Commentary

Mohler: Young and Transgender: A Response

Sometimes a major cultural moment can be traced to just one headline. That appears to be the case with the recent edition of Scientific American Mind, “Young and Transgender: How Best to Help Them Thrive.”

At least three medical avenues are suggested: hormone suppression, hormone replacement, and gender reassignment surgery. And not for teenagers. For children, even at ages seven or eight-years-old.

Nonetheless, the article admits, “Among children under the age of about 12 who cross-identify”—in terms of how they dress and behave—“only a minority will continue to see themselves as transgender after puberty.” That’s an astounding statement.

The American College of Pediatricians has provided some much-needed and refreshing clarity. They announce, “Conditioning children into believing a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex is normal and healthful is child abuse.”

Here you have moral sanity that has been so lacking among so many.

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Brooks: Forces Behind Trump and Sanders

My Democrat friends are quick to tell me that Donald Trump’s popularity is fueled by racism and nationalism of Republicans. I can imagine some of you have heard it too.

I don’t think that’s the right explanation. I’m certainly not going to claim that there’s no racism, but a better explanation for Trump’s rise is the simple fact that our economy has created effectively zero percent economic growth for the bottom four-fifths of the population since the Great Recession.

History tells us that these lackluster recoveries are fairly predictable after financial crises, and the average citizen’s living standards can take a decade or longer to recover.

The result is almost always an uptick in political populism, either right wing (“Raise the drawbridge”) or left wing (“Off with their heads”) or both.

Now, these forces aren’t necessarily overwhelming: Trump and Sanders are getting roughly equal portions of their parties’ total primary votes, and neither is getting a majority. But it certainly does torque the political system for a while.

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Medved: “50 Percent Divorce Rate” Again Exposed As a Lie

Many sources still cite the long-discredited, utterly bogus statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce, but the Washington Post recently reported on analysis by Flowing Data that once again exposes the big lie. Among all Americans, nearly two-thirds of marriages last until one of the partners dies. There has never been a 50 percent divorce rate, and the rates of divorce have steadily declined since 1981.

With close to half of Americans now going to college, it’s significant to note that anyone with a bachelor’s degree will stand a 72 percent chance of remaining married till death. Interestingly, both Hispanics and Asians have significantly lower divorce rates than whites—presumably because of the emphasis on extended family.

Among Asians, an amazing 83 percent who marry will never divorce—sending an important message that marital breakup always has elements of choice, and shouldn’t be viewed as inevitable.

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Medved: The Wrong Way To Attack Hillary

Hillary Clinton deserves criticism for many aspects of her candidacy, including her push to expand government’s role in our lives and to pull back from America’s leadership in the world. She’s also open to ethical questions over her reckless use of a secret e-mail account, dubious donations received by the Clinton Foundation, huge speaking fees from Wall Street and much, much more.

But it makes absolutely no sense for Republicans to attack her marriage. Dragging out these ancient scandals will only work to strengthen Hillary. Bill’s popularity actually peaked during the impeachment crisis, while Hillary won sympathy and support for her Senate race by standing by her man.

Through it all, the Clintons have managed to raise an achieving, well-adjusted daughter and to keep a troubled marriage together for 41 years. Why attack them for the one achievement that conservatives should be most inclined to respect?

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Davenport: Trump and Sanders Agree on Something?

They say politics makes strange bedfellows and what could be stranger than far left Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on the right agreeing on something? Both think free trade is a mistake and both oppose the proposed new TPP, a free trade agreement of 12 Pacific Rim nations.

But free trade modernizes economies and promotes political relationships among allies, in this case creating a major economic force to counter China.  Prior free trade agreements like NAFTA have increased trade and raised wages.  The problem Sanders and Trump point to is a loss of low-wage jobs. But that comes from modernization and globalization, not free trade.

This is one more case where Sanders and Trump are out of touch with the realities of modern economic policy.  In the 21st century, it’s a mistake to turn back the clock to isolationist times when America tried to build walls of tariffs and taxes around its borders.

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Mohler: Candor

Well, you can say one thing for New York Times columnist Frank Bruni: He has a knack for making the position of the left on LGBT rights and religious liberty abundantly—and disturbingly—clear.

In his most recent column, the openly gay columnist criticizes Republicans, identifying them as “…playing a short game, not a long one, by refusing to acknowledge a clear movement in our society toward L.G.B.T. equality, a trajectory with only one shape and only one destination.”

Here we have boiled down to its essence the argument coming from the secular left: We simply have to get in line. Everyone will have to get in line. Everyone will be made to care. Everyone will be made to believe exactly what the new secular elites demand that we believe.

Frank Bruni is very influential, and he is only more clear and more candid than most in stating what he believes. Society can have only one shape, and history is headed in only one direction. The question—according to Bruni—is simply “when” not “if.”

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Medved: New Study Blasts Myth of “Harmless” Pot

A massive new study sponsored jointly by Duke University, the University of California at Davis and other research institutions shows that marijuana is hardly the harmless diversion proponents would lead us to believe.

The long-term focus on heavy users shows that those who smoke marijuana four times a week or more suffer serious consequences in terms of economic and career success. About a third of non-users improve their economic standing dramatically after 20 years, but only 7 percent of the pot smokers do. And a majority of the pot smokers slide down the career ladder, while only 15 percent of others do.

This doesn’t prove that marijuana is more addictive or physiologically harmful than legal substances like tobacco and alcohol, but it does indicate that long-term, heavy use—especially when begun in adolescence—carries powerful (and predictable) risks.

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