It’s Not Racist to Say that Families Matter to America

As a man who just got engaged to be married for the second time, this time I am certain to the right woman, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to write about the importance of the family to a free society. I have known what it is to be married before having children, only to then go through a divorce and custody battle worse than most people would ever imagine, and to emerge as a primary custody single father. Between the loss of my first marriage, not by my choice, and my engagement this past week, over five years have passed. I can say with absolute certainty that raising children outside of marriage and family is very, very difficult.

As a result of my personal experience I do not understand the outrage unleashed at two public university law professors, who were condemned as racists, sexists, and homophobes, simply for endorsing personal responsibility and morality. Several weeks ago a good friend of mine from California, who is a steadfast conservative in a crazy state, sent me the link to an op-ed written by University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax and University of San Diego law professor Larry Alexander in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article titled “Paying the price for breakdown of the country’s bourgeois culture,” is a powerful piece that outlines how America’s Judeo-Christian Culture has come under assault from a moral relativism that is destroying our families, our economy, and our social fabric. Nothing that these two professors said is racist, sexist, or homophobic, but that has not prevented a liberal bloodletting over the professors’ position.

The essence of the article published in the Inquirer is summed-up in the writers’ own words. The core idea of the piece is that people should

“Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

Nothing about these ideas is racist or bigoted; they are good principles for all people, at all times.

America’s independent spirit thrives when families are strong. It was Aristotle, hardly a right-wing evangelical, who taught that the nucleic family consisting of a mother, father, and children is well-ordered society in its fundamental form. Limited government and personal liberty are dependent upon the commitment of individuals to a common moral code. Throughout American history, this code has consisted of Judeo-Christian concepts at the heart of Western Civilization. Secular-Progressives want to destroy the concept of marital fidelity and nucleic families for one fundamental reason: they represent the greatest bulwark of resistance against their statist ideology.

I had my son inside of marriage, and I have largely raised him as a single father. I can say that, unequivocally, it is easier to raise children with a spouse. It is easier to make and save money, build an estate, and teach and raise a child with solid life principles inside of marriage. This is not a knock against single moms and dads who are doing the best they can for their children; it is simply a statement about what is best for society and the individuals who make it up. Just because there are exceptions to the rule of nucleic families being preferable, they do not change the fact that most fundamental precepts of personal success, personal responsibility, and civic education are obtained inside the family.

Americans of all races and walks of life should embrace and encourage family development in our country. Doing so would do far more to win the war on poverty than all the programs Washington can create.

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Protecting Private Property Is Not White Supremacy

Hurricanes and other natural disasters bring-out the best and worst in everyone affected, and Hurricane Irma is no exception. That is why we should not be surprised, even though we should still be outraged, at the absurd ideas that uber-liberal author Sarah Jaffe tweeted out on Monday. Jaffe, who self-describes as “an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture” attacked police attempting to protect private property in Florida as white supremacists. This basically means that Jaffe has dispensed with any semblance of common sense, and has resorted to the typical Marxist strategy of demonizing opponents as colonial oppressors, capitalist pigs, and supremacists. Jaffe should be drummed-out of polite company because of her shameless labeling of police as racists for protecting private property.

Calling a crack-down on looters “white supremacy” is even more outrageous given the particular agency to whose tweet Jaffe replied is the Miami Police Department. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami, Florida, is 72% white or Caucasian (including people of Hispanic ethnicity who identify as white), but only 11.2% of the population of Miami is Non-Hispanic White. Non-Hispanic White or Caucasians, if only in the mind of people like Sarah Jaffe, are the real racists and white supremacists. So, how does Jaffe explain away the fact that the very police department she slandered as racist for protecting private property is protecting a majority minority city? Not to worry, facts will never get in the way of a good smear for people like Sarah Jaffe, for whom the end justifies the means.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, then-Texas Governor George W. Bush criticized opponents of high academic standards saying that they espoused the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Bush’s point was that all students, regardless of their race, should be encouraged to achieve high academic goals and that calling those high standards racist was, in itself, bigotry. I believe that the concept of the “soft bigotry of low expectations” is also at play in Jaffe’s critique of anti-looting efforts by law enforcement. Her own tweet, in which she wrote, “good morning, the carceral state exists to protect private property and is inseparable from white supremacy,” condemns her. Her claim is that the protection of private property is white supremacy, which is, in itself, a racist statement. Does Jaffe believe that only non-Hispanic White or Caucasian people are capable of owning homes, businesses, or having any personal wealth?

