About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

North Carolina Patriots Help Influence Senator's Vote

Along with fellow Republican senators Susan Collins (ME) & Lisa Murkowski (AK) North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis was one of the first three Republican senators to say he would vote with all Democrats against President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency because Congress refused to spend $5.7 billion to construct a wall along 234 miles of our southwest border.
Since I expected this of Tillis, as well as Collins & Murkowski, I was very surprised when Senator Tillis's name was not on the list of the twelve Republican senators who voted to terminate Trump's Declaration of National Emergency: Alexander – TN, Blunt – MO, Collins – ME, Lee – UT, Moran – KS, Murkowski – AK, Paul – KY, Portman – OH, Romney – UT, Rubio – FL, Toomey – PA, & Wicker – MS.
Earlier this month I was briefed on the Tillis matter by very dear friends & charter members of RTE who had invited Carol & me to their house in NC.  Tillis is up for reelection in 2020 along with 21 other Republican incumbent senators versus 12 Democrat incumbent senators.  NC is a competitive state.
Below is our friend's letter to Senator Tillis on the subject.

Dear Senator Tillis,


Your recent decision to vote with Democrats and against your Party concerning the President's Emergency Funding for the border wall is truly a huge disappointment!  The situation at the border is certainly an emergency. I know this with first hand knowledge from relatives who live near the border in Texas and Arizona.


( Why is it that Democrats have no problem sticking together? )


You are an embarrassment to your state and discredit your own political party!


I will remember your decision at Primary time and encourage everyone I know in the Old North State to do likewise.


Very truly yours,

A concerned voter


Our NC friends also had received the following response to their above letter from Senator Tillis that they shared with us. 


Dear NC Resident:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me about President Trump's National Emergency Declaration. I appreciate hearing from you.
As you may know, on February 15, 2019, President Trump issued a national emergency declaration in order to provide the rest of the funds he had previously requested through Congress to secure the southern border.
Let me be clear: I strongly agree with President Trump that there is a humanitarian and drug crisis at our border. It's unfortunate that some elected officials are denying this reality, because the numbers do not lie. Every year, hundreds of undocumented immigrants die trying to cross our border, and tens of thousands of Americans die from heroin-related overdoses, the vast majority of which is smuggled from the southern border.
That is why I have repeatedly supported and voted in favor of President Trump's plans to secure our borders and reform our nation's broken immigration system. In fact, last Congress I worked directly with President Trump and my Senate colleagues to introduce legislation based on President Trump's border security plan. This bill, known as the Secure and Succeed Act, included $25 billion for border security including walls, barriers, and other infrastructure. However, this legislation did not ultimately gain the support needed from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to become law. I wholeheartedly share President Trump's frustration that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have continually blocked the reasonable and good faith efforts to secure our borders and I stand with him in his efforts to protect the American people.
Due to Congressional obstruction, I understand why President Trump took the step of making a national emergency declaration, which would provide about $8 billion for border security infrastructure.
Please know that my concern with the emergency declaration has nothing to do with the President's goal of securing the border, but it is about maintaining Congress' power of the purse and preventing a future president from exploiting this precedent for their own agenda.
For example, in recent weeks, we have heard from two prominent elected officials who entertained the notion of removing walls and physical barriers, effectively opening up our borders. If we had a president who shared their views, they could also declare a national emergency, and use those same funds, originally appropriated by Congress for other purposes, to literally tear down border security infrastructure that already exists.
I applaud President Trump's efforts and determination to deliver on the promises he made to the American people and I will continue to work with him on ways to provide for billions of dollars in additional funding to finally secure our border and protect the American people. I know we can get it done.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Please do not hesitate to contact me again about other important issues.
Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator
Now our friends were surprised to hear that Carol & I agreed with much of Tillis's above response.
The part we disagreed with is "preventing a future president from exploiting this precedent for their own agenda."  We think that any future Democrat president would declare a national emergency for any purpose whatsoever regardless of any precedent Trump's border wall funding sets.  The cat is out of the bag.
Nevertheless Tillis made a speech on the Senate floor & wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying "Republicans need to realize that this will lead inevitably to regret when  Democrats once again controls the White House, cites the precedent set by Trump, & declares his or her own national emergency to advance a policy that couldn't gain congressional approval."  So Tillis really believes this.
But on March 15, one day after the Senate voted 59 to 41 to support the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration, our NC friends received notice from Senator Tillis that he had reversed course & voted against the disapproval resolution.  Our friends sent Carol & me the following message of explanation from Tillis.

Dear NC Resident:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about President Trump's National Emergency Declaration.  I want to give you an update on the vote that occurred in the Senate yesterday.

I voted with President Trump and against the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration.

From the beginning, I agreed with President Trump that there is a crisis at our southern border and have always supported his desire to build new infrastructure and barriers.

The concerns I raised about declaring a National Emergency to secure border wall funding were never about what President Trump is trying to accomplish but rather with setting a precedent that a future Democratic president would exploit to bypass Congress to implement policies well outside the mainstream.

Over the past several weeks, I've met with the Vice President and senior White House staff to build consensus on amending the National Emergencies Act.  I'm incredibly encouraged by the historic commitment from the President to restore proper balance between the executive and legislative branches.

While the Trump Administration is working in good-faith with Congress to amend the National Emergencies Act,  I was very disappointed that Democratic leaders have outright rejected attempts to do so, in addition to calling the dire situation at the southern border a 'manufactured crisis.'

In the coming weeks, I'll continue to work with the White House and my Republican colleagues on a long-term solution, and I hope some of my Democratic colleagues will join us.

All the best,

Thom Tillis, U.S. Senator

In his Senate floor speech given as part of the lead up to the Senate vote on the Resolution of Disapproval on the National Emergency Declaration Senator Tillis said that he had "received a lot of feedback" on his initial decision to vote with the Democrats to negate Trump's declaration.

After receiving the above unsolicited update from Senator Tillis our NC friends summed it up best when they wrote to me "Well it looks like I am on the Senator's mailing list now!  My letter must have made an impact."

I'll say it made an impact – along with all the other feedback the senator received. 

In this series of events Tillis did not write canned boiler plate letters like we have all received from politicians.  He also did not cave after listening to his constituents in a blatant attempt just to get reelected but rather offered a reasonable explanation of why he changed his vote after consulting with the Vice President to address his concerns.

The work & persistence shown by two patriots in NC are an example of what Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he responded to Elizabeth Powell's question @ the end of the Constitutional Convention about what sort of government the delegates of the Convention had created on September 17, 1787 – "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."                    



  1. Thank you Doug for this thoughtful, insightful analysis of what happened regarding the Tillis vote. Your acknowledgement of Tillis's real response to his constituents is applauded. Sometimes our elected officials will actually listen.

  2. I’ll reflect on this. Rand Paul might have been the only one I heard make his convictions clear to not allow presidents go around Congress - some followed his lead, and some got scared to fight a Democrat president who might do the same. And some Republicans still hate Trump just as much as Democrats do.

    Trump is right fighting for the American people, never heard any congressperson feed and house any of the illegals in their home. No they say it is a national problem not an individual one. Only so many can be helped - the broader situation is a “Rules for Radicals” 101; namely, overload the system.

  3. God bless your concerned, diligent, and pro- active charter members. I believe they allowed Senator Tillis to review and reverse his decision. May all of us be as vigilant.