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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America Cannot Afford to Have Afghanistan Become the New Vietnam

In 1999, two years before America’s longest war would begin in Afghanistan, Lewis Sorley published a seminal work titled A Better War about America’s last longest war that raged in the 1960s and 70s. The subtitle of this great work serves as the thesis of the book and says it all: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam. Effectively beginning when the 88th Congress enacted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in August, 1964, which authorized Lyndon Johnson to use military force in Southeast Asia, and continuing to the end of direct military involvement in 1973 with the fall of Saigon, the Vietnam War cost over 55,000 American lives over the course of roughly 9 years.

The ultimate loss of the Vietnam War after the expense of so much blood and treasure serves as a cautionary tale for what we are now witnessing in Afghanistan.

The Vietnam War was doomed from the beginning, not by a lack of American military might or readiness, but by the political image-making that trumped sound military policy. From the earliest days of America’s involvement in Vietnam, policymakers tried to win the war effort while concurrently trying to co-opt the current political leadership in South Vietnam. That was a mistake. In the early 1960s, the Kennedy Administration sent military advisers and aides to assist the Diem government, in an effort to stop the advance of North Vietnamese Communists. The Diem government, however, was hopelessly corrupt, which undermined America’s moral authority in the conflict, and hampered sound military planning. By the time Diem was assassinated in late 1963, ironically weeks before President Kennedy himself was killed, the political situation in South Vietnam was perilous.

When Lyndon Johnson took-over as Commander-In-Chief, he also tried to work through the South Vietnamese military to coordinate America’s war effort in the region. Additionally, he insisted on managing the war from the Oval Office, not through his commanders on the ground. In a rather candid admission, Johnson told his aides that “I won’t let those Air Force Generals bomb the smallest outhouse without checking with me.” This style stymied U.S. commanders in their effort to decimate the communist forces flooding southward. The end result of political micromanagement and diplomatic indecision was the loss of the war and, ultimately, the unification of Vietnam under communist control.

This same failed approach has been used in Afghanistan for the better part of the past decade. Under the Obama Administration, in particular, the White House micromanaged the war effort, set arbitrary timelines for military actions and withdrawals, and consistently ignored commanders in the field. Additionally, U.S. forces have consistently been ordered to coordinate with a hapless Afghan government, which is replete with corruption, and to consider Pakistan an ally though they have harbored terrorists in their midst. It is as if the lessons of Vietnam were lost on the politicians who have continually tried to run the Afghan War with an eye on PR instead of military victory.

If America is going to turn the tide in Afghanistan, and avoid withdrawing in defeat after years of war as we did in Vietnam, then we must adjust our strategy. By listening to commanders in the field, instead of talking heads on television, America can begin to win again in Afghanistan. We must stop trying to placate Pakistan, and force them to choose between us and the terrorists they harbor, and cut-off all foreign and military aide to them if they do not deliver. We must also stop having U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan subject to any authority other than U.S. commanders, and we must never telegraph to the enemy when we plan to take any sort of military action.

Only by charting a new course in Afghanistan can we hope to prevent this fractured nation from, once again, becoming a training ground for terror. If America dithers, the Taliban will again seize control of the country, and ISIS will raise its banner over soil saturated with the sacrifice of American service members who have fought for freedom from the tyranny of radical Islamic terrorism. For the sake of American military morale, and the security of our homeland, we cannot – and must not- allow Afghanistan to become the new Vietnam.

 

 

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During Monday’s TV Townhall, Speaker Ryan Must Press the Reset Button

As Speaker Paul Ryan prepares to conduct a CNN townhall this week, Republicans are reeling from a year that has not gone as expected. Last November seems like a lifetime ago, and nothing substantial that the GOP promised on the campaign trail has come to pass. At every level, the conservative agenda has stalled, and drama coming out of the White House has distracted from the fact that the do nothing Congress has done nothing. The American people are angry, and many conservative voters are checking out.

Ryan must make clear on Monday night that Republicans still have some semblance of a plan, and that there is still time to recover from these disastrous first 8 months of total Republican control of Washington. He must also demonstrate a scrappiness when it comes to overcoming Democratic obstructionism that has plagued passage of any conservative reform bills. Unfortunately for freedom-loving conservatives, Democrats are a more aggressive majority party and a more determined minority party. Their tenacity gives them an edge when it comes to killing the conservative agenda, especially with the liberal media on their side. Paul Ryan must adjust his tactics to go on the offense, instead of sitting-back playing defense with Democrats.

Ryan needs to take a page from New Gingrich’s 1994 “Contract With America.” Gingrich’s policy blueprint was crafted with the involvement of the entire House Republican Caucus, and included proposals that had broad support among GOP members for passage. Gingrich’s “Contract” contained 10 heavily supported Republican initiatives, all of which had already been polled with the American public. By managing the message and effectively marshaling GOP members, Gingrich was able to pass most every item on the list, and send bills to Bill Clinton’s desk.

