Tag Archives: michael medved

Michael Medved: Israel’s “National Unity” Compromise

The coronavirus forced a resolution of Israel’s polarizing, paralyzing political stalemate. Benny Gantz, the former army chief-of-staff who fought Prime Minister Netanyahu to a virtual tie in three national elections in the course of a year, finally accepted his rival’s invitation to join “an emergency national unity government” to fight the pandemic.

To do so, Gantz had to split with the left-leaning elements of his Blue-and-White Party. Now this isn’t a betrayal—it’s a demonstration of putting patriotism above party. Netanyahu also agreed to concessions—after 18 more months in the top job, Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister will also step down and enable his new partner to become Prime Minister for the next eighteen months. The clearest winner in all this is the nation of Israel, which sends a message to her American friends about the importance of coalition and compromise, especially in times of peril.

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Medved: Potential Protection From A Plague


My latest book, “God’s Hand on America,” bears a title that could be understood now in a totally different context—seeing God’s hand as the source of national punishment, not protection.

Believers on all sides cite reasons for retribution—on the left for racism and social injustice, on the right for disregard for marriage and human life. But I am confident the Lord will continue to use this nation, for all its imperfections, as the greatest available instrument for human betterment and advancement of decency and liberty.

The grave coronavirus crisis may yet uplift America, providing perspective on home, school, work and faith that encourage timeless and constructive values. In his 1957 novel “The Plague,” Nobel-Prizewinner Albert Camus wrote: “This same pestilence which is slaying you, works for your good and points your path.”

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Medved: The Power of Familiarity and the Race for the Presidency

After Super Tuesday, the choice for president narrowed to three well-known—and very elderly—candidates.

By time of November’s election, Donald Trump, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will range in age from 74 to 79; whoever wins will qualify as the oldest president ever inaugurated.

The decisive advantage for Trump, Bernie and Biden involves their name recognition.

Even before he ran the first time, Trump’s decades of celebrity status gave him decisive advantages since most citizens pay scant attention to politics, and instinctively prefer a familiar figure to names you don’t recognize. That’s particularly true at a time when most voters perceive the country’s doing well, or at least holding its own.

In that context, familiarity reliably trumps advanced age.

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Medved: Nothing Partisan About COVID-19

Despite partisan grandstanding from politicians on all sides, scientists view the Coronavirus with surprising unanimity. No, COVID-19 isn’t a hoax; it’s a serious menace that’s already impacted tens of millions around the world and will likely disrupt hundreds of thousands of lives in the United States.

At the same time, it hardly represents a cataclysmic threat to civilization: within six months—in time for the American election—the health and economic threats will have begun to recede. Prominent leaders will of course claim credit for a “miraculous” rescue, but they won’t deserve it.

If nothing else, this virus should force elected representatives into more cooperation across party lines, along with recognition that politicos can’t control dangerous diseases. They can’t magically protect your health, but they CAN work together to improve the health of the body politic.

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Michael Medved: Israel’s “Un-Super” Monday

On March 3rd, Americans in 14 states will vote in primaries collectively known as “Super Tuesday,” but the day before, Israelis will cast ballots for the third time in less than a year and few citizens see anything “super” about it.

Polling indicates yet another tight race, with neither the center-right Likud Party of Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu nor the center-left Blue and White Party of General Benny Gantz winning enough parliamentary seats to assemble a government. This time the pressure for the two big parties to join a “national unity government” may become overwhelming, with Netanyahu and Gantz taking turns as Prime Minister. Israelis want leaders to put aside ambitions and animosities for the sake of the country.

In America, after the bitterness of impeachment and the brutal battle for the Democratic nomination, the public may want our leaders to do something similar—placing patriotism above pettiness and compromise above confrontation.

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Michael Medved: A Lesson from Lincoln on President’s Day

On the eve of Civil War, Abraham Lincoln concluded his First Inaugural Address with two sentences of incandescent eloquence: “Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

These words remind us that Lincoln—whose legacy we honor on President’s Day—became one of the greatest English prose writers in history, despite his background as an impoverished frontier boy with only a year of schooling. His rise constitutes one of the many American miracles that should inspire anyone willing to look with open eyes at our uniquely blessed past.

Throughout the Civil War and till the day of his death, Lincoln followed the approach later recommended by Bismarck: Listen for God’s footsteps marching through history, then grab his coattails and hang on.

May we see God’s design for America as we celebrate President’s Day.

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MIchael Medved: In Oscar Surprise, White Males Are Shut Out

Big winners in the 2020 Academy Awards illustrated a possible reaction by Oscar voters to widespread criticism of white-male domination of the nominations. In the end, the most prestigious non-acting awards left white males shut out. “Parasite,” a brutal dark comedy from Korea with no whites in the cast, swept Best Picture, Best International Film, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director.

In another surprise, Best Adapted Screenplay went to “Jojo Rabbit” and Taika Waititi, who identifies as Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

Finally, Best Film Score went, for the first time, to a woman: Icelandic composer Hildur Gudnadottir for the dreary, demented “Joker.”

Such choices may silence angry accusations of lack of diversity, while the “Parasite” sweep illustrates an odd tendency to honor films with modest domestic box office receipts—as with “Birdman” or “Hurt Locker” in recent years.

Hollywood elites seem determined to show they’re neither racist nor mercenary—even at the expense of slighting more worthy artistic achievements.

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