Commentary

Medved: Trump’s Path to Victory: Tough, Not Impossible

Commentators in the mainstream media want to suggest that the presidential race is already over—with a lopsided Clinton win all but assured. If Trump supporters believe their cause is lost, they may stay home—damaging Republicans up and down the ticket.

But the truth is that Trump still has a path to Electoral College victory. The polls give disproportionate weight to states like California and New York, where Hillary is far ahead, but swing states—where it’s close—will decide the outcome.

It doesn’t matter if Clinton wins New York three to one, as long as she loses Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trump must successfully defend three Romney states too where the polling is tight: North Carolina, Georgia and Arizona. But if he does that, and ekes out victories in the three big “swingers,” he’ll be president.

The outcome will depend on Trump delivering a substantive, dignified, credible performance in televised debates.

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Mohler: Putting Pressure on the Holdouts

In recent days an ominous article appeared in The Atlantic by Ibby Caputo and Jon Marcus. They are arguing—essentially—that Christian institutions have foregone federal aid simply to avoid the federal regulations in terms of reporting on sexual assault and banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. But that’s not true.

It’s actually more deeply rooted in a basic principle of religious liberty and in a basic understanding that where tax dollars go, government control soon follows.

Nevertheless, the fact that within the hundreds and hundreds of higher education institutions in America there would be a handful of holdouts against the moral revolution is untenable, unthinkable and unacceptable to the secular left. And we now see exactly what their agenda looks like.

The schools that would stand against the tide, and which stand on principle and conviction, are now to be effectively “outed” by the secular left and held up for scandal.

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Chen: Executive Overreach

Our founders created a system of government with careful checks and balances between its three branches.  But President Obama has stampeded over this careful design with his unilateral use of executive power.

The president’s defenders argue that he hasn’t used the executive order any more than his predecessors. But the “executive order” is just one way the president can act unilaterally. President Obama has taken various forms of executive action more broadly understood—and exercised it in unprecedented ways—to achieve his aims.

All told, President Obama has hundreds of instances of executive action through which he’s made some very big changes:

•    He’s given the EPA broad authority to regulate carbon emitted by power plants,
•    delayed the implementation of parts of Obamacare,
•    and allowed states to change the work requirements put in place by the landmark welfare reform law.

We urgently need to restore the careful balance of power our founders crafted.

But—in this presidential cycle—there’s little evidence either major party candidate is prepared to perform this important task.

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Mohler: It Won’t Stop in California

There are many religious liberty issues that are looming on the horizon, but none more urgent than what’s going on in California. And that has to do with what is known as Senate Bill 1146.

The bill raises a number of problems, namely: It would prevent Christian colleges and universities from hiring Christian faculty and staff, students could lose their government financial aid, and students and alumni could sue religious institutions for discrimination over something as simple as a required chapel attendance.

But the biggest issue here has to do with the fact that this would mean the end to any comprehensive Christian worldview education. The bill only provides exemptions for institutions and seminaries for the training of ministers directly. That means that, for example, history could no longer be taught entirely from a Christian perspective.

It’s now abundantly clear that Senate Bill 1146 represents an existential threat to Christian higher education, starting in that state but certainly not stopping there.

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Medved: Troubled Parties, Divided by Race

Republicans draw frequent criticism for their weak performance among blacks, Latinos and Asians, with Donald Trump, like Mitt Romney before him, losing non-white voters by a crushing margin of three to one.

But few observers note that Democrats also perform poorly among the majority of voters who define themselves as white: Obama got only 39% of such voters and Hillary Clinton could well drop even lower in her percentage of the white vote. In fact, no Democratic nominee since Lyndon Johnson 52 years ago managed to win a majority of the white vote, though many of them—including Carter, Clinton and Obama—prevailed with the electorate in general because of overwhelming margins among communities of color.

These numbers don’t so much indicate a problem for Democrats, or a problem for Republicans, but a problem for America—with two great but troubled parties, increasingly divided by race and ethnicity as much as they are by ideology.

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Mohler: And Now Sermons Are Up for Scrutiny

The state of Iowa is now the latest battleground for religious liberty. William Petroski, reporting for the Des Moines Register, wrote, “Two conservative Iowa churches contend the Iowa Civil Rights Commission is violating their rights to free speech and religious liberty by censoring their views on human sexuality and forcing them to open restrooms to members of the opposite sex.”

A closer look at a statement from the Iowa Commission on Civil Rights reveals that religious institutions are exempt from requirements when “qualifications are related to a bona fides religious purpose.”

Dig deeper and you find that the exemption would not apply in the case of “a childcare facility operated at a church or a church service open to the public.” That’s right, a sermon.

Let those words settle in. They define, perhaps more graphically than anything we have seen of late, the challenge to religious liberty we all now face.

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Hewitt: The Court

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

I would not have picked Donald Trump as my party’s nominee. But I am going to vote for him.

At the end of a primary cycle with more twists and turns and drama than any other contest in my adult lifetime, we have been left with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If Hillary wins, the Left gavels in a solid, lasting, and almost certainly permanent majority on the Supreme Court. Moreover, Hillary Clinton is thoroughly compromised by the Russians (or the Chinese, or the Iranians, or all of them) because of her server.

Yes, Donald Trump is transplanting economic populism into the GOP, and parts of the conservative movement are struggling to reject that transplant.

But Donald Trump—like him or not—is the shuddering, convulsive conclusion to decades of perceived indifference to the American middle class combined with a conviction that the GOP is spineless.

Again: I would not have picked Donald Trump as my party’s nominee. But I am supporting him in order to protect the highest court in the land.

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