Modern liberal Democrats have moved beyond the noble cause of racial equality, and now exploit race for political reasons. No one in America should be denied opportunity, or provided an unfair advantage, based on their race or ethnicity. We should, truly, live-up to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream that we would all be “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Condemning looters who prey on their fellow citizens is not an issue of racism; it is an issue of the rule of law.

Despite Sarah Jaffe’s bigotry, not all looters are minorities, and not all property looted belongs to white people. America is the most racially egalitarian nation on Earth, and our laws protecting people and private property ought to be equally enforced, regardless of the race of the victim or the perpetrator.

 

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Hurricane Irma’s Path Proves the Point: Freedom Makes a Natural Disaster More Endurable

Hurricanes are horrible no matter where they hit or how well a place prepares for their impact. Nevertheless, that being said, the better prepared a landfall location is for a monster storm, the more likely that it will bounce back quickly in its aftermath. The ability of an area affected by disaster to bounce-back is dependent on how free the place is, economically and politically. An example of this principle is the preparedness of Florida versus Cuba for Hurricane Irma.

As Irma brushed-by Cuba on Saturday evening, the then-category 5 storm caused catastrophic wind and wave damage, which flooded many seaside towns. Given the dismal state of the Cuban economy, after decades of Castro dictatorship, structures were poorly prepared for such an onslaught and the island’s inhabitants scarcely have the resources to start-over after the storm. The lack of political and economic freedom has turned Cuba from an island of opportunity to an enclave of deprivation.

Fast forward to Florida, where Irma’s wrath continued unabated Sunday afternoon. Ironically, in a state known as a refuge for people fleeing Cuba for freedom will almost certainly weather this storm better than its southern neighbor. Private property rights and free-market economics have supported Florida’s continual efforts to hurricane-proof itself. The very fact that people have the ability in America to own their own property has incentivized individuals and companies to invest funds into continual improvements to protect their assets. This contributes not only to the preservation of property, but to the saving of many lives.

After Irma passes, another mark of a free society will be on full display: private recovery efforts. While we certainly have FEMA and other first responders, which do heroic work, the vast majority of recovery work and funding comes from the private sector in our nation. This sense of generosity and community, which is common in our country, helps bring back afflicted areas faster than in any other country on Earth.

While natural disasters are terrible everywhere, and loss of life is always a tragedy, if one has to endure a natural disaster, there is no better place to ride it out than in America. When disaster strikes in other parts of the world, America is also always ready to lend a helping hand. Only freedom can create such promise in the face of such pain.

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Since When Did Opposing a Blank Check to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer Make Someone a RINO??

In January, 2001, newly inaugurated President George W. Bush invited U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy to the White House for movie night to watch Thirteen Days, which is about President John F. Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The point of the overture, however, was to appeal to Senator Kennedy to support “No Child Left Behind,” not just to pop popcorn. By pandering to the uber-liberal Kennedy at the outset of his presidency, President Bush gave Democrats too much leverage over education policy too early. The result was predictable: “No Child Left Behind” became a federal behemoth that did little to lift education, and much to grow the educational bureaucracy. Conservatives decried the unholy alliance with Kennedy, and President Bush tacked-right on tax cuts and military policy immediately thereafter.

This week, President Donald J. Trump made a deal with Democrats even more dangerous for his agenda than George W. Bush did in 2001. When the President announced his debt ceiling deal with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, he bought time for Democrats to destroy any near-term chance of achieving any sort of real spending cuts. By kicking the can down the road on the debt ceiling, while further increasing spending with a continuing resolution, the President has given leverage to liberals to drive our nation deeper into debt.

Democrats did what they always do; they took advantage of a crisis to gain the upper hand. While publicly handwringing about the need to alleviate suffering from Hurricane Harvey, Democrats were seeking to leverage the disaster to, ultimately, eliminate the debt ceiling altogether. Such a move will sink conservative efforts to curb federal spending, and, by extension, the size of the federal government for the foreseeable future. While Hurricane Harvey funding is critically needed, the responsible thing to do would be to pass a clean funding bill not related to the debt ceiling or a continuing resolution on spending. By caving to Pelosi and Schumer, Trump has undermined his own agenda this fall.

