Commentary

Brooks: The Best Solutions for Poverty

When my mother’s grandparents first came steaming into New York harbor from Denmark in 1890, they were risking everything to get to a country where everyone could earn success. After a few years, they owned their own farm in South Dakota.

Most of you listening have a similar family story. That’s why mobility is such a big part of the American Dream.

People still want this, but the shadow of pessimism is growing. In December 2014, 76 percent of Americans said they were dissatisfied with the United States.

The problem is that Americans have come to think the game is rigged and the American Dream isn’t available to everyone.

Conservatives are in possession of the best solutions to the problems of poverty and economic mobility. We need to communicate—in the title of my latest book—“The Conservative Heart.” We need to put forward a hopeful, optimistic governing agenda—one that focuses on improving the lives of all people, especially the most vulnerable, through authentically conservative policies.

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Hewitt: After Cleveland

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The Baja 500 GOP Convention in Cleveland went off road early and stayed there.

If at times it felt like Yosemite Sam was driving and Wile E. Coyote co-piloting, in the end Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and his principal spokesman, Sean Spicer, grabbed the wheel and got over the finish line in one piece and with spectacular ratings.

So who “won” the week of perfect weather on the lake?

For one, the city of Cleveland and Northeast Ohio provided the best convention venue I have encountered in my 16 years I have been attending conventions as a journalist.

Donald Trump came, saw and conquered. His children went four for four in terrific speeches with Ivanka almost stealing the night from her father.

Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Scott Walker, Reince Preibus, and Tom Cotton managed to finish the dance with the Trump wing of the party and their principles were still intact.

The #NeverTrump people may never forgive them but the Trump followers will not bear them long term grudges in the decades of politics ahead.

All were decisive winners in a victorious week for the GOP.

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Wasting Money, Ignoring Issues

Political conventions waste vast sums of money that could be used more effectively to promote desperately needed reform. Donors provided at least $65 million for the GOP convention I recently attended in Cleveland, but four nights of repetitive, partisan speeches did little to inspire voters with hopeful conservative strategies for change.

State level voter registration and local party building are starved for funds, while lobbyists squander millions on lavish events that decide nothing—nominees have already been chosen—providing scant benefit for party or for country.

Instead, how about a plan to inspire the public with bold plans to reshape the whole sick system?—like making primary season shorter and more focused, with no conventions. To insure party unity, the leading primary vote-getter should automatically get the presidential nomination, while the runner-up automatically joins the ticket as Vice President.

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Hewitt: Oppose SB 1146

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The California Senate recently passed a bill that threatens the ability of faith-based institutions across the Golden State to function according to their religious beliefs.

The bill—SB 1146—is now being considered by the various committees within the Assembly. If passed and signed by Governor Brown, the bill would require any entity that receives state funding or enrolls students who receive state financial assistance to abide by expansive nondiscrimination provisions.

The bottom line: Religious schools would no longer be able to limit admission of students or employment of people of their particular religious faith, nor would these schools be able to maintain certain conduct, housing policies and other policies according to their faith convictions.

It’s an ominous piece of legislation.

If you care about religious freedom, please visit opposeSB1146.com, that’s opposeSB1146.com and do what you can to stop this bill.

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Hewitt: Ted Cruz In Cleveland

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

One of the big surprises coming out of the Republican National Convention was the speech of Ted Cruz, where he chose not to endorse the nominee Donald Trump.

Let me set the Cruz speech in a bit more context: In 1976, Ronald Reagan, after he had lost to Gerald Ford, delivered an amazing speech that captured the hearts of the American voters.

Ted Cruz was delivering that speech and then he shifted. And then the boos started.

Clip: Cruz: “Vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom.”

That’s when 1976 shifted into 1964 when Nelson Rockefeller was booed by the delegates.

Clip: Rockefeller: “The Republican Party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well-financed, highly disciplined minority”

I know this: Politicos will long remember, “Ted Cruz in Cleveland” or as we’re saying in this year of Game of Thrones, “the Ted wedding.”

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Hewitt: Finding Hope In Cleveland

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

I have been in Cleveland all week, broadcasting live from the GOP convention. As you can imagine, security has been intense and—in the wake of the murder of police officers in Baton Rouge—tensions have been running very, very high.

The road closures have been numerous and getting from point A to point B necessitates a measure of street knowledge that stretches even a native Ohioan.

What gave me hope for the country came not from anything within Quicken Loans Arena (though some of the speeches were magnificent), but rather from my ride with an Uber driver—an African American man named Carlos who helped me navigate my way back to my hotel.

He, too, was an Ohio native. We talked all things Cleveland: Indians, Cavs, Browns…

We talked about the Browns’ MVP quarterback Brian Sipe—and how Sipe didn’t think Clevelanders could believe that he—now—was a born again Christian.

“Well, I believe that,” Carlos told me. “It happened to me.”

Carlos, too, had a life-changing conversion experience.

There we were: Two men in an Uber, with so much more joining us together than any of the forces trying to tear us apart. Something to think about these days.

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Hewitt: Good and Evil and Every Human Heart

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The ambush-style attack on police officers in Baton Rouge on Sunday resulted in three dead law enforcement officers and three more seriously wounded.

I felt East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux captured a key point, something worth highlighting together: “This is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s hearts. Until we come together as a nation … to heal as a people, we will surely perish.”

Indeed: What we’re looking at today is an issue of men’s hearts.

As the late Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.”

With sober hearts, heavy hearts we all ought to be praying for a spiritual renewal in the hearts of individuals across this great nation.

And there’s no better place for that renewal to start than with me … and with you.

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