Tag Archives: conservative principles

Michael Medved: Four Hopeful Lessons From an Epic Catastrophe

Opioid

As Texas begins the long process of recovery from the catastrophe of Hurricane Harvey, Americans across the country should embrace four important lessons:

First, let’s acknowledge that government isn’t always the enemy—and in emergencies like this one, government at the local, state and federal levels has a crucial, life-saving role to play.

Second, we see that government alone isn’t enough—private businesses, and countless individual volunteers proved indispensable for rescue and recovery.

Third, in times of crisis our various divisions—racial, political, religious—matter less than we thought. No one asked rescuers or the rescued about political affiliation or ethnic background when lives were at stake.

Finally, the country can put aside its passionate disagreements, and work together when it’s necessary, as we strive to return to normal life.

And yes, after Harvey, we’re reminded that normal life—whatever its shortcomings and frustrations—is worth defending and even cherishing in this phenomenally fortunate nation.

 

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Albert Mohler: A One in 1-Million-Year Flood?

Billy Graham

And still the rains come, falling catastrophically upon Houston, Texas, the larger Metropolitan areas and the entire region of the Texas Gulf Coast.

As of Sunday (yes, Sunday), 9 trillion gallons of water had already fallen from the storm, enough to fill the Great Salt Lake twice according to Matthew Cappucci of the Washington Post. Now, over 20 trillion gallons are expected.

In order to equal the amount of water already rained on Houston, the Mississippi River in its entirety would have to drain into that city for nine days straight.

By the time the rainfall has fallen, at least some in the actuarial business for insurance companies are saying that it might be a one in 1-million-year flood that is now falling on one of the most highly populated areas of the United States.

Right now we continue to be concerned for and to pray for those whose lives are so affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath and we pray that help can come and can come quickly.

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Hugh Hewitt: President Trump and Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Senate

It’s no secret that how a president responds to a natural disaster can affect his fortunes. President Barack Obama’s reaction to Hurricane Sandy contributed significantly to his 2012 reelection. President George W. Bush’s fumbled response to Hurricane Katrina was part of a ruinous sequence of events in 2005 that destroyed his second term’s political momentum.

So, here’s some specific advice for President Trump.

First, watch all of the coverage closely. Speak with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long often. If you must tweet, tweet only about the storm and its impacts. Act as a concerned family member would when news of a family tragedy arrives but details are few.

And some advice for my colleagues in the media: Be very slow to politicize this storm. It looks to be quite awful in its impacts.

And, crucially, if people express online or on air that they are praying for the victims of the storm, ditch the snarky assaults on such traditional expressions. Prayer’s not a sentiment. It’s a real and often cherished act and gift.

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Davenport: Win or Lose, The ACA Has Federalized Health Care

Compromise

No matter how the efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare turn out, I’m sorry to say that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has federalized health care forever.

It has changed the conversation so that, instead of debating whether the federal government should or constitutionally may take over health care, we are instead debating how.

As political scientist James Q. Wilson pointed out, once Congress has entered a field of regulation, the legitimacy of federal action is established and is rarely debated again. Sadly, in the case of Obamacare, this was accomplished by a straight party-line vote of Democrats.

Surprisingly, in that same time frame, the federalization of education policy was also accomplished, but is now turning back to the states. There was such an outcry over Common Core and federal testing that teachers and parents changed the law in Washington.

Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen with an entitlement like healthcare, which has now—almost certainly—been federalized forever.

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Lanhee Chen: A Plea for Nuance in Polarized Times

Tax Reform

The views held by the protestors in the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia—the voices of white supremacy, neo-Nazi organizations and the KKK—have no place in our society.

But make no mistake: There are other—credible—voices on the political right in America today that have been marginalized on college campuses and other venues across our country. I’m thinking of voices and organizations that advocate for the life of the unborn child or for religious liberty, which have been shouted down or categorized as hate groups.

There is no moral equivalence between the views of white supremacists and the views held by those protesting against them. And the mainstream media should also be willing to differentiate between those white nationalists and, for example, today’s champions for religious liberty.

Many progressives may not like them, but they do not deserve to be mixed together with the vile hatred we saw in Charlottesville.

Nuance isn’t popular in today’s politics, but let’s not lose sight of the differences where they matter.

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Hugh Hewitt: Charlottesville Violence and the Legal Consequences

U.S. Senate

All law students taking a First Amendment course, or even a constitutional law survey course, learn the rule of Brandenburg v. Ohio, a case that grew out of a 1964 KKK rally near Cincinnati.

Brandenburg provides “that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of using force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

I celebrate Brandenburg when I teach it each year. The speech at the core of that case was every bit as odious as that used by the bigots in Charlottesville this weekend. But those bigots in 1964 lacked the present ability to incite violence. Those in Charlottesville had that ability to incite violence, and they used it.

Now three are dead, including two state troopers. Others are severely injured. The investigation should be careful and professional but also resolute. Lots of people should be charged if they contributed to the mayhem that led to these deaths.

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Michael Medved: The Overhyped “Dangerous Divisions”

Opioid

Following the horrible events in Charlottesville, Virginia, the public seems deeply alarmed at the deep and dangerous divisions in the country.

But what are the substantive issues that actually divide the country? When it comes to hate festivals staged by neo-Nazis and the KKK, there is virtually no disagreement: nearly every American, left or right, and certainly including President Trump, strongly condemns the racial extremism of such fringe groups.

But all sides also agree they have a right to rally if they avoid encouraging or practicing violence. Meanwhile, overwhelming majorities of Americans support more economic growth, tax reform that lowers rates, better border security, health care reform that maximizes choice and slows the rise in premiums, a stronger military and a cautious foreign policy.

While the media love to dramatize bitter feuds over the president’s personality, on more substantive questions of policy, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and leftists, are hardly as polarized are the most hysterical voices on all sides love to suggest.

 

 

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