For me, the battle over the last five years–during which I’ve lost employment, status, friends, loved ones, and suffered financial hardship, malicious condemnation and ridicule for my beliefs–has never been about Donald Trump.
In fact, I’ve been wary of the fact that he’s a flawed human being–like all of us–and, like all humans, he would likely disappoint me at some point. I have tried to remain mindful that humans are inherently flawed, and prone to act selfishly or impulsively. That is why I have tried to keep my arguments about principles and not personalities.
Fighting for righteous principles
For me, the fight has always been about the principles of freedom, liberty, peace through strength, the sanctity of life, American exceptionalism and sovereignty.
I saw how Washington’s greed and graft had America circling the toilet like a turd bound for the sewers of hell. I saw how endless wars stole too many of our promising young people, sending the survivors of war into a spiral of depression and addiction, and into a Veterans Administration healthcare system that prolonged their abuse instead of ending their pain. I saw how skyrocketing medical and prescription costs threatened to bankrupt honest, hardworking American families. I saw how our sieve of a southern border left us vulnerable to cartels, traffickers and terrorists, while costing us billions in law enforcement, incarceration, healthcare and education costs.
And I saw politicians speak for decades about talking about starting talks to talk about starting discussions. I’ve watched countless candidates promise to “address the issues” without ever even defining the issues.
Golden escalator to MAGA
When Donald Trump came gliding down that golden escalator and boldly spoke the words other candidates had danced around for decades–words that would later define his relationship with those he would eventually, prophetically and accurately label “enemies of the people”–he grabbed my attention and didn’t let go.
But even more than the words the future president spoke, millions of Americans like me grew ever more intrigued when Trump refused to apologize after the media did what we watched them do too many times to recount. They grossly and shamelessly perverted his message.
Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump shone a blinding spotlight on the media many of us had come to distrust, and exposed the manipulations that have indoctrinated society for years. As a 15-year veteran of the television news industry, I know the routine as well as anyone:
- Misquote and misrepresent.
- Shame subject into contrition and submission.
- Force subject to apologize and reframe the message, conditioning them to soften their rhetoric and, in many cases, change their message altogether.
- Bully like thinkers into silence, lest they risk harassment, doxing and cancellation.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Not only did this brash, flamboyant candidate refuse to apologize, explain or walk back his statements, he boldly proclaimed his allegiance to America and her citizens, and gave tens of millions of forgotten citizens new confidence and a sense of belonging to something far greater than ourselves.
MAGA was born.
That was when we knew
Let’s take a look back at the first egregious bastardization of Trump’s words; a shameful tactic that would become blood sport over the ensuing four years. Here is Trump’s actual statement:
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you…They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
At the time, I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe a politician just said it out loud!”
Because, of course, any reasoning person knows, people typically don’t illegally flee to America because things are going well for them at home. People flee bad situations; and I knew from my own journalistic investigations the massive toll illegal immigration took on our prisons, jails, hospitals and public schools. I studied the costs–financial and personal–so my beliefs had nothing to do with race, and everything to do with cold, hard statistics.
Trump’s blunt assessment of Washington’s dirty little secret was absolutely factual; but if you didn’t watch his announcement live, you were led by the media to believe he called all Mexicans rapists and murderers, eventually expanding the absurd notion to anyone who followed Trump.
Imagine the pickle we minorities (my American-born Japanese mother and her family were placed in internment camps during WWII) found ourselves in when we were suddenly considered racists for taking Trump seriously. To this day, Trump supporters of all ethnic and racial stripes must begin every discussion about immigration with the caveat that we’re not racist, that we have some Latino friends, that we even support some charities that benefit people of color.
Why? Because the media harped on a false narrative in order to paint Donald Trump as a racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, whatever-other-ist or -ic makes him sound the worst. They methodically created a despicable caricature that everyone could (should) hate, and they planted him at the front of an unprecedented groundswell of patriotism that, they knew, threatened to envelop the world.
The Trump Show
When I met Donald Trump years ago, when I was Miss Oklahoma and he was a judge at Miss America, I was taken by his ability to make each person feel like he was totally focused on him or her. He was considered a millionaire (at the time) playboy who erected golden monuments to himself in the decadent mecca that hosted the pageant for nearly a century. The Boardwalk in Atlantic City was an absolute armpit on the outside, but Trump’s facilities gleamed with gaudy opulence and wealth on the inside, and the Trump brand demonstrated the mogul’s mastery of marketing and PR.
