Tag Archives: michael medved

Michael Medved: The Biggest Threat to Our National Well-Being

Despite strong economic growth of recent years, an even more important number tells a much less encouraging story.

For three years in a row now, we’ve suffered an unprecedented decline in life expectancy—with self-inflicted harm striking more Americans in the prime of life. The lead author of a new study for the American Medical Association says, “the whole country is at a disadvantage compared to other wealthy nations.”

While people around the world enjoy steady increases in longevity, America has been moving in the wrong direction for the first time in a century.

Experts say prime causes are drug overdoses, suicides, and alcoholism—“deaths of despair” that inflict a horrible toll, despite declining rates of crime and poverty, and dramatic improvements in medical care.

Prospective leaders in an election year must confront this threat to our national well-being that prematurely steals spouses, parents, neighbors and work colleagues from those who need them.

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Michael Medved: Too Young for the Presidency?

To balance their four leading contenders over age 70—Sanders, Bloomberg, Biden and Warren—the Democrats also offer 37-year-old Pete Buttigieg. He’d be by far the youngest chief executive in our history, easily beating 41-year-old Theodore Roosevelt and 43 year-old-John Kennedy.

Mayor Pete’s defenders note that both TR and JFK used their youthful vigor to become successful presidents, but Buttigieg can’t compete with them in leadership experience. He’s won two terms as a small city Mayor, while Roosevelt was State Assembly minority leader, New York’s Police Commissioner, Assistant Navy Secretary, Governor of New York and Vice President. JFK served two terms in the House and two in the Senate, while writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning history book.

The young candidate’s limited life experience raises inevitable questions about his preparation for the presidency.

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Michael Medved: Polls Can’t Predict Trump’s Democratic Opponent

Our fascination with polls sometimes produces premature conclusions about next year’s presidential race, including the assumptions that Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden will fight it out for the Democratic nomination. Past polling a year before elections has demonstrated scant predictive value: for 2004, Wesley Clark and Howard Dean were the clear Democratic front-runners, but neither survived the early primaries; John Kerry, who grabbed the nomination, ran fifth at this point.

Four years later, for 2008, Rudy Giuliani was way ahead among Republicans—topping the ultimate nominee, John McCain, more than 2 to 1. And in 2016, Donald Trump was a full six points behind then front-runner Ben Carson—who’s now in Trump’s cabinet. Primary contests are unpredictable, particularly with complicated races and multiple candidates. There’s still time for new entrants like Mike Bloomberg, or some other surprise latecomer, to shake up the faltering Democratic field.

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Michael Medved: No Replacement for Religion

On one point regarding our country’s current condition, Republicans and Democrats seem to agree: three-quarters in both parties say, “religion is losing influence in American life.” According to a new study for Pew Research Center, Republicans consider that a bad thing, by a ratio of 9 to 1, while half of Democrats say they’re okay with the trend; 22 percent say religion’s decline makes no difference, while 25 percent insist that it’s a positive development.

But if organized faith continues to lose influence, what force should take its place? “Climatism”—a new faith derided by Josef Joffe in Commentary magazine promises earthly annihilation instead of heavenly salvation. For 100 years, Marxist true-believers created “Heavens on Earth” that became living hells for hundreds of millions, and unbridled secular materialism has recently spurred surging rates of deaths of despair. The spectacular failure of potential substitutes for organized faith have only served to emphasize its irreplaceability.

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Michael Medved: Today’s Aspirants Should Heed Lincoln’s Example

Abraham Lincoln remains our most revered political leader, but even some of his admirers misunderstand his rise to power. They believe Lincoln only became president in 1860 because Democrats divided, and three major candidates split the votes against him. In fact, those three opponents drew a combined total far less than Lincoln’s hefty majorities in 15 of the 18 free states of the union—providing more than enough electoral votes for decisive victory. The only states Lincoln failed to carry were the fifteen slave states, which naturally opposed a candidate who said: “If slavery isn’t wrong, then nothing is wrong.”

In Lincoln’s re-election run in 1864, he won an even greater landslide: winning the popular vote by 10 percent, and carrying 22 of 25 states. His example reminds us that great presidential leadership relies on clear-cut majority support, not the cobbled together, squeaker victories that seem to obsess too many strategists and commentators as they look toward 2020.

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Michael Medved: The Loathsome “Joker”

Our capitalist system generally rewards companies for manufacturing quality products, but that’s not always true of Hollywood. The new movie “Joker” is a vile concoction about a comic book villain, but set an all-time October record by earning $234 million in its opening weekend worldwide. Some hailed the film for its bleak, desolate view of society and humanity, and its portrayal of a lonely, bullied, mentally ill protagonist achieving empowerment through murderous violence.

Jeff Yang, however, derided the movie’s exploitative nihilism as “an insidious validation of the white male resentment that helped bring President Donald Trump to Power.” He described the anti-hero as a victim “who has been crushed underfoot by the elite, dragged down by equality demanding feminists, and climbed over by upstart nonwhite and immigrant masses.”

The president’s critics blame him for a lot, but a tortured effort to connect Trump to “Joker” is as loathsome and irresponsible as the film itself.

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Michael Medved: Democrats Elevate Their Least Likeable Leaders

In the midst of their seemingly endless and unpredictable fight for the 2020 presidential nomination, does it make sense for Democrats to promote some of their least likable Congressional leaders as the new face of their party?

The result of the new impeachment investigation, assigned to six different House committees, is that the leaders of those committees—including Maxine Waters, Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and Elijah Cummings—will dominate the debate and upstage the flailing presidential contenders.

As it happens, all six chairs are from New York, California, Maryland and Massachusetts, perfectly positioned to alienate key suburban voters in swing states that will decide the outcome of the election. The impeachment pursuit elevates some of the Democrats’ least appealing proponents to positions of pre-eminence, helping to ensure party losses in the upcoming battles for control of the House, the Senate and the White House.

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