Can someone please teach Michael Avenatti how government works?

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On August 10, Michael Avenatti, lawyer to "Stormy Daniels" of porn industry fame, delivered a speech calling on Democrats to be a party that "fights fire with fire." Avenatti's message was obviously at odds with that offered by former first lady Michelle Obama in 2016, when she told Democrats to "go high" in response to insults. Two years later, Avenatti declared to thunderous applause, "When they go low, I say hit back harder."

This speech comes after Avenatti's announcement that he is strongly considering a run for president in 2020, but only serves to expose the reality that he is not fit for elected office. Despite an enthusiastic reception from the Democrats in attendance at his speech, Avenatti's strategy demonstrates both the blatant hypocrisy of the Left and a fundamental misunderstanding of governance in a republic.

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The recent outpouring of support for Avenatti among Democrats as a potential candidate represents an embrace of the very strategies left-leaning thinkers were so quick to condemn when used by Donald Trump. Everyone from Senator Elizabeth Warren to a pro-Clinton Super PAC called Trump a "bully" throughout the 2016 election. As president, Trump has been called a "grave and existential threat" to the press, with press freedom becoming a rallying point for Democrats. Even the attention bestowed on Trump by the press is incredibly contentious, with journalists like CNN's Fareed Zakaria arguing that Trump treats the presidency like a TV show.

Enter Avenatti, a new democratic champion who refers to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a "pig," and Trump attorney Michael Cohen as a "moron." Avenatti has appeared on programs ranging from CNN to Stephen Colbert's late show, a near constant face on television screens across the country, in each appearance raging against the president. Yet the potential candidate's similarities to Trump do not stop at gratuitous insults and media manipulation, either. When The Daily Caller, a conservative news outlet, published a story on Avenatti's "questionable" past, including lawsuits, unpaid debts, and bankruptcy filings, he responded by attempting to stifle honest criticism with threats of defamation lawsuits.

Support on the Left for an Avenatti campaign would represent a hypocritical embrace of everything Democrats were so quick to loathe during the 2016 election cycle.

Support on the Left for an Avenatti campaign would represent a hypocritical embrace of everything Democrats were so quick to loathe during the 2016 election cycle. Accepting him as a legitimate candidate would make a powerful statement that both sides find personal attacks acceptable, as long as they are against the right people. It would also imply that media manipulation is fine, as long as it is twisted in your side's favor. Most dangerously, support for Avenatti would send a message that it is okay to use unfounded claims of defamation to attempt to silence media criticism, so long as you do it covertly, and against conservative media.

Regardless of whether Democrats choose to support Avenatti's presidential run in 2020, his tendency toward striking back against political opponents conveys a crucial misunderstanding of how republican governments are meant to function.

Republics necessitate coalition building in order to promote effective governance. By dividing the country by way of an us-versus-them mentality, political figures like Avenatti prioritize personal gain at the expense of the American people, especially as voters demonstrate an increasing sense of disconnect with the two-party system. Pew Research reported in 2017 that 37 percent of registered voters identify as political independents, a figure that outnumbers voters who identify as Democrats (33 percent) and Republicans (26 percent). While the majority of these voters lean in one direction, the refusal to officially declare loyalty to a party represents a clear desire to overcome partisanship.

Candidates like Avenatti (and Trump) benefit from creating ingroup biases within their chosen party. By channelling negative attention on an outgroup, like an opposing political party, candidates strengthen the bonds between partisans while increasing animosities between parties.

But what does this mean when it comes time to govern? Campaigns may end, but the fighting mentality endorsed by Avenatti and others lingers. How can candidates be expected to work across the aisle and promise positive reform for all people once elected, when people like Mark Brown, the spokesman for Senate candidate Phil Bresden, refer to Trump as a "f---stik" and says "f--k 'reaching out' to Trump voters. The idiots aren't listening?" Is this the "fire" Avenatti wants to see emerging from the Democratic Party?

Politics for the people should not be about going low, and it certainly ought not to be about going lower in response.

Republics are founded on the basis of compromise, but mudslinging campaign strategies have made genuine compromise a rarity. Building rifts and capitalizing on political divides does not benefit American citizens, and Avenatti's clear endorsement of such a strategy represents a failure to understand what it means to work on behalf of all people, instead of only those with which you agree. While insult-hurling may make work well for a courtroom lawyer or television personality, it simply does not suit the Oval Office.

Avenatti, Trump, and all candidates who employ similar strategies must recognize that once the campaigning is over and the votes have been counted, elected officials have to actually govern. Burning bridges and building walls between people of different political mindsets during campaign season makes this nearly impossible. Politics for the people should not be about going low, and it certainly ought not to be about going lower in response. Though it makes for great entertainment, governance is not a game—and it is time to stop endorsing candidates who treat it like one.

Alexis Mealey is a writer for Young Voices and a BA candidate in Philosophy and Government at Harvard University. You can follow her on Twitter here.

We've finally heard some news on the migrant caravan. Some of the migrants have given up and gone back home, but some are still there waiting at the border. A leader representing the group has decided to step forward, and he's made out a list of... demands. Remember when I said back in October that this caravan was originally formed as a Leftist act against the Honduran government by people with ties to Venezuela and Cuba? Well what do you know… wait until you hear who this guy is.

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Alfonso Guerrero personally walked into the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, Mexico with a list of demands from the caravan. Get a load of this. The caravan is demanding that if they're not granted immediate asylum they want the following:

  1. Fifty thousand dollars in cash for every caravan member (which would be a total of tens of millions).
  2. The immediate removal of all U.S. economic and military assets in Honduras.