When Trump finally burst onto the political scene after decades of flirting with the dalliance, I knew his audacity made people uncomfortable. Hell, some of his personal attacks made me uncomfortable! But as a marketer and PR professional, I understood it was all part of his schtick. Any attention is good attention in Donald Trump’s world, and wild statements get attention.
Once I got past the Trump Show, I realized Trump the Candidate spoke truths that had been swimming around in my head for years, and he made me realize I was not alone. Millions of others thought the way I did about law and order, human equality, American exceptionalism, and the tremendous cost of illegal immigration on American society.
The media was so incensed by Trump’s refusal to play their shame game, and Trump was so relentlessly effective in exposing their hypocrisy, his candidacy, and later presidency, became the battleground between conservatives and everyone else.
Us vs. The World
“The World” (as I refer to Tech Tyrants, Big Media and the bullies they engender) became belligerently disinterested in what Donald Trump had to say. Why? Because they could not allow a debate of issues and values. Who in their right mind would fight against patriotism, support for law enforcement and the military, American sovereignty, the U.S. Constitution, equal rights for all, and the sanctity of human life? No, The World HAD to make the war about Donald Trump, the Man; because to debate the merits–as vocal conservatives have witnessed countless times–invariably devolves into name calling and cries of “racism”, “fascism”, and every other “ism” they can conjure.
When you have to make a fight personal–about a person and not principles–you know you are on the losing side.
For example, a young Republican who describes himself as a conservative, who voted for Trump the first go-’round and who espoused belief in the values Trump represents, told me no young conservative he knew would ever vote for Donald Trump again. Why? Because they believed what The World had methodically and calculatedly spoon fed them through the COVID shut-in–during which time they were not allowed to attend church, attend family gatherings, debate with parents, work in an office where they might hear divergent ideas–that Donald Trump was responsible for the division they watched on the news and in their social media feeds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Never mind the actual facts–lowest unemployment rate for minorities, support for historically black colleges, opportunity zones, the Blexit and Walk Away movements, etc. And never mind the fact that we now know–that Donald Trump’s support among minorities exploded in the 2020 election, indicating even minorities weren’t buying the “racist” narrative. The World effectively indoctrinated young people to believe Donald Trump was a racist instigator who ginned up white supremacy to a point where Antifa and Black Lives Matter had the absolute right to wreak havoc and destroy cities.
Take Donald Trump out of the equation
What if you could take Trump out of the equation? From the example above, in a debate about whether President Trump had the right to inspect ballots from the 2020 election, the young conservative said he was unaware the FBI held evidence of heinous crimes against humanity by the Democrat candidate’s spawn. He was unaware evidence existed that cast a dark shadow on the spawn’s dealings with foreign nations, while his father held power over those countries. To his credit, he admitted that having such information would have tainted his and his friends’ decisions to reject Trump at the polls.
But then, that old familiar switch flipped in his brain and he reverted to the defense we see in every political debate. He defended the Democrat candidate by raising questions about Trump’s taxes.
“Trump is a liar, too,” he proclaimed. “Everyone knows he cheated in business and… taxes and… ‘Grab ’em by the pu… and yada yada yada…”
Here we were, in a debate about relative dishonesty, rehashing old claims about Donald Trump’s past in order to avoid addressing claims about his opponent’s current and future influence. Guess who always loses in a, “Whose candidate is grosser” debate? Οгαηge Mαη Bαd.
“Stop!” I demanded. “Think about what you’re arguing. You’re comparing past allegations of tax evasion to current evidence of repeated peddling of influence to our enemies.”
And then, something amazing happened. Something as rare as a leprechaun riding a unicorn over a rainbow.
“Take Donald Trump out of the equation,” I suggested. “Let’s imagine Mitt Romney was the Republican candidate claiming there were irregularities in the election. Would he have a right to examine the evidence?”
For the first time EVER in a debate with someone consumed with The World’s narrative about Donald Trump, this bright young conservative went silent.
After a few seconds, he said, “Oh my God. I never thought of it that way. Yes, I would take Romney more seriously if he were making these claims. I’ve made it about Donald Trump, and it’s not.”
If only every one of us had the ability to remove emotion (hate) and replace it with reason and logic. But we can’t, and The World knows it. That is why they had to make this Uncivil War about Donald Trump.
