Good morning, everyone.
Well, it's Election Day. We’ll discuss a few candidates in Middle Tennessee who stick out to us below, but because there are no highly contentious races here and the only other news flying over the wire regards speculation about Davidson County Election Commission's districting failures and whether it's Democrats’ or Republicans’ fault (read our coverage here), I thought I'd bring up a candidate in a contentious race elsewhere, someone who may be charting a new course in American politics.
That candidate is Blake Masters (R), who is running for US Senate against incumbent Mark Kelly (D) in Arizona. We've brought up Masters a few times here and there over the past year.
Masters' background as COO of Thiel Capital gives him a patina of innovation and competence that’s typically absent from your standard senatorial candidate. He has sat in the saddle of Silicon Valley's economic machine and penned a book on it in conjunction with his former boss.
His first campaign ad opened with a simple declaration: you should be able to raise a family on one single income. In a later ad, Masters pronounced: "America isn't just an idea. We're a country. We're a people. With a history and a culture. This is the home of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone..." before going on to list a number of other prominent figures from America's past. Though I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house that celebrated all these figures, I have a sinking suspicion that many others were not.
What sets Western civilization apart from the rest of the world is its constant communion and dialogue with its past as recorded in its literature, art, and any number of other historical artifacts. What else can explain the Founders’ fascination with Rome, the endurance of Latin in liturgical ceremony, and our penchant for rehashing and revising our understanding of history through books, movies, and TV shows?
Someone who is aware of the living tradition he embodies is more likely to fight to preserve it. Someone unmoored from history with no perspective on where they stand in the stream of time—someone “rounded off” and self-contained—is far easier to manipulate and far more likely to believe that America, with its distinct patchwork of cultures and national identity– is merely an “idea.”
A common and abiding understanding of history is crucial to the survival and persistence of culture against all the forces that work against it. Civilization doesn't just happen. It is a concerted effort against entropic forces that move it toward disorder. If you've spent any amount of time in a garden, you understand what happens when you let it lay fallow for too long: nature reclaims it.
Masters has chosen to assert a distinct vision of the country, one that is neither reactionary nor fabricated but instead envisions a classically Western progression into the future without gutting its past. His candidacy offers an alternative to the world promised by Trump (who endorsed Masters), but, more importantly, it provides a counterpoint to the increasingly despotic and aloof American Left, which seems bent on bringing the country into a chaotic world without hope.
America is a people and a place with a culture and a history. That's what's really on the ballot, not Our Sacred Democracy™; the shared understanding that this country is not some abstract thought experiment but a material place with a people who should be honored as such. A government that understood this would not deny the impact of inflation. It wouldn’t force medical procedures on its citizens, ship billions of tax dollars abroad, refuse to secure its borders, or declare that parents have no role in their children’s education. It’s really that simple.
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Thanks for reading.
⬅ WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY ➡
Yesterday, The Pamphleteer invited Aaron Spradlin of Mission America and Gary Humble of Tennessee Stands into the office for our first episode of Debating The Issues. The two conservatives hold opposing views on how to vote on constitutional amendment one. Spradlin took up the “Yes” position. Humble took up the “No” position. For context about amendment one check out our breakdown here.
Spradlin advocates voting “Yes” to add extra protection for workers’ right to choose whether to join a union or not; something upheld by Tennessee law since 1947. The amendment makes it more difficult to subvert or alter protections offered by current laws.
Humble said he’ll be voting “No” to avoid narrowing the language in the state’s constitution to avoid loopholes that an activist judge could exploit. Humble pointed out that Tennessee is the only state to use “employee organization”—an unproven term—instead of “labor organization” in its amendment language. He also drew on the hypocrisy of preventing companies from mandating unionization but allowing them to mandate vaccination.
Watch the full debate Debating The Issues:Amendment One (Right To Work)
Correction: Yesterday, we falsely claimed that the margin in the Democratic primary for District 52 between Delishia Porterfield and Justin Jones was 18 votes. It was actually 238 votes.
❏ PAMPHLETEER VOTER GUIDE
If you've yet to vote, find your district and review our previous voter guides:
- Governor quick guide
- U.S. House of Representatives quick guide
- Tennessee Senate quick guide
- Tennessee House of Representatives quick guide
- Four Tennessee Constitutional Amendments quick guide
↯ THE PAMPHLETEER'S MIDTERM PICKS
This year's midterm elections won’t just set the tone for the next two years on the national front; the outcomes of state races will also provide insight into how newly redistricted areas will vote in the future. Below, we've laid out our picks for the most impactful political campaigns in the Middle Tennessee area beginning with our take on Amendment One.
The Pamphleteer absolutely anticipates Governor Bill Lee’s victory in the gubernatorial race and we are highly supportive of keeping a conservative in office. There are a few key reasons we find this win crucial for Tennessee. First, we’re certain you noticed the collective effort by Tennessee media to completely destroy the public’s opinion of charter schools and student voucher initiatives. So-called educational advocates and investigative reporters repeatedly pointed to “Christian nationalism” as the dormant, secret objective of those who support school choice, voucher programs, and funding students directly versus increasing the funding of existing public school systems. Despite his dropping the ball recently, no other gubernatorial candidate on the ballot is more likely to continue to make the necessary decisions in defense of this positive trend in Tennessee education more than Governor Lee himself; it is his initiative, after all.
