The Answer with Ben Armenta

Ep. 1 - Why Families Must Be Engaged In Politics

January 02, 2023 Ben Armenta Season 1 Episode 1
The Answer with Ben Armenta
Ep. 1 - Why Families Must Be Engaged In Politics
Show Notes Transcript

Conservatives and Christian-led families are constantly under attack in today’s culture. In this episode, we begin the discussion on why now, more than ever, should we build politically active families. I share a bit about the journey my family has taken and where The Answer will head in the coming weeks, months and years.
 
 Click here to learn more about Ben: http://bit.ly/3WJ1Czl

---

Today’s Sponsor(s):

Gambit Construction – go to www.gambitconstruction.com

---

Socials:

Follow on Twitter: http://bit.ly/3CeR2YJ

Follow on Instagram: http://bit.ly/3XfBADV

Follow on Facebook: https://bit.ly/3vw8ww4

Unknown:

Hey everybody. On today's episode of the answer, we begin the discussion about why families can no longer ignore what's happening in politics, and how each and every one of us can and should begin to create a politically active family. Please consider supporting this podcast. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook at Ben ArmentaTexas. You can also find out more about my story at benarmenta.com. Everybody, I'm so excited to welcome you to my new podcast the answer with Ben Armenta. This podcast is intended to reach moms and dads everywhere and is focused on bringing discussions, ideas and interviews, all centered around the intersection of family and politics. We'll share some interesting perspectives. And we'll certainly ask some great questions along the way. But ultimately, the answer always lies in Jesus Christ and his ability to move you and your family to make our world a better place. I'm going to have a new episode out at least once a week. And if you like the content that I typically post on social media, and you want to be informed about how politics is better with you and your family in it, then this is definitely the podcast for you. This is the place where I'm going to go ahead and dive deep into the issues that matter to every one of us. And this is the place where we'll never apologize ever for protecting the role of families in our culture. We've seen parents and families attacked and framed as social pariahs recently, people like Jeremy story and Dustin Clark, I don't know if you guys remember them. But they were two dads in Round Rock who went to the school board advocating for their rights and the rights of their kids. And they're ultimately arrested. And then there's dads like Jeff younger, who fought to stop the gender reassignment surgery, I have a seven year old twin son. Now this is a super sad story. Because just this week, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against a petition that he had filed. And ultimately it looks like his ex wife, who has taken his son's to California now has the green light to potentially move forward with the gender reassignment surgery over his over his kid. There's also the parents in Dearborn, Michigan, Christians, Muslims, all different types of folks from all different types of faith, coming together to fight to remove X rated books from public school libraries. And the consistent thing here is, is that every single one of these instances, every single one of these parents, families, they're all ridiculed by the media. They're all made fun of. They're all highlighted as outcasts and outliers. But that just isn't the truth. And this is the podcast, that's going to bring light to the truth to where the answer lies, and point people to the right direction to create the change that they want in their own communities. This podcast is important, because it is high time that we come together to focus on what's happening in our society and in our culture, and become way more engaged in politics, because that is where we can actually do something about it. This podcast is where we're going to share some stories, and some messages, and some of them like Jeff's our messages of heartache, but they're also our messages of hope, and inspiration. And I'm gonna do everything I can to bring those to light. But I want to leave you with one important thing to think about here. And that is that this podcast, the answer is where we're going to make a stand together. For years now, I've talked about how conservatives, many of whom are Republicans have been on defense for way too long. And we take the liberals and the left wing media for granted we underestimate them, because every single time they do the devil's work, and they do it well. They twist words that create a different story, a different narrative than the truth. And ultimately, it puts conservatives back on their heels. It forces conservatives to go on defense. But being on defense doesn't get us to where we want to be. We've got to even go beyond just holding the line. Holding the line isn't going to cut it. The New York Times He has begun to frame the political divide in our country. Now. I mean, how many of you are shocked that there's a political divide in our country? Yeah, nobody is shocked. we all we all feel and sense and can tell that there is absolutely a political divide. But the New York Times, and, you know, I get it, I get it, that they're definitely left leaning. But the New York Times has begun to frame the political divide in our country, as being less about left versus right. And less about conservative versus liberal and Democrat versus Republican. They're sort of recasting it as the divide is more about those people who follow politics closely. And those who don't. And they're the term that they're coining is the political attention divide the attention divide. I tend to agree with that. I mean, there are people kind of like myself, who are political junkies, I mean, I focus and read all up on everything from social challenges to geopolitical conflicts, locally, conflicts and public policy issues at the federal level, and even internationally. I watch news, all different kinds of news. I'm on Twitter, I'm getting this stuff constantly. But the vast majority of people don't. And it's not right. Or, in fact, I really admire most of those folks, because they go about their business. And