Commentary: The War on Thomas Jefferson

Portrait of Jefferson in his late 50s with a full head of hair

The final decision, after years of debate, was made on Oct. 8 to remove from the New York City Council chambers the statue of the man we all know to have been a dreaded slaveholder—to the tune of 600 over his lifetime—Thomas Jefferson.

Despite that, writing at Bari Weiss’s Substack, political science professor Samuel Goldman, with whom I concur, is less than happy.

“The removal is disgraceful. Unlike monuments to Confederate leaders that display them in full military glory, Jefferson is depicted as a writer. Holding a quill pen in one hand and the Declaration of Independence in the other, he is clearly being honored for composing an immortal argument for liberty and equality.”

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Commentary: To Win Elections, Politicians Should Focus on Family-Friendly Policies

Things stopped working in this country about 50 years ago. But it wasn’t really noticeable until a few decades later. I like to date the beginning of the decay to the summer of 1969, though it’s impossible to put a precise date on it. Still, the summer of 1969 was an inflection point much more important than 1967’s “Summer of Love.”

Consider: On July 20, 1969, Apollo XI landed on the moon and 39 minutes later, on July 21, Neil Armstrong became the first man to stand on its surface. A few weeks later, on the night of August 8, the Manson family broke into Roman Polanski’s Hollywood Hills home and murdered his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, their unborn baby, and three friends who were at the house. The following Friday, August 15, the Woodstock music festival began in upstate New York. A good argument could be made that Woodstock was the culmination of the ’60s, but in reality, the ’60s had ended a week earlier. Woodstock wasn’t the final flowering, it was an aftershock.

This isn’t the time for a full exploration of the summer of ’69 (look out for that in the future), but it’s worth noting that a lot changed after that. Things had already peaked. For example, the two fastest ever commercial aircraft had both flown for the first time earlier in 1969; the 747 in February and the Concorde in March. In fact, the average speed of commercial air travel has been declining ever since. (Though that may be changing for the better.) Then, in the early 1970s, the median real wages of American workers entered a period of extended stagnation characterized by exceptionally low growth which made it impossible for the average person (who, by the way, is not an entrepreneur) to get ahead. It’s still true today, which is why so many families require two incomes if they want to remain in the middle class.

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Commentary: Don’t Force My Church to Pay for Abortions

Baby hand in adult hand

Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.

Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?

Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today.

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Phill Kline Commentary: Canceling Liberty

My first brush with cancel culture was in the ninth grade in 1975. Corporate daycare operators teamed with the state to cancel my mom’s in-home daycare referral business, which competed with corporate daycare. The “corporate connected” successfully pushed for new regulations to effectively shut down in-home daycare to control and enhance their market.

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Commentary: White Liberal Control Freaks Are a Menace to Liberty

The greatest threat America faces isn’t “white supremacy” or any foreign power, but America’s own ruling class. China understands very well that Americans have less to fear from Chinese armies than they do from their own Stasi-like informants with “In This House, We Believe . . . ” signs on their front lawns. 

The Chinese have a word for this demographic: baizuo, which literally means “white left.” It’s a political pejorative referring to narcissistic white American liberals. 

In a time of vaccine passports, “disinformation,” and make-believe insurrections, the anti-social, authoritarian tendencies of this lot have never been a clearer menace to America and its tradition of civil liberty. 

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Commentary: You Don’t Need a Permission Slip to Go Back to Normal

Group of people together socializing at dinner table

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.

The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”

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Commentary: Advancing Liberty by Divesting from China

No President in our lifetimes has been tougher on China than President Donald Trump. The Trump administration has courageously and steadfastly taken on China’s many trade abuses, threats to national security and human rights abuses. His Art of the Deal got China to agree to a phase one trade agreement even though it left tariffs of 25 percent on $250 billion of goods and another 7.5 percent on the remaining $300 billion of goods. The administration have made it clear to Beijing that its continued actions that threaten Hong Kong and Taiwan will not go unchecked. And the Defense Department has named 31 companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges that are either owned or controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and military.

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Commentary: When Enough is Enough, the ‘Woke’ Are ‘Awakening’

Recently, I read with great interest James Lindsay’s essay called “The Woke Breaking Point.” There, he invites his readers to ask friends and acquaintances “What would it take for you to say that the Woke movement has gone too far?” This, he suggests, is a way to help people keep themselves honest: if you consider in advance what state of affairs, specifically, would be “too far,” then you will be able to recognize better the excesses of the totalitarian Left and more ready to resist them at the point when it becomes absolutely necessary.

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Commentary: Resolving the Argument Between Lockdown and Liberty

As the debate between those who want an unlimited lockdown and those who want to reopen America as quickly as possible becomes more clangorous every day, months of intensive study and sad experience with the coronavirus enable us to determine the best course and resolve the argument.

The shutdown must end in all but severely afflicted areas. Its original purpose was to “flatten the curve.” In the early stages, the number of coronavirus reported cases and deaths in the United States was doubling every few days. Horrifying projections based on the scanty evidence available and hyped by the anti-Trump media to put as much pressure and blame on the president as possible for his initially somewhat casual treatment of the subject, stirred fears of millions of deaths and of a universal vulnerability to an almost untreatable fatal illness.

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Commentary: When Did It Become Okay to Disrespect the Culture, Traditions, and Values of America?

homes

by Jeffery Rendall   Wake up any particular morning and glance out the window. Do you notice anything different from the day before? Changes in weather or the seasons don’t count. Chances are you’ll see things appear pretty much the same – and if you’ve lived in one place long…

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Christianity: The First Major Religion That Stripped the State of Its Theocratic Powers

Jesus Christ

by Cuatro Jones   When discussing the history of the West and exploring the ideas and philosophies that led up to the creation of the Magna Carta and the U.S constitution, eventually the religion of Christianity must be brought forward in the discussion. Why? Well, despite the many sins of Christians (and there are many),…

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