As a conservative headline read today “Donald Trump Punts September Agenda to December After Meeting with Congress.” That pretty much sums it up, as this move will delay big-ticket items like tax reform and any additional attempts to repeal Obamacare this year. It is worse than delaying the conservative agenda, however, as the New York Times is now reporting that “President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer have agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling, three people familiar with the decision said.” That’s a lot worse than Bush cuddling-up with Kennedy on education, folks!

What adds insult to injury for those of us who actually care about keeping America from going over the fiscal cliff, is that some of Trump’s apologists are calling people who disagree with this deal “RINOs!” Since when did opposing a blank check in the hands of Pelosi and Schumer make someone a liberal? As the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee of the U.S. House, Congressman Mark Waller (R-N.C.), said today the deal would “increase borrowing authority of the government while irresponsibly ignoring the urgency of reforms. Worse yet is attaching the debt limit to legislation that continues the status quo or even worsens the trajectory on spending.”

President Trump has made a serious strategic mistake, which may seriously jeopardize not only his agenda in Congress, but any ability for this total Republican government to achieve any real spending reductions. That is the true tragedy of this deal; President Trump, with his excellent Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, could have helped stave-off fiscal disaster. Instead, in a terrible deal, Democrats have achieved what Senator Ben Sasse has called the “art of the steal.” Sasse is right, Democrats are now working with a Republican President to steal from generations yet unborn through even more run-away deficit spending.

Mr. President, fix this.

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Does Praying at a Football Game Make You the Enemy of the State? The 9th Circuit Court Says Yes.

A three judge panel of the uber-liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Washington State high school football coach who prayed during football games. High School football Coach Joe Kennedy, who was as an assistant coach at Bremerton High School from 2008-2015, was suspended as a coach in 2015 after the Bermerton School District decided that he had no rights to constitutionally protected free-speech. Coach Kennedy appealed his suspension for praying with his team, only to have the U.S. 9th Circuit Court, which was made even more liberal by Barack Obama, order him and, by extension, other high school coaches not to bow their heads, take a knee, or do anything resembling the act of public prayer. We are truly living in an America “fundamentally transformed” by secular-progressivism.

Patriotic Americans must stand-up to this cultural Marxism that makes it acceptable, even laudable, for an NFL quarterback to take a knee to disrespect this nation’s banner, but not okay for a high school football coach to bow his head with his ball players. The 9th Circuit Court codified this looney logic in a painfully convoluted opinion that stated “When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the 50-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected.” There in the dried ink of a federal court opinion is the death kneel of religious liberty for public employees. Liberals have so secularized the public arena that even the act of participation in voluntary prayer makes a school employee the enemy of the state.

A public employee does not surrender his or her First Amendment rights at the door of their workplace; they are protected by the same constitutional provisions as any other citizen of the Great Republic. If Coach Kennedy had forced his football players to participate in a sectarian prayer, under threat of punishment if they did not, that would clearly be unconstitutional and unethical. Neither was the case with this caring coach; he merely participated in student-led prayers and bowed his head in thanks at the conclusion of each game. I think that parents in Washington, like parents everywhere, have more to fear from transgender bathroom policies in public schools than a praying coach.

The American people are sick and tired of having our values trampled by a few black-robed tyrants who believe that their role as a judge is to participate in a rewrite of the Constitution. This latest ruling by the 9th Circuit Court is an act of judicial tyranny, pure and simple, which violates the First Amendment to the very Constitution these judges have sworn to protect. In the face of such blatant disregard for the Constitution, and the rights it guarantees, I agree with Rev. Franklin Graham’s nationwide call to civil disobedience. Graham told reporters “I think it would be great if football coaches across the country went out on the field wherever they are and prayed. And those there to watch the game stand in prayer with them. Let’s show our support for Coach Kennedy, a former Marine who didn’t back down on prayer.”

Amen Reverend Graham.

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Republicans Need to Cut Taxes AND Spending, Not One Without the Other!

When Ronald Reagan was working to pass his signature tax cut legislation, he told audiences around the country that “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15th.” The belief that lower taxes creates economic opportunity that, in turn, creates jobs and wealth is deeply ingrained in the Republican psyche. It is certainly core to my conservative credo as well, as lower taxes mean that more wealth is held by the private sector, not controlled by the government. For these reasons, I am bullish about the prospects of meaningful tax reform before the midterm elections next November. My bullishness, however, is tempered by the sobering reality that Obamacare remains on the books, which is further driving-up our national debt.

