Tag Archives: conservative principles

David Davenport: We’re Number 45

Compromise

For nearly 50 years now, Freedom House has published its annual survey of the freest countries in the world. This year’s report contains some troubling news.

First, with an increase in authoritarian regimes and populism, overall freedom in the world declined in the past year.

Second, the United States, after dropping a point in freedom last year, lost another point this year. Where would you rank the U.S. among the freest countries? Number one or two, certainly in the top 10? No, the U.S. is now tied for 45th.

Though we are still rated as “free,” the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. Burdened by over-regulation, with attacks on our political system from within and without, American democracy is seen as troubled.

Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” When it comes to freedom, we should never be content to say, “we’re number 45.”

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Michael Medved: Why Millennials Prefer Marxism To Capitalism

Opioid

Recent articles have marveled at the fascination of today’s “millennials” with socialism, but a new survey shows even more alarming disregard for the capitalist system behind America’s prosperity and power.

Polling data from YouGov showed 51% of Americans in their twenties would prefer to live in a country that was “Socialist” or “Communist”; only 42% chose to live under “Capitalism.” In other words, a majority of young people reject the land of liberty that produced them. An amazing 23% even classified the genocidal dictator Stalin as a “hero.” This reflects the fact that Millennials have scant memory of the bad old days of Marxist tyranny: after all, they were 3 or younger when the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Empire collapsed.

That’s why high school and college history teachers must take time from their relentless attacks on America and its values and give appropriate attention to educating a new generation about the tens of millions of dead or suffering victims of Marxist/Socialist “experiments.”

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David Davenport: Balancing Religious Rights With Health Care

Compromise

This is David Davenport of the Hoover Institution for Townhall.com.

Public policy is full of difficult dilemmas, tough cases where there are strong interests on both sides.  Such dilemmas are not usually solved as much as they are managed.

That’s why two federal departments recently expanded the rights of religious employers.  During the Obama years, the federal government had required religious employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans even when contrary to their religious beliefs.  And the government had limited the rights of religious employers to hire or favor people who shared their beliefs.

This action properly swings the pendulum back in favor of religious rights, which are protected by the First Amendment.  Civil rights are also constitutionally protected, which is what creates the tension.  In the end, both rights are powerful, but neither is absolute.

A liberal president pushes too far in one direction and a conservative administration appropriately pushes back.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court may well have to decide how to manage this difficult dilemma.

I’m David Davenport.

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Michael Medved: Instinctive Reactions To Mass Shootings Destructive And Disappointing

Opioid

Whenever we experience a hideous slaughter like the recent assault of a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the left indulges in annoying and irrational instinct: calling urgently and self-righteously for minor tweaks in gun laws that would have done nothing to actually avert the horror.

Meanwhile, the right displays its own quirks: refusing to discuss any alterations in firearms regulation-as if our current rules were perfect and immutable. We’d do much better if our national leaders-in both legislative and executive branches brought together all sides to discuss reforming the bureaucracy and better enforcement of current laws to make it harder for the mentally ill or criminally violent to get deadly weapons.

Even those of us who staunchly back the Second Amendment should acknowledge that the deranged shooter in Texas should never have acquired his fearsome arsenal, and government should have done a better job in restricting his access to guns.

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Lanhee Chen: Congress Should Give Opportunity To The Laboratories Of Democracy

Tax Reform

A consensus is emerging on Capitol Hill about the need to fund Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, which help working-class Americans buy health insurance. The question is what fundamental reforms conservatives should get in return.

In my view, they should focus on giving states greater flexibility to design their own health reforms. There’s actually a part of Obamacare that allows states to receive federal money in a lump sum and to waive or revise many of Obamacare’s most noteworthy provisions, including its mandates, the structure and administration of subsidies provided by it and covered benefits . Conservatives should focus on making it easier for states to qualify for these waivers, so we can move away from the one-size-fits-all system that Obamacare created.

We are on the cusp of a rare health care bipartisan agreement. Still, conservatives will (and should) insist on fundamental changes to Obamacare as part of the deal. In so doing, they should aim for an approach that will truly give more states the opportunity to become what Justice Louis Brandeis once called “the laboratories of democracy.”

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Albert Mohler: How Can We Explain Such An Act Of Evil?

Headlines

The little Texas town of Sutherland Springs is experiencing unfathomable grief and mourning. On Sunday, a gunman dressed in black entered the First Baptist Church during worship and killed at least 26 people in cold blood – targeting men, women, and children – including the 14 year-old daughter of the church’s pastor. Another 20 victims are injured.

How can we explain such an act of evil? What possible motivation could explain it? This was an attack upon a church gathered for worship, in a little Texas town far from the normal headlines.

We rightly demand answers. But some of the most urgent of our questions may never be answered, including the question, “Why?”

We do know that the Christian faith dignifies the reality of suffering and sorrow. Christ tells us that blessed are those who mourn.

We pray for all those families and the grieving community of Christians. We mourn with them. Our call now is to grieve with those who grieve – those who grieve an unimaginable grief.

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Lanhee Chen: The Long-Running Russia Disinformation Campaign

Tax Reform

This past week, executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google testified before Congress about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

For well over a decade, the Russians have spread disinformation and sought to influence the outcome of elections throughout Europe and elsewhere.

The obvious question is, “Why hasn’t more been done to respond to this threat?” Although multiple administrations bear the blame for this failure, it was the Obama administration that, for years, consistently underestimated the threat from Russia.

For example, Politico reported that, in 2014, President Obama’s national security team received reports warning about Russia’s capacity, history, and interest in disrupting political systems in Europe. It should have been clear that those capabilities could be used to attack the United States. But nothing was done.

Russian efforts to undermine American democracy did not end with the 2016 election. Put simply, this is one of the reasons why they continue to represent a serious threat to our national security. Now is the time to act quickly and decisively to ensure the integrity of our democratic system.

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