Our Unique Destiny

I have visited Israel over a dozen times and I had the honor to witness this remarkable transition firsthand. It is invigorating to see a country come together both to grieve and to celebrate, and I cannot help but reflect upon our own history and the importance of paying tribute to those who have sacrificed for this nation.

I cannot help but draw inspiration from the proud nation, and I believe that our own country can learn something from Israel. The United States is a much larger and more diverse country, yet even here we should find more opportunities to come together as one group of people to celebrate the incredible blessing of living in this amazing land.

As we continue to heal from the sharp rifts that were created by the most recent presidential election, we must remember where we have been and where we want to go. We owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the veterans who put everything on the line for us all, and we must continue to teach our children about the sagacity of our founding fathers, who laid a strong foundation for the beacon of inspiration and freedom we have become.

As Americans, we can do so much more when we are united than divided. Our country has demonstrated a unique propensity to come together, but this has often been following times of distress, such as emerging from the Civil War, prevailing in World War II, overcoming the Great Depression and moving past the attacks of September 11. We need to constantly remind ourselves that in good times and in bad, we are all Americans.

We are all entitled to our own opinions and political views about how best to manifest the kind of country we want, but that must never be a cause of perpetual conflict.

America has achieved so much in the past, but we also have limitless promise ahead of us. Each of us must recommit ourselves daily to doing all that we can do to make this country a better home for all of us.  That is our challenge, but it is also our destiny.

 

Carson Was Right to Say Mindset Makes the Difference in Climbing Out of Poverty

It really is a shame. During my Sirius XM 126 interview with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, he began to explain some of the principles and market dynamics affecting policy initiatives at HUD. He noted that at its core, poverty is the result of a "poverty mindset" that is often reinforced by family and social conditions. The mainstream media immediately selected that quote and ran with it. The media's implication was that "cruel, tone-deaf Carson blames poor people for their poverty."

But the media totally ignored the other things Dr. Carson said on the subject of housing, and the general formula for avoiding poverty. In the interest of truth, it is only fair that we reset the balance here. Carson first said that there are studies that show there are three major self-initiated behaviors that can ensure that the vast majority of people do not wind up in poverty. First, finish high school; second, get married; and third, delay childbirth until after marriage. These three factors alone would filter out almost 95 percent of all poor people in this country. Carson’s remarks focused on what the average person can do to avoid or alleviate poverty.

This isn’t brain surgery. Dr. Carson is not some elitist rich guy born with a spoon in his mouth who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. His story is well-documented. He was born to a mother who did not finish high school, and who was eventually forced to leave a bigamist marriage with two children she had to raise on her own. She was forced into poverty

But as anyone who has studied Carson's life can tell you, Carson chose a different path. He attended college and graduated, then went on to medical school. He married his college sweetheart Candy, to whom he remains married to this day. And they both delayed child birth until after they had completed their education and gotten married. On my program, Carson added that he understood the value that a committed marriage and family plays in one’s life. It gets you out of a situation in which you are merely focused on yourself and your own wants and needs, and increases your "responsibility muscle." By being committed to another person (or persons), you begin to seek opportunities and to develop skills that enable you to expand your earning potential. You invest in a home in which you can raise a family. Your sense of economics grows as you share your income and decide on priorities involved with raising a family. And over time, this process of growing to manage additional responsibilities increases your wealth.

Let’s take the contrapositive position. If you do not complete at least a high school level of education, your job prospects in this country are dismal at best. Not only are you unqualified for most of today’s middle class jobs – police officer, EMS, teacher, etc. – but you may not even have the intellectual foundation to supplement your education without first learning the basics of reading, writing and math taught at the high school level. Needless to say, this puts one at a distinct disadvantage in the job market. If one then adds an out of wedlock child to these poor economic prospects, you are starting out in a deep hole. You may not initially want to depend on the government for housing, food and clothing – but in the absence of marketable skills, that’s often what ends up happening.