We Republicans are about to make the same mistake under this complete Republican government that we made under the last Republican government: cutting taxes without cutting spending. Democrats want to increase taxes and increase spending, and too many of our fellow Republicans want to cut taxes, but still support increased spending as well. We need to have conservative consistency like liberals have liberal consistency; we must cut taxes while cutting spending, lest we commit fiscal malpractice.

The most responsible way Republicans can cut taxes right now is to couple it with repealing Obamacare. I wholeheartedly support the proposal President Trump put-forth this week to cut America’s corporate income taxes; it will stimulate a boom of economic opportunity and growth that will help give all American families a pay increase. Tax cuts are critical to reversing the Obama-era stagnation that has gutted the middle class, and has begun to lower the standard of living for too many American families of all backgrounds. To pass a substantial tax cut, however, without repealing one of the key drivers of our soaring deficit, namely nationalized healthcare policy, may make an already dire deficit and debt situation worse.

While tax cuts, ultimately, increase revenues to Washington because a lower tax rate generates more rapid economic growth, and a smaller percentage of a bigger economic pie is better than a higher percentage of a smaller economic pie, there will be a lag period. Repealing Obamacare, under the House Republican plan passed earlier this year, would have lowered deficits by $337 billion over the next ten years. The spending reductions that will come from rolling-back the federal intrusion into healthcare markets, coupled with booming economic growth generated by repealing the onerous mandates of Obamacare on employers and individuals, will more than make fiscal room for monumental tax reform. If Republicans can accomplish these two primary objectives: repealing Obamacare and cutting taxes, then they will set America on an economic trajectory not paralleled since the Reagan boom of the 1980s.

I call on all congressional Republicans to work to pass the proposed corporate tax reduction, for the sake of the American economy. I also call on congressional Republicans to keep their promise to the American people to end the nightmare of Obamacare, which will truly pave the way for meaningful tax reform to make America’s economy great again for every single American.

 

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Buying into Climate Change Hysteria Won’t Prevent the Next Natural Disaster

In 2009 incoming White House chief-of-staff Rahm Emmanuel, who is now Mayor of Chicago, famously said that “You never let a serious crisis go to waste…it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Emmanuel was then referring to the financial crisis and the massive spending response that followed, but it is also applicable to the Left’s response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas. There have been no fewer than a dozen articles in major publications this week about how Hurricane Harvey was caused by the “climate chaos” that is now being unleashed due to man-made climate change. This will, no doubt, be used to justify a resurrection of ill-conceived cap-and-trade schemes that liberals have designed to punish the American oil and gas industry.

Climate change alarmist Kevin Trenberth told The Atlantic that man-made climate change accounts for “up to 30 percent or so of the total rainfall” from Hurricane Harvey. I would certainly be interested in what “science” Trenberth used to calculate how much rainfall fell because people drive cars and fly in airplanes. Every time a Hurricane hits these days we are told that it is a superstorm caused by climate change and that the planet is precipitously close to the point of no return when it comes to human survivability. This is textbook alarmism designed to achieve a political objective.

In my home state of South Carolina we still compare every hurricane that hits the United States to Hurricane Hugo, which ravished our coastline in 1989 as a massive category 4 hurricane with 135 mph sustained winds. In Florida, residents still remember the monster Hurricane Andrew that, in 2002, was upgraded to a category 5 hurricane based on wind readings from its 1992 Florida landfall that packed 165 mph sustained winds. Both Hugo and Andrew were at least as powerful, with Andrew being more powerful, than Hurricane Harvey on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The reasons for Hurricane Harvey’s enormous impact on lives and property has much more to do with landfall location and a high-pressure system over Texas than with so-called “climate change.”

Liberal climate change alarmism in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is political opportunism, pure and simple. Harvey was no more powerful than many other Atlantic hurricanes, many of which have hit the United States. Its devastation certainly is not as bad as the monster hurricane that ravaged Galveston, Texas, in 1900 killing over 8,000 people and decimating the “Wall Street of the West” that was the Galveston commercial district. The storm that ravaged Texas this week was a monster, and the aftermath is a heartbreaking tragedy. It is not, however, the beginning of a new era of “climate chaos” that can only be solved by forcing companies to buy more of Al Gore’s carbon tax credits.