they're probably way more at peace, and restful and relaxed than I am. But according to the research of the New York Times, just 15 to 20% of Americans follow politics closely. I mean, that sounds about right, maybe even a little high. And Pew Research isn't an interesting fact, Pew Research said that 10% of Twitter users are responsible for 97% of all political tweets. So Park four minute everything that's going on with Elon Musk, everything that's going on with revamping Twitter, and bots and all that stuff. We know there are definitely things going on that are nefarious, but 10% of Twitter users are responsible for 97% of all political tweets. So you've got all these people who are even out there on social media, who are thumbing through things scrolling through their feeds, looking at videos, looking at pictures and coming across political things, but they're not even really that engaged. They're certainly not engaged enough to reply, retweet, repost, very few people do that. So the problem with the political attention divide is that if you are engaged, at some level, paying attention, understanding what's going on around you, understanding what the trends are locally, and at state level, and federally, if you aren't paying attention to those things, politics, and public policy will be done to you. As opposed to with you. And more importantly, for you, is a big deal. We, how many of you go about our day, and you're thinking to yourself, Man is gas prices are crazy. You got all this up and down yo yoing of, of prices of goods and services. And then how many of you are thinking about well, the votes I cast. And the lack of attention, or the amount of attention that I give to these things are directly correlated with the outcomes of these policies and what's happening, whether it's economics, whether it's security, whether it's education, health care, all of those things are mandated and driven and dictated by very few people. And my hope is that through mediums like this particular podcast, we can engage more families to get involved and to advocate for their kids, for their family, for their community, for their faith and for their values. Now, the most I've said for quite some time now that the most dangerous person in politics is an uninformed voter. So let me ask you this How many of you in recent elections have gone to the polls, and have looked at the names on the ballot? Maybe of the judges, or county commissioners or whomever? And you've thought to yourself, I have no idea who these people are. And then you're forced with a dilemma. Are you going to cast a vote for somebody whom you have no idea who they are? Or are you not going to vote at all. And both of those scenarios present very bad outcomes for conservatives. And for faith leaning individuals and families, you have got to go to the polls, knowing who you're going to vote for ahead of time, Rush Limbaugh used to call that individual the low information voter. And he spent a lot of time doing some research on how the left and the liberals and the Democrats targeted messaging to the low information voters so that the low information voters felt like the Democrats were always doing what was best for them for society. So let me take a step back here, why family and politics. So ultimately, nothing is more central to the fabric of American life than the American family and the nuclear family. The vast majority of of early day immigrants came to the shores as families, even those that came as individuals, many, many husbands came early and look to find work. And even today, honestly, a lot of legal immigration happens, where a breadwinner will come to the United States, start to establish a working record, send some money back and then ultimately apply for immigration for their entire family and bring their family over and in future podcasts. We'll we'll spend some time talking about immigration and its impact in our in our local neighborhoods and communities and states. But the American family came to the shores, it's who we are families built businesses. My family immigrated several generations ago, both from Mexico and from Scotland. And my family is a family of entrepreneurs started many small businesses, grocery stores, barber shops, and, and ranch stores. And being in business allows you to provide for your for your family, and families are a core part of making those businesses be successful, working in the stores, growing them, creating generational businesses and handing them down your families of grown communities. The fact that the United States created coming out of World War Two, the essentially suburbia, we created the suburban tracts, suburban homes, we created these sense of communities that were beyond just the the neighborhoods in the urban centers. We do it as families. In in Houston, where I live, there's all kinds of great history on the pockets of different communities, the Jewish communities, the Vietnamese communities, the on Duris community, the Venezuelan communities are so many around here. And it allows immigrants and families when they're together, to maintain a sense of identity, maintain a sense of culture, a sense of faith, and families continue to be that glue for society. And as I mentioned earlier, politics matters. Politics is where the what you want in, in life for your family, beyond what you can just can control as a as an individual, or as a single family unit. Politics is where you can make that happen. You can build the security, the infrastructure, the framework, where you take care of each other And you set things up for future generations, as so many of the things that are going on in our lives today, whether it's economics, whether it's what's happening in our, in our schools, all of that is managed at a political level. And the challenge is that families, they're just not as engaged as they can or they should be. Imagine a world in which families come together to protect our kids, restore our values into the secular world, and hold our elected officials accountable. I mean, don't we all want that, regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum? Isn't that what we all aspire to. But it takes those families coming together, one person cannot do it by