State of the Union Address In Bounds? Foundations Of Freedom Thursday!

State of the Union Address In Bounds: It is 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 how can we hold senators who are not from our state accountable? Are Americans still a moral and religious people? What is the State of the Union supposed to be? And so much more, right here on WallBuilders Live!

Air Date: 05/17/2018

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


Listen:

Download: Click Here

Transcription note:  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

Intro:

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.”

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! We’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. We always look at those things from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

Today is Foundations of Freedom Thursday. It’s a chance first to dive into your questions about the foundations of America and how to apply that biblical, historical, and constitutional, perspective. So, if you’d like to send some of those questions in please e-mail them to [email protected], that’s [email protected] We’ve got several we’re going to get to today.

We’re here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor, and president of WallBuilders. My name’s Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

You can find out more about us and the program at WallBuildersLive.com. That has a list of our stations across the country and also has some archives of the program over the last few months.

And then you can go to WallBuilders.com to get some tools for yourself and your family. Maybe even get some of the DVD programs for your Sunday school class. Or even just open up your living room and invite your friends or family over to study the Constitution or go through the Foundations of Freedom. A lot of great materials there for you to be able to use.

So, David Tim we’ve got a lot of questions coming up today. You guys ready for the first one?

Holding the Senate Accountable

Tim:

Absolutely.

Rick:

Excellent. Alright, this one comes from Deanna. She says, “In your program dealing with why our Congress puts out bills that do not mirror Godly values you spoke several times about holding the Senate accountable for failing to do their jobs and failing to obey the laws. Yet how are we supposed to do that, especially if those who most need to be accountable are not from our own state?” Okay, good question.

So, sometimes people might say, “Hey, I’ve got two good senators from my state. They’re not the ones supporting all this bad legislation. What can I do about the ones in these other states?”

David:

That’s a great question and there is a fairly simple answer to that. Let me kind of back up to some previous programs where we kind of laid out some stuff that’s going in the Senate. And what she’s talking about here with what the Senate is doing or not acting on are things that we’ve been referencing on the program over recent weeks.

Specifically, what she’s talking about the fact that the House has passed over 400 bills, the Senate has refused to take them up. You also have the House who has done what it’s supposed to do on spending, and funding, and budget, its gone through all 12 appropriation bills. The Senate has not done a single legally required funding bill in nine years. They have not done that at all and that’s why you get these omnibus bills where 1.3 trillion gets tacked on. Because instead of working through every provision everybody in the Senate puts on their favorite pet programs and you’ve got to vote up or down on the whole thing.

And as you pointed out, a lot of guys voted against that bill, did not like it. But it was also the funding to the military and we’re not going to further defund the military, so they voted for this bloated budget.

A Majority on the Wrong Side

David:

So, the question is how do you get the Senate to start doing what they’re supposed to be doing? Now what’s happening over in the Senate, it’s really being driven by Democrats and by one or two Republicans. So, you get all the Democrats together, you get one or two Republicans together, then you have a majority on the wrong side of nearly every one of these issues.

Rick:

Even though you have a Republican majority, barely, but a Republican majority of numbers. They’re not calling the shots because it only takes one or two bad Republicans to go over with the Democrats and kill good legislation.

David:

That’s right. If you get 100 percent of Democrats and 90 percent of Republicans, you’ve lost the Senate. So– and what happens is one or two Republicans that– the numbers right now are 51 Republicans, 49 Democrats. And so what you get is if one or two Republicans leaves the fold and goes and votes with the Democrats then you’re going to have trouble. That does not happen all the time, but occasionally you will get a John McCain to go the wrong way, you’ll get a Susan Collins to go the wrong way, you’ll get a Murkowski out of Alaska to go the wrong way. So, there’s two or three in there that sometimes go the wrong way. And what happens is that holds everything up.

The other process that happens is the Democrats are using cloture on every conceivable measure that goes through to extend the time, and to waste the time, and to keep them from voting on it. And we’ve talked, even as we were talking recently with Senator Cruz on the program, he pointed out that they are really only a couple of Republicans away from getting that rules change done. That there has been resistance for years, and years, to ending that cloture rule because Republicans say, “Well, when we’re in the minority we like that cloture.” Well, in the meantime you’re losing the nation. So, it looks like they’re getting close to doing that.

It’s Serious When It Gets to 50

David:

So, the question is, let’s say you’ve got a, like Texas does, a Ted Cruz who is certainly on the right side of these issues. What good does it do to write Ted and say, “Hey, Ted, get the Senate moving on this.” because he’s already for it? What happens is you need to write to your senator and say, “You need to get the other senators moving on this.” Because this is stuff done in caucus.

