ADF

Commentary

Michael Medved: Not as Fragmented as the Pessimists Presume

Opioid

A major study from the Pew Research Center should reassure those of us who worry about the fragmentation of America based on race and ethnicity. Among the 43 million U.S. adults with Hispanic ancestry, a full 5 million don’t identify themselves as “Hispanic” or “Latino” at all.

Moreover, among families who’ve lived in the United States four generations or more—in other words, those with parents and grand-grandparents who are American born—Hispanic identification is only fifty-fifty. This means Latinos follow the familiar pattern of other immigrant groups, like the Irish or Italians, who de-emphasize ethnic identity after several generations in the U.S.

This contrasts with patterns of racial identity, where the great majority of African-Americans still describe themselves as black, even after several centuries in the U.S. Heavy intermarriage plays a big part in the increasingly rapid assimilation of Hispanics: among married third generation Latinos, the big majority—nearly two-thirds, in fact—have a non-Latino spouse.

Perhaps we’re not as fragmented as the pessimists presume.

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David Davenport: Power to the States

One encouraging development is that power is leaving Washington, DC and heading to the states. Policy wonks call it devolution, I call it progress.

 

After 15 years of federalizing K-12 education, for example, Washington turned its back on No Child Left Behind and passed a bill returning power over schools to the states.  There’s no need for Washington to act, as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says, as a national school board.

 

There’s discussion in Congress that the states should not only manage the trees, plants and flowers in their territory, but wildlife as well, including endangered species.

 

Welfare reform may be the next big issue and any solution is likely to create a larger role for states. Only the marijuana laws are moving the other way, toward Washington.

 

It’s heartening that Washington may finally be reading the Tenth Amendment—that all powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution belong to the states or the people.  Not everything needs to be a federal case.

 

I’m David Davenport.

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David Davenport: What Kind of Country Wants Media Stars for President?

Compromise

Social media blew up when it appeared that Oprah Winfrey might run for president.  Think of it:  two billionaire media stars who had never held political office running for president. Only in America.

But the deeper question is why voters are turning in this direction?  Besides their obvious frustration with politicians, voters seem more interested in making statements than actually governing. We don’t know what policies Oprah might follow and, even after a year, Trump’s policy approach is still taking shape.  But they do make a statement.

A related problem is that the presidency is becoming all bully pulpit and no real leadership, all hat and no cattle as they say in Texas.  We want superheroes and action, not mature deliberation.  What passes for action in Washington these days is party-line votes and executive orders, not working through complex issues.

Citizens have duties, too, and we shouldn’t vote just to express frustration, but to guide the policy and governance of the nation.

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Hugh Hewitt: Time to Extend the Reid-Rule Reforms

U.S. Senate

Whether the decline began with the sliming of Robert Bork or the segregationist filibusters of civil rights legislation, the modern U.S. Senate has been on a downward spiral for some time.

What the Senate needs now is an overhaul of its rules, one that preserves the rights of the minority in some cases—key legislation, for example, and perhaps appointments to the Supreme Court—while also reflecting the speed at which the world moves today. Simple majorities on appropriations and time limits on debate over minor nominees are two obvious reforms. They could be traded, for example, for agreement on the high court vacancies and how long those debates should last.

The Senate’s dysfunction is astonishing to Americans who have to make things actually run, who have to do their jobs to keep their jobs. Donald Trump has shrewdly taken aim at the Senate’s vulnerability as an issue. It would be best for both parties to head off change imposed from pressure from the outside with change organically orchestrated from within by those with care for the body and its original design.

It is time to extend what I call the “Reid-rule reforms,” and it’s time to do so now.

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Michael Medved: Focus on the State of the Union

Opioid

This is Michael Medved for Townhall.com, with a message to President Trump: congratulations, Mr. President, on your first year in office. In the upcoming State of the Union Address you should highlight our strong economy, progress against ISIS, cuts in taxes and regulation, judicial appointments and more. You should paraphrase Ronald Reagan by asking: are you better off than you were one year ago? An overwhelming majority will say yes, we are.

 

But please, Mr. President, don’t let Democrats change the focus from the state of the union to the state of your mind. Of course, your opponents have been nasty and unfair, but hitting back at them in similarly nasty terms only diminishes your stature. By emphasizing the undeniable progress of everyday Americans, you will build on your first year’s success. And you can overcome the highly personal attacks of your critics more effectively by ignoring them, rather than responding to them.

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Albert Mohler: The President and the March for Life

Billy Graham

The president recently made an historic appearance by satellite transmission to the March for Life, becoming the first president of the United States to do so.

 

President Trump, just a matter of years ago, had described himself as very pro-choice, but now he can only be described in terms of his actions and statements as very pro-life.

 

I cannot dream of understanding exactly how he came from a pro-choice position to a pro-life position, but I do know this: he put himself very much on the line in that webcast of the March for Life. He has also put himself and his administration on the line for the pro-life position in numerous executive orders and in developments even just the day before.

 

Whatever happened in the thinking and in the heart and in the policies of Donald Trump over the last several years is exactly what needs to happen amongst millions and millions of our fellow Americans.

 

That’s what we strive for, that’s what we hope for, that’s what we pray for, and that’s what we work for.

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Lanhee Chen: Healthcare and the 2018 Agenda

Tax Reform

As the Republican-led Congress plans the 2018 legislative agenda, healthcare needs to continue to be a top priority.

 

Health premiums are soaring, and millions of people have little or no choice of health insurance. Millions of people who once could afford coverage no longer can, and many find that their health insurance premiums cost more than their mortgage or rent payments.

 

In a new Associated Press-NORC poll, nearly half of Americans said health care is their primary concern for 2018, topping taxes, immigration, education, and the environment by more than 15 percent.

 

Obamacare has failed miserably in fulfilling the last administration’s promise to cut health costs. The typical American worker now must devote roughly twice as many work hours to cover health costs as to pay for food.

 

Individuals need to be empowered with greater flexibility and choice. And states are better equipped than Washington to oversee their health insurance markets. This requires legislative action from Congress for these new and better choices.

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