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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Finding Freedom

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So Friday morning I open my devotional email and it starts this way:

One of the canonical truths of American culture is that each person has the right to determine what’s best for one’s own life. In fact, we are taught to believe that what we want for ourselves is usually the best course to pursue. Graduation speakers across the land urge those who are commencing their lives to follow their own passions. More to the point, one of the speakers at the 2013 Harvard College graduation (Class Day, to be specific), proclaimed, “Do not listen to other people’s take on the life you should lead. By not listening, you can figure out what your heart is telling you to do.”

Unfortunately, our own intuition about what’s best for our lives often fails us. That’s one of the lessons from an intriguing book by Chip and Dan Heath, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work. The Heath brothers, authors of the bestselling Made to Stick, summarize research that demonstrates how many of our firmly held opinions about our choices turn out to be wrong. We’re sure that we’re right, even though we are so often wrong. Our confidence in our own intuition may be enflamed by graduation speeches, but it should be quenched by a big dose of reality.

The first thought that ran through my mind was “Paging Hillary Clinton, Paging Hillary Clinton.”  But if you really think about it, she is just one example of this problem.

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Dr. Ben Carson on MSNBC w/Hugh

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The transcript:

HH: The unlikeliest presidential candidate in 2016 was in fact a brain surgeon, and one of the most admired brain surgeons in America, Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson, of course, didn’t receive the nomination, but he did forge a friendship with President Trump. And when asked to serve, he agreed to helm the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Carson, thank you for joining me.

BC: Thank you.

HH: Very quickly, you’ve gone to the front of the emergency response team to Houston. You’ve been down there to Houston. You’re now working on Florida. But take us back to Harvey and the aftermath. What did you see and how did it encourage your or discourage you about America?

BC: Well, I think probably the thing that was most impressive when I drove up to the convention center where they were housing a lot of hurricane refugees, there were signs up that said please, no more donations. We can’t handle any more. And when you went in there, just so much stuff, it was amazing, and volunteers, people coming out, but also in some of the neighborhoods that we were able to get into and just see all the stacks of debris in front of people’s houses, but that they were helping each other. Neighbors were going and we’re going to do this house, then we’re going to do and do this house. And that spirit of cooperation is wonderful, particularly in light of the division that we’ve seen in the country recently, because that’s now who we are.

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Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton on MSNBC w/Hugh

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The transcript:

HH: I open with the man who has been called President Trump’s favorite senator, Arkansas’ Tom Cotton. Senator Cotton is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School from which he joined the United States Army after 9/11, became an Army Ranger, commanded combat troops in the heart of Baghdad during the surge, and served a tour in Afghanistan as well before leaving the Army and joining the battle for sanity in Washington, D.C. Elected to the House in 2012, Cotton then ran and won his Senate seat in 2014. Now from seats on the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee, he’s become a frequent visitor to the Oval Office and one of the legislators that President Trump is said by many to trust. Tom Cotton, thanks for joining me this morning.

TC: Thank you, Hugh. It’s good to be on with you.

HH: My first question comes from our mutual friend, Dr. Larry Arnn. He says you know terms are four years, and even though this one’s been rocky, how do you make a four year term of this president successful?

TC: Well, I think it’s important that we try to deliver on the agenda on which the President campaigned, and also that we campaigned in the Congress. So we’re working right now on tax reform to put more money in the pockets of working class Americans and get our economy growing again so people can get back to work and wages will start growing again. Also working a long term budget solution so we can fund our military just like the President promised on the campaign. And then there’s some issues from which the President deviated from what you would call conventional Republican wisdom, on immigration, for instance. You know, I’ve longed believed that our immigration policy doesn’t serve the interests of American citizens and American workers. The President saw that as well in the campaign, and it’s important that we in Congress try to help him deliver on that agenda. If we do that, then we’ll be successful politically in 2018, and the President will be successful politically in 2020.

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The Hardest Thing

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For some reason it is very easy to call people names:

“I came here to have a civil discourse, and I was called a Nazi,” said Rick Hudson,…. “People are afraid to speak one way or another on this issue.”

And yet it is difficult to tell them “No.”  You see, Mr. Hudson received his epithet during a public discussion in the College Park, MD City Council on whether to grant voting rights to non-citizens.  Yes, you read that correctly, people are willing to call opponents “Nazi,” but they are not willing to tell people that have not yet completed the steps to citizenship, “No.”  I find that fascinating.  In order to be that defiant of social convention and common sense, in an effort to change the law when it is so easy to simply defy the law, must mean there is some sort of personal reward in it for the epithet thrower/foreign voter supporter.

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