PACs, Terms, Pence And More – On Foundations Of Freedom: Do PACs have too much influence on the election process? How do we maintain accountability for political candidates? Should we use the word “gender”? How should we handle the hijacking of terms? Tune in to hear our answers to your questions and more on today’s Foundations of Freedom program!
Air Date: 10/27/2022
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
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. Dave. I’m Rick Green, America’s Constitution coach and a former Texas legislator. Here with David and Tim Barton. David, of course, America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. And then Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. You can learn more about all three of us at our website wallbuilderslive.com.
You know, I say that every program almost. So you should have that memorized, right. You know exactly where to go on the website. You know exactly who we are, but to all our new listeners, welcome to WallBuilders live. We are rebuilding the foundations of America, and there’s a lot of great tools and resources for you at our main website, wallbuilders.com.
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And so we want all the whole family to come, eleven and up can come to our trainings and it’s an opportunity to really get comfortable with your firearm, learn how to defend your family. Maybe you don’t own a firearm, you can rent one from us and kind of learn what you prefer.
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Alright, David, and Tim, let’s dive into these questions from our audience. Anybody wants to send one in, that’s [email protected]. And Paul Weinbrenner gets the first question. It’s about PAC candidates.
He said he heard a spokesman for the RNC or DNC lamenting loss of control of PACs of people running for office, resulting in people winning primaries who can’t win in the general election. I will add I see some crazies and undesirables based upon background checks that eventually arise during the campaign and people that are unable to articulate on issues.
Do you agree with the RNC 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 just summarize, guys, I think the question is basically do PACs end up having more influence on the election process and then the parties cannot control those candidates or influence those candidates. Is that better or worse? Is this a free market kind of situation where we’re letting people speak through PACs? Because I don’t know who to give to say in Utah, well, actually I’d probably give to Mike Lee right now. But anyway, what do you think about PACs, and is there too much freedom for these political action committees?
Yeah, I think there’s a couple of bigger problems here than PACs. I think PACs are taking advantage of a more fundamental problem. And the fundamental problem I would go back to is with what George Washington told us as wise advice. He said, “The fundamental principle of the Constitution requires that the will of a majority shall prevail.” Jefferson repeated the same thing. So if you say the fundamental principle is that the will of majority shall prevail; in so many primaries, it’s not the will of the majority whoever comes out on top.
And so we saw a few years ago and I’ve referenced it from time to time, but in Michigan, there was a run for a congressional seat there. Six people got involved. Five of them were prolife, one was not pro life and the not prolife one with about 27% of the vote, it’s because they didn’t have a majority, the top vote guy got it. Really? You had 75-80% that were pro life, but they were not represented because you did not have the will of the majority choosing the candidates.
And so what happens is a PAC can come in and help a lower candidate get up into a higher position. And it’s not necessarily the will of the majority. It’s just they get high enough to make it and beat everybody else. And it could be another one of things. We thought the same thing might have happened recently.
When Liz Cheney was being challenged by so many other folks, there were eight folks that got in the race against her, which easily could have meant that Liz Cheney got reelected in Wyoming with 20% of the vote because there were eight people running against her. As it turned out, Harry Hagaman got up in the 50%, which was really good. And now you have a clear majority. But I think that’s one of the bigger problems.
The other problem is you get these candidates that are not necessarily loyal to the platform. But that’s not the problem of necessarily of the process. For example, go back along. time ago, Bob Dole, when he was running for president, was challenged about platform. And I think this was back in 96, was it? And he said, well, I haven’t ever read the platform.
Well, great, you’re the majority leader in the Senate and you’ve never read the platform or the people in your party. And that’s where a lot of folks are. They make a big distinction between the activists and the party and the voters and the party. And if you really want good stuff, you got to get people who read the platform, which means the parties have to do a better job in their own system.
So it’s not the PACs and the outside stuff that bothers me as much as we move forward candidates and we keep them in office even though they’re not loyal to things in the platform. And that goes back to primary voters.
Well, guys, I think one of the ironies too in this is when you have a leader of the RNC, DNC, whoever this might have been, lamenting that they don’t have control over the candidates that are running. It also shows a lot about the system, maybe reveals even some about the swamp. I mean. Dad, you made a great point that even if you had people, arguably if the RNC, the DNC leaders feel like hey, we can control these people because they’re in the party. It doesn’t even mean they’re going to fight for the values of the party. ]
Because like you mentioned with Bob Dole, many of even the party leaders have never even read the platform, much less do they even agree with everything in the platform. So it does seem like this lament was more about a loss of control where you do have political outsiders. Whether it be someone like Donald Trump or now we might even say some of that of Tulsi Gabbard who has left the Democrat Party becoming an independent because of the frustration of the Democrat Party where she wasn’t falling in line with some of the leadership and some of the games being played inside the DNC.
