Commentary

Mohler: Election 2016: Where Are the “Nones”?

In the 2016 presidential election, political analysts are increasingly interested in how the “nones” will vote in this election.

We’re not talking about Catholic nuns; we’re taking about the growing percentage of Americans who tell pollsters that they have no religious affiliation whatsoever.

Although this group is indeed growing as a voting bloc, they aren’t actually voting.

And the reason why many of the unaffiliated, the nones, are unlikely to vote is because they, by definition, seem to hold no really strong convictions that might animate them one way or the other.

They’re less likely to show up, not only in church, by definition, but also in other kinds of civic associations.

They aren’t joiners. They don’t have the kinds of deep beliefs that also lead to common social bonds that would also reinforce not only their worldview and convictions, but whether or not they hold those convictions deeply enough to actually get out and do something about them, including getting out to vote.

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Hewitt: Many Questions Remain

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

The first debate is in the books but many questions remain for debates two and three. It was my opinion that Mr. Trump scored points and won votes in the first 39 minutes of the debate until the issue of birtherism arose. Thereafter he seemed to lose his footing. The very experienced debater Secretary Clinton won the debate in the eyes of most commentators on the strength of that last hour.

Lester Holt did a fine job moderating with no untoward interventions such as have marred past debates. Subsequent debates should be devoted to topics not already directly posed to the candidates. 84 million Americans do not need replays of questions already asked and answered on the biggest stage of all by the two candidates.

We especially encourage questions to Secretary Clinton on her record at the State Department and to Donald Trump as to what he might have done differently.

Moderators would be well advised to copy Mr. Holt’s style, but not his questions.

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Davenport: Debt Is a Problem of National Security

In a presidential campaign, it’s amazing that no one is talking about the national debt. Well, actually someone is: the Congressional Budget Office issued a report this summer and we should be shocked.

Here are the top 2 things the nonpartisan CBO concluded:

1)     Deficits are growing because spending—primarily on Social Security, health care and interest on the debt—is growing faster than revenue.

2)     The ratio of debt to Gross National Product has nearly doubled during the Obama administration to 75% today, and it is projected to grow to 141% in 2046.

But don’t worry, because the Democrats have a plan: spend more and tax the rich.  And Donald Trump says when we go bankrupt he will renegotiate our debt.

Is anyone besides me worried about this?  Are we numb to the rapidly escalating debt?  Debt is not only a question of fiscal responsibility, it is a problem of national security.

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Chen: The Constitution and the 2016 Election

This past September 17, we commemorated the 229th anniversary of the United States Constitution. I wouldn’t be surprised if you heard very little about the day.

It’s a shame as it celebrated the most important document in our nation’s history.

The Constitution establishes the balance of power between our three branches of government.  It delineates the rights that we as Americans hold sacred.  And it’s the blueprint on which we’ve based over two centuries of successful democratic governance.

Unfortunately, too few of our public leaders give the Constitution the respect it deserves.  They either ignore it, or worse yet, ascribe to the Constitution certain rights and privileges that were never intended.

Some judges are guilty of this. So too are some members of Congress.  But the worst offender may be President Obama, who has expanded the power of the presidency by resorting to unprecedented unilateral action.

Americans should see this election as an opportunity to restore the balance of power and respect for fundamental rights that our Constitution so elegantly established.

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Medved: Children “Very Important”’ Marriage, Not So Much

A September poll by CBS News and the New York Times revealed troubling contradictions in attitudes toward marriage and children.  Nearly 2,000 adults of all ages were asked: “For you personally, is being married either now or in the future very important, somewhat important, not very important or not at all important?” Surprisingly, a minority of women—just 47 percent—viewed marriage as very important. A far greater percentage—74 percent said “being a parent either now or in the future” was very important.

In other words, nearly a third of women value children more than the marital bond that provides the best way to raise those children—a sad anomaly reflected in out-of-wedlock birthrates now approaching 50 percent.

The poll suggests that females are giving up on marriage as an institution more notably than their male counterparts; the men in the study actually considered marriage a higher priority than the women.

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Chen: Now the Debates

In about 40 days, Americans will go to the polls to pick a new president.  Between now and then, few events will be more consequential than the three general election debates.

These debates are important. They are the only opportunities that we will have to see the candidates side-by-side, sharing their respective visions for the future of our country.

Debates often produce memorable moments.  Think of Al Gore’s sighs in 2000 or Ronald Reagan’s pronouncement that he would not make Walter Mondale’s “youth and inexperience” an issue in that campaign.

But voters should be on the lookout for more than just glib one-liners.

This is our chance to hold the candidates accountable for the policies they are proposing and their preparedness to assume the presidency.  Do they have plans to jumpstart economic growth or reduce the debt?  To lower health care costs and improve our schools?  To keep our nation safe?

Both Clinton and Trump should be able to answer these questions.  It’s up to us to watch and listen.

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Mohler: “Sister Wives” at the Supreme Court

A polygamy case is now being appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

It’s the so-called Brown case or the “Sister Wives” case based upon a reality television program about a man with multiple wives in Utah.

The Browns’ attorney, Jonathan Turley, has argued on the basis of religious liberty, but he has also been making the argument that if same-sex marriage were to become a legal right, as it has, there is no moral or legal argument against polygamy also being legalized.

If the United States Supreme Court doesn’t take this case, it is almost assuredly because it fears the public reaction of doing so. As recently as last year, the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts in his dissent to the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage warned that the recognition and legalization of polygamy would naturally follow the logic of that case.

We will do well to pay close attention to the Sister Wives’ case.

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