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Commentary

Hugh Hewitt: Americans And Contact Sports

U.S. Senate

The United States of America isn’t defined by Beltway or Manhattan elites, nor by those in Los Angeles or Silicon Valley. The mainstream media gets its cues from the collective consciousness of these four isolated reserves of great power, wealth and fame.

Donald Trump’s sparring with elites, though, is deeply satisfying to much of the rest of the country that doesn’t live in those four sectors… at least that sparring is satisfactory most of the time. There’s a limit, however, to how much good the president does by dominating media. The president met and exceeded that limit with the escalation of his war with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski via tweets. These tweets were wrong because they were cruel. They don’t energize the base, except at its far fringes. They shrink it.

Americans do love contact sports. We swoon for heated rhetoric. If Trump can resolve to stay combative but back off cruel, it won’t matter whether he tweets once or 100 times a day.

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Michael Medved: Infatuation With Obama; Rage Against Trump

Opioid

President Trump and his supporters are absolutely right that there’s a glaring contrast between the way media treat this president and way the press handled his predecessor, Barack Obama.

With Obama, potentially devastating scandals—Benghazi, the IRS, Fast and Furious, the VA—never gained momentum; the press never blamed Obama personally when things went wrong in his administration. For Trump, he’s blamed personally for every embarrassment or disappointment under his watch. But conservatives are wrong to suggest that the treatment of Trump is exceptional. George W. Bush and Bill Clinton also got rough handling by the press; it was the always-forgiving, generally glowing treatment of Obama that was exceptional, extraordinary, in fact.

Maybe it was his image as a “hip cool dude,” or his historical status as the first non-white president, but media infatuation with Obama set a dangerous precedent that distorts press-relations with the current administration.

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David Davenport: Free Speech Under Threat

Compromise

This summer, Commentary magazine published a forum on the question: Is free speech under threat in the United States?

Ironically, in a country where the Constitution and the courts carefully protect free speech, many people do not feel free to speak freely. Why? Because of a smothering blanket of political correctness that starts in our colleges and permeates our society.

Speakers with points of view that differ from the liberal orthodoxy are not welcome on many campuses, and in some cases have been subject to threats and violence. Students are supposed to be protected from so-called trigger words and microaggressions in the classroom. So much for free speech and the open debate of competing ideas.

The problem is that the First Amendment protects free speech from limitations by government, but the big challenges to free speech come from our culture and our campuses. It will take a strong fight to protect free speech, which is clearly under threat.

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Hugh Hewitt: Happy Fourth Of July

U.S. Senate

As we continue the long days of summer and of celebrations like the Fourth of July or family vacations, it is important to keep in mind that across large parts of the world the idea of either freedom or leisure much less both is so far off as to be the stuff of legend. For us, it’s a “taken for granted” annual ritual.

We are so blessed that we often simply forget to count those blessings and marvel at their largely uninterrupted enjoyment for 200-plus years. No, we are not a perfect nation, not even close, but we are the best hope of mankind, exceptional for all of our history and ever more so as the world collapses in so many places into abject barbarianism.

Our political leaders and our courts may disappoint. Our common culture may disparage our uniqueness, but the facts of history do not lie.

In the face of our many imperfections, we should all give thanks for living in this time and in this country.

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Albert Mohler: The Left—Moving Further Left

Billy Graham

Since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the Democrats have lost five special elections, most recently in the state of Georgia where they had poured 30 million dollars into Jon Ossoff’s congressional campaign in the 6th district.

This is leading to a great deal of reconsideration of party identity and of strategy on the part of the Democrats. The energy tends to be now disproportionately on the left and that left is moving further left, represented by figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders.

But in order to win in these kinds of suburban districts, Democratic candidates are going to have to run to the center. But what if the center also fails? That’s the quandary that Democrats now face.

It’s going to lead to a huge ideological and political debate within the Democratic Party. And as we know, that means very important worldview issues will be at stake.

How this all plays out will be important not just to the Democratic Party but to the entire nation.

We’ll be watching closely.

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Albert Mohler: One of the Biggest Religious Liberty Decisions in Decades

Billy Graham

Every last week of June, every year, Americans get treated to what’s essentially a great civics lesson, a reminder of the enduring importance of the third branch of our constitutional system, as the Supreme Court releases major decisions, clearing its docket before its July recess.

And this June was a huge day at the United States Supreme Court in terms of our nation’s history on the issue of religious liberty.

The case I’m referring to most immediately is that of Trinity Lutheran vs. Comer—where a church was turned down by the state of Missouri for state funds from a state program that refurbished playgrounds using recycled equipment from tires.

With a 7-2 majority, the Supreme Court sent a decisive signal—making clear that the state of Missouri does not have the right to refuse the funds even to a Christian or religious school for the general kind of purpose that was reflected in this playground resurfacing for the safety of children.

It’s one of the biggest religious liberty decisions in decades—and it matters for us all.

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David Davenport: The Future Of Freedom

Compromise

A new survey by the Fund for American Studies reminds us that millennials do not understand economics. The same group that does not know basic civics—such as who their senator is or whether Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court—also doesn’t get how free markets work.

While 60% of millennials said they would choose liberty over security, in turn 54% want more government, not less. A majority of even Republicans and conservatives believe government should regulate oil and drug company prices, and place tariffs on goods coming from overseas.

This survey is described as a “freedom index” but millennials really favor more government regulation. I suppose it’s no surprise that young people who have grown up knowing nothing but big government fail to see the connection between more government regulation and less freedom.

Young people who value freedom in their personal and social lives need to understand that political and economic freedoms are necessary to sustain that.

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