Message to those who oppose me
I can’t even begin to tell you how many total strangers have schemed and plotted against me because of what someone else has told them – especially after learning how I vote. I have enemies I’ve never met; and close friends who hated and conspired against me. Once those years-long dear friends learned how I voted – without evidence and counter to my treatment of them and others throughout my life – they determined I was a racist, backward, inbred, ignorant, uneducated fascist. I never changed the way I regarded or treated others. Their opinion of me changed simply because they learned how I voted.
I had viewers who told me I was always their favorite, that they loved to watch me on the news for all those years, who suddenly and publicly shamed and unfollowed me, simply because I spoke kindly of a candidate they venomously hated. It was as though they suddenly learned I ate fresh fetuses for breakfast.
racist [ rey-sist ] noun
a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
With the official definition of racism out of the way, I categorically and emphatically state the following to all who have decided to hate me for my vote:
- If I believed Donald Trump was a racist, I would be among the first to stand against him. For someone to be a racist, they would have to knowingly believe in and support racism. I am not a racist, would not support a racist, and abhor racism to my very core. Please, stop throwing around such a hateful term as if it means nothing.
- I believe all humans were created equal, and that we all have a right to pursue fulfilling, happy, purpose-filled lives, without impediment (unless one’s purpose is to harm others). I believe Donald Trump’s policies and actions support this value.
- I believe in treating all others with kindness and respect. I also believe in authenticity, so I will not act like we’re friends if you betray or harm me or someone I love. I believe Donald Trump represents this value.
- I will always stand up for the underdog and fight anyone who harms those who are weaker or less fortunate. I believe Donald Trump exhibits this belief.
- I will always expose tyranny and corruption, regardless of what it might do to me. I believe Donald Trump’s policies and actions support this value.
- I believe anyone who abuses their authority – whether government officials, overzealous law enforcement, educators or anyone else in a position of power – should be investigated, prosecuted or punished to the fullest extent of the law. I have heard Donald Trump make similar statements, and believe he respects the rule of law.
- I believe in the sanctity of human life (unless the human has chosen a path of evil or destruction). I believe Donald Trump’s record as president speaks for itself.
- I believe in truth and justice. I believe Donald Trump fights for this ideal.
When I say, “America First,” I don’t wish harm against anyone else. I mean that until we solve America’s problems – bring Americans out of poverty, solve American health crises, ensure America’s security, educate American children, feed American families – we cannot put ourselves in a position to save others. Think of the flight attendant’s instructions if your flight loses cabin pressure: Secure your own mask first, then help others with their masks. Is that because airlines are mean and want people to die? No. It’s because the strongest passengers can ensure the safety of other passengers, only when they can breathe themselves.
This is who I am. This is who I always have been and always will be. When I vote, I vote for the candidate I believe most closely represents these core values. If you see your values in a different candidate, I honor your right to choose.
Message to fellow Christians
2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
If both teams pray before a football game, which team will God choose to win?
One of the things that troubles me the most about this moment in time is that good, God-fearing Christians stand on opposite sides, using prayer and scripture to justify our positions. It’s easy to imagine we’re the good guys because we pray and God is listening to us; but what about our Christian brothers and sisters on the other side, who pray just as fervently and who believe just as completely that God has anointed their leaders – the leaders we see as criminals and buffoons?
I know that people I have loved and respected for many years believe their fight is righteous; just as I believe in mine. I know they pray like I do for God to guide them to the light, and they believe their light is in a different place.
My message to my fellow Christians who believe differently from me and who pray with all their hearts for God’s divine guidance: I have no quarrel with you. I do not hate you. I love you, in Christ, as much as I ever have. If I have failed in my honest effort to keep our differences about principles and not about personalities, if I have in any way offended you, it was never my intent and I apologize. But if you are offended, and if you have decided we can no longer be friends simply because my opinions differ from yours, or because I see a man differently from how you see him, I hope you will pray harder.
The only thing we Christians can know for sure is that one side is righteous, and one side is being misled. Only God knows which is which, so it behooves us to pray. Perhaps you will join me in my daily petition:
“Dear, God, please reveal truth in such a resounding way, even the most stubborn, blind, complacent or corrupt cannot deny or escape it. If I am the one who’s been blind, please grant me the wisdom to recognize it, the humility to accept and understand it, the strength to admit it, and the courage to atone for whatever I have done to sow discord. Amen.”
I do not pray for Donald Trump to win. I pray for God to light our president’s path and to give him courage and strength to carry out God’s divine will. I suspect my prayers are not unlike the prayers of my Christian brothers and sisters who voted for a different candidate. Can our prayers alone not unite us?
