don’t want you having a split mentality – do I love my country or I love America? I love America, but I don’t know– if they get the conflict– You can’t do that. You”ve got to be loyal here. The Bible also tells us in James that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways. When you come here it’s got to be a single focus, single mind – I am here to be an American, I want to buy into what these guys are saying and doing, and I support the government, laws, Constitution. I don’t want what I had, I want this new thing, I want to think differently.
And by the way, I’ll just point out that if you’re a Shariah supporter, there’s no way you can meet this requirement because your system that you’re claiming an adherence to is a fundamental contradiction to the Constitution and to the laws of the United States. So, we would not have taken. Now, we might– and we did take Muslims. We had Muslims in America back in the early *, but they were not Sharia supremacists. There were not Sharia supporters in that sense.
You Can”t Serve Two Masters
So, this really is a big deal to be single minded and focused. And that was a requirement from the very beginning to be part of this country. It goes back to a biblical understanding that you can’t serve two masters. You”ve got to have a loyalty to one nation and that’s America if you’re going to be an immigrant here.
It really is an attitude that you’re looking for, right. You want people that are going to come here to want to be part of this nation and to assimilate. Not just come for selfish reasons that may not have the best interest of the nation at hand.
Well, unlike today’s immigration policy which is largely shaped by progressive thinking, there’s nothing in this about what race you are, or what gender you are, or what nation you come from, or what continent you come from, or anything else. This is about your thinking and your attitude and if you want to think this way, we want you to be an American regardless of your race, or your country, or– Quite frankly, we could say, “Great Britain is an ally.”. Well, not everybody in Great Britain is an ally. There are some people there who think wrong who would do damage if they got to this country because they think wrong.
So, we might, even with friendly countries, take them and we might say well a hostile country like Tripoli was back then. That doesn’t mean everybody in Tripoli thinks wrong. So, we looked at the individual. Today we look at the group and say, “Oh, we need more Asians, we need more Pacific Islanders, we need more blacks, we need more Muslims.” No, we need people who think right.
The Significance About Early Immigration Laws
And so that’s significant about the early immigration laws. They didn’t do anything to to indicate what kind of an outside you had to have, it was what was on the inside. It was your belief, your convictions, your values, your loyalties. That’s what we were looking for and that’s what it takes to be an American. It’s not the superficial outside, and that’s where progressive’s look, it’s what’s on the inside. Which, literally, is where God looks.
Alright, we”re going to take a quick break. When we come back we’ll have another question from the audience. Stay with us. You”re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Abraham Lincoln said, “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
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Thomas Jefferson said, “The constitutions of most of our states, and of the United States, assert that all power is inherent in the people that they may exercise it by themselves. That it is their right and duty to be at all times armed. That they are entitled to freedom of person, freedom of religion, freedom of property, and freedom of press.”
What About Paid Lobbyists?
Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. It”s Foundations of Freedom Thursday and we’re taking your questions. The next one actually comes from Mark and he asked about paid lobbyists. He said, “Thanks for a great show. Would you please talk about paid lobbyists?” So, David, Tim, good question. What is the purpose of a paid lobbyist and is it always bad?
Well, a paid lobbyist is someone who is paid to promote the interests, vie for the interests, of a certain company. Whether it’s someone that cares about global warming, or animal rights, or the Second Amendment, being NRA, or economics, or right to life.
So, certainly, lobbyists are not bad. Now, certain aspects of, or maybe positions they hold as they lobby, certainly that’s not a beneficial thing, but it’s not bad to lobby someone.
However, someone that just gets paid as a lobbyist. For example, in Washington D.C., there are people who are phenomenal lobbyists because they have great relationships, they’re great communicators, they’re able to sway the opinion of congressmen or senators, and they really are just there to take the highest dollar. Whoever can buy this lobbyist, they know their company is going to do well. If it’s big farm, whoever it is, getting this lobbyist, “Well, we’re going to be really successful now because this guy or this girl is for us.”