If we want to see less severe impacts from major hurricanes in the United States, agencies and organizations would do better to spend money on further technological improvements related to sea walls, pump technology, and greater hurricane-proofing for buildings than to pour more money into the false religion of climate change. Massive tropical storms and hurricanes have occurred for as long as human history, and they have waned and waxed in their intensity. We all need to be good stewards of the world around us, and conservationists when it comes to our natural resources, but the notion that we should undermine our own economy, lessen people’s standards of living, and destroy the energy industry in hopes that hurricanes won’t destroy our coastline is foolhardy.

The great hurricane of Galveston in 1900 took 8,000 lives, meaning that more Americans died in a single day than we have lost in our post 9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. This horrific storm that battered Texas this week has taken far too many lives, but it will not come close to the figures that the same region saw a century ago. Is this because we bought into climate change theories? Or because we improved our infrastructure, pursued new technologies, and have put in place procedures to deal with natural disasters? Every American needs to pitch-in and help our fellow citizens in Texas financially and otherwise, but buying carbon tax credits and donating to Greenpeace will not bring back Houston, and it will not prevent the next disaster.

 

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Tinsel Town is Out of Touch, and Box Office Sales Tell the Tale

Hollywood is suffering its worst summer at the box office in over 25 years, based on ticket sales for new releases. As Labor Day is set to wrap-up the all-important summer movie season, Tinsel Town is scrambling to explain why sales are sagging and their profits are cratering. The total number of tickets sold in the United State and Canada this summer is projected to be the lowest level since 1992, in spite of significant population growth in both countries since the early 1990s. According to the Los Angeles Times, “No one can fully explain why. Studio executives, movie theater operators, and analysts cited the usual reasons for the summer slump.” To me this is not a mystery, Hollywood has lost its ability to tell captivating stories to the American public because it has lost the trust of the American people.

Hollywood has always been a liberal bastion, even back in the days of movie actor Ronald Reagan, but it used to be able to balance its liberalism with reaching its audience. Those days are over. Gone are the days that liberal movie makers made incredible epics like Gladiator, The Patriot, and Saving Private Ryan. In spite of Hollywood’s liberal leanings directors, producers, and executives used to realize that people don’t pay good money to be lectured and patronized over their American Patriotism.  Now, we get remakes of American classics that, instead of inspiring the country, try and deconstruct its identity. Take, for example, the remake several years back of The Lone Ranger. As kids, every little boy used to wanted to ride into the sunset like the Long Ranger and Tonto, but not if they watched this remake. It was an anti-Christian, anti-American hit piece that had the U.S. Army mowing-down innocent civilians over railroad rights while “The Star Spangled Banner” played in the background.

As predicted, The Lone Ranger ticket sales cratered, as Americans decided not to spend $15 per person to have their values trashed on the big screen. More recently, Hollywood decided that it would try and get-in on the values movies bonanza with a remake of the Charlton Heston classic Ben Hur. There are few non-biblical narratives as overtly Christian as Ben Hur; it is the story of two boys living in Jerusalem during the time of Christ and the Roman occupation, who reunite through the love of Christ. The story is an epic narrative replete with action, adventure, and family drama that appeals to a broad cross-section of the American public. It was a sure winner, until Hollywood botched the pitch. Even after electing to make the movie, they were reluctant to pitch an overtly Christian film as Christian for fear that they would be branded as intolerant bigots.

Hollywood’s troubles are not caused by a lack of American interest in movies; they are caused by Hollywood’s snobby disposition to “Fly-Over Country.” If Hollywood wants to rebound, it better burnish its image with Americans it has long loathed. Instead of trashing police, painting the military as the marauding bands of Genghis Khan, and Christianity as colonial oppression, maybe Hollywood should make more movies about the heroism of our military, police, and first responders. More movies that inspire families of faith and traditional values. More epic tales like Braveheart, Gladiator, and We Were Soldiers. If Hollywood execs would spend a little less time in Los Angeles and a little more time in Lexington, a few less vacations in Napa Valley and a few more in Nashville, they may actually get to know the very people they are trying to talk into buying their movie tickets. If they continue on their current trajectory, however, Netflicks and Hulu will bury Hollywood, and they will only have themselves to blame.

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Americans Are More United About America’s Identity than Media Suggests

Earlier this year, researchers at the Pew Research Center surveyed 1,003 adult Americans to determine what they believe helps distinguish someone as “truly American.” The results, predictably, were mixed, but some strong areas of agreement did congeal into loose consensus. The vast majority, 92%, stated that the ability to speak English is either “very important,” 70%, or “somewhat important,” 22%. Additionally, 84% of respondents said that sharing American customs and traditions, like 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, is either “very important,” 45%, or “somewhat important,” 39%. These are very strong consensus points, which give us a good starting point in affirming who we are as a people.