Lack of Control
Nonetheless, it’s interesting that the frustrations coming from a lack of control of individuals when those individuals might be best representing people that are from their district. And dad, you mentioned it’s different if they are not getting the 50%+ support from their district, from their community, but if these are people that have 60-70% support and the RNC or the DNC is saying but they’re not really our people.
That’s more revealing of the fact that they want to have control over individuals who might not toe the line of what they are told to do as opposed to at times even holding the party platform when it comes to issues that maybe the political leaders don’t want to navigate or get into. Even though that is the official position from the party platform.
Yes, and I would say one of the solutions to this is those who are involved in party politics need to lean on the legislature and say, hey, we want the George Washington principal, we want the will of the majority to prevail. We want you to change our system. In Missouri, we talked about how Vicky Hartzler ran in Missouri would have been a great leader, but she came in, I think, second out of four on that, and nobody had a chance for her to be the willing majority. And state that don’t do that…
And dad, to that end, what you’re saying, just in case anybody doesn’t know, is because Missouri was a plurality state, so nobody had the majority, so she came in second, she should have been in a runoff with the person that came in first, but neither of them were anywhere close to 50%, so they should have been in a runoff. And it was very likely impossible that if they had gone to a runoff that the two candidates that came in third and fourth were probably more similar to her than the person who ends up winning.
And so in some of these cases where you have a plurality where you don’t have to win the majority in the sense of 50%+ whatever, you just have to have more than your opponent. So if you have 27 and they have 25 and 24 and 23, that’s all you need with 27% to win. Even though it’s not reflecting the will of the majority of the people of the population, it’s just you had more votes than the person besides you, even though you didn’t get 50% of the vote.
Yes. I think the solution to this is moved back to constitutional fundamentals and principles. And by the way, you don’t hear as much of this. We don’t have somebody representing us. When you’re in a state that does have a runoff, whether it’s in Texas or Georgia or whatever, people have to have a majority put anybody there. And that’s so different from other states. So that’s probably the simplest thing.
Now, do we like PACs? Probably not as much, probably not our favorites. But I don’t see that as being the core issue and the core problem; it’s more just ignoring fundamental principles.
And it sounds like the principle both you guys are advocating for is a free marketplace of ideas. If people want to donate to a PAC and that PAC get the message out, or they want to donate to a party and the party gets the message out, or they want to donate to a candidate specifically, let the market kind of thrive and let that chaos of the market, Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Just as it applies to the price of beans at the grocery store, let that market drive happen in the marketplace of ideas. That’s what I’m hearing from you guys.
As long as it’s transparent, right, as long as we know where the money is coming from and the money is transparent to people, then they can decide whether they want to support a candidate that received PAC money or party money or whatever else it might be. So let the marketplace decide. Really get all the regulations off of it and just let people support the people they want to support, the PACs they want to support, and the parties they want to support.
Okay, let’s go to another question. This was from Joel. He says “aloha”, so I’m guessing he’s writing to us from Hawaii. Anyway, he said, “I listen to the podcast, and here you say gender over and over again. Question. By using their corrupted term, are you giving them the win by going along with their mislabeling? Shouldn’t the word sex be used instead? Or say something like, ‘in terms of gender’, where they really mean sex, anytime the word is used, clarification is used.”
Alright. Thanks, Joe, good question. Yeah, guys. So, I mean, gender still has an actual meaning. Despite the fact that they’re trying to change the meaning, sex still has an actual meaning. So words do mean things. How do you handle this one?
You know, I don’t think you let people co opt us from what we want to say. And I don’t have any trouble repeating their words when I redefined them the way that I want them to be. And we’re seeing this right now with what’s called Christian nationalism. This is an effort to take away from us any aspect of being patriotic and being Christian at the same time. And they keep taking turns and redefining them into their things and then making them radioactive and they want us not to use terms we’ve always used.
