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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.

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50 mins ago

Alabama city again refuses to release body camera recordings

Officials in one of Alabama’s largest cities stand by their refusals to release recordings from police body cameras.

WHNT-TV reports the city has once again refused a request to release a recording.

The latest request came after a bystander’s video appeared to show a Huntsville police officer punching a suspect while trying to make an arrest. The department cleared the officer Monday, saying the video was part of a longer struggle.

Huntsville City Attorney Trey Riley says recordings are a “public record to a certain extent” but that doesn’t mean they’re “automatically available.”

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Riley says Huntsville will generally withhold recordings while a criminal case is ongoing.

The lawyer says the public can see videos if a case goes to trial, but acknowledges most cases don’t go to trial.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 hour ago

How the Russia investigation helps Trump

This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.

According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.

Why?

Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.

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Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.

But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.

And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.

Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.

So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.

If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 hours ago

Here are Alabama’s population gainers and losers

Baldwin County long has been Alabama’s fastest-growing county, so perhaps it should be no surprise that one of its towns is the state’s fast-growing municipality.

According to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Loxley added 335 new residents from July 2016 to July 2017. The 16.7 percent growth rate over that 12-month period topped the state.

It came in just ahead of fellow Baldwin County towns Summerdale (12.3 percent) and Silverhill (12 percent).

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Three other Baldwin cities also made the top 20 — No. 9 Spanish Fort (5.1 percent), No. 16 Fairhope (3.7 percent) and No. 17 Foley (3.3 percent).

They were among 179 Alabama municipalities that saw growth from mid-2016 to mid-2017. Meanwhile, 244 cities and towns lost population, while another 36 remained exactly the same.

Census figures show much of the rest of the South remains booming. Of the 15 American cities with the greatest numerical gains over the past year, eight are in the region. The South also has 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities on a percentage basis.

While the biggest cities get most of the attention, that is not where most people live — either in Alabama or across the country. Nationally, only 3.9 percent of cities have 50,000 residents or more. Only nine Alabama cities meet that threshold. The nearly 1.7 million people who live in those cites make up about 34 percent of the state’s residents.

“The U.S. is a nation of small cities and towns,” Census Bureau demographer Joseph Bowman said in a statement. “Of the 19,500 incorporated places, about 76 percent had fewer than 5,000 people and almost half of these places had fewer than 1,000 people.”

Most of Alabama’s populous cities followed well-established trends over the past year. Birmingham retained its position as Alabama’s biggest city but shrank by about a quarter of a percentage point, to 210,710.

Montgomery and Mobile also lost residents. They and Birmingham have lost population since the 2010 census.

Huntsville, which passed Mobile in 2017 to become the third-biggest city, added another 2,629 residents. That was the most of any municipality in the state. Since 2010, the Rocket City’s population has jumped 8 percent. It now trails second-place Montgomery by just 4,933 people.

Among the top 10 cities, two others have outpaced Huntsville on percentage basis. Auburn grew by 2 percent since mid-2016 and is up to 63,973 residents. That is up 20 percent since 2010. And Madison jumped 2.2 percent on year and 13.8 percent since 2010, to 48,861.

Alabama’s 20 biggest cities got a new member over the past year — Daphne, in Baldwin County, replaced Homewood at No. 20. And Prattville swapped places with Gadsden at 13 and 14, respectively.

Here is a look at Alabama’s fastest-growing municipalities since the 2010 census:

  • 1. — Hayden, which has grown 203.6 percent.
  • 2. — Pike Road, which has grown 72.4 percent.
  • 3. — Summerdale, which has grown 60 percent.
  • 4. — S. Florian, which has grown 49 percent.
  • 5. — Loxley, which has grown 43 percent.
  • 6. — Fairhope, which has grown 36.6 percent.
  • 7. —Westover, which has grown 32 percent.
  • 8. — Uniontown, which has grown 30.7 percent.
  • 9. — Priceville, which has grown 30.3 percent.
  • 10. — Chelsea, which has grown 27.8 percent.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”

 

2 hours ago

7 Things: Kushner security clearance HUGE news, paper targets Alabama immigration law, Trump wants to withhold aid from countries who send ‘animals,’ and more …

1. A conclusion that is obvious, but not being drawn: Jared Kushner is probably in the clear

— Kushner had his temporary security clearance revoked months ago, leading to speculation that he was dirty. He just got that clearance approved.

— If he was under any threat of being compromised this would not have happened, so this is big news for the whole Trump-Russia narrative.

2. Alabama is to blame for losing a Congressional seat, not rampant illegal immigration

— The Decatur Daily editorial team accuses Alabama of being responsible because they did not create a friendly environment for illegal aliens, they even took them to task for daring to pass anti-immigration laws (Arizona will pick a seat and they had a similar law).

— Congressman Mo Brooks and Attorney General Steve Marshall have filed a lawsuit seeking to make sure only legal citizens are counted for Representation.

3. President Trump continues to beat the drum on MS-13, threatens to withhold aid for countries who won’t stop them

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— Ramping up his previous rhetoric, Trump added a nugget: He wants to cut foreign aid for the countries that send illegal immigrants and he will base aid on the number of their citizens who crossed the border.

— The ACLU and top Democrats continue to moan about Trump’s willingness to demonize gangs, so he called them “animals” again.

4. The NFL decided having a large portion of their fan base pissed-off was a bad idea, players still don’t get it

— The owners are attempting to end a multi-year controversy over kneeling by telling the players to “respect” the anthem or stay in the locker room.

— In spite of an almost $100 million dollar “social justice” play by the owners, the players have decided to keep fighting, claiming “management has chosen to squash the same freedom of speech that protects someone who wants to salute the flag in an effort to prevent someone who does not wish to do so.”

5. Democrat outreach to middle America continues, proposals to raise taxes roll out

— Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) plans to introduce a bill Wednesday that would undo tax cuts passed late last year, which has support softening under constant misleading media attacks.

— The repeal will coincide with new spending of taxpayer money toward erasing student loan debt and improving college affordability, which doesn’t make college more affordable.

6. Huntsville student sent to ICU after being slammed by a security guard

— The security guard was attempting to break up a fight between Steven Franklin and other students, he was slammed on the ground and hit his head.

— Huntsville City Schools is investigating the incident, the guard is no longer on campus and he will not return for the rest of this school year.

7. If a politician has blocked you on Twitter, that politician violated your 1st Amendment rights, or something

— A federal judge says the president’s Twitter account constitutes a “public forum” and using its block feature silences voices.

— This ruling will obviously be challenged, and it is not applicable to Alabama yet, but if it stands, get ready for people to slide into politicians’ DMs with public records requests.

3 hours ago

2 struck by car in Birmingham parking lot after argument

Police are searching for a driver they say tried to run over a woman and her daughter in a fast food parking lot.

Birmingham police tell news outlets an unnamed 40-year-old woman was hospitalized Wednesday with serious injuries after she and her 21-year-old daughter were struck at a McDonald’s.

Witnesses say one of the victims had been arguing with a second woman and spit on the second woman’s car. That’s when police say the second woman hit the mother and daughter with the red car she was driving.

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The red car left the scene and hit another vehicle. Police are also trying to determine whether a gun was fired and whether that is linked to the hit-and-run.

The driver of the red car could face felony assault charges.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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