By Carol King
No matter what conclusion the 2020 Presidential election brings, Republicans have attained solid control of numerous state governments in key areas of the U.S. While this should ensure plenty of recourse for patriotic Americans seeking to offset the curbs on their freedoms from a potential Biden administration, there are only rare instances of Republican or conservative state leaders using their power to defend the Constitution. Democrats in positions of power at the state level, by contrast, apply their disruptive and left-leaning agendas with unsurpassed vigor and zeal. Think about all the recent unconstitutional changes to election law and unconstitutional, unequal restrictions enacted to combat Covid-19.
Election 2020 at the state level
In November, Republicans gained control of legislatures in Alaska, New Hampshire and the governorship in Montana. They did not lose any they already held and, in several places including Pennsylvania, added seats to the majorities they already had. Currently, Republicans control both legislative chambers in 31 states; Democrats have 18. Additionally, Republicans hold the full trifecta of power—governorships, state Congress and state Senate—in 24 of those states. Democrats have the equivalent in only 15 states. The rest have divided government.
For the last four years, there was a noted push in liberal states, such as New York and California, to aggressively oppose the Trump administration, even in areas that are reserved for federal law—Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcing deportations. If Biden takes power on Jan. 20, 2021, state-level Republicans will do well to throw out nervous indecisive qualms and act similarly resolute. A taste of what that looks like came in the form of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “Combating Violence, Disorder, and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” and Oklahoma state Senator Nathan Dahm’s legislation to make Oklahoma a sanctuary state from Joe Biden’s gun control agenda.
DeSantis combats violence, disorder and looting
Legislation proposed by Gov. DeSantis deals with the increase in crime, violence and unrest. It aims to dissuade protestors from rioting and looting in Florida, protect law enforcement officers from punitive action for defending themselves, and protect citizens who act in self-defense.
The proposal calls for felony penalties when protesters block traffic without a permit, and penalties for protesters who participate in gatherings of seven or more people that result in injuries, property damage, destruction of statues or harassing citizens. These are all part of the behaviors used by Antifa and BLM that proliferated without punishment in 2020. Notably, DeSantis proposes to protect motorists from liability if they injure or kill mob members while fleeing for their own safety. This became problematic during summer riots when BLM rioters blocked traffic and put motorists in danger of choosing between being physically attacked, having their vehicle assaulted or risk running over those blocking the road.
DeSantis also rejects calls to defund the police, and said any Florida municipality that seeks to do so would lose state funding. A six-month mandatory minimum sentence will be sought for anyone convicted of using force against a law enforcement officer or throwing anything at them during an unlawful assembly, and anyone charged with crimes would face a hearing in court before being released on bail or bond. This bears down on the catch-and-release problem we saw throughout the summer riots, where those taking part in violence were released from jail the next day and charges dropped.
If DeSantis’ proposal is adopted, those who are found to have helped fund or organize an unlawful or violent protest could be subject to federal prosecution under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Senator Rand Paul had brought this issue up after the Republican Conference in late August when he demanded investigations into who is financing air travel, supplies and accommodations for protestors. “It really is a federal crime to incite a riot and to fly people around to instigate violence. And I think that’s what’s happening,” he said. “We’ve got to get to the bottom of this one person at a time, and once we have suspicion . . . ask a judge for a warrant to look at their financial records.”
He added that funders may be “nefarious rich individuals who want to foment violence in our cities, or it could be less sinister but still equally bad.” For example, Black Lives Matter collects millions from corporations who want to show the public that they’re not racist, but these corporations should be able to find out if Black Lives Matter is giving it to people to create havoc in cities. By using the RICO Act here, DeSantis can investigate who funds rioters.
DeSantis says his proposal will be a “focal point” of Florida’s next legislative session, beginning March 2021.
Oklahoma is a sanctuary for Americans who value the 2nd Amendment and Constitutional rights?
Republicans in Oklahoma came out of the November election with an 82-19 majority in the state House and 39-9 majority in the Senate. These super-majorities are even greater than what Democrats have in California, so it would seem to be straightforward to create a sanctuary state for freedom, self-defense and patriotic values.
After the election, Oklahoma News 9 reported that Oklahoma state Senator Nathan Dahm is drafting legislation to thwart potential Federal gun control measures at the local level. He said, “A lot of how the feds try to implement these things is through local law enforcement, whether it’s county sheriffs or local police departments, and they try to attach funding to that to force those cities and counties to do that. So, what we could do is make sure that those cities and counties don’t accept any federal funding to implement any gun control measures.” Dahm noted that similar legislation had been proposed in the past but was defeated due to liberal-leaning Republican objections.
Criticism of Dahm’s proposal has come from Biden-supporting groups like Moms Demand Action, which claims his measures are unconstitutional. While DeSantis was criticized in a Daytona Beach News Journal editorial for violating the principles of free expression that this nation was founded on, it said his proposal is “clearly meant to intimidate people engaged in peaceful protest, and deepen the rifts between police and the communities they serve, to the detriment of both.” Will critics succeed in defending such claims before a Supreme Court with a majority of textual and originalist judges? From here, it looks like Dahm and DeSantis are the ones upholding the Constitution.
2021 is the year for Republicans to use their robust power at the state level to fight like President Trump on the issues, and govern in accordance with constitutional values. Bold, patriotic state-level Republicans (Doug Masteriano, Dawn Keefer, Bob Spindell and Dean Knudson) have been leading the calls against voter fraud, ballot harvesting or voting without identification. Over the next few years, regardless of who is President, the job for patriotic Republicans, encouraged by their base, will be to make red states great again, and embark on an agenda dedicated to the Constitution’s principles and rights. Some of these include:
- Defending civil and religious liberties
- Zero tolerance for violent crime
- Defending the Second Amendment and the right to self-defense
- Saying no to big tech companies that censor speech
- Making sure elections are fair
Carol King received a first class BA (honors) in History and Politics from Stirling University, along with an exceptional commendation for a study on US public opinion and Foreign Policy. She also completed a year of study at University of London before taking up a Graduate Proctor Fellowship at Princeton University. She further completed a MPhil in American Politics at Dundee University. Aspiring to be a writer/commentator on American politics, she now writes for UncoverDC.