Furthermore, we anticipate a change in leadership dynamics from the executive branch due to the new attorney general. General Skrmetti has barely had time to get his feet wet since stepping into office in September, but from what we’ve seen, his willingness to both anticipate and take action against federal overreach may pack the punch Tennesseans have been hoping for. The desire for a more assertive executive branch is common among Tennessee Republicans. Given the dynamics we already see emerging from the AG’s office, the two offices may play off of each other quite well in the future.
It is true that Andy Ogles came out with some of the strongest objections against vaccine mandates, shutdowns, and federal overreach while serving as the mayor of Maury County, but he makes our list for a different reason. As you know, Ogles is running for a seat in the newly-redrawn fifth district. A Republican hasn’t represented Nashville in Congress since 1875. This is a historic opportunity for Republicans to pick up a congressional seat, not to mention a chance to set a precedent for the district’s elections going forward.
- Driver's license revocations don't lead to higher rate of court fee payments (Center Square) The report, from nonpartisan think tank ThinkTennessee, shows that the 2011 law allowing for the revocations and then a court injunction against the law between 2018 and 2020 did not have a noticeable effect on fee collections.
- Nashville DA’s part-time employee pockets $75,000 per year with little evidence of actual work (Channel 5) Week after week, he bills taxpayers for almost 20 hours a week, hours frequently listed in the middle of the night when no one else is around. He's almost never recorded swiping through the office security system, logging into the computer system or sending an email.
- Provisional ballots won’t count unless election is contested (Lookout) Davidson County’s election foul-up affected 438 voters who were given the wrong ballots in early voting, and an estimated 500 more in split precincts could be asked to vote corrected ballots on Election Day, Davidson County’s chief election official says.
- Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences Nashville, Celebrates With Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (Now Next)
- Illinois beer distributor pays $14.8M for local company's riverfront headquarters (NBJ)
- Local investor offers Nations commercial building for sale (Post)
- Germantown restaurant closes after 3.5-year run (Post)
𝓧 CHART OF THE DAY: IN ORBIT
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🗳 Americans headed to the polls in midterm elections likely to reshape the leadership of a divided nation, with Republicans favored to take the House majority and some Senate and governors’ races too close to call.
- 🛠 Two-and-a-half years after Covid-19 emerged, reported infections are way down, pandemic restrictions are practically gone and life in many respects is approaching normal. The labor force, however, is not.
- 🇺🇦 Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he was open to negotiations with Russia if they are focused on safeguarding Ukraine’s territorial integrity, compensating Kyiv and bringing to justice perpetrators of war crimes.
- 🐦 Elon Musk waded into uncharted political waters on Monday when he urged “independent-minded voters” to cast their ballots for Republicans in Tuesday’s midterm elections, making the kind of explicit endorsement his fellow tech CEOs have avoided in the past.
- 🇰🇵 North Korea has denied American claims that it’s shipping artillery shells and ammunition to Russia for use in its war against Ukraine, and on Tuesday accused the United States of lying.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the third Thursday of every month (the next meeting is this Thursday, November 17th) at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM.
👘 The Weaving Splendor exhibit at the Frist presents rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian, and Turkish textiles drawn from the renowned collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Running until December 31st.
👨🏻🌾 Check out the Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.
🎧 Listen to the Pamphleteer's Picks on Spotify, the playlist of our favorite music in town each week.
🎙 Canyonero @ The 5 Spot, 6p, $10, Info
+ 90's alt-country covers
🎸 Honky Tonk Tuesday @ American Legion Post 82, 5p, Free, Info
+ Two step lessons @ 7p, The Cowpokes @ 8p
🎸 Geeze Louise @ The Cobra, 8p, $10, Info
🎺 Todd Day Wait @ The Underdog, 11:30p, Free, Info
+ Honky Tonk Tuesday afterparty, down the street
ON THE RADAR
🎻 Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony @ Schermerhorn, 11/17-19, $26, Info
🕺 Drugdealer @ Third Man Records, (11/27), $25, Info
🎸 Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, (11/30), $37.50, Info
🤣 Louis C.K. @ Ryman, (12/14), $35, Info
🎸 Widespread Panic @ Bridgestone, (12/30-31), Info
🎻 Sierra Farrell's NYE Circus Spectacular @ Brooklyn Bowl, (12/31), $35+, Info
🎸 Tedeschi Trucks Band @ Ryman, 1/23-25, 8p, $49.50, Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Bridgestone, 1/24-25, 8p, $TBA Info
🎻 Billy Strings @ Ryman, 1/26, 8p, Info
+ Only elligable if you purchased a ticket to one of his previous nights' Bridgestone shows
🎙 Weyes Blood @ Brooklyn Bowl, 2/22, 8p $23+, Info
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Words of Wisdom
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Arthur Conan Doyle