And so I don’t have any compunction about repeating their terms, but I’m going to redefine them in the way that they should be used. But I’m not going to give up language just because they found that to be a very effective way, particularly on social media, particularly for those who don’t think as well to create a radioactive field around words that they want to use or that they don’t want to use. Again, I don’t mind repeating their terms, but I’m going to use my definitions of what they have been and what they should be, and I think that’s the way to go.
Well, I think it makes a difference too who you’re talking to, because the very point of words is to effectively communicate. And if you’re talking to a group that is going to have a different interpretation of that word than what you are meaning, well, then it definitely makes a difference. If I’m talking to young people, I might have to explain terminology, I might have to use words that is more common to their vernacular.
As opposed to if you’re talking to grown-ups and grown adults, if you’re talking to 40, 50+, I don’t need to explain between gender and sex, and I don’t need to clarify when I’m talking about boys and girls and their gender. It does make a difference to who you talk to.
And this reality of watching people try to redefine words, I don’t think we want to sit back and let people redefine words either, when they are obviously trying to redefine words to push a political agenda, to really muddy the waters so that they can try to accomplish some of their goals, which are not helpful, healthy, or productive goals for America. But it certainly makes a difference who we’re talking to.
And it’s a fair question, because we don’t want to get so caught up in doing things the same way. And right, so if you’re 40, 50, 60 years old, and you’re talking to young people and you’re saying something and they’re confused and you go, what’s their fault, they should just understand what I’m saying. Well, that might be more of what the Bible calls an old wine skin, right, where you don’t want to change, and this is who I am and this is how I speak and they just need to get used to it. Well, maybe like the Apostle Paul and working to be all things to all men, we need to know how to navigate the conversation with who we’re speaking with.
Know Who You’re Talking To
When the Apostle Paul went to the Areopagus and there were gods all over the place, and the Apostle Paul says, you guys are amazing worshippers, and you even have this idol, a statue over here to an unknown God. Let me tell you about that one. He found a way to navigate through their very poets. He said, right, your own poets have said this. He knew their language, he knew their vernacular, he knew how to engage them. It wasn’t because he was changing or compromising anything he was doing, but sometimes it’s being strategic knowing how to reach people where they are.
So it definitely makes a difference to who we’re talking to. When we’re talking on this audience, on this radio program, we’re probably not going to change and use whatever words that young people, high school, middle school, college students are using at this point, because really, the audience we’re talking to, largely, you guys, understand what we’re trying to communicate. We don’t need to redefine those words or re-explain words that have been attempted to be redefined. However, I do think it can make a difference to you’re talking to as to the vocabulary you use.
Facts. Well, I’m trying to use one of the words, young people, my kids tell me that’s what you say now, you say fax when you’re trying to say, yeah, that was truth. Was that good? Was that okay? How did I do, Tim?
The problem is you’re asking a 40 year old if you’re hip. I have no idea.
Yeah, but you’re around young people more than I am. You know what, though, everything you just said is so true. And we teach that at Patriot Academy, right, use the language, make sure you know the audience and use their language to teach their values. And then there are some terms. I went through this personally with Patriot Academy, because the word patriot, they tried to really make that sound like you were some radical militia group off in the woods trying to take over the country or whatever. They were doing that 20 years ago when we started Patriot Academy and we just took a position, we were like, hey, this word means it’s too important and it’s too symbolic of the nation and the founding of the country, and we’re not going to give it over to them.
And you guys remember Ken Hutcher said, remember how we used to have him on all the time before he passed away and he used to have those press conferences. And he would do things like he had another pastor and they did a press conference and they said, we’re coming out as gay. We’re the gayest pastors you’ll ever know because we’re the happiest pastors you’ll ever know. We’re not going to let that word be changed. We’re still happy.
And then they were talking about the rainbows. Hey, the rainbow, that’s God’s gift.// I loved how Ken would do that. Of course, a big old football linebacker is a little easier for him to take some of those stances. But yeah, I think maybe what part of the answer here is wisdom, discernment, knowing when it’s worth a hill on which to die, if you will, like I did with Patriot. And then at the same time, recognizing old wine skins and new wine skins.
Quick break, guys, we’ll be right back. We’ve got a lot more questions for you folks. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.
THE AMERICAN STORY
Hey, guys, we want to let you know about a new resource we have here at WallBuilders called The American Story. For years, people have been asking us to do a history book, and we’ve finally done it. We start with Christopher Columbus and go roughly through Abraham Lincoln.