And so even if you have a James Lankford out of Oklahoma, even if you have a Ted Cruz out of Texas, even if you have a Mike Lee out of Utah, they need to be able to go on caucus say, “Guys, I’m getting killed with e-mails from my state that we in the Senate need to change this rule. We need to change the way we do cloture, we need to get a budget out.”

So, what happens is because Republicans are so close to losing the Senate, only one or two seats needed to go the other direction, they need to be hearing from all sorts of constituents in all their states so they can go into the caucus meeting and say, “Guys, I’m getting bombed with e-mails, and phone calls, and messages, etc..” And by the way, when I say “getting bombed”, it doesn’t take that much. We continue to ask Congressman about this and they say that if they get up to 50 calls or 50 contacts on anything it is a massive amount. It’s really serious when it gets to 50.

So, you can get any kind of a little group, you can get your Facebook friends, whatever, to all contact the senator from your state and say, “Here’s what we want you to do. We want you to stop this omnibus bill. You guys have not turned out the appropriations stuff in nine years. Get it done and take those 400 bills from the House and start working on them. Get cloture stopped.”

So, messages like that are very, very, very, effective for the entire Senate. Because, again, Ted Cruz will go into the caucus and James Lankford, and all of these guys we can talk about, Mike Lee, they’ll go in and say, “Guys, my state is telling us that we’re going to lose the Senate if we don’t get this thing changed.” And that’s what they need to hear.

You Can Make a Difference

Rick:

Alright, action step – even if it’s not– if you hear about that Senator that is not supporting good legislation, even a Republican that’s being the one to side with the Democrats and kill good legislation and pass bad legislation. You can make a difference by still writing to your own senator because it gives them ammunition, if you will, when they go into that caucus like you’re talking about, David.

Let’s take a quick break. We’ve got more questions coming up. Stay with us. You’re listening to WallBuilders Live. It’s Foundation of Freedom Thursday.

Outro:

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.”

Moment From American History

This is TimBarton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In the early seventeen hundreds the Reverend John Wise preached that all men were created equal, that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that God’s preferred form of government was the consent of the governed.

All of which is language recognizable in the Declaration of Independence. Why? Because in 1772 the Sons of Liberty led by Founders Sam Adams and John Hancock reprinted and distributed the Reverend Wise’s sermons.

Four years later, much of the Declaration reflected the language of those sermons by John Wise.  In 1926 on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge affirmed, “The thoughts in the Declaration can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was saying.”

Few today know that the Declaration was so strongly influenced by the Rev. John Wise. For more information on this and other stories go to WallBuilders.com.

Intro:

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.”

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today on the Foundations of Freedom Thursday. Next question comes from “A fellow Texan”. That’s how it’s signed. So, I just said I’m glad to have a fellow Texan on the program with us today. It says, “I’ve often heard this quote on WallBuilders Live, ‘We have no government armed with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.’ John Adams.

“I find I have to wonder – are Americans still a moral and religious people? Or has America become a whale? If not, where is the line at which it becomes one? And if the Constitution cannot contend with unbridled human passions, is there form of human government which can? From a fellow Texan.”

Where Are We on the Line?

Rick:

Dave, Tim, Great question. When do we cross that line of no longer being a moral and religious people? We’re always going to have a split in the country, right, everybody’s not going to follow a moral and religious code. I don’t think we’re to the point where no one is following it. So, where are we on that line?

David:

Well, let’s answer the latter question first. Is there a form of government that can contend with unbridled human passions? And the answer is absolutely, definitely, yes. No question about it. All you have to do is look at authoritarian governments – whether it be a Hitler, whether it be a Pol Pot, whether it be Stalin, or a Lenin. You can definitely do this, you can crush all opposition, and it’s high murder rates, and it’s the French Revolution kind of stuff where you use the guillotine to execute 40,000 people at a time.

Or as they did their they would load people into barges, and take them out into the river and sink the barges, and drown them all in mass. There’s lots of ways of keeping this under control. Vietnam does a good job of keeping it under control because they just kill so many people. So, yes you can do it. You just have to use sheer, brute, brutal, force to be able to do it. Question is, where is America on that scale?

Well, America is on the scale and moving the wrong direction. Where is the tipping point at which you go over the edge? Don’t know. We haven’t been there, I don’t want to get there.

