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The Attitude Election?

Thursday, December 1, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

A couple of pieces appeared in “The Atlantic” this morning that are interesting, particularly when taken in together.  One looks at polling data and concludes Trump voters do not expect Trump to actually “fix everything.”  The other tries to figure out why Evangelicals are hopeful for the Trump administration.  As I read the pieces I could not help but reflect that they were written by people that just do not “get it.”  Trump enjoys a core of strongly devoted followers, but they are not who won him this election; there simply are not enough of them.  Trump won this election on the votes of people like my host here or myself – the so-called “reluctant” Trump voter.

I cannot speak for my host here, but I do know why as reluctant as I was to vote for Trump, I am hopeful.  Of course, his appointments to date are a cause for great hope, but my hope springs from something deeper – it springs from what Trump does not care about.  Trump has never expressed an ideology.  He has policy stances and ideas on specific issues, but he is not, that I can tell, ideologically driven.  Obama and his chosen successor Hillary were first and foremost ideologues and were not afraid to use the power of governmental force to drive the nation towards their ideology.  From the court battles over the contraceptive mandate in Obamacare to the battle over bathrooms and gender, to the simple prevalence of politically correct speech enforcement,  the administration soon to leave us was an oppressive presence in our lives.  Obama did not simply want to change what we have to do to comply with regulation X; he wanted to change how we think and most Americans do not like that one whit.

Conservative and religious Americans have put up with abortion for decades now.  It is an abhorrent, ugly practice, but we have tolerated it because we have been allowed to elect not to participate and to voice our opinions about the practice.  We have been allowed to conduct the war of ideas and practice in accordance with our own ideas as our ideological opposition was allowed to do.  When we win the war of ideas, the law may follow, but it should not precede that ideological victory.  Obama broke that compromise in many areas and used the law as a means of fighting the ideological battle, and Hillary certainly looked to follow in that mold.

Trump in many ways embodies the compromise.  The ultimate pragmatist, the ideological battles swirl around him without comment on his part.  And thus we Americans are set free to fight them.  There is a lot on which Trump and I will disagree, hence the voting reluctance, but at least I see no signs of him wanting to shut down my disagreement – nor contain the ideology that drives my disagreement. Continue Reading

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Talking Federalism And National Security Appointments With Bill Kristol

Thursday, December 1, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

I spent 15 minutes  talking rebirth of federalism and the national security team being assembled by President-elect Donald Trump with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol this AM.  Well worth a listen:

The Audio:

12-01hhs-kristol

Do We Think We Are God?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

About a year ago I wrote a post to poke fun at the World Health Organization wanting to control, well, flatulence.  The whole thing should be funny.  Even the founding fathers enjoyed a good fart joke.  It is an unavoidable consequence of higher mammalian life.  Which is the source of the humor – it is embarrassing and uncomfortable, but also perfectly natural.  That tension is the perfect point for humor.  But Oh No – California has gone and taken up this silly dare from the WHO.  That’s right Americans – California is officially in the fart regulating business.

This is not as new as you might think.  The South Coast Air Quality Management District, the agency charged with improving air quality in the Los Angeles basin and environs, has had regs on the books for a while now about dairy farms.  The net effect has been to drive dairy farms out of the area and the price of dairy in southern California through the roof. But now, instead of LA getting its milk from Fresno, the most likely outcome is that it will come from Nevada or Arizona or Oregon and the stuff will be priced out of reach of the average citizen.  Not to mention the state with the highest taxes anywhere, while roads crumble and water infrastructure is inadequate to the needs of the current population, has set aside $50 million to help dairy farmers control their cow farts.  If the roads keep disintegrating, the overpriced milk may never make it to market.

But policy outcomes are secondary to the massive presumptuousness of attempting to regulate something, its unpleasantness not withstanding, that is a normal and natural part of life itself.  The progress of mankind has been all about harnessing nature.  That’s what science and engineering do.  But there is a difference between harnessing and overriding and that is the point where we cease to understand that we are creatures, not creators.  We are not apart from nature, that is to say the created order, we are part of it and limited by it.  We re not God, we are His creations. Continue Reading

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