Commentary

Thornbury: Something to Think About

Greg Thornbury

In a recent Fox Poll on the GOP presidential candidates, Donald Trump led among likely white evangelical voters by a huge margin: 27 percent.

The strength of “The Donald”—particularly among evangelical voters—should give social conservatives something to think about.

Trump has a long record of being for abortion (before he was against it)… and he has a series of marriages (three, by my count) that would seem to bring into question his commitment to the lifelong union. So how do we explain his strength in the polls?

For decades now, we’ve seen religious leaders shy away from talking about issues in the public square. And yet the Bible speaks profoundly to things like marriage and justice and the sanctity of life—as well as peace and war. I guess it’s no wonder that when the most important spiritual guide (in this case the pastor) does not connect faith to contemporary issues, opinions are shaped by pop culture and reality TV.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that Trump is leading in the polls after all.

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Medved: Real Lesson from “Jewish Terror”

A fanatic attacked a Jerusalem gay pride parade and a militant group firebombed a Palestinian home, killing a toddler. Critics of Israel point to such incidents to assert moral equivalence: there are Jewish terrorists and Arab terrorists, so neither side deserves sympathy or support. But incidents of Jewish violence remain rare and isolated, earning universal condemnation. The attacker at the gay pride parade had just been released after serving ten years for a similar attack; now he should spend the rest of his life in prison. No one in Israel—not the rabbinate, or even the most right-wing elements in government—defends such senseless acts.

By contrast, leaders throughout the Arab world, and the official Palestinian TV channel in its broadcasting for children, glorify “martyrdom operations” and terrorist attacks. Brutality can occur anywhere, but there’s a big distinction between societies that strive to stop it and governments and religions that promote it.

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Brooks: Evaluating The War On Poverty

It’s been five decades since President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty. Immense sums of money have been spent to make poverty a little less insufferable. Today, yet another White House is promising different results using the same old policy tools. How has it turned out? The poor are falling further behind.

Given these results, why does America keep returning to this stale, ineffective playbook?

Conservatives have been quick to criticize the welfare state, but their alternatives have generally been almost nonexistent. It’s little wonder that Americans actually believe it when President Obama claims conservatives don’t care about the little guy.

The only way to set things right is for conservatives to show we care and offer a new vision for the country. We need—in the title of my latest—a “Conservative Heart.” That heart must declare peace on the prudent, reliable safety net for those who truly need it while harnessing the tools of private entrepreneurship and acknowledging the profound value of hard work.

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Complainers vs. Planners

In the wake of the Republican presidential debate, the Wall Street Journal observed that GOP candidates are now trying to win support as either “fighters” or “statesmen.” The fighters concentrate on battling against forces that they fear and resent, while the statesmen promise to build consensus for a reform agenda.

Actually, conservatives demand both: a willingness to fight for principle, and a vision to fix what’s wrong. Another way of contrasting political approaches would be distinguishing between talkers and doers, or between complainers and planners.

In this election, it won’t be enough to denounce the other side; many Americans, perhaps a majority, have come to resent both sides in our polarized politics. The challenge is to persuade those who are deeply disillusioned with American politics, showing it’s possible to bring real change to increase opportunity, improve education and stimulate economic growth. Republicans can only win with programs that are positive, pragmatic and plausible; anger alone is not an agenda.

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Mohler: Walking Through The Camps

Planned Parenthood has been in the headlines in recent days since July 14, when a group known as the Center for Medical Progress began releasing videos demonstrating the fact that Planned Parenthood’s senior medical personnel have been directly involved in the sale and transfer of fetal tissues. The American people now face the fact that they cannot not know.

At the end of World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower required many of the civilians who been living around Nazi concentration camps, living in denial what was going on at Auschwitz ,Treblinka, Birkenau, and so many other death camps—he forced the civilians to walk through the camps and realize exactly what was going on.

The release of these videos is a very important step towards making Americans walk through our own camps, in this case the abortuaries and face directly the reality of abortion and in particular, the complicity not only of Planned Parenthood but of all the American people.

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Brooks: Conservatives Who Care

A recent poll from Gallup showed that three out of four Americans are dissatisfied with the United States. Yes, you heard me right—three quarters of our fellow citizens.

The basic bargain in America is supposed to be that no matter where you start out, if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make out all right.

But people look around today and see that the poor have gotten poorer, work has disappeared for those at the bottom, government dependence has grown and mobility has fallen.

Why aren’t Americans turning to conservatives for solutions? Simple: People don’t think conservatives care.

Consider this:

Do you think the word “compassionate” describes the Republican Party?

Over half of Americans say “not at all” … and only five percent say “compassionate” describes the party “very well.”

This has to change. The right must show the American people a new vision of compassion and fairness that emanates from deep within—in the title of my latest release—the “Conservative Heart.

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Medved: How To Beat Planned Parenthood

To win the battle over funds for Planned Parenthood, conservatives must make clear that we’re trying to end government sponsorship, not destroy the organization. Federal money provides only a third of the Planned Parenthood operating budget: the rest comes from donations and fees for services.

Those who admire the organization could increase those donations to replace governmental support—a total of $528 million, when state contributions are included. Even though Planned Parenthood insists that these funds don’t go directly to pay for abortions, they do support an advocacy organization that strongly backs abortion in public debate. Imagine how outraged liberals would be if millions in taxpayer money went to a group advocating strongly for a pro-life position!

Especially in view of the horrifying videos showing the callousness of Planned Parenthood operatives, this cause must unify values conservatives who care about defending life, and economic conservatives who want to cut wasteful, misdirected spending.

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