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Reeder on Tuesday’s elections: ‘To see this as a referendum on Trump is overstating it’


 

Listen to the 10-min audio:

 

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take a look back to last Tuesday’s election. Interesting how a number of outlets are now saying that this was a referendum and a rejection of Donald Trump’s politics. The New York Times actually came out and called itself “the center,” while declaring the election “a rejection of Trump’s hateful politics.”

They pointed to the defeat of Ed Gillespie down in Virginia, the election of a new Democratic governor in New Jersey. Also, media outlets are pointing to two candidates that were elected to state governments who are transgenders. People are calling this a historic moment.

DR. REEDER: I think it is a historic moment. Let’s take a look at this election. People said, “Well, New Jersey likes to elect moderate Republicans as governor.” That was the thesis. Well, I would suggest that’s not quite accurate.

First of all, New Jersey’s very much like the rest of America and there is a tendency that, after someone serves a couple of terms, the opposition party usually gets the nod in many states, and New Jersey is not a state that goes for moderate Republicans or conservative Republicans.

Chris Christie, who had many conservative policies, was really a blip on the screen because he was following a Democratic governor who was guilty of gross corruption. Well, he’s had his own issues in the governorship and he’s had his own legal issues and so the fact that it flipped to Democrat is really not that surprising at all.

And New Jersey is in this northeast conglomeration of progressive politics. Any election of anyone with any tendencies toward conservatism is really almost an aberration and very unique.

The individual running for governor actually is to the left of the Democratic party and what would be called “mainstream Democrats,” promoting and advocating multiple issues from legalization of marijuana, to socialism, to healthcare socialism, etc.

But the more interesting case is Virginia, in which you had the establishment Republican who is a conservative but he is an establishment Republican, Ed Gillespie. If you laid out the counties of Virginia, what you’re going to see is almost a blanket red vote for Ed Gillespie, but where you’re going to see the blue is in northern Virginia and also in the Richmond Proper area.

Outside of that, you’re pretty much going to see red throughout the state of Virginia. Its population in northern Virginia that lives off of increased governmental resources and power because so many people who work in Washington live in northern Virginia and they have a vested interest in progressivism and socialism and the burgeoning Socialistic Movement in our country. You’re seeing almost a blanket vote and I think Gillespie’s probably going to end up with 30 percent or so of that vote at most.

But, to see this as a referendum on Trump is, I think, overstating it. I think what you’ve got is the millennial vote, the government vote, the progressive vote, the liberal vote and you have that coalition coming together in specific heavily populated areas.

That’s why I believe this is a bellwether state because what you’ve got in the United States is the flyover country that is almost all red with counties and states that vote Republican and the East Coast and the West Coast which are the highly dense population areas.

A perfect example is the mayoral election candidate handily reelected, who was an avowed socialist: Mayor Deblasio. This is a guy who declares communist dictators as his hero. And even though the things that have happened in New York under his initial tenure have been horrendous, he is handily reelected.

And then Ed Gillespie was articulating conservative policies, which would line up with a number of things that Trump is promoting, but, he clearly distanced himself in the previous presidential election and during the gubernatorial election.

He distanced himself, so it’s hard to see this as a referendum on Trump when Gillespie had already done his own referendum: I don’t want the President. I don’t want him here campaigning for me. He did not associate himself with President Trump and, therefore, whoever would be heavily committed to Trump would have taken offense, likely, and not voted for Gillespie.

One of the things that President Trump did was he was able to pull together general religious right, evangelicals, the Tea Party, conservatives, some established Republicans such as Reince Priebus and others and his coalition got him over the top and through the finish line.

Ed Gillespie left out much of that coalition, which could be explanatory as to why, when he ran away from Trump, that means many with Trump would run away from voting from him.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Do you see anything from last Tuesday’s election pointing to the election of 2018?

DR. REEDER: We’re a divided nation, there’s no doubt about it and you’ve basically got the flyover states and then you have the coastal votes – the East Coast, and the West Coast, and the major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, etc.

That’s what I see in place and I don’t see anything happening that is going to deny that analysis. And then the question becomes turnout, and then the question becomes motivation.

I know that a lot of people are saying, “This is an indicator of a Democratic sweep.” I am not sure of that at all. The elections that are going to take place on a Congressional basis will be in those states where counties matter, not major metropolitan areas.