So, almost in a gunslinger sense, right. If you get the best gunslinger you have a really good chance of winning this battle that”s coming up. And so there are a lot of abuses that no doubt happen from lobbyists. When you elect a congressman, when you elect a state rep, a state senator, or a U.S. senator to go and represent the interests of the people they represent and then a lobbyist gets their ear, a lobbyist can talk them out of what’s in the best interest of people.
And a lot of times do it as being able to promote and sell beneficial things to them, and, “Hey, we will help you out.” Or whether they do campaign contributions, or somethings certainly unethical in the midst of it. But lobbyists are able to inject ideas into, whether it”s on the state level or federal level, our representatives and have a lot of influence and impact on their decisions.
Now again, it depends on what position they’re representing because we know some people that are lobbying for a right to life and we totally encourage what they do. We want to encourage every one of our elected officials to support the very first of our inalienable rights, which is a right to life. So, my take on it would be based, oftentimes, on what they represent and the integrity of how they handle the operation. It’s not deceitful, it’s not coercive, but there certainly is a mixed bag. At least the way I look at it. What you guys think?
It”s Completely Constitutional
Well, with that I would say that just understand right off the bat being a lobbyist is completely constitutional.
Because you have a right to petition government for whatever your grievances are. That’s what a lobbyist does, is says, “I’m here to support right to life.” Or, “I’m here to have greater influence for the military.” Or, “I’m here to advocate for LGBT or Planned Parenthood.” It doesn”t matter what position, they have a right to petition the government for their viewpoint. But there are abuses to anything. Anything that”s good has also got things that can be abuses. The problem with lobbyists is, as Tim mentioned, they’re hired guns. So, they have a lot of money thrown at them, but they often can throw a lot of money around.
And that’s why the Bible tells us back in Exodus 18:21 that we’re to choose leaders that are people of truth, that are God fearing, etc., but it says, “that hate covetousness”. In other words, they are people you cannot buy and they are people that are not going to be influenced by how much you can contribute to their campaign or how many donors you’ll send in their direction. They are people who will stand for their convictions. But that’s the other problem is a lot of people do not stand for their convictions – they stand for their re-election. So, that’s where you have to have a lover of truth who hates covetousness and that’s what the Bible says forth.
Future Rewards and Punishments
So, that means you really need to look to the quality, and character, and belief, of your officials before they get there. You are not going to lobby a really solid person to do something wrong. Their convictions won’t let them move in that direction.
And that’s why, by the way, the Founding Fathers required in so many state constitutions that in order to hold office you had to have a belief in future rewards and punishments. You as an elected official had to understand that you would someday stand before God and answer to God for everything you did while in office. If you stay conscious of that, then you’re not going to take under the table handouts of money, you’re not going to do that.
But the other thing a lobbyist does is try to persuade you to their position. There’s times when that can be okay. If you don’t know what the correct position is, for example, on tariffs, or imports, or the stuff in the news now. Oh, okay, that’s fine. But if you’re being lobbied on clear biblical positions like the right to life, or the right to defend yourself, or the right to religious liberty and rights of conscience, that’s a problem. And so that’s where we go to the axiom that you want to elect people that you don’t have to lobby.
I’ll just give an example – if I have to call my senator or my congressman and say, “Hey, vote for marriage as one man and one woman.” I’ve already lost that battle. I should have elected someone at the beginning who understood that marriage is between one man and one woman, that it’s a God ordained institution, that government does not create the definition of marriage, God does, end of story.
So, those are the way to overcome the stigma of lobbying is you elect people you don’t have to lobby and you elect people that you can’t buy. Their character is good, they’re God fearing, they’re men of truth who hate– and the scripture says “men”, but that’s mankind – men and women of truth who hate covetousness. If you do that the lobbyist is not going to have the effect that they often have today in the system we have.
Lobbyists Have Gotten a Bad Rap
Yeah, I agree with you, David. I can tell you from my time as a state legislator, I went in thinking, “All lobbyists must be bad.” And that is absolutely not true. There’s some really good men and women that do that. And as a legislator you need them because you can’t be an expert on every issue and they actually help educate you quickly. You get both sides typically and the best lobbyists actually will come in and say, “Here’s what I’m here for, here’s what I’m supporting. Here’s what the other side is going to say and here’s what their position is. Here’s why I believe mine is right.” And there are definitely bad ones and you kind of figure it out very quickly.