And one of the things that so often we hear today are about the imperfections of America or how so many people in America that used to be celebrated or honored really aren’t good or honorable people. One of the things we acknowledge quickly in the book is that the entire world is full of people who are sinful and need a savior because the Bible even tells us that all of sin and fallen short of the glory of God. And yet what we see through history and certainly is evident in America, is how a perfect God uses imperfect people and does great things through them.
The story of America is not the story of perfect people, but you see time and time again how God got involved in the process and used these imperfect people to do great things that impacted the entire world from America. To find out more, go to wallbuilders.com and check out the American story.
We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us on this Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question is coming out of Orange City, Iowa. Orange City, Iowa, okay, I knew there was, like, an Orange, Texas. I didn’t know there was an Orange City, Iowa. Perry sends in this question. And he says, “Good day, WallBuilders. I am a long time listener and seldom miss an episode.” Thank you very much for listening, Perry. Thanks for sharing the program with your friends and family as well. He said, “You may have covered this question in the past and I missed it, but I will ask anyway. Enough time has passed now since the fiasco of the 2020 elections. What is the consensus legal opinion by constitutional following attorneys on the issue of ‘Did Mike Pence have the constitutional authority to call a timeout or a redo of the 2020 elections? I understand the issue of should he have used it. But I’d like to know legally, could he have used it? Keep up the great work. We appreciate it in Iowa.”
Alright, David and Tim, this is the whole question of how the 12th Amendment actually is supposed to work, historical precedent of what other VPs have done when they were opening the ballots. I do want to make one clarification on the question before you guys answer. I don’t think anyone anywhere, nobody we know anyway, asked for an overturning of the election or even a redo of the election. What everybody was asking for was just an accurate count and to not count electors that were not trustworthy and where there was a real question of whether or not that state broke the law in the way they did their election. So just to clarify what Vice President Pence was being asked to do. Go ahead, gentlemen.
Yeah, I’ve got some definite thoughts on this, and I’m going to give a shot at it. I’m going to go not necessarily from the legal standpoint first. I’m going to hit it from a different thing. It’s precedent. If a Republican Vice President says, I’ve got a bunch of Democratic states here, and I don’t think that they did this the right way, and I’m going to overturn that, what does that do for precedent in future elections when you have a Democrat Vice president says, you know what, I’m just going to overturn the red states and I’m going to keep Biden in because he’s clearly re-elected. I think it’s a terrible precedent.
Are you suggesting that it’s possible Kamala Harris might look at maybe 2024 President Trump or maybe a 2024 President Ron DeSantis, and say, no, I don’t think that… Like are you suggesting Kamala Harris might do that? Because, wow, that seems like maybe a completely accurate statement. If that was the precedent that was set, yeah, that would be super dangerous. And one of the things that we often talk about when you look at policies or sometimes the unintended consequences, and sometimes people are advocating for their side to do something because it helps their side win in that moment without thinking about the long term reality of the precedent they just set and what that sets up and allows the other side the opportunity to do if they don’t have good faith in character.
I’m going to go a little further than you guys on this one because I felt like based on the Thomas Jefferson President where he arbitrarily chose to count some electors, I think it was Georgia, I can’t remember the exact state that were challenged and that people said were not legit. And also Richard Dixon did the same thing in 1960 with Hawaii. And so there is historical president for the Vice President making an arbitrary decision of whether or not to count electors that were being challenged. And then in the 1800 you had elections where some states sent in three sets of electors, literally not just two, but three, and had voter turned out of 105%.
So in those situations, somebody has to make a decision at the federal level. And I felt like in my research, I thought Pence had three choices. He could have arbitrarily said this state is too much in question, we’re not counting. He could have said, hey guys, then this is the pause, I think that our questionnaire was talking about, you guys need to have a committee to research this. We’re going to pause this for a week and y’all go do your homework and then you come back. Or he could do what he did, which was, hey, you guys go into your House chamber, in your Senate chamber, because that’s what the Electoral Recount Act of the 1800 says that you should do, even though I don’t think the Electoral Recount Act can tell them what to do because that’s a constitutional question, not a legislative question, which is what Louie Golbertsuit was all about.
So anyway, I think he could have done more than he did, but I also think he was constitutionally solid in doing what he did. In other words, it was one of three courses of action he could have taken. That’s why I don’t agree with the people that threw him under the bus afterwards and said he was a traitor. I don’t believe that at all. I think he had a tough, tough decision. And what you guys are saying is part of what he was weighing. What kind of precedent does this set? And if I go this far, it’s a little further than what Thomas Jefferson and Richard Nixon did. How far does a Kamala Harris go next time?