This in turn helps foster a cycle of poverty. Your children grow up without role models of success. Most of the people around them and with whom they associate are also in the same conditions – growing up in broken homes, without intact families, supported by government assistance. They begin to believe this is the norm. Why can’t they do it too? So they end up dropping out of school, having kids out of wedlock, and failing to advance to a middle-class lifestyle. This is what’s known as a "poverty mindset."

What’s the upside in all of this? It’s that it is totally within your control to change this behavior. You don’t have to wait on a government program or a lottery ticket to do this. You can start now, right where you are. You can end the cycle of poverty in your community by changing your mindset, and that will lead to behaviors that support wealth and prosperity.

But this is so simple and obvious that it’s almost not even worth reporting. How many of the prognosticators have failed to heed this basic formula in their own lives? How many of the lofty writers for mainstream rags had to fight their own way out of poverty and broken homes to end up at the heights of their profession? Probably very few.

So when they take Carson out of context for the sake of cheap political theater, chances are they are being a little less than candid about their own middle class values. But peddling the myth that government programs can solve the entrenched problems of poverty in this country – despite all the evidence to the contrary – well, apparently thats an easier sell.

Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) served as an advisor and spokesman for Dr. Ben Carson's 2016 presidential campaign. He is manager and sole owner of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the year. He's on Sirius XM126 Urban View nightly from 6:00-8:00pm EST.

President Trump: True Agent of Hope and Change in the Middle East

 new day has dawned in the Middle East. On the heels of President Trump’s first visit to Israel as President of the United States, it is evident that the game has changed. America is right back where it belongs: at Israel’s side. 
America and Israel are both two great democracies, committed to an unbreakable bond rooted in shared values of freedom. 

Yet for President Trump, his friendship with Israel transcends politics – it is personal. 

The President’s historic decision to become the first sitting President to visit the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, was a highly symbolic political and personal gesture. President Trump took it upon himself to share that personal and meaningful moment with his family. 

First lady Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, and Jared Kushner, the President’s senior advisor and son-in-law, also prayed at the Western Wall. It has even been reported that Ivanka Trump was so touched that she wiped away a tear while praying at this sacred site. 

The mere optics of President Trump’s visit to Israel have introduced a new chapter for renewed hope that some measure of stability and clear-headedness can emerge in this very troubled region.

By cultivating powerful alliances with the Sunni Arab nations, which will ultimately serve to better safeguard Americans from the threat of terrorism, President Trump is taking a long overdue stance against Iranian smugness and support for terrorism. Whereas President Obama’s catastrophic nuclear accord only served to embolden the Iranian regime, the world’s largest state-sponsor of terrorism, President Trump unwaveringly reiterated during his visit to the Middle East that Iran must never obtain a nuclear weapon.

ISIS claims responsibility for terror attack in Manchester

The terror group has reportedly struck again, though they haven't provided evidence of their involvement yet, the group claims responsibility for the attack that took the lives of 22 young people and injured dozens more. The barbaric acts against humanity in Manchester, England is another reminder of our dangerous the world has become and how important it is for us to defeat the ISIS and rid the world of their presence. 

Our children are our most precious gift from God and the thought of them not being able to attend a concert of one of their favorite artist because of a terror attack is something no parent should ever have to fear, but unfortunately, that is today's reality.

It is disheartening to me that so many young people lost their lives before their lives even began, and I pray for their families during this tragic and difficult time. However, I have confidence that we will continue our efforts to defeat ISIS because they are a threat to our very existence. As President Trump noted during his trip to Saudi Arabia, Muslim countries must be involved with destroying terror groups wherever they are because not only are they a threat to our children and way of life, at some point they will be a threat to theirs as well. 

 

We must protect our kids from the falsehoods of the "Left"

With April 20th (4/20) behind us, the other two of the top three busiest days for medicinal pot usage in the U.S. are coming later this year:  the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. "Medicinal" pot usage sends the wrong messages to younger generations. Young people are very impressionable and just like we wouldn't want our young people drinking alcohol or smoking cigarettes, we shouldn't endorse, glamorize or condone them smoking pot. 

