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Commentary

Michael Medved: Divisions Didn’t Begin With Trump

Opioid

Looking back on President Trump’s opening months in office, not even the most determined detractors of the president can rightly blame him for dividing the country, since the nation was already deeply divided before he came to office.

Barack Obama lost control of Congress to the opposition party, barely winning 51 percent in his re-election bid. George W. Bush also won narrow re-election and lost both houses, while leftist activists demonstrated to demand impeachment. Bill Clinton actually was impeached.

This bitter, persistent divide stems in part from changes in media: with the rise of cable news, talk radio and the internet, news sources today don’t even pretend to be up-the-middle.

Meanwhile, churches that used to draw congregants of all orientations now identify as unashamedly liberal or outspokenly conservative. Politics is polarized because the public is more polarized, with more Americans living in ideological enclaves where big majorities share the same outlook.

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Greg Thornbury: No Questions Allowed

Greg Thornbury

When Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bret Stephens left the Wall Street Journal editorial board for The New York Times recently, the change raised a few eyebrows. Stephens, who had been very critical of then-candidate Trump, perhaps fit better at the “Old Grey Lady,” in this day and age.

Few people, however, thought the move would make national headlines. But then Bret Stephens published an Op-Ed with his contrarian and conservative view that dared to call into question the absolute certainty with which climate change advocate make their apocalyptic claims.

To readers of The New York Times, even casting the slightest doubt on the political agenda of climate change advocates sent liberal readers of the paper into a tizzy.

The message was clear, and it was Orwellian: disagree with the conclusions of the progressive left, and they will silence you, then crucify you.

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Hugh Hewitt: A Victory On The Congressional Review Act

U.S. Senate

The mainstream media has been determined to find fault with President Trump’s performance during his first 100 days in office.

In reality, a legislative legacy was passing beneath the noses of the Manhattan-Beltway media elites who could not be bothered to learn the wide-ranging implications of the baker’s dozen of Congressional Review Act measures that passed the House and Senate by simple majorities and were signed into law by Easter. This is a legislative outpouring not exceeded in numbers since Truman nor substantive impact since any modern president except Franklin Roosevelt. Yet because regulatory rollback bores or confounds journalists, these new laws were discounted or simply dismissed.

In fact, the law passed under the little-used Congressional Review Act not only repeals an existing regulation but also bars the affected agency from acting in the same area without explicit legislative approval. These measures will therefore reverberate for decades.

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Hugh Hewitt: Sea Change

U.S. Senate

Sea change. An enormous one. That’s the only way to understand President Trump’s first 100 days — as a breaking from and often a breaking of the Obama presidency, one every bit as turbulent as what’s encountered by a sailing ship going from calm seas into a hurricane.

Trump’s first 50 days were a jumble of ups and downs, mostly downs. But beginning with the flawless testimony of Neil M. Gorsuch to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his subsequent confirmation under rules that will speed the way for future Supreme Court nominees, the Trump turnaround began and gained an almost uninterrupted momentum.

The president’s directive to strike Syria after it apparently rained sarin poison on babies and toddlers was a defining moment, reinforced by using the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan.

Just imagine what the next three and two-thirds years can bring — if President Trump minimizes the errors of the first 100 days and repeats the parts that have been greeted with broad-based conservative applause.

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Albert Mohler: Is Assad Evil?

Billy Graham

Scott Simon is one of the most thoughtful commentators on National Public Radio, and in the aftermath of seeing those horrifying images from the chemical nerve agent attack in Syria, Simon offered an important meditation on the nature of evil.

Once of Simon’s daughters asked how anyone could commit such an atrocity. He admits that “I was of a generation educated to believe that ‘evil’ was a cartoonish moral concept.”

Simon goes on to say that “I still avoid saying ‘evil’ as a reporter. But as a parent, I’ve grown to feel it may be important to tell children about evil, as we struggle to explain cruel and incomprehensible behavior they may see not just in history — in whatever they will learn about the Holocaust, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Darfur—but in our own times.”

It turns out that Scott Simon the reporter doesn’t want to use the word “evil,” but as a parent has to. That in itself tells us a very great deal.

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Michael Medved: Democrats Repeat The Same Bad Mistakes

Opioid

Amid all the evaluations of the first hundred days of President Trump, what about considering the first hundred days of Democrats as the party of opposition?

So far, they’ve shown a destructive tendency to repeat the same mistakes that cost them the election in November.

• First, they focus exclusively on attacking the president while counting on scandal to destroy their opponents.

• Second, Democrats continue to rely on identity politics: trying to rally minorities, women and gays with a sense of victimhood, while demonizing white males. But identity politics doesn’t work: in November, Trump got slightly more votes than Romney among blacks and Latinos, while Clinton failed among her fellow white women—losing that group to Trump by 9 points.

The practice of running strictly negative campaigns and dividing voters into warring demographic groups will lead Democrats to more defeats in the years ahead.

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David Davenport: There Is A Trump Doctrine: America First

Compromise

For journalists and academics searching to find a Trump Doctrine in foreign policy, it’s right in front of you. It’s called: America First.

And what it means is putting America’s national interest in the center of our foreign policy decision-making. It’s not the George W. Bush exporting democracy philosophy, it’s not the Barack Obama “lead from behind” approach. Instead, it’s a realist’s foreign policy: simply pursue America’s interests in each situation.

Stopping the use of chemical weapons in Syria; renouncing trade agreements such as the Trans Pacific Partnership; restricting immigration from certain countries—these are all thought by Trump to be in America’s national interest.

You may agree with him or not on how he defines our national interest. But, in the face of terrorism and threats from small unstable states and non-state actors, it strikes me as suitable to respond rather than philosophize.

America First. That’s the Trump Doctrine.

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