America is ripe for tyranny
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
The most frightening thing about The World forcing us to make this fight about one man, is that tens of millions of Americans were willing to reflexively and blindly defend someone who was bound to act like a human. The World made us build Donald Trump into a god-like patriot we believed would fight for our American values to the death; and because he was willing to lay his life on the line for us, we reasoned, we were willing to lose everything for him. As much as The World demonized Trump, many of his supporters defensively deified him. If we didn’t fortify and shield him, we lost the debate, because all debates were framed around Trump.
This is what happens when your Fourth Estate is really just an extension of the Second Estate. By mindlessly parroting propaganda, the biased and corrupt media has deprived Americans of the ability to think and reason on their own, sending truth seekers scrambling for news sources in the most dangerous of places.
Techxecution: Big Tech’s Ideological Cleansing
Not only do conservatives feel we lack access to reliable news sources, we’re being systematically and intentionally erased from social media platforms, simply for expressing our opinions. Suddenly, a Miss Oklahoma and Top 10 finalist at Miss America, an award-winning former investigative journalist and trusted news anchor, a rescuer of horses, mother of successful young adults and believer in Jesus Christ, is a dangerous insurrectionist terrorist, swept up in Twitter’s mass techxecution and ideological cleansing.
Even if you’ve decided I’m your enemy, anyone who has ever met or spent time with me has to admit, I am no danger to society. But The World has decided my ideas are too dangerous for you to consider, and even my own children can tolerate the notion that I got myself into this. If I’m banned from the public square, doxed and shamed into submission or ruin, perhaps one day prohibited from doing business or providing for myself, I did it to myself. I’m the one who chose to do what I’ve done my entire life (and won awards for doing). I dared to reject what I was being spoon fed and asked, “What if they’re wrong?”
Trying on tinfoil hats
And because we’re criminally deprived of unbiased news, I fell into many a rabbit hole searching for truth. I actually followed with enraptured confidence an intelligence “insider” for days. I was comforted by his assurances from his sources, who said President Trump was in total control, that he had all the evidence he needed to capture and prosecute evil doers, and that all patriots needed to do was sit back and enjoy the show. His updates brought me great comfort, until I learned my super-secret agent intelligence insider was, in fact, a driving instructor who believed he was regularly abducted by aliens with whom he had sexual relationships that led to hybrid offspring. I sh*t you not.
Me. An award-winning investigative journalist. I was so hungry for information and so distrustful of the media that I scoured the darkest corners of the internet for super-secret insiders I was sure had the type of raw, unfiltered intel I craved.
That’s just one of the dangers of this moment. The other is that, many honest, God-fearing Americans are open to the notion of Donald Trump and his secret shadow government invoking one of the executive orders they determined gave him the absolute authority to declare martial law until the facts of the election and ensuing events could be sorted out by the military. Statements from the Director of National Intelligence and National Security Advisor seemed to point directly to implementation of sanctions under Executive Order 13848, and many Americans were prepared for a military takeover of the federal government, which could cede power to unelected generals or others who may or may not be willing to relinquish it when the time came. Anything was better than the alternative in their minds.
When you rob free people of their rights (particularly free speech), when you manipulate what they’re allowed to hear and see, when you allow tyranny to run rampant through corporate media and social media; when you allow oligarchs to wield unprecedented power and erase people and ideologies from the public sphere, free people become desperate. They turn to dangerous substitutes for the news they should be able to rely upon for facts without commentary. And they put their faith in the flawed humans that carry their banner, willing to cede power to just about anyone if it means saving them from what they see as encroaching tyranny.
Tyranny for tyranny
I pray that if this moment teaches us anything, it’s that you can’t trade one tyranny for another. No one’s tyranny is acceptable, and there is no such thing as a little bit of temporary tyranny. Once tyranny is allowed a foothold, it’s here to stay. Forever.
America was created of, by and for the people; but the people have lost control. Let me rephrase that. The World has stolen control from the people by pitting us against each other in an Uncivil War. As I said in a The Way I See It episode a while back, we are pawns on someone else’s game board, and the game master made Donald Trump the rules. Every move, every strategy, every penalty and reward was based upon him.
We all need to realize, this uncivil war is not about Donald Trump. Take him out of the equation. This war is for America; and only when Americans recognize we’re playing a game we can’t win, will we be able to unite and fight the real enemy for the soul of our country.