I think you’re going to continue to see the representation from those large numbers of counties and the flyover states are going to keep sending the more conservative, while the major metropolitan areas are going to send the more, quote, “progressive liberals and socialists.”

The socialist movement in America is clearly hardening, as well as the sexual revolution. You see the election of transgender candidates, which is something that would never have happened except people are now sending a message and the loss of conviction concerning the created order of male and female and the created order of sexuality within marriage.

All of that is now disappearing in terms of what people determine as important in their elected officials and the policies of the elected officials. The left is hardening and, to some degree, expanding.

I think the right continues as it has, so I don’t see it as portending any gigantic sweep, but it is going to be a heavily contested election in 2018. Be engaged in the area of the public square and public policy.

Every election is a reflection of the worldview of that electorate. Thus, we now know something about Virginia and New York and New Jersey because it is a reflection of worldview.

Remember, the worldview change we long to see is a bottom-up, inside-out worldview change and that’s a Gospel movement of sharing the Gospel and discipling men, and women, and their lives and their families in Christ in which we think with sanity, and we live with temperance and we function with the sacred embraced in our life.

And that’s how we treat people and that’s how we treat policy because we desire to honor the Lord in all that we say and do.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

6 hours ago

Byrne first to officially declare run vs. Doug Jones – ‘Future is too important to sit on the sidelines’

Just down the street from where he grew up, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced Wednesday evening his candidacy for the United States Senate while surrounded by family, friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s Oyster House in beautiful downtown Mobile.

Byrne became the first candidate to officially announce a run against the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). In doing so, Byrne made clear his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, drawing a clear and direct contrast between his traditional Yellowhammer State roots and the “radical policies” being pushed by Jones’ Democratic Party.

In his announcement speech, Byrne emphasized, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.”

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The congressman spoke about the “disconnect” between hardworking, everyday Alabamians and people stuck in the bubble of Washington, D.C.

Byrne urged attendees, “Look in Washington and tell me you don’t see people that have a vision that’s fundamentally at odds with what America is.”

“We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable and protect the Second Amendment,” he outlined. “I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”

Answering questions from reporters following the announcement, Byrne decried the Democratic Party’s embrace of socialism and “[killing] babies as they’re delivered.”

He also warned voters that Democrats should be expected to try and interfere in the Republican primary through “fake news” and  manipulative social media efforts. This comes in the wake of revelations that “Project Birmingham” was orchestrated to aid Jones’ general election candidacy in 2017.

Byrne, a labor-employment attorney by trade, is the former chancellor of the state’s community college system and one-term member of the state senate. He has served southwest Alabama in Congress since January 2014.

The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama will be held March 3, 2020, with the general election to follow in November.

You can watch Byrne’s announcement speech and hear him answer questions from reporters afterwards here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 hours ago

Watch live: Bradley Byrne announces U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is set to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) live at the Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile.

Watch live below:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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8 hours ago

Heavy rains swamping Deep South

Heavy rains are causing problems in parts of the Deep South.

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, say a half-dozen roads are blocked by downed trees or utility poles plus water from flash floods.

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Flood watches and warnings cover the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia and nearly all of Tennessee is at risk for floods.

Several school systems are delaying classes or closing.

The weather service is predicting as much as eight inches of rain in spots through Saturday, and freezing rain and sleet are possible in western South Carolina.

Forecasters say moisture from the Gulf is mixing with weather systems moving eastward in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

As much as one inch of rain an hour is possible, and the weather service says some areas could get more.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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9 hours ago

Ivey announces plan to turn old Jefferson County mine into technology park with $85 million economic impact

Alabama is working again — including in places that have been dormant for decades.

Governor Kay Ivey, the Alabama Department of Labor’s (ADOL) Abandoned Mine Land Program (AML) and United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) announced Wednesday that long-abandoned mine land in Jefferson County will be reclaimed, making way for the new Grand River Technology Park project and relocation of the Southern Museum of Flight.

“This reclamation project has the potential to bring millions of dollars in economic impact, and hundreds of jobs to the Greater Birmingham area,” Ivey said in a press release. “The new Grand River Technology Park will be a regional nexus for research and development, tourism, and light manufacturing. This project will bring positive improvements to the citizens who call this community home.”

