Commentary

Medved: Keep Uncle Sam Out of Student Bathrooms

Of all Barack Obama’s reckless policy initiatives, none has shown more contempt for common sense and rule of law than the new bullying on transgender bathrooms. Department of Education “guidelines” threaten to cut off federal funds to school districts that don’t allow children to enter washrooms, showers or changing rooms that conform to their “gender identity,” regardless of biological status and with no medical certification required.

This policy tramples the Constitution, with no basis in either legislation or court decisions, and it rests entirely on executive whim. It shatters all local control of the most private, intimate aspect of student life. The feds won’t even allow the direction of transgendered students to specially designated unisex or single use bathrooms.

Officials in Texas, North Carolina and other states are right to resist this outrageous federal power grab, and all conservatives should support their principled stand.

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Medved: How Trump Became An American Idol

To better understand the Trump phenomenon, consider the world of reality TV where he first forged his bond with the American public. “The Apprentice” ran for 14 years, and—at its height—averaged 11,000,000 weekly viewers, the same number of voters Trump’s received in the combined GOP primaries. Another popular reality show, “American Idol,” featured a singer named Sanjaya Malakar, who became a 2007 sensation not in spite of poor singing and cringe-worthy performances, but because of them.

The more judges like Simon Cowell blasted Sanjaya’s ineptitude, the more votes he got from rebellious viewers striking back against figures of authority on air. In a similar way, whenever pundits or politicos blast Trump as un-presidential or childish, he gains support from backers who use his unconventional success to mock the system.

Perhaps Trump can’t win a general election, he can’t lose among the bemused millions who savor his ongoing reality show.

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Mohler: Crisis In The GOP

This election cycle has unveiled a number of shocking developments in the Republican Party.

Republicans have long had a reputation for standing for limited government and a certain set of principles that were understood to be consistent with the Framers of the American Republic.

In a very real sense, Donald Trump represents virtually everything the Republican Party for the last generation has defined itself as being against. This tells us that as we are watching a crisis in the GOP. We’re also watching a basic renegotiation of the American compact.

This raises a very fundamental question: Can America’s experiment in representative democracy and limited government sustain this? That is not at all clear.

The fact is that Donald Trump is almost certainly going to become the standard bearer of the Republican Party: A man who has held positions even recently that are directly opposed to those historically undertaken by the Republican Party, a man whose very persona is the exact repudiation of what Republicans have called for in a presidential candidate.

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Medved: The Superhero Substitution

Comic book superheroes have come to dominate popular culture as never before: of the ten top opening weekends in Hollywood history, seven of them featured superheroes from Marvel or DC comics. Most recently, “Iron Man” and other luminaries from the Marvel galaxy co-starred with Captain America in “Civil War,” which earned nearly $200,000,000 in its first three days of release. These familiar figures, each with distinctive powers, personalities and back story, function like Olympians for the ancient Greeks or Norse gods for the Vikings.

Is it a coincidence that the power of these comic book gods has increased just as the perceived authority of the biblical God seems to have dissipated—with an unprecedented 20 percent of Americans now describing themselves as disconnected from organized religion?

Batman and Superman may be beloved figures, but they offer a feeble substitute for the more significant, more richly human figures in Scripture.

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Mohler: North Carolina and the U.S. Constitution

The governor of North Carolina has announced that his state will file suit against the Obama Administration and against the Department of Justice because of their demands that North Carolina surrender its recently-adopted legislation known as House Bill 2. The bill stipulates that persons must use, in public facilities, the bathrooms that correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth.

North Carolina claims that the Justice Department is misreading Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that the government is abusing its authority by making the Act pertain to transgender issues when it clearly had nothing to do with them.

Governor Pat McCrory made the crucial point that Congress alone has the authority to amend or revise the Civil Rights Act. If the federal government were to do that—and the legislation were to be enacted—the State of North Carolina concedes it would be in a very different situation.

The U.S. Justice Department intends to double down on its actions against North Carolina. Prepare for a battle of worldviews, and a battle over the U.S. Constitution.

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Brooks: Time For Diversity

One of the great intellectual and moral epiphanies of our time is the realization that diversity among human beings is a blessing. Unfortunately, new research also shows that academia has itself stopped well short in both the understanding and practice of true diversity—the diversity of ideas.

This year, a team of scholars published a paper showing that for every politically conservative social psychologist in academia there are about 14 liberal social psychologists. Why the imbalance?

Well, respondents to the survey admitted (overwhelmingly) that they’d be less likely to support hiring a conservative colleague than a liberal colleague with the same qualifications.

Academics and intellectuals like to see their community as a major force for diversity and open-mindedness throughout American society.

Now they should be consistent by applying those values to their own profession.

How about celebrating ideological diversity?

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Mohler: The Accidental Draft Vote

Last week, the House Armed Services Committee voted to register women for the draft. What is particularly notable is that the vote was—at least in part—accidental.

Why accidental? Because the author of the bill, Representative Duncan Hunter, Republican of California, offered the suggestion in an effort to try to get the committee to do the exact opposite. Instead, the committee (dominated by Republicans) voted 32 to 30 to require women to register for the draft.

Once again, we see how fast the velocity of moral change is happening in America. Congressman Hunter himself underestimated the velocity of the moral change even when it came to his own committee, dominated by his own party in the United States House of Representatives.

Successive generations of feminist ideology and political correctness have rendered some members of Congress incapable of recognizing or having the courage to stand by an argument that in some sense men and women are different, and that it is morally wrong to obligate women to serve in combat positions or to be registered for the draft.

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