him or herself. Now, nothing makes me more frustrated, it used to make me sad, I would see this on TV, news clips or something on my social media feeds, sometimes on Facebook. But now I'm just frustrated and angry. So nothing makes me angrier than seeing a mom or dad, who has reached their wit's end with what's going on in their kids school, could be COVID related, could be academic related, could be security related safety, whatever. But they're frustrated. And they come to the school board, a school board who is voted by them, and works for them. And they have mustered up the courage to share their story, and to publicly ask for help. And when the camera pans out, and you can see a view of the audience. Nobody else is there. Nobody's there. Couple lonely other administrators sitting in the back, waiting for their turn, to speak, to present some budget line item. And the meantime, you've got this mom or dad pouring their heart out, pleading for help, trying to speak to the school board, from one parent to another from one community member to another. And nobody is there supporting them. And I think that's an enormous problem that we have. We as conservatives, don't show up in mass, we don't come together. And I think part of it is that maybe it's fear, lack of courage. Maybe it's a lack of empathy for others who are going through different challenges than maybe we personally have. But we're not asking for help. Or we're not uniting. We're not coming together with a common purpose and a common cause. But you know, when people do, great things happen, all you have to do is point to the elections. That happened in Virginia, the elections were, the parents said no more. We're tired of this nonsense in our schools, it is time for us to have a voice. You cannot shut us down. We care about our kids and our education. And the second, the unions come together to start to talk about how parents don't shouldn't have a voice in their child's education is when the parents united and they went and they spoke at the ballot box. And their elected a governor, lieutenant governor, Attorney General and many others, including at the school board's level, to shake things up and start to do what's right, and lead based on values and priorities. And by faith. That's what has to happen. We have got to do that we've got to come together. And what I intend to do with this podcast is to bring more stories to life, to help unite us and create a conversation where we can share the good, the bad, but ultimately, we come together to work together. I want to tell you the story today about how I got into politics, and how politics is an integral part of my family's life. See early on when we're talking at the beginning of this podcast. I shared that part of the mission here is really to create a community where people want politically active families concern relatives want to build a politically active family. But it's it has to be intentional. You can't just do it based on hope. I've said this, you know, the old adage in business and I say it all the time, hope is not a strategy, we're not going to get there, just by hope, we have to be willing to raise our hand and say, Put me in coach. So if you want to create the change, then you've got to commit to it. And you've got to make it happen. So let me share with you a little bit about my story. I grew up outside of Austin, in the Round Rock area, I was raised primarily really, as in a Democrat household. Both my parents were educators, Hispanics, strong Catholic family, so very grounded in our faith. And I think you'll probably come across this quite a bit, at least here in Texas, where there are a lot of very faithful, strong, Latinos, Hispanics, who are very rooted in their faith, yet they vote Democrat. And this is a this is a bit of a challenge. And the Democrats have been so good at painting a picture where the The belief is that Democrats are the kind party, the party that promotes kindness, and brotherhood. And ultimately, liberals and Democrats are geared way much more towards divisiveness, and not being inclusive. But ultimately, as I went away to school, I took kind of my left leaning ideas sort of with me as I've as I flew the coop. But I met many other conservatives actually, in in college, I met many conservatives, I went to went to Texas a&m, and I met my wife there, who is a strong conservative, and we got married while we were in school. And something happens when you get married, and you are young and poor, and broke. And you got to bootstrap it, and you got to get after it. I mean, we we didn't know we were doing. We were I guess I was we're both 21. And we're just trying to figure out how to finish paying for school, how to not take on too much debt. My wife graduated first and was able to get a job. And we had to decide what are we doing with all this? How are we going to save this invest? What's our life plan, we didn't know we're doing. We didn't, I had no clue what we were doing. But we started paying a whole lot more attention to the things that impact our finances, our ability to build the life that we wanted to, to live. And then I eventually got into business. I worked in, worked in nonprofit for a little while I worked as a public school teacher, which is interesting time in my life. And then I got into nonprofit work and I eventually got into business. And I first started out and big corporate business. So I didn't really see it at the time as left leaning. And sort of a pervasive with this agenda on building kind of a new world. I mean, the organization I worked for was very much a part of the World Economic Forum, and creating sort of a world without borders. And in the type of technology and oil and gas work that I did. It kind of fit, but I hadn't connected all the dots yet. But the second I started my own business. The second I started to have to make payroll myself and, and put food on the table, not just for me and my family, but also be accountable for making the payroll so others could put food on their table is really and I really woke up to conservatism. The power of minimizing regulations on businesses reducing taxes, helping people and families and individuals keep what they have earned. See, the light bulb