But the title “lobbyist” has definitely gotten a bad rap because of some of the bad ones. But, I agree with you both. It’s not– the profession is not bad and it’s literally living out the the right to petition, as you said. So, not the reputation that most people think of as a lobbyist. There”s actually really good people. And a lot of our friends that are lobbying for pro-family issues – they lobby for life, they lobby for parental rights, they lobby for Second Amendment rights. So, lobbying, in and of itself, is just a necessary part of being in a big country where not everybody is going to be able to take the time to go and let their voice be heard. Now, more of us should do that, right. More citizens should be, essentially, citizen lobbyists.
Yeah, I was gonna say, Rick, lobbying is something that every person, including every Christian, should do.
We should lobby our friends that they need Jesus in their life. We should lobby our friends that you need to read the Bible on a regular basis.
We Should All Be Lobbyists
We should lobby our friends that you want to elect leaders who uphold the Constitution. We should lobby our teachers that you need to add morals in with what you teach. To just teach knowledge, no– we should every one of us be lobbyists in the sense that we are advocating for positions. The other side does it all the time. For us not to be lobbyist means that we are being silent. And if we’re going to be silent in the face of them lobbying we’ve got real problems.
Let me point out, guys, everybody lobbies for what they care about and believe in, right? If there’s a good movie that comes out I’m going to lobby you to go see the movie because I like it, I enjoy it.
Everybody lobbies their entire life. It’s just, it’s almost like this notion of the false narrative of the separation of church and state. We’ve been told there are certain things you shouldn’t lobby for, right? We don’t lobby for religion and politics. It used to be believed you don’t talk about those in polite company, right? The two things you always stay away from. We’ve just been trained not to lobby for certain things.
And it’s so foolish that we would lobby for things that are seemingly insignificant, right. We lobby for our favorite ice cream, we lobby for our favorite athletic teams. But we won’t lobby for the moral values, for the constitutional values, that shaped our nation. Well, it”s just foolish that we wouldn’t lobby for the things that really do matter. And yet we lobby for things that don’t have eternal significance.
No doubt about it. Guys, we need to train more people to do this as well. And a quick commercial for Patriot Academy- Citizens out there over 25, usually when we talk about Patriot Academy on the program it’s 16 to 25 year old young people coming in. But we have a citizen track – you’re over 25 and you want to learn how to influence your legislature, learn how to influence your city council and school board, learn how to, essentially, be a citizen lobbyist? Then check that out at PatriotAcademy.com and come join us the last week in July in the great state of Texas at the state capitol there.
Quick break. We’ve got time. We’ll come back for one more question. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
Calvin Coolidge said, “The more I study the Constitution, the more I realize that no other document devised by the hand of man has brought so much progress and happiness to humanity. To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”
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Thomas Jefferson said, “In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
The Direction of the Country
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. We’re taking your questions on fundamental principles and David and Tim Barton here with us. So, let’s get the next question from Joe on the direction of the country.
He said, “I’m listening to good news Friday about the judges–“ So, probably listening online right now. “–that Trump has appointed. While I am thrilled to death with his appointments, isn’t it true that unless we straighten out our schools the next guy coming in could just mess it all up again? If this is true how do we fix the schools? Thanks for what you do.”
Yeah, we”ve talked on Good News Friday’s about how many good appointments have been made, some of the good policies that are being done. So, a lot of progress in the last– what”s he had– 13 months now in office. But Joe’s got a great point. So, if the next president decides to reverse everything that Trump has done, wouldn”t that mess it up? So, how do we start with the younger generation?
I think it’s a great question and, guys, let me jump in real quick. I think it has to be a multi-pronged, multi-aspect approach, because there are things we can do and should do in the short term – we should do immediately. Today, this week, next week, there are things we ought to think about even from a state legislative perspective that can make a difference over the next several years. And then there really are some fundamental transformations that ought to be made that would have an impact. Likely wouldn’t see it in this generation, but it would certainly be evident in the next generation.