Rick:

Yeah.

Thousands of Little Laws

David:

But we’re certainly moving that direction. There’s no question about that. I think it was G.K. Chesterton who said that if you get rid of God’s big laws you’ll pass thousands of man’s little laws. And so we’re not following basic things like the Ten Commandments and as a result we’re getting tens of thousands of little laws. And when you do that you start losing your freedom.

You start seeing– even going back to things that have been in the news the last two or three weeks. You go back to General Flynn they went after him and prosecuted him for the Logan Act which is– that’s a founding fathers act all the way back that really hasn’t been used since the founding fathers. But if you want to you can find a way to prosecute someone. The book is out there called Three Felonies a Day referencing the fact that most of us commit three felonies a day. We’re unaware of it. We just didn’t know those laws were on the books.

But if they want to start coming after you we have created so many laws. Because we lack that internal self-control now they’re creating external restraints. And so we’re somewhere close to that tipping point. I think we have a little reprieve right now because I think the current Justice Department under the current administration is not looking to prosecute people like that. But we’re still finding out that in the Justice Department you do have deep state people who are looking to prosecute on that, so we’re just sitting there on the verge.

The solution, clearly, is to be a moral and religious people. That goes back to we as individuals, that goes back to what we do with reading the Bible, living it out. Goes back with what we do to training those around us – our children, and talking to neighbors. It goes back to who we elect to office and getting involved to elect moral and religious leaders to office who understand that we don’t need more laws. We need more character type things done. There’s a lot that can be done, but it’s not a quick fix. It was not a quick journey to get here and it’s not going to be a quick journey to get back.

Political or Politicized?

Rick:

Yeah, and you’ve talked a lot, David, about revival and reformation and what happens in a culture when that happens. And so when when you see a spiritual revival, if those people then apply the Bible to every area of their lives, then you see a revival in government as well.

David:

Yeah, you do. And by the way, speaking of revival, it would be really nice if the church were to teach some of these moral issues again. We know in polling that they really don’t because they consider these issues to be political issues simply because they’ve been politicized issues.

Well, just because the government politicizes something out of the Bible doesn’t mean you go silent on it. And so the church needs to get its backbone back, it needs to get its voice back, it needs to start standing up with more clarity on all sorts of things the Bible deals with that’s also in the news.

But it’s really our choice. We’re not too far gone to be able to turn this back. But if we keep ignoring it, and keep acting like it’s not happening, that’s going to be a problem.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

The drift is definitely occuring. No question about it.

David:

So really in essence, if you want a free government, if you want a constitutional government like we have, you have to be a moral and religious people that are able to exercise self-restraint. If you don’t, you’ll lose your government and you will end up with an authoritarian leader that comes in. You will end up with the Stalins, and the Pol Pot’s, and the North Vietnamese, now all of Vietnam.

Not Without Religion and Morality

David:

But it all goes back to you cannot maintain a free form government with a Constitution and still control people without religion and morality – it’s just not going to happen. One excludes the other. So, if we’re going to continue to be a constitutional form of government you have to continue to be a religious and moral people in some way, shape, fashion, and form, or we will go into one of those other forms of government.

Rick:

No doubt. And we’ve been there in the past. We’ve been there in other times in our history where revival did pull us out of that and change the culture. So, we need to not only pray for that, as John Hancock said, we need to act as well. So it’s praying for revival and praying for that turn in our country. But it’s taking all those steps you just mentioned especially in terms of being engaged in politics and government in every other area of the culture.

Stay with us folks. We’ve got to take a quick break. We’ll be right back. It’s Foundations of Freedom Thursday. We’ve got more of your questions when we return on WallBuilders Live.

Outro:

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.”

Leadership Training Program

Rick:

Hey, friends! We’ve got a great program to share with you today. It’s the WallBuilders Leadership Training Program and it’s an opportunity for 18 to 25 year olds to come spend two weeks diving into the original documents we’re always talking about here on WallBuilders Live.

Tim, you’ve already been doing this a couple of summers and seen the results of young people coming to this program. We’re going to see more of them coming this year.

Tim:

Yeah, Rick, it’s something that’s been cool to see the transformation with young people coming in. The emphasis, for us, largely is a pursuit of truth. We have a culture that doesn’t know what truth is. We don’t know what biblical truth is, or constitutional truth, or the American heritage that we have. And so we really dive into original documents and say, “Well, what did they actually write? What did they actually do? Not just what did somebody say, what is actually true, and the truth is what’s transformational.

