Month: September 2016

Conservatives should avoid media-only moderated debates

It's just like Lucy with the football. Every election conservative candidates cannot resist rushing into debates solely moderated by the mainstream media, only to have the football yanked away at the last moment, sending them hurling into the air like Charlie Brown and tumbling onto their thick, block heads. Not that Donald Trump is a conservative, but this year he happens to be playing one on television – yanked football and all. He clearly lost the first presidential debate to Hillary Clinton, at least when one scores it like those held in the past: rambling is bad, focusing is good, and for heaven's sake, don't waste seven precious minutes explaining to 84 million people why you thought the president was born in Kenya. It might not matter, though. Trump's erratic performances during the primary debates didn't hurt, and nothing happened last Monday to sway most undecided voters either way. What was clear, at least to conservatives, is that our candidates should finally stop participating in debates that are solely moderated by the mainstream media. Despite honest attempts, it always ends up being two against one. Take Lester Holt. He's a likable guy and a decent journalist, but he didn't ask Clinton a single question about her immigration stance, her foundation, Benghazi, the email scandal, or her record as a senator or Secretary of State. Instead, Holt seemed to hammer Trump alone, inquiring about everything from his tax returns to what he said about Clinton's "look" – as if we really…

Alabama law may help end ignorance about abortion

They say that ignorance is bliss, but it's also the only thing that's keeping abortion-on-demand legal in our nation. Truth is, most people simply don't know – or don't want to know – what actually happens inside abortion clinics. Most gladly accept the lie that only a small, unidentifiable clump of cells are harmlessly flushed away every time a mother walks into an abortion clinic. It's easier to simply move right along, blissfully and willingly ignorant of the gruesome truth rather than face the facts ... and the uncomfortable moral obligation that comes with such knowledge. Thankfully, recent legislative efforts in Alabama and elsewhere are trying to move the debate away from theoretical arguments about "choice" and towards those that address the most pressing issue of our time: should our society condone – and even subsidize – the poisoning and dismemberment of our unborn children? Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is currently defending a recently enacted state law that "prohibits dismemberment abortion – a form of abortion where a living fetus is killed by tearing it limb from limb," according to his filing in federal court. Torn limb from limb. That doesn't sound like something that'd be done to a small, unidentifiable clump of cells, does it? But that's exactly what happens to unborn children during 95% of abortions that occur during the second trimester of a pregnancy, according to some estimates. Even longtime abortion rights advocate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg called dismemberment abortion and the already outlawed…

How should true conservatives vote in November?

I've been genuinely agonizing about what to do with this November's general election ballot, as have many of my fellow movement conservatives. To borrow the Democrat nominee's recent description of the electorate, it's a menu of deplorables: a creep, a crook, and a couple of crazies. Those are some depressing choices, especially after having such a promising field of conservative candidates in the Republican Primary who were ready to champion individual liberty, limited government, and free markets. Now, we're left to cringe at the prospect of voting for Donald Trump, who probably doesn't believe in any of those principles. We'd sooner die than vote for Hillary Clinton, who definitely doesn't believe in any of them. We'd never vote for one of these silly third party libertarian sideshows. They either believe in everything or nothing, depending upon whom you ask. And we're not going to sit home or write-in some imaginary candidate's name, either. That effectively allows a vote to slide into Clinton's column unchallenged. Besides, it's kind of craven to abandon the field altogether. But what choices do we have left? That's the frustrating question that's been tumbling through my mind since Trump secured the GOP's nomination last summer, until I finally decided to simply do what I've done in every election since I was 20 years old – vote a straight Republican Party ticket. Voting for the Republican Party instead of its presidential candidate will help me avoid, at least directly, having the indelible stain of Trumpism on my…

However upsetting, we must never forget September 11, 2001

A few years ago country music artist Darryl Worley recorded a song to remind some – and shame others – who had apparently forgotten the horror our nation experienced on September 11, 2001. The song was ridiculed as simplistic and sappy, but "Have You Forgotten?" rose to the top of Billboard's country music chart as many listeners felt their hearts – and their consciences – convicted by its unsettling refrain: Have you forgotten how it felt that day, To see your homeland under fire, and her people blown away? Have you forgotten when those towers fell, We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell? And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden. Have you forgotten? Time heals all wounds, they say, and we cannot thrive as a nation by clinging bitterly to such a wound, regardless how grievous. In the words of another country song, "Time marches on." People fall in love and get married. Children are born and grow up. Parents grow old and die. The world must, and does, move on. All true ... and yet, have we forgotten? For some, remembering that morning – truly remembering – may be too much. I'm not usually one who turns away from disturbing news reports or who shies away from war-themed movies, but I've never been able to watch one of those films about 9/11, like United 93 or World Trade Center, and I physically cringe when seeing video of the attacks. Pictures of those who lost…

Could the new state school superintendent help repeal Common Core?

Alabama's conservative State Legislature should have severed our connection to Common Core years ago, but thanks to a rather muddled opposition effort and lack of responsiveness from our lawmakers, the disastrous scheme not only survived initial repeal efforts but it's now on the verge of becoming a settled issue. Just ask Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh about any further attempts to replace the standards. "I don't think this body really wants to deal with it, yet it keeps coming up and taking up time," Marsh said earlier this year after a vote to repeal Common Core was postponed. "Hopefully, we addressed it for the last time today, but if it keeps coming up I will vote against it." With a bit of luck, the recent appointment of Michael Sentance as our state's superintendent of public schools will cause lawmakers like Marsh to take another look at the growing body of evidence against the scheme. Sentance has been an opponent of Common Core in the past and recently worked to have it thrown out in Massachusetts, where he once served as the state's secretary of education. While it remains unclear what Sentance will say about Common Core once he's in Montgomery, he obviously hasn't been fooled by the cleverly marketed yet woefully inadequate, completely unproven, and thoroughly domineering national system of standards. He saw first hand how Massachusetts was forced to lower its otherwise high standards to meet the scheme's goal of redefining "success" as whatever the lowest common denominator…