While Ryan has a Republican president on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Republican Congress is going to have to drown-out the drama and background noise, and pass Republican priorities to send to the President. There is too much handwringing and not enough action on critical items the American people are demanding. From trying again on Obamacare repeal, to working-out how to balance the federal budget, Speaker Ryan and his caucus need to convince the American people that they can govern like adults. Democrats are in disarray, and their only salvation is the continued Republican circus in Washington resulting from rudderless leadership.

Ryan needs to press the reset button Monday night on CNN in order to regain any credibility. If he and his lieutenants don’t lay-out a plan and get back on track by the end of the year, then next year will be even more chaotic and it will culminate in the election of a Democratic Congress led by Nancy Pelosi. If we are ever going to pull this great nation back from the precipice of economic and cultural ruin, then this Congress must act now to restore limited government, balance our budget, defund Planned Parenthood, and repeal Obamacare.

For Congressional Republicans, an old Elvis Pressley song is applicable here: “it’s now or never…tomorrow will be too late.”

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Bigotry is a Matter of the Heart, Not Monuments

There are two issues being conflated in the aftermath of Charlottesville, and the confusion threatens to further inflame tensions across our country. Hateful protests by white supremacists and support for historical markers and monuments are not one and the same. There is no room in our society for any form of racial supremacy group, like neo-Nazis or the klan. These horrific and repugnant people, however, are not representative of the vast majority of people who do not believe that tearing-down historical markers and monuments is the right path to national unity.

As a native South Carolinian, I supported Governor Nikki Haley’s 2015 relocation of the Confederate Battle Flag from the Statehouse to the state museum. I did so out of the firm conviction that the seat of state government should not include a flag that, for some, signals exclusion. Additionally, I believe that the only flags that should fly over the people’s house are active flags, namely the American and South Carolinian. This conviction does not mean, however, that I support scrubbing the past from public view.

I said at the time that the Confederate Flag was moved from the Statehouse grounds that we needed to now let the past be the past. History is full of nuance and nonconformities; it is almost never a matter of all good or all evil when it comes to human beings. That being said, not everyone who fought for the Confederacy was an entrenched racist, nor was everyone who fought for the Union an ardent abolitionist. As such, the removal of statues and monuments to American founders, or Civil War era leaders, is fraught with political peril.

Take Robert E. Lee, for example. He is revered by a multitude, reviled by many, and misunderstood by most. He is a man who fought more for his native state than racist nativism, and his statements on slavery are contradictory. In a letter to his wife in 1856, Lee wrote that “There are few, I believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an institution is a moral and political evil.” Nevertheless, he himself owned slaves until freeing them in 1862, and did precious little to bring about abolition. Likewise, the family of Union General U.S. Grant owned slaves until emancipation in 1865.

No rational or honorable person can justify the abhorrent evil of slavery in American history. The so-called “peculiar institution” was the original sin of our nation’s otherwise noble founding, and one that certainly helped spur a war that cost 620,000 American lives. The notion that erasing all history from the Antebellum period, however, is not the solution. As former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently said “When you start wiping out your history, sanitizing your history to make you feel better, it’s a bad thing.” We should, instead, learn lessons, good and bad, from our nation’s past.

Our nation’s history is full of complex men and women who were, simultaneously, noble and savages. Both honorable and horrible. Such is the nature of human history, and all nations founded by fallen human beings. Like the nation’s first president, George Washington, who held slaves he later freed, the nation overcame its own fatal flaw of slavery to form a more perfect Union. The Judeo-Christian Value system of our nation, ultimately, led to the abolition of slavery and to the successful Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. As Secretary Rice eloquently stated “What we should celebrate is that from the Jeffersons and the Washingtons as slave owners, look at where we are now.”

America is a beautiful work in progress, founded on the fundamental principle “that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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The Alt-Right Doesn’t Speak for Me; Conservative Principles Aren’t for Whites Only

The disgusting race riots we have witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been revolting for a range of reasons. The so-called “alt-right” has sought to hijack the conservative mantle and make it about ethnicity instead of ideas. Most left-leaning media outlets have tried to make the alt-right rioters, and klansmen, spokespersons for the Republican National Committee. Neither of these things are true. It is now necessary for leaders of the conservative movement to make-clear that the alt-right is not right, and being Republican is not racist.

That was the point I tried to drive-home yesterday on Fox News. Liberal politicians have generally used the unrest in Virginia to paint all Republicans into the corner on race. This is wrong and hypocritical. Where were these same liberal finger-wavers when riotous protesters last year were calling for the murder of law-enforcement officers and calling police “pigs in a blanket? Would Democrats want to be painted by such a broad brush?

Our politics must not be dominated by race; it must again be about ideas. My message to the alt-right is clear: you don’t speak for me or American conservatives. Conservatives stand for freedom, but you stand for racial fascism. Conservative ideas aren’t just for white people, but are the principles needed for all Americans to prosper.

The central tenet of the American founding is that “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That credo, contained in our Declaration of Independence, is the heart of who we are as a people. Both parties, and all political leaders, must work to foster a conversation in our country about our shared American identity, consensus values, and common dreams. Conservatism can drive that conversation, so long as we make clear that conservatism is not specific to color.

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