My first thought is– I’ve worked with kids most of my life. When I got in high school I was working with middle school and I’ve always worked with young people my whole life. And one of the things that I certainly noticed when I was a youth pastor for 10 years is how little parents knew about what all their kids were into and what they were doing. This is no different when you look at education.
Most Parents Don”t Know
I remember I spoke at a church not long ago and I was doing a staff meeting for them after I did their weekend services. And at the staff meeting I indicated that one of the challenges that you guys have to be very proactive, very intentional, is what you are doing to promote special or specific Biblical values because those are under attack. So, I talked about human sexuality, I talked about healthy relationships, I talked about some very basic things. But I mentioned because of what they learn in modern sex education, because of what they are hearing promoted in schools around them, we have to be intentional about giving them a biblical perspective to the opposite of what they’re hearing.
And I remember the pastor stopped me and said, “Wait a second, what you’re telling me they cover in sex education, there’s no way that really happens.” There were several millennials, but specifically, there was a kid who was an intern who went to a college locally he said, “Hey, I graduated last year and I can tell you Tim’s right. When we were in fifth grade they were teaching us how to use a condom. They were having us practice with fruit, and putting it on this fruit.” And he starts explaining what they did and the pastor goes, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea.”
Well, most parents don’t either. Most parents don’t know what’s happening in education. And so one of the first things that needs to happen is parental involvement, parental awareness. Because schools get away with a lot more than they should because they’re not held accountable. But they’re not held accountable because most parents don’t know what all happens in schools. And even the level of– and that’s why you see sometimes on news when something happens and parents are outraged and they put a stop to it. Well, they should be outraged and they should put a stop to it. But this ought to happen in every school district in America. And I suspect it would in most school districts if most parents knew what was going on. But again, most just don’t know.
And this is why– most parents have never attended a school board meeting, most parents don’t know the curriculum before their kids take it, most parents just aren’t as involved and intentional as they ought to be knowing where the school system is. Because they think, “Hey, when I was in school it wasn’t that bad.”, right?
The First Step
When I was talking to this church staff and this pastor said, “I can’t believe they do that.” His idea was it wasn’t that bad when I was there, therefore it’s not that bad now. And they just don’t realize how far down the slope it’s gone. So, the first step short term is we have to get very engaged. And that even means for communities, you need to take over the school board because the school board gets to have a say in curriculum, because it gets to have a say in sex education, because it gets to have a say in things that directly impact students on a day to day basis. And school board is something that’s not that difficult to get involved in and make a real difference.
That really goes back to the previous question about lobbying, right. Literally, we need to be lobbying our local officials.
Exactly. And I would add two other things that go into the more long term sense of this. And one is that right now we are subsidizing things that we don’t believe in. So, we have to change the way we do funding.
For example, state legislatures need to quit funding universities that are teaching the goofy courses of stupid stuff that are turning out kids that hate the government, that hate the economic system. We’re using our money to create a system that believes in things that will destroy the system that we have. So, one is we’ve got to start restraining the way we fund.
But the second is that we have to break up the monopoly. As long as you will not allow competition on the same ball field, the same playing field, you’re going to have an inherent advantage, that home field advantage bar none, because you”re eliminating the other team from showing up on the field.
So, at some point you”ve got to edge– you have to lobby for educational choice, you have to lobby your legislators to stop putting money into things that don’t work and that actually go against what we believe. And then what Tim said as well – you”ve got to get involved individually, you”ve got to know what your kids have been taught. And if we do not fix education, it doesn’t matter what we do with the rest of the government, it won’t survive. But we can fix it, and we should fix it, and we must get involved.
Paid Lobbyists, What Is Their Purpose and Are They Always Bad
Simply doing our job as citizens is what it’s about. That”s why we do these Foundations of Freedom Thursdays to get ourselves educated on those foundational principles, how the system works, and then actually go out there and work the system.
You can get more at our website today at WallBuildersLive.com. We appreciate you listening to WallBuilders Live.
Samuel Adams said, “The liberties of our Country and the freedom of our civil Constitution are worth defending against hazards. And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.”