John Livingston

Assault on the Idaho Freedom Foundation

The fake news and “the swamp” are alive and well in Idaho. For all his faults Donald Trump had the courage and fortitude to confront the corruption in Washington DC. Like a modern-day King Cyrus who helped the Hebrews escape 70 years of captivity and return to their homeland and reestablish the Temple, Mr. Trump’s pragmatic assault on the status quo helped to energize a political coalition and caused fear amongst the ruling classes. False witness and calumnies were the bases of the assaults today not only on Mr. Trump. But also, on the 80million people who voted for him in 2020. In Idaho, the media and the RINO Republicans are feeling threatened by the same coalition of Conservative—Constitutional—Christians. The biggest difference between Mr. Trump and the RINO Washington establishment is that he is willing to fight for us—no matter the consequences to himself and his family. Moral courage is a prerequisite for political courage. Despite all our faults, we are given “do overs” in life, and Mr. Trump has more than his share of “do overs”. The greatest case for “do overs” that I ever heard was in a commencement speech at the College of Idaho by our former Governor Butch Otter who also took advantage of his many second chances—I could say the same thing, and used them to help the people he represented, though in his last years in office be began to believe that government was “the final solution” to the problems of WE THE PEOPLE.

I attended a meeting of The Texas Pacific Group (TPG) in New Orleans ten years ago and one of the attendees at the meeting asked where I was from, and I told him Boise Idaho. He opined that it was a dirty little secret that Idaho was one of the most corrupt states in the country. He further volunteered that he was talking in terms of moral corruption but “where there is moral corruption, eventually legal corruption will follow”. He talked about the symbiotic relationships between government agencies and insurance companies, large health care providers, and other industries that have corporate executives serving on each other’s boards even when they are customers and vendors with relationships and transactions tied to the boards that they are sitting on. He specifically talked about people representing specific industries sitting on government advisory boards of agencies that are charged with regulating the industries represented by their board members! The process of the “”Declaration” and “Disclosures” of conflicts of interest is never a consideration in the “Idaho Cesspool”—his words. The bottom line was that he was not going to invest in organizations operating in this type of an environment. (PS) He ultimately did—as Adlai Stevenson once opined: “There comes a time when we must all rise above principle”—and he made lots of money.

What does all this have to do with the Idaho Freedom Foundation and the assault by the “swamp” and the “mainstream media” on that organization? Before I proceed with my case in the name of full disclosure for the past several years, I have been the Medical Advisor to that organization. I have not always agreed with their strategies, but I do agree with the political philosophy that serves as the bases of their policies. I believe the issues that restricted our freedoms during Covid deserved more coverage than they got from the (IFF). Education and Critical Race Theory (CRT) are important and deserve the emphasis that they are receiving from (IFF), but health care mandates and lockdowns and Crises Standards of Care(CSC) are every bit as important. What is common to both is the CORRUPTION of Education and Healthcare. Corruption is the issue. Corruption is a family value issue. Busy families don’t have time to read policy papers or follow the legislature, but they do understand when the cost and access to health care is compromised, or when teachers believe they can teach their children anything they want to teach them and that they aren’t accountable to parents who pay taxes to pay their salaries, they understand and become engaged.

What attracted me to the IFF was its’ commitment to ideas. I had been disappointed by people (politicians) so often, that I felt that an allegiance to principle would be easier to live with than a commitment to a person who over times could be corrupted by lobbyists and special interests—as has often been the case. I am not a libertarian, but rather I define myself as a Constitutional Christian Conservative, so I do have some differences with libertarians especially when it comes to opening our State to drugs.

Christ Troupis Book

The KTVB “piece” is an attack on the IFF not based on “who they are” but based on their principles and what they believe. When the political—corporate—media swamp cannot compete with conservatives on the battlefield of ideas, they revert to the Saul Alinsky playbook RULES FOR RADICLES. Demeaning people and organizations is easier than debating ideas. Remember what the media and “swamp” said about Donald Trump. “Russian Operative”, orchestrated circuitous collusions between media—CIA—FBI—Mueller Investigation, and two Faux Impeachments, mainstream media (CNN/NYTs WPO), The DNC and Hillary Clinton Campaign. All to shut down debate. They were scared “stupid” by Donald Trump and his conservative supporters. Still are.

The “Swamp” in Boise is scared “stupid” of organizations like the IFF. Just look to the editorial pages of Idaho’s major news organizations and see who they feature—Jim Jones and Bob Kustra. See who their reporter’s interview who give us insight into major issues like education and health care. Representatives reflect a point of view of teachers’ unions and hospital systems and large insurance companies—not families or parents or patients. The “Swamp” is lazy. They march to the same beat, and the same tune and “News” has become boring. The media exists in an eco-chamber. They listen and hear only each other—watch PBS Idaho Reports sometime. Read the Statesman or any other newspaper in the State—almost all owned and operated by out of state corporations that have a vested interest in a political narrative that is fundamentally at odds with “Idaho values” .

I don’t agree with the goals of organizations like The American Civil Liberties Union, The Idaho Medical Association(IMA) or Idaho Hospital Association(IHA), or Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry(IACI) or The Teachers Union(s), I would never set out to attack any of those organizations via the back door of character or organizational assassination. Mr. Jones did this when he attacked Dr. Ryan Cole for his ideas based on sound scientific principles because of his mitigation recommendations. CEOs—past and present at St. Luke’s using their media allies did the same thing. So did the CEO of the (IMA). They don’t want to engage in a battle of ideas because they don’t have the confidence in their own ideas to debate with those who disagree with them. Same with those who attacked the Tea Party and Sarah Palin. Same with those who attacked Janice McGeachin and Priscilla Giddings. Same those that have thrown bombs at other conservatives in the legislature and those running for office like Ed Humphreys and Ammon Bundy. Those who are not willing to fight, retreat to dark corners of calumnies and false witness. They are cowards for refusing to engage on the battlefield of ideas.

I proudly support organizations like the (IFF). I don’t agree with all their positions or strategies, but at least they are willing to stand up and fight for their principles. So many of those who attack them don’t even know what their own principles are. They march in lockstep based on a political narrative, not on any ideas. “Boogey man bad”. “Orange Man Bad”. “Conservative or libertarians bad”. The “swamp” in any other world would not be a “worthy opponent”, but because they are making the rules and they control the levers of influence, look at what the RINO Speaker Bedke did to Priscilla Giddings, they have a home field advantage. We have the ideas. Now we must become focused and stop fighting each other. We can win in Idaho just like Mr. Trump won in Washington. Mr. Little and the RINOs think they can just stand by and let us beat ourselves. Let’s not get diverted by attacks like those on the IFF. The fight for the “soul” of Idaho is within our grasp. It is winnable. The closer we get the more ad homonym attacks and personal attacks will be launched against us.

Remember what Sun Tzu said: “The more your enemies yell and rattle their swords, the less they are likely to attack—Beware of the enemy that chooses silence—they know victory is within their grasp”

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