went off at that sort of young age. And I've been a conservative ever since. And it's been important. As Christina and I have have matured over the years, we started to have kids, and continue to enrich our faith, that we connect the dots between our faith, and what Jesus Christ teaches us. With the business world, with the secular world, and the noise that goes on all around us, and the role of politics, and how politics can be a vehicle for doing good. And it can be a vehicle, absolutely, and clearly can be a vehicle for promoting conservatism. But we just need more people in the fight on offense. And so we made a conscious decision that look, we've got to raise our kids with eyes wide open. So over the years, clearly, they've they've participated with me in some of the things that I've done, they've gone out to various rallies, they've, as I've been in campaigns and helped with campaigns, they've been a part of that. But much more. You know, typical sort of day in the life. One of the things that we do is we participate with our kids, as they learn history. History is so important. And your kids grown off to school, they go and they learn things. But do you stop and have a conversation with them? About the history? Do you stop and have conversations with them, about our Founding Fathers, about how Texas came to be the good, the bad, the ugly, how we built a country that was absolutely about promoting the American dream, and people choosing the path that's best for them. But under this overarching umbrella of rich values, in faith, and in what Jesus Christ and God can do for us. And so that's, that's something that we spend a lot of time doing. And one of the things when they were very young, and it's got to be age appropriate when you're talking to your kids about politics, and yeah, at the kitchen table, or whatever. I mean, I get it, right. And my kids are older now. They're basically high school. But when they were younger, I mean, we used things like Rush Limbaugh wrote a series of books called rush, Revere. If you haven't checked out those books, or read them to your kids, or gotten them for your kids, they're great for, I don't know, I'd say maybe 4/4 grade to sixth grade. It's easy reads. They're fun. And it's great adventures that are had called rush, revere all different versions, I highly recommend the one that's about the first Thanksgiving and the history of our pilgrims. But But essentially, there's this time traveling horse with kind of Paul Revere, rush, revere character. And he comes and helps educate these kids and takes them back in time. So they can actually see history. It's a great way to, you know, get them talking about the Truth In History and what really happened. But it's it's everywhere. Politics is all around us. My son, and I just watched a bunch of World Cup matches, we totally got into it all. And we're not we don't play soccer. We don't, we don't follow it. But we with the World Cup, we got into it big time. Of course, we were rooting for the United States. But there's all these other countries and all these other things going on and so much to learn, as the media is talking about what's happening in Qatar, so many lessons to talk about there and the geopolitical impacts when the coverage is talking about the game between the United States and Iran. We talked a lot about that. And the media is portraying, in one message, a message of these athletes and you know, the hope and the competition, and there certainly is a thread of some truth through that. But the real reason why that matters is very similar to the Miracle on Ice and 1980. Like, let's let's not kid ourselves. Iran is an enemy of the United States, you can't just go start a business and a company and go start doing your business in Iran is restricted. You can't go do that. You can't go do that. And about 15 different countries around the world. And that's one of them. I mean, they are aggressive militarily. Geopolitically, they arrest Americans, they torture Americans. And it is important that that the people that are watching that game understand why it matters that the United States wins that it's not about advancing to the knockout round. That is great. But it is about what it means for those players with the American flag on their chests stepping on that field, and representing our country and beating an adversary. Look, those are the kinds of things that as a family, we can talk about, we can get them to become politically aware and know what's going on in our world. Every now and then, I'll flip my kids, a Prager, you story. Fantastic, excellent. resource for those of you if you don't follow PragerU, you absolutely should, or at least go on to their website and look at some of the videos are some great ones, three to five minute videos that come out, share some great messages from great conservative thought leaders. Just recently, my daughter and I had a detailed conversation about the history of Kwanzaa, and how that's a made up holiday, not religious in nature, made up by the left made to promote divisiveness within our country. And the second we got done with that conversation, she went off and did a bunch of research. Now, again, I She's older, she's not, you know, not five, I mean, she's a, She's a freshman in high school and and understands how to go about doing that. But we are building a family that is politically engaged, politically aware, can make your children and kids who can make decisions for themselves, like in three years, my daughter is going to vote for the first time. That's a big deal. And for years, my son's going to vote for the for for the first time, and he'll be eligible for the draft. And maybe one or both of them will go military, and then they'll they'll spread their wings, that who knows what's going to happen, they're going to make life choices. And just like you spend time building a foundation for them, and for your kids in their faith, you've got to do the same thing with politics, if you want them to understand how the world works, and to take action to do great things with it. So I want to read you an excerpt here as we close about a gentleman in Florida, who went to his local school board and had a very difficult time in front of them. And this is happening everywhere. It's happening everywhere. And this is sad, because there has to be more conservatives stepping up and representing their family values and getting engaged politically. It's not you don't have to be somebody who says I'm going to go run for something when you can. And we're going to meet some of them along the way, and we're going to talk to them. But sometimes you just need to speak up. So this comes to us from Fox News digital story. And this is in Clay County School District. And the dad's name is Bruce Friedman. Maybe it's Freidman, but I think it's probably Friedman. And this is in relation to some of the books that were in his kids schools that were essentially pornographic. And he says somebody failed drastically in their mission to protect children. A and he represents a excuse me, he represents a group called Florida's no left turn in education, but he says somebody failed drastically in their mission to protect the children. As soon as I announced that I was going to read from some books that parents found in the public school libraries that are clearly pornographic. They they've been the school board, cut his mic off. So this was in June of this year. He says in the school board meeting, I'm going to read things if there's chill During watching cover their ears, he said, one of the books the dad raised at the school board meeting was lucky by Alice Siebel, which entails a story of a college girl who is raped and included details of the attack. The Destiny discover online library software in Fleming Island High School and Orange Park High School in Lake County. included that book was titled lucky. Quote, I'm going to stop you right there. Mr. Friedman was told, turn off his microphone, please. Why Friedman is the problem. The problem is, sir, that these meetings are broadcast, there are people at home that are watching it on YouTube, there are people that are watching it on community television. Are you going to listen? Or are you going to run your mouth? This is the school board talking to him. The dad was told by the school board that he would not be allowed to read, quote, pornography on the broadcast. So this is the school board, noting that that those books were pornographic. Quote, there are federal and state laws that prohibit you from saying the things that you're getting out to say on television, there are state laws that prohibit and Federal Communication laws that prohibit you from publishing these things to a child, you don't have the ability at this point to determine who's watching the television show. And for you to say everybody cover your ears just doesn't cut it, the dad was told. So the school board is admitting that these are not appropriate for the airwaves. They're not appropriate for YouTube and think about the things that you and I have probably found on YouTube is not appropriate for YouTube. But it's still appropriate for the schools. So the dad protested. You'll get it back. But you'll get it back to talk about something besides reading pornography into a public television television set, the dad was told at 1.3 men went up to one of the school board members to put a try, he put a poster in front of them cetera, et cetera. I'm sort of paraphrasing here. And then he's he says this is the dad, Mr. Friedman. He says that he became an advocate to protect children in schools from curricula he deems to be poison, because he has skin in the game. He wants his 15 year old son to be in the public school system and to come home unharmed. And this is the thing, see, the left doesn't view those types of books as harmful. They don't view it as harmful. But you and I know that they are it is poison. The dad had previously placed his now 15 year old son and in New York public school for kindergarten and first grade, which caused quote considerable harm to him. In my experience, people don't get off the couch until it's on fire. Listen to that. People don't get off the couch until it's on fire. People don't work to protect their children until they're harmed. In my case, the same applies. I sent my son to public school for kindergarten and first grade, and they did considerable harm to my boy. And that is why I'm here. I never shook it off. I never stopped fighting. We got him into private school promptly after first grade, but the damage was done. It took five years, in my opinion to put him back on the right track. Now look, this is the message that we all have to take to heart like let's listen to Mr. Friedman, here. He is somebody who, whose child went through some difficult times at a very young age, and it took harm being done and being recognized by him as a parent, for him to get off the couch and do something about it. And this is what we have to take to heart. Do you want to wait until your child brings home a pornographic book From school before you do something about it? Do you want to wait until your daughter comes home from school and says that there was a boy being allowed to use the same restroom as she was before you do something about it? It is time for conservatives to get off the sidelines and come together and do something about it. So this podcast the answer, it's not about you or me necessarily. It's about us coming together grounded in our our faith in Jesus Christ. Our belief that conservatism is absolutely the path to to a better future in our local communities in our states and across our nation and really across our our world. And we can achieve it. If we create politically engaged families and do it together. Thank you so much for listening everybody. As always, you can email me your thoughts to Ben at Ben armenta.com Y'all be sure to like, follow and share this podcast with your family and friends. Next episode we'll spend some time challenging the status quo on transgender ideology and the erosion of the woman in today's society. Thank you again and God bless. The answer with Ben Armenta is brought to you today by Gambit construction, a leading multifamily general contractor, they have over 50 years of experience in renovations, restorations and rebuilds. But most importantly, they have strong conservative values just like you and me. Visit them today at gambitconstruction.com