Proponents of keeping the Republican Party solidly under the thumb of Trump have a big problem if Trumpism doesn’t represent any clear, salient vision of conservatism.

Public domain image, accessed through WikiCommons.

The call has gone out amongst the Republican members of the House of Representatives: Cheney must go. Contrary to the media hype, there are more reasons why many want Cheney out of the way than just a demand for servile actions that make Trump happy (though that does remain a disturbingly big reason for all of this, especially from the head of the caucus whose adopted the stance that continuing his starburst sorting ways is his path to the Speakership).

But regardless, it seems increasingly unlikely that Cheney will maintain her position of leadership after tomorrow (in fact, it sounds…


The US Constitution doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There are strong ideological and philosophical underpinnings behind its provisions and framework.

National Constitution Center — photo by Elliot Schwartz

In American society, “unconstitutional” is a tremendously heavy word, often tossed around with surprising ease. However, despite the frequency of its use, I have often observed there is an inconsistency with its meaning.

There have been many times I have called certain policies unconstitutional and even pointed out certain visions which are in contempt of the constitutional order. Often, I’m surprised by responses that call my assertions preposterous. Clearly, there is a disconnect in what “unconstitutional” actually means.

The nature of this disconnect is not necessarily tricky to uncover. Even in the Constitutional Convention, there were contending interpretations of its…


Seven factors to consider in preventing and responding to mass shootings and mass killings.

Tony Webster, Wikicommons

Factor 1 — Initial Mindset

Most perpetrators who conceive or initiate a mass killing begin with a similar initial mindset. This mindset is one of ostracism, a sense that they stand apart from the rest of society, whether from actual social outcasting or self-banishment.

It’s important to understand that this is a mindset and very difficult to determine from outward presentation. For every perpetrator who “everyone saw it coming” because of their solitary lifestyle and odd behavior, there are just as many who proved to be excellent at hiding their inner turmoil and appearing normal. Some even appear to be thriving on life. …


Too many Americans believe that their right to live, believe, speak, worship, and seek happiness according to the dictates of conscience are threatened by their fellow Americans.

Being “Woke”

Being “woke” is often a litmus test for certain circles of the progressive world. There is a strong expectation, and even a demand, to be “ethnically conscious,” especially among white college and college-educated activists.

This consciousness generally manifests itself as an awareness of generational wrongs perpetrated by one race against another. This consciousness is followed by a need to signal it, both through public displays of contrition and through combative rhetoric directed at the “non-woke.”

It is admirable to be aware of historical injustices and of how they affect present inequitable conditions. However, the ideology of being “woke” often moves…


It would be difficult to find another piece of legislation that attempts to side-step the notions of federalism, state sovereignty, and unalienable rights more than H.R. 1.

Image from Flickr.com, Reizigerin, Creative Commons Licensing

(This article is adapted from an article at the Federalist Coalition, written by Justin Stapley the first time the House of Representatives passed the For the People Act in 2019)

The 116th Congress began 2019 by introducing its first piece of major legislation on January 3rd, imperiously named the For the People Act of 2019. The Bill summary stated that the proposal “addresses voter access, election integrity, election security, political spending, and ethics…


Those clamoring for a return of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban are advocating for a return to a stew of legal language that failed to reflect the reality of actual firearm classification.

AR-15 — Pixabay (Free for Commercial Use)

There is a common refrain among advocates for restrictive gun laws: assault weapons are “designed specifically to kill”, their intended use is for “military purposes”, and they were never meant for private ownership.

But what is an assault weapon exactly? Despite the use of the term by supporters of tougher gun laws and its consistent presence in the news, it is not a term used by almost anyone familiar with military or civilian weapon systems.

Why isn’t the term “assault rifle” used? After all, the various rifles used by the world’s militaries, such as the M16, M4, SCAR, G36, or…


There’s definitely a political Left and a political Right. But that political dichotomy exists within a broader and far more nuanced political spectrum.

The political spectrum is often viewed as conservative on the right and liberal, or more accurately progressive, on the left. Since this horizontal spectrum is more often used for propaganda purposes than for actual understanding of political thought, it’s viewed differently depending on which side you’re on.

If you’re on the Right, you think of the political spectrum as right towards freedom and left towards tyranny. Funny enough, if you’re on the Left, you think of the…


Doubling the federally mandated minimum wage would alter the premise of its existence. It would cease to be a minimum wage and become a universal living wage.

The recent prerogative on the Left, as exemplified by the efforts of the Democratic Party to more than double the federally mandated minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15.00 an hour, is one where they seek to merge the notions of a minimum wage with the idea of a living wage.

But these two notions are dramatically different benchmarks with dramatically different intentions behind them. Merging them, as seems to be the express goal of many Democratic politicians, including our current Democratic President, would likely frustrate and imbalance the entire wage market.

A minimum wage, simply defined, is the…


Are Democrats trying to convict the former President, or is this just cynical partisan maneuvering?

I have a unique stance on how this second impeachment has played out. I do think the President bears great responsibility for what occurred on January 6th; for his efforts to discredit the election going back months and months before election day, for the rhetoric he used on that specific day, and especially for his failure to do everything possible to end the violence and denounce it. I believe that this second impeachment is well deserved and that Donald Trump should be barred from holding future office.

However, I feel the Democratic Party under Nancy Pelosi has failed to embark…


Social media platforms are not public forums. We must stop using the language of public forums to discuss social media realities.

Censorship is a cessation of rights. Censorship is not the correct word for a private platform policing itself because no one is losing any rights outside the private platform. When social media, as a private platform, polices itself, it’s not censorship. It’s de-platforming.

In a free market, there is both the right of association and the right of disassociation. A private platform is free to de-platform someone involved in their forum. That doesn’t impact their freedom. They remain free outside the platform.

A church, for example, has the right to excommunicate members. Such an excommunication seriously de-platforms a member within…

Justin Stapley

Student at UVU, political theory and constitutional studies. Editor/Owner of The Liberty Hawk. Weekly newsletter and intermittent podcasting at Self-Evident.

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