Recreational use of pot, under any name is dangerous.  Just because those on the left have made every attempt to desensitize our children regarding the use of pot; the act, under any name - is dangerous for society.

The media is out to get Trump

Since being elected the 45th President of the United States, the mainstream media has been after President Trump, looking and hoping for any and everything to derail his young campaign. They built him up during the presidential race, falling head over hills for his brash style, constantly analyzing how different of a candidate he was and how he was constantly defying all odds, and now they are doing everything they can to tear him down. The built him up, and now they're tearing him down. 

Despite not having any evidence that President Trump had any involvement in the Russia scandal the media has become obsessed with it. It has become a daily distraction for the administration and the American people. We haven't talked about any substantive issues in weeks, not because the president isn't trying to solve the problems he was elected to solve, but because the media want's nothing more than to see Donald Trump fail. 

Trump's failure for the left gives them validation about Trump and Republicans; they feel that his failure would prove that they have been right about us as conservatives. The narrative that we are out of touch with most of American and are incapable of fixing the problems we currently face. And the idea of Trump having policy victories that improve the economy, creates more jobs and returns healthcare to the American people, is just too much to handle. 

Like puppet masters, the mainstream media wants nothing more than for us, the American people to listen, believe, and follow their every lead. However, that is not the role of the media; they aren't the judge and the juror, they don't get to usurp the will of the people by persuasion and half truths. Their obligation is to be fair and balance, but in today's climate that would seem like a task all too daunting. 

Sure, the president hasn't always made the best statements or decisions, but as someone new to politics, he is going to make mistakes that seasoned politicians wouldn't make, but this is why "We the People" elected to be president because we wanted something different. A leader who wasn't politically correct, someone who is brutally honest, but will to work tirelessly on behalf of the country and person is Donald Trump. 

We only have one president at a time, and regardless of their flaws, we have to build him up so that he can do the job of the people. And while we want our media to do everything they can to hold all of our leaders accountable, they shouldn't go out of their way to destroy them based on claims unproven. Nor should they at every turn paint a narrative that is not entirely reflective of the facts. It creates further division and chaos.

As some point, we have to end the constant bickering and back and forth. However, that will never happen no matter what President Trump does if the media doesn't refocus and remember it's role in society. Not even the best leader could govern effectively in this climate, which is why the media must end their constant attempt to destroy Trump. When he does something great we must applaud him and we he messes up we must remind, but we shouldn't attempt to tear him down and destroy him because no one benefits and the only people who will end up hurt, in the end, is the American people, and we deserve so much better. 

Build out the team

This task seems insignificant for a new president, but the effect of its failure has reverberations felt throughout government.  In his best-selling book Good to Great, business guru Jim Collins writes that a hallmark of successful organizations and leaders starts by getting “the right people on the bus.”  The federal government is very large, with many executive slots that remain empty.  I believe to my core that small, easy accomplishments can start occurring just by having like-minded personnel at the helm channeling Trump’s agenda day in, day out. That’s a task that Kushner and Priebus can take on collectively and show others in the White House complex that they can work together for a common good.

It all goes back to governing.  The American electorate is ready for this change, and because government permeates every facet of our lives, they will start to see the change even in their daily activities.  Make America Great Again is more than a slogan.  It’s a pursuit that can and must encompass even the smallest functions of government in order to live up to the weightiness of its words. 

Show wisdom abroad

The next few months are critical for the United States on the world stage.  A North Korean threat should be taken seriously.  Desperate men do desperate things.  Additionally, the Middle East is never stable, Syria needs more than rhetoric, and the Taliban seems anxious to make a comeback as the world’s leader in terrorism given the mass soldier shooting in Iraq just days ago.  The president was smart to dispatch military assets off of Japan.  These times call for the proper mix of diplomacy and show of force.  I also believe Trump would be wise to employ his secretaries of state and defense.  Use them – especially Secretary Tillerson and Nikki Haley – to be the interlocutors on behalf of the White House.  They can serve as the proper channels to convey Trump’s doctrine without involving the president himself.  That only makes sense given so much uncertainty and fluidity around the globe.