This project, which is expected to generate an economic impact of more than $85 million, has been made possible through funds appropriated from the U.S. Treasury through the AML Pilot Program Grant. The funding was secured by the stalwart leadership of Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Shelby said he is looking “forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The senator said, “The Grand River Technology Park project will attract new businesses and promote economic development throughout the Birmingham area. I am proud that the AML Pilot grant funds I worked to secure have helped make this effort possible and look forward to witnessing the impact it will have on the state.”

The project is possible through a collaborative public-private effort and includes participation by ADOL’s AML Program, U. S. Steel, the City of Birmingham, the Southern Museum of Flight, Jefferson County and the City of Leeds.

In 2018, U. S. Steel and its community partners were given approval for a $6 million grant by the ADOL AML Pilot Program toward the development of its Grand River Technology Park.

“We are pleased to see the redevelopment of this land. We are grateful for the partnership of Governor Ivey, [ADOL] Secretary Washington, and the AML staff during this process and thank Senator Shelby for securing AML Pilot grant funds. We look forward to providing quality economic and community development projects that will benefit the Birmingham community,” U. S. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt commented.

The technology park represents a multiphase opportunity to reclaim and transform approximately 105 acres of undeveloped land surrounding and including several pre-1977 abandoned coal mine lands in east Jefferson County. An initial assessment conservatively estimated that 1,200 new employment opportunities will be created by this project.

Plans for the Grand River Technology Park (Contributed)

Dangerous abandoned mine land features previously reclaimed on the property included many portals (openings to old underground coal mines) and vertical openings (former air shafts associated with underground coal mines) connected with Red Diamond Mines #2 – #5, #7, #9, #11 and #12, as well as the former Tennessee Coal and Iron (TCI) Mine #6, all of which ceased operations in 1948.

After the closure of these underground mines, a major portion of proposed development was strip-mined for coal prior to August 3, 1977, leaving extensive spoil piles (waste rock and soil overburden removed to access the coal seam) on the property and a highwall cut (a hazardous vertical bluff left where mining of the coal seam ceased) adjacent to the current location of the Barber Motor Sports Park. Evidence of the highwall cut and spoil piles still remain on the property today. As part of the redevelopment of the property, extensive reclamation will be performed on these remaining spoil piles.

“Our Abandoned Mine Land Program does a wonderful job in helping to ensure that old, dangerous mines are properly reclaimed, which eliminates safety hazards and allows the land to be redeveloped,” ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington advised. “In addition to cleaning up this site and making it safer, this project will help to improve the lives of many.”

To date, the ADOL AML Program has reclaimed 81.6 miles of dangerous highwalls, eliminated 1,613 dangerous mine openings and completed approximately 661 reclamation projects in the coalfields of Alabama.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

10 hours ago

Alabama law requires the state and local governments fund The Democrat-Reporter’s racist rants — It is time to stop

Almost every politician in Alabama wanted to get in on condemning, and in some cases calling for the resignation of the editor, publisher and owner of a rag out of Linden, Alabama, with roughly 3,000 subscribers.

The governor, both United States senators, multiple congressmen and congresswomen, the State Senate pro tem, the lieutenant governor and surely countless others went on the record to say this is unacceptable.

It is obviously unacceptable, but now what? You can’t really force a guy who owns a newspaper to quit. Especially when he seems to think he has done nothing wrong.

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All of this is a minor problem. The Democrat-Reporter is a small-town nothing newspaper. If the Auburn Plainsman hadn’t posted the editorial in the form of a photo, no one would have ever known.

This raises another issue. The state of Alabama is providing revenue to this newspaper and other newspapers around the state of Alabama. And it is actually worse than that: Current state law requires government entities in Alabama to advertise legal notices, legislation, constitutional amendments, voter rolls and other public matters in the local print media outlets, which is not cheap.

So, how much does The Democrat-Reporter get from the governments?

Well, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) alone spends thousands every year.

Maybe these aren’t all required expenditures, but for what other reason would ALDOT be spending this money here?

What have the local governments been required to pay this newspaper? What about average citizens and businesses that have to post foreclosures, abandoned property and other matters in a local newspaper by state law?

Even without the racist overtones of this story, this matter should offend you. There is currently a state law that requires we do business with a series of private entities.

This may have been a necessity decades ago, but it is time for the state legislature to readdress this issue for the 21st century.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN