Grassroots Conservatives discuss Syrian refugees and upcoming elections



Bill Pascoe illustrated a difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump through the presidential candidates’ campaign merchandise.

“Hillary’s shirts say, ‘Clinton for president,’” said Pascoe, legislative coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. “Trump’s say, ‘Trump for president. Make America great again.’ He’s the one with the message.”

Pascoe spoke about the national election and the state of the Tea Party at a Grassroots Conservatives meeting Wednesday night at the Monroe County Library.

Pascoe said America is now divided into a caste system with two groups: those in the Washington beltway and those outside it.

A politician’s job is to make sure their boss gets reelected, and their main goal is to be on the appropriations committee in Congress, Pascoe said.

“Washington is about one thing and one thing only – spending money,” Pascoe said. “Specifically, spending other people’s money.”

Pascoe said he is a conservative before a Republican. He discounted the Republican Party for participating in gerrymandering and not following the system of checks and balances established by the Founding Fathers in the United States Constitution.

“What made (the Constitution) magnificent is that it is premised on the idea that man is flawed,” Pascoe said.

Pascoe said these flaws are particularly evident within the current Congress.

Forty-six members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not returning to the next Congress, Pascoe said. He added there is a “Zombie Congress” in place through December that “is full of the walking dead.”

The Grassroots Conservatives also discussed the campaign to block Syrian refugee placement in Bloomington.

Robert Hall, head of the Grassroots Conservatives, said the county needs to hold a public hearing so Bloomington residents can learn what is going on with the Syrian refugee placement 
program.

Amy Jen, Bloomington resident, said the U.S. needs to consider how and if it can assist refugees.

“We love to help people, any people, period,” Jen said. “But do we have the 
capacity?”

Bill Scott, Bloomington resident, said that the refugees must be evaluated to ensure none are Islamic 
militants.

“There are one or more ISIS members in every Syrian group,” Scott said.

Syrian refugees go through additional screening on top of typical refugee screenings, which include biometrics and a lengthy overseas in-person interview, according the U.S. Department of State.

In March, the Bloomington Common Council unanimously passed a resolution to welcome Syrian refugees into the community and oppose Gov. Mike Pence’s statements against refugee resettlement in the state.

John Warkentin, a member of the Grassroots Conservatives, said he no longer has faith in the Republican Party and supports the Tea Party.

Warkentin said with the “refugee problem” and upcoming elections, he is worried about the future of America as he was after Pearl Harbor.

“I’m more concerned now than I was on December 8, 1941,” Warkentin said.

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