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.

A new Pew Research Center report shows the death toll in the United States from COVID-19 is "heavily concentrated" in Democratic congressional districts.

According to the analysis, more than half of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. occurred in just 44 (approximately 10 percent of) congressional districts, and 41 of those 44 hardest-hit districts are represented by Democrats, while only three are represented by Republicans.

"A new Pew Research Center analysis of data on official reports of COVID-19 deaths, collected by the John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, finds that, as of last week, nearly a quarter of all the deaths in the United States attributed to the coronavirus have been in just 12 congressional districts – all located in New York City and represented by Democrats in Congress. Of the more than 92,000 Americans who had died of COVID-19 as of May 20 (the date that the data in this analysis was collected), nearly 75,000 were in Democratic congressional districts," Pew reported.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere argued that, while the coronavirus should never have been made into a partisan issue, the study certainly makes a strong statement in favor of GOP leadership.

Watch the video below:


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) once predicted the coronavirus death rate would be between 4 and 5 percent, but they've just come out with a new report and those predictions have been adjusted significantly.

According to the CDC's latest data, the fatality rate among Americans showing COVID-19 symptoms is 0.4 percent. And an estimated 35 percent who are infected by the virus will never have any symptoms. Therefore, the CDC is now estimating COVID-19 kills less than 0.3 percent of people infected.

Filling in for Glenn Beck on the radio program this week, Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere recalled when the mainstream media went into overdrive, hammering President Donald Trump for predicting the final COVID-19 death rate would be "under one percent."

Looks like the president was right all along.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Michigan barber Karl Manke isn't a troublemaker. He's a law-abiding citizen who did everything possible to financially survive during the COVID-19 lockdown. pandemic. Eventually, he had no other option: he had to reopen his business in defiance of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay-at-home orders.

In an interview on the "Glenn Beck Radio Program," Manke, 77, told Glenn, "I'm not backing down" despite Whitmer's seemingly vindictive attempts to shut down his business.

Shortly after reopening, Manke was ticketed for violating Whitmer's stay-at-home order and charged with a misdemeanor. When he still refused to close his doors, the governor's office went a step further and suspended his barber license.

"It's kind of a vindictive thing," said Manke. "I've become a worm in her brain ... and she is going full force, illegally, when legislatures told her that she was out of place and this was not her assignment, she decided to take it anyway."

On Thursday, the Shiawassee County Circuit Judge refused to issue a preliminary injunction against Manke. Read more on this update here.

Watch the video clip from the interview below:

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Time after time, Americans have taken to the streets to defend our constitutional rights, whether it was our livelihood at stake -- or our lives. But, what was the point of all the civil rights movements that came before, if we're about to let the government take our rights away now?

On his Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck argued that Americans are tired of having our rights trampled by "tyrannical" leaders from state and local governments who are ignoring our unalienable rights during this pandemic.

"Our nanny state has gone too far. The men and women in office -- the ones closest to our communities, our towns, our cities -- are now taking advantage of our fear," Glenn said. "Like our brothers and sisters of the past, we need to start making the decisions that will put our destiny, and our children's destiny, back into our hands."

It took less than two months of the coronavirus tyranny to make America unrecognizable, but some Americans are fighting back, risking losing their jobs and businesses or even jail time, as they battle to take back our civil rights.

Here are just a few of their stories:

After New Jersey's Atilis Gym reopened in defiance of the governor's executive order, the Department of Health shut them down for "posing a threat to the public health." Co-owner Ian Smith says somebody sabotaged the gym's toilets with enire rolls of paper to create the public health "threat."

Oregon Salon owner, Lindsey Graham, was fined $14 thousand for reopening. She said she was visited by numerous government organizations, including Child Protective Services, in what she believes are bullying tactics straight from the governor's office.

77-year-old Michigan barber, Karl Manke, refused to close his shop even when facing arrest. "I couldn't go another 30 days without an income," he said. But when local police refused to arrest him, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) office suspending his business license instead.

Port of Seattle police officer Greg Anderson was suspended after he spoke out against enforcing what he called "tyrannical orders" imposed amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Kentucky mother-of-seven, Mary Sabbatino, found herself under investigation for alleged child abuse after breaking social distancing rules at a bank. After a social worker from child protective services determined there was no sign of abuse, he still sought to investigate why the Sabbatino's are homeschooling, and how they can give "adequate attention to that many children."

Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther was sentenced to seven days in jail after she defied the state-mandated stay-at-home orders to reopen her business.

Watch the video clip from Glenn's special below:


Watch the full special on BlazeTV YouTube here.

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