David:

Yeah, guys. This really is a remarkable opportunity. And for those who want to spend time with us and spend time in the original documents, this is a great program. So, if you’re from 18 to 25, or you know someone who’s 18 to 25, send them to sign up for one of our three sessions this summer at WallBuilders.com/leadershiptraining.

Intro:

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.”

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live Foundations of Freedom Thursday today. Send your questions into [email protected] Hey, guys, we’ve gotten several questions over the past few weeks about the State of the Union. Which, of course, its been a few months since President Trump did that. But the questions kind of are asking what’s the purpose of the state of the Union.

What’s the Purpose of the State of the Union?

Rick:

I’ll read one of them, “President Trump gave a State of the Union address, but was it really? It seemed like it was just his goals for what the next year would be. Please explain what the state of the union is supposed to be?”

Then we had another question about, “Can you critique it? Can you tell us what you thought about the state of the Union and whether Trump did a good job on it and whether what he laid out for the federal government was within constitutional authority?” So, that’s a lot to answer in what we’ve got left today, but what did you guys think?

David:

Well, let’s answer the first question first and that is, “what is the purpose of the state of the Union?” Let me quote directly from the Constitution Article 2, Section 3, paragraph 1, “The president shall from time to time give to Congress information of the state of the Union and shall recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

So, what a State of the Union is, is saying, “Okay Congress, here’s where we are. And by the way, here’s what I think we really need to be focusing on.” Because that latter part of what the Constitution says the State of the Union is supposed to be it is going to sound like a campaign address. It’s going to be the president laying out all of his pet issues, and all the things he wants to work on, and all that President Trump wants to do with infrastructure, and what he must do with rebuilding, and etc..

Within that framework, yeah, it’s going to sound more political than it’s going to sound “constitutional” because the Constitution does say he should line out all those measures that he deems expedient necessary. And so that’s what is going to be and that’s what it was.

Was It Constitutional?

David:

As to whether all the stuff he lined out was constitutional. When you get into infrastructure that’s an interesting question because we know the Constitution does say that Congress is to establish post roads and that’s now what we call the interstate highway system. Everything it takes to get the mail delivered from one place to another. And if you’re going to do that then that’s going to be infrastructure as well.

So, when you’re looking at highway infrastructure like that you could argue alright, that is at least connected in some way to a constitutional duty to maintain post roads. When it gets into a lot past that we could say, no, that’s probably not one of those 15 enumerated powers that’s there. But I got to say at the same time that they’re still trying to rein that federal government in and I think we reported Good News Friday here a few weeks ago that for every new regulation they’re putting in place they’re rolling back 64 regulations, which that’s great.

So, I would say that not everything he had in the state of the Union address was constitutional per se by original intent. A lot of it was related at least to original intent. But he did what a state of the Union supposed to be. And that’s tell Congress where things are and tell Congress what you want to be doing over the next year.

Rick:

The one thing that stood out to me was the optimism that it seems like we haven’t had for a while. Sometimes you have presidents that will– they’ll say the State of the Union is good because my programs have done this or that. But there’s a difference and Trump is a lot like, or at least comes across to me, as a lot like Reagan. From the standpoint of the reason to be optimistic is because these values are good and because the American people, when they put these things forward, we can return to a good outcome for our country.

There just seems to be that optimism of, hey, we’re– and I hate to use the cliche, but we’re going to win. We’re going to win so much we’re going to be tired of winning. I hate to say it that way, but I think that’s good for the American people,  I think we need that kind of shot in the arm.

The Optimism is Good – Especially With Our Media Today!

David:

Well, it’s good to have that optimism for sure. And that’s especially when you have media that we have in America which is so absolutely negative. Do you realize, the studies that have been done in recent weeks showed that over 90 percent of media stories on Trump and his administration have been negative – 90 percent? Now, that’s quite striking considering the fact that viewership is going down on those channels that are doing all the negative reporting. In other words people, aren’t buying into that at the same rate at which it’s being reported.

Tim:

Or at least they’re getting tired of hearing it.

David:

That’s true to. That’s a possibility.

Tim:

Because the reality is I can look at a lot of what Trump’s done and there’s a lot of things that annoy me, and bother me, and frustrate me, but I don’t want to hear it nine times out of ten – that’s ridiculous. There’s obviously other things happening in the world.

