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America is teetering toward one-party rule in Washington, D.C. Waiting for a Republican Congress isn’t a real strategy. Instead, the right must focus locally, principally on the county sheriff with Sheriff Bill Waybourn as a role model, to revive America.

It should be obvious by now, but too many conservatives and Republicans still do not fully get how stacked the cards are against them. The left may still be reeling from President Donald Trump’s impact in 2016, but for the most part, they haven’t lost any ground.

Whether it’s the culture war or politics, the left has home court advantage. That’s because it’s at the helm of nearly every institution and powerful corporation steering society today. From academia to the media and even previous conservative strongholds like the military and churches, the left dominates.

Last year, I noted that police unions were among the very few right-leaning institutions in the country. The left remains on the offensive against the police, despite skyrocketing violent crime rates nationwide. 

Even more important to defend is the institution of the county sheriff. The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, or CSPOA, calls the county sheriff the “last hope” for freedom in America.

One of those last hopes is Texas’ Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, who won a second term in the 2020 election cycle. Waybourn won the endorsement of CSPOA’s founder and former sheriff Richard Mack in 2016. His record since then should earn the upright respect from every concerned American who desires local control, not bureaucratic supremacy from D.C.CARTOONS | AF BRANCOVIEW CARTOON

Before getting into Waybourn’s effectiveness with regards to immigration, law and order, and community-building compassion, let’s first reflect on the uniqueness of the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff is independent from so much of the elite power centers threatening America today. He answers directly to the people who elected him. His oath to the Constitution is the same as anyone else in government, but the distinction for the office of sheriff is that he has enforcement power.

That means the sheriff can stand between the citizenry and a federal government bent on infringing upon their liberties. Sheriff Mack’s lawsuit against the feds over the Brady Act gun control law was a seminal effort that solidified this unique role in the eyes of the US Supreme Court.

Mack’s lawsuit eventually became known as Printz vs. United States. This SCOTUS case sided with Mack’s argument that the federal government shall not command the sheriff to do its bidding, in this case perform a federal background check for gun purchases. This principle is known as the anti-commandeering doctrine. 

If more sheriffs, along with their constituent electorates, embraced this principle wholeheartedly, then pushing back against unconstitutional encroachments would come more naturally.

Unfortunately, too many so-called leaders in the conservative movement don’t highlight this political tactic, because it bypasses the lucrative roles that D.C.-centered politicians and strategists have created for themselves.

Sheriff Waybourn shows the way for a successful populist strategy that isn’t dependent on winning a federal election. By virtue of his line of work, he’s closer to the issues facing people than far-off bureaucrats.

Before he was sheriff, Waybourn already had decades of experience in law enforcement. In 1984, at just 24 years old he was appointed chief of public safety, making him Texas’ youngest chief in history. He served in that role for three decades before winning election to become the sheriff of Tarrant County, which includes the city of Fort Worth.

There’s no room for political correctness in a sheriff’s line of duty. Waybourn doesn’t go out of his way to be necessarily politically incorrect, but he doesn’t hesitate to speak to the real conflicts of “good and evil.”

He’s raised the ire of local and national media for pointing to the failures of federal enforcement of immigration laws. He brought attention to the fact that illegal immigrants come into his jails sometimes repeatedly for drunk driving charges, not unlike citizens do as well, but he rightfully brought attention to the matter. This impact on his county is the result of a derelict central government, but it otherwise would’ve gone ignored thanks to political correctness.

All the same, Waybourn wants the federal government to improve, particularly in its cooperation with state and local law enforcement, and vice-versa. Waybourn has expressed his frustration with all levels of government that impede US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or his department from communicating with one another over inmate transfers.

The sheriff is uniquely placed to keep federal agencies accountable to his community. Waybourn exemplifies this role, despite the political and media pressure to do otherwise. That’s why he spoke at a local Stop the Steal rally to turn over all the rocks and provide transparency and accountability.

Waybourn also rapidly built a reputation of being tough on the demand side of prostitution and human trafficking. His department is invested in the National Johns Suppression program, which targets the johns or solicitors of prostitution. Last year, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office booked 41 suspects on such charges.

But sheriffs do more for their communities than keep law and order. There is a place for compassion, the real kind, not the sort of undermining that the left perpetuates in the name of empathy or equity. For instance, Waybourn increased work programs for inmates staying or leaving his jails, and he instituted the first Christmas for Children of the Incarcerated, which provides gifts for hundreds of kids whose parents are behind bars.

Programs like these are just an extension of who Waybourn is as a man. He’s a dad to 10 kids, eight of whom are adopted. He’s brought that fatherliness to coaching, scout leading, and serving in his church. 

There are still hundreds of communities with local institutions and leaders like this in them across America. The populist right has to start looking there, not for a future congressman or president, but a sheriff who will stay loyal to them against all threats foreign and domestic

Gavin Wax

Gavin M. Wax is a New York-based conservative political activist, commentator, columnist, operative, and strategist. He is the Executive Director of the National Constitutional Law Union. He also serves as the 76th President of the New York Young Republican Club and as an Ambassador for both Turning Point USA & Live Action. He is co-authoring an upcoming book entitled 'The Emerging Populist Majority.' You can follow him on Twitter at @GavinWax.