- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2017

A recent NBC News poll revealed that 71 percent of millennials — now considered to be the nation’s largest potential voting bloc — pine for a third political party. There are an estimated 75 million Americans aged 18-34; their beliefs, sentiments and motivations continue to fascinate and occasionally confound the demographic researchers — but not necessarily those who actually belong to a third party.

Wes Benedict, executive director of the Libertarian Party, now reports that a record-breaking number of people have registered to attend the 2018 Libertarian National Convention in New Orleans. The jaunty theme of the event in June is “I’m THAT Libertarian.”

Things are percolating. Speakers are lining up. An online store now boasts multiple items in the party’s signature gray and yellow color theme. A camouflage ball cap with “Libertarian” embroidered on it in bright orange is new this year. The Libertarians also have an ambitious goal of placing 2,000 of their own candidates on assorted local, state and national ballots nationwide next year — three times the number who entered races in 2014.

Libertarian National Committee Chairman Nicholas Sarwark is currently running for mayor of Phoenix, and looks every bit the ambitious candidate. The married father of three young children is also an attorney who has served as public defender and a small business owner, Mr. Sarwark has planned his first campaign rally for the first week of January.

The committee itself meets in New Orleans this weekend for two days of planning meetings and strategy — plus much discussion about plans for their 2020 presidential convention.

TRUMP’S STRATEGIC DETERRENCE

Thanks to President Trump, the definition of “acting presidential” has been reinforced with some extra steel — and one veteran observer recognizes the value of a bold and forthright American leader on the global stage.

Let us turn our attention to Donald Rumsfeld, who served as secretary of defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. Ah, but there’s much more. Mr. Rumsfeld was also a Navy aviator, a three-term congressman representing Illinois, an adviser in the Nixon administration and counselor to the president, U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and White House Chief of staff for Ford. Among other things.

Mr. Rumsfeld knows the political landscape well. In a recent conversation with Fox News prime time host Laura Ingraham, he weighed in on the potential threat of Russia and China — and offered some further insights.

“I don’t know President Trump. I’ve never met him. But I certainly think that his demeanor in the presidency is a deterrent to those two countries. He’s not tucked in and worried and cautious. He’s a bold leader, and he speaks his mind. And it seems to me that people sitting in the Kremlin and in Beijing see that, and are probably respectful of the fact that it is not in their interest to engage in things that are disadvantageous to the United States,” Mr. Rumsfeld said.

“I voted for Trump and I wouldn’t have voted for Hillary. And I get up in the morning and say to myself, ‘I think the country is better off today than if we had Hillary in the presidency,’” he added.

NOT SO SURE ABOUT THE ‘COLLUSION’ TEAM

“As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, one-in-three voters believe the probe is fueled by a political agenda,” says a new Rasmussen Reports survey pegging that number at 33 percent.

Among Republicans, 42 percent agree with that, along with 36 percent of independents. Forty nine percent overall, however, say the Mueller team is “impartial.” The survey found that 35 percent of GOP voters, 46 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.

Meanwhile, a notable 19 percent overall simply aren’t sure what “intentions” are behind the investigation, a sentiment shared by 23 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 17 percent of Democrats.

WALKING THE WALK

Discussion and occasional hysteria continues in the news media over President Trump’s decision to recognize the significance of Jerusalem, and amend American policy on that matter. One former campaign rival has a positive thing or two to say about it.

“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and I applaud @POTUS for seeing through America’s promise to relocate its embassy there. This is an important show of solidarity with Israel, one of our nation’s greatest allies,” tweeted Jeb Bush in the aftermath of Mr. Trump’s decision.

For the uninitiated, @POTUS is the president’s official Twitter designation, though his personal handle — @realdonaldtrump — tends to draw more interest.

RedState.com founder Erick Erickson, meanwhile, also offered a thumbs up to the president in a op-ed titled “Jerusalem is why Trump’s in the White House,” which appeared on FoxNews.com.

“President Trump is committing the most grievous ‘sin’ any politician in Washington can commit. He is walking the walk instead of just talking the talk. This is the behavior that is responsible for his election,” writes Mr. Erickson.

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Elvis Presley’s “Honeymoon Hideaway,” built in 1962 on one acre in Palm Springs, California, and occupied by the iconic star and his new bride Priscilla in 1966-67. Also known as “the House of Tomorrow,” the mid-century modern style features three levels, curved glass walls, natural stone accents. Five bedrooms, five baths, circular open-concept living room and with glass fireplace; 5,000-square-feet total space. Mountain views, tennis court, oversized pool, orchard, intricate landscaping. Priced at $5.9 million through Rodeore.com; find the home here

POLL DU JOUR

74 percent of Americans say “sexual assault and harassment” is an important issue in America; 61 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats agree.

69 percent overall say proposed changes to the federal tax system is an important issue; 71 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of Democrats agree.

59 percent say the chance of a federal government shutdown is an important issue; 47 percent of Republicans and 65 percent of Democrats agree.

52 percent say the status of young “Dreamers” who are illegally in the U.S. is important; 46 percent of Republicans and 55 percent of Democrats agree.

49 percent overall say the Russian collusion investigation is important; 19 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,503 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 4 and released Thursday. The poll did not break out separate numbers for “independent” voters.

Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin

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