We could be talking about the fact that North and South Korea are brokering an end of their war. Which I didn’t even realize they were at war, but apparently they were for the last 60-70 years, whatever it was, and they’re working on peace. And North Korea going through their denuclearization program. You can look around the world and there’s more to talk about than just the negative things of Trump.

And this is where I think not only are people maybe not buying into it. I think there’s a lot of Trump fatigue when it comes to these negative stories. But a lot of people are going, “No, I get the fact that he’s not a perfect guy. Yes, okay, fine. But there’s got to be something else in the news.”

Trump Fatigue

Tim:

So, I would say that this is a situation where certainly there are people that are not buying into it, but they probably weren’t watching MSNBC or CNN in the first place if they’re a supporter of Trump. But the people that are leaving some of these very big liberal media outlets probably are just getting fatigued of hearing the same story every day. There’s got to be more going on in the news cycle then just how bad Trump is.

David:

That’s an interesting point and it brings me to really a poll that was recently done that would indicate the fatigue kind of thing that Tim’s talking about. This is a really big poll. It was done by Reuters and Ipsos and it looks at millennials. And millennials and how they vote and how they’re planning to vote. Two years ago millennials by a margin of 47 to 33 said they preferred the Democrat Party. And when you have any constituency that is that skewed in one direction it makes a difference in the elections.

What’s happened over the last two years is with young voters, the millennial voters, they have now moved nine points closer toward Republicans and Trump. They’ve lost their appeal for the Democrat Party and the Trump fatigue, or they just keep beating on Trump so much, that people are shutting it off and people are tired of hearing about it or they’re actually hearing, Rick, as you said some of the optimism in things like the state of the Union address. Seeing things move in a different direction, seeing economic indicators turn around.

Whatever it is, there is a big shift that is currently going on with at least that constituency of voters. And I think the media helped fuel that whether they intended to or not. I think the fact that Trump has done a number of sizable things is, as Tim mentioned what’s happening in the Korean peninsula, is unprecedented. And we were told that what he’s going to do is create a nuclear war. Well, it looks like he may have ended one and we were told that moving the embassy to Jerusalem is going to cause terror to break out all over the world. Well, that went off really well and really good and didn’t create.

How Will This Affect Voting in the Next Election?

David:

So, I think all the negative stuff that’s been out there for so long is starting to have a backwash. And we’ll see if it has an effect on voting in the next election. But at least at this point it looks like that it’s not going the way that the naysayers wanted to go for sure.

Rick:

Yeah, in fact, I think I may have read this wrong, but the way the headline was certainly skewed was that even Jimmy Kimmel is saying too much anti Trump, I got to back off on all my anti Trump jokes, people are getting tired of it. So–

David:

Well, did you see some of the former Saturday Night Live folks are coming out and saying Saturday Night Live has gone over the line too.

Rick:

Yeah. Yeah, that’s good. Hopefully we’ll see a change. Now, guys this is not a question from the audience, but there’s a couple of comments I just want to share with the rest of the audience. Very encouraging to me, so it’s almost like a Good News Friday kind of thing, but it fits here on our Foundations of Freedom Thursday because I think we’re equipping people with those foundations.

Here’s several comments, here’s one from William he said, “I’ve just got to say I love your guys’ show and the wealth of information I learn every day. I’m 26, with a wife, two young kids, and one on the way with only a month into pregnancy. I say this because as my role in my family as a spiritual leader I want to be active in my kids education. Learn what made our country great and possibly learn how to run for a school board position, so that I can influence my kids’ education and the education of my community.”

William, thanks for your comment. That’s exactly why we do the program is to equip and inspire people just like yourself. Several others, “Love your program, especially Good News Friday. Thanks so much.” From Judy Wolfgang’s says, “I’ve been listening to your broadcast on my drive home. You guys are good – keep it up.”

Another one, “My family and friends are blessed by your show and other resources.” Folks, it is so encouraging to us to know that the message is getting through, that people are being equipped and inspired, and they’re going out into their communities and making a difference.

State of the Union Address In Bounds

Rick:

You can help us continue to do that. Hit share, take these shows and hit share on Facebook and Twitter and send out e-mails. Get people listening to the program. It will equip and inspire them as well. Come alongside us financially. Go to WallBuilders.com and become a partner of the program. It helps to spread this good news and these foundations of freedom for our country. Thanks for listening today to WallBuilders Live!

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.”

2018-10-03T08:21:21+00:00May 17th, 2018|Constitution & Legal|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Dan Jacobs May 17, 2018 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I am in awe of the benefits afforded our country by this organization.

Leave A Comment