Tag Archives: democracy

Michael Medved: Black Panther’s Misleading Utopia


“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.


The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.


In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.

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Jittery Markets, the Memo and a defender of Masculinity

Opioids Tariffs

Townhall Review — February 10, 2018

Kimberly Strassel, of the Wall Street Journal, speaks with Dennis Prager about why the howling and protests came from Democrat, FBI, and Justice Department members following the release of “the memo.”  Mike Gallagher catches up with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow for an analysis on the economy, of which the Dow Jones Industrial tanked spectacularly earlier in the week.  Hugh Hewitt speaks with Congressman Mike Gallagher about a notorious figure who may have provided retired British Spy Christopher Steele with information contained in the “dossier.” Michael Medved sits in with Dr. Larry Diamond, a Sr. Fellow at Stanford University‘s Hoover Institution, to discuss the demise of democracy, if Putin could have his way. While on with Michael Medved, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, author of “Twelve Rules for your Life,” shares how his masculine ideas are “subversive to identity politics.” Ed Martin, the host of Salem’s 1380 the Answer in St. Louis, invites Hugh Hewitt on his show to discuss what when wrong with the FISA warrant scandal.  Larry Elder shares about President Trump’s “treasonous” comment following the State of the Union address.

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David Davenport: Free Speech On The Decline


One reason to be concerned about the future of America is the reduced commitment of its young people to freedom, starting with free speech.

A recent survey from the Brookings Institution indicates that 44 percent of millennials do not believe hate speech is protected by the Constitution. Moreover, 51 percent believe it is appropriate to shout down a controversial speaker, with 19 percent saying it is ok to use violence for that purpose. Mistakenly, 62 percent say the First Amendment requires one controversial speaker to be balanced by another speaker.

Today’s college students are coddled by helicopter parents and seek safe spaces on campus, not freedom. And, with little or no civic education, students do not understand the First Amendment.

Founder Benjamin Franklin said that “whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.” Wake up, America, the message from our campuses is that free speech is on the decline and, ultimately, so is freedom itself.

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Jerry Bowyer: America Is Indebted To Martin Luther

Jordan Peterson

500 years ago Martin Luther’s started a debate by nailing a document with 95 theological assertions to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, triggering the Reformation. No matter which side of that theological debate you’re on, you should be grateful for the ultimate effects of this action on Western liberty and prosperity.

Luther took existing strands of thought and weaved them together into a powerfully influential Biblical argument for freedom of conscience that ultimately laid the groundwork for our American 1st Amendment.

Many of these 95 assertions concerned economic exploitation. And Luther’s doctrine of the Priesthood of all believers helped to create a culture which honors hard work and innovation.

In the lands influenced by the Reformation, living standards have increased 100 fold; ordinary people who used to routinely die in their 30s, now often live into their 80s, and child mortality has gone from tragically common to increasingly rare.

Luther wasn’t perfect, but the good that he preached, is needed now as much as it was then.

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David Davenport: We’re Number 45


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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David Davenport: Civic Education To Save The Republic


A recent report reminds us that if the future of the American republic is in question, doing a better job with civic education is the answer.

The report for the “Democracy at a Crossroads National Summit” provides plenty of reasons for pessimism: people don’t trust their government, they don’t vote, they don’t take part in churches or other civic organizations like they used to. And young people lack civic knowledge, with only 23% of high school seniors scoring at a proficient level on tests.

But some states are awakening to the solution: better civic education in our schools. Florida now requires a middle school course in civics and tests the students, with strong results. Illinois requires a high school civics course, and other states are looking at new requirements.

The report is surely right when it says, “Civic learning, when done properly, is the best vehicle to train young people to sustain our democracy.” I hope it’s coming soon to your state.

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David Davenport: A Silver Lining In the Cloud of Controversy


President Trump’s approval numbers are low and controversies are high, nevertheless some good things are happening in our democratic system.

Congress, for example, is stepping up to its responsibilities to debate and decide policy. With Trump less interested in policy particulars, Congress can become what the founders intended, the first of the branches of government. They are debating health care, tax reform and war powers instead of waiting for the president.

Federalism is also flourishing, with states and cities becoming more proactive in policy affairs. I don’t always agree with them, but California and other states have figured out that they can make decisions about immigration or the environment. Again, that’s how the republic is supposed to work.

There’s even a new appreciation for checks and balances and separations of power as the Constitution established them.

Call them unintended good consequences of Donald Trump’s presidency, perhaps, but these are healthy signs for our democratic system.


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