Failure to comply to these demands will result in the caravan continuing to try and penetrate the U.S. border.

I mean, if you're trying to appear like some grassroots movement for migrants that are just escaping the dangers of their own country, you might want to - oh I don't know - tone down the crazy Leftist freedom fighter schtick. I'm just saying. Demanding millions of dollars AND the removal of the U.S. military from Honduras kinda just screams, "Hey check me out. I'm a Marxist terrorist." It would have been basically the same thing if he just charged up to the embassy wearing a beret and shouted "Viva la Revolution!!" while firing off an RPG.

Well, it turns out this isn't the first time Mr Guerrero has tried to claim asylum. Back in 1987 he claimed asylum in Mexico after being suspected by the Honduran and U.S. government for - wait for it - left wing terrorism… Jeez, you know you really can't make this stuff up. This is INSANE. Here's the story…

This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam?

In 1987 Honduras was ground zero for U.S. and Soviet proxy forces fighting the Cold War. The Contra rebels were actually based there, and leftists terrorists would sometimes carry out operations in the country in response. On August 8th a bomb was thrown into the China Palace restaurant, just a few miles from the U.S. military base in Honduras. Six American soldiers were injured in the blast. Alfonso Guerrero was the primary suspect. He escaped to Mexico and claimed asylum. The Reagan Administration charged the Mexican government for quote "harboring a terrorist" for granting Guerrero protection.

But all the caravan wants is a better life in the United States… oh and millions of dollars AND a list of political demands for their home country. This is ridiculous. Can we all now agree that this entire charade is a fraudulent scam? This is a Leftist political stunt. It has been since the very beginning.

TRANS-INSANITY: Not everyone is bowing down to the PC culture


Here's an incident that you won't hear about anywhere else. It doesn't fit the mainstream media's transgender narrative, their fairy tale of infinite genders, where any criticism is viewed as transphobic and taboo and certainly not something that the majority of Americans think or feel.

Last week, in West Point, Virginia, a high school French teacher named Peter Vlaming was fired after a five-and-a-half hour hearing that centered on his refusal to use a transgender student's specific gender pronouns. Vlaming said that doing so violated his religious beliefs.

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Vlaming's lawyer Shawn Voyles told reporters:

Tolerance is a two-way street. Unfortunately, tolerance on the part of the school division has been noticeably absent. It chose to impose its own orthodoxy on Mr. Vlaming and fired him because he didn't relinquish his rights protected by the First Amendment.

School administrators fired Vlaming "due to this insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators."

The school justified the firing by pointing to a set of policies aimed at curbing misgendering of transgender students.

Vlaming's lawyer disputed this, saying that the policies include no such mention of transgenderism, adding that:

My client respects the rights of all students, including this student's rights; he simply asked that his rights be respected as well. Unfortunately, the school division refused to consider any solutions that would respect the freedoms of everyone involved.

There is a ray of hope in all of this, though. The students. A group of students from the school immediately staged a walkout in protest of Vlaming's firing.

One student told reporters:

I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well.

Students lined up outside the school with signs that said, "Free Vlam." Another included a quote from Ben Shapiro: "Facts don't care about your feelings." Another read "You can't impose delusion onto us."

You can sigh a sigh of relief. There's hope for the future yet.

Whether it's a 'War on Christmas' or just progressivism run amok, the song 'Baby It's Cold Outside' has been firmly in the crosshairs this holiday season. Here are just a few of the headlines making the rounds:

Should radio stations stop playing 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

They range from the previous as questioning and then roll right into the following and assume facts not in evidence.

'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' Seen As Sexist, Frozen Out by Radio Stations

It may be seen as sexist but according to one radio stations polling, only about 5% do. Then they go from saying it's sexist to straight up claiming it as a rape song.

Radio Bans 'Baby It's Cold Outside' Over Claims It's A Rape Song, English Teacher Explains Its Real Meaning

And then they just flat out call for its retirement.

Is it time to retire 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'?

The left might think they are woke and on the right side of history in the wake of the #MeToo movement — but how shocked do you think they'd be if they knew Glenn beat them to the punch over a decade ago? Don't believe me? Take a listen to this clip from our audio vault from 2008.

Christmas has arrived early for mainstream media. They have their first sentencing of a major player in President Trump's inner circle. Yesterday, Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge in Manhattan. How did it come to this and how did Cohen explain himself to the judge? We start there next…

President Trump's former attorney, 52-year-old Michael Cohen, is going to jail. Well, it will probably be one of those federal prison camps with a dorm that's more like a college campus. But he's going to be locked up. A federal judge sentenced him to three years in prison for financial crimes, and two months for lying to Congress. He also ordered Cohen to pay $2 million in financial penalties. The judge called Cohen's misdeeds a "veritable smorgasbord of criminal conduct."

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The judge said:

As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better. While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean.

Cohen pled guilty in August to eight criminal charges in two different cases. One brought by special counsel Robert Muller for Cohen's lying to Congress about a potential Trump Tower project in Moscow. The second was for bank-fraud, tax, and campaign finance violations brought by federal prosecutors in New York.

President Trump said recently that Cohen has simply been lying to get a reduced sentence for crimes that have nothing to do with him. Cohen was very emotional as he apologized to the judge, saying:

It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. Time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass.

The left thinks that Cohen's sentencing marks the beginning of the end for Trump's presidency. They may be ultimately disappointed in that regard. But this does intensify the long national nightmare of the Muller investigation that seems to have no end in sight.