Another point of agreement seems to be around the issue of religious identification. The Pew Research Survey conducted in February of this year concluded that “Americans consider religion a more significant part of national identity than most other countries surveyed by Pew. The survey found 32 percent of Americans felt that it was very important to be a Christian to be considered truly American.” An additional 19% of those surveyed said that identifying as Christian was, at least, “somewhat important.” These numbers have sent liberals into orbit, but suggest something very encouraging about our country. As an observant Christian myself, I want to be clear that I do not support a religious test for citizenship or civic participation, and I respect people who believe differently than me. That being said, the very philosophical foundation of this Great Republic is Judeo-Christian.

The fact that over 51% of respondents believe that some sort of Christian affiliation is an essential part of American life is important, and speaks to the continuation of our founding ethos of equality before God in modern America. The Left has reviled the Judeo-Christian Ethic as incongruous with their liberal Utopianism, but it is the ethic on which our freedoms rest. In the words of Democratic President John F. Kennedy, “we believe that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the Hand of God.” We believe this still.

As we continue to debate the future of America’s immigration policy, the findings, above, provide us with some guideposts for policy formulation. Americans, across the spectrum, clearly want English to be spoken by new Americans who seek our shores, along with acceptance of commonly observed American customs and traditions. Additionally, while we should never establish a religious test for immigration, our government should also not prefer immigration from countries that do not share this nation’s clearly Judeo-Christian ethic. Our Constitution is not consistent with Sharia Law, for example, and newly sworn U.S. Citizens should not prefer it above the Constitution to which they swear allegiance.

America has always been, and shall always remain, a nation that welcomes immigrants. We have also always asked new immigrants to assimilate into one American culture, while still retaining customs from their nations of origin. Our policy should continue to encourage the concept coined on our currency: E. Pluribus Unum, “Out of Many, One.”

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Clemson Professor Must Apologize or Resign After Defaming All Republicans as Racists

This past week an Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Computing at Clemson University, Bart Knijnenburg, took to social media to attack all Republicans as racists deserving of violence and scorn. Mr. Knijnenburg wrote that “All Trump supporters, nay, all Republicans, are racist scum” on his social media account, comments which have prompted passionate debate. In response to a dissenting comment on his post, he went further writing that “All Republicans, yes, your complacency made this happen. Pick a side: denounce your affiliation, or admit that you’re a racist.” The professor’s comments are derogatory and defamatory to the majority of South Carolina voters and millions of Americans who are supporters of the Republican Party.

As a Republican Party official in South Carolina, I felt compelled to respond to this over-the-top rhetoric by sending a letter to Clemson President James Clements to set the record straight. I told Dr. Clements that “I denounce this sort of hate-filled rhetoric directed at Republicans. As you are well aware, the South Carolina Republican Party helped elect our state’s first-ever female, Indian-American Governor in our friend Nikki Haley. U.S. Senator Tim Scott, one of conservative champions of the United States Senate, is the first African American U.S. Senator from South Carolina and he is a member of the Republican Party. Our Party is diverse, young, and growing, and it is not exclusive to any one race, ethnicity, or gender.” An attack on all Republicans as racist because of the actions of alt-right fanatics in Charlottesville is absurd. The so-called “alt-right” isn’t right, and they certainly do not speak for conservatives like me.

In response to letters like mine to Clemson Administrators, President Clements issued a well-worded response, but did not call on Assistant Professor Knijnenburg to apologize for his hateful rhetoric. While I appreciate Dr. Clements’s response, it still constitutes a double standard. If Mr. Knijnenburg was a Republican, and he had defamed the Democrats, he would have been escorted off campus by security. It is time that all Americans, regardless of our political party or principles, treat one another with dignity and respect. The hateful rhetoric surrounding race, ideology, and party affiliation has reached a fever-pitch not known since the 1960s, and this tenor is untenable. I do hope that Clemson University President Clements asks Mr. Knijnenburg to apologize, and for his resignation if he does not.

In these difficult times for our country, we certainly cannot afford to have academic leaders using their platforms at public universities to fan the flames of division. I hope that Clemson President James Clements can appreciate this fact.

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