So I’m actually for an amendment to the 12th Amendment that actually clarifies this whole process in a kind of removed from the emotion situation where we’re not an election is not on the line and everybody can say, let’s figure out a way to deal with disputed electors, because there’s no good solution right now.
And it’s worth noting that this notion of disputed electors is not a new thing where Democrats pretended like, you know, when there was a challenge since last election that all Republicans, they don’t accept elections, when literally every single Republican President for the last decades, Democrats have challenged those electoral votes and challenged the legitimacy of the election of that Republican President.
So this is not something that is unique for just the Republicans. This has been a precedent that literally both sides have had people that challenged it literally for decades. It’s just that the Democrats, and really because of the media, the corporate media, and even big tech and social media, they’ve done a really good job of just painting it as just one side. Only one side has ever done this and one side is bad for this. There’s no doubt Mike Pence was in a really tough situation. Dad, I know you have more thoughts you’re wanting to get you on this.
Well, the other one that sticks with me is how long it takes to actually get to the bottom of truth sometimes. I mean, look how long we’ve had COVID in the courts. We started this two years ago and we’re just now getting core decisions on what’s right and wrong and what the government can and can’t do. And we’re seeing the same thing with the election two years ago. Some of that stuff is still in litigation.
At the time that Pence had this, there was more than 80 lawsuits going and some of those still have not been settled yet. We still don’t know the absolute truth in some areas. And so I just think it’s a really tough thing to step in when sometimes this is a really complicated process and it just takes a while to go back through and check all that stuff. And we still got lawsuits going down in Colorado and other places that we just don’t know what happened. Rick, what you said, I think Mike did one of the things that was absolutely plausibly correct. It was not wrong what he did…
And it’s tough to ask one person to put all that pressure on one person. And I want to backtrack on something I said. I said there’s no good solution right now. There actually is, but it’s at the state level. And all six of those Republican state legislatures failed to do their job. The Supreme Court has said on three separate occasions that the state legislatures can take back the electors and do that process however they want. The Constitution gives the state legislature full control over how electors are chosen, and they could have done that in November and December when everybody knew it was funky and the Secretary of State had changed the rules and all that kind of stuff.
They’re the ones that really failed and didn’t do the job when it made more sense because they didn’t want to be seen as “overturning the election”. And then they all dumped it on Mike Pence and expected him to save the day at the last minute because they didn’t do their job. So I retract my statement that there’s no solution. There is at the state level, but we need a solution at the federal level as well when the states fail.
And guys too, I think part of the question is worth noting, is there a legal consensus? We have a lot of friends who are constitutional attorneys, and even they are disagreed about what the proper solution is in this. And, you know, I mean Rick, what you pointed out, there are several options that arguably are constitutional, but had Mike done anything other than what he did, there would have been a big challenge, a big debate, there would have been a lot of drama. And Mike is generally not a drama guy, and he’s often going to take the path where there is less drama and what he thinks is better for the American people.
PACs, Terms, Pence And More – On Foundations Of Freedom
So certainly, if one of us were there and we can only imagine the level of pressure he had, we might have thought, I would have done something. We might have sent it back to the state today, you guys review this. Let’s make sure it’s good. Take ten days, take a week, whatever it is. It’s easy to be that armchair quarterback after the game is over.
But certainly, what Mike did was something that is probably the more accurate constitutional bounds of what he could have done as opposed to Rick, as you said, I mean, really, states are the ones who need to be the solution, which was part of the whole idea from the Founding Fathers with the federal government and constitution anyway, states should be the ones with the most power and control and helping operate the majority of the processes.
Well, that’s all the time we have for today, folks. Send your questions into [email protected] and hopefully we get to some of them in future weeks. Check us out at wallbuilderslive.com to learn more about the program and get into the archives. And also encourage you to go to patriotacademy.com today. If you’d like to get in that Constitutional Defense course I was talking about earlier, these are two very special, exclusive ones, they’re going to be small, close to my house.
We’re going to have dinner on my front porch. So we’d love to have you come be a part of that and then get some good handgun training and constitutional training, get that intellectual ammunition, if you will, know how to defend the Constitution, but also that physical training to defend your